First published in 2005, Laura Mayes started The Queso as Blog con Queso because, at the time, she thought blogs were cheesy, and in Texas, we call that queso. Behold the power of queso. Over time and from this blog, five businesses were born, countless ideas were developed and thousands of friendships were made. One of those ideas came from one of those friendships, and that is what this blog is becoming…a culture blog that represents Texan and Southwestern lifestyle, travel, food, music, ideas and inspiration about real people living authentically, with a sense of humor and a sense of adventure. Join us.
LAURA, QUESO IN CHIEF
LAURA HARRISON MAYES IS A WRITER AND EVENT PRODUCER
Laura Mayes is an eighth-generation Texan who currently lives outside of Austin, where she is revitalizing her great grandparents’ house with her husband, her nine-year-old son and a cute puppy. Over the years, she has created, developed and produced a variety of events and programs for women in media including industry conferences, brand events, book and product launches, national art exhibits and other nationwide campaigns. Before that, she worked as a writer for an advertising agency, where something she wrote won an Emmy, for a children’s software company, a political candidate, a children’s hospital and a public relations agency. Also, she used to teach ballroom dancing. And twirl fire batons. She holds a bachelor of arts in English Literature and Professional Writing from Baylor University. She never thought she’d still live in Texas.
KAREN WALROND IS AN AUTHOR AND PHOTOESSAYIST
Karen’s writing, images and other projects have been featured on CNN.com, USA Today, Good Housekeeping and Wondertime magazines, among others. Karen is also the creative mind behind the award-winning website, Chookooloonks, an inspirational source for living with intention, creativity and adventure, and featuring travel, art, food and life. She’s not a native Texan, but she got here as fast as she could: she’s originally from Trinidad & Tobago, but now lives in Houston with Marcus, her English husband, and Alex, her American daughter. She’s a former engineer and an attorney, holding a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Texas A&M University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Houston — which means she made sure to get as much Texas education and she could possibly absorb.
KATHERINE CENTER IS AN AUTHOR AND STORYTELLER
Katherine Center is a fifth-generation Texan who currently lives deep in the heart of Houston, in seriously the cutest house we’ve seen, with her very tall teacher husband and two really swell kids. Katherine grew up in Houston and was a lifer at St. John’s School (which is totally Rushmore) before heading to Vassar College in New York. After she won the Vassar College Fiction Prize, she came home to earn an M.A. in fiction at the University of Houston‘s famous Creative Writing Program, before working in her uncle’s cool used/rare/out-of-print bookstore in a funky old house and teaching creative writing to little kids. Now, she is the author of five novels: The Bright Side of Disaster (2007), Everyone is Beautiful (2009), Get Lucky (2010), The Lost Husband (2013)–just optioned for a movie!–and Happiness for Beginners (2015), with two more on the way. She describes her books as “bittersweet comic novels,” and she really kind of wonders if most problems can be solved around the kitchen table.
KRISTIN PAULL IS A BAKER AND STAY AT HOME MOM
Kristin Paull was raised in Houston, but via a brief stint in Dallas has found her home in Austin with her husband and three boys. She has experience in party and event planning as well as fundraising and many volunteer projects. She loves the adventure and education that comes through travel, the challenge and enlightenment that comes from reading, and the creativity and fun that is shared through cooking and food. She holds a degree in English Literature from Baylor University. When she transferred from Wake Forest to Baylor, a friend’s Dad said, “Sorry, but though Texans might leave Texas, they just can’t stay gone for long.” I guess he was right.
LIZ McGUIRE IS A WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER
TISH HARRISON WARREN IS A WRITER AND A PRIEST
Tish Harrison Warren is from Texas, left for 15 years (moved around a lot), and then came back to Austin. She is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America and writes regularly for The Well, InterVarsity’s online magazine for women in the academy and professions. Her work has also appeared in Her.meneutics, Christ and Pop Culture, Anglicanpastor.com and Christianity Today. She and her husband, Jonathan, work with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries at The University of Texas and have two young daughters. Find her work at TishHarrisonWarren.com .
Wendi Aarons is an award-winning humor writer and blogger who lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two sons. She has written for a number of publications including McSweeneys, Esther’s Follies, Austin’s famous comedy revue and for US Weekly magazine’s Fashion Police. She was the Austin co-producer/director of Listen To Your Mother, one of the creators of the much-lauded twitter feed @paulryangosling, and is currently the social media director for the Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania Conferences for Women. She is also a prolific writer of notes left on cars parked by assholes.
WORK WITH US
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