Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hi Blogger!

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For a long time I've been looking to consolidate my blogs. I started out using TypePad and then eventually moved to Posterous once I got a smartphone. After I realized that Posterous wouldn't let me migrate my TypePad content, I realized it was time to go because my online world needed to be complete. Enter Blogger. I've been thinking about Blogger and Wordpress for a while. It seemed to make sense because it would be connected with my Gmail account and I would hopefully end up finally having a bit more online consolidation (I just don't want to have to manage another account). 

The move to Blogger has been a blessing and curse. A curse because I've had to do a lot more manual editing than I thought necessary and a blessing because it forced me to go through a lot of my archives. I've found some gems as I've gone through old posts and I'm glad that I have this open love letter to my life. I've been writing it for 5 years.



One surprising thing was that I had written not one, but two posts about how I needed to move to San Francisco. These were written in 2009. When I was considering my move to Google, I wasn't even thinking about moving my physical location. I was looking to stay in the Austin area but changing companies. It's amazing how much I was moving towards a goal I must have had inside of me that I wasn't even ready to commit to. A goal that I had pushed to the back burner (because of fear? stability? complacency?).

Many of my posts are during my two years abroad in France. When I read through and see the girl who was scared/brave, I understand that I pull from a well of strength that gets me through tough decisions and hard times. Sometimes I do things and I don't even realize that they would be hard for other people, I do them because I need to, because something inside of me drives me to "Go, go, go!". I've had amazing experiences because of that drive and I'm really glad that I've documented it along the way.

Reading through my old posts made me realize how honest I was about things that were hard during those years. I've really missed blogging as an outlet to talk to myself about triumphs, failures and fears. I've been reading a lot of weight loss, fashion and DIY blogs. Lately, I've been interested in having better life habits. I've been making little changes in my life that will hopefully snowball into something bigger.  In fact, I don't plan on on waiting for it to snowball, I plan on pushing myself down the hill.

So come along, friends, family, and strangers, let's do this together.
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rainy days with Sunday!

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Forecast is rain all week. We are prepared!




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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thin Places

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I remember first going to Fourvière when I moved to Lyon. It was the type of place you walked into and felt immediately quieted. I never knew why I felt that sense of peace and awe, but I feel that the term "thin space" describes it exactly.

The idea of a place being the the veil between Heaven and Earth makes me infinitely happy. Indeed, I feel that I have been searching for those places all my life. When I leave my quotidien, I'm looking for a sign of relief, a glimpse of clarity, and a chance to evaluate how I've been living. A thin space is exactly the location that soothes, revitalizes and comforts. I also love the poetry behind thin places being everywhere in between the shelves of an old bookstore, a favorite bar, or park.

That these places exist and people recognize them continues to inspire and amaze me. It makes me feel closer to heaven just thinking about it.
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Eating in Austin for SXSW!

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Austin has a fun and playful group of restaurants. The amount of delicious tex-mex that you can eat in this city is unreal. Below are a few of my favorite places!



Eats 
Taco Deli - If I had to pick one place to tell you all to go to in Austin it would be Taco Deli. Of course, people will try to convince you that Torchy's is the way to go, but I wholeheartedly disagree. This is a breakfast taco heaven. For meat eaters, I would recommend the Cowboy or a sirloin and egg. For vegetarians, a bean and cheese, Heather or Papa Dulce. 

G'Raj Mahal - Want to have a magical Indian food experience? Look no further. This trailer turned tent restaurant is a really fun BYOB spot. It is located in the Rainey street bar district just minutes from the convention center. I label this as a must visit!

Frank! - Featured in what I think is one of the cutest Chrome ads  (better than baby Sophie!) this mom and pop shop has all kinds of delicious hotdogs (vegan & meat) and an amazing assortment of Texas beers! I reccommend trying the bloody mary! You won't be sorry! 

24 Diner - If you don't try their waffles, you will be missing out! They are really delicious and can even come with fried chicken! What southern adventure wouldn't be complete without fried chicken? 

Hopdoddy - Located on South Congress this is a very popular place. Their selection and creativity with burgers makes Austinites swoon! I'm a big fan of the Janis Joplin, but then again, that is the only vegetarian option! I would also recommend grabbing a shake as they churn their ice cream in house! 

Home Slice - The best place to grab a slice of pizza in Austin. I love their margarita. You can also order a pie to go. It is located on South Congress and is a fun place to sit and people watch. 

Bouldin Creek Cafe - The first thing to know about Bouldin Creek cafe is that it isn't just a restaurant. It's a scene. Austin's groggy hipsters wake up and don their hipster Sunday best to grab coffee and breakfast. I would grab the El Tipico. Feeling more adventurous? Grab the vegan eggs benedict! The tofu scramble is amazing and definitely worth trying. Their ice coffee is my favorite in all of Austin.

