Sunday, November 28, 2010

So Thankful for....

I know its a little past due to post my blessings, but doesn't everyone always say 'better late than never!'  I have a tremendous amount to be thankful for as Christmas is sneaking up on us and will take a moment to share a few of the things that have enriched my life thus far.....

*Its been almost a year since moving into and helping establish the Hostel de Wamhoff and everyday is comforting, surprising, happy, and full of love.  Not to mention the endless supply of candy and homemade salsa!

*Not only am I lucky to have a job, I am extremely lucky to have a job that I love!  Yes, its full of challenges, learning situations, and sometimes crazy tasks, but the people I work with are a million blessings each and have allowed me the time and space to learn, grow, make mistakes, fall a little, and definitely rise a lot.

*I am currently infatuated with yogurt covered raisins. I am thankful for both yogurt and raisins and especially the person who decided to combine the two!

*Love is something I thank God for everyday, especially when it comes to my loving loving loving family!

*Christmas music.  I'm obsessed.  There is no possible way to listen to Christmas music and not be full of holiday cheer!  Try it! I dare you :)

*Cameras- I've recently determined that I am a 'visual reader.' I don't read text, I read pictures and other images because its amazing the types of things you can capture with a photo....(funny considering I blog!)  An entire story, a feeling -happiness, togetherness, awkwardness, inappropriateness- beauty, a mood, a reaction, a thought process, a fight, a triumph, or even nothing at all expressed on a single 5x7.

*I can't say I am a firm believer of fate, but I do think things happen for a reason and I am grateful for the people that have literally fallen out of the sky and bumped themselves into my life.  There are so many milliseconds that could have gone differently and completely changed where I would be right now.

*Pain killers and microwaved ice cream.  I couldn't have made it through a week of discomfort and pain without you...or my personal nurse! :)

Of course there is so much more but time is short and space is always limited!  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Open House at Thorntree

Last Thursday night, the By Design ladies were invited to celebrate the opening of Thorntree's new showroom at the Houston Design Center.  Thorntree was established in 1980 and  offers the largest selection of slate and unique natural stone, both to the Houston area and nationwide.  Their new showroom displays there their unbelievable array of natural and man-made products with marble topped work tables, an curved wall of honey gold onyx, and some of the most unique glass tiles I've seen!  You can learn a little more about Thorntree by visiting their website.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Finished project: Blue Tide Master Bath

My work is incredibly different day to day; sometimes I work on a project for a day then never see it again. Other times I work on a space from beginning to completion.  Sometimes I get to see the spaces throughout the entire process and other times, I don't see them at all.  So I was really excited to be able to see this completed and stunning master bathroom that I worked so much on during the summer.  The combination of materials is not only inventive, but also breathtaking! 

Enjoy a few of my snapshots and look for more to come on Cindy's website!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turduckin: not just a myth!

This week, Cindy treated me to an unbelievable experience....lunch with a Viking Chef.  Here's the blog I wrote for Cindy about the experience:

Before spending all of your money on something, especially something a little pricey, its always nice to try it out.  We test drive cars, we watch the TVs in the store, we lay on mattresses, samples foods, smell all of the lotions, etc., etc. Why not test drive our cooking appliances? Viking appliances have excellent name recognition, but most people haven't cooked on a Viking range and its easy to overlook the value of such amazing appliances. 
Milestone Distributors here in Houston offers lunches on the first and third Tuesday of every month cooked by a Viking Chef on all Viking appliances.  During the meal, an expert offers information and insight to several of the Viking appliances if you hear a word he or she says while you are munching on incredibly delicious food!
Potential buyers are also able to test the appliances for themselves.  You can make an appointment with Milestone, bring in your picnic basket full of goodies and try to cook up whatever your heart desires on some of the best quality appliances money can buy.
This particular meal began with a scrumptious fall salad, a slice of Turducken, veggies, and roasted fingerling potatoes and finished off with yummy pecan pie.  Until this lunch, I only believed Turducken to be a myth, something people only joke about cooking.  Lo and behold, it is a delicious combination of meets, stuffing and gravy!
Most of the food was prepared here, on the Viking Range with burners, a grill and griddle.  But Viking has many other appliances to offer....stay tuned to read some info on a few Viking appliances you just can't live with out!
Special thanks to Milestone and Viking for the tasty lunch! If you're interested in experiencing a Viking lunch or seeing some appliances, contact
 Milestone Distributors
10633 West Little York Road, Suite 200Houston, TX 77041  Ph. (713) 937-3200

If you ever get the opportunity....take it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Makeover Your Garage Door

A friend of mine just recently sent me over this email about a German company that is making these decals for your garage doors.  The company, called "Style Your Garage" has a quite a collection designs to choose from that easily apply to the front of your garage door.  But they're not designs you might be thinking of....just take a look below!

