Friday Five {12/15/23}

Hello friends! How has your week been going? Last night I played the violin with The Austin Symphony for the Home Alone pops concert. The movie was playing on a giant screen over the stage while we played the John William’s soundtrack. It’s always funny to play movie scores because we have to keep a “click track” in our ears to make sure we’re perfectly aligned with the movie…which is such an un-musical way to play and just feels funny! But the concert was a blast. I was filled with all the Christmas cheer, and I know the audience was too! 

Today I’m sharing just a few little snippets of things that are bringing me joy. I hope you have a wonderful Friday!

1. My Pasta|Bar Experience

I need to start with this because it was such a crazy experience! Pasta|Bar is a Michelin-rated restaurant from California that now has a location in Austin. 

It’s a 10-seat counter that sells tickets (not reservations..) for three seatings per night. 

You’re given 11 courses of scratch-made pasta-based dishes…with some variations, like a steak dish at the end, a granita palate cleanser, and the most delicious crudo of my life.

This experience costs $195 per person, plus $185 if you want the wine pairing. Add to that tax and gratuity, and it’s about $700 for two people to dine here. 

The question, as always, is: “is it worth it??” 

And the answer, as always 😉 is “it depends.” 

If your hope is to get the most bang for your buck, this is obviously not the restaurant for you. 

I will say that I knew it would be good, but I wasn’t prepared for THAT level of attention to detail. 

I mean…EVERY single dish was just beyond! The thought and care in preparation, ingredient quality, wine pairings, hospitality…it was unlike anything I’ve experienced. 

Now, it’s obviously very expensive! But the woman sitting next to me said she’s eaten there 6 times in the last year, so there’s obviously a clientele for this experience. 

If someone came to me and said, “I’m going to propose to my girlfriend and I want the MOST decadent and extravagant restaurant reservation I can get in Austin…what do you recommend?” I would send him to Pasta|Bar. 

You can book reservations here

2. Holiday Shopping

I just finished up all of my holiday shopping, and I’m trying to get it all wrapped by the end of this week. Stocking stuffers are always the hardest/most annoying thing on my list…and if you’re feeling uninspired too, here are a bunch of stocking stuffer ideas from adidas! 

I can attest to the absolute coziness of this wide cuff beanie. It’s so soft and flattering!

I got it in pink recently, but I wouldn’t be mad at all to find another color in my stocking this year. 🙂 

3. Christmas Home

‘Til the season for all the coziness at home. I could just stay in my house for the entire month of December, haha! 

I shared a few pics of my home at Christmas here, if you’d like to see. 

4. A Holiday Gifting Idea For Littles

We’ll be spending a few days in Dallas with my side of the family before Christmas, and I wanted Milo to be able to participate in the giving side of Christmas gifts, not just the receiving side

I had the idea to take him to Dollar Tree and let him select gifts for all of his extended family members. 

It was hysterical! I told him he could get one item per person…anything he wanted! He really wandered the store and thought about it carefully. Some gifts make sense and others are just so very random. Haha. 

I can’t wait for him to be able to give these to everyone in Dallas! He wrapped all of them (he was very excited about that purple ribbon he put on each gift) and they’re all stuffed in a big bag, ready for their recipients. 

Anyway, just an idea if you have little ones in your family who you’d like to have participate in gift giving this year. 

5. Kyle City Lights

Kyle City Lights

While I played an Austin Symphony rehearsal for the Home Alone concert, Nate took the boys down to Kyle to see the lights in their city square. 

Kyle is where Nate’s parents live, and it’s becoming such a fun little town! Their holiday lights are AMAZING! 

Kyle City Lights

We’ve seen them a few years in a row now, and this year they added this epic castle of lights. 

The square has a wonderful little playground, so it’s a fun spot for the boys because they can see the lights and run around and climb/slide on the playground area. 

Kyle City Lights

These boys love getting to spend time with their Grammy and Papa! 

Kyle City Lights

As lots of the Austin holiday events are getting SO very crowded, it’s fun seeing the towns on the outskirts of Austin develop their own holiday traditions. 

I know that Round Rock and Georgetown and Buda also have some fun holiday activities. Also, Marble Falls is one of my favorite little day trips from Austin for some holiday cheer – they have events going on all December! Check it out if you’re needing some happiness in your life this month. 

Ok, I’m signing off for the weekend! I’ll be back here on the blog next week for a few other fun odds and ends. Talk to you then! 

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