Monday, December 15th

Ann Webb Clinicals

Ann Webb Skin Clinic might be Austin’s best kept beauty secret. Those in the know have been visiting the huge spa in North Austin for the best prices on treatments from facials and massages, to injectables and lasers.

I’ve been a client for a while, so when I was invited to come in and check out Ann’s new clinical line of products, I jumped at the chance. My good friend and girly partner in crime, Melissa Lombard, accompanied me for complimentary facials and a tour of the new product line. (You may remember Melissa and I reviewed some Mineral Fusion products in the past, too.)

First, the facials were phenomenal. Ann Webb Skin Clinic uses a gentler technique. No hot steam blowing at your face, rather hot towels are places as compresses throughout. Many of the products used come from nature, so aromas of mint, pumpkin, citrus, and lots of other good stuff punctuate the relaxing sessions. Melissa and I each left with a four-step routine to try out at home. I took a morning routine, Melissa, evening.

Ann Webb Skin Clinicals
Kristin’s Morning Routine | Cleansing Milk ($14) | The Mist ($16) | Day Moisture ($26) | Eye Bright ($30) | The Balm ($12)

I love a good cleanser and appreciate the classics. Cetaphil and Origins Checks & Balances have long been staples in my arsenal, and now Ann Webb’s Cleansing Milk joins their ranks, the light, pleasant scent and thick creamy texture brings me right back to the spa. It’s incredibly luxurious and moisturizing and a huge value at the price. For my skin, this is a little rich for daily use, so I’m reserving it for times when I need a little extra moisture.

The Mist is exactly like it sounds, a refreshing mist that offers a cooling burst of orange-scenting moisture. I love it for setting my makeup and also a quick spritz before bed. This would be good all day, actually.

If I had to pick one superstar of the lineup, Day Moisture is it. It’s light, absorbs quickly, and lasts all day. Notes of orange and mint are pleasant and fade quickly. It feels like there’s nothing on the skin, but that you’re in perfect balance, the way nature intended.

The Eye Bright serves as not only a protectant, but a luminizing brightener. A little zinc and titanium boost your natural glow and are a nice addition to the cheekbones, forehead, and anywhere you want a little brightness. The Balm, which is a nice fat stick of moisture can serve double-duty under the eyes, on the lips, the elbows, or any dry spot. It gives thick, lasting coverage and is a nice smell and texture.

Ann Webb Clinicals

Melissa’s Evening Routine | Cleansing Scrub ($18) | The Toner ($16) | Enzyme Peel ($28) | Night Moisture ($38)

True confession. My nightly beauty routine occasionally, often, almost always involves a warm washcloth and some face soap procured from Target. The selection criteria? What’s on sale? Okay, if I’m being totally honest, if I find myself drifting off on the couch after The Blacklist, I have been known to skip the washcloth and soap and head straight for the pillow.

Clearly, I am not the ideal candidate for a multistep beauty regimen. But after the facial and product demonstration at Ann Webb Skin Clinic I left the spa with a commitment to an evening routine and to take better care of my skin.

Gotta say, I am a total convert! I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t take time. But it’s just been a matter of creating a routine. Here’s mine: Apply the Cleansing Scrub and then chill out or 20 minutes or so. Did you know you were supposed to leave cleanser on for a while before rinsing it off? I had no clue. Next, I apply The Toner with a cotton pad. I haven’t used toner since the Sea Breeze days of my early 20’s when I assumed the burning meant it was working. Apparently, astringents aren’t so great for your face. Oops! Next up, I do the Enzyme Peel (usually an every other night thing). I let that sit on my face for at least 20 minutes, though longer is even better. Next up is my favorite product, Night Moisture. This product is fabulous! Extremely moisturizing, but not at all sticky or heavy feeling. I finish up with The Balm—generally on my lips and around my eyes—for a little extra moisture. This little stick is very versatile and I’ve used it on rough elbows and to soften my cuticles.

