Year: 2017

Around Town: Helen In The Heights Brings The Tavernas Of Greece To Houston

This past Friday my friend Courtney and I enjoyed a late lunch at Helen in The Heights. Courtney and I have been friends for a few years and share a passion for travel, great food, and discovering new places. You should check out her Insta @Hiptrip52 for traveling on trend in Texas! Back to Helen… Nestled in a 5-story red brick building known as 1111 Studewood Place Helen is a modern Greek taverna offering traditional Greek cuisine and regional Greek wines. This sister restaurant to Helen Greek Food and Wine is just shy of 4 months old, but this ‘little sister’ holds it’s own and more with it’s taverna style menu and vast all Greek wine list! Upon entering Helen you’ll feel welcomed by the fabulous interior designed by Erin Hicks. Stained concrete floors, red brick walls, rustic chandeliers, exposed air ducts, inviting banquettes, and even a wall of faux greenery in the rear of the restaurant. Designer Erin Hicks was aiming for “a traditional taverna feel with deep blues, brick, whitewashed wood, and replicas …

What Is Your Rising Sign and How Does It Affect Your Personality

We all know what our astrological sign is…I’m a Capricorn! But, what about your rising sign? My rising sign is Cancer. What does that mean and why would you want to know? Well, one’s rising sign is a very important piece of your astrological profile. The other day Bridgette and I  were talking and I mentioned that I felt that she and I shared a few similar qualities and I went on to explain the concept of rising signs. Bridgette is a Cancer, and as I said, I am a Capricorn. Very different sun signs. Actually, we are astrological opposites! But, Bridgette and I have discovered over the course of our friendship that we do have some similar qualities –  among other things, we both love being at home; we both crave and need alone time; we both feel affects on our mood based on the weather and the moon; we are both quite sentimental and sensitive. I’m guessing that this is due to the fact that my rising sign is Cancer, the same as …

Take Me Away: Tropical Smoothie

Hi there! It’s heating up here in Houston, Texas! It’s even hot in the morning when I get up in my beloved city! However, it’s Houston. It’s Texas. It’s July! It’s not like we are not used to this here… In the name of staying cool and being healthy, I wanted a nice mid-afternoon treat to hold me over until dinner, and give me a little boost! Something that would taste like one of those “umbrella drinks” on the beach, but no alcohol. So, I decided to make a smoothie with the ingredients that I had on hand. It’s nothing fancy, but it sure did taste good! This would be great poolside! Here goes… Ingredients: 1 to 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks 1 banana 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder 1/4 cup of 2% milk 1/4 cup of coconut water (add more if needed for consistency you like) a few pieces of ice to make it colder Blend all ingredients together. Pour in a glass, close your eyes, take a sip, and imagine you are on a …

Worth The Hike: Maroon Bells and Crater Lake in Aspen

Happy weekend! Have you fully recovered from the 4th of July festivities? After 2 swim and BBQ parties and a night out in the country shooting fireworks I was pretty tired the last couple of days! And, it has been sooooo hot here! But hey, its summertime fun in Texas! Today I would like to share a “cool weather” trip with you in case you are looking for a little Colorado adventure! Before the kids got out of school I went on a trip to Aspen with 7 of my mom friends. A few I knew well, a few I knew a little, and 1 I just met on the trip! But by the time we returned home we had bonded! It was a fabulous, fun-filled getaway! Being mid May we were there during what is known as “mud season”. The name doesn’t sound appealing. The mud season. Sounds dirty and dreary. Not like your dream vacation. But don’t let the name fool you. The mud season is Colorado’s off season — the window of time between when …

The Pisco Sour: One Of My Favorite Summer Cocktails

Hi friends! The weekend is upon us and it looks like here in Houston the cycle of daily rain and clouds is lifting!  AND 4th of July is right around the corner! If you’re looking for a different cocktail to serve at your Independence Day festivities I’d like to introduce you to the Pisco Sour! All in all, I am not a big mixed drinks person. Though, I do love a good margarita and a good martini from time to time! But, I was wanting something different. Something that isn’t offered everywhere you go. HELLO Pisco Sour! I looooove Pisco Sours! Have you tried one? A Pisco Sour is a cocktail typical of South America. The drink’s name comes from pisco, which is the base liquor, and the term sour is in reference to the sour citrus juice, lime to be exact. Picso is actually a style of brandy common in Peru and Chile which has a bit of tequila flavor! I had my first Pisco Sour about 5 years ago at a Peruvian restaurant …

