10.31 | high five for friday!


…one…  people dancing horribly might be my favorite thing ever.  and this clip from last saturday’s SNL is awesome and made me laugh until i cried tears of unabashed joy.  :)

….two…  my cousin turns 30 this week!  i met up with some of her friends to surprise her with a little celebration dinner. i may have had a little too much red wine and the next morning at school may have been somewhat painful, but the dinner was really fun.  her friends are great and i claim them as my own.  they’ve always been nothing but welcoming, fun, and kind to me, and they definitely were to me that night.


…three… school is testing my patience lately, but it’s not bad.  it’s hard to get too upset when there are so many reasons for it to be difficult…red ribbon week, football games, halloween, etc.  next week will be better.

a major accomplishment

…four…  i had dinner with some friends earlier this week, and it kind of refreshed me for the week.  they listen, make me laugh, and give great advice.

let us be grateful

…five…  i’m headed to a turnpike troubadours concert tomorrow night with my bff.  i’ve seen them three times before, and i just love them.


it’s not my favorite holiday, but HaPpY hALloWeeN!  here’s my adorable little pumpkin that’s sitting on my porch.



 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png      photo FFaves_zps6c1a013e.pngTHE GOOD LIFE BLOG

10.24 | high five for friday!


…one…  i took a trip out to the canyon this past saturday.  it was just what i needed to end a tough week.


….two…  my october birchbox was just alright.  i get emails from birchbox all the time, but one this week kind of ruined it for me.  i like being surprised by what is in my box.  but the “sneak peak” email told me everything that was going to be in it.  and the perfume was busted.  that’s the third time that’s happened!  i emailed them, and they’re sending me a new one.  i hate the mascara.  so clumpy!  despite all the problems with this box, i really liked the mask and the face rejuvenator (which i’ve gotten before).


…three… “walking dead” is back with a vengeance!   i didn’t think i’d like this show when i first saw the previews for it years ago.  it’s gory and violent.  and it’s downright scary at times.  and yet, i’ve watched each and every episode from the beginning.  i tell people – it’s not about the zombies, it’s about the people and what they choose to do when pushed to the brink.  (on a funny note, if there is one, twitter blew up this week with the hashtag, #BobBQ.  the memes and comments were hilarious.)

Walking Dead #BobBQ

it’s horrible. but it’s also funny. :)

…four…  i ran across this drawing on the storyline blog the other day and it reminded me that on this road of life, there are all kinds of distractions that can pull me off of it.  i struggle with all of these things and more.  but like the blog post says, you just have to find your way back, move forward, and accept help.  it was a much needed reminder.


…five…  and finally, this shirt.  i don’t think i can get through a month without ordering a new texas shirt.  i just can’t help myself.  this one from tumbleweed texstyles, in particular, is adorable.  and it’s on sale right now!

Tejas shirt from Tumbleweed TexStyles


 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png      photo FFaves_zps6c1a013e.pngTHE GOOD LIFE BLOG

concert shadowbox how-to

i went to a paul mccartney concert a couple of weeks ago.  (like you haven’t heard me talk about it.  haha!)  i saved some materials from the experience.  my sister and i talked about doing shadowboxes to exhibit them. so over the past few weeks, i gathered everything together. i’m very indecisive so it took me awhile to get it exactly how i wanted, but by the end, it was perfect. here’s how i did it…

supplies for shadowbox

supplies for the shadowbox

for a concert shadowbox, you will need:

  • a shadowbox –  make sure it’s not too big and not too small.  i watched the hobby lobby ad for a couple of weeks and waited until mine went on sale.  i got it for $16.
  • photos from the concert – i used the walgreens app to print them.  it’s super easy and they’re available almost instantly.  the prices are reasonable.  also, i like that you can print 4×4 prints from instagram.
  • your ticket stub and any other mementos - i stuffed that thing in my purse as soon as the ticket taker scanned it because i didn’t want to lose it.  my sister also grabbed some confetti from the very end of the concert.
  • scrapbooking paper for photo backgrounds – again, i waited for them to go on sale for half off at hobby lobby.  i chose several different prints that blended well together.
  • stickers and markers – to add a little extra cuteness
  • pins – to attach the items to the background.  you can also glue them directly, but i like the look of the pins.
  • scissors and glue- for cutting everything out and sizing them inside the box
shadowbox how-to

concert mementos


1.  decide on a few key pictures and mementos.  it’s best to keep it simple.  i chose photos, my ticket stub, and confetti from the end of the concert.

2.  add backgrounds to your pictures.  combine some pictures on the same background.

3.  decide on your layout.  eliminate anything that doesn’t fit or mesh with the theme.  layer each item with the others until you get it how you want.

4.  add stickers and any writing.

5.  pin everything down. usually you’ll only need one or two pins at the top of each item.

6.  carefully lay the shadowbox face down, add the confetti (or other items), and attach the back.

7.  hold it upright and tilt it back and forth until the confetti lays how you want.  and attach to the wall!

finished concert shadowbox

finished product!


this fake ice cream {almost} tastes like the real thing.

i’m one of those people who likes cold food items in the autumn and winter.  i don’t know why.  it just is.  popsicles, frozen yogurt, fruit bars, ice cream, etc…i like it all.  but those things aren’t exactly healthy for you to have all the time.

i found this idea off of pinterest last year and tweaked it a bit.  the original recipe that i saw had peanut butter and cocoa.  but since then, i’ve tried it a few times with different ingredients.  i don’t really like the banana flavor so much, but i love the consistency of bananas with this “ice cream”.  i’ve tried it with dark chocolate dreams spreadrazzle-dazzle peanut butter, and with some fresh fruit like raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

for the entire bowl of “ice cream”, it is about 370 calories.  it usually turns out very rich so i can stretch it into 2-4 servings.  it’s the perfect end to an autumn night when i need a sweets fix.

banana ice cream

The Hump Day Blog Hop

going outside to feel better inside.

last week was rough for me.  on top of some added stress, my anxiety was high.  i debated on going to the canyon over and over all week.  i think i knew deep down that i needed to go, but by saturday morning, i was still going back and forth.  after wasting an hour after getting up, i put on some ripped jeans and old tennis shoes and just went.  i got some advice from the park ranger for some new hike ideas.

i ended up doing two hikes.  and in usual taylor fashion, i got lost on the first one.  but i made my way back and finished it.  the first hike on the CCC trail took me from the top of the canyon to the bottom.  i paused several times during the hike and took in the impressive view.  it makes you feel small, like all the bullshit doesn’t really matter.  after some serious reflection, i turned around and went back up.  i got in my car and drove to the opposite side of the canyon.  by this point, i was feeling much more relaxed.

Palo Duro Canyon

my second hike, the rock garden trail, was a little different.  the distance was longer, but the altitude change wasn’t as drastic.  i just put in my earbuds and listened to music the whole way up.  the whole experience was exhausting, in the best possible way.  i needed to be pushed physically as much as i needed the quiet moments of meditation.  i am thankful for the beauty of god’s creation, but i’m also grateful for the stillness to simply be in that canyon, to not have to think too much about anything but putting one foot in front of the other for a few hours.


Palo Duro Canyon


the struggle is part of the story

i was sitting down to write my weekly “high five for friday” post, and i just couldn’t think of five good things about this week.  usually if that’s the case, i can just dig deep and find something, even if it was small.  but not this week.  it was just plain shitty.  (especially that creepy man that scared the shit out of me by slowing down his car at the park during one of my walks, opening the door, and silently showing off his dick to me?  like i am just dying to experience that at 7 pm in a quiet part of a public park. yeah, that pushed it into over-the-top-super-shitty.)

you ever have one of those weeks where you just want to cry at every turn and your feelings are irrationally stronger than they normally are?  yeah…that was this past week.  my anxiety was off the charts.  i think that i’m pretty good at hiding it, and if i can’t, i just hide myself until i get myself straightened out again.

about midweek, i almost got upset at work, which i hate to do.  a friend that was with me at the time asked if i was okay.  i said (like i always do), “i’m fine”.  he responded to me with probably the perfect answer – “i know you’re not, but it’ll be okay.”  i’ve thought about that over and over since then.  it was the right thing that i needed to hear.

i know i sound like a whiny middle school girl.  i’m aware.  but for the past two weeks, i’ve felt left out, pushed aside, not backed up, forgotten, frustrated with myself, alone.  it’s not necessarily anyone’s fault (and maybe some of it is), but it’s just how i feel.

