things we love

Samovar Tea Lounge

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San Francisco is known for coffee.  I loved coffee before we moved there, but during our time in SF, I became even more of a coffee snob and so did my hubs.  San Francisco has no shortage of incredible coffee shops.  Blue Bottle, Ritual, Four Barrel, Sightglass, Philz – they all come up in conversations about the best coffee in the city.  But, true to its health-conscious reputation, tea is a pretty big deal in the city by the Bay as well.  One fabulous example of this is the Samovar Tea Lounge.  With locations in the Castro, Hayes Valley, Yerba Buena and now the Mission, this hotspot is well worth the hype.  Featuring artisan teas from around the world served by a staff that is well-trained in the art of tea, Samovar is the real deal.   (more…)

An Answered Prayer

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I literally have chills on my arms and tears in my eyes as I write this blog post. A family is finally united. What a blessing. What a journey. What an answer to prayer! Our friends who have so patiently waited for a year and a half for their boy finally have him in their arms right here in the U.S.A. (For the background on this situation, please read my original post here.)

At times on the journey, especially in the past nine months, doubt seemed to be stronger than hope.  Darkness seemed to be hiding the light.  Pessimism reared its ugly head and threatened to snuff out trust.  (Really, isn’t every good work of literature set up that way?)  Deep down in my heart, I know that the Lord is in control and that He can be trusted, but my momma’s heart just broke for a friend who couldn’t hold her baby boy and have her family all together at home.   (more…)

Help Children & Win a Free Necklace!

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If you read our blog or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, then you know about our friends in San Francisco who are fighting to bring their adopted son, Miles Jephte, home from the Congo.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my blog post about it here.  If you want more background on the family and their specific situation, check out their blog, In the Time Between.  I’m passionate about helping them bring their son, who has been legally adopted as of December 2012, home.  Finally.  I’m also passionate about the countless other children who have been legally adopted and yet are being denied exit letters by the DRC government, whose precious little lives hang in the balance as their “forever parents” wait patiently with loving arms for their children to be able to come home.   (more…)

For Jephte

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Friends, I need your help.  My friends in San Francisco (pictured above) adopted a beautiful boy from the Congo, Miles Jephte (pictured above with them.) They have been awaiting his homecoming to live with them for a long time.  Miles’ mother is a genuine, loving and fun woman and his father is an anesthesiologist who exudes humility and capability at the same time, which is not terribly common.  Their adoption was finalized in December of 2012. The US government granted Miles a visa in September 2013.  Soon after, his parents flew to the Congo to pick up their son.  After two weeks of waiting and bureaucracy, Miles’ dad returned home to his job and their ten month old son at home.  In an act of bravery and displaying the selfless tenacity that is unique to parents in desperate situations, his mother stayed in the Congo, hoping that the daily promises of the Congolese government that the paperwork would be completed “tomorrow” and “this week” would ring true.

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Our Rodeo Adventure

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Yesterday, we finally fulfilled our promise to our boys to take them to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.  Bean has been dying to go since Go Texan Day and since a “real cowboy” visited his preschool. Both of the boys looked absolutely precious in their jeans and boots and Bean looked extra cute in his hat.

First, we stopped by the Mutton Bustin’ tent.  I seriously love this “sport.”  It’s so cute.  Little kids (around five years old) come out riding a sheep and try and hold on for eight seconds, like the bull riders do.  It is absolutely adorable.  One kid we saw absolutely would not let go.  That sweet boy held on to the side of that sheep as it ran for so long – it was really impressive.  What a little rock star!   (more…)

Make a Statement!

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We are in the middle of rodeo season here in Houston and it has been so fun to see the fashion that goes with this fun time of year.  Today’s post is the third in our series of rodeo fashion posts.  There are so many ways to make your outfit cowgirl chic with just a few pieces of jewelry added to your outfit. You can add a pair of statement earrings, or embrace the layering trend with some dainty necklaces that work well together.  Or, you can go with a statement necklace, which is what we’re talking about today. (more…)

Save the Date!

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Save the date to join us at the Spring Thing Market at Chapelwood United Methodist Church next week. We absolutely LOVE doing this show.  We’ve done this one for about eight years or more now and we love it every single year.  It is so fun to connect with friends and long-time customers and we love the other vendors, too!  Everyone is so sweet and brings such lovely things to sell.  (The shopping is one of our favorite parts of markets!)

Brookwood Community always comes with their amazing plants and garden pieces.  They have super deals on plants and arrangements (always love a bargain) that are so beautiful AND the sales benefit this amazing community that provides an educational environment that creates meaningful jobs, builds a sense of belonging and demands dignity and respect for adults with disabilities. (more…)

Trends: Layering

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We’ve still got rodeo fever here in Texas, as things are just getting under way for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  This past weekend was the Bar-B-Que Cookoff and today starts the official concert lineup.  Fun times!

Last week, we talked about how to complete your rodeo-ready outfit (or any outfit, really) with a pair of statement earrings and a cool bracelet or better yet, a stack of them!  While a stack of arm candy is definitely one of the hottest trends right now, so is layering necklaces.  People often ask me exactly how to go about layering and I guess that it can be a little tricky if you’re new to it.  It gives such a great look, though, so its definitely worth trying out. (more…)

It’s (Almost) Rodeo Time!

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Well, it’s almost here.  Rodeo is just about everyone’s favorite time in Houston.  For nearly a month each year, Houston takes on the persona that the rest of the country assumes about Texas most of the time.  Having grown up here, I assure you that I’ve been asked more than once when traveling whether or not I own an oil derrick or rode a horse to school.  Thank you, Dallas.  (The TV show, not the city.) Once, while traveling in Indonesia, someone even asked me if I knew J.R. Ewing.  (I didn’t.)  But, once a year, the fourth largest city in the U.S. goes back to its Texas roots – and its a LOT of fun! (more…)