Thanksgiving is right around the corner, reminding us all that this year is almost over. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect back on the year, thinking about what we have accomplished and how we can improve. It is a time to contemplate what we are thankful for, as we spend time with friends, family and loved ones. Our team at Wellington Group Marketing and PR has decided to share our favorite Thanksgiving traditions and why it is such a special holiday to us.

Dawn – We love the holidays at our house! Thanksgiving is one of our favorites – good food, running the Turkey Trot together, time with friends and family, late afternoon naps with football playing in the background, and most importantly time to give thanks and reflect on all that we have. While I don’t get to do this every year, one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions (I’ve been doing this since I was in high school) is to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast at several homes. It’s basically Thanksgiving dinner hopping and I love it. You really can’t beat a traditional Thanksgiving feast, and I like to be able to enjoy one as many times as possible in one day. I also love being sent home with leftovers!

Rachel – My favorite Thanksgiving tradition involves walking to the neighborhood park with my family after we are stuffed and full of wine. My cousins and I always fight over the swings and relive our glory days as kids sliding down the playground slide. It’s a great chance to catch up with family and reflect on all that we are thankful for!

Julia – For the past two years, I’ve participated in the ThunderCloud Turkey Trot and have loved it. It’s a great way to burn calories before the big meal and come together as a community. This year though, I’ve signed up to help the Austin homeless shelters with their Thanksgiving meal, which I hope will become my new tradition. I also love spending time with my family and watching the UT football game.

Nicole – Almost every Thanksgiving, my whole family is able to come together from across the U.S. to spend the holiday together. The tradition of my whole family meeting in my hometown of Chicago is my favorite part about Thanksgiving because it so rarely happens. With both of my brothers living in California, my aunt and uncle living in Texas, and other family spread out throughout Illinois, it’s one of the only times every year we can all spend together. We watch football games, cook and bake a variety of foods, share what we are thankful for, play games with the little ones, and overall just have a great time.

Michael – The Wellington’s have traditionally been big “decorators” at holiday time. The Halloween pumpkins that didn’t morph into jack-o-lanterns are repurposed into the Thanksgiving displays, joining the turkeys and hay bales that foretell the coming feast day, when big families and bigger appetites converge for a few hours of thanks, gluttony and football. Thanksgiving Day is spent at the Wellington home in Abilene—while the turkey is roasting, all the Christmas decorations make their way out from storage. As the ladies head out early for the Black Friday sales, I begin transforming the house and yard into a glowing winter wonderland. It’s a labor of love, whether the temperature is a sweat-producing 90 degrees or a finger-numbing 28 degrees with spitting snow. Each passing year makes this Thanksgiving weekend tradition a little harder to maintain, but for now, the tradition continues.

What are some of your favorite parts about Thanksgiving and what traditions does your family partake in? Let us know in the comments below!

Tailgate season is in full swing! We’ve put together some of our favorite healthy and yummy foods that would be perfect to indulge in at your next tailgate. Now when you’re rooting on your favorite football team, you won’t have to worry about the unhealthy eating that typically happens at tailgates. Remember – healthy can also be flavorful and delicious!

Tahini Avocado HummusThis delicious recipe from our friends at AVOCARE Extra Virgin Avocado Oil is the perfect game day treat. The dip is best paired with some vegetables, such as bell peppers and carrots, or pita chips and pretzels.

No-Grain-Ola It’s granola—only better! Kitchun’s granola has no grains, no gluten, and no dairy. Their granola only contains ingredients that are good for you while having tasty flavors, such as Holy-Coco-Cacao and Yes You PeCAN, Pumpkin. Delish!

Mini Bun-Less Cheeseburger Bites – You’ll never miss the bun with these mini cheeseburgers on a stick! These cheeseburger bites from Sugar Free Mom are low carb and tiny so you can eat more per serving, and they’re festive for a tailgate.

Paleo Spinach and Artichoke Dip – While it may be difficult to find a Paleo-friendly dip at the grocery store, this recipe from Paleo Leap makes it easy for you to make your own at home. The traditional cream base is substituted with coconut milk, and flavor and weight is given to the dip with bacon, spinach and artichoke.

Cucumber Guacamole BitesThese guacamole goodness bites from Kalyns Kitchen are dairy, gluten free, low-carb and vegan. A win-win! This is a refreshing snack for guacamole lovers and those looking for a meat-less appetizer.

Healthy Turkey ChiliLast but not least, this gluten-free healthy turkey chili from Seasonal Cravings is easy to prepare and healthy. With black beans, sweet potatoes, and ground turkey, you will have a flavorful chili perfect for your next tailgate.

What’s your favorite healthy and yummy tailgate food? Leave us a comment below!

It’s hard to have a bad meal in Austin with the increasing number of fabulous and delicious restaurants our city has to offer. From signature Austin staples to new trendy spots, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite foodie finds.

Irene’s – 506 West Avenue
What’s better than finding a cool place for a drink that also has good food? Open until 2am, you can indulge in some American food while getting a drink in a retro spot located downtown.

