La Fête Nationale 2017

Bonne journée de Bastille!

In 1789, revolutionists stormed the Bastille, freeing the political prisoners, providing a symbol to the Revolution and a cannonball to the Old Regime.. A year later, the French government named July 14 a holiday, commemorating the event. To those in the States, this holiday is known as Bastille Day.

“Storming of the Bastille” by Jean-Pierre Houël

Today, we celebrate with food, parades and fireworks. The fête begins early, with articles on food tips, culture lessons and fashion trends. Here are a few articles I found:

How to Celebrate Bastille Day like a True Parisian” – Vogue

Eric Kayser of Maison Kayser is interviewed on his favorite Bastille Day traditions and, of course, food suggestions. Parisien sandwiches made with Parisian cooked ham and Gruyère cheese? Oui s’il vous plaît!

The Best Bastille Day Movies: The 13 Frenchest Films of All Time” – Vogue

This is more of a #FlashbackFriday article, written back in 2015. Movies are timeless. I must say, they should have named 14 movies to match the date July 14th, but their choices are spot-on. My favorite choice was Les enfants du paradis, a 1945 film about a woman being pursued by four men, one of them being a mime. Yes, you read that correctly.

Party like a Parisian on Bastille Day with French food, cinema and activities” – Chicago Tribune

For those of you in the Chicago area, here are a few suggestions to party it up at eateries and bars. There is also family-friendly event suggests, including a Bastille Day Picnic at the Lycée Français de Chicago.

France Remembers the Nice Attacks: ‘We Will Never Find the Words’” – New York Times

Though Bastille Day is meant as a day for patriotic celebration, it (unfortunately) is a sad day for many. One year ago, a horrifying attack was made in Nice where a terrorist drove a truck through a parade, taking 86 lives and wounding 450 people. Men, women, children from different continents with different faiths. Though things have returned to normal and tourism rebounded, the scars of those affected will never vanish. Please have a moment of silence tonight for those who lost their lives, those who were wounded and those who tried to stop the truck.

Eiffel Tower fireworks mark Bastille Day 2017 in Paris, France” – YouTube

ABC News provided a live show of the fireworks in Paris. This is a great way to see the beautiful celebration in France if you are not in Paris…or France. Merci tech world!

 

 

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The Oasis on Lake Travis

I have to admit it: I’m a sad example of a Hispanic girl. I can’t salsa dance to save my life. XD

Lucky for me (and you fellow Austinites/tourists/dancers), there is a place where free salsa exists (both the food kind and dance kind!).

The Oasis is a great place to gather friends and family for an evening of fun. Eleven years ago, the Oasis was a restaurant that was falling apart. Now, it’s a paradise with its renovated restaurant, two other restaurants (one of them being Gumbo’s which used to operate in Bee Cave), cafes, boutiques and an arcade. Oh, and some killer views of Lake Travis.



Every Sunday, from 7-10 PM, the Starlight Terrace holds Latin night where the band plays a mix of Latin-genre music, including salsa, merengue, and Tejano (think OG Selena). From 8:30-9 (today lasted til 9:15 since there was a large crowd), a pair of dance instructors host dance lessons. Piece of advice: can we do the lessons first thirty minutes so I can practice my dance skills? Just saying.


The food is pretty good and the drinks are better. Their most popular plate is the bean and cheese nachos, which actually comes with more than just beans, cheese and tortilla chips. In terms of drinks, they are best known for their margaritas. If you aren’t into food coma nachos, they’ve got burgers and tacos. Worried about calories? Don’t be. You’ll lose it with all the dancing. XD

This is a great family friendly event as well as an adults only event. Or if you have to bring the kids along but planned adults only, you can send the kids to check out the candy store or play in the arcade.


The best thing about this place is watching the sun set over Lake Travis. It’s romantic and fascinating and, if you are a nerd like me, question everything about astronomy and the science that brings such beauty to one’s life.


So maybe you’ll catch me dancing here again and hopefully not as a complete two left feet dancer. 

The Oasis on Lake Travis is located on 6550 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX 78732. You can also check out their website here.

It’s A Grocery Life – Top 5 Pet Peeves Every Grocery Employee Knows

I have been working at Whole Foods Market for more than a year and a half. It’s been quite an adventure I must say. It has also been interesting. Interesting in the sense of how business works, how marketing happens EVERYWHERE (even a simple “I like the coconut flavor” can get someone to buy the item), how life works. Also, how we the cashiers have the same pet peeves. I talked to a few cashiers, some current, some former, some my age, some older and we seem to have the same pet peeves. So any cashiers out there, current or non, American or not, do you feel the same way? Here are the top 5 pet peeves grocery peeps understand:

1. Leaving carts 5 feet away from the cart return station. Yes, we have all been there. That moment of getting the shopping done, kids in the car, groceries in the car nice and neat. You are exhausted and want to go home. But you have to leave the cart. What to do? Walk to the return station and struggle with the bar or just leave it next to it? People, it’s five feet. If I can do it, you can do it. Just be glad you aren’t pushing 10 medium carts and five big carts at the same time up an incline while trying to not hit the fancy Mercedes-Benz or BMWs on a windy summer day or a rainy winter day. For our sanity and yours, walk the five feet please. There is also carry outs where we can help you out with your groceries and take the cart for you. Use your resources!

