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Category “Fun stuff”

A beautiful mess.

One night, we went to Kate & David’s home to eat bangers and mash and make cranberry-popcorn garlands and paper snowflakes. We read tarot cards, listened to old tunes, and had a wonderful time. At the end of the evening, there were popcorn crumbs, paper clippings, and bits of string all over the living room floor. David said, “what a beautiful mess.”

We made a little video. Happy Christmas!

A Beautiful Mess from Crystal Esquivel on Vimeo.

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Wish List 01

Note to self: These are the things you want to buy soon.


  1. Faceted Apatite Ring
  2. Pok Pok cookbook
  3. Sabine Cage Pumps
  4. Black High Top Chuck Taylors
  5. Cafe au lait bowl
  6. Beautiful Day tote bag
  7. Black lace slip extender
  8. Handmade leather ballet flats (And these boots, while I’m at it)
  9. A subscription to the Runcible Spoon

Derby Day!


Every year, we look forward to Derby Day. We get dolled up in our finest and spend the day at a farm drinking mint juleps and cheering on random horses (whichever has the best name) and generally having a great time. This is all thanks to our wonderful friends David and Joe, who host the city’s best Derby Day party every year. (You can see all of our photos here.)

I also made a weekend video! It’s been a while since I’ve done one, and I’m not sure why. They’re so fun! Here are the basics for this weekend:

Rachel & Logan came to our casa so that Logan could whip up an amazing sushi dinner. He always goes all out – miso soup, edamame, snapper with cucumber and crab, salmon with avocado and cucumber, inari, chocolate mochi cake with strawberry gelato and tiny jugs of Yakult. He rocks.

We hung out at home with coffee and toasted, buttered baguette, and a lunch of hot dogs and mashed potatoes (we’re classy, yo). Then it was Derby Day madness! Rather than my usual dress-and-large-hat combo, I opted for a 40s look, in vintage goodness. Justin was gorgeous as always. There were Dizzy Derby races, juleps, games of corn hole, bocce ball, and all kinds of preppy fun. After Derby Day, a huge group of us cabbed over to Foreign & Domestic and ordered everything on the menu. Literally.

We relaxed at home in the morning, and then Kate and Meghan stopped in to produce a photo shoot for a local magazine on our lawn. I got an amazing vintage canning book out of the deal. In the evening, I walked down to Winflo to meet the girls and celebrate Jodi’s big win. On my walk home, I saw my friend Alex at Clark’s, and so of course I met Justin there for bubbly and oysters.

Derby Day 2013 from Crystal Esquivel on Vimeo.

Such a fun (but exhausting) weekend! I’m looking forward to some quiet time tonight. Just me, a kitty cat, and a book. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Port Aransas

Justin and I spent the weekend in Port Aransas with his family. It was so much fun! I think we were both ready for a computer-free, relaxed vacation, and this was perfect. We walked up and down the beach, tandem biked all around town, swam in the Gulf, and ate lots of great things. We each saved some of our favorite memories – me in iPhone photos and him on video.

Here’s my version of the weekend!

We had to stop in Lockhart for some barbecue! We loaded our plates with goodies at Black’s BBQ – my favorite was the fatty brisket, while Justin loved the jalapeƱo cheese sausage.


We got to ride a ferry! This was way too cool – it was really weird to be in our car and on a boat at the same time.


We walked out on the pier and saw this bird who had a fishing hook caught in his wing, and fishing line tangled around his leg. A couple of guys finally caught it and removed the hook, and the whole pier cheered.


We had lunch at Beach & Station Street Grill. The patio was lovely, and the fried flounder and fried oyster po boy were amazing.


Tandem biking was the FUNNEST THING EVER!! We biked all over that little town, and several miles along the beach. Too much fun.


I do love the ocean.


We stayed at A Laughing Horse Lodge, which I highly recommend. It is the cutest, kitschiest, loveliest spot.


These lovely jasmine flowers were right above our patio chairs.


On Saturday evening, we stopped at a local bar to have a drink and watch some basketball. Then we totally pooped out and went back to our little cabin to rest.


This is what happens when you tandem bike for the first time. You might bruise/break/hurt your toe. :)


On our way out, we stopped at Bakery Cafe in Aransas Pass, which happened to be the coolest old diner around. I had an amazing chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes, green beans, a yeasty roll, and cream of celery soup!


Here is Justin’s version of the weekend, with music by Best Coast. It’s basically a video of me laughing a lot. :)

Port Aransas Weekend from Crystal Esquivel on Vimeo.

Books and things


It’s been a while since I’ve felt like blogging. That’s sad to say, but it’s true. I’ve been keeping a digital journal elsewhere, and it’s been lovely and satisfying and pretty and etcetera. But there’s just something alluring about this little blog of mine. I suppose it might be that I’ve been writing and sharing here for nearly 8 (EIGHT!!!) years, and so it feels like home. And so, here I am.

This little book of mine is about to be released – on March 5th, to be exact! I’m excited and scared, as I suppose all people are before they release their children into the wild. ;)

I still haven’t received my preview copies – they’ve been lost in the mail with our move to our new home – and so I can’t show you any previews or let you know how I feel about it just yet. I do know that I already feel proud to have been a part of it, and to be a voice of support for the many restaurateurs and chefs here in my lovely city of Austin.

For those of you in the area, I’m lucky enough to have a book-signing event at BookPeople on Monday, March 18th at 7pm. My partner-in-crime, photographer Aimee Wenske, will be there with me to answer questions and show off her awesome photos from the book, and we’re planning a few snacks and things as well. Please stop by and say hello!

In other news, I’ve been trying to express myself through Vine and Instagram (which you can mostly see on my tumblr), but, as I said earlier, there’s just nothing like my little poco-cocoa.