Monday, May 30, 2016

Made in the USA / Houston: Ann Page Coasters

 I first got these coasters at The Cottage Thrift Shop here in Houston and thought they were so fun for parties, gatherings, etc. I immediately saw on the back that they were made in the USA, which I loved even more. Then once I started researching the Ann Page website I saw that they are actually based here in Houston! How fun is that?! Do you of you have any of these products?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Trip Planning: Hiking

*** So I started this post almost exactly 2 years ago, but I thought I would go ahead and post it because it was a good memory and hiking when it is not scorching out is always fun. Plus, I help clients pack for trips from time to time, which includes hiking gear.

I just got back from a hiking trip to Estes Park, CO with my husband and several friends. It was really hard for me to decide what was necessary and not necessary to bring on the trip since I really don't hike in cold weather. All the hiking I have done has mostly been during the summer time. 

Here are some things that I decided to pack for actual hiking days, which it turned out I used almost everything. 
  1. Map
  2. Thermals 
  3. Comfy pants
  4. Polyester and Cotton shirts
  5. Wind and rain proof jacket
  6. Puffy Vest
  7. Hiking shoes / socks (the socks are a must)
  8. Sunscreen
  9. Food (Purely Elizabth Granola or any granola that one is just my favorite, fruit, sandwiches, etc.)
  10. Water bottle
  11. Backpack
  12. Hand sanitizer / wipes
  13. Toilet Paper
  14. Sunglasses
  15. Camera
  16. Pencil and Pad
  17. Map
Bring band aids. One of the friends that we were with got really bad blisters. Thankfully, I didn't get blisters that bad. The first day we hiked I think 9 miles maybe a little more and my feet were killing me. Be sure to have the proper shoes and socks, which I think mine were great it was just the whole walking for 9 miles in one day thing that my feet didn't like. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Spring Cleaning: Items You Forget to Clean

Spring cleaning has been in full effect at our house. There are all kinds of areas that get neglected because we, well, forget about them. Here are some top areas you may forget to clean.
  • Doors
  • Door knobs
  • Light switches
  • Refrigerator coils
  • The trashcan
  • The fronts of cabinets
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Pillows
  • Toothbrushes
  • Headphones
  • Chanel changers
  • Lamp shades
  • Books
  • Blankets
  • Baseboards
  • Picture frames
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machines
  • Fans
  • Electronics
  • Inside of the refrigerator 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Made in the USA: J.W. Hulme

One of my favorite made in the USA products is J.W. Hulme. They are made in Michigan. My husband and I each have a duffel bag and love them. This is the one I have and it is actually pretty large. It is gone up a lot through the years. The grey canvas duffel in the picture is my husbands and I can't find it on their website any longer. I have been giving my husband several of their items for years from a shell pouch to passport cover and other items. There are very well made and super durable. I always thought the leather duffel was beautiful, well all the leather products are beautiful. I love the style and durability of many of their travel products. The items can be pricey, but they often have discount codes and sales. These duffel bags are perfect for weekend getaways. Do you have any J.W. Hulme products that you love?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Concierge's Must Have Item: Amazon Prime + The Benefits of It

One of my FAVORITE sites I go to far too often is Amazon. I use it all the time for clients and personally. More times than not I can find what I am looking for on there at a reasonable price. Prime is wonderful! Free 2-day shipping on many items when you pay an annual price, you can't beat that.  To overnight Prime items is really inexpensive as well. This is definitely a concierge's must have item.

Besides quick shipping there are also many other benefits like video streaming, music streaming, ebooks, no rush shipping credit, unlimited photo cloud storage, and early access to some daily deals. 

If you use for qualifying purchases a portion of your order goes back to a charity of your choosing from their list. How cool is that?!

Are you a lover of Amazon Prime? What are some of your must have items?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Client Busy Mama: Toddler Closet Organization Before & After

You may remember this post from February where I did a baby closet organization project. Well, that same day I also did a toddler closet. These 2 closets were so much fun because, come on, how cute is mini little girl's clothing?! Everything that was in this closet needed to stay in the closet.

Here is what I did:
  • I moved the big items out. Then eventually back in.
  • Less used items went to the top.
  • All current clothing went towards the front of the closet arranged by size. 
  • Bigger clothing sizes went towards the back of the closet.
  • Diapers and wipes in the bin needed to be easily accessible, so they stayed in the bin on the ground.
**Sorry for the bad phone photos. You can also see part of this organization project on Veronika's Blushing as well.



Monday, May 16, 2016

Made in the USA: Hedley & Bennett Aprons

Are you a fan of Hedley & Bennett aprons? I stumbled upon them several years ago and can't get over how cute & functional they are. I personally don't have one, but I gave my husband the Squid Ink one a couple of years ago and he loves it. He uses it in his workshop. What he loves about it is that it can hold several of his tools, pencils, tape measures, etc. I love the variety of styles & colors and that they are made in the USA! Plus, they have cute kids ones as well. I really need to get my hands on one for myself sometime soon. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

SoulCycle Houston is Here!

I know I have many clients that have long awaited SoulCycle opening in Houston and it is finally here! Before this week I had only taken one class at their Houston pop up in January and I had the pleasure of checking out the new studio last Tuesday. Man, what a workout! I am completely uncoordinated, but if you want to burn a good amount of calories I definitely recommend checking it out. I was actually supposed to attend the week before last, but there was a power outage at their studio and unexpected work commitments made it not possible to go that week, so I went and checked it out last week. I am hopefully going again with a friend in the near future.

