the one where i submit to freelance

When I first moved to Austin, Texas three years ago, I freelanced. I designed small cards that come with floral arrangements in the grocery store. It wasn’t the ideal gig, but I loved creating designs every day. The only problem with freelancing when you’re new to a city, no community. I wasn’t able to dive into a job and meet people so I started working at a church. With the commitment of a new job, I wasn’t able to freelance any longer. I miss working on projects that inspire me. I miss working for clients I can learn from. Most of all, I miss not pushing myself, striving to be the best designer I can.

I hope to be a part of the Toptal Visual Designers Group freelance community, so I can work with the best and for the best.


the one with romantic comedies

I can watch feel-good movies over and over again. Particularly, romantic comedies. Not exactly something that’s trendy to admit. But the shame melts away when I realize the humor in a twenty-something melting to the voice of 90s Tom Hanks.

It is known that romantic comedies, even the spectacular ones, rarely win awards. The last typical romantic comedy that won an Oscar was Juno in 2007 and before that, Jerry Maguire in 1997 and Working Girl in 1988. Don’t get me wrong, I love all these movies, not to mention the classics that were awarded multiple Oscars like Casablanca, Annie Hall and Funny Girl with Barbara Streisand. But why is it still not cool enough to proudly admit a love for a romantic comedy?

Continue reading “the one with romantic comedies”

the one where i’m back in the game

It’s true. I haven’t posted a blog in over a month. There isn’t a real excuse, because I know people blog amidst war; but I did get married, honeymoon and do some major cleaning along with get back in the work game.

I have learned that blogging even a little, every day, is worth it.

My goal is to understand the world around me a little better through exploring ideas, places, conversations and projects – all displayed on this blog. I haven’t got a theme yet; which means it will most likely not be a popular blog – but I do have a voice.

Thanks for sticking with me; I’m back!

the one when we road the train

I have yet to master relaxation to minimize stress.

That’s just a fact.

I don’t think I will ever be one of those calm individuals that listen to others with ease. My eyes always display emotion, the moment it arises.

Zac and I road the train. It was filled with people, which is very unlike Austin in my opinion. People and their bikes piled on and off the MetroRail as we made our way downtown. It was exhilarating. Our Friday night was beginning with adventure on the premise of the Austin City Limits Music Fest. Just what we planned.

Quickly, emotions changed.  Continue reading “the one when we road the train”

the one where I believe in juicing

Doctors a laymen alike have written about the power of the juice cleanse.

We’ve all been hearing about it for years. Famous doctors like Oz and Axe have broken down the pros and cons for the female population of America on daytime TV and women and men alike have hopped on the “expensive” juicing train.

For ten years, as this trend has climbed, I’ve discounted the power of the juice. I thought it was a complete waste of time and money. Although, after I moved out of my parents house (for the second time) my mom and her best friend bought their own juicers and configured recipes to reach optimum energy. It happened. My opinion shifted; I had to try it.

Now, for three years I’ve wanted the miracle appliance but haven’t had extra money to purchase one. BUT we just received a juicer from our registry last Saturday. Unpacking the box, excitement overwhelmed my body and I started shaking. I, definitely, hopped on the bandwagon.

Instantly, I took a trip to the grocery store, called my mom, and bought handfuls of broccoli, carrots, beets, apples, red peppers, lemons, tomatoes, kale, basil, oranges, plums, spinach, and cucumbers. It cost $25 and it was worth it. I still have yet to go through half of the veggie haul and it’s been three days. This may all be excessive information but I have to tell you; my energy increased the next day, waking up in the morning was easier than it’s been in months, my workout was easily longer and my overall anxiety has decreased.

Granted, I have been getting back into daily Bible Study’s and the weekend was very restful, but I do think getting my body the nutrients that it has been craving has made an enormous change. I’m not ever going to attempt a full juice cleanse because I greatly believe in daily fiber (if you know what I mean)but I will advocate heavily for the benefits pure nutrients food can give you.

I’m just a regular office worker living in an apartment, but if you don’t believe in the benefits of the juice movement, you are mistaken.

I would love to read anyone else’s story; different recipes or routines would be exciting.

Juice Blast for Life.

the one with a hidden community

I can admit, I’m a bit of a hermit at times; I attempt to keep my grocery store visits to a minimum and only eat out in loud restaurants because I love someone who is energized by constant chatter. But yesterday, I was reminded of the power of community from a bushel of loving families, a few trivia games and so many contagious smiles.

I’m getting married in three weeks; rather, we’re getting married in three weeks. So crazy. Yes, I absolutely love the man I’m about to walk down the isle with, but this day was only ever in my dreams. I’ve been stressed to the point of exhaustion, planning and maintaining sanity, with high points here and there. But last night was a real high point.

Zac is a Youth Director at a church. All the beautiful families he leads now, and over the years, came together for a heartfelt wedding shower lined with homemade Texas chili, chips and wedding cake. It sounds simple, but it took me by surprise. These families spilled love into their food, conversation and gifts. I couldn’t have asked for anything greater.

Needless to say, I don’t believe this blog will be a top reader, but it will contain a little bit of Kendra Vanek’s life. I can assure you, there will be grammar errors and spelling mistakes but I hope to write with honesty and the little wisdom I’ve been gifted in hopes of honing in on real-life and real-stories from a simple Texas transplant. The unnamed trails I’ve taken and those I’m blessed to still take will keep me (in)sane and curious; let’s do this!