Thursday, September 15, 2016

Soul Story: Emilie Hernandez- Avocado Chef

“Mackadocious, she's sweet and precocious, she's the one girl that I just dig” (Slinky, 311) A tomboy after my own heart. Emilie is a striking woman indeed and such a remarkable figure. As she says, “We have such an awesome group of women around us. Doing such great things and so powerful it is great to have all these women around right here as friends.” She is totally right, and having to include her as an admirable soul in my book, she has to be one of the most beautifully enlightened women that is particularly a marvelous human being. Having a chance to be a part and hear of her experiences, fierce passion, and drive to see the sweet reflection in others…getting to know Ms. Hernandez has crazy fun listed as many of her charming traits you would be lucky to experience. Check her out.

Why do you do what you do?
I am a personal chef. I especially love grocery shopping. HEB is the perfect place you can find me when prepping for client’s meals and events. It is one of my favorite places to be. I go in my coat sometimes and love when people ask me about it. Just so I can talk about it. There at the grocery I go to the meat market and get to talk to the guys there, get the info on some good deals and the meat, seafood and produce and have a great time. Shopping is one of the best parts of what I do. I love what I do.
You love what you do, how did becoming a personal chef happen?
I attended Texas State a majored in Broadcast Journalism with intentions on being a host for motocross games. I use to race motocross and that was a dream of mine to be a part of. Then I broke my back and had to finish, but here I am with something that I absolutely enjoy to everyday.
I have cooked since I was a kid. Since 2013 I worked with another personal chef and when ties amicably parted I was referred. It kept happening until I got to where I am now. I have no formal marketing and have cooked for people through word of mouth connections. It has been great and from personal to demonstration cooking I am loving it.
In addition to my personal chef scheduling I also demo(stration) cook for Humble House ( at Groomers Seafood ( ). Demoing recipes with their sauces and spreads. Also, I do cooking demonstrations with Tenderbelly bacon ( ) a Colorado based company with awesome cuts of pork.

*Side note from Em: By the way…I absolutely love sauces, it is the best part, like truly obsessed, with any food with sauce. If it has sauce I want more of it.  
Why the avocado tattoo?
(laughing big) I am a huge 311 fan. In the 311 community, there are song-titled nicknames for each
gender: a “Brodel” is a guy and “Slinky” for the ladies….in the Facebook community, there are groups for each where 311 fans from all over can chat and stay in touch with each other.  There are no boys allowed in the Slinkies group and no ladies in the brodels. The lead singer, Nick Hexum has a consistent way of standing in front of the crowd after certain songs….hands up and hips thrusted toward the crowd. The ladies in the slinkies group seemed to notice his manhood more often than not due to his tailored pants. When he would stand like that so many pictures, comments, conversations and more happened in the group and the ladies (not me!) decided to coin Mr. Hexum’s manhood as “The Avocado”. While I may be a heterosexual woman, the avocado on my wrist is more of an inside joke in the female 311 community…a community that supports and encourages each other….it also represents something funny, something that relates to 311 (but doesn’t say it out loud) and something I truly love to eat. I love my tattoo…it’s truly one of my favorites.

If Emilie was a dish, what would she be?
Hard chocolate, Reese’s ice cream bar with strawberry puree. It’s tough, once cracked she is sweet. I am a true mama bear. I love being able to take care of people when they need it. I will be the first one on the scene with what you need and how we can get you feeling great again.

What bevvie would accompany your sweetness?
Mojito with extra rum.

Biking and Yoga. What do they do for you?
Oh my. Both are so liberating. Cruising on my Tealy (bike) is: still using my sensory, peripheral, attention. It is not if something is going to happen, it is when. All the things that are happening around me, the sounds and lights of where I am, having the to keep aware.  It keeps me heightened through all my senses and it’s great to see and meet others who get that vibe of riding too.
Like that one last ride. Before turning in back into the world.
The last ride when it’s 3 am and the streets are empty.
When all you hear is the sound of the bike. Or when you run into other bikers on the street and hear the love of the frames they have and hearing how everyone just loves to ride and the ticks of the gears.

