Easter is one of my favorite times to gather with family and celebrate both Jesus’s resurrection and the arrival of spring. With my children still young enough for Easter bunny visits, it’s also a bit magical, so I really love going all out. I want their memories of holidays to be special and full of tradition. Plus, I love menu planning and table setting and all that goes along with entertaining! BUT I also want to enjoy the day myself…
Growing up in the fourth largest city in the U.S. can be a great problem to have for a kid. We have a world class zoo, every museum imaginable, six professional sports teams, and a playground on practically every corner. Camps and after school activities abound as well, but it can sometimes feel overwhelming to find just the right thing at the right time and on the right side of town for our littles. Thankfully, the brains behind iQurious Kids Houston have made it easy for us! iCurious Kids is a comprehensive search tool, allowing users to browse through thousands of after school programs and camps. You can narrow your search by age, location, and category, and once you select an activity, you can also see a list of similar programs for comparison. Listed activities run the gamut from the usual sports and dance options to animal care lessons, Lego classes, and programs specifically geared toward children with special needs. iQurious Kids is truly a one-stop shop for finding kids classes, programs, and camps for all kids with all interests! What busy mom doesn’t need this in her life?!
We love supporting local shops and designers — the individualized attention you get from a local retailer cannot be matched. Houston has its fair share of trendy and unique boutiques, and Raspberry Rose is one of our faves. Located in Rice Village, Raspberry Rose has outfitted women for well over 30 years. Walk inside more than once and expect to be greeted by name — they treat everyone like family! The current owner, Carrie Schwartzenburg, literally grew up in the boutique playing amongst the racks of clothing and, in the process, learned the business from her mother, Maureen Sweeney. Maureen, who founded RR, moved the store from Bellaire to the current location in 1983, and Carrie took over when her mother was ready to retire. The staff, playfully called “the Rose girls,” has created a relaxed shopping and browsing haven. These ladies are always on the ready to assist with on-trend looks, accessorizing, and, yes, even letting you know when a piece is not quite “you.” That is the kind of personal shopping experience you cannot get from larger department stores or online. The staff at RR gets to know you, your personality, and your style. The clothing selection is well curated and has a little something for everyone. While in the shop, we have seen teenagers and older ladies alike shopping the boutique. You’ll find designs that are work ready, party perfect, or casual Friday and many looks in between. Do not be surprised to find pieces by famous designers paired with items from local Houston artisans. Carrie and her team love to support local designers and many of those collaborations can be found in RR. Here are a few of our favorite looks we found at Raspberry Rose:
This dress caught our eye right away…so comfy and so versatile. The color is what stands out. Typically, a little black dress to head out for cocktails would be sufficient, but in a sea of cute black ensembles, we’d rather drink to this olive-toned v-neck. The color is subtle but noticeable and paired with a fun calf hair leopard wedge, this dress gives off just the right vibe. The clutch is a special edition handbag created by Elaine Turner (another Rice Village must-shop!) exclusively for Heroes and Handbags, with proceeds going to the charity Heroes For Children, and it compliments the outfit perfectly. Around her neck, Chastiti chose a gorgeous cross necklace by Houston designer Rebecca Lankford and a long pendant by Sonya Renée and added wrap bracelets by Chan Luu. While Chastiti went with a more evening look with this Allen Allen creation, the dress can also take you to a business meeting with pumps and a blazer!
This sequined top by Tart is perfect for a night out with the girls. The distressed denim tones down the flash of the top, making it a more accessible look, and the nude accessories keep the focus on this fab piece! The jeans are some of the most comfortable around. We adore Joe’s jeans and can’t get enough of this totally worn look. A fun fringed clutch throws in a little boho, and the Monica Haff necklace (another local designer) and ring by Virgin Saints and Angels complete the look. It is amazing to see firsthand how RR promotes local designers. The store stocks some of the most creative and unique accessories we have seen!
Being a super busy, crazy-scheduled mom of three and managing partner of a busy law firm, Chastiti is always looking for clothes that are polished enough to wear to the office on non-court days, but easy enough to transition to her regular life. This Bella Dahl dress should be a staple in every woman’s closet. It is hands down the most comfortable shirt dress around. The fabric feels like your favorite sheets, but the dress stays crisp throughout the day. Chastiti paired it with fun weekend or girls night out accessories, but again, you could easily pair this soft gray dress with patent wedges, multi-strand pearls and be office ready in minutes. The pop of hot pink of the Betty James-designed beaded necklace catches the eye and livens up the softness of the fabric. Throwing in a little turquoise in both the bracelets and earrings, also Betty James creations, and the beaded clutch gives this look an unexpected twist. With Fall in the not too distant future (yes, we know, it’s 100 degrees in the shade right now) this must-have dress would be very chic with black suede booties or patterned tights for a football game or casual date night.
