Harlow Does Downtown

Monday, September 30, 2013

I got nervous this past weekend that it might be the last time Chicago was graced with such beautiful weather so I decided Harlow and I better make the most of it. So we put on our sneakers and ended up walking roughly eight miles all over the city after everything was said and done. It was fun, but I won't pretend I wasn't just a little over it around mile six.

Harlow on the other hand was on cloud nine and could have probably walked eight more miles. He's such a little diva and absolutely loves being downtown. And this whole time Chris and I thought we were living in Lincoln Park for Harlow's sake because it has grass, trees, and just more of an overall neighborhood feel to it. Boy, were we wrong.

Harlow tried to say hello to everyone one we passed, he chased every pigeon he saw, and he absolutely went nuts for the police horse.

He thinks he owns this city. Just look at that tail swing.

We only paused once for a brief break at Starbucks.

The wonderful day faded into an even better evening spent at Oz Park.

And the night was spent with pizza and wine on the couch waiting for the premier of Saturday Night Live. It was pretty much the most relaxing weekend ever and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Harlow may have finished the night with some ice-cream, as well. But don't ever try to tell him he's got some on his nose because he won't believe you.

Followed by a little of this today.

And that was my weekend. Cheers to another Monday. Can you believe it's already the last day of September? That means just one thing... the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner. If you think I like fall, just wait for my holiday posts. I'm already giddy just thinking about it!

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If The Shoe Fits

Saturday, September 28, 2013

If you're a fan of cute shoes, then you are going to love this store I am about to introduce. It's called Chromatic Gallerie- a woman's shoe company all about color. Their shoes come in three heights, three widths, and over fifty colors! And today you'll get the chance to win a free pair of your choice.

I was able to speak with the founder of Chromatic Gallerie and ask a few questions about what inspired her to start such a great company, as well get a little fashion advice while I was at it!

1. What inspired you to start Chromatic Gallerie? 

Necessity! I have hard-to-fit feet, and had never been able to find cute shoes that didn't hurt after a few hours. And I knew I wasn't alone, I'd heard so many friends complain about their shoes being painful or expensive. So I set out to create the shoes we all seemed to need but could never find in the height, fit or color we wanted.

2. How are you able to create such a wonderful high quality heel, at such an affordable price?

We've been trained to think that if something is expensive - it's well made. But often, particularly in the footwear industry, that's not the case. So I decided to do something with Cg that very few footwear brands were doing - sell shoes direct to the customer, with no third-party retail markup. This model allows us to pass the savings onto the customer.

3. What are some fashion staples you are loving for fall this year?

Besides our new flats, I love this season's colorful approach to outerwear. I really respond to the idea of a staple piece - like a shoes or a great coat - in a standout hue. I've got my eye on a bold, cobalt jacket from camilla and marc.

4. Share some of your favorites from your own line.

Right now, I can't get enough of our new shoe clips. It's like I get to play designer every morning and create a new pair of shoes by simply clipping on a different colored bow. Lately, it's been our new gold flats with matching gold bows.

5. Any fashion advice you'd like to share?

At the end of the day, if something fits and feels great, you usually look like your best self. They might not remember your outfit, but they'll remember that you were dancing all night and having a great time.

*Ready to win a free pair of your choice? Just enter below!

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Weekly Recap- Vloggy Style

Friday, September 27, 2013

(Don't worry, if you hate vlogs this isn't going to happen every week now, I promise.)


The cast of Breaking Bad at the Emmys.

My parents neighbor's house (not at the Emmy's.)

Catch her if you can. But really, somebody catch her.

More saving. More doing. That's the power of Home Depot.

Don't hate her, cuz you aint her.

300 Sandwiches Gal and her bf, who looks like Taram Killam doing an impression of Clay Aiken doing an impression of Brad Pitt.

Don't worry guys, she's only a "vegan" stripper.

Forget celebs, animals are all the rage now for backing political movements.

"I like Molly."

Thanks again for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

*Follow along on Instagram @taylorgracewolfe this weekend as I take more photos showing how beautiful Chicago is right now. And there will of course be a few Harlow pics in the mix, as well.

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Finding Your Joy

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nothing particularly amazing happened to me since my little pity party on Tuesday when I didn't get that part I auditioned for, but for whatever reason I've just been in a really great mood. Maybe it's the first signs of fall I'm starting to see sprinkled around my neighborhood.

