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3 Things You Need To Stop Using – TODAY

Did You Know? “Already, the ocean is filled with about 165 million tons of plastic. That’s 25 times heavier than the Great Pyramid of Giza.  By 2050, plastic in the oceans (is predicted to) outweigh fish.”

( v i a )


One thing that drives me nuts is throw-away plastic.  I really can’t stand it.

And because it’s Earth Day this weekend I thought it would be a good time to address throw-away plastic.

Earth Day

Earth Day

I use old glass coconut oil jars for nuts & mixes too!

Earth Day

Veggies always ready to snack on…

Earth Day

Chopped onion ready for recipes & lunches //  Beans ready to go for salads!

Earth Day

THESE containers are perfect for lunches – great portion size & love that they’re wide, not deep

3 Things You Need To Stop Using, TODAY

1. Plastic Serving Items:

Plastic plates, utensils, cups, bowls, straws – all need to go!  I can’t remember the last time I purchased any of those items.   I remember in the 19th century when we thought using plastic items was incredibly smart because it made clean-up easier, but that was the 19th century when we didn’t know how much that was effecting our mother earth.

Honestly, it takes two seconds to get everything through the dishwasher & once you get in the habit of it, you don’t even notice the clean-up.

Large garbage bags filled with plastic serving utensils is disturbing.  Not to mention half of it blows away or breaks in the process & isn’t even used.  Instead – use real, affordable, inexpensive items that you’ll easily be able to wash, store, & reuse.

2. Zip Lock Bags:

Zip Lock Bags are dumb.  Wafiq had a hard time letting go of these but after much trickery I’ve managed to keep them out of the house & he’s barely noticed.

I use these red containers for EVERYTHING.  I chop onions, broccoli, jalapenos, and other veggies – then leave them in the containers to easily pull out & use for a quick lunch or recipe.

This size is particularly awesome for the Oatmeal I eat every morning.

And the containers make your refrigerator look so organized!!  Much better than bags hanging out all over the place.  This size is the perfect portion for your meals, anything bigger allows room for too much food!

I also use containers to freeze meat. Rather than the whole package, I’ll separate the pieces & freeze them in portions of my choosing.

Time to ditch zip locks people!  These containers are awesome, $23 for a set of 40, and you can buy them at Target OR Amazon Prime!

3. Paper Towels & Plastic Water Bottles:

I put paper towels & water bottles together because I understand avoiding these two items completely is not realistic for some people.

As far as paper towels are concerned – you can no longer be the person who grabs a paper towel EVERY SINGLE TIME you wash & dry your hands.  My jaw drops writing that.  You know how many paper towels you use & go through?!  Buy a few kitchen towels to dry your hands & switch them out as often as you need to in order to keep them clean.  Period.  Paper towels should be more of a back-up option.

As far as water bottles – I never drink out of the plastic ones unless I’m desperate for water & forgot to bring my own, which is rare.  I always have a huge water bottle with ice that I carry around & refill.   Every time I leave the house & of course while in the house.  (I shamefully became a Yeti addict recently, nothing like a freezing cold drink of water.  I use a metal straw with mine. )  If anyone buys those God forsaken small, 8oz, water bottles still – It’s time to stop immediately. What a waste!

 Earth Day

Earth Day

The Oatmeal I Eat Every Single Morning // Recipe: HERE

Earth Day

Fail Free (homemade) Ready To Bake Cookies // Recipe: HERE

Earth Day

What do you think?  Anyone else have any obsessive ways to ditch trash/recycle build up?

I’m not a huge climate change advocate but it does break my heart to see what mother earth is going through, especially with some of our wasteful decisions – so I try my best to do little things that will hopefully make a difference. Creating less trash sounds like a good start.

Let me know your thoughts!

