Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sanctuary Anniversary Celebration & Cissi's Market Event

Sanctuary boutique in Westlake and Austin Monthly home hosted a celebration for their one year anniversary this last Thursday. After Austin Fashion week I was very excited to have this event to go to wean myself off of the excitement and overload of events from AFW.
The event itself had cranberry vodkas and cookies from Tiff's treats (yum!) to enjoy while we shopped around. The idea of the store is totally unique with tons of handmade professionally made items that were personalized, each designed by a different designer, things that looked totally original but when you looked closer you could see they were personalized. While the personalized aspect seemed to be the majority of the store, they also had products by other designers that weren't personalized. They had a huge range of items - everything from bath products, to gorgeous jewelry (wish I could remember the name of the sweet designer that was there with her gorgeous gold-dipped leaf necklaces and earrings),
to clothes, to candles, to funkier casual jewelry. The entire store had a really peaceful atmosphere. With so many different things from so many different artists it would have been easy to have it feel cluttered. The simple murals on the walls, and the random painted and unpainted tree branches, most designed to hold items for sale, really gave it a peaceful feeling.
I really fell in love with the store! Only the fact that it was so high-priced will keep me from coming back. Unfortunately, it wasn't evened out with items that WERE slightly more affordable either.

The invite had said to buy a t-shirt or bring your own as they were doing screen printing from Studio 3. I was impressed with how professional and custom the screen printing looked - like something you would find at a boutique shop, not regular t-shirt prints. They did a gorgeous job on the fitted tee I had brought. I absolutely loved my printed peacock feather.
Wearing the shirt for the first time - excuse the morning hair and no makeup
What a fantastic idea Studio 3 being there offering screen printing was, and the girls were SO friendly and hard working. There were three of them in their cute hot pink dresses that were their uniforms and even though they didn't all need to be out there helping, they were.
Oh, another awesome aspect is they will screen print on anything made from cloth or paper! I love that I went just to be able to discover Studio 3 and follow them. And I would definitely recommend Sanctuary to anyone who has the budget to shop there!!

In contrast, the Julie & Julia event at Cissi's Market blew. Aside from meeting Mai and Dani there which was a blast,
it was sweaty, hot, and crowded, and the only people who had tables were the media and their tables were reserved. The only appetizing food being passed around was delicious chocolate truffles that melted in your mouth and were like an entire piece of cake in one small bite. We ended up tasting their sangria which tasted like fruit juice gone bad (and I love me some sangria!), and their champagne with crushed rose petals and something else. The rose petals had intrigued me, but I can't remember the something else because I couldn't taste either one! We ordered sweet potato waffle fries which were deliciously smothered in a gourmet cheese, and the salad of the night, which was either completely the wrong salad or a very unimpressive side salad. Pretty sure it was the wrong salad because it was supposed to have pulled pork on it and it didn't. The only thing to do with Julie & Julia was the french food they offered, the preview they played over and over on a screen hidden behind the crowd, and a cooking show from a lady you could barely hear and was also crowded behind media cameras and media diners, who happened to be sweet enough to offer the appetizers and treats piled upon them to Dani and Mai who were standing behind them. Disappointing, but I did get to have fun with Dani and Mai, and enjoy a cupcake in the rain
from Hey Cupcake across the street on South Congress with my honey afterwards.
Cissi's saving grace was their email afterwards stating they would be limiting RSVPs for future events. I'm thinking that's a good idea. Perhaps limiting the media might actually have it be a more talked about affair as well!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hamilton Pool

I FINALLY made it to Hamilton Pool this last Wednesday. They have a 100 car limit and I had heard if you don't get there when they open there's always a wait. I finally threw in the towel and said decided to go later any way even if there was a wait because there was no way getting there at 9am was going to happen. Li and my sis joined Shawners and I and off we went. Thank goodness we did because we didn't get there until 12:30pm and there was still no wait!

