Off the cuff confessions about awesome people (especially my other moms and our kids), rants, other people’s rants, and anything else that tickles our collective fancy.

Yesterday I had the perfect parenting day.

No, we didn’t go to Disney World. Yes, my kids fought.  No, I didn’t even read them a book before bed.

As I was getting ready for bed I began brushing my teeth, like an adult, and thought to myself, “Today was a pretty good day.” And, then I thought some more and I realized it was pretty much as close to perfect as they come.

Everyone woke up in a good mood.  No drama, no hangriness. I made myself and husband a real breakfast. I had enough food to pack my elder child’s lunch without even being in a hurry.  We left the house on time!

Since we were not in a fluster we had time to go to the donut shop near the school.  The kids even had time to sit down and eat.  There was no manic clock checking or, “hurry, hurry, hurry.”  It was relaxed.  We dropped off. There were hugs. There were smiles.  So far, a pretty perfect morning.

With only the little one we went for a walk in the woods, we built a birdhouse, we went to Target and had lunch at Panera. This was no normal lunch since we are on a Whole30.  This means we ate compliant salads with dressing from home (that I brought, just in case) while watching our little son drag his baguette through the thick creamy sauce of his mac n’ cheese.  I even let him watch YouTube Kids on my phone while my husband and I had an adult conversation. Scandalous!

We had a few minutes before school pickup so we went to the park and I spun my child around until he walked like a drunk monkey.

Somewhere in the midst of this, I had to deal with an unrelated scheduling mix up that was completely my fault, but it just worked and it was stress-free.  It would work or it wouldn’t. Nothing would fall from the sky.

Pickup was a breeze. The children were happy to see each other and us. We went by the house to change clothes for gymnastics and everyone just did it and off we went. We were on time to the afterschool activity and they both had a lot of fun.  From there it was home.

Another minor emergency – one of the cars having a recurring issue.  The husband was off to the auto parts store and since it was still lovely I pulled weeds.  I know, magical.

The car was fixed, dinner was cooked, the children were happy in their independent endeavors.  Everyone was fed and off to bed.  By the time I came to check on bedtime they were brushed and in bed with audiobooks waiting.

I even stayed up until one o’clock in the morning finishing a novel!

There was nothing extraordinary about this day in any way except the ways that matter.  We were kind, we were loving, we were content.  I can guarantee that someone’s worst day has occurred in the Happiest Place on Earth.  Where you are is not happiness.

I tend to get hung up on happiness. Are my kids happy? Are we happy? But what is happiness if it is not feeling loved and safe and fulfilled?  And, that is pretty perfect.

Shop Local

Where to Shop Small Houston

Shopping small local businesses is a great option for the holidays.  Not only do you support the local community by keeping your commerce in town but you are more likely to find unique gifts that aren’t going to be at the big box stores. But, Houston is huge so where should you go?

Our list is your best bet for shopping local.

You will find awesome places that are 100% Houston:

Books, Comics, Games, Gifts & Eclectic

Blue Willow Bookshop (Memorial) – Opened in 1996, an indie bookstore with kid-specific activities.

Books Abound (Cypress/ Willowbrook) – Compact independent bookstore offering a selection of used hardcovers & paperbacks. Cash or checks only.

Book Attic (Tomball) – New and Used Books, a large variety of all types of books, new releases – at 1/2 the cover price, hard to find and rare books too! Also, stock assigned reading for local schools.

Book Scene (Oak Forest/ Garden Oaks) – New and used books as well as collectibles.

Brazos Bookstore (West U/ Rice) – Established in 1974 to encourage the growth and development of the Houston literary scene.

Copperfield’s Books (Spring/Klein) –  Neighborhood bookstore and gifts. Offers trade-in credit on gently pre-read books.

Dragon’s Lair  (Cypress/Klein) –  Offers a diverse range of comic book, game and related products in a friendly, professional, and fun atmosphere.

Elite Antiques and Books (Tomball) – Is it a bookstore or an antique shop? I don’t know but there are enough of each to keep you busy for a really long time!

Glow Worm (Old Town Spring) – New and used books and book-related gifts.

Long Lost Friends (Katy) – New and used neighborhood bookstore.

Lucia’s Garden (Upper Kirby) – A substantial bookstore with music, incense, and herbs. Also, classes such as meditation and aromatherapy.

Magick Cauldron (Montrose) – Gifts, candles, Incense, and over 3000 titles in books focusing on Wicca, Renaissance, etc.

Murder By the Book (West U/ Rice) – Mystery bookstore

Nan’s Games & Comics Too (West U/ Rice) – Comics, classic games, toys, action figures, card games, etc.

River Oaks Bookstore – Neighborhood store with dedicated patrons and a focus on local authors. Complimentary cookies and coffee.

Third Planet Sci-Fi Superstore (Upper Kirby) – 8,000-sq.-ft. shop with a vast array of comics, fantasy & sci-fi books, toys & collectibles.

Winseng Books & Gifts (Chinatown/ Sharpstown) – Their book collection has a great deal of Chinese literature, you can also find the latest media entertainment from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Additionally, you will find a small store with gifts and handcrafted items, and traditional Chinese medicine.


Cactus Music (Midtown) – Houston’s oldest independent music store with over 30 years service

Wired Up Modern Conveniences (Montrose) – Music, books, DVDs/blu-ray (horror, underground cinema, art films, documentaries, 60s/70s/80s/and beyond), some relevatn gifts & ephemera.

Clothing & Jewelry

A Bientot (River Oaks)- Women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts.

Amber’s Designs Fine Jewelry (Katy) – Est. 2001, all work is done on premises.

Cheeky Vintage (Richmond) – Hand selected pristine, wearable vintage pieces (dresses, handbags, accessories, etc.).

Coco and Duckie (Bellville) –  Small batch jewelry, unique and handmade gifts (bath, body, jewelry, home).

Kick Pleat (River Oaks)- Women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts, with a modern vibe.

MELODRAMA Boutique (Museum District) – High fashion women’s clothing and accessories boutique. Established in 2002.

My Flaming Heart (Midtown) – Eclectic mix of custom fitted vintage-inspired clothing, unique handmade jewelry, and vintage cowboy boots.

Rebecca Lankford Designs (Heights) – Handcrafted ethically-sourced jewelry

Scout & Molly’s (West U) – Women’s boutique and trunk shows.

The Ultimate Dressing Room (610 & 90, south) – Where grownups get to play dress up, clothes for all sizes

Thinking Girls Boutique & Studio (Memorial) – Contemporary, global boutique stocks all types of delightful gifts including clothing, accessories, and speciality items


Blue Leaf (West U) A Houston institution since 1998. Carrying the best of the best in gifts, jewelry, baby/kids, bed & bath, clothing, accessories, tabletop & kitchen, lighting, and furniture.

King Ranch Saddle Shop (River Oaks) – Leather goods for the home, office, luggage, saddles. As well as, clothes and gifts for the family.

Toys & Children’s Gifts

Big Blue Whale (Heights) – Focus on quality toys, vintage toys, board games, cheeky items, as well as local and national artists who handcraft whimsical pieces.

Tomfoolery Toys & Books (Meyerland) – Independent, neighborhood toy store. As well as, books that range from classics to more recent quality offerings. Also hosts a weekly toddler storytime!

Happy Shopping…

and Thanks for Supporting your Local Houstonians!