Tuesday, September 27, 2011

♥ Lost My Keys to Reality

Weather! Holy Moly! This weather has been amazing! Our 120 days of 100+ are finally broken. Austin has been awesomely greeted by the most brilliant breezes and trust me, we are thankful. Because, trust me, it won't last long.

 This Sunday was especially glorious! A few friends of mine got together to gallivant around the city, literally. It was definitely a 'Choose your own Adventure' kind of day.

We had lunch at Sandra Bullock's own Walton's Cafe on West Sixth Street--then drinks at Second Bar + Kitchen :)
My mimosa, Mike and Carly's Oaktown Beat Down which I think had Appleton Rum and then Tiff's Chai infused cocktail; from Second Bar + Kitchen. Delish!

Searched for the Cow Parade: the strategically placed and eclectically painted cows that are now strewn throughout the city. These -we loved. Click the link to see pics of ALL of the cows!

Hiked through the greenbelt to get some exercise and witness some amazing Hill Country views and sadly smoke in the distance from the Bastrop fires :(

My friends sitting on the edge of the cliff-- Tiffany was the brave one to get down and take the picture.

And finished off with Strawberry Margaritas at Red's Porch off of South Lamar.
shotty iphone picture!

Cheers to *Sundays* Fundays!


Much Love,
♥ Mellie

Monday, September 26, 2011

♥ Tastytown takes on the Hippie Highway :: South First Gems

After my ACL adventure last weekend, I had one goal and one goal only this weekend. Rest, relaxation and rejuvenation! Oh and eating some deliciousness of course!

Friday evening was spent treating myself to a little salon and spa action (a girl's gotta have pretty nails!), followed by late night sushi happy hour at Bar Chi with my boyfriend, my sister and some friends. Might I add that, Bar Chi is a hip new spot for late evening sushi cravings on a dime.

Saturday was spent taking ridiculously long cat naps. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t too lazy. I did, in fact, get up for a 9am boot camp workout with MOVE Austin Fitness, but I then proceeded to go straight back to sleep. When I finally awoke from my glorious slumber, it was hungertown USA for me.

Bouldin Creek is one of my absolute favorite spots in South Austin, on the Hippie Highway (aka South First). This restaurant, is entirely vegetarian, organic, fresh, and completely tasty! I'm not a vegetarian myself, but all of their options are filling, satisfying and most importantly healthy. We almost always get the hummus plate to start. It is probably the most delicious hummus, topped by the freshest tomatoes and cucumbers, I have ever tasted.
Once we had a few bites, we decided on a few tasty bevs! Mike had a Shanty, which is half 512 Wit Beer and half lemonade. It was very refreshing, but I must say I won in the drink choices when I decided to try the Champagne Mojito; bubbly and crisp!

Mike ordered the Sweet Potato Tamales, which he wrapped up into little corn tortillas, topped with fresh veggies and salsa.  It was a combination I wouldn’t have thought of myself, and I was pleasantly surprised by the savory combo. My order was the grilled cheese sammie loaded with veggies like basil, cilantro, onion, tomato and jalapenos for a kick. Needless to say, I was smiling ear to ear and I had some to take home for a snack later.

When we finally rolled ourselves out of there, my little eyes spotted something that suddenly made me realize I had a little room for dessert. Directly across the street is Sugar Mama's Bake Shop and I had to stop in. This bakery is adorable, with a little seating area inside and a decadent glass case filled with goodies. I apologize for not picturing what we actually ordered as we sort of devoured it immediately. Mike went with a mini fruit pie, and I, the rich chocolate mint square. We were in HEAVEN!

I highly recommend these Hippie Highway gems in a combo package! Sure you can try one without the other, but the two together was ideal for a lazy Saturday or maybe even a fun date idea!


