The Aussie Grind

I’ve never had the chance to go to Australia, but I got to taste a little bit of it this weekend at The Aussie Grind in Frisco! My dad and I are always looking for new quirky breakfast spots to try, so when we found out about a new Australian-style brunch place that had just opened near our house, we knew we needed to check it out.

My dad and I both like coffee, so we decided to try a flat white– a style of coffee that originated in Australia. Since The Aussie Grind is authentically Australian (the owners moved to Texas from Australia in 2018), we knew that this was the perfect place to put flat white coffee to the test.

Verdict: it was so tasty! The presentation was beautiful and it tasted good, too. Since I’m used to sweet coffee, I made it about halfway through before adding sugar packets in. (Oops!)

I soon found out that Australian food is similar to American food, but with a twist. Being who I am, I decided to get the Avo Smash– a proclaimed “staple” on their menu. I thought it was super interesting that they served the avocado toast on sourdough bread. I’m used to eating my avocado toast on plain white bread, so the sourdough definitely elevated it a bit. I might have to get some sourdough at Trader Joe’s once I get back to Austin and try to make Avo Smash at home! Also, I’m not sure what they did to those scrambled eggs, but they were amazing– seriously some of the best eggs I’ve ever had.

By the time we left, I was riding a super strong caffeine/sugar high from that flat white coffee. The Aussie Grind has tons of other interesting options on their menu, so I want to come back next time I’m in town and see what else they have to offer! I tried my dad’s Breakfast Gnocchi, and that was top-tier as well. The Hotcakes intrigue me, but might be best saved for a day when dessert-for-breakfast sounds appealing (it’s pancakes served with cotton candy and vanilla ice cream!)

If you’re in the Frisco area looking for a fresh take on American brunch food, I highly recommend The Aussie Grind. They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, though, so plan to go early!

-K

Half In, Half Out

Something I famously tell people is that “I don’t half-ass anything,” but I might have made an exception for this look. I’ve seen a lot of this half tucked-in look all on Pinterest lately, and I wanted to give it a shot. I had only seen it with jeans, but I thought it could be super cute with a pair of high-waisted shorts, too!

The outcome? An outfit that’s light, airy, and perfect for a moderate summer day! I decided to keep the half-and-half theme going and tuck my hair behind my left ear, the opposite side than where I tucked my shirt it. It gives the whole ensemble some nice symmetry, and helps me show off my cute earrings!

SHOP THE LOOK:

Earrings: Tortoise Disc Post Earrings – Target
Shirt: White Button-Up (similar)
Shorts: Cotton Twill Shorts – H&M
Shoes: Zone Ankle Strap Sandal – Steve Madden

I’m interested in seeing how the half-in-half-out looks with a skirt. I plan on trying it out soon, so stay tuned in to the blog and my Instagram to see the outcome!

-K

Simple Changes for Healthier Eating

If you’re a 20-something college student like me, healthy eating probably isn’t always your number one priority. Which is totally fair- at this stage in life there’s a lot of things that are easy to prioritize over something like your diet. But healthy eating is so important, especially in your 20s, because it sets the foundation for the eating habits and the relationship you’ll have with food for the rest of your life.

I’ve talked about counting calories and my personal fitness journey on the blog before. Today, I’m going to be sharing the tips and tricks I’ve discovered along my health and fitness journey that help me eat cleaner. I’m no health expert nor extreme fitness guru; I’m just someone who has learned some things along the way and want to share my advice with you. Let’s get started!

Simple changes you can make for healthier eating

1. When In Doubt, Leave It Out

This means that if you’re making a meal and could possibly get away with leaving out a less-than-nutritious ingredient, do. For me, this was cheese. I used to put cheese on everything, especially in my pasta and on my avocado toast. Recently, I’ve started eating some of my most frequented meals without my beloved parmesan and feta- and you know what? It still tasted great. (Disclaimer: I definitely still eat cheese. I just have made it a habit to leave it out whenever possible.)