There is no other sound like riding.

And yoga? It started at Lulu doing there free classes in 2012. As a birthright, with my Jewish heritage, I was able to travel to Israel. I was practicing with the Dead Sea as my line of sight, it was amazing. I took that trip like why the hell not, and been practicing ever since. 
Emilie is certainly a traveler for yoga. Here she is practicing yoga in Costa Rica where at a yoga retreat with Mobile Om (

What’s your final destiny?
A cafĂ©-yoga studio. With cooking and teaching there as well. A nice slender styled place where people can learn to meal prep, cook, and chill with a practice in the space. I want it to be personal. It’ll be a definite spot where people will connect and be right there with each other in everything that the place will mean.

She’s love, fun, and above and beyond the smile that she gives and receives from people that enjoy everything she is cooking up. Emilie is that heightened sense of joy from that essential bike ride, the taste of creative confection to the excitement of dancing and riding high of the best song of your life. San Antonio is lucky to have her on its radar as she blends her path of more to come for the city to taste.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Soul Story: Burleson Yard & Beer Garden- 
The Journalist of Existence

Interview by Jess Brunson

Beer.  Okay. Hammocks. Alright. Entertainment. Sounds good. What else do you have?

How many places can say they are giving you more than what you are seeing in front of your eyes and actually follow through without breaking the culture of what initially drew you to be there?  While some watering lounges can give you a typical sit and sip atmosphere, Burleson Yard is authoring a restored scene in San Antonio for those to exist in a vision.
As in Casablanca, Burleson Yard is willing to stick their neck out for the people that want to come and be a part a presence.

Anyone can visit a new place to see what it is going to be.  Possibly get on a train and see the sights along the way. But how does someone get to that point of traveling with a purpose of their vision? And now that you have reached your first stop what is happening now? A vision is just the beginning of more moments of ideas and pit stops that most are not willing to travel towards. Most are not willing to cover the sacrifice that goes into pursuing a successful journey.   As one who chooses to seek an optimum goal before it really exists, you must keep going. Especially when you come to the crossroads of being different to changing for popularity. How does a place keep its vision going after the train reached its destination?  How do you know this is the right place to be? Talking with Daniel D., he led on to cross the tracks that have led to Burleson Yard. 

What drives Burleson Yard?
Success and the ability to get there. We are more and we are doing more with what we offer and are willing to sacrifice. To please and make our people that come here happy that’s what we want to see, but…with more to give as the vision grows beyond what has already been seen.
---Interesting things happen every day. There is something to enjoy seeing when success comes through to the Yard.  Every day, every moment is an interesting thing.

What bevvie would be the signature?
Whiskey. It burns better with age. Gives the taste of dedication of success in a drink.

As time grows, so does the atmosphere with changing effects of dedication and belonging.

So what separates you from any other beer garden?
Dedication to the end goal. The clientele: we believe everyone belongs.

How does Burleson Yard rep San Antonio?
By refusing to change when people ask you to change. There is always an expectation to become something to fit in. Success is relative and we plan to be a place that lets you exist. For anything, it should not be subjective, you strive to succeed because there is a goal that you are willing to exist. We are here not just for a simple beer garden. Here in San Antonio we are becoming the place to serve what people deserve.

Are you ever looking to evolve?
We are not looking to evolve; we change only our surroundings to improve. At Burleson Yard we are actors of change, not as much currently represented, a catalyst that exist here in San Antonio for a future goal.

“The ability to suffer, be blessed, or spoiled…success is begat by sacrifice.” says Daniel D. As sounding as they are in the business of “War and Revolution” preparing to be the unexpected contenders, Burleson Yard is growing with linked associations of advantageous abilities capable of rising in a multifaceted expedition.

