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May
20

Posted on Wednesday May 20, 2015 at 9:26pm in ,

Mom and Dad came to visit Dallas last week. It’s been nearly a year since they last visited Dallas (but not quite), and I’ve since moved from Las Colinas to my new home in Uptown. The last time they came they said it was way too hot so they wanted to come a bit earlier this year at the end of spring. Unfortunately, they came during the rainy season. Last year’s rainy season was really dry so I didn’t really think much of it, but I guess this year’s rainy season was in full effect. We didn’t really get any super great sunny days, there was always overcast for at least a bit of the day (and usually rain, too). The weather definitely could have been worse though, and at least it wasn’t 90+ degrees every day!

They arrived on Wednesday and stayed until Sunday, so I took Wednesday through Sunday off. It was a fun vacation and a lot of family time. I went and picked them up Wednesday morning and brought them back to my new place to give them a tour. They liked the place about as much as I do (which is a lot). Mostly, they liked the free Starbucks machine in the cafe.

After a tour of the building and my unit, we went to lunch at Uncle Uber’s in Deep Ellum. It’s a sandwich shop. Highly recommended if you’re in Dallas.

Wednesday is popsicle day, so we went to meet my coworkers for some dessert popsicles at Steel City Pops.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015I get a new popsicle flavor every week. This week was Blackberry. Delish!

It started raining right when we got there, so we had to eat them inside, unfortunately.

We went to Northpark Mall because I wanted to show them Uptown Popcorn (one of my most favorite shops ever). We bought 4 different kinds of popcorn for later and the went and did a little bit of shopping. My birthday is coming up this Saturday so they said I could get some stuff on them! I picked out a mat for the bathroom and some new casual outfits at H&M.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Best shop ever

In the evening we went and saw Furious 7 at Studio Movie Grill. I had already seen it and loved it, but my parents wanted to go to a Studio Movie Grill again and had yet to see it. They also liked it, it seemed. By the way, if you haven’t seen it yet, Furious 7 is basically 2 hours of perfect entertainment. It’s really good, you should go watch it right now.

We called it a night pretty early because Mom and Dad hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. We picked it up early in the morning the next day by heading to West Village and taking the old trolley around. It was also my first time on the trolley.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Riding the trolley in West Village

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Mom and Dad

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Mission control

It was a nice little ride, and it took us all the way downtown. I looked out the window and saw that Chase Tower was right down the street and the trolley was coming to a stop. I had read the previous day in the Dallas Observer that it’s free for the public to go up to the 40th floor of the Chase Tower and it’s a great view. So, we decided to get off the trolley and go check it out.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Chase Tower

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Going up

It was easy to get in, and not crowded at all. I suppose it was a Thursday afternoon, after all. We got visitor passes and went right up to the top.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Four corners

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015View from the top

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015All three of us

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Selfies at the top of Dallas

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015This panorama facing West side didn’t really turn out so well because of the reflection on the glass, but it’s still pretty cool

We took our time taking in the view because we were the only ones up there. We took a lot of pictures, too. When we finally went down we walked around for a bit and grabbed an Uber back to West Village.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 20152000 block of Ross Ave downtown

We saw that the Texas Rangers were playing at 1:05 so we drove over to Arlington to catch the game. We ended up with some pretty great seats considering it was a weekday afternoon. It wasn’t that crowded and the sun even came out! That wasn’t necessarily a great thing though, because we didn’t bring sunscreen and we got a bit sunburned.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Globe Life Park aka Ranger Stadium

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015They were playing Kansas City

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015We got some beer and ballpark food

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Family Day!

We had some great unobstructed seats, but unfortunately the Rangers lost pretty badly 6-3. It’s okay, it was still fun!

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Mom and me outside the stadium

After getting all that sun though, I was super sleepy. I went home and took a power nap before picking up my parents at their hotel to go out for dinner. We went to dinner at Brain Dead Brewing Co. in Deep Ellum. We managed to snag a patio table and got some food. The food was GREAT. Another recommendation if you live in Dallas.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Brain Dead!!