California Dreaming in San Francisco: A Great Girl’s Trip

Thinking about a girl’s trip this summer? Or even the fall? You should definitely consider San Francisco! It’s a great girl’s getaway that offers plenty of things to do! My friend Laura and I went last year and I thought I should share our trip with you in case you are “in the market” for an adventure! Laura and I have been friends for about 20 years and she’s a great travel companion! I call her “my gastronomy friend”! (check out my fancy word :)) We both LOVE to eat great food and drink great wine and most of our time together is based around these 2 activities with lots of laughter thrown in! So, I’d like to share a little with you (in a condensed fashion) about our 4 days of eating and drinking wine in San Francisco, Napa, and Sausalito. A GREAT GIRL’S TRIP! We arrived at our hotel, The Clift, late afternoon. It is a fabulous 4-star hotel just steps from Union Square. Super hip and cool! We found out Saturday night that …

Miso Hungry! Celebrate Sushi Day!

Hello friends! Kon’nichiwa! That’s Japanese for “hello”! It’s a beautiful, but HOT day here in Houston. It’s Father’s Day and it is also International Sushi Day! Do you remember the first time you had sushi? I do. I was out in Los Angeles with a friend. I was 19. Coming from a small-ish town outside of Houston sushi wasn’t on every corner like it is in a big city. I remember trying California rolls, tuna rolls (tekka maki), fresh salmon (sake), and eel (unagi), among other things. While it wasn’t love at first bite, I was definitely hooked ( pun intended ;)) and wanted to try more! Both of my kiddos had their first experience with sushi by the time they were 5! Although they started with california rolls, they have begun to like many other things and are starting to experiment more. Proud mama 🙂 These days, sushi is everywhere: the airport terminal, the strip mall and even your local supermarket. A spicy tuna or salmon roll is as easy to come by as a …

A Healthy Alternative: 10 Natural Oils With Natural SPF

The days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising and the number of sun hours is increasing steadily. Yes, summer is quickly approaching and in many places, like here in Texas, it already is feeling like summer. I know around my house my family and I are already spending more time out by the pool and soaking up the sun. Even though I try to be careful about sun exposure I still like to get some “natural color” when summer rolls around! And, I do use some self tanning products to help with that. Now, I still want to make sure that my kid’s “young skin” is protected and they don’t get sunburned. Unlike when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s! We spent hours in the sun with very little protection and I endured many a sunburn. As a teen we’d even put baby oil on to get a tan! Bad idea! I’d probably have a few less wrinkles now had I been more cautious then. In any case… The Sun is …

A Few Days In The Big Apple: A Family Getaway in NYC

Are all your summer plans set? If you’re still looking for some where to go you should give New Your City a thought. While we absolutely love vacationing on white sandy beaches or in stunning mountain towns, we also like exploring metropolitan cities with our kids. I think it is great to show our kids all kinds of different things and experience life outside of our hometown, teaching them about diversity. My husband and I, along with our kiddos, were in NYC for 4 days last summer before heading off to Rhode Island to meet our Boston family for a week. Our kids love going there! Have you been to New York City? We’ve been twice with our kids in the couple of years so I thought I’d share with you some of the things we did during our last two trips incase it’s on your “to-do” list 🙂 By no means am I an expert on New York City! Just a mom that has been there twice in the last couple of years with …

10 Weekender Bags Worth Going On The Road For

I’ve got a long weekend trip to Aspen with girlfriends coming up in a couple of weeks and I am hoping to pack light since this isn’t a ski trip for us as it is mud season there. We will mostly just be hanging out at the house, taking in the sights around Aspen, and just enjoying each other’s company away from our daily responsibilities. A little down time and recharging before the kids are out of school in just a few short weeks! I won’t need all of the things you need when you go on a ski trip, so I got to thinking about a weekender bag. Being a Stella & Dot Stylist I have a few already, but I wanted to see what else was out there. Much as we’d all love to be jetting off to Europe or Mexico for 10 days at a time, the average American just doesn’t have the time (or vacation days, or, let’s be real, budget) for more than one or two major getaways a year. Weekends, on …