February 7th, 2014
Fitness Friday with Perfect Size Nutrition: How to Throw a Healthy and Delicious Bridal Shower
 

We at HWB are SO excited about our partnership with the lovely Marla and Sonny of Houston’s Perfect Size Nutrition for our newest bridal and nutrition and fitness series! Today marks the first installment of bimonthly Fitness Fridays, and darlings, it’s a tasty one. We welcome you to try any of these recipes (listed just below the video clip) any time, for a delicious, nutritious, craving-satisfying snack or meal (we mean it, gals…just try these out on your comfort-food-loving guy if you have any doubts!). And be sure to visit Perfect Size Nutrition’s blog for a complete list of recipes and directions. Take it away, Marla and Sonny!

If you need an example of friends getting together to overindulge and eat diet-busting foods, just look to the typical bridal shower or a bachelorette party. While gobbling high-fat, high-sodium, sugar-filled goodies seems like a good idea at the time, come Monday morning, the food hangover sets in and you wake up feeling hungry, tired and regretting those high-calorie munchies and drinks. So we are here to guide you and your shower hostess in the right direction. The recipes we have developed are meant to taste wonderful without undoing all your hard pre-bridal fitness work. You and your guests will love these healthy and cute alternatives!

 

 

Goddess Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

– 12 hard-boiled eggs

– Salt

– Pepper

– Tony Chachere’s salt-free seasoning

– 1/2 tsp garlic powder

– 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

– 1/4 cup Greek yogurt

– Paprika

Directions:

  1. Place eggs into large pot. Add just enough water to cover eggs. Turn stove on high heat, bring to boil for 1 minute then reduce heat to medium-heat for a low boil for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Cover pot and let them simmer, off heat
  2. Remove eggs from pot and place in a separate bowl. Rinse with cold water. Keep them in cold water until completely cooled
  3. Once cooled, peel eggs
  4. Cut lengthwise. Scoop out yellow and place in bowl, set whites on a tray
  5. Mix yellows with the rest of the ingredients except for paprika
  6. With a spoon, scoop yolk mixture back into each egg white
  7. Sprinkle with paprika

Guacamole with homemade chips

Homemade baked tortilla chips:

Ingredients:

–       Corn tortillas

–       Non-stick olive oil spray

–       Seasonings of choice (we like a pinch of Parmesan)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lay out all corn tortillas from the package.
  3. Spray both sides of the corn tortillas with non-stick olive oil spray.
  4. Sprinkle favorite seasonings on top of tortillas (we love a pinch of Parmesan!).
  5. Stack about 8-10 tortillas on top of each other and using a knife, cut tortillas into 8.
  6. Place triangles on cookie sheet in single layer.
  7. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Make sure to check on them frequently to prevent from burning.

Homemade Guacamole Recipe:

Ingredients:

–       4 ripe avocados

–       Pinch of salt or to taste

–       Pinch of pepper or to taste

–       ½ medium tomato

–       ¼ medium red onion

–       ½ tsp garlic powder

–       Juice of 1 lime

–       2 tbsp cilantro

Directions:

  1. Scoop out avocados, add to large mixing bowl.
  2. With a fork or potato masher, mash avocados lightly for chunkier guacamole. For smooth guacamole, mix and mash well.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to bowl and mix well.
  4. Serve with homemade baked tortilla chips.

Skinny Mini Pizzas

Ingredients:

–       Small round flat bread

–       Pizza sauce or tomato sauce

–       Mozzarella cheese

–       Feta cheese

–       Spinach

–       Oregano or Italian seasoning

–       Olive oil

–       Torn arugula

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place flat bread on cookie sheet.
  3. With a spoon, add pizza sauce to each flat bread.
  4. Sprinkle each with ¼ tsp oregano.
  5. Add a few spinach leaves to each pizza.
  6. Sprinkle each pizza with mozzarella.
  7. Add a pinch of feta to each pizza.
  8. Sprinkle tops of pizzas with arugula.
  9. Drizzle a tsp of olive oil on each pizza.
  10. Bake at 450 for 15-25 minutes.

For more nutrition tips, food photos and pre-wedding fitness advice, visit Perfect Size Nutrition on Facebook!

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February 4th, 2014
Swag Bag Sweetness!
 

Bridal Gifts Favors Skincare

We at Weddings in Houston firmly believe that take-home treats shouldn’t be just for wedding guests. That’s why we put so much love—and LOTS of good stuff—into our exclusive I Do! Bridal Soiree swag bags! We want to thank the exceptional brands and vendors who contributed gifts and goodies to the swag bags our brides took home from the fabulous I Do! Bridal Soiree at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston on Sunday, Jan. 26.

