'Tis the Season

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     This post is late coming due to the rush of holidays and travel. However, it just shows that the holiday season is full of celebration enjoyed with friends and family. These pictures are from the Settlement Goods holiday party where I made some last minute purchases, drank spiked eggnog, and boogied to the grooves of DJ Thin Mint. I hope everyone's holiday has been wonderful so far. I am catching a flight to Des Moines, Iowa to spend New Year's with Bryan who has a long layover there for work. Looking forward to ringing in the new year while spending time in a new city, cuddling in freezing temperatures, and hopefully seeing some snow!


My New Hobby May Be a Little Disturbing

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But first some outfit posts to throw you off...
// vintage sweater / Joe's Jeans Second Skin skinnies / Faux/Real necklace / Nettie Kent ring / Pamela Love cutout ring / Zara bag / Isabel Marant boots //

     So this past weekend I did something really cool (although some would disagree with me). I learned how to taxidermy! I've never been squeamish about dissecting in biology. Actually, I quite liked it but only in an educational way of course (cue in Hannibal Lecter's voice). When my friend, Maclean, from Houston Makerspace posted about an upcoming taxidermy class, I figured it couldn't be much different than high school dissection with a nicer result, so I jumped at the opportunity. I mean, how many people do you know who taxidermy? Yeah, that's a check off my ole' bucket list! 

     I will spare any pictures I took during class since the bunnies did look awfully cute before we skinned them.  I currently have the rest of the rabbit in my freezer (tmi?) and plan on making a butt plaque.  Yes, that would be a plaque with the other end of the rabbit.  Surprisingly, Bryan was completely turned off by my taxidermied rabbit and banned it from the house.  Sad face.  Apparently, it reminded him too much of the anthropomorphic rabbit stories he heard during childhood.  So I guess I'll just taxidermy a squirrel next. 

Currently, my rabbit is resting peacefully in my office at work while it dries for 3 weeks:
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Doesn't it look so much more normal wearing a little hat?

   The girl who taught the class is Mickey Alice Kwapis from The Detroit Academy of Taxidermy. She's a super cute and sassy, young entrepreneur (only 23!) and making a name for herself by traveling the world teaching classes on how to taxidermy.  Hmm... what was I doing at 23? Oh yeah, dancing to electro music! Seriously, I wish I had that sort of drive at her age to start a unique and sustainable business.  Sheesh.

Three things:
  1. If you're interested in learning how to taxidermy, check out her schedule and see if she's coming to a town near you. Or rile up some interest in your city and schedule one yourself.  
  2. Check out her blog.  Her stories are quirky and her point of view is fresh.  I'm completely intrigued and can't stop reading her posts!  
  3. Mickey will be back in Houston in March to teach more classes if you missed out this time.  Yay!  
For those still shaking their heads at taxidermy, I found a video from the World Taxidermy Championships that gives an interesting perspective on its artistic side:


Luxury Meets Charity at Native Citizen

     For all my Houstonians... tomorrow night artist, Edgar Medina, and Purple Aura Jewels will be hosting a charity event in support of Tahirih Justice Center that provides pro-bono services to women and girls that have been affected by gender-based violence and persecution. 

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I will be making my way over there after work.  Hope you can all join me so we can show our support for a good cause and help make this a successful event! 


Saint Cloud

     The grand opening of the much anticipated accessories boutique, Saint Cloud, has come and gone, and I am already excited about making my second visit to the shop.  There is so much eye candy that it's hard not to want to stay the entire day in the beautifully-designed space.  Despite it being a very chilly evening (for Houston standards), Friday's Grand Opening party was jam-packed with a fashionable crowd ready for a glimpse of what the store has to offer. 

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LED honeycomb installation designed by Garrett Hunter
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Saint Cloud's Founders, Jessica Rios and Cecilia Marquez
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Linda Farrow sunglasses, Clare Vivier duffle bag, and Kelly Wearstler clutches
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Jerome Dreyfuss and Marie Turnor leather bags
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Ran into the talented Claire Webb and her beautiful stackable rings
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Custom-designed wallpaper by Alex Rosa
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Minimal jewelry by Vita Fede
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Beautifully braided Alyssa Norton pieces
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Museum-worthy adornments by Lizzie Fortunato
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Some fun and games while sampling the goods
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Interior designer, Garrett Hunter; Creative Director, Cecilia Marquez; and Kelly Matthews
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Alex Rosa in front of his specially-designed wallpaper for the store
I'm assuming many of you are still scrambling for Christmas gifts like I am.  Saint Cloud has a great selection of covetable items for both men and women and if you don't want to leave the house, you can also shop their user-friendly website.

Saint Cloud Boutique
5217 Kelvin
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 522-0077
Tues-Sat: 10-6
Sun: 12-5


Playing Favorites

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Not a style roundup but a roundup nonetheless!  I often discover new products, edibles, etc. that I get excited to share.  Here are my top 5 picks that I've been digging lately:

1) Parenthood- A family-oriented show focusing on three generations of the Braverman family and their trials and tribulations.  With a good mix of recognizable actors (Craig T. Nelson, Lauren Graham, Peter Krause, Dax Shephard, Erika Christensen...), character development, and the ability to make Bryan and I tear up in practically every episode, I have officially become hooked. 

2) Sebastian Microweb Fiber- This stuff is like magic especially for those with shorter, layered hair.  I can rub this product in my hands and run it through my hair, do a little scrunching, and get instant textured, volumized hair.  It's not as easy to use now that my hair is getting longer and the layers are growing out, but that only gives me an excuse to get a trim or possibly cut my hair short again? 

3) Noosa Yoghurt- Seriously the creamiest yoghurt I've ever tasted.  I've been a Fage loyalist, but I am adding this to my list of healthy treats.  It seems there's no low-fat/non-fat version of this, so go ahead and use this as your weapon against ice cream cravings.  You'll be just as satisfied!

4) Stila Stay All Day Beauty Balm- Intrigued by the BB Cream hysteria, I've tested several different brands including Korean brand, Skin 79, which were all too heavy (or glittery) for me.  Stila's Beauty Balm has a light coverage that feels like I'm not wearing anything but still evens out my texture and redness.  I don't use foundation but wanted to lighten up my moderate rosacea, and this certainly helps and dries to a nice soft finish.  If you have dry skin and want to get a dewy look, Stila also has the Illuminating version.   

5) Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Lip Balm-I've completely switched out my lipsticks for these Chubby Sticks.  I've tried the regular ones, but the color is minimal and doesn't last.  The Intense leaves a "stain" and keeps the color on your lips for hours (even after eating).  These also moisturize better than lipsticks.  My current favorite color is Chunkiest Chili, a color that's similar to my favorite Clinique lipstick, Berry Freeze. 

Do you guys have any great finds to share?  I'd love to hear your Top 5! 


Oversized is Everything

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// Bar III jacket / Alternative Earth sweatshirt / Koral skinnies / Isabel Marant sneakers / Urban Outfitters sunglasses / Dimoni bag //

     This jacket was calling my name after all the images of the Acne "Velocite" pranced in my head.  This more affordable version from last winter's Macy's clearance rack satisfies my need for a furry-collared, oversized moto jacket.  It's also lightweight and practical enough to wear in Houston winters. 

Here are some other great choices:

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Rachel Comey "Tallow" jacket

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Iro "Dansty" Shearling Biker Coat

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Wear it without the fur or add your own with Ganni's "Paloma" Motorcycle Jacket


The Pass

     Last night I had the pleasure of attending the anniversary dinner of acclaimed The Pass & Provisions, run by chefs, Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan.  The menu: a delightful mix of popular dishes from top restaurants in New York, London, and Houston that the chefs previously worked at.  I was surprised to see most of the dishes were entree-sized which made me thankful we were warned to pace ourselves and not to devour everything that came our way.   

     Here's a clip from Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurants in America feature to give you an idea of the experience.  Yes, entering The Pass is like being led into a secret elite club via a hidden side door. 

     My friend and I were greeted upon arrival with a starter of small bites, which included The Bistro Bethem (roasted garlic/cambazola/pickled onion), Trumbull Kitchen (rock shrimp fritters), and C-House (mini fish tacos with sashimi inside).  photo pass2_zps7c1fcf89.jpg
     After all the guests arrived, Seth and Terrence proceeded with an introduction of each of the courses and the restaurant that it came from.  The chefs then went to work carefully preparing each guest's plate with a delicate hand. 
 photo pass9_zps1af429e3.jpg  photo pass3_zps7c69038c.jpg AQUAVIT: foie gras ganache/duck sausage/apple
     My favorite dish of the night. It felt like I was starting my meal off with dessert.  The foi gras ganache tasted like a vanilla molten lava cake which oozed heaven once you broke into it, complemented by a juicy piece of sausage.  Now that's my kind of comfort food.
 photo pass4_zps377cbcba.jpg AUREOLE: scallop sandwich/citrus buerre blanc
     My friend's favorite dish. Jumbo scallops covered with what I can best describe as shoestring hash browns.  photo pass5_zpsd228233e.jpg ALTO: wild mushroom polenta/truffle/parmesan
     I love truffles, and I love wild mushroom.  I really thought I would like this dish off the bat, but the parmesan made it a bit too rich and salty for my blood. photo pass6_zpsb0b3fd3c.jpg THE MODERN: chorizo crusted cod/white beans/sherry vinegar jus
     I was really glad this came after the overpowering polenta.  The mild fish and creamy white beans made flavorful by the crusty chorizo were quite delicious.  Yes, I also ate the flowers and stems which gave the dish a "fresh from the garden" feel.
 photo pass7_zps7380a704.jpg GORDON RAMSEY THE LONDON HOTEL: lobster ravioli
     This was our least favorite dish.  It tasted exactly like what you would expect from a lobster ravioli except it was rubbery.   photo pass8_zpscb146e1e.jpg VIAJANTE: celery root/cheese from Spain/hazelnut
      A nice breather from all the heavy food.  A unique taste explosion in a small package.
 photo pass91_zps90ae1c99.jpg FIAMMA: a variation of beef carpachio with mushrooms/parmesan/tofu/quail egg
     The raw beef was tough and the mushrooms were a bit salty.  I did, however, enjoy my tasty morsel of a quail egg. photo pass92_zps23074095.jpg AUGUST: lamb belly/tzasiki/black sesame
     The main meal ended with a rustic fall-off-the-bone lamb with the smokey flavoring of sesame seeds.  This dish felt somewhat out of place, but I can't say no to lamb.  photo pass93_zps466b460b.jpg JUST AUGUST PROJECT: corn chiffon/sour cream ice cream/berries/brown butter
     I really wish I had eaten at the Just August Project, a one-month pop-up eatery at  Just Dinner.  The creative creations looked fabulous and right up my "open to anything" alley.  Thankfully, Seth and Terrence brought back one of the desserts for this dinner.  With just the right amount of sweetness and a unique blend of ingredients, this was my second favorite dish of the night.  Now where can I find dehydrated corn to sprinkle on all my dishes?

    Although I suppose I didn't get to try what The Pass & Provisions was all about food-wise, I did feel like I was able to partake in 9 different restaurant experiences, all of which probably shaped/influenced who the chefs are today.  For sure, I can say last night's dinner has been one my of most unique experiences besides eating in the kitchen of Audubon's Insectarium.  With this teaser out of the way, I can now look forward to seeing what each restaurant concept has to offer.
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