Top-Chef fans and food-loving Austinites in general, mark your calendars for February 22nd. A who’s who of area chefs will be competing in several lamb-centric categories with a shot at the crown for “Lamb Jam Master” on the line.

The event will take place at the beautiful Barr Mansion in East Austin, and at $60 a ticket, I’m confident this event will sell out quickly. Full details and a list of the competing chef’s and their respective restaurants are below. To purchase tickets, click here.

AUSTINJanuary 12, 2015 – On Sunday, February 22, 16 top Austin chefs and more than 300 lamb lovers will gather at the Barr Mansion for Austin’s first Lamb Jam Global Flavors Tour, the annual multi-city culinary cook-off where attendees decide which chefs have earned their “chops” by voting on inventive American lamb dishes.

Competing for the titles of “Best in Show,” “People’s Choice” and “Best Mediterranean, Asian, Latin and Middle Eastern inspired dishes,” chefs will prepare and serve their most flavorful American lamb fare to be voted on by lamb-loving attendees and judged by Austin’s top food media. The Austin victor will go head-to-head with other winners representing cities from coast to coast, vying for the title of “Lamb Jam Master” at the Lamb Jam finale in New York City in late 2015.

Lamb Jam Austin

“We designed the Lamb Jam Tour as a way to bring communities together and drive awareness about the benefits of American lamb,” says Megan Wortman, executive director of the American Lamb Board. “Texas is the largest lamb producing state in the country and Austin is one of the fastest growing markets with a nationally recognized food scene, so we’re excited to bring the tour to Austin for the first time.” This year marks the fifth national Lamb Jam Tour.

Participating Austin chefs include:

 

Join the Flock: Purchase a Ticket

Lamb Jam takes place from 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Tickets are $60 and provide an opportunity to sample 16 globally inspired lamb dishes, taste some of Texas’ best brews and wine, mingle with local shepherds, visit the DIY spice rub station to mix a take-home tin of lamb rub, and vote for Lamb Jam dishes.

What: Sample globally-inspired lamb dishes from 16 of Austin’s finest chefs. Visit www.americanlamb.com for the complete lineup and to purchase general admission tickets.

When: Sunday, February 22

3:00 – 6:00pm

Where: Barr Mansion
10463 Sprinkle Road
Austin, Texas 78754

Organized by the American Lamb Board, a portion of the ticket sales will benefit The Austin Food & Wine Alliance. Visit americanlamb.com for ticketing and event information.

About the American Lamb Board

The American Lamb Board is an industry-funded research and promotions commodity board that represents all sectors of the American Lamb industry including producers, feeders, seed stock producers and processors. The Board, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, is focused on increasing demand by promoting the freshness, flavor, nutritional benefits, and culinary versatility of American Lamb. The work of the American Lamb Board is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the board’s programs are supported and implemented by the staff in Denver, Colorado.

Austin’s official band, The Austin Symphonic Band, has a one of kind concert coming up. The show will be the first at AISD’s new Performing Arts Center in Mueller, which is a pretty spectacular venue. Excellent music, plus a cool venue, sign me up.

You may be familiar with the Austin Symphonic Band from their annual Mother’s Day Concert at The Capitol, or their Father’s Day Concert in the park. Both events are very popular each year, and this is a great opportunity to check out the band in an acoustically-perfect environment!

Inside AISD's brand new Performing Art's Center

Inside AISD’s brand new Performing Art’s Center

The February concert, Tributes, will feature the world premiere of Frank Ticheli’s new work Dancing on Water which will honor the Austin Symphonic Band’s conductor, Richard Floyd. Other selections that will be performed were written as tributes to persons, places and events.

As an added treat, Frank Ticheli will be present to discuss his new work and will also conduct the concert.

Frank Ticheli courtesy of Graham Lindsey/ Wavelength Media

Frank Ticheli courtesy of Graham Lindsey/ Wavelength Media

 

AISD’s new performing arts center just had its Grand Opening last week, so this is a fantastic opportunity to check out the new state of the art venue. Following the concert, there will be a reception with coffee and cake.

Admission: Adults $10, Students/Seniors $6

When: February 7th

Time: 8 – 9:30 pm

Location:

AISD Performing Arts Center
1500 Barbara Jordan
Austin, Texas 78723

Tickets: AustinSymphonicBand.com

I’m writing this post while going 70 miles per hour down I-35. It’s not as dangerous as it sounds…

Vonlane is a new premium bus service that wants to change the way you travel between Austin and Dallas. Spoiler alert: I’m sold.

The concept is simple enough- traveling by plane between the two cities is not fun. By the time you drive out to Bergstrom, park, go through check-in/security, and actually get off the ground, you have a solid 15-20 minutes of paid wi-fi to get anything done. The trip ends up taking about as long as it would have to drive, and business travelers struggle with the loss in productivity. Enter Vonlane.

Vonlane-Busses-Austin

Let’s start with how easy it is to book your trip. Their site is super user friendly and you can book a seat within minutes of hitting their homepage.

