(New) Year of Change

(New) Year of Change


With 2017 coming to an end, I can’t help but be thankful for all of the changes (good and bad) that have helped me grow as a person these past 12 months. I’m also really grateful for all of the opportunities that have come my way since launching ITSMARKYATX. I’ve always had a fond for detail, photography and writing in general — if you recall from my first blog post, creating content has always been a passion of mine, from being Editor of my high school newspaper to being part of the yearbook committee — and I didn’t really know how to channel my creative energy into my daily life as an adult. Working in tech a lot of things are very black and white, thankfully, my blog has helped me paint all the colors that were missing from my life.

For 2018, I have a lot of goals in mind and I figured I could write this blog post to help jot all of my resolutions down! In the case that I get a creative slump (as I often do) I can look back on this post and remind myself all of the great things I had in mind…


  • Try to have more fun with family and friends by taking time to live in the moment
    • I can do this by putting my phone down from time to time, and not feeling the need to put every single second online is a huge goal of mine. Challenge accepted.
  • I really want to get into writing Yelp reviews and eventually becoming a Yelp Elite
    • Yelp can be a tricky application because you not only have to write really good reviews, you have to constantly provide feedback that people want to read and see.
    • Of course, this would add yet another social app to be on top of, so we will see how the year goes…
  • Moderation, Awareness and Consciousness
    • I definitely need to be more aware of what I put inside my body… being a food blogger makes it difficult to “eat well” but by simply being more conscious and aware of what I’m eating will make me a lot happier, not to mention healthier.
  • Yoga! Yoga! Yoga!
    • I currently have been having some muscle spasms in my back, and have been really, really stressed out lately….. I’m trying to figure out the root of this stress and have considered going to see a therapist. Trying to relax your mind from overthinking too much is harder than you’d think… pray for me y’all… I always try to keep it positive but lately I’ve been in a huge funk and my hormones are definitely off balance.
    • My doctor has highly recommended for me to do yoga, and I plan on jumping on the bang wagon more seriously in 2018.
  • Find a Church
    • I really want to find a church I can attend regularly in Austin that will accept me for who I am. If you have any recommendations let me know.
  • Self Care
    • Wether it be through more exercise, exfoliations, massages, facials, getting rid of toxic relationships, saying “no” more or taking a soothing bath from time to time, 2018 will be all about taking care of my body and mind. God’s will.
  • Blog MORE
    • A huge resolution of mine is to be more active on my blog!
    • I have to say that when I started blogging I didn’t expect it to grow as fast as it has, what went from a hobby has turned into something bigger than myself and I would not have it any other way! I have made some great friends and have been able to experience some really good eats and experiences that I would have not been able to do on my own — for that I am forever grateful for the people who “follow” me online and for the people in my life that have encouraged me to follow what seems to come so naturally to me.
    • So thank YOU! To say I have been holding myself back for some time is an understatement. I was really afraid of opening up to strangers because of my own self doubt and insecurities (I grew up Catholic, okay!), but I’m learning to love myself more and more each day, something I truly feel I would have never been able to feel had it not been for my blog and the hundreds of virtual interactions I make with all of you.
  • The Year of Happiness
    • Like Ru Paul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” a quote that has stuck with me since first watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race in college. It has truly become a life mantra of mine.
  • Post More Raw Photos
    • I’ve learned that people don’t care about the perfect tweaks and touches. I’m excited to post more raw, in-the-moment photos, like the way I used to when I first started Instagram. I want to stop critiquing my work so harshly and just have fun with my content. I’m excited!
  • Say “I Love You” more to family and friends
  • I want to be more active as a content creator 
    • I want to show all of you more of what Austin has to offer by creating authentic photos and really fun blog posts that better introduce you to who I am as a person and what I like to do in my city.
    • A weird obsession I’ve had since say high school (think Laguna Beach era) has been to be a really energetic, positive person that people can follow online, someone you can reach out to whenever you need a recommendation of what to eat and do —  blogging has definitely done that for and I absolutely love it.
    • I love when you guys ask me for a food recommendation, or some tips on “where to go for Tex-Mex,” it really makes my heart warm. So thank you, and never be afraid to ask me for a rec!
    • I want to take each blog post more professionally. It’s all about the layout!
  • Mindfulness
    • I need to get better at saving my money and stop making useless transactions! Until I’m making a triple digit income I’ll start to care a bit less, but for now I have to stay mindful.
    • An app that has helped me stay up-to-date on all of my spending has been the Mint App, check it out in the App Store if you need help budgeting your hard earned cash. #notsponsored

Thanks to everyone who continues to support my blog shenanigans and foodie adventures around Austin, Texas. All of you have touched my heart in more ways than one, thank you for being my friend.

