For My Foodies


happy face from my Husk hamburger during a work trip to Charleston last fall
I made my first trip to Atlanta last week with work for their AmericasMart. We enjoyed delicious dinners both nights at restaurants owned by the same Houston native, Ford Fry. The Optimist's menu was seafood focused while JCT Kitchen served more Southern inspired fare. Both were fantastic, and it reminded me how fortunate I am to live in Houston, a city with such a well-rounded restaurant list. I've mentioned some favorites in posts like this, this and this, but thought I was overdue for more for my fellow foodie followers, of which there seem to be many!

the perfect side to split with one of their gigantic salads. my go-to is the Sausalito Crunch.
William and I recently came to the conclusion that the sweet potato fries Barnaby's serves up are the best in town. They're the ideal fry consistency and thickness, seasoned just enough and completely shareable. They come with a good barbecue sauce, but I usually prefer dipping mine in good ol' fashion ketchup.

coffee bar circa 2013 when I blogged about the "new" Revival Market

Lexi and I met for lunch at Revival Market, and I was reminded just how good it is. It has evolved a lot since it was the part butcher, part market, part restaurant concept I posted about here. The former marketplace hosts more tabletops, and it's no wonder they needed room for more diners with their sister spots being the popular bar, Eight Row Flint, and my next restaurant...

coltivare is well worth the inevitable wait.

Coltivare. It's Houston's crowd pleaser and with good reason. Their food is prepared fresh from the vegetables and herbs they grow in the gardens that surround their patio seating. I'm not a "pizza person" per se, but I love theirs. I am, however, a gin and tonic person, and their "classic" version (with grapefruit and mint) is everything.

I've mentioned Roost's famed cauliflower, but their bread service is maybe the best way to satisfy a carb craving. The warm slow dough pretzel with the pimento cheese will solve all your day's problems. Both of these items are menu staples while the rest of it changes slightly with the seasons.

Giacomo's is like Roost in that I feel that it's oddly remained under the radar as it sits in a perfectly visible location on Westheimer where Montrose and Upper Kirby kiss. I can rarely resist ordering the orecchiette giorgione. With the greens and just olive oil coating the pasta, the dollop of goat cheese adds just enough decadence to the dish.

A dangerous couple blocks away from work, the most unique, satisfying dish being served in Houston is Underbelly's goat dumplings. Go to acclaimed chef Chris Shepherd's restaurant for these alone; they're served at both lunch and dinner.

Vinoteca Poscol is Dolce Vita's sister spot just a block down the road.
There's no denying that Dolce Vita will deliver a good date, girl's or guy's night. Rarely do I come across a restaurant that accommodates all of these occasions, but this repurposed old house serves pizza, pasta and wine to please all parties. PS - new happy hour from 5-7 on weekdays.

The setting is what brings people in in droves to The Dunlavy. Tucked inside the Buffalo Bayou trail, it's a natural choice for weekend brunchers. I usually opt for one of their bowls. Both make for a perfectly balanced meal and a good departure from the usual breakfast menu suspects.

Up next on my list of must-tries are Nancy's Hustle in EaDo and Night Heron, another addition to the Coltivare/Revival group opening in the Museum District next month.

More on these soon, fellow foodies! Have a great week.

The Best Is Yet to Come


'Commitment' was my final focus word for 2017, and boy was it fitting. I made the biggest and best commitment of all my 25 years of life in saying yes to marrying William.

In fitting fashion, we'll ring in the new year at a wedding tonight. I am looking forward to being with some of my favorite friends as we celebrate another year in the books.

Here are some of my favorite memories from the past twelve months.

Moving in with a roommate whose constant joy is contagious and who I can always count on.

Seeing several parts of the country for the first time: San Fran, Jackson Hole and the Carolinas.

My biggest work project to date completed: the new Biscuit storefront, sitting pretty at 1614 Westheimer.

Feeling the love in the air with family and friends at lots and lots of weddings.

Watching the little ones get bigger, walk, talk and even become teens.

Witnessing my blonde bestie become a Strake and getting a call last night that my brunette one is engaged!

An Astros World Series victory when our city needed its spirits lifted the most.

Spending time with my sisters and five future brothers.

It's hard to believe the best is yet to come in 2018, but I'm counting down the minutes! May the end of your 2017 and beginning to your 2018 be full of bliss.

Extra Thankful This Year


I've been scrolling through the Black Friday sales all afternoon and loaded my shopping carts with sweaters that will probably itch, shoes that will be ill-fitting and accessories that I'll rarely wear. So, instead of going through with these purchases, I'm keeping with the theme of this week's holiday and writing what I'm thankful for.

Study after study says that expressing gratitude is the best practice to keep our heads in the right space. That applies all year long, but it's certainly nice to have a whole day designated to doing so. I have a whole, whole lot to be thankful for this year, but below are five of the biggies.

My fiancĂ©. 

When you find someone you want to spend your life with, you wonder if it will pan out like you picture. That first happened to me in 2014, and that picture was still fairly fuzzy. It was clear when 2017 came that we were on the same wavelength and a proposal was in our near future. Now that we're almost halfway into our engagement, it's become all the more clear why I had that feeling four years ago. It's hard to sum up how grateful I am for William, but I thank God every day he is my groom.

My family. 

