8 Luxuries We Gave Up When We Moved To The City

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of letgo for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Before Chris and I moved to Chicago we were living like fat cats in a mansion of an apartment in Kansas. We had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a laundry room, six closets, and a kitchen big enough to tap dance in. And TWO garage parking spots. Like I said, we were living fat.

We also had a backyard. A big huge yard with a real fence and everything.

We didn't realize how good we had it until we packed up everything and moved to Chicago. We weren't dummies, we knew space would be much more limited living in a city. But it's one thing to "know it" and another thing to live it.

1. Parking.
Bye bye garage. Or even a driveway. Right now our only option is street parking. Sometimes it's not awful, but when it's January and freezing I'm lugging ten bags of groceries, it's awful.

2. Backard.
Technically, we do have a tiny back yard right now. It's about the size of a two car garage. And on a hot summer afternoon when we sit out on our back deck we can see about fifty of our neighbors doing the exact same thing because that's how stacked we are on top of each other.

3. Laundry.
This is a big one for me because I used to enjoy doing laundry. I would toss in a few things every day just for the hell of it. But now that our laundry machines are in the dungeon basement below our house and cost $6 to wash and dry, it's not so enjoyable anymore. Don't even get me started on the question Chris and I ask every Monday, "do we have quarters?" Those are fighting words right there.

I play a game with myself called "no quarter left behind" where I refuse to let the laundry machine deny my quarters by spitting them back out. No. Not on my watch. So far in 2016 I'm shooting 100%.

4. Closets.
Remind me what these are again? I remember the term vaguely... Wrap your head around this, Chris and I share a teeny tiny non walk-in closet. It's been this way for the past five years. We have a guest bedroom closet, but that is T-SHIRT town so...

5. Kitchen cabinets.
We have room for a crock pot and that's about it. I learned the hard way that drawer under our oven is not in fact a drawer, but it's a broiler. Don't worry, the fire didn't even leave the kitchen, only the black soot did...

6. Kitchen pantry. 
Lols. Non-existent.

7. Bathrooms.
Again, this one is pretty tough. We have one sink, one shower, all in one tiny old bathroom. Morning time gets a little sticky.

8. Zero storage.
No extra closets, or rooms, or drawers, or a basement, or attic, nada.

The good part about this is that we don't have a lot of extra junk. We have what you see and that's it. However, in the past few weeks our generous friends and family have started sending wedding gifts our way. Talk about fun mail days.

So each time we bring something new into our house I get rid of something old. It's the only option we have. I've started using something new on my phone called The letgo app.

This app allows you to buy and sell used items quickly and efficiently. From signing up, to listing an item, it took me all of two minutes so it's incredibly user friendly. You choose your category and click sell your stuff and then it's online and ready to be purchased by someone!

And letgo has a pretty hilarious tool called letgo Commercializer where you can actually create short commercials for your products you are selling. If you've always wanted to work in advertising, this is your chance! Be that commercial star! You simply have to choose the item you are selling, choose a theme for the commercial and then letGo will make the magic happen.

I'm not in the market to buy anything right now, but I can't help but browse what's in my area for sale. For example there's a pretty cool vintage Bulls jersey I have my eye on...

What do you have lying around your house that you'd like to get off your hands and make a little money in the process?
Visit Sponsors Site

The Maid Of Honor Speech

Dear Diary,

I'm feeling exceptionally intense today. I have a lot on mind.

I'm walking around with that feeling like I have a big track meet tomorrow and I want to do good but I know the 200 meter dash might be a bit of a doozy and I'm already nervous about it. What if I get wobbly legs at the end and can't finish? What if I pee my pants in the starting block (again)? So many outcomes are unknown.

For starters, T-Shirt Town blew up last night. I got a nice little mention on Instagram and had a record evening for sales. It was wonderful, but it's also a little scary. Big sale nights = t-shirt trolls crawling out of their holes to grab my designs. And they seem extra hungry right now.

But that's not where the track feeling is coming from.

