friday night is date night


so very happy it's friday! the mister has been busy all week with school and internships and taxes that we haven't had nearly as much time together as we both would like. but yesterday afternoon as i kissed my man goodbye he said, "don't worry, it's date night tomorrow". i hope this becomes a routine thing!


expect lots of lovely pictures from over the weekend.
and happy general conference!

just plain awkward Thursdays



awkward
- that awkward moment you realize you looked like one of the hanson brothers while growing up.
(as documented above)
- having someone search and find my blog by typing: "picture of modern day 6 graders." i know i look young, but this is a little ridiculous....right?
- my attempt at running this week. if you've ever seen that episode of Friends when Phoebe is doing her thing...yeah, it was worse than that.
- the moment you realize that your kick-butt skills at bejeweled are in direct relation to how much time you spend alone. i really need to get some friends.
- having a waitress ask to see my license to make sure it was my birthday so i could get a free piece of pie. since when did restaurants get so serious?! i didn't end up having my license but i still got my free pie. yippee!
- those hours you spend contemplating whether or not to end your text with a period, exclamation point, or nothing at all. #girlproblems
- that awkward moment when you say goodbye to someone and then you both end up walking the same direction. oh hey you, i guess we'll walk silently together and pretend this never happened...

little notes


dear jaymee dee,
your voice is smooth like butter. i may have had this playlist on repeat for...well, ever since i've been awake today. in love.

dear birthday weekend,
you were oh so amazing on my youthful soul, but not so good to my scale. i think i've gained a good 10 pounds in yummy cake pops, mexican food, chocolate treats, steak fries, pie, cake, and more cake. and apart of me doesn't mind at all.

dear hubby,
all of these little cuddle sessions / naps on the couch lately have been really nice. keep it up cowboy!

dear seattle,
it looks like i'll be seeing you again earlier than planned. in just a few short weeks i'll be encompassed in your rain drops, my dog, and some good home cooking. this makes me want to bust out to chris daughtry's, "home". i bet you're all singing it in your head now. your welcome ;)

dear P90x,
i started you up yesterday and my abs have taken the toll. laughing, coughing, and just sitting up claim to be too much for me to handle. please, work out gods, help me to stay motivated to do this again.

dear jennifer lawrence,
you were absolutely flawless in the hunger games. girl crush of the week, month, heck, year, goes to you!

mullet skirt


i have been on a man hunt for my mullet skirt (business in the front, party in the back). and i found it!! on my birthday none-the-less. along with this cute little sailor top, as i'd like to say.

i know a few of you on instagram (and at church) were wondering where i found these little gems. brace yourselves....f21! shout out to my baby SIL for her hawk eyes at spotting these. usually this store is a little overwhelming for my taste. but thanks to her, i'm a believer again. i forgot how much i looooved shopping. this is great for my wardrobe. not so good for the mister's wallet.

speaking of the mister, he took the above pictures. my little photographer.
happy 8 months my love!!! ::kisses::

insta-birthday snippets


the birthday has come and gone. and it was just so perfect celebrating with my new, beautiful family. filled with lots of family phone calls, flower crowns, desserts, kisses, shopping, mexican food, more desserts, exploring park city,  bomb.com steak fries, movie cuddles, and lit candles.

the night ended "16 Candles" style with the hubs surprising me with a delicious cake he made, topped with 24 (eeek) candles right before midnight, and sealed with a kiss. cutest thing ever.

happy weekend!

happy friday everyone! it's been a few sunny, spring filled days in a row here and yet i've been camped inside blogging, reading, eating left over early birthday cake, doing dishes, husband eats, doing more dishes. you know, the fun stuff. i've also been playing around with painting nails and lipstick.
yes, i am a girl.

tomorrow we're going into full on party mode to celebrate my birthday, with a few little surprises in between. the baby sister-in-law is in town again which always makes everything better. more updates to come!

what are you up to this weekend?

p.s. if you just so happen to want to get me anything
for the big day, here are a few suggestions:

on my list (along with the whole jcrew spring catalog!)
and i'm always a fan of hand written cards!

