Austin – East End & Holly

 

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Holly is one of those fabulously Austin neighborhoods. Obviously it’s in Austin but it FEELS like the Austin vibe that everyone talks about. Holly is one of the neighborhoods on the east side that has been going through a lot of renovations! The area feels very hip and a lot safer than older generations would remember it.

You’ll find a lot of younger professionals, and college students walking or biking to nearby eateries and coffee shops during the day, and at night everyone is walking to some restaurant or bar to enjoy some drinks and live music.

It’s one of those “NUPINCOMING” areas that is still undergoing a lot of construction and re-vamping but has somehow held onto the charm and unique nature of Austin. Here are just a few places to check out on your visit:

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Scoot Inn was built in 1871 and has run as a grocery store, a saloon, a restaurant, and beer tavern. Most notably nowadays, it’s known for live music! You can click the link to check out their calendar of events.

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Kebabalicious  started out as a food trailer and has now won it’s way into the hearts of Austinites and placed a storefront on East 7th. Their kebabs, k fries and even their salads (their turk salad with chicken is a favorite of mine) are all amazing!

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Hop on the Metro Rail at Comal Street! You can find routes and plan a trip here.

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One place that I’ve been dying to try is Cuvee Coffee! I saw it on the Daytripper and thought it looked so Austin, plus I couldn’t wait to try the coffee that everyone has been talking about. They are most notably recognized right now for their BLACK&BLUE nitrogenated cold brew coffee. Basically it’s a coffee that drinks like a beer. It’s got that same creamy froth that you would find on a Guinness and it’s really good! Drink it there so you can drink it from a fancy glass 🙂

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Burn Pizza + Bar gets it’s name from it’s perfectly crisped thin crust pizza. Check out their daily happy hour from 4-7pm. Discounts on drinks and 25% off all pizzas!

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The Grackle – “Chill hipster haunt known for its draft beer list & jukebox plus darts, billiards & spacious patio.”

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Zilker Brewing Co. is a really neat brewery experience in East Austin. Enjoy the custom bar, six delicious beers and food trailers nearby.

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Licha’s Cantina is always really popular around dinner time. You can expect a little bit of a wait for food but enjoy a bar out back and a nicely lit outdoor patio/courtyard while you wait! Five dollar happy hours are Tues-Fri 4-6pm. The last time I ate here I ordered the tacos Al Pastor and they were really good!

Hope you enjoy East Austin!! And let me know if you check out any other awesome places because there’s lots to explore around this area 🙂

Sincerely,
Amanda

2016 Wine and Wildflower Trail

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I feel like this post needs to start out like that Oprah commercial for Weight Watchers, except about wine. “THIS IS THE JOY FOR ME! I. LOVE. [WINE]. I LOVE BREAD…I MEAN, WINE.” Sam and I have fun saying that commercial in unison every time it comes on because they play it on repeat in between our Hulu shows…

But seriously, don’t you love wine and the beautiful Texas Hill Country?!? Me too! Especially in the spring when it’s covered in bluebonnets! It’s the perfect setting for a road trip and a day of sipping on wine with good friends and family. Who needs to travel all the way to Napa or Sonoma when we have great wine right here in Texas! JK I still wanna go there someday BUT I’ll enjoy the Texas Hill Country too, probably just as much!

The 2016 Wine and Wildflower Trail is coming up April 1-17, but you want to get your tickets NOW because it sells out every year usually by the first weekend! You get 17 days to visit 48 wineries, get complimentary tastings at up to 4 wineries a day and 15% off 3 bottle purchases! Also for fun (and so you remember where you’ve been already) you get a passport that will be stamped at each place you visit!

You can find more information and a list of all the wineries here.

