What’s New with Manic Trout

Between Waves Necklace from Manic Trout's FW16 Collection
Between Waves Necklace from the FW16 Collection

So many things are going on behind the scenes for future projects that I tend to forget to celebrate and announce what is actually going on with Manic Trout here. The past couple of weeks have brought lot’s of fun things for fall. I figured it easiest to round them all up in one place for you.

 

Stars In Motion Necklaces from Manic Trout's FW16 Collection
Stars In Motion Necklaces from the FW16 Collection

There is a new store carrying Manic Trout that I am really excited about, the gift shop at The Blanton Museum of Art on the UT campus here in Austin. It’s such a fun shop and great for gifts. It was one of those situations where I really thought I had pitched them in the past without a response, but then I looked through my records and nope! Never assume people, never assume.

 

Pink Frost Necklace from Manic Trout's FW16 Collection
Pink Frost Necklace from the FW16 Collection

The last chance sale was restocked with a huge amount of discontinued jewelry. This occurs every year before the FW collection debuts as I tend to really clean house to get ready for the holidays. This is always a bitter sweet time as I say goodbye to some often much loved jewelry that has reached it’s end. Sometimes it’s due to no longer being able to get my hands on the gemstones and sometimes it’s just time to move on. A few pieces are already sold out, but you should take a peek to make sure you don’t miss out on a beloved design before it’s gone forever.

 

River Water Necklace from Manic Trout's FW16 Collection
River Water Necklace from the FW16 Collection

The most exciting news is the launch of the FW16 Collection! The FW and SS collections are the two largest of the year and split into two parts, basically non critter and critter. The non critter designs for FW16 are the Stars In Motion pieces and are focused around four beautiful gemstones and include long necklaces, multi strand bracelets and long earrings. The critters designs include eight statement necklaces and four statement bracelets all with bold gemstones. There are great critters in this collection, some that I cannot believe it took me this long to use…like a TROUT! Can you believe it took me 13 years to release a trout necklace for a label named Manic Trout??? It’s sad, but it was worth the wait because the chocolate agate in this necklace is so fiiiiiine!

 

Sample Sale at Manic Trout

The most recent news is that today is the official start of the semi annual Sample Sale!! Twice a year, I gather all of the samples in the studio and put them on the site for 50% off for two weeks only. What is a sample you ask? Samples have been worn on photo shoots, sent to magazines, displayed in showrooms and are the exhibited pieces at trade shows. All sample pieces have been inspected and cleaned, but have been handled and therefore are sold at a greatly reduced price. There is typically only one of each sample listed, so I suggest you move fast if you see something that makes your heart flutter.

Now you’re all caught up with what’s new in the land of Manic Trout!

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Top 5 Things Right Now

RainyDayStudio

Oh my goodness, there are so many things to share and write about right now that I have been unable to write anything at all. It will however never get done unless I start though so here we go with my recent Top 5 Things Right Now…because I love these posts!

1. Speaking of starting, Emily Henderson wrote a beautiful post today that is my very top thing right now. It’s about how beginning a successful career is about the exact sentiment: Just Start. If I could tell every newbie designer who wants to take me out to coffee in exchange for my words of wisdom the single most important thing about having a successful business…it’s to just START! Ugh, I am so tired of the, “I can’t launch until it’s perfect”, “it’s not ready”, “it’s not there yet”…yadda, yadda, yadda excuses. Guess what? In all the time you’ve been afraid to just start, there are hundreds out there who beat you to it and who are already on to the next round of designs, season, etc. They are creating new content daily and getting more eyeballs on their biz everyday that you hold back. It may never be perfect, you may never be ready, the time will never be right…just start already. Remember: no matter what, you’ll make fun of your early years, so you may as well get them behind you faster. But really, go read her post, it’s wonderful. Preach, Emily!

2. Pinning Halloween treats over on Pinterest. This is my first year of spending Halloween sugar, sweet and candy free and it is ROUGH. I am back to the daily talk downs to not buy and eat all of things. I have almost cried in stores over not eating bags of the special flavors of candy corn this year. There was also an incident where I saw sour candy corn (my two favorite things are candy corn and sour brite crawlers/octopi/anything so the combo sounds incredible) while checking out at a store. I started texting Adam in all caps about it while babbling to the cashier about how much I wanted them and really I all I could think was that I needed to get the hell away from the display before I grabbed the bag and ripped them open right them and there. To further illustrate the problem, last year at this time, I was eating over 1lb of candy corn a DAY. So yeah. I have been finding that pinning the treats makes feel kind of better in a weird twisty way.

