If you're anything like me you LIVE for crisp Fall days when the sweltering NC heat is FINALLY easing up and making way for 70 degree days, the leaves begin to change their colors, and you start to think about pulling out those cozy cardigans and boots! Summer in our house if full of chaos, no schedule, survival mode (amen, moms?!?), pool hair, and t-shirts and shorts! When we make it through the dog days of summer and head into Fall I almost always start to crave a new hairstyle, a new wardrobe, and some good 'ol "me time!"
I am so excited to bring you a new series as we start to send the kiddos back to school, schedules start to become routine again, and we head into a new season! Over the next several weeks I'll be sharing some of my favorite way to get back to YOU this Fall! These will be my top picks for salons, spas, boutiques, services, etc. to make you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world!
So stick around and check back often, I've got some great local spots to tell you about (and maybe even some giveaways and specials! *hint hint*)
Our Summer Soiree at Westbend Winery and Brewery in June was fantastically fun! If you missed it, you missed great weather, awesome local vendors and raffles, delicious wine/beer/food, fantastic music, and the best networking around!
Check out the local businesses, charity, and photographers we had for the evening:
Jasby Images & Sam Absher Photography
Capturing Hopes Photography
Check out the rest of the images from our wonderful photographers below!
If you’ve ever been to Sanibel Island, Florida then you will totally understand why people return to this hidden gem every year! (And you understand the title to this post!) My step-mom’s family has gone since she was a young child so since she and my dad married our summer vacations every other year have been to Sanibel. 6 years ago was hubby and I’s first time going, I was pregnant with our first child. 2 years later I was literally having the second child the week they were on vacation, and 2 year after that I was hugely pregnant with our 3 (and last) baby! So this summer was the summer for vacay! It was so nice to go back (the shelling is what I was most looking forward to! Some of the best in the world, and where the term "sanibel stoop" comes from--stooped over hunting for shells) but it was SO different with kiddos in tow! There’s not a ton of commercialized area so you really JUST go to Sanibel to relax on the beach! And that’s what we did all day every day!
We were down there for the 4th of July so we got to attend the annual Independence Day parade and the kids had a blast!
Check out the awesome collection of shells we collected!
And of course I had to try out some of the creative beach photos I’ve been pinning on pinterest! ;)
And now….back to reality! ;) Anyone else out there feel like days 4-6 after a vacay are the worst!?!? I usually feel like I’m ready to get back home by the end of our trip so the first couple days of down time aren’t so bad. And of course you’ve then got laundry to catch up on so you’re busy doing that the next couple of days, and then by day 4 or so you’re settled back at home, rested from the trip/drive, back into your routine, kids start going stir crazy again……and now missing the sun, sand, and ocean! Excuse me while I go plan out the rest of our summer to keep us busy!
Today I want to share a fabulous day trip option with you guys! My Hubby’s 30-something birthday was last week and we got to spend a fun, kid-free, day pretending it was a 20-something birthday! ;) We had the ultimate VIP experience at Wet’n Wild Emerald Point Water Park in Greensboro. It was a super quick trip down 40 and Bus 85, we were there in around half an hour! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect (despite the threat of clouds and rain…it turned out beautifully sunny!) and the crowds were lower since it was a week day, so lines were very minimal! When we arrived we were greeted by the Sales Manager who seemed genuinely interested in making sure we had a great experience, she made herself available for whatever we needed.
We were then guided to our private Cabana that overlooked the wave pool and I’m telling you….a private cabana is the WAY TO GO! We had our own locker and were able to program a personal 4-digit code (no carrying around a key and worrying about losing it….or getting a tan line from it!) as well as lounge chairs and a table and chairs under the shade. The best part….our own personal waiter! When we were ready for lunch we simply ordered from the menu and it was delivered to us! There are several cabana locations around the park, including some in the Happy Harbor kids area. We are definitely planning to head back later in the summer with the kiddos; a cabana in this area of the park is perfect for a family visit! Happy Harbor is fenced in and all the pool areas are under 2 feet of water. I definitely felt like my kids would have a blast and would be safe, without me having to follow their every move like a hawk!
And now for the slides….I’ve never been a big water slide person but it was hubby’s birthday, and he loves them so I went along with it! I will say….I MUCH prefer the tube slides over body slides….I’m not a huge fan of water shooting up my nose and bathing suit while zipping through a dark tunnel with no clue what comes next! My husband though….he loves them! I was a good sport and I did the twin twisters (complete darkness….kind of terrifying!) and then noticed that it said EXTREME body slide….what a way to start! I also did the riptide racer (this one you rode down on your stomach on a mat…so not completely a body slide, but close).