awkward and awesome Thursdays



awkward
- that awkward moment for everyone when you laugh and snot comes shooting out your nose. oh hey, i thought we should take our relationship to the next level and swap snot. no thanks...
- frantically cleaning so a couple could come check out the house and realizing you left some //cough// underwear on the floor. let's just forget that ever happened mmmkay.
- singing happy birthday 5+ times in one sitting because no one could start on cue. does this mean i just aged 5 years?
- having the hubby show me this video and ask me the same question. if you are traveling 80mph, how long does it take to go 80 miles. needless to say i didn't pass. blonde moment #547.
- sitting next to that make-out couple at the theatre who then decide to make themselves even more noticed by laughing obnoxiously at scenes that don't even make sense. i grabbed my candy, munched away and decided they were the entertainment for the rest of the night.
- having one giant pimple invade your face. i swear it's smiling at me....

awesome
- want a chance to win a free large ad space on this here bloggy? go and sign up on the giveaway here.
- BIRTHDAY WEEKEND PEOPLE!!! this saturday! turning the ripe young age of 24, woo! i'll be celebrating with a midnight showing of the hunger games tonight, mexican food, cupcakes, and tubing in park city. best birthday ever!
- playing patty-cake with the hubs before bed last night. it's become a ritual. yes, we're 3.
- blasting out to demi lovato's "skyscraper" in the bathroom. i might have been envisioning myself singing on ellen. and by might, i mean definitely did. you know you like that song ... and ellen.
- it's supposed to get up to 70 degrees tomorrow people. 70 degrees.
- oh, did i mention the hunger games? yep, there's that.

little notes


dear stuffy nose,
all of this gag repulsing medicine i've been forcing down my throat is finally giving you the boot you deserve. i will no longer be taking the ability to breath through my nose for granted ever again. scouts honor.

dear hunger games trailer,
you have played every time i turn on the tv ... and i don't mind one bit. my excitement rises just knowing i'll be watching you, FINALLY, tomorrow night. hunger games overload (hence some of the soundtrack found above. enjoy).

dear mr. taylor,
i love your sweet nature towards me and all those around you. and i love that you call me ahead of time to let me know you've had a not so good day. little updates like this never hurt ;)

dear new readers,
you guys are incredible! just remember, once hitting 1,000 followers we will do another q&a session. i know a lot of you have some burning questions because my inbox is full of them. spread the word!!

dear not so nice people,
hate can only take you so far.

dear pie pops,
you came into my life just yesterday and already i'm obsessed. emily, please come over and make me some for my birthday. just wanting to add to my calorie count. nom nom nom.

dear pretty pimple that decided to invade the tip of my nose,
as much as i have enjoyed your presence (no wait, i take that back, i have hated you from the beginning), you are kind of putting a damper on all of my future photos i plan on taking this weekend. there's only so much make-up one can use before it becomes cartoony. no amount of very bright lipstick or the tricky smokey eye can detract from you. in the words of charlotte york, "i curse the day you were born"!

dear sienna miller,
oh gosh, your cute little baby bump has me ITCHING for one of my own. now let's hope when the time comes i'll look just as cute and fashionable as you. finger's crossed.

blog love: Shades of Gray

"hey you guuuuuys" (yes, like the Goonies), i'm so excited to introduce you to my last sponsor for the month of March, the lovely Amira from Shades of Gray. if she's new on your radar she won't be for long. this girl has some rockin' style, get's creative in the kitchen all while taking amazing pictures of the things that surround her: her man and her four legged daughter. whaaa? yep, read on...
xo TJ

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What are five words to describe your personality? 
Weird, inquisitive, affectionate, spunky and passionate 


Why did you decide to start blogging?
Initially my little blog was just for family and friends. My husband (boyfriend at the time) Brandon and I took a 3 week trip to Europe and wanted to share our trip pictures with everyone back home. We got engaged while we were there, so it quickly turned into a wedding planning blog (still just for family and friends). After the wedding, I missed blogging and decided to continue to document my first year as a newlywed. About five months ago, I decided to go "public" with my blog and have absolutely fallen in love with the blogging community and have "met" some of the most incredible women. I'm hoping to print my blog at the end of the year so my husband and I will always have my memories and pictures in print. 
How did you name your blog?
It was originally called Wanderlust (a great desire to travel). Once I got married and became Mrs. Gray, I figured my blog could use a new name too. Thus, Shades of Gray was born. In the corniest way possible, my blog is a reflection of the different shades that make up ME, Mrs. Gray. 


