The power of girl talk

Alcomar Patio in Austin, TX
A great side effect of girl time is that I am always trying new fantastic lunch spots! Today was at Alcomar on South 1st.

I was planning on writing a Deep Thoughts post today, as it’s been awhile, but then my first thought became so long, that I decided it was worth some more brain space. You see today had not one, but two situations where I was with awesome ladies whom I see at least once a month for some girl time. The first was Cynthia who came to the studio this morning so we could work together and plan out her accessories for an upcoming conference. We’ve been talking about doing this for some time and decided it would be best to bring the dresses. It was a great plan and worked really well, so yay for that! The second was lunch with Kelly with whom I have lunch every month where we gab about mostly my jewelry business and her in the works handbag business. We share what’s been going on in both and end up usually each bringing up a dilemma that we end up brainstorming over.

What is amazing is that both of these events were relaxed, chatty and super fun. I however was at one point taking notes at lunch because we stumbled upon a solution for a few problems I was having and I was afraid I would somehow forget them. Really there is no fear of doing so as I am so excited about what we talked about. This morning while I was pulling jewelry from the closet and draping it all over Cynthia, it was very clear what I needed to focus on for the next few seasons and I was so inspired to design them. On my way home from lunch, all I could think about was how much I love that women have such a natural rhythm of talking about things. The conversation always circles around and flits from one subject to the next and comes back around to touch back on things. It jumps and gains momentum as we get excited and so much is always covered! It’s pretty amazing how I felt so refreshed, inspired and excited…simply by hanging out with friends for a couple of hours each!

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The past 10 days have been jam packed with activities. We had two waves of house guests as well as logging in a good amount of hours with friends. Due to the schedules that Adam and I both keep these days, it was a bit outside of our norm and made it feel as though we were the ones on vacation! This also explains my absence from blogging for the past week…when I did get into the studio it was pretty quick and focused on getting orders out the door. I spent more time doing laundry (so many sheets, blankets and towels!) than I did in the studio last week, ha! I oddly took very few photos though all of the fun, and the majority of the photos that I snapped were with my sister Gillian when she was here as I very rarely see her. Regardless, I decided to collect all of my favorite moments right here as one of the best parts about blogging is that you are keeping a record of your life, and I love looking back at past events. So here is our July, 2015 impromptu Stay-cation

Barton Springs
At Barton Springs Pool
At Barton Springs Pool
Sister antics at dinner
Sister antics at dinner
One of many, many wonderful meals out on the town
One of many, many wonderful meals out on the town
Aggressive sister love in 2011 (top) and 2015 (bottom)
Aggressive sister love in 2011 (top) and 2015 (bottom)

We ate all the things, saw all the places, listened to live music, went dancing, ate more of the things, went new phone shopping (4 of us have new phones now, yay!), played board games and ate some more things. In the wake of all of this merriment, I’m a bit exhausted, bloated from eating all the things, and some how haven’t had time to wash my hair in three days, but I had such a fun time!

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Playing hooky


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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X Games Austin 2015 AKA: Where to find all the hot skater boys

In the booth with the Street Skate park behind us.

Thinking back on all the biggest crushes of my life, I would have to say that most of them have been skate board proficient. My first crush, my first kiss, my first boyfriend (you know, when it consists of holding hand and sharing a soda), my first love…all wonderfully glorious skater boys. I later branched out to jocks in general, but those hot little trouble makers still caught my eye like no other. I really think it was no small coincidence that the great love of my life happens to be an ex pro snow boarder and excellent skate boarder. Life came full circle and I knew it was meant to be, ha!

Adam Fujawa and Steve Caballero at X Games Austin 2015
Adam with Steve Caballero

Last year when we found out that the summer X Games were coming to Austin, and on the weekend of Adam’s birthday, I’m not sure who was more excited to go. We didn’t even have to talk about if it was worth sacrificing most other events to get great seats for the Street Skate finals and were equally enthralled with the entire experience. I was on the fence for about 2 minutes on deciding between X Games 2015 or my 20 year high school reunion. It again was falling on Adams birthday and we were both pumped. Then the dates of his annual work retreat were announced. Oh it was a sad, sad day and for a few weeks, we both were worried that we wouldn’t be able to go. Luckily the skate gods were smiling down on us because at the last minute he was able to free up Sunday and we spent his actual birthday out at the Circuit of The Americas sweating profusely.

