What an amazing time we had at our February Girl's Night Out at Atlas 42! During the event someone said to me," I have met so many positive, amazing women tonight." and this has been true for every single month. For me, the very best part of joining Housewives in The City has been to meet all of you!
Every month, we take a moment to highlight the businesses who participate in our events as featured vendors. Below you will find their information to connect and support them. We appreciate you taking the time to like and follow these Richmond businesses!
Lady Sapphire Travels
Independent travel agent Jennifer Lyanda is the owner of Lady Sapphire Travels, here to help you with all of your traveling needs. She really brought the excitement this week with her getaway giveaways!
All About The Beverage
Website: All About The Beverage
Do you love wine? You NEED to head here! All About The Beverage has every drink themed accessory that you could dream of, including beautiful tumblers.
Paparazzi by Felicia
Felicia Moore was our Paparazzi consultant for our February Girl's Night Out. Paparazzi makes jewelry fun, fashionable, and affordable! Also , they truly have something for everyone!
PastryBase creates all natural, gluten free, and vegan baking kits and mixes. Their baking kits come complete with all natural dessert and frosting mixes, chemical-free sprinkles and decorations, and baking tools to get the job done- perfect for girl's night or for baking with your kids. And let me tell you, everyone LOVED the samples this week.
We all know that vinegar heals all right? MOTHER Shrub, winner of the 2019 Good Food award, creates vinegar drink mixes perfect for cocktails, mocktails, and cooking - all made with unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar. Pick from different flavors, including grapefruit, black cherry, and ginger.
Mary Kay with Takita
Mary Kay has been empowering women through skincare for more than 50 years. Whether you are looking for a skincare regimen or makeup, Mary Kay has become the brand that we all know and love.
Stella & Dot with Lauren
Lauren was our Stella & Dot stylist for February and she brought so many beautiful things! Stella & Dot offers clothing, jewelry, and bags. Their pieces have been featured in magazines such as In Style and Vogue for a reason- they are beautiful!
Lyla Taylor Boutique
Kelli brought Lyla Taylor Boutique to us this month and we were so excited! Lyla Taylor is local, home based boutique that features quality pieces at an affordable price. She offers clothing, shoes, and accessories that will make you feel comfortable and beautiful!
The Hot Yoga Barre
Meet Richmond's premiere hot yoga studio! Scared to try a hot class? Don't be- they are open to everyone and the staff is so understanding! They offer barre, yoga, and BURN ( a cardio interval training class) all in a beautiful studio with their state of the art heating system.
Alysa Dillaman, Massage Therapist
Alysa provided free chair massages for our guests and everyone absolutely loved it! She is such a delightful person and specializes in many areas: deep tissue, Swedish, Prenatal, Sports, Aromatherapy, Cupping, and Reflexology.
Rodan + Fields with Holly
Specially created by Dermatologists, Rodan + Fields offers a skincare regimen for EVERYONE whether you are battling wrinkles, acne, or redness. They also have so many enhancement, like their famous Lash Boost and Hydration serums. Contact Holly to help you feel good in your skin!
This month we also had some very special businesses with us that made the evening even more special. Below you will find their information.
Personalized by Kara
Personalized by Kara hosted a Monogram Paint Party for the housewives! She hosts events every month in and around Richmond as well as private parties upon request. Her parties are so fun and you leave with a beautiful personalize piece! Head to her Facebook page to schedule yours!
Joy hosted a fun kid's yoga class at our event and the kids absolutely raved about it! She teaches classes throughout the week in different locations around Richmond as well as private birthday parties. Head to her website to find out how you can attend one.
Capital City Childcare
Capital City Childcare provided free childcare for our attendees so that they didn't have to worry about what to do with the kids. They are Richmond's premier on call sitting and nanny placement agency. Because of their 12 tier screening process, you KNOW that a sitter that you get through them is safe and qualified to watch your most precious possessions- your little ones.
One of the best things about our Girl's Night Out nights are those amazing swag bags!!! This month in our swag bags, we had several treats from our amazing vendors, but we also had items contributed by Five Star Maids and Dulce Num Nums . If you weren't able to get one of our bags this month, make sure you arrive early to secure yours next month!
Join us Next Month!
We will be at the AR Workshop for our March Girl's Night Out on March 21st. Find out all of the details and invite your friends on our Facebook event page !
