1. Candles burning during the holidays are a must for me. I currently have 7 candles burning in my apartment. I told you I’m obsessed!
2. I’ve started reading more lifestyle/fashion blogs. They haven’t made me want to take daily selfies of my outfits. But they have led me to try more outfit combos and think more about accessories.
3. I got some mini candy canes for a work event & have a lot leftover. They are perfect to melt into hot chocolate. It’s my lower calorie, cheaper version of Starbucks peppermint mocha.
4. Gold glitter nail polish. I’ll be wearing this polish through the end of the year.
5. I recent went to the John Mayer concert with Jessica. It was my 2nd time seeing him and the first time was better. His last 2 albums had more of a country feel and I’m more of a fan of his previous songs. But I understand and he even said so, that he wished he could play everyone’s favorite songs (mine is Vultures) but when you have so many songs it gets to be impossible.
These annoying ladies behind us kept shouting for him to play Gravity. First of all, HE CAN’T HEAR YOU! And secondly, that’s one of his most popular songs, that will be the encore song. Of course, the ladies left before the encore and missed their song. Their loss!!
I’m linking up with TX Women Bloggers.
Concert last week at Stubb’s to see Ben Rector & Tyrone Wells.
It’s that time again!! That wonderful fall time of year when Wurstfest comes to New Braunfels. Meat, beer, friends, meat, beer, music, meat, beer, carnival rides, meat, beer, crafts…did I mention meat & beer?
Last year, I went to Wurstfest during the day. I’m glad that I day timed it for my first time. It’s much easier to navigate around and get your bearings during the day. Because at night, it gets cra-zy. Crazy fun though!!
This time, I wurstfested it up with Jessica. And we met up with Mary Helen and her friends.
First things first…get beer.
Second on the agenda, eat some sausage on a stick!!
Third, buy a fun hat! Everyone has a hat at Wurstfest. I don’t think that I look good in hats, so I opted for the hat attached to a headband. I got several compliments on it, so yay me!! Mary Helen’s friend bought a beer hat with blinking blue lights on it. It came in handy a few times when we got separated from the group. She was easy to spot with her hat!
Fourth stop, ride the ferris wheel. I did this last year with my aunt too. It’s a fun way to check out the event as whole.
No beverages allowed on the ferris wheel.
My favorite picture of Jessica while she was taking pictures. She looks gorg!
Next up, eat more, get more beer, find Mary Helen and friends again.
Last stop, end inside Wurst Hall for some polka & chicken dancing.
See you next year, Wurstfest!!
Last month, I went to my first ACL festival. My first year in Austin, I felt too new to the city to go. I didn’t even know where Zilker Park was at that point. But this year, I had to go! At the same time, I was terrified!! I love concerts, but crowds of drunken fools….eh, not so much.
It was that fear of the unknown that got into my head. How far will I have to walk? How hard is it to get from one stage to another? Will I get beer spilled on me? How hot will it be? What if I have a panic attack due to the crowd?
Finally, I just had to make a deal with myself. Julie–you’re going!! But if you go for an hour or two and you hate it, then leave! I decided to go to ACL by myself so that if I did get overwhelmed and left, I wouldn’t be putting anyone else out.
Shovels & Rope
And sooooo, I LOVED it. I had a blast. I randomly bumped into Heather on day 1 and we hung out. And I hung out on and off with my friend, Ben on day 2 & 3. But if my friends wanted to see one band and me another, we just parted ways. I felt so proud of myself for getting over my fears and navigating the mayhem quite well.
Everyone has their own preferred way to get to ACL. Walk, bike, cab, dropoff….I opted for the free shuttle. I parked downtown and walked a few blocks for the free buses that picked up in Republic Park. There was a steady stream of busses, so the wait time was minimal. Then you dropped off fairly close to the ACL entrance.
I had a sling bag with me containing cash/ID/debit card, 2 water bottles–one full, one empty, sunscreen, my cell phone, sunglasses, face/hand wipes, and aspirin. You can bring blankets/chairs, but I wasn’t lugging that around. It was easy to navigate the stages from the maps we were given.
I opted to not drink any beer during ACL. 1. I wanted to keep my wits in case it did get super crowded. 2. I didn’t want to have to trek out & wait for the port-a-potties. Ew. Basically, it was so hot on Friday & Saturday that I just sweat out all the water I drank & didn’t have to pee once. Overshare!!!