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Extra Hill Country Winery Events

  • 4.0 Cellars – Live music on Saturdays and Wildflower Brunch coming up on Sat. April 9th
  • Becker Vineyards – March 19&20th is their Annual Bluebonnets, Bluegrass and BBQ. “Woodstreet Bloodhounds will play Bluegrass music on the lawn. There is no music cover charge. Music is from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. BBQ will be served from 11:30 a.m. until out.We encourage you to bring your lawn chairs for this event!!!”
  • Chisholm Trail Winery – Has a pizzeria! The Oval Oven Pizzeria is open every Friday and Saturday, noon to 5pm and Sunday, noon to 4pm.
  • Compass Rose Cellars – Dine at The Kitchen and then stay the night in a casita anytime! Or check out their Last Supper Dinner on Good Friday or their Easter Sunday Brunch.
  • Flat Creek Estate – On March 12th, go to a Crawfish Boil! Tickets are $12 and featured wines will be $5 a glass. Other dining events include their Rustic Wine Dinner: a 3 course meal and wine pairings at $50/ticket throughout the year. You can find dates on their site! OR make a reservation to enjoy some fine dining at their Bistro.
  • Messina Hof – March 5th there’s a Murder Mystery Dinner for $69/ticket! There are also a lot of other regular events at the three different locations in Fredericksburg, Grapevine and Bryan including Trivia Night, Wine & Chocolate Pairings, Wine and Cheese Pairings, etc.

Now get out there and drink some Texas grape juice!!

Sincerely,
Amanda

 

Date Night Ideas for Couples Working with a Budget

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Sam and I went on a date the other night to see Deadpool – that Marvel movie starring Ryan Reynolds (I don’t recommend it by the way! I couldn’t believe that it was a Marvel movie. Too raunchy and twisted for my taste…definitely not a movie kids should go to either!) – luckily every Tuesday the theater by our house does $5 movie night and it got me thinking about dates we have done and love doing that typically aren’t that much money. Dinner at a trendy restaurant is fun and all…but those kind of dates can add up quick $$$….

Here are 11 date night ideas that are a little bit more friendly on the wallet:

  • Explore your city! Austin is filled with fun (and sometimes really weird – see below) murals and I love finding them and taking pictures! Go on a photo scavenger hunt, discover new little parks, or areas you had never been/seen before.

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AS-engaged-008both photo’s by: All Heart Photography
  • Go on a hike! A great way to get in some physical activity and good conversation.

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  • Try making a new recipe together for dinner! Turn on some Frank Sinatra, pour you both some Owner’s Box Cab and get cookin!

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  • Go to a minor league baseball game in your area and make a bet on the winning team. I know lawn seats to watch a game are cheap for the Round Rock Express.

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  • Go out dancing! You can pay $8 at the famous Broken Spoke Dance Hall and get an hour of two stepping and western swing dance lessons! And then stay after the lesson and keep dancing!

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  • Go to a concert or play in the park if they have those in your city. I know Austin always has free performances at Zilker Hillside Theater and free music at Blues on the Green. Bonus – you can pack a picnic!

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  • Go to a museum! Blanton Museum of Art is free on Tuesdays! A lot of museums offer reduced prices/free days.

 

  • Listen to a good podcast together. I talked about Serial in a couple previous posts, the podcast Sam and I have been listening to together! It’s nice because you can pause it and then talk about it together.

 

  • Have a marathon of your favorite show on Netflix or Hulu. Get cozy in your PJ’s, pop some corn, and cuddle up next to each other. Don’t just do it, make it an experience!

 

  • Sit on your back porch/patio/lawn with a glass of wine and a blanket and watch the sunset or look at the stars.

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  • Go to a coffee shop and play a board game. And don’t let your hubby/boyfriend outsmart you at checkers over and over and over again like me lol.

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Any others you’d add to the list? Hope you enjoy and happy date night-ing!

Sincerely,
Amanda

 

Weekend in Leakey, TX

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Our friend Jon took this picture and it’s the perfect picture of Zoey and Nugget’s weekend. They swam and played fetch and ran round the whole time. They were sooo enjoying life!

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Walking along the Frio

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This picture was also taken by Jon! I’m glad he caught some because I never managed to pull out my camera. I love this one because it catches one of Nugget’s looks.

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Lots of deer in Leakey!

Sam and I had renters in our Austin house so we took to Leakey for the weekend! It worked out perfect because Sam had a day job out near Leakey on Monday, so we were able to have a little peaceful getaway at the same time.

