Do you make resolutions?

I’m not much of a resolution maker these days, but I do I do enjoy using the new year to analyze and regroup a bit. Part of it is that as a business owner, I do this with finances and the various things I track. I have become in the habit of spending the week between Christmas and New Years Day finishing up that year and setting up all of my systems for the year ahead. There are the obvious: closing/starting out planners, calendars, spreadsheets and files and the not so obvious: reviewing my vision, and where I am with short and long term goals. Usually there is an area where I immediately notice, if I had not realized it already, that needs improving. If I have already been aware of the problem area, I try to start in mid December so that I’m feeling the pressure of the resolution setting chaos.

This past year, I gave up all sugar and sweet things on December 19th. This was following a doctors appointment where the cause of some heath issues were not obvious. I overheard the doctor and nurse reviewing my chart and wondering if weight or diet could be a contributor. Although in the end, the problems were completely unrelated to anything I was doing, that one over heard conversation gave me the motivation I needed to get my out of control sugar addiction in check. If there were going to be issues with my health, I refused to let them ever be caused by own self negligence. I got to work immediately and by the time the new year began, I was free from sugar and had dropped the extra weight it had caused. In December, I also started “reclaiming wasted time“, so I could do my favorite thing: read more. Soon, I was reading an extra 4 to 6 books a month. Yesterday I wrote about the business goals I was working on this past year, which were about defining my skills and building my personal brand.  But I also met my goal to not stop working out when I was the busiest so I was not removing my best stress reliever when I needed it the most. I set out to schedule time 5 days a week that I would not cancel on and commit to giving to myself this time to work out. I hit that one out of the park and think the habit has set in pretty well on it now and the results have been amazing. I was so calm during the holiday season that Adam was actually worried about me. These were all areas that I wanted to improve on over the past year and are now just a part of my life. I thankfully don’t have to work on these things anymore, just be mindful that I am continuing them.

So what do I feel are the areas that need to be worked on this year? The first area that needs to be worked on is that I stumbled a bit mentally with my vision and long term goals this past year. As I have been aware of this, I have been spending the last month working on not only defining these, but on shifting my mind set to work towards them. Interestingly, as I spent the past year defining what my skills are, I now see that there are a few things that overlap what I am good at and what I love to do and yet I have not been doing them. How sad is that??? Hint, hint, that is literally being worked on by my typing this! Another area that needs some help is that I am too often just going through the motions of my day. I’m getting things done, but not feeling excited to seize the day or proud of what I have done that day. Not that I am not proud, but I’m not all “best day ever, go me!!” as often as I would like to be. I think part of it is the lack of vision and with that, the lack of long terms plan, so although I’m getting through the to-do list, I’m not really sure that I’m accomplishing things for the big picture. I have already been working on this though, enough that I am now able to analyze it and put into words what I have been feeling and put into action some of what needs to be done to fix it.

So while I am not setting goals, I am already working on areas that need some help. I am making changes, I am researching (it soothes me to have information…knowledge is power and all) and learning from others who have succeeded at overcoming these things. I am slowly making changes, a little at a time until the change sticks and then I change a little more.

On the subject of of resolutions, goals and intentions…I was flipping through my old sketchbook/notebooks that I used to use jot down notes, lists, schedules and inspirations in (mostly pages of crazy long lists) and saw the 2 pages of resolutions I was making every year. I was overwhelmed just looking at it. I also never accomplished much of what was on those 2 pages. I then thought about on the flip side, I have veered to the polar opposite and had no resolutions or intentions some years, just took each day as it came along and acted accordingly. In thinking about both of these mindsets, the only thing I know is that neither of these work for me. I need a nice happy medium of having defined goals along with their manageable breakdowns but still allowing myself to have flexibility in my daily routine and life goals. If there is too much structure and too rigid of a plan, I freak out when something unexpected pops up and also say no to too much. If for example, I was not in the mind space I was in this last year (sort of floundering, not sure where I wanted to be doing), I never would have said yes to the interview with the tv channel. I would have said that it didn’t fit into my schedule and that I no interest in a future as a DIY host. Because I was trying to figure out some things, I thought it sounded like a fun project and why not at least look into it. I was incredibly surprised to realize quickly that it was something that I was naturally really good and at and I love it! They are great about working with my schedule (we basically took December off) and it has energized me in other areas. So finding the sweet spot where I am feeling proud of my work and what I am building, accomplishing growth personally and in business and having the time and energy to take on interesting projects seems to be what I’m aiming for.

