When You Move To Austin…

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As I type this post I’m sitting in Thunderbird Cafe & Tap Room and it feels as if I might as well be sitting somewhere off in Brooklyn, NY. The vibe here is very “Ft. Greene” in both looks and energy. Everyone seems to be in their late 20s to mid 30s, slightly polished and not as hipster as peeps off Cesar Chavez.

There’s a phrase here that’s been mentioned to me on a number of occasions since moving here: “Keep Austin Weird.”

While I don’t think Thunderbird cafe is at all weird, I do think it shares some ownership in making East Austin gentrified. Whether this is good or bad is up to locals to decide and I’ve just moved here 5 days ago so no comment.

Back to the point of this post…when you move to Austin you should:

1. Salsa Aerobics!

When in Austin, Texas, Salsa! And, get an even greater body workout by taking a salsa aerobics class at Esquina Tango. Our Instructor was Stephanie K. was incredible! Just watching her made me sweat and by the end of our class, which was filled with moves I never thought my body could make, I felt alive 🙂 Sure, my coordination was way off and when we were directed to move right, I moved left. But even during these moments of absolute awkwardness I never once felts out of place. I just bounced back to rhythm or literally bounced in place till I felt I could rejoin our groove. Everyone was super encouraging and said “come back baby!” That alone sealed the deal that I’m moving forward in leaving my “Seinfeld Elaine” days behind. You know that scene when she dances. Yeah, that was me up until yesterday. 

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2. Ride the Bus

The Austin bus system, Capital Metro, is no NYC MTA but it works! At $2.50 per ride it’s just as expensive as other major U.S transit systems but absolutely worth it because ATX traffic is out of control. Picture L.A on the 10 but way worse. With 150+ people moving here daily, traffic hysteria is out of control making it that much harder to zip around—or find parking. Bypass all that nonsense with a $41 monthly CM card. You’d be surprised at to how far and fast you can travel. Up to today, I’ve personally used Capital Metrol at least 3 times per day and make the most of it by reading while I commute. PS. Be smart and bring wipes when you travel. Enough said.

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3. Ride Your Bike

I’d forgotten that Austin is Lance Armstrong country and that it’s actually bicycle friendly. There are many trails in Zilker Park that I plan to explore but for now, I’ve been bopping around UT to get a feel of the hills. That’s right folks, Austin has hidden hills that will make you dismount from your bicycle and walk. I have no shame in doing this and because I’m all about preserving what I got

Above is a picture from Flat Trak Coffee + Bicycle Shop. I highly recommend!

PS. I plan to keep this topic rolling as I experience Austin and have a bit more local living under my belt.

xoxo

Moni

Black + White

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Photo of Yoko: https://www.biography.com/news/yoko-ono-moma-exhibit

xoxo 💋

All other photos by me.

You Can’t Deposit Excuses

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I received a friendly reminder from a friend that it’s been a month since my last post. #OUCH

Yes, it’s true. I completely let fiesta go by the wayside as I took a trip to NYC (yipee!) and indulged in being offline. Not that I don’t want to keep consistent or have fiesta be unsuccessful, it’s just…I needed a break. At first I made excuses as to why I wasn’t posting: not enough time, no wheaties, no engery, family emergencies, blah, blah, blah. But these excuses weren’t 100% truthful. When I sat down this morning and asked myself “Why, Moni?” it was simple: I didn’t’ want to. This sheer fact made me a bit sad but relieved. I’d finally owned up to myself and it felt goooood!

Take yourself by the hand and roll with it.

Giving myself the room to be real is long overdue. I’m happily one year older and wiser with a spirit that aims to live my life unapologetically. This blog, this tiny space on the internet, lives and breathes upon my will and if I’m not ready or willing to write, it’s ok.

Give yourself room to chill.

I do have some exciting news in lieu of my absence: I’ve decided to move to Austin, Texas. I’m thinking that this step forward will be nothing less than thrilling…hello live music city! Returning to my home (20 years ago) is sort of daunting. Everyone I know there is quite settled and I will be the complete opposite. So, here’s to leaning on opposites attract 😉

xoxo

Moni

A Little Monday Wordsmith 🖋

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I felt massive Monday blues night while watching the NBA playoffs last fnals. All the feels of “Why do I have to do this thing called a ‘work week’ again…” started to creep in and give me anxiety. But then I breathed, and reminded myself that Mondays are no different than Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Why not take an optimistic perspective of kicking off the week on a high note!

