The 42nd Annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour


1893 James S. and Violet H. Waters House – 1116 Church Street/Galveston Historical Foundation
I love touring historical homes and sites of specific interest. Texas has some particularly stunning examples, and this year's Annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour is one that you won't want to miss!

The 2016 Historic Homes Tour provides visitors with a little taste of everything, as well as opening up the East End mansion, the first time it's ever been seen. More information on the special programme is below:


Homes Tour Home Base

Galveston Historical Foundation’s headquarters at the 1940 Sears Building will also serve as the home base for this year’s tour. Enjoy specialty food trucks, restrooms, cold refreshments and a covered area for relaxing during your Homes Tour weekend. While you’re there, be sure to visit GHF’s Architectural Salvage Warehouse for inspiration in your own home! Open daily during Homes Tour from 11 am to 2 pm.

Cocktails on the Coast at Beachtown

Limited to 40 guests, this exclusive Homes Tour event treats you to an evening of great food, drink, music and unmatched view from Beachtown’s Homes Tour showcase home. Held on Friday, May 29th from 5:30 – 8, you will mix and mingle with the property architect, homeowners and other VIPs while supporting GHF’s Revolving Fund projects. $150 per person.

Early Bird Tickets

With nine homes and great special events, it’s easy to find yourself with more to do than you have time for. This year’s Early Bird ticket could be just what you need to make the most of your homes tour experience. These tickets come with a full tour ticket and are limited to 100 per day for $50 each. Tickets are available for both Saturdays of the tour and allow you to enjoy access to three tour homes from 8 – 10 a.m. Get a head start on your homes tour adventure!

Beachtown New Construction Tours

Beachtown prides itself on taking Galveston’s historical architectural heritage into the future. Guests at this year’s Historic homes tour will also be able to tour three homes in different stages of construction. See firsthand the craftsmanship and attention to detail in each of their spectacular homes as Galveston’s rich architectural heritage is continued in this new development.

1905 Charles F. Marschner Building – 1914 Mechanic Street/Galveston Historical Foundation


In addition to the eight homes listed below, Galveston Historical Foundation will be presenting select properties as part of its revolving fund program. These rehabilitations in progress show how GHF continues to preserve the islands history through inventive green technologies and stewardship.


Galveston County Treasurer James Stephen Waters hired architect Henry Collier Cooke of the Nebraska architecture firm Bourgeois Nitchner & Cooke to design this grand Victorian residence in 1893. The most prominent building on the block, the Waters family sold the house in 2012 to new owners who are rehabilitating the property. This house is an Early Bird available house and is featured on the April 30th History on Tap Dinner.


Noted as a classic example of post-Civil War construction in Galveston, cotton buyer Charles Albertson built this grand Greek Revival house about 1870 and lived there with his wife Catherine until 1892. Severely damaged by the 1900 hurricane, Ben Blum purchased the property and divided it maintaining his residence in the western portion and moving the eastern section for use as rental property.


Broker and grocery commission merchant Meyer Levy built this Victorian townhouse in 1883 for himself and his wife, Julia. After the 1900 hurricane damaged the property, Levy sold the house to building contractor Miles Bowden, who repaired the house for his home. The Bowden family maintained ownership of the property until 1969.


German immigrant and carpenter Andrew Pfannsteil built this elegant Victorian house in 1887 on lots he had owned and resided on since 1875. The new house, featuring half-timbered bays that resemble a Swiss chalet, replaced the existing house consumed by fire in 1885. The Mathers purchased the new house from Pfannsteil in August 1887 for the sum of $2400. This house is featured on the May 6th History on Tap Dinner.


Brick contractor Benjamin Barnes constructed this classic Gulf Coast side-gabled house in 1888. Residing at 828 Church, Barnes used this dormered cottage as rental property. In a series of ironic twists of fate, the house is owned today by the descendant of a family who occupied the property more than a century ago.


John Stowe and William Selkirk purchased the vacant corner lot in 1901 after the owner died during the 1900 storm. Between 1904-1912 Stowe and Selkirk, of the Galveston Savings & Loan Company, moved four small houses that had survived the great storm onto the lot. Italian immigrant and grocer Giuseppe Negrini purchased the houses in 1925 for use as tenant houses for African Americans.


In 1905, German immigrant Charles Marschner, and his wife, Marie, hired brick contractor Otto Haas to build this two-story building as their residence and business, the Texas Bottling Works. The building, which features a variety of architectural styles including decorative brick work and stepped parapet wall with ball finials, was restored in 1989 and designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1996. This house is an Early Bird available house.


