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Monday, September 28, 2015

"thirty minutes of wonderful"

Tamia- my something wonderful
This morning, I woke up later than usual and had very little time to spare. You see, I have to leave home "at bedtime" which is how Tamia refers to it since it's still dark when I am leaving my house. For this reason, I try to make as little noise as I can while I'm getting ready because I don't want to wake anyone up. I want them to sleep for as long as they can, but what I really want is to be left alone, to be able to get dressed and ready for the day without interruptions, without distractions. Well, this morning, Tamia woke up very soon after I did, and immediately I felt like my time had been encroached upon, and my little sweet five-year old was the intruder. Before she could even utter the word "Mommy", I found myself saying to her, "go back to sleep, Mommy has to go to work." I kept doing what I was doing; I just wanted to get out of the house without "having to do something" for anyone. I kept moving while she struggled to hug me, and then she went back to bed. I finished doing what I was doing, and exited the house. I thought, "Yes, I made it," but as I was walking to my car, Shelby from Steel Magnolias spoke to me, and as clear as day, I heard her say, "I'd rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special." At that moment, it dawned on me that I had not been enjoying my "something wonderful", that instead, I had been allowing everything and everyone else, the real intruders, "the nothing special" to encroach on my time. I know what you're thinking, "Shelby isn't a real person, Tamara, you're just thinking too much." And really you might be right, she isn't real, but her situation, her circumstances are. So my message today is to take the time to enjoy your "something wonderful" because nothing outside of that is worth it.   

Steel Magnolias

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

scandals, fairy tales, and murder, oh my

As my fellow Gladiators and I unite to embark on what we hope will be another scandalous season, there are a few things I have to say: 1. I am 100% team Fitz. 2. Olivia's father might really be Satan, and 3. Huck needs some serious psychological help ASAP. Now that I have that out of the way, I want to take the time to thank ABC for keeping the magic coming. I am looking forward to another great year with you. 
Here are my favorites:

Once Upon a Time- Why? Because who doesn't love a good fairy tale? Things have definitely taken a turn. Emma is evil, and Regina is good, so who knows what the hell is going to happen next. But I have to say that I seriously love Regina! She is by far one of my favorite characters on this hit series, and if anybody with the power to give Regina her happy ending reads this post, please hear my plea and give the lady a break; she deserves one!

Sunday Nights @ 8:00

Castle- Why? Because I love Nathan Fillion and that is ALL! 

Monday Nights at 10:00

Black-ishWhy? Because I am, and it is high time that African American shows be given airtime again. Traci Ellis Ross is phenomenal and so is Anthony Anderson. 

Wednesday Nights @ 9:30

Scandal-  Why? Because it makes Thursday the best day of the week. So Gladiators, "how do you TGIT?" I actually do try my best to watch Scandal every Thursday night, but when I can't, I catch up with Olivia and the other Glads on Hulu. Thank you so much Hulu and ABC for not making hard-working Americans have to pay to watch your wonderful shows!

Thursday Nights @ 10:00

How to Get Away With Murder- Why? I am really not quite sure I like this show, but I know that I have to watch it another season to see if it's a keeper. Plus, the fact that Viola Davis won an Emmy for her role as Annalise Keating makes it that much easier for me to keep it on my lineup.

Thursday Nights @ 10:00

From the look of things, I am in for a busy week; all I need now are shows for Tuesday and Friday nights, so if you have any suggestions, just send them my way. 

I am so hype for an awesome 2015 season. 


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

shift in seasons

It's fall y'all!

Outfit Details: Cardigan (old, but others here and here), Old Navy Shift Dress (here and here) Seychelles Gamble Sandals (here)

I am pretty sure that I have mentioned how much I love a shift dress, but just in case I haven't done so, let me tell you now, "I love a shift dress!" Known to be a blank canvass for accessories, these dresses have the most versatility when it comes to going from the work desk to a dinner date, and what's more, they look fabulous on. It is quite simple to get ready for work when this dress is hanging in your closet. I have actually been wanting to wear this dress ever since I brought it home from Old Navy, but I decided to wait until after Labor Day to wear my fall colors. The army green with the cognac sandals simply scream "Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall", and that is all right with me. This dress feels great on, and like one reviewer said, "you get to dress up your wardrobe without compromising comfort" or (I might add) your budget. I also like the idea of adding a longer light knit cardigan with the dress and a pair of booties for the cooler fall mornings. But to truly take the look from teacher to diva, just add a few accessories and a sexy heel and transform the look from casual to chic. 

