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Where to begin?

It still feels unreal, and here’s my forewarning to you: it might get sappy. 

TL;DR: I got offered a pretty perfect position, and I’M STOKED. And I will be returning to Austin, TX…sometime.

LONG READ: Fall 2014. I’m feeling a little mopey, but I’m searching for jobs on full blast. I have an extensive Excel sheet to prove it (thank you Jaime for inspiring that). My Excel sheet had everything: company name, contact info, what industry, when I’ve contacted them, links and status. Down the list, you would see a company called Manes & Co. I found them through ACL. Yes, that’s right, Austin City Limits Music Festival. I had been Twitter stalking, and found the agency because I discovered that one of their clients was one of my favorite brands: Cuvée Coffee.

An email was sent out of curiosity, and I wasn’t expecting anything back…but I received a response from the Mane guy himself. Pro Tip: People will tell you that submitting emails to “info@companyname.com” or submitting a form is futile, but let me tell you- I’ve gotten a job offer/agency tour/contacts from submitting a form. Not all hope should be lost. 

Anyhoo, emails were exchanged, questions were answered, but unfortunately they were not hiring at the time. I was bummed, but the overarching theme: not all hope should be lost. He let me know that 2-3 months down the road, I would have a shot. Excited for the possibility, but continued on my search. If you’ve been keeping up, I’ve experienced a few jobs since then and now.

*Fast forward to July 2015*

Scrolling through my Twitter Feed, as I do, a job posting caught my eye. It was from Manes & Co. Here it was, that shot. It was a long shot, but it was a shot nonetheless. And I kid you not, as I was drafting my email to Manes, the Mane man emailed me. A few revisions to my resume and several drafts of emails later- *airplane e-mail noise.* A phone interview was scheduled and a talk later- I was offered a job.

I was offered THE job.  

I would get the opportunity to represent one of my favorite brands, be a part of building another one and be a Mane team member. (I am already obsessed with making this my Mane pun. Now, I finally understand why people make puns out of my name.) What a feeling. To not only be offered a [pretty perfect job], with an ideal situation, and for your soon-to-be-but-now-is boss to be so confident in you and your abilities.

It’s nice.

For a couple of weeks, I was feeling static, professionally. I love what I do, but I didn’t know where I was going…and I was wondering if I was going anywhere at all. A part of it was feeling directionless, but a part of it was the lack of motivation to pick up a map. You know? But I was 100% aware that no one was going to give me that map, I had to go and direct myself. Hope is not lost, but it’s if you keep that door open, if you keep going toward it, if you still want it. (Whatever “it” is.)

And while some people may believe that this job fell into my lap, I assure you it did not. Feels like it, sometimes…but no job ever does. Nothing ever falls into your lap, but maybe if you knock something over while sitting. *knee slap* (No one? Ok.) So, yes, I will be making my way back to the city of music, the city of breakfast tacos, the city of every festival, the city of ESK, Pieous, ABW and of course, Cuvée Coffee (and Tecovas Boots!). Sooner than I expected, but not too soon! I’m still slinging coffee, so come visit me sometime Houston friends.

What’s the title of this blog post again? Oh yes, not all hope should be lost.

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My daily drive home. It's actually terrible.

My daily drive home. It’s actually terrible.

Today marks the last day of January, and uhh…where did the month go? On my ’24 things I want to do before I turn 24′ list, I said I would write 2 blog posts per month and I thought to myself, “Oh yeah, very doable. I write content on a daily basis.” Sike. It’s the end of the month and I’ve written one blog post, and that one was a given considering I write a “birthday post” every year. As I frantically type to make my quota for the month, let me see if I can provide some purpose…

This month has been a whirlwind. There are days that I vividly remember due to the severity of the situation; and there are other days where I’m at a lost.

Work has been a major learning curve and adjustment for me, to say the least. When I say “due to severity,” I meant that in the sense that I have been having major anxiety issues at work. So much anxiety that it has poured into my personal life. I won’t go too much into it, but I’m learning, trying, and adjusting. First job problems, right? On a lighter note, the company I work for moved into a new, larger office space and I’m super stoked. Maybe the level of my anxiety will balance because we have more space and a patio, let’s feel optimistic (because I’ve seemed to have lost some of that too..)!

