Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Heights Mistletoe Madness, Holiday on 19th & the Heights Holiday Home Tour

It's that time of year again! Time to dust off your Santa hats and get on over to the Heights for "Mistletoe Madness", "Holiday on 19th" and the holiday home tour.

Take a tour of some of the most charming and beautifully decorated homes in the Heights.  This event falls on the first weekend of December and runs from 6-9pm on Friday, December 2nd and from 3-9pm on Saturday, December 3rd. 

This year, 6 homes will be showcased on the tour.  You can purchase tickets in advance for a $5 discount at several businesses including Heights Antiques on Yale, Buchanan’s Native Plants, Bliss on 19th, The Artful Corner, Phil’s Texas Barbecue and Waldo’s Coffee House. Tickets purchased online may be picked up at the “Will Call” booth at the Heights Fire Station at 107 W. 12th and Yale Street during the hours of the tour.  Tickets purchased the day of the tour, at the Heights Firestation, will cost $25 to view all 6 homes, or you can choose to visit just one or two homes for the cost of $5 each.

Shuttle information and details can be found on the official page of the home tour: Houston Heights Association

While you are out, take advantage of many of the businesses that will be staying open late and offering some exciting specials during "Holiday on 19th".

On Saturday, December 3rd (one day only), the Heights will be bustling with excitement for the most exciting "Heights 1st Saturday" known as "Mistletoe Madness".  What a great opportunity to check out some great artists, great food, and pick up some sweet gifts for your family and friends.  If you didn't get to experience "White Linen Night in the Heights", then this is the perfect time to come out and see why so many love to call the Heights their home.

Details for for this event can be found on the official website: Heights Mistletoe Madness

Monday, November 22, 2010

Armenta Jewelry

So, I ran into a lovely young lady at a function at few months ago and she mentioned that she worked for this jewelery designer, Armenta Jewelry, based in Houston. As one who is a great lover of jewels, I felt it necessary to investigate further. I asked that she send me some information on the company.

WOW!! That's about all I can say to describe them. The woman behind the name, Emily Armenta, has a flair and passion for jewelry that is unparalleled, in my opinion. She views each piece she designs as a delicate piece of art, each inspired by something different. All of the jewelry is hand made, in Houston, in the Armenta studio.

Granted, some pieces are quite pricey, but the detail is amazing (and what good jewelery designer isn't pricey?) She does offer quite a few pieces that are under $1000, for those who are not able to whip out $15-$20K on a whim. I, of course, can only drool at all the pieces, but trust me, if I ever get a spare grand, I'm hitting up Armenta (which can be found at Tootsies, Judith Ann Jewels and Neiman Marcus). 

I thought this post would be great for someone to use as an idea for holiday presents.

Here are a few items I especially love:

Yes, please to all of these!

Keep in mind, the website is still under construction.  Here are the deets for buying some awesome baubles, should you feel it necessary to make someone in your life totally happy:

Armenta Jewelry
Can be purchased at Tootsies, Judith Ann Jewels and Neiman Marcus

**sorry for the uneven box lines around the pictures. I had to cut and paste from a pdf**

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Best Drive Thru Iced Tea-I'm not kidding

Ok, so let's be real here, folks. 
Here is what a perfect glass of iced tea (unsweetened, with Splenda added in place of sugar) looks like to me:

Please note the generous use of ice cubes, the bendy straw, the perfect color (deep brown, not too light, not too dark).  Ok, I know I sound insane, but seriously, there are some gross iced teas in this city.

Here are my go to places for your best drive-thru iced needs:
  1. Chick-Fil-A By far the winner.  Any Chick-Fil-A drive-thru I go to, no matter where in Houston, has the BEST iced tea in the whole wide world.  Great flavor, tons of ice, and they have Splenda (some places don't).  One note to point out here, a lot of fast food restaurants will brew the tea hot and then pour it over your ice, melting it.  I can't stand that.  Chick-Fil-A wins precious points here for ALWAYS pouring cold tea over my ice so that I don't end up with a weird watered down mess.
  2. Taco Bell Ok, ok, I know.  I'm going to get some heat on this one.  But, when you need your fix, you   need it. They don't have my beloved Splenda, but they do have some tasty tea.  Beware, they do sometimes give it to you after brewing which results in ice melt.
  3. McDonalds The flavor is good, they have the ice issue that I don't like, but they carry Splenda and also have this cool device that squirts the sweetener of your choice into your cup so you don't have to deal with the annoying little packets.
  4. Arby's This place can be a crap shoot.  Most days, the tea is great, however I have had a few run-ins with the dreaded tea brewed in the same urn as the coffee.  That is just nasty and it tastes disgusting.
  5. Starbucks I think their tea has a weird flavor to it.  I order it as Black Tea with no sweetener and ask that they throw in some Splenda.  Otherwise, I'll end up with some weird sugary syrup they add to it.  Even so, when I ask for the syrup to be removed, it still has a specific flavor that kind of annoys me. It is a fruity note that I can't put my finger on.  But, I do like that their tea is shaken, so when they add my Splenda it gets mixed up really well.
Here are the places I will never order iced tea at again:
  1. Jack In The Box Dear Jesus help me this tea is nasty.  They obviously use the same urn that the coffee is brewed in and don't clean it out very well.  The tea tastes thick and has a definite coffee flavor to it.  They also have the issue with zero ice, very annoying.
  2. Taco Cabana I don't even know where to start here, just don't do it and don't look back.
  3. Whataburger I don't care for the flavor and they always put about 2 ice cubes in my cup.  Also, it tastes like it has just been brewed and it is on the warm side when I order it. Yuck!
Hopefully this manual will help you.  
Lastly, here is a picture of my sweet little nephew, Yoda (on Halloween) to brighten your day: