Top 5 Things Right Now

butfirstcoffee

1. Coffee. This is a love affair that has been going strong for decades, but it’s in a sweet spot right now. It took me most of the year to get used to drinking it black, but I finally stopped missing the sweet taste of sugar. Speaking of which, I’m just shy off 11 months without candy or sugar. How crazy is that???

2. Shameless. I finally got around to watching the US version and love it. Not the most uplifting of shows, but I was hooked after about two episodes. I’m pretty excited that I’m still watching season 6 and there is one currently on Showtime.

3. Queso. This is becoming problematic. I had it twice on Saturday. It’s just so good though and everyone is always up to get it with me!

4. The gym. AKA, the thing that allows me to eat so much queso. Seriously, I have been anti gym for years but love the little community I have become a part of and crave my hour there every week day.

5. Sleep. I still maintain that my allergies are crazy right now and it’s not a cold. Once I fall asleep though, oh it feels so nice and to get out of bed just feels wrong.

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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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Top 5 Favorite Things Right Now

Shoe boxes in action in the studi
Shoe boxes in action in the studio

I enjoyed my Top 5 Favorite Things so much a few weeks ago, that I have decided to do it again. That’s the beauty of having your own blog after all, you share whatever you want.

1. Jelly hair elastics. I have been using these for a few years and feel that it is my duty as a person with fine long hair who is athletic to bring these up. These things do. not. move. You can jump up and down, run for miles, punch and kick shit and get soaked with sweat and your ponytail will be right where you left it. They are not the easiest to remove as you can’t just pull it off your ponytail, and instead have to unwind it, but no big deal. I bought mine at the grocery store, but Amazon has them too. (Scunci No-slip Grip Evolution Jelly Ponytailers)

2. Crime shows. I have yet to meet one that I did’t love. I actually screamed in excitement yesterday when I saw that there was a new season of NCIS on Netflix. I have watched probably most of the shows out there, but am always looking for suggestions for new ones. I have a few days coming up where I will have to lay low on the couch and take it easy so I’m currently trying to prep myself with good tv…well, you know what I mean.

3. Jicama Tortillas. My gal pal Cyndie brought these to book club to go with her epic cuban pork and holy moly, they’re amazing! They don’t crack/rip/break as you’d think they would, are crisp, delicious (I have a crazy crush on jicama) and really good for you compared to a real tortilla. I’m not sure if other states have them but we have them at HEB here in Texas in the produce section and I HIGHLY recommend you try them.

4. The Container Store shoe boxes. I bought 2 cases for my studio when we moved and I’m ready to order a few more cases. They are great for organizing, well made and cheaper than most boxes this size. I heart them.

5. Magic Erasure. I have been using these for years and years and every single time I use one, I agree that it’s magic. Every house should have one on hand so you can experience it’s magic powers.

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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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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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Media hoarding

I miss my library every day
I miss my library every day, there are two more shelves not shown here…it was glorious!

Hello, my name is Sierra and I am a media hoarder. By media, I mean books, music and movies. Over the years I have been forced to edit my collections due to either across the country moves (rip 4000 books that I had to sell as they would not fit in my pod) or the invention of a new medium. The cd to digital online versions of music has been the only non stressful change, as I was able to upload all of my cds to my computer and I’ll admit, its a wonderful space saver. The VHS to DVD change however still haunts me. Remember in Men In Black when Tommy Lee Jones is showing off the new mini disc, what does he say? Oh yes, he sighs and says “I guess this means I’ll have to buy The White Album again.” Well there were one or two movies that I immediately replaced when it came to move over to DVD, but most I did not. I have recently been missing a few movies from my deceased VHS collection though, one in particular is Sweet Home Alabama. It’s not on Netflix of free to stream with Amazon prime, so I ignored the urge to watch it for a few months. However I, like many fans of hers, have been noticing Reese Witherspoon making moves lately and then BAM! Look who’s on the cover of Vogue!! Her lifestyle “blog” is due to drop soon and she has been taking on roles with “grit”, that chick is making a comeback in a well calculated way. Well I’m no fool, I know when to recognize the signs, and they were all telling me to watch Sweet Home Alabama. So I ordered a used copy of the DVD asap…because well, it was obviously meant to be.

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Being a guest on a TV show

Sierra Bailey of Manic Trout on Studio 512, kxan
Photo of the TV while watching myself on it…how could I not do that?

Friday was an exciting day, I was invited to be a guest on studio 512, a lifestyle show here in Austin on KXAN (NBC) hosted by Amanda Tatom. It was for an episode of favorite things, and my jewelry was Amanda’s favorite things, so I thought the best thing to do was to debut the FW14 Collection right there on TV, it was so much fun! I’ll admit that one of the highlights was that John Lewis, who’s barbecue I recently gushed about was also on the show. This meant that I not only ate La Barbecue after filming, but was taking celeb crush selfies with him in the green room before we started taping.

Sierra Bailey of Manic Trout on Studio 512, kxan
Waiting off camera and watching John dish barbecue secrets with Amanda.

 The show is taped live to tape, which meant that I would be able to watch the show when it aired not long after we wrapped up. I was in the last segment and was off to lunch with my friend Michele. I made it to her house just in time to see the show which included a once in a lifetime moment when her husband walked in and saw me on the tv, while sitting on the couch in the same thing I was wearing while on tv and had a look of complete confusion for a few moments, it was great…but maybe you had to be there.

Sierra Bailey of Manic Trout on Studio 512, kxan
During the show, taken off set.

Two things should be noted here. One, that I finally realized I need to wear heels when standing next to women in important photos/on tv, because they will be wearing heels. Two that I’m wearing 4″ heels with a stacked toe here and am still a foot shorter than Amanda.

