Le Garage Sale

It’s here! Today’s the day the Le Garage Sale kicks off.

This is one of my favorite events in Austin. And it’s during my birthday! Happy Birthday to me. Who doesn’t love buying things on sale?

What is the Le Garage Sale? It’s like a warehouse, end of season sale for local boutiques and designers, all in one place. Sales racks, on sales racks, on sales racks. For a 20 something, almost 30, with a car payment, rent, and students loans, this is the best way to fill up my closet and stay within my budget.

The Southern Tx Charm tips for making the most out of the Le Garage Sale:

Stay Calm and courtesy: When you open the doors and see all the racks and peoples, at the Palmer Events Center, it can be a bit overwhelming and exciting at the same time. Just breathe, and take it row by row.

Map it out: If you don’t have a lot of time to browse and shop row by row, plan ahead. Take a look at their online site and pick out the vendors you want to shop. There’s maps at the entry tables to help guide you to the shops you’d like to check out.

Bargain Bin dive: Don’t be afraid to dig into the $5 bins! I’ve found so many amazing pieces in them.

Bring your own bags: not every vendor has bags. So it’s definitely a good idea to be prepared and bring your own.

•have a drink: it’s my birthday and they have cocktails and coffee for sale! Usually located in the back corners. Perfect for a happy shopping mood or if you’re like me, going row by row, and need an energy boost.

Have fun: Don’t get crazy, sometimes someone might grab something you were eyeing, just remember there’s amazing deals all around you and hop, skip, jump to the next rack

XOXO,

Sydney Charming

P.S. Here’s some of my favorite pieces I’ve purchased at the Le Garage Sale:

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Taste Texas: Castroville: Haby’s Alsatian Bakery

A deliciously delightful Texas must stop, Alsatian bakery on the drive home. I’ve mention plenty of times before that I am from the city of San Antonio, but my Mom’s family’s hometown is D’Hanis, Texas. Located slightly southwest of San Antonio, a beautiful Texas country side drive down Highway 90. 

 Some thing else I may not have mention, I went to elementary school outside of the city, in the first charming small town going down 90, Castroville. St. Louis Catholic School, now we’re talkin’ real small town, schooling. When I attended, there was only about 100 kids in the entire school. So one class of about 15 to maybe 20 students for each grade level. Yep, I had the same classmates every year. Well, one of my favorite Texas bakeries, was just down the street and around the corner from my school. (Actually, everything in this town is basically down the street and around the corner.) 

    

Last week my Mom and I were driving through town and stopped by. We ended up sparking a petty good conversation with the friendly staff and customers. “The meat market down the street, Dzuiks, how do you pronounce the name?” Everyone pronounced it differently. “The ‘D’ is silent.” “No, the ‘Z’ is silent.” “I’ve always pronounced it with a ‘J’ sound.” I guess next time I’m passing through I’ll have to stop by for some deer jerky and ask the staff. 

 Haby’s Alsatian Bakery! Castroville is a French-Alsatian settled town. Founded by Henri Castro, in 1844. A lot of the original settlers from Alsace, influence is still visible today. Haby’s has an assortment of fresh baked pastries. So delicious, light, fluffy, and sweet. They also bake cakes for every occasion. Oh, the oatmeal raisin cookiesare my favorite! 

 

A Family Tradition: Quinceañera

I remember turning 14 and my mom asking me if I wanted to have a quinceanera. (These extravagant birthday parties take about a whole year in advance of planning.) “No thank you,” I replied. I was a really shy kid. A crowd of people watching me attempt a dance. Nope.

 One of my cousin’s recently had her Quinceanera in our family’s hometown of D’Hanis, Texas. Emily has grown into a beautiful lovely young lady. I remember there was quite a big scare when she was born. Her mother is my second cousin. (It’s weird cause she looks much like my mom but she’s family so that makes sense.) Anyway, my cousin Donna went into labor at just a mere 25 weeks of pregnancy. I remember Emily was so tiny. There was neonatal experts taking care of her.

 She made it through and now she’s 15 years old! I’m not really close with her but a birthday celebration is a huge milestone and it was amazing to see who she has become.

 She was surrounded by her parents, and school friends. She still seems kind of quiet and shy, just like I was.   Quinceaneras usually have a Mass at church, then a dinner followed by a waltz and then a dance for everyone to join in. While the finally set ups for the dinner were taking place we were entertained by some mariachis and a little dancing. I had to leave before the dance to get back up to Austin but again. I love getting celebrate and see how lovely of a little lady Emily has grown into. 

Taste Texas: San Antonio: Casa Rio

It’s the Riverwalk. It’s family. It’s delicious Tex-Mex food. It’s tradition. What else do you think of when you hear someone mention San Antonio’s Casa Rio? 

My mouth waters, my stomach hungrily grumbles, I feel all warm and fuzzy and I think of the countless memories eating there with my family.  I’ve mostly eaten on the patio, so I picture those iconic vibrantly colored table umbrellas along the river walk. Centrally located, it’s so easy to find. Commerce, “you know right by that big red sculptor, but go down stairs along the Riverwalk.”  If you’re from San Antonio you probably given directions like this.  My grandma and I usually order the Regular plate: “A Favorite Since 1946 – Cheese enchilada, tamale, chili con carne, mexican rice, and refried beans.” Did you read that? Do you see the picture? It’s so much food! Oh glorious Tex-Mex food!

The restaurant was established in 1946. Making this one of the oldest restaurant and businesses on the Riverwalk. They host private events and with their historic space and catering. They even have river barge dinners. Next time your on the Riverwalk of San Antonio, stop by enjoy the atmosphere with some delicious San Antonio Tex-Mex and maybe a margarita while the mariachis serenade you.  

