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Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Reclaimed Saturday

My friend Jaime had been wanting to check out a reclaimed salvage warehouse in Houston for a long time. So this Saturday, because the shuttle didn't launch (boo - no shuttle launch, yay - we had the day off), we finally made it. While neither of us were too successful, it was neat to see all the possibilities one could dig up at a place like that. There were lots of old paned windows and neat rustic barn doors among pieces of reclaimed wood and pretty, old glass doorknobs. I came away with 4 brushed nickel cabinet pulls to replace my dingy painted white ones in my upstairs bathroom. I paid $4 for the set, so not too shabby.

Next we headed off to August Antiques and Ben's Antiques in the Heights.

How adorable!
 We wandered around the place just looking and looking. There was stuff stacked from floor to ceiling and certainly many good finds.
This is Jaime's find... I kinda wanted to steal it from her, especially after I found out it was only $45, but I didn't.... I'm just a good friend like that.

I was diggin' this lamp... Maybe a little strange for some, but I thought it was pretty neat-o

Now THESE were some cool lamps... I could see those each on a nightstand

I loved this old fashioned phone. How glam?
Emerson 501 please

How spectacular would these look on either side of a garage?

An old fashioned radio... pretty chic

I thought momentarily about buying this for my laundry room. But it was $22....
Lastly, we stumbled upon a restaurant/market called Revival Market. It was a great place to pick up some lunch. I decided upon the BLT with thick slices of bacon, arugula, tomato, and herbed mayo with a ginger lime slaw on the side. YUM

I'm definitely going go make this slaw at home! I always thought I was a fan of the mayo version but when I had this one with a simple vinaigrette, I was in love!

Devil's food cupcake with salted caramel icing. I had to take one to go!
I was glad to get into the city for some local fun. Maybe after I finish the 700 projects I'm currently working on, I'll get back to the reclaimed store to get some materials to start a new one. For now, back to cleaning and taking care of dogs!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

San-Sational Weekend

Sorry to all my followers... it's been awhile since my last blog update, but I've been busy traveling around the country doing fabulous things. First off, after traveling to Ames Research Center for a work project, I met up with Malibu Ken in San Francisco!

Oh look, there he is waiting for me!

Resemblance? I think so!
Malibu Ken and I had a fanciful weekend in this lovely city, starting with a trip to the Golden Gate Park.
Wowza this place was massive!
Oh yeah, and feeling like real city-ers, we took the bus. If I hadn't been wearing my cute little yellow yuppie coat, I would have totally fit in... Or maybe my semi-panic/ paranoia attack when some questionable folk got on bus on our ride back to the hotel gave it away that I wasn't from these parts. Continuing on, this place was gorgeous!

What a way to spend an afternoon... sigh

Cherry blossoms EVERYWHERE!

A real life waterfall

Spooky trees. Muahhahahah!!
While in Golden Gate Park, we visited a Japanese Flower Garden

And we had an afternoon snack of Jasmine Tea and Mochi (a green tea biscuit, which really tasted like a mix between jello, a gummy bear, and a lemon bar)

This was our view....

Succulents, succulents and more succulents. I love these guys!

The next day was the farmers market at the Ferry Building! But not before shopping...

There's me, posing in Union Square

Finally we made it to the Ferry Building... Woah was this place amazeballs or what!?

Yeah like a real farmers market... I'm pretty sure that was a real farmer behind that stand.

Who thought of this? Take note, hot pocket people...
Next we got our cheese, bread and salami. 
Oodles and oodles of my favorite food group at the Cowgirl Creamery Stand

And here is our picnic laid out at the wine bar inside the farmers market

This is the best ever!

Afterwards, a visit to local chocolate maker, TCHO

For reals, folks...

TCHO Hot Chocolate

 That wraps up my weekend in the beautiful San Francisco.

      Bay Area Barbie

Friday, April 1, 2011

Curb Appeal

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the pretty landscaping that starts popping out all over the neighborhood. Time for planting brightly colored flowers and freshly mulched beds. Especially after the hard freeze we experienced here in Houston over the winter, the beds in my area definitely were in for some freshening up. I know, I know... a "hard freeze" is like it gets really really cold. Everyone freaks out because there might be some snow flakes for like .3 seconds. But seriously, our plants aren't like those up north and just can't handle the cold weather. So after winter was over, I had to end up pulling up a bunch of plants. And a few weekends ago, I was off to the local garden center, coupons in hand. After walking around the garden center for what felt like an eternity, I finally selected some varieties to fill in my landscaping.

