Life, Travel

How A Poem Cleared Up My Weird Travel Emotions

Did You Know?  1/3 of the world’s airports are located in the U.S. ( v i a )

I was looking through poetry the other day for National Poetry Day & the next thing I know 4 hours passed, I ordered 6 poetry books off Amazon, & I confessed to Wafiq that I’m going to become a song writer.

This too shall pass.

When You Don't Want To Travel

One poem really stood out.  Take a quick read:

Let me tell the tale
Of a girl who didn’t stop
Who climbed up every mountain
Without a pause upon the top
She’d dance until each blade of grass
Was clothed in drops of dew
And the sun knew her by name
But the silver moon did too
For a fear had setled in her bones
A fear of sitting still
That if you’re not moving forward
It must mean you never will
So in time her dance got slower
And she looked at all she’d seen
But found gaps inside the places
That she’d never fully been
For she was a human doing
Human moving, human seeing
But she’d never taken time
To simply be a human being
– e.h

When You Don't Want To Travel

When I came back from Dubai I couldn’t figure out why I hated the idea of traveling so much.  The biggest drag was talking travel.  I couldn’t get inspired or motivated to think about vacations, explorations, studying abroad, beaches, getaways, culture, language, hotels.  BLAH.

And this feeling stuck with me until about 3 months ago.  I spent at least a year in that feeling of travel = BLAH.   I wasn’t even the slight bit interested when I met someone with an international accent, or recently back from another country.  It was weird (…and now I’m realizing a little racist?)  I used to DIE to ask people thousands of questions about their recent vacations or country/state of origin, but I found myself completely uninterested.  (I wrote this post: here during that time, and I can tell, HA!)

I was pretty confused as to why.  After all, I’m the girl that moved across the country after high school, studied abroad by myself in a country that I didn’t know the language (at all), moved across the world with a suitcase & no clue what the hell I was going to do!  Travel gave me life & truly fulfilled my spirit…  I used to spend my life googling where to go & what to do. Who I could meet & where.  How I would get there & how I would convince my family I wasn’t crazy.

Why the fuck couldn’t I be amused by it now??!!  I felt really bad.  Not even a beach vacation?!  Boooooring.


When I read this poem it made sense to me.  I was always moving, moving, moving, & going, going, going… I swear even if other people didn’t see it, all they had to do was be in my mind.  FULL of plans & what’s next, constantly.  So afraid of stillness because it meant being stuck.

Without much intention, the past year I’ve gone to bed amazed with what I have & my routine.  I got way better at taking time to be present & patient, which I’ve never done before.  I literally look at the wall of the rooms where I live & am like “hot damn Katie, you’re fucking living. YES! YES!”. HA!

Although all of those moving, moving, moving choices gave me the best experiences of my life, this is a new kind of best experience – Like they have all been.  To be still for a quick minute & feel the stillness is a brand spanking new best experience.  Making sense?

When You Don't Want To Travel

Now, do I have plans to pick up my shit & move to Iceland tomorrow?  Maybe…  I’m getting back to feeling excited about travel & adventures, but it took some time.  This poem helped me feel excited about that time, like I’m not going to miss out on being a “human being”.  I want to be a human being too!  Not just a Human Moving OR a Human Doing!  A Human Being!

Anyways, because this particular poem helped me understand myself a little better I really wanted to share it.  I wish I read it when I was in the thick of “TRAVEL = BLAH” because it would’ve helped me feel comfortable with the feeling.


As always, be thoughtful…


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20 Things To Do in Austin, Texas – Your Checklist

Did you know?  Austin is where to be in 2017 – Economists say 2017 will be another strong year for Austin. With at least 30,000 newcomers moving to the area every year and 100 every day

( v i a )

20 Things to DO in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is packed to the rims right now for SXSW.  The festival goes from March 10th – March 19th and is loaded with all kinds of events including movie premieres, concerts, networking parties, fashion meet ups, comedy shows, food & brunches, film screenings, speakers, & people snap chatting… among other things.

It’s a time when I’m proud to live in Austin.  The weather is nice, people enjoy all parts of the city & they come from everywhere.


Amy's Ice Cream

Amy’s Ice Cream – always, Mexican Vanilla w/ M&M’s

South Congress Avenue

Outside Jo’s Coffee on S.Congress // I love youuu so much

I wanted to make a quick list of things to do in Austin if you’re visiting & don’t have a SXSW access badge OR you want a break from all the SXSW activities & want to experience more of what Austin has to offer.

This list is quick & to the point!  But I highly recommend anything you can get checked off, whether you’re visiting now or in the future this list will work all year long.

