Texas Summer 2021 Playlist

Over a year into the pandemic, and summer is here again. But with the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, this season is looking different from the last. The Texas heat is back and so is live music. Here’s your Texas summer 2021 playlist composed of artists performing in Austin, TX soon.

Texas Sun – Khruangbin, Leon Bridges

Khruangbin will be performing on Sept. 15, 16, 17 and 18 at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater.

While driving on the highway and feeling the wind blow through your hair, “Texas Sun” encapsulates the ultimate Texas summer imagery. Radiating warmth through music, the song sings with comfort and calm as many Texans drive—to work, gatherings or even their first road trip since the beginning of quarantine.

My Vibe – Mt. Joy

Mt. Joy will be performing on Oct. 23 at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater and on Oct. 24 at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater.

Released in April 2020, Mt. Joy’s “My Vibe” chanted to listeners brightly, “move ‘til you feel better; get yourself together,”—a reminder many people would need in the year that followed. The tune also assures the sun will always shine for others, and in Texas, there’s no doubt it will.

Zanzibar – Billy Joel

Billy Joel will be performing on Oct. 23 at the Formula 1 Aramco 2021 Grand Prix, which will be held at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

The 1978 song by Billy Joel still stands as an upbeat pop track, linking different generations together through music. According to COTA, this will be the first time Joel performs in Austin since the 1990s.

All My Ex’s Live In Texas – George Strait

George Strait will be performing on Oct. 1 and 8 at the Austin City Limits (ACL) Festival held at Zilker Park.

A classic country singer Texans are sure to know, Strait will be headlining both Fridays of the festival. The vibrant strings and unforgettable exes living in Texas make this tune unmistakable and easy to love.

Malibu – Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus will be performing on Oct. 1 and 8 at the Austin City Limits Festival held at Zilker Park.

Although Malibu isn’t located in the Lone Star state, Cyrus’ song paints pictures of the beach, a blue sky and a hot summer—all landscapes Texans know well. Through “a brand-new start, a dream come true,” “Malibu” serves as a summer song of hope.

Take Me Where Your Heart Is – Q

Q will be performing on Oct. 1 and 8 at the Austin City Limits Festival held at Zilker Park.

A soft and soothing track, “Take Me Where Your Heart Is” blends soul and love to create a fresh and moving melody. Named one of “2020’s most exciting rising artists” by Complex Networks, Q will be taking the stage at the festival on both Fridays.

Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

Stevie Nicks will be performing on Oct. 3 and 10 at the Austin City Limits Festival held at Zilker Park.

A classic gone viral, “Dreams” is a tune people of all ages have learned and enjoyed. Singer, Stevie Nicks will be headlining both festival’s Sundays.

Where’d All the Time Go? – Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog will be performing on Nov. 11 at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater.

Dr. Dog’s “Where’d All the Time Go?” questions time in a colorful, hazy and dreamlike tone. Although released in 2010, the track has recently gotten an increase in popularity, and the question of time remains.

On the Road Again – Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson will be performing on Aug. 22 at Germania Insurance Amphitheater, located at COTA.

Lastly, “On the Road Again” puts into words the hope that has lived within the hearts of many Texans throughout the pandemic, along with the wonder and excitement for brighter, Texas summer days.

The McDonald’s BTS Meal

One of our most popular articles of 2020 was the hyped collaboration between Travis Scott and McDonald’s. When I heard that South Korean boyband BTS were collaborating with the restaurant chain to deliver the “BTS Meal,” my eyebrows immediately raised. As someone who’s followed the band for the greater part of six years, this collaboration came as a bit of a surprise. Nevertheless, I had to take it upon myself to see how the food measured up.

Two Distinct Flavors

Being honest, McDonald’s is something of a guilty pleasure for me. This collab was the perfect excuse for me to visit the golden arches. The BTS Meal consists of two sauces paired with the standard nuggets – Sweet Chili and Cajun, respectively. I am happy to note that the sauces are actually quite good, and both complemented the meal nicely.

The Cajun is a honey mustard that has a slight tang to it, while the Sweet Chili is a sweet-and-sour offering that works surprisingly well. Their greatest strength lies in their versatility, as either can be swapped between nuggets and fries to provide different combinations. Beyond that, you get McDonald’s chicken nuggets – who can argue with that?

