Friday, July 31, 2009

Guess who I got to meet?

One of the cool things about living in Houston is that it's home to the infamous NASA. If y'all are ever in Houston I highly recommend touring the Johnson Space Center. It's worth seeing!!! Many astronauts call Houston home so I was excited when we finally crossed paths with one. Last night my hubby and I attended a social event and guess who we sat next to? NASA Astronaut pilot Terry Virts. He's such a nice guy and very humble. He's going to be the pilot to lead the last space shuttle mission this February. Wow, pretty impressive if you ask me. My husband and I are huge NASA fans. Might be because my father-in-law retired with NASA. He was an engineer that use to work on the three rocket engines on the back of the space shuttle. We told Terry that we would be rooting for him on his last mission this February. Keep him in your prayers as y'all watch the upcoming launching of the shuttle.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Houston Grand Opera

My hubby surprised me with season tickets to the Houston Opera. It's been years since we have been to the opera. We use to belong to the San Francisco Opera and the New Orleans Opera. But once we moved to Austin we sort of stop attending. We went to other music venues in Austin. Austin has a lot of music concerts/festivals but it's always nice to be able to enjoy the arts. That's one of the pros of living in a large city. There's always fine art events that you can take advantage of.

I'm so excited because two of our favorites are going to be in this season's line up. I'm so thrilled about seeing Tosca and Xerxes. I'm a big fan of Tosca; Xerxes sounds like a romantic mess to me. Tosca has more of an interesting synopsis and has beautiful music. You know the newest Bond movie, Quantom of Solace, Bond is at the opera listening the plan unfold by the political evil villains. They were watching, Tosca !!! Just a little tidbit of information for you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What to do with my hair?

I'm so frustrated with my hair. I just can't find a cut/style that I'm happy with. I've spent a lot of time and money looking for the right style. I've gone through a lot of colors/cuts and I'm almost at the end of my rope. I tried the Jenny McCarthy "bob" last summer. It made my face look round and I didn't care for it. Lately I've been searching magazines and websites for hair styles that I like. I would appreciate your feedback on what style you prefer. It would help me greatly.

1.) Jessica Alba ~ I like her bangs. I also like the length of her hair.

2.) Eva Longoria ~ I love her classic style. I pull my hair up like this a lot. Maybe I should cut my bangs a bit shorter to pull this style off.

3.) Nicole Kidman ~ Curls!!! Love the curls and I always get a lot of compliments when I wear my hair curly.

This is a difficult decision. I'm looking forward to what you think.... If you have another suggestion I would be open.....Thanks!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


There are two categories of people when it comes to food. Those who eat to live and those who live to eat. I'm one of those who lives to eat. I find great cuisine one of the finest pleasures in life. The aroma, the presentation, the savory taste that indulges my taste buds. But I wasn't always so appreciative of the gourmet food industry because I honestly didn't know any better.

I was raised on the typical American diet of household meatloaf, mash potatoes, and casserole dinners. It wasn't until I was out of the house and in my twenties that I began experiencing a new world of cuisine. I began to take a new approach in foods that I had never had the opportunity of eating before. I was excited to travel across country and foreign lands to see new dishes I didn't even know existed. But it wasn't until I married and moved to New Orleans that I began dabbling in spices and herbs. Now you can't get me out of the kitchen. The key in becoming a fantastic cook; know your spices and herbs. Once you know your spices and herbs you can create all sorts of favorable dishes. I'm beginning to make my own wine and white sauces at the moment. I just created my very own recipe for a rosemary pot roast and a divine Chardonnay sauce. It's one of my hubby's new favorites.

Last night I prepared a Mediterranean fish dinner that was out of this world. Anything worth cooking has to be preplanned. So, I had my fish marinating in spices and a lovely sea salt. The salt I used to prepare my fish was called, ALAEA. I mix it with my spices and use it as a rub. FANTASTIC!!! The salt really helps trap the favorable juices when baking.

I also use salts on the BBQ. My husband grilled the most delicious steaks last week. We used the truffle salt from Dean & Deluca. They also have a outstanding truffle BBQ sauce too. Ah, the wonderful world of salts. I noticed that Williams-Sonoma carries some sea salts and flavored salts as well. But I'm a huge Dean & Deluca fan myself.

Truffle Salt & BBQ Sauce

Saturday, July 18, 2009

San Antonio

I just returned from my San Antonio trip. My husband and I drove over last night and this morning I went to my dear friend's baby shower. We met playing tennis and our husband's have a lot in common. They even share the same Birthday! They were the couple we use to play tennis with every Saturday morning and then we'd try new restaurants around Austin. We instantly clicked and became best of friends.