My family is always on the lookout for local fun things to do so recently we decided it was time to try out Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg. One thing that has changed since having children is how far we really want to go to have fun. Pre kids we didn't mind driving to Florida,but post kids sometimes the 15 minutes to Target feels like a longgg drive. With that being said, I love that Great Wolf Lodge is only a little over an hour away which makes it perfect for a fun weekend away. My family and I LOVED our experience, so I wanted to share some tips if you are looking for a quick, fun getaway.
What To Do
When you aren't at the water park, there are scheduled activities throughout the day. This includes kids yoga, character appearances, craft time, and even a science show.
The rooms at Great Wolf Lodge are not just your average hotel rooms. You have the option of doing a themed or non themed room. My recommendation is to do the themed room- it's a part of what makes it special and your kids will go nuts. Their largest suite will accommodate up to 8 people for larger families.
Tips For Your Stay
- Invest in the meal plan. It seems like an unnecessary expense, but trust me, you won't want to leave to eat out and the meal plan will end up saving you in the long run.
- Look at the event calendar before you go so you don't miss out on the fun!
- Look for the deals! Great Wolf Lodge often offers discounts for booking early and you can usually find them on Groupon as well.
- Even though check in time isn't until 4 pm, you has access to the water park anytime after 1 pm so head there early and take advantage of that time. Also, check out is at 10 am, but you do have the option of paying a fee for a later check out OR you can just carry a bag and stay at the water park until you are ready to leave.
- Don't overpack. They offer free towels and life jackets at the water park.
- Have so much fun and take pictures !
Our January Girl's Night Out was hosted by the wonderful Rock Bottom Brewery . If you have never had the chance to visit them, they have a great Sports Bar and a beautiful covered patio overlooking the mall. They offer daily happy hour specials and have a fun Trivia night on Wednesdays.
We feature some pretty amazing businesses every month and this month was no exception!
Painting With A Twist
Zyia Activewear with Allyson and Leslie
Be sure to check out our events page on Facebook so that you can come visit us!
Richmond has such a diverse population, which is one of the things that drew me to this city, and I really think anyone can find a community here. However, I do often hear a certain group of people saying that they feel a little lost and lonely: moms of children with special needs.
Let me back up and explain my connection here. Almost four years ago, I entered into the absolute best community that I never thought I would want to be apart of when my unborn daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. My daughter ,Charlotte, is my absolute joy and I wouldn't change a single chromosome even if I could, but honestly I didn't always feel that way. Finding out that your child has a diagnosis of any kind is the most lonely feeling in the world . When you have a child with different abilities, it can be hard to relate to moms of typically developing kids. Instead of talking about milestones and cute little outfits, a lot of your conversations are filled with what therapists your child is seeing or your recent hospitalization( as well as cute outfits and milestones). This is why you have to find your tribe, people who GET IT. Getting involved in the local Down Syndrome Association was the absolute best thing for my family. It's given me a community of parents who can give me medical or parenting advice as well as just plain old support. For that reason, I wanted to share some resources so that one day if it's you or a friend getting that phone call, you will know that you are not alone.
Southside Richmond, Va Special Needs Family Resources
RVA Mama Warriors
Autism Society Central Virginia
Project: Just Like You
Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond
The Greater Richmond ARC
JP Jumper's Foundation
"You are now in a secret world. You'll see things you never imagined: ignorance, rudeness, and discrimination. But you'll also witness so many everyday miracles, and you'll know it. You won't think a milestone is just a milestone, you'll know it's a miracle. You'll treasure things most people wouldn't even think twice about. You'll become an advocate, educator, a specialist, a therapist, but most of all, you'll be a parent to the most wonderful child."
I tried my very first hot class and I’m still here to tell the tale! Let me preface my experience by telling you that I am not a person that does well in heat, I’m just not. I DREAD the month of August every year. I feel like I can’t breathe, I think I’ll die if it gets hotter than 95 degrees. I’m not dramatic AT ALL. So, when The Hot Yoga Barre invited me to come take a class, I was nervous, but I’m not one to back down from a challenge.
You are probably thinking, as I did, that a hot studio just turns up the heat. Well, some do, but not The Hot Yoga Barre. They have special Far Infrared Radiant Heating panels to ensure that they aren’t just blasting hot germs everywhere. They also have a specially designed hygienic flooring. This studio is top notch.
