Taste Texas: Austin: Hillside Farmacy

Brunch, it’s just what we do nowadays. Sleep in a little but not too late. Just late enough so that we should call it breakfast. Meet some good friends to catch up and take Instagram pictures of the mouth watering breakfast/lunch infusing meals we call brunch. Yay! Sunday funday!

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One of my favorite places to go for brunch in all of Austin is Hillside Farmacy. Located on East 11th street. Brunch goers paradise. Everything quaint. Outside beautifully painted mural on the walls and few tables and chairs along the front patio. Inside, bookcases line some of the walls with sauces, wine and antique looking bottles, still reflecting the pharmacy image. Order a craft of mimosas and it’s usually brought out in an Erlenmeyer Flasks. Every inch from outside to inside, Insta- worthy.

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Now on to the food! Oh deliciously comforting food. My hands down favorite dish to order is the Mac & Cheese. Perfectly slightly sharp yet still creamy comforting. I usually add pancetta and a poached egg for a little extra fee. Absolutely worth it. I’ve had a few different sandwiches, all tastebud invigorating. The BLT benny, also perfection. Oh hollandaise, making brunch goers “le sigh” with delightful bliss.

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Texas: Shop local for your San Antonio Rodeo Ready Outfits

Ladies! The smell of BBQ and manure is in the air. The 2015 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is here. Have you put together your rodeo get up yet? I’ve got you covered. I visited some local boutiques around San Antonio to find some fabulous outfits. You know, “these boots were made for walking,” well let’s add to that some class and southern sassy outfits that will make those cowboy hats tip. I even found a boutique that will have a booth at the rodeo grounds!

First up, Moda Mia Fashion Boutique. Now this is the place to get some chic trendy dresses! I was caught off guard by the beautiful selection and left with a dress for my birthday, instead of the rodeo. Either way, take a look at some of my favorites from Moda Mia!

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Next, up is Montage Vintage. Yep, vintage! It’s a vintage up-cycle boutique and I found  amazing pieces. Some maybe even for those that “walk the line.” 

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Last, but definitely not least, cause I had to save the best for last is Double Back Ranch! I found out about their store while I was at the Rodeo BBQ cook-off. They are located in St. Hedwig, which just a little off east 1604, and a few miles away from my Dad’s ranch! Their store is adorable from top to bottom. Everything with a little class and southern sass, home decor, dresses, skirts, shorts, pants, t-shirts, and accessories. So, if you like to get all dolled up or just more of a jeans and t-shirt gal, they have you covered! St. Hedwig, looking a little out of the way on the map? Guess what!?!? They have a pretty fabulous booth on the rodeo grounds this year! Perfect, if you’re going straight from work and need a glamorous wardrobe change. They are going to be in the Two-Step Expo. Hall booth 507-509.

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If y’all have an suggestions on local boutiques that are also rodeo ready let me know!

Music Ministry Monday: Speak Love

How do you speak? What words do you say the most to express yourself? Take a moment and reflect on a typical conversation you may have had with a friend, a family member, co-worker, or even someone in passing. How do their words make you feel about their personality? Ever stop and think how your own words convey yourself to others?

I know my communication style with work is a director, but at the same time, y’all will never hear a curse from my lips. Okay, I know “never say never.” Sometimes, it’s shocking to my friends but then they think back on our conversations and realize the worse words I say extend to “crap” and “hell.”

In the song “The Proof of Your Love,” by For King & Country, they sing of showing, speaking, acting so that every things you do conveys the proof of your love for God.

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-7, The Message)”

 

 

Also, JJ Weeks Band sings the same message in Let Them See You.

“Let them see you in me Let them hear you when I speak. Let them see you let them see you in me.”

 

 

Some people find it attractive to hear curse words. They think, now there’s a person that’s confident. Nowadays, it’s become just a normal part of mostly everyone’s vocabulary. I think it’s taken a lot of courage and confidence for me to choose to speak love.

I can not write or speak about my faith without also showing it in everything I do. If I were to speak with curse words, it would discredit my messages of faith and love. I don’t think anyone would see the love and grace of a God I want to convey. So speak love, so that the grace of God shows in everything you do.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Ephesians 4:29

Que Pasa Central Texas

Mid-September is already here and festival season has begun. There’s so many events happening in Central Texas this month. So pack your sunblock, bug spray, and water bottles and head out to an event on this list, deep in the heart of Texas. See y’all out and about.

