Friday, July 10, 2015

alt-J

I've wanted to share this video for awhile, since most of it takes place in Austin or the surrounding areas. Also, the fireworks seemed like a fun post Fourth of July shout out. I hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Western Texas

We drove out to New Mexico through Midland, TX, so we decided we would follow I-10 on the way back to get another view. This allowed us to explore a few cities in Texas we originally didn't plan time to see. The only down side was we didn't have lodging set up, so we chose to use Hotels Tonight. It worked out really well for a larger city like El Paso, but less so in the smaller towns. The first night back in Texas we stayed in El Paso. We both found it kind of wild that you can see Juarez from the interstate in El Paso. I've still never been to Mexico, so anytime I get a glimpse of it I find it exciting. We checked into our hotel and grabbed dinner at L&J Cafe. The place was a cute little bar style restaurant off of the city cemetery. I really enjoyed their neon sign, and we had excellent service. After dinner we went to see Inside Out at a nearby movie theatre. We both love movies, and it's something we really enjoy doing whenever we visit a new city. As it is typically locals only you get a bit of an insiders look at the city.
















The next morning we followed I-10 out of town and headed for Balmorhea for a swim in the natural spring at Balmorhea State Park. After cooling down in the spring we headed South to Alpine. Ryno found a converted motel for us to stay in our last night on the road. It's called The Maverick Inn: A Roadhouse for Wanderers. It was really charming with real keys for your room key and Western styling throughout the property. That night we drove out to Marfa for dinner and up to the McDonald Observatory for their Fourth of July Star Party. They do the Star Parties on most weekend nights, and it's an amazing visual tour of the night sky. Their facility is set up high and is one of the darkest remaining skies in the US. They also have telescopes set up around the property, so we were able to view the rings of Saturn and a couple of star nebula as well as the Milky Way without a telescope. It was by far our favorite part of the trip, and I would highly recommend checking it out if you ever find yourself somewhere near El Paso. The next morning we were up early and on the road back to Austin. We had a great time exploring, and I'm looking forward to planning our next road trip!














Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New Mexico

I mentioned yesterday that Ryno and I just returned from the longest road trip we've taken together since moving to Austin. The plan was to meet up in Ruidoso, NM with some friends for the July 4th weekend. It turned out our friends were unable to travel, so Ryno and I ventured out on our own. We had to make a new plan and find a few places to stay on the fly, however, it gave us the chance to try out some cities we wouldn't have made it to if we followed the original schedule. We spent half the trip in New Mexico and the other half in Western Texas.  I'm going to share New Mexico sites today and Texas tomorrow.

We arrived in Carlsbad, NM Thursday around noon and immediately started searching for lunch. We went to a cute Mexican restaurant called Mi Casita. The food was good and the staff was very friendly! After lunch we headed over to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We almost missed our King's Palace scheduled tour, because I kept pulling over to take photos of the beautiful landscape. Someone should really warn you how beautiful the park landscape is even before you get to the caves! Fortunately, our tour guide let us join the group, and we were quickly immersed in the cave scenery. The elevator takes you 750 feet below the surface in a matter of minutes. The King's Palace tour was excellent, and after we finished our guided tour we walked through the natural entrance to the Big Room. It was beautiful to see the cave as we descended back to 750 feet below the surface.


After the cave we went to stay in a bed and breakfast called The Crofting Inn in Cloudcroft, NM. The innkeepers were so friendly and helpful! We wandered around Cloudcroft the next morning before driving through the Lincoln National Forest and up to Ruidoso. 



 From Ruidoso we drove to White Sands National Monument outside of Las Cruces. We played in the white, gypsum sand dunes for a few hours. It was an unbelievable sight with pure white sand stretching for hundreds of miles and surrounded by mountain landscapes. We bought a plastic sled and took turns sledding down the sand dunes.



New Mexico was full of beautiful sites and wonderful mountain views. We had a great time exploring the small towns. One of my favorites was Mesilla, NM just outside of Las Cruces. We were only able to stop for a half hour on our way back to Texas, but I'd love to go back and explore more of the cute town. More on our trip tomorrow!






Monday, July 6, 2015

going west

I hope everyone had a fun-filled Fourth of July. Ryno and I just got back to Austin from a 2,000 mile road trip to New Mexico and Southwest Texas. We had a great time exploring out West, and we were both able to add New Mexico to our "visited states" list. Pretty exciting! I'm looking forward to sharing where we went and what we enjoyed the most this week, but for now I'll just share a snapshot from our trip.

ps- If you want to see a sneak peak of the sites we visited you can follow the Steller button on the right side of the page — it's the circle with the "S" in it.