We had a family wedding in Dallas recently, and it was the first time in awhile we had 100% attendance from all seven siblings. Whether newly engaged, newlyweds, or new parents, everyone seems genuinely happy and exactly where they need to be.

On Thanksgiving, the boys and kids played a game of wiffle ball outside, and I got that warm feeling only this kind of old fashioned fun with your family gives you.

My friends. 

The majority of my best friends live outside of Houston, and while that's hard at times, reflecting on it makes me realize that it's something to celebrate. From graduate school to exploring new cities, everyone is broadening their horizons and thriving in whichever stage of life they're in. Needless to say, I am loving every excuse the wedding is providing to put all my people in one place.

My job.

I really, really love what I do. I have always appreciated aesthetically pleasing things, so playing a small role behind-the-scenes of a small business like Biscuit has been so rewarding and eye-opening. I started dabbling in interior design as the assistant to my talented boss and now help with the production of her printed bedding line. I've seen new cities, met incredible people and genuinely wake up excited to go to work every single day.

My future. 

In the short term, I look forward to Christmas, my bachelorette in Charleston and watching the wedding come to fruition. What's even better, though, is the bigger, longer picture of my life with William that starts after that night. The little details like taking his last name tickle me. Then there's the big things like him becoming Uncle William, watching his family grow, living under one roof and establishing our own traditions.

I'll never quit my affection for fashion, but this exercise was much more fulfilling than adding things to cart. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. Cheers to the holiday season!

Wedding Update: Paper Goods + Party Peeps


Most of my blood, sweat and tears has been poured into the wedding website (sneak peek here!) instead of BOD, but I'm back with a few updates on all things wedding related.

I had Claire Martin's custom sketches in mind to use for my wedding in some fashion since way back when when I had her draw this of me and William.

When it came time to ask my bridal party to take part in the big day, they seemed like the perfect memento to gift them.

My sister saved the day with her beautiful calligraphy to create a beautiful mailer I hope they'll treasure forever.

Mary Elizabeth will serve as my maid-of-honor alongside Caroline as my matron-of-honor.

Selecting my bridal party reminded me how rich in great family and friendships I am.

It wouldn't be our big day without WJC on William's side and Nico on mine.

In other paper good news, save the dates are in production. Admittedly, I am equally in love and overwhelmed with the process as the options and ideas seem endless.

my dress committee!

Still, it's so exciting to work on something small-scale leading up to the big, grand day. From colors to crests, I'm discovering subtle ways to allude to the overall feel of our wedding day within the invitation suite.

More soon!

P.S. Have to take a brief aside to honor the Astros! What a wild World Series ride that was and how perfectly timed for a city whose spirits needed lifting now more than ever. Go 'Stros!

Sense Appeal XL


for the eyes:

Big fan of this artist who designs the dates of the year.

for the mind:
I laughed out loud when I read this satire of a bride's email blast to her bridal party. With a "super-posi" attitude, she suggests all taking part in her "big day" gear up for gold-plating craft parties and scripted speech memorization, among other ridiculous requests.

for the ears: Mainstream as it may be, I love Maroon Five's music and am particularly fond of this remix of their newest hit, "What Lovers Do."

fashion for feel: 
Moda Operandi's Instagrams keep teasing me with all these lovers from Temperley London. Their decadent but also delicate, frilly yet funky dresses like the Maze have French Riveria feels.

for taste: I love me a Marcona almond, so when our work snack stash stocked up on this Trader Joe's truffle variety, I was intrigued. Some batches are saltier/oilier/trufflier than others, but get your hands on a good batch, and I bet that bag will be empty in no time.

Happy week!

Feel Good Friday


The last days of summer were taxing to say the least. The despair within the cities affected by tragic events was contagious to those feeling pain from afar. I pray we are looking toward better days to come this fall. Below are five happy and inspiring links to brighten your spirits.

Why we need to touch base with ourselves more often.
A podcast I'd listen to on repeat.
I have five years to find these kinds of friends.
Three surefire ingredients for a great day.
Things people have learned: the silly and the serious.

Engagement Update: 8 Months Out!


Yesterday marked eight months until the wedding. Big parts of the plan (date, church, reception venue, dress, band, and photographer) are set, so I figured it's the proper time for an update. While I will keep most of the details under wraps until we say 'I do', I want to share some of the highlights of our engagement, two months in.

your fiancé's thoughtfulness:

I knew our engagement was imminent, but as time passed, and I knew William was planning the proposal, I struggled being in the dark. When the day was finally here, however, there was nothing sweeter than hearing him tell me all the thought, time and effort he made into making my perfect proposal moment happen.

revisiting all your reconnaissance: 

I've accumulated quite a few photos from the weddings we've attended over the past couple of years. Flipping through them now is so much fun now that my day is realer than ever. My Pinterest boards have also provided well as laughs from the ones from way back when.

people's interest in your story: 

Friends, family and even strangers have taken such an interest in our story: where it all began and where it will continue after the big day. Our individual lives have now combined, and I'm so flattered people are curious about what's to come for us as a married couple.

reflecting on other significant relationships: 

While so much attention is toward the bride and groom, I have taken this time to reflect on all the people who have gotten me to this point. We celebrated with our closest family and friends, and since then, I have had time to handpick my bridal party. Each one of these people have made me into the person William fell for, and I am so excited to honor those relationships in the months to come. And most of you don't know who you are yet! :)

More soon!