Burleson Yard is here because the vision is to be MORE. Welcome MORE. Become MORE. This place is writing a future for San Antonio and you should probably “be scene” there sometime soon to say you were a part of the success. The growing Texas mark is happening whether you are ready or not, and it is definitely wise to hop the tracks on over to see what it is becoming. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Soul Story: Harol Avila: The Bold Agave Mentor- CEO & Founder of Sierra Vieja Tequila

Harol Avila: The Bold Mentor

Be Bold. Be Alive. Let the taste of happiness fill your life palettes with the craving to go farther than you have to go.

Rather than having a simple chat, Harol lent me the stories of his inspiration, love, and creation that have led to Sierra Vieja Tequila and his charitable lifestyle. Reminiscing with Harol contributed to the intensity of charging up deep seated memories that urged more than wanting to be a participant in conversation.  Our time at Co Lab was the beginning of getting to know how we want to encourage our lives. His words led to an opening of what is beyond what people know about him and into the romanticized experiences that have guided goals. Harol is a  man that is undeniably beyond the tequila that is growing among the tastes of fortunate explorers.

How do you feel living the way you do in this stage of your life?
Alive. More than I ever have than when working the typical corporate job life. The way I live now has brought me closer to real friends. Met a lot of acquaintances--- a lot.  But outside of all of the meetings, promoting, and unusual work schedule, I have been able to secure solid people in my life. I hang out with them more than my family as they have become that important to keep on this ride through business and hard work.

What or who is your inspiration?
My father. He is the reason and the purpose in which I am doing this and to give back to where I come from in Mexico. Though the tequila business can bring the wild party image and other views that it has tied to the culture of it, I have planned to do something better.  Tequila is a part of the memory of my family and cousins. It is a joke of my first taste and about where I come from. They are the reason in which I care about this and to bring whatever I do back to them.   

Define Tequila. Define Purpose.
Tequila: Hated as a kid. As in it (tequila) brought up an early memory of hitting puberty with cousins making fun, but it spoke tradition among us.
Purpose:  I have to do something bold to accomplish something farther than I have to go.

What do you believe to achieve with your Sierra Vieja Tequila business?
3 goals.
Why: To help my hometown. Send more than just money. How much does just money really lead to for the people? Money is not a mentor. So mentoring is a part of what I want to do to help my hometown.  We travel to Mexico with our donations for schools; these backpack trips to these dirt floor schools that need us. My hometown, and others like us, really can benefit from so little while they know that they can’t get but so much. They are truly grateful. They can see that there is more that they (especially children) can do.  
Children with school donations in Mexico
How can I do something great? I want to, I am, more than just promoting my tequila company. I want to cause awareness. Be greater than a product and be bold in giving more to people than just what I know I can give and explore that difference in other ways and be that new image.
All this hard work is happiness. That’s what life’s goal is and should be about when it comes to being able to live the way you want.  Achieve what you really enjoy and to do whatever it is that will give you that happiness daily.

First. Best. Last drink.
Shots of tequila. Amatitan Jalisco. Michelada.
First: Memory with family
Best:  Love of Titans. The romanticized Mexican tale of the 16th century that traveling explorers saw the native people as such “Titans” and fell in awe of them. The people, the reason, to establish the historic town in the idea of the grand people.
Last: I like drinking what I know about and how it can relate to people no matter what you do or do not know about the name of a drink.
I definitely am going to bring back a traditional Paloma that will bring that home piece into my creation.

How deep is your love for creation?
It’s deep. Deep like creating a weird egg sandwich and putting in strange ingredients to try something new for a new day. Discovering how I can do something different and be more playful. In fact, to spur an event, let’s put weird guys and girls in funky costumes. That’s key. Creativity. Not the typical.

“Soul in the Kitchen. Blues in the Living Room. Rock in the Bedroom.” –Gary Clark Jr.
What’s your poem for living?
 Live life boldly <BE Bold.>
Be smooth with your love.

