Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fourth of July Festivities

The Fourth of July is one of the few holidays where we don't have any particular traditions. Thanks to the app Timehop we were able to recall that we have done a lot of different things for the 4th but nothing really in Austin. So of course, living in Downtown Austin we knew this year would be different. We planned early on that this year that we would stay in Central Texas for the weekend.

On Friday July 3rd, we headed just up the road to Belton and joined Billy's family at the Belton Rodeo. As far as traditions go, this might be the only thing we have done multiple times as a married couple. Its funny it has become a semi-tradition because we aren't particularly rodeo people. When you add in nieces and nephews it always becomes a bit more entertaining. We do always enjoy  'mutton bustin' - those kids are always so tough! 

On Saturday, we hadn't made any plans but to attend the fireworks Downtown. We got a much needed late start and headed to Trader Joe's to pick up steaks to barbecue. We were dreading the crowd but it was surprisingly tame with tons of barbecue worthy food still in stock.

Down to the pool we headed just in time to grab the last chairs and table - score! As you can see, after lounging a bit the crowd grew tremendously. The growing crowd was a perfect indicator for us to make our way over to the grills. My grill-master knocked it out of the park!

A photo posted by Billy Moyer (@billymoyersos) on

The Austin Symphony Orchestra was performing for the annual fireworks show. After our mile walk, we arrived at Auditorium Shores for the festivities. At first, I was overwhelmed by the crowd but after venturing we found a spot with ease. We packed a few snacks which was a smart choice since all the vendor lines were insanely long!

While we enjoyed the symphony and fireworks show, I think it will be a while before we decide to do this again. It was a fun experience for this year, but not quite worthy of becoming a tradition. We for sure would not go if we had to drive and park and deal with all the traffic.

Waiting for the sun to set!

Such a cool backdrop for a fireworks show!
Look at all these people on the S. 1st Bridge!
On our walk back we watched all the boats on the water.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Making our balcony feel like a backyard

When moving to our downtown studio I knew we were going to make some sacrifices. One is definitely not having a backyard. Since we've always lived in apartments this wasn't a huge change for us. I tell everyone "Downtown is our backyard so I don't mind not having one." Truth is- it does. As the summer months have been approaching, friends and family are taking on new projects around the house. New patios. New grills. New landscaping. In my "backyard" I get a new crane.

A huge selling point for our apartment building was the large patios. No other buildings for rent could compare to our balconies. So why not use it better?

Billy and I decided we were going to grow some veggies on our 15x5 patio. We were finally going to give our planter a life with its true purpose, not as blanket storage!

My eyes got excited by these flowers. They were bright and colorful in the store- how could I resist? The color lasted for a few weeks. But have now seen their better days.

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Our veggies didn't see the immediate growth like the flowers. But now- BAM! Tomatoes.

A photo posted by Ashley Moyer (@ashleymoyer) on
This weekend we will spend sometime removing the flowers and giving our tomato plants some room to continue the growth. Its been fun checking in on our tomatoes. We don't see much green being Downtown!

What spring/summer projects have you taken on?

Monday, May 11, 2015

I Spy: First Week of May

I Spy...

Texas A&M Chancellor cracking jokes at a Texas Tribune Event...
This was my first Texas Tribune event but I've decided I need to get myself to more. What a great way to get insight on what is happening at the Capitol. Do yourself a favor and check out their events calendar and get yourself to one!

A spring inspired cupcake from Blue Star Cafeteria...
A little taste of lemon-y heaven!

Way too many people standing in the rain for La Condesa's Cinco de Mayo Block Party...
This event look overrated with its one food truck, one beer stand and a ton of umbrella clad people. We opted for our favorite fajitas, Uncle Julio's, instead.

Us being foolish at Leadership Austin's Best Party Ever.
While I wouldn't call it the best party EVER, we did have a blast celebrating the great examples of leadership we have in our community.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Central Texas College Signing Day 2015

On Friday May 1st, Austin celebrated its first College Signing Day. The over 500 students in attendance pledged their commitment to Reach Higher by pursuing post-secondary education options. Austin area universities and colleges were even in attendance to greet their future alumni and build the bridge from high school to college.

Students had their fun competing with future classmates in games and activities. Former UT Football star, Vince Young even judged a mascot dance off - and even Texas State's Boko the winner over Hook 'Em. Later, they were joined by Austin ISD and Del Valle ISD Superintendents, Dr, Paul Cruz and Dr. Kelly Crook, who recognized the students in the crowd. Austin Mayor, Steve Adler, and HUD Secretary Julian Castro shared their personal stories that emphasized the day's theme of "Reach Higher".
Austin American Statesman
I had the pleasure on serving on the Task Force responsible for the day's activities. And I must say it was truly an honor to have served on this amazing team of individuals dedicated to education. Its remarkable that people can come together to recognize the hardworking students in the Austin area. Separately, we represented for-profits, non-profits, private and public sectors. Together we represented one ultimate goal: celebrating our seniors who have chosen to Reach Higher!

I loved getting to know community leaders who share the same passions as me. But what I loved most about this experience was knowing how strong our Austin community is. I keep reading about how divided the Austin community is but on May 1 2015 at Huston Tillotson University- there was nothing but unity to celebrate ALL of the magnificent students!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Top 3 Things to do in Oahu

Less than a week later from returning from Hawaii and I am still dreaming of the gorgeous views, endless sunshine and cool breezes. We spent a full week at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club. Ko Olina was a very low-key area of West Oahu. If you're staying in the area a rental car would be beneficial. We enjoyed the calm of the side of the island away from the crazy of Waikiki.

So here's my top three things to do in Oahu.

1) Tour Kualoa Ranch

This was by far the highlight of our trip. Kualoa Ranch has been the filming sites of other movies and shows such as Jurassic Park, (the new) Hawaii 5-0, Godzilla, Pearl Harbor and so many more. There's a ton of options to explore the over 600 acres of the cattle ranch including ATVs, horseback, zip-line and bus. As LOST fanatics we opted for a hummer tour through KOS Tours. This gave us the opportunity to tour many scenes from the 6 seasons of the show. Our tour guide pointed out sites from other movies and shows and helped us recreate some famous scenes The tour ended in a WWII Army bunker filled with props and memorabilia from the movies filmed at Kualoa Ranch.

2) Shop in Haleiwa

Located in the North Shore area this small surf town has much to explore. Haleiwa has a long strip filled with restaurants, food trucks, boutiques and surf shops. I dropped a few dimes strolling the town. Not only is there great food and shopping, there are some fabulous views! We stopped every quarter mile or so just to soak in the views. While taking in the sun, we were even lucky enough to spot a poppa, momma and baby turtle napping on the beach. We enjoyed this town so much we ventured here twice during our week long stay. The selection of restaurants were tough to beat plus you'll often see a cluster of husbands outside the best stores waiting on their wives!

3) Eat pineapple ice cream

The island of Oahu is home to the Dole Plantation- as in acres and acres of pineapples. On the plantation you can try your hand at the 2008 Guinness Book of World Records' Largest Maze, tour the farm on board The Pineapple Express and stroll through the garden. While entrance to the plantation is free, each of the three activities has a small cost affordable on any budget. On site there is also a restaurant. We did not eat a meal here but did enjoy the pineapple ice cream or "Dole Whip". Its a must have in Oahu!

Runner Ups:
- Visit Pearl Harbor Be sure to go early since tickets are free!
- Dine at a Luau We loved our expereince at FIA FIA!

Have you been to Oahu? What are you must sees?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Downtown Bashley Goes Hawaiian

A collection of photos from of our trip to Hawaii...

