Tag Archives: aesthetic

The 2014 Tumblr Revival

Certain objects have the power to take us back to specific moments in our lives. Popsicles and grass stains may remind you of playing with your childhood friends in the summer, or the smell of chocolate chip cookies might remind you of your grandma. American Apparel tennis skirts, Doc Martens and Arctic Monkeys? 2014 Tumblr. 

It seems like every month, a new trend surfaces on the internet. Over the past year alone, there were countless internet trends like cottage-core or 2000’s style clothing. Although most trends are a repeat of previous styles from decades ago, like 80’s mom jeans becoming popular in 2016, many current trends have started to draw inspiration from the last few years. With TikTok as the main source for these trends, the time periods from which the inspiration is being drawn has gotten more recent and niche. TikTok’s latest victim? 2014 Tumblr aesthetics. 

If you ask anyone ages 18 to 28 what 2014 Tumblr culture reminds them of, you’ll probably get the same answers. Flannels, black and white album covers and nonsensical “deep” quotes were all pillars of this time period. Countless hours were spent endlessly scrolling through Tumblr, reblogging Lana Del Rey quotes or grainy photos of city skylines. Although many of us who were active in the 2014 Tumblr subculture reminisce fondly about it, no one can believe that seven years later it would become trendy again. Here are three ways that I believe 2014 Tumblr culture will make a comeback:  

Clothing

Fashion is one of the biggest ways I believe we’ll see a revival in 2014 Tumblr aesthetics. When you look up “2014 tumblr outfits,” you are bombarded with tennis skirts, knee high socks and Doc Martens. Each of these items was a staple within the community, and can be seen making a comeback right now. If you sit along Speedway, almost every other person you see will be wearing one of these clothing items. 

Music 

Music was a large part of the 2014 Tumblr culture. Arctic Monkeys, Sky Ferreira, Marina and the Diamonds, The 1975, Lana Del Rey and Lorde were just a few of the coveted musicians/bands that were popular during that time. With the release of a new Lana del Rey album and rumored comeback of Sky Ferreira, it’s hard not to feel like there will be a revival of popular 2014 musicians.

Attitude

For many pre-teens and teens, Tumblr was used as an act of self-expression. Communities were created within the platform that catered to all interests. In particular, a large portion of the 2014 Tumblr community found their niche in grunge clothing, indie music and black-and-white grid patterns. Now on platforms like Tiktok, teens are creating their own spaces for self-expression– similar to Tumblr. 

The 2014 Tumblr revival won’t be a carbon copy of what some of us remember from seven years ago, however, I think that there will be tons of parallels in clothing, music and attitudes. Newer generations will put their own spin on the aesthetics that so many of us grew up on. In the meantime, I think it’s safe to say that you can bring out your Doc Martens, American Apparel tennis skirt and press play on A.M. by the Arctic Monkeys!

Taquero Mucho is a Pink Wonderland here in austin

When I started seeing TikToks and IG posts featuring an ALL pink mexican restaurant here in Austin- I knew I had to go. Located on West Ave and right next to another Austin classic, Irene’s, Taquero Mucho stands ready to guide you into a wonderful world of pink everything.

Yes, even the tortillas.

The parking lot takes up a big chunk of the curbside appeal, but having a designated parking lot in Austin, even if you have to pay for it, beats the hassle of finding it elsewhere- so I considered that a plus. Once you exit your vehicle there are an array of things to keep you busy drinking or taking IG photos- there’s a pink phone booth, separate pink pay phone, cherry mural, drink cart, merch stand, and even pink tables for waiting. Basically, Taquero Mucho is the perfect aesthetic for a GNO or cute date night.

I went on a Friday evening and only had to wait about thirty minutes, which was really swift in comparison to other hot spots I’ve been to in the city around the same time. I will say that an early dinner is the move- I arrived around 5pm and when we were leaving at around 7pm the wait was much longer- so keep that in mind.