The track feeling is about a certain maid of honor speech I have to give on Saturday. I take speeches very seriously. They are my favorite part of a wedding. I judge them hard, but in turn, I fully expect people to judge mine. It's only fair. And thus the nerves.

It's added pressure when I know everyone involved with this wedding are funny people. The bride, the groom, the wedding party, it's a fun group. I can't help but feel like expectations are high. I'm hearing that voice in my head that says, dance for us, monkey! dance!

I just don't want to be blown out of the water by the best man speech, you know? I hate when people say, "the guys' speeches are always funnier." Because it doesn't have to be this way. Both speeches can be entertaining.

That's my goal for Saturday. I want to give heartfelt speech about the bride, that is also enjoyable to watch. Right? Isn't that what makes a good speech? If that means I have to put on my tap shoes and dance like a money in a top hat, I will do that. It's my duty as the MOH.

And now like my friend Bad Girl Ri Ri says, it's time to work, work, work. Pop stars. T-Shirt sellers. One in the same! We're all living our dreams.

Follow @thedailytay on snapchat for a peak behind t-shirt town today, you will probably get very embarrassed for me a time or two. Chris can't even watch anymore. LOLS.

It's almost Fridayyyyyyy. Maybe.

My Wedding Look!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Planning a wedding is tricky.

It starts out with one thing and then suddenly it's a hundred million things and you can't sleep at night because you're thinking about the hotel gift bags and did you remember to order the cookies and why are you being so insane this is totally not you when did you turn into such a #BRIDETOBE?????

So last weekend I made a trip out to Steamboat with my mom and sister to figure some stuff out.
*Steamboat Springs is the name of the town in Colorado, I am not actually getting married on a steamboat. But I don't hate the idea of that. 

Overalls. Converse.

Also, planning a wedding from hundreds of miles away is slightly more difficult than I knew. My wedding planners are my mom, sister, Chris's mom, and all of my friends. So while I'm very thankful to have the help that I do, I can understand why people have wedding planners. They take care of that stuff that no one else wants to do.

Like setting appointments. So many damn appointments.

I realized a few weeks ago I had overlooked some very important details, like getting a cake, booking a stylist, ext, but luckily a friend of mine who is an awesome wedding planner in Denver swooped in and graciously sent 100 contacts my way in no time. It's as if she just heard someone mutter the word wedding and bells went off in her ears. That to me is the magic of having a wedding planner, or what I think anyway. People like Emily Hagen know who to call, and more importantly, they know not to forget to call those people.

Did I mention I'm not good at details? At the flower place the florist asked me what kind of flowers I like and I said "the pretty ones."

However, when I met with the hair and makeup gals I had a pretty clear vision. I told the hair stylist I wanted "chic vintage curls." And so we tried "chic vintage curls" and I did not look chic. Vintage perhaps, like in the way people look when they get older. The problem wasn't the stylist, she's great, the problem was the style didn't fit my face.

Not to mention the ceremony and reception are outside, by a lake no less. So "chic" probably isn't a style I should aim for when being outdoors for twelve hours.

But do you know what is? BIG. Big hair that only gets bigger outside. Oh, how I love big hair. And I don't care what anyone thinks! There's a pageant girl inside of me dying to compete at the Madison County Fair. And so I've ditched "vintage chic" and my new look I'm going for is "modern Jon Benet."

I've had a deep fascination with that sweet baby angel ever since my great grandma Grace used to save every tabloid with her face on it and give them to me when I came to visit. We're not talking about US magazine here, my grandma Grace only bought the tabloids that came on newspaper style paper. The tabloids that predicted aliens were about to take over earth ANY DAY!

So what do we think? Too much? Good. That's what I'm going for.

Google "Jessica Simpson big hair" and you'll see my hair inspo. We all remember when she showed up on the red carpet in that open back black dress looking itty bitty, with a mop of curly blonde hair that nearly covered her. It was wonderful.

So now to find makeup to match my hair. Thanks to Emily's suggestions, I found a great makeup artist in Denver, Brooke Rock.  I went to her studio on Sunday for a trial and had no idea what to expect. I know this might surprise you, but I can be a little finicky when it comes to letting people touch my face.