While I've highlighted some of the funniest designs below, you can click here to visit Style Your Garage's website.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Woah! Things have changed around here....

If your popping in to my blog to check out the latest happenings around here, you've probably noticed some major changes!  Blogger has expanded the cool things you can do with your blog; instead of having just a single  blog page, you can have up to 10 pages which means more content.

So, I've spent a few hours redesigning and managing a massive overhaul to my blog.....

Instead of jibber-jabbering, I'll allow you some time to explore the new pages, "E is for Erika," "Photo Lounge" and a few more. A few are already filling up with content and a few are completely empty; I will be spending the next few days filling the pages with pictures, descriptions, journal entries, etc. So keep looking through those new pages!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy 25th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

My parents are probably going to kill me for this one....probably not the best way to start off a blog about my parent's 25th wedding anniversary.  But what fun is celebrating their milestone without hilarious pictures of the two of them....and their kids!  The photos I found while digging through some old ones are priceless as are the memories that we've shared with mom and dad throughout the years!
Happy 25th Anniversary!  Can't wait to see you on Saturday!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One Crazy Week Ahead!

With the holiday season here, things have gotten a little crazy!  Clients are pushing for their projects to be finished by Thanksgiving or Christmas and our little team of ACE (Amber, Cindy, and Erika) have been running all around Houston recently trying to get things done!

Here's a little peak of what my week looks like. Usually I don't know what I've got on my plate until I arrive at work at 8:30 in the morning and believe you me, Cindy gives me plenty to do throughout the day.  However, its Sunday night and I've already got a full week planned!!!

Monday: 3pm staging and photo shoot for a master bathroom that has just been completed.  Then of course, the photos will have to be edited, blogged about and posted on websites!

Tuesday: 12 pm lunch with a Viking appliance chef and clients!  I am super excited about this one! Appliance manufacturers like Viking hire professional chefs to show potential owners just how it can be done! My mouth is healing wonderfully and I can't wait to bite into something really delicious!

Wednesday: HAIRCUT!!! Its long....really long! And it bad need for a little fixin' up!  Also, client's custom ottoman should be arriving and will need an inspection.  And hopefully a little 'ooh-ing' and 'aweing'!

Thursday:  12-6 GHBA Product Expo.  By Design has a booth to showcase our wonderful projects and our very own Nancie will be taking on any contenders for some friendly games of pool.

Friday: Meeting with my client, Susan, to see how her bathroom remodel is coming along! Can't wait to post photos!

Saturday: MOM AND DAD COME!!!!!

Can't wait for each and every day of this week! Always something new and exciting and definitely...never boring!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Craft Quarters

During Market, we stumbled across  found this amazing armoire from Hooker made specially for craft rooms! It has unbelievable storage for wrapping paper, ribbon, paper and ofter craft drawers.  It also boasts two large cork boards for memos and photos, hooks for things that hang and a large folding surface that can easily disappear.  This piece is perfect for crafting mom's who are tight on space or converting bedrooms into craft rooms; it can fit in a kitchen, home office, study or even master bedroom.  The hide-able storage is perfect for concealing craft projects while not in use! Take a gander....this is an awesome piece of furniture!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guest Services: Great Tips for Holiday Season

I recently read an article in the most recent issue of Better Homes and Gardens that I thought was so clever and full of great ideas for people who are hosting guests during this holiday season.  The article, "Guest Services" appeared in the November 2010 issue of BHG and details easy little things you can do to help your guests feel welcome when staying overnight.

Here is my favorite part of the article:
"Top Drawer"
"Think like a four-star hotel and anticipate your guests' every need. Stock a dresser drawer with necessities and fun extras that will make them feel pampered.
1.  Label the drawer with a hangtag so overnighters know they can help themselves.
2.  Shop your drugstore's travel aisle or online (try for itty-bitty versions of favorite toiletries.
3.  Use a drawer organizer to bring order to a jumble of small items.  Everything Organizer, $10,
4.  Store washcloths and hand towels here, too, in a different color for each guest to avoid bathroom mix-ups.
5.  Provide a one-time use camera so spent batteries or full memory cards don't spoil the fun.
6.  Make your own mini-bar.  Fill a basket with chocolate bars, bags of nuts or dried fruit, and other packaged treats for guests who need a snack."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Project in Progress

Last Wednesday, I got to check out my project in progress!  The master bathroom is taking on an incredible transformation and I had to share!
Here's where the new corner tub will go- its the first thing you see when you walk into the bathroom.  The tile splash is beautiful but nothing compared to the.....

