Thursday, December 5, 2019

Prepping for Art Basel in Style: A Miami Beach Product Review

Art Basel in Miami Beach 2018 - Courtesy Art Basel

Prepping for Art Basel in Style: A Miami Beach Product Review

By Letty Thomas and Kat Thomas

Edible Skinny is lucky enough to be hanging out in sunny Miami Beach for Art Basel in America this weekend (where our sister brand The Zelda Fitzgeralds will be creating on-demand typewritten poetry at the Basel House).  Art Basel ranks as the premier art show in the U.S. of A., offering a colorfully neon platform for renowned artists and galleries.  Along all that art pomp and circumstance, it’s also a FAB excuse for the New York City art world to get a tan at the beach when their hometown is usually drab, freezing, and covered in some level of sluzy gray ice (NYC snow stays white for the length of a New York minute)!  Not to be outdone by their East Coast counterparts, the LA art world is usually ready to escape from the Santa Anas and whatever massive fire has overtaken the city reigning down fire and brimstone into their Golden Turmeric Oat Milk Lattes.

So with that in mind Edible Skinny decided to hop a flight to Art Basel with its colorfully lit Art Deco architecture and "Fun in the Sun" shorelines.  And in honor of this, we're product reviewing some AMAZING things we've thrown in our travel bags.

But to prep for this adventure, we first headed over to Burke Williams Santa Monica for a Salt and Sugar Glo in their Wetroom.  These exfoliating body treatments thoroughly and effectively removed all the dead surface skin cells (gross) leaving our skin simply sparkling.  Normally the treatment is either Salt (the more aggressive of the two) or Sugar (gentler for those with more sensitive skin), but never one to make up our mind, we opted for a bit of both as we wanted our skin perfectly prepped for the beaches of MIA.

So here's to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and SPARKLING in style on the beaches of MIAMI!!!


BLUE LAGOON ICELAND - HYDRATING CREAM
It's like a Marine Layer for your skin!  Formulated with mineral rich geothermal seawater this moisturizer gives your skin nourishment and sun protection (with Broad Spectrum SPF 30) all in one product.  We found this moisturizer absorbed quickly and left the perfect amount of shimmer on your skin allowing you to look like your were glowing from within.  The convenient 1.7 oz size can fit easily in a carry-on or beach bag.  We recommend using every morning to start your day shining right!
https://shop-usa.bluelagoon.com

BLOCK ISLAND ORGANICS - PURIFYING FACIAL CLEANSER
Named for a remote island off the Rhode Island coast with crystal water, this lightly foaming cleanser goes on easily and clear.  This daily wash features no harsh ingredients and is packed with antioxidant rich organic and natural botanicals to remove build-up.  The result is a face that is fresh and happy to be clean.  Packaged in a handy 4 oz size with pump applicator this product is great for travel or everyday.  The perfect way to prep for a day on Block Island's crisp blue water or night on Ocean Drive!
https://www.blockislandorganics.com

TYPE A DEODORANT - THE VISIONARY
Nobody likes to be smelly (seriously, like NOBODY!).  So to prep for those crazy art adventures in one of the most humid climates in the country, we plan to be on our olfactory A-Game with our favorite award winning, aluminum-free deodorant: Type-A.  This B.O. fighter gives you all the benefits, with none of the nasty chemically tradeoffs.  Their sweat-activated technology mimics a time-release effect for long-lasting odor and wetness protection.  Plus it's non-irritating consisting of a cream that glides on smoothly and won't drag your skin.  Their ultra-sheer formula is clothing-friendly and absorbs instantly.  Honestly, you'll forget it's there!  Which is EXACTLY what you want when you're in the humid jungles of South Florida!
https://typeadeodorant.com

