Revolution Studio

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
This post was done in partnership with Revolution Studio, who provided me with a complimentary two-week pass to all of their Houston locations. I was not monetarily compensated for writing this fitness post. All opinions are completely, 100% my own!

If you haven't taken a spin class in months, prepare to get your tush kicked.


(side note: One of the many - we are talking hundreds of - nicknames I have for my dog Newton is "little tush." Knowledge of this will make you either like me more or less. Jury is still out.)

I was fortunate enough to be able to try Revolution Studio out for two weeks recently. My rockstar friend Lindsay is a yoga instructor there, and she's always posting such inspiring things about the studio, that I had to try it out! Revolution offers my two main fitness loves, Spin and Yoga, so I was totally game!


Last weekend I started yoga teacher training at Black Swan Yoga (YESOMGI'MSOEXCITEDANDTOTALLYFREAKINGOUT!!!!), so I decided that before I jumped into a life of All Yoga All The Time, I'd take my other fitness love Spin out for a spin (see what I did there?)! I attended several indoor cycling classes at their Houston Memorial location (okay, and yes, threw a yoga class in there because how could I not?) because that one is closest to home and work.

The studio is clean, bright, and pretty. The staff are super helpful, energetic, and welcoming!


And when I say I hadn't attended a spin class in months, I mean  M  O  N  T  H  S . And when I say it kicked my tush, I mean  T  U  S  H       K  I  C  K  E  D .

Just ask both my dogs, Tushy One and Tushy Two.


(oh, don't even pretend like you didn't see that one coming.)

All of the classes I took were so empowering, set to heart-pumping, inspiring music (I may have actually cried a little bit during the Pride Day class...), and were such a killer workout! I've taken many many different indoor cycling classes throughout the years. I've absolutely loved a lot, and I've absolutely hated a lot. The spin classes at Revolution Studio rank high on the list of ones that I love! The energy in the room was always so electric, and everyone left with a smile on their faces and totally jazzed about the past 45 minutes.


The yoga classes I took there (I also attended one a few months back at the Houston Upper Kirby location with the Houston Food Blogger Collective) were also fantastic - Warm, sweaty, centering, and inspiring!

If you are looking for a bomb-tastic spin class in Houston, (and if you're looking to add in some yoga as well!), Revolution is not only a one-stop shop, it's a welcoming studio that offers high-quality, tush-kicking classes that make you feel empowered, healthy, and wanting more!


Just ask Newty-New and Tushy-Two!

Brunch at The General Public

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Raise your hand if you love brunch!!


Silly me, of course you do. So let me tell you about a great Houston brunch!

This Father's Day, Jon and I brunched with our families at The General Public, a super hip bar/restaurant located in Houston's City Centre area.

(Who said brunch was just for Mother's Day, ammiright?)

They were offering half priced bourbon and burgers for Dad's Day, which appealed to several members of our party, like my carnivorous husband.


Ermm, I totally posted that picture thinking it was of a burger, but upon closer inspection...that's chicken. I guess it really has been a long time since I've eaten meat?

But I'm getting ahead of myself!

To start, we split the avocado farm bread, as well as the burrata & pistachio farm bread.


The avocado farm bread was topped with extra virgin olive oil, an herb salad, and - you guessed it - avocado. I thought this would be my favorite of the two, and it was really light and lovely, but I could have used more avocado and less salad (huh, more fat, less greens, SHOCKING.) in the ratio. Still good! Just not my favorite of the two.

Because my favorite of the two was INSANE. The fresh burrata smeared on top of the pistachio crusted baguette was HEAVEN. The chilled burrata was creamy and silky, and the pistachios were seriously meaty. Like, for a second I was all, "You guyssss are you playing a trick on me? Is there meat in this????"

Y'all, there wasn't. It was just hearty yet delicate, earthy, and SO GOOD. So good, in fact, we ordered one two more for the table.

For my main course of food I ordered the Shakshuka (too bad no one recorded me when I ordered it because it was all kinds of mispronounced, and I sounded like a total tool).