It doesn't look like a lot here but I got 8 plants total.
 I was most excited to bring home this thing.

I saw a something like it with a twisty branch when I was at Disney World last year. I had to have it.

So after the very arduous experience of choosing plants and setting them in the beds where I wanted them to be planted, I called Alex, the landscaper. And voila.

Twisty branch tree with purple flowers

Lamb's Ears, so soft

Redish Purpleish grass thing-y

Agave plants. Very Cactus-y.
I'm glad I made the time and put in the effort for this home improvement. A few plants, a few bags of mulch, and a check to Alex for approximately the amount of a good time at Express went a long way.

Into The Swamp We Go

 So about a month ago when my friend Pam invited me to attend her bachelorette party in New Orleans, I'm all like "yes please!" Last weekend was when it all went down.
I had never been to New Orleans before, and I have to admit I was a teensy bit scared on the inside. What if it's smelly and gross? What if some gangster tries to to rob us? What if some drunk girl pukes on my Michael Kors heels? As much as I was confident these were all valid concerns, I was still excited to go, especially when I heard we were staying at the W Hotel... snazzy, right? So I went, and I have to say, it was amazeballs! Besides the fact that we were totally high rollers because we were staying in a super fab hotel, we also had some really good food, had a fantastic time dancing and listening to some live music, and got to pet an alligator. Yeah, for reals.

This is our hotel lobby... it's ok if you're jealous
First let's start with the swamp tour. Here's 5 city gals on a swamp boat.

That's Luke, our swamp captain, next to our bachelorette

me, keepin' it real in the swamp
 Our boat looked like this:

However it's occupants were much more fabulous than the ones featured in the above photo
 And then came the wild life.

Luke lured them in with marshmallows, which ended up being pretty scary later on.

Before snatching one out of the water

Getting a little too close
So why do I mention the marshmallows? Well, there's this thing I call the "marshmallow phenomenon". Basically that's when the unsuspecting alligator eats a marshmallow or 2 and hasn't yet had a chance to digest it, only to be scared sh*tless by Captain Luke, who pulls him out of the water to let young women pet his belly. The alligator is so pissed off by this point that he starts foaming at the mouth and making scary sounds. The marshmallows subsequently start foaming out between his sharp little chompers and girls start screaming.

The rest of the vacation involved us standing in long lines for food that was so so. Here's the line outside of Mothers, a Cajun restaurant that bragged the "World's best baked ham".

Here we are waiting in line
It was featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel. Food Network... Travel Channel?? Normally I'd be jumping up and down to eat here. But Mother's just ddn't do it for me. After standing in line for over 30 min, I thought the food was just ok. I had the shrimp po boy, which was good, but not that good.
Next we have the famous Cafe Du Monde. Basically it's an out door cafe that serves 2 things: beignets covered in powered sugar and coffee.

Did I say outdoor patio? I mean crowded out door patio.

And here's the line for Cafe Du Monde. People freaking love this sh*t.
In short and in summary, fried dough covered in powdered sugar dipped in a cafe au lait is delicious. I just would have preferred to enjoy my treat minus 5 hundred people all jammed into a 3 inch square. And to the Cafe Du Monde people, take a hint from Grande Lux and provide us some sauce next time. Raspberry or chocolate is preferred, thanks.

So you ask, did you girls go out? Indeed we did!! New Orleans is a great place to people watch, and I had just the game for this activity. It started out as a harmless Girls Night Out game card. Just spot the events listed on the card and press down the tab. Get 5 in a row and you have a Bingo!

Found this thing at Pier One 50% off.
 At the night progressed, we found it essential to make our own card.

Just some good clean fun.
As you can see, some of the girls took it upon themselves to update the card as they saw fit throughout the night. We even got a couple fellow bachelor partiers to assist us with the game. Like this guy...

too bad he turned out to be at least one of the people featured on the card... 
 All in all, it turned out to be a pretty Saint-saitional weekend. And I would definitely go back.