Sitting outside was a must for me due to not only trying to be as safe as possible dining out during COVID, but also because it was so cute! Pink string lights, tables, a subtle view of the creek, and a pink mural only add to the aesthetic Taquero Mucho provides. I will admit I was skeptical about the quality of the food, even though the decor lived up right away to the hype, because of the amount of social media exposure for the aesthetic. I ordered the Pollo Asado and was delighted with the texture of the tortillas, flavor of the chicken, and amount of sauce provided. The beans were also excellent and there were plenty of them. The rice was okay, nothing to write home about, but for $12 I felt like the plate was a good deal, especially considering how fresh everything tasted. Also, I felt like the pricing matches what I would expect a restaurant in a prime location to have, so I was definitely not complaining. 

Overall, I would say Taquero Mucho is worth the hype. If you like the color pink, fun drinks, Mexican food, outdoor dining, or all of the above- it’s worth checking out. Don’t forget to take a pic for the ‘gram!

Featured image by Courtney Smith.

10 Things to do in new mexico

Okay, so maybe every state’s nickname is a little biased, but New Mexico dubbing itself the “Land of Enchantment” happens to be extremely fitting. Between the diverse landscape, great food, rich history, and stunning sunsets, it is hard not to fall in love with our neighboring state. The state line is just over 6.5 hours away and two major cities, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, are both within a 12 hour drive. If you have room in the budget to fly it’ll definitely cut down travel time, but no matter what your mode of transportation is there is plenty to do once you get there. Here are my top 10 picks for things to do in New Mexico.

Take a Ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway

Photo by Courtney Smith

Located in Albuquerque, the Sandia Peak Tramway is the longest tramway in the Americas and offers amazing views. A round-trip ticket costs $25 for adults, but there is also a student ticket option for $20 for those aged 13-20. The tram runs every 15-30 minutes but once you’re at the top you can spend as much time as you’d like taking in the view, dining, or hiking on one of the many trails. Plus it’s cooler at the top of the mountain which is a bonus when trying to beat the heat. This was probably my favorite thing I did in Albuquerque and I can’t recommend it enough. More information and tickets at https://sandiapeak.com/.

Take the Train to Santa Fe

Photo courtesy of Rio Metro

The Rail Runner Express is another way to take in some of the scenery New Mexico has to offer. A day pass from Albuquerque to Santa Fe costs only $9 and this online schedule easily gives you departure times and information. Taking the train is a good alternative to driving or using a rideshare because it’s cheaper and allows you to see more of the state. While you’re there, check out The Shed for delicious New Mexican food! 

Visit White Sands National Park

Photo by Courtney Smith

Anyone who has been on Pinterest has likely seen photos of this exquisite landscape. The white gypsum sand dunes seem never ending and offer a great backdrop for photos, sledding (yeah, sledding!), and hiking. Although White Sands is about 10 hours from Austin, it is a quicker day trip from destinations in New Mexico such as Ruidoso, Albuquerque, or Carlsbad. If you’re traveling solo the admission is $15 but loading up your car with family or friends will cost only $25. 

Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

Photo by Courtney Smith

For the adrenaline junkies out there, going up in a hot air balloon will get your heart pumping while allowing you to take part in a true New Mexican experience. This was at the top of my list the first time I went to New Mexico and I was blown away by the experience! Most balloon experiences happen really early in the morning or at sunset, so either way you’re guaranteed a gorgeous view of the sunrise/sunset. If you’re really into hot air balloons or prefer to see them from the ground, check out the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! It is an annual event that takes place in October and allows guests to witness hundreds of balloons taking flight. Tickets to attend are also easy on the wallet, where a flight itself will usually set you back around $250-300. 

Meow Wolf

Photo by Courtney Smith

Meow Wolf is another Instagram popular spot in New Mexico. Located in Santa Fe, this unique and interactive art experience is wildly fantastical – and even that is an understatement. The easiest way to describe it is the mixture of a fun house, art exhibit and LSD experience. Student tickets cost $25. More information can be found here.

Go Shopping

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Shopping in any new place is a great way to see more of the culture and trends in the area. New Mexico is no different! Old Town in Albuquerque is a cute area to bop around in if you’re looking for souvenirs and in Santa Fe all you have to do is head to the plaza to find gift shops and Native American goods for sale. No matter where you are in the state there are fun curio shops and local stores that are easy ways to knock out souvenir shopping while beating the heat.

