Meet Me At The Rail

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Today I'm keeping on with my weekend tradition and introducing you to another favorite shop on nebrowse.

Steez T's is primarily for all of my fellow Nebraska friends. I first met the shop owner, Stephanie, via my blog (and by "met" I mean virtually, of course.) We swapped some e-mails, she showed me her shirt designs, and my first reaction was, oh hells yes these are awesome.

I've mentioned before my love for one of Lincoln's finest bars, The Rail. Well it turns out Stephanie and I share this same love. So much so she created this stylin' tank top. And just like I thought it would, it sold like hot cakes.

1. What prompted you to start your own store?

I have always wanted to create cool shirts for people to wear! An awesome shirt is one of my favorite things, I truly believe that it's one of life's best gifts (#SwagLife). The first time I designed a shirt was in 2009 and I swear I didn't sleep for two straight days because I was so into it. I never released any because I had no idea where to start and for obvious reasons of being a broke college kid.

Last year, I started to realize that there was a market for cool swag in the local area (Lincoln, NE) and others wanted to wear unique shirts just like I did. I knew it was finally time to release "Steez T's" out in the wild so I went to the drawing board and came up with all kinds of ideas and sayings. The first shirt out was Meet Me at The Rail. It honestly came pretty easy too. I thought I personally really need a shirt that defines my love for the Brass Rail so I'm going to go ahead and make that!

P.S. The name Steez T's hails from my nickname since high school, Steezy! ;)

2. Your shirts are super cute, where do you get inspiration to create them?

First off, thanks for the compliment! Meet Me at The Rail was inspired by glorious O Street, of course. ;) I was jotting down random ideas one night and I automatically wrote down "Meet Me at The Rail" and it just sounded so right. I swear I heard the O Street gods sing. I asked my friends if they would wear it and they were all excited about it so I went for it!

Party in the PBA is inspired by basketball and my husband. My husband is one of the biggest basketball fans you'll ever meet and I knew I had to do a shirt in his honor. He actually had the idea and I couldn't say no. I mean, just think of Miley Cyrus singing, "Party in the USA" with PBA instead ...

3. What has been your favorite part of running your own business?

I LOVE the creativity and always searching for that new idea. This sounds weird but I also love packing the shirts to be delivered.

I always write a note inside to share it on social media with the hashtags #MeetMeAtTheRail or #PartyInThePBA and when I see people using that hashtag and commenting on the shirts, it's seriously one of the greatest feelings in the world!

4. What has been your most popular item?

Meet Me at The Rail by far! Too bad I couldn't send a free Hot Carl to all those Rail lovers out there! ;)

5. Any new shirt ideas on the horizon?

I'm always grinding the gears for new ideas and searching everywhere for inspiration. I'm preparing for the upcoming football season as well as summer! So stay tuned on nebrowse! Oh, and I'm also thinking of selling Meet Me at The Rail T-shirt versions for the guys (and girls)!

Follow on Instagram here and make sure to like Steez T's on Facebook.

*Comments have been turned off, instead go and stock up on some Valentine gifts by checking out Steez T's today!

On Having Children

Friday, January 29, 2016

I was talking to a dear friend yesterday who casually sent me a photo of her dog lying next to her six month old baby with the caption, "aren't you excited for Harlow to do this?"

To which I responded, "In 4 or 5 years, perhaps. But also Harlow does't want siblings." (He really doesn't. He has that "only child syndrome" going on.)

And then my friend said something along the lines of, "so your kid is going to have the old fart parents, huh?"

I guess in all fairness I should probably note that this friend and I have that kind of friendship where we're brutally honest and often "jokingly rude" with one another. We'll call her Tyeler. Because that's her name.

Anyway, she's always wanted to be a "young mom."  Like she desperately wanted to get on Teen Mom when she was in high school. Jk jk. What I mean is that in college she talked about wanting to start a family fairly soon after she got married. It was just her thing. Me on the other hand, not so much.

Now don't get your panties in a bunch, her comment was intended as a joke. (I think... some friends you just never know, you know?) But regardless, it made me think about "old parents" vs "young parents" and how it's all relative, really.

For example in Chicago, "young parents" are usually in their early thirties. I frequently see people much older than me happily carrying around their newborns. But when I go back to Nebraska, moms five years younger than me are toting around toddlers. So to each their own.

Almost every single one of my friends who lives in Nebraska has a couple of kids now. And if they only have one, they say things like "we're currently trying for our second." Which gives me great material for my standup because I'm a child and this phrase goes a lot of places in my comedic head.

Anyway. To answer my friend's question, yes, I have every intention of being "an old fart parent." And speaking of this, ever since Chris and I got engaged I can't tell you how many people have already started asking about "our future children."

What? Why? Stop it.

