Posts tagged ‘summer’

July 16, 2012

Summer Fashion Updates

I just updated the sidebar (yes, I realize we’re already halfway into summer) with summer fashion nays and yays.

Fashion Sticky Notes … actual hideous things I see people wearing, and how to remedy the problems they present

+ Why are people STILL doing this?! Despite my warnings, people are still slapping skinny belts onto a dress—or worse, a shirt. Do not understand. If your waist isn’t your skinniest feature, why would you highlight it??

+ Crop tops. Srsly, didn’t everyone in the ’90s heave a collective sigh of relief when they went out?

+ Peep-toe booties. 1. WTF 2. It’s summer, you don’t need booties. 3. WTF 4. Why bother wearing a foot-covering shoe if your toes are going to stick out? It looks really weird.

+ Mustache jewelry. I dig funny mustaches on dudes, but mustache jewelry has had its moment and even that lasted too long.

+ Suede shoes in summer. Suede = winter. Not up for discussion.

Things I like … and you should too, because I knew about jellies shoes way before they were cool

*the resurgence of friendship bracelets
*layered jewelry
*open-knit sweaters
*funky manis (loving sea green personally)
*sequins all the time
*big, bold stripes
*rainbow denim cut-offs and skinnies
*chambray shirts

Currently pinning things I love here.

July 11, 2012

Austin: My Ambitious Austin Weekend

Waaaaaay back in 2009, I wrote a post called Top Ten Things to Do in Austin … the list still stands as an excellent guide, but as I spend a wedding long weekend in town with locals and not, I thought I’d make a list of things I want to do this weekend. To be clear, this is not a definitive Austin list like the last, it’s a what-hasn’t-Lyssa-seen-yet list!


Workout at The Combine Strength & Conditioning

Hot yoga at Pure Bikram Yoga with my parents

CrossFit Games are this week, so watching my pals compete while eating sweet potato fries and drinking Texas beers (Shiner Ruby Redbird I love you so very much and hope to find you on tap) with other pals at Cuatro’s

Always love running/mostly people watching at Town Lake


Round Rock Express game with wedding crew

Lounging poolside at WET at the W … sure to be similar to the Sky Hotel Aspen scene (Vegas-like).

Sand Volleyball at Zilker

Will I have time to find The Narrows?

Fishing with my dad and playing with my new camera lenses


Tried and loved Easy Tiger and Lick!, now it’s time to make it at least to Elizabeth Street Cafe and hopefully more …


Must visit a craft store or five for supplies for all my recent crafternoons!

Possible massage with Christopher

Always have to hit up Nordstrom Rack with the mama

… we’ll see what else I have time for! I can’t wait!

July 5, 2012

Festival Summer in Telluride

It’s hard to leave Aspen. Which must explain why in the three summers I’ve spent in Aspen, I’ve never made it to Telluride. However, nestled in the very-different-from-the-Rockies San Juan Mountains, Telluride (elevation: 8,750 ft.) lies in a box canyon, surrounded on three sides by 14,000-foot peaks, which makes for something awesome. Plus it connects to Mountain Village (elevation: 9,540) by a free, scenic gondola.

Maybe I’ve been wanting to visit, but now I have the motivation: I had no idea that Telluride has become such a festival hotbed. Behold an insane amount of festivals (8 before September ends):

The homegrown Telluride Yoga Festival (July 12-15, 2012) allows new and experienced yogis to deepen their practice through many different forms of yoga led by experts from around the globe.

The Telluride Jazz Festival (August 3-5, 2012) comes to town for its 36thyear, bringing internationally recognized acts in classic, mainstream, blues, Brazilian, African and Latin jazz. Performances are staged outdoors in the daytime and in intimate clubs and historic concert halls at night. “When trumpet great, Dizzy Gillespie exclaimed on his visit to Telluride in 1977, ‘If this ain’t paradise, heaven can wait,’ he hit the right note,” says Telluride Jazz Festival Executive Director, Paul Machado.