Adam Fujawa and Danny Way at X Games Austin 2015
Adam with Danny Way

We also lucked out as we were gifted amazing passes by Adams friend Mike, who he grew up with in Aspen with and is now the official X Games DJ. This meant we no longer had to secure open admission seats early, so we were able to catch the inaugural Skate and BMX Big Air Doubles event before we camped out at Street Skate. It was great, Big Air always is (well, except the bad fall we saw, that was not great) but we were on a mission.

Tony Hawk
Tony Hawk

There was about 45 minutes before Street Skate began and with our snazzy passes we were able to enter the closed off area in the middle of the 2 skate boarding events and go up into the Street Skate tower where the athletes, brand owners and media are shaded from the sun for the event. It was amazing. We ended up staying up there for the afternoon as the VIP bleachers were in the direct 100 degree sun.

One of the many, many photos I took in stealth mode
One of the many, many photos I took, that is Adams elbow on the right…I was sooooo close!

Adam met both Steve Caballero and Danny Way while I hyperventilated when I looked up and Tony Hawk was standing right in front of me. He was my very first celeb crush back in the 80’s and it was thrilling to see him so close. He left to go the announcers booth though, which was good as I was able to turn all of my attention to Ryan Sheckler. So about that…last year, I was gazing at him from afar and admiring how hot he was in person. Some say he’s douchy, some say he’s the skater version of Justin Bieber, but I say, hey, he’s philanthropic with his fame and success and easy on the eyes and only looking better with age. Plus, have seen the guy skate??? This year, I was less than 2 feet away from him except when he was skating and I could pay attention to nothing else. All of the photos I took were of him…all of the videos I took were of his runs. It was a very mypoic day, but if you were there next to me, especially when he took his shirt off for 5 minutes, you would have agreed with what I was doing. Adam has been teasing me about it ever since, I was crushing that hard.

So you can enjoy him in all his full topless glory.
So you can enjoy him in all his topless glory. Photo credit: Peta.

My only regret is that I didn’t go up to him and take a photo with him, it was tough though…he was either skating, recovering from skating in the heat or running to accept his medal, so there really wasn’t an appropriate time. Oh well, there’s always next year, because you know we’ll be there!

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Deep thoughts

Mammatus Clouds over South Austin, May 25, 2015
Mammatus Clouds over South Austin, May 25, 2015

1. The deepest thought recently is still about what I do here on this blog. I’m getting there…but I still think about it more than I write here, obviously.

2. I have lived in this house for almost 2 years. The entire time, there has been a whole foods less than 5 miles away and I never went in it. Last week I remembered that you can buy prepared food there. Now I have been there 3 times in less than one week.

3. You know in instagram, when you click on the search and select photos…well tonight my feed was almost all photos of watermelon. What is that all about??

4. Dealing with major storms like tornado warnings, severe thunderstorms and flash floods is exhausting.

5. The rare and elusive Mammatus clouds were over head in Austin Monday evening. It was for some reason really bright in our part of the sky though so they were kind of lame when I took a photo. You can see my photo above and then google “mammatus clouds austin” see how awesome they were. Unbelievably gorgeous and maybe worth all the crazy weather? Maybe not.

6. When glass windows explode into your garage shards of it get everywhere. In every single nook and cranny. It took me three days just to get it all off of my car, and I still saw the glimmer of a tiny piece on my windshield when I was speeding to whole foods earlier.

7. As much as my generation still gets a lot of nosey smack talked about women not having kids, especially when they opt to marry, its pretty crazy how many of my peers are in the same life path as compared to our mothers generation. (This has been a big and emotional topic on my facebook page and I will one day write about it here, just not yet).

