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Toddler Friendly Restaurants – West Austin – Lake Travis/ Westlake/ Four Points

According to the Moms on Call Toddler Book toddlers only “have a 10-15 minute mealtime tolerance window” for sitting at a restaurant.  If your child has reached this stage, you already know what starts as this…

can quickly escalate to this…

…whether you like it or not. Your once sit back and relax- someone else is cooking and cleaning for you- is now far out the window.  And if you are trying to catch up with friends, you probably feel like that ship has sailed. The the question begins, how on earth are we supposed to enjoy eating out, what feels like, ever again!?

Tips and tricks on eating out with a toddler is whole nother blog, but today we will talk about one of the tips… go to a restaurant that has a playground or a safe play area.

Here is the compiled list of best restaurants to eat at with small children by region:

Lake Travis/ Lakeway/ Bee Cave area Restaurants:

Westlake Restaurants:

Four Points/ Steiner Ranch Restaurants:

Out of all of these toddler friendly restaurants, I for sure have my favorites to take this little one to, but as everyone has their own pallets and price range I wanted to keep this more as a comprehensive list versus a review. Let me know if there are any places you LOVE that I missed. XO

6 Spray Tanning Tips from The Tan Kitty

I hear my high school senior girls request to “make [them] look more tan” constantly when we schedule photography sessions around late winter/ early spring. Before, I always suggested they don’t get a spray tan, as the places I had experienced from myself and clients never looked quite natural. (Insider tip: if it doesn’t look 100% natural in real life, it will magnify in camera!)

Well, after moving out the to Lake Travis High School area I had an event, so accordingly I needed to make these legs that sit in a “photography dark room” all day a little less pasty. After much research I found The Tan Kitty who was also new to the Lakeway / Bee Cave area. She pretty much 100% erased any negative thoughts I was having about spray tanning, so I thought a blog post inviting her along was a must!  Without further adieu, I want to welcome ….

Hey everyone! I am Jessica from The Tan Kitty.  I am SO glad that Stephanie found me, she is such a sweetheart. Since I was new to the area I was looking for THE IT photographer for my family and Stephanie and I were a match made in heaven – her work is exactly what I was looking for.  Here is a little snap from our last session. We did a “mommy and me” candy session with my two boys. This right here, this is us!

Any who, enough showing off my dinosaur loving cuties, here are a few tips to prep you for your next spay tan session and a few on how to make that glow last as long as possible.

XO

 

BEFORE YOUR TAN

1. To get the maximum benefits of your spray tan, you will need to exfoliate your skin with a loofah, bath poof or scrub. This removes all of the dead skin so your spray tan is going onto a fresh, clean layer of skin.

2. DO NOT PUT ON ANY LOTION, PERFUME, MAKE-UP, DEODORANT, ETC, on before your spray tan. Anything on your skin will keep the solution from absorbing evenly.

3. Be sure to wear loose fitting clothing to your appointment. The less rubbing on the spray tan, the better it will set and last. The looser the clothes, the better.

AFTER YOUR TAN

4. Absolutely no exfoliating procedures should be done during the time in which you wish to keep your tan. I suggest shaving with coconut oil or hair conditioner to help extend life of your spray tan.

5. To increase the life of your spray tan, it is recommended to keep your skin moisturized with a good moisturizing lotion twice a day. I recommend Hempz products.

6. Days after your tan or when your tan starts to fade, keep in mind that some areas rub more than others, you may experience light blotchyness. Easily exfoliate those areas to keep your tan looking fresh.

With proper care your tan will last you up to 7-10 days. You may spray again when you are ready. If you still have spray tan on, you will need to exfoliate it all off and start fresh.

Remember, spray, don’t lay. 😉

Click here to easy book your Tan Kitty Spray Tan Appointment now.

 

Baby & Kid Friendly Breweries around Austin, Texas

Now that Spring has officially begun in Austin, Texas, it is about time for a lot more outdoor play! Austin has an infinite number of breweries to kick back and relax at, but let’s face it, some are TOTALLY awesome to bring the kids to and some… not so much. This spurred me to create my own list of the better one’s around town.

This list was created with the help of moms around Austin, my own “personal” research and the help of the breweries themselves. All of these breweries range from places you could stay for hours with the kids to places that you can just grab a quick-ish bite to eat.

The highest votes for family friendly breweries you could stay for hours is given to Family Business Beer Company. Jester King Brewery came in a close second.

