Houston Local: Downtown Houston Graffiti Art (Part I)

For months now we’ve planned to visit Downtown Houston to visit the graffiti art within the city but for some reason something always comes up and we end up postponing our plans for another day. In a way a there’s a slight urgency to see these outdoor artwork  because some of them aren’t permanently there and what I mean by that is sometimes artists change their work and it gets replaced by something else so while they’re there its best to take advantage of it.

Today, my husband woke up and suggested to randomly visit downtown so we could finally see some of Houston’s graffiti art work. We figured since we’re moving to Indiana in a few months, now would be a best time to explore Houston so we headed to Halal Guys first for lunch since we’ve been craving it for days now and the location we wanted to go to was approximately 7 minutes away from it so that worked out perfectly fine.

Here are some photos that we took during our visit. For those who are interested to see these murals here’s an address to put in your GPS:

1503 Chartres St., Houston, Texas 77003

I just wish there was someone who could tell us the name of these pieces. Anyone knowledgeable? Shoot me an email or comment down below. I’d love to recognize the artists and their artwork. Thanks!

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Oh, btw today is the First Day of Spring. How apt that our day turned out to be full of life and full of colors, just like spring. Happy First Day of Spring, everyone!

~Rhea

Houston Local: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

It always amuses me when people say “I’m bored”; I feel like theres so many things to do in this life that even our time on this earth would not be enough. It might be just a matter of perspective and I’m trying to raise Cassie to see things the way Marco and I see it. As much as my little family and I would like to travel and go on a lot of adventures I truly believe that not all adventures entail money (well, maybe gas money), that’s when being resourceful kicks in.

Unconsciously, I’ve been on a mission to prove my point, locally this community has a lot of things to offer and its a matter of learning how to take advantage of it. We’ve visited the Houston zoo for free but you’d have to know that they do that mostly on the first Tuesday of each month, Thursdays are usually free admission days for museums especially the Children’s museum where I’d like to take Cassie soon and then there’s one and a million parks here in Houston and the near outskirts that are waiting to be explored.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir was a gem that we discovered 17 minutes away from home. It’s a local Hindu temple that opens their doors to visitors even those of different religion and their architectural construct does not fall short from what India is known for. I could go on and on about our visit to the temple but I’ll let the pictures speak for itself.

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The first photo we took as soon as we entered the premises, I had to tell him to stop acting all goofy since we were in a temple and all

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I though that the temple would be a good place to take pictures of Cassie but she fell asleep right before entering the gates

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Today’s #OOTD

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The fountains opposite side from where we entered

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Steps going up to the Mandir (temple), no photographs and no shoes allowed beyond this point

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Had to check out the intricate details up close, that college class I took on India really taught me to appreciate not only their architecture but everything else that’s embedded in their culture

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Coming out of the mandir. The walls, the ceilings, the floor and everything else was breathtaking, if only we cold’ve taken pictures inside.

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It does make a beautiful background thus acquiring that unofficial nickname of “Houston’s mini Taj Mahal”

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…he just had to pose that way. Ugh

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The temple vicinity is very friendly to visitors, they have signs and guides all over the place

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Family photo by the structure across the mandir, thanks to a friendly temple-goer who randomly offered to take our picture

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Color pop against the plain white details. Can’t get enough of these carvings.

I was a bit disappointed that Cassie slept the entire time because I wanted her to explore the grounds and run around to check out the fountains but on the other hand I’m glad she slept so Marco and I could appreciate the place without any crazy distractions, haha. We can always bring Cassie  back here next time. If you’re a Houston local, this place is a must-see but before you come visit please check their website and familiarize with their rules as this is a sacred place to them and a place of worship. Before you leave the area, please visit their gift shop, make a donation or try their daily vegetarian lunch buffet (we have yet to do that). Oh yeah, I hear that they light up the temple at night and it looks magical, you should definitely drive by to check it out.

Well, there you go…that’s another thing to do here in Houston. I don’t think this place will ever bore me. Enjoy!

~Rhea

#BOHOLIVIA

I’ve been a sucker for themed parties for as long as I can remember and it amazes me how much fun I have with it even as an adult. You see me blog about someone else’s party and that’s just me appreciating the turn out of the celebration. To other people parties are just parties but it does take a lot of love, time, effort and creativity to pull off something like this especially here in the US where hiring party planners are a bit out of the budget.

So when you see me go all-out on a themed party, that’s just me showing my appreciation. It doesn’t faze me that people think I’m “feeling” the theme too much especially when it’s not my party. They took the time to prepare for it, at least take the time to look prepared and besides dressing up is soooo much fun. I hope Cassie grows up and sees it the way I do.

Here are some snippets of Olivia’s 1st Birthday Party. #Boholivia

And NO Cacay, it’s not #Bohol-ivia, its #Boho-livia. Haha.

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Our Bohemian flatlay before attending Olivia’s 1st Birthday. #Boholivia

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Olivia’s teepee set up greeting you as you enter the venue

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Her boho themed birthday giveaways. Feathers galore.