Pennybacker Bridge

Views of Pennybacker Bridge / 360 Bridge

20 Things To Do In Austin – Checklist!

  1. Mount Bonnell or Pennybacker Bridge – Take a hike up either of these two spots for soothing views of Austin’s water

  2. Walk across South Congress bridge for pretty city views or an occasional bat

  3. A picture & coffee at the “I love you so much” sign at Jo’s coffee on South Congress

  4. EAT on South Congress – Home Slice Pizza, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Vespaio, South Congress Café, Guero’s, Perla’s, Café No Se

  5. If you’re hot, head to Barton Springs Pool near Zilker Park

  6. Eat a sweet dessert at Amy’s Ice Cream

  7. Check out the calendar for ACL Live performances

  8. Attend an Esther Follies show on 6th Street, if you can grab tickets before they’re gone!

  9. Walk 6th street in the evening & grab a drink… or a doughnut at Voodoo’s Doughnuts

  10. Enjoy drinks, yard games, and live music on Rainy Street – a block of houses turned bars

  11. Peter Pan Mini Golf because BYOB, close to downtown, & a little competition is always a good idea

  12. Take a walk through Zilker Park or Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail

  13. Rent a canoe or paddle board off Lady Bird Lake

  14. Eat BBQ at Lambert’s, on 2nd Street – then grab a drink & head upstairs for live music

  15. Find live music anytime on 6th street, Rainy Street, or South Congress

  16. Try a breakfast Taco at Torchy’s Tacos or Tacodeli

  17. Also, can’t leave without a couple rounds of Queso – always order it off the menu…

  18. If time permits, check out Austin’s second downtown: The Domain.  Tons of shopping, entertainment & food!

  19. Near The Domain – Top Golf  (fun for even the worst golfers)

  20. If you’re in Austin for awhile, drive out to Fredericksburg for wine tasting or hike Enchanted Rock / If hiking isn’t your thing, head to San Marcos Outlets for major shopping (<< dangerous)

6th Street

6th Street

Austin Downtown

Zilker Park

Zilker Park

Welcome to AUstin Sign

Greetings from Austin mural // South 1st & Annie Street

Let me know if you have anything to add! Even though I’ve lived here for what feels like forever I’m constantly discovering new things in this ever changing city.

Have a great rest of the week & as always, be thoughtful…


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Life, Thoughts

5 Things to Do This New Year RATHER Than Goal Setting & Ridged Resolutions

Did You Know? “In Colombia and Peru, some believe in throwing three potatoes underneath the bed on New Years Eve: one unpeeled, one half peeled, and one completely peeled (“pelado”). Without looking, you must reach under the bed and grab the first potato your hand bumps into. Colloquially, if someone is “pelado” this means they are financially “broke.” Thus, if you grab the potato that is completely peeled you will find financial hardship in the new year. A half peeled potato means some economic troubles ahead, while a potato that is not peeled may mean money is in your future.” ( v i a )

How many of you have completely fucked up your New Years resolutions already?  OR, have: “Create Goals” on your To-Do list?  Setting goals was always on my to-do list, lingering forever.  I would finally write them down and get ridiculously excited about the million dollars I was going to make in the upcoming year.


2017 is the first year I’m 100% satisfied not making any goals. Fuck a goal <<  When I first started saying this to myself, around July, I was kind of joking.  Then I started saying it out loud (“fuck a goal”) and started believing myself. Eventually, I rationalized how terrible a goal was.

Growing up in cute Minnesota & being a cautious child, I followed all the rules.  And in a way goals were part of rules, to keep you on track.  S.M.A.R.T. goals. (If you don’t know what that is, google it & horrific high school memories will come blaring into your mind.)  I hated the pressure of having goals, making them, looking at them, and reaching them.

2017 is the first year I’m giving myself a break.  Goals are predictable.  And I want to welcome change – open arms with a glass of wine and some jazz music perhaps.  Or Eminem, depending on what kind of change is ahead.

I’m still an advocate of the New Year / New Start mentality because there’s something refreshing about January, having the chaotic holidays behind and a new year ahead.  It’s a fresh start.  A mental reset, perhaps.  But I don’t think SMART goals are… smart. Cuz who the fuck knows what’s going to happen.


5 Things to Do This New Year RATHER Than Goal Setting and Ridged Resolutions

  1. Create A Vision Board:  I’ve noticed instead of writing down goals & each step to achieving them, creating a vision board that you can easily see every morning creates a bigger focus.  Without too much planning or intention I’ve been creating a vision board throughout the past 10 years or so.  I have a huge magnetic board & I throw any special notes I receive, quotes I love, daily reminders (ex: call my family), future visions, personal pictures & mantra’s – all items and words that give me warm feelings.  Without realizing it, this focuses my daily life. And the board is constantly evolving so it’s always in sync with my bigger vision.