BOULDIN CREEK
Bouldin Creek Street Sign
Mike sitting outside the funky Bouldin Creek wall

Shanty and Champagne Mojito
Hummus Plate
Sweet Potato Tamales

Grilled Cheese + Veggies sammie
SUGAR MAMA'S BAKESHOP
Sugar Mama's
drool...
tasty icing
cute seating area to get out of the heat
Triple Berry Mini Pie

♥ Dig in!
Mellie

Thursday, September 22, 2011

♥ Austin Restaurant Week


One City, Two Weeks, Three Courses.
Last night, Austin Restaurant Week was kicked off at Paggi House where everyone gathered for some live jazz, tasty appetizers and conversations on their big, comfy outdoor seating. The weather was beautiful and our goodie bags were stuffed with awesome Austin Restaurant Week swag and even our own Fearless Critic Guide to Austin restaurants.

Austin Restaurant Week will be held from September 25th-28th and October 2nd-5th.

This annual event was created in celebration of Austin's unique culinary arts. Austin Restaurant Week allows patrons to dine at some of Austin's finest restaurants while allowing our chefs to showcase a customized menu of their best dishes.

Meals range from $10 – $15 for lunch and $25 – $35 for dinner for a three-course pre-fixed menu.

*Remember* this week will be a busy one, so go to the ARW website, peruse the list of fabulous restauarants and be sure to make your reservations ahead of time.

--Ooo! Neat! Here's the link to Austin Restaurant Week Mobile App too!--

Are there any restaurants you want to try?? These are a few that I am dying to get a taste of.

Braise - New American
ADDRESS: 2121 East 6th Street, Suite 101
PHONE: 512-478-8700

Olivia - Gourmet
ADDRESS: 2043 South Lamar
PHONE: 512-804-2700

uchiko - Japanese
ADDRESS: 4200 N. Lamar
PHONE: 512-916-4808

♥ yummmmmm,
Mel

Thursday, September 15, 2011

♥ My Picks :: Austin City Limits Festival & Aftershows





Having lived in Austin for over 20 years, I like to call myself a True Austinite. Now that may sound pretentious, but we are a proud group of peeps, ya hear! :)  And whenever Austin gets notoriety, in any positive way, we tend to ruffle our feathers a bit and grin ear to ear. Like I said we are proud.

Yet in a way, each and every person in this fine city is to thank for it. It is because of our eccentricity and 'weirdness' as some may call it, that make this place home for me. Relaxed attitudes, open minds and the prescription to supporting "local", not only allow our businesses to flourish, but it is what allows the people to do as well. I hope those who read my blog, who have never visited--feel inspired to do so. And those who are living in the city today--feel proud.

One thing, we are most proud of is Austin City Limits Music Festival. Minus a few years (darn college exams!), I have nearly attended every festival and have really watched it grow into the nationally and internationally known festival it is today. This year, we celebrate our 10th anniversary.

ACL Fest is a three-day music festival that takes place at Zilker Park, pretty much in the center of the city. Each year, not only do 130 musical groups come to play at the festival, but so do tons of local vendors to sell amazing food (some gluten free options too!) and art. Over 70,000 people come PER DAY to check it all out. Parking is a b*tch, but its all pretty fabulous!

I'd like to share with you some of my picks for the festival as well as my picks for the aftershows. What are you dying to see? Any suggestions?

-THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15TH-

-FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH-


Ray Lamontagne- 4:10pm-4:10pm @ AMD Stage

**Beardyman- 4:30pm-5:30pm @ BMI Stage (incredible one man band)

The Cold War Kids- 5:10pm-6:10pm @Honda Stage


Bright Eyes- 6:10pm-7:10pm @ AMD Stage

 
**Santigold- 7:10pm-8:10pm @ Honda Stage (this girl-- I love, really hope she plays some new stuff)
Santigold - Starstruck by diplo


