Do You Cartwheel? +$1000 to Target

Friday, January 31, 2014

My mom came back to Chicago with me for a few days this week because she wanted to watch me do some stand-up. But I think it was also because she wanted to experience Chicago's polar vortex for herself. I guess she just wanted to see what all of the fuss was about.

Yesterday morning we woke up and my front door was basically frozen shut and the windchill was almost below 30 degrees so I looked at her and said "so you ready to head downtown?" For those of you who don't know, downtown Chicago is always at least ten degrees colder because of the lake effect. She shook her head no. So what do you do when it's too freezing to go anywhere at all? Well we went to Target, of course. And I introduced my mom to the one app that will change her life when it comes to future trips to Target: the Cartwheel app.

Do you Cartwheel when you shop at Target? If you don't, you should. At any given time there are more than 700 coupons being offered on Cartwheel. You can use your Iphone, Droid or tablet and simply scan barcodes on products anywhere in the store and find out if there is an offer on Cartwheel. Just last week I used the app to find discounts on a scarf I loved, a new hat and even some treats for Harlow. It's truly as simple as it sounds. And the fun part is you can earn badges to open more spots on some of your Cartwheel lists. It's like being rewarded for shopping and saving at one of my favorite stores.

There are even some multi use offers where shoppers are able to use any offer on their list as many times as they wish until the offer expires, with the following exceptions: limit of 4 items per offer, per transaction; limit of 6 Cartwheel scans per day. So, if there was an offer for 10% off 20 ounce bottles of Diet Coke, a shopper could purchase 4 bottles of Diet Coke in one transaction and the offer discount would be applied to all 4 bottles of Diet Coke. That same shopper could do this up to 6 times in one day, for a total of 24 bottles of Diet Coke. And that is a lot of Diet Coke.

Now just leave a comment below, letting me know if you've tried Cartwheel yet, for a chance to win a $1000 Target gift card!

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  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 1/30 - 2/28.
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An ABC Reporter Contacted Me About Harlow Today

Thursday, January 30, 2014

As we're going on the 78th day here in Chicago without sunshine or without reaching a temperature above ten degrees I have to admit that my spirits are a little low. I've said my daily affirmation from my daily affirmation phone app, I've read a chapter from The Secret (for like the 700th time) and I've written down a few life goals for today, and yet I'm still slow moving. I feel like some days the world just wants you to be in a grumpy mood.

It doesn't help the fact that I woke up to an email from an ABC reporter asking if she could use a photo of Harlow she found on my blog for a story their doing on dog booties (must be a slow news week) and would I mind if she credited my blog in the story as the photo source. I shared the news with Harlow and of course we were both elated. But what I forgot to add here is that the email came through at 1:00 a.m. and by the time I responded this morning at 8:00 a.m. the story had already been put together, or so she said in an email response around 8:30 a.m. So a different dog in snow booties was going to be featured... A different dog was going to get his big break today.

The worst part is I haven't had the heart to tell Harlow yet. He's still prancing around the house with his best friend, Lamby, in his mouth telling her all about how he's about to become a star. He hasn't even touched his breakfast yet because he's insisting I feed him some egg yolks to make his coat "shine like the top of Chrysler Building." He's obviously been watching a little too much Orphan Annie lately.

He's just going to be devastated. Would you look at this face? I never want to disappoint this face.

Maybe I just won't tell him. He already thinks he's famous anyway because he got "recognized" on the street a few days ago. And by "recognized" I mean it was his old dog-walker who said hello to him, but he didn't remember that. That point is neither here nor there really.

Anyway, wish me luck. Today is going to be a hard day. Can it just be summer already?

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Truth in Comedy

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

At the beginning of the year (which now seems ages ago) I told myself that 2014 is the year I really give this comedy thing a go. If I like it I'll keep doing it, but if I tire of it in a few months I'll know it's not for me. So far I think it's for me. Each time I grab the mic I'm getting more and more addicted.

