3 Things- Highlights from the week

Happy Thanksgiving! I am loving this short two day work week! Here are a few highlights from this past week. 

1) S’mores Pie! Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking found here   

I’m obsessed with S’mores and when I saw this posted on Gaby’s website I knew this would make a perfect Friendsgiving dessert. Not going to lie, this was an ambitious undertaking but so delicious and all worth it! The first two steps are relatively easy as the base is a simple graham cracker crust and the middle layer is a rich homemade chocolate pudding.

  
I knew the real challenge would be the meringue marshmallow topping and it was indeed a struggle! I was lucky to have a crew of friends to help with what seemed like a never ending whipping process. When we weren’t seeing the sugary egg whites thicken and had no electric mixer in sight, we got creative. Evan got an electric screwdriver and a handheld whisk and miraculously made a powerful though sketchy mixer. It was a life saver and finally the meringue thickened enough to create the marshmallow layer! Warning: You probably shouldn’t try this at home!   

 The final step includes a blow torch to make a nice brule’ topping. It was a Friendsgiving to remember filled with lots of yummy foods and new friends!  

  
   

 2) OrangeTheory Workout Class  

To compensate for eating pie for breakfast I figured I should probably  up my workout game in preparation for Thanksgiving eats. Last week I made it to two OrangeTheory classes and LOVED this intense fun workout! The first studio I checked out was their new spacious Sawyer location for a blogger workout class sponsored by The Tiny Two Talk. We worked up quite a sweat and I was glad to have a fun crew of girls to suffer through the workout with but it really was the best accomplished feeling once we were done. The workouts consist of 30 minutes on the treadmill doing interval training with a combo of sprints, base running pace, power walking, or brief all out sprints. It pushed me way harder than I normally would push myself on a treadmill. I enjoy running so I liked this part a lot. The next 30 minutes were focused on strength training floor exercises, weights, rowing, and some resistance training. It was challenging but the loud music and rotating stations made it go by fast. I enjoyed tracking my heart rate throughout the workout and the whole workout is centered around finding your target heart rate zone for maximum energy and calories burned. I burned around 650 calories per workout which seems way higher than even an intense spin class. I also liked the West U location  and the staff was very helpful and welcoming. I’m thinking about possibly joining after the holidays. 

3) Seeing Amy Schumer live at the Toyota Center!

 I know it’s hard to tell from this picture, but Amy came to Houston and she made me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt! We got lucky and were upgraded to a lower level which was awesome to have such good seats that came at a fraction of the price. If you ever have the chance to see her live, do it! Just don’t bring your parents because her jokes are NC-17 plus some. It was a great Sunday night activity and fun way to end the week!

Happy thanksgiving to all of you! Hope it’s delicious, relaxing, and meaningful. I’m heading out to LA so stay tuned for some of my favorite Cali eats/spots! 

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3 Things- Highlights from the Week

What a crazy whirlwind of a week. Very much looking forward to some R&R and family time over Thanksgiving break. What are you all most excited to make/eat? I always make pumpkin bread, a fall themed crostini, and spiked apple cider. I’ll post those recipes soon! In the meantime, here were some highlights from the past week. 

1) Yoga Sculpt Class at Yogaleena with some of my favorite gal pals.
 I’ve blogged about my love for this chic boutique yoga studio before and it is still my favorite, especially the yoga-sculpt classes. My friend Cali teaches sculpt classes here on Tues/Sat and she’s a total rockstar yogi who will kick your butt while you’re distracted by her killer playlist. Last week I went to 3 of her sculpt classes in a row, a new record of mine for a week. The only issue is I’ve now used up my classpass classes here for the cycle now 😦 It was all worth it though and I had so much fun going with Erika and Christine too. Definitely makes for a fun healthy girls night!

