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

Destination: Austin, Texas

This has got to be one of the most random, most unplanned road trips I’ve ever taken in my entire life. But sometimes its those random adventures that make the journey worth while especially when its with your family, now if you don’t enjoy being around your family then what I just said doesn’t count. Oh, and tell me why my brother Paulo finally gets to take off from work only to find out that our plans were up in the air, talk about bad timing. For years now we’ve been nagging him to come with us coz he never makes it to our family outings and the one time he decides to come, we didn’t have anything planned, well we did but the weather kinda messed that up.

So here was our original plan (the one we picked out of a million) —Barton Springs and Hamilton Pool in Austin and then camping in one of the State Parks. And just like the weather forecast stated, it rained like crazy washing away our one and only feasible plan and so we had to google what to do on the spot as we were already in Austin.

First stop, Kerlin BBQ.

So originally we weren’t supposed to eat in Kerlin but that other Bbq place we were planning to go to ran out of meat. I’m glad we ended up eating here though, yes it may be a food truck and it wasn’t really an ideal set up to be eating outdoors especially with the rain and the mud puddles but their BBQ was so tasty and their prices were decent, not to mention they had good service. That lady who helped us (possibly the owner) made sure we got our bang for the buck and we did.

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M.E.A.T

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Loved loved loved the cream corn

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Did someone say local beer?

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The outdoor set up

Next stop, Cathedral of Junk.

Address to Google: 4422 Lareina Drive, Austin, TX

After years of working on this piece, Vince, the artist and the owner was finally given a permit for Cathedral of Junk to stay for good as an Austin landmark. This place is free of admission but like any struggling artist donations are greatly appreciated to fund the maintenance of this Art Museum and other art pieces in the works. For groups a suggested amount of $10 is good enough but if you want to donate more then all the better. Make sure to call 512-299-7413 before heading there since the place is by appointment only.

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Cathedral of Junk

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Ramas- Mendezonas outside the Cathedral of Junk.

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Bits and bobs everywhere, its hard not to stare at the walls

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Okayyyy, random Barbie parts are kinda creepy

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How creepy…trolls randomly strapped in the ceiling

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The view of the cathedral from the back

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Vince, the artist.

Third stop, Hope Outdoor Gallery.

Address to Google: 1101 Baylor Street, Austin, TX

Austin’s community or gallery for graffiti art. If you want artsy photos with cool backgrounds like those you see on IG (rolls eyeballs, haha) then you’re definitely in the right place, only problem during the time we visited Hope Outdoor Gallery was it was raining and the place was clearly muddy and slippery. I didn’t risk taking Cassie further up for the fear of slipping, the rest of my siblings climbed all the way up though. Marco and I will definitely be back to explore this place some more when Mr. Sun is out.

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Last stop, Texas State Capitol.

Address to Google: 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX

Located in Downtown Austin, this was the only place we could think of to cap our random Austin trip on a rainy day. At that point we weren’t too keen nor were we interested in reading or learning about anything that involved Texas’ political history. We did enjoy touring the capitol and spotting Sam Houston’s portrait (since both my sisters go to Sam Houston State University). Btw, admission is free although parking wasn’t, I think we paid $10 for parking.

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And there you have it, a recap of our random day trip to Austin.

~Rhea

Destination: Harlingen, Texas

Marco was scheduled for another interview here in Texas but this time it was in Harlingen so we took a road trip close to the border of Mexico more for business than pleasure. It’ s days like these when I get to take advantage of the perks working PRN (as needed) at the hospital. I love how I can just pick my schedule and take off from work without any hassles or complications when need be. It took us roughly 4 hours and 30 minutes to get there and the first thing we did was google a good place to eat. We ended up having lunch at Brass Wheel Restaurant.

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Marine Memorial

Visited this mini museum mainly for the Iwo Jima Memorial statue. The wind was acting up so we didn’t even stay long and I didn’t even bother visiting the gift shop like I normally would.

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Iwo Jima Memorial up closeimg_9599_zpsimpsxovc

Because he feels the need to do the “Lion King” pose at every historical landmark we go to.img_9611_zpslbwedbei

 Checked in at Courtyard by Marriott

It had a modern minimalistic feel to it.

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The hotel’s poolside was pretty decent and since we had nothing else better to do, we decided to take Cassie for a swim.

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She acts like she runs the place, waiting for daddy to get ready.

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So apparently people who viewed my snaps thought we were crazy for swimming that day since it was rather breezy, the water was warm and we didn’t really stay long so I promise you Cassie was fine.

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Famished after her swim so she grabbed her snack, sat on the sofa and started munching on her puffs like a boss

That night Cassie and I stayed in and ate left overs while Marco had an informal dinner with the rest of the interviewees for the residency program.

The next day, Marco rode a shuttle and left early for the hospital, Cassie and I packed our stuff, loaded up and went window shopping after we had that cockroach incident. I am not even going to expound on what happened since I am positive that it wasn’t even the hotel’s fault but lets just say I had to get over my fear of roaches so I could kill one. I felt like if I didn’t, it would have called the rest of its friends and Cassie and I would have a cockroach frenzy.

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Just roamed around town while Marco was doing his interview, its a good thing I found the mall right when he finished. He gave me a call just when I walked in a Forever 21 and it looked like 6x this photo. It felt like a Forever 21 warehouse and I was just glad he called before I could do any credit card damage that  I would regret in the future. Everything was on sale!!!!