Last night Harlow had a bit of an upset stomach so I had to let him outside five different times from 2 a.m.- 4 a.m  and the only thing I could think about was how my friends with babies do this every. single. night. How do they function the next day? I just don't get it. Being a parent looks exhausting. Rewarding, yes. But so so exhausting.

And now I'm going to end by showing you a photo of Finley, Tyeler's daughter, because she is a toddler fashion blogger and we could all learn a thing or two from her keen fashion sense.

I'm kidding. She's not a blogger, but she should be. I keep telling Tyeler you have to start 'em young these days. Isn't it weird when toddlers dress better than you? I'm pretty sure at Finley's age I was really into the pink sweatpants and "Someone Loves Me In South Padre" t-shirts my grandparents use to give me. 

On second thought, I have to do this right. Let me just show you.

Oh that was fun. You can grab Finley's look here. You can grab mine by having a child in the early 90s.

Have a great weekend, it's the last one in January! Only two more months of winter hell. Summer, I see you getting closer...

5 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues

Thursday, January 28, 2016

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Burt’s Bees for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

The hardest part about winter in Chicago is that is seems to last forever.

It doesn't end in March. Or even April. Winter likes to extend itself all the way into May sometimes. Since I work from home, this is hard on me for a few reasons. First of all, it's very isolating. Sometimes Harlow is the only person I talk to all week. And then there's the whole physical appearance part...

I know I've really let myself go when Chris comes home from work and sees that I'm wearing jeans and perhaps a touch of bronzer and asks, "why are you looking all fancy?"

Oh, that's sad.

I need to make an effort to care more. I really do believe that when you look, you feel good (for the most part.) Dressing like I'm sick every day starts to make me feel like I am indeed a sick person.

Thus I present to you, five ways to beat the winter blues.

1. Add some color back into your wardrobe.
I'm purposely trying to buy more pastels for spring in an attempt to stay away from the same greys and blacks I wear every single day. Light colors brighten my mood. And since I won't see sunlight until June, I have to work with what I've got.

2. Lipstick.
I don't wear a lot of makeup, but when I do, I love putting on a good lip color. I really think it helps to brighten up a dull face (I'm talking about my own here.) Winters are hard on my skin.

I don't like it when lipsticks are wet and sticky, so when I find a good matte finish lipstick I'm ecstatic. Burt's Bees new line of 100% natural lipstick is amazing! Here's just a few things I love about it:

*It stays on! (For real!)
*It's lightweight.
*It goes on easy making it perfect for people (like me) who might be semi new to wearing lipstick.
*Best of all, it moisturizes.

Have I mentioned Chicago winters are painfully dry?

Burt's Bees new line of lipstick comes in 14 different shades, in the photo above I'm holding Brimming Berry (highly suggest this shade.) They are Available at Target, but you better hurry because they are flying OFF the shelves. Try it once and you'll know why.

3. Put on pants every day.
This one is harder than it sounds. But forcing myself to change into jeans every day really makes a difference on my productivity. It's more of a mental thing, I know. But we all have our things.

4. Leave the house at least once per day.
And the dog park doesn't count. When I force myself to go work at a coffee house for an hour or so I always get so much done and just feel a lot better being around people- even for just a small amount of time.

5. Drink more water.
Everyone says this helps with the way you feel and look, so either everyone else is lying, or there must be something to it. I'll try anything right now to help hydrate my skin. So if that means 100 glasses of water per day, sign me up.

What are your winter beauty secrets?
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The Evolution of Blogging From The Past 7 Years

This is my 1,800th blog post.

If you look at my archives on the left side you'll see I've been around for awhile. Since 2009 actually. Sometimes in the blogging world I feel like an old dog. An old dog sitting on her old couch, wrapped in an old knit blanket, drinking her old dog tea, talking about the good old days.

Let's just say I've seen some shit.

Jk, I haven't. What I mean is that I've seen quite a few changes evolve in the blogging world over the past seven years. And that's just from my point of view, there's definitely been trends that have come and gone that I didn't even realize happened. I tend to be a little disconnected in this blogging world. I'm getting better at branching out, but for the most part I feel like I'm on my own little island trying to figure stuff out. It's probably not the best place to be, yet it's always where I end up.

Every time I see a new blogger pop up on Instagram who's been around "For An Entire Year!!" and is so thankful they've just hit 50,000 followers the old dog inside me sighs and thinks, damn I wish it was how it used to be. When blogging was just blogging.

But then I think I'm probably just fooling myself. Blogging has never been "just blogging." It might have been for me, but that's only because I was behind the game (as usual.)

So here we go, here's just a few of the changes I've seen take place over the years.

When I started back in the dark ages, Instagram wasn't even a thing. And photos on blogs were good, but not crazy good like they are today.