  2. Clean out your kitchen:  It’s 2017.  We all want sexual bodies & we all want to feel good.  We also know that a TON of food is actual crap.  There’s no arguing whether or not diet soda is good for you, or spaghetti sauce with 3,000mg of sodium is a smart decision.  Take the beginning of this New Year to throw out anything you have in your kitchen that you know is shit.  Throw it away, give it away, but get rid of it.  That step alone is going to feel good.  Unclog the kitchen cabinets. Create space and organize it with yummy, delicious, ingredients. If you don’t know whether or not something is crap, Pinterest it.  Ask me. Ask a friend if they would eat it.  Throw out the feelers and if everyone says its fucking shit – throw it away.

  3. Loosen up:  If you’re working towards an achievement & it’s not going exactly how you planned, let it go.  Take a break & relax.  Remember how lucky you actually are.  One thing about goals is how strict they can feel, almost too focused?  And, when does anything really go as planned?  Never.  If it does, then you’re probably doing it wrong. If you’re uber focused on one particular mission going exactly how you want it to go – you’re going to lose.  So loosen up.  What’s meant to be, will be.

  4. Work hard:  Do the best you can do at every task.  Every single day put your best foot forward.  If you’re at work, work hard at having an impressive day.  If you’re working on a hobby you want to turn into a career, work hard at pushing a little closer each day.  If you’re listening to someone, work hard on giving them your full attention. If you’re exercising, work hard at having a powerful work out.   If you’re walking your dog, work hard at using the time to relax and enjoy the moment. If you’re driving in your car, work hard on not letting the traffic bother you.  Every day, WORK. HARD.

  5. Slow Down:  Rushing is one of our favorite things to do.  Rush here, rush there, rush home, rush to bed, rush to the movies, rush to the grocery store, rush through traffic, rush out of work, rush through dinner, rush to the restaurant.  Most of us probably rush around in our dreams at night too.  One thing I picked up from my time living in The Dominican Republic is the beauty of slowing down.  I don’t think that means be late (that’s fucking rude and inconsiderate to other’s time) but be realistic with time slots.  Leaving your house, driving to the grocery store, buying groceries, driving back home, creating a meal, while calling your family members and getting ready – IS going to take longer that 15-20 minutes.  Start creating realistic space that allows time.  Understand that you may have to skip the movie or a dinner with a friend or coffee with your mom or a walk with your dog or a workout at the gym – prioritize and eliminate.  Appreciate the present moment – let it live, don’t rush to the end.


I think I’ve said before, each Sunday I loosely plan my week to make it a week I’m proud of.  Workouts, dinners, work, entertainment.  If it happens the way I wanted it to, that’s awesome, if it doesn’t – fuck it.

We’ll see how this year goes without the ridged goal setting.  Come 2018 we’ll see if that was a fun little idea of mine to skip goals OR if I’m liberated and strong OR feeling lost and abandoned!  Mentally, I’m already feeling excited and relief, so throw some points in the non-goal making bag.

Thoughts?  Goals vs no goals?!

Have a GREAT WEEKEND and remember to be thoughtful, always.


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Oui Please, No More Culture Shock

There are pro’s and con’s to being busy.  I’ve noticed the busier I am the quicker time goes by & I can’t stand when time goes too fast.  When I’m not busy, aka Netflix and chilling, time goes pretty slow.  How did I finish an entire series in one day?!  But that’s the laziest form of survival, so it’s a toss!


If you’ve been watching my Snapchat or following my Instagram you’ll have noticed I was in Minnesota last week.  I had to get my hair cut & my favorite stylist is in Minnesota so I made the trip.

(Not really.  My cousin got married so I went up for the wedding… and conveniently got my hair done.)

I’ll recap the trip next week w/suggestions for your Minneapolis itinerary.

Being in Minnesota this time around was actually a relief.  Last time I was home I had major culture shock.  I had a hard time communicating my feelings & expressing what I was going through.  I reacted to people’s comments defensively & craved some sort of debriefing conversation.  Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have spoken to other human beings.

This time, being around family, felt normal again! I could talk in complete sentences.  Think realistically. Respond responsibly.

I felt like I got to redeem myself.

It’s not that Dubai was super tragic, or anything extraordinary that caused my culture shock issues, it was the change.  There were different circumstances abroad that created a huge amount of change & development in such a short amount of time.  Constantly living on level 10.  When I came back, it was another huge wave of change on a Level 3.   The adjustment took time.

I have a new appreciation & understanding for people coming to America from abroad.   Or anyone going through dramatic life changes.

Now that I’ve recovered, I get excited remembering ALL the changes & happenings.  OUI! And where I am now, how much I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, the weird feelings I had throughout.  Even the emotional differences between moving away when I was 18, a semester in the Dominican Republic, and living in Dubai. Each so different & challenging in their own ways.   But pretty happy to have them behind me, as to now only have to reflect 😉


Anyways, I wanted to fill you in a little!  How’s everyone else doing? Excited for fall?


Have an extra excited day, don’t worry, and be thoughtful!



