Greek Food Experience at Byzantio


Byzantio Houston
About a few weeks ago, I, along with other few bloggers and food enthusiasts, have been invited to an authentic Greek cuisine experience at Byzantio. Byzantio has been around Houston for about 11 years now and is known for their "home-made" Greek food in a warm-friendly atmosphere. The intimate candle-lit private dinner was hosted by Dora and Ilias Giannakopoulos who are the owners. I am not a foodie or a food blogger at all but thought it'd be nice to try a different dish. It's a little bit out of my comfort zone to try unfamiliar cuisine but for the sake of experience, I did and so I can share it with you here as well.

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The place is actually the couple owner's previous home. Though the place is small, it's quite cozy and it'd be a perfect venue for a dinner date. They do have a patio which makes for a great spot to dine, have coffee, and hang as well during warmer evenings.

Byzantio Houston
They do have a bar, as well, which seems to have a great selection of drinks. Unfortunately, I can't have anything other than white wine, mimosa, or champagne, or my world will turn upside down. Literally. For real.

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That said, I started the night with a fine white wine. I don't remember asking the brand of it but it was good.

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We were served with three delicious appetizers namely: Spanakopita (Spinach & feta cheese wrapped in flaky fillo dough), Bougiourdi (Greek Fondue) and Pita with Kafteri, Hummus, and Tzatziki. Although the Spanakopita and Bougiourdi were good, I think I particularly enjoyed the Pita with Hummus. Mainly because Hummus isn't a complete stranger to me.

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Pita with Kafteri, Hummus, and Tzatziki

Bougiourdi - Greek Fondue

And what's a Greek food without a Greek salad? That big chunk of white thing on top of it is cheese!

Greek Salad

The main dish of the night was called Chicken, Lamb, & Pork Kalamaki with Baked Lemon Potatoes as well as Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna). The baked lemon potatoes were pretty amazing! I enjoyed it thoroughly. Unfortunately, I don't eat beef so I didn't taste the lasagna. And while I went out of my comfort zone to try a new dish, I was still not brave enough to try lamb meat so I stuck with the Chicken and the Pork Kalamaki which were both pretty good.

Chicken, Pork, and Lamb Kalamaki with Baked Lemon Potatoes

The night ended with a homemade Baklava for dessert, which may be an acquired taste for some. I have tried this before so it's not a complete stranger to me. However, I must admit, I didn't embrace it right away.

If you are ever in Houston and Greek food fancies you, check out Byzantio. Be sure to try their White Chocolate Mocha as well! It was delish.

Emerald Garden

 

Hunter Green Dress

1. Sole Society Blanket Scarf | 2. Lulu's Shirt Dress | 3. Mellow World Handbag (Use MW10LYNNE to receive 10%)| 4. Lucky 21 Peep Toe Booties | 5. Sole Society Hat | 6. Lemon Drop Boutique Necklace | 7. Oh So Fancy Bow Bracelet (All c/o)

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Whoa! Can you believe that we are 6 days away from Christmas?! I'm like excited and kind of internally freaking out at the same time. I can't believe that 11 months have gone by and we're only a couple of weeks away from 2015. It's exciting but the thought of the unknown for the new year somewhat scares me – anyone with me?

Anyway, so this is the last outfit for this week. I am resuming with my Holiday Looks next week so stay tuned. This hunter green dress is from Lulu's and they only have a few pieces left! The style is basic and obviously the color is solid so there's a lot you can do with it. I decided to go for a blanket scarf turned poncho here with a matching navy hat from Sole Society for a classic brit look. If you want something edgy, think faux leather moto jacket and a pair of black booties. If you want something glam, pick a sequin blazer or any sparkle blazer and sexy stilettos. If you want something casual, a denim jacket and wear your favorite flat shoes or tall boots. Ahhh, this shirt dress is quite versatile! Don't you just love pieces that you can almost make a staple, even if it's for a season?

My peep toe booties here from Lucky 21 are so comfortable, I kid you not! I get compliments whenever I wear them. They are currently on sale right now so you might want to check them out.

