The Most Instagramable Hotel in Austin, TX – The Driskill

Photo Courtesy of The Driskill Hotel

Happy First Day of Autumn! It is now officially my favorite season of the year! Autumn is my favorite season for many reasons! I love the fall colors, the weather (Texas weather during Fall is glorious), Texas Tech Football, and of course the holidays.

Thanksgiving is easily one of my favorite holidays during the Autumn Season! With fall finally upon us, it is officially time to start solidifying our travel plans for the Thanksgiving Holiday. This Thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I will be traveling to the lovely and bohemian Texas Capital (Austin, TX). We are primarily visiting so that we can attend the Texas v. Texas Tech Football Game on November 29th. But I digress, I am super thrilled to visit the city of Austin! During our trip, he and I will be staying at the amazing Driskill Hotel.

Perfect Location for Instagram

Originally opened in 1886 by Cattle Barron, Jesse Driskill; the hotel has seen some amazing events and A-class guests (including President Lyndon B. Johnson) over the last 130(+) years. Currently, the hotel part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The Hyatt has made the conscious decision to stay true to the hotel’s original Romanesque Revival Architecture. The Interior Decor (expertly designed by Volz & Associates, Inc.) is an absolutely stunning and ornate Art Deco Design that includes many period-motifs. This makes the Driskill the perfect location for any Instagramable moment, especially: marriage proposals, wedding pictures, family photos, and more!

Rooms & Amenities

Photo Courtesy of The Driskill Hotel

My boyfriend and I will be staying in a Balcony room, which is one of the premium guest rooms available (aside from the Suites). Along with traditional room amenities (i.e. flat screen TV, Wifi, In-room Safe, and several more); this room also includes fantastic view of historic 6th Street in the Heart of Downtown Austin. Other amenities include, museum-quality art work, live music every night, upscale dining, and traditions such as afternoon tea. Nightly turn-down services are also available for anyone wanting to add a little more romance to their stay.

1886 Cafe & Bakery

The 1886 Cafe & Bakery is open daily from 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM and serves breakfast and lunch all morning and early afternoon. Executive Chef, Christian Aptez, delights his patrons with fantastic breakfast options, including: Austin Hot Fried Chicken, Smoked Salmon & Bagel, Hangover Omlet, and the vegan Texas-Shaped Waffle. Some lunch options include Poblano Corn Soup (which is gluten-free), Arugula & Melon Salad, Turkey B.L.T Croissant, and the Hangover Burger. To drink, be sure to try their The Breezy One Cocktail.

Photo Courtesy of The Driskill Hotel

Every Second Monday at 6:00 PM, the 1886 Cafe & Bakery hosts the Craft Series at 1886. This series offers guests four craft beers accompanied by a four course dinner all for the great price of $45.

The Driskill Bar

Named one of the Top 10 Bars in America by USA Today and Best Bar in Texas by Southern Living, The Driskill Bar is a wonderful gathering spot for travelers over the age of 21. Happy Hour is from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Daily. If you are looking for a few bites to eat: try their Margarita Flatbread or Smoked French Dip. Or after a long day, guests can relax in a large lounge chair, listen to some live music (which is offered nightly), socialize with some new friends, all while sipping on the The Batini (the Official Drink of Austin).

This post was originally written by Kelsey Andriot and posted on The Chronicles of Kelsey Blog.

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Staycation at the NYLO Dallas Plano Hotel

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Generally, I am not one for making new years resolutions. But I do like to set goals. In January 2019, I sat down and wrote myself a list of goals that are actually attainable. I specifically like to make goals that have a progress that is easy to monitor.

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In regards to travel, I made only two goals. The first goal is that I would have at least one staycation per quarter (with a total of four staycations per year). The second travel goal was to take one (or two) vacation(s) this year. Please note, when I wrote down these goals I actually gave them a number rather than just saying “more.” Maybe I should write another post all about personal goal-setting.

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The year 2019 has been a crazy year so far. Hence, the reason I am taking my first staycation in the second quarter of 2019. This staycation was very much needed as school, work, and my personal life have been absolutely insane. For this staycation I decided to stay at the NYLO Dallas Plano Hotel in Plano, Texas.

