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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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Life Lately

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Hello friends, it’s been awhile! I initially took a break from blogging last summer because we had put our house up for sale and were super busy dealing with everything that comes along with that, but for many reasons it turned out to be a really hard summer for me and I just never started up again. I’ve changed a lot since then and have been feeling called to start blogging again. One of the biggest changes has been my renewed relationship and faith in God. It has completely reshaped who I am and how I approach life now. I grew up in a Christian home, but in my late teens I strayed from my faith and tried to forge my own path. That didn’t go so well! For years as I struggled to control my life, I felt hopeless. God had a plan though (as He always does), and when I reached my breaking point I found my way back Home. One day I’ll share my whole story, but for today I’ll just explain how this big change in my life has slightly shifted the focus of the blog. Truly, Tamara will always be about fashion and personal style, I now understand that it’s a passion God has given me to help women feel good in their own skin and to love the body He has given them. I love styling and encouraging women to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. It’s amazing how clothes can transform your mood and make you feel beautiful inside and out. It’s something I’m still trying to figure out too, but it will be fun to do it together.

I had been looking for a way to combine my love of fashion, while giving back and making a difference in the world, when I first heard about Noonday Collection. After hearing an interview with the founder, Jessica Honegger, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for and became an independant ambassador. Noonday Collection partners with talented artisan entrepreneurs to make a difference in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. By developing artisan businesses through fair trade, they empower them to grow sustainably and to create dignified jobs for people who need them. I’m sure you will be seeing a lot of Noonday Collection popping up around here and I’m so excited to style outfits around all of the beautiful handmade pieces. I’m so proud to be a part of a company that’s building a flourishing world where children are cherished, women are empowered, people have jobs and we are connected. Email me me if you are interested in finding out more about this amazing company or if you are interested in partnering with me by hosting a trunk show!

Another thing I am so passionate about is empowering women and supporting them through small business. It makes me so happy to see other women taking chances and following their dreams! I hope that by partnering with small businesses through this blog, I can be a small part of helping them succeed and grow. One of my favorite local Michigan boutiques that I recently stumbled upon is Dallas & Dottie Boutique. The owner, Lindsay, is one of the sweetest girls I have ever met and she does such an amazing job curating a beautiful collection of clothing and accessories. When I saw this beautiful fall floral tunic dress I just knew I had to have it! It is totally on trend in this seasons petrol blue color and I just love it’s comfortable flowy fit. I’m so happy to support Lindsay and watch Dallas & Dottie Boutique continue to soar. Make sure you check out Dallas & Dottie on Facebook and Instagram too!

I have so much more to share in the coming weeks, but for now I’m just happy to be back. Happy Monday and I hope you have a lovely week!

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Dress/from Dallas & Dottie Boutique, Shoes/from Lotta, All jewelry/from Noonday Collection: Elemental Earrings, Horizons Necklace, Treasured Wrap Bracelet, & Angled Brass Cuff

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A little Bit Boho

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It never fails, at this time of year my style shifts slightly. I go from primarily wearing mid-century inspired clothes to a much more laid back boho vibe. I never completely say goodbye to my fit & flare dresses and midi skirts, I just start to make more room for flowy dresses and flower crowns. It must be the warmer weather and longer days that bring out my inner flower child. ;) The other day someone asked me how I would describe my style and at the time I really didn’t have an answer. While I obviously have certain styles I lean toward, I really don’t like to box myself in. I thought about it for a while though and finally came up with an answer that describes my style at this stage of my life…..Mid-century boho chic. I would say my style falls into this category at least 90% of the time. :)

Last week was super busy and I had some really exciting/happy things going on. I can’t wait to share some of them with you, but seeing as how this post was supposed to be up this morning, I’m going to keep it short and sweet today. I hope your week is off to a great start! :)

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit Details….Dress/from Avenle, Cardigan/from Target, Shoes/from Lotta, Headband/from Forever 21, Necklace c/o Avenle

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

Truly, Tamara

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Linking with Manic Monday, Style to Inspire, Mix It, Let It Shine, Turning Heads Tuesday,  Style Me Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday , Watcha Wearing Wednesday and The Wednesday Pants
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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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Linking with Friday’s Fab Favorites, Friday Frills, Fashion Favorite Friday, Fashion Item Friday and Passion For Fashion
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Be Brave