In 2018 I want to produce a more eclectic variety of content on my blog, I really want to bring a lot of fun and different posts on @markyatx. Obviously, blogging is a big passion of mine (now) and it has really changed the game for me. Originally, I intended on being a life and style blogger, I would currently say that I am more of a food blogger with a fashion forward edge, but on 2018 I plan on mixing the best of both worlds.

With that said some blog (and Instagram) posts that I plan on putting out in 2018 include:

  • Weekend Eats (think along the lines of this post)
  • More #OOTD’s
  • Restaurant Grand Openings
  • “Best Of’s” (think “Best insert food type here in Austin”
  • Morning/Night Routines
  • What Would Mark Wear
  • Pop Up Shops in Austin
  • Events Happening Around Town
  • SXSW (can’t wait!!!)
  • ACL (maybe)
  • Product Reviews (maybe)
    • think men’s products
  • Partnerships (think along the lines of this post)
    • life and style related
  • Restaurants I Love This insert month here

Wishing all of you a happy and cheerful holiday season!!!


Mark Rodriguez

My Austin Weekend

My Austin Weekend


Happy Monday, y’all! The weekend is over and I wanted to share some of my weekend-eats throughout the city. It is no secret that I like to stay loyal to eating/buying local throughout Austin, so in @MarkyATX-fashion, I visited a few trendy spots around town.

Saturday morning, I visited Sa Tén Coffee and Eats, located inside Canopy over on Springdale. Canopy is an East Austin warehouse that has been redeveloped to showcase local art and host creatives alike.


I grabbed a cappuccino to help kick start my morning. Sa Tén has recently partnered with Rosen’s Bagel Co., to provide some traditional bagels and inventive schemers to enhance your bagel experience! I didn’t grab a bagel (this time) I was still full from dinner the night before, but definitely grab one if you’re ever in the area!


Sa Tén Coffee and Eats
916 Springdale, Bldg 3, Ste 101
Austin, TX 78702
Mon – Sun: 7am-10pm

For #brunch, I went to Unit D Pizzeria — one of my favorite spots to grab pizza — I was invited by Shalou, the owner, and accompanied by my friend Taylor. I was there to test drive Unit D’s new Weekend Lunch! I definitely saved my appetite that day, and was excited to try some of the new sandwiches added to the menu! You can really taste all the love and flavor in each bite when you’re at Unit-D!

Caesar salad with Anchovies

I started with the Caesar salad, and ordered a couple sandwiches and a sausage pizza with egg! Unit D has been testing adding eggs to their pies, and when Shalou asked if I was interested in sampling one, I said “yes” with no hesitation.

A Croissant Sandwich, the best!
Turkey Sandwich
Sausage Pizza with Egg on top

Unit-D Pizzeria
2406 Manor Road
Austin, TX 78722
Mon, Wed – Thurs: 5pm-10pm
Fri: 5pm-11pm
Sat: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-11pm
Sun: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm
Closed Tuesday

Blackened Dragon
Poke Me Long Time

Later that evening, I went down to East Austin to sample 1606 East. 1606 East is a food trailer park on the East Side, from Mediterranean, to Poke, the eatery has some really good food, for a really good time.

Food Trailers include:

  •  BLACKENED DRAGON – from chicken, to vegan cauliflower chicken, you don’t want to skip this food truck
  • AUSTIN HALAL – absolutely loved their humus and falafel’s
  • POKE ME LONG TIME – funny name, delicious, freaking Poke
  • TAMALES VITAL – not kidding, these were some high end, authentic tamales

1606 East — Food Truck Park
1606 East 6th St.
Austin, Texas 78702


Sunday I woke up at 8am, and traveled down to one of my favorite coffee spots on South Congress: Mañana Coffee Juice and Bakeshop.

Drip Coffee from Mañana

Unfortunately, for the rest of the day I forgot my Canon, but did have a few eats around town that I would like to mention. For brunch, I went to Bouldin Creek Cafe with my friends Tyler and Michael. Afterwards, we went to Moojo on Guadalupe, Michael wanted a cookie ice cream sandwich. Tyler and I were craving Bubble Tea, so we went to my favorite spot for squishy pearls: Coco’s Cafe. I ordered a large Avocado Smoothie with extra pearls, and Tyler ordered a small without pearls. Once we each had a treat of our own, we walked over to the brand new mini-Target (which was so freaking awesome by the way, I was so close to buying a Nintendo Switch) and wandered aimlessly wishing we were still in college… simpler times!

Overall, I had a great weekend with friends and can’t believe how quickly the weekend always flies by.

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving, eat lots of food and enjoy your time with friends and family.

25 Random Facts About Me + Life Hacks

25 Random Facts About Me + Life Hacks

Last month, I turned 25 – and decided I wanted to share 25 random facts about me to match my old age (kidding), as well as a few life hacks I’ve discovered along the way. Thank you times 100 for following along, it means the world to me; I have so much content coming out this summer (like Battle of the Tacos!!) so stay tuned… INTERNET HUGS!