I actually started to feel like I was going to pass out on the first day after only being at ACL for an hour! The sun was beating straight on me. I hightailed it for a shady area and chugged some water and just sat until I felt okay. I was a bit freaked out by this & thought about leaving, but that’s when I ran into Heather—so she really saved ACL for me!! After that, I was more conscious of my water intake & was a-okay.
Pro tip: (yeah I’m a pro now) During ACL (and SWSX), KGSR & KUTX offer free morning shows. It’s so worth it getting up early to see this show. It’s several bands…only a couple songs each…but I was on the 2nd row at the KGSR show on day 2. I was able to resolve some concert conflicts as these bands were playing at ACL during the same set times as other bands I wanted to see.
Court Yard Hounds
Walk the Moon
Bands that I saw during ACL 2013: Noah and the Whale**, The Lone Bellow**, Franz Ferdinand, The National**, Haim, Little Green Cars**, Dana Falconberry, Silversun Pickups, Lissie**, Walk the Moon**, Aaron Behrens and the Midnight Stroll, Wilco, Kings of Leon**, Court Yard Hounds, Shovels and Rope, Jake Bugg, fun.**, and Vampire Weekend**
**the ones I liked the best
I’ve already bought my 3 day pass for the first weekend of ACL festival 2014. Hope to see you there!!
Let’s play catch-up, shall we?
1. A couple of months ago, I went to the Oddball Comedy Fest show to see Flight of the Conchords, Dave Chappelle, and others. This is the only picture I could check. Security was
on a power trip really strict about no photos during the show.
3. I went to Cleveland for work for a few days. Top on my list was going to Michael Symon’s B Spot restaurant. I was a bigger fan of the S’Mores milkshake than the burger. Yummmmm!
4. Several of us had a blogger meet-up date in South Austin. We went to a dive bar. Really divey…..the regulars were really into their shuffleboard. Unfortunately the smoke in there got to us quick, so we moved over to the Moontower Saloon which I loved.
5. I went to the One Republic & Sara Bareilles concert at the ACL Live theater. Great show!
6. I had brunch at Elizabeth Street Cafe with my friend, Bonnie. I should go to this restaurant more often. I’ve only been twice, but it’s charmed my socks off both times.
7. Haley girl turned 11 on September 30th! I had a sinus infection, so it was just a normal day for her. But I gave her lots of treats.
8. I went to Bath & Body Works this weekend to stock up on hand soap. The sweet clementine one is by far my favorite. Love it so much!!
I had every intention of bypassing the candles too. But the soap area had customers around it so I smelled some candles until they left. And once I saw the pumpkin pecan waffles one, I was a goner. It smells as good as it sounds!
9. I’m set for the holidays.
This weekend, I went back in time a bit to listen to some 90′s music! The Under the Sun tour featured Fastball, Vertical Horizon, Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray, and Smash Mouth. I’d already seen the latter 3 in concert back in the day.
The concert was at the ACL Live theater attached to the W Hotel. It was my first concert at this venue and will definitely not be my last! I really enjoyed it…comfortable seats, able to see the stage easily, and a bar on every level. Score! The other benefit of a packed line-up is that they kept the show going! It started right at 7:30 pm and was over by midnight. A good pace for 5 bands.
Mark McGrath has still got it too. I leaned over to my friend, Bonnie, and said….I feel like Mark would be an attentive lover.
I really expected to like Gin Blossoms the best since I like more of their songs. But they didn’t do it for me. The lead singer was giving off a real goofball, weird vibe in my opinion.
Vertical Horizon rocked it out though!
Video I took at the concert of their You’re a God song.
My favorite of the night was Sugar Ray though! Mark had great energy during the show. He genuinely seemed to want to be there (unlike the Smash Mouth lead singer). And Mark really engaged with the crowd. His Extra experience helps I’m sure!
Oh to be 18 years old again!
Have you been to any good concerts lately??
1. Who’s excited about Breaking Bad coming back tonight?!?! Here’s my plan for tonight…Big Brother, Breaking Bad, The Newsroom, wine & pizza.
It was a great Q&A! He spoke about AD, of course…favorite scenes, the writing & callbacks that are done so well on the show, the characters he loved like Mrs. Featherbottom & Bob Loblaw, how even he was unaware that he was going to lose his hand on the show until he read that script, etc etc.
