BRIGGO: THE MODERN DAY COFFEE HAUS

I have to say, I have a knack for finding free things/events/swag, etc. Still not sure if that is something to be proud of, but hey, it certainly helps when you’re ballin’ on a student budget.

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Those four letters get me every time. 

Yesterday, Briggo Coffee Haus opened its doors turned its machine on right on The Drag across from the University of Texas at Austin campus, and will change your coffee experience entirely. It’s located inside of Moojo, so why not treat yo self to some ice cream while you’re at it.

 

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The machine that does it all.

Unlike your typical coffee shop that has a barista making your custom creation, Briggo is a machine that dispenses your custom creation—so 2018, am I right? You can order online or through your mobile device (find it in the app store here), fully customize your order, and pick it up when you’re ready! You read that right—when you are ready. 

Normally, when you order coffee through your mobile device at a place like Starbucks, img_0905.jpg
your drink will be made as soon as the barista can make it and will place it on the counter for pickup. Obviously, the barista does not care if you are there waiting for it to be made or if you let it sit for 30 minutes before picking it up, which may mean you have a cold latte or a melted iced caramel macchiato. With Briggo, however, the coffee is made upon arrival. You select your order on the screen, enter the personal code given upon ordering, and BOOM. Your caffeine fix appears.

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Download the app and save your favorite coffee combos for quick ordering on the go; your first and 11th drink are F R E E. Invite friends to earn even more free drinks! If you head to Briggo today (1/17/18), you can get a free cup of coffee, a free shirt, AND a free taco if you post on social media about Briggo (while supplies last, of course).

Great quality. Total Customization. All at your own convenience.fullsizerender-copy.jpg

 

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ROOFTOP ICE SKATING

Every winter, the Whole Foods on Lamar–the Whole Foods Flagship–sets up an ice skating rink for anyone and everyone to enjoy and to help us pretend that we live in a region that actually has a true winter (although it has snowed here in ATX on more than one occasion thus far!). IMG_1292.JPG

It is set up on the plaza rooftop, where Whole Foods hosts a plethora of other events, which is really a unique idea.

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Ten dollars will get you a pair of ice skates and entry into the rink to skate for as long as your legs can handle. Or for as long as you can handle these frigid temperatures, since it is outside.

Now, I know what you are thinking- an ice skating rink on the roof? How big can this thing really be? But not to worry! You aren’t actually on the roof, just the roof of the plaza. This will be the 13th season so they have perfected every last detail. Your only concern is how many people may see you fall. Or is that just mine?

The rink is open daily from 10 AM – 9 PM, and if you go on a Friday you can jam out with KUTX for its KUTX Music Fridays series.

Whether you’re a regular Michelle Kwan or just starting out, it’s a must-do for everyone!

Whole Foods Market Lamar, Rooftop Plaza

525 N Lamar Blvd.

512-542-2200

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ALOHA FROM ALOHA

As a native Floridian, born in raised in Fort Lauderdale, you would think that jet skiing, sailing, and the like would be a regular activity for us locals. And for the most part, it is. We like to soak up the sun in as many ways possible and are always seeking new ways to do so.

On Christmas Day, my family and I became tourists in our own hometown and rented jet skis and a hobie cat for the day, and it was one of the best days I’ve had.

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Ready to ride!

Living in a beach town that thrives on tourism, there is obviously a lot of competition when it comes to excursions and watersport rentals. But I’ll save you the time and energy of searching which place is the best and tell you that there is only place to rent from: Aloha Watersports. You can find them in Fort Lauderdale at either the Marriott’s Harbor Beach Resort or on the SW Corner A1A/ Las Olas Blvd.

The service was quick and awesome, reasonable prices, and the employees all want you to have as much fun as possible. img_7316.jpgThey work so hard in getting you out on the water in the fastest, but safest, manner, and are all very patient with you. And, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to the meeting your need for speed! (Don’t go cray though, because they do have employees monitoring the waters on jet skis and will pluck your a*s out of the water faster than you can say “Aloha.”)
Make sure you bring your ID, and if you have a boater’s license bring that as well—you’ll have to pay and take (pass) a test in order to operate a wave runner without one. And make sure you’re riding with someone you trust.

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Sailing back into shore.

I was on the back of a double jet ski with my cousin driving and he is a speed demon. I got thrown off in the first five minutes and we jumped a wave and got some serious airtime. I was literally airborne, and I don’t just mean the jet ski – not a single part of me was touching the jet ski, not even a toe.

You can bet you’re a*s I was holding on to him as tightly as I could, fearing for my life and for what was going to happen when I inevitably straddled the seat. All I have to say is TG for the cushioned seat because I may have had a little extra pep in my step afterward if it wasn’t there.

