Happy Halloweenie! I hope you put on your wig or your tail or your super hero cape and tore up the town. And by tore up the town, I mean collected all the sweets you and your little bunny ears could ever imagine. That’s not really what we did, but I did eat 49 too many Halloween colored peanut M&Ms (a staple in the Taylor household). Instead of trick or treating, we party bused it to a Halloween house that was complete with a staircase full of rats, a handwriting analyst, skeletons hanging from the ceiling, a Mac makeup artist, and – of course – Simplified. Kid Rock and Ke$ha made a special drop by as well.

You know, just the usual rock stars kicking it near the emergency exit with the common folk on a pre-Halloweenie Saturday night. So what did you do? And what are you going to be next year? Circle black cat or fire breathing dragon. Those are your only two choices. Sorry.

More pictures to come, if it would so please you.  Also, I sustained a pretty serious tambourine injury.  SFP.



Happy Halloween Weekend!

Do you know that song that goes:
I do.  And I'm going to sing it. 
Ready?  Set?  Go!


Shelton VIneyards

Today we had a little all girls retreat to Shelton Vineyards in the mountains of North Carolina. On the way up, we took a detour on the Blue RIdge Parkway, which is absolutely beautiful this time of year. The leaves were crisp and colorful, and the weather finally felt like it should at the end of October.

Aren't our mountains amazing? I think you should visit. My first vineyard experience was complete with a yummy lunch on a porch overlooking the kazillion rows of grapes, a visit to the barrel room, and a wine tasting. The wine tasting, which consisted of your choice of four wines, turned into a tasting of ... oh ... nine? I want to go back. Maybe with my Mamasita and Father Bear when I visit their new log cabin?

Circle yes or no.



Last night we made a special trip to Belmont to visit with our friends Mick and Veronica.  Good thing we went, because not only did we have a fantastic time, but we acquired the best picture ever (more commonly known as the BPE).  The recipe for the BPE is as follows:  two of Ryan’s hats, my favorite pair of boots, my bargain Anthropologie scarf, an air guitar playing boyfriend (who prefers my leg instead of air), only two out of four feet touching the ground, a Simplified song in the background, and a whole lot of love.

So what do you think?  BPE, or what?



In case you missed the memo, I really love October. It’s my favorite of the twelve (months, not dwarves, because there are seven of those, not twelve). I think I’m really kind of not giving November a chance, even though it basically is equal to October when I run through the list of reasons why I love it so. Did you know that you can “really kind of” do something? I think it’s new. Welcome.

So on Friday night we went to a bonfire at my BF’s BF’s parents’ house (that would be AB’s boyfriend’s mom and dad). They live in a log cabin that has train tracks going around the ceiling of the living room. Rex would love it.

The bonfire was really big and really Octobery, and Winge had found some marshmallows to toast or roast, which ever you please, that were the size of my head.  Really.  They were huge.  And he was super proud of them - rightfully so. Ryan wanted to try to jump over the fire, but I said no.  He would have had to stop drop and roll, and then I would have called him a liar liar pants on fire (get it?) for the rest of his life.  Pre-bonfire, we had stopped at Panera and I got a chai latte that gave me a major tummy ache, so I missed out on a lot of the firey goodness while I was laying in the back of AB’s car.  Boo.  But nevertheless, it made me fall in love with fall all over again.  So even though my October is starting to dwindle down, I think I’m okay with the coming of November.  What about you?


Saturday Night Bests

Do you know Chelsea Handler? I think she is absolutely hilarious, and Ryan and I were lucky enough to get to go see her last night at the arena. I laughed maybe 97% of the time, and the other 3% I was peeing. Not in my pants or anything, but that wouldn’t have been totally unreasonable either. She told a tale about going to a zoo where there was half a giraffe and a mosquito, and everything before and after that story was completely inappropriately Chelsea in the best way ever. (I act like we’re BFFs – maybe we are. You don’t know.)

After the show, we met up with some friends at BlackFinn. And what do you know? My best friend from high school was there! I’m talking cheerleading skirts, sleepovers, passing notes in the hallway, proms, borrowing each other’s clothes, staying up all night to talk about boys, best best friends. Meet Kelley. She lives in Charlotte, too!

And of course our favorites, AB and Winge, were there too.  So we all danced the night away and we’ll live happily ever after. You just watch.


Scaturday Crafternoon

Once upon a time, it was a Scaturday crafternoon.  A sleeping baby allowed my sister and I to catch up on our pumpkin baking and fall necklace making on a perfectly Octoberish October day.   And so we did. 

