Ode to 865

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

It's our last night here and like every other apartment we've lived in while in Chicago, I'm not sad to say good-bye. It's time to move on. I am ready, oh so ready.

We've been here for over two years and for the most part, 865 has treated us well. Even with the sexist landlord who means well but still manages to say the dumbest shit such as, "wow, he does his OWN laundry? You have him trained well!"  Ugh. Eye roll.

When I think about our time here I can't help but recall the very first night when Chris and I watched a black lab run into the street and get hit right before our eyes. You can read about it in this post. And then take comfort in the fact that I see this lab and his owner about once a week around the neighborhood and it always makes me incredibly happy.

I'll miss seeing those two around.

I'll also miss my UPS guy. I'm not kidding, he's the greatest. He's always happy and knows Harlow doesn't hate him when he barks like a maniac every time he comes to the door, that's just Harlow saying Hi, Darnell!

I'll miss the drinking fountains at Wrightwood park, the nanny group that sings at Jonquil park, and the man who walks across a tight rope tied between two trees at both parks who always has the biggest smile on his face.

I'll miss the donut truck that parks on Lincoln Street, the man outside of Starbucks who sells Streetwise and always says "have a blessed day," and the badass cross walk woman on Wrightwood who will flip anyone the bird who even thinks about driving through a crosswalk when kids (or me and Harlow) are near between the hours 2-4 p.m.

I'll miss hula hoop girl, always on her stoop with a joint in her mouth, a braid down her back, and a hoop around her waist. She has a good soul, you can tell just by watching her hula.

I will not miss the grumpy old man two doors down who gives both Harlow and I very bad vibes. I'm pretty sure he drives the old blue car covered in duct tape that is always parked near the fire hydrant and I won't miss that eye sore either.

I won't miss our tiny bathroom, our crappy front door that never shuts when it gets too cold, or our dishwasher that doesn't even pretend to work these days. Farewell to our small bedroom, and our even smaller closet.

I won't miss our poor working heat where in the dead of a Chicago winter we could actually feel the cold fronts move in during the middle of the night. We'd wake up at 2 a.m. and have to put on another fleece jacket and grab the other space heater from the living room.

And I certainly won't miss our dungeon laundry room. I'm still surprised no dungeon monsters captured me down there forcing me to live the rest of my life trapped in the basement whilst the rest of the upper world went on with life having no idea where I was, when all along I was IN THE DUNGEON!!!

*I may have played out that scenario a time or two while I laundry...

But I know as time passes I'll forget about grumpy old man, the scary laundry room, and the crappy dishwasher. Instead 865 will live in my memory as the apartment that we came into as girlfriend and boyfriend, then became an engaged couple, and are now leaving as husband and wife.

I have a feeling in ten years we'll look back on this time in our life, this moment in which we've become so accustomed to cramped spaces, sharing one shower, sink, ext, a bed that takes up the entire room. Me working and growing my business from our tiny guestroom/t-shirt room. Ordering pho 3 times a week from Simply It in the winter because it's only $12 and it's too cold to get anything else. Falling asleep every night to the faint buzz of the train from a few blocks away. And when we do, all of these moments will probably be some of our favorite memories.

Because in a few short days we'll turn the keys over to the new people and just like that 865 will be in our past, a part of the good old days.

Details About Our CONDO

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

(Not our place. But give it up for our neighbor's Halloween enthusiasm.) 

Yay, we bought a house! Oh shit, we bought a house.

Yay, we bought a house! Oh shit, we bought a house.

Ever since we got the call from our realtor that our bid had been accepted, roughly four weeks ago while we were at the dog park with Harlow, that has been my mental state. I go from excited to terrified at any given moment.

Because buying a house is really cool, it's also really really scary. My chest gets tight thinking about it. If I ever have a slow sales day with t-shirts I panic (more so than usual.) Grind, hustle, work, HARDER.

And I keep forgetting I'm supposed to call it a "condo" not a house, Chris likes to remind me. I don't like the word "condo" simply because when I was little I once told an adult that "my grandma lives in a condom on the golf course," and I will NEVER FORGET that humiliation. I wasn't quite sure what a condom was at the time, but based on the expression of the person I was talking to, I knew my grandma most definitely shouldn't be living in one.

And so I stayed away from using the word "condo" for the next twenty years just to be safe. It's also why I refused to order "virgin daiquiris" as a child and would instead very politely ask for, "a non-alcoholic daiquiri, please." As if the waitress was really going to bring me, an 8 year old kid, a regular daiquiri if I didn't make sure to say non-alcoholic. Lols. Again, I didn't know what the word "virgin" meant, but I wasn't going to risk it.

But back to our CONDO. It's located in Wicker Park, which is going to be a big step up in the hipster level for Chris and I. We've been going there every weekend lately and I feel like such a yuppy loser in that neighborhood.

Oh did you get that polka dot cardigan at J Crew? How cute, Taylor. My grandma likes that store, too.

That's my inner dialogue ^^^ whenever I'm surrounded by the very cool dressed people of Wicker.

