Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where are all the Sea Lions?

I just finished watching a news clip this afternoon regarding San Francisco. Being raised in Northern California I'm always reading and keeping my eye on their local news. I was absolutely shocked to hear of the disappearing Sea Lions at Pier 39. What?!!! The Sea Lions have made Pier 39 their home since...well, my entire life. I couldn't imagine ever visiting Pier 39 and not seeing them. What on green's earth is going on? Where did the beloved creatures go? And why now? I suppose the California economy is so bad that even the Sea Lions have decided to move out of state. Hmmm, I wonder if they were foreclosed on? Those darn subprime loans, LOL. Ok, enough California jokes. However, I'm a true native so I can get away with it.

It's so sad to see the Golden State have so many problems. I remember when we were newlyweds we lived by the marina. My husband was working at large health system in the area. We had a small 1 bedroom apartment that was less than 600 sq ft and we were paying a hefty monthly lease for it. But I wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world. I have so many lovely memories of our little place. We didn't have A/C (was N/A) because it rarely got over 70's. If you have ever spent any time in San Francisco you'll know it's chilly. You can always spot out a tourist because they'll have on shorts and a Pier 39 sweatshirt, LOL. I can't imagine how much money those little shops make selling tourists sweatshirts. Everyone thinks California is all beaches and palm trees. Not so. Northern California is cool and breezy. And don't get me started on the Sacramento, hot, hot. It snows in the winter and gets up to 119 degrees in the summer. However, I do find myself missing it.

One of the things I miss most is waking up to the boat horns and hearing the seagulls. Sometimes I would drink coffee on our deck and watch the fog lift during those chilly winter mornings, snuggled in a sweater and fuzzy slippers. I do miss the California and the cold weather. Quite different from the Houston weather I live in currently. And now after spending more than 8 years in the South I couldn't imagine leasing a place without A/C. However, I feel that I'm fortunate to be able to have lived so many places. I love to travel and I never miss the opportunity to take advantage of the city I presently reside in. I know Houston will not be the final destination of our journey so I try to take full advantage of the city while I'm here. I'm sure one day I'll look back on Houston and remember little things that make my experience special.

However, I'd be lost if our Longhorns decided to move. Again, where on earth did those adorable Sea Lions go? Something smells awfully fishy if you ask me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting ready for 2010

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas this year. Richard and I had a fantastic holiday this season. I must say that my husband spoils me rotten. I never know what I'm going to get for Christmas because he surprises me every year. He is very romantic and when I think he's not listening he is. He'll remember something I wanted from months ago and surprise me out of the blue. I wish I could say that I'm equally as romantic but I'm not. I can't remember where I put my keys half the time so coming up with a creative gift for him...well, it's probably not going to happen. Every holiday season I'm stressing about what to get him for Christmas. And if I were to ask him he'd just say, "I have everything I want." Don't you hate it when people do that?!! However, this year I decided to buy him a ton of clothes. My hubby dresses in lounge shirts (Tommy Bahama look) most days he's off work. It's mostly hot and humid so that look is pretty comfy for him. He was thrilled with his new wardrobe and he'll look snazzy for our little mini vacay in another week. Can't wait to get away.

To be honest...I can't wait to start 2010 and a new decade. Can you believe we are heading into another decade? I believe this new decade is going to be filled with many blessings. This past one was a difficult one full of many hardships. However, I don't feel that they were all negative because my husband and I grew stronger from them. And I truly believe we are now in a good position in our lives to receive showers of blessings that God has stored up for us. I'm in a good spot in my life right now. I'm confident of who I am, where I've been, and where I'm going. I can finally see all the dots in my life connecting, I have peace over the things I cannot control, and I'm eager to begin working hard on those things I can control. Life is full of much opportunity for those who are willing to go after it. In 2010, I'm planning on becoming more fearless as I go after my dreams and goals. I want to look back in 2020 and think off all the great accomplishments and experiences I had this decade. Every minute counts to an hour, and an hour to a day, a day to a month, a month to a year, and year to a decade. What do I have planned for this year?

