Around Town- ATX Coffee

Like most people with Caribbean backgrounds, coffee has always been part of day-to-day life. After becoming a mom, coffee became a necessity to managing a sense of normal. Now, I’m a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur. Strong emphasis on “self” proclaimed.

Honestly, after plenty of k-cups and grande/non-fat/3-pump/iced-white mochas (yes, I am a Starbucks snob. Don’t judge me.) I decided that I would make it a point to try out new coffee wherever I traveled.

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I mentioned going to Austin for the Renegade Craft Fair in a previous post, remember that? Well while my mom was tucked away at the hotel with the kiddos, fast asleep, I snuck out onto the streets to check out the coffee shops.

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Vintage Heart Coffee is a locally owned coffee shop on 7th street. It’s super hip and tucked away and had an amazing Bob Marley playlist playing–the barista’s look and sound gave me strong Ellen DeGeneres (seriously) and I had about 30 mins of drinking coffee and feeling “cool” again.

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I had a macchiato and this amazing lavender lemonade.

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The macchiato was so good, y’all. And that lavender lemonade was the best part of my walk back to the hotel.

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I also visited Wright Bros Brew & Brew before heading out to 6th street on my first night in Austin. Brew & Brew stays open late with a full espresso bar and 39 rotating taps of beer or cider.

It was completely tucked away on a back road. Industrial style building, the barista had purple hair and a huge personality. She made a vanilla latte for me that trumps all lattes.

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kisses + milk foam mustaches

Around Town- River Walk

Fiesta had just wrapped up in San Antonio so the spirit was still high. In all honesty, the Mexican culture and the need to celebrate it is always high in my home town.

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I took the kids home to visit family and in all the “hustle & bustle” I had managed to spend all of ZERO time with my mom. So…in a last ditch effort to get some face time with her, I suggested that we go downtown to the river walk, early Sunday morning, before the kids and I got back on the road.

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Growing up in San Antonio, I took for granted all the treasures around me. Now, as an adult, I have a real appreciation for those things and want to share them with my kiddos. River boat tours are pretty popular among tourists and for good reason. The tour is inexpensive, not too short or long in duration, you almost always enjoy a good breeze thanks to the water and huge trees that surround the river, and an amazing tour guide handing you interesting and entertaining facts (& fiction) along the way. A sort of soothing voice and and a good sense of humor must be at the top of the ‘Requirements’ list for the tour guides because each tour that I have logged into my memory has given me an excellent tour guide. You know, the kind that is funny without trying (but they must be trying because….I mean, come on) and easy on the ears.

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The kids had a blast on the boat and even managed to shower each-other with hugs and kisses in between exclamations of excitement and pointing out to me, a thousand times, that we were going under a bridge.

Seriously, San Antonio is a magical place. While many Texans would criticize our lack of a skyline, it is because so much of our downtown is rooted in history and protected by the government; it can’t be touched…and in a way it has given my hometown a nostalgic feel and a sense of rich culture.

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It really is a joy to go home–each and every time. Especially now that I have kids. It just brings a whole new level of magic.

Music Chronicles: 10 Songs Perfect For Summer

I grew up listening to all genres of music…Boys 2 Men, Sam Cooke, Christina Aguilera, Micheal Jackson (I listened to Michael Jackson so much when I was younger, I actually thought he was of MY generation.) Yea- my mom probably would’ve been one of those girls that cried and passed out at his concert had she ever gotten the opportunity. Her love for him was REAL…and so was mine.

My mom was also pretty tight fisted with the TV remote so music was my real form of entertainment. I want to give that same love for music to my kiddos.

Let’s be honest, I like a good Disney song as much as the “dancing in diapers” crew but I can only listen to ‘Blue Ribbon Bunny’ or ‘Everybody Wants To Be a Cat’ so many times before I start losing my grip.

Here are some of my favorite, kid-friendly, songs for summer.I’m thinking: beach visits, road trips, sunny days out in the yard…you get the idea.

Click my lovely logo below to listen to my playlist or just scroll down to take notes on some killer summer jams to listen to later.

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       1.The Beatles– Here Comes The Sun

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3. The La’s– There She Goes

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4. The Lumineers– Flowers In Your Hair

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5. Gavin DeGraw– Best I Ever Had

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6. Lauryn Hill– Doo Wop (That Thing)

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7. Justin Timberlake– Señorita

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8. Felix Jaehn & Jasmine Thompson– Aint Nobody

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9. Ben Howard– Old Pine

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    10. Gallant– Talking To Myself

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Renegade Craft Fair-ATX Style

This past weekend, I took the kids to Austin. The Renegade Craft Fair was in town and I had been wanting to go since last year when I first found them during a late night, internet troll session.

The Renegade Craft fair is ran independently and curates the best in DIY-ers, artist, makers, and designers. This fair is held all over the country and in London. Luckily, Austin is just a short drive from home.

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It was a complete celebration of small businesses with food trucks, samples, and live music. And this may not be a highlight to some people but the Fair Market is equipped with nice, clean bathrooms so…. no port-a-potties! (If you are raising one or more toddlers, you completely understand why I was so happy about real bathroom access).

