Texas Conference for Women 2014 is almost here!

1-20131119_082619    It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since the last Texas Conference for Women here in Austin. I loved hearing from Rachael Ray and Esmerelda Santiago. Jenny Lawson kept us laughing…oh how she understood our lives!  And Leymah Gbowee, the 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate brought tears to our eyes — it’s amazing what one powerful, committed and compassionate woman can do to change so many lives.

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As amazing as last year’s event was, I am counting the days until this year’s conference on November 13th. I want to hear Diana Nyad, who will remind us that dreams don’t come with an age limit. Dr. Cynthia Ackrill will be teaching us how to take stress and turn it into accomplishments, and Jenny Bowen who works tireless on behalf of the world’s orphans and other forgotten children will inspire us to make a difference. And then there’s Soledad O’Brien and Debbie Sterling and author John Gray (yes, a few men are on the agenda!)

I don’t know what your plans are for the 13th of November, but if you’re a woman in Texas and you want the tools to change your life or make it better or figure out how to get over that last sticky obstacle, let me suggest this conference. It might just have the answers you need.

I don’t advocate for many events. But this incredible gathering of wisdom and advice and experience is not to be missed. I think tickets might still be available. Do check it out.

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The Specs

November 13, 2014

Austin Convention Center
500 East Cesar Chavez
Austin, Texas 78701

http://www.txconferenceforwomen.org/

7:30 am – 5:00 pm

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Round Top Antique Heaven on Wordfree Wednesday

I had heard about it for several years. I wanted to go last year and the year before, but something always got in the way. This year, finally, was my time to visit Warrenton, Round Top and the rest of antique heaven in Central Texas for Antiques Week(end) — hard to stick to the “weekend” label when it runs for almost three weeks now. And I loved every second of it!

Now it’s time for the pictures to tell the story…

weird looking machine

1-Unfortunate pairing

An unfortunate pairing!
4-Steampunk Hat Old bird cage

Antique Crib

Old church windows

weird door

Metal people

Old stage light

Dead Peoples StuffBecause, yes, that pretty much is what it is!!  Antiques WeekJunk Gypsies Trailer(More about the Junk Gypsies in another post…too good for just one picture!)

Holi Color Flies at UT

People at Holi Festival in Austin   I wanted to get this post published before the Holi Festival — so much for plans!  But the good news is that now I get to share our great pictures and get everyone excited for next year’s event.

This annual free and open to the public event is sponsored by the UT Hindu Students’ Association on the LBJ lawn on campus. About 6,000 people showed up to celebrate by throwing handfuls of brightly colored power (called “rang”) on their friends and total strangers!

bags of rang Bags of rang powder

According to the student group,

“Holi is the Hindu festival celebrating the arrival and color of the spring season. Widely recognized as the festival of color, this event involves throwing colored powder and water on friends and family along with playing various games and simply having fun.”

And that it was. We were advised to come in white t-shirts, and be prepared to get “colorful.” And colorful it was!  woman with holi powder on face

By the time we and about 5,990 other people finished tossing, dumping, and smearing color on each other, white was the least common color anyone could see.

The live music, beautiful sunshine and big smiles on everyone’s face made it a perfect afternoon. It’s a great event for college students, families, singles…yeah, everyone!  I would recommend leaving pups at home, though. All the flying powder could irritate their eyes and the crowds could get stressful.

Since the Festival is an annual spring event, I’ll make sure to let  y’all know when the next one is scheduled.

The Specs

Sponsored by the University of Texas Hindu Student Association
http://texashsa.wix.com/longhornhsa

Holi 2015 Event is not yet scheduled, but will be in early March.

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SXSW 2014 in Pictures

Szkojani Charlatans

The SXSW experience is a lot of things.

It’s the sounds of music coming out of ten bars, and still being entranced by a busker playing on a street corner. It’s the smell of pizza and tacos and bar-b-que and something sweet right out of the oven as you walk past a row of food trucks. It’s free t-shirts and more can holders than anyone could every need (but you can’t help taking just one more.)

But most of that is impossible to capture on the page of a blog. So I’ll have to settle for sharing pictures.

I’m starting this post today, but I’ll be adding more pictures throughout the week. If you’re here, I hope you’re having a great time. But if you’re not, here’s a glimpse into the insanity that is SXSW.

