It’s #GoodToKnow how to customize your yoga mat. Check it out…

I HAD SOOOO MUCH FUN learning how to customize my (already customized – thank you Mommy!) yoga mat.

Nicole Sabourian teaches #sacredcrafting workshops, including how to customize ye yoga mats at Craft (on South 1st Street in 78704). Click here for more information about said workshops at Craft.

Or, follow these directions from Nicole herself:

1. Gather Supplies: Yoga mat, scrap paper, marker, dish sponge, scissors, acrylic paint, plastic container for palette, small paint brush for touch ups, ruler or piece of string for spacing stamps out.

2. Create Your Stamp:
– Trace an outline of your sponge on scrap paper so you know how much space you have to work with.
-Draw your simple stamp design inside of the sponge outline on the scrap paper.
– Cut out stamp design from your scrap paper, place it over sponge as template and cut sponge accordingly.

3. Get Your Stamp On!
-Dip your sponge stamp in small pool of paint in your container, and give it a test on scrap paper
-Start stamping your mat!
-Either stamp freestyle or use your ruler and marker to mark your stamp spots equidistant from each other. Serena says: measure and mark out where you want to stamp unless you are An Artist.
-Don’t forget to touch up with your brush to fill in crevices, or leave it as-is for a textured look.

Pretty sure I’ll be making and gifting yoga mats with my newfound info (and heart shaped sponge stamp) so that my favorite people will be surrounded by love whenever they get their Om on. In the meantime, be sure to try this technique out and tag your brags with #StatesmanSocial so I can see too!

– Serena

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SERENA HICKS keeps you up to speed on the hottest events, what’s trending and local luminaries in Austin. #StatesmanSocial is a product of Statesman Media’s content marketing group. Follow the fun, share your best Austin moments, and tag along with #StatesmanSocial:

Want to serve a super quick and easy (but so yum!) pizza? This trick is #GoodToKnow

Oh haaaai Socialites!

Fun fact: Every “Real Housewife” knows that having someone over for dinner does NOT mean you have to cook it yourself. I’m a fan of the Favor Delivery app here in Austin, but sometimes it’s more fun to make dinner (appear) another way. This is one such way…

Pro tip: skip the standard pepperoni order and go with some fancy pants ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and artichoke hearts (a favorite of mine from Austin’s Pizza). If you just can’t leave the pepperoni behind, try a four cheese topped with extra pepperoni.

Then sell it with a smile.

serving pizza screen grab 2.13.15

#ModernCooking

Be sure to tag your brags with #StatesmanSocial so I can see how you’re doing with this Hosting hack.

You’re Welcome!

— Serena
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SERENA HICKS keeps you up to speed on the hottest events, what’s trending and local luminaries in Austin. #StatesmanSocial is a product of Statesman Media’s content marketing group. Follow the fun, share your best Austin moments, and be social:

Wondering how to transform a cheap bottle of wine into something more palatable? This quick trick is #GoodToKnow.

Hey Socialites!

I love me some wine. Also, I love clothes, making rent AND supporting charities I believe in so my wine budget is… limited. No worries though, I learned of this quick trick and I am now a FAN.

On a personal note: this is totes a legit excuse reason to upgrade my blender to a Vitamix yes? That makes sense right?

Try it out and let me know what you think. Tag #StatesmanSocial to be heard. Until next week’s Where’s The Fun video (new #WTFwed goes live!)… drink responsibly and you’re welcome!

— Serena
STYLE CREDITS: Dress from SoLa on South Lamar, and necklace from the ever stylist Paige Cavazos. Thank you ladies!
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SERENA HICKS keeps you up to speed on the hottest events, what’s trending and local luminaries in Austin. #StatesmanSocial is a product of Statesman Media’s content marketing group. Follow the fun, share your best Austin moments, and tag along with #StatesmanSocial:

3 Things you MUST do to become Totally Austin! #GoodToKnow sponsored by Monica Pizanie of Platinum Realty

Hi friends! This #GoodToKnow episode is brought to you by Monica Pizanie of Platinum Realty in Austin. She can help most anyone buy a home here in Austin but she specializes in finding exactly the right living space for people who are new to or moving to Austin. Monica actually helped me find a place when I moved back to Austin a few years ago so I tell you from experience; she transforms the home-search-scenario from stressful to exciting in the good way.

