Sunday, September 26, 2010

Guest Room

  After I make the big move to Houston, I expect to have lots of visitors from my home state of Alabama. If I want people to come see me I'm going to have to make sure they have a comfy guest bedroom to feel at home in! Kenny and I love the coast and all things ocean so its only fitting that the guest bedroom will have a coastal theme. I love this collection of fun things. Especially the Spiny Lobster Rug from Anthropologie! Its the inspiration for the rest of the room. 

Lobster rug, Anthropologie; Light ray pattern curtains from West Elm; Otto Fan, Stadler Form; Miniature Thinker Statue,; Driftwood ball, West Elm; Funky Prints, Etsy; Hermes Box

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rancho La Puerta Spa Diet

Low-fat Spa Secrets
What makes the low-fat fare at Rancho La Puerta taste so sinfully delicious? Executive chef Bill Wavrin, author of The Rancho La Puerta Cookbook, and the mastermind behind the plan on these pages, shares a few of his secrets.
Get fresh. Wavrin picks vegetables from his garden every day. "As soon as a vegetable is picked, it starts losing its flavor and nutritional value, so freshness matters," he says. If you've got a brown thumb, visit your local farmers' market or find a grocery store that sells great produce.
Spice it up. Experiment with no-fat flavor enhancers, such as chili peppers, garlic, fresh cilantro and other herbs, curry, vinegars or a spritz of lime or lemon.
Try tofu and its cousin, tempeh.  They're healthy, tasty, lower-fat substitutes for meat.
Spare the oil.  When sauteing, use just enough olive or canola oil to barely coat the bottom of the pan.
Countdown-to-Summer Diet Ground Rules
  • The calorie counts are roughly the same for each breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so if you don't like one of the meals and want to replace it with one from another day--or would like to repeat a meal two days in a row--that's fine. Switching one breakfast, lunch or dinner for another won't affect how much weight you lose.
  • You'll be eating plenty of food at meals, plus one afternoon snack. But if you get hungry at other times of the day, feel free to have a piece of fruit.
  • Drink as much water, seltzer or herbal tea as you like, but limit your intake of coffee, tea or diet cola to two to three servings a day.
  • Vegetarians can simply omit the meat from the recipes that call for it and substitute half cups of black, pinto, cannelloni or garbanzo beans instead.
  • For variety during the second week of the diet, swap any fruit in the plan for one from this list: blueberries, raspberries, papaya, mango, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, apple, orange, grapefruit or banana. Also, vary the bread. Try English muffins, pita pockets, tortillas or 100 percent whole-grain rolls.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Black Tie

Kenny and I recently attended a very exciting event in Houston called the Astros' Wives Black Ties and Baseball Caps. Its a dinner and auction that benefits the Houston Women's Center. We were very lucky to get the chance to go, but didn't get the invite until the day before. Kenny called me from work and I could tell he had something to say but was reluctant to tell me. He said something like, "So we got asked to go to this thing tomorrow, a dinner, its in Minute Maid Park, its hosted by the Astros..." (all this was sounding great to me but then he continued with..) "and its Black Tie." The first thing that I thought was, "I have absolutely nothing appropriate for that type of thing" and I told him so. Well, all he had to do to convince me was utter the magic words, "I'll take you shopping for a dress." (any excuse to go shopping and for a fancy dress...count me in!!) So I replied, "OK! and shoes!"