My favorite would have to be Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror. Surprisingly, this one was pitch dark but you ride in a double tube…perhaps having someone else riding close along with me made me feel better! You shoot down a twisting black tube and then sling out into a giant open tube where you’re banking up one side and the other with just a slight glow of light to suddenly see your surroundings. I think I actually let out a slight scream (and I’m not a screamer) because the sudden ability to see startled me. We rode this one 2 or 3 times!
Another favorite was the runaway raft ride. This was again a double tube (there are single and triple options as well) that took you zinging down a twisting turning flume. At one point I asked my husband if he also felt like we were part of the Cool Runnings bobsled team! We rode this one 2 or 3 times as well!
The newest ride at Wet’n Wild is the Dragon’s Den. It was a definite thrill! As we stood in line hearing the screams of every raft as it dropped down a dark tube and then slung out into the dragons den circling the dragon and then dropping down another steep tube, I joked about screams being required! Remember I said I wasn’t a screamer? I admit…I screamed for a split second…it actually surprised my husband! But in all fairness….when we shot out into the Dragon’s Den (I was in the front of the tube) the jet of water designed to slow you down a smidge shot right up my bathing suit…it startled me and an involuntary scream escaped! We did go back for another ride and I made my husband man the front of the tube….much more comfortable experience!
Other highlights were the Lazee River, (of course!), shipwreck cove, and the “beach” at Thunder Bay (the 2 million gallon wave pool-largest on the east coast!) not to mention the abundance of ice cream and sweet treats around (just want you want to indulge in while in a bathing suit right!?! What is it about swimming that makes you want ice cream and sweets??) Of course, I had to have some Dippin’ Dots while there….it was the perfect cool treat in the heat!
To finish off the day, my husband did the Daredevil Drop, a 76 foot long, extreme steep chute with the sensation of free falling at first. This was a definite NO for me, but check out the video of him doing it (he did it twice, by the way!)
I definitely recommend a day trip to Wet’n Wild Emerald Point! The park was big enough to keep us busy and entertained all day, but not so big that we felt like we couldn’t see it all in one day. There was something for everyone in the family and the rides were run very smoothly. We actually watched, and took specific notice of, the lifeguards routinely checking equipment, slides, and pools for safety.
If you’d like to take a trip I’ve got a special deal for the Housewives in the City readers! Use this link to purchase your discounted tickets or simply use the discount code: HousewivesinthecitySBlog17
If you go, tag me in your fun so I can check it out with you!
While tickets and accommodations were complimentary as part of Wet’n Wild’s Summer Blog Program, all opinions are my own.
Picture this...you are the kind of mom who peacefully awakens with light streaming in through the cracks in your wooden shutter blinds, the house is quiet but for the hum of the ceiling fan. Your significant other is sleeping peacefully beside you so you gently slide out of bed tossing on a robe and head to the kitchen for your first cup of coffee. You open the blinds as you go, with fresh morning sun streaming in through the windows. While sipping your freshly brewed coffee you begin preparing breakfast for your family and then slowly, one at a time, they emerge from their rooms to see what's cooking. The atmosphere is serene, welcoming, loving, and happy! You are genuinely excited to see the smiling, yet still sleepy, eyes of your family and they begin their day feeling loved and cherished and cared for.....
Wait....that's not how your morning looks? Me either! As lovely and as perfect as that morning routine sounds, it's not reality for most moms. Instead....as you're trying to squeeze out just a few more minutes of sleep (because you know....you were up until 1 am switching out/folding laundry, washing the dishes from dinner, trying to get some of your own work accomplished, spending some time with the hubby watching the latest show that y'all are addicted to, preparing lunches for the next day, and whatever household chores that didn't get completed while the children were awake) you awaken to the sound of a child who has just realized that he wet the bed and now you must quickly jump up to strip the sheets and get them in the wash before the room starts to smell like pee. All the while, children are begging for breakfast because they are "starving," Hubby is bustling around trying to get out the door on time (because he too tried to squeeze out a few extra minutes of sleep), the baby is calling from his crib and needs a diaper change, and you just want to pull the covers up and pretend you're not there! The scene is chaotic, stressful, and anything but serene! Your patience is short, your children begin to bicker, and you are less than grateful for the beautiful family surrounding you at that very moment!
