Dueling Schedules

Adam & Sierra
A rare evening when neither one of us is working.

Being self employed and having my studio at home makes it so I can have a pretty flexible schedule, however the flexibility factor has been being put to the test recently and everything is failing. You see, Adam now has a schedule that is typical to restaurant management and is all over the place. Neither of us are functioning very well with it. It took Adam a month to be able to do anything besides sleep in the hours that he’s not at work and by trying to go along with when his routine, I was loosing my mind. You see, I love a good schedule. It helps keep my head clear and the blues away. Adam also like a good schedule, but he has no choice…I however do. Somedays he has to be at work at 7am, some days 4pm and some days in between. Some night he gets home as late as 3am. When he gets home, the dogs go crazy and jump on my head and bark and as Adam is all amped up from work, he adds to the chaos and I wake up and can’t go back to sleep. Being a night owl anyway, the obvious choice was for me to work until 1 or 2am, so I’m up when he gets home. The problem is that on the days his schedule is the opposite of this, we don’t see each other as he goes to bed by 11pm and I am still wide awake. Honestly, it’s better than when I was trying to mimic his schedule, as Adam loves naps, he was making up for lost sleep, I was however just working through the longer days and exhausting myself. Mimicing his crazy schedule is not the answer. So what we’re doing seems to be the best option at the moment for us though. It’s just hard to get used to.

Do you have the opposite schedule as your spouse? How do you deal with it? Any tips for making sure you still get in a bit of face time each day?

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Top 5: Work Out Accessories

Top 5 Work Out Accessories: Running
Top 5 Work Out Accessories: Running

Yesterday I snapped a photo of my sneakers and IG’d that I mostly work out for the gear. This made me start thinking about what my favorite exercise gear actually is. This of course led me to want to write about it. As I run outdoors and do high impact aerobic videos indoors, I decided to run down my Top 5 for each activity…because what fun is doing something if you can’t accessorize…kidding! (not really).

Top 5 Work Out Accessories for Running Outdoors:

1. Lululemon Inspire Crop II pants. Thanks to my sister Holly who gave me my first pair for a birthday, these are now all I will run in for most of the year (until it gets cold). I love/hate her for it because they are amazing i.e. comfortable and they have this lovely behind the knee mesh which sort of helps you stay cool. BUT I now have an addiction to $98 running pants.

2. Wrist bands with reflector fabric for running at dusk, which I try to do in the summer as it’s so hot here in Texas. Also convenient for wiping sweat and snot off of your face. I throw them in the wash with the rest of the clothes that are soaked in sweat.

3. iPod Nano. Once I bought the nano, I never went back to a big ipod again for running. So perfectly tiny and can be worn in a watch band or clipped onto your clothing. I was wearing it as a watch but the cord running up my arm and the speed that I drained the battery by using the timer made me buy #4 and clip the nano to my shoulder strap.

4. A marathon watch. I bought this little Timex from Amazon for under $15. It’s perfect. It has a timer for running intervals (my favorite thing to do) and I can sweat all over it and beat it up and not feel bad. Note that I never run more than 4 miles so we can call it a “marathon” watch from here on out.

5. Asics Gel Kayano Sneakers. I discovered these about a decade ago and love them. I usually buy a new pair once a year and make them my indoor, aerobics shoe and then the pair that they replace become my outdoor running sneakers. I have had countless pairs of these and cannot recommend them enough for both activities.

Top 5 Work Out Accessories: Videos
Top 5 Work Out Accessories: Videos

Top 5 Work Out Accessories for Videos Indoors:

1. My two current favorite work out instructors are Jillian Michaels (I have 10 of hers, they are all awesome) and Kelly Coffey-Meyer (I only have 4, but all are great). Their workouts are fast, 30-45 minutes, intermediate and/or advanced and almost all full body toning. If you like high intensity, athletic style, aggressive work outs, these ladies bring it. There are no dance moves and nothing zen like about any one of their workouts (thankfully).

2. In my arsenal, I  have both foam covered weights and these hex hand weights, I prefer the hex. They have a longer hand area which is also thinner than the foam version, they just feel better in your hand. If you know you’ll sweat a lot, you may want to wear leather weight gloves with these (which are different from #3 as they lack weight…this seems more confusing than it is).

