Friday, November 30, 2012

Yes A Apartment Can Be Cute!

Okay so I am fresh out of college, which means that I am used to apartments that are…let’s say not so great looking. Let’s face 3 or 4 early 20 somethings living in a college apartment does not a cute room make usually. Unless it’s a sorority house, but I digress.

Apartment Model Project
Most of the time, I find that people do not try to make their apartment something special because they view it as a temporary place or because it is not really theirs. I totally don’t agree with this! The better your place looks, and the more you like it the happier you will be!

So if you are not sure what to do to make your apartment your home try these few tips.

First, see if your apartment complex lets you paint an accent wall. A lot of places do and it is a great way to brighten up a space.

Apartment Model Project
Second, invest in some window coverings. Curtains or window treatments are a great way to complete a space and make your room warm and cozy. If you are afraid to punch holes in your wall, for fear of the security deposit later, just use some command hooks. With the right size and shape you won’t even see the hooks.

Apartment Model Project
The third tip is to accessorize! Adding some great pieces to a book shelf, like a vase or a floral or a frame, will really add some character to a room. Even better is adding art work to the walls. There are a variety of hooks and adhesive strips out there now days that will not damage your walls and will allow you to hang your piece.

So next time you want to make your apartment feel like a home, try these tips out.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Worldwide Wood Manufactory and Market

There is always something to do in Houston... always!  If I played my cards right, I could attend an event almost every night of the week and still miss a few.

A few weeks ago, an invitation found its way to my desk that really caught my eye. It was to celebrate the opening of a new company Worldwide Wood Manufactory and Market and they were coordinating their grand opening with a private performance by the Associate Concert Master of the Houston Symphony,Violinist Eric Halen. 

And it was only a mile from Evan's house.  So I RSVP'd for two and kindly told Evan he was going to attend with me :)

Obviously, I need to still work on where to look at on the camera!

Worldwide Wood Manufactory is a small company that handcrafts wood floors, wood countertops, stair treads... and now custom tables.  One of the business partners scours the area for amazing old tables that have beautiful bases.  Then, the woodworker repairs and refinishes the bases as needed and then applies a beautiful table top. 

The possibilities are endless! You can have a thick table top, a thinner one, a picture frame design, small widths of wood, a mix of widths, etc. etc....

The wood is finished with a mixture of mineral oils and waxes that give it an incredibly soft, buttery hand!  

Then... the performance! I was really excited to see Eric Halen perform solo violin pieces and he certainly did not disappoint!! He was the kindest, most unassuming man and told amazing stories of the pieces he was going to play and his 400 year-old violin (it was made in the same year that Shakespeare died!).

As soon as he started playing... Evan and I were enthralled! The concert lasted about 45 minutes and I may have smiled and held my breath the entire time... it was such a treat!

The group is thinking about starting a concert series and both Evan and I signed up to get the alerts! (Evan didn't trust that I would let him know when they were :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's gone... Third time donating to Children with Hairloss

Well, my hair is long gone!! About a week ago, I woke up and started my normal routine.  Took a shower and then started working on my hair; it had become nuisance taking over 20 minutes to dry, and then attempting to style was a disaster.

So, it was time! Time to get rid of the locks.

Before... getting ready!

Before- it had been a long time since my last haircut.  This is the longest my hair had ever been!

I couldn't resist this picture! The stylist and his assistant helping getting the locks ready to chop off.


First lock getting cut off! My sister came by to watch and take pictures.

Second lock getting cut off!

Last one!

The locks are being donated to Children with Hairloss, an organization based in Michigan.  Wigs are made for children who have lost their hair due to various illnesses. Hair has to be at least 8-inches long. Non-treated hair is preferred but they will take anything.  Anytime you're thinking of a serious haircut - please consider donating! You simply mail in your locks :)


Here's Evan and I on Thanksgiving :) New and improved hair!

Swanky Fundraiser

A few weeks back, my friend Ashley invited me to a "swanky fundraiser" as she called it.  We hadn't had a girls' night out in awhile and I was in need of some swanky fun!  I really don't know what we were raising funds for, all I knew is that the food would be good, the venue would be unique, and a fashion designer would be showing off some new dresses.

Notice Ashley's beautiful dress.... one-of-a-kind by local designer..... (I don't remember who :).  Oh well, you win some, you lose some....
Ashley and her beau Tyler.

Notice the empty plates! I was correct, the food was good!

Here are Ashley and I in front of a really cool art installation. A local paper artist made these amazing paper flowers and covered an entire wall; it made for the perfect photo booth.

One of the dresses by the designer-who-must-not-be-named. (I am really, kind of ashamed of myself for not knowing more about this event; I really like to includes links to various places and people I come across. To be honest, I forgot about the event until a few hours before and was an hour away at a work appointment. I scooted myself to a nearby Marshalls and picked up a new dress and pair of shoes!)