True Food Kitchen – 222 West Avenue
Any restaurant that is a combination of yummy and healthy is a winner in our book. With their wide selection of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options, this is a restaurant that has something to offer for everyone.

Galaxy Café – 4616 Triangle Avenue
Locally owned and operated, Galaxy Café has four Austin area locations – one of which is conveniently located right by our office at The Triangle! With whipped sweet potatoes that are out of this world, this is a go-to lunch spot.

Fonda San Miguel – 2330 West North Loop Boulevard
With a great happy hour on Tuesdays, this restaurant is already off to a great start! You can enjoy traditional Mexican cuisine in a hacienda-style space that includes a pretty atrium when dining here.

Freedmen’s – 2402 San Gabriel Street
While in Austin, indulging in some BBQ is a must. Don’t let the location fool you, as Freedmen’s is also a cocktail lounge and beer garden with some of the best brisket and burnt ends in Austin.

Sway – 1417 South 1st Street
When you’re looking for a tasty treat, Sway is the place to go to. A hip Thai eatery with an open kitchen, the menu includes curries, seafood and creative desserts.

Swift’s Attic – 315 Congress Avenue
A classic Austin restaurant, this retro-chic hot spot is known for their inventive small plates, craft beer, and cocktails. Edamame served with pop rocks might be a tale elsewhere, but at Swift’s Attic it is a delicious reality.

Pacha – 4618 Burnet Road
Pacha is not only a coffeehouse that serves organic brews, but an organic café with tasty breakfast and lunch items. Their Pacha latte is a delicious cold brew that can be served cold or warm. Plus, what’s better than indulging in some “healthy” pancakes when dining here!

Did any of your favorites make the list? Let us know in the comments!

Culturemap Tastemaker Awards 2016

Anytime there’s a party involving the crème de la crème of the local culinary scene, you can count us in. The Culturemap Tastemaker Awards is one of our favorite events of the year. From rockstar chefs to super suave bartenders, attendees can sample the talents of them all. We threw back michelada oysters, devoured nutella mousse and savored every tequila-laden beverage we could get our hands on. Seriously, what’s not to love?

The food – We came. We saw. We conquered. After sampling every table, we were tempted to make the rounds again. From San Antonio favorites like Brigid and Shuck Shack to Austin newbies such as Central Standard and Geraldine’s, each table offered something unique and flavorful. While everything was absolutely delicious, some of our favorites included the pork belly from Wu Chow and the chocolate nutella mousse from Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar.

When it came to drinks, the Herradura Tequila sure was flowing. Bartenders from some of the most popular haunts in town dazzled with their creativity and artistic flair. From fancy pouring, to herbs picked straight from their gardens, we were incredibly impressed with this year’s top bartender choices. Huge congratulations to Justin Elliott of The Townsend for winning the Bartender of the Year Award – it was well deserved.

After eating and drinking to our hearts content – it was time to get silly. We discovered the wonders of edible pictures thanks to Kellie’s Baking Co. All other baked goods that don’t have our faces on them will pale in comparison to the excitement of eating a sugar version of yourself. We then moved on to the My Event Is The Bomb interactive photo booth. The usually composed WGPR ladies simply couldn’t let the dinosaur masks and humorously large sunglasses go to waste. We simply commandeered the station and had a ball. The only thing to top off all the fun? Being sent home with warm Tiff’s Treats.

Thank you, Culturemap for throwing, once again, an amazing party. We will most certainly be back next year to see what magical night you have planned for us.

To check out the winners of the 2016 Tastemaker awards, click HERE.

Blogs have the ability to inspire us and open our eyes to new and exciting things. From food to ideas, places and adventures, blogs allow us to experience and see the world from points of view we may not experience by ourselves. We wanted to share with you a few of our favorite Austin bloggers. With their vastly different personalities and content, these ladies inspire, enlighten andour love for Austin run a little

