Austin news, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

A Day in Texas Wine Country

The Texas Wine Country is one of the most coveted wine regions in the United States. It’s beautiful vineyards, breathtaking views, and homegrown grapes attract travelers from around the world. 

The Texas Hill Country, more specifically Fredericksburg, is located at the heart of Texas Wine Country. Both areas are located in the center of Texas, making it that much more accessible for travelers to visit some of the 50 wineries this area has to offer. Fredericksburg, known for its small-town feel, delicious peaches, and outdoor activities is home to some of the best restaurants, shops, and attractions. The many scenic views and activities are what makes Texas Wine Country one of the most visited regions in Texas. 

The Best Time to Visit Texas Wine Country

The Texas heat can be a deal-breaker for some people when it comes to outdoor activities. Although Texas Wine Country is a popular place to visit year-round, the best time to go with pleasant temperatures and beautiful wildflowers would be during March, April, and May. The fall season is another excellent time to visit because of the beautiful weather and various fall festivals, including Oktoberfest and the Fredericksburg Food & Wine.

Texas Wine Country Tours

The best way to start your day full of wine-tasting would be to start in town. Other wineries are within a 30-minute radius of the town and offer shuttles to get you wherever you want to go, without having to designate a driver for the day. Here are some wineries that every traveler should check out. 

  • 1851 Vineyards is the closest winery to Fredericksburg. This winery will give you a step by step on all that goes into making a bottle of wine, along with tours of the vineyards and wine tastings. 
  • Bell Springs Winery is just a short 25-minute drive from Austin. Located in Dripping Springs, Bell Springs Winery provides you with beautiful views of the vineyards, live music every weekend, chef-prepared food, and wine tastings throughout the day.
  • 4.0 Cellars started as a small-concept tasting room and has rapidly grown into a well-established unique winery. Each tasting room showcases the various techniques 4.0 Cellars uses when creating its diverse blends. 

Texas Wine Country is the perfect place to relax and drink some of the best Texas-made wine. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a day trip, Texas Wine Country has everything and more. 

Austin news, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Thinking About Hosting A Tailgate?

 

Thinking About Hosting a Tailgate?

Follow this guide to tackle your tailgate with ease—from food and drink, to games, and everything in between!

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

Tailgating Game Plan
A printable checklist of essentials

Appetizer Recipes
Four recipes for tasty tailgating fare

Grilling Guide
Visual guide for grilling different meats

Download the Guide Here

   
Lifestyle, Real Estate News, Uncategorized

If you’re thinking about trying to sell your home yourself, don’t. Here’s why.

Every year, a small portion of homes are put up for sale by the owner (FSBO). But according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), FSBOs will have a far more difficult time getting off the market. Here’s a few reasons why hiring an agent can save you time, energy, and unneeded stress.

Industry know-how

You probably don’t have a lot of experience with the ins and outs of real estate. The industry can be tricky to navigate, but an agent has the education and experience to back up his or her decisions.

Negotiation skills

If you don’t fancy yourself an expert negotiator, that’s where a real estate agent comes in. REALTORS® have mastered the art of negotiating and can ensure your home sells for a fair price.

Confusing paperwork? Handled. 

Instead of spending hours on the internet to find out what escrow means, your agent can explain everything to you in basic terms and handle the often-difficult process of navigating a real estate transaction.

Working for you

Agents are required to have your best interest in mind, which can be a breath of fresh air during a particularly stressful process. It’s always beneficial to have an expert opinion to back you up and marketing expertise to make sure your home is seen by the right people.

A neighborhood authority 

Whether you’re moving down the street or four states away, choose an agent with extensive knowledge of the neighborhood you’re interested in. The agent will know the average price of homes in the area, plus extra information you might not be able to find in an internet search.

For more real estate tips, visit americanlifestylemag.com/home.

Austin news, Holidays, Lifestyle

New Fox Drama Spotlights Austin,

A new Fox TV drama starring Rob Lowe is set in Austin. But, the big question is: Will we be spotting Rob Lowe out and about when he’s not shooting scenes?  The short and sad answer is no.  The series, 9-1-1 Lone Star, is scheduled for a two-night premiere in January.
Although the show takes place in the Capital City the show will be filmed in Los Angeles rather than Austin.  It always stings to see a show set in Austin film elsewhere, especially with all Austin has to offer, including a talented crew base, facilities, vendors, and diverse locations,” Brian Gannon, director of the Austin Film Commission, tells CultureMap.  
Over the years, a number of TV and film productions have been shot in and around Central Texas, including Dazed and Confused, Friday Night Lights, Miss Congeniality, Office Space, Spy Kids, Temple Grandin, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, True Grit, Varsity Blues, and Walker, Texas Ranger.  Every year, the creative sector — including TV and film productions — pumps billions of dollars into the area’s economy.
9-1-1 Lone Star, a spinoff of Fox’s top-rated drama, 9-1-1, follows a “sophisticated” New York cop, played by Lowe, who relocates to Austin with his son. Lowe’s character, the announcement says, “must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving the problems in his own life.”

4 Ways to Stay Cyber Safe When Traveling for Business or Pleasure

Whether traveling domestically or internationally, for business or for pleasure, your online identity is at risk.  

Business and government executives are especially vulnerable because they bring connected devices loaded with sensitive information, providing a window into an organization’s top secrets. They also travel internationally, which exposes their data to further risk. 