Friday, June 26, 2015

victory

Same-sex marriage passed with a 5 to 4 vote in the Supreme Court this morning. The New York Times shared this video of the excitement outside the Supreme Court building. However, for my music video pick for this week, I wanted to share YouTube's #ProudToLove video. YouTube has a whole series supporting the LGBT community including this #ProudToPlay video. I personally could watch these videos all day; they fill me with hope for equality.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

shut up and dance

So You Think You Can Dance has started a new season, and I thought I would kick off the start to a new season with a little dance tribute. Nothing brings a smile to my face like a dance scene in a movie. This dance montage, featuring "Shut Up And Dance" by Walk the Moon, has some of my all time favorite dance moves in movies. I'm sure it hits a lot of peoples' favorite dance movie moments as it seems to cover a lot. However, my top five from this montage are the following:

1- Hugh Grant in Love Actually
2- Julia Stiles in Save The Last Dance
3- Jennifer Grey & Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing (both scenes)
4- Joseph Gordon-Levitt in (500) Days of Summer
5- Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia in Big

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

AHeriloom

I have always loved the shapes of states and countries; something about the graphic, organic lines draws me in every time. Naturally, I'm also a sucker for anything state shaped, which led me to AHeirloom. A Brooklyn based company created by Amy Stringer-Mowat and Bill Mowat. They made their first state-shaped cutting boards for their wedding in 2010 and quickly turned it into a successful company featuring all fifty states as well as some specialty designs too. The cherry on top is that all of their products are made in the US. Definitely check them out. Their site features really beautiful woodwork that is perfect for summer wedding or housewarming gifts.


all photos via AHeirloom



Monday, June 22, 2015

happy father's day

Ryno and I refused to allow the rain that persisted this weekend to keep us down. We gathered up some basics like water, towels and all of Elton's supplies and ventured out to walk around Town Lake aka Ladybird Lake. It was overcast and muddy, but we had a great time all the same. Also, Elton found some friends and a few mud puddles that he loved running through.

Sunday we spent celebrating Father's Day with my family. We had a tasty morning brunch accompanied by a huge downpour. Then a nice seafood dinner to end the day. Hope all of you dads out there had a wonderful Father's Day!


Friday, June 19, 2015

Meg Mac

Today I thought I'd share an artist that I've only recently discovered. Meg Mac is an Australian singer, and she released her debut album MEGMAC in 2014. I'm really into her song "Roll Up Your Sleeves," which is featured on her debut album along with her other single "Known Better." She's touring the Eastern US at the moment, but sadly I haven't seen any references of her coming to Austin.

We're celebrating Father's Day with my dad and harvesting some honey this weekend. It looks like it may be another rainy weekend here in Austin. What do you have planned this weekend?


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

skin deep

I think by now everyone is well aware I have a slight addiction to Sephora. I have to say that the point incentives they offer are pure genius. I absolutely love earning enough points to select a free item from their samples of the month. The idea that I can get a sample size of a new mascara, lipgloss or fragrance is completely thrilling to me. After reading an article that discussed requesting actual samples at Sephora, aka those not given through points, but rather through tiny plastic containers that hold a nickel sample size, I have been introduced to a ton of new products. Sometimes I go in really wanting to try something specific. Other times I ask whoever is helping me what their favorite product is in the store. I have to admit it's really blown my world open. My newest addiction that I discovered through samples and a very helpful Sephora employee is FIRMx Peeling Gel by Peter Thomas Roth. I was a bit skeptical at first, but the sample went a long way so I've been able to tell that it really has benefited my skin. Being of the fair-skinned complexion it's helpful to fight sun damage as much as possible, and I liked the suggestion I read to use this gel on my hands and neck as well as my face. I haven't invested in the full tube yet as my sample keeps on going, but I plan to on my next stop into the store. If you need more convincing check out Refinery 29's discussion and Beauty Test Lab for the gel as well.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

the royal we

Reading has become my summer passion. It helps that the weather has been dreary here, and this week we have a tropical storm coming into town. Time I would typically be outside, or more specifically at a pool, I've spent curled up with a stack of books. It has honestly felt like a childhood luxury and made the stints between work feel like a true summer of my youth. Currently, I'm plowing through the Go Fug Yourself ladies' book The Royal We. Morgan and Cocks did a wonderful job writing a story that seems just different enough from Kate and Wills to be entertaining, but still allows you to picture Prince Harry every time you read the name Freddie. I have about a quarter left to read, but have enjoyed it so much to this point I felt I could recommend it as a fantastic summer read! What have you been reading this summer?

 

Monday, June 15, 2015

go usa!

