Life After College

Life After College

YOU GUYS, I GRADUATED THREE YEARS AGO TODAY! Time has definitely flown by. Thinking back, I remember feeling like my entire academic career had led up to this very moment, I mean hadn’t it? This is what the world had convinced me that I needed to do in order to be successful: you go to school, you get a degree, you get a job…. Realistically, it sucks the way society tells us what we need to do, or who we need to be in order to succeed, but also, I am really grateful for my accomplishments and perseverance since my time at Texas State! To be honest I didn’t even know if I was going to have a job after graduation. Back in 2015, my apartment lease was ending, I hadn’t found a job anywhere in Texas (didn’t apply outside of the state for many reasons) and I was honestly getting ready to move back to San Antonio with my family. About a few weeks before my lease in San Marcos was over, I got a call from Target that I got the job, I would then be the new Visual Merchandising Team Lead (aka manager)–and I took it! A few months into my position, I knew it wasn’t for me. I started job hunting for social media and marketing  roles, and landed a position at Facebook Austin as a Risk Analyst on a contract. After my two year contract was over with Facebook, I moved to Indeed as a full time employee. WOO! WOO!

And here I am today, a brown boy from San Antonio, Texas, first generation college student, first family member to move away from my hometown–I couldn’t be more proud of myself and my mom for all the sacrifices she’s made for me to get where I am today. Thanks madre!

LIFE HACKS + LESSONS

  • FINDING MY VOICE

    • Post-graduation, I started using my voice, asking more questions and saying “no” unapologetically and when necessary. I was never the person to raise my hand and ask a question or give an answer freely, but finally at the age of 26, I feel more confident doing so!
    • When I first started blogging last May, I was overwhelmed by the amount of emails and notifications I was receiving! 12 months down the road and I feel a lot better about responding and communicating with PR companies, brands, other influencers, my followers, etc. Basically, I’ve learned when you do something over and over and over, you eventually will master it.

 

  • YOUR DEGREE PROBABLY WONT MATCH YOUR PROFESSION

    • Unless you are majoring in a hard science, you probably won’t get a job that exactly aligns with your degree plan.
    • Unless you’re going to grad school your degree isn’t going to dictate your profession. Like with me, I have a bachelor of science in fashion merchandising and I’m working for a corporate tech company as an analyst in the engineering department.

 

  • THE BEST YEARS

    • College really was the best years of my life! I learned to work under pressure, made the best of friends and I developed a fierceeee work ethic.
    • Jumping from class to class really helped me learn how to juggle multiple responsibilities at one time.
    • I regret not taking advantage of the student recreation center (of which came out of my tuition every semester) and taking time to enjoy the San Marcos river more often.
    • Chimy’s! Enough said! 😉
    • Overall, my experience at Texas State was a rollercoaster of a journey and I wouldn’t trade it for a single penny! I absolutely love my degree, my lifelong friends that came out of it, the gorgeous campus and the professors here really go above and beyond to see you succeed–hey Ms. Fluker!

 

  • UP YOURSELF

    • Don’t be shy to show off your strengths, because if you don’t do this for yourself, nobody else will! If you’re good at something, share it with the world!
    • One thing I feel that helps me with meetings and events is my punctuality. I am always the first or one of the firsts, to show up to an event or a family gathering–it shows a lot about your character and helps people take you more seriously.

 

  • VACATIONS DON’T EXIST

    • Summer vacations? What are those! As an adult you have to make time for yourself and take initiative to go explore a new town! So hop on the plane and never turn back (kidding) because off-days really don’t exist post-graduation.

 

April Recap | Where I Dined this Month

April Recap | Where I Dined this Month

Hey guys! I’m excited to announce that every month I will be writing a recap of highlights and moments from my recent foodie adventures. This is a new blogging project for me and I look forward to writing these types of posts at the end of each month! Hope you guys enjoy!

April 4 – Il Brutto

I had the pleasure of experiencing the soft opening of New Waterloo’s newest concept, Il Brutto. The soft opening had drinks, food and free tattoos! The pizza and delicious deserts here will have you coming back for more!

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April 8 – Sway

For one week only, Sway was celebrating Thai New Year with a special menu. The limited-time Songkran menu was a combination of Sway’s yummy dishes with a Texas flare! My friend Edgar joined me and we dined on the patio with cocktails and laughs! My favorite was the alligator!

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April 9 – Rise UT

There’s a new biscuit and donut shop near the University of Texas at Austin and I’m obsessed! I was invited to the soft opening of Rise, a national chain with it’s first Texas location located here on Guadalupe! The biscuits are made from scratch and the donut selection is extensive.

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April 9 – The Funkadelic

For my birthday I enjoyed brunch at the hottest new brunch spot, The Funkadelic! This hip and friendly restaurant has French toast, nachos and some all American breakfast items–there’s literally something for everyone! Over in Sunset Valley, The Funkadelic’s quirky vibe fits right in with the Keep Austin Weird culture! It was such a perfect birthday brunch! Cheers to 26.

 

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April 11 – Andiamo

Andiamo released their new Spring menu and I had the pleasure of tasting it first. I don’t normally rave too much about a restaurant but Andiamo deserves all the attention (and more)! The food is prepared beautifully, with every ingredient carefully chosen and the owners born in Italy you’re bound to take a bite of authentic Italian-cuisine! The pasta ravioli was my favorite!

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April 13 – Squeezeary Austin

Round of applause for my new favorite juice and coffee shop: Squeezary Austin. Take a look at my recent blog for more. BTW, the photos don’t do it justice!

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April 16 – Ranch 616

Ranch 616 was introduced to me by my good girlfriend, Megan, and I’m so happy that she did. I’ve been coming here for years and I was thrilled when owner, William, asked me to come and try their new drink menu! I LOVED THE SANDIA SANGRIA! My friend Olya accompanied me, it was her first time and she’s already been back for more–it’s that good. Located over on West 6th St., Ranch 616 is perfect for birthdays, happy hour or any occasion worth celebrating!

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April 17 – ADP

Austin Daily Press has a new location on Cesar Chavez. This location is focused on tortas and tapas (hence the logo) but the pastries are also worth noting! The croissants (dare I say it) are better than Easy Tiger’s!

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April 22 – Swift’s Attic

The AIDS Services of Austin kicked off their annual #DiningOutForLife at Swift’s Attic! I had the pleasure of enjoying Swift’s Attic impeccable brunch for a cause and got to meet Project Runway designer, Mondo Guerra!

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April 23 – Bento Picnic

Calling all healthy eaters, Bento Picnic finally has a brick and mortar! Friendly staff, healthy bites and a gorgeous dog-friendly patio. Located on the East Side, you’ll want to move to East Austin with all the new restaurants popping up! Order the guacamole!

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April 28 – Saint Bernards x Tiny House Coffee

My friends over at Tiny House Coffee Roasters launched a collaboration with Saint Bernards and it’s so freaking good! I snagged a bag of their limited edition coffee ground and boy is it strong! There was an espresso lesson from Tiny House’s lead barista, free donuts from Round Rock donuts and Ruthie (Saint Bernards mascot) was there too!

 

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April 30 – Brick Oven 

Yesterday, I was at Brick Oven for dinner with my roommate Ivonne. Brick Oven is located on Red River and has been open for over 30 years! From the beginning, Brick Oven has stayed true to their Italian roots and they continue to have some of the best food in town. If you like cheese, need a good excuse to eat carbs and love pies–Brick Oven is for you!

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Thanks so much for reading guys! Follow me on Instagram for real time updates! What was your favorite restaurant on my list? Have you ever been to any? Did you find a new place to try? Let me know in the comments. xx

– @markyatx

The Squeezery is My New Fav

The Squeezery is My New Fav

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You guys! The Squeezery is the newest juice (and coffee) shop to open downtown and you have to go. Located inside The Refinery, you’re sure to find the interior as gorgeous as the famous black and white mural located right outside — seriously everything here is Instagram-worthy!

Everything at The Squeezary is organic and locally sourced as they collaborate with local farms. The Squeezary is quickly becoming a popular destination for their Freezer Bowls, which come inside a half coconut-shell (pictured below). How cool is that? I like to use the hashtag #SoNY when places like these pop up in Austin, because of how quickly one can say we’re becoming more and more like the Big Apple. You can also buy healthy juices here for your on-the-go needs and a cup of coffee because we all know this city thrives on caffeine. Visit the shop and tell ’em you saw this post, you won’t regret it!

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See ya there!

The Squeezery
123 East 7th St.
Austin, TX 78701
https://www.instagram.com/squeezeryatx/

A Peek Inside Yoshi Ramen

A Peek Inside Yoshi Ramen

Yoshi Ramen is open for business! Stacy Chen, owner of Veggie Heaven, has opened a new ramen shop near UT and Hyde Park. Chen was inspired to open Yoshi Ramen in part of her grandmother whom had her own ramen business in Japan. From Dan Dan noodles to bubble tea to Austin’s first(?) ramen burger (which will be available around February 15) Yoshi Ramen has many options you’re sure to love — they even have ramen for vegans. So if you’re anything like me and like to order based on Instagram aesthetic, you need to stop by this quirky space for some beautiful pictures, good eats and a fun atmosphere.

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I had a great time trying a couple of the ramen options on the menu, leaving highly impressed, I definitely will be back and have recommend Yoshi Ramen to all my friends. I’m super stoked to try the Ramen Burger and add it to my Instagram feed (wink wink)!

See ya there!