On the way we stopped by HEB for tubes, beer, water, and chips. When we got there we paid our $8 parking fee, slathered on sunscreen, and made the hike down to the pool. I wasn't sure what to expect of the hike. I had heard parts of it were steep. Turns out the steepest parts had stairs built in so it wasn't bad at all.
On top of that, the walk was gorgeous with tall, beautiful cypress trees on one side
and huge textured rocks on the other.
They say it's a quarter mile, but knowing the pool is at the end combined with the feeling of being in another state entirely, it went by quickly.

We had blown up our tubes on the way and got in to float as soon as we got there. We were instantly awed by the beauty of the cave hanging overhead,
and the water falling down. Trickling is the best way to describe it, but there were about 200 trickles, so it definitely was a waterfall.
I can't wait to see it when it's really flowing! From the few pictures I had found before we went the cave really didn't look all that deep. In reality it was a lot deeper than I had thought. About half the pool is covered with the overhang of the cave and half is not.
Plus you can walk around the back of the cave with a mostly man made walkway. It's an absolutely gorgeous walk. The wetness inside the cave provides the perfect atmosphere for the lushest greenery. It looks like something one would find in Hawaii, not Texas.
There's even a little actual cave feeling part to walk through.
The view from the cave itself is the opposite view of the pool as you do when you first hike down, and is absolutely gorgeous.

One of my favorite parts is the rocky beach. There aren't many beach like areas in Austin. It's also the first thing you see when you arrive.
I had been warned of the sharp rocks, so I brought more than one towel to lay on top of each other for padding. It worked perfectly.

While we were there Univision's Leslie Montoya was filming a special on Hamilton Pool.
She asked for volunteers to be in the background and excitedly say Hamilton Pool! I was super nervous, but really who can pass up a fun experience like that? I convinced Li to join me and we laughed at ourselves while we did about six takes.

Later, , we enjoyed the picnic of strawberries, watermelon, turkey sandwiches, chips, and iced tea that I had brought.
We were having such a good girly conversation that the girl sitting on her beach towel in front of us had to turn around and comment on what a fun group we were.

A few minutes later Leslie walked over and asked if she could join our picnic and if they could film it for part of their segment to be able to show how fun it is to picnic there. Of course we said yes. We handed her a strawberry, talked and laughed some more, and they wrapped it up. I was a total dork and insisted on taking a picture with her. Unfortunately it didn't turn out that great! Also unfortunately, both Li and I missed the spot when it was on TV so I really have no idea what all even ended up on TV. I emailed Leslie and she's hoping to be able to get us a copy. Either way it was a totally fun experience!

Hamilton Pool is amazing. I'm so glad I finally went, and I can't wait to go back!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dance, Dance, Honey

Before I tell you about my adventures at Cissi's Market, and the anniversary celebration at Sanctuary, I have to share this with you. It gave me chills. The first and second time I watched it.

After you watch it, read the whole story at the Today show.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Living in the Now

A quote from Lipstick Jungle that is giving me a lot to think on:

"I had a great yoga master who pointed out that I was always living in the past, and he helped me focus on using the present tense. Never I was, they said, they knew, just here, now, in this moment."

Speaking of living in the now, I am so excited to go to Cissi's Market tomorrow night, Wednesday, July 22nd, for the celebration of the release of Julie & Julia with Mai! I only just heard of this movie yesterday, since Alamo Drafthouse is doing an event for the occasion as well and sent me an email about it. As Mai so sweetly extended the offer, so shall I. Leave a comment if you want to meet up and go tomorrow night to the Cissi's event!!

Another HUGE event I am SO excited about going to is the Austin Bloggers Bleet-up, the brainchild of Austin Eavesdropper. You must RSVP if you want to go. The entire event sounds exciting. Meeting bloggers out of my genre will totally push me out of my comfort box, but totally excites me just the same! Let me know if you want to go and meet up!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Austin Fashion Week


I hate to admit it, but Mai's one AWESOME party kind of overtakes all my exploration of Austin's Fashion Week. BUT I loved her format of her week so much, I'm using it for my Austin Fashion Week. Hope you don't mind, Mai!

