• Moving into the New Year | How 2018 Impacted my Blog

    all white monochrome look

    I know you have heard this countless times by now but HOW IS IT 2019 ALREADY? With every passing year I’m both incredibly grateful for the memories and opportunities enveloped within but also astonished at the passing of time. It always makes me think “did I make the most of my days” because time is a very precious thing.

    In terms of the blog – 2018 was insanely good to me. My brand work and monetary opportunities skyrocketed – something I had always been hoping for but still wasn’t quite prepared mentally to accept. What I mean by that is I just didn’t think I was “there” yet. I had been working on creating more consistent blog content and producing a cohesive Instagram. Then BAM! – brands were interested in long-term contracts and 5+ figure deals. I was floored!

    So what did I do differently?

    You guys – for those of you who read this who are bloggers – this is my bit of advice: let loose on your definitions of “success.” What I mean is up until my two year blog anniversary I was SO stressed with keeping up with the Joneses. I thought I had to post on IG a certain amount everyday because all these other girls were doing that, wrong. I thought I needed a “pretty feed” that all blended together beautifully, also wrong. In the chaos of all that – I lost my drive and reason as to why I had started my blog in the first place. It wasn’t to compete or emulate this girl or that girl – it was for ME.

    So I let it all go – and wow has the rest of this year been so different, in a good way! I’ve spent less time on my phone, been more present in my relationships, and have a more peaceful day-to-day instead of worrying when my “optimum” posting time was. All that stress, to me, is dumb. Life is already full of stress and unexpected events – why add to it with those silly things? I’m more intentional now in my content creation and much more creative which is a humongous win and feels incredibly rewarding. And it’s FUN! Isn’t that the purpose of all of this? I see so many girls in various group chats stressed to the gills about their Instagram engagement or complaining about the algorithm and I laugh because that’s so not me any longer. Instagram ebbs and flows – and life goes on. Rating your self worth based on fluctuating social media numbers does you a tremendous disservice.

    In terms of my “home life” – WHAT A YEAR! In August, the house was finally finished and I moved in at the end of the month. Being a homeowner again has been equal parts awesome and painful. The house wasn’t completely finished upon closing – so there was multiple things happening around here throughout September/October.

    A lesson I’ve been slowly acclimating to is I thought I initially needed to have this house fully furnished/decorated immediately – which is both impractical and irrational. An empty room is better than an ugly room – am I right? I’ve slowly been putting together various rooms and changing out old decor for newer items and I’m learning to love it. Most of the upstairs (3 bedrooms, a media room and a “game room” is completely empty. I’m working on one of the bedrooms (can’t wait to show you) and am hoping to furnish the media room over the spring – but again, zero rush.

    My master bedroom is STILL unfinished – if you follow me on Instastories you’ve heard the continuing saga of the bed from CB2 and how it’s STILL not here when I ordered it in AUGUST (!!!!). Ugh .. to be continued.

    In other news, Charlie is here! For those who don’t know, we haven’t lived together under one roof for over 5 years (we’ve been married for over 7). Charlie is a fighter pilot in the USAF and for various reasons, deployments, etc., our lives just did not blend into one location. But alas, he retired from active duty recently and is now fully moved in.

    Yes, there are learning curves once more when it comes to living together. Debates about leaving dishes in the sink (me), blobs of toothpaste in the sink (him), the infamous toilet seat quarrel (him), and sleeping with the TV on (me) are hilarious. But I’m loving every minute of it. He’s now a pilot for American Airlines and flying for the USAF reserves. Life is sweet and the blessings are abundant.

    Living out in the burbs is profoundly calmer, quieter, and removed from the constant happenings of the city (Dallas). I LOVE it – I’m so at peace out here. I make time to see friends but don’t often go into the city and am now extremely picky about the blog networking events I choose to attend aka is it worth the drive? I’m back to my exercise routine and also make an effort to drink about a gallon of water a day. I can see the result in both my skin and my energy level – water fixes so many little issues!

    The meticulous planner in me is learning to live more spontaneously and tackle life as it comes rather than planning everything to the second. It’s very freeing! Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting goals and conquering a checklist but I don’t pencil in my entire day anymore.

    I just started school again, yes again, for my dual nurse practitioner in family health and mental health – more to come on that! I do love being a student – learning new things and tackling projects is SO good for you and stimulates my brain beyond measure.

    For the first time in a very long time, I’m physically, mentally, and emotionally in a really good place. My major depression and other qualms are seemingly finally well managed thanks to my therapist and psych NP – I feel grateful, happy, and at peace with life and myself. It has taken me a monstrously long time to get to this point – so if I seem braggy, know that it’s because from my lowest point of slicing my two wrists I have risen to a state of bliss I didn’t see for myself when I thought the world was overwhelming dark. 2018 was very mentally healthy for me and I’m hoping that if you find yourself not in that state of wellness (because God knows I’ve been there) that you persevere!

    all white monochrome look
    I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship - Louisa May Alcott

