My eldest child and I were able to escape her brother for a few hours so we can spend some Mommy/Mini time. We went to Barnes & Noble to pick up an new Judy Moody book for her collection and then afterwards we had some brunch at The Cheesecake Factory. I normally do not take my little one to large restaurant chains because I like for them to appreciate the smaller, independent establishments, but with our time constraints, and The Cheesecake Factory being right across the street from Barnes & Noble, I decided to make an exception. My daughter went for what she knew best, spaghetti and meatballs, while I ordered the Dynamite Shrimp and Fried Zucchini. Yummy.
Saturday night the ladies of MsIndependent and I went to dinner at Mr. Peeples to part take in the Houston Restaurant week menu. There were some issues with reservations and seating. 15 women showed for dinner, but the reservation was only for 8, and the restaurant could not accommodate us at the last minute since it was a busy night (yet, while we were there and before we left I saw many empty tables.....but that's none of my business.) The reservation was set for a small number because the dinner/event host for the group had to give an estimated number for the reservation, and with much experience in setting up meet ups like this, the number tends to be half of the RSVPs who show. Nonetheless, the ladies and I split, half of us went to the reserved table and the other half gathered at the bar area making our own dinner table. I sat at the bar area. The night was going well, the bartender, Christopher, was gracious enough to be our waiter, making sure we were comfortable. Even the manager (I presume), Daniel, came around and made sure we were enjoying ourselves. We ate, we chatted, I did not do the 4 course menu for Restaurant Week, I played it simple and had the Lobster Bisque and the Small Bacon Wrapped Potato appetizer. It was really good. The night ended and I said my goodbyes and went over the the reserved table to bid adieu as well.
BUT, shortly after I arrived home, I received a text message from my friend stating that the ladies at the reserved table had an issue with the manager and were threatened with law enforcement. Apparently there is a "Reservation Policy" which states that the restaurant will not split checks for a reserved table....WTF?????? This policy was not mentioned when the reservation was made, PLUS it would have been common decency or might I say PROFESSIONAL to mention this to the ladies before they ordered their meals. When the ladies started to question the policy, the manager (they did not mention his name, so I am not sure if it was Daniel) was loud, rude, and threatened to call the police on them. Okay, I may not be a professional in restaurant services, but how uncomfortable is it to know that a manger is arguing with a group of women who did not know the "No Check Splitting Policy", whom did not have any problems all night and up until that moment, were enjoying the experience. So were the checks split? No, it took a lengthy time because the check had to be paid one by one and calculated as if they were split checks. So which process would have been easier????
Now, let me say this, the MsIndependent is a large group of over 2000 women in the Houston and surrounding areas and we do many outings at restaurants and other businesses. We like to target new and/or small establishments to help the businesses gain recognition and to of course for the ladies to have a good time. Our group will NOT be going back to Mr. Peeples.
I needed a super professional look today, since I was conducting interviews out of my office and at a location where one of my company's biggest clients also held their offices. I needed to cover the tattoos and look serious, but also feminine. I received so many compliments today about my skirt. When I first put it on, I was a it weary because the slip did not reach to the bottom of the lace, but I guess that's the style....I kept getting stopped at least a few times an hour from women asking me where I got my outfit. A+.
So I did it, I finally decided to try "This Crazy Wrap Thing". I kept seeing it everywhere, Instagram, Facebook, my nail salon, emails, etc. Then a few weeks ago a high school acquaintance messaged me that she has become an It Works representative. I did a bit of research on Google about the products, good and bad. It worked for some women and not for others, but I figured, hey, maybe I can be one of the ones that this product does work for. I placed my order and less that 10 days I received a box of 4 wraps. I used one that same night....so here goes....
Before my first wrap: I've always had a problem with bloat and an unattractive belly. If you notice in the pictures below, I do have abs trying to show, but the belly is tipping the scale. I do about 15 minutes of light exercise each day (squats, lunges, step ups, bicycle crunches, etc.)
So this is wrap 1: When I open the wrap it is slathered in a "lotion" substance that made it a bit difficult to unfold the wrap, but once it was fully unfolded, you are to place the lotion side of the applicator directly to the skin. I read on the label that it is useful to secure the wrap with bandage or cling wrap to avoid the body wrap from moving...I did so....and then some. Hey, if I'm going to do this, I'm going to make sure this wrap is secure and in the exact place I want to wrap to be.
I used stretch bandages and my Gold's Gym exercise belt to make sure this little sucker stayed in place.
The minimum time to keep the wrap on is 45 minutes, but you can wear it up to 8 hours. I gave my first try about 2 hours. Within the first 5 minutes, you start to feel a cooling sensation from the lotion, not uncomfortable, but a different feeling, kind of similar to Icy Hot or Vicks Vapor rub.
After 2 Hours: Here are my first results. You can see in the side profile that my gut is not protruding like it was in the before photo. This wrap seems to make some effect..hmm.
I also read that you should only wrap every 3 days, because the medicine in the wrap is continuing to work 72 hours after first application.
