Sunday, August 13, 2017

WINOS Weekend 2017 | Day One

The second weekend in June, my girls headed to California for our fourth-annual WINOS Weekend. This was the first year that no one was pregnant or had a newborn, so it was the perfect time for us to travel a bit farther from home. And when Sarah mentioned that she had a conference in Santa Barbara and that we should all join her the weekend before, everything just fell into place. The fact that we were all able to go was a legit miracle...fueled by a severe case of FOMO.

After much research and debate on how to split our time over the long weekend between the city and wine country, we decided to spend the first day exploring Santa Barbara before heading north to stay three nights in Los Olivos. This was mainly because we found the holy grail of vacation homes in Los Olivos (more on that to come). Click here to view a map of our adventure.

We arrived in Santa Barbara in the early afternoon on Thursday, and our first stop was Les Marchands Wine Bar to get the party started with some rose and a delicious cheese board.  

Santa Barbara is an absolutely adorable town, complete with a beautiful beach, a plethora of wonderful restaurants, and a "Funk Zone" with more than 20 wine tasting rooms. The weather was gorgeous, and we had so much fun exploring the city...whilst stopping for wine along the way.

The first tasting room we tried was one that had come highly recommended by a few folks: Grassini Family Vineyards. The tasting room was small and unassuming, but the wine was pretty fantastic.

Then we made our way back to the beach to visit the Deep Sea Tasting Room, which is located at the end of the pier.

The wine was all just decent, but the views more than made up for it. 

I mean, it doesn't get much better than this...

It was a practically perfect way to spend the afternoon.

This photo right here makes my heart so happy...

Due to all the fantastic reviews, we chose The Lark as our dinner spot. It totally lived up to the hype.
Everything was absolutely amazing, but the Brussels sprouts completely stole the show. Goodness gracious they were good.

After dinner, we took photos for our next album cover ;).

We had so much fun in Santa Barbara, and I would love to go back to stay longer. But it was time to head to Los Olivos.

Up next: a fun day of wine tasting along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

School Photos + Preschool Graduation

The kids are currently wrapping up the last week of their summer preschool session, which reminded me that I haven't yet posted the school photos from this year or the photos from Ava's preschool graduation in May (they hold it before the summer session as not all the kids attend year-round).

They both look so old in these photos...especially Rylan!

Ava's preschool graduation ceremony was so sweet, and I definitely shed a few tears. Ava has been at Spanish House since she was 18 months old, with many of the same friends in her class each year, and it has truly become like a second family. 

Her teachers put together an adorable slideshow, which included some photos of the kids throughout the years, and then each student got up to give a presentation in Spanish before they got their "diplomas." 

We are so proud of our little preschool graduate!

Ava had the most wonderful teachers this year - Maestra Jasmine and Maestra Norma.

After we got home from the festivities, the significance of the graduation really hit Ava hard. The poor thing cried for nearly two hours while looking at a photo of her classmates, and I had to try my best to hold it together while comforting her. 

And now she starts Kindergarten in less than three weeks. It is all so very bittersweet.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Rylan's Third Birthday Party

We celebrated Rylan's third birthday at Ridgewood Sprayground just like last year. It is such a great venue for a preschool-age summer birthday party, and the repeat location made for easy planning during a hectic month. And this year, we knew to reserve the first slot in the morning so there wouldn't be anyone already staking a claim to tables in the pavilion.

We kept the same menu and decorations as last year, minus the dinosaurs, and I found these great sand toy sets at Party City for the favors. We also got a bunch of balloons, but much to Rylan's dismay, they all flew away as we were setting up. Blerg.

We had such a wonderful group of friends and family in attendance.

Shout-out to Emily of Rockstar Bakeshop for the adorable (and delicious) cupcakes!

(The side-eye Kate is giving in this picture is epic.)

Despite the balloon fiasco, the fact that Rylan was a bit (understatement) fussy during most of the party, and me not feeling well at all (stomach/back pain that ended up sending me to the ER a couple days later), we still had fun celebrating our little man in a very real-life, non-Pinterest kind of way.

And I still can't believe he is THREE!

About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing instead. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; pajamas; La Croix; reading; coffee; podcasts; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; bad hair days; snoring; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); Miracle Whip; scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and working out. I think that sums it up.


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