The 2015 Blogger's Guide To Resolutions

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A guide to help you be a better blogger/person/everything in 2015. No need to thank me, we're all in this rat race together.

In 2015 I vow to...

1. Take more headless photos on Instagram. 
Heads are out. Feet are in. So embrace the trend and get with the times.

2. Drink more coffee and take more photographs of me drinking coffee. (See photo above.)
I feel like 2015 is going to be a big year for this, even more so than 2014. So put on a scarf, hold a coffee cup, throw on some "arm candy", and start taking photos from the chin down.

3. Speaking of scarves, acquire more blanket scarves. 
If you think you have enough, buy five more. Then ten more. I repeat, buy more blanket scarves.

4. Figure out what is and then invent your own better system- but for dogs! 
Now you can also be a millionaire.

5. Do more Instagram.
More tagging, more hashtagging, more staging, more everything. Find a white board and your favorite filter and watch the magic happen!

6. Remodel every single room in your house.
People eat this stuff up in the blogging world.

7. Take more photos where you're not looking at the camera, but your hand is placed somewhere awkwardly on your head.
These are so hot right now.

8. Learn to use a planner.
I'm still working on this resolution from last year... Perhaps I should change it to learn to make your own planner and then sell it on Etsy to other bloggers. Yes, this one seems more realistic for me. Coming soon: Planners By Tay- just a bunch of blank pages that no one will write in anyway.

9. Do more "I have a big announcement coming soon" announcements on my blog followed by "sneak peaks of tomorrow's blog post" on Instagram.
Just trust me on this one.

10. More rings on one finger.
You know those knuckle rings people wear? Get them. My goal for 2015 is to cover my entire finger with rings so no one will even be able to see my finger!

11. Do better at everything.
i.e. take over BLOGLOVIN.

Happy New Years Eve! Don't feel the pressure to make tonight the very best night of your life. Or do, I don't care. Whatever floats your boat. See you in 2015!

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2014 In Review

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

As bloggers, it's our responsibility to write two kinds of posts this time of year- a yearly recap and a resolutions post. If you don't succeed in doing both of these then you're not a real blogger. I'm sorry, I don't make the rules. If you'd like to complain, go to Salt Lake City and take it up with the folks there.

That being said, here is my yearly recap. Said resolutions post shall come tomorrow. And don't worry, I'll be writing resolutions for myself as well as for you. You're welcome.

Enough chit chat, let's take a look at some of my very best moments, like the times when I really shined, from 2014.

Because I'm an elite blogger in Chicago, and also a social media manager for some very important companies, I often get invited to really cool events- events that normal people would die to go to. I don't mean to brag, but it's true. Often times I even get to travel for some of these really cool parties, like for example the very prestigious gathering thrown at Gobbs of Fun in Norfolk, Nebraska in honor of Knox's third birthday. It was definitely the party of the year.

Remember when I filmed that pilot last February? Yea me neither. More importantly was the time I got to live out my dream of being a dog trainer. Man, this was a good day. Sure, Harlow was technically the "least behaved" in class (according to the instructor, but what does she know?) But he had a great time. Just look at him. Look as us. RIP Zoom Room in Chicago, sure wish you wouldn't have closed your door after only three months of being open...

Where do I even start with the great stuff that happened in this month? I did so many awesome things it's hard to pick just one... Really really hard. So let's just rehash that time I read out loud a few of the negative comments I received on this article that was shared around 500,000 times. (It was shared on Thought Catalog, not my blog. Because boy would that have sucked to have all that extra traffic on my blog, you know?) Blessings.

Again, this was another HUGE month for me- especially with my videos. Almost of my videos from April went viral, kinda. Let's take a look at a few of my favs. This first one is a tutorial, and because I'm always trying to keep up with the trends it's all about braids. More specifically, rat tail braids.

This next one is really fun, too. It's all about summer hairstyles- like my personal favorite, The George Washington.

We moved into a new apartment! Yay! And then one week later I almost burnt it down. Oopsies. Girls will be girls. Unfortunately, to this day Harlow is still terrified whenever he hears the gas after I turn the stove on. Dogs will be dogs.

I wrote this really controversial post that got a lot of people upset. Did you click on it? Good. I actually just wanted you see that really cute photo of Harlow smiling with his mouth open. I also wrote this article about Lulu and had someone from their headquarters contact me... But I legally can't speak of that. The Lulu Gods are everywhere.

In this post Linkedin suggested you congratulate me because I am nailing life in more ways than one. I also performed at Second City with my WCP besties for the first time. White Cougar Passion besties, I miss you! If Kevin Arnold from the Wonder Years was narrating my life at this moment he would have said, "I didn't realize it while it was happening, but while I was on stage singing Pizza Guys with all of my friends, I was having the best time of my life."

A really sad thing happened in August that I don't like to talk about. It's something that continues to haunt me to this day, but I know in the end will make me stronger. I got bangs. Which somehow turned into a mullet. Prayers for me, the bangs are still here. And they're as bad as ever. They are not "dope." Nor is this dumb shirt.

Is anyone else over this post yet? Woof. It's taking forever. In September I had a mental breakdown. Or at least that's what I called it. In reality I have these "breakdowns" at least three times per week. It's probably because I have a mullet.

Went to New York. Dreams were shattered and I decided to quit comedy for the 100th time this year. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's quitting. I also attempted to take my first "look at me I'm a blogger not smiling for this photo" photo. Nailed it so hard.

I wrote this post about how to get 10k followers super fast on Instagram. Find me on Instagram @taylorgracewolfe to see for yourself how great it worked.

Chris put a ring on it and I still haven't stopped talking about it.

My goal for 2015 is to learn the difference between making resolutions and simply writing down my dreams. Because last year my top 3 "resolutions" were: 1. Get famous. 2. Become a millionaire. 3. Get magic powers.

#goals. #dreams. #blessings.

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How To Get Children To Like You

Monday, December 29, 2014

Want to be the favorite aunt at next year's Christmas? Then just make sure you give your niece and nephew their presents three days early. It's so simple yet so brilliant. Just look how happy Knox is. He can barely contain himself.

Here we are on December 22nd opening the first gifts of Christmas and Knox and Lola were as excited as ever. I've never felt for more special in my life. They played with the toys I got them for almost an entire day before they got tired of them. So many blessings.

And little Miss Lola is wearing her very own headband from an awesome company called Headbands of Hope. For every headband purchased one is given to a child with cancer. How great is that? Headbands of Hope also donates $1 from every purchase toward cancer research. Talk about a company with a conscious.

And while I've got you here I might as well share a few other photos from the past few days too. I'll narrate them like your grandma would when she shows you photos of her vacation to New Mexico.

And here we are going to church service on Christmas Eve as an engaged couple for the first time! Isn't that special? So special.

And here we are pretending to giggle and gaze into each others eyes!

And this would be a mandatory photo of the cousins, Chase, Sammy and Harlow. I'll let you guess who the snotty one is from the group... His name starts with Har and ends with low.

And a photo of their backside because they're just too cute. #breaktheinternet

Today Harlow and I started a new tradition where he picks out all of the discounted holiday treats, bones and toys at Pets Mart and then I secretly run them to the shelter after so he doesn't know they're all going to other dogs. Although today he rode with me and he most definitely threw a tantrum when I got out of the car with all of the new stuff he selfishly thought belonged to him.

Don't feel bad for this face, he was given plenty at Christmas this year. He has enough new bones and squeakers to last him until at least February.

And yet he always wants more... I don't know where he gets it.

So that's been a little bit of life as of late. Per the usual, it's always very hard to recover after Christmas.

And I just now got this text from my mom. I'm pretty sure both she and my dad have been on pins and needles for the past seven years worrying I would screw it up somehow with Chris. I'm quite certain they like him more than they like me. Now that's it's "Facebook official" my mom can finally relax.

See you later. Tomorrow I'll be posting my annual 2015 Bloggers Guide to Resolutions. Don't worry blog-gals, I got your back. We're going to tackle this next year together. One blanket scarf at a time.

