Austin: Where we stayed, What we Ate and How we Traveled with a Toddler and Broken Leg

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Crop top | ruffled midi skirt | net bag | sandals

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Gingham top | mom shorts | mules | bag

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T shirt | wrap skirt | sneaks | sunnies

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Crop top | wrap skirt | mules | sunnies

I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to make lemonade out of lemons— when dealt with a sucky situation, I like the challenge of trying to make the best of it.  So when my husband Tim broke his leg and tore his meniscus a few days before we were supposed to fly to Austin, Texas for (ironically, a jiu jitsu competition , which is how he injured his leg to begin with!) vacation, we (really, I) decided we were going to make it work and still go.  We’d never been to Austin before, so we packed our bags and off we went!

Flying with a broken leg: (basically what I googled into the wee hours of the night two days before we got on the plane)

1. We called Delta and informed them that my husband would be flying in a cast (removable, not hard cast; check w your doctor/ airline before flying with a hard cast!) and crutches and that we would need a wheelchair curbside to the gate, both on the NYC end and in Austin. They also upgraded us to extra legroom seats free of charge— honestly, they could not have been more accommodating! The wheelchair met us at the curb, we got through security in a matter of minutes (didn’t even have to wait in line!) and they even checked our bags for us at the curb. In fact the process was so much faster    than we expected- we even had time to grab breakfast and eat at the gate!  We also called our hotel and had them change our room to a walk in shower so Tim could get in without his leg bending.

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Flying with Nolan:

This was actually Nolan’s 5th time flying, so we knew what to expect and how to prep.  Most airlines let kids under 2 fly for free- so even though Nolan turned 2 in May, we actually fudged his age with the airline and said he would turn 2 in August!!! (Don’t judge lol- this saved us a couple hundred dollars!) No one even asked for ID or anything for him so it was really fine.  The staff was so nice, they even let him sit up in the cockpit! The plan was to hold him on our laps, but a nice guy let us switch some seats around so that Nolan ended up having his own seat bc there were a few empties on the flight to Austin. As always, we brought plenty of snacks, and we picked out a few new toys/books/stickers the day before so he was well entertained in the flight (about 3.5 hours). Every hour or so we took a walk up and down the aisle and hung out with the flight attendants in the back of the plane (really because that’s where they kept Nolan’s fave Delta cookies!)

Where we stayed:

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So instead of a traditional hotel, we decided to try out Locale in Austin. We stayed at Locale on Rainey street, which is basically the main street for bars, food trucks, restaurants etc (shout out to the 8362638 bachelorette and bachelor parties we saw in the area!) Locale is a combo between an Airbnb and a hotel- it appeared on Expedia (where I booked) but was really an apartment (2 bedrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, master bathroom bigger than my first apt) inside an actual luxury rental building.  So we had access to the gorgeous rooftop pool, fitness center etc on the building property, but since it wasn’t a hotel, there was no front desk, room service, or housekeeping. At first I was definitely apprehensive about the lack of hotel amenities, bc after all, we go on vacation to NOT have to do chores right?! But I actually turned out to be great- we could put Nolan to bed/ nap and still be able to stay up and hang out in the living room… I threw in all our dirty laundry before we left and we were able to return home with all clean clothes… and the extra space was great with a toddler and Tim on crutches!

What we ate (most importantly!)

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Brunch at Forthright

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The Best BBQ at Terry Black’s

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Grilled cheese and soup at Fareground

As you guys probably know, there is no shortage of amazing food experiences in Austin- it’s def a foodie city and every meal we had was better than the last! Here’s where we ate and what we loved:

Banger’s Beer Garden : casual beer garden / picnic table food (sausage specialty) but the real draw is how they have toys for kids to play with while parents eat and drink!!

Torchy’s Tacos: kitschy but incredible- get one of each!

Forthright: delicious and pretty brunch spot; amazing waffles!

Josephine House: Tim called this place “fancy brunch” lol … think marble tables, very instagram friendly- food was incredible as well!