Visit Casa Rio

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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No Man is an Island II

Back in September, I wrote a quick little blog for my Music Monday titled No Man Is An Island. I wrote about Tenth Avenue North’s song No Man Is An Island and how they sing about walking by faith with God who is a Trinity. That we are supposed to strive to mirror that and live as a community. When I wrote this I was writing about people in general. I love how things come together when you have faith. 

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In January I wrote, Austin Feeling a Little More Like Home, about struggling with moving to this weird city and then finding a community with the Young Catholic Leaders in Austin, now a Young Catholic Professionals  “candidate chapter.” After a few months, I’m enjoying seeing friendships foster and this community grow.
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The friendships are different, in that there is a deeper level of understanding and trust. You can make friends with anyone, play a sport together, grab a bite to eat, catch up over coffee or drinks, but knowing that the other person believes in the same faith as you is comforting and empowering. Empowering to grow as a community with our hearts ablaze to do more to share our faith. Now that doesn’t mean, we’re going to talk your ear off and ask you to join. Instead, we help and support each other to be more mindful of things we do in our work places, and personal lives, reminding each other that our actions should strive to be like a disciple of Christ and through our actions show and lead others to have the same faith.

So today I want to share that same song with y’all, No Man Is An Island by Tenth Avenue North. I am excited to see what we can accomplish as a community for the Austin area and our faith. Happy Monday!

“No man is an island, we can be found
no man is an island, let your guard down.
Please don’t try to fight me, I am for you
We’re not meant to live this life alone.
[…]
Through trouble, rain or fire
Lets reach out to something higher
Eyes open to one another
We are not alone

You can find out more about Young Catholic Leaders in Austin  through the Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/groups/1508251646056516?ref=bookmark

Detox Water: Refresh

Since it’s the start of a new year, and I certainly ate my fill of holiday fest food, I decided some detox water is necessary. For this simple and delicious recipe, I used Strawberries, Lemons, and Fresh Mint Leaves.

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Strawberries help replenish vitamins, and also contains anti-aging properties that helps with healthy skin.

Lemons help get your digestive track going and aid in cleaning out toxins

Mint help soothe stomach cramps and also aids in smoother digestion.

Simple, refreshing, and cleansing. Enjoy

Hello 2015 Inspire: The Best Is Yet To Come

Last night I said goodbye to the year 2014. I have to say it was a pretty good year. Saw snow for the first time, learned how to snow board, attended Music Fest 2014 in a never endings blizzard. Quickly learned I don’t like cold snowy weather.

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Started a new job, with one of the top tech companies. Finally moved into my studio and started living on my own … with no roommates. At first, all the changes were exciting and happening so fast. It was exhilarating becoming independent. You know, having my own place, doing whatever I wanted, not worrying about having pants or bras on, going to concerts and on hikes weekly, and paying my own BILLZ.

Austin is a great weird city, but after a few months of living here, I realized I was over the allure of the weirdness. Homesickness kicked in for tradition, rich culture, family and friends. Even though I mostly work Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm, I’m busy the entire time. I planned my grandma’s 80th birthday celebration from Austin.

In mid September I finally went home for a weekend to celebrate a few birthdays. I was really surprised how encouraging my friends and family were. They reminded me of all the hardships I went through, and that it was great that I was able to get away to make a better living for myself. Hearing those encouraging words from friends, and family helped me push through my homesickness. Occasionally, the homesick blues come and go.

One special person, really turned around my thoughts towards relationships, this year. If you’ve read some of my previous post, you’d know I run for the hills away from them. This person has been one of my best friends, can match my wit, but also encourages me to do my best in whatever I do. He’s by far the hardest working person I know and his success shows it. I admire him and I am also inspired. You know that phrase “don’t get to busy making a living, that you forget to make a life.” Although those last couple of months, of 2014, were probably his toughest for work, some how he managed to say hi to close friends and family every now and then.

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So going into 2015, I review some of my stats for this blog and I noticed some of the most viewed articles are about my faith. This year one thing I am focusing this blog on is to inspire. My Faith is what makes me who I am. Every article I write or picture board I post will be to inspire others. Not everything will be about faith, some about Texas, music, arts, culinary, and fashion. I encourage everyone to explore and find what ignites their passions and inspires them.

Every I take K-Love’s 30 day Challenge: To listen to nothing but Christian music for 30 days. It’s a great time of reflection and revelations for me. Some of my previous articles reveal a little about some of the hardships I have endured, over the years, and every year this challenge reminds me that walking by faith with God in my heart, I will overcome.

My job allows others inspiration to come true and sometimes make a good huge impact on the world or just for a one person. That inspires me to do my best in my work. Since I’m contracted one of my goals is to get directly hired. If that does workout, my alternate plan is to find a job back home in San Antonio. My family is everything to me and I never realized how close i was with them.

As you can probably see started writing this a few days ago and picked it up again today. Either way, hello 2015 my year to inspire.

Que Pasa Central Texas: Oh What Fun It’s the Holiday Season

So it’s the Holiday Season and what is there to do to celebrate? From Austin to San Antonio, there’s so many sights to spread Holiday cheer!

1. Austin Trail Of Lights– it’s their 50 year sparkling the park.

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2. Santa’s Ranch – Bundle up your family in the car, with hot cocoa, kettle corn and take this hill country drive through Santa’s Ranch in San Marcos. Just a little over a mile beautiful lit drive through the hill country.

3. Lights of Tejas– located in Giddings, Texas. Enjoy a hill country holiday light festival with the whole family. Activities include hayrides, zip lining, ornament decorating and more.

4. San Antonio Christmas– take a stroll along the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio. Don’t forget the Christmas tree in front of the Alamo

5.Six Flags Fiesta Texas: Holiday in the Park: Fiesta Texas has ice skating this year, along with a 60 foot Christmas Tree.

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