Going back to Austin (twice) was a blessing and a curse. It’s like putting salt on a wound. It’s like seeing an ex that you’re still not over. It’s like finally finding French Toast Crunch to learn that General Mills will be discontinuing it yet again (don’t worry, this has not happened..). I’m trying to convey the pain, frustration, and sadness I feel toward not being in Austin. …It’s pretty bad. To my friends and colleagues who still reside there, relish in it…and never leave if you don’t have to. Also, thank you for housing me when I visit, I owe you loads of tacos.

Why do Austin skies always look like Bob Ross painted them?

Why do Austin skies always look like Bob Ross painted them?

So basically that’s it. Work, Austin, and then work again. Everyone has their escape right? Mine happens to be my second home, best city in the world, Austin, TX. The feels are real, you guys.

James Terrell vibes in ATX

James Turrell Skyspace vibes in ATX

So I haven’t been writing, and I have a very good reason (that is actually a terrible reason): I’ve been working. And while it hasn’t been that long since I’ve started working, I’ve felt creatively exhausted and so I haven’t felt compelled to blog. Again, excuses. But don’t you feel this way sometimes? I get all of the articles that have “X Ways To Stay Creative.” I get it now.

Anyway, it was brought to my attention that I’m the hippie dippie girl at work and recently, someone told me that I was brainwashed in Austin.

“HMMMMMMMM,” I thought to myself.

I didn’t think very long, because it’s true. Austin, Texas brainwashed me, and even though I no longer live there, the Austin state of mind has stayed.

  • Is it bike-able?
  • Music (aka SXSW) is ingrained in my music search.
  • Coffee should obvious be roasted by Cuveé. I have coffee issues.
  • Food should be local. “Where’s the closest farmers market to me?” is a question/mission I’ve given myself to answer.
  • It’s been a hard adjustment to the “no sneaker” rule. Woof.
  • Beer? Bring it on, but is it Austin Beer Works? Live Oak?
  • In football, there’s only one team: the longhorns. And no matter how they do, I will still root for my team.
  • Last, but not least: will I ever find anything comparable to Town Lake? (My answer is no.)

So frequently, my coworker friend calls me a “weirdo,” and while it’s a part of her “Name Repertoire,” I’ve been notoriously called “weird” before I knew what that word meant. It must be a sign that since the dawn of “being called weird,” I have been drinking the Kool-Aid that Austin, Texas stirs and serves. You know what? I’m completely okay with it.

la barbecue brisket sandwich
If you’re trying to decide where to go for BBQ, you’ve come to the right place. I know the choice has usually been Franklin (rightly so), but I believe I’ve found a better place.

I’m not a professional BBQ professional or anything, but here are my credentials.
I have eaten at Franklin!
I have eaten BBQ in Lockhart, TX!
I have eaten Salt Lick!
I have eaten La Barbecue!
And Rudy’s!

So, I think I have an idea. Actually, I know if you go to La Barbecue, you won’t regret it. The line is shorter, on a certain day they give you free beer and cider (I hope this is still a thing), and the brisket is dang good. What I heard is that they’re opening up a brick-and-mortar, and that seems to be the trend for a wave of food trucks. Good for them! The best thing about barbecue places like La Barbecue*, Franklin**, and John Mueller Meat Company*** is that they all have active Twitter accounts that let you know availability. So if you wake up a little late or you’re wondering if they’ve run out of ribs- you can check Twitter!

Through all of this BBQ research, I found Killen’s BBQ and I can’t wait to drive lengths to try it!! Texas BBQ is the best. Even more so, Texas BBQ Twitters. They are so sassy, funny, and a testament to the dedication that Texans (and non-Texans) have to BBQ. #meatchurch is probably the best hashtag I’ve come across this AM.

meat church

Extra Notes:
*La Barbecue isn’t open on Mondays or Tuesdays.
**Franklin isn’t open on Mondays.
***John Mueller Meat Company isn’t open on Wednesdays. Sometimes they give out free Lonestar (is this still a thing?) and the beef ribs (I heard) are reign supreme.

Three words: Iced Vanilla Latte.

