Christmas Eve Feels

You know that feeling that you get… the same feeling that you’d get on Christmas Eve as a child…  where you know something really great is just around the corner?  It might be that your best friend is visiting for the weekend and you’re about to scoop her at the airport… or you’re running your first marathon in the morning and can’t seem to fall asleep from the anticipation… or it’s the Friday of PWoD or ACL and you can just feel the energy in the air…

It’s exactly that – an energy that you can actually feel inside, like the feeling of butterflies.  And the absolute best thing is when it shows up completely unexpected.  I got this feeling a few Saturdays ago over at Emo’s when one of my closest lady friends took me to a show – I only knew that she was super excited to see this band, so I of course was just excited knowing that she was excited.  Not expecting too much, but also knowing her great taste in music, I happily got ready for a Saturday night that I knew would be different from just “going out” downtown.

When you know someone really well, their actions can speak louder than words at times right?

We arrive, home girl orders a double, and that’s my cue – it is on.  Something really good is about to happen.  No Christmas Eve Feels quite yet… maybe more like that feeling you have when you’re being surprised, but you kind of feel like something’s up…

It took one song… not even a full song!  Best guess is that it happened during the bridge.  But they got me.  I’m in love with live music in general, but getting Christmas Eve Feels from a band so quickly doesn’t happen often enough.  And seeing as though tomorrow (!!!) is the day that the lineup is scheduled to be announced for #ACL2017, I thought that the timing was pretty spot on – so I’m calling it.  If these guys aren’t at ACL this year I’ll really wonder what the world is coming to.  This is that band that you see on the Friday of ACL that jump starts the entire weekend – the one around 4pm when you’re cracking open your first IPA… or perhaps wondering why the yummy-smelling-hippie-who-let-you-rub-her-essential-oils-on-your-body-and-now-you’re-best-friends just sold you an entire water bottle of wine that clearly must be gone in an hour or else it’ll be too warm to drink… or when you’re trying to maneuver the flask of vodka from your inappropriately short cut offs without the adorable pink-haired 4 year old seeing any of your bits.  The band that everyone meets at when you’ve all shut down and disconnected from the work week and it’s officially ACL – the one that launches your 3-Day Weekend of Adult Christmas.

This is that “4pm Friday of ACL” band; I’d put money on it.  I can’t tell you why, other than the obvious talent that is not made so obvious from my iPhone-that-thinks-its-a-flip-phone video… but my Christmas Eve Feels have never been wrong.

Oh, and their name is The Revivalists.  Check them out!!! And if you like what you hear let me know! Simply because it’ll make me happy that maybe someone else also got to experience Christmas Eve Feels, too. 🙃


Austin Pets Alive! Pet of the Week: George

Looking for a new cat to take home? Meet George!


George is the perfect cat! He loves to play, explore, and get tons of affection from people. He’ll flop over in your arms to be held like a baby, and he adores snuggling in your lap. He’s so intriguingly handsome too, from the top of his black and white, fur toupee to the end of his fluffy, soft tail.

George is very outgoing and so playful; he has an amusing way of hitting toys long distances and then chasing after them. His scratching behavior is refined and proper, and, though he can be a little fidgety with nail trimming, he’s cooperative about his kitty mani-pedis overall. George loves other cats and given his high level of activity and affection, he would also do well with children and cat-friendly dogs.

George would be an engaging addition to most any home. Surround him with attentive and loving people and he’ll be one happy cat. George is the whole kitty package…meet this super guy today!

Sex: Male
Breed: Domestic Shorthair
Age: 2 Years

All APA! cats are fully vetted, spayed or neutered, and have updated vaccines and a microchip. Lifetime support is offered by our Cat Behavior Team.

For further information or to meet George please email

Note: This pet may have been adopted since publishing, but there are plenty of other adorable animals waiting for a forever home at Austin Pets Alive!

Source: Austin Pets Alive! Pet of the Week: George – Austin Amplified – April 2017 – Austin, TX

APA! Pet of the Week: Bock

Looking for a new dog to take home? Meet Bock!


Good looks? Good manners? Good fetching skills? Check, check, check!

Sleek bullet Bock has the focus and determination to fetch for hours. He loves to carry his ball around in his mouth, and sometimes if you’re not fast enough with the next one, he’ll ARWOOF around the ball. He’s almost got the drop command mastered, so the fun never has to end.

Don’t worry, Bock has a softer side too. As soon as you call him over, he’s all wiggles and back scratches. He loves to snuggle after a full day of fetch, so get comfortable!

Bock loves learning. He’s happy to hang up his ball for a little bit while he’s learning the finer points of obedience. He already knows sit and down and drop (most of the time). And his leash walking skills are on point. He loves treats so much, he’s happy to trot alongside his person while being rewarded with treats for his awesome eye contact.

