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Overdosing on Austin: Our Non-Stop New Year’s Extravaganza

Posted by Olive

January 10th 2017

Story originally written and experienced: December 29th, 2016 to January 2nd, 2017 


Originally I said no.

It felt right.

“Now that I’ve moved Down South,” I told my friends,  “Perhaps it’s time to call it quits on this whole 5-year-tradition-of-hosting-New -Year’s thing, and we can just remember the good times.”

They didn’t react well.



That idea didn’t last for a millisecond, and before I knew it, I was planning my favorite holiday all over again.

But the plot twist was:

I was now hosting a holiday in an entirely new city…and I had no idea what I was going to do.


Indeed, I had agreed to host in a city I hadn’t even moved to yet.

don draper gif



I knew no matter what, we’d do it all.

I’d make sure of it.

Fast forward

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

II Play II

My alarm went off at 2:40 AM on December 29th, 2016. I was in the chilled Toledo, OH, prepping to catch a 5 AM flight back to Austin, Texas—the city I now officially lived in—to host for the next 5 days.

I snoozed the alarm.

My mom did everything she could to wake me up.

A job well done.

Olive, PLEASE.


Until finally I arose in tired tears and agreed to wake the fuck up.


I had friends to beat down to Austin, which meant, I had a flight to catch—no excuses.




And beat them I did. (take that as you will)

Only hours after I arrived, Drew and Kelly arrived too.


These fools.


Commencing the Austin-themed itinerary to activate immediately.

First stop:

A tiny taste of Texas…in the form of a coffee/horchata remix known as the:





from Cuvee Coffee, followed by:

A top-notch taco joint known as:


Double time.



Once caffeinated and fed, it was time to take a trip down to Rainey Street.

Rainey Street.

An entire entertainment district  l-i-n-e-d with bungalows converted into bUmPiN bars and delectable dining establishments.

It’s one epic street that offers excellent drinks, live music, and like any hipstery, trendy area, sPrInKlEs of self-deprecating jokes:


Told ya.


Even the taxidermy gives off a hipstery, skeptical eye to avoid being mistaken as mainstream.


Hipstery bison don’t give a fuck.


After copious amounts of cocktails and trolling every bar from Lucille to Clive to Container Bar.

Our mood was high.

Party in Texas, ya'll!

Ole, ole!


But so was our exhaustion. Everything about a 2:40 AM wake-up call and hitting our 24-hour mark of consciousness warranted some serious Zs:

Night, ya'll.


That said.

Day 1 was phenomenal.

But when we woke up on the second day, I knew it would be even better.

Primarily because, we had one more party member on the way.




But first, breakfast.

Cuz I want it all, or nothing at all!

Cuz I want it all, or nothing at all!


Snooze AM Eatery was our acclaimed restaurant of choice.

Cue the glory music.

Cue the glory music.


Let me just tell you…VERY FEW places compare to the brunch bliss that this establishment has to offer.

Imagine this:

A melt-in-your mouth breakfast sandwich loaded with savory sausage and glazed in a creamy, spicy-sweet, oozing sauce, all pressed perfectly together by a super soft pretzel bun.

Quite frankly, it delivered our hungover bodies from evil.




Not to mention, the staff gifted us with a complimentary CINNAMON ROLL PANCAKE smothered in crispy bacon bits for no reason at all:

Do you believe in life after love?



Then we got high.

Sort of. We climbed all the way up to see the Pennybacker Bridge.


Stair master.


We're all the way up!

So high right now.


And did a lot of “selfie” reflecting:


That’s right, I said it.


After an intense game of Hide and Seek on our way down,

I see you, baby!

I see you, baby!

we met our final member—Annie—back at our place.


And now that the full crew was in tact, we were prepared to up the ante in a big way.


pub crawling.


We graced 8 of our favorite Austin bars in 7 hours.

1. A classy-ass cocktail palace named

Ah Sing Den:


Loaded with plushy seats and blitzed-out people:



And of course:


I wonder if anyone has ever taken a picture like this.

2. Rhino Room

A luxe lounge stacked with

live music

choice drinks

truth-speaking signage:







And best of all, a top-secret(ish) tree house we had all to ourselves.


Oh I’ve got friends in high places.


Onward we went. Our next stop leading to:

3. Shangri La

Where big things were in store for us…

Really big things:

Unexpected bear hugs.

This guy.


After dranks and an largely unexpected bear hug, we headed to dinner at Salty Sow where I rented a room appropriately called…the Chicken Coop:


Decor that can’t be ignored. #RegalRooster


Admittedly…we ordered the crispy fried chicken:


Wrong to recommend?


And the show/party/pub crawl went on.

To secret place. A secret place called:

Small Victory.

A hidden speakeasy with a barely recognized stark-white staircase leading up to its entrance.

We climbed the stairs and entered into a dimly lit room drenched in soft conversations from current occupants. The counter was complete with concoctions housed in badass beakers.


And a booth resided down the aisle way that was calling our damn names.


“Olive, Drew, Jared, Kelly, Annie…get the fuck over here.” – Booth

But we hit a roadblock.

