Friday, May 15, 2015

My Favorite Vegan + Vegetarian Food Products


If you're looking to shed some pounds, cut out the dairy or go full-on Vegan, check out my recommendations for the best Vegan/Vegetarian Food Products for sale at local grocery stores!

Cheese, Milk and Meat substitutes that pass for the real thing will save you so many calories and solve so many health problems you may have! Give these items a shot and share them with your friends. They all come in at similar or lower prices than what you're already buying.

From the Field Roast website


1. Field Roast Hamburgers, Sausages and Cheese

I can't stress enough just how good Field Roast is. They're a good price and have excellent ingredients with incredible taste. My #1 question I receive is, "What's this sausage made from if it's vegan? Tofu?" The Field Roast Italian Sausage we buy is actually made from Eggplant and Fennel! It's divine. Their hand formed burgers, varieties of sausages and Chao cheese can be found at Whole Foods. It's rumored that their Chao cheese is the best vegan cheese on the market, offering great flavoring and melting properties at a price comparable to dairy cheese.


2. Lisanatti Almond Cheese

Having never tried Chao Slices from Field Roast, Lisanatti Almond Cheese is mine and my husband's favorite veggie cheese. They also have a rice cheese, but it doesn't melt as well. We love to use this cheese in quesadillas, burgers and grilled cheese. Sold at Whole Foods.


From the Margarita's Tortilla Factory website



3. Margarita's Tortilla Factory

Oh my! These are seriously the best tortillas ever.  They get perfectly toasty, soft and stretchy when put on a hot skillet. We love to make quesadillas with these. I've tried a lot of different tortillas and they all pale in comparison. Not to mention - they're organic and non-gmo! Sold at Whole Foods.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Floral-Arranging Bridal Shower Shoot


For the last year or so, I've wanted to style a party shoot but the vendors kept falling through. So, this month, I decided to make it happen no matter what. I decided to furnish the shoot with items I found around Houston. All I had was a venue, friends and a photographer - and that was all I needed. If you know me at all, you know that flowers have to be involved! I'm obsessed. The shoot took place in the oh-so romantic + lush garden at 5226 Elm. We were all truly stunned by their garden and didn't want to leave! It was just too perfect!

By some miracle, the weather was absolutely gorgeous for our outdoor party! Originally meant to be a 60s shoot, I opted for more casual attire and decor in the same vein. The photographer, Ashley, was so open to my ideas and just rolled in with her gear, a second shooter, Kayla, and lots of great insight!


Flowers are my obsession and there's nothing more "summer" than a colorful arrangement. One of the party activities was arranging bouquets, a great activity for a Bridal Shower or a Bridesmaid Brunch. The ladies did a wonderful job arranging their bouquets and they even went well with their clothes and personalities! My friends, the models, were so incredibly cool and photogenic. I was blown away by how flexible they were for this shoot and am so grateful for all their help. I bought all of the flowers from Central Market and Whole Foods. Central Market in Highland Village has a huge selection and often has specialty flowers like ranunculus, peonies and anemones.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

West Texas Trip Itinerary

There are several places in West Texas that my husband and I have been wanting to visit. We decided to knock as many out as possible in one trip. Since we travel a lot, I figured we should try camping for once. So many trips a year really add up and camping is an affordable way to vacation. I didn’t have any camping equipment so I borrowed most of it - a tent, lantern, ice chest, gas grill, etc. If this 6 day trip is done properly, it can be as affordable as $60/person/day. That seems like a lot but is cheap compared to a week-long trip to New York City at about $110 (conservatively).

If you saw my photos throughout the week on Instagram or Facebook, here are the details of our travels. Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have!

ROUTE



DAY 1

Drive to Canyon Lake
Canyon Lake is outside of San Antonio and has beautiful camping grounds at Potter’s Creek Park, as well as close proximity to River Tours and Tube Rentals. I highly recommend spending a day tubing on the Guadalupe or at the New Braunfels Schlitterbahn if you have time! If you prefer to stay in a hotel, book something in Downtown San Antonio and have your fill of Mexican food. To save $150 or so, visit recreation.gov and check out Potter’s Creek Park on Canyon Lake. If it’s a holiday weekend or busy time, reserve your camping ground on the website. For regular weeks, I recommend getting to the camping ground in the early afternoon and picking your campsite before you reserve it. This way you can see who your neighbors are, get a good view of the lake and stay near the restroom.

Cook hot dogs and s’mores over the fire, play games and walk around the park! There’s a nice breeze on the lake at night.

Canyon Lake Camping Grounds

DAY 2

Drive to Big Bend National Park
This place is beautiful but intense. Be prepared with a full tank of gas and an empty bladder - stops are far and few between. Since this park turned out to be a little more wild than we expected (in the first five minutes we saw a snake very close to the campground and we chickened out), we decided to spend the night at the Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa. This allows you to drive through Big Bend, hike and see the sights, then go straight through to Lajitas. 

Hotel room costs are pretty standard here and there are no resort fees - however, their activities are a little pricey. If you want to spend a little bit of money, consider signing up for 18 holes of golf or a Sunset horse ride through the mountains! My husband and I had our bikes so we just rode through the golf course, to the swimming pool and the hotel restaurant. It's a really beautiful and relaxing place that's great for families.

Big Bend National Park

Lajitas Golf Resort & Spa

Lajitas Resort Restaurant

Lajitas Golf Resort


Friday, March 6, 2015

River Oaks Garden Club's 80th Azalea Trail

The Azalea Trail is a 3-Day event that allows guests to view the most gorgeous homes and gardens in River Oaks, Houston, Texas. The event will continue through Sunday, March 8th, 2015. Side note: Some of these yards and gardens are so full of color that I could not manage to tone them down in Photoshop. They are just that vibrant and I'm not at all mad about it.

Ya know when you see something fantastic and then you spot a little decor piece that just puts it over the top? That's how every home was that I visited on the Azalea Trail. I would walk up, think "This is beautiful!", then see a perfectly-placed black and white tapestry that would make my brain explode! "Why are you doing this to me!?" I am in love. And there is no way a photograph can justify the all-around artistry of these homes. You may have to go see them for yourself.

River Oaks Garden Club's 80th Azalea Trail


Home #1
Backyard garden by Johnny Steele

Backyard garden detail by Johnny Steele

Backyard garden and fountain by Johnny Steele

Garden + back of the home

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Microaggressions: tiny, sneaky, back-handed compliments

Racial Microaggressions by Buzzfeed
I just learned about microaggressions.
I've always been into sociology, so this is so interesting to me.
Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.
In other words, they're back-handed compliments from straight, white men to everyone else. Haha! It's actually a bit broader than that.

Buzzfeed did a little piece on it a while back - "Racial Microaggressions", and I'd have to say that race, age and gender seem like the biggest targets of microaggression.

So let's have a chat about it.
Has anyone ever displayed microaggression toward you?
If you're still wondering what microaggressions are, watch this video by Dr. Derald Wing Sue from Colombia U on his book Microaggressions in Everyday Life.