A best friend is like a bra….

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Welcoming my 27th year this month has been magical and has left me feeling so loved and lucky. I had most of my original birthday blog post written and ready to post before I picked my best friend of fifteen years up from the airport this morning. Then she gifted me with a $50 Victoria Secret gift card paired with a sweet note comparing me to the perfect bra. I should note now that she knows I have a tendency for buying bargain everything. I’ve been this way since I was a kid. Even now as a grown-up with a full-time job, I just love the thrill of a good buy. Meg knows I would never buy a fifty dollar bra on my own. I should also note, if it’s not already obvious, that I have very small boobs. So when I recently went into a department store and found a set of bras for a great price with the label ‘large’ and THEY FIT, I knew I had to buy them. I walked out happy and with a slight ego boost from my purchase. When I got home, I finally realized what had just happened. I had bought large CHILDREN’S sized bras. That fit perfectly. Goodbye ego trip. I swallowed my pride and still wear those bras to this day.

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This is where Meg comes in to save the day with the gift card and note comparing me to the ideal bra. I’m going to share that note now, paired with snapshots from my birthday month that make me feel incredibly grateful.

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“Happy Birthday Tina Wina!

I got you this gift card to Victoria’s Secret, not only because I know you’ll never leave the junior’s section for bras on your own, but because I think it’s a befitting gift for you because it represents our friendship in so many ways!

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There’s a cliché expression that a best friend is like a bra– supportive, reliable, all those great things. That describes you. But you are far more complex than that. Plus, we don’t really need much support because we’re such long-standing, proud members of the itty bitty titty committee (althought you took about a 9-month sabbatical during your pregnancy. I forgive you by the way.) So the explanation doesn’t really fit us. In honor of an age of being offended, I take offense that we do not have a cliché bra metaphor that perfectly describes our friendship as women with small breasts. #smallboobsmatter

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So I’ve come up with an explanation that fits your uniqueness and lets us use the bra metaphor.

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You’re like my best bra. Really, my dream bra because, although I’ve found a friend like this in you, I don’t think I’ve found a bra like this. Picture this: I walk into Victoria’s Secret; I’m immediately intimidated by all of the voluptuous ‘Kim K. types’ clearly more fit to be shopping there. I, of course, head straight to the clearance section expecting to find a bra that is under $20, practical, but probably an ugly shade of green. This is worth it because it fits me and makes my boobs appear larger than they are. Suddenly, my eyes are drawn to a 32B bra hanging on the rack. It is glowing among the other 32DD bras that are left over since all the other skinny girls have sucked the sales rack dry. It is bright, it is vibrant, I don’t even have to worry about buying matching panties because it has so many colors it will match with everything I already have (not that I usually match my bra and panties, but if I shop at VS I’m clearly expecting company so maybe I’d step up my game for the night.) I don’t have to change or add a thing about what I already own! I try on the bra and it’s a perfect fit! If my boobs were saggy, it would be supportive, which is comforting to know, but this isn’t the case at 24 so it’s just extremely uplifting! Suddenly my boobs look and feel better than ever before! I’m ready to hit the town and take on any and all adventures; adventures I wouldn’t explore without this bra helping me feel comfortable and my best. It makes me feel more myself than I do with other bras! It’s uplifting, vibrant, exciting and adventurous. And the best thing? It expects hardly anything in return except for a little bit of money, a little fun, (because this is not the type of bra you don’t take advantage of how it makes you feel) and only red wine because it’s just not a white wine type of bra. The wine thing is probably the biggest downfall, but I drink wine most often without a bra on anyway so I don’t care too much.

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LOVE YOU! Thanks for being my best friend for 15 years.

Love,

Meggie Moo.

P.S. Don’t share this on social media though I know you might want to– alongside a picture of the gift card and maybe a TBT picture of us– because someone might get offended that I said #smallboobsmatter and talked about being skinny vs. voluptuous.”

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We decided that sharing to my blog was okay, by the way. I would like to take a brief moment to clarify that Meg is amongst the most unoffensive of people that I know, and that our sense of humor is just clearly very strange.

Also?

This life I share with the people who love me is just the very breast.

Cupprimo Cupcake Tasting

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Having a cupcake tasting at Cupprimo felt like the perfect way to kick off my birthday month.

You guys. Go here. RIGHT NOW. Eat ALL of the things. Don’t tell me I never gave you good life advice.

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Cupprimo makes their cupcakes fresh every single morning. They have a rotating cupcake menu and also a permanent one, and you’re going to want to stuff them all into your mouth immediately. We’re talking flavors like Salted Caramel, Boozy Pineapple and Coconut Crème Pie.

They taste like pure happiness. Also they have great coffee.

The love and fresh ingredients used in the baking process are truly evident in each and every bite. It didn’t really surprise me at all that they’ve been featured on Food Network and often sell out of cupcakes. Though it did tempt me to buy every last morsel and hoard them all to myself until I fell into a cupcake coma.

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I tried more than one mini cupcake where my response was, “Oh my God.” immediately after taking my first bite.

But it’s more than just their incredible baked goods with orgasmic icing on top. The real icing on the (cup)cake are the fantastic folks who work at Cupprimo.

They are funny and charming and kind. They made me feel like I was at home with family. A family with a home full of small, scrumptious cakes.

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The owner, put simply, was such a bad-ass and is also kind of my new hero. Amy has FIVE kids, looks like a rock-star and has owned her massively successful (and tasty) business for eight years. She makes a point to always give back, donating to everyone from elementary school bands to the LGBT community. Amy and team often give leftover cupcakes to the homeless, and she volunteers weekly at a local shelter.  She shared one story about a homeless man who was sleeping under a tree near Cupprimo. Shortly before Christmas, she had gifted him and others resting under said tree boxes of cupcakes leftover from that morning. Recently, this man came to Cupprimo to order an Americano and to thank her. He was living in a permanent residence and had found a steady job, but hadn’t forgotten how Amy and family had fed him when he was down on his luck. Not only was my stomach happy during this tasting, my soul was warmed too. We fell off the subject of cupcakes quite a few times during our chat, and with each digression she inspired me a little more.

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I felt lucky to have spent my afternoon chatting, laughing and developing a serious cupcake addiction at Cupprimo.

It is sweet places like this one, overflowing with heart and yum, that make me so proud to be an Austinite.

Excuse me while I go dream about Dirty Girl Scouts now. Um. That’s a Cupprimo cupcake. I swear.

(Note: I was given this cupcake tasting free of charge, but was not otherwise compensated to write this review. All opinions expressed belong to me!)

 

Alive

HI!

I’m alive.

Just so very busy.

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You know that Taylor Swift song about being twenty-two (which, by the way, I swear I was just like five and a half days ago) that talks about being happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time? I completely understand the clashing of all the feelings. Grad school is engulfing and mesmerizing and terrible and terrific at the same time.

I had a study session with a few of my fellow students at our regular coffee spot on Friday. Jake called me an ass for snatching an econ paper before he was done reading it and we all laughed and then I devoured a banana chocolate chip muffin. It was all very Friends goes to grad school.

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In other news, my little redhead will be two in April and my husband turned thirty-three this month. This time stuff, y’all. It seems like days ago Bryn was just a bean in my stomach. I clearly remember when Robby was just a youthful lad of twenty-five. Except, at the time, I thought he was SO incredibly old. I turn twenty-seven next month and it’s a little scary knowing exactly how ancient nineteen-year-olds think I am. I find comfort in the fact that Robby is currently thirty-three and SO incredibly old.

Also, I bought a bike.

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I feel young and old and sleepy and inspired and lucky and alive, at the same time.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling (almost) twenty-seven.

Seguin Brewery

To kick January off with a yeast-fermented bang, my hubby and I recently took a little road-trip to Seguin, Texas to enjoy some beer tastings at Seguin Brewing Co.