John C. McDonald, a public cotton-weigher, and his wife Minnie  built this Craftsman-influenced house in 1913. After John’s sudden death in 1914, Minnie used the house as rental property until 1919 when she sold it to real estate agent Thomas Blake and his wife, Anne. The current owners purchased the property from the Blake’s daughter in 2013. In 2015, GHF recognized the rehabilitation of the property with a Sally Wallace Preservation Award. This house is an Early Bird available house.


Henry Hildebrand, president of the Anchor Milling Company of Galveston, built this two-story house in 1915 to use as rental property. The original insurance record for the house noted that the entire building was shipped from Michigan “ready to nail together.” The manufacturer of the kit house, called The Fairmont, was the Aladdin House Company. Located in Bay City, Michigan, the company slogan was “Homes Built in a Day.” Founded in 1906 by brothers, Otto and William Sovereign, the business manufactured houses until 1981.


Seats are limited at all special events with pricing, times and reservations available at

April 30 and May 6 – History on Tap Dinners

Enjoy a specially created dinner, cooked by an award winning chef, in a Homes Tour home. Tour home owners will lead you on a special tour of the property while you enjoy a one of a kind evening in historic Galveston! $150 per person.

April 30 and May 7 – Antebellum Bicycle Tours

Enjoy a guided tour through historic Galveston as you visit select Antebellum homes and learn the history of the people and community of early Galveston history. The tour will start at the 1838 Menard House. $15 per person.

May 1 – Houston Grand Opera’s “After The Storm” Preview

Free to Homes Tour ticket holders and held at the 1838 Michele Menard House, attendees will enjoy a 15 minute preview of Houston Grand Opera’s new production “After The Storm”. This upcoming play tells the story of Galveston during the 1900 Storm and Hurricane Ike.

May 7 – Rehabilitation In Progress Tour and Lecture

Guests of this tour and lecture will enjoy early access to the 1915 Hildebrand Tenant House beginning at 9 a.m.  Starting at 10 a.m., ticket holders will have the opportunity to learn about this Aladdin built home from author and expert Margaret Culbertson. $20 per person.

May 7 – Mid-Century Modern Tour

Step back into the not so distant past with this special selection of mid-century modern homes on Galveston’s beautiful Harbor View drive. Opened only for this special evening, these homes showcase the unmistakable design of mid-century architecture with some vintage fun, food and drink added into the evening! $50 per person.

May 8 – Mother’s Day Jazz Brunch at the 1880 Garten Verein

Celebrate mom with this re-imagined Mother’s Day tradition. Enjoy a hearty brunch, door prizes, flowers, live music and a few surprises in the beautiful 1880 Garten Verein. $50 per person.

What I'm Watching On Netflix


Netflix has become a common portal for many of us to watch our favourite shows, films and documentaries. With awesome dramas like House of Cards and comedies such as Grace and Frankie exclusively commissioned by the company, it's hard to remember where else we used to get our entertainment from!

I had lots of fun compiling a playlist when I first signed up to Netflix, and I'm still working my way through a large list of shows and films that I have bookmarked. I've rediscovered some cult classics and catching up with series I missed the first time round. It's all rather addictive!

Here's what I'm currently watching thanks to Netflix!

Bates Motel: the prequel to the classic Hitchcock film is set in present day Oregon. It's dark, intense and I love it. Vera Farmiga is amazing as Norma Bates, and her emotional and deeply haunting portrayal of the character whose fate we already know is utterly compelling.

Hinterland: cerebral and dark, Netflix has the English language version of this crime drama set in the wilds of West Wales. You'll be gripped from the first few minutes of episode one.

Fuller House: the highly anticipated revival of the classic Full House got me really hooked on Netflix. Light, warm and with lots of humour, it's awesome to see what those Tanner kids are up to twenty years or so on!

Grace and Frankie: I watch Grace and Frankie when I need cheering up! Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are the perfect funny duo and each episode shows how the once enemies turned best friends set about rebuilding their lives after their respective husbands leave their wives for each other.

Damages: I'm rewatching the earlier episodes and catching up with the final series. Glenn Close = amazing!

House of Cards: any post about Netflix wouldn't be complete without mentioning House of Cards. Season 4- outstanding. It's also worth checking out the original, British House of Cards!

What else should I be checking out on Netflix? Share your suggestions with me in the comments!

Tory Burch Bags


There are some great and super spring like bags available over at Tory Burch!  A pop of colour here and a swish of metallic there, these are my top picks from the current collection.

