Happy Spirit Dolls and David Cassidy

Sooo… some of you may know I’m basically a depressed person. It’s been pretty bad lately. No need to go into gory details; but I stay buried under the bed covers as much as possible. Something I’ve learned over the years:  one way to feel better is for me to tap into my creative self… get lost in my right brain for a while.

I have tons of craft shit around my house, way too many unfinished projects and great ideas that I lost interest in or decided it wouldn’t work; ya feel me?

I’m mixing two things together: too much negative clutter in my brain and too much crafty-shit clutter in my house. The result? Happy Spirit Dolls.

Happy Spirit Dolls

I hand sew these cuties from felt and it’s been fun and weird to see how they evolve. The little wry smiles or frowns just happen… no preconceived idea of what each doll will look like. Each Doll get a little purple bag with three talismans inside. Again, extra crafty stuff. But when I’m choosing who gets what, it seems so pre-destined. Like “of course the yellow/green pom-pom goes with “Blue Monday” Doll… and the white flowers go with the “Mo Money Doll”


I like coincidences. Last week when David Cassidy died I was thinking of the Tiger Beat super-crush  I had on him. To this day ” I Woke Up in Love This Morning” is in my top ten favorite songs.

Oh David… sigh… I did love you so much…

So when I was getting dressed and thinking about the handsome Mr. Cassidy, I turned on my “Soup” playlist (named Soup because it’s a lot of everything)

OF COURSE the very first song that played was “I Woke Up…”

Soup is a playlist of 312 songs and I set the play to shuffle – and still  “I Woke Up…” was the first song that played. Is that a coincidence? Is it spirit? karma? magic? I don’t know why things like that happen, but for me it’s important to acknowledge it and be thankful for whatever it is.

I don’t know how Happy Spirit Dolls and David Cassidy are related; probably a coincidence not yet known to me

Shameless plug – I have an Amy Loves Austin Etsy store where I am selling the Happy Spirit Dolls. Have a look!


xoxo, Amy


They’re Back :)

The Trees and T’s are BACK!

Screen Shot 2017-11-12 at 5.24.00 PM
Get your very own Austin Tree60 T-shirt at My Store

I’m Amy, Native Austinite and self-proclaimed expert about the Whimsical and yes, WEIRD, decorated trees on Loop 360! I’ve named this one-of-a-kind weirdness AustinTree60.

The decorated juniper and cedars along Loop 360 usually start appearing in mid November, although it seems to be earlier every year.     (10-12 popped up over the weekend 11/10/17))

To my knowledge the first tree was decorated in 1988 as a tribute to a breast cancer victim. Her famiy stealthily decorated a tree in her honor and the ATX tradition was born.

After that year, additional honor trees appeared, the number steadily increasing, a few each year. About 6-7 years ago the number of trees decorated really surged and the whole hillside between Hwy 183 and FM 222 seemed decorated!

Since then AustinTree60 has expanded at a MUCH faster rate… decorated trees can now be seen from Hwy 183 all the way to RR 2244 and even along Spicewood Springs and FM 2222. Although many of the trees are still honor trees – decorated in honor of a loved one, or a cause, or a group SOME of them are ADVERTISEMENTS… stop that!

After the holidays the undecorating is done by volunteer groups (ie: me and my neighborhood kids, Scout groups and other helpful people) and sometimes people come back to undecorate their own tree.

On weekends during November and December AustinTree60 is covered with people taking photos and generally having fun.

Keep it Weird ATX!

PS: 2017 update ~sigh~ like many of the best things about ATX, this tradition has gotten too big, too out-of-hand and has become a tacky mess in some places. It’s also pretty terrible for the area creeks and wildlife. So I love(d) it… but now… not so much. AND I have never, ever decorated a tree; only cleaned up.

Must. Have. Crackers. Failure #2 :(

I actually made these last week but was just too damn embarrassed to show you!

I swear I CAN cook… but I’m just gonna leave this one right here…



Note – I used parchment paper this time, so there’s that.

I’ll keep trying…

Amy loves to cook, ha!



