Since my last post I have been knee deep in home decor, both for my class as well as home. I also spent the weekend decorating for Halloween. I promise to post pics of some ghouls I recreated from Pinterest.
I did get to see something interesting the other day...a space shuttle flying on a plane. That, my friends, you do not see every day!
This was the view from my work. Since we work down the street from NASA, where the shuttle did a flyover, we received great photo ops.
After work we headed over to see the Endeavor as it stopped over for the night in Houston.
Speaking of Interior Design, here is a peek of my projects:
The one above is for the Arts and Crafts style, below is Mid Century Modern.
Now when strolling around Manhattan shopaholics can head over to Wooster Street in SoHo to visit Piperlime...IN PERSON! What is the significance of this you may ask? Owned by the Gap, Piperlime has until a few days ago been an online only shop...and let me add one of the most amazing ones going. Not only do they have the latest trends and brands, but they also have Rachel Zoe, among others, giving her fashion picks from new arrivals.
If someone visits can you please send me your review of the shop? Otherwise I must wait until I visit in December.
Being a viewer of E! way more than I would like to admit, I have always enjoyed watching the antics of Kendra Wilkinson. First in the public eye on Girls Next Door, then Kendra and now on the WE network with Kendra on Top, her personality makes these shows much cuter than say Kim Kardashian's shows. Not to mention that her family is adorable as well!
Kendra came to Houston this weekend to promote her new book and we went to meet her:
I am happy to report that she was very sweet in person. Sometimes you never know if the personality that you see on television will be the same one you encounter in real life. Kendra was exactly the same bubbly blonde as she appears. In fact the line took forever, and by forever I mean some people were probably there at least four hours, because she made sure to speak to each and every person and not rush them through.
Sure she got part of her fame for being beautiful, having a great shape and living with Hugh Hefner, but she will get farther with her attitude and I wish her the best on her new book!
One of my closest friends, Diana, went on vacation a few weeks ago and came back with a beautiful souvenir! Instead of finding seashells on the beach in Florida her husband-to-be surprised her with an engagement ring that is absolutely gorgeous! She broke the news to me in an email with a photo slide show. Knowing her for almost 20 years and sensing something was up, I immediately skipped to the last slide and there was the sparkler! I couldn't be happier for the both of them.
Soon after they announced the date for February 2013 we all sprang into action with wedding planning ideas! We are now in full on Jennifer Lopez circa Wedding Planner mode.
Can you believe that Di found her dress on the first day of shopping?! And it is perfect!
While Di, her sister/my close friend Tho and I were out searching for reception venues we checked out the Courtyard on St. James Place. Located near the Houston shopping mecca the Galleria, or as I call it heaven on earth, St. James Place is in a beautiful location and the property certainly stands it ground there. With wrought iron staircases and lanterns lining the walkways it is reminiscent of the New Orleans French Quarter. Ivy climbing the outside walls will make a perfect backdrop for bridal pictures should this be the chosen location.
Di (that's her pictured above), Tho and I were accompanied by Tho's cutie pie daughter Kaylin. For a three year old she was a real trooper when it came to shopping for hours. Hmmm...perhaps we are rubbing off on her at an early age! ;)
We hit up BHLDN, otherwise known as Anthropologie's version of a wedding store. It is well documented on Joy De Vivre how I feel about Anthropologie(excitement just passing by, anxious over what new goodies the shopping Gods may bestow upon me, basically pure glee, etc.) and BHLDN is no different.
From the outside BHLDN looks like a pretty little cake, on the inside it is filled with gorgeous dresses, glistening shoes and displays that make you go why didn't I think of that.
They have a room full of wedding reception decor for several different themes. Each completely different yet adorable! Having a nautical themed reception and need tabletop decor? Or perhaps a dessert bar and you are in need of colorful paper goods...they have it all!
