SXSW 2014

Or maybe this post should be called successfully stalking Rachael Ray for the second year in a row. But that would be harder to fit in the blog header.

SXSW is a super awesome interactive conference, film and music festival that takes over Austin with tens of thousands of people every year. It gets crazier and longer every year (I swear there were events for three weeks this year) and is fun and scary and exhausting all at once. SXSW used to be about discovering new bands, but this year there were so many huge acts from Jay Z to Beiber to Gaga. I am torn between counting down the days until 2015, or renting out my house and hiding out in Tahiti until the madness is over. Either way. I wanted to share some of the fun with y’all! Some of these events I got invited to because of the ole blog, so keep that in mind.

First up, some learning! Thanks to Imperial Sugar, I attended the TECHmunch food bloggers conference at the downtown Whole Foods. This annual conference is in a few cities, and luckily they make a spot in Austin.

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It was early, and the day after the time change, so luckily there was coffee!!

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And awesome speakers- like the talented Brian Malarkey. He shared lots of tidbits such as this gem: “I surround myself with things I really love. Food and booze and horses and late nights.” Me too, BM.

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And for a food blogger’s conference, of course there was food! Like chocolate.

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And wine! And cheese!

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I was able to attend the iTunes Festival at ACL Live to kick off SXSW 2014 to see Imagine Dragons and Coldplay! (My boyfriend won tickets. WJWE is not in with iTunes. Yet!)


Coldplay was unreal (the rainbow lasers at the end an obvious high point) and Imagine Dragons were entertaining and energetic!

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Later last week, we were invited to the Rachael Ray Feedback Party to sample new all-beef hot dogs from Ball Park paired with Blue Moon Beer. I’ve been to a wine and cheese pairing before, but I have to say this may be better! Here is some of the samplings we tried. And did you know Blue Moon is kosher? Yahtzee!

  • Park’s Finest™ Signature Seasoned with Raspberry Mustard with Blue Moon Belgian White
  • Park’s Finest™ Cracked Dijon Mustard with Caramelized Onions and Blue Moon Pine in the Neck
  • Park’s Finest™ Slow-Smoked Hickory with Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat

They were all delicious pairings- especially that raspberry mustard. I was super impressed! Here is a RR original you can try at home.



After the tasting, we were invited to Stubb’s for Rachael’s Feedback Party. I went last year and I have to say it’s one of my favorite SXSW events. This year over 40,000 people waited in line to get in. Whoa! They named that day official Rachael Ray Day in Austin and made RR a citizen!


Here is me taking a photo the Wild Feathers and of Rachael taking a photo of us.


And of course there was food! Ball Park Hotdogs, brisket and these tasty eggplant sandwiches.


And more music! Rachael Ray picks all the bands herself, and nails it every time! Everyone from Green Day to Bob Schneider to Blondie. Blondie was amazing. I felt like I teleported to the 80s!


Photo credit Ball Park brand

And then there was CeeLo. Oh CeeLo. The only man I know who can pull of a satin white moo moo. Or can he…


Photo credit Ball Park brand

Friday I was invited to a Cheeses of Europe French Cheese Event. Twist my arm! There was so so so much cheese. (I was happy to discover they donated extra cheese to Keep Austin Fed.) And this tray full of butter. Every party should have a tray of butter, no? I was first to arrive (obvi) and one of the French reps came over to me to ask about my site. When I told her about WJWE she exclaimed that she was Jewish too and proceeded to hand feed me some of the best camembert I’ve ever tasted. A dream come true!


Bringing the sexy back to cheese with Melissa and Jasmin!



As a side note, where can I get a bedazzled unicorn mail truck of my own???


Have y’all ever been to SXSW? I’d love to hear your thoughts!