2) Houston Food Blogger Collective potluck at Axelrad

 If you haven’t yet checked out Axelrad, now is the perfect time of year to enjoy their spacious outdoor beer garden/ hammock heaven. I hadn’t been during the day before and it was way more laid back than the night time scene. Plus I loved getting to clearly see these gorgeous views of the Houston skyline. They have a variety of beer on tap and their famous frose’ (frozen rose’) is definitely worth trying. People were playing games, enjoying the fall weather, and our food bloggers had quite the spread of pies and Friendsgiving essentials. I made a persimmon and pomegranates salad to balance out all the dessert offerings. I’m loving all these fall fruits lately.  

  
3) Tiny’s Milk and Cookies officially opened yesterday in West University!

I work dangerously close to Tiny’s No 5 and love waking over for their almond milk lattes, salads, and of course the famous chocolate chip cookie for special occasions or let’s be real…for rough days. Nothing compares and their cookie really was rated #1 best cookie in Houston.  It is soft, gooey, chewy, chocolatey, and tastes even better than the freshly baked cookies of your childhood. I was excited to learn that they were opening up a walk-up bakery, cafe, and ice cream shop next to Tiny’s No 5. When you walk up to the window you feel transported to a summer time New England style cottage. Behind the window is an assortment of freshly baked breads, muffins, croissants, seasonal ice creams, chia seed puddings, a variety of caffeine offerings, and the true star…the cookie. If you haven’t been here yet, run here and share the cookie love with someone who needs one. It’s better than a hug. Also apparently they will be offering breakfast tacos on Friday mornings…could this place be more perfect?

 

 Have a great pre-Thanksgiving week! 

Viva Las Vegas- Part 1

 I never expected to end up in Vegas twice in one month but because of two special birthdays I was lured back to sin city twice this past October. Who knew Vegas could be just as fun for a 27 year old birthday celebration or for an 80 year old!? Both weekends were incredibly special and fun ways to celebrate two of my favorite people. 

The first Vegas trip was for Evan’s birthday since he had never been before! While he knew we were going, he didn’t know any of the itinerary details and I had so much fun planning our surprise activities and meals. We stayed at The Mirage which was centrally located on the strip in a great location. They have two beautiful resort style pools, tons of great restaurants, the casino, day and night clubs, and it’s home to the Beatles Cirque de Soliel show which I had seen years ago and loved. For this trip we opted to see Absynthe  a new entertaining smaller show at Caesar’s Palace which was hilarious, totally inappropriate, and incredible acrobatics and variety acts. Don’t see this one with your parents! Lots of crass humor but hilarious. I also would recommend sitting in the back if you don’t want to get called on! 

 For brunch we made it to eggslut which I’ve been dying to try and still haven’t had it in LA. It’s located in the gorgeous Cosmo hotel and it’s an absolute must visit. It’s a pretty casual grab and go type place, limited seating. I felt pretty ridiculous ordering a dish called the slut but had heard this was a must order. This cute mason jar is filled with puréed potatoes and a perfectly coddled egg with baguettes for dipping. SO good!

For our othe brunch we went to the buffet at the Wynn. Evan wanted to check out a classic Vegas buffet and this is often rated the best. We had to wait around 30 minutes to get in but that helped build up an appetite for the endless options. Buffets usually gross me out but this one is so beatiful and elegant ,plus they have something for everyone. We sampled the blitzes, smoked salmon, yogurt, and some mini desserts. I wouldn’t rush back because I don’t ever want to eat that much food to make it worth the wait/ cost ($45 I believe), but it’s a fun experience. I also LOVED the ambiance, look at those flowers!

  

  

 For dinner we checked out Giada’s restaurant at the Cromwell hotel. I have been a huge Giada fan for over 10 years. In high school I would religiously watch her Food Network show everyday after school. I have been waiting for the day to finally try her food! Her restaurant is gorgeous and her pastas and appetizers are tasty. I wish I could say I was 1000% blown away but I liked the atmosphere better than the food. The lamb chops below were flavorful and and so were the desserts. This place gets pricey real fast though! I hear brunch is great and cheaper so I’ll try that next time. If you’re a Giada fan, you must check this out while in Vegas! 


Birthday dessert plate. Loved the cookies!

  

Make sure you stop by the photo booth on your way out! 

 For our other special dinner we dined at Lago which is a restaurant with a gorgeous patio right next to the Bellagio fountains! Even though we had reservations we had to wait an extra 45 minutes for a patio table! Luckily there’s casinos right nearby for distractions. I have to say it was worth the wait though to be right next to the amazing fountain show that goes off every 15 minutes. We had some refreshing citrus cocktails, an amazing caprese dish, a meat board, and risotto. 

View on the patio. #notinParis  

  

It was a great trip overall! Not pictured was our pool time/ day club at the Mirage which doesn’t allow pics, night club 10 Oak which we weren’t all that into because $20 drinks and crowded, and our winnings at the Sex and the City Slot machine! 

Get ready for Vegas part 2 recap from my family trip next. Spoiler alert: it includes Britney Spears, Elton John, and how to live it up when you are 80!   

3 things- Highlights from the week 

I’m excited to introduce a new series, 3 things which will be a brief highlight of some of my favorite activities, moments, or let’s be real (eats) from the past week. After a crazy busy fall with traveling, literally gone 7 out of 8 weekends in a row, I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally be home in Houston for the next few weeks! Nothing makes me happier than Saturday morning walks to my local farmers market, weekend brunch/breakfast taco dates, lazy Sunday’s in sweats, enjoying this finally fall weather, and exploring a new restaurant or neighborhood. Here’s my top 3 from this week:

1) Local Share box from the Rawfully Organic Co-Op  

I’ve been following Fully Raw Kristina on Instagram for a while and had been dying to check out her organic co-op. I was amazed at the volume and quality of organic local produce in this box for only $25! Totally a steal and a great way to add variety to my weekly veggies. I’ve already made delicious butternut squash soup, sautéed garlic bok choy, egg scrambles with the  peppers and corn, hash browns, and sweet potato fries. I can’t wait to go back and try more in season beautiful produce. You can pick up these boxes on Tuesdays and Saturdays at Memorial Park.

2) Bingo in the Heights!   

Bingo is not just for granny’s! Did you know that every Thursday night at SPJST Lodge 88 hundreds of people of all ages come out for a BYOB bingo extravaganza! The grand prizes are over $500. You can  order in pizza or bring your own picnic. FYI- Beer is not allowed in but they sell plenty there.   Bingo starts at 7 pm but people get there starting around 5:30 because it fills up fast! We went to celebrate Lauren’s birthday for her second annual birthday bingo bash. Also how beautiful is this cake?! It was perfection, thanks to the talented Erika for fulfilling all of our dessert dreams. For more drool worthy cake, you should check out that time we tasted 14 chocolate cakes for the Best Chocolate Cake in Houston article Erika wrote. Research guys and major sugar comas. The perks of having awesome foodie friends.
3)   PAC(K) Training Class at the League

  I’m always looking for new classes to check out on classpass to mix-up my workout routine. I’ve mostly been going to yoga and spinning classes and have been missing boot-camp/ cross-fit style classes but a bit intimidated to dive back in! Terry the co-founder and coach for my class at The League couldn’t have been more welcoming. I loved the high intensity and variety in the class. It was a great combo of cardio, strength training, and mobility work. We did everything from burpees, plated lunges, kettle bell swings, and ab routines. The music playlist was awesome and motivating. Everyone was very friendly and you can scale the workout based on your fitness level. Everyone seems to be freaking out that classpass got rid of the unlimited option. I’m still planning on sticking with it, 10 classes a month is still the best deal out there with so many studio options in my opinion. If you have a favorite classpass class or gym in Houston, let me know! 

I hope everyone has a great week ahead and makes it through what will be a very interesting Election Day!