Why are we here, your choice, in Co Lab? Why are you in San Antonio?  
We’re getting to know one another better in a place where friends are. Less distractions and focus on hearing one another and having a fun time. We are enjoying who each other are here.
San Antonio is home. No matter what I do, my mind is where my home is, and I have found home in this city. It is great to have a place like this for what I am doing. I could be anywhere else and be great, but I am being greater here with real friends and happiness.

Taste what this man is living. From hometown memories to defining boldness that rises to the top of life. Harol has found a way to honor happiness. Like a historic unveiling, discover what a good conversation with heart can serve you.

Seek out Sierra Vieja at spots like the JW Marriott and Halcyon in Southtown and of course even more locations and fine stores around the city. Thanks to Co Lab for hosting in their open artists’ loft on Alamo and 8th streets.

Salut & Shindig On.

Tasting presentation @ Richter&Colt Wrangler Reveal
Sierra Vieja Tequila:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Soul Story: Rich Herrera, Beautiful Creative

“Beautiful, where to begin?”

That is all it took to be charmed by this creative human’s words.
It was just a simple few words that sparked this gentleman to speak so graciously about his charismatic doings in his city. How Rich takes on what he does is the like-mindedness that Soul Story looks for to keep discovering more like him, like her, like them.  He is a recruitment of finding the elements that enchant a successful life. While not impossible, Rich’s emphasis to why he does what he does opens the challenging platform of creativity to a bigger stage of exploring the confident mind.

Lol, who are you? (Always smiling)
Fundamentally I'm an egoless individual & the work I do is a challenge in its own at times to credit myself solely. Any accolades are earned through teamwork & selflessness. I couldn't have done any of this work without the amazing people around me.

I'm an advocate for course correction. Through mediums of expression whether poetry, song, dance, etc. we are able to bring attention to what matters from an inner perspective. Discussions can entail connecting issues from speaking on the failing educational or political systems, to the social economic disparities of modern artistry & the fine line that defines worth & value.

Recently, as the Creative Development Consultant at AV Expression in San Antonio. I've recruited a team working on an initiative to bring a multi-faceted & diverse arts community together. At first glance it doesn't seem physically possible, given the multitude of uncontrollable variables, but the outcry for a platform or conceptual idea to provide San Antonio, TX with a successful & unifying endeavor is one the people on our team knows is critical. The challenge is for us to incorporate all "5" Elements of hip-hop; primarily to allow a younger generation freedom of expression through their own mediums & art forms, be it traditional or abstract.

Creativity- Is Spiritual Freedom.
Passion- Is the secret ingredient & difference between hard work & natural talent.

What do you do to inspire your city?

I aim to inspire creativity & the possibility of a fruitful outcome by way of creative self-expression. I've encountered many artistic minds that fall victim to negativity or a pessimistic outlook when judging their own works. Focus and intentions matter when exerting creativity. It's always in your hands in regards to the interpretation of criticism.

 The most useful advice from my musical mentor Mr. Al Salinas--- "Always take things with a grain of salt. Never half ass anything in life." Together those two priceless pieces of advice have helped me keep an open mind & heart to criticism & self-accountability when starting a new work.  

Working closely with the AV8 Marketing / Dream Team, a think tank of powerful motivators focused on accomplishing a common selfless goal,  have developed an original concept that'll incorporate art forms such as Fashion Designers, Videographers, Photographers, Choreographers, Actors, Models, Producers, Glass Blowers, Computer Engineers, Builders, Composers, & Entrepreneurs Break dancers, Urban Artists, & Disk Jockeys alike.

We hold creative meetings weekly & encourage likeminded individuals to join us. We keep an open door policy, and are always open and accepting to new ideas.

Beautiful, what is that to you?
Beauty to me? Beauty is righteous, raw, real, and organic. Not fake, chemically modified, contoured, or judgmental. 

