I took a nice long break from the blog this past month. I decided to just soak up the time with my family, friends and loved ones. While watching the ball drop Sunday night, I kept thinking back on this year. All the things that have happened, good, bad, and the lessons I have taken from each along the way.

Choosing to share my life and daily happenings on social media have had its joys and pains. I mostly prefer to look at the positive which is connecting and sharing experiences in a way that was never before possible. When I shared about my breast lump two years ago, this community lifted me up in a way I couldn’t have imagined.

I was brand new to blogging. Scared to death to open up and be so fragile and honest, raw really. It was hard for me to feel like myself after it all and yet here we are.

I know what we choose to show are just snippets of this life. There is so much more that goes on when the cameras and stories aren’t rolling, so much that is not shared. Hard stuff.

I have taken to heart the messages, comments and the time that I am placing on all of this. It took me some time to be ok with the blog being successful and to not compare myself to others who were doing the same with what seemed like more success than I was having.

But before the blog, I had a very different life. I held down a myriad of jobs. Things that pushed me and some that almost killed me (literally). I am a serial workaholic, always with a drive and a competitive nature that I rarely let out to play anymore, but one that I can appreciate is still in my back pocket when I need it!

We all have a past, things we wish we could hold onto forever and things we hoped we could let go. I decided a long time ago that I was tired of carrying all the what if’s and the weight of the things I could not change was just too heavy. If you want to be a part of my life, happy to have you along! If not that is ok also.

This need is a constant struggle of mine. Something I am working on always. When someone doesn’t like me, I want to know why. How can I change that reaction, how can I make you love me? The middle child, people pleasing person that I am wants to fix and make everything happy. Surely there is a place for that, answer for this, a shelf for that. I like things to have a place in my life.

Unfortunately, the same answer always presents itself; I cannot change 99 percent of it all. I often pray, talk to God multiple times a day, and I try to give thanks whenever I can.

And in the big picture, I have a home, a car, clothes, food, two doggies I love to the moon, and a husband who has taken risks with me and who chooses to love me day after day. Overall,  I would say that is a lot to give thanks for already, and we are just three days into this new year. So what does this year hold for you and me?

  • How can I make it better than the last?
  • What can I do to make myself a better person?
  • How can I grow my business?
  • Be a better friend, daughter, sister, aunt, wife?
  • Be a better person?

I do not know all the answers to those questions just yet. I am trying to embrace the word that keeps popping up over and over, grace. I looked up its definition:

“Elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action…Grace, Gracias, and Grazie all descend from the Latin word Gratia. Having three distinct meanings: (1) a pleasing quality, (2) favor or goodwill, and (3) gratitude or thanks.”

Grace is my word for 2018.

I tried to ignore it. Felt like it was too generic. Even downloaded a “how to pick your word pdf” which was so silly when this word has presented itself to me over and over again. In fact, if the words G R A C E suddenly appeared in the sky, I would not be surprised.

I love it; I want to know it more. Research it, be it, and live that word. And hopefully, at this time next year, I will have lived it and held it on my tongue.

If you are searching for a word, do not get down on yourself. I felt like everyone else had this magical word presented already, and I was over here waving a white flag saying HELLO, I am ready for my word. Then it hit me out of nowhere. It kept popping up in everything and everywhere.  I was just ignoring it.

Be patient, pray for it if you are searching for one! But, I am sure your’s will come.

I am excited to write more this year and share more of our everyday lives. Talk about things that make you excited and give inspiration, guest bloggers, recipes, decorating, maybe a little renovating! So stay tuned, it is going to be a jam-packed year, and I can’t wait for it!

