Austin, Texas City Guide


We had a blaaaassst in the artsy city of Austin last weekend. Being the capital of Texas, and also home to one of the largest music festivals SXSW, there is lots to see, do, and eat in ATX!

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Lookout from Mt. Bonnell

Thanks to the help of some local friends (Thanks Danielle!!) from ATX, here are some fun and yummy things to do and see in Austin, Texas…

What to SEE:

  • Mt. Bonnell stairs + lookout (people were dressed in workout clothes but honestly it’s like a 5 min stair walk, nothing I couldn’t handle in my platform Tevas!).

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air plants

  • Mayfield Park to see all the Peacocks and walk around their beautiful nature preserve.

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What to EAT:

  • Torchy’s Tacos (their queso…!)
  • Kerbey Lane (pancakes all day)
  • Rudy’s BBQ
  • Salt Lick BBQ (but be prepared to drive far out of the city and wait 1hr + at least!)
  • Hopdoddy burgers
  • Gordough’s donuts (these verryyyyy *extra*)
  • Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery donuts
  • Sway Thai fusion
  • Hula Hut (Tex Mex on the river)
  • Tacodeli (breakfast tacos are a thing here in Austin!)



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New Hairs.

Went in just to see if I had enough length to donate


before hairs painted hair

Yep!! 10 inches.

You could say it also had to do with mom life…either way it had to go. I’m happy to have it help someone who needs it. And honestly I’m wishing I had chopped it sooner >.<

I’ve heard that Locks of Love charges money for their locks (to recipients of their wigs), but Pantene’s gives them free, and works with the American Cancer Society. So I’d go with the latter if you’re looking to donate.

xo. hanalei

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Easy + Quick Buffalo Chicken Salad

There isn’t a lot of nights where I have time to do anything but quick and easy meals. I recently had this at a restaurant and I devoured it. Then when I realized I had crispy chicken tenders in my freezer I thought…that can’t be hard to recreate! This one was made by whatever I had on hand and finished 30 mins later. But you can easily plan for this meal and take it to work for lunch, or for a quick dinner! And don’t let the word “salad” fool you—both my husband and I could not finish our portions!! It was that filling. That rarely happens, guys.


  • Tyson crispy chicken strips (Costco!) Or any brand battered chicken strips
  • Frank’s Red Hot buffalo wing sauce (or similar)
  • Blue cheese crumbles (I always have this on hand because it’s my fave and I love adding it to salads)
  • Opa Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing by Litehouse (or any ranch dressing). I found mine at Walmart.
  • Canned veggies: corn, black beans
  • Fresh veggies: celery, spinach or lettuce, avocado, red/white/or yellow onion, tomatoes, salsa. Can also use bell peppers, green onions, sliced cabbage…basically any veggies you have that sound good with this!


When chicken is finished cooking thoroughly, cut them in halves and place in mixing bowl to cool slightly. Assemble salad with all the colored veggies you have, starting with spinach or lettuce on the bottom. Drizzle some yogurt ranch dressing (or similar) on veggies. Next drizzle desired amount of Frank’s Red Hot buffalo sauce on chicken. Be careful to not over sauce the chicken, or it will be soggy and the dressing, over-powerful. Toss to coat. Top salad with tossed chicken, and add crumbled blue cheese.

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The One Item You Need For Your Next Snow Trip


[I could stare at this view of the Grand Tetons allllll day…]


I have gone on many snowy trips with boots and snow coats and gloves and scarves…but there’s one accessory I discovered this trip that I can’t believe I’ve gone without all these years. If you’re visiting the snow this season or in the future, this item is a must have.

Boot Grippers (aka boot cleats) turn any boot into safe, good-gripping ones. It’s equivalent to putting chains on your tires when driving on icy roads. Even the grippiest rubber snow boots are only so good until you walk on ice. These provide amazing traction and made for a much safer hike when I had to climb a few very icy spots last week. They’re great for making your not-so-snowy boots or shoes safe to wear.

I got these ones (below) but you have make sure to pull the front up over the toe, or else they may come off. I initially just pulled them to the front and, after hiking in some deep snow, realized I had lost them a few minutes back. After I pulled them over the toe, they stayed on the rest of the way. A better design (in my opinion) would be these ones that have an extra strap over the top.

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^ This is the waterfall we climbed on! So glad I had the boot grippers.




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Tidy Tips: The Easy Way to Clean House Daily


photo: Rebfre

Maybe it’s because I have my own home now (no more renting!), but this year I want to focus on taking extra special care of our house. One of my New Years Goals is to focus on tidying! I’ll share a few “Tidy Tips” that I’ve learned + am doing, throughout the year. I’m looking forward to sharing these tips in case it can help anyone else out there. Unless I’m the only one that struggles with keeping up a clean house???  Anyway I’m sharing these because I’ve benefited so much from other bloggers sharing about their lives, so I want to pay it forward I guess!

TIDY TIP #1 : Tidy for 15 mins daily. I’ve been doing this for a week now and it is already helping keep my house looking good without overstressing myself! Since cleaning the whole house at once seems so daunting, so impossible, and so not fun, it has made cleaning stressful in the past. But someone once shared with me a book about overcoming procrastination that I’ve remembered for 15 years now. The takeaway was “if something takes 2 minutes or less to do, do it right now.” I wanted to implement that idea and extend it to 15 minutes of focusing on tidying/cleaning up. This can include doing dishes, cleaning up after dinner, wiping down bathroom floors, vacuuming, etc.  I set my timer, and if I get interupted I just pause it, and come back to it later.

I figure 15 minutes is enough to get the house somewhat looking tidy. If I expect it to be spotless all the time I will definitely be either stressed out trying to making it happen and ultimately failing, or so overwhelmed that I do nothing, and accept defeat. The goal is to do juuuust enough to where it doesn’t look like a bomb went off, but not too much that I get stressed out just thinking about how long it will take me etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

I found this list (below) of one minute chores to do around the house, and am implementing it into my 15 minutes of daily tidying. Of course it’s not just me cleaning, I also enlist the help of my husband. You can try it with roommates, children, spouses, guests (jk but wouldn’t that be nice!), etc. It’s the easiest way to keep your house tidy for those drop-in visitors who usually don’t make it past the front porch haha. I’ll be printing this list out to refer to daily! Keep reading to see the list…

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