1.) Play more tennis. Tennis is one of those hobbies that I truly enjoy. I believe it helps me relax and keep myself balanced. I didn't play nearly enough in 2009.

2.) Declutter. I've been working on cleaning out the closets, attic, garage, and office over the past few weeks. We have too much! I plan on organizing our house.

3.) Travel more. We moved in 2009 from Austin to Houston. We had a lot going on and I didn't get a chance to fly back home to San Francisco. I plan on at least making a few trips to the West Coast to visit friends in San Francisco, L.A., and Seattle. I also have a few trips planned on the East Coast too. I'd love another European vacation but for now I'd be happy with a little domestic travel.

4.) Becoming more active in my community. Growing up I was always very active in community events. I need to join an organization and volunteer my time. There's nothing more rewarding than giving back to the community.

5.) Find new hobbies and interests. I think being well rounded is very important in life. We should always be trying to learn more. I'm going to make a list of things that I've always wanted to try and go for it.

6.) Spend more time with my husband. I don't spend enough time with him and need to make it a priority. We have "date night" every Friday night. I look forward to it. However, we need to find ways to "get away" once in a while. I'm going to make that a priority for 2010.

7.) God. I don't spend enough quality time with God. I need to turn off the TV, phone, computer and talk to Him more. I need to pick up my Bible more during the day and read His word. He has been so good to me and I don't thank Him enough. I can't imagine what I could accomplish if I were to spend more time with Him. Wisdom definitely comes from a relationship and understanding of God.

So, here are my goals for 2010 and my start for the next chapter of my life. What are some of your goals? What would you like this new decade to bring you?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, y'all! Wishing you and your family a very happy and safe holiday....

Monday, December 21, 2009

We go together like Ken and Barbie....

Today is my Anniversary. We've been blissfully married for 7 years. When we were living back in Austin we would take a small "get away" down to San Antonio. San Antonio is so beautiful this time of year. It's lights are so festive and romantic on the Riverwalk. However, this year we are in Houston. We decided to celebrate by going out to dinner on Saturday night. My husband bought me the cutest apron. I wanted a new one and was eyeing this one up on etsy. He must have looked over my favorites because I was in complete shock that he knew I wanted it. And I surprised him this morning with a pair of new running shoes. Romantic, huh...Well, I suppose an apron and running shoes are not the most romantic gifts but we were happy. In a couple of weeks we are heading off to our cottage. I'm really looking forward to eating some good 'ol Cajun cuisine and seeing some of old friends. Until then....Cheers, to another happy year of marriage.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Sing Off

I normally hate watching reality shows except for Real Housewives. I have no idea why I love that trashy show so much but I do. Well, the other night I was flipping through the channels to find the news and landed on a reality show called, The Sing Off. It's hosted by Nick Lachey. Has anyone seen it? It's so much fun. It has that American Idol feel but it's acuppello groups. I'm not much of a acuppello fan but there's a group called, Beelzebubs. Oh my goodness they are sooo fun to watch. I posted a couple of songs they did. The first one is hilarious but the second is awesome. I heart Styx!!! Styx, Night Ranger, and Van Halen were some of my favorite bands growing up (I had older siblings). They rock! Basically anything they chose to sing from those top three I would have loved. Ok, you have to watch these guys.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Couture Pops

Have y'all seen the Couture pops? They come with a bejeweled handle (which you keep) and you unscrew the lolly pop top off when you're finished. You can buy the candy separate and screw them onto your handle. The lolly pop comes in all sorts of different flavors like Green Apple, Creamy Orange, Watermelon, Pina Colada, Cherry, and many more yummy flavors.

You can even buy a signature stick after Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, and the Pussycat Dolls. They are so cute and would make a totally cute stocking stuffer. You can find them at

$25.00 for handle and pop

$12.00 for replacement set of lolly pops

$75.00 for set

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stanton Hall

I have a true passion for plantation homes. That's one of the many things I love about the South. I could only dream to own/live in a plantation home one day. So until I actually get one I travel across the southern region visiting beautiful landmarks that have carved a special place in my heart.

This is the Stanton Hall Plantation House located in Natchez, Mississippi. The original owner was a cotton broker by the name of Federick Stanton. He had the house built between 1851-1857. Many of the gorgeous accents from the molding, marble fireplace mantels, wrought ironwork, were transported from Europe.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Christmas Wish List

This is my Christmas Wish List for Christmas 2009

A need a new bottle of one my favorite perfumes, Tiffany by Tiffany & Co. I've been wearing Tiffany since high school. I love it! My grandmother (the one who liked to travel) sent me a bottle when I was 16. I can never stay with just one fragrance (it must be the Gemini in me). I have 4 favorites and I switch depending on the season, event, or my mood.

I've been eyeing up this book called, Southern Gardens by Southern Accents. It's not new but it has some beautiful photographs and has given me some fantastic ideas for this Spring. I'm so looking forward to start gardening again. I've been wanting to plant pink and yellow roses.

Ok, y'all know how much I adore plantations. Since I can't live in a plantation home right now doesn't mean that my birds can't, right? I found this plantation bird house and have the perfect spot in my yard to display it. Southern birds must need a southern plantation home, lol....

New Gardening boots. I love these pink rose boots. I like gardening boots more than gardening clogs because of red ants and soggy soil.

I adore this pattern. I've been looking for Magnolia china pattern for the past two years. Although I haven't seen what I'm looking for I did come across this tea set. Oh, how much I want this tea set. It's so Southern! I could definitely host a tea party with this set.

What is on your Christmas wish list this year?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

Did anyone else catch "Alice" on the Syfy channel last night? Yes, I said Syfy (don't judge). It's really good if y'all haven't seen it. My hubby likes to watch Syfy and he told me about the new show. He knows I'm a huge Alice in Wonderland fan and thought I might be interested. And although it wasn't much like the Disney cartoon it was very cool. The "Hatter" is by far my favorite character. The second episode is coming on tonight at 9pm.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tiger Woods

I've been watching the news this afternoon and I'm so disgusted with the Tiger Woods story. This athlete was suppose to be one of the good ones. There are hardly any good role models out there for younger generations and Tiger was one of them. Well, not anymore. I applaud the sponsors for pulling out of the contracts not to muddy their own reputations. I believe in forgiving those who desperately seek it but I also believe in consequences to bad behavior.

Do you believe society has taken a blind eye approach by excusing bad behavior because they are enamored by stardom? I believe this to be true. Not long ago this would have been a career ender but I hardly think Woods will get nothing more than a simple disappointing head shake and disapproval snicker at most. I can already hear the excuses pouring in now and how we should foolishly feel sorry for him. Look at Kobe Bryant. Can you imagine being Vanessa Bryant? Kobe has a 2nd affair scandal (rolling eyes). This man is still praised because of his athletic super stardom. Shouldn't personal integrity count for something regardless your athletic capabilities? The guy is a cheating sleaze bag and yet he still has faithful fans? I don't understand.

What about Michael Vick (Atlanta Falcons) who plead guilty for dog fighting (torturing dogs to death)? He's back on the football field making his millions. Where's the standard people? Basically if someone looks good, plays a sport well, or sings/acts well, they are pardoned from personal accountability in our society? They can do and say whatever they want and we the people will kiss their feet. Yeah, that's what I want my future children to look up to, NOT! We've become a whorish nation of dirt bags if you ask me. I believe if we stood up and refused to support the celebrities who break the law, have affairs, curse and threaten (Serena Williams), etc.. it would not only change the bad behavior of celebrities but society. Kids watch their role models get into trouble with no consequences but a mere slap on the hand. What is this teaching them?