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A Trip Down Memory Lane – MissBassmaster Favs

One of the coolest parts about blogging, especially travel blogging, is being able to look back at your own writing & experiences.  Recently, I’ve been trying to clean up my old posts to make a more cohesive MissBassmaster.  In doing so I’ve stumbled upon some awesome posts.  Damnnnnnnnnnnnn Katie, round of applause!   I keep trying to remember where I was writing, what I was thinking & how I was really feeling.  I must have done a good job of conveying my emotion at the time because re reading particular posts brings me right back to the same feelings I had.

At the time I remember genuinely believing no one reads blogs so I was writing to the air – but I’m glad I did!

For anyone new to MissBassmaster, or looking for a good trip down memory lane, here are a few of my personal favs:

Olive Oil + Hair

Ha!  What you’ll do when you have no money & nowhere to be.  This particular post was still in the beginning stages of Dubai when I had major self esteem issues, hense the drama.  I remember it like it was yesterday… Feeling so proud to have a head full of grease and smelling like a frying pan. Aww.

I’m Here. Hi. / BOOM It’s My Birthday

I’m Here. Hi.  Is probably my shortest post but it’s the sweetest.  I can tell the hard times are finally behind me & I was myself again, reading this simple post put a huge smile on my face. I finally made it!  And BOOM It’s My Birthday?  Ummmm hello happiness, good to see you again!

My Dumb Idea to Try the Master Cleanse

Because this is freaking hilarious.  I will forever remember this cleanse & my conversations w/Wafiq during this time.  Since doing the cleanse & writing those posts I’ve heard a tooooooooon of negativity towards juice cleanses & restricting diets.  I would like to take this opportunity to make it clear – I was doing the cleanse as an experiment.  I didn’t know if it was good, bad, or ugly – I was bored & wanted to see if a cleanse like this was survivable, shoot me.

Myth Busting Dubai

Awwwww finally learning to defend Dubai.  This is one of my favorites because it’s so true to Dubai!!  I always say, I’m totally open to talking negatively about Dubai or really anywhere else in the world, as long as you know what you’re saying.  Facts & education, or I might as well be talking to a fucking wall.  If you want to answer some questions about life in Dubai, or the Middle East – read this.

My Fellow American’s in Dubai

I never write posts like this anymore!  Truly one of a kind – a story on MissBassmaster.  How hilarious are my fellow American’s in Dubai, and I remember working so hard at portraying each character in the pictures.  HA!

Finally Back in Austin, Texas!

I forgot how hard this was – culture shock in general was super heavy for me.  And it took almost a full year to get over it.  Only NOW am I comfortable talking and explaining Dubai to people.  That took forever! This post was written so perfectly to reflect my feelings.  Anyone struggled with culture shock?  I wasn’t ready…

EEEEEEEE!! That’s my trip down memory lane!  I haven’t gone through ALL my old posts, those are the ones that stuck out & I found to be a good read going back.  If you really pay attention you’ll see my ups and downs were a little roller coaster-y.    Any other bloggers notice that in their writing?   I’m going to try to maintain a more “up” feeling going forward, jeeeeez Katie.

I know I always say it, but I’m so so so super grateful for where I am now 🙂

Have a light day & remember to be thoughtful!!


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Life, Personal Updates, Thoughts

Fresh Air In The Rain

Happy Wednesday! Happy back to school! Happy end of summer!

I’ve been savagely cooking out of Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook & unfortunately not the healthy recipes.  How she remains skinny is truly unfair, although I’ll admit my choice of recipes have definitely been the ones calling for TBLS x TBLS of butter.  I haven’t eaten butter since 2004.  I need to change my strategy with that a little bit. She’s so funny & honest in her book about the fat you’re about to inhale or the salads you should be eating – which is why I’m obsessed with her.  The real deal.


Besides cooking I haven’t been busy doing very much, the rain we’re having in Texas is extreme.  I never complain though, I love the way rain gives you an excuse to stay inside, cook, watch movies & light candles.

The rain outside inspires a calm & relaxing morning.  I’m the type to get increasing anxiety as the morning goes on, meaning sleeping in is no longer as easy as it once was.  The saying: “My brain during the day: Potato, potato, ching chong tomato. / My brain at night: I wonder why the Earth was placed exactly here and allowed us to provide a perfect climate to sustain life”, applies to me.

After two weeks straight of rain and staying indoors, me & my B Unit were getting a little cabin fever.  I feel bad when a dog has to stay inside through bad weather.  I saw (one of my many) girl-crush’s walking out from the trail with her two dogs in pouring down rain & feeling so envious.  She looked like how I imagine Michael Phelps felt when he kicked that South African man’s ass.  (Anyone see that?) And I was wanting to let out my inner water badass too.

Like any jealous girl, I then proceeded to my own adventure in the rain, with the B.  I told myself & Wafiq we’ll pretend we live in Portland & rain is what we do best. (?)

The adventure went well, it was wet + sweaty + muddy + buggy BUT being outside & breathing in fresh-ish air was so necessary after being cooped up for the past week.

Not to mention burn off at least a small portion of the 10lbs of Chrissy’s Mac & Cheese.

Another reason it’s totally necessary for you to adopt a dog.  You’ll feel guilty if you skip outdoor time.


Hat for the sun, turned in to hat for the rain

In other news, I’m really excited because I’m going to Minnesota for a long weekend soon… Last time I was there I was suffering from major culture shock, yikes! I laugh now because I remember how uncomfortable I was driving & talking to strangers (aka, the checkout lady at Whole Foods).   The whole American thing was freaking me out, I try to remember how grateful I felt & remind myself to continue being grateful every single day.

Which I absolutely am.  I think almost every day Wafiq and I literally smile and remind ourselves how lucky we are. We bought the Costco size package of laundry soap and toilet paper.  Don’t even get me started on being able to do our own laundry! Living posh as fuck right now.

Life is good today!

Have a great rest of the week, be thoughtful. Talk soon!


+ P.S.  If you saw my Instagram you’ll have noticed my recommendation for NEEDTOBREATHE.  You guys, it’s freaking fantastic – download it now!


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Places: Texas, Travel

Super Casual – Intro. To 6th Street, Austin TX

Austin’s 6th Street.

 6th Street, Austin Texas,

For people who haven’t heard of it, 6th Street refers to a few blocks in downtown Austin full of bars & entertainment that is closed off to cars on the weekends –> Party central for Austin, TX.

Some people are happy about it, some people are sad about it but this part of 6th Street is also known as “Dirty 6th”.

I think you’ll understand why when you visit.

But “Dirty 6th” should not necessarily scare you away, dirty refers more to –> wild, crazy, fun, fast, carefree, everyone & everything.

It can be wild & out of control, but sometimes a little out of control is a good thing.

6th Street, Austin Texas

I became verrrry familiar with 6th Street in college and have since done my best to avoid it – but! for the sake of going outside my day to day activities I wanted to give 6th Street a try once again, & take you with me.

When you’re in college –> 6th Street is where you run to every night to get as many free drinks as possible, see classmates like you’ve never seen them before, and stumble up to a pizza window at 3am slamming down as much food as humanly possible.

For people who are out of college, or in town visiting – 6th Street can be a different place.

6th Street Austin Texas

What to wear:

Wear whatever you want! You can truly get away with anything.

This particular time, I tried to land somewhere in the middle with a sequin crop top and long maxi skirt – but do you. 

If you ever wanted to experiment with a hoochie look, this is the place to live out your dreams.   Boobs, legs, heels – You won’t feel out of place & will probably get top notch service. Why not?!

If you want to wear jeans and a T-Shirt & walk around people watching, go for it!

If you want to wear your bikini and Star Wars cape, I say go ahead!

Do you.

Missbassmaster 6th street, austin texas

Where to eat:

I’ve never explored the restaurants on 6th street (besides the 2am pizza windows or sausage carts), because there’s a ton of other restaurants downtown that are a little easier to get to, and shall we say, a bit less chaotic than the ones lining 6th Street.

Iron Cactus is probably the tourist hot spot for 6th Street, but I can’t say it’s the best. I went there once a looong time ago and wasn’t overly impressed. According to reviews, doesn’t seem to be doing a lot better now.

We took a chance on Eureka and were pleasantly surprised, would definitely go back… Big windows, chill but excited, food was fresh –> Yum!

6th Street, Austin Texas

Steak Salad & Brussel Sprouts – Delish!

And for dessert, the now open 24/7, Voodoo Doughnuts is available for your consumption.

I’m your average basic when it comes to doughnuts: Plain, Glazed, Cake all the way… {YASSSSSSSSSSSS come to me!}

BUT if you have a creative mind as far as doughnuts are concerned,  Voodoo Doughnuts will keep up with you.

6th Street, Austin Texas, Voodoo Doughnuts

What to do:

Besides the endless bars, dancing, drinking & people watching – there are souvenir shops, live music venues, a movie theater, comedy shoes, & a piano bar – all right in the heart of 6th Street. Don’t be afraid.

We went to Alamo Drafthouse – The Ritz the other night to see PopStar.  {I don’t usually like comedies, but this one was funny.  The buffalo cauliflower & wine probably helped.}

Alamo Drafthouse is much different than other theaters, it offers food + drinks + comedy & affordable prices. (I love it sooooooo much!)

They’re having a Kanye West: Glow in the Dark Sing-A-Long showing all month…?! Yes please!

* On your regular movie night at The Ritz – get a little buzz and walk around 6th Street afterwards.  That’s what we did.

There’s also Esther’s Follies right on 6th Street.  I’ll admit, although this place seems to be a long time favorite of visitors and Austinites, I’ve only seen it from the backside.  The windows open up to 6th street for passerby’s (me) but the real show is inside.

