Monday, July 16, 2012

When people ask me what there is to do in Austin, I often have a difficult time answering. Of course, there is much to do. There is a TON to do. But I'm not 100% sure what precisely there is to do, because of what I do. And what I do is camp out at a coffeehouse and read all the livelong day. That is just what I do for fun.

This past weekend, R and I tried a new coffeehouse in East Austin. And oh my lord, you know what? I don't even remember its name. But it is on east Cesar Chavez. I imagine that it would be a really nice place to go in the autumn--when temperatures sink back down into the 70s--due to the five or so picnic tables arranged neatly outside on both grass and zero-scaped gravel. Though there were several tables and chairs inside, the crown jewel of this coffeeshop was truly the long, elegant, velvet couch in the window that seemed to have come straight off of the set of Downtown Abbey. A matching armchair sat on either end, and an elaborate metal coffeetable in front of all of them.

Bonus: this coffeehouse has not only several of my favorite local Austin beers on tap, but ALSO (and this is a really big deal), of all things, Strongbow Cider?! Sold. We will be going back.

 I was also particularly fond of the yellow flowers that were growing amongst the extremely pointy bushes on the side of the shop, where we had parked.
I'm making my way steadily through The Mill on the Floss. I already know how it ends; it is probably one of the most oft-discussed Victorian novels and one of the most sentimental, so I've already had it ruined for me at least four times in various articles and book chapters on emotions in the Victorian novel. So it feels rather odd to be reading it now, and I must remind myself that I am not reading it for the plot but for the feelings. That is a thing.

On Saturday morning we went to the Farmer's Market in search of strawberry syrup. We found no such thing there (or at Whole Foods, subsequently, either!) but we did find some unique popsicles at this booth. You can see R here with a mint-lime popsicle, which was deliciously refreshing on such a hot and humid morning.

Friday, July 13, 2012


I know, I know. I just keep blabbing out these blog manifestos and nothing ever really comes of them. But here's the thing: I have an iPhone now, and I take a lot of photos. Maybe it's just time to make this an everyday life blog, complete with photos.

This move was 100% inspired by Elsie's quotidian addition to A Beautiful Mess, which in my abrupt departure from the fashion-blogging world is the only fashion blog I still try to read every day. And what better way to keep a record of what my life was like in my mid-twenties than with photographs and short descriptions?

I'm trying here; I really am.

 My mother and I road-tripped down from St. Louis to Austin in two days. We got some DELICIOUS (and famous) kolaches in West, Texas. I love stopping at little places like this one on road trips, but when you have to travel 18 hours in two days to get back home for a funeral, you can't make too many stops.

I've been cooking and baking a TON this summer, trying to hone my skills. This German Chocolate Cake was for my dad's birthday.

I went to see "Moonrise Kingdom" with Robert several weeks ago, and, in the words of my professor friend, "swooned." I loved everything about it. I felt as if Wes Anderson had gone into my brain and extracted all of my childhood fantasies about running away in the wilderness, and combined it with the obsessions of my older age: vintage, the color yellow, and folk-y music.

 My mother and I made fried okra. It was time-consuming, but delicious. I would probably only do this once or twice a year, and likely only for pot lucks or dinner parties.

I've picked up cross-stitching again! I started this TARDIS for my living room a year ago, but I actually did most of the work on it at the end of May (while listening to Benedict Cumberbatch reading a mystery novel aloud) and in the week I spent at my parents' house mid-June (while watching Mark Ruffalo movies with my mum).

 This Iron Man was for my friend Zach's birthday. I am actually quite fond of it, and am toying with the idea of stitching myself a Hulk about this size for my living room.
 Obviously, I have been trying to get some reading in! Although I have my car down here in Texas for the summer, I am making a habit of taking the bus to my favourite coffeehouses.
 Robert and I have (obviously) been spending a lot of time together. We like to grab a beer (or two) after he gets off of work. One of the things I am going to miss about Austin when I return to Iowa are all of the delicious local beers!
This is Baylee, my mama's beagle. She has discovered that I will give belly rubs for an hour, and has become very fond of letting me pet her while I read.

Thus, you have now caught up with my summer. Expect shorter, more frequent photo posts in the future.