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I’m sure I’ve driven through Seguin multiple times over the years, but this was my first time to slow down and visit this lovely little city. My husband hadn’t been either, so it was exciting to go into this blogging adventure with my person, neither of us knowing exactly what to expect.

It was even better that the experience completely exceeded any expectations I could have had.

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Seguin Brewery is, as I told the brewery-owner multiple times, so charming.

Before even stepping inside the brewery itself, I was sold. There were couples and little ones and groups of friends just frolicking about. You may think to yourself, “Christina, really? Frolicking? Why do you always have to be so dramatic with your verbiage?” But GUYS, I looked it up so you don’t even know. Ahem. The definition of frolicking is to, “Play and move about cheerfully, excitedly, or energetically.’ This is exactly what was happening. But with beer in hand, so even better.

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During the quick but informative tour, I had a chance to hear about all of the care and dedication that goes into making their beer. Seguin Brewing uses a mixture of both old and new brewing techniques to create the most unique of beers. They managed to give me my first IPA that I actually enjoyed. Usually the bitterness of the hops is too much for me, but this was my first ever Black IPA. It was still a bit bitter, but I was okay with this as it was a much darker brew with hints of coffee. My taste buds were intrigued and happy.

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The ‘tastings’ themselves were actually three very generous pours of beers, and I was extra excited to find out that we got to keep the adorable glass that the pours came in. The hubs and I actually used them for our strawberry margarita, Connect 4 and Making A Murderer date night on Friday. So the glasses are quite versatile and also I am the reigning Connect 4 champion, if anyone was wondering.

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Moving back to the brewery, I was also smitten with the open and inviting atmosphere that the lack of doors created. I loved that the outdoor and indoors were united, as the outside was where so much of the magic happened. There was a huge Jenga table and giant lawn chairs and laughter all around. There was a chill in the air and smiles on the faces of all nearby. My husband owned me at a game of washers, but I was too giddy to even care THAT much. Seguin Brewing was overflowing with magic and happiness and BEER. Can there be a better combination than this one?!

The fun-loving owners also suggested eats for consuming after the brewery, which gave Robby and I an even better look at the enchanting, cozy town that is Seguin, Texas.

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In closing, I also loved seeing the motto featured on their website.

“Small town, big nuts!”

 Seguin Brewing, you’re doing it right.

(Note: My husband and I were given the tour and tastings at Seguin Brewing free of charge, but I was otherwise not compensated for my review. All opinions expressed are all mine!)

(Soon To Be) Walking in Memphis

Tomorrow the husband and I leave on a belated anniversary trip to Memphis, Tennessee.

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 I’m so excited to make new memories and adventures with my favorite adult human being and travel buddy. And to eats lots of BBQ. And to explore Beale Street. AND ALL OF THE EXPLORING ETCETERAS!

In the meantime, here are some photos of the little lady that we’ll be missing for the next few days.

I might be a tiny bit biased, but I’m pretty sure she’s the cutest. She’s got a fiery, outgoing little personality and redheaded ringlets and a husky little voice to match. She’s confident and sassy and loves food and birds and dogs and talking to strangers and wearing shoes. She’s got a laugh that can melt a heart and this dance where she sticks one elbow up in the air and just gets DOWN. I feel incredibly lucky to have her for my own. And that daddy of hers too. I’m pretty giddy to start walking in Memphis with him tomorrow.

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Oh, and we were totally matching bumblebees for Halloween and it was THE BEST EVER.

Cheers, y’all

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Cheers to Oktoberfests and peanut butter stouts and capturing a photo at just the right moment.

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Cheers to wineries on rainy days and moonshine served in communion cups and restaurants with the word ‘bacon’ in them.

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Cheers to fitness classes in which you awkwardly flail your body around and laughter and friendship and being twenty-something.

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Cheers to starting various sentences off with, “My therapist said…..” and realizing what a typical mid-twenty-something that makes you, and being completely okay with that. Cheers to emotional growth and self-awareness and stuff.

