Building A (Wedding) Brand: All About THE Dress

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You might be wondering, “what does the wedding dress have to do with the event brand?” And while I do agree that many brides select the dress (or at least envision the dress) prior to selecting the venue, I was not one of those brides. Wedding dress shopping was exciting, don’t get me wrong. Since we had a destination wedding, it was one of the first things I could actually touch and feel about our wedding day. But for me, it wasn’t the first time I have gone through the process of trying on loads of sample-size floor-length gowns and I knew the process wouldn’t be one I got to check off my to-do list that easily. I’ll post some blasts from the past someday, but that would require unpacking boxes and I’ve gotten quite good at ignoring them lately.wedding dress 01

I went to four bridal stores in the Houston area based on the designers each carried. I took photographs of every dress I tried on so I could reflect on them once the bright lights and butterflies had worn off. I found that to be really helpful! My top two contenders were from BHLDN and Nashville-based designer, Olia Zavozina, who essentially custom makes each dress to her brides dimensions!

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The best part of dress-finding story is that I went to BHDLN and tried it on by myself. It wasn’t completely random, since during my first visit the ladies there told me about a Badgley Mishka dress that was due to come in any day that they thought would be perfect. I could see it online, but the sample had not arrived to the Houston store yet. Sure enough, it came in on Halloween day! I got a call around four and immediately dashed over without really thinking about my family or friends! They were all busy since it was Halloween night by this time and I ended up FaceTiming with my Mom and Grandma followed up with a second FaceTime with Kendra. I kept laughing because I probably looked a little crazy in there all by myself trying on THE dress. The following Saturday my Mom, Grandma, future mother-in-law, Kendra, and roommate, Laura, joined me at BHLDN to show off the dress and pop open a bottle of bubbly! It was a nice relaxed occasion since I had mentally already decided the Odessa was the one!

wedding dress trees

My gown still required quite a bit of alterations to fit my frame, but that was to be expected. I felt amazing on my wedding day! My dress fit like a glove, thanks to Nhu! (If you are looking for a meticulously altered dress, I would use her again in a heartbeat). I absolutely loved my gown and I was so excited to show Chris on the big day! The Odessa was perfect for Hawaii and wearing wedges underneath was a must due to the venue!

The Odessa had some classic elements, such as, the Chantilly white lace and conservative neckline; however, it was not as traditional with the sheath skirt and keyhole in the back. I shared my dress pictures with Patty very early on! I loved how it reminded me of the vintage feelings of Olowalu! We referenced the traditional but vintage look when deciding on decor and tables.Amanda and Chris-0132

Amanda and Chris-0148 Amanda and Chris-0188 Amanda and Chris-0203 Amanda and Chris-0227 I felt like a bride and my heart still pitter patters when I look at our wedding pictures.

While I never had that oh em gee moment filled with tears and jumping up and down, I certainly knew it was the one when I tried it on!

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If you’ve had your chance to be a bride, did you have that moment? or if you haven’t had your chance yet, do you think you’ll be like me or get more excited?

 

Chilaquiles – Breakfast for Dinner

Chilaquiles

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Chilaquiles (tchee/lah/KEE/lehs), also pronounced d-ish-us, are a traditional Mexican dish of fried tortilla strips typically topped with a spicy tomato sauce and cheese. The first time Chris and I tried this delicious dish, we were in Dallas with his friends Ben & Nick. I’m not sure what possessed us to give them a try, oh wait, because they have everything amazing all in one! They are a favorite of ours to order for breakfast from Avalon Diner and we recently gave them a try at Guapalupana. Both were stellar!

Last week, I had a brilliant idea. I needed to make Chris and I a quick dinner. I’m not usually a huge fan of breakfast for dinner (yes, I’m aware I am the only American who feels this way) but chilaquiles are an exception. The night before I made my tried and true shredded chicken in the crock pot. It’s the perfect base for a number of meals, including chilaquiles!

 

Here is what I quickly gathered at the store:

1 can refried black beans
2 cans Hatch diced tomatoes & green chiles with roasted garlic
4 corn tortillas
Queso Fresco or Queso Cotija
6 oz. shredded chicken
5 eggs
1 large avocado
Seasoning: pepper and garlic salt

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This made about 4 servings and was excellent as leftovers!

First, start by heating up the refried beans. They actually take the longest, believe it or not!

Then, warm up the diced tomatoes and shredded chicken

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Next, in a sauté pan on medium-high heat add the eggs. Quickly add torn tortillas pieces in as well.

Once the eggs cook , add the tomatoes and chicken to the sauté pan, followed shortly by cheese. Stir and heat until well mixed.

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Garnish with avocado and serve with beans.IMG_0409 (2)

Provecho!

 

The Original Lady Linton

Lady Linton

We acquired Lady Linton in a private transaction  off MLS. No for sale signs, no official pictures, and no competition. It was great for us since my mom could help to facilitate the transaction but the typical compensation for real estate professionals were not included in our purchase price. Instant equity = happy homeowners. We went over to the house exactly 3 times prior to closing: 1. Meet our lady 2. Inspections 3. Walk-through. I made sure to document her well in the condition we purchased her in. Progress pictures to come…

Lady Linton

Front

 

Living Room

Living Room

 

Living Room 2

Living Room 2

 

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before 2

Kitchen Before 2

 

Den Before

Den Before

 

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom Before

 

Master Bath

Master Bath

 

Hall Bathroom

Hall Bathroom

 

Front Bedroom

Front Bedroom

 

Middle Bedroom (Office)

Middle Bedroom (Office)

 

Back Bedroom Before

Back Bedroom Before

 

Guest Bathroom Before

Guest Bathroom Before

 

Backyard

Backyard

The Road to Buying our Namesake

Lady Linton

So, here’s the story of how we all came to be part of this life we live on Linton…

About 10 months ago, Chris and I started the house hunt for real. We’ve been hunting lightly for the past 2 years but now it was time to get serious. We explored Open Houses, we had our saved searches on har.com, and we had already talked to our mortgage broker about the financial-side of things (pro tip: do this before you waste any more time window shopping on MLS). Chris and I had also optimized our finances such that we could present our personal situation in the simplest and most attractive way possible for a seller.

Naturally, things started popping up right as I started my busy time of year. March 1st through April 15th, I pretty much die to the outside world. And I just looked at the contract for the first house we submitted an offer on and it was dated March 10th. LOADS of free time that week – not! Anyway, that one was a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom home that backed to apartments. I am so glad it didn’t work out. Now – I’ll fast forward through the rest of them so as not to ensue a snooze fest…. Continue Reading →