Don’t miss out on the gorgeous dog. Bock is all retriever and will reward long days of fetching with companionship.

Sex: Male
Breed: Terrier, American Pitbull, Retriever, Labrador
Age: 3 Years
Weight: 58 pounds

For further information or to meet Bock, please email

Note: This pet may have been adopted since publishing, but there are plenty of other adorable animals waiting for a forever home at Austin Pets Alive!

Source: Austin Pets Alive! Pet of the Week: Bock – Austin Amplified – March 2017 – Austin, TX

Austin Pets Alive! Pet of the Week: Salad

Looking for a new cat to take home? Meet Salad!

Earlier this week, Austin Monthly announced their new partnership with Austin Pets Alive! to help rescued animals get adopted. Each Tuesday they’ll be showcasing a different cat or dog so that we can get acquainted with the adorable canine or feline before deciding to bring them home.


Whether or not you like your veggies, you’re going to find yourself craving Salad. This stunning, Seal Point Siamese mix has sky-blue eyes and thrives on affection and company. He can be a little shy at first, but soon enough he will seek out your attention. Then it’s game on! He’ll roll over for pets, purr up a storm and make tiny biscuits…all because he adores you.

Salad is a well-mannered, friendly boy who was rescued by APA! from a hoarding situation. Despite his past, he’s an all-over happy guy and is such a nice housemate who politely uses his litterbox and scratching post. He absolutely LOVES other cats and would very much enjoy having a kitty companion.

Salad is FeLV+ (Feline Leukemia Virus), which causes a weakened immune system and requires special care. APA! provides some medical assistance after adoption. Cats with FeLV+ typically have a shortened lifespan. Salad is not contagious to people or dogs, but should live only with other FeLV+ cats.

Salad is in need of a hero who will give him the loving family he has been deprived of for so long. This deserving, gentle spirit has so much love to give and is more than ready to be a companion kitty in a quiet, loving home. If you’re suddenly in the mood for Salad, follow your heart and  meet him today!

Sex: Male
Breed: Seal Point Siamese Mix
Age: 2 Years
Weight: 10 pounds

All APA! cats are fully vetted, spayed or neutered, and have updated vaccines and a microchip. Lifetime support is offered by our Cat Behavior Team.

For further information or to meet Salad please email

Note: This pet may have been adopted since publishing, but there are plenty of other adorable animals waiting for a forever home at Austin Pets Alive!

Source: Austin Pets Alive! Pet of the Week: Salad – Austin Amplified – March 2017 – Austin, TX

Social Media Week Happy Hour – TeXchange Austin

As an official community partner for Social Media Week Austin, TeXchange is delighted to be co-hosting a special happy hour during the conference. Mix and mingle with conference attendees, entrepreneurs, and fellow tech and marketing peers on Tuesday, February 28 at The Townsend Austin from 5 – 8 pm.   What’s Social Media Week? Social Media Week is a […]

Source: Social Media Week Happy Hour – TeXchange Austin

Singled Out ATX

You remember MTV’s Singled Out right?

What better way to kick the month off by celebrating with free drinks, raffle prizes, VVS spinning, and a room full of single Austinites at one of the best spaces on the East Side?!! (There is not a better way to do this. I already checked. There are zero fun events this night. Until now.)


YES we are going to have a real life version of Singled Out.
YES all guests will be single (although talented wingwomen/men are welcome).
YES of course we’re raising $ for charity (stay tuned!).
And yes, David & I are scanning Tinder & Bumble to make sure the guest list is satisfactory for both the ladies and the men. You’re welcome. (Carpal Tinder is a real thing. Someone invite a hand masseuse.)

THANK YOU to Mighty Swell Cocktails Cathead Vodka Dulce Vida TequilaSouth Austin Brewery for helping us kick off Feb the best way possible –#SingledOutATX

Even if you don’t meet someone Gyp C Girl Photography will be there so you can remove those selfies from your Bumble profile 🙂

  • Where: Handsome – East 6th Street
  • When: Friday February 3rd – 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
  • What: Entry to the event grants you free drinks, thanks to our gracious sponsors.

David is the expert on how to make the “downtown lifestyle” work for buyers and has become the go-to-Realtor for a number of young professionals and young families who want just that. More importantly, he knows that partnering with Austin’s Social Quencher to throw a party at the city’s trendiest locations is the best way to network.


What’s the best way to get there?

The entrance to Handsome is on 6th Street, just east of 35. We encourage sustainable means of transportation like walking and biking. You can also use Car2Go or RideSharing apps.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Contact Me –

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Save a tree, it’s not necessary, we have technology.

