The Perfect Fall Gift Under $25!!

Hey babes, I hope you are all having a fantastic day!! I just wanted to pop on here and share with you some of my recent Target finds that are perfect for fall! Not only are they perfect for fall, put together they would make the cutest housewarming or birthday gift! All under $25 dollars! – A STEAL!

Now, you don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to create a cute, memorable gift for someone. ( I only spent $14 dollars total this trip) Sometimes, we just need some ideas or examples ( I know I’ve been there) in order to get our creative flow going! I am going to link everything below. If I can’t find the exact match, I will link similar items for you!

I already had a basket at home so I didn’t have to purchase one. Obviously, if you have to buy one it will put you around $30 dollars, which still is a deal! If you want to spend even less, look in the dollar section at Target like I did! Also, right now at Target if you spend $30 on Halloween stuff you save $5!! Below is what my basket looked like ( I already had the bag of coffee FYI).

Items are linked below! I can’t wait for you to get your Fall On! Always: Tara

Hand Towels – $6 dollars

Coffee Mug – $5 dollars

Pumpkin Candle – $5 dollars

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Coffee – $8

Our Easter Weekend

– I can’t remember the last time we got together with our family for Easter. It gets so busy with everyone’s schedule that we really don’t mine -LOL. Maybe one day we will either host/ go somewhere for a visit, but until then we are perfectly fine getting away just the two of us. ( & dogs)

Naturally, we went to our favorite place, or my favorite place, Traverse City! Yes, we go there a lot and no we probably will never get sick of it. We decided to go on Saturday which was great because we had awesome weather!

Our first stop was Hop Lot for some drinks & nachos! I swear, their nachos are the best! I’ve posted some photos before of the vibe, and for some reason this time I only managed to take one photo. Oh well, there always next time. 😉

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Of course, Suttons Bay Ciders was on the list as well. If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend you stop in. They have the best view. The cider is good too, but this view on a nice day….. come on.

I will say we spent most of the time in the car on Sunday. – Lol. I didn’t realize that I forgot my purse until we had already been driving for 45 mins. -Oops. Oh well, we made it through.

Side note: We ordered Chinese food for dinner on the way home and when I went in to pick it up the lady felt bad we didn’t have a party to be at. -LOL.

Thanks for hanging out guys!

Always- Tara XOXO

Get To Know Me!

 

 

Hi! I’m Tara! I wanted to jump on here and properly introduce myself. I’ve noticed so many new faces, and a lot of you have been asking questions to get to know me better (which I love! ) so I figured I’d spill some details about myself to answer everyone’s questions. -Which to be honest, talking about myself feels kind of weird, haha.

I like sharing information about products, places, etc. & determining how much of my personal life to keep to myself or share is a new balancing experience for me. 🙂 So as I answer all your questions I’ll be an open book & I hope you enjoy!

Always, – Tara

About Yours Truly

How old are you? I’m 32

Do you have any siblings? Yes! I have an older sister. Where are all my youngest siblings at?!! -Lol. We are 8 1/2 years apart BUT you honestly wouldn’t know it! We have always been really close.

What other hobbies besides blogging do you have? Singing really loudly with headphones in! -Haha. I love music & it doesn’t matter what you put on, I will sing along. Growing up I was the one my friends would always go to for information like “what’s the name of this song?’ or “who is this singing”. To be honest, I’m kind of slipping now that I’m older, but that’s what Google is for, right?!  I also took vocal lessons as a teenager & into adulthood, so needless to say my fiancé gets front row seats when I clean the house!

What’s your real job? Currently I work in sales. To be more specific, I work in the insurance world. How I got into it, I really don’t know- Lol. I went to school first for broadcast/radio and went back for my bachelors in public relations. I’m still new to the sales gig, only been doing it for a year. Before that I bartended for 7 years!

How did you meet your fiancé & how long have you been together? – I met Ryan through mutual friends. His best friend is married to one of my besties that I used to bartend with. The first time we met in person was at a friends house for a scary movie night! ( I know, right?) It was awkward because we knew everyone was trying to hook us up, but it worked out! -Haha. We’ve been together for 5 years now and will be married this September!