and then, of course, i pull away from everything because it hurts too much.  because that helps so much.  (i hope you can read sarcasm.)

it’s a cycle that i’ve been going through my entire life.  if i don’t know how to deal with something hurtful, i avoid it and think it’ll just fade away.  i know that it only makes it worse.  it’s just how i do it, how i’ve always done it.  and i don’t realize that i’m doing it until i’m about halfway through the cycle and crawl out of it.  and that’s what happened this week.

the struggle

i cried for the first time in two months tonight.  it had been building up all week.  but my goal is not to give in to it.  it’s just to stay busy, focus on my health and personal goals, and wait it out.  it’ll get better.  and the struggles make me grow as a person.  although it’s hard to see it when i’m in the middle of the “cycle”, i know that it’s all about perspective.  yes, anxiety is hard to deal with.  i still don’t know how to cope with it most of the time.  but at the end of the day, I know that i’m healthy (or getting there again), educated, employed, loved, and blessed.

WOW 10.15 | finding my “beast mode” again.

workout wednesdays with {a tattooed teacher in texas}

the other day i was making a pile of clothes to iron.  (i hate ironing.  i think it’s the most obnoxious chore besides dusting, which is why all my clothes are slightly wrinkled and my furniture always has a layer of dust on it.)  and as i ironed each item, i tried it on…you know…just for kicks.

and i could zip most of my pants…but they didn’t really fit.  i was reminded of one of my favorite tim gunn quotes: “just because it zips, doesn’t mean it fits.”

ain’t that the truth, tim!

luckily, it’s october and one of our fundraisers at school is buying coupons to wear jeans.  now, this might not seem like that big of a deal, but to teachers it is.  jeans days are the best.  so i bought a whole bunch of those coupons.  i can now wear dresses and jeans for the rest of the month until i get my shit together and am able to sit down in my dress pants again without splitting them up the back because i’ve gotten a little too bootylicious.

(it entertains me that my spell checker didn’t pick up on bootylicious.  i guess it’s now an acceptable word for everyday speech? fine with me.  even though it’s been out of style for about…i don’t know…ten years, i still like to use it sometimes when it’s appropriate.)

the reality is that i’ve gotten to the point that i’m uncomfortable.  my clothes don’t fit well obviously.  but it’s more than that.  when i run, i can feel my ass shake.  when i eat crappy food, my stomach hates me for no less than 48 hours.  when i am standing, my stomach sticks out farther than it should.  i’m just uncomfortable in my own body.

it’s not that i want to be skinny.  skinny sucks.  i was hungry, weak, and cranky during my (slightly) skinny phase many years ago.  i just don’t want to be jiggly anymore.  i want muscles again.  it seems to take me twice or three times as long to lose weight than it is to gain it.  i’ll get there, but i know it’ll take me awhile.

weekly workouts oct.6-12

i finally got in a good week of workouts!!!

i’m finding my motivation again…slowly.  i tend to get in a rut easily so when i found this new millionaire hoy workout, i had to do it.  all of the moves are inspired by animals.  some of them are just renamed, but some are things i’ve never seen before.  it was just fun to embody some animals for 45 minutes.  and that’s what i need to keep me moving forward for now – fun.

The Hump Day Blog Hop

10 things…I must (awkwardly) confess

1.  i watch crap tv like “16 and Pregnant” and pretty much anything on Bravo to make me feel like i have my shit together.

2.  i do my nails every sunday afternoon.  it’s always no color on my fingernails and any color but red/pink on my toenails.  i love getting a pedicure, but i can do it better myself and i’m cheap so sunday afternoon it is.

black toenails.

right now, my toenails are painted black. it makes me feel a little badass for some reason.

3.  it takes me about 20 minutes to put on my makeup in the morning.  i know that’s a ridiculous amount of time, but it’s my “me” time.  i only spend about 3 minutes on my hair, obviously.

4. i could never be a crazy old cat lady because i couldn’t even imagine the maintenance it would take to care for more than my two cats.  i HATE cleaning out the litter box each week.  my two lovies have more than enough personality to keep me entertained.  more than two terrifies me.

this is one of my favorite pics of luca. what a weirdo though!