Beyond The Sauce

What does deserve a mention is the absolute storm of attention the promotion has had on social media. Due to overwhelming response, the BTS themed meal bags, sauces, and other promotional items have hit eBay. As initial hype dies down, we can only hope that these shortages will be alleviated so everyone can experience the meal.

This promotion comes shortly after the boys have dropped their latest single, Butter. It’s a deliciously guilty pleasure that you can’t seem to get enough of. If you ask me, that’s the perfect description of both the single and the meal. The BTS Meal is expected to run until the 21st of June, so be sure to make a stop at the golden arches before then.

Our Favorite Food TikTok Accounts

Tiktok has taken the world by storm. It’s a place for people to share their experience and express themselves in various ways such as: dance trends, humor, art, and cooking. Food TikTok is full of unique and fun recipes/ places to eat. Here are some of our favorite food TikTokers!

@ Justine_snacks

Justine specializes in special diets and baking. She offers unique recipes and several food series where she finds the perfect chocolate chip recipe. She’s great when it comes to work from home meals or when you just need a quick bite. 

@ Veggiekins

Remy Park is the gluten-free/ vegan queen! She’s addicted to matcha and she shares delicious GF + Vegan recipes for the world to see. Taking us through several ‘What I Eat In A Day’ videos, she shows the life of a gluten free vegan. Turning everyday foods into healthy alternatives for someone with dietary restrictions. 

@ Eitan

Eitan is known for being an adventurous cook. He tries out unique recipes and has techniques even some professionals haven’t mastered. His energetic personality reflects in his fast-paced tutorials. Aside from recipes, he enjoys trying out different types of cooking hacks to see if he can make his life in the kitchen easier. 

@ Newt

Newton Nguyen won our hearts with his charm and humor put into his videos. He has easy to follow recipes and uses commentary/ jokes to lighten the mood. He’s one of the more easy-going food tiktokers. He doesn’t take things too seriously and his light-heartedness helps him stand out in the TikTok community.

@ The_PastaQueen

Nadia is the queen of pasta! She’s Italian, so her recipes are authentic and delicious. Pasta is in her blood; she gives honest reviews on viral pasta trends and even shares some of her own recipes for others to try at home. Her page has all the pasta content you would ever need; from homemade pasta to creamy sauce. Nadia’s recipes and beautiful accent will transform you to Italy.

@ Moribyan 

Hajar Larbah is a TikToker that gives us so much variety. She recreates restaurant chain foods and also shows you how to make the best fusion food that is influenced by North African backgrounds. Her name is a combination of her two nationalities: Moroccan and Libyan. Her page is great if you want to try new cuisine or even when you’re craving something sweet. She has a huge sweet tooth and you might find a rice krispy tutorial here and there.

@ TheKoreanVegan

Joanne is a lawyer by day, content creator by night. She shows us how to spice up vegan food and even incorporate it into her culture. Joanne’s videos tug on our heartstrings as she narrates her life stories and experiences and how she connects food with different people in her life. She shows us how to love food and not fear it. If you’re looking for some life advice or looking for ways to spice up your vegan food, she’s the one to follow.

@ Jasmineandtea

Jasmine walks us through several Asian inspired recipes, but more specifically Korean recipes. As Korean food becomes more popular, she shows us how to enjoy it right from the comfort of your own home. From entrees, snacks, to dessert, Jasmine has it all. 

@ Sulheejessica

Jessica is someone that you all have seen on your for you page before. You might recognize her for her iconic tagline “Let’s make some lunch for my kids!” Jessica took off when she shared the food that she would pack for her kids at school. Cutting the fruit into cute shapes and making sure her kids had tasty and filly meals to eat. She doesn’t show many tutorials, but watching her pack lunches is so satisfying! Lately she has also been including her kids in the video, showing how they help her around the kitchen.

@ Dora.leung

Dora started us off with healthy alternatives for our daily meals and recently she has been doing a series where she bakes through Claire Saffitz’s 105 dessert recipes. She has all of the dessert content you would ever need to satisfy your cravings. What better way to end your night than with a slice of cake. 

These are some of our favorite TikTokers that you should give a follow! You never know what fun recipe you might find. Let us know who your favorite food Tiktokers are!

