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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SSB: Single Sexy Behavior

Big shocker: candy is often procured during these late night SSB episodes
Big shocker: candy is often procured during these late night SSB occurrences

Remember that episode of Sex and The City where Carrie talked about Single Sexy Behavior, that totally weird thing you do when you’re single (or alone at home)? Carrie ate saltines in stack, with grape jelly. Standing in her kitchen, reading Vogue. Miranda watched infomercials with luxe moisturizer mittens on her hands. Charlotte inspected her pores in a lit magnifying mirror and Samantha had some sort of actual sexy going on. Well I have developed a weird SSB in the past few years. It does involve leaving the house, but usually in my jammies. It happens at about 10pm, only on nights when Adam is working and mostly in the winter, I think because it gets dark so early. I for some reason feel an intense need to go to target. I hardly ever buy anything on the missions. I just feel really calmed strolling the aisles in the mostly quiet store, looking at things. I’ll pick up maybe a pair of fun knee socks or festive boxers for Adam, typically I spend under $30 on these excursions, but I feel so nice after. No idea why. What’s you single sexy behavior?

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Pro Tip: Fro-yo

I jokingly posted on a photo I took of my Shack Burger on Instagram a few weeks ago “Pro-Tip: ask for xtra pickles on the side” and I realized I was onto something. As I not only love food, I have personally been in the food industry AND many, many of my friends are in restaurant management or chefs. This all means that I not only know my way around a restaurant, but talk about food All. The. Time. As we have already established, on Wednesdays we talk about food. So now, on some Wednesdays, I will share Pro Tips with you.

This week it’s all about the Fro Yo! I am a big fan of the soft serve yogurt places as you get to add candy and as much of it as you want with no judgement. Its the only time I get to eat candy these days and I look forward to this treat every other week or so. A month or so ago, Adam and I were chatting with the young man who seems to always be working when we go to the place down the street and he changed my life forever with one word: layering. As in layer your toppings. So simple and obvious and yet not something I would have ever thought to do! I was so excited that I made a really quick video…and I immediately changed the lives of my IG and Vine followers. Mind blowing.

p.s. if you cannot view the view, you may watch it on Instagram.

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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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Deep thoughts on seasonal candy

Easter  3Musketeers Marshmallows
I will always remember the Spring of 2015 as the time of the 3Musketeers Marshmallows.

If you are a candy lover, you already know how exciting seasonal candy can be. Every holiday brings with it both the well loved standards and new exciting things to try. It’s pretty amazing, and kind of helpful that not all candy is available year round because, well…I have no self control when it comes to sugar. I will now try and make everyone reading this a seasonal candy lover…or at least feel for me that sugar has such a strong hold over my mental state.

1. The minute halloween ends, I begin counting down the days until the good candy corn (brachs) is back in stores.

2. As with all shopping, the exclusivity and time sensitivity of seasonal candy makes you want it more. And makes it taste better.

3. The logic of #2 explains why the changing candy corn flavors every year are the most amazing I’ve ever had.

4. The downside to seasonal candy is that in the excitement, you can way over do it and then never want to see that candy again. Cadbury Cream Eggs, I’m looking at you.

5. Seasonal candy give you something to look forward to and get excited about in the dreary days of winter. Just knowing that candy hearts and white chocolate rabbits are coming has brought me endless happiness while being snowed in.

6. Because seasonal candy is so short lived, there is less guilt on binge eating it. Because you may NEVER EAT IT AGAIN!!!

7. #6 may be a bad thing to some people…not to me.

8. Seasonal candy gives reason to have fun during holidays that you otherwise would not celebrate. Valentine’s Day is in my top 5  holidays for the single fact that its centered around chocolate.

9. Don’t be afraid to try things you may not normally enjoy when it is in seasonal candy form. I for example, rarely eat chocolate and don’t usually go for marshmallows, but this year I am obsessed with the 3Musketeers Marshmallow candies.

10. Even though seasonal candy is around only a short while, I never stock pile it. I eat what I can during its shelf life and then move on. Its a happy coincidence that there are no candy holidays from Easter until Halloween or I would never be able to wear a bathing suit. Sad but true.

Favorite seasonal candies:

Halloween: Candy Corn (brachs only)

Thanksgiving: Harvest Mix (brachs…its a crossover holiday)

Christmas: Peppermint Chocolate. (I prefer the white candy cane kisses)

Valentine’s Day: Cream filled milk chocolates. (Russell Stover makes a box with just creams but its milk and dark chocolate butI just discovered that you can build your own box of chocolates on their site!!!!)

Easter: 3Musketeers Marshmallows (used to be Cadbury Cream Eggs but I ate too many)

What’s your favorite seasonal candy? Is there a holiday I am missing out on?