We saw a sign that read “Reserved“.

“Can we sit here?” I asked the bartender, ” The sign says reserved…but…is it really?”

He looked to the

<< left and to

                                        >> the right

“How many are in your group?”


He sighed and said

“Well…technically no, it’s not reserved. But we only allow groups of 6 to sit down there…but I’ll tell ya what, unless a bigger group comes in to take it…it’s all yours.”



We sHuFfLeD into the booth one by one.

I knew what I wanted before the drink menu even came our way.

“The punch please.”



Thing is.

The last time I had inquired about this very punch, the bartender told me it was good for ‘2-12 people. 2 people would be nearly blacked out. 12 would be at a happy buzz.’

4 of us decided to partake.

And I’m sure you can imagine our mindsets from there.

Lucky girl.

Damn straight.

The bartender stirred and poured for 10 minutes before coming back with his masterpiece:


Here we goooooo!


And rest assured, we finished every.last.drop:


Pouring one out for Harambe.



A not-so silent night.


Cut off and kicked out (kidding)

We were off to the next one, venturing down the infamous avenue known as…

Dirty Sixth


An Austin local’s emotions behind this epicenter mirrors that of New Yorkers’ opinion of Times Square.

They hate it.

Well. Most of them anyway.

But we’re not most people.

Though loud, crazy, chaotic, and weird, it’s the birthplace of Austin’s live music scene.



A place where roads are blocked off after a certain hour so inebriated pedestrians can stumble from bar to bar with ease.

Roam free, my friends!

Us included.

The idea was to give our friends just a small dose of Dirty Sixth, opting for activities like…posing for pictures with the world-famous Jackalope:


Party animals.

And throwing shade at Maggie Maes:


Throne of games.


"No pictures, please! I just want to live a normal life!"

“No pictures, please! I just want to live a normal life!”


Then, we danced our asses off to “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse

drunk ron gif

before our final nightcap at:


(No pictures were taken. But trust it was a good time.)

Day 3 got dangerous.

Tigers were involved.


And inside the Easy Tiger’s den we played a riveting round of

 Exploding Kittens.



And Annie reigned supreme:



What winning face looks like.


But here’s the thing. These animalistic activities were just time killers until the big moment.

1 PM to be exact.

Thing is.

A long-ass time ago we pre-ordered $300 worth of Franklin’s Barbecue.

Franklin’s Barbecue.

A renowned establishment hailed as the #1 in the nation, conjuring lines that people wait in for hours upon end.

But for us? We walked up. Said my name and were handed everything on this list:


in one glorious box :


Diet apparently starts never.

It was time to dine.


And our spread could not have been more epic.


Christmas is back, errbody.

And a local bystander named “Frosty” felt the same way too:


Frosty in da houseee.

He even smiled for a picture to express his extreme approval:


The seasoning was so real, so juicy, so worth the (non)wait. Our reactions were so genuine, we imagined them worthy of a TV show called:


Suggested TV show poster.

But I digress.

This BBQ brunch called for an after party.

Also known as: New Year’s Eve…

Jumping the gun there Cee-lo.

Thanks, Cee-lo

The plan was to house party back at our place. So after taking pictures with local celebrities:


Hand check…

We broke out the apertifs and appetizers:


Snack central.

As people trickled in to celebrate the New Year:


Gangs (almost) all here!


The party was grand.

Hugs were whipped out:


Mah girl.


Pants were ripped up:



But right when midnight rolled around, we found ourselves in a colossal panic. We had completely forgotten about the countdown, and the only thing we could think to do was to briskly Google “countdown”and scream chat while looking at Scott’s phone:


Then 2017 began. Which meant:

New year, more dancing.

Exhibit A.



We pranced our way to Texas Two Step at the White Horse Tavern

Then back home circa 2 AM for fireworks galore:


Gettin lit.




A bright start to 2017.



Total smoke show.

Then we played Mario Party.

Then we went to bed.


Day 4 was the finale.

And a finale in Texas means…more tacos.

taco gif



We floored it to our favorite taco place in all the land:


“Nothing compares TO YOU” – Sinead O’Connor

And placed an order to go in order to eat alongside the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

The January weather here was a frigid 76 degrees…so the decision felt right.


I approve.




My kind of picnic.

And after rocking out pretty hard,


We lounged in Zilker Park until dusk:


That time you try to discreetly take an artsy photo of your friends…but your bicep photobombs in the top left.


Ate dinner at a best-in-class local Indian joint:



Graj Mahal, ya’ll!



Cutting carbs is going well…



Saw a funk band called “Big Britches” dressed in sequins and a superhero suits at Blackheart:


And then that was it.

My 6th year of hosting came to a close.

And after everything we did. And everywhere we went. I realized something huge:

Whether I spend my New Year’s in a familiar city, a foreign city or even a cardboard box, as long as I have loyal people by my side at the start and end of any year,

I’ll feel good wherever I go.

16 Legendary Moments In 2016

Posted by Olive

December 27th, 2016

Holy 2016.

What a damn ride.

She gets it.

She gets it.

Filled with ups and downs.

Exhibit A.