24hr countdown – #ATXexperience


Tomorrow at this time we’ll be halfway into November’s Austin Downtown Experience – cocktails will be flowin’, vvs will be mixin’, and new connections will be building.  This month’s theme is Health & Wellness, so we’ve partnered with some pretty fab companies in the ATX to make sure you’re taken care of this season.

About our Raffle Sponsors:
RIDE Indoor Cycling is a workout with attitude, class, sass, boogying and spirituality. This is a workout that is nearly as sophisticated as you are.
Restore Cryotherapy believes most people can benefit from whole body cryotherapy, from the elite athlete in training, the weekend warrior wanting recovery, the post-op patient trying to supplement PT, to the person who may be in chronic pain looking for a holistic alternative for relief.
Mamma Chia pairs the highest quality organic chia seeds with delicious organic fruit juices to create our popular and deliciously fun chia seed drinks!
img_6727JuiceLand Cesar Chavez features a plethora of organic vegetable juices and superfood smoothies that taste as good as they feel. Other offerings include unique raw and vegan culinary creations made in house, fresh juice cleanses available for delivery, and herbal tonics aimed to enhance vitality.
Streamline Cycles is a bike shop created to help all cyclists of all kinds. They are here to serve Austin’s biking community needs, and they are locally based and a proud supporter of keeping Austin local.
Eastside Yoga was created to hold a sacred space of Yoga for the purpose of supporting the physical practice, cultivate healing, develop Self-awareness and enable spiritual connection for all who come through their doors.

The raffle will benefit Heroes for Children, a charity that supports families of children with cancer – something that every single person can get behind.


All info is on the Eventbrite page, including parking tips for Galvanize.  My personal suggestion – just get a Ride Austin, I promise it’ll be easiest.

As always, thank you to our sponsors who will be keeping you refreshed –  Mighty Swell Cocktails, Cathead VodkaSouth Austin Brewery, & Dulce Vida Tequila …and this month keep an eye out for some fancy Senoritas! 😉

See ya’s tomorrow!




Austin Downtown Experience|November

Join us for our monthly Austin Downtown Experience presented by David Shapiro: Happy Hour at Galvanize.

We’re excited to announce new changes starting in November!  1) We’re partnering with a different charity each month so we can do some good while having fun. 2) We’ll be charging for tickets so that we can raise money for those charities… don’t worry,  it’s only $5-10 depending on how quickly you act.

This month, we are proud to announce that a portion of the ticket proceeds will support Heroes for Children, a charity that supports families of children with cancer.


Interested in more info about Heroes for Children and the Charity Poker Tournament on November, 2nd? Find out more here.

A little background on this event:  David Shapiro is the expert on how to make the “downtown lifestyle” work for buyers and has become the go-to-Realtor for a number of young professionals and young families who want just that. More importantly, he knows that partnering with Austin’s SocialQuencher to throw a party at the city’s trendiest locations is the best way to network.


About our Raffle Sponsors: 
Mamma Chia pairs the highest quality organic chia seeds with delicious organic fruit juices to create our popular and deliciously fun chia seed drinks! They are donating a prize pack to one lucky winner which will include granola, low sugar chia bars, drinks, and chia seeds!mammachia

Who is this event for?

All like-minded Downtown dwellers, workers, and explorers that share an enthusiasm for the Austin DT Lifestyle are welcome. This event is to meet and mingle; to start new business and personal relationships, and grow existing ones. Why not do that while sipping free cocktails at a hip spot downtown?

David will be available throughout the night for anyone that wants to pick his brain on real estate and/or investing. I will be available to ensure you have a cocktail in hand at all times. 😉


What’s the best way to get there?

The entrance to Galvanize is on Nueces St between Cesar Chavez (1st) and 2nd St. We encourage sustainable means of transportation like walking and biking. You can also use Car2Go or RideSharing apps. If you do drive, The City Hall and Violet Crown parking garages are about a block away.  There is also another garage on San Antonio Street.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Email me –

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Save a tree, it’s not necessary.

Hope to see both familiar and new faces on Thursday, November 10th!



Startup accelerators want a piece of that music biz — Quartz

Spotify, a modest Swedish company, started small in 2006, and has since grown into a global juggernaut inspiring dozens of similar on-demand music services from some of the biggest tech companies in the world. Now that subscription streaming has solidified into the mainstream, though, what’s next? “It’s about time for Spotify’s successor to be born,”…

via After record labels and tech giants, now startup accelerators want a piece of the music business — Quartz

Austin Downtown Experience | Countdown to Round 2!

