Joined October 7, 2015


Business Reviews

Pump It Up Austin review on November 12, 2016
Great place for birthday parties
We went to Pump It Up for a birthday party today. It was our first time there. When they took us to the room with the inflatables, I was a little disappointed at first since there were only 3 of them. Then I noticed that we had the entire room for ourselves. After approx. 40 minutes, they took us to the next room with 3 different inflatables. Again, we had the room for ourselves. The staff was always in the room making sure everyone's OK and having fun and taking pictures of all the party guests. The kids had a blast and 3 inflatables were perfect, even for a big group of 15+ kids. While we had pizza and cake, we could view all the pictures they took on a TV in the party room. They'll also send us a link to download all the pictures. Thumbs up!
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Lago Vista Elementary review on October 9, 2016
Love our school
Teachers are great, facilities are safe, drop-off and pick-up is not bad at all (we expected worse). Plus, the school does lots of fun stuff that makes kids (at least our Kindergartner) look forward to going to school even more. Examples: https://www.livegrowplayaustin.com/blog/2016/10/1/we-love-our-school
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BabyEarth review on September 12, 2016
Love this store
Love this store. So many cute baby items. Plus, they have tons of events for baby and parents.
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Quarry Splash Pad review on July 22, 2016
Favorite splash pad
We love this splash pad. There's a splash area for every age, shaded picnic areas, pavilions, a water slide, and a sand box. I would recommend to go there in the morning, the splash pad is getting more and more popular.
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Express Kids Train review on May 28, 2016
Fun ride
My daughter loved the ride. The barrels look pretty small, but they're big enough for adults. I had my daughter on my lap. Price was very reasonable.
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Austin Creative Reuse review on May 26, 2016
I want to move in!
First time visit and I love this store. I literally want to move in. I've got so many ideas from just walking through the aisles and can't wait to start crafting with my kids.
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Austin Diaper Bank review on May 25, 2016
Such a good cause
Love the idea. My company hosted a diaper drive and we were able to donate 2,400 diapers to the diaper bank. Looking forward to our next diaper drive.
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All Things Kids - Georgetown review on May 2, 2016
I want to be a kid again!
We love this store. Being from Germany (like the owner of All Things Kids), I grew up with a lot of the toys at All Things Kids. I particularly love the wooden toys and could spend hours in this store.
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Mt Playmore review on May 2, 2016
All time favorite
Mt Playmore is the all time favorite of our kids. The place is huge so it never really is crowded. Plus, it's actually quite relaxing for parents. The playscape is a big rectangle and parents can chill on couches in the middle of it while watching their kids. 4 1/2 stars only because I wish they had healthier food options. But, we don't come here for food, so thumbs up!
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Eat, Love & Cookies review on May 2, 2016
Sweet pieces of art and absolutely delicious!
Cony made the cutest and yummiest cookies for my daughter's 3rd birthday. She asked me what my little one likes and I told her she's into Frozen and horses. Cony surprised us with cute little horses, and Elsa + Olaf gingerbread cookies.
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Inflatable Wonderland review on April 27, 2016
Kids enjoy it
Not the cleanest place and not the healthiest food, but the kids really enjoy it. Lots of different bounce houses. Never too crowded
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PlayMazing Austin review on April 27, 2016
Great place for toddlers and young kids
We really like this place. There are lots of different things to do, even for toddlers. A little small, can get crowded, but overall great.
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North Shore Dance Academy review on April 21, 2016
Our daughter loves the art classes
Our daughter is taking Ms. Mallory's arts classes and she loves it. She's learning about colors and different techniques. Ms. Mallory is very sweet. Plus, the classes are very affordable.
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Cedar Park Dance Company review on April 16, 2016
Kids love the Mother's Morning Out
Both of our girls go to the Mother's Morning Out program and they absolutely love it. Miss Jenny is so awesome with the kids.
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PARTY-N-JUMP review on March 20, 2016
Steffanie did such an awesome job painting the kids' faces and twisting balloons at a friend's birthday party. The alien balloons were literally out of this world.
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Oasthouse Gastropub review on March 13, 2016
Great food and service, outdoor seating, and nice playscape
Went to Oasthouse Gastropub for the first time today. Great food and service (when my daughter's napkin fell down - I didn't even notice - a server (he wasn't even our server) brought us a new napkin immediately). They share a nice playscape with Flores Mexican Restaurant next door. You can see your kids at all times when you sit outside. Will definitely go back.
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Chuck E. Cheese's review on February 28, 2016
Would never take my kids there unless they're invited to a birthday party
Overcrowded, junk food, waste of time and waste of money. Take your kids and money to one of the other great places in the 512. Or take them outside, Austin is beautiful!
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Mandola’s Italian Market - Bee Cave review on February 28, 2016
Yummy food, great playscape
Yummy food, great playscape (although, no shade). We always eat here when we're in the area.
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Ski Shores Cafe review on February 28, 2016
Awesome location, nice playscape
Awesome location, right on the lake, love it. Nice playscape, unfortunately no shade. Food is so-so. Definitely not on the healthy side.
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Blue Corn Harvest Bar & Grill review on February 28, 2016
Great place for families
One of our favorite places to eat in Cedar Park. Kids eat free on Mondays plus kids always get free ice cream. We love to sit and kids love to play outside. We only wish the kids menu had some healthier options. But, overall: great!
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Cedar Park Pediatric & Family Medicine review on February 28, 2016
We love Dr. Brent Cardwell
We love Dr. Brent Cardwell. We switched to him from Dr. Lam at North Austin Pediatrics at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center who we were not happy with at all. Unfortunately, the office staff is rather clueless and while time spent in the waiting room is rather short, time waiting in the actual examination room can sometimes be quite long. However, we're very happy with the medical care we're getting.
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Hop N Happy review on February 28, 2016
One of our favorites
Not too big, not too small. Can definitely get packed quickly though. Very clean, very cool owners.
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Cedar Rock Railroad review on February 28, 2016
Cute little train for younger kids
Cute little train for younger kids (infants and preschoolers). Don't forget sunscreen in summer.
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Good preschool
Good preschool, nice teachers. I wish the breakfast and snacks were more nutritional and the naps a little shorter (they're 2 1/2 hours long).
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Texas Tooth Fairies Pediatric Dentistry review on February 28, 2016
Absolutely awesome
Dr. Singletary and her staff are awesome with kids, my daughters are very comfortable around them. We never have to wait long, Dr. Singletary and assistants always explain exactly what they're doing, kids get cute sunglasses for the visit and they can watch a movie of their choice (which of course is always Frozen for my daughters). My older daughter is actually looking forward to every visit.
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Music Forever Music Together review on February 28, 2016
Kids loved the classes
I took both of my girls to Music Forever Music Together and they loved the classes. My older one started when she was 9 months old, my young one when she was 2 months old. We took classes until they went to preschool when they were 3 years old.
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Event Reviews