We had some great local beers at Brain Dead. Once we started drinking we decided to just keep drinking so we hit up some other bars in Deep Ellum like The Green Room and Red Light Tavern. We also got donuts at Glazed, which is how you know you’ve had a good night.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Deep Ellum

On Friday, it was raining. We had a bit of a late lunch and started off at Maple & Motor for the best burger in Dallas (in my opinion).

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Mmmm Maple & Motor Burger

The burgers were so good. I got mine pink in the middle with swiss cheese, grilled onions, grilled jalapenos, fried egg, and crispy bacon. If you know of a better burger in Dallas, I wanna hear about it.

Since it was raining we decided to go check out The Perot Museum of Science and Nature.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015The Perot

It’s a uniquely shaped building with a lot of modern architectural elements.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015The coolest part is this slanted hallway

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Looking up inside from the 1st floor

The museum itself is pretty popular in Dallas and I’ve heard so many times that I need to go. It’s been a year and a half and this was just now my first time going. It’s funny, I’ve been doing a lot of things for the first time since my parents showed up. You live in the city, but never do things like that until you get visitors. I think I picked out some really fun things for us to do.

For dinner we went to Grimaldi’s pizza in West Village (also delicious). We were planning to go to the spa, but after we had some wine we decided to just keep drinking and go to Ten Bells Tavern in Bishop Arts District.

On Saturday morning we had brunch at Henderson Taphouse with my coworker Cody and his girlfriend, Grace.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Mimosas and Brunch

I also gave them a tour of the office and we hit up Klyde Warren Park to check out the food trucks. We were lucky enough to have some nice weather again.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Beautiful day in the park

We had just had brunch, so we just checked out the dessert trucks. I got a small ice cream sandwich from Cool Haus.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Sea-salt caramel ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Dad and me

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015Mom and me

On the way home we picked up some champagne at the Kroger and spent the rest of the day at the pool. We didn’t really have any plans that day other than relaxing and taking it easy.

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015At my pool

Mom & Dad Visit Dallas 2015A beautiful last day in Dallas

I hope that my parents had a great vacation! I know I did!

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May
10

Posted on Sunday May 10, 2015 at 10:19pm in ,

The weekend of April 25th was my second conference with rewardStyle. They bumped up security a bit this year and we were all given badges.

rStheCon 2015We had to check everyone’s badges at the event if we were on security duty

There was a volunteer schedule we could sign up for during the week to go to The Joule downtown to help set up. I signed up all of the days just to get out of the office a bit and to get away from my desk for a bit. JT, Nathan, Blake, and I went to help out on Thursday afternoon, mostly lifting things. It was a still a nice day away from the office, and we got some exercise, too.

rStheCon 2015Outside The Joule. You can see its iconic infinity pool stretching out over Main Street

rStheCon 2015Dallas was really foggy on Thursday

In between lifting stuff, we got some coffee at the Weekend Coffee shop and took the rS bikes for a test-drive around the city.

rStheCon 2015It was nice and cool for a quick bike ride

We also managed to get a peek at the pool:

rStheCon 2015Joule Pool

rStheCon 2015You can see the eye from the edge of the pool if you stand on the side

The next day was Friday, the official start of the conference. Although we were volunteering, there was significantly less to do that day other than security. The conference seems to go smoother and smoother each year, with all of the aces in their places at the right time and not a lot of hustling around. There was some downtime from 4 until 6 when the cocktail party was supposed to begin so we went up to the pool for some drinks with the California team.

rStheCon 2015Got a nice shot of the succulents by the pool

At 6:00 the cocktail happy hour hosted by River Island started on the eyeball lawn. We had a giant tent set up in case of rain (we weren’t blessed with the beautiful sunshine we had for last year’s cocktail party). It did start raining though, and we had to ferry all of the publishers to the tent with umbrellas. When we finally had everyone across, we got to relax and have a few drinks.

rStheCon 2015Time for some champagne

rStheCon 2015River Island did a great job with the set up

rStheCon 2015Mustache props

Unfortunately, the weather did get severe enough where the party had to be moved inside to the Midnight Rambler. We had to ferry everyone back across the street yet again, and we all ended up getting soaked despite having umbrellas. Oh well. We lifted some more boxes, had some more drinks, and then I went to Deep Ellum with Cody, Tim, and Taline from the London team. It ended up being a really fun night.

