Remember back in the day where Monday’s were for all things motherhood?! We’ve been a bit behind lately, but are excited to bring y’all some mom stuff today. I’ve been a loyal Dr. Brown’s user for all three kids so why not let y’all know why I love this brand for my family?! I’ve also had lots of questions over social media about baby products, including bottles, and have to say Mr. Jack is doing quite well with bottle feeding thus far. His chubby cheeks will tell you he’s not missing meals at our house. Wink, wink.
I’m still nursing but transitioning Jack back and forth from breast to bottle has been a breeze with Dr. Brown’s nipples. I’ve recently started using their glass bottles too. If we’re running around town I’ll prepare Jack’s bottle with hot water and by the time I’m ready to feed him the milk is the perfect temperature.
Dr. Brown’s has been a big part of our family for the past 5 years and my bottle of choice for all three kids. The bottles are well made, easy to clean and the vent system is known for helping reduce feeding problems and colic. Our house has traditionally been full of pink Dr. Brown’s bottles, so we did have to swap them out for blue when we found out we were having a boy!
Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all of you wonderful moms out there. Earlier this week, Bret asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day. Sleeping in and organizing my clutter filled closets were the first two things to pop into my mind. Neither of which involved my kids, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of Mother’s Day. I feel like a jerk now that I’m actually writing this but have a feeling that a lot of other moms out there would ask for similar things too, right?! I’m going to go ahead and chalk it up to being normal and human.
What I didn’t realize is I would get the best Mother’s Day gift of all a day early. This morning there was some sort of magic in the air in our house. And it wasn’t because I got to sleep in. I actually brought Jack into our room earlier than he normally wakes, teething the likely culprit for the early morning alarm clock. Lucky for me, he’s at the age where he’s totally happy hanging out in my nook, so we did just that until the girls were awake. Then each of the girls made their way to join the cuddle fest. No agenda, no hustle to get dressed and out the door, just our little Z tribe.
I took in every last hug, smooch, giggle and conversation. I took in holding my sweet boy’s tiny feet in my hands, smelling his little head full of wispy baby hair. That baby smell, can we please bottle it up?! I took in making eyes with my amazing husband. Feeling all the feels after 6 years together. Yes, this morning was magic, my friends. Magic that you can’t plan or orchestrate intentionally. Magic that happens when you least expect it. The only thing missing was a cup of coffee. I think I’ll revise tomorrow’s Mother’s Day gift requests to include just that. And another morning in bed with my little people. The closets can wait another year.
I’m currently bike riding along Venice Beach with two college besties en route to the adorable Rose Café. I can’t wait for this getaway to start my summer refreshed for all the fun that’s in store. Here are some weekend reads to help you get into R&R mode, especially all you moms who deserve it most.
If you can’t get to California any time soon, here are five spots to taste wine that aren’t Napa.
In honor of Earth month, we’ve got an awesome eco-givewawy today. We’re so thrilled to be featured in the #WCW “Eco Edition” by our friends at Gugu Guru! In celebration of Earth Month, L. Avenue along with Shop Buru, The Chic Series, and Be Pretty are all naming our top eco-friendly products for your baby registry. See what products we picked and enter here to win them all!
Costa Rica, the “pura vida,” pure life, and that it is. Bret and I had the chance to sneak away to Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo for some much needed R&R. I didn’t realize how easy it would be to get from Houston to Costa Rica, a 3 hour flight and a quick cab ride from the airport to the property. This trip is the perfect spot for a long weekend (US direct flights locations listed below), but if I had my kids in tow we would have stayed for a lot longer.
The resort sits atop the Papagayo Peninsula, one of the prettiest pieces of property I’ve seen, with a beach on both sides of the resort. The view from our canopy suite was an awesome mix of terrain, monkeys were actually hanging out in the trees just outside our window, and the ocean. Four Seasons Papagayo is the place to be for eco-adventure–kayaking, repelling, hiking, paddle boarding, surfing, snorkeling, the list goes on. The excursions available through the resort kept the adventure seeker in Bret happy and the incredible spa and chill beach ambiance was perfection for me.
There’s truly something for everyone at Four Seasons Costa Rica, including our kids. The resort operates with kids in mind, from wagons full of beach toys, to stools in each of the restrooms (if you have a toddler you feel me on this perk!) to castle tents in the guest bedrooms, this place is kid heaven. I can’t wait to come back with my entire family later this year.
Costa Rica Travel Guide | Four Seasons Costa Rica at Papagayo
When to go | The best time to visit Costa Rica is from mid-December to April (the dry season)
Direct flights from | Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, New York, Newark, Atlanta and Miami
What to do | Right on the Four Seasons property you can golf, spa, paddle board, kayak and more. There so many activities right at your fingertips, you could stay for weeks and no day would look the same. Water sports, fishing, hiking, golf, day trips for surfing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica’s #1 surf camp, or the active volcano at Arenal, ATV rides, repelling, the list goes on.
