September 15, 2014

Lunch with Urban Swank

Ladies of Urban Swank: (left) Felice and Shanna

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend! I was battling and still struggling with what I presume is a cold? but any who, on Sunday I joined the ladies of Urban Swank for lunch at Bradley's Fine Diner.  In brief, Urban Swank is a popular lifestyle blog that highlights Houston.  The owners, Shanna and Felice attend and plan social events to ignite local interests about town.  If you check out the website, you can find many informative reviews, video clips, and pictures of what these ladies have their hands on.  The lunch was an open invite for 20 to anyone who wanted to join.  I was honored to be able to sit with these women and chat about upcoming events and plans for MsIndependent and how we could possibly join together in future events. 

For my meal, I ordered the Heirloom Tomato Salad compressed with watermelon and goat cheese cream *I added grilled chicken.  It was delicious.  I was at first hesitant of the watermelon flavor with this type of salad, but the sweetness of the fruit and the tang of the cream infused perfectly. 

At the end of the meal, the chef came out, introduced himself and handed out desserts which are freshly made in their kitchen: (left) Strawberry Shortcake, (right) Chocolate Banana Cake, (below) a taste of Bradley's Butterscotch Pudding.  

Below is a video from the Urban Swank website.


September 1, 2014

Sunday with Mini Me

My eldest child and I were able to escape her brother for a few hours so we can spend some Mommy/Mini time.  We went to Barnes & Noble to pick up an new Judy Moody book for her collection and then afterwards we had some brunch at The Cheesecake Factory.  I normally do not take my little one to large restaurant chains because I like for them to appreciate the smaller, independent establishments, but with our time constraints, and The Cheesecake Factory being right across the street from Barnes & Noble, I decided to make an exception.  My daughter went for what she knew best, spaghetti and meatballs, while I ordered the Dynamite Shrimp and Fried Zucchini.  Yummy.


Vanessa's Look:
Top: Target
Pants: Forver21 Kids
Sandals: Target

My Look: 
Skirt: UpScale Boutique
Sandals: Calvin Klein 

Group Dinner + Not So Good Ending

Dress: Styles2Class Boutique (Sold Out)
Chandelier Earrings: Sam Moon
Clutch: DSW
Shoes: Guess

Saturday night the ladies of MsIndependent and I went to dinner at Mr. Peeples to part take in the Houston Restaurant week menu.  There were some issues with reservations and seating. 15 women showed for dinner, but the reservation was only for 8, and the restaurant could not accommodate us at the last minute since it was a busy night (yet, while we were there and before we left I saw many empty tables.....but that's none of my business.) The reservation was set for a small number because the dinner/event host for the group had to give an estimated number for the reservation, and with much experience in setting up meet ups like this, the number tends to be half of the RSVPs who show.  Nonetheless, the ladies and I split, half of us went to the reserved table and the other half gathered at the bar area making our own dinner table.  I sat at the bar area.  The night was going well, the bartender, Christopher, was gracious enough to be our waiter, making sure we were comfortable.  Even the manager (I presume), Daniel, came around and made sure we were enjoying ourselves.  We ate, we chatted, I did not do the 4 course menu for Restaurant Week, I played it simple and had  the Lobster Bisque and the Small Bacon Wrapped Potato appetizer.  It was really good.  The night ended and I said my goodbyes and went over the the reserved table to bid adieu as well. 

BUT, shortly after I arrived home, I received a text message from my friend stating that the ladies at the reserved table had an issue with the manager and were threatened with law enforcement.  Apparently there is a "Reservation Policy" which states that the restaurant will not split checks for a reserved table....WTF??????  This policy was not mentioned when the reservation was made, PLUS it would have been common decency or might I say PROFESSIONAL to mention this to the ladies before they ordered their meals.  When the ladies started to question the policy, the manager (they did not mention his name, so I am not sure if it was Daniel) was loud,  rude, and threatened to call the police on them.  Okay, I may not be a professional in restaurant services, but how uncomfortable is it to know that a manger is arguing with a group of women who did not know the "No Check Splitting Policy", whom did not have any problems all night and up until that moment, were enjoying the experience.  So were the checks split? No, it took a lengthy time because the check had to be paid one by one and calculated as if they were split checks.  So which process would have been easier????

Now, let me say this, the MsIndependent is a large group of over 2000 women in the Houston and surrounding areas and we do many outings at restaurants and other businesses.  We like to target new and/or small establishments to help the businesses gain recognition and to of course for the ladies to have a good time.  Our group will NOT be going back to Mr. Peeples.