Tour the Historic Churches of Santa Fe 

Photo by Courtney Smith

Downtown Santa Fe is full of churches that are not only architecturally stunning, but also affordable to see. The San Miguel Chapel calls itself the “Oldest Church in the United States,” with origins reportedly dating back to 1610. Another chapel, the Loretto Chapel, features a famous spiral staircase that has mysterious history due to its perfect smooth design. There are a plethora of other churches to visit as well and most still hold services for those who are interested. 

Get Far Out in Roswell

Photo by Courtney Smith

Whether you’re a believer or not, visiting the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell is a must do while in New Mexico. The museum has an admission fee of $5 and for that price you have the opportunity to take pictures with alien sculptures, look over historical documents, and check out the gift shop. The museum itself is pretty small so while it is an entertaining stop, I recommend visiting as a stop in your trip to another destination. 

Explore Carlsbad Caverns

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

If you don’t know the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite now- you will once you visit the caverns. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is the home of over 100 caves and on your way into the park you’ll be greeted by the natural beauty and diversity of the desert. These caverns are absolutely huge and, because of this, cave enthusiasts will likely be able to spend an entire day here. Ranger guided tours are offered but must be reserved in advance and most of them are an additional fee on top of the $15 entrance fee. With the entrance fee alone you can go on a self guided tour of the Big Room. An elevator will take you directly from the ticket counter to this portion of the caverns but you can also opt into taking the Natural Entrance Trail for an added workout. I explored Carlsbad Caverns while road tripping back to Texas so for time’s sake I only explored the Big Room, but I feel like that is plenty if you’re wanting to experience Carlsbad without too long of a time commitment. More information can be found by clicking here.

Eat at El Pinto 

Photo by Courtney Smith

Established in 1962, El Pinto is both an Albuquerque must and a New Mexico favorite. It is the largest New Mexican food restaurant in the state and seats over 1,200 guests in one of their nine different dining areas. On a good weather day, enjoying El Pinto salsa on one of the patios is a must! Their menu is expansive and features everything from margaritas to stuffed sopapillas. If you look carefully on the walls you’ll see El Pinto is a popular spot for celebrities who are visiting the area, too. This family owned spot is a must if you’re looking for tasty local cuisine and a good atmosphere. 

For these 10 things to do and more, New Mexico should definitely be on your travel bucket list. Amazing food, beautiful sunsets, and fun activities for art enthusiasts and outdoor lovers alike make this a great and (fairly) close travel destination for Texans. Let us know if you try anything on our list or what your favorite things to do in New Mexico are in the comments below. 

A Beginner’s Guide to Espresso Drinks

An espresso machine hums behind the sounds of chatter and clicking keyboards. The smell of coffee lies heavy in the air, while people sip beverages and twirl spoons. People mutter words like “macchiato,” “americano” and “cappuccino” to cashiers behind counters. 

Coffee shops can be the ideal location for many events. Maybe you have a big test that you need to study for, or you’re meeting up with a new friend for the first time. A coffee shop is the perfect place to go, because it can be casual, cozy and relaxing. However, if you have only ever consumed coffee at Starbucks, local coffee shop’s menus can seem confusing. 

Although coffee jargon might seem advanced, coffee orders are simpler than they sound. Here are some basic espresso drinks that will help you find your dream caffeine.

1. Lattes

Photo by Jesus Angel

A latte is a deliciously common drink because it is customizable to your likings. At its core, a latte is 1 part espresso and 3 parts steamed milk with milk foam on top. 

 Beyond that, a latte can take many forms. You can order an artistic hot latte with a poured design, or a refreshing latte over ice. You can also alter your milk preference. Most lattes are made with whole milk, but feel free to ask for a non-dairy substitute like almond or soy milk.

 If you prefer your coffee sweet, add pumps of flavored syrup to your drink. Some flavors include, vanilla, caramel and hazelnut, but be sure to ask the barista what syrups they keep in their store.