On Monday night I went back to the spot where I was a finalist in their open-mic competition a few weeks ago. You know what I'm talking about, that contest where I mentioned it's basically a joke to everyone else except me because I was genuinely excited to be named the "runner-up." Well the judges were in my favor again this week because I actually won it this time around. It didn't hurt that my mom was there clapping her very loudest when the host asked the audience who they thought should win. My mom is also a very loud "woo'r," she gets it from her Jazzercise days I think.

My only regret about the night came when the three finalists had to answer questions from the audience and one girl raised her hand and asked, "If you could kill anyone, who would it be?" I don't know if it's because the girl kinda annoyed me, or just because I didn't like the question, but without thinking I immediately responded, "I think I'd kill you right now."

And then she got this horrible look on her face and I knew I had taken it too far. So I immediately backtracked and was like "KIDDING! I'm obviously joking. I don't know you, I wouldn't kill you. I wouldn't kill anyone..." But it was bad. So to the girl from Monday night whom I said I wanted to kill, if you're reading this I'm sorry! I just got nervous being on the spot and tried to make a funny joke but it was not funny at all (even though everyone laughed) I know it wasn't appropriate and I genuinely feel bad. You shouldn't be killed, I hope you have a long happy life in fact.

*Maybe someday I'll get photos of me doing stand-up that aren't totally blurry and grainy and 90s looking. But probably not, this isn't a glamorous business. 

Now that that's taken care of let's talk about last night. I went back to the place I bombed a few weeks ago and was determined to make a better impression. Not a lot of people showed up because it was -35 outside so I got a little bit longer time to do my set which was nice. I tried out some of my new jokes about how hipsters in Chicago and meth heads in Nebraska actually have a lot more in common than you'd think (love for cut-off jean shorts, very productive during the evening hours, pale skin and gaunt faces)... it's a joke in progress right now, but there's something there. And if you're a hipster reading this and you're offended it's only because you know it's true. And by the way why on earth are you reading a blog on blogger? Get your ass back to Tumblr.

When we were about to leave and all of the other comedians had told my mom "good bye Mrs. Wolfe!" (she was the belle of the ball last night) the host came up to me and asked if I'd be interested in being in a showcase he hosts at a comedy bar on Thursday nights. As in this would be my first paid comedy gig (not an open mic!) It won't be for a few weeks yet because they book their comedians out ahead of time, but still. You better believe I'm excited as hell. Like Jessie Spano excited.

So to those of you who have asked where you can come see me do stand-up (and by the way thank you so much for even asking, it makes me happier than you know) I will finally tell you! I know some of you probably thought I was being a little shady because I'd always shrug it off and never officially let you know where I was telling jokes (but I promise this was only me trying to prevent you from attending the weird experience that is an open-mic) but now that I might actually have a real booking I will tell the world. When it happens... I still don't know dates yet. I just wanted to clear that up because I'm always so thrilled when someone asks to see me and felt like such an ass when I never followed it up with a clear response. But now you know.

Happy hump day, friends. We're almost to Friday and it's above 15 degrees in Chicago. What more could a girl ask for?

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Limited Too Tuesdays- Mean Girls Part I

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's time for another edition of Limited Too Tuesdays, a post in which I look back through my old diaries to see what middle school me was up to.

Today's selected diary entries reflect the importance of dealing with "Mean Girls." More importantly, dealing with the realization that I was a mean girl.

It all started going downhill in 6th grade.
April ? 1999 - I had a little too much going on to be bothered with silly dates.

As you can see I have chosen to whiteout a few names. Turns out I've got a few followers from my past I didn't realize. Like for starters Mel Crosby! After twenty-three years the neighbor boy who blew out my candles emailed me last night and apologized! Sadly he didn't even remember doing it, obviously I did.

The other reason for the whiteouts is because I'm pretty sure that 6th grade teacher is still around and even though I hate to admit it, I know she was a good teacher. I clearly had a little unnecessary angst going on. And as for the "fat" and "slutty" girls who's names have been blocked, well I'm not friends with them anymore, but I don't want to risk anyone beating me up.

It only gets worse in 7th grade, but those entries will have to wait until next week. Let's just say a few MSN messenger conversations might have been printed. And we all know that means war in middle school land.

