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.
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.
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
(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!!!
Who 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!
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?
Louis Vuitton just got “smarter” but it comes with a hefty price! July 12th I attended the launch party of the Tambour Horizon Watch at the Louis Vuitton boutique in the Houston Galleria. All I can say is….WOW!!! Apple you have some BIG competition in the smart watch division.
Sipping on champagne and cocktails mixed with music provided by a resident DJ made for a mix and mingling fashion forward unveiling event! My friends and I had a great time browsing the latest inventory, socializing with fashionistas, and of course getting familiar with the guest of honor….the Tambour Horizon watch! Thank you Tenley Huste aka Regional Retail Training Manager of Louis Vuitton for presenting to us all of the benefits of this savvy new gadget! It’s a game changer!
My love for John Hardy jewelry is so strong I had to fly across the world to Indonesia to visit their workshop! Ok, my husband and I just happened to be honeymooning in Bali and lo and behold the jewelry company has a workshop in the country hills of Ubud on the island of Bali! How convenient and coincidental for us! “Rich in nature, beauty, creativity, tradition and culture, Bali continues to be our universal source of inspiration,” says the folks at John Hardy. It is known as the island of wonders.
Talking about entering a magical land! This place might just be the most zen work environment I have ever experienced. Taking it all in this atmosphere beyond the rice and bamboo fields is enriched with greenery and traditional Bali-style buildings. They have animals onsite such as rabbits for compost and every day over 700 workers are fed a wholesome vegetarian lunch prepared on property using fresh farm ingredients. My hubby and I also experienced the sumptuous al fresco dining experience. It might have been the freshest meal I have ever enjoyed and in the company of the workshop’s senior management! Side note….through John Hardy’s “Jobs for Life Program” they provide vocational training, financial support, and job opportunities to disadvantaged Balinese orphans.
Spring, champagne, and handbags…you can’t get much more girly than that! Each year I look forward to the Heroes & Handbags charity event benefiting Heroes For Children. On April 27th at 10 a.m. hundreds of women gathered at the River Oaks Country Club to place their bids on designer duds like Saint Laurent, Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Tory Burch, Elaine Turner, Kate Spade….oh the list is extensive!
Larissa Burns Linton co-founded the charity after her own child battled with cancer. The organization has raised over $2 million in the past decade to help those families with children fighting the deadly disease. Money helps pay power bills, put
food on the table, pay for gas, parking fees, etc. Guest speaker and local Fox 26 News Anchor/Reporter Melissa Wilson spoke candidly about her experience as she too has a child who fought cancer. She said their parking bills at the hospital exceeded $6000!!!
Back to the event, my friend Laura and I had so much fun scouting the inventory from table to table, bidding, and silly times at the flower wall photo booth! Bidding was open until 12:30 and I was in a bidding war until the bitter end! It’s such an adrenaline kick I tell you! I eyed a few bags and scored BIG winning this patent leather Louis Vuitton and this glittery rainbow Anya Hindmarch clutch!! Seriously, I am in LOVE with this rainbow one! It’s such a happy handbag and I probably overpaid for it. But, it’s all for charity, right?
Attending a “ladies who brunch” function on a Sunday does not always come without a big purpose. April 2nd at Hughes Manor in Houston there was a full house filled with ladies dressed in their spring fashion best coming together to raise their glass to help fight and end childhood cancer. Hosted by Sky High benefiting St Jude Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis, you could not help share the love and enthusiasm this group brings to the table. I applaud Brittany Hebert (Founder & CEO), Jessy Deardurff (Operations Director), and Kristina Gutierrez (Event Coordinator) for a job well done. Event Chairs include Helen Winchell, Ashley Butler, and Jordan Simpson.
Also, I want to thank my friend Jill Bollich who introduced me to this organization. She is one of the Host committee members who did a phenomenal job planning this SOLD OUT event! During the brunch the ladies were entertained with a dress up photo booth, silent auction, a live auction, as well as an open mimosa bar, tunes from my friend DJ Senega, and a runway
Spring is in the air in Houston. In fact, winter never really happened thanks to Mother Nature. But that is quite alright because I am about to get you fully energized and ready to sprint to Saks Fifth Avenue after I show you what is in store for this season!
Friday evening I attended the “Houston Haute Couture” fashion presentation featuring designer Lafayette 148 at Saks Fifth Avenue in the Houston Galleria . Each year the Women’s Council of Realtors Houston chapter get together for fun and fashion benefiting a local charity. This year they partnered with the Nancy Owens Memorial Foundation which raises money for breast cancer research. I am the Founder of this yearly fashion event circa 2014 so of course I would not miss it for the world!!
In conjunction with cool vibrations from the DJ, flowing champagne, and passed lite bites by 51Fifteen, this fashion presentation was spot on FUN! Sitting front row allowed me the opportunity to attempt to photograph some of my favorite outfits and take notes as the Lafayette 148 ambassadors painted the perfect Spring picture!
“It’s not what is new, it’s what is next!” said the Lafayette 148 ladies from NYC. Think the shoulder show. Shoulders are in! Pair with some wide leg trousers or skinny pants and you’re good to go!
Next, mono style….all one color. So fresh and clean, don’t you think?
Trench dressing. It’s not just for Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Gadget, OK? Crop the sleeve. Pair with a dress, and off you go looking fabulous!
Light leather jacket, gotta have! Loving the pop of color too.
And stripes are “so in”. My nautical friends will be happy.
Long flowing cardigans they call “dusters” are HOT. Think linen, light weight. Button them up, wear them open. Wear with a dress or trousers.
Ultra light suede is making a comeback. I know Houston gets steamy hot but you’d be surprised how well this breaths and it’s super light in weight.
And, your Spring look is not complete without laser cut embroidery. Looks like lace! Super feminine with an edge.
Pockets are the “in thing” too! Check out these dresses with pockets. I love the effortless look, plus not to mention “functional” and “comfortable”. Side note, I am a Realtor and I need my pockets when I am out showing property! I am loving this trend so so much and I hope it stays because I can fill my wardrobe with this style. Notice the length too. I can appreciate just below the knee.
Last but certainly not least…..drum roll please…….The outfit turning heads, creating the only standing ovation of the evening , with by far the biggest applause goes to this black jumpsuit! I know we’ve seen them on trend already but this outfit
in particular really got our crowd excited. The edgy yet sophisticated and slip-on-and-go look really works. Dress it up, dress it down. Winner Winner!!!
Thanks again to Saks and Lafayette 148 for putting this amazing event together. It’s always nice to give back to local charities, combine it with a group of business professionals like the Women’s Council of Realtors, and refresh our minds with Spring fashion. Bravo! This is one of our favorite events of the year.
Now, it’s time for me to clear out my closet, donate things I have not worn in ages, and make room for new fabulous stuff!
Here are some links to keep in mind from this article:
Today marks the first day of this year’s Sales Tax Holiday! That’s right! From Aug. 5 – 7 get out and enjoy the savings for items such as clothing, footwear and school supplies. The exemption applies to each eligible item that sells for less than $100, regardless of how many items are sold on the same invoice to a customer. For example, an $80 shirt will sell for $80. No tax! But, if you buy a $110 shirt, sorry, it’s taxed for the full amount. Key in point, only buy items under $100! Shoppers save about $8 on every $100 they spend. Hey, money is money!
We can’t get too carried away though. Tax is not waived for the sales of accessories, including jewelry, handbags, purses, briefcases, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and similar items. Oh darn, I know!
The Legislature sets the dates for the sales tax holiday each year. Thank you government! Oh, and if you have any questions just read the fine print. I don’t pretend to know all of the rules. I just like tax savings where I can get it!