Here are three things you simply Must Do to become totally Austin, per Monica:

1. BREAKFAST TACOS! There are a dozen amazing places to score breakfast tacos in Austin but if you’re pressed for time, hit up Torchy’s and Tacodeli to decide which you prefer. It’s a Coke vs. Pepsi kind of thing; you pick a team and judge other people accordingly. Both Monica and I are die hard Torchy’s Taco fans/fanatics. Monica says: You’ve got to order the street corn. And queso. And tacos too. Best to arrive hungry. I say: check out their secret menu before you go and always check out their Taco of the Month. Their December taco involves Chorizo and Shrimp. #whatWHAAA

2. TOWN LAKE which is now being called LADY BIRD LAKE. With 10 miles of trails perfect for walking, jogging, hiking, biking or just people watching, it’s a Must See (and Do!) experience. Plus, there’s the actual lake which is perfect for canoeing, stand up paddle boarding and rowing. Monica brings her dog Chewie for long walks. I take myself for the occasional jog. Do what feels right.

3. SOUTH CONGRESS, aka SoCo. SO. MUCH. YES. to be found here folks! You can shop local boutiques (Monica and I both love Maya!), eat at Snack Bar (Monica can often be found brunching there) get some sugar at Amy’s Ice Creams and/or take the practically-mandatory-proof-of-Austin-visit-pic in front of Jo’s wall.

Monica and I in front of Jo's iconic wall. #ATX4Life
Monica Pizanie of Platinum Realty and I in front of Jo’s iconic wall. #ATX4Life

 

You can spend many merry weeks working your way through the breakfast taco menus, the Lady Bird Lake exercise options (and views!) and exploring SoCo… but I’ve found it’s best to take your time with it all. Living here is ideal (I know, I know, the secret is out) so for those who already do: Congrats. For those who are just visiting: Sure! Good luck with that. We’ll see you soon.

And if you’re looking to make Austin your home, give Monica a call.

— Serena
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SERENA HICKS keeps you up to speed on the hottest events, what’s trending and local luminaries in Austin. #StatesmanSocial is a product of Statesman Media’s content marketing group. Follow the fun, share your best Austin moments, and tag along with #StatesmanSocial:

How to properly make an Old Fashioned and more… because cocktail recipes are always #GoodToKnow.

Sometimes, when entertaining adults of legal drinking age, it’s nice to offer something other than a beer, bottle of wine, or scotch on the rocks.

For such occasions, I went over to Speakeasy to learn how to make a proper Old Fashioned  cocktail. Here’s the quick breakdown of what Andrew Reed, bartender extraordinaire, taught us.

OLD FASHIONED BOURBON COCKTAIL:

  • place one orange slice and two maraschino cherries into mixing glass
  • add 3 dashes of Bitters (Andrew insists Angostura bitters are the best)
  • add a couple of sugar cubes or two dashes of simple syrup
  • muddle (read: mash) like you mean it
  • add ice but leave some room for…
  • 1.5 ounces of your favorite bourbon (fun fact: you can get crazy and switch the bourbon out for gin and serve up a Gin Old Fashioned)
  • a touch of sparkling soda for the Fun of Fizz
  • gently slosh (read: do not shake vigorously lest you bruise the bourbon)
  • Serve and smile as you see fit

But wait, there’s one more! Stacy London herself introduced me to the ever impressive yet super easy bubbly cocktail; St. Germain & Champagne! Sub sparkling white wine as you see fit. The fine folks at Speakeasy amp it up my adding an orange peel, though I suspect Andrew would prefer I call it by another name, it’s an orange peel and it absolutely takes the cocktail to the NEXT. LEVEL.

ST. GERMAIN AND BUBBLES recipe per Speakeasy:

1st things first: fill a champagne flute 2/3 full with your favorite bubbly
1st things first: fill a champagne flute 2/3 full with your favorite bubbly

 

next up, add in your St. Germain
next up, add in your St. Germain

 

now, time for the Next Level Ish; slice a bit of orange and...
now, time for the Next Level Ish; slice a bit of orange and…

 

toss it in to your cocktail!
toss it in to your cocktail!

 

Mama loves a good cocktail.
Mama loves a good cocktail.

 

Ok, you’re good to go with TWO super easy (but super lovely) cocktail recipes ready to go. Be sure and show off your handywork by tagging #StatesmanSocial. In the meantime, drink responsibly and you’re welcome y’all!

— Serena
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SERENA HICKS keeps you up to speed on the hottest events, what’s trending and local luminaries in Austin. #StatesmanSocial is a product of Statesman Media’s content marketing group. Follow the fun, share your best Austin moments, and tag along with #StatesmanSocial:

This SWEET trick to frost your cupcakes (beautifully!) is #GoodToKnow

Hey Socialites!

If you know me you already know my cupcake philosophy: The cupcake exists to support and complement the frosting (because eating frosting by the spoonful doesn’t have the right mouthfeel). That said, I’m always so sad when otherwise overachieving and well-meaning friends serve cupcakes that have just the tiniest dusting of frosting.

