Recipe for a Perfect Friends’ Weekend Getaway!

Here’s the thing…

It is perfectly possible to have a great friends’ getaway weekend! I’m going to help you figure
out how in a minute. Sit tight and don’t fret friend!img_2822
BUT

img_2976And that’s a big ‘ol but… it is also perfectly easy to get it all wrong in the same breath! Ack!  I mean, I don’t mean to be a cynic, but the wrong mix and it could go up in flames *snaps finger* like that! Or there is always the boring as all get-out option…img_2996 img_3054 img_3048

Let’s start to find that middle ground then, shall we?? That perfect mix of fun, sassy, outgoing, chill that meshes the weekend into that perfect extended friend hangout!

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FIRST…

You can have a good, solid plan, but still keep it super chill! Sounds sort of like an oxymoron for sure.  A lot of people are afraid of structure because they think it will kill the chill vibes. While this can totally be true, if it’s done right, it works! Trust me, I am the epitome of “Type-A”, so chill is an art form that I’m so desperately trying to attain! I’ve been working and working to find that fine line that is good structure for everyone, yet doesn’t squelch fun right out of the room.

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You, too, men!
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But of course it always helps to have something for them too…

So, what sort of plan do you need to have in place you ask?? 

Here goes! And I promise it’s totally doable…

  • Make sure everyone is on the same page!

This can includes what type of trip everyone wants to have, if people are wanting to spend money or would rather be as frugal as possible {how many dollar signs they want to see on the restaurant reviews on Yelp (i.e. $ or $$$)}, if they want to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and go all day, or sleep in and relax,img_2827

**REMEMBER, it’s ok, also, to break away from the group sometimes if you want!

  • At least put a little thought into what activities, if any, you would like to do while there!

For example, when we went to Fredericksburg, we knew we wanted to go to at least one winery, and climb Enchanted Rock. Other than that, it was play it by ear. And everyone was great with that plan. img_2776 img_2796

  • Create a food plan before you head out!

A little structure goes a loooong way, y’all! We had 3 couples and  5 meals to be made. Each couple was in charge of planning and preparing for 1 meal. Then, the girls did the same for a meal and the men prepared one meal. We then just charged the food on one card, and split it three ways (Venmo has made life so easy for splitting costs!!). We went out to eat once. But remember, our plan for the weekend was super chill, yours might be different. Maybe you only eat twice at the house and eat a lot out…you, obviously, can adjust it to your trip!

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We took advantage of the fresh produce stands on the side of the highway!

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Where to Stay?

This is simple…

Just make sure you choose a place that is cohesive its your attitude towards the trip. For us, like I’ve been repeating, it was chill. So we found an incredible deal split three ways on a perfect ranch house with the traditional Texas flair, complete with livestock!

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And this country girl is not above hopping fencing to reach the animals!

img_3134img_3133 I feel like I’m constantly talking about AirBnB, but time after time, it never fails, we always find amazing places, like this  ranch house, to stay for incredible deals! If you have never used it, but want to try AirBnB for the first time, using this link will save you $35 on your first stay!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d love to hear about some of your favorite Friend’s Get-Aways! What are some “musts” for you??

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FREE Guide to Katy FALL Markets

TOMORROW is the first day of FALL!

Can everyone say it with me?! YASSSSSSSS! And I’m not even going to complain about this 100+ degree weather outside. It can’t bring me down! I have bought a couple cans of pumpkin already, ingredients for my homemade hot cocoa, and have placed pumpkins sporadicly throughout the homestead. I know what you’re thinking…of course, a pumpkin-spiced latté is on my list, you think I’m a crazy lady?? So, basically I’m set.

One more thing, though…

It is not fall without some market action, y’all! If I could make a living out of attending, coordinating, participating-in, shopping at, or consulting markets, I’d be one happy lady. I’m talking ALL markets…farmer’s markets, floral markets, craft markets, vendor’s markets, holiday markets…fullsizerender-3

So, I thought I would take it upon myself, out of the goodness of my heart, to gather and compile a spectacular list of fall markets in my area. It’s getting close to Christmas and every other reason to surprise people you love with treasures, so markets, full of local goods, seem to be the best way to go to me!

I live in Katy on the far west edge of Houston, where not much goes on…however, I’m finding there are hidden treasures all over our giant suburb, and these fabulous markets are one of them!fullsizerender-2

**Note, most, if not all, of these markets are in Katy. I want to highlight what the city has to offer!

Here goes!


September

25th-Family Fun Expo-No Label Brewery

October

15th- Pick-A-Dilly Craft Fair-St. Peter’s United Methodist Church

15th-Katy Market Day-Old Katy

22nd-Sip ‘N Stroll-Agavé Road

29th-The Wonderland Gift Market Katy Cinco Ranch High School

November

18th-19th Home For the Holidays Gift Market Katy-Merrell Center

17th-Ladies Night by Katy Market Days

19th-Katy Market Day-Old Katy

December

2nd-3rd A Vintage Celebration Gift Market-Great Southwest Equestrian Center

3rd-Katy Old Fashioned Christmas Festival-Old Katy


**And for some really GOOD NEWS…

fullsizerender-6There is an amazing farmer’s market, Farmer’s Market on Grandparkway is open every Saturday morning in the parking lot of Church of the Holy Apostles between the Kingsland and Highland Knolls’ exit. They have fresh produce, farm-fresh eggs, local coffees, and tons of all-natural products. I’m all about my local goods!

And if you live closer to the Fulshear side of Katy, they have a great farmer’s market for you, too! It is located right off 1093 and Bois D’Arc and happens every Saturday morning until 1:00pm.