What are some of your favorite blogs?
This kind of feels like choosing my favorite child! I have so many favorites. A couple of my daily reads are:


What do you do when you are not blogging?
I work full-time for a biotech company, and I'm also in grad school for Library Science. So when I'm not at work, or writing a paper, I really like to relax. I'm pretty much a little old lady trapped in a 28 year old's body. My perfect night consists of pajamas, lots of blankets, my favorite movie (or a good book), and some delicious food (because food makes everything better). I also really enjoy photography and trying new restaurants. 
You are quite the little traveler. What has been your favorite place to visit so far? 
Oh this is a tough one because the places I've been vary so drastically from each other. I think my favorite would have to be Venice, Italy. I spent three days there and they were filled with pasta, phenomenal views, old architecture and more pasta. Walking through the narrow labyrinth of streets, eating fresh bread and smiling at cute Italian boys is something a girl could get used to.  (Amsterdam reminded me of Venice in A LOT of ways, but we visited in the coldest part of December so that made it a bit less enjoyable than Venice.) 


Tell us a little about your tattooed hubby and four-legged daughter!
Haha, my tattooed hubby is Brandon. He's one of those annoying types that seem to do everything well. He had a trillion hobbies when we met (taught surf camp, tutored elementary students, sang in a band, restored old cars, welded and sold furniture) which made me feel like the most boring person alive. He is now an attorney practicing employment law.  We brought Lucy home about 4 years ago when she was a little tiny puppy and I've been wrapped around her tiny paw ever since. She's the sweetest, most loving dog you'll ever meet. But only if you're a human. If you're a dog she'll probably be really mean to you. She's kinda jealous like that and wants to be the only four-legged creature in our lives.
In one post you wrote hunky Ryan Gosling speaks librarian. Care to elaborate?
Haha, one of my readers pointed out a "Hey Girl" website geared towards librarians! Since I'm studying to be a librarian, this was the most exciting discovery I've made all month. (Maybe even all year.) 

You have never lived anywhere else then southern California. Where's one place you are dying to live? 
I would love to live on the East Coast just once in my life. Somewhere like New York City, or DC, or even a tiny town in Maine. I just want to experience a different culture than so cal. I also have dreams of experiencing the south. I want to sit on a big porch in the fall, drinking sweet tea surrounded by huge trees. I'm also curious about Portland, Orgeon and Austin, Texas :-) 


What are your future goals? 
First and foremost, I want to finish school. I'll have my Master's this December! Then I would love to get started on making little Grays :-)
Photobucket




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yeah...i know, she's kind of perfect. now, what are you waiting for? go make Amira's day and check out her amazing blog!! 
you know you want to!

manic monday

it's just another manic monday people. and like all of you, as all weekends end, i'm just never quite ready for the doom monday brings. and now that i have no Bachelor to watch how am i ever going to pass the time. so to all of you who actually have busy lives - getting back to work, back to school, back to reality - whatever your day, we all deserve a little smile. 
without further adieu, let me introduce the....

MANIC.MONDAY.TURN.AROUND
(all things funny and bright)



want to make everyone's day lighter? link up and make someone smile :)

sponsor


want to sponsor mr. taylor and his lady for the month of April?
check out your options here and shoot me an email at:

mr.taylorandhislady [at] gmail [dot] come

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psst ... if you are hungry for more, our engagement session was featured over here on the
salt lake / park city bride & groom website.
yay!

being sick


you guys!!! i honestly feel like i'm dying. it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

first i woke up early to a very scratched throat, killing every time i swallow, sneeze, talk, .... really anything.

yesterday i woke up with a massive stuffy nose, on top of the soar throat, plugged ears, and head pounding.

thank goodness for my mister who bought me every kind of soup possible, every medicine possible, and a little "breaking dawn" for entertainment.

so i may be a little m.i.a. on the blogger commenting. just resting up. looking like a delirious rudolph the red nose reindeer. missing you all. i promise, awkward and awesome thursdays will be back next week.

little notes


dear playlist,
you are kind of groovy. i'll keep you around for a while.

dear self,
always remember that love is a sign of lightness, and fear is of darkness. aim for the light.

dear jennifer lawrence,
you have officially become my new girl crush. i love how you don't take yourself too seriously, and confidently tower over the lovely peeta!!