He also shared some insight that he’s learned along the way about contentment. He shared several stories that he referred to as kind of his own Oprah a-ha moments.
Tony telling a story about Liza Minnelli.
3. After the event, my friend, Sylvia & I got some food at the Llama’s trailer. Then we met up with Mary Helen and checked out the Russian House.
They have a large selection of infused vodkas there, of course. I sipped on some apple cinnamon vodka. It was tasty, but I would have preferred it in the fall versus summer.
Mary with a Russian bear that attacked her.
4. We ended the night at the Iron Cactus.
Thank goodness for misting fans & frozen margaritas.
Hope you all had a great weekend!!
August is the hottest month in Austin. It’s currently 7 pm and still 101 degrees. Ew. Although, I’m inside with the AC blasting.
This is my second summer living in Austin. Last year, the heat didn’t bother me. Everything was still so new then…new city, new job, new friends, new adventures. But this summer…I’m jaded & annoyed! Stupid heat.
You can let the heat beat you though! Well, you can become a hermit until fall. That’s no fun though.
Here’s how I’m beating the heat in Austin!
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I’m much more conscious of drinking lots of liquids recently. For my caffeine kick, I’ve opted for black iced tea.
If you struggle to drink enough water, I suggest using a super cute mason jar and a straw. It’s a mental thing, but it makes me happier to drink out of mason jars. I’m also a big fan of fat flush waters now. If you don’t like the taste of water (like my Mom–she only drinks diet Coke), spruce it up. Recently, I’ve been adding a combination of lemon & cucumber slices to my water. I’ve also done lime & raspberries.
And I make a point of taking water with me when I leave my apartment. Even if I’m just running to the store quickly, I take water with me. It helps to combat the blast of heat that hits when you open your car door.
2. Hair clips — I have long, thick hair. Sooooo the back of my neck is always flippin’ sweaty when I’m outside. But I don’t want to wear my hair in a ponytail if I’m going to work or out with friends. Enter the hair clip. I’ll clip my hair up before leaving my apartment and just take it down right before exiting my car at my destination.
3. Eat more fruits & veggies. This is just something that I should do regardless. I feel more refreshed when I eat light in the summer. And you don’t have to turn on your oven or stove if you’re noshing on raw veg & fruit.
Or you can drink them!! I’ve fallen back in love with smoothies for breakfast…and even for dinner a few times.
4. Keep reinforcements in your purse. I do keep deodorant and face wipes in my purse. You’ll never know when you’ll need it…especially if you end up going out for happy hour after work & want to spruce up. Sometimes I’ll just reach for a face wipe to cool down my neck or in between the girls. Was that an over share? Come on, you know you sweat in between your tatas too.
5. Sun shades up! I’m diligent about putting my sun shades up to shield my car windshield from the sun. It may seem silly to put the shades up if you get home at 1 am, but if you leave again at 2 pm the next day…you’ll be glad you did! No more burning your hands on your steering wheel!
6. Fan in the bathroom! So you get up in the morning for work…take a shower…do your make-up…dry your hair…and then you’re hot and your make-up looks ick. Please tell me I’m not the only one with that problem.
Now, you can take your shower at night to combat the heat. But my hair never looks good when I do the night shower. Enter…the clip-on fan! Turn on the fan to cool yourself while you dry your hair. I recently bought this fan for $15 and it was a great decision.
7. If all else fails, hole up inside and catch up on episodes of Call the Midwife!
Today at work, I started writing out that today was Friday. Wow, I’m really getting ahead of myself. What a bummer to think that a Monday is a Friday!
I didn’t do much this past weekend. I had to finally take advantage of the quiet in my apartment building.
So I’ll recap last weekend instead!
2. I went to Linda’s 30th birthday party. (Linda’s in the middle.) Linda is always so happy and her spirit is infectious. Her party theme was BALLS. Kind of like….oh balls, I’m turning 30. It was so fun. All the food was ball themed. I went the easy route & just brought cherries & grapes…and also peanut M&M’s and lemon drops.
My fellow Julie, me, and Amy
3. On Sunday night, I went over to Mary Helen’s for burger party. Her nephew is in town, so she invited everyone over. This picture was an afterthought. I was too busy chowing down…nom nom nom.