I didn't realize until now that this guy is wearing Toms with his suit... awesome!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Detroit Free Press Marathon 2012

On Sunday, October 21, my little brother ran his second marathon in Detroit, MI.  Being in our own stomping-ground, I had to go and support my brother on home territory. 

I think it is going to become a tradition that we have dinner with my friend Lindsey before the marathon. She just happened to be in Washington DC for Travis's first marathon and here we are again!

October 21st
I met Travis in the downstairs lobby of his apartment building (I had stayed the night with his girlfriend :)
Both of us were incredibly bundled up, it was only 42 degrees outside.  Travis got a ride to the race start with one of his friends; I rode my bike the few miles down Cass Ave. to the race start. 

I haven't experienced bitter cold like that in a long time. Thank goodness I was able to scrounge around some extra warm clothes and gloves from Trav's girlfriend!

About two blocks from the start getting ready. The plan was to take Trav's extra things, wish him off and then meet mom and dad at the race start to see him go.

I didn't make it to mom and dad in time to watch him start together, but I did get to see Trav start!  He's difficult to see, but he is the runner in dark green and black on the right side of the runner in white (in the middle of the shot). You can see Trav's wile hair :)

I did meet up with mom and dad and we headed to our first checkpoint that was going to be about mile 8.5. We had about a 45 minute wait sitting on the side of the Detroit River.  We could actually see the lead car cross the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor, Canada and watched it race alongside the Detroit river across from us.  And we got to watch the sunrise... pretty perfect morning so far!

Here's mom practicing her hand-off of Gu to Trav.  

Dad's just hanging out...

Sorry for the blurry shot but my hands were really cold. Here's mom handing off the Gu to Trav (the blur wearing the black).

After this point, I met up with Travis's roomate, Alex. I sent mom and dad to their net check point, Mile 13 while Alex and I biked our way to mile 15.

Trav at Mile 15. He looked so good!  Strong, calm, and confident!

At mile 18, Travis headed onto the Belle Isle Bridge was was glowing in the orange and red leaves.  I remember driving over the bridge to the first day of WSU Swimming and Dining practice and could only think about how long that darn bridge is!

This pack of three is about to head onto the Bridge and they're all vying for 2nd place.

Alex and I saw Travis once again as he headed off the bridge at mile 23 and headed towards the finish. He had broken away from the guy in white, but was still running with the guy in red.

Alex and I had to hustle to the finish. We rode down the left-hand turn lane of Jefferson Ave. I had never seen or experienced Detroit like this before; the city felt so much different with the chill air on my face.  The buildings seemed bigger and streets wider. 

I will admit, I haven't really worked out in a long time and this bike riding was painful!

The race finish was one parallel street north of Jefferson and Alex and I could see the lead car every block when we would cross an intersection.  I peddled as hard and as fast as I could; at one intersection, I'd be ahead of the pace car. Then at the next, I would be behind.  Think about this... the lead car was directly in front of the lead runner.  This lead runner was running as fast as I was biking!!!!

Alex and I stopped short of the finish by 3/10 of a mile. There just wasn't anyway we would make it through the crowds in time to see Travis right at the finish.  But we had an excellent view right in front of the 26 mile mark.

Trav came around the corner in 3rd place running faster than he did in DC!  Both Alex and I went CRAZY!! And the best part is when the people around us saw how crazy we were going... they went nuts as well! 

So Travis finished the Detroit Marathon in 3rd place with a Personal Record of 2:28:13!

Proud mom and pop!!!

So proud of you TRAV!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fall Color

Even though I've only been in Texas for three years, I have already 'forgotten' about several things that make the midwest/north of this country pretty fantastic.

I really don't know what snow is anymore.... and that is one thing that I am sure I don't mind handling in short increments.

I do miss hot cider, apple orchards, and cake donuts. Just saying those three things is making my mouth water! There's not a whole lot that's more comforting than a sip of steaming hot cider and biting into a freshly baked donut!

But I also forgot about the amazingly rich colors of fall. During my recent trip, I was about two weeks too late to see the really vibrant colors, but what I did see was quite beautiful. In a way, the scenery begs you to cuddle up next to a cozy fire with the biggest blanket you can find.  You definitely don't see anything like this down in Texas.....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Williamston High School

The year after I graduated from Williamston High School, the school went through a massive addition/renovation which included an amazing, state-of-the-art weightlifting facility. 

Mike Lamb, the big guy in charge of the facility, came up with a really cool idea to commemorate students who graduated and continued on to play collegiate sports. His plan was to get a photo of the students participating in his/her sport, print the pictures as large as he could, and post them in the workout room as inspiration to up-and-coming athletes. 
The result is pretty cool! New photos have been trickling in over the past few months representing athletes of so many different sports.  Lots of runners, football players, volleyball chicks, soccer, and if you look really hard.... a diver!
That's me!