What are your resolutions and intentions?

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Deep Thoughts on Hobbies

coffe and book

I often muse on when exactly I stopped wanting to do any hobby that involved making things. It was most likely not long after I went from Manic Trout being a “jobby” to a job. Whenever I start thinking about this, it leads to a bunch of deep thoughts. Today I’ve decided to write these down as I ponder this subject.

1. I could be assuming wrong, but I would think that most of us want to have hobbies which stimulate different areas of the brain than what we spend much time at work on. Which is why makers do not often want to make as a hobby and grad students choose to not read that much for pleasure.

2. As I make, market and design for my job, and most of the time alone, I enjoy reading, physical fitness and talking/eating with friends as my areas of hobbies. I’m basically craving in my downtime all the things I am not doing during the majority of my day.

3. This also explains that when I had a talk with myself in December about happiness, I also declared I was over tv in my free time…because when I am in production, I binge watch tv shows. It’s been put into the “work” column.

4. This led me to think about how hobbies are such a wonderful way to balance out your life. Although I work alone, I am still communicating via email and social media all day and have lunch meetings virtually and in person a good deal of the week. Which I think is why I crave so much reading time. It’s my way of shutting off the noise.

5. On the flip side, when I am being social in real life, I am so often one on one, that recently joining a kickboxing gym, a book club and a networking/dining club had filled something with the group dynamic that I didn’t realize was missing.

6. Focusing on all of this for the past 6 months has been fascinating. I now have started paying attention to friends of mine and their work/life/hobby dynamic to see how they fill in the gaps too.

7. In the book Drive by Daniel Pink, he writes about a study by Csikszentimhalyi about the importance of enjoyable (play and non instrumental to work activities) experiences in your day to life. With them, you have a greater chance of reaching the beautiful “flow” in your work which is essential to mastery. Not to mention, that without these activities, you will be sluggish, have headaches, difficulty concentrating and have thoughts that wander in circles without getting anywhere.

8. Since my big self talk, I still work a lot of 15+ hour days, but as always, I read before bed and try really hard to fit in some exercise in that day. If I’m on a big deadline, I make sure the next day for sure includes something physical for at least an hour. Days when I am not in the midst of a big launch or deadline, when I find myself wasting time on non productive work, like facebook. I leave the studio and use that time to read, go for a walk or even catch up on chores. By doing this I have reclaimed so much time and made it happy time. It balances out the long days really well.

9. I also try to make sure I allow myself a few hours during the weekends to avoid the studio. If I have a week where we have out of town guests, or I know I’ll be traveling, I make an exception if I need to catch up on work, but otherwise I have granted myself permission to enjoy the hobbies and have days off. It’s been incredibly helpful in my mental health, I wish I had sat myself down sooner for this talk.

10. For a long time I had it in my head that hobbies had to be these new activities that I was not really feeling…i.e: making things. When I finally allowed myself to define my enjoyment activities to the things I was already trying to squeeze in but not calling a hobby (reading, exercise, friends), it changed my perspective and I suddenly was making time to do them. Sometimes its all about perspective.

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Deep thoughts about the color pink

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There’s always a lot of talk about pink in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. To wear or not to wear comes up first and then bigger questions arise about the color in general. But really you may wonder, isn’t it just a color? Apparently not.

1. All pinks are not created equal. As Samantha in SATC once explained, hot pink is sexy, baby pink is not. Really, the name itself should be a tip off on that one.

2. I kid you not, while I was typing #1, an email from Pantone landed in my inbox with this subject: “New Color Intelligence Article: Pink – Tempering Passion with Purity”. This has become an oddly big topic.

