Farm to Table Brunch

Mike and I spent a beautiful, sunny – Sunday morning experiencing a new restaurant  in Historic Downtown Bryan, Texas.  Housed inside the rustic and recently restored Ice House on Main, Ronin Restaurant brings new life to the 1912 building.

For many years, Chef Brian Light and his wife Amanda have connected our community through local food production and provided a venue where guests can enjoy the traditions of a simpler life at Ronin Farms. The outdoor event venue under the Texas sky will make you fall in love with the Farm to Table concept.  Ronin has now created a second space where our community can experience this same concept in their new location in Historic Downtown Bryan.

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Guests at the Ronin Restaurant can choose from a variety of seating, including outdoor tables with a view of  Historic Downtown Bryan, a indoor community style table or simply a seat at the bar.

The menu selection was carefully crafted, providing us with the feeling that we were out on the farm and even included recommendations of drink pairings for each menu item.

Mike selected the Texas Wagyu Chicken Fried Steak and Farm Egg with Cream Gravy and Roasted Sweet Potato.  Although I helped Mike finish most of his delicious Wagyu Chicken Fried Steak, I went with a sweeter selection for my entree- the Cinnamon Pecan French Toast with Spiced Apple Compote and Spiced Caramel – and it was as delightful as the name.

Although the food and venue were amazing, please note that the pricing for us would be for special occasions only and not a weekly stop.  Based on your budget, I would recommend reviewing the menu pricing before dining.  I definitely see this venue as the perfect spot to host a bridal brunch, baby shower or even a birthday celebration with your closest girlfriends.

The Ronin Restaurant also has seasonal hours, so be sure to check their website for the most up to date hours.  If you are dining this Winter, the hours for Ronin Restaurant are:

Dinner 5pm-10pm
Thursday, Friday & Saturday

Brunch 11am-2pm
Every Sunday

Happy Brunching xx Jennifer

Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm

Getting into the holiday spirit when it’s ninety degrees outside can be a challenge here in Texas.  As a child I spent my Christmases in Kansas where snow was inevitable and roaring fireplaces were the norm.  Bundled up, the cold that cuts through you and the smell of fresh snow – that’s just what reminds me of the holiday season.

This year, despite that fact that we wont be seeing snow, I really wanted to create new holiday traditions with my boyfriend Mike and find joy in the holiday activities that Texas has to offer.  Not far from College Station, we spent a Saturday exploring the Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm in Elgin, Texas.

As we turned down a narrow dirt road into the tree farm, cars were lined up with freshly cut Christmas trees that topped the roofs.  We parked and walked up to where all the action was taking place – in the background you could see children running around and playing, tree farm workers shaking trees and putting them into the netting to prepare for transport to be decorated.  Not long after arriving a cheerful young lady approached us and gave us the entire run down of the tree farm.  From selecting the perfect wreath to jumping on the tractor trailer to take a ride to the tree farm it was the whole holiday package.

This experience was much more organized than I had anticipated despite my only reference to cutting fresh Christmas trees, which is Clark Griswold’s famous Christmas tree scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  Although we did not purchase a tree because we will be traveling to the tropical Florida coast line over the holidays, we enjoy just being out doors and smelling the beautiful pine trees.

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There is an age old debate of buying a Christmas tree – do you buy a live tree or a fake one?  My family has always had an artificial tree, while beautiful it’s missing that fresh pine smell that fills the home and signifies the beginning of the season.  What kind of tree did you have growing up?

Tis the season – xx Jennifer

Photo Credit: Mike Satterfield

 

Banza Chickpea Pasta Recipe

Gluten free and made from Chickpea flour, Banza pasta is high in fiber and a great option for anyone who is vegan, vegetarian or has specific dietary restrictions.

I fell in love with this product after watching the Netflix Generation Startup showcasing a series of entrepreneurs and their journeys to creating startup companies.  I watched as founder Brian Rudolph and employee Avery Hairston developed the first ever chickpea pasta.  I related to their story of daily hard work, trials and errors of creating something new an innovative.  Entrepreneurs at heart, the duo went on to create a wonderful product that I couldn’t wait to try.

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Adding it the grocery store list I wondered if my small Texas town would carry such a unique product but was pleasantly surprised with Banza beat me to the punch and reached out to me to send a few boxes for me to tryout!

