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.
For Christmas this year, I stayed in Austin. My parents came down to spend the holiday with me and my aunts & uncles.
Haley loves visitors!
Family brunch at Kerbey Lane Cafe. Everyone loved it!
My aunt & uncle at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Every arts & crafts fair should have a live band!
Shopping at the Domain
Dad & I taking a break from shopping to sit outside & enjoy a beer.
Love this new dish towel that my aunt Ann got me!
My Dad asked if we were going to have our breakfast date at Whole Foods to get coffee and a muffin like when they visited this summer. Yes yes! A new tradition!
Brunch at Magnolia Cafe
I made Christmas Eve spaghetti & meatballs!
New owl nightlight lamp from my parents! My owl obsession is going strong!
My cousin Kristy has had a great 2012….getting fit! I’m so
jealous proud of her!
My cousin-in-law makes a great turkey!
Mom & Ann
I made fudge for the first time!
Thanks again Mom & Dad for making the long drive down to spend Christmas with me. But next year…leave the flu at home.
On Saturday, I went with my Aunt Jill & Uncle Carl to Wurstfest!
Wurstfest is a 10 day festival in New Braunfels that celebrates German culture, food, drink and music. It’s held in Landa Park.
It was a great day to enjoy the weather and the Comal River.
But we were really there to eat and drink!! We did a lap around the festival grounds before deciding what to devour.
Naegelin’s Bakery is the oldest bakery in TX.
I couldn’t convince anyone to try the chocolate dipped pickles. Anyone ever had one???
Deep fried sauerkraut balls. You have to deep friend something-or-other when you’re at a festival! They were pretty good!
We each got the 5 kinds of sausage on a stick from New Braunfels Smokehouse. Oh sausage on a stick! SO GOOD!!!
So much beer, so little time
Official Wurstfest beer steins dating back to the 1960′s to current
We took a beer break to go up on the ferris wheel. I’m pretty sure I haven’t been on a ferris wheel in over 10 years!
After our carnival fun, we went under the tent to listen to music and…
..drink more beer!
We also shared some German chocolate pie. I’m not a fan of German chocolate cake, but this pie—yes!!! It’s like pecan pie filling, but no pecans, plus coconut. Yum yum yum yum!
I’m glad that I went to Wurstfest and will definitely go again!
So will my uncle.
Pumpkin Carving Party at Mary’s. I didn’t carve this pumpkin, but was so impressed by it!
On Saturday morning, I went to a clothing swap party. There was a lot more loot to go through than just in this picture.
In addition to some clothes, I also brought Mimomas & muffins!
The best part of a party from 10 am – 2 pm is that you can start with cinnamon rolls & then advance on to cheese straws and hummus!
Someone also brought kolaches! I’ve had sweet kolaches before, but this was my 1st savory kolache with cheese, peppers, and sausage. So good!!
In addition to the clothing swap, it was also a Stella & Dot party!
I got these jade earrings pictured and 2 necklaces. But at least my clothing swap items were free!
I got 2 tank tops, 2 shirts, and a cute black Express skirt that I love.
Saturday night Halloween party at Jessica’s. I was a black cat. Meow!
Eyeball apps!! Mozzarella and olives for the eyes drowning in marinara sauce for the blood.
Blinged out trophies for the costume contest winners.
This evening, I went over to my aunt & uncle’s for dinner for my cousin-in-law’s birthday. My aunt sure knows how to pour a generous glass of wine!!
Chili & corn bread muffins…perfect Sunday night fall food!
Strawberry cake with strawberry icing & strawberry ice cream, my fave!
Happy Birthday, Cary!
My thoughts exactly!
Aren’t 3 day weekends the BEST?!
And when your birthday falls during one?? SCORE!
Mom, I hope you have the best day!! Enjoy some cake and have fun with the grandkids!!
My generous aunt Ann recently gave me several of her cookbooks. It was a win-win situation. She wanted less clutter in her house. I wanted more clutter. Wait, no that’s not right. Ah well, it’s hard to resist free cookbooks!
She later asked me which cookbook I dove into first.
Uh…the cookie cookbook, OF COURSE!
Banana Chocolate Chip Bars
Recipe from Nestle’s Best-Ever Cookies cookbook
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large 15 x 10 inch jelly-roll pan. Set pan aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set bowl aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Beat in the bananas and egg. Gradually beat in your flour mixture.
Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread batter into your prepared jelly-roll pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle cooled bars with powdered sugar.