3. I was not into pink until my 20’s and then I went a bit crazy for it…Manic Trout used to have a hot pink logo and my closet was filled with pink frocks in multiple hues. I realized a few weeks ago that I seem to evolved to red and most of the pink is now gone. Is this a normal progression with age and career growth? I read a quote recently that I loved that makes me think it does. Said by a female CFO: “I had to earn the right to wear red.”

4. One of my role models, Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, invented shocking pink in 1931, by mixing a little white with magenta. This was a new and more assertive pink and it became her signature color. Currently one of the best selling (and my favorite) lipsticks from Nars is named after her as well, Schiap.

5. Scientifically, the color pink does not exist. “Violet (at one end of the visible spectrum), is the fastest, while red (at the other end) takes its sweet time. The other colors in the spectrum, moving at their particular frequencies, are indigo, blue, green, yellow and orange. The color pink, not a part of this spectrum, does not have a particular frequency.”

6. Diana Vreeland once famously said that “pink is the navy blue of India.” This quote has stuck in my head so permanently that every time any one talks about the country, I utter it.

7. There is a plethora of articles written about if it’s ok to wear pink to work. The consensus seems to be that the more corporate your office, the less pink you should wear. And if you do work in a creative environment, keep the pink to an accent, never ever go head to toe. Also avoid doing that with yellow and orange btw, just in case you thought all the hate was for pink.

8. BUT…Pink is one of the adult world’s most hated colors. That is sad.

9. After one eats beets, their pee often turns pink. It scares me to death every time it happens until I remember what I ate and then I just enjoy having bright pink pee for a day.

10. Gender specific colors did not arise until the early 20th century. Interestingly, when it did just before the 1920’s, many guides deemed pink for boys and blue for girls. “The reason is that pink , being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” For some reason, in the 1940’s this all changed when clothing manufacturers began producing pink clothes for girls and blue for boys. This somehow stuck and gained considerable momentum and popularity over time until the 1960’s and 1970’s when the women’s lib movement brought a push for gender neutral clothes.

Lastly, if all this talk about pink made you want to instantly adorn yourself in pink jewelry, I can help you with that.

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Deep Thoughts about Curly Hair

SierraTeen

Over the years, I’ve had long hair, short hair, black hair, blond hair, red, purple and pink hair and even a shaved head one summer in college (I was doing a lot of coding and it was the mid 90’s, I was really into the riot grrrl movement). The only consistency with my head has been that through it all, I have kept my curls natural. Partly because I am lazy and unable to use hair tools correctly but mostly because I enjoy the curls. As I am having a particularly good hair day, I thought it fitting to dedicate a deep thoughts to my head.

1. No two heads of curly hair are created equally.

2. You need at least 4 hair products (a “cocktail”) to typically make curly hair look good. And they all contradict each other in what they do. Also: products for curly hair work on half about of the population of curly hair at a time. Generally either the thick kind or the fine kind, never both…and they say nothing about this on the packaging.

3. Hair brushes are the devil.

4. Curly hair will look horrible for few days, and then you’ll wake up one morning and have the best hair day of your life. Without doing anything different.

5. Hollywood seems to think that only the crazy, artsy, pre-makeover women should wear their curls naturally. If a curly girl all of a sudden becomes serious about something, lands an important job or gets their life in order, the first thing that happens is that their hair is straightened. Except Andie MacDowell who has with few exceptions, kept her curls in most of her roles. She is like the curly girls angel of cinema.

6. There is no such thing as running hands through curly hair. Stop anyone before they try and get stuck.

7. Humidity is a blessing and a curse. It’s basically the goldilocks of curly hair.

8. There are so many types of curly hair that there had to be a system of number and letters created to sort it all out. Yet few in the hair industry seem to have ever heard of these, so I’m not really sure the point. None of these types can use the same combinations of products and yet almost no products talk about the differences.

9. This also means that most people who claim to be curly hair cutting experts may have no idea how to cut YOUR curly hair.

10. However, when curly girls hit the sweet spot with cut, climate and products there is no better hair. The amount of compliments you get when this spot happens is proof.