With grace and love – TAMARA



  1. Tracey Shull
    January 3, 2018 / 3:46 pm

    Grace is definitely your word, Tamara. You seek it (prayer and living in the word of God), you live it (showing love and goodwill towards others), and you look it (taking time and effort to be beautiful and elegant, yet sporty and appproachable.) I can’t imagine a more fitting word for you! P.S. Love that the Holy Spirit was so persistent in telling it to you! 🕊

    • Tamara
      January 4, 2018 / 7:37 am

      Tracey – This message is so precious and kind of you! I am always learning, and I have a feeling this will be a year filled with just that, this word has been in my heart so exploring it more is something I am eager to do! Wishing you a fantastic year ahead and thank you for taking the time to pop over and send such positive and encouraging words. XX Tamara

  2. Molly
    January 3, 2018 / 7:27 pm

    Tamara – you have inspired me so much and I want to thank you. I feel you in regards to the daily struggle of always trying to please everyone and wanting everyone to like me. I am trying in 2018 to not feel like the constant “people pleaser” and being okay with not everyone liking me. It’s hard, but I think that we can do it! Your blog inspires me and your taste is impeccable. In fact, you have inspired me to possibly give it a try in the blogging world! Thank you for all you do and sharing your life with us! You are so involved with your followers and you make it so personal which not all do, so thank you! I hope in 2018 you make YOU happy! Keep up the good work!

    • Tamara
      January 4, 2018 / 7:34 am

      Molly – thank you thank you! I am on board with being ok with not pleasing everyone as well! It is not easy and much easier said than done but I am looking forward to a new year and so much joy ahead! Thank you for the love – Tamara

  3. Cherise Clifton
    January 4, 2018 / 12:26 am

    Beautiful post. I, for one, love your energy and the genuineness you bring to the often shallow arena of blogging. Thank you for being strong enough to share your vulnerabilities with us!! So much love and prosperity to you in 2018! Keep it up sista!!

    • Tamara
      January 4, 2018 / 7:33 am

      Cherise – thank you for stopping by and reading and leaving a comment! I hope this is a very prosperous year for you as well! XX Tamara

  4. January 4, 2018 / 11:42 am

    Tamara! So lovely and inspiring! If your looking for a good read on Grace you should pick up, “Grace , Not Perfection” by Emily Ley. It’s in my reading list.

    Happy New Year and thanks for sharing your world!

    • Tamara
      January 6, 2018 / 10:29 am

      Emily YESSS! Thank you for passing that along – I love reading, and that is a major goal of mine this year to put down the phone and pick up a hardback book more. I love the smell of the pages, the movie reel that plays in my head! Wishing you a fantastic year ahead as well! XX Tamara

  5. January 6, 2018 / 6:58 am

    Yes to all of this, Girl! I have a love hate relationship with social media for so many of the reasons you mentioned. Its been an incredible platform to pursue my passions and make meaningful connections with like-minded women all over the world. The comparison game is almost unavoidable though and can quickly strip you of any joy. I have to make a conscious effort to look for ways to celebrate the success of others every time I open my insta feed instead of immediately going to that dark place where I feel less than. That day our paths crossed at the Hewing Hotel when you pulled up during a photo shoot, my heart sunk a little bit. I suddenly felt so out of my league I wanted to just call it a day. It took me a minute to work through the negative mind talk and look at this as a perfect opportunity to meet someone I’ve followed and admired on a computer screen in real life. You embraced me with a hug and were as beautiful and GRACIOUS in person as you have been in every response to an insta message exchanged. Grace is definitely your word. I don’t have a word but my personal mantra is to keep building. Every time I feel exhausted, overwhelmed, rejected, or unqualified I look for one positive thing that makes me want to keep building. Thank you for being so kind and human in a very intimidating blogger world. Hugs, Amy

    • Tamara
      January 6, 2018 / 10:27 am

      Overwhelmed by reading this! So much truth! You are such a beautiful person inside and out! I am so proud of you for just going for it and trust me I can totally relate. The first time I went to Fashion Week in NY I was so out of my league I cried every night feeling like an idiot for going and thinking I could make it in this whole world. I was surrounded by people who I felt were confident and glowing but deep down sad and depressed. People would ask these bloggers for photos, and they wouldn’t even smile or act gracious for being recognized. I was shocked! I thought wow what a missed opportunity to brighten someone’s day. After two days in I realized that I could hang and I wanted to prove it to myself that I belonged and I could somehow make a difference. It took everything inside me to not go running for JFK, but through those moments of doubt, I knew I could do it! Sounds silly that it took a trip to the Big Apple, but I hope this year is another wild ride filled with grace and lots of joy!

      Keep up the great work and keep shining bright! XX Tamara

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