There’s a lot of mess in this world. We pray for love and peace, but really, it starts from within.

Same goes for when someone feels like they cant find someone for them, or they attract the same dead-end type of relationships.

As Rupaul said it, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna somebody else?”

I’ve often thought about my own love-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. I hate that people who don’t have a Valentine date feel more “aware‘ of their single status. But I love the colors, and I just love the L O V E !

And then I thought, for so long, Valentine’s Day is about telling your crush you like them, or hoping to have that cute guy you keep bumping into at the deli to notice you and finally ask you out! If Valentine’s Day is all about love, why can’t you be your own date? Why can’t it be about loving yourself first?

It’s not about being selfish, because self care and self love, makes you a better person. It makes you a better friend, sister, daughter, companion, mother, aunt, cousin. When you can love yourself, you create the vibe in which you surround yourself.

There are SO many ways that you can treat yourself like the partner you deserve :

  • Take yourself shopping
  • Treat yourself to a glass of bubbly at a swanky downtown bar
  • Draw yourself a bath, add bubbles or milk, honey and rose petals
  • Light some aromatic candles and take a hot, steamy shower
  • Find some really smell-good lotions and serums to apply after your bath
  • Clean Linens
  • WORK OUT! Yoga or a quick meditation. I know it may sound weird, but try it
  • Journal – write down 10 things you like about yourself. Can be as simple and random as, “I like my earlobes” but write 10 things you like about yourself.
  • Put on some makeup, do your hair, and take some selfies. Take at least 20 and find a few that make you feel like a boss babe

So many ways to show yourself love, I don’t even know if I touched the tip of the iceberg.

I cleaned ALL my linens. From my mattress pads, to my sheets, to my quilt, to my throw blankets and sham covers. I got a pretty good work out in. I fed my body well today. I shaved, because I don’t have laser yet :(, exfoliated all over in a hot shower today, used my deep conditioner in my hair, used extra serums and I used my extra moisturizing lotion. I made sure to light some candles and I jotted down a couple things I love about myself. One of which read, “I love that you get so obsessed with memes that you can watch them over and over and still laugh after watching it 18 times.”

Love yourself down to the simplest thing!

This Valentine’s Day, I hope you find some ways to show love to the temple that you live your life in every day.

Once upon a time, not a long while ago, bachelor and bachelorette parties were simple, yet very festive and celebratory affairs, where a young, soon-to-be married couple would have “one last night” to be wild and free with some of their best friends before the impending incarceration in which we call marriage. (just kidding, I don’t think that way!) It used to be a night before or a couple nights before the actual wedding, and didn’t really consist of too much other than maybe dinner and drinks with your girlfriends, and perhaps a male stripper if you were on the wilder side… Then millennials started getting engaged and married and it turned into a weekend get-away with your closest gal-pals to get really wild. (I blame Vegas for this)

Now don’t get me wrong – AT ALL – I ABSOLUTELY adore a destination bachelorette party! But sometimes, it just doesn’t fit in someone’s schedule or perhaps even a budget! So when my cousin asked me to be one of her koumbares and plan her bachelorette party, she was very carefree & go with the flow, “I don’t mind at all what we do or where we go, here’s who I’d like to attend, knock yourself out…” the only thing was that between moving across the country in July to be with her Sailor, having a new work schedule and coming back and forth for dress fittings and wedding preparations… well time was a precious commodity.

Houston isn’t exactly a city one comes to to vacation. We’re a commercial city, people come here to work! But we know how to have a d*mn good time!

There are only a few things that one must truly need to successfully pull off a bachelorette party and that’s :

  • love
  • laughter

(lol, jk… but actually)

  • rest
  • relaxation
  • food
  • alcohol
  • good friends

Luckily in the Bayou City, the temperature rarely falls below 85 F well into mid October, so a Labor Day staycation was the perfect time to lay by the pool since that’s all anyone wants to do anyway!

Literally the Best Pool in the Nation, y’all!

Right in the center of downtown, is a little modern, urban oasis, with a Texas shaped pool, a pool that looks over Discovery Green, goddess treatment and a stellar spa (I highly recommend the massage!) – this is the place to hang out for the day or overnight. There are multiple hotels in Houston that would offer the same, luxurious experience, such as the Houstonian, but I decided that the Marriott Marquis would be great for a recently relocated Texan!

That evening, we went back to my house, which is close to a very popular nightlife district, to enjoy a rather naughty time learning about fun toys and being served by a handsome BUTTler. Decorating and party favors don’t have to be expensive, and you can find lots of really great and affordable things on Amazon!

Then we went out for a traditional bachelorette bar-hopping experience! (only thing is that we didn’t get out of the house til midnight, so we only stayed at one bar… haha!)

Brunch, which is always a great idea, can only be elevated by an accompanying performance! Houston now is home to a Hamburger Mary’s, the Original drag brunch! And let me tell you something, honey… Houston Queens can SERVE! On top of that, the food is GREAT!! (as are the Bloody Mary’s) As well as being a fun experience, it’s a great place to go with a group of friends.