For foodies, foragers and folks searching for something more unusual, the Telluride Mushroom Festival (August 16-19, 2012) educates citizens, both visitor and local alike, about the many incredible aspects of the amazing world of mycology.

Further up the mountain, Telluride Festival of the Arts (August 17-19, 2012) is an annual weekend-long, culinary, and visual arts event held in Mountain Village.

Cycling enthusiasts can stop spinning their wheels for the stage one finish of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (August 20, 2012).  Olympians, World Champions, and Tour de France podium winners will race through the majestic Rockies, enduring more mountain passes than any other race in North America (Aspen is also a stop).

Brand new Rock and Roll Festival (August 25-26, 2012) will bring a dozen acts to Town Park, including Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, Los Lobos and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.

Held over Labor Day weekend, the Telluride Film Festival (September 2-5, 2012) is not a competition, but rather a celebration of the best in film from all around the world. Films must make their North American premiere at the festival in order to be considered, which has allowed attendees to be among the first to see highly regarded, award-winning films such as “The Descendants,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Juno,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Bowling for Columbine.” Another unique aspect of the festival is the element of surprise; the program is kept secret until opening day.

The music festival season closes out with Telluride Blues and Brews (September 14-16, 2012), a three-day festival with headliners including Phil Lesh & Friends, Gov’t Mule and the B-52s, along with a grand tasting featuring more than 50 of the best regional craft breweries.

For more on Telluride,

June 28, 2012

Six Secrets to Grilling the Gill

Executive Chef Chris Bauer of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood on 5th Street in Austin can grill a mean fish—and he’s sharing with us six secrets to grill the gill:

  • Thickness of product to be grilled is important. Fish should not be any thicker than ¾” and no less than ½”. Thicker cuts of fish will result in over-charring and drying out on the outside. Thinner cuts will be too difficult to control doneness and will break apart on grill
  • Build your charcoal fire and allow charcoal burn until it has a white ash covering.
  • Brush grill with a wire grill brush well to remove any burnt on particles
  • Using a kitchen towel dipped in vegetable oil, hold the towel with tongs and rub grill (just before placing items on grill to cook) with oiled towel. This will help prevent items from sticking.
  • Season items to be grilled well salt and cracked black pepper. Additionally, brush items to be grilled very lightly with olive oil. Too much oil causes flare-ups and result in an off taste.
  • Do not over-char grilled fish. This will impart a bitter taste.

swordfish at eddie v's

Ready? Chef Bauer’s Charcoal Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Avocado, Fresh Crab, Red Chile and Cilantro Vinaigrette pairs perfectly with chilled white win and takes almost no time to prepare.

8 oz each Swordfish Steaks, ¾ thick, no skin, no bloodline
1 each avocado, peeled ½ dice
4 oz of fresh crab meat, no shells
1 tablespoon of red pepper, very finely diced
1 teaspoon of Serrano pepper, very finely diced
1 tablespoon of red onion, very finely diced
4 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sambal chili sauce
Kosher Salt as needed
Fresh Cracked pepper as needed
2 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped

1. Season Swordfish with salt and pepper, brush lightly with some olive oil
2. Grill Swordfish 4 minutes on each side over charcoal fire to desired doneness
(medium-medium rare is preferable)
3. Combine avocado, onion, cilantro, peppers, vinegar, 4 tablespoons of olive oil,
sambal and cilantro, season with salt to taste
4. Place Swordfish in center of hot plate
5. Place avocado mixture on top of swordfish
6. Place fresh crab on top of avocado mixture
7. Serve Immediately

June 20, 2012

Aspen: Da Bears

I saw my first bear this summer, but thankfully I was on horseback. With summer hiking on the brain, it’s time to refresh our wild animal encounter skills in case you run into a bear without your trusty steed—and by steed, I could mean pistol, if you’re into that sort of thing (and I am, I mean, I don’t want Nali eaten by a mountain lion).