Have a great weekend & be thoughtful

Xx


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20 Things To Do in Austin, Texas – Your Checklist

Did you know?  Austin is where to be in 2017 – Economists say 2017 will be another strong year for Austin. With at least 30,000 newcomers moving to the area every year and 100 every day

( v i a )


20 Things to DO in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is packed to the rims right now for SXSW.  The festival goes from March 10th – March 19th and is loaded with all kinds of events including movie premieres, concerts, networking parties, fashion meet ups, comedy shows, food & brunches, film screenings, speakers, & people snap chatting… among other things.

It’s a time when I’m proud to live in Austin.  The weather is nice, people enjoy all parts of the city & they come from everywhere.

 

Amy's Ice Cream

Amy’s Ice Cream – always, Mexican Vanilla w/ M&M’s

South Congress Avenue

Outside Jo’s Coffee on S.Congress // I love youuu so much

I wanted to make a quick list of things to do in Austin if you’re visiting & don’t have a SXSW access badge OR you want a break from all the SXSW activities & want to experience more of what Austin has to offer.

This list is quick & to the point!  But I highly recommend anything you can get checked off, whether you’re visiting now or in the future this list will work all year long.

Pennybacker Bridge

Views of Pennybacker Bridge / 360 Bridge


20 Things To Do In Austin – Checklist!

  1. Mount Bonnell or Pennybacker Bridge – Take a hike up either of these two spots for soothing views of Austin’s water

  2. Walk across South Congress bridge for pretty city views or an occasional bat

  3. A picture & coffee at the “I love you so much” sign at Jo’s coffee on South Congress

  4. EAT on South Congress – Home Slice Pizza, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Vespaio, South Congress Café, Guero’s, Perla’s, Café No Se

  5. If you’re hot, head to Barton Springs Pool near Zilker Park

  6. Eat a sweet dessert at Amy’s Ice Cream

  7. Check out the calendar for ACL Live performances

  8. Attend an Esther Follies show on 6th Street, if you can grab tickets before they’re gone!

  9. Walk 6th street in the evening & grab a drink… or a doughnut at Voodoo’s Doughnuts

  10. Enjoy drinks, yard games, and live music on Rainy Street – a block of houses turned bars

  11. Peter Pan Mini Golf because BYOB, close to downtown, & a little competition is always a good idea

  12. Take a walk through Zilker Park or Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail

  13. Rent a canoe or paddle board off Lady Bird Lake

  14. Eat BBQ at Lambert’s, on 2nd Street – then grab a drink & head upstairs for live music

  15. Find live music anytime on 6th street, Rainy Street, or South Congress

  16. Try a breakfast Taco at Torchy’s Tacos or Tacodeli

  17. Also, can’t leave without a couple rounds of Queso – always order it off the menu…

  18. If time permits, check out Austin’s second downtown: The Domain.  Tons of shopping, entertainment & food!

  19. Near The Domain – Top Golf  (fun for even the worst golfers)

  20. If you’re in Austin for awhile, drive out to Fredericksburg for wine tasting or hike Enchanted Rock / If hiking isn’t your thing, head to San Marcos Outlets for major shopping (<< dangerous)


6th Street

6th Street

Austin Downtown

Zilker Park

Zilker Park

Welcome to AUstin Sign

Greetings from Austin mural // South 1st & Annie Street

Let me know if you have anything to add! Even though I’ve lived here for what feels like forever I’m constantly discovering new things in this ever changing city.

Have a great rest of the week & as always, be thoughtful…

Xx

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I recommend..., Netflix, Thoughts

Best of 2016: TV & Movies

Did You Know? There’s no reason to feel guilty next time you indulge in your favorite shows- 70% of Netflix users binge-watch their tv series ( v i a )


The most important conversation of 2016, what was binge worthy?!  What was worth those hours missed in front of the TV??  I have a few favorites — they didn’t all come out in 2016 but I watched them in 2016, so they count.

best-of-2016-tv-and-movies

( eye pads ) / ( socks )

I rounded up my favorite TV series I watched this year & a few of my favorite movies.

If you’re staying in & relaxing through the New Year weekend here are some binge worthy options to start your 2017 the right way!