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The NYLO Dallas Plano Hotel is part of the Hilton Tapestry Collection. This collections is specifically for hotels that are unique and original. I reserved my room using the Hilton Honors App. The app is super easy to use and very convenient. Using this app, you can search for and reserve Hilton Hotels all over the world. The benefits becoming a member of the Hilton Honors include discounted hotels stays, earning points towards a free stay, free Wifi, Digital check-in, and the ability to choose your room. I specifically choose the NYLO Dallas Plano because I love the uniqueness of the modern interior design.

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I stayed in the King Junior Suite. It was exactly the size that I needed to focus on my blog and on homework. This suite came with two rooms. The room pictured above is the living space and a work space. It came with a desk and chair combo, a fridge, comfortable couch, and side table.

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The main bedroom included the bed (of course) and small mini bar. In the photo above I am using the mini bar as a desk. I loved the natural light in the main bedroom. It was exactly what I needed to get some things accomplished.

 

Take-Aways From my Stay at the NYLO Dallas Plano:

  • The floor and walls are made of concrete. As a result, there can be an echo from other rooms. But you can always upgrade to a quieter room.
  • Getting the right temperature in the Shower can take some time. But I loved the shower! It is large enough to fit two people and the shower head is huge, so the water is very immersive.
  • It is conveniently located
    • The Star Center – 7 minute drive
    • Stonebriar Mall – 2 minute drive
    • The Shops at Legacy – 5 minute drive
    • Legacy West – 6 minute drive
    • The Boardwalk at Granite Park – 4 minute drive
    • Numerous eateries and food locations right next door and across the street (all within a walk-able distance).

 

This Post was originally posted on The Chronicles of Kelsey. If you like what you see please leave a comment below and follow this blog. Also, be sure to follow Kelsey on Instagram and Facebook.

Living Intentionally – How Writing a Daily Letter to a Deployed Friend has Helped Strengthen our Friendship

Before I started dating, I was about 25 years old and had my mind set on other things. Over the last four years I have gone out on many dates, met even more men, and even made a few friends along the way. Like many people, I definitely have a “type.” This type tends to be Veterans (many of which are Combat Vets).

While getting to know these men, they would always tell me how they enjoyed receiving and writing letter to and from their loved ones while on deployment. They would tell me how they really enjoyed the small details in the letters. For example: one person told me that he enjoyed reading about how his sister went to Starbucks with one of her best friends then later she went to the grocery store. It has always been a mystery to me; why do you want to know every detail about what is happening here? In my mind, I find these small details to be rather boring. Wouldn’t someone who is deployed feel the same way about the small details of life at home?

Fast forward a few years to present day. I now have a friend who works part time for the National Guard (Former Air Force Officer) and was recently deployed. During his deployment, I made the decision to intentionally write him a long deployment letter every day at noon. I didn’t know his physical address, so all of our communication was via Facebook Messenger.

At first, I had no idea what to tell him about. So naturally, I started telling him all about the weather. Then eventually, with the more letters I sent him, the more comfortable I became with telling him about other things. I would tell him about my minor victories and losses, frustrations, sicknesses, plans, work, friendships, and so on. Often times he would respond in ways that I was not expecting. 

Unexpectedly, my deployment letters turned into actual conversations. They became conversations of substance. We become more comfortable with each other during his deployment because of my letters.. Despite being thousands of miles apart, we became closer and our friendship became much deeper.

This Post was originally posted on The Chronicles of Kelsey. If you like what you see please leave a comment below and follow this blog. Also, be sure to follow Kelsey on Instagram and Facebook.

Increased Productivity by Pacing Yourself

Throughout my life, I have been consistently told “just take 15 minutes out of your day to work on (insert task here).” However, it was not until I was 25 years old and working towards my second Bachelors degree when I realized the importance of timing yourself.

As stated in my About page, I am currently working full-time and going to school part-time. My first bachelors degree is in Exercise and Sport Science. Now, I am working towards a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. Eventually, I would like to earn a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering. With all the course work and the stress load that I have to handle outside of school, using a timer to pace myself throughout the day has proved to be very, veryvery helpful.