Have you checked out the new studio in Houston? Do you like cycling? Where are your favorite cycling places in Houston?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

An Organized Move and Moving Tips

This is the season for lots of moves happening. Summer is a common time for moves. I have some upcoming clients moves and thought I would give some tips that I have learned through the years of moving myself and clients. I am sure I will be forgetting some tips as well. Here is post from almost exactly 6 years ago of moving tips I wrote.

The key to a hopefully smooth move is being super organized.

  • Supplies you should have:

      • boxes
      • packing tape
      • scissors
      • box cutter
      • labels
      • markers
      • bubble wrap
      • packing paper
    • Keep a binder
    • What it should contain:
      • photos (new & old place)
      • inventory lists
      • receipts
      • mover information
      • calendar of important dates
      • service companies information 
      • furniture placement
      • school records 
      • notes
      • house inspiration (magazine cut outs, photos, etc.)
      • sticky notes
    • Hire movers. It is so worth it in the end. There are several companies that I have used throughout the years in Houston and some companies will provide reusable plastic crates. This is a great eco option. 
    • Sort and Purge. Get rid of things you don't want or need before you move.
      • Arrange for donation pick up. Especially if you have larger items. Call local charities and see if you can arrange for a pick up before the movers come.
    • Make home repairs. Before you move into the new place, if you have the funds and time, have the place professionally cleaned, handle small repairs, do renovations, paint, line kitchen shelves, etc. 
    • Color code boxes. Use colored labels to coordinate what part of the house items will go in. Example: green=kitchen / red=master bath/ etc. 
    • Inventory every box. Inventory everything you have in each box. This makes it so much easier to find what you need after you move. 
    • Label each room of the new place. This way movers know where boxes should go. Consider making a legend if you color code the boxes. 
    • Use suitcases and containers to pack items. Pack heavier items in the suitcases and use towels as extra padding to wrap items. 
    • Change your address. Be sure to change your address on utilities, medical, schools, magazines, etc. 
    • Eat what you have. If you have a lot of food you need to get rid of start eating what you have so you don't have to move as much. Don't buy groceries 2 weeks before the move.
    • Pack your sentimental items separately. If you have sentimental, important or valuable items pack them separately so they don't get lost or misplaced. Transport them yourself to the new place.
    • Pack a suitcase. Keep a few days worth of clothing and toiletries in there. 
    • Find a sitter for the kids and/or pets. Before you move arrange for the kids and/or pets to be somewhere else so it is one less thing you need to worry about the day of the move.
    • Put screws and furniture parts in separate bags. As you disassemble items make sure to keep parts in separate bags and label the bags. 
    • Keep electronics, their parts and cords all together. This will make it so much easier when you hook everything back up again. 
    • Book a reflexology appointment. This is will feel amazing after you have been on your feet for several hours straight. 
    • Hire an organizer! 
    What are some of your moving tips?

    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Made in the USA: Candles

    I have been given various candles through out the years and love the smell of all the ones in this picture. I know the more eco thing would be to use mostly soy candles, but I don't burn them all the time and I like the smell of these, so I'll do what makes me happy. The big plus is that these candles are all made in the USA.

    Voluspa Candles

    Volcano Candles

    Mrs. Meyers Candles

    Yankee Candles

    What are some of your favorite candles?

    Friday, May 6, 2016

    Four Seasons Houston Spa

    Last week I had a chance to go check out the new and improved Four Seasons Houston Spa. It is beautiful, relaxing and inviting. I have many clients that love the Four Seasons and the Four Seasons Houston has helped me out many of times with various requests. They offer so many great services. I had the opportunity to check it out thanks to me being a part of Tidbits Houston Front Row. I got a mini mani and they use Deborah Lipmann nail polishes, which are more eco than others. When I spoke with the spa last week they said once they get things more conceptualized they are looking to offer yoga and other classes to the public in Houston. Other hotels in Houston also do this as well. Sorry I didn't get great pictures and most are of the bathroom, but oh well.

    Have you checked out the spa yet? Where are you favorite spas in Houston?

    Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    Client Fun, Busy Family: Under the Sink Organization

    Under the sink is something that can become a problem pretty quick if you don't organize it because you don't really think too much about it and just throw things underneath. Something that isn't pictured below is the over the door cabinet organizer we purchased and put on after the photos were taken and all the contents to the right on the "after" photo were put on that organizer.


    1. Get rid of what you don't use, that is empty or is old.
    2. Use bins and drawers to stay organized. Preferably stackable ones.
    3. If you have the room, lazy susans are a great way to keep things organized.
    4. Use over the door hooks and organizers to maximize space. Command hooks work great too.
    5. Use contact paper or plastic liner to keep the sink cabinet from getting dirty. That way you can remove it to clean it if need be.


    Monday, May 2, 2016

    Made in the USA: Lemon Stretch Wraps

    Have you tried these lemon stretch wraps before? I have been using them for years and absolutely love them. You put them around the lemon and squeeze the juice out and it doesn't get the seeds in your food, drink or whatever you are putting lemon juice in. They are made in the USA! Right up the road in Dallas, TX. I purchase mine at Central Market, but have seen them online and at various kitchen stores in town.