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Why I love Austin

March 8, 2005
photo by justin

You’ve just gotta love a city that’s so big, there are a zillion places to eat and shop, so small that it’s easy to get around and has a strong sense of community, and so perfectly located that you can find beautiful hike and bike trails just a few minutes from where you live, no matter where you live.

Justin took this photo at the Barton Creek greenbelt, just a short drive from our apartment.

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A rug for Roux

March 8, 2005
At some point a few months ago, I decided it would be fun to make my own rug for our new bathroom. I had clipped out an article from a Martha Stewart magazine that explained how to make a braided rug using strips of old bath towels. I set to work cutting three towels into strips. Sure, these were our good towels, but we would need new ones soon anyway, right? An hour or two later, covered in tiny towel fuzzies, I decided that the actual braiding of the rug would be done some other time.

A few days (weeks?) later, I started braiding the strips, hand-sewing the ends together. This was much harder than I thought it would be. I worked on it bit by bit in the evenings, and finally decided to start coiling the braid around itself to form my little round rug. I hand-sewed the rug together, and at long last was finished! It was smaller than I had planned (I got tired of braiding and tossed out a wad of towel strips), but it was my first real creation, something hand-made by me. I placed it proudly on the bathroom floor, and couldn’t wait to step on it the next morning.

The rug was soft and wonderful as expected. I proudly showed it off to friends, and gave it goo-goo eyes every time I went to the bathroom. It had been in our bathroom all of two days when The Rug Incident occurred.

I came home from work, said hi to Roux, our perfect, loveable, cute and cuddly cat, and stepped into the bathroom. There, on my precious rug, was a puddle of cat vomit. Why Roux chose my rug as his vomit-spot is still a mystery. We tried washing the rug, letting it air dry, tossing it in the dryer…but it is still stinky, not-soft, and misshapen.

I humbly present to you my first crafty creation: Roux’s Rug.

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March 7, 2005
photo by crystal

I am so excited about our new Whole Foods landmark store that just opened on March 3rd. I knew it was going to be big and beautiful and full of foodie goodies, but I never expected it to be food heaven.

We got a sneak peek at the store at a fundraising event benefiting KUT (our local public radio station) last Tuesday night. The place was packed, so it was difficult to move around, much less take a good look at what the store had to offer. We were amazed with the amount of food in the store…from a seafood department reminiscent of Pike Place Fish Market in downtown Seattle, to a walk-in beer cooler/aisle, to an entire section devoted to chocolate (which is where we loitered most of the evening). The store showcases its 1800 types of wine, over a dozen types of gelatos, and dine-in eateries including a salad bar, sushi bar, seafood bar, pizza counter, and numerous take-out kiosks with soups, chilies, pastas, and so much more.

We did fill up on some samples:

  • 365 Natural Italian Soda
  • In-House Freshly Roasted Nuts
  • Asian Micro Greens with Pea Shoots, Snow Peas, Shrimp and Sesame Vinaigrette
  • Smoked Salmon Quesadillas
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Tempeh Reuben
  • Four Cheese Classic Pizza
  • Focaccia
  • Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
  • Toffee Bark

There were plenty of other freebies on Tuesday night, but most sample stations were crowded with hungry tasters.


Justin and I went back on Sunday night to grab a quick dessert. It was difficult to choose between freshly baked pastries from the bakery, candies from the chocolate bar, gelato, smoothies, or sweets from the grocery aisles. In the end, we chose the whoopie pie shown above and a cream-filled cupcake from Downtown Desserts, a counter specializing in 50s diner-style decadent desserts. I am embarrassed to say that this was my very first whoopie pie. I found the cake to be a bit dry and burned-tasting, and the cream was super-sweet, almost grainy with sugar. The cupcake was much better, with a moist, flavorful chocolate cake, the same cream filling as the whoopie pie, and a smooth chocolate ganache on top. I shudder to think of the calorie and fat content of the desserts, but at least we split them!

All in all, the store is wonderful–a great place to spend the afternoon. The vast quantities of food and treats are a bit overwhelming, and it will be difficult to leave the store empty-handed (which is not great for our pocketbook, especially since we are only a ten-minute walk away). I’ll be happy to return when the torrent of customers slows down a bit.

Whole Foods Landmark Store
525 N. Lamar
Austin, TX 78703
Store Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week

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Why poco-cocoa?

March 7, 2005

This is us, Justin and Crystal, hopelessly in love with each other and with life itself. Justin has created this blog as a place for me to store all my thoughts and ideas, recipes and crafts (probably because he is hoping to put an end to the piles of sketchbooks and journals scattered around our tiny apartment). poco-cocoa will be just a little bit of my life that I plan to share with you.

I love music, writing, crafts, food, walks in the moonlight, kitty cats, chocolate, and books. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, and I hope I never do.

Welcome to poco-cocoa, and enjoy!

You can contact me at comments(at)poco-cocoa(dot)com.

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