Friday, August 22, 2014

What Makes Me Happy

I'm reading The Alchemist right now and it puts me in such a good mood. If you haven't read it, I recommend you do, there's a reason it's been translated into at least sixty different languages. It's all about enjoying the journey and finding your personal legend in life. "It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."- One of my favorite lines in the book.

Wanna know what else makes me happy? This ridiculous photo I just took of Harlow. This is typically how our mornings go. I start in the living room with my coffee and answer emails and write posts while he sits next to me and makes drunk faces.

In the morning he also likes to do"sticky tongue." It's this weird thing he does where he likes to act like he's licking himself but he actually just lets his tongue hang out on his arm for a good ten minutes while he makes bizarre morning yawn noises. Harlow only seems to get more vocal by the day. One of these times I think he's just going to start talking to me.

And since I mentioned coffee I'll just ahead and say it. I am completely obsessed with my new Keurig, as obsessed as I imagine most of you were five years ago when everyone else jumped on this train. Per the usual, I'm late to the game. I've been using the same $15 Target coffee maker I got in college, so this new thing is like amazing to me. There's no messy filters to deal with!!! Mind--> blown.

And as you can see Keurig just knew I was a Husker fan so they sent me some school spirit with it as well. They're removable decals you can find here for almost every school, perfect for those early morning tailgates if I do say so myself.

Speaking of tailgates... The first college football game is officially one week away! I AM SO EXCITED. Husker football season season is here! And to be honest I'm so blown away by the reception with the Talk Herbie To Me shirts, I've shipped them all over the country (and even to Germany) and that makes me just burst with Husker pride. I absolutely can't wait to see everyone rocking them on game day.

As for today, that's all I've got. Friday is calling my name. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Inside A Blogger's Fashion Shoot

I've realized by now that so many of you (bloggers and non-bloggers alike) are probably just dying to know what it's like inside a blogger's fashion shoot.  I know I used to be curious...  Now I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you what mine are like. I'll probably regret sharing my secrets to capturing these mind blowing shots, but I'm going to do it anyway.

"So after a boutique sends you clothing to photograph , what do you do next?" asks nobody.

Well thanks for asking. My process is very professional and very time consuming. 

After I get a package in the mail I usually squeal with delight. I'm currently in the stage of paying for more writing classes/clown school so I honestly haven't been able to afford the luxury of new clothes in a quite a while. So when I get something new, I am very excited.

I immediately try it on to make sure it fits. And if it doesn't fit, I make it fit. Luckily this gorgeous Georgia dress you see from Sugar Love Boutique fits like a gem. 

After I make sure the clothing fits, then I typically have to decide which hairstyle will go best with the outfit, my choices are down and wavy, or down and a little less wavy. I think it's pretty obvious which style I went with! 

Then I decide which makeup will be best for the shoot. Since I've worn the same makeup since high school and don't actually know how to change up my makeup routine, it's usually a pretty easy choice. 

So I went with *shimmery brown eye shadow, black eyeliner, black mascara, and a shit ton of bronzer. Done and done. Oh and did you notice I've started wearing a little bit of lipstick? I have. It goes with my bangs I think. Gives me a bit of an edge. No biggy.

And then I wait for my photographer to be ready. Depending on whether the shoots are taking place before or after Chris goes to work, we typically have around 3-5 minutes to get them done.

"Hey, will you take a quick photo for me? Real fast. Fast. Thanks." I ask Chris as he's usually just walking in, or just walking out. He's a sport and almost always says yes.

We then walk outside and I try to look for the part of our street that is least ugly with the least amount of people walking by that I think will judge me. When I've found it, I shove the camera into his chest and say, okay go. And then I hold onto my purse and tuck one leg behind the other and shout things like "does my hair make me look like a Cocker Spaniel?" and "do I have fat arm in any of the pics?" and also "do I look gross with this smile?" as he starts snapping photos.

Sometimes I try to get fancy and I'll show Chris photos of fashion bloggers I admire right before we shoot in an attempt to get their same shots. "How do I do that thing where I act like I'm not looking at the camera?" I ask.

"You don't look at the camera," he replies in a dead pan tone. He's such a sweetheart.