Lately I've found myself walking around with a smile on my face just feeling grateful I get to live in a city I love, and pursue something I truly enjoy. And after rereading that sentence I'm gagging a little at my own corny joy... What is going on? Maybe I should unfollow Joel Osteen on Twitter or something because his inspirational tweets have obviously had an impact on me.

Even Harlow seems to have a little extra bounce in his step these past few days.

You wanna know how I really know I'm losing it? Because last night I bought this sweatshirt. And I love it.

Be honest, does this make me a total loser? Is it as bad as buying a Planet Hollywood shirt in the 90s? I've never been one to purchase memorabilia attire from anywhere, in fact I've always made fun of those of you who did, but something about this sweatshirt was just calling my name. I came home last night from practicing/catching a show at Second City and proudly showed Chris my new purchase, somewhat similar to how a child would show their parent their new shirt from Applebees and he smiled kindly and said,

"That's cute. I love how gung-ho you are about all this."

Gung-ho? Does this look like a girl who is "gung-ho" about her new Second City sweatshirt?

Okay, point taken. I may be a little gung-ho right now. But it's good to be passionate about something, right? Might as well be something as entertaining and weird as improv and comedy. Speaking of comedy stuff, another thing contributing to my happiness this week may be the fact I just landed a new part time gig of helping IO theater run their social media. It's like a marriage of my two favorite things! So if you'd like to get an inside look of what life is like in the famed IO Theater (home to almost every famous comedian in showbiz), follow along as I post photos on Instagram @IOChicago.

All in all, I'm not sure if I found my joy this week, or if it found me. Regardless, I'm digging it. Sadly I know it will be taken tomorrow when I have to go get my oil changed. Mechanics always have a way of stealing my happiness. It usually happens somewhere in between them telling me my filters are disgusting and my tires need rotated.

And on that note, go find your joy! Figure out what makes you happy and do it. Or just go buy a dumb sweatshirt somewhere. Either seems to work.

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How To Pretend You Fit In At Trader Joe's

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Last week I read an article circulating around called Surviving Whole Foods.  It was pretty hilarious, although I'll admit I could really only imagine most of the scenarios mentioned because I've probably only been in a Whole Foods all of three times. It's just too rich for my blood. I'll know I've made it when I can casually shop at that store... for real groceries and not simply to get all of the free samples.

So yesterday while I was at my lovely Trader Joe's picking up the necessities for the week I started thinking about my own behavior while grocery shopping. And I realized that for whatever reason, I usually seem to be on my best behavior when shopping at Trader's. The lines to check out don't seem to bother me so much, when I can't find something (which is always at TJs) I simply meander on and replace it with something else I've never heard of, and I just seem to have an overall good attitude about my grocery shopping experience.

It's as if I don't want to piss off the hippys, or better yet, while I'm there I kinda like to pretend I'm a hippy myself- rather than just a grocery store poser. I like to pretend it's normal for me to eat organic and it's normal for nothing to bother me, because I'm just a chill kinda gal...Because let's face it, shopping at Trader Joes and shopping at Wal-Mart are two completely different experiences. Wal-Mart encourages you to buy Tyson chicken nuggets and XL bags of Doritos, while Trader Joe's wants you to buy organic almonds and free range (made from quinoa only) chicken nuggets. And so I follow in suit. I guess I just want to fit in when I grocery shop. Don't we all?

Thus I present to you, how to pretend you fit in at Trader Joe's.

For starters, I suggest you ride a bike to your local store. I ride my bike. And it makes me feel awesome. Is it practical to ride your bike to get groceries one might ask? Not. At. All. I risk my life every time I come home trying to balance a heavy book-bag full of food on my back, as well as two heavy brown (recyclable!) grocery bags on each arm. It is dumb, dumb, dumb. But it makes me feel super hipster-like, so when in Rome.

And once I've locked my bike next to all of the other super trendy retro Schwin bikes, I make sure and say hello to the GreenPeace people who are always standing outside of Trader Joe's. If you don't know what a GreenPeace solicitor is consider yourself lucky. They are like telemarketers in real life. And nine times out of ten I walk on by. But when I'm going into Trader Joe's, that's a different story. I have to stop and say hello and let them ask me to give them money, because that would be very asshole-ish of me not to. And no one wants to go into Trader Joe's feeling like an asshole. It's a happy place.
*sidenote to GreenPeace people, why not try soliciting outside of Whole Foods? That's where Trader Joe's customers go once they get rich.

Once inside pause for a second to enjoy all of the lovely $5 bouquet of flowers! Aren't they beautiful? But don't buy any, if you have extra cash I suggest giving it back to the GreenPeace, people. Trader Joe's would agree with me, I bet.

Then make your way over to the vegetables and fruits. And just buy the normal things you would always buy: eggplant, kale, brussel sprouts, squash, tofu, herbs- you know, just your everyday veggies. If you want stupid stuff like carrots and cucumbers you might as well just go to a Jewel or something equally as generic. But if you'd like tofu cucumbers you can find that next to the cheese.

Look at this sign and then tell me cheese isn't the star of this show.

Speaking of cheese.... yes please! So many different kinds, what do they all mean? No one has any idea. And who cares as long as they're all gluten free, right?! Just look for the one in the biggest package, because good luck actually cutting these odd shaped cheeses for anything practical.

Is there a meat aisle in this store some people may ask. There is, but I don't suggest going to it. Nobody at Trader Joe's buys meat, it's just barbaric. Gross, what are you from Nebraska? I would suggest trying the veggie burgers. Or what about the tofurkey? Or better yet, what about the tofu veggie burgers? You can usually sample all three in the back corner of the store along with a free cup of chilled chai relaxation sugar free green tea!

But if you get too relaxed while here, which who doesn't find grocery shopping relaxing, right? Just walk down the aisle of protein bars and trail mix. Who knew there were over 7,000 different ways to combine almonds and raisins? All for under $2.29!

And if you want to really pretend you fit in at Trader Joe's like I do, don't walk up and down the frozen aisle for ten minutes trying to figure out what all this frozen food really is. Just buy it all. The mac'n'cheese bites, the stuffed mushrooms, the three cheese pizza, the Asian stir fry, if it's in the frozen aisle, you know it's never going to be as good as it looks on the package okay.

And let's just forget the canned food aisle completely, there's a reason it's just one aisle at Trader Joe's (as opposed to at least four aisles at every other grocery store) and why no one is ever in it. Because canned food is so 90s. I  heard a rumor once there isn't anything even in the cans, it's just for show. Instead browse the fifteen different types of quinoa being displayed on the end of the aisle. And then turn around and pick out your favorite kind of Greek yogurt. I prefer the dairy free, sugar free, gluten free, flavor free kind. It goes great with honey and quinoa.

Just like my trips to Trader Joe's, this is getting a little long. But enjoyable, right?! I'll wrap it up by saying no trip to this store is complete without making your own six pack of various independently brewed beers, all at room temp of course.  Just look at the selection, I'm getting a buzz already.

And when you check out, please remember to bring your own mesh recyclable bags from home. I forget more times than I'd like to admit, and I know that every time I have to ask for one of their bags a little hippy dies somewhere. And I hate myself for it.

I guess I'd just like to say thank you, Trader Joe's, for doing what you do! Thank you for allowing poor individuals like myself to feel as if I can eat like the rest of the wealthy, environmentally and health conscious do. Now keep on ringing those bells! See you next Tuesday!

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The Odds Weren't In My Favor

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Well it would appear the odds were not in my favor regarding that audition I had a few days ago. As much as I hit refresh over and over yesterday, the "we want YOU!" email never came. And the really sad part is I even checked my spam for it. And I never check my spam. I couldn't have felt more like Jim Carrey from Cable Guy, "Hey Steve, it's me again, wasn't sure if you called while I was out... thought your voicemail might be broken, or mine, so I was just double checking... Anyway, call me back...."

But alas, no email. Not even in my spam. In all honesty I'm getting better at this whole game of rejection in this dirty world of acting I've entered as of late, but better doesn't mean I'm completely used to it- yet. At the end of the day it still just sucks. It doesn't help the fact that I'm a dweller. I will go over every situation that didn't go my way at least twenty times in my head trying to figure out what I did wrong. Where did I screw up? Was it my outfit? Did I start fake tap dancing? Did I accidentally do my Target lady voice? Target lady has been my nervous voice lately... I know, I know it's completely unoriginal. I'm working on breaking it, don't worry.

But then I saw this on Instagram last night and it was just was I needed. So thanks Barbara Sims for posting. I needed it for more than a few things in life right now.