Not realizing the US women's team played earlier in the week, we had our own kick-off to the FIFA Women's World Cup on Friday night. We met some friends at a nearby bar and cheered for the US women until the game ended in a 0-0 tie.  I don't keep up with soccer regularly, but I always enjoy a World Cup game.  It was fun to familiarize myself with the newer members of the team. A friend of mine who still plays soccer was with us, so she filled me in on the best players to follow. After a late night out on Friday, we checked on the beehive on Saturday. Ryno said we'll be able to collect a good amount of honey this year! I'm looking forward to it, and I'm prepared with a collection of new jars.

photos from last years honey collection


Friday, June 12, 2015

beck

I love this song, "Country Down," from Beck's Grammy Award winning album Morning Phase. The video is really serene as well, and I think it really speaks to the feeling of the summer.


With summer in full force here in Texas I'm hoping we can make it out to the pool. The city pools opened this week, and we still haven't made it out to one yet. I hope you all have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

one thousand places

I'm a huge fan of lists of all varieties. I enjoy making lists, combing through lists and in particular checking off items on lists. So when I received the book, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die from a friend I was thrilled. Although I received the book several years ago, I only recently dedicated the time necessary to go through page by page and highlight the places I've already visited. The chance to check off items on a list brought a wide smile to my face, while also making me acutely aware of how many places I still want to explore. I was very fortunate in college and was able to spend a summer abroad. My favorite countries that summer were Italy, Spain, England and Ireland. I loved spending time around the coastlines or on the water which we did a lot of in Venice. Now that I've checked off what I've seen it's time to start the lists of places we hope to still explore. I'll be sure to share as we develop those more.

friends in Mallorca and Wicklow




Wednesday, June 10, 2015

national geographic

If you're looking for a daily dose of inspiration check out National Geographic's Instagram feed (@natgeo). It's one of my favorites and one of the most inspiring feeds that I follow. Today they shared a lovely aerial view of the Grand Canyon by Pete McBride aka @pedromcbride. Also, their World's Ocean Day series of photos from this week has been absolutely beautiful.

photo via Pete McBride

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

a first time for everything

While I typically like to share the weekend recap on Mondays, I was too excited to share my Etsy news yesterday. Therefore, today I'll share the events of the weekend, which were a lot of Austin firsts. Ryno and I kicked off the weekend at Justine's Brasserie a local, French cuisine restaurant. We've talked about going since we first moved to Austin, and it was exciting to make it there. Then we spent another night at home cooking a lovely meal with friends. Our friend had just been to Memphis and brought back a new cookbook Collards & Carbonara, which we used to select recipes for a main course and dessert. The dessert was Peanut Butter and Banana Pie; it was delicious! Lastly, we went to a Round Rock Express baseball game. While the home team was defeated, it was still fun to spend the evening in a ball park.


Monday, June 8, 2015

etsy

My paintings are now available on Etsy! I have wanted to be a seller on Etsy, since sometime around the year 2007. The problem was I didn't have an answer to the question "What will I sell?" Last year I made some real strides in hunkering down to create my own artwork and sharing that art outside of the four walls of my studio. Sharing your art is a fairly intimidating experience or at least it is for me. I always enjoyed working for companies as an artist, because I was working within a structure. Stepping away from my role working for a large corporation allowed me to start exploring what I enjoy creating. I'm very much still at the start of that journey, but just like participating in my first art show last year was a big step so is making my work accessible on Etsy. If you'd like to check out my shop you can see it here. I hope to eventually add a permanent link to it on this blog, so look back for that later. Below is a sneak peak of a few of the paintings I have on Etsy.

I'll be sharing my weekend recap later this week! I'm excited to discuss an artist I heard speak over the weekend with you. Hope your week is off to a great start!
















These are original paintings produced under copyright laws and may not be
reproduced without the artists' consent. Copyright 2015.

Friday, June 5, 2015

bahamas | lost in the light

My new band obsession is Bahamas. In particular, his song "Lost In The Light." I find it completely mesmerizing, and every time I hear it I do the slightest, little dance. I have the feeling there is a very good chance it will be my 2015 summer song. Something about this song makes me want to be part of a Palm Springs pool party with colorful swimwear surrounding a modern, azure pool. I hope you enjoy it too! Have a wonderful weekend lovelies!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

compost pedallers

Happy Earth Day everyone! Earth Day has always been one of those events that I really enjoy. While we try to be environmentally conscious throughout the year, I like to see Earth Day as an added challenge to myself to think of a creative way to positively impact the environment. Something that Ryno and I have been really interested in for awhile, but never successfully established for ourselves is composting. Last week my mom recommended that we look into a local composting program that uses bicycles to pick up composting bins. As it turns out Compost Pedallers does offer the service in our neighborhood, so we signed up. We watched a couple of their informational videos about their program, and I couldn't be more excited! They even compost things like dryer lint, toilet paper rolls and pizza boxes. As a member of their program you have an online stat sheet that lets you know how much waste you have saved from landfills and how much compost you have created through your collection. I really can't wait to start getting our stats!