I don't know about you but I'll be choosing to root for anyone but Woods on the next PGA tour. He's very talented on the greens but I cannot support him in good faith. I hope he truly is sorry and can save his marriage for his kids sake. But his reputation has been tainted in my book. There's a high cost to low living.

True meaning of Christmas

One day Jesus will return to establish his kingdom in Jerusalem

Luke 2:1-7
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

This is called, Grotto the Nativity, located beneath the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. This is where Jesus was born.

Mary's well in Nazareth

Part of the church where Jesus began teaching as a child

When I was younger my grandmother would travel to many exotic places around the world. I remember when she went to Egypt and rode camels to the pyramids (she sent me an Egyptian necklace). I remember when she traveled to Asia and sent back wax dolls from China. But one of the most treasured gifts I still have today is my wooden camel she sent back from Jerusalem. The camel is hand carved out of olive wood. It's very similar to this one.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Houston Ballet

This morning I checked my e-mail and the Houston Ballet has sent their upcoming events for 2010. In the line up is La Bayadere!!! I can't wait!!! La Bayadere is a Russian ballet. I'm not sure why but I'm always drawn to Russian things. I love the language, ballet, symphony, opera and art. And I'm extremely intrigued by Russian history such as the Romanov's. I've always wanted to visit the Pushkin museum of art in Moscow and see an opera at the Mussorgsky (aka: Mikhailovsky theatre) Opera house in St. Petersburg. Perhaps one day.....

The music/dancing in La Bayadere is absolutely beautiful. It also has an amazing wardrobe. The plot is filled with jealousy, envy, affairs, murder, and a haunting. It's a great ballet to see and will be a fantastic way to start off 2010.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oh Baby!

I just received a text that my BFF back in Austin just had her baby. YAY! I'm so excited to see him. I'm looking forward to snuggling that baby boy. This is going to be a fun Christmas.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day After Thanksgiving

One of my favorite days out of the entire year is the day after Thanksgiving. Not because it's "BLACK FRIDAY" no I'm not interested in participating in that mess at all. You will never see me out there fighting the crowds, sitting in traffic, or going without sleep for a department store sale. I would rather go without. I don't like being around chaos and I see crowds as just that (completely unpredictable). It really makes me anxious and frustrated when I'm around that environment. I'm a very orderly and proper individual so chaos drives me mad. I believe people are too arrogant and selfish to be safe shoppers. I hardly see social etiquettes demonstrated these days. That's why I don't really care much for city living.

To tell you the truth I've been longing for a country estate. I wish I had that English cottage or Southern planation style home. With acres of nothingness surrounding me. I could actually hear myself think. My ideal lot would be nothing less than 7-10 acres. Awww, that sounds wonderful. Perhaps I'll ask Papa Noel this year, LOL! He could leave the deed in my stocking (along with keys to the Mercedes SUV I've had my eye on).

Ok, back to the purpose of this post. The reason why I adore the day after Thanksgiving so much is that I get to pull out all my Christmas decorations. I truly love decorating the house for the holidays. The ribbons, lights, and crystal ornaments are all more the reason I'm enchanted with this season. I'm looking forward to a day of decorating and full of Christmas music. Papa Noel left an amazing New Orleans Christmas jazz cd in my husband's stocking last year. I believe I'll pull it out and put it on. Hope you are off to a fantastic holiday season and that y'all didn't eat too much turkey yesterday, LOL!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

O God, when I have food,
help me remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me remember those who don't have a home at all;
When I am without pain;
help me remember those who suffer;
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
- Samuel F. Pugh

This Thanksgiving holiday is going to be extremely difficult on many American families. Across this great nation are those who have experienced job loss, foreclosures, bankruptcy, divorces, health issues, and many other heartbreaking tragedies. As Christmas begins to approach I'm sure guilt stricken parents will feel depressed and broken as they will not have the means to provide a financial blessing upon those they cherish most (their children). Perhaps some are feeling completely broken for they have lost their homes in the massive foreclosures that swept our country. There will be no gifts, Christmas tree, or holiday dinner. If you are one of these Americans I want to express that I will not forget you this Thanksgiving. You will be in my prayers as I pray for this nation.

