Hi! Long time no talk. As of just this week, there is somewhat of a sense of normalcy in the city LZ and I call home. It’s been a whirlwind to say the least, so I thought some regular Friday Five programming could be a nice distraction to all the readers who have been reeling from the recent devastations.
Roasted vegetables can be perfected by simply switching your pan’s placement in the oven.
Today, we want to share the story of the Brown family with y’all. Two years ago Matt proudly purchased his first home in the charming, family friendly Walnut Bend neighborhood of west Houston. He married sweet Katie a year later and then just a few months ago they announced they’d be adding a baby girl to their family! Matt and Katie were busy making plans for the baby and nursery, including lots of DIY home improvements, and then Harvey happened.
Their post Harvey experiences are hard for me to write because I’ve seen first hand what this beautiful couple has been through. It brings me to tears just looking at photos from the past few weeks.
When news of the reservoir releases came about, Matt and his wife decided better safe than sorry and evacuated from their home. Then their worst nightmare became a reality when they learned that the water was quickly enveloping their home and car. When the flooding began, Matt was safe with his wife, but decided to head back to his street to help rescue his neighbors from their home. The only chance to safely evacuate others stuck inside their flooded home was by boat because the water was so high, and currents fast. Matt, a former Eagle Scout, came up with the rescue plan to write “GONE” on the homes that had been evacuated and tirelessly worked to help his entire street evacuate well into the midnight hours. Matt is an unsung Harvey hero.
The homes in Matt’s neighborhood had never flooded before and were now inundated with floodwaters for the next few days (and some even weeks). Most of Matt’s neighbors, including Matt, do not have flood insurance. In spite of this huge stroke of very bad luck in the form of a 100-year flood, Matt continues to be upbeat and positive about his situation. Matt’s determination to salvage what he can from his first home has been awesome to watch. He’s worked day in and day out with no hired helpers, cleanup crews, and contractors. There’s no budget for that so he’s doing it all himself, with the help of his friends and family, who have started a fundraising website for Matt, Katie and baby girl Brown.
It’s been pretty overwhelming seeing my city face this disaster that is Hurricane Harvey. Homes are still under water as I write this, but I know in my gut this city will rise up and come out of this even better than pre-Harvey days. I’ve never been prouder to be a Houstonian. Our community has come together to help one another during the aftermath of Harvey in such a big way. My inbox is flooded with group emails and texts-requests for help and then responses just minutes later–“on it, will be there with x or y.” Neighbors helping neighbors, people getting emails about families they’ve never met before and pooling resources to find a place for them to stay, clothes, toys and shoes for their kids.
Restaurants and food bloggers doing what they do best, cooking for first responders and families who have been displaced. Fashion bloggers doing what they do best, finding clothing, shoes and provisions for the 1,000’s in shelters. I was heartbroken to see a friend at church and learn that her family lost everything. But in spite of her sadness they continued to volunteer to help others going through the same experience as they are.
Police officers and newscasters who have also lost homes have been out there working 20 hours a day to help the relief efforts. And last but certainly not least, the Texan dudes and their bass boats! The only way we could help our friends get their clothes cherished photos, a wedding dress, and keepsake items yesterday was by boat, the water still flooded waist deep. And you wouldn’t believe how many guys, the majority who didn’t even live in a flooded area, were out on boats just trying to help people get back to their homes to asses the damage and grab what they could. It was pretty amazing to see. It’s courageous, it’s emotional and it’s beautiful to see the human spirit rise to such a surmountable challenge that faces our great city.
Houston will need so much more help over the years ahead. My ask from y’all today is to donate to help our city rebuild. If you feel compelled to help, here are 4 places I’ll donate to because I believe in their mission to serve our community.
Houston Flood Relief Fund This fund started by Houston Texan J.J. Watt. If theres one Texan who’s got our backs, it’s this guy.
American Red Cross The Red Cross has turned out in a big way for our city and is a well oiled machine during times of great need. Please continue to support their effort to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Houston Food Bank The Houston Food Bank provides hot meals to the thousands of people displaced and in shelters.
The Diaper Foundation Diapers have been one of the most requested items for the 1,000’s in shelters right now.
As far as what to expect from L. Avenue in the coming weeks, we plan to bring back some normally scheduled blog content starting next week but want y’all to know that we’ll be donating 100% of business profits to Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts from not through the end of the year. We’ll also continue to post about ways you can help out! Thank y’all so much for the outpouring of support you’ve already shown.
Hurricane Harvey took so much from this amazing family. Fred and Abby have two precious children, Finn and Laurel. Their home flooded quickly and they have lost most of their belongings and both of their vehicles. Please help them recover and rebuild by donating here.
Hurricane Harvey has delivered significant loss and devastation to the Cobb Family. On Sunday morning their entire first floor was submerged in several feet of water, and both vehicles were destroyed. The water remains as of Tuesday evening. Thankfully they were safely evacuated with their two children and their black lab Cali.
In just 1 day 90 people have helped raise nearly 100% of the fundraising goal for this family. As you can imagine, they will need far more than this to rebuild their life and home, so we’re hoping to raise even more than anybody ever thought possible. The power is in numbers and there are so many generous people across the country pulling for Houston families like the Cobbs!
Hey y’all! Please keep sending me any information on families in need so that I can use this platform to try to raise money, provisions, etc. for victims of this horrific flooding catastrophe in Houston. Today we’re asking for help for the Magee family. Susan is a preschool teacher, she’s actually taught some of my family and friends and I hear she’s truly amazing. Susan and her husband Phil have two beautiful daughters, Grace Ann and Emma Rae. Their home flooded quickly and they have lost most of their belongings and both of their vehicles.