It feels like a different city over there compared to what we've known for the past six years. The vibe is entirely different from our quiet little Lincoln Park days. But I'm excited for it. Chicago has so many cool neighborhoods and it's due time we branch out.

Also, dogs are everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. We went to brunch on Sunday in Wicker and dogs were sitting on benches and chairs next to their owners AT BRUNCH (outdoors obviously) but still.

And this is where I drop the mic and tell you we have three bathrooms. THREE. I don't know what to do myself, we've lived with one closet sized bathroom for the past six years. I'll probably have to turn the third one into a bedroom Stephanie Tanner style because let's not be wasteful.

We have our final walk through tomorrow, close on Thursday, and then my head explodes Friday.

There's currently a check sitting in my desk drawer that I have to bring to closing. The amount on the check makes me dizzy. Dizzy with fear and excitement. I can't believe we're doing it, but more importantly, I'm so grateful we're in the position to be able to do so.

And just writing this post has filled me with anxiety all over again so now I must go figure out how to sell 10000000 more t-shirts so I can sleep tonight.

Who am I kidding I'm not sleeping this entire week. It's MOVING TIME.

The Cubs Are Going To The World Series

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Cubs are going to the World Series. This hasn't happened since 1945, and they haven't won the series since 1908.  Given that Chicago is an insanely huge sports city, this is a big deal. I witnessed first hand just how big of a deal it is on Saturday night after we beat the Dodgers.

So what's the vibe like in Chicago at the moment? Let me paint you a quick image.

First of all, you can't walk outside without hearing someone singing "Go Cubs Go, Hey, Chicago, what do you say, the Cubs are gonna win today."

I'm not even outside and I hear it. (RIGHT NOW.) Then again, it could just be that I have over zealous neighbors. Almost every single window, business and residential, has a proud white "W" flag hanging in their window or off their balcony.

I won't pretend to be a huge baseball fan, but even I am caught up in all this. How couldI not be? It's fun and exciting and the energy here right now is contagious.

But let me take you back to Saturday night.

We watched the game at Prost, a nice little German bar near our house where beers are served in boots, everyone sits at huge communal tables, and a polka band in the corner plays during every commercial break. They serve pretzels as big as beach balls and cheese curds that are to die for. To say I was in heaven would be an understatement.

It was a great mix of people with a lot of group camaraderie going on. Every time we'd score strangers would high five, break out into song, and after the seventh inning stretch we all sang Take Me Out To The Ballgame. (Naturally.)

But after that final inning when tabs were being closed there was a mad dash to get to Wrigleyville, which is roughly 1.5 miles from where we live/where we were drinking.

For the record, I kind of loathe Wrigleyville. Sorry to offend anyone, but it's usually pretty awful, full of drunk 23 year old bros, doing drunk year 23 year old bro things. They're usually not from Chicago but here on Chad's bachelor trip ready to "get hammered in Wrigley and do other Chicago stuff."

Let's just say it's not my cup of tea. But after we won on Saturday night Chris had that glimmer in his eye as he asked, "want to go up there?"

Alas, Chris used to be a drunk 23 year old bro.

I sucked up my pride (and fear of drunk crowds) and said, "sure." And so with the rest of the Cubs fan, we ran up to Wrigley to celebrate.

Within five blocks the streets were taken over by mobs of people chanting, waving W flags, and spraying champagne in the air. Fireworks were blasting in the sky and strangers were hugging. It was exciting and weird, but really kind of cool to take part in for that moment.

But I knew it was just a matter of time before mob mentality took over and it wouldn't be quite as fun anymore.

When the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup a few years ago the same thing happened in Wrigley and once again, we were there to witness it. People went nuts and sprayed champagne and then quickly turned to smashing windows of businesses and throwing beer bottles toward the police.

Our city just won something great, let's celebrate by trashing it!

I'll never understand why people do this. Mobs turn people insane. During the Hawks celebration I watched a group of guys turn a car over just to be assholes.

Anyway, as soon as I saw a twenty something girl climbing a very thin, yet very tall pole on top of a news van while others cheered "Climb! Climb! Climb!" I was ready to go, the fun had happened.

We stayed for just a bit longer, then turned back around to walk home when the police started to break things up.

But I'm pretty sure everyone in the city was singing "Go Cubs Go" for all of Saturday night, and early Sunday morning because I fell asleep still hearing it.

So based on what I saw Saturday, if, I mean WHEN we win the World Series this city is going to erupt.

I'm excited. And also a little nervous.

My Favorite Fall Sweaters (All Under $50)

Friday, October 21, 2016

And now for a very VERY important piece of writing called, My Favorite Fall Sweaters.

We all like a good fashion post every once in a while, right?  .... Right? No? We don't? Okay whatever, sit through it because I happen to like fall clothes. Also, I took these damn pics and have to do something with them.

But first, what it's like to do blog photos with me: I drag a photographer to some random spot, tell them we have exactly 55 minutes to shoot 100 looks and then I proceed to spend the next 55 minutes talking shit to myself while they try their very best to get a snap of me where you can not see that I am indeed talking shit to myself.