As someone who appreciates value, I was pleasantly surprised to learn just how affordable the Ann Webb products are. And a little goes a long way, meaning your products are going to last much longer. All in all, I’m enjoying the products and the routine and look forward to checking out some of the other goodies from the new clinical collection.

Friday, May 30th

Review of Pharrell’s Album “Girl”

Girl album cover by Pharrell Williams

I waited two years for Pharrell Williams to release Girl. I ran to Waterloo Records and picked up a copy the day it dropped and have been listening to it nonstop in my car ever since. After giving it a listen between 100 and 200 times, I’m finally ready to talk about it. Let’s do this.

I’ve been with Pharrell through every N.E.R.D. album. I saw them when they played in Austin in 2010. I’ve been obsessed with everything The Neptunes touched and have read just about every interview. So, yeah. I’m a huge fan. (No disrespect to those of you who are just getting on board with Happy. Now go buy some old stuff.)

I should quickly note that this is a pop album, not hip-hop. So fans looking for that N.E.R.D. edge will have to look elsewhere.

The album opens with the infectious Marilyn Monroe. The initial strains are reminiscent of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills theme song. I don’t hate it. Mr. Betty says sounds like Pharrell is saying, “The diarrhea is happening yeaaaaaah!” It’s true. Anyway, it’s got a video so here you go.

The collaborative songs on the album are all strong. The chemistry between Pharrell and Justin Timberlake is great and Brand New is a likely contender for a single. (Every song on the album is radio friendly, actually.) Duet Know Who You Are with Alicia Keys is a personal favorite. The laid back vocals and upbeat soul are perfect to showcase both their voices. Gust of Wind proves that creative lightning indeed can strike twice. Like Lose Yourself to Dance or Get Lucky, his partnership with Daft Punk results in pure magic. It’s my favorite song on the album, hands down. It’s groovy, funky, and reminiscent of Jamiroquai…but with French robots. And violins.

Genre exploration is the Girls bedrock and Hunter is solidly in the 80s. It’s another one of my favorites. Less successful is Lost Queen which is overly simplistic in its South African folk inspiration. Although there’s another song hidden on the track (Freq) and it’s worth the wait. It Girl closes out the album and feels the most like N.E.R.D. than any other song. Fantastic.

I’m just crazy about Girl as a body of work. A great listen in its entirety, which is rare. (For me at least. I’m a track skipper.) Not to say Pharrell doesn’t have his weak points. First…let’s get rid of that fucking hat already. The park ranger look is so over. He used to wear normal hats:

Pharrell Williams

Secondly, lyrics have never been his strength and he hasn’t improved over time. As huge as Happy is, I think the lyrics could be better. What the hell is a room without a roof?

Here’s an example from Gust of Wind: When I open the window/I want to hug your/Cause you remind me of the air/yeah.

I mean, one can hug almost anything. But not air. Anyway, the lyrics aren’t ruining the songs, but they could be better.

Discopop recently alleged that Pharrell can’t write an intro and relies on the same looping technique to open each song. They even put together a playlist of intros, so you can check it out for yourself.

When I listen to this I’m just reminded of how much I love so many of his songs. I’ll leave you with one more video. Some classic N.E.R.D.

Wednesday, May 21st

A Better Workout: RELAYS Giveaway

I’ve been hitting the gym a lot lately. I like to hide out in the dark bike studio and hold my own private spin class during off hours. Why do I ride on my own? Because I’ve been to enough classes to have developed my own tough routine and frankly, I want my own music. The teachers at my gym tend towards either techno or Kenny Logins. I mean…just…no.

Lately my workouts have been improved by my earbuds. Sol Republic sent me a pair of RELAYS to try out and you guys, they are fantastic. They are specifically made for working out and they don’t fall out. No matter what you do, those suckers stay in!

Sol Republic RELAYS


You can sweat like crazy, lay on the floor for crunches or stretching, or shake your head around. They’ll stay in. And the sound quality is tight, too. They retail for about $80, so these are premium in-ear headphones that will last. Also useful when you’re not working out, the three-button operation gives you control over your music, the mic, and your phone. They come with four cushions so you can customize the fit that’s best for you. (I use the second-smallest cushions.) You pull the back of your ear a bit, gently insert it until it feels comfortably secure and go about your business.