I haven’t been. I’m not sure if I’m a total comedy-magic-skit show person, but it’s on my list of things to try.  AND if you visit Austin, probably worth checking out.


6th Street Austin Texas Alamo Drafthouse The Ritz

There it is!

Your baby, introduction to 6th Street – so much easier to write about it than visit. LOL!

{Lots of alcohol induced people + sober picture taking = embarrassed MissBassmaster.} 

Per usual, if you plan ahead you won’t be as overwhelmed when you get down there.  It gets pretty crazy and drunk in the evening time so having a plan will get you through smoothly & probably with a few good stories to tell.

6th Street, Austin Texas,

Where’s your party central?!  Worth visiting or not?!

I always wonder if locals take their visitors to the popular party streets… I debate 6th Street every time, but ultimately decide it’s a place visitors want to see.

Ok, off to make out with my doggie & sleep!




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Catching Up – Why I Don’t Want Wafiq To Get A Job

Hi Hi Hi!


I feel like it’s been awhile since I did a little life update and chatted about everything going on…

 Malibu Beach

Hopefully! Wafiq will be able to start working soon (…after patiently waiting a year to figure out the visa situation.)

I was on the way to work the other day and started wondering – why don’t I want him to start working?

I would welcome the extra income with open arms & would be happy he could finally push forward in his career – BUT, for some freakish reason, I couldn’t figure out whyyyy, in the back of my mind – I did not want him to get a job.

I was almost hoping his work permit would s l o w down, or maybe never come…?!?! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! (I know, I’m terrible).

I realized, it’s because he’s not stuck in the conventional work schedule yet –>  He still has that freedom we were living with for so long & by seeing it in him, I feel happier and oddly safe?  Like – I can’t get stuck, as long as he isn’t.

What worries me about him starting a job is drowning in routine, which has always been my biggest fear.   I’m already in it,  and coming home to someone who isn’t – has been giving me l i f e .

Both of us having a full time (conventional) job freaks me out.

Constantly proving yourself to climb the ladder, follow orders, punch in / punch out. Ewwwwww.

I’m fully aware I don’t make sense to everyone.  Because everyone is not the same. For some people – working in a conventional position, with routine, fulfills their purpose.  They’re able to participate in activities that allows them to shine.

For some people, it doesn’t.  We all have different ways to fill our tank, and that’s what makes each individual so cool & special. I’m obsessed with these differences, it’s what makes each person so interesting.

My feelings: Don’t work Wafiqqqqq! Saveeeee yourrrrsellllllfffffff!

But that’s out of control. I get it.

Malibu Beach

I’ll say, from experience, there’s something about being broke that brings out the feels.  (My never-get-a-job-speech.)

When you don’t have any money, life is creative.   You don’t go buy whatever you want & do whatever you want – You figure out other ways.  Keeping up with the Joneses doesn’t exist –  fuck having a posh vacation, a new car, organic toothpaste, or a fancy purse – you’re busy figuring tomorrow out!  (<— As you can see, I’ve been dying to write a post on money… I’ll get into that rant another day.)

Not that money isn’t also incredibly wonderful, but there’s something about being pretty broke that sparkles at night.

Malibu Beach

Howeverrrr, Wafiq will start working soon whether I like it or not… BUT we’re both running our engines with optional career paths to find another, possibly unconventional, way.

[Lucky for me – our crazy minds think alike]

Other news to receiving his work permit: a driver’s license + travel permit + temp social security # + normal, every day opportunities – so we’ll be more ecstatic than you can imagine.

Our life has hit somewhat of a Pause button figuring out those technicalities, but hopefully it’s coming to the end! (Not our life, just the Pause button.)

 Malibu Beach

Being June already! We’re reserving this weekend to check in on our goals & reevaluate where we’re headed.


Anyone else taking some time to check in?  It’s crayyy zeeee how fast time flies isn’t it?! I feel like it was JUST January… shiiiiiiiiiiii

What’s everyone else up to? What do you have going on?!?  Anything spicy?  A new dog?  A new baby?  A new boyfriend?! A favorite compliment?! (love those)


Have a great summertime weekend everyone, hope your days are as happy as you dream them to be 🙂



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Food, I recommend..., Places: Texas

Texas BBQ Series: Part III. La Barbecue & Franklin Barbecue

This week we’re taking on Barbecue LINES.

Austin has a couple select barbecue options that boost about their long lines, and this week I tackled them.

 Franklin Barbecue, Best Barbecue

If I’m going to do a Texas BBQ Seriesit’s my duty to bring you to the ultimate BBQ on the list – Franklin Barbecue.  And probably a competitive second — La Barbecue.

Now, I would NEVER normally wait for food. I actually would never wait in a line for anything. I don’t like lines & don’t understand the point. Whatever line I’m in, probably isn’t worth the energy.

