A new take on hanging out with your Girlfriends

Finding new reasons to hangout with my best gal pals has never been an issue for me.  I’m constantly looking for new ideas on ways to strengthen my existing relationships and start new ones.  Last weekend my friend Cait and I went on a little adventure and came up with some fun activities to go do this Fall, besides the traditional dinner or happy hour.  (But just to be clear, this is in addition to wine drinking and our big Italian family style dinners – we wont be giving that up anytime in the near future.)

All of these ideas will spark your inner creative at heart and hopefully you’ll learn a few new skills with your besties by your side.  Among the ideas were Succulent Planting Party, Watercolor Party, and a Cake Decorating Party…. I’m starting to see a theme here – so let’s get this party started!  Here are the ideas:

1. Succulent Planting Party – this is really just a gateway to shopping in Downtown Bryan, but I’m good with that, and kudos to Market 1023 for their clever traffic drivers.  Stop by Market 1023 to pick your succulent, find a planter and then check out.  They will help you plant your succulent and give you directions on how to care for it.  I think you could easily make this into a stop during your First Friday adventures, tacking on a drink at the LaSalle Hotel or a classic movie at The Queen Theatre and your in “girls night out” business.

 

2.  Watercolor Party – With the trend of brush script and beautiful watercolor paintings continue to flood everyone’s Instagram feeds it only seems natural to jump on the band wagon and try your hand at the craft.  A wonderful friends of mine and local artist Beth Symons, owner of Bethany Joy Design, is now booking private parties.  You can contact her directly through her Facebook page to setup your next Watercolor Party!

 

3.  Cake Decorating Party – I’m generally more interested in the consumption of cake and cookies, but I’m willing to put my sweet tooth aside and learn a few new baking skills. The Chocolate Gallery in Downtown Bryan will offer a fresh take on their adult classes this fall and they’re also upgrading their classroom!  For more details about scheduling a class reach out to Christina Patterson via email: cpatterson@bcscocoapantry.com

Also as a side note, The Chocolate Gallery has licensed Texas A&M chocolates and gelato hand dipped into a waffle cone that will take you back to your childhood.  If you are an aspiring chef like myself, you will enjoy browsing through their very nice selection of kitchen gadgets from Le Creuset bakeware to high-end appliances that you would find at a retailer similar to Williams-Sonoma.

Now, go call all all of your gal pals and plan a creative party! Cheers!  xx-Jennifer

The Lake Walk Town Center: a hidden gem in Bryan

Joining our community in 2017, the Lake Walk Town Center in Bryan has created a wonderful retreat and gathering place for local residents and visitors.

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View from the 75 foot “Lookout” over the Lake Walk Town Center

Saturday mornings I enjoy my short walk to this newly created venue for sunrise yoga with SolYoga.  Feeling relaxed and fully renewed, I meet up with my girlfriends for a cup of Joe across the street at P.O.V. Coffee.  Sitting outside on the patio, I take in take in all the beauty the lake walk offers while catching up with friends.

International Day of Yoga 2018 - Lake Walk Town Center Photo Credit

Photo Credit:  Lake Walk Town Center, SolYoga.

Tucked away before you enter into the Traditions Club & Community, the Lake Walk Town Center creates a family friendly environment offering you 10 different visitor experiences, 4 of which are completely free!

The Lake Walk is complete with a event lawn, water feature, a 75 foot tower perfect for overlooking the city or gazing at the stars.  Beyond the lake, The Stella Hotel adds another element unlike anything in the Bryan-College Station community.  The boutique hotel is perfect for a staycation, romantic getaway, or even a fun girls night out.  One of my favorite features of the hotel is the speakeasy inspired cocktail lounge, Hershel’s.  When I started my blog this was actually the location of our first onsite photo shoot.  Some of the best shots Shelby took were in the bathroom – yes I’m serious.

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Photo Credit:  Shelby Tiska Photography

From cocktail hour to poolside, The Stella Hotel pool cabanas and day passes are available, if you’re looking for a retreat like atmosphere to cool off this summer.

The Campfire Grill also featured inside The Stella Hotel provides guests with gourmet “farm to fork” meals and another outdoor seating area perfect for cozy conversations next to a campfire inspired fire pits.   I have not yet had the opportunity to stay at the hotel, but it is definitely on my staycation list of places to stay!

The Lake Walk not only provides special events, a beautiful hotel, coffee for days, but they have recently added a shopping experience with a local boutique, The Coterie.  The friendly staff and owner are always there to greet you and help you find your best style.  Full disclosure my wallet cringes a little every time I walk through the door because it’s impossible to walk out empty handed.