Fareground: Indoor food hall with gourmet vendors – had the best grilled cheese and tomato soup of my life here

Jo’s Hot Coffee Good Food : breakfast tacos!!!

Counter Cafe: traditional diner food, but better

Terry Black’s BBQ: worth the 40 minute wait in 105 degrees… with a toddler and broken leg… that’s how good this food was.

Moral(s) of the story?

Austin was awesome; will def go back- probably the best dining experience in a city we’ve had so far (and we live in NY!!)

Don’t be afraid to travel with a broken bone or a two year old- you’d encounter the same exact challenges at home, and somehow when you’re  in a change of scenery, the adventure overrides the minor difficulties!

Hope this helps!

xo, ❤

Christine

 

 

My Go-to Summer Looks

 

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Oh my gosh I just saw that my last blog post was over a month ago – I don’t think I’ve slacked that long since I started this over three years ago! But hey- as a teacher, the month of June is crazy busy so I forgive myself for that- and then we were out in Montauk for July 4th week… but I’m back!

So I don’t know about you guys, but around this time – mid July, I start feeling a bit of a summer style slump… it feels like we’ve seen all of the summer looks we need to see, trends are set, closets are stocked… and I need to really start remixing my fave summer staples. This season, I seem to have a few fave outfit combos, that I mix and remix over and over:

1) T-shirt tucked into denim skirt:

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Tee: forever 21| Skirt: ASOS | sandals : ASOS

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Leopard tee:| top shop (old, similar here)| skirt: free people | belt bag: Rebecca Minkoff | sunnies: givenchy | slides : Zara

I have three denim skirts on repeat right now: a classic blue denim, black denim, and an army green one. I LOVE denim skirts, particularly higher waisted ones right now. And can we talk about how life changing it is that fashiony tee shirts are “in” right now?! A vintage or graphic tee, or even a plain one in a classic color tucked into a denim mini is one of my fave simple tomboyish go to summer looks.

2) High waisted Paperbag Waist shorts with a tee tucked in and loafers

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Top: Aritzia ( sold out, similar here) | high waisted shorts: aritzia ( identical here) |Slide mules: Zara | net bag : Mango

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Tan high waisted shorts: ASOS  and a similar option here | Grey tee: topshop via Nordstrom | loafers: Gucci ( look for less here) 

The realization that high waisted, “paperbag waist” style shorts make me feel/look taller was life changing for me! The higher waist may seem intimidating, for fear of looking like your grandma’s Florida outfit from 1992, but I swear, GIVE THEM A TRY! A paperbag waist is extra flattering too, and perf for tucking into.

3) An off-the-shoulder crop top with high-waisted shorts or a high waisted skirt

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Gingham crop top: Reclaimed Vintage | denim skirt: Nordstrom | white sunnies: Dior ( affordable version here) | basket bag: Zara ( old but identical here)

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Striped crop top: Forever 21 |high waisted shorts: ASOS; similar here | red sunnies: similar here

If you had told me that at 35, after having a baby I would be wearing a crop top I would have laughed in your face! But alas, they’ve become an actual important piece in my closet this summer! Ya see, as the waist moves north, it makes it ok to wear a crop top- because it doesn’t show much (or any, if you’re a shortie like me) of your midsection— it only provides a perfect silhouette with this season’s high waisted pieces! And since off the shoulder EVERYTHING has been a trend for a few summers now, I’m happy there’s a fresh way to wear these pieces!

4) A matching set

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Palm print set: ASOS

This look couldn’t be any easier— and there are plenty of options at all price ranges. This palm print one is under $60- and perfect for hot beach or pool days!