However, any tourist can be a target for hackers. They travel with fewer cyber defenses and can have their personal information stolen and inadvertently provide hackers with access to additional data, systems and networks.

Even with the security risks, travel is an inescapable part of life. Here are proactive steps you can take.

1.Exercise good cyber hygiene before departure – One of the first actions to take is to keep your device operating systems up to date. Outdated systems might miss important security patches that could protect hardware and personal information.  Make sure to change passwords before and after traveling as well as selecting complex words or phrases that are hard to guess. A strong password should be over 12 characters, with upper and lower case letters, include numbers and symbols and not be the same as any other passwords you use. Setting up two-factor authentication is another step that adds an extra layer of protection from hackers.

2.Think twice before posting on social media- There’s more than one way to overshare on social media. You can accidentally reveal your exact location using GPS-enabled devices like smartphones or tablets that have apps using “Location Services.”

Once you post something about your business trip or vacation on social media you’re handing over information to a third party. As soon as you do that, you have little control, if any, over how they use that information. Travelers should wait until a!er their trip to post photos, videos or other information that malicious actors might find valuable.

3.Reduce access points to devices- Anyone who has to use public Wi-Fi systems, whether it be waiting for a flight or for a meeting in a hotel lobby, should invest in a Virtual Private Network. A VPN secures your data on the network so malicious actors can’t see your activities.

In that same vein, disable automatic connection to Wi-Fi networks on your devices to prevent joining public Wi-Fi networks without notification. You should only use public, no password required Wi-Fi as a last resort.

It is also worth noting that international cellular data plans do not offer any additional protections. When traveling abroad, treat cellular networks as untrusted and conduct business on them accordingly. Travelers should also turn on their Bluetooth when not in use, as hackers can connect to a device and quickly download user data through this connection, access personal information and send messages or join infected networks.

 4.Take only what you need- The fewer devices you have with you during your travels, the lower the risk of someone physically or logically accessing your data. If on personal travel, leave your work devices at home. If you can manage your work travel without your laptop, try to do so.In the world of cybersecurity, sensitive information is more valuable than money. Travelers need to treat data and connectivity with extreme caution.

August 21 is Senior Citizens Day  #SeniorCitizensDay

On August 19, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5847declaring August 21 as National Senior Citizens Day.

Each year there are various events and activities held across the United States in recognition of National Senior Citizens Day. This day was created as a day to support, honor and show appreciation to our seniors and to recognize their achievements. Their valuable contributions to our communities create better places to live. Take time today to spend with seniors you know, listen to their stories of wisdom and gain from their hard-earned knowledge.

August 26 is National Dog Day  #NationalDogDay

We love our dogs and they love us. For that, we’re eternally grateful. National Dog Day honors this most loyal and adorable creature. After all, we have a long history together. The dog’s evolution into man’s best friend goes back at least 14,000 years (and probably longer), when they split from wolves to become more lovable, domesticated animals. Since then, the bond between people and dogs has transcended time and culture to become an integral part of humanity itself. We would have it no other way. One thing’s for sure — we’re so glad that people and pooches joined forces all those years ago. So on August 26, gaze upon the cute dog videos flooding social media because it’s time to celebrate man’s best (and oldest) friend!

August 31 is International Bacon Day  #BaconDay

The day should be celebrated by eating bacon! The creators of the day suggest eating bacon waffles with a side of bacon for breakfast, eating BLTs with a side of bacon for lunch, and tasting various types of bacon recipes for dinner, perhaps by cooking them on the grill. They encourage everyone to celebrate the day, mentioning that vegetarians can eat soy bacon, while those who don’t eat pork on religious grounds can eat turkey bacon. They also suggest the watching Kevin Bacon movies, and movies where pigs get the lead roles, such as Babe.  Bacon-themed parties have become an important part of the day, and have been held all around the world. Celebrate by hosting your own bacon party, or attend someone else’s. Make a bacon dish or appetizer for other guests to try

 
Austin news

Austin Deemed One Of America’s Best Summer Travel Destinations For 2019

It’s hot outside, the kids are getting restless, and you haven’t figured out where to go on family vacation this summer. If that’s your current predicament, or will be in the coming weeks, consider this: just stay home.

A new study from personal finance website WalletHub ranked the best summer destinations in the U.S., and the Austin-Round Rock area lands in the No. 2 spot.

Austin ranks well across the six major categories: travel costs and hassles (No. 11), attractions (No. 11), activities (No. 17), weather (No. 21), local costs (No. 28), and safety (No. 31).

Not feeling an Austin staycation? These other Texas metros could be an alternative.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranks No. 5 overall, faring best in travel costs and hassles (No. 6), local costs (No. 17), and attractions (No. 22). 

Even closer to home, San Antonio-New Braunfels ranks No. 12 overall.  Alamo City does best in local costs (No. 7), attractions (No. 19), and travels costs and hassles (No. 23).

A surprising entry, El Paso ranks No. 18 overall, with strong showings in local costs (No. 3), weather (No. 10), and safety (No. 23). Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land immediately follows at No. 19 and performs best in travel costs and hassles (No. 8), attractions (No. 16), and activities (No. 32).

The No. 1 summer destination title goes to Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida. On the other end of the spectrum, the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California, metro area places in the unenviable, dead-last spot.

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