Friday, September 28, 2018

Four (or more) On Friday

TGIF!!  Here's what I've been..

1) Enjoying...a floral centerpiece that was gifted to me at a fundraising event we attended. It has a little purple flameless candle in the bottom so it glows at night.
 2)Marveling at...the amazing spider webs I've been seeing lately.  This is free Halloween decor.  Please just don't come into my house!
 3) Decorating...getting a few mums and pumpkins to decorate the porches.
 4) Meal prepping...making mini crustless tofu quiches for the week (or day).
 5) Surprised by...this greeted me when I came home the other day. I guess a gust of wind knocked the picture over which knocked the candle holder over. The candle part still works and the picture wasn't broken so that's good.
 6) Attempting(just for fun)...the Hobby Lobby photo shoot challenge. Don't know what I'm talking about?  Check this out.  I definitely need a reshoot!
Bonus...did you see part 1 of my Austin trip this week?

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

{Travel} Austin - Part 1

I got to tag along on Mr. Click's business trip to Austin which was a perfect distraction from our empty nest syndrome.  Austin's slogan is "Keep Austin Weird" but I didn't find it weird at all, just wonderful!

Our first stop was lunch when we arrived and a walk around SoCo (South Congress).
 This is a famous Austin mural at Jo's Coffee.
 I got my first taste of Tex-Mex at Guero's Taco Bar.  I got the Veggies A La Parrilla--sautéed veggies on a bed of potatoes served with sliced avocado, black beans and tortillas. YUM!
 Mozart's Coffee Roasters was a beautiful spot on Lake Austin to watch the turtles, fish and ducks and listen to the extremely loud birds in the oak trees.  They were so loud, I thought they were miked!
 There were so many pretty flowers still in bloom all over town!
That night we headed over to "Bat Bridge" (South Congress Bridge over Lady Bird Lake) to see the nightly swarm of Mexican Free Tailed Bats make their way out for an insect dinner.  Austin is home to the largest urban colony of bats in the North America.
 We got a lot of beautiful views and sunsets but only saw a few bats emerge.
Look at that rainbow!
This is what it would have looked like if they had come out.  Hubs took this photo on a previous trip.
 The next day I was on my own and headed back to SoCo for some serious shopping and mural spotting. This one is a TOMS shoe store.
 You can see the murals all over and they were easy to photograph.
 He's got my vote!
 This one is a little bossy.
This one is in front of a clothing shop in a food truck trailer park area.

Speaking of food trucks, they were everywhere!
 This another iconic mural at Roadhouse Relics (a studio and gallery of unique, vintage style neon signs by artist Todd Sanders).
 This enticing archway led to the cutest looking bungalows at the Hotel San José.
 The hotel looked very hipster and upscale.
 I need to add this place to my travel bucket list.
 The front porch at TOMS was more in line with my bank account that day.
I couldn't get enough of this place (it had a cafe too!).
 More shopping to be done though, so onward!  I'll never get over Friday Night Lights and I don't think Austin has either. #texasforever #teamriggins
 I had done my research and wanted to try a few vegetarian friendly restaurants that looked good.  I had one of their 'Big Azz Salads' at Bouldin Creek Café.  The Tofu Broccoli Salad had stir fried sesame tofu cubes, broccoli, carrots, local tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, sunflower seed and mixed greens.  Delish!
 I treated myself to a soy cappuccino for dessert.
 After lots more walking around, window shopping and a little real shopping, I stopped at Jo's to try the coffee that went with the famous "I Love You So Much" mural. I had to agree!  I didn't have a bad cup of coffee in Austin.
 Heading back to the hotel and for another try to view the bats at Bat Bridge (another fail).
 My new shoes from TOMS.
One last mural of the day (also from TOMS).

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Packing with Packing Cubes-10 Days in a Carry On {Fall Trip}

 I've got travel on the brain lately and I've been obsessed with packing videos and tutorials.  I'm inspired to try and pack everything I need for a 10 day trip to Europe in the fall in just a carry on suitcase (plus personal item).
This is just a practice run but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be able to do this for our upcoming trip.   *Note - This isn't exactly what I'm planning to pack, just an experiment of what I could pack.*
Here's what I packed:
3 pairs of jeans (black jeggings, dark wash skinny & white)
2 skirts (denim & black)
1 dress (multi)
1 blazer (black)
1 puffer jacket (black)
1 sweatshirt (grey)
1 long open cardigan (grey)
1 short button cardigan (black)
1 tunic sweater (black)
2 long sleeve tees (black and striped)
1 short sleeve tee (navy)
2 button down shirts (chambray & blue gingham)
1 dressy top (black pattern)
3 tank tops
1 pj pant/1 pj top/1 robe
1 pair work out leggings and top
3 scarves
2 pairs of shoes (low booties & TOMS flats)
6 socks/2 tights/2 bras/5 undies (we'll have a washing machine at our destination)
1 pair of gloves
Jewelry/Hair brush/Mirror/Hair Clip
I tried to pack things that I could mix and match and wear more than once.
 How did I fit all of this into a carry on suitcase? I used packing cubes to keep everything organized and compressed. I ordered my set from Amazon and there are so many brands and sizes to choose from.  My set came with a few different sizes so that was a good way to start out.
 It takes some trial and error to figure out which way to fit them into your bags. I added the shoes in on one side (normally I'd wrap them in a bag or shower cap). If I was bringing boots, I'd probably wear them on the plane because they are heavier/bulkier for packing.
The largest packing cube fits perfectly on the left side of the suitcase.
 Here is everything set out before packing it into the suitcase.  I only used 3 of the 4 packing cubes that came in the set.
 And I'm packed!  This was just a practice run but I think I can do it.  Before I go I'll have to figure out my outfits based on the predicted weather like I did for our last trip to Europe.

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Four On Friday

Happy Fri-yay!  Speaking of fries, here's what I've been...

1)Trying...the Impossible Burger (all plant based)!
 2) Working with...this has been my current stove situation for the last few weeks. Thank goodness for the griddle and microwave!
3)Decorating...our back to school mantel for early fall.
4)Buying...I got a new wreath for the front door and bonus, it lights up!
What have you been up to?

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