Things said:

"Oh look at me taking blog pics, isn't this just fun."
"Little Jenny Blogger over here, just sitting on a curb."
"That person is staring at me, look away, creep."
"I could not be a bigger loser right now."
"Just smiling and playing in leaves, no big deal, just doing what I do."
"Now I'm going to look away and laugh. Ha ha ha, life is fun."
"Let's go for a walking pic. Can you coach me on this?"
"I'm going to look off in the distance and smile."
"Do I have Stephanie Tanner chin going on?"
"Do I have camel toe? Would you tell me?"
"How do those fashion bloggers do that thing where they look away?"
"Someone's coming, can we pretend we're just talking?"
"Crap, I need my coffee cup. I don't feel right without my coffee cup."

And that's a WRAP! God Bless the recent photographer I worked with, Katie Jorgensen for putting up with my neurosis.

And now my INSTAGRAM MODEL pics. If you'd like to book me to be in your magazine please call my agent, Harlow Wolfe.

For realsy though, this sweater is my favorite of the season.

(only $38, it's one of those you wear all the time, so yes that's why you see me wear it all the time.)
If it's sold out, try this one.
Jeans.  Hat. Booties.
Ring from Rocksbox (use code THEDAILYTAYXOXO for one month free.)

Sweater from Target.
It's a good one! Not cheapy-feeling (in my opinion.) Also it's buy 1, get 1 50% off right now.

Yes, that's me in the photo. Don't worry about it.

Green Cardigan. 
Can't stop, won't stop with this one because I'm wearing it as I write this.
It's just so good.
Similar loafers.

Chunky Knit.
Coming in strong at only $19.99!
And don't worry, I can't take myself seriously in this pic either.

And those are just a few of my favs. Have a question let me? K thanks bye!

About Being On House Hunters

"We like flirty conflict," the producer said on our first audition/interview.

Flirty conflict? We can do that, I thought. We do that every day.

I like modern! Chris says. But I like vintage, I respond with a cute, how will we ever compromise??? look on my face. Then we giggle and roll our eyes at each other, while also looking into the camera.

We joked, poked fun at each other, and in my very humble opinion nailed the interview. And so there was a second one. And a third. And each time the producer we were working with coached us on what to say, and how to say it, and how to keep that "flirty conflict" on just the right level on fun, without out looking like John and Kate Gosselin garbage monsters.

Now if you haven't heard, I'm about to ruin this show for you and let you know that they don't actually film until a couple has closed, or are just about to close on their house. So all choices have been made. There's no real house hunting going on.

Our closing date was a pretty quick turnaround for what they normally work with, so we actually got permission from our sellers to get in a few days before our close date in order to film the necessary shots. They were super cool about it so it all seemed just perfect.

I was already planning what I was going to wear for the shoots. My T-SHIRTS, duh. And of course Harlow would be in it, too. I was thinking the "LET'S DAY DRINK" one would be perfect for him.

Between you and I, I'd never watched the show. But because I take my acting career VERY seriously, I started watching episodes on Netflix to figure out the character I needed to be.

I need a HUGE dining room and kitchen for my dinner parties! (I would pronounce HUGE like YUGE.)  I will not budge. I host annual dinner parties and I need a lot of room to entertain. My guests LOVE my dinner parties. Everyone tells me, Taylor, we LOVE your dinner parties.

Dinner party woman was the character my friend Sarah, suggested I play. I was really into this idea.

There was also this,

I need an entire room where I can keep my Precious Moment Figurines. And I need to make sure the air in this room is always kept at an even 86 degrees, because my figurines get cold. And then their eyes start to droop even more. 

Or attic lady,

I really need a space with a great attic! Because I love Home Alone. And I love bats!

You get the idea, I was ready to have some fun.

I just couldn't believe we really had the opportunity to be on this show.  Talk about good exposure! For what exactly, I wasn't sure. But I was going to make the most of it, that I knew.

Everything was going smoothly.


Until we got the email saying that one owner in our new building refused to sign the release. There are six units in our new space, all are owners, and all seem like good people, except this one grumpy asshole who stood in the way of me and being on House Hunters.

We had until 3 p.m. on September 27th to get him to sign. Our realtor emailed him. The producers emailed him. I emailed him. Harlow emailed him. We sent him photos of us, explained that he would never be on camera, nor would his shitty unit where he is clearly doing illegal stuff. In short, this would effect his life in no way.

And yet he refused.

Am I bitter? Noooooooo. Me? Never. Noooooooooooooo. I hardly even think about it anymore.

So no, we are not going to be on House Hunters. I will not get to play crazy Dinner Party lady, whom I was going to reveal in the "look at us living in our new place" segment, was actually always hosting dinner party for dogs. Talk about a plot twist.

It was not meant to be. I guess I'll have to figure out a different way to get on TV.  Don't worry, I already have something in the works...

Happy weekending, I'm about to spend the next 48 hours packing up our place. Have I mentioned how much I love moving? I'm not being sarcastic, I LOVE it. This weekend is going to be awesome.

We Bought a House

Thursday, October 20, 2016

One week from today, at exactly 12 p.m., we are "closing" on our new home. Our realtor just emailed us the official closing time yesterday. I was going to wait until we actually had the keys in our hand before I shared anything, but I'm too excited. We are home owners in Chicago!

When we moved here six years ago I never thought this would happen. In fact, during that first year I contemplated a move back to Omaha more times than I can count. Everything seemed so much harder and more complicated here. Everything was just .... so beyond my comfort zone.

And six years later my feelings have completely flip flopped and all I can see is the ease of living in a city. Stepping out of my comfort zone was the best thing I have ever done.

But let's back up to our first "vacation" here about seven years ago.

Chris and I took the train from St. Louis (where he was living) to Chicago for the weekend. For some reason I thought trains were fancy and we would get onboard and magically it would be 1945 and the men would be in suits with hats, and the women in skirts with stockings. And we'd drink champagne in our private cabin while we snacked on whatever nice treats the magic train from 1945 was serving.

Have I mentioned lately that my brain leans more toward imagination than logic? Because if you've taken the Amtrak after 1975 you know that scene I described above isn't quite how it is...

Regardless, our tickets were $40 each and it was still a fun time.

We stayed at a hotel called the Inn of Chicago because it was cheap and it was downtown. The rooms reminded me of Europe (because they were tiny and no nonsense.)

We had no idea what to do, or where to go, we just scampered around like two lost tourists. I remember we ate at a terrible Mexican restaurant simply because it was next to our hotel.

Here we are at "the bean." Look at our cameras. Our CAMERAS. So tech savvy.

I also know for a fact that we ate brunch at Grande Lux Cafe. And if you know what this means, yes we can all giggle about it. I still do.

I'm pretty sure it's Quartino in the background of this photo, the "fancy Italian" place we ate our last night before we boarded our train the following day. I know I'm feeling good because that navy and white striped dress was my favorite dress. It only came out for special occasions.

"Can you ever imagine living here?" Chris asked at dinner.

I said yes, but I was lying. The thought of living in Chicago terrified me. Sure, it seemed exciting. But also really scary.

After St. Louis, Chris's job took us to Topeka, a place I don't speak too fondly about. But in hindsight, I know it's Topeka that ultimately brought us to Chicago. Had we landed somewhere a little more familiar, like Omaha or Kansas City, we'd still be in Omaha or Kansas City today.

But instead we're in Chicago.

We had to go to our realtor's office the other day to drop off a check. Thanks to being able to sign everything online these days, it was our first time stepping foot in his actual office. As we walked inside I looked to the left and noticed the hotel, The Inn of Chicago.

It was one of those moments that gave me goosebumps. It felt like someone pulled the curtain back on time for a second and I was able to peak back on 2009.

Hey you! I know you're on vacation now, but in seven years you'll be at this exact spot signing papers to buy a house. Can you believe that?

No, me from seven years ago can't believe it.

I also can't believe the road it took to get here, and the experiences I've had along the way, but I wouldn't change it for anything. Because hey, we just bought a house!

And by "house" I mean condo, which means the third floor of a building. No one really buys entire houses here.

Oh, and guess what? Our new fridge has an ice maker!

And IN UNIT LAUNDRY. Ice and laundry on me for 2017!

On Working For Myself

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

In the midst of decluttering our house I came across a phone book sized book of coupons. Like actual coupons you hold in your hand, not the type on your phone.

Did you know these books still exists? And businesses pay money to be in them.

I know because two years ago, in the summer of 2014 I attempted to be a coupon sales woman. I physically cold-called on any business that would let me inside and would say, "Hi, can I talk to your manager about coupons?"

I found the job on Craigslist (red flag #1.)

I emailed the manager and was hired without an interview (red flag #2.)

And then I set up a meeting with the manager at a coffee shop that was supposed to happen two days later. He didn't show, but emailed me all the pdfs, and then sent me the coupon book in the mail. (red flag #9000.)

I feel like I need to say that at this time in my life I had held several "real professional" jobs prior to this coupon blip. It wasn't as if I was fresh out of college or anything. I was simply at that point where my blog was starting to make money, but it wasn't completely there, so I needed something to help me get by and I refused to work a standard 9-5.

And so I thought a "work at your own pace" coupon sales job was the answer. It wasn't.

But never the less, I would put on my "work attire" and walk door to door, downtown Chicago, peddling my coupon books.

"Hi, I'm Taylor. Can we talk about coupons for a bit?"

Again, this wasn't ages ago. This was in July of 2014. I did it because I had to pay rent. And the idea of going back to a cubicle and working a job that ate my soul was not going to happen. I wouldn't let it. Every single morning I would get up and write in my goal notebook, "I WILL NEVER WORK FOR ANYONE BUT ME. EVER AGAIN.

I still write this today (every single day) just to be certain. Because when you work for yourself the feeling of someone sweeping the rug out from under you is always there.

I did this job for about three weeks (it was straight commission, no salary at all) and I was terrible at it. So one day I decided to take a chance and order 25 t-shirts with a phrase I thought might sell, "TALK HERBIE TO ME." I put the first order on my credit card because I didn't have enough in my bank account to cover. And I went back and forth about it for nearly a week before finally doing it.

I took my first 25 orders via email. They sold out in about an hour and I was just so thrilled I could pay my bill. I remember telling Chris, I bet I could sell 200 by Christmas. It seemed so crazy.

I'm about to hit 10,000+ orders for 2016. I feel boastful writing this, and perhaps I am, but really I'm just grateful.

So I'm not throwing out the coupon book.

I'm going to keep it because it reminds me to hustle. And then hustle more. I have about two hours of packing shirts to do tonight. I need to count inventory, come up with new marketing ideas, new designs, ext ext. And before I found that coupon book I was feeling just a little bit pissy about it all because I know I'll be up well past midnight.

But even when I'm pissy, I am still grateful. I'm grateful I put that first order of 25 shirts on my credit card in late July of 2014.

However, I don't want this post to come off as preachy or "if I can do it anyone can" because I know that's not true. It's easy(er) to take risks on a new business when you have a safety net under you. (Parents who will bail you out.) I knew that if I really found myself in a bind my parents would help out, as they always have. And so many people don't have this luxury.

But the post about "giving myself a privilege check" whenever I feel too high and mighty will have to come at another time.

Because for now, this post is just about me feeling grateful I get to do what I do. And mostly that I get to spend my mornings on the couch with Harlow in my lap as I answer customer emails. I wouldn't trade my mornings with Harlow for anything.

But enough chit chat, it's time to get back to the hustle.

To each and every one of you, thank you for supporting my business. I really really appreciate it.

Life Changing Magic of Being a Badass

Monday, October 17, 2016

On the car ride back to Chicago yesterday I listened to the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I think people raved about this book years ago, per the usual I'm a little late to the game.

But late or not, I am ON BOARD. Just wait.

Given that we have two closets total and literally zero storage, I was just a little skeptical whether or not this book would apply to me. For the most part, I hate clutter and am pretty good about tossing unnecessary things pretty quickly. But Chris will be the first to tell you I am terrible at organization (it's a daily "argument" in our house...) so I figured at the very least this book could with that aspect. I warn any guests in our house never to open a drawer, door, or look under a bed. God only knows what could crashing down on you. Most likely t-shirts.

And so on the painful 68 hour drive from Norfolk, Nebraska to Chicago (which I endure rather than fly only so I can bring my bestie Harlow, duh) I started listening to Marie Kondo's wise words.

Let it be known that there are several parts to this book that are quite boring, and very eye roll worthy. At one point she says, "there is simply nothing more exhilarating than a nicely folded sock." Really Marie, REALLY? We're leading different lives, clearly.

Let me spare you the boring stuff and tell you the most important pieces I took from this book.

*Every item in your house has its place. Put in there, every. single. day. 

Especially in the winter when I layer up, I throw my cardigans and scarfs and hats all over the place. Why don't I just put them away? Because I'm lazy. NOT ANYMORE. New life starts today. I'm feeling better already, but mostly because of this second piece of advice:

*When deciding which items to toss, just ask yourself, "does this spark joy in my life?"

Within ten minutes last night I had filled three garbage bags with shoes, clothes, belts and bags. I was starting to feel like a wild woman. Dare I even say, exhilarated?!

It was weird because I realized so many of the clothes I've held onto I did simply out of guilt, which obviously wasn't bringing any good energy into my house.

I've only worn this once so I feel bad. It was a gift, I feel rude tossing it. It's too small, but maybe I'll fit into it again someday....

I tossed it all. My closet holds like 20 things now. And it feels gooooooooood. I can barley write this post because I'm just itching to get to work on the other four rooms in our house.

We have eight margarita glasses in our cupboard that we have taken on every single move with us for the past six years. They're awkward and take up so much space and Chris frequently asks, "why in the hell do we have these?"

"For the fiesta party we MIGHT have some day," I respond.

Not today. Not any day. The marg glasses got to go. They're not bringing me any joy.

The makeup samples I keep for NO REASON, the buttons, the gross hair-ties, the coupons I'll never use, the 100 spatulas in my kitchen drawer, socks without a partner, old scarves, it's all going.

It's probably worth noting here that the organizing part of the book didn't excite me nearly as much as the purging part... I was too busy day dreaming about everything I could get rid of while Marie was spending an entire chapter talking about folding sweaters. I think I'll have to go to back to that section, or perhaps I'll just get rid of everything we own so there will be no need for organization anyway! Yes, that sounds good.

Part two of the drive I listened to, "You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life."

So now you know why I've been up since 6 a.m. filling garbage bags while also simultaneously shouting, "I am one with the Universe!"

Because I am nuts.

And today I am picking up on the all good nutty vibes the Universe is sending me. I hope you do too. This is me giving you my good vibes.

Now go toss some shit and have a good day.

A Fall Getaway To Nebraska

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nebraska Tourism. All opinions are 100% mine.

Something about this time of year gives me the itch to Visit Nebraska. I don't know if it's all the pumpkin patch photos from Vala's, trips to the Henry Doorly Zoo, or the fact I know how gorgeous Nebraska is this time of year and I'm simply craving a little getaway.

Chris is going on a man trip this week so on the spur of the moment I've decided to pack two weekend bags for Harlow and I to go off on our own little adventure. Destination: the good life. We're heading to Nebraska tomorrow and our goal is to see and do all of my favorite things.

This includes a trip to The Henry Doorly Zoo on Thursday with my niece and nephew, Knox and Lola. I hold strong to the belief that the Henry Doorly is in the top three zoos, if not the very top (I think it's the top if I'm being honest) in the country. And trust me, I've been to a lot of zoos. Henry Doorly takes the cake. A run through The Jungle across the bridge next to the waterfall has been entertaining me since I was five years old. Who's with me on this one?

After we exhaust Knox and Lola at the zoo (and me) we'll drop them off with a babysitter and head to the Old Market and most likely grab dinner at my favorite spot, Jams. Because Jams is my jam. (I've been waiting to write that line since I planned this trip yesterday.) I haven't been to the Old Market location but I'm sure it won't disappoint.

And on Friday we're going to have the most fall fun ever at Vala's Pumpkin Patch and then stop at DeGroots Orchard for some good old fashioned apple picking. If I weren't such a scaredy cat I would venture into a haunted house, but I am indeed a scaredy cat and can't handle that stuff anymore.

I haven't been to Nebraska for awhile and I'm anxious for the beautiful scenery that awaits me. My only question is this (and it's an important one) Nebraska friends, what are your favorite brunch spots in Omaha?

Also, if I missed any fun spots you suggest I hit up for my fall getaway to Nebraska let me know! And if you yourself are wondering about any specific events going on around Nebraska I suggest you check out Nebraska Events for great happenings around the state!

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The Year of Weddings + Baby Fever

Monday, October 10, 2016

2016 has been the year of weddings.

In the past six months I've been to nine weddings and five bachelorettes. And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. It started in April in Palm Springs and ended last weekend in Kansas City.

At the first bachelorette in Scottsdale back in March we all talked about how fast this year was going to go, and we were right. I'm sad how right we were. Time seems to be moving faster every single day and it's just a bit unsettling... Anyone else notice this happening? I feel like I'm going to turn around and be fifty tomorrow.

It still pains me to think it's almost already been three months since our wedding. You know who it doesn't seem to pain? Every single person who likes to ask when Chris and I are going to have kids. Apparently once you're at the three month mark (or 3 week mark who am I kidding) that's a question people like to ask.

My favorite is, "so do you have baby fever?"

Does that cause hangovers and dark eye circles? If so, yes. I definitely have that today (and every Monday.)

The other day Harlow and I were at the park, glaring at the kids like we always do when we can't take over the jungle gym and a sweet older woman made her way over toward me with her dog and started with some small talk before smiling at me and nodding toward the children, "aren't they adorable?"

"Yeah, sure," I said.

"They remind me of my grandkids, I could watch them play for hours," she added. "Couldn't you?"

And then I tip toed out of the park backward and didn't look back.

It's quite the double standard because no one ever asks Chris if he has baby fever.  I bet you if someone saw him staring at children playing at the park they wouldn't ask him if he likes to watch them play for hours... or if he's just itching to take one home with him.

Anyway, enough about my baby fever.

It was a great weekend spent in my old stomping grounds of Kansas City with friends from LA, Austin, and New Orleans that I've been lucky enough to hang out with several times in 2016 thanks to wedding fever. We took this terrible bathroom pic that must be shared because it happened.

I called this my swamp dress but apparently it's actually animal print. Whatever, I'm never been one to turn down a cheap animal print dress, homecoming 2002 what what!

We celebrated these two tying the knot after a lifetime of long distance dating. Sara met Nick back in the 80s on a cruise ship, believe it or not. They went on one of those "love ships for singles" and it actually worked out.

*it was not a singles cruise, but it could have been.

It was actually a family vacation, but still a very fun story. Speaking of family, look at Sara's dad off her right side grinning ear to ear in the background. Pretty cute.

It was a really great weekend. I just love weddings. Our invites have stopped coming in for the year, so if you know of one coming up please let me know. I need something to look forward to, okay? Time to watch the Cubs win.

*Cold shoulder navy dress found here. Runs true to size, but also a little tight... So get them Spanx ready.

10 Favorites of Fall

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I'm flying to Kansas City tomorrow afternoon for Sara's wedding and should be packing, or cleaning, or mailing t-shirts, or doing 100 other things you have to do before a quick getaway, and yet I'm not.

Instead the windows are open, a beautiful fall rain is happening, a candle is burning, and I'm enjoying the hell out of it. We've been getting a lot of rain lately, (thus the beautiful greenery you see above) and I don't hate it. It makes for a great mix of summer and fall on the sidewalks when walking Har.

I wish I had a great piece of writing to share tonight, but I don't. I'm feeling a little bit lazy and might just ramble instead. That always sounds so appealing.

Girl On The Train. Anyone else dying to see this movie? I read the book and liked it (didn't love it) but I have to say they've done a great job with the movie previews. It has definitely peaked my interest. However in what world is Emily Blunt considered frumpy? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that how the main character was often described?

On the flip side, if you want a silly, weird, wonderful movie to watch this weekend I suggest Hunt for the Wilderpeople. It's one of the best I've seen in awhile.

Currently reading Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty. It's not my favorite of hers, but it's still enjoyable. What Alice Forgot will always be in my top Moriarty reads. I'm looking for another fluffy fun read that makes me feel like I'm on vacay, any suggestions?

Right now I'm living in this fringe sweater. It's so girly and frilly and ridiculous and I love it. It's also cozy AF.

I'm really embracing the outfit mirror selfies this season. You can judge me, I know I am. I guess I just feel so proud of myself I think that I need to share it with the world when I actually get dressed. It's fine, we live in a funny world right now.

And since I'm talking about fashion, I suppose these flats are worth mentioning since they're only $19 from TARGET.

Coming from someone with very big and very wide feet, these are actually comfortable and don't make me feel like I have clown shoes on. I've strayed from this style just because I haven't found a pair that fits my caveman feet without looking ridiculous, but for $19 these aren't half bad! Sadly I know Target flats don't last, so I may have to upgrade to these.

And similar jeans found here. Yes, I'm to the point where almost every pair of denim I own right now is covered in holes. Hey, you're only sixteen once, right?

I always buy a new pair of booties during the fall that I will wear on repeat until they're so bad they have to be tossed. I don't mess around with booties, they have to be ones I can wear day in and day out. So this year I found these and I've never been so excited to get a pair of shoes in the mail. I do so much walking in Chicago I wear my shoes hard and won't buy anything that's uncomfortable or won't last (thus why I never buy/wear heels. No one has time for heels.)

I bought these two years ago, brought them to Europe with me TWICE, and they're still holding up (they're rough, but holding on for dear life.) Sam Edelmans always seem to last for me.

I'm hoping that by time winter really arrives in Chicago this sweater is on sale because it looks amazingly soft and wonderful and the kind of thing I would wear every single day in January when 100 layers are necessary. But until I can afford that, I'll just keep ordering this one in every color because I have the worn the two I already own almost every other day.

And now it's time to pack. I'm bringing two dresses because I always need options (amount of food eaten at brunch is always a factor.) We've got this wrap dress, or this cold shoulder midi. WHAT SHOULD I DO? Grandma vibes or young twenty year old vibes?

So stressful.

Last but certainly NOT least. Helene and I have teamed up to create a fun new fall hashtag called.... DAILYFALLBETWEEN.

Get it? Get it? It's our blog names plus the word FALL. Hope you love it.

That's it for now. Follow along as I have wedding fun this weekend on Instagram @thedailytay. And for the regrettable stuff follow on snap @thedailytay, but know that anything I post Friday/Saturday nights almost always gets deleted early the next morning.... K bye! Have a great weekend.

See you soon, Kansas City!

A Sitter for Harlow

We're heading to a wedding this weekend in Kansas City and Harlow's regular dog sitter is out of town so that left us in a bit of a pickle. He can't do doggy hotels, we've tried and he comes home traumatized. I don't know what happens there, but I have a feeling Harlow instigates it and probably deserves a little of whatever is thrown his way.

Or perhaps he just hates doggy hotels because he has to go a few nights without having a warm human to sleep on top of, or 100 blankets to snuggle under. Whatever the case, I'll sell as many t-shirts as necessary to make sure Har is well taken care of whenever we leave town.

Enter Rover. From what I've gathered, Rover is a site where you can find dog walkers/sitters/ext that are people just like you and I. Seems like a pretty great idea to me since I would always rather have Harlow stay in a house than at a boarder. So we decided to give it a shot on Monday and do a meet and greet with a potential Rover sitter for Harlow. It was like a blind date but with Harlow along. Also, I've never been on a blind date so I can't be certain, but I have a feeling it's close.

We met in her building in the Gold Coast. She was sweet and young and wearing a sorority sweatshirt. We rode up the elevator to the 8th floor, walked into her apartment, she said her furniture was dog friendly which was great, but Harlow took one look around the place and then looked at me, and politely said "no thanks, let's go." He swiped left, if you will.

He just didn't get good vibes, he said. I was surprised, she seemed really sweet. But what Harlow wants Harlow gets.

Truthfully, the only thing that put me off was the fact that she never really interacted with Harlow during our short meet and greet/blind date. When I meet a new dog I have a reunion with it as if I've known (and missed) the dog for ten years. I get on the floor, I rub my face in its ears, I roll around. And writing that I'm realizing that okay maybe I'm the one with the problem. But still... Still?

Chris was waiting for us in the car and asked, "so how did it go?"

"She was sweet," I said.


"But Harlow just didn't feel comfortable there. We're going to have to find something else for this weekend."

And then we drove off both laughing at the fact I'm insane, and that my closeness to Harlow only gets worse as each day goes on...

Luckily my friend Audrey is coming to the rescue and will stay with Harlow all weekend. When Audrey comes over Harlow does his wiggle dance for at least ten minutes and brings her only his favorite toys, so I know he's in good hands with her. Also, I just think Har does better in his own home, with his own couch, and his own smells.

And by Har, I mean I do. I do better when we're away knowing Harlow is safe at our house.

And now for a few of Harlow's weekend favs.

Please feast your eyes on this doggy bike trailer from Solvit. It is so high quality and safe, and just an all around awesome product to have for your dog and yourself. The day I got this in the mail was like Christmas.

But Harlow isn't quite sure of it just yet... I am just dying to go on lake bike rides with Harlow cruising behind me in this, but he's not ready. We're treat coaching him at the moment to make him feel comfortable in it. He'll sit in it at home, but he prefers I sit in it with him... I know we'll get him to love it eventually, but I think another trick may be to start pups in this right away when they're young. Or maybe just don't have a velcro dog like Harlow who insists you be right by his side at all times.

Long story short, if you're a biker and a dog lover, I can't rave enough about how cool this product is. Find the entire line here.

And then there's Harlow's new Rock 'N Roll bowl from Paw5. "Part bowl, part puzzle." I put a video on snapchat of Harlow using his new bowl, but basically you pour the food on top and watch as your dog has to use his problem solving skills to knock the food out.

I'm not a vet, but this seems like a great bowl for any dog that goes nuts the moment food is in his bowl and can't guzzle his food down fast enough. Helps them slow down a bit while also challenging them to solve "the puzzle."

Speaking of dogs, did you see the update on the pit bull ban? It's not over, but it's looking very good! Our voices and signatures worked!

 And that's a quick update of my favorite dog items at the moment, what cool dog products are you loving right now?

Justice at the Grocery Store

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

It was Monday morning and I made my trip to Trader Joe's a little earlier than usual. I had a busy day ahead of me. Who didn't though, it was a Monday.

I was scurrying around the store grabbing my staples, hoping to get in and out within twenty minutes. Mind you, I had enough time to snap that fancy little pumpkin pic above because priorities, you know?

Staples include: Pumpkin cereal, pumpkin bread, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin bars, pumpkin chips, pumpkin butter and pumpkin pumpkins. I'm kidding, kind of. But TJ gets a little over zealous with their pumpkin selection this time of year and I did not make any of those items up.

As I made my way to the front it became clear I wasn't the only woman in yoga pants on a mission to get in and out on a Monday morning. The three checkers open were four people deep and it did not look like anyone would be ringing the Trader Joe bell of freedom anytime soon. The only short line was the "12 or Less."

As we were all waiting our turn a woman pushing a cart full of items strolled up to the front and exhaled loudly when she saw the lines before her. Her child was a mini-me of herself and also sighed heavily at the long line of customers, while pushing her own miniature cart full of items.

The woman, who we'll call Busy Mom, eyed our lines, then the short line for the 12 or less, and then acted extremely distracted while casually inching her cart toward the express line. And every other customer bit their lip while screaming oh HELL NO, in their head. At least I did.

Busy Mom pushed her way right up to the express line while we all looked on wondering what was going to happen.

And then I saw who the checker was, my main gal Marta, the Russian TJ worker who takes no shit. Marta works every Monday I'm there and the small talk we make upon checkout is always very cordial, but right down to the point.

"You like these? I have not tried. Okay, bye."

"These are healthy. Not very good, but good for you. Okay, bye."

She speaks in a heavy Russian accent and I am quite fond of her.

Marta takes one look at the woman's cart and points to her express sign and says, "No. Twelve items or less. You have more."

And the room erupted. Women started throwing pumpkins at each other. I tossed my cart out the glass window. Children were biting the heads off the spiky gourds. The sample guy was throwing tofu nuggets everywhere. It was wonderful.

Busy Mom did not think it was wonderful. She looked at the sign, then back at Marta and was pissssssed off.

"Well I didn't see that," she said, still expecting Marta to budge. As if. She clearly had never met Marta.

Okay Busy Mom, why would we all just choose the long lines if there was one quick one open? Riddle me that.

Marta was not rude, just matter of fact.  "Too many items, go to other line. Okay, bye."

And Busy Mom and Busy Child stomped off, joining the longer lines with the rest of us. Grocery Store justice had been served.

And it gave me far too much joy to see it happen. Am I a terrible person for enjoying this? Probably. I also really enjoy airplane justice, traffic justice, and any other type of justice where someone is blatantly being an asshole and gets called out for it.

Coming up tomorrow: What To Do When You've Become The Asshole In Workout Class Who Can't Stop Judging Everyone Else's Form.