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Community Messages

I'm looking for sports activities for preschooler in Cedar Park that focus on play rather than on teaching skills.

My daughter was in a volleyball program when she was 3 and all they did was teaching them the basic volleyball skills, i.e. bump, set, and spike. Way too early for a 3-year old, in my opinion. I expected it to be more playful, e.g. throwing the ball over the net, catching the ball, etc.

Passport photos topic started on
A recommendation for everybody who needs passport photos:
We had to renew our daughter's passport. We got her passport photos taken at Walgreens. At the post office we were told that the US State Department may reject her picture since the background is rather pink than white, so we had her pictures retaken at the post office. Of course that doesn't mean that all Walgreens passport photos will have a pink background, but it was only $2 more at the post office and you can be sure that the photos are in compliance with government regulations, so I'd recommend taking passport photos at the post office.

Selling maternity dresses dresses and skirts $3-$10 a piece. Majority size Medium, some Large.

Selling maternity tops and t-shirts $3 a piece. Majority size Medium, some Large.

Selling maternity long-sleeves $3 a piece. Majority size Medium, some Large.

So, we've tried the Fubbles bubble machine, the Gazillion Bubbles Tornado, some Hello Kitty bubble machine, and one other one, I can't remember the brand. The Gazillion Bubbles Tornado works OK, all the other ones were a waste of money. Are there any really good ones that don't need to be refilled every 5 minutes?

Corporal punishment topic started on
We registered our little one for kindergarten and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the first question under Additional Releases. Is that standard in the US or is that a Texas thing??

Lara: Mama, do you like this song?
Mom: No.
Lara: I think you do.
Mom: No, I don't.
Lara: I think you do. Yes, you do.

End of discussion.

Ooooh, that rhymes! topic started on
I said to my daughter: "You don't listen, you don't do what I say, I'm not very happy with you today."
And all she had to say was: "Ooooh, that rhymes!"

We love The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. The book is "for any child who confronts a difficult situation, and for the child within each of us who sometimes needs reassurance." Great story and cute illustrations.

School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.

