The Bachelorette Weekend

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My Bachelorette is one week from today.

My sister and my friends have done all of the planning and they've left me out of it, which is exactly how I wanted it to be. My friends live all over the place so the only tricky part was going to be picking a destination. For this part, I obviously gave some input.

My first thought was a little lofty:

San Fran/Napa. 

What's not to love about a girls weekend spent drinking wine in Napa, with a quick stop in one of my favorite cites, San Francisco?

The price. That's what. Flights and hotels, even AirBnBs were too expensive so we ruled this one out almost immediately.

So then we toyed with the idea of Scottsdale.

I went there for my friend Kate's bach just a few months ago and had a great time. Plus, my BM Tyeler is from Scottsdale so she could show us the ropes. But then someone told us Scottsdale would be way too hot in June. I'm not scared of hot weather by any means, but this idea got nixed as well.

At this point I was just tempted to do Chicago. Why not?

Chicago is an awesome city in the summer. We could rent a boat, play by the beach, have a fun spa day at The Wit followed by drinks on their roof top after. I don't usually treat myself to spa days, but a bachelorette is the perfect time to do something like that I figured. I actually just got my first facial at The Wit a few weeks ago and it was absolutely amazing. Even today, I can still see the improvements it did for my skin. On the way out I asked if they do large party spa days and they said of course. A day of champagne and getting pampered is something I could get on board with...

But alas, the destination for my bachelorette will not be Chicago after all. Instead, we decided to mix things up and we're heading to Austin next week. Like I said, I don't know a lot of the plans but what I do know is that we've rented a house with a pool and I'm most definitely bringing a pizza raft. Because I am a child. Other than that, I guess I'll find out...

I'm not really a penis necklace kind of girl, so I've made a strict request for no genitalia accessories. However, no one likes a stick in the mud either. So I am game for whatever comes my way.

Luckily my friend/BM Kam lives in Austin so she's got some fun spots picked out, but if you have suggestions for anything Austin let me know!

Where should we go? What should we eat? How do we get around since Uber isn't there anymore?! Tell me all of the things.

The Mistake I Always Make When Moving

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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

In the past six years Chris and I have lived in five different apartments together. We're what you might call serial movers. He hates it, I don't mind it. I think moving is good for cleansing your belongings and doing a little reorganizing.

I think that until it comes time to actually do the moving and then it's a real pain. So what I should say is I like unpacking and rearranging. The actual moving part- not so much.

We're at the point where I can feel another move coming on soon. I go into crazy mode whenever we move into a new place and I think it needs to be decorated asap. You know those people who live in a place that looks bare for weeks, sometimes even months? That's not me. I will make sure every nook and cranny is filled within 48 hours. It's a bad habit I picked up from my mom.

I make the same mistake every time in that in an attempt to quickly decorate I often end up buying things I don't love, but simply purchase because they're available and I don't want to wait for the thing that would probably go best in our place. This is a quality of mine that Chris doesn't exactly appreciate...

The next place we move into will probably be a place we buy and we've both agreed not to make any rush furniture purchases just for the sake of filling it. And by "we" I mean "I" because Chris never buys just to buy.

And so we've been looking into renting furniture/appliances. I didn't even realize this was a thing, but once I started talking about it I discovered it's pretty popular for city dwellers.

Thus I present to you: CORT Furniture Rental- a Bershire Hathaway Company (a name pretty important to us Nebraska folk.)

First and foremost, when you rent furniture from CORT they move everything in and everything out for you. In a city this is huge! If you tire of a piece of furniture you can simply choose something new when you move to your next place.

If you're not in a real permanent place in life, whether you're a student, in the military, or simply all over the place like myself, CORT takes the burden out of purchasing furniture you may not need, or even want down the road. It gives you the freedom to play around with decor ideas, while also making sure your place looks great right when you move in.

Right now my home style is all over the place because we move so frequently and it changes depending on the style of our apartment. The thought of not having to commit to a big purchase like furniture or a new appliance is pretty freeing.

What are your thoughts on home decor? Is furniture rental something you'd ever be interested in?

It's definitely something I'm doing a little research on, because it's moving season right now and I'm getting the itch...

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The Thing About Camping

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Chris is very into camping right now. And I am very into the idea of camping.

I'm into the idea until I've been outside for about ten hours and then want to go inside and lay on a couch. I'm into the idea until I look around suddenly noticing tiny spiders crawling everywhere and realize I will most likely bring a few of those spiders home with me. *I was right.

I'm into the idea until I'm not.

Don't get me wrong, I do think camping can be fun. I just think it might be more fun if it occurred in a cabin. Like with rooms and a kitchen and bathrooms. And maybe someone who brings me fresh towels and a mini tooth paste if I forgot one. So more like a resort. Yes, I'm very into camping at a resort where instead of a lake there's a "pool" and patio furniture and servers bringing you margaritas. That's the kind of camping I enjoy.

Never the less, Chris and I spent the weekend in a tent at Devils Lake, Wisconsin. The views were spectacular, the camp site was clean, and there was a little snack hut less than a mile from our tent, so all in all, it wasn't half bad. As long as I know there's a snack hut within walking distance, I'll usually be okay in life.

And then there's this guy. Harlow is a camping extraordinary.  He hiked the intense climb with us like an absolute champion. The smile on his face was worth every insect bite I received on my back.

It's a funny thing when you notice you start taking vacations just because you know your dog will have a good time. Does anyone else do this? Is this normal? I get far too much joy watching Harlow have fun.

We hiked about ten miles on Saturday and were fast asleep by 9:30 p.m. that night. Which is okay when camping, because once it gets dark you kinda look around and think,  okay what do we do now?

The longer we live in Chicago the more I'm starting to love Wisconsin. It's a really cool state. And it has a cheese palace. An abundance of lakes and an abundance of cheese. Is Wisco heaven on earth? I think it might be. The "oh yeah" accent is pretty fun, as well.

Anyone else going through a camping phase right now?

The Wedding Check List- 8 Weeks Out

Monday, May 23, 2016

Two months from today at this very moment our ceremony will have probably just ended.

Chris and I will be walking down the aisle, hands clasped in the air, as we'll officially be "Mr. and Mrs." Mr. Hillis and Mrs. Wolfe. Same names, different titles.

The thought of it all being only two months away is a little scary to me. When I hear someone say it's only "eight weeks away," well that sounds even scarier. Eight weeks is nothing.

And so what am I doing right now at eight weeks? Oh you know, just galavanting around Chicago in my little white outfit, carrying the adorable I DO tote my sister got me, as I go on fabulous lunches and get my nails done every day and work on my wedding hair color.


Or am I sitting in a mess of a living room right now surrounded by t-shirts and camping gear, as I eat cold baked beans, and wear a shirt that says "Thirsty Thursday." If you can't tell, why should I...

And so at this point, eight weeks out, my wedding to-do list looks like this:

1. Panic every night around 11:30 just as I lay down.
2. Wonder over and over again how it all "comes together."
3. Get nervous about talking to everyone.
4. Feel guilty about not talking to everyone.
5. Get excited when I think about all of my favorite people coming together for a few days to hang out with Chris and I.
6. Feel sad knowing it's all going to be a whirlwind and happen way too fast.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

How does it all come together? All of the emails and meetings and internet searching to make sure everything is right. It's all just so much. When I find myself getting worked up I have to remember it's just a wedding. They happen all the time.

Eight weeks. 60 days.

I just have to connect 1000 more dots and everything will be good to go. Harlow stuff, honeymoon plans, bridesmaid deets, hair, shoes, videography, food, transportation, music ....

Okay, I'm getting worked up again. Why does society put so much pressure ON BRIDES?

I need to chill. Let's pretend this is me right now. Tootsing around sunny Chicago with Harlow and not a care in the world...

White jeans.

And as I said this precious little tote was a gift from my sister/MOH. Ever since I made her cry and told her she wasn't taking her MOH duties seriously enough she's really stepped up her game. Jk! You can find the white eyelet top from Alice & Wonder here.

I really went all out with the photos and this bag so here's ONE MORE in case you haven't seen enough.

Little lace shorties are found here. I'll be ordering another pair since I got into a dog fight wearing these last week and so the ones in the photo are now ripped and destroyed... Thanks, neighbor dogs.

Anyway, I have about 14 hours of t-shirt time in front of me. I'm hoping to release a few new summer tops later this week, let's just say the line is called... Red, White & Basic. I hope you love it.

Adventures of 29 Year Old Girl - Week One.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Introducing, 29 Year Old Girl.

Not a girl, not yet a Super Woman either. She fights crime (problems in her head) (often made up) one day at a time.

She gets out of bed every day before 8 a.m. because she is an ADULT. She runs on coffee and Advil. Around 3 p.m. she makes more coffee. And sometimes again after dinner because WHY NOT.

She starts each morning in her cape (bathrobe) and repeats, "I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay" over and over. She stares herself in the mirror and says, "today will be a good day!"And she almost always believes it.

She listens to The Secret and Ted Talks in her earbuds but pretends she's listening to cool hipster music.

She likes her wine two glasses at a time. But after that she has to slow down because damn it her hangovers only seem to get more intense with each day that passes.

She's always on the quest to find the perfect under eye cream, dark spot corrector, and most importantly, to pluck every new chin hair that seems to pop up out of NOWHERE.

Like why am I getting all these chin hairs?!

She's faces the worlds challenges like a true warrior and hasn't cried in the shower in over a week.

She likes to talk about her "system" a lot and "things that mess with it." Hummus, quinoa, anything from Sultan's Market. It's hard to stay regular, am I right ladies?!

She is... 29 Year Old Girl.

