I Got This Is Us'd

Monday, March 27, 2017

Twas a cold spring day two weeks ago when I needed something to have on in the background while I worked on a few emails. Almost everyone I know watches a show called "This Is Us," so I figured what the hell, I'd give it a shot.

I was reluctant because I don't watch a lot of primetime TV, I'm more of a Netflix and Amazon girl because I like to binge watch. Also I'll be honest, the show gave off very cheesy vibes. But like I said, my plan was to watch it as a "background show."

After episode one I was mildly entertained. I liked the twist at the end and bragged to myself that I picked up on it about 30 seconds before everyone else, having seen some of the cues planted earlier in the episode. Most of all, I assured myself I was correct in thinking it was a very cheesy show.

After the second episode I told myself I was done. The show was just a little much for me. Far too predictable, too cliche, too much of everything I don't love about primetime tv shows.

Fast forward to me 5 or 6 episodes in crying like a baby at every critical moment.

"Are you okay?" Chris asked when he walked in on me sobbing on the couch. "I thought you said this show is stupid."

"It is, it's so dumb," I said between cry hiccups. "I hate it." And then I pressed play on the next episode.

I got This Is Us'd and I don't even know how. I watched almost all of season one on Saturday and finally admitted to my sister that I "enjoy the show." It's time to stop pretending. I am embracing the cheesiness of it all and would now like to discuss it with you.

First of all, I love the nostalgia. I'm going to make a bold statement here based on zero facts, but I have to believe that's a huge part of its appeal. Everyone loves a show about the good ol days. It's why I lived for the Wonder Years as a child, watch Now and Then at least once a month, and was devastated when Mad Men ended. All of these shows give us a peak back to when life felt more simple; a time I never lived in, yet somehow feels so familiar to me.

I'll admit I even occasionally fast forward through the present parts, at least I did when I first started watching. All I want to see is Jack and Rebecca as they once were. Because Jack, what a guy! When he did pushups with Randall on his back I lost it. Of course I'm a big fan of Rebecca and think she is an amazing mother, but I'm simply smitten with Jack.

I have only one episode left and I already know that we get to zero resolution as to what happens to Jack. But I'm okay with that, because I don't want to know. I don't want Jack to die! Never! I want life to stay exactly as it was when we first brought the triplets home back in 1980 and everything was so unknown and new, but also so perfect!

See what I did there? That's me getting This Is Us'd. I confuse their reality with my own.

Beyond my crush on Jack, I'm a big fan of Beth, Randall's wife. When she got her postcard in the mail I broke down; she needed that. We all did.

Basically the entire Memphis episode had me in tears. It could have been the three glasses of wine I had, who knows. I just thought it was beautifully written and directed and the perfect trip I needed for closure with sweet William. When he got the chance to play the piano on stage with his old bandmates I knew right then and there I had made the right decision to go to Memphis. Of course it didn't fit in well with all the stress I'd been under at the commodity firm, but it was right for my soul.

Oh Randall. What a sensitive human he is. It breaks my heart when he's a kid, I want to punch Kevin and scream "stop being so mean to your brother!" Good thing he has Kate. I really like her character, but have to say her fiance Toby drives me nuts. He was funny at first, but now I get so annoyed with everything he says and just want to tell him to shut up. Yes, he provides comic relief, but he also provides comic annoyance because it NEVER STOPS.

Also, I know this may not be a popular opinion,  but I think he treats Kate like shit. Does anyone else notice this? If she doesn't fall head over heels for his "grand gestures" he immediately turns it back on him like, "what about me? where's my grand gesture?" He's the mean nice guy and I can't stand him. If you ask me, Kate's too good for him. There, I said it.

Last thing I'm going to say about Toby (I have a lot of built up aggression toward him I'm realizing) he consistently tries to sabotage Kate's weight loss journey. He appears supportive, but in my opinion, he is the opposite. When he interrupted her pound/workout class at her weight loss retreat and made a complete mockery of it I. Was. Livid.

And that's my take. Do you watch the show? What do you think? Who is your favorite?

Spring Fashion Favs

Sunday, March 26, 2017

In less than two hours on Friday the weather in Chicago went from 78 degrees to 46 degrees. One second Chris, Harlow, and I were sitting on a patio basking in the sunshine, (I was wearing a new spring shirt feeling super fancy) and the next second I was freezing (and feeling like a huge idiot in my "new spring shirt.")

This is said "spring shirt." Perfect for that 77 degree day, not so much for a 45 degree day.

