If you have ever visited River Oaks Shopping Center you must stop into Macaron By Patisse for a petite treat! French Macarons! These will transport you -- I remember devouring such delicacies when I lived in Belgium. The French bakery windows full of pastries each just as shiny and sweet as the other. And with a couple friends we'd put together our euro change and enter the bakery to come out with a dozen Macarons and gobble them down as we made our way to the Eiffel Tower. They truly are as authentic as you can get in Houston. I snapped these photos last night with help from my daughter, Winter. Of course, everyone wanted to help when it comes to food...but she has the patience to not eat the product before it's photographed. :)


This month I'm working for Modern Luxury Houston Magazine for their Modern Moms editorial. Featuring 30 Houston business women who also are incredible mothers. They never stop doing the best they can in both realms of their lives. Yesterdays photoshoot with Alexandra Killion was just all adorableness! I absolutely couldn't get enough of her baby. She was an absolute angel. I normally don't get the opportunity to photograph many children, but I really love it when I can blend editorial, lifestyle, and brand photography all in one.

 I'm so excited to be photographing these amazing women for a 3rd year in a row. I look forward to this every spring. Check out Houston's Modern Luxury Magazine in May to see who's been featured.

So excited that this will sound like I'm saying this all in one breath. The rebrand of Houston Studio is nearly complete! In the meantime, I've been working with amazing companies and brands. March is certainly showing to be my busiest month. I snapped these quick shots of myself while metering between my client outfit changes. I'm really enjoying working with some incredible business women who are some of the most inspirational people I've photographed. After some much needed R&R during Spring Break I'll be back at it again! 


This past week I got to work with the fabulous Christine Lombardi. She's incredibly talented women, wife, and mother to twins and who happens to also be a successful Houston realtor. I really enjoyed getting to know her throughout our shoot. We squeezed as many outfits we could in her photoshoot to give her optimum variety for future content. I couldn't believe it but within 2 hours she got in 7 outfits! Our goal was to showcase her as a professional, a women, an entrepreneur all in a lifestyle setting.  Content is king these days and while we have endless apps and abilities to help us build and market our company. You need constant fresh content to reach potential clientele -- that says who you are, how experienced you are in your industry, and how cool and approachable you are! I think we did just that with Christine's first shoot with Houston Studio. Cant' wait to work with her on many other shoots through out the year!

Part of my 2021 goal is to complete our master bedroom. When my eldest daughter, Winter, told me that shopping at the "Salvation Army is where it's at these days, Mom." I think my eyes rolled so hard they almost fell out of their sockets. I love the thought that Winter has this whole Pheobe Buffay 'furniture with a story' vibe. I'm a fan of Girl Boss, just like the next person, but a gem like this doesn't come along every day; it's work searching for these babies!

After two unsuccessful trips to second-hand shops in the Houston area, we made our way to the Salvation Army. My mouth dropped at the amount of furniture they had, and all in excellent condition. I immediately fell in love with this dresser from the brass hardware and beaded detailing. And when I fall in love with something, it's like the scene from The Beautiful Mind - it reveals what it wants to be to me! I mean, check out all that potential in the 'before' picture!

To make it even crazier, it was discounted another 10%. I mean, for the original price, I already felt like it was a steal, $175. So, I went to the register.  The sweet shop lady said, "There is an additional 20% off, on top of the 10%."  I  acted calm with a simple "Thank you," but I was dancing like Paula Abdul from the inside, I hit the jackpot.

You don't have to sand the piece, but it certainly has to be cleaned well. We used this 3M Quat Disinfectant. I guess we shouldn't have been surprised when we looked at our wipes, and they were just covered in orange nastiness. It seemed to have stripped a layer of the stain off with it.

Going into this project, I knew that I would use chalk paint. I had no idea it was in a spray can. Spray painting is something I can totally jump on board with since Malcolm has become the master of spray painting since finding the attachment, which helps make the method smoother. If there's anything you want in your project toolbox, it's the spray can attachment thingy. Malcolm took off the hardware and went to town on spraying it. I noticed his technique is to spray down on the surface, so there's a limited chance of the paint running or the dreaded drip effect. To quote my famous supermodel friend, Zoolander, He's not just "really, really, really good looking."