ECRU - SILK NOURISHING SPRAY
Nothing can fry your hair like "Sun and Fun" on the Beach (tragic, but true!).  But to your frazzled strand's rescue is Ecru's Silk Nourishing Spray, a weightless, nutrient rich, leave-in conditioning mist that instantly conditions, protects, and detangles hair.  This write up has been a long time coming, as we've been ABSOLUTELY in LOVE with this product since the summer!!!  Just mist on damp hair and comb through for ultimate non-fried style.  And with over a 100 applications per bottle, the longevity of this product doesn't hurt the bottom line either! ;-)
https://www.ecrunewyork.com

EXFOLIMATE - MAGIC EXFOLIATING SHOWER CLOTH
This simple lightweight exfoliator is the perfect solution for cracked skin after a day at the beach (and the lack of space in your carry-on bag)!  Reveal that fresh glow with better than a loofah scrubbing power of the Magic Exfoliating Shower Cloth.   The cloth's unique weave pattern feels soft on your skin, yet magically removes environmental build-up and dead skin that contributes to an uneven skin tone.  Their foam-boosting loofah-loops increase lather, making your soap and body wash go the extra mile.  And this uber long cloth will help you reach to touch to treat those pesky spots like back, butt, and shoulders for the perfect finish! ;-)
https://www.greenheartlabs.com

MARY'S CBD - BOOST BOMB
A delight to the senses, Mary's Bath Bombs create an oasis in any bathtub!  Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract with naturally occurring Cannabinoids melt away worries and energize the senses as you soak in the tub.  A perfect complement to the land of orange groves, Mary's CBD Boost Bomb's invigorating citrus aroma clears the mind and awakens the senses, while the effervescent Epsom salt and full-spectrum hemp extract with naturally occurring CBD provide balance.  This Bomb is also rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E leaving your skin looking and feeling nourished.
https://marysnutritionals.com


Letty Thomas was born and raised in multiple towns in NJ.  She attended college in Vermont and Connecticut.  She dreamed of working for Vogue or Glamour magazine.  Her love of salt water and boating got in the way.  She happily managed a yacht club "down the shore" for almost 20 years before jumping into the world of beauty and travel writing.  She has two grown daughters that make her smile.

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy.  She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures.  You can find more about both brands at
http://www.thiswayadventures.com









Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Edible Skinny is Back!


As much as we at Edible Skinny LOVE LOVE LOVE to explore this AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME world, sometimes a life event happens that makes a wandering soul pause for a moment.  

For last four months, I've been living in Florida helping my StepMom, Carol Jertson, make her final transition due to cancer and connecting with my Dad, Tony Thomas, in the aftermath of this event.  

It's been a nuanced and delightful hibernation from the world of travel, but it's time to hit the road again!  So look for the return of ES articles in the coming weeks!  Huzzah!!!!

Below is the online eulogy I wrote for Carol to keep you inspired to roam.  As you will read, Carol, a world traveler through and through, will be visiting many places posthumously as her adventures spirit still lives on! 

So here's to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and hitting the road again! 


Carolyn (No Middle Name) Jertson 

Carolyn (No Middle Name) Jertson passed on Friday August 16, 2019. A patchouli-loving-free-spirit-at-heart human, this coincided with the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. 

It was a total Carol move. 

Carol passed in a room surrounded by friends and family all celebrating her greatness. The festivities included live ukulele music, tarot card readings, treasured photos, lavender and patchouli aromatherapy, and sparkly tiaras. Her last moments were holding her devoted husband Tony’s hand. 

A fiery redhead with sparkly blue eyes, Carol was born on April 28, 1960. Although she was the baby of the family, she was the childhood protector of her 3 mentally disabled older brothers. Smart as a whip, during high school in Wayne, NJ, Carol would ditch class and hop a bus to Greenwich Village to be part of “The Scene.” She believed it was there, not in a classroom, she would truly learn life. These adventures included ballet classes, low level drug dealing, and accidentally attending The Stonewall Riots. 

A lover of words, Carol graduated college from West Virginia University with a degree in Journalism. She was a Cub Reporter for The Times Beacon, an Editor at The Atlantic City Press, and Co-Founder of The Jersey Shore Currents, all in New Jersey. When she moved to Florida, Carol was the Neighbors Editor of the Miami Herald and a Digital Editor at BioNews. She was an avid reader of books, moving those around her to find inspiration in the written word. 

A world traveler she visited Notre-Dame Cathedral in France, skied St. Anton in Austria, and hiked the Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coastline, and Dolomite Mountains in Italy. Carol strolled the canals of Venice, was spellbound by the Vatican in Rome, and snorkeled the deserted islands of the Abacos in The Bahamas. She adored America’s National Park System having visited Yosemite, Death Valley, Zion, Bryce, Arches, and Canyonlands with her husband and daughter Katie.

In the next year, Carol posthumously plans to travel to Montreal in Quebec, Alaska by cruise, the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain, and Burning Man. 

All Carol wanted was a world full of love. And luckily, she knew it when she saw it.
Carol would always ferret out the perfect item at a flea market or second hand shop, something that was special, something that others had put their heart and soul into. Homemade quilts, victorian tea sets, vintage dishes, and bedazzled tiaras were all treasures to her. She was a historian of things made and loved with tenderness.

Carol is survived by numerous Friends and Colleagues, 2 Adorable Cats Bello, the Lover Hitman, and Mazey, the Feline Princess, her 3 Big-Hearted Brothers, Roy, Danny, and Bobby, her 2 Daughters, Katie and Kelly, who both inspired by Carol are Professional Writers, and her Loving Pirate of a Husband Tony.

We’re all glad you finally got to go Uptown Sunshine!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A Night and a Day in Morro Bay, CA

A Night and a Day in Morro Bay, CA
By Kathleen Berry, Lifestyle Editor, Edible Skinny

When faced with a Sunday drive from LA to Benicia, a minimum of five and a half hours, my sister and I decided to make it a three day weekend by stopping over in Morro Bay. Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast.

The weather in LA was perfect so we had a leisurely brunch at Shutters - highly recommended - followed by a stroll on the beach at Santa Monica, and because of this we didn’t hit the freeway until four in the afternoon. We arrived after dark in Morro Bay and went straight to our lodgings at The Inn at Morro Bay. The Inn is a sprawling complex of smaller buildings, each with parking. It was April, off season, so we went for a waterfront room at a great price. We arrived just in time to catch a late dinner at the restaurant in the main building. The menu was not large but had plenty of tempting choices. The service was good, the food was delicious, and the fire we sat in front of was perfect for a chilly evening.

We woke up to a foggy morning. In front of our room was a myriad of sailboats bobbing on their moorings and a view of the famous Morro Rock. As we ate breakfast in the lodge overlooking the water, the weather cleared and the enormity and majesty of the Rock was revealed. We packed quickly and proceeded through town to Morro Bay State Park. As we approached the Rock just seemed to get bigger and bigger until it appeared to tower over the entire town. It’s a very tall: 576 feet high. We first went to the north side of the park where surfers, people with their dogs and even horseback riders populated a beautiful long curve of white sand beach. The water sparkled in the sun and the surf was moderate with gently breaking waves. If it had been 80 degrees I would have gone for a swim.

After basking in the sun and enjoying the action taking place on the beach, we moved to the south side of the Rock. There a breakwater forms a protected entrance to the harbor that fronts the town. Here we were treated to the antics of several groups of sea otters and also a seal. The man parked next to us was spearfishing and having some success. Boats came and went. There was a sightseeing boat that carefully moved alongside the otters so the tourists could have a close-up view. We just sat on a bench and took in the sights. The park was peaceful and quiet as it was a Monday and the kids were still in school.

We hated to leave but we were headed to Elephant Seal Beach further up the coast just past San Simeon and then to Monterey for a seafood dinner. The elephant seals are always a sight to see piled on top of one another, flinging sand on themselves to stay cool, and grunting and barking at each other if one of them decides he has to move. We didn’t arrive in Monterrey until the evening as we took the long and winding Big Sur coast road with its unparalleled views of cliffs, boulders, and ocean. It was well worth the trip. At Monterey we picked a restaurant at random and had dinner at Schooners Coastal Kitchen, which is well hidden inside the Monterey Plaza Hotel. It is on historic Cannery Row overlooking the bay. The salmon was outstanding and the swordfish, surprisingly cooked in a tomato sauce, had a great combination of flavors.