After he came home from work we headed out to find a dress and there is no better place to shop in Houston than the Galleria. The Galleria is the largest mall I've ever been too and it has all the best stores. There's Tiffany, De Beers, Cartier, Valentino, Saks, Neimans, etc. All of which are too rich for my blood (for now atleast ; ) ).  So I knew the perfect store to go to. As soon as we walked in, we headed straight for BCBGMAXAZRIA. Within 30 minutes of being in there I found a great dress, tried it on, decided it was perfect and bought it. I was shocked that it was so easy to find a dress and I'm sure Kenny was relieved. Little did he know, we would still be in the Galleria for another 2 hours looking for the perfect jewelry and shoes. I found shoes (and they were fantastic) but had no luck with jewelry. So I went home feeling pretty good about what we found but I still felt something missing without the right jewelry. The following morning, I decided I would try my luck on 19th street in the heights at all the antique stores, vintage shops, and boutiques. I walked in and out of every store. I looked in all the jewelry cases in every antique store and nothing jumped out. Luckily in the last store I went to, a cute boutique called Jubilee, I found gold chandelier earrings that would work just fine. I rushed home and started getting ready. The whole time I was feeling jittery because not only was I going to this "fancy" event but I was also meeting Kenny's boss. I wanted to make a good impression.

K got home and we loaded up. We headed to Minute Maid Park. Upon arrival a valet service took our car and we waltzed right in. Everyone was dressed to a T, but I think we fit right in. Kenny looked great in his dark gray suit and black tie. He didn't have time to get a tux and the only other tux option he had was a tux he had from the 10th grade so the dark suit was the way he went. Why he still has that old tux is beyond, sentimental maybe.

We signed in and walked around the corner to see this.

these were taken by the press
i didn't want to seem uncool by getting my camera out
I was getting very excited. We walked down the walk way to get to center field. Some photographer guy took our picture a couple of times, but I still haven't figured out where those pictures went. He probably deleted them after he figured out we're not famous.

Inside, the food was great. Kenny was excited to see some of his baseball idols and I was enjoying looking at what all the women were wearing. The event flew by. It was over in no time at all, and my wine glass was never empty. Needless to say, the service was great. We left feeling very lucky to have gotten the chance to go.

I was too nervous to take pictures inside the event, which i realize was dumb now that its over with, so I don't have any from inside the field. We took a few when we got home.

had a few drinks afterward at a place across from Minute Maid Park
"Take my picture, Kenny"
posing but turned out pretty good
love him

Restoration Hardware

love ++ linen bedding

+French Postal Desk
Fishing Weights
I really need one of these

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

more decor

Leather Jute rug

Chair for desk

Love the color combo
Neat Store

Monday, August 9, 2010

White Linen Night

Kenny and I had a great time attending White Linen Night in the Heights this past weekend. This is an event where artists, musicians, restaurants, and vendors in the area come together for a fun filled night. Every one who attends wears white and brings a bottle of wine to walk around with. The event takes place on 19th street. The street is blocked off and there are booths set up with funky art and cool jewelry. After walking around looking at all the awesome stuff we finished the night with dinner at Shade.

Friday, August 6, 2010

White Stripe

This post is a tribute to my grandfather on my mother’s side. His name is George and he recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Describing his appearance is simple because he’s looked the same way for probably 50 years or at least as long as I’ve known him. His daily uniform consist of Liberty Overalls, Black Tennis Shoes with black Velcro straps, Square framed, thick lens glasses and a lack of teeth. He has a very distinct nose with a prominent hump and he always sports a little scruff on his face. His personality is stubborn but well meaning. He loves to carry on a conversation with anyone who is willing to listen. Granted, the conversation topic may simply be the latest gadget he has acquired (he loves tools and gadgets of any sort), but he’ll talk your ear off none the less. Although, the past ten years his conversations have become more and more one sided because of his loss of hearing. I’m never sure if he’s heard me or not now a days but he continues to talk so I just go with it. He’s had a long and full life so far. He is the father of 10 and the grandfather of many. I’m sure he’s seen and done many interesting things in his 90 years but there is one story that I’ve heard which stands out in particular.

Pawpaw claims to be the person who suggested that the transportation department paint a white stripe along the side of roads to provide a visible border to prevent accidents. Whether this is accurate or not I’m not entirely sure, but after a little research I can’t find anything in the history of Alabama Transportation that says otherwise. So I will continue to believe that maybe he really is behind the white stripe in Alabama.

