Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
Jacqui: I am a total Delco transplant! I was born and raised just outside of Philadelphia in Ridley. I met my husband working at Camp Tall Timbers, a summer camp in WV, and we did a few years of long distance. Eventually, we grew tired of the distance, so I made the big move to H-Town and I have loved every minute of it! I have been here for 7 years this July.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have one spunky baby girl, Brynlee Jule (17 months), and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our second baby girl, Marley Vi, who is due April 9th!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I am super adventurous and as my hubs says I “have a can-do attitude.” There is nothing on this planet that I won’t try at least once, regardless of any personal fears. I’m terrified of flying – so I jumped out of a rickety plane to skydive, fear of heights – so I rappelled down the side of a building, Preggo bikini contest … sure thing! (side note: I won that contest wearing sneakers with all other girls in heels!)
Favorite local things to do in Houston?
My absolute favorite thing to do in Houston is to definitely try out the foodie scene. Houston is a melting pot of flavors and it so fun to explore new tastes around the city.
Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area? It’s a little out of the “West U” arena but I absolutely love Yia Yia Marys! They have always been so accommodating to our small family or ready to tackle our large extended family outings! If you’ve never been, you have to go and for sure … try the baked feta!! It’s to die for!
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
Having her be my mini sous chef at home while trying to prepare a meal. I usually pull up her high chair next to where I’m prepping things, give her some “tools” aka a baby spoon and a mini rolling pin, and I hand her random things (like bananas, pieces of bread, or mini marshmallows) to cut or roll out. Keeps her totally occupied and she always has the biggest smile on her face knowing that Mommy used her perfectly cut banana in the shrimp scampi 😉
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I am! Along with teaching Art/PE at Grace School, my husband, Mike, and I are the owners of The Rustic Brush – West U. Mike and I attended a workshop at TRB in March of 2017 when their Memorial store opened up. We both quickly fell in love with the whole DIY crafting process of TRB, that when the opportunity arose for us to buy in, we just knew we couldn’t pass it by.
We recently opened up our West U location and look forward to our newest adventure together! We would love to invite our neighbors to Free Wine Wednesdays!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
To me, Houston is a city of so much opportunity! I am a proud Philly transplant, and I have quickly learned to embrace any opportunity that has come my way. No matter what part of town, there is always a chance to network with new moms, local crafters, teachers, and so on – all of these interactions help me grow as a teacher, business owner, wife, mom, and most of all an individual.
What is the best advice for juggling being a mom and running a business (or working, etc)?
It. Is. HARD!! Just know you are not alone and that when one day gets you down, there is always a beautiful new sunrise to start over the next day. Also, whatever you do – do it with all your heart.
What is your go-to activity for yourself for pampering or for fun? I’m not really into pampering too much. However, I have been playing volleyball since 5th grade and something I love doing is playing beach volleyball. Luckily, my husband is a quick learner and has become my partner in crime on the court. It keeps my competitive edge going and I love that I can help guide him along the way 🙂
What would you tell the “You” before you had kids?
SLEEEPPPPPPPP!!!!! Ha! Just kidding – I would say to travel more! I miss the random trips we used to take spontaneously. We can still do it, but now we have a lot more cargo!