Category Archives: Living

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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Besties And Babies!

Baby Schnitzel Houston showerBaby  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!

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Showering Baby Schnitzel!

baby schnitzel CA shower 3My 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.

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Forty, Fabulous, and Preggars!

"Baby Schnitzel On Board"!!!
“Baby Schnitzel On Board”!!!

There are many milestones in our lives, in my case, I had to combine two at once!  I recently hosted my 40th Birthday party with my besties, but what they did not know is that I was 15 weeks pregnant! A very hard secret to keep when my social life involves champagne!  Not to mention, hiding a 3-month baby bump!

Pink and blue was my color scheme and a spring patio setting was important to me.  The perfect venue for a Sunday afternoon was A’Bouzy….a champagne bar and restaurant in the oh-so-fancy River Oaks neighborhood! My spread included fresh floral arrangements, charcuterie board and lite bites, Sprinkles mini cupcakes

"Blonde Mafia"
“Blonde Mafia”

(some gluten free), and flowing champagne!  I wanted my guests to be bubbled up with sugar and sweets for our very special announcement!

I got married at 37-years old, so having a “Baby Schnitzel” as we are calling our little bundle, is truly a blessing!  Honestly, the thought of being a mother grew with me in time.  When I was in my 20’s-early 30’s, I just wanted to work hard and play hard!  Today, I still enjoy of that but my priorities have shifted.  I love being married and motherhood is my next natural progression.  I cannot wait!!!

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Lilly Loves Texas!

lilly pulitzer mom michelle me and artist charlotte munyardWho does not love the brand Lilly Pulitzer?  The resort wear and color schemes they offer just makes me smile!  In fact, it’s my mother’s favorite, truly!  In April, my mom came to Houston for a visit and what better place than to take her to her favorite store in Highland Village?  Coincidentally, the boutique had a featured artist that day custom painting clutches and totes!

Sipping bubbly, enjoying lite bites, and shopping, what a combination!  My sister joined in the fun too.  It was the perfect girls’ family outing!

Introducing the one-of-a-kind Lilly Pulitzer "Chako Clutch"!
Introducing the one-of-a-kind Lilly Pulitzer “Chako Clutch”!

A HUGE score, and now dear to my heart, is this custom painted clutch I got of my little fur ball in heaven Chako, let him rest in peace.  The artist captured the spirit of my Persian kitty prince perfectly!  This handbag is by far my most prized possession moving forward and I will wear it close to my heart!  I am so appreciative of this custom creation.

Thank you Lilly Pulitzer for adding a little sunshine into our lives!  Lilly loves Texas and Texas loves Lilly!

If you’d like to visit the Houston store the address is 4035 Westheimer Road or shop online at www.lillypulitzer.com .  See you there, perhaps?

Happy Fondue Year! A Fun Tradition To Get You Through The Holidays!

nye 2017 fondueI love the holidays for so many reasons.  It is this time of year when people amp up their game  BIG TIME with festive decor, cuisine and desserts, music, and all of that shared with quality bonding time with family and friends.

It’s the traditions that fascinate me. In The Schmidt family (my in-laws) for instance, every New Year in Ohio they host a family fondue night.  First off, the natural setting up North is so perfect because it’s cold outside, the fireplace is crackling, we’re all bundled up in sweaters and boots, and this year there was snow which makes it even more magical!  Back to the food, how about hosting a party where your guests are their own chefs?  That’s right, just master the art of gathering and forget the thought of slaving in the kitchen!  That’s why fondue night is such a genius idea.  The fondue fixins are unreal folks and all will forget you did not spend all day and night in the kitchen preparing their meal!  The spread gets more nye 2017 fondue3ambitious every year I think.  Check out this display. Besides the cheese, salivate over the lobster, tuna, yellowtail, shrimp, beef, and oh yeah the veggies!  A new addition to the savory lineup is the ravioli and the truffle tortellini! This tradition takes hours of edible enjoyment and it’s interactive which I love too.  Mix in some German gluehwein to wash it all down or sip some champagne cocktails, laugh and chat a bit, then dive in for seconds, and thirds, nobody is counting!  To finish off the evening with some sweetness, bring on the chocolate with strawberries, pineapple and bananas!  My life is complete!

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The Secret Is Out!

TUTS The Secret GardenYou do not need to travel to the Big Apple to experience real life Broadway musicals these days.  Houston is blessed to be home to the Theater Under The Stars at the Hobby Center.  Amazing productions come through the Bayou City.  In fact, my husband and I just recently saw The Secret Garden.  I actually read this book and I love the story-line.  I couldn’t wait to see it and it sure did not disappoint!

A little history, The Secret Garden is a musical based on the 1911 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The musical’s script and lyrics are by Marsha Norman, with music by Lucy Simon. It premiered on Broadway in 1991 and ran for 709 performances.

The story is set in the early years of the 20th century. Mary Lennox, a young English girl born and raised in the British Raj, is orphaned by a cholera outbreak when she is ten years old. She is sent away from India to Yorkshire, England, to live with relatives whom she has never met. Her own personality blossoms as she and a young gardener bring new life to a neglected garden, as well as to her sickly cousin and uncle.

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