Sol Republic RELAYS


So how can you win a pair? Just leave me a comment and tell me one workout song that gets you pumped. I’ll randomly draw a name on June 4th. (Like Sol Republic and Mad Betty on Facebook for extra chances to win!)

*I received a free pair of RELAYS for review purposes, but I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

Monday, March 31st

Mineral Fusion: Product Review

Recently I was invited by Whole Foods to check out one of the lines in their Whole Body department. Fellow blogger and friend Melissa Lombard joined me and we made a day of it, enjoying a sushi lunch and chatting under a shaded picnic table outside. Then we walked around the store to see all the latest renovations to the Gateway store. Is it just me or do the Whole Foods stores in Austin keep getting better and better?

Next, we learned all about Mineral Fusion. I’m a product junkie and loooove trying new things. But I’m a little afraid of the hippy-dippy stuff. After all, I’m a modern girl and can’t walk around smelling like patchouli. Let me assure you that this line is modern, high quality, and smells good. It’s all vegetarian (most products are vegan, actually) cruelty-free, gluten-free, and contains no artificial colors or synthetic fragrances.

So after using the products for more than a week, here’s the takeaway.

Mineral Fusion Purifying Gel Facial Cleanser










Purifying Gel Facial Cleanser

Kristin’s take: It leaves skin so squeaky clean that I think it might be a tad harsh for me to use everyday right now. Once the hottest months are upon us, this will be my first choice for removing sweat, dirt, and sunscreen. Bonus, it lathers up nicely and is ideal to use with my Clarisonic.

Melissa’s take: Two thumbs way up from me. Works great and smells fab!

Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation










Pressed Powder Foundation

Kristin’s take: I gave up liquid foundation years ago and have been a loyal BareMinerals user ever since. I was skeptical of using a pressed rather than loose powder, but I couldn’t resist buying a compact to try out when I sampled a shade that was a perfect match. The triple-milled powder is so light and buildable and best of all, doesn’t seem to settle in to lines or pores. I am officially a convert. It’s priced better than BareMinerals, too. I am thrilled. I’ve found that the Hydration Mist sets it really well and helps it last all day.

Melissa’s take: Just brushed some on over the BB cream one day to make sure the color was good. I find powders to be drying, so it will be best in the humid summer.

Mineral Fusion Beauty Balm BB Cream










BB Cream

Kristin’s take: I tried the Perfecting Beauty Balm which provides a sheer, satiny finish. I’ll use this all the time for quick looks when I don’t want to apply full makeup. I’m grateful for the SPF, although I wish it was higher than 9 since I burn easily. I love how moisturizing it is.

Melissa’s take: The Illuminating BB cream is pretty much awesome. Super moisturizing and just the right amount of coverage. Like a BB cream promises to be. Not sure about you, but I’ve been disappointed before. Mineral Fusion makes good on their promise.

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Remover

Nail Polish and Remover

Kristin’s take: I couldn’t find my colors on the website to show you, but I tried two shades, Slate (a sophisticated gray) and a Lagoon (a bright blue green) and liked them both. The polish is high quality and therefore a bit on the pricey side for smallish bottles. The formaldehyde-free formula is as long-lasting as good polishes normally are. (I’m kind of a fast manicure wrecker with all the typing, cooking, dishwashing, etc, in my life.) The remover is dynamite. Smells amazing and feels less destructive than regular remover.

Melissa’s take: I put the little pink polish on my toes and I really like it. But I did one nail of the Slate color, just to try it and feel like you’d need at least two coats. But it looked nice. I have never looked forward to removing my polish. I either bust out the “good stuff” and get ‘er done or I grab 27 cotton balls and the “gentle stuff” and spent the next 17 minutes working on that one coat of pale pink that just won’t go away. When I heard about Mineral Fusion’s remover, I was skeptical. It’s either great OR it smells like fruit. No way can it be both. Wrong! I was wrong! This stuff is ridiculously amazing. It smells great, it’s nourishing, it doesn’t leave my nails brittle and it works better than the toxic crap. Yeah, I said it. Better!