dear readers,
you are all rockstars! just a few more away from the magic 900. hoping to hit 1,000 by the blogs one year anniversary next month. spread the word!

dear fandango,
we're in a fight right now. because of you i was unable to buy my birthday present to myself - midnight hunger games tickets. lucky for you the mister figured it all out. but this love/hate relationship continues.

dear iphone,
although i love you and always have you attached at my hip, all of these unnecessary / unwanted phone calls and emails as of late have me wanting to throw you out the window. nothing personal.

dear soar throat,
please start feeling better. you're making it hard every time i have to talk, swallow, sneeze...pretty much anything that has to do with my every day life. miserable.

dear The Bachelor,
hands down worst season yet. really wanting to skip ahead four weeks to the US Weekly cover about what went wrong. it's inevitable.

dear Seattle,
i've been thinking about you a lot lately. can't wait to be in your rain showers in just a few short months.
"there's no place like home."

blog love: Rouge & Whimsy

everyone, meet erika. erika, meet everyone. honestly though people, if you haven't stopped by Rouge & Whimsy yet it is a must because she is a must! not only is she creative with her etsy shop, but her and her adorable hubby take it up a notch with their hilarious humor, and her amazing fashion sense. 
so let's get whisked away with erika! 
xo TJ

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What are five words to describe your personality? 
creative + passionate + scattered + loving + joyful


Why did you decide to start blogging? 
I've always loved writing and I started a more personal blog shortly after getting married. I started blogging about less personal, day-to-day things and more about my side interest: fashion, creating, etc. It made sense to drop the personal blog and move to one just for me!



How did you name your blog? 
I love French culture and "rouge" is French for red. (I have red hair.) Plus I think that my personality is pretty creative, whimsical and I hope that my blog is a place of whimsy and happines for readers. Hence-- rouge & whimsy! 


What are some of your favorite blogs? 
I can never pick one! But currently I am loving Julie Ann Art, (julieannart.com), just lovely things (justlove.ly), lollipops (lollipopscards.com)  


What do you do when you are not blogging? 
work! :/ but that's boring to talk about-- so I love to cook and experiment with new recipes, sleep!, harass my puppy and hang out with the husband and friends.



A fellow Seattlite, I love it! Where are you favorite go-to spots in the city? (because you and I both know it doesn't rain ALL the time, ha)  
I LOVE Seattle. And yes, it doesn't rain all the time-- it just is gray a lot. But I love Ballard -- a sweet, funky neighborhood that has a great cafes , cobblestone streets, cute shops and a Sunday farmers' market!


You have yourself an etsy shop. What got you started in that? 
I've always been creative-- sewing, crafting, writing, whatever and selling things that I design and make seems like a great extension. I just launched a line of purses that I'm really excited about!




I just adore all your little DIY tutorials. What has been your favorite so far? 
Gosh I don't know! Probably making my doily banner! It's hanging across my living room window and makes me happy every time I see it! 


I'm a sucker for love stories. Tell us a little bit about you and your cute hubby! 
My hubby is very cute and so supportive of me! We met in college. I came home and he was studying business calculus with my roommate. Later we ended up chatting in the kitchen and became very good friends that started dating a few months later! We dated all through college and he proposed to me my senior year. (He's a year older than me.)


What are your future goals? 
Gosh-- I have so many! I would love my bags to be more successful, my blog to be more successful. I want to live a very creative life and ultimately get paid to do so. And have some kids along the way and travel more as well. :)


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so now that we've all gotten acquainted, let's all travel over and say a little hello to the lovely miss erika!

insta-weekend


don't you just LOVE seeing all that blue sky?!

this last week was quite a difficult one for the mister and i. with all of his studying, school work and internships we didn't get to see each other as much as we would have liked. so this weekend i was ready to keep him all to myself. but the sun was shining, and there was no way we could pass that up. saturday morning we slept in until eleven, grabbed some delicious crepes for brunch at the cutest outdoor restaurant, The Awful Waffle, played a little frisbee golf and hopscotch with some friends (yes, we are five), and ended the night with some yummy chinese food, late night tv watching and cuddles.
thank you saturday, we needed you!

a little feature


(circa 2009)

it's every girl's dream ...
to talk about them self and their love.

