Monday, April 29, 2019

Mom 2.0 2019: I Heart Austin

Today I'm back from a whirlwind 5 days in Austin, a city that's been on my bucket list for a while. I'm already plotting for when I go back! I arrived last Wednesday morning then Uka flew down to join me for the weekend. Last year, we did something similar when I attended Mom 2.0 in Pasadena, and now I'm starting to think we might have a new birthday tradition for him going. 

If there were 3 things I had heard about Austin it was that the people are amazing, the food is awesome and that the city itself is beautiful. 

It didn't let us down. 

Take a look...

The Venue: JW Marriott

I stayed at the host hotel for 2 nights with 2 fab roomies, and the staff at the JW Marriott couldn't have been better. I somehow managed to leave my phone at the check-in desk and a friendly face from security had it ready for me when I popped back down. A couple days later when I called down to the front desk in a tizzy with a wardrobe malfunction, they sent someone up with way more than the 3 safety pins I asked for which ended up being much needed! 

The Sessions & Brands

Kathy Perry, Amy Nelson, Julie Cole, Cindy Eckert & Margaret Wheeler Johnson    
Mom 2.0 has become one of my favorite conferences because of the actionable sessions - hearing from such remarkable women such as those on the Leading Ladies panel was so helpful in my path as an entrepreneur. From VC/angel investor do's and don'ts to wisdom they wish they had known when they first started, this session was one of my favorites! 

While I spend most time connecting with my fellow attendees whenever I attend a conference, I also appreciate the brands that continue to show up at Mom 2.0. It's always a fun time in Best Buy's booth (I was a big winner too!), and I was thrilled to see Dove's latest improvement of removing aluminum from its deodorant.

Testing out the Canon EOS M50 mirrorless camera (thanks for the pic @goldwestvintage!)

Hearing BrenĂ© Brown again coming off her Netflix special was another highlight! Last year was more of a dry run of her special (she shared that Netflix was actually in the audience last year!), and this year was more of a conversation between her and Mom 2.0 co-founder Laura Mayes.  My #1 takeaway: keep asking myself the guiding question, "Does the opportunity serve the work?" when opportunities come my way. I'm constantly trying to get better at saying no and filtering more so this reminder was much needed.

The City and the Food

Rent the Runway came (mostly!) all the way through. Shout out to my roomies for helping me get into this dress! LOL!
I closed Mom 2.0 out at the Iris Awards and headed to my Wellesley college roommate's home to await Uka who was joining me to visit for the weekend. He had quite a few delays, but we managed to get up and at it in the morning for a busy day. A quick run-down (and yes, everything was as AMAZING as it looks!)...

Breakfast at Al Pastor

Austin's Main Public Library - I could've stayed here allllll day!

{Intermission/snack: queso at Torchy's - no pics cause we ate too fast!}

Mini-hike at Barton Springs

The mosquitoes LOVED Uka!

BBQ at Terry Black's

Dessert at Casey's New Orleans Snow Balls (Apparently when they close, they CLOSE. We raced there and were the last customers in line and watched the "bouncer" turn quite a few people away!)

Whew! I appreciated getting a preview of Austin sans kids, but I'm excited to return with them. I know they're gonna love it too! 

Have you ever visited Austin? Is there something I missed that I should do next time? P.S. Mom 2.0 2020 is going to be in L.A.! Make sure to sign-up for the newsletter so you know when tickets go on sale (they always sell out).