All About Tara

I’m Back!

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It has been over 18 months since I’ve written and I am ashamed! Don’t worry, I have a perfectly good excuse – I got MARRIED and I had a baby!

What a difference a year makes, right?

Let me give you the rundown.

I learned that I was pregnant in January 2015, the week of my 37th birthday. I’m the youngest of three siblings and the first to have a baby. It was kind of a big deal. I was a mess! I mean seriously. I was shocked. I was upset. I was scared. You were expecting me to say “excited”and “happy” right? Don’t worry, I get there eventually.

I made my first doctor appointment six days after my 37th birthday. It was the 5th of February. That was the day my boyfriend popped the question. Yup, baby and engagement within two weeks! Talk about overload!

My family was overjoyed! I would be the first to wed in addition to bringing forth the first grandchild in the family. Honestly, my head was going to explode.

My Mom instantly began to send me photos of wedding dresses. In my mind, we would remain engaged for about a year or so. I could see my daughter teetering down the isle with help from her grandparents. A September wedding. Not too hot, not too cold. Small wedding, less than 100 people…

However, my soon – to – be husband wanted to get married before the baby arrived. I wanted to respect his request and I knew that  I could n0t plan a wedding in 7 months while working full time and being pregnant. Walking down the isle preggers was NOT an option for me.

So we set a date for May.

I cancelled it.

We set another date and decided to go to the justice of the peace.

LE sigh.

Four months after he asked me to marry him, we got hitched. Meet Mr. & Mrs. Charles Washington!

My parents and us, June 26th.
My parents and us, June 26th.

Three months later, my precious little girl arrived, Aubree Olivia Washington.

Aubree Olivia @ Six Months
Aubree Olivia @ Six Months

Marriage and motherhood are beautiful. I have discovered so much about myself that I didn’t know existed. I prayed for patience a long time ago, but God truly tested me on that test as soon as I became engaged! Haha, I laugh at so many situations now. I have been pushed and challenged in ways I never thought I could be. From complicated child birth to name changes, the past year and a half has been a blessing for me, despite how it may seem.

I went from traveling the country and building a business to working for someone else and shying away from the social scene almost instantly.

I am a new person. I was an extrovert social butterfly. I am now a semi-introverted semi-social MOM. I am at a place where I am ready to complete my purpose. Motherhood was always a part of my story. I see life so differently now and that is okay. I have many plans for this blog from sharing recipes to my travels with the family.

I hope that you will come along for this journey! Thank you for reading. Have questions? Leave me a comment and share the love!

~Mrs.

 

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All About Tara · Collab Cooks · Cooking · Meatless Monday

Meatless Mondays – Kidney Bean and Quinoa Burgers – No Bun!

Kidney Bean and Quinoa Burgers I love vegetarian and vegan cuisine! In 2014, I fell way off the natural food wagon a few times when I traveled the country sampling various dishes. You know what they say, when in Rome… Anyway, since I have a no meat diet, I try to get as creative as possible… Continue reading Meatless Mondays – Kidney Bean and Quinoa Burgers – No Bun!

All About Tara

Happy New Year!

Happy-New-Year-2015-Celebration-Wallpapers

 

“Where have you been stranger? I haven’t seen you out in a minute!” “Did you delete your Facebook account? I can’t find you anywhere! “ “Do you still plan events?” “Are you still with that guy?” “ I haven’t seen you in my timeline in a while, are you okay?”

I’ve been