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The nice thing about timing yourself is that it can be applied to just about any and every aspect of life. For example, it can be applied to your professional life. If you are  working on multiple projects time, use a timer to time yourself as you work on each project. If you are a housewife and mother, you can time yourself for cleaning the kitchen, cleaning your bedroom, or taking a nap.

In a way, timers have taken over my life (especially on the weekends)! Right now, I am taking only two classes (University Physics I and Calculus III). Usually when I study, I spend 30 minutes studying Physics, 30 minutes studying Calculus, and 15(+) minutes during a break. It is during these 15(+) minute breaks, I spend time cleaning/organizing my room, working on my blog, working on other social media, eating, and so on.

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Since I am constantly on my computer (perhaps a little too much), most of my timers are on my computer. There is an app on most windows computers labelled “Alarms & Clock.” Using this app, I have created several generic timers that are my go-to when it comes to intense studying and working. Below is a graphic listing the names of my timers and how long they are set for.

Timers and Productivity

 

 

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Fair Warning:

When you first start trying to get into the habit of setting timers, you are going to feel very unproductive. It will feel like nothing was accomplished in the last 30 minutes. When I first started doing this, that is exactly how I felt. Originally, I started out by setting 30 minute timers. At the time, I only completed about two problems. But this is perfectly fine! Usually, I finish the problem then move on to the next subject. Bottom line, when you start doing timing yourself you will start to feel a little down because you will not accomplish everything on your list within that 30 minutes! It is completely and totally normal. I am here to tell you, hang in there! It will get much easier

 

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Fortunately, There  Is Good News!

If (and only if) you keep timing yourself, you will be so much more productive. During each 15 to 30 minute timer, you will feel like nothing was accomplished. If you keep at it, eventually, you will finish whatever it was you set out to do. Not only will you finish, you will also find that you accomplished more than what you have originally intended. Timing yourself allows you to focus on what you are doing without distraction. Taking timed breaks, allows your brain to dwell on what you were just studying. Finally, timing yourself allows you to find ways to make your studying more efficient and effective.

 

This Post was originally posted on The Chronicles of Kelsey. If you like what you see please leave a comment below and follow this blog. Also, be sure to follow Kelsey on Instagram and Facebook.

Featured Image: Found on Pinterest.

Studying: Best Practices

This post was originally posted to Preparing for a Career in Healthcare Blog. To see the full post click here

Hello everyone! It is the hard to believe that we have completed three and a half weeks for the year 2019! Where has the time gone?

Despite the year still being one quarter complete, many things have happened. I have set up a Facebook Page, reconfigured my Instagram Account, started the Spring Semester of school, passed two tests, and I have two more tests coming up that I need to study for. Thus, I have taken inspiration for today’s blog post from having to study for school.

Studying comes in many different forms. For my first degree, my time studying was almost entirely spent reading, writing and memorizing. However, I am in school trying to earn a second bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. This major is an entirely different breed. Engineering is almost entirely math. Studying for math involves more practice and deduction than anything else. But I am getting off topic, so I digress.

Since returning to college there are many things that I have learned about regarding study habits and college success. Below, I have listed out a few major points about studying do’s and don’ts.

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1) The Relationship Between Comfort Level and Studying

The more experience I have with successful study, the more evident it has become that there is a correlation between comfort level and studying. In other words, the more comfortable I am, the less productive I am during my studies. To combat this, here are a few things I have found that help tremendously with my productivity during study hours.

 

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Dress Nicely (Try to Avoid Wearing PJ’s and Athletic Wear)

No, you do not have to wear your fanciest clothing. But you will not be as productive dressed in your PJ’s or athletic gear as you would in regular clothes. Make it a point to wear jean pants or jean shorts and a nice blouse or graphic T-shirt. Another option, is a casual maxi skirt/dress, sun dress, or jean skirt. Since it is cold outside, I usually wear skinny jeans, boots, a fashion T-shirt, and a cardigan/jacket/vest. In the future, I might write a post that includes some of my favorite outfits to wear during my studies. But for now you might be able to find some inspiration on my Pinterest board I’m a Citizen of the World (pay particular attention to the Cozy Section, Casual Date Sectionand the Weekend Section).