Our brief night and day stay was over and it was time to hit the road for the remainder of the ride back home to Benicia. We slid through San Jose at 9:30 p.m., avoiding the normal congestion and traffic, and it was an easy drive the rest of the way. We arrived home tired but refreshed by our day by the sea. Salt air, sunshine, the sound of the sea, without the crowds - that’s Morro Bay on a sunny April day. You can’t beat it.

Kathleen Berry is an adventurous senior who loves to travel. She recently moved to the San Francisco Bay area from the Jersey Shore. She has traveled extensively on both shoestring budgets and go for broke grand scale. She is fond of cruising and has shipped out on various cruise lines from a variety of ports. She truly believes the way to find the best local food is to always ask a local.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Lab Tested for Purity: Specialty Curated Vino with Dry Farm Wines



Lab Tested for Purity: Specialty Curated Vino with Dry Farm Wines
By Omid Vojdani, Health & Wellness Editor, Edible Skinny 

Wine. Like most people, I hated it at first, unable to detect the subtle nuances in flavor. Notes of cherry and a hint of tobacco? More like alcohol forward rotten grape juice, right? But, with some exploration and experience, I started to be able to understand enough to know that I don't like fruity Cabs, but I do like a really dry Sauvignon Blanc (just like I like my beer).

But just like beer, there was always a problem: the inevitable sluggishness the next day. Someone once told me that drinking was akin to borrowing happiness from the next day; the more you drink, the more 'unhappy' you are the next morning. This was always a big problem for me, being a health nut. It always felt like I had to choose between health and one of my favorite vices.

Because the fact of the matter is if you want to be healthy, there's only two basic rules to follow: do less of the things that make you feel weak, and do more of the things that make you feel awesome.  The challenge is that those rules are in order. You can't take supplements and undo a bad diet and no exercise. And no amount of water and activated charcoal is going to undo the inevitable hangover caused by drinking cheap wine.

Like I mentioned, this was a problem for me. Here's where the Napa based Dry Farm Wines comes in. Dry Farm Wines is a specially curated list of wines from around the world that are shipped directly to your home on a subscription basis. Todd White, the CEO, lab tests wines from around the world to make sure every bottle of wine sent out is as close to 'healthy' wine as we can get.

What makes a wine healthy? I won't list all of the criteria Todd goes for (find the whole list on their website), but things like: low alcohol and sulfites, less than 1g of sugar per liter, mold toxin free, no added chemicals to the wine making process, and of course no irrigation (dry farms, get it?). Combine wine like that with drinking low to moderate amounts, and you can enjoy your vice like me and borrow a LOT less happiness from tomorrow. How much less? Well, I put it to the test and had two bottles in the same night, and the next morning felt completely fine. Like I said, though, drink responsibly.

Why does all that lab testing and criteria matter? Well, I did some digging myself after feeling the difference, and was shocked to find just how poorly wine is regulated on the shelves in the states. Just one example: wine makers are allowed legally to add hundreds of different chemicals and other additives to the wine making process. Most of these are used in the cheaper wines to make the process faster and easier to mass produce, but the reality is this: don't be so quick to explain away a headache to too much wine, or the sulfites. There's a good chance that one or more of these additives could be causing you health problems that we feel as a hangover.

OK, healthy wine, I get it. Obvious next question: how do they taste? So far, I can safely say there is just as much variation in the taste with Dry Farm Wines as what you'd get from commercial wines at your local store. For example, one of the bottles in the box I received was a Rosé that was just unbelievable. But, there was also a bottle of a Sauvigon Blanc that I didn't care for much (didn't stop me from drinking the whole thing, just a little too sweet for my taste buds). The third bottle was a Bordeaux that I thought was pretty good, but my wife absolutely loved. To each their own, but I'm confident you'll find something you like in each box.