The weather forecast for the next ten days reads, "don't even bother, it's basically going to rain forever." And so today Harlow and I are hunkered on the couch, getting some work done, while watching reruns of Big Little Lies. Are you watching this series? I'm kind of obsessed with it. Whether you watch it or not, do yourself a favor and listen to their playlist on Spotify- it's equally as good.

In hopes that warm weather will return some day, I'm going all in with a quick "spring fashion" post. All selfie pics you're about to see were shot with love from my "blogger bedroom mirror." And I really hope you notice that I tried extra hard to mix up my poses from "knee pop" to "not knee pop." Can't wait to see what you think!

This one is what I call the "darling cupcake" top. Very feminine and fun, not typically my style but I'm keeping it for those times I want to feel extra ... feminine and fun.

This next top feels like the evil twin sister of the top above. Little more edgy, little more knee pop! Summer nights, here I come!

The striped bell sleeve blouse. Perfect for tea at the country club? Perhaps a good work shirt? Verdict is still out on this one. It looked a lot cuter on the model, then again she ironed it and paired it with cute jean shorts so perhaps that's all it needs?

In similar fashion, I'm a big fan of this gingham off the shoulder top as well.

The mules. Found on Amazon here! They're super comfortable and have a heel height perfect for lots of warm weather walking.

I also suggest you check out all of the new spring items from Alice & Wonder. And as I just clicked to her site I realized there is a rather large photo of me on her homepage, which is just a little too large for comfort. Ha! But also, eek.

I had the pleasure of getting a first look at all of her items and they are awesome! PS she has 15% off right now but it's ending soon!

And that concludes my bi-yearly fashion post. I hope you enjoyed the knee pops! What warmer weather styles are you loving?

Wicker Park Chic

Friday, March 24, 2017

Grab a margarita, everyone. We made it to Friday.

After yesterday's post I feel the need to lighten it up around here. I try to keep my "animal worry" in check or it can really affect my mood. This past week I didn't do a great job and spent a good chunk of time dwelling and feeling sad about things I can't control.

Not today though. It's 75 degrees and sunny and I'm listening to the Beach Boys while I write from our rooftop. Yes, I like the Beach Boys, you can judge me, it's fine. I can tell my very hip Wicker Park neighbors (who are also sitting on their rooftop right now drinking very hip cocktails) are throwing some major side-eyes my way. Just wait until I put on some Jimmy Buffet. Just kidding! But...  *Okay, sometimes in secret I do occasionally like Jimmy Buffet but if you ask me about this in public I will deny it forever.

It's hard keeping up in this neighborhood, everyone is effortlessly cool. The kids, the teens, the parents, they all look like they just stepped out of American Apparel's spring mag. I was telling Chris this last week and he said, "oh really? You mean they don't go out wearing jeans under their sweatpants with slipper booties?" 

One time! I did it one time and he won't let me live it down. In my defense, it was the day it snowed far too much for a March day and I was just admitting defeat.

In an attempt to keep up with the hip Jones' next door I've been buying a lot more bodysuits and Levis lately.  I'm told it's what all the kids are into these days. (I told you I was going to keep this light and airy today so indulge me as I spend six paragraphs talking about ruffled bodysuits and high rise denim.)

Just kidding, I won't. But I will say this bodysuit is less than $40 and it doesn't hurt (if you've worn tight bodysuits then you know what hurt I'm talking about) and it's not impossible to put on. Win/win.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned the $29 Sam Edelman espadrilles I've been wearing all the time lately (comfy for wide feet- always a must for me) the color I have on are sold out, but these peach ones are also very cute!

And that concludes my clothing talk. I may go all in and do a full "SPRING MUST HAVES!" post over the weekend (or something equally as cliche) I'm not really sure yet. It will depend on how much I eat at brunch.  Outdoor brunching season is almost here, I can feel it.

On that note, I need to get Harlow to the 606 and enjoy this amazing day. I'll leave you with some yogi words I heard years ago from an instructor that randomly popped in my head last week- I have no idea why I suddenly remembered them, but I'm glad I did.

"Our only true thoughts are the ones we choose to believe."

Happy Weekending!

Killing Bear Cubs and Wolf Pups

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Today will be a short post, and probably a pretty unpleasant one because I'm mad. And I don't trust myself to write when I'm this upset.

When I dabble into political-inspired topics I try my best to remain level-headed and open a conversation that allows me to see both sides, but today I'm having a really really hard time seeing the "other side" of this one.