Speaking of sale, have you ladies and gents finished your Christmas shopping yet? If you haven't yet, I can't recommend enough this iPhone app called Shopular. I have talked about it on a separate post a couple of weeks ago and if you missed that post, you can check it here. You can download it FREE from iTunes and you can thank me later once you save literally hundreds of dollars for your gift shopping. See, what Shopular does it it alerts you of promotions, deals, and sales going on at your favorite stores! And if you happen to be close to a store that has something great going on, the app will alert you. For example, you happen to be shopping at one store and the next store happens to have some sale going on, Shopular will notify you so you don't miss any deals! But not only that, you will also find some holiday giveaways! In fact, the other day, when I opened my app, I saw a $200 Starbucks Holiday Shopping Spree giveaway. Who doesn't want that?! I can't convince you enough, you just have to try the app for yourself. *Wink*
 

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Navy Blue Hat

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Peep Toe Booties

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Disclaimer: A portion of this post is sponsored by Shopular. The opinions expressed herein are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Shopular. Thank you for supporting LynneGabriel.com sponsors. They make my blog possible.

Alexander Wang Collection – The Staples


I tend to like the most basic pieces with the perfect fit and fabric, like a simple tank. – Alexander Wang

When it comes to the name Alexander Wang, what is the first thing that comes to mind? How will you describe his collection? Do you fancy his designs?

Every time I look at an Alexander Wang collection, whether past or present, I kind of have a mixed feelings. I don't see much in some pieces while there are others that are bold – fit for someone who wants to make a statement loud and clear. I see in some of them a potential of being a staple in a woman's closet – one that can be mixed and match with another one of his pieces or other brands. There are some that can transcend season because they are made up of structures and colors that are not particular for a specific season – true to his statement "I tend to like the most basic pieces with the perfect fit and fabric", while there are others that can go after the season.

For the purpose of helping the everyday gal who is interested in some Alexander Wang pieces, I looked at his collection available at Avenue 32 and put together a style board. I picked a couple of styles as the "core" which I believe can be staple pieces – one seems non-seasonal and the sweater/jumper obviously being seasonal. I, then, picked several other pieces, also from his collection.

The image below is clickable. Just point your cursor on the item and click to take you to the product link.



Monochrome Wool Shorts Black Lambskin Studded Rockie Bag Beet Red Suede Lovisa Heels Black Satin Peel Away Trousers

The Erosion Raw Edge Pleat Top has a basic cute (top shown on left) and a minimal print. It does seem like a fall piece but because of its neutral color, it can be used all year round – for both work and play. Think of matching it with the Monochrome Pleat Shorts (top left), match it with his Beed Red Suede Lovisa Heels for a fall night out with friends or switch them with  his Citrine Yellow Antonia Heels (middle right) for summer.

For work, wear it with his Metropolis Fitted Pencil Skirt (bottom left), the matching Erosion Raw Edge Pleat Skirt (bottom right), or Black Away Peel Trousers (top right) and match with his Black Cut Out Gabi Boots.

The Citrine Paisley Cut Out Jumper (middle right) is a fall/winter piece that is perfect for layering and adding a pop of color to your outfit. It can be matched with any of the four bottoms and shoes shown above.

Do you see how versatile the pieces are? The only true seasonal piece I selected was the jumper – mainly because of its material. If it's a lighter, sheer material, it can definitely be carried over to next summer. Two core tops from his collection can be styled 4 different ways.

They key is to invest in designer brand pieces that are non-trendy and non-seasonal – this is most especially true with Alexander Wang's collection. Because of the price point, you want to have pieces in your closet that you can use all year round. A couple of seasonal styles won't hurt though. Finding staples from his collection won't be such a challenge since Alexander Wang knows how to create classic designs to last a lifetime.

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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Avenue 32. The opinions expressed herein are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Alexander Wang and Avenue 32.  Thank you for supporting LynneGabriel.com sponsors. They make my blog possible.

Lounging Around + Love+Grace Giveaway


As some of you may know, I had another staycation last weekend and this time at the Hotel Sorella City Centre here in Houston. More of that on a separate post. Since I am indulging in a nice bed and soft linens, thought I'd bring one of my favorite pajama set – the Love + Grace Cassie in Snowflakes! Yes, Christmas pajamas! This is the softest PJs I have ever owned so far! The material is made up of 50% Supima Cotton and 50% Supima Modal. Anyone you ever give this to as a gift, whether for Christmas or another occasion, will definitely thank and appreciate you. It really does make a wonderful gift.

Love + Grace would like to gift one of you my readers a wonderful 2-piece PJ set of your choice! Be sure to scroll down below to see the widget. The prize is valued at $98!

