Andrea Valdez

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Andrea Valdez, a Houstonian, received a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and received her MSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2006. Two days after graduating from Medill, she began working at Texas Monthly as a fact-checker. In addition to dutifully guarding the magazine's integrity, she wrote more than forty columns in a series titled "The Manual," a short lesson on activities every Texan should know how to do. The column has since been turned into a book, How to Be a Texan: The Manual.

Valdez moved to the digital side of editorial in 2011, and in 2014 she became the editor of During her tenure, the site's traffic has increased more than 250 percent and Texas Monthly's social media audiences have more than quintupled. She also helped launch two verticals—TM Daily Post and—and had a hand in a major redesign of in 2013.

She lives in Austin.

103 Articles

August 31, 2007

How to Tailgate

THE SPIRITIt’s the season to abandon reason, so make your fanaticism count. Don all that team paraphernalia, yes, but distinguish yourself from a couch potato with shows of true commitment: face decals, dye jobs, strategic shaving, and, of course, body paint. Also imperative are your ride’s trimmings (bumper stickers, hitch

The Culture|
July 31, 2007

How to Brand the Herd

The RationaleWhy make a lasting impression on your cattle? To fend off cattle rustlers, whose pilfering of literal cash cows is hardly a defunct business (ranchers in the Southwest lost $6.2 million in livestock in 2005). “Think of branding as a license plate on your car, a means of identification,”

Style & Design|
June 30, 2007

How to Design a Pair of Custom Boots

1. Your quest for inimitable footwear begins with the leather, so first give thought to your stomping grounds (cattle pen or cubicle?) and your image (rhinestone cowboy ?). Your basic, most traditional option is calfskin. Need extra-tough work boots? Elephant, shark, or bull offers durability. Dress boots? Go with lizard,

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