2. You Don’t Have To Eat The Serving Size

This one really changed the game for me. I’ve always been the person to eat at or above the serving size- especially for things like pasta dishes or bags of chips. My favorite meal to make at home- one I will actually swear by- is the avocado toast I mentioned earlier. The serving size for the loaf of bread I use came out to about three slices per meal, so that’s what I ate. Never thought much of it, until one day I realized that the part of the meal that is so fulfilling (the avocado and whatever I put on it) could really all fit on just two pieces of toast. That sliced my calories- and my bread intake- by a third! It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can really add up.

3. Fruit. Lots of Fruit.

If fruititarians were a thing, I’d be one. I eat a lot of fruit, especially recently. My favorite thing to do with any meal is to cut up a big bowl of fruit, specifically 10 strawberries, 20 grapes, and a cup of watermelon. (Pictured above!) I try to eat this with every lunch and dinner I eat at home, A) because I love fruit, and B) it helps fill me up for only 150 calories extra. Add my regular entrée of avocado toast or pasta on top of that, and I’m looking at around a 400-450 calorie meal that keeps me full for hours. Thanks, fruit!

4. Find a Low-Calorie Dessert You Genuinely Love

Your sweet tooth doesn’t always have to be satisfied by a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream at the end of the night. For me, something that changed the game was finding low-calorie dessert options that curbed my sugar cravings put didn’t put me at a 600 calorie surplus by the end of the day. Fruit is sweet, but it just isn’t the same, so my go-to dessert items are Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses (usually 2, 40 calories total), or Trader Joe’s Vanilla Meringues (I cut myself down to 1 a day, 22 calories each).

5. Eat at Home.

Make going out to eat a social thing only. If you can eat at home, do. As I’ve been living in Austin, I find it almost impossible to go out to eat alone. I would much rather go home and spend my time cutting up the nice fruits and veggies I bought and make a healthy meal for myself in my own home. I love going out to eat, don’t get me wrong- there’s something about a good brunch that I can’t make myself- but I reserve it for when I’m going out to eat with family or friends.

OVerall

Do what feels right for you. Adjusting to a healthier diet was an important change for me, and I’ve found that it was 100% worth it. I don’t feel sluggish anymore, I no longer need a nap to make it through the afternoon, my skin has cleared up- the list goes on. But listen to your body and your needs! Everyone is different, and that means everyone’s dietary needs are different. If you have any technical or personal questions about your diet beyond what Google or I could answer, I urge you to contact your doctor or a dietician to find a nutrition plan that’s right for you.

-K

Good Vibes Only

Fun fact: this is actually the first bodysuit I’ve ever owned! They’re a trend I’ve been eyeing for a while- I tuck in basically everything I wear, so a bodysuit would actually make a lot of sense in most cases- but I never could find one that I felt fit me properly and looked good. Luckily, I found this one at Uptown Austin! It fits perfectly, and I think the reminder to have “good vibes” is so cute.

I wore this version of the #OOTD out to go run errands, but then changed into jeans to go see Toy Story 4 later in the evening. (Go see it if you haven’t already. It’s adorable!) I think I actually liked the jean look better, but the denim skirt version is cute, too. They definitely have two very different vibes going on. Maybe I’ll share the details of the jeans version in a later post!

SHOP THE LOOK:

Sunglasses: Cateye Sunglasses – Target
Top: Black Bodysuit (similar)
Skirt: Denim Mini Skirt (similar)
Shoes: Advantage Sneaker – Adidas

How do you wear bodysuits? Do you have any specific brands you like? I think I’m going to be fully embracing this trend, since it so closely aligns with my personal style, so I would love to hear your suggestions!

-K

The Erin Condren Flagship Store

I’m an agenda girl at heart. Being able to plan out my days and clearly see all my to-dos in one place is what basically keeps me from bursting into flames, especially during the school year. So when I found out that the Erin Condren flagship store is located in Austin, I knew I had to pay it a visit! I’m a Lilly Pulitzer agenda fan, personally, but I was still excited to go visit a store thats sole mission is selling agendas and helping people get their life in order.

When I first arrived at The Domain, I was surprised at how easy it was to find the Erin Condren location. It’s at the corner of an intersection, so its beautiful, colorful mural isn’t easy to miss.

For me, stepping inside a planner store was like stepping into my own personal heaven. Colorful and chic, I felt inspired just being in that space. You can see almost everything from the front entrance, so that’s where I stayed for a while, taking it all in.