3. Weighted gloves. Filled with sand, they add weight when you’re punching the air. Especially useful with Kelly Coffey-Meyer workouts. I bought these on Amazon and made sure to get a ladies pair as my hands are small.

4. Kettlebell. This one is 10lbs and from Reebok and I think I bought it at Target. I love kettlebell workouts, they’re fun! I do get nervous sometimes that I will accidentally fling the thing through the TV, but so far no casualties.

5. As I already talked about the sneakers, this time I will mention the inserts. Every time I buy a new pair of sneakers, I swap out the insoles for Sof Sole inserts, specifically, the Althlete ones (bright blue with yellow bottoms). They make my feet happy.

June ended up being a fantastic month!
June ended up being a fantastic month!

I have one last thing to note. I have issues with keeping myself motivated to work out, especially when my schedule shifts or a time change occurs. One of my biggest motivators is to give myself a red dot on the calendar that hangs in from of my computer for each day that I work out. It feels amazing when they start to add up and the way my brain works, I want to keep adding more!

What are your favorite work out accessories?

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Current Inspiration

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I’ll have to admit that the only thing that my current favorite inspiration images are inspiring me to do, is enjoy everyone’s favorite summer treat…ice cream. Although the beauty of mu current obsession is that it is not restricted to the dairy delight, but to all frozen treats, including this fantastic idea of making watermelon pops! Looking to expand your frozen intake this summer, check out my Frozen Bliss pinterest board and see what inspires you!

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Playing hooky

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We’re in the last few days of June, summer is officially here and it’s hot in Texas. It’s also about to be my slowest month of the year with Manic Trout. So when Adam begged that at 4pm today, I take a break for a few hours and go to Twin Falls, which part of the Green Belt here in Austin, I didn’t have to think that hard about it. It’s been rare that he has had a sunny day off with all the rain we’ve been having, so we both jumped at the chance to go for a swim with friends.  I’m so happy we did as it was a beautiful hike to the falls and back, the water was perfect, it wasn’t too crowded and thanks to all that rain, both little falls were flowing beautifully!

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Deep Thoughts From The Past Week

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At Lenoir in Austin, TX

1. Peeping through windows in fences is fun! It also prompts lots of poses…I should really peep though more fence windows.

2. I really like having short hair in theory. But in practice, I didn’t like it 90% of the time as for me it was much more high maintenance than really long hair is. I think this is due to my fine curly hair…it need attention to look good short. 

3. The bond that you have with people you attended boarding school with is like no other.

4. Volunteering does for my heart what exercise does for my head. I have been figuring out what to do next for too long since stepping down from my last board position and I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I finally started again. Service is good for the soul.

5. Having two dogs in bed with you is not conducive to a solid nights sleep. I don’t think I’ve had one night of uninterrupted sleep since Mora moved in. And its almost always Faye who is disruptive.

6. Which brings me to my next deep thought, that Rat Terriers are incredibly food motivated and get worse when there are multiple of them. Are they egging each other on?

7. I’m pretty sure that I only eat fro-yo as an excuse to eat candy. Which by the way, I have been really good about besides a handful of fro yo splurges in the last 6 weeks!

8. People in the South, and Texas is included in this, move slow on many levels. Shipping seems to be included in this. There is no sense of urgency here!

9. Running in 100 degree temps is brutal, but it’s also a little extra satisfying when you’re done and you know you survived it.

10. This one is more of a question…is it necessary to drink water in the middle of a 40 minute run when it is 90-95 degrees out? Somedays I’m ok, but other days I think that I should have one of those little water bottle belts when it’s this hot. I would prefer not to have to wear one or carry water though, so if I’m fine not having water until after I’d like to wait.

 

