Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Sunday in Georgetown

A few weekends ago, we drove north to Georgetown to see a friend who was performing in "Anything Goes" at the Georgetown Palace Theatre. The theatre is on the square, so we wanted to get there early so we would have plenty of time to eat lunch and walk around. I don't know that I have ever spent any time in Georgetown, but I can say we'll be back as soon as possible.

The Holland House: Georgetown Palace Theatre

Not only were there several great restaurants to choose from, but there were adorable shops and the neatest market that had fresh local produce and a Texas craft beer section. We ate lunch at Wildfire, which is housed in a historical building right next to the theatre. We learned the hard way that it's always good to make reservations, but we lucked out by getting a high top table in the bar area. We had a great lunch with really nice service! We'd go back again, but would try other restaurants on the square first.

You can't visit Georgetown without going to these two places:

Diva Design Studio- this rivals any home decorating store that you would find in Austin. I saw some of the prettiest (and unique) lighting fixtures, along with this headboard that I absolutely fell in love with.

The Holland House: Diva Design Studio

The Monument Cafe & Market- not technically on the square, it's just two blocks over and well worth the extra steps. They grow their own produce on the property, and the market just can't be missed.

The Holland House: Monument Cafe & Market

The show itself was really impressive. I'm not really big on musicals, but actually enjoyed the entire production. While the remaining weekend is already sold out, I highly recommend taking a day trip to Georgetown if you're looking for something a little different to do.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Amplify Austin Results

Another year, another tremendous success for the fundraising extravaganza that is Amplify Austin. The overall goal was to raise $7 million for over 500 area non-profits, and when the clock stopped at 6pm on Friday, the total was at $7,715,391.32. That is just amazing! What's even more amazing is that total was raised by just over 25,000 unique donors. Imagine what we could do if even more people participated in this day of giving?

I set a goal to raise $1,000 for Wags, Hope and Healing. I'll be honest- I thought it was a big stretch. I would have been happy with just $500. But friends and family pulled through, helping me raise $1,055. This was the first year for Wags to participate, and they were hoping for anything between $2,000-$5,000. They ended up raising a total of $8300!! That is a huge gift for them. With this money, they will be able to do the following:

6 orthopedic surgeries
40 spay/neuter surgeries
heart worm treatment for 6 dogs

More than anything, it means that they can provide care for animals without having to stress or shuffle funds around. It also brought attention to their small rescue, and helped spread the word about the amazing work that they do. A huge thank you to everyone who participated in this awesome event.

"Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have."

Monday, March 2, 2015

Amplify Austin: Support Wags, Hope and Healing

March 5th-6th kicks off the 3rd year for the "I Live Here, I Give Here" fundraising campaign hosted by Amplify Austin. Over $8.5 million has been raised for local charities, and this year over 500 non-profits will benefit from the city's generosity.

I have participated since its inception, donating to a variety of local non-profits that all have meaning to me. This year, I am especially excited to be hosting my very own fundraising page in support of one of our favorite animal rescue groups, Wags, Hope and Healing. We first learned about this amazing mother/daughter rescue duo through good friends and neighbors, and began to follow their stories and learn more about their operation. About 4 months ago, we committed to being monthly donors for their Circle of Chance program, donating specifically towards medical funds.

Amplify Austin: Wags, Hope and Healing

The Wags, Hope and Healing mission is to save neglected, abused and abandoned dogs that would otherwise never make it out of a shelter alive. They provide medical treatment, rehabilitation, and careful consideration when finding permanent homes. Some dogs are pulled off the street, and others are saved from area kill shelters where they would likely be euthanized due to their medical needs. Because Wags is committed to helping these special cases, they often face medical bills ranging from $2,000-$5,000 a month.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a bleeding heart for animals. Every cat that has ever been a part of our family was saved from the streets. My very first dog as an adult was rescued from an irresponsible dog owner who did not have their pet spayed. I've volunteered hundreds of hours at the city shelter, have fostered multiple dogs, and even had a foster fail. To say that Hank and I are passionate about animals would be an understatement. Animal rescue is a cause that I would give just about anything to.

The Holland House: Our Fur Babies
Our fur babies

My goal is to raise $1000 for Wags, Hope and Healing. I will personally match donations up to $200, and will have my employer match my donation as well. If you share my love for animal rescue, I ask that you find it in your heart to donate any amount that you are able to. If it means passing up a few Starbucks trips in order to make a $25 donation, then you will have enabled one dog to get a microchip. If you forgo a shopping trip this weekend and donate $100 instead, then you have paid for medication to cover mange, heart worm prevention, or a host of other ailments. Every dollar counts, and I hope that you'll join me in showing the love for any Austin non-profit who provides services that make our community a better place.

You can find my fundraising page here: Amplify Austin
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