But most notably, these 16 fads, events, and things that sHoOk things up this year in a crazy way. Like:

1. Pokeman fricken Go


This forever-popular pastime was resurrected in big ass way…but before it died again…it proceeded to do shit like:

Disrupt the dateosphere:


Enhance job interviews:


Promote weight loss:


And whatever this is:




True, fatalities caused by this mania were so sky high that an entire website was coded and built around it, but that’s neither here nor there.

don draper gif

Le anyway.

2. The legendary Harambe

This stud.

This stud.

This mighty monkey’s unjust ending led him to be the most legendary gorilla of all time, sparking controversial opinions, a spike in animal rights, and like any good piece of news, an intensely good curation of gifs, memes, and apparel created in his honor:

Dance, Harambe, dance!

Dance, Harambe, dance!



The correct reaction.



The greatest classification of “defining the relationship” there ever was.

Moving on.

3. Did you know our Juno spacecraft arrived in FUCKING Jupiter?


Originally launched August 5, 2011, Juno—a spacecraft specifically skyrocketed to discover Jupiter’s formation and evolution—



Entered Jupiter’s orbit on July 4, 2016, after four tedious years. What better time to bring back Missy Elliot’s monumental quote? “That’s one small step for man, and one giant leap for mankind.”





4. That one sports game some call the Olympics


Sarcasm success.

Many winners prevailed including:

The mind-blowing, 19-year-old, 5-gold-medal gymnastics winner Simon Biles:

Not talented whatsoever

No talent whatsoever.


That one guy who’s won some things:

Holla at ya boy.

Holla at ya boy.

And the grandiose owner of greatest face splat there ever was, brought to you by the defending champion of the high bar, Epke Zonderland:



Mah man.

5. The Cavs finally FINALLY winning the title they damn deserve


Lebron wept.

That’s right.

This buckeye is out of the bag. I am, indeed, a fan of all things Ohio—Cavs included.

And this game.

This night.


Is tied directly to a visual of me perched on the arm of my couch, screaming, crying, and admittedly doing this:


6. The rise and fall of Ken Bone

The lovable, rouge-sweatered man that stole hearts and memes all over the country:


Never forget/you will.


And then 23 hours later, our recollection of him was as follows:


7. Mannequin challenge

Once people got uber bored of taking regular-ass pictures, the mannequin challenge was born.

But wait.

There’s a story.

A high school student name Emili from Jacksonville started the whole operation one day. For fun. In class. Through a tweet.

Watch the original video here

What started as a prank, ended up pioneering a new social media frenzy, striking the likes of oh I don’t know…Lebron James and First Lady Michelle Obama.

And everyone else on the planet.

8. The Orlando shootings

Fuck hate.


Fuck yes to love.


This tragedy was unacceptable, just like any another other hate crime.

It was low. Scary. Uncalled for. And cost the lives of too many innocents. Once again, this country was left in a state of shock and concern.

But I’ll tell you something else that happened.

We banded together.

Big time.

The OneOrlando Fun was founded.

The OneBlood organization delivered blood in record time.

HFUW opened their lines for emotional support.

Everyone around the country, around the WORLD, activated their biggest hearts, and for that I say:

Fuck yes to love.


9. The “Stranger Things” craze

Everyone was (is) obsessed.

Including me.

What can I say, that freaky-ass wall + Winona Ryder made some serious waves this year:

Stranger Things

This duo.

Not to mention:

Eleven & her Eggos:


She hungry.

Unsupervised children literally doing whatever the fuck they want at all times:

Can't be tamed.

Can’t be tamed.


And most importantly, people giving zero fucks about Barb’s kick-ass friendship and ultimate party foul:


Buzzkill Barb.

10. Lemonade


JK, this Lemonade:


Slay all day.

Beyonce done DID IT with this innovative, visual album that stole the hearts and eyes of every fanboy and media outlet.

I'm sure you would.


Minus Jay Z of course…

Lemon slices background

11. Finding Dory

13 years after “Finding Nemo” ‘ s epic release and success:

I mean, true.

I mean, true.

A satisfying sequel was release:

Break my heart into little pieces, why don't ya.

Break my heart into little pieces why don’t ya, baby Dory.

And the whole world rejoiced:

cheering gif

12. A grand final for some of the Greats:

This year, we said farewell to legends. They left legacies  far beyond their imaginations, and we’re so glad they did.

A whole-hearted thank you to:

David Bowie:




Alan Rickman:


Muhammad Ali:


George Michael:


And Carrie Fisher:


13. The highly awkward launch of the iPhone 7, and the insane headphone that went with it

I think Conan O’Brien visualized it best:

14. This heart-wrenchingly effective Japanese Amazon Prime commercial 



15. This introduction of this insane musical instrument made with 2,000 marbles

And finally…

16. The devastating atrocity known as Election Day


Quite possibly one of the most famous face-offs of all time went down this year:


Just the two of them.


And our grand nation decided to leave the entire fate of the greatest nation on earth…to this logic:


Benefit of the doubt in our new President Elect…and insanely hilarious and necessary memes…contain our greatest healing powers right now.


We got this.