 The Americans

The Americans

Different than other shows, I couldn’t peel myself away from the TV.  There’s suspense w a family dynamic that isn’t seen in other shows.  Lies, love, drama, murders, thrill, adventure, passion & loyalty like no other.  Also, I might be bias here, but it was refreshing/different to see non Arabs coming after America…

Jessica Jones Jessica Jones

I have a crush on this movie because I like the character so much.  A badass woman is all dreams come true, and the story line of this series is a winner for me.

 The Blacklist

netflix

I left this series during the first season but after tough convincing I came back to it, and I’m glad I did.  As soon as you think you have the series figured out, the twists keep it interesting & eliminate all room for boring.

 Chelsea

Chelsea Netflix

I was 50/50 with Chelsea Lately & was not a huge fan of her books… BUT, this talk show is constantly inspiring me.  Yes, Chelsea Handler is inspiring me.  You can tell she developed an idea for a show that would have more than senseless humor, & rolled with it.  Teaching proper vocabulary & spelling, the importance of politics, and incorporating WORLD knowledge – couldn’t be happier about this series.

Last Man Standing

Last man Standing

I would say New Girl as my 2016 favorite but I know I’m getting old on that one.  Last Man Standing is FUNNY!  I was hesitant, but have recently blown through 5 seasons nearly back to back so I don’t think I qualify to say I’m hesitant any longer.  The writers should be getting paid big $$…

Baby Daddy

Baby Daddy

I like shows that make me laugh.  There’s something about easy, quick TV episodes that can do the trick on your casual Wednesday.

Sense 8

Sense 8

This show took me a minute, but once I was into it I was hooked and couldn’t stop.  I think I binged the entire season in 1 day.  No shame.

How to Be Single

 How To Be Single

I almost wrote an entire blog post on this movie, I still might.  What a fantastic film.  The lesson for women to be patient & appreciate their alone time is something money can’t buy.   This movie needs to be taken seriously, ha! And all 20-30 yr olds should be required to watch it w that perspective.  LOVE this movie!

 Chef

Chef

Why would you watch a sad/emotional/thriller/bloody movie when you can watch a light & fluffy movie like Chef.  Is there anything better than this movie?  Can we get more made like this please?!

No Escape

No Escape

…but if you need high suspense/thriller/action – this movie is for you.  I watched it a couple times this year.

 


Time to share your favorite binge worthy movies & TV series of the year!  I’m having a major dry spell with TV series at the moment (forcing me to read), I’m not finding anything capable of getting me hooked – needs to be GOOD.

Enjoy this last weekend of December & remember to be thoughtful, always 🙂

Xx

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Austin City Limits Music Festival

Austin City Limits Music Festival weekend 1 is officially behind us…

austin-city-limits-music-festival

The weather couldn’t have been any better which made for a less exhausting festival.  In previous years it was HOT and by the time any of the headlining performers started I was ready to shower & sleep, so I happily welcomed the fresh weather.

austin-city-limits-music-festival3

Performers included: Band of Horses, M83, Major Lazer, Radiohead, Die Antwood, Bomba Estereo, Andrew Bird, The Chainsmokers, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, HAIM and the list goes on…

Sunday was my favorite – Chris Stapleton & his wife performed (so romance) and Mumford & Son’s closed the festival afterwards. Made for a happy day of music.

austin-city-limits-music-festival6

My other favorite was the tostones at the food station?!  AKA fried plantains. I haven’t had the luxury of eating those since I lived in the Dominican Republic and boy was that a freaking treat.  If anyone visits or is in Austin and wants to find them, the place was called mmmpanadas.  I believe it’s a food truck.  Excellent bonus to the entire festival.  (Food really makes me happy.)

austin-city-limits-music-festival-p-terrys

P Terry’s – Local to Austin

If anyone is considering visiting Austin, this is a pretty fun time to come. The weather is excellent & the festival is promising, even if you don’t know the lineup you’ll still enjoy the music.  You can go one day, or all three.

