#FDOM16

As the semester comes to the end, this is will be my final blog post for FDOM, my favorite class taken in college so far! I’ve realized over the last few months I have learned and become comfortable using so many different programs such as Pixlr, Proto.io, StoIMG_1912.JPGrify and even WordPress. Its exciting to know I can now utilize this experience in future classes then into my career. The best tool I used this semester was using the #FDOM16 on both Twitter and Instagram. During the Twitter project, I was able to see what other students were doing which helped me with my own assignments, and also during mass comm week it was very easy to know what was going on just by searching the hashtag. When #mcweek16 was trending on all my social media, I felt it was easy to see what was going on.

My blog only attracted 27 visitors total, with October 21st having the most “traffic” of 9 visitors. I did have one person add me as a friend, and although I don’t know this person, they’re blog was pretty cool! My most popular post was the one about brunching, and I think maybe because it had a catchy title. I think if I had more twitter followers, or promoted on more than just one platform, I may have attracted more. I did have one good friend retweet all my blog posts, so I appreciate that support! 11264585_10204589464086932_5180715944066223352_n

If I were to improve something on this blog, it would be more diverse posts. I could add videos, or interviews with friends or locals. The goal of this blog was to show parts of Austin that isn’t well known and “touristy,” so with some more exploring I could find some good material for future posts. I really enjoyed doing this topic because I got to go out, explore and try new things. My friends and boyfriend were supportive and liked joining trev.jpgme on the adventures, so it’s hard to call this assignment homework!

All in all, I have really enjoyed this class and can honestly say I have learned so much. I feel so much more confident using different programs and utilizing social media. I am excited to bring these experiences into my future career!

Thanks for reading!

-Nicole

Check out my photography Instagram  The 512 for more adventures 🙂

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Good morning, y’all!

In aid of this rainy Sunday brunch, I thought I’d show you how easy it is to make a Bloody Mary at home! Here are the steps, demonstrated by the best bartender in Austin, my boyfriend! 🙂

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Check out these other crazy Bloody Mary concoctions- you can get really wild with your garnishing! Bloody Mary’s that went too far .

Cheers!

-Nicole

What’s for lunch?

Austin prides itself on “keeping it weird,” and this idea is apparent throughout the city’s dynamic selection of places to eat. I love to try new foods, so I thought it would be fun to check out some new places around town. Something known well in this city is the abundance of unique food trucks, often clustered together to create outdoor food courts or picnics. Unlike what you’d imagine a typical food truck to be, Austin hosts some of the most uniquely decorated, presented and delicious culinary experiences, all on wheels!

Minutes from Barton Creek, there are a collection of roughly 8 or so different trucks gathered around a patch of picnic tables. Although I believe the trucks trade out at meme.jpgtimes, when I went the choices ranged from Kebabs, Italian, smoothies, sandwiches, Thai, and the famous “Hey Cupcake!” I decided to check out, “The Mighty Cone,” after previously seeing yummy posts tagged on Instagram. The concept is basically a coleslaw filled pita wrapped into an easy to hold paper cone, toppe33-hey-cupcaked with fried avocado, chicken or shrimp, then topped with a mayo like sauce. It was good quality for what it cost, and tasty too!

Just moments behind my house, just off South 1st Street, there is another hidden gem. Another group of diverse food trucks gather in a park like setting, complete with plants, flowers, seating areas, a children’s play area, and pretty stringed lights. The options here are a Thai Fusion place named “The Lucky Belly,” fried chicken, and a bright pink comfort food truck called, “My Granny’s Kitchen.” I checked out the refurbished two decker school bus, “Level Up,” that serves yummy smoothies and healthy juices. I had a nutritious juice that was papaya, kale, spinach and other fruits blended into a tasty drink. The owner mentioned that they play movies on the big screen at night, and all of the other food trucks open for the crowds.

What is exciting about the food truck culture is not only are you getting diverse options and great food for a good cost, but you are supporting local businesses. Many trucks even go on to own their own restaurants, such as Torchy’s Tacos, Gordough’s and Chilantro,  while the original truck still remains popular. Especially look out during festivals such as ACL where many trucks make an appearance. All in all, I highly recommend checking out what there is to offer, and I have many more to check off my list!