Check out the informational videos about the program here:




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

our family

I've been creating a family photo wall since the end of 2014, and with help from both of our moms we completed the wall. It was so much fun to sort through old photos from our families, and see pictures I've never seen before. I thought I'd share a few of the classics here.





Wednesday, April 8, 2015

gregory crewdson

When you're small, a favorite question in school is "What would be your super power?" Ever since I can remember my answer has remained the same, I would like to be able to share the pictures I see in my head. As a kid that meant a literal snapshot somehow developing out of my ear or a Polaroid popping out when I blinked. As I grew older it merged into telepathy with a printer or computer screen. My sketching has never been as strong as I would like, and I always found that nothing represented my ideas as clearly as a photograph. Unfortunately, the beauty of the images in my head is they were usually unlike anything I encountered in life and therefore were unable to be captured. For me that is the magical appeal of the photographer Gregory Crewdson. I mentioned here before that I was first introduced to his work in a college photography class. Since that post I've been able to see the Ben Shapiro documentary featuring Crewdson's process, Gregory Crewdson Brief Encounters. His process is so unique; it is a perfect blending of photography and film production.

I was reminded of my previous discussion of Crewdson's work by a member of an online artist website, artsy.net. They approached me about sharing their artist biography and articles discussing Crewdson. After visiting their site, I was very inspired by the work they present and wanted to share a few of their articles about him. The two below are my personal favorites. Enjoy!




Friday, April 3, 2015

the staves

I found this Muse article today titled "If You Like Gorgeous, Sad Folk Music, You Need The New Staves Album." As a girl that has always prided herself on a love of "sad" songs I couldn't resist! The Staves are a lovely sounding trio from England. Check out the video below; it has a beautiful way of seeming from another time.

Have a happy Holiday weekend! See you next week!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

wisteria

Spring is really in bloom in Texas. I did some wine tasting with my parents this week, and we spent a lot of time at one of the cellars enjoying the garden. Check out the lovely Wisteria; it's one of my absolute favorites!






Tuesday, March 31, 2015

lush

For my birthday last year, a friend gave me a gift box from Lush. I was familiar with the brand, but had never personally used their products. It's been a year of exploration with their product lines, and I've discovered a few favorites I thought would be fun to share here. I love to buy these for friends' birthdays, as stocking stuffers or just when I'm having a "treat yo self" moment.

The Ocean Salt Face Scrub and Sea Spray Hair Mist are the two newest items I've been using, and I love them! The face scrub feels amazing every time I use it, and the hair mist is light yet effective. As for the shower gels I've become obsessed. I love how the Happy Hippy and Olive Branch smell so much I haven't tried others. I keep going in and buying the same scents. I also bought Ryno the Cynthia Sylvia Stout Shampoo for his stocking this year; I thought he would appreciate the strong beer scent associated with the shampoo. If you have a Lush near you I recommend checking them out. We've been really impressed with their use of natural materials and support of Fair Trade farmers including bee keepers!

Lush: Ocean Salt face scrub























Lush: Sea Spray























Lush: The Olive Branch Shower Gel























Lush: Happy Hippy Shower Gel























Lush: Cynthia Sylvia Stout Shampoo





Monday, March 30, 2015

cinderella

This weekend my mom, sister and I went to see Cinderella. It's always been one of my favorite stories, so it was something I couldn't miss seeing in theaters. The film was really beautiful, and the story was updated in a lovely way. I loved Lily James as Cinderella, and I was excited to see other Downton characters also made an appearance. The scenery and costumes are so vibrant throughout the film; I thought it was all beautifully made. Enjoy the trailer!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

kerrville

One of our goals when we moved back to Texas was to explore as much of it as possible. We haven't been able to see as much as we'd like, but we have made a few trips to some of the towns that make up the Texas Hill Country. Last month we road tripped to Kerrvillle, TX for a few days. The weather was still pretty gray for February, but we had fun exploring the square and local shops. I was excited to see that the home of one of the most influential members of the town, Charles Schreiner, was preserved. The Schreiner Mansion is a combination of Romanesque Revival and Chateauesque architecture. The home now belongs to the university, but is open to the public for self-guided tours.