Fearless, Taylor’s Version (a review)

On April 9, Taylor Swift dropped a rerecorded version of her album Fearless. Released in November 2008, listening to the album instantly brings a sense of nostalgia. We only felt it was appropriate to include our review of Fearless, Taylor’s Version.

The album features all 19 original tracks on Fearless. Swift added six additional tracks “From the Vault:” “You All Over Me,” “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” “We Were Happy,” “That’s When,” “Don’t You” and “Bye Bye Baby.” “Today Was a Fairytale,” which Swift wrote for the 2010 romantic comedy Valentine’s Day completes the track list.

“From the Vault” simply refers to tracks that Swift’s written over the course of her career. Some were meant for various albums that were cut “for reasons that, to me, don’t really matter now,” Swift said.

Why did Swift rerecord Fearless?

Long story short, Swift lost the masters to her first five albums after leaving BMG for Republic Records in 2018. When she requested to purchase these recordings on her own terms, BMG told her she was out of luck. Unsatisfied, she decided to rerecord her previous albums. Thus, Swifties can look forward to plenty more Taylor’s Versions in the future.

What’s different about Taylor’s Version?

Each track retains its essence and would probably sound the same to a casual listener. Of course, there are some changes, mainly regarding production and vocals. For instance, Swift emphasizes certain words differently and slightly alters tunes here and there. Other tweaks include minor tempo changes and a more modern sound to the instrumentals.

What are the new tracks about?

The first track from The Vault, “You All Over Me,” features background vocals from country singer Maren Morris. It’s a catchy, sentimental ballad about not being able to get over an ex. Swift sings, “The way the tires turn stones, on old country roads / They leave ‘em muddy underneath / Reminds me of you” and “Swore that I’d get out of here / But no amount of freedom gets you clean / I’ve still got you all over me,” implying that everything serves as a reminder of the narrator’s past relationship.

“Mr. Perfectly Fine,” an energetic country pop track, describes the narrator’s complex feelings after getting her heart broken by a player who hides behind empty promises and a façade. Swift sings, “Mr. ‘Insincere apology so he doesn’t look like the bad guy” and “‘Cause I hear he’s got his arm ‘round a brand-new girl / I’ve been pickin’ up my heart, he’s been pickin’ up her.”

“We Were Happy” describes the narrator’s guilt about falling out of love with her boyfriend through lyrics like “When it was good, baby, it was good, baby” and “Oh, I hate those voices telling me I’m not in love anymore / But they don’t give me choices and that’s what these tears are for.”

“That’s When” is a duet between Swift and country singer Keith Urban. The song depicts a couple who decide to part ways but realize that they’ve made the wrong choice. Urban sings, “Then through your phone / Came all your tears / And I said, ‘Leave those all in our past’ / And you said, ‘When can I-I-I come back?’” and Swift sings, “That’s when, when I see your face / That’s when I love you, that’s when.”

“Don’t You” tells the story of the narrator running into an ex who doesn’t realize the pain he’s caused her. Swift sings, “But don’t you, don’t you / Smile at me and ask how I’ve been / Don’t say you’ve / Missed me if you don’t want me again / You don’t know how much I feel I love you” and “So I walk outta here tonight / Try to go on with my life / And you can say we’re still friends / (But I don’t wanna pretend).”

“Bye Bye Baby,” like the title insinuates, is about the end of a relationship. Swift sings, “I’m drivin’ away and I, I guess you could say / This is the last time I’ll drive this way again” and “Then the here and the now floods in / Feels like I’m becoming a part of your past.”

And that’s it for our review of Fearless, Taylor’s Version!. You can check out the lyric videos for each track here.

30 Dog Treat Recipes

Have you ever wanted to give your dog an extra special treat?  Below are 30 recipes to make for your beloved dog. This could be for your dog’s birthday, gotcha day, holiday, or if you simply feel like making something with extra love! I know I personally feel a little bad when dogs can’t eat what us humans do, so these tasty treats are perfect for them! Not only could your dog enjoy eating these, but you can have fun making them as well! Most of these are easy to make, less expensive than store-bought treats, and have shown positive reactions in people’s dogs!