You still haven’t shared your wedding location, where will it be? – Hmm. I think I still want  to keep it a secret! Even though I have given many hints on my insta stories! You’ll just have to keep your eyes out!

How long have you been blogging? What made you want to do it? – I have been blogging for 7 months now. It’s exciting and challenging! If you’ve been following me for awhile now, I’m sorry! You are seeing all the good with the bad, but hey that’s how we learn and grow!

I actually used to have my own website years ago for music/radio purposes. I knew I always wanted to be creative and share things with people, I just didn’t know where to start. So one day after thinking about creating my blog, I just did it!

How many dogs do you have? I have two! Henry is our 3 year old lab, and Beamer is our 9 year old corgi! If I could I would get another one!

Have you always lived in Michigan? Yes. I always said when I was younger I was moving out of state, but I think I like it here now, -lol.

Do you have any kids? No I do not. Might do a post on this topic.

Any tips for someone wanting to start a blog? I am still learning myself, but I will say you have to be YOURSELF! Don’t try and do what everyone else is doing, certain things don’t work for everyone. You also have to be a little patience. You won’t instantly get thousands of followers, likes, or comments. If you do great! but it always surprises me when people want instant gratification. Just keep working hard and you will reach your goals! Be positive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hikes & Drinks

One of my favorite things to do is go on little hiking adventures with our friends. -Mostly for what comes after….food & drinks! I mean listen, we like to get our fitness on, but we also like to enjoy our lives. -Lol & since I am clearly missing warmer weather here in Michigan, I decided to recap a little trip my fiancé and I took last Labor Day weekend.

Our first stop was Hartwick Pines State Park. According to michigandnr.com, Hartwick Pines is one of the largest state parks in the lower peninsula. My favorite part of the park, however, is the little chapel. I adore this park because the trees are so lush and big!

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Most of the hiking/walking is on a paved path, however, there are some trails. Also, if you visit in the fall when the colors change – it’s amazing!

Naturally, after the park we went to get some drinks! -Yay! We stopped in the town of Grayling, which until recently only really had one restaurant/bar. Which, don’t get me wrong, I love because it gives it character. However, now they have a couple little breweries that are really cute! The one we stopped at was Paddle Hard Brewery.

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The atmosphere is very local with a rustic vibe, which I love. The picture above is the flight I ordered. Not expensive either! -I literally ordered all the ciders & stouts I could. There is also a food menu, which is mostly flatbreads, tacos, etc. BUT perfect for snacking on while you get your drink on! Make sure you try their local beers as well while you’re there!

Thanks for reminiscing with me! More adventures are to come, and hopefully warmer weather sooner than later!

Always,

Tara

 

10 Of My Best Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

Recently, I went on a quest to find the perfect wedding dress for my big day! – Now, in my case, it’s not so much a “big day” but a weekend celebration with close friends and family. Either way, I still wanted a dress that was BOMB!

– Now shopping for a wedding dress sounds fun, I mean is fun…. 😉 -LOL. You know what I mean, you get all excited but soon anxiety sets in. – What if it’s CRAZY expensive? When should I start looking, and what style do I like? Who’s opinion do I really want to hear…?

Don’t stress girl! – I got you! I put together 10 of my best wedding dress shopping tips to make it easy for you!

1. Set A Budget

I know exactly what you did as soon as he popped the question -PINTEREST! Your fingers couldn’t pin those princess, diamond encrusted dresses fast enough. – Let’s pause and determine what YOU are willing to spend on a dress. Match your expectations and reality.

2. Your Bride Tribe

Make sure your support system is positive, knows what YOU like, and are people you feel comfortable around. Always ask the salon ahead of time how many people they allow, my salon was pretty small. Also, don’t feel guilty for not inviting people. This day is about you, and they should understand that sometimes more people means more distractions.

