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Monday, July 30, 2012

Tucker's Birchbox

For anyone new to my blog, let me introduce you to Tucker, my baby chihuahua.  Since Jason and I don't have children yet, Tucker is the center of our world.  Tuck will turn 9 at the end of August and I've had him since he was a pup which was my junior year in college.  Let's not get too sappy for a Monday, but I can't imagine my life without him. 

With that said, I'm not sure my love extends deep enough to purchase Tucker his own version of my Birchbox...Bark Box.  Tucker or your very own fury friend can receive a monthly box of canine goodies.  To sign up you choose your dog's size:

-  Small and Cute (0-20 lbs)
-  Just Right (20-50 lbs)
-  Big and Bold (50+ lbs)

Then you pick which subscription level you want. 

$17/month for 6 months
$21/month for 3 months
$29/month for 1 month

Prices are the same for every size dog.  Thoughts?  Would you sign-up for this?

Subscriptions boxes are clearly the "it" thing right now.  Besides the normal beauty boxes there are now boxes for food, crafts, baby, purses, accessories, men (for men...not a box that includes men).  Just wanted to clarify that one!

Friday, July 27, 2012

House Project: Fireplace

Before: (all before pictures are from previous homeowners):
Notice the honey colored wood flooring, wood fireplace and green tile around fireplace.  We changed the fan too, but I'll post on that later. 

With primer on wood and lovely green tile.  Floors not done yet!

We painted the fireplace black (thanks Blas) and changed the tile to a stone with black, gray, brown and a touch of white (pictured above).  You also have a peek of the new floor stain and wall color!  Our living room is still waiting on a few finishing touches so I'll post official living room pictures later. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Making a House a Home

J & I haven't even been in our new house for a month, yet we have done so much to it!  It's been a long, but very exciting process.  We signed the contract in February, closed in April, leased back to the previous owners until May 31, started the home updates project June 1 and moved in July 5. 

I've been hesitant to post before and after pics until we have shown it to friends and family first, but I'm going to get started on a few of the smaller items.  I've also been hesitant because I hate when people are showy about things they have.  I promise I'm not being that way, but just want to chronicle some all of these little projects we have completed.  We plan to be in this house for awhile so I think it will be fun to go back and read these posts years from now. 

Without further ado, our new home!

Some of the projects we've done so far:

-  Refinished the wood floors
-  Removed carpet (I have a carpet phobia) in guest rooms and master closet and replaced with wood.  Now the only carpet is in the media room!
-  Painted the interior including banisters and fireplace
-  Replaced green marble around fireplace
-  New lighting in kitchen and living room
-  Replaced all gold fixtures in master bath to brushed nickel
-  Replaced master shower tub with tile
-  Replaced mirrored and gold closest doors in master to frosted glass doors
-  Removed child locks in all cabinets
-  Power washed the backyard and front walkway
-  Replaced tube lighting on backyard gazebo
-  New chairs cushions and umbrella on outdoor furniture

Phew!  It truly is a whole new house that we love, love, love.  Is it bad that I miss it when I leave to go to work? 

More projects to do:

-  Finish hanging pictures and art
-  Find runner for dining room table
-  Find living room pillows that "pull the room together"
-  Finish game room (anyone have a shuffleboard table you are looking to sell)
-  Furnish our "wine room"
-  Rugs
-  Window treatments
-  Get the landscaping under control
-  Wash the windows
-  Finish decorating the media room
-  Finish trashing cleaning out our "storage" items in the garage so we can park both cars in it.

I'm sure this will be an ongoing list, but it's all I can think of at the moment.  It is so fun (and stressful for me) to make a house our home, but I would say that it already is!

Blast from the Past

Clinique was my first make-up to wear (flashback to Junior High) and fall in love with.  My mom thought it was more appropriate since it was light and sheer while being a higher quality than drugstore makeup (I'm not hating, I love me some drugstore lipstick and mascara).  I loved their eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lipstick...and I went gaga over their beauty bag gift with purchase!  Their "Almost Lipstick" in Black Honey is a classic. 

But as the years went on so did my taste in makeup...I moved on to MAC in college and now mostly use private label stuff that I get from a local makeup artist in Houston. 

The Clinique name has been making lots of appearances recently in the blogosphere along with TV and print ads and displays at Nordstrom...all for the Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm.  So I finally broke down and gave them a try when I found a deal for a free Chubby Stick with any Clinique purchase and free shipping, duh!

I now have tried 4 colors and here are my thoughts!

-  Very moisturizing!  I usually wear chapstick under my lipstick because my lips are always dry (I promise I drink water), but there is absolutely no need with this product
-  Some days a little color is all you need
-  Small and light, throw in your pocket for color and moisture in one
-  Great variety of colors
-  Never needs sharpening and fun to apply since the shape is different than normal lipstick!