If you enjoy music & being outside – it’s a perfect event to throw into your getaway.  The location is great, the Austin skyline in the background is picture perfect, and you can try all of Austin’s local food in one place (HA! #priorities).

 austin-city-limits-music-festival4

A couple festival tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to bring chairs if you like to sit, you can always check them in if you don’t want to carry them around all day

  • Bring a sheet to throw down and have a seat anywhere

  • Umbrella? Fantastic idea for the rain & sun

  • Consider bringing an empty lunch box that you can fill with ice when you’re inside, can save you in the long run

  • Don’t drink too much alcohol or overdose on drugs (I saw a lot of children that looked close to that and it makes me never want to have kids).

 austin-city-limits-music-festival2

Overall, a nice weekend adventure down in the books!

Other favorite music festivals to check out?

Have a great day & be thoughtful

Xx

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10 Perfect Housewarming Gifts

I spent a lot of time on this list!  I’m going to a housewarming brunch this weekend & have been thinking about helpful gifts to bring.  It’s a bit tricky.  I had to take it back to when I last moved & what would’ve been a helpful gift rather than a burden.

When someone’s moving there’s a lot of unpacking going on.  That’s why – I’m anti-gift basket for a housewarming gift.  Now you want me to unpack a damn basket?!  No. I get the idea, super thoughtful, but just no.  I finally organized everything, I don’t want to start organizing more shit.  Feel me?

The best gifts would be something that won’t clash with someone’s own design ideas for their new home, won’t make them start unpacking or putting away, something easy breezy but enough to help their new house feel like a home.

I should mention, with this list & pretty much any “gift” list going forward, I’m definitely going to incorporate gifts that give back in some way.  I’m a HUGE believer in giving a gift that gives in more way than one… I have a super hard time understanding gifts in any other way – specifically Christmas gifts, but I’ll get into that when we get closer to Christmas.

Perfect Housewarming Gifts

The Best Housewarming Gifts Ideas:

  1. Game:  I think this is a great gift for someone that recently moved into their new house.  Guests will be coming over to check out the new crib & it’s nice to have entertainment on hand.  A new game does the trick!  My two favorite options are Cards Against Humanity or the new popular game, Catan.

  2. A Large Ass Candle:  The very first thing I bought after moving into my new place was a candle.  Scents are important when you first move because you’re trying to make your house, smell like a home.   A HUGE candle that can burn for hours every day is a perfect gift that won’t get in the way, but be a special way to help the new house feel like their own.

  3. Diffuser: Going with the above, you can really do no wrong with bringing over scents.  If a candle is too predictable bring over a pretty diffuser.  No one can have enough pretty smells happening!

  4. Dream Catcher:  This might apply more to someone that has children and recently moved, but a dream catcher can be a perfect housewarming gift.  A dream catcher is supposed to catch all your bad dreams at night, so you keep it in your bedroom.  For kids having trouble in a new bedroom at a new house, what a great way to help them feel comfortable.  Adults qualify too.

  5. Pretty Vase:  Flowers are pretty standard for housewarming, and they should be.  Flowers make any place feel relaxing & comfortable w/a little jazz. BUT if you go this route make sure to include a pretty vase.  Likely, whoever has moved doesn’t have their vases unpacked yet, or they don’t know where they are.. Make it easy by bringing over flowers in a pretty vase they can keep for their next flower run.  You can never have enough flowers around the house, so this is a safe bet gift.

  6. Flatware Set I thought of this when thinking about what was important when I last moved.  I didn’t have anything, literally.  I had my suitcase of clothes & a borrowed mattress to lay on at night… (Living abroad for a year and a half does that to your material items.)  But I also didn’t want a lot from people.  That was part of the fun in moving, buying what you love for your new place.  However, a nice flatware set to manage the first few weeks/months while people visit or you’re still getting your shit together would’ve been perfect!  Get a pretty caddy, like this one: HERE and stock it with some affordable flatware like these: HERE.  I would have loved this!