Thanks to the U.S. Senate, hunters and trappers are now allowed to shoot mama bears and their cubs, while hibernating in their dens. Same goes for Wolf moms and their pups. And thanks to this overturn, "hunters" are allowed to kill these animals in some extremely inhumane ways- gassing wolf pups, baiting bears however they please and then shooting them in the back. How is this hunting? Seems more like slaughter to me.

"Before the vote, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) said the bill contained "some of the most cruel and inhumane savage killing of animals."

Other "hunting" options that will be available include:

Shooting bears from airplanes.
Using Steel-jawed leghold traps.
Setting up wire snares.

When caught in a steel trap, wolves and coyotes are often known for chewing off their own legs in desperation to get back to their young, because if they don't, their pups will freeze or starve to death.

Well done, humans.

And guess where this is happening? "Wildlife refugees" in Alaska.

"What the House did today should shock the conscience of every animal lover in America," Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said on Thursday. "If the Senate and President concur, we'll see wolf families killed in their dens, bears chased down by planes or suffering for hours in barbaric steel-jawed traps or snares."

As always, I'm not ignorant to the fact a lot of what I read may be one-sided, so in attempt to figure out why the hell this is happening I started googling things like,

"why we should kill bears" or "benefits of overturning FWS regulations" or "why it's okay for humans to be awful and take whatever they'd like."

I'm not getting any answers. In fact, when I googled "benefits of overturning FWS regulations" the only website to pop up urging senators to vote "yes" on H.J. 69 was from "ammoland.com."

I've debated closing comments today simply because I don't think I could properly engage without becoming a "crazy internet person" because I'm so sick about this entire thing. However, I've decided I'm going to keep it open just in case there's someone out there who can better explain to me why our government is allowing this to happen.

You can read more about this here. At the end, the article suggests you write the White House or tweet President Trump. This is the first year I've started writing senators about issues I feel strongly about and I don't plan to stop. I actually thought about tweeting Trump but when I went to his account today his last tweet was,

And I was quickly reminded his main agenda on Twitter is usually talking about "Fake News" or simply throwing insults at random celebrities or TV shows.

"The lives of animals living on 76 million acres of federal wildlife refuges in Alaska is now in President Donald Trump's hands. " 

Let's hope he does what's best them for them.

If you're as sick about this as I am, I encourage you to make a donation to your local animal shelter today, it's the only resolve I've found that helps when I'm feeling hopeless about the world and the way we treat the animals who live here with us.

Adventures of Newlyweds - Installing A Light Fixture

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Q: How many spouses does it take to install a new light fixture?

A: No one really knows because they stop half way through to argue and ultimately say "FORGET IT" so they never actually finish.

Thus today's post is a new one from my "Adventures of Newlyweds" series. Given that Chris and I dated for ten years, and were engaged for nearly two, I've decided we get to be newlyweds for at least 2-3 years (if not only for the sake of this series I literally just now decided to start.)

So here's the premise, last week we received the gorgeous new pendant light I ordered from Hayneedle. I hated the light that was previously in our kitchen and could not wait to get this new one in. My crappy photo does not do it justice, but it's a rose gold, mid century, pendant globe style light, and I AM IN LOVE.

Full disclosure: Hayneedle is not paying me to write this post, BUT, they were super generous and gave me the opportunity to go onto their site and pick out a few things for our home. And then I spent about 10 straight hours in their mid century selection and outdoor selection going absolutely nuts.

But back to the installation of the light.

What took us nearly two hours, and two trips to Lowes, could have probably taken an electrician less than five minutes. But where is the fun in that? It was a Monday night and Chris and I were just getting along too well, so we thought we'd mix it up and create a situation where we had no other choice but to bark at each other. Attempting to rewire a new light seemed like the perfect scenario!

Did I mention we didn't have the instructions? They were "misplaced," but let's not talk about that part. And it was really too bad, because according to the reviews online, they seem to have been really helpful instructions.

So it was 6: 00 p.m. on a Monday night, we had the electricity turned off, and we were losing daylight fast.

Here's the situation:

Chris is on the ladder trying to twist wires together like he's Bruce Willis, I'm standing on the bench nearby holding a flashlight for him like I'm Bruce Willis's assistant, and Harlow's barking at cats in the alley.

"Tay! Hold the flashlight where I'm working! Do you see where my hands are?" 

"I AM!" I snap back. But if I'm being honest I probably wasn't because I was actually looking at Harlow. And in my defense, holding a flashlight is a lot harder than it sounds.

"Do I put the white wire with the black, or the purple? I can't remember!" he asks, because obviously I would know.