Greenleaf Gifts
Not only did Greenleaf’s First Blush and Gardenia Fragrance Votives have us totally swooning with delight over their soft, romantic scents, but their packaging was pretty much perfection. Love the idea of these for visiting guests’ hotel rooms, amenity baskets, and reception powder rooms and dressing rooms. Don’t you? #weddingfavor #guestroomamenity #homefragrance #bridesmaidgift

Thymes
Infused with jasmine, rose, hyacinth, lily of the valley and other divine floral fragrances, Thymes’ Goldleaf Foaming Bath Powder is our new favorite soak-time ritual. Did we mention it leaves our skin feeling like silk and smelling like Heaven après-bath? #bridesmaidgift #spabasket #bathandbody #fragrance

Kate Somerville
When the amazing Kate Somerville offers to treat you to a skincare treatment, you’d best take her up on it. I Do! Brides: Make sure to schedule your complimentary Kate Somerville DermaQuench Treatment at Neiman Marcus…TODAY! #bridalbeauty #bridesmaidbeauty #skincare #ideserveit

Nothing Bundt Cakes
So. Freakin.’ Delicious. Once you take one bite of a Nothing Bundt Cakes Red Velvet, White-Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate or Lemon cake, drizzled and basically filled with decadent frosting, you’re a fan for life. And they make wedding cakes, too! #bundtcake #weddingcake #desserttable #ideserveit

Tiff’s Treats
Cookies make us happy. So we kinda figured they’d make y’all happy, too. And Tiff’s Treats knows how to make a cookie that’d make anyone happy. ‘Nuff said. ENJOY!
#weddingfavors #cookies #desserttable #coupon

Last but most definitely not least, we’d like to give a big ol’ Weddings in Houston shout out to Save-On Crafts for the gorgeous romance-red Sola Flowers adorning our I Do! Bridal Soiree “Bride” name tags. These natural-tapioca-fiber flowers aren’t just beautiful, they’re versatile, eco-friendly and absolutely awesome for DIY wedding decor, favor packages and other fun stuff. Check ’em out!

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January 29th, 2014
Houston Rodeo GIVEAWAY from Veranda Realty Group
 

Houston Rodeo GIVEAWAY from Veranda Realty Group

Y’all, we’re so excited about this week’s giveaway, we’re champing at the bit to award it! The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo kicks off on March 3 and we’ve got premium tickets for one lucky couple to attend the final night of Rodeo…featuring a performance by the Zac Brown Band!! TO ENTER: Simply 1.) LIKE us on Facebook, and 2.) Email your name and a photo of you & your fiancé in your best rodeo-ready style. Entry deadline is WEDNESDAY, FEB. 5, and we’ll announce our winner on Facebook the very next day.

We’re so thankful to Veranda Realty Group for providing this awesome giveaway—and so thankful to Veranda Realty’s Waukita Ray-Swales for sharing with us her expert home-buying advice for to-be-weds and newlyweds, in this here MUST-READ Q&A.

Houston Wedding Blog: What types of real estate services do you provide brides and grooms?

Waukita Ray-Swales: I provide consultation for engaged couples and newlyweds to assist them in determining if the time is right to make the financial commitment to home ownership. Because many newlyweds already own their own homes prior to getting married, they make the decision to sell their existing homes and purchase something together.

I also own my own design and staging company called Veranda Design Group, and love assisting my clients in blending their two styles together in one home. This helps both the bride and groom feel as though they have brought their own personalities into the decorating and design of their home without losing their individual identities.

HWB: What is your advice for the young to-be-married or newlywed couple who already owns a home together but is looking to “trade up” after the wedding?

WRS: When couples get engaged and begin the process of planning a wedding, many will already own their own homes, but want to consolidate their equity and move into a larger home that will allow them to grow their family without feeling cramped. Consulting with a reputable realtor who will do an extensive analysis of their current home will equip them with knowledge on what their home is worth based on current market conditions and what they should net after the sale. This information will help them formulate an action plan with regard to what they can afford when they are considering moving up into the next price bracket.

HWB: What are two or three of the hottest neighborhoods/areas for first-home purchases right now?

WRS: I am partial to neighborhoods “Inside the Loop” when I counsel soon-to-be-married or newlywed couples because of their accessibility and proximity to the major freeways, shopping districts, arts districts and downtown sports arenas.

Some of my favorites are:

Houston Heights Area – This neighborhood is a designated Historic District with a small-town feel and an abundance of renovated bungalows, as well as newly constructed townhomes in the outlying neighborhoods that are in close proximity. It has a great hike/bike trail that runs all the way through Memorial Park and Downtown Houston and an abundance of eateries, pubs, coffee houses and shopping establishments. The median sale price is approximately $400,000, which allows newlyweds to purchase in a neighborhood where the higher-priced homes will help their property values remain stable. Heights properties range from under $200k to over $2.5mm.

