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A Hint Of Spring

Last week it felt like the groundhog was wrong and that spring had come early this year. We had a few days of glorious warm weather and I was so grateful for it! So of course I just had to throw on this pretty floral number that I recently got from Ruche. I had been avoiding the cold shoulder style for a while because I wasn’t sure if it was just going to be a quickly passing trend. It’s looking like it will be going strong through spring and summer, so I decided to go for it. When I saw this dress I fell in love with it’s floral print and ruffled sleeves and I knew it was the perfect piece to try out this trend. I am so drawn to super feminine pieces lately!

If you follow me on Instagram then you already know how obsessed I am with these shoes from Paige Avenue and I plan on wearing them every chance I get! They are a knock off of Free People shoes, and I don’t know about you, but Free People shoes are just not in my budget right now. The price point of these are amazing and they are super cute and comfortable (they do run big though, so size down). You will probably be seeing a lot of these shoes, so I apologize in advance. ;)

Unfortunately the spring like weather is gone (as I write this it is rainy and gloomy outside), but I’m thankful for the little hint of spring we were able to enjoy. We are getting ready to put our house up for sale (again!), so I might be a little quiet for the next couple of weeks. Prayers for a quick, easy sale and that we would find the perfect new home would be greatly appreciated. I’m not particularly good with change, so I’m just praying that this whole process is as quick and painless as possible. I should be a little more active on Instagram during this time if you would like to follow along.

Happy Wednesday and I’ll be back soon! :)

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Dress/from Ruche, Shoes/from Paige Avenue, Necklace/from Noonday Collection, Earrings/from Noonday Collection, Bracelet/from Noonday Collection

Truly, Tamara

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Finding Beauty In The Gray

Winter in Michigan can be so gray and depressing sometimes. Once all of the twinkly lights from Christmas have been taken down and put away, we are left with gray days that seem to go on forever. In my community group bible study we are going through Looking For Lovely by Annie Downs, which talks a lot about finding the beauty in every day. It can help us persevere through challenging seasons and gives us hope for brighter days ahead. So that’s what I’m doing to help me get through these gray days of winter, even if it’s something as simple as enjoying my morning cup of coffee, reading a good book or putting on a pretty floral dress. Even on the hardest days there is always something beautiful if you look for it and it will help give you the courage to keep pressing on.

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Dress/from Dallas & Dottie Boutique, Boots/from Target, Choker/from Avenle, Necklace/from The Giving Keys, Earrings/from Noonday Collection (on sale!), Bracelet/from Noonday Collection

Truly, Tamara

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Another New Year

Happy New Year, friends! I realize that it is already the 9th of January, but seeing as this is my first post of 2017 I thought I would share a couple of my goals for the year. Here’s the truth, I’ve never been very good at New Year’s resolutions. I usually make the typical ones; you know like lose weight, save money and those kinds of things. Like so many people, I stick to them for a few weeks and then totally fall off the wagon. Before I know it, the year is over and I’m left reflecting on all of the things I didn’t accomplish. It’s sad really……to see another year pass and still not be the person I want to be, the person I know I could be if I really actually tried. I know that God has a plan for my life and that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, but I also know that He has given me talents and gifts to hopefully make some sort of difference in this one life we get. I am the only one who can control the choices that I make everyday, the only one who can do the work necessary to achieve my dreams. After that it’s in God’s hands, but I don’t want to sit on the sidelines anymore looking at other peoples lives and watching them work towards their dreams. So I decided that this year was going to be different and I’ve started using Lara Casey’s PowerSheets (which are sadly sold out, but you can still find a ton of helpful information here). PowerSheets help you uncover purpose-filled goals and plan action steps to make what matters happen. It’s just about taking intentional little by little steps everyday towards making your goals happen. The idea is that those little steps add up to big change! In the past when I have gotten off track with my goals I would just say forget it and throw them out the window, but this way of goal setting is filled with so much grace. If you fail, you just hit the reset button and try again. Eventually you will look back and see how far you’ve come.

On to a couple of goals that I have uncovered through this process……I have to be honest, I’m a little nervous to share these. These are things that I would usually just talk with my family or really close friends about, but I wanted to share them to hopefully encourage you to work towards big dreams too. Also, if I put them out there it gives me some accountability to do the work necessary to achieve these dreams.