And there you have it. 16 big-time things that happened in the year of 2016.


Show us what you got.


3 Vital Things You Need No Matter What

Posted by Olive

November 15th, 2016

Story originally written and experienced: January 28th, 2016

“His name is DJ Moon Boots,” Megan   t e x t e d  me. “He’s playing a show tonight at the Black Flamingo in Brooklyn…wanna go?”



I said.

“I have a company happy hour but I’ll hurry to meet you there after that.”

“No worries!” she said. “Show doesn’t start until midnight anyway. There’s a Mexican restaurant nearby we can meet at beforehand.”

To which I said:



And the plans were set.

At 9 PM on that chilly January evening, I  b  u   sted through the Mexican restaurant’s doors post happy hour feeling just fine after copious amounts of complimentary Prosecco.

Megan hadn’t arrived yet, so I parked myself at the bar and read the menu 13 times over to look occupied and cool while I waited.


Be cool. Be cool.

I saw her bundled-up body push through the doors a few minutes later.

“Hey! Over here!” I motioned as she started walking my way.

Thing is.

We were dining at 9 PM and catching a midnight show on a Thursday—which wasn’t unusual for us—but tonight, more than ever, I really wanted to be there.

Because I had this feeling I was going to move away soon.

I could just feel it.

And I needed someone to talk to about it, and I knew Megan would be the perfect person for the occasion. I’ve always loved my talks with her.

She’s one of the few people I’ve met in my life that has really and truly altered my perspective on almost everything.

She’s a woman of impulse anchored in reason. And in a moment, you’ll see what I mean.

We ordered 2 margaritas and an entree each.

“I might be leaving New York soon, Megan,” I blurted out right away. “But I’m scared. I know it’s the refresh I need in my life, and ultimately the most sensible thing to do for my long-distance relationship, but…I feel like I’d be leaving behind too many things I love. Way too many things. So I’m scared.”

She looked at me very calmly and smiled as she took a quick sip of her drink. “Let me ask you this,” she said. “When you wake up every day, what are 3 vital things you know you need no matter what?”

“In my life right now?”

“Yes, in your life right now.”

“Um…let’s see. Well, writing, good food, and good friends, I guess.”


“…Why do you say that?”

“Because you don’t need New York for any of those things.” 


She stated matter-of-factly, “So there’s nothing to be afraid of.”



She was right.

Even after I danced the night away with her to DJ Moon Boots, slept on it, and thought about other things I needed the next day—a stimulating environment, great career opportunities, etc.—I realized that it wasn’t New York that I needed, it was those 3 vital things, and New York was simply one of the many places that had them.

That realization was huge for me, and suddenly I wasn’t so scared anymore.

Especially after this happened:

Two weeks later, Megan told me she was going to leave New York City too. “I’m thinking three weeks,” she said with relaxed certainty.

“Three weeks?!” I cried.

“Yeah. It feels right. Los Angeles is something I’ve always wanted to try, the vital things I know I need still exist out there, the cost of living is lower, I just bought a wetsuit and I really want to surf…so why not?”

And three weeks later she was gone.

She was impulsive but anchored in reason, leaving me in the inspirational dust as I slowly but surely packed my bags to move to Austin, Texas, 6 months later, following in her adventurous footsteps.

And when the day came to actually go, I realized:

Megan cured me of my ignorance. And I’m not even sure she knew it.

So I decided to tell her.

I reached out to her recently and asked her if she remembered that conversation we had at that Mexican Restaurant in Brooklyn. She said, “Of course. How could I forget? It’s why I’m here and why you’re there. And seeing as I’m surfing every day and you sound so damn happy, it’s just proof those 3 vitals things really are what we need—no matter what.”

Why Humble Pie Is Good For You

Posted by Olive

October 21st 2016

Story originally written and experienced: May 20th 2011

Oprah made me do it.

Sort of.

There I was, 2 weeks into my Oprah Magazine internship, black dress, black boots, curled hair, and doing something no one else wanted to do.

The bitch work—designated for the  interns.





New York City

with just a post it in hand with sCrIbBlEd directions explaining where to pick up the goods needed for the photo shoot that night.

I was happy to do it.

you got it dude

I had to be.

My friends, my family, and my new bosses all told me I should feel lucky to even be there.

And it was that notion that made me remember this day in particular.

There I was, 2 weeks into my Oprah Magazine internship, black dress, black boots, curled hair, and doing something no one else wanted to do.

The bitch work—designated for interns.









 from one assigned building  – – – – – – –  to the next picking up everything the fashion editors said they needed by 5 PM that night.

I won’t lie.

I was proud to drop the line “I’m here for Oprah,” every time I walked up to a counter and watched them grin as they scurried to the back to retrieve exactly what I asked for.

And also.

I was proud that this errand was going relatively well.


I reached my final destination.

Banana Republic’s corporate office.

The photo shoot was at 5 PM.

And it was now 3:30 PM.

“No problem,” I thought as I moseyed up to >>> the receptionist’s counter. “Plenty of time.”

don draper gif

And how mistaken I was…

Suddenly I heard:



A thunderstorm hit right as I walked out the door.

