A SoCal Summer

Here’s a fun little story: My first job out of college was for this super awesome dude named Joe Mahan.

And last year, Mr. Joseph Edward Mahan obtained his wedding officiant license and married Tommy and I.

And this year, he finally tied the knot himself!

He and Amy are beautiful and perfect, so their wedding, naturally, was as well. She saw Wayfarers Chapel online and selected it as her venue before she even visited it. She stopped into Kleinfeld’s while at a work conference in New York and just happened to find the dream gown minutes before closing time. Close friends and family members traveled to Rancho Palos Verdes to celebrate these two at a beach wedding, complete with a brunch reception and monogrammed copper mugs as party favors.

Since plane tickets are ridiculously expensive, Tommy and I decided to roadtrip to the event! We usually do have our own little vacation at the end of the summer, but we weren’t sure if we’d be able to fit one in this year (since we already had two family vacations this summer and moved)…but this was all meant to be!

I have made the trek to Cali twice before, yet there were still several landmarks/sights that I was dying to see, spots that I have had pinned and bookmarked, places that I now have seen!

Below, I’ve listed them all (some even have links/pics!), and YOU can make the same journey using my fun Mapquest link. Overall, the trip took 44 hours and 36 minutes/2,980 miles (not including the time we spent exploring each of the awesome things listed below!). We were gone six days and came back excited, tired and with money leftover; we lived off of Sonic + protein bars, we shopped around for gas as best as we could (There are apps that can find you the absolute cheapest – but that can be hard in the middle of the desert!), and we found affordable/adorable places to stay (which is why I’m sharing my Air B’n’B link with you!).

ENJOY…….

Austin to Tucson, AZ-12 hours (7/19-6am to 6pm)-stay at Wyndham

always so nice

Tucson to Palm Springs, CA-5 hours (7/20-7am to 12pm)-stay at Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel on Historic Route 66 in San Bernardino, CA

Wigwam Motel on Historic Route 66 in San Bernardino, CA

  • Mud pools of Salton Sea (didn’t see)
  • Ruins of Bombay Beach (saw – sooo creepy/sad/interesting!)

  • Joshua Tree National Park (didn’t really see)
  • #thatpinkdoor
That Famous Pink Door On A Lovely Mid-Century Modern Home In Palm Springs

That Famous Pink Door On A Lovely Mid-Century Modern Home In Palm Springs

  • Coachella (drove by and waved;)
  • Salvation Mountain (amazzzzzinnnnggg!!!)
Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain

  • Mirror House (closed 😦 read about it here…and someone, please visit this for me!)

San Bernardino to LA-1 hour (morning of 7/21)

  • Rancho Cucamonga Service Station on Route 66 (didn’t stop)
  • Cabazon Dinosaurs (so cute:)
Cabazon Dino

Cabazon Dino

  • First In-N-Out (and the university?!)
  • Watt’s Towers (decided to skip)
  • Museum of Ice Cream (sold out, wahhhh!)
  • Disney Concert Hall
Disney Concert Hall in LA

Disney Concert Hall in LA

  • Tomahawk steak at Lock & Key (decided to skip after seeing the price ha)
  • Oldest McDonald’s (which has world’s most-detailed mural on the side of it, depicting Route 66)

  • Rabbit Hole Bar (skipped)
  • The Last Bookstore (could have stayed here forever)
The Last Bookstore in LA

The Last Bookstore in LA

The Last Bookstore in LA

The Last Bookstore in LA

The Last Bookstore in LA

LA to RPV-1 hour (eve of 7/21)-stay at Air B’n’B

  • Wedding at Wayfarers Chapel + exploring the area
Hermosa Beach

adorable Hermosa Beach house

Wayfarers Chapel

Wayfarers Chapel

#mahanmadness

Joe + Amy

#mahanmadness

#mahanmadness

RPV to San Diego-3 hours (noon of 7/22)-stay at Air B’n’B

  • Torrey Pines (beach + hike – no time!)
  • Hotel Del Coronado/outdoor mall (didn’t see)
  • San Diego Zoo (didn’t see)
  • Padres (can kind of say we saw Petco Park amidst Comic Con)
  • Potato chip rock (didn’t see)
  • Wind caves (didn’t see)
  • Legoland (didn’t see)
San Diego to Marfa-13 hours (7/23)-stay at Air B’n’B

  • Saw Prada Marfa and the creepy tethered balloon at night (yikes)
  • Stayed in an old train depot

Marfa to Austin-6 hours (7/24)-home:)
*see pics of this in my next blog!!!*

atx<3

We’re backkkkkkkk!