Now, the last point I'll make about Dry Farm Wines. This ain't your Two Buck Chuck wine, but nor is it the $500 bottle you save for a special occasion. With the subscription, the bottles will range between $15-25 each, some being less expensive and some being more. For my wife and I, we take our health quite seriously, and for us it's worth being able to enjoy a vice knowing we're following rule 1 of health.

In closing, Dry Farm Wines is curated healthy wine, lab tested and shipped to you each month, all for around $20 per bottle. This might not be for every wine drinker out there, but if you're like me and want to turn a vice into a healthy beverage, check out www.dryfarmwines.com for more info. Now if only they could do the same thing with beer…

Omid Vojdani is a health and wellness expert with over 10 years of hands on experience focusing on injury rehabilitation, postural alignment therapy, relationship counseling, and spiritual growth. You can find more info at succeedwithomid.com

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Soaking It Up: The Enchanting Healing Waters of Glen Ivy Hot Springs


Soaking It Up: The Enchanting Healing Waters of Glen Ivy Hot Springs
By Kat Thomas, Edible Skinny

“Work. Don't Think. Relax.” 
― Ray Bradbury

A few weeks ago Edible Skinny was lucky enough to encounter the enchanting healing waters of Glen Ivy Hot Springs, a world class spa retreat located in Corona, California (less than an hour away from Los Angeles… depending on traffic...).  For generations people have flocked to this rare oasis of wellbeing in SoCal.  A spa destination since 1860 (that’s right people, I said 1860!!!), it’s the ultimate co-ed place to connect, escape, and rejuvenate with 17 pools, healthy cuisine, and activities galore.  There’s nothing quite like the Glen Ivy experience with Hydrotherapy including Mineral Baths, Hot and Cold Plunges, and Saline Pools; a famously fabulous Grotto where you’re painted head to toe in a Eucalyptus, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil Concoction, and Therapeutic Red Clay Mineral Mud Baths.

Long long ago, the natural mineral springs and oaken forest at the foot of the Santa Ana Mountains served as a peaceful sanctuary for generations of indigenous people who gathered in search of healing and tranquility.  Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was campaigning for Highest Office in the Country the year that Glen Ivy Hot Springs was first advertised in the Los Angeles Star.  The first country inn to carry the Glen Ivy Hot Springs (aka the Temescal Sulphur Springs, as Glen Ivy Hot Springs, was known prior to the 1880s) was constructed in 1870.  At this time, the price of a swim in the mineral waters was just 25 Cents, which included a bathing suit and towel! ;-)

A couple of details about modern day Glen Ivy Hot Springs.  The majority of the spa experience is outside, so you dress as if you’re going to the beach, pool, or spa.  Prices run you between $55 (Weekdays) to $75 (Weekend and Holidays).  Right now they’re in premium season so reservations are STRONGLY suggested!  And Hello Thrifty; parking is FREE (take that Los Angeles!).  Guests are encouraged to wear a dark colored or older bathing suit (as some of the treatments have a tendency to discolor fabrics) and sandals that can get wet.  Also most of the spa is Co-Ed, so if you’re modest make sure to also pack a cover up!  No outside food or drink is allowed on the grounds as there’s multiple restaurants and bars at Glen Ivy Hot Springs including: the Ivy Kitchen, the Starbucks based GoCo Cafe, the juice and smoothie based Chill Zone, and outdoor cabana bar The Lounge 1860.  Water fountains are located throughout the space and utilized pure Glen Ivy well water! ;-)

And now on to the experience itself!  Hydrotherapy is the name of the game at Glen Ivy Hot Springs with 17 different pool options.  It’s nothing new as the therapeutic use of water has been recorded in ancient Egyptian, Greek (Hippocrates prescribed bathing in spring water for sickness), and Roman civilizations.  Egyptian royalty bathed with essential oils and flowers, while Romans had communal public baths for their citizens.

