Houston was Hot!

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I am just having such a wonderful time on my book tour and I was so thrilled to travel to Houston with my dear friend Denise who helped me test so many recipes for my book and app. I really wanted to treat her to say thankyou.

We arrived at the Westin Houston Downtown and were treated with exceptional service from general manager Chris Ziadie and her staff for our entire stay. We had a beautiful suite, and when we checked in executive chef Oscar Mejia had made some incredibly fresh rolls with different dipping sauces to surprise us. They were so delicious. While we were eating Chris called up to make sure we had everything we needed. Talk about service! Wow.

The next day, Westin hosted us for lunch, and Chef Oscar made some more delicious healthy food as part of the Westin Wellbeing EatWell initiative to offer more healthy eating choices for guests. We had a wonderful conversation with Chef Oscar about his commitment to creating inspiring menus for guests. Another long time employee of Westin, his ceviche and Cuban sandwich are particular popular with guests, and I absolutely LOVED his philosophy of creating vegetarian options that are attractive to everybody. We enjoyed some of those dishes – the hummus and flatbread, deep fried avocado (WOW) and Thai curry lettuce wraps that were SOOO good.

Chris came over to join us with Stylianos Armanos, and we learnt about the history of the hotel and how it had been renovated from the Inn at the ballpark to a Westin. It was so lovely to interact with so many of the staff at this hotel like Frank, Idriss, and Ethan, and hear how much they all love working at the Westin. This hotel has a real boutique family feel about it. It is so welcoming and fun. I just absolutely loved it. It is such a credit to Christine’s leadership. What a fun lady she is. She treated us to the breakfast buffet the next day and when we returned to our room she had organized an awesome gift for us. She is just so lovely. I am already planning my next visit to the Westin.

Seeing as were being spoiled, Denise and I decided to commit to a truly indulgent weekend and headed off to have massages and manicures and pedicures. What an awesome day!

The next day, we headed off to fire up the blender at the exquisite Williams-Sonona store in Houston Highland Village. The staff there had been sending me gorgeous photos of displays through social media in the weeks leading up to my appearance and they certainly rocked it when I arrived. 

What an amazing and fun team they have working at that store led by Stacia, Jeff, Melissa, Steven, Monica, Susan, and the hilarious John Mario. It was also lovely to meet Cindy Jordan in person. We have been tweeting back and forth, and it was such a pleasure to connect with her and her husband Paul. 

Denise and I then drove over to the Le Creuset signature store. Our friend Beau was in town and it was great to had him there and meet all of the lovely people that were there. Congratulations to Brandolyn who won the Le Creuset platter. Barbara and Colin were such lovely hosts and had the store looking gorgeous. There were so many stunning pieces of Le Creuset on display. I found myself making mental notes for my Christmas wish list. Have you seen the new stainless steel collection? Oh….it is just art.

Everybody loved the Driscoll’s, Earthbound Farm, Navitas Naturals, Kevita, and Massel samples and coupons . Thanks to my friends at Melissa’s Produce for shipping in all of the gorgeous fruits and vegetables. It’s always of the highest quality.

Denise, Beau, and I enjoyed a scrumptious middle eastern meal up the road before heading back to the Westin to our heavenly bed! The next morning I took advantage of the Westin Gear Lending Program with New Balance and used the gym. It was just too hot to workout outside. It's great that Westin has their Move Well initiative to help guests workout while they are travelling. Denise and I then had a fabulous lunch with Heather Jacobsen from Stuffed Pepper before catching our plane back to L.A. Denise and I parted company in L.A as I made my way to San Francisco for the last leg of my tour. More to come...

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