We’re here!

We ventured off, despite some fear!

We badly missed the city!

We missed all of its pretties!

So we’re back – Let’s all cheer!

For some reason, our move back to Austin brought out the poet in me (see my farewell poem on Instagram), as I have been filled with SO much excitement! I loved the anticipation building up to moving day (even surrounded by numerous cardboard boxes), I fully soaked up the process of arranging our belongings in their new home (and successfully transitioned from a 3/2 house to a 1/1 apartment), and, now, I am gladly filling up every hour of the day with ATX adventures!

Previously, I blogged about the best spots in Austin and my bucket list pertaining to this weird city. And now, I present to you, part tres:

ACTIVITIES WE HAVE ENJOYED HERE SINCE BEING BACK:

  • Canoeing on Lady Bird Lake

fam

  • Mini golf at Peter Pan’s
  • Becoming AMC Stubs Premiere members (not completely ATX-related, but we are HUGE movies fans, and the AMC at the mall has been updated with recliners and alcohol, so, uh, yes, please:)
  • Breakfast at Snooze (since we fell in love in Denver)
  • Eating at Copper Restaurant & Dessert Lounge at The Domain with our besties
  • Movie (“The Mummy” :/) at Alamo Drafthouse
  • Shopping at Barton Creek Square
  • Picture in front of the new “atx” sign at Whole Foods

atx

PLACES WE STILL NEED TO VISIT:

  • The new Toy Joy
  • Top Golf
  • Eberly
  • Maze Rooms
  • David Foster Wallace exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center
  • MYLO Obstacle Fitness
  • Blue Cat Cafe
  • Justine’s Brassiere
  • Ai Weiwei “Forever Bicycles” sculpture
  • Hotel San Jose
  • Sugar Mama’s Bakery
  • Hippie Hollow
  • Franklin’s Barbecue
  • Dart Bowl
  • Odd Duck
  • Culinary Dropout
  • A Tiny Tails To You Hoppy Hour
  • Southern Hippie

AND SOME OF OUR FAVE SPOTS THAT WE’RE READY TO VISIT AGAIN:

  • Satellite Bistro & Bar (best. bread. pudding)
  • Uchi
  • Blenders and Bowls
  • Craftsman (prosecco on tap ftw)
  • Tiff’s Treats
  • (I’m sure there are more, but I just have foodz on the brainz;)

We are so blessed (for multiple reasons), as we are in this fun little limbo right now; my husband, Tommy, and I just finished teaching in May (He fell in love with it after we moved to a small city so I could teach, and I realized it wasn’t for me.). He got his dream teaching job here and doesn’t start for another few weeks, and I am transitioning back into full-time freelance work. While I have enough tasks to keep me busy for at least a 40-hour work week, I admittedly am fitting in tweets, blogs, office meetings and coffee dates AROUND my fun time (and gym time, since we have one-hour workouts four days a week, and life in general, as I need my sleep, Netflix, home and cuddle-with-Cat time). It’s a cool time, and there is nothing like an Austin summer…except for maybe a SoCal summer…but stay tuned for more on that later…;)

Austin Bucket List (&then some;)

This started as a checklist for my Austin Bucket List, but then I kept remembering other awesome stuff I’ve done elsewhere! Therefore, I’ve broken down my life, giving you the adventurous highlights AND all the cool stuff I’ve done in the 512…

1990-1999:
First steps, words, day of school and lost teeth (and busted out teeth and fake teeth, due to a spill on the gym floor, since, even at a young age, you couldn’t keep me away from a basketball!)
Nearish-death #1 (man tried to break in and kidnap me as a child)
Austin:
First trip to ATX
Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 3.44.44 PM
2000-2005:
First junior high basketball game (in which our team received a technical for having six girls on the court)
Went to NYC
Broke the Red Sox Curse (by visiting Fenway for the first time)
Disney World + Orlando trip
2006-2007:
First kiss/boyfriend
Went to Germany (where I met my current bf!)
2008:
Nearish-death #2 (caught in a Gulf riptide and thrown into rocks multiple times)
2009:
Got first car (Bevo Squarepants)
Graduated from high school
Austin:
Got first tattoo
First college parties, classes and dorm
cb1da7f7113516713a5815cf4282861d
2010-2014:
Went to Hawaii
First couple roadtrip
Covered NYFW
Graduated college
Spent Christmas in New York City
Austin:
Knocked the following off my ATX Bucket List: Alamo Drafthouse, Violet Crowne, fly a kite at Zilker Park, Trail of Lights, shop/eat on SoCo, Peter Pan Mini Golf and hike/bike/kayak/Sup on/at Mt. Bonnell/Lady Bird Lake/Veloway
2015:
Started my own business
Nearish-deaths #3 and #4 (stalked in NYC; had to talk to cops about someone trying to break into my car…while I was in it)
First friend engaged (Congrats, Kirstie & Jordan!)
Austin:
Did SXSW (I’d been involved before, but having a platinum badge from Us Weekly, interviewing celebs like Ryan Gosling, going to panels and parties…This year was different;)
My parting words? The things remaining on my to-do list!

In Austin:

Hippie Hollow
Pinballz
Hamilton Pool
Jacob’s Well
Esther’s Follies
Capital Comedy Club
In Life:
See all of Europe
See the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and Mount Rushmore
Have my dream wedding
Reproduce
Publish a book
What’s on your to-do list??

How to do SXSW

South by Southwest was first held in March 1987, with an expected 150 attendees. Over 700 came, though, and nearly three decades later, the event has grown into a music-business-film haven, with over 70,000 people attending each year.

sxsw2012final06 extreme air shots

What’s so great about it, you ask?

First off, there are celebrities:

Fred Armisen began his comic career with the short film Fred Armisen’s Guide to Music and SXSW, released in 1998.

James Blunt was discovered here while playing a small show at the 2004 SXSW Music festival.

And celebs such as Lady Gaga, Mike Tyson, Grumpy Cat, Selena Gomez and Andy Cohen flock here during March.

ian-somerhalder-grumpy-cat-900-600

There are also connections:

Hundreds of vendors and companies and CEOs are involved in the festival these days, meaning you can witness the launch of big-name brands (like [maybe] Twitter in 2007 and Foursquare in 2009), meet up with dream employers (like Nina Garcia) and hear from some of the smartest people in your industry.

Furthermore…

It’s a convergence of so many creative ideas, combined with fun marketing stunts (often involving yummy food or free swag), live music, an increase in our amazing city’s economy ($218M impact in 2013) and a great deal of knowledge (because even if you don’t buy a badge, you’ll learn something – more on that later).

So, if you’re interested in going, here’s what you need to know.

#1: Get a hotel. Downtown. Early. These babies fill up quickly, so book a room months in advance, and opt for one close to the Convention Center. Austin really isn’t that big (compared to our neighbors, Houston and Dallas), so it’ll be easy to navigate around downtown, to on- and off-site events – IF you have a hotel down there.

Even if you’re an Austinite, you should still cough up the extra cash for a room, as parking is a nightmare. Yay to slumberparties with close friends and not-as-close colleagues!

#2: Use Uber, pedicabs and your feet. Now, if you do have to meet someone at a restaurant further north or want to explore SoCo (South Congress = funky shops, bats and a great view of the Capitol), which is further south, try out one of our fun alternatives to cabs.

This is a fit city, and if you’re wearing comfy shoes, walking is definitely my top suggestion!

#3: Bring the necessities. You’ll be out and about allll day, so bring your phone charger, a water bottle, some snacks/bars to hold you over and your business cards. That’s really all you need; there are charging stations/water fountains everywhere, and you should hand your cards out to literally everyone you meet – After sending out follow-up emails a few weeks later, you never know who could turn into a client/partner/friend.