And now that the history lesson is over with… First a foremost, Glen Ivy is known for their thermal mineral waters that are naturally heated by the earth’s core (Science!!!).  Water travels through the depths of geological time, dissolving minerals, and emerging as a spring with a unique chemical composition that can hydrate and heal.  With a naturally occurring temperature of 103 Degrees, warm mineral water open pores allowing minerals to absorb into the skin while imparting warmth to soothe joints and muscles.  The sulphur scent is a sign of the inherent minerals such as sodium sulfate and sodium carbonate and the visible white particles are traces of calcium and magnesium.

Along with the Mineral Baths, one of the other pool standouts of Glen Ivy Hot Springs is their Hot and Cold Plunges.  Hot/Cold Hydrotherapy increases circulation, boosts the immune system, and leaves you feeling invigorated.  Varying hot and cold temperatures can help dilute and constrict blood vessels to encourage blood flow and strengthens the immune system.  Warm water soothes aching muscles while cold water increases circulation and contracts muscles to eliminate toxins.  Additionally, cold water strengthens mucous membranes to help resist hay fever, allergies, coughs, and colds.  Spend up to 5 minutes in the hot pool (102 Degrees), then move carefully to the cold pool (67 Degrees) for 45-60 seconds for a stimulating contrast.  Repeat up to five times for maximum benefits!  And then there’s the Saline Pool (with a temperature of 104 Degrees).  Epsom salt, a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate is known to relax the nervous system, alleviate many skin problems, soothe back pain, and muscle strain, treat colds and congestion, all while drawing toxins from the body.   Absorption of magnesium can reduce inflammation, aid in muscles and serve nerve functions, and prevent artery hardening.  Sulfate aids in the absorption of nutrients can ease migraine headaches and helps to eliminate toxins.

Then it was off to Glen Ivy’s famously fabulous Grotto...  Me and about seven other guests descended into the cave-like surroundings of The Grotto for a ritual that moisturizes and refreshes sun-drenched skin all for just a $30 Add-On.  First discovered in ancient Rome, grottos were recognized as peaceful escapes from the outside world.  The Italians used the abundance of natural moisture of grottos to create hydrating bath houses.  Similarly the French, sought out these cool subterranean caves from the blazing summer heat.

Once below ground we were painted neck-to-toe with a warm aloe vera, coconut oil, eucalyptus, shea butter, and lavender masque.  We then filed into the gently heated cavern where this silky formula soaked further into our skin as our body heated up (resulting in our pores opening up). Unlike most spa treatments, what makes the Grotto is that it can be enjoyed in a group or with friends.  It is a spa treatment, and Glen Ivy expects you keep your voices to a whisper in the Grotto (something we definitely got an L on…).  Twenty minutes later I was toasty enough to step into the next room to rinse off under cascading water before moving into the final, cooler grotto to relax with tea, water and green apples.

The irony is that after being cleansed in the Grotto I headed straight back to being Dirty (TOTALLY the Kat Thomas way…)!  “Club Mud” is California’s original therapeutic red clay mineral mud bath (perhaps you saw Tim Robbins do it in the movie “The Player”).  This was by far my AB FAB FAVORITE part of Glen Ivy Hot Springs!!!  The red clay mineral mud is formed using dry powder clay found in Temescal Valley and is mixed with Glen Ivy naturally occuring mineral water.  The Mud Bath is filled with fresh thermal water every morning for cleanliness and guests’ health.  Clay and mud masks have been used for centuries to remove impurities from the skin and leave it looking clearer and healthier.  These simple formulas can help unclog pores, control oil, and improve skin’s overall appearance.  Just note, due to the intense color of their red mud, Glen Ivy recommends using an older dark colored swimsuit.  Also please take care with silver jewelry as it will tarnish!