3. Rainy weather. It’s a rainy day here in Austin and it means it finally feels a bit like fall…well, until the next day or so when it will go back to the high 80’s. But today, it’s fall, and that’s awesome. I also have started to crave noodles (Thai or Japanese) when it rains, which makes sense but then I just want to lie down and nap, so I have to keep the noodle eating to a minimum.

4. Almost being launch time on a few projects that have been in the works for months and months. That’s the weird thing about social media and being so connected to everyone. You want to instantly share and be excited together but the reality of business is that until the contracts are signed and the projects are underway with set launch dates, that is a big no no. One is so hush hush that I didn’t even tell my mom about it until last week! But a few really cool things are coming up this next month and I can’t wait to both share them and to be finally doing them!

5. The show Vinyl on HBO. I cannot believe this show was cancelled. There is only one season and it was AMAZING. I loved every minute of. A “1970’s rock and roll drama”, produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger and involving Terence Winter. What would not be amazing about that??? My favorite part was actually the 60’s art hanging in the houses, so many colors, just so good. It was made fun of by critics for being cliched, massively over spending on production and for being the worst part of Mad Men and Almost Famous. But who cares what they thought, I loved it.

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Pantone’s Top 10 Colors for Spring 2017

PantoneSpring2017Top10

I used to get really excited for specific holidays due to seasonal candy, but since the whole no sugar edict, I no longer have that. Which is particularly tough in the grocery store right now btw. What I do have is when Pantone announces it’s colors. Be it for a season or for the year, I get equally excited! Leading up to when I suspect they’ll announce I’m googling daily to see if it happened. They usually announce Spring right after the fall NY Fashion week, so I have been patiently waiting, well not so patiently but whatev. But I have to wait no more as they’re here!! As a close match to Pink Yarrow used to be what I used for Manic Trout, my eye instantly went to that one first, but I really like the mix over all. They are almost dead ringers for the grouping of colors that are my favs in general and that is pretty awesome. I look forward to seeing these colors take center stage next spring in design and now am even more excited to find out what the color of 2017 will be!

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Coloring = Exercise

Photo Aug 29

As you read yesterday, I am having a partial hysterectomy today. My uterus, fallopian tubes and maybe cervix are being removed due to adenomyosis in a laparoscopic robotic assisted surgery. We scheduled the surgery 10 days ago so this week has been a whirlwind of preparation, mostly mentally as I get ready to be limited in what I can do for a bit. My number one concern is when I can work out again as it’s the best way that I deal with stress and what I know will make me feel better the quickest. Unfortunately, even though it will help my brain, my body could end up being on worse shape if I do too much too soon. Scar tissue can form on the internal incisions and I’l have to have another surgery to remove them so there is a big heavy line between what I can do and what I can’t. So far, I’ve talked to three people about this, my doctor who will perform the surgery, the nurse at my pre-op and the nurse in charge of my care at my doctors office and have been receiving more detailed and firm info with each conversation as I try and push the boundaries. The final conversation went something like this:

Sierra: So I should be walking every day for the first two weeks, right?

Nurse: Yes, but by walking we mean very slowly and easy. NO POWER WALKING.

Sierra: Well, I mean, I can work up to that.

Nurse: Ok, now I’m saying three weeks. No power walking for three weeks. When you have no more bleeding you can VERY SLOWLY increase your speed and intensity but not for at least two weeks.

Sierra: Ok, so when can I do more than that?

Nurse: Six weeks.

Sierra: Well that’s just crazy talk. I know I can’t lift weight over 10lbs for six weeks, but what about body resistance?

Nurse: Do we need to go over what happens if you over exert yourself again.

Sierra: No. I understand, I just know I’ll be going crazy and need to know when to expect I can expel the energy again. I like a good plan, it makes me feel better and I’ll calm down if I know what to expect.

Nurse: What do you normally do for exercise?

Sierra: HiiT (High intensity interval training) and Kickboxing, 5 days a week.

Nurse: Ok, you were not exaggerating about liking to workout hard. This is going to be tough for you but you’re not allowed to kickbox for six weeks. You can ask the doctor at your first check up in two weeks about when you’re clear to do body resistance workouts and more than walking. The good news is that you are in great shape, so it will make your recovery much easier and quicker!