Also spotted..these love birds! How cute would these be as a cake topper? VERY! If I do answer my own question!. ;)
Anyone have any good wedding idea websites to pass along? Any ideas are welcomed!
Today we will celebrate one random thing that makes me happy..the Airstream Trailer. Just seeing them rolling down the road in all of the their vintage glory is enough to make me want to be like Willie Nelson..on the road again. Ok maybe not just like Willie as I will not be getting pulled over for drug possession..but you get my point!
Want to stay in an Airstream trailer during your next vacation? Check out Hicksville. Located in Joshua Tree, California it is a motel made up of various trailers each with an unique theme! Such a creative environment. Don't you agree?
Starting this week I will be a student again! And hopefully, fingers crossed, I will finally have my degree in Interior Design in December! After waiting around for a few years here and there for different classes to be offered at night my journey shall soon be complete.
So don't be surprised if you see an increase of design related posts as well as project pictures, as I will be immersed in foam core board, paint samples and fabrics. I have even been getting back into the groove by redesigning my breakfast area in the house. Once I get it complete I will post pics.
Nothing makes me happier than coming out of a great weekend and this one was one of those! We had a couple of birthdays to celebrate within our circle of friends so we headed to Galveston, a nearby island. A new pier opened there so what better way to celebrate than with games, amusement rides, great friends and souvenir photos!
Did you all get out and about this weekend? Do fill me in!
When staying in hotels some can make you feel relaxed, some energized and some fearful for your safety. After staying in a few of the latter in unfamiliar towns I am now much more careful when choosing a home away from home. Hotels that give you a sense of the local area are my favorites, as are those with beautiful design and architecture. Here are my top five must stay hotels:
A few years ago I was fortunate to be awarded a winner of the President's Club at work. We received an all expense paid trip to Maui to stay at the Fairmont. Never in my life would I have expected to win a trip to Hawaii, much less have a suite at such a luxurious place. This hotel is SPECTACULAR!
Set on the beach you can easily walk down from your room to partake in sunbathing, boogie boarding, canoeing and more. Our very first afternoon there I even spied sea turtles playing in the waves. Seeing those creatures in their natural habitat was a big thrill.
From the moment you arrive in the lobby you know this is a first class establishment. Employees welcome you with a traditional lei and tropical beverage. Whether spending the day shopping in near by Lahaina or cruising down one of the most scenic drives in the country, the road to Hana, you will be counting down the moments until you return to the Fairmon Kea Lani.
After first staying at the Sofitel in Los Angeles, I have since planned vacations to California with staying there again as the number one factor. Conveniently located across the street from the Beverly Center, just minutes from shopping at The Grove and close to the retail mecca that dreams are made of-Rodeo Drive, this area is perfect for a shopaholic.
The hotel itself is like a fantastic piece of art. Below is the gym, which would get even me to want to go in there, which is no easy task!
The rooms are modern and the pieces that they have incorporated in are very unique. The beds are the best that I have ever slept in, like little clouds for your sleeping pleasure. Some of the rooms even have a view of the iconic Hollywood sign in the distance.
The last time we were there in March one of the American Idol top 12, (apparently this is where they stay before moving into their Hollywood home later in the competition), decided he was going to sing loudly in the lobby while everyone was trying to do their thing in the business office. Even he couldn't put a damper on the futuristic look of the area and he promptly was given the boot the next week on air. Can't say I was shocked.
When leaving the hotel, as if you would want to, there are no less than four people waiting to help you with your bags and into your car. With that type of service can I please return weekly!
I heart New York! The Chrysler Building is my favorite piece of architecture and Grand Central Station is a close second. What do these things all have in common you might ask? The Grand Hyatt New York City. Sitting pretty on 42ND street between my two architectural loves in the Grand Hyatt. Close proximity to transportation is key when staying in the city. You can not get any closer than a private hall from the hotel into Grand Central.
