4 Children’s Books that Reflect the Diverse World Around Us

By Eugenia Vela

Ever since I watched
You’ve Got Mail around the age of 8, I was sure I wanted to own a children’s bookstore when I grew up. I remember Meg Ryan’s character saying, “When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.” That line stuck with me for good. I still believe it, which is why I am so passionate about getting books in the hands of children. I am fortunate to work in a bookstore that has a large Kids section, and I meet parents and young readers every day who are looking for books that will introduce them to new concepts and whisk them away to mysterious faraway lands. I believe books can have a huge impact on us from an early age, and it’s important to give kids books that introduce them to those mysterious lands as well as reflect the beautifully diverse world around us. Here are a few of my favorites…

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The Last Stop On Market Street / All The World / We Sang You Home / Dreamers

Healthy Taco-Ish Salad

By Jessica Lee

There’s no shortage of Tex Mex food in Austin. And while I love it (chips and queso are my weakness), sometimes I want something a little more on the healthy side. 

That’s where this salad comes in. It’s filled to the brim with fresh vegetables, yet it still satisfies those inevitable Tex Mex cravings. The quinoa makes it surprisingly filling, and the dressing is divine. If you happen to have leftovers of the dressing (which I doubt you will), save it for dipping raw vegetables into. Plus, the salad saves really well, so you could easily meal prep it for lunches throughout the week!

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Motherhood: 4 Month Update

My how time flies! Our little guy is already four months old! Actually…as I write this, he’s 4.5 months old now (ah!). We’ve been busy bees over here with Jude. He’s rolling over, discovered his hands (and he would tell you they’re delicious), has graduated from the Solly wrap and we’re not onto our Ergo carrier (…and my back is thanking me for this haha), and he’s got a new sleep routine! As for me, motherhood has gotten significantly better than since I last wrote about it (in this post) – the baby blues are long gone (though I still have my cry-from-stress moments at times…Jude continues to hate the car…!), I’m more confident in living by my “mother’s intuition” and have been embracing that voice in my head and feeling in my gut, and overall just feel like I’m “out of the fog” so-to-speak as our new normal has set in and is here to stay – and it’s been so much fun!

Last week I asked my Instagram readers what questions they’d like for me to answer about motherhood, postpartum, and our journey with Jude over the last 4-months…so here we go!

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Summer Reads, Summer Flings. 5 Books That Will Make You Fall In Love This Summer

By Eugenia Vela

It’s officially hot and sticky here in Austin, which means cool, delicious cocktails, late afternoon dips in Barton Springs, and light summer reads to keep you company! My reading habits throughout the year have so much to do with the seasons. That may sound weird, but as soon as winter hits I gravitate toward darker stories set in snowy towns or, if I’m being completely honest, yet another reread of Harry Potter. But the summer makes me crave escape in the opposite direction: I want heat, romance, comfort, and light! I want to laugh and fall in love with a fictional character, is that too much to ask? I don’t think so.

So whether you’re beachside, poolside, or hiding inside your favorite coffee shop, these are some of my favorite books to dive into this summer! Lots of laughs and deep, dramatic sighs guaranteed.

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Shop These Summer Reads!

Red, White & Royal Blue / Normal People / You Always Change the Love of Your Life (for Another Love or Another Life) / The Wedding Date / When Katie Met Cassidy

Ohh The Power Of Shaving Your Legs

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-joy-razor-shave-walmart-bubble-bath-3livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-joy-razor-shave-walmart-bubble-bath-6Among about 1000 other things I took for granted before becoming a mom (…like leisurely eating lunch, finishing an entire episode of anything, singing at the top of my lungs in the car, sleeping through the night, finishing my coffee while it’s still hot…fellow mamas, ya feel me?), the one thing that might just top this list is…drumroll…shaving my legs! Not going to lie, on the days when I have enough extra minutes to shave, it’s a VERY big deal and I’ve basically conquered the world. I feel like a new woman when I step out of the shower with silky smooth legs…even if those legs are going right back into activewear as I walk my little man to sleep around the house, ha! (But hey, successfully getting Jude to nap is a major WIN in my day!). When it comes to spending time on myself and going the extra “self care” mile, there’s one razor and shaving cream brand I’m reaching for…
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A big thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Where To Grab A Drink In Austin

best-austin-texas-cocktail-lounge-bar-restaurants-livvyland-blog-lifestyle-bloggerBy Jessica Lee

It’s summertime in Austin, and while, yes, it does get incredibly hot with the mercury rising above 100 degrees more days than not, it’s also one of the best places to be this time of year. Why? Because we’ve got a ton of great watering holes – and by watering holes I mean both lakes/pools and bars!

So to celebrate the return of summer, I’ve rounded up the best spots to grab a drink in Austin. I know I missed some (there are so many!), so leave a comment with your faves!

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Mescal Margarita

By Jessica Lee

I don’t want to jump the gun, but I can just feel Summer fast approaching in the air. Those warm days spent by the pool are calling my name. I can’t wait to throw on a bathing suit, slather myself in sunscreen, grab a beach read and just ~c h i l l~

Who’s with me?

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos

By Jessica Lee

When I’m in a dinner rut, one of my favorite foods to fall back on is tacos. I make them all the time (remember these breakfast tacos?) because you can throw just about anything into a corn tortilla and call it a taco.

My latest favorite combo? Sweet potato and black beans. Add an avocado crema and you’re good to go! You can mix up the combos depending on what you have on hand. Swap butternut squash for sweet potato or pinto beans for black beans. Not a fan of feta cheese? Queso fresco would be a great alternative. The choices are endless!

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Our 10 Favorite Baby Items

I’ll admit, before having Jude, we got a LOT of “stuff” for the baby. After having Jude, Blake and I quickly realized you really don’t need all the gadgets that the Internet tells you to buy. In fact, you don’t really need that much “stuff” in general to have a happy, well taken care of baby. My mom went with me to do my baby registry and she was pretty adamant about what we’d actually use vs. what is more of a trend (…and a waste of money…). I sort of feel like the baby industry is very much like the wedding industry…you prep and purchase “all the things” because you think you need them, but then once you have the baby or finish the wedding day, you figure out very fast what is necessary and what’s not. So! These are the 10 things we swear by for Jude. Every baby is different and what works for us may be entirely different from what works for others…but here are our top 10 favorite baby items…

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Life Update: Six Weeks Postpartum

Hello from one proud (and tired) mama! I decided to take February and March off for maternity leave (…as you may have noticed it’s been quiet around here lately), so personal posts like this one and Jude’s birth story have been really fun to write without any work projects weighing on me. I have been so lucky to devote 100% of myself to caring for Jude and soaking up every fleeting moment…and suddenly, here we are at SIX weeks old! I intended to write a “one month update” but ya know, I’ve learned motherhood (especially for a new mom) is all-consuming and when I do find an hour to myself here and there, I choose a bubble bath or a walk around the block instead of time on my computer. Oh right, and sleep, too. Sleep comes before everything these days, ha!

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