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:


  • Canoeing on Lady Bird Lake


  • 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



  • 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


  • 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…;)

If your New Year Resolution is to get more organized…

…I’m here to help!

I’m the kid who had her Barbie accessories separated into distinct Ziploc baggies…the student who straightened her teachers’ desks…the daughter who loved to help her mom put the groceries away (in nice, neat rows) and help her dad file bills and paperwork (in his many filing cabinets)…and a girl who just really loves organization!

My habits border the OCD line, but they help me stay sane, clean, punctual and efficient.

For my 21st birthday, I asked for a filing cabinet of my own, and now, each drawer has a purposeful use, and its insides are even whittled down to (for example) folders for cards from friends, that I received on my birthday, that had to do with graduation, etc.


My clothes are hung by color and style, and even my junkiest closet has separate boxes for electrical supplies, decorations I’m not using, craft items and so on.


You may think I’m crazy, but I challenge you to add some structure to your life!

Reasons why you should…

  • Knock on wood, I don’t know if I’ve ever lost anything.
  • My house is inviting, with everything in its place and a place for everything.
  • I’m always super early to where I’m going – and a lot of this is due to the fact that I’m not fumbling around in the closet, searching for my keys, etc.
  • There are only 24 hours in a day, and if your kid knows where he/she should leave forms for you to sign (Create a homework/parent portal!), if your spouse can easily access his/her golf clubs (Make a sports rack inside the garage door!), if you yourself can easily see what groceries to buy, what library books to return and what events you need to attend this weekend (I love organization stations!) – your life will be a happier and smoother thing!


…and my tips for how to begin…

  • Start small: I want you to stop reading, go to your bathroom or kitchen, and choose one drawer or cabinet. First, throw away everything that is expired or unused. While all these items are out, go ahead and clean the space, too (toothpaste gunk and spilled spices shouldn’t be forming a gross layer here). Next, set it all back in nice and neat (maybe you even want to alphabetize or stack from tallest to shortest). Not too hard, right?! Once you’ve got an area under control, you can move on to pesky closets and overwhelming garages.
  • Elastic, cardboard boxes, egg cartons…: All these household items are your friends! Yes, The Container Store is amazing – but during your cleaning process, you will find up-cycled containers; you can store earrings in that egg carton, wrap elastic around spare cords and use a pretty box you haven’t been utilizing to hold spices or hair products.
  • Expect to expand: Suddenly, you can find things! You’ve even discovered things you forgot you owned! You start arriving to work early, since you easily found your other shoe! Organization has the tendency to pour over into all areas of life, so I expect you to share photos of your clean cars and tidy cubicles! (I’m just finishing up my first semester of  teaching, so continue reading to see how organization has helped me survive here:)


From using labeled clothespins to hold graded papers together to labeling file folders for forms, substitute info and future quizzes, I stay orderly in the classroom, avoiding piles of paper and the stress of unsuccessfully keeping track of things.

My room has a clean and structured feel, but it’s still pretty and inviting – which I feel promotes learning.

Furthermore, thanks to our digital age and Woodson I.S.D.’s technology grant, I am able to quickly locate essays through Google Drive, send out reminders via email and show reviews on my projection board; all my computer’s files are sorted by tests, slideshows and so on, and I even keep written documentation of why we’ve covered what we’ve covered and how I modified lessons for, say, kids who were absent or GT students.

Tap Your Heels Together


Every time I visit home (which I’m about to do again, for Homecoming2014), I’m filled with every emotion imaginable, as my head races down memory lane, while still caught up in the goodness of my current state.

As animals, we have anchors tied to certain places, so whether home to you is where you live now, where you grew up, your best friend’s house, a tree house or your office cubicle, it’s still that place where your heart rests and where heart swells.

Of course, I believe my home(s) are the best, filled with my loved ones, my hand-picked decor, my comfort and my memories.

To paint a picture of where I’m coming from, imagine living in a fun and active city, where hiking trails, unique bars/restaurants and exuberant festivals fill my time and space. When I need to escape, though, I head back to my hometown, where less than 300 people reside, surrounded only by blue skies and open fields – not skyscrapers, traffic lights or honking cabs/buses.