Sierra Bailey of Manic Trout on Studio 512, kxan
Goofing around on the kxan set, just because we can.

Cisco and the rest of the crew for the show were wonderful to work with and really made it a delight to be on the show. We were encouraged to pose on the news set and have our photos taken just for fun. I texted Adam this photo and he sent to people telling them I had a new job, and they believed him, ha!!

Back at home after all the fun, requisite selfie as I loved what I wore. It was Faye approved.
Back at home after all the fun, requisite selfie as I loved what I wore. It was Faye approved.

As I was asked a few times, outfit details: Kate Spade New York dress from Nordstrom (I love that they tailor on site, which they did for me super fast), Gucci shoes from Neiman Marcus, Manic Trout necklace, earrings and ring (not shown) from www.manictrout.com.

You can watch the video below (or if its not working correctly, watch it on the Studio512 site.)

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The slow season

Hibiscus flower
Summer: Bad for online traffic, great for flowers!

The other night over dinner I was lamenting that online traffic had been slow this week. As I became increasingly agitated, Adam not so kindly told me that this was the third year in a row that he heard me talk about this exact same thing this exact same week (and then tried to tell me enough was enough). I sighed and told him that he better get used to it, because in the 11 years I have had an online business, I have gotten upset when summer hits every. single. year. I talk a big game leading up to it telling myself all of the amazing things I can do in the slow season, but once it comes I just want to crawl under the covers and cry. The good news is that as I have been changing the way I run the business so that it’s focused so much more on wholesale, and I therefore never get quite as slow as I used to.  Actually for the start of the slow season I have been super busy, so hooray for that!  I however am not really prepared for what happens in July, I’m actually terrified of it because when sales start flowing like molasses on a cold day, I start to freak out. For reals.

In other news, I have been picking up sassy sayings like the molasses business from watching Hart of Dixie on Netflix and it has also confirmed a few things.

1. I do not not live in the South (with a capital S).

2. All small towns are the same, regardless of region.

3. Austin is the anomaly of Texas cities.

The show is cute, and makes me not miss living in a small town, at all. Also fun, in season 1 there are cute Friday Night Lights references for Scott Porter.

Oh and one thing that summer is good for? Gardening.  See that big hibiscus flower up there, well we grew that flower. Bam!

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Deep thoughts from the past week

Almost there...now i just need to plants for either side of the basket.
Almost there…now I just need to plants for either side of the basket.

1. You only find the item you have been looking for over the past 5 months in Home Goods when you go in just to quickly browse, with no agenda what so ever.

2. After viewing Dexter, CSI: Miami, Burn Notice and of course, Miami Vice I have decided that I never want to spend any length of time in that apparent murder capital of the world.

3. Apparently, I have been feeding my dog about 8 times the amount of she should be eating. This and Adam feeding her ice cream and cookies is why she is on a diet. The minuscule amount of food the vet has set for her is making me have deep thoughts all over the place about the quantity of food needed to live.

4. The reason I avoid scary movies is because they give me nightmares and make me afraid of the dark. By deciding to be a big girl and watch American Horror Story has not made my reaction disappear, instead I am just spending each night in terror from the watching of 2 episodes all the way until I wake up in the morning. Coven better be worth it.

5. By the time I get the mantel styled to where I actually like it, it will be time to move.

6. Cedar fever (allergies) symptoms do not seem so bad on days when it is 75 and sunny in January.

7. The beginning of January is one of my busiest times of the year for Manic Trout. No idea why, but I love it as it’s inspiring to start the year of with such a bang!

8. I recently discovered that in my lactose intolerant state, I can in fact eat greek yogurt. As I have been slowly rolling down that aisle of the store for years, looking longingly at all the yogurts, this was amazing to both read and prove correct. I am in love with Chobani Lemon with wheat germ and dried blueberries sprinkled on top after I work out. Its amazing.

9. High quality fake flowers make me much happier than real flowers as they do not die, need care or start to smell when you forget the second thing and the first happens. I however enjoy live non flowering fake plants and seem to manage keeping those for the most part alive.

10. Did you know that you can get bedbugs from used books such as at library or goodwill? I did not and it is freaking me out!

 

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I hate scary movies, but…

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Are you a scary movie fan? I hate them…because they scare me, duh. I have been know to jump out of my seat in the theatre from a trailer. I can’t even handle the preview, forget about seeing the actual movie! The last scary movie I saw in the theatre was either the 6th Sense or Blair Witch, both of them traumatized me. The only scary movies I have ever been into are The Shining and The Exorcist, both of which I have watched so many times that I cannot count and they both still give me nightmares. I’m pretty sure I only watched those as I was forced to against my will.

As you can imagine I have been avoiding American Horror Story like the plague. But it keeps intriguing me so much! Especially when everyone started talking about how unbelievably amazing Coven was and how great the clothes are. So I decided the other night to get over my self and start watching it. Adam jumped on board watching it with me as he LOVES scary movies and is so excited that I’ll watch anything involving a ghost with him. The first night I thought my heart was going to beat out of my body after we watched 2 episodes. I had to turn on every light in the house to walk to the bathroom and made the dog go with me. I should add that as a very young child, I loved in a haunted house. It was in NH and built over an indian burial ground, and weird shit happened there. I’m pretty sure this is why I can’t handle ghost stuff, go figure. Violence, no problem…bring it on, I love crime shows and movies but paranormal freaky stuff just terrifies me.  I am really into AHS though, my heart beats way to fast, my palms sweat, I have to hold the dog and Adams foot to get through an episode, but its really good. Totally worth it. I’m pretty proud of myself too…ah the things we do for fashion. Do you watch? No spoilers!

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