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Food Picturebook: Austin

Introducing a new blog series – Food Picturebook. Because I love traveling, I love food, and I love taking pictures of food.

You can see the first food picturebook here when I went to LA a few months ago and ate amaaazing food, and I knew Austin would be just as amazing, if not better. And it was. And I may have a few extra pounds to show for it.

Enjoy the photos, try not to drool and add these restaurants to your must-eat list!

P E R L A ‘ S 

To be honest, at first I was a little disappointed that my first meal in Austin was not BBQ or Tacos, but the second I tasted this Shrimp & Grits it was all over. It was some of the best I’ve ever had – and that’s saying something because I’ve had a lot of amazing Shrimp & Grits! It had a cajun kick to it that made it just a little more special than usual and absolutely amazing. Isn’t it also pretty??

T O R C H Y ‘ S   T A C O S 

This place was exactly like the picture says – DAMN GOOD. This was a quick-serve restaurant, but still had way better tacos than any restaurant we have in NWA. I got The Democrat and The Trailer Park “trashy” – the latter was my favorite of the two. That’s a fried chicken strip in there! Also a must-get is the queso and quac. I can’t wait to go back and try more of the taco’s. And get more queso.

A B O   Y O U S S E F 

We know Austin is known for their food trucks, but this one seemed a little too authentic at first and was in a random part of town. But, I had heard great reviews from a friend and everyone on Yelp so I decided to try something different. The grilled chicken, rice, tabbouleh and hummus was incredible – perfectly authentic. Definitely not what I expected from Austin, but I’m glad I tried it!

B U R R O 

Food truck #2 was a huge success. How can you go wrong with a grilled cheese truck? Specifically when you order the mac and cheese grilled cheese?? This picture does not do it justice at all, but it was so freaking delicious I can even still taste it …

C O O P E R ‘ S   B B Q 

So this BBQ joint was actually not on the original list of recommendations we received, but, as we checked several of them out (Franklin’s has an 8+ hour wait, Salt Like was a bit of a drive out of town) we needed something different. Luckily, our “Uber” driver gave us this recommendation, and after validating it with a local friend, it was decided. The patio was amazing and the food was just as incredible as I anticipated. Pictured: Brisket, Beef Rib and Jalapeño Mac and Cheese. I may or may not have eaten my cold leftovers before boarding the plane the next morning ….

What’s your favorite restaurant in Austin? I’m already planning my next trip – all about the food!

xo xo


Weekend Picturebook: Chicago

S A T U R D A Y 

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img_2652[lunch at portillo’s + catching up with my favorite walmartian-arkansan-chicagoans!]

img_2649[contemporary art museum]

img_2659[pre-dinner drinks at Pop’s Champagne (not pictured) then pizza at the famous Lou Malnati’s! it was amaaaazing]

img_2675[post-dinner walk along the beach with beautiful views of the skyline]

img_2679[the drake! my beautiful, old hotel in a perfect location]

S U N D A Y 

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img_2758[early morning walk on the beach – it was cold, but totally worth it]

img_2776[after the cold, long walk, I deserved this, right?? vanilla bean + chocolate old fashioned from glazed and infused]

img_2780[art institute of chicago was incredible – saw some of my favorites from renoir + monet. I could have spent all day in here!]

img_2797[cliche bean picture + walk through millennium park – then more walking, eating, and shopping before …]

img_2819[the big event – oscars war room! we were certainly exhausted by the end of it, but very proud of a successful campaign]

If you didn’t see the Oscars and are interested in learning more about how we played a part in the night, check out these videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLs6zAwIMDe3MCfYpFAi2PYe9TtUJC3Ig9 

xo xo


2016: my year in pictures

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screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-9-58-06-amJ A N U A R Y 
bought a new car + celebrated my birthday at downstream casino #BettingOnAMILLEon

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screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-08-30-amF E B R U A R Y
first of (several) work trips to NYC + got pulled on stage during spamalot on our valentine’s day date at the rogers little theatre

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-14-36-amM A R C H
a work conference with some pretty decent views

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13076982_3227904129492_6973742797472645262_nA P R I L
welcomed becky to america with the best party ever + celebrated a beautiful bride at mount magazine