I also want to send a word of encouragement. I say, to those who are in the midst of a dark storm, look forward. You have a future and even though you are struggling now don't give up. Don't let that dark day, dark month, dark year, or dark decade define your future and who you are. America was not built on financial wealth but faith. Faith in the true living God. Our focus has been selfish greed for many years as we concentrated on gaining possessions and wealth. But God and relationships are truly what makes a poor man rich. God gives hope to the hopeless and sends people in our lives to shower us with love. If you are feeling lost and helpless I can offer you the truth. You can have the BEST holiday season in your life if you are willing to cry out to God. Ask him for future and thank him for all he has done for you. Then love on those around you. No amount of money will provide the happiness and joy you will experience when you make your holiday about God and relationships.

"Give thanks to the Lord; for he is good; his loves endures forever." - Psalm 107:1

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and blessed Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Peeptoe Pumps & Pearls

Jill over at has recently posted a "give away" at an opportunity to win a bottle of Perricone MD cold plasma (retail $150). I couldn't be more excited about this offer. I didn't realize that we had something HUGE in common, skincare!!! Yes, I'm obsessed with skincare. Not only am I obsessed with my own skin but my husbands too. I'm constantly chasing him around the house trying to lather skin products/sunscreen to his beautiful skin (he hates it). I will probably be one of those insane mother's that has my babies in hats, sunglasses, and tons of sunscreen.

Where did this obsession begin? When I was in high school I worked for a Dermatologist. The horrible stories I would hear scared me enough to stay out of the sun. I wear lots of hats and light weight cotton shirts during the summer. I try to avoid certain hours to be out of the direct sunlight. And I'm constantly applying lotions/oils to my face when I'm home. I try to not apply make-up on the days I know I won't be running around. And I wash my face twice a day no matter how exhausted I am. You wouldn't believe how many women do not wash their make up off!!! I also believe that a healthy diet is important too. However, the best skincare tip I've learned over the years is a healthy lifestyle.

If you get an opportunity please stop by to see Jill. You'll absolutely love her blog.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our little Gayanne

I just went outside and got the mail. I'm so excited because I received a very important letter. I would like to share with y'all photo's of someone who has completely melted our hearts in the past two years. This is our little princess, Gayanne. Gayanne lives in Armenia with her loving family. We sponsor Gayanne by paying for her medical/education. We like to send packages filled with little goodies (mostly toys & candy) as you can see in the pictures. Isn't she adorable? Love those pigtails.

Her grandmother writes us the cutest letters and always sends updated pictures. We get excited when we get one in the mail. Gayanne's father is a truck driver. We learned last year that her mother wanted to attend a vocational school so we decided to surprise them and pay her tuition. She is now working in a hospital. Gayanne has a little sister who just turned two. We want to sponsor her education too when it's time. We feel so privilege and humbled to be able to make a difference in their lives. I can't tell you how much these letters mean to us. I love to see Gayanne grow and I hope that we will one day be able to meet her face to face.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Dallas Trip

We had a fabulous time in Dallas. My husband did a super job speaking at the conference. Everyone was impressed with him and asking for compliance and accreditation advice. He's sort of the guru when it comes to that sort of thing. Me, I have no idea what he's talking about. I usually get lost in a decorating fantasy or two within minutes of shop talk. However, he did look very handsome in his new tie (thanks to wifey) :)

We stayed at a large hotel that had numerous conferences/meetings. I was floored when I learned that E&J Gallo wines also was holding a conference on the same date/time as my husbands. Wow, I knew I was going to run into someone I knew. Yup, I ran into a few old friends from my Pacific Northwest days. Crazy, I haven't seen them in 10 years. We use to all live in Eugene, Oregon. Back in college I dated a guy who worked for E&J Gallo wines. He was over the Oregon market and I use to visit the wineries/distribution center with him. I would also attend all the social events/parties/dinners so I became friends with the salesmen over time. Who would have thought 10 years later I would be running into them at conference my husband was speaking at in Dallas, Texas? Small, small, small world.