Mineral Fusion Beauty Balms for Hair










Shampoo, Conditioner and Beauty Balms for Hair

Kristin’s take: My curly hair tends to be dry and tangles very easily. The Hair Repair Shampoo and Conditioner was up to the task and left my hair feeling clean and soft. There’s little scent to the products but I’m okay with that. The Curl Care Beauty Balm is a lightweight leave-in that define curls and reduces frizz. It’s softer and more subtle than the salon products I normally use and I like it. I won’t abandon my current products, but I will happily add these to the roster.

Melissa’s take: I am the gal who thinks that shampoos and conditioners are pretty much all the same. Do I want a product that is gentle, not tested on animals, and safe for the environment? Sure. Do I want it to leave my hair clean, shiny, full of body, touchable soft and so damn silky people come up to me on the street asking to touch it or photograph it? Damn straight. (I might be asking too much.) I’ve been using Mineral Fusion shampoo and conditioner, along with the beauty balm for hair, all in “Vibrant Shine” and I have to say, I’m a total convert. This stuff meets all the above criteria and it’s super affordable!  To be fair, no one has photographed it yet, but I think they want to. And I can’t stop touching it, so there you go.

Have you tried any Mineral Fusion products? If you are in Austin and want to check them out, you have till May 18th to take advantage of the Whole Foods roadshow discount of 30%.

  • March 21- April 6th at Whole Foods Market Gateway, 9607 Research Blvd
  • April 11th-27th at Whole Foods Market Domain, 11920 Domain Drive
  • May 2nd-18th at Whole Foods Market Downtown, 525 North Lamar Blvd

Disclaimer: I received several products free of charge but was not compensated for this post. Opinions are my own.

Friday, December 13th

Odd Duck

Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Those driving up and down South Lamar have been patiently watching and waiting for the brick and mortar incarnation of Odd Duck. To their credit, shortly after the signage went up things moved quickly. No extended wait on this one. Bryce Gilmore doesn’t mess around.

Craft Taste and I rushed over on opening night, dear readers, so that you might have a first look at some of the dishes. Rest assured that Odd Duck will be the hot spot for quite awhile, so you should go right away or wait a couple months. But we certainly beat the rush and didn’t sacrifice in quality or service. They are ready.

Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Like Barley Swine, there’s a comfortable bar to cozy up to and peruse the excellent beer and wine lists. There’s also a nice cocktail menu and I enjoyed a Moscow Mule with their house ginger beer. The pleasant bite was sheer perfection. Mr. Betty had a Founder’s Breakfast Stout which he regards as a real treat.

Drinks at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

There’s plenty of seating at the bar and tables both inside and out. We opted to sit at the long communal table and soak up the excitement of the other groups. It was hard to choose from everything on the menu but our waitress helped steer us towards some of the staff’s early favorites.

We started with warm pretzels stuffed with ham and gruyere and a creamy mustard sauce. They were subtle, letting the mustard take center stage. The beer funnel cake was less successful, with a strongly bitter aftertaste overwhelming the whole dish. This was the only thing I wouldn’t order again.

Pretzel, Ham, Gruyere and Mustard at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Beer funnel cake at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

The charred broccoli, sorrel, and honeycrisp apple slices sat atop a sous-vide scrambled egg that was simply stunning. Those pretty flowers are fried thin slices of the broccoli stem!

My only regret of the night was my photo of the kohlrabi soup. I was so entranced by the verbal description and presentation that I did not catch a photo before the broth was poured. This is the dish that blew me away. We raved about it so much that the people next to us ordered it at the end of their meal. If you only get one thing, get this soup! There’s creamy cheddar custard and world’s tastiest bacon are in that broth, people.

Charred broccoli at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Kohlrabi soup at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

The goat rolled in pasta was an explosion of flavor, the savory meat accompanied by a divine mole and butternut squash. Another highlight of the evening was the boudin grits, pickled shrimp and chicharrones. Served in a mason jar, each bite offered a magical combination of creaminess, acidity and salty crunch. Major wow factor on this one.

Goat rolled in pasta at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Shrimp and grits at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

One last show-stopper before dessert. The chicken fried chicken egg came with lots of mushrooms and homemade hot sauce. Who doesn’t love cutting into a perfectly runny egg?

Chicken fried egg at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Chicken fried egg at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

The sticky toffee pudding made for the perfect ending to a great meal. The sweetness was balanced with rich goat cheese and tart pickled apples.

Sticky toffee pudding at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

My takeaway? The food was creative and delicious, service was polished, and atmosphere was warm and welcoming. Quite warm, actually. No need to wear a sweater.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Odd Duck. We’re so happy you’re here.

Wednesday, November 27th

The 20/20 Experience

The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake puts out albums so infrequently that each one is a huge event. The sales are big, the hype is BIG, and the expectations are HIGH. The double project makes for Justin’s third and fourth studio albums, and like his second album, they were produced by Timbaland. And that’s where my first criticism lies…with Timbaland. With his decreasing relevancy and trademark insertion of his own vocals, it’s interesting that Justin chose to work with him again, when he could have had virtually anyone he wanted. I would have preferred Pharrell or, personally.

The first part of The 20/20 Experience was released in March. For those of us in Austin the excitement was all rolled up in Justin’s surprise appearance at SXSW, the secret MySpace party, and the general hysteria of trying to get in. (Note: I opened a MySpace account specifically to be entered into the random lottery for the party and no, I did not get in.) The singles “Suit & Tie,” “Mirrors,” and “Tunnel Vision” are all catchy and classic Timberlake. The former features another Timbaland hallmark, an awkward intro that feels like an entirely different song. Timbaland often tacks these onto the end of his songs, as well.

The big band/jazzy theme is mostly just visual, rather than musical. Dapper suits and tuxes? Check. Sharp dance moves? Check. Black and white color palette? Check. Full sound of horns? Nay.

Justin Timberlake black and white photo

Beyond the singles, there are a couple standout tunes. “Pusher Love Girl,” which compares love to drugs is infectious fun, if too long at eight minutes. “Strawberry Bubblegum,” (my personal favorite) is a little tribute to Barry White with it’s candy-themed sensual lyrics, again lasting about eight minutes. “Don’t Hold the Wall” is a dark dance groove clocking in at over seven minutes. So yes, the songs are all long.

The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 is the weaker of the albums. Again the songs drag on, but this second grouping feels like so much filler with “Take Back the Night” as the only true highlight. “Drink You Away” is pleasant enough and “TKO” is a generic single with is neither interesting lyrically or musically.

My takeaway is this: If you remove the filler, you have one solid album of decent music here. The decision to release two albums in six months time feels more like hype-building than an expression of musicianship. It’s a shame that Justin seems more passionate in pursuing a career in acting, because his real talent lies in his singing. But he’s placed it on the back burner and reserves his enthusiasm for SNL and Jimmy Fallon appearances.

Omeletteville sketch with Justin Timberlake and Chris Parnell

Wednesday, July 10th

How to Dress Your Apple

I was contacted recently by a cool company in Holland to see if I wanted to check out their beautiful sleeves for Mac products. Um, hell yes? I chose one for my MacBook Pro and was delighted when a sleek package with a Netherlands stamp arrived at my door.

Mujjo MacBook Pro sleeve

Mujjo makes designer sleeves and covers that snuggly fit Apple products and touchscreen gloves. One might say they make your tech life more attractive.

Mujjo sleeve and MacBook Pro

Mujjo sleeve The Originals collection

The gray felt is thick, high quality and 100% wool. It is soft and luxurious while maintaining structure. The leather flap is vegetable tanned and hand dyed. The white is chic and classy, but I also love the brown leather. All the products come in both options.

Mujjo Mackbook Pro Sleeve

If you’re looking for a unique gift for an Apple-loving friend, this would do the trick. Check out the store for all the cool sizes and products. I have officially retired my neoprene case in exchange for this gorgeous new one. My laptop has never been so happy!

Disclosure: I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and no monetary compensation changed hands. I keep it real, yo.

Friday, June 28th

Jurlique Product Review

From time to time Jurlique sends me a lovely box of products to try out and review. I’m not compensated in any way other than the free products and my opinions are my own. I’ve been using these products for a couple months so that I could give a fair assessment.

Jurlique Review Herbal Recovery Gel

The Herbal Recovery Gel is a smooth, light serum. Cool and slippery, it absorbs easily. The pleasant floral scent dissipates quickly leaving skin feeling clean, nourished and balanced. I like this product so much that it will permanently replace my old serum. It’s a luxury product at $140, although they offer a smaller size for $50.

Jurlique Review Purely Bright Day Moisturizer

Purely Bright Day Moisturizer is for everyday use and should lighten dark spots if used for an extended period of time. I didn’t notice any lightening effects, but really enjoy this lotion. I wish it had an SPF, so I could use it all summer long. The lightweight, non-greasy formula is $48.

Jurlique Review Purely Bright Night Moisturizer

The counterpart for evening is the Purely Bright Night Moisturizer. Overnight moisturizers can be too heavy for me. It’s important to hydrate at night, but there’s nothing worse than waking up with an oily face. This is light enough for me to tolerate, and that might be partly due to method of application. For all of Jurlique’s moisturizers, they recommend warming a small amount of  products between your fingers and lightly pressing it into the skin. It’s a technique that I’ve come to love. Not only is it gentle, but it stretches your precious product. At $52, I’d like this one to last.

Jurlique Review Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Gel Mask

I’m a sucker for masks. It’s the perfect way to de-stress and feel a little pampered at home. The Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Gel Mask is a clear, light gel that gives a nice hydration boost. It gives a bit of a cooling sensation, and of all the products in this review, this feels the most spa-like to me. $48 buys a large tube that will last a very long time, even with frequent use.

Jurlique Review Purely Age-Defying Ultra Firm and Life Cream

The Purely Age-Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Cream is supposed to provide noticeable resulting in tightness and line reduction right away. I can tell you when I use it I feel firmer. I don’t know if I’m quite old enough for this product just yet, although it’s very nice. The jar is heavy glass and it feels and smells expensive. Firming products can cost a fortune, so I think the $70 for this one is actually a bargain. A little goes a long way and this far will last forever.

I’m a big fan of Jurlique’s extensive line. The luxury products are packaged simply and I appreciate the metal tubes that don’t allow air to contaminate the products. Do you have any favorite Jurlique products?

Friday, May 24th

Max’s Wine Dive Brunch

Yum. Here’s a Foodie Friday post for you. Mr. Betty and I don’t frequent brunch as much as we’d like to, but when his sister came to visit last month we made the effort to find a parking spot downtown on a Sunday morning. We’ve always liked Max’s Wine Dive for dinner and had yet to try their brunch. While the buffet is supposed to be amazing, we opted for the a la carte options and sat outside. We lingered over the menu while we sipped mimosas.

Max's Wine Dive Brunch Mimosas

Only true pigs need an appetizer at brunch. So we ordered two. The Pan Borracho translates to “drunk bread” and consists of bread, prosciutto, thyme, and wine wine custard baked with Gruyère, Parmigiano Reggiano and provolone. I know. I know. It’s as good as it sounds. Better. We also tried a half order of Marcona Almond Crusted French Toast. Wow! Next time I’ll get the French Toast as my meal.

Max's Wine Dive Pan Borracho

Max's Wine Dive Marcona Almond French Toast

Choosing entrees was a tough choice, but we settled on three very different things and stole bites from each other’s plates, trying everything. The SXSW was a kicked-up shrimp and cheese grits with jalapeños, spicy pulled pork, a fried egg, tomatoes, corn and cilantro. A real showstopper.

Max's Wine Dive SXSW

The Badass Breakfast Burrito was as large as it was badass, with eggs, cheese, and chorizo tightly nestled in a spinach tortilla. We all agreed that the sweet potato hash and sweet corn queso elevated this California staple to, well, Texas.

Max's Wine Dine Badass Breakfast Burrito

Perhaps the most indulgent of the three dishes was the Fried Egg Sandwich. This is no ordinary breakfast sandwich.

Max's Wine Dive Fried Egg Sandwich

Three over-easy eggs were topped with a garlic black truffle aioli, applewood-smoked bacon, Gruyère, lettuce, tomato and drizzled with truffle oil. This rich sandwich surprisingly low in calories. (Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Nothing here is low in calories.)

Sometimes when you’re taking lots of food photos in a restaurant, people want to know what’s up. On this occasion the friendly couple next to us wanted to know each dish we were eating and offered up their own chicken and waffles for a photo. I happily snapped a couple shots since Max’s is famous for their fried chicken. How good does this look?

Max's Wine Dive Chicken and Waffles

So what’s the takeaway from Max’s brunch? Go. Immediately. And park a mile away so you can start walking it off.

Friday, May 17th

Bronko Box

Check out this guest post from Lani Rosales, Chief Operating Officer of AGBeat, renowned business and tech writer, and queen mother of Austin’s coolest monthly networking event, BASHH

Moving. The very word sends shudders down the spines of slobs and obsessive compulsives everywhere. The mere thought of organizing, packing, taping, labeling, carrying, loading, unloading, cutting, unpacking, and organizing is enough to make anyone’s head feel like it’s full of angry honey badgers.

My husband and I recently decided to move apartments, and it was a task filled to the brim with procrastination, and most days, I opted to dig through Pinterest for tips on moving instead of actually doing the work of moving.

Bronko Box

During my quest, I procrastinated even more by spending time on Facebook asking if anyone had packing supplies or tips or hell, if anyone would just come do this for me. That’s when I heard about Bronko Box, these plastic totes that could be delivered right to my door in bulk, they are essentially rented for a week or two (however long it takes you to pack/move), then they pick them up when you’re done. Sign me up!

Bronko Box

Bronko Box

When Bo at Bronko Box arrived with “tons of totes” as we started calling them, they came in both large and small, and I was immediately struck by how clean they were – I expected banged up, crookedy, scratched-up plastic totes, but no, they even smelled like new plastic and office supplies. Mmm, office supply smell….

Bronko Box

I wanted to build a fort out of them on our giant patio, but I was told that we were moving in three days and I hadn’t touched a thing, so I better get started. No fort. Okay.

So I started pulling everything off of the walls and out of the closets, and everything I had learned on Pinterest flew out of my brain faster than a kid can down three pixie stix. That’s fast.

Bronko Box

With what our family is calling the “Bronko Box method,” I would pull one box off of the stack, fill it, close the top (and no ridiculous tape, btw), stack it on the previously filled box, slap a sticker on it with the room name and DONE. They all stacked together on a dolly and went right on and off the truck.

Bronko Box

The biggest surprise to us is that the fact that there was a difinitive date they were picking the boxes up, we had to unpack – no living from boxes for weeks. We’re pretty OCD about unpacking, but this really pushed us to not be lazy, and we needed it, given that my husband and I work 15 to 18 hour days.

Bronko Box

Bo came back, zipped the boxes out, and they were gone. I was a little sad when they left.

Reserving them and working with the company was easy as pie, and the prices were reasonable. The only suggestion I have is that they need to hand a flyer to people when they drop boxes off that give tips like “don’t cram solid gold bars in here, they’ll be too heavy,” and organization tips like “divide boxes out per room so you don’t run out” or “place heavy stuff on the bottom,” or whatever more eloquent advice the experts have.

Next time you’re packing, do what grocery stores and gas stations have done for decades and skip the boxes and non-biodegradable packing materials that kill the environment – just order some Bronko Boxes. We won’t be using traditional packing boxes or materials again. Ever.

Bronko Box

Bronko Box

Disclosure: Bronko Box provided their services free of charge in exchange for an honest review.