President Obama in London


President Obama and The First Lady are in London and everyone is pretty much collectively going 'awww' over this sweet photograph of Prince George meeting the President at Kensington Palace.

You can watch the President's joint press conference with Prime Minister David Cameron below.

My Thoughts on House of Cards S4


I'm hoping by now that you will have watched Season 4 of House of Cards! If not, it's probably best that you look away now!

After a cracking end to Season 3 I was really excited to see how Season 4 would kick off. What was Claire's master plan and would she be able to achieve it? I must admit I found the first episode of S4 a bit lacklustre and really hoped that this wouldn't be the end of my love for HoC. Mercifully, it picked up and we back to the usual game of tricks, bargaining and the Underwoods ruthlessly going after what they wanted.

Perhaps the most shocking and unpredicted event of the season was the attempted assassination of President Underwood by Lucas. Out of prison and living under a new identity, he can't shake off what happened to Zoe in Season 2, and his all consuming hate leads to him shooting Underwood and killing Meachum in the process.

This attempt on his life unites Frank and Claire, probably to the relief of many of us! Their relationship is now albeit a professional one, with shared love of power charging them to an even greater force, which looks like it can't be stopped. Perhaps my favourite scene of the season is when the Underwoods take to the stage at their national convention, back together, but now as political running mates in the upcoming election.

The best television dramas parallel what's happening in real life. We see a brokered party convention (likely to happen with the GOP later this year,) and the challenge of filling a Supreme Court seat in a vital election year.

The season ends with Frank declaring that 'we make the terror.' A reference to the ongoing terrorism threat and closing plot of the season, whether he carries out his promise in the next season will remain to be seen.

What were your thoughts on Season 4 of House of Cards? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

Celebrating The Queen


Cecil Beaton
This week marks the Queen's 90th birthday. There will be many celebrations up down the land for her official birthday in June, and I'm betting that my hometown will have many street parties planned!

For many of us, Queen Elizabeth is the only monarch we've ever known. She's always been a part of British life, a familiar face at state and national occasions, so much so, that she's almost like part of our family.

I've been fortunate to meet the Queen and other members of the royal family on several occasions. The most memorable was when my Dad received the OBE from Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace. It was such a special day, and myself and my Mum were lucky enough to be able to sit in the front row. It was a day that none of us will ever forget!

My Dad!
The Queen has met every US President since Eisenhower and her earliest British Prime Minister was Winston Churchill. She's visited 117 countries, travelling at least 1,032,513 miles during her reign. She also sent her first tweet in 2014! I wonder if she has an iPad?

Queen Elizabeth is undoubtedly one of the world's fashion icons, and I'm excited to be going to a special exhibition which will celebrate the largest ever display of the Queen's wardrobe. Fashioning A Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe opens on the 21st April at Holyrood House before moving to Buckingham Palace on 23d July. Here we'll be treated to fashion from ten decades ranging from royal couture to ceremonial and military dress. Many tartan items will be on display at Holyrood, and at Windsor, evening gowns and day ensembles will be cleverly contrasted with fancy dress costumes worn by the young princess when performing family wartime pantomimes at the Castle. It's one not to be missed!

2016 is set to be a pretty special royal year, and I'm looking forward to taking part in the public celebrations that will be taking place over the next several months. How will you be celebrating the Queen's 90th year?


Chocolate With An Agenda: #VoteChocolate


Election season: endless debates, big issues and personal fights. We're living it people! Amongst the excitement and name calling, Harper Macaw has teamed up with Design Army to produce a delicious distraction- political chocolate!

The Political Collection is wildly delectable, highly electable edition of proudly partisan chocolate bars. Devised by Washington DC chocolate maker Harper Macaw and Creative Agency Design Army, the collection of six bars gives a refreshingly positive spin to the world of politics and shines a spotlight on the capital's creative and collaborative side. It's everything that's good about DC! 

So what are the delicious flavours on offer?

  • Left Wing: packed full of hazlenuts
  • Red State: strawberries and and raspberries
  • Taxation without Representation: a bitter bar with cocoa nibs
  • Flip-Flopper: a mix of toffee and sea salt
  • Filibuster: pretzels and peanuts
  • Tea Party: Earl Grey tea

Chocolate and politics are two of my favourite things, and the only problem I will have is deciding which bar to devour first! 

Design Army
Get your Political Collection here.  Thanks to Harper Macaw x Design Army for the collection.
One Beat Designs Mlekoshi playground