survival guide

For 19 other wild animals, click here: Freeze or Flee (you have to sign up to see the images any bigger than the one above)

June 12, 2012

Fresh Summer Hair Looks

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit

The lingering residue of my past as a beauty editor is that I’m constantly experimenting with beauty looks, BUT I can’t ignore my roots as a ponytailed, low-maintenance jock either. Summer is the perfect time to start playing with hair, and I’ve been experimenting quite a bit recently. (Last summer was all about colored tips, and I kinda miss mine). I’ve been trying to wash my hair less while wearing my hair in ponytails less, styling it differently (flat iron curls), and using dry shampoo.

One of the biggest surprises I’ve found in my experimenting is that a certain amount of sweat gives hair lots of body***. What?! Awesome! This is workout-level sweat, not Bikram Yoga-level sweat. FYI: My hair is long, layered in front, thin but lots of strands, and tends to get greasy without maintenance. Here’s a rundown of my new weekly routine.

Day 1: Au natural. Wash with chemical-free shampoo. Let air dry. Twist in a bun, switching the bun’s twist direction every thirty minutes or so—not sure this step is necessary for everyone, but my hair needs it to balance the waves the bun creates.

Day 2: Styled. Possibly leave as-is. Possibly curl with flat iron for super-bouncy curls, use lots of Garnier hairspray (remember, the ends of your hair are dead, if you’re going to use chemical products, here is the best place) which holds but is still soft and touchable.


This is the hair, and the bestie, that started my personal foray into the straightener-curling trend …

Day 3: Thank you, hairspray. Slept-on flat-iron curls brushed out give hair nice body and wave, courtesy of hairspray.

Day 4: Sporty-style. Casual-cool braids, a pretty pony, or depending on sweat level, some dry shampoo (or baby powder) to reinvigorate the previous day’s ‘do. This is the embrace-summer day, where you let hair be messy and maybe even a little greasy in the name of summer ease.

Day 5: Time for a wash. Repeat!

What’s your summer hair routine? Any tricks to keep your hair fresh without washing?!

***I recently discovered a major caveat. I wrote this post pre-trip-to-Houston and was immediately reminded in greasy fashion that perhaps I have not increased my hairstyling prowess, I’ve simply moved to a more hair-friendly climate (read: no humidity).

June 11, 2012

Austin: Turtle Summer on Barrio Sixth

turtle racing in austin

All four Austin-area locations of Little Woodrow’s will host a 12-week turtle-racing extravaganza. June 18 through Sept. 3, each of four Little Woodrow’s will host weeknight turtle-racing events: Tuesdays at Southpark Meadows, Wednesdays at Parmer Lane, Thursdays in Bee Cave, and Fridays on Sixth Street.

A testament to turtle tenacity, the Little Woodrow’s turtle-racing events pit six quick-footed turtles—each donning stickers with designated numbers that represent their sponsors—in a caged race to reach one of six sponsor buckets at the outer-lying edges of the race cage. Place bets on which turtle will win and get the chance to win prizes including T-shirts and Woodrow’s bucks.

star barrio austin

Join West Sixth staple Star Bar for their summer Star Barrio from 4pm to 2am every Thursday starting June 14.

FREE nacho bar starting at 7p and drink specials including barrio favorites Mexican Bulldogs, Mexican Beer, Ghost Pepper Tequila, and Palomas. Happy Hour 4-7p with additional drink specials all night.