#4: Dress accordingly. ATX is amazing in the spring, and since you’ll be walking/surrounded by people, you should dress for warm weather. Since it IS a festival and a hippie town, you can get away with some Coachella-inspired pieces, but it IS also a networking event, so we don’t need flip-flops or bra straps.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 3.34.43 PMpic2Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 3.36.29 PM

(This fur-over-dress lookskirt with festival-inspired twists and dressed-up fringe are a few examples from my closet.)

#5: Don’t buy a badge. This final piece of advice may surprise you, but I’m sticking with it. Badges are expensive, and unless you’re actually working towards being the next Zuckerberg, realllly into unknown films or a total music person, then I wouldn’t get one. There are SO many free things to attend, and just walking around downtown will lead you to spot celebs, stumble upon surprise concerts, hear some inspirational talks, soak up the culture and get a load of free goodies.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 3.24.52 PM

If you have some spare time to explore the city (you won’t – but still), check out my list of top local attractions!

New Year, New Jam

Alright folks, here it is – my obligatory New Year Resolutions post. I already had a pretty reflective post last month, so my entire plan, for all of 2015, can be summed up with this:

Capture

If you follow me elsewhere, you’ve probably seen these images as my Facebook cover photo or hanging around on my Twitter account – because I just love them! Besides being pink and pretty, these two simple images show that we all mess up (even if you’re a grammar Nazi) and that in the midst of that – in the midst of everything – we must bloom, wherever we’re planted, to keep becoming the people we’re on this little rock to be, for the short time we’re here.

NOW, if you’re still deciding on your New Year Resolutions, I’m going to throw some ideas out there – that will not only help you but also support the awesome brands listed below…

If you’re looking for a new job/career path in 2015…

Turn to SandCrate for advice on everything from keeping creativity flowing and how to get through a to-do list to more industry-specific details on finances, social media and more!

Did you forget to do a good deed during the holiday season? It’s not too late (and it’s always a good time)…

Help heal abused children and horses through Therapy Works, an Austin-based ranch that works hard to give back. (You can volunteer time or money, if you’re not in ATX yourself:)

Maybe you want to spruce up your wardrobe this year…

Nadine West will send you quality clothes and accessories. For free. Right to your door. Every month. And it really is that easy!

If you are making a promise to be healthier in 2015, I’ve got you covered…

Whether you suffer from allergies/other sinus issues or just want to maintain wellness, Bloom Herbal Organics has an herbal tincture (drop of liquid you swallow, either alone or in whatever you’re drinking;) for you. These products are all gluten-free, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, USDA-certified organic, affordable – and come in pretty bottles!

Some people just need to start the New Year off on a nice, calm, awesome note, and in that case…

You need a massage from Amity Green Room! Even if you don’t live here, I suggest getting here just to try this place. The most affordable rub out there, plus given by super nice dudes who use years of experience to deliver aromatherapy and other high-level services.

For those of you who are lost on this resolution thing- but know you love food and doing good…

Bullritos is your answer. This tex-mex restaurant serves up yummy food AND loves supporting schools needing new textbooks, churches preparing for mission trips and organizations looking to raise funds, all through its charitabull program (something I think everyone in the world should use, to earn money while eating!).

If you will be moving in 2015…

Austin Conveyance is an eco- and family-friendly moving company that uses cool recyclable boxes and truly puts you first in your move. Plus, the husband/wife duo set up shop in a funky downtown ATX office!

Last but not least, if you went to Woodson I.S.D. and are still feeling that holiday cheer…

You should totally give back to your hometown through the Woodson Exes Committee. Even if my parents didn’t still work there, I would still send a little here and there, because this place helped shape us, and without them – no Homecoming activities…and that small-town fun HAS to continue!

Hope you had a very merry Christmas, and yay to a whole new year!

Architecturally Adorable: Out & About in ATX

Here’s what this post proves:

a. Rain or shine, the show must go on (though, admittedly, you would have received better and more pics if one of our last days have summer hadn’t been dampened by rain!)

b. You don’t need designer brands to look trendy (all the below items were below $50, and most aren’t even relevant enough to have live links up anymore – but I love them all!)

c. Accessories are fab (and I obviously have too many to even give full details on!)

d. Austin, Texas – You are a beautiful city (so readers, let me know when you come visit!)

