Saturday, June 20, 2015

his first father's day.

Today is a special day for my sweetheart, because it is his first Father's Day as a father.
 This was the day she was born--she will be one year on the 4th of July! I can't believe how wonderful this year has been, but even more than that, I'm so amazed every day at what an incredible father Robert is to Mila and how precious their relationship is. 
These two melt my heart, and they have from day one.
 Robert is such a fun, adventurous, loving dad. Mila and I are lucky to have him! We had so many fun trips as a family this year. And these daddy/daughter pictures are simply the cutest!
San Francisco!
New York!
 And squeezy is she in these pics?! Gahhh!



Gulf of Mexico!

Rob, thank you for being our rock. 
I'm so grateful for the wonderful dad that you are to our babe. You are such a good example of strength, compassion, and optimism. I hope M will continue to watch and learn from you. 
She already admires you so much. The way she watches and adores you makes my heart so happy. 
We love you!

Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 8, 2015

houston, texas: buffalo bayou park

This past weekend we ventured down to the Buffalo Bayou Running/Nature Trail and Park. It's probably one of my favorites in the city! We hadn't been down that way for a while, and I'm so glad we did...because it was the perfect day!

 It's currently under construction--they have some AMAZING plans for it. Check out their site here--it really is going to be stunning.

One of the new additions is the Police Memorial (picture below) How cool is that?! I love this artsy side of Houston :)
  This park has a little bit of everything! Running/biking trails, a nature path, art/sculptures, dog park, a crazy cool skyline view, and the bayou! 

I had no idea all the renovations and additions that are happening. They're even adding an events center that you can rent for private events! And I haven't done this yet, but while we were there we saw people kayaking down the bayou and it looked like so much fun. 
Has anyone done that? I'd love to hear about it!
M's favorite part of the park was the big grassy area. Now that she's walking she LOVES wide open spaces with plenty of room to go and go and go!
Probably my favorite picture from the whole day. Nothing better, nothing sweeter, and nothing more precious than the relationship between a father and his daughter. I love these two. 
We plan on doing a lot of Houston based activities over the summer months. We really do love our home. We love this city, and we like showing it off. Lately I've realized that people don't appreciate Houston like they should. 

Yes, yes we're a known for being a very industrial, hot, humid, extremely flat city and while that might all be true...we're also full of cultural, some of the world's yummiest food, impressive museums, beautiful parks, great shopping, and fun destinations!

I love Houston, love this little family of mine and am so grateful for them both!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Ultimate Houston, TX Travel Guide // The BEST of H-town!

HOUSTON is a massive melting pot of culture, arts, food, and different backgrounds, but it also has those true Texas roots that I just can't help but love. It's the combo of a modern appreciation for diversity mixed with a true southern very American nature. Houston is unique, and I'm proud to call it home! And was so excited to put together this Houston Travel Guide!

I've lived here for a couple years now and decided it's time for my very own BEST OF HOUSTON list!

I've been adding to this list for a while, mainly because it seemed overwhelming to take on all at once and because I am constantly discovering new places, eats, and things I love about this place! Also, if we're being honest, I didn't want the responsibility of narrowing it down--and because of that I'm sure I'll be amending/changing/editing this list from time to time!

But here we go...

Organized by geographic neighborhood, I've listed out our favorite sites, to-do's and of course--EATS. We love our food, and Houston does not lack in that department.

Neighborhood: The Heights

Things to do!
(Whether you're just visiting or new to Houston...or just have visitors coming into town, these are all great options and great photo ops!)

Adickes SculpturWorx Stuidio (aka The President Heads)

These are just two of the many presidents that they have there! It's totally random, but a fun stop especially if you are in the city already. It's fairly close to some of the other heights attractions as well. The "We Love Houston" sign above is also from here, however it's recently been moved and is now off of the side of the freeway also in The Heights area.

Oh and this attraction is FREE. Always a plus!

The Beer Can House (Website here)
Beer Can Houston Texas
Another very random attraction--yes, it's a house made of beer cans. Check out their website for some history.

$5/person (More info here)

The Love Fence (10th & Dorothy Street)
Sites Houston Heights

One day we stopped by this fence when we were in the neighborhood, and the owner/artist happened to come out. We were able to chat with her as she touched up the paint. There are so many colorful sites and people in The Heights!

Also, on the side of Gelazzi in the heights, you can check out this super fun mural!