Sierra: I’m going to loose my mind.

Nurse: I get it, I really do. I know it sounds crazy, and when my sister suggested it to me when I was out for a month, I told her to shut up. But she sent one to me anyway and it really helped! You need to get a really intricate coloring book and a pack of 50 pencils and when you feel like you’re losing it, find the most complicated page and color your heart out.

Sierra: …

Nurse: I know, I resisted it too, but it really helps!

Sierra: …

Nurse: Good luck, it will go by fast I promise…and get that coloring book!

Sierra:  (silently orders a stupid coloring book because what else can I do?????)

 

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Dear Uterus, You’re Fired.

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I spent the last week wondering if I should write about this. Do you want to read about my uterus? Am I going way over the limit of TMI with this? But the biggest question won: How many of you are going through this and want to talk about it or know more? Since finally figuring out was causing the issues that I thought were just part of growing older (they sort of are but were not “normal”) I have tentatively and then more openly started talking about it. What I discovered, was that many of my friends were going through something similar and were craving hearing about others experiences as much as I was. Be warned that this may be way more than anyone wants to read, but knowing how much it helped me to read these stories, I’m doing it anyway.

A few years ago, I started experiencing what I assumed was part of reaching my mid 30’s, excruciating pain and bleeding with my period. I couldn’t leave the house for fear that I would profusely bleed through all the barriers I had in place and ruin someone’s furniture. I was getting really good at quickly cleaning mine, but would be mortified if this overflow happened not at home. At one point, I was at the finale night of Austin Fashion Week where my jewelry was on the runway and things didn’t feel right. I went to the ladies room and realized I had flooded through all precautionary barriers and my legs were covered in blood. It was bad and I was in a overly used bathroom with only cheap toilet paper to clean myself up quickly before I had to get back out there. I thanked the stars that I was wearing a dark, longer dress so the blood was not visible, that I had been standing when it happened, that it didn’t ruin my shoes and that the lights were dim out there. Besides the excessive bleeding like that horror story, I was also experiencing cramps that were getting pretty bad, and worse each month. I had passed out and vomited from the pain more than once. I started canceling plans when I had my period with greater frequency and losing days to pain. I would occasionally joke to friends about how much it sucked getting older and having heavier, really gnarly periods and was rarely agreed with, I started to realize that this may not be as normal as I thought it was. Thankfully I kept bringing it up because last December a friend of mine finally asked me what my doctor said about it. I replied that my doctor waved it off as being normal. She gave me the number of a different doctor and suggested I go asap. So I did. And yeah. Not normal. After we spoke and I had an exam, the doctor decided to perform an ultrasound. He confirmed what was suspected: I had a boggy uterus that was 5x the size it should be and all the other signs of adenomyosis. The unfortunate part was that it cannot actually be diagnosed unless the uterus is removed ad biopsied. But as I was experiencing it down to the letter, and started getting symptoms at the age when most women do, there was little doubt to what was going on.

Adenomyosis is basically endometriosis of the uterus. It occurs when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, exists within and grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. The good news is that it is contained within the uterus itself and therefore curable if the uterus is removed. The bad news is that if you don’t opt for the cure (which he was awesome to say it was absolutely up to me when and if I ever wanted to go that route), it will get worse every month until menopause. We discussed the options and as it sometimes responds well to estrogen therapy, I scheduled to have an IUD put in and crossed my fingers. I went home and thought a lot about everything I just heard. I also decided that as I had been eating my feelings with candy over the last month. I had gained a lot of weight and wondered if it would help the symptoms to be a more healthy size. So now you know what spurred the obsession I had with getting back in shape and loosing 45 lbs. In February I had lost most of the weight and had the Skyla IUD inserted. I hoped that this combo would make all the issues go away. The pain lessened, which was great, but I started bleeding everyday. At first it was heavy and still clotted but it slowly got a bit lighter. I spoke to my doctor about the constant bleeding at the checkup and he said we could remove it right then or give it 6 months. as that is how long many women experience irregular bleeding with an IUD. I continued to read everything I could find online in forums and in articles and decided to give it 8 months, as that seemed a magic number for many women in my situation to stop bleeding everyday. So I waited. At 7 months the pain came back. I was still bleeding every day and now I was back to experiencing constant cramping and backache. I would take advil when it got so back I could do nothing but lay in the fetal position but it didn’t do much to stop it. The bleeding was not only still daily, but now I was noticing that it was getting heavier as the day wore on, especially in the evenings after I worked out (another symptom!). The morning last week when I woke up in a pool of blood with it pouring down my legs (with a tampon in) causing me to start crying out of fear that I was dying and scaring Adam with how much blood was in the bed and the trail I made as I ran to the bathroom was the last straw. I called the doctor and went in for a checkup last Friday. He examined me and said the IUD was not working how we had hoped. At this point, it was bad enough that I had two choices: I could nothing and live with it getting worse every month, most likely having to go on pain medication to be able to function or have the hysterectomy.