Put ye butter knives away people!

Heather McClure, Owner and Head Baker of Sweet bakery in Lakeway, taught me a fun little trick to make bakery beautiful heavily frosted cupcakes with tools you already have in your kitchen. No need to buy piping bags and attachments.

So check this video out and share it with those you love. Friends don’t let friends under-frost cupcakes and all of that.

You’re welcome people!

— Serena

PS – I want to see how you do using this trick! Be sure to tag #StatesmanSocial and #SweetATX so I can see and share your posts with the #StatesmanSocial community!

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SERENA HICKS keeps you up to speed on the hottest events, what’s trending and local luminaries in Austin. #StatesmanSocial is a product of Statesman Media’s content marketing group. Follow the fun, share your best Austin moments, and tag along with #StatesmanSocial:

#WTFwed: Nerd Nite, ZZ Top, MLK and pie

Hey Socialites,

We have a great week coming up in Austin! It starts tonight, Wednesday night, as it is Nerd Night at the North Door. Think of it as our very own Austin take on TED talks. #PERFECTION

Friday afternoon, Saturday AND Sunday = Home and Garden Show; which is a den full of dangers for me. I love to decorate and yet I have neither a massive house nor a massive budget for all of these “Oh! I could just put a new sink and lighting fixture….” plans. God grant me the sense to cut up my credit cards before I enter the Austin Convention Center to see all of the goodies inside…

Saturday night you can catch the ZZ top make-good concert or snag a seat at the My Life Speaks FUNdraiser with Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, Colbie Cailet and more.

On Sunday I’m headed to the Alamo drafthouse to see Selma. I wish I didn’t feel like it would guide me/us in modern times – but I do – and I hope it does. Variety says the movie ends with, “the hope that the arc of the moral universe does indeed bend toward justice.” #countmein

On Monday, our offices are closed in observance of Martin Luther King day. Though some people will be volunteering to honor the legacy of MLK, you can bet your butt I’ll be eating pie and socializing. Gluten allergy be damned. Specifically, I’ll be at the Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church’s pie social, which is a part of the growing Peace Through Pie movement, to mark the occasion. Join me there? Honoring his legacy in another way? Be sure to tag your social media posts with #StatesmanSocial so we can connect and share.

In the meantime, check back in this Friday 1/16/15 for another #GoodToKnow episode!

— Serena

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SERENA HICKS keeps you up to speed on the hottest events, what’s trending and local luminaries in Austin. #StatesmanSocial is a product of Statesman Media’s content marketing group. Follow the fun, share your best Austin moments, and tag along with #StatesmanSocial:

Keep your vocabulary on fleek with this… #GoodToKnow

This episode of #GoodToKnow is brought to you by my new favorite saying; On fleek.

 It started on Instagram when a friend from NYC commented that my brow game was “on fleek”. It matters that she works for Shobha which is where everyone (read: fashion editors, celebs, housewives, anyone with a job ok everyone) goes for meticulous brow grooming and such.  Soooooo. Seeing how I’m doing my own brows now, and not nearly as well as Shashi from Shobha used to do them, I worried. Did she just insult me and my DIY-brows? Were we gonna have to break up as friends? I asked… and she explained the good news. To be on fleek means to be on point, i.e. the game is strong. SWEET.

how it all started... on Instagram

Also, turns out that having my #browsonfleek is an especially good thing that isn’t entirely new. Gotta love learning from Instagram!

Next up, I was talking about boys (this happens a lot) and I heard the term Lumbersexual. Wait. WHAT?! Mmmmhmmm.

As you hear in the video, I’m ready to talk more about Retrosexuals please and thank you. Chat me up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with your thoughts on the matter. Be sure to tag #StatesmanSocial to be heard.

Finally, I’m asking you all to join me in supporting everyone who is #SelfieConscious and encouraging them to be both bold AND silly enough to snap-n-post a selfie in Public. Be sure to tag #StatesmanSocial so I can celebrate these successes with y’all! (Oh and, Evan-who-filmed-and-edited-this-very-video above; we’re all waaaaaiting…. Please share your beautiful face with the world.)

Bye Feliciaaaaaaaa!

— Serena

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SERENA HICKS keeps you up to speed on the hottest events, what’s trending and local luminaries in Austin. #StatesmanSocial is a product of Statesman Media’s content marketing group. Follow the fun, share your best Austin moments, and tag along with #StatesmanSocial:

Gift Giving Guide Part 2 of 2: EASIEST LAST MINUTE GIFT EVER

Anyone else getting a weeee bit anxious about all of the holiday parties, gifts to be (acquired and then) gifted and what not? Chillax Socialites, I’ve got you covered!

