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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I’ve got all my sisters with me

Mom, Holly, Gillian, Sierra, Thea in February, 2014.
Mom, Holly, Gillian, Sierra, Thea in February, 2014.

I was in NY this past weekend for my sister Gillian’s Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party. It was a fast trip filled to the brim with activity and so much time spent traveling. There were about 200 photos taken of the four of us together on Saturday and not one had all of us looking at the same camera at the same time. This one’s not even in focus, but it’s my favorite as my mom is in it and grinning at us all. When I was just looking at the collection of photos from Saturday on Facebook, I ended up on the photo below…from I think 2008?

Holly, Gillian, Thea, Sierra in 2008
Holly, Gillian, Thea and Sierra in 2008

We all lived within about 45 minutes of each other back then, and I think my mom made us have Sunday brunch together at her house almost every week. I doubt we’ll ever live that close to each other again…it would however be nice to not be spread out sooooo far apart as we all are right now. Northern California, Texas, Virginia and New York City means there is ALOT of travel and planning to hang out. It’s ok though, when we do, we make every second count!

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Farewell 2013 and Helllloooooo 2014

Happy New Year!

I’m not that much of a big celebrator of New Years Eve, but I love the ringing in of a new year…blame it on my love for Mondays, but I see it as a huge empty canvas of possibilities ahead. I have also always had a thing for calendars, there are 5 around me right now and each one has a separate function. So you can image that a new year delights me to no end for calendar shopping alone!

The obligatory holiday sisters photo (Sierra, Gillian, Holly & Thea) 

The end of the year has been pretty spectacular.  Manic Trout finished 2013 with a bang and right on the heels of the holiday season finishing up, my mom and 3 sisters flew in from all over the country just in time for Christmas. Months before all of this chaos, I thought it would be a great idea to throw a party Christmas day. In that month, the list grew and grew and I think for the first time in my life, everyone showed up. There were about 30 of us crammed into our home and it felt so wonderfully Christmas that the exhaustion that followed was worth it. Every time my sisters are around, I end up pretty sad that we’re not near each other all the time. Talking to my sister Gillian in person about her upcoming wedding and being able to help her find her wedding shoes hit hard on how much we miss out on in day to day life, but for now, being in NYC, Austin, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz and with my mom in Virginia it will have to do. At least we all live in awesome places to visit…that’s my silver lining and I’m sticking to it!

Sisters, Christmas, 1984
Christmas, 1984 with my sister Gillian, who is a soon to be Mrs.

After Christmas everyone flew back to their lives way too fast and I have been in the confused state that the week between two holidays on Wednesdays causes. Today is Tuesday, what!?! Adam is working downtown tonight and I have been so excited about getting to spend NYE alone in the studio, we all know I’m a total nerd, why hide it. Tying up all the  loose ends from the last year and unwrapping all the new calendars…oh who are we kidding, I already opened them and have had them ready to go for days! We had an epic game night last night, so my rowdy night of fun with great friends was had and now…now I get to think up all of the wonderful things that this year will be. What are your plans for tonight? Whatever they are, I wish you the happiest year ahead!

Happy New Year!!

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My sisters are trying to kill me…

Gorgeous French confections!
The best Candy Bouquet in the world!

Completely by coincidence I received not one, but TWO packages of sweet treats from sisters yesterday.  Holly lugged the above bag full of mouth watering and beautiful confections all the way from Miette and Chantal Guillon in San Francisco to Austin.  At the same moment she stepped off the plane, UPS arrived with the coolest Candy Bouquet I’ve ever seen from Gillian.  She of course knows my affection for fruity, sugary candies and it was filled to the brim!

Last night I ate three macarons, half of a weird marshmallow stick, a gingersnap, some sort of raspberry sugar cube thing, three flavors of rock candy and countless gummy treats before bed…this is not going to end well.

My fist pumping excitement when the Candy Bouquet arrived...yes, I was really THAT excited!

Thank you girls, I love it all (and will reluctantly share…maybe).

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All consuming monster projects

I’ve been immersed in a project all week which started out innocent enough.  I simply began inputting data into a program to manage sales across multiple online stores, shows, my studio and the website.  I already have everything in a similar program that I run my shopping cart through, but I have reached a point where I need a better way to handle the multiple revenue streams I have set up.  Once this started however, a whole sub level of projects opened up which had to be dealt with before I could really continue.  They are all useful to productivity and need to be done, some of it was for ending the year and taxes, some of it may be a more neurotic that I really need, but I have wanted it done…and all of it is tedious, time consuming and requiring hour upon hour on the computer.