And then we usually finish with an extra special finale shot. It's me walking. The other day I said, "Chris, let's take a walking shot now." And then I started walking in slow motion as if I've never walked before. Until he got annoyed and said, "Tay, just WALK. Like a human." He's so smart sometimes.

Here I am. Just walking. Like a human. NAILED IT.

Dress can be found here.  Shoes can be found lying next to my bed. And I'm not sure where that purse is at the moment.

It's not easy taking blogger fashion shoots, but someone's gotta do it. Feel free to share these tips or even use them for inspiration!

Have a great day blogworld! God love ya, you keep me young!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Failure Sucks

I didn't score a single point in my last high school basketball game. Not one. It was the worst feeling ever.

I kind of forgot about this actually, which makes sense because hello it's been ten years, normal people move on from trivial things this like... And normal people certainly don't have a reoccurring dream about missing their last high school basketball game at least once per week...

I think I locked this shitty memory away because it was just that, shitty. But last night out of nowhere it came back to me.

Yesterday I had my first performance at the new iO building with a show called The Pool. The Pool's cast is stacked with some very very funny people, so I was nervous and also excited to get to perform with them. I also had an unwarranted feeling of confidence because I was still riding my high from my performance with The Sneak Around Bunch, from Monday night at the Second City.  Did I mention Ashley from The Grits blog even brought some of her co-workers to watch the show on Monday night while they were all visiting Chicago? Well she did and that was pretty awesome of her, so like I said, I was on a high. I was ready to nail my debut appearance at iO on Kingsbury street.

iO on Kingsbury street had different plans for me, unfortunately.

Before the show we were all warming up in the Chris Farley green room and I was feeling good. Being a part of anything with his name on it always makes me happy. So when we took the stage and announced that we were the first ever "Pool" show at iO I was ready to roll.

Our opening started and I was determined to chime in. The first few people said things and I was thinking in my head what should I say... More people said things and I was still thinking. By the time I said something it was so meager and weak I don't think anyone heard me.

When we cleared the stage to start our first scenes I was already feeling significantly less confident than when I started. Being on stage with low confidence is a dangerous thing, for me especially. Because the voice in my head likes to tear me a part when it can sense weakness. I wouldn't say I'm hard on myself, I'm honest. I honestly tell myself how shitty I think I am... So as I stood against the wall and watched the first scene unfold my mind was already starting to fill with negativity about why I was already ruining this show. The second scene started and I tried to even harder to make myself disappear into the wall. By the time the third one got underway and I still hadn't gone out I had pretty much already decided I was done for. This is a terrible attitude to have with improv and I know this. It's selfish and it doesn't do any good for your teammates on stage. But never the less, the feeling was there.

When the second beat scenes started I threw myself out there realizing I didn't have much of a choice at this point. I mumbled my way through a shitty scene and just wanted to run off stage. Everyone else seemed to know what was going on but I was lost as hell.

I felt like the audience could smell my low self confidence. If I wasn't confident with the things I was saying, why should they be? I told myself they had already decided I wasn't funny so I should just stay to the side and hide like the coward I was being.

After the show we sat in the audience and watched the next group and I tried to sink into my chair as low as possible. If I could have melted into that chair I would have. I just felt so so stupid about my bad performance. This terrible feeling of failure resonated inside of me. And then I realized it felt familiar. That's when all of the sudden I remembered that weird memory that had been put away for ten years about not scoring in my last high school game. It was the exact same feeling. And by now you're probably thinking, whoa chill out weirdo it's just an improv show. And you're right, I'm being super dramatic here. But that's how I get when I'm shitty at something I so badly want to be good at. I'm dramatic. Because it pisses me off when I'm a failure and I know I've let other people down.

I was a point guard when I played basketball. And I was two completely different players in a game depending on whether I was confident or not. When I was having a good game I loved having the ball. I thought I was faster than anyone and was always trying to get a break away.  When I was having a bad game I absolutely dreaded having to bring the ball up court- especially against a press, more specifically a South Sioux press. Having a point guard who dreads taking the ball isn't the best quality... It's kind of like having an improv player who doesn't want to leave the wall.

