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.

Hometown Throwdown: Austin vs. Memphis

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 1.29.08 AMI’ve lived in Austin for just over 18 months. While my bucket list has plenty of things to be check off, I feel comfortable calling Austin home. However, after spending a week in my hometown, Memphis, the word “home” gets a little tricky. Which place is really home? The place you can always go back to or the place where you’re starting a life? The more I thought about it, the more similarities and differences I saw between the two cities.

Similarities

  • Slogans: Keep Austin Weird vs. Choose 901
  • Amazing Food (especially BBQ)
  • Rich Music History Continue reading →

Why You Should Be a Tourist in Your Own City

According to Punxsutawney Phil, winter is almost behind us! That means you don’t have much longer to finish your winter to do list.  Since the weather will hopefully be taking a turn for the warmer soon, I have a February Challenge for all of us: be a tourist in your own city. We all have a list of cities we hope to explore, but have you taken time to appreciate how cool your own is?

11705135_10155775959790368_309506762939926531_nBeing new-ish to Austin, my bucket list is still very full. But when I think back, there are so many things popular in Memphis (my hometown) that I haven’t done. Unlike most Memphians, I’ve toured Graceland but I took for granted how cool the city really was. You’ve probably done the same the same thing. It’s time you changed that! Your city (or the nearest one to you) is probably super cool. Being a tourist is easier than you think. Continue reading →

12 Reasons Austin is Texas (So Stop Telling Me It Isn’t)

Ten months ago, I made the move to Austin, TX. I absolutely love this city. It’s young, it’s casual, but still a great environment for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Austin is consistently voted best in many categories like city for 20-somethings US dining destination, and city for single women. Located in the heart of Texas, Austin is a blue fish in a red ocean, politically. For this reason, and others, many people think of Austin as “not really Texas.”

Texas pride is no joke. People of the Lone Star State take their heritage very serious. They see themselves as very independent and individual with Texas BBQ, Texas style-country music, Texas beer, etc. For this reason, I find it very interesting people would isolate Austin from the rest of the state. It is normally meant to be a compliment, but doesn’t always come off is such. Here are 12 reasons why Austin is totally Texan (because 512 is too many):

  1. It’s the capital. Duh.
  2. Austin has Grade A  BBQ.
  3. While we’re on food, Austin knows tacos.
  4. There are tons of top rated breweries in Austin.
  5. Austin is all about its music scene. Continue reading →

ATX Bucket List

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in Austin six months already! I have really enjoyed my time here, but I feel like there is so much of the city I have yet to explore. While talking with a friend the other day, I decided to make an #ATXBucketList that she is going to help me finish. This list is by no means complete but a great start!

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-1-38-21-pm

  1. Go out on Rainey Street
  2. Tackle the Hill of Life (again)
  3. Eat @ Torchy’s Tacos
  4. Enjoy a burger @ Hopdoddy
  5. Swim in Barton Springs
  6. Play with some pups in Zilker Park
  7. Brunch @ Dai Due
  8. Take a walk on the Greenbelt
  9. See a show @ Paramount Theater
  10. Eat at the Lamar Whole Foods Continue reading →

Cities to Visit: US Edition

I was very blessed as a child with the opportunity to travel. My family went on yearly vacations and I was part of a youth choir that went on tours around different parts of the US every summer. I have visited 23 out of the 50 states. Part of my goal for my 20s is to visit all 50.

Traveling is a very rewarding experience. Even though the world has so many fascinating places to see, I am a big advocate of exploring our own back yard. Here is a list of 30 cities to visit around the US. They are ranked in no particular order.

Austin

Photo Cred: John R Rogers Photography

Continue reading →

Halfiversary

About six months ago, I picked back up on my blogging and started this baby. I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by! It feels like just yesterday I was in my little dorm room at Regent’s set up The Ways of K while my roommate slept. Now 50-something post and 2500+ views later, here we are. I’ve gone through a world of change in these last six months.

Where it all started

Where it all started

After an intense semester, I have completed college with a B.A. in Communication Studies-Public Relations. I started and ran NinerNation Relations, a student-run PR, which is now successfully transitioned to its new CEO. Managing your peers is a very hard endeavor but it teaches you an enormous amount about yourself and your leadership style.

I finished up at Peak 10 last week. I had an incredible time during my ten month stint. I learned so much about many different sides of PR and marketing. I also gained a new appreciation for the technology sphere. I was fortunate to be able to work full-time and therefore garner a good deal of responsibility. My time as PR and Marketing Coordinator prepared me very well to join the workforce. Continue reading →