Before you coffee snobs roll your eyes at me, go have one and then you can tell me that I’m dumb. But I know you won’t because 1) I’m right and 2) If you have had one, you know I’m right. Sidenote: You can also get this hot with the cooler weather, but I prefer it iced.

I remember the first time I heard about Vintage Heart Coffee…sort of. I think their social popped up on my Twitterfeed and I checked out their website. It looked convincing, so I thought I would check this place out when it opened. I think this was the first time I went to anywhere that existed on East 7th. I walked in the door of VHC and never looked back. Wood grain, good music, and good coffee? Where can I sign up for a permanent seat?

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My VHC-etched mason jar

As time went by, they started to pick up. I remember the first time that I had to get my drink to go because there were no seats available. I felt entitled and it saddened me. I knew I shouldn’t have written that sparkling Yelp! review, but I had to give them their kudos!! And I’m doing it again by writing this blog post.

They also have a bomb lavender latte, which was unheard of (to me) pre-VHC. I think it might be the only place in Austin, but I also have to add that they make these syrups in house! And I’ve interviewed with Mallory (the owner) before, she’s incredibly sweet.*

So…what I’m trying to say here is: Don’t come to Vintage Heart Coffee, the coffee is too great I don’t want to share it with anyone. But come on your own, whatever, I’m not the boss of you or VHC. Just maybe scooch over if you see a lone studier.

*Fun Fact: She’s interviewed me before too! That’s how that interview actually happened.

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Where do I begin? P. Terry’s is underrated.

While some people may have switched over to In-N-Out, I will stay loyal to the local choice. I think it’s a dang good burger with locally-sourced veg!! When I was studying for classes in undergrad and wanted fast-food, P. Terry’s was my top choice. It still is my top choice. Maine Root Beer on tap? Yes please! Have you had Maine Root Beer on tap from P. Terry’s? It’s what Tom Haverford describes as “super water.”

p terry's burger stand

This is my phone background, I’m not kidding.

In short: 100% pure beef, never frozen. Cage-free eggs. Local. Yumness. They even make their own salsa.

Their chicken burger is a nice alternative if you’re craving something like a burger, but not. Is that just me? P. Terry’s, your color schemes are also on point.

I will never forget the time I convinced my friend Hannah that we should drive from Balmorhea to Austin, so that we could have dinner at P. Terry’s. It was out of the way, but it was worth it. I inhaled that cheeseburger, got a refill of Maine Root Beer, and savored the fries. Hannah thought it was worth it too. She had the veggie burg, which I read is made fresh too!

I hope you guys stay in Austin forever, but sometimes I wish you delivered to Houston. You guys win the burger game.

This is my ode and love letter to P. Terry’s.

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Welcome to Texas Thuesday where I write a love letter to one of my favorite local places to eat, drink, and be merry.

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I remember the first time I heard about Counter Cafe. It was included in this eat.shop austin book that I received from Caroline. She included notes and tips to which places she had been to already (i.e. las manitas avenue cafe “yum-o mexi-breakfast”). This was a time when my Austin Restaurant IQ was pretty low, but growing slowly.

I will never forget my first visit. I pulled up and thought, “Wait, that’s it?” Not because I was underwhelmed, but it’s hard to miss if you don’t know what to look for. It’s the size of a hallway. I quickly learned to take Counter Cafe seriously because despite its size, it packs a lot of punch.

Here’s the important part: my favorite item has to be breakfast tacos…or biscuits and gravy…or a plate of bacon. Okay, so I don’t have 1 favorite item, but you would understand if you’ve been here. It saddens me to hear the latest news about the upcoming lease, BUT they’re preparing to move to the East side! And that’s something that I’m not opposing, I’m quite taken by that side of the city.

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There’s just something about that Lamar space, and especially that beautiful woodgrain counter. Whatever their fate might be, I’m glad it still ends with a seat at their counter (original location or otherwise).

If you’re into cool [brother] chefs, nice staff, and breakfast tacos- this is a place to visit.
If you’re not- I don’t think we can be friends (maybe, we’ll talk about it).

Writing about food is probably the most consistent thing I’ve ever done. I’m the girl who has a Yelp! account. Read allllll of my reviews here.
& If you have a suggestion, leave one below and I’ll check it out asap!