Love, Mara | HTX

Houston Lifestyle Blogger, Houston Fashion Blogger. {Style, Music, Tech, Cars and Food. }

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Jun 26, 2016


the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Limited was hands down my favorite car to drive around the city so far. Of course in true Houston fashion it rained and was over 100degrees all in the same week, so I really got to try it out in all elements. Overall this car was a smooth drive, great on gas, and pretty fancy!
Complete with a panoramic sunroof that opens, 8in touch screen, heated and ventilated front seats, lane departure, and collision warning. It wasn't cold, but there is also a heated steering wheel option. This car is a step above in terms of blending sleek style and technology. I actually like it better than its cousin, the Kia Optima. 
185 horsepower, 2.4 cylinder, 4 cylinder engine. It takes off pretty fast, I'm honestly considering trading my car in for it. Another cool feature is the smart trunk. Once you walk up to the trunk it will beep 3 times then pop open. Perfect if your hands are full! If you don't want it to open just keep walking past the trunk and it will stop beeping. 
One of the coolest features was that this car was a hybrid. I averaged about 39mph the whole time. Battery stayed about half, but I'm sure I drove almost 300 miles on half a tank. Hyundai also has a lifetime battery warranty. 
Priced at $26K-$38K this car is a safe and reliable option for those who like options but value being stylish. My only complaint is that is doesn't come with a spare tire. I have replaced a tire 3 times, and had at least 4 nails in 3 years... That's just my luck. So having no spare is no bueno for me. 
You can learn more HERE at the HYUNDAI website. 

This post was sponsored by Hyundai USA and DriveShopUSA. The vehicle was driven for testing and evaluation purposes over a period of time. Thank you for supporting my sponsors! Without them this blog is not possible :) As usual, all opinions are my own.

Jun 25, 2016

TOSHI is ONE: Shiba Inu Facts

My Shiba Inu Toshi is one today! I can't believe it. I want to include some more Dog posts this year on my blog. My little nugget is photogenic and deserves to get some more notoriety. We went to a cute Shiba Inu meetup a few weeks ago and I must say, Shiba's are a bit of a rare breed and cult fave. You might be familiar with the Doge Meme.


Jun 24, 2016

IAH : Houston's New AMEX Centurion Lounge

Located in terminal D, IAH Houston now has the perfect place to unwind. To those with an American Express Platinum card, access is granted to the newest and coolest lounge at Houston's international airport.
From a business center, showers, kids room, food, drinks, and workspaces... this really puts your typical layover experience to shame. For a moment I actually forgot I was at IAH. The night was pretty perfect: a blend of music, food, art and HTX vibes. 

The locally inspired menu was a fun touch. At the event Mixologist Jim Meehan and wine director Anthony Giglio really made the night interesting. A French 75 from someone French is actually life changing.
Patrick Renner was a local artist who put a cool spin on the aspect of travel. Throughout the night each guest had the opportunity to become a part of the lounge. The art installation had a map of the world and everyone got to write on a blue stick to add to the woven art piece. My blog name is on mine, a winky face in memory of Meelo ( and a nod to Toshi, shibas wink a lot in general) and 3 hearts for my family (mom, dad, and me). I wove mine in myself. Its closer to South America if you are there and want to find it, but what is really cool is it will stay at IAH for the life of the lounge!
 At the end of the night one of Houston's favorite local bands, the Ton Ton's performed!
I ran into the OG blogging crew as well. Its crazy how Houston's first wave of blogging was. Out of everyone on the scene, and it wasn't too many, everyone in this photo has shown longevity. Houston;s blogging scene is more well known now and there are so many new faces. The pie is big enough to go around. I think its  cool how we all blog but bring a different view to the table when it come to perspective on life and style. I'm glad I ran into these ladies!
If you have a layover in my beautiful city, consider the Centurion Lounge. It will transform your idea of a layover.


Jun 22, 2016


If you can recall, I recently have tried some NKD SKN products and its been a fun way to even out my skin tone. Its so easy to use and the formula is nice and even, and really easy to apply. In time for summer NKD SKN released a new pre-shower tan.

This product requires 4 simple steps.

1: Apply
2: Wait 10 minutes
3: Shower
4: Wait for tan to appear after 4-8 hours

This went on smooth and even and worked a little better than I expected. I have the same result as the gradual daily glow lotion but instead of applying and sleeping in it, this was something I was able to wash off. This was great  because with the other one my pup Toshi felt the need to lick me constantly. This quick formula is perfect for a girl on the go who wants to quickly build up her tan. 


This item was given to me for review by NKD SKN. All opinions are my own so back up off me. 

Jun 18, 2016


H.Rebel on Instagram is on a new doughnut wave and I want to be on her level. Rainbow food was so early 2016, now that it's July, galaxy has taken over food. From cupcakes to macarons and food it's no surprise that doughnuts are the newest thing to drive the internet crazy. Since its technically still National Brunch Day and tomorrow is Sunday, I totally recommend making these. 
I have the recipe for the icing down below. Ya girl does not have time to sit down and make doughnuts so I recommend buying some plain cake ones from Dunkin and icing them yourself. 

Recipe is from @sobeautifullyraw GALAXY ICING: 
2-3 tbsp melted coconut oil 
2-3 tbsp soy milk 
1 2/3 - 2 cups powdered sugar
 Vegan natural food dye (Red and Blue) 
1. Whisk together the melted coconut oil and soy milk and slowly begin to whisk in the powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Adjust liquids if you need to.
 2. To achieve the 'galaxy' effect: (This is quite hard to explain, but if you've ever done marbling as a kid using coloured dye it is essentially the same thing) 
3. Using small separate bowls I worked with a little bit of icing at a time and I simply dispersed drops of vegan friendly food dye around the white icing, swirling with a spoon. Adjust the colours/saturation as you'd like. 
4. Simply dip and twirl a donut halfway into the icing and gently slide it out and you'll get that 'galaxy effect' ;) 
5. Dusted with vegan edible food glitter. Inspired by @h.rebel 

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