A 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.
All posts by NCB
A Festive Fourth At Royal Oaks
I 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 son’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.
Enter 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 +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.
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.
DAR Spring Awards Luncheon
Friday, May 10th I attended the annual Lady Washington Chapter, NSDAR Spring Awards Luncheon. The Daughter’s of the American Revolution is a very special organization of women paying tribute to their American patriot forefathers. Some members are traced back to their ancestors who arrived to America on The Mayflower! This event honored all of the fine women who have provided great service to the group on a multitude of levels. A special congratulations to all of them and their accomplishments!
The luncheon opened up with the DAR ritual, followed by The American’s Creed, then The Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas Flag. I love the patriotism in the group. I also love to be reminded of the amazing privilege we have to be an American citizen and to love God and Country.
Besides fancy hats, outfits, a lovely meal, and good conversation, we were greeted by our guest speaker Lynn Forney Young, the Honorary President General of NSDAR, the Honorary State Regent of Texas, and the United States Semiquincentennial Commission. She shared wonderful stories of our great American history, women’s influence throughout the years in legislation, and provided a real-life update on the political life in Washington today. Believe me, this group of women on a national level truly makes a difference in the United States! If you ever get the chance, visit the DAR building in Washington D.C. If you love ancestry, this is one of the richest archives in America!
Galante Wine Gang
Our trip to Carmel By The Sea would certainly not be complete unless we did some wine tasting! California does produce some of my favorite wines. I was born in CA so perhaps their grapes are in my bloodline? LOL.
There are wine rooms on every block in this town. We took a stroll into the Galante Vineyards tasting room. There was a good social echo coming out of their propped open door. It sounded inviting, so we literally followed the vibe thinking, we’ll just pop in for a minute. Well, that minute lasted more than an hour and before we knew it, we tasted all kinds of wines from their extensive library, nibbling on cheese and snacks, chatting up the locals, and hanging out with wine guru Jack Galante himself! His family is some of the original founders of Carmel. They have a deep history here and it was fun to hear his stories. Did you know that a woman’s high heels is banned in this town? A funny local law that is still in place but not enforced. LOL! Ok, back to the wine. Our tasting only cost $30 by the way. Not a bad deal at all!
Carmel By The Sea: “Name That House”
My recent trip to Carmel, California was a real sea breeze treat! Besides losing power at our highlands resort for 1.5 days due to bad weather, the stunning scenery was magical. We even caught a glimpse of a rainbow a time or two!
The realtor in me had to take a road trip to Carmel By The Sea to check out some Pacific Coast real estate! Sotheby’s has an office in Carmel and Monterrey so I can help you with your RE needs here if you are looking, just an FYI! Alongside Carmel Bay on Scenic Road we drove our rental car up and down and weaved in and out of the adjoining streets. Look at this house as my main photo for this story!!! This was by far my favorite. Unobstructed views for miles out Continue reading Carmel By The Sea: “Name That House”
Besties And Babies!
Baby Schnitzel is one lucky man and he’s not even here yet! Recently, my blonde mafia besties hosted the most incredible baby shower for us in Houston. Graciously opening her doors to her fabulous home for 30 women, Lori Bergeron offered the most magical venue for the event. Add in all of the amazing and personalized decor, food, and hottie friends, this party was a “looker”!
My friend Anna Kaplan quoted, “This is straight out of Town & Country Magazine.” And, I cannot agree with her more! Every detail was thoroughly thought out and I really felt like the most special lady alive that day! I still do actually!
Showering Baby Schnitzel!
My husband and I are very excited to announce that we are having a baby! After much anticipation “Baby Schnitzel” as we like to call him is due in October of this year. A lot of love will be surrounding our little guy as he enters this world. Just recently, our two families joined forces – The Brende’s & The Schmidt’s – in Los Angeles, California for the ultimate couple’s baby shower! Not without a spectacular sunny day to go along with the picturesque view, the event took place above the Hollywood Hills at my Uncle’s abode. The same home of the annual Brende Easter Egg & Beer Hunt, in fact.
Canadian Salad Makes Its Way To Houston!
July 1st was Canada Day. In honour of Canada’s birthday my husband and I set off on a journey to find a Canadian food specialty called “poutine”. Believe it or not, it is no easy find in this melting pot of a city with over 4 million people! Fortunately, there is help on the way! Let me introduce you to Houston’s newest restaurant in the thriving Energy Corridor called Tubs Poutine!
Brother-sister duo Brian and Caroline Nguyen along with chef guru Lyle Mathes are the first to open a poutine only restaurant right here in Houston. Barely 1-month old, this restaurant is creating a crowd who loves food with a heart, comfort for the soul, and a casual friendly atmosphere which gets you to saying all is “Eh-OK” in this world! Brian’s world travels to Toronto, Canada inspired him to bring this cuisine back to Texas. Fortunate for him, his sister Caroline is a veteran in the food and hospitality industry and chef Lyle has cooked for the Jimmy Kimmel show, the Houston Rockets, the New England Patriots, American Idol and the Los Angeles Lakers….just to name a few! Even cuter to the story, “Tubs” is the nickname of Brian’s son.