On this super rainy day, I found myself dreaming of days at the pool and that tight feeling in your skin after a day in the sun and a happy shower pre-dinner with friends. As I look outside at the grey and wet everywhere, I have the urge to shop online for a new swim suit.
But, alas, my friend Alex Young, the blogging brains behind Eat Style Dallas has yet again saved the day. He just posted Poolside Must Haves on his site and I'd be remiss not to share. I met Alex when he volunteered to model in our first ever runway show in 2011, here at the store in Shops at Legacy. We hit it off and I've loved him and his love of all things food and fashion ever since.
Alex describes himself he’s Always Hungry. Always Styled. Always in the know and hungry for more. He is also a regular contributor to KTXD TV’s morning show “The Broadcast” hosted by his friend Courtney Kerr, as the “Dapper Dater." Born and raised in Texas, his blog serves as a guide to all things dapper and delicious.
And without further ado:
(1) Protect the skin you’re in. I’m a local guy who loves local brands and when a great product comes into that mix, well you just can’t go wrong. My first pick? Jack Black Skin Care Sun Guard Sunscreen SPF 45 Oil-Free & Very Water Resistant Lotion. I absolutely hate when a sunscreen product has that self tanner or toxic smell that you catch a whiff of at the pool or outdoors. Enter Jack Black who has created a sun protection product that gets it. The vitamin-enriched, oil-free, very water- and sweat-resistant lotion absorbs quickly without greasy or heavy residue so theres no worries about the white caking on your face or skin. Perfect.
(2) Lip Work. My friends know me as the guy who always has a product on me in order to protect my lips from dryness. My favorite product to do the trick poolside? Kyoku Lip Fuel (SPF 15). It’s a one application wonder that counteracts uncomfortably dry, chapped lips and sunburn. Your lips are often forgotten in the midst of margaritas, music and mayhem at the pool but you’ll thank me when you use this minty mouth saver that’ll save you from cracked lips later.
(3) Best Face Forward. You don’t allow wrinkles in your closet, why would you allow them on your face? Worry no more with my favorite face lotion thats bound to keep the hydration in your face after a long day of sunning. Pick up Anthony Logistics For Men Facial Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30. Sugarcane, sugar maple, orange, and lemon extracts work in tandem to tighten the skin and keep the harmful rays out. All different kinds of skin types can use this nourishing face saver and that is why I always use it when I know I’ll be out in the sun.
(4) Beer, Margaritas…Beer-itas. The drink of choice when poolside if often something that’ll have you dragging later, no matter how tasty. I’m not opposed to those beverages but I was looking for something to incorporate in between the adult imbibing. Another local company that is keeping my thirst quenched Koa Organic Water, is a flavorful approached to getting H2O back into the program. It’s water with 10 minerals and 9 vitamins! Cheers!
(5) Shade shade shade. You won’t be able to see that hottie crossing the pool area if you are being blinded by the sun. Why not do it in style? My pick for this upcoming pool season is the Ray Ban Teardrop Aviator Sunglasses. The chic goldtone metal frames reflect the suns rays while the lenses provide 100 % UV Protection. Grab a pair while they last in stores, friends.
The Bonneville is quickly becoming one of Austin's best restaurants and it's really easy to see why. I made my first trip to the Bonneville before we opened Gameday Cloth's Austin location. It was the moment that I knew that I was making the right choice. The food and drinks that day were amazing and they've gotten better each time I've visited.
Located on Cesar Chavez, their dog friendly patio overlooks Town Lake and is only a block away from Congress Bridge. The views are amazing and it offers great people watching potential. Their happy hour has been named one of the best in Austin (I agree 100%) and even offers great prices on food. I've been very guilty of enjoying one pepino fresco too many, but they are beyond delicious. It's the perfect atmosphere before viewing the bats or heading to ACL Live.
Austin seems to have perfected brunch and the Bonneville is among the best. Personally, I'm a big fan of the bananas foster French toast with a side of the bacon tater tots and house-made pecan sticky buns, but you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. My fiancee swears that the chipotle-lime chicken hash has changed her life.
Brunch and happy hour are great, but the Bonneville's dinner service is even better. Chef Jennifer Costello and Chef Chris Hurley has created a menu that has something for everyone. I would tell you what I've enjoyed, but I would simply be reciting the menu. From their appetizers to their pizzas and entrees...just make sure that you save room for dessert. You won't regret it.