I love small fitness studios. They feel so cozy and unintimidating. We have all walked into a large gym with people that look like they should be in fitness magazines and thought,” What on earth am I doing here???”. The Hot Yoga Barre offers that small, unintimidating feel that makes it so great for us newbies. As soon you open the door into the studio you feel the difference- you feel the warmth, but it isn’t an overwhelming heat. All the regulars around were going through everything like pros, but I, with no previous hot studio experience, did have to take a few breaks. Let’s talk about the sweat. You sweat and sweat EVERYWHERE, but it doesn’t bother you because everyone else looks just like you. Many pulses and tucks later, I made it through the hour and one day later I am still feeling it, which I love. Whether it was from the heat or trying something new, I left feeling so invigorated. I also want to point out that they are right next to Duck Donuts and since you burn on average 600-1200 calories per class, you won’t feel as bad indulging (or at least I didn’t).
Per The Hot Yoga Barre, you should come to class well hydrated and bring a water bottle with you. If its your first time taking a hot class, you may get a little dizzy or light headed, and this is normal. They encourage you to just lie down on your mat or go into child’s pose until you feel better. Also, you should bring a towel because you will NEED it.
It was definitely a fun, different experience for me and I encourage everyone to try it out. They offer several different formats including Barre, Yoga, and even a HIIT class. To learn more head to www.thehotyogabarre.com.
The Hot Yoga Barre
Cords of Steel RVA- Lisa & Cory Moran
Waxing Poetic Jewelry- Mary Friedman
Beautycounter- Nina Hodge
Rodan+Fields- Wendy Vokac,Paula Yelverton,Missy Hudgens
Usborne Books- Rachael Catterton
Our spotlight non-profit this month is Project: Just Like You, whose mission is to give a positive voice to those with special needs. Project: Just Like You is very near and dear to my heart. As many of you know, my daughter has Down Syndrome and because of trailblazers like Molly Korte, the founder, our journey is so much easier than those 20-30 years ago. I'm so happy to share Molly Korte's own words about Project: Just Like You :
“There is no greater power on this earth than story.” --Libba Bray, author
Our goal and mission is to change the world, society, and mindframe by sharing people’s stories. Cultures and societies are SHAPED by the human experiences through storytelling. Each human life has a valuable story to share. We are connected to others through stories in the human race. No story should go unnoticed or unread because each life and each story is special and holds weight.
Those with disabilities are often gone unheard and unnoticed. Yet, it is through sharing their stories, we find common ground. We begin to see these individuals as dignified human beings worthy of respect, friendship, and love. Project: Just Like You aims to share these stories to shape humanity. Our goal is to become world-class story tellers.
Project: Just Like You is a nonprofit that seeks to raise awareness of inclusion through world-class storytelling. Storytelling is the most essential part of advocacy. When people’s stories are heard, it changes the way a society looks at the individual. I began Project: Just Like You because of my son Jacob. I wanted the world to see him the way I do, as a normal and happy toddler. Because in so many ways, Jacob is just like anyone else his age. He plays with trucks and cars, wrestles with his sisters, likes to be read to, and loves to laugh. These are the attributes I want others to see in Jacob. This is my son. Jacob wants to have friends and playmates. He may not be able to express it like other children, but he has the same desires, hopes, and dreams.
In 2019, we have several projects planned, which include film and art. We seek sponsors and collaborators for these projects to expand the message of Project: Just Like You into different realms.
We also plan on expanding the reach of our third annual RVA Different Abilities Day, held on December 3, which the United Nations declared as “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” (and coincidentally my son Jacob’s birthday.) For the past two years, RVA Different Abilities Day has been held at the Children’s Museum of Richmond. The event’s programming includes guest speakers, food, entertainment, inclusive play for children of all abilities, and vendors in the disability support industry. We make the event free to the public.
We are in early-stage talks with a film creator to fashion a documentary to showcase children with disabilities and how they live in different parts of the world to raise a global awareness of people with disabilities and inclusion within culture.
Project: Just Like You also produces a video podcast called “Movement Monday,” where we interview people making a difference in the Disability community. Each show is open to the live audience to ask questions of our guests. The production is done professionally and requires a small negotiated fee per episode, but we have no means to promote the series or expand upon our base of our 27 live interviews already produced.