So here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcardworthy, and getting fabulously dirty at Club Mud! ;-)

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at: http://www.thiswayadventures.com

Thursday, June 6, 2019

A Tale of Las Cruces, Visiting The City Twice on a Road Trip From Vegas to Houston and Back

A Tale of Las Cruces, Visiting The City Twice on a Road Trip From Vegas to Houston and Back

By Kat Thomas 

“Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but in New Mexico the earth was the floor of the sky.” 
― Willa Cather

About a month ago Edible Skinny was lucky enough to visit the city of Las Cruces in New Mexico.  The city, on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, is located at the junction of Interstate Highways 10 (which is how I ended up there on the way from Las Vegas to Houston and back..) and 25 (of which it is the southern terminus).  Las Cruces is the state's second largest city, with a population of approximately 101,047 (2012 Census estimate in case you were wondering), and is the site of New Mexico State University.  Oh and the city’s name means "the crosses" in Spanish! ;-)

La Nueva Casita Cafe
On a lark, while driving through Las Cruces on the way to Houston, I decided to forsake favorite Fast Casual restaurant Chipotle for the local Mexican joint with the best Yelp reviews in town. What I walked into was the best Fucking tacos of my life in Las Cruces at La Nueva Casita Cafe!!!

Fresh, fresh, fresh is all I can say. I started with homemade salsa that’s actually spicy (which usually never happens as most restaurants dumb down their spiciness levels for the lowest common denominator when it comes to HEAT...).  The chips, also made in house, had all the nooks and crannies in all the right places.

This was an intro to the main dish: chicken tacos That BLEW MY MIND!  The chicken, marinated in local New Mexico spices, was moist beyond compare.  The guacamole balanced it perfectly with a creaminess interrupted by jalapeño and other spices of heat!  So if you’re looking for Mexican food the way God intended it (sorry Chipotle), this is your place!

Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces 
Ironically 4 days later I once again found myself in Las Cruces, NM. This time to spend a night at the FABULOUS (And Fabulously inexpensive) Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces.

Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces (also known as Hotel Las Cruces) is the premier Heritage Hotel & Resort in Southern New Mexico.  A welcoming oasis, the hotel was recently named one of the best hotels to book in 2019 by Travel + Leisure.  “The hotel’s earthy color palette, arched doorways, and tiled floors are quintessentially southwestern, while a lounge and outdoor pool offers visitors a place to wind down after a long day in the desert.”

The outside pool is absolutely stunning. I keep telling people it my hotel room would have been four times as much if it had been in LA and not the desert of New Mexico.  Plus the hotel is located in downtown, but the outside vistas overlook the striking Mesilla Valley allowing you to get the best of both worlds.

And for you space nerds, this Las Cruces hotel is honored to be selected by Virgin Galactic as the official preferred hotel and resort in Doña Ana County to service the astronauts and their families who will be traveling to Spaceport America.

So here’s  to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and the best Fucking tacos of my life in Las Cruces!!!

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Falling in LOVE with Austin in the Springtime

Falling in LOVE with Austin in the Springtime

By Kat Thomas, Edible Skinny

“People don't live in Austin to work; they work there to live.”
--Robert Rodriguez.

My entire life I had never visited Texas, and in the last four years I’ve been lucky enough to now drive across the state seven times. That being said I never really got Texas... I always thought of it more of a character of itself than anything else.

That was until I found myself in Austin in mid April.  All my previous visits to the state had been during the summer, so SUPER DUPER hot and dusty, but southeastern Texas in April.  Simply Amazing!!!

Austin, Texas’ capital, fully embraces the slogan of keeping itself weird (along with Portland).  Austin is also one of the most nicknamed cities in America with some of the more unusual including Waterloo and the City of Violet Crown.  Austin is also the live music capital of the world (which makes it a GREAT location for SXSW one of the biggest music conferences…).  It’s population hovers around 1 million people so it’s got a small town feel with big city culture.

SOUTH CONGRESS
While in the ATX city I crashed with a friend in the adorable area of South Congress.  This vibrant neighborhood south of Lady Bird Lake is a must-stroll for visitors and a popular hangout for locals. South Congress oozes homespun character and boasts the story of Austin’s yesteryear in its boutiques, eateries, galleries and music venues.