There I was, 2weeks into my Oprah Magazine internship, black dress, black boots, curled hair, and doing something no one else wanted to do.

The bitch work—designated for the interns.


Braving an absolute downpour in the middle of New York City with a paper bag full of expensive clothes…and only 45 minutes left to get back to the office.



No taxi would take me.

And all I had was an umbrella in one hand and the brown bag filled with $600 worth of clothes in the other…while the clock read 4:15 PM.


Time to go on a run.

run forest run gif

No more than 5 blocks later, the paper bag

completely broke

in       half


I screamed as I desperately caught all the clothes in my    e  x   t  e  n   d   e   d   arms, rescuing them before they landed on the rain-drenched concrete.

Out of the corner of my eye

I saw a Gap.

“Gap! They’re a brother brand of Banana Republic…” I quickly thought. “Maybe if I run in there and ask them for a free bag…they’ll give one to me.”

So I made (another) run for it.

I'm comin for ya, baby!

Mind the Gap.


And sought shelter inside, simultaneously informing any employee that would listen that I needed a new bag—immediately.

“We can give you a new bag,” one employee offered,…”but we only have paper ones. If it keeps raining, you’ll probably last another 5 blocks at best.”


Cathy with the words of encouragement.

I looked at the clock.

4:35 PM.


“I’ll take it,” I yelled, snatching Cathy’s offer out of her hand and stuffing the broken bag inside the new one.

2 blocks later…

The bag broke     in      half    again.


There I was, 2 weeks into my Oprah Magazine internship, black dress, black boots, curled hair, and doing something no one else wanted to do.

The bitch work—designated for the interns.


Juggling two broken, sopping wet bags and a heap of expensive clothes.

4:46 PM.


And then I saw it:


My last resort.

I sprinted in as an amateur juggling act, black dress









with rain, black boots squishing with every step and uNrAvElEd curled hair telling them I was with Oprah Magazine and I needed a bag.

And I needed it now.

“Oprah Magazine?! Say no more,” they stated to my relief as they scurried to the back to retrieve exactly what I asked for. They gave me a black plastic bag with hot pink letters that spelled out, “A-C-C-E-S-S-O-R-I-Z-E”.


I expressed my gratitude:

K thanks bye.

Bye Felicias.


And bolted for the door >>

I noted my editor’s surprise when I showed up. It’s one I’ll never forget. There was one minute left on the clock, I was soaking wet, and I was clutching a bag that said “A-C-C-E-S-S-O-R-I-Z-E” in hot pink letters containing the goods.

“I told you go to Banana Republic’s office. What is this?” she irritably inquired.

“I did. I swear. It’s all in there. It was raining and I – “

“Forget it. Photo shoot is starting now. Thanks,” she snapped and walked away.


I called my mom later that night and told her the whole story. The bitch work. The rain. The broken bags. My boss’ response.

“Is what I’m doing making sense?” I asked her.

“What do you mean?”

“Doing this unpaid internship without any gratitude…am I wasting my time?”

And then she said.

“You know, when your aunt was just 5 years old, she was the youngest out of us 10 siblings, and when we were growing up in Argentina, my parents needed all the help they could get. So your aunt used to regularly take long bus rides to go to the grocery store to buy milk just so the whole family could have something to drink that week. We all had our errands—things designated to each of us.

None of it glamorous.

But all things that had to get done.

And in the end, my parents, my siblings, and especially your aunt, never took a gallon of milk for granted, because we knew what a feat it was for her to get it, and how grateful we were to have it.

Even if we never said it.

Thing is Olive, you have to go through humility to get to where you want to go, and to truly appreciate what you have.

And that’s a great thing.

Whether it’s your career, a relationship, or even a gallon of milk, things like this humble us, now, and even years from now when you think about where you are, how you got there, what you have, and why.

So no, you’re not wasting your time. And yes, it is worth it, as long as you’re lucky enough to realize that humility breeds appreciated happiness later down the line.”

And it was that notion, conversation, and feeling that made me realize why I’d always remember this day in particular.

How Cher, Rick Astley, & Missy Elliot Made My Month

Posted by Olive

October 4th 2016

Story originally written and experienced: September 8th 2016

 Suddenly I found myself in silver-studded sneakers dancing on a big, bright stage.

And I wasn’t alone.

 << Rewind

It was all a classic misunderstanding.

As a very recent resident of Austin, Texas, I decided I wanted to say “yes” to immersing myself in anything and all.

Cool Mexican restaurant down the road?




Trending band playing at a bar somewhere out there?



Skim through a work email and see the words “sing and dance” and assume it’s an invitation for a karaoke happy hour and RSVP




Without realizing I accidentally signed myself up for something completely different?




And that, my friends, is how the silver-studded-sneaker episode came to be.

After RSVPing “yes” to the ambiguous “song and dance” invite, I was immediately pinged with a meeting notification stating we had to “start preparing for our performance at once”.


Turns out.

I had voluntarily signed up for Austin’s city-wide “lip sync battle” competition amongst all advertising agencies, and I was slated to perform twice.


What have I done.


I couldn’t back out.

I was the new girl. The one who promised to immerse myself in everything and all. And now? I had a (small) reputation to uphold.

I guess I was going to do this.


Practices began almost immediately, particularly Tuesdays after work.

We chose two dances and two themes.

1. Cher

(being rickrolled)


2. Missy “Misdeamenor” Elliot.

And so it began.

The late-night practices. The costume shopping. The shameless realization that dancing wasn’t something I was great at…but wasn’t terrible at either…

Check me out.

Check me out.


And then the day came.

It was showtime.


The Cher/Rick Astley show was first in the lineup.

And we were ready.

We ready.

We ready.


 And it went so well.

So well in fact, that (spoiler alert), we were awarded best costume:


And our second act?

We won #1 Fan Favorite:





It was a badass use of a Thursday night.

And even better, a reminder that accidental sign ups and the simple decision to say




Made a huge hell of a difference in making this new place feel like home.

I got to know my co-workers way better, experienced the unique opportunity to back-up dance (hip hop style) for the woman who hired me, and made the new work place I walked in >> and  << out of every day, feel a little less foreign.



So whether you’re trying to make your comfort zone even more comfortable, or grappling for a sure-fire way to find comfort in a brand new place, just say:




It’s a great tactic to feel like you’re really trying and a quick way to achieve that comfort you’ve been craving.


If I know Cher, Rick Astley, & Missy (Misdemeanor) Elliot, which I’m pretty sure I do, they’d say the same thing.


Close enough.

Coco Got Nauti

Posted by Olive

September 16th, 2016

Story originally written and experienced: September 9th – September 11th 2016


Everything happened so fast.


I wasn’t surprised.

That’s how weekends always went when Coco was involved.


Classic Coco.

And this time we were in Charleston, South Carolina, dressed to the nines and dancing like fools because…

Coco was getting married.

happy crying

And this was her damn bachelorette party.




Charleston was a first-time destination for most of us (including the bride). So when we all arrived with our petite weekend bags from all <corners> of the <country>, we were surprised and delighted by the bright pastel homes,   l   o  n  g  cobblestone streets and white-pillared boutiques that outlined the entire delta.

Night one was all about costumes.

Flapper costumes to be exact.

(Excuse me while I over-commit to the theme)

Excuse me while I over-commit to the theme.


We decked out in sparkling headbands:


Shimmering dresses:


And of course, candy cigarettes:

Sober alert.

Sober alert.


Not to mention.

Some authentic 1920’s dance moves were involved:

As was a roaring-20s-themed DJ:

"Get out of here, I need space."

Just like the olden days.


After copious amounts of throwing our hands in the air like we just didn’t care and hip thrusting our hearts out:


Like so.

We headed home late night via the local, over-priced rickshaw:



With all of our motor skills (relatively) in tact..:

Where Coco promptly screamed at our chauffeur as soon as we dismounted for charging us $15 to go around the corner.

Lunch time is about to be a showdown.

Dramatic reenactment.

Then we ate a lot of chips and went to bed.

Day 2 started off with a Mimosa-like bang.


Like so.

Especially after the waitress told us at brunch that one of Coco’s faraway friends ordered in two additional carafes for our enjoyment.




Debauchery-induced yet still somehow in control, we ventured afterwards to a nearby rooftop bar wearing our gifted attire:


And did things like, request the pregnant mademoiselle in our group to smash into the restaurant’s most expensive artwork like this:


“LOOK AT HER BELLY!” – They all said diabolically drunk.


Then we got on a boat.

Even better, a sunset cruise. We switched up our ensembles so that the girls were in black and the bride was in white, and everyone topped their heads with sailor hats designed precisely for the occasion.


Rollin deep.



Shameless add-in pic of me.


The ride was great for 3 reasons.

1. There was a teeny-tiny weenie puppy named “First mate Lulu” aboard the entire time




2. An older couple walked onto our boat, saw it was full of bachelorettes, and walked the fuck away because they didn’t want to deal with our shenanigans




3. Coco fell asleep

Bride down.

Bride down.


But only for a second.

Before we knew it, she was laughing hysterically with booze in hand after one waft of vodka in her face:

She's awake ya'll!

She’s back ya’ll!


The evening continued on with Mexican food and Mexican drinks:


Thank god.


Followed by jamming out on stage with bands:


And witnessing them play songs with a Corona bottle in lieu of a guitar pick…

And like lightning-speed clockwork.

The weekend was over.

Thing is.

More happened before, during and after all of this, all falling under the category of #nauti.


For the sake of keeping secrets…

I’ll keep the recap clean …and just leave you with this:


What a babe.

Love you Coco.

Always happy to be by your side whether it’s eating lunch with you in Harris dining hall freshman year of college or standing next to you on your wedding day.

Here’s to hoping we break out the blonde highlights, hoop earrings, and bejeweled tiaras again on your big day…


Is This Just A Phase?

Posted by Olive

September 12th, 2016

Story originally written and experienced: March 26th 2015

It was a circus.


Like so.

At least it felt like it.

Thing is.

