just 10 things

  1. WOODSON, TEXAS: I’m from this town of 296, where my dad is the superintendent of the one school, which my brother and I started going to in kindergarten; we both graduated from WHS – and I only had seven people in my class. My mom was my sixth grade teacher and still teaches there – and I teach there now, too. No, we didn’t ride horses to school (I don’t even own a pair of boots.), but yes, I love this safe and comfortable home.
  2. WRITING: I remember asking my parents to buy me a tablet to write stories in when I was so young that some of my peers couldn’t even write complete sentences yet. English was always my favorite class in school, and I created my school’s newspaper and started contributing to my county’s weekly paper. I went on to major in journalism and write for publications like Austin Home, New York Resident and Us Weekly and cover events such as SXSW and New York Fashion Week. See where I’m currently writing via my online portfolio!
  3. AUSTIN, TEXAS: I attended the University of Texas at Austin and can still hardly believe I graduated from such an esteemed school. Though I’m away from ATX right now, I’ll be back, because I love it all: Alamo Drafthouse, Cathedral of Junk, Spiderhouse, Greenbelt, The Domain, Kerby Lane, Toy Joy, SoCo, the Veloway – See a complete list of my faves here😉
  4. MOVIES: I’ve always said my favorites are “A Walk to Remember the Titans”, combining two that I love. My family and I loveee going to the theater (mainly for popcorn and previews, amiright?), and if a movie can freak me out (in a scary or mind-blowing way (like “Predestination”…WaTcH!), I love it even more.
  5. FASHION: I always joked that when I die, I want to be cremated and spread around a mall, because I can’t get enough of new trends, window displays, glossy magazines, fashion blogs, “Project Runway”, fashion boards on Pinterest and buying new accessories/outfits!
  6. TRAVEL: I am used to making 28-hour drives to different states and have visited over half of them – and maybe a third of the baseball parks in the U.S. The only places I’ve visited internationally are Cologne, Germany, and Playa del Carmen, Mexico (loved both…can’t wait to see morrre).
  7. CATS: I’ve probably owned about 75 cats, but right now, my husband and I are happily raising Catalina Crookshanks. I’ve also adopted a polar bear, and penguins = mine and Tommy’s spirit animals. Fourth fave animal = unicorn;)
  8. GLITTER: Everything is better with glitter (just look at this blog title and/or ask Ke$ha;)
  9. LOVE: I really really really do try to show love to all – why wouldn’t you? We’re all stuck on this rock together, so be nice/spread peace! Thankfully, it’s super easy to love my loved, because gawww, they’re amazing…like tooooo good to me.
  10. LIFE: Speaking of being on this rock together, remember that it’s all about balance and perspective and blooming where you’re planted and being the best you can be and breathing and finding your passion/sharing it with others and being you and laughing until you cry!
    • Balance: You will have amazing moments of triumph and happiness, as well as horrible moments of stress and sadness. Through it all, you can eat chocolate when you’re sad and happy and dream about the future while still making the most of the present. Everything in moderation, with your head on straight.
    • Perspective: When those sad moments occur, try try try to find the silver lining. Know that everyone deals with loss. And when you’re overjoyed, know that there’s a time for everything, and even good things must come to an end. ALSO, I say these mantras over and over, but I just decided to change this one to “bird’s-eye view”, so that they all start with “B”!
    • Bloom Where You’re Planted: How many times have I blogged about this? My high school English teacher drilled this into my brain, and now, I have it hung in my house and sneak it into my English lessons. You are where you are. Will you always be there? Probably not – since we’re always in a state of motion, with moves and career changes and marriage and etc. So wherever you are and wherever you end up, do your best in that very place.
      • ALSO, I’ve written a good deal about this state of motion: I used to say that life was all about waiting – We wait in lines and drive-thrus. We wait for our alarms to go off, our coffee to brew…for work to start and then be over…then wait until it’s time for dinner, bed and it all to start again.
      • Recently, however, I’ve been thinking that it’s all about change, too; my bff and I feel like we’re always…well…waiting for the next big thing! As we wait and move forward, we encounter these big life events, such as graduating college, finding a full-time gig, getting married, buying a house and having kids. I guess it isss exciting that there’s always something to look forward to…It just seems like the in-between (the “upside-down” I – and other “Stranger Things” fans – may call it) time is just…there – and this time of limbo just flies by!
      • So enjoy those little moments that do make you laugh until you cry, which can be filled with things as simple as going for a walk, stretching as you get out of bed, cuddling with your cat and this.
    • Be The  Best You Can Be: The Woodson ISD motto is a good one, and it’s simple (So why do we complicate things?): Be the best human you can be. Do your very best at every single thing you do. Period. Yay.

P.S. – Happy six-year dating anniversary to my husband, Thomas Wayne Baze. ❤

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.

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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