I'm not good at improv and it drives me nuts. We are adults playing make believe on stage and I'm screwing it up. That's not right. And it forces me to write "deep" blog posts about my inner demons from high school and why basketball is metaphorically similar to improv, and that's even more not right.

Feeling like a failure just sucks, whatever age you are and whatever it is you're doing. That's all there is to it.

I'll get better. I'll learn to be the best make-believer on stage if it kills me.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Daily Struggle To Fake A Cool Life On Instagram

In the world of social media we live in today, it's important to remember that more times than not we're only seeing the pieces of other peoples lives that they want us to see. It's easier than ever to fake having a perfect life.  (Or so I've been told...) But I have to disagree. Because I've been trying super hard lately on Instagram to make my life look really cool and I'm still failing. Like c'mon, what's a girl have to do to make a filtered life seem cool? 

For starters, I have zero white backgrounds or table tops in my house and that seems to be the cool thing right now for bloggers when they're looking for a space to take their random collage photos. You know what I'm talking about when I say "collage photos," it's when they just photograph an array of weird shit like a Glamour magazine sitting next to a small gold glitter candle which is next to a DSLR camera which is probably next to a planner and a gel pen. And fresh flowers. NEVER forget the fresh flowers.  

Don't get me wrong I honestly love these photo collages of weird shit, I really do, I just don't understand what's going on exactly. It's as if all of these perfectly posed items are just floating in an imaginary white space. How this happens, I may never know.

And that's just one of the reasons I'm failing at my fake Instagram life.

And then we've got the whole morning situation. My mornings aren't so pretty, unlike some of my favorite people I follow on Instagram. I'm not kidding when I say I absolutely love looking at peaceful mornings pics by blogger's who's fake lives I admire. The thought of having time to create a breakfast collage of my perfectly buttered toast on a small plate just big enough for the toast that says "Dream," which is next to freshly sliced fruit in a small bowl that says "Wish," along side an artistically created latte served in an anthropology-esque coffee mug gives me such jollies. I look at these photos and think I want to have mornings like this. 

Yet I just can't seem to master the art of a beautiful fake morning, during the week mine are always covered in coffee spills and empty cereal bowls. And on the weekends I usually miss my chance because I sleep through them...

And please don't even get me started on my favorite blogger's pre-vacay pics. They're just about as dreamy as it gets. Not only do they fold all of their clothes before they pack, they lay them out (typically color coordinated) and take a photo for all the world to see what they're packing. Life doesn't get much better. But then it does. Because they also snap quite a few "on the way to the airport" pics which are always adorable. Their husbands/boyfriends must really love them because Chris and I are rarely on speaking terms before we leave for vacation. It's tradition that we always get into a big argument before setting sail for a trip, it's a cute little couple quirk of ours.

Honestly, this list could go on and one, but I've got to wrap it up somewhere. 

So here's the thing, I follow people with seemingly perfect lives because I sickly enjoy it. I like to look at their edited lives and imagine how someday my edited life could be. I know some people get irritated with people who presumably present a better life than they might actually have in real life, but I can't help but admire it. Because as I've learned,  it's hard work to fake a cool life, so hats off to those of you who have figured it out.

Someday my life will appear pretty and put together. And then you'll know that I've finally mastered the art of faking it. 

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*The photo I used can be found here. It wasn't mine obviously.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Viva Las Omaha

After almost four days in Vegas, Chris walked in the door last night and looked a little... rough. I think Harlow could sense his desperation because he gave him a greeting like never before, he whined and whimpered and brought every toy to Chris's feet in a matter of seconds. It was pretty cute, I think Harlow worried Chris was going to get eaten by Vegas. I may have been too.

And here's the difference between a guy's trip and a girl's trip, I asked Chris if he took any pictures and he said "nope." If it had been a girl's bachelorette, Facebook and Instagram would have been flooded with photos all weekend and a few new hashtags would have been created. But not for these guys, there's not a trace of the weekend to be found anywhere. Unless there's a "Hangover-esque" camera in hiding somewhere... 

But who needs a weekend in Vegas with twenty guys when you can have a weekend in Omaha, Nebraska with two toddlers? Don't be too jealous, but here's a few photos of my crazy weekend with Knox and Lola.