The thing is, Chicago is so full of talented people it's mind boggling. There's just a lot of funny ass people who live in this wonderful little city of wind, and as soon as I think I might start to have it figured out just a little bit, fifty other people come in and knock me right back down in my place. It's quite humbling, I must say. So I'm just doing what I can for the moment, and that's only trying to focus on things that are within my control. Like I always say, que sera sera.

But on the bright side, there's always another thing just around the corner. Like the fact Harlow and I might be extras in a short video tomorrow. That's right, I said Harlow and myself. I've always had a feeling he's going to make it big before me, anyway. And I'm okay with that, it's all for the greater good.

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Nailed It!

Monday, September 23, 2013

I would sometime like to title a post "life lately according to my iphone pics," but that would imply that I sometimes take photos on something other than my iphone. Which I think we all know by now I don't. I guess there's the rare occasion that I purchase a $5 disposable camera from Walgreens just for the hell of it, but that hasn't happened in awhile.

Anyway, here's a few pics from the weekend. It's been a combination of fall and summer around Chicago with a lot of rain storms in between. 

Have I mentioned before that Starbucks is my happy place? I wish I were hip enough to say I refuse to go to "commercial coffee shops" and only go to the mom and pop type places, but that would just be a lie. The fact of the matter is that I like Starbuck's coffee, and I really like all of that dumb food they serve. Sorry, mom and pop places. 

And then we've got Harlow chasing squirrels like he always does.

Just another rainy night in Lincoln Park.

Followed by a rainy morning.

And then here I am working my corner right before we were about to head to a house party in Wrigleyville. Have you been to a house party lately where you don't know anyone yet everyone else knows each other? It's not as fun as one might think. The party basically consisted of all of Chris's work friends, and don't get me wrong they're all really nice people and there were plenty of libations to go around as well as a very fun game of tippy cup, but I was clearly on "the outside." And just for the record, I don't exactly make a great attempt to make myself "on the inside" at these types of things. I wish I had the outgoing personality to jump right in and socialize with strangers like normal adults should, but instead I usually just stand in the background and daydream about being on my couch with a glass of wine and Harlow by my side. Is that bad? It probably is. 

Saturday morning we ventured over to Wicker Park to discover a lesser known Husker bar called Division Ale House.

It did not disappoint. Then again, when does brunch with bottomless bloodys and mimosas for only $20 ever disappoint? Never. It was also a good change-up from going to the other Husker bar in the city, Kirkwood. Kirkwood is like college spring break for adult Husker fans every single Saturday- and sometimes it's just a little much for me.

Because we're not as young and crazy as we used to be, following the game we immediately went home to end the night with burgers and lobster fries from Edzos, eaten from the comfort of our own couch. It was just perfect. 

And like I say every Monday, I seriously need to eat better this week. I think I woke up with three chins on Sunday morning. It's just so damn hard when you live in a city with so much good food.  Like pho (pronounced "fuh.") Am I the only pho addict? I can't get enough of this Vietnamese soup lately. It's going to be my go-to all winter long, I can already tell.

We picked some up for dinner last night at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant around the corner just in time to catch the Bears game.

I really love this photo. Aren't they just the cutest?

Harlow had a busy day chasing squirrels, so as you can see he barely made it to the third quarter.

I also had an audition Sunday evening that I'm still waiting to hear back on... It was okay, but you just never know with auditions. At least I didn't start fake tap dancing like I did at an audition a few weeks ago (I didn't get that part from a few weeks ago by the way.) I'm not sure if my fake tapping lost me the part, or if it was the moment when I panicked and suddenly tried to play a one armed, one legged, one eyed crazy lady... It's still up for debate, because otherwise I'm sure I nailed it!

This is my "I'm trying to pretend I'm not nervous for this audition" look. Do you think I pulled it off? And yes, I'm aware this photo is a little blurry. But on a Sunday night after I've spent the past few days eating pounds of lobster fries and burgers, I prefer a little blurry, it's more flattering than clear.  

And that was my weekend. 

Now because I'm feeling generous I've teamed up with a group of fellow bloggers to offer one lucky reader a pretty nice bundle of prizes. This fantastic prize package includes $290 for flights (can be used towards any flight within the US), a $250 Visa Gift Card (for some extra spending money!) and $100 KiKi La'Rue Store Credit (everyone needs a fab new outfit to wear on vacation!)

For your chance to win, simply enter using the Rafflecopter below! Tell me... where would you go?
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