-  Most of the colors are very sheer
-  The color doesn't last as long as most lipstick does
-  Cost.  For $16.00 I can get 2-3 tubes of lipstick at the drugstore for just one chubby stick

Colors I've tried:
Mega Melon - sheer peachy pink
Love this one a lot.  It's my second favorite and a great color when I'm not weary much makeup on the weekend and just need a little bit of something.  Very subtle. 

Fuller Fig - sheer pinky beige
Like it.  I think I will get more wear out of this in the fall.  Right now I'm feeling bright colors.

Whole Lotta Honey - sheer warm beige
I purchased this one because I thought it might be a good nude color to try, but it's far to sheer for my taste.  You can't tell I have anything on. 

Pudgy Peony - sheer fuchsia
My FAVORITE!  It's bright, but without being to dramatic for daytime or work.  I love it!

Chunky Cherry - sheer cherry red
Is my next to try.  I've heard it's fab...from Vogue.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Won!

I feel like all I ever do is enter blog contests without ever winning, but today I'm a WINNER...and it's a good one too!  A $25 Erin Condren gift certificate.

Thank you to Whitney from The Observant Turtle and Celia from UnSimply Celia for hosting and sponsoring this giveaway!

Now I just have to decide which cover I want for my new Life Planner... 


Lions and Tigers and Bears!

Before moving from a 2 bedroom apartment in the city to a 4 bedroom house in the burbs, I got lots of advice. 

-  "There will be endless amounts of work to be done outside, especially with a pool"
-  "You will be shocked with how much cleaning has to be done constantly"
-  "Get ready for your bills to sky rocket"
-  "How on earth will you fill it coming from a small apartment"

So far nothing has surprised me.  Maybe I'll eat my words after a few more weeks, but I feel like I was very prepared for the work load and cleaning and surprisingly, J & I did not have any trouble filling the entire house! 

The one thing that no one prepared me for or even warned me on...

The critters!  So far in our backyard we've had raccoons, squirrels, turtles, toads, frogs, lizards, owls, hawks, and every type of creepy crawly imaginable including a giant walking stick and the largest asp I've ever seen.  I'm just waiting for a snake to show up.  We even found a spider in our bed this weekend (and this was after our Pest person came and treated the house).

In the neighborhood there are lots of ducks, bunnies, alligators and plenty of nutria!

One of the two raccoons who welcomed us last night when taking little Tucker out.

These little tree frogs are everywhere.  This guy was on Jason's car last night.
Giant asp I almost stepped on last night

Two HUGE owls sleep in our trees and around 7:30 pm we start hearing them hoo.  At about 8 they fly out and perch on the taller trees seen above searching for food...we just hope it's never Tucker!

Nutria are all over the golf course.  They are cute except for their rat tails.  Jason thought they were beavers and he will never live that down!

I am an avid animal lover and yet at times, I'm creeped.  I did not have this issue living inside the loop!  Is this just my particular house or a suburban thing? 

I'm sure you country folk are making fun of me right about now, but I'm a city girl used to viewing these things in cages at the zoo not jumping out at me late at night.  And I'm seriously worried about my little 5-pound, toothless Chihuahua running around!  Poor thing thought he was upgraded to a large yard, but I hardly let him run out of my sight these days. 

Oh and besides the animals, I thought we had ghosts too.  After taking tons of pictures in every room, the media room pictures were crawling with what I thought were "orbs."  Jason informed me it was just dust particles flying around since that room does not have strong ventilation. 

I need to stop watching Ghost Hunters so much.  And going outside barefoot at night. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

For All You Erin Condren Addicts

Whitney from The Observant Turtle is hosting an Erin Condren $25 giftcard giveaway right now sponsored by UnSimply Celia! 

I haven't purchased my Life Planner yet because I've been holding out for some type of sale like last year's Plum District deal, however, this giftcard would be just what I need to take the plunge. With that said, I hope you don't win, so I can win, but if I don't, then I hope it's you...nothing like honesty right?

Have a great Wednesday and good luck!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

First Vlog: July 2012 Birchbox Review

Hope you enjoy my first ever Vlog!!!  Have a great weekend. 
Love, Chels

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jonathan Adler Letter Pillows

If I had endless amounts of money I would purchase these Jonathan Adler Letter Pillows in a C, J and T for Chelsea, Jason and Tucker of course! 

How perfect...a "C' amd a "J"

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Black and White Bathroom Accessories

Jason and I did our master bedroom and bathroom in black and white.  I needed new bath accessories for the counter tops like a toothbrush holder and a soap dish.  A few weeks ago Jason and I discovered the Black and White Apothecary Bath Accessories from Pottery Barn

Even though some of the pieces were a but pricey ($50 for a wastebasket!), I justified m purchases because I didn't need the whole set and I had a stash of gift cards.  I ended up with the toothbrush holders (2 since we have a double sink), soap dish and set of canisters.  I set it all up at home and love the look!