Yoshi Ramen
3320 Harmon Ave
Austin, TX 78705
512.243.6161

Say Hello to Cyclone Anaya’s

Say Hello to Cyclone Anaya’s

There’s a new Tex-Mex contender in town, and I officially am head over heels. Cyclone Anaya’s is a Houston native that has finally ventured their way to the 512. It’s no secret The Domain is one of the fastest growing attractions in the city and Cyclone Anaya’s will fit right in. By adding more food and more fun, I’m officially adding Cyclone’s to the top of my list and here’s why…

The Interior + Exterior

When you first walk in you are immediately mesmerized by a giant, custom made, metal marquee reading “ATX.” I seriously need one of these signs in my apartment! You will also see lanterns hanging around with actual cyclone-fires spinning on the inside, make sure to look up! Also, adding a piece of the original location, the Tex Mex chain has a rectangular sign hanging along the wall reading, “Cyclone Anaya’s Inn Mexican Food.” As you can tell a lot of time and love was put into the interior for this location. The exterior also has some fine details, with a huge patio and a fire place, you are sure to enjoy the vibes as much you will enjoy the food.

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Cyclone Anaya’s prides themselves on having an open kitchen. This is where the customer has the ability of peeking into the kitchen and cooks (in Spanish you say “La Cocina”), where you can see the food being served to order and the flour tortillas and rotisserie chicken being made in real time.

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Now we get to the best part: the food. By the way, huge shoutout to Chef Jason for introducing me to some of the best menu items Cyclone Anaya’s has to offer — I was highly impressed!

FOR STARTERS

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Chile Con Queso with Taco Meat
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Fried Plantains
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Campechana (new to the menu)
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Nachos (1/2 chicken, 1/2 beef)

MAIN ENTREES

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Taco Al Carbon
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Beef Brisket Tacos topped with Purple Slaw
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Beef Burrito
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Top: Summer Special: beef enchilada, beef crispy taco and a chalupa served with guacamole Bottom: Enchiladas Anaya’s: gourmet enchiladas, two red corn tortillas filled with charbroiled marinated chicken or beef fajita in a tasty blend of cheese, mushrooms, onions and topped with chile ancho sauce and melted cheese

DESSERT

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Tres Leches

Overall,

  • I highly recommend Cyclone Anaya’s
  • Quality Tex-Mex
  • Officially on my top 3 places for Tex-Mex in Austin
  • Chef Jason is intuitive and knows his stuff
  • Come here for tacos! Come here for queso!
  • Vegetarian and vegan options available

See ya there!

Cyclone Anaya’s Austin
3120 Palm Way #170
Austin, TX 78758
512.339.6277

Cane Rosso Now Serves Brunch

Cane Rosso Now Serves Brunch

You guys! If you follow me on social media you know that I have an obsession with BRUNCH. Every week I anticipate eating some chicken and waffles, pancakes, or eggs Benedict over coffee on a beautiful sunfilled weekend! I wanted you guys to take a look at Cane Rosso’s new brunch menu, it’s the first time Cane Rosso offers brunch — so you know it’s a big milestone for them!

Last weekend I visited the pizzeria located in Sunset Valley, and left with a full stomach and pure happiness… I mean they have fruity pebble waffles! Scroll down for some yummy pictures and make sure to visit Cane Rosso when you get a chance!

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See ya there!

Cane Rosso
4715 S Lamar Blvd #103
Sunset Valley, TX 78745
512.904.0534

Modern Market Opens Downtown

Modern Market Opens Downtown

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On January 12th I visited Modern Market’s new, downtown location for their soft-soft-opening where I was ecstatic to get a first look. If you recall from my last post, a resolution of mine is to eat better in 2018, so I’m really excited to add Modern Market to my rotation! Modern Market is a healthy, fast casual restaurant located adjacent to the Frost Bank Tower. If you’re vegan, vegetarian or simply like to eat clean, Modern Market is for you!

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Everyone working here is happy to serve you, full of smiles and knowledgable on their menu items. I was fortunate enough to meet Chef Josh where he explained to me his vision for Modern Market and where he gets his appreciation for eating well and how happy he is to feed the city of Austin. Josh was happy to introduce me to his new creation: the Curry Salmon Bowl. This warm heirloom rice, with sustainable salmon, braised kale, coconut sweet potato curry, toasted coconut and green curry was heavenly!

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Curry Salmon Bowl

I also had the pleasure of meeting Maddie, the assistant general manager for the Modern Market downtown, Austin location. Maddie is excited to be downtown and could not be happier about this new location — Soul Cycle is right next door! She has a strong passion for educating people on eating better and it shows through her sincerity and outgoing personality. The menu features vegetarian and vegan options that are highlighted with an asterisk and you can make any item vegan or vegetarian by removing the protein, asking for no cheese and/or replacing regular cheese with daiya (a highly popular vegan cheese).

So if you’re looking for a healthy spot downtown, just finished a ride at Soul Cycle, a run on Town Lake or simply want to impress your friends and family with high quality healthy eats, go to Modern Market. Don’t forget to grab a cookie for desert!

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Thai Coconut Salad Bowl
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Pulled Pork Banh Mi Toasted Sandwich
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Crimini Kale Brick Oven Pizza (vegan)

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See ya there!

Modern Market
401 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701