Sam’s parent’s own a quaint little double-wide with access to the Frio River. As our friend – Sam’s coworker Jon – puts it: “it’s like stepping back in time to the 60’s (or some decade around that). This is literally my grandma’s house.” Which he means in the best way possible, and I completely get it! Not to mention the limited to no cell service (unless you have at&t)…it really is a nice way to be out of touch and enjoy a slower pace like the good ole days 😉

We drove up Saturday (the most beautiful hill country drive) and listened to the Serial podcast, Season Two! Season two is about Bowe Bergdahl, the US Army Soldier who abandoned his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held captive by the Taliban for 5 years. It’s pretty interesting because Sarah Koenig – the reporter – does a great job of interviewing Bowe and other’s involved or acquainted with the events surrounding Bowe during this time and she pieces it all into an intriguing storyline. I posted about Season One here, but you can find the podcast and season two directly here.

Leakey is tiny, but charming! And it’s a great place to visit in the fall when you can drive 30 minutes to nearby Lost Maples State Park and see the beautiful changing leaves or in the summer when it’s hot enough to enjoy floating the Frio River. But you can really enjoy the view that Leakey provides year round.

There’s also a little grocery store – Leakey Mercantile – if you didn’t manage to hit the HEB in Hondo (or another grocery store depending on where you are coming from). And there are good restaurants, like Mama Chole’s (good Mexican food) and a fun hang out/biker favorite The Hog Pen. Plus a handful of others along the main town road.

A couple other neat places to stop nearby:

1. 27 minutes away is the town of Utopia. If you golf at all, you’ll enjoy the famous Utopia Golf Course, while also getting to say that you have been to the famous town that the movie “Seven Days in Utopia” was filmed. Make sure and eat at the Lost Maples Cafe on the Main Street. The food is good and the building is historic.

2. 10 miles away is Garner State Park located on the Frio River where you can enjoy swimming, hiking and camping!

3. As previously mentioned, Lost Maples State Park! Great hiking trails, sight seeing and you can camp as well.

Happy Travels!

Sincerely,
Amanda

March Events in Austin

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March is pretty much here, almost! March is always a fun, crazy & busy time in Austin because of the RODEO & SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST! BUT there are also a lot of other fun things to do, check it out below!

March 3rd:

  • First Thursday & West End Galleries 1st Thursday’s. This will happen every month! You can look back at my February post to find links to these two events.

March 4th:

  • BBQ AUSTIN AND WHISKEY MYERS: “Come out to BBQ Austin for a day of BBQ, live music and carnival fun from Austin’s largest carnival. Teams from all over Texas will be competiting for the title of “BBQ Austin Grand Champion” and will offer free samples to the public. Concerts will take place on the outdoor stage from 2:00-7:30 p.m., with Whiskey Myers headlining the event at 8:30 p.m. Fairgrounds admission is $8 for adults, $5 for kids. Parking is $10 at the gate.”

March 5th:

  • BBQ AUSTIN AND JOSH ABBOTT BAND: “Come out to BBQ Austin for a day of BBQ, live music and carnival fun from Austin’s largest carnival. Teams from all over Texas will be competiting for the title of “BBQ Austin Grand Champion” and will offer free samples to the public. Concerts will take place on the outdoor stage from 2:00-7:30 p.m., with Josh Abbott Band headlining the event at 8:30 p.m. Fairgrounds admission is $8 for adults, $5 for kids. Parking is $10 at the gate.”
  • Modern Home TourSee some of the prettiest and most well designed modern homes in Austin on this four hour tour and get great ideas for your house!
  • The Beach Boys Tickets 3/5 3-5-2016
    Saturday
    8:00 PM
    Long Center For The Performing Arts in Austin, TX View Tickets

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Photo: modernhometouraustin.com
  • Sherwood Forest Faire is going on every weekend in March. Check out my Feb post for a link!
  • Austin’s Original Pub Run: Run a 2 or 5 mile race through downtown from pub to pub and even by a few watering holes. Check out the pubs on the list through the link above.
  • Illuminate Austin: “Illuminate Austin is an evening walk at the Long Center, along a path lined with luminarias. This fun, family-friendly event benefits SafePlace, which provides shelter and essential services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Austin. This year, we are so excited to have The Mrs. as entertainment! For a sneak peek on the band, check out this video. You won’t want to miss an opportunity to rock out with these ladies.”