I'd been wanting to try shakshuka for a while, and this seemed like a great opportunity to give it a whirl! And it was seriously delicious. The dish consisted of crushed tomato, toasted cumin, smoked paprika, soft poached eggs, and a  buttered baguette. And while it looks simply like spaghetti sauce with eggs, it is so much more than that! Juicy, acidic, and sweet, the flavors swirled wonderfully together to make a perfect dip for the baguette. The element that really stood out to me was the cumin, and not because it was overpowering (which is often the case if you aren't careful with cumin - I've certainly made that mistake a few times), but because it was such a perfect unique, playful complement to the rest of the dish. And I mean, you could throw a poached egg on a lizard and I'd eat it.

....that's not true.

I also got to sample my sister Emily's side of hash au gratin - crispy potatoes with green chili cream and parmesan cheese - and they were so sinfully good! Rich, indulgent, cheesy, hearty, delicious taters - It was all I could do to restrain myself from eating her whole side!

The General Public is a really cool Houston restaurant. The food is fresh, delicious, and affordable, and the industrial/masculine themed interior was pretty darn cool. I definitely recommend giving their brunch a try!


Brunch lovers unite!

Houstonia's 2017 Taco Loco

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
This post was done in partnership with Houstonia, who provided me with an event ticket, free of charge. I was not monetarily compensated for writing this Houston food post. All opinions are completely, 100% my own!

Happy Taco Tuesday!


Taco Tue...Wednesday. It's Wednesday. Taco Wednesday. But, please, like that ever stopped you!

This year I was invited to attend Houstonia's Taco Loco, and it was awesome. The event was held in Uptown Park and included a Taco Takedown between several restaurants, a Margarita Mixoff, live music, and even a lil' wine for yours truly!


The thing that I especially loved about this Houston food event was that there were two vegetarian taco options, and several of the restaurants were also able to make a substantial veg option when asked - One that didn't just consist of a tortilla, salsa, and cheese (welcome to my world). Like, Broken Barrel made me a taco on an incredible pineapple tortilla (THAT'S A THING, Y'ALL), topped with caramelized onions and peppers, HELLO.


And Bosscat Kitchen & Libations offered me their hearty breakfast taco, sans brisket - Delicious!


A popular spot was Field & Tides for their taco, which happened to be vegetarian (and insanely good). It had great textures and popping flavors.


But my personal favorite was the vegan taco option from Cochinita & Co. I topped mine with some of their spicy garlic sauce, and it packed some serious heat!


Oh, also there were lovely desserts from Cakes by Gina, and Jon lost his mind over the churro cupcakes.


And margaritas upon margaritas of course!


They were all great, but my favorite margarita was...


...wine. My favorite margarita was wine. Sorry, sorry, I'm not a margarita person, and I never pretended to be! BUT there were some super duper spicy margaritas floating around that I did really like, cross my heart. Pretty sure Ambriza Social Mexican Kitchen was my favorite, and I almost died from the spice, but as the kids say, you only live once! (And it was reeeeally good)


The votes rolled in, and here were the results:

People’s Choice, Best Taco: Broken Barrel
People’s Choice, Best Margarita: Ambriza Social Mexican Kitchen (seeeee????)
Judges’ Choice, Best Taco: Fusion Taco
Judges’ Choice, Best Margarita: Cyclone Anaya’s
Judges’ Choice, Most Creative Ingredient: Sammy’s Wild Game Grill

And there you have it! This year's Taco Loco was an awesome, delicious Houston food event, and I'm so glad we were able to go!


Taco Wednesday and Thursday and Friday and Eeeeeveryday.

Vacation Days: Our Honeymoon in Bora Bora

Friday, May 26, 2017
The great thing about doing a post on Bora Bora is that you have to literally do zero edits on your photos because life there is just one giant beautiful filter that trumps all of Instagram.


(Also, maybe I'm a little bit lazy and don't feel like doing any photo editing right now?)

Jon and I had an INCREDIBLE honeymoon in Bora Bora, and it seriously needs to be on everyone's bucket list of places to go. The entire island (Islands? I suck at geography.) is absolutely breathtaking, the water has every shade of blue you've ever seen and more, and the people are lovely. It really is like waking up in a dream!

