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Last Saturday Brent and I went on the Austin Modern Homes Tour. It was pretty awesome and I was very impressed with most everything we saw! Fortunately/ unfortunately, due to my raging headache from the night before, I had to go with the old "hair of the dog" remedy and indulge in a free margarita from El Chile on Barton Springs. Along with the grub it way helped in my sickly stomach feeling.
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Free Margarita at El Chile on Barton Springs
 
 
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Mexican martini at Trudy's.
It's been quite some time since I've been to a Friday happy hour and Saturday morning as I clawed my way out of bed, I remembered why. It was a great night though and started at the Trudy's near campus with a fun gathering with some people from work. Trudy's is famous for their two drink limit on Mexican Martinis. Needless to say, I met the limit and by 5:30 I was ready to hit the town.
 
 
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Ranch water: Agave tequila and Topo Chico
So last week we went to Ranch 616 with one of our favorite couples! First of all I have to state how much I've missed Ranch 616. Somehow, in a communication breakdown, Brent thought I didn't like the place and I thought he didn't like it, SO we've been missing out for no good reason. Needless to say I was thrilled to get back to the good grub at Ranch 616 for a great celebration and fabulous company.
 
 
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It's that time of year again (sigh). I think everyone simultaneously loves and hates Girl Scout cookie season. Unfortunately for me, one of my co-workers, has become the resident Cookie Crack Dealer, and brings boxes and boxes to the office. I have worked at this place for a cumulative five years and I have seen people that I have NEVER seen before come in our office. So, does this mean that Girl Scout cookies bring people together? My answer is a definitive no; there is no bother for introductions or other social niceties. People are here for the cookies and nothing more.
Once again I have seen how various lives are controlled by food. Needless to say, I was never a Girl Scout.
But I was thankful that he brought me a very special box....
 
 
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Mista Salad: Local baby greens, red wine vinaigrette, toasted hazelnuts and shaved pecorino toscana cheese.
Brent and I ate at La Traviata a while back and I've been meaning to blog about it. La Traviata is this great little place on Congress in the heart of downtown. I love the atmosphere there as it only has a few tables, it never seems to be too noisy, and the service is delightful. It's a little pricey, so don't go expecting a bargain but I have never been disappointed with the food and there is always enough for leftovers!
 
 
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My veggie burger with jalapenos, cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickle. Tasty!
Sometimes you just crave a burger OR a veggie burger. Might I suggest quenching such cravings on Monday or Wednesday nights. Hut's has 2-for-1 veggie burgers on Mondays and 2-for-1 burgers on Wednesday (but you can substitute veggie burgers on Wednesday, fyi).  The hours for this bargain are from 6-10pm.  Brent and I got out of there for under $11.00 including tip and it was delicious to boot!
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I love their fries and Brent loves that they bring a designated cup for your ketchup. All is well.
 
 
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Potato paneer
Brent and I ate at G'raj Mahal for the second time last night and it was once again, delicious! This is one of the newest additions to the Austin food trailer craze and I love it. This spot isn't on Congress however and can be found on 91 Red River, over in the area of Lustre Pearl and Clive Bar, both of which I have yet to visit, but keep meaning to.
Anyways, here's my take on G"Raj Mahal.
 
 
I'm not going to pretend I always like riding the bus but for the most part I don't mind. Today I made a list of the top 10 reasons I like to ride the bus:

1. On cold rainy days it's an excellent alternative to a) waiting for Brent to get off work b) being exposed to the elements on my scooter or c) actually asking for help and bumming a ride from V.
2. I get to ride through campus, see students, and be reminded that I don't want to be a student again.
3. I like the "ding" when I pull the handle to signal my stop.
4. I'm reminded of places I want to return to or eat at for the first time: Clay Pit, El Chilito (used to be El Chile), Jezebel, Speedway area eats, and a picnic on the Capitol grounds when the weather gets nicer.
5. I feel no pressure to be anywhere, the bus will get to my stop when it gets to my stop and there's nothing I can do about it.
6. It's one of the few times in public I don't feel I have to be "on".
7. I get to see all kinds of style and fashion, which can be inspiring.
8. It's a time when I don't have to compromise or justify my music playlist to anyone.
9. I feel like a latchkey kid when using the lockbox to get in the house, then running through our place with my backpack on to turn off the alarm. Who doesnt' like to feel like a kid, whatever the weird reason is?
10. The route takes me by one of the daycare centers on the UT campus.  This is a special daycare because I used to pick up a precious little girl there named Andie, who I watched during the week. When I go by that school I remember her laugh, her beaming smile, and how much she         l-o-v-e-d to play with water. Though I am certain she no longer remembers the old gal who used to watch her, she left a lasting impression on me and life through the eyes of a child. The wonder at reading a good book and a giggle you can get from a silly face. It reminds me that life is good. She's older now and I'm sure life isn't so simple or straightforward for her anymore but I love the memories that "little" Andie and her family let me be a part of.
 
 
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I know you aren't supposed to play with your food but I couldn't help it. I've never used a butternut squash before and it's big gaping mouth just looked like it was screaming for a face!
So this week I made a fabulous Kale and butternut squash soup which incorporated many of my ingredients from my last Greenling delivery. I have been using the grocery delivery service for a couple of months now and have been repeatedly impressed with the quality of the products I have received. I also love that when you go shopping on their site that you can see what's local and what farms your produce, meats, and/or cheeses come from. The system is easy to use and keeps me from bringing home badly damaged leafy produce that's been crammed into my backpack on my scooter ride home.
 
 
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Mmmm, my side of the new wardrobe
So a few people have really wanted to see the new addition to our family. A wardrobe. A fabulous, huge, makes-me-feel-like-a princess closet expansion! I had never been to IKEA before and needless to say, before this project was over we had gone three times and spent approximately 8 hours in this place. If you ever need to go to the store in Austin, I can talk you through all the short cuts to get through departments, seriously.
We went on a Saturday morning at 10am. Purchased the behemoth and got it set for the delivery truck for the evening of the same day. Then, of course, we had to dive back in to the store to get all the little extras like lighting and scarf holders and containers for organizing. It was like Disney Land!  We frantically rushed home, leaving the store at 4:30pm to try to race the delivery truck back and hopefully beat it.