Posts Tagged ‘Austin’

After a weekend of Easter indulgence, it felt good and detoxifying to start Monday on a lighter note with a bowl of whipped banana oatmeal a la KERF, with my own twists of water instead of milk, and few banana slices and a scoop of peanut butter on top. Hello, routine. I’ve missed you.

Next, Velvet Husband and I attended my beloved Body Pump class together! Yes, my schedule has been weird and travel-heavy lately, and I’m aware of my irritatingly vague allusions regarding said schedule. Stay tuned for more details in later posts, dear readers!

I forgot my camera, so I have no pictures of weights + gym this go-around. My muscles still ache two days later, so that’s proof enough for me that class was successful. However, on a slightly nonplussed note, I’d like to point out that not one but two women offered aggressive and unsolicited  advice to my husband during Body Pump class. For example, one woman who was very late to class (let’s call her “Tardy for the Party,” shall we?) performed most exercises incorrectly and unsafely, all while groaning in agony. Last I checked, this isn’t Wimbledon, and you’re no Monica, mkay? Tardy for the Party might as well have been [unsafely] lifting weights on her own. She wasn’t even doing Body Pump. Then, while my hardworking hubby pumped his way through the shoulder track, Tardy for the Party raced up to him, poked at his shoulder muscles, and barked incomprehensible commands at him. The Husband was not pleased, but being the gracious Southern gentleman he is, he brushed off the comments and focused on his workout. Good man.

After the drama Body Pump, I enjoyed [two glasses of] refreshing strawberry, banana, blueberry, kale, chocolate whey powder smoothie with a few scoops of peanut butter for healthy fat. Routine never tasted so good.

Velvet Husband and I headed to the airport and flew to Orange County, which is where we’re staying through the end of the week. Before hopping on our flight, we each enjoyed yummy Schlotzsky’s sandwiches. I didn’t quite finish my veggie sandwich, but only because I was saving a little room for a famous little Texas treat, a Lammes Candies’ Longhorn. On our short layover in Phoenix, I enjoyed a hot vanilla rooibos tea from Starbucks. Upon arrival in Orange County, my parents were not disappointed when we came bearing extra Lammes candies.

After a hard day at the gym, Velvet Husband found respite in his Texas praline treats. More from the OC later!

Do you think Tardy for the Party was off base, do you think she was just trying to be helpful, or something in between?


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On Easter morning, Velvet Husband and I donned our Sunday best and headed to the annual Easter celebration at Velvet Aunt and Uncle’s farm in East Travis County.

We look forward to Easter at the farm every year. First, we packed ourselves into the on-site chapel like little sardines. Something about singing hymns with family and dear friends in a little chapel warms my soul and makes me feel like dancing. He is risen, indeed!

After church, we enjoyed a delicious brunch prepared by sweet Renee here. Renee is so genuine and prepares our meal with care each year. He said something that touched me — he said that he always keeps the family in mind while he prepares the meal. We’ve all heard of mindful eating, but Renee is also a mindful chef. Food always tastes better when it’s prepared with love.

I made sure to praise Renee for his beautiful portabello mushrooms. He shared with me that they were made of mushrooms, panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Simplicity is so sweet, isn’t it? The mixed vegetable salad of green beans and brussels sprouts was fresh and delicious, and some of the ingredients were directly sourced from the farm.

Velvet Husband’s Grand Uncle recently celebrated his 80th birthday, so we helped him commemorate the occasion with a colorful Easter cake with heavenly icing. It was no Patsy’s chocolate cake, but sometimes store-bought cake does the trick. Most importantly, it was fun to celebrate our wonderful Great Uncle. He is such a special and inspiring man, and I’m honored to be a part of his family. I love talking with him about the latest books, movies, and their most recent global escapades; he loves to travel with his beautiful wife and Velvet Husband’s sweet Mimi. He inspires us all with his sweet spirit and contagious joie de vivre. It’s hard not to smile around this guy!

With happy hearts and full bellies, we talked for several hours and enjoyed that gorgeous Texas sunshine. Here we are with the Mimi, Velvet Husband’s wonderfully sweet grandmother.

And what Easter is complete without a little pink and green?

True story  — the little boy on the far right approached me, Velvet Husband, and Renee and asked if he could take one of the large Easter eggs (bottom left) home. Lacking egg-doling authority, we directed him to Velvet Uncle (far left). Looks like things didn’t go so well, ha!

I made a new furry farm friend.

Here’s Velvet Husband with his amazing Aunt, who, along with her husband, graciously hosted all Easter and pre-Easter celebrations. I am so blessed to call such beautiful people my family. Many thanks for another wonderful Easter!