It’s time for another Poolside Networking Happy Hour!  South Austin Brewery,  Mighty Swell,  Cathead Vodka and Gypc Girl Photography  – can’t wait to play with you all! 🍸

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ATXexperience tonight so that we can cyber stalk you for photos later 💋

Parking info:
Parking garage gates will be open from 6-9pm for free parking. Yes, you will be able to exit after 9pm without a fob. When you arrive, take the stairs in the Northwest corner of the garage down to the first floor and walk around to the front door of the building on Rainey St. Once you enter the building the elevators are to the right at the end of the hallway. Pool is on the 8th floor.

The Austin Downtown Experience: Poolside Happy Hour

Reminiscing about last week’s first #ATXexperience Poolside Happy Hour & excited to share more updates soon about September’s event! Thanks to those who allowed me to cyber-stalk you for your photos – especially @westoncarls, @emilyrosecoaching, @southaustinbrewery, @catheadvodka & @mightyswell .. Cheers! 💋 Music by ayokay


🎶 We’ve been looking forward to this one for weeks!!! Come hang with Lucid Routes and I tonight at Twelve Rivers Realty‘s Third Annual Open House Party!!

LIVE entertainment from DJ Jazzy Jeff with special guest DJ CRAZE and Mischief Michael.

$20 suggested donation gets you in the door with open bar all night and food by Wu Chow from 6-8 – seriously cannot wait!  No reason not to come to this one – you get to celebrate SXSW 2016 AND do a good deed.  Counting down the hours…:)

Lucid Routes SXSW Survival 2016

My SX-Partner-in-Crime, the Fabulous Miss Katie of Lucid Routes, knows what the F is up when it comes to surviving the craziness every 2nd and 3rd week of March in Austin, TX.  I can talk about fashion and pedialyte all day, but Lucid Routes knows the ins and outs of surviving the streets of SXSW every single year… which is why I tether her to my purse.

As the SXSW madness approaches us, a festival of this magnitude can be quite overwhelming. Whether
you are a first time attendee or a SXSW veteran, here are some of the items we packed in our
#SXSurvival2016 guide:
It goes without saying that SXSW is a marathon, and no matter how much you pace yourself,
keeping your energy up is a definite must. We suggest a regimen of Vitamin C, caffeine and lots of water.
Keeping something such as Advil on hand is also not a bad idea. Dressing smart is clutch. The weather in
Austin this time of year can change very quickly from sunny and 85 degrees to cold and rainy.  Regardless
of how hot it is outside, the rooms inside the Convention Center can be chilly. So make sure to dress smart.
Have a sweater or jacket on hand (preferably water resistant), and make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
We suggest Toms, Converse, Havaiana Flip Flops or even a pair of comfortable, light weight boots, that
have been broken in, of course. SXSW is the worst time to break in a pair of new shoes.
Between your necessities, and all the random cool SWAG that will be thrown at you this week, it’s very
easy to accidentally set something down or lose something important in the process. The key is to keep
those hands as empty as possible so that you can consume as much of the complimentary food and
libations SXSW has to offer. The Solution: We suggest The Q Card Case, created by Austin based
company, CM4.
With more smart phones, iPads, and other crazy internet gadgets per capita, it’s not a surprise that the
networks get overloaded and there can be trouble connecting at times. However, this is also a huge strain
on your battery, and can leave you incommunicado. We suggest one of these two portable chargers.
However, remember to plug in your external charger every night.  They take a several hours to
charge. You should also consider bringing a 3 way outlet splitter.  That way you can use any outlet
by sharing with people who are already using it.  Another solution, is to purchase a cheap couple buck
extension cord from Amazon or any store with an electronics department, so you aren’t tethered next to the
outlet the entire time.
Know where the parties are, and get on the list for the ones that require RSVPs. A great article to check out
on how to tackle this beast is “5 ways to find the best SXSW parties and RSVP,” By Music writer and
guru Greg Ackerman.  For all the Eventbrite Parties, we suggest you go paperless and download the
Eventbrite App. Don’t have time to RSVP? for $40, RSVPster will make sure you’re on the list to 100s of
unofficial parties and events during SXSW, saving you the stress and hassle of filling all those of RSVP
forms.  Planning an event during SXSW?  Check out ATX EventSpace. Helmed by native Austinites, the
site is designed specifically for anyone coming into the city looking to book a last-minute party for the
festival. ATX EventSpace features a collection of some of the best bars, restaurants and event spaces
available near downtown, with more being added on a daily basis.
Not sure what to check out? We suggest you check out our friends over at Hippohonk. These kids have
listened to hundreds artists and rated them in a concise, easy to understand list. Additionally, Unofficial
SXSW Guide offers a great, comprehensive list of  FREE Music Events & Parties!  Are you a musician still
looking for SX gigs?  GigTown is sponsoring a huge party at Shiner’s Saloon and they are opening up the
headlining spot to new GigTown artists.  That means the slot is only eligible for artists that signed up
between February 1st – March 1st. Not only is this a great gig with a crapload of people getting weird, but
you’re also going to get paid $500 for your hard work.  Our friends at the Eye in the Sky Collective, the
lovely folks that bring you Float Fest & Austin Music Video Fest,will help judge & make the decision on
who gets to headline the 6th Annual Future of Music Showcase – So be ready!!
Contrary to popular belief, SXSW is actually a conference and can be a great way to network. If you
don’t already have business cards, we suggest going through the official printing sponsor for our Open 
Door Showcase, Post Net.  They print everything from business cards to banners, signs, promotional items
(like apparel, pens, koozies, cups, and a ton of other SWAG items).  Out of Austin? Not to worry, they ship
as well
We frequently receive questions about who are the best Twitter accounts to follow for SXSW — Twitter is
the fastest way to keep in the know regarding the fest. RSVPster previously listed a must-follow Twitter
accounts here, but thought the list could use an update. Consider this list one massive Follow Friday and
be sure to follow @RSVPster for the latest party information, rumors, RSVPs and more. If you think this
list is missing a must-follow account? Tweet RSVPster to let them know.
Unofficial SX-news/updates/party RSVPs/rumors:
Party Sponsors/Blogs/Music/Entertainment websites:
Venues (there are many more bars to list, but here’s a few of our favorites):
Additionally, there are a few twitter handles that we at Lucid Routes suggest you follow:
If you keep these things in mind, you will be sure to prevent being a #SXSWFAIL

