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DECEMBER 2015

Lake Austin

LakeAustinLifestyle.com

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It’s A Sweet Month

GIFT GIVING TIME! A THRILL OF A LIFETIME SPECIALTY SWEETS AND TREATS


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Editor’s Letter

N

Reason #45 I love Austin!

DECEMBER 2015 publisher

Cherice Engel | CEngel@LifestylePubs.com

o matter your religious beliefs, or the holiday you celebrate, December is special. It is a sweet month. This is the time of year we focus on spending special time with our family and friends, giving to our loved ones and the community, and indulging in savory foods and sweets. It's a time for traditions, community celebrations, and trying out something new. However, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all the happenings and hustle and bustle of the season. But for us Austinites, we are very fortunate to be living in the city of Austin during this time of year.

Reason #45 I love Austin - Take a quick look around and you see the spirit of the holidays flourishing in our city. It's more than the spirit of the holidays; it is the generous, communal, giving, friendly spirit of Austinites. You see it in the randomly decorated trees along 360, the local business' shop windows, the man in the check out lane who helps you with your groceries, the driver of the car who slows down to let you in the lane, the child who is glowing with delight, and the neighbors whose house is decorated for the season. Big and small, the holiday Austin spirit is everywhere.  This month delight in the many community holiday happenings in your area. Soak up the spirit of the season at the trail of lights, make a gingerbread house with your loved ones, celebrate the lighting of the Zilker holiday tree, take part in the holiday sing-along and downtown stroll, snuggle up to watch your favorite holiday movie and enjoy the seasonal parties with your friends and family. This is the time of year to slow down, love, keep your patience, indulge, have fun and relish in the season. Let's all relish in the generous Austin holiday spirit. 

editor

Alissa Pallan | Alissa.Pallan@LifestylePubs.com contributing writers

Kirsten Kumar, Alisha McDarris, Anne Potter Russ, Shelley Seale, Val Valdez contributing photographers

Miguel Angel, Bob Daemmrich, Katie Doering, Sidney Hollingsworth, Vanessa Horodecky, Nick Simonite

CORPORATE TEAM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

| Steven Schowengerdt

CHIEF SALES OFFICER

| Matthew Perry

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER DIRECTOR OF MARKETING ART DIRECTOR EDITORIAL DIRECTOR AD COORDINATORS

| DeLand Shore | Brad Broockerd

| Sara Minor | Nicole Sylvester

| Cyndi Harrington, Chelsi Hornbaker

COPY EDITOR

| Kendra Mathewson

APPLICATION ARCHITECT WEB DEVELOPER

| Michael O’Connell | Hanna Park

Until next time,

Alissa Pallan, Editor Alissa.Pallan@LifestylePubs.com

by Community ™

LakeAustinLifestyle.com ON THE COVER Mounds of Christmas rib-

bon candy are just one of the many holiday specialty sweets found at The Candy Jar. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATIE DOERING 4

Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015

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P.O. Box 12608 Overland Park, KS 66282-3214 Proverbs 3:5-6 Lake Austin Lifestyle™ is published monthly by Lifestyle Publications LLC. It is distributed via the US Postal Service to some of Lake Austin’s most affluent neighborhoods. Articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect Lifestyle Publications’ opinions. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Lifestyle Publications does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. Information in Lake Austin Lifestyle™ is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.


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December 2015 | Lake Austin Lifestyle

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December 2015

Departments

14

14 The Gift of an Experience

8

Good Times

12

Around Town

14

Hot Spot

20

Locals Only

23

Sold Properties

24

Giving Back

26

Home Matters

28

Page Turners

30

Lifestyle Calendar

34

Parting Thoughts

Take a flight of a lifetime on one of the coolest things to do in Austin.

16 The Candy Jar

Indulge in this season’s special festive treats. 

20 Shop Local

We have you covered this holiday with gift ideas from local shops.

16

20

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Good Times

Texas Book Festival’s First Edition Literary Gala Novelist Margaret Atwood; actor, Broadway star and children’s book author Taye Diggs; and acclaimed author Lemony Snicket were the featured presenters at the Gala's 20th anniversary. PHOTOGRAPHY BOB DAEMMRICH

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Good Times

Wimberley Glassworks Dragon Scale Collection

Over 200 people attended opening night for the Dragon Scale Collection with live music by Taylor and the Wild Now, local bites, and Dragon's Breath cocktails by Cypress Creek Rum Distillery. The blown glass pieces are a recently recognized collection for the Glassworks. PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA HORODECKY

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11


Around Town SECOND ANNUAL SONGWRITER COMPETITION

ARMADILLO CHRISTMAS BAZAAR CELEBRATES 40 YEARS

The winner of Texas Songwriter U's (TxSU) second annual song-

As one of Austin’s longest running art and music festivals with a vi-

writing competition is  21-year-old Jefferson Clay  of San Antonio,

brant community-driven vibe, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar makes

Texas. TxSU is an educational program and songwriting competition

for a wonderful holiday tradition. Visitors can explore an amazing

that serves and celebrates Texas songwriters. Founded in 2014, its

array of handmade items from more than 160 artists while enjoying

mission is to identify, develop and support talented adult songwrit-

live local music and sips from a full bar. It all adds up to a fun au-

ers throughout Texas, while improving upon the quality and quantity

thentic Austin experience. The 10-day bazaar has over 160 locally and

of professional songwriting across our state. TxSU is fully support-

nationally acclaimed artists exhibit their best work, including near-

ed with the help of American country music artist Jack Ingram, The

ly two-dozen carefully curated newcomers this year. At least three

ASCAP Foundation, and The Texas Heritage Songwriters' Associa-

bands per day perform on the Armadillo stage, with a star-studded

tion. "The opportunity to have shared my songs on a legendary stage

music lineup. The 31 performances range from new and emerging

like The Saxon Pub and to have Jack Ingram and Radney Foster offer

stars to local legends, as well as Grammy win-

precious, road-worn advice and wisdom – there's nothing like it. It's

ners. This year features new musicians such as

just unbelievable. Programs that provide this caliber of opportunity

John Fullbright and Gina Chavez as well as return-

for young songwriters like myself are so rare, and I couldn't be more

ing local icons Ray Wylie Hubbard, Asleep at the

grateful to everyone involved," says  Clay.  The

Wheel and Ruthie Foster. Armadillo producers,

following Texas songwriters were selected as

Bruce Willenzik, Annie Harding and Anne John-

finalists for this year’s event: Justin Michael

son, are thrilled about the 40th season and look

Bell (Katy, Texas); Jefferson Clay (San Antonio,

forward to honoring artists, musicians, friends and

Texas); Mark Currey (Fort Worth, Texas); Wake

iconic independent local businesses that make

Eastman (Marble Falls, Texas); Charlie Gore

significant contributions toward building Austin’s

(Austin, Texas); Mignon Grabois (Houston, Tex-

attractive cultural identity. ArmadilloBazaar.com

as); Colby Keeling (Lufkin, Texas); and Leslie Powell (Austin, Texas).

SOCKTOBER Forest Trail Elementary (FTE) and Valley View Elementary (VVE)

I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU FINANCIALLY FIT

students have collected close to 7,000 socks to donate to Austin's

The truths are: divorce rates hover around 50 percent, and marriage

homeless population. The Socktober fundraiser is an annual event at

rates are declining. In other words, less people are entering into a bind-

FTE, and this year the Falcons challenged their neighbor VVE to par-

ing relationship and, for those who already have, approximately half

ticipate. Laura Hitt, a 5th grade teacher at Forest Trail, has organized

want to end it. The individual reasons may vary but there’s one com-

Socktober for the past three years. The support and response to this

mon theme that seems to create stress and challenges for couples year

year’s Socktober has quite literally 'blown the socks' off their goal of

after year; finances. Enter Pam Friedman – Certified Financial Planner™

2,500 pairs of socks. By the end of the third week, FTE has more than

(CFP®), Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™) and author of the

4,039 pairs of socks with VVE collecting 2,821! The FTE 5th graders

upcoming book, I Now Pronounce You Financially Fit: How to Protect

have taken their philanthropic creative spirit to a new level by team-

Your Money in Marriage and Divorce. Separated into two clear parts

ing up with another fund drive currently underway at their school. Ms.

— marriage and divorce — Friedman uses straightforward, non-tech-

Lewis, the PE Teacher, collects toiletries throughout the school year

nical language, along with a little humor,  organized to help couples

and donates them to Austin’s homeless shelters. Combining the ef-

and individuals prepare financially for marriage and protect money in

forts of both these fund drives, Ms. Lewis’s students will stuff socks

marriage or divorce. In the ‘mar-

with travel-sized shampoos, toothpaste, soaps, etc. to create 'sock

riage’ section, readers will see how

care packages' which they will donate to a few different homeless

emotions impact financial deci-

shelters. Socktober is a national campaign promoted by Kid Presi-

sion-making, learn strategies to

dent to raise awareness of America’s homeless problems by mobi-

budget and save, and how to pro-

lizing individuals, schools and communities across the country to

tect your money as a couple. In the

collect and donate new socks to their local shelters.

‘divorce’ section, readers will learn the choices that can preserve their

EANES ISD ENDS FOUR YEARS OF NEGOTIATING

money as they move forward in

Eanes ISD has finalized agreements to bring youth athletic fields to

their divorce. Friedman empha-

the area, ending more than four years of negotiations with area land-

sizes that, instead of meeting with

owners and youth athletics groups. Eanes ISD, along with River Hills

a divorce attorney, those contem-

Road landowner Tires Made Easy, Inc. (TME), other River Hills area

plating this step should first seek

neighborhood groups, Western Hills Little League (WHLL) and the

guidance from a financial advisor.

12 Fields Foundation (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, formed by WHLL, West-

12

Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015


lake Pop Warner, and Westlake Youth Soccer Association finalized the deals. The agreements include: the sale of 90 acres of Eanes ISD’s River Hills Road property to TME for $4 million; a TME donation of 15 acres of River Hills land to WHLL for the negotiation and construction of the

Don’t be on the Knotty list...

River Hills Sports Park; the lease of 26 acres of Eanes ISD’s Baldwin property to WHLL for youth sports fields; a TME donation of $2 million to Eanes ISD for improving District sports fields; and a TME donation of $250,000 to the 12 Fields Foundation for youth sports efforts. 

SAGE AND SWEETGRASS WELLNESS SPA MOVES TO NEW LOCATION For centuries, people have created sacred spaces for ceremony and spiritual  retreat; places where they could take refuge from the outside world and focus on the highest ideals of wholeness, healing, and peace. The Native American Anasazis of the Southwest anointed their sacred dwellings by burning sage and sweetgrass and gave them a special name: Kivas. Step into your own urban Kiva with Austin's only luxury medical spa at Sage & Sweetgrass Wellness Spa, where divine indulgence meets holistic healing and modern medicine. The spa is now at a new location in Lakeway  at the Liberty Center, across from Lexus of Lakeway at 107 RR620, S. Suite 105, Austin. Sage & Sweetgrass features 'Austin's most amazing facial,' as well as laser skin rejuvenation, skin tightening, therapeutic massage, and acupuncture. Dr. Alina Sholar, a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, is on

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UR FIT WELLNESS CENTER NOW OPEN Former body-builder, aerospace engineer and now  fitness trainer and nutrition coach, Xavier Ramirez,  knows a thing or two about getting fit and staying fit. From running with the bulls in Pamplona to winning body building competitions to working on US Air Force satellites – his personal and professional pursuits are many and varied. And now, Ramirez is bringing all that knowledge and experience to West Austin with the opening of the UR Fit Wellness Center; an unique blend of personal fitness training, meal plans and technology to help you experience optimum health. You will benefit from the Fit3D ProScanner, an innovative 3D body scanner that captures a 3D, 360° image of your body, extracting the most commonly  used circumference measurements for fitness progress. The 40-second scan results in your 3D avatar, which is securely stored on the Web Platform,  allowing you to track your fitness progress by comparing scans and measurements side-by-side as you realize your health and fitness goals. The UR Fit Wellness Center is the only  outlet in the greater Austin area to  have  the 3D scanner. UR Fit  is located at 10601Ranch Road,

2222

in

Austin.

URFitWellnessCenter.com December 2015 | Lake Austin Lifestyle

13


Hot Spot

You can partake in getting a vintage picture with the biplane.

ARTICLE SHELLEY SEALE PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED

Y

ou begin by donning a WWI-era leather helmet — this one outfitted with the

modern technology of a two-way headset — and a bomber jacket if you like, for old school authenticity. As you step onto the wing and climb into the snug fit of the cockpit, you can’t help but

A view of the capitol building from the biplane.

feel a few butterflies in your stomach. Taxiing down the runway, suddenly the song “Danger Zone” from Top Gun breaks into your headphones. The excitement has begun in your biplane flying adventure. “I admit I’m biased, but this is the coolest thing to do in Austin,” says Rob Whiteside, pi-

Austin Biplane

THRILLING ADVENTURE IS THE GIFT OF A LIFETIME

lot and owner of Austin Biplane. I have to admit I agree, and I’m not even in the air yet. I feel like I’m channeling Amelia Earhart in the open-air cockpit of a sleek, gleaming, fire-engine-red biplane. As it lifts off the runway, I can feel every breeze, every wind bump, as if I was in a sports car hugging the roadway’s every turn. It’s quite a ride. Being in an open biplane is quite a different sensation than flying in any other airplane, even small ones like the Cessna. The windshield does protect your face from the wind, so it’s not whipping you 14

Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015

Austin Biplane over Lake Austin at sunset


to pieces; but move your head slightly or try to lift your hands and the force of the skies is there. As we approach downtown Austin, I marvel at this bird’s eye view of my hometown, gazing at the city as if it were brand new to me. “I’m going to make a turn and we’ll be heading straight up Congress Avenue toward the Capitol,” says Captain Rob through the headset. Yikes! Turn, indeed — the plane is maneuvered into a sharp banking to the right, as downtown Austin is suddenly below my right shoulder and my stomach is somewhere behind us. I can’t help grabbing onto the dashboard in front of me and emitting a little shriek. It’s more thrilling than being on the fastest, loopiest roller coaster. After a couple of circles around downtown, we head out past the 360 bridge to Lake Travis where Rob is allowed to buzz down to 500 feet and it feels like we are just skimming above the water. “My office view is better than anyone else’s in Austin,” Captain Rob says. Whiteside, a former Air Force Special Operations pilot who flew spy planes in Afghanistan, makes it even more fun that it already is, playing “Rolling on the River” and other songs. He bought the 2012 plane earlier this year and started flying customers in July. The unique experience is a popular gift for anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions. In addition to the regular sightseeing tours, Whiteside also offers sunset champagne flights and, for those with strong stomachs and adventurous spirits, a Red Baron Aerobatic flight that includes barrel rolls and full loops. And you can capture your entire experience forever; the plane is equipped with two GoPro cameras mounted on each wing, and one GoPro is provided for use in the front cockpit. The SD cards are available after the flight, or footage from all of them can be combined afterwards into an edited movie to keep forever. You can also take vintage looking photographs with the plane, complete with your early 19th century flying regalia that Whiteside provides. “I love giving people an unique experience, taking them back to the golden age of aviation and meeting people that have seen my plane flying around Austin,” Whiteside says. “This isn't just an air tour, it's an unique experience that people remember forever. It's unlike any Austin Biplane over downtown Austin

Sunset plane rides feel magical.

other flight you've been on.” I have to say that I agree with Captain Rob — this is the coolest thing in Austin. December 2015 | Lake Austin Lifestyle

15


16

Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015


Specialty sweets and holiday offerings make this a one-stop shop for all your holiday treats

ARTICLE ALISSA PALLAN PHOTOGRAPHY MIGUEL ANGEL, KATIE DOERING, SIDNEY HOLLINGSWORTH, NICK SIMONITE

W

hile walking past the shops at the Hill Country Galleria, I have been in-

trigued and tempted by a specific store many times. Its enticing sign and colorful window displays beckons me to take a step in and experience all it has to offer. When pausing to peer inside, my eyes are greeted with an abundance of color and sweets. I go inside, of course, because at this point I can’t resist. I am greeted by friendly staff, who quickly make this part of my day a highlight. As I browse the store, I am intrigued, which surprises me. I have to admit, I am somewhat of a candy snob. To most candy I say, “No thank you,” without a second thought. However, The Candy Jar offers such wonderful unique candies that I find myself saying, “Yes please!” “We carry a lot of specialty items that are hard to find at other typical candy stores. The Candy Jar tries to find the best confections at a reasonable price and we love introducing new lines to our Austin customers, and beyond, with our Sugar Rush program. For instance, we carry the following: Mast Brothers from Brooklyn, Sucre from New Orleans, Askinosie Chocolate - fair trade chocolate based out of St Louis, Quintessential Chocolates from Fredericksburg, Bliss Toffee from Brenham, Sugarpova - a line of candy from tennis star Maria Sharapova. For travelers familiar with these brands, we are their one stop shop to find all these amazing lines of confections under one roof,” says Christine

Christmas candy, sipping cocoa and holiday tins are just some of the sweets available. Photo by Katie Doering

Messina, owner of The Candy Jar. CONTINUED >

December 2015 | Lake Austin Lifestyle

17


THE CANDY JAR

(CON TI N U ED)

And lucky for us, during the holidays the shop is packed with special festive treats. “A few of our holiday offerings include fudge, a variety of holiday gift tins with items like peanut brittle, English toffee, s'mores, caramels, limited edition holiday truffles and peppermint bark of course; a traditional favorite! We have high quality, handmade sipping chocolate which is geared towards adults and a huge assortment of handmade candy canes that are as beautiful as they are delicious,” Messina says. I plan to indulge in the handmade sipping chocolate this Christmas as we partake in our annual tradition of watching The Christmas Carol. I may even sneak in some bites of the holiday truffles and English toffee! As I was selecting my assortment of treats for our special night, I find out about a wonderful holiday tradition The Candy Jar offers. “For the third year in a row, we are hosting our popular gingerbread workshops,” says Messina. You are sure to start a wonderful family tradition when you and your loved ones partake in this event. After learning about the gingerbread workshops, I have decided this will be a perfect holiday date with my husband. Although my first thought was to schedule the workshop for me and my kiddos, this year I think I will be surprising my husband with this fun date. After all, I can’t go wrong with candy! Along with the gingerbread workshops and many special sweets, you can also have your holiday party catered with candy from The Candy Jar. I host an annual Christmas party for my friends and family and this will be the perfect addition, not to mention that it will be far less work and preparation for me. “Candy buffets are very popular and we are growing this line of business for the store. We handle these requests in two ways; either Do-It-Yourself where we can provide the candy and the customer designs the buffet themselves, or we offer full design and setup services. Since we own a huge assortment of candy jars and related decor, this can substantially reduce the cost for the customer who otherwise would need to buy these items for what is often a one time use,” ­­Messina explains. The Candy Jar also offers solutions for your gift giving needs with custom made baskets and curated candy boxes. There are usually some gift baskets on hand for an easy grab-and-go, however, you can also put together your own special basket. “During the holiday season we start to receive a lot of requests for employee or teachers gifts, hostess gifts, etc. Our custom baskets and curated candy boxes make the perfect gifts,” Messina says. “Our curated box of goodies is available to ship or be picked up in the store. We have standard packages available like 'Yummy Gummy' or 'Notably Nostalgic' and we package popular items with lesser-known brands so customers may find a new favorite. However, we are a personal, full service shop and can customize any package as you’d like.” No matter your indulgence this season, you are sure to have a splendid shopping experience at The Candy Jar. I found the shop to be full of wonderful infectious energy; it is sure to put a smile on your face while shopping for your holiday treats.  18

  Lake         Austin Lifestyle | December 2015

Colorful holiday treats are sure to entice your sweet tooth at The Candy Jar. Photo Katie Doering


Specialty Chocolates. Photo Nick Simonite

Hammonds handmade candy canes. Photo Katie Doering

Sugar Rush Box Kids Assortment. Photo Sidney Hollingsworth

Children love shopping at the bulk wall. Photo Miguel Angel December 2015 | Lake Austin Lifestyle

19


Gift Giving Guide

Locals Only

20

This genuine full-grain leather pet collar is adjustable and has silver Texas Longhorn conchos. University Co-op, 2246 Guadalupe St. $27

A chew toy, game, and treats in one, The Busy Buddy Bouncy Bone comes in three sizes and will keep your dog occupied for hours. Healthy Pet, 4301 West William Cannon Dr. $8-$25

Tomlinson’s Biscuits come in a variety of flavors that can be mixed and matched and purchased in any quantity. Tomlinson’s, 3300 Bee Caves Rd. Suite 370, $4.99 per pound

PETS MEN

SHOP LOCAL FOR THIS YEAR'S MUST-HAVE GIFTS FOR YOUR LOVED ONES ARTICLE ALISHA MCDARRIS | PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED

Four-piece bar set

Record Vinyl

with hand carved rose-

art will go well

wood base by Mary

on the wall of

Jurek. All the essential

a music lover’s

accessories you need

den. Musician’s

to craft great cocktails.

Woodshed, 3698

Breed

Company,

Ranch Road 620

3663 Bee Cave Rd. $76

South, Suite 107,

&

$119

Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon Quadcopter for aerial photography and video. With HD camera, steady grip and aluminum case. Includes radio controller and built-in monitor. Precision Camera, 2438 W Anderson Ln. $1,150

Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015


KIDS & TEENS

Give the gift of music with guitar, piano, voice lessons and more. Musician’s Woodshed, 3698 Ranch Road 620 South, Suite 107, from $135 per month

Sphero is a smart toy, an app-enabled robotic ball that lets kids play, learn and explore. Brilliant Sky Books, 701 S Capital of Texas Hwy D-480, $135

Capture their most epic adventures with the GoPro Hero4 Black, the latest and greatest from GoPro. Tyler’s, 701 S Capital Of Texas S. Hwy. #B 250, $499

The Perplexis maze games will keep them occupied for hours. Varied levels of difficulty make them ideal for kids of all ages. Whole Earth Provision Co. 4477 South Lamar, $20 and up

This lightweight quilted vest from Peter Millar features

durable

water-resistant exterior

and

warm brushed fleece

lining.

Hutson Clothing, 3663 Bee Cave Rd. $165

The

Meccanoid

programmable walking, talking robot is the perfect tool for sparking building and programming curiosity in kids and comes in 2-foot or 4-foot

Sottomarino

versions. Kinda Kra-

Pro Series IV Dive

zy Kids & Kompany,

Watch for men of

3736 Bee Caves Rd

substance and

#4, $175-$400

style. Precision Time, 2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy. $890

CONTINUED >

December 2015 | Lake Austin Lifestyle

21


THE CANDY JAR (CON TI N U ED)

WOMEN The Sonya Renee Teency Texas Necklace features a 9mm 14k gold or sterling silver pendant on a 16” chain. Perri Berri, 2805 Bee Caves Rd., Ste. 414, $60

This double walled

activity

by S’well keeps drinks

itor. Best Buy, 4970 W US

cold for 24 hours or

Hwy 290 Service Rd. $150

various patterns and a gift box. Breed & Company, 3663 Bee Cave Rd. $35-$45

Jon Hart Design's Cowtown Clutch can be personalized and is available in three colors of embossed leather with a detachable 24” strap. Scott-Wynne, 3201 Bee Caves Rd, No. 160, $115

A digital scale and French press guarantees the perfect cup every time for true coffee connoisseurs. Trianon Coffee, 3201 Bee Cave Rd. #163. Scale $50, French Press $35-40 Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015

Charge

tracker and heart rate mon-

hot for 12. Comes in

22

Fitbit

insulated water bottle


Sold Properties

Recently SOLD Westlake Properties NEIGHBORHOOD

ORIGINAL LIST

Beecave Woods

DOM*

BDRMS

FULL/HALF BATH

$759,000

4

3/1

Beecave Woods

$785,000

4

3/1

West Lake Hills

$795,000

4

4/0

Timberline Terrace

$799,500

3

2/0

West Lake Hills

$810,000

3

3/0

Westlake

$899,000

3

2/1

Dellana Hills

$950,000

3

2/0

Westwood

$1,050,000

4

3/1

Westlake Oaks

$1,100,000

4

3/1

Westlake Highlands

$1,169,000

3

2/1

Davenport Ranch

$1,360,000

5

5/0

West Lake Hills

$1,395,000

4

3/0

Davenport Ranch

$1,500,000

4

3/1

Westview on Lake Austin

$1,599,900

6

5/0

Davenport Ranch

$1,650,000

5

5/1

Summit at West Rim

$2,995,000

5

5/1

Summit at West Rim

$3,050,000

7

8/1

Source: MLS. 10/1/15 -10/31/15

For exclusive videos of listings, visit MattSellsAustin.com Team West Real Estate, a Real Estate Brokerage

MATT HOLM 512.769.1695

REALTOR速, Certified Negotiation Expert, New Home Construction Specialist

December 2015 | Lake Austin Lifestyle

23


Giving Back

Give Boldly GIVE TO GET BACK THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

A child in Kenya receives clean water through Well Aware.

ARTICLE SHELLEY SEALE | PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED

A

s our minds turn to holiday giving, many local nonprofits offer meaningful ways to give back in the spirit of the season.

AUSTIN DOG RESCUE

For the animal lover on your gift list, this all-volunteer organization rescues dogs from the streets and shelters of central Texas, finding

THE MIRACLE FOUNDATION

This organization revolutionizes the way orphanages are run.

them loving, adoptive forever homes. You can give a donation and specify a card be sent to the person you are gifting with the donation.

Their unique 'Give a Miracle, Get a Miracle' holiday campaign al-

Another great present is their 2016 Austin Dog Rescue Rocks calen-

lows givers to purchase items for children without parents, giving

dar featuring local musicians Guy Forsyth, Ray Benson, Octopus Proj-

them a true holiday miracle. The online catalog has items from

ect and others with ADR foster dogs. The calendars are $20, including

school bags and clothing to medical care and food. Donors fill out

shipping, and can be purchased on the website. AustinDog.org.

a form with their honorees' information and a card is sent with a personal message.

WELL AWARE

“We believe in quality over quantity, in supporting the whole child

Millions of people around the world live without access to clean,

and breaking the cycle of poverty," says Founder Caroline Boudreaux.

safe water. Well Aware is a local organization that not only builds and

MiracleFoundation.org

repairs wells in Africa, it is significantly impacting lives. They are in for

24

Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015


the long haul, with cost-effective and sustainable solutions. Your gift recipient will receive a beautiful e-card. “We are not just a water charity,” says Sarah Evans, executive director. “Well Aware is re-

Musician Guy Forsyth on an Austin pedicab with Titan of Austin Dog Rescue.

defining water aid delivery and management in Africa and our methods of efficiency and sustainability are setting a new standard.” WellAwareWorld.org SAFE AUSTIN/AUSTIN CHILDREN’S SHELTER

The holidays are a difficult time for the children, youth, and families fighting to heal from instances of abuse and neglect. The Austin Children’s Shelter offers their Project Santa program to give these children and families a warm and memorable holiday season. The program accepts gift donations as well as gift cards. There are several drop-off days scheduled, or you can mail a gift card to: Austin Children’s Shelter, 4800 Manor Road, Austin TX, 78723. “Child abuse isn’t inevitable,” says ACS CEO Kelly White. “Ask yourself — what would it mean if every parent in Austin could get the resources they needed to avoid a path of abuse or neglect?” SafeAustin.org FAMILY ELDERCARE

The Holiday Giving Drive is a program run by Family Eldercare that provides holiday cheer to over 300 seniors or adults with disabilities, who have no family or regular visitors and would otherwise receive nothing for the holidays. The program matches 'sponsors' (individuals or families) who would like to help by shopping for and/or delivering gifts. “Year after year, volunteers report to us that they feel they get just as much or more out of the program by taking time out of their busy holiday schedule to visit a senior or adult with disability in need of comfort and joy during the season,” says Jenny Paul, Special Event Coordinator. FamilyElderCare.org

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A child at a Miracle Foundation home in India.

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Home Matters

Holiday Do and Don'ts WE HAVE YOUR GUIDE FOR HOSTING AND ATTENDING THIS SEASON'S PARTIES ARTICLE KIRSTEN KUMAR | PHOTOGRAPHY CLEARLY CLASSY, GREEN FERN & LUNA PARK EVENTS

T

he holiday season has officially arrived, bringing with it an ava-

relieve stress from the hostess as simply  as volunteering to direct

lanche of social events. Whether you intend to host a party or

parking for partygoers, or setting up tables and linens beforehand."

plan on attending as a guest, there are a few unspoken rules to abide

"Party-going etiquette also entails following what the invite in-

by. We interviewed three professional event planners in Austin for

structs—guests should arrive in a timely manner and dress accord-

their input on how to ace the hosting game. From your coworker’s

ingly," says Williams. Guests should contact the host or hostess any-

tacky holiday sweater party to your neighbor’s black tie affair, here’s a

where from two days to two hours before the event begins.

fail-safe guide to being the perfect hostess or guest.

“Nine out of 10 times, the day of the event, they’re frazzled,” says Williams. A quick phone call to see if the hostess needs any last-minute items can go a long way.

DO PLAN AHEAD

The number one rule of a successful party: do not leave everything for the last minute. “The second you know you want to have a par-

DON’T DIY

ty, start planning,” says Johnell Huebner, owner of Bee Caves-based

“Unless you’re an extremely crafty person and you have the time,

Clearly Classy Events. Careful planning up to six weeks in advance

avoid DIY,” says Kahn. It’s easy to believe you have enough time to

can minimize those inevitable last minute errands you’ll have to send

craft those hand-cut snowflake table settings, but DIY projects of-

your spouse out for.

ten become extremely time consuming. “You already have to get the house clean and your hair and makeup done,” says Huebner. “The last thing you want to be doing is taking on little projects.”

DON’T SHOW UP EMPTY HANDED

Tis the season of giving! The least a guest can do is bring a party gift for the host or hostess. Generally speaking, a bottle of wine will

DO ENJOY YOURSELF

do the trick. Hostess doesn't drink? No worries! "Bring some holiday

Some of the best advice Austin event planners have to offer: consid-

cookies or even an appetizer," says Richard Williams II, founder of

er hired help. “The stress can sometimes take away from being in the

Austin-based Luna Park Events.

moment, and that’s what an event is,” says Kahn. “You want to live that moment.” Consider bringing in help to organize and cater the party, serve drinks, or even clean up after. “Know your strengths,” says Williams. “Are you

DO BE MINDFUL

As a guest, it is important to be mindful of the needs of the hostess

a good cook? Then, cook! If not, think about getting a caterer.” Throughout

leading up to and during the event. According to Emily Kahn, founder

the event and at the end of the day, you should enjoy the company of fam-

of sustainable event planning firm, Green Fern Events, "Guests can

ily and friends, not worry yourself over refilling empty chip bowls.

Johnell Huebner, photo by Clearly Classy Events

Richard Williams, photo by Luna Park Events

Photo by Luna Park Events 26

Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015


Photo by Clearly Classy Events

Photo by Clearly Classy Events

CLEARLY CLASSY EVENTS

ClearlyClassyEvents.com 512.659.9571 GREEN FERN EVENTS

GreenFernEvents.com 512.712.4833 LUNA PARK EVENTS

LunaParkEvents.com Emily Kahn, photo by Green Fern Events

512.585.1735

Photo by Clearly Classy Events

December 2015 | Lake Austin Lifestyle

27


Page Turners

Hoover's first novel was inspired by her interest in archaeology and after seeing the King Tut exhibit in 1977.

The Forgotten Worlds Trilogy

Austin author P.J. Hoover used her love of sci-fi and mythology to start writing children's books in 2008.

PJ Hoover A LOCAL CHILDREN'S AUTHOR MAKES THE TEXAS LONESTAR LIST ARTICLE VAL VALDEZ | PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED

K

ing Tut once ruled Egypt, but now he’s stuck in middle school thanks

they may not otherwise know about,” Hoover says. Hoover’s own

to Austin children’s author P.J. (Tricia) Hoover's fantasy novel, Tut: The

children, Lola, 11, and Zachary, 14, also think it’s cool that their

Story of My Immortal Life. It is one of five books she has written since 2008,

mom is a children’s author.

but her journey as an author started in a galaxy far, far away. Growing up in

As a novice writer, Hoover joined local critique groups as well as the

Alexandria, Virginia, Hoover dreamed of becoming a JEDI as she devoured

Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her 'eureka' mo-

science fiction and mythology stories. However, she learned early on that

ment came when she met an editor from Dallas-based CBay Books at a

books were written by other people, so instead she earned degrees from

national writing conference. After receiving valuable feedback, she made

Virginia Tech in computer engineering and history, and later a Masters in

multiple revisions resulting in CBay Books publishing her trilogy. She

electrical engineering. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer at

also credits local book stores, Book People and Book Spot, for going out

Motorola and Intel, Hoover encountered a turning point in her life in 2008.

of their way to help her gain exposure as a writer.

She wanted something more and different, but what? Finally she decided that writing wasn’t just for other people, it was for her too. So with no writing experience she started to write books for kids and teens.  “People think that engineering and writing are different, but

“There are amazing and supportive independent bookstores in this area” says Hoover. Today, important recognition for her books is happening as Tut  was added to the Tex-

designing computer chips require creativity, organization and

as Lone Star List as required reading in middle

discipline, just like writing,” says Hoover.

schools; and a sequel is due to be released in 2017.

Her books range from ancient history to futuristic Austin facing

Hoover is happy to pass on encouragement to

global warming in Solstice and the suspenseful trilogy, The Forgotten

want-to-be writers to take the chance she did eight

Worlds. All her books are suitable for students aged in later elemen-

years ago, however, she is sure to stress that a writ-

tary and middle school, although adults enjoy them too. The best part

ing career is hard work with no over-night success.

of Hoover's job is visiting schools throughout Texas to engage with

“You do something thinking it will have no im-

students and establish valuable relationships with school librarians.  “Connecting with my audience and seeing their enthusiasm is so rewarding because it’s wonderful to introduce them to books 28

Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015

pact, but years later you finally get the rewards of your effort and it’s great,” Hoover exclaims. For more information go to PJHoover.com

"Solstice" is based in a futuristic Austin.


Clean water means health, inCome and eduCation

-

espeCially for women and kids.

www.Charitywater.org


Lifestyle Calendar

December

DECEMBER 1 - 24

DECEMBER 5

BLUE GENIE ART BAZAAR

GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKET

MARCHESA HALL & THEATRE

THE GERMAN FREE SCHOOL

An unique holiday art show opens again for it’s 15th year. The Ba-

The German-Texan Heritage Society offers handmade gifts, toys, and

zaar features handmade artwork & gifts from 200+ local & regional

ornaments imported from the Erzgebirge region of Germany. Enjoy

artists – with a portion of proceeds going to Make-A-Wish® Founda-

some free hot Glühwein (mulled wine) and Christmas cookies. Sing

tion. BlueGenieArtBazaar.com

along with German Christmas music courtesy of the Austin Saenger-

DECEMBER 1 - 27

runde. GermanTexans.org

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

DECEMBER 5

ZACH THEATRE

CANNED AUSTIN 2015

ZACH's fresh take on A Christmas Carol features three soulful Ghosts

AUSTIN STUDIOS

making a joyful noise, while moving our hearts with the Cratchit fam-

Inspired by the unique energy of the Untapped Festivals, highlighting

ily's love and Ebenezer Scrooge's miraculous transformation. Come

unique, quality brews and great music, Canned Festival celebrates

celebrate the season in true ZACH style with this new Austin holiday

the dynamic community of canned craft beer while bringing atten-

tradition! ZachTheatre.org

tion to the environmental benefits of highly recyclable aluminum

DECEMBER 1 HANDEL’S “MESSIAH”

cans. Featuring 40 Breweries, 125 Canned Beers, and a Great Music Lineup. PreKindle.com

HYDE PARK BAPTIST CHURCH

DECEMBER 5

The Austin Symphony presents its Christmas tradition, Handel’s Mes-

HOLIDAY SING-ALONG AND

siah, accompanied by Chorus Austin for you and your family. Enjoy

DOWNTOWN STROLL

this holiday classic, and a city favorite, with a night of musical magic

THE CAPITOL BUILDING

that will fill you with the joy of rediscovery and a performance full of

This annual  family-friendly event

rejoicing! AustinSymphony.org

celebrates the arrival of the holiday

DECEMBER 4 - 6

season and the joy it brings. Sing the songs of the season and count-

WILD IDEAS

down to the lighting of the Capi-

LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER

tol tree. From 7 to 9 p.m. Congress

Join us for the 25th Anniversary of Wild Ideas. Enjoy toffee sampling,

Ave. will be abuzz with holiday

shop local vendors, ornament inscribing, demos, 'Keep Austin Weird'

cheer during the Downtown Stroll.

book signing and more. Wildflower.org

DownTownAustin.com

DECEMBER 4

DECEMBER 5 - 23

LIGHTS OF LOVE 5K

BALLET AUSTIN'S THE NUTCRACKER

MUELLER HANGAR

THE LONG CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

There will be a kid’s area with face painting and crafts, and you can

Stephen Mills' take on this

get a photo taken with Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald. The 5K

timeless tale features a cast of

course will also feature music, holiday lights from our Mueller neigh-

hundreds of dancers, includ-

bors and a hot chocolate stop! Family Fun Run and 5K options avail-

ing the charming and talented

able. RMHCC.Convio.net

students from the prestigious

DEC 5, 13, 19

Ballet Austin Academy. Celebrate the magic of the holidays

SNOW DAY!

by experiencing this sweet

HILL COUNTRY GALLERIA

treat with your family and

Join us for a family fun day as we bring real snow to the Hill Country

friends. Featuring live accom-

Galleria! Toss a snowball, build a snow man, make a snow angel, and

paniment by Austin Symphony

take fun family photos. HillCountryGalleria.com

Orchestra. BalletAustin.org

30

Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015


DECEMBER 6 - 24

DECEMBER 12

GINGERBREAD WORKSHOPS

GINGERBREAD VILLAS

THINKERY

LAGUNA GLORIA

Gingerbread Workshops celebrate creative families with children of

Second Saturdays are for families: Be the ART-chitect of your very

all ages in a fun and festive atmosphere. These hour-long workshops

own candy home! We’re whipping up edible abodes like you’ve

provide everything needed to build and decorate a gingerbread

never seen before, inspired by the architecture of the Driscoll Villa.

house using real gingerbread and a variety of candy. Once complete,

TheContemporaryAustin.org

you can take your creation home to enjoy. ThinkeryAustin.org

DECEMBER 6

DECEMBER 12 & 13 LUMINATIONS

WESTLAKE WONDERFEST

LADYBIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER

NORTHSTAR BANK PARKING LOT

Thousands of luminaries and twinkling lights turn the center into

This family focused afternoon includes holiday entertainment, food,

a holiday wonderland during Luminations, an Austin holiday tradi-

activity booths, a petting zoo, train rides, a visit from Santa and much

tion. Visit with Frosty the Snowman, enjoy children's activities in the

more! This family friendly event will be rich in holiday spirit. Members

gallery and munch on warm kettle corn, available for purchase from

of the community are pulling out all the stops to bring you a memorable

Lone Star Kettle Corn. WildFlower.org

evening. WestlakeChamber.com

DECEMBER 7 NO HOMEWORK NIGHT EANES ISD This district wide event will provide an opportunity to do something special this holiday season  as a family -  without having to worry about any children having homework. EanesISD.net

DECEMBER 8 - 22 TRAIL OF LIGHTS ZILKER PARK This two-week long holiday spectacle is an Austin tradition. There will be a plethora of performances and festivities that are perfect for ev-

DECEMBER 15 - 24

eryone of all ages. Enjoy a night of christmas lights and fun holiday

ARMADILLO CHRISTMAS BAZAAR

memories! AustinTrailOfLights.org

PALMER EVENTS CENTER Actually two events in one: an art fair and music festival with a vibrant community-driven vibe. Visitors can explore an amazing array of handmade items from 160+ artists while enjoying live local music and sips from a full bar.

DECEMBER 19 THREE CLASSIC FAIRYTALES FRANK ERWIN CENTER Prepare to laugh, sing, and dance as you enter a world of wonder in Disney Live! Join Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as they bring the fairy tale adventures of Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to life in a theatrical experience that is pure magic. Ev9.Evenue.net

DECEMBER 10

DECEMBER 20

WINE WALK

HITS RUNNING

HILL COUNTRY GALLERIA

CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS

This is an unique wine and social gathering experience. Get to know

Experience a distance for everyone when HITS Endurance returns

the eclectic mix of businesses in the Galleria while discovering great

to the spectacular Circuit of the Americas home. Join the masses as

wines from all over the world. Enjoy the shopping specials for wine

HITS offers runners a mile to a marathon, as well as a Sprint Duathlon

walk during this holiday season. HillCountryGalleria.com

at this premier venue.

CONTINUED >

December 2015 | Lake Austin Lifestyle

31


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Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015


business directory ANIMALS & ANIMAL CARE Dog Boys Dog Ranch (512) 251-7600 dogboys.com

CHILD CAMPS, CARE & TUTORING Champions Westlake (512) 426-1990 championswestlake.com

COMMUNITY EVENTS & ORGANIZATIONS Westlake Chamber of Commerce (512) 327-3088 westlakechamber.com

DENTISTS & ORTHODONTICS Oak Canyon Dentistry (512) 263-5566 oakcanyondentistry.com

ENTERTAINMENT & RECREATION Austin Biplane (512) 981-6016 austinbiplane.com

FASHION & ACCESSORIES

Five Star Jewelry (512) 306-8200 diamondjewelryaustintx.com

FINANCIAL SERVICES & PLANNING Divorce Planning of Austin (512) 774-5340 divorceplanningofaustin.com

Security State Bank & Trust (512) 263-1600 ssbtexas.com

HEALTH & WELLNESS Align Massage and Bodywork (512) 693-9515 Austin Breast Imaging (512) 339-6360 austinbreastimaging.com Lake Hills Pharmacy (512) 608-9355 martinscompoundingandwellness.com

PROPERTY & REAL ESTATE

Riverplace OBGYN (512) 473-8300 riverplaceobg.com

Matt Sells Austin (512) 769-1695 mattsellsaustin.com

HOME DESIGN & FURNISHINGS

Amazing Siding & Windows Austin (512) 298-0214 amazingexteriors.com/austin/

Wilson Goldrick Realtors (512) 328-0022 wilsongoldrick.com

Capitol Design (512) 464-1155 capitoldesign.us

Rejuvenate Austin (512) 923-1071 rejuvenateaustin.com

HOME SERVICES

SALONS & SPAS

SPECIALTY SHOPS

JW Tree & Land Service (512) 743-6577 jwtreeaustin.com

Westbank Flower Market (512) 327-3374 westbankflowers.com

MEDICAL CLINICS & FACILITIES

Austin Plastic Surgery Institute (512) 327-3773 austinpsi.com

December 2015 | Lake Austin Lifestyle

33


Parting Thoughts

W

Creating Your Own Family WORDS ANNE POTTER RUSS

ith a family the size of a small compact car, I often use the term

the numbers with the multiple-removed people, but we don't really

"family" to describe my friends. My lineage is a long thin vine,

know them well. Who we do know and want to spend time with are

rather than a large leafy tree, due to circumstances and odds that

the friends now designated as family.

would win the lottery, if played. My mom was an only child. My dad

Every Christmas night when I was growing up, we had an open

was an only. Both of my paternal grandparents were only children.

house for anyone who needed someplace to go on a dark holiday

My husband is an only child. And, of course, I round out the roulette

night. My parents were inviting their “family” into our home for a

wheel as an only. Norbert and I had two kids so fast, it made the four

holiday. (At the time, I thought it was just a ploy to delay my union

grandparents’ heads spin.

with my newly opened gifts!) It was always a wonderful experi-

As soon as our children could talk and watch Mr. Rogers, they wanted to know where all the cousins were. “Is this a cousin?”

ence where people literally came in out of the cold to celebrate the season and the fellowship.

they’d ask as the babysitter walked in the door. I had learned from

Thanks to some wonderful friends, of multiple generations, we

my own childhood that “aunts” and “uncles” could be created; so,

have recently spent some very rewarding time with our "family."

as an adult, I figured I must be able to conjure up some cousins

Our inclusion in a rehearsal dinner, wedding, and surrounding fes-

for my kids. It wasn’t as easy as I’d thought. As I contemplated my

tivities; our invitation from a dear friend to celebrate her moth-

friends in terms of being family members, it occurred to me that

er’s birthday; and our crazy holidays spent with anyone who will

they had plenty of relatives, and might not be so thrilled to have to

have us, all add up to family.

take on mine as a hobby.

Lest you think I’m getting carried away anticipating the holidays

But finally, after reaching my half-century mark, I have come to re-

this year, it does translate to our daily lives. As you read this maga-

alize that many folks in many places have reasons to create extended

zine, think about the families who are being helped, often by people

families. We are only a drastic case due to our very small numbers

they’ve never met in soup kitchens and food pantries. Think about

– there are just four of us in total, that is until we get to the branch of

the families to whom you’ve become attached through work, play or

third cousins twice removed, whatever that means. We could bulk up

philanthropy. It’s powerful stuff.

34

Lake Austin Lifestyle | December 2015


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Lake Austin December 2015  

December 2015 Issue of Lake Austin Lifestyle

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