*Oui! Wednesday|Passport to Paris: French Language
Where: San Antonio- McNay Art Museum
When: every Wednesday- December 17
Time: 2pm
More information
Cost: Free with museum admission

*Art|Music|Food-Second Thursdays
Where:San Antonio- McNay Art Museum
When:every 2nd Thursday of the month
Time: 6-9pm
More information
Cost:Free

*Movies in the Park: “Raising Arizona”
Where:Austin- Republic Square
When: September 11
Time:8pm
Cost: Free

*2nd Fridays: Art Walk
Where: San Antonio- N.St.Marys street & Josephine Street
When: September 12
Time:6pm- 10pm

*Second Saturdays
Where: San Antonio- S. Flores St.
When: September 13
Time:6pm- 10pm
More information
El Campo will be an awesome band to checkout

*Banger’s Smoke-out Saturday
Where: Austin- Banger’s on Rainey St.
When: September 13
Time: 11am
More information

*Utopiafest
Where: Utopia-Four Sisters Ranch
When: September 12-14
More information

*Capitol of Texas QuiltFest Fiesta
Where: Austin- Palmer Event Center
When: September 12-14
http://www.captxquiltfest.org

*Los Lonely Boys
Where: New Bruanfels- Gruene Hall
When:September 12
Time: 8pm
http://gruenehall.com

*Viva Mexico!
Where: Austin- Mexican American Culture Center
When: September 13
Time: 7pm
More information

*Échale! Block party
Where: San Antonio- History Pearl Brewery
When: September 13
Time: 1pm- 6pm
http://atpearl.com/calendar/echale

*Kings of Leon| Mechanical Bull Tour with Young The Giant and Kongos
Where:Austin- Austin360 Amphitheater
When:September 13
Time: 5:30pm
http://austin360amphitheater.com/events/kings-of-leon-with-young-the-giant-and-kongos

Tour de Vin by The Food & Wine Foundation of Texas
Where: Austin- W Austin
When: September 18
Time: 6pm
http://www.winefoodfoundation.org/events/tour-de-vin/

*Fowler Fest 2014
Where: Austin- Nutty Brown Cafe
When: September 20
http://nuttybrown.com/concert-calendar/fowler-fest-2014

*Texas Craft Brewers Festival
Where: Austin- Fiesta Gardens
When: September 27
http://texascraftbrewersfestival.org

*South Texas Corn Maize opens
Where: Hondo
When: September 27
More Information

*Schlotzsky’s 32nd Bun Run with fastest dog in Austin race
Where:Austin- Alterra Parkway & Kramer Lane
When: September 28
More information

*San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Bar-B-Que Off & Festival
Where: Freeman Coliseum/ AT & T Center grounds
When: September 25- 27
http://www.sarodeo.com/attractions/bar-b-que-cook-off-and-festival

Transformation Tuesday: Getting Healthy

Just a few weeks short, from two years, since I had the shingles. Oh what terrible experience! About six months before I started working out with my friend, Brandon, that is a personal trainer. Now I’ve always been relatively petit, but I wanted to be fit.

We’d workout once or twice a week, cardio, boxing, weight. My work schedule at the time never allowed me to get on a constant routine. Eh, I was still slowly getting stronger. Now, I did not change my diet, if any thing I probably ate worst. So I wasn’t seeing results, just feeling stronger.

It was about mid-September when I woke up in the middle of the night. There was a stinging feeling along my lower right side of my back wrapping around my hip. There was a trail of bumps that looked like spider bites along my hip. The next two days I went out and about with my day, but the pain was getting worse.

I showed my grandma, telling her I thought it was spider bites. She gasped and told me it reminded her of when she had the shingles. She said it follows my lower back nerve line, “and those bumps that look like spider bites are going to start blistering.” Of course, she was right. I went to the doctor the next day and sure enough, diagnosis, Shingles. I was quickly put on pain meds, given a strict diet, and instructed to stay away from babies and senior citizens.

What is Shingles? Well, you chicken pox? The virus never leaves your body. It stays dormant in your nerves, your whole life. When it reactivates, it painfully emerges as the shingles. It can be activated, by stress, low immune system, etc. It starts off looking like bug bites. It follows a nerve line. As days progress without treatment, it’ll start to blister. Then after about 2-4 weeks the blisters go away and you are left with scares and pain. The pain level, during blistering, is said to be worse than child birth.

