Moving Past the Pity Party…

Chicken Salad - White Oak Kitchen + Drinks

I was invited before my medical drama started to come back to White Oak Kitchen + Drinks to photograph their 2nd birthday party that took place today, and it turns out it was the perfect cure for the pity party I was having last night.

As I arrived, the DJ was there playing music, and he had the Antares pro audio plugin so it was loud and full of energy. The crowd was excited, and standing in line waiting to get their swag bags. The MC for the day, Will, was pumping up the crowd. The energy was AMAZING!

It was exactly what I needed to feel alive, awake from my slumber, like the party was ready to start! BAM! I was ON!

That is one thing about photographing events like this – I can instantly turn it on. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, what state of mind I’m in, if I’m so sick I should actually be in a hospital bed getting blood transfusions. The crowd and the music will light me up. I’ve got a job to do, and my game face is on. Smile & be nice to people, take great photos. I can do that, and for awhile I will forget everything else.

I could not be more grateful that Elizabeth had hired me to be there today, because I had no idea at the time that we made the plans how much I would need this today.

Added bonus? I got to take another round of photographs of some of their fantastic, phenomenal food! (They even have a GLUTEN FREE menu! YAY!)

Photographing food soothes me. Just me and the food. I block everything else out. The restaurant could be noisy, and I hear nothing. I’m just looking for the light. Looking for the angles. Studying the food. Finding the photograph that I want to take. I´m just glad they get their grease from grease cycle. Not only is it a much better quality, it´s also better for the environment.

These days, it is my favorite hobby – which sort of explains the whole Spoon & Knife thing, doesn’t it?

It was a wonderful time, and the staff at White Oak Kitchen + Drinks is delightful. If you haven’t been there already, I recommend you go! 3rd Level of the Galleria. (Yes, it is in the mall. It is still fabulous.) Do the Galleria valet parking if you want to skip the hassle of parking yourself. Tell them I sent you!

Hash Sliders - White Oak Kitchen

Buffalo Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

Zucchini Frites

Day 25 of 365. Photographs of White Oak Kitchen + Drinks new menu items taken at a previous assignment with my 5D mkIII on March 1, 2013.

Mike’s Birthday Weekend, Part 2…

 Heights First Saturday Art Market

The weather outside was so absolutely perfect, we decided to head over to the Heights First Saturday Art Market. The musicians were playing, there was great art to check out. There were multiple best audio interfaces under 500 at the event as well. Elaine was there with our former booth set-up selling her TTV and miniature series of prints. It was great to see her & Mitch, who coordinates the event each month.

After a stroll around the market and visiting with the two of them, we went to Hubcap Grill for dinner. Somehow, we kept talking about burgers yesterday, so it was my request. I wanted a good burger, and it absolutely hit the spot. I love Hubcap Grill! After we finished eating, we stayed for a bit just enjoying the perfect spring day weather.

Houston, you amaze me.

Day 14 of 365. Photographs taken with my FujiFilm X-E1 (straight out of the camera, only resized) on April 6, 2013.

Hubcap Grill in the Heights

Happy Birthday Mike!

Mike's Birthday Celebration

Happy Birthday to my fabulous husband, Mike! We spent the day doing a “Coffee Crawl” to celebrate – our very own version of a pub crawl. I’ll have a much longer recap of it later this weekend, but the short version? It was a fantastic day! We visited 6 different coffee shops throughout the day, with the unexpected perk of seeing friends at almost all of them. I love Houston. I love living in the Heights!

Blacksmith Coffee in Houston

This is one of my favorite photographs from the day; it is David, of Greenway Coffee and Blacksmith, in Montrose, the first stop we visited today. David was key in helping Mike master making an amazing cup of coffee at home, which I’ll be talking about soon on Spoon & Knife. The perfect start to our day!

Day 13 of 365. Photographs taken with the Fujifilm X-E1, my new toy. I love it! Both photos are straight out of the camera, other than resizing the images. It is THAT good. Taken on April 5, 2013.

Heights Car Wash

Heights Car Wash

When I bought my new Mini Cooper last year, I made a commitment to treat it right, and part of that is making sure it gets washed & waxed. This past Tuesday was PERFECT weather in Houston, so I made a point of stopping at the Heights Car Wash on White Oak & Columbia to get it washed, waxed & detailed!