Like I said, I’m not an Erin Condren agenda-user, but I was still interested in checking out the products and seeing agenda layouts different from the one I primarily use. Something I like about Erin Condren’s philosophy is how customizable everything is. In-store and online, customers can choose the layout, cover, and coil that speak the most to them. I think the ability you have to make your agenda completely unique to you is pretty cool!

Beyond the actual agendas, the flagship store also had agenda accessories galore. I was immediately drawn in by the pens. It seemed like they had pens in every color and style imaginable! If I’m ever needing a specific shade for my color-coding needs, I know where I’ll head first, because this place has them all.

As if the pens weren’t enough, they also have an entire wall dedicated exclusively to agenda accessories. From sticky notes, to stickers, to stamps, they really thought of it all. If I’m being honest, I didn’t stay and study this section too hard, solely because I knew I would leave with oodles of accessories and a hurt bank account if I did.

This store seriously has it all. While I can’t personally vouch for the agendas themselves, I can recommend that if you need any agenda accessories, this is the place to be. Especially if you’re into a bright, colorful aesthetic!

Do you have a favorite agenda brand? I love scoping out new layouts and styles of agendas, so if you have a brand that you live by, let me know!

-K

All About Embroidery

I’ve been super into embroidery lately. I went through a phase a few years ago where I was staunchly against it, no matter what form it was in. (This was during the phase where boho fashion was super in, so the embroidery that came along with that trend just wasn’t really my style.) I’ve been super digging the embroidery I’ve seen recently, though, and when I found this skirt at Uptown Cheapskate I knew I had to snag it!

I wasn’t really sure how to wear it for a while (it actually hung on its hanger with its tag still on up until this morning,) but I love this #OOTD for work or play! My office is pretty frosty, so I made sure to pair it with a denim jacket. (Not pictured, but it looks super cute to tie the jacket around your waist if you get hot, too!) Now that I got the ball rolling, I’m excited to pair this skirt with more options in the future.

SHOP THE LOOK:

Jacket: Freeborn Denim Jacket – Target
Shirt: Slim-Fit Fine-Gauge Rib-Knit Tee – Old Navy
Skirt: Black Floral Mini Skirt (similar)
Shoes: Advantage Sneaker – Adidas

I’ve been stocking up on some cute new clothing items, so expect some new #OOTDs soon! Check back soon to see what I bought.

-K

JuiceLand

I’ve never really been much of a smoothie person. Other people in my life have loved them and sworn by them- my sister is a big fan of classic strawberry-banana smoothies and my dad can’t live without his green veggie mix. But I never really had the urge to buy one or try a new one- until I started seeing JuiceLands all over town during my summer in Austin.

Their Barton Springs location piqued my interest first. (Coincidentally, this is also their flagship store.) I see it when I drive home from work that way, and it always looked busy. I was intrigued, and looked them up. Turns out, there was a JuiceLand location only 2 minutes away from my barre and pilates studio. Score!

After class on Thursday, I decided to stop in. For what it’s worth, smoothies are supposed to be pretty healthy (at least compared to something like a milkshake,) so I didn’t feel guilty treating myself after an especially grueling pilates class.

As some of you know, I’m a creature of habit and very rarely branch out and try different foods. I decided to challenge that, and order something I wouldn’t usually try (but still looked tasty.) Enter: the Raspberry Hooray! Made with pineapple, banana, and raspberry, it wasn’t too far from the norm for my conservative palate, but was still different enough for me to be proud of my adventurous spirit.

Spoiler alert: It was so good. I slurped it down in under 5 minutes, and felt completely refreshed. With the small clocking in at only 293 calories, it made me feel good, too.

JuiceLand has around 25 locations in Austin, and 3 each in the Dallas and Houston areas. Can they come to Norman next, please? I’m feeling like I might get addicted to these this summer.

-K

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee

I worked at Old Navy last summer, and in case you can’t tell, I became a pretty big fan. I love their boyfriend tees, especially the striped ones. They’re comfy, casual, and can be worn so many different ways. (And honestly, my employee discount was a huge incentive to load up. That markdown was killer!)