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While I was there, I was able to see and speak to some businesses that I was currently aware of and loving their work (like Stay Home Club) as well as find some new and amazing brands to swoon over (like Piper Press & Lemon Glaze Ceramics).

I bought these awesome pins from Stay Home Club:

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This print from Piper Press that I am SUPER excited to put in the kids’ room:

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This amazing herbal tea ‘Cougar Tranquilizer’ and robot tea infuser:

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The girl with the cool hair working the booth explained to me that the tea is naturally sweetened by liquorish root. It tastes AMAZING.

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I bought this candle ‘Hippie Scent’ that has a heavier musk smell which is my go-to in my bed- and living room. The girl at the booth said that during their last burning test, the candle burned for 82 hours (although most burn for about 70). Most soy candles this size only burn 30-40 hours so this was a great value.

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I loved my interactions with all the vendors but the business that stole my heart was Lemon Glaze Ceramics.

I bought the Tupac bowl but the entire set is amazing.

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Carmen Aberasturi is the maker and founder of Lemon Glaze ceramics. If you go to her site, you’ll notice that these ceramics are not featured. She explained that her daughter loves hip hop and that she made these as a going away gift for college. When her daughter got to college, her friends freaked at how cool the dishes were and asked the daughter if her mother could make the same dishes for them. They became an instant hit and Carmen explained that her daughter said she should make more and sale them at the fair. “I just listen to my daughter. She knows.”

Carmen is the sweetest little lady you will ever meet and the dishes really are a hit. I took my dish to work to decorate my desk and have been asked by several people for Carmen’s contact information.

Gotta love the makers, creators, movers, and shakers of the world! I hear that the New York fair is the biggest with over 500 vendors. Traveling to NYC to see the Renegade Craft Fair in all it’s glory is definitely on my to-do list now.

Fun//Sun//Cool Pool Floaties

Texas & Summer heat go hand and hand. Staying cool is steadily moving up on my priority list and swimming pools are becoming more and more appealing! I have rounded up some of my favorite pool floats ranging from massive fruit to fantasy creatures.

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1//Moby Dick Pool Float [here]

2//Parrot Ride-On [here]

3//Riding Derby Duck [here]

4//Pegasus [here]

5//Pepper Pool Float [here]

6//Pineapple [here]

As for me and my littles, I’m thinking of putting them in swim classes this summer. (Wish me luck!) For now, we will start with arm floaties and graduate to these kinds of awesome floats next summer!

Unicorn Birthday Party

For Milly’s birthday, I decided to throw her a unicorn themed party. I was super excited and went to work trying to find all the best decorations and planning the little details. I had my mom reach out to all Milly’s cousins to see if they were willing to come to a “play date” for Milly’s birthday.

I learned after my first child that huge parties are a pain/stressful/hectic and you leave with war scars and all for what? RJ is not going to remember his first birthday party nor will he be super interested in re-living it when he gets older. So I decided to save my sanity the second time around go smaller, more intimate, and less hectic.

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This ^ is what Milly woke up to on her special day–a ceiling full of balloons. Like a maniac, I woke up at 4:30 am to pump helium into these bad boys and release them into the room she was sleeping in at the time.

(Didn’t I say that I was going smaller & less hectic? Oh well)
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She thought it was the coolest thing. “Mom! Look! Prettyyyyy!” While she laid there admiring the balloons, I was able to snap this photo.

I put these unicorn balloons together for decorations/party favors for her little cousins.

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And I decorated the counter top in the kitchen.

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The cake was seriously the cutest thing ever. That chubby unicorn was everything!

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I also had a bubble machine which I thought would have a whimsical effect. It didn’t. I should have known seeing as how the toy was called the TORNADO. It was shooting bubbles everywhere. Maybe I’m a little dramatic but after being attacked by a swarm of bubbles, I decided to put them away for another time. So…..no pictures.

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Birthday Party Aftermath

I Hate Unicorns…Said No One Ever

Is it just me or is there some serious unicorn obsession sweeping the nation?! All kinds of unicorn inspired merchandise is popping up everywhere & I’m not mad about it.

I’ve even decided to theme Milly’s birthday party after this trend. I’m most definitely more excited than she is seeing as how she’s only turning 2 and would probably be happy with a single balloon and ice-cream. (She’ll be getting those things too! Of course, the balloon is a unicorn balloon. Of course.)

I’ve put together some of my favorite unicorn products out there (for kiddos & mamas) right here on the blog.

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1// Unicorn Wall Art [here] – I love this take on the unicorn.

2// Rainbow Unicorn Float [here] – I mean…If I had a pool…

3// Nila Anthony Highway Unicorn Crossbody Bag [here] – this is for the mama who is still a kid at heart.

4// Geometric Rainbow Unicorn Brooch [here] – I’m a big pin fan so this spoke to me. I think it’s adorable and will add some whimsy to any outfit.

5// The Claude Unicorn Pillow [here] – Claude HAS to be the coolest boy unicorn ever imagined.

6// Pretty in Pink Unicrown [here] – I would love to see this as a photo prop or on some toddler for a birthday party or, you know, grocery shopping.

7// Teacher’s Pet Unicorn Backpack [here] – For the coolest kid in the class