Things to think about bringing:

  1. stroller (as many spots don’t have high chairs)
  2. outdoor toys – a lot of these venues will have board games/ yard games or even a playscape, but they may possibly not have enough to entertain ALL the kids in one day
  3. camping chairs – most places have enough seating room, but if it is a high volume day, camping chairs just might be needed
  4. a way to change your small babes as some places do not have changing tables in the restrooms. I tried to note venues that did or did not if they got back to me about the question.
  5. food & snacks – some venues only have food on the weekend or not at all, and let’s face it, a hungry kid is a cranky kid

WEST AUSTIN / WEST AUSTIN SUBURBS

Family Business Beer Company  – (Dripping Springs) – has fenced playscape – Jeps Southern Roots Cajun food truck – yard games

Jester King Brewery – (Southwest Austin – by Dripping Springs) – has Stanley Farmhouse for pizza – Lots of outdoor space and yard games & sand area for kids – bring  extra sand toys in case they are all taken

Last Stand Brewing Company – (Southwest Austin – by Dripping Springs) – South West Austin (by dripping springs) – yard games – dog friendly

Save the World Brewing Co. – (Marble Falls) – have popcorn occasionally have food trucks – bring your own food – also leashed dog friendly – has bar/ yard games

 

NORTH AUSTIN

Pinthouse Pizza – (45th & Burnet)  restaurant – no playing room – has high chairs – brewery + pizzeria – (Second location in South Central Austin)

4th Tap Brewing Co-Op – (Breaker & Metric) – bring food/ occasional food trucks – board  & arcade games & kids toys – Photo booth – no high chairs or changing room

Oskar Blues Brewery Austin – (Metric & Breaker) – craft sodas & coffee

The Bewtorium – (Airport & 2222) – full menu – front porch for outdoor seating & beer garden coming soon

Flying Man Brewing Company – (North East Austin- Howard & Dessau) also dog friendly – covered outdoor and indoor space with games- also carry wine from fredrickburg and a local mead

 

EAST / CENTRAL AUSTIN

Lazarus Brewing Co. – (East 6th St.) free parking 2 blocks away- also serve coffee, wine & tacos – dog friendly outdoors – have high chairs & changing tables – kids treasure chest with books & games & a little running room

Hops & Grain – (7th & Pleasant Valley) –  dog friendly outdoors – food trucks typically thursdays- sundays – maybe only baby friendly – small beer garden in parking lot

Southern Heights Brewing Co. – (183 & MLK) – free capri sun and gold fish for kids – dogs allowed on leash

Independence brewing Company – (Hwy 35 & 290) – Beer garden is on concrete so lots of fun with sidewalk chalk and board games – not fenced in

St Elmo Brewing Company  – (290 & Hwy 35) Thursdays Bluegrass & Friday free live music – Food company : Soursop –  lots of outdoor seating where the kids have a little room to run around – mostly fenced off, but not 100%

Live Oak Brewing Company– (by ABIA airport) open space to run around – bring some outdoor toys

Hi Sign Brewing – (by ABIA Airport) – dog friendly – 1 acre beer garden with grass and trees for shade

Pinthouse Pizza – (S Lamar & 290) restaurant – no playing room – has high chairs – brewery + pizzeria (Second location in North Central Austin)

 

NORTH AUSTIN SUBURBS

Bluebonnet Beer Company – (Round Rock) not as good for big groups as they don’t have much seating – has food truck most weekends

Rentsch Brewery – (Georgetown) – Lemonade on tap & root beer Summer 2018 – board games inside & yard games outside –  outside is fenced  all the way around except the entrance – food trucks Thurs – Sun & bar snacks all the time – no high chairs/ bring a stroller – dog friendly outdoors

Texas Beer Company – Taylor, TX (North East of Austin) – also serve wine and non- alcoholic drinks – food served most weekends

Flying Man Brewing Company – (North East Austin- Howard & Dessau) also dog friendly – covered outdoor and indoor space with games- also carry wine from fredrickburg and a local mead

 

If you have any updates on new breweries or more info on the items listed above, please contact me so I can update my list. Happy relaxing! 🙂

 

One Month Newborn Portaits – Why Age Matters

When you schedule a newborn session I always recommend that we schedule it for the first 10 days of your babies life. It truly is amazing the development your baby goes through by the end of that first month.  All in all if we can’t get your appointment within that time period, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.

Here are a few pros and cons of the different time periods and why age matters:

1 month (plus or minus):

  • Babies start to smile from joy with you. It is still not all the time, but it is a start.
  • There is a better chance they can “make eye contact.” (Interesting fact, kids don’t develop their full adult vision till age 3. At 1 month you are just a big blobby blur to them)
  • They don’t sleep nearly as much or deep as the newborns up to 10 days old. This makes it much more difficult to get wall worthy art pieces and a good portrait in general.
  • If they are not sleeping you are rolling the dice on the moods. Let’s face it, days of asking your child to calmly sit there and smile at the camera are still far far away.
  • If they are not sleeping it is also much harder to wrap babies for that peaceful blissful look. One month olds still don’t have a handle on their arms, legs or hands so wrapping is a way to help them feel in control and help them stay still. (It also helps prevent those inevitable middle fingers or gang signs)

Up to 10 days old (click the link to see an example):

  • Babies tend to sleep longer making more time to photograph and a smoother more versatile session
  • They tend to like being wrapped still love being curl up into “womb like” poses (Some examples here)
  • The great non sleeping images are fewer and further between because…
    • Many babies tend to be cross eyed when they are born and slowly straighten out as time passes
    • A reiteration from above about not having a handle on their arms/ legs/ hands but even more so at this age.
  • Smiles are fewer as they tend to not smile at or with you unless a bodily function just made them feel better.

That all being said, here are a few images from Clara’s 1 month photo session. To view her up to 10 days photo session click here. Just remember, every baby is different!