Sipping with Moms ~ Ilana Austin

We’re back with another mom who we know is rocking all things mom life. We *met* Ilana via Instagram and are so happy to have connected! Sip along with us and meet Ilana Austin!


Photo of Ilana and her little prince! ❤

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

3 – ages 7, almost 5, & 6 months (on August 1!!)

What is your 9 to 5?

I’m an executive recruiter @ PepsiCo & absolutely LOVE it!

Describe motherhood in three words:


MyBAB: we so agree!

Picture this – you’re home alone, what series are you binge watching?


MyBAB: Yes, we love Friends too! 

We love discovering new beauty products, which are your favorites?

I’ve just discovered Younique’s daily moisturizer & bronze powder – spf included in both!

MyBAB: we’ll have to check these out! 

Where is your happy place?

At a pool, in the heat, with my kids laughing or sleeping and a cold cocktail!

MyBAB: save us a seat at the pool and a drink! We could also go for a nap. 

What is your most loved item in your closet right now?

My ripped camo shorts….which my husband calls my hooker shorts!

What is your drink of choice?

Coffee, water, Champagne, or a proper French martini
The people who love me the most sent Veuve when my son was born – they know what I really needed!

MyBAB: we like the way you drink! cheers! 

We know mom time is precious, what do you like to do when you have some me time?


Since we focus on Chicagoland – kids activities, family fun, and date nights, what are your go-to places for each?

Date – anything sushi. Roka Akor, Tanoshii, Arami
Kids – emerald city theatre, super soccer stars, Barnes & Noble
Family – Eataly, the 606, weekend festivals!

What is something you are working on?

Trying to be more patient with my family! And trying not to care that being a mom is holding me back in corporate America.

MyBAB: we love this! 

As a working mom, how do you balance it *all*?

I certainly don’t think I do! But I keep my head above water (most days) by: rarely showering, relying on my husband to help with kid duties & cooking, outsourcing help (carpool, groceries, laundry, etc.), and waking up at 5am so that I can get a full hour of uninterrupted work done!

MyBAB: We too rely on our husbands and outsourcing – though we’re jealous of the laundry outsourcing-sign us up! 

Where can people find you?

Insta -@ilana.austin

Thanks to Ilana for letting us get to know her a little bit more!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – MyBAB Picks

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access is well underway for cardholders and we couldn’t wait to fill our carts.

Not a cardholder? You can apply here or the sale opens to the public on July 20th.

Last year there were several must have’s that sold out during Early Access and never restocked. We’ve also been seeing several items that are online exclusives. MyBAB tip – buy all the things now!

Since there are so many great items on sale, we wanted to share our top pieces based on when we’ll be wearing them.

Continue reading

What’s Up Wednesday

what's up wednesday2

image from here


Today Jen is talking about what is up with her lately. Enjoy!

What we’re eating this week:

I have no idea. I have been beyond terrible about meal planning. Most nights we wing it. Which means it is either: taco’s, breakfast for dinner, grilling or pizza. I really could use a personal chef.

What I’m Reminiscing About:

Hanging out with my friends and family during the Holiday week/my birthday week last week.

What I’m Loving:


My new Apple iWatch. I got it for my birthday and I am loving it. I was on the fence about getting one for awhile and everyone who had one convinced me to get one. I am so glad they did! Not only does it give me a kick in the pants for fitness but it also is so helpful for letting me know when I get texts or calls. When my phone is in my purse or I am running around with the kids this is a super helpful feature. One of my favorite features since I sit at a desk all day is that it alerts me when I have been sitting 50 minutes and should get up and move around. Game changer. I have even gone swimming with it at our local pool a few times and it works great.

What We’ve Been Up To:

Summer camp, going to the park, swimming, eating ice cream and going to bed past our bedtime

What I’m Dreading:

The end of summer. Depressing I know, but I feel like we have been having so much fun this summer I don’t want it to end.

What I’m Working On:

A packing list for our next vacation. I have to make sure I bring the right clothes for me and the kids.

What I’m Excited About:

Going on vacation next week. We are leaving for Lake Tahoe on a family trip. We have never been and are super excited. If anyone has tips or spots they recommend let me know. We plan on doing a river raft ride, kayaking, hiking and renting a boat while we are there.

What I’m watching/reading:

Watching: Anything on Bravo but really loving Southern Charm. Cam is my absolute favorite and the comments she gives. #amazing.

southern charm

Reading: The President is Missing by James Patterson. I am almost done and so far it is a really good read. For those of you who may not be a fan of Bill Clinton I wouldn’t discount the book because he helped co-write.



What I’m Listening To:

Podcasts: I need more suggestions but my favorite lately is Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard


Maroon 5: Girl Like You. This song is on repeat in my head. And I am not complaining

What I’m Wearing:

Workout clothes, swimsuits, flip flops. I only need to wear “real” clothes one day a week (I work from home 4 days a week). So most likely when you see me I am rocking comfy clothes. Although this past weekend I went to my cousin’s wedding and my dress was from Rent the Runway. I have been 2/2 with Rent the Runway and am really liking the results.


What I’m Doing This Weekend:

Hanging out at the pool/park. Dinner at one of our favorite spots, Cooper’s Hawk and then hanging out with some friends. Perfect summer weekend.

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month:

Well next month I will have a 1st grader and Pre-K. So as much as I am looking forward to school starting I am sad that the kids are getting so big!!


Sipping with Moms~ Kim Manning


This month in our Sipping with Moms series we are featuring our friend, Kim Manning. You can follow her on IG @succulentsandstilettos and on her website

Kim Manning

We love polka dots and pink therefore we love this outfit!!

