Kennedys take on ATX

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hello, long time no see!  No excuses here, other than we've been living life to the fullest and I've kind of been taking the lazy way out of documenting our day to day.  However, we just returned from a 5-day trip to Austin, Texas where we were hosted by Nick's brother.  It is impossible to cover all that Austin has to offer, but we did our best to pack a full trip in!

We arrived in Austin around 9am and my-oh-my was it HOT!  I knew we'd be in for a sweat show all weekend, and we weren't disappointed.  Bob took us on a nickel tour of the city as we drove by everything from Zilker Park to Dirty 6th.  We swung by the famous Franklin Barbecue (people wake up to get in line around 6am to get this BBQ and essentially "tailgate" the wait! It doesn't open until 11, and is usually sold out by 1, so we put it on our bucket list), only to find out that they were on vacation for the duration of our trip!!  Fear not, we ended up getting BBQ another day, and will add it to our list for the next visit!  Instead, we found our way to the food trucks in Barton Springs Picnic and gave The Mighty Cone a try (chicken + avocado, please).  We toured a bit longer, then did a casual night in at the apartment on the patio overlooking downtown.  

We woke, had breakfast, and did a little stroll around the west side so that I may stop into two of my favorite places: Trader Joe's & Whole Foods.  Yes... we went to Texas and I went to grocery stores.  Judge away :)  For lunch we stopped back at the same food truck park and gave Hey!... You Gonna Eat or What? a try.  Between the 3 of us we ordered 3/4 of the menu (it only has 4 items on it) and picked at each.  Incase you aren't aware, we had a lot of food to plan our trip around!  Given the heat, we decided to head to Barton Springs and LOVED it!  Aside from it being the coldest water in all the land (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little) it was a great way to spend the afternoon!  Dinner was spent at Second Bar + Kitchen and we ended the night with rooftop drinks and music at HandleBar.

We got a late start on Saturday which was absolutely wonderful!!  I don't remember the last time I slept in that late and I loved every minute.  However, we didn't want to sleep the day away because the river was calling our name.  After a little drive south to New Braunfels, we spent the day floating the Guadalupe River.  There were TONS of people from our subdued foursome to large bachelor/bachelorette parties throwing a rage fest.  It was a unique and fun way to spend the day and I'd recommend it for anyone interested in a good time.  After a long day in the scorching sunlight, we took to Rudy's BBQ for dinner (I recommend the turkey) before we headed home for game night in.  

It was only appropriate that we dubbed day four "Sunday Funday" and kicked it off with coffee at Jo's followed by a patio brunch at Taverna (I tried the eggs Benedict w/ smoked salmon & $4 mimosas).  We mural hopped, saw the University of Texas, and lounged poolside for the better part of the afternoon, then headed to Lake Austin for a sunset dinner at Hula Hut.  Nick and I then snuck away to do a mini bar-tour of Steampunk SaloonRustic Tap (life-size beer pong, y'all!), Parlor & Yard, & Little Woodrow's.  

For our last full day in Austin, Nick and I decided we wanted to bike around the city a bit.  We started off with brunch at Walton's Fancy & Staple (it was the cutest spot with yummy avocado toast!) then rented bikes at Mellow Johnny's (Lance Armstrong's bike shop) and took them around Lady Bird Lake.  Admittedly, I didn't last as long as I'd hoped I would in the 100+ degree heat (only a few hours, really)... however, we did enjoy our bike date!  We cooled off with a dip in the pool, packed up, and grabbed dinner to-go at The Violet Taco (do the shrimp taco!!!!!!!!!) just as a thunderstorm was making its way into the city.  It was the perfect ending to a great trip.

We then woke early to travel home (albeit rather slowly after multiple plane delays), and made it back safe and sound!  I can see another ATX trip in the future and already have a million more bucket list items to try when we go back :)  Thanks are in order for our gracious host and my favorite brother-in-law!!  Until next time... 

Four Weddings and Other Updates

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Hello hello and happy Saturday (auto-corrected from Faturday which is what it really feels like thanks to game day food choices such as cheesy ranch fries and pizza #sorrynotsorry...)  We're just snuggled up on the couch enjoying football games as it continues to rain outside and I'm starting to wonder if we'll ever see the sun again!?  Joaquin hasn't hit us quite as hard as originally anticipated (thank goodness), but it has left us cooped up in the house ready for it to completely pass.  I was in the process of updating my iTunes and figured I'd do a little update here, too...

We were quite busy in August and September - we finished off our 2015 wedding season with 3 weddings in the span of 7 weeks ranging from PA to FL and back to PA again amidst Nick going back to grad school and both of us kicking off our 5th year as educators.  I love weddings and love and celebrating two people who were made for one another, butttttt I was happy to hang up my dancing shoes (and revive my bank account) until our 2016 wedding season kicks off in January.  Extra special congratulations to all of our friends who got engaged and/or married this year!!!!!!  We love all of you to the moon and back!!!!!!  And special shout out to my forever wedding date, this hunk right here:

Oh, I also joined a 20 team all girls fantasy football league.  The verdict is still out on that one... on paper my team should be doing much better than it actually is, but that's football for you!!  #AnygivenSunday.  Or Monday.  Or Thursday.  It's kind of cute because Nick has been helping me learn and it's just a different "bonding" experience for the two of us :)

And even though I haven't had a ton of extra time on my hands, I snagged a copy of What to Eat When You're Pregnant: A Week-by-Week Guide to Support Your Health and Your Baby's Development.  Before you get too excited let me just get one thing way out of the way here: NO, we are NOT pregnant, and NO we don't expect to be pregnant any time soon.  However, I have had quite a few friends get pregnant and/or have babies lately, and it piqued my interest just a teeny tiny bit.  I figured, if this book could provide recipes and insights that would be beneficial when pregnant, it couldn't hurt to look into it even if I'm not pregnant, right?  So I started to get into it, and am happy I did.  

