August 25, 2015

Lovely Links, Vol. 5

+I've come across quite a few articles on marrying young that I love, but one of my favorites can be found here. We weren't as young as some people I know when we got married, but people are still surprised when a 22-year-old and a 27-year-old hitch their lives together for eternity (and then pop out a kid before their first anniversary no less #mormons). We may only be going on a year and a half of marriage, but I'd say it's going swimmingly well.

+I enjoyed this article on how society looks down on women who decide to have lots of children, and how people are obsessed with whether the choice of having a baby was planned or not. It makes a point that we should support moms regardless of whether their kid was "planned" or "unplanned" because it doesn't change how much that child is loved. It was something I hadn't really thought about before, but agree whole-heartedly with. (My description of that article doesn't make it sound all that interesting, but it is. Just read it.)

+Do you guys remember Ben Scott from Desiree's season of The Bachelorette? He was painted as the villain that season (there always has to be a villain #villainsgottovill). Well I somehow stumbled across this video of him getting engaged and he doesn't seem so bad anymore. And then I stalked both of their Instagram accounts and decided they are the cutest.

+If you're looking for some feel goods: People Hearing For The First Time and 11 Pixar Short Films.

Want more clicky links?

August 17, 2015

Taylor's Nursery: The Details

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When we moved into our house, I was 35 weeks pregnant. The house was in desperate need of maintenance and the nursery was my first priority, as you may have guessed if you saw the "before" shots of the room I shared last week. I may have overestimated my abilities to tackle projects (figuratively, not literally) being so largely pregnant because the nursery wasn't totally finished until Taylor had been here for a few weeks. So it sure makes my heart happy to see these pictures of the nursery completed.

When I first starting planning, I knew I couldn't afford everything I wanted if I were to have my dream nursery, which I was fine with. I enjoyed finding good deals, diy-ing what I could, and then investing in a few pieces (with gift cards we had left over from our wedding). My advice, if you're in the process of starting a nursery, or will be in the near future, would be to plan as far in advance as possible. Then, find the furniture pieces you want and the other items that will make your nursery special as soon as possible; that way you have time to wait to see if it goes on sale or to hunt down a coupon. You might even be able to find a cheaper price somewhere else (or find something similar for a better price). Plus, the more time you give yourself, the less stress you'll be. We want happy mamas.

August 12, 2015

Taylor's Nursery

When we moved into our house, there was an interesting color scheme going on. Every wall was a lovely pink salmon color with a few muddy red accent walls. Taylor's room was the exception to that. The previous owner decided neon orange was the perfect bedroom color (I'm not sure how anyone slept with that glaring color).

Since I prefer when babies sleep at night, we decided it would be best to paint. And having a baby is a great excuse for buying stuff at Target to decorate (I mean, he needs a whole room to himself to sleep in, and I know he appreciates great accent pillows). On Monday, I'll share more detailed pictures as well as where everything came from (update: here's the post!) , but for now, here is the before and after shot.

I'm pretty thrilled with how it turned out. You might remember when I posted my inspiration for the nursery and I feel like I stayed with the theme I had envisioned. One of my favorite things about owning a house is being able to make it exactly how I want. Eventually, once we finally get around to finishing all of our projects, I'll post more of these before and after pictures of different rooms in our house. In the meantime, look out for next Monday posts where I post the details on where everything came from! (Update: here's the post!)

August 10, 2015

Bacherlorette Season Recap: Part 2

Andrew is back today, sharing the second half of his recap on the Bacherlorette season. If you missed the first part, read that here.

So, long story short Kaitlyn gets picked and Britt is kicked to the curb. Then, Britt treats us to her anime crying face.

We have to endure Britt calling her mom and telling her she didn’t get the gig in the same way I would call my wife to let her know that I had lost my job and our lives were over. It seemed a little heavy-handed for a break-up show. Wait a minute….heavy-handed? For the Bachelorette? What am I thinking?!

Well, the power has now been wrenched away from the men, or has it? Brady ensures that Britt gets an annoying two-minute clip at the end of the next few episodes (by asking each other questions that even my grandparents thought were lame when they were dating- “will you be my girl?”). That’s not the way to do it, man! You have to look into their eyes and ask tenderly

Speaking of Brady, though, his was the first of three voluntary departures. Every time I watch this show, I wonder out loud, “Wouldn’t you be able to tell pretty early on if you have a shot of going the distance on this show? So, when you realize that you are on the bottom third why not take some power back and just leave?” Well, two dudes seem to have heard me (sort of).

First, there was the bonsai tree kissing healer/spokesman for crazy pills, Tony. I feel like after the Sumo date he easily could have parlayed this poetry into a song for Usher or John Legend. I guess that would require a brain that isn’t addled by incense and bong resin. If I remember anything about Tony it will be that he pushed the boundaries of pacification to realms it cannot actually go, by definition. Considering the date he was on though, I can’t completely fault him for his reaction.

Second, Ian (whom we have already seen), got a big whiff of the fart jokes in the wind and wasn’t having them. He decided enough was enough and decided before leaving that he would give Kaitlyn the Apocalypse Now treatment before he left. You know, because Princeton

After those two, some other notable characters were Clint and JJ. Boy, is JJ lucky that Nick joined the show (or maybe he wasn’t) because JJ's villain status was completely eclipsed by Little Nicky’s appearance.

It could have been that was all JJ wanted, because his departure was not only inevitable, but self-inflicted. I'm not saying that being honest in a relationship, especially about big skeletons from your past, isn’t important. It just seemed like a really odd time to bring something like that up. It seemed like a, “just do it already- I want to get to Bachelor in Paradise” move. Oh, and please don’t ever cheat in a relationship. EVER!

Next was Ben Z. First impression we get of him is that he really wanted to prove he was strong (because football buddies from high school matter when you’re 26). If I can, for a second, take a moment: at this date Kaitlyn said she had no idea it was going to get out of hand. REALLY?! During Chris’s season I got the impression that Kaitlyn was street smart and really seemed like she was with it (people with well-developed senses of humor give that vibe very easily). However, there were several moments this season that gave me the exact opposite impression. Her surprise that dudes would be willing to beat the heck out of each other in a boxing ring, her reaction to Nick's poem, and this. I’m kidding about the birds, but really?

Anyway, back to Ben Z. He seemed like a decent enough dude, but also gave off the “I can bench press people with my eyes” vibe with a couple things he said: "I haven’t cried since my mom died 11 years ago", and "my mom is dead". All that being said, though, inviting him to a date where you pretend to be dead and expect him to be cool with it? Really? Guess she didn’t really bother to think a-BOAT it.

Next was Cupcake, or the dentist guy. His and Kaitlyn’s Aladdin date made me cringe. The chemistry between those two was so backwards. I mean, watching those two kiss each other was more uncomfortable than anything Clint and JJ had going on. Agree? Disagree? Anyway, I was kinda surprised how hard cupcake took being dumped. I realize I keep saying this, but if Broadway casting directors are the only ones putting you two together do you really think things are going that well? 

Then there is Nick. I hadn’t heard anything about this guy (because I didn’t watch Andi’s season). The only thing I knew about Nick was what he did on the “After the Final Rose.” So, he shows up lookin’ like Vanessa Bayer at a Bar Mitzvah.

Kaitlyn, herself, admitted that she wouldn’t have expected that she would have had a thing for this guy. How she ended up developing a thing for him I’ll never know (maybe the sheer number of bracelets just overcame her). Anyway, he comes on and Shawn starts to feel a little blindsided by the move (yes that is a pigeon being hit by a 98 mph fastball). This is where the conspiracy theories start to swirl. Maybe it was super evident to the producers that Shawn was the winner from the very beginning, and didn’t bother to show his stuff at the beginning and wanted to give the show some drama? Maybe they brought Nick in just so that Kaitlyn could drop him, because ABC thinks it’s funny to mess with him. No matter the reasoning, the drama went to 11 when that little homey joined the ranks.

Conspiracy or no, Nick’s presence picked off the stragglers one by one. Then, it was just Nick vs. Shawn (reminded me of this). When their back and forth had us all wishing for a swift release from this earth (since all hope for humanity is basically lost now), I was secretly rooting for Shawn to even out the number of guys that left on their own. Everything turned out alright in the end, because the right person won and Nick got hosed. It’s ok, Nick. I’m sure you can think of something contemplative to do with yourself now.  

I will say, they both do genuinely seem to like each other. I think that’s great, and I truly hope they work out. If you read this whole thing, and liked it, leave a comment below to let Alicia know and I’ll do episode recaps for the upcoming season of the Bachelor. I won’t do Bachelor in Paradise, because I like a challenge and that crap is just too easy

August 5, 2015

Bachelorette Season Recap: Part 1

Just when you think the Bachelorette is over, you're wrong. For one, we're now able to watch Bachelor in Paradise two nights a week. And two, my husband just wrote a two-part Bacholertte season recap. I've been wanting Andrew to write a post for the blog for a while now. He always said he would, but has never found a topic to write on. That is until I forced Andrew to watch the past three season of the Bachelor/ette with me. Yes, it is trash reality TV, but it's really funny trash reality TV. After a mind-numbing amount of episodes, Andrew finally decided to write a recap of the show to be his post debut on the blog! Below is part one, and part two can be read here.

I love Alicia’s blog. I love how hard she works to network with other bloggers, post great pictures. and tell our story. I think she does a great job at showing her personality in what she posts. Once she asked me if I wanted to write a guest post, but fearing that my stuff would detract from the theme of her blog I never did.

After three seasons of television’s “most honest” love drama having graced our marriage, I finally discovered what I would want to contribute to Alicia’s blog: Bachelor/Bachelorette recaps. My friend from college, Meg Walter, writes a great recap after each episode and she inspired me to give it a shot. Initially, I thought that admitting that I watched these shows would necessitate a tribunal before the “man card” council. Then I realized that having something that Alicia and I can share every week isn’t an opportunity that I can let pass.

Is there a harder gig in America than Chris Harrison’s? He has to pretend to care about the manufactured love car accidents that ABC foists on the viewing public three times a year (with Bachelor in Paradise being a thing now) AND try and convince us that THIS season is the most controversial, drama-filled, shocking, (insert obligatory superlative here) season in this show’s history. Also, can we trust love advice from a man who can’t keep his own relationship afloat (just sayin’)? Let’s get started:

This season proved from the beginning that it doesn’t seem to value women very highly. The show starts with 25 guys and two bachelorettes. The power is given to the men to choose the one they think is hottest, so that the undesirable can be (once more) kicked to the curb. Breaking up is hard to do, but getting the George Costanza pre-emptive break-up on national TV can’t feel good (especially after being semi-excited about being the bachelorette for several months). However, I guess the show producers thought it would be a good idea to give Kaitlyn and Britt the opportunity they didn’t get on the last season: a final episode scenario, because what’s better than being rejected by one guy on ABC? Being rejected twice by a bunch of guys on ABC. Go home Chris Harrison, you’re drunk.

We get introduced to the gentlemen, and they are a who’s who of popular guys from high school that didn’t end up going anywhere in life. Ian, at the beginning, is the one exception to that (but he is appropriately modest about it). 

Living well is the best revenge, folks.

From the start, Alicia’s favorite was Josh. Her criteria: “he has bulldogs. So, I want him to win.” I can’t start rooting for people from the beginning, mostly because I feel sorry for all of them at the start (at least, until we get to know most of them). I was impressed by Josh’s rose that he welded, though. Not being someone who is very handy, I can’t help but be jealous of stuff like that.

Anyway, fast forward to Shawn’s appearance. Shawn looks like Ryan Gosling, but with Barbara Streisand’s nose (Alicia and I called him Ryan Schnozling during the season - credit to Grantland for giving us the name). Kaitlyn and Schnozling sit down on this "Mexican country style chair" and they seem to have a genuine conversation. 

They both start thinking to each other “is this how dating happens? Is this how I meet people?” Don’t worry kids, you’ll figure it out (wink, wink).

After Chris goes over the Sesame Street song with the rose votes for twenty minutes (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12), 

we finally get the theme of this season’s show, and the theme was "To Be Continued".

August 3, 2015

4 Months of Taylor

I wanted to start out this post by saying that I'm sorry my blog has become a shrine to Taylor, but if I'm being honest, I'm not sorry at all. Being a mom to Taylor is what I do all day, e'ery day and it is the best job ever. I love how I get to spend my time and I love my baby boy. Now let me obnoxiously hashtag this occasion: #sorrynotsorry #cantstopwontstop. If you ain't down with the shift in my blog, I would suggest skipping all the baby posts. I promise that there will be some other topics occasionally (emphasis on occasionally).

So I'm sure you will get sick of me saying this every single month, but it doesn't make it any less true... I cannot believe my baby boy is already 4 months old! Taylor is a happy baby and spends his days being adorable, smiling, and talking my ear off. Bath time is his favorite thing besides eating. And let me tell you, this boy can put it away. I weighed him last week and this little chunky guy is a whopping 16.7lbs! I swear, my arms are going to get so beefy from lugging Taylor around. He's worth the work-out though.

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