I did get a chance to run by a few boutiques. And I found the perfect earrings to match my silver necklace (I posted about it a few weeks ago). I always travel with a cloth Gucci bag that I store a good bit of jewelry in. You never know what you'll need when traveling. I'll let you in on a little secret....I LOVE JEWELRY! Not just any old thing but the loud, obnoxious, gaudy kind. I think I got that gene from my Nana, LOL.

I found a little antique shop that I purchased a couple estate pieces from. I picked up another set of pearls. A gal can't possibly have enough pearls. I plan on wearing the black strand with a silk black top. Simple accent to make it elegant. A beautiful circle brooch surrounded by white pearls. At first I wasn't interested but I thought I could use it with a long silk scarf I picked up in Paris a few years back. I like to drape it across my shoulders but it always seems to slip off. I though I would try to pin it with the brooch. I tried this afternoon and it looks fantastic. It really made it pop and brooch doesn't look dated at all next to it. But my favorite piece is the bee.

I love bee's. Royalty (mostly French) used bee's in their clothing. However, using the symbol of bee's has been dated back as far as 350 BC in Egypt. They would even have golden bee's engraved in their tombstones. Napoleon's famous red robes were embroidered with bees and many claim that's where Fleur De Lis originated from. Bee's are very French. I have bee stationary, bee paperweight, and even bee glasses. So I was excited when I saw this little golden bee. I'm planning on wearing my little gaudy piece on my collar of a white cotton shirt. It will definitely be a conversational piece. I adore estate jewelry because it reminds me of classic Hollywood. When Jean Harlow, Marlene Dietrich, and Joan Crawford were walking the red carpet. That's when Hollywood was glam and fabulous. Not trashy like it is today. I could so see Joan Crawford wearing my bee pin. She was the ultimate diva, LOL!

Jean Harlow

Marlene Dietrich

Joan Crawford

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dallas, Texas

I'm exhausted. I just finished packing my suitcase for our upcoming trip. I know I should be in bed but I'm too exhausted to sleep. Ever been? My husband is pulling a shift tonight (last one) and will have nearly five consecutive days off. I say nearly because he's still working. My husband is like a little tornado and is always working on something. He's off from the ER and surgical center for the next five days but he has a speaking engagement at a conference in Dallas. I'm excited to go because we are staying through the weekend. We are planning on hitting some boutiques, antique shops, and some fantastic restaurants. I've been wanting to try a Greek restaurant not far from where we'll be staying. I've been craving a good Hummus.

Me, I'm planning on relaxing. I packed my Philosophy bubble bath (Strawberry Milk Shake), nail polish (OPI Crepes Suzzette), Harry Conick Jr. CD (old classic one), and a ton of magazines (New Orleans House & Home and Texas Home Living). It will be nice to put my feet up and order room service and not worry about chores, schedules, and errands for a change. Perhaps I will eat Bon Bons, LOL! Y'all have a wonderful week and cross your fingers that I'll find some unique pieces while hitting those antique shops.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

I have a beautiful roast cooking in a Chardonnay sauce in my crock pot. I have some wonderful light jazz playing, and my husband and I snuggled on the couch reading books. I love lazy Sunday afternoons.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Elaine Miller Collection

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in the lobby of a day spa flipping through a magazine and came across a fantastic article about a jewelry designer named, Elaine Miller. She owns a very unique jewelry salon located downtown Raleigh, NC. I couldn't wait to view her collection. Wow! Absolutely stunning pieces. I have so many favorites I honestly couldn't pick one. I told my husband he can't go wrong with anything from her collection, LOL! I thought I would share this fabulous new find with y'all.