*And I'm happy to report me and "Mallory Chaffin" are still friends to this day (even though she was a teacher's pet and I wasn't.) 

That's all I've got. Stay warm and be nice. Someone out there might be writing about you in their diary.

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Fool Me Once Shame On You

Monday, January 27, 2014

What a weekend, I am just exhausted. I can't keep up with the three-year-olds like I used to, they're just a wilder crew than I remember. At least the kids were polite and let Knox blow out his own birthday candles. So much couldn't be said my 3rd birthday...

On my 3rd birthday my red headed next-door-neighbor "Mel" who everyone in my neighborhood thought was my boyfriend, (which trust me he never was) pulled a sneak attack on me and blew out my candles right during the middle of "happy birthday to..." and cue Mel to blow out my candles. And then all hell broke loose. I absolutely lost my shit, I started screaming and wailing and throwing my tiny little hands manically into the air like I had just seen my entire family murdered in front of me. I might as well have because I was absolutely devastated. And I should add we have this all on video camera.

Luckily my mom went into damage control and simply lit the candles again. Second time around I think I blew out the candles only half way into the first verse. I wasn't about to wait around to be made a fool of twice at my own party. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice and I'll scalp the red hair right off your head, Melvin Crosby
*names have not been changed so I hope Mel is not reading.

Here's a crappy Polaroid of me on my 3rd birthday. You can tell by my grandpa's face he's only just begun singing "happy birthday," but I was clearly in the ready position. And excuse the bright flash mark, let's just call it part of the old world charm.

But anyway, clearly I'm not entirely over that situation so let's get back to the weekend. We spent Friday night at my sister's house celebrating Knox's birthday at the "family party."

And Saturday morning was spent at Knox's "kid party."

I was a little tired...

But then I had a Capri Sun and managed to pull myself together. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Capri Suns don't satisfy anyone. Those little packets need to hold at least three times more juice. At least. Let's just make them into forty ouncers already.

I got back to Chicago late afternoon on Sunday just in time before the next polar vertex moved in. Rumor is it feels like -45 outside. So that should be fun. I'm at that point where I feel like summer never even happened. It just seems like a mythical faraway time that was too good to ever really be real. Drinking wine on the patio? Is that really a thing? Going outside without wearing pants under my pants and socks under my socks? Does that really exist? Bring back, summer. Please, Mother Nature I am begging you. 

And now because I'm depressed thinking about how winter has at least three more grueling months I'm going to completely change beats and talk about something that makes me happy. Want to know what all of these outfits have in common?

The dress, the scarf, the amazing sweaters, they're all from one place: Roe Boulevard. Roe Blvd is a hidden online gem that only seems to increase my sweater addiction. I own at least five chunky sweaters from this store and I live in all of them. And see that boyfriend maxi dress above? That's pretty much my go-to outfit. 

I just ordered the Sophia Sweater below and next on my list is the crochet sweater vest in the middle.

And when I finally decide to stop hibernating in my house here's a few of the going out styles I am going to scoop up.

What I love most about Roe Boulevard is the quality of their items. One might say I'm kind of hard on my clothes because I'm always doing something. I'm either walking miles in the city or rolling on the floor at improv class or bombing on stage at a comedy club, so I need something that is going to hold up. And Roe does just that.

The lovely stylists at Roe Boulevard are even offering a $10 off code  with no minimum purchase! Just enter the code: BLVD10 at check out to redeem the code. And did I mention their shipping is incredibly fast? Happy shopping!

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The Knox and Lola Show

Friday, January 24, 2014

Today I got the pleasure of babysitting both Knox and Lola at 7:00 a.m. And a pleasure it sure was. I for one loved being woken up by a three-year-old with a nerf gun in his hand and a menacing look on his face. It's exhilarating really. "Get up Tay Tay or I'm gonna shoot you." I knew he wasn't messing around because Knox never messes around.

Luckily I distracted Knox for a bit with a laser pen while Lola and I were able to catch up on some emails.