Dr. Avena does a nice job setting up explanations for those of us out there that have ZERO idea about the development of a fetus over the gestational period.  What I found to be most intriguing was how your pre-pregnancy weight can have major impacts on how your pregnancy evolves.  As someone who has always struggled with my weight, I realized I need to kick it into high gear both before trying to conceive as well as while pregnant in order to provide our future child with the best opportunities for development.  I quickly realized that I am not in a place where I should yet try to get pregnant, and accept that some changes are in order.

What I liked best about this book was the detail; I have no idea where B12 can be found in my diet, nor did I realize how essential folic acid was.  She outlines specific times during pregnancy when certain vitamins and minerals are essential and explains how to incorporate them into your diet.  I like that I could easily develop a meal plan based off of her recommendations.

All in all, it was totally bizarre that this was the book that I went for, but I like having it on stand by for when the time does come to bring little baby K's into the world.  Although I know I'll never feel 100% ready for kids, every little piece of info helps!!  I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review, but you can find it available for purchase here, here, and here.  

Until next time :)

Summer is Winding Down...

Friday, August 21, 2015

...and I don't know how I feel about it.  Bits and pieces of me are longing for fall.  Just a few days ago I proclaimed I wasn't ready for the fall, but with a few leaves mysteriously turning red and already falling from the trees (I suspect it's their lack of water) I can't help but get a little giddy.  I love the fall; the weather, the football, the flavors...  Yet, I'm not ready to go back to work.  I'm not ready to give up my lazy days with no commitments.  I might have a dog that attempts to wake me up daily around 6am, but I'm not ready to put that into a routine practice.  Not to mention, I'm not ready to leave her sweet furry face for long lengths of time and don't want her to feel neglected.  

Oh well, guess that's life for you isn't it?

As summer winds down, Nick & I are trying to squeeze in a few more excursions (i.e. wineries and weddings) before we each get back to the grind.  We like to do things that include Penny as much as possible, and today was no exception.  We hopped in our car and headed to one of the big winery hotspots in VA.  The weather was just right (80's, sunny, and a light breeze), the ambiance was great (not too busy and all of the people/pets we met were friendly), and the company was A+ (I mean look at those two; a hunky husband and a perfect pup!!)

If only summer vacation could last forever, am I right?!  I'm starting to wonder if those on year-round schools (9 weeks on, 2 weeks off or something + some time off in the summer) are onto something...  Hmmm...

This Summer

Friday, August 14, 2015

A lot of people like to pop into their blog and do a "currently" post on there whereabouts...  However, "currently" for me can be a relative term as I have had a lot of time on my hands this summer.  Admittedly, I have rushed through my fair share of books, recipes, and have even binge watched a series (or two or three).  So keep in mind, my currently covers June-present mmmmkay?

WATCH - Game of Thrones, Entourage, Sopranos 

LEARN - Ins & outs of basic photography, How to be in a fantasy football league 

EXCITEMENT - Our 2nd wedding anniversary (!!!), Nashville bachelorette trip, August wedding, 2 September weddings, and being asked to be a bridesmaid in our friends' August 2016 wedding 

ANXIOUS - 4th grade summer school (was anxious about this, but it went down without a hitch!), September approaching, teaching a technology seminar for new teachers to our county, another school year

PROUD - Nick being halfway done with his Master's program.  WOOT WOOT!!  Only 3 semesters to go for this dedicated dude of mine!! 

COOK - chicken pitas, pork chops, & fusilli with summer squash

READ - The Art of Racing in the Rain, Going off Script

....Which speaking of which, GOS by Giuliana Rancic was actually a lot better than I had anticipated!  G gives a very candid perspective of her thus-far life and leaves no stone unturned.  She shares her upbringing in Italy, her transition to the States, and her badass attitude along the way.  I had no idea that this fellow Italian was such a spitfire!  I knew she had personality from watching her on Fashion Police and other E! shows, but holy cow she has a set of you-know-whats.  On the other hand, she also has a softer side.  She shares she and Bill's infertility struggles, the trials and tribulations of having breast cancer, and how the loss of the late Joan Rivers impacted her.  Without giving away too much more, I must say this is one celebrity that I admire for her honesty and would be curious to read more on. If you're in the market for an easy read, this is a good one to check out :-)

I might try to squeeze in a read or two more before it's back to work, so keep a look out for what I read next!!  

Please note:  I received Going off Script from Blogging For Books as compensation for this review.  

Fusilli Con Buco Pasta w/ Summer Squash & Mint

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I'm not going to bore you with a zillion words about food here, so if you have any questions, just shoot me an email.  This was another hit out of the park and was suuuuuper easy to throw together.  Recipe found here!!  (And yet another one towards my 30 by 30!)

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