New and improved shower! Larger than before, with a bigger and better positioned bench, tile mosaic and special niches for soaps and shampoos!

Here's a closeup of the tile design in the shower.  We are hoping the project will be mostly finished by Thanksgiving.  I can't wait to see the final touches, like the window coverings, ottoman and rugs that are being custom made right now!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Post Op: Wisdom Teeth Eradicated

Adrienne was kind (and sneaky) enough to take a picture of me after getting my wisdom teeth out. Luckily for me, I had an ice pack on my face to cover my chubby cheeks! I thought you would still enjoy!
The surgery went great- I was in and out of the dentist office in an hour!  There were no complications and actually, my cheeks didn't swell until about 24 hours after the surgery.  My teeth and gums are still pretty sore two days later and the pain medication knocks me out cold.  

I remember getting the gas, then the IV in my arm and that's about it.  I'm not even sure how I was functioning enough to get into the car and sit up straight!  Ice cream, applesauce, broth and recently a mashed potato have been my best friends! 

I will have to continue to watch what I eat and keep on the antibiotics for about another week.  Until then, don't expect many photos of me and my chubby cheeks!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Project!

Its funny how somethings just fall into your it was totally meant to be.  I have a new client and that's how we met!  I was leaving a showroom one afternoon while she was walking in and as I was walking out to my car, the showroom employee that I know yelled for me to come back in. "This woman needs a designer" she said to me.
"Oh! I'm a designer!" I responded.
I have been working with Susan for just over a month now and the progress on her space is stunning!

But of course I won't show you everything at are the before pictures of her master bathroom...

Come back tomorrow to check out the 'in progress' photos!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Carving and Decorating!

To be honest....the only reason we really carved any pumpkins was to get the seeds to roast! (Check out the recipe below!) Well, I guess we had to have a jack-o-lantern for Boo!
Here is Boo helping up carve a pumpkin with his own Gerber knife! 
Getting the seeds out to roast! 
Trying to eat raw pumpkin! 
Age and I found these Mr. Potato Head Pumpkin kits that are........ 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
*3 Tablespoons of Butter
*1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
*1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
*1/2 teaspoon of salt
*2 Cups of pumpkins seeds

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2.  Melt butter and mix butter, Worcestershire, garlic salt and salt.
3.  Stir in pumpkin seeds to coat.
4.  Spread seeds on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.


Friday, November 5, 2010

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen...wisdom teeth!

Tonight is the night that the tooth fairy is going to be stopping by my room and slipping an undisclosed amount of money under my pillow for the very last time!  It should be a bunch too considering that I am going to be getting rid of 4 wisdom teeth....thats 4 molars...big molars!  I have to say- I am really hoping that the tooth fairy looks a lot like the Aflac duck or a blue cross with a blue shield!  I'll have to set up motion censor camera because I am pretty sure I will be in no state to talk to anyone!

Hopefully I won't have any pictures of taken or me ....but I can't control what Adrienne is going to do!  Keep you posted!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oscar's New Bed

While at work last week, Greg sent me a photo of Oscar sleeping.  Doesn't seem too exciting until you see where Oscar seems to have found a new favorite place to dirty laundry basket! Its actually the perfect size for him to curl up and snuggle in some smelly clothes!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Years....30 Red Bulls

On October 29, the oldest live-in at the Hostel De Wamhoff turned 30!  Although Adam wasn't here to celebrate on his actual birthday, we surprised him a few nights before with some PF Chang's takeout, some Sour Patch Kids for dessert and 30 of his favorite drink....Red Bull.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vive Chile!

Alright....after racking our brains for over a month- we finally came up with some Halloween costumes.  No one seemed to like any of my following ideas;
*Characters from the Office
*A smore
*Transformers (although a neighbor kid loved this one!)
But alas, here are the photos of us in character-  
Evan, his friend Ryan and I dressed as the Chilean Minors who were recently rescued.  It turns out, our concept wasn't very original.  Several people- including Mario Williams from the Houston Texans- dressed up as the newly famous group of men.  Maybe I'm a bit bias, but I think our costumes were the best! 
Adrienne and Greg had some pretty hilarious get-ups on as well.  Greg was Rick Vaughn from Major League and Adrienne was his sidekick catcher. 
Ready for some hard work in the mines.