 

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Do not Study on your Bed

I know that I cannot be the only person who is like this, but my bed is my heaven. It is the most comfortable place for me to be. Because it is so comfortable, it is a terrible place for me to study. I am not nearly as productive if I study on my bed as I am when I study at the kitchen/dinning room table or my desk. When I am sitting on my bed, I often time get distracted doing other things. This is not ideal for an environment that needs to promote learning

 

Better yet, Get out of the House

Being at home makes us comfortable, since comfort level seems to be inversely correlated with productive study.  Therefore, it is probably best that you get out of the house entirely. Where you go does not matter, just get out of the house. I find that cafes are my favorite places to study. But libraries, classrooms, the Math Lab, your Professor’s office are all excellent alternatives to sit and study your material. On Friday’s I go study in my Physic’s classroom and study.  On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, I sit in my Professor’s office and complete Calculus III homework.

 

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2) Read your Textbook and Write Down Everything!

There is something about writing things down that make concepts much easier to memorize and understand. As you sit and read your textbook, be sure to jot down as many notes about what you are reading. Also, it is very important that you review and rewrite the notes that you have taken while in class. For example, one of the things I do (especially in Physics). I sit and read the book and write down any and every major point and revelation the book gives me. Then you sit and practice the sample problems. Generally, I will try to attempt the sample problem myself, then go back and see what I got wrong (you do not learn a thing by getting everything right). Finally, I will attempt to solve every odd numbered problem at the end of each chapter (these problems have the solutions in the back of the book).

 

 

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3) Setting Timers

This subject will most definitely require another post, because it applies to every situation (not just school). Plus, if you have never gotten into the habit of timing yourself, then there are a few things that you might want to know prior to picking this up as a habit. Therefore, I will follow up with a post in the next few weeks regarding this topic.

 

 

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4) Finally, Take Breaks and Do No have “Study Marathons.” 

As humans, some of our biggest flaw is thinking that we learn more if we sit for several hours and study the same subject they whole time. This could not be further from the truth. Be sure to take breaks during your studies. During those breaks, be sure to actually get up and do something. There are many things you could do during your breaks, clean your room, clean the kitchen, go for a run/walk, lift weights, spend time working on a hobby, blog and so on. This is why timing yourself with timers are so important, so that you do not get so caught up in studies. Also timers help you time your breaks so that you  do not loose yourself in these hobbies during these breaks.

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Fancy French Cuisine with My Two Favorite People

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My Personal Favorite Romper. Olive Green Kaileigh from Stitch Fix. Sorry, my hair is a mess from the wind blowing and this was a candid shot.

Yesterday, I had the wonderful pleasure of going to Toulouse Cafe & Bar with two of my favorite people, Jamie (my brother) and Bre (his girlfriend). I could not have asked to go to a better fine dining, luxury, 5 star restaurant with a better couple!

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My Favorite Couple! Beautiful on the Inside and Out! I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for you guys!

Let’s start by saying that Toulouse Cafe & Bar is very quaint! The interior design is absolutely stunning! Despite the small size of the interior, the restaurant decor and abundant natural lighting gives the restaurant an airy and very open feel. Also, Bre wanted me to let you know that she found the bench seats to be very comfortable (hehe)! The three of us loved our seats and the friendly and accommodating service at Toulouse.

 

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We all had something to drink. I had the Hibiscus Margarita, it was excellent! Jamie had the Toulouse Old Fashioned; and Bre had a Mimosa. they were all really good! Unfortunately, I was able to get a good shot of my drink. But it was pink and fruity with a touch of salt!

 

 

 

Despite having a 12 pm reservation, we all decided to have brunch. I had the Eggs Any Style. Again, unfortunately I was unable to get a picture of my meal. However I did get a picture of Jamie and Bre’s meal. Jamie had the Omlette Provençal and Bre had the Orange French Toast. My meal was very tasty. I also tried Bre’s breakfast, it was great.

 

 

Jamie and Bre, thank you for joining me! I will love you guys and cannot wait to go on more adventures with you guys! XOXO

 

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This Post was originally posted on The Chronicles of Kelsey. If you like what you see please leave a comment below and follow this blog. Also, be sure to follow Kelsey on Instagram and Facebook.