And then Knox said to me, "Aunt Tay Tay can you turn the light on in the kitchen?

"Sure Knox, why?"

"Because I want to look at my presents."

I'm a bit of a softie so I said, "why just look at them when you can open them?" So rather than waiting until his birthday party tonight he dug into a few gifts early. I'm sure his mom won't mind...

Lola certainly didn't mind.

Knox had a few birthday donuts while he exclaimed, "I'm not fhree (three) I'm TEN!"

And then he begged to take a few photos of me in my new yogger pants. Initially I was kind of scared I couldn't quite pull off the "saggy pant Justin Bieber" look...  But then I thought who the hell cares, these pants are the most comfortable things I've worn. I have to be honest and say that one of the main reasons I wanted a pair of these pants is because my always styling boyfriend Chris has a pair that he absolutely lives in. (But his aren't purple.) They're pink. And now we can be twinsies when we're lounging on the couch together!

*This photo is dedicated to Justin! I'm pulling for you girl! #prayers

This was supposed to be the Justin Bieber heart symbol. But after I just looked at it again I realize it looks more like the Justin Bieber butt symbol.

These pants can be found here, as can basically anything else you could ever want. The shop is called Surfdome and they literally have everything, it's the biggest online store ever. The best part is everything is super affordable and the quality is great!

As for that little #OOTD shirt well that's an original creation from my good pal Miss Yoga Pants. Sometimes when Whitney's not busy wearing yoga pants to work she designs shirts from her own and they're pretty cool.

And that's all I've got for today. It's time to head to Knox's birthday lunch, he requested McDonalds of course. Follow along on Instagram this weekend @taylorgracewolfe as I take photos of me letting loose with the other three-year-olds at the party. It's gonna be a good time.

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Advice From a Three Year Old

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I don't want to boast, but I just got invited to one of the most exclusive events of this winter. Hell, probably of all of 2014. I'm talking about this.

When this invite arrived in the mail nearly a week ago my heart almost burst right through my chest I was so damn excited.  I'm not kidding you, this party will be the who's who of Norfolk, Nebraska's YMCA/Gobbs-of-Fun play group. And to think I got invited. I had hoped I would make the list, but I just wasn't for sure you know? Knox has a big circle of friends.

So I'm heading back to Nebraska for a quick trip this weekend to celebrate his birthday. I wanted to write him a post full of advice but what kind of advice can you offer to someone who already has it all figured out?

This photo of my family pretty much says everything about Knox you need to know.

So instead of me sharing advice with Knox, I asked Knox to share some advice with me. And this is what he gave me...

1. Never wear pants. They're itchy and they hurt.

2. Always ask for another hotdog.

3. A bed time ritual should take at least two hours, never any less.

4. When in doubt just scream.

5. Dance like no one is watching. But if no one is actually watching freak out and scream "watch me" until they do watch.

6. Be nice to baby sister. Until she gets annoying then push her away.

7. Be careful of doors, they try to eat your fingers.

8. Always be honest with your feelings, if you don't like someone you should tell them immediately.

9. Dogs are best for riding and tail grabbing.

10. And most importantly, love hard and live free. And never ever go down for a nap willfully.

Happy 3rd birthday, kid! Can't wait to celebrate on Friday!

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20 Ways You Know You're Addicted to Blogging

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So you want me to admit it? Alright fine I will then, I'm addicted to blogging. It's out. But if there's anything at all that makes me feel okay about my illness it's that I'm not alone. Luckily I've got the one and only Erin here with me today to commiserate.  It only makes sense that it's the girl who Lives in Yellow who helps me talk about this because there's just a small part of me that blames her for my addiction. I'm not trying to point fingers or anything, but she is the first person I contacted in the blogging world roughly two years ago who helped show me the ropes and teach me how everything works... So how can I not blame her?

This won't be an easy topic to discuss, but someone has to do it.

Are you addicted to blogging? If you find yourself nodding your head to any of these I hate to break it to you, but I think you might be. If the blogger shoe fits...