3. Don’t Go In Your Birthday Suit

-What do I mean by this you ask? Simple, make sure you wear the appropriate undergarments. Nude colors are always a good choice. My bridal consultant made a joke about how happy she was that I even had underwear on! Come on ladies! Your bra on the other hand will more than likely come off. -It is what it is.

4. Start Shopping A Year In Advance

Most shops will have to order your dress. For example; My dress is taking 5 months to come in! That is 2 months before my wedding, talk about stressful! So you want to make sure you start shopping early.

If you can’t shop that early for whatever reason be prepared to pay a little extra to rush orders. Or you may have to stick with off the rack purchases.

5. Size Ain’t Nothing But A Number

– Just get over it right now. Wedding dress sizes are COMPLETELY different than regular dresses, clothing, etc. If your stylist comes in with bigger sizes, trust that she knows what she’s doing. – You’re NOT fat I promise.

Don’t freak out if you can’t button the dress all the way either. Sample dresses go through the ringer and are never anyone’s size. – Let’s be honest here.

6. Remember Your Venue / Location

Let’s do some math here. – Summer + Hot = Sweat. Make sure you keep the time of year and location in mind when choosing your gown. Stay away from ball gowns and lots of fabric if your big day is an outdoor wedding in the middle of the summer. Since my wedding is in the middle of the desert I went with a lighter fabric. -Did I just give a clue?! (Instagram followers will know what’s up!)

7. Photoshoot It

Take pictures in the dresses you like. This will help if you don’t end up making a decision while at the salon. You can always go back and look through the photos. The dresses start to look the same, so little details will get lost. Photos will help you see them better.

– ASK IF PHOTOS ARE ALLOWED. Be respectful of the salon. In my case no photos were allowed until you said yes to the dress!

8. Describe Your Style

You want to make sure you communicate to your stylist how you want to look. -Unfortunately, no one can read your mind. For me it was “romantic, simple & light.” If you have pictures that works too!

9. Do Some Research

You don’t have to spend a ton of time online, but knowing what styles will flatter your body type is extremely helpful. You may love a mermaid style, but it may not be the best fit for you. Be open to try on different styles.

10. Don’t Be Afraid To Say Yes To The Dress.

I said yes to the second dress I tried on! Of course I tried more on before I eventually said yes, but it gave me the “feels” as soon as I put it on. -Even if it’s the 1st dress you try on, that’s ok!

Wedding consultants really do listen, and they already have a dress in mind before you’re done talking. “The one” is a real thing and it’s ok to say yes to that.

Happy Shopping!

Always,

Tara

Why Do You Blog?

Lately, I have been getting a lot of questions on why I started my blog. The most common questions are, “What made you want to start a blog?” Or “What do you blog about?” So I decided to share with everyone on WHY I started mine and hopefully inspire others who have been thinking about doing it! (FYI: Just JUMP IN!)

I have always had the creative bug. I enjoy writing, planning any type of event or party, and sharing new things with others. As I got older, this part of me got lost in the shuffle but I realized pretty quickly I wasn’t happy without my creative space.

Work, school, relationships, and family can get busy. It becomes easy to push the things that make us happy or feel good to the side. I don’t know why this happens, but I know it happened to me. MAYBE we just get so wrapped up in pleasing others or hitting a work goal, that we loose sight of what WE need to keep us balanced.

So, one day about a year and a half ago I decided to start my Lifestyle Blog (in true procrastinator fashion I started it 6 months ago). Now, I didn’t start my blog because I thought my life was super exciting, I started it for the exact opposite! I got in a funk. All I did was work, eat, sleep, repeat. I needed to create a space that was fun and enjoyable for me (stress is a real thing) and in doing so, I realized that I was helping others who were feeling the same.

My advice is this; -If you want to start a blog do it! Some people won’t understand and that is perfectly fine. Write about what you know and like. You will be surprised by how many others find joy and inspiration from your post (you included). If you just like reading them that’s fine too!

-Sorry, if this post seems a little short, I just wanted to give a better idea of why IFYOUSEEKTARA was created! I am looking forward to sharing more with everyone!

