It’s Monsooning in July. So Clearly There’s Only One Answer.

Online Shopping.

1) For any of you make-up junkies out there, Eyes Lips Face is having a 50% off sitewide sale. Which makes their already reasonable prices ($1? $3? $6?) a freaking steal. In college I used to buy the fake eyelashes by the dozen during their 50% off sales. (I was on a dance team. I wasn’t a hooker.)

And for anyone concerned by how cheap stuff is—I am a make-up junkie. I spend more on good foundation than I did to fill up my car under the Bush administration. (That’s only sort of a joke.) But E.L.F. has some really great, not cheap feeling, options. I adore their natural lashes, their golden bronzer for a nice glow, and their cool bronzer for some light contouring. (If you’re into that kind of thing.) They also have one of my favorite eyeshadow palettes for stage. (If you’re into that kind of thing.)

But speaking of high end make-up…

2) Urban Decay’s Smokey Palette comes out tonight at midnight pacific time. Not that anyone would be so crazy to set their alarm for 3:00 am to buy it.

3) Amazon is doing 24 hours of deals on July 15th for their Prime customers to celebrate their anniversary. Allegedly deals will be better than Black Friday, with new offers as often as every 10 minutes. I’m already demanding I get to steal my friend Zac’s login so I can buy things. What do I need? I don’t know. But deals.

4) Last week I made the poor choice to shop Steve Madden’s clearance sale. It was bad in that I do NOT need more shoes. It was good in that I got a couple pair I really love for reeeeeealllllly cheap. New styles have been added. Just don’t buy any from the Iggy line. You are welcome.

5) I’m obsessed with Leon Bridges new album.

Here. Read other people say nice things about it here.

Then go buy it here. Because this album makes feel everything. Specifically like I should really have this in my life. And also, him.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Spotify Running Keeps Me From Singing “My hands go up and down, like strippers’ booties go” One More Time…

Couple disclaimers: I like running because I like high impact, for the least amount of effort. I’ve done workout classes for weeks and haven’t felt as bad ass as I feel after a log run. HOWEVER, I work with runners. I am not a runner. I am slower than holy hell. I weenie out after three miles because I’m tired, and want to get to trivia and have a beer (cough. yesterday. cough.)

Anyway, since I started “training” for my half marathon in the fall of 2013, I’ve been listening to the almost exact same playlist of songs that fit with my stride. I know for some people it’s not a big deal, they can listen to podcasts or whatever they’re enjoying while they run, but I cannot. I have a so, so, much drastically more pleasant run if I’m running to a beat. So, I used this handy site and made a playlist of songs that work.  A playlist, I might add, of REALLY terrible songs. (see below)

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 10.19.12 AM

So when Spotify debuted their new running feature based on your running tempo, I was excited. And then I started using it. And now I can’t stop talking about it. (I swear half my office has had to hear me blather on about this.)

First, you choose the type of music you want to hear. They have a lot of options, from genre based stuff (Upbeat Run, Indie Kick, Hip Hop & R&B, Country Running) to playlists that feel more like a movie score (Lock the Flow, Seasons, The Chase) if you know, you’re imagining your audition for the next Avengers movie as you run. Then you set your running tempo, either by just starting with your workout or manually. This is useful to me, because I like running to a slightly faster BPM than the pace I’m actually making my slow ass run.

And then, you’re set. Suddenly Spotify creates this playlist that cuts out the low parts, any sort of into, any of the slow down and just sends you bouncing from one song to another to keep your lazy self motivated.

And, in case you haven’t noticed, I am OBSESSED. Not only has it made me not dread listening to my stupid running playlist ONE. MORE. TIME. but I’ve discovered some gems I either never would have listened to (like this. judge me.), or had never heard (like this) or that I never would have thought to run to because I forgot it was a song before Pitch Perfect (that’s this one.)

Anyway. If you’re into running, or like, walking at a swift tempo, and need some new tunes, this is for you.

The end.

Tagged , , , ,

I am melting down in the middle of my apartment right now. 

I’m a terrible packer.

I leave tomorrow for a trip to Denver for my friend’s bachelorette party and… to be clear, I am terrible at this.

And it’s not just over packing, although I’m good at that too. It’s this bizarre paranoia that I will pack the wrong thing. That I will show up, on a trip with 5 other women and not have brought the things everyone else has. What if it’s too cold and I only bring shorts? What if it’s too hot and I’m the weird girl who won’t stop wearing pants? What if we go out one night and I’ve accidentally only packed options that make me look like a catholic nun? Will everywhere we go, someone be thinking: Poor little midwestern girl. Do you need a hug or a mirror or both?

Oh I know. This is the sort of paranoia that causes people to worry about my otherwise functioning self.

But it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been busy categorizing, shifting and obsessively pinning for a week now. And I’m already pretty sure, by the time I touch down in Colorado, I will have decided I’ve failed miserably.

So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Tagged , ,

Some Things I Think You Should Know. (Podcast Edition)

1) I started listening to this podcast last week called Mystery Show. I accidentally hit the “top charts” tab on my Podcast app and it was number 1 and had only two episodes and… well, I thought it had strange cover art.

So I downloaded it, and began listening to the first one when I went on a long walk to Dairy Queen with Scout (exercise and ice cream. deal with it) and at first, the first episode? I found a little self indulgent. It struck me as an incredibly twee girl (her voice is so cute I can’t see straight) who grew up on Harriet the Spy and Nancy Drew and had listened to too much Serial and thought: I COULD MAKE A PODCAST TOO.

But, by the end of episode one, I was kind of delighted. And by the end of episode two, I was mad there wasn’t another I could binge listen to immediately. It’s strange and adorable and the premise: Each episode, host Starlee Kine takes on a mystery that Google cannot solve, creates this weird love child of This American Life and Serial and every Encyclopedia Brown I inhaled as a child, but with less murder and more… heart. (Of note: Starlee Kine’s storytelling should be reminiscent of This American Life. As it turns out she’s responsible for one of my favorite pieces, that I thought of just this week when I heard this song on the radio.)  

Anyway, go listen. Give her a chance. If, by the time she’s spending $2,500 to meet Britney Spears and have a heart to heart with a ticketmaster operator, you aren’t completely won over, I’ll be shocked.

2) One of my coworkers turned me onto You Must Remember This, a storytelling podcast that “explores the secret and/or forgotten stories of Hollywood’s first century” because I’m such a junkie of all things… Like that.  Some of my favorites include Carole Lumbard and Clark Gable (interesting Indianapolis connection), Audrey Hepburn: Sex, Style and Sabrina, and the Bogart/Bacall series. But, since Karina Longworth came back from her little season break, she’s been telling stories about Hollywood in the 60’s, through the lens of Charles Manson—and it is fascinating.

Full disclosure, I’m a bit of a true crime junkie. I read Helter Skelter last year and then went on a whole murderous rabbit hole: The Good Nurse and Mrs. Paine’s Garage: And The Murder of Robert F. Kennedy.

3) Quick Pop Culture run down:

  • Love TV? Television Without Pity‘s post-NBC buy out child, Previously.tv‘s podcast Extra Hot Great is all tv, all the time. Great quizzes and this hilarious segment every once in a while with one of the hosts 6-year-old Canadian niece explaining tv, etc. It’s awesome.
  • If you’re into Pop Culture, specifically with some more diversity in the viewpoint, Pop Rocket is for you. Plus, I think host Guy Branum is my favorite kind of funny and his album Effable is evvvvvvverything.
  • Want something family friendly? Pop Culture Happy Hour may be more your speed.

4) Lastly, did you see Stephen Colbert is doing some sort of behind the scenes podcast for The Late Show?  There’s only one out so far, but I’m interested to see the tone Stephen takes, as well as the how he competes with the more viral nature of Jimmy Fallon’s success. I’ve downloaded the first one and will report back in.

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 7.19.10 PM

The end.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Books I’m Supposed To Read But Can’t. (My Summer Reading List 2015)

Confession. I’ve been stuck on the same book for almost a year.

It’s not that I’m a slow reader. In fact, I’m a bizarrely fast reader, who, growing up, made my mom crazy by polishing off books about 24 hours after our latest trip to the bookstore. It’s also not that I don’t have time. Well. I don’t have a lot of time. But I make time for my insane media consumption so busy-ness can’t be blamed for this.

Instead, it’s this weird notion that I can’t give up on this book. It’s incomplete. I have not finished it. And that feels like a failure. And I refuse to fail. But also… I just don’t want to read this book.

So I sit in book limbo.

And Book Limbo sucks.

Especially because I have an ever increasing list of books I WANT to read. And, yes, I’ve made a few exceptions in the last year, in the form of real life, paper books. But I’ve had this rule that I can’t spend money on the form of reading easiest for me (my iPad), until I read the thing in front of me. And I can’t read the thing in front of me. Because it’s dull. And preachy. And I don’t wanna.

It’s strangely masochistic, isn’t it?

Either way, in an attempt to both speak my strange idiosyncrasies out into the world, and to either get over it or finish the damn book, I am sharing with you my “To Read” list. Because somehow I think it will make the situation better.

What I Should Read—Summer Reading List 2015

Loving Day

The Knockoff

All The Light We Cannot See

I Take You

The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee

When To Rob A Bank

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The Girl On The Train

Americanah

Any I need to add to the list? Any that look good?

Tagged , , , ,

It’s Going To Be Ok: My Doggy, Unborn Child, Motherhood Confession

Bear with me.

Today is Scout’s birthday. And for those who don’t follow me on every channel I obnoxiously post on, Scout is my dog. And yes, she is just a dog. A dog who does not understand the difference between a birth-day and a normal-day and a whatever-15 minutes. But I painstakingly planned out her birthday anyway. We got up and went to Starbucks, because my dog is a basic white girl who can’t get enough of the cups filled with whipped cream that baristas ply her with. Then I took her to daycare because my dog loves, LOVES, LOVES Indy Downtown Doggie. It’s like Disney World and Vegas and New York City rolled into one. With fewer strippers. That I know of. And then I planned to get her some new raw hides and doggie pies from Three Dog Bakery at lunch and some ice cream on my way home tonight because—birthday girls get ice cream. DUH.

But then I got to daycare. I pulled in, and I remembered. Other weeks when I’ve dropped Scout off and it was another dog’s birthday, the “dog moms” will bring treats for the dogs to have a “party” with during the day, or include little bags with goodies for each dog to pass out at the end of the day (I shit you not).

And I was empty handed.

So I go in and apologize to Jodi and Erin (the lovely and talented owners of Downtown Doggie) who tell me they have plenty of treats and it’s just fine, all while I am ferociously explaining all the OTHER things I have planned for Scout, as if they will judge me for not having the foresight to bring anything in. Like. A. Lunatic.

And I got back in the car and immediately thought: I am going to be such a terrible “real” mom someday. With no sense of irony, or perhaps the feeling that these are different standards, I just began badgering myself: Who doesn’t send their “child” to “school” with treats on their birthday?? I know better. I’ve seen the adorable doggie treat bags Scout comes home with. And I was at Target this weekend. Why didn’t I do something?? I could have managed SOMETHING, couldn’t I?

Luckily, by the time I was pulling into my parking lot, I had begun to calm the hell down, but in the worst way possible: telling myself, not that a dog was different than a child (which it is) or that the people who deliver treat bags for their doggy children probably have more time on their hands than I do (which, I feel they probably do) but that I have time to figure it out. In a few years, in several years, when I am sending my child off to school, I’ll be more on top of it. I CAN BE SUPER MOMMY ONE DAY.

And all of this, every part of this, is nuts. I know that. And I had NO intention of admitting to another living soul how much insane guilt I felt when I left Doggie Daycare today.

But then tonight, I met up with some former coworkers for dinner. And somehow we started talking about kids and relationships and juggling work and being women and I was struck by how similar our concerns were: what we could have, what we’d have to sacrifice, what we needed from relationships, what we needed to be mothers.

And of course I didn’t mention my earlier meltdown or that I was genuinely worried about what my inadequacies as a dog mom meant for my future less-furry kids.  I didn’t need them to think I was any more of a nut job than they already do. But I walked away and felt myself breathe a little sigh of relief: You’re not alone. These things you’re feeling? They’re scary for a lot of young women. And suddenly, it was all ok.

So whatever is going on in your life, if you just need to hear it, here it is: you’re not alone. Others feel the same stress and worry about the same crazy life inadequacies you do. it’s all going to be ok. I promise.

Oh. And spicy margaritas don’t hurt either.

Tagged , , , ,

My Totally Unendorsed Rocksbox Review (aka: Taylor Likes Sparkly Things and Has a Referral Code For You)

Collage

Was there ever a child with a stronger commitment to a tasteful (ahem) accessory? What can I say—I like being memorable. No, that’s a lie. I don’t think that’s it at all. I just like things that are shiny. And why shouldn’t I? I come from a long line of women who like shiny things: cars, diamonds, fancy fountains  (I’m looking at you Grandma.)

So, the fact that I’ve spent so much time, money and energy picking out jewelry over the years shouldn’t shock anyone. And after my last blog, it also shouldn’t shock anyone that no matter what I buy, I tend to wear the same handful of things (creature of habit, remember?). It usually goes like this: two rings, hoop earrings, a watch and one of… about 3 necklaces.

Every once in a while I switch it up: there are a couple pair of Kendra Scott earrings I adore, one white and another, slightly bigger turquoise pair. I’m also an impassioned proponent of BaubleBar, both because I think it’s an incredibly fun site with some really gorgeous jewelry but also because I like their women-centric, innovativebusiness  model. (Read about their start-up and growth here. It’s really fascinating seeing them transition from online only to a more “traditional” business model.)

So why all this talk about jewelry? Well, I decided to try this thing called Rocksbox, a jewelry subscription service, much like Netflix, where you pay a flat fee every month to have jewelry sent to you that you can then test out, wear and send back when you’re ready for something new. In the event you want to keep something, you get a $10 credit each month to whatever needs to stay with you. 

My first month (for which I used someone’s referral code to get a free month) I got two pieces of Gorjana jewelry: a bracelet, and a necklace. (see below.)  

There were also a pair of little stud earrings: 



I haven’t managed to wear those yet. But I did work the bracelet and the necklace into rotation a few times already.      

  
I’m not entirely sure what I think—on one hand $19 a month seems like a crazy amount to spend. But if it stopped me from buying jewelry I wish I were cool enough to wear (but am not) then maybe it’s not the worst thing? And then I can turn around and send it back when I get bored, for a new set of fun things, to wear with the changing seasons/outfits/Taylor’s boredom. It definitely makes more sense to me than something like Jewelmint which would be shipping me new stuff every month (a la whatever that shoe service thing is? Just Fab? ShoeDazzle? I dunno.) that appears to be pretty crappy quality and, I’d feel like I was maxing out on the room or need for, pretty quickly.
Whatever. Here’s my code I get to share with people to have them try it too for the first time: taylorbff77 (I clearly didn’t make that up) Enter it when you sign up here and let me know if you like it or think I’m a crazy person. I’ll believe either answer. 

Tagged , , , , ,

I will try….

I am a creature of habit. Whether it is my morning coffee or my “one-ring-on-each-hand” ritual or how I scroll through my tv guide app every night before I make the leap from my couch to my bed, to determine what show I will fall asleep to (even though it is inevitably some Modern-Friends-Parks sitcom, syndicated on USA-TBS-At Night).

God my life sounds sad.

Anyway, I’ve been in this weird rut lately, with kind of everything. I feel like I’m running on two speeds: 1000 mph or flat out crashing and burning. And when I’m running at 1000, I just want a second to breathe and when I’ve finally crashed… I’m feeling… tired and bored.

What does this Dear Diary-esque confession have to do with annnnnnything you would care about?

Well, as someone pointed out to me last week, I like finding new things and I like telling people about new things. So… Why aren’t I doing my sharing in a more… Organized fashion? 

Its an interesting point. It would be an excuse to try new things, and it might focus my restless energy a little better.
So I will try, once again, to not be the world’s worst blogger. Bear with me.

New Year’s Resolutions. Pop Culture. And Twin Peaks.

Ok.

So I suck at keeping up here. That’s fine. That’s not what we’re talking about tonight.

Instead, we’re carrying on the tradition of my New Years Resolution posturing and I am asking for your help. Because of course I am.

2015/01/img_0106.jpg

Last fall, after hearing Twin Peaks was coming back, and seeing so many of my favorite pop culture writers celebrate the return, I began working my way through the 2 seasons on Netflix. I loved the idea of getting to be in on the fun,  and I really hate when people have a firm pop culture bedrock, that I’ve just missed.

2015/01/img_0105.png

So…. With that explanation, give me what you’ve got. What things might I have missed, either by virtue of being born in the laaaaate 80’s, (pre-89 fun is acceptable. So is something like Sports Night, that I was alive for, just too young to be watching.) OR, maybe it’s just something I blew off the first time around because people’s chattering about it, annoyed me (Breaking Bad. The Wire. Don’t lecture me.) What are the movies, albums, books, podcasts, blogs, whatever, I just need to experience? What will I love, or what can’t I miss?

And, I know, I know. I tackle a lot, how are you supposed to know what my blind spots are? Well… You don’t. But don’t let that stop you from sharing. If I’ve already seen it/read it/heard it we can chat about how great our mutual taste is and, that’s always fun, right?

Now: on your mark, get set, GO!

Tagged , , , , ,

Spoiler: Taylor can stick her foot in her mouth with the best of them. Also, Miss America.

I have a confession. I have really been trying to avoid sticking my foot in my mouth lately. I hate feeling like the type of person that others go, “Oh… That thing you said? You’re just so funny,” to her face and then say, “Wow. Crazy bitch,” behind her back. So I’ve just been a little… quieter, I guess.

And then this weekend happened.

You know how I hold in really high esteem my live-tweeting skills? And how my genuine love/snarky love for pageants is pretty legendary? (infamous?) And really, it’s all in good fun and totally amusing if you know me?

Alright. Whatever. I live tweeted Miss America, only to have a tweet pulled and be told to lay off the organization. By Time Magazine. Oh yeah, then, I was scolded by friends and family and told I was being mean to the girls.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 10.53.34 PM

Damn it. 

Let me clarify. I know my views on the Miss America Organization are sometimes hard to follow. It’s a hard thing for me to explain. I’m a raving feminist that doesn’t necessarily condemn a good pageant. I struggle with the way the organization perpetuates stereotypes of what beauty means, while also helping a friend prep for her first MAO local. Look, a beauty pageant, like anything else, isn’t all bad or all good. And my oh-so-short stint in a crown and sash prepared me for life past nude pumps and snappy casual outfits, and I’m happy about that. For me, that was a cool thing. It was a choice I got to make—and I enjoyed it a lot.

miss_america_01

But you guys: and this is what I was saying: it is ultimately a beauty pageant. It was started as a way to extend the tourism season for Atlantic City, by parading pretty girls around in swimsuits in a beauty pageant or “bathers review.” And while there have been some wonderful, visionary, feminist women who have fought to have the organization provide scholarship money and stronger opportunities… well, Sunday night we spent an hour before “kick-off” cutting to girls preening in front of a mirror. You can’t tell me they were fixing their hair and giggling about butt glue and rhinestones because they were being judged on their academic excellence or strategies for establishing global security.

To me, it is an organization with some of the smartest, most talented women, I’ve ever had the chance to know (The new Miss America has a triple major in political science, global studies and geography – and is heading to law school at Fordham? Holy shit.) But it also has moments of freaking ridiculous. And I can’t help but feel expecting someone to parade herself across the stage in a bikini and have picture perfect hair, while sharing her strategy for complex global issues in a 30 second sound bite after juggling flaming batons falls more in the latter category, than the former.

The end.

Tagged , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,194 other followers