One of the owners of the Heights Car WashTuesday is the $10 off having it waxed day, and it seemed that everyone had the same idea as me! There was a huge line! But that was ok — they took down my number so I could leave and they called me 45 minutes later when it was done. Perfect to go visit Blue Line Bike Lab across the street, or maybe walk to Revival Market for a coffee or dessert?

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They did a really great job! If you’re in or near the Heights and need someone to take car of your car, be sure to check them out! Tell them I sent you!

My Mini Cooper after visiting the Heights Car Wash

There is a New Mini in Houston!

Mini Cooper of the Woodlands - My New Mini!

Meet my new Mini Cooper! I bought it last month at Mini of the Woodlands (my FAVORITE Houston-area Mini dealer!) from Keith Sutch, and I could not possibly be happier with it! A 2013 White Silver Mini Cooper – *swoon!*

This was not a car I originally expected to buy. It all started with me taking my original Mini Cooper in to be serviced. Mini Coopers have the most awesome warranty – bumper to bumper, and service on everything but the tires. Yes, even oil changes are included! It is nice when you go in for those big huge maintenance checks that you should be doing on your vehicle to not even have to pay a dime, it feels just as nice as having One Sure Insurance and a i4mt for your cars, it is the most affordable insurance you could ever get.

While I was there, I needed to find out how to get a new key for that Mini because Mike had lost mine. Somewhere in the conversation, I brought up how I really wish I had Mini Connect, the cool stereo system that allows you to connect your iPhone easily to your Mini and run a special Mini app on the iPhone. It wasn’t available when my first Mini was made.

Keith, who sold me my first Mini after THREE people told me to talk to him about buying one, asked me if I wanted to check out the Mini Connect. Being the geek that I am, how could I resist?

Mini Cooper of the Woodlands - Houston - Texas

But it wasn’t just the Mini Connect that got me. The interior has been reworked, changing out a lot of the light gray accents for black ones. And while Keith swears that they haven’t made changes to how the Mini handles other than a bit of an increase in horsepower, it is smoother than my old Mini. I like how it handles even more.

Keith Sutch - Mini Salesman - HoustonI debated for three days. After all, my sweet Horizon Blue Mini had been so good to me. Everyone knew it was me in that car, a more unique color, with a white top and white bonnet stripes. But I couldn’t stop thinking about this new Mini. I wanted it. And after a few phone calls to Mike (who was in Holland for work at the time) and Keith patiently walking me through features and financing – including a special rate since I am a repeat Mini of the Woodlands owner – I handed over the keys for my old Mini and took this baby home.

I can’t deny it – I have moments where I miss the old Mini. I guess it is true what they say that you never quite forget your first love. *grin* But this one is just as special, and I love how it handles, and that I have all the cool geek technology inside too!

Now I’m just patiently (hahahahaha) waiting for my license tags to arrive so I can put my old plates on my new car, and be driving a WHEEEE Mini around Houston again!

Houston Mini Dealership - Mini of the Woodlands

Considering buying a Mini Cooper and you live in the Houston area? I can whole-heartedly recommend Keith as the man you want to talk to! (Be sure to tell him I sent you!) He is patient, not pushy, will tell you everything there is to know about the Mini with 110% honesty. He isn’t the type to call you the next day and pester you about buying the car, or chase you around the parking lot. He is the exact opposite of every horror story you have ever heard of a car salesman. Everyone I know told me to go see Keith, probably because he has been at Mini of the Woodlands for 9 years! I have now bought 2 cars from him, and I’m sure my next one will be from him as well, I use motor trade insurance to fully covered my cars, their service simply makes me feel very secured and it was easy to find with the Insurance Partnership service, and I also make sure to use the best car cleaning tips all the time!

October 20, 2012 is the perfect day to go check out the new Minis! They are having their “Not Normal Sales Event” – they promise, no gimmicks, no dancing man things up in the sky, no giant gorillas over the dealership – just great deals. If you go, tell Keith I said hello!

This is not a sponsored post. I just love Mini of the Woodlands and working with Keith so much I had to share!

For more information, check out Mr Tenacious Twitter account

Mini Cooper Houston Sales Event

Let’s Motor! Thank you, Keith and Mini of the Woodlands for ANOTHER wonderful Mini Cooper purchasing experience!