I love you so much, Austin TX

Live music, endless street art, southern comfort, and food that is so unbelievably good you can’t come to Austin, Texas without expecting to put on a few pounds. This past weekend I had the luxury of visiting this lively city with my older sister, who attends the University of Texas at Austin. After only hearing good things about Austin my expectations were high, but I didn’t know what to expect. So many things to see and do there wasn’t nearly enough time to finish it all in 48 hours. That’s why I can’t wait to come back in the fall for the Austin City Limits music festival. Here’s my review and overall experience of Austin, Texas and I hope this guide is helpful to the next adventure seeking vacationers.

For the past three years Austin has reached summer temperatures of over 100 degrees for two or three consecutive months, and the weather was headed in that direction. So packing during the warm (and humid) months, pack light and airy clothes. At night it doesn’t get lower than 85, I didn’t bother bringing a sweater.

In the morning we ate at a restaurant called Blue Dahlia, the scene was adorable and the french cafe was a great spot to kick off the weekend. The restaurant is known for their open faced sandwiches. Outdoor seating is available in the front and back, request the front for people watching! Across the street was the famous BBQ joint called Franklins. To eat at this restaurant you need to wait in line for at least a couple hours; we passed by and the line was around 100 people long. The food typically runs out at 12 o’clock, and then the restaurant closes for the day. Most people end up having bbq for breakfast, but nothing wrong with that! We wandered around 2nd street, a lively place for shopping boutiques and more great restaurants are located there. Along Second is the river that goes through Austin, and it really makes the whole city so refreshing. We walked across the bridge and over to South Congress for the famous Gourdough’s Doughnut truck. Look at my picture and zoom in to read the menu (it’s insane) any topping you want on a sweet, warm, doughy doughnut. Mouth watering…The best part about Austin is that everywhere you go, you can’t go without passing all these killer food trucks. Empty parking lots are filled with options and each truck is so unique and so good. Plus they have their own addresses on google maps which makes it really easy to access the ones you want.

On our way home we stopped at the worlds largest and first Whole Foods. I skipped into the store like a four year old because I was so excited. For anyone visiting Austin you can’t leave without coming here, even if you don’t buy anything you leave the store stuffed because of all the free samples. I left with a pressed juice because whenever I drink those I’m convinced it’s a workout in a bottle (I didn’t go to the gym that day…..) That night we went downtown to 6th street, thousands of people fill the streets and live music is at every corner. We indulged in the famous post-party snack, Roppolo’s Pizzeria (greasy goodness.) Late that night my sister still reminded me I hadn’t tried the Texas fad, Queso. Indulging our bodies once again, we ordered this delicacy. I could make an entire blog post just on this damn food. We Californians love guacamole and salsa with our tortilla chips, but that really needs to change. Queso is melted cheese filled with Spanish spices and guacamole in the bottom of the bowl. Each bite leaves your body with a happy sensation. I can’t explain to you guys how good this treat is and I hope everyone is lucky enough to try this one day.

Sunday- I was so excited to get myself a Texas burger at the hotspot, Hopdoddys. Three hours before my flight, the line was a two hour wait…. I didn’t get my Hopdoddys. But, I’m a sucker for sushi, and across the street was a super cool Japanese kitchen, Funky Robot. The interior was just as good as the food, the walls were filled with murals and the furniture and decorations were so bright, some tables even had swings as their seating!

Each time we went to a new spot for food walking around the area was always so intriguing. Street art in Austin is huge and every plain building is transformed into funky works of art, decorated with some sort of colorful mural or message. Of course my sister and I took a picture in front of the famous Instagram hot spot “I love you so much”… yes, I Insta’d the photo. Sadly, it was time to leave this crazy city, 48 hours is not enough time to see everything. Overall Austin is such a sensational town; the music, the food, the smells, and the heat! If you end up visiting you must keep your expectations high and open minded because they will be fulfilled in every way. I love you so much, Austin!                                                                   -Olivia Vigo

Jojoba & Coffee Body Scrub

Spring has finally arrived for us on the west coast, and if you’re like me from California, you may have realized we’ve gone straight to summer. These past few months bundled up in the “cold” and cloudy weather has left my skin dry and dusty pale. As the sunny and 75 degree days have started to transition into our busy lives so has my beauty routine, and to help give it a boost I love using my easy homemade Coffee and Jojoba Body Scrub! The ingredients give this scrub so many benefits; coffee helps eliminate cellulite while the brown sugar exfoliates and the natural oils moisturize the skin. Aloe vera helps any new sun damage and the lemon helps even out skin tone. There are so many great and gentle ingredients I’m tempted to use it every time I shower!

1 cup of ground coffee

½ cup of brown sugar

1 ½ tbsp of Jojoba Oil

1 tbsp of Sunflower Seed Oil

1 tbsp of Aloe Vera

Few squeezes of lemon (add in the lemon zest too!)

I bought all my ingredients at the local Whole Foods market, and the lemons are from my garden. Jojoba is worth the money and has many different beneficial uses! I use it as my facial moisturizer in the morning (Jojoba Facial Moisturizer) and its in my hair spray for after the shower. There’s also alternatives and add-ins for the wet ingredients in the recipe. Sometimes I use honey or olive oil if I don’t have something available.

Step 1

Mix together your brown sugar and coffee, stir until well combined. Make sure theres no clumps of straight sugar or straight coffee.

Step 2

Mix together all of your wet ingredients. I started with the oils but it really doesn’t matter which order you add them in. I zested a whole lemon and sprinkled it in for smell and color! If you want to substitute or add in honey its easy to mix in if you heat it in the microwave for a few seconds to make it a better consistency.

Step 3

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. The mixture should look a little darker from what the dry ingredients looked like because of the now added moisture. If you like your scrubs dryer- only add 1 tbsp of Jojoba. If you like it a little more moist and/or for those with dry skin, add in another squeeze of aloe vera.

Step 4

Pack the scrub into a container that you can leave in the shower, glass jars are always my go-to. I add a lemon slice on the top until I open it!  Scrub in circular motions and remember- a little goes a long way. This recipe gives me about 5 full-body uses. If I have time I like to leave it on my skin to dry for a few minutes. I’ve noticed this helps get away all the dry and dead skin as well as improve circulation. Be prepared it gets a little dirty in the shower but it smells great and it’s fun to use! Enjoy!

Xoxo, Olivia Vigo