We slid down some tall slides.

(On a piece of cardboard so I could go faster, because I'm a 10 year old.)

Admired the pretty fountains.

Still admiring.

Fed some ducks near this water fall thing.

Photo shoot with the happy kiddos.

Knox even made an appearance. This kid is three. But he looks seventeen.

And then we found a teenager to take a few blurry photos of my sister, mom, and I before having dinner in the Old Market.

Don't ever underestimate the fun that can be had in Omaha, Nebraska.

Time to take on another Monday.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Our Nashville Life

Happy Saturday, everyone! Today I'm introducing you to Jackie from Our Nashville Life.

Let's start simple, how did you choose the name of your blog? 
I wanted a blog name that instantly told readers something about myself. I knew straight out that I didn't want anything with my name in it (too many people called me "Wacky Jackie" or "Jackie Chan" growing up). So I ended up picking Our Nashville Life.

What made you decide to start a blog?
Honestly, I wanted a way to feel connected to people that weren't my co-workers. When I moved to Nashville the only person I knew was my husband, Shawn. I have no family here and had no friends.....things got lonely real quick! I figured a good way to connect with people was through blogging.

Jackie -- Our Nashville Life

What are summers like in Nashville?
They are long, hot, and amazing! Out of all the places I have lived Nashville hands down has the best weather.

What do you miss most about the Northeast?
So many things! My family is the biggest one. Also, the seafood! I tell Shawn all the time that if we ever move it will be to somewhere near the water because I miss the seafood so much. And, of course, I miss the attitude and energy of the Northeast. It's a completely different world in the South!

What has blogging taught you thus far?
That the blogging community is amazing!!! From my first blog post everyone has been amazing.

Jackie -- Our Nashville Life

*Comments have been turned off, to say hello to Jackie click here.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

The Summer Shag

I had about ten really great post ideas for today in an effort to make up for my absence yesterday. (Trust me guys, they were going to be life changing posts for sure.) But then I woke up with what feels like a lump in the back of my throat the size of a softball. I've been putting off this cold for almost a week now, although today I'd almost go so far to say it feels like strep throat... But I don't want to say that. Because I don't have time for strep right now.

On top of this fun little sickness for some reason the past few days I've only been sleeping about two hours per night. And I'm usually an 8-9 hours per night kind of girl. I never have trouble sleeping so I have no idea what's going on. I feel tired all day but then when I go to bed I just lay there and think about everything I have coming up in the next few weeks or everything I have to do and suddenly I can't sleep. Maybe it's like a mid-late twenties crisis I'm going through or something? Back-to-school time always makes me a bit crazy so that would make sense.

What I'm saying is I'm just feeling too crappy at the moment to bring you those life changing posts. I'm know, I'm disappointed in myself as well.

Anyway, I made a quick trip back to Nebraska while Chris jets off to Vegas for the weekend for the first big bachelor party he's attended.. It will be a miracle if all of the guys he went with come home in one piece. Don't get me wrong I love his friends, but this specific group is wild. Like really wild. And I'm just nervous they're going to end up in jail or the hospital or another country. Weirder stuff has happened to these guys before. Trust me when I say they have stories you wouldn't believe. I just can't think about it. I gave Chris a big hug before he left and said don't lose your phone and try to call me at least once.  At this point the last time I heard from him was 6:00 p.m. yesterday (when he had just landed.) I'll keep you posted.

And now a look at my "wild" past few days.

I feel like this photo sums up my relationship with Harlow. I coddle him and he's always annoyed with me.

But seriously, why does he refuse to sit on the ground like a real dog?

I take that back, when smores are around he'll sit on the ground.

Lola has the same face here as Harlow in the top photo.

And I can't come home without doing a quick photo shoot, obviously. I'm starting to call my new 'do the summer shag. "They look like curtains." That was my mom's first response when she saw my bangs. Moms are the best.

V-neck can be purchased here. 

And on that note, I'm off to see the children's doctor I've been seeing since I was a baby. What a great Friday I'm having. I'd much rather be in Nebraska at the children's doctor than in Vegas.

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