some people find a good, get-your-hands-dirty deep cleaning session cathartic. therapeutic. refreshing even. I, my friends, am not one of those people. I'm not messy, but I'm all for spending my time doing things I enjoy, and cleaning doesn't even make an appearance on that list. ever a sucker for a new app or service, when I read about handy launching in phoenix a while back, I figured I'd check it out (and go enjoy a book and a nice iced coffee while someone who does find cleaning cathartic got down to business). know your strengths, I say. started by two harvard business school classmates, handy connects individuals in need of household services to pre-screened, independent service professionals. need a fan installed? cool. house cleaned? easy. someone who is fluent in "ikea drawings" to assemble that malm dresser that's been taunting you from the corner? done. full disclosure, so far I've only tried out the cleaning service, but it couldn't be easier. I log in to the app, answer a couple questions, book my appointment, and I'm done. a week before I get a reminder, then day of, I get a notification when my professional is on the way to my place, I can follow her on a little Uber-style map, I let her in, and off we go. I get a notification when the service is complete, and I get a chance to rate the work and provide feedback. handy charges your account automatically, so I don't have to deal with leaving cash, digging up my check book, etc. then, since i'm signed up for recurring service, the app automatically schedules my next cleaning. it practically runs my life for me! ha. as we know, nothing is perfect, and last month my professional no-showed. a little frustrating, sure, but the customer service at handy was speedy and helpful, giving me an hour of free cleaning for the time I spent waiting and offering to ensure I had a different professional moving forward. anyway, if you're like me and would rather be doing just about anything besides cleaning (or you just want a little help once in a while), I can't say enough good things about the app! check it out! some day soon I'm hoping to give their electrical services a whirl to bring my ceiling fan back to life, and I'm sure they won't let me down! now go find something fun to do with all your newfound free time! score! love.lauren
a few months ago it had been just long enough since my last quest. I was dying to put that next thing on my calendar. as luck would have it, sarah is my adventure spirit animal, and I knew it would take about a minute to convince her to go. so austin. we were coming for you.
naturally nothing was planned. I did some blog stalking and list reading, jotted down a few recommended corners of the city known for great food, good music, etc. we'd figure it out. and we did. quite successfully, I'd say.
stay. hotels were out of control expensive in the south congress area where we wanted to stay. a little looking led me to verde camp, an adorable bunch of 1930's bungalows tucked away in a quiet neighborhood just far enough from the main street to be a walkable retreat. we stayed in the yellow rose, a one bedroom, one bath house shaded by big, leafy trees with front and back porches MADE for beers at dusk. it was the perfect place to stay, and I would recommend it over and over again. check it out!
our only goals were live music, killer food and some quirky stops along the way. here were our favorites!
eat. look. it was hot when we visited. bright, sticky, hot. naturally our first stop on south congress was casey's new orleans snowballs. later that night after beers at doc's, we stopped by austin institution, home slice pizza. you can grab it to go or wait for a table, and no matter how you indulge, it's awesome. the next morning we started with coffee (and people watching) at jo's. my favorite of the trip was probably lunch at the epic elizabeth st. cafe, where vietnamese dishes are served in maybe the prettiest setting I've ever seen. naturally, we closed out the weekend with a drive out to the salt lick - who doesn't love piles of bbq before heading to the airport? #worthit.
shop. we didn't venture beyond south congress for shopping, but I picked up some treasures at parts & labour & the gypsy wagon. the whole area is dotted with great places to check out, from vintage to modern, it's all there, and if you're not careful you'll be buying bags to haul it all home in.
long story short, austin is a texas gem. a gem you should absolutely add to your list!