However, just last night while browsing Bed Bath & Beyond, I noticed their version, the Toulouse Bain Bath Ensemble.  The look and quality are both very similar.  The main difference in the two sets is that the BBB version does not have the three canisters.  They do however have an aluminum basket (not pictured) that I bought to hold my products that I like to keep out on counter like hairsprays and lotions).  It looks wonderful next to the Pottery Barn pieces.  You can't even tell the difference! 

Houston Blogger Symposium

I'm so excited to attend the Houston Blogger Symposium in September at Hotel ZaZa pee in my pants excited! 

Only 4 tickets left as of this morning so HURRY and register now if you want to attend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

MPI Awards Gala 2012

A few weeks ago J and I attended the annual MPI (Meeting Professional International) Houston Awards Gala at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Conroe.  Since it was all the way in Conroe we stayed the night which was a fun little getaway. 

Jason has been a member of this organization for years and was the President last year.  This was my fourth time to attend this event with him so it was fun to see familiar faces.  I always look forward to the raffle...since this is an organization within the hospitality industry there are tons of great trips to win (last year we won a trip to Mexico and a two night stay in Galveston).  Jason most looked forward to not having to speak this year. 

The theme this year was "Havana Nights" so I did my best to dress for it.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I did too good of a job because I matched all of the table linens!  Jason looked like he dressed more for "Hampton Nights" but he looked great nonetheless. 

We had a wonderful night.  The food was delicious, the drinks were flowing, and we cleaned up on the loot!  Jason won the "Visionary Award" for his work to improve the chapter and take it to the next level.  I cleaned up on the raffle...winning a trip to Boston, a "staycation" at the Houston St. Regis and on top of all that, I won the Wine Chest!  Too bad Jason hurt his back carrying it back to the room. 

The infamous table linens/dress

Mr. Visionary with his award

The wine chest we won!  It had a lot more wine in it by the time of the raffle.

With Jason's former boss and his wife

Fun in the photobooth!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Carolina Creek Christian Camp

Back in May (way behind on this post) Jason and I attended an Open House at Carolina Creek Christian Camp.  CCCC is a non-denominational Christian camp located in Huntsville, TX and founded in 2000 by Dr. LE and Shelley Richey (my mom and step-dad).  Since then, the camp has continued to grow in size and in campers every year.  This June, "The Wild" opened which is the new camp for elementary aged children.  At the open house in May we got a sneak preview of "The Wild" and it is AWESOME! 

This is truly the place to be in the summer if you are camp-age or the place to send your kids.  Jason and I look forward to hopefully sending our future children there and secretly wish we could attend now...the ropes course looks awesome and the zipline is so fun!  There is something for everyone with a waterpark, sports, archery, lake, "Blob", breathtaking views, great food, and very nice facilities.  I was always a more "Troop Beverly Hills" kinda kid and I would have more than approved of this camp...indoor bathrooms, air conditioning, all of the amenities a spoiled child could need!

Caroline Creek is also open throughout the year for adults and children for retreats, seminars, team-building, etc.  Visit the website to learn more or shoot me an email and I will have someone contact you.   Founding Executive Director/Camp Directors Keith and Carrie Oglesby are the nicest, most wonderful people you will ever meet!  They work tirelessly to make sure your experience with CCCC is the best it could possibly be.    

At the "Beastro" Cafe at The Wild

The amazing cabins at The Wild complete with fireman's pole, private bathrooms, bunk beds and slide going out the back of the cabin, which is the animal's tail!  Keep in mind, this was before the grass and trees were planted so it's even prettier now.

My mom, Shelley, in front of the cabins.

Jason had to test out the fireman's pole in the cabins...

And so did Shelley

The new waterpark at The Wild

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blog Karma

Precious blogger Cat (fellow Texas resident & music lover) from The Simmonds in the Suburbs does a wonderful recurring post in which she gives blog love to her new followers.  This is such a great way to thank someone for following your blog and for your readers to discover new blogs they also might enjoy.

Today Cat featured little 'ole me and and I found some great new reads also.  I've already received messages from another featured blogger, Delightful D who just so happens to live in Houston and is a member of the Junior League with me.  You give a little love and get a lot back in return! 

Another reason why I love blogging so much!

All Moved In

It's been an exciting and exhausting few days in our household.  We packed everything up on the 4th, moved on the 5th, deliveries on the 6th and then attempted to unpack and organize our life the rest of the weekend.  I'm sore and bruised, but oh so happy and content to be in our new home that we hope to enjoy for many, many years to come. 

I have lots of work to catch up on today so this post must be quick.  Here are just a couple of photos from my iphone!

Look at these precious duckies walking through my new neighborhood!

Tucker made himself right at home in the new house.  He loves sitting in the sun.

Our new headboard and bedding we had made!!!  It was delivered just this's not totally completed yet, but I was too excited not to share.
Happy Monday!  Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are off to a great start on your week.  Talk soon ~ Chels

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