Candace, Author at Loanables - Page 2 of 3

About Candace

Candace is a 3x Start-up Founder and Certified Event Rental Professional (CERP). She geeks out on brainstorming bold ideas and then actually brings some of them to life. She is currently the CEO of Loanables, where her mission is to reduce overconsumption by making it as easy to rent as it is to buy.

View all posts by Candace

Sous Vide Cooking – What’s all the rage about?


Starbucks introduced sous vide egg bites in January, and they sell out nearly every day.  Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t ordered them because I didn’t even know what sous vide meant.  I finally tried them since I’m trying to eat less carbs, and now I understand all the hype.   They are delicious and relatively healthy.

That innocent breakfast order sucked me down a rabbit hole. There is an entire sous vide cult!  Seriously, there are sous vide message boards, sous vide magazines, entire cook books of sous vide recipes, sous vide groups, etc. Who knew?!?

So what is it?

Sous Vide RentalSous Vide is French for “Under Vacuum”. Food is put in a vacuum-sealed bag and cooked in a water bath.  It is often referred to as “precision” cooking because it comes out perfectly every time. 

My Experience

My husband and I love to cook; so, of course we wanted to try it out.  We couldn’t find one to rent and didn’t know anyone that had one; so, we ended up buying one.  (I posted it for rent on Loanables if you’re interested.)

We cooked a pork tenderloin (see recipe we followed here).  It is so easy:  seal the ingredients; set the temperature and timer; sear; enjoy!  While it was cooking, we visited with our company instead of slaving over a hot stove!  It turned out great.  What we found is that you need to season more than you would for a grill to get the same flavor, but the meat is definitely more juicy and tender.

My favorite part…

It was so easy to clean up.  Throw away the bag, dump out the water, and Voila – you’re done!

Sous Vide Pork

Here are some other recipes that we’ve tried and enjoyed:

Sous Vide Filet Mignon Recipe (You can get great quality cuts at Costco for $22.99 per pound.)

Sous Vide Egg Recipe (If you love Eggs Benedict, you will love these!)

Sous Vide Thin Cut French Fry Recipe (These are amazing.)

I love this list of 17 Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Cook Sous Vide.

Here are 2 Secret Ingredients we Love:

Adam’s Reserve House Rub for Ribs, Roast and Steaks
Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce for chicken

Have fun on your journey down the rabbit hole – we did 😉

How to Throw a Shrimp Boil

Throwing a great party means having great food.  But, sometimes the food part can be stressful – it’s either a ton of work or you have to pay someone else to do it.  I love shrimp boils because cooking the shrimp is entertainment for the guests.  My husband’s favorite past time is standing around a burner or grill and watching something cook while drinking a beer with friends. (If you have an outdoor TV, turn a game on and everyone is happy for hours).

The great news is that you don’t have to be an excellent chef to pull it off.  It’s fun and easy.

The first rule in cooking shrimp is DO NOT OVERCOOK THEM.  When they are overcooked, they are hard to peel. Also, remember when you take them out, they can continue to cook from all of the steam.

Follow these directions and they will come out perfect:

Boil the water and seasonings (we recommend Slap Ya Mama).  Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add onions and sausage and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Add corn and cook another 10 minutes.  Add the shrimp and cook 3 minutes and then pull all the ingredients out in the strainer. Don’t cook the shrimp more than 3 minutes.  See more details here.

Where to get shrimp in Austin:

All grocery stores carry shrimp. If you are having a large party, you should preorder to make sure they have enough.  Here are our favorite places to buy shrimp in Austin:

– HEB – check the location nearest you
– Quality Seafood – on Airport Blvd.

Other Tips:

  • For easy clean-up, get some cardboard box trays (the kind that hold soft drinks).  Convenience stores will usually give them to you for free.  You can also order them here.
  • Want a refresher on the best way to peel shrimp, go here.

Stuff you may need:

Lastly, if you’re in Austin and don’t have the pot and burner, you can rent it here.

Tent Camping Near Austin

It’s summer and way too hot to go tent camping near Austin.  But, it’s NOT too early to start planning and booking spots for the fall.