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Photo Credit:  Shelby Tiska Photography

This summer, on Friday nights, you can find me at the Lake Walk enjoying their summer concert series and food trucks with friends.  And if you’re looking for something to do during the week stop by The Local on Tuesday’s to explore the popup market featuring local vendors, food trucks and live music.

Here are a complete list of everything the Lake Walk Town Center has to offer, including links of all of the wonderful things to do around the Lake Walk and Stella Hotel!  I have enjoyed the Lake Walk and I hope you can plan your next staycation or visit to Bryan-College Station!  xx-Jennifer

  1. Paddle Boarding on the Lake – visit the Stella Hotel for rentals
  2. The Lookout, 75 ft tower overlooking the city
  3. Poolside Cabanas @ The Stella Hotel
  4. P.O.V Coffee on the Patio
  5. Saturday FREE Yoga by the Lake, 8 AM
  6. Hershel’s Bar @ The Stella Hotel
  7. The Local – popup market featuring local vendors, food trucks and live music
  8. Coterie Boutique
  9. Eats & Beats Summer Concert Series
  10. Campfire Grill

Top 6 Ice Cream Stops in Bryan-College Station

What better way to celebrate National Ice Cream month than to recap my top picks for America’s favorite summer treat.  The Brazos Valley isn’t short on a supply of sweet treats that help cool off even the hottest days of summer.  As you plan your summer vacations or need a quick sugar fix try out some of my favorite local Ice Cream spots in the Brazos Valley.  Next week I’ll share a few more Ice Cream spots that you don’t want to miss around the state and beyond the boarders of Texas!

1.  Blue Bell Ice Cream is a Texas staple and should be on everyone’s “must do” list while traveling through the state.  If you can’t stop by the Brenham factory for a tour, you can find this delicious treat at most grocers and in Downtown Bryan a the local Must Be Heaven Sandwich Shoppe.  Stepping back in time, treat the family to a hand dipped cone of Blue Bell Ice Cream and take a stroll down the historic sidewalks of Downtown Bryan.

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Photo Credit:  Must Be Heaven Sandwich Shoppe in Brenham, Texas                               

2.  Farmhouse Creamery  opened their doors to the Bryan-College Station community in 2016, bringing to south College Station a true taste delicious premium ice cream.  They offer 28 flavors of ice cream, including sugar free and gluten free options, the creamery brings a unique spin to ice cream right here in the Brazos Valley.

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Photo Credit:  Farmhouse Creamery Premium Ice Cream

3.  “Maybe a Cupcake will help?” – Jeff Martin, Founder of Smallcakes Cupcakes and Creamery, created this decadent treat that is just irresistible to any sweets lover.  A brand new location has opened in Bryan-College Station and it’s definitely a sugar shock in the making, you don’t want to miss out!

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Photo Credit:  Smallcakes Cupcakes and Creamery

4.  Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen – Gelato 

Ok this isn’t really Ice Cream… but this rich and creamy Italian favorite seriously had to be on this list.  Made in house, you don’t want to skip dessert when dining at Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen. (Psst order the Trio 8, you will thank me later.)

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Photo Credit:  Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen                                                                                               

5.  Frios Gourmet Pops

A cousin of our favorite summer sweet treat ice cream… Popsicle are making a huge comeback, but in a gourmet way.  Are you planning a fun outdoor event or even a wedding? Frios Pops is mobile and ready to add a unique sweet treat to your next gathering.  Supporters of small businesses and growing local economies, Frios Gourmet Pops are your go to for fresh. frozen. fun.

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Photo Credit:  Frios Gourmet Pops – Aggieland                                                                                              

6.  Have you ever wanted to tryout a science experiment with your ice cream?  Y’all my ice cream isn’t around long enough for me to actually conduct any experiments… but that’s ok because SubZero Nitrogen Ice Cream has you covered.  The staff at SubZero use liquid nitrogen to hand mix your ice cream at freezing temps of 321 degrees Fahrenheit.  Don’t worry, the liquid nitrogen isn’t toxic and it does not have a taste or smell to it.

Bonus: SubZero loves education and they will take their show on the road, this would be a huge hit at a children’s party!

Next week I’ll share a few more Ice Cream spots that you don’t want to miss around the state and beyond the boarders of Texas! xx Jennifer

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Photo Credit:  SubZero Nitrogen Ice Cream