People have been complimenting me all morning, and I have to admit the saying is true: "When you look good, you feel good!" 

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Apex, NC is the #1 place to live, really?

Apex Jazz Music Festival
Okay, I have to admit that when my daughter sent me a text telling me that Apex was the 2015 #1 place to live in the nation, I was a bit befuddled. Not because I disagreed with the report, because I totally love Apex, but because I simply have not been taking advantage of my hometown and all the great things that are literally happening in my backyard. So this weekend with the Apex Jazz Festival happening, my husband and I took the time to do just that.

Being silly and enjoying ourselves!

The Jazz Festival was on Salem St. seriously one of the cutest streets in all of Wake County. It's welcoming, it's vibrant, and it's eclectic all at the same time. Its quaintness provides the perfect backdrop for any event and makes people feel as if they belong. People enjoyed walking around or simply sitting around enjoying the scenery and taking it all in. 

We spent the evening people watching and enjoying the raw talent of the jazz musicians. I was actually bold enough to ask a few people if I could take a snap of their street style, something I would not have done before I started blogging. People were so friendly and so giving, I loved it.

When I saw these heels, I swooned. I applaud her for being able to saunter down the 
street in these beauties!

I loved her style and her spunk. She was so full of energy and the most eager to be snapped.

I loved her style. Her hat and dress and thong sandals were perfect for the jazzy but hot evening.

The smallest trendsetter couldn't hear a thing thanks to his noise-cancelling headphones.

And our evening would not have been complete without the sweet smells and tastes of the food trucks. The spot that made our mouths water the most was The Humble Pig. 


Brisket and Pulled Pork, Beer Fries, and Beans--WOW! Get your own!

We had a great time experiencing "the peak of good living" and to think all this goodness happened less than half a mile from my front door. I am already looking forward to the next event. I'll be sure to let you know about it!

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

I Choose Love

"Never be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life."

When I met Shawn in May of 2000, I had no idea he would become my husband. We were complete opposites (still are). He challenged me, and I frustrated him, but we could not get enough of each other.   

We spent the next 8 years of our lives experiencing the typical ebbs and flows of a relationship: challenging and frustrating each other, but most of all loving each other. Finally, we decided that it was time to stop playing house and time to start building an actual home, and with that choice, our life as one started. On 12.31.08, New Year's Eve, Shawn and I went to the Justice of the Peace, and were finally hitched. This is how our day went: we got married, went to IHOP, and brought in the new year with family and friends-- such a great day.

Well, the new year started, and we couldn't have been happier. I mean we were finally husband and wife. Puzzle complete, right? No, not right. Something was still missing, and for the life of me, I could not put my finger on what it was.  I only knew that something wasn't right; a piece was was not in place which meant, the puzzle was not complete. As months passed, the nagging feeling finally revealed itself. I had married the love of my life, and many of our family members and our closest friends didn't even know that our long-awaited union had even occurred. But what bothered me the most was that I had jumped the broom, and I had created no significant memories of the day. Well, Shawn knew that I wanted a wedding, and deep down, I think he wanted one too, so by April of 2009, we had decided to have a reception. An event to acknowledge our proclamation of love, we made plans and set the date, 09.19.09, and we are happy that we did.  

Our Reception: Puzzle Complete

I got to wear a beautiful dress

and some pretty+comfortable shoes.

I got to carry a beautiful bouquet,

and I got the chance to stun Shawn with my beauty- he's cute here!

We got to dance and laugh

and we got to kiss, but most importantly...

we got to become a family!

That was six years ago today, and as I look back over those years, I have to say that loving Shawn is a choice that I make every day. There are some days when I don't want to choose love because on those days loving him is a hard choice to make, and not loving him would be so easy, but now I know it is those days that are the most important days to choose love. Why? Because those are the days when he is scared, anxious, exhausted or insecure, the days when he is most vulnerable and that vulnerability manifests itself as anger, hurt, or disappointment. Those are the days he needs me the most and I need him. So today as I look back, I am happy that even when choosing not to love seemed like the easiest choice to make, I chose to love, and fortunately, I still do.  

Our happiness was captured by Tiona Fuller Photography and 


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WCW: Janet Jackson

In the spirit of fun and loving Janet Jackson, I thought I'd dedicate today's post to Miss Jackson because I am one of those lucky enough to be going to see her tomorrow night as she comes through NC on her Unbreakable World Tour. First of all, I have loved Janet ever since she was Penny Woods on Good Times, and even if I never understood why she was so in love with JJ, my love and fascination for her has endured for what seems like a lifetime. I cannot wait to see her "Control" the stage and mesmerize her fans tomorrow night as the enchantress that she is, and in doing so bring to life my dreams of dancing alongside her. I hope to see some fellow Janet Jackson fans tomorrow night. For fun, I took these quizzes on Buzz Feed to determine which Janet I am and for the most part I pretty much identify with every Janet from Control to Velvet Rope. I guess it's safe to say that as Janet evolved, so did I!

Which Janet do you most identify with?  Buzz Feed has some quizzes. Take one to see which "Janet" or Janet song represents you the most! 

Which Janet are you?

Can We Guess Your Personality Based On Your Fave Janet Jackson Song?

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Monday, September 7, 2015

A Labor of Love

Five years ago on Labor Day, I gave birth to a sweet baby girl. So this weekend was pretty special because we got to celebrate the 5th birthday of our little handful, Tamia. I wanted the day to be fun filled, so keep reading to see how this Mama made the day a success!

Here's the Rundown

Our day of fun began with a show at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. Since Tamia has shown a real interest in science, I thought it would be great to take her to see a star show, and it was pretty cool. We saw "One World, One Sky" (appropriate for 4&5 year olds, and some adults, lol). The visitor center took very good care of us. Be sure to visit this local venue for some family fun!

Sesame Street's "One World, One Sky"

The kids playing in the moon sand was one of the highlights. 
We enjoyed it so much that I looked up the recipe

Tamia enjoyed herself!

Next up: Mellow Mushroom 

After the show and exploring some exhibits, we headed down W. Franklin Street 
to replenish and celebrate at Mellow Mushroom, and let me tell you, the scenery was perfect!

We had the patio pretty much to ourselves, which was lovely. 
We ate lunch, b-day cake, and opened presents!


Tamia was over the moon!

Destination #3: Kidzu Children's Museum

The day did not end here! We headed on over to Kidzu Children's Museum 
for some creative play. I am amazed at how few Chapel Hill natives know this place exists, which is really a shame! The kids had a wonderful time! 


It's amazing how a little person can change the direction of your life and make you forget what life was like before she came on the scene. It happened for me the first time in 1995 and again in 2010. I can only thank God for giving me such gifts. 

Thanks to all of our family and friends who joined in celebrating our sweet girl's 5th birthday. She loved each moment of it!


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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

work of heaART! "graphically speaking"

Graphic Cocoon Top


Outfit Details:

It's hard to say what my favorite clothing item is, but this year, I have really been feeling graphic tees. Usually shirts or tops with sayings, or really any kind of embellishment, don't appeal to me, but as of late, something about graphic tops has been quite appealing to me. That's why when I saw this cocoon graphic top in Old Navy, I did not hesitate to snatch it up so that I could have some fun with it.

A pair of boyfriend jeans (old but similar here) and a black booties (here) was all I needed to complement this comfortable top and to create a street style for the fall. See below for more of me "graphically" speaking.

thanks for stopping by!

Photos by Sarah of Sarah Michelle Photos

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