I had a lot of fun trying out the different pastas and created a Texas edition recipe that I wanted to share with y’all.  The mac and cheese selection that I tried was really great and by far my favorite so far.

Texas Edition: Banza Mac & Cheese Recipe

2018 Banza Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Banza Mac & Cheese (we used Cacio E Pepe, but this recipe would be great with Banza’s Classic Cheddar or White Cheddar Mac & Cheese.)
  • 6 Cups of water
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (Optional)
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 lb Sliced Brisket
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped basil
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Barbecue sauce drizzle

Directions:

Follow the instructions on the box of Mac & Cheese.  As your pasta is cooking, chop the brisket, basil and mix with Parmesan Cheese and set to the side.  Once your pasta is cooked, drain and follow the instructions provided by Banza to create the cheese sauce.  Mix the pasta and cheese sauce together and then add the brisket, basil and Parmesan cheese.  Plate, drizzle a little barbecue sauce on top and enjoy!

Serving Size: 2

Ok, it’s your turn to create a fun recipe! You can try out Banza pasta and select from a variety of pasta including:

  • Ziti
  • Spaghetti
  • Cavatappi
  • Penne
  • Linguine
  • Wheels
  • Elbows
  • Shells
  • Rotini
  • Angel Hair
  • Rigatoni
  • Classic Cheddar Mac & Cheese
  • White Cheddar Mac & Cheese
  • Cacio E Pepe Mac & Cheese

To find a grocery store near you or to order directly online visit EatBanza.com.

Bon Appétit – xx Jennifer

Road Trip for the Holidays

Have you heard?  I’m going on a two-week road trip for Christmas with my boyfriend, Mike.  This is a far cry from the traditional Christmas, but it will be an adventure to say the least!  Traveling from central Texas to explore Louisiana along the Mississippi onto New Orleans and finally making our way to the tropical Florida coast line – this will be a holiday to remember.

I will admit the idea of spending the holidays on the road was something I had to get my head wrapped around at first.  Usually the holiday season is spent running from one Christmas party to the next, overeating a big Christmas day meal my mother had spent all day making and then of course eating leftovers for days.  But it in the spirit of keeping an open mind and trying new things, I was ready to shake things up a bit and go on this epic holiday couple’s road trip with Mike.

Although this will be an awesome way to spend the holidays together, the thought has crossed my mind – “how will we keep the holiday traditions alive on the road?”

My first thoughts were create a fun holiday play list, find a travel size Christmas tree, decorate the car with battery powered festive Christmas lights, but then I realized it’s not about the stuff.  It’s really about the person you are with and the experience of driving across country and making memories with the person or people you love.

Here are the top 5 ways Mike and I are keeping the Holiday tradition alive and creating our own traditions during our epic holiday couple’s road trip:

  1. Immerse ourselves in a culture outside of ourselves.  We will be completely open to driving down a road we have never traveled before, talking to locals about their city and making new friends along the way on our road trip.  Experiencing a holiday tradition different from our own, Bonfires on the Levee in Louisiana will kick off this goal of experiencing a new culture.
  2. Create new memories and a new tradition.  As I said this will be Mike and I’s longest road trip together and our first Christmas … that’s a lot of pressure, but going with the flow and starting our own tradition, as a new couple, will make our relationship stronger.
  3. Keep our friends and family engaged on the road.  I want to take everyone on this trip and show how traveling can open your mind and can heal your soul.  So in addition to the new norm of social media, Mike and I will be sending a post card to family members and friends at every city.  Sure we may arrive back home before anyone gets their post cards, but seriously who doesn’t like getting snail mail! (note to self…pack stamps)
  4. Tell stories.  Similar to our first road trip, reminiscing of our favorite childhood memories, Mike and I will share our favorite holiday stories.  And hey maybe one day we will be able to tell our children about the time we spent our first Christmas together.
  5. Ok ok…I’m still buying the little travel Christmas tree… but don’t tell Mike.

So, we’re hitting the road!  And we want you to follow along as Mike and I tell our Holiday travel story this December.  Some of the highlights you can look forward to are:

  • A tour and night spent at Oak Alley Plantation on the Mississippi
  • The lighting of the Bonfires on the Levee
  • A jazzy New Orleans Christmas Day
  • Ringing in the New Year on the tropical beaches of Key West

Have you ever spent the holidays on a road trip?  If so, how did you keep holiday traditions alive?  Leave me a comment, I want to hear from you!

Happy and Safe Travels, xx Jennifer

State Fair of Texas

As a Texas native, it’s hard to even fathom that I’ve never been to the State Fair of Texas.  I know, my official Texas badge should be taken away.  But I made up for it this year by attending the State Fair of Texas and I’m recapping my experience and sharing it with y’all!

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The State Fair of Texas spans twenty-four days and was established in 1886.  This makes the State Fair of Texas the largest running fair in the nation and one of the largest in size. Each year they pick a theme that encompasses their mission of celebrating the history of Agriculture, Education and Community.  This year’s theme, “Celebrating Texas Innovation”, was woven into many of the exhibits and throughout the fair park.

Before you plan your trip to the State Fair of Texas here are a few basics that you need to know and a few tips after our first trip to the fair.

1.   Arrive early.  We noticed as the day went on and especially around 5pm the park really got crowded.  By arriving in the morning, it allowed us to explore most of the park with little to no lines or crowds.

2.  Park only in the State Fair of Texas official parking lots.  There will be official banners and signs directing you to all available lots.  As you drive in you will see people wearing vests and using flags to motion you into other parking lots.  Most of these lots appeared to be open fields, people’s homes or in front of businesses.  By parking in the official State Fair of Texas lots you lower the risks of car break-ins or even worse being towed.  The official parking lots also provide a free tram that takes you directly to the entrance gate.  We paid $15 to park.

3.  Swing by the ATM on your way to the Fair.  You will need cash to park and it also makes purchasing Coupons easier when you arrive in the park.

4.  Coupons are the Fairs “currency”.  The food vendors only accept coupons.  If your kids want to play any of the carnival games, you will need entirely different form of currency.  You will find coupon kiosks throughout the park that will gladly exchange your cash for coupons.

As the largest state fair, you can imagine navigating the park can be a little taxing.  At the end of the day we had walked close to 8 miles throughout the day.  Plan to wear comfortable shoes and take breaks in the shade when you can.

We did not attend the State Fair with children, so our takeaways may be different had we maybe attended with small children.  But here are my favorite highlights of the State Fair of Texas as a couples trip.

  1.  Food.  This has to be the number one item on the list.  Things I never thought could be hand battered and dipped in the frying pan were indeed a possibility at the fair.  From Chicken Fried Bacon to deep fried Oreos the food vendors had your wildest fried dreams covered.  Big Tex Choice Award winner, the Cotton Candy Taco was the first thing on my list we had to try.  With a waffle cone shaped like a taco shell, a fluffy pillow of cotton candy filled the inside and was garnished with your choice of marshmallow flavored fluff and cookie crumbles.  It was a sticky delicious mess and of course an Instagram photo dream come true.

2.  Agriculture.  If you have grown up in the city or maybe you’re just fairly removed from rural society, the farm to table concept may be new to you.  I felt like the fair did a wonderful job of providing multiple displays and exhibits throughout the fairgrounds that illustrated where your food comes from and the importance of agriculture.  The Agriculture education was presented in many different forms that appealed to all ages.

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3.  Art Exhibit.  This was one of our favorite stops and maybe the exhibit we stayed at the longest.  It was so wonderful to see all ages, from youth to adults, competing in a variety of art mediums.  We viewed photography, needlepoint, paintings, antiques and quilts, just to name a few.  Every entry was beautifully displayed and told a story.

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4.  Auto Show.  The State Fair of Texas is the only fair to include a full auto show.  Just think of any auto manufacturer name and they were there.   Auto displays that spanned from indoor displays to outdoor mega displays.  If you are in the market for a new vehicle this was a fun, hassle free, way to view all of the new cars coming out.

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There are a few must “see” and photo ops you don’t want to miss out on.

  1.  Big Tex.  At the main entrance you will find a 55-foot-tall statue named Big Tex.  He has become the cultural icon of the Fair since 1952 and he even talks!  This is the perfect spot for a group photo or the infamous selfie.
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Don’t miss your chance to get a picture with the “Neon” Big Tex too!

