Win Craft Brew for Your Crew at Oasis Texas Brewing Company

Summertime in Austin typically brings new delights in the way of cool new hangouts. This summer we welcomed an awesome new taproom to the Lake Travis area, Oasis Texas Brewing Company. Not only is this brewery serving up delicious ales and lager, but it happens to be situated on one of the most beautiful hillsides in the city, so the views of Lake Travis are amaze-balls!

Oasis Texas Brewing Company celebrated its official grand opening last week and it also celebrated a co-grand opening a few months ago for its spectacular (shared) venue space, The Mansfield. I was an event planner for years and I can honestly tell you this new venue is THE place to throw a soiree. The space is vast, gorgeous, rustic-inspired and totally hip, just like Austin.

So how do you win a brew with a view for your crew? Lake Travis Lifestyle, LT’s resource for all things happening in the Lake Travis area, has partnered with Oasis Texas Brewing Company and SherpaLux, Austin’s premier transportation and tour provider, for a TOUR & TASTING giveaway where one lucky guy or gal wins a private tour & tasting at the brewery for 10 people! SherpaLux is stepping in to provide transportation to and from the brewery. It’s a unique prize that you can share with your best buddies and peeps that retails for around $800.

Head over to Lake Travis Lifestyle for all of the details and find out how and when to enter. (Hint: Book a babysitter for Saturday night!) Good luck!

Photo: Oasis Texas Brewing Company

How Martial Arts Transformed a Nonverbal Autistic Toddler into a Thriving 9-Year-Old Sensation

Kung Fu StudentWhen he was a happy but nonverbal toddler, our oldest son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Doctors told us they had no idea if or when he’d become verbal or if he’d ever be social enough to have meaningful relationships. The outlook for his future was unknown and grim. Last year, at the age of 8, he performed a kung fu routine onstage in front of a crowd of 300 people, proving any obstacle can be overcome. This year, he will take the stage again Feb. 27 and dazzle the crowd with a martial arts routine consisting of fan-fighting and staff-fighting techniques with his Sifu (instructor), Robert Roy.

Video of 2014 Practice Session: http://youtu.be/XtnRPP66tVE

We had never thought about getting Steele involved in martial arts until Sam Hicks, the principal at Steele’s school, Lakeway Elementary, told us how much he’d seen other children in Steele’ situation thrive from martial arts. It sounded like a good idea to us, so we did our research and found Robert Roy. During Steele’s very first kung fu lesson, we knew we had found something special.

Kung Fu cropped“Martial arts helped Steele develop both sides of his brain because techniques require students to alternate between left brain and right brain skills, which many autistic children struggle with,” explains Sifu, a twice Hall of Fame inductee as kung fu master who trained in China at the Shaolin Temple. “I worked with Steele weekly and after only a few lessons, I saw dramatic improvements. His physical abilities were improving, his ability to focus was getting stronger and his level of confidence in himself was soaring.”

During the course of his kung fu lessons, we saw Steele transform into a focused, confident and skilled martial-arts student who specialized in staff fighting. In February 2013, he decided to share his martial arts achievements with his community by performing in the annual talent show at his school. The first step was making the audition. The staff at Lakeway Elementary School was extremely supportive and let Steele audition with Sifu. Four more weeks of practice flew by as the talent show quickly approached.

On Feb. 26, 2013, the Lakeway Elementary School gymnasium was packed with more than 300 parents, family members, teachers and friends, all eager for the talent show. I was a nervous wreck! He had never done anything like this in his life and we didn’t know how he’d react to such a huge crowd. When it was time for him to perform, he grabbed the microphone (which was unexpected and unscripted!!!) and asked the crowd, “Are you ready to see it?” The crowd clapped and cheered as Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” played and Steele and Sifu performed an exciting martial arts combat routine.

I’ll never forget that moment for as long as I live. I cried from the moment he took the stage, because I was so overwhelmed with joy. Nobody in that crowd understood how every single thing he did was so magical. It was surreal. He didn’t get nervous, he spoke on a microphone from his heart in front of hundreds of people, and his routine was awesome. I still meet people who remember that routine vividly. It’s just amazing. (And they usually say, “Hey, aren’t you that mom who was crying at the talent show?” Yep, that’s me!)

Video of Performance Last Year: http://youtu.be/IIQGf29K5o4

kung fu 2013This year, he’ll be performing again with Sifu and he will be incorporating fan-fighting into the routine. We’re so very proud of him and can’t wait to see him do it again!

Meet Robert Roy (our Sifu!)
Robert Roy, who was trained in China at the Shaolin Temple, has been actively leading the martial arts community in Austin. As owner of Martial Arts Academy, he was active in Crime Stoppers programs, worked with the Austin Police Department’s SWAT Unit, the Department of Public Safety officers and the Parks and Recreation Department in Brazoria County. He is a two-time Hall of Fame inductee as kung fu Master and Living Legend of the Year. He has performed in countless shows and movies featuring martial arts.

He is currently working on a Bully Prevention Certification program designed to supplement anti-bullying campaigns nationwide. He and his wife are also developing an e-book video instructional series for parents and children called “ROOTAGE: Plant the Knowledge.” It will illustrate the hidden techniques and provide a clearer understanding of how ancient martial arts benefits child development.

(Sifu currently teaches throughout the state, but he holds private lessons at World of Tennis in Lakeway.)

Sochi Olympics Proving to be an Emotional Ride

I’ve been tuning in to watch the Olympics and wow, it’s been a crazy week of competition! A few days ago, on the 18th, I just tweeted “carnage” due to all of the crazy slides and spills during the debut of the first-ever parallel slalom race.

Today we see more bad news since a German Olympian failed his drug test. Grrr. Really? Come on. I can’t believe any athlete would even dream of doping during the Olympics?!? And the ice skating controversy chatter continues. (Of course it does.)

If you want to check out a pretty wild slide show of 38 photos that depict “The Agony of Defeat in Sochi,” hop on over to USA Today online. Amazing photos, but oh-so sad.

There’s still plenty of Olympic excitement left including cheering on Mikaela Shiffrin who is halfway to history as the youngest Olympic women’s slalom champion in history. She’s 18 and from Eagle-Vail, CO. You go girl!

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Lake Travis Lifestyle Post: 6 Best Patios in Lake Travis

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Iguana_ Viewv2Warm weather is finally on the way and Lake Travis restaurants are gearing up for lazy spring afternoons outdoors where you can enjoy the beautiful Hill Country and perhaps sip a sweet margarita (or two!). One of the great things about living in the Lake Travis area is we have lots of beautiful sprawling spaces, so we also have lots of wonderful sprawling patios where you can experience the happiest of Happy Hours.

We’ve picked six of our favorite spots for patio Happy Hours and dining. They all have plenty of space, amazing views, tasty food and refreshing beverages. And they’re preparing for your business. Angel’s Ice House is currently repainting their fun red picnic tables and Iguana Grill has a sign posted that says they survived the winter, so bring on summer fun!

Check out the complete post on Lake Travis Lifestyle!

My Take on Kourtney Kardashian’s Mommy Blog Featured on HLNTV.com


No matter how much you boycott the Kardashians or how many petitions you sign, they just keep coming. And not only that, reproducing at a quick pace to ensure their continued world domination, um, I mean survival. On Wednesday, the eldest Kardashian, Kourtney, announced that she and Scott Disick — America’s favorite Vegas-loving, hair-slicking, baby daddy — are expecting bambino numero dos.

Wait, what’s that noise you’re hearing? That would be the sound of “cha-ching” from Burberry, because they get to dress another designer-clad munchkin. Score!

Isn’t it interesting how well-timed her baby news is? It’s almost like her new pregnancy is part of the grand Kardashian marketing plan since she just launched a mom focused web series called Kourtney’s Mommy Blog at E! Online (the very company people have been petitioning to drop Kardashian nonsense.) I guess you aren’t a legit mommy unless you have multiple kids…

Get the full scoop on HLNTV.com

 

Image: HLNTV.com