I have at this point read enough since December that I know that a hysterectomy, leaving my ovaries so I do not enter early menopause is not as scary as I first thought. I’ve spoken with women who have had similar situations and were so, so happy to have been done with it. Their advice was across the board: DO IT! Their only regret was not doing it sooner. So I am. Tomorrow morning. I’ve never had major surgery or had to spend the night in the hospital, so I am a bit freaked out but its the number one surgery in the US so I’m not too worried. The operation will be a robotic laparoscopy so I will not have an incision to heal from, only the organ removal (oh just that, lol). They want me up and moving slowly the next day, and the doctor said I should be back to work on Monday and driving Tuesday. In two or three weeks I can walk for exercise but am restricted from lifting anything over 10lbs for 6 weeks. In 6 weeks I should be good to go.

So this is my journey with adenomyosis. If you are dealing with something similar and have been suggested to have a hysterectomy and want to talk about it, please reach out, you’re not alone and I’d love to hear from you!

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Biblio-files for July 2016

Books to read, July 2016

I’m finally caught up on book posts!! In a few weeks, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled book posts, once a month. Ahhhhh, it feels good. July was a really sad month for reading. I read less than I have in years, because you know…moving. I don’t think I even picked up a book when I got into bed most of the month, I was that tired. We also didn’t have normal book club in July so there was not a book required for that, BUT I did join a second one that I’m excited about! I still hardly read though, so we’ll keep it short and sweet* and skip the superlatives.

1. Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran. As I have become more and more into historical fiction, I have been finding that I really enjoy certain authors of the genre. Moran is in the top 5 right now. She is an incredibly descriptive writer and I loved this book. I felt transported to ancient Rome and enjoyed it throughly. If you’re looking for a book to read I suggest this one first.

2. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. I’ve had this book on my “to read” shelf for years and never really gave it much thought, but this was an excellent book. Engaging and well written, I loved the story. This is number two for my what to read suggestion, if you’re not into historical fiction, it moves up to one.

3. The Moon In The Palace by Weina Dai Randel. My new book club is focused entirely on historical fiction. We picked this book as our first and it was also the authors first. Perhaps reading this on the heels of a Moran book is unfair, but her descriptions fell short. By the end it was getting better, and as this is book one of two parts, she was perhaps holding back for a reason. I’ll read the second book, but am not in a rush, especially where there are authors out there who I can’t wait to read more of.

**In my biblio-files I write about what I thought and felt about the book, in the style that if I ran into and you said you needed a book to read, and asked what have I been reading, this is what I would say. To find out the plot or what is written on the back, simply look it up on amazon, good reads or at your favorite book store!

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Bathroom Selfies Vol. I

Bathroom: Shake Shack on South Lamar, Austin TX. December 22, 2015
Bathroom: Shake Shack on South Lamar, Austin TX. December 22, 2015

Last winter I started taking phone photos of myself in bathrooms around Austin. The first one was due to matching the bathroom. The second, because I looked cute in my out-on-the-town outfit. Some were to remember how beautiful the bathrooms were. Some were to mark the occasion. Over 6 months, there were only 10 shots taken, so by no means have I done this is every bathroom I’ve been in, but mainly because I didn’t know what to do with the photos yet. Last week, I finally started an IG account separate from Manic Trout and it’s given me the freedom to post things like Bathroom Selfies. So I hope to continue the series. I’ve honestly been really into bathroom design since I was really little so this feels pretty awesome.

Bathroom: Vince Youngs Steakhouse, Downtown Austin, TX. January 4th, 2016.
Bathroom: Vince Youngs Steakhouse, Downtown Austin, TX. January 4th, 2016.

 

Bathroom: South Austin Dentists Office on South Lamar, Austin TX. January 6th, 2016.
Bathroom: South Austin Dentists Office on South Lamar, Austin TX. January 6th, 2016.