March 6th

  • Zilker Kite Festival: Watch hundreds of beautiful kites, or enter a kite contest while also enjoying food and other vendors!

March 9th

  • Nerd Nite (happens every month): Speed Dating w/ a fun topic of conversation! (also in Feb. post)

March 11-20th

  • South by Southwest: LOTS of live music, films, interactive fun stuff and exhibitions. The passes are pretty pricey and while I’ve never bought a pass, you can find a lot of free things to do and lots of giveaways while downtown during SXSW. Last year I found free Kendra Scott Jewelry! See an interview I did with Kendra Scott here.

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March 11-26th

  • Rodeo Austin: My favorite by far is the music! This year some of my fav’s coming to the Austin Rodeo are Willie of course, Josh Abbott Band, Cam, Brett Eldredge, Eli Young Band, Josh Turner & Kevin Fowler! Fav by far is probably Brett Eldredgand my tickets are already purchased! 🙂
LiveMusic1Photo: rodeoaustin.com
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Mom & I at the Austin Rodeo in 2010 watching Lady Antebellum perform. They were SO good live.

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Sam and I with a group of friends at the Houston Rodeo that same year watching Eli Young Band perform. Totally just friends at that point.

March 16-19th

  • Heart of Texas Rockfest: “The Heart of Texas Rockfest has played host to Rock Legends and Hitmakers like Tom Morello, George Lynch, Blue October, Ghostland Observatory, Pepper, Bob Schneider and many more. Every year a star is born and we continue to keep the event FREE and open to the public. NO $200 WRISTBAND REQUIRED.”

March 16

  • Austin Music Awards: Exactly what it sounds like. Kind of like an Austin version of the Grammys. Tickets are $25!
headerPhoto: austinmusicawards.frontgatetickets.com

March 17th

  • St. Patrick’s Day Austin: A family festival for people on St. Paddy’s Day (which did you know that was the correct way to spell it?) Get your fill of Irish traditions. OR just go to a pub downtown. Fado’s Irish Pub is always hoppin and will surely get crazy on St. Paddy’s. But be sure to buy tickets to the party before they’re sold out!
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This was one of my best friend’s 21st birthday (Sam D to the right of me in red) in 2009. In January I might add, but my roommate and I thought it would be fun to wear Irish shirts and be Irish for the night.

March 19-20th

  • Artists & Artisans Festival: “The intimate festival showcases the work of more than 30 American artists in beads, watercolor, metal, glass and other media. The sale includes nature-themed handmade items, such as mesquite bowls and handwoven clothing, painted silk art and sculptured jewelry as well as exquisite photographs and paintings on glass. The gardens are gearing up for spring with bluebonnets, winecup and other flowers prepping to bloom.”

March 24-26th

  • Easter Hill Country Tour: Grab your road bike and celebrate Easter on this 3 day tour through the Texas Hill Country. Don’t forget to snap some pictures in the bluebonnets!
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March 25-27th

  • Honk! TX: “HONK!TX is a nonprofit, community-driven festival that brings street and brass bands from around the country to perform for free in the public spaces of Austin, Texas. Mobile and unamplified, HONK! bands transform everyday locations into spontaneous stages, dissolving the line between crowd and performers and inviting everyone to celebrate the joys of music and community. A range of genres will be represented: New Orleans second-line brass, European Klezmer and Balkan, Brazilian, West African and more. HONK! is a celebration of community, collaboration and creative expression. Join the revelry!”

March 27th

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March 29-April 3rd

  • Broadway’s Cabaret: My mom and I have been to Wicked and The Little Mermaid together here in Austin and they are always so good!

Happy Planning!

Sincerely,
Amanda

 

Hiking at Hamilton Pool

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Sam and I have family on his side that just moved out to our neck of the woods and it’s been really fun getting to spend more time with them without having to drive all the way to Houston!

We all spent the weekend hanging out, eating good breakfast tacos (thanks Luke!), watching movies (Everest – ahhhh!! – & Father of the Bride), and hiking at Hamilton Pool. The weather was absolutely amazing, so there was no way we could just stay inside all weekend!

