My favorite puppets evah, Year of the Sheep, and CASAblanca; it’s #WTFwed 2.18.15

Hey Socialites! GREAT NEWS: Avenue Q is baaaack and playing again at the Austin Theater Project. So far they’ve had nothing but rave reviews – in from all over. Meanwhile, here’s my sell: I first saw Avenue Q when I was 25, broke as all get out (thanks MTV News for paying me $500 a week before NYC taxes!) and living in New York City. I could totes relate to Princeton… And Kate Monster…  And those Bad News Bears reeeeally resonated with me. But I digress. This musical/inspired-gem-that-beat-out-Wicked-for-a-Tony-Award-in-2004-what-whaaaa is poignant and hilarious. Please do yourself, and the rest of us, a favor by getting your tickets already. The ATP has been selling out performances. Get on it!

In other news… on Thursday… HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yes, again. 2015 is the Year of the Sheep. To celebrate, the Summit Lion Dance Team has a ton of events going on. If you’d rather keep up with them on Facebook, click here.

Finally, on Saturday, a sweet FUNdraiser oppty: it’s CASA of  Travis County’s 30th annual CASAblanca party and fundraiser! I’ve said it before: I AM A FAN OF CASA and how they train their volunteers to connect with and give voice to our community’s young people who are a part of the child welfare system (hint: that system is more than a little overburdened. If you haven’t already, check out what The Statesman has recently reported). ANYWHO, CASA and their volunteers are a part of the solution and this fundraiser specifically raises funds for CASA OF TRAVIS COUNTY.

If this (above) isn’t reason enough to drop everything and grab a few tickets, consider the items that will be up for Auction… 😉

As usual, I want to see where you are and what you are up to so be sure to tag your brags with #StatesmanSocial please and thank you.

I’ve got a new #GoodToKnow episode for you on Friday. Until then… you’re welcome people!

xoxo,

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:

 

 

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:

WTFwed: shopping, raw chocolate and two FUNdraisers 2.4.15

Hey y’all hey! I hope you’re hungry because this coming week is absolutely delicious.

On Thursday night, SoLa is taking their 1st Thursday Game to the next level by hosting their first ever “Girl’s Night Out” party. Sure, they’ll have the usual awesome 1st Thursday Sale pricing, but this month (and every 1st Thursday for the duration of 2015) they’re serving small bites and adult beverages from WineBelly and Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop. AND, they’re showcasing Austin jewelry designer Haley LeBeuf who will be on hand selling her elegant timeless jewelry. Kendra Scott who? I’m just saying… Full details are here.

 

Fun fact: Miss Venus will be in attendance as per usual. See y'all there!
Fun fact: Miss Venus will be in attendance as per usual. See y’all there!

Saturday is superfab as well. For the Martha Stewart types, check out the Natural Epicurean’s Raw Chocolate making class. Sign up now to secure your spot!

If you’re more Ke$ha than Martha you can do some serious FUNdraising at Cupid’s Undie Run. Festivities start at noon at the Rattle Inn but the race itself doesn’t start until 2pm. It’s all for a good cause, as your money goes towards fighting tumors. Who can’t get behind that? 😉

Finally, and I do mean finally as this year’s event was pushed a week to sidestep inclement weather than never showed (oh, Austin…): It’ the 9th annual Chili Cook Off at Jo’s on South Congress! Your $20 ticket let’s you try all of the chili and supports the 100 Club of Central Texas. That’s the non-profit dedicated to providing emotional and financial support to our local police and fireman when they have been injured or killed in the line of duty. Seriously, you get to binge eat chili and it supports our 1st responders. SEE. YOU. THERE.

Given the all around yumminess of this week ahead I’m particularly eager to see you in the socialsphere (and also in real life). Tag your posts with #StatesmanSocial to  be heard… and seen… and possibly shared! #SharingIsCaring

Tune in Friday for our latest #GoodToKnow episode. In the meantime, have a great week 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:

#WTFwed 1.28.15; Bubbles and Bingo, Dawn and Hawkes, and where to watch that Katy Perry concert

Hey y’all hey! Ish gets real in a hurry this week: Thursday night, it’s Bubbles, Bitches and Bingo night at Gibson. But wait, there’s more: you even get a free cheese plate with every full bottle of bubbly purchased (while supplies last). Blue hair optional.

On FridayDawn and Hawks play the Deep Eddy Vodka distillery at 4pm out in Dripping Springs. (#FieldtripFriday) On Saturday, the Milk Drive Trio plays at 3pm.

Then on Sunday, the Super Bowl kicks off at 5:30pm CST. More importantly, Katy Perry plays halftime. If you’re not going the houseparty route there are the usual suspects like Pluckers (did y’all know they serve gluten friendly wings?), the Brew Exchange, Black Sheep Lodge, Haymaker ETC. But there’s also Gourdough’s Public House (um, can y’all please work on a gluten friendly menu already?!) and Max’s Wine Dive (best gluten friendly fried chicken EVER. Anywhere. Period.).