Business Mixer @ The Austonian • Austin Social Affair

For my business-minded and entrepreneur friends – really great networking event coming up this month by @austinsocialaffair • This one’s a step up from your average business mixer – think specialty cocktails, hors d’oeuvres provided by @dineradissonaustin & a guest speaker with proven entrepreneurial success. Link for tickets here 👉🏽

Come play! – #RaiseTheMacallan

Have you received your invite yet for the private event tasting by The Macallan?!  If not register here quick as spaces fill up!  I’ve been to a couple of these fabulous events but I must say my favorite one thus far was the #MacallanSXSW event in 2013 – these photos don’t do it justice but think yacht on Lake Travis, beautiful people, and of course an exclusive look into Single Malt Scotch Whisky.  I must admit that before then I simply was unaware of the different ways that this fine spirit could be prepared, but I was really impressed with what I learned during the event and the actual presentation in itself.  Informative and delicious all at once.

 Cheers! #RaiseTheMacallan


Death by Sexy Does SXSW

So I’m still daydreaming (ok drooling) over the Death by Sexy styles from last month’s #SipStyleSocialize but NOW I’m even more pumped for their fun Spring numbers that I’m getting ready to rock for SXSW 2015!! Think edgy, chic, and of course sexy.  As per usual Miss Andi has to force me out of my comfort zone when it comes to the “sexy” pieces, but given that I’ve trusted her opinion for three years now I know she’ll do me right. I’m pretty much in love with everything at the downtown DxS HQ at the moment but these little numbers caught my eye…

That “Sofia” Tribal dress is insane and you really can’t ever go wrong with pugs so, there’s that. The “Anastasia” Festival Dress is everything – practically perfect in every way. 

Perfect example of the DxS influence on my style – rompers. Love them on everyone else (seriously everyone looks so cute in rompers besides me what the heck?!?); hate them on me. In the last 30 days of life though the DxS ladies have made it their duty to make rompers work for me. We’ll see how this plays out but if Andi can make this fiery piece work for me, I’m confident she’ll get rompers to happen. 

At first look I thought there was NO chance I could rock this (waayyy out of my comfort zone) but once Andi styled & jeweled me up… and ok yes after a couple cocktails… I felt transformed into this whole new sexified biotch that could walk that runway just as fab as the models could.  In reality it’d be more like SJP’s runway walk circa 2001 on SATC’s “The Real Me” but like I said, cocktails were a-flowin so que the imagination. (…Fast forward 3 hours I’m back in my fuzzy socks and sports bra but that’s neither here nor there…) 

Needless to say regardless of the event my go-to is always Death by Sexy because I can always find the perfect piece and without fail, every.single.time I get the “I LOOOVE your boots (top…dress…necklace)!!! WHERE did you get it?!?” — oh this? DxS dahling. 😉

Some of my favs:


There’s still time to get your SXstyle on with the DxS ladies! Schedule a style appointment or just order online at – use promo code “SQstyle10” for an extra 10% off and YES you’ll get it by SX. Tag me on Instagram or Twitter (@SocialQuencher) to let me know what you pick!!! 😉


Flashback to the DxS #SipStyleSocialize @ Lux

💫Flashback to the #DxS #SipStyleSocialize @ #LUX #ATX🍸…New #musicfest #fashion coming soon at @deathxsexy — stay tuned for my fav #SXSW picks!!! 🎶💋👯

Leah Chyma All Over | Inspire. Change. Repeat.