Washington Corridor/Rice Military/Camp Logan – Rice Military is at the heart of Houston’s Inner Loop, and is also 5-10 minutes away from Downtown, Memorial Park and the Museum District. It is still an area of transition, which keeps the prices affordable for first-time homebuyers. Many renovated bungalows are scattered throughout the area, but in recent years there has been a surge in townhome construction. For newlywed couples with busy lifestyles, this may be the perfect location, because they have minimal yard maintenance, and are in the midst of all the Inner Loop activities. Entry-level homes in this neighborhood start around $300,000, and the close proximity to the popular “Washington Street Corridor” is a huge draw to young professionals.

EaDo District (East of Downtown) – Located just north of Interstate 45 and between the George R. Brown Convention Center and the East End District, East Downtown is a vibrant Houston neighborhood near Houston’s three largest business districts: Downtown Houston, the Texas Medical Center and the Houston Ship Channel. Dubbed as the “Art & Soul of Houston,” EaDo is a fast-growing neighborhood nestled within many exciting sections of the city. Homes in this neighborhood begin in the $200,000s consisting mostly of townhomes or zero-lot line single-family homes. The values in this area of town are rising rapidly, so a first-time homebuyer will be able to invest in a property that has tremendous upside and potential.

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January 21st, 2014
Dreamy Indoor Garden Wedding from Planner Kat Creech
 

Four Seasons Las Vegas catering manager Nicole readily admits that her event-planning experience was both a blessing and a curse when it came time to prepare for her own wedding. “Being an event planner, there were so many ideas. Then when one was selected, I would want to change it for a more cost-effective option. Experience and knowing how many options there were made choosing very difficult. That’s why I was kicked off [the job] and my mom and planner”—Kat Creech, of Houston’s Kat Creech Events—“took my vision and created the perfect day!” The bride’s dream wedding to her beloved Cham (whom she met by boldly strutting up and introducing herself, upon catching sight of his handsome mug at a local pub—let that be a lesson to you, ladies!) is a mystical garden of multiple delights, set inside the window-lined space of a historic Houston theater. From the jewel-tone centerpieces, suspended birdcages, Spanish moss and floral peacocks to the brooch bouquets and stained-glass windows, Nicole and Cham’s elegant Houston wedding is the perfect balance of lush natural bounty and sublime sparkle. We hope you’ll agree, and that you’ll join us in swooning over photos from ALTF Photographers, and in wishing these two a lifetime of love and happiness! And don’t forget to visit Kat Creech Events at this Sunday’s I Do! Bridal Soiree at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, for details on how Creech and her crew can transform your wedding fantasy into reality, just like she did for lucky (and savvy) bride Nicole.

Photos: Altf Photography ~Bride’s Dress: Farage from Weddings by Debbie ~ Venue: Wortham Theater ~ Florist/Decorator: Flora & Eventi: Centerpieces Darryl & Co: Cupcake wall, Suspended birdcages ~ Photo Booth: Smilebooth ~ Lighting: Bright Star Productions

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January 20th, 2014
Christian Louboutin GIVEAWAY: Buy I Do! Tix and WIN $845 No Prive Glittered Pumps
 

 

Christian Louboutin Giveaway Bride

When we go out, we like to go out with a bang. A dazzling, shimmering, signature-red-soled BANG. This is it, darlings, your last chance to purchase pre-sale I Do! Bridal Soiree tickets and win…and oh my goodness, what a prize our winner shall score. Yes, lovelies, one VERY lucky Houston bride who reserves her $20 pre-sale tickets to this Sunday’s extraordinary, ultra-indulgent, absolutely-everything-you-need-for-your-unforgettable-Houston-wedding I Do! Bridal Soiree, will WIN a pair of coveted $845 Christian Louboutin No Prive Glittered Peep-Toe Pumps.

These stunning 4-inch heels with their signature Louboutin silhouette and sexy red soles are perfect for your wedding day or any time you want to make a sparkling style statement. Louboutins + luxury wedding inspiration = LOVE. Don’t miss your chance to get in on this awesome giveaway. Every bride who purchases her pre-sale I Do! Bridal Soiree tickets by NOON this Saturday, Jan. 25, is eligible to win. Our winner will be announced at the I Do! Bridal Soiree runway presentation at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston this Sunday. Will it be YOU?

Good luck, lovelies…and we can’t wait to meet YOU at I Do!!!

 

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