  1. A Taste of KokoThis beautiful, scrumptious blog by Jane Ko, (more commonly known as Koko) will have you drooling in a matter of seconds. Through gorgeous, mouthwatering photography, A Taste of Koko will introduce you to the greatest finds in Austin cuisine and hot weekend getaways. This is our go-to blog for finding new restaurants to try and very important need-to-know topics – like the 25 most Instagram-worthy restaurants in Austin. When she’s not blogging, she’s a professional social media and community manager and hosts the largest food crawl in Austin during SXSW with over 20,000 participants. She’s also a pleasure to work with – check out her beautiful photography from a recent event we hosted for one of our favorite client’s, True Food Kitchen.
  2. Camille Styles“A healthy life. Well styled.” Camille Styles’ blog is the go-to place for recipes, health and fitness, as well as style and beauty. Through uplifting articles, tutorials, and beautiful photography – this blog aims to inspire clean living, healthy choices and happy, beautiful lives. We have the privilege of working with Camille and most definitely take her advice to heart. Our favorite part of the blog? Camille’s Kitchen where you can find innovative and delicious recipes like Chicken Tequila Taquitos and Mexican Street Corn Salad.
  3. Love and LemonsOh man, do we love Love and Lemons! Husband and wife duo, Jeanine and Jack, enjoy cooking and photographing food that’s “fresh, bright, and often finished with a squeeze of lemon.” Whenever we’re looking to make a healthy and delicious meal we head over to Love and Lemons for inspiration. They just came out with new cookbook “The Love and Lemons Cookbook” and we challenge you to look at it without getting hungry. One of our go-to recipes is the recipe for Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos – yum!
  4. Addie BroylesNow this awesome lady has got a lot going on- she’s writes about food for the Austin American-Statesman’s popular Relish Austin blog, works with the local food blogging community, maintains her own blog The Feminist Kitchen, and holds a feminist book club and film series every month all while raising two young sons. We go to Relish Austin for everything from advice on what salsa to pick up at the grocery store, an explanation on what “shakshouka” is (say that 5 times fast), to finding out how the hot sauce in Hillary Clinton’s bag has ties to Austin. We recommend joining her next book club meet up and picking up her newest cookbook, “The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook” for gorgeous, mouthwatering food photos and recipes from local Austin bloggers.
  5. The Hungry ChroniclesThe Hungry Chronicles blog is every foodie’s fantasy. From stunning photography, to taste bud-tantalizing recipes, The Hungry Chronicles is a feast for all senses. Be warned, if you venture to the “My Hungry Travels” section of the blog you’ll be booking plane tickets before you know it! We suggest checking out the “Hungry Girl Austin” section of the blog before your next girl’s night out on the town.
  6. Girl Eats WorldWho would have guessed that a gas station indian-chinese fusion restaurant called “Chicken Lollypop” was any good? Girl Eats World is a master of knowing those hidden gems that every Austintine should be familiar with but isn’t? She offers alternatives to local favorites everyone knows about – there are so many good places in Austin that don’t get enough attention. Her honesty and enthusiasm about restaurants is contagious and you can count on her to provide all the details you need.
  7. The Bikini ExperimentWe love that Lauren of The Bikini Experiment is all about empowering women to be their best selves. She wasn’t at all athletic until she turned 30 and decided to make a huge life change. She is truly an inspiration! We go to Lauren’s blog for her awesome workouts and relatable fitness advice. Our team has made a habit out of doing her best desk stretches!
  8. Linda WagnerLinda Wagner is the epitome of a healthy lifestyle. She uses her blog to help people everywhere become their best, happiest and most confident selves. She hates words like “diet,” “calorie restriction,” and “excessive exercise.” She wants people to know it’s all about living a healthy lifestyle, radiating confidence, being inspired and feeling happy. Her blog features a myriad of delicious, healthy recipes- and our favorite, desserts! Try The Coconut Vanilla Chia Superfood pudding – you won’t regret it!
  9. spinsyddyOur love for fitness is fierce – and thanks to ClassPass we try to get our sweat on at every new studio and class in town. That’s why we were so excited to find Sydney of spinsyddy’s blog. Sydney goes to hundreds of gyms and classes all over Austin and gives in-depth reviews of them- making all of our lives easier. For those wanting to get in a good workout without spending big bucks, Sydney’s website has an exhaustive list of free workouts around Austin. Plus, she regularly partners with gyms to provide great deals.
  10. The Fit ForkJennifer of The Fit Fork is a true wellness guru. An award-winning recipe developer, competitive runner and CrossFit enthusiast, Jennifer does it all. The Fit Fork is a one-stop-shop for all things fitness and nutrition. Check out the Workouts page for an awesome workout and then whip up one of the guilt-free recipes that are abundant on The Fit Fork. We can’t stop making her recipe for Sweet Potato Strings with Blue Cheese – yum!

A few weeks ago, our lovely Wellington Group Marketing & PR team went on a holiday outing with Austin Eats Food Tours – and boy, did we have a great time! From barbeque at Micklethwait to cupcakes at Sugar Mama’s Bake Shop, we definitely went home with full bellies! Don’t get us wrong – eating healthy is a top priority for the ladies of Wellington Group, but over the holidays, we believe a little indulgence never hurt anyone! With that in mind, here are a few of our seasonal faves: 

Trader Joes Cookie Butter – Perfect for dipping apples, pretzels, graham crackers – you can pretty much eat it with anything, which is why we are obsessed!

Starbucks Holiday Drinks – Warm drinks like the Peppermint Mocha, Gingerbread Latte and Chestnut Praline Latte are only around for a limited time. Get them while you can! 

Amy’s Peppermint Bark – Handmade with chocolate, peppermint oil and creamy white chocolate, this is the most delicious peppermint bark you can find! You have our word.

Tiff Treat’s Cookies – Because let’s be real, ANY time of year is a good time for Tiff’s.

Bluebell’s Christmas Cookies Ice Cream –Combining our favorite holiday cookies such as chocolate chip, snickerdoodle and sugar cookies, this is a very merry flavor, indeed! 

What’s your favorite holiday treat? Merry Christmas!