In 1999, the local paper wrote a Lifestyle piece about pawpaw and his white stripes. Article

Included with the article was a cool picture of him standing over the white line of some winding, country road in rural Alabama that runs through his hometown of Rockford. It’s probably the road I use to get to his house.

Papa Hatchett I love this picture. I love how the road curves around into the trees in the distance. I love how he is standing with his hands in his overall pockets and feet straddling the white stripe. His toothless grin in between is prominent nose and chin shows how happy he is to be sharing this story with everyone.

I will definitely be printing the picture out one day to display in my family’s home.

I think this picture is so visually interesting that I played around with a few effects to see if I could enhance it. These are a few of the ones I came up with one boring evening.

Papa Hatchett Effect 1Sunburst Papa Hatchett Effect 2Warhol Inspired

I love that he has given me a quirky story to tell my friends. I hope I never hear if this story has validity or not because I enjoy thinking that I have some miniscule claim to fame through his story.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I’m Hooked

This past weekend Kenny and I went fishing out of Port O’Connor, Texas. Kenny got the call earlier in the week to invite us to go off shore. He asked if I was interested and I said sure, why not! I didn’t know what I was in for, but to my delight we were getting to go out on an awesome boat named the Hydrocarbon.


  It is a 40 foot Cabo Express and it is nice. I was most impressed with the interior. The Hydrocarbon had air conditioning, a bed room, sitting area, kitchenette, and a bathroom with a shower. As a girl these types of amenities are a luxury! I can’t imagine not having a toilet or A/C!!

We began our trip around lunch time Saturday and it took us about two hours to get to where we were going. We were headed to a place called the hilltops where the fishing is supposed to be really good. We got there after a long drive. We all napped a little bit so it didn’t seem to take that long. Once we got there all the guys (I was the only girl with guys) started setting up the poles while I sat inside and watched from the comforts of cold air conditioning.

P7310065  I had no idea how much preparation goes into off shore fishing, but these guys were all pros and had everything up and running in no time. After all the lines were in place out in the water, we started trolling trying to get a bite. I sat out there for a while waiting and watching intently, but after about thirty minutes I decided it was too hot and went inside to the glorious air conditioning. We trolled for four hours and didn’t have any luck. I was a little disappointed but I was still having a good time just being on the water and trying something new.


Another cool feature on the boat was a grill that fits right into a rod holder. So after the guys took all the lines down and got cleaned up, one of the guys grilled up some delicious steaks and tortillas and we had fajitas. I was quite impressed with the whole operation. I think Kenny should get one of those grills for his boat! We would definitely put it to use. Once the food was devoured, more fishing commenced. One of the guys knew all about swordfish fishing so he set up a few lines with squid and sent them down about 100-300 feet. Within twenty minutes we got a bite! Everybody was excited and grabbing cameras. Finally!! Something was happening.


Eric was the angler and everyone else watched as the sword was getting closer to the boat.


At one point it swam right up and beside the boat and we could all see it’s long, dark shadow.


After a relatively short fight we got the fish into the boat. Well the guys did; I was the photographer. This fish was so cool. It had huge eye balls the size of a cue ball. When I saw it up close I said, “that bill looks exactly like a sword” and then realized, “duh, hence the name.” This was the first time most of us had ever caught a sword so it was exciting for all of us. I was glad I could be there for Kenny’s first swordfish.

P7310135 P7310132 Kenny jumped in the water to get a group shot with the name of the boat.

After the swordfish excitement it was getting late so I went inside to fall asleep watching King Kong (did I mention there was satellite television) on the tv. I was pretty tired, especially after taking Dramamine so I fell asleep quick. I slept great! Sleeping in the boat with the sound of the generators humming and the boat rocking is like being a baby back in your mama’s arms. I haven’t slept that good in weeks!

