The many amazing cultural, culinary and philanthropic opportunities available in Houston are so amazing that I had to start my own version of Oprah's Favorite Things. I am excited to share with you some of the cool new things that have caught my attention this year in this second edition of Deborah's Favorite Things.
I met recently with Gordon Quan, who chairs the board of Houston Greeters. Up until then I had no idea this organization existed but now I am very intrigued and plan on doing my fair share to make sure others know about it.
Houston Greeters offers you a unique insight into Houston through the eyes and hearts of our residents. Local volunteers act as hosts for two-to-four hour visits to the destination or for the activity of your choice. Whether you want to learn more about the architecture, visit a museum, attend an Astros game, experience Houston nightlife or take a neighborhood stroll, they have a host for you. I love love love this concept!
Houston Greeters offers you a unique insight into Houston through the eyes and hearts of our residents.
Their recent activity on the Metro Rail, which involved stopping at various restaurants, was a huge hit. Look for more opportunities and events like this throughout 2013.
I have been a "hardcore" fan of this workout for about two months now. Owner Wayne Davis, a former NCAA All-American athlete, and his team have devised the Hardcore Pilates workout, which is unlike anything you've ever experienced before.
The unique total body approach focuses on core strength, flexibility and overall muscle tone — and it is ridiculously tough. (Those who know me know that I don't like working out, but I enjoy this.)
The addition of the "Stretch to Win" program, which involves thirty-minute deep muscle stretching (not massage) is a must as well.
I have loved Chef Olivier Ciesielski's culinary creations for many years and was so excited to learn that he opened L'Olivier Restaurant & Bar in the heart of Montrose. The restaurant is gorgeous and definitely has a soft Moulin Rouge feel — he is French, after all, so I would expect nothing less — and the food is amazing.
Perhaps my favorite thing is the chef's recognition that guests who practice a gluten-free diet are still bread lovers and his gluten-free bread is incredible — something I can't say very often — especially paired with the Beef Tartar.
The West Ave specialty boutique offers makeup and eyelash application and makeup classes.
Many congrats to makeup artist Edward Sanchez and his partners Diane and Michael Caplan on the opening of their salon, aptly named the Edward Sanchez Vanity Lounge. The West Ave specialty boutique offers makeup and eyelash application and makeup classes, and it has the perfect layout for hosting private events, like bridal luncheons or nonprofit kick-offs.
A pro tip: Edward is a master at eyebrow contouring and threading — my favorite way to tame unruly brows.
A great friend introduced me to this fun new jewelry concept called Stamped and Strung. For my birthday, I received the cutest necklace with a jar of "anti-crazy" dust and a message etched on the accompanying copper plate. Now, that is a private joke but the necklace was a perfect gift for me.
The possibilities of customizing the pieces are endless and it is great for a Valentine's Day gift. Loving this so very much!