This Grecian-style halter dress is SUCH a beauty, but the best part of this Bailey 44 dress is the super soft, draped fabric. This navy summer sundress has such a bold look, and the differing lengths give it an edge, but you will want to wear it everywhere because it is so comfortable! Chandra paired the dress with gold gladiator sandals, but strappy metallic heels would look amazing as well. This dress is perfect for summer evening pool parties, outdoor weddings, or cocktail fetes. Dress up or down, and with the right accessories, you could utilize this dress year round. And of course this Elaine Turner clutch can pull any outfit together. Manager of RR, Haley, helped choose accessories, and the gold leaf-shaped earrings by Nashelle and the handmade cuff by Taylor & Tessier (Aspen-based designers) were the perfect touch to this look. Interesting fact: Haley has her own line of custom earrings called Haley E. Designs, which can also be found at RR, so she has an amazing eye for accessorizing — another reason to shop local!
Raspberry Rose is not just another boutique. The Rose girls have created one of those stores where you want to meet up with your sister or your girlfriends and shop before lunch or drinks. You want to hang out in the dressing rooms and swap ideas. This is the place to find unique clothing and jewelry and to catch up on much needed girl time. We had such a fun time with these ladies and loved getting to play dress up at the store. Not many places in Houston can boast service to over three generations of women, but Raspberry Rose can. The proof is not only in the pictorial collection of the storied history of the boutique gracing RR walls, but also in the clientele who can remember coming to the store with their mothers and now their daughters. What a rare and special place in a city this large to have generations of women still finding common ground in fashion!
All clothing and jewelry is available locally at the fabulous Raspberry Rose boutique in Rice Village. As a special treat for our followers, Raspberry Rose will give you a 10% discount on your purchase until August 8, 2015. Just mention In the Loop Style to receive this great offer! Don’t forget to sign up for the RR newsletter and special promotions on the RR website.
One of my favorite looks so far this summer is this black and white striped dress paired with sporty and simple accessories. We took our kids to an Astros game last weekend, and I wanted to be comfortable, covered up (the A/C in Minute Maid Park is INTENSE!), and ballgame-appropriate. This dress was a no brainer. Black and white stripes are so classic, and the comfortable ease of the knit fabric was perfect for navigating the ball park with my two littles!
My go-to Sam Edelman booties made the outfit a little more me, and the Levi’s denim jacket and chambray baseball cap gave it just the right amount of All American vibe — perfect for a MLB game! This dress is also great with sandals or Converse, and a wedge heel would make a really cute evening outfit!
For the most part, I’m really a Fair Weather Fan when it comes to baseball, so it’s no surprise I’m thrilled with the ‘Stros right now! They came in second for the game we attended, but they are off to the best start of any Astros team since 1998 (according to my Uber Fan husband). Now that my son is getting into baseball a little more, I’m looking forward to a fun summer of cheering on our great city’s team!
Dress: Sold out (similar options here, here, here, and here) | Denim Jacket: Levi’s | Booties: Sam Edelman | Baseball Cap: J.Crew | Silver Bangles: similar here | Silver bangle cuff: similar here | Beaded earrings: similar here | Nail Polish: OPI
With five kids (all participating in numerous activities) between us, trying to find a moment to even grab lunch can sometimes be difficult. On Chastiti’s actual birthday there was (1) a summer camp orientation; (2) an elementary school academic meet; (3) a little league t-ball game, and (4) a little league pee wee level game — whew! But we do not allow a birthday to go unnoticed, even if it means we must get creative with when or how we do it! Score one for Chandra for setting up a belated birthday dinner on the following Monday at Houston’s Brasserie 19 where French classic meets American modern with a dash of luxury thrown in.
Brasserie 19 has the perfect ambiance for any special occasion (or even just an impromptu night out) with its trendy — and perfect for people watching — location and unique menu and wine selections. Nights out with just the two of us and our husbands sans children are rare, but oh so fun when we can make them happen. We sampled everything from the burgundy escargot to the Brasserie 19 charcuterie to the famous house salad featuring truffle honey vinaigrette. YUM! Following those fabulous starters, great minds were thinking alike and it was filet mignon all around – heaven called and wants its Robuchon potatoes back. We had such a great time together and even ran into one of Chas’s great friends from law school.
Brasserie 19 birthday wishes top the cake. Our sweet waitress brought out a huge cotton candy extravaganza complete with a lit sparkler to cap off the evening. From the champagne to the food to the family fun, the night could not have been more perfect, even it was a Monday night! Better late than never is the In the Loop Style motto when it comes making time to celebrate those special events.
Dress: Elaine Turner (here and here for similar) | Booties: Vince (less expensive option here) | Sunglasses: Tom Ford | Earrings: Stella & Dot | Wrap Bracelet: Stella & Dot | Studded Bangle: Stella & Dot | Pave Bangle: Stella & Dot | Silver Bracelet: John Hardy
Skirt: AG Jeans | Top: J.Crew Factory | Jacket: Elie Tahari, sold out (here and here for similar) | Booties: Vince (less expensive option here) | Necklace: here for similar | Ring: House of Harlow | Earrings: Anthropologie| Clutch: YSL, sold out (here and here for similar)
Stella & Dot Jewelry – Susanne Nelson, SD stylist