The Art Car Museum (A fave of mine--Website here)
Houston Art Car Museum
Houston Art Car Museum
I've been to the Art Car Museum a few times now, and it never disappoints! They change up the cars every few months. I have never seen the same one twice. This will give you a fun taste of Houston's quirky side.

This attraction is also FREE, but--of course--you can always donate to the museum if you'd like!

Buffalo Bayou Park

See my detailed post HERE. We love this park! There is a little bit of everything--bike/running trails, nature path, dog park, art, and a beautiful view!

Things to Eat!

Papa Genos Houston Texas

Kraftsman Bakery: A favorite brunch spot of mine--my sister-in-law and I went on a tour of the best French Toast in Houston and their's is still one of my favorites!

Lola's: One of the first little places I went in Houston, and I always enjoy it when I'm in the area. Try the chicken and waffles!

Laredo Taqueria: Legit. Get the tacos--obviously.

Zelko Bistro: Been here a couple times now and it's delicious. I really don't think you can go wrong.

Gatlin's Barbeque: It's delicious and very popular--so prepare for crowds. Some say it's the best BBQ in Texas. I would recommend going early for dinner or lunch because once they're out they are out!

Papa Genos: I used to work right by this place, and it was so difficult not to go all the time! Get the #1 or the grilled chicken sandwich. Delish.


Also, I recommend using Yelp when looking for good eats in The Heights area, because there is a lot. Yelp is used actively in this neighborhood and it has yet to let us down. You can see the highest rated spots--and see what is popular to get there.

Neighborhood: The Montrose/ Fourth Ward

Things to do!

Texas Junk Company

This store is true Texas, through and through! If you need some legit boots or just want a feel of Texas--make sure to stop by The Texas Junk Co. They are only open on Friday and Saturday from 11:00am-6:00pm and they only take cash or check. 

More details here!

The Menil Collection
Gorgeous collection of located in the Montrose/ Fourth Ward area. There is an interesting background/history to this museum. It really is a local treasure. I've been 3-4 times now and some of the exhibits stay the same, while others change. It never disappoints.

Also, I have no pictures from here because inside there is a museum attendant literally around every corner to keep people from taking pictures!

Check out their website here.

Shopping/ Galleries
There are lots of small private galleries, eclectic shops, and second-hand shopping in this area. It's a fun place to spend an afternoon, grab some lunch and walk from store to store.
More fun shopping & some great photo ops!

Things to Eat!

The Breakfast Klub: Just go, you won't regret it. It's so good, but the line will get really long! It usually moves pretty fast though. Try some chicken and waffles. .

Roost: We just went here a couple months ago with some friends--I was still in the nausea phase of my pregnancy and hesitant to try anything new, but I was so glad we did. I haven't enjoyed a meal this much in a long time. Everything we ordered was tasty. And make sure to top off your meal with homemade donut holes at the end! Delicious.

Torchy's Tacos: Great queso, great tacos, great everything. It definitely lives up to the hype.

Maine-ly Sandwiches: Two words, Lobster Roll. Yum. Atmosphere is kinda weird, but we don't care--we just like a good Lobster Roll. It's not a cheap sandwich, but I usually just get a 1/2 roll.

Mark's American Cuisine: Very romantic! It's built in an old church I believe, and it's such a unique atmosphere. Definitely not cheap, but we went here for our one year anniversary and it was such a special treat. The quail was delightful, but my favorite part was dessert! I don't think you can go wrong with any of their desserts.

Neighborhood: The Galleria/ River Oaks/ Highland Village

Things to do!

The Galleria
the galleria houston
Pretty much every store you could imagine in one giant shopping mall. Take an afternoon to do some shopping and maybe even stop off for some ice skating--there is an indoor rink!

They literally have every store here! Check out their website to see them all.

The Waterwall
 Just outside The Galleria, take a picnic lunch if the weather is nice--or at least make sure to take your camera. It's a classic Houston stop--and one of their landmarks that all visitors should stop by and see. You'll probably see some wedding or quinceanera photoshoots going on as well.

Highland Village Shopping

It is an outdoor shopping area (one of my favorites) with lots of home/interior décor shopping, boutiques, and high-end retail.  Different vibe from The Galleria--and a little less intense. Check out the Apple store! It's beautiful! And if you're into desserts--there is a Sprinkles Cupcakes right next door.

Pretty much every home décor shop can be found here, along with J.Crew, Anthropologie, Lululemon, Kate Spade...all sorts of good ones!

