ACL Festival 2014 Recap

It's almost Christmas, so I should post about ACL (Austin City Limits) Festival that happened at the beginning of October, right? Y'all I had a blast. It was so great to be back.

The first time I went was 2008 when dust filled our lungs and our hearts swayed to Foo Fighters. The second time (aka last time) I went was 2009, year of the mud fest and glorious VIP status. We didn't attend while living in Dallas, so returning this year was almost no question.

Birthday Beers and One Big Bicycle

Turning 30. That's kind of a big deal - maybe one of those birthdays you want to celebrate in a unique way, like with a... PUBCRAWLER.

Oh yes, we're talking "a pedal-powered beer bike pub crawl" in downtown Austin for our friend's 30th birthday. All I need to tell you is that it's a big bicycle that seats a bunch of your friends, you can drink while pedaling, and you get to go to several bars. (I'll let you visit the PubCrawler of Austin website to "learn more.")

Labor Day Weekend at Inks Lake

We spent Labor Day weekend with my husband's family at Inks Lake State Park outside of Austin.

Both Jeff's parents and now his brother have RVs, so camping is definitely something close to heart with the Germenis family. I think this trip in particular, of all of them, has been my favorite... and it was right in Austin's backyard.

Wood Texas Art Piece #2

My favorite art piece ever is the reclaimed Texas piece I created last summer using only scraps from our house remodel. It was mixed media heaven for me - wood scraps, paint, drawing, imagination, power tools, etc. And ever since I made that piece (of course to keep for our own house), I've been itching to make more. Well, this past year has been a whirlwind, but #benefitnate was the perfect excuse to amp up again. Low and behold my most recent baby - Texas art piece #2.

DIY Pallet Wine Rack

Back in June I made Jeff take me to pick up a stack of pallets, seemingly against his will. I was determined to make a bulk quantity of Texas art pieces. Well, then we had my cousin's benefit coming up, and Jeff volunteered the idea to make pallet wine racks for the silent auction. "Ooooooo, new DIY project," I gleamed inside. I was pretty excited, especially considering it was his idea. And I didn't forget! Sure enough, after lots of "reminding," the week of the benefit, Jeff completed what I considered was two perfect pallet wine racks.

Bonnie's Ice Cream Birthday Party

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Our niece turned three this summer, and we celebrated with an ice cream pool party. It happened to be very convenient that Kitsy Co had the perfect invitation template to set the tone.

Sample Invite

Five Fave Fitness Tools

Active lifestyle... with a little motivation... because we all know that getting fit ain't always that easy. #gymlover #fitnessclassjunkie #workoutvideoqueen - whatever you want to call yourself. We all have a few tricks of the trade that boost our buns to get off the couch and add a little exercise into our lives. And once you find a shtick, if you find that shtick, you gotta SHTICK WITH IT! So here's a few boosters that have helped me move and groove lately.

#BenefitNate - Supporting a Cousin with Crohn's

I have been a terrible blogger since I've moved back to Austin, and more recently, I haven't blogged ALL. SUMMER. But that doesn't mean I haven't been keeping myself plenty preoccupied with life or that I don't have TONS of awesome things I'd like to share with you.

Right now, I want to share a story about a cousin (my age) who has been dealing with something that I (or almost anyone) cannot even begin to comprehend. My cousin Nathan was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2008. It answered the question to problem A he was having, but along with it came problem B, and C, and D and so on. Here we are SIX years later, and Nathan just can't catch a break, literally. He was admitted into the hospital in July of 2013 and remained in the hospital until this past June, 11 MONTHS, on a feeding tube, while the doctors attempted to close a hole in his esophagus. Home for less than two months this summer, Nathan was admitted back into the hospital last week, with some feeding tube complications... and still with a hole in his neck. And sadly, tomorrow is his 26th birthday, another birthday he'll have to spend in the hospital. He'll also have be cooped up there while his friends and family (and the entire community) gather together in Ennis to support him and my aunt and uncle, who have both been more than directly involved in this illness.