What memory has left the creative imprint on your heart?
Philosopher Alan Watts said "How could you know you're alive if you hadn't already once been dead? Death is but an undulation in consciousness…" Creatively these words left an imprint on the growing cycle of awareness & the evolution of a higher consciousness. Thus, introducing the differentiation between Material & Spiritual dimensions. 

What is you soulful playlist?
My soulful playlist musically:

Original works to Oldies from the 20's 30's 40's 50's 60's 70's 80's 90's. To Mariachi music from the late 1800's on, and classical pieces from composers such as Beethoven up to Isaac Hayes, you name it; these sounds speak to my soul.

Now, why would you work so hard to do all you do?
The Creative mind is constant, as we autonomously wander about our lives there are times where we are briefly granted with notions and visions that obviously something's missing. Question is: Can you identify it? If so, how soon can you bring those notions to fruition?
We came up with the answer: Now. There is no other time except now. That's how we accomplish our goals realistically within our given timeframe.
Events, Ideas, Concepts, just imagine.

Well, I definitely see SATX ready to get on stage with you to find out.

Shindig on.

To Contact visit AV Expression at: or email

As of Summer of 2015, Rich has personally developed an inexpensive membership program at AV Expression that offers artistic services, classes, instruction, mentorship, & studio sessions. In specialty fields or trades that traditional education systems aren't offering classes or have been cutting funding for. Offering scholarships to artists they see would contribute to their main initiative. Be it any form of the arts, if deep down you want to learn, they will take the time to teach you, break it down, and strip away the "rocket science" feeling & start back at the basics. It is an artistic collective that is growing steadily day by day.
Recent artistic works of Rich Herrera, includes Theatre Arts (Chatos' Bridge - Coming 2016, Karma's a Bitch - 2015) Actor & Sound Design. (Rapid Eye Movement - 2016) Actor, Poet. Professional Mariachi, DJ, Recording Artist, Music Producer, Composer, Poet, Political Advocate & Private Lesson instructor. Also, a licensed insurance consultant in the state of Texas. (he is definitely multi-talented)

Friday, February 19, 2016

How much are excuses worth? (a Word to being a gazelle)


      Definitely learned a lot while dedicating incredible time to my sorority from then and even now. I was biased, but I truly appreciate what my sisters and brothers have (and still) taught me. One big thing was to make no excuses when you have the power to accomplish not settling in your OWN life. 
Life ain't for the weary and I advise you to learn a thing or two about enhancing life through something that empowers you EVERDAY. Cuz you gotta live, and not by the rules you bow down to that is run by definitions and categories of what you should be doing.

This is the quote us tough chicks learned:

"Excuses are the tools of the incompetent, used to build monuments of nothingness, and those who use them are seldom good at anything else."

So what is life worth to you and the people around you due to your excuse? Certainly they are not asking you to do a million dollar task that you cannot afford. You didn't think of trying out something new because of the thought process in not being able to do it. After you made that excuse did it feel good to get out of that oh so hard 'situation' while others get to move forward and you just wait around for the next bus going a moment later by yourself?
Get outta here!
Before you say anything, think before you react and say that you can. My cool yoga teacher says during practice, "Push to your edge.", and when you feel like coming out of it (position), hold on to the reason you brought yourself here and challenge against that resistant thought process and rise above it! You don't live to just die, you are living because you love being able to see tomorrow and what it can bring to you.

There are so many ways to find your 'edge' and battle through the excuses of 'not to' to exceling in what you know what you can do. Listen to others around you making excuses for not doing something and recognize how your thinking changes to go forth and conquer. Does that make the environment, or your confidence for asking them, feel better? Not saying you have to do things with people all the time, or go out everyday, but when you set a positive mindset for yourself, (even to only watch 2 episodes of "Friends' instead of 10) you feel like you have done better for yourself and that can lead examples for others. There is so much out here to explore, you gotta see what others are getting to see, meet, and achieve and create your own strong life purpose.