Here’s a list of camping sites within an hour of Austin:

McKinney Falls State Park – within Austin city limits, you can camp, hike, bike and swim!  They have 81 campsites (starting at $20) and 6 newly remodeled cabins ($86).  It’s also a really fun place for geocaching.  (My kids LOVE this.  You can get the app on your smartphone, find the treasure with GPS coordinates, sign the log book and trade a family-friendly item with something in the cache.)

McKinney Falls


Pace Bend Park – enjoy beautiful, sunset views of Lake Travis.  They have 20 campsites with water and electrical hook-ups ($20) and over 400 primitive spots ($15 per vehicle). You can reserve the improved sites, but the primitive spots are on a first come, first server basis.  Make sure to visit nearby Hamilton Pool – it’s one of Austin’s most beautiful treasures. If you go May 1 – September 20, you have to make a reservation.

Hamilton Pool


Pedernales Falls – great mountain biking trails, plus you can tube on the river. They have 69 campsites with water and electric hook-ups ($20) and numerous primitive sites ($10).  If you are into mountain biking, this is the place to go.

Blanco State Park – fish, swim and boat.  They have 29 sites with water and electrical hook-ups (starting at $20).  They also have 7 Screened Shelters ($30) – no AC, but they have fans.   If fishing is your primary camping activity, this is the place for you.  

Palmetto State Park – called the “Central Texas Tropics” because it enjoys multiple sources of water.  You can swim, tube, fish and canoe.  They have 19 tent sites ($12) and 18 sites with water and electrical hook-ups (starting at $18). They also have a group camping area for up to 100 ($60).  The San Marcos river has a steady current with no rapids making it a favorite for those that love to canoe.


My 5 favorite campsite cooking recipes:

Campfire foil packs – I love these because you can make them ahead of time and then just throw them on the fire.

Cinnamon Roll Ups – The kids love these, and you can indulge since you are burning so many calories with all the activities

Camp Cooker Pizza – As you’ve guessed by now, I have kids, and what kid doesn’t love pizza?

Red Wine Marinated Hanger Steaks – If you feel like getting fancy, this recipe will not disappoint.

Fire Roasted Salmon with Herbs and Lemon – You can also use fresh fish that you catch with this one – so delicious.

Lastly, you need gear…

If you don’t have the gear, you can rent it here.

How to Build the Coolest Playhouse

It took us 2 months of working part-time on the weekends (10 days total) and about $1500 in supplies, but we built the coolest playhouse:

My kids loved it and played in it every day for at least 2 weeks (it does still get a lot of play when friends come over). Today they had a water balloon fight from it.

Here’s how it started…my sister-in-law is a super-crafty mom (the kind that makes you feel wholly inadequate but she’s so nice you can’t hate her for it).  She found this playhouse from The Handmade Home and they built it in a couple of weekends:


Of course when my kids saw it, they had to have it!  Here’s the problem though: my husband LOVES to build stuff but refuses to read directions!  So, we loosely followed the directions for the Handmade Hideaway and modified them as we went along.

I put all the tools we used up on Loanables to rent for $50 a month for anyone that lives in Austin.   You can find that listing here.

There are 5 parts to this project:

  1. The Deck: here are the directions.  We put the stairs on the inside of the house instead of the outside.  Also, to make it a little easier on us, we decided to use Plywood for the floors instead of decking.  Here was our deck cut list:
    • 10 – 2 x 8 x 10 (double what Handmade Hideaway calls for)
    • 4 – 2 x 8 x 8 (double what Handmade Hideaway calls for)
    • 2 – 4 x 4 x 12 corner posts cut 6′ (instead of the 3 – 4 x 4 x 8 that the Handmade Hideaway calls for)
    • 6 – 4 x 8 x 3/4 thick plywood (instead of the 22- 5/4 x 6 x 8 that the Handmade Hideaway calls for)
  2. The Walls: here are the directions.  We have 2 floors of walls. Here was our cut list for the walls:
    • 27 – 2 x 4 x 12 (11 at 5′ and 16 at 5.5′)
    • 4 – 2 x 4 x 8 (cut to 7′)
    • 1 – 2 x 4 x 10 (cut at 4′)
    • 90 cedar fence boards with the rounded tops cut off.
  3. The railings and shutters: here are the directions. This is only for 2 windows, but we have a total of 5 windows.  Two on the top level (just like the Handmade Hideaway), and 3 on the bottom level (2 just like the top, but we added one to the front). Change up the Supply List based on how many windows you decide to make.
  4. The Roof: here are the directions for the roof.  Note: we brought our roof over the entire top level. The Handmade Hideaway only covers the back half.  Therefore, you need 2 more rafters and 8 sheets of tin instead of 4.
  5. Painting and/or Staining (this was the least fun part).   I stained the outside with Behr semi-transparent Cape Cod Gray. The trim on top is just a basic exterior white.  The floor and other trim I painted the same color as the trim on our house.  It is an Exterior Behr flat paint that it is brown with a gray hue in it. Like an idiot I got rid of the empty can so I can’t tell you the exact color (nor will it be easy for me to do touchups in the future).  For the inside, I wanted the wall color to pop when looking in so I chose a turquoise.