2.  Pig Races.  If you want to see the cutest thing on this planet go to the pig races.  Step back in time as you enter into a coliseum decorated like a scene from Wilbur the Pig in Charlotte’s Web.  And announcers who wore overalls and talked with the southern drawl most outsiders would think all Texans sound like.  It was a fun activity to watch and the crowds went wild over the pigs as they made their way around the track.

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3.  Butter Sculptures.  Have you ever seen a 1000 pounds of butter sculpted into the shape of a cowboy’s head?  I’m guessing the answer is mostly no.  But the state fair has you covered.  To put that size in perspective, it takes 21,200 gallons of milk to make 1000 pounds of butter.  Wow.

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4.  Wine tasting.  By now most of you probably know that this is one of my favorite subjects.  The fair offers a beautiful wine garden surrounded by tasting stations of some of Texas’s best wines.  They also have outdoor seating along with a stage for live music throughout the day.  We found this to be an excellent spot to take a break and relax from the passing crowds.

We have already marked our calendars for next years fair, and you should too.  Opening day has been set for September 27th, 2019.  See you at the State Fair of Texas, y’all.

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XX Jennifer

Home Sweet Home

I’m officially moved in, semi-unpacked and getting back into my “normal routine.”  I will admit I have driven the wrong way home from work a few times just out of habit but quickly realized…oops I don’t live here anymore.

One of the feelings I hadn’t expected was the huge since of pride that comes along with owning my first home.  A year ago, I didn’t even think this was a possibility but now that I’m in it, living it, I am so happy I took the leap.  I may have a few extra grey hairs but that’s nothing my hairdresser can’t fix.

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I also feel like more of an adult, that seems silly to say out loud, but right or wrong, I do.  Spending my Saturdays wandering the aisles of Home Depot or sketching out my elaborate backyard Spring DIY projects, it’s been a fun and exciting experience.

In meeting my neighbors, so far I have received rose bush pruning tips by the retiree on the next block over, and I’ve even met several of the neighborhood dogs – Jack has approved and is looking forward to his next playdate with his new furry friends.

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Here are a few lessons I learned after move in…

Ask friends for help. One of the best moving decisions I made was to invite friends over to help unpack.  Now they may not see it that way, but it was a huge time saver when it came to my kitchen.  We had the entire kitchen unpacked out of boxes and in cabinets in an hour.  I always think organizing a new kitchen is hard because you’re not sure how to set it up.  But having five women help organize the kitchen was a life saver.  It was also just a lot of fun having friends come over and hangout.  We played music in the background, ate sandwiches and unpacked – I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

I should have taken notes. This is a little bit like taking your first college exam and flunking it.  When you are in a high stress situation or receiving a lot of information for the first time it’s easy to forget half of everything.  From the final walk through on my house all the way to closing I received a lot of information… most of it started out something like this “Don’t lose this paper, it’s very important.” Or “You will want to fill this out and mail this to ______(fill in the blank).”  So don’t be afraid to take a pen and paper and ask clarifying questions every step of the way.  Here’s your second chance to be the straight A student you never were in college.

Make lists. After moving in I had created a mental list of all of the items in the house of what needed to be fixed or still needed to be done.  This list swam around in my head for days and even kept me up at night.  It’s just good to write it down or create a digital list on your phone or computer.

It doesn’t have to ALL be done today. I really like to knock things out… give me a list and it will be done before noon. I’ve always been that way, I like to just get stuff done even if it kills me or I have to spend the next week catching up on sleep.  After I finally stepped back and made my list of “to dos”, and prioritized them, it really helped me feel more relaxed and I could enjoy my house more.

Change of address. Someone needs to create a button or magic wand for this. I recommend making a list of all of the places you need to change your address starting with the most obvious mail forwarding with USPS.  Others would be your employer, bank accounts and credit cards, updating your driver’s license and most important your Amazon Prime account.