Zilker Park Look

fall1

Top: Laurence Kazar (This vintage white beaded blouse – the only vintage item I own – looks like it could have been the top of a mother-of-the-bride ensemble, but for me, it serves as the perfect Coachella-inspired crop.) – Shorts: Tommy Hilfiger  Clutch: Nicole Miller (It’s actually being sold on eBay as we speak;)

Graffiti Park Look

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Top: Peach Love Cream (Now Peach Love California, this brand had it right with this open-back top – love!) – Ring: Forever 21 (Unfortunately, this black and white chevron ring is no longer in stock – but let me know if you find a different seller!) – Bandeau: Aeropostale (Similar ones can be found here.)

All in the Details

fall4

Ring: Charming Charlie – Cuff: Forever 21 (Love this similar – and more luxe! version at ShopBop) – Top: Forever 21

Thanks for reading, and remember to follow me at britho10 (on Twitter & Instagram) for even more!

 

These are a few of my favorite SPOTS IN AUSTIN!

It’s finally warming up a bit (not that our winters even get that cold), which means us Austinites can officially enjoy the outdoors again! If you live in this great capital city, you sort of have to become an outdoor person, because so much of what the city offers is surrounded by our rolling hills, great bodies of water and strong oaks.

Whether you come to Austin to enjoy nature or not (We still have SO much!), you should definitely check out…

  1. Alamo Drafthouse – Everyone loves going to the movies, but going to a place with strange music from the 80s, quote-alongs with the best classics, a full menu (with alcohol and desserts – great cookies and Pecan Porter shakes btw) and quirky made-for-the-Drafthouse previews is an unforgettable experience.
  2. Bob Bullock Museum – Don’t tell me that walking through exhibits of things that happened before your grandparents were even born bores you, because this place is legit. You can learn tons about our awesome state, while being surrounded by larger-than-life artifacts, such as the original Texas Lady Liberty (foreals…you have to see the honker on her!). And they’re free on Sunday!
  3. Cathedral of Junk – Guys, this is one of my favorite locations in the ENTIRE world. Some genius guy started piling up old tires, tossed-out Barbes, broken bottles and abandoned shopping carts and now has a three-story Austin-style Wonderland in his backyard…It’s beautiful. DSCF4510
  4. The Children’s Museum – If you don’t have kids, find one to babysit, because it’s actually really fun here! They have lots of different educational and interactive rooms, including this super neat train.
  5. Conan’s – The best pizza in town (deep dish wheat crust, yesss).
  6. The Domain – How lucky that I get to gaze upon this upscale shopping center from my office?! For department stores, great designer shops and some swanky restaurants (try the rastini at Jasper’s), this is your place.
  7. Greenbelt – Austin’s best hidden treasure equals private swimming holes, tucked away in jungle-esque trees, surrounded by chill people and secluded hiking trails! austin-green-belt
  8. Kerby Lane – My go-to eatery is open 24/7, has a GF menu, offers the besttt queso and always has amazing dessert and pancake specials.
  9. Krause Springs – Yes, Barton is a nice natural swimming pool, but this place is better and worth the drive.
  10. Sno Beach – Imagine ice cream plus snow cones but even more awesome, and that’s what these little stands offer, in flavors like coffee, dill pickle or – yum – blue coconut with extra cream.
  11. Spiderhouse – This may be my fave spot in town, and my gf and I always end up there for grilled pb&bacon sandwiches, cheap drinks and a fun outdoor atmosphere filled with dogs, mismatched chairs and antique chandeliers.images
  12. Texas Memorial Museum – I love taking babysittees here, because dino bones are fun anddd educational! Plus, it’s on UT’s campus.
  13. Toy Joy – No matter your age, you’ll find joy at this novelty shop, which is like a Christmas tree disco ball inside, complete with Barbie light fixtures.
  14. Uncommon Objects – Another fab store, this antique one is on SoCo and is full of crazy treasures, like stuffed antelopes and giant murals of reproductive systems.SONY DSC
  15. Veloway – If the trails around Lady Bird Lake are too crowded, cycle on this paved track that is pretty muchly the F1 location for bikes.;)