The last thing to do was finish it out – by far my favorite part.  I bought outdoor, striped curtains on  I chose the color “spa”, but there are several fun colors.   The “Admiral” blue would be really cute, too. You should be able to find one that goes with whatever color theme you already have going on outside.   (The Handmade Home also gives some good tips for how to make the curtains hang correctly on their blog.)

I really wanted something cute for the porch and found these not-too-expensive kid’s Adirondack chairs.

I put plastic table and chairs on the inside where my daughter likes to play school or do art.  Upstairs, I put some kids folding chairs and a table that we already had.  Mostly, though they like to play and yell down at whoever isn’t up there.  Here are some items I finished it out with:

Outdoor Metal Art

Outdoor Art


Side Winder Slide

Dinner Bell

Dinner Bell



Pirate Ship Wheel

Pirate Ship Wheel



This really was a fun project for our family, even though there were times during the project that I thought we would never finish and regretted starting it.  Now that it is done, I’m really glad we did it.  My kids are so proud of it, and they have a playhouse that they will use for a few short years and the memories that will last forever.

Playhouse Tour from Leak on Vimeo.

P.S.  Tim (my husband) and I are happy to answer any questions if you decide to take on this project.

Top 10 New Items Posted

We’ve had some awesome items posted lately so I bring you the top 10:

  1. Pongo Bongo Beer Pong Float – $10 Floatable Beer Pong Austin
  2. Stand Up Paddleboard & Gear – $20Rent SUP Austin
  3. Poker Table – $40Rent Poker Table Austin
  4. Trailer – $40 Rent Trailer Austin
  5. Walk Behind Brush Cutter – $92Rent Brush Cutter Austin
  6. Litter Vacuum – $435 Rent Litter Vaccum Austin
  7. Chipper – $96Rent Chipper Austin
  8. Chocolate Fountain – $65Rent Chocolate Fountain Austin
  9. Hot Dog Cart – $110Rent Hot Dog Cart Austin
  10. Water Slide – $269Rent Water Slide Austin

Why We Do What We Do

The U.S.A. makes up 5% of the world’s population but uses 25% of the natural resources and creates 50% of the solid waste. (Worldwatch Institute).

At Loanables, we believe that people over-consume because there is not a good alternative to buying. Our mission is to make it as easy to rent as it is to buy. We are focused on giving consumers access to the things they want without ownership.

3 Ways to Celebrate 4th of July

How do celebrate the 4th of July: play baseball, eat a hot dog and pop some fireworks. You’re done.

But what if you live somewhere like Austin where it is too hot to be outside playing baseball in the middle of the day? Or what if you are a vegan? Or what if you live in the city that doesn’t allow fireworks of if there is a burn ban because it’s so dry. Well, here are some ideas for high-maintenance American 😉

1. DIY Slip N Slide

I’m NOT crafty by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m pretty sure I could pull this off. Big tarp or thick trash bags, dish soap, a water hose and voila – you have a fun-filled afternoon.

Ice Cream Party

2. Vegan Ice Cream Party

Check out these Vegan Ice Cream recipes (it says they are better than the real thing!) Want to make a big batch for a party, rent an ice cream maker.  And if you aren’t vegan, here are 13 delicious recipes (including s’mores)!

Photo by Jim Harmer

3. Get Creative with Sparklers

So, you can’t pop fireworks, but sparklers usually steal the show anyway.  Here are some creative sparker photography tips.

However you choose to celebrate, I hope you have fun.