Tonight while looking through recent photos, deciding what to use for this post, I was reminded of something that my sisters said when we were all together at my moms for Christmas.  There was a party our last night and my mom had gone to bed early being exhausted from the very full week we were all home.  I as usual, began the mammoth task of cleaning up.  Without saying a word, my sisters gathered around, waiting for me to assign them tasks and and minutes later we all were happily tending to the areas we did best.  Adam brought up that they let me boss them around and one of my sisters immediately replied, not at all.  Sierra just knows what has to be done and what we do well, she’s simply directing us where we should be.

The project I’m working on reminds me of that in a way.  All of this other stuff keeps coming up and needing to be dealt with, but I just keep plugging away at each sub project, ticking it away where it should be and then continuing on with the course when its done.  It feels even better to accomplish then cleaning the kitchen did!

photo taken by Thea (the fourth sister missing from the photo)

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I get to see fall foliage!!!

LeavesRoadI have been so distressed to not witness the awesome fall colors of the Hudson Valley this year. However…Adam and I are going yo visit Thea at school this week (she only had to ask us to a dozen times) and from what I hear, Colorado gives the HV a run for their money on foliage.  Yay!!  Expect a flurry of photos next week of trees…

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Daily Muse: Fall footing

I figure if I can’t experience fall, I will at least live it though the blog…because I can.

I have a crazy busy next few days ahead of me, but filled with so many fun things that I’m all antsy with anticipation.  Tomorrow I am participating in Austins First Thursday, which I think is basically a bug party on South Congress where all the restaurants, shops, and locals pour out into the streets the first Thursday of each month and hang out.  If you’re in the area, I have been approved to be in the Gibson Street Artists Market (by the dogs) so come by and visit!!

Friday I have a lunch meeting for a new project I am working on and then coffee with a new friend, squee!!

Saturday, Adam and I are off to South Padre to visit his parents and on Sunday, my sister Gillian arrives in South Padre too!!!  I’m so excited to see her, it’s such a change to go from seeing family all the time to only every few months, if that.  I can’t wait!!!

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The Great Mattress Escapade

The Mattress switch was a success!  My sisters Gillian, Thea and our friend Louise managed to easily get Mattress One one out of my apartment and into the back of my moms Suburban while still fitting all of us in there along with it.  The fun part was having to carry the mattress most of a block to Gilly’s apartment due to construction.  We did pretty well getting Mattress One out of the car and into the apartment, except when we dropped a corner of Mattress One in the building and Gillian (a complete germ-a-phobe) shrieked that she “has to sleep on that” and then two minutes later asked if we could just slide Mattress Two…aka what I would be sleeping on, down the stairs of the building.  Ew, thanks Gilly.  Louise and I carried it down the stairs in a sanitary fashion and we managed to get it down the street almost flawlessly.

I discovered last night that while Thea was waiting in the suburban as we were illegally parked, she decided to chronicle the move with a camera, and last night 30 photos of mattresses being walked down the street appeared on facebook.  The good news is that she captured the following…

I'm standing on one leg trying to lift the mattress with the other!
We're getting it...notice that Louise (far right) is bent over laughing so hard that she can't help
How close was that???
Oh, haha...we're awesome...

Oops, spoke too soon!
We got it…see…we are awesome!

I’d like to think that our almost dropping Mattress Two on a new york city street (twice) was due to our having so much fun and laughing so hard that we couldn’t keep it together.  Either way, we did get it in the suburban safely and after finding a real parking spot grabbed a couple of Shake Shack burgers before Louise and I left to drive back home…or rather sit in traffic for ever.

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I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?

TrafficOne of my favorite movie quotes, from 10 Things I Hate About You. And the Answer was…I think you can in Europe.  Well today I am whelmed.  I’m not freaking out, but I’m feeling the anxiety flutter.  My sister Gillian and I had this grand plan a few months ago as I needed a new bed, but am not sure if I want to change the size as I like my headboard, and Gillian is co-habitating with her bf this fall, and needs to find a home for her two year old bed…that I would take her bed in October as it is the same size as my current one.  Well, then I decided to move to Texas…in August.  So I basically figured that we’d scrap the plan and whatever.  Until last week, when Gillian decided that it should still be a go.  Well, we needed a new plan then.  Some fast thinking, schedule rearranging and bit of insanity has resulted in Gillian coming up to my moms for the weekend, borrowing Moms suburban and with the help of Thea and our friend Louise, bringing my bed to NYC today and bringing Gillians back here with me.  Sounds simple enough.  In theory.

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