Wednesday: After I said good-bye to the girls, I gave a girlfriend a call to see what she was doing for the evening and by a long shot see if she would be up for going out to another fashion show that evening at Qua. I'd never hung out with her one on one before, always in groups, so I was ecstatic when she said yes. Instead of going home, I drove to her house, borrowed a dress, didn't care that I had to wear my flip flops because her shoes were too small, refreshed my makeup, chatted with her while she did her makeup, hair, and changed, and off we went.
At first we thought we missed the show at Qua as well, but turns out it didn't start until 11pm, instead of 9pm like I thought. Yay! My camera battery died, but not before we took tons of fun photos of her and I. Unfortunately I was only able to snap one of the fashion show, and actually she was the one that took it before my camera died for good!
Thursday: I managed to snag another friend to join me on another Austin Fashion Week jaunt. My theory was that if it was a complete dive, one I needed a good enough friend who would still have a good enough time just trying to discover something new with me, and two because I was with somebody I would have a good time any way! Turns out it worked as we pulled up to a place with nobody in the parking lot and started laughing hysterically to ourselves as I said we have to go in any way just to say we did. Then I realized I had got the address wrong. After laughing hysterically even more we finally made it to the right place. Austin Handmade hosted an event with an adorable cake, and way too sugary mojitos. They tasted like simple syrup. The idea of the shop itself was very fun, with everything handmade by Austin artists. It was definitely more of an artsy vibe.
Afterwards we hit up the fashion show hosted by Silhouette. We crowded into a tiny room with $4 Lone Stars, well my friend bought one any way, while I waited anxiously for the tiny cup of champagne to be passed around as I tried not to hyperventilate being stuffed into a room with one hundred other people and willed myself not to go sit on the catwalk in the middle of the room solely because it would be a good place to rest my bootie while I waited. The show came and went in less than four minutes, but in those four minutes we saw male models with t-shirts and jeans. Apparently I missed the highlight of the t-shirts, which was a Morton salt shirt. When the girls came down the aisle, I finally realized it had been worth it. So adorable in their 1950's vintage designs with their hair and makeup all done up. I got a few photos, but was still learning how to use my camera in low light situations, so I edited them the best I could, and here you go.
We found a parking spot near Silhouette and decided to keep it while we hoofed it down to Qua for yet another fashion show. This one I was SO excited about as it was showcasing a lingerie line by Texas Next Top Designer 2009, Megan Summerville. She will be showcasing her collection at New York's Fashion Week, so I really felt like I was getting a small preview to what life might be like in New York. At least, a life in the fashion limelight. This fashion show was my absolute favorite! It started out very dramatically with three girls fully cloaked in heavy velvet, with giant afro wigs.
Then came girls in short almost burlesque style lingerie, very shiny and silky.
Next came a regular dress type of line.
Then men for Ties That Don't Suck. They were so embarrased in their teeny tight briefs with three ties or more tied around their necks, and two more around each arm. A few of them walked quickly through, but one or two rolled with the punches and strutted their stuff.
Finally came Megan Summerville's adORable lingerie line, with models who made you, as my friend put it, "I want to give her a sam'ich."
And the highlight of the evening Megan Summerville herself.

Friday: Jen was taking me out for my birthday this evening, but I managed to coerce her into stopping by a Fashion Week event first with the promise that if it blew we could hurry onto dinner. Oh, and how convenient was it that it was just across the street from where we were eating! Yes, I definitely used that line as well. Actually, besides the fashion shows this turned out to be my favorite event. It was an entire mini spa experience at Kisma.
There were Caribbean Foot Soaks,
Caribbean Hand Treatments,
eyebrow waxing and skin consultation, eye treatments, back massages, Chakra foot massage,
scalp massage, makeup touch ups, updos, wine, catered food,
all completely complimentary. It was AHmazing.

Apparently they do this once or twice a year for their clients, as a client appreciation day event. That is reason enough for me to become a client! The girl who did my Caribbean Foot Treatment happened to be a hairstylist and I just may end up giving her a try. We ended up spending a good two hours there before we headed out to dinner. After dinner, we hit up one more event at Waterstone Aesthetics. Unfortunately this was not quite like the other events. They did have some cocktails in paper cups, and while it was a nice salon, they just didn't have enough going on to really experience the fact that it was a salon. There was some jewelry on display there, that I'm not sure if it is there regularly or itf it was a trunk show and there were supposed to be live models walking around, but I only saw one getting her hair done in a definite fashion week style. It seemed almost like a company party we were walking into as a lot of the people seemed to know each other and were partying it up and randomly dancing to the live dj, but there was definitely not a dance floor. We made a circle, chatted to a friend of the model, took a picture, and headed back out the door.