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Clean vs Organized

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I’m sure there are people out there who have both a neurotically clean house and meticulously organized one. I must not know those people. I’ll admit I am insanely organized, but through no real effort. It comes to me as naturally as breathing. I admittedly spend a decent amount of time doing tasks to promote order to the stuff in my life, but they are tasks I enjoy doing. I believe in a place for everything and everything in it’s place and in order to live that way, you need to be constantly rearranging and staying on top of things. Even laundry is not so bad and I stay incredibly on top if it, but mainly to keep it from becoming visible or clutter. I also change the sheets and clean the kitchen neurotically as there is something about where I sleep and eat that makes me need extremely clean spaces. I do not however like to do cleaning tasks such as vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting or cleaning the bathrooms at all. For years I had a cleaning lady who would come in twice a week and do all of these dreaded tasks, but as I work at home full time now, it was stressing me out when I needed to work and either had to leave, or have someone was here cleaning for hours.  Truthfully I felt guilty and would end up spending the time cleaning with her and that was just weird. So now I am left to tackle it all, and I just avoid the things I don’t like to do. The result is that embarrassingly enough, it sometimes means that weeks go by without vacuuming. Or mopping…oh wait, weeks? Yeah, I’ve never mopped in this house. How is it that a person who freaks out if the curtains are not hanging correctly or keys are not in the “key spot” can not care if the floor is dirty? The sad part is that when I finally get grossed out and get out the sponges and sprays, that I get it all done in a little over an hour. An hour! That’s all it takes to manically clean the house, I spend more time each day on facebook! Unfortunately this confession will do little to change my habits, but at least I feel a bit lighter having told you, it was cathartic. Just promise to give me an hours notice before you come over so I can pretend that none of this is true.

 

 

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Salad Season

Salads
A medley of salads from past summers. Thank you IG for giving me a reason to record these.

As soon as the weather starts heating up, I seem unable to eat hot food at home. I crave the occasional ramen, but for the most part, I am eating salads. This is a pretty loose terms that means mostly raw veggies and a protein. So maybe I should say “salads”. For the most part, I start with a bed of greens…in the past I was almost always reaching for baby spinach, but this summer I have been favoring green leaf lettuce. I then add handfuls of colorful raw veggies, sometimes a fruit such as mango or strawberries and every so often olives, nuts, seeds, pickles or capers. I add a protein and as I do eat meat, it’s usually chicken, prosciutto or tuna. I did go through a crab phase that was pretty epic a few years ago…I should revisit that. I currently have been buying frozen cooked shrimp and that’s been awesome, I will keep that going. Eating paleo, I have not eaten beans in awhile, but this summer, I brought hummus back into my routine because it’s just so good, I can’t stay away. For dressing I prefer naked salads with a little Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt or if I want a bit more oomph, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I also have been making my own mayo, so I started using it with tuna again, and that counts as a dressing sometimes. One summer I was making a lot of dijon tarragon dressing, but I prefer naked veggies so I stopped. This year I have been having “salads” usually twice a day, so the second one tends to be more utilitarian and not as pretty. Here are my recent creations and thank you again to IG for encouraging me to photograph them.

 

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Green Leaf Lettuce, Prosciutto, Cucumber, Tomato, Red Peppers, Mango and Balsamic Vinegar
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Green Leaf Lettuce, Chicken, Cucumber, Tomato, Avocado, Black Olives and Balsamic Vinegar
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Green Leaf Lettuce, Shrimp, Cucumber, Tomato, Red Peppers and Sugar Snap Peas
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Green Leaf Lettuce, Hummus, Cucumber, Carrots, Red Peppers and Mango
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Green Leaf Lettuce, Tuna with Pickles and Homemade Mayo, Cucumber and Tomatoes
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Deconstructed Gyro: Green Leaf Lettuce, Lamb, Cucumber, Tomato, Olives and Tzatziki Sauce

 

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Biblio-files for May 2015

Books May 2015

When I sit down to write about the books I read the previous month, I have usually already read a few more. This makes for a great test of how good the books I’m about to review were. If I still have thoughts of them swirling in my head, that’s usually a great sign. If I have to pick up the book and read the back to recall what it was about…not so good. Let me start off with saying that I had no idea what the top two books were about. When I read their backs, I recalled quickly their story, but it was nothing that you would miss out on if you skipped them. I’m here only to tell the truth, friends.

1. Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler. It was a lovely book. A nice story. Excellent summer reading for sitting in the sun, watching the waves and enjoying in your downtime. I think I was hoping for a Secret Life of Bees or The Help. This was no where near as wonderful as those books were. Actually, thats a great point…have you read those? You really should, skip this one and go read those.

2. The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine. It was just fine, but kind of boring, bordering on chick lit and not very memorable. If you come across a free copy, give it a whirl, otherwise don’t bother.

3. Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt. A story about a southern family in present time. It included many strong southern women, so you know I enjoyed that. Each character had some time devoted to their back story and it got a little slow in the middle. But then like a fire cracker, it became very exciting at the end and left a great final impression.

