Holiday Lights!

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas holiday is to drive around town with my family and look at all of the awesome Christmas lights and decorations. A friend back in Houston recently asked where the best places are to go in Houston to see some awesome holiday lights and decorations. Are you kidding me? You live in Houston and you don’t know where to go to see holiday lights? Well, I guess I need to tell you a couple of my favorite places. As for Kansas City, we have yet to check out the holiday lights around here, and hopefully we will be able to this week, and below are the places we had in mind to visit.

PS: Houston sites are recommended based on my personal previous experience. If you have other suggestions, feel free to share them! 🙂

PSS: Nadine, I hope this helps!

Houston Holiday Lights

1. The Heights

Houston Heights

2. River Oaks/Galleria/Uptown

RiverOaks

3. Houston Zoo Lights

HoustonZoo

*There are also a handful of neighborhood with awesome Christmas lights display, but I thought I would stay within city limits*

Below are the places we want to visit here in KC, if you have other suggestions, please share! 🙂

Kansas City Holiday Lights

1. The Plaza Lights

theplaza

2. Union Station

unoinstation

3. Crown Center

crowncenter

*images are all from google.com and are not my own*

That Instagram!

20131121-160111.jpg

I am fairly sure that 99% of you have heard of Instagram. Yes, you have.

That annoying photo app version of Facebook. Anyways, unlike many, I don’t think it’s annoying, in fact, I happen to like Instagram. I don’t care how, “ancient”, my kids think I am, or how, “Im too old for IG”, as my siblings and other folks think, I like to waste countless amount of my already short, precious time, thumbing through my IG timeline. Cause it’s pretty great!

It’s even more awesome when paired with the VSCO photo editing app, it CAN make you look like you know what you are doing with photos. No, really!

I do not own a huge, fancy camera or even a point and shoot. The only thing I use for this blog is my iPhone, so naturally, because iPhone photos don’t turn our well sometimes, IG and VSCO will remedy a majority of my fugly and poor quality photos. Most of the time. Sometimes you can’t remedy ugly.

Anyways, I have a point. Here are 3 Reasons why I like/love Instagram:

1. Creativity: I am fairly sure that a lot of the awesome photography on IG are photoshoped and what not. But, I marvel at the creativity of Instragrammers. I am also talking about the challenges that they come up with, and how they can make a piece of towel on a dingy table look like art. Now that’s creative/talent.

2. Inspirations: Believe it or not some of the post by some talented, creative people on IG has inspired me to branch out from mainstream stuff and try “other” brands/products. For example, I loves coffee, and I am happy to say that I no longer (just)drink Starbucks coffee, but have ventured out to the local coffee shops/roasters for my caffeine needs. In fact, I have not been to a Starbucks here in KC. Thanks to Instagram (and google), I discovered my (new)favorite coffee spots here, which made it a little easier to transition. Also, you know how I found out I liked pastry? Yup, Instagram.

3. Promotions/Networking: You can sell water to a well on Instagram. You can take a photo of Beyonce digging in her nose and people will, “Like” and visit whatever it is promoting. The reach and opportunities that IG offers small and local businesses is vast. You never know who will be interested in Beyonce’s boogers. You just don’t. Sure, Facebook, Pinterest, and others do the same. But with IG, I tap on the app and BAM! Photo of latte art, and that’s it, I go get/make coffee. It is quick and painless. And of course, who doesn’t like to show off their cute kid(s) to the whole world? I DO.

Extra: Throwback Thursdays: No explanations needed. Who doesn’t like to see cute and funny baby pics your friends, family members, and your favorite celebrities?

I have only been on Instagram for a little over a year and a half, and I am sure I am late to this, but nonetheless, it deserves a post 🙂

I thought about posting some of my favorite Instagram photos, but it might become a headache later, so I decided to show you a little of my IG. Not necessarily favorites.

Follow us on Instagram: @janzgabe

An Obsession

If you have not already noticed, I loves me some pastries! So, I thought I would share my pastry findings from past and present. Below are my top three chain store favorites. Because I figured I needed to make recommendations from somewhere that you can find in your area, in like point 2 seconds, plus there are a million reviews out there of local and personal recipe favorites. I figured I’d go the old fashion way and give you a chain review. Ok.

3. Starbucks Pumpkin Bread. Why: This thing is perfect density, moistness, and sweetness. This used to be my number one obsession only two years ago, now it is down to #3 and I can’t remember the last time I had one since I moved. Maybe it is time to re-visit. But anyways, its rich and good and heavy enough to fill me up until way after lunch, well maybe like 2 of them.

pumpkin bread

Photo from starbucks.com

2. Panera Bread Pumpkin Muffie. Yes, I love pumpkin flavored pastry. This one is not as dense as #3, but a little fluffier and just as moist and the sweetness is offset by whatever it is sprinkled on top with. This is also the cheapest item on this list. This obsession was a recent discovery (this past Monday), but given that I ate it for breakfast Monday-Friday this week, it qualifies and is now on the pastry obsession list.

pumpkin-muffie.desktop

Photo from panerabread.com

1. Whole Foods Two Bite Brownies. No, not pumpkin flavored. And I don’t know the name of the maker, but you can find this in any Whole Foods. It is made of Belgian chocolate and to attempt to rationalize my love for this awesome goodness of a brownie is futile. It is that good. I can eat a whole box….by myself. This is mostly all that I ate when I was pregnant with Aspen, which is when I discovered them. They are not too sweet, but rich, moist, not too fudgy at all, I hate fudge brownies. They have similar versions at other grocery stores, but trust me the ones at Whole Foods are the best, I KNOW.

2bites

Photo from theactorsdiet.com

FYI: I am so not affiliated with any of these companies/brands. I just really, really love these products that I had to share them with you 🙂 I am also not telling you to go out and try them, and then get on here and yell at me if you end up not liking them, I am just letting you know that I (me) love them! Cheers!