Thursday, March 30, 2017

15 Reasons I love the Domain in North Austin and why the kids will too.

15 Reasons I love the Domain in North Austin and why the kids will too.

1) It's an outside mall.  What is not to like walking outside between stores on nice days, stopping for a coffee or lunch and sitting outside on a break from shopping. Actually it is 2 side by side outdoor malls. There is a Simon Mall - Anchored by Macy's, Dillards, Dicks, Neiman Marcus and IPic Theater and then there is the Domain North Side with Nordstorm, Whole Foods and Restoration Hardware.   

2) Nordstrom - Who doesn't love this store.  It has the best shoe selection, amazing customer service, great return policy, they will ship you a size for free if not in the store, coffee bar, clean bathrooms, kids get a balloon with their shoes.  It is the best.  

3) Events, Events, Events like the annual Food Festival Taste or North Austin with great food - live music and children’s entertainment are free.   Christmas events with Complimentary Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides and light shows during the Christmas Holidays.  CASA Super Hero Run and many more.

4) Punch Bowl Social - This paces has Food, Drinks, Bowling, Karaoke, Ping Pong,  Pool, Corn Hole, Darts, Video Games and Brunch.  It really has it all and is lots of fun.  See my full review here.

5) Sprinkles Cupcakes and a cupcake ATM.  I mean who doesn't need a cupcake at any hour of the day.   

6) Top Golf - Food, Drinks, Games and Golf.  See my full review here.

7) Mystery Room - Try your hands at escaping and team building.  See my full review here.

8) Playgrounds all over for kids to climb on.

9) Culinary Drop Out - Ping Pong, Foosball, Corn Hole, TVs, couches outside areas super fun restaurant.  Make sure to make a reservation.  This place is always packed. 

10) Whole Foods with a bar, live music food trucks and a playground

11) They are getting a Hat Creek burger company with awesome french fry sauce and a playground.

12) Cake Balls - at Copper Restaurant & Dessert Lounge.  Who doesn't love cake balls that come in a reuseable copper tin.  Bonus:  Get a FREE cake ball on your birthday

13) Shake Shack - Burgers, Hot Dogs, Shakes, Ping pong, foos ball and yard games.

14) Free Golf Cart Rides - From the golf cart shuttle! Flag them down or call 512.656.5485
Monday – Thursday: 11:30 am to 8:30 pm
Fridays & Saturdays: 11:00 am to 10:30 pm Sundays: Noon to 7:00 pm. 

15) The Great Lawn - This astro turd open space is great for kids run around on.  With a pizza place and yogurt place next to a playground this area is great for families to hang out and play.   It also has live music from local musicians on weekends.

It really is hard to have a bad time here.  There is so much to do and places to shop and eat.  Only problem is traffic can be a pain but there are lots of free garages.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Round Rock Donuts for the Texas Sized Donut

By now if you are following me you may be seeing a pattern.  I promise I will lay off the donut places for a while.   I was in Round Rock and just had to go to see what Round Rock Donuts are all about.  

First it is right in down town at 106 W Liberty Ave and has a drive through.  No need to even get out of your car for a giant donut.   But of course I did.  I wanted to see the inside.   These yellow yeast donuts are made by hand as they always have since they started in 1926.  

It is hard to miss the Texas sized donuts they have in glazed or chocolate. 

Did you know they also have a Texas sized cinnamon roll?

The Daily Meal has consistently recognized Round Rock donuts as one of the best Donuts in America.  

We opted for the chocolate covered Texas sized donut and sliced into it like a cake.  It stayed fresh for at least 2 days in the box as it took us that long to eat it.  The kids loved it.  It was not too sweet.  I highly recommend stopping by sometime if you are ever in Round Rock. 

If you are not into donuts they do have other items like pastries, kolaches, cupcakes and cookies.


Hours: They are open 7 days a week.
  • Monday – Friday: 5am - 4pm; the drive through stays open until 6:30pm.
  • Saturday- 5am - 3pm; the drive through stays open until 6:30pm.
  • Sunday - 6am - 2 pm; the drive through stays open until 6:30pm.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Treaty Oak Distillery in Dripping Springs

Treaty Oak Distillery is located in Dripping Springs at 16604 Fitzhugh Rd.  It is one of the of the oldest distilleries in Texas.   There is a tasting room where you can taste the beer and spirits.  Each spirit tasting includes 3 – quarter ounce samples of any 3 spirits and a commemorative glass.

Sweet Tea Vodka
Bourbon Whiskey
Starlite Vodka
Reserve Rum
Oak Rum
Antique Gin

Fitzhugh Ale - British Mild
Lil Hop - Session IPA
Bright Side - Blonde Ale

This distillery is on 28 acres in Texas Hill Country.  It is beautiful there with lots of space for kids to run around with a kite, ball or Frisbee.   There is also a small play area with slide, tree, dome and sand box for the kids.

