10 things I love about Texas

If I didn't call Florida home and I didn't live in Georgia, I would build a house in Texas. My day job takes me to Texas 5, 6, sometimes 7 times a year. With an honorary Texan pin I am proud to say I have visited every nook, cranny and corner of the 2nd largest state in the United States. Who knew, Alaska was number 1. I would bet most don't. After putting in some serious mileage in the lone star state I've compiled in no particular order some of my favorite things, places and people...

10. Bird Bakery in San Antonio, Texas
After you check out the basement of the Alamo be sure to head over to Broadway for bird food or a sweet treat. The cafe and bakery charm will win you and your stomach over. The owner, Elizabeth Chambers and her husband opened the bakery in the fall of 2011. You may recognize her actor husband, Armie Hammer from J. Edgar and The Social Network. Enjoy a sandwich as a protein plate or have as many gluten free cupcakes as you can because they are healthy, right?

9. Deep Eddy Vodka
No matter what time of year it is I would pick grapefruit flavor anything. I about lost it when Alison and I went to grab drinks on a Friday night at The Dogwood in Houston and I found Deep Eddy Ruby Red on tap...say what? Before they started distributing to Atlanta I asked Alison to drive me to Spec's where I bought every mini bottle of Ruby Red they had. The distillery is located just north of Austin and the brand's first product was Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka. Named after the oldest spring fed swimming pool in Austin, the brand also offers Deep Eddy Vodka, my beloved Ruby Red and Deep Eddy Cranberry. Cheers!

8. Central Market H-E-B
I only cheat on Publix when I am at Whole Foods and I only cheat on Whole Foods when I am in Texas. I hate to be a grocery snob but Central Market has really ruined my expectations for produce and pre-made meals. Home to my favorite kale salad, sushi samples and the best dip bar I've ever seen! It's where foodies celebrate everyday.

7. The Capital | Austin, Texas
Just go. Tour the capital, run with the bats around Lady Bird Lake, eat some lots of tacos, see lots of local art and just get weird.

6. Kolaches
West, Texas or the Kolache capital of the state of Texas is located outside Dallas-Fort Worth. In the late 1800's Czech immigrants began purchasing farm land and flourishing their culture in the area that is now West. Texas Kolaches were popping out of bakeries and today Kolaches are the most tested pastry in all of Texas.

5. Marfa
I've shared my Marfa story before but it really is a must see if you are ever in southwest Texas. Go for the art, the pizza, the Prada store that is never open and find yourself a hipster cowboy.

4.The Gypsy Wagon
At first this boho oasis caught my eye on social media. So the next time I was in Dallas I popped in and fell head over boots for Carley Seale and her gypsies in Texas. I bought my first Cleobella wallet, soaked in some inspiration and promised to visit again. And I did, in Austin, Texas when Carley and her team opened up their store on South Congress. I had the awesome opportunity to meet Carley in person and gush over how much I love her gypsy empire.

3. The Valley
I am always intrigued when I am on the border of anything. No different while I was in the valley of Texas. The Rio Grande Valley area encompasses a few cities, Brownsville, Harlogen, Edinburgh, McAllen and I got to see all of them. A lot of farm, a lot of oil. The Valley is also home to La Plaza Mall, one of the highest-grossing malls operated by Simon. La Plaza Mall is located in the heart of McAllen and is home to a growing marketing with mimmions of Mexican nationals just minutes away.

2. @JenLovesCove
I am sure you've heard of #targetdoesitagain, it's one of those ideas I wished I would've thought of. I am in Target every other day, why not take pictures of what you like and share with followers on social media. Jen Coleman, also known as one of the coolest moms on Instagram, has built a stylish brand online with her friend Laura Wiertzema. Check out the duo's blog and online store, Ascot + Hart. Deep in the Hart and Ascot Friday were their individual blogs and combined it becomes a raw blend of their style, in the closet and at home. Jen inspires me daily to be cooler, to live in a stylish space that gives me peace, to surround myself with things I love. Jen, her hunky husband and cool kid Cove call Dallas, Texas home.

1. Josh Abbot Band
When in Texas. . . make sure you are jabbing out to some Josh Abbot Band. As a grad student at Texas Tech and a member of Phi Delta Theta, Josh Abbot started forming the band in Lubbock, Texas. Find them on tour, download some jams and support local lyrics.
photo: Rolling Stone

I really do like it here, 


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