"Definitely the purple," I lie. "Is our house going to blow up if you get it wrong?"


"Then stop! I'll call an electrician."

"It's fine."

"NO! Just stop, I'll call someone."

This goes on until it's completely dark in our kitchen except for the light of the flashlight I was holding incorrectly.

Once the wiring was done it was time to set up the light fixture, and if you look closely you'll see four rose gold bars that have to go inside of the globe to make the bulb stay.

"How the hell do we get these inside here?" Chris says, looking at his gorilla hands knowing there was no way they'd fit in globe.

"Allow me, this isn't my first ship in a bottle," I say, pretty proud of my terrible joke.

Chris didn't laugh. He never appreciates my humor when it's most needed, if you ask me.

It took a few tries, but my baby hands were able to screw in the pegs, while inside of the globe. We did it! And then we noticed we left a huge sticker on the bulb....

"Let's leave it," Chris says.

"No, I want it right."

"No one will notice a sticker."

Cue the Curb Your Enthusiasm music because as it turns out, the people who owned our condo before us had a sticker on their light fixture (the one I hated) and I always thought, why the hell didn't they take that sticker off?

So I insisted it come off.

Reluctantly, Chris removed the light fixture so he could "make it right" for me. And in attempting to take out the bulb, to remove a small sticker I did not like, he cracked the top of the globe and chipped glass fell inside.

Cue the Curb music again.

Neither of us said a word to each other for about ten minutes.

Long story short, the fixture is hung (we love it) and the chip is only visible to the smiling photos of Chris, myself, and Harlow in the background.

I feel like the moral here is that when you're installing a new light fixture you should either a. call an electrician. or b. ask the light company to email new instructions.

We ended the night by laying in bed, listening to the sweet hum of our police scanner, a guilty pleasure we picked up back when we lived in Topeker, Kansas. What cay I say? You're only newlyweds once.

Five Workout Classes I've Left Halfway In

Monday, March 20, 2017


In honor of the first day of spring, let's do a workout post.

How To Get Swimsuit Season Ready- I believe it was my friend Claire who famously gave this tip in response: "you put on a swimsuit, there you are ready."

I'm probably paraphrasing just slightly, but you get the idea. I'm not here to tell you how to get "swimsuit ready" because a. what does that even mean and b. it's obviously different for everyone. For example for me, in 2017 I'm trying to figure out how to wear a high waist bikini and/or one piece and feel comfortable/not constantly pull at it. What's going on with those? I'm yet to try one on where I don't feel the need to wear a sarong around my waist because there's just a little too much going on on the backside, or perhaps I mean a little too less?

I know it's a me-thing, but just a little more fabric would be nice. So if you've found some good one-pieces (or cute high-waisters), do share below!

That being said, I made Chris take pics of me next to a brick wall before pilates so damn it a "workout-ish" post is going to happen. Sidenote: we had exactly 35 seconds for this photo shoot. How did we do?

Number one: Me side-eyeing our creepy neighbor like, please stop watching this you, creepy SOB.

Number two: Me flexing super hard while I pretend to fix my hair in hopes Chris will take it before I stop flexing.

Number three. The point where I was saying, "screw it, let's go inside."

I've already mentioned my love for pilates here, it's literally the only class I've stuck with in my life. You get to lay on a board for 55 minutes and come out feeling stronger and happier, what's not to love?

Instead, let's talk about classes I don't love. Thus I present to you "Five Classes I've Left Halfway In." Call me a class-quitter, a giver-upper, I don't care, life's too short to stay in a workout class you hate, watching the clock slowly tick backward.

1. Spin class.
I just can't do it, it hurts my butt too much. And not like a muscle-hurt, but like a "why did someone punch me in the butt" kind of hurt. Also, I can never get the soccer cleat bike shoes to stick into the pedals and once I finally do, I panic I'll never get them out and will tip my bike over and I'll be the person stuck in my bike, lying on the floor. Tell me someone else has had this nightmare?

This is what happened when I tried a Soul Cycle class once, I'll never forget it.

2. Any type of Flirty Girl fitness thing.
Maybe it's because I'm not in fact a "flirty girl," but I just couldn't handle this place. A studio opened by my house and I was sent a free week, I'm not one to turn down free stuff so I went. I walked inside and was given a pink boa, a name tag that read "I'm a flirty girl named _______ " and a pink sweatband, and I walked right back out.