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Cheers to chillin’ with MBA cohort classmates and strawberry shortcake ale and learning new things.

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Cheers to family selfies and kisses from a beautiful one-and-a half-year-old and planning a belated anniversary trip with your main man.

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Cheers to life, y’all.

360 Uno Trattoria Tasting

I walked into 360 Uno Trattoria and for a moment I was back at a little café in Italy.

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Overflowing with charm and wine, sitting down for a food and vino tasting at this quaint restaurant was an experience to be had. I immediately loved the option of sitting near the wine and coffee bar for a casual feel or of going into the next room for more of a fine dining experience. I chose the casual seating as I figured it would be easier to chat with the staff and write down notes like the nerdy blogger chick that I am. But I’m already planning a return with the hubby, because this is the perfect spot for a romantic date night.

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The sous chef at 360 Uno was kind enough to spoil me with a five course tasting, and his tasting portions were generous in that each was actually a full meal. My stomach was ready to explode from overeating and pure joy by the end of said tasting. But I can honestly say that not one bite went into my mouth that wasn’t absolutely phenomenal. I am part Italian, but my taste buds won’t accept that I’m not full-blooded because my mouth just wants all of the Italian foods all of the time. My poor husband is not a huge pasta fan but he married me and thus has to eat spaghetti and meatballs roughly once a week. I would live off of the stuff if it wasn’t for him. So eating pasta in Austin is no new thing for me. That being said, I think I have found my new favorite Italian restaurant. In Austin, definitely. But 360 Uno was also on par with many of the incredible bites that went into my mouth in Milan, Florence and Venice back in 2014. Seriously. It was that good.

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Where do I start?

The shrimp scampi appetizer was lemony, buttery goodness and is what food dreams are made of. I wouldn’t let the chef take the leftover sauce away because I just wanted to dip it into all of things. Like I could have dipped it into cardboard and gone to town, y’all. The antipasto misto was a refreshing blend of cheeses, olives, salami, and other goodness. It’s left me constantly longing for the interesting (but incredible) combo of fresh goat cheese, beans and eggs ever since.

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The Di-Lisch, deriving from the sous chef’s last name Lischko, was probably the most intriguing pizza I’ve ever tasted. Toppings included fig spread, arugula, prosciutto, crushed red pepper and walnuts. It was spicy, succulent,  sweet and salty all at once. I can’t stop thinking about it because it really blew my mind that much. But in the best way possible. The pepperoni pizza— oh the pepperoni pizza. The pizza of the gods. Soft and cheesy and exploding with flavor and nearly melting in my mouth. If melting in one’s mouth sounds odd for a pizza, you may have just not done pizza right yet. 360 Uno does pizza right.

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The pasta didn’t disappoint either. Carbonara is always a classic favorite of mine, and this “breakfast pasta” was a mouth-watering addition to my mind-blowing meal.

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For dessert I was given crème brulee and the profiterole. The profiterole was a heavenly combination of chocolate and vanilla laden cream puffs. As for the crème brulee? It was amongst the most divine of desserts my mouth has ever had the honor of devouring. Fresh vanilla bean and caramelized sugar make for a decadent mixture, y’all. To pair with the desserts, I was treated to a white port. I didn’t even know white ports were a thing! It reminded me slightly of Crown, but without the intense aftertaste and oh-so-incredibly smooth.

OH. Did I mention they have wine on tap?! WINE ON TAP. Can I please just live here? I’ll clean up after myself and everything. From buttery chardonnays to rich cabs, I was handed the perfect pairing of wine for each dish. Basically guys, I was in my own personal paradise. I’m head over heels and feeling a little heartsick that I haven’t had the chance to go back yet.

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I didn’t have a moment (aka I would have exploded had a drop of any other delicious thing so much as touched my lips) to try their coffee, but I hear it’s superb. And this wouldn’t surprise me. From the super fun and friendly staff to the delectable eats and cozy environment, everything about my night spent at 360 Uno was an experience to remember. And uh, to relive again and again.

So worth the food coma, y’all.