There are people that you come across that are always full of positive energy, but at the same time have a calming effect on the people around them.  Those would be the first words I’d use to describe Miss Leah Chyma of Leah Chyma All Over.  Not to mention creative, fun, and inspiring.

I met Leah last summer and have been lucky enough to have shared a number of experiences with her – everything from her Camp Gladiator bootcamps, to co-working, snuggle puddles, concerts, lady chats… and of course brunch.  I first learned about Leah’s passion for art last fall.  Since then I’ve been inspired by her determination to shake away from the comfort of a steady paycheck in order to pursue her true love – Leah Chyma All Over.  I had heard our mutual friends bragging about their LCAO piece; once I saw her work with my own eyes though I was immediately drawn in.  The first painting of Leah’s that I laid eyes on was Sunbeam Prison – the layering of the paint on the canvas paired with masking tape and acrylic make the image pop in a 3D affect that made my eyes completely curious about every layer.   That canvas had it goin on.   Of course when I learned what this piece represented – “The overcoming of something awful… you can overcome a dark past and start a new positive path” – I was immediately hooked.

I wanted to hear more about where it all started.  Leah and I decided on Blue Dahlia Bistro for a lady date so that I could pick her brain.  (Enter delish wine.)  I listened as she described her first pieces of “artwork” – the everyday doodles of a young student distracted in class.  While Leah was simply trying to make the minutes pass faster like any normal kid, she was innocently creating her first pieces of artwork – pieces that would catch the eye of a teacher that saw her scribbles as much more than that.  Leah’s teacher recognized her potential and encouraged her to explore her imagination on paper even more.  That inspiration, along with years in other creative spaces – ceramics, the art of learning how to read music, and especially the inheritance of her parents’ vinyl collection – is what lead Leah’s path to the University of Iowa and later, a degree in Art and Creative Writing.  And eventually, lucky for us, to Austin, Texas.

With Leah’s focus centered on her artwork more than ever this past year she’s really made strides in Austin’s art community.  She’s featured in coffee shops and waiting rooms in and around the city and has had her art shown in some pretty fabulous happenings around town recently including Art Show at the Speed Shop, which took place last month at Pure Austin Fitness, and also in the well-known East Austin Studio Tour (aka EAST), where Leah’s art was hung alongside fellow artist Katy Hirschfeld of Collage Garage.  Not only that.  Leah is part of an awesome-ness initiative here in Austin – #besomebody.  If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen them around yet, #besomebody – The World’s Platform for Passion – helps people turn what they love to do into what they’re paid to do.  They live off of the belief that your personal passion is by far your most valuable asset.  How does it work?  Well you download the iPhone app obviously (if you haven’t already done this you’re late to the party), select what you’re passionate about (for me – running, writing, fashion, entrepreneurship, dogs… I could have probably kept going…), and you’re off!  The app automatically connects you to remarkable people in your area for one-on-one experiences with them, the experts.  I especially like that I can learn how to create my own acrylic layered canvas and I don’t have to bring anything but myself for a super affordable price, all while supporting Leah, who’s just doing what she loves.  Pretty cool, right?  I think so.

Leah’s art will be shown TONIGHT at the December ArTXplosion by  Mindzai Creative ATX.  From what I hear they’ll have complimentary drinks and screen printing, and of course local artists – my favorite combination.  If you can’t make it tonight be sure to “Like” LCAO’s Facebook page in order to stay in-the-know of her upcoming shows.  Leah’s available for commissions as well – if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for on her site fill out her Q&A form and she’ll make amazingness happen.  Trust me…  I’ve seen it. 

Waking Fable | Rock, Soul, and a Saxophone

While I sit down at Royal Blue and listen to the lyrics and sounds of every-single-one of Waking Fable’s songs off their EP Leave the Moon On, I realize how lucky I am to have interviewed them and to have gotten to know them a bit.  I feel like I should be sitting in a dark underground bar, dirty martini in hand, yellin “yeahhhhhh get ittt!!” because the words they sing just hit you that much…

Isn’t that the point though?

“You’ve seen me naked with my clothes on.  You’ve seen me cry without a tear.

A bare chested lion.  Used to be sincere.

You used to be sincere.

I polished off the bottle, there’s nothing for the flies.

Love drunk addition, to all of your lies.

And I’ll wonder, whats my number in your cabinet full of hearts..