People used to write more (I may also be romanticizing this slightly) but then Buzzfeed came around and let everyone know that list posts and how-tos are much easier to read. And probably more useful, really.

For instance I know this post won't get nearly as many hits as when I write a "28 Things You Need To.." kinda thing. But sometimes you have to do what the heart wants.

Big old blogger giveaways were huge for awhile. And the main entry? Follow via Google Follow Connect. I need to get rid of my GFC. I know this, but it feels like my security blanket and I'm not ready to let go.

Bloglovin was just a side piece. Until Google Reader went away. (Right? Isn't this what happened?)

The big bloggers concentrated on growing their Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest. And for a hot second some jumped on Vine.

Then Instagram inched its way it. And this was a game changer. You no longer had to have a blog to be a blogger. And now people spend less time reading blogs and more time scrolling their insta feed.

I'm interested to see what changes evolve with Instagram. At some point the numbers will be so inflated that nothing will even matter anymore. Everyone will have 100,000 followers. Or maybe not. I don't know. I'll just keep taking photos of my feet and hope no one notices.

Really though, the newest change I'm enjoying is snapchat. This app is ridiculous and I follow way too many people that are ridiculous and cringe worthy but I do it anyway. Like, why is everyone always just staring at how good they look while they show me their new Prada bag? I don't care. But apparently I do because I'm watching.

Does anyone else follow people that you kinda loathe but you just can't look away? *Sidenote: If I'm your hate-follow, just go ahead and stop. I promise I'm not worth loathing. 

However, don't unfollow if you'd like to watch my new snapchat miniseries called "Children Of Bloggers: the story of a filtered childhood and Freshly Picked mocs." And yes, Snapchat miniseries are a thing, I just decided. My handle is @thedailytay, obvi.

What changes have you noticed over the years? Have you changed as a reader? Is anyone out there? Should I just cut this off now? Okay, yes. Bye.

My Wedding Dress Is In

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My wedding dress is in.

I'm not sure what this means exactly, or where it was before it was "in." But it's in Chicago now. I know this because a very excited man called me yesterday from the boutique where I got it and delivered the news.

He said, "Taylor, I just wanted to let you know that .... YOUR WEDDING DRESS IS IN!"

And as he waited for me to squeal, or faint, or do whatever it is that he's apparently used to hearing as a response to this specific phone call, I suddenly felt like Miranda Hobbes when the doctor tells her she's having a boy and she has to fake her sonogram reaction. "A boy? Oh boy."

All that I said was, "great. okay."

Don't get me wrong, I love my dress. I'm excited to wear it six months down the road. But, that's six months down the road. I've got other shit to tackle right now. 

I knew I let the man down with my dull reaction and I felt bad. So right before I got off the phone with him I added, "thanks for this call, I'm so excited about this. Really exciting stuff." And we both knew I was kinda faking the enthusiasm and it got a little awkward.

So that's where I'm at right now. The dress is in. And I guess that means alterations have to happen or something? So I should probably start working out again and stop eating so much pizza. Ugh.

I'm having major fat kid probs right now. Last night my bottom lip started gushing blood because my spoon full of ice cream froze to it and I ripped it off anxious to get that damn bite in my mouth. I cut my lip open because I couldn't wait two seconds to eat my ice cream. That's when you know you have a problem...

The only thing keeping me going is dreaming about our honeymoon. I think about it all the time. We have nothing planned, but both have our own ideas of how it should go. Chris wants to go on an adventure and explore and learn about new things in museums because he's into that kind of stuff. But I just want to relax. Where did you go? What do you suggest?

Also, Honeymoon Vibes shirt found here. Buy it for everyone you know getting married. Harlow and I thank you. 2016 is exciting and wonderful and slightly expensive.

The Awkward Phase

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I spent the majority of my high school years wearing sweatpants with panther paw prints on the butt, or mens extra large Carolina basketball shorts that hung to my shins. Sometimes I wore the shorts under the sweatpants, actually quite often I did that.

Paired with slip-on moccasin slippers from Target and a dirty old hooded sweatshirt, comfort was my main priority.

But when my mom got me tickets to see Britney Spears for my 17th birthday I knew without a doubt I wanted to look good for this concert. Like really good. Red Converse sneakers with striped red socks good.

I think the photo speaks for itself.

The year was 2004 and Britney Spears was performing The Onyx Hotel tour in Omaha. She had been going through some shit and I just knew I had to go. She needed me. We all watched Chaotic.

So my mom drove my friend, Jeni, and I to Omaha (on a weeknight, holla!) and we both looked hot AF in our best concert attire. I'd like to say we dressed for ourselves, but I'm pretty sure we both secretly hoped we might meet cute mysterious "big city" Omaha boys that we would instantly start dating and then spend the next several weeks AOLing every night. Although I didn't have AOL, it was more like MSN messenger.