Now to amuse you and illustrate how I began this post, we will take a walk down my own curly girl memory lane:

 

Baby Curls
Baby Curls
Kid Curls
Kid Curls
Pre-Teen Curls
Pre-Teen Curls
High School Curls
High School Curls
College Curls
College Curls
21 Year Old Curls
21 Year Old Curls
20's Curls
20’s Curls
30's Curls
30’s Curls
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Deep Thoughts from The Past Week

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1. It’s weird how much you realize you love some one (pets included) when they are sick. With Mora this week, it was the moment when the emergency hospital vet asked if I wanted to sign a DNR for her. I surprised myself with the level of ferociousness that I responded with when telling them that of course I wanted them to do whatever they could to make sure that she lived.

2. Not all birds will cause dire harm, but SOME birds will absolutely cause bad things to happen to a dog when they eat them.

3. Having goals, a plan to accomplish them and an organized place to track them will make productivity higher.

4. Stacks of random to do lists may do nothing but cause anxiety.

5. Fireworks are more fun for the anticipation factor then the actual event is.

6. A tiny change to a room, like a new duvet cover, can make a huge impact. This can translate to many facets of life. If some part of your life feels in a rut, make a little change and you may be surprised how powerful it can be.

7. Optimism is contagious. “Surround yourself with only people who are going to take you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey.

8. Online sales are slow for everyone in July, stop panicking and work on something that you normally would not have time for, like SEO.

9. You are not alone. No matter what you are feeling, thinking or doing, there is someone else out there going through the same thing.

10. Manic Trout is having a fabulous Summer Sale and you can get really pretty jewelry at really great prices right now. Ok not so deep, but fun!

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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 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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Deep Thoughts on Entrepreneurship and How It Really Affects Your Personal Life

Sierra Bailey, designer and owner of Manic Trout jewelry in her studio.
My happy place

I started Manic Trout in January of 2003. For years, I worked full time as well so I could put all of the income from the business back into it. In 2011, I moved to Austin, TX and took the leap to full time and have been enjoying solid growth since the move. Since 2003, besides building the company, I have gone through a divorce, progressed in my other career to the top position in the field, moved across the country, got married and mothered two dogs. I have been slowly growing the business on a solid foundation with a loyal customer base. There are my deep thoughts on how being an entrepreneur has affected my personal life…

1. Marriage: You should probably feel bad for anyone married to an entrepreneur. Not really kidding on that one. Having the demise of a marriage behind me, I had learned a few hard life lessons by the time I met Adam. Within the first 3 weeks I told him that 1. Manic Trout would always be #1 and 2. That I did not want kids because of that. Not the nicest thing to say, but it was honest. It has not made dealing with my long hours, devotion to work and all the craziness that building a business entails any easier, he just accepted that he was agreeing to this from the beginning. I can’t personally imagine if we were both entrepreneurs. The fluctuating income alone would drive us crazy, but on the flip side, not being married to another entrepreneur means that he really doesn’t get it a lot. Bless his heart he tries though and thats why it works for us. I enjoy being married to someone who loves the corporate life because the steadier aspect of his job helps even out a lot of potential high stress areas, such as guaranteeing that we have health insurance. I think Adam really enjoys experiencing with me the crazy highs…when my work is in a big magazine or in a music video, getting a huge new wholesale account, being contacted and admired by big companies/people, seeing how excited customers are about the jewelry…that become his good news too. He also understands the lows…the days I don’t leave the studio except to sleep, the overwhelmed moments, the rejection (there is SO MUCH possibility for rejection in entrepreneurship), the failures…all the bad moments that I sometimes want to talk about over and over and sometimes don’t want to talk about at all. He has to deal with everything I experience, sometimes both in one day, sometimes involving a lot of emotion. It’s a lot for a spouse to take on, but so are many other things in life.