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13166027_10153649304001915_6114007446513469655_n
13220885_3251620762393_7107240867260238179_nM A Y
(best month ever)
bentonville film festival, fayetteville foam fest + 5-year anniversary in St. Lucia

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screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-27-24-amJ U N E
sister-in-law got married + traipsed around california with these people

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-31-05-amJ U L Y
celebrated husband’s birthday in denver

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screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-33-41-amA U G U S T 
mother daughter weekend in NYC + too much fun at a wedding #travkeg2k16

14203313_10153922899241915_9128922253108058608_nS E P T E M B E R 
best labor day weekend ever #tracytrap

14900570_10103890278223222_8474944676224192731_nO C T O B E R 
squad goals at a stranger halloween

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screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-41-41-amN O V E M B E R 
an amazing weekend getaway in missouri + a fun week in LA

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 D E C E M B E R
birthday celebrations with the sistahs + christmas in DC

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Picturebook: Christmas in DC

C H R I S T M A S   D A Y 

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{Woke up (suuuuper) early and hopped on a plane to Baltimore to spend Christmas with Husband’s dad, stepmom, sister and her husband. We hadn’t spent Christmas with them in a very, very long time so it was extra special. We ate, drank, played ridiculous games and stayed up laughing until 4am.}

M O N D A Y 

img_1541{Woke up (suuuuper) late (did I mention we stayed up until 4am…which means we had been awake for 24 hours…) then shopped and explored Georgetown, which of course was adorable}

T U E S D A Y
[first day in DC]

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img_0311{We had so much fun walking around the National Mall and exploring the monuments. My favorite was the Washington Monument behind us. How great is this candid picture?!}

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img_1623{Stopped for lunch at the famous Old Ebbitts Grill – seriously one of the best reubens I’ve ever had}

img_1717{Quick stop at Arlington Cemetery on our way out of the city – it was absolutely gorgeous and I would love to go back and spend more time walking around}

img_1723{The boys and their cigars after an amazing fondue dinner at home}

W E D N E S D A Y
[second day in DC]

img_1734 {The perfect start to the day – Mari’s famous huevos rancheros! We seriously talk about these all the time because they’re so delicious.}

img_1743{Holocaust Museum – the museum and this quote in particular were very moving and convicting, a must-see museum in DC}

img_1759{Smithsonian Museum of American History – very packed, but very cool. We even saw the Hope Diamond!}

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{STRANGER THINGS BAR! You would not believe the line to get in to this place, but it was totally worth it!}

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{Dinner at Founding Farmers was incredible! Pictured: Shrimp & Grits with andouille and bacon (more like gumbo), Not Pictured: the best cornbread and fried green tomatoes I’ve ever had, and husband’s chicken and waffles he claimed were the best he’s ever had}

T H U R S D A Y 

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img_1846{Visited the new MGM Grand Casino – played slots, lost money, drank beer, oh and ran into Sarah Jessica Parker selling shoes – no big deal!!!!!}

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img_1985{Spent the evening exploring Annapolis, which was seriously the cutest town ever. Then stopped in a wine bar and had the most fresh crab tostadas with tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime juice. It was so good we had to order another round!}

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{We then stumbled upon this cute little underground gastropub for our last supper – not pictured, but seriously delicious … pig wings!!}

What a trip! I’m not sure how we got so lucky with such amazing family on both sides, but we sure are thankful. It will be a Christmas we never forget!

xo xo


Food Picturebook: LA

Typically when I go on a trip, I follow up with a Picturebook blog post sharing all my photos and trip highlights.

Since I just did an LA Picturebook in July after my last work trip, I decided to switch this one up a bit. I ate some amaaaazing food on this trip at some amaaaazing restaurants and I just had to share so you can enjoy them too (and so I can remember these places for trips to come!)

Enjoy a look at my latest LA trip via my delicious meals. #FoodPorn

S U G A R F I S H 

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My coworker would not stop talking about this place since the second we learned we were traveling to LA. “We HAVE to go to Sugarfish in Santa Monica.” So we did, straight from the airport. It was packed and a 45 min. wait (the perfect amount of time to get some shopping in), but it was totally worth it. I’m not an adventurous sushi eater, but oh my gosh it was divine. It was easily the freshest sushi I’ve ever had; I had a blue crab roll and a cucumber roll. Most people get the “Trust Me”, where they bring you all different kinds of sushi and you just, well, trust them it will be delicious. Next time, I think I’ll go for it.