These bars are not overly sweet. I enjoyed
three a bar for breakfast. Add a smear of peanut butter on top and a glass a milk…fast breakfast of champions.
I do have a complaint from my 3rd month living in Austin. No, it’s not the heat. I’m a Kansas girl, so I’m used to the heat.
It’s the dang crickets!!! No one forewarned me that crickets come out in vengeance in June! It’s been ri-di-cu-lous! Crickets everywhere! Outside….INSIDE my apartment….INSIDE at work. Supposedly, Austinites are just used to such grossness. I, however, have spent the last few weeks being creeped out and peering around corners wondering if yet another cricket will be in my bathroom. Eww!
Luckily (knock on wood), I’ve only seen about 2-3 crickets a day over the past few days. So, fingers crossed that I won’t have to battle them again for another year!
What Has Julie Been Up to Her 3rd Month in Austin!
1. My parents came to visit me!! It was so great to see them and show them around my new city.
2. Restaurants/Bars I’ve Been To:
The Broken Spoke
Blind Pig Pub
Amy’s Ice Cream
The Salt Lick
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery
Patsy’s Cowgirl Cafe
3. New Experiences
Google Austin Mac & Cheese Tour — loved!
Took my parents down to San Antonio. It wasn’t new to me, but new to my Dad to check out the Alamo and the Riverwalk.
Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom!!!!
Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks.
Today is my 1 month anniversary of living in Austin!
And I am lovingggggggg it so far!
It’s such a fun town and everyone has been so nice! I also wanted to say a big THANKS to my aunts & uncles for helping me unpack and get settled.
One night before I moved, I was talking to my Dad about how I didn’t feel like I had much of a social life in Wichita. And that I believed that things would be different for me in Austin. My Dad said something to the effect of, “You’re going to have to put yourself out there in Texas though. You can’t sit alone in your apartment and expect things to change.”
I really took that to heart and made a promise to myself to explore Austin!
So….and this is really for my own benefit to document it….and to prove to my Dad that I do listen to him every once in awhile….here’s a list of what I’ve done this past month!
What Has Julie Been Up to Her 1st Month in Austin!
1. Very Little Baking…oops, I’ll work on rectifying that one.
2. I was a responsible adult and got my Texas car tags & driver’s license…barely.
3. Restaurants I’ve Been To:
4. Bars I’ve Been To:
Mean Eyed Cat
Waterloo Ice House
Tacos & Tequila
Kung Fu Saloon
5. Shopping At:
Barton Creek Square Mall
Tyrone Wells @ Stubbs BBQ — I went to this concert by myself! It was way out of my comfort zone to do so, but I had a good time! Go me!! :)
7. New Experiences
Austin Food Challenge – this event was great! Everyone was very welcoming and can’t wait to go back this weekend with my new friend, Sylvia!
8. Blogger Meetups!
There are SO many food bloggers in Austin & San Antonio!
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting:
I can’t wait to see what my 2nd month in Austin holds!
One of my former bosses at work (hi Cherisse!) used to make tortilla pinwheels for every work food day.
And I would devour them every work food day. I’d also ask her every time…..how do you make these?
But I never followed through. Until I saw these on Julie’s blog! It was a blast from the past.
I IMMEDIATELY made them the next day for a family lunch. I brought them to my parents and put them in the refrigerator. My brother eye-spyed them and asked, “Are these okay to eat NOW or do we have to wait?”
I said, “Sure, go for it!” And brought them out for my brothers, nephews, and sister-in-law to munch on.
Cut to about 15 minutes later, I came back into the dining room and there were only THREE lonely pinwheels left.
I freaked out! ”You guys ate them all and our aunts and uncles aren’t even here yet!!! You have to eat these 3 pinwheels right now before they get here, so they don’t know about it! I can’t leave 3 pinwheels on the plate, that’s weird!”
They happily obliged and said that I should be happy that they loved them so much. And um….make a double batch next time.
Recipe adapted from Julie’s Eats and Treats
8 ounces light sour cream
8 ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
4 ounces can diced green chilies, drained (I added several more ounces.)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
garlic powder, to taste
seasoned salt, to taste
5 10″ flour tortillas
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the tortillas. Mix well.
Divide your mixed filling onto your tortilla. Spread evenly. Roll up tortillas.
Roll each tortilla in plastic wrap to secure the shape. Place prepared tortillas into the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning (or several hours later), remove tortillas from plastic wrap. Cut into slices and serve.
Yields about 30-50 slices depending on the thickness of the slices. Just make a double batch; you won’t regret it!