Marfa, TX: Follow Me to El Cosmico

As I mentioned in a previous post, Mr. Yell and I enjoyed our 1 year anniversary in the desert a few weeks ago, and we loved it! One of our favorite parts of Marfa was where Mr. Yell and I stayed for the last half of our trip: the magical El Cosmico.

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We stayed with an Air BnB for the first couple of days of our trip, but once we moved over to El Cosmico, the Marfa Magic was amplified. El Cosmico has everything including:  tipis and yurts, outdoor hot tubs and showers, and several areas for hammocking around the property.

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El Cosmico caters to really anyone since they offer camping spots to pitch your tent and have a community kitchen if you would rather cook than eat out. While Mr. Yell and I were there we saw couples, families, and friends making road-trip stops; proving that not only is this place for everyone, but that El Cosmico is a must see!

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Going into this experience, I had some very high expectations due to some other places Mr. Yell and I have stayed (similar to El Cosmico) and honestly this place was wonderful. While we were mere “honeymooners”, there have been movie stars who have stayed here to really experience the real Marfa Magic while filming. (Kevin Bacon and Matthew McConaughey were rumored to be in town while we were there…. so you never know who you will see!)

I really just loved the relaxed atmosphere and the community house in the front of the property. The house has free coffee and teas in the morning, records playing constantly, a fun gift shop, and cool drinks for sale.

The only things El Cosmico could improve on would be working on providing more of the “little things” (see Tree House Point for some GREAT examples) and having some of the lights and campfires going during non-festival times. There was a night we would have loved to make s’mores or enjoy the full experience, but there are only two festivals in Marfa a year, and we happened to miss them both… so that meant way less lights and no campfires. So if you want the full experience, be sure to hit up the music festival in March or the film festival in July.

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Other than that, everything was lovely and Mr. Yell and I felt so refreshed after our visit to the desert, and El Cosmico definitely played a part in that.

So if you’re ever in Marfa… head on over to El Cosmico!

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Much love. Much grace.

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Marfa, TX: Food Guide

Recently, Mr. Yell and I went on our first year anniversary trip (yay!) to Marfa, Texas (By the wonderful recommendation of a Marriage Roots post). Marfa is in the Southwestern part of Texas, so if you have ever wanted a great mix of art, desert, and continually saying “hmm, that’s interesting…” then Marfa is the place for you.

Before I get deep into this post, there are a few things that need mentioning. The first thing is that Marfa is a bit of a slow-moving town. Seriously, the business hours on many of the food places, shops, and art exhibits are basically just guidelines. There were several times we would plan out a day’s worth of meals just to be scrambling because the times were merely suggestions.

Second, Marfa is for those who enjoy already-developed artists. This was only one of a few disappointments that I experienced. I was expecting a town with more street art and “starving artists”. Instead, Marfa has developed in the last 15 years to be more upscale in many aspects including food and retail prices. While this isn’t necessarily a negative thing (unless you are a local—a post for another time), it came as mapa bit of a surprise. So if you are planning on going to Marfa, plan to spend $15-$20 on food for every meal, or try to bring some PB&J’s.

 

Marpho

Mr. Yell’s (and mine!) absolutely favorite place to eat was Marpho. This was not only the most reasonably priced, but also had a wonderful atmosphere and some amazing pho! While the pho is obviously the specialty, they also serve Vietnamese sandwiches and have finger foods during Happy Hour.

 

Frama

There is really only one place in town for the best locally brewed coffee and somewhat locally made ice cream, and that is Frama! This place is very cozy and has SO MANY options! There are hot and iced drinks, smoothies and juices, and of course ice cream with unique flavors (I had the Rosemary and Olive Oil… DELISH.)

 

Food Shark Museum of Electronic Wonders and Late Night Grilled Cheese Parlour

This place was AMAZING. On the outside (like most things in Marfa) it doesn’t look like much, but the interior was pretty cool. The only lighting used in the tiny restaurant is the glow of antique TV screens and music is played on an eight-track player. Not only is the atmosphere killer, the grilled cheeses are INSANE. You can choose from four different selections, which rotate out as ingredients run low, and each cheese is grilled to perfection. It was definitely a fun, quirky, experience; and I would definitely love to go back.

Planet Marfa

Outdoor games, snacks, creative seating, and a bar… Planet Marfa is the place to be on the weekend. With a teepee, renovated school bus, and a loft, there are so many places to sit and chat, and cool areas to experience little pieces of the Marfa Magic. Live music and dancing adds a bit of a party to the place as well as ping-pong tables and other “lawn” games. Even if just to check out the atmosphere, Planet Marfa is a must-see while in town.

 

Cochineal

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From: WestTexasWeekly.com

While in Marfa, Mr. Yell and I decided to do at least one “fancy” dinner for our anniversary, this dinner being at Cochineal. Located in downtown Marfa, Cochineal was the perfect place to enjoy the desert air and fine dining all at the same time. They have a large selection of delicious dishes, just be aware that the menu changes often and reservations are needed.

 

These are just a FEW of the many places in Marfa to eat, but these were by far mine and Mr. Yell’s favorites. These places had very consistent, and LABELED, hours of operation as well as delicious food and creative atmospheres.

Much love. Much grace.

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Wear the Bikini

I love swimming!

When I was a teenager I was on a swim team and have honestly just always felt at home in the water (salt or chlorine… doesn’t matter!)

I always wore a one-piece or a tankini for most of my life up until pretty recently when I decided I really wanted a bikini. Cute one-piece suits are hard to find, and I always loved how bikini’s have mix-and-match options.

So this February, I decided that if I could lose a certain amount of weight, I would wear a bikini in public. So I set a goal, created a time-table and eating plan, and got to work. I have lost some of the weight I wanted, but not nearly as much as I planned in my over-zealous schedule. But you know what? I still wanted to wear my bikini… at the pool… in public.

Such a conundrum.

I had bought the cutest two-piece as a motivation to work out and be healthy, so I already had a cute suit. And Mr. Yell and I were going WAY out of town on an anniversary trip, so no one I knew would even see me wear it. All I had to do was wear it.

And wear it I did.

You guys, at first I was totally self-conscious and worried about my “problem areas” but after about 30 minutes, it felt so free. I forgot all about my weight and “fluff” and just enjoyed swimming. It was so wonderful to not worry about what other people were thinking and just enjoy my time swimming.

 

For the first time in quite a while, I was able to feel comfortable in my body and who I am in this point and time. This is who I am right now, and this is how I look. I can love it or hate it, but in the end it is the only body I have.

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This is the first post in the “Summer Series” and I wanted to show ya’ll how committed I am to this being MY summer. And YOUR summer. Don’t let fear hold you back from what you want to do. This summer is for you and for your confidence to shine. We are in this together! So wear the bikini, or not. It’s YOUR choice. Wear what you want to the beach… and own it.

Much love. Much grace.

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What My First Year of Marriage Has Taught Me

It’s so crazy to me that Mr. Yell and I have been married for a full year already!

In one way, the time has flown quickly; in another way, the time has moved slowly. Not slowly in a bad way, but in a way that makes our marriage feel like it has always been a part of each of us. It’s hard to remember a time when Mr. Yell and I weren’t together, and I am so thankful.

This first year of marriage has been full of lessons in our lives; both individually and as a couple. We have dealt with my school issues, the exciting times of “firsts”, and learning how to blend our families together. Like I said, I have learned so much, but today I want to share just a few of the things I learned.

Communication is HARD.

A while back, I wrote a blog post about communication, and how I thought I was good at it… until I got married of course! I have a really hard time sharing my emotions (because I have a ridiculous amount, let’s be real) and that has taken a toll on how Mr. Yell and I communicate. If I don’t share what is wrong, the situation becomes way worse and my husband remains clueless. Communicating on a more transparent level is something I am still working on and I have to put forth an effort everyday.

There is no such thing as giving 50/50.

Really, there is no such thing. I’ve even heard about how a relationship is 100/100, about giving all that you have all the time, and that isn’t true either. This past year has been one of the hardest personally and I couldn’t give near my best to my new marriage. I was struggling enough to keep myself sane, let alone work on communication or other things. I am not proud of this, obviously, but this was were I was during our first year. So instead of giving 100%, I was only able to give about 40% and Mr. Yell had to pick up the slack. And there will be times in the future when I will have to give way more than planned when Mr. Yell needs me too. That is what our partnership and a relationship does.

Love really does grow deeper.

“I love him more and more each day” Blah, Blah, Blah… I know what you are thinking, “How cliche.” and to that I just have to say… YEAH. Because this is one of the truest and hardest things to explain. I thought I loved Mr. Yell on our wedding day, on our engagement day, and when we first told each other that we loved the other person; but that doesn’t even compare to how much I love that man today, in this very second. I don’t know how to explain it, and I don’t think anyone does, but it is the most real love. No matter how irrational I am or tired he becomes, I love him more and more and he loves me more and more each day.

It’s TOTALLY worth the effort.

I know, I know… “The first year is the easiest! Of course you think you’ll be together forever!” Can I just say, I really hope this year wasn’t the “easiest”? It was so hard with all the outside issues that we had to deal with. There are times when quitting seems like the easiest option. I get it. Commitment is a dying ideal, and it’s something that Mr. Yell and I vowed to fight against EACH DAY. Divorce it isn’t an option. NOT AT ALL. We don’t even say the word in our home. We firmly believe that the reason we are together in the first place is because we make a much better team together than we ever could apart. We believe that God brought us together for His glory to be shown, and divorce doesn’t glorify God in our relationship. We promised the Lord, and those present in the ceremony, that commitment was worth our effort. Mr. Yell and I are fighting the battle of non-commitment in a world where almost nothing is worth the fight… and it is something we will fight for everyday in our marriage.

Like I said previously, these are only a few things I have learned. If I could go back to the night before my wedding, these are the things I would tell myself. These are the things that I found so important during my first year, and I can’t wait to see what this second year holds for us!

Is there any newlywed advice you wish you had? Something you wish you would have known before your first year of marriage? Let me know by email or commenting!

Much love. Much grace.

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