 

Bathroom: Jeffrey's in Clarksville, Austin TX. March 22nd, 2016.
Bathroom: Jeffrey’s in Clarksville, Austin TX. March 22nd, 2016.

 

Bathroom: Juliet Ristorante on Barton Springs, Austin TX. April 26th, 2016.
Bathroom: Juliet Ristorante on Barton Springs, Austin TX. April 26th, 2016.

 

Bathroom: Launderette on Holly St, Austin TX. May 6th, 2016.
Bathroom: Launderette on Holly St, Austin TX. May 6th, 2016.

 

Bathroom: South Congress Hotel, Austin TX. May 23rd, 2016.
Bathroom: South Congress Hotel, Austin TX. May 23rd, 2016.

 

Bathroom: Elizabeth St Cafe on South 1st St with Laura Noel, Austin TX. May 24th, 2016.
Bathroom: Elizabeth St Cafe on South 1st St with Laura Noel, Austin TX. May 24th, 2016.

 

Bathroom: Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin TX. May 25th, 2016.
Bathroom: Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin TX. May 25th, 2016.

 

Bathroom: Portable Restroom Trailer at a wedding in Quogue, Southampton NY. June 18th, 2016.
Bathroom: Portable Restroom Trailer at a wedding at a residence in Quogue, Southampton NY. June 18th, 2016.
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Behind the scenes: the process of releasing a new collection

This is the workbench in the middle of sample making. I am not a messy person, but at this stage, chaos is part of the process!
This is the workbench in the middle of sample making. I am not a messy person, but at this stage, chaos is part of the process!

Ever wondered what goes into a new collection after it’s designed but before it’s released?

The FW16 Collection will be arriving in just a couple of short weeks. The arrival marks when you are able to purchase the jewelry from ManicTrout.com. The reality is that the jewelry in this collection was designed months ago, the samples have been made and there has already been a preview party at West Elm here in Austin!

Today I wanted to share with you some of the in progress shots of what happens before a collection makes its official online debut.

An in progress shot of one of the new designs. I spy Tigers Eye! 
An in progress shot of one of the new designs. I spy Tigers Eye!

I typically begin designing a collection about a year to nine months before the official release date (when it’s available to the public online). I start with drawings, doodles, notes and lots of research on what colors, animals, gemstones and price points I’ll be working with. Once I have the designs down, I make samples (enough to have in the studio and send off to press), photograph each piece multiple ways and create line sheets. The line sheets are submitted to the press and to stores months ahead of time so I try to be quick to get those done after the samples and photos are finished. I also schedule to have a lifestyle photo shoot done if I want that style campaign for that season.

Stunning sodalite.
Stunning sodalite.

Sometimes things don’t always go as planned and there are always delays for random reasons. Or for designer gush moments like when the gemstones I’m considering for a new collection start to arrive, it sometimes changes the direction I was headed when I see them in person. An excellent example of this happened with these Sodalite stones. They are so incredible in person and more beautiful than I thought they would be that I decided they needed a different animal than I had planned. This threw everything off and I found myself redesigning part of the collection late in the game. It made everything a bit hectic but it was a great decision and the necklace with these stones is so lovely!

Outfit post teasers with pieces from the new collection!
Outfit post teasers with pieces from the new collection!

During this time, after the samples are made and before the collection debuts I take photos, I most importantly…wear the jewelry. This is a key step as I need to make sure each piece is comfortable, looks good and wears well. It also gives me a chance to get feedback from people. There are some pieces in this collection that I’m already obsessed with after wearing them!

FW16_BTS_04
Our table for the Preview Party at West Elm in Austin.

For this collection I tried something new that went so well, I hope to continue the tradition. I had a Preview Party here in Austin! Saturday afternoon, I set up at the West Elm on 5th St and brought the FW16 Collection to preview along with a few favorite pieces for those instant gratification shoppers. I asked my friend Kelly to join me as she is launching a handbag company this fall, Festival Bag Co. and our products go great together. It was a fun way to meet new people and get feedback on what pieces caught the eyes of shoppers.

With Kelly Weeks, designer and owner of Festival Bag Co.
With Kelly Weeks, designer and owner of Festival Bag Co.

The last part of the process will be to create the copy for the website and do all of the coding. I release a collection first on ManicTrout.com and then on sites that I also sell on, Modalyst, Etsy Wholesale, Etsy, Amazon Handmade, Aftcra and a few others. I will also be sharing images on social media throughout this time. After the release, I will continue to pitch to the press, stores and influencers for a few weeks before my focus moves onto the next collection. I release quarterly collections, so I am always working on three to four collections at a time at different stages.