The next day was the main day of the conference with the main stage sessions featuring Amber and Baxter. I showed up a little bit later in the morning, after Cody took me to get my car. I took a stroll around downtown and waited while the sessions were going on.

rStheCon 2015A beautiful day in Dallas

rStheCon 2015A quick peak at the main stage

rStheCon 2015Amazing chandeliers inside

After a bit, Forrest, Gary, and I went to find a room key to get up to the pool. We sat poolside and had some drinks until the Londoners came up and joined us. Alex and I sat, drank, and chatted poolside for a while and enjoyed the sun. Soon, more Londoners came up to also enjoy the weather. Pretty soon we had a nice pool party going on.

rStheCon 2015Poolside

rStheCon 2015Anna and me

rStheCon 2015Alex and me

rStheCon 2015Me with the rest of the Londoners (most of them)

In the evening, we had a big finale party planned on the Margaret Hunt Hill pedestrian bridge. We started to get prepped for that, then I went home to change for the party. I was on bus duty, making sure everyone got to the shuttles. I was a bit late to the party because of the bus job, but it was pretty lively by the time I showed up.

rStheCon 2015Panorama of the bridge party

There was a band, a dance floor, and an open bar. Pretty much the recipe for a great party.

rStheCon 2015Oh, and fireworks

Dallas approved our fireworks for the first time since the opening of the bridge and…

rStheCon 2015They were beautiful

rStheCon 2015LIKEtoKNOW.it napkins at the bar.

And after the party, it’s the … after party!

rStheCon 2015Woo woo!

The next day was a pretty chill day, everyone mostly was recovering from the night before. I went back to the Joule in the afternoon and went for a swim in the pool. Some of the Londoners wanted me to take them to an In-N-Out because none of them had been to one before. Of course!

rStheCon 2015Their first In-N-Out. Team rS!

rStheCon 2015Taline and me outside

We went back to the pool to finish out the day. The Londoners went to a mav game, but I went back home shortly after that because I could feel that my apartment was starting to miss me. I will leave you with this one last cool photo that Alex took with my camera by the pool:

rStheCon 2015Helloooo Dallas

This was definitely the best conference yet. Everything went super smoothly, everyone had a great time, and the whole week leading up to it as well as the weekend itself was a ton of fun. I didn’t even feel like I was working most of the time. I already am excited for next year!

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May
05

Posted on Tuesday May 05, 2015 at 10:55pm in

In preparation for rStheCon, the big conference my company hosts in Dallas every year, we flew in all of the internationals (our people in the London office) as well as the California office into Dallas. They were there for the whole week leading up to the con for some company bonding time. Every year we do a big team event together. This year was definitely the funnest event I’ve ever done with a company. It reminded me that rewardStyle really is one of the coolest companies to work for.

Last year was bowling. This year was field games. Drinking field games. We all got off the party buses at the LOT. We weren’t told what we were going to be getting into, but we were all giving matching shirts that said #rStheGames and each handed a delicious margarita as we walked out into a huge outdoor area of beautiful food, photo booths, picnic tables, and various stations with games set up. There was a sign that said “rS the (drinking) Olympics” with 7 games listed. I could already tell we were about to have an awesome day.

We were divided up into colors (our teams) to compete head-to-head in the drinking games. I was on team orange (the best team, obviously). Here are a bunch of photos that the event photographer took. I’m in love with all of these pictures.