 

Hopefully a few of the lessons I learned will help you with your home purchase.  With home ownership comes new responsibilities, new challenges and new adventures.  I’m excited to see where it takes me.  I’m excited to be home.  – xx Jennifer

Girlfriends Guide… Fredericksburg, TX (Part 3)

Day 3 of our girlfriend getaway in the Texas Hill Country didn’t lack in activities… we dedicated Sunday to last minute shopping and a stroll down main street, peeking in windows and grabbing last minute homemade baked goods from a church bake sale stand.  (And yes I ate the baked goods before even getting back to the car!)

We started the morning with the idea of just grabbing a quick cup of coffee and pastries at local bakery… but quickly changed our minds when we discovered the reviews on yelp for a local restaurant, Sunset Grill.

Weekend Guide to Fredericksburg, TX

The parking was a challenge but our timing was better… the wait was organized because of their text messaging system which allowed you to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful morning and relax.  We were seated almost immediately and our table was next to a Disney style porthole window creating a “magical” dining experience.

We could barely carry on a conversation, not because it was loud… but because we envied every table around us as their breakfast was brought to their tables. Although I opted for a traditional breakfast, with biscuits I could eat for days, my top picks that you should try are the French Toast and Eggs Benedict.  I’m adding it to our list for the next trip!

Sunset Grill

With our stomachs full, we needed any excuse to get outside and walk off the calories.  So we decided to hit up main street and visit a few of our favorite stores.  Everyone knows that I go a little crazy decorating for Christmas and if I could get away with it, I would leave it up year round.  So naturally we had to visit the Christmas Store.

I love looking at the new Christopher Radko Ornaments and I was on the hunt for one very special ornament for my tree this year… the Christmas Pickle.  There are many stories that are told about hanging a pickle on your tree.  I’ve heard it brings good luck to your family and I’ve also heard that the first person to find it on the tree gets to open an extra present.  So I figured either way it would be a solid purchase.

Christmas Store

If you’re looking to squeeze in a few more wineries on your trip to Fredericksburg, main street actually has a few wineries that you might have missed out on.  Fat Ass Ranch and Winery has a tasting room conveniently located next to the Christmas Store and if nothing else you just need to experience it because of the name…and the frozen sangria.

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I love cooking, it’s another creative space for me and actually a stress reliever believe it or not.  So stopping at the Kitchen store, Der Kuchen Laden, was a must on our list before we left town.  A fun fact about the Der Kuchen Laden, is it’s historical past as a hospital.  Walking inside you wouldn’t have known it was a hospital because it is wall to wall kitchen gadget must haves. They had kitchen gadgets I didn’t even know existed… from Le Creuset cookware to every sugar cookie cutter on this planet, I was in heaven.  And if you are craving java, here’s a little secret, they have a coffee house in the back of the store to grab a quick cup while you are shopping.

I found a few treasures that I couldn’t live with out, one in particular made my day.  I have a small obsession with cocktail napkins and I found the cutest Cowboys and Indians napkins that I just couldn’t leave with out purchasing.

Kitchen Store

If you have a sweet tooth, like I do, then you don’t have to walk very far to find sweet treats of all kinds.  The Lone Star Candy Bar had everything you could think of including a chocolate covered jalapeno, yikes!  And don’t be afraid to be a kid and take your picture with the life size M&M candy out front while you enjoy your hand dipped ice cream.

Fredericksburg Fudge is also a must in the sweets department.  They have everything under the sun when it comes to fudge and it will leave you on a sugar high for days.

Candy

Another great winery, who has a tasting room on main, is Grape Creek Vineyards.  On our first day in Fredericksburg we actually went out to the vineyard on HWY 290, but we only stayed for a glass of wine.  If we had done a little more research we could have just enjoyed a glass downtown and maybe avoided some of the crowds!

Grape Creek Vineyards on Main

As we left Main Street in “Olaf”, our jazzy mini van, we were already planning our next vacation to the Texas Hill Country in Fredericksburg, Texas.  It was exactly what we needed, a mini girlfriend getaway.  We can’t wait to plan another trip this Fall to enjoy the German heritage festivities and hopefully a little Christmas shopping too!

xx-Jennifer

Girlfriends Guide… Fredericksburg, TX

What better way to celebrate the first day of Spring than to share with y’all the details of my Texas Hill Country getaway with a few of my girlfriends.  This trip was just in time and a MUCH needed get away to Fredericksburg for all of us.  Looking back over the last three days I can’t believe all of the fun we had and I have outlined each day in detail for y’all so you can start planning your Texas Hill Country getaway this Spring asap!