Where to eat | The restaurants on the resort property were all so fabulous. We had a special chef’s table dinner at Cena Sociale with 7 course tasting including wine pairing. The food and wine were amazing, one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Even cooler, was the experience. Our table was in the actual kitchen directly in front of the serving line, so we got to see the chef’s in action, very exciting!
Stroller friendly | The resort is very hilly, but there are concrete paths that are stroller friendly. The Four Seasons also provides a shuttle service to all guests, so it was easy to get around the resort via golf cart, as well.
There’s a scene in the movie Christmas Vacation where Ellen complains to Clark about his ridiculously high expectations on big events like holidays. Boy can I relate to old Clark Griswold. My family will shake their heads in agreement while reading this post. And I’m pretty sure they’ll remind me for years to come about how I frantically went to great lengths to dismantle our dead Christmas tree in order to put up a new, fresh tree just 5 days before Christmas. Stringing lights with a newborn strapped into the baby bjorn…do not try this at home, folks. I digress here, but have to ask, do any of y’all obsess over this type of stuff too? If not the tree, stressing over getting the right gifts for people, writing thank you’s in time, making sure you sent a Christmas card to your OBGYN because well, she was responsible for a safe birth of your newest family member on the front of the card. Ha!
Seriously, there is so much chaos during the holidays, how do we not all go cray cray? I spent the best part of December worrying about things that are mostly out of my control, like what if a kid is sick for the holidays? There isn’t enough hand sanitizer out there to prevent this fear from coming to fruition sometimes. And the sickness train rolled into town and stopped at our house multiple times this Christmas.
My biggest anxiety was realized when a perfect storm of illness swept through my family a few days before Christmas. As a result our social calendar of festivities with family and friends was shut down. And we were on lock down. But in the end it was still a great Christmas. Maybe the best one yet. How can this be??? Well for starters we were forced to be at home with just us. Our new family of 5. At times I longed for my sisters or a babysitter or someone (anyone!) to just give us a hand while in the trenches. But while we were down there some really magical moments happened.
I guess that’s what you might call the spirit of Christmas. The good stuff. While I was too sick to even text my friends Merry Christmas (sorry guys, can this blog post shout out count?), I was laser focused on my kids on Christmas day. I spent zero time cleaning up anything (the house can wait) even though towards the end of the day the kitchen was starting to remind me of a frat house. I spent zero time trying to get my family dressed to the nines to go to Christmas dinner at our friends house. And as much as I look forward to going to that fun festive party, I honestly didn’t mind frozen pizza and pigs in a blanket with my party of 5. Gathered around the table eating the freezer’s finest, holding Jack while he slept so angel-like, the sweet voices of my little girls, and catching my husband’s eyes and knowing that he got it too. I’ll store this scene in my mind as the best Christmas memory to date. No frills, just us. And then next December when I get all crazy about Christmas being perfect I’ll remember what perfect really is.
We just received our New Year’s cards in the mail from Minted and I love how they turned out! In case you missed my earlier post, you can read more about the design process here. And in case you didn’t get around to sending out a Christmas card this year, there’s still time to put together a festive card celebrating the new year on Minted.com. The process is super easy and the card design options are pretty legit. There are cards with real gold foil, glitter (my fave!) and the letterpress options are gorgeous. Once you upload your photo/photos, there’s this slick feature that let’s you preview a sample card in each design template with that photo. This saved me so much trial and error and I put our New Year’s cards together in less than 20 minutes. I included the feature to print addresses on the envelopes which is also a major time saver. And Minted had my cards to me in less than 3 business days. It doesn’t get much better than an efficient, seamless process for beautiful cards for a mama with not a minute of free time to spare these days.
I’ve never been one to storm the department stores on Black Friday; however, I am a huge advocate for small business Saturday. My bias may come from working for one, Biscuit Home, but I’ve always weighed my shopping experience heavily, thus I tend to prefer beautiful displays, curated products and getting the inside scoop on the people and passion behind small brands. So, here’s my favorite around Houston…
Baanou – The most recent addition to our small business circle of this list, Baanou is located in the new River Oaks District. And I fell for this blue tweed knee-lengh vest as I’ve found Houston winter to by idyllic for vests.
Indulge – Tucked behind beloved Tiny Boxwoods, this small home goods and linen shop has expanded into the cutest French clothing shop. I just got these there and may have to gift these Les Toiles du Soleil bags for all the trips to parties with bottles of wine and to and from the supermarket during the holiday season.
Brooke Feather -This clothing store draws its inspires from the West Coast, but we’re so glad it’s right here in Houston at the River Oaks Shopping Center. Carrying Jerome Dreyfuss bags, Koch clothing, and elegant jewels by Anne Sisteron, you’ll find something for every girl on your list.