Mrs. Raccoon tells her son "I know a wonderful secret that will make your nights at school seem as warm and cozy as your days at home." She then kisses his palm, and Chester feels the kiss "rush from his hand, up his arm, and into his heart." Whenever he gets lonely, she advises him to press his hand to his cheek and "that very kiss will jump to your face and fill you with toasty warm thoughts."

Time: 5 minutes.

This book is an all time favorite and one of the best rhyming stories I've read. My kids love the story and know almost every rhyme by now. The illustrations are adorable.

It's bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.

Time: 5 minutes.

Bye, Liberty! topic started on
When I picked my two girls up from Mother's Day Out, my older one said to their friend "Bye, Liberty!" and my 3-year old "Bye, little bee!"

Cute story and nice illustrations. Our kids really like it.

Summary: A little snail longs to see the wider world. A humpback whale offers to take her traveling. The pair see many sights along their way until one day the whale, confused by the noise of a group of racing speedboats, swims into a bay and is left beached by the retreating tide.

In an effort to help her friend, the snail crawls to a nearby school, and asks for help. The local people safe the whale and the two friends are able to swim safely away.

They return to the snail's home in the docks, where the other snails are suitably impressed by the travelers tales, and the whale offers to take them all away to travel around the world.

Time: about 10 minutes.

My daughters found my old oven with stove top in my parents’ attic. So of course we had to try it out if it still works.

We decided on carrot cupcakes with cheesecake frosting and here's the result.

Did you have a working children's oven/stove like this back in the day?

This book is about an elephant trying to make friends. Each other type of animal only wants to play with their own species. Forget Me Not's mother told him to sit under a tree and wait for friendship to blossom, and while he was waiting, Cherry the giraffe comes along and they play together waiting for the blossom to come. The other animals come and soon want to play too, and when the blossoms arrive everyone is friends.

Cute book, beautiful illustrations, and an important message to kids who may feel a bit lonely.

Takes about 10 minutes to read.

This is not a book recommendations, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

Family-owned book store The Book Spot (http://www.juliesbookspot.com) in Round Rock is going out of business. They're having a going out of business sale for the entire month of September. All used books are $1, all new books and merchandise are 1/2 price. They're open 12pm-7pm Mon-Fri and 12pm-4pm on Sat & Sun.

I have an online promo code for 25% off one full-price item plus free shipping at Justice. I'm not using it. Expires October 19, 2016. Contact me if you want it.

So, we're a little frustrated with nap time at our preschool. Lights are turned off at noon and turned back on at 2:45pm. That's almost 3 hours! That's half our day at preschool and our little one naps very rarely so she just sits there and waits.
Is that normal?

Queen for a Day topic started on
Our school does that fun thing where Kindergartners are “Queen for a Day” or “King for a Day”. They get to wear a crown and the entire class draws the queen or king. The teacher binds the drawings into a book and the queen or king can take the book home with her/him.

Read the entire blog post here https://www.livegrowplayaustin.com/blog/2016/10/1/queen-for-a-day-kindergarten-fun and let us know which one's your favorite picture.

Selling a Fisher-Price Disney's Minnie Polka Dot Yacht on wheels.
Includes 3" Minnie figure, table, chair, surfboard and inner tube.
Hardly ever used, excellent condition.
Price: $15

Selling Disney Exclusive Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Playset.

Includes Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto poseable figures
Includes working spotlight, table, chair, eight learning cards, and one sticker sheet
Features lights, and sound effects
Clubhouse play set folds into handy carry case

Excellent condition.
Price: $30
Location: Can meet in Jonestown, Lago Vista, Cedar Park.

Nail salon for kids topic started on
Are there any nail salons for kids in the Austin area? Or at least kid-friendly?

reply on

Meal type: Snack, breakfast
Level: easy
Origin: n/a
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Servings: 4

This fruit salad is super easy and quick to make and my kids love it. The ingredients are interchangeable to anybody's liking. It tastes great by itself, with plain or vanilla yogurt, or ice cream. Great immune system booster.

4 apples
2 mandarines
2 kiwis
1 lemon
1 tsp Kirschwasser (optional)
1 tbsp sugar/vanilla sugar

Cut apples, mandarines, and kiwis in 1/2 in pieces.
Squeeze out juice of 1 lemon.
Add sugar.
Add Kirschwasser.

Nutrition facts: lots of vitamin A/C/E/K, dietary fiber

Hot Dog Soup topic started on
Meal type: Lunch, dinner
Level: easy
Origin: Germany
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

With this soup your kiddos get their veggies in! Even if they're not big fans of vegetables, the hot dog pieces in the soup might convince them to give the soup a try.
My Mom used to make this soup when I was a kid. In German it's cold "Gemüseeintopf" (vegetable stew), but my husband calls it "Hot Dog Soup" because of the hot dog slices in it.