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Of feathers and teepees

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Cassie clearly enjoying the set up already

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Olivia’s cake smash area

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How cute, a cactus piñata!

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Olivia’s Dessert Table

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The cake—Keeping it boho chic and boho classy. 😀

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Happy 1st Birthday Olivia and Happy 1st year as parents Ann and Charles!

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Cassie and Daddy

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Boho-lovin Mommy and Cassie

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We couldn’t resist taking a picture even before the birthday girl arrived. Good job on the set up, geng!

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The Almacens and the Mendezonas


Here’s what Cassie wore:

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(ROMPER: floral; Sparrow Collective/ HEADBAND: boho feather headband; Pip and Tumbleweed/ SOCKS: gray knee high fox socks; Amazon/ MOCCASINS: pink fringe; Amazon)

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  And just coz it’s been awhile since I last did an OOTD. Here’s one just for the heck of it.

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Selfieeeee

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(DRESS: velvet rose pink dress, Rue 21/ SANDALS: cream colored high knee gladiators; Charlotte Russe/ HAT: maroon fedora; Icing/ SUNGLASSES: round frames/ SCARF: thrifted from the Philippines/ CHOKER: nude florals; thrifted from the Philippines)

~Rhea

Cassie’s First Christmas

Christmas would have to be my most favorite Holiday and Holy day of the year, everyones noticeably nicer and its an excuse to be extra generous. I like giving, I like the idea of thinking of those special people in our lives and getting them something that they might want or appreciate and that feeling seems to be aggravated when you’re a parent. I now understand the feeling of wanting to provide your child with everything she needs or wants for that matter and my daughter is barely 2 months old.

This is our first Christmas with my daughter and it just so happened that its also our first Christmas back with my family ever since Marco and I got married so my family was more than ecstatic to have us especially Cassie. For Cassie’s first Christmas, mom and I decided to go with “Candy Canes” as our theme for this year just so the decorations would be aesthetically pleasing to Cassie’s eye. Honestly, we could have put up anything and the lights would have been enough to keep her interested . I wish I took close-up photos of the tree, mom and I filled it up with vintage Christmas toy decorations that we got from a Goodwill store and we added Cassie’s hand print ornament to commemorate her first Christmas (Thanks mami for the kit!).

On Christmas Eve, I dressed up Cassie extra early so I’d have time to look decent and do last minute preparations for Nochebuena. We went to the 8:30 pm mass at St. Angela Merici and Cassie was nice enough to sleep through it, she didn’t give us any trouble at all. Merry 1st Christmas langga!

What Cassie Wore: 

(DRESS: Amazon.com/ CARDIGAN: Carter’s/ SHOES: The Children’s Place/ SOCKS and HEADBAND: Little Me)

What Mommy Wore:

(TOP: Image/ SKIRT: Cruella and Co./ CLUTCH: Plato’s Closet/ SHOES: Nine West)

My DIY peppermint inspired wreath

Cassie’s hand print

Thanks Rosa for Cassie’s Christmas shoes, they remind me so much of Dorothy’s from Wizard of Oz.

Our Dessert Table

Saying grace before Nochebuena

3 generations

I woke her up for the family Christmas photo and she wasn’t too happy about it

Obligatory Christmas Wacky Pose

More family photos

Opening of gifts at the Ramas Residence

Cassie’s Christmas Haul, we had neighbors and close friends dropping gifts for her. Awww…thanks so much for thinking of our baby girl this Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Good Night from Santa’s little helper.

~Rhea

Eva’s Ice Cream Party

This little baby decided to spend her 1st birthday here in the Philippines (Bacolod to be specific) and coincidentally Marco and I were really planning to be there around that time. It was quite a family affair, a mini reunion if I must say. Here are a few snippets from her Mint/ Baby Pink Themed Ice Cream Party. DROOL.

The Venue Set up (thanks Nans for the photo)

The Birthday Girl and her family— Tito Tommy, Rachel, Sophia and Eva

“All you need is Ice Cream”

Cute little frames with Eva’s photos as center pieces

The 2 “Pilars” hosting the event once more

“Make your own ice cream” stand

…And here’s Sophia showing off her creation

w/ Abu Viol this time around

I love this candid photo of Abu, Ninang Ito and Cali

The “Babies” Table. As you can see they’re busy coloring. 😀

Just had to take a photo.

Not only was this good, it was also in theme. Haha, Thanks Pia!

The mommy and the birthday girl

We had nowhere to hang the patin…

Improvisation. The key is to have two tall guys hold up the pabitin for the kids, Hans and Nacho to the rescue.

Scurrying for candies, chocolates, coins and such

Standing (or should I say sitting) still in the chaos

Favorite tita Pica? Need I say more.

Handing out the give aways

Btw, thanks to Mariana Lopa and Angel Lopa for some of the photos! I can’t seem to figure out where I saved my shots on the details of the party including the delectable invite. I’ll update this post once I get a hold of ’em. Enjoy!

~Rhea