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Round Top Antique Show

8 Apr

This past Saturday, Anthony and I drove east to a tiny town, population 90, to browse a gigantic antique fair in hopes to find a few treasures for our home.

Little did I know what I would be getting us into…

Round Top Antique Fair | Gusto & Grace

I heard Round Top Antique Fair was large, but there was no way I could have prepared for what turned out to be nearly 6 miles of antique stores and booths.

The thrift shops in Austin can be fruitful, but I have not found a great local source for antiques yet so I was eager to purchase some “oldies but goodies.”

I came home empty-handed, but I took a few photos of a few of my favorite things.

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San Antonio in Pictures

7 Mar

One of the many great things about living in Central Texas is that you have so many options for day trips to take on a whim. Dallas: 3 hours. Houston: 2.5 hours. San Antonio: 1 hour.

This past weekend, Anthony and I found ourselves with a wide open schedule, so we saddled up and headed to San Antone.

After visiting Anthony’s Little Grandma (no, I’m not putting her down, that’s what they’ve always called her), we headed to Hotel Havana’s Ocho to grab a drink and poke around. It is such a quiet, charming place.

oHotel_Havana_San_Antonio_Texas Hotel_Havana_Sign_San_Antonio_Texas Ocho_Hotel_Havana_San_Antonio_Texas

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Free Printable Prada Marfa Watercolour Art

28 Feb

When you aren’t inspired enough to paint over every beige room in your home, cover them with art!

Well, that is what I am doing, since I have not committed to paint colors. I also don’t feel like dedicating months worth of weekends to painting all but three rooms in my abode right now.

Free Printable #PradaMarfa Watercolor Art

After hearing about the new app, Waterlogue, I quickly decided to purchase the app, which is currently only available for iPhones and iPads, and transform my favorite photo of Prada Marfa from our recent trip out west. Here is what I found: if you start with a high quality photo, you get good results. Lower quality photos don’t create desirable results.

Free Printable Watercolor Prada Marfa Print

I also waterlogued a photo of Big Tex from our engagement session.

Free Printable Watercolor Art

I put each 11×17 print in 20×28 RIBBA frames from Ikea, cut new mats from posterboard, and hung the prints in my dining room.

I love my new, inexpensive wall art and have decided to make the Prada Marfa print available to my faithful blog readers. When I took the files to FedEx Office, they said the image should print clearly as large as 18×20. Since the original Big Tex image was taken professionally, I thought it best if I not share that one. Who besides us wants a print of a creepy, giant cowboy anyway?

Click HERE to download the Prada Marfa print.

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

How to Celebrate Christmas Like an Austinite

20 Dec

Austin Christmas GrafittiTraditions make a city feel more like home. When I first moved to Austin, I started thinking about why Fort Worth felt so much like home. After the obvious family and friend connections, and the sheer amount of time I lived there, I think it felt like home because of the traditions I had.

Each September or October I would go to the State Fair, I’d eat a mustard-covered Fletcher’s Corn Dog, and ride the Texas Star Ferris Wheel. Every November I would eat a gyro and chocolate baklava at the Greek Food Festival. Each December I would look forward to my friends’ Christmas In Black and White decade-themed costume Christmas party.

In an effort to make my new home feel more like home, I insisted on finding a few Austin events or activities I could look forward to year after year. If you’re looking to celebrate Christmas as an Austinite, here is what I suggest:

Trail of Lights 2013

1. Walk through the Festival of Lights in Zilker Park

Take a stroll through the light tunnels. Grab a cuppa hot chocolate. Get dizzy spinning under the tree. This year, there was a flip-book video booth and Anthony and I got an awesome memento our evening.

Zilker Park Tree

2. Buy your gifts from a local artist or store. 

Austin is filled with small businesses and local artists, buying gifts from these places is just the Austin way.

3. Go to a quote-along at the Alamo Drafthouse

I’m a believer. The Alamo Drafthouse is the best movie theater in the nation world. They have fun events year round, but during the holidays they host Elf Quote-Alongs and Home Alone All-you-can-eat-cheese-pizza parties. My husband and I learned of them too late to get tickets this year, so I scoured six stores before finding Home Alone on DVD, ordered plain cheese pizza, and had a party at home this year.

4. Decorate a tree on 360, or at least go and look at them

Before I moved here, Anthony told me how people would decorate trees on 360. I didn’t understand until we drove down highway and saw miles of trees decked out in tinsel and garland. My favorite tree was decorated like a reindeer. Next year, you’ll find me on the top of one of the hills, trimming a tree for all to see.

Hawaiin Tree Austin Texas

5. Go ice skating on the Plaza at Whole Foods downtown

The skating rink at the Austin-based grocery chain might be the closest thing to a white Christmas you will see in the capital city.

If you’ve moved to a new town and are missing home, I encourage to get out and try a few new things you can repeat at least annually.

Marfa, Texas

26 Nov

Marfa is a peculiar place. If I were just passing through, I doubt I would be inclined to stop. Marfa doesn’t stand out among the numerous other small west Texas towns, yet has a quiet and artistic culture all its own.

El Cosmico Marfa, Texas

I have been wanting to take a trip to Marfa, Texas for a short while now. When I heard there was talk of tearing down Prada Marfa, I set planning in motion. Taking the six-hour roadtrip from Austin didn’t seem too long, considering the airport nearest to Marfa is three hours down the road.

El Cosmico Teepee Marfa, Texas

Anthony was on board with the trip as soon as he found out we could stay in a teepee at El Cosmico and bring Nola, our dog. We might have made a different decision had the weatherman predicted that it would be a blistering twenty-five degrees while we were there… Thankfully, the queen-sized bed in the teepee was outfitted with mattress warmers, so we stayed toasty, as long as we stayed in bed.

El Cosmico Teepee Marfa, Texas

Our first stop in town was Pizza Foundation, and it was the best food we ate all weekend.  Businesses in Marfa have weird and limited hours. Pizza Foundation, for example, is only open Thursday through Sunday. Other places are open only for lunch, or are open for dinner, but close at 7pm. And then, there is the Latenight Grilled Cheese Parlour in the Museum of Electric Wonders where you can get a gourmet grilled cheese only from 9:30pm until 12:30 or 1:30am. In many other cases, it was indistinguishable whether a business was closed for the day, or closed for good.

Pizza Foundation Marfa, Texas

After driving the wrong way and then course-correcting, we found out the the infamous Prada Marfa is not in Marfa at all. Rather, it is in Valentine, Texas, about 30 miles down highway 90. Prada Marfa is as odd and charming as it looks in all the pictures.  On the way back to Marfa, expect to get stopped by U.S. Border Patrol.

Prada, Marfa

Anthony and I grabbed a drink at Jett’s Grill in El Paisano Hotel, where James Dean, Rock Hudson, Carol Baker, and Elizabeth Taylor stayed while filming Giant. The hotel opened  in 1930 in anticipation of an oil boom that never happened. In its glory days, El Paisano was called one of the grandest hotels between El Paso and San Antonio.

El Paisano Hotel Marfa, Texas

Artist Donald Judd, whose work can be seen in modern art museums across the nation, including the MoMA, the Fort Worth Modern, and the Blanton in Austin, moved to Marfa from New York City in the 1970s. His work remains a large part of Marfa’s history and culture. Anthony and I visited Judd’s Chinati Foundation, built on the old military Fort D.A. Russell.

Donald Judd Chinati Foundation Marfa Texas

We tried to visit the The Wrong Store, and even called the number on the hand-scribbled note they placed on their door saying, “We are here, call xxx-xxx-xxxx.” No answer, but gawking at the hand-carved door and peeking through the windows still put me in a state of wonder.

The Wrong Store Marfa, Texas

Before leaving Marfa, we stopped at Boyz 2 Men for some mediocre $4 breakfast tacos, which would never fly in Austin, and at Frama, for hot chocolate. I loved Frama’s Scrabble letters menu.

Frama Coffee Marfa, Texas

Unfortunately, we did not even attempt to see the Marfa Lights. Visibility was terrible with the bone-chilling weather.

Frozen Cacti Marfa, Texas

Marfa was a a pleasant change of pace from not only my normal city life, but also from the pace of a typical getaway.

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