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Hello Again

Floral Midi Skirt1

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Floral Midi Skirt2

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Tulip Necklace

Hello, it’s been awhile! I’ve been thinking about how to write this post for a while now and I’ve been a little (ok, a lot) stumped. Should I just jump back into writing blog posts, like I haven’t been MIA for five months, or should I explain why I took the time off? Ultimately, I decided to do the latter. I named this blog Truly, Tamara because I wanted this to be a space where I could share my authentic self and hopefully encourage others to do the same. If I didn’t explain my absence I wouldn’t be living up to that.

Blogging is hard. I don’t mean the actual act of blogging (although that’s not super easy either), I mean the self inflicted pressure it put on me to be perfect (or at least appear perfect). Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I ever did appear perfect. In fact I know I was far from it, and that was the problem. I would constantly look at other blogs and Instagram feeds and I’m ashamed to say, would get caught up in the ugly comparison trap. I didn’t feel like I was ever going to live up to all of those other beautiful blogs I would read and it was really effecting me in a bad way. I was having a hard time being happy for other people’s success, because I was jealous of what they had and what I thought I would never live up to. It’s shameful, I know, but I just couldn’t shake it! I hated feeling that way and it was taking the joy out of blogging and creating away from me. So after seeking advice, I decided to take some time off to get myself together and figure out if this is something that truly makes me happy. And you know what? I missed it. I missed the creative outlet it gives me and the community that it can provide. I just needed to take a step back and figure out what I wanted my focus to be and why I was doing it.

So here I am, basically starting over. The primary focus will still be on personal style, because that’s what I love and what allows me to express myself creatively, but I want it to be about more than that. I’ve come a long way and learned a lot in the last five months, but I still have a long way to go. I don’t have it all figured out yet, I just know that I want this to be a safe space to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. A space to talk about successes and struggles, a place where I can be my true self and be honest when I don’t have it all together. I hope you will be a part of that too. I hope we can create a community to share, support and celebrate each other. And most importantly, love each other in spite of our brokenness.

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Skirt/from Avenle, Shirt/from Target, Necklace c/o Avenle, Shoes/thrifted, Wristlet/from Forever 21 (old)

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

Truly, Tamara

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Autumn Florals

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Florals were everywhere this past summer and I’m so happy to see the trend continue through the autumn and winter. Not that I wouldn’t just wear them anyway even if they weren’t “in-style”, but the fact that they are still so on trend just means that they are very easy to find and that makes me happy. I’m really loving the deeper hues we are seeing in the autumn florals, they just feel so warm and rich. Perfect for the cold weather we have been having in Michigan. I fell in love with this dress from Avenle the moment I saw it, so when they had a sale a few weeks ago I just had to snatch it up! It’s beautiful orange and black floral print is unlike anything I had seen before and has such a vintage feel. I’ve also been trying to branch out, away from my usual fit & flare style and to embrace my curves with more fitted silhouettes. Even though this dress is form fitting, it is made out of the softest full stretch knit and is so comfortable. After we took these pictures, I remembered that I have the cutest orange crocheted cape that I got from a local boutique last year and it is so perfect for this dress. I’m bummed that I didn’t wear it for these photos, but I guess that means I’ll just have to re-style it for another blog post.

I don’t know what has gotten into me, but I have been in major nesting mode lately! I have had an incredible urge to cook, clean, and rearrange the house, which is so not like me. I guess it must be the colder weather and the fact that winter is coming. I think that I am so scarred from last year’s horrible winter that I am subconsciously preparing to hibernate by making the house feel and smell as cozy as possible. Has anyone else been feeling this way? I would love to know I’m not alone with this crazy behavior. I’m like a frantic squirrel storing away nuts for the winter ;).

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….Dress/from Avenle, Cardigan/from Forever 21 (old, similar), Boots/from Old Navy (last year, similar), Tights/from Target, Necklace/old

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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Happy Halloween

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Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, second only to Christmas. I’ve always loved dressing up, jack-o’-lanterns, scary movies and all things that go bump in the night. I have such wonderful memories of running around my neighborhood with leaves crunching under my feet, trick or treating with my best friends. My mom always wanted me to dress up as something sweet like a princess or an angel, but much to her dismay I always wanted to be a witch, a vampire or Morticia Addams. It was Halloween and I wanted to be something scary! Not much has changed even though I’ve grown up, I still love Halloween just as much as I did then. I just wish that I could go back in time and run around the neighborhood with my best friends again.