You can arrive as late as 10 minutes before your trip, check any large bags with the driver (for free), and hop on a bus unlike anything you’ve been on before. The seats are as wide or wider than any domestic first-class seats, and I couldn’t reach the seat in front of me if I tried. How far do the seats recline? The answer is, far enough that I accidentally fell asleep on my trip from Austin yesterday.

But it’s actually the service that really makes Vonlane special. When you step onto the bus, you’re greeted by a ‘flight attendant;’ she’ll walk you to your seat and offer to take your coat, which will be hung in a closet rather than stuffed into an overhead bin. You’re then presented with a menu that includes complimentary soft drinks, and food catered from the same companies that cater private jets. I indulged.

Vonlane-Attendant

The menu then goes a step further to offer essential travel items like noise-canceling headphones, and cushioned lap desks for your computer. They’ll even provide you with a toothbrush and paste if you left yours at home.

I was actually more productive in the three-hour trip today than I typically am at my own desk; less distraction I suppose! I highly, highly recommend this for business travelers in Austin, and with pricing similar to that of flying between the two cities (around $100 each way), I’d actually recommend it for personal travel as well.

Busses leave from the Hyatt Regency on Town Lake several times throughout the day, and they drop you off in Dallas at a hotel near the Love Field Airport. Give them a try on your next trip to Dallas; I promise you’ll love the experience.

www.Vonlane.com

Vonlane-Austin-Conference

Let’s face it, the only thing worse than Austin traffic is getting a ticket while you’re in it. If you’ve been pulled over as many times as I have, then you already know that taking a defensive driving course can zap that ticket right off your record. If only the course wasn’t so painfully boring and tedious… enter Aceable Defensive Driving.

Aceable, a local Austin startup, is on a mission to un-suck required education starting with defensive driving and drivers ed. We covered the launch of their first-of-its-kind drivers ed app last spring and now they’re at it again with another 5-star rated app for defensive driving.

Aceable has been able to take a typically painful defensive driving process and make it painless (as possible), convenient and easy. The five-hour course is packed with modern and enjoyable content compared to the courses I’ve taken in the past that were made 20 years ago. The course is written in a conversational tone that’s witty while not trying too hard (ahem, “comedy” defensive driving…).  For example, I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the memes like this one:

Aceable-Defensive-Driving-App

The convenience of taking the course on mobile came in handy over and over again. I knocked out a few minutes while in line at HEB, and another hour while getting my hair cut. I even used the course’s voice-over feature to breeze through the material while I made dinner the other night. Once I finished the course, the app told me when my certificate shipped and tracked its progress all the way to my door.

If you need to clear a ticket or want to save money on insurance, they’re extending a 15% discount on Aceable Driver’s Ed to followers of 365 Things .  Use coupon code 365DD when you purchase the course online: Aceable.com

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It’s no secret that Texans, and even more so Austinites, are very proud of their roots. You can basically find any product in the shape of Texas. Last time I checked, I couldn’t find a salsa bowl in the shape of Ohio.

Local business, Longhorn Fashions, is capitalizing on the allure of our great state with fun Texas tees, and a heavy dose of burnt orange! I mean how cute is this Texas tank?

texastank

As a former Longhorn they’re a go-to for game day gear, but most of their clothes are good for everyday wear as well. I am a huge Garth Brooks fan, so naturally I have soft spot for the ‘Blame It All On My Roots’ tee. I’m also planning on sporting the ‘Local’ tee during SXSW. I’ve lived here long enough right?

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They have a ton of great products, and I am all about supporting a cool local business!

Free shipping with the code ‘SHIPPING’ at checkout.

Location:
715 W. 23rd Street Suite A2
Austin, Texas 78705

http://www.longhornfashions.com

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Surf’s Up, Austin!

As of Monday, City Surf Fitness officially opened it’s doors to the Austin public. Fitness meets surfing is the name of the game at this S. Lamar boutique studio. Owner’s Joy and Andrew Heller are “stoked to bring the City Surf concept to Austin. City Surf is a new group fitness concept utilizing Surfset Surfboards as seen on Shark Tank. Essentially, you have a surfboard on three stability balls that challenges the activator and stability muscles that are not found in traditional work out methods.”

City-Surf-Austin-Dude

Hard Work Pays Off 

The 50 minute workouts will not only test your strength and endurance, but also your balance and stability. Each class was designed and created by the original City Surf family, and I’ll be honest, the classes are no joke.

They currently offer two classes; CITY SURF and BUDDHA BOARD, with plans to soon add PIPELINE, a unique take on the traditional Barre class and CITY SURF CIRCUITS, a rad interpretation of HIIT (high intensity interval training).

The signature CITY SURF class focuses on cardio, balance, and strength training, incorporating classic surf moves like duck dives, surf push-ups, pop-ups, and carving with traditional power moves like squats, lunges, core work, and cardio.

During the BUDDHA BOARD class you’ll be challenged to fuse traditional vinyasa/power yoga with the classic CITY SURF moves listed above. If you think yoga is challenging on the mat, try it on a surfboard!