If you live in the Austin area, this is such a great spot to swim, picnic, tan and hang out with friends. Especially come summer time, I cant wait to go back and swim because the water is so clear! The only thing to note is that you want to get there as early as possible because they only let so many people in at a time and once they hit max capacity, you literally end up waiting in a line of cars over a mile long until people leave!

They are open 9am-6pm daily, but they stop letting people in at 5:30pm. You can call their number ahead of time to see what the wait is looking like at (512) 264-2740.

Happy Hiking!

Sincerely,
Amanda

February Austin Events

I love living in the Austin area. There’s always something to do! Whether it’s hiking, biking, going downtown, listening to live music or going to see a show. But sometimes it’s kind of hard to figure out what all is going on, especially if you feel like going out and doing something last minute. I’ve had a lot of Austin experiences where we luckily happen upon something cool going on (because there’s always something cool going on), but then I’ve also had experiences where we go downtown looking for something to do and just don’t know the right places to go.

That’s why I wanted to start sharing the main events that will be going on in Austin each month in 2016! Hopefully it helps if you are planning on visiting Austin or if you live here and aren’t quite sure what to do! Let me know if you have any questions or recommendations to make the list better 🙂

February 4th

  • 1st Thursday: West End Galleries from 6-8pm on West 6th. Go gallery hopping and enjoy art all within walking distance of each other. Some other’s nearby going on around the same time:
    • Women & Their Work
      Valentine Pop Up Gallery Shop
      one for me + one for you – happy hour
      Thursday, February 4, 5-7 pm : Shop & Sip! Please come over and mingle with these Austin makers, enjoy refreshments and browse our locally handmade delights. The gallery shop is open, too, and full of goodies.
    • Wally Workman Gallery
      Honora Jacob | Contemporary Histories
      Thursday, February 4, 5-8 pm
      Preview Happy Hour
  • 1st Thursday: Block Party on SoCo. All of the shops keep their doors open until 10pm, some of them even have special deals and give out drinks. A lot of the restaurants will have great drink specials as well.

February 6th

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February 9th

  • Mardi Gras Downtown! I won’t even try to list all of the things going on for Mardi Gras. Thankfully do512.com has us covered with all the Mardi Gras events. Basically it’ll be one big party downtown.

food_BakermansBakerman’s Patisserie and Chocolatier
PHOTO BY JOHN ANDERSON

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Mardi Gras 2011

February 10th

  • Nerd Nite – “Speed Dating – Single? Nerdy? Fan of free drinks? Come check out Nerd Nite’s Speed Dating! Meet friendly and fascinating nerds, let us know which ones you’d like to talk to again, and if the feeling is mutual, we’ll make sure that you can get in touch later. Tickets are only $9, and include a free drink and the opportunity to reserve a prime seat for the main Nerd Nite event. We will be gathering in the back bar, a.k.a. the North Door bar– it’s cozy, and we think you’ll really like the atmosphere.”

February 12-14th

February 13-14, 20-21, & 27-28

  • Sherwood Forest Faire : Kind of like the Texas Renaissance festival that happens every year. There is entertainment, shops, food, etc. all set to a medieval theme!
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Ren Fest with college buddies in ’09

February 14th

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My second half marathon in 2012. The Spartan Beast. 13+ miles and 30+ obstacles!

February 16th

  • Ameripolitan Music Awards : Awards given to music outside of the confines of what is popular today. A great way for people to discover new artists and new music!

7120ed0dc32effc2666e69455fa5333bphoto: ameripolitan.com

February 18th

  • Third Thursdays at the Blanton : This art museum is free to the public on the third Thursday of every month! Enjoy art and then enjoy a glass of wine and slic of pizza at the cafe for only $5! Museum open until 9pm on third Thursdays.
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This was one of the exhibitions at the Blanton seven years ago! And that’s me with my best friend from high school seven years ago!

February 20th

  • Mighty Texas Dog Walk : Go for the biggest dog walk ever, right along Lady Bird Lake. There are do experts, free samples and a shopping plaza to enjoy too!
  • Lights, Camera…The Oscars! : I’m excited for this one because I’ve been wanting to go and hear the Austin Symphony and what better time than when they are playing all of the best music from all of our favorite movies? Right now you can still get tickets from $12!!