Ashley saw the tutorial for these necklaces over at The Andersons, and she’d been itching to make one ever since. Basically, we have no idea how she made her flowers single (well, double) handedly, because it took all four of our hands to twist, roll, and glue these suckers together. With a little sisterly teamwork, four hot glue sticks, and some burnt fingertips, we were able to produce 11 flowers – two necklaces of five, and one sad little leftover orange guy. I have high hopes that Ashley has already turned him into a headband. Oh, did you want us to make one for you? Okay!

Also, did you know about this?

Apparently Rex has been busy doing some modeling jobs on the side.  I found him in Alekzander’s Halloween board book.  You can even pet his furry chest if it would please you.


Southern Country Love

Bruen and Jeremy had a beautiful wedding ceremony in the mountains. Their entire wedding package – invitations, engagement photos, reminders, directions, seating charts, everything – was adorably coordinated with a southern country feel that was oh so representative of where they come from and their journey as a couple. As their guests, we enjoyed their sweetly personalized vows during the ceremony and the country couple dancing during the reception. I’m pretty sure everyone had an incredible time helping them celebrate their marriage – and I like to think that Ryan’s serenade was icing on the (wedding) cake.

People traveled from near and far (like China and London) to be with Bruen and Jeremy on their special day:

We came from Charlotte.  Which was maybe the nearest of the nears.

I love the mountains.  I love the sea.  I love love.


A Birthday for My Dad

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I wish for you the happiest of days.  I remember once upon a time when your birthday fell on Columbus Day (or is that a yearly occurrence?).  We made hats out of newspapers and dressed up like pilgrims and Indians (more officially known as Native Americans these days), and we gave you a ladder.  You always liked ladders and tools and the Pittsburgh Steelers and golf.  I think I was maybe four, which would have made you thirty-seven.  I hope we ate a football cake that year – do you have one for this year?  Last weekend I told the story about what happened when you shaved your moustache and Ashley cried and cried.  How many times in your life have you spelled out the word moustache?  I think it’s a silly word.  One time, when we were all a little older, you shaved your moustache and got a buzz cut and I thought you looked like a handsome Jewish gentleman.  All you needed was a kippah on your head.  Do you remember when I was in fifth grade chorus and we had to sing holiday songs from around the world?  I still remember a little bit of “Oh Christmas Tree” in German and a lot of the song that went like this:

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come light the menorah
We’ll have a party and dance to the hora
Gather round the table, we'll give you a treat
Spinning tops to play with and latkes to eat

But, it’s your birthday, and we aren’t Jewish.  Today you’re in the mountains, and I’m in the mountains too, but just in a totally different spot.  I’m sorry I can’t be there to spend you special day with you, but I’m thinking about you lots.  And I love you for coming to my chorus performance when I was ten.   Happy, happy, Dad!  After twenty-five years of being your favorite daughter, I still think you’re even cooler than the cat’s pajamas.



So, my boyfriend sings karaoke. Quite well actually. Did you know? I think you probably did, because from the sounds of things, apparently I was the only one who didn’t know about this secret little hobby of his. Kid Rock is his artist of choice, and I think he’s such a stud rocking out in front of a room full of strangers and friends.

We’re in the beautiful mountains of Lake Lure to celebrate the marriage of our friends Jeremy and Breun. What a wonderful weekend that they chose to start their forever together – the weather is a phenomenally sunny October with warm days and cool nights, perfect for the bonfire and s’mores they had last night. Today we drank coffee on our cabin’s porch, walked around the shops of Chimney Rock, found a sandwich for Ryan, and found a pizza for me. We scoped out the wedding site, and now it’s time for college football (my favorite) and a nap.

Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous here?

Disclaimer: The karaoke singing stud sitting on the rock is taken. 


Lucky Stars

Last night I had an appointment to get my hair did by Jesse. I love getting my hair did, and this time it came with a special surprise. When I walked in and told them who I was (like I’m some kind of celeb or something), everyone got all excited and one lady said: Wait! I have something for you. So I said: Okay! And she handed me a box wrapped in baby jungle animals with an envelope taped to the top and said: This is from your husband. And your hair cut has also been taken care of. (Um! Yay! I love presents! And I love baby jungle animals! And I love love letters! And I love getting my hair did by Jesse! And I love love love my husband! Wait. I don’t have one of those though.)

But, I do love love love my boyfriend. He’s still holding the reign as the best tiger ever. And if you are totally jeal, then that’s okay, too. Also, my sister tried to be sweet and bring me coffee while I was getting my hair did by Jesse but she panicked when the coffee shop was closed. Then she got mad when she found out that Ryan treated me to a hair did by Jesse when she was supposed to treat me (remember the gift certificate from my birthday?). Do you have people fighting over who gets to pay for your hair did by Jesse? I didn’t think so.

Today I counted my lucky stars. Oh, and you wanted to know what was in the baby jungle animal box? It was this wrap cardigan sweater (but in taupe) from Victoria’s Secret that can be worn in close to a kajillion different ways:

Like I said. Lucky stars. Consider them counted. Happy nineteenth 7th, Ryan!


Black and Gold Too

Oh, did you want to hear me say it again? 
Best. Weekend. Ever.



So I also went to my first Steelers game. Before the game, we set up shop in a semi-abandoned parking lot that was basically at the end of an alleyway. It was perfectly hidden (and free to park there!), surrounded by old buildings and a train track. Ryan performed acrobatics – jumping over chairs, dancing on the roof of the minivan, and wrestling tigers. That last part isn’t true, but we did talk about tigers a whole lot over the course of the weekend. Lindsay made adult apple cider, which was delicious with her homemade pumpkin bread. (Ryan prefers to call it “Halloween bread” though, because even though he thinks it is super yummy, he won’t come to terms with liking anything that has to do with pumpkin.) Some of Zac and Lindsay’s Pennsylvania friends came to meet up with us, and Rachel brought cookies and adult Jell-O – in black and yellow flavors for the Steelers!

Are you totally jealous of my amazing weekend? It was maybe the best ever, and I think it would be in the realm of appropriate for you to admit that you’re at least a little jeal. Ryan was able to score some seats about 14 rows back on the 50 yard line. I don’t know too much about football (except that I get made fun of when I say “touchdown zone”), but the seats were unmistakably absolutely incredible. I wouldn’t want to have been anywhere else – the field was green, the players were life-sized, the weather was the perfect October chilly with a touch of sun and a splash of rain, and there were Pittsburgh fans galore. Unfortunately the game didn’t end like we had hoped, but it was certainly a day for the books.

Ryan is the best. He’s the best planner, the best packer, the best take charger, and the best have funner. Thanks for making our weekend happen, Ryan – you’re my best tiger.

Dear Dad,
We took these for you.  Do you love them?  Circle yes or no.
Love, Me



Rock & Roll

So I went to my first rock concert. Second if you count the time we went to Vegas and I only made it 45 minutes into the show. I don’t even know if it was 45 minutes, but I did have a long conversation with a stranger about how he got his Mohawk to stand so straight and tall. The stranger found the conversation particularly annoying and it was really clear that he wanted to get away from me asap – maybe because he had saved up all his pennies to go to Vegas to attend Cruefest, and didn’t want to talk hair with a random like me. And then I got lost in the Hard Rock Casino and another stranger told me how to get to my room which was really fortunate because I think it would have been pretty easy to kidnap me, but he thankfully chose not to.

But this time, I made it all the way through. We all did. We spent a long day with five people and a million pounds of our things packed into a minivan that was en route to Cleveland. Mike, Zac, Lindsay, Ryan, and I listened to 90s music, ate Jimmy John’s and other delicious treats like Twizzlers and peanut M&Ms (all provided and packed by Ryan), learned the words to “Like a G6” (my new favorite song), and mainly just had a fabulous eight hours in our super stylish ride. We arrived to Matt’s apartment around 4:00 and showered, put on our rock & roll gear, and snacked some more.

The concert was incredible, and now I can confidently say: “Oh, Buckcherry, Three Days Grace, and Nickelback … yeah, I’ve seen them.” So there’s that. We also have a tendency to have more fun than anyone else ever in the history of fun having. It’s true. Matt taught us the Douggie – do you know it? The song goes: “Teach me how to Douggie, teach me, teach me how to Douggie.” And Matt is the best Douggie teacher I know. So, post concert, we all sang that about a kajillion times as we danced (the wrong way) home from the Quicken Arena. And then I did a headstand in the elevator. How many of the 176 pictures that we took do you want to see?



Today is October.  It’s the first day of my favorite time of the year.  I want to sip apple cider and dance around in a pumpkin patch.  Here’s what we have for this weekend: a minivan, floor tickets to Three Days Grace, Buck Cherry, and Nickelback at the Quicken Arena in Cleveland on Saturday night, and seats at the Pittsburgh Steeler’s game this Sunday.  I packed boots and jackets and scarves and I’m going to live happily ever after all bundled up in the cold northern weather.  Tonight I’m sleeping with a snuggly kitty and opened windows.  I love October.  Did you know?  It’s going to be the best.