But here I was, Sunday morning,  7am – in line for Franklin Barbecue.


I showed you a hot spot barbecue restaurant, an upscale fancy barbecue, my ride or die gas station barbecue, and now it’s time to show you the barbecue you wait in line for all day.

I had to take one for the team.


 Le Barbecue, Best Barbecue

Lines & Food Trucks = Not a fan.  But I’ll bend my rules for this.

La Barbecue’s been all the rage for BBQ in Austin lately.  Their pit master came from Franklin BBQ, (which I’ll touch on below), so good BBQ was a promising expectation.

We hit up La Barbecue on a Thursday morning.  The trailer opened at 11:00am & we arrived at approximately 10:50am.

There was a line, but I think Thursday offered a little cushion for us.

LeBarbecue, best barbecue

“The Pit” (Where they make the meat)

The BBQ here was phenomenal.  It was also expensive.

Compared to the other BBQ places I tried, this was probably the most expensive.

We ordered 1 rib that was $37.  Granted the rib fed both of us, but still, that’s rather steep… isn’t it?

 LeBarbecue, best texas barbecue

Side dishes were KILLER.  Potato salad, black bean mix, and chipotle cole slaw.. AAAhhmazing.  MMmmmmMMMmm

I’ll be honest, La Barbecue was delicious.  SUPER DELICIOUS.  I can see where people would tolerate a little wait for it.


The problem I have with these lines + barbecue, I guess for any restaurant, is the risk of selling out.

Waiting in line for a couple hours and possibly not even getting what you want to order..?  No thank you.

Sooo… there’s that.



Franklin Barbecue, Best Texas Barbecue

Franklin Barbecue even told Kanye West to get lost.

The only person they let cut to the front of the 6 hour line was President Obama.

Franklin Barbecue, Best Texas Barbecue

Soooo, I learned quickly.. People show up EARLY to wait in line.

We arrived around 7:00am but people in front of us arrived at 5:30am!  And the line was wrapped around the building by 8:30am.  (8:30 in the morning!!!!..?!?!)

A staff member comes out to count the amount of meat each person will be ordering so they can tell the back of the line if there will be enough food left for them.

From what I saw, if you arrive past 8:30am– there’s no barbecue left for you.

Doors open at 11:00am guys.  Do the math, that’s a LOOONG wait.

And if you’re in the back of the line, you likely won’t get served until 2:00pm – 3:00pm! Eeeeeeek!!

Franklin Barbecue, Best Texas Barbecue

My feelings exactly

Another thing I learned from waiting in this absurd line is the enjoyment people find from it –>  Waiting in line for Franklin BBQ is more like an event.  Chairs, coolers, drinks, yard games, music.. The whole sha-bang!

And they have a great time!

Is this for me?  Absolutely not.  Wayyyy out of my comfort zone, but I can say it wasn’t terrible.

I did get some good bonding time with my princess Bernice & prince charming Wafiq.

Franklin Barbecue, Best Texas Barbecue

The staff was FANTASTIC!

I say this because, sometimes when a restaurant, or really any company or person, gets popular they turn into assholes. (<– One of the reasons I don’t wait in lines.)

But not in this case, the staff was wonderful – Super kind, rule followers, laid back, a welcoming crew.


Franklin Barbecue, Best Texas Barbecue

For the food. OF course it was great, I don’t think they could keep that insane of a line if it wasn’t.

We purchased every single option on the menu.  If we’re waiting in a line for 4 hours, we’re getting it ALL!


Franklin Barbecue, Best Texas Barbecue

If you’re curious, the pulled pork was hands down the best.

I don’t usually go for pulled pork but it was EXCELLENT.

Great, flavorful, delicious, moist, and as good as barbecue can be I suppose.

Would I wait in line again?  No.

(Have you seen lines like this before?! Insane right?!)

BUT I did it for you guys, to get a closer look, and maybe save you from the experience?

Franklin Barbecue, Best Texas Barbecue

If you do decide to wait in line somewhere, lesson learned bring chairs, games, and drinks to keep you busy.

Franklin Barbecue, Best Texas Barbecue

My final Texas BBQ Series notes: For visitors or date night, Lambert’s is the spot!

For casual Sunday’s, I still love Rudy’s – my ride or die.

Woooooofta, the Texas BBQ Series is officially done!

I feel like I covered the range, took you there with me, and learned about some yummy new places myself.

Franklin Barbecue, best barbecue

Franklin Barbecue Dessert (I told you we ordered it all)

YAY! This weekend I can eat something other than BBQ! LOL!

Vegetarian lifestyle commencing now.


Have a fun Memorial Day weekend everyone! I hope you’re wearing your red, white, blue + stars and drinking lots of beers (plural?) !!



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Dubai Tips & Tricks – To Pull Off A Perfect Trip

Take notes ladies & gentlemen –

Last week I shared your MUST DO bucket list for Dubai & in order to keep that list as short as possible I left out a lot of tips, tricks, & notes to keep.