3. Zumba.

4. Bootcamp. 
Again, I only went to this because it was a free try and it was happening at a park near my house. The "leader" was quite rude and I didn't appreciate his tone (what was with all the yelling?!) When I walked away ten minutes in the guy screamed after me, "you just gonna quit on me?" And I responded, "Yup, see ya!" and walked to Juice Stop. It was actually a pretty good morning now that I think about it.

5. Stroller Class.
This was just an all around mistake on my part. Harlow wouldn't stay in the stroller, he kept trying to eat the other babies' cheerios, and all the Lincoln Park moms were just getting super pissed at me. Really didn't go over well.

What's the worst workout class you've ever taken? Also, yay spring! It's 40 and rainy here today, summer is coming!

*I buy almost all of my Lulu pants (like the ones seen above) from their discount site found here. Next on my wish list are these crops and these running shorts

*I also love all Zella jackets  and tank tops for cute workout gear.

And That Time I Got Laid Off

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Let's just turn this into a series about me getting fired + what happened next, shall we?

Because less than nine months after I was fired from a job I hated, I was "laid off" from a job I tolerated. I'll touch on that second job just briefly because I only had it "just briefly" before the company officially went under.

2012 was a tough year, anyone else remember companies tanking left and right?

Let me paint you a picture of what I did every day.

Imagine me in an elementary gymnasium somewhere, probably Kenosha, Wisconsin (that was my territory, even though when I was hired I was told it was Chicago) I'm standing on stage and holding a microphone. I'm probably dressed in a basic "work outfit" (gross fitting black pants and an equally gross fitting button up sweater from Target) I more or less wore the same thing every day. However if I'm feeling extra "go-getter" I may have added an extra piece of flare. Silly ears? Gigantic glasses? Anything to make the kids laugh!

*Or to make me feel invisible*

Because I'm about to blast Pump Up The Jam over the gymnasium speakers as I run around "raising the roof" in an attempt to turn seven year olds into door-to-door salesmen.

Really sit on that image for awhile, because that was my life. And I embraced it. I would float out of my body and watch this lunatic dance like she was a DJ at a wedding, while throwing yo-yos and erasers into crowds of kids shouting things like "WHO WANTS TO SELL SOME COOKIE DOUGH?! and "DO YOU LOVE YOUR SCHOOL?"

And I'd chuckle to myself, thinking I was watching a weird indie movie about a mid twenty year old who had gotten very off course.

It was my job to encourage kids to sell cookie dough and coupon books to raise money for their school (and also for my shady company.) Just a good rule of thumb: don't trust a company who's foundation is built on salesmen under the age of 11.

Also coupon books? What is this 1998?

My one and only coworker was a woman named ... well let's call her Cathy because that was her name. She was basically Cathy from the comicstrip and she'd been in the biz since the 80s. Cathy was not my boss, but she was pretty sure she was. On our first meeting at a Panera in Schaumburg, IL she actually said to me, "do you do email?"

Do I DO email? Yes Cathy, that's something I do. DO YOU?

No, only when she HAD to. See, Cathy preferred letters in the mail. This is true x 100. Rather than emailing schools she would write them a letter, or flyers, whatever. And then she'd jump on her horse and deliver it herself whilst crossing the Oregon Trail.

Cathy also didn't know how to hang up her phone. When she'd call me, which was like 20 times a day, we would end our convo but she'd never hang up. If I wanted to, I could listen to Cathy order food from Dunkin Donuts, mutter to herself about her grocery list, or start singing songs from the Chicago soundtrack in an opera like voice.

Cathy was insane. I can still hear her voice as I write this. She sounded like a cartoon character, but I'm not sure which one. Next time you see me ask me to do "my Cathy" and I will.

The day I got laid off I had a "BMX kick off" in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I didn't go to it, I probably should have. I know a "good employee" would have. But do you know what happens at BMX kick-offs? Kids throw up. Because they're always after lunch and kids are all hyped up on sugar and excitement and they're supposed to get up and dance and next thing you know they're spinning in circles and vomit is everywhere. Everywhere. The walls, the floor, the BMX ramps. Everywhere.

If I had a dollar for every time I've seen a kindergartner throw up at random I'd have $7.

I feel like that's a good place to end.

I've had a lot of weird jobs in my life. The one mentioned above is in the top three. It's after traveling with the lottery alongside the carnies in BFE Nebraska for three months, but before dressing like Top Chef and cooking food for high school classes.

And now I can't stop thinking about Cathy and what she is up to today. If I had to guess, I bet she works for a company where she calls people everyday and tells them they've won a free cruise vacation.