Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top 5 Posts of 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, it's always fun to look back on the year & see what posts were favorites.  Here's a list of the top 5 posts from the year.  Here's to hoping 2017 is even more delicious!

In no particular order...

1. Deep South Austin Eats: 2016 AFBA City Guide

2.  How to Put in a New Lawn

3. Pecan Cookies with Oats & Coconut

4. S'mores Drop Scones with Kerbey Lane Mix

5. Citrus Almond Green Beans

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Merry, merry 2016

Merry Christmas!  Here's a little peak into how the holiday went for us.

It's been a little crazy around here, as I'm sure most of you can agree, the holiday season can be hectic!  It also seems like both Andrew & I have had less time off this year, which I think is making everything feel just a little more nuts.

But, we've had a great Christmas & I'm excited about heading back out to West Texas to celebrate a little more this weekend.  Here's a little bit of the food & fun we've been up to...

Indulging in a little Via 313 with friends to start things off right!

We also took every opportunity to drive around looking at lights.  This house in the Barton Hills neighborhood was my favorite.  So magical...

We made sure our tree was in tip, top shape.

And had several cups of hot cocoa.

We trimmed the presents with care.

And got fun treats from office friends.  These cute reindeer cookies were made by my super fly co-worker Coral!

I spent some time at my favorite crafty spot in Austin,  Paper Craft Pantry, planning my vision for an awesome, productive 2017.

I got some fun things for Andrew, & he got me cool i-phone gadgets, wrapped up with self esteem boosting packaging.  I love a good sticker.  :)

I traveled out West, to see my family, make some Christmas candy & bake up my Mom's famous sugar cookies with my sister Brandi.  You can grab the recipe here.  They're soft & fluffy & remind me of home in the best possible way.  

Our family also kept up the Christmas Eve tradition of presents, all you can eat snacks & games.  This year, we played dominoes.

And of course, Christmas Day was spent at my grandmothers, where the game is always spades.  Dad & I lost in the final round of the tournament.  It was a great day.

This year, Andrew stayed in Austin, so he could attend his family's Christmas Eve party.  They always have a theme for the gift exchange & this year was recycle.  Isn't that a fun idea to have a new theme every year?  I love it.  

Nothing could be new & Andrew ended up with the beautiful paintings that were made by his cousin Lucas' uncle.  They are awesome & I can't wait to hang them up.  

I hope your year was wonderful  Here's to more love, joy & HOPE in 2017!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Boho Trimmings: Making Your Presents Pop

Happy almost Christmas!  Today, I'm sharing a couple of quick & easy wrapping ideas that'll give your packages some fun, boho flair.

When it comes to getting presents ready, Andrew & I like to take a team approach.  He often wraps the gifts, then I take over & add the fun stuff, bows, feathers, ornaments & just about anything else I can think of & figure out how to secure to the box.

This year, I decided to buy a few color coordinated papers from Target, in black, white, gold & a little blush pink.  I love that they are a little modern, and the colors pair well with any bright trimmings I have around the house.  The best part though, is that I can use all of these throughout the year, not just at holiday time!

This year, instead of the 'curling' ribbon or tulle I often use, I decided to mix it up & go for something more soft & bohemian.  I've been really getting into the eclectic, boho home style & thought that making my gifts look a little more in line with the style would be really fun.

And, I was able to use things that I had hanging out in my craft room.  It's always a plus when I don't have to buy anything new!  I grabbed a bunch of yarn, feathers & a few ribbons from my closet & got to work.  Below are my favorite ideas.

1. Feathers

I keep a big box of feathers, in a variety of sizes, textures & colors on hand at all times in my craft room.  They're pretty versatile & can dress just about anything up.  This is the first year I've used feathers on my Christmas packages & I really love they way they look!

Take some ribbon, yarn or other trimming, wrap it around your  present & then secure it with a bow or even just a knot like in the first picture of this post.  Tuck in a few feathers & you've got a quick, easy & pretty look. 

2. Yarn, all of it!

For alot of these packages, I got really into braiding yarn ropes.  They are fun & just take a few minutes, but I think they bring alot of impact to the packages.  In my yarn stash, I found a fun cream & gold, very textured yarn that I ended up using in most of the braids because I think it added a glittery punch.  