5) Tees/button downs and cutoffs

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Hawaiian shirt: Mango | denim cutoffs: One Teaspoon | loafers: Gucci

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Graphic tee: Nordstrom | black denim shorts: One Teaspoon | belt bag: Rebecca Minkoff

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Striped tee: ASOS | shorts: One teaspoon| sandals: Soludos | sunnies: Le Specs

One piece of clothing that is synonymous with summer are denim cutoffs (or jean shorts, whatever you want to call em!). They are prob my fave casual go to- I wear them at least three times a week; the fact that they’ve been around since the days of Daisy Duke herself tell me that they are a summer classic, not a trend. My fave all time brand for denim shorts is One Teaspoon- a little pricier, but SO WORTH IT. The cut and quality and washes are just perfection. I like to pair mine with short sleeve button downs, particularly Hawaiian prints this season, or vintage graphic tees and either sneaks, sandals or loafers.

Hope this post gives you guys some summer outfit remix inspo!

Xo, ❤

Christine

Six Picks: My Fave One Piece Suits Under $100

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Polka dot Bardot suit | denim cutoffs | linen twist sandals

I think the entire female population breathed a collective sigh of relief (both literally and figuratively!) when once piece bathing suits became a thing again a few seasons ago.  Bikinis, and low rise ones at that, had ruled the bathing suit market for the good part of the past few decades- with one pieces relegated to the over-a-certain-age set, or those under 6…the only styles made were either too “momish” (and I reserve the right to use that term bc I’M A MOM!), too sporty, or too juvenile. However, for the past few seasons, One piece suits have ruled- and they come in more cool patterns, cuts and colors than I think bikinis do at this point! My fave thing about them, other than the fact that my abs are nowhere near what they used to be pre-Nolan (and guess how many f*cks I give lol) , is that they can double as bodysuits or tops with shorts and skirts! Shop my Six Picks below:

1. For the stripes lover- love these colors and chic high leg cut!

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2. For the girlish tomboy (my thirteen year old self dies for this RVCA one!)

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3. Classic girly polka dots- SO in right now; and this rust color is so flattering with a tan! ( worn by me above)

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4. One shoulder chic- in this sophisticated khaki color that is just so good.

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5. Vintage floral- romantic without being too saccharine

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6. Tropical vibes- this would work perfectly for a beach vacay- wear dinner later with a denim mini or white shorts!

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Happy almost summer!

xo, ❤

Christine

 

Mamahood: This is Two

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May is a special (and very busy!) month for us: Mother’s day, my birthday, it’s the end of the school year (if you’re a teacher you know how crazy it gets this time of year!) and of course — Nolan’s birthday! Last week, my little guy turned two- and as cliche as it sounds, I cannot believe how fast the past two years have flown by! Some wise pieces of advice/ words of wisdom that have really proved true: you’re never “ready” for changes- so just go with them; and that every “stage” of parenthood is special and fun in its own way- while presenting its own set of challenges! If you’re curious about what Nolan is up to at two, READ ON:

1. Overall behavior: I mean, he was a really good baby. We lucked out. So as two started approaching, I started thinking oh crap is this when he’ll inevitably turn into a head spinning demon child?! Has he been laying in wait, secretly fooling us and plotting our demise?! The answer turns out to be … not really, for he most part. Again, we’re only two weeks into two years old (lol) so the sh*t still has plenty of time to hit the fan- but overall, he’s still a pretty easygoing, chill, good tempered little guy- I’d say 80% if the time. Of course the other 20% includes a meltdown every now and again (today, for example- we went to the beach and I attempted to shower him at the outdoor shower before we left and he SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER and people looked at us like I was hurting him or something!) His personal preferences are obviously stronger and more apparent now- “I don’t want it/ I don’t want to” are regular statements we deal with- but I try and just chalk it up to the fact that he’s A LITTLE HUMAN and as a human myself who at times “doesn’t want it/ doesn’t want to” (get up for work, wait in line at the post office, make dinner, do laundry).  We try and let him “choose” or give him the allusion of “power” in making some decisions (what toy to bring, what snack to eat, if he wants to come with one of us or stay home)… but some non-negotiables are saying hello and goodbye to people, cleaning up after yourself, and obvi safety directions like holding hands when crossing the street.