That alone sounds nice, right? It’s awesome that I get to enjoy the best of both worlds (like Sex & the City and Andy Griffith), but it goes so much deeper…


My story began in Woodson, Texas, meaning that even though I’ve gone on to attend UT and cover NYFW and even though my K-12 years are short compared to the rest of my life, with kids and careers, it shaped me.

The most people I ever sat in a classroom with – 13 – yet I went on to sit with 250 kids in my first college class.

The shortest distance I had to travel just to buy milk and eggs – 20 miles – yet I went on trips to Boston, LA, Orlando and Germany.

The amount of people I had to choose from in the boyfriend/best friend arenas – not many – yet I’m still friends with people I met when I was one and keep up with all of my exes, since I’ve known them about that long, too!


I love that I live in Austin now and am using my journalism degree and adopted a cat and can walk/bike to parks, grocery stores, malls and food trucks. And I love having people over to my apartment I work hard for, to create new memories with friends and laughter and family and love.

When I scan my brain for times full of those four things, I do think of Woodson, too…driving the drag with friends – even though we didn’t have licenses yet – with the music blaring and the windows down…playing games and watching home videos with my family in the living room where first words were spoken and first steps were taken…


The moral of this story is that life is kind of cool, and I’m SO thankful for every moment, basketball game, tear, kiss, vacation (thank YOU:)…This is all short and doesn’t matter in the big picture, oddly/sadly/truthfully, but in our own little worlds, it’s fun to see where we came from, where we’re going and where we call HOM<3.




manly monday: let’s get physical (again. finally.)

MYTH: I date a trainer, so I’m working out all the time.

TRUTH: Sadly, I think he’s given up on me. He is dedicated, at the gym all the time, while I…haven’t been…in a bit…and LOVE desserts.

MYTH: I’m tall, so I have a body like a model.

TRUTH: Yes, I AM thankful for a long figure, but everyone has problem areas, and I’m not thankful that my fat gathers around my hips.

MYTH: Since I’m not in an office 9-5, I have all the time in the world to workout.

TRUTH: Okay, fine; this is half-true, and I’m already regretting NOT making the most of the free-ish time I’ve had since graduating college.


I’ve put together a ease-back-into regimen, one that will keep it varied (for fun), work different things (for max muscle use) and lead into longer/harder/more what I’m used to sessions!

I actually started this a few days ago, to make it a 25-day countdown until I leave for New York Fashion Week, but picking anytime to move/work anything, anywhere will count and help you out!

    • (thanks to Ben Greenfield, host of the Get-Fit Guy podcast and to be repeated three times)
    • 50 jumping jacks
    • 15 body weight squats
    • 15 push-ups
    • 15 lunges per side
    • 15 dips
  1. rows and abs and plies
  2. Dreya rolls and quick feet and push-ups
  3. kickboxing
  4. sidekicks and over-head press
  5. abs and jumps
  6. (from celeb instructor Kristen McGee) Do 10 sun salutations, 5 Surya Namaskara A, five Surya Namaskara B
  7. mountain climbers and burpees
  8. rows and push-ups and plies
  9. squats and over-head press
  10. back kicks and abs
  11. yoga day
  12. mountain climbers and Dreya rolls
  13. heismans and curls and quick feet
    • (yay Peak Performance’s Joe Dowdell and yay for doing this three times)
    • 10-12 DB Goblet Squats
    • AMRAP (“As Many Reps As Possible”) Push Ups
    • 10-12 Romanian DB Deadlifts
    • 10-12 Chin Ups (band assisted if necessary)
    • 10-12 Standing DB Push Press
    • 30 second Prone Plank
  15. kickboxing
  16. walking lunges with shoulder press
  17. yoga day
  18. burpees and romanian deadlift
  19. squats and rows
  20. single-leg curls and abs
  21. romanian deadlift and curls
  22. jumps and push-ups
  23. yoga day
  24. fly to nyc…lug your luggage…hail a cab…find your place to stay…cover fashion shows…MY KIND OF WORKOUT;)

Hopefully this has inspired you to get up off’a that thing, even if it is to do lunges on your way to the fridge, ha.

You can also check out this neat piece, with 15 workout tips (like consistency and the buddy system)!


manly monday discusses all things dude-ish-like