For some presents, I simply wrapped the yarn braid around the box & tied it in a knot, though you can also tie smaller braids into a bow, like the last photo.  I do really love the look in the middle though, which was done by secure a wider gold ribbon to the package first, then I tied the yarn braid on top to create a layered effect.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Celebrating in Alpine, TX

Last Friday, my sister Brandi graduated with her Master's Degree in Education from Sul Ross State University.  And on Saturday, she turned 30.

After spending the day before in Marfa, Andrew & I joined my sister, Dad & the rest of family to celebrate these two very special days.  Because we hadn't been to Alpine before, we decided to spend Friday night at the Maverick Inn, and Saturday at the Holland.  Both were unique & cozy; I'm so glad we decided to divide it up.

We started off by checking into the rustic Maverick Inn.  It's a smaller hotel, with fun rustic-style furniture, large clean rooms, a great bathroom & a sweet neon sign.  Because it's only got a few rooms, we were able to pull our car right up to the front door to park, which meant I got to spend a few extra minutes soaking in the garden tub before having to get ready for Brandi's graduation.

Brandi graduated!

We celebrated her graduation with pizza & pasta at Guzzi Up, a fun, local place with tasty fare.  I had the ravioli & a slice of Andrew's pepperoni pizza & both were great.  

Though it's one of the larger towns in the area, Alpine has alot of small town charm.  There is an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants & bars with a variety of local hand-made art & pottery.  

We had an early lunch at Reata, a sweet little restaurant with delicious dishes.  I had a salad filled with Texas goat cheese, pecans from San Saba & a tasty, creamy dressing that kept me going back for bite after bite.

After lunch, we walked around popping into the galleries & shops, & of course, I had to grab a cup of coffee.  Just around the corner from the restaurant was Cedar Coffee Supply, which was modern, friendly & made an amazing latte.

After a little shopping, we stopped in at the Saddle Club to celebrate Brandi's 30th birthday.  The Saddle Club was a really cute, fun place to stop in for a few drinks & fun conversation.  

Happy 30th Brandi!

We walked down the street & checked into our hotel for the evening, the Holland Hotel.  This boutique hotel has alot of vintage charm & old West decor.  It was a really fun place to stay.

After settling in, we headed over to Big Bend Brewing Company, for a tour & tasting.  The wide variety of beers were flavorful & the tour was really interesting.  They even have a nice patio, with fire pits were you can enjoy your brew.  

After taking in some local Mexican food & enjoying the nightlife at Railroad Blues (definitely recommend!) to round out the day, we slept in & grabbed a really good cup of coffee at Plaine Coffee the next day, before heading back to Austin.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

5 Foodie Stocking Stuffers

How's your holiday shopping going?  I feel like December has come on fast & furious this year, but I think I'm juuuuust about done with all of my gifts.  Something I always love hunting for, though I often wait until the last minute, is stocking stuffers.

I love finding lots of little things that fit the personalities of friends & family.  Today, I compiled a few items that are perfect for the food lovers in your life.  What's your favorite item to tuck into stockings?

1. Easy custom tee

With a set of old-school, iron-on felt letters from the craft store, a clothing iron & a plain colored tee, you can make a gift that is totally personalized.  'Pizza is for Lovers,' 'Just add Sprinkles,' 'Avocado on Everything,' possibilities = endless.  

Iron-On Felt Letters can be found at Michaels, JoAnn or Hobby Lobby

2. Keychain joy

Wear your love on your keys.  I adore this candy-colored, gold crusted (literally, ha!) pizza slice keyring.  I may or may not have picked up one for myself on my last Target run.
Pizza Keychain, Target $5.99

3. Perfect for anyone 

Any art from Starla Michelle makes for a wonderful gift, but the monogram mugs from this year's Anthropologie collection are especially pretty.  Great for office mornings and lazy Sundays.

Starla Michelle Petal Pallete Monogram Mug, Anthropologie $10.00

4. Ultimate sweet treat

I picked up a Crispycake at Central Market after a particularly bleh day & my spirits perked right up.  Giant, soft marshmallow treats that come with a variety of sweet toppings, what more do you need?

Crispycakes from The Crispery, available at all Central Market locations

5. Start 'em early

This tiny, super-cute soft book is perfect for the foodie-in-training who can't quite handle solid foods yet.  There are 3-D attached pieces & it's completely machine washable.

Melissa & Doug Soft Activity Baby Book - Little Chef, Amazon $10.39