2. Eating: I’ve been saying to my mama friends- if Nolan being a picky eater is the one “problem” I have to deal with, then I’m pretty lucky. At times, I totally envy parents who say “my toddler eats ANYTHING!” Or “he or she eats whatever we eat!”- I wish it were that easy for us, but alas, we have a picky eater on our hands. Things Nolan LOVES  and will definitely eat and give no pushback are:

perdue chicken nuggets (he’s skeptical of other nuggets eye roll eye roll)

chicken meatballs (fave brand is Aidelis from the supermarket)

sausage patties (so healthy, I know!)

baked beans

corn

whole wheat pita bread

cinnamon raisin bread/ bagels

french toast/ pancakes/ pretty much any bread

peas (sometimes)

berries (strawberries, black and blue)

banana

quesadilla (cheese, won’t eat it them if there’s stuff in there!)

french onion soup

peanut butter/ sandwiches/ crackers

cheese/ yogurt

various snackfoods/ cookies

(we also still give him those squeezable veggie pouches which he loves- his faves are “green” veggie ones like the kale/spinach/broccoli variety… some say those delay real veggie eating but I don’t care bc at least he’s getting the National value!)

So it’s not like he eats NOTHING, he just doesn’t have a huge appetite and pretty much cycles through the items on this list, even though we try and introduce new foods all the time.

Another thing with the eating: does anyone else’s kid eat better when being read to or distracted in some way? We hardly ever let him eat meals in front of a screen (tv or iPad)- bc we don’t want to encourage mindless eating and want mealtimes to be social- so since he was a baby, we always read books/ mags while feeding him… now it’s getting hard to break that habit! He’ll pretty much always request a book with dinner.. which I know isn’t the worst   Thing in the world, but sometimes I want to eat with him without reading  Thomas the freakin tank Engine!!!

3. Sleep- I’ll keep this one short, bc Nolan’s sleep patterns have always been solid- he hasn’t woke up in the night since maybe 2 months old lol… and I count my lucky stars every night! Bedtime is anywhere between 745 and 815, depending if we’re out or not. He wakes up around 730-830 in the morning, again depending on what we did yesterday and if he napped or not. Nap time is usually around 130-330 or 230 to 430 (I can hear him singing “twinkle twinkle “ to himself up there as I type this!)… he LOVES to sleep and usually will request a nap or to go to bed at night. He still takes a night time bottle of milk- which every doctor currently advises against – but I don’t really care! He loves it, it gives him comfort- and we honestly treat him like a bigger kid so much of the time and expect so much of him already (in terms of behavior etc bc he was always “ready” for more”- that I figure let him be a baby his one way a little longer!

4. Potty: we’ve successfully had three poops in the trainer potty – and that’s about it. We try and ask him around the times when we think he normally goes, if he has to go potty- it’s really hit or miss. Especially bc I work ful tome and I’m not home with him during the day-it’s been hard to get a consistent routine for potty training. This summer, while we’re off- that’s the next thing on the list to tackle!

5. Social skills/ clingyness: not sure what to call this area… but you guys know what I mean! Currently, Nolan is full time with Tim’s mom during the week while we work… he’s the only kid there, so he’s not around other kids THAT much, although we do our best to take him to kids classes (gym , art etc)… honestly, he’s around adults mostly… let’s just say he’s an expert at brunch already!! Next fall, he’ll be at “school” two or three days a week, so I’m looking forward to him being there for social reasons.  Other than that, he’s really not very shy or clingy … he’ll pretty much talk to anyone, give hugs or high fives to anyone— acclimates to new situations very quickly… sometimes I wish he was more of a “mamas boy!” Sometimes he’ll just walk away from me and not look back when we get to a new place (which breaks my heart!) , but I’m also proud of his confident little self as well!

so that’s it for now!

hope this was interesting and maybe helpful to other parents out there- I know I always find it interesting to see what other kids the same age are up to!

xo, ❤

Christine (and Nolan)