February 26-27th

  • Austin Jugglefest : If you enjoy the circus arts, then this if for you! Go take a workshop and learn some tricks of the trade.

February 27th

February 27-28th

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The only baking competition I ever won! In 2010 and I won a $20 gift card to Target.

P.S. Always check austinconcerts.org to see what live music is coming to town! Here are a couple in February that sounded familiar:

Mutemath Tickets 2/25 2-25-2016
Thursday
8:00 PM
Emo’s East in Austin, TX View Tickets
Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo Tickets 2/25 2-25-2016
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8:00 PM
ACL Live At The Moody Theater in Austin, TX View Tickets
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Last year, Sam & I saw John Butler, Wild Child and Luke Wade at Stubbs! Such a great music venue here in Austin.

Hope you all have a fun-filled February!!

Sincerely,
Amanda

New Year’s in Austin, Texas

Still deciding where to go for NYE? If you are heading out on the town in Austin, Texas I have a little list of fun places to go in your best fancy shiny sparkly outfit! I would recommend skipping 6th street all together because it’s going to be insane! Unless you really want the crazy experience, then go for it! But if not, check out one of these parties instead and ring in 2016 in true NYE fashion. The price is well worth the atmosphere and goodies that come with the tickets!

1. The Driskill

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photos: www.driskillhotel.com

For $125 dollars you can enjoy a 6 course NYE meal at The Driskill Grill (you can check out the whole menu through the link above to the website) and entrance to the party at the Driskill Bar.

Otherwise if you want to skip the big dinner you can pay a $25 cover for entrance to the Driskill Bar where there will be live entertainment, dancing, and a champagne midnight toast!

2. The W Austin

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photos: www.whotelaustin.com

There are still tickets available for their All Things Positive NYE Celebration! They have a group rate for tickets. Or you can buy a single for $150, pair for $250 or get a special discount for being with a non-profit or with the press: $100

50% of the profits will go to non-profits in the Austin area and your ticket gets you musical entertainment, dancing, a champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres, and midnight breakfast taco buffet!

For $115 you can enjoy a NYE dinner at TRACE and then gain entrance to the W’s biggest NYE party in the Living Room for $25 a person, otherwise sold out!

3. The Goodnight

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Photos: do512blog.com & thrillist.com

This one is a little more casual. All inclusive Casino Night at one of the best bowling alleys in Austin. From 9pm-1am enjoy bowling, casino tables, appetizers, $5,000 in chips, 1 raffle ticket for a trip to Vegas and a champagne toast at midnight!

4. Gourdough’s Public House

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Photo: www.gourdoughs.com

This place is famous for their big fat donuts, and this year they’re throwing a Big Fat NYE Bash at their 5th street location. For $95 get: All Inclusive Drinks, Hors D’oeuvres & Donuts from 9pm-12am, Party Favors, DJ and Midnight Countdown complete with Champagne Toast!

5. Four Seasons Austin

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Photos: www.fourseasons.com

Enjoy a fancy 5 course meal at their restaurant TRIO for $125/pp. Afterward join the party in the lobby lounge overlooking Ladybird Lake for $40 with live music until 1am!

Happy New Year!

Sincerely,
Amanda

Life is Lovely in Lakeway, Texas

About 23 miles northwest of downtown Austin, you will find Lakeway, one of the fastest growing – yet still quaint, little towns in Texas. This little quiet lake-town offers a variety of recreational activities and ways to relax for the out-of-town traveler or the Austinite looking for a weekend stay-cation!

Where to stay:

Lakeway offers several different lodging accommodations. If you are looking for the resort experience, stay at Lakeway Resort & Spa! There you’ll enjoy heated swimming pools with a swim up bar, views of Lake Travis, southern comfort food at the Lakeway Restaurant and different spa packages available at the San Saba Spa. Of course Lakeway has a couple regular hotels too – Holiday Inn Express & Suites – but don’t forget to book in advance during peak seasons because they fill up fast.

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condoliving1.originalPhoto’s: lakewayresortandspa.com

If you are working on a budget stay at one of many cozy vacation rentals just minutes from access to Lake Travis, set in quaint neighborhoods filled with grazing deer, scenic evening walks and walking distance to Lakeway City Park!