    A few 2019 goals

    • 1. Pencil in room for (at least) a monthly massage.. I have A LOT of thoughts on how massages do wonders for alleviating depression
    • Secure a real bed for the master bedroom – or at least get the mattress off of the floor. It’s laughable but I look forward to this day!
    • Drink a gallon of water a day (I downloaded the waterminder app and it’s been tremendously helpful). I also bought this jug – funny but amazing!
    • Find the time for a vacation in between our two crazy schedules
    • Workout at least 4 times a week – not for physical reasons but to release emotional stress. Endorphins are vastly underrated.
    • Create a newsletter (building this right now)
    • Increase my blog traffic – because this is the only actual social media I OWN
    • I read nearly 40 books last year – I’ve set a goal on Goodreads for 30 this year (since I’m also in school)
    • Cook more – We started the Keto diet about a week ago and we’re cooking so much more. I forgot how much I really enjoy cooking when I’m not just cooking for one.
    • Possibly considering adding a fourth dog – this sounds like a lot but a) we have the room and b) we both want a great dane. Maybe I could foster again and convince Charlie to keep 😉
    • What are you goals?

    Most importantly – I want to thank you all – my beloved supporters, readers, friends, TARARRIZERS! Your constant love, encouragement, and laughs have helped move me into this wonderful state of happiness I cannot properly give enough gratitude to. You give me love even in my hysterics, goofiness, or moments of extreme bluntness (and those are frequent). It’s a difficult thing to create a community of like-minded individuals who embrace your individuality and take the time to connect. I genuinely love you all past the moon for it.

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    1. January 16, 2019 / 1:48 pm

      Wow, goals girl! Congrats on starting back with school and everything and for your husband joining AA. My boyfriend is trying to be a commercial pilot. hopefully he’ll be able to start flying soon and I can start working as a pharmacist. Thank the lord I’m almost done with school!

      -xo, Makaela

    2. January 16, 2019 / 3:41 pm

      such a good post and interesting to see how the year changes your blog and how much youve grown!

    3. January 16, 2019 / 9:58 pm

      Sounds like you’ve got a productive 2019 planned. I work hard to try and not compare myself to other bloggers. It’s tough especially since I’m not growing like I want to but I’m keeping at it

    4. January 16, 2019 / 11:56 pm

      You are a boss babe! love this post and loved reading your thoughts! So inspiring!

      cute & little

    5. Nataly
      January 17, 2019 / 7:02 am

      Happy 2019 Tara! Sounds like 2018 was a wonderful year for you! I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for you. Also, congrats on the new home!! I know the feeling of having your spouse living away and then coming home…the struggle is real!

    6. January 17, 2019 / 8:31 am

      I feel penciling in a massage! I do a mani pedi once a month and I love it.

    7. Stephanie
      January 17, 2019 / 8:54 am

      It looks like you not only learned a lot in 2018, but life changed pretty dramatically for you throughout the year. I’m happy to hear of your mental health stability now and the time you’re getting to spend with your man. Here’s to 2019 being your best year yet!

    8. January 17, 2019 / 9:09 am

      ahh so many things in this post! first i love your mindset on your blog/biz! everything you wrote is what i feel like i discovered just around the time tcm turned 2 last year too. congrats on the home and living under the same roof as the hubs finally! so wild, i had no idea! and brag away girlfriend you’re killing it and it’s inspiring to hear how far you’ve come!

    9. January 17, 2019 / 10:32 am

      Looks like you have a good handle on last year and how it’s impacted your blog going into 2019! Good luck on all your goals this year!

    10. January 17, 2019 / 10:57 am

      Love your 2019 goals! I want to read more than 50 books this year so I hope I can achieve that!

    11. Sharon Wu
      January 17, 2019 / 11:49 am

      happy new year babe! loved reading about your goals and it sounds like you’re getting a great start to the new year. loving these photos and the layout of your blog! xx

    12. January 17, 2019 / 2:09 pm

      Definitely goals!! Loved your entire outfit.


    13. Tonya Morris
      January 17, 2019 / 2:14 pm

      Congrats on an amazing year! I love your goals for 2019!

    14. January 17, 2019 / 2:53 pm

      Congrats on everything! I’m so glad you and Charlie are together after a while. Good luck on . your 2019 goals!

    15. January 18, 2019 / 11:45 am

      Stunning! Love the all white look & that bag is amazing!


    16. nichole
      January 20, 2019 / 7:59 pm

      i love how you point out how success differs for everyone, and i think in the blogging industry it’s important to recognize this otherwise it becomes frustrating to move forward!

    17. January 21, 2019 / 3:45 am

      Omg that cute white bag is EVERYTHING i love the look!

      https://modersvp. com/marais-best-shopping-addresses-in-paris-and-where-to-stay-in-paris/

    18. January 21, 2019 / 12:04 pm

      I Love This so much! I’m so happy for your success and LOVE your outlook on blogging.

    19. January 21, 2019 / 12:17 pm

      You look amazing in all white! I love the escape typography tote bag too! xo, Suzanne

    20. January 22, 2019 / 9:47 am

      I love your white on white on white look (with a dash of black too) ;). It also looks amazing with your hair! It gives this high-key photo effect. You look amazing! Thank you for sharing!
      Sara Kelley

    21. January 22, 2019 / 10:34 am

      Love all these goals! 40 books i am really impressed! I need to try to read more

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