I’m ashamed to admit that it took me way too many mornings of waking up like the second scenario to finally realize that instead of waking up FOR my family, I was waking up WITH them. Now, this isn’t such a big deal when it comes to my husband. He’s an adult, less dependent on me to provide routine for his day, and waking up together is much more fun than sliding out of bed trying not to awaken each other. My kids, however, deserve a mom that’s ready to love on them, care for them, and provide for them…as opposed to a grumpy stressed out mom whose day begins on the wrong foot. Once I realized that I was in control of how our day began (and the tone that would likely carry through much of the day) it was up to me to make the changes necessary to promote an atmosphere of peace and harmony. When I can get up and have even just 15 minutes of “me time” to start my day, then I’m ready for whatever comes next! When I wake up FOR my family….I get those precious moments to enjoy a hot cup of coffee in silence before the house fills with noise, or to open the blinds and let the morning sun in (does morning sunshine streaming in through the windows make you as happy as it does me?!?) or maybe even time to sneak in a quick workout and/or shower before anyone else gets up. When I wake up WITH my family, I’m suddenly bombarded with everyone else’s needs and wants and I don’t get those moments for myself to really refresh and renew and prepare me for a day of serving and loving on my family. It means making sacrifices….I can’t stay up until midnight binge watching the latest Netflix series, I don’t get to sleep in past 7 most mornings, and I actually wake up to an alarm rather than waking naturally (wouldn’t we all love to wake up naturally every day?!?) but making those small changes in my routine has made the biggest change in the happiness of my family (and myself!) I feel like I’m ready to take on the day and be a better mom, and my family is worth those sacrifices!
Changing one simple word can make SO much difference….are you waking up WITH your family, or are you waking up FOR your family?
We had an amazing time on May 24th at Firebirds Woodfired Grill! Despite the treacherous weather (tornadic activity in the surrounding areas) we had a great turnout and I met some lovely ladies! Our venders for the evening consisted of 2 returning businesses and a new boutique that recently launched! check them out!
Take a look at the rest of the images that our awesome photographer, Audra Elkington, captured for us! Check out her website for more of her beautiful work and how to contact her for your own session!
Don't forget about our Summer Soiree at Westbend Winery and Brewery on June 29th! I'll see you there!
We had a fabulous turn out for our Wise Man Brewing Girls night out in April! If you weren't able to join us make sure you check out the wonderful vendors who were there and check out the images from the evening below!
Check out the images of our evening! thanks Jennifer Chaput Photography for capturing all the fun!
Can you believe it's May already!?!? I used to hear people say how fast the year was flying by and think to myself "it's no faster than any other year...." but as I get older I think time REALLY DOES speed up somehow!
I was presented with a challenge for the month April to determine, and blog about, the top 5 places in our city. You may have seen me post on facebook or Instagram asking for your input, but I decided there's just no way to narrow it down to even the top 5! Instead, I've decided to start a new series right here on the blog with my top favorites....I don't know how many it will end up being, we'll just continue until I run out of places I love! :) As the days, and months, and years pass by faster and faster this is my way of making sure I take time to slow down and enjoy the little moments, the "mundane" places, and the wide variety that our city has to offer! join me as I "wander" through our city and find new, and old, places to add to this list of "must-do's!"
Where do I even start this series?
As a mom of 3 boys, much of my life revolves around them, so let's start there....
For Christmas this past year my husband and I tried to help our family gift "experiences" to our children rather than more "things." One suggestion we passed along was a family membership to the Children's museum (now called Kaleideum). This has been one of the BEST gifts! My boys ask almost daily if we can go and there is SO much to explore there! With various programs and changing exhibits throughout the year, it never gets old!
Camel City BBQ Factory
Another family favorite is Camel City BBQ Factory! With 3 children 5 and under it's often hard to get out for a family dinner that doesn't involve someone in tears or upset at SOME point during the meal. Camel City BBQ Factory is our answer to this! This place is delicious (the BBQ pulled pork cheese fries are a must every time we go!) there's something for everyone (counter service down stairs, full service upstairs, and an arcade with picnic table seating on the top tier!) and in the heart of downtown it's the perfect place for a family stroll post dinner!
Winston Salem Dash Baseball
Another must-see is the Dash baseball team when they are in town! The beautiful new stadium makes for a fun night out for the whole family! We love to go on their Chick-fil-a nights where we can get 4 seats, 4 dash baseball caps, and 4 chick-fil-a sandwich vouchers for $32! For our family, that's a great deal! With views of the downtown skyline from every seat, fireworks following many home games, free parking with the shuttle, a kids zone full of bounce houses and games for the kids, you can't beat the experience (even when the Dash lose....which does happen from time to time ;) )
Those are just a few of my family favorites here in Winston! What would make it on YOUR family favorites list? Stay tuned for the next post and my next few favorites!
With the days finally getting warmer I can't help but think of summer on the horizon! With summer comes so many fun things....lightning bugs, baseball games, pool days, camping out, vacations, and SO much more. As a parent, one of the thoughts in the forefront of my mind is keeping my kiddos busy and entertained those summer months while school is out. A great option for many parents is summer camp! Whether you're interested in providing an outlet for your kiddo's energy, a way to meet new friends and be social, a way for them to hone in on a skill or interest, or simply a few hours a day to get some errands accomplished without kids in tow...Winston Salem has many options for summer camps in varying interest categories! Here are a few of my top picks for our area!