1). To be in the best shape I’ve ever been in by the time I’m Forty – I know, I know, you must be thinking, “Forty! That’s years and years away!” ;). No friends, it’s time for me to admit my age on here and forty is just two short years away. I turned thirty-eight in December and getting older has been harder for me than I ever thought it would be (that’s something else I’m working on and a conversation for another time). I know that this sounds like any other fitness goal that you make at the beginning of every year, but this time my “why” is different. This isn’t just about losing weight (though I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of it), it’s more about wanting to be strong and healthy. Heart problems run in my family and the older I get, the more I start to think about prevention and strengthening my heart. Two years might seem like a long time, but I want my progress to be slow and steady and something that will actually stick. When I get to forty I truly want my age to just be a number and to feel younger and stronger than I’ve ever felt before. Now here’s the embarrassing truth, it’s January 9th and today is the first day that I have worked out this year! Remember what I said about grace and little by little steps? ;) I’ll get there.

2). I want to own my own clothing boutique  – This one is BIG and crazy! I really don’t have the first clue of how to make this happen, but it’s something God has put on my heart. My love of fashion is no secret and I want to be a source of encouragement and inspiration to other women. Owning a boutique would allow me to interact and create community with other women, while helping them to feel like their best and most confident selves through the outfits they wear. A cute outfit has always been able to transform my mood and help me feel like I can conquer the day and I want to help other women feel that same way. Believe me, I know that what we look like on the outside is not the most important thing, but it’s amazing how clothes can make you feel beautiful inside and out. What are my next steps? I’m not sure exactly, but this year is for researching and planning. Even though it probably won’t happen this year, I want to take the small intentional steps towards making it happen and see what kind of doors God might open. My hands are open, I’m going to do the work and then give it over to God. In the meantime I will continue to try an build an engaged online community through the blog and social media. My hope is to really get to know you and build real relationships so that we can encourage and lift each other up.

So there you have it, two of my biggest and loftiest goals for this year. I feel kind of naked and exposed, but I really wanted to be transparent and authentic. Maybe my vulnerability will help you have the courage to share your big dreams with someone you trust and take the steps toward making them happen. Even if it’s just admitting them to yourself, that’s a step in the right direction. We can do big, hard things if we just do the work (preaching to myself a little here too)! I would love to hear some of your goals for the new year. Let me know in the comments below or connect with me through email or social media. I would be honored to chat with you about your big dreams. Happy New Year! I think 2017 is going to be a good year. :)

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Dress/from Ruche, Shoes/from Old Navy (sold out) ~ similar here, Earrings/from Noonday Collection, Bracelet/from Noonday Collection

Truly, Tamara

 

Linking with #iwillwearwhatilike & What I Wore Wednesday
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White Christmas

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It looks like we are going to have a white Christmas and I couldn’t be happier about it! I don’t typically love the snow and cold, but this time of year I make an exception. The snow really is so beautiful, but it makes life difficult. So when Christmas is over it can all go away. I’m especially excited because my sister and her family are going to be here for Christmas this year. They live in Georgia and I don’t get to see them often, so I’m really looking forward to being together and making some Christmas memories. I think they are actually a little more excited about the snow that I am since they don’t see much in Georgia. Maybe Santa sent the snow just for them. ;)

Isn’t this green velvet dress the most perfect Christmas dress?! It’s like the Christmas dress I’ve always dreamed of! It came in the mail the day we got all of this snow and I just knew I had to make use of the gorgeous backdrop. Even though it was only 28 degrees and I was freezing, it was totally worth it. I just love the way these pictures turned out. I plan on wearing this dress to church on Christmas Eve and pairing with a cute pair of heels (seen in this blog post). Hopefully I won’t be wading through too many snow piles that night!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas surrounded by the ones you love!

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Dress/from Paige Avenue, Boots/from Hunter Boots, Choker/from The Shine Project, Cubist Necklace/from Noonday Collection, Palace Earrings/from Noonday Collection

Truly, Tamara

 

Linking with #iwillwearwhatilike & What I Wore Wednesday
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For the Love of Plaid

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It’s that time of year again, the time when I go crazy for all things plaid. It’s such a classic print and it never really goes out of style. I think my love for plaid originated in my horseback riding days when tartan prints were such a huge part of the English riding style. It also always makes me think of the holidays and dressing up in warm cozy layers. Whatever the reason though, I love it and I just had to add this plaid tunic dress to my collection. Also, I really love anything with elbow patches. ;) This dress is so comfortable and versatile, it would be perfect for an afternoon coffee date or even dressed up for a night out on the town. In this look I added a camel colored blazer which makes it perfect for a day at the office. If you work in a more conservative (or colder) atmosphere just add a pair of black tights and some heels or even a dressier flat. There really are so many ways to style this adorable dress!