For my overachievers out there, I found a fab Win/Win situation for you: buy your tickets to watch it all go down at Fado’s which means you’ll also be simultaneously supporting the United Way for Greater Austin’s Young Leader’s Society… i.e. helping disadvantaged middle schoolers make their way to graduate. If THAT alone is not enough a) seriously? and b) your ticket buys you not only the Warm And Fuzzy Feels that come from contributing to the society in which you live but also a chance to win some sweet prizes donated by Kendra Scott, The Alamo Drafthouse and ACL. Work it out here.

You’re welcome people!

— 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: choose your own adventure on NYE, in 2015 and beyond

Wednesday 12.31.14 through Tuesday 1.6.15

OH EM GEEEE it’s New Year’s Eve! If you haven’t made plans already some last minute suggestions:

  • Max’s Wine Dive is hosting a soiree. Details here.
  • I’m tweeting and retweeting as I find places with availability. Follow @StatesmanSocial for the 411.
  • Last week’s #WTFwed post has great links and idaes that still hold up. Check it out here.

But SURELY you’re all set for a cozy night in, an elegant night out, or otherwise. Sooo…

Thursday, January 1st 2015: get a running start on your resolutions and kick off the new year with the 20th annual Blackeyed Pea Run. It kicks off at 9am and in addition. Details here. 

I’m hosting a dear friend in from NYC and I am committed to teaching her how rad Austin is in between Austin-only-meals. Hence my suggestion for Friday (which can actually rock your Saturday or Sunday)… A scavenger hunt meets city tour adventure. Details here.

Saturday night is opening night for a CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE performance piece at the Long Center. Audience members become gods and determine the fates of the characters – not all of whom will survive the whims of this interactive performance. Not to be missed. Information and tickets here.

I’m wishing you your most favorite New Year yet. In the meantime, be sure to Instagram, Facebook or Tweet with  #StatesmanSocial to be in on the conversation!

— 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:

#WTFwed: Christmas Eve, noshing and your New Year’s Eve planning

For the week of Wednesday 12.24.14

Merry Christmas Eve y’all! TONIGHT, finalmenteeee, Chef James Robert opens up Fixe Austin. Details here.  Alternately, check out the MatzoBALL up at the Blackfinn. Details here.

On Friday, werk it out with some Ice Skating at Whole Foods downtown. Specifics. 

Oh, and then… New Year’s Eve party planning already! My picks.. 

  • 20 somethings: Palm Door celebrates it’s 1 year anniversary Studio 54 style. Here.
  • 30 and 40 somethings: W hotel SOLD OUT so ignore this link. 
  • Next up I suggest The Highball but… they are SOLD OUT now as well. They say they may let people in (pending capacity) at the door. At your own risk folks.
  • Soooo, I now suggest the 80’s party at the Roller Rink. Details. 
  • Want something totes extraordinary? Why not the Aerial Spectacular at the Marchesa Theather?
  • Or the Russian House which promises a masquarade, 80’s music, 90’s music AND legit Russian caviar (if you go VIP). Also, vodka. Details.
  • Family Fun via Austin New Year aka ANY.

Prefer a posh dinner party scene?

  • Weather Up is my pick as they are sort of kind of out of the way (while being right around the corner from most everywhere)… their dinner will be served on their upstairs terrace… and I remain obsessed with their 1st floor lounge area. OBSESSED. They are offering both a 7pm and 10pm seating. Click here to get full info.
  • OpenTable.com has a solid listing of resto’s with NYE dinners (and you can make your rezzie online from there). Here you go.

I am excited to see where you end up. Instagram, Facebook or Tweet me using #StatesmanSocial to be seen and heard!

Here’s to having your most favorite year yet in 2015, xoxo

— 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:

#WTFwed: We’re baaaaaack. And gnocchi. Because… gnocchi.

For the week of Wednesday 12.17.14

Hiiiiiii Statesman Socialites. I HAVE MISSED YOU! But I digress and we haven’t the time for small talk. The holidays are here!

Thursday Night is the only night you can catch the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Deets.

Friday morning I’ve got a new video for you. I’m sharing my favorite Last Minute Gift idea (that doesn’t look last minute!) so get back here on StatesmanSocial.com for that lifesaving wisdom. Also, Robert Earl Keen will sing at the ACL Moody Theater on Friday Night. Ticket info.

Saturday the options are almost endless but my Date Night pick is up first: GNOCCHI MAKING CLASS at The Austin Winery. But you can also…

Next Wednesday 12/24/14 the #WTFwed will be all about New Year’s Eve options for everyone and every budget. Know of a party and want to make sure everyone else knows about it too? Be sure to Facebook, Instagram or Tweet me using #StatesmanSocial to be heard.

— 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: