Monday, November 17, 2014


Our last brunch in town at Blackwater Draw. It was kind of a big deal to me.

Even though I've already submitted my resignation, filled out my I-9 for the new job, signed a lease & announced our upcoming move to Austin, it didn't feel really real until we packed up our entire house this weekend.

Both of our moms came up to help pack the house, and the four of us knocked out about 90% of the house in a day. The 10% left are things we use on a daily basis like clothes & toothpaste. So we're basically living on take out and bare necessities for the next five days. On Friday we get our new keys, and on Saturday we'll pick up the truck, load it up and head off to our new adventure!


My two men wandering Austin between searching for a house... I think we'll fit in quite nicely.

Before the packing weekend began, C & I sat down and made a pact of peace. Moving and changing jobs is stressful; we knew it'd take a toll on us. So we decided to not let it get the best of us. We pinky swore to keep the peace, keep calm and love each other through the stress. And I'm so happy to say that when everybody left on Sunday afternoon, we high fived at how good we did. Everything went so smooth. Everything we wanted - and more - got done. And we were still excited and happy about everything at the end.

We took our moms out to brunch on Sunday to thank them for their help. My mom had her first chicken & waffle experience (find my recipe here) & we toasted with mimosas to the upcoming changes! It was my last brunch in Bryan/College Station, so we went to the best place in town: Blackwater Draw. If you're ever here, they have the best brunch in town. And you can bring your dog with you, so that's a win-win in our book.

Step One: Packing complete.


How Max feels about moving...

Now on to Step Two: Move Our Shit. Challenge accepted.

Comments | Tags: my life
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On our one month dating anniversary, C took me to wander around Austin. We'd been a few times before but this was one of the first times we went alone with the sole purpose of enjoying each others company and this fascinating city only a short drive from my home. I was 17, a senior in high school, and it was during that outing that I knew I wanted to live in that fun-filled, interesting place. {Me at 17 in Zilker park.... just in case you wanted to see that. Fall Out Boy shirt & all.}

Throughout college and into the start of my career, I always maintained the notion that "any day now" it would be time to finally move to Austin. I'd get a job, we'd find a house and we could start the real, permanent part of our life. Eight and half years later, that time is now.

I found a web job posted at the University of Texas by chance a little over two weeks ago. After a sleepless night where I contemplated the idea of applying for the job, I submitted my resume and hoped for the best. And the best came. QUICKLY. Here's the timeline of how it all went down...

Sunday: Get added by a friend to a Facebook group dedicated to digital jobs in Austin & see the job posted while casually browsing.

Tuesday: Officially apply for the job after being unable to sleep Monday night.

Wednesday: Receive a call from the office to set up an interview.

Thursday: Drive to Austin for an interview. Spend the rest of the day hanging out with my sister in shock that the interview just happened.

Friday through Wednesday: Freak out. Dream. Stop dreaming. Look for houses. Chastise myself for looking for houses. Wonder why they haven't called yet. Get a few emails explaining there was a slight delay in processing & not to worry.

Thursday: Have a second job interview over the phone at 2:30pm. Get the job offer at 4:30pm.

Friday: Salary negotiation. Finalize start date & officially accept the offer. Immediately run to Target to buy myself something cute and a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

I'll be starting December 1 at the new job. Our lease starts on our new house next Friday. And everything between now & then is going to be a total blur. It's been a whirlwind experience. I wasn't job hunting. I love the job I'm currently at. I love the friends I currently have. I love the house I'm currently living in. But it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. So I took a leap of faith & was rewarded.

I'm so excited to start this next part of my life. I'm excited to see what it does to this blog. I'm excited to see my love for web design & development grow even more. I'm excited to see C find his footing in this new place that offers so many more opportunities for him. I'm excited to live so much closer to family and friends. I'm excited for new challenges and a new routine.

So here's to new adventures & life changes!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ten years ago, I went to see Garden State with this guy I kind of had a crush on.

Ten years ago, that same boy took me to see my first emo show at Stubb's in Austin - Taking Back Sunday. Fall Out Boy. and Matchbook Romance. I was decked out in my hot pink Dickie's capris (from Hot Topic, naturally) and beat up converse and I followed that boy deep into the crowd, where I was thrown back and forth by the mass of people around me, unable to stand on my own & completely lost in the new experience. It was about the time a crowd surfer kicked me in the head that I look back to see that boy reaching up to protect me. That was the moment I fell in love with the boy who would become my husband.


we always took after-show selfies with a disposable camera at each show. I shared a few concert snapshots from over the years here.

After that, going to shows to see live music became one of my favorite things about dating C. We saw so many good bands all over Austin. We burned CD's and made mixtapes (something we're still doing). Music became the common language between us. To some extent, it still is today.

