Well Ladies, whether you are ready or not.....The holiday shopping season is definitely upon us! I went to Target and Kohls last friday and was blown away by the amount of people already filling the aisles and checkout lanes! In an effort to encourage you to ditch the mall and these large corporations as much as possible this season, and to #shopsmall instead, Housewives in the City is here to help you with our second annual Holiday Shopping Guide!
LUscious Lips and Makeup Sense: Senegence/Lipsense
Mary Kay with Amber Smith
All A Flutter Beauty Boutique-Red Aspen Lashes
Sophisticated Florals by Stephanie
luLaRoe Style NC
DotDotSmile with Sarah Eloise
Mellie & Emilia
Agnes and Dora
KEEP Collective - Alison A. Card
The Jewelry Moose
The Path To Beautiful
Marci Bruno Photo
Health and Wellness
Burn Bootcamp Winston Salem
Diaper Bank Of NC-Greater Triad
Capturing Hopes Photography
Founded in 2013, Capturing Hopes is a nation-wide nonprofit organization that provides professional photography to babies in the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) and their families, at no cost. Our professional photographer volunteers provide free sessions and an online gallery every two weeks while babies are in the NICU at their local hospital. In addition to bi-weekly photo sessions, Capturing Hopes photographers provide event photography during major holidays like Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day with the hope of creating excitement for the parents as they dress up their baby for the holiday. These sessions are meant to provide hope to the families where milestones and growth are captured. Connect with them and learn more!
For the next stop in this fun series on ways to get "back to you" this fall I've got an awesome salon and spa to share with you! Glass Door Salon and Spa can be found in the heart of Downtown Winston Salem as the only full service salon and spa in downtown! Walking through the doors you immediately feel like you belong. Erin Blakely, the owner, is so personable and down to earth (and SUPER talented at what she does!) that it's no wonder she's the number 1 go-to for so many big name celebrities when they stay in downtown!
I visited the spa this summer and got to experience the full spa treatment, we're talking 60 minute massage, body wrap, facial, mani/pedi, and a wash and style! I can 100%, confidently say.....THIS is a spa experience you should have! I'm convinced that every woman needs a spa day in their lives at least quarterly (or even more frequently if you can swing it!) Each service provider was so professional, caring, attentive, and just GOOD at what she did!
My afternoon started with a wonderful massage from Natalia! She was so professional that I truly felt like I could completely relax while she worked her magic on my tense muscles! Next I moved on to my body wrap and facial with Giselle (Esthetician). I must admit, I was a bit nervous about this....not having ever experienced a body wrap, I wasn't sure what to expect (and there may have been a little bit of googling and youtube watching the night before!) Again, Giselle was so warm and friendly, yet professional and attentive at the same time! I experienced the Seaweed Smoothing Body Wrap and it was heavenly! After covering, literally, all but a few square inches of my body in the mud, I was wrapped up tight like a baked potato with warm towels and a heat blanket. The warm mud and the tight blankets were surprisingly soothing and comforting to me! I'm one of those people who has to sleep with a couple of blankets simply for the weight it puts on top of my body (there really is something to be said for weighted blankets as calming mechanisms!) so the tight wrap felt amazing to me. I imagine if you are prone to feel claustrophobic, you might ask to be wrapped a little looser. ;) As my body detoxed and smoothed, my European Facial began. Again, amazing! After about an hour, I showered the mud off and re-dressed for my mani/pedi and my wash/blow dry. My ENTIRE body at this point, felt smoother than it has in YEARS! Seriously, if you've never experienced a full spa experience, you MUST go see the ladies at Glass Door Salon and Spa!
Next I had a wonderful head massage and wash and style by Ashley Nelson. I happened to have a photo shoot the following afternoon so she styled my hair in a way that would wear well on day 2 and it looked perfect for my photos the next day! I finished out my dream afternoon with a mani/pedi by Erin Blakely (spa owner). I felt so relaxed as we chatted about the spa and how she began, she told me about the scrubs that she makes in house (which are amazing and I love that they are all natural!), we talked about our families, and so much more! It felt like I was sitting down with a friend and just happened to walk away with a killer shellac mani and a pedi! And to top it all off, while getting my pedicure, a staff member wheeled out this adorable cart full of snacks and sodas for me to choose from as I continued to be pampered!
If you're like me, maybe you're feeling run down from the busyness of summer and now with school in full swing you're even more exhausted from trying to figure out everyone's routine again. Or maybe you did loads of summer traveling are now starting to settle back into a routine and are ready to give yourself some extra attention (especially before the craziness of the Holiday Season sets in!) Whatever your situation, there's no better time than NOW to show yourself some love! You deserve it! Get back to Fall and get back to YOU with a spa day!