Pretty Lights- 7:30pm-8:30pm @ Google+ Stage

 
**Kanye West- 8:30pm-10pm @ Bud Light Stage ( we all know what he sounds like, here's to hoping for the best!)

-SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 17TH-

**Aloe Blacc- 12:30pm-1:15pm @ Bud Light Stage

Phosphorescent- 2pm-2:45pm @ Austin Ventures Stage

**Iron & Wine- 4pm-5pm @ AMD Stage (this is my absolute favorite sone by Iron and Wine!)

**Fitz and the Tantrums- 5pm-6pm @ Honda Stage

**Cut Copy- 6pm-7pm @ AMD Stage ( Dance Party!)

**Chromeo- 7pm-8pm @ Honda Stage (Dance PArty x2!)




**STEVIE WONDER<--- YES! Are you serious!- 8pm-10pm@ Bud Light Stage

-SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18TH-

Ruby Jane- 11:20am-20pm @ Austin Ventures Stage(child violin prodigy!)


Milkdrive- 11:15am-12pm @ BMI Stage (shameful plug, my boyfriend made this video!)


**AWOLNATION - 3:30pm-4:30pm @ Honda Stage

**Chiddy Bang- 3:30pm-4:30pm @ Google+ Stage


**Manu Chao- 6:30pm-7:30pm @ AMD Stage


**Empire of the Sun- 7:30pm-8:30pm @ Google+ Stage (this is a Stephan Jacobs remix, its great, Empire of the Sun is even better..check 'em out!)




**Arcade Fire!- 8pm-10pm@ Bud Light Stage (For the Festival Finale!!)


** = I will be there! :)


Hope to run into some friendly faces!

♥ Much Love and I hope you all enjoy filling your heads with amazing music!
Mel

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

♥ Paleo and Cross Fit

Although I have several posts comin' atcha, in the works, I wanted to share a little tid bit of what's been going on in my brain.

So, I am on my third week of cross-fit/boot camp training with Coach Katy at Move Austin Outdoor Fitness and I'm loving it! I was really looking to change up my work-out routine and she's definitely challenged me, not to mention the biggest challenge of all; waking up at 6am! It hasn't been too bad, in fact, quite rewarding! I'll share more about some of these workouts soon.

These morning classes have really got me thinking about my personal goals as far as my physical self and mental self and even my dietary goals. Since I have been introduced to these Cross-Fit style workouts, I have also been introduced to what is known as the Paleo Diet.

Now, I don't know much, but I'm learning more and more. And it is starting to sound like quite the challenge... a challenge I'm willing to take. So far, I know the Paleo Diet is short for Paleolithic, which means you basically eat like a caveman. Think: hunter-gatherer. No gluten. No dairy.

I'm always up for a challenge... but maaaayyyybe I'll start after ACL Festival :)
(^^That's a shameless plug of my personal ACL picks. Have a look if you're interested)

Anyway, after my boyfriend cooked up some AMAZING portabello mushrooms last night, I was scouring for more portabello recipes. This Portabello Caprese Tower salad comes from the Austin foodie blog called ATX Gluten Free. Chef Jess's gluten-free recipes have really got me thinking that I might be able to let go of my long term relationship with bread. (Oh how I love thee!) If you are looking for some healthy and tasty alternatives to every day meals (pasta, pizza, you name it!) Check out her blog!

Although this recipe doesn't follow the Paleo Diet. It looks very VERY tasty and still quite healthy! I think I will give it a try this week. As for my attempt at the Paleo Diet, you will have to wait and see!


ATX Gluten Free: Chef Jess' Portabello Caprese Towers
Serves 2
Approximate time: 15 minutes

  • 2 Portabello mushrooms
  • 1 small ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced into 4 thick slices
  • 1 tomato from the vine, sliced into 4 thick slices
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 300
  2. Pull out the stem of the Portabello mushroom. Place upside down in casserole dish and drizzle olive oil over top. Sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper over mushroom. Bake until warmed through, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella into thick slices.
  4. Place Portabello mushroom upside down on serving dish. Layer starting with one tomato slice, 1 mozzarella slice, 2 basil leaves, repeat once more and top with fresh basil. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top of tower. Sprinkle salt, to taste.

Enjoy,
♥ Mellie