Here are a few wordsmith inspos to get your mind grooving into a brand new week full of opportunity and I hope, coffee ☕️

Enjoy. xo Moni 

Enough Is Enough

I’ve chosen to lightly use my blog to speak about political issues or states of change that obviously need to happenbut after yesterday, enough is enough. 

#SeeSomethingSaySomething was conicodnetally something I leaves back in grade school and couldn’t be more relevant than today. 

Our world is depending upon us to treat thy neighbor as you would thyself and with respect. We don’t have to agree with each other. We’d Int have to believe in the same God or Ala. We don’t have to exchange a single word with a stranger. But we should value human life and breathe. And we should not believe that we are, as humans, justified in taking someone else’s life at our pleasing.

It’s sick to think that people are out there with this (violence and death) as their main life’s objective. I’m not sure where this mentally stems from or if history is simply trying to replay itself to teach us a lesson on listening. I mention listening because I feel that’s something I have to work on and keep working on until this current social climate changes. I urge you to do the same and encourage others to act peacefully.

xo Moni 

It’s our time to step up in justice and because enough is enough. 

Down With Cutouts

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Trying a few new things out with this post and look:

1. I’m publishing from my iPhone 📱 What?! That’s right. I’m finally figuring out how to work my mobile and most likely opening Pandora’s box in the process. Watch out!

2. Being a 70s child 👶🏼 means that Cher to Olivia Newton John were my fashion idols—and still are along with Whitney Houston and Selena (the Tejano legend not Gen Y star). So when I found this cutout jumper at TJMaxx for $19.99, I didn’t think twice about buying it.

3. For many years I worked in the fashion industry but behind the camera. I was everything from a stylist assistant, tailor, PR Manager, Producer and fit model. Now I’m finally ready to be a bit more forward facing and in the process, I’m learning so much about myself. All good things which is more than I could ask for.

4. Let’s not forget about the accessories in this look: Michael Kors fanny pack, Coach sunnnies and Ralph Lauren wedges. FYI: My charm bracelet is from James Avery 💕 and I’m pretty sure some of the charms are 20 years old. Yikes…

PS. I’m in search of an App to “layout” my blog posts before I post. Wondering if anyone out there is using something on their phones.

Xo Moni

0X8A1884.jpgAll photos by Becca Violette Photography!

Mood: Black And White

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I’m mentally preparing to travel to NYC + Brooklyn for 14 days and honestly, I can’t contain myself. I keep wondering what I’ll do or where I’ll go because I’m not pre-planning a single event. Crazy? I’m dreaming of wandering and window shopping—maybe meeting someone new and just soaking up NYC. Read More

Memorial “Decoration” Day 2017

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Schoolchildren Gathering Flowers for Memorial Day
30 May 1899, Washington, DC, USA — Schoolchildren gather masses of daisies for Memorial Day, formerly called Decoration Day. — Image by © CORBIS

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Beach BBQ’s and family gatherings are on fire this weekend in thanks to one reason: Memorial Day. While I’m not related to anyone that has died while serving our country, I do have brothers who have served, as well as extended family. I’m always in awe of those who enlist willingly, wholeheartedly, and courageously. Where would we be without these men and women who have given their lives in the name of democracy? My 1st amendment rights have been protected by their decision of service and I am grateful—even a little choked up about it. Maybe it’s because I finally get it. The United States of America is something to be proud of despite our current political climate. It is built up and by incredible souls who are ready to fight and protect our liberties.

I don’t even know all these soldiers but I’m humbled by their service.

May everyone who is mourning loved ones who’ve died in the act of service be consoled today. And for those who are still serving, thank you. It takes more than guts or physical strength to do what you do. You’re putting your heart on the line and it’s not going unnoticed.

xo Moni

PS. Click on photos to find source and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Spring To Summer Fashion Report

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It’s really easy to transition from Spring to Summer when there are overcast days and windy evenings. For some reason, a sharp contrast in weather always signals a season change as well as cue to rethink my wardrobe—So what better time than to produce my first collaborative fiesta fashion photo shoot with photographer Becca Violette. Plus, I secretly wanted an excuse to dress up and ditch my cute activewear 😂 Read More