Note: Although all of these recipes are safe for dogs, I would be sure to have the right ingredients and check with your vet to make sure everything is okay for your own canine companion!

But, I would definitely recommend exploring these treats and trying something out!

Peanut Butter Treats

One of the most popular flavors for dogs is peanut butter! Just like humans, dogs also get cravings for sweet and salty snacks. Peanut butter will fulfill that, as well as give them a good source of easy-to-digest protein, healthy fats, and vitamins. These are various dog treat recipes that have a peanut butter base with different twists to them! If you know your dog is a peanut butter lover, try one of these!

  1. Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats from The Cookie Rookie
  2. Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats from Allrecipes
  3. Peanut Butter and Bacon Dog Treats from Sally’s Baking Addiction
  4. Soft Peanut Butter Carrot Dog Treats from Sally’s Baking Addiction
  5. Homemade Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats (GF) from Whole Foods
  6. Peanut Butter Bacon Carrot Dog Treats from Comfort of Cooking
  7. Blueberry, Oat, and Peanut Butter Crunchy Dog Treats from Southern Bytes

Sweet Potato Treats

Sweet potato is another popular ingredient used in dog treats! They contain a good source of fiber, which helps their digestive system function. They are also low in fat, rich in vitamins, calcium, potassium, and iron. With all these nutrients, it can help your dog maintain its health and enjoy a delicious snack.

  1. Super Simple Sweet Potato Dog Treats from Allrecipes
  2. Sweet Potato Chewy Fries for Dogs from Food.com
  3. Sweet Potato and Apple Dog Treats from Blue Jean Chef
  4. Healthy Sweet Potato Dog Treats from Pook’s Pantry
  5. Chicken and Sweet Potato Dog Biscuits from My Modern Cookery

Ice Cream Treats

This treat is perfect for a summer day… or any day, let’s be honest! Many dogs love having a cold treat. With these recipes, you can experiment with different fun flavors for your canine companion to try out and cool down!

  1. Frosty Paws Dog Ice Cream from Food With Feeling
  2. Watermelon Dog Treat Popsicles from Barefeet in the Kitchen
  3. Puppy Ice Cream – Peanut Butter and Bacon from The Cookie Rookie
  4. Puppy Popsicles (aka “Pup-sicles”) from The Starving Chef

Meat-Flavored Treats

Meat-flavored treats are a perfect snack to give your dog with a more savory flavor. Sometimes, like humans, dogs want a meaty taste. These treats allow them to snack on something they crave, without having to eat a full meal. From chicken, to beef, to bacon, there are so many options of how to go about these treats.

  1. Homemade Dog Treats with Chicken/Beef Broth from Add a Pinch
  2. Homemade Beef and Cheddar Dog Biscuits from Brown Eyed Baker
  3. Bacon-Flavored Dog Biscuits from Allrecipes

Dog Food

Throughout this article, I mostly talk about treats for dogs to snack on. But, these dog recipes are more of a meal. They tell you how to make nutritious, quality, and healthy meals for your dogs. If you want to give your dog a nice dinner or so, this is the section to check out!

  1. Homemade Dog Food in Instant Pot from Southern Bytes
  2. Homemade Dog Food (Organic Rice, Ground Lean Beef, Eggs, Etc.) from The Mess Is Ours
  3. Pumpkin and Yogurt Bowl For Dogs from The Mess Is Ours
  4. Homemade Brown Rice, Turkey, and Vegetable Mix from Allrecipes

Others

These are more dog treat recipes that are interesting as well!  I recommend checking these links out, as they have some creative ways to make your special dog a special treat. From breakfast biscuits to carrot pupcakes, I think you can find something that stands out to you.

  1. Breakfast Dog Biscuits from HonestlyYum
  2. Pumpkin and Flax Seed Dog Biscuits by White on Rice Couple
  3. Homemade Applesauce Dog Treats with Rolled Oats from Pook’s Pantry
  4. Pumpkin Carrot Pupcakes from My Modern Cookery

CBD/Hemp Seed Dog Treats

As I was doing research on dog treats, I came upon many recipes that had CBD, or cannabidiol, in them. CBD is growing in popularity, and it has shown many benefits in dogs as well. CBD supports healthy joints and flexibility, and can help relieve joint stiffness. It can minimize certain pains your dog might be experiencing, and can even reduce stress. Hemp seeds also come from the hemp plant, and have health benefits related to joints, skin, and immunity. Because of the long-term health benefits of CBD and hemp seeds, I would consider checking these dog treats out, especially if you are looking for some holistic options!