8. Mammatus is one of those words that looses all meaning when you say it over and over. Like asparagus.

9. I broke my own rule and have been trying to adapt the deliciousness of instant pudding to dairy free. I typically try and avoid the fake version of foods as its just never the same (see turkey bacon or non dairy cheese). After a week of trying different recipes and ways to make it, I have finally come to accept that it sucks unless its made the right way. Never eat the fake version!

10. My youngest sister texted me two sentences a few weeks ago: “If you wrote a book, I’d read it. Just sayin :)” She is not the first person to tell me that…all signs point in the direction of writing here more often…will it happen is the question.


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My birthday at the rodeo!

At Rodeo Austin

I celebrated a birthday on Sunday and Adam surprised me with tickets to Rodeo Austin. It was a great idea on his part, as I have been bugging him to go for 3 years. I have been to rodeos in NY, but this was my first Texas rodeo, and as you can imagine, it was an entirely different beast. First of all, if you tell people on Austin that you went to the rodeo, they ask what band you saw. That’s the first and only question. I found this incredibly odd as we didn’t even stay for the band, but also because who goes to a rodeo to not watch cowboys???


The second glaring difference is that when you get to the rodeo, you first encounter a carnival and then a mini fair…complete with pig races and livestock judging. As we had not been before, Adam wanted to make sure we had time to do and see everything before the 3pm rodeo, so we arrived at about 11. Next time I think I’ll be good with getting to the grounds at 2:30 and going immediately into the grandstand. Being at the fair so early in the day did however make it possible to enjoy a donut for breakfast and cotton candy for lunch. This was followed at home by cake for dinner and cookies for dessert…a birthday well played in my opinion!


Admittedly, I think we had as much fun dressing for the rodeo than we did going to it. Kidding! The rodeo itself was wonderful, and we were lucky to be upgraded to 2nd row seats about 20 minutes in. We were even hit with dirt flinging off of hooves as the barrel racing girls tore around the barrel in front of our seats. The little kids riding sheep was perhaps one of the highlights, but tied neck and neck with the bull riders. I can’t wait to go back next year!

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I blame it all on Cedar Fever

Rihanna, Grammys 2015, Giambattista Valli
My fav look from the Grammys last night…mainly for the amount of drama in the movement and because: tulle.

Everyone told me that it would take 3 years of living in Austin before the symptoms of Cedar Fever (our worst allergy season) fully kicked in and kicked my butt. I laughed with everyone when they said this but secretly feared when that day would come. Well that day came. Or it could just be a particularly brutal year of it. Either way, I have been blaming everything from eating too much candy (it’s gotten out of control again) to why I have not blogged in so long on Cedar Fever. It just feels appropriate.

I plan on powering through the allergy fog though and while I try and keep my eyes open and avoid the temptation of a mid day nap let me give you a quick update on things besides my seasonal allergies. I am still in the midst of an insane rebranding. At one point it felt like I was personally being rebranded to the point where I had no idea what was going on (this was the real reason for my absence here…how can one blog when one does not know who they are??). January was pretty much a nightmare as often happens when the nitty gritty aspects of a project, you know, the stuff you keep avoiding, got hashed out. The dust seems to be finally settling though and both the SS15 and FW15 Collections have been designed in the direction of the new brand, so we’re officially through the worst of it I hope. I’m both excited and terrified about most of all this still, but that is for another post. I  have a lot of thoughts (oh so many thoughts!!) on how to share the what and whys of all of this, but I’m not ready to tackle that story yet.

In the meantime, I wanted to try and get back to it over here at Her Daily Muse. Honestly, I have been having issues on what this place should be. It began as the blog for Manic Trout and slowly evolved into its own entity, but somehow giving Manic Trout it’s own blog late last year made me unable to post anything here anymore. But I have things to say and share and everyday I miss writing here…so here I am. Trying.

Besides what’s been going on with Manic Trout, I want to catch you up on what I’ve been reading, how its been going eating Paleo for a year and what I’ve been up to with Adam being gone for most of the past 5 months for work. Oh and we’re getting another dog this week! So let promise to meet here again tomorrow, shall we? In the mean time, what’s new with you?


photo via @giambattistavallipr

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Top 5 Happy Moments This Week

Our program from dinner at Barley Swine.
Our program from dinner at Barley Swine.