  7. Succulents:  A baby plant like a succulent is perfect because it’s small enough to put anywhere and grows slowly. I remember going over to a friend’s house once and they had a pretty succulent on their kitchen window & she said they had it since they moved in – I thought that was a pretty neat memory.

  8. Coffee: Because who doesn’t need coffee!?  Like I said, I’m a MAJOR believer in giving gifts that give back, that’s the only way it makes sense to me & this coffee does just that.

  9. Wine:  Hellooo?!  Yes. Please.  (How did this wait until number 9?!) Wine is never a bad idea.  Not only does this wine look like a hard won trophy, a bottle I would never want to open, but the company has an awesome mission too.  They’re all about giving back & each bottle goes to funding a different social issue.

  10. Hand Soap & Lotion:  Let’s be real, this is overlooked when you’re moving because it’s kind of on the bottom of that long list.  Either that or you have that cheap, okay smelling bottle from Target on your one of many runs to get a long list of missed items.  A pretty, nice smelling lotion and soap is a great way to make a home feel more like you’ve completely moved in.  Again, these lotions give back too!


That’s it! My top ten housewarming gifts!  I would bring something from this list over to a friend’s house for a dinner or invite, I think anything from the above adds that extra thoughtful part of the gift.  Let me know any other creative ideas you have for housewarming, I’m super interested after doing all my research…

Have a great weekend and remember to be thoughtful!!

Xx

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Food, Recipe, Uncategorized

Olympic Viewing Party Menu

Pinterest got the best of me.  Last Friday I decided to throw an Olympic Opening Ceremony Party… with Myself, Wafiq and Bernice.  I found a few excellent looking party dishes + I was super excited for the Olympics.

I had a long list of recipes ready to go in an email titled: “Olympics Party Food” to Wafiq’s inbox.  I think that’s when he started to be concerned.  First of all, I never email Wafiq.  I don’t know what prompted that action. And second, I’m not fully confident Wafiq knew about the Olympics.  Or about cooking for them.

Wafiq followed up with a phone call & there was a moment of silence after he asked who was going: Bernice, Himself, and Me.

Shrimp, tuna, olives, buratta, wine, bread, prosciutto – for me, Bernice & Wafiq. I even considered decorations.

I was/am totally comfortable with that.  But Wafiq ended up inviting the neighbors to truly fulfill my Olympic Opening Ceremony Party goals. (Thank you neighbors.)

Anyways, I spent waaay too much time on Pinterest & the results proved it. These three recipes + a glass or two of wine made for an excellent Olympic party. Whether you have 2 humans + 1 dog or 10 people, you have to make it work.  Perhaps this weekend?

Olympic-View-Party-Menu

Olympic Party Menu


1. Cajun Shrimp Guacamole Bites – from Joyful Healthy Eats 

Ingredients

1 sweet potato, sliced in ¼” slices

2 Tbls olive oil

salt to season

Chipotle Shrimp:

1lb. large raw shrimp, peel and deveined

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

Guacamole:

4 small avocados

½ cup cilantro

juice of 1 lime (about 2-3 tablespoons)

1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.

  2. Cover bottom of baking sheet with tin foil. Add 1 tablespoon of olive to tin foil and using a brush, spread the olive oil over the entire pan so it is coated. Place the sweet potato slices on the prepared baking sheet.

  3. Pour remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a small dish, using a brush, brush the tops of the sweet potato slices with olive oil. Lightly season with salt.

  4. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.

  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently flip the sweet potatoes slices over using a pair of tongs. Place back in oven and bake an additional 5-7 minutes. Remove and let sit.

  6. To prepare the Guacamole: Add avocado, cilantro, lime juice, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt to a food processor or blender. Lightly pulse until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

  7. To prepare the Chipotle Shrimp: In a small bowl, add shrimp, smoked paprika, ground cumin, sea salt, and chipotle chili powder. Toss the shrimp to coat in the seasoning blend.