So instead of an excuse, make the investment to open your ideas and let 'em run wild.

Be a freaking Gazelle and RUN THIS!

Here's some stuff in anytime, anyplace around the world you can get into! (Just a few examples of each TO BOOST A BRAINSTORM ADVENTURE)

Find many different classes and experiences-
Free City fitness in parks-

Group Fun:
Indoor Kart racing- 
Drum Circles-
Festival Finder:

Date night: Make a bucket list and GET AWESOME!!!

Shindig on.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

So what? V day happened. (On to the next please...)

I am not BITTER about not going out on a good date on Valentine's. (In fact, wait for my book, it’s gonna be hilarious about dating.) This post is not the way to go if you think this is a one-sided sort of post-modern V-Day blogging.  Since the beginning of time, well my time, up to the point of hearing both sides I say this, “Love Everyone.” Not telling you go to on the street and ask for hugs or kisses from the world (there are some nasty cooties out there), but try not to limit your knowledge/capability of caring to one person or special holiday.

A lady I study with, and it seems we are actually similar (she’s me in my mature years of cool life), I think nailed me on the head. She said, “This girl knows no strangers.” And I had to think and clap on that. It got me thinking, “Why IS everyone so freaking afraid of getting to know someone when they have nothing to lose when they did not know that person in the first place?” I mean, is the possibility of never knowing that person intimately (though you never knew them in your LIFE to begin with) because they are not interested in hanging with you ,THAT nerve-wrecking that you won’t get your panties(or boxers) adjusted to just say “Yo, how you doing?” (Thanks Joey Tribiani). If they say ‘no thanks’, just move a long cordially.

Valentine’s Day: Me and some really cool peeps took a bike ride out in the city and did something unexpected for the public and gave out flowers. Some were receptive and others, well I won’t kick their booty today for being a lil boogie. As my pal said, “We should do this as a social experiment…”, I was thinking what is holding someone back from just seeing the openness someone is trying to give and seeing that we are not trying to sell something. That we were just being nice to show the love, pay it forward, or just, as the lady friend said, “Just doing something friggn’ nice for ya!” Stranger danger should hardly be a concern after a certain age (with your good  ol' common sense) and so should your attitude towards other humans expectancy. This whole introvert\extrovert labels should go kaput to a black box island and officially be unknown.

As someone interested in finding that luuuuuuuuuuuuv, but not really ‘pressed’ (90s kids know the term) to get twisted out in these streets, finds just the practicality of getting to know someone. By saying “’Sup’”, can be sufficient to leading to a fun that is unexpected. A way to meet people that you never know can turn around for the best for you just because you kept it simple.


And that’s just it, we are all HUMAN. Not everyone is in it for the cookie, or cake, or pie and eat chips with dip too. Until a clear statement, like some recent experiences I have encountered have grossly stated, get out of your head and reach your hand out for a cordial response and not a material or super emotional exchange. My guy/gal friends alike have had a crazy time finding love, getting to know folks in a new place, or just finding that similar weird in someone else (we all got something interesting going on).  All just because we’d forced it or didn’t just see that it is okay to just actually get to say 'hello' to a person first before you invest your entire heart and hard earned cash on someone. I have truly been able to confidently invest my heart, mind, and time in friends, networks, and new random peeps and seeing that everyone should have that pal that does not mind the bravery or simplicity it took to just reach out for a common word amongst humans.

Be positive in what may come out of your random chance for smiling. Try a new hobby, play somewhere with strangers, or just calling that new number (rather than texting) to see what can happen. Your results may not happen right away, but at least you are making SOMETHING HAPPEN. Try something, try it now. There is no harm in showing chill love for someone to know there are others out there willing to try something they have been thinking about doing too.

You may become someone’s story and liven up their world.
Without labels.
As human as not expected.

Post v day 16