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Personally, I’m super excited to be participating in a few of these markets for the first time ever! I can’t wait to experience this other side of the markets.

Have a blast exploring these great treasure troves, and I hope you find lots of gems! Maybe I’ll see your face at one of them!

Dear Houston, SUMMER IS NOT OVER!! Houston: A Stay-cation

HoustoN_A Staycation

About this time every summer, I’m thinking “I can’t believe summer is over! Why does it have to end?!”, and then I usually start pouting about it “being all over!”

But I’m here to tell you, after coming to this realization myself, it’s NOT!!!

SUMMER IS NOT OVER! Go! Now! It’s around this time when most families have taken their major vacays and are winding down, preparing for the school year to start back up.  But that doesn’t mean that the kids have to sit around bored to tears while you pull out your hair.  Or, more importantly, that you can’t squeeze in some last minute, face-to-face time with your kiddos.  Or, if you’re the single/don’t have kids, yet/empty nester, that you can’t go have a new adventure!

I am finding more and more that there are so many adventures to be had in Houston, with and without kids, for free or fairly inexpensive.  And most of these things, even if you could afford much more, will still sound extremely appealing!

So, here we go! 8 free or low-cost things to do IN Houston, so you won’t break the bank but can venture out and explore the city in a different way!

1.) Bingo in the Heights

Y’all, this is probably one of the best, most favorite, fun, different, bang-for your-buck things to do in Houston! AND it’s literally for anyone and everyone and all different combinations of people. Date night for the young and not-so-young, family outing, single group, double date…the list goes on.  They have a snack bar with drinks, beer, snacks, hamburgers, and hotdogs.  But you also can bring in your own food, have a DIY picnic with the fam, and you can bring in particular beverages (but see the website or call, because there are a few restrictions!) There is plenty of parking, but people will still end up parking on the streets because the place is a packed house during the summer while college students are still in town. So come EARLY and bring a game to get a good seat and parking spot.  Bingo is held at Lodge 88 in the Heights, and is usually a packed event. **If you don’t get there and they are at capacity, they WILL lock you out! So, get there and make a night of it! Cards are only five bucks, blotters are one, eat before you go, at home or out, or order a pizza! The possibilities are endless!

2) Houston Zoo

Hey college students in Houston! The zoo will give you free entry if you just show them your college I.D. Families, there are all sorts of discounts, big and small, on the website, including military discounts and a discount for simply buying them before you go! Check it out here.

3) Miller Outdoor Theater

This is such a fun summer outing! I have great memories of hitting up the Miller Outdoor theater and getting caught in a rainstorm during a Motown tribute one year. The best thing to do is just roll with it, right?? Miller outdoor theater is great for a date-night or bringing out the kids to run around on the hill while enjoying a picnic and a play in the park. (I’m a huge fan of alliteration!) They have all sorts of performances, from live children’s shows to full professional plays. They also show movies on their big screen. Did I mention it’s FREE??!! Parking is also free! You can get your tickets at the box office only to reserve one of the covered seats.  If you don’t make it in time to snag a seat or just want to, bring a blanket and maybe even dinner to picnic on the grassy hill. To plan you day or night at Miller, you can take a look at their calendar of events.

4) FREE entry into Houston Museums

We have some awesome museums in Houston covering a broad spectrum of topics! There are a handful to pick from that the kiddos are sure to get a kick out of, too.  ALL FOR FREE if you can fit their free admission times into your schedule! There are also quite a few that always have free admission!

5) Sam Houston Boat Tour

How fun is this, y’all?! You can take the family on a 90 minute boat tour of the Port of Houston! The kids will have so much fun on the deck spotting the giant ships coming in and out of the port, while mom and dad sit in the air-conditioned cabin. This super fun, and quite different outing is also FREE, but you will have to reserve your tickets in advance because the boat only has a capacity of 100.

6) Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

The Arboretum sits right next to Memorial Park in Houston.  It’s a great place to get away from the chaos of the big city for as long as you want.  They have 5 miles of trails and wild life for you to enjoy including several different trails to choice from.  You can also check the website to view a checklist of things to check out while on the trails so you can give yourself and your family a tour.  You can even take the family pooch on the trail, as long as it’s on a leash! The kids can experience the Discovery Room at the Nature Center and ask any questions about what they saw or will see on their walk, see live creatures close up, and solve mysteries or explore!

7) Water Wall

Definitely notable among Houston’s favorite things to do/see is the Water Wall right by the Galleria off 610.  Talk about Romantic! Take a picnic, take photos, and enjoy a day date!

8) Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market

Y’all, let me just tell you how huge of a Farmer’s Market fan I am! I canNOT get enough of them! I am currently staying in the middle of nowhere in the Smoky Mountains in Georgia and have already hit up two local, small town farmer’s markets. Don’t worry, more are on my list before I go back home in 3 weeks.  It’s seriously a win, win, win situation! You get to get out of the house, with your fam, your friends, you boyfriend or husband, or (sometimes one of my personal faves) alone, and walk around seeing all the amazing products, produce, and more that the people of your city have to offer.  Buying produce from the farmer’s market means you know exactly where you are getting your goods. From farm to table is for real, y’all! And it’s such a beneficial thing for everyone involved! You get great, fresh food, you also get to support local farmers! Bless!

There you have it! Those are just a few of my favorite things to do around Houston on the cheap, y’all! I know there are many more, though, so when you come across your favorites, let me know! Or if you hit up any of these places, or know of any tips, comment below to share. Houston is such a great city, and has so many things to offer its residents! I can’t wait to explore more of it.

 

 

 

 

 

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