I am so pleased that I put myself out there and tried something new with this release! The Preview Party was so much fun and the FW16 Collection was so well received that it made me super excited to share the new collection with you in its full glory in a few weeks. I can’t wait!!

Thank you for learning about the process of releasing a collection with me!

{As I’m making you wait, it’s only fair that I spoil you a bit: so please enjoy 25% off site wide through August 26th with code backtoschool at checkout.}

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I’d be happy if you’d DI-Try

DITry

When we moved into our new house, we inherited ceiling fans and lights that required reading a manual to operate them. Thank goodness for google as I have spent many nights in bed downloading and reading pdfs on operating these mysterious marvels. At first, I was so overwhelmed with unpacking and decorating that I tried to get Adam to handle it but I kid you not, he actually looked at me as we tried to figure out how to open one of them up to change a bulb, and suggested that we should call a professional. To change a lightbulb. I recalled the post I did about our tasks in our relationship and that I am in charge of these things and immediately fired him from the job.  So that is how I ended up reading manuals on lighting fixtures. You know, it’s a good thing I did, most of them are pretty fancy and were obviously picked out by someone who enjoys life made better by technology. The fans are all operated by buttons on the wall and have 6 speed settings and light dimmers involved. I doubt I would have figured that or the crazy different bulbs for each one without it and have enjoyed using them in full functioning glory.

It’s interesting owning a home with someone and seeing what they think they can do themselves. I grew up with a mom who was single through my teens and who was a beast with doing stuff herself and taught us all to be the same. We all had to climb down in the well and change fuses and could use all tools with ease. What’s really interesting is that my sister and I both married men who had dads who were crazy DIYers but neither of our husbands seem to think they are able to do anything without calling for help. When we first moved in, I balked that he made us hire a plumber to hook up the gas dryer, but I understand his fear with gas. We also had an electrician come and do a long list of things that involved drilling holes in walls and wiring that was overwhelming to us. Besides that though, I’m of camp DIY when you own a house, in less it would take me so long to do something that its cheaper to hire out than use my time. We’ve talked about this and Adam likes the idea of being a Mr. Fix it like his Dad was, so I have been giving him pep talks and telling him to find youtube videos to figure stuff out. I am proud to say that he has been fixing things outside and he’s been working on his own motorcycle and even built a box thing for skateboarding with this new confidence. All I’ve asked is that he at least DI-Try before he calls for help and it’s amazing what he can do!

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Top 5 Favorite Things Right Now

Shoe boxes in action in the studi
Shoe boxes in action in the studio

I enjoyed my Top 5 Favorite Things so much a few weeks ago, that I have decided to do it again. That’s the beauty of having your own blog after all, you share whatever you want.

1. Jelly hair elastics. I have been using these for a few years and feel that it is my duty as a person with fine long hair who is athletic to bring these up. These things do. not. move. You can jump up and down, run for miles, punch and kick shit and get soaked with sweat and your ponytail will be right where you left it. They are not the easiest to remove as you can’t just pull it off your ponytail, and instead have to unwind it, but no big deal. I bought mine at the grocery store, but Amazon has them too. (Scunci No-slip Grip Evolution Jelly Ponytailers)

2. Crime shows. I have yet to meet one that I did’t love. I actually screamed in excitement yesterday when I saw that there was a new season of NCIS on Netflix. I have watched probably most of the shows out there, but am always looking for suggestions for new ones. I have a few days coming up where I will have to lay low on the couch and take it easy so I’m currently trying to prep myself with good tv…well, you know what I mean.

3. Jicama Tortillas. My gal pal Cyndie brought these to book club to go with her epic cuban pork and holy moly, they’re amazing! They don’t crack/rip/break as you’d think they would, are crisp, delicious (I have a crazy crush on jicama) and really good for you compared to a real tortilla. I’m not sure if other states have them but we have them at HEB here in Texas in the produce section and I HIGHLY recommend you try them.

4. The Container Store shoe boxes. I bought 2 cases for my studio when we moved and I’m ready to order a few more cases. They are great for organizing, well made and cheaper than most boxes this size. I heart them.

5. Magic Erasure. I have been using these for years and years and every single time I use one, I agree that it’s magic. Every house should have one on hand so you can experience it’s magic powers.

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