The Beatles for President!

    My wonderful parents just left town after a fabulous (but not long enough) visit to Houston.
    My dad is the ULTIMATE Beatles fan so visiting these famous Beatles statues was high on his to-do list.   Funnily enough, I had no idea that these 36 ft tall statues were here, let alone one block from the Target that I frequent ;-).  You never know what is around the corner. 
    Houston Beatles Statues Trendy in Texas

    Not only does this little statue park feature the very important Beatles, but there are also busts of all of the US presidents.  As well as some prominent Texans, because how could we leave Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin out? 

    I couldn’t resist spinning around in the amazing weather.  It sure does feel like Spring outside. 
    Get the Look: 
    It was a fabulous weekend having my parents and younger brother in Houston.  We managed to eat out  for …. every meal, which was definitely an adventure.   We also visited NASA and kicked our boots to some tunes at the Rodeo.   Can’t wait for them all to come into town again! 

    Hope everyone else is having a good week, spending time with family, and enjoying this lovely weather!

    Irish Wanderlust

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  
    This is a special holiday in my family, because my mom’s side is 100% Irish.  When I was a little girl, my mom once told me that my Grandpa was a leprechaun.  You bet I believed her!  
    A few years ago, I studied abroad in Wales and my mom hopped across the pond to visit me.  We squeezed in a few wonderful days in Dublin and the Irish countryside.  This short trip was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to go back to Ireland again someday.  Thought I’d share some pictures of our little trip on this special day. 
    During our quickie visit to Dubiln,  we made time to visit the Guinness Factory.  After a long tour of the factory and visit to the museum, we climbed our way to the sky lounge where we had a Guinness (or two) whilst overlooking the city of Dublin. 
     We felt a bit of luck o the Irish that day.  There happened to be a rainbow over Dubin, like it was just for us.
    To finish off our day in Dublin, we had dinner and drinks at Oliver St. John Gogarty’s Pub.  My mom and I split an Irish cheese & meat board.  This could possibly be one of my favorite meals.   To top it off, a little due of Irish folk singers entertained us all evening long. 
    Day 2 of our weekend in Ireland consisted of a guided tour of the County Wicklow, the Irish countryside that borders Dublin.  We hiked through a little Monastic village, saw the Guinness Estate, and even got to see the bridge where that pivotal scene from the film P.S. I Love You takes place.  Our tour guide sang songs for us as well as took us to this fabulous little place for lunch.  My mom and I split a shepherd’s pie and our trip was complete. 
    I hope you guys enjoyed my little blast from the past! Reminiscing over these pictures has me itching to go back to Ireland.   Wanderlust really is a disease and I am unfortunately infected.  😉  

    Weekend Life

    A lot as well as not too much has been happening here lately.  So, I thought I would share a few snaps of what we’ve been up to these past few days!
    Saturday we went to one of the many farmer’s markets in Houston.  This one was in Upper Kirby.  Twas pretty nice….but I don’t think anything could compare to the Knoxville’s Market Square Farmer’s Market.  Definitely miss that every Saturday.   We did find some great things at this market, and definitely didn’t leave empty handed.  

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many carrots in my life!  
    Saturday, Patrick and I visited Houston Dairymaids, conveniently located super close to us in the Heights.  This has been on my H-town bucket list for a while now.  

    Each week the dairy maids bring out six different cheeses for their customers to try.   They also suggest different wine/beer pairings for the cheese.  This experience was heavenly…AND FREE!  Unless you decide to take home some of the cheese with you, which we did, it’ll only cost you a few bucks.  
    Couldn’t leave without getting a picture of myself by this sign.  
    Oh and….
    A week ago I refinished this dresser, finally.   Expect a post with before and afters to come soon!
    Hope everyone is having a relaxing Oscar Sunday!  

    DownHouse Brunch & Texas Junk

    This past week we had friends in town and I kid you not….. all we did was EAT!  In a total of 36 hours, we probably went to six different restaurants.  That’s what you’re supposed to do when you come to Houston … or so we think. Either way, sounds good to us!  
    Downhouse Houston Heights
    Saturday we woke up bright and early and headed to Down House in the Houston Heights.   When Patrick and I were visiting H-Town and trying to find a neighborhood to live in, we literally stumbled upon this restaurant.  We loved this place and the area so much we decided that we had to live in the Heights.  Plus, I’ve never had a meal so good!   And the atmosphere here is nice and unique.  I would describe it as hipster meets antique meets……. book nerd? Your checks come in a vintage novel. Its great.   

    It felt so good to sit outside and enjoy the warm weather.   I’ve become a fan of Februarys in Texas.