My old boss gifted this (see video) gem to me for Christmas 2012. At first sight I loved it (why hello red wine) but when I took as second and went through all of the gift cards (she LOADED IT UP) I was beyond thrilled! It is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

The fact that you can buy everything you need to put one together (in a pinch use whatever gift cards your local supermarket or convenience stores is selling) in under an hour doesn’t hurt.

Make one and show me how it turns out! Tag #StatesmanSocial to be heard and then shared.

In the meantime, Happy Holidays y’all!

— Serena

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SERENA HICKS keeps you up to speed on the hottest events, what’s trending and local luminaries in Austin. #StatesmanSocial is a product of Statesman Media’s content marketing group. Follow the fun, share your best Austin moments, and tag along with #StatesmanSocial:

Gift Giving Guide part 1 of 2: LADIES LOVE LINGERIE.

Flowers die but lingerie… lingers on! It’s that rare gift that is fun for everyone. When gifted properly, it makes the recipient feel adored, pampered and generally LOVELY. Just one catch… you’ll want to get it right.

I’ve worked at Victoria’s Secret (before PINK #oldschool) and Nordstrom’s lingerie section so I’ve got you covered in three EASY steps. You’re welcome people!

1. First of all, SIZING. Asking for her sizes = hot. Snooping for her sizes = even hotter. If you’re snooping BEWARE of the red heron, i.e. beautiful something you find shoved in a drawer that she doesn’t actually wear cause it doesn’t actually fit. Be sure to take a size note from something you have actually and RECENTLY seen her wear.

2. Next up, get your shop on! Here’s what’s what:

La Perla = you’re rich and she’s skinny with petite and/or expensive boobs. They sell C sizing but they’re kidding. Unless your lady’s Cs were purchased… it’s a no.

Agent Provocateur = you’re rich and she’s skinny but also has  “personality” (read boobs).

BodyBinds.com = you’re not cheap, and loathe lace. She’s either a straight up badass or a breezy innocent type… who is also totes edgy. If she’s the former order in black or red. If she’s the latter you must order in white (trust me on this) and be prepared to endure a side eye… at first. Straight from NYC. Available online only.

The BodyBinds Diamond Monokini, $220. Ummm... YES please.
The BodyBinds Diamond Monokini, $220. Ummm… YES please.

HipsandCurves.com = the best one stop shop for fuller figured ladies. i.e. Curves, and Strong Personality. They have everything. Shop here.

Victoria’s Secret = you’re young and/or terrified of shopping for lingerie. She’s either your mistress, a Millennial or totally new to you. SAVING GRACE: Vicky’s has an excellent return/exchange policy for unworn tagged merchandise and lots of options (nighties! lingerie! lotions! potions!)  so you literally can’t go wrong. Multiple locations here in Austin.

Fredrick’s of Hollywood = you like your lady in color and more than a little bit wild. She’s all about that as well. I’ll admit, I’ve turned my nose up to this place for years but during a recent shop I was seriously surprised and impressed. Shop online or at Barton Creek Square.

LOCAL AUSTIN LINGERIE shops that will help you throughout the process:

Teddies for Bettys: Upscale offerings for the downtown girl. Located on 2nd street. Absolutely has something for everyone. Website.

Hard Candy is a personal favorite as they offer all sorts of playful options (nighties! fishnet! tutus!), six inch heels included. They don’t sell any adult toys so it’s an inviting, interesting but not too intimidating scene on Anderson Lane. Website.

Petticoat Fair has a fanatical following for great reasons. PF has spent fifty years outfitting local ladies of absolutely every shape and size with the right undergarments. If they don’t have it they can and will custom create it. This place is key if your lady has more traditional tastes and/or less traditional sizing. Their website is here.

3.  PRESENTATION! If you’ve shopped locally have it gift wrapped on site before you leave the store (even Nordstrom does this). If you ordered online and are wrapping it yourself either pay for proper wrapping or beg a friend to help you. Because seriously… would you rather open this…

e34ed82835ea58da0d508ff147788639

Or this?

il_340x270.693219442_il2t

Or this one?

bad-christmas-wrapping

EXACTLY.

If you must must must decorate your own wrapping check out these creative DIY options out here. 

Happy Gifting y’all!

— Serena

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SERENA HICKS keeps you up to speed on the hottest events, what’s trending and local luminaries in Austin. #StatesmanSocial is a product of Statesman Media’s content marketing group. Follow the fun, share your best Austin moments, and tag along with #StatesmanSocial: