mini summer

 As you know, Tate grew up with boys and I grew up with girls. Us girls always spent our summers at home together. Well, maybe not "at home", we were usually out-and-about doing something, but we were always together. This is the first summer we've been married, engaged and in different cities, so we had to make it work regardless. 

Mom, Lynley and Chloe came to visit for a few days! A "mini summer" if you will. Three days of no agenda, just hanging out. Wait, isn't that what I've been doing everyday the past few weeks? Ah, well. It was nice having them around. Poor Tate was the only boy for three days, but he survived just fine with the exception of having to work while we played.

They got in late Sunday and we walked across the street for dinner at Chuy's. I like eating at Mexican food restaurants when Lynley is around because she splits fajitas with Tate. He always asks me to split, and I always have to tell him no. When we are all together eating Mexican, everyone wins!  Back at the apartment we showed our guests to our guest room (blow up mattress on the living room floor). Oh, and we finally got to use that doggy run next to our apartment; although Chloe wasn't too excited about it. She is a scared of pretty much anything that moves: small dogs, wheelbarrows, trucks, her own leash and don't even mention the elevator.  

Monday morningish we woke up and went to lunch at Black Walnut, a great cafe in Rice Village. After, we went to Anthropologie to check out bedding for Lynley and Shawn. We found a winner! Then we went to buy groceries. We made dinner while Tate went on a long run after work. Mom made us smothered steak, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn and rolls for dinner. Yumm! I took some notes so hopefully I can do it by myself next time. After dinner we rented a movie and watched it in the "guest room." Chloe made herself right at home...

Tuesday we ate lunch at Empire Cafe. I had never eaten lunch there, so it was new for everyone. It was great...especially the chocolate raspberry cake. Mondays are 1/2 price cake nights to we will be  going back fo sho. After lunch, we walked through a way too expensive flea market on Westheimer and went for a mani/pedi. Then we headed to the roof for some short pool time thanks to the rain. Later that evening Lynley and I went to kickboxing and Tate swam at the gym. Funny people like Mr. Tanktop and Ms. Pink Stretch Pants always make workout classes a little more fun. Needless to say, it was a very fun workout! After we worked up a sweat, we came home to the smell of tacos! Yummy dinner and a walk to Borders wrapped up the evening. Tate got a new book for our trip to Colorado and Chloe got a walk.

Today we woke up, went to the pool for laying out, reading and eavesdropping. We then ate lunch with Tate at the apartment. After lunch, Mom and Lynley packed up and headed back home. It was a great "mini summer" with all the Nicholson girls and one boy. We made sure to get in all the best things: food, shopping, spa. Thanks for coming to hang out!


houston bucket list

10 MONTHS. That's how long we have been Houstonians. You may think merely living in this great, massive city makes you a Houstonian. Maybe. But I think it is more than that. I think it is a mixture of a lot of things including, but not limited to the following: running red lights like it's going out of style, honking a minimum of three times per week, considering 98% humidity a normal climate, pronouncing "Houston, humidity and Humble" with a silent "h", and seeing the sights of course.
Speaking of sights... a few weeks ago, I opened a book of Tate's and this list fell out. It was entitled, "Things I want to do in Houston with Danielle." First of all, I thought it was super cute and put it on our bulletin board in our kitchen. Secondly, I thought, hmmmm not a bad idea. A Houston Bucket List, if you will. 15 things we want to do in Houston before we leave this glorious place. 5 down, 10 to go! I've revised it a bit, but here is our Houston Bucket List:

15 stops on the way to becoming a true Houstonian...

1. Astros Game at Minute Maid Park

2. Visit the Houston Aquarium

3. Miller Outdoor Theatre 

4. Play Golf at Hermann Park

5. Houston Museum of Natural Science

6. Explore Galveston Island

7. Go fishing at Galveston Island

8. Moody Gardens

9. St. Arnold Brewery Tour

10. NASA Space Center

11. Houston Zoo

12. Sam Houston Horse Races

13. Kayak on the Bayou 

14. Rockets Game

15. Texans Game 


tiny home sweet home

We are resigning our lease at B306 for another year! 
We have cherished our time here in our little apartment and big city. It's been fun starting off in a new place together. Here we are known as "the Barretts." In our hometowns we are known separately, but here we are a unit, a family. We've started new jobs, made new friends, found a church and explored a new city. Being newly married in a new environment has called us to step out of our comfort zone, which I think builds a unique dependency on one another. And if that hasn't created enough of a bond, we always have our tiny living quarters to bring us even closer. We have worn out every inch of our 750 square feet.  But, with little space comes lots of space-saving creativity. Ok, well I don't know about creativity, but it's a better way to say there is something everywhere. For example, our gift wrap can be found under the living room couch and board games in the laundry closet. We have filled every cabinet, every drawer and corner. It is small and can be somewhat noisy (thanks to the on-going construction), but at the end of the day it is home, our very first home. 

 Let me take you on the grand tour. Welcome to B306... 

View from front door. This is our entryway with our sophisticated art piece, "please don't touch the art." That's what T tells our visitors. Straight in front is the living room and to the right is the bedroom. 
Our kitchen/dining room/ living room. The breakfast nook is one of my favorite parts. We had an option between balcony or nook, but I said I had to have a place for our kitchen table or it wouldn't feel like home. The table was my grandma's. I repainted it and got mismatching chairs. Each one has its own story. 
Living room. Tate was initially appalled by the "girly" rug, but I think its grown on him. We didn't have room for our original coffee table, so Lynley and I painted this bench and it functions perfectly as a table/foot rest. 
Shelf with stuff, including our ode to Amarillo made of vintage postcards. 
The "open" sign is one of the newest additions. Also, here are our bookshelves that I can't help but reorganize about every other week. 
The birds were our wedding cake topper (thanks Lynley, I still owe you one  two). Our grooms cake topper, the Baylor seal, is on the other bookshelf. I have started a collection of old books that I have no intentions of reading...just for decoration. 
This is our spacious kitchen! It's labeled, in case you get lost. We spend most of our time in here, and it is big enough to almost fit all of our kitchen stuff...that's big! I've been spoiled, now every apartment we look at I think the kitchen isn't big enough. 

Meet my new best friend, Mr. Kitchen Aid Mixer. He helps with the brownies, mashed potatoes, really anything that needs mixing. Have you seen our magnet collection? T and I get a magnet as a souvenir of every place we've been together. The tackier, the better. So far: Six Flags (classy I know), Hawaii and New York. Coming soon: Colorado! 
Gotta love the mismatched dishes! Another popular collection in our house...
 I started acquiring these in college and I'm still going. When we got married we also made sure to register for "grown up dishes" oh and Tate picked out some Woodland creature Bear dishes. So all in all, we have about 3 sets. They will come in handy when we invite over the entire city for a dinner party. It's nice to have options!
My vintage hutch to hold all the fun dishes and cookbooks. Also notice our massive plants growing on top. Like a mentioned, we are lacking a balcony so this is our little garden. There is a chandelier behind all that greenery, but it's hard to spot. 
Bathroom. The lady at BB&B literally laughed in our faces when we picked out this Texas Rangers poster. We like it!
Cotton balls, q-tips, horse, soap...what more do you need? Hey, every Ranger needs a horse. 
 I think if Tate had one wish, it would be for 2 sinks. Sorry...
Our bedroom. That framed B is one of my favorite decorations thanks to Spice, Esmerelda's and some green paint. On the other wall is my wedding pic creation. It's hard to display your wedding pics tastefully, it always ends up looking like a shrine. Ah, well... Also, on the night stand is the notorious stuffed bird. If you've read the previous post, "Roommate for Life." you recognize him. 

Well, that is about it. Thanks for dropping by B306!