Paris Texas – As for the guys, head to the new brick and mortar store for the Paris Texas Apparel. Made popular from their famous Southern tie prints, they’ve expanded into barware and leather goods, ideal for gifting to all the guys in your life.
Cuteheads– One of Lyndsey’s favorite clothing brands for her girls, is making clothing right here in Houston. We’ve collaborated with Cuteheads over the years here and here.
And last but certainly not least, a few of our small business favorites from around the web….
BURU– We are so lucky to call BURU’s founder, Morgan Hutcheson, a dear friend. She started a shopping destination focused on chic clothing for mamas during pregnancy, breastfeeding and well beyond from the carpool to cocktails. And with 3 kiddos under age 5, Lyndsey’s utilized BURU’s latest and greatest on the reg. Not to mention, Morgan just launched her own clothing line which has been wildly popular since it’s washable, inexpensive and always on trend, I might add. Check out these amazing holiday outfits, all under $200!
Mignonne Gavigan– Mignonne Gavigan, has been an accessories favorite of ours consistently on L. Avenue over the years. We love Mignonne’s signature scarf necklace (on sale!) and wish we could have one in every color. Statement earrings are also Mignonne’s jam and we’ve rocked this pair a lot lately. Stay tuned because we’re giving a lucky reader this pair during our “7 days if gift-aways” in a few weeks.
Freshly Picked-I’ve loved watching Susan Peterson build the Freshly Picked business into the cult favorite brand it is today. Check out the FP Marketplace on her website which highlights/sells goods from her favorite small businesses too which we love love love— Koko’s Nest, Hazel Village, Sproutling + C0, Madeline’s Box, The Posh Society, Bannor Toys and Covered Goods.
Speaking of shopper experience, there’s nothing quite as seamless as surfing online for all the sales that come on Cyber Monday. The only thing that can get in your way is that big, bad SOLD OUT sign, which is preventable if you prepare in advance on Sunday. Stay tuned for that then. Thanks!
The clock is winding down before this baby will be here. From the get go I was certain this baby would be early. I was deemed “high risk” because my fluid has been low with both prior pregnancies and I had to go on hospital bed rest when I was pregnant with Charlotte. Of course, the second you proclaim your confidence in any future outcome that truly isn’t in your control it goes the opposite of the way you planned. Especially when it comes to life events as unpredictable as pregnancy can be. The only certainty with this pregnancy is that my C-section is scheduled for early November if I don’t run out of fluid (can’t help but laugh when I talk about fluid, makes me feel like a car or something!) or go into labor between now and then.
Odds on the gender…
I’ve also been pretty confident about my gut feeling on this baby’s gender. I’ve been thinking boy from day 1, so it will be pretty hilarious if this baby ends up being a girl. It’s so hard NOT to be confident this baby is a boy. Case in point–everyone I know (except Bret) thinks I’m having a boy. If you hear something enough you can’t help but start to believe it’s true. Further evidence shows that there are girls being born all around our circle of friends and family and zero boys. When gender odds are 50-50 and everyone you know is rolling pink, the dice has to roll blue at some point. So I’m going all in on blue this time around. Which means this baby is for sure going to be a girl now, right?! Either way, I’m super excited, anxious, nervous, happy to be on the verge of bringing a new baby into this world.
When I was 27, single and traveling 24/7 working on a Presidential campaign I didn’t foresee a husband and 3 kids at 35. A LOT has happened in the past 8 years that’s for sure. My Mom always told me my 30’s would be my best years. They have certainly been the most major of years in my life, a husband and almost three kids later. I look back over my 30’s so far and if I can take one thing away for the next 5 it’s to slow the F down and enjoy it all a little bit more. It’s not naturally in my DNA to do this. I didn’t realize it until I was talking to Leighton’s teacher about her personality and her feedback was exactly what I’d seen written on my report cards year over year. In so many words, lighten up! People see a fun, outgoing exterior but at the end of the day, I’m pretty intense and overly focused; Serious about being a good mom and wife to a fault that I dwell on my own shortcomings way too much. And serious about doing things in this word productivity wise—being successful in business, making money, contributing to my church and community. It’s exhausting and it’s time to slow my roll. Say yes to less. Take the time to waste a moment. And while I’m at it, enjoy the moment. Put the phone down. Nothing is that important that it can’t wait a few more minutes. This new mantra might not help my punctuality though. Oh well.
Wow, I really got off on a tangent there guys. I’m sure most of you have already clicked to the next thing on the internet by now so I’m probably just talking to me (and maybe my Grandma who reads this blog religiously). Anyhoo…..here’s to the next 5 years that make up what I will probably look back on as the best years ever.
All coffee talk aside, it wouldn’t be a birthday on L. Avenue without a wish list. Since it’s Friday, I’ll give y’all my Friday 5 ultimate birthday wish list.