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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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I now declare my body a candy free zone…again

candy

My candy addiction* has gotten out of control again. Funny that I am reaching the peak of hating myself for my sugar addiction the week of halloween…well or not really funny at all. It all started up again so innocently with the monthly biz ladies meet up at my house. In March our meet up was right before my birthday and we had candy kabobs to celebrate. This became a monthly thing and the left overs were in the house, so I ate them. And the next thing I know I was buying candy in large quantities again. As I tend to stress eat candy, the whole (very expensive) consultant adventure I have embarked on, the emotional year with Adams dad and our super hectic work schedule this year had me back on the excessive candy consumption wagon rapidly and its killing me. My blood sugar is all messed up and I’m back to getting the shakes every day again. All the hard work I have done to change my diet with paleo is negated by the stupid candy. So I am publicly declaring a cease and desist. Hopefully it holds me somewhat accountable. Wish me luck, I’ll need it.

 

*please note: In having dealt with very intense substance abuse problems with multiple loved ones over the years, including loosing some to the battle, I am sensitive to the issue of addiction and want to be clear that I am by no means making light of addiction with these thoughts.

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A few of my favorite things from this week

Manic Trout Bling Rings
Pile o’ bling rings in the Manic Trout studio…because, its the season of the bling

It been a short week, thanks to the flu. I realized today that this past weekend kicked off the busy season. In week #1 of the busy season, I was the guest designer at a couple of events and ended up sick. Not a good start. Hopefully the next three months will continue on a bit smoother and involve less germs. Fingers crossed. Anyway, even with the first half of the week being offline, I still managed to find a few things that tickled my fancy. What was your favorite thing you read/heard/saw this week?

1. At this point, only the camera is holding me back from jumping the iphone ship and running with open arms back to blackberry. Apparently I’m not alone as the preorders for the new passport were sold out in 2 days. Read more here.

2. I give to you a life changing indoor plant tip.

3. Having a Halloween party? You need a candy bar. Here’s how to do it.

4. Hoorah, hoorah…La Barbecue is opening a brick and mortar restaurant on SoCo!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

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Candy of the month

Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn

I figured it was time to just accept that I will be a candy addict for life and embrace it. So many times I have been tempted to declare a candy of the month, but have resisted because well…who knows, its very tricky the thoughts of an addict. Anyway, I was actually called out on my jewelry looking like candy on tv last week, so yeah, denial may be out of my reach at this point. I caved because I currently have a drawer full of candy in my studio and as some of them are actually new to me, I have been telling everyone who will listen about these new finds. As per usual, when I find my self telling everyone I see about something, I also tell you, because I’m awesome like that. SO what better time than by introducing the candy of the month of September….Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn from Brachs! Was that as exciting for you as was for me? If not, I suggest eating a handful of these really fast and then read it again!

About 5 years ago, Brachs began offering up seasonal flavors of candy corn, I think they started with just in the fall for halloween, but then I saw s’mores the other day, and its not from last year, or new to this year, so I think it was left over from a summer release. By the way, Brachs is oddly quiet on their own website about these flavors, but I did find a great current and past season selection here. It seems the flavors for this fall are Pumpkin Spice, Apple Pie and Caramel Macchiato. I only have found the Pumpkin Spice so far and they are delicious. I feel ill pretty fast and they are insanely sweet, even for my bottomless sweet tooth, but oh so tasty. Similar to the original but with a wonderful spicy twist. Did anyone else notice that there seems to be gummi candy corn now too? I don’t know if I could do that, sometimes when two of my favorite things collide in gummi form, its a fail. For example, Gummi Smurfs.

Anyway, I’m not a fan of drinking the fall favorite pumpkin spice lattes, I actually detest starbucks coffee in general as I like black coffee and its just too bitter. So this is my edible tribute to fall this year. Cheers to the changing leaves! Which ps, doesn’t happen in Texas and its still 98 degrees out. But whatever, happy fall!

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Deep thoughts had while on allergy medicine

Faye in her early days
Faye in her early days

1. While looking through old photos of Faye in her early years, I was shocked by how less different she looks now that she’s lost weight.

2. Speaking of weight, I have no joke lost a few lbs since the great almond butter recall of 2014 happened.

3. I’m reading what I have so far thought of as the Judea version of Clan of The Cave Bear. Remember that book? I usually will think about whatever book I’m reading during the days, but this one is making me pull back up memories of COTCB too. Strong willed women for the win!

4. There are only 5 emails in my inbox right now. High five!!

5. Our temps here in Austin dipped from 100 to 61 the other day. I found myself in sheepskin slippers and a sweater…in 61 degree temps. Its amusing how we acclimate.

6. I finally figured out how to use the light meter properly on my big camera last week. It was both life changing and proof on a small scale that the payoff is worth it if you keep trying.

7. Pumpkin spice lattes = yuck. Pumpkin spice candy corn = yum. Enough sugar can make anything delicious.

8. The only people who don’t question my choice to not have children are the ones with tiny babies.

9. I though people were exaggerating when they spoke of the allergies in Austin, that there was never a break and each season they just seemed to get worse. And then I moved here. My face hurts there is so much sinus pressure going on right now.

10. Perhaps we in Austin think weirder is better as we are on allergy medication all the time?

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