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Brunching with Tagspire at Downhouse HTX
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The Big Sizzle: Poolside Grilling Competition and Sizzling Fashion Show
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HCC Students Create ‘Splendid’ Fashions Based on Hapsburg Dynasty
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Caftans are for Posh Hotel Pool Days
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Stars and Stripes for July 4th 2015
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Globetrotter Lodge- Holbrook, AZ
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Lipstick & Brunch Beauty Soiree @ Look Boutique

Brunching with Tagspire at Downhouse HTX

Tagspire is the latest app to enter the blogosphere- let alone the overall “social media-osphere.” It recently launched in May 2015 in Austin, TX and was inspired by the need for a social media platform to support user-generated content for product recommendations and a direct way to buy from content. “Other social media giants are just now getting “buy now” buttons and only support brand advertisement. Our platform is built with a consumer-first approach that makes an individual’s content directly shoppable and discoverable in a trusted network among friends, family, and other trend makers. Plus, individuals are rewarded for sharing their recommendations and earn cash any time someone makes a purchase from their post,” Amy Chait – VP of Marketing- explained.

The brand recently invited Houston influencers to brunch at Downhouse, where we were able to learn more and try out the app. Below are some key take-aways that were provided by Amy:

* Tagspire is not only an app, but a community where you don’t have to fill out an application. It includes the tools to share outbound to other social channels and blogs as well. The brand built their own technology so that we don’t have to rely on other technology platforms to do our core business (i.e. how Pinterest took away affiliate links for bloggers and they are no longer able to directly monetize their Pinterest posts).

* Tagspire has other tags, including the video and link tag, that are not provided by others.The video tag allows you to include YouTube tutorials or reviews to compliment whatever you are promoting. The link tag is a convenient option if you are not able to find product in the database or want to link back your blog. Also, other bloggers have used the link tag for their ShopSense links since they don’t provide a pay-per-click program (they pay per conversion). The brand doesn’t mind if bloggers use their other affiliate links, but they can’t guarantee payout if they don’t use the Tagspire sell tag.

* Tagspire is transparent. You can see your balance dashboard to see clicks and sells. It will enhance the dashboard overtime. It always passes back 80% of the merchant commission back to the user.

So when it comes to monetizing apps, you may want to check out Tagspire, especially because it’s more accessible than other platforms that either require an application, are for influencers only or that require a minimum amount sold.

Huge thanks to Leah and Amy for inviting us and sharing the world that is Tagspire. Thank you to Downhouse for the wonderfully-good Russian Pancakes!

The Big Sizzle: Poolside Grilling Competition and Sizzling Fashion Show

The Monogram Apartment Collection‘s MUSE at Museum District recently hosted “The Big Sizzle: Poolside Grill Competition and Fashion Show.” The day was hot and sunny, which were the perfect elements for a poolside bash at one of Houston’s hottest new apartment complexes. The event took place out at the lush community pool, where several local vendors were set up and DJs from Hot 95.7 FM were spinning the latest tunes. Five teams from other Monogram Apartment communities put their cooking and grilling skills to the test, while local celebrity judges tasted and scored their favorites. The celebrity panel of judges included: Ricky Cruz- Executive Chef at Grotto, Ebony Niicole- Miss Central Texas USA, Natasha Barrett & Katherine Whaley- KTRK ABC 13, William Gilchriest- Executive Chef at Brooklyn Athletic Club, Mike Chabala- Veteran Houston Dynamo Soccer Player and Keola Lui-Kwan from Hot 95.7 FM.

Guests were welcome to enter raffles, nosh on bites by El Tiempo and more! The event concluded with a sizzling fashion show, featuring a myriad of summer ready-to-wear looks by Danny Nguyen.

The Muse team ended up winning the grilling competition. Proceeds from this event benefitted The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance.

HCC Students Create ‘Splendid’ Fashions Based on Hapsburg Dynasty

In conjunction with the opening of the Hapsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections, a selection of fashion design students from Houston Community College were chosen to design an outfit or two based on this era. The Hapsburg Dynasty began in Austria in the late Middle Ages and concluded in the early 20th Century. Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is currently housing more than 90 works of art, including arms and armor, sculpture, Greek and Roman antiquities, court costumes, carriages, decorative-art objects, and paintings by Caravaggio, Correggio, Giorgione, Rubens, Tintoretto, Titian, and Velázquez.

The evening’s fashion presentation- “Fashion Fusion”- was where 20 garments went down the runway, blending edgy, yet contemporary views taken from the costumes and fabrics from the exhibition. The show was styled by Tamara Klosz Bonar, while the mile-high Marie Antoinette-inspired updos were fashioned by the talented Edward Sanchez and make-up was provided by Tre Spa.

Christian Le, Teresa Rangel, Samira Craig, Alfredo Saucedo, Judi Hallenback, Violet Navarro, Bridget Fizer were among the chosen designers to showcase their ‘splendid’ designs, ranging from ‘Gothic-esque Royalty’ to ‘a day at the races à la Ralph Lauren’ and ending with a magnificent finale of ball gowns.

The panel of judges, which included Fady Armanious, creative fashion director of Tootsies; Helga Aurisch, curator of European art; and Clifford Pugh, editor-in-chief of CultureMap unanimously crowned Christian Le 1st and 3rd place, while Teresa Rangel took home 2nd place.

Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections exhibition will continue to be around until September 13th. For tickets and more information, go HERE.

Caftans are for Posh Hotel Pool Days

(Vintage Caftan from Refreshed Couture, Vintage Sandals- thrifted, Vintage Turban from Top Vintage LLC, Vintage Bamboo Handbag from Big Bertha’s Paradise, ‘Sabine’ Sunglasses c/o Darylynn Eyewear.)

Thank you Madeline Pena for the photos!

Being in a posh hotel pool environment literally SCREAMED ‘vintage caftan’…. and it was the perfect time to wear my latest one from Refreshed Couture. I chose my vintage bamboo handbag, white turban and oversizes shades as my jazzy poolside accessories. The photos were shot at the Houstonian Hotel pool.

Stars and Stripes for July 4th 2015

(Vintage Kasper Sport Top from an Arbor Antiques estate sale, Vintage Skirt from an Arbor Antiques estate sale, Vintage Necklace from ATRS, Vintage Shoes from Top Vintage LLC. )

Have a fun and safe July 4th weekend everyone!

Globetrotter Lodge- Holbrook, AZ

Globetrotter Lodge

902 W. Hopi Dr.
Holbrook, AZ 86025
PH: (928)297-0158

I had the extreme pleasure of staying at the Globetrotter Lodge in the small town of Holbrook, AZ recently. I had heard great reviews about it through the grapevine and from fellow Route 66 travelers, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Boy, I’m glad I did. You see, Route 66 motels are generally mom n’ pop motels that have been known for their outstanding hospitality and well, the Globetrotter really exceeded my expectations. From what I hear, the motel was originally constructed in the 40s or 50s and in later years, had seen some decline. However, Mona and Peter Hoeller, formerly of Austria, thankfully came in and rescued it from demise a few years back. The quaint single story motel is now a favorite among travelers and offers ten basic yet clean rooms, cozy lobby, great wi-fi, breakfast in the morning and a pool area. The owners truly brought their European touch to this Route 66 icon.

The owner’s wife personally escorted me to my room and was kind enough to show me around. The room I had had a western theme. There were two comfy beds, a flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge, coffeemaker and best of all- a Southwest theme painted sink. The bathroom was somewhat small, but again, it was beyond clean. They still keep the room’s original Mid-Century construction, but had it refreshed for the modern travelers.

The next morning, I went to breakfast, which was held in their bright breakfast room. This was actually one of the main highlights of my stay, besides the sink, as the owners go above and beyond to make their guests feel welcome. Each place setting had the guests room number and the state/country where they are from. They use real dishware, silverware and linen napkins. The assortment of nourishment they provide are a few varieties of cereals, toast and other breads, hard-boiled eggs, fruit…everything you could possibly want for a hearty start to the day. Of course, everything was freshly prepared.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the pool area this time, but again… it looked like a clean welcoming oasis from the desert heat. I was bummed to say good-bye after a night’s stay, but will definitely be back again. I’d much rather stay here than at an overpriced hotel right off the interstate! Thank you again Peter and Mona and I look forward to my next stay!

If you are traveling along the I-40 corridor through Holbrook, be sure to book your stay at the Globetrotter!

Lipstick & Brunch Beauty Soiree @ Look Boutique

My friend and blogger pal- Nicole Kestenbaum of Lipstick & Brunch recently held an event at Look Boutique. Now, Look Boutique is not like an average “boutique,” it’s an upscale beauty bar located in the Walgreens off Sage and Westheimer in the Galleria neighborhood in Houston. This particular location is in fact, the ONLY one in Texas. Think of Look Boutique as a hybrid between a higher-end beauty department (like Sephora or Macy’s) and the Walgreens beauty aisle. The boutique features French, UK and cult-favorite skincare and beauty products that you wouldn’t normally find anywhere else.

Their current skincare brands are: Avene, La Roche, Vichy, Lierac, Nuxe, Dr.Hauschka,Bioxidea, Rilastil, Le Couvent des Minimes, Talika and Klorane. Their current cosmetic brands are: Vera Moore, Pür Minerals, Studio Makeup, POP, Vincent Longo, The Balm, Cargo and 100% Pure. They carry OPI, China Glaze and Essie nail polishes. They carry Macbeth cosmetic bags and LUG travel bags. They also carry the quirky Demeter Fragrance Library (with scents such as: ‘Dirt,’ ‘Funeral Home,’ ‘Marshmellow,’ ‘Soap,’ ‘Earthworm,’ ‘Dust’ and ‘Clean Windows’) and Edia cosmetics for Hair.

Upon first glance, this place is pretty amazing and a beauty lover’s dream come true. The fixtures are bright and modern, taking careful consideration to making the space look young and fresh. Nicole was totally in her element! Her face just lit the room as she was discussing her favorite products, such as the ‘Hot Mama’ blushes from The Balm and Klorane’s dry shampoos. I have to admit, I was even overwhelmed…but am anxious to go back with a bigger budget.

There were complimentary skin analysis/consultations and make-up touchups by the Look Boutique cosmetologists. Guests were also able to leave with gifts with a $30 purchase and participate in raffles.

Be sure to “LIKE” Look Boutique on Facebook and Instagram for additional information and their latest happenings.

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