Things to eat!

Americas Restaurant (River Oaks): Fun vibe and great food!

Tiny Boxwoods (Highland Village): Literally is part of a garden/greenhouse and is so incredibly charming. Also, the have the BEST chocolate chip cookies that I've found in Houston.

Adair Kitchen (Galleria): Delicious Chicken and Waffles!

River Oaks Doughnuts: Some of the only good doughnuts in Houston! (For some reason we don't have a lot of great doughnut options...which makes me sad)

Neighborhood: Memorial/ Spring Branch

Things to Eat!

Thai Gourmet: One of our VERY favorite places in all of Houston. Pretty much everything is amazing but we usually go with the massaman curry, pad thai, and glass noodles! Please go here, it's SO yummy. It's 11pm at night when I'm finishing writing this review and I'm honestly salivating...suddenly feeling starved...wishing I could some of it's goodness in my tummy right now.

Korean Noodle House: This place is so legit. Get the seafood pancakes. For real, just do it.

Phoenicia: Get the Chicken Shawarma. Never met anyone who didn't love it. Oh, and add some pita bread and hummus. Yummmmm.

Ragin Cajun: Crawfish Po'boy for the win! And load up on the "Slap yo' mama" seasoning!

Neighborhood: Outside of the City (Day Trips)


It's not about to win any "beautiful beaches" awards, but it's our Texas beach all the same! Another good beach option (and a slightly cleaner but smaller one) is Sylvan Beach Park!

Bluebonnets (seasonal)

We took this picture our first year here! Check out MY POST from last year's bluebonnets--with my baby bump! And see our post this year when we took Mila to see the bluebonnets for the first time! It was so lovely!

Bluebonnet season is most definitely one of my FAVORITE times of the year in Texas! Its absolutely stunning. I love this yearly tradition of ours--heading out into hill country and spending the afternoon in the bluebonnet filled countryside.

Here is the Bluebonnet sighting website:

We usually just head out towards Navasota--and it never fails!

Kemah Board Walk

See my Kemah Boardwalk post HERE. We just recently did this for the first time, and really enjoyed it. See more details and tips HERE.


And then of course, we can't forget about the HOUSTON LIVESTOCK SHOW AND RODEO! The biggest event of the year around here. Nonstop concerts and fun for weeks!
Make sure to visit the carnival afterwards and get yourself a fried oreo--they are my favorite! But you can really get anything and everything fried that you can possibly imagine. 

It really is one of my favorite times of the year!

So there you have it! My Houston, Texas Travel Guide! My home sweet home! And as always if any of y'all have anything else to add, please comment below! I plan on updating this list frequently.


Monday, June 1, 2015

sunday greens.

shabby apple alice dress

As y'all may have heard on the news, we've had a lot of rain down here in Texas over the past few weeks. It's been crazy, but this weekend the sun finally came out and it is amazing how green everything is! We decided to take a walk and soak up some of this gorgeous weather after church this weekend and watch the sunset.

Mila's face in this picture is just priceless. This girl is so cheesy these days. She loves mom and dad so much, and we're equally as obsessed with her. We're pretty much an inseparable trio. 


This dress is a new favorite of mine! It's the Alice Dress (Green) from Shabby Apple. It's so flattering, feminine, and modest. The best combination!
I have had so many people ask me about it, because it really is hard to find dresses that you can feel totally comfortable in while chasing a walking/running babe around the hallways of church. 

This is one of those classic fun pieces that can be dressed up/dressed down. It would be perfect for a party, event, or in my case--a normal Sunday at church. 
It also comes in so many other fun colors and lengths!

I also really loved this darling behind the scenes of their party shoot on the Shabby Apple blog. This party line of dresses is just so colorful and full of life! I'm loving it!

This little blueberry dress of hers is to die for! 
It's one of my favorites. Grandma Shell-bell gave it to her when she was born and we just kept waiting until she was big enough to wear it. 
She looks like such a perfect little baby-doll in it! She's my DREAM GIRL!

shabby apple alice dress
This little peanut is going to be 11 months old this week. 
Guys, I wish I could freeze time, I really do. She's the best thing that has ever happened to us, and it just keeps getting better and better. We have hard days every now and then--and of course life presents twists and turns that you don't expect and stressful times do arise--but I'm overwhelmed with how blessed I am, especially when I look at this beautiful little family of mine. 

Have a lovely week everyone!