The next morning we went trolling again and it was going kind of slow. They decided it was time for a change in location and that was just what we needed. I got to reel in my first off shore fish! A decent size dolphin and it was so much fun! P7310151 P8010163P8010164 

  I loved it! I’m hooked! I can’t wait for the next trip.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let’s go ‘Stros

I experienced my first Astros game yesterday. We got the invite to the game by some of Kenny’s friends, Joe and Johanna, who had some extra tickets. After K got home from work we loaded up in the car and drove down town to Minute Maid park.Minute%20Maid%20ParkFirst of all, there are so many cool buildings in this area of Houston. Lots of cool photo opportunities. We got there about half hour before it was time for the game to start so we walked to this bar call B.U.S for a couple brewskies.P7270030  It was the quintessential sports bar. The walls were covered in sports memorabilia and there were shuffle boards and pool tables galore. I was asking all about the Astros. What’s the Mascot? Astronauts. Are they good this season? They’re 2nd to last. Were they ever good? They went to the world series in ‘05.
So after   spending six dollars a beer at B.U.S, we made our way over the the stadium. We walked in through this cool entrance that took us through a bar so we took advantage and grabbed another beer to avoid the lines inside the stadium. After walking to our seats we decided it was time for some stadium food. I'd been thinking about a getting good hot dog as soon as I found out we we’re going to a game so that was what we did! And it was soooo good.

I got a star dog and Kenny got the Super Star dog (foot long). We loaded it up with chopped onion, pickle relish. jalapeno relish, mustard and ketchup. It did not disappoint. I’m craving another one just writing about it. Its hard to beat a ball park hot dog!

As far as the game went. The ‘stros didn’t do so bad. When we left in the 7th inning they were ahead 6-0. I guess they just needed a good luck charm in the audience.



Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend in the Heights

Kenny and I are getting this grilling thing down. Hmmm…not quite yet, but we did make some dang good chicken an a stick this past weekend. All it took was skewers, chicken strips and BBQ sauce and voila! Tastiness!P7240011After a week of pouring rain, the clouds finally parted for a weekend of sunshine, which was the perfect weather for some cruising in the Jeep. K took the top of the jeep for the first time since he got it back in December. He was shocked we’d gone this long without taking it off so he was pretty excited to go for a drive and so was I. It was really nice to drive through The Heights, looking at all the pretty bungalow houses and neat older homes with the sun beaming down and the wind keeping us cool. I enjoyed it so much that I took a few snap shots of us cruising around.
I’m having a great time in Houston and one of the reasons is because I love K’s neighborhood. Its an area of Houston called the Heights and is one of the coolest, most eclectic areas around. I feel so lucky that I get to enjoy so much time here. So what better place to go for our jeep ride than the Heights. We pulled down 19th street and found a parking spot and began our walk in and out of every little boutique and antique store on the street. We saw a ton of cool stuff and a few pieces we seriously considered getting, but in the end couldn’t commit to anything because there was always the thought in the back of our minds that the next store would have something even better! A lot of the stores were way expensive. It was crazy how much they would charge for a piece they probably paid next to nothing for. But there was one store we stopped in that wasn’t so pricey. The stuff they were selling was just a cool as the other places but way more reasonable. The catch is you have to dig and the fabulous item you buy might have a little (a lot) of dust on it, but a little dirt is better than a lotta buck. They had the friendliest people working and they even offered us ice cold cokes as soon as we walked in the door. We’ll definitely be making a few trips back to this place, The Stardust.
P7250024 Our last stop on our antique excursion was this place that specialized in the unique as you can see by the living room set that for some reason couldn’t convince Kenny to buy. I thought it was pimptastic. P7250025 So we didn’t make any purchases but still had a GREAT time looking at all the neat stores. (Neat- we used that word about 1000 times today) We finished up our fun day with yummy salsa and chips at Cedar Creek Cafe and some Ms. Pac Man action! Kenny totally kicked my butt.
P7250027 P7250028
It was a good Sunday in the Heights!