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Our cozy Air BNB rental.

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Literally see these guys every night on our walks through the neighborhood.

What to Do:

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If you enjoy golfing, try out one of four beautiful golf courses in the immediate area: FalconHead Golf Course, Spanish Oaks, Flintrock Falls, and Live Oak and Yaupon Golf Course. I’m not much of a golfer but I hear the courses are beautiful! You can’t visit old Lakeway without seeing at least one person driving down the street in their golf buggy to get to the course!

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Zoey at Lakeway City Park before the Lake filled back up!

If being active is your thing then go for a walk or run at Lakeway City Park or the nearby Hamilton Greenbelt. Lakeway City Park offers two miles of trails (some are hidden so you have to look carefully), volleyball courts, spaces to enjoy a picnic lunch – at the picnic tables or on the expansive lawn with a water front view. And recently lots and lots of water to swim in or let your dogs splash around in! Sam and I have now seen the lake empty and full, but either way there is a lot to do at Lakeway City Park.

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Mansfield Dam Park on a sunny and warm summer day (while the lake was rising).

Hamilton Greenbelt offers several miles of trails along Hurst Creek and Yaupon Creek, perfect for hiking, jogging or bike riding. This greenbelt is quaint and quiet with a lot of scenery to take in, and the hike is easy making this the perfect leisurely morning, afternoon or evening activity.
During the warmer seasons you can spend the day in the sun and on the water at Mansfield Dam Park. For $10 per vehicle you gain access to a boat ramp, picnic areas, swimming and panoramic views of Lake Travis.

If you’d rather stay inside: Sign up for a dance night with Go Dance Lakeway. If you happen to be visiting on the second Monday of the month you can enjoy Lakeway’s free Big Band Bash where the 17 piece Republic of Texas Big Band brings the dance floor to life. Just bring your dancing shoes and your own beverages and snacks! You can have a girl’s night or a date night at Painting with a Twist – Lakeway and stay tuned for the family entertainment center, High 5, to open January 2016. With bowling, laser tag, arcade games and food this will be a fun spot for the whole family!

Where to Eat:

JAKritasPhoto: http://santacatarinarestaurant.com

Santa Catarina offers the best presented and best tasting Mexican food in Lakeway. Their Queso Fundido is so good you’ll want to order two and you definitely don’t want to miss out on their happy hour because their margaritas are super fresh and super yummy. The last time I was there I’m pretty sure I had like five!

homeslider_645x455_eggsalad_1538Photo: http://www.leaguelakeway.com

The League Kitchen and Tavern offers an early twentieth century vibe and a unique array of southern comfort foods such as Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Fried Pork Chop, Grown Up Grilled Cheese and The Society Burger. They also offer a fun selection of drinks such as Battle for the Alamo, The Cartel, and El Guapo Shandy! You can see more about these and other menu items online at their site. My hub goes here frequently for drinks with his friends and they seem to really enjoy it because it’s become their regular meet up.

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At brunch this past weekend with friends.

Last but NOT least is The Grove Wine Bar and Kitchen! It offers some of the most beautiful views of The Hill Country as well as some of the most delicious foods and wine and without a doubt THE BEST brunch in Lakeway and one of the best in the Austin area. Their Sausage Gone Wild Pizza and their Chicken and Waffles are two of my favorite things so far! Not to mention their bloody mary bar and different flavored mimosas. You’ll love it all.

For other ideas for your visit to Lakeway you can visit the City Website. The Lakeway Trail of Lights starts December 5th so be sure to walk through the lights and music if you are in town in December. The show starts at 6pm and goes every night to December 31st.

Hill Country Trail of Lights on The Daytripper

Good Tuesday evening to you all 🙂 hope it finds you well! Mine is pretty good. I’m grading papers, Sam’s on his way home with some delicious food that will probably expand my waist line instead of shrink it and I’m currently accepting the fact that I’m sick again… but hoping it passes quickly. This weekend we have friends coming into town for a Christmas get together and I CANT WAIT! And I want to be healthy by then.

In other Christmas related news, my second guest post for The Daytripper is up on their blog 🙂

Take a road trip with The Daytripper and see the Hill Country Trail of Lights!

Sincerely,
Amanda