You might also notice my cow-print slippers…they are called Geluxury slippers and they are pretty amazing! They are therapeutic slippers which heals cracked heels and moisturize your feet. It has a Smart Gel technology that is infused with 7 botanicals and theramides. They are very soft. Now I really haven't worn them consistently as of the time of this feature, however, I must say that I really like the feel of it while wearing it. Probably not something you'd like wearing around the house so much but you can wear them in bed overnight to heal your feet if you have some sort of issues I mentioned above. Be sure to check out their website and read the reviews for yourself.
 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

In The Woods

 

PRANA Outfit

1. Prana Annabel Jacket | 2. Velvet Heart Chambray Sleeveless Blouse | 3. Prana Jodi Pants | 4. Better Life Finley Bag | 5. LAMO Footwear (Mammoth) | 6. Dynamic Asia Beanie | 7. Deb Shops Earrings (Sold Out) | 8. Fibi and Clo Necklace (All c/o)

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Let me let you in a little secret. Although it may not come as a surprise. This outfit was shot in a 70 degree weather. Ha! I thought it's hilarious to be shooting a winter outfit in a spring-y weather. What a joke. But like I said, it's no surprise in Houston to have an 70-80 degree weather in Fall and Winter. What is surprising though is for us to have snow which we actually did a few years ago. Can't wait to experience it again.

Anyway, today's outfit is another one of my favorites. I was recently introduced to Prana and I immediately fell in love with the brand. I love the lifestyle it portrays. They have an amazing fall and fitness collection and I can't wait to see what they will come out with for spring next year. Their price point isn't bad at all.

Did you notice my kick-butt boots? That's right! The LAMO brand was born in Australia and the boots are made of sheepskin from Australian Merino sheep.  Being an animal lover, I don't know how to feel about using real sheepskin…I mean, I can imagine the sheep going "baaaaa" but I must admit that the boots are amazing! They are so comfortable. I could sleep in them and if I could only wear them during summer, I will.

Finally, I'm sure my bag has already caught your attention. It's from a company calle Better Life Bags and they customize bags – you can choose your style and fabric, mix and match them to your liking. It's a fun bag and the quality is good!

Hope you like today's outfit as much as I do!

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Better Life Handbags

LAMO Footwear

Over My Knees!

 

Deb Shops Sweater Dress and Over The Knee Boots

1. Deb Shops Faux Leather Vest (Similar with hoodie) | 2. Deb Shops Belted Sweater Dress | 3. Deb Shops Handbag | 4. Deb Shops Over the Knee Boots | 5. Deb Shops Earrings | 6. Deb Shops Necklace (Sold out, you might like this one) | 7. Deb Shops Double Chain Bracelet (All c/o)

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Hooray it's Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend! This outfit was supposed to be posted last Friday but as some of you may know, my blog was compromised and had to move over to another host since Hostgator (my previous host) was not very helpful. Anyway, now that that's out of the way, I am glad that I am finally able to post this look!

If you have seen the outfit recap above, you may have noticed that all the items above were from Deb Shops. You know how I love creating a head-to-toe Deb Shops look sometimes just to highlight them. I have said this before but if you're a budget fashionista, you have to check them out, if you haven't yet. They are comparable to affordable brands you already know and they have cute chic items. They also have plus size items available. They have a great selection of shoes at incredible prices and they always have promotions going on. Currently, they have 50% OFF on everything and FREE shipping only until today! If you're looking for last minute gifts, check them out.

So the sweater dress is a bit longer than this. I had to fold it up a bit to make it worth with over the knees boots. You can wear it with just a pair of tall boots or booties and the length is still desirable. I know that not many are fans of over the knees, but for some reason, I am somehow drawn to them, one way or the other. They are fun if you're able to pull it off.
 

Black and White Stripes Sweater Dress

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Simple Make-Up Transformation


“Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.”― Kevyn Aucoin

Younique, Nvey, TooFaced, Cate McNabb Make-Up Review

Can I just say how thankful I am that God has commissioned someone to invent cosmetics? I mean seriously, they can transform a woman's facial look dramatically and I'm sure many of you ladies can also testify to that. Although I am not a huge make-up junkie, in fact, I don't wear make-up everyday, I can still use them, especially in photo shoots and occasions.

With that said, I would like to share with you some make-up that I have recently tried and are currently using as a routine make-up.

