Pumpkin Patch Power

IMG_0391It’s Fall Y’all! For Houstonians, this is the dream season.  Weather is picture perfect.  Even a pandemic cannot slow us down when it comes to enjoying this special time of year.

Our tradition usually leads us to the St Luke’s United Methodist Church pumpkin patch, but thanks to the COVID-19 times, they opted to not host this yearly event.  Another wonderful alternative, which is probably not an alternative to others but their primary, is the Memorial Drive Methodist Church pumpkin patch.  They were open for big business and we walked away with the biggest pumpkin we could find! Not only do they have an exciting variety of pumpkin options, but adorable phot-op backdrops for the kiddos, and the most expensive pumpkin you can buy is $25.  So, have fun picking both big and small! It was our perfect Sunday activity for today, followed up with brunch at Royal Oaks Country Club.

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Poutine Routine: “Canada Day In Houston”

tubs poutine 2020Happy Canada Day 2020! Since I met my husband, this is a newly celebrated birthday for me.  I love Canada Day because I love my Canadian husband.  It has become a tradition, since our discovery of the restaurant Tubs Poutine in Houston, that we actually come here once a year on this special day.

If you have not discovered poutine cousine, hopefully we can enlighten you. Imagine a tub of French fries, with gravy, then add in extras such as “anything” you love truly.  For example, I always order (once a year) the La Quebec. It is topped with tender rotisserie chicken and buttery sweat peas. My husband Jan went for the Classic Poutine this year. It is fresh-cut potatoes, topped with the oxtail & Hennessy cognac gravy and squeaky cheese curds.  Other options include pulled pork, lobster, brisket, and chicken-fried-chicken for example. The venue is located in an old dry cleaner. Small space but with character. Grab a Canadian beer too.  This is not the meal for the calorie counters!  And a pro tip, since I have been 3 times now in the past 3-years. If you come on Canada Day, wear a Canadian inspired shirt or bring your Canadian passport, and you will get around 15% off your oder!  You are welcome. “Je vous en prie”.

Tubs Poutine is located in Houston’s Energy Corridor at 13429 Briar Forest Drive in between Eldridge Parkway and Highway 6. Visit their site at www.tubspoutine.com .

Texas Road Trip During COVID-19

 

A TX road trip is never complete w/o a pit stop to Buc-ee's!
A TX road trip is never complete w/o a pit stop to Buc-ee’s!

Stay Safe. Wash Your Hands. Wear A Mask.  These are the most common words we hear this year.  Thanks to COVID-19 our lives will never be the same.  In my world, travel is a huge part of who we are in my family. We love adventure and experiences.  Plus, sometimes we just need a little break from every day life.  Since hopping on an airplane is not so fashionable, we are now opening our minds up to some convenient road trips. Honestly, since we have a toddler who cannot sit still, short road trips is truly the way to go for us anyway.

 

Hyatt Lazy River
Hyatt Lazy River

First stop this year we chose San Antonio. This is a place we can go to many times and have a different experience each time.  Since most large public places are closed such as Sea World and Fiesta Texas, we chose a hotel resort with some amenities to keep us occupied and safe.  We tried out the Hyatt Residence Club at Wild Oak Ranch.  In a perfect setting, this place has all you can offer to a family. They have a golf course, put put, fire pits, pools, slides, horseshoe games and corn hole, sand volleyball, restaurants, club house, and more.  But due to social distancing restrictions the only attractions open were the golf course and the lazy river.  We seriously went just for the lazy river!  It was awesome!

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Matchy Matchy Christmas!

xmas 2019The Christmas holiday season is full of fun traditions. What are some of yours?  In our abode, we are starting some new traditions and keeping some old for our little party of three! My husband and I married later in life, meaning, we were the single ones always traveling to another family member’s house for the holidays.  Now, we are  determined to spend Christmas Day at home so we can partake in our own festivities, our way.  I don’t know about you, but I love the matching Christmas pajamas I see on other families.  It is so funny to see what they picked out and it is very impressive when a group of 20+ people are all in the same pj’s!  This year, hubby and I opted for some comfy flannel from Land’s End.  Perhaps next year I  can plan better to get all three of us in the same outfit.  Our little Thor-Olav wore cute pajamas purchased from Nordstrom.

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Aspen Adventures

Aspen 2019A Schmidt family trip to Aspen to celebrate our son’s 1st birthday, why not? After all, he only turns one once! We wanted to go BIG for our ONE and only! Even though it was considered “off season” in early October we felt like we got the best of both worlds!  Our first few days we caught the Fall golden foliage… then it snowed! It’s like Fall and Winter all packaged in one week!  We stayed at the Hyatt Grand Aspen which was centrally located….a perfectly walkable spot and convenient to everything! We felt blessed! Our three bedroom unit had a balcony facing the pool, it had a cozy fireplace in our living room and bedrooms, plus the kitchen / dining / living room was spacious.  And, travelling with a kid we were very grateful for the washer and dryer.  No joke, out little one blew through 3 outfits just from Houston to Aspen!  We made the mistake of renting a car and driving though Independence Pass….that very narrow, winding, high elevation route made our son VERY car sick.  Oops…we won’t make that same mistake twice!  Gorgeous scenic view, but it was NOT fun.