I didn't know if it'd be possible for us to go there for our honeymoon because a trip to Bora Bora is not exactly cheap. HOWEVER, we booked our trip through Costco Travel (who knew, right?), and we ended up paying half of what we should have for the whole trip. Don't get me wrong, it still wasn't cheap, but it was much more manageable! We stayed at the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort and Spa in one of those dreamy little overwater bungalows, and we had the most relaxing, amazing time. So onto the pics!


When we arrived at the resort, they greeted us with the best water of our lives. Jon and I still don't know what was in it (blood orange? vanilla? Polynesian magic? debatable.), but it was the most refreshing, delicious thing we could have asked for after a full day of travel that included four plane rides and a ferry.

When we checked in to our bungalow, we were greeted with this (I think for booking through Costco? In the end of pontoon bungalow? Again, unclear, but welcomed!)


Also, we were greeted with this view:


We were there during the off-season, so only two of the resort's restaurants were open - a laid-back bar at the pool, and a more formal dining room for dinner/breakfast. Both were great, and we got to see a Polynesian show at dinner one night!


Breakfast was included with our stay, and it might have been my favorite meal offering from the resort. Every day they had a full breakfast buffet, with a variety of freshly squeezed juices and lots of veg options for yours truly.


We took the ferry to the mainland a couple of times to visit the shops and Aloe Cafe, which we really liked. And since the prices of meals do add up, we went to the grocery store to stock up on some snacks, meats, and cheeses to have on hand.


So the first half of our trip, it rained A LOT. So much so, that one of the nights, Jon and I woke up thinking there was a hurricane going on, and that our bungalow was definitely going to blow over. You think you've seen it all during a Texas rainstorm? Honey, you ain't seen nothin' til you seen a Polynesian rainstorm!


It was okay, though because we brought Bananagrams and lots and lots of books, and they had a pool table that we got good use out of.


(Umm, sidenote, I just noticed Jon played the word "Hydrogen." High five, husband!)

(...but he also played the word "ane" which...is definitely not a word.)

(UPDATE: Jon just texted me a screenshot of Google telling him that "ane" is actually a word. I still disagree.)

We still got snippets of sun here and there, so we took advantage of the resort's mini golf course and live outdoor music one night by the pool, which we loved!


On the morning of day four though, I do admit that I woke up very downtrodden from all the rain. I started frantically looking to see if we could hop a "quick" flight to Hawaii, New Zealand, or Australia (spoiler alert: we couldn't.), and just when I thought all hope was lost and I started really feeling sorry for myself (you definitely have my permission to punch me in the face), the clouds lifted, and we got several hours of uninterrupted sun (with clouds and rain here and there) for the rest of the trip!


You know those Instagrammers who practice yoga on the beach and look really inspiring and incredible doing it?



THAT WILL NEVER BE ME.

But despite what those stunning pictures above suggest, I tried stand up paddle boarding for the first time ever (you could rent them for free from the resort), and was actually pretty darn good at it!

(I can say that because I'm historically terrible at all sporty things, just refer to the previous two pictures.)


We also snorkeled around the reef gardens in our resort, which were beautiful but it also sort of creeped me out? I'd never really done snorkeling before, but I'm out on boats all the time for work, so I expected to be a natural at it. But I gotta admit, I felt super vulnerable and a tiny bit freaked out.

To be fair there was a 6 foot sting ray rumored to be milling about nearby, SO.


That view was through the floor in our bungalow. So cool!

More eating, more drinking, more drowning in the beauty of it all!


I'm not normally one to stay put when on vacation. I like an itinerary and lots of exploration, but after an admittedly very stressful 7-month wedding planning stint (I'll be real with y'all, Type A Sally over here really really did not enjoy planning a wedding, a fact that Jon and I are still in shock over), having a quiet, relaxing vacation in paradise with my new husband was everything and more. If you ever have the opportunity to go to Bora Bora (wherever that is, still not sure.), GO. Get a Costco membership (they didn't pay me to say that, promise!), book a trip for half the price, and GO.


Heaven!
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