SUMMER MOON COFFEE
With a slogan of “the Wood is Good” Summer Moon Coffee prides itself on wood fired roasted coffee. A style that only 1% of coffee roasters craft their beans with.  With seventeen locations they are a local fan favorite.

While chilling there with a Summer Moon (there version of a Vanilla Latte) I got to conversate with one of their managers EZ.  He explained the owners have a patent pending on the wood fired roaster.  That in 2004, inspired by the early American coffee roasters and the simplicity of their tools: brick, fire and wood, they set out to craft custom coffee roasts they could be truly proud to call their own.  The owners had to build and rebuild it 6-7 times to get to coffee roasting perfection.

EZ continued, “if you ask why they invested everything they have in 19th century technology . . . you haven’t tasted our coffee.  This is coffee unplugged.”

MOONSHINE PATIO BAR AND GRILL
Later that day we headed over to Downtown Austin for the beautiful (and bootlegged according to their slogan) Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill.  This restaurant was recommended by my music industry friend who’s attended SXSW many many times and knows the skinny on The Bat City.

Our charming waiter warned us the portions were “Texas Style” aka four times the size of an entree in Los Angeles.  Which lead me to wonder how anyone makes any money in the restaurant industry in Texas?

We started the lunch off  healthy style with their Cornflake Fried Chicken Salad with Greens, Cheddar, Avocado, Tomato, Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon, and Honey Dijon Mustard.  I was the perfect balance of greens and country! ;-)

We followed this with a splitting of the Chicken Fried Steak with Chipotle Cream Gravy.  The split dishes were twice the size a normal entree on the west coast, Hey we were in the Republic of Texas.  It was everything, and more, you come to respect in deep fried Texas goodness.  Plus, since it was virtually a legal requirement to take home a doggy bag for dinner that night, and breakfast the next morning we were set for the next few meals.  We paired this with a side of Green Chile Cheddar Grits, cheesy and creamy they were the perfect Southern side dish.

After our entree our waiter sauntered up to us and delivered an some of the harshest words by Texas foodie standards: “You ladies look pretty defeated...”. Challenge accepted my Man. And thus, we ordered the establishment’s infamous Peanut Butter Mousse Pie with an Oreo Cookie Crust. The dish was featured on The Food Network, who called it “the world’s greatest peanut butter cup wrapped into a pie.”

PHOTOSHOOT WITH MOWGLI
Then it was off to do a photoshoot with the sparkly Mowgli the Dinosaur (perfect for Texas).  Mowgli the Dinosaur is a bedazzled T. Rex with 150,000 hand applied rhinestones of pure BLING!  He’s the perfect activation for the fun loving art crowd having become a mainstay at First Friday Las Vegas, the Dope Cup in the High Desert of California, the Cannabis Cups of Riverside and Sacramento, CA, private parties in Tucson, and events hosted by The Green Light District.

This photoshoot featured comedian singer Caitlin Comeskey in the Zilker Botanical Garden.  Mowgli is quite a SIGHT TO BE SEEN and everyone who encounters him wants to take a Selfie with this 67 million year old SPARKLY T. Rex! And that day was no exception as multiple frisbee golf players in the park pauses long enough to snap that shot for their Insta-Story.

RADIO COFFEE AND BEER
The next day it was off to Houston (for the Houston Comedy Film Festival where one of my screenplays was a Finalist!), but before I hit the road I needed to duck into one more Austin coffee shop.

The slightly Southern Hipster, Radio Coffee and Beer oozed adorableness at six in the morning.  This is aggressively curated coffee!  Radio serves coffee from several roasters including Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Portland, Ore), Little City (Austin, Tx), Wild Gift (Austin, Tx).  This java joint was voted best coffeeshop by the Austin Chronicle Reader’s Poll in 2016, 2017, and 2018.  There was already a line for the food truck outside the joint.  One of the AWESOME things about this local cup of joe spot is that it’s open from 6:30 in the morning to Midnight (usually coffee shops close around 9pm…).  Oh, and they do Bluegrass every Monday night.

So here’s  to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and never being defeated by Texas portions!!!

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com