Saturday: I hit up my first boutique during the day, Wish on the drag. They had a GREAT live DJ spinning in the front and rocking out in his cute black and white argyle sweater and pink accents. They had delicious looking Hey Cupcake cup cakes in the back that made me wish I hadn't just eaten a cookie at P. Terry's! I did grab an Izze while I perused their clothing, sale items and $3.50 earrings, which I ended up grabbing a pair of. Fun store, though! I can't wait to go back! Funny thing is I remember three or four years back I asked a girl where she got her cute dress and she said Wish or dream or something like that. I never followed up on it, but this was the store! Later that evening Genie and I had planned on going out again so we got an early start at 5pm. It wasn't quite early enough, though, because we missed the fashion show at Peyton's Place, and instead walked in on the two sales girls being completely overwhelmed by the amount of shoppers who came in and were pleasantly surprised they weren't outrageously priced like the quality of items they had appeared to be.
The poor sales girls were a bit flustered, and after walking around a bit we finally asked for the champagne to calm our own nerves and continue our shopping. Me, who loves to shop but follows thru unless I'm with someone, found an adorable bracelet and another glamorous pair of sunglasses that I LOVE. Ones I like are so hard to find! I was so distracted by the fun shopping, the champagne, and the fajitas from Pappasito's that I completely forgot to take pictures so the one above is from their blog. Genie and I both walked away from there totally in love and vowing to go back. I'll definitely be making a stop when I finally do my Saturday morning browsing of all the new 2nd street district shops that I've been promising myself I will do! Afterwards we ended up laughing at ourselves again when we made six circles around a block trying to find TRIPP custom t-shirts. You look at this sign and tell me if you can find it!
Needless to say the iPhone map didn't serve us very well and we almost gave up before we found it. And so glad we were! This one was definitely a close second favorite of mine after the spa services, and absolutely a favorite in it's own category.
We lined up for the free Lone Star beer, making sure to tip more than it was worth actually! Lone Star beer is the running joke around here as the cheapest beer, and this was my first time trying it. As ice cold as it was it was surprisingly good. Even after drinking it all night, I had no hangover the next day so I might be sold. Cheap beer or not, it did the job! Genie and I walked around and looked at all their fun shirts. There were too many favorites for me to remember. Now I'm wishing I had taken pictures of all the ones I loved! We exhausted the store then found a front row seat outside to watch the White White Lights who were AMazing and I can't wait to go see again.
We then got treated to a performance by the B-Boy City Breakdancers which were a blast to watch.
Then cooled off with a performance by UME and their head banging long blonde haired singer.
Seriously, I couldn't take my eyes off that flying hair. Completely satisified and SO happy we had made it out another night just to experience that store and their event, we headed down the street to Cream Vintage for our last Austin Fashion Week event. Genie was in vintage heaven as she may've found her ultimate go to store. After getting a mouthful of whip cream at the entrance (no joke) we walked in and perused their completely one of a kind items,
listened to the band at the back with their lead singer who very artfully had three beer cans in her hair.
The most fun part might've been watching the make shift go go stage with the employees dancing as wanna be go go dancers.
Towards the end, about five of them were up on the tiny little four foot by four foot stage framing each other with an empty frame, dancing their hearts out, and being generous with the whip cream!

A very fun ending to a very fun week. While I breathe a big sigh that I made it to at least eleven events I can not WAIT to go to even more next year, and am so grateful to Matt Swinney, along with all the incredible designers here, that he is helping put Austin, who is already on the map for so many other reasons, to put Austin on the fashion map. In the end it is truly the designers that will do it, but he has facilitated the voice. I love my town!

You can find a list of all the participants here.


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