I’m all about getting the most milage out of your clothes and making them work for many different occasions. I think that sometimes we can get stuck in a rut with our clothes and need inspiration for new ways to wear them. If you would like to see this dress or any other pieces styled for a specific occasion, let me know in the comments below. Im always up for a challenge! :)

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Dress/from Dallas & Dottie Boutique, Blazer/from Old Navy (Camel color is sold out), Boots/from Old Navy, Jewelry/from Noonday Collection: Parlor Earrings & Fringed Crescent Necklace

Truly, Tamara

 

Linking with #iwillwearwhatilike & What I Wore Wednesday
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Burgundy Suede Dress

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Happy Monday friends! I have been sick for almost the past two weeks, but I’m finally on my way back to the land of the living and I am so happy to be on the mend. It’s not so bad to be confined to your bed for a couple of days, but a couple of weeks? Not so much. Life is starting to get back to normal and I am so thankful!

Today I am back with another adorable dress from Dallas & Dottie Boutique. I have gotten so many cute pieces from D & D recently (you can read a little more about this local Michigan boutique here) and I’m excited to share more of them with you in upcoming blog posts. This burgundy suede dress is so on trend for fall. We are seeing a lot of this deep burgundy color and I love it combined with the rich texture of the suede fabric. Even though this dress is sleeveless, something about suede evokes warmth to me and makes it perfect for this time of year. We actually took these pictures a few weeks ago when it was a little warmer and there were still green leaves on the trees. Now that the cooler weather seems like it might be here to stay (although you never know in Michigan – fingers crossed that I’m wrong) I will just add some tights and a sweater as we transition into winter.

I hope you are all staying healthy and enjoying this beautiful time of year. As much as I love summer, I do love being warm and cozy indoors, settling in and nesting with the ones I love. Come January I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune, but for now I’m embracing the change in seasons. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week?! Then Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye! I am so not ready…….are you?

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Dress/from Dallas & Dottie Boutique, Hat/from Target (From last year. Similar here & here), Boots/from Payless, Bag & Jewelry from/Noonday Collection: Exploration Bag, Charmed Brass Necklace, Daybreak Earrings, Very Versatile Bracelet

Truly, Tamara

 

Linking with #iwillwearwhatilike & What I Wore Wednesday
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Plaid Peplum Blouse

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I was planning to post another outfit today, but when I realized that I was going to be posting this on Halloween I decided to put together a more festive look. While it doesn’t scream Halloween, this plaid peplum blouse from Avenle gives the subtle nod I was looking for. I just love the warm fall colors and it is so comfortable! The fabric is soft and stretchy without looking sloppy and the peplum adds just the right amount of femininity. If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know how much I love Avenle. Andrea, the owner of this adorable online boutique, always curates the most amazing pieces! You can see their fall collection here.

By the way, has anyone noticed that I have worn jeans in two blog posts now? Who am I?! In the past I have primarily worn dresses/skirts, but lately I find myself more drawn to styling looks around jeans/pants. One of the many reasons I love having this blog is to be able to look back and see how my style has changed. Although I don’t think it has been a huge change, it’s fun to see how it has evolved and Im sure will continue to evolve.

I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween! Don’t eat too much candy. ;)

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Blouse/from Avenle, Jeans/from Old Navy, Boots/from Target, Jewelry & Bag/from Noonday Collection: Rustic Leather Tote, Traveler Necklace, Metallic Pearls Earrings, Emblem Bracelet

Truly, Tamara

 

Linking with #iwillwearwhatilike & What I Wore Wednesday
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Off The Shoulder Dresses and Sunflower Fields

