Even if you're the plan ahead type and have already crossed all the names off of your list, chances are you'll still have a reason to head out to the stores at some point this holiday season. For most of us, the list is just being put together and if you're like me, even a trip to Target this month makes you want to never leave the house again. As this is not an option, I try to at least make the experience as pleasant as possible. If I know I'm shopping bound, I try and wear a coat that I can take on and off easily and with only one layer underneath so I'm not overheated if I run into a place for a short enough time to leave my coat on. Living in Texas as opposed to NY means less outerwear for sure, but it's still December and that outer layer is a necessity. I try and wear comfy flats, carry a bag I can put over my shoulder and stock it with a few reusable shopping bags as we have a bag ban in Austin, my lists, a pencil for checking off and making notes and my phone, wallet and keys. To keep it feeling festive and fun, I throw on a statement necklace and sparkly earrings.
You may have noticed that I have been reusing items in the How To Wear It posts...well, I feel like I am curating the wardrobe of Ms. How To Wear It and in the real world, she would re-wear her clothes, just like the rest of us. Admittedly, Ms. HTWI shops way more often than I do, but as she is fictional, I think thats only fair.
The to do list on Thursday...and my amazing timer that I'm in love with
Two weeks ago, Adam and I decided that as my crazy season kicks off the day after Thanksgiving that we would just go with flow that all the plans we had half made for Thanksgiving had fallen though and kind of ignore the day. I had to get ready for the weekend anyway. Then three days before the actual day, there was a conversation between Adam and one of his friends who had custody of his son for Thanksgiving this year, and a turkey in the freezer, that we should have it together. This could have been a simple decision and we should have just made a few side dishes and called it a day.
The Turkey brining, cranberries boiling, green beans draining and pie dough ready to roll
However, 10 years ago I had hosted my first Thanksgiving and decided to fry our turkey. Unfortunately, no one thought to check the fryer box after purchase (because who does that?) and when we went to set it up a few hours before dinner, realized that a crucial part was missing and no stores were open to get the missing part. There were many methods attempted to rig it, which all failed and my mom ended up hacking off parts of the raw turkey and microwaving them...which was as bad as it sounds. My ego would not let another horrible Thanksgiving dinner ever happen again on my watch so last week I went into hyper crazy holiday mode.
Chilled pie dough about to be rolled out..this is my first attempt at pie crust and making an apple pie!
I started planning out the timing for cooking the many, many dishes (that I had never cooked before) being prepared with one oven and braved the grocery store with the masses. I asked Adam what had to be present to make it feel like Thanksgiving, and he listed every generic dish there is and insisted that they should all be prepared from canned goods. Um, no. We compromised...I made all the dishes he wanted but with no canned goods...because ew, they're like 88 cents a lb, thats cheaper then a can of them! Anyway...I had researched and found recipes for everything and had them all printed out and everything ready to go on Wednesday night. At about 5:30 after I got home from my run, I popped into the kitchen to brine the turkey. That's when I realized what a mammoth challenge I had taken on.
The bottom of the pie crust laid out in the pan
Let me preface this by saying that in my family, I am the cleaner. My sister Gillian is a chef and cooks everything with my mom, with the help of my other sisters, Holly and Thea. I help clean as they go and then organize/clean the entire kitchen at the end of the night. I do nothing with the food. Wednesday night I realized this and started to panic. I ended up making the pie dough, apple pie, cranberry sauce and green beans for the casserole that night. I also laid out the buffet table, decided on serving dishes and set the table for our 2pm dinner. At 1am, still in my running clothes I finally left the kitchen.
Laying the top crust over the apples
Adam got home 20 minutes later just as I was getting out of the shower and said that our friends who were on the fence confirmed that they were coming the next day as well. Then he let me know that 3 others were coming as well. I kind of freaked out at that point and started texting his phone with things that he had to buy first thing in the morning so we had enough food as we went from 4 to 9 people.
All ready to go into the oven!
I also was going to have to unset the table, take down the buffet as it was blocking the door to the garage, bring in our bigger table from the garage and redo everything. Lets just say that I couldn't even pretend to sleep that night, I tossed and turned and kept texting his phone so I could double the potatoes, make another pie...etc. I got up at 8:30 to start cooking the next morning (I usually get up at 11, so that was ROUGH). I cooked the turkey, made a pumpkin pie, reset the table, cooked 2 types of stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and candied yams. I set the table and set up the buffet again. By some miracle, everything was ready at exactly 2pm and perfect!
I am so proud of my first apple pie!!
The only down side was the 3 guests who we had to move furniture for canceled at 1:55. They will not be invited to dinner ever again. No matter, we had a lovely time without them. Our friends 3 year old son terrorized Faye, the guys watched football and the massive amounts of leftovers due to 3 people not showing up were forced on our friends when they left. I was in the kitchen cleaning until about 9pm and then had to work for a couple of hours.
We brought in the big dinning room table and it looks so pretty set for dinner (excuse the photo)
Lets just say that this weekend was spent in a zombie state, which is unfortunate as I was so busy with holiday orders coming in (yay!). Fortunately though, I think after a good long sleep last night though that I am finally recovered...and have started planning the party for 25 at our house Christmas night. You can start thing positive thoughts for me now please...
Quite the spread!
p.s. don't forget to checkout Manic Trout for the perfect holiday party accessories and presents!