2. Mocha

Photo by Jesus Angel

A mocha is very similar to a latte, because they share the same milk to espresso ratio. However, mochas are much richer. A mocha has an added chocolate powder or syrup, blending together hot chocolate and coffee for a cozy drink of your dreams. 

Mochas can also be altered in their milk contents, temperature and  sweetness. If you are already a fan of mochas, try making your order a little more festive with a pump of peppermint, cinnamon dolce, or pumpkin spice.

3. Cappuccino

Photo by Jesus Angel

Cappuccinos are great for people who enjoy the natural taste of espresso, but still want the richness of cream inside of  their coffee. A cappuccino is 1 part espresso and 2 parts milk with foam at the top, making it a little lighter than a latte. 

It is not very common to add syrup to cappuccinos, but mixing the drink with a cube of brown sugar makes the perfect blend of sweet to bitter, and thin to creamy. 

4. Macchiato

Photo by Jesus Angel

Unlike a latte or a cappuccino, macchiatos don’t have any milk foam. A macchiato is 2 parts espresso and 1 part steamed milk. This drink is perfect for people who want a drink even lighter than a cappuccino but richer than an americano. 

This is a great drink to pair with a slightly sweeter cookie, danish or scone, for the perfect afternoon snack.

5. Americano

Photo by Jesus Angel

An americano is a drink for the brave and bold. An americano doesn’t bother with cream or sugar, but rather relies on the rich flavor profile of the espresso itself. An americano is composed of espresso and hot water only, and the ratio is dependent on your order. Some people prefer a stronger coffee taste and will order a double shot of espresso, while others will order a single shot. 

This guide to espresso drinks is just a start to the endless amounts of coffee combinations available to you. Don’t be afraid to ask your barista for recommendations or try something new on a whim.

The next time you’re ordering at a coffee shop, remember to stay calm, stay creative and most importantly, stay caffeinated.

Featured image by Jesus Angel.

Places to Take Your Parents to Impress Them

Showing your family around UT is a must, but our campus is also in one of the coolest cities in America (not sponsored- I swear). Austin’s food scene is big, unique, delicious and probably the best way to get to know the city. Here are a few places to take your family that are sure to impress. These picks are in no particular order but are grouped based on their location to help you better plan your day.

Close to Campus…

Kerbey Lane (2606 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705)

This true Austin classic (and their delicious queso) is practically on campus, making it an easy go-to option to bring your family to. Breakfast is served all day along with burgers, Tex-Mex, sandwiches and more. I’m personally a big fan of their french toast or, when I’m not in a breakfast mood, the Turkey & Avocado Club. They also offer accommodations for several dietary restrictions along with a kid’s menu which can be helpful when taking a group out to eat!

Torchy’s Tacos (2801 Guadalupe St St 5-b, Austin, TX 78705)

Torchy’s Tacos is another great introduction to Austin. With funky names for their tacos such as the “Tipsy Chick” and “The Wrangler,” Torchy’s captures the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan for sure. Not only are the tacos creatively named, but they’re delicious. By the way, if the cashier asks you if you want to “make it trashy,” just say yes- it means they’ll add queso. Always do that. 

Cold Cookie Company (2512 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78705)

Located in west campus, Cold Cookie Company is just a short walk from campus. That walk is perfect to get a little hot and need some ice cream to cool you down, too. The options are almost endless as you can have your ice cream in a cup, cone, as a float, shake, or in cookie sandwich form. Did I mention that EVERYTHING comes with a cookie of your choice? Oh yeah, it’s pretty great. 

South Congress…

Home Slice Pizza (1415 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704)

Pizza never fails to impress and satisfy, so you might as well take your family to this SoCo staple. Home Slice offers the classics as well as their own specialties. Sharing is easy with their pizzas, family style salad options, and subs. Can’t decide? They offer select pizzas by the slice too. 

Cafe No Se (1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704)

One of the many great things about Cafe No Se is that they serve brunch every single day from 7am-3pm. Freshly baked pastries, avocado toast, brioche french toast, sandwiches, and coffee are among some of the many options. If you can’t make brunch there is also dinner which begins at 3pm. Dinner is going to be a little more upscale and gourmet but still a delicious way to explore South Congress. Unlike some popular Austin spots, Cafe No Se allows reservations. Go online or use the OpenTable app to do this- it’s worth it. 