Here are your 10 Vacation Notes to get through a trip to Dubai in the best way possible!  Enjoy!

Your Perfect Dubai Vacation

Burj Al Arab

10 Dubai Vacation Notes:

1. Buy alcohol in Duty Free at the airport.  This is an absolute must.  Buy as much as you think you’ll drink… & then some. There’s a limit to the amount of alcohol you can buy in Duty Free and bring into the country. The person at the counter will know the amount, so ask them.


2. Have at least one person in your group get a SIM card so you have a phone.  It’s pretty affordable & worth it.  Google maps is your best friend while in Dubai, so having a phone is super helpful.  The two major carriers to look out for while you’re in the airport are Du & Etisalat.  I suggest Etisalat, Du had this weird Data or Voice option that really screwed me out of $$$$ while I was there.  And I suggest getting the SIM card at the airport before you do anything else.


3. DON’T go to Dubai for a party.  Dubai is not a place to go drinking, dancing & partying.  It just isn’t.  You cannnnn party if you want to, but it’s not going to be nearly as good of an experience as it would be somewhere else – you’ll spend WAY more money than it’s worth.  Remember, Dubai is a Muslim country, it wasn’t created for alcohol <– Go with that mindset.  You go to Dubai for shopping, the desert & jaw dropping buildings — not parties.


4. I HIGHLY recommend doing everything on this list, and for any spare time you have – stay in your hotel… LOL! I say that because the hotels in Dubai are G R A N D and G O R G E O U S.  Dubai puts a ton of pride in their hotels – by you simply staying in one, you’re already on a vacation.  Stick to the list, and stick to exploring your hotel.


5. Dubai has rules, but you don’t need to freak out about them.  Just don’t do cocaine, don’t rape anyone, don’t talk about their King, don’t have sex in The Dubai Mall and don’t walk around naked.  In America, when I see people talking about Dubai on TV, they’re always mentioning the “rules”.  There IS rules, and they are super strict IF you break them. But act conservatively and respect everyone – there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of.  Like I’ve said over and over again, living in Dubai was the safest I’ve ever felt.  I absolutely love that they have major rules AND follow them.  Well done Dubai, well done. (America gets their panties in a bundle over spilled milk *eye roll*).


6. Don’t go in the summer.  It’s fucking hot.  I’d say May – August are probably off limits.  December – March are the best.


7. Check for Religious holidays!  If you make the mistake of going to Dubai in the summer, you’ll probably also be there during Ramadan.  I loved experiencing Ramadan, however – No eating, no drinking, no touching, no music, no restaurants.  Unless you want to become “one” with the Muslim community, avoid going during this time.  ALSO, they have holidays spread throughout the year that are “dry”.  Make sure you know those dates too. (I saw on the Real Housewives they went during a dry time and were trying to act like it’s all cool, but that would be a total bummer if it’s your vacation… or at least I think so).


8. Plan ahead.  There’s nothing wrong with making all your plans ahead of time, and when vacationing in Dubai –> that’s a fantastic idea.  Listen, Dubai is confused.  There are a ton of people that don’t know what the hell their doing – so if you casually “wing it” for a day and don’t know what you’re doing.. You’ll end up EXTREMELY frustrated. (Trust me.)  Even after living there for a year, I would rarely leave the house without an exact plan.  Know your locations so you can specifically tell a cab driver, even better: know large landmarks NEAR your destination, or the exact hotel the restaurant you’re going to is in.  Also, know your timing, have your tickets, book your excursions… Basically – know your shit inside & out.  Don’t assume you can ask someone something and they’ll tell you accurate information, that just doesn’t happen.


9. If you rent a car (which you should for Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque day),  prepare to get lost.  Their roads are easy to drive & I feel pretty safe, BUT there are no U-Turns.  If you miss a turn – you’ll have a long detour.  Use Google Maps. And take your time.  Watch out for those expensive speeding cameras too!  (FYI – the Mosque is actually pretty easy to get to…)


10. Expect to pay more than you budget.  Sometimes, you can breathe air and spend $500.  If you stick to my list of things to do, you should be safe… But wander off, and may the money God’s watch over you!


Dubai Marina

@ Dubai Marina

Have fun! Dubai is built for tourism, stick to the tourist things and you’ll have an awesome time.  Next time I go, I’ll follow my own advice & act like I’ve never been before – I think that would bring out an entirely different perspective.

So0o0o adventurous people,  I’m seeing holidays are in full throttle this summer… Lot’s of travel happening on the Instagram pages. Where’s everyone headed?

I’m always brainstorming the next destination on my travel agenda…

As always, let me know if you have any questions for traveling in the Middle East, I’d be happy to answer!

Talk soon!


>> PS. I knooooow I said I would write about women clothing options for Dubai, coming next week!  I promise.



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