EMBIBE | WESTERN GRACE BRANDY
Brandy isn’t a drink that you think of being as popular as whiskey or even gin, but Western Grace gives Old World brandy a new school taste and feel. WG is from La Mancha—the Spanish birthplace of brandy—where grapes have been refined and distilled for spirits since the 13th century. Made from Xarel-lo, Macabeo, and Parellada grapes cultivated under a strict regimen, the liquid is solera-aged in American oak, then finished in sherry vats. The result is a smooth and balanced, full-flavored infusion with notes of oak, grape, vanilla, walnut, hazelnut, and cocoa—an ideal, versatile brandy for traditional neat serves and craft mixology cocktails alike. Cultivated from the character and quality of the original varietals, keep an eye out for Western Grace, and, if your local bartender is a true mixologist, have them make you a cocktail. We’re pretty sure you’ll be sold.
DINE | IL CORVO PASTA SEATTLE
Il Corvo is located in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle and is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11am until 3pm. There’s a line that forms at the single door entrance from the slanted sidewalk, nothing hectic, mostly denizens who know that the wait is beyond worth the reward. A narrow, naturally lit and well designed shotgun of a space leads back to a single counter and a small kitchen that creates what can only be called pasta made of pure gold. We’ve consumed noodles across the planet, and this husband and wife duo are every bit of a global pasta powerhouse as any. Twenty years strong, Mike Easton and Victoria Diez Easton run the critically acclaimed Il Corvo and Il Corvo Pasta Studio. They have a daughter, Pilar, who loves to make noodles with them as well (maybe she’s the secret to the recipes’ perfection). You can simply order what’s on the “Daily Board” and will be no less than elated. The Fusilli with Pesto, the Paccheri Alla Amatriciana, oh, so exquisite...now we’re getting hungry. There are so many more options that you can see here and read about here. Literally, the entire experience - there’s nothing like it. Exceptional!
SHOP | RANGER STATION CO.
Ranger Station started creating candles in reusable cocktail glasses in 2015, and have never looked back. Formulating rich, earthy fragrances that emulate the finest scents found in nature is their goal. The founder, Steve Solderholm, focuses to “elevate the experience of a room” through these aromas. We’ve also been using their personal fragrances, and they smell and wear incredibly well. (Our favorite so far is the Santalum, but you should try the sample kit of 5 for yourself.) Each candle is designed to be an alluring additive in any room, and each personal fragrance an unforgettable accessory. Hand Poured in Nashville, TN by Women Survivors of Thistle Farms, Ranger Station Co. is honored to have the women of Thistle Farms hand pouring the candles and to be able to support Thistle Farms’ mission to heal, empower, and employ survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.
ADMIRE | CARLI RENE
“Inked Fingers,” aka Carli Rene, is an author, photographer, and “mama bird,” and we so enjoy following her creations. The work she recently released in the book, The Peached Tortilla: Modern Asian Comfort Food from Tokyo to Texas, is brilliant, bright and eluring (the food doesn’t hurt either). Her photography is uncomplicated, elegant and strong, while the collective essence of her work is tuned to vitality, growth and life. Her writings are vulnerable and honest, deliberate and reassuring. Amongst her Instagram feed, you’ll see her hand-written notes on napkins or random pieces of paper. Whether it’s as simple as, “I don’t know a damn thing” or as profound as, “No doubt whether or not it is clear to you, the Universe is unfolding as it should,” we could all use more of these notes. Almost as though they’re written personally to us, saying - “Hey you, calm down, everything is going to be fine, step back and look at the bigger picture. You got this.”
STAY | CARPENTER HOTEL
Just South of downtown Austin you’ll find The Carpenter Hotel tucked away on the edge of Zilker Park not too far from Lady Bird Lake. As we mentioned before, The Carpenter Hall Restaurant and Bar is stellar. We love the cafe’ with the coffee from Merrit, the delightful pastries and tasty flatbread pizzas, plus all of it’s other scrumptious light fare. Now to the rooms. The hotel itself is deceptively large (90+ rooms), but they’re designed to bring the size down to a cozier boutique feel. Simple, clean, modern yet warm with brick, concrete and soft inviting colors. Ample size bathrooms that are completely tiled, cozy beds, a couch with desk and chairs made for perfect chill areas, plus your very own private terrace. There’s also a rad little quanza hut by the pool in the courtyard! Bohemian and contemporary while still marching to its own drum, we think the Carpenter Hotel is top notch!
GIVE | MERCY SHIPS
“A sailing hospital. A vessel of hope.” The Mercy Ships are state-of-the-art facilities that offer clean water, reliable electricity and care centers. Because over 50% of the population lives within 100 miles of a coast, they are able to sail a modern hospital ship with a crew of 400 volunteers directly to people who lack access to first-rate medical care. You read that right, volunteers. The doctors and surgeons and medical staff freely give their expertise, hard work and time to help their fellow humans across the globe who are in need of medical attention. 75¢ of every dollar Mercy Ships spends goes straight to their ships and field operations to provide surgeries and world-class medical care to those who have no other hope. Just 25¢ is set aside for overhead expenses and general costs. Plus, every dollar received multiplies in value, thanks to the support of their generous corporate sponsors. So, if you’re up to donating, we think Mercy Ships is a magnificent charity that selflessly gives their everything for a phenomenal cause.