Met up with one of Marco’s friends from med school that was currently doing residency over there, they had a quick catch up before we drove back to Houston. On our way home we got stopped at an immigration checkpoint. Because the city was located in the border  line of Mexico, immigration was taking precautionary measures that Marco was unaware of and I totally forgot about. He forgot to bring his green card and it took them a while to verify his identity with his drivers license. I’m just glad nothing crazy resulted from our inefficiencies. We got home safe, extremely exhausted but safe.

~Rhea

My Little Game-Changer

I started blogging a few years back not for anything else but to destress— destress from work, destress from my family, destress from my Long Distance Relationship, destress in general. All kinds and all sorts. So I blogged; I blogged about my family, I blogged about my little adventures/travels here and there, I blogged about Marco and I blogged about what I liked to wear, and that made me feel good. I don’t know why but it just did. The Social Tumbleweed was what it was, it was a semi-online journal where I could just log in whenever I felt like it and write about the most random things in my life.

Since Cassie, things have been a bit more different, I barely have time to sleep let alone blog and another thing that bothered me was losing all that pregnancy weight. I didn’t like doing #OOTDs because most of the clothes that I normally wear didn’t fit me yet and I refused to buy anything bigger. Well, its been a year and a month since Cassie and I’m slowly finding a way to my “new norm” , life with a baby. I’ve lost my pregnancy weight but I still have that little pouch in my belly that I need to work on, I still enjoy clothes but I’ve realized that I enjoy dressing up Cassie as much as I enjoy dressing up myself, maybe even more.

So here it is, probably my first decent OOTD since I had Cassie.

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(JUMPSUIT:Black; Material Girl/ JACKET: thrifted denim band jacket; Plato’s Closet/ BEANIE: Gray knitted; Wet Seal/ SOCKS: gray slouched knee high socks; Wet Seal/ SHOES: Olive military boot wedges, Charlotte Russe)

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I’ve slowly started fitting back to my old clothes hence today’s OOTD but I think the main reason why I’m posting one today is because I’m discreetly twinning with Cassie. Did I ever mention that I like to match my baby A LOT? Haha. I’ll probably keep doing that until she’s old enough to tell me to stop. 😀

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(BEANIE: gifted, part of a set/ SWEATER: knitted band jacket; Baby Gap/ DRESS: thrifted/ SHOES: black high cut boots; Teeny Toes from Payless)

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Today, I am blogging because I think yesterday’s events deserve an entry. Two CRAZY things happened:

ONE– Cassie pooped in her potty for the 1st time (Yay!) I was about to bathe her in the bathtub when I saw her make her “poopie face” and so I grabbed her quickly and had her sit in her potty. Ta-da. Out came the poop. Proud mom here. After I cleaned her up I bathed her, I turned my back for a millisecond to wash the soap of my hands and as soon as I was about to pick her up I saw it…two little poopies floating in the bath tub and she was playing with it.I guess she wasn’t done pooping when I cleaned her up. I freaked out a bit, screamed for my husband to help me and then proceed to bathe her AGAIN and I got over it.

TWO– It was lunch and I was feeding Cassie rice and sausage, I know she’s supposed to sit down in her high chair the entire duration of the meal but she kept whining wanting to go down and I just didn’t want to deal with it after the morning incident so I let her walk around. One of my sisters fed our house dog, Todd, some of her rice scraps earlier and Cassie somehow managed to find her way to Todd’s bowl and rummaged through it. I found her with rice in her hand and she was chewing. Now I honestly don’t know if she was still chewing the rice I gave her or if she placed some of that “dirty rice” in her mouth so of course I freaked out again. Yes, I felt like I won “The Worst Mother of the Year” award  for that day and I decided that I couldn’t handle anymore so I took a break and told Marco he had to take over.

Today, we’re making up for yesterday’s events, we heard mass and had brunch at Black Walnut Cafe with Cassie’s Ninang Gela and Unclie Pierre from Florida. Here’s what my baby and I look like when I’m not making her swim with poop or making her eat dog scraps. I’m kidding.

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How it is most of the time, mommy chasing Cassie. 😀

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This is my own version of motherhood, it’s far from perfect and full of crazy, disgusting, frustrating accidents that I welcome whole heartedly (as long as I learn from them and most importantly as long as they don’t hurt Cassie). Still loving every single moment of it.

~Rhea

Cassie’s First New Year Celebration

Last 2015 I had expectations, call it New Year’s resolutions if you may, I thought they were pretty simple and quite doable. Looking back, none of those expectations panned out of if they did it probably worked out in a way I would have never imagined it to.And yet for all the irregularities in my life I am beyond grateful because in the end those irregularities turned out better than I expected. Thank you God! I’m so excited to be starting this year with the little creature that completes our own little family.

The Borromeos were nice enough to invite us over for New Year’s Eve and since Sienna Plantation has its no-fireworks policy, poppers and snappers were the best we could do. And of course since it was also Paulo’s birthday, we spent New Year’s Day dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse for the birthday boy’s request—steak! Cassie was nice enough to make us enjoy both gatherings by (mostly) sleeping through it.

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All strapped in, heading to the Borromeos house

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Ooohh…lechon belly.

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My little Cascas still asleep

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Waiting for 2016

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Our little family

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Cheers to 2016

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The birthday boy and his cake from Cheesecake Factory. yum!

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Grandy and Cassie

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Grandmy and Cassie before Paulo’s birthday dinner

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Paulo, the birthday boy with his birthday dessert

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One last family picture before leaving 🙂

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Fur-ry goodness with my little sleepyhead.

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Mommy’s OOTD

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Cassie’s OOTD (taken right before we left for Paulo’s birthday dinner)

Happy New Year to one and all!

~Rhea