4. I binged watched Orange is the New Black last weekend on Netflix. After 4 people on my Twitter feed were raving about it, I knew that I had to watch. I immediately started reading the book once I finished season 1. I’d actually bought the book a few years ago and hadn’t read it. I’m almost done already!
5. A few weeks ago, I bought these notebooks (Target impulse buy). I wanted to start a personal journal. I remember after my grandma passed away finding some notebooks of hers. It wasn’t deep thoughts…it was more like, went for a walk today. But I was still fascinated. Although mundane details, it was compelling to me. So, I’ve started my own journaling. Maybe I’ll stick with it for years (hopefully) and maybe not. But in the hopes that I will…I returned to Target to buy out the remaining notebooks. My journals have to match!
Okay, I’m off to
watch the season finale of RHOC….er I mean to write in my journal.
So another 2 months has passed since my last blog post. It seems I only get the itch to blog after 2 month hiatuses.
June started off strong with lots of fun with friends and traveling. But for the last 6 weeks, I’ve been battling my upstairs neighbor with an annoying dog and tennis elbow in my right arm.
I had no problems with my neighbor for months and months. And then it seems his girlfriend broke up with him and moved out. And I was left with this jerky jilted neighbor and his jerky dog. (I don’t know that he was jilted, but I like to imagine that the girl came to her senses & left him.)
The neighbor guy worked at night and the dog didn’t deal well with being alone at night. The dog would bark and howl from about midnight until the owner came home from work at 4 am. UGHHhhhhhhhhhh!! I would call every week to complain to my leasing office. And I left notes on the neighbor’s door. But he didn’t seem to care.
I had to leave my TV’s and ceiling fans on at night to try to dull the noise. And I wore earplugs every night. I really feel for new mothers now. I was going bonkers. But the guy finally moved out a few days ago! It’s been blissfully quiet for the past few days. Haley seems to be in better spirits too. I know I’ll only get a few weeks of peace before a new neighbor moves in. Is it too much to ask for that it’s a 70 old woman with no pets?
As far as the tennis elbow, it still hurts. I have a brace that I wear during work, since I type all day long. And I have exercises to do from the doctor. I also ice it at night. But it’s frustrating. I’m pretty sure it should have healed by now. I’m just ignoring it basically. :/
Let’s move on to the FUN things I’ve done the past 2 months though!!
2. My BFF’s Chris & Sarah came to Austin to visit.
We went to the Mumford & Sons concert! It was my favorite concert to date! Loved every moment of it!
I ate this amazing quinoa salad at Snack Bar!
We had Sunday Funday by starting with brunch at Max’s Wine Dive. Get the SXSW…jalapeno cheese grits with pulled pork! I want to eat that again right now. Yum!
We continued Sunday Funday at Kung Fu Saloon for drinks and games.
I took Chris & Sarah to Gourdough’s. It was my first time too!! We may have went twice in one day…it was vacation after all.
We finished off the trip with a visit to the Oasis on Lake Travis.
3. Only 2 weeks after Chris & Sarah came to Austin, I flew to Charlotte to visit them. We plan visits around concerts. Mumford & Sons in Austin……ANDDDDDD……NKOTB/98 Degrees/Boyz II Men in Charlotte. I met up with Sarah, Kelly, and Trish my first night in Charlotte to see this boy band extravaganza. It was so much fun!!! NKOTB put on a hell of a show. We really got our money’s worth.
***Here’s when I started getting tennis elbow so hence the few pictures in Charlotte or back at home.
4. A week after returning from Charlotte, I drove home to Wichita for 10 days. My Mom had recently broken her hip, so wanted to see her and be home for the 4th of July. She’s recovered now and is walking without a walker or cane, yay!!
For the 4th of July, I offered to be in charge of appetizers and dessert. My parents are very meat & potato-y, which is delicious, don’t get me wrong—but after a week, I was craving fruit & vegetables. So I happily went to town on the appetizers.
Dessert was a make your own ice cream sundae bar! I thought of this idea on a whim, but it was really fun!!
I always love going home to see how much my 4 nephews have grown!
That’s all for now. I’m going to do my best to not wait another 2 months until next time. But if I do, I’ll have fun updates as I’m going on 2 more trips over the next few months.