We have so many different avenues we want to explore to share stories on a global scale, all of which support our mission to promote inclusion, particularly for children with special needs. There is so much work to be done! And until every single person is recognized and respected for being the amazing individual they are, we will continue to share stories in new and various ways.
Thank you for your support and for helping us build a world of respect, kindness, and inclusion.
--- Molly McMunn Korte is a Richmond-area mother of 3 and advocate of people with disabilities. She is a graduate of Partners in Policy Making and one of Richmond Magazine’s 2018 “Daring Women.” Molly founded Project: Just Like You in 2016 to promote inclusion through the power of storytelling. Visit projectjustlikeyou.org to learn more or email Molly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is our 2018 RVA Shop Local GIft Guide! As you can tell, everything is an experience. I don't know about you, but my life and house is overrun with THINGS,but I, like everyone else, always treasure a fun experience so I wanted to help you gift happy memories. Happy Shopping!
For The Women In Your Life
1. Sugar and Hive Beauty Bar
.2. Vitality Float Spa
3. Fighting Gravity Fitness
4. River City Food Tours
For The Men in Your Life
1. Colonial Shooting Range
2. The Circuit Arcade Bar
3. Breakout Games
4. Richmond Funny Bone
For The Little Ones
1. Family pass to The Children's Museum
2. Melody Magic Music Studio
3. Romp n Roll
4. Pump It Up
For The Older Kids
1. Peak Experiences
3. Treetop Zoofari Zipline and Adventure Park
4. Spatacular Parties
Christmas is upon us! I often think about how lucky I feel to live in such a cool area where there are so many fun things to do year round, but Christmas time is where I think Richmond really shines. I've made a list of all the things that you should absolutely not miss this year. Throw those gifts into some gift bags and go out and be merry!
1. AR Workshop
There is absolutely something therapeutic about creating something beautiful. I made a Christmas sign here a few weeks ago and it really put me into the spirit. To find a workshop, visit www.arworkshop.com/richmond/
2.Carriage Rides at Stony Point
While you are in Stony Point, stop by for a horse drawn carriage ride. They are FREE and what on earth makes you feel more Christmas-y than riding in a one horse open sleigh, over the hills we go.... Alright so it won't be a sleigh, but still.
3. The Grand Illumination at The James Center
This Friday, November 30th come check out the Grand Illumination at The James Center from 5:50-7:00 pm. There will be different characters walking around the kids and hot cocoa.
4. Richmond's Tacky Light Tour
The Tacky Light Tour. If you have never done it, you need to.Like tonight. You can make your own list and do it yourself or go through a limo service to take you through Richmond's tackiest (but coolest) houses. For a list of the houses and info on limo services check out www.richmond.com/holiday/tacky-lights/.
5.Maymont Holiday Tours
Take a tour of the Maymont Mansion all decked out in holiday decor.Warning: you may instantly feel underwhelmed when you get home.
6. Christmas Town
Alright, so I know Busch Gardens isn't in Richmond, but it's only an hour or less away and it is amazing! There isn't an inch that is not covered in lights and they have great shows.
7. The Jefferson Hotel. Filled with Christmas trees, poinsettas, and lights, the hotel is a sight to see during the Christmas season. They also have musical performances coming in throughout the next month and you have to check out the Gingerbread display.
8. Ice Skating
What is more fun than falling on your butt on cold ice??? Nothing! We have a couple of great outdoor rinks. For the West Enders, head on over to Short Pump( http://www.westbroadvillageicerink.com/), if you are in the Downtown area check out RVA on Ice (https://www.facebook.com/RVAOnIce/), and last but not least there is a rink at Stony Point mall (https://bit.ly/2r8cCJB) so you can go have fun and get some shopping done!
9. Visit Ol' Saint Nick
My family loves the Children's Museum of Richmond. They have so many cute activities for the kids with Santa- Sunrise with Santa, Sunset with Santa, The Fawn Shop, etc. They also offer Sensitive Santa for our kiddos who cannot do the long lines, bring lights, and noises that come with your typical Santa visit. As a special needs mom, being able to take my kiddo to do this means the world to me.
I mostly hope that you enjoy this wonderful time with your family and remember the reason for the season!
Hi there! I'm Courtney . I am a mom of three ,a group fitness instructor, and a blogger. My favorite thing to do is to explore new fun things in the Richmond area with my family. I look forward to connecting with you through our Girl's Night Out events and social media.