After the family revelry, Velvet Husband and I wanted to chill out, but we weren’t ready to head back out to my parents’ house. So, we stopped by one of our favorite coffee shops in Austin, Mozart’s on Lake Austin, for refreshment, reading, and blogging. I would be hard-pressed to recommend a better place to read and blog on a gorgeous sunny day in Austin. Mozart’s has a tempting array of desserts, coffee drinks, and smoothies. Given my content post-brunch belly, I opted for an unsweetened iced tea and a Topo Chico. Days like this remind me to appreciate all the wonderful blessings in my life: God, family, friends, and good health. Happy Belated Easter to you and yours, friends!

Which holidays hold the most significance for you and your family? 

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Happy Belated Easter, friends! Velvet Husband’s family (and by the grace of God, my family as of that balmy August ’08 day!) does Easter big. For the past few days, we’ve enjoyed good old-fasioned family bonding in the homeland. Minimal cooking [by me at least], plentiful eating out. I kept my meals relatively healthy by eating as clean as possible while allowing room for worthy indulgences. I don’t waste my time with mediocre desserts, y’all. If its sugary, then it better be worth it! That said, for the next few posts, don’t expect many recipes. On the other hand, do expect numerous mouthwatering dessert pictures involving chocolate, cake, and icing. Mmmm. Consider yourselves warned!

Saturday began with lunch at Patsy’s Cowgirl Cafe, a true Texas family gem owned by Velvet Husband’s remarkable Aunt and Uncle. Patsy’s local artwork, country music, and homestyle meals would do Miss Patsy Cline proud. This Texpat cowgirl was positively smitten by the western decor!

Since I had a light breakfast, I savored my yummy chicken and mashed potato special with a light side salad dressed up with a lovely  house-made balsamic.

My hearty meal was followed by what might be the most decadent and delicious slice of chocolate cake I have ever had. Alexis Bellino might call it “sinful.” Ha! Well, I’ve never met a chocolate cake too rich or sinful for my taste. Everything [chocolatey] in moderation, loves…

Welcome to our table! We had so much fun catching up with our amazing family. Lots of hugs, cheek kisses, and laughter. A perfect start to the Easter weekend. And I’ll go ahead and mention the elephant blue horse in the room. There. I said it. We Austinites are an eclectic bunch with eclectic taste to boot!

I was smitten by the cowgirl decor. This would look fabulous in our San Francisco old Victorian living room, no? 😉

After a wonderful lunch, we moved on to the next family event – a comedy show at Esther’s Follies! Again, in the spirit of full disclosure — The Husband’s amazing Aunt and Uncle own the Follies. Family connection aside, Esther’s is an Austin institution and it rocks. If you find yourself in Austin and need a good laugh (who doesn’t?), head on down to Esther’s for a good old time. I was too busy enjoying the show to take pictures, but trust me when I say it’s hilarious.

After Esther’s, a few of us youngins walked over to Club DeVille, a divey live music joint where we were the only table not wearing skinny/ripped/holy jeans. My Lilly print top, J Brand capris, and pearls were out of place in a beautifully Austiny way. And you know what? It didn’t matter. That’s the beauty of Austin.

Afterwards, Velvet Husband and I took off in our new ride. Suits us well, don’t you think? Keep Austin weird, y’all.

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For a Texpat, the first few hours back in Austin are precious. Don’t waste them. Various food establishments and neighborhoods will compete for your time, but you’ll eventually give in to best friends, tortilla chips, and queso. The stuff of dreams for Texpats.

Upon securing rental car, calling friends, and changing facebook status (Just landed in Austin!), arrange to meet friends at Guero’s on South Congress, an Austin institution that stirs up football, margarita, and queso nostalgia.

Trust me on this one — order Topo Chico. Expect bewildered looks if you ask for pelligrino or “sparkling water.”

Yes, everything really is bigger in Texas. Therefore, I recommend splitting your fajita platter with a willing partner. Husbands will generally oblige.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with corn and flour tortillas, guacamole, rice, beans, sour cream, cheese, salsa, and meat combinations. Think of it as a choose your own adventure book. You’ll eat healthier tomorrow. Today, embrace the fajita, one of Mexico’s wonderful contributions to the great state of Texas.

Be extra sweet to the waitress, and she’ll offer to take your picture.

Welcome home, y’all!

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I love running in the hill country at my parents’ house.

For a few precious moments…I am back in Old Texas, under a high sky, where all things are again possible and the wind blows free.

Lary L. King

I may or may not have just started a blog. We’ll see how long this one lasts. 😉

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