The minute I created a blog just for Manic Trout, I knew I would end up neglecting this space too often. So even though it’s the holiday madness, I wanted to share a few things that have made me smile this week…because, well, when you are in the midst of chaos, it really is the little things.

1. Adam is home for the week before he heads off to Chicago and then Las Vegas for work, we’ve been cramming in as many things as possible as we see other once a month right now. This basically means that we have been eating all of his favorite foods both at home and out and about. Its been a very yummy week.

2. One of the culinary highlights was completely unplanned but due to holiday parties taking over restaurants on a night when our plans were cancelled last minute. We we able to snag a table at Barley Swine, and made the happy discovery that they have switched over to a prix fixe tasting menu (I’m really into tasting menus right now). It was amazing and I highly recommend it! They provide you with a program of your dinner, and that’s what you see above…yummmmm!

3. After a wonderfully awesome Cyber Monday, Adam agreed to let me go to Big Top (I say let me as my candy addiction got out of control again this fall and I need someone to be the voice of reason). I have sacks of candy now to fuel me through the next 3 weeks. The highlights were of course gummies: army men, mustaches and spicy chilli peppers!

4. When visiting with our niece and nephew the other day, 4 year old Olivia was telling me about her recent meeting of Elsa at parade. She told me that when Elsa went by, she yelled “Hey Elsa!!!! I’m you’re 4th biggest fan!!!!”.  As you can imagine, the cuteness of this caught Elsas attention and Olivia received both a hug and a peck on the cheek, which pretty much made her whole year. Her telling me this story made mine 😉

5. I have finally figured out the winter weather here in Austin and have been shopping a lot to make my winter wardrobe both less NY and less “summer with a sweater”. Somehow this created a weird, dancer ensemble going one evening with tights, leg warmers, hot pants and a black sweater…I don’t how that happened but I liked it, ha!

What has the highlight of your week been?

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A few of my favorite things from this week

two pumpkins and some mums.
I’m celebrating fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving with two pumpkins and some mums.

1. My mother in law, Gretchen visited last week and while at Whole Foods asked if we wanted a few pumpkins and a mum. I said sure, we’d love them! And the preceded to feel overly proud of myself for the seasonal decor outside the front door.

2. Curious about the next big thing on the dessert scene in Austin? Three of my favorite eateries are on the list, yum! Read more here.

3. Have you seen the 73 Questions videos? I adore the interview of Anna Wintour. Watch it here.

4. As a women in my late 30’s who is childless, I have noticed that those of us in this position (especially if married and its by choice) tend to stick together. What has been brought to my attention is that women with celebrity status are questions way more about the lack of children then the rest of us. Here are a few thoughts by these women on the subject.

5. The decision for Young House Love to take a break from blogging shocked many last week, but those of us who have been reading blogs for years and years have come to see blogger burnout as the norm. The NYT seems to have just realized that it happens. Read the article here.

Have a great weekend!


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Guy food

A feast of meat at La Barbecue
A feast of meat at La Barbecue

Next week Adam is headed off to begin training for his new job and will be in Miami for 2 months followed by a month in Vegas. If it were anyone else, they would be sent to North Dakota or something, but no, Adam will be in fabulous locations where he can golf on weekends. This is his last week at his current job so we’ll have a few days to have a few romantic dinners and true date nights before he goes, but this week seems to be a celebration of all of his favorite foods. I have not been participating in all of these meals, but due to his excitement over it, I joined him for pizza again on Monday and we’re about to grill burgers, which I eat sans bun and with a side of spinach. We’ve had sushi (sashimi for me) at Piranha, barbecue at La Barbecue, Pizza at Home Slice and Adam has had tacos from the truck down the street, P. Terry’s burgers and who knows what else when he’s been out and about. I don’t think he has realized that he’s working his way through his favorite meals, but one by one, he has been requesting them! What are your favorite foods that you would load up on knowing you’d not have them for three months?

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