Happy almost Christmas! It is my most favorite time of year! These past few weeks have been flying by and this year the work just didn’t seem to slow down. Which I suppose having a lot of work is something to be thankful for! However, I am just about ready to wrap everything up and settle down for a few days.
Back in November I had the amazing opportunity to film with Handy.com, a home service company, about their Christmas tree delivery service! In select cities, including Austin!, you can get your tree delivered right to your house. They will even set it all up for you. Check out the video and how I decorate my Christmas tree with my Great-Grandmother’s jewelry.
The last day is here! And what better than a chance to win this gorgeous Oaxacan-inspired Christmas stocking from Adelante Austin? I absolutely love this fun and colorful pop for your fireplace this year! Or if you’re like me and sans fireplace (sheds a tear) I hung my stocking on the bookcase with care! Oh and I should mention that this stocking comes stuffed with a $50 gift card to what has to be Austin’s most chic boutique Adelante! And yes, I can say that because my muy talented gal pal Claire Zinnecker headed up their redesign. J’adore.
Enter to win this stocking and gift card from Adelante on Instagram before midnight tonight! And check out these gorgeous photos of the boutique below 🙂
Only 2 more days of giveaways y’all! And this one is perfect for the person who loves to be pampered. I am obsessed with all natural charcoal bath products! And one lucky person will be winning this gift set from Hacienda!
The Hacienda Spicewood Collection includes a solid cologne, charcoal cleanser and natural bar soap. All their body care is made in Austin by a local natural apothecary from organic ingredients. The signature Spicewood fragrance features notes of spice, wood and leather and is great for men, or for women who prefer their scents warm and spicy. Paired with a our handmade Texas ornament, this collection makes a perfect stocking stuffer. Enter to win on Instagram before midnight tonight!
Day 9 is here and we are decking out your bar cart! Well, actually this part is up to you! I’ve partnered with The Distillery Market today to giveaway a $75 gift card to shop their vintage picks! They have everything from gorgeous jewelry to vintage bar and kitchen goods (my fav of course) to other one-of-a-kind unique home finds. Just scrolling through their Instagram makes me want to click “buy” every other second. They are located here in Austin but you can shop their goods online!
Day 9 of 12 Crazy Days of Holiday Giveaways is here! I am so excited to share this amazing beauty gift! This one is all about soft, supple, moisturized skin for winter. This holiday gift set from Beauty Counter includes a Nourishing Day Cream, Nourishing Cream Exfoliator, Nourishing Rosewater Mist, Hydrating Face Oil, Peppermint Lip Conditioner! I know it’s a crazy deal. Once again I am little jealous of whoever wins this amazing gift! Dudes- your lady pals, mom, grandma, whoever would love to get this from you! You can enter to win over Instagram before midnight tonight!
Check below because I am getting personal about beauty routines and making better decisions when it comes to my health!
Day 8 of 12 Crazy Days of Holidays Giveaways is here and Gracious Garlands is back to giveaway some seriously cool greenery that will make your home feel like Christmas! I had so much fun with Elle shooting all of her gorgeous pieces. I also love that Gracious Garlands donates a percentage of profits to Thistle Farms in Nashville, a company that employs women who are survivors of abuse, trafficking, addiction and prostitution. What a wonderful way to spruce (pun intended) up your home and give back this season!
Day 7 of 12 Day of Crazy Holiday Giveaways is upon us and none other than the fabulous Amy Kritzer of What Jew Wanna Eat is here! She is giving away one of her sweet cookbooks! It’s all about Jewish desserts and trust me, they are all delicious. I would know, I’ve eaten quite a few of them myself! Not only is Amy a talented chef and cookbook author, she is also fantastically hilarious and an amazing friend. I am beyond thrilled she is giving away one of her cookbooks just in time for Hanukkah!