#rStheGamesCheers!

#rStheGamesThe games started with Flip Cup. We crushed it.

#rStheGamesOrange vs. Red. We won.

#rStheGamesNathan sinking a cup in beer pong

#rStheGamesThe DREAM team. GO ORANGE

Gary even wore his orange swim suit to show his team colors ^

One of the funnier games was “Face the Cookie.” Players have to down a beer, place an oreo on their forehead, and then try and maneuver it into their mouths without using their hands.

#rStheGamesBax faces the cookie

#rStheGamesJohn also faced the cookie and had a hard go at it

#rStheGamesIt’s ok though, he got it

#rStheGamesAlex and I sharing a moment in the three-legged drinking race relay. Another orange victory!

#rStheGamesCelebrating another victory

#rStheGamesGary basically just stood on the sidelines and shouted at other teams for us (moral support)

#rStheGamesBax and Am! rewardStyle CEO and President. Amber is a taco

#rStheGamesJT calling his shot

#rStheGamesForrest and a perfect follow-thru

#rStheGamesRed team celebrating a small victory

#rStheGamesThey had to pull all the tissues out of the box before they could proceed in the final round

#rStheGamesJT getting ready to spin around the bat

#rStheGamesMona was really happy about their win

#rStheGames#rStheFamily – the whole team together after the games. Can you find me? Hint: back left

So, after the games were over… what team won? Some would say it does not matter, but that we all had fun. I would say that the orange team won… BECAUSE WE DID! Aw yeahh! We won almost every round. Although purple gave us a bit of a scare in the last round, we came out ahead and we each got $25 American Express prepaid cards as our victory prize. Victory is sweet.

There are actually a ton more really awesome photos from this event. If you want to check them out go here. Use the email drew@rewardstyle.com to view them.

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May
03

Posted on Sunday May 03, 2015 at 9:55pm in ,

It’s been another long while since a blog post and I have so much to catch up on. So much has been going on lately that I’ve been too busy to blog, and then the longer that I don’t blog the more daunting of a task it becomes! Anyway, gonna try and take a bite out of the building up events and talk about Something Wonderful.

First, some miscellaneous catch-up. I’m officially moved out of my first apartment in Texas. I went to get the rest of my things in Las Colinas, including my old Jetta. I drove it to Christian Brothers Automotive to have some work done on it (the rear brakes were worn completely down). I put another $1200 into it fixing the brakes, changing the oil, and fixing the exhaust leak. I also gave it a fresh wash inside and out, filled the gas up, and just got it into selling condition in general. It’s now running like new again!

Something WonderfulWhat a fine piece of machinery

I planned to sell it right away, but now it’s parked in my extra spot at the Echo and I don’t really see any rush at the moment. It’s kind of nice having a spare car around just in case. I’m still pretty sure I will sell it soon, but I still just like having it around.

I planted some jalapenos, three this time.

Something WonderfulJalapeno bidness

My last attempt at growing a jalapeno failed… But I only planted one seed in a large pot and I’m pretty sure it never got the sunlight it needed. I have these three little guys posted up on the window sill now, and already all three of them are about four inches tall and with three leaves! Not too bad. I think I may get some healthy jalapenos soon!

There was a crawfish boil for the engineers at rS:

Something WonderfulI love the shirt design

#rSc2k15! #theCrawnic

You can see more pictures of the jalapenos and the crawfish boil on my Instagram.

Next… Something Wonderful!

Something Wonderful is a one day EDM music festival hosted in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl. It featured some big name artists that I was excited to see including: Tiesto, Keys N Krates, Bro Safari, and DVBBS. The early ticket price was about $90, and I was skeptical about buying them because I wasn’t that huge into any of the artists except maybe Tiesto and Keys N Krates. But, Harrison convinced me that seeing Tiesto live is a very good experience, probably worth the ticket price alone. I decided I would get the ticket, especially considering that so many of my friends were going.