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Heroes And Handbags Kickoff Event

Ashley Seals, Hannah Thibodeaux, and myself enjoying the event!
Ashley Seals, Hannah Thibodeaux, and myself enjoying the event!

A sassy crowd on Thursday, September 26th at the 29 North boutique located in the Post Oak Hotel in Houston for the kickoff to Heroes And Handbags event benefiting Heroes For Children.  Heroes For Children South Texas Manager Meredith Segal and this year’s Heroes And Handbags Event Chair Ashley Seippel welcomed guests as they sipped, shopped, and were entertained with a mini fashion show and lesson by a local style expert on “color blocking” which is the current trend.  Think paring bold colors like green and yellow or pink and orange.  Have fun with the color wheel she tells our colorful crowd!

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Feeling Blessed At Priest Lake

priest lake 2019 hills resortA treasure in my family for generations is the opportunity to visit Priest Lake, Idaho. My father, keeping tradition alive, rents cabins at Hills Resort during July and again in September and shares this sweet spot with our family and his special guests.  From Houston we fly to Denver then to Spokane, Washington then take a 2.5 hour scenic drive to Idaho.  Nestled near cities you might be more familiar such as Sand Point and Coeur d’Alene,  consider Priest Lake the “Crown Jewel” of the Idaho Panhandle! The history of Priest Lake dates back almost 10,000 years at the end of the ice age. Glaciers once covered this area. Jesuit Priests would eventually settle the lake in the 1840’s and the rest is history!  Literally, I tell anyone I know that this is the only lake that I trust!! Ha Ha. The water is crystal clear.  I grew up on this lake water skiing, jet skiing, boating, and swimming.  I never once felt a fish nibble on my toes.  Besides boating, the area lends itself to outdoors seekers for hiking, fishing, motorbiking, skiing, and snowmobiling.

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A Festive Fourth At Royal Oaks

rocc 7.4.19 eventI love Independence Day.  It ‘s a time where Americans remember the birth of the United States of America, pay respect to our forefathers, and remember our great patriots and the amazing scarifies they continue to make to keep our country home of the free and the brave. This year was extra special as we got to enjoy July 4th with our  +1 , as we like to refer to him as “TOS – The Boss!”  Life is truly so much more fulfilling with our little guy in  the picture.  This year we joined the festivities at the Royal Oaks Country Club and it did not disappoint!  The club actually set a record year in attendance with over 400 patrons.  On the great lawn they had food stations, cash bar, table set ups, plus exciting games and rides for the kiddos.  And my favorite being face painting, because I have limited time in my rocc 7.4.19 event friendsson’s life to dress him up like my little doll!  They even had an area fire department bring their big red truck, which was a true hit for the kiddos.

My husband and I joined the club exactly one year ago and it was fun to see our friends out enjoying the evening with their families and loved ones.  I admit, I loved all of the red, white, and blue and patriotic preppy fashion!  Also, I have sold some properties in this community too so my extra bonus was to cross paths with my clients who live and love the community!  It is such a happy place and the people here are very welcoming and nice.

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Seductive Sedona

Sedona 2019 red rocksEnter the trance of exotic Sedona, Arizona.  A flight to Phoenix then a few hours drive, you will enter this fire-like magical wonderland.  A peaceful place, many come to meditate, hike, retreat, and heal.  There are magical powers we hear coming from the five area vortexes.  A many “psychics” call this place home too.  They must know something?  I really wanted to find out, but it will have to be a reading on another trip!

My husband just celebrated a “round” birthday.  So, we decided to take a nice vacation to a place we have never been.  So, Sedona here we came!  And, somewhere not like Vegas I might add!  It did not take us long to agree on Sedona, and the Hyatt Vacation Club Pinon Pointe was perfect for us and our sedona 2019 hyatt+1!  Located in the heart of the city, walkable to restaurants and attractions, we could not have landed in a better place.  Breakfast and Starbucks coffee at 7am, then a dip in the pool, then exploring the beautiful town and surroundings.  Not a bad view anywhere, including the gas station! Also, the property had an activities center which included ping pong, pool table, free internet, grilles, and a fire pit.

Since we have an 8-month old son, we knew this trip was more of a test than a full on eventful adventure.  We used our days to discover what we  can do in the future!  Hiking is definitely an attraction, including their “pink jeep” tours, helicopter tours, river rafting, etc. We very much enjoyed just driving our rental car anywhere and everywhere.  Popular sites include Maroon Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Coffee Pot Rock, Cathedral Rock, Snoopy Rock, and Bell Rock.

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Keto Kraze

Cooking keto and loving it!
Cooking keto and loving it!

Hello world, I have gone keto krazy!  It’s the new buzz word in the food diet industry that has received a lot of attention lately, because it works!  And, hopefully restaurants will catch on soon so dining out is not such a challenge.

So here’s the quick keto scoop. The ketogenic diet is a high fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbs. Normally carbs contained in food turn to glucose which is transported around the body which fuels brain function. However, if there are few carbs the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies which in turn replace glucose as an energy source. The classic ketogenic diet was developed for treatment for paediatric epilepsy in the 1920’s, actually. Other therapeutic uses include treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, autism, brain cancer, Parkinson’s, and the list goes on.  PLEASE consult with a doctor.

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