We went for the kite festival and there was love music.   They have live music most weekends.   I recommend checking it out not on a special event as the parking lot was quite full and there were lines for the drinks, tastings and bathrooms.   On a regular weekend it can be nice and quite.

There is also a Restaurant on site Ghost Hill which has a full bar and kitchen.  You can order burgers, snacks and mixed drinks like Moscow Mules, Mojitos and Pepperita's.   Beware those mojitos are strong.   You can order grilled cheese, brownies and gelato for the kiddos.   No outside food or drinks is allowed.  

You can take a forty-five minute tour with a distillers to see how the alcohol is made and a complimentary tasting. Tours cost $15 and are offered  Friday - 4pm & 6pm, Saturday - 1pm, 3pm, & 5pm & Sunday - 2pm & 4pm  Click here to reserve a tour.

Hours of Distillery:
Friday    3pm - 9pm
Saturday  12pm - 9pm
Sunday    12pm - 6pm


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Do you like donuts for every meal? Gourdough's has donut everything!

Gordough's Public House is located at 209 W. 5th Street  downtown or 2700 S. Lamar Blvd.  This restaurant is for donut lovers. 

It has Donut Sandwiches Donut Burgers, Donut Entrees and last but not least Dessert Donuts.   

The Donut desserts are so decadent you may need to save room or take them to go.

The Freebird Cheese Cake Filling, Cream Cheese Icing, Graham Cracker Crumbles, Fresh Strawberries & Blackberries

Mama's Cake Yellow Cake Batter Filling with Chocolate Fudge Icing

The Blackout Chocolate Icing, Brownie Batter, Brownie Bites with Chocolate Chips

They also have brunch served Saturday and Sunday 10am - 5 pm.   We tried the donut french toast.  

Go ahead and try some and tell me your favorite. 

If you don't have time for a sit down restaurant you can try their donuts out at one of their 2 food trailer locations Gourdough's Big. Fat. Donuts. located at 1503 S 1st St. or Burnet Road Trailer located 1503 S 1st St. 


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco with the kids

If you watch Fixer Upper on HGTV you know all about Chip and Joanna Gaines. Well did you know their store Magnolia at the Silos is less than 2 hours away from Austin.   Located at 601 Webster Ave in Waco, Texas just a few miles off the freeway.  You can drive up for the day and back or better stop in on your way to or from Dallas.

Their hours are:
Market - Monday - Saturday 9 AM - 6 PM
Bakery - Monday - Saturday 7:30 AM - 6 PM
Sunday - Closed

There is free parking connected to the Silos. The entrance is on 8th street by CrossFit.  There is limited street parking.  If the connected free parking lot is full park at the free Silo District Trolley. 

Magnolia Market is a home goods store that sells vases, pillows, rugs, paint, wall signs, jewelry etc.   You can spend time looking around this store while your husband watched the kids on the lawn.



The lawn is a giant AstroTurf area for kids to run around.  There are swings, corn hole, foot balls and blocks you can borrow and play with.   You can also grab a bottle of water or some yummy Cinnamon Toast or Salted Caramel popcorn right next to this area.


Further back there are tables with covers for shade and a variety of Food Trucks:

  • Milo - Biscuit Sandwiches and burgers
  • Co-town Crepes - Crepes
  • Cheddar Box - Gourmet Grilled Cheeses
  • Viteks - BBQ
  • 900 Pizzeria - Pizza
  • Luna Juice - Juice
  • Club Sandwich - Vietnamese rice bowls
  • H.O.T. DOG HOUSE - Hot Dogs
  • Silos Baking Co. - An airstream trailor selling the same Joanna Gaines cupcakes as the Silo Baking company but with out the line. 
  • Common Grounds - Coffee
  • Chuck's Popcorn - Popcorn

The Trashcan Rice Bowl

Magnolia Seed & Supply is an area with an garden and shop.  This shop sells gardening tools and pots, flower-growing kits and fairy garden supplies.  I picked up a fairy garden mailbox. 


Finally, the newly renovated Silos Baking Company.   You can see the episode about this cupcake bakery with Joanna's personal recipes on Season 4 Episode 10.   Every time I go I make sure to grab some of her cupcakes.  They are delicious.  I like the Shiplap and Lemon Lavender ones. 


They have bathrooms too.   This is a great day trip or stop.  Remember that this show is very popular and the Silos gets a lot of visitors.   I recommend going mid week.  Weekends and holidays like spring break can be very crowded.