But Brooke was totally awesome and made me feel right at ease. She let me list out every insecurity I have about my face, which is something I feel the need to do, it's like I get this urge to say, hey just in case you haven't seen every single flaw on my face, I'm going to go ahead and point them all out to make sure you do!

So I'm a real gem to work with, luckily Brooke didn't mind.

As you can tell her home studio is super cute. And when it came time to do my makeup, I just told her to do her thing. She gave me brows, eyes, and an even skin tone! What more could a girl ask for?

At the very end I requested a bold red lip. Go big or go home. I know most suggest a more subtle lip color for their wedding, but not me. Remember, I'm going for glam!

Glam in the mountains. Why the hell not?!


I may talk a big game, but I'll admit the red was a little much for me. I told Brooke to keep it on hand, but I may chicken out and go with something a lot more neutral. But hey, maybe the red will come out for the reception. Anything is possible.

Also yes, I'll be removing my nose ring for the ceremony even though I'm not happy about it. How else will be people know I'm edgy and hip? Ugh. Being a bride is so much pressure.

So much to do. So little time. Don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow with a BIG announcement.


The Bachelor Party

Thursday, April 28, 2016


This year is bananas.

Bananas in a good way, the very best way really. It's just hands down the busiest year I've ever experienced. So I am in a get shit DONE mode today and have about three hours before I need to head to the airport.

First of all, your comments yesterday were awesome. Thank you. I love that I can come here and just shoot the shit and know that I have a cool community of people stopping by who aren't crazy internet-folk. I really appreciate that.

Speaking of crazy, Chris left for his bachelor trip yesterday. He'll be in Vegas until Sunday. Yesterday was Wednesday. He will be in Vegas Wednesday- Sunday.... WHY? I don't know. He is nuts. No one goes to Vegas for that long. I once went to Vegas on a Thursday and was booking an early flight home by Saturday. I had to get the hell out of there. A fan of that city I am not. The energy there feels dirty to me.

But Chris? Oh he loves Vegas. Funny how we are so different about some things.

He'll be there with fifteen other guys. And I literally just sighed so loud typing that. The Fremonster boys are an interesting bunch. They always run at least ten deep and their history runs twenty years long, for some even longer. I feel like this is more common with guys than girls. Or maybe I was the only loser who came out of high school with barely two friends?

My fear is that they don't realize they're not 21 anymore and things are going to get out of hand and someone is going to end up in the hospital or in jail. This is a very real fear of mine. If you'd hear some of the stories these guys have, you would understand why. So please keep Chris in your thoughts this weekend.

As for me, I'm heading to Steamboat with my mom and sister, and niece and nephew to do wedding stuff. Chris and I will be having drastically different weekends. I'll think about him tomorrow morning when I'm doing a hair trial at 8 a.m. and assume he'll just be getting home for "the night."

Wedding hair and makeup trials. How should I feel about this? Have any tips? I guess I'll let you know how it all goes tomorrow... Oh boy, oh boy.

jean shorts.
And now if you want a free month of designer sunnies use the code THEDAILYTAY and head over to Ditto. I love Ditto for upcoming weddings, showers, acting like an adult, ext. Not great for day drinking. If you follow me on snapchat you know... Oopsie daisy.

I'm going to end with a request from my animal loving people.

I'm asking you for a favor... again. And we all know it won't be my last. Because when someone contacts me about a dog who needs help I'm going to relay the message, it's what you would do too. This sweet little pup named Lupita needs some funds to beat her tumor. Her mom gets up every morning at 6 a.m. to drive her to treatment an hour from her house, so this isn't the story of an owner giving up by any means, it's an owner who needs help. It's someone who clearly loves their dog as much as we all do and she could use some assistance. And did I mention she's nine months pregnant? Talk about a stressful time.

Click here to donate, then send me an email if you want and I'll give you free ad space as a thank you. The ad can be for your blog, your business, or even if you just want to put a smiling pic of your fur baby on my page for a month. Please just help Lupita, she and her mom are both in a bind.