Anyway. We looked good.

For me this meant:

1. Wearing a trucker hat. OBVI! My beloved Von Dutch hat didn't match or I would have definitely worn that one. Instead I went with the classic "Teenage Millionaire" hat.

2. Silver hoop earrings. Hoops were everything.

3. A childrens sized I Heart NY shirt. Why? Why not?

4. A fake Kate Spade purse. What did I carry in that purse I wonder? Roll-on glitter? Perhaps some fruity Binaca breath spray? I know it wasn't a cell phone because I was only allowed a cell phone on weekends... you know, when my mom wasn't using it. Because once upon a time people only used cell phones for legit emergencies or road trips. And teens like me only got cell permission when their parents were feeling generous.

5. A black zip-up jacket I found in the girls locker room and took home. I don't know why I remember this fact but I do. I occasionally hunted clothes in the lost and found boxes because I thought it was "fun."

6. I can't even with this jean skirt. I just can't. I know it's from Wet Seal. And I know I really liked it. However I also know it was only worn for special occasions like concerts in Omaha or dancing at the dirty Depot in the summer. I'm pretty sure it was made out of material better suited for a head band.

I'm also fairly certain my mom had zero problem with me wearing it on account of the fact every other day I dressed like a hungover 30 year old man.

7. And the shoes and the socks. I was going ALL OUT for this occasion. Don't let anyone ever tell you that just because you have size 9.5 feet you should restrict yourself from wearing bright red, high top, Converse sneakers.

The concert was nothing short of amazing. Brit put on a hell of a show, as usual.

But one of the things I remember most from this night is going to the bathroom and looking in the full length mirror at the Qwest Center (now CentruyLink) and thinking, holy shit this might be the best I've ever looked. 

Oh to be a teenager and have zero self awareness.

My friend Claire recently co authored a book called, The Awkward Phase. I just got my copy in the mail yesterday and it's even better than I expected.

As the cover says, it's "the uplifting tales of those weird kids you went to school with." The beauty of this book is that it reminds us that we were ALL the weird kids. Every one of us has our own awkward tale to tell.

The stories shared in this book are from people all over the country. They're hilarious. Sad. Happy. Uplifting. But the thing that they all have in common is that each one is full of so much emotion and honesty.

I am so honored to have a small piece published in here under the Halloween section. You might also recognize another story by blogging guru herself, Helene In Between.

Here's just one of the many great photos found inside The Awkward Phase. It's my friend Claire (she's the picnic table) standing next to the Sexy Cats and I think Britney Spears.

Thumbs up, Claire. Thumbs way up.

I think every adult should read this book. And more importantly, I'd like to hand it out to every teenager. And probably some kids, too.

I'm excited that Claire's publisher has given me the opportunity to give away one of these books today. And yes, I'm still super impressed Claire has a publisher and literary agent and all of that cool stuff. But that's just how she rolls. Some of you might recognize her from her Twitter account @wefoughtabout, or from performing on every stage in Chicago.

So I encourage you to consider buying this awesome book and supporting a fellow female writer.

Anyway, back to the giveaway.

If you want to win a copy for yourself, just comment below and tell me briefly about your awkward phase. Was it a haircut? A love interest? A birthday party? A love interest at a birthday party? Anything goes. I think this could be a fun thread of comments to keep me entertained today so I hope you'll humor me and play along.

Cheers to being awkward.

5 Self Help Books For The Creative Soul

Monday, January 25, 2016

Mondays are hard for me. They always have been. I wouldn't say I'm a pessimist about starting a new week, I'm just... I'm just never quite ready for it to start it feels like.

And somewhere along the way Sundays started getting a little hard too. They've become my favorite day to catch up on anxiety I've tucked away for the past 48 hours.

Sundays are even worse in the winter. I think it's because we're trapped at home so much when it's freezing outside so that gives me ample amount of time to make up fake problems in my head while I'm sitting on the couch pretending to watch football.

Making up fake problems is my favorite. The more dramatic the better!

So given my love for drowning myself in anxiety every Sunday night, it should come as no surprise to anyone that at the end of every weekend I also find myself reading a new self help book. Thus, I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorites. I'm usually reading five at any given time.

1. Last night it was Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

She's the author of Eat, Pray, Love.Truthfully, I didn't care for that book or the movie. But don't let that deter you from Big Magic. If you're a creative person looking for a little boost of positive energy, I suggest you give this a whirl.

The thing I took away from last night's chapters is that I over think EVERYTHING. And lately I'm approaching things that supposedly bring me joy way too seriously. Which seems funny to me because I don't really take anything seriously? Except my creative work. I'm serious about that shit and it's kind of killing me. I want so badly to create good stuff that I'm not creating anything at all.

So Liz's advice is this, you can either approach life as a martyr or a trickster. Martyrs feel bad for themselves and can't accomplish anything because their life is oh so hard. Where trickers find a way to get what they want no matter what. If they can't go through they go under or over... Basically I need to stop being so dramatic and taking everything so seriously and think of life's little obstacles as games that I can either win or lose. And even if I lose I'll just go on to the next one.

2. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. 

The absolute boss of TV writing, Shonda Rhimes, explains how saying yes to everything that scared her for one year changed her life.

So just like when I started improv three years ago, I'm trying to Yes And everything. I'm saying yes to more projects that come my way that I would usually turn down because I'm lazy or fearful they'll fail so what's the point anyway... The point is it's not always about the outcome, but the process is sometimes just as important.

Also Shonda is a hard ass worker and makes no excuses for lazy people just wishing their life away staring at their vision board all day... cough cough me.

3. Art and Fear.

I'm only one page in, but I can't wait to get more into this one.

From what I've gathered this book is just about making whatever it is that pleases you and throwing fear to the curb. Shocker, right? The title is pretty self explanatory. But sometimes I get so inside my head I need a stranger reminding me that it's just ART. Put away expectations and limits and just create for the sole reason that it feels good.

4. The Surrender Experiment. 

This one is just a little bit more hippy dippy than the others. It's about letting go of our own agenda and trusting the Universe and its plan for us. (I told you it was hippy dippyish.) But damn it, I love these kind of books sometimes. Rather than fighting and resisting things you're not comfortable with, accept them and understand that perhaps they're in your life for a reason. Surrendering doesn't mean giving up.

I've always been a big fan of reading books about controlling your own destiny, but this book speaks about exactly the opposite. And I didn't hate it! It was refreshing to get a new outlook on how I think about most things (most specifically my future) and how forcing things to go exactly how I prefer they go isn't necessarily the best way.

"Are you ready, willing, and able to allow the universe to manifest in front of you without freaking out?" 

No, most times I'm not. But this books helps me pretend that maybe with some work I can get better.

5. The Alchemist.

I mention this one over and over because it's my favorite. Find your personal legend, everybody! What is it that makes you tick? If you don't know, go find it!

Two of my favorite quotes from this book are:

Now do you see why I love it? I'm sure Shonda Rhimes hates it. This book really enables that dreamer side of me. But whatever. Sometimes thinking happy warm thoughts about the Universe being on your side feels so nice!

And now it's time to put my money where my mouth is and get this week started. Today I'm going to beat Monday. Hope you do the same!

What are your favorite self help books? If you know of a good one, please tell me. I am always looking for more ways to improve my life.

Items You Need For The Stylish Baby

Saturday, January 23, 2016

As mentioned last week, today I have the pleasure of introducing you to another favorite seller of mine from nebrowse.

Every single day I am blown away by the talent and creativity of the people I get to work with on nebrowse, people like you and I just doing what they love, it's truly one of my favorite parts of running this site.

I noticed Lonna's store, Glittered Pickles, immediately. She has the type of shop where even though almost all of her items are children related, someone like me (who doesn't have kids) still looks at her stuff and thinks, okay that is awesome. Who can I buy that for?

Like take for example these faux leather leggings.

Or this adorable teepee teether and bib set.

But I've said enough, I think you can all tell I'm a fan. Here's a little more info about Lonna and how she started creating her own awesome baby items.

1. What prompted you to start your own store?

I've always been a maker. I remember making doll clothes with my sisters in my grandma's basement using her fabric scraps! The store kind of naturally happened when my sister and I started making things for my nieces and my daughter. We would make things for our own children and people started to ask if we would make things for them!

2. All of your items are so cute, where do you get inspiration to create them? 

I think most of my inspiration comes from my own children and what they are into at the moment! Oakleigh ends up with a lot of things that you can't typically find in the "girl" section while shopping.

She has older brothers and loves the things they love! When we found Avengers knit fabric she had to have leggings! My niece Milly loves mermaids so we have gone through mermaid phases and Ruby loves dinosaurs so we of course had to make dinosaur jewelry for her!

3. What has been your favorite part of running your own business?

I love the flexibility and freedom of creating what I want when I want! I love working with customers on custom orders and getting all excited with them when everything comes together! I LOVE getting new fabric in the mail! It's also been really fun working with other shops. I've been working with AllyB Designs a lot lately and it's been so fun getting to know her!

4. What has been your most popular item?

My most popular item has definitely been the Nebraska Corn organic cotton leggings! I'm always super excited when I sell a pair of those because I hand painted that design myself. When I was working on designing that fabric I wasn't sure if anyone would ever want to buy them! It was the first fabric I ever designed myself!

5. What are your current favorites you have listed? 

I love all of the little baby legging and hat sets right now! My favorite fabric is the jewel tone floral. It's bright and cheery without being overly girly! Shop LuluBea (my sister) and I are working on a big Disney vacation themed release and I'm super excited for those!!!


Now do you see why I'm such a fan? I want to buy all of her things for my friends' babies and upcoming baby showers.  To see more of Lonna's items, I suggest you start here or here. Make sure to follow nebrowse on Instagram @nebrowse to see upcoming giveaways.

Interested in starting your own store on nebrowse? Email me at and I'd love to help you get started!

*Comments have been turned off today.

6 Things I Won't Spend Money On

Friday, January 22, 2016

1. Expensive cookies.
Why splurge when Target and Wal Mart sell these babies for like a quarter?! They're magic and they melt in your mouth. And they're also probably solidified posinous sugar, but I don't care. They're wonderful.

On another note,  I don't know what I did to make Friday mad, but it's trying super hard to piss me off.

It started around 3 a.m. when Har jumped off the bed and started to whimper at the door. Fewer things make me fly out of bed faster than when Harlow suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night. He's a good sleeper, so if he gets out of bed before me I know 1 of 2 things are about to happen. And neither are very pretty.

Don't worry, he got outside in time and all was fine. I just need to cut back on the quinoa I've been giving him. And that's all I'll say about that.

And then this morning my Keurig died. And it didn't just pass silently, either. It made a real fuss, exploding wet mushy coffee everywhere.

And because I can't let things go, I tried running it two more times just to make sure it was broken. Thus it exploded two more times.

Truthfully, I'm happy to get rid of it. Kcups are killing the earth and I've been a willing participant. So be gone, devil machine. I've already ordered a $15 coffee maker off amazon and I'm pretty pumped about it.

After the Keurig fiasco I was getting dressed and my bra strap broke. And not just any bra strap, my favorite bra strap. However like the Keurig, I know it's probably for the best. It was a pretty gross bra I got at Target for like a dollar. For some reason the cheap ones always end up being my favorites.

I'll know I've made it in life when I treat myself to nice undergarments.

Which brings me back to my original post idea which I forgot about.

Things I won't spend money on:

2. Spa Days.
I've never had one. What does this even mean? A massage? A facial? A foot bath where fish eat the dead skin off my feet? It all sounds wonderful but it's just too novelty for me. I've never even had a facial. Is that weird? Probably.

3. Fancy coffee.
I refuse to pay $9 to drink a latte that looks like the Mona Lisa. I can appreciate the artistic talent, but I won't pay for it. Or drink it.

4. Nice pillows.
I want them. Damn it, I want them. But every time I go to order new ones I buckle and get the cheap ones. I think when Chris and I register we might put some fancy pillows on the list.

5. Fancy pumps.
No thanks. It's probably because I don't wear high heels often - also is that phrase super weird to anyone else? I feel like an 80s working woman when I say "high heel." Anyway, I won't spend over $75 for a pump, and even that's a stretch.

6. Good towels.
Why? Because no matter how hard I try to keep them nice they always end up with weird bleach looking stains on them. And I don't use bleach! Why is this a thing? Does anyone know what I'm talking about or how to solve this problem?

Anyway, enough griping. Let's get the weekend started.

Things I will spend money on: ridiculous graphic t-shirts that make me happy. As the t-shirt says, it's a Netflix and couch kind of night, spent in pj shorts and slippers all weekend long.

found here.

No Pants Till Monday. Who's with me?

PS, because I'm in a cozy weekend kinda mood, take $5 off the shirts you see using the code: talkherbietome_cozy at checkout.  COZY AF shirts and sweatshirt apply as well.

found here.

Stay cozy, everyone.

Fame Is A Funny Thing

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

You always hear fame changes people, but you don't really get it until you witness it firsthand. Until you see your best friend just completely ignore you at the park, running hot laps like a maniac, going up to every other dog and tackling them without remorse, stealing treats from owners' pockets. 

You don't know how fame can change someone until you know Harlow.

The park fiasco happened less than an hour ago. Sure, the excess of diva energy might have to do with the fact we only had two walks yesterday. Or perhaps it was because we got a new couch and for some reason any slight change in the house makes Harlow go nuts. 

Sidenote: sometime I need to talk about yesterday, when me and one other very small girl tried to move our couch out of our house while King Harlow rode on the thing like he was Cleopatra. He just wouldn't get off of it. He found it super amusing to sprawl across it while we struggled (quite feverishly I might add) to carry it through our very small hallway.

He's out of control.

And I know why. It's not because of the weather. Or cabin fever. It's because he thinks he's famous now.  Is this my fault? Yes, I'll take the blame. All good stage moms do.

What happened is that I made the mistake of showing Harlow the final cut from the Volvo commercial he shot back in the fall. I showed him because I was proud. I know I may be a little bias, but I think he nailed it. 

It really shows his range as an actor. This was his toughest role yet, playing the part of the "dog." When the director told us he'd really like Harlow to show off the dog crate feature of the Volvo, Harlow looked at him like, "I'm sorry what? You want me to ride in a cage? Like an animal?"

And then I reminded Harlow that he's an actooooor. This is his craft. If Jennifer Lawrence can play a struggling middle aged woman time after time, then damn it, Harlow can pretend to be a dog. And so he did. Take a look.

I was honored to get to play Harlow's sidekick in this short. And even more honored that Volvo chose this wonderful quote of mine to go into their magazine.

"If I don't make it as a comedian, I'll become a truck driver. Harlow loves life on the road."

Well done, self. Way to make your commercial print debut. 

Me as a truck driver and a nice shot of Harlow's backside. I think we're going places. Watch out, world. Har and Tay are making their mark. 

*For Harlow booking inquiries and public appearances please email me at, right now he's very into night club openings and guest DJ'ing. 

Save The Date!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Save the date... we're almost exactly six months away. Yayayaya!

Our timeline:

*Boy Meets Girl
-while attending a basement Fiji party. 
(VERY romantic. And very musty.)

*1st Date
-El Potrero in Lincoln.
(Nine years ago this was my first "first dinner date." And also my last "first dinner date.")

-when they found out they both love pizza, the Rail, and dogs.
I spent many a summer night sitting at the Rail eating free Rail mix and drinking Ogres while Chris tended bar. Oh, the summer of 2009. What a time to be alive.

*She Says Yes! 
-with the help of Harlow finding the ring.
A ring box covered in dog treats. I wouldn't have it any other way.

*Save the Date
-July 23rd, 2016 Steamboat, CO.
Best. Day. Ever.

Granted we've been engaged for 13+ months now, but all of the sudden it's starting to feel like it will be here very soon.

And I am so excited. Like it or not, my wedding posts may pick up a bit on here. I'll also be adding a wedding tab up top to make me feel like I'm being productive and getting stuff done. So humor me and play along.

For those of you who have asked, our Save the Dates are from Minted. And I couldn't be happier with the way they turned out, or with Minted in general. From start to finish, the customer service was phenomenal and the quality is top notch.

They have hundreds (probably thousands even) of designs to choose from, but as soon as I saw this one I knew we had to have it. I liked customizing it and adding our own little timeline/story. It just feels like us.

And don't even get me started on their wedding invites. They are all gorgeous! Right now you can get 20% off using the code WEDDING20, but hurry because it ends Monday!

And slowly but surely it's all coming together. We're making a trip to Steamboat next month to taste food and cake and all of that other weird stuff you're supposed to do. I honestly don't care about the main courses, I just want to make sure the apps are good and hot dog machine is working. I've got my priorities.

Ready or not, wedding season is coming! If you have any planning advice for being six months out, do share!

My Dream Charity- The Harlow Foundation

Monday, January 18, 2016

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Create the Good for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

If there's two things I like I talking about, it's saving dogs and going after my dreams. I've just recently taught myself the difference between just dreaming and actually doing...

Even if you've only read a few posts of mine you've certainly come across both of these things. I talk about it a lot because it's my passion. It's the happy thoughts that get me through long winter days here in Chicago.

When Create the Good asked me to make a video about my dreams AND saving dogs, I was all over it. Technically, they didn't ask me to create a video about those two things specifically, but that's where I ran with it.

Right now Create The Good is asking people submit videos for their Create the Good Dream Builder Video Contest. If you're someone who wants to give back to your community or someday start your own charity, this is your chance.

-What is your dream?
-What are you currently doing to achieve this?
-How would you like to help your community?
-Why are you passionate about this?

It should come as no surprise that I spoke about my dream to start The Harlow Foundation, a rescue sanctuary for animals of all sorts. A place for animals to stretch their legs, get happy and healthy, and then hopefully find their forever home. I know I'll need a lot of land, money, and hard work to do this. But it's my dream, so I'm going to keep planning it until I figure out how to make it a reality.

What is your dream? What would you like to contribute to make the world a better place?

Submit your own video by February 7th and you could win $2500 to a charity of your choice. Three runner-ups will also be rewarded $500.

Learn more by checking out Create the Good Facebook
Visit Sponsors Site

Get Shit Done Mode

mug found here.

I need to get shit done today.

And tomorrow. And this week. And for the rest of ever basically.

I'm not sure when my focus "problems" started exactly, but boy oh boy do I have issues concentrating on one thing at a time. I can't even write a to-do list because by the time I get to #2 or #3 I've already gotten distracted by something else that popped up in my head while I was writing said to-do list.

I'm able to get stuff done eventually, but it takes me awhile and I'm not nearly efficient as I should be. For example I've been writing this post for two hours now because I've stopped 100 times when I remember something else I have to do.

I'll remember an email I have to respond to, or I'll want to check an item on nebrowse, or follow up on a made-up Instagram task- basically I've found thousands of ways to distract myself. Also the new GIF keyboard on Facebook? Killing it. I can't stop playing with it. GIFS entertain me more than they should.

But that has to stop this week.

I need to work harder at everything I do in my life. Literally everything. I've been feeling like a hamster in a wheel lately. The wheel is moving, but it's going nowhere and I'm just circling around like a silly little hamster does hoping that a cat doesn't come along and eat me. I have no one to blame but myself for not moving my wheel forward.

The reason for my Monday Motivation lies behind two things:

1. 2016 is going to be the most expensive year of my life. I'm getting married and several of my best friends are getting married. Weddings are wonderful and I love them, but they're expensive.

Anytime I think about money this year my throat tightens and I feel this imaginary weight on my back push down just a little harder. And since I refuse to work for someone else, that means I have to work twice as hard for myself. Do I sound like Tony Robbins today? GOOD!!!

2. Shonda Rhimes is telling me to stop dreaming and start working.
I've been reading her book, Year of Yes, and it's speaking to my soul. Shonda is the Queen of television writing. You might know some of her shows, Greys Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal. Her book came into my life just when I needed it. Here's one of my favorite quotes so far,

"Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change."

So that's where I'm at today.


To-do list people, I know you're out there. Have any tips to share? Or apps you like? Or anything that can make a distracted person like myself actually stick to one? Share below. Thank you!

A Few Of My Favorites

Sunday, January 17, 2016

One of my favorite things about running nebrowse is the opportunity I get to work with so many awesome small business owners. People like you and I, taking a leap of faith to do what they love.

From day one I started nebrowse with the goal to help other small designers and creators get more exposure in the online world. Because let's face it, it's easy to get lost out there.

In attempt to showcase some of my nebrowse favorites and share with you items that I personally love and think you might too, I'm going to spotlight a few sellers each weekend.

Today I couldn't be happier to introduce you to my friend, one time college roomy in our little sorority house, and all around amazing person, Kelynne from Kindred Jewelleria.

Simply put, Kindred Jewelleria sells gorgeous jewelry, beautiful blanket scarves (the red one is the softest thing I've ever felt) and customers are given the choice to donate a portion of their purchase to a non profit of their choice. I can get on board with that.

Presented Q & A style, Kelynne shared a little more info about what makes Kindred Jewellria so wonderful.

1. First of all, what prompted you to start your own store?

I've always had a love and affinity for jewelry. I've also always had a deep seeded desire to help others. I wanted to find a way to incorporate both passions into my life. Kindred is founded upon the idea of leading and living a beautiful life. Kindred customers are able to donate a portion of their purchase to a non profit organization  of their choice.

We all have different passions and causes that are near and dear to our heart. Giving customers the choice to donate to a cause that has personal attachment, brings them more joy and gratification in donating. I love that our customers can wear our jewelry and know it serves as a simple reminder to live and give. Kindred has been a wonderful creative and compassionate outlet for me.

2. I love all of your beautiful items, how do you decide what to include in your store?

Just as we all have our own passions and causes that move us in life, we all have our own individual style and preferences. I've had to teach myself to expand my selection(s) beyond my own tastes and preferences. To grow my appreciation for all styles of jewelry. Above all else, I look for quality in my products. In the jewelry industry, quality is king. 

3. What has been your favorite part of running your own business?

My customers. The outpouring of love and support has been joyfully overwhelming. When I started my business a little less than a year ago, there were so many unknowns and so much uncertainty. I realized very quickly that I would cease to exist without the love and support of my customers. They have allowed me to pursue my passion, to give back, and to find joy in an uncertain adventure.

4. What has been your most popular item?

As of lately, I've been selling a lot of our "Be Brave and Keep Going" arrow toggle bracelets. As we start a new year with new beginnings, I think customer's have enjoyed the simple reminder to follow your arrow, to be brave, and to always keep going.

5. What are your current favorites you have listed?

I'm a sucker for fine quality jewelry, so I'm currently loving all of our 14K gold plated natural gemstone pieces.  It's amazing to me that these little gems, created, buffed and primed from the earth, can transform from dull, raw, unfinished rocks into beautiful, faceted, sparkling jewels. Being an online/e-commerce store as allowed me to offer these precious and semi-precious jewelry pieces, much like you would find in fine jewelry retail stores, at more affordable prices.

Thank you so much for reading, comments have been turned off today.

I suggest you head over to Kindred Jewellria and find some awesome Valentine gifts, start with this as well as this. Happy Sunday, everyone!