2. Parents not watching their kids. It takes a lot of skill to do the weekly shop and watching the little ones. But people, do NOT leave your child unattended. We are not your babysitters. Get off the phone, hold off Twitter, wait for that text and watch your children. We have had parents ignore their children and they have walked off, taken food they aren’t supposed to and broken high-end product such as wine. We love kids but please keep them in a safe distance, meaning your peripheral line of sight.

3. Waiting last minute to specify how to bagWe at Whole Foods Market make it our mission to take care of our guests. We are known to create perfect Tetris bags where all like items are put together and every box, fruit, veggie and carton has a place and we take much pride in that. Though we don’t exactly show it, we do feel a bit annoyed and sad that you tell us to basically destroy it and do it your way, especially if your way is not safe for the products or you. Believe us, we are the experts. If it takes one more brown bag, don’t fret and try putting that $50 wine bottle on top of your eggs. The extra bag is free and made of recyclable and compostable material so you aren’t wasting paper or hurting the environment. Believe us when we say, “Better safe than sorry” and “It’s for your own good.”

4. Impatience. This applies to everyone. We don’t like being impatient and you don’t like being impatient. We find it rude when you are on the phone and we have to ask you ten times if you would like your receipt or your total. We also find it very rude when we try to ask you something and you interrupt us with a big “NO I AM NOT INTERESTED” when we are asking you if you would like credit or debit or “IT’S CREDIT” when we are asking you if you have tried Amy’s Gluten Free Spinach Pizza. You find it rude when the cashier you are with ignores you or is careless (this rarely happens at Whole Foods but hey, we are human indeed). So let’s agree to have patience with each other and maybe things will be smooth sailing in the future.

5. “Uh, I forgot one thing. I’ll be back in 2 seconds”. Dude, we know you aren’t coming back in two seconds with one thing. Though I do appreciate the up-sell, please get all your items beforehand, especially on those bustling weekend rushes. Here is a helpful tip I would recommend: shopping list. Yes, it’s old fashioned but it helps you stick with your budget and not forget that gallon milk that’s on the other side of the store.

So, anyone else have these pet peeves? Got any different ones? Comment below!

Whole Paycheck to Whole Bargains

It’s been more than a year that I began my adventure with Whole Foods Market and what a wonderful year it’s been. I have learned so much about organic foods, non-GMOS products, and the multiple benefits of kale (though I still refuse to eat it). One of the first things I learned when I began my journey was one of the nicknames Whole Foods had: “Whole Paycheck” because of it’s expensive prices. I know my mind is immune to the prices thanks to my lovely employee discount but I must admit things can get pretty pricey. However, the guest service given is amazing. With these helpful tips from a fellow team member, you can be saving big bucks in the long run:

1. Check out our Whole Deals coupon books. You can access them online or get the booklet at your local store. You can double up with manufacturers’ coupons. For example, there is a $2 off coupon for any Jarrow Formulas products with Whole Deals. If you check in with the Whole Body department, there should be a manufacturers’ coupon for Jarrow Formulas giving a $2 discount. That’s four dollars in savings! What if Whole Body doesn’t have it? You can go to the manufacturer’s website (in this case, Jarrow.com) and print out the coupons from there.

2. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bag. There are some cities that have placed a “bag ban” banning grocery and retail stores from using plastic bags. Now, before any team member has to hear the same “I forgot my bags I’m SOOOOO sorry” apology, please know that we have free bags made from 100% recyclable material and they are compostable. But for those who do bring their own bags, ask if there is a 10 cent bag discount. In some stores (such as my store, Bee Caves WFM), a 10 cent bag discount is given to every one of your bags we used in packing your groceries. I know it’s not much but it really does pay off in the long run if you are a regular guest.

3. Case discounts. If you look on the bottom corner of the price tag, you will find a number, typically “12” or “24”. This is the quantity of items you need to buy to get a 10% case discount. Do not worry, you can mix and match if they are the same type of product from the same brand. For example, you can buy any 12 Luna bars and they will give you a 10% case discount. If you buy any 6 Daily Greens juices, you will get a 10% case discount. If you buy 4 six-packs of the same beer, a 10% case discount will be given (you may want to check state laws to be sure discounts are allowed). 2 twelve-packs of La Croix (any flavors): 10% discount. 4 gallons of the same brand milk: 10%. 12 cups of yogurt of the same brand (most brands are 12): 10%. The best-seller is at least 6 bottles of ANY wine (excluding Three Wishes) will get you a 10% case discount PLUS a free wine bag to carry your goodies. This will come very handy when the holidays roll around.

 

Hopefully these little tips help you on your next trip to WFM. Have a good one!

“Liked the meal? Take one to go!” – fortune cookie

Sorry I forgot to post yesterday’s QOTD. I am busy studying for my “1960s” exam tomorrow.

I was going through my jar of fortunes, hoping to find a good sign for my exam. I laugh every time I grab this one. Well played Pacific Bowl Cafe. Well played.