5.  i fall down more than the normal person.  my 80 year old self will most likely be in a cast or wheelchair.

6. i have somewhat strange celebrity crushes: lenny kravitz, charlie hunnam, pitbull, t.i., norman reeds, chris hemsworth. i think this middle class white girl needs a little edge.

7.  i eat peanut butter from the jar sometimes.  it’s not like i’m sharing it with anyone so it’s okay, right?

8.  the cleanliness of my house is directly related to my mood.  the messier my house is, the more of a mess i am.  the cleaner and neater, the more put together i am.

9.  nothing makes me more angry than a slow wi-fi connection.  you do not want to be the person that i talk to on the phone from the internet company.

10. every single time i listen to “top of the world” by patty griffin, i cry because it’s so beautiful and heartbreaking.

10.10 | high five for friday!


…one…  school has been frustrating this week, but not necessarily in a bad way.  i’ve had several lightbulb moments this week about teaching.  at least i can say that even eight years in, i’m still learning about myself.

….two…  i’ve been trying to get refocused about getting healthy this week.  i have done well with my food and have worked out consistently.  i still need to make that happen on the weekends thought!  i also haven’t been taking my measurements for a few months.  i am determined by the end of this month, i will document everything and take my measurements.  even if i don’t like what those numbers turn out to be, they are reality and i can’t avoid them.


…three… over the past year, i have become obsessed with make-up.  i never thought i would be that person!  it’s almost embarrassing how much money i invest in make-up now.  while i still prefer a naked face (usually when i don’t have anywhere to go), i am loving my new naked basics 2 palette.  i have the first one and like it, but this one is awesome.  the colors are cooler and more subtle.  and i tried the nyx eyeliner pencils and love them.  they stay put all day, and they come in lots of fun colors like my new dark green!

naked basics 2 palette and nyx green eyeliner

yes, i’ve already dropped my new palette! luckily, there was minimal damage.

…four…  this little guy (aka my fat cat luca) was being super adorable and cuddly all week.


…five…  and finally, this adorable video.  i listened to this song on repeat this summer, and i’m so glad he did it as a single and video.


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WOW 10.8 | getting refocused and reenergized

WOW button

i have been off track.  i have not been focused on my health goals at all.  i haven’t been putting in the work.  in short, i’ve gotten lazy.  remember when i talked about my magic trick of gaining weight?  yeah, i’ve gained four pounds just since school started at the end of august.  i discovered that fact when i stepped on the scale on monday and then stepped off and back on again because i didn’t think it was right.  so that’s nearly ten pounds since may.  great.  just great.


it’s so frustrating, but if i’m really honest with myself, i know that i have made some mistakes over the past few months.  i haven’t been working out as often or as hard as i should.  i have been slacking off on my strength workouts.  i have been cheating on my food, especially on the weekends.  and i definitley haven’t been stocking my fridge with nutritious foods.

so it’s time to get refocused.  i’m tracking my food again with my lose it app to see my mistakes and triumphs visually.  i think that helps me. i’m also going to make it a goal to workout 4-6 times a week again, writing them down on my little white board on my fridge so again…i can see it.  that way i can’t ignore it.  i’m going to try to push myself more and quit making excuses.  i know if i don’t, i’m just going backwards.

sore today sorry tomorrow

on monday, i knew i needed to kickstart my plan.  i found this new fitness blender workout, and it was just the thing.  i did this workout (which is some lower body strength mixed with HIIT) and then ran/walked two and half miles.  i hate running, but it felt good to get outside and just feel powerful again.  yeah, i was sore on Tuesday, but it was worth it!  i’d rather feel sore and tired and know that it was worth it than regret not working out.  i always feel better, calmer, and stronger when i take care of myself.

The Hump Day Blog Hop

celebrate southern.

