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Alexandra KnightAlexandra Knight

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What is your favorite AK item and why? 

The absolute first thing that comes to mind when thinking about AK goodies is the set of alligator pillows that decorate my Aspen house sofas in our family room.  They are so special and are a regular reminder of how much the Knight family means to us.  My casual, comfy sofas were given new life and an instant "chic" upgrade when they arrived!

I can't stop there.  My everyday AK item is the  small envelope. I use it as my everyday wallet because I travel simple and light.  If it doesn't fit in there, it's not something I need every day.  So it houses my cash, Amex & TDL. What more do I need?

"Wish list" item is a no-brainer.  I'm DYING for a big chocolate brown alligator Dakota!  It's such a splurge that I'm trying to let my husband give it to me for a special occasion.  But he better hurry or I'm giving up on being an old-fashioned wife and I'm going for it on my own!

What are your top 10 latest obsessions and what can you not live without and why?

I am a Brunello Cucinelli addict.  I simply can't get enough.  

He has found a way to make the ordinary "extraordinary" with his blend of luxury and comfort.

'My Thought Coach' Podcast 

It's a guided meditation that I plug in just before bed every night.  It's a peaceful way to end the day and offers ways to improve your life in a variety of areas (sleep, anxiety, relationships, etc.)

Sushi

I could truly eat it every day.  Sage 400 is my home away from home.  Thank goodness my daughter, Pia, has inherited my addiction, so I always know that I have a dinner partner, even when I wear out my husband's tolerance of it.

Friends at my dinner table

I can't think of anything I would rather do on a Saturday night than have a small dinner with my closest friends at home.

The soon-to-be graduating seniors in my life!  

I'm obsessed with our two 18-year old daughters and their posse of girlfriends as they wind down their senior year of high school.  I want to be everywhere they are so I can soak up every last moment of fun with them.

I'm obsessed with dancing on tables with girlfriends.  

Better not to look too deep into "why".  Could be some unfulfilled subconscious desire.

Pee Wee Baseball

I'm completely captivated by watching my little 8 year old on the field playing his heart out.  I never knew it could be so much fun.

Rubber Flip-Flops

  I don't want anything else on my feet now that I'm out of boots and heading into spring. (That's probably why I just ordered four pair of AK Alligator Flops.  At least I can still be stylish in my everyday shower shoes!)

Yoga

  I can't call it my "latest" obsession because I've been practicing for years. But I can't have a top 10 list without mentioning it.  Yoga changed my life and has made me a better person. I can't live without it.

"Life is rich, beauty is everywhere & every personal connection has meaning." 

I have that quote taped to my computer.

What are your top 5 prized possessions?

Without a doubt, my husband and children are the reason I wake up in the morning and immediately thank God for my life.

Chaka, Zoe & Chewbacca (my 3 dogs) and Sushi (the cat) make me crazy!  But I love them to death.  I feel like Snow White when I walk through the house because they all follow behind me.  I feel like birds should be flying above singing and twirping as we stroll around.

My grandmother's old jewelry that I now have since she died at Christmas.  Nothing is too fancy or expensive, but it's very old and reminds me of her.  She's the only person close to me that I have ever lost. 

My engagement ring is pretty special.  I don't wear it much because I feel more comfortable in my simple wedding band.  But when I do, it's a great reminder of how "larger than life" my sweet husband is.  He is my knight in shining armor.

The sweet love notes that my son, Hudson, leaves for me around the house.  He even gets into my stationery boxes and puts stamps on the envelopes (always in the wrong place!)

Where do you go to escape?

My escape is Aspen.  We "reside" in Houston, but Aspen is my "home"!  The minute the airplane door opens and I smell the fresh air that is so clean and pure, my senses are heightened.  I try to get there at least once a month.  And as soon as the school year ends, I move there until I have to be back for the next year's orientation.  It fills my every need.

What is one thing that most people don't know about you?

I am a (starving) artist.  I have been oil painting since I was a kid.  And I have recently broadened my world to include pastel, acrylic, collage and monotype.  I'm thinking about starting a business that will allow me to use this creativity.

What is Lemonade Day?

Lemonade Day is a community-wide event that teaches kids business skills, life skills and how to become entrepreneurs through a 14-step curriculum taught by an adult mentor.  Kids are taught the basic lessons of how to run a business.  Then on the first Sunday in May, they head out to the streets and set up their lemonade stands.  

This year, on May 4th, we expect 60,000+ budding entrepreneurs to decorate the streets of Houston.  Nationwide, Lemonade Day will take place in 38 cities.

Can you tell us about "It All Started with a Turtle" and how it came to life?

This is a children's book that I wrote and published last year as a surprise gift to Michael.  It tells the true-life story of how Lemonade Day began and describes what happens when a father seizes  a teachable moment with his daughter.  The story is about Lissa who wanted a turtle so badly that she decided to have a lemonade stand in order to earn her own money.  When the day wasn't going as well as she had hoped, her dad began imparting some valuable lessons that changed the trajectory of her day.  His philanthropic values later began settling into his every thought until he ultimately realized that all children should have the same opportunity to learn about life and business, regardless of their socioeconomic upbringing.  And in the story, Lemonade Day was born.  

The story has a heart-warming twist in the end and seems to be enjoyed by a wide range of ages.  I secretly wrote and dedicated the book to my husband, Michael, for Christmas, and I am donating 100% of the proceeds to Lemonade Day.

The main website to purchase it is here, and it is also available on Amazon.  But I always prefer people to go straight to us so they can learn more!

What is your favorite Lemonade recipe?

Here is my favorite:
5 Large Lemons (yields 2 1/2 cups of juice)
5 Cups of Water
1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup of White Granulated Sugar
Chopped fresh mint for flavor and to garnish
 
Juice lemons.  Add lemon juice to water.  Stir in the sugars.  
Refrigerate.  Just before serving, add mint to taste. 

I have a lemon tree outside in our yard that bears tons of lemons twice a year.  So we pick them, juice the lemons and store them in the freezer in ziplocs in the correct quantity needed for a one pitcher!  We also grow fresh mint in the back herb garden.  So it's very "home grown"!

How have you seen Lemonade Day make an impact?

Lemonade Day is impacting the way kids think about themselves, about their future and about their community.  It is giving them the tools they need to take ownership of their own lives.  We teach kids to save some money, spend some money and to give some money back to their community.  The most amazing fact I can pass on is this: every year we estimate that over $1 million is given away to local charities by these young budding entrepreneurs who have learned to give back!  Sure they make a fast buck on their street and go buy themselves something great, but they also are learning to care for others and to give back. That is impact!

The long-term goal for Lemonade Day is simple.  We want every kid in America to have their own lemonade stand on that first Sunday in May.

The short-term goal is even simpler.  We want every adult on May 4th to do one thing...buy a cup of lemonade from a budding entrepreneur on the street corner!

Who is Lisa Holthouse and why do we love her?

 There are those people in your life who are there for a reason and the friendship is meant to be. Lisa is one of those people.  When I was first diagnosed with cancer, without even really knowing her, she jumped in to include my son in their fun outings and cared for him as if he was her own. She is like minded, a kind and gentle soul and a wonderful friend. 

Her book is a brilliant gesture of love that has moved children to invest in themselves, their future and inspired them to have confidence, laying the foundation to achieve anything they put their mind to.  Owning my own business stemmed from my childhood garage sales.  Slapping a price tag on my well loved treasures and peddling them out of our garage as a little girl is where it all began.  It creates a great sense of pride in oneself.  Everyone needs a Lisa...someone to encourage your dreams, support you through thick and thin AND get you to dance on top of the tables!

>A native Houstonian with a Catholic-school upbringing, Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.  She has attended The University of Texas and the University of Houston and has continued studies in international languages and arts including Spanish, Italian and oil portraiture.

For nearly a decade, Lisa was a principal recruiter.  Her efforts in sales and marketing, client retention, recruiting and training won her numerous state and local awards.  She retired from the industry in 2001 to devote all her time to her family and community.

Lisa and her husband Michael serve at-risk youth through their Holthouse Foundation For Kids. The foundation teaches tens of thousands of urban youth life skills and character education.  Lisa, Michael and their wonderful blended family of four children currently reside in Houston, while escaping to Aspen as often as they can.

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