    No brunch is complete without cocktails, right?  Please check out this Bloody Mary.  Patrick ordered this one.  I don’t even like them usually but I had to try a few sips of this!  Can you believe it including bits of cheese and a hot wing?  More of them should. His already extravagant drink was accompanied by a side of beer?! Strange but I think
     he’s okay with that.
    The Scotch Breakfast Sandwich is a must.   Fried sausage, sunny side up egg, heirloom tomato and garlic aioli sauce…..YUM. 
    Downhouse Brunch Houston Heights Bloody Mary
    Tacos for breakfast are always a good option. 
    Oh, Down House ….. you are too good to me.  
    After the brunch to end all brunches, the four of us headed out and about, exploring  several antique, retro clothing, and unique junk shops.  19th Street in the Heights is riddled with these types of places as well as clothing boutiques and restaurants.  Highly recommend checking it out if you are new to or visiting Houston!  
    We then ventured out of our little corner of town to check out Texas Junk Co. 
    I read about Texas Junk Co. in some tourist guidebook or something like that.   Its basically a junk shop in the middle of a random neighborhood only a couple of miles from downtown Houston.   This place had hundreds upon hundreds of pairs of used cowboy boots that were selling for pretty decent prices.  Sadly on our visit, I couldn’t find a pair that I liked enough in my size.  They change their inventory daily.  Looks like I’ll definitely have to return!
    BTW I’m obsessed with my Paix Tunic top from Anthro!

    Sorry I’ve been away from the blogging world for a wee bit lately! Hoping to share much more soon with you guys.   

    Potted Plants for a Steal & a Mirror Makeover

    I just bought both these garden pots from Anthropologie this weekend.  The large one is $18 and the small one is $14.   Honestly, in person, these garden pots look like they would be worth triple the price.   I highly recommend them!

    One of our new favorite things to do is go to Home Depot on the weekends.  When did we become these people? Its so much fun though!  We went today and bought some plants to fill these beauties.   I also picked up more paint to redo an antique mirror in our bedroom that will (somewhat) match these pots. Oh and, I purchased a $4 terra-cotta pot that will hold that tall Jurassic Park looking plant.  Maybe it’ll go in the living room? Not sure yet, but I do love crafting on the weekends!
    To see how I made the chalk paint, visit this post.
     Currently our bedroom is all white. White walls / white bedding / white furniture. I can’t handle it.   We are just renting for now, so we don’t want to paint the walls.  Its been interesting trying to come up with ways to make the house our own without doing serious changes that we wish we could if we owned it the home.

    I think the mirror and the planter turned out great! Although the color was much brighter than I was expecting, I still really like it.   I chose Behr’s “Botanical Tint.” 
    The plants look ahhh-mazing in these pots!  My handy man husband drilled holes into the bottom of the pots so that the water would drain.  (I’m going to buy a little plastic tray to set them on and catch the water)  Never even thought that we needed to do that, though! Apparently he’s killed a plant or two before.  Hopefully these will stay alive for a while. 😉

    The next project on my list is to tackle the massive and dated dresser in our master bedroom.  
    I grabbed some paint swatches for the dresser and I’m thinking grey with white handles like this one that I found on pinterest will look best. 
    For now, I’m just waiting on the rainy weather to let up and I’ll get this thing painted!
    Hope everyone is having a fun and productive Monday! 

    Blue Cheese Chicken & Noodles

    This may just be my favorite thing to cook lately.   The first time I tried it I thought “did I really make this in my own kitchen?!” Kid you not, it tastes like its from a fancy restaurant.  If you love blue cheese, then you are going to love this yummy dinner.  
    You can serve the sauce alone, or over pasta.  Unfortunately, I love carbs, so I added the noodles.   The recipe will feed two really hungry people with maybe leftovers for one. So if you’ve got more to feed, I suggest you double it. 
    • 3 chicken breasts
      • I used chicken tenders because I already had them on hand. 
    • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
    • 1/3 cup white wine
      • Be sure to sip on a glass while you’re cooking! 
    • 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (4 oz) 
      • or more to your taste…you know, whatever floats your boat
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley 
    • 2-3 cups of smaller noodles. Orzo or Farfalline work great. 
    • Preheat oven to 375
    • If using chicken breasts, slice them lengthwise so that you create two from the original breast.  They are thinner this way and cook quicker. 
    • In an OVENPROOF saucepan, bring olive oil to medium heat and cook the chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side. 
    • Once the chicken is seared (a little golden brown on both sides, doesn’t have to be cooked through, yet), add the white wine and turn the heat to low. 
    • Simmer the chicken in the wine for 8-10 minutes until the wine is reduced by half. 
    • While doing all of this … don’t forget to boil your noodles! 

    •  Add the cheese, heavy cream, and the parsley.

    • For just another minute, simmer it all together. Then pop the whole thing in the oven for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken to a delicious consistency! 

    Ta da! Blue Cheese Chicken and Noodles.  I paired ours with frozen green beans from Trader Joe’s.  They taste really fresh and take only about 5 minutes in the microwave.  Easy peasy. 

    original recipe here