Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My friend Paula (pronounced Pow-la)

…Is 8 years old

…Can do the splits

…Enjoys practicing English

…Likes to swim

…Stands up to boys older than her

…Shares her sandwich and towel

…Has an undeniably contagious sense of energy and a huge heart.





I met her on our Service Day during the Spain Andalucia KWEST trip (S stands for Service).  She was so sweet, fun and unbelievably smart. I’m so glad I got to know her, and I hope our paths cross again.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spain Recap #2

One of my favorite activities was visiting The Alhambra in Granada where we took way too many pictures, and I went over heels for the Moorish influence – especially the tiles that still look beautiful and relevant after hundreds and hundreds of years.  They were doing Chevron way before Chevron became cool – I love it.   (I realize this sounds kind of superficial, and I don’t mean to downplay the historical and religious significance of this amazing place).  But let’s be honest,  I was kind of focused on the things that looked really pretty.

Here are some of my favorite pics from one of this gorgeous place! 

Lee looking muy guapo in the garden…


That view!


Love the color pallette in this picture


Those tiles…


I think this would make a beautiful backsplash!


So happy to be there amongst such beauty.



Monday, August 29, 2011

Spain Recap #1

Wow – I have to admit I’m  surprised I’m awake right now writing this…We arrived back from an AMAZING trip to Spain last Saturday, and I hopped (more like threw myself) on a super early flight back to Hot Houston this morning.  After some necessary adjustment time, (I told the lady at Starbucks “Gracias” after she handed me coffee this morning,) I feel like we are getting back to reality.  Though from what I understand, Lee’s B-school orientation week includes performing school cheers and skits, going on a boat cruise, several happy hours and participating in the Student Olympics…He may have to join me in the real world later…

Back to the trip… It was full of wonderful people from all over the world, and I was constantly amazed and impressed by Spain’s beauty, culture and friendliness – the terrain, water and historical sites made me fall deeply in love with the country.  

Here is our trip by the numbers:

  • # of people on KWEST Andalucia 2011 – 24
  • # of countries represented ~12
  • # of cities visited – 4 in 6 days
  • # of hours of sleep on average/night – 3-4
  • # of times we repelled off the side of a cliff – 2 (OK that is a lie – most people repelled twice, I chose to be lowered down via a  makeshift pulley the second time.)
  • # of shoes left in Spain – 2 pair (mine were killed during our mountaineering day and Lee’s were “accidently” left outside a window)
  • # of lbs gained due to the amount of fried food/jamon/manchengo/sangria consumption – between 5 and 7

Overall I wouldn’t have changed a thing – mostly due to our amazing second year leaders and fantastic group of students/JVs (Kellogg’s term for sig others).  If you are reading this, thank you for making it so special!

I will be recapping parts of our trip all week, so if your interested, please stop back by.  Have a wonderful week!


Friday, August 19, 2011

A New Addition…and off to Spain

Wow – this week has been a complete whirlwind between settling into our new place, meeting Lee’s Kellogg classmates (and their lovely sig others), trying awesome restaurants and getting ready to leave for Spain!  I can’t believe we’ve been here for a week – it seems like it’s been both the shortest and longest time already, if that makes sense.  I thought I’d share some of the fun moments from the week if you’re interested…

Top Five Moments of the Week:

  1. A delicious family picnic and concert at the beautiful venue,  Ravinia
  2. Eating at The Girl and the Goat with Lindsay and Reid (lives up to the hype – but NOT for vegetarians (we ate pig face – yeah, really.)
  3. Seeing The Help with a group of sweet girls – it’s so good!
  4. A celebrity chef spotting – I have such a crush on Top Chefs! 
  5. I found this nice (and inexpensive!) piece at World Market, and I love how it completes the living room.  We need all the storage space we can get, so the drawer and shelf are not only cute, but functional

 Moving to Chicago_new apartment_addition 007

Tomorrow at this time we’ll be on our way here!  Have a great week!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Move in 3 Parts

Hello – and sorry for the lack of posting last week.  As you may have guessed, we were moving to our new home in Evanston, Illinois (just north of Chicago).  It’s beautiful here, and the weather couldn’t be nicer.  A lovely welcome! 

I thought I’d share a few pictures from our moving adventure.  Overall, everything ran smoothly with just a couple bumps (mostly related to our fur baby, Kitty)…All in all, a very good move. Here is our 3 part journey.

Before the move…

Some of the damage – points for spotting Kitty!
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Moving to Chicago 019
All of our belongings in a 20’ truck and one loyal Pathfinder
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During the move…(p.s. all these images are via instagram – love it!)
6:00 a.m. Departure – Sunrise Day 2; somewhere near Blytheville, AR
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Kitty watching from the passenger seat (aka, my lap)
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Yes  - we can see the skyline!
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Bikers on Lakeshore Drive – so pretty.  This is when we got really excited!
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After the move… and Our new place.
We’ve been setting up our new living space over the last few days.  It’s funny because our old apartment was brand new, had high ceilings and lots of natural light.  It also had a smallish living/kitchen area, huge closets and 2 large bathrooms.  Our new place is older (est. 1955,) has lower ceilings, minimal light, a large living area, one tiny bathroom, and LOTS of character.  I love it!

Old Place – light/bright and airy (points for spotting Kitty)
Moving to Chicago_old apartment 003
New Place – Though I’m not done  decorating, I wanted to share a few pics of the new place!  it’s cozy and warm – can’t wait to light a bunch of candles and cuddle up here during the Fall and Winter!

Living area –> considering this console table for the back wall or to place behind the couch
Living Room view
View from the front door.
My favorite vingette. Dining Area
Kitchen View #2
Thank you for the well wishes and encouragement we received during the trip!  Now, come visit us!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moving Day

The move to Chicago officially starts tomorrow. So far, we’ve had a mix of ups and downs as I’m sure any move has…Here they are:


- Barry/Chenault family weekend – banagrams, naps, dogs, bike rides and good food – what more can you ask for?

- Dinner with sweet friends to say goodbye

- Discovering new awesome Chicago bloggers

- Cleaning/Donating/Purging - I always find the process of going through your stuff and getting rid of it very rewarding

- One last special dinner in Houston


- Saying goodbye to family and friends - sniff sniff,…

- Traumatizing Kitty with Children’s Benadryl (I wasn’t there but apparently he foamed at the mouth like a rabbid dog)

- Feeling high strung/stressed/exhausted/anxious all at the same time

- Wondering how Kitty is going to do un-sedated for 18 hours in the cab of a moving truck (see points 2 and 3)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Room Stalker


Sometimes I feel really creepy and stalker-ish.  Such is the case recently when I stumbled upon a room I loved in D Home’s room guide.  I then googled the owner’s name to see if there were more pictures of her home, and the next thing I know, I am inundated with articles, pictures and press releases related to my search subject.  The homeowner happened to be Nest owner, Heather Wiese Alexander of Dallas, Texas, (and I kind of want to be her).  She has two very successful and lovely creative businesses, a cute blog and a seemingly perfect life.  In addition, she seems super nice from her blog and all the articles written about her. 

Here’s the image that launched my search…Isn’t it a cool dining room? I love the color palette.


And here’s pictures of the rest of the home…

Greenhouse dining and entertainment for non green thumbs


Funky pillows


Black kitchen


A bedroom surrounded by books – Looks so cozy!


Here’s an article on the complete home renovation of their 1930’s home.

All images via D Magazine; Taken by Manny Rodriguez