  Weekend Guide to Fredericksburg, TX

Y’all our days were filled with fabulous food, beautiful wineries, shopping and each day ended in the living room of our VRBO cozy Texas Hill Country cottage enjoying a glass of wine.  Hold on tight because I’m sharing all the details over the next three weeks!  I’m kicking today’s blog post off with a recap of our first day in Fredericksburg.

DAY 1:  Our caffeine fueled send off from College Station was filled with excitement and a minivan (aka Olaf) packed from floor to ceiling in suitcases and best friends.  You know when you haven’t seen your besties in a few weeks and you just can’t talk fast enough, you talk over each other and laugh so hard you hope you don’t pee in your pants… that’s pretty much the theme for the weekend in a nutshell.

We made our way through Austin, Dripping Springs, Johnson City and finally made it to our first stop in Downtown Fredericksburg at Vaudeville Bistro for lunch.  The original ceiling tiles and retro light fixtures created a unique dining experience that matched the gourmet food.   In addition to the culinary experience, the Vaudeville also offers a market, wine store, home and gift retail store and art gallery – even a supper club, all spanning over three floors of this Fredericksburg Downtown landmark.

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Vaudeville

What’s lunch without dessert, I say…  After lunch we took a short walk over to the Fredericksburg Pie Company to enjoy heavenly slices of pie with a jolt of pecan flavored coffee.  Get there early because when they are out y’all, they are out.  We chose an assortment of flavors from peach, to apple and my personal favorite key lime!

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With our bellies full we decided that the afternoon would need to include some walking, ok a LOT of walking…and shopping of course.  We were in luck, the Fredericksburg Trade Days were in full force and we couldn’t wait to get there to see what treasures we could find to take home.  On the 3rd Saturday of each month you can walk through the Trade Days searching for antiques and collectibles.  Side note, make sure and pack comfortable shoes, bring recyclable bags or even a “canton cart” to carry out your finds.  You will need cash to park and maybe even a cooler of water to stay hydrated.

Market Days

Grape Creek Vineyards was nearby so we decided to take a shopping break to go enjoy a glass of wine on the back patio and the beautiful landscapes surrounding Grape Creek  Vineyards.  If you plan to visit and tour Grape Creek Vineyards on a Saturday you will need a reservation for the tour.  Since we dropped in on a Friday we just grabbed wine by the glass and did not do the tour.  Instead, we enjoyed sitting on the patio and taking a relaxing break from all of the eating and shopping that filled most of our day.  Grape Creek also has a wine tasting room in Downtown Fredericksburg, which I would recommend doing.  This then allows you to have the option and time to substitute in another full wine tour, maximizing the wine tasting selections! Priorities!

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After a quick afternoon siesta we were refreshed and ready to put on our dancing shoes for a concert at Luckenbach, TX.  This is a Texas sized backyard with a dance hall that will make your feet hurt the next day.  We made a quick pit stop for burgers at Alamo Springs Cafe for  burgers that even Texas Monthly raved about… side note get the jalapeno cheese bun and don’t be afraid to add a fried egg on top!  You won’t be disappointed!  If you have the time stop by the Old Tunnel State Park on your way out to see the Mexican free-tailed Bats in an old abandoned railroad tunnel it’s also a must see.

The saying goes “Everybody’s Somebody in Luckenbach.” We quickly found our place at a rustic picnic table in Luckenbach and of course we took the classic photo in front of the Luckenbach Post Office.  It was an evening full of laughs, singing and laughing…. and most importantly, the much needed girl time!

Luckenbach

It’s hard to believe we did all of that in one day… I’m exhausted just typing it y’all, but the adventures were worth it.  Check back tomorrow when I recap Day 2 in the Texas Hill Country! We tour two wineries and eat our hearts out at some amazing restaurants in Fredericksburg, TX… oh and I’m sharing all the details about our cozy Hill Country cottage that we rented through VRBO!

xx-Jennifer

Girlfriends Guide… Boerne, TX

Planning for my girls weekend getaway to Fredericksburg, TX this week has me feeling super nostalgic over a trip I took back in December to the Texas Hill Country to watch two of my dear friends tie the knot at Marquartdt Ranch.  Have you ever been to Boerne?  It’s pronounced “Bur-nee” and it’s actually not that far from where we’ll be this weekend.  It is a must on your tour of the Texas Hill Country!
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Although we were only in Boerne for one day, we maximized our time and spent it eating and shopping in the Historic Downtown District.  Our first stop was Bear Moon Bakery and Cafe… and confession time, it was also our last stop later in the day for a sweet treat!

