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Texas Conference for Women Giveaway

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Last year, I attended the Austin-based Texas Conference for Women with my LIVESTRONG team, and we had a blast.

We heard talks from GoldieBlox creator, Debbie Sterling, the CEO of the Malala Fund, Shiza Shahid, journalist, mom and overall bad-ass, Soledad O’Brien, and my personal favorite, swimmer Diana Nyad, whose tales are as grand as one thousand This American Life stories combined.

(If you have a minute, do yourself a favor and watching Diana Nyad’s inspiring and hysterical talk.)

Between speakers, our team bounced around to various breakout sessions, workshops and roundtables, and we left the conference feeling inspired and empowered.

If you’re a woman or a man who loves women, I highly recommend checking out this year’s event, and lucky enough, I might just have a ticket for you!

The 2015 Texas Conference for Women, located at the Austin Convention Center, features actress Patricia Arquette, journalist Robin Roberts and artist Candy Chang, Continue Reading


As I reflect on Austin seven years later.


I’ve lived in Austin for seven years, and within those seven years my feelings toward the city have oscillated. I’ve fallen head over heels in love, I’ve been heartbroken over change and I’ve been inspired by a new kind of affection. I fall into one or all of these categories at any single time.

In 2012, I wrote the pro-growth article “Austin is Ch-Ch-Changing: Give up the Hate and Embrace the Non-Natives Who Make Our City Great,” but one year later I questioned Austin’s rapid growth with the articleAustin Changing: Why My Love for Austin is Being Challenged.” Sometimes I felt like a teenager girl, yo-yoing between her emotions. Do I love Austin? Do I hate Austin? How do I feel about this complex and complicated city? 

I look back on these articles with both empathy and embarrassment. Look how silly that girl was, thinking she understood Austin! And I know I’ll one day look back on this article with equal sentiment.

It wasn’t until recently, when I was faced with the Continue Reading


Wheatsville staff starts a petition demanding a livable wage


Update 10:45AM 5/19: The GM has written a response to the petition. You can read it here 

This past weekend, I spotted a petition going around from the “Wheatsville Staff Solidarity Collective Austin” asking that the beloved Austin co-op grocery begin paying their employees a livable wage. Employees at Wheatsville currently start at $9/hour, and the petition asks that their pay increase to the City of Austin’s living wage recommendation of $11.38/hour. As a person who has worked in the customer service industries, including clothing retail, tech retail and restaurants, the pay disappointed me but did not surprise me. What did surprise me was this paragraph in the petition: “We, the Wheatsville Staff Solidarity Collective, speak on behalf of all the Wheatsville employees who are routinely overstretched and undersupported by shoddy managerial practices and a corporate mentality that prioritizes sales-to-labor ratios far above employee well-being. There is much work to be done in Continue Reading

Austin, Hipstercrite Life

Love The Moth? Check out The Tellers at LIVESTRONG HQ


Are you a fan of storytelling? Do you love The Moth?

Tomorrow night I’m hosting a storytelling event at LIVESTRONG HQ, and I’m super stoked about it.

I had been wanting to put together a night where cancer survivors and non-cancer survivors alike felt empowered to share their stories in front of a receptive audience. With the help of two of my teammates, that wish is now a reality.

The theme is “new kid on the block,” and our guest speakers have ten minutes to share their stories. I can guarantee the night will be filled with a lot of laughs and some tears.

If you’re free tomorrow, stop by 2201 E. 6th St., enjoy food and drinks on us and listen to some kick-butt storytellers.

The event is free and starts at 6:30PM.

Details below and here.


Austin, Film, Music, Pop Culture, Writing

A Comprehensive List of Austin’s Best Blogs

(Update: I wrote this blog post in 2012 and just updated as of April 28, 2015)

There are an ass-load of awesome blogs in Austin, Texas.

(I think) I read a statistic somewhere that Austin has more bloggers per capita than any place in the country.

Since I have zero proof that Austin has the most bloggers of any place in America, one fact I do know is that Men’s Health Magazine labeled Austin the #8 most socially networked city in America.

Since we boast such awesome blogging talent, I wanted to create a comprehensive list of Austin bloggers for those interested in the Austin scene. We have amazing writers who cover everything from lifestyle, music, food, humor, travel and dating. Take some time and get to know these great Austinites.

