Restaurant Feature: Vivel Crepes & Coffee

burger

Vivel Crepes & Coffee is a fabulous restaurant located in downtown Lakeway. While their name says crepes and coffee, they also have a huge menu with a variety of delicious sandwiches, salads, gourmet burgers, desserts and more. My favorite crepe so far is the S’Mores crepe that comes loaded with Nutella, marshmallows, pecans, graham crackers, chocolate and caramel sauce. A must try! I am also obsessed with their Vivel Salad. It is so fresh and delicious and the portions are huge. It’s even better when you add chicken!

Vivel describes itself as “Inspired by the walk-up crêperie stands and sidewalk cafés that line the streets of Paris, Cotê d’Azure and Brittany, Vivel brings the same passions and flavors of France and the real French crepe to Austin. One bite and all you’ll be missing is the Eiffel Tower!”

crepes

Their motto is “Celebrating Life Everyday”. They also have a unique story in how they got started.

“We were introduced to the crepe culture not only in France but also other western European and Mediterranean countries. Our love of crepes and coffee became irreversible and we opened our first crepe café in Maui, Hawaii in 2001. Five years later we moved inland and opened a location in Houston, TX and now have a café in Lakeway in the Austin, TX area.

Crepes were considered peasant food in 15th century Brittany. At Vivel we’ve kept some of those traditional recipes and employed the same time-honored techniques, but we’ve added modern flair and flavor. Everything we do has been carefully crafted for our customers to experience nothing less than the best.

We have high standards when it comes to our food. We believe in maintaining the soul of our crepes and coffee, but we have also believe in originality and most importantly quality. Give us a try and we’re sure you’ll agree.”

savory crepe

Here is location and contact information so you can check out Vivel for yourself!

Vivel Crepes & Coffee

2011 Main Street, Suite 500

Lakeway, TX 78734

512-953-5334

www.vivelcrepes.com

vivel_logo

 

Source:

http://www.vivelcrepes.com/ ,” Vivel Crepes & Coffee.

**All photos and website text were used with permission of the owners of Vivel Crepes & Coffee.

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9 Great October Activities in Austin

Looking for some fun activities to do in Austin this October? Here are 9 fun ideas worth checking out!

  1. AUSTIN CITY LIMITS MUSIC FESTIVAL

Info: Come experience one of the country’s largest music festivals at Austin’s beloved Zilker Park. Taking place over two consecutive weekends, you can check out more than 140 musical acts on one of eight stages.

Dates: October 5th – October 7th and October 12th – October 14th

Location: Zilker Park

More Info: www.aclfestival.com

  1. FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX

Info: Drivers and fans from all over the world will converge on Austin for three days of racing at the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. In addition to the car racing, you can enjoy food, camping and live music.

Dates: October 19th – October 21st

Location: Circuit of the Americas

More Info: www.circuitoftheamericas.com/f1

  1. BANGER’S OKTOBERFEST

Info: Come check out the 6th Annual Banger’s Oktoberfest by enjoying handmade sausages and craft beers, live music and more!

Dates: October 18th – October 20th

Location: Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden

More Info: https://www.bangersaustin.com/eventscalendar/2018/10/18/oktoberfest

  1. SEE “HOCUS POCUS” AT THE COMMUNITY CINEMA

Info: Come out for a fun night sponsored by Mobile Loaves & Fishes and watch “Hocus Pocus” with your friends and family. Entrance is FREE and there will be concessions available for purchase.

Date: October 19th, from 6:30pm-9:30pm

Location: Community First! Village

More Info: https://mlf.org/event/hocus-pocus-1993-community-cinema/

  1. AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL

Info: Nationally recognized as a top film festival, come check out a variety of films from documentaries, indie films,  big budget Hollywood films, and more.

Date: October 25th – November 1st

Location: Paramount Theatre and Other Locations

More Info: www.austinfilmfestival.com

  1. AUSTIN AREA JAZZ FESTIVAL

Info: Enjoy national and local jazz artists in East Austin while celebrating music, culture and diversity. In addition to music, food, shopping and more will be available to enjoy.

Date: October 27th

Location: Rosewood Park

More Info: www.aajflive.com

  1. TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL

Info: This event draws more than 40,000 annually and hosts around 250 authors. The festival offers readings, panel discussions, book signings, live music, local food, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and more.

Date: October 27th and October 28th

Location: Texas State Capitol Building

More Info: www.texasbookfestival.org

  1. AUSTIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENTS: HALLOWEEN CHILDREN’S CONCERT

Info: Bring your kiddos in costume for an opportunity to have lots of fun while experiencing incredible, live orchestral music.

Date: October 28th

Location: The Long Center for the Performing Arts

More Info: www.austinsymphony.org

  1. TEXAS FIREWORKS DIA DE LOS MUERTOS CELEBRATION

Info: Planet K will be offering a fireworks filled Halloween night at Kreig Baseball Fields.

Date: October 31st

Location: Kreig Baseball Field

More Info: www.planetktexasfireworks.com

 

 

Source:

http://365thingsaustin.com/2017/10/04/top-ten-things-austin-october/,” 365 Things Austin.

https://www.austintexas.org/events/october-and-november/,” Visit Austin.

Renting versus Owning

Making the decision to own or rent is certainly not black and white. There are many factors to consider. Here are some of the main points we think anyone looking at renting or owning should consider. Renting may be the perfect option for one person, while owning may be a better fit for someone else. It’s important to take one’s financial situation, time availability, family needs, and more into consideration before making a final decision.

  1. Wasted Money? Consider the Differing Expenses with Each Option. People often say renting is like “throwing away your money” because you are not building equity. However, when renting, many expenses that come with homeownership are included in your monthly rent or are not your responsibility at all. Some expenses that come along with homeownership but are typically not included when renting include: home repairs and maintenance, homeowner’s insurance, pest control, landscaping, property taxes, flood or earthquake insurance (depending on where you live), certain utilities, and more. Depending on the area you live in and the condition of the market when you buy your home, you can make a hefty profit (or in unfortunate cases, suffer a financial loss) when you go to sell your home.
  2. Predictability. When you sign a lease, you have an agreed upon dollar amount paid monthly (generally) that does not change over the course of the lease. When you own a home, although you have a set monthly mortgage payment, you can have unexpected costs that can pop up at any time. One month you could have your normal mortgage payment or a repair that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars that may or may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Another huge expense when owning a home is the mortgage interest paid over the course of your loan. It can really add up!
  3. Stability and Longevity or Flexibility? Homeownership can be great for folks who love being a part of a neighborhood/community, like consistency, and plan to stay in an area for a long time. It might not be great for those, however, who like change, move frequently for work or just generally like the ability to be spontaneous with their job and living situation. Leases generally last for 12 months and have a relatively minor penalty for breaking the lease agreement early. When owning a home, however, there are significant costs when selling. You also have no control over the condition of the housing market and may not be able to pick and choose the best time to put your home on the market in order to get the biggest return on your investment.
  4. Repairs, Maintenance and Home Improvements. Are you handy? Do you enjoy fixing projects around the house or working on home improvements? What about mowing the lawn, watering flowers, cleaning a generally larger square foot space? These are all things to consider when owning versus renting. Generally when renting, all maintenance and repairs are paid for and handled by the property owner/management. When you own, these are all your responsibility. So if you don’t have the desire, skill or time to do these things yourself, you’ll have to pay to hire someone to complete these tasks for you.
  5. Homeownership – Is it an Investment? Another common myth people will often hear is that homeownership is a great investment and sure way to build wealth. In many instances, this can be the case. In many cases, however, this may not be the case. Homes are not guaranteed to appreciate in value and there can be a variety of factors that impact whether your home increases, decreases or maintains its value. You also have to factor in the cost of maintenance and repairs over the length of time you owned your home. One perk that homeowners get that renters do not is the ability to get a tax deduction for your mortgage interest and property taxes. The deduction is not a 1:1 ratio, however, and these expenses are not expenses renters incur either way.

Source:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/083115/renting-vs-owning-home-pros-and-cons.asp,”  Investopedia.

Top 15 Things to do in Austin

Have you ever wondered what the most popular things to do in Austin are? How would you approach all Austin has to offer if you were a tourist? We looked on Trip Advisor to get their ranking of the Top 15 Things to do in Austin. Check them out below!