Is it lonely, one and only… or am I just the start…”

I don’t know if it’s recent happenings in my own life that’s making me fall in love with their lyrics, or if it’s just the fact that I’m so excited for what’s to come for them in the future that I feel like a 10th grade cheerleader all over again wanting to jump up and down for them. Clearly I will not be doing that in Royal Blue tonight, but more than likely it’ll happen at more than one of their upcoming gigs.

Now when I say “them”, I’m referring to Matt MacDonald (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Dan Cohen (Vocals, Saxophone), Vinnie Fallico (Lead Guitar), Moses Elias (Bass), and Jeff Edwards (Drums).  From what I learned during our conversation at the backyard tree stump at The Blackheart though, is that they “all kind of sing.”  And DO they!  They harmonize the sh!t out of those songs and, while I’m no pro in the vocals department myself, I can 100% appreciate an appealing harmony that makes you wish you had their talent.

I learned a lot about Matt, Dan, and Vinnie in the 2ish hours that we spent together.  Reason #1 that I connected with them immediately was that the two original members, Matt and Dan, are from NY – Long Island and Poughkeepsie, respectively.  I feel that any time I meet someone from NY we have an instant bond – a bond that only people living in Texas that are from NY could understand.

“Oh you’re from New York?  So you’re from Manhattan?!”

“Ummm… no sir.  New York is a REALLY big state.”

…well not when compared to Texas but, you get my point.

The band started with Matt and Dan meeting in a field up at SUNY Binghamton.  Sorry – a “sexy field of butterflies” according to them. (…and why wouldn’t it be?)   The fact that they know all about where I’m from, and that they met while listening to Drive by Incubus, also increased my obsession for them simply because that song warms my heart with memories of my freshman year at SUNY Brockport.

So the story goes… after graduating Binghamton Matt had a 3 month stint in L.A., performing on the streets of Santa Monica all while staying on a buddy’s couch.  After quickly being turned off by the vibe, not to mention the expenses, he and Dan both realized that it was time to give Austin, TX a try.  They had no idea that Austin was the Live Music Capital of the World.  Instead, a simple tip from Dan’s brother made it all happen.  And like most of us that have found ourselves here, it all started with something like, “Alright, well lets go to Austin!”

From day one these guys started hustling and it has absolutely paid off.  What began as open mic performances 4-5 nights out of the week has morphed into hosting their own open mic every week at the popular House Wine of East Austin.  And from what I hear, that place is packed on Mondays!  Super cool.  I’ll obviously be going now.

Enter Vinnie.  Originally from Colorado he had tried the Portland thing; thought about the NYC and L.A. thing; considered the Nashville thing.  Thankfully he ended up in the ATX shortly after Matt and Dan and, like many of us, only knew one person here.  Luckily it was his brother Geno and, lucky for all of us, Geno is the one who invited me to meet these guys.  These guys – Waking Fable – have such respect for one another.  Such camaraderie.  Each one of them respects the others talent and, as it was explained to me, they just knew it was the right fit.  Once they heard what Vinnie was capable of, what they were all capable of, it was an “immediate good feeling”.

In my opinion, any feeling at all that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside (think hot-tea-and-fuzzy-socks kind of a feeling) is naturally a good thing… and good is always something to “just go with”.

And thankfully Waking Fable did just that.  And the rest is history.

Decked out in suits, bringing that whole profesh look to the stage – not to mention the sax… the full band… the damn good lyrics… the voices… the everything – Waking Fable performs throughout Austin and is available to play at events in the area as well.  Personally, I’ll be checking out their open mic at House Wine as many Mondays as possible.  For all of their performance dates check out the Waking Fable Facebook Page, or the band’s website.

And when you’re there, go say hi!  Introduce yoself!  They’re pretty awesome, even if they didn’t take my clarinet skillz offer.

Smearing your breakfast into your hair is a good thing.

While perusing the online world for some postSXSW hair remedies (…sun + hats + dry shampoo + I-whip-my-hair-back-and-forth!! = helppp…) I came across this fabulous post by Naturally Curly to help kick start my hair’s recovery.  A homemade remedy that’s cheap and seemingly easy to do.  And it involves oatmeal, apparently.

My immediate mental image involved having the boyfriend walk in on me smearing oatmeal all over my head with a wooden spoon while sitting at the counter enjoying my morning coffee and reading Style magazine.  There really wouldn’t be any recovering from that.  But, with Coachella happening this weekend, it’s really necessary to reset and refresh my poor tresses, so it’s worth the embarrassment.  Two music festivals within one month of each other surely cannot be the best situation for any head of hair.   Plus, being that summer is just around the corner, I feel like it’s time to learn some budget-friendly tricks to keep everything healthy.