I want to share a Facebook post from Susan. Can you imagine? Their home is now almost entirely under water, but the family is safe, thank God.
Please help them recover and rebuild. Their fundraising goal is $50K, let’s do this y’all! You can donate here.
In between already scheduled posts for L. Avenue (in case you missed it, we’re still posting but giving all website profits to flood victims going forward), we’ll be sharing stories of families who lost everything during Hurricane Harvey and need our help to get back on their feet again. These are all friends of my friends and they genuinely need any help possible.
If you know of or own a company that might want to donate something other than money to their hurricane fundraising efforts please send me an email directly and I can help get furniture, cars, bedding, clothing, appliances, all of the household items that would be needed. Thanks so much for your continued support!
Today, we’re raising money for the Lorenzo Marquez family. They lost everything. Lorenzo Marquez Trespalacios, his wife Cecile Diederichs de Marquez and their five small children, including their 3 month old baby were rescued by boat and kayak in a harrowing effort by wonderful folks during Hurricane Harvey on Sunday, August 27th.
Everything is lost-home, cars, clothes, all posessions large and small, heirlooms and necessities. Everything is needed and it is doubtful that insurance will cover their loss due to flood – not direct hurricane wind damage.
“I’m broken”, Lorenzo said. He and Cecile made desperate pleas to be rescued on Facebook and finally a good samaritan came with a boat and a family member with a kayak, to save them and their five children. They are grateful to be alive but need so much help and support to rebuild their lives.
You can donate directly here. Please share with family and friends, if you feel compelled to help spread the word for Hurricane Harvey victims. Every effort counts to help spread the word and will ultimately help this family in desperate need.
Also, if you are a Harvey victim in need or know of a family in need, please email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try our very best to find resources through this website and social media!
Hey guys! How was the weekend? We had a relatively low key weekend spent outdoors, hitting up a rad new urban park and a BBQ’ing in the backyard. Bret an I also went to a gala on Saturday night that our good friends chaired. The Children’s Fund, one of the most impressive volunteer run non-profits I’ve ever come into contact with raises millions for children’s charities in Houston. If you live here, get involved! It’s amazing. If you aren’t a Houstonian and you’re looking for a new endeavor, start something like this in your city. The non-profit’s business model is genius. Members of The Children’s Fund are required to raise a certain amount of money per year plus help put on the annual gala that brings in 100’s of thousands in a single night. Members serve a 5 year term, which means they commit to raising money for The Children’s Fund for the long term. Once a member rolls off, they remain totally connected because they’ve been so committed, thus continuing to donate every year. It’s genius! Kind of like a Junior League but for couples; a fun volunteer organization that you get to donate time to with your significat other and meet other couples who are committed to raising money for kids in need. A hobby that gives back to the community, how awesome is that?! I’m continuously amazed by how philanthropic my city is.
Over the weekend I carried my laptop from my bedroom to the kitchen, my office and back and that was the extent of my computer time. Zero. So today is catch-up day and I’m also packing day for a quick trip to Ohio. I wanted to get this outfit up on the blog ASAP because I received so many compliments on it when I posted it on Instagram stories the other day. Isn’t this top so pretty?! It’s the perfect color of pink and very flattering on. I tucked mine into culottes but it could be worn out with white denim too. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love these Sophia Webster sandals. I’ve wanted a pair of Webster’s whimsical shoes for so long but couldn’t seem to find the right style. The low block heel is pretty perfect for all occasions. I wore these to the Children’s Fund gala with this dress but will most likely wear them more often dressed down with jeans or a denim skirt and a tee.
My ties to Texas Children’s Hospital are strong to quite strong. I’ve volunteered in the Texas Children’s Cancer center for over 10 years now and started a non-profit back in 2012, Youth Hope Association, that does a lot of work there too. I also worked for Texas Children’s in development for a little while before having kids. It’s a pretty fantastic organization and Houstonians are so lucky to have such awesome access to care right here in our back yard. So when I was approached by my friends at TCH to talk about an upcoming charity event it was a no brainer. Especially since the charity event happens to be fashion related too.
Y’all don’t miss out on The SALE happening this Saturday and Sunday!! Houston’s best boutiques are putting on their biggest sale of the year all in one spot and the proceeds benefit the Texas Children’s Cancer Center. I can’t think of a better reason for some 2017 retail therapy. Give your closet a refresh while giving back to help cure childhood cancer.
Tickets can be purchased for $25 in advance HERE and for $30 at the door
what to eat :: I’m prepping my parents for their upcoming trip to Paris and can’t help but be nostalgic about my summer abroad. I’ll get a taste of it this weekend at Le Diplomate for a late déjeuner. Pass the pommes frites, please!
what to do while getting there :: My plan is to sit back, relax (read!) and enjoy the plane ride, but knowing me (and Lyndsey), I’ll likely not be able to resist getting a little personal productivity done during my PTO. Here’s ways you can give back, educate yourself and even exercise when you find yourself playing the waiting game.
what to plan next :: Visiting the city hosting the summer Olympics is high on my bucket list. I’m not Brazil bound, but I’ll be glued to the TV to watch gymnast Simone Biles. If you don’t know her inspirational story, you should.
current colorful palette of my posts make it obvious summer’s in full swing
what to capture :: Seventeen Instastars show you the secrets to their success. Achieve celebrity status with these tips. I’ve made a mental note to create a cohesive feed and know my signature color palettes. Round of applause to LZ for mastering these two.