Really wished I could’ve gotten better pics of the show oh.. & the food!!

I suppose Houston isn’t the first stop I’d consider for a destination anything, but there are fun things to do in every corner, which only a true Houstonian can truly appreciate. And besides, who doesn’t like a spa day and some time out by the pool accompanied by a fruity drink?

There are plenty of places to play here, my sweet bachelorettes (and any Maids of Honor or Bridesmaids who are currently stressing over where, what, how and when to plan a bachelorette party your best gal pal would love). Throwing a Bachelorette Party in your own town should be an easy job, let me know other ideas and suggestions! 🙂

xoxo
The Glam Greek

Perhaps  it’s the typically warm Houston weather that can last well into November, maybe it’s the fact that I’m not quite in Christmas mode until after Thanksgiving, or possibly it’s because I don’t care for large crowds of (sometimes) boozed up women spending oodles of money in a tight, enclosed space, but I never felt the need the attend the Nutcracker Market, despite it’s considerable annual significance in this city.

I take a great pride in living in one of the top US cities that has an extensive fine arts district. The Houston Ballet is the 5th largest in the United States in terms of number of dancers, and the theater that houses their performances, the Wortham Center, is America’s largest professional dance facility! Each year, as the Ballet gears up for their almost 2 month long (exquisite and magical) production of The Nutcracker, they roll into town at the beginning of November with this Texas-sized holiday market to raise funds for the Houston Ballet Foundation, their Academy & scholarship programs.

Every year around this time, the ladies of the city are lacing up their sneakers, prepping their monogrammed shirts, summoning their girl gangs and preparing their bank accounts, but all I can think about is the traffic and the crowds and spending more money than my budget would allow and I usually say to myself, “Not today, Satan!”

Until this year.

For lots, this is an annual tradition. You get together with your besties and/or your mom, sisters, tias & primas and make a big day of it! Ladies often tailgate beforehand (as it’s now held at NRG Center, next door to NRG Stadium where the Houston Texans play, so tailgating is only fitting for this event), getting a pre-game buzz going so that they can shop, shop, shop til they drop. A family friend of ours asked if we’d like to EXPERIENCE the market this year with her crew. Because this isn’t just a holiday market, it’s a holiday EXPERIENCE! I however, had no vacation days left this year and could not finagle even a half day to attend, so we decided to go after work on a Thursday, their opening night to the public.

Tips for making your first time as painless and as enjoyable as possible:

  1. If this is your first time, like mine, I would suggest to do as I did for my first time as well and attend after 3 P.M. on Thursday evening as the crowd is minuscule to what (I’ve heard to be) the normal daytime crowd. Because you guys, OH EM GEE!!! When you walk in, your jaw hits the floor.

    Booths, upon booths, upon booths, upon booths, upon booths, upon BOOTHS of merchandise.

    Anything and everything from the obvious Christmas decor & gifts & wrapping, to clothing to accessories to home décor to knick knacks to snacks and food to furniture to jewelry to shoes to house-ware to ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN!!

    If you are a Nutcracker Market virgin like I was until 2018, you need NOT a crowd of retail hungry females ruining your experience when the experience in and of itself is overwhelming enough.

  2. Do your research : Upon entering the market, you are greeted by a volunteer who hands you a very  large, empty shopping bag with a program. The program contains a list of their sponsors and a FULL list of merchants including a description of what they carry, along with their booth number and a website, if applicable (you can also find this on the Nutcracker Market website if you want to do your research prior to attending).

  3.  If you need some help with the anxiety that can come from not knowing even where to start, there are plenty of bars with menu options from beer to mimosas to cocktails to double cocktails. (there are also non-alcoholic options like water!! Stay hydrated, my friends.)
  4. There are plenty of places to sit, but regardless, be sure to wear comfortable clothing and good walking shoes!
  5. Utilize the people there; lots of vendors have been there for consecutive years and right in the center of the market is an information center where you can ask questions to a handful of expert volunteers who will usher you in the right direction for whatever it is that you are looking for.
  6. Use ride-share to get there! Unless you plan on buying everything you see, the first time is really overwhelming, so I didn’t buy a thing. We took a Lyft, and used a code for $10 off a round trip ride that I found on the Nutcracker Market website. If you do plan on spending big bucks, then you might want to take your own car. Be aware of the $12 parking fee & $20 ticket price just to get in the market, FYI.
  7. Be prepared for buyers remorse/consumer regret. Everything you see there can literally either be made on your own or bought on Amazon/Hobby Lobby/Home Goods. Fight the urge to buy that $63 mermaid stocking… but the “see it, want it, buy it, own it” is REAL, girl!

You will leave feeling the Holiday spirit, financially depleted, and ready for next year’s Market!! If you’re anything like me, you will spend the ride-share car ride home creating a game plan for making sure you have at least one extra day of vacation, the vendors that you’ll plan to visit next year, the monogrammed shirts you’ll all wear, and who’ll be bringing the bubbly to the tailgate!

