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 fiancΓ© 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

 

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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…. πŸ˜‰ -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

3 Kerastase Products I Can’t Live Without

Jumping on here to share a little more with you about the Kerastase Line that I use. I posted on Instagram ( @ifyouseektara) recently about the line and a lot of you shared how you either have been wanting to try it or use it and LOVE it as well!

A little back ground for you, I have been using Resistance // Extentioniste shampoo & conditioner because I am looking for length and have some damage to my hair. I have been highlighting my hair since I was sixteen! Blonde Blonde & more blonde! ( not to mention the RED I had for a brief second) So, as you can imagine my hair has decided to break up with me, and I’m trying to win it back! – Lol

Some of you asked if you have to be a blonde to use it – the answer is absolutely not! Anyone looking to add length & strength should try it out! Also, I would suggest asking your hair stylist for suggestions as well since they are the ones working on your hair. My hair stylist and Friend @Hannahpricebeauty suggested this line because blondes generally have weakened/damaged ends due to the chemicals used to lighten the hair.

The serum therapiste that I HIGHLY recommend is a fiber renewing serum that adds strength and elasticity. Heat protection up to 450 degrees. – Personally, I love my straightener and curling my hair so this is needed! I generally use it on damp hair before I blow dry, but you can also use a little on dry ends for finishing touches!

Now, I obviously asked a professional and did some research, so I strongly suggest you do the same. No one knows your hair like you do! If you are looking to invest in better hair care I would recommend jumping in and doing it. – There are a ton of hair care products out there, you just have to find what works for you!

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 πŸ™‚ 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 fiancΓ©. 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 fiancΓ© 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