Face

Nvey Eco Moisture Rich Liquid Foundation -
If you're into organic make-up, you might want to check out Nvey Eco brand. This particular liquid foundation that I'm using is made up of organic Chamomile and Vitamin E organic Safflower Oil. It's oil and fragrance-free and it is enriched with vitamis A, C, & E. I'm not usually a fan of liquid foundations because they feel sticky to me, however, Nvey Eco's is non-greasy and their Foundation Selector is on point. With just a few clicks, you can find the right shade for you.

Younique BB Flawless Complexion Enhancer 
Although I already use a liquid foundation, I still put a BB cream on top of that and I currently use Younique's BB Flawless Complexion Enhancer. I'm using the lightest shade and it has very sheer coverage. Although I didn't use any concealer in this photo, because of the sheer coverage of this BB, you might still need to use it with a concealer. What I love about it though is it's non-greasy and very lightweight.

Younique Moodstruck Mineral Blusher
Younique's mineral blusher is 100% natural, chemical-free, mineral-based pigment powders, free of talc, oils, preservatives, perfumes, synthetic dyes, and parabens. I am using the "stunning" shade which is perfect for my skin tone. I love the "rosy cheeks" effect it gives. The size of it is bigger than the usual mineral blushers I have seen before so you will definitely use it for awhile.

Now on top of all of these, I just use very lightly a Johnson's baby powder to remove any shiny effect.

Eyes

Cate McNabb Eye Primer
Cate McNabb cosmetics are known for being cruelty-free. Meaning, they don't test their cosmetics on animals and being an animal-lover, I like that! I am currently using their eye primer which I like very much because it prevents the eyeshadow from getting stuck in the creases of my eyes. Because of it's texture, I also use it as a concealer sometimes.

Glamour Dolls Eyeliner
For the life of me, I couldn't get the hang of using a liquid eyeliner. It's always easier for me to use just the regular eye pencil and I'm currently using this dual pencil from Glamour Dolls. It's easy to apply and it doesn't smudge! Better than a more expensive and popular brand I've tried before (if you really must know, it's better than a MAC pencil, there!). If you have missed my Glamour Dolls post last week, check it out here.

Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette
My eyes are probably the ones that need the most work in make-up. Being Asian, obviously I have tiny eyes and my goal for putting on an eye make-up is to make it a bit bigger while not totally deviating from its shape. For that purpose, this Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette is perfect. It's got the shades all I need and more!

Billion Dollar Brows Kit
I did a completely separate review and tutorial of this Billion Dollar Brows Kit, if you missed that, click here.

Younique Moodstruck 3D Eyelash Mascara
Now what is an eye make-up without fantastic eyelashes? I have used fake eyelashes only but once or twice in my lifetime and I must admit that they're not for me. The toil of putting it on your eyelashes and making it a part of my routine is just impossible for me. I do see the point though and why women put them on. What if there is an alternative though? One that you can use without so much effort – just like a regular mascara but the results are twice much of it. I think that's the reason why Younique's Moodstruck 3D Eyelash Mascara has become so popular. It comes in a set, one is the fibers and the other one is the actual mascara or the sealer. So you first apply the fibers like a regular mascara and you seal them off. You can apply as many coats as you want until you get your desired results. In my case, I just did it moderately but I had seen some other women did it amazingly. This is really a must try!

Lips

Nvey Eco Advanced Care Lip Color
This is another one of Nvey's organic product. Every ingredient on this lipstick is natural. Some of them are jojoba oil, castor seed oil, beeswax, safflower oil, and many more. I'm using Lovely 374 shade and I really like it because it works well with my lips natural skin color and they look so natural on me. They are available in 15 other shades.

Below is the finished product. One tip I would give you ladies is if you can, try to wear minimal make-up everyday if there's not much need for it. First of all, one of the benefits is it will prevent your skin from pre-mature aging. Secondly, you will see an even more dramatic results on you when you wear make-up for events and special occasions. If you wear the same kind of make-up everyday, chances are you will not see a dramatic change when you need it. So wear minimal make-up whenever you can.