head on over to the lovely The Magnolia Pair and check out a behind the scenes look into the hubs and i's relationship while he served his mission, along with some awkward emails, pictures and a happy ending. cause you know, it wouldn't be a mr. taylor and his lady post without a bit of awkwardness.

happy friday!!!!

birthday ideas


okay, i know some of you are a little disappointed that you are not finding an awkward and awesome thursday's post up today. but my mind has been consumed with everything birthdays. and poor mr. taylor, i'm putting all this stress on him to figure out the perfect way to celebrate the big 2-4. 
so i thought maybe we could help a mister out. 

calling all utah girls, party planners, or any creative minds!

what are some fun, light hearted and relatively inexpensive ways to celebrate a girls golden/star birthday?
all i know is i want one of these giant round balloons to make an appearance. 
along with some twinkle lights, a handmade fort and lots, and LOTS of desserts. 
is that too much to ask? ::winks::

little notes



dear biebs,
ever since your 18th birthday (and now making you legal) you somehow became more attractive, resulting in my pandora being on the justin bieber radio station non stop. hence the above playlist. no shame.

dear The Bachelor,
the women tell all's episode was quite explosive. i had no idea all the ladies were not big blakely fans. samantha needed a little muzzle. monica needed to tone it down a notch. why was jenna there? and courtney was crying for herself and not for the other girls. i just don't care anymore because i am pretty confident that her and ben will NEVER last. but you better believe i will be watching the finale and the final rose next week. i have to watch this train wreck all the way through.

dear hubby,
brownies and goldfish do not count as a quality lunch and dinner. i must be lacking in the kitchen. sorry boo boo.

dear new readers,
you are all pretty rockin'. i'm thinking it's time to do another open q&a post soon. perhaps once i reach that magic number of 1,000? spread the word!

dear Downton Abbey,
i stayed up late watching all the episodes on pbs before season 2 expired. already DYING for more anna and mr. bates. how can you have us all wait until next year to see your faces again?

dear flying ants that seem to be invading my home,
honestly, where are you all coming from? the hubs is starting to get annoyed every time i reach for his shoes instead of mine to finish this dirty job.

dear lexi,
thanks for having us over and making such an incredible dinner. you and your man are pretty hilarious. i loved our random chats. sorry i messed up on the simple task of making the salad. honestly, who forgets the fiesta dressing? but i'm still waiting on that recipe of yours ;)

dear little bits of sunshine,
you were really nice to have the other day to walk around in. of course, i'm a little hesitant for your grand appearance because sun means flowers, and flowers mean bees. if you didn't know, i'm highly allergic. one of you suckers even tried popping me in the face the other day. that would not have been a pretty site.

dear twitter friends,
thank you for all your lovely messages and prayers. i'm still in need of them for a little bit longer. so much added stress the past few days. no fun.

laurenconrad.com

so really, i have no idea how i am just now finding out about this because lauren conrad is one of my ultimate girl crushes. no really. during the uprising of mtv's Laguna Beach, i was a total team LC fan. i mean really, who wasn't? and when The Hills came out, my girl crush continued as she ventured off and really made a name for herself with her fashion fingers and infamous single mascara tear.
okay, so you may all be wondering what this is about. i was reading up on some of my blogs and stumbled across a little announcement about lauren herself hosting a blogger contest for fashionistas. now, i am in no way saying that i am the most fashionable person around. and my blog definitely does not focus on that at all, but i like to think i'm a girl with some style.

so here's the deal:
- Lauren will present all contestants with a style challenge over the next 6 weeks.
- together with LaurenConrad.com members, lauren will choose a winner who will be a guest blogger, AND win some awesome prizes:

  • $500 worth of clothing from LC Lauren Conrad
  • an all expenses paid trip to the Kohl's Design Center in new york city where the winner will receive a glimpse into what happens behind-the-scenes of the LC Lauren Conrad collection
  • a day of pampering in new york city
  • personalized signed copy of Lauren Conrad Style
  • the winner will also serve as the official LaurenConrad.com guest blogger for three whole months!
bonus points for YOU:
  • anyone who votes or comments on the blogger contest posts or any Kohl's blogs will be automatically entered into a weekly prize drawing for a chance to win a $50 Kohl's gift certificate!
so click on the link (LaurenConrad.com post) to leave the link to my blog ::wink:: or any of your favorite fashion bloggers in the comment box. links will only be considered within the next 24 hours!!!

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