The Polar Vortex and Other January Fun

January is usually one of my favorite months. Routines start to fall in place after the wild
 holidays, the weather in Texas is usually cool and nice, and by my estimates, we spent about 29% of the month celebrating over the 9-day gap that separates the timing of our births. 

This has been an unusual winter for the entire country, and by far the coldest we have experienced in Texas. The infamous polar vortex brought our first sight of "snow" and we enjoyed two 'snow days' when Austin went into full on collapse due to icy conditions. One of them was perfectly timed on my birthday and I took my conference calls in my pajamas all. day. long. 

Our theme for January was trying new things and making the most of having incredible friends, family, and food in Austin. We attended our first early release film screening of Her, complete with security scans, seats in the press section, and post screening questions. Our vote- awkward but intriguing commentary on relationships and social media. 

We ate well in January! One of our first weekends had a beautiful 80 degree Saturday, and though I worked most of the day, afterwards we laid in the park sunning and then ventured downtown to try Easy Tiger. I've had their famed bread that many shops around town sell, and we enjoyed seeing the place for ourselves. 
Upstairs is a gorgeous, fragrant bakery, and downstairs is a German Beer Garden. I had the best pretzel we have ever tried, but be warned, it was the size of my head. Matt's charcuterie plate included liverwurst and he disgusted me with tales of growing up on braunschweiger, a taste for which I did not acquire in the bite he forced me to try. I'll stick with my family's bierocks, thank you. 
   The outdoor garden is picturesque and perfect on a warm evening. 

The next weekend we ran over to Bastrop to meet my family and bring Jared and Konrad back to hang out with us while Mom and Dad attended a retreat. We caught a movie at Alamo, ate, watched basketball, played video games (ok, not me, but the guys did), and hung out before Mom and Dad rejoined us Sunday. 

We were spoiled with a birthday brunch at Kerbey Lane and they gave us a juicer, which was very exciting. I've already put it to great use, as in between all of the crazy good meals, I tried to juice a few meals to stay healthy  balance out the damage. It's a nice change up for getting lots of green veggies because as trendy as it is, I just don't enjoy a good kale salad. Oh, and I've been making blood orange juice that is so yummy...moving on. 

Pictured below, why the juicer is good to have. We both took off MLK day, slept in, and went for brunch at Gourdough's Donuts on South First. We wished we had ordered a bit differently because, as you can see, the POOL of butter mine was served in was just a bit of overkill on this Mother Clucker (their name, not mine). It was still fun to sit in the sun and people watch. If we ever get skinny enough to justify going again, I'm going with the maple bacon.

After the great donut fiasco, we drove to the Rowing Dock and had our first Stand-up paddle board outing. Normally we go with kayaks, but wanted to try SUP since it wasn't a busy day. It was a little unnerving with the wind and the fact that it was way too cold to fall into the water. Add those factors to the general lack of skill I have in the grace department and I am baffled at how many times I've seen people doing yoga on these things. Overall, the SUP experience was fun except for when I took this picture and the wind quickly propelled me into the tree line. And that is why we don't take selfies. 

I love that it was 80 degrees twice in January and we happened to be off of work and able to enjoy our beautiful city lake.

Later in the afternoon, Matt went to Top Golf with his guy friends, and I went to the park to read in the sun. Demonstrating how cool our neighborhood is, I can see Top Golf from my favorite perch in our park. 

In other news, our Domain Whole Foods Opened this month, which was super exciting until we realized that there is such a thing as a Whole Foods tourist that travels from all ends of the city and state to crowd into this location. Matt actually was the 12th person in the store on the morning of the Grand Opening so he received a fancy goodie bag. 

We look forward to traffic slowing down, but it's been convenient already and makes for a great meeting place for friend-dates. I love getting together in the Domain with my current/former work friends, Kathy, Kate, and Erin, it was our choice for the January monthly meet-up. 

Both Matt and I have very loving and generous families and they all made such a huge effort to make us feel special this month with calls, cards, notes, gifts, and dinners. For Matt's birthday, the Baur's met us at Jack Allen's Kitchen, one of our favorite places in town. We didn't get a picture, but they also took me out to Gloria's close to my day, which was very sweet and those are just a few of the examples of how they are always looking to spoil us. 

Karen and Patrick gave us a foodie adventure for a gift and we had the best time talking with them as we ate at Arro, a well designed French restaurant on West 6th. Ironically enough, Easy Tiger is the same restaurant family as Arro. Our conversations reminded us of how wonderfully quirky and fun this city is. We are very grateful for this great memory made! 

Just to top off the copious amounts of food we ate this month, we spent my birthday using a company gift card to Fleming's. A gift card earned for working a few too many 14 hour days, but hey, work hard/play hard balanced out pretty well for us this month. 

So there you have it, the January rundown. Join us next month to read about our workout/diet phase :) 

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