These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things

What could be more Monday than some Julie Andrews?

Okay, maybe a lot of things.

Anyway, Mondays are usually a day people consider icky, so I’m brightening mine (and hopefully yours!) by sharing with you some of my favorite things right now.

The song “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor

This song has quickly swept the web in the last few weeks, with the music video gaining over 14 million views on YouTube. I love the catchy doo-wop melody, but I especially love the lyrics. The song is about self-love, directed at women who don’t fit the mold of celebrity thinness. It’s one of the only songs I can think of put out in recent years that sends a positive message to women of all sizes, while being outrageously catchy and not self-pitying.

The Skimm

I’m not a news reader. I’m going to be honest. Brandon is going to be ashamed that this is even on the internet, but my idea of reading the newspaper is skimming through the Ask Annie column, the horoscopes, and then the births to find out what ridiculous names people are giving kids these days. I often get confused with political jargon and abbreviations, and just give up on the world news.

This is why I’m such a fan of The Skimm. The Skimm is a daily email subscription service that “skims” the news of the day and serves it up in an easy-to-read format, with full explanations of everything and a good bit of sass. It’s the only way I even understand what is happening in the Middle East right now, and since it comes to my inbox, it has made reading the news a part of my daily routine. I highly suggest you subscribe.

Perversion Mascara and Subversion Lash Primer by Urban Decay

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

Yes, the title is scandalous. It’s not near as bad as Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced, but still. Name aside, it’s one of my favorite new beauty products. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about using a lash primer, because it just looks like weird goopy white mascara, but it’s magical in giving my lashes tons more length. The mascara is also awesome. If you’re looking for a new mascara and are willing to splurge, I’d recommend.

This guest post (of mine) on The Half and Half Blog

Yes, I’m shamelessly self-promoting. Sue me. Or don’t, because I can’t really afford a lawyer right now and Brandon hasn’t taken the bar exam. Anyway, I wrote this post about 50 thoughts I have while watching House Hunters, and if you’ve seen the show, or enjoy sass (of course you enjoy sass, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog), then you should check it out. Also, Meg’s blog is one of my favorites and in a lot of ways an inspiration for my own, so you should read the rest of her stuff. It’s awesome.

Voting

http://instagram.com/p/rM-hzkAsOD/?modal=true

Like vote-for-governor voting? Yes. I’m going to get a little PSA here on you, but if you haven’t voted and are of age, you should! I probably wouldn’t have unless my political boyfriend/the future President dragged me to the courthouse to register absentee, but it’s a great opportunity to make a difference in your community. It’s your civic duty! Also, you get to fill in bubbles with a pen, which is weirdly satisfying. (I didn’t get a photo of me voting – what a shame! So this is Brandon and I campaigning for a secretary of state candidate. It’s like the same thing.)

This Youtube video of this little girl jamming to “Dark Horse”

If you haven’t seen this video, you don’t know what is good in life. This little girl is having a meltdown in the car, until her mom puts on Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” and she literally loses it. I’m a fan of her dance moves, and that little “OH” face she makes is precious. My sister says this is the face I also make when I’m excited, but that’s yet to be confirmed.

My un-niece and nephew

I mentioned this earlier on the blog, but Brandon’s sister-in-law just had twins, so I’m claiming them unofficially as my niece and nephew. This is a picture of me holding the girl, Evi. This was right after I told her, “If you don’t learn to love food more, we can’t be friends.” I should probably work on my aunt skills before I’m an actual aunt. Oops.

What are your favorite things this week?

Xoxo, Taylor

Taylor’s Guide To Chipping Away At Your Self-Esteem and Turning Into a Ball of Worry

I have a lot of talents. Well, that’s not true. I have a lot of things I consider talents, like drinking liquids incredibly quickly and remembering the lyrics to almost every song I’ve ever heard. I also have the talent of worrying. Yes, I am an expert. You name something, I’ve worried about it. Just last week, I was worrying about how I’m going to work my baby weight off…and I’m not pregnant. I am a grade-A worrier.

Are you jealous of my worrying power? Would you like to worry about everything and feel certain about nothing? It might not be marketable on a resume, but I can teach you how to become stressed and unsure of yourself in just a few simple steps!

1. Always assume everyone is doing the thing you want to do. This is a simple one for beginners. Whenever you begin to comfort yourself by thinking that other people don’t have 4.0 GPAs, think again. Tell yourself that EVERYONE in the world is succeeding, but you. Everyone else can get into Harvard. Everyone else looks great in a bikini. This simple change in thought will immediately send you into questioning everything about yourself, because if everyone else can do it, what the heck is wrong with you?

2. Become distressed about things you didn’t do and never wanted to do. This one is key. There are so many people out there in the world doing things better and faster than you. Some of these things you probably had never thought to do. Once you hear about them, that makes them prime material for worrying and disappointment. An 11-year-old climbed Mount Everest? There’s a great place to start! Immediately become distressed about the fact you never ventured to do it. Do you hate rock climbing? Stew about it anyway! Find sadness in the fact that you never even thought to design a microchip at the age of 10, and someone else did. It’s that simple!

3. If you’re not catastrophizing, you’re doing it wrong. Always assume the worst-case scenario. Link every minor potential mishap to the end result of you living in an old cardboard box down by the river, and you’ll find yourself overreacting to even the smallest misfortunes with ease.

4. Set unrealistic and unachievable goals. One of the things we worry about most naturally are our goals. Am I going to make as much money as I’d hoped to in 10 years? Am I going to get the grades I wanted? These thoughts can easily be transformed into worry material, by setting unrealistic goals. The starting salary for your profession, for example, might be $60K. You should shoot for making two million by your second year out of college. Or you’re naturally a size 10, and everyone in your family is curvy. You should definitely shoot for being a size zero by spring break, even though it’s likely that that’s physically impossible. These unrealistic goals will have you worrying about how you’re going to achieve them in no time!

5. Compare yourself to EVERYONE. I’ve touched on this before, but one of the best ways to throw yourself into a fit of worrying is to stop focusing on yourself and start focusing on everyone else. What is she wearing that you don’t have? What is he doing that you haven’t? How much money are they making? Is it more than you? Questions like these will help you to lose your sense of uniqueness and feel like an average Joe with no real talents before you know it.

If you follow these simple steps, I guarantee that in just five minutes, you’ll be less relaxed, more stressed, and even less prepared to take on the world.

How do you turn yourself into a big ball of worry? Are your tendencies to worry as unrealistic and silly as mine?

Xoxo, Taylor

Life Lessons From Tiny Taylor

WARNING: Adorable baby/toddler pictures to follow.

If you didn’t see my first post on fashion tips from Tiny Taylor, quit everything you are doing and go there now. The whole post is just an excuse for me to share a bunch of super-cute photos from my childhood. So is this post.

Tiny Taylor may have been confused about a lot of things in life, but there were a couple of things she got right.

1. Always act like a lady.

Toddler Taylor Dressed Up

You must always sit prim and proper. Also, if your outfit matches your couch, that’s a bonus.

Toddler Taylor Dressed Up For Easter

A true lady always wears a hat.

2. Know how to defend yourself.

Taylor At Karate Class

This was one of the rare times where I wasn’t staring at myself in the dojo mirrors.

3. You are never too curvy to rock a bikini.

Toddler Taylor And Her Sister At the Pool

Look out, swimwear models.

4. Never be afraid to be glamorous, even when others might deem it inappropriate. (Like at the pool.)

Toddler Taylor Wearing a Sailor Outfit

“Sailor chic” is a thing.

Taylor and Dad At the Pool

I was literally too cool for school. I wish I were this glam now.

5. Life is never too hectic for naptime, wherever it might occur.

Baby Taylor Napping

Like on the floor.

Toddler Taylor Napping in a Suitcase

Or in a suitcase.

6. Don’t be afraid to wear provocative sayings on your clothing. Express yo’self.

Baby Taylor Wearing A "Spit Happens" Bib

Keeping it sassy since the early 90’s.

7. It’s important to love one’s country.

Toddler Taylor Holding An American Flag

YAY AMERICAN FLAG

8. When in doubt, eat the cake.

Baby Taylor Eating Cake

I loved cake from a young age.

Toddler Taylor On Her Birthday With Cake

Do you know how many cake pictures I found of myself? It’s almost upsetting.

Baby Taylor With Her Face Covered In Cake

I even wore cake as an accessory.

Todder Taylor Eating Her Sister's Birthday Cake

And here is me (in the red) eating my baby sister’s birthday cake with my face #noshame

9. Never hesitate to get excited about the small things in life, like bath time, bike helmets, time with friends, and pretty flowers.

Toddler Taylor At Bathtime

Omg it’s bathtime! This is awesome!

Toddler Taylor Excitedly Wearing a Bike Helmet

LOOK AT THIS BIKE HELMET!!!

Taylor and Her Friend

I’M WITH MY FRIEND PLAYING THIS IS UNREAL

Toddler Taylor Excited About a Flower

A FLOWER WHAT HERE IT IS MIND BLOWN

10. Swag. Always.

Baby Taylor's Swag Face

What are your favorite photos of yourself during your childhood? Go to my Facebook page and share them on P&L’s wall, if you’re brave enough!

Xoxo, Taylor

8 Things I Will Never Do Again After Having Worked In Retail

This summer is my first time working in retail, and let me tell you, it is not a walk in the park. There are angry people, there are crazy people, and there are not enough hours in the day nor ounces of patience for me to please all of them. I’ve been a retail shopper since I could walk, and probably even before that, but being on the other side for the first time has taught me a couple things. There are some things I will never do again now that I’ve worked in retail, like:

1. Put something back on a random shelf. Yes, I know where the Benefit mascaras go. No, I do not appreciate having to put one back because you shoved it on a shelf with the OPI nail polishes.
2. Spray ALL THE PERFUMES. I used to be so bad about this. One time at Bath and Body Works, I sprayed so many on my own arm that I needed more smell space, so I sprayed like 20 on my sister’s arm and caused her to break out in hives. Now, I curse the people that cause me to suffocate every time I wander by the fragrance aisle. Karma smells like a huge cloud of Katy Perry’s newest fragrance.
3. Complain when people ask me if I need help twenty times. It turns out, retail people are told by their bosses to check up on people. It’s not our desire to take you out of your shopping zone every five minutes by asking if you need anything or stalk you so we can sell you things.
4. Complain when register service is slow. There is probably someone ahead of you in line that has asked to exchange five things, wants to use fifty coupons, and refuses to pay in anything but arcade tokens. Please be patient. We are actually trying as hard as we can.
5. Ignore those stupid receipt surveys. I get my name circled on our break room bulletin board with a smiley face every time I get good reviews, and I get super excited when that happens. Or at least I will when that happens (no one has written in to sing my praises yet). If we were awesome, please tell us. You will put a smile on a short blonde girl’s face for a whole hour, and that’s worth five minutes of your time.
6. Fail to appreciate small lengths of time. I look forward to my 15-minute breaks like I’d look forward to a vacation in Jamaica. Fifteen minutes seems like two hours of bliss when you have been on your feet all day. I’ll never look at the clock and say “I only have half an hour…” because half an hour is actually forever in retail time. In a half an hour I can drive to Subway, order the exact same sandwich I always order, eat said sandwich, and sprint back to work.
7. Buy any more black business casual clothes. Where I work, we’re only allowed to wear solid black or solid white tops, with no patterns allowed. Do you know how bored this makes me? My wardrobe cried when I found this out. I had to actually go buy solid black things. Nope, never again. I will be embracing bizcaj color in all future jobs. You don’t know what you have ’til it’s gone.
8. Bring my children into a store if they cannot behave. I haven’t actually done this yet, seeing as I don’t have any children, but I will never, ever do this. I get that you want to shop, but please do not bring your five-year-old to run through our store and knock things off of all of the shelves. I think the reason why that is totally unacceptable speaks for itself.

Have you worked in retail? What are some things you’ve learned?

Xoxo, Taylor