How Not to SXSW

South By Southwest had officially arrived and taken over our fair city. I, for one, will definitely be participating in some awesome SXSW events. This is only my second year as an Austinite so everything is fresh and new. However, to long-time residents, South By can be more of a burden than an exciting experience. You may be planning to hole up in your house for the next two weeks to avoid all the madness, but don’t feel caged in, there are plenty of fun, productive things you can do in and outside your home without getting caught up in SX Fever.

  1. Visit non-SXSW bars and restaurants. Not everyone is partaking in all the SXSW craziness. Check social media to see who is keeping it low or visit non-downtown location for your favorite spots like Torchy’s and Hoppdoddy’s.
  2. Have a party of you own. Invite all your friends over for dinner or drinks at your place. As long as you don’t live in the SXSW zone, you’ll get to see all your friends and have a good time.
  3. Host a binge-a-thon. Fuller House and the latest season of House of Cards are now on Netflix. So are these other great March releases.
  4. Get your craft on. Whether it’s painting, pottery, or furniture building, you can avoid the downtown hustle and make your home a little prettier with your own two hands.
  5. Start your spring cleaning. You’ll feel so much better after a deep clean and can’t use going out as an excuse! If you want to get really crazy, pull out your spring/summer clothes and decor.
  6. Visit the Domain. Whether at night or during the day, you can shop and go out with friends. Check out the new group of restaurants, bars, and shops at Rock Rose.
  7. Head out to the burbs. Avoid downtown completely by enjoying everything Austin’s suburbs have to offer. Lakeway, Round Rock, and Bee Caves have some great attractions.
  8. Take a day trip. Drive out to some of the wineries and other attractions in hill country or make the trek to San Antonio or Waco to try some new things a little outside your backyard.
  9. Have a spa day. Spas like Viva Day Spa offer some great packages to help you relax. Doesn’t a massage plus mani-pedi sound amazing?
  10. Catch up. We all have work, books, and boring activities (taxes) we need to get done. I have a reading list that I have barely put a dent in.

These are just a few of the things you can do without having to venture through the SXSW chaos. I’ll be opting into a combination of festivities and festival avoiding activities.

This post was originally seen in Lady ATX Magazine.

Dating in the Land of Apps: Showcasing the Best You

With Valentine’s Day in full swing, love and dating are likely to be on your mind. It seems like the Austin dating scene has been overrun by apps. There is essentially an app or dating site for any and everyone looking for love, and we all know Austin loves apps. In fact one of the first “Women-first” dating apps, Bumble was started right here in Austin by one of Tinder’s co-founders.

Online dating may still seem a little taboo but between 2005 and 2012, 35% of married people met their spouses online according to a University of Chicago Study.With a pretty even male to female population of young, educated singles, it’s no wonder Austin ranks high on most “best cities for singles” lists. It ranks #2 on Marie Claire’s list of best cities for single women (yay us!). So how do you make the most of this dating pool online? You optimize your profile. We’ve done the research to help you showcase your best self online!

Online dating is a lot (it is) marketing. You are marketing yourself to all the singles out there. In any marketing class you learn that the first step in any campaign is to figure out your target audience. What type of partner do you want and more importantly what do they want? If you want to attract someone smart and put together you should show that you’re smart and put together. “When you are in control and think through what you post what you share with others, then you have more control over that energy that you’re bring back to you,” says online dating expert, Devyn Simone, of TLC’s Love at First SwipeContinue reading →