This 4th of July weekend, let’s celebrate the best hidden gems and big-deal American wine producers by drinking local, independent, small-batch wines or supporting a local winery in your home state. (Fact: No matter where in the US you live, there’s at least one winery in your state!) Not only will you probably save some major bucks, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint by choosing wines closer to home AND you’re contributing more back into your local economy with every dollar spent. Win, win, major win. ‘Merica!
This year, I thought it would be really fun to poll my mom friends on Facebook and find out, in a very real and crowdsourced way, what mothers actually want for Mother’s Day. Find out what else they said in this pretty, thrifted Mother’s Day guide for Austin Goodwill I wrote this week, including some of my favorite Mother’s Day brunch ideas from the Shoestring archives!
Tonight, just like last year, Ginger and I will be some of the first to arrive at the La Condesa Street Party for Cinco de Mayo, which I now treat as the official kick-off to summer in Austin, and we will throw down like Pleepleus. Cheers with us from a far, tomorrow night or any time this summer, with these fun little recipes for watermelon agua fresca and jalapeno infused tequila, which together make a mean Spicy Watermelon Margarita. If you really want to turn up the heat, make some of my DIY sriracha salt and crush it up for the rim. Salud!
These potatoes were such a treat growing up, something that my mom made for us on special weekends and every New Year’s Day — a decadent little slice of down-home nostalgia that I hope you’ll try out for yourself. Together with my favorite egg & bacon cups, it’s a brunch that costs barely anything at all yet feels festive and fancy, my favorite combination!
I’m a huge nerd when it comes to theme parties, especially ones based on my favorite books, TV shows, and movies. When you really get into the spirit with “live action role play” (LARP) through costumes, decor, or cuisine, it just adds another whole level of enjoyment to favorite stories and characters.
Late last night, 14+ hours of traveling and 7 flight changes later, I finally made it home to Austin after almost a month off visiting family and friends back in Boston (and lining up some amazing opportunities, but more on that later).
Just over a year since finding out — after many, many, MANY uncomfortable doctor’s visits, minor surgeries & tests — that I’m highly allergic to wheat (and shellfish) and having to suddenly switch to a completely gluten-free diet, I can say with authority that no time of year can be more frustrating (read: depressing) than the holidays.
Sometimes there’s absolutely nothing better than a quiet night at home with a few friends, some drinks, snacks, and a board game. No fancy dress-up clothes. No shoes. No makeup. Maybe a mischievous pooch vying for attention. And if it were a cold night in December, the Yule Log/Fireplace on Netflix and the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack on Spotify. And laughs, lots of them.
For the first time in our adult lives, my husband and I will be spending Thanksgiving far away from home and family and friends in Boston — 2,200 miles to be exact. Something about the distance has given me a more introspective awareness of how lucky we are, despite a year that was awful and trying in so many ways, and of our duty to help those less fortunate.