Hello. I'm Lisa Taylor, an integrated copywriter of all sorts of stuff. Except vanity license plates. I just don't get the appeal.

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How were your holidays?

Mine looked a lot like this.

Merry Christmas!!! #8yo

A photo posted by Lisa Taylor (@taylorwriting) on

10 Tips for Wrapping Good Presents Really Badly

The thought definitely matters. The presentation? Well, that’s up for grabs. So I’ve created 10 tips for wrapping those perfectly thoughtful presents a little less than perfectly. Okay, okay a lot less:

1. Don’t buy enough wrapping paper

Nothing says Merry Christmas like neon Happy Birthday paper. This will lead into a natural discussion of the birth of Christ and the reason Christmas exists in the first place. It’ll be like you planned it. Almost.

Because I live in fear of this scenario, I have the reverse problem:

2. Don’t buy enough “Santa” paper

Santa’s favorite method of wrapping is a stocking. He fills it with small items curated by elves and calls it a night. If Santa also chooses to use wrapping paper on larger gifts in your house, be sure to he’s stocked up. A half wrapped sled is sadder than a sled wrapped in its entirety.


3. Don’t buy enough gift-wrap tape

See #4.


4. If it has adhesive on one side, consider it gift-wrap tape

This includes masking, duct, packaging, painter’s, medical and athletic varieties as they can all get the job done. Band-Aids work too, but if you have to resort to them you’ve reached a new low, friends.


5. Accidentally purchase reusable adhesive tape

You’ve got more than enough tape. Hooray! However, you discover at 10:30pm on Christmas Eve that what looks like normal gift-wrap tape is actually the repositionable kind with Sticky Note-style adhesive. Turns out Sticky Notes aren’t all that sticky. This will not end well.


6. Find those adorably festive gift tags December 26th

But you’ll so totally use them next year!


7. Spill alcohol on a present

You only need to rewrap if it absorbs before you wipe it off.


8. Bleed on a present

Wrapping paper cuts sting. However, wounds from its cardboard tube gouge far deeper. Good thing you have Band-Aids.


9. Hide at least one present so well you lose it completely

With any luck, it’ll turn up right before a birthday.


10. Don’t wrap Santa’s presents until the last possible minute

Late night fatigue leads to impatience which leads to gifts getting wrapped progressively worse. The plus side? Leaving Santa’s for last means there’s someone other than you to take the heat.

In the end, it doesn’t matter whether your presents look like they have been wrapped by magical Pinterest elves or angry trolls. The most important thing is a room full of smiles on Christmas morning.

In praise of disposable cameras.

I remember being excited to get an iPhone mostly for its camera taking capabilities. You mean I can see my pictures, here and now? Sweet (but expensive)! I held out awhile but finally purchased one during the third trimester of my second pregnancy. However, I didn’t tweet my birth.

That was over five years ago and now I’m starting to feel that all the instant seeing, editing, cropping and filtering is too much. Too many pictures are too edited into some idea of perfection and immediately posted. If the lighting on your breakfast croissant isn’t quite right, you can change it. Also, years ago, I had photo albums. Actual books of my photos with pages of that adhesive paper and clear film that never stays flat after you pull it up once. For years I put nearly every picture I developed in one. Now, aside from my children’s school projects, I hardly ever print pictures anymore. I take tons, but I stopped printing them en masse when my first child was around two. He’s eight.

I fell out of love with printed photos because I know what’s in that processing envelope before I open it. That is, until recently.

Inspired by my son’s preschool that gives their “Star of the Week” a disposable camera to document their special status, I started giving both of my sons their own.

“Take some pictures,” I tell them.

I’ve found that when my kids have a disposable camera in their hands they look around. Take things in. They don’t ask to play Angry Birds (as much). And after our Disney trip last year, their developed pictures were a delightful stack of surprises.

My dad lost in Animal Kingdom.

Sure, the camera itself is ugly. As are some of the photos. But for every few not-so-great pictures, you see something that makes you smile. Or laugh out loud. You get a peek at what someone found fascinating at that exact point in time. And not only do you get to see it from their perspective, you have to wait to see it. And once you do, you can put it in a photo album. Well, eventually.

A non-Angry Birds bird. Yes!

Elephant butts = picture worthy

So that’s what I look like speaking to the concierge upon arrival.

I think Giraffes are cool. My eight year old agrees.

And this one simply looks like child wonder.

Oh, disposable cameras, you’ve charmed me. And Lena Dunham, too. She thinks you’re thrilling enough to post on Instagram.


Clandestine cookie dough eaters, unite!

Scary Mommy

Then put down the wooden spoon, back away from the bowl and check out my 15 Thing I Tell My Kids Not to Do (But Do Myself) post on scarymommy.com.


“If this isn’t love, I don’t know what is.” -my husband

Here’s to dads!

For the record, those power lines are nowhere near his head like my iPhone photography would lead you to believe. And he ended up knocking the toy airplane down with a Nerf football.