You guys, black friday kills people. That's crazy. Sometimes I think, how I can I add to the bombardment of deals today with emails, blog posts, tweets and fb posts? But I realize that if I start thinking like that, soon I'll be banning birthday cake and anniversary gifts from my life...and thats not fun at all! So I'll add to the chaos and tell you that there are savings today at Manic Trout. 20% off with gobblegobble all day. There is also free US shipping through Monday (automatically). Oh and on Monday there is something else special going on that I'll be telling everyone about because Monday is the true magic day for online shops. But we're not there yet, so I'll stop there. Be safe, have a great weekend and avoid walmart as apparently people get trampled there today.
Over the years I have celebrated Thanksgiving in all sorts of ways, I have gone to both small and large gatherings at family members homes, I have hosted (which was an epic fail but I'll share that story next week), I have gone with family to friends houses, I have gone to in laws and friends of in laws houses, I have also gone out to restaurants a handful of times. Every one of these brought it's own challenge with what to wear, but one thing seems to always be key at Thanksgiving...it's the official kick off for the holiday party season and the prefect reason to start getting festive!
I decided to approach this weeks How To Wear It with two versions. I kept all of the jewelry, the bag and the (forgiving!) top the same, but swapped out the jeans for a skirt and added heels to take this look from casual to dressy. All three pieces of jewelry I selected are prefect to wear together or mixed with other pieces throughout the holiday season and will instantly add a bit of festivity to any outfit.
So what are your plans for this year? I may be attempting to cook a turkey again this year...not sure yet but I think just in case I do, that you'd better start crossing your fingers for me now!
The weather here in Austin has been yo-yoing out of control the last couple of weeks and this has been causing my allergies to reach a new level of annoying. Or could be a mild cold...I can't really tell the difference, all I know is that I want to just sleep all of the time. My sleepiness combined with the amount of jewelry that I've been making has made me quiet. So I'm relying on showing you pretty things instead of typing away like normal, so here is a lovely page from one of my sketchbooks...I apparently was in the mood for a farm theme that day.
Even in Austin, where winter weather is rather mild and comes in spurts between 75 degree days, we feel the need to get all cozy with our winter wardrobes. I suppose that in the this climate more than anywhere, you need to focus in layers as even the chilliest of mornings will warm up by the end of the day. Speaking of which...growing up in the north east, I was accustomed to noon - 2pm being the hottest part of the day with it cooling down the closer to sunset it got. When I moved to Austin, I was confused when the temps kept rising as the day progressed. 5pm ends up much hotter then noon was. So anyway, its 4pm and all nice and warm and then bam! it gets dark and cold. So like I said, layers are key. With all of this clothing on, you'll need to make sure to accessorize or you'll be nothing more than a big pile of fabric. Necklaces are easy to loose under a sweater...so I prefer my winter sparkle in earrings and rings...well and because fingers and ears are the most visible body parts at this time of year.
p.s. I have those Frye Carson Ballet Flats in raspberry and they are super awesome.
I grew up in pretty athletic family of girls. I played varsity sports in high school and as my mom rose horses professionally, was a forced rider until I was a teenager. We were all super active as kids and I have for the most part continued to make exercise in some form another a constant part of my life as an adult. It's the only thing that keeps me sane. I know when I haven't been working out often enough when I start to feel myself become excessively high strung. For the past decade, I have mostly done work out videos and long dog walks for exercise, but I sometimes feel the need to mix it up and add running to the mix. Recently, I think both my body and my brain realized it had been a few years since I last took to the streets and had been itching to get back into it. I had been avoiding it due to the crazy heat here in Texas, but about 6 months ago, I started going running in my dreams. I think this was due in part to how my brain was processing stress while sleeping and in part to my body craving it, but whatever the reason, it got me to finally start running again 2 months ago. It's interesting that out of all the sports I've played and athletic things I've done, that running does the most for my head. There's something about it that resets my brain and calms down the noise. Not sure how long I'll last once the 100+ temps return in the spring, but for now...for now its my favorite part of the day.
Most of my sketchbooks are filled with inspiring images more than actual sketches. They are where I turn when I need a burst of inspiration to get me in the mood. At this point I have quite the stack of books accumulated but find myself flipping through them a bit less and filling them at an even slower rate thanks to pinterest. Not that I'm complaining, I'm basically in love with it...I know I gush a lot about pinterest, but man...they hit the nail on the head with that one. The only down side is that I tend to organize pinterest more than I do the books and so the books end up being a series of collages that in itself are inspiring and nothing can replace that.
I've been dragging my feet on getting the Spring 2014 Collection finished up so I thought a good dose of page flipping was in order...as suspected, it did the trick. These were the pages that tickled my fancy the most today. I'm all ready to sit down and get my design on!!
Although I don't do them everyday (who are we kidding...I don't even put on jewelry most days), I have been trying to snap photos of how I wear Manic Trout throughout the month. Oddly, the last week in October I didn't take one photo, but I was actually leaving the house with jewelry AND make up on. I was however perhaps wearing either the same entire outfits or at least the same jewelry as I wore in the already snapped photos, so not much was missed.
Mainly I am doing this to try and reach my goal of getting myself out of the rut I have with both the clothes and jewelry that I wear. To be fair, in all of the photos with v-necks, I am at least wearing different skirts, but I have no excuse for wearing the same jewelry all the time, I mean really, I have access to about 600 pieces at any given time and I had been wearing the same 3 necklaces week after week for the last year.