I really can't be more impressed with how this turned out. Finally, we have a place for our "socks and small's." We have been using our nightstands to store our little clothing articles, but we all have to grow up sometime. And I don't love it when my teenage daughter is right..., but this day I absolutely love it.

As part of our New Year's resolution Malcolm and I wanted to focus on finishing the design of our bedroom. Part modern, part glam, and part regal. That's kind of how you can explain our couple design. Our home is about 40 years old so it can get quite chilly in the bedrooms. Yes, 40 something degrees is freezing to us in Houston. It all started with an idea to just get a stylish heater. Until we saw this amazing Electric Wall Mounted Fireplace.  Like any true Texan woman I wanted the biggest one I could find. Sixty inches of amazing! It has 9 color settings. But the best part - it heats so well too! I highly recommend it. But it just felt like something was missing - it clearly was an eye catching feature to our room now. I got to sketching!

I sort of eyeballed how tall I wanted it to come and how far out I wanted it to go past the 60" frame of the fireplace. The drawing above only has my estimates. It actually ended up 48" tall and 78" wide and 5.5" deep. I also wanted to design it so that if we decided to move it was something that we could take with us and not leave a hole in the wall for us to have to work on. We began making our list of supplies we needed. We had all the major tools we needed to cut the wood. We just needed wood panel, wood, screws, panel pins, L brackets, white paint to match our wall, wood putty, wood for the trim, and sanding bars. We headed our nearest hardware store and got our shop on!

I love Malcolm when he gets in the project mood zone! While we've made things and fixed things around the house quite a lot --- but we've never made a piece of furniture. So measuring twice and cut once was super at play here. To kick it all off we cut the panel to size. It was perfect that the panel was perfectly 48" tall. We cut it to 78" in length. 

We used the framing boards to help us keep our jigsaw in a straight line. I love Malcolm's little ways to make cutting much more accurate. 

We went back to our board and traced the opening of the fireplace. We made holes in the corners so we can start and stop where needed. 

Time to get to the framing boards. We cut them to size. We screwed them together on the outside and starting drilling the L brackets to give it extra stability. 

Now we attached our front panel to our fresh cut frame! I just started getting so excited (insert personal dance party here) when I could see it really coming together. We used panel pins to attach it. They're low profile and super easy to fill in with wood putty. I knew it would take a day or so more to put the finishing touches on it but it was looking so good! 

Now for the wood trim part! Well, Malcolm did this part on his own and didn't tell me as I was preparing dinner so I didn't get photos of it. Bummer. But here is what it looks like with it attached with it's 45 degree cut. Boom!

Fill in the uneven parts with the wood putty. Especially those wood knots (well, of course, not unless you want that look). You'll have to let it dry for a bit. I was so anxious to see this thing done it was really a test of patience for me. Once it dried we went to town to sand it perfectly. 

All sanded down - now what?! Well a few months ago I had bought Malcolm a paint gun from Amazon. We tried for ages to try to get it to work but it just was such a mess. Literally, it spit, leaked, and did not paint at all! Our hands were covered in paint by the end of it. So needless to say that we did not get photos of us painting it. We always keep fresh rollers and paint trays in our paint cabinet. We originally had wanted to do a faux concrete finish on our piece. I had done one before and loved it, but Malcolm suggested we go with the contemporary flair and make it "look like it has always been there". The Alison Victoria in me (Windy City Rehab) loved those words and agreed!

We really couldn't wait to get it up the stairs to our bedroom. I grabbed the two last empty frames from my STUDIO and placed them on top. Oh I can't wait to decorate this! I can't wait to take photos to fill these.

We took off the face of the fireplace and placed our new fireplace mantel. We did find that we could get it closer to the wall if we just took a small chunk out of the base trim to fit it around the wall molding. We put the fireplace glass face back on (it hooked right in) and even though the fireplace was solid in place the added pressure of the fireplace glass face really keep it secure. 

I still wonder what it would look like with a concrete finish, but now that's its primed and painted its one less step if I do decide to do a concrete finish on it in the future. I do absolutely love it as is. It's perfect to me and I'm glad that it's something that Malcolm and I can take it with us if we do ever move from this dream home to our next dream home. I got another fireplace for my daughter Winter's room since her room is the next coldest room. Another project just waiting for us!
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