This is her last year in her twenties (as everyone likes to remind her) and she is going to kill it.

She's going to.  Kill it.

She's going to do something. That's certain.

**Series To Be Continued.**

Start To Summer Bucket List

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Summer in Chicago always takes its sweet time getting here. It won't be consistently warm until late June, perhaps even July. So when we get a nice day outside like we did today, you have to take advantage.

I wasted no time in breaking out my summer cut-offs and new sandals. And as Harlow and I set out to galavant around Chicago and enjoy the nice weather, I started thinking of my "start to summer" bucket list. Or something of the sorts.

It goes a little something like this:

1. Patio it up.
Brunch, happy hour, lunch, dinner, whatever. Chicago is full of great patios and I plan to stop by all of them. If you live here, what's your favorite spot?

2. Watch the Cubbies!
And by that I mean eat hotdogs and drink beer at the stadium. Baseball is nothing without those two components.

3. Get on the water.
Whether it be a kayak, paddle board, or renting a pontoon. Getting out on the water is always a good time.

4. Dog beach, every day.
(Harlow added this one.) I do love the dog beach, but I steer clear of the water there because... well I'm sure you know.

5. Walk everywhere!
I get a little lazy in the winter and rely on cabs and buses more than I should (but hello it's freezing) so when summer finally gets here I like to be on my feet as much as possible.

I'm over the moon for these Timberland sandals from Zappos because they are SO COMFORTABLE. It feels like I'm walking on a layer of cushy padding. Also, I have very wide feet so it's pretty hard for me to find a sandal that doesn't give me blisters and can withstand about five miles of walking per day.

Sweater. Shorts.

Well these sweet things have solved all of my problems. And there's just something about the look of them that reminds me of fun beach sandals I used to have as a kid. I'm just so excited to pack away my boots and scarves and finally live life without 100 layers on.

Zappos is my go-to for ordering online because they're crazy fast, have free shipping, and a 365 day return policy!

Chicago, you did good today. Now let's go for another hot one tomorrow.

Shoutout to my friends at Zappos x Timberland for allowing me to bring you this post and get us all in the summer spirit!

Let It Go

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Control what you can. Let go of what you can't.

That's one of my big goals for the year of 29. I wrote it down while I sipped a latte on my birthday and felt so wise and peaceful. Look at me go. I'm going to be such a great person for the last year of my twenties it's not even funny. Maybe I'll start teaching yoga even so I can show others how to be as peaceful and happy as me.

MARRIED AF. Jean Shorts. 
And then I got the email.

The email from a loyal reader politely tipping me off that a few more stores were "borrowing" my shirt designs. After a quick search on Etsy I saw 26 stores selling my stuff... Now before I dive into this, if you're sitting there thinking holy shit Taylor, you are a broken record, trust me, I know. You should try living in my head for a day. It's exhausting.

People steal t-shirt designs, we move on. It's life. Except I don't. I don't "let it go."

Ask my mom, I've been angrily trying to protect my intellectual property since the late 80s. It's just who I am.

But I have gotten smarter. Since I have my copyright licensed (*I'm aware you can't copyright a shirt/phrase, it's an entire brand/concept) I am able to turn stores into Etsy, at which point they take the other knock-off listings down. And as soon as that happens I actually say Tick Tock out loud because then it's just a matter of seconds before those other store owners email me. And here's the real kicker, they're mad at ME!

Every single day I get nasty emails from people stealing my stuff who tell me I'm in the wrong. They tell me over and over "you didn't create this."

Corresponding with these people is like talking to a brick wall. So what do I do? I let it go. Lols. Jk jk jk. Hahahahahaha. Instead what I do is have about 100 fake conversations/arguments in my head with these people until I'm so worked up I've wasted a good hour of my time.

Truthfully, I don't like turning other stores in. I don't get sick jollies from it or feel excited. I feel like shit because it fills me with anxiety and bad energy because I know what comes next. I have thick skin and can take a lot, but day in and day out dealing with so much negativity takes a toll.

And it's a freaken t-shirt. (Saying this to myself here more than anyone else.) If I could just follow my mantra, let it go. let it go. let it go...

Instead I'll blog about it because it feels oh so good to get it off my chest, thank you once again for indulging me.

If I can't handle the heat, I should get out of the kitchen. That's how that goes, right? This business will not change and as I grow this will only happen more and more. So what do I do?

Push on. Keep creating. I know it's silly but I like making funny shirts and seeing other people wear them. My favorite part is when a customer includes a gift note to someone and I feel like I'm actually sending presents to strangers all over the world. That's the fun part.

Until I write my book and star in my movie and create my sanctuary for abandoned dogs (*small goals) T-Shirt Town is where I've taken up residence. So I'm about to blow it up next and will be releasing five new designs.

Reader poll: if there's a shirt/tank top you'd like for summer, let me know! I'm looking to add one more and would love the opinion from the people!

Thank you and good day.