  1. Almond Butter CBD Dog Treats by Emily Kyle
  2. Homemade CBD Dog Treats by The Starving Chef
  3. Homemade Hemp Seed Dog by Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen

SXSW 2021

South by Southwest Film Festival went virtually this year due to the ongoing global pandemic. Attendees still got the full experience in the comfort of their home watching on their television screen or computer. There were countless events to watch and here are some upcoming must-see films and television shows.

Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil

The four-part Youtube documentary series, allowing viewers to explore what led to Lovato’s nearly fatal overdose in 2018, and her awakenings in the aftermath. The series contains honest interviews with Lovato’s friends, family, and business partners clearing up some misconceptions about what happened. The documentary walks viewers in answering their questions about why Lovato relapsed again by discussing issues with her estranged relationship with her father and enduring overwhelming control from her team.

The 2018 overdose led Lovato to suffer a heart attack, three strokes, and embark on a fight for her life. “My doctors said that I had five to 10 minutes to live,” said Lovato. Learning how to handle her past traumas made her question if she can handle being sober again. Find out what Lovato’s future holds, now playing on Youtube.

TBS’s new comedy series “Chad”

Chad, an eight-episode series, will premiere on TBS in April. The series follows a 14-year-old pubescent Persian boy who is reconciling with his cultural identity as he navigates his first year of high school. He is going on a mission to become popular while enduring his mother’s new dating life. South by Southwest premiered two episodes of this well-written, cringey adult comedy that viewers will agree is worth watching. 

FX’s Dave:

“Hi, I’m Dave” was an SXSW exclusive interview event of the FX comedy series “Dave.” Dave Burd and GaTa joined producers Jeff Schaffer and Saladin Patterson to talk about why the show is resonating with audiences and upcoming plans for the second season. The authenticity of the show comes from the bravery of GaTa and Dave, who are retelling real-life personal stories about their struggles and insecurities. By being vulnerable and staying true to themselves resonated with the audience in finding a connection. 

The second season is still in production and will premiere later in 2021. However, Schaffer revealed the storyline of the upcoming season. “I would say this season; we wanted to explore how more success breeds more pressure and we also wanted to explore as everyone gets more successful, what does that mean for Dave and his support group. Revealing that Dave is under a lot of pressure as he deals with making his first album.”

Charli XCX Documentary Alone Together

Charli XCX’s documentary “Alone Together,” directed by Bradly and Pablo, allows viewers to see into her creative process. Viewers follow her in making an album during quarantine along with the help of her devoted fanbase, known as the “Angels.”

In the opening scene, Charli is touring the world promoting her self-titled album, “Charli.” This, of course, came to an abrupt end due to the global pandemic causing lockdown regulation orders. A few weeks into quarantine, needing a creative outlet to keep herself preoccupied, Charli decides to surprise both her label and her Angels by completing her “How I’m Feeling Now” album in a five-week period.

“Alone Together” captures the unbreakable connection between Charli and her Angels. Creating a supportive fanbase who are young outsiders in bonding over Charli’s music in making them feel they belong in the world. The documentary has not yet set a release date but Charli posted on Twitter shortly after the movie’s SXSW premiere stating that “they haven’t sold it yet.” In the near future, let’s hope there is a release date because the audience needs to see a time where the artist and the fans needed each other, in coming together to create an album despite living through a global pandemic.

5 Houseplants Perfect for the First-Time Plant Parent

Now that spring is finally here, it’s a great time to become a plant parent.

Studies have shown that houseplants may reduce stress levels, boost concentration and productivity and improve air quality, in addition to numerous other benefits. I have plenty of houseplants myself – lucky bamboo, a spider plant, a snake plant and devil’s ivy, to name a few – and they’ve definitely helped transform my space and even improve my daily mood.

A common misconception is that houseplants are very difficult to maintain, but that’s not the case! Sure, orchids and lemon trees are really hard to keep alive, but there are options for everyone, regardless of experience.

Here’s a list of five houseplants perfect for beginners.

