A 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.
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!
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.
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.
Two Brides = Double the FUN! February 26th seaside in Galveston I had the pleasure to host a brunch & lingerie shower for blooming brides Lori Geshay & Hollie Wells. The future Mrs Bergeron & Mrs Dorsett were glowing of course surrounded by their besties for champagne, dining and sweets. What better venue to treasure these dolls than at the “Queen of the Gulf” known as the Hotel Galvez. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, Hotel Galvez is a four-star AAA property.
I am not a “crafty” person mainly due to time constraints, however I was motivated with this occasion and spent A LOT of time on Pintrest. Let’s just talk decor for a minute! Going with the lingerie theme I baked heart-shaped butter cookies and
decorated them into cute lingerie and/or bathing suits. Since this was my first attempt the designs were manageable but aren’t they so cute??? I felt like a fashion designer…watch out Victoria’s Secret! Next, what is an event without champagne in my group!? So, I took mini bottles, dipped them in gold glitter, and added cute pink ruffle bows w/ a pink/white straw. I did a similar idea for my wedding favours but the glitter took it to a whole new level! Pink was my colour choice as it’s feminine, fun, and perfect for Spring. Also on the table were ring lotto scratch-offs….and a fun prize included of course for the winner! Fresh floral arrangements for the brides to take home. Fun glasses, veils, hats to play with. Last, Mardi Gras beads for everyone! Yes, this party happened to fall on Mardi Gras….which made it even more festive. A good way to “mark your champagne glass” is to tie your beads around the bottom of the flute. The stem. Choose or “claim” your colour and no confusion there!
I truly have the best group of friends. After my engagement announcement in January, the year of 2015 was ALL ABOUT THE PARTIES! One of them included a high tea at The St. Regis Hotel in Houston. I even had some friends fly in from Chicago and North Carolina! Thank you for making me feel so special my loves!
I have written about tea time here before and I cannot express how special it is. From the service, to the harpist, to the amazing assortment of teas, finger sandwiches, and the scones, it is a true treat.
Although I adore my teas, champagne and mimosas are a definite festive must! My hostesses were so creative with the table arrangements too. All had to find their seat by viewing their childhood photo in a frame. It made for a wonderful conversational piece as well as a thoughtful take home memento.
I just have to reflect on one thing too. How cute is my hubby for showing up at the end of the event to not only greet my lovely friends , look very dapper in the process in his suit, but to be the only man in the room and help us ladies pack up the party?!?! My Jan-Oliver Schmidt is the ultimate gentleman.
So, the next time you want to do a lady-like party definitely keep the tearoom in mind. What Texas gal does not enjoy dressing up? The room is very intimate as in “small” so book your reservation weeks or even months in advance. If you have a food allergy let the kitchen know too. They were able to accommodate both of my gluten-free and vegan friends.
And yes, pinkies up too dahhlings and enjoy!
Okay, sol I am taking you back to August of this year. Sometimes I get a bit behind. My friend Lori put together the most amazing bridal shower and I love her so much for it and that day in time deserves some Trende Brende attention! If you have ever stepped foot into the Hotel Granduca in Houston then you will see why this place is worth raving about. Naturally, it set the scene for the most perfect shower ever. This Italian boutique hotel in Uptown offers an elegant experience like none other. Lori and I occasionally come here for our “girl time” for high tea during the week and happy hour on Thursdays. We’ve even seen and met celebs here such as singer Steven Tyler and reality TV star Rob Kardashian for example.
Back to my party. From the formal invitation, to the personalized gift bags including monogrammed candles, to the venue, to the food and flowing champagne; my friend really knows my style! By the way, Hotel Granduca has the most savory Sunday brunch! Who knew? Stations included the meats, the cheeses, omelets, and desserts. What got us most excited was the fried chicken and waffles, the grilled cheese with bacon, peanut butter and jelly, and the sushi and oyster bar!! WOW! I should just go ahead and book my standing reservation for every Sunday I am in town for the rest of my life! For more information on their brunch, the hotel, and events check out their website www.granducahouston.com.
I just have to say, the party was so sweet including my wonderful parents, my sister, and a selection of dear friends. We laughed, nibbled, sipped, shared stories, and opened gifts. What an intimate day that I did not want to end.
Our boys met for the first time too. Looks like they will get along just fine. LOL! Hey, it’s important. Thank you again to Lori for hosting such a flawless and meaningful shower. Jan and I are truly humbled by your generosity and love.
Before I go, have I mentioned that I have definitely found my prince and knight in shining armor??!! I am the happiest girl ever! It is the best feeling to love and to be loved. I am marrying the smartest, kindest, honest, caring, and most handsome man in my entire life. God Bless #TheJanic and our amazing future ahead! For our love story we’ve put together a short video https://youtu.be/TL0se2PqxzM. Yes we are goofballs!