Mad Science of Central Carolina
Messages written in secret code? Incredible rockets that soar through the air? Bubbling potions and lasers? It's not the plot of the latest Hollywood sci-fi movie-it's all a part of a Mad Science summer camp adventure! With many camps to choose from in exciting themes such as forensics and robotics, Mad Science is on a mission to inspire the next generation of scientists with unique, interactive and hands on summer camps that spark imaginative learning!
Mad science camps offer a unique opportunity for children ages 4-12 to explore the wonders of science through group activities, active games and hand on projects like robot building, catapult construction and gooey slime creations! They'll even be inspired by the ideas of famous scientists and use their imaginations to create their own amazing inventions!
*Full and half day options available at various location across the triad!*
Visit centralcarolina.madscience.org to view the full calendar of camps along with descriptions of each of the camp themes.
Register online or by calling the office at (336) 784-1818.
Check out past Mad Science camps on their Facebook page.
Early Bird pricing available through 4/30 and sibling discounts available with code MULTI17 at checkout
Winston Salem Girls Chorus-Summer Sing
Does your daughter like to sing and make music? THIS is the summer camp experience to attend! Camp highlights include singing, handbells, creative movement, a Camp TalentShare, and final Sharing Concert. Girls will also have the opportunity to audition for the Winston-Salem Girls Chorus.
Camp is open to girls ages 8-14 for the week of July 31-August 4 and is held at Centenary United Methodist Church in Downtown Winston Salem.
You can find registration and pricing information here.
YMCA Camp Hanes
Since 1927 Camp Hanes has been creating memorable outdoor experiences for the young and young at heart. The “400 Acre Memory Maker” provides opportunities for personal growth for campers and guests through their resident camp and day camp programs. Camp Hanes is committed to building relationships while accepting and encouraging people to explore who they are in an environment which is safe, supportive, challenging and fun.
Explore their website to discover all of the ways you can make lasting memories at YMCA Camp Hanes this summer.
Tell us about your business: I was born and raised in Winston Salem, NC, home of Texas Pete, Krispy Kreme, and the Dixie Classic Fair! I received my undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders from Appalachian State University in 1998, and completed my Master of Arts in 2000 from Appalachian State as well— GO APP STATE! I have worked with children and adults (ages 1 -101) with various speech, language and swallowing/feeding disorders, but my passion is working with the pediatric population. My motivation to start my own speech therapy private practice was simply that I wanted more flexibility. I wanted to make it easier to juggle my family and work, and not be married to strict schedules. I put in many, many hours to get the business where it is today, and had no idea what I was getting into when I started. If someone had told me, or even given me a blueprint, I would have been paralyzed with fear, and never even attempted business ownership. Doing this blindly was the best thing for me!
Describe yourself in 3 words: Motivated, committed, and supportive
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement? I love being a speech therapist, but I believe my greatest professional achievement has been co-founding and operating our non-profit, The Speech Bus. A colleague/close friend of mine decided to co-found this organization to help meet the language/literacy needs of underserved preschool aged children in our community. We are able to provide this service because of generous donations from the community (100%). We run the entire operation with no compensation, and take hours and days off of work to make it happen, but what we get in return can't be measured in dollars and cents! Although, we are certainly open to funding /grants to allow us to do more!
What are your professional goals for the next six months? Over the next 6 months my goal is to continue to strengthen the therapy business, and to grow and expand The Speech Bus.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I can think of many things I would want to do involving kids, but if I take them out of the equation, I think I would love to be a lawn care specialist! I know nothing about grass, and want nothing to do with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, or insecticides, but I LOVE being outside, love the smell of fresh cut grass, and it's great exercise (self-propelled mower, of course!)
How do you maintain a work/life balance? This is an ongoing process... maintaining that balance is like a never ending science project! When something doesn't work, I shift and try something else!
What websites do you visit every day? Almost every day, I visit CNN, Clinic Source (for online documentation), and medicaidprograms.org... wow... didn't realize how boring I am!
What are your top three favorite people/places/things to do in your city? I love walking at Reynolda Gardens, favorite place to eat is Senor Bravo, and right now my favorite destination is wherever my kids are! We spend lots of time/weekends playing YMCA sports-- always fun!
What is your goal for retirement? My goal for retirement is to be able to do so! Seriously, I think I will work/volunteer until I can't. I want to relax and smell the roses, but I also feel like I should serve as long as I am able to. I also hope to be financially able to have fun with future grandkids, enjoy my family, and spend lots of time in the mountains and the beach!
Do you have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company? A wise friend once told me, "Too much analysis causes paralysis...". I would say, lace your Nike's up and JUST DO IT!
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