Oh, and did I mention this place is a celebrity hot spot?? So you know that makes me like it even more ….

S W E E T   B U T T E R 

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Okay, so this was another one my coworker kept going on and on about, and guess what, it was amazing. She definitely has good taste. This was an adorable breakfast and lunch spot in Sherman Oaks. We sat outside and enjoyed the Cali weather, a cappuccino, avocado toast and pumpkin pancakes. Is that perfect, or what?! They also had a mega drool-worthy dessert case. (I might have purchased a few things for later … and yes, they were delicious.)

M A L I B U   F A R M 

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I stayed an extra day after my work trip to hang out with one of my high school besties, who now lives in LA. She took me to this incredible lunch spot in Malibu. It sits on the new Malibu pier with absolutely stunning views. We had the perfect seat, on little couches overlooking the pier and sea. We drank mimosas, ate nachos and chatted just like we were back in high school. Unfortunately it was pretty chilly and overcast while we were there, but I will definitely be back and if it’s sunny, you might have to pry me from this place, mimosa in hand.

J O N  &  V I N N Y ‘ S 

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So this one has quite an interesting story and is my favorite on the list. About 3 years ago, I read an article in GQ about this new LA restaurant Jon & Vinny’s. Something about the article captivated me – maybe the fact that they deliver pizza AND wine?? Regardless, I sent it to my friend and asked her to please go for me. Well, here we were 3 years later trying to decide on dinner and we remembered the article. We had to go. It was a Sunday night around 6pm, so we didn’t think it would be too busy. HA. Little did we know, they are full with reservations every.single.night. Like, always full. The only way we would be able to get in is if we waited and someone didn’t show up for their reservation. We decided to take our chances.

In the back of the restaurant is this adorable, tiny little wine store called Helen’s with bottles ranging from $15 to $800. We made our way back there to get a glass of wine while we waited and hoped for a table. We stood back there for over an hour and met two of the most interesting, talkative people. It was amazing and fascinating and felt so LA. Just as we were finishing up our convo with the ex-pro golfer who was trying to hide from his family, the hostess told us she could seat us if we could be in and out in 40 minutes.

So we took the challenge, ordered a salad, a pasta and a pizza to share and never looked back. Words can’t even describe how amazing all three were. Sadly this was the only photo I took before inhaling it all, but take my word for it – if you are in LA, you have to go to this place! Just don’t forget to make a reservation!

I N – N – O U T

And of course, I would be remiss if while talking about food I didn’t share my food porn, drool-worthy photo of a California staple – animal style cheeseburger from In-N-Out.

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‘Ya hungry yet?

xo xo


Weekend Picturebook: Hermann, Missouri

You guys – Hermann, Missouri is ADORABLE. I cannot say enough good things about this quaint little town (pop. 2300!!). As we were driving in, Husband literally said, “Do you have the theme song of Gilmore Girls playing in your head right now?” The weather was perfect, the leaves were gorgeous, the streets were walkable, the people were friendly and the wine was flowing. Okay, enough talking, let’s get to the pictures!

F R I D A Y

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{welcome to Höehn Haus – our amazing little cottage for the weekend!}
hotel: inn at hermannhof

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{how about this bathroom?! with a fireplace! of course I took advantage of it … I took not one, but TWO baths this weekend}

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img_0554{we got in town just in time to watch the sunset on our patio with incredible views and of course, wine}

img_0565{dinner at tin mill brewery – a short walk from our cottage}

S A T U R D A Y 

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img_0583{big breakfast before all of the wineries … have I mentioned yet how amazing our B&B was?!}

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img_0626{our ride for the day – the wine trolley!}

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{first stop: adam puchta – not our favorite, but we got a $5 wine tasting of 8 wines (sips, really) so I’d say it was a win}

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img_0655{2nd stop: stone hill winery – our favorite!}

14915253_3463028487454_2929998820936478831_n{and where we got our best pic of the weekend}

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img_0676{3rd stop: oak glenn – gorgeous views of missouri river}

img_0686{4th stop: dierberg and star lane – this is where we had a very serious discussion about … our first born son’s name. ask us about it.}