Check out my favorite- East Side Kings , a Japanese street food style truck owned by former Top Chef winner Paul Qui, who now has multiple locations and his own restaurant. Delicious!

Happy eating!

-Nicole

 

Andersons go to ATX

Hey y’all!

I was super excited this past week because my cousins from Scotland visited America and came to Austin for a few days to see me! I was stoked to show them all the spots I love and be a tourist! Coming from a smaller town overseas (where I wa14680782_10207301920136638_7189237146576955000_ns born and raised!), they liked the skyline and views of downtown. I took them to Auditorium Shores, a place my Austinite friend Ryann said was the best place to capture the best view of the city. It is a spot upon a hill, next to the Palmer Event Center, and looks upon Lady Bird Lake with downtown towering behind.

Next we ch14720335_1329677543723119_1339281518373912929_necked out the artsy Hope Outdoor Gallery, or Castle Hill as locals know it as. My 15 year old cousin was amazed that it was legal to spray paint on public property! We had a great time climbing to the top, enjoying the views and admiring the great artwork displayed all over the walls. I tried to be creative myself, but as usual didn’t get much further than a flower and my initials….We did however meet an artist who painted a huge mural for his daughters 16th birthday that was amazing!

Although my cousins are not 21, we ventured downtown anyways just to soak up some atmosphere. It was still early in the evening but late enough to get the general jist of Austin nightlife. I am more familiar with “dirty 6th” and East 6th, so I thought we could explore further west. We came across the Paramount Theatre, which seems like a cool spot to see shows and concerts, and ate at a gastro pub called Austin Ale House, which I had never been to. All in all, I had a great day showing my family around the exciting city of Austin!

Have a good weekend, y’all!

-Nicole

 

 

Hakuna Mimosa

Hey guys!

I know everyone’s been enjoying the drop in temperature and sunny days, making being outside much more tolerable. I have definitely been enjoying my favorite outdoor activity- snacks and drinks on a patio! 🙂Im-outdoorsy_thumb.png

Not much motivates me out of bed before 11am on the weekend, but the word mimosa usually does the trick. Brunch has become my favorite meal of the week, and usually turns into a Sunday Funday that lasts into the nighttime. I’m a fan of any alcoholic beverage that is cheap, comes in a pitcher, and tastes refreshing….so naturally I find the champagne and juice sparkling concoction delicious. Plus, its got all that vitamin C…right?

I pimg_0483ersonally love brunching at The Park off South Lamar. They have 5 different flavors of mimosas, which are $1 each until a certain time, and a Tito’s bloody mary bar that contains a ton of ingredients including pickled asparagus, cheese stuffed olives and every hot sauce and spice you could think of. They also do a brunch buffet, which is a little pricey of close to $20, but my friend who usually partakes says it’s worth it. My favorite is the pizza with a fried egg on top, which is for sure plenty of food for two people to share, and the 3 mini versions of their popular specialty burgers.

Another popular spot for avid brunchers is Rainey Street, in downtown Austin. I really like Bangers, who specialize in their house made sausages and have 106 beers on tap. They have a massive outdoor patio area, an off leash dog park and there is usually live music being performedimg_0627. On Sundays, they serve massive “manmosa’s,” which is a liter of champagne and a dash of OJ. Upon ordering they stamp your hand, as these monster drinks are one per person. Bangers is a great place to go for their awesome drink selection and very tasty house made dishes, but only if you have the patience for the unfortunate 1-2hour wait.

I like Rainey because of the chilled out atmosphere, roof top bars with great views, there are usually a bunch of dogs and puppies, and there are food trucks if you get hungry.

I’m excited to branch out and explore some new places! The food blog Austin Eater posted an article highlighting the hottest new brunches of October 2016, check it out!

–>   18 Hottest Places to Brunch!

Have a good weekend!