Sugar Mama's - Gourmet cupcakes in a very cute store. Located directly across the street from Boulin and definitely worth visiting. They use top ingredients and have a rotation of flavors each day. I recommend the James Brown, Frida or Southern Belle. 

Kerby Lane - Are you awake at 3 am? Well during SXSW, you probably will be. There are 5 locations of this Austin staple serving breakfast delights all day. The pancakes are legendary and delicious as are the migas and queso! They even have a vegan menu! Oh, Austin! 

Casa de Luz - Feeling like you might need a bit of respite from the SXSW churn? Come to this hippie oasis where you will be served a macrobiotic plate that changes daily. Check their website to see what they are serving. If they have chalupas on the menu, hurry on over because they are not to be missed. 

La Condesa - Located downtown on 2nd street, this is the classiest Mexican restaurant in Austin. The food is an interior Mexican menu and amazingly delicious. You can even find crickets on the menu from time to time, which reminds me of adventures in Oaxaca. They have a tequila bar upstairs that is definitely worth visiting and has beautiful hanging gardens and a very cool layout. 

Koriente - Healthy Korean food? In Austin, this happens! Located very near all of the SXSW bonanza, you should definitely check this out. Their iced coffee and bubble tea is great, but I would definitely head over for lunch and get your Korean fix! I like the mixmix, and definitely recommend the hummus rolls. 

Whole Foods on Lamar - Welcome to Austin's foodie playground. This is the flagship Whole Foods and is where they experiment with different promotions and products. I like doing champagne flights in their back bar section. It is also an amazing place to grab lunch because of their huge salad bar and hot food section. You should go to check it out. It is a Whole Foods like no other.  

Bars
Spending less time on bars since there are just so many parties during SXSW! But below are a few of my favorites!

Lustre Pearl/Clive Bar - these two bars are right next to the G'Raj Mahal. I suggest making a night of it! You can even order your Indian food over to Clive bar and they will walk it over. Clive has a great patio and a bunch of delicious drinks.

Rio Rita's - another great place to grab a Bloody Mary. This is located on the east side of Austin on sixth street. An area of town that will have tons of bands playing each night.

The Highball  - Want a 20's style adventure? This gem has antique bowling fixtures and deliciously fun cocktails. But the best part of the Highball is located in the back. KARAOKE! They have several themed rooms and even an iPhone app for you to look through their song selections. This is Austin at its best!

Contingo - Slightly more out of the way of the SXSW. This is a newish bar lounge that has amazing drinks, and an awesome atmosphere. The bar is set up to be an indoor/outdoor space and so it makes the whole area feel much larger. Their bar food is amazing. Fancy grilled cheeses on homemade brioche, ox tongue sliders and much more!

A note on beers: while you are in Austin, you should be drinking Texas beers! Shiner Bock and Lone Star are staples and should be treated with the reverence they are due. Lone Star is the equivalent of a PBR, but it has its place in all Texan hearts.  I personally love whatever St. Arnold's seasonal is out there and would highly recommend the Independence Bootlegger Brown or just their seasonal. Want something lighter? Grab a Fireman's Four or a Live Oak Hefeweizen. Austin is all about local.

A note on water: When in Texas and especially in Austin, you should drink Topo Chico to your heart's content. It is wonderfully bubbly water that has the perfect amount of snap!

Looking for more recommendations? I recommend everything that my friend Dutchie has listed
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bright colors and cute animals for my walls!

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No, I haven't taken up taxidermy. But I do want to cover my walls with these dioramas! They make me smile just looking at them! Now to choose which one (or 4) to buy!


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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Howl at the firetruck?

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Sunday's wolf instincts are a little off. Instead of howling at the moon, at the approach of a firetruck she stands rigid, tilts her head up and belts out a mournful cry.
Firetrucks are first responders in SF. This means we have a lot of howling going on. 
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Friday, February 10, 2012

Moments of beauty

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Is there something simple that sticks out to you as beautiful? i get really excited when the baristas make a flower or heart in my latte! It adds an extra skip to my step in the morning.

poppies



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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Visualizing a year differently - the 2011 Annual Report by Warby Parker!

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It is always fun seeing a company have fun with data. I like the way they've mixed fun data with serious and given a good nod to their company culture. A great company with great products that I personally love! If you need glasses, don't want to spend a ton (but still want to look fashionable) I suggest taking a look. You'll do some good at the same time! ps. I love that they've emphasized that they are totally "Macs".




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Friday, January 20, 2012

Officially going on my life list: Harbin International Ice and SnowFestival

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The magic of ice and snow at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival 2012. This makes me think of something that should exist in a fantasy novel. The color, the cold, and the charm of it all wrapped together makes me need to experience this event.



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