1. You've had dreams about other bloggers.

2. If you see it on a blog, you buy it. Clothes, jewelry, vajajay deodorant, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is but if another blogger has it, you need it. 

3. You plan your day around when you can fit in a post.

4. You break out into a cold sweat when you realize the pictures your husband just took of you while you stood outside in negative twenty degree temps turned out blurry, cut off, and of absolutely no good use. 

5. You sometimes catch yourself doing things just so you can blog about it.

6. Time is no longer measured in minutes, hours, days, and weeks, but rather by blog posts and blog posts only.

7. You get anxiety if you see you have an error in your post but aren't around a computer or phone to fix it yet.

8. You occasionally use your dog as a prop to pose with you during awkward public photo shoots.

9. You check your stats more than twenty times a day.

10. You stop responding to your name but rather only when somebody calls you by your blog title.

11. You respond to reader comments before you respond to family emails.

12. Your meals are a result of what you just saw on Instagram.

13. You spend hours on creating what you believe will be the one pin that will go viral, only to result in three repins.

14. You sleep with a notebook next to your head, just in case.

15. You read blogs right before you go to bed... And again when you wake up.

16. You suddenly want a new cool camera even though you know you'll probably never really figure out how to use it exactly right.

17. You sometimes think you know bloggers you've never met more than you know people in real life.

18. You trade out your WWJD bracelets for OOTD and WIWW.

19. You spend hours in front of the mirror because you will master that perfect messy bun look if it kills you.

20. You spend ridiculous amounts of money on a planner because Heaven forbid you forget to write down that you need to post a picture to Instagram at 2:34 pm on Wednesday afternoon. 

It's okay fellow bloggers, we're here for you. Now let's all go grab a glass of wine (and put it on Instagram of course) and then we can tweet about our problems together.

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Limited Too Tuesdays

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Last night I got the chance to host a screening for Comedy Central's newest series, Broad City produced by the one and only Amy Poehler. The premier took place at iO and it was pretty much a packed house with a lot of laughter going on. The show is absolutely hilarious and it's going to be on Comedy Central right after Workaholics on Wednesday nights so I'd recommend watching it if you like to be happy.

Because Johnny Carson has always been my idol, (he grew up literally four blocks from where I did, just during different time periods unfortunately) I wanted to make certain I did my hosting duties justice last night. I envisioned myself warming up the audience and making everyone laugh and coo with my amazing jokes and wonderful on-stage voice. However if you've seen me in person lately you know that right now my voice sounds like a sixty-year-old woman who's been smoking menthols since the womb. I seem to have caught that nasty cold that's going around. So my debut hosting gig didn't go as planned. At one point my voice just completely cracked and I had to make a joke about "being sentimental" about the show. The audience just stared at me like "give us our free shirts already." And so I did.

*Here's a photo of some of the winners and their shirts. Free shirts are great no matter who you are.

And now because blog post ideas tend to get a little scarce in the winter (for me anyway) today I'm going to play around with a new segment called Limited Too Tuesdays- What I Was Up To In the Late 90s/Early 2000s. When I posted my resolutions from 1999 a few weeks ago several of you asked to see more and there doesn't seem like a better time than now. Mostly because I'm running low on ideas today. Ask and you shall receive, here it is!

The date reads 12/23/95 (in pink gel pen of course.)

I weathered a lot of "storms" in the 90s and this diary tells the tales of all of them. And so I present to you... Limited Too Tuesdays.

Today's selected diary entries reflect the importance of learning about winning and losing.
Saturday, 2/3/1996

I "vowled" out in basketball way too much.

Unfortunately five years later in 2001 my competitive nature had only increased with time. Some would go so far as to call me "out of control" even, I just called it "having fun."
Saturday 2/10/2001

I'm not so sure I agree with my language, but my diary was my free place so I didn't hold back obviously. Don't be a prick and judge me okay? Prick. I think I need to work that word back into my vocab. Thirteen-year-old me used such cool adult swear words.

Next week we're going to cover a topic I call "Middle School Mean Girls." I didn't think I was a mean girl when I was younger, but this diary would prove otherwise.

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