Bless Her Heart Y'all

bless her heart, y’all and 2 cats and chloe are hosting a link up today, celebrate southern.

i wasn’t sure what to write about at first.  there are so many things i love about living in the south {the food, the music, the accents, the family values, the weather…} that it was hard to focus on one thing.  so i decided to just go with some pictures to just illustrate it with pictures.

big tex

big tex

pecan pie.

pecan pie.


dr. pepper.

the canyon.

the canyon.


rodeos and patriotism.

great live music to enjoy.

great live music to enjoy.

friday night football games.

friday night football games.

the music history, including the great buddy holly.

the music history, including the great buddy holly.

the alamo draft house.

the alamo draft house.

and after all….

the best 24 hours. ever.


rescheduled for october 2nd after paul got sick.

last week, i had the opportunity to spend the best 24 hours ever with my sister.  we met in lubbock on thursday and checked into the hotel.  we started with some shopping around town.  then we went back to the hotel and got ready for the paul mccartney concert.  we got cute and decided on a nice mediterranean restaurant for dinner.

sister tattoos

sister tattoos reunited!

but i made some mistakes that came back to bite me…  i hadn’t had any water all day.  i had skipped breakfast and had had a crappy sonic burger for lunch along with a cherry limeade.  i started to get a headache in the early afternoon but ignored it.  i kept thinking it would go away (although they never do) and that i didn’t have time for a headache because i had great plans.  yeah, well… that didn’t work out so well.  the food was very, very good at the restaurant, but also very rich.  i had half a sangria and two tapas before i knew i’d made a huge mistake.


the dinner that wasn’t. :(

i felt nauseous and hot.  it was less than two hours to the concert and i started to panic.  i went to the bathroom and threw up.  then, my sister drove my car over to walgreens and i threw up again there.  i was determined though!  i got some excedrin and tums and a bunch of water. i drank two bottles of water on the way over to the arena.


these are our beatlemania faces.

paul mccartney concert

right before the concert.

unfortunately, my stupidity and stubbornness had caused us to be late.  by the time we got there, all of the parking lots were full and people were parking wherever they could.  we circled around twice before finding a spot on a street across from the university.  although i was still feeling queasy (especially with all that water in my stomach), we half-walked/half-ran to the arena.  we were thirty minutes late.  BUT!  luckily paul mccartney was late too.  in fact, he was pulling into the area in a big suburban with a police escort right as we walked up.  (we later watched the news and saw him in that same suburban so we know it was him!)  we got in and found our seats with a little time to chill before the concert.

hey jude

during hey jude.

and then… we experienced nearly four hours of paul mccartney.  it was incredible.  it’s hard to even describe how amazing it was.  he did a buddy holly tribute in the middle (because buddy holly was from lubbock), came out waving a giant texas flag to start his first encore, and honored george, john, his first wife linda, and his current wife.  it was full of stories about buddy holly, the beatles, personal anecdotes, and memories.  he played some of his new songs (which i actually do like) and all of the oldies that i love.  it was perfect.  more than i expected.  (check out my instagram for more pics and videos)



after the concert, i was starving considering i had absolutely nothing in my stomach.  everything was closed so we hit up walmart for some snacks.  we stayed up until after two reviewing pictures and videos and just reminiscing on the entire experience.

we slept in a little bit and woke up sore as hell.  at first we couldn’t figure out why, but then we remembered that we were so tense during the concert.  we went over to planet fitness and worked out.  it helped and made us both feel better.  we then ate some breakfast and got ready.


sweaty post workout selfie.

after some more shopping, we went to the alamo draft house and saw “gone girl”.  i had been waiting forever to see that movie, and it was a great adaptation.  plus, at the alamo draft house, you can order food and drinks.  so we got some chocolate peanut butter shakes, popcorn, and fries for the show, which totally quenched our snack food cravings.  after the show, we parted ways to head back to our own cities at almost the exact moment we had met up the day before.


callie made a new friend while out shopping.

alamo draft house

seeing “gone girl” at the alamo draft house.

like i said, the best day ever.  not perfect.  just great.

10.3 | high five for friday!


…one…  paul mccartney concert last night was incredible.  more to come on that next week.


….two…   i don’t get to see my sister very often. or maybe i just don’t make the effort that i should. texas isn’t so big to keep me from seeing her more, after all. but it’s nice to spend time together, even if it’s only for 24 hours. a fun-packed, exciting, and memorable 24 hours.


buddy holly's glasses

buddy holly glasses

…three… i am getting my new iPhone today. i wasn’t planning on getting one so soon but when my iPhone 5 decided to quit on me a couple weeks ago, i decided to go ahead. and it shipped in two days instead of the expected four weeks. i can’t be mad at that!

…four…  i only had to go to school for three days this week.  that is all.  :)

…five…   i have some of the best coworkers ever. they are fun, hard-working, and all-around badasses, and i’m grateful for them and their big hearts.

best coworkers ever.

this is our extended happy hour last friday afternoon.


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the day is finally here.

tonight, my sister and i are going to see one of our music idols.  paul mccartney.  it’s hard to even believe it.  i never thought i would have the opportunity to see him live so when the chance came last april, i jumped on it.  i called my sister immediately and pretty much said, “we’re going.  i’m buying us tickets tomorrow.”

paul mccartney

luckily, my school counselor let me use her american express card so i could order early.  her son wanted tickets anyway so i got online at exactly 10:00 am and … got in line.  i was in the queue for about twenty minutes starting in the four hundreds.  i had a class starting pretty soon, but the counselor said she would watch my class if needed because she knew this was important to me.  slowly the number went down and i was able to go to the ticket page.  i quickly ordered the limit, four, in the second from the top price tier.  we splurged a bit, but i figured that i wouldn’t get another chance to see paul again so i wanted to make it worth it.  i sat there for a minute, unable to believe that it had just happened.  but it did.  i was walking on air the rest of the day.

in june, the concert was canceled due to paul’s poor health.  i was so disappointed at the time.  it was rescheduled for the fall.  i kept seeing it on my calendar over the next few months, but i didn’t really think about it too much.  that is…until last week when i got excited again.

out there tour 2014

i know hundreds of people see him perform a year, but i’m so honored that i’m able to experience it. and that my sister will be right there beside me.  we both have beatles tattoos.  i wrote my maid of honor speech for her wedding with about twenty beatles references.  (I’m not even exaggerating!) we’ve listened to the music for so many years, and it never get old.  it’s important to us.  and by tonight, we’ll have marked a very important experience off our bucket lists…together.


september favorites.

monthly favorites

{favorite beauty items}  

loreal true match lumi foundation – matches my skin tone perfectly and sits well on the skin

loreal prive the perfect nudes lipstick in the j.lo shade – my perfect nude shade with a great formula

benefit pore-fessional – an oldie but a goodie, smoothes out any imperfections before foundation.  just repurchased it.

{favorite snacks}

chili pistachios in the afternoon

razzle dazzle peanut butter on wheat toast before my workout

{favorite books}

i’ve never been to vegas, but my luggage has  by mandy hale

war brides by helen bryan

is everyone hanging out without me?  by mindy kaling (this was a re-read)

{favorite new music}

tom odell, vance joy, and hozier

{favorite tv shows}

hell on wheels – i’m not usually into westerns, but this show never disappoints me.

trashy bravo reality shows: jersey belle, below deck, the singles project

sons of anarchy – i’m so glad it’s back but sad that it’s the final season.  i hope it finishes strong.

new girl :)  i can relate to the awkwardness…and it makes me happy.

the blacklist – i’ve been catching up on netflix before i start on the current season.  what a great show!!

{favorite words}



{my own favorite posts}

my first stitch fix box

i’m sorry. i can’t. don’t hate me.

{favorite posts from other bloggers}

so are we a thing?  by nerky

family photos and a story by skinny meg

in memorium by ‘sota is sexy

the numbers mean nothing: learning to lose the scale by mama mandolin

{most memorable moments}

our homecoming football game – we were down by five with 11 seconds to go.  we then scored a touchdown and the extra point to win the game.  it was unbelievable and unexpected.  i kept saying over and over, “that was amazing”.  and it was.

watching my friend kat open her bday presents.  i’m a pretty good gift giver if i do say so myself.  just kidding.  i just really like giving gifts that i know people will appreciate.  (btw, christmas is less than three months away!!)

moving on and back into full on singleness…and being okay with it.

a five hour happy hour with my work friends that turned into a heartfelt confession session.

ordering my new iPhone 6.  i wasn’t planning on doing it so soon, but my 5 is slowly dying and the apple care lady said it would cost me about the same to buy a new one as to send mine in to get fixed.  you don’t have to twist my arm, lady. i’ll order a new one.  :)  i still have a few weeks before i get it, but it’ll be nice to have a phone that actually works correctly.

this new lip sync video from the tonight show: