Monday, September 29, 2014

Settled in Downtown

Ashley and I moved last week into our new studio apartment in Downtown Austin. As I mentioned in my first post, this has always been a dream of mine and I am so excited to cross it off my list.

Moving day was pretty crazy. We spent the Friday evening before putting the finishing touches on some excellent packing if I do say so myself. It is amazing how much easier moving is when you have a plan. The six weeks before we moved we were packing things everyday. We sold some things we could not take. We donated a lot of clothes (because we have a really small closet, and donating is fun!).

When our Saturday move finally came we were ready! We woke up early and went to pick up the moving truck. We used Budget Truck Rental, which was the cheapest one I could find. It cost us about $50 to rent a 16 foot truck (way bigger than we needed) for 24 hours. We drove less than 30 miles so the mileage charge was low. We packed the truck, with the help of our friend, Shane in less than an hour and a half. Then we headed to our new place, The Whitley on 3rd and Brazos. Moving in was a breeze because we had access to a loading dock and a freight elevator. We had all of our stuff moved in by 12:15PM.

After a quick move-out and move-in. It looks like we
have a lot of stuff.
The view from our balcony.
After that we started unpacking and arranging things. At first, we were really nervous about the size of the studio apartment. How would we make this work? It looked like we had so much stuff! But once we unpacked, we saw that we actually has a lot more space then expected. (Stay tuned for pictures of our new place all set up.)

The next day we got to experience our amazing pool and grill area. It felt like we are on vacation at a resort. We closed our second night out by walking around Downtown Austin. We were hungry for some kind of dessert. After walking a bit we came across a little coffee shop and bar called Halcyon. We saw that they had S'mores on their menu that you made yourself. We knew we had to try these and we weren't disappointed. Imagine a small fire at your table inside a coffee shop, roasting marshmallows and making S'mores. I mean how awesome is that?

It was the perfect way to end a busy first weekend in Downtown Austin. We have been there for over a week now and it has been nothing short of amazing. We are so happy with our decision and look forward to sharing more of our experiences with you.

Make your own S'mores at Halcyon on 4th and Lavaca. I
highly recommend trying these

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Austin Experience

Last week you heard from Billy about his dream of living downtown. I had only heard him mention this dream about every other month since we've been together. And I think every time he said it, I rolled my eyes. I grew up in the suburbs of DFW and love everything about the land of strips malls and Super Targets!

This summer I noticed my preferences changing. Maybe it was seeing friends purchase their first homes? Or seeing others start families? I think it really came down to the realization that I have not truly experienced Austin since moving here nearly three and a half years ago.  I haven't been to ACL, X Games, COTA or any of the other cool events that come to Austin. I haven't been to Austin staples like S. Congress' First Thursday, the Farmer's Market downtown, or to Zilker Park (aside from a Trail of Lights visit).When friends or family come down to visit, I quickly run out of ideas due to my lack of knowledge about my own city!
So what's the best way to experience Austin? MOVE TO THE CENTER OF THE CITY! In May, I finished a two year graduate program to earn my MBA. Our current lease was coming to an end. Between Billy and I, we have just a few years left in our twenties. When would we have a better opportunity than right now?

While it took us months to find something that was just right for us, we finally decided on our new place primarily because it had received a Walk Score of 94 (out of 100). We can't complain about traffic or parking when everything is within walking distance!

I'm excited for the next year of our lives and I look forward taking you all on this adventure as we experience our wonderful city!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Movin' On... Downtown

I have always been someone that goes after what I want. I love to "Go For It!" As a kid, I learned the overwhelming power of goal setting and dreams (learn more about this here). When I was in college at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas I decided that one day I wanted to live in a downtown of a good sized city. Ideally, I wanted to someday live in downtown Austin.

After I graduated from college, I started a business. I wrote some books. I continued to work hard to achieve my goals. Then I met Ashley, and before I knew it we were engaged (only six months later!). We were married a year later and over the past three years we have been building a life together. A few months ago, I thought about my dream of moving into downtown Austin. I shared it again with Ashley and we decided the time was now. Once you have been married a few years, the question you usually get is "you guys having kids soon?" Well our answer to that question now is: "No, we are moving downtown." Kids can wait. This is our time to experience life in a different way.

Ashley and I began searching out places in downtown Austin and we finally settled on a gorgeous highrise located on Brazos and San Jacinto. There was one catch though: It was only a studio! For us to move downtown, we had to lose a lot of square feet. But that was okay. It would be an adventure! Then we realized that paying to park two cars downtown was not smart so we sold one of our cars.

In a short time Ashley and I are going from a two bedroom place with 1000+ square feet in basically the suburbs to a 500 square foot studio downtown. We also were going from two cars to one car for us to share. More than anything we are leaving a somewhat predictable life and starting fresh with the next phase of that life. Realizing your dreams takes sacrifice. Ashley and I believe the sacrifices we will make for this dream are worth. This will be the downtown phase of our life and we know it will be incredible.

Achieving a dream is amazing. I love crossing things off my dream list and I am so happy I get to cross this one off my list with the love of my life. Over the next year, Ashley and I (people call us BAshley) will blog about our experience with this new lifestyle. We will share with you the good and the bad. We will post food and entertainment reviews. We will write about what its like sharing a car and using public transportation (if you're from Austin you should celebrate one less car on the roads!). We will even post ideas for getting the most out of your studio space! We want to share our adventure with others to hopefully encourage you to take a chance, a risk and do something people won't expect. We hope you will cross something off your dream list and maybe even share it with us!

We move in to our new place in less than two weeks! Stay tuned! This should be fun.