Good morning, friends! Cheers, we made it to Wednesday! This has been one of those weeks for me that has been jam-packed. Making it to hump day is a serious feat after these last two days!
Rick and I spent the weekend at my family’s ranch, about an hour West of Houston. It was a much-needed retreat and time for us to get out of the city and relax our minds. We were dog-sitting my Uncle’s dog, Daisy the mini Goldendoodle, and of course had Lucy. The two pups absolutely love it out there. Lucy is like a bat out of hell and runs around the front property, where the house sits, like crazy! I need to grab a video of it next time and post.
There’s something so peaceful and relaxing about the slower life out at the ranch. Even though we aren’t too far out of Houston, it’s completely different and I love that. I actually grew up out there; I spent almost every summer – a few weeks to a month or two – in Houston and every weekend my grandparents would take me along with them to the farm.
There I learned to love the outdoors: horseback riding, finding butterflies and rollie-polie-bugs, swim to my heart’s content, and even drive – first a golf cart, then a small John Deer 4-wheel vehicle and then a real SUV. It was always such a fun place, that brought our family together for holidays, all of them such fond memories, but in the spirit of summer: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.
My Uncle always put on a killer fireworks show (all on his own!), for us to ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ over as the fireworks went off in succession over the meadow or pond. Mind you, he was running around like a maniac trying not to set things on fire, and one year he even did it with his foot broken and in a boot!
Because there aren’t too many restaurants nearby, the closest town’s are about 10-15 miles away, we usually eat at the Ranch. While the former outdoor activities were all so fun to learn, I also learned from my grandmother, whom we affectionately refer to as the ‘Martha Stewart of Texas’ to do so many things like sew, paint and cook. My love and knowledge for cooking can be attributed in large part to her amazing skills.
There are countless memories, but my favorites include: making ice cream or fresh hot bread when those machines were all the rage to own; learning how to make a fresh blueberry or lemon meringue pie (craving it now I type those words!); Prosciutto & Sage wrapped chicken; and perfecting my homemade whip cream.
When I chose to head to Austin for the University of Texas, my grandparents were thrilled because it means I was not only close to Houston, but many regular weekend visits by me, were in the future. Indeed, I drove home to the ranch multiple times each semester and even found refuge there when I needed to study for big exams or work on projects.
I think you can tell how fond I am of the family ranch and so grateful to have such a wonderful place of memories and a refuge of relaxation close by to us in Houston. And while we did relax, we actually got our hands dirty and did quite a bit of gardening, I did some window washing and raked up maybe two pounds of leaves, to name a few tasks.
Let me tell ya, manual labor is no joke! Each night we were absolutely exhausted with sore bodies and muscles, but probably burned more calories and used muscles we don’t usually touch at the gym or workout classes via this work! And while it was hard, it was actually really fun. Rick and I both agreed that we enjoyed doing it together and also the peace it brings to your minds. You aren’t thinking about much else when you’re focused on washing windows, cleaning a garage door or pruning back a rose bush.
Now that we’ve gotten settled, for the most part, in our own home, we’re excited to be able to head out to the ranch more often on the weekends. Do you have anywhere you seek refuge or head out to on the weekends every so often?
Now for things I’m loving:
– How cute and affordable are these summer slide sandals? This trend has been hot for over a year now, and I kind of love it. I have a pair from M.Gemi that I receive so many compliments on each time I wear, too (these are the similar pair for this year). I don’t have but one pair of black sandals, and they have brown leather on them too, so I thought these black slides would be a classic and chic neutral to add to my summer and fall wardrobe. If you’re loving the trend, check out this adorable palm frond embellished pair or this braided double strap pair.
– In other fashion related content, I came across this article The Worst Thing to Wear for Travel, and found it intriguing. As an avid traveler, I’d say I’ve got my travel wardrobe down to a fine art – stretchy skinny jeans, a tee or comfy top a sweater and shawl plus flats. What do you consider your go-to travel outfit?
– Have you found any sunscreens you’re loving this summer season? I know we just kicked-off the start to summer, but I’m always intrigued by the new and improved formulas brands hawk out around this time. I feel like I’m always returning to Rick and I’s favorite, Sun Bum – smells so good and we love this spray bottle version. But I do love this anti-pollution face sunscreen and this SPF for the face, both by Clarins and Supergoop (who just came out with a mousse sunscreen that I really want to try!). P.S. if you’re looking for a lip balm with SPF, you must try Supergoop’s AcaiFusion lip balm, it’s one of my favorites!
– Thanks to one of my best friends and fellow blogger, Lauren, I learned about these seriously adorable swimsuits at budget-friendly price points. I’m loving this adorable scalloped high neck bikini top – a dupe of the Marysia bikinis we all love, but for a fraction of the price! The one shoulder top is super cute too.
– Lastly, don’t forget this Sunday is Father’s Day! It’s not too late to get Dad something he’ll love. Here’s a curated list of items you can have shipped quickly. Or if all else fails, go for an e-gift card, so many retailers offer them these days!