4. Chicken by David Henry Sterry. About a young man who prostitutes himself out to women for a few months of his life. Not in a “let me do this for a story” situation, but because that was where his life led him. It’s biographical and heart wrenching. The author states in the beginning that it took him many, many years to be able to look back on that time and process it to write about, but that it needed to be done. This was a great book.

Sooo…what have you been reading? I’ve been thinking about this list from Huff Post about the 21 books from the last 5 years that every women should read and as I have only read one of them (Yay for Tina Fey!), am considering making it my mission for the summer.

See all of my past Biblio-files posts here.

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Summer Style

Toms, Vans and Frye Carson Ballet Flats are my go to summer shoes.
Toms, Vans and Frye Carson Ballet Flats are my go to summer shoes.

Being a person who only wears skirts and dresses, you can imagine how happy getting dressed in the warmer months makes me. It’s as simple as pulling a dress over my head or putting on a white t and a skirt. Slip on a pair of flats and whatever Manic Trout jewelry I’m currently obsessed with and I’m done! Let’s pretend I’m a fashion blogger and I’ll show you what I’ve been wearing the past month…

At Lenoir in a polka dor strapless dress.
At Lenoir in a polka dot strapless dress.
At Second Bar + Kitchen in a seersucker strapless dress.
At Second Bar + Kitchen in a seersucker strapless dress.
A forever favorite, this pink skirt has fruit embroidered around the bottom!
A forever favorite, this pink skirt has fruit embroidered around the bottom!
In a white t and skirt on my way to a birthday party.
In a white t and skirt on my way to a birthday party.
This sunshine yellow skirt always make me smile.
This sunshine yellow skirt always make me smile…and it twirls!
A sailboat print dress was perfect for vintage shopping.
A sailboat print dress was perfect for vintage shopping.
Navy striped dress and pink cardigan, perfect for date night of dinner and a movie.
Navy striped dress and pink cardigan, perfect for date night of dinner and a movie.
All dressed up for the opening of Shake Shack in Austin.
All dressed up for the opening of Shake Shack in Austin.

 

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Deep Thoughts From The Past Week

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1. Feedback from people that get you and what you do is invaluable. I have had two interactions this week, one with a wholesale customer and one with a magazine editor who both inspired me to make two such obvious, right in front of my face design ideas come to life that I was shocked I hadn’t thought of them before. Sometimes you need that last little push that you get in talking with people who love what you do but are not close to the work.

2. When you are chomping at the bit for opportunities, emails and exciting things…nothing happens. But look forward to a quiet morning and watch out, all hell will break loose!

3. The Austin clothing label, Emily Hallman is closing its doors this month. While the exact reason has not yet been revealed, in a blog post this morning, Emily mentioned that she has had an overwhelming response to this announcement and then adds something to the effect of: where have you all been? There is a very important lesson to be learned here. Brands cannot exist on dreams alone. Money must be made to survive. The word needs to constantly spread to both reach new customers and keep the love alive among the current ones. If you are a fan of a small label, be it fashion, illustration, food…whatever…please keep this in mind when you are on social media. You don’t have to spend money to show support and help make the brand succeed. Simply “liking” their posts can really go a long way!

4. I am currently failing at email. My inbox is winning and yet, I don’t really care.

5. Chia Pudding. I am part intrigued, part annoyed at the hype around yet another “super food” (I get the same way about best selling books, I eventually give into it). Does anyone have a recipe they recommend?

6. This week I finished binge watching X Files, watched a few episodes of the new Orange Is The New Black, cried my way through season 1 of Chasing Life and started season 4 of Scandal. I will sum up my thoughts here with one sentence for each: Once Moulder left, I was over the X files. I really don’t give a crap about Alex and Piper and their relationship and wish less time was spent on it. Sob, sniffle, laugh, sob, ugly cry, smile though the tears. Why are we supposed to care so much about Olivia Pope and her affair with the president, does it interest anyone at this point???

7. If there is one square inch of mud in the back yard, Mora will find it and get it all over herself.

8. Mid July is oddly a very popular time for people I know in NYC to plan trips to visit Austin. I’m afraid to tell them the truth about the weather here then. Hint: it’s hot.

9. I am a much happier person when I work out everyday…even if it’s for 10 minutes.

10. The Entourage movie is great. Not really a deep thought, I just thought you should know that.

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