  1. My first crush was in the 3rd grade, and his name was Severo. Can you help me find him?
  2. I locked my keys inside my car post-college graduation and was 3 hours late to my own party. I still think about the Menudo that never was…
  3. #OOTD is literally my favorite hashtag on the planet!
  4. I was the editor of my high school newspaper, as well as class president.
  5. We all make mistakes and nobody expects you to be perfect, but what you do after a mistake speaks volumes.
  6. You don’t have to search after people, if you have a strong bond with someone you will know.
  7. Getting to where you want to go takes time and a lot of effort, relax a little bit and understand there is a bigger picture developing right before you.
  8. I had five internships in college – ALL UNPAID!!
  9. Be nice to everybody because you never know whom you are coming in contact with or who he or she can become in the future.
  10. Run your own race and know that you can do it… put yourself out there and really, really try.
  11. If you want an iced mocha but don’t want to pay $5, you order an iced doppio (two shots of espresso) with two pumps of regular mocha and add your own milk, honey!!! You just saved $2.50!
  12. I got my first tattoo at the age of 19, mostly to irritate my mom. LOL
  13. I press the snooze button two times each morning.
  14. My favorite place to eat in Austin, hands down, is Matt’s El Rancho on Lamar. Shout out to my friend Megan for the introduction!
  15. Attend all of your classes in college; sticking it out for three hours is much better than the anxiety you get from skipping. You know it’s true.
  16. Ideally, I see myself living in New York City, although I’ve never been.
  17. Impromptu pictures is like, totally my thing. Give me a nice wall and it’s going down.
  18. Living in peace is key, but be careful of people who want to steal that away from you. It’s okay to set boundaries and not allow everyone in. シ
  19. Find me wearing Birkenstock’s with socks! Don’t @ me.
  20. The goal is to have my own company where I can help brands grow through social media – pay me to travel, puh-lease!!
  21. You’re always going to have haters. Don’t get caught up. Ignore them.
  22. Most people of my generation stumble through their lives and end up in routines. Life is an experiment – take the plunge!
  23. I’ve read the entire Harry Potter series, THRICE.
  24. “Should’ve Been Us” by Tori Kelly is my all time favorite jam.
  25. I came up with the handle @markyatx in 2012, and my closest friends literally call me that by name. =)

Writing for Tacos – My 1st POST!

Writing for Tacos – My 1st POST!

Ever since high school I’ve had a mild obsession with fashion bloggers, it was one of the reasons why I decided to study fashion merchandising in college. I quickly fell in love with the fashion program at Texas State University and the people that encompassed it. It was interesting being one of three guys in the room, as all my classes were 95% female – including my professors! Fast forward to life after graduation when I moved from San Marcos to Austin and started to follow local bloggers, public figures and Instagram users that had a niche of the who, what, where of Austin, Texas. Like the FM program at Texas State, I quickly noticed the blogging community in Austin was predominantly women (I mean girl power! Am I right?) and the question remained, “Should I start a blog?”

Grabbing a cappuccino at Mañana Coffee, Juice & Bakeshop

If you ask any of my friends they can attest to the fact that I’ve always had an eye for things like food photography and #ootd’s. I craved going to retail store grand openings, coffee shops, and local restaurants – to this day you can find a long list on my iPhone of places I want to eat, drink and play throughout the city. Traveling throughout Austin and documenting everything it had to offer quickly became a hobby of mine; I started to use my Instagram as a platform to showcase the ever-changing city.

Brunch at Hillside Farmacy

On March 15, 2017 (aka SXSW) I was up at 630am to attend Create & Cultivate, a movement looking to create and cultivate entrepreneurs to meet like-minded individuals, all while learning tips and tricks from some of the best in the business. Speakers included YouTube sensation, Jenn Im; fashion blogger, Courtney Kerr; Austin-based blogger, Camille Styles; Kristen Bell and much more! I was eager to learn! I was inspired!

Camille Styles sitting next to Courtney Kerr (far right)

Sitting in the audience, I saw Courtney Kerr coming in my direction; I thought this was my chance to put myself out there! I thought maybe she could fall in love with my charisma, offer me a role in her company and fly me off to Dallas (a guy can dream). I happily introduced myself, she greeted me lovingly and immediately asked if I had a blog… (uh oh!) I explained to her that I worked in tech and didn’t have a blog of my own, but that it was on my bucket list. Kerr gave me the look of death, I had literally offended her, “What are you doing with your life?” she asked jokingly. If you follow Courtney you know she is real, raw and blunt – probably the secret to her success – and I appreciated her authenticity. “If you love it, do it!” she said. Little did she know she had just given me the jump-start I needed to pursue the creativity growing inside of me… it was time to turn my Instagram bio “Writing for Tacos” into a reality.

Now I’m no expert on fashion or blogging for that matter, but I’m ready to show Austin through a different lens – literally. Cue P!nk and let’s get this party started! Celebratory drinks anyone?