More summer fun:

Sunday: Geeks Who Drink at 7p / $10 combo with Yumi Burger for a burger and an adult milkshake$3 local drafts

Monday: All-Night Happy Hour

Tuesday: Texas Tuesdays / $3 local drafts and $3 Deep Eddy all night

Wednesday: Wine and Cheese Night / Complimentary Antonelli’s cheese plate (three artisan cheeses, charcuterie, organic grapes and waterwheel flatbreads) with all half or full bottles of wine

May 21, 2012

Spicy Summer Cocktails

No, I haven’t already this summer gone through an entire handle of tequila infused with jalapenos for making spicy ‘ritas—yet! I have been brining the heat to Aspen, so to speak (we’re experiencing a way-early summer anyway regardless of my cocktail-making), but I’m always looking for more spicy-delicious cocktails. Just in time for Memorial Day, I was thrilled to score recipes from the W Austin’s libationist, Joyce Garrison. Read on for her latest and greatest … after all, nobody does spicy summer cocktails better than Texans.

Jalapeno Cucumber Lemonade

1 ½ oz Tito’s Vodka
2.5 oz Cucumber water
1oz jalapeño infused simple syrup
1oz lemon juice
Build in pint glass
Strain into glass with Kold draft
Garnish with cucumber spear

Sandia Sipper

1 ½ oz Cazadores Respoda Tequila
.5 oz lime juice
3 cubes watermelon
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
1/8 oz Agave nectar
Muddle watermelon with lime juice in shaker glass.  Add all ingredients with ice and shake.  Strain into rocks glass with ice and half rim of salt.  Garnish with watermelon cube and lime wedge.

Get WET (inspired by the W’s WET pool)

*Hendrick’s gin 1.5oz
St. Germain .5 oz
*Lemon juice .5
*Simple syrup  .5 oz
Grapefruit juice 1.5 oz
Bubbles (bubbly water)
Shake all without bubbles and pour over fresh ice then top with bubbles

*I make a version of this cocktail all the time without lemon or simple syrup, and it’s delicious. Other versions use jalapeno-infused gin for that summer spice or tequila for a kick.

Happy summer!!

September 12, 2011

Austin: What to Wear to ACL

It’s upon us!

What to Wear to ACL

What to Wear to ACL by lifeinaustin featuring short shorts

Dresses: Make sure they’re colorful and floaty, as you are going to sweat. Pair with straw hats and sandals.

Shorts + tanks: Lots of people wear jorts, I prefer softer, looser fabrics to decrease and conceal sweat. Pair with a minimalist tank in a non-sweat-showing color (black, white, some tans), a floppy hat to shade your face, and flip flops.

Skirts + sheer: Like dresses, skirts should be loose, preferably knee-length (shorter makes it tough to sit on the grass), and patterned or light-colored. Pair with a burnout or sheer tee or tank for coolness, plus a fedora- or bowler-style straw hat for coolness.

Insider tip: I often wear a bikini or at least a bikini top under my outfits. That way, if it gets too, too hot, you can strip down. Or you can wear baggier tanks without revealing too much.

NEVER, EVER wear: heels. jeans. leather. boots. the green man costume.

August 2, 2011

Aspen: Why Ellina is Buzzing

When an occasion came along recently for us to celebrate, my number one choice was Ellina. The Vermonster and I had heard plenty of great things about Ellina, but hadn’t gotten a chance to check it out. It’s three seasons old (that’s a summer, winter, and now a summer) but still growing its buzz with the locals. We said we’d stop in for a drink, but got completely sucked in by the bar menu. We ordered one of everything. Literally.

ELlina patioWe sat on the middle patio, a level down from the Hyman Avenue mall but above the dining room. You can order from the bar menu, lounge on couches, and still be outside. It’s pretty awesome.
Ellina aspen drinksSo is the Vermonster’s face … he’s pretty excited about the drinks. The creative concoctions feature fresh juice.

Ellina aspen artichoke and calamariEllina cevicheEllina saladEllina crabcakeWe really did order one of every app on the bar menu. Calamari (legit), roasted artichoke, ceviche (so fresh), spinach salad, and crab cakes, which were sweet enough to be considered dessert. For three drinks and five apps plus tip, we got away for under $100. That’s a total win in Aspen!

The service was impeccable, the atmosphere just right, and the food outstanding. No wonder there’s such a buzz on Ellina. We’ll be back for more of you.


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