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A Girls Trip to Austin, Bathroom Reno and Life Lately

Is it really mid-April already? WHERE is the year going??

I recently returned from a girls weekend to Austin – that city has been on my list for awhile and I’m so thrilled I finally made it! So speaking of trips with friends… HOW much of a buzzkill is it when you take a trip with friends and realize you’re completely incompatible travel buddies?! Maybe you like to get up early and explore and your friends are night owls. Maybe you don’t love being out all night drinking and they do. Whatever the differences are, I feel like it’s rare to take a trip and just hit it off 24/7. Thankfully – this was one of those trips 🙂 While I didn’t get in any gym workouts, I did pack my resistance bands and do a mini-workout one morning while the girls got ready. I tried to go for a run, but after taking 5 steps out the front door it started to rain. Fine. Twist my arm into enjoying some tasty meals and a few libations. FINE! I was just SO grateful to be away for a few days, getting to know these ladies even better over tons of laughs, a few cocktails, and plenty of good eats.
Speaking of tasty meals – if you live in Austin or happen to find yourself there – do yourself a favor and check out Elizabeth’ Street Cafe. Literally the BEST bahn mi I’ve ever had.  While not pictured, trust that it was amazing. Egg whites and mushrooms in a crusty baguette with diakon radish, carrots and topped with sambal (spicy chili sauce). The lump crab rice paper wraps pictures below were super delish. 
Another fun spot worth checking out is Cafe NoSe at the South Congress Hotel. While I realize it’s not necessary for food to be “pretty” – let’s just admire how beautiful that piece of lox and hardboiled egg toast is!! It had the perfect combo of salty (from the lox and a few capers) and sweet (check out that thinly sliced apple!). Such a neat spot for brunch (they made a mean Americano) with friends.

Lump crab rice paper wraps with yummy dipping sauces!
So pretty AND tasty!

While we’re on the subject of food – I have been LOVING getting back into cooking. It’s been fun testing out new, healthy recipes and not stressing because all I can eat is plain, flavorless food. Don’t get me wrong – while I’m home I am still pretty cognizant about what I’m eating. I still measure everything to ensure my portions are on point and I still don’t cook with any oils or butters – but I’m having FUN again. And after the roller coaster of comp prep and life after the show, it feels really nice.

Arugula, cherry tomatoes, quiona and soft-boiled egg!
Old-fashioned oats blended with egg whites!

I’ve been testing out tons of recipes and techniques (I’ve never tried poaching my own eggs for a protein packed salad topper and boy I’m glad I did!) and purchasing new “foods” (including the PB2 powder I mixed with water to top my oat/egg white pancake you see above). I’ve been loving tons of new finds thanks to the new Sprouts that opened near the house. That reminds me I’m long overdue for another “What’s in my cart” post!

As if life hasn’t been busy enough, I decided to renovate my master bath. Considering the house is from the 1970s, my bathroom is teeny tiny. Despite wishing it was larger, it has been fun picking out all of the finishes and re-conceptualizing the space- including a dark tile floor that happens to look like wood, black pebble for the shower floor (HELLO free foot massage!) and a beautiful marble herringbone for the shower walls.
From this….
BYE BYE Bathtub!

New shower! Note: manly hand is in fact my contractors – not mine 🙂
Herringbone shower in the making!

I’m super excited to see how the bathroom turns out. Last fall I renovated the rest of the house,  but funds ran low – so this project has been awhile in the making. I’ll be sure to post some new progress pics as things come along. My new vanity should be arriving soon, bead board will be going up, and some new chrome fixtures will be installed in the next week or so!

And since this post seems to be photo bonanza, why not include a recent shot – Just me. Having fun whipping up tasty and healthy meals, hitting 5 intense workouts a week, and working to enjoy the little moments in life a bit more and worry about the future a little less 🙂

Happy Monday – hope yours was productive and eventful, too!


2 thoughts on “A Girls Trip to Austin, Bathroom Reno and Life Lately

  1. Good morning Jenn, first, your renovation is going to look beautiful, lovely colors and it will open up the area,relaxing too!!. I loved Austin!we lived there for a while and enjoyed the food ,music,atmosphere and meeting new people. Thanks for the appetizing photos!


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