Exotic gifts & bellydancing from Arabic Bazaar on Wordfree Wednesday

01-2014-12-07 15.17.49

Last weekend, I visited the Arabic Bazaar in Austin for the first time, and I  immediately knew it had to be featured here on A is 4 Austin. I  had planned to put it on Find it in Austin Fridays. It is a great place to shop for unique imported gifts (everything here is handpicked by the owner, Zein, on her trips to Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Lebanon. No “Made in China” imitations here!) And it’s a place to find authentic belly dance classes for all levels. So it would fit.

But when I looked at my photos, I changed my mind. The photos tell the story of this beautiful place better than words possibly could. So here, without too many more words, is Arabic Bazaar.

Bellydance Costumes

Handblown glass perfume bottles

handwoven rugs

 

Amazing jewelry

 

Hookah pipes04-2014-12-07 14.19.40pillowRight now is a great time to visit Arabic Bazaar, too. Sunday December 14th and Sunday December 21st, they’re having a big sale (yes, I DID shop! Of course!), bellydance demonstrations, discounts on bellydancing classes and free henna from noon until 3 pm.

Arabic Bazaar sale Dec 2014The Specs

5013 Duval St
Austin, Texas 78751
(entrance in back of building in alley)
(512) 533-9227
Monday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Tuesday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday Closed (Except for special holiday events in December) 
Advertisements

Austin on the water…on Wordfree Wednesday

A walk along the boardwalk, at sunset.Boardwalk in Austin TexasA chance to see some beautiful autumn color…

Autumn colors in Austin Texas

And watch the sunlight illuminate the buildings.

austin skyline at sundownWe couldn’t help watching these beautiful spiders spinning webs along the railings…

Spider on railing

Or trying to figure out why there were belts on the handrail along the board walk…

belt on handrail in AustinBut in the end, we kept coming back to the view…

Austin skyline with paddleboarder

If you haven’t checked out the new boardwalk, please do! It’s stroller/dog/kid friendly, and the perspective on the city is beautiful.

An abundance of Bluebonnets on Wordfree Wednesday

It’s that time of year. Every field, highway divider and roadside is covered with Texas’ favorite flower, the Bluebonnet.

I’ve headed out myself this year, camera in hand, and I found some great blooms. So here, with no need for more words, are the Bluebonnets of 2014

Bluebonnets Bluebonnets Bluebonnets Bluebonnets Bluebonnets Bluebonnets Bluebonnets Bluebonnets Bluebonnets Bluebonnets

A cool retreat at Inner Space Caverns on Wordfree Wednesday

With summer closing in quickly on Austin, it’s a good idea to have a few cool destinations planned. If spending some time in a place that’s a constant 72 degrees sounds like a good idea when the mercury hits 100 degrees outside, I have just the place for you. Inner Space Caverns in Georgetown. It’s cool, it’s amazing to see…and, well, I’ll let the pictures speak for me.

01-DSC03922

02-DSC03925

03-DSC03931

04-DSC03932

05-DSC03938

06-DSC03940

 

08-DSC03945

09-DSC03946

10-DSC03956

11-DSC03958

12-DSC03964

Family friendly, although you’ll need to keep a hold on little ones. Snack bar and gift shop on the premises. No strollers in the caverns, and some slippery spots. Bring your camera, but tripods aren’t allowed.

The Specs

4200 S. I-35 Frontage Road
Georgetown TX 78626
512-931-2283
http://innerspacecavern.com/

Mon-Fri: 9am-4pm
Sat: 10am-5pm
Sun: 10am-5pm

Newest La Madeleine teams up with the Children’s Hunger Fund

 

La Madeleine Cedar Park Texas

Cedar Park’s newest gathering place

Bright and early tomorrow morning (before I will be awake!), one of the newest La Madeleine cafés will open in Cedar Park, just north of Austin.  But before the first galette or croissant will be rung into the register, they were already busing hosting a VIP party to introduce the new location. And yes, I got to be on hand for the festivities, from the samples and speeches, to the ribbon cutting. (Oh the perks of being a food and events blogger!)

Corporate and local management

Ribbon cutting at La Madeleine  Cedar Park Texas

And the ribbon is cut!

The official ribbon

Guests were invited to sign the ribbon…look for the Ais4Austin signature when you visit the cafe!

The event doubled as a fund-raiser for one of the company’s favorite charities, the Children’s Hunger Fund. This organization provides food for children who might otherwise not eat, especially when school isn’t in session (more about them in a another post soon!)  Guests were generous — all told, the event plus two training previews earlier in the week raised over $5,000 for the group — it’s wonderful to think how many hungry tummies that money will fill!

Childrens Hunger Fund

The café was crowded for the VIP party, as bloggers, staff families and local dignitaries talked with La Madeleine corporate leaders.

2014-04-02 19.11.37

Of course we all got to sample the café’s signature wares, from soup to dessert.2014-04-02 19.09.05

Two talented harpists from nearby Westwood High School provided musical accompaniment to the eventing, while cheer leaders from Cedar Park High School helped out with the charity ticket sales and donation collection. Miss San Antonio was also on hand to great guests, while outside of the store, Jollyville Volunteer Fire Company invited guests to explore a 1952 fire truck (loved that!)

1-2014-04-02 19.00.53 2014-04-02 19.02.40

So what does this have to do with Texas? 

I do try to keep this blog focused on Texas businesses…especially those based around Austin. And this is no exception. La Madeleine, America’s favorite French café, was conceived and launched right here in Texas!

It started with Patrick Leon Esquerré, a French immigrant from the Loire Valley of France who moved to Texas.  He soon discovered that there was nothing in his adopted city of Dallas that matched his memories of relaxing coffee houses and cafés. So he decided to re-create what he missed — but with an American twist.

DSC04256

 

To get that all-American spin, Esquerré asked Dallas women what they would expect in a French café. From the wooden beamed ceiling and the fireplace to the crusty bread, he listened.The result? A comfortable place that blends memories of the French countryside with Dallas, Texas style.

I won’t be there tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. when the doors open. But I know it won’t be long until I visit again, order an iced tea and a salad and find a spot near the fireplace to relax for a bit. It may not be France…but it’s Texas-style France. And for the Austin area, that’s just perfect.

2014-04-01 08.04.06

Wild Child Rocks it on Wordfree Wednesday

Wild Chld video set at The Boneyard in Austin

I think I heard Wild Child for the first time at a show in one of Austin’s clubs. I had no idea who they were when the show started…by the end, I had become a fan!

Since then, I have made it to several other shows, and they were all amazing.

But nothing was as incredible as being invited to participate in the filming of their new videos!  So off we headed to a place called The Boneyard (more about that place in another post!), and the fun began. Unfortunately, we left the good camera behind!  So please forgive us for these camera phone-quality shots. We promise to do better next time!

Wild Child video prep

Classic stage crew poseRehersalwarm up2014-02-01 17.11.042014-02-01 17.11.0020140201_17582320140201_18240420140201_182416-0012014-02-01 18.13.34We were so happy to be a part of Wild Child’s new video event!  Next time, though, we’ll remember the camera!

You can learn more about Wild Child and their upcoming performances on their Facebook page and website. Hope to see y’all at a show!