Now for the questions we ask each month…

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

I have 2 kids, my daughter is 10 and my son is 7

What is your 9 to 5?

I have just recently started a blog and website; that focuses on my lifestyle (fashion, fitness, family and home decor) but I also provide stylist services for both fashion and home decorating and this has taken up way more time then I thought ha ha! But I absolutely love it! During the school year I am a substitute at my kiddos school and in the Summer I consider myself a domestic goddess, event coordinator, taxi service and personal chef ha ha!

Describe motherhood in three words

So Freaking Tired…… ha ha also Love, patience and adventure (every day is an adventure)

MyBAB: We are also So. Freaking. Tired

Picture this – you’re home alone, what series are you binge watching?

This is Us because I ball my eyes out every single time and I don’t want my kids to think I just sit and cry every day ha ha!

MyBAB: It is amazing that this show really can pull at your Mama heartstrings and get us to cry every dang episode. You are not alone!

Speaking of TV, which TV/movie mom do you relate to the most?

I would say Claire Dunphy from Modern Family although I’m not as controlling as her, I have a bit of sarcasm that gets us through the day and I can get kinda crazy at times but what mom doesn’t ha! I love how she doesn’t mind embarrassing her kids a bit but always does it to teach them a lesson, she’s a supportive wife and mother when it comes down to it and has a good work ethic and she dresses cute too :).

We love discovering new beauty products, which are your favorites?

The wet brush is a must
It’s a 10 Miracle leave-in for the hair
Pssssst Dry Shampoo
Revlon’s wild orchid lipstick is a must for a fun night out on the town!
MyBAB: A Wetbrush changed my life when it comes to post bath with my daughter. Also, we aren’t lipstick girls so we will have to try Revlon’s wild orchid to spice it up!!

Where is your happy place?

Michigan,  whether it’s the Dunes/beach with my family or at the wineries I love Michigan, I grew up going here with my family and I just love it! There’s a reason they have their own commercial ya know ha!

MyBAB: Tim Allen makes me want to go to Michigan every single time he speaks in those ads so I can understand

What is your most loved item in your closet right now?

My Birks (Birkenstocks) sandals, they are definitely a staple for me and I love throwing them on with a casual outfit!

MyBAB: We are a little shocked your answer wasn’t Adidas but we can completely appreciate how comfy birks are and is giving us major 90’s flashbacks!!

What is your drink of choice?

Non Alcohol – A morning coffee, Chai Tea Latte with almond milk
Alcohol – A Mojito
I like mint 🙂
MyBAB: Jen here, we are on the opposite spectrum when it comes to choice of beverages. Haha. I don’t do coffee, tea, almond milk or mint in food/drinks.

We know mom time is precious, what do you like to do when you have some me time?

My ideal “me time” day is getting a long, awesome work out in, grabbing a yummy coffee and then taking a nice drive to some fun antique stores and shopping all day long by myself  🙂

Money is no object, what is one thing you want?

Birkin Bag Please 🙂 I love a nice handbag

Since we focus on Chicagoland – kids activities, family fun, and date nights, what are your go-to places for each?

Kids Activities – My kids love going to the park/playground so we tend to do park field trips around the Chicago suburbs, weird I know but it’s so much fun and free! I google parks around different suburbs and we take the day to drive around and hit each park.  Some of our favorites from LY were
Kids Castle at Deerpath Park (Vernon Hills)
Bisons’s Bluff (Shaumburg)
Hummingbird Park (Palatine)
Citizens Park (Barrington)
Paulus Park (Lake Zurich)
SEBA park (South Elgin)
Family Fun – Definitely going downtown, so much to do for the kids and mom and dad. We love Maggie Daley Park, staying in a hotel with an indoor pool (The Swissotel, Radisson Blu Aqua or Hampton Inn downtown, all great hotels for the fam),museums, shopping, the Chicago river, navy pier, I guess I can go on and on ha!
Local Family Fun – Definitely Three Oaks Beach and Dukes on the water, we love this place and it’s fun for the whole family!
Date Nights – ummm do these still exist? HA we don’t get to do too many of these and when we do it’s out of town on vacation or downtown with other couples, however we usually stay local and are super chill so for us it’s grabbing dinner and a drink at Cary Ale House and sitting outside on the patio or we love Kief’s Reef (on the fox river) and sitting outside at the sandbar and having a fun cocktail.


Bonus question: Given your love for succulents, what are your tips for caring for succulents? (Jen may or may not have killed 3 recently….ugh)

Ha ha ha guess what, my secret is I only buy faux succulents 🙂 I also recommend the air succulents as thy are real but don’t die :). But succulents don’t like to have dry feet (as I was told by the employee at Home Depot) so make sure there is a hole in the planter so that the water drains through and if they are outside and are getting too much sun, place them in the shade for a bit :). It’s also good to mix any soil with pebbles, sand or gravel for better drainage. OK well I hope that helps a bit but I would say just go with faux :).

MyBAB: Jen here, OK, so I should have known this before I attempted to keep things alive in my house other than my children. I should have done faux. Grr. I have no clue what is wrong with me but it is impossible for me to keep plants alive.

Bonus question: We have major arm envy, what are some exercises you do for those killer arms?

You guys are too funny, I wish I could say they magically appeared but that’s not the case :). I do a major arm workout every Friday that incorporates the biceps, triceps and shoulders.  My best advise is to do pushups every day. I would do a set of 10 normal pushups, 15 wall pushups and then plank for a minute and that will definitely work your arms, throw in 10 burpees in there and just call yourself Jillian Michaels ha ha !

MyBAB: Adding these to our daily routine.

Thanks to Kim for letting us get to know her a little bit more! Please make sure to follow her and visit her website. She had the cutest posts, outfits, decor, style and more.