  8. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add olive oil to the pan and then place the shrimp. Cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side.

  9. Assemble the bites. Top each sweet potato slice with a dollop of guacamole, one shrimp, and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve

 


2. Prosciutto Crostini with Burrata and Lemon Honey Drizzle from The Charming Detroiter 

Ingredients

1 baguette, sliced on a diagonal into at least 12 crostini

Olive oil

½ lemon, juiced

¼ cup honey

Salt

Pepper

4 slices prosciutto, torn into large pieces

8 oz. burrata, sliced

Microgreens, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat broiler to high. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.

  2. While bread is toasting, whisk together lemon juice and honey in a small dish until combined. Season with a dash of salt and pepper, whisking to combine.

  3. After bread has toasted, remove from baking sheet. Add prosciutto to the baking sheet and toast under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until crispy.

  4. To assemble, place one slice of burrata on each crostini. Top with 1-2 pieces of crispy prosciutto and micrograms. Drizzle with honey lemon sauce and serve. Enjoy!

 


3. Fresh Ahi Tina Cakesfrom Superman Cooks 

Ingredients

8 oz fresh ahi tuna

½ C cracker crumbs (we used a club crackers )

1 tbsp old bay seafood seasoning

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

1 egg

Cilantro

Fresh lime

Olive oil

For the sauce:

¼ c cocktail sauce

½ c mayonnaise

Tsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Dice tuna into ¼” pieces and place in a mixing bowl

  2. Squeeze one fresh lime wedge onto tuna

  3. Salt and pepper tuna, and mix in old bay seasoning

  4. Crush crackers to an oatmeal consistency (you want some larger pieces)

  5. In a separate bowl, scramble the egg and add to tuna.

  6. Combine cracker crumbs with tuna and mix together (it will look wet, don’t worry the crackers will absorb the liquid).

  7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes

  8. Heat a sauté pan over medium high and add tbsp olive oil

  9. Divide tuna mixture into 3 equal parts and form into balls and lightly smash to flatten top and bottom

  10. Place in sauté pan and cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes, turn over and cook for another 2 minutes.

  11. Serve with fresh lime and drizzle with tuna sauce


Olympic-View-Party-Menu(1)

SO easy! I organized & made everything ready in less than an hour.

I added wine, water, olives, & chips to the menu.  I laugh at myself for throwing this “party” without any guests, but it turned out wonderfully.  Commitment I tell you!

I’m still all in, watching the Olympics every single evening.  Anyone else loving them?  Such a change from that junk TV – Bachelor in Paradise (Yes I’m recording it & will be catching up soon).

Let me know if you have any other great finger food recipes, I loved doing this and plan to again soon… With or without humans.

Have a happy + thoughtful Friday!!

Xx

*Recipes: Joyful Healthy Eats / The Charming Detroiter / Superman Cooks

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The Barton Creek Greenbelt, Austin TX

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to thee: The Barton Creek Greenbelt.

The Barton Creek Greenbelt hidden water holes, Austin TX

The Barton Creek Greenbelt hidden water holes, Austin TX

I randomly fell across a “Greatest Hiking Trails in the U.S.” article and when clicking through noticed The Barton Creek Greenbelt made the list.

Whaaaaaaaaaat?! I’ve never hiked the trail before & I live on the damn thing.  Literally, you can get there from my front door.

Say no more – Wafiq, Bernice & I decided to get er done!

The greenbelt is an 8 mile trail right outside the city of Austin, TX.

It’s a wee bit hidden – not as obvious to find as you would imagine a hiking path that runs from the city would be.

 

The Barton Creek Greenbelt map

Downtown Austin is near Zilker Park

I think most people park at one of the many entrances & walk to the water to hang out for the day. Or hike a little bit.

We had a friend drop us off at the far end of the trail & we hiked back into the city (no option to back out).