IMG_0314Finally, make sure you get a good stretch before hopping on a jet ski or manning the hobie cat – they’re called water sports for a reason. I was so sore the next day from the jet ski because of all the leg work you do, similar to posting when riding a horse. And with the hobie cat it’s a lot of pulling ropes and ducking/switching sides and just being very agile overall.

So, as long as you don’t do anything stupid, you’ll have an awesome time.

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Success! Thanks, Aloha Watersports!

TOTO, I DON’T THINK WE’RE IN FLORIDA ANYMORE

…or so I thought!

If someone had blindfolded me and dropped me off at The Alchemist, a hidden gem of a coffee shop in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, I for sure could have been fooled into thinking that I was at a local coffee shop in Austin. The style…the service…the vibes… everything.

As a Fort Lauderdale native, I was dumbfounded as to how I had never even known about this place (but was pleased to hear that it began to blossom about the time I moved to Austin, which would explain why). Tucked away in a residential neighborhood, on a quiet backroad, is this beautiful, artsy, and totally unassuming cluster of businesses, tastefully situated among an abundance of greenery and string lights, giving off a very bohemian vibe.

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Plenty of outside seating among all of the businesses.

Literally *the perfect* place for your morning coffee, your first date, your Sunday brunch, your book club meeting, your study spot, your taco fix, your photo-op spot, your go-to for flowers, you name it; it’s basically a one-stop-shop that you never knew you needed. 

The location and its entirety is referred to as the Eucalyptus Gardens, previously a garden nursery, and there are several different small businesses that all operate out of the Gardens. There is The Alchemist, which is a coffee shop, Voo La Voo Café, a French crêperie, La Frutera Garden Bar, a Latin restaurant, and The Wander Shop,

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The Wander Shop.

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The pathway connecting all of the businesses within the Gardens.

a travel-inspired mobile pop-up shop operating out of an airstream (unique AF). And my favorite part about the Eucalyptus Gardens: all of the owners are women. YAS *insert muscle emoji*

 

Since all of these small businesses operate on the same grounds, and are enclosed in the same gate, you can walk around with your food or drink and take a peek into the other places without actually leaving—a really unique aspect and a rarity in Fort Lauderdale. It is so awesome to see these businesses work together for business and customers instead of competing with one another.

 

TL;DR:

*note: my pictures do not do it justice, nor does this blog post; do yourself a favor and go see for yourself!*

The Alchemist– super chill, super hip, super delicious. They even roast their own coffee beans in house, have WIFI, AND have a cat. (I ordered the Alchemist,

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“The Alchemist” iced coffee.

which is iced coffee with brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk. 10/10).

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Coffee beans roasting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voo La Voo Café– a quaint French crêperie, serving crepes, omelets, paninis, quiche, pastries, and the like.

La Frutera Garden Bar– I didn’t actually order from here, but the food smelled amazing. I had the opportunity to speak with the owner, Diva, who was so kind and inviting- I will definitely be back! PS- she hosts private events here.

The Wander Shop– super cute and charming airstream-turned-shop, selling travel-inspired apparel and accessories; recently launched online ordering, so shop away! Click for Facebook and Insta.

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The Wander Shop airstream.

Honey’s Blossoms– newly added flower cart for floral arrangements.

 

 

 

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SHOUT OUT TO JACOBY’S

…for being just about the cutest restaurant EVER!

Last night, I went to Jacoby’s Restaurant and Mercantile for the first time (located on East Cesar Chavez) and I couldn’t believe how cute the restaurant was. I’m talking backyard string lights, a huge outdoor patio for dining, a backyard area with outdoor tables, chairs and couches for mixing and mingling, views of the Colorado River flowing below, great drinks, delicious food….it was just so quaint and perfect that my friend said she would even have her wedding there. Okay, she may not be totally serious, but you get the point. And get this–Jacoby’s offers FREE VALET PARKING. Seriously?! It’s hard enough to find easy parking alone in Austin, but to find a venue that only offers valet that is free? Dream come true. Especially if you’re on that broke-student-salary like me.

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The French Kiss cocktail: a must try. Only $6 during Happy Hour!

Jacoby’s has a really great Happy Hour menu with some drinks and snacks being half-off. And, for all of you who like to turn up on a Tuesday, Happy Hour goes until 9pm on Tuesdays. Score! I ordered the French Kiss, which was half off, and it was amazing. If you like pomegranate and peaches (and vodka), then you’ll love it. Plus, it was pink, and you can never go wrong with a pink drink.

If you’re like me, after filling your belly, you’ll head inside to the mercantile shop and spend even more money that you don’t have because it’s too hard to resist. #nojobnoprob?

Overall, everyone needs to pay a visit to Jacoby’s. I was literally there 24 hours ago and I’m already trying to plan my next outing there.

*Disclaimer: my photos do not do Jacoby’s justice. Go there ASAP for the real deal.*

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#NATIONALNACHODAY

So, my parents came to Austin for the weekend to visit me and my sister and it was a weekend chock full of eating. As we all know, Austin is known for its awesome food scene, so you can bet we hit a different place for every meal. I’ve lived in Austin for over a year now, and I feel like I’ve tried so many restaurants at this point, yet there are still so. many. I haven’t tried. So, it’s always fun to try a new restaurant, and this weekend we did just that.

We ate at Abel’s on the Lake for the first time this weekend and it was awesome. We had what is arguably the best table in the whole place: right in the corner on the dock, so we had the waterfront view on two sides of our table, accompanied by two swans and some type of duck. We learned that when you come to Abel’s, you come for two things: the food and the view. Nothing else really matters because those two alone are enough. It is located right on Lake Austin, right next to the dams, which were actually pretty cool to see.

We all ordered a variety of dishes, starting out with the chicken nachos app, which were delicious and I would def order them again. If you like nachos, you’ll love these. And, we were just in time for #nationalnachoday. Score.

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Nachos on the lake? Yes, please!

Although it was my first time at Abel’s, it was definitely not my last. I will be back (probably very soon) especially with this nice, cool, fall weather comin’ in hot so I can enjoy sitting out on the lake.

Watch out, Fort Lauderdale beach…Abel’s might have somethin’ on ya!   😉

ACL: THE MUSIC FESTIVAL (NOT WHAT YOU TORE PLAYING SOCCER)

For those of you who don’t know what ACL is, it is an annual music festival held right here in the heart of Austin, Texas. It’s actually called Austin City Limits, and is one of the largest events held each year.

Each year, about 450,000 music lovers come to Austin to attend one of the two sold-out weekends of music and food. Located in Zilker Park, there are eight stages spread throughout where artists of all different genres perform throughout the weekends. If you’re a music and festival lover, then this is totally your scene.

Ticket prices can be a little steep, but if you’re the risky, play-everything-by-ear type, then you are likely to scalp a super cheap ticket right outside of the park during the day. Now don’t quote me on that, because it’s obviously not a guarantee. BUT, if you’re in the area and not totally set on spending a ton of money then it’s worth a shot. You’ve really got nothing to lose.

I am not the festival lover type, but I have to say that ACL proved to be a fun time when I went last year, and I can see the thrill people get from attending these types of festivals. I think that everyone living in the Austin area should attend ACL at least one time during their time here. My one time was last year, and it was also probably my last time. But hey, to each his own, right?

As we all should know by now, Austin is known for its music (duh) and its food. And ACL offers nothing short of both of those. Featuring over 130 musical artists and who knows how many different local food vendors, you are almost guaranteed to walk out of Zilker with a ringing in your ears and a smorgasbord of classic Austin food in your belly. And maybe even a sunburn.

Do your research and plan accordingly for next year. What are you waiting for?

P.S. Since I didn’t attend this year, here are some pics from last year.

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Me and the roomie a little lost and unsure of where to go. Clearly we didn’t do our research.

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No zoom on this Mumford & Sons performance! Yay for waiting out the crowds.

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Up close and personal with Mumford & Sons.

 

 

 

 

1st Thursday at the South Congress Hotel

Last night, the first Thursday of the month, was the South Congress Hotel’s “1st Thursday” party, a monthly happy hour put on by the hotel. It also happened to be the 2nd Anniversary at South Congress Hotel, and my first time attending. What a night!

The event is held every first Thursday from 6-9p in the back ballroom and outside patio of the hotel. The night features great drink specials, a DJ, and lots of dancing. Oh yeah, and it’s free. Since last night was also the 2nd anniversary, several others joined in the festivities and helped to celebrate:

-dating app Bumble, which brought its own “Bumble BEEday” cocktail available for purchase and props for the Boomerang GIF photo booth (side note: I’m pretty sure I saw *the* Queen Bee herself, buzzing about the event)

-live performances by Tomar and the FCs

-dance music by DJ ulovei

-more music by DJ Ben Zink

-South Congress Hotel, which provided the venue and also gave out gift cards and other prizes for those who Instagram’d a photo and used the hashtag #SCHyear2 (other side note: I actually won!)

Since it was my first time going, I wasn’t really sure what to expect of it, but I was definitely impressed and would 10/10 recommend. So many people came to this event—a lot more than I was anticipating—and the best part was that the majority of them were all young 20 somethings. It was fun, casual, and an easy opportunity to mix and mingle with others and make friends.

No matter who you are, how old you are, or what you do for a living, you should attend at least one of these happy hour events at the South Congress Hotel. Even if you have no intention of meeting anyone new, it is a fun night to enjoy with your friends; it’s a beautiful venue with such an inviting atmosphere and delicious drinks. Plus, you never know who or what you may come across!