I hope you have a fantastic Sunday!

Always,

Tara

My 3 Step Fitness Routine

I think I finally have a routine and the gym! If you have been following me on my Instagram you probably have witnessed my many Instagram Story gym sessions. Which mostly consists of photos or boomerangs. -Lol

Even though I try to go at least 3 days a week, I never really had a routine while I was there. I always would go to the treadmill and afterwards be done. I think it was mostly because I didn’t know what machines to use or how to use them? BUT with a little help I caught on pretty quick.

If you are reading this going – “I am the same way.” I would recommend asking someone who works at the gym how to use the machine or going with a friend so you can both learn together ( its less embarrassing with a buddy – LOL). Below, I am going to share my recent routine with you and REAL photos. These are not staged so judgement free zone. – I can’t always look good 🙂 J/K

STEP 1.

When I get to the gym I start with either the treadmill or elliptical for 25 mins. Now, you can make this as easy or as hard as you want. I generally do a fast paced walk on an incline, however, if you want to run that’s fine too.

STEP 2.

After my 25 minute walk/run & depending on what day it is, I’ll workout my upper body (chest & arms) or lower body (legs and butt). I usually do another 10-15 minutes working out these areas. As far as how much weight to use, that’s completely up to you and how much you are comfortable with. I stick to 30-40 pounds. You don’t want to over due it or hurt yourself, but you still want to sweat a little.

STEP 3.

My final step while at the gym is stretching. Most gyms have a designated area for this, usually with mats available. I don’t have a specific amount of time for stretching. Sometimes I incorporate Yoga moves to push my workout a little more, other times I just cool down.

After that I’m done! Since doing this routine I have lost 5 pounds in about 2 weeks. I also haven’t changed my diet (I love food too much) however, I will most likely change up this routine to push myself and try for better results. BUT we all have to start somewhere! As someone who doesn’t really enjoy working out, I know that just doing it is an accomplishment.

-Oh and make sure you have a good playlist! I swear it makes a HUGE difference in your mood when working out.

Thanks for hanging out guys! If you’ve been wanting to workout more I hope this helped you. Tag me on Instagram & we can cheer each other on!

Always,

Tara

3 Tips For the Newly Engaged

Hello everyone & Happy Sunday!

Today, I wanted to talk about some tips for the soon to be bride and groom since so many of you were interested in our wedding planning! I’ve been engaged now for two months ( which is crazy to me!) and since the holidays are over, wedding planning is in full force!

However, I know this can be a stressful time for some so I’m going to share some of my tips to help sort your thoughts and relieve some of that anxiety you are probably feeling. Hey- by now means am I stress free over here, but I’m learning that organization is key to the madness!

Keep Your Engagement Quiet

WHAT?! Is probably the first word out of your mouth right now, BUT I promise you will thank me later! You don’t have to keep it on the down low forever, but I do suggest that you take time to enjoy this moment between you and your new fiancé. Personally, when we got engaged we only told our immediate family members and close friends (who we told to keep it off Facebook).

We did eventually make a public post, but it was nice to have a “secret” that only a few knew about. Also, keep in mind once you share this exciting news, you will get a ton of questions! Make sure you are ready.

Start Thinking About A Date

Here we go – You are now engaged and everyone wants to know when the big day is! You don’t have to lock in a day right away, however, I do suggest getting an idea of what season, time frame, etc. Take into consideration how long you’ve been dating. For example, if you’ve been dating for three years or less, you might want a full year engagement (saving & planning).

For us, we have been together for five years, ( six by the time we get hitched) so a full year engagement is not on the agenda. But, I am still giving us time to save and plan. Which leads me into my next tip.

Determine What Type of Wedding You Want

This might be the most important. Do you want traditional, destination, or an elopement? Now that I think about it, you might want to do this first – LOL. The reason is because the type of wedding you want will most likely determine your budget and guest list. Don’t be afraid to do what you want either. People who want to celebrate with you will be there no matter what you choose, and that’s all that matters.

To give you a little scoop – We have decided to do a mix between elopement & destination. Our guest list is small, 15 total and I couldn’t be more excited! We didn’t want to go into debt, and both of us have lost important people in our lives. Since they are not here physically, and with no one to walk me down an isle, our decision was mutual. This is not meant to make you sad either! I just want you to know if you are in a similar situation, its perfectly fine and normal if you feel the same!

If you are single and still reading this post, YOU ROCK! Don’t worry, one day you will be in the same boat and you now you have three great tips to reference back to! Until then, just have fun and enjoy life! Time moves fast so make sure you travel, hang-out with friends, and learn about yourself!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post – I can’t wait to share more with you about our wedding festivities! Make sure you are subscribed to the blog – They see it first! Head over to my Instagram as well for real life moments!

Always,

Tara

Holly Jolly Detroit

Hello Everyone!

Happy Sunday & Christmas Eve Eve! ( Lol, it’s a real thing)

Alright, I know it has been a hot minute since I have posted, and I’ll be honest….. I need to get more organized with work, life and everything in between. I hope I’m not the only one who can relate to that? ANYWAY, I appreciate everyone for sticking around & if you ever need to catch up make sure you are following me on Instagram @ifyouseektara.

Ok, on to some Christmas Fun! This year I wasn’t really feeling the Christmas spirit like I usually do, so I needed a boost. My fiancé decided to take me downtown to enjoy some holiday activities & I think it actually worked! We live about twenty minutes from the city so it was an easy ride over, and we parked for free at one of the casinos.

Might not be the best shot, but there were a lot of people and cars, so I had to take what I could get, BUT its so pretty! They also have an ice skating ring to the right of the tree.

After we walked around the little pop-up shops we decided to walk over to Miracle at Park Bar. If you are unfamiliar with it and you live in the Detroit area, it’s a New York City based pop-up bar that takes over The Skip . The menu is all Holiday inspired drinks. ( Don’t go there hungry, no food.)

There are Christmas lights everywhere, presents hanging from the ceiling, Christmas music playing and of course every table had these RV’s, which reminded me of the movie National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Now, they have a lot of festive drinks that come in cool glasses, but I decided to be a little safe, lol. I ordered the Christmaspolitan & it was delicious!

If you don’t have any plans today and you live in the area I would highly recommend going downtown and checking it out for yourself! If you can’t make it today don’t worry the pop-up bar will be here until December 31st!

I hope you enjoyed my little trip around the city. If you know of any other places let me know, I would love to hear! I hope everyone has a Fantastic Holiday and I can’t wait to catch up with everyone to hear all about it!

Always,

Tara

Small Business Saturday

Happy Saturday everyone! Since the holiday season is upon us & today is all about supporting local businesses, I put together a little gift guide with my favorite Etsy accounts.

Two of these ladies I know from school/friends and I love watching their work on Instagram. All of these items are super cute and perfect as gifts! Plus, you should probably order for yourself as well! I’ve listed everything below for you. Enjoy & happy shopping!

1. PopFizzKlink

The owner of this shop is Brynna & she is wonderful! Her Instagram is @popfizzklink & I highly recommend you check out her Instagram stories often. Her Etsy is listed in her bio for all your sign needs ( Hurry, they sell out fast!)

2. Lighters Candle Company

I came across this Etsy account one day while I was browsing online & I instantly fell in love. Who doesn’t love candles? More importantly, who doesn’t love candles & swearing?! Instagram is @lighterscandlecompany Etsy account listed in bio.

3. The Foxy Hipster

The owner of this shop is Amy and she’s amazing! If you are looking for 80’s and 90’s nostalgia, her shop is perfect for you! Instagram is @thefoxyhipster Etsy in bio.

4. Bookend Candle Co.

Last but not least we have more candles! I’ve actually purchased recently & love the style ( and smell) of these candles. Plus, right now until Christmas you can get 20% off your purchase! Instagram is @bookendcandleco Etsy in bio.

Hope this helps you !

Always,

Tara