Monday, April 15, 2013

A Girly Weekend

On Friday, my sister and best friend came into town for some "girly time" before the wedding. I had already refused all offers of wedding showers, and certainly didn't want a Bachelorette party, but I'll never turn down some quality time. In case you're wondering why I don't want those things, I had plenty the first go around and just want the focus to be on me and Hank getting married.

We met at The Westin at the Domain and chit chatted for a bit before getting ready to head out. We started with drinks and apps at Apothecary, one of the most perfect places to go for a little gabbing. They recently changed the menu, and I'd love to go back to try more items. But we were content with a cheese plate and a few glasses of wine. Everyone who works there knows that wine list inside and out, and they are always able to offer honest suggestions. I love that place!

Next up was dinner at Olive and June. It's in a beautiful 3 story space that wraps around a huge tree, and the atmosphere is enough to make me want to go back. But I was most excited for dinner since I'd heard so many great things about it. The menu is farm-to-table, with an Italian influence. First, order a delicious cocktail or glass of wine, and then peruse the menu. I love that they have a "Piccoli Piatti" section- it's basically really small bites, and a great way to get a feel for the menu. We had Suppli and Crostini with ricotta, tangerine and balsamic, and they were both delicious.

For our main course, all three of us chose a different pasta dish. They make their own pasta, and pair it with some of the freshest ingredients that Austin produces. I loved my whole wheat ravioli with herb ricotta, swiss chard, capers and almonds. The portions are much smaller than the typical big bowl you find at some restaurants. I felt less guilty ordering it because I knew it wouldn't be overkill, and they didn't disappoint. All of the components of the dish made for a salty, creamy, and slightly crunchy meal that was simply amazing. My sister had gemelli (with pork sausage, white wine and fennel), and Jackie had Mezallune with butternut squash, sage and pecorino. All 3 were great choices!

We opted not to have dessert, since we planned to make our way back to The Domain for a nightcap, but the dessert menu had plenty of decadent options. Overall, this restaurant is a can't miss for Austinites. It makes for a great date night, but also fun to enjoy a meal with some friends.

The next morning we all slept in (what a treat!) and then got dressed to head out for a day of pedicures, lunch and shopping. Holly had read great Yelp reviews about a place called Passion Nail Spa, so we went to visit their Jefferson Square location. For $38, you get a killer deluxe manicure that includes your choice of scent for the scrub and mask. The place was packed, but thankfully we had made an appointment that got us ahead of a few others. The massage chairs were perfect, and they really spent a good amount of time making my feet look pretty (and that's no easy feat!) After primping, we were starving and ready for lunch, so we headed around the corner to a sandwich shop called Foodheads. I had never been there before, but the food was awesome. An egg salad sandwich on whole grain bread did the trick, and we were fueled up and ready for some shopping.

Tres amigas

I loved the billy balls on the table- it's what Hank will be wearing on our wedding day.
You know you've reached a certain age when your shopping trips involve a stop at a baby store, but that's exactly what we did. There is a really cute boutique called Picket Fences that has the most beautiful bedding, decor, baby items, clothes, and even maternity clothes. My sister was on the hunt for something to wear to the wedding, so we stopped to take a look. I have to admit- stores like Babies 'R Us scare the bajeezus out of me, but a store like this I can handle. It's like they curate the best of the items that you need, and merchandise it in a way that doesn't give me a headache. The only thing they are missing is an online registry option.

We made a few more stops, and then made our way out to my house to get ready for a crawfish boil hosted by our (now famous) friend Shanna, of Because Shanna Said So. It was way up in Round Rock, but the weather was perfect for a short drive to the country. It was held at a really neat party barn, and they even had a few bouncy castles to keep the kids entertained. We found our friends and settled in for some eats and drinks.

Little kids on the left, big kids on the right.

You know you're in the country when...

Georgia had so much fun in the bouncy house- it was nearly impossible to get her out of it.

My love!

All of that was packed into Friday night and Saturday, so by the time Sunday rolled around I was exhausted. But Hank and I went over to our neighbors to watch The Masters, and then I spent a few hours in the kitchen making healthy stuff for our lunches. It was such a fun weekend! With less than 3 weeks to go until our wedding, I'm hoping the next two weekends are a little more low-key so I can wrap up the rest of the details. A huge thank you to my girls for making time for me this weekend!

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