Raise Your Hands if You Have Flappys

Raise your hands if you have flappys!

Well… maybe not

Let’s start with some definitions:

Gordita – ‘cute, little fat girl’ in spanish – commonly used by boyfriends for their girlfriends as a nice thing to say rather than an insult

Flappys – Excessive arm skin or arm fat that hangs down when arms are raised

Got it? OK, here we go…   Hi, my name is Amy and I’m a gordita with flappys.

Seems like I read everyday about body acceptance. It’s a welcome and refreshing view of gorditas and other human shapes and sizes.

Many awesome women are blogging, writing, and talking about body acceptance, the beauty of fleshy rolls, and the right to bare arms. But here’s the deal; These are young women… that is, their bodies might be roly and poly but it’s a younger, firmer roly and poly 🙂     I bet they don’t have the beautiful, lush, flag-waving-in-the-breeze-flappy arms that I have!



Summer is a love/hate for me… love the gorgeous bare shoulder fashions – hate to accessorize those nice looks with my flappys.

IMO tan flappys look a little better than bright white ones, so come Summer I throw my arms in the air like I don’t care (in the privacy of my own front patio) and try to get a little color on the flaps. Also I’ve started doing planks to improve all over muscle tone, especially flappys… but probably should have started last Fall, or 2015.

Until the tan and planks take huge effect, I incorporate shrugs, shawls, etc into my everyday outfits. But those can be hot-flash-inducing and the fullness is overly fussy sometimes. 

A few years back I bought a Rhonda Shear arm shaper… it was way too spandex-y and OMG! My arms looked like stuffed sausages in a flesh-colored casing!  SO. GROSS.

I never sausage a thing!


A quick Google search reveals several newer, more attractive (?) and innovative ideas for re-shaping/covering flappys. Let’s take a look at some advances in Flappy coverage:

Skinnies Instant Lifts. “These fabulous clear adhesives can be strategically and secretly placed to tuck, lift and contour your body. Use as non surgical solution to instantly lift and tighten saggy upper arms. Hides discreetly so no one will know but you. As seen on Shark Tank, Rachael Ray Show, Today Show, HSN, QVC & More!”

It’s the removal that kills ya!

HaHa! These are basically a big-ass piece of tape that pulls your skin tight – geez, are we (me) that obsessed?! And can I get one for my chin also?   Hmmmm.. I do have a roll of clear contact paper, I wonder if strips of that would work?  I PROMISE if I try contact paper I will take photos and post it #quicklyreachingtheageofnoshame


Sleevy Wonders “Covering up with a sweater or jacket often provokes a hot flash, or hides the beautiful look of a dress… needed: independent, interchangeable sleeves that slim arms without making us too hot or ruining the look of cute outfits!” Exactly! See? They totally get it! These are actually cute and wearable – AND easily wins the award for best-name – Sleevy Wonders appear to hit all the right notes (sorry, I couldn’t resist)  BUT they start at about $50 per pair. So NOPE, probably not for me.   Soy una gordita tocaña.  $$$


“Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” Sleevy Wonders got ya covered. For $55-85. 


Tattoo Sleeve Covers  Designed to cover tattoos, available in many colors. These look like ‘thigh-highs’ for arms. $11.95/pair  Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 4.45.33 PM

I might actually try these sometime, for a casual look. Between October and April. Lots of color choices and the fabric is cotton-y, hopefully avoiding the sausage result as before.

O. M. G. THIS had never occurred to me!  I would try these for sure!

For those special family events- weddings, funerals, graduations etc 🙂

I love these! Anyone want split an order and share-wear with me?!


I saw a quote:  “Never wave goodbye in the summer after 35”

That just seems so unfriendly. 

Amy is not quite ready to embrace the flappys









Another Day – Another food “lesson”

Well the #AlwaysHungry plan is helping us eat better, that’s for certain. Superman is down 14 lbs and I’ve lost 6 ... I hate men and their muscular metabolism …

Anyway… we are eating healthier in spite of the fact that I keep screwing up recipes

First off – I AM a good cook, but I’m Star Wars cook… I use the Force!      To me, a recipe is a jumping off place or a suggestion. Generally if I start cooking with a recipe, about half-way through realize I’m out of eggs, or don’t have a pomegranate or Pasilla de Oaxaca chiles, etc…  So I just go with the flow and make up the rest.