From what I saw, people don’t tend to hike the entire 8 mile trail on a daily basis.

It was really hard.

Or I should say, more challenging than expected.

The trail breaks in quite a few places, you have to walk through water or find an alternate route. Mmmmm hmmmmm not as easy as  I was imagining. 

At one point Bernice swam for the first time in her life – straight down with the current.  Let’s just say I super hover-mom’d over her after that.

The Barton Creek Greenbelt hidden water holes, Austin TX

 The Barton Creek Greenbelt hidden water holes, Austin TX

THE WATER – Was crystal clear, cool, and beautiful.

The trail lines water most of the 8 miles.

I’m not normally a fan of bodies of water in Austin because they look dirty.  I was bred in Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes –>  We pick clean ones to swim in.  We don’t go near the dirty looking bodies of water.

{Simply the nature of my childhood: a little spoiled in the lake department I realize.}

I’ll admit, the water in the greenbelt was incredibly clear & clean looking.  Also, a life saver.

Because it was HOT.  I want to say it felt something like 103 degrees outside? And besides getting very lost for the first quarter mile, the water managed to keep us cool & comfortable.

The challenge of the hike was entertaining.

We’re always looking for different ways to exercise & get out to try new things.  And it’s a total bonus when Bernice can come.

The Barton Creek Greenbelt, Austin TX

The Barton Creek Greenbelt hidden water holes, Austin TX

We aren’t big “hiker” people so this might be obvious to some – but proper water shoes is a must?!  (Never previously envisioned myself needing water shoes but here we are)

I wore these Sketchers, and you guys, like a miracle from heaven – they were perfect.

Against all my friend’s & family’s will, these shoes come in handy very often.  They’re perfect, they have my heart, and I’m obsessed. There, I said it.

I try to limit myself to wearing them to volleyball, outdoor activities, and now I can add – hiking trails w/water.

I’m nearly convinced I look cool.

(They’re like walking on freaking clouds! AND they slip on! AND I throw them in the washing machine. Poof. Easiest.)

However, after this hike I went straight to google the best hiking shoes for trails w/water.

Below this post are my findings.

I’m thinking water shoes are going to be a staple in my wardrobe? (Have I completely lost it?!)

You just never know when it’ll be time to go on an adventure! Right?!

 

The Barton Creek Greenbelt, Austin TX

If you visit Austin & it hasn’t been raining (which is most of the time), the trail will probably be dry.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go explore.  I’ve been to the greenbelt many times when it was dry & it’s still a good day hike: Cliff’s, rocks, peace, trees, water, shade, people.

And you can hike, mountain bike, rappel off cliffs, hang in a tree like a bat… whatever. You do you.

Overall, this was a totally fun adventure. And so close to home?!

That’s what floats my boat in life, little surprise adventures.

 The Barton Creek Greenbelt hidden water holes, Austin TX

The next day we binged watched Graceland on Netflix (so good!!).

You could say we were all a little sore.  Even Bernice wasn’t bothered to go outside to the bathroom the next day.

It always feels the best to have a fun, exhausting day like that…

So tired & content – dreaming of your accomplishment.  (Maybe that’s just me making an excuse to watch Netflix all day)

 

How’s your summer adventures going?! We’re almost into July, just getting started!

Talk soon!!

Xx

 

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Places: Texas, Travel

Super Casual – Intro. To 6th Street, Austin TX

Austin’s 6th Street.

 6th Street, Austin Texas,

For people who haven’t heard of it, 6th Street refers to a few blocks in downtown Austin full of bars & entertainment that is closed off to cars on the weekends –> Party central for Austin, TX.

Some people are happy about it, some people are sad about it but this part of 6th Street is also known as “Dirty 6th”.

I think you’ll understand why when you visit.

But “Dirty 6th” should not necessarily scare you away, dirty refers more to –> wild, crazy, fun, fast, carefree, everyone & everything.

It can be wild & out of control, but sometimes a little out of control is a good thing.