2. Children: Without getting too much into this topic, I will just say that I personally decided years ago that I really enjoy working all the time. I would most likely resent anyone who prevented me from doing this and therefore felt it was not fair to have a child with this mind set. I know plenty of entrepreneurs with kids who juggle it like a champ. I however felt I had to make a choice, and I made it, it’s my path in life, no regrets. As I said above, I was open with my husband about this when we met, so no surprises there. My mom has 3 more daughters, so she seems to accept it. My dad is back and forth between understanding it and being really bummed that his linage dies with me. It is what it is.

3. Parents: My dad is an entrepreneur, actually his dad is as well and my my moms dad was too.  My mom followed her dream for her profession. I grew up with parents who worked all the time but really enjoyed what they did and encouraged me to live out my wildest dreams. From a very young age on, my dream was to be a designer. The type of designer changed back and forth over the years, but I sold scrunchies to the public at a summer festival in my dads town the summer I was 8 so I think he saw it coming. My mom has gone waffled over the years of wanting me to have I’m sure less stress and has herself stressed a great deal about “my potential”. She still has moments every now and then where she calls me and tells me that she wished she had pushed me into science at a young age instead of letting the pull of the arts draw me in. There were the years she insisted I should be the CEO of a fortune 500 company…which one was up to me. There was a phase when she thought I would be great as a general in the military. The most recent phase was that I should go back to school and become a surgeon, plastics or neuro…up to me which one. Yeah. Sometimes I think that what she envisioned for her oldest child who was in the gifted program with a very high IQ is a bit different than what happened, but it doesn’t maker her less proud or happy for me. I actually just read a great open letter to parent of entrepreneurs over at Inc., its really all very true.

4. Siblings: I am the oldest of 4 girls. There is 16 years between myself and the youngest and 2 exactly in the middle. We are all really living our dreams through our work which is pretty amazing. My 2 younger sisters tell me often that I have been an amazing role model to them and that just means more to me than anything. All 4 of us work crazy hours, although the youngest is a Millennial, so she is much more into the work/life balance than the other 3 of us, as one would expect. I am lucky to be really close to all of my sisters, they are the ones I turn to when the days are rough and when the awesome things are happening. You need a strong support group if you choose the life of entrepreneurship, and they have done that in spades. Thea (my youngest sister) has worked by my side countless times over the years and now works for a jewelry company while in school. Its not the profession that she plans on going into, but she enjoyed working with me enough that she sought it out as an adult. I’m just sad she lives so far away so it’s someone else and not me!

5. Friends: As an adult, most of my friends are fellow entrepreneurs. They’re my tribe. They also have schedules like mine so they are free for lunch at random times. But truthfully, there is no better feeling than sitting at a table with a group of people you feel not only get you, but go through the same struggles as you do. We all end up talking about work 90% of the time and it’s awesome. I do have to add though that it is equally important to have friends who are not entrepreneurs, because sometimes you need to step away from work and talk about things that have nothing to do with work. Just like taking vacations. It rejuvenates you. I try and have a couple of lunches each week with friends, no matter what we talk about, I always leave the afternoon feeling wonderful. Being mostly alone in my studio all the time, it’s necessary for my sanity.

 

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Random Deep Thoughts from The Past Week

I also had a "Deep Doodle" this week.

1. As a designer, there is no better feeling than having customers who not only “gets you” and shows this by buying tons of your work, but want to tell everyone they meet about you. Its really important that these are the people you listen to when they have feedback. Just a small handful of these customers can give you more insight than hundreds of so so ones.

2. As important as it to have these customers, its even more wonderful when you can hang out with them for an hour or so. They make your job magical.

3. When you do hang out with these people, you will never remember to take a photo with them.

4. Anyone who was obsessed with Swatch Watches in the 80’s will probably be a fan of Manic Trout.

5. You should always make sure your underwear is not visible though your clothes before you leave the house.

6. Dana Scully says “I’m a medical doctor.” in every episode of the The X-Files.

7. Two dogs create an alarming amount of hair around the house compared to one.

8. If one does not drink alcohol, its only right that dessert is consumed more often.

9. A month of rain does wonders for plants.

10. Most of the last week has had me thinking one thought though…floods = fecal matter everywhere.

* I not only had all of these deep thoughts this week, but I had a deep doodle too!

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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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