-Nicole

 

A Taste of Koko

Hey y’all! I’ve been having a blast exploring Austin for this project and I want to share with you another local blogger who has inspired me in many ways, including the theme to my own blog.

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Meet Koko, the creator of Austin’s Number one food and travel blog, “A Taste of Koko.” Her blog has gained so much popularity since its creating in 2010 that it has been featured on The Huffington Post, NBC’s iVillage, and The Austin Statesman, just to name a few. Koko has since spread to other medias, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and is the official restaurant expert for Visit Austin TX. Her blog primarily focuses on the hottest restaurants and hotels around the city, as well as weekend getaways. In addition, she wries about style and living, shows recipes and how-to DIY projects.With 32 thousand followers, I’m not the only one obsessed with this fabulous foodie!

I am very inspired by her career path and how effectively she has developed herself and her brand. Koko is the social media director of Happy Social Co. which is a company that promotes and markets restaurants and small businesses, while strengthening their brand, using social media and digital marketing. I feel social media is an extremely great way to subtlety advertise and get your company noticed, and Koko does it well. For example, I follow a lot of ‘foodie’ instagrams because that’s what I enjoy looking at, and if I see something that looks delicious i’ll click the hashtag, be brought to their page, see where they’re located and what else they have to offer! So as I’m scrolling through my feed, I don’t feel I’m being marketed to but it brought me to want that product. Its a great way to discover new restaurants and other places too! Its a win win for both the producer and the consumer!

This past two weekends Koko has been at ACL. Her posts featured her enjoying the festival and also some of her favorite food trucks, or “ACL Eats,” that were featured at the festival. As a result, I’m sure these food trucks will notice and increase in their sales after their products were shared and ‘liked’ by bloggers, foodies and festival goers on the internet throughout the concert. I personally love looking at her posts, and I’m following her on multiple social medias. If you love discovering new places to eat or drink around Austin, I’d highly recommend her blog!

-Nicole

 

(all photography taken from atasteofkoko.com)

Oh Snap!

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View from Mount Bonnell

I’m super excited that my best friend Sarah has moved closer to me here in Austin! One of her talents and favorite hobbies is photography, so naturally we couldn’t wait to explore the scenic spots of beautiful Austin!

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View of Lady Bird Lake

I love spending time down by Lady Bird Lake and the Colorado River, which is very much a hot spot for both tourists and locals. In the warmer months, the water is filled with fun seekers in kayaks, paddle boards and tubes enjoying the cool water and beautiful view of the Austin skyline. The best place to hang out in my opinion is the body of water that is connected to the popular tourist spot, the Barton Creek Pool, or the ‘free side’ of Barton. The pool itself is a fun experience, but has some strict rules so I prefer to stick to the other side. On the other side you can bring drinks and food, and there are so many dogs swimming and playing!

My boyfriend and I enjoy kayaking down Lady Bird Lake during the summer. It’s so peaceful being out on the vast open water, and the view of the city is amazing. I enjoyed getting p11027927_10204648287077470_6635864377946222189_nhotos of Austin right from the middle of the lake. We try and go further and further each time we go, usually passing underneath the second graffiti filled bridge.  I have yet to try paddle boarding but it is definitely on my list of things to do next summer!

Another place I was excited to visit and snap some pics was the state park, McKinney Falls. It costs around $6 to get in, and is protected by park rangers so you have to respect the environment and not leave trash, use glass bottles, have visible alcohol etc. There are two separate areas, the upper falls and the lower falls, surrounded by a 6 mile hiking trail. In the upper falls, there is a pretty waterfall and area to jump off into the water. The lower falls are where to go if you want to swim, and it also has a smaller waterfall and area to jump off into the cool water. It’s a great place to take a picnic and spend time in the natural swimming pool.

I love using the app version of the website All Trails to look up new spots and scenic views. You can search for hike trails and parks etc and it will show you maps, comments from other explorers, photos, and you can “like” and “check in” at spots and trails too. Its a great tool and easy to use if you are interested in the outdoors.

Happy exploring!

Nicole

 

Photo Credit- Nicole Palmer and Sarah Taylor