Photo Credit: Angelique Cook Photography
Sipping champagne, shopping, and mingling….all for a great cause! Count me in! May 7th at the Omni Hotel over $250,000 was raised to benefit Heroes For Children. A sold out event the 2015 Heroes And Handbags bruncheon is their signature event and the money helps families with children battling cancer. In it’s 10th year it was very exciting for me to be the Handbag Co-Chair along with my friend Anna Kaplan. Event Chair and my BFF Lori Lemon-Geshay lead the team and Host Committee and WOW does she deserve a standing ovation! Founder Larissa Linton showed a tear when the final numbers came in! The largest fundraiser for the organization in Houston to date! Way to go!
If you have never attended this event before please add it to your list for 2016. Imagine a room full of 150+ new and “gently loved” designer handbags and all are up for bid! Since 100% of the bags are donated, 100% of the sale of the bags go directly to the charity. From paying a utility bill, to rent, to transportation, and many other needs, Heroes For Children is able to help thousands of families every year with your help. The digital bidding process in itself was super exciting. Basically you are able to place your bid via your smart phone. Each time you get out bid they text you a notice. You can place a new bid and even offer a cap bid amount. Anna Kaplan and I did a television segment on KPRC Channel 2. Here is video link and it will show you some of this year’s handbag collection including Chanel, Dior, Gucci, and other amazing designers! I’m already thinking about next year’s event and what selection that one will bring? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u18bLhIsny0
As you can see I won the Versace bag! The Winner sign sure got me jumping out of my chair! My friend Claire really took home the cake scoring 5 handbags!
A special thank you to the event Sponsors including Elaine Turner, Kendra Scott, Paper City, CultureMap, Momentum Porsche, A Bientot, Tanglewood Flowers & Garden, and What’s The Occassion Creative Cakery. Also a job well done by the Chairs and Host Committee members, the Donors, and Patrons who bought tables and $250 tickets to the event. The success of this event is an example of the very generous with a big heart of a city of Houston we call home. If you would like more information on the charity and ways you can help all year long visit www.heroesforchildren.org or you can find them on Facebook! Event photos coming soon by photographers Herb Hochman, Jaime Lagdameo, and Quy Tran so please check social media, Paper City, and CultureMap.
My recent Sotheby’s top producer award trip to NYC was simply off the charts! Perfect weather, living in luxury at the Waldorf Astoria, and enjoying private art exhibit events at the Sotheby’s auction house, a Broadway performance, fancy dinners, shopping on 5th Avenue, and bike strolls in Central Park and around the city. In the middle of our great adventure we were introduced to the ultra new and ultra luxurious Baccarat Hotel. This place is my dream! Surround me every day with crystal chandeliers and luxurious decor. All I can say is more more more!
Baccarat Hotels & Resorts translates the perfect craft and noble heritage of the legendary, 250-year-old French crystal maker into an elegant lifestyle. Combining this rare legacy with modern elegance and elements of unexpected magic, each of the brand’s hotels and resorts has been conceived as a gracious hôtel particulier, welcoming guests with impeccable service and distinctive amenities. Baccarat Hotels & Resorts launched in March 2015 with the opening of its flagship New York property. Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York will be followed by Rabat, Morocco, in 2016, with additional openings in Dubai and Doha over the course of the next several years. Rumor has it, add Miami to the mix!
Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York is a contemporary Manhattan take on a classically elegant Parisian hôtel particulier. It blends influences past and present to create sumptuous spaces, both grand and intimate that inspire wonder with their enchanting surprises and carefully considered details. Although one night’s stay can range around $1000, in my opinion this is an opportunity of a lifetime. In the bar area, I enjoyed a negroni cocktail served in a Baccarat crystal glass. Only the finest dahling! Even the bartenders and cocktail waitresses wear Baccarat crystal jewelry.
Their lounge is set up like a custom home with beautiful seating arrangements and private rooms for entertaining and meetings. I found my favorite “fur” chair too. It’s the Texas chic in me Sought after Paris-based design duo Gilles & Boissier created nearly every piece of furniture in fact for the hotel’s soaring salon-style public spaces, as well as the 114 light-filled rooms and suites of the hotel. Weaving artisanal Baccarat crystal elements throughout, they lavished attention on each surface, be it a sparkling mica-covered vaulted ceiling, silver-leafed wood paneling, pleated-silk walls or a monumental marble table. New York design masters Tony Ingrao and Stephen Sills, respectively, handled the 60 residences and the ground-level contemporary French restaurant, Chevalier.
The next time you go to New York City indulge in some Baccarat elegance because you are worth it! After this experience I think I need to add Baccarat to my wedding registry list. Move over Waterford, Baccarat has a hotel! Located at 20 West 53rd Street , New York , New York , 10019 across from the Museum of Modern Art, enjoy the radiant glow of this 50 story masterpiece. You are welcome my friends! Trende Brende has you covered.