Need some fitness inspiration? Me too, sister. It’s that time of the year (or month or day or hour, lately) that I realize I’m too big for my britches. All the Ramen, Hanger Steak Ssam (with Kimchi), pizza, cheese plates, sandwiches, bruschetta, bbq, bbq, tacos, tacos, beer, beer and beer have gone to my boom boom and lately I’ve been on the verge of screaming every time I walk into my closet. (And no, not because there is a raccoon that jumps out from behind the hangers, though I’d definitely scream at that too.)
In an effort to gain back my sanity (and ability to fit into my favorite jorts), I’m jumping back into fitness and committing to making healthier decisions. No more IPA and pizza. (Okay less IPA and pizza.) To get into the spirit, I broke up with my normal gym wear of old ratty tees and bought some new gym attire I don’t feel so dumpy in. Something that also inspires me to get active is breezing through @Nikewomen’s Instagram feed. It’s full of powerful photos that make me feel all the feels. Check out some of my favorites below – complete with go get ‘em quotes. Want more? Read this post I wrote about fitness inspiration last year.
How do you get motivated to break a sweat? Holler in the comments, y’all. xo
A couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to chat with Marco Rodriguez, one of the three masterminds behind Zilker Brewing Company in Austin, Texas. Over a ridiculously delicious Coffee Milk Stout, he filled me in on how they went from corporate to kegs.
Zilker Brewing Company is the creation of brothers Patrick and Forrest Clark and their good friend Marco Rodriguez. The three started home brewing in 2008. After entering their IPA into a competition and winning gold, they knew it was time to get serious about turning their hobby into a full time profession. “That was the kick in the pants we needed to get started on the business plan,” says Marco. Fast forward to a few years later where you can spend a relaxing day at the popular brewery on the burgeoning east side of Austin, lounging with friends on tables made from reclaimed train car wood while sipping on hoppy favorites like the Marco IPA.
Before crafting beer full time, Marco’s days were spent working at his desk job as a tax examiner for the IRS, while nights were reserved for volunteering at local breweries like Jester King. “I think I called and emailed every brewery within a 50 mile radius, just to get my foot in the door,” he says. Marco isn’t the only passionate hard worker at Zilker. Rachael Hackathorn, Zilker’s Operations and Events Manager, proudly admits she easily puts in 100+ hours in a week. “It doesn’t help that I live a couple blocks away from the brewery,” she laughs. “One special night when the fire alarm went off, we learned I could get out of bed, throw on clothes, jump in my car and be here in 3 minutes.”
The entire team at Zilker Brewing Company happily works their arses off. Though they each have set jobs and responsibilities, the work fam (made up of 3 taproom staffers, a delivery driver, brewer & 3 owners) chips in however they can, doing anything from carrying kegs to installing lights and helping coordinate community events.
Sarah—one of the skilled taproom pourers and pictured above—is starting classes to earn her Cicerone Certification (think wine Sommelier, but for the beer world.) Rachael is an exam away from earning hers. It doesn’t take more than a flight at the bar to understand these gals know their stuff. “It’s fun being able to nerd out about beer together,” says Rachael. “Plus it helps to have a knowledgeable staff.”
Most of the team got into the industry by experimenting with home brewing. If you’re interested in getting into the brew-making business, Marco suggests visiting your local brew shop like Austin Homebrew Supply or SoCo Homebrew to get hooked up with a basic brew set up. “It takes a lot of teaching yourself, reading books and just jumping right in and figuring it out,” says Marco. One of his favorites books is “How to Brew” by John Palmer. He’s a big fan of Ray Daniels too.
Finding the perfect location for Zilker Brewing Company took a while. “We’re picky,” says Marco. “We wanted a cool place where people in the neighborhood could gather. A warehouse box wasn’t good enough for us.” Luckily Zócalo (the company behind Zilker Brewing’s branding) were besties with the landlord of where the brewery now calls home. The guys were able to nab the space before it hit the market. After a lot of construction, hard work, patience and luck, Zilker Brewing Company opened its welcoming garage doors in 2015. With raving Yelp reviews and Zilker Brewing T-shirts, hats and other schwag being worn around town, it’s pretty clear the neighborhood is happy to have them. Stop by Zilker Brewing this weekend for a cold one, and keep an eye on their Facebook page for special events.
YOU GUYS. All I want to talk about today is how cute everything is. Like, isn’t everything so cute? Stop giving me that look! I’m in a good mood, okay? Ahem. Now that we’re on the same page, please take a look at the goodies below that are SUH CUTE. Spoiler alert: All of the items are available at Target. Bonus: They’re 30% off through Saturday!
They text you an alarming amount of Golden Girl gifs and taco emojis. They’ve watched Serendipity and The Sweetest Thing with you 65+ times (and are completely onboard with that number going up). They never tire of your Kristen Wiig impressions. They spend an unmentionable amount of time taking selfies with you. They encourage you to swipe right… If you haven’t had a chance to get your favorite ladies a gift or two, allow my Last Minute Gift Guide for Your Girl Gang to inspire you. To all of my girl gang members out there, happy holidays. Love y’all.
Happy gifting: 1. Twinning Emoji Framed Art $32 from Furbish Studio, 2. 2016 Cities Calendar $26 from Rifle Paper Co., 3. Cream, Black and Grey Ruana Wrap $19.99 from Cost Plus World Market, 4. The Getaway Passport Holder $24 from Ban.do, 5. Melissa Sonico San Mateo Necklace $48 from Poketo, 6. See San Francisco (by one of my favorite bloggers SFGIRLBYBAY) $19.95 from Anthropologie, 7. HTML + CSS Coding Online Class $39 from Brit+Co., 8. Rustic Succulent Garden $85 from King Florist, Three books from three ladies who’ve I’d LOVE to have in my girl gang: 9. Bossypants by Tina Fey $5.41 from Amazon, 10. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling $7.95 from Amazon, 11. Yes Please by Amy Poehler $9.53 from Amazon
I have a fun hangover. This past weekend was one for the books. Or, um for the blogs… GET IT?! Scott and I attended the Austin City Limits Music Festival with a few friends in town from from LA. (HI GUYS!) I’ve been dying to attend ACL, and was even more excited to share the experience with a few other newbies.
We didn’t attend all 3 days—just Saturday. Milo Greene, El Tule, Alabama Shakes, San Fermin, Walk the Moon and so many other great bands were in the lineup. The artist Scott and I were most excited to see was Shakey Graves. We first saw him live at Ed Helms’ Bluegrass Situation at the Ace Hotel Theatre in downtown LA. We’ve listened to his tunes ever since and have been looking forward to seeing him play on his hometown turf and our new home—Austin! It was well worth the heat and clouds of smoke. He is so incredibly talented (that Samsonite kick drum, come on!), super funny and just so fun to watch perform. Shakey was definitely the highlight of both me and Scott’s day.
The rest of the fest included chimichangas and fried stuffed avocados from Trudy’s and tunes from Jose Gonzales, TV on the Radio, Twenty One Pilots, Deadmau5 and a little bit of Drake.
My favorite part of ACL didn’t happen while we were at the fest though. It happened the next day when we took the crew to Barton Springs. It was Scott’s first visit and I hadn’t been there since I was a little girl. Jumping into that freezing water reconnected me with Austin more than any other experience has so far. Lord Huron was playing across the way at ACL, which made the moment even more perfect.
This past month has been completely insane. Back in April, Scott and I made the decision to move to my hometown of Austin, Texas. We had a few months to wrap our heads around the idea, but it wasn’t until I sold my car, crammed all of our belongings into a Budget moving truck, hitched Scott’s car to the truck, moved out of our apartments and hit the road that IT GOT REAL. We spent four days on the road and I really enjoyed having that time to laugh, scream and think about how OMG it’s happening. We’re really going for it!
Why are we going for it? I’ve always kind of kept moving back to Austin someday in the back of my brain, though I never thought it’d be this soon! The move was actually Scott’s idea. When he first brought it up, my response was… DUH! He fell in love with Austin on one of our trips and decided it’s the perfect place to start his production company and a new chapter of his life. He’s been in LA for the past ten years and he’s looking forward to getting to know a city that may be a bit more like his Oregon upbringing. (Green, outdoorsy and friendly… but with a lot more queso, breakfast tacos and visits to Jester King Brewery.)
It’s been 20 years since I lived in Austin. I spent my younger days making candles at Eeyore’s Birthday Party, riding on my step dad’s shoulders in the Capitol 10,000, winning 1st place (holler!) in the costume pet parade with my sis and our German Shepherd/wolf named Rasta (dressed in homemade Batman costumes), spinning under the Zilker Park Christmas tree, trekking through the Greenbelt from my backyard to Barton Springs and shopping the sh*t out of Barton Creek Square Mall. I attended almost every school in South Austin. I went to kindergarten on the drag at St. Austin’s, where I was always super jelly of the young punk-bums with bright blue hair. I went to Travis Heights Elementary, before transferring to Zilker Elementary, then to Fulmore Middle School on South Congress, then Barton Hills Elementary. I was a cheerleader at Martin Junior High who knew more about how to do the Tootsee Roll than a Toe-Touch. Then a life curveball moved me to San Antonio just before high school. I experienced quite a culture shock transitioning from going to school on the East side of Austin back in the day to going to high school in a fancy-pants area of San Antonio. It was um… different.
Though I’ve moved all over Texas, lived in New York and of course the lovely Culver City, Austin has always felt right to me. The energy, the people, the food, the music, the sense of community, the food, the food, the food… it’s home to me. I’m incredibly excited to get to know Austin again. It’s a bit emotional for me. It’s fun for me. It’s thrilling for me. It’s just wild. Austin has definitely changed since I was a kid and I can’t wait to explore it all with Scott! And fill y’all in on our shenanigans, duh!
As far as the blog goes, you can definitely expect it to evolve. Since I’m stoked to immerse myself in all things Austin, Austin and the surrounding areas (GUH, so many great places!) will play a big role here at Mustache Melrose. But you’ll also see a gang-load of photos from all of our travels outside of Texas. I still want to show you guys pics from our trips to Hawaii, Disneyland, Santa Barbara and a few fun outings in LA. Once we get settled, I’ll get to work on updating the hell out of y’all. In the meantime, follow along on Instagram and enjoy the pics from our road trip below. Spoiler alert: TEEPEES.