Cue the waterworks for this mama because Bear starts kindergarten on Wednesday! I can't even believe it- my firstborn is officially headed off to school and while he's totally ready, his mama is definitely not. We've been soaking up the end of summer as much as we possibly can before it's all about early morning carpool lines and field trips to the zoo. Last week I wanted to have a special Mommy & Me day for Bear and also tackle a few things on our back-to-school To Do list, and knew quickly there was really only one good place in Houston to make that happen. We headed to River Oaks Shopping Center for a day full of pottery painting fun, shopping, good eats, and lots in between! Bear had the best time and I'm so thankful we were able to make these memories that he will hopefully always remember and cherish, because I know I will.
Our first stop at River Oaks Shopping Center was Kroger for several reasons- Mommy wanted (*needed) Starbucks and Bear needed school supplies. We hadn't been in this location much before and were pleasantly surprised at how well organized everything was- we were in and out in under 20 minutes which has to be some kind of school supply record! I also love that Kroger is doing a Backpack Buddies program where you can buy a school supply kit for $7 that goes directly into the hands of underprivileged kids in Houston. It's such an amazing way to give back and a great way to teach our kids to do so, as well.
From Kroger, we headed across the street to The Mad Potter for some fun pottery painting. Bear had been requesting this for awhile and I was so happy with how much he enjoyed it- he had the best time! He painted a shark and was so proud of it by the end; he especially loved when the manager took us to the back and showed him how the kilns work and get over a thousand degrees. Basically the temperature outside in Houston right now ;). All the more reason to find fun indoor activities like The Mad Potter! Several friends have also told me it's a great place to host birthday parties- kids of all ages love it and their creation doubles as a party favor.
All that pottery painting worked up quite an appetite so we walked over to Epicure Cafe for a yummy lunch- they have a huge menu with everything from chicken salad sandwiches to smoked salmon. Their desserts are also to die for and I always have to get one of their homemade blueberry muffins!
I can't go to River Oaks Shopping Center and not shop, naturally, so we ran in GAP Kids to get Bear a few new shirts to spruce up his fall wardrobe (they were having BOGO 1/2 off!) and into LensCrafters to check out some specs. Bear doesn't need them but I'm in need of some new glasses and they're running some great sales right now for back-to-school.
Some of you may remember that Bear got a new puppy, Dasher, for Christmas and both Bear and Dash are in for quite a change once Bear starts kindergarten. They are going to miss each other so much during the day! Bear has been concerned about this and when we saw Natural Pawz, he wanted to get his pup a toy to cheer him up this week. Natural Pawz in River Oaks Shopping Center has a huge selection of everything from pet food to toys, and even doggie ice cream! We wished we'd had Dasher with us because he would've been living his best life for sure.
We finished off our day out with Sweet Cream ice cream at Marble Slab (Bear's favorite) and a walk along the beautiful flower lined W. Gray Street. Bear loves hanging out under the palm trees- we feel like we're in Southern California!
If we make it back to River Oaks Shopping Center before school starts, I'd love to take Bear to C2 Education Center to brush up on his sight words and help him with his reading- C2 is known for having amazing teachers and being one of the best tutoring centers in Houston. Both of my parents are retired teachers so I put a lot of importance on tutoring and one-on-one help with education.
I also hope to make it to RYDE for regular classes now that I will have more time on my hands! Bear starting kindergarten is bittersweet- I don't want my baby boy to grow up but I also will enjoy having one on one time with Boone and some more time for things like working out, getting the house in order, and of course shopping.
Have you been to River Oaks Shopping Center yet? If not, now is the perfect time to go. So much fun, food, shopping, and lots more await!
*This post is sponsored by River Oaks Shopping Center, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.