First, Nathan's full story can be read online at Take the time to read it, and it'll put life into a little perspective.

PYRC #57: Cheddar Jalapeno Chicken Burgers with Homemade Guacamole

Mother's Day has already passed, but that doesn't mean I can't share the delicious cheddar jalapeno chicken burgers and homemade guacamole that we made in celebration. I mean both Memorial Day AND Father's Day are coming up, and you might just want to pluck these recipes to whip up something delicious.

Greetings from Austin Part 3 - Adventures Thus Far

My life since February 12th, my life back in Austin, has been drastically different. I feel so free and renewed and... young again! I feel like I've done more things and seen more friends in the past few months than I did in all of 2013. Seriously, it's amazing. A few of the 2014 goals I set for myself included living a more active lifestyle, exploring Austin and enjoying life in general. Well hello 2014, jump aboard the happiness train!

Eats and drinks. I can't. stop. eating. I've cooked a little less for myself and have let others take over the pots and pans. Not only has it been amazing, it has been delicious. We've hit up many of our favorite places, indulged in happy hours and brunches, tried some new spots, taken full advantage of grab-n-go and have spoiled ourselves with some Ben E. Keith Austin food and bev perks. Here are a few shots that I took (imagine Jeff shunning me while snapping these photos):

PYRC #56: Broiled Potstickers

Snacketizer time! Or maybe just dinner when you're not that hungry, have no other Asian things to cook and have a bag of frozen potstickers in your freezer. This Pinterest recipe is for broiled (not fried) potstickers.

Greetings from Austin Part 2 - A Few Differences between Austin and Dallas

I've officially been an Austinite (for the second time) going on a month and a half now. The first day I drove down I was a little weirded out being in a "new" place, but it only took a day or two to feel right back at home. It's funny how your navigation and knowledge of a town can return so quickly. My love for Austin, however, never left.

So what's the big difference between where I'm at now (Austin) versus where I was (Dallas)? Well, there are lots of things, including both the obvious and not-so-obvious.

Eating. People LOVE to eat, and everyone seems to be a foodie. Places are crowded with a line out the door on a Monday night because food is everything - culture, adventure, social time, etc. And when you hear of a good place to eat, YOU HAVE TO GO! Not to mention, there's tons of good food everywhere to meet every budget possible, and you don’t really have to spend much to get a lot.

Greetings from Austin Part 1 - We've Moved!

The news is out, we're moving to Austin!

Ok, lie, the news has been out... and we've already moved.

Doggie Den Refresh - The Ruff House

We got a sweet deal on a custom-made dog house. Seriously, if you're in need of a dog house, in the Dallas area, don't want to pay major bucks at a pet store or don't feel like undertaking a DIY project, we found a retired guy from Forney on Craigslist who builds custom dog houses.

One catch - it's built with untreated wood, which means it needed a coat of paint or stain. We chose an oil-latex Behr redwood stain.

New Year. New Beginnings. Welcome 2014!

Welcome everyone to 2014 (as is if your life has not already been pulverized by Happy New Year posts and pictures in the past couple of days by both yourself and others)! Another day, another dollar. Another year, another recap blog post. Let’s take a look at 2013 and lay some ground work for a new year.

Top 5 Favorite Pinterest Recipes

  1.  Roasted Brussels sproutswith a balsamic reduction (make this all the time now)
  2. Ham and cheese sliders (ridiculously crave-worthy)
  3. Turkey meatballs in spicy tomato basil sauce with fresh mozzarella (best spaghetti sauce)
  4. Baked buffalo chicken rolls (have tried them in a pulled pork version too)
  5. The best steak marinade (posted in 2014... but actually made it in 2013, so it counts!)

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PYRC #55: The BEST Steak Marinade

My husband is the grill master around the house, which means I don't technically cook a lot of meat, but that didn't stop me from pinning this best steak marinade recipe (dubbed rightfully so).

I know the rules – a good steak really only needs olive oil, cracked pepper and kosher salt. But not everyone can afford good steaks and even if they can, not everyone is the best chef. That's where really yummy steak marinades come into play.

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