6th Street, Austin Texas

I became verrrry familiar with 6th Street in college and have since done my best to avoid it – but! for the sake of going outside my day to day activities I wanted to give 6th Street a try once again, & take you with me.

When you’re in college –> 6th Street is where you run to every night to get as many free drinks as possible, see classmates like you’ve never seen them before, and stumble up to a pizza window at 3am slamming down as much food as humanly possible.

For people who are out of college, or in town visiting – 6th Street can be a different place.

6th Street Austin Texas

What to wear:

Wear whatever you want! You can truly get away with anything.

This particular time, I tried to land somewhere in the middle with a sequin crop top and long maxi skirt – but do you. 

If you ever wanted to experiment with a hoochie look, this is the place to live out your dreams.   Boobs, legs, heels – You won’t feel out of place & will probably get top notch service. Why not?!

If you want to wear jeans and a T-Shirt & walk around people watching, go for it!

If you want to wear your bikini and Star Wars cape, I say go ahead!

Do you.

Missbassmaster 6th street, austin texas

Where to eat:

I’ve never explored the restaurants on 6th street (besides the 2am pizza windows or sausage carts), because there’s a ton of other restaurants downtown that are a little easier to get to, and shall we say, a bit less chaotic than the ones lining 6th Street.

Iron Cactus is probably the tourist hot spot for 6th Street, but I can’t say it’s the best. I went there once a looong time ago and wasn’t overly impressed. According to reviews, doesn’t seem to be doing a lot better now.

We took a chance on Eureka and were pleasantly surprised, would definitely go back… Big windows, chill but excited, food was fresh –> Yum!

6th Street, Austin Texas

Steak Salad & Brussel Sprouts – Delish!

And for dessert, the now open 24/7, Voodoo Doughnuts is available for your consumption.

I’m your average basic when it comes to doughnuts: Plain, Glazed, Cake all the way… {YASSSSSSSSSSSS come to me!}

BUT if you have a creative mind as far as doughnuts are concerned,  Voodoo Doughnuts will keep up with you.

6th Street, Austin Texas, Voodoo Doughnuts

What to do:

Besides the endless bars, dancing, drinking & people watching – there are souvenir shops, live music venues, a movie theater, comedy shoes, & a piano bar – all right in the heart of 6th Street. Don’t be afraid.

We went to Alamo Drafthouse – The Ritz the other night to see PopStar.  {I don’t usually like comedies, but this one was funny.  The buffalo cauliflower & wine probably helped.}

Alamo Drafthouse is much different than other theaters, it offers food + drinks + comedy & affordable prices. (I love it sooooooo much!)

They’re having a Kanye West: Glow in the Dark Sing-A-Long showing all month…?! Yes please!

* On your regular movie night at The Ritz – get a little buzz and walk around 6th Street afterwards.  That’s what we did.

There’s also Esther’s Follies right on 6th Street.  I’ll admit, although this place seems to be a long time favorite of visitors and Austinites, I’ve only seen it from the backside.  The windows open up to 6th street for passerby’s (me) but the real show is inside.

I haven’t been. I’m not sure if I’m a total comedy-magic-skit show person, but it’s on my list of things to try.  AND if you visit Austin, probably worth checking out.

 

6th Street Austin Texas Alamo Drafthouse The Ritz

There it is!

Your baby, introduction to 6th Street – so much easier to write about it than visit. LOL!

{Lots of alcohol induced people + sober picture taking = embarrassed MissBassmaster.} 

Per usual, if you plan ahead you won’t be as overwhelmed when you get down there.  It gets pretty crazy and drunk in the evening time so having a plan will get you through smoothly & probably with a few good stories to tell.

6th Street, Austin Texas,

Where’s your party central?!  Worth visiting or not?!

I always wonder if locals take their visitors to the popular party streets… I debate 6th Street every time, but ultimately decide it’s a place visitors want to see.

Ok, off to make out with my doggie & sleep!

Byeeeeeee

Xx

 

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