We met at my place before the festival and had some drinks and hung out and caught up. Kelsey was in town for the show for the weekend, so it was great to see her again. Here’s our SW crew:

Something WonderfulTeam Wonderful! From left: Kody, Robert, Kelsey, Me, Taylor, Alex.

We carpooled to the Cotton Bowl and met up with Harrison and his brother. Unfortunately, though, Something Wonderful was just not meant to be. We waited in line for about an hour before we finally got through both security checkpoints and to the main stage. When we finally got to the main stage, they announced that Something Wonderful was being canceled due to an approaching thunderstorm.

Something WonderfulThe calm before the storm. So much potential!

In Something Wonderful’s defense, the storm was pretty bad. However, it sucks for everyone that wasted their time getting ready and going to the event. A lot of people flew in from out of town and got hotels and all that jazz, too. We waited around all day, didn’t get to hear any music, and then got soaked getting to the car. When we finally got back to my place we just chilled and watched Interstellar. Kind of a let down of a night, but at least Interstellar was a great movie!

Something Wonderful just emailed me the other day and said they would be refunding either half of the ticket price or giving free tickets for their 2-day October festival in Houston, Something Wicked. I have to decide by the 14th which one I’m going to go with. At first, I was thinking I would just take the money. But, that would mean I get back about ~$45 which is a really good price for a 2-day festival. The only problem is that the line-up hasn’t been announced yet and that I have to drive to Houston to see it. What do you guys think?

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Apr
04

Posted on Saturday April 04, 2015 at 5:30pm in ,

Last weekend, on the same day as Foam Wonderland, I also moved out of my first apartment in Texas. I packed up all my stuff throughout the week, reminisced a bit, and said goodbye to Las Colinas. I didn’t think I would miss Las Colinas much, but actually I do miss it a lot. It is out of the way, and I never did anything there but go home. But now, there’s a nostalgic feeling of “home” somewhere over in Las Colinas that I can’t go back to anymore. Now, I live in uptown. Much closer to work and much closer to everything else I do in Dallas. It’s definitely bittersweet. It’s so much more convenient to live in uptown, but I definitely miss the beauty and nostalgia of Las Colinas. It’s funny timing, just around this time last year I was re-decorating my last apartment. I kept a lot of the same design ideas when moving into my new place.

The complex I moved into is called Echo. I love my new place. It’s bigger, beautiful, a brand new complex, and just a few minutes from work (exactly 2 miles away!)

Here are some pictures of my new place. Note, it’s still a work in progress and I’m still getting set up. I am for the most part unpacked, though.

Moving to UptownPanoramic view from my new balcony

Moving to UptownPanoramic view from my new balcony looking in

Moving to UptownKitchen

Moving to UptownKeeping it simple

That’s the dining room / living room. I think I will leave the dining room empty to give it that more minimalistic feel. I put up two bar stools at the counter so there is space for eating, as well as space on the couch. I may get a bigger table, although I’m not yet for sure on that. I did get rid of the trash can there (my complex gave me a new one that I am required to use for the valet trash, so I didn’t know what to do with my old one in the meantime. It looks a bit awkward by the sofa). I also now have my Tokyo, Japan print hanging above the couch as well.

Moving to UptownEntryway looking right, towards the bathroom

Moving to UptownBedroom / Office

Moving to UptownI love the huge window

Moving to UptownHome office. Where all the fun happens.

Moving to UptownTwo doors into the bathroom now. Cool floating vanity.

Moving to UptownThe floating vanity has underlighting

Moving to Uptownsup

My new place is amazing. It’s more expensive than my Las Colinas apartment for sure, but I do save money on the washer/dryer I was renting because that comes included in my unit now as well as the TV and internet service which I was paying a separate fee for before. It’s a bit roomier, but no storage unit. Luckily, I don’t have anything to store anymore, as most of what was in storage was Jenny’s. The pool area is fantastic. I can see a lot of great summer pool days coming up in the near future. Also, can’t beat the location!

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