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{final stop: hermannhof winery – our B&B’s winery, which we loved. luckily it was only steps away from our cottage …}

img_0720{though not easy steps … it may not look like it here, but these were treacherous even when you haven’t been drinking wine! and that’s not even our cottage you can see!}

img_0702{after a little nap and a little Mean Girls on TV, we walked back in to town for the best post-wine food ever – mac and cheese. and oh my gosh was this mac and cheese amaaaazing. husband got bbq steak and I got bacon and mushroom in truffle oil (mine won)}

S U N D A Y 

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img_0732{a little walk with more beautiful views before the 4 hr. drive back home}

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{stopped in at the hermann wurst deli and picked up some brats to take home to cook – who’s coming over this weekend?!}

img_0739{and of course, a road trip would not be complete without jack-in-the-box tacos}

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Weekend Picturebook: New York, New York; Weekend Picturebook: Denver


Weekend Picturebook: New York, New York

New York City – the city that never sleeps, and is perfect for work AND play.

W E D N E S D A Y

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IMG_3478[Highly recommend the Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise. You get to see so much of the city, and it was amazing. Thanks, Sister E for the recommendation!]

T H U R S D A Y 

[Great day full of meetings, then an adventure out with the team in East Village!]

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IMG_3041[Awesome restaurant Gnocco – I tried about 5 pizzas that night and mine was the best: prosciutto, arugula + parmesan. The salads were also delicious.]

Smores+A[After dinner we walked “right around the corner” to the famous Odd Fellows Ice Cream. I had banana pudding ice cream with salted caramel sauce – yummmmm! photo from oddfellowsnyc.com]

IMG_3205[Later that night Mom arrived – yay!]

F R I D A Y 

[Morning of meetings, then took the afternoon off to start our girls weekend!]

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[We felt so fancy staying in the gorgeous St. Regis on 5th Avenue]

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IMG_3476[Afternoon at the MoMa (Modern Museum of Art) browsing Van Gogh, Rothko, Matisse, Warhol and so much more. Ended with a rosé + the best onion dip ever in the statue garden]

IMG_3183[Dinner at Don Antonio’s in Hells Kitchen – more salad and pizza, that was just as amazing as the night before … maybe even a little better. Thanks for the recommendation Erin!]

IMG_3196[Tonight’s show: The Humans – 2016 Tony Award Winner for Best Play. Enjoyable, but not my favorite]

FullSizeRender[My favorite part of staying at St. Regis – after coming back from a long day of walking, there would be slippers at the ready, water on the bedside table + classical music playing in the room. Can this be real life??]

S A T U R D A Y 

IMG_3204[What a wake-up call – french-press coffee + NY Times hand-delivered. Okay maybe this was the best part!]

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IMG_3219[Breakfast and goodies at Chelsea Market]

FullSizeRender[Quick stroll on the High Line (which was incredible) before …]

Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour!
A 3-hour tour where we learned about the history, culture and architecture of the area and ate so.much.good.food. Seriously, this was amazing, and I can’t wait to do another one next time I’m in the city! The following photos are from the tour:

IMG_3269[First Stop: Joe’s Pizza aka the perfect, quintessential NYC pizza]

IMG_3282[Our favorite spot, that was so adorable – Palma. Will definitely come back here.]

IMG_3291[The Cornelia Street Cafe – where SJP and Matthew Broderick had their first date, where Eric Clapton randomly shows up the play the piano, and where you might run in to Taylor Swift because … ]

IMG_3475[she lives right next door!!! I almost died and went to heaven. This is her $40k/month rental while her home in Tribeca is being remodeled, in case you were wondering.]

IMG_3306[Rafele’s Ristorante with amazing eggplant + ricotta!]

IMG_3328[Where they filmed the opening of Friends!!]

Seriously, if you’re going to NYC you have to do one of these Food Walking Tours!!

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 12.27.34 PM[Drinks before dinner and a show at The Roof, Viceroy Hotel – how about those views of Central Park?!]

IMG_3473[Yay Matilda! Loved this movie growing up and the show was so so cute!]

S U N D A Y

IMG_3472[Officially obsessed with Levain, and will always make a stop here before heading home.]

IMG_3412[Brunch at Central Park Boathouse – this mac and cheese was everything.]

IMG_3427[Such an amazing trip with Mom I will never forget!]

xo xo

You might also enjoy photos from my last mother-daughter trip to NYC here.