4 medium potatoes (peeled)
2 leeks (washed and peeled, if necessary)
2 carrots (peeled)
1 small onion
1 tbsp butter
6 hot dogs
6 cups of broth.

Peel the carrots and potatoes.
Wash the leek, peel the outer layer off, if necessary.
Cut onions into small pieces.
Heat butter in pot on medium heat, add onions. Cook onions until translucent, approx. 1-2 minutes.
Cut carrots, potatoes, and leek into small pieces. Add to pot and cook for 2-3 minutes, stir occasionally.
Add broth.
Bring to a boil and let simmer on low heat for approx. 20 minutes.
Cut hot dog into slices and add to pot. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Soup is done when vegetables are soft (or to your liking).

Nutrition facts:
Vitamin A/C/K

Meal type: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Level: easy
Origin: Germany
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Cost: $

German pancakes (Pfannkuchen), one of our kids' all time favorite, whether it's for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
German pancakes are thinner than American pancakes, but thicker than French crepes. Our kids easily eat 6 pancakes each. Our oldest's record is 11!
In Germany, we eat them with sugar (granulated or powdered sugar) or apple sauce, but they taste good with maple syrup or other syrups, or fruit, too. We often make a bit more so the kids can take a couple pancakes to school for lunch.

1 cup (250 g) all purpose flour
3 eggs
1.5 cups (400 ml) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp water
Pinch of salt

Whisk together eggs, milk, and water.
Add vanilla extract.
Slowly spoon in flour and salt.
Mix until smooth and there are no more lumps.
Heat butter in pan on medium heat.
Pour about 1/4 cup of the pancake batter in the middle of the pan. Tip pan from side to side and around to spread batter evenly. If batter's too thick, add some more milk.
Cook on one side until pancake looks dry on top and golden brown on the bottom.
Flip pancake with spatula and cook other side until bottom is golden brown. Pancakes cook quickly, you may want to cook on medium-low or low.
Remove pancake from pan and place on a plate.
Repeat until batter is gone. Using 2 pans speeds up cook time.

Nutrition facts: high in protein

Egg Fricassee topic started on
Meal type: lunch, dinner
Difficulty Level: easy
Origin: Germany
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 min+ (depending on type of rice)
Servings: 4
Cost: $

My Mom used to cook this dish all the time when we were kids and now my kids love it, too. They simply call it "Egg and Mushroom" It's pretty easy to make and inexpensive. It's a rather rich dish due to the heavy cream. Some people also add peas or carrots or even asparagus.

8 hard boiled eggs
1 small onion
1 can of mushrooms or 8 oz. fresh mushrooms
8 slices of ham
1 tbsp of butter
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of rice (dry)

Start cooking the rice. We use brown rice and cook it in a rice cooker. This takes about 1.5 hours. White rice cooks much faster.
Hard boil 8 eggs.
About 15 minutes before the rice is done, cut onions, ham, mushrooms, and eggs in small pieces.
Add butter to a pan, then add ham and onions and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat, until onions are glassy.
Add mushrooms and cook for another minute. If you use fresh mushrooms, you want to add them to the pan together with the ham and onions.
Add 1 cup of heavy cream.
Add hard boiled eggs and stir. Press and mix the egg yolk into the cream until blended and until you get a smooth yellow-ish sauce.
Add salt and pepper.
Let simmer for 2 minutes.
When rice is done, first put rice on a plate and then add the fricassee on top.

Nutrition facts: high in protein, vitamin B, carbs (rice)

Meal type: lunch, dinner
Difficulty Level: easy
Origin: Germany
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 4
Cost: $

Description: This is a super easy, inexpensive soup that is ready in less than 30 minutes. We eat toasted bread with it.

2 jars of white asparagus
1 small onion
1 tbsp butter
4 cups of broth
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

Open the jars and pour the asparagus water in a measuring cup. Fill the measuring cup up with broth to a total of 4 cups.
Cut the asparagus in small pieces. The top part of the asparagus is the best, so we put those pieces in each bowl. The rest will be blended later.
Cut the onion in small pieces.
Add butter and onion to a pot and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat, until onions are glassy.
Add the asparagus pieces.
Add the broth. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the stove and blend everything with a hand-held blender. If you don't have a hand-held blender, carefully pour and blend everything in a blender.
Put the pot back on the stove and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 2 minutes.
Add heavy whipping cream and season with salt and pepper.
Optional: garnish with chives or parsley.

Nutrition facts: low calorie, rich in antioxidants, vitamin B