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The Colors of Fall + Vigoss Jeans Giveaway

 

Vigoss Jeans and Blanket Scarves
1. Amaranth Collection Top | 2. Marley Lilly Blanket Scarf | 3. Vigoss Jeans | 4. Deb Shops Satchel | 5. Cici Hot Open Toe Booties | 6. Dynamic Asia Hat | 7. Benevolent Jewels Stud Earrings | 7. Lemon Drop Boutique Bracelet 1, 2 (All c/o)

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Taking a break from the Holiday Looks series to bring you this awesome look! Okay, maybe that sounded like I'm tooting my own horn (ha!) but I honestly love this whole look…the top, the scarf, the hat, the shoes, and most certainly the jeans! I must admit, I have never heard of Vigoss Jeans before so I was curious to find out what it's made of. It's a premium denim brand which are sold at Nordtrom's, Dillard,'s and on their website www.vigossusa.com. It's quite surprising that even though it's made up of 100% cotton, it's still priced under $100 and the material doesn't look cheap at all. They do have different styles and fit. I'm wearing a size 25 skinny and they fit me like a glove. Even though it's denim, the material is still so soft. I think it will really make a great gift this Christmas if you're looking to spend under $100 for someone.

And the best part? Vigoss Jeans would like to give away a pair to one of my readers! So be sure to scroll down below. The winner will get the same style I'm wearing in this outfit.

The dark wash denim looked great with the plaid blanket scarf from Marley Lilly and the red hot open toe booties from Cici Hot, didn't it? Not to mention, the hat from Dynamic Asia topped off the outfit, literally! *Wink*

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Red Open Toe Booties

Vigoss Jeans

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Vigoss Jeans and compensation is provided by SEM. The opinions expressed herein are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Vigoss Jeans.  Thank you for supporting LynneGabriel.com sponsors. They make my blog possible.

Holiday Look 2: Simply CAbi

 

CAbi Topper, Shell Vest, and Leggings

1. CAbi Lisboa Topper | 2. CAbi Needle Lace Shell | 3. CAbi Stevie Legging | 4. Deb Shops Gold Pumps | 5. Benevolent Jewel Earrings | 6. CAbi Necklace | 7. Francesca Collections Clutch Bag | 8. CAbi Leather Link Bracelet, JCO Fancy Fab Bracelet (All c/o)

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Here's the second look of the series. Very simple yet very chic. This teal jacquard topper is one of my favorites from CAbi's Holiday Lookbook. The clothing pieces from this look are definitely what we can expect from designer Carol Anderson – amazing style and quality! This outfit is meant for a holiday night out or celebration dinner with friends and/or family. You want to be dressed up and at the same time warm and comfortable. That look gives you just that. The leggings are part ponte in the back and faux leather in front. The topper can also be paired with a pencil skirt. Think mini or midi. It will look just as elegant!

CAbi recently came out with some accessories and I'm loving the necklace (shown below) and the leather link bracelet. The necklace actually has a pin bow but I removed it for this look. It's really exciting that they now have jewelries! I can't wait to see what they are going to come out with for Spring 2015.

The earrings from Benevolent Jewels are pretty special as well! As you know, they donate a portion of their sales to charitable organizations. So if you're in the market for some holiday sparkles, be sure to check them out.

To pop-off the outfit, I made sure to use my gold pumps from Deb Shops! Now, move away Cinderalla! *Wink*

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Gold Pumps

Holiday Look 1: Glam in Emerald Green

 

Holiday Look 1

1. Chicwish Bow Top | 2. Chicwish Hunter Green Maxi Skirt | 3. JustFab Clutch | 4. Cici Hot Pumps | 5. Kendra Scott Danielle Earrings | 6. Kendra Scott Necklace | 7. Kendra Scott Cassie Bracelet (All c/o)

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The Christmas trees in Houston and its suburb town squares and city halls have already been lit and we're literally just 17 days away from Christmas! Some people I know already had their Christmas parties. Since this is the season of parties here and there and everywhere, thought I'd put together a series of Holiday Looks to help you out dress for the occasion.

Here's the first look of the series. Obviously, it's geared towards a more formal setting, thus, the glamorous look. But don't let it fool you because it's really not as expensive as it looks. The long satin skirt is only $39 and the top is $36! (Direct links above) However, while the clothing pieces are on the inexpensive side, I decided to go all the way with my jewelries just because I found the most perfect iridescent jewelries from Kendra Scott! They seriously took this outfit to the next level, don't you think?

All these pieces are still available, including my pumps from Cici Hot. I honestly didn't think they'd still be available since I got them awhile back. I really suggest picking them up for yourself because they are chic and comfortable! The heels aren't high at all. Plus, the laser cut out details make it so gorgeous without the high price tag attached.
 

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Kendra Scott Iridescent Earrings and Necklace

Kendra Scott Irridescent Cassie Bracelet

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Check Out The Other Options Below