  1. SIGHTSEEING TOURS. Austin has a variety of sightseeing tours to choose from! You can go by boat/kayak, car, bus, bike, Segway or walking.
  2. ROOM ESCAPE GAMES. This is a super fun group activity where you are locked in a room with clues on how to solve the mystery to find the key to unlock the room. There are different possible scenarios such as a prison escape, and you have 60 minutes to complete the challenge.
  3. ZACH THEATRE. Zach Theatre is in its 85th year and offers three different venues offering a variety of theatrical and musical performances. For more information, visit zachtheatre.org.
  4. THE MOODY THEATRE. Moody Theatre is a favorite venue among Austinites for seeing incredible musicians in an intimate setting. This theatre also hosts ACL Live (more info below).
  5. LADY BIRD LAKE HIKE-AND-BIKE TRAIL. This popular trail features 10 miles downtown Austin bordering Lady Bird Lake and is a favorite for fitness enthusiasts. It’s a popular spot for walkers, runners and cyclists. You can also check out the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue along the trail by Auditorium Shores.
  6. LBJ PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY. The LBJ Library is located on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. It is one of 14 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library offers many features and exhibits that explore the life and presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. For more information, visit lbjlibrary.org.
  7. GEAR RENTALS. There are lots of options for exploring Austin on your own or with a group. There a variety of gear offerings such as bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, and even motorcycles!
  8. AUSTIN CITY LIMITS LIVE. Austin City Limits Live is a weekly television show that features musical performances and appears on PBS. For more information, visit acltv.com and for a calendar of events and to buy tickets visit www.acl-live.com/caendar.
  9. TEXAS STATE CEMETARY. The establishment of the cemetery began in 1851 and serves as the final resting places for a variety of individuals who contributed to making Texas what it is today including Governors, Senators, Judges, Congressmen, and other legendary Texans. For more information, visit cemetary.tspb.texas.gov.
  10. TEXAS STATE CAPITOL. The Texas State Capitol features stunning architecture with a distinctive dome featuring the Goddess of Liberty at the top and is located downtown Austin. This capitol was completed and dedicated in 1888. You can tour the capitol on its own or as part of another tour. For more information, visit tspb.texas.gov/prop/tc/tc/capitol.html.
  11. ZILKER METROPOLITAN PARK. Zilker Park is an expansive park located along Barton Springs Road. This enormous park hosts a variety of events and festivals such as Austin City Limits each fall. Additional amenities include the Barton Springs Pool, the Austin Nature Science Center, Zilker Hillside Theatre, UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum, Austin Sunshine Camps, Zilker Botanical Garden, and more! For more information, visit zilkerpark.org.
  12. BULLOCK TEXAS STATE HISTORY MUSEUM. The Bullock Texas State History Museum offers a unique opportunity to learn about and explore the history of Texas. There are a variety of artifacts and exhibits and other offerings. For more information, visit thestoryoftexas.com.
  13. THE DRISKILL HOTEL. This stunning hotel was built in 1886 and is located in the heart of downtown Austin on 6th This hotel offers luxurious accommodations and is a fabulous place to just walk in and explore the lobby and restaurant even if you don’t stay the night. For more information, visit www.driskillhotel.com.
  14. TEXAS MILIARY FORCES MUSEUM. Located on the base of Camp Mabry, The Texas Military Forces Museum offers free admission and a variety of exhibits and collections on the history of the Texas Military. For more information, visit texasmilitaryforcesmuseum.org.
  15. LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER. Founded in 1982 by Lady Bird Johnson and Helen Hayes, the mission of the center is, “…we use native plants to restore and create healthy, beautiful landscapes. We carry out our mission to inspire the conservation of native plants through our gardens, research, education, consulting and outreach programs.” For more information, visit wildflower.org.

 

 

Source:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g30196-Activities-Austin_Texas.html ,” Trip Advisor.

www.zachtheatre.org,” Zach Theatre.

www.lbjlibrary.org,” LBJ Presidential Library.

www.acltv.com,” Austin City Limits.

www.acl-live.com/caendar,” Austin City Limits Live.

www.cemetary.tspb.texas.gov,” Texas State Cemetary.

www.tspb.texas.gov/prop/tc/tc/capitol.html,” The Texas Capitol.

www.zilkerpark.org,” Zilker Park.

www.thestoryoftexas.com,” Bullock Museum.

www.driskillhotel.com,” Driskill Hotel.

www.texasmilitaryforecesmuseum.org,” Texas Military Forces Museum.

www.wildflower.org,” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Game Day Recipes

Football Season is officially here! Whether you are a fan of the Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M Aggies, Baylor Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, or another team, football season is a fun time of game day parties and tailgating. Another fun aspect of these get togethers is definitely the food! Below are some yummy ideas to make your game day even more fun!