And it gets even better! Glass Door Salon and Spa is giving one lucky reader a free 60 Minute massage! Check out the details below and enter for your chance to win a whole hour of luxury and YOU time this fall! And even if you don't win the freebie, I highly encourage you to consider checking them out this fall! it won't disappoint!
Y'all, Fall is officially HERE! In this fun little series I'll be sharing some wonderful spots around town to help you get Back to Fall and Back to YOU! Today I have an amazing transformation to share with you and the lovely ladies behind the transformation!
When I think about doing something for me I often think of a new hairstyle! I am one that likes to take risks, do something adventurous, and try new things with my hair! My philosophy is "it's just hair....it will grow back! why not do something fun that makes your feel good!" I have had all sorts of colors and cuts in the past few years and my current look definitely hits right up there at the top of my faves!
I recently had the pleasure of joining the do or dye tribe with the ladies of the Do or Dye Studio in Winston Salem. The salon is part of the Aspire Salon Suites on Coliseum Drive and these ladies know what they are doing when it comes to cut and color! Sierra Johnson and Kristen McIntosh have a combined total of 17 years of salon experience and it truly shows in the attention and care they provide to their clients and the community they are cultivating at their studio!
The pair began their friendship at another local salon working alongside each other but they both knew they wanted something more and wanted to be their own bosses so they took a leap with opening their own salon, which seemed like the next logical step in their careers! The Aspire Salon Suites had just launched and it seemed like the perfect time for them dive in head first with a new business--much like they themselves were! Aspire had a space big enough for them to both work and is centrally located, making it a perfect match! Since opening their own salon suite they have made it their goal to provide quality salon care in the comfort of a modern salon environment. Taking things a step further they aspire to help educate the general public on everyday issues you may face with your hair care routines, salon experiences, skin care, makeup, and life as a woman in general. They can be found on facebook every Wednesday evening educating the world through their fun “Wine down Wednesday” series which was recently featured in YES! Weekly. These are casual live broadcasts where you get to really see them interact and share their knowledge.
I asked the ladies how they hoped their brand would be perceived and they responded:
"When we opened Do or Dye. the goal was to create "beautiful hair in a relaxed and modern environment. Because do or dye moments define you." and that is how we want our clients to feel-Relaxed and confident when you walk in, that we are knowledgeable and capable of giving you what you want. We want everyone to leave feeling totally confident in themselves and their look; that completely begins with confidence in us as your stylists and as professionals.”
If you spend any amount of time with them, ether virtually or in person, I think you’ll agree they are on that path!
Upon first contacting them I went over a brief history of my hair (because y’all know I have a slight obsession with changing up my hair color!) While I was slightly bummed at first that they didn’t just schedule my appointment for the whole shebang when I first contacted them, looking back I TOTALLY appreciate the fact that they scheduled a consultation first! Ladies, if you’re seeing someone knew…they always deserve to know your history! I guarantee the end result will be 1000 times better if they know the truth up front and you aren’t hiding it under layers of color and processing! By the way…..this applies to both your personal life AND you hair life! ;) Sierra and Kristen did a super thorough consultation with me prior to committing to any color or style and I’m so glad they did! It truly helped make sure we were all on the same page, that the color and processing they were planning was going to take well and not damage my hair, plus we were able to build a start to the relationship rather than plopping down in their chair and handing my hair over to strangers! Check out these “before” shots from my consultation….talk about needing a fall update! I certainly handed them a job with color correcting and freshening up my look.
Through the process of updating my look the do or dye ladies were quite the team working together! I have to admit….I felt a little bit like royalty as they worked on both sides of my head at once! The thought did cross my mind that I was going to walk out LOOKING like I had 2 different people working on my hair, but it couldn’t have been more seamless between the 2 of them! I think their history of having worked together previously at another salon and the way their personalities complement each other, really helps them work fluidly alongside each other. Check out the final result! I couldn’t be more in love with the look, it’s exactly what I envisioned for my updated fall look and definitely gave me a renewed sense of confidence as we head into the fall season!
If you are ready to join the #doordyetribe give the ladies a call and get social with them to see more of their work/behind the scenes/tips/questions/wine down topics and more! Find them on facebook and Instagram @doordyenc and use the hashtags #doordyetribe and #doordyenc. Check out all that they offer below and join the tribe! You won't regret it!
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!