We recently went back to Stubbs, almost ten years to the day of my first show there. Our ultimate favorite band, Brand New, was back in Austin after almost five years, and we weren't going to miss it for anything. So much has changed since that first show. Now, we had cell phones and Tecate in our hand. We weren't all up in each other's business, "sneaking" butt grabs and kisses the way only teenagers dare. But we were together. As the intro music started to play and the lights faded to black, the usual rush to the front began. As we were pushed forward by the power of hundreds of excited fans, we found ourselves back in familiar territory. The band came on, the music blared loud, and I could feel my body get wrapped up in the familiar sounds.



Brand New's first full length album ends with a ballad about teenage love... "Soco Amaretto Lime" was our go-to whenever we needed a singalong around a campfire, or while lying in the yard looking at stars. We sang it a million times with or without the music, it really didn't matter. It's a song that felt so real when I was 18, a little wishful when I was 20 and now just very nostalgic at 26.

I'm gonna stay eighteen forever
So we can stay like this forever
And we'll never miss a party
cause we keep them going constantly
And we'll never have to listen
to anyone about anything
cause it's all been done and it's all been said
we're the coolest kids and we take what we can get

Naturally as this anniversary was approaching, and I knew we'd be standing on the dirt at Stubb's watching Brand New, I wanted to put togheter something to mark the occasion. So I turned the song of my youth into a cocktail: a Bourbon Amaretto.



This cocktail is easy drinking. It's smooth and a little deceptive. But everytime I pour one, I can feel the rush of nostalgia come over me. I'm reminded of all the times over the years that I've made a memory with C. These past ten years have been both amazing and exhausting. It's tough growing up with another person and continuing to grow in the same direction. But somehow, we've managed. I can't wait to see what the next ten years brings.

You can find the recipe for the Bourbon Amaretto on Fueled by Cocktails.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

If you're curious what one solid year of work looks like, this is it...

Screenshots of websites I've built. Information can be found at Happenstance Media - amyrenepowell.com

I spent some time this week refreshing my website http://amyrenepowell.com/ and added a feature I was really excited to get going: a sortable portfolio of my web development projects.

While I share my web projects here from time to time, it's nice to have all of my work in one place so that possible clients can easily view work I've done. When I finally had the page put together, and stopped to admire it, I was shocked at how full the page was. I have even more projects I'm currently working on, so it's only going to keep growing. I love the work that I do. It's challenging, creative and there's always something else new to learn. Here's to many more projects to come.

You can view the full, interactive, portfolio at http://amyrenepowell.com/portfolio. And if you're in need of a little web work, let me know.

Monday, October 20, 2014



As the oldest sibling of four, I had a lot of firsts in my family. First teenager. First driver's license. First to graduate high school, then college. First to get married. And first to turn 21.

I'm not shy about my love of alcoholic beverages. You just have to click over to Fueled by Cocktails or browse my list of cocktail recipes here to know that. My family knows it too & I've been honored to share my passion of a good cocktail with them.

Part of sharing this passion (obsession?) is making sure my brother & two sisters celebrated their 21st birthdays... and this past weekend I checked the third and final sibling off the 21st birthday list.

Jessica: While Jessica was pregnant and/or breastfeeding through both her 21st and 22nd birthday, we finally went out to celebrate on her 23rd. We started at Max's Wine Dive, where we were gifted a half-empty bottle of champagne from the bartender, and had one of my favorite meals ever. We then went to Sixth Street in Austin, where I tried to get her to branch out past cheap beer and tequila. We watched the crowd at Coyote Ugly and had such a fun girls night, just the two of us. (My blog post from her birthday.)

Dana: I think I was planning Dana's 21st birthday way longer than I should admit. We made an all night affair of it, starting with dinner at a fancy restaurant and moving on to Sixth Street (again) during SXSW. We listened to a great 90's alt band, got lost on the dance floor dancing to an extended club version of Gangham Style and ended with amazing street food. (My blog post from her birthday.)

Clark: My baby brother turned 21 this weekend. We celebrated with the entire family at his request, eating his meal of choice: my grandma's chicken fried steak, squash casserole and mashed potatoes. After a few hours of family time, I took Clark over to the Dam Red Barn in Canyon Lake, Texas, at his request. In the warehouse-tunred-bar, we played a really bad game of pool, were given free cans of Mike's Hard Lemonade and drank more cheap beer on the porch while a Stevie Ray cover band played in the corner. We talked & shared stories in a way I haven't had the chance to do with him in a while. (Happy birthday, little brother. I love you.)

I know it's so easy to dismiss 21st birthdays as frivolous and possibly even dangerous affairs... but to me it's an opportunity to celebrate a new stage in life. My whole world opened up when I turned 21, and sharing that experience and feeling with those I love most was really important to me. Each experience perfectly fit each sibling - I made sure of it - and I'm so thankful I was able to keep up with this kind of family tradition through everyone.

And now I just have to wait 17 years for Danzig's turn... If he'll let me.

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