(Oh, and one more thing…a new mascot is joining A is for Austin. Or rather a few mascots. When I was a kid, I loved trolls. So when a few showed up during a recent trip, I decided to make them a part of my blog for now. So look for Wanda (a pink haired troll) and a few other friends in some of my pictures, at least for awhile.  I hope you like the new addition!)

A line of guitar cases

monster drink truckunique guitar playing styleMable the dog chilling in AustinFree food A SXSW traditionBecause I believe in unicorns too20140309_182636Peruvian Creole Food TruckBuilindg the Vans venueNo badges neededRobot at the Game Expo SXSW 2014

It’s a Mobile Food Throwdown on Taste of Austin Tuesday!

Austin Mobile Food Throwdown

You’ve watched them on the Food Channel. You’ve seen it on the Cooking Channel. Now it’s time for the gloves to come off here in Austin.

That’s right. We’re pitting food truck against food truck. Acknowledged food truck masters The Peached Tortilla and Chi’Lantro BBQ will go head to head in a no-holds-barred competition right here in Austin on February 22, 2014 at Draught House Pub & Brewery to determine the king of Asian fusion street food in Austin.

The event starts at 2 pm, and runs until 5. You’ll be able to watch the cookoff, and rock out to the sounds of Jambulance ERuptionAdvance tickets are available online, and include tasting and other goodies to make the event super-special. You can also check out the event Facebook page for more info.

Of course, you’ll have to be 21 plus to indulge in the beer offerings, and yes, they will be checking IDs.

This awesome foodie knockdown is a production of FoodTrailersAustin.com, a food trailer owners and food trailer fans group started back in 2010 to “provide a hub for Austin’s burgeoning mobile food scene.” The group is promising even more events for foodie fans in the coming year, so keep an eye out and I’ll share them as they’re announced.

See you at the Throwdown!

Eat chili, hang out at Jo’s, help people: what’s not to love?

jo's Coffee House Chili Cook Off PosterJo’s is one of the coolest spots on South Congress. Yummy meat, dessert and vegetarian menu choices, all kinds of coffees and teas, and a chance to people watch from a shady spot. It’s also close to the Pets Alive trailer, so I can get some puppy visits in (but that’s a story for another post!)

And now there’s another reason to love Jo’s.  I just found out that Sunday January 26 it’s going to be the site for the 8th Annual Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by Shiner. The cook-off benefits  the Sustainable Food Center, a wonderful local Austin charity working hard to make it possible for more people to have access to nutritious, affordable food through education, access to gardens and more.

So all in all, that means South Congress, Jo’s Coffee Shop, chili, music (live music will be provided by Jeff Hughes & Chapparal, the Jo’s House Band and DJ Ben Nuhn), beer for those who love it (and I know a LOT of Austin folks do!) and a chance to do something really good for people who are struggling to put healthy food on their family dinner table.

The festivities (including chili tasting!) start at noon and run until 3. And there are even prizes!  Yes, some of those chili chefs will walk away with great prizes, so not only do you get to eat, you get to vote and help your fave cooks win some good stuff!

It’s $20 to join in the event, and that includes samples of all 14 chili entries, plus all the great music and atmosphere you want to enjoy. Beer and other drinks will be for sale, so you can safely go ahead and take a bite or two of that habanero-spiked chili, then put out the fire.

Jo’s is located at 1300 South Congress in Austin.

Austin Food and Wine Festival frenzy begins early

Austin Food & Wine FestivalIt’s no secret that the annual Austin Food and Wine Festival has quickly become one of the highlights of the culinary year here in the Capital city. But I had no idea the fight for tickets to the coveted event started so early!

This year’s Festival will be April 25th-27th at Butler Park and Republic Square Park in Austin. The strictly 21 and over event attracts foodies and chefs from around the globe, who come together to sample amazing creations, show off their masterpieces and gather inspiration for feasts they’ll just have to make in the coming year.

Tickets for this year’s fest go on sale January 21st…that’s next week! That’s also when you can find out who’s going to be featured, and get a first peek at the schedule.

It’s gonna be a yummy weekend in Austin! See y’all there!

(This Taste of Austin Tuesday is making me hungry! Come on, April!)