My friend and her sister are both prego!!! She's having a boy and her sister a girl. They will be only 6 weeks apart. You can imagine how thrilled her parents are right now. They decided to combine showers in San Antonio considering that one lives in Austin and the other in Houston. Jan hosted the shower at her beautiful home over looking the city. The views are out of this world! It's a mission style home and absolutely gorgeous. We were very pampered with champagne, wine, wait staff and all.

The guys spent the afternoon at my friend's parents house. They hired a tennis pro to help them with their game. Our husband's were exhausted by the time we returned. The pro really worked them over on the court but my husband's backhand has already improved considerably. Yikes, I better watch out!

It was a great day and we had such a fantastic time visiting everyone. I wish we could have stayed a bit longer but we had to return home this evening. Hubby has a huge meeting on Monday morning he has to prepare for. However, the small trip was worth it to share in the excitement of the new babies. Her dad has added a small play ground (no joke) in his huge backyard (an acre lot). It's a true play ground with teeter taughters, swings, and the works. He's so cute and will be a fantastic grandfather.

True San Antonio festive wreath

The theme, "Two Peas in the Pod." Here's the adorable invitation greeting the guest's in the entry way.

Instead of cake they ordered large petit fours...they were scrumptious!

We had a beautiful luncheon; chicken salad, fruit, asparagus with a cheese sauce, wonderful cheese platter with crackers, and biscuits.
His and Her gift piles....They received so many adorable gifts!!!

Jan and Linda who hosted the double baby shower. They did a fabulous job!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New placemats

I'm so excited I found these. The fabric print is of Jackson Square. Aren't they beautiful! I think they'll be conversational piece. What do y'all think?

We have the alligator silver serving collection. Check out the crab bowl I found. I think it would be cool to have alligator and crabs. Now if I can only find classy silver crawfish serving pieces. That would be so great. How I love unique things.....

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Monograms, monograms, monograms.... I can't get enough!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Old pic's

We bought a new laptop and I've been trying to clean out the pictures from the old one. I came across a few file folders (pic's) that I completely forgot we had. I remember "Jill" over at Peeptoe Pumps and Pearls tagged me a few months ago. She asked if I could post a pic from my high school prom. I lost a lot of pictures during Katrina but I did find this picture on my laptop that I totally forgot I had. It's my Senior pic that was in my yearbook. So, I'm going to embarrass myself and post it for Jill. She shared her high school prom picture with me so it's fair to post my Senior pic for her. Hope y'all get a good laugh. Nice hair, huh...

Here's a couple other old photos I found ~ Come stroll with me down memory lane....

This is when my husband was working in the Emergency Room. This was taken right before he completed Grad School.

I remember this day. We drove over to the Oregon coast for the weekend (when we live in California). We stopped by a tiny Italian bistro we found and got it to go and had a picnic on the beach. It was the perfect afternoon because the weather was so nice.

This was taken in Paris. I remember we went in March and it was freezing. It was my hubby's birthday that day. We went to the Louvre and just a few feet from the exit was a great flea market. I picked up a ton of trinkets for my friends back home. That was a great trip.

Here's me at the D-Day Museum in New Orleans. If y'all are ever in the area it's worth seeing. We love going to museums (it's always a nice cool way to get out of the heat).

Christmas time in New Orleans!!! I miss living NOLA sooo much!!!

Our house in NOLA didn't have a pool so during the summer we'd check into the Le Pavillon or the Fairmont hotels in New Orleans. We'd hang out by the pool and order room service. Here I am as we are about to check out of the Le Pavillon. I loved leopard print back then. Nice bag, right? Why did I like this bag so much? Can't tell you....

That's hubby being so cool at NASA. That day was the hottest and humid day of my life. And we lived in New Orleans so that should tell you something. It's a toss on humid days between Houston/New Orleans.
Me at the HOB (House of Blues) in New Orleans. We attended the Gospel Blues Brunch. It was so much fun. They serve the best bread pudd'n....Yum!!!

Thanks for coming down memory lane with me. You can see how much my hair has changed over the years. Some of those hair styles, yikes!!! I have another folder I've kept of just pictures from when we lived in Austin. I'll share those another time. Have a great weekend....

Thursday, July 9, 2009


My newest quest is searching for silver. Anything you put next to silver immediately transforms it to something elegant. I really enjoy finding old worn pieces. Yes, the imperfection pieces are my favorite. It has that old world charm that I absolutely adore. I can easily jazz it up with ribbon, china, or flowers. Currently I've been hunting down all the antique/thrift shops around Houston for serving spoons and silver napkin rings. I must say that I'm not as fortunate locating a deal for the antique napkin rings. The smaller rural areas I occasionally run by a shop that has no idea the small fortune wrapped up in these beautiful pieces. And sometimes if I'm lucky get a steal. But that hasn't happened in quite some time. A true antique napkin ring can date back centuries. Yet, I've only seen those in Europe. However, they do have napkin rings dated back to the Civil War. And they are completely out of my price range, LOL!

A single ring could cost anywhere from $75.00 to $400.00. Can you imagine a set for a table of twelve? I like my silver to be mismatched. It reminds me so much of the plantations. That is my goal is to have a Southern Plantation feel to my home. Oak Alley's dining room is so exquisite and I would do anything to own those serving pieces. Can you imagine entertaining in a home like Oak Alley Plantation? Well, I can only dream, LOL!

Serving pieces

Oak Alley Plantation

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Olive Oil

Growing up near the wine country definitely had advantages. I still have a lot of friends who work in wine sales and production. I've toured a lot of wineries that are not open to the public and been educated by the owner's themselves. I take full advantage of the opportunity to learn as much as I can when chatting with people. I'm always curious and want to learn more.

Did you know that the first California vineyard was planted at Mission San Diego in the 1700's? They say the Spanish Mission System is highly responsible for the wine origin in California. Father Juniper Serra is called, "Father of California Wine." The grapes he used to plant have become well known and often referred to as the "Mission Grape." The vines were transported from Europe (mostly Spain) and were planted in Los Angeles. The climate/region is very similar to those back in Spain and France. A man named, Agoston, went on to plant vines all over Northern California evolving what we call today the "Wine Country."

Now a lot of tourists from all over the world come to the wine country to taste the wine. Little do they realize they are also in olive country. Olive oil is often considered, "liquid gold." It's been used for many things from lamps, skincare, cooking, etc. and has been dated back over 2,000 years ago in the bible. Did you know that California makes up for 95% of all Olive Oil in the U.S.? Not very people realize this.

I'm a huge olive oil fan. I cook with it, use it on my skin, buy olive oil soap, and indulge myself with with bread and vinegar. During the time that the grapes vines were being planted so were the olive trees. Spain also brought over the olive trees. Makes perfect sense considering that they were shipping the grape vines at the time. All I have to say is, Thank you, Spain!!! California Olive Oil is known for some of the best oil in the world. You can visit some of the olive tasting rooms just as you can wine.

Here are some of my favorites. I love these brands so much that I have them ship bottles out to Texas for me. I thought I'd share my little secret with y'all.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beach theme

Blah! It's been so hot and miserable in Houston. Yesterday the heat index was 110!!! It's difficult to enjoy anything when it's hot and muggy. Houston had their Freedom over Texas annual celebration yesterday. I didn't realize until after watching the news that Houston has one of the largest fireworks show in the nation. Over 100,000 people attend the festival each year. We were planning on driving downtown to watch the fireworks from hubby's office (he has a great view of the city) but all I could think about was cooling off and opted to stay indoors with the A/C (totally wimped out). We watched a movie instead (He's Just Not That Into You). Has anyone else seen it? I got a big kick that the character's name was, Gigi. I don't run into a lot of Gigi's so I thought that was pretty amusing.

While I was shopping online I came across two really cute websites. I love the beach and beach theme homes.

Adorable linens

This looks like something I'd see in Coastal Living Magazine. It's beautiful towel holder and would definitely be a conversational peice in kitchen.

Does anyone else love napkin rings? I think you can really spruce up any table with them. They have a great selection that's affordable at World Market & Pier 1. And they make great gifts too. I love the turtle and starfish.

I'm in love with these plates.

Isn't this a cool beach tote?

Thursday, July 2, 2009


A lot of people celebrate the 4th of July by soaking up rays by the pool, hitting the beach, grilling dogs and burgers, and watching fireworks. It's a lot of fun and I truly enjoy spending time with my family and friends. However, 4th of July is extremely important to me and my family than to most people who celebrate it. It's just as important as celebrating Christmas or Thanksgiving to most. Why? Well, my family has been serving and fighting for our freedom since the Revolutionary War.

We fought and died at the Alamo. We had our sugar plantations burned to the ground during the Civil War. My great grandfather survived the trenches of the Battle of the Bulge during WWI, had a great uncle that was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor WWII, my great uncle survived as a POW the Japanese Bataan Death March (over 60 miles of torture), another great uncle flew fighter jets during WWII and became a 4 Star General. He retired from the Pentagon back in the mid 80's, my grandfather fought in Korea on a battleship, and my father was shot and survived Vietnam.

Independence Day is a time to remember my family who fought and served so I could have freedom. I never want to make this holiday all about BBQ and fireworks. I always want to keep the memory alive of what the past generations have sacrificed for me today. It's my responsibility to teach the future generations about our nation's (family) history. Thank you for all who have served this great nation. God Bless!

Happy Birthday America!!!

Battle of the Bulge ~ Thank you, Great Grandpa Bill!!!

Japanese Bataan Death March ~ Thank you, Uncle Charles!!!

Pearl Harbor ~ Thank you, Uncle Coke!!!

Korean War ~ Thank you, Grandpa!!!

Vietnam ~ Thank you, Dad!!!

You haven't been forgotten!!!