Four Corners Can
We like supporting local businesses, as we are one ourselves. When reaching for a brew, it's usually something local to Texas. So when Four Corners Brewery located in Dallas, TX, released their beer in special new cans a couple weeks ago, we had to try this. Basically, the whole top comes off giving you a drinking “vessel”. Very unique.
We’ve had a few of the Four Corners various brews before, so we stuck with our favorite - Local Buzz. The labels are actually pretty cool. Who doesn't love roosters?
After a bit in the refrigerator to get good and cold, we started the test. The top comes off easily in one motion with zero remaining sharp edges.
Honestly, we took the first sip and were impressed. These new cans are awesome! The consensus? It's possible that these cans could possibly make the beer taste better. After a couple of these fantastic new cans (we had to make sure it really did affect beer flavor change), ideas began about how we could change the world with those cans. There are many world-changing options. But that's for another post.
At the end of the day, we highly recommend the Four Corners can. You can find them here in Dallas, TX, at Central Market, Spec’s, and some Whole Foods. Go out. Try it. You'll thank us.
I'm sitting here on a sunny Thursday afternoon in Austin, TX. It's beautiful outside...the kind of day where you want to play hooky and play golf, or have drinks on a patio or bike around the lake. But that's not what I'm thinking about. No, all I'm thinking about is heading to my car after the store closes, so I can make a new preset on my XM radio. You see, on Sunday, I have to make a little road trip and that means I won't be able to watch the SMU versus UConn men's basketball game. Fortunately, we live in an age, that seemingly any sporting event is accessible from seemingly anywhere. I've watched a UT/Ohio State football game on AFN on a military base in Iraq, I've followed national signing day on twitter, I've streamed Astro games while in the south of France...very few sporting events are completely unavailable. And that makes me happy.
All of this got me thinking about what does it mean to be a fan. Some people can recite stats for days, some people travel hundreds or thousands of miles to attend games, some people have bought every piece of attire and memorabilia. I don't think any of those things make on a fan. No, I think being a fan comes down to loyalty and faith.
Faith is what convinces Cowboy fans that they can overcome Jerry (or Romo or the defense or whatever their individual gripe is). Loyalty is what keeps them tuning in after yet another 8 and 8 season. Faith is going to the Cotton Bowl to see SMU during the Mike Cavan/Phil Bennett years with 3000 other fans. Loyalty is continuing to renew your season tickets. Faith is believing that the Astros suffered through three horrendous seasons because there is a long term plan in mind. Loyalty is studying up on the next generation of potential major leaguers and getting excited for their potential.
It's easy to buy a shirt or put on a hat and claim that you're a fan. But do you consider those thousands of Miami Heat patrons who left game 6 of the NBA Finals fans? Those are probably the same people who have been fans all of their lives since they signed LeBron James. It's easy to be a fan when your team is playing for titles, it's not so east when you are hoping for a miracle to win.
Sports have become so popular that there are no right or wrong answers any more. Can you be a Kevin Durant fan AND a Mavericks fan? Can you cheer for a university that you didn't attend? Are you allowed to change favorite teams? I think so, but others may not. I live in Austin and it seems like the number of people who aren't from Austin increases each day. Do they have to stop supporting the teams that they grew up cheering for? Are they allowed to root for a local team? Can they do both?
What does being a fan mean to you?
I don't normally write too sports specific on this blog. I leave that to the boys, who usually know a bit more than me instinctually. But on this occasion, I can't help it. I am bursting with Pony Pride! Cheesy? Yes. But, true.
I've had football season tickets for six consecutive years, along with a few before I moved away to NYC (kind of hard to commute from Manhattan). And now I'm in my second year of basketball season tickets. I cannot explain what it feels like to watch a sports program at SMU light it on FIRE the way Larry Brown has with our basketball program. It is awe-inspiring.
Check out this video and tell me it doesn't inspire you. They play it to open every home game. I've watched 100x now. Chills. Every. Time.
I shot the finally seconds of the game last Saturday the 8th against #7 Cincinnati. I've never seen anything like it since beginning my SMU career in the Fall of 1998. I'm so proud that the students are as supportive and excited as they are of our extraordinary team. You can watch my little iPhone video on our YouTube page. Next time I'll shoot wide. I was just too excited to think!