PIGSKINS IN BLANKETS

Ingredients:

  • 13 ounce package kielbasa sausage
  • All purpose flour
  • 17.3 ounce package of frozen puffed pastry, thawed
  • Large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup mustard, for dipping (brown, yellow, Dijon, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Split the sausage in half lengthwise and then cut each half into six even pieces, cutting on an angle.
  2. Cook in a large skittle over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the skin is crisped and some of the fat has been released.
  3. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Take a clean, dry, flat surface and lightly dust with flour.
  6. Rollout one piece of puff pastry to create an 8×11 inch rectangle.
  7. Use a 3 ½ inch round cookie cutter to cut out 6 circles from the pastry. Cut the circles as close together as you can and save the scraps.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 with the second sheet of puff pastry.
  9. Wrap a circle of puffed pastry around each piece of sausage, making sure the seams all the way around are closed and the sausage is completely covered. Also gently pull the ends to make a tapered football shape.
  10. Place all “footballs” on an ungreased baking sheet, seam side down.
  11. Brush each “football” with the beaten egg. Use the pastry scraps to create laces on each “football” by placing one strip lengthwise and three smaller strips crosswise over it. Press down gently on the laces to make sure they stick and brush with more egg.
  12. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until the pastry is browned and crisp.
  13. Serve with mustard and enjoy!

CHEESE BOAT

Ingredients:

  • Loaf of French or Italian bread
  • Two 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 ounces corned beef, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper (core and seeds removed), finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon of hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of chili powder
  • Corn or tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take the loaf of bread and cut out an oval in the top of the bread, scooping out the bread in the center to create a “bread boat”. Place the “bread boat” on a cooking sheet.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, corned beef, green onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot sauce and chili powder and mix well.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the center of the hollowed out “bread boat”.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve warm with chips.

GRILLED CORN AND BEAN SALSA

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and fresh black pepper
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked or 4 ½ cups frozen or canned corn kernels
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • Corn or tortilla chips

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the canola oil, chili powder and salt and pepper to your taste. Brush the corn with the mixture.
  2. Place the corn on a hot grill, turn frequently, for 10 minutes.
  3. Let cool on cutting board. Once cool enough, cut the kernels from the cob.
  4. Take a large bowl and combine the tomatoes, black beans, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and grilled corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well.
  5. Serve with corn or tortilla chips.

 

Source:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/big-game/big-game-parties/super-bowl-party-recipes,” Food Network.

September Activities Around Austin

Here are some of the fun and unique activities happening in and around Austin in the month of September! Check out the websites for more info on each activity.

9/3/18 – FREE DAY OF YOGA – Happening all day at various locations around Austin for all ages and levels. For more information, visit http://www.freedayofyoga.com!

9/7/18 – ZILKER RELAYS – Located at Zilker Park, the Zilker Relays is a 10 mile team race. Each team member runs a 2.5 mile loop from one festival area. This race is especially fun because of the festival base area, relay, drinks and music combination. This relay is a great experience for runners of all ages and abilities. Visit www.zilkerrelays.com for more information!

9/7/18 – 9/9/18 – WATERLOO MUSIC FESTIVAL – Located at Carson Creek Ranch, this festival offers three days of bands from around the country, including many local favorites. The festival celebrates the roots of Austin’s music culture during a weekend of music and camping. Visit www.waterloofest.com for more information!

9/20/18 – 9/27/18 – FANTASTIC FEST – Located at the various Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations, Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the United States. It features movies in the fantasy, horror, sci-fi, action and other fantastic movies from around the world. Visit www.fantasticfest.com for more information!

9/22/18 – 9/23/18 – PECAN STREET FESTIVAL – Located on Sixth Street in Austin, this festival is free and happens twice a year. It features over 300 vendors from all over the world offering music, arts and crafts. Visit www.pecanstreetfestival.org for more information!

9/23/18 – AUSTIN MUSEUM DAY – Located at various museums around Austin, Austin Museum Day is a day featuring free exhibitions and activities at participating museums and cultural sites. Visit www.austinmuseums.org for more information!

9/29/18 – TEXAS CRAFT BREWERS FESTIVAL – Located at Fiesta Gardens, this event features the best of Texas craft beers. It is the largest beer festival for and by Texas Brewers. Visit www.texascraftbrewersfestival.org for more information!

9/29/18 – AUSTIN OKTOBERFEST – Located at Scholz Garden, this is the 6th annual Austin Oktoberfest. Scholz Garden is a unique venue, as it is the oldest continuously operating tavern in the state. Come celebrate German heritage with beer, sausage, live music and bowling. Visit www.austoberfest.com for more information!