​Full schedule can be found at mindbodyonline

Inside the Studio

The front of the studio, where you’ll check in, is adorned with beautiful artwork, bright colored workout gear, and friendly faces.

 

As one of the instructors of City Surf Austin, I can honestly tell you that we are incredibly dedicated to making City Surf the kind of studio that our clients are excited to walk into to everyday; a gym intimate not so colossal that we don’t know your first name, and a place where you make new friends and create lasting impressions. We understand that having an active lifestyle is important, and we want you to have fun while you’re doing it. We’ve created a beautiful and clean environment that strives to build a true sense of Austin community.

 

You can browse the vivid collection of Hard Tail ForeverOm ShantiLiquido ActiveHydro Flask Water Bottles and City Surf merchandise as you wait for class to start.

City-Surf-Austin-Clothes

The studio itself is a wide open space with the front wall of mirrors and a killer wave mural on the opposing wall. Zuzu (myself) and BLVD of Spratx Collective were commissioned to paint our version of the famous Japanese painting, The Great Wave.

Check it Out 

City Surf is offering an UNLIMITED month of classes for only $49. Here’s a little secret, if you add the promo code CSF15 as you check out, you can save an additional 15%.

PURCHASE HERE

1500 S. Lamar Blvd. 78704

Directly under the Post Apartment Building

Article and Photographs by Zuzu Perkal

Vimeo video directed by Mills and produced by Slice Media

City-Surf-Austin-Storefront

***We’re giving away two tickets for tomorrow night’s bash. Share this post on Facebook and tell us who you’d bring with you in the comment section below to be entered to win!

The Goodnight is throwing a casino-themed, all-inclusive New Year’s Eve Party tomorrow night.

$100 gets you:

One raffle ticket for a chance to win a trip to Vegas (flight and hotel for two)

Full Bar

Passed Appetizers

Champagne Toast at Midnight

Unlimited Bowling, Pool, Shuffleboard, and Ping-pong

$5,000 in casino chips

Red Bull DJ

Party hosted by 93.7’s CJ Morgan

This will definitely be one of the hottest NYE celebrations in Austin. To purchase tickets:

GOODNIGHT NYE TICKETS

 

For all you North Austin folks, avoid the commute downtown by attending this Domain hot-spot’s NYE celebration!

If you get the dinner and party package, come hungry because their executive chef is going to be cooking up a spectacular four-course supper to send off 2014. Each course will also be paired with a cocktail to help get you into the holiday spirit!

Around 9:00 pm they’ll transition from dinner to party-time. They’ll have a DJ, hors d’oeuvers, a champagne toast at midnight, party favors and more. 

When: December 31st

Dinner & Party Package: $75 per person

Party Ticket Only: $30 per person

Reservations: 512.836.3466 – they have private rooms available  for group seating as well

Location:
BlackFinn Ameripub
11410 Century Oaks Terrace
Austin, Texas 78758

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nye-2015-at-the-finn-austin-tickets-14277182437

Last month we celebrated the Launch of Drizly in Austin, and yesterday they took the joy of alcohol delivery a step further by introducing a ‘gifting’ feature.

Drizly-gifting-guide

“Whether it’s champagne for your sister, Johnnie Walker Blue for the boss, or Miller Lite for your old roommate, spirits make an ideal holiday gift,” said Michael DiLorenzo, Drizly’s senior vice president of marketing. “And by avoiding the hassle of visiting a store, you’ll have more time to go caroling, construct gingerbread houses, or knit an ugly sweater.”

www.drizly.com 

If you follow this blog, you’ve probably noticed two topics that we post about pretty regularly:

  1. How the Favor Delivery app has changed our lives for the better (we have to be in competition for being their most dedicated customers… we’re not, we asked).
  2. How we prefer activities around Austin that involve alcohol in some form or fashion (sorry they’re just more fun).

With the introduction of Drizly, our worlds are colliding. They’ve finally figured out how to (LEGALLY!) allow Austinites to order booze directly to their front doors.

Drizly Austin Two

We had a lot of questions, and here’s what we learned:

  1. There’s no up-charge on the Beer/Wine/Liquor you order, only a delivery charge issued by the liquor store, just five bucks in Austin.
  2. They carry over 2,000 products, so the variety is similar to what you’d find in your neighborhood shop. Mixers, ice, etc. are also available.
  3. Your beverages will arrive at your door 20-40 minutes after you place your order. Yep, that quick!
  4. The minimum order for Austin is $20.
  5. Use the code 365 to receive your first delivery FREE.

To get started, just click the appropriate link below to download the app, or place your order directly on Drizly.com

iOs

Android

 

***Lastly, Drizly is currently running its ‘Get a Bottle, Give a Can’ holiday food drive.

Save yourself from the stress of stocking the bar before Thanksgiving this week, and focus on the turkey! When your Drizly order arrives, give the driver any non-perishable food items, and they’ll deliver them to local food banks.

Drizly will also be donating 30% of profits through the end of the month to No Kid Hungry, a great organization that is working to end child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.Win/win/win.