I hope you have a delightfully spooky Halloween! :)

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….Dress/from Modcloth, Hat/from Target, Tights/from ebay, Shoes/from Lotta from Stockholm, Earrings/from Target (old)

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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There’s Always Tomorrow

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1-Red dress with Peter Pan collar 3

1-Red dress with Peter Pan collar 1

Things will be better tomorrow, that’s what I’ve been telling myself to get through the last couple of weeks. As I mentioned in a previous post, life has seemed extra busy lately. I wish I could say that it was full of fun and exciting things, but that just isn’t the case. It has been full of home improvements like having our garage re-sided and the plumbing fixed in our bathroom. Not exactly exciting stuff, but I guess it’s necessary. The problem is that every time we get something fixed it seems like something else goes wrong! What we thought would be a simple repair turns into a million others. Oh the joys of home ownership, I’m just not sure I’m built for the stress of it all. Aaron and I are not exactly what you would call handy people and really have no business owning a home. Through all of this, we have talked more and more about buying a condo. It would be a much better fit for our lifestyle, but unfortunately that’s just not in the cards for us right now. One day we will, but for now at least we have a working bathroom ;).

On to more exciting things, like this adorable dress from Modcloth! The second I saw it last winter I immediately fell in love with it’s layered white collar and red fit & flare silhouette, it was just screaming my name ;). This dress definitely has an Annie vibe, so I decided to offset it with a leopard print headband and shoes. I think it did the job quite nicely while adding a bit of interest to the outfit. These pictures were taken a few weeks ago and I’m pretty sure that was the last time I could get away with bare legs, so I’m glad I took advantage of the warmer weather while I could. You will be seeing lots of tights and socks for at least the next six months!

I am so excited that it’s the weekend! We are going out to celebrate my parents’ October birthdays tomorrow with shopping and dinner. After the last few weeks it’s nice to have something to look forward to. And even though I know you loved my gripping home improvement ramblings, hopefully I’ll have something a little more exciting to write about next week ;). I hope you all have fun plans for this weekend too!

P.S. Can you find the puppy in these pictures? ;)

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….Dress/from Modcloth (similar, similar), Shoes/from Target (old, similar), Headband/from Moxie Boutique, Necklace/from Tiffany&Co.

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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When Skies Are Grey

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1-Grey plaid midi skirt 3

1-Grey plaid midi skirt 1

1-Grey plaid midi skirt 4

It is a grey and dreary day here in Michigan and boy, am I having a hard time getting motivated! Normally I don’t mind a rainy day if I can just stay in and cuddle up with my puppies, but I have so much that I wanted to accomplish today. This blog post was supposed to be up early this morning and that didn’t happen, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The truth is, all I want to do today is watch TV and eat a box of donuts!

I bought this grey plaid skirt from Ruche last winter, and it’s wool material makes it the perfect fall/winter skirt. It makes me feel like I should be going on a sleigh ride wearing a cape, fur hat (faux of course) and muff. Since it is not quite cold enough for all of that yet, I paired it with this kelly green cardigan from ModCloth. These cropped cardigans have definitely become a staple in my wardrobe, they work perfectly with my fuller skirts and fit & flare dresses.

I hope you are having a little more luck staying motivated than I am today. I think it’s time for me to have another cup of coffee……..and maybe that box of donuts ;).

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….Skirt/from Ruche (last winter), Cardigan/from Modcloth, Shoes/from Target (old), Necklace/from Tiffany&Co.

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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Swing Into Fall

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It has finally started to feel like fall is in full swing here in Michigan! With temperatures falling into the 40s at night, we finally (much to Aaron’s dismay) caved and turned the heat on. Along with the changes in the weather, I feel like life is changing too. We have been busier than usual, I’m still adjusting to a fuller schedule and trying to come up with a routine to keep my blog posting days on track. I must admit that I haven’t been doing very well, but it’s a new week and hopefully with a little better planning I can keep on task. One exciting thing that has happened, is that we finally got our garage re-sided! This may sound very mundane to you, but it has been a long time coming for us so we are pretty excited about it. You can see how much it need to be done in the pictures above! I always used to joke about it and say that it was my shabby chic backdrop for pictures ;). A small part of me was sad to see it go, so we decided to do one last photo shoot in front of it. From now on you will be seeing a freshly re-sided garage behind me in some of my photos :).

This swing dress is another one from Dear Creatures fall 2013 line (I went a little crazy last year). I absolutely love the vintage inspired 1960s vibe! I love all mid-century styles and flip flop between the 50s and 60s being my favorite era, but I think the 60s might have a little more of my heart. One of my favorite ways to layer in the fall/winter is to wear a pair of bright colored tights, I love the way it adds some life and interest to any outfit. Do you think these are bright enough? ;) I bought these shoes from Target YEARS ago and had finally cleaned out my closet and put them in a bag to give to Goodwill. I just could not get them out of my head, so I dug them (and a few other pairs) back out. It is so hard for me to get rid of clothes and shoes, I am such a hoarder! If you could only see my closet (it’s actually a bedroom turned into a closet) you would understand, it’s a little crazy and I think I might have a problem. Admitting it is the first step, right? ;)

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….Dress/from Dear Creatures (last year), Shoes/from Target (old), Tights/from Target, Headband/from Target, Earrings/made by my niece

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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eShakti Dress Review

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I had just recently been hearing a lot about eShakti, so when they contacted me about doing a review on one of their custom pieces, I of course jumped at the opportunity and I am so glad that I did. Eshakti is an international fashion design company that specializes in custom made clothing for women from size 0-36. You can choose from their standard sizes or you can completely customize a piece to your exact measurements. Even if you don’t decide to completely customize, you also have the option to change the sleeve type, dress length, and the neckline on many different items, you can even choose if you want pockets. If you do decide to go the custom sizing route (which I highly recommend), just make sure to have someone else measure you to insure accurate measurements. Of course I decided to go with a dress, but it was really hard to pick, because they have so many vintage inspired dresses that I love. At first I really wanted to go with a more fitted dress, but unfortunately they were all sold out of the styles I liked. It would have been nice to try the custom sizing option on a more tailored style, since it can be very hard for me to find a fitted dress that fits my top and bottom half equally well. Oh the dilemmas of being a pear shaped girl! ;) I will definitely choose a more tailored style the next time I order from eShakti. I ultimately went with this grey fit and flare dress in a jersey knit. They carry a lot of 100% cotton dresses, but I was looking for something with a little stretch that wouldn’t wrinkle so easily. I also wanted something in a more neutral color so that I would have more styling options. I went with the custom sizing option and had my husband take my measurements, changed the dress length to above the knee and had the pockets removed. I know, I know, some of you are wondering why in the world I would have the pockets removed! I love pockets on dresses as much as the next girl, but I do not like the added bulk that they tend to give my hips and I didn’t want to take the chance. All in all, I am very impressed by this dress, the quality is amazing and the fit is almost perfect. I say almost, because the top is slightly too big and could stand to be a little more fitted, but that could have been our error with the measurements. I know that I will get a lot of wear out of this dress for years to come, and I will definitely be ordering from eShakti again.

You can also find eShakti on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….Dress c/o eShakti, Shoes/from Ruche (last year), Earrings/from Moxie Boutique, Necklace/from Tiffany&Co.

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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Summer’s Last Breath

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This past Saturday was really warm and humid, it felt like summer was taking it’s last breath before fall officially took over. It was nice to get out and enjoy the day and say my final goodbyes. Oh summer, I will miss you so! So today, on the official first day of fall, I thought I would post one last summer look.

I bought this dress from Ruche this past spring and it is such a shame that I haven’t worn it until now. It was too long on me and had to be altered, I kept putting off having it done until just a few weeks ago. I absolutely love this dress! The floral pattern feels very vintage to me and I’m in love with the cutout details on the side and in the back. Since you can see your bra (and I’m not willing to go braless), I wore a cute lace bralette and didn’t mind that you could see it. I gave a bit of a nod to fall by adding these super cute vintage looking boots and my denim vest (which I barely wore because it was so hot). And of course I finished off the look with lovely earrings from Moxie Boutique ;). I am determined to find ways to style this dress for fall, as I refuse to have this be the only time I wear this gorgeous dress until next year.

I hope all of you enjoyed your last weekend of summer! And for those of you going into summer,……. well lucky you ;).

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….Dress/from Ruche (this past spring), Bralette/from Target, Boots/from Ruche (last winter), Denim vest/from Old Navy, Earrings/from Moxie Boutique, Necklace/from Tiffany&Co.

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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Moxie Boutique

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I’m so excited to finally share a project that I have been working on with my dear friend Heather! Heather and I met when we worked together at a hair salon almost thirteen years ago and we have been close friends ever since. Not only is she a great friend, she is also one of the most talented people I know. She makes beautiful beaded jewelry and over the years has sold it to friends, family and even clients at the salon we worked at. For years I have tried to get her to sell her jewelry online, but with a full time job she was just too busy to do all that was necessary to run an online shop. It just seemed like a shame that she was not sharing her talent for others to enjoy, so a few months ago I came to her with a business proposal. I would take care of the business side of things like photographing, listing, shipping, etc. and she could focus on the creative side. Around the same time, I started this blog and thought it just made sense to put the two together. That is when we opened our Etsy shop and Moxie Boutique was born. You will be seeing a lot of her lovely jewelry, along with some super cute vintage-inspired hair accessories made by her mom Beverly, styled here on my blog. I’m so excited to share all of the gorgeous pieces that she has made! In celebration of our shop opening we will be doing a giveaway here on Truly, Tamara in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for it! Also follow Moxie Boutique on Instagram and Facebook so that you don’t miss new items being added to the shop, sales, or future giveaways. Any support you can give would mean the world to us and we are so excited to share Moxie Boutique with you! :)

This “skirt” is actually one of my Dear Creatures dresses from their fall line last year. Since it was a little chilly outside on the day we took these photos, I decided to dress it down and make it a little more weather appropriate with a chambray shirt layered over it and combat boots. I love the mix of dressier, more feminine pieces with edgier, more masculine pieces. This is a very lovely dress on it’s own, so I promise to style it again so that you can see the whole dress and it’s cute little bow next time.

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….Dress/from Dear Creatures last fall. It can still be found here and here, Shirt/from Target (similar), Boots/from Target, Necklace/from Moxie Boutique

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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Falling for Gingham

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Hey everyone, I’m back! After a really bad storm hit last week we were out of power for a few days and it really threw my whole week off. So I decided to take the week and hit the re-set button to get my life together and work on a few other projects I have going on. I will be sharing more about that on Friday ;).

With temperatures being in the 60s during the day and falling into the 40s at night, this weekend in Michigan definitely felt like fall. It was the first time I really wanted to style an outfit that felt distinctly fall and this gingham dress from Old Navy was exactly what I was looking for. I featured this dress in the last Wednesday’s Love List and I received it in the mail shortly after. I was worried that it may not fit me, because drop waist dresses don’t always work for my body type, but I was in luck this time. It is so soft and comfortable and fits really well. Now I can truly say that I love it! ;). I can’t wait to style it with tights, boots and maybe even a blazer. With it’s classic gingham print, this is a dress that I know I will get a lot of wear out of for years to come. This time I paired it with a fedora I bought from Target last year and my Minnetonka moccasins, which always feel very fall to me. I love hats, but ever since I cut my hair really short I have felt like I can’t wear them. Every time I would put one on I felt like a boy, because you really couldn’t even see my hair. Now that my hair has grown out a little I feel like I can wear them again, so I think I will be keeping my hair a little on the longer side for a while.

This past weekend was crazy busy filled with yard work, photography sessions, shopping and a baby shower. I’m not gonna lie, it was all I could do to get this blog post up today and I think I see a nap in my near future ;). How about you, did you have a good weekend? I’d love to hear about it!

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….Dress/from Old Navy, Hat/from Target, Shoes/Minnetonka Moccasins, Necklace/from Forever 21 (old)

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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