Day 6 of 12 Crazy Days of Holiday Giveaways is here! I am so excited to have Nina Beranato giving away one of her amazing pieces. You’ve probably seen some of her rings gracing my Instagram feed because I over the moon for her edgy, modern aesthetic. Nina hosts tons of cute events at her jewelry truck (you heard right, she decked out an airstream and sells her gems out of it) on Barton Springs. If you get the chance, definitely swing by and check it out. Plus, there are some super cute food trucks right there too! Enter to win this gorgeous Spectrum Ring from Nina Beranato over on Instagram today!
Get ready to stuff those stockings! It’s Day 5 of 12 Day of Crazy Holiday Giveaways and I am teaming up with Chocolaterie Tessa to giveaway a pretty sweet prize: A Chocolate Nutcracker and Salted Butter Caramels. These aren’t just any butter caramels either. These have won some pretty delicious awards and honestly after trying one, I am smitten. And I don’t even really consider myself someone who is that into sweets, more of a savory gal but these Salted Butter Caramels are 100%! Get the deets to win this sweet package below!
Day 4 is here! And it’s all about that spa life! I fell in love with these all-natural scrubs from Little Batch Co. at an event this fall. Beth, who started Little Batch Co., makes the best smelling body scrubs and soaps. I tried a pumpkin spice version and then she came out with this Peppermint Eucalyptus version and omg y’all! So invigorating and the perfect gift for your friend who can’t get enough of spa. This scent reminds me of my mom because she is obsessed with peppermint! Spoiler alert mom: you’re getting one of these from me 🙂
I know you will all love these as much as me, so scroll down to enter to win one!
Let’s knock out some workouts! Day 3 of 12 Crazy Days of Holiday Giveaways is upon us and it’s all about sweating it out. Three amazing local studios have some together to give you everything you need to burn, crush and knock out your next workout! Keep all the workouts for yourself or gift them to your bestie or something in between. It’s totally up to you, although, if it were me, I’d probably keep them all! I love these studios!
What Day 3 includes:
Crush Fitness is giving a 6-pack to the winner. That is 6 free classes, what an amazing deal!
The Barre Code is giving away two weeks of free unlimited classes! Burn, tighten and tone your way into the New Year!
Fight Club Austin is giving two weeks of unlimited classes! Punch and kick away that holiday stress and get your sweat on too!
Shopping for a friend? We got all the deals below and how to enter to win the prize below!
Day 2 of 12 Days of Crazy Holidays Giveaways is upon us! I am thrilled to have Audra Deaton, owner and creator of Louis and Louise Clay giving away one of her gorgeous vases! I have had the pleasure of working with some of Audra’s creations before and they are simply beautiful. And beautifully simple. I love that about her designs. You can put your own touches on them. Of course they make the most perfect gifts!
I’ve got something really special for you all this holiday season! I teamed up with 12 amazing companies to giveaway 12 delightful gifts just in time for all the celebrations! I am so excited about all the wonderful gifts and more importantly highlighting some great small businesses. First up, is Zilker Belts! These belts are born in Argentina and raised in Austin, TX. The belts are a traditional Argentine style with superb leather quality but fun and unique colors that are perfect for any occasion. From tailgating to adding a touch of flair, these belts are great for any lady or gent on your list this year!
Get the deets on entering to win one below or shop using the discount code for everyone on your list!
There’s lots to love about Austin, TX! When Ozarka Natural Spring Water reached out and asked me to share what I love most about Austin, TX I jumped at the chance! From the people, the outdoors and definitely the food there’s so much I love sharing with you all. But the one thing I love most is the people! I have so many wonderful friends here in Austin and here are all the things we like to do!
I thought we should all start this day off by remembering the time that I noshed a chicken shish kebab from Phoenicia Bakery topped with lots of creamy tatziki like it was my job. My job. Yes! I love Mediterranean food! Maybe you remember that Lebanese dinner party!?! So fun. Or the greek gyro? Or the time my friend taught us to make lamb dolmas? Or the time I nailed a good homemade recipe for Grandma’s Hummus, yes THAT one! I love the freshness and herby goodness that often comes with Mediterranean food! In case you are as into this kind of food as I am, this weekend is the 83rd St. Elias Mediterranean Festival! You heard right that would make this the longest running festival in Austin. In town that loves it’s festivals, I think this one should get a little more recognition! So here I am to tell you about it!