It's Thursday, we've almost made it!

I'll be bouncing around the Midwest for the next couple weeks and may be slightly MIA on here, so follow on snap @thedailytay and I promise to show you 100 different clips of avocado toast. Jk jk.

Truth In T-Shirt World

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

So today wasn't my best day.

It ended with a very unnecessary breakdown, complete with very unnecessary tears. Poor Chris had no idea what he was walking into after work.

Do you ever have such a frustratingly shitty day that all it takes is one final straw to send you over the edge into a tantrum more fitting for a toddler than an adult? And even as you're crying you know it's very self indulgent and ridiculous but you just continue on that crazy train anyway?

I did that today. I'm not proud of it. But it happened, so I have to own it.

This isn't intended as a "poor-me" post, but instead let's all laugh and point at how dramatic I get in my own world when I take things too personal and need to just take a breath and back the hell away for a second.

I don't want to go into too much detail regarding what sent me over, does it really even matter? I'm sure we all know it's t-shirt related. OH T-SHIRT LADY WOES. Why must life be oh so difficult in the land of rayon/poly/cotton shirts?

In short, someone who "borrowed" an idea from me is sending me less than pleasant emails and saying I can't own something when everyone else has decided to steal it as well. That's pretty much her logic. Everyone else has stolen it, so she can too.

There's a lot to more to the story that makes me 100 times angrier regarding principle and integrity as a small business owner, and me being taken for a fool because I was trying to be a good person and take someone's word for something and blah blah blah. But my voice of reason (Chris) and also some advice from Helene, suggested I leave out the details. And the screenshots.

But it's killing me. However deep down I know it's just my ego wanting to provide you details. It always is. My ego is bruised and it is NOT happy about it. It's shouting but but but but this isn't fair and I want to scream and complain, someone listen to my shouts!!!!

So here's the last thing(s) I'll say.

I get that the MARRIED AF t-shirt is completely ridiculous (and wonderful) and that's why I love it. I also know I didn't coin the term AF, but I do know that I was the first to put MARRIED AF on a shirt. And COZY AF.... -my ego wants to make sure you know this.

So when people take it and admit it's not their own but do it anyway, I get mad. And I've done everything I can to protect myself this time around by copyrighting this correctly- you can't copyright a phrase for a shirt, so this falls under an entire brand of things I am working on under the title MARRIED AF. (More to come on this at a later time.) So like any smart person, I copyrighted this title before anyone else could.

What it boils down to is that I'm just not cut out for t-shirt business. I can't handle people stealing others ideas like it's no big deal. I hold onto my own too tightly and I don't do well when I feel others start to grab them. I go into mama bear mode over my t-shirts because I am seriously a crazy T-Shirt Lady now. Art (or snapchat) has become real life.

I've let go of some of my others because I didn't have much of a choice in the end. The Talk Herbie To Me and the I Just Want To Hang With My Dog shirts are two of the biggest that have really caused me some stress this past year. I see the knock-offs everywhere now and I can't help but foam at the mouth when I do.

My frustration lies in the fact that I work my ass off to get my shirts out there. It doesn't just randomly happen. They don't just start getting traffic by chance, I've hustled hard to get them in front of the right people. But then it's a catch 22 because as soon as a shirt "takes off"every one else tries to grab it as their own.

Have I mentioned I care too much and probably make this a much bigger deal than I should?

It's just the nature of this business and I need to accept it, or I need to get out. Tuesday night tantrums don't help anything.

But I'll be damned if a good midnight blog post doesn't help. Oddly enough, I feel slightly better having written this. So thank you for listening (again and always) and thank you for being a supportive AF group of people. Man, I appreciate it.

Now perhaps it's time I try to sleep off the crazies. Tomorrow will be better.

Blogging, Balance and Bullshit

Last night was a good night at standup.

The room was full, we had to turn comedians away, and the people in the audience wanted to be there. They clapped, they laughed, they were on board with everything, and it made me think, damn I need to do this more.

Why don't I do this more?