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He Said Yes.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Just for the record guys, I actually said yes. Chris said, will you marry me?  I jokingly posted this on Facebook last week after it happened and am embarrassed to say I had more than a few texts from friends (and family) inquiring as to who asked who (or is it whom? whatever)... Not that there's anything wrong with a gal asking a guy, it's just not how it went down with Chris and I. However I'm oddly flattered so many of you think we have such a modern relationship.

This is how it really happened. I feel like I should I preface this post by noting that I've always been a bit private when it comes to this kind of thing- I know this sounds weird given that I blog about my life for all to see on a daily basis, but when it comes to the really personal stuff, I keep that to myself.

So when Chris and I would have the conversation about getting engaged I always told him one thing; it needed to happen in private. I know some girls want the big public display of affection with fireworks and crowds and photographers "hiding" at every corner, but that's pretty much my nightmare. Like my pal Amy Poehler would say, good for you not for me. I'm such a shy weirdo about this kinda stuff, anything like that would have embarrassed the hell out of me. So my only request for Chris was that it would just be the two of us when it happened. (And Harlow of course.) No photographers. No strangers. No anybody else. Just us.

Last Thursday on December 23rd it was just that.

Chris and I were doing some last minute shopping in Fremont when he suddenly stopped by his house to grab Harlow. Some of you might think this seems a little random, but Harlow runs almost every errand with me anyway (because I have separation anxiety), so it actually wasn't anything out of the norm. However when Chris turned away from downtown and instead headed toward his family's land a little bit outside of town I knew something was up.

After we got to his land he parked the car and asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I should also add that it was raining and about 35 degrees, so "a walk" wasn't exactly the normal thing to do at the moment. But I played along- kinda. I was mostly smiling and asking "what's going on? what's happening?" But I knew. And he knew I knew. But it doesn't mean it wasn't fun for us anyway. For those first ten minutes we were both giggly and shy like we were on our first date more than seven years ago at El Potrero in Lincoln, Nebraska.

As he led me through the trees the only thing I can remember saying is, "I feel like I'm on the Bachelor." I meant it in a good way, but I recall him giving me a look like I'm going to pretend you didn't just say that. Then all of the sudden Harlow seemed to have gotten a whiff of something and he just took off. Chris told me to follow him and when I found him he was devouring treats near a tree that had a wreath hung on it. When I looked to see what Harlow was eating I noticed that set beside the mound of treats was a ring box.

I opened the box and it was empty.

It was about at this point when I started to get really overwhelmed and things started to blur together.  But when I turned around, there was Chris on one knee... I only know this thanks to the photos. I actually said to him later "why didn't you get on one knee?" I had no idea he actually did... I'm not sure if it's because I was so excited or so in shock, but I can't remember so much of what happened. (And no, I hadn't been drinking before.)

It wasn't until Chris had put the ring on my finger when he told me to look toward the tripod where the camera was set up. I was completely unaware that it had been there the entire time. Even though I had told Chris I didn't want any photographs of the proposal, he knew I'd think otherwise after it was all said and done. And he was right, these are probably my favorite photos ever. Is he a good blogger-fiance or what?

As we drove back to his house I just kept smiling and couldn't believe it was all real. The entire thing was just so wonderfully private and low key, it was exactly how I hoped it would be. It's as if Chris managed to capture the essence of us in his proposal. I know that sounds trite or cliche, but I don't care. It's true. He did good.

When we got back we celebrated with champagne and friends and family that were waiting for us at his house.

Here we are holding our first engagement gift from academy award winning filmmaker (and my good friend and idol) Alexander Payne. The bottle reads "Congrats Chris and Taylor, you guys are the best! I can't wait to make a movie with Taylor some day, she's so great. Much love- Alex."

Disclaimer:The wine bottle was actually won at an auction after he filmed "Nebraska" in Norfolk. But that's neither here nor there. I have met Alexander Payne and I'm certain we will work together in the future.

And that's the story of the day Chris asked me to marry him. I can't quit smiling when I think about it.

I never thought I'd be that annoying girl who can't stop looking at her ring but I am. I so am. I might even get crazy and create a wedding board on Pinterest tonight. Look at me go... 2015 is looking good.