Every month one member from my New York City friend group would throw this innovative, unheard-of event called…

“Girls’ night”


Where we’d also pick a (food) theme to obey. And on Thursday, March 25, 2015, Charlie and I decided it was our turn to host and we chose the theme…



Party time.

When the day came we had zero decorations. No costumes. Forgot plates. And our main menu for our VIP guests?

Hot dogs

Corn dogs


Garlic bread


and of course

Ice cream sandwiches.



I remembered this night and I remembered it well.

And it wasn’t (only) because of the copious amounts of bratwursts and store-bought buns we provided.



But also because of this realization I had that I really couldn’t sHakE. I remembered looking around at my   s C a T t e R i N g   of friends and thinking to myself as we were crammed in our teeny tiny






That this was all temporary.

There we were.

Existing in this 200 mph city each taking turns talking about our recent events—One friend telling us she was awarded employee of the year at her company, Leah explaining to us her new life motto of “guac over cock” and Bee announcing she was leaving to be with her long-term long-distance boyfriend in D.C. in the fall—and I knew nights like this, with updates like those, would be a fond memory I’d look back on in my mid-twenties.

Because things were changing. In fact, they already were.

It felt strange to feel that way. Wondering if this place and the friends I saw every day in my life would truly be a fleeting chapter. How much longer would circus-themed “girls’ nights” last before they were phased out by moving friends, new relationships and more enticing activities?

Unpredictable to say.

Because in one way it feels like we have complete control of what carries on. But then again, there’s always the inevitable stuff like city switches and refigured friendships that plot twist the entire operation.

My point is.

Life is infinitely evolving. Even if you stay consistent? Things around you change. So how do we react when normalcies        shift?

It’s something I’ve thought a lot about, and in the end, this is what I believe…because it’s worked so far:

If a chapter in your life is best left a temporary, then kiss it goodbye with the sentiment of learning and endearment…and move on.



If anything staple—people, hobbies, girls’ nights, guys’ nights, etc.—feels entirely too worthwhile.

Keep it.

In some way.

It’s too important.

Even if you’re not in the same city anymore or your schedule has changed, reimagine how to keep those elements in your life alive whether it’s picking up the phone and calling to catch-up or even just calling people back. Set aside Tuesdays to strictly dedicate to your favorite hobby or discover something new. And don’t let the things have proven to be temporarily satisfying stay around longer than they should, and in the same vein, don’t let the things that have proven to be consistently vital get away.

It’s a permanent way to keep the good things good while they last and the greater things always in your grasp.

And that’s a feeling I just can’t sHakE.

New City. New Chapter. New Adrenaline Rush.

Posted by Olive

August 12th 2016


“Are you sure?”

“Are you ready?”

“Will you come back?”

“…How do you feel?”

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


I wasn’t sure what to say.

At least not yet, because moving is a big deal—in action and in feeling. Deciding on it, coping with it and most importantly, embracing it.

Not what I...had in...mind...

Like so.

And emotions are heightened even farther when

questions are firing from


types of


Here’s what happened:

I was living in New York City.

But after 5 years, 2 jobs, and endless adventures.

I decided to leave.

And yes, I was sure.

And yes, I was ready.

And no, I’m still not sure if I’ll ever come back.

…But as for the way I feel?


It was, and still is, a loaded question.

One that I couldn’t answer for months. But one that I feel that I can answer now.

The story is this:

In July 2016 I left the most exciting city on earth for a couple of good reasons:

1. For the thrill of something new, because change had proven to be nothing but extraordinarily good for me up until this point in my life, and I imagined it would keep doing the same. And

2. For him:


My long-distance confidant who felt, feels and is             beyond worth any life change.

For a long time, he was in Ohio. And for a long time, I was in New York.

And eventually the threshold of missing out on that vitally enjoyable company was maxed out, so we decided to move somewhere brand new together…and it caused a whirlwind for 6 and a half months.

We spent time brainstorming cities sepa      rately and promising not to share preferences with each other for one entire month. And after that month, we compared lists in a living room in Youngstown, Ohio, and realized that our greatest overlap—out of every city in the United States—was

(drumroll, please)



Austin, Texas.


We were pumped. And after that decision was made, we broke out a map and began to plan.

austin mapping

Here we gooooo!

Packed up everything. Quit our jobs. Job hunted. Got going away cakes from friends:




(Notice the illegal immigrants crawling up the side as a finishing touch…)

Notice the controversial decor on the side...



And threw massive going away parties too:

big going away party

Up until the day I truly had to say goodbye to my friends, my sister and our apartment:

bye bye silvia

And only after all of that—the process spanning over months and months—did I really have the opportunity to sit down and think what just happened. And how I felt about it. And here’s where I ended up:

I feel fucking fantastic.

Thing is.

I did a lot while I was New York City.

And I think that’s the notion that saved me.

