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I love Austin, it’s quirky and special in its own way. My sister and brother-in-law live there and I visit them on a semi-regular basis and everytime I do, there is just not enough time to shop all the shops and to eat all the food I crave.  This time around, I had a very important reason to visit Austin…my brand new and adorable nephew, Max! When I was not spending time babbling nonsensical baby talk and swaying him, I was taking time out to visit different neigborhoods, shopping areas, and getting my fill of good eats (it included queso of course!).

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Some areas worth checking out are South Congress (SoCo) Avenue and the developing Downtown area (think 2nd Street). SoCo has a vibe that reminds me of my H Street neighborhood, where everyone has a unique style and the street is filled with food and vintage and locally owned shops.  The downtown area has a bit more cosmopolitan feel complete with a W Hotel and statue of Willie Nelson (ya know…to keep it from being too yuppy).  Two of my favorite shops to visit when I come to Austin are in the Downtown area and are called Eliza Page and Mercury, both located  on 2nd St.

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This jaguar ring at Eliza Page spoke to me.  Animal-inspired jewelry have been popping up everywhere and I thought this little guy was especially cute adorned on my index finger.

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The other great find I discovered was this Hermes-esque bracelet by a local designer named Leigh Elena.  She has many different styles (python, snakeskin, stingray, you name it) in thick, thin, and double wrap bracelet styles.  I then discovered that Leigh Elena had her own shop in SoCo where the selection was exponentially broader.  Apparently her bracelets are all the rage!

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When it comes to decor, design, and well curated items for the home, I absolutely love to visit Mercury.  The store is not huge but it has about 6-8 sections, all have an interesting vignette showcasing beautiful objects for sale.  I scored these really beautiful leather coasters that had an interesting graphic design cut into it.

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There were so many other goodies that I wished I had a reason to buy.  For example, I wish I could find a place for these gorgeous chairs with pink cushions and chrome frame or use these humorous containers to store who knows what!  This store is what inpsired me to incorporate Ikat patterns on my walls at home.  Mercury, I will be coming back very soon.

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While I had a great time, there is not place like my home in Washington, DC…though methinks this one is an imposter of the real White House.   Hmmmm…..

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