Having naturally curly hair is always a struggle during the summer months anyways, so anything that I can do to retain moisture is always a plus.  So, it looks like while I’m picking up my last minute travel-sized necessities tomorrow I’ll be stocking up on some oatmeal as well.  And maybe a few cherries to add to the top while it soaks in.  Just to keep things interesting..

I may even have to document this new hair adventure next week… stay tuned 😉

Darling, Just F*in Own It

I could write a book about the amount of motivation I’ve acquired over the past two weeks by attending two completely inspiring bootcamps, each led by very gifted women.  These workshops were geared towards women who are focused on improving themselves in all areas of life, from careers to relationships, and being in touch and aware of the steps that will get us there.  And more importantly, making a plan to get there.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’ve been SO lucky to have met some pretty fantastic ladies in Austin.  We genuinely are each others cheerleaders and jump at the chance to support one another.   One of these women is the fabulous Corina Frankie.  It was her goal to work on her public speaking skills in 2014 and to motivate others.  Being a trainer at Camp Gladiator (more to come on that in a later post..) this girl is already insanely motivating in the fitness world.  But speaking… well, yelling… at 20 people at 6am to go harder, run faster, & squat lower is COMPLETELY different than speaking in front of 20 women.   Corina made a rather large leap (…screw baby steps – we go big) in her public speaking goal by leading a Goal Setting Workshop for young professional women earlier this month.   Needless to say, the girl nailed it.  I think I got temporary carpal tunnel from trying to write down all of her useful information.

20140129-165852.jpgOne of the first lists Corina had us create was that of five things we’ve already accomplished… things that we’re proud of.  This is actually harder than it sounds because if you think about it, we’re taught that it’s not classy to brag.  But the interesting and fun thing is that no one list is the same.  She also had us make a list of 50 things we want to do in the next 10 years – FIFTY?!  Good Lord I should have prepared for this.. enter Corina in Camp Gladiator mode.  I thought she was going to have my head if I didn’t write 50.   The girl knows how to motivate.

Corina referred to Napoleon Hill throughout the session, who was one of the original “personal success” authors.  One of his main messages was that truly, deep down believing in yourself and your vision directly correlates to your actual success in life.  “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  This thought, as well as its formula, was his main focal point for his books, including Think and Grow Rich.  I of course have added this to my “To Read” list.

Thanks to another thoughtful friend who went out of her way to write an amazingly touching email about me, I was invited to attend the Bossed Up Bootcamp by Emilie Aries herself – Co-Founder & CEO of the company.  Let me just say that if any woman has the chance to attend this, they absolutely need to. The Bossed Up Mission is “To keep women contributing to the workforce by empowering each of us to craft healthy, happy, sustainable careers – for life!”  And holy shit did they give us some good advice.  I attended with two girlfriends of mine, each of us in very different places, but with a somewhat similar professional background.  Even though each woman in attendance at Bossed Up Bootcamp was in their own unique “place”, each and every one of us could relate to the topics and will be able to use them as we grow in all areas of life.

Our first session had to do with our personal vision, meaning “What you want to create of yourself and the world around you.”  Again, this might sound easy, but our speaker Emily Downward really had a way of making us sit back and think about what that means – What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?… if you knew you couldn’t fail… if you didn’t care what anyone thought…?  Then – boom – Emily tells us to envision that it’s 2024.  We’re asked to walk around the room to tell each other what we’re doing in life, where we’ve been, and what we’ve accomplished.  Emily got our “heads right”, prepping us for what we were about to experience.

20140129-170257.jpgOver the course of the weekend, we had sessions and discussions on everything from Communication in the Workplace, Negotiating, Community Building, to the importance of being Mindful and Conscious, the importance of sleep (I definitely needed to hear that one), and even a lesson on the 5 Love Languages, and how to know where you fall.  The amazing Ashley Lavalle, who’s voice could be compared to fuzzy socks and tea (so soothing & comforting),  had us pick the statements that fit us best when describing how we like to be treated – really by anyone.   I knew right away that I’d fall into the “Quality Time” bucket – that was easy.

With the mix of so many important discussions over the course of two days,  and a real focus on how to make things happen, I’d go ahead and call Bossed Up the Best Etiquette-for-a-Woman’s-Brain Bootcamp. But maybe also I walked away with too much confidence and excitement to think that actually makes sense…

Either way, I’m super thankful that Corina gave me the mental-ass-kicking that I needed Saturday morning in order to get over a crappy week and just “Own it!” – she’s insanely good at that whole “motivation” thing.   Both Corina’s Goal Setting workshop and the Bossed Up Bootcamp gave me the chance to meet other women from all over Texas who are motivated and striving for success.  And because I attended both I now have the ability to connect women from these two different groups and build our networking community even more.  And for me, that’s really fabulous. 20140127-183611.jpg

Quenching the thirst for all things social in the Austin City Limits.

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