Can you buy Happiness?

father's day

Are the best things in life free? It’s hard to believe they are when we are constantly inundated with marketing taunting all the latest and greatest things available to buy. I know from personal experience, I may not think I “need” anything, but the moment I step foot into a mall, I start wanting a lot. And, I have to admit there is a bit of high that comes right when you make a purchase. This got me thinking…what does the science say?

Two professors from Cornell University and The University of Colorado at Boulder published this study: To Do or To Have?  That is the Question.  It’s a fascinating study (if you are a nerd like me and like to read that sort of thing).  The gist: investing in life experiences makes people happier; material purchases do not.

Since Father’s Day is next weekend, it got me thinking about doing stuff with my father instead of buying him something.  I only remember one gift I’ve given my dad on Father’s day (and I’m 40).  When I first moved to Austin 17 years ago, I got us rowing lessons at the Texas Rowing Center.  We both loved it and still talk about going back.

This year, my father and my husband will get experiences.  Here’s what’s on my list:

  1. Go play golf.  Even for someone that has never played, it’s fun to try something new.  You can rent golf clubs for only $25!
  2. Go Camping.camping
  3. Have a Game Night.  My husband loves poker so that will be our theme.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there.  I hope you have an awesome experience this year!



TGIF: Planning a trip?

I love summer vacations!   I don’t love buying a bunch of stuff just to take a vacation!  You can rent what you need so you don’t have to store it the rest of the year:

Thule Large Car Top Box Carrier

large car top carrier

Car Seat Travel Bag

Car seat travel bag

Lockable Luggage Box

Cargo box

Beach Tent

Beach tent



Do you have any of these things other people can use?  Here are more travel items that people want to rent:

  1. GoPro
  2. Canoe
  3. Scout for carrying a Bob Stroller
  4. Dog Crate
  5. Generator

Why we do what we do:

The U.S.A. makes up 5% of the world’s population but uses 25% of the natural resources and creates 50% of the solid waste. (Worldwatch Institute)

At Loanables, we believe that people over-consume because there is not a good alternative to buying.  Our mission is to make it as easy to rent as it is to buy.  We are focused on giving consumers access to the things they want without ownership.

Top 5 Things People Search that We Don’t Have (or don’t have enough of)

I bet you have things sitting in your closet or garage that others want to use.  If we can start sharing, we don’t have to buy so much stuff, which means we will reduce our carbon footprint!

Here are the most common items people want to rent but there is little to no inventory:

  1. Dog crate
  2. Riding Lawn Mower
  3. GoPro camera
  4. Sewing Machine
  5. Treadmill

If you have these things and want to make some money, please list them.

Why we do what we do:

The U.S.A. makes up 5% of the world’s population but uses 25% of the natural resources and creates 50% of the solid waste. (Worldwatch Institute)

At Loanables, we believe that people over-consume because there is not a good alternative to buying.  Our mission is to make it as easy to rent as it is to buy.  We are focused on giving consumers access to the things they want without ownership.

Reduce overconsumption


3 Things Men do Better than Women

Toot Horn

1. Toot their Own Horn. The National Women’s Business Council reports that  “Female entrepreneurs start companies with 50% less capital than male entrepreneurs.”  I am actually living this reality right now with Loanables, but I must also admit I haven’t actually asked anyone to invest yet. Many women downplay their accomplishments; whereas most men see it more like Muhammad Ali who said “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

Mom and son

2.  Feel good about their parenting.  A study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that women actually felt 30 percent more guilty and distressed than their male partners when they had to mix work and home responsibilities. There is even a name for what women have; it’s called “mom guilt”. I saw this fantastic illustration once that had a dad snuggling his child. The dad had one thought bubble that said “I’m an awesome dad”.  Next to it was a picture of a mom snuggling the child. She had about 50 thought bubbles ranging from “I shouldn’t have yelled” to “I need to make sure they are eating healthier” to “I need to play with them more” and on and on. (If anyone knows where I can find this illustration, please tell me. I’ve looked everywhere to no avail.)  


3.  Say no and don’t give it another thought. I have absolutely no scientific proof to back this one up, but seriously, I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with female friends about needing to say no to things. I have never once had this conversation with a man. Men if you have this problem, please speak up and correct me here. Ladies, if you want to work on this too, read this to learn the art of saying no. 

So, next time you see me and I ask you for money, tell you what a great mom I am, or answer “no” to anything you ask me to do, just know I’m working on it 😉

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