Like Augie* says “Sometimes you win, sometimes, you learn”  That’s my cooking style; Win or Learn, and I learn often!  hahaha!!

PicMonkey Image-2

This brings me to todays fail, er… Learning Experience. A frittata. A frittata is just eggs baked with other stuff, right? So it should be easy-peasy, right? Hmmm… yeah, OK. This was not a true #FAIL because it was edible and actually very tasty, we both liked it.  

But there were plenty of “learning opportunities”  Let’s review. The #AlwaysHungry recipe calls for:

5 eggs and 2 whites – I used 3 eggs and one white. I have no idea why. I looked, saw 5 + 2, then put 3 +1 in the bowl (???) (pretty sure I have CRS… ‘cuz I Can’t Remember Shit)

Sliced zucchini – I just got a spiralizer and of course had to try it out – so long curls instead of slices.

ZOODLE – like a big-ass pencil sharpener for veggies. Also offers a good arm workout!

Tomatoes – nope, didn’t have any, besides, they get too watery when baked, IMO. Turns out, spiraled zuchinni is plenty watery, too!

Grated Cheddar – Yes! had some, used the proper amount. WIN!

Kale – supposed to toss kale with olive oil, salt, pepper then bake until it gets crispy edges. Does the above look like kale to you? Kale probably would have gotten crispy. SPINACH, however, just wilted. BTW, I actually had kale… wth?

Let’s see what else?… Oh yeah, I forgot to preheat the oven so the frittata basically cooked from the residual heat of the cast iron pan while waiting for the oven to get hot enough. Energy Saver! woohoo!

In spite of these screw ups, it was still tasty and filling. It was flat-ish due to missing 2 eggs and an extra white AND the zucchini spirals made it harder to cut. But we ate half of it hot and saved some for breakfast the next day.


Except, it didn’t make it to morning, we had a frittata midnight snack and it was DEE-liciouso!!

See ya tomorrow!

Amy Loves Austin



*Augie Garrido, former UT Baseball Coach, wise sage and foodie





#AlwaysHungry – Must. Have. Crackers.

Hi y’all!

Do you love crackers? I love crackers; crunchy, crispy, savory, salty… yum.

So… Superman and I have started eating healthier. We are following Always Hungry by Dr. David Ludwig… because, you know, the always hungry thing. So far I’m liking the plan. It’s a lot of cooking, but that’s ok while I’m on summer-break. Our goal is to not have a goal, rather to have a process and actions that we can do for a long time. I think this plan will work for that. BUT… NO CRACKERS. shit

I’ve been totally jonesin’ for crackers. I researched no grain, no sugar (no taste?) crackers and found many ideas, some of them sounded horrible, but I narrowed it down to a few. So let’s give it a whirl, huh?

First try was an all cheese cracker. I figured this would be easy and that I’d like it, because I love burnt cheese… on a pizza or nachos, etc… Mmm chewy deliciousness… contact high just thinking about it… Mmmm mmm mm m

ANYWAY. This is what I was going for: added jalapeños are a bonus!

Not my photo…

Thinking they might turn out like this:

Certainly not my photo

Reality check:

Let’s analyze this almost-epic-fail;

  • I loved the lacy, crispy texture
  • They smelled delish
  • Probably tasted great… I say probably because I could not get them off the damn foil
  • I thought if I tried to move them while warm the spatula would smooosh the whole thing into a roll. So… waited until they cooled, thinking I could peel them off… NOPE. I got a few crumply pieces to taste, then tossed it all in the trash 😦

Lessons learned: Use parchment paper. Cook at a lower temp for longer. Try again tomorrow. I’ll let you know!

FUN random realization: My artist friend, Ish, sees a face in everything… notice the jalapeño saying  “OHH Nooo” !!


Shoulda listened to the jalapeño!

Amy Loves Crackers!