It was about 4-5 days in before I started any treatments so my case ended up being relatively severe. Since it was along my long back and hip nerve line, I could barely walk. I grew very weak and was in bed for about three and half weeks. The strict diet limited pretty much everything, so my body would absorb the medication better. My scars have mostly healed, but the pain still slightly lingers.

Once I recovered, and was able to have a regular diet again, I started running. I tried running a few fun 5k marathons to help get my strength and endurance back up. I still felt weak and my weight, was way under healthy, my size. So, I decided to just eat everything I want for a few months, no holding back to put on some weight on.

In April this year, I finally reached a weight a little over my previously normal range. I was so excited, because I wanted to start working out again. This time with a goal to reach my peak fitness. Now I don’t want to become one of those scary buff looking girls. I’ve concentrated on making healthier choice. Subbing quinoa for rice has made a huge difference! You have no idea how hard it is for an Asian to give up as jasmine rice.

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Taking my vitamins everyday has also helped me have more energy, making workouts and running a little easier. I’m not as strong as I want to be yet, but I definitely on my way to being my healthiest self yet.

Swagger back

Recently, I had a terrible case of homesickness. I missed everything I loved in San Antonio, my family, my church, my friends, and my social life. Growing up Catholic, in San Antonio, makes living in Austin difficult. Even though Austin is a smaller city, than San Antonio, it feels larger.

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There’s an funny phrase I like to say about my hometown, “San Antonio is the biggest small town.” I love the calmness, tradition, culture rich, friendly community that most residents instill with passion. It’s one of the top 10 largest cities in the United States of America, but you can usually run into someone you know any where in the city. Mostly everyone knows each other in some crazy, intricate twine.

Homesickness was definitely consuming. I lost my curiosity to explore Austin, to explore anything. I was looking at everything negatively. Blah, blah, blah. About two weeks ago I got to take a trip home. I was so pumped, because it was First Friday, and my friend’s annual BBQ!

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So, First Friday, is a celebration of art, music and food in downtown San Antonio, every First Friday of the month. Kind of like a mini Fiesta. There’s always a themed pub run, that has become really popular within the past few years. The month of August is an 80’s theme. My friend Mariah and I dressed up as R2D2 and Yoda. I got relax and just have a blast dancing. I forgot how much I love to dance! I think this help spark my cure!

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Next day was my friend, Mark’s annual BBQ. It’s pretty special, because it’s to celebrate his remission from Leukemia. This year, was six years, of being in remission. SIX YEARS, I FEEL OLD! (Back story: I meet Mark in college when he had leukemia. He was a brother in the same fraternity that a handful of friends from high school were in. We have a few things in common, such as, San Antonio is the best, growing up Catholic, and festival food fanatics!) Back to the BBQ, it was great to have some good BBQ, home cooked food! Definitely help cure my homesickness.

I ran a bunch of errands, but also stopped by to catch up with my grandma, mom and sisters. Helping my baby sister pack for her trip was kind of scary. Clothes every where! Made it back to Austin by Sunday morning to see one of my best friend’s show at the HOPE Farmer’s market. I still wasn’t completely cured yet.

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Then last week I got a tweet from Lambert’s that I won two free tickets to a show featuring Nick House Band and Northern Quarters. Awesome! I love Lambert’s! The food is amazing, especially brunch! There’s this Frito pie with poached egg dish that I just can’t get enough of. My friend, Jack, came along and kept pointing out all these places and things in Austin I had not explored or tried. Well, I got there and the first band, Nick House Band, started just shortly after. They were a blast! Trumpet, some funky Spanglish, they had the crowd dancing. They even tossed some candy to the audience. How sweet. (I couldn’t help it) I was cured! Their energy and excitement in the show reminded me how much I love discovering new things, especially music.

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My love for music runs deep. I love how people can connect, relate, express and just have fun. When I was younger, I turned to music, to drown out the yelling of my brother and sister’s crazy dad. (You’ll learn more about the darker days in my past as I post chapters from my Growing Up Charming series) Weather it was practicing an instrument, singing , or just listening it helped instill a calmness in me. As a freshmen, in college, I minored in music. Took some classes where I had to research the Didgeridoo, went to the symphony and wrote analysis papers. Anyway, when I transferred I decided to just focus on biology/ Pre-med. Oh well

After, seeing the passion and excitement in the Nick House Band members, I felt inspired again. I’ve got that sparkle, twinkle in my eye, swagger back. Watch out! Yeah, I went there. There’s so many things to explore and I can’t wait to share with y’all.

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