If you have any tips to help with my second go-around next year, please leave in the comments or email me! I’d love to hear more.

Should you be interested in visiting for the first time this year, check out their website for more information!

Houston Ballet | Nutcracker Market

xoxo

La Glam Greek

July 13th only comes around once a year, but for those of us here in the Bayou City, every day is 713 day.

In case you have no earthly idea what July 13th and 713 have to with each other besides coinciding numbers, 713 is the most recognized and oldest area code for the greater Houston area. There are others, like 281 and 832, but February doesn’t have 81 days, nor does August have 32. So the OG gets to represent this local little holiday in all its glory.

It doesn’t hurt that Queen Beyonce herself hails from this modest city of 2.3 million people, only the 4th largest city in the U.S., and reps it every chance she gets, along with the likes of other rappers & artists like Drake (who’s actually from Toronto, but I’ll let my Champagne Papi shout out H-Town anytime he wants!). Now you can imagine if someone who’s “never home but always reppin'” is obsessed with this city, those of us who live here full time, have nothing but MAD LOVE for this muggy, hot, traffic hell-hole, flatter than a “booty-do” metropolis.

So why wait for July when you can celebrate and rep Houston all day, every day!?

Best way to do so –  getting your hands on some locally sourced threads so that you can wear your pride everywhere for everyone to see!

As a fairly avid advocate for shopping local, the Heights, Montrose/Westheimer and Memorial areas are great places to find locally owned boutiques with some pretty awesome pieces for showing off your Space City spirit. The tee shown above – which is EVERYTHING, btw – along with the HOU hats (available in 4 different colors, and can be found online here) are from Emerson Rose, with 2 locations in the city and PLENTY of super adorable Texas and Houston shirts, hats, and even bandanas! Or maybe you’re new to the city and having Houston scrawled across your chest or forehead isn’t something you’re ready to commit to. With the statement earring/jewelry trend in no hurry to leave, finding orange colored accessories is a relatively easy feat. Unless orange is your favorite color, in which case if you’re like me orange is anything but, you’re probably thinking, why in the good Lord’s name would I buy bright AF orange earrings, girl?! Well, in case you live under a rock, the Astros are the 2017 World Series Champs! Also, in which case you’re like me and could give 3 and a half cares about sports, this refers to baseball. And orange is basically like, their team color! OH and Whataburger! It’s Team Whataburger’s colors as well.

Actually… I might go put on these earrings from Bauble Bar (this style is no longer available, but similar ones here) and hit up Whataburger for a late night Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit!!

If nothing else – pop on a vibrant purple lipstick. Why purple? Made popular by the Houston rap community, mixing prescription grade cough syrup with Sprite and a Jolly Rancher yields a [supposedly] yummy, intoxicating, and purplish concoction often referred to as Purple Drank (or Purple Sprite). In addition to sizzurp, Houston is also well known for candy paint

candy paint

Other ways to stay reppin’ :

  • drink Houston brewed beers at one of the many local breweries like Karbach, 8th Wonder, or Saint Arnold
  • do a Houston Mural tour
  • indulge in Houston’s mega-diverse foods
  • get cultured at Houston’s expansive museum and theater districts
  • sit in an hour and a half (at least) of traffic during rush hour
  • take a walk [or a jog for those brave enough to take the heat] along Memorial Park or Buffalo Bayou

It’s an H-Town Thing

xoxo,

GG

Well. It’s been quite a week.

It’s hard to believe that it’ll be 70° through the weekend since we had a minor ice-pocalypse at the start of the week.

But this is Houston. Nothing new. Honestly, sometimes I wish for a mini-disaster like ice or snow in our southern, humid little city for an extra day of repose that you don’t have to request off. Even BETTER was that it fell a day after MLK day, which a good handful of people had off. Including me.

So I had Monday off, which turned into “All school districts are closed, if you decide to come in, please use caution”- Tuesday, which then turned into “there’s an overnight hard freeze warning, school districts remain closed”-Wednesday.

It was glorious!

Here’s the thing about Texas though, our weather is relatively temperate all year round, so something like a flood or ice/sleet/snow make us all a little stir crazy!

However, considering I’m on my own now, I wasn’t quite as prepared as I should’ve been for the impending doom. I was out of town the weekend, and returned late Sunday, spending Monday resting my minor sinus infection/enjoying my God-given day off. So I had no food.

In vain, I tried ordering pizza for delivery. But they weren’t delivering. So we tried Uber Eats, ’cause you know people be hustlin’ if they driving for Uber! The order was placed, processed, made and PICKED UP, but then… they cancelled on us.

In fury, we walked down to the bar Down the Street, literally down the street, for some sustenance & alcohol, you know – to keep us warm (and sane #Texas).

Even though it wasn’t Pink’s pizza, and we had to venture out in the cold, it was still such a good time!!

Just being able to get out of the house, finally finding somewhere open, enjoying the rare weather and good company – Houston Snow-mageddon 2018 was definitely one for the books.

Hope everyone is having as an eventful start of the year as us here in the south!

xoxo

the Glam Greek