I met up with Sandra Spalding from Twin Liquors earlier this week and she gave me a great tip for pairing food and wine at the festival this weekend, her favorite is a salty savory shish kebab, usually served with cooling yogurt pairs wonderfully with the full bodied elegant reds of Lebanon, specifically the Ixsir Red! Needless to say, I tried it out last night and indeed it’s delicious in case you were wondering!
Hello Friends! You may want to ask me, Natalie where the heck have you been girl? Well, let me tell you. I’ve been doing all sorts of fun things like going to concerts, I tried a liquid diet for three days because I was in desperate need of some serious rehydration, I’ve been traveling for work and pleasure, but mostly work. I am working on a few videos for you, like how to make lamb lollipops. I also went and hung out with my friends at FOX7 and did a demo of how to make Pumpkin Rice Krispies! I also made an attempt at Caesar dressing… lets talk about how eggs and lemons don’t play well together. I always forget this! Grrr. And just for your information there are not two, but three teaspoons in a tablespoon. I’m tucking that nugget away for my next baking adventure. Needless to say, I have forgotten about you at all! In fact, I’ve been working harder than ever behind the scenes to make Food Fetish all the more entertaining. But I am a one woman show here, who also happens to work full-time and has been volunteering up to her eyeballs, but I am still here with plenty of fun recipes and treats right around the corner. In the meantime, here is what I’ve been up to:
Newest song that is on replay: I Shall Be Release by Houndmouth. I caught them at a super small show one night after ACL and cannot get this tune out of my head. This was my favorite song from their show, unfortunately this isn’t the best video, but you can still hear the amazing-ness.
Nothing but blue skies and pink suns.
I got to attend with most wonderful conference that my friend over at Brit+Co. put on. I learned so much and was excited to in a room with so many creative people!
Not to mention, I got to play with a 3D printer for the first time! Hello’ where have I been on this one. Next up on my agenda: 3D food printers at SXSW.
Alcatraz and the gorgeous bay. I can totally see why people leave their hearts in SF.
I’ve been waiting for months to see this art installation on the Bay bridge. Worth every second.
How do we feel about super neutral nails for fall? I’m kind of digging it after a summer of color explosion.
I’m pretty sure this is what the Meems thinks everyday.
I mean… that face. Most beautiful bearded lady I know!
And last but surely not least, I met up with my friend Keri Bellacosa again this week! This time we made Chocolate Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treats! Just in time for Halloween, check out my live TV demo:
this today while doing a little Pinterest-ing. I’m a coffee lover for sure, but not necessarily a snob. I prefer dark to light any day, and have been frequently using less and less cream. I also do not drink hot coffee. It’s just not my thing. I love iced coffee even when it’s cold out. Unless it’s really really cold, and then I’ll let my coffee cool down to lukewarm and give it a big swig.
Oh hey May. Great to see you. Feels like time is flying and life is pushing me in a million directions. Anyone else? I mean… I know May just started but with the way plans are stacking up, I feel like it’s almost over! I’ve been doing some fun things lately and been on a few adventures that I’m excited to share with you!
After daydreaming over Instagrams of this place, I finally got to see the Palace of Fine Arts this weekend in real life. It was stunning.
These are by far my favorite breakfast noodles . And yes, I put down the entire plate myself. The waitress was impressed by a tiny person with such a large appetite.
I dreamed up this fresh mango margarita recipe for Cinco de Mayo, but I plan to be using it all summer. Get the full recipe here .
I finally hit the pavement this week for my first run since… well this is embarrassing… January. It’s not like me to go this long without sweating it out, so I’m happy to say you’ll be seeing my face on the trail more regularly.
I don’t know what took me so long to try out Dock and Roll Diner, but y’all, this lobster roll, yes. Just yes. All the way around. And this is coming from someone who isn’t crazy about lobster. Yes, confession, I’m a foodie and I’m not in love with lobster. There I said it. But I must say, this lobster roll might just change my outlook.
I’ve been reading this lately. A dear friend sent this to me. He knows me too well even from thousands of miles away. If you’re needing a little encouragement, go read this book.
Sometimes I like to make fried chicken and drink a beer while doing it. Blame it on my southern roots.
I attempted to make a chocolate flower bouquet and failed miserably.
Sigh, what could have been. I’m attempting this again tonight… Stay tuned for the results.
I’ve been soaking up as much time as I can with this little love bug. She truly makes my heart smile.
And when all else fails, grab a cocktail. I’ve been pretty obsessed with Palomas lately. My current fav in Austin is at Weatherup . I’m sure my homemade version will be making an appearance on the blog very soon.
Big changes are on the horizon for me and have been keeping me pretty occupied. I can’t wait to share those with you in a few weeks. Until then, eat a pound of breakfast noodles, have a lobster roll and wash it down with a Paloma while your pup sits next to you. Go see something beautiful. My motto is: Everything in moderation, including moderation.
I can’t believe it’s finally here! The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook is now available! Now you can see a few of my recipes in real, life print. Plus, dozens of other amazing local bloggers’ recipes.
I’ve written about cookies before. About how crumbs don’t satisfy. About how important it is to not deny yourself happiness. Especially in love and your career. Those are the two most important things to me. So we’ve made the decision to put ourselves out there and seek the career and love we so want…
Well, I forgot to tell you how much rejection sucks. How when you try and try and it doesn’t seem to be happening… that feeling… it totally blows. Real bad.
That’s where I’ve realized how much of a choice happiness and love are. It’s easy to fall in love. REAL easy. That’s why they call it falling. Swept off your feet? You didn’t have to do anything! But anything worth having is worth working for too. And love is work. It’s like having a puppy. You’ve been thinking about finding the perfect pup for weeks, months, maybe years. You get the puppy and you buy it all the cute toys and bowls. The puppy is so sweet and playful. The puppy sleeps a lot and always wants to snuggle. You probably even think puppy breath is cute.
But then the puppy gets bigger. It’s wants to play ALL. THE. TIME. It’s hyper and pees everywhere and my god, why won’t the damn dog just sleep through the night?!? Forget happy hours and weekend trips, youve got to figure out how to take of something besides yourself. Stay with me people…
You have two options here:
1) Give the puppy away. You can’t do it, it’s not for you. Those puppy butterflies? They went out to the trash with that pee soaked rug.
2) You train the puppy. It takes a lot of work. But eventually you and the now dog are besties. The dog doesn’t chew your shoes anymore. The dog will probably even wait 12 hours for you to get home to take him on a walk. They dog likes to snuggle but knows when to give you space. Heck, the dog will even be good for the pet sitter and let you get away for a weekend now and then. And you’ll both be happy to see each other after a few days apart!
But you’d never have that dog, your best friend, without that sacrifice. Ask anyone whose had a dog, or a long term relationship, how much work does it take? A LOT. Is it worth it? Every bit.
Career, same thing. You can walk into job, but you work for your career. Everyday, push it. Harder, faster, stronger, smarter. That’s my mantra. You don’t fall into the perfect career, you create it with a lot of dedication, and probably sweat and tears. It’s takes years to build an impressive career. Why do we always hear about people who have stellar companies and sales right off the bat? Because it doesn’t happen that often! That’s why it’s news. But that doesn’t mean hard work doesn’t pay off. It does. Just takes time and a whole lot of effort.
Remember, it’s easy to give up. It’s easy to give up the dream and have an average career. It’s easy to give up on people in relationships when things aren’t perfect. Nobody writes about the people with a series of failed relationships, but those who made it work when it didnt seem possible. The people who made the choice to work hard and be successful.
That’s when you see what you’re made of. When you just gotta let your character shine through.
Happy National Grilled Cheese Month!! I’ve been cooking up some fun twists on grilled cheeses for Brit +Co. . So be on the lookout for those in the next few days. In the meantime, I wanted to share some mouthwatering pictures of grilled cheeses that have been inspiring me!
Happy Wednesday everyone! I have an exciting announcement! I’m participating in amazing Spice giveaway… And guess who gets the prize? One of you lucky readers!
Do you remember our awesome friends from Cooking Planit ? They developed an amazing app that helps kitchen novices and pros alike, organize everything from their grocery list to kitchen supplies. The app easily walks you through step-by-step of how to prepare a multi-course meal. Want to see more? What the YouTube video my friend and I made here.
Checkout the gorgeous colors of those spices! I know you want some! Maybe you’re just getting into this whole cooking thing… This set includes the 26 most commonly used spices. Perfect addition to any kitchen!
The Cooking Planit Spice Giveaway is an unbelievable promotion sponsored by the great people at Cooking Planit. They’re giving 50 spice sets to foodie, mommy and tech bloggers to give away to their readers in any way that they would like, and two sets will be given away each day for 25 days with the first contests starting on March 4th.
So how does it all work?
Each participating site will run their own unique 7-day contest with a winner being announced on the eighth day. That’s 50 total contests and 50 chances to win!
Here is a list of all the participating blogs! Be sure and check them out so you can maximize your chances of winning this awesome spice set!
into 2013. To be completely honest, I didn’t make any resolutions this year. I didn’t even attempt to. Not that there aren’t things that I want to change, oh there are so many things I want to improve upon. I have the sneaking feeling that 2013 will bring me lots of sweeping changes, at least I hope it does. I know that I want to clarify my career path and really take more initiative to be creative, learn new things and really make something of myself. I know I also want to be already understanding and patient friend, daughter, person in general. Isn’t this something we are all working on?? Haha. I want to be a better blogger and take my recipes, photography and writing to the next level. I feel I’ve made strides in this area in 2012 but it only made me hungry for more. I also want to try and discover more about myself and what it is I really want out the relationships in my life. Right now I’m craving adventure, challenge and really wanting to get to the next phase in life.
I’m definitely looking forward to a fun and prosperous 2013 even though I’m still not sure what exactly that is going to look like. What challenges and great new things are you looking forward to this year?
Been feeling pretty under the weather the past few days. I believe I caught that terrible stomach bug that’s been going around. So I haven’t been eating much, hence I haven’t been posting much either.
But thank goodness for great friends who were brave enough to come visit me despite my lack of health. I’ve been surviving on ginger ale and a few sips of Gatorade here and there.
I love ginger ale. Like even when I’m not sick. Anytime I have the tiniest upset stomach the first thing I reach for is a few icy cold sips of ginger ale. The bubbles always seem to calm my stomach. I’ve always wondered why one of the only places you find ginger ale served is at bars and on airplanes, probably because that’s where people get the most upset stomachs I would think.
My roommate was so sweet and brought me flowers! This is the first flower
Christmas music and hot chocolate and… I could go on and on and on! Does this time of year make anyone else as giddy as me? As I gear up for the holidays with decorations and meal inspiration, I want to share of few ideas I’m thinking about trying this year!
Isn’t this pumpkin candle holder cute? I think, maybe, I could actually DIY this.
Or what about this vintage-looking Thanksgiving spread? Are you planning a traditional feast this year or something different?
Or how about these cute little oreo turkeys?
Rest assured, I’ll be researching the interwebs for lots of fun ideas for the holidays. I’m even working on a fun post with a giveaway for you all. Stay tuned!
Disclaimer: I grabbed these photos off Google. I did not take them.
I have to admit… I ate this roasted pesto chicken before I really got a chance to take a picture. Yeah, it was that good.
I cooked this whole chicken very similiar to the way I cooked last year’s Thanksgiving turkey. I removed the insides from the chicken, then stuffed it with white onion, garlic and lemon slices. Then I smeared cilantro pesto under the skin.
Then I roasted the chicken in a bag, at 350 degrees, for about 2 hours. My oven usually takes a little longer though so adjust your time accordingly.
Mmmm smells so good.
Cut the chicken and be sure there is not any pink. This chicken will be very moist and tender.