Realizing the amount of growth and experience I squeezed out of this one place. Internships at Oprah Magazine and Calvin Klein, my first full-time gig at Nautica and my next at Michael Kors. I launched my personal passion Olive The People there, hosted 3 storytelling events and 5 New Year’s Eve extravaganzas there, zoomed around Manhattan in a 30 person party bus there, walked through Central Park, the Chelsea High Line and Madison Square Garden at least 160 time there, and dined at my favorite restaurants even more than that. I’ve been to the top of One World Trade, The Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, jammed out with the Dispatch, held two personal photoshoots, ran into Taylor Swift in the bathroom, worked 11 fashion weeks, witnessed the WTC be commemorated after a decade and watched it all be built back up again.




And even though I woke up every morning in a teeny tiny apartment priced every month in equivalence to the down payment of a two-story house anywhere else in the world, with a rIcKeTy stove originally manufactured in 1882, a sink the size of a literal seashell and a bedroom that could fit my bed, my hairbrush and that’s absolutely it—I was happy.

Because I woke up every day with opportunities, dreamers and the best bagels the world has to offer outside my doorstep. At any given moment I could feel the adrenaline-driven trains zoom to chauffeur me to absolutely anywhere I wanted to go in this 13-mile-long, 2.3-mile-wide utopia. The air was charged with electricity of fast-paced people and the energy of their attitude.

Everything was squished. Everything was loud. Everything felt like home.




The thing about New York City is.

It gives everything this immeasurable high.

And anyone who lived or still lives there has sipped the Koolaid to make them feel the same way. I drank the Koolaid. A lot of of it. And I too became addicted to this big city, working for big brands, hosting big New Year’s Eve parties and doing everything in a big way. I liked loved the glamour and prestige of that damn place. And I still do. And to be quite frank, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to have that anywhere else.

So I didn’t leave.

But then opportunity presented itself. The vital kind. The same kind that presented itself just days before I showed up to the Big Apple in the first place. The kind that gave me the chance to have that adrenaline rush of newness and experience and growth all over again. And when I realized that it actually might happen.

I cried a lot. And often. But never in a regretful way. Just in a “remember when you had those thrills living abroad, uprooting to college, and starting completely fresh in New York City and how much you liked loved it in the end?” kind of way.

So I flipped the way I looked at it.

Stopped thinking about it as what I was losing, and focused on what I was gaining.

Better weather. More nature. Cool career switch. Completely uncharted territory where everything has been undiscovered. The everyday chance at having the partner I desired and being able to be the partner I’ve always wanted to be. Keeping a promise to myself that I’ll always take a chance on big changes if they feel just right.

And suddenly the decision felt very easy.

So we started driving. 22 hours.


Only stopping for Corky’s BBQ in Memphis, Tennessee, along the way:


Feeling fly.

Feeling fresh.


Until we reached our final destination, unpacked, ate beans for dinner on a printer box:

baked beans and boxes

And finally took a breath and realized what in the hell was going on:

We were here.

Officially about to experience a new city. A new chapter. And a new adrenaline rush.

And it felt fucking fantastic.


Now reporting from Austin, I’m excited to share even more absurd adventures with you.

Tacos & Tequila,


Food For Thought

Posted by Olive

July 11th, 2016

Story originally written and experienced: July 4th 2016

I’m not sure how I ended up there…

But I did.

There I was.

Wandering the acclaimed Chelsea Market on the west side of Manhattan like tourists and curious New Yorkers do, when I saw something down the main









that caught my eye

to the right.

“What…is…all of…that?” I asked my equally perplexed sister and friend without expecting a response.

“Dude, I don’t know. Should we go in?”

I was already inside.

I had to know.

I saw dresses made out of edible things and I needed to figured out why.

Then I saw the sign.




And it explained that this was a fashion exhibition consisting of 58 dresses and accessories—co-curated by Mr. Dominella, CEO of Italian fashion house Gattinoni, and Bonizza Giordani Aragno, a fashion history professor at the Instituto Europeo di Design, and organized by the Italian Trade Commission—symbolizing food and its similarity to fashion in the sense that food relies on plants and animals to exist and fashion relies on things like a cotton in the same way.




It was interesting.

Interesting enough for me to take pics and share them with you virally because, well, over sharing is what I do best:




The regal rigatoni dress:

regal rigatoni

Totally tubular.



The Popcorn Prom dress:

popcorn princess

Once you pop…


The fruit phenom:

Strawberry hat forever!

A “head” of its time…



The spaghetti carbonecklace.

spaghetti fork necklace

Talk abut a well-rounded dish.



The most in-tree-guing dress I had ever seen:


Stand, Forrest, Stand!


The up-Scale shoe:

Fish are friends, not food.

Fish are friends, not food.



The Ice cream ensemble:

ice cream mania

What…strategically placed…cherries.


The crowd peaser:

Bitch, peas.

Bitch, peas.


The cabbage coat:

Cabbage coat.

My kind of salad.


The icing on the cake/beaded sweater:


Dessert all DAY.


The peppers and onions poncho:

Onions and peppers.

Food for thought.


Demure dairy:

cow clothes.

Have a cow.


Pizza party panache:

pizza pastiche

Special delivery.

And the bread winner:

Bread winner.

Complex carbs.


And there you have it. 14 bizarre pieces of clothing that made me hungry…for pizza, pasta and original art. Stay creative, my friends. I’ll always appreciate it.

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