 

Source:

https://www.austintexas.org/events/august-and-september/ ,” Visit Austin.

Places Where Americans Live the Longest

As time has gone by, in general the average lifespan has continued to increase. In fact, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current average lifespan for Americans is 78.8 years. While this is average that means there are places in the US where the average lifespan is lower than 78.8 years and places where it is higher. Here we will highlight the 10 counties in the US with the highest lifespan and include some interesting data about each county.

10. COLLIER COUNTY, FL

Notable City: Naples, Florida

Population: 372,880

Median Life Span: 83.4 years

Median Home List Price: $479,400

9. TETON COUNTY,WY

Notable City: Jackson, WY

Population: 23,265

Median Life Span: 83.5 years                                                                             –

Median Home List Price: $1,305,200

8. LOS ALAMOS COUNTY, NM

Notable City: Los Alamos, NM

Population: 18,738

Median Life Span: 83.5 years

Median Home List Price: $384,400

7. SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA

Notable City: Friday Harbor, WA

Population: 16,715

Median Life Span: 83.7 years

Median Home List Price: $774,400

6. PRESIDIO COUNTY, TX

Notable City: Marfa, TX

Population: 7,156

Median Life Span: 83.7 years

Median Home List Price: $297,000

5. ALEUTIANS EAST BOROUGH, AK

– Notable City: King Cove, AK

Population: 3,370

Median Life Span: 83.7 years

Median Home List Price: $226,500

4.  FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA

Notable City: Herndon, VA

Population: 1,148,433

Median Life Span: 83.7 years

Median Home List Price: $608,700

3. MARIN COUNTY, CA

Notable City: San Rafael, CA

Population: 260,651

Median Life Span: 83.8 years

Median Home List Price: $1,425,400

2.  BILLINGS COUNTY, ND

Notable City: Medora, ND

Population: 940

Median Life Span: 84 years

Median Home List Price: $331,200

1.  SUMMIT COUNTY, CO

Notable City: Breckenridge, CO

Population: 30,585

Median Life Span: 86.8 years

Median Home List Price: $930,500

 

Source:

https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/best-counties-want-live-forever/,” Realtor.com.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/life-expectancy.htm,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Airline Ticket Giveaway!

The Cummings Team Presents: We Love Referrals!

Airline Ticket Giveaway for one Round Trip Ticket up to 40,000 points on Southwest Airlines! Giveaway ends August 31, 2018.

To get in the drawing, please send us the name and contact information of a referral for listing or buying a home with our team. You will get one entry per referral! You can reach us at:

512-423-6782

Cyndi@CyndiCummings.com

http://www.TheCummingsTeamAustin.com

 

Good Luck!

Lake Travis Football Preview

The Lake Travis Cavaliers have been to the Texas State Championship three years in a row, and last won the title in 2016. This year they are again predicted to do extremely well. According to www.maxpreps.com, Lake Travis is rated as the Number 9 Preseason High School football program in the country!

According to www.maxpreps.com, Lake Travis has several key players on its roster this season. They named Senior Wide Receiver Garrett Wilson as their Number 1 Playmaker in the country entering the 2018 season! The Cavaliers are also led by Junior Quarterback Hudson Card, Junior Linebacker Mauricio Trevino, Senior Safety/Linebacker Hunter Henry and Senior Defensive Tackle Kaleb Wenson.

You can check out more information about the team, players, scores and more by visiting www.laketravisfootball.com.

You can see the Cavaliers in action this 2018 season! Here is their schedule:

8/24/18 – Srimmage vs. Cedar Ridge @ 7:30pm. HOME

8/31/18 – Arlington Martin @ 7:30pm. AWAY

9/7/18 – Mansfield Summit @ 7:30pm. AWAY

9/14/18 – Bowie @ 7:30pm. AWAY

9/21/18 – Akins @ 7:30pm. HOME

9/28/18 – Austin High @ 7:30pm. AWAY

10/5/18 – Lehman @ 7:30pm. HOME

10/12/18 – Westlake @ 7:30pm. AWAY

10/19/18 – BYE WEEK

10/26/18 – Del Valle @ 7:30pm. HOME

11/2/18 – Hays @ 7:30pm. AWAY

11/9/18 – Anderson @ 7:30pm. HOME

Sources:

http://www.maxpreps.com/news/HjL78cCbz0-Qsx5Ve9D29w/maxpreps-2018-preseason-top-100-high-school-football-teams.htm,” Max Preps.

https://www.laketravisfootball.com/,” Lake Travis Football.

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