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Well I finally did it, I gave in and tried the off the shoulder trend that has been running rampant through the fashion world lately. When I first started noticing this trend, I really liked it, but wasn’t sure I could pull it off. I’m getting to the point in my life where I’m starting to question if I’m getting too old for certain fashion trends and this was one of them. I really hate feeling this way, because I’ve always been someone who has said, “If you like it, wear it!”. Why does it matter how old we are? If we feel comfortable wearing a certain style then we should wear it. As women it is so hard not to conform to what society thinks we should look like or what we should be wearing at a certain age. I hate that I worry about what people think of me and how I look! I never used to be this way, but for some reason the older I get, the more these insecurities have started to pop up. This is such a new and foreign feeling for me and I’ve decided to fight against it. I refuse to let my age become such a part of my identity that I let it hold me back from doing or wearing anything. I have to constantly remind myself that my identity and self worth has nothing to do with what I look like or what I wear. As someone who loves fashion, this is very easy to lose sight of and it’s something I struggle with and pray about every single day. So the best way I know to fight back against these insecurities is to take my own advice and just keep wearing what I like……….And I really like this off the shoulder dress! You better watch out, you’re probably going to be seeing a lot more of my shoulders around here! ;)

Isn’t this sunflower field gorgeous?! It’s kind of sad because it’s so close to my house, but I always forget about it. Thankfully a friend reminded me about it this year and I was able to get these pictures before they stopped blooming. Looking at this field of sunflowers made me think of Matthew 6:26-28: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers in the field grow. They do not labor or spin.” This is such a beautiful reminder to let go of the worry and anxiety that so easily creeps in. God loves you and he’s got this! :)

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Dress/from Target, Boots/from Target, Jewelry/from Noonday Collection: Paper Dreams Necklace, Firelight Orange, Palace Earrings, Emblem Bracelet

Truly, Tamara

 

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Tobi // Part 3

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Hey friends, today I am back with the last post of a three part series in collaboration with Tobi. Something about this shift dress drew me to it and I just love how light and feminine it is. I love to take an ultra feminine dress and give it a little edge, so I added these brown engineer boots that ended up giving the look a little more of a western vibe. I decided to embrace the more western feel and accessorize with this fringe pendant necklace and added one of my favorite bags to complete the look. The light neutral color of this dress really gives you unlimited options of how it can be styled. Next time I think I will play up the femininity a little more by adding some heels and more color.

Can we just talk about these engineer boots from Target for a second?! They are a total knock off of the Frye harness boots for just a fraction of the cost! They are real leather and for the price I couldn’t be happier with them. If you’ve been wanting the Frye boots, but just can’t justify the cost, I highly suggest you give these a try.

How is it Monday again?! I always feel so old when I say things like that, but seriously, where does the time go? I’m praying that this week slows down just a little and that we can get outside and start enjoying this beautiful fall weather we have been having. I think it’s about time for our annual visit to the cider mill, cider and donuts are calling my name! ;) What fall activities are you looking forward to?

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Dress c/o Tobi, Boots/from Target, Watch/from Fossil, Bag and Jewelry/from Noonday Collection: Great Escape Bag, Artifact Necklace, Leather Leaf Earrings, & the Metric Cuff

*Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Truly, Tamara

 

Linking with #iwillwearwhatilike & What I Wore Wednesday
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Winter Is Coming

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Today is an exciting day friends! It is launch day for Noonday Collection’s winter line and I’m so happy to be able to finally share it with you! All of these beautiful cozy knit pieces are made out of soft alpaca blend yarns by our artisan partners in Peru. For centuries alpaca wool has been used to keep the Peruvian people warm and that tradition is being brought to you in these gorgeous handmade knits that will be sure to keep you warm and cozy all winter long. My absolute favorite piece from this line is this beautiful Sageflower Shawl! I love this sage green that we seem to be seeing everywhere right now, it is a really neutral color that will go with so much this season. I am one of those girls who is always cold, so I know this piece will be a wardrobe staple during our ridiculously long Michigan winter. At least I can be warm and look cute at the same time! ;)

There are so many other cute things and this year they have added some Christmas items, including a set of adorable ornaments that have been hand-stitched in countries around the world! I don’t know about you, but I love having ornaments on my Christmas tree that I know helped to create dignified jobs in vulnerable communities. Loving others just as Jesus loves us, isn’t that the whole point of this upcoming holiday season? All of these items really are the gifts that keep on giving. Some of my other favorites pieces are pictured below, including that gorgeous leather crossbody bag! You can shop the entire Winter line here.

Truly,

Tamara

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Outfit Details….Shawl/from Noonday Collection, Jeans/from Target, Boots/from Payless, Jewelry/from Noonday Collection: Revelry Earrings, Droplet Necklace, Gold, Trio Bangle, Grapefruit, Trio Bangle, Olive & the Metric Cuff

Truly, Tamara

 

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