Friday, October 25, 2013

Poparazzi Popcorn

You know...I love me some gourmet popcorn!  Once someone sent me a big 3 gallon tin of gourmet popocorn, caramel to be was probably the best gift I've received!  Well...almost.  So, I did some researching and found this gourmet popcorn shop and I was wowed.  They have so many flavors!  I'm a simple girl, so I purchased a mini bag of the buffalo wings and ranch, vinegar & salt, add pickle, and the chicago style (my favorite) caramel and cheese.  I think I was won over by the new flavors, buffalo wings & ranch and vsp!  They were, omg, so tasty!  I can't wait to g back for more!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wedding Tip #4 - Beauty Shares

Less than a month to go and it's time to start those beauty regimens!  On skin...recently, Lauren had a chemical peel done and I decided I may need one too.  I was thinking about the concept of referrals...the funny thing about them is that you don't necessarily have to get the most raving review, but you just need one, anyone, and to know someone else used them is often times good enough.  I went to the dermatologist today and I really liked her, Sonya.  She suggested I not get the chemical peel, as it's a very extreme process, but recommended I use a certain cream.  That, I really appreciated.  My dermatologist is at Bellaire Dermatology Associates.

On teeth...on occasion people comment on how white my teeth are.  I'm not in need of teeth whitening at the moment, but when I am, I usually do some minor form of teeth whitening once every 3-4 years.  Usually, I'll get a syringe of whitening gel from my dentist, as I already have teeth trays, it's $10 and works.  If you don't have trays, I find Crest white strips work well and is what Matt is doing now.  He's on day 9 and he says he can tell they are working.

On physique...I have been working with weights a lot more in general for the past year and a half.  However, I've been incorporating an extra day of cardio, weights, and high intensity training and have been getting a little more serious about my weight training.  I can definitely see some changes, small but some.  A great app I use that was introduced to me by Matt's brother is Nike Training Club.  Sometimes people ask me what I'm using during my work out, probably because they see a voice from my phone training me...NTC is all you need!  It's pretty awesome, it provides you a work out plan according to what you're looking for, getting toned, lean, strong, etc.  It's a free app  on the iphone.

On nutrition...I also hired a nutrionist.  I have been wanting to find one for some time and now just seemed like the appropriate time.  I have always felt I eat fairly healthy with more of a leaning towards a vegetarian diet.  But, to be honest, I eat whatever I want and I have always wondered what my best would be if I really tried or made more of an effort to eat right.  Since last Thursday I have been cooking like a mad woman and Matt is not complaining.  He doesn't mind being my guinea pig on trying new foods and "healthy" snacks, see picture below (protein pumpkin muffins).  I have been packing our lunches, eating every couple of hours, it's a lot of work!  Each night I find I am cooking two meals, one for dinner and one for tomorrow's lunch.  I have never been someone that enjoys cooking and I think it all stems from not really knowing how to cook.  I mean I can follow instructions, but have not been one that loves and desires to learn about foods.  This whole new cooking process has been a big effort on my part, but oddly kind of nice.  I've found that once you have some dishes under your belt, you can easily switch things around and it's not been so bad.  Mostly, I'm just motivated to see what this new style of eating is going to do for me.  I have to say, I was flabbergasted about the information about foods and the hidden fats that my nutritionist explained.  I am really excited, but mostly it's all fun.  I now have to eat 5 meals a day, most main meals must contain protein.  Today, I made egg salad sandwich and it was actually pretty good.  I'm feeling a lot more firm, maybe even a little smaller.  I have a second visit in 2 weeks, it will be interesting to see if there is any change, at least on paper.  My nutritionist is Keith Klein.

Just a few tips I can share about what I have incorporated in my diet is cook all my own meals, cut out the oil, do a lot of baking, add protein in each meal, add mid morning and mid afternoon snacks daily, and drink more water.  Ok, that's it for now, got to go make my veggie drink!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Christmas is Here!

Holiday decorations are out! It's totally shameless…it is October 18, right?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Engagement Photos Are In!

Special delivery from NY!  Love the packaging, so cute!  Photography by Cly Creation (Matthew) in Central Park, NY.  They do beautiful photos and I thought the photos came out great!  A few sneak peeks below.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Torchy's Tacos Heights

I love it!  I am very happy about this new opening in the Heights!  It's a rather large space, with nice outside seating...and ample parking...unlike some other location, namely Shepherd.  Yum, look at these dishes.  My Fried Avocado taco looks like it's two, but it's really only one.  Love this place!
btw, who's that cutie patootie opening the door?  :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

M+S Wedding Tips - #3 Tradeoffs

The weather is just beautiful!  Days like this get me into the holiday mood.  There's just something really romatic about this time of the year.  Janice and I went by Liscomb yesterday and they already had holiday candles out!   I love the holidays, but I also like to enjoy each month's festivities.  We're in October and to me that means, I still have 2 months of wedding planning, yay!  Thankfully, my bridesmaids are really helping with a lot, so I have very little stress.

Now back to wedding talk...early on, I realized you can't have everything.  I received so many tips from married folks, who are so great at helping and giving really useful tips...but something I just learned on my own is that you really have to prioritize early on what is most important to you.  We talked about 3 things we each felt were important to us.  Combined they were, we would have a spectacular time, that our guest would have a great time, and that the wedding would be, the atmosphere.

From the very beginning we had some difficulties staying within our budget so that our guest would have a great time, like increasing the alcohol budget, entertainment budget, etc.  Trading off the band for the dj was a big hurdle for me.  But, in the end, it was either the band and some other high ticket items, or we get married next year.  That just seemed ridiculous, so we made the tradeoff and now, it's not really a big deal anymore.  I think once you start letting go a little bit in exchange for what you really makes your decision making a little bit easier.

Something a few married folks said to me was, "it's just one day".  That is probably one of the wiset things I've heard.  You often think, well this is my wedding day!  And that's normal.  One time, we were fitting Matt's son for a tux and Ethan said, I don't like that...and Matt put his hands on Ethan's shoulders and said very nicely, "son...this is my day, you will wear what I tell you to wear."  I thought to myself...even men think it!  Anyways, on getting together with one of my married girlfriends, now with a second child, said that she couldn't remember a lot about her wedding anymore, and that day just seemed so unimportant given the stage of life she was in now and that spoke volumes to me.

Before, I really cared about the details, and I still partly do.  But, I'm getting to the point where I'm just like...I don't care if this is a typical wedding or if people are bored to tears, let's get this over and done with!  So, what I'm saying is, yes it's your's your's finally here...but again, it's just one day and after some time, you won't even care about all those things you swear you thought you were going to include in your wedding. 

Oh, one more thing, DIY (do it yourself) projects...unless you're saving a ton of money, I would highly recommend you not consider doing these projects, unless you're a master at crafts.  Often times, I am finding you do not save that much money, from the time and effort that goes into putting the pieces of something together, getting all the necessary pieces, paint,'s just not worth it!  Just buy it. are saving quite a abit of money...whatever that is to you.  To me, saving $100 on a card box may be worth it, but saving $30 is not.  And sometimes, the work that goes into it, really is just a pain in the me, definitely not worth it.  But, I had to fail at a few projects to realize this.

Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Macy's, Payless Shoes, Nordstroms, Minted, and Etsy have been awesome places to shop at!

Purchased - Vintage Ball Mason Jars from Etsy

DIY - card box (supplies from Hobby Lobby & Home Depot)

DIY - Ring box (supplies from Michael's & Home Deopt)

Purchased - Table no (supplies from Michael's & Home Depot)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

M+S Wedding Tip #2 - The Venue!

The most stressful period about wedding planning for me was the very beginning when we were trying to figure out dates, guest count, reception venue, ceremony venue, wedding party, dresses, suits, honeymoon, etc.  But, once you've figured out your budget, try to stick to it as much as you can.  I realized early on, there are things I have no idea how much they cost, but a tool like will help with rough estimates.

Now that the budget is set, it's time to select a date and venue!  I know, you already have your date selected, but really some venues may not be available.  The date and venue are really one item that needs to be figured out together, which brings us to tip #2 - finding a venue for the date.  Looking back, I thought finding a venue, for a specific date, was the most stressful task.  Your guest count needs to be considered and to also be able to hold a ceremony and reception was also not easy to find.  I knew I wanted an outdoor wedding, so I googled for weeks, hashed out dates, considered the budget and found 1 possible venue.  Then, I realized I wanted a garden and after surfing and calling around, 3 weeks later, after considering a few others, we finally settled on Ouisie's Table.  It is the perfect spot.  Not only did it have a outdoor garden for the ceremony, but it also was a very charming restaurant for the reception.   They also have great food, can hold up to 200+, and they provided vendors and had an in-house florist, baker for the cake, an events coordinator that will help with a lot of the planning.  If you need additional contacts for a live band, photographers, musicians, djs, etc, they also have.  Although, I did find my own photographer and dj, it's nice to have the resources.

So I realized through all of this, I really love one stop shops.  It is so convenient and if you're on a fairly short time line like we were, it's so helpful and such a relief!  I might be paying a little bit more for the in-house florist and cake, but in the end, it was minimial for the benefit of allowing the venue to handle it.

Beautiful isn't it?  Ok come back and visit for my next tip on weighing options and tradeoffs.

Also, other places I considered but due to unavailability and some other uncoordinateable details, we bypassed...but for someone else, they would be the perfect spot.

Tiny Boxwood's - beautiful, my most favorite, but guest count was 85, and they were booked for 2013.

Houston Zoo - I saw pictures of a wedding done here and it was gorgeous!  But, due to the season, they would have festive lights in the trees, no ceremony accomodations, plus they had a $5000 rental fee on top of the typical fees.

Veranda - loved this spot initially, but then realized I really wanted a garden surround.  Veranda is a semi-outdoor venue.  I've seen really nice weddings done here as well.  And they provide a free room for the couple.