The breakfast was amazing, I had my favorite go to breakfast food – French Toast with a side of eggs I’m still pining over.  And of course a mocha coffee (with an extra shot of espresso).   They also offer a full brunch buffet that looked delicious… and spoiler alert those pastries were as good as they looked.

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401 South Main
BoerneTX 78006

After brunch, and now extremely caffeinated, we set out to shop til we dropped – in a matter of only a few hours.  The entire downtown was preparing for the Christmas parade and every store was full of beautiful, vintage Christmas Decor.  Let’s just say after this little shopping trip in Boerne, my Christmas tree has never looked so good.

One of my favorite stores, which I unfortunately did not photograph, was Kiss the Cook.  I love cooking and this was a novice chef’s dream come true.  Not only did they have every kitchen gadget under the sun, the customer service was out of this world.  The staff was very friendly and helped me find the perfect Christmas gift for my Aunt.

Boerne in December

A few snap shots of the Downtown Historical District in the Hill Country Mile of Boerne.

Boerne will definitely be back on the list for the next girls trip we take this winter. I would love to go back to see the Christmas Parade and spend more time shopping the beautiful stores.

For a full list of shops and eateries visit the Boerne’s website to plan your trip to the Hill Country Mile.  And here are a few places to put on your list to stop by while you are strolling down the country mile!

  • 259 Home Market
  • Bear Moon Bakery & Cafe
  • Kiss The Cook
  • The Red Rooster
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    And our grand finale …Italian wine, in a can, with a holiday joy cupcake. 

     

    xx -Jennifer

Rock Your Work Life… TA-DA

Last week I started the new blog series, Rock Your Work Life.  Don’t worry, if you missed it, click here for the FREE download and blog post, Rock Your Work Life in 4 Easy Steps. The Rock Your Work Life download outlines your daily to-do’s in 4 easy steps:

  1. Get it Done!… Write down you’re top 4 must-get-it-done priorities
  2. Daily Affirmation … this is where you say something nice about yourself
  3. My Weekly Goal … this is your inner rock star speaking
  4. Bright Ideas… when those little ideas actually turn into BIG ideas, you should totally right that down

This week, I’m focusing on your WINS!  That’s right, what have you done that deserves a pat on the back, a confetti parade, a pop-the-champagne kind of win.  What can you write down that makes you want to say TA-DA!!!

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Getting through the work week is tough, so let’s write down your victories for the week on your TA-DA List!  Friday’s are the best time to reflect as you are winding down your week and prepare to take a much needed break.  If you’ve been using the Daily To-Do download, that I shared with you last week, then this exercise will be super simple to complete.

Ok, so how do you create a TA-DA List?  The first step is to simply pick your top 4 wins for the week. (P.S. it’s ok to have one win, don’t feel like you have to stretch to find all 4).  Second step, think about who has helped you out this week.  Did you collaborate with someone on a project or did a friend or colleague really help you out when you were in a bind?  Think about one person (or more) who you can write a handwritten gratitude letter to, telling him or her what a rockstar they are for helping you out.  If you need help with a few prompts check out my Gratitude Challenge blog post to help you get your thoughts going.

After you have written down your big wins and shown a little gratitude to your friends and colleagues let’s look forward.  The third step is setting your intentions and goals for the next week.  What’s the one thing you want to accomplish over anything else?  And finally, the fourth step, what are your next steps on your bright ideas?  If you have a good idea, what are the steps it will take to make it a reality?

The TA-DA List is a great tool to stay positive, recap your week and to move your big ideas forward.  And guess what… I’ve made it easy with another FREE download Rock Your Work Life- TA-DA List.

Rock Your Work Life - TA-DA List

xx Jennifer