Sunday, August 29, 2010

no mail on sundays and a vegetarian on the verge

let's start with the (dare we say) vegetarian, or lack there of. no no, jess hasn't changed her eating habits (picky-ness?) since living in the bbg state. although there are plenty of bbq pits around town claiming to have the best bbq sauce this side of the mississippi (ok they don't use that exact term, we just thought it sounded cool), the possibility and options for a vegetarian are also endless.

the vegetarian on the verge is jake. while this may or may not be a surprise to you, this is a big step in the land of jake. whether or not jake realizes it, he's pretty much been a vegetarian for as long as jess has (about 3 years now). not buying meat at the grocery store and finding ways to make veggies more fun has been a weekly habit in the vance household.

what jake is referring to is giving himself the title, "vegetarian" as well as sticking to this lifestyle even we are dining out. this decision was recently prompted by (what else?) some reading, documentaries, and knowing the fact that eating meat has been out of convenience over anything else. stay tuned for jake's last meal and his official new title of "ova-pescatarian".

any votes for how long it takes jake to beat the meat?


it's so easy to get caught up with everything else but relationships and enjoying the small things in life. we both have jobs that require us to be "connected" for a majority of the day, and although we love the easy access there are times when the convenience of it all can become both all consuming and somewhat daunting.

for awhile now, jess has been entertaining the idea of "no e-mail sundays". the idea was prompted by a friend she met at lulu who doesn't shower or check her e-mail on sundays. while the whole no showering thing doesn't really strike her fancy, she's been talking about using sunday as a day to "just be" instead of unconsciously checking her e-mail via mr. iphone. well folks, today is her first no e-mail day. only two hours into the morning and she already confesses that she was tempted to check it (both personal and work) two different times just because she's used to checking in.

on the weekend, jake's always asking "what's the rush?" and now it seems as though jess is finally listening.

seems like we're both taking some inspiration from one another as we embark on changing habits and and taking names. : )

Veggie UPDATE 9/4:::: Meat 2, Jake 0

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

dead as a doornail

It's no secret that Jess loves her "going to sleep routine". She barely even makes it through a movie and sees more "halves" than "whole" movies. Last night was no different, except that that night she wasn't able to make it through the next chapter. when we say that she was out we mean O U T like a light (or would it be more accurate to say comatose ?) hahahahah. priceless. This is what an early curtain call time and 20 10 year olds do to a teacher/yogi. If anyone has insomnia we recommend a day in the classroom. you'll be sleeping like a baby by 8:00 pm.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sharpened Pencils

Remember the feeling you got the night before your first day of school? You had that nervous/excited feeling that either kept you up at night or made you dream about what was to come. For those of you haven't been in school for awhile you're lucky. Jess (and every other "teacher friend" she knows) feels this way every year when she returns to school in the fall. The funny thing is that she always dreams about her first class and the little devils in one way or another. ugh!

Wishing her luck on her first day back!

This was at the end of the day (did we mention that it's o' dark thirty when Jess is driving to work?) on our way to the grocery store followed by celebratory SNO CONES! Sorry for the lame iphone picture but we needed an outfit picture for Jess's fashioned minded friends/fam.

I'm sure her stories will make their way into the blog because some of them are just too good to not pass along (Angie knows what we're talking about). If you're interested in checking out her classroom/school be sure to stop by her teacher/grade level webpage @ Grandview Hills Elementary

Teacher Story UPDATE: During after school dismissal in the gym I was with with her assigned group of students waiting for the bus when she noticed a little girl in the kindergarten line totally staring at her. Wanting to check in a see how she was doing or if there was something she needed (BTW if you don't have little ones, this is something that happens often in the teacher realm in the primary grades if the students don't know you). The girl said no but asked,"what's your color?". OMG what the heck?! Never did I once get that question living in southern California/the Valley!.... Then I realized she was referring to my hair. I told her my hair was called red but it looks like the color orange too. The relieved look in her face was priceless. Wouldn't it be great to have THAT as your biggest worry during the day? : )

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We're Obsessed

Everyone loves a nice cold tasty treat when its hot. Back home it was fro yo. Menchies to be exact but when we couldn't get out M-fix we'd hit up another shop for our frozen dinner. There are a few fro yo places around here but to be honest we've gone maybe...once? For some reason or another the fro yo fairy hasn't hit us here. But you know what has?


So count on hitting up a trailer park for one of these amazing treats that we've obsessed over. And if you think you'll get away from this excursion when it's chilly out, you're totally kidding yourself.

Monday, August 9, 2010

In the Jungle

After many sweaty hours, and visions of jungle-themed ideas dancing in her head Jess has finally finished (dare we say?) her classroom! Truth be told, there is really nothing there when you enter a classroom until a teacher does her magic.

Hope ya like what you see! Soon it will be bustling with 5th graders ( oh MY! )

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Random Sunday and a Big Bowl of Cheese

Our Sundays usually consist of a little exploration, sweat, and some good food (not necessarily in that order). We usually have a running "wish/to-do list" that we refer to when figuring out our day. For those of you who grew up/worked closely with Jake you know he is the king of lists and anything post-it related. Thankfully Jess is able to rely on him and his trusty post-its to plan something pretty awesome on Sundays.

Today consisted of, well, random things. Aren't those the best days anyways?

We started off the morning with a short hike up to Mt Bonnell, Austin's highest peak.With temperatures expected into the 100's this afternoon we wanted something semi-easy since we got a later start than we originally planned.

Although there weren't nearly as many, this reminded us of THE stars in Santa Monica back home

This is what we found up at the top- overview of Lake Austin

this lovely spot was only 10 minutes from downtown Austin. AMAZING.

think you can find one you like?

After our short hike we decided to drive around the neighborhoods in the area to check out the homes and see if this might be a new neighborhood on our radar. Jake spend his summering growing up going to Bass Lake with his family and has already dreamed of owning a home there as an adult. With many fond memories of good times on the lake we thought it perfect that we might actually be able to own a home of our own someday, yet be so close to the city. Before leaving the neighborhood we knew that this was one that would make our list.

While exploring the neighborhoods we stumbled upon Austin Art museum on Lake Austin and had fun walking around and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

We headed over to S. Congress for some much deserved sno cones (our new obsession!) before finally making it home to eat a big bowl of cheese.

You're not a true Texan if you've never had Queso. That's not a typo. Texans love their dip so much that it needs to be capitalized. It seems like it's served at almost every restaurant here in town, and when we first arrived we always ordered it whenever we went out to eat. Now that we've settled in a bit more, we rarely order is unless we have fam/friends visiting and are giving the "official" Austin tour. Yes, Queso makes the cut for the tour.

While at the market picking up a few other things we saw a display with everything needed for this delicious bite. We think with UT football season around the corner, folks are required to stock up on this stuff- Velveeta cheese and a can of chili diced tomatoes. Funny thing is we found the most organic/healthy tortilla chips to go along with our big bowl-o-cheese. Is this the Texas version is ordering diet coke with your Big Mac supersized meal at Mickey D's?

For those of you who want to try this artery clogging indulgence- cut the cheese into one inch squares and melt together in a saucepan. Pretty easy.

Oh ya. Forgot to mention you need some pretty classy drinks like Bud Ice and a game/Lifetime movie on TV too before you can enjoy this.

We don't mess with Queso.
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday Night (Fever)

Our new friends, Lauren and Sam, invited us out on Saturday night to celebrate her big 3-OH! We headed out early to catch the happy hour at The Belmont before the birthday girl arrived. Yep you heard right folks, happy hour on a Saturday night. A bar/restaurant that offers happy hour on the weekend night gains major points in our books! Since we knew that it was going to be a decent size party we met April at the swanky, 'rat pack'-esque bar a few before catching up with the lucky lady up on the roof deck.

Nothing beats a warm summer night out with some great people....

Happy 30th chick!

Oh how we heart this girl!

We're so grateful for the great people we have begun to connect and have relationships with in our new home-state. It doesn't quite replace the people we left back in Cali. Who are we kidding, you guys could NEVER be replaced!...Anyone looking to get out of CA is more than welcome to give this place a try any weekend in the near future, just let us know when. We are really enjoying getting out of our comfort zones, trying new things, and living up to the promises we made to ourselves before we moved. BUT having good friends around you makes all of these new adventures just that much more special and fun.

Tomorrow we hike, and Jess starts her first day of "new to district" training on Monday. Happy weekend ya'll!

Get Your ASana Outside

Two of the top reasons we chose to move to Austin was because of the fit community and multiple opportunities to sweat and HAVE FUN. Thankfully to Jess's involvement with lululemon this summer she's really taken advantage of all things sweat related, this Saturday included.

In case you didn't already know via Facebook, lululemons across the nation all participated in an event called Salutation Nation. It's an event that brings the yoga community together outside enjoying the benefits of yoga- body, mind, and spirit. In other words, it's a great excuse to wake up early and practice some yoga with some amazing people. Although Texas summer days are heating up pretty early these days, we thought it would be a great opportunity to spend some time together.

Where are the Vances? (hint: yellow shirt and red hair/all black)

Inspired yet?

We invited some of our new friends (Sam and Lauren) and met them at Festival Beach to get our yoga and snack on yummy treats after. We love this couple and always have an awesome time hanging out and experiencing everything Austin together! Tonight we are going our for Lauren's 30th too!--pictures and post to come.

Jess met her first and BESTEST friend (do I sound like I'm in elementary school again? that's what it feels like when you move away from everything familiar) in Austin while working at lululemon. Her name is April. She is an amazing person always up for a good time, a glass of wine, and a yoga class or two.

So glad we made it out to this event today to "sweat once a day". We have an early hike planned tomorrow and a few more adventures up our sleeves before the end of the weekend. Stay tuned.

PS Jess finished her classroom and will be posted "after" pictures soon. We know you have all been anxiously awaiting!

Date Night

Jake loves movies. Like REALLY LOVES movies. Perhaps it's the whole experience of heading out to the cinema, picking out perfect seats in the theater, and grabbing a big-tub-o-popcorn? Whatever it is we have barely gone out to to the movies since moving. We've been on a budget, had a large herd of family and friends visit over the summer, and have been trying to get out into the city meeting new people and getting acquainted with Austin. Jess likes the movies but doesn't really like to go unless it's something that she really wants to see (i.e. she's a stickler for the budget and gets annoyed at spending up to 10 bucks a ticket plus all of the extras). Inception has gotten rave reviews we both decided that it was time to hit up the Alamo Draft House.

Now the Draft House isn't a regular ol' theater. They have theme coordinated food and movie nights and serve you drinks at your seat. Whenever we meet someone new here in town one of the first things they tell us we have to do is go experience (yes I said experience) the Draft House. So with a good movie in mind, we made it a fact to take in the experience.

We got there later than we should have (people get there at least 45 minutes before the show to get a prime spot) and ended up sitting towards the front. Buuuuutttt once we ordered an appetizer (jake's fav: spinach artichoke dip!) and a few beers we were very pleased with our first Draft House visit.

By the looks of his face can't you tell that we will be back again?!