I’ve worn them for almost a year now, and I probably need to go get more this summer from their new collection. #OOTDs like this are perfect for so many occasions, from class, to errands, to brunch! Tragically, Old Navy doesn’t carry this exact shirt anymore, but I’ve linked a similar one below.

SHOP THE LOOK:

Bandana: Black Bandana – Hobby Lobby
Top: Striped Yellow Shirt (similar)
Shorts: Cotton Twill Shorts – H&M
Shoes: Zone Ankle Strap Sandal – Steve Madden

What is your go-to look for hot summer days? I’m trying to incorporate some new casual pieces into my wardrobe, and I’m looking for inspiration!

-K

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

This past weekend, my dad came to visit me in Austin and we spent all day Saturday eating good food and doing the quintessential Austin activities. (If you missed the Father’s Day recap, click here to read all about it!) One of our outings (and quite frankly, one of my favorite parts of the day) was dinner on South Congress at Hopdoddy Burger Bar. I enjoyed my experience there so much that I didn’t think it deserved to be thrown in with the rest of the Father’s Day roundup, and instead deserved its own review. So, let’s get right into it!

Hopdoddy came as a recommendation from my aunt. Beyond knowing that it was a gourmet burger place, I didn’t have many more expectations other than what she told me. She gave me two pieces advice before we went:

  1. The ordering system is a little different, but you’ll figure it out quick.
  2. Go before 5:30, or make sure you don’t come hungry, because after 5:30 the line will be out the door and wrapped around the building.

This was a lot of hype for a burger joint, but we listened to her advice and went around 5:00. When we arrived, the line was (luckily) inside, and we got to peruse the menu in the comfort of their AC. I also found out what she meant about the ordering system being different than an average restaurant: they don’t take your order until there is a table available for you. My guess is that this is to ensure that everyone has a place to sit when their food comes out shortly after ordering. All their tables are numbered and marked with signs that say “Reserved for Customers Waiting in Line.” When a table is available, they take your order, assign you a table number, and then you can go sit down. I can see how this system ends with a line stretching around the building, as they probably could take orders much faster than people could eat their food.

Speaking of the food, I got garlic parmesan truffle fries! Anything truffle is my weakness, so when I saw this on the menu, I knew I had to have it. It’s meant to be shared as an appetizer, but I decided to forego a burger and eat the fries as a main course.

My dad and I also decided to split a shake! I almost never get shakes when I go out to eat (I just don’t think the calories are worth it,) but I decided to #treatmyself that day. I’m glad I did, because the s’mores shake my dad and I had was incredible. It could be that I just hadn’t had a milkshake in a hot second that made it taste so dang good, but my dad is somewhat of a milkshake connoisseur and even he said it was awesome. It mostly tasted like chocolate, but the marshmallow was just the extra flavor it needed to send it over the edge. 10/10, would definitely recommend to a friend.

Overall, Hopdoddy is definitely a fun South Congress destination! There’s a parking garage right next door, so that’s very useful since downtown is notorious for a lack of parking. Just make sure you go early, because otherwise you’ll be stuck out in the elements as you wait for the early birds to finish their meals!

-K

Seeing Red

Another internship #OOTD, this one from yesterday! It can get super cold in the office, so I had to bring a sweater to put over so I wouldn’t completely freeze. I like the outfit better without it, though!

I was extra cold yesterday because of the iced caramel latte that I had around 9:30. One of my fatal flaws is that I don’t lightly sip on anything (coffee, margaritas, etc.) so whenever I get a beverage, it’s usually gone in under 5 minutes. Normally not an issue, but about 2 hours after my latte I literally felt like I was going to die. I guess all the caffeine hit me at once, and I then had to deal with the consequences. (Note to self: please try to not do that again!)

SHOP THE LOOK:

Scrunchie: Black Scrunchie – Walmart
Top: Pleated Blouse – Calvin Klein
Skirt: A-Line Mini Skirt – American Apparel
Shoes: Advantage Sneaker – Adidas

I can’t believe it’s already mid June! I’ve been in Austin almost a month now, and have about a month and a half to go. Stay tuned for more #OOTDs, both internship-related and not!

-K