And then I woke up today exhausted and am behind on t-shirts and blog posts and I remembered that's why I don't do it more. The late nights kills me. I'm a wimp. I need, and I love my sleep.

My comedian friends all work their ass off. They have jobs they hate, but they tolerate them because it allows them to do what they love. When their work day is done they hit rehearsal, or their next open mic, or their next show. I've surrounded myself with a bunch of people who hustle and grind hard here and I like it.

But it also makes me feel like a loser. I don't hit it nearly as hard as my friends, especially right now, when so much of my energy is focused toward t-shirts and blogging. I don't ever clock out of my job and that's a conscious choice I am making.

And let's be honest, I also choose blogging and t-shirts over writing and comedy because it's easier. It's a wonderful distraction from thinking about the failed dreams I can't seem to reach.

I prefer to post an Instagram that will get me 20 sales rather than write a chapter of my book. Instant gratification folks, it feels so good!

And now we're at the point in the post where I'm debating what my original intent was for writing this. Was it to talk about the fact I always feel 100% confused and that I'm making the wrong decisions and focusing on the wrong thing? Or that 2016 is the year I've put comedy on the back burner because I'm hustling in a different area, the area that pays bills and allows me to book a honeymoon, not miss out on my friends bachelorettes, and possibly put money down on a house.

I don't know when we crossed into mortgage talk, but we have and it is terrifying. Turns out real estate in Chicago isn't cheap. So I feel the need to sell 100 more shirts a week, take on a few more sponsored posts, push the insta game just a little harder... It's my job after all, I don't expect someone else to do the work.

So yea, 2016 is a little pricey.

But why would 2017 be any different? We're not doing crazy shit here, it's just what adults do. Right? Right. I DON'T KNOW. And to think a lot of people our age have two, or even three, extra mouths to feed.

Remember that game where you put your forehead on the handle of a baseball bat, put the other end in the dirt, and then you spin around in circles really fast? Then when you come up, you try to run as fast as you can in any direction, without falling over.

Well that's me right now every single day. I'm just running spastically all over the place trying not to fall down.

Anyone else playing?


Rolling Into Summer On My New Bike

Monday, April 25, 2016

Having a bike in Chicago is like having a key to the city. It opens it up in ways that traveling in a car can't. With traffic being awful here, especially on the weekends, jumping on a bike allows you to get from Wicker Park to the lake faster than any other way.

So when the weather gets nice, I live for biking around Chicago. It's how I run my errands and get from place to place. The only downfall is that I was cruising around on a bike I got for my 10th birthday that hardly "cruised" anymore, if you catch my drift.

That is until one day last week when the heavens opened up and I finally got a new bike. It's not just any bike, it is the Columbia 700 C Westfield City Bike. And it is most definitely the coolest bike I have ever owned.

 Some refer to it as "the cool hipster rider." Well that is just totally me. Obviously.

It's also way cooler than Chris's bike which I happen to love. He used to always make fun of me for having the "junker bike," but not anymore. Now when we jump on our bikes to head to lunch I've got the showstopper. Yes, I just referred to my bike as a showstopper.

If you can't tell, I am a little obsessed. It is by far the coolest thing I have ever received. It doesn't just look pretty, but it also rides like a dream. Columbia was the first company to make bikes in the USA and there's a reason they've been around forever. They make beautiful, long lasting bikes. Fun fact: Columbia invented the tandem bike!

I'm about to nerd out on you and tell you every feature the Westfield City Bike has to offer because I'm like a proud new mom and want everyone to know.

*One of the smoothest rides built by Columbia
*Gorgeous 700C Vintage City design
*Durable Steel Frame
*LED headlight and fender
*Extreme comfort Columbia Embossed seat
*Rear steel rack
*Brush steel fenders with full coverage
*36 Whole Aluminum rims

You can buy this beauty at Dicks Sporting Goods.

For other Columbia models, be sure to check Toys R Us, Target, Amazon, Walmart and Dicks retailers where Columbia Bicycles can be found! It's just what you need to roll into summer.

Have a great Monday!

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Columbia Bicycles, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RideColumbia http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

*Photos by Ali B Photography.