If you don’t see one of your favorite Austin blogs listed that may be because a.) I’m only listing blogs that have blogged within the past six month and blog more than once a month and b.) I’m a jackass, I didn’t know that the blog existed Continue Reading

Austin, Pop Culture, Writing

Could you give up a shopping for 30 days?

Recently I “met,” in the wonderful way that the Internet allows us to virtually meet, some of the folks behind the San Francisco-based startup Yerdle. Yerdle is a free market-style app where users can easily upload photos of stuff they no longer want, “sell it” for Yerdle dollars, and then use those Yerdle dollars to purchase other items for sale. In other words, it’s Craigslist without using real money (the only money spent by the buyer is a $4, $5 or $6 flat rate for shipping).

I got really excited when I learned about Yerdle. Not only is it a avenue for purging items you no longer need, it also makes you reimagine the concept of money. Yerdle empowers the community to establish their own economy, and it’s already grown a large and fervent following.

It can be a little discouraging upon first thumbing through the goods people post, but don’t let that fool you. Once you get the hang of the app, you’ll discover some real gems. A handful of my favorite finds have been a 60s Continue Reading

Austin, Travel

Austin Day Trip: San Antonio Missions Hike & Bike Trail

San Antonio's Missions Hike & Bike Trail along the San Antonio River is probably one of the best trails I've ever been on. It is a beautifully paved & groomed path that is suitable for all ages and abilities. This 16-mile roundtrip trail takes you to four of San Antonio's missions, and you can continue on to the Alamo if you'd like. You walk next to countless wildflowers, old ruins and happy people on the trail, and the missions are just incredible! If you've never done the trail, do it! It's truly a Texas gem.


I was flipping through the latest issue of Texas Monthly, the Newcomer’s Guide, and was surprised to learn of the San Antonio Missions Hike & Bike Trail. This 16-mile roundtrip trail runs alongside the San Antonio River and stops at four of San Antonio’s famous missions: Mission Espada, Mission San Juan, Mission San Jose and Mission Concepcion.

How had I not heard of this trail before?

As an avid walker- we have our own walking group called The Christopher Walkings- I couldn’t believe I had not known of this close-by trail. I later found out that I had not heard of this trail because its completed development is relatively new, or at least not widely publicized in Austin (San Antonio is only 80 miles away, yet Austin and San Antonio are VERY separate cities). I asked my boyfriend if he was game for the journey, and the next day we headed down to ol’ San Antone to check out the path.

First of Continue Reading


Humans of Austin: Philomela


This is Philomela.

This is not her real name; it is her poet name.

“Philomela, of Greek mythology, had her tongue ripped out, but she continued to sing,” Philomela explained to us.

I complimented her on her shirt, and she asked if she could sit with us. “Are you two artists?” she inquired. We explained that one was a filmmaker and the other was a writer. “Oh, I could tell that you are both artists. I’m writing a book about my lovers,” she said. “I’m not trying to sound morbid, but I’m 87 years old, so I need to finish it soon.”

Philomela then began a whirlwind conversation about Chekhov, Kurosawa, Roberto Rossellini. “Have you read the great Russian novelists?” she asked. “They’re brilliant.”

‘Brilliant’ was a word she used often; “I don’t mean to boast” she used as well. “I was a great beauty in my youth, but look, now my teeth are breaking.” We assured her that she was in deed beautiful; her beauty had caught our eye. Philomela had previously Continue Reading

Austin, Pop Culture, Travel

Ten Free Venues to Check Out During SXSW Music

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park, Texas; 6 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via National Geographic)

Bandelier National Monument

 Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico; 11 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via me)

Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas; 1 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana; 6-hour drive from Austin via Most Beautiful Pages

Padre Island, Texas

Padre Island National Seashore, Texas; 4-hour drive from Austin (via me)

Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona; 12 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via Geoff)

Saguaro National Monument

Saguaro Nation Park, Arizona; 13-hour drive from Austin (via Geoff)

Monahans sand dunes

Monahans Sandhills Sate Park, Texas; 6-hour drive from Austin (via Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake State Park, Texas; 5 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Sabine Nation Wildlife Refuge

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana; 4-hour drive from Austin (via U.S. Fish & Wildlife)