Amy’s Ice Cream (1301 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704)

If Amy’s isn’t on your Austin bucket list as you make your way through the next few years…you’re doing it wrong. Sorry, someone had to tell you. I myself was a skeptic until I tried it, but it really is worth the hype! There are over 350 flavors in the rotation along with several constant flavors such as coffee and Mexican vanilla, meaning that there are plenty of options. You can pick and choose your own crush-ins/toppings or you can choose one of their combos. You aren’t limited to just a scoop, either. Amy’s has floats, sundaes, cones, and pints for sale.

Barton Springs/Zilker Area…

Bouldin Creek Cafe (1900 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704)

Unlike the other places on this list, Bouldin Creek Cafe is one hundred percent vegetarian and features plenty of vegan options. If breakfast is your jam, their menu features omeletts, plates, tacos, bagels and sweet options. For lunch there is a wide variety of salads and sandwiches, including an award winning veggie burger aka the Veggie Royale. 

P. Terry’s Burger Stand (404 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704)

All Photos by Courtney Smith

Okay so yes there are other P. Terry’s locations but for the sake of the article and because this location is by Barton Springs and the Zilker area, this one gets the address shout out. P. Terry’s is an affordable, Austinite favorite. It’s also a crowd pleasing option if your family can appreciate a burger and fries combo with an old fashioned burger stand feel. P. Terry’s is also a good option if you are on the go while your family is visiting and need a quick, satisfying option.

Juliet Italian Kitchen (1500 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704)

Modern and classic takes on Italian cuisine come together at Juliet Italian Kitchen. A nice patio area, luxe finishes, and free parking are just a few of the features that make this restaurant worthwhile… not to mention the handmade pasta. The menu is perfect for families because there are single portions as well as shareable portions that make it easy to try a little bit of everything. 

Juuuust South of the Capitol…

Moonshine Grill (303 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701)

Moonshine Grill has a menu that is sure to satisfy if comfort food is what you’re looking for. A few of their staples include chicken and waffles, fajita steak salad, baked macaroni, and the pimento cheeseburger. Want something sweet? I recommend the peanut butter mousse pie. Trust me, you won’t forget or regret it. Moonshine Grill also features a Sunday brunch buffet that, according to their website, is the “best brunch in Austin.” 

Irene’s (506 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701)

Irene’s takes the diner concept of classic breakfast, sweets, snacks, and platters and gives it an Austin makeover. The weekend brunch (Saturday and Sunday 10am-3pm) is a can’t miss with menu selections like Nutella toast, biscuits, and brioche french toast being too good to pass up. Their lunch and dinner menu is also delicious and features a wide variety of sandwiches, salads, and other entrees. Plus, if you’d like to snag a photo for the ‘gram before your family leaves, a cute neon pink sign featuring the restaurant is just outside and makes for a fun photo-op. 

Holy Roller (509 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701)

Inspired by punk rock and featuring whimsical nostalgia, Holy Roller is well on its way to becoming an Austin classic. The restaurant has all of the things you could ask for: burgers, salads, appetizers, desserts, and a brunch–but all of it is executed really well. Be sure to check what the french toast of the day is when you go and if breakfast isn’t your jam, try their grilled cheese sandwich. 

La Condesa (400 W 2nd St A, Austin, TX 78701)

Located in the 2nd Street District, La Condesa is a mouthwatering option that puts you near a plethora of shopping options. A contemporary Mexican restaurant, La Condesa is just as fresh and modern as it is delicious. The chips and salsa comes with four different salsas- what could be better than that? Nothing! I recommend getting several options to share because it’s just so hard to choose between the tortas and tacos. They also feature a brunch which is a good way to get an early start shopping on 2nd. If you’re worried about time or crowdedness, make a reservation online or on the OpenTable app. 

Overall there are no shortages of amazing restaurants to try in Austin. Give your family a taste of the city by showing them some of the delicious, local flavors Austin has to offer. Be sure to take advantage of the city while you and your family have the time to explore it.