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Brave. I feel like it is a word I have been reading and hearing a lot lately (insert Sara Bareilles song here). I don’t know if being brave is just a popular and trendy subject matter right now, or if I am just noticing it because it’s something I’ve needed to hear. Either way, I think it is something worth talking about, for me anyway. But I can’t help thinking that this is true for women and girls in general. As much as I hate to admit it, I have always been a fearful person. It’s one of the things I dislike most about myself and that I still battle daily. Combine that with my perfectionist tendency’s and well, it’s a wonder I even get out of bed in the morning. Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but I have a real fear of failure and I don’t know where it comes from. I mean, I come from a super loving family who supported anything I ever wanted to do. Maybe it’s society and it’s lower expectations for girls in general (although, thank goodness that is changing). Whatever the reason, over the years that fear has kept me from doing so many things, and If I think about it too much it makes me really sad. From the time I was 7 or 8 years old until I was a young adult, I rode horses and competed in horse shows. I loved horses (and still do) and had such a passion for riding, but I quit and threw it all away because of my fears. I know you aren’t supposed to have regrets and that things happen for a reason, but I can’t help but regret that. Even as an adult my fears have kept me from doing many things, because of them I almost didn’t even start this blog. I have been reading blogs for years and I have loved fashion since I can remember. For the last two years I have had this voice in my head telling me that I should be writing a personal style blog, and expressing myself creatively, but I didn’t listen (until 2 months ago). I was way too caught up in the thoughts in my head about what could go wrong. What if my blog doesn’t look creative or professional enough? What if I don’t have anything worthwhile to say? What if my pictures aren’t good enough? What if I’m too old? What if everyone hates it? What if I am not good enough? And that’s really just it, I was so scared that I wasn’t good enough and I hadn’t even tried! How stupid is that?! But I do that all the time, I talk myself out of things before I even try. Well, I’m sick of it and I’m not going to stand for it anymore! So starting this blog is the first step in the right direction. I am going to be brave and create something no matter how imperfect it may be. I am going to put myself out there and give myself the chance to fail, because at least that means I tried. To most of you, I’m sure it seems like no big deal to start a blog, but this is a huge leap for me and I’m so glad I took it. I have already been blessed in many ways and I hope that I can encourage anyone out there who want’s to take a leap (doing whatever their heart desires) to just jump. You can do so much more than you give yourself credit for and it’s not so scary once you do. Who knows, I might just start riding horses again too ;).

I bought this t-shirt from Zooey Magazine back in the winter when they were promoting their Brave Movement to help inspire women to go for their dreams. It’s a simple shirt with a powerful message, so when I decided to write this blog post I knew exactly what to wear. I styled it with this pencil skirt from Old Navy that I featured in my Wednesday’s Love List a few weeks ago. I must admit that for me, wearing a pencil skirt is kind of an act of bravery in itself since I have… ahem……a little junk in the trunk as they say ;). It’s not a silhouette that I normally wear, but I love it! I’m so glad that I took the chance and bought it. It is a nice thick material that provides a lot of stretch and sits high on your waist. I’m looking forward to styling it many different ways.

I know this post was kind of a long one, so if you hung in there, thank you. Do you deal with fear? If so, what are some ways you overcome that fear? I would love to hear your story. I still have a long way to go.

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….T-shirt/from Zooey Magazine, Skirt/from Old Navy, Shoes/from Lotta from Stockholm, Headband/from Moxie Boutique

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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Garden Party

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The color and floral details on this dress always make me feel like I should be going to a garden party, so I figured the perfect place to go for pictures was the Henry Ford Estate. The Henry Ford Estate was the home of Clara and Henry Ford from 1915 to 1950 and has the most beautiful grounds, especially the flower gardens. As an angsty teenager I would often go and walk the grounds to contemplate whatever drama was going on in my life. There are so many pretty, quiet places to go sit and think or read a book. This past Friday evening we finally had a break in the rainy weather and Aaron and I decided to go walk around and snap some pictures. No angst involved on this visit ;).

I bought this dress from JCPenny a few years ago and I still love it as much as the day I bought it. Who knew I would find such a cute vintage looking dress at JCPenny?! Just goes to show that you never know where your next great fashion find will come from. You definitely need to keep and open mind and be willing to look anywhere. Although, I do think that JCPenny has really stepped up it’s game in the last few years. This dress doesn’t need a lot of accessories, it has a lot going on all on it’s own. I just added some cute hand made earrings, a simple necklace and my trusty clogs.

How about you, have you ever found great clothes in unlikely places? I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far!

Truly,

Tamara

Outfit details….Dress/from JCPenny (old), Shoes/from Lotta from Stockholm, Earrings/from Moxie Boutique, Necklace/from Tiffany & Co. (gift from Aaron a few Christmases ago)

*Photos taken by Aaron, edited by me

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