Having undergone a huge makeover the hotel is now very sleek. A unique fountain greets you as you make your entrance and make way to the front desk. There the Hyatt employees make every guest feel first class. Before visiting New York I always heard stories of New Yorkers as a whole being rude. After several trips to my now #1 city I can say from experience that anyone who believes this misconception need look no further than the employees at the Grand Hyatt.
After an eventful day of walking around the museums, the villages or perhaps the Brooklyn Bridge the rooms at the Grand Hyatt provide a great place for relaxation. The makeover has also brought the addition of lustrous artwork in each room, bringing in the perfect splash of color. Wish to turn down the lights? No need to get up as the light controls are right behind the nightstand! The designers responsible for this fantastic perk must have known that guests would be too tired to move once they finally rested for a moment.
On a side note, if you love the movie Definitely Maybe like I do..the Grand Hyatt makes a guest appearance.
If visiting San Antonio, Texas the location that 99% of people wish to stay is on the Riverwalk. In my opinion the Omni's La Mansion Del Rio is the most gorgeous property in the area. The Spanish architecture is so very charming.
The courtyard area provides a small pool and seating areas to relax. Inside the rooms you will find arches, exposed brick walls, visible beams on the ceilings and some with views of the Riverwalk or the courtyard.
Take a few stairs down from the hotel and you are right on the Riverwalk. For those who have never visited San Antonio this is a tourists dream. The walk leads to traditional Tex-Mex eateries as well as many other types of restaurants, shops, and historic local attractions such as San Antonio's first neighborhood La Villita. If you don't wish to walk the entire way the River Boats are a popular way to see the area.
A short walk from La Mansion del Rio is the Alamo. A landmark of the Texas Revolution, this is a must see for most visitors of San Antonio.
Whether wishing to visit San Antonio for the history or the Tex-Mex which is some of the best in the state, there is no better location than the mansion on the river! I must divulge though that at one point when we stayed there we did have a paranormal experience. It turns out, according to the front desk staff, that there is a ghost that visits guests from time to time. Along the River Walk though talk of ghost stories is more plentiful than souvenir shops.
The last place that I stayed was bound to make it's way onto my top 5 after just seeing it from the website. The second Hyatt location to make my list is one that I have seen multiple times in pictures and emails from the company. When deciding to visit New Mexico I knew that I must stay here. I am so very glad that I did!
Just a short drive from Santa Fe the Tamaya resort offers a traditional New Mexico feel. Play checkers in the courtyard of the pueblo buildings, relax in front of fire pits at night, listen to Native American flute music in the lobby area. Wish to play golf, raft down the Rio Grande river or take an exhilarating hot air balloon ride for views of the mountains? The Tamaya Resort can help arrange this for you! The Hyatt also helps bring in the traditions by inviting Native American artisans to sell their pieces, to teach adobe making, flute playing and dance at different times throughout the year.
Another thing I loved about the hotel were the bunnies. These adorable fuzzies were everywhere! There was also horse stables, mules and a hummingbird garden.
Native American artwork was hung throughout the resort which provided the perfect backdrops for camera hogs like Gabe and I. ;)
The Hyatt Tamaya Resort is not the place you go to be next to the hustle and bustle of the big city, by the beach or the center of a tourist area, but it is the place you go to just be happy. So relaxing and welcoming. Every employee we encountered stopped to ask if we had any questions or needed any help. From the valet to the restaurant staff and pool attendants no one was too busy to welcome the guests. I adored this location as did Barkley as you can see. After his morning walk I liked to never have gotten him up from his nap in the courtyard grass. Never have I seen the pup happier, but what furry boy wouldn't be happy when receiving his own bag with treats, a toy and an engraved gold bone at check in.
What are some of your favorite hotels?
Photos of the Fairmont, Sofitel, Grand Hyatt NYC and the courtyard view of La Mansion del Rio and the first from the Hyatt Tamaya Resort were via the official hotel websites. All other photographs are courtesy of moi.