Thank you again for all of the congrats and well wishes. I was so overjoyed reading all of the nice messages I actually broke my iphone (that I've had for two weeks) in the process and I didn't even care.

Happy last few days of 2014, everyone. We're going out on a high note.

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A Family Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2014

This past weekend I attended my uncle's holiday party in Kansas city. And here's something you should know about my uncle- he's one of the most sought after talent coaches in the pageant industry. I know I bullshit a lot, but I'm 100% serious about this. He's worked with almost every Miss America out there.

So when he throws a holiday party, it's full of Miss Americas and all of the very talented people he runs with. He had a piano player on every floor of his house playing Christmas tunes. There were guitar players and harpists and other random musicians at every corner. And then there was me. Creeping around his big old house all by myself with a bottle of champagne just the way I like it.

And did I mention there was food? Lots and lots of amazing food.

My family stayed on the third floor, which is also where the party ended around 3:00 a.m. surrounded by the piano singing Jingle Bells. Although I had retired for the night much earlier (I'm a happy hour kinda gal, not an after-hours gal.) So in an attempt to keep the late night party animals from bugging me while I slept I chose to sleep on the floor beside the bed, not on it- a fact which would lead my parents to think I was lost from about 1:00 a.m.- 3:00 a.m. But that's neither here nor there at this point.

The third floor is about twice the size of my apartment in Chicago. Pretty standard for a man who lives alone, right?

Sadly this is the only photo my family managed to get for the night. If you cross your eyes it actually doesn't look that bad. And if you're drunk it actually looks really clear.

The following morning I did what any normal girl would do and proceeded to creep around the house taking photos in all of the practice rooms pretending I was one of my uncle's elite pageant girls. I think I fit right in.

I know what you're probably thinking, "But Taylor, if you're uncle is such a big deal in the pageant world why on earth didn't you ever jump in?" Good question. Well guys, the truth is that I lack a little bit of what one might call... talent. My uncle specializes in vocal and piano lessons (I think.) Or at least that's what he always told me.

But perhaps he took one look at me as a child at our family get togethers when I would willfully get up and dance and sing for everyone and thought to himself, Please don't ever let this child ask me to be her talent coach. 

Whenever my uncle would come back for Christmas it was tradition that he would get on the piano and play Christmas songs while we all sat around and listened. At one point I would always jump up and start to belt out the song, trying my hardest I might add to sound just like Ariel from the Little Mermaid, and my uncle would smile at me sweetly and say bless her heart. I know this to be true because we have it all on video tape.

Bless my heart indeed. I'm still the fang toothed little girl who just doesn't know when to quit.

And now I'm going back to bed because my annual Christmas sickness has returned once again to remind me never to take my health for granted.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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Twas The Week Before Christmas

Friday, December 19, 2014

And this is a glance into life as of late.

I've been a really intense hermit for the past few weeks. I can't tell you how much I love staying in, drinking wine on the couch, all while I just creepily stare at my Christmas tree and smile. Besides escaping to do a few shows, I've gotten myself into a very bad routine of never wanting to leave the house. Chris is starting to think I have a problem. I probably do. 

You know who doesn't think I have a problem? This guy. He loves the fact I never leave his side. His clinger status is at an all time high lately. 

However we did venture out last week for Chris's holiday party. I texted this photo to my mom and she responded, "Have you both had a lot to drink?" No, mom we hadn't- yet. This was actually at the start of the night, but thanks for asking. And yes, I'm aware we both have crazy hair and weird smiles going on. There must have been something in the air.


Okay, maybe at this point we'd had a bit to drink.

And then we also made a brief visit to Zoo Lights a few nights ago.

But for the most part life has been spent right here.

Wearing jeans and oversized cardigans, all day every day. I'm really trying my best to "change with the times" and "keep up with the fads of Instagram" but I just can't get into this trend of taking a weird photo from my stomach down. It just feels odd. Don't get me wrong, I like when you do it, I just can't.

It's not you, it's me.

But I'm all about the no face in the photo thing. Hells yes, more of this. The less I have to pretend to put on makeup, the better.

cardigan found here.

Go do your weekend stuff, friends. The holidays are officially here.

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