Day 1 Part 3: #NorthShore and GIANT TURTLES!!! #DowntownBashleyGoesHawaiian

A photo posted by Ashley Moyer (@ashleymoyer) on

Day 5: Pearl Harbor! #DowntownBashleyGoesHawaiian

A photo posted by Ashley Moyer (@ashleymoyer) on

Day 7: Aloha-goodbye to Hawaii! Sad our trip is over but back to the Moyer masterplan to rule the world :)

A photo posted by Ashley Moyer (@ashleymoyer) on

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I Spy: Easter Edition

This Easter weekend was filled of so much family fun! We were able to see both of our families by splitting time in Fort Worth and Waco. The weekend of boiled eggs, babies and bluebonnets has left us refreshed and recharged until we head to Hawaii in two weeks! This Easter, I spy...

Purple Play-doh and a Big Bang puzzle...

The newest Moyer (our nephew)...

Decorated eggs that were prettier as deviled eggs the next day...

Alanizs soaking up the sun...

A sparkly purple treat...

And (of course) an endless field of bluebonnets in Waco!

Monday, March 30, 2015

I Spy: Jersey in ATX, Fiber Space & SNO-BEACH!

I spy with my little eye...

Two cranes in the Austin skyline (from this angle at least)...

A precious cupcake from Delish...

Jersey Boys in Austin, and...

a Blue Raspberry and a Pomegranate snowcone!

What fun things did you do this week?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Google Fiber + Mayor Steve Adler

WOW, I must say the Google's Fiber Space is just... Wow. Billy and I attended Austin Young Chamber's "Google Series: Conversation with Mayor Steve Adler" to check out the space and Austin's new mayor, Steve Adler.  And I must admit, I was impressed with both.

Fiber Space really nailed the essence Austin with this open space. From the enormous screen behind the stage to small picture frame sized screens streaming local and national channels, everywhere you look there is technology. Yet, there are very natural elements to the space. Large windows that give the illusion you are in an open-air space and a wood stage that brings the outdoors inside. Google never ceases to amaze me.

AYC Executive Director Matt Glazer kicked off the evening and reminded attendees how import they are to the community AYC is making a strategic effort to get Chamber members more engaged civically with 770 seats coming available on various Austin committees and commissions.

Mayor Steve Adler then took over and told his story.

Adler moved to Austin in 1976, when it was called "The Friendly City". Now in 2015, Austin is the most economically segregated city. This is something Adler has set his sight on fixing. He mentioned it was young professionals who consciously transformed Austin into "The Live Music Capital" many years ago.

In a recent meeting with other mayors, the New York City Mayor told Adler he thought Austin may be the only city cooler NYC. But throughout the night, the thing that stuck with me the most- even over the impressive space- was Adler saying "There's nothing worse than being the city that use to be cool." 

As the Austin community is nearing at a fork in the road, there are very critical decisions being made for the future of this city. The decisions we make will be lived with for the next 10, 20, and even 30 years and its up to us to make them! I encourage you to checkout The City of Austin's Boards and Commissions openings to see the impact you can make to our awesome city!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SXSW Photo Hunt

SXSW has come and gone. It was a crazy two weeks. While I'm happy to share my city with 70,000 new people, I sure am glad to have Austin back to its normal weirdness.

But before I officially say bye to SXSW, I wanted to share a few of my entries in Austin360's SXSW Photo Hunt. Austin360 challenged folks to snap photos of various sightings around town- you can view the original list here. My moderate participation earned me 4th place-- but no prize. I had a blast scouring posters on every corner (I think I was the only person to post a typo!) to spying on every pedi-cab to find a celebrity (no luck!). It added another element of fun to SXSW for this non-badge holding, still working 9-5, downtown livin' girl!

A photo posted by Ashley Moyer (@ashleymoyer) on

A photo posted by Ashley Moyer (@ashleymoyer) on

A photo posted by Ashley Moyer (@ashleymoyer) on

A photo posted by Ashley Moyer (@ashleymoyer) on

A photo posted by Ashley Moyer (@ashleymoyer) on