SUCCULENTS

Succulents are great for beginners; they’re pretty low maintenance and can thrive in most conditions. Their thick, sap-filled leaves retain as much moisture as possible, which is why they’re usually found in deserts. They’re also aesthetically pleasing and can spruce up any space.

LUCKY BAMBOO

This plant also thrives in poor conditions, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to completely neglect it. Not only do lucky bamboos make wonderful gifts, but many also believe that they bring good luck (according to the principles of feng shui and vastu shastra). For more information, click here.

SPIDER PLANTS

Spider plants are definitely my favorite houseplant. I mean, they’re pet friendly and one of the top air purifying plants. Plus, they’re not too picky when it comes to water, light or temperature. It’s still important to put some effort in, of course; without proper care, their leaves can turn brown and look messy. With proper care, they can live for 50 or more years! For more information, click here.

PEACE LILY

Native to America’s tropical rainforests, peace lilies are a popular choice for offices and homes. They also made NASA’s list of the top 10 household air filtering plants. Most are floor plants, since they can grow up to three feet tall.  Something to keep in mind: they’re best kept away from small children and pets, because they contain calcium oxalate, which “may cause stomach and respiratory irritation if ingested in large amounts.”

BROMELIADS

Relatives of the common pineapple, Bromeliads easily adapt to average home conditions and are available in a variety of colors and textures. While these plants are quite resilient, it’s imperative that you don’t overwater them. For more information, click here.

Top Things We Are Looking Forward to in 2021

Every year around this time, the motto “new year, new me,” would pop up everywhere. The sentiments of being able to leave behind bad habits, tiring lifestyles, and any sources of negativity in 2020 is one that I find myself gravitating towards. No matter how optimistic I tried to be last year, 2020 was definitely a year packed with a rollercoaster of emotions that left me feeling drained. With new energy, new mentality, and a new set of resolutions, here are some things, activities, and events that I am personally looking forward to this year!

Starting a New Planner and Journal

Over quarantine, I saw this tweet where someone really nailed how I felt. The text spoke about how disconnected everyone feels from reality as the minutes, hours, and days are all blurred together. And that cannot be more real. Throughout the past year, each day grew to become monotonous. Even with daily tasks, classes, and new Tik Tok videos that occupied my mind space, 2020 could’ve ended in March for all I knew. With the upcoming year, I hope to keep my time on track and practice more mindfulness and intentionality with the things that I do.

And as a part of that effort, I invested in an Erin Condren LifePlanner along with a Dotted Notebook from Archer & Olive.

One of my New Year’s resolution for this year was to actively reflect on each day whether it be a couple sentences, bullet points, or just jotting down cool ideas that crossed my mind throughout the day. I purchased one of the duo-life planners from Erin Condren for more practical uses such as keeping track of academic and work deadlines, daily to-do lists, among other shenanigans. While I attempt a free style bujo journal, which is this big DIY trend where you basically design your own planner/reflection notebook. I am challenging myself to write EVERYTHING down, whether it be my 2021 resolutions, monthly/weekly goals, or just thoughts. I think with time passing by the way that it is, I just really wanted to keep a record of how I felt and my experiences throughout the year. And who knows, 3 years, 10 years, or 20 years down the line, it might be cool to be able to see your own development through your own words.

New FOOD Places to Try

I recently tapped back into the development of the Austin food scene and I didn’t realize how much was going on even during the midst of the pandemic. I’ve been scrolling through Instagram to see what new openings were happening this year and here are some that I am really really excited for.

  1. Sazan Ramen: This is a new ramen shop next to Airport Blvd and I’ve just seen way too many pictures and rave reviews about this on Instagram and Yelp. Everyone’s been saying how great the service, interior design, and more importantly the flavor. All the reviews are saying how creamy and rich the broth is without it being too heavy. Some even said that Sazan heightens the ramen competition in Austin. After reading and seeing all these pictures, how could I not want to try.
  2. Sweet Green: I have never heard of Sweet Green before in my life. However, it is a new restaurant that recently opened on The Drag on the UT campus, my campus, so it is officially on my radar. Based on the descriptions that I have seen, it seems like a super healthy version of Chipotle which I am not opposed of.
  3. JJIM – Korean Braised BBQ: This is one of my most highly highly anticipated openings for 2021. I’ve had way too many trips leaving Carrollton with insane jealousy because they have like 50 million KBBQ options. So I am extremely excited to see another authentic KBBQ shop open up in Austin.

Becoming More Active Through Blogilates

Honestly, this has always been a goal or resolution that I set for myself every single year but it hasn’t always been followed through consistently. However, this year will be different…hopefully. Blogilates is an online fitness channel that combines traditional pilates move with cardio and weights. I have been following Cassey Ho’s journey from the very beginning with her abs, legs, butt workout videos on Youtube, but recently she launched her merchandise at Target AND released a fitness app this year. I downloaded the app on January 1st and have been desperately trying to keep up with her 21-day toning challenge that she released for this month. Apparently, it takes around 21 days for something to become a habit and for this month, she challenged all her followers to be active for at least 21 minutes for 21 days.

Embark on New Austin Adventures

Despite living in Austin for a majority of my life, I realized that I haven’t been much of an Austinite at all. So, another one of my resolutions is to live the Austin life as a tourist by hitting up all the major hot spots for new and old Austinites.

  1. Ziplining over Lake Travis:  This one definitely takes a lot of guts that I don’t even know if I have. I didn’t even know that this was an option initially but there’s this hour-long zipline that you can take across the entire Lake Travis and it just sounds like views for days.
  2. Paddle Boarding or Kayaking: This is a classic that I am ashamed to have not tried. Generally, open water scares me but it definitely one of those things where once you’re there, you’ll just remember the fun instead of the fear.
  3. Take pictures at all the major murals: I see these everywhere, but I have never took a picture in front of any of them. This seems super cheesy but there’s honestly so many beautiful art displays and murals hidden everywhere around Austin so it’ll be really cool to do a collage of all the ones that you pass by on your Austin Adventures.

Greetings From Austin – 1720 S. First St.
You’re My Butter Half – 2000 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
I Love You So Much – 1300 S. Congress Ave.
Jeremiah the Innocent Frog – West 21st Street and Guadalupe Street

New Shows & Movies  

One of my favorite ways to pass time is to binge. I literally have such an unhealthy habit of binging watching and binge reading. And lucky for me, 2021 is a year filled with new releases of shows, movies, book around the world. Here are a few things that are on my watch list for this upcoming year.

Shows:

Attack on Titan: The Final Season

Love Alarm Season 2:

Grey’s Anatomy Season 17

Promised Neverland: Season 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esTm0x10HW4&ab_channel=KeviAnime

The Queen’s Gambit

Trailer Link:

Movies:

Raya and the Last Dragon

A Quiet Place Part II

Black Widow

My personal focus for this year is centered around personal growth. I think that with quarantine, it is very easy to feel stuck in one place as we’re mainly in the same environment around the same people. So this year, I challenge myself and all Texas Tasty users to try something new this year. This could be anything from starting a new hobby, new skincare routine, new outdoor activity, eat at a restaurant that you’ve never been to, or even something as simple as trying out a new brand of toothpaste. Let’s shed off 2020 and start anew in 2021!

Billie Eilish – The World’s A Little Blurry

Billie Eilish’s documentary offers an intimate look inside the popstar’s rise to global stardom. Over the past few years, Billie Eilish: The world’s a little blurry documentary was capturing every monumental moment of Eilish’s life leading up to the release of her debut album, When we all fall asleep, where do we go? The film is directed by R.J Cutler and is available on Apple TV+. In the opening scene, the audience can see an enthusiastic 13 year old Eilish hearing her hit song Ocean eyes on the radio for the first time and fast-forwarding three years later in 2018 as she embodies the characteristics of a pop star.

Family

The documentary captures the unity of a supportive family that is taking on the same journey as they guide Eilish on her new profound fame. Growing up in a musical family, she best described her family as one big song in influencing her love of music. With the help of her brother Finneas who was the producer and composer for Eilish’s album, let fans get an inside look at the process of recording an album that took place inside his childhood bedroom. The creative process involved her notebook, where she sketches her artistic ideas like drawing random monsters and pulling the inspiration to write the song, bury a friend. Eilish was committed to sharing her narrative in being vulnerable in showing moments on how she balances being a teenager and a musician.

“Having these things I was never planning on talking about, sharing, or anyone seeing, put them away and I really had to look at it from third person, it was me probably being the most selfless that I ever been. I had to tell myself don’t be selfish let this movie be the movie it is and don’t lie about what your life was, there’s was a ton going on at the time that isn’t in the film but also you don’t want have a false narrative, this was my life,” said Eilish on an Apple Tv+ live premiere event.

The Rise

Living her authentic life involves challenges in having the pressure from people telling her to sing songs that are accessible for anyone. She makes it clear that she sings dark lyrical songs because that how she feels. Eilish knows her own persona in what she wants in her own artistic vision.

In a scene, Eilish is signing a contract to become a director for her music videos. This is one out of many ways Eilish is taking charge of the world she is creating. Embracing her uniqueness with having green hair, wearing hip-hop style of clothing, and the dark pop music she sings makes her stand-out.

“People are always like you know, it’s so dark, like have happy music, I’m like but I never feeling happy so why would I write about things I don’t know about. I feel the dark things, I feel them very strongly, so why would I not talk about them.” said Eilish.

The documentary captures Eilish’s personal struggles with recovering from her ankle injury, her relationship, and valuing herself as a person. The journey also shows the highlights of her career, with Eilish’s album going number one and winning five Grammy awards including album of the year. Her success story goes to show that anything is possible and fans can look inside her blurry world to find inspiration or can relate to her on a personal level.

10 Most Famous Texas Recipes

In Texas, everything is bigger, better and will probably add some extra calories into your diet. But if you don’t mind that, neither do we. Here’s a list of some Texas staples to put on your plate and don’t forget your cast-iron skillet.

Chili

Declared the official state dish of Texas in 1977, Texas chili differs from most others as there are no beans. Chili cook-offs are a time-honored Texan tradition bringing together the best of what flavor has to offer. Cook like the pros from these recipes from The Dallas Morning News and don’t forget the cornbread.

Frito Pie

Extend the life on your leftover chili for this crowd-pleaser tailgating dish or side. Throw in cheese, onion and Fritos to create this simple meal to serve one or all.

Corn Dogs

A State Fair and Rodeo staple, a good corn dog can make any adult feel like a kid again. Upgrade your cookouts this summer with this simple addition to your hot dogs from Texas Monthly.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I always leave a good pulled pork sandwich to the barbeque masters in Texas, but if you’re willing to marinate and slow cook it yourself look no further. Pair the sandwich with Texas toast, a coleslaw and baked beans for a filling truly Lone Star meal.

King Ranch Chicken

Sharing a name with the famous King Ranch, one of the largest in the world, nothing can beat this Tex-Mex combo. Similar to a casserole, this cheesy, chili-filled dish eaten with tortilla chips is sure to fill you up. 

King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe | Allrecipes

Chicken-Fried Steak

No chicken to be found here, but some heavy breading creates the chicken-fried effect on these steaks. Either trust the pros at Austin bars and southern restaurants, or if you’re up to the challenge this fan-favorite can be made at home.

Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy Recipe | Ree Drummond | Food Network

Margaritas

It wouldn’t be a top 10 list without a margarita recipe on the list. For most Texans, margaritas are their own food group whether frozen or on-the-rocks. Everyone has their own take on what to add, but for a base recipe check out Texas Monthly’s.

Best Margarita Recipe - How To Make Margarita

Ranch Waters

Another Texas summer staple to keep you cool along a river, lake, beach or pool is the ranch water. Buy ready-to-drink ranch waters from your local grocery store or make it yourself with some sparkling water and tequila.

Lone River Beverage Company | Ranch Water Hard Seltzer Made with 100% Agave  and Natural Lime Juice

Pecan Pie

It’s never a true Texan holiday without Pecan Pie at the dessert table. While many regard Goode Company’s Pecan Pie as the best in Texas, you can always make it yourself at home with this Southern Living recipe.

Decadent Pecan Pie Recipe - BettyCrocker.com

Peach Cobbler

A summertime staple, peach cobblers with Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream is what defined my childhood. While most families pass their recipes down, this recipe provides a quick sugar fix to impress your guests.

Peach Cobbler for Two Recipe: How to Make It | Taste of Home