The bloat looks to be working it's magic again, this is mainly because of my diet. Although, I do not generally eat "bad' food, I do tend to over eat, plus I do a lot of diary and spicy food which has been known to contribute to bloating....HEY, I'm Thai, I LOVE my spicy food..sighs, I guess I'll have to cut it down a notch to get the full effects of this wrap.
So I've finished the box. Looking at my pictures, you may be thinking, "Well, I don't see much difference." Remember this, I do not have much of a weight problem more so than a fitness problem. My body mass is not my main issue, it is my tone. Where you may not see much change, I feel it, especially when I am wearing something that used to hug tight around my waist and now there some breathable space. As part of the "Loyalty Program", I am to make at least one purchase each month for two months from It Works, so my next order is the defining get which is designed to help tighten and tone to keep longer lasting results. For my third order, I'll get the wraps again and maybe try other areas of my body....oh, say...MY THIGHS! Overall, I am happy with the product. Moving forth, I am going to focus on workouts, plus I added some things to my exercise routine and I've also made a conscious decision to do better with my meals and be consistent about it.
In today's world, everyone seem to be raving about online dating, and yes, I will admit, I tried it myself. Although, I met some good guys, I still would rather meet someone in a live setting... oh, I don't know, maybe catch eyes with a handsome fellow at Barnes & Noble and we happen to pick up the same book allowing our hands to make contact, then we fall madly in love and live happily ever after. I guess things like that do not happen so often anymore..sighs. So I read somewhere that Houston is one of the best dating cities in the U.S. and on Friday, after work a friend and I decided to do some live research....
We decided on Midtown as the first stop of our research. Midtown is considered a great area for young professionals, consisting of bars, small shops, and coffee houses. The first stop was BlackFinn American Grill. I arrive early and the night scene was still yet to come in play, so the bar was still a bit vacant and quiet. As an hour passed the people started to stroll in, but I notice it was more couples and groups than "singles". So my friend and I decided to head to the next stop, Celtic Gardens. The layout of the bar has a friendly outdoor patio area with plenty of space and seating, but again we notice couples and groups. Maybe we did not consider the days of the week play a major factor in meeting people. Has Fridays become a date night or hangout night for the boys? Not that the night was a bust, we did come up with possible "pick-up" tactics, but as a woman, I still like the traditional, boy meets girl, boy asks girl out on a date. Though, I can be very personable, but I do not know how comfortable I would be approaching a guy, or what I would even say when I did have enough courage to speak first.
We ended the night with some plausible information and came up with a lists of other areas in Houston which may be good for meeting people. We will come back to Midtown for we only hit two bars and was only just sticking our toes in the pool...we were not yet ready to step in.
I did manage to order the most high calorie eats while we were at Celtic Gardens: Deep fried pickles and a beef hot dog smothered with bacon, jalapenos, queso, chili...all on an Artisan bun. Mmmmm.
One of the things I do miss about Home is NO SALES TAX, so you can imagine how hard it was for me to adjust anytime I when shopping and the total price did not reflect the calculations I did in my head adding up the price tags. Ugh.
I love that the company I am with allows me to play with my style, as long as I seep it office appropriate. You've probably seen this blue skirt in a few posts previously and this is because it is one of my favorite items in my closet. It's a beautiful blue, flirty bell style, and it has pockets! To compliment the skirt I wore a statement necklace I picked up at Target. LOVE!
After work, I went to go see Pitch Perfect on the big screen at Studio Move Grille (they always show good movies for under $3). I've already seen this movie on my home screen, but to experience a movie in the theater is completely different...I love the movie even more! Each character has memorable quarks, my favorites are "Fat Amy" and the "Quiet Asian". I cannot wait for second one to come out!
"White Linen Night in The Heights started in 2006 at the suggestion of New Orleans native and then Hurricane Katrina transplants Chris Thayer and his wife, Kay, who had opened a boutique on 19th Street when they were displaced by the storm. The event was patterned after a similar event in The French Quarter Arts district in New Orleans where residents came out dressed in their white linen finest to see local art. The Thayers and the Heights First Saturday group organized the event as a way to promote interest and traffic to 19th street so local businesses could thrive in the hot Houston summer. The event has now grown to become a neighborhood wide event that is known throughout Greater Houston. White Linen Night in the Heights is open to the general public with no admission fee."
The street is full of boutiques and independent businesses, in fact, some shops played bartender and handed out free alcoholic beverages to event goers! How AWESOME! And of course vendors and food trucks came to contribute to the party.
Above is the famous Torchy's Tacos with a very long line outside of the door. I did not stop to flavor because there were plenty of vendors giving out free samples of food and drinks. I will have to catch Torchy's another time.
The streets were crowded, but everyone was friendly and enjoyed being out. I saw many people with their dogs enjoying the energy. It is also a family friendly event, so a few children graced the street, and people were allowed to bring their own coolers, so plenty of drinking was going on.
Oh hey look, there's Erin!
This was an indoor event, which mainly served an open house for an upcoming apartment community. The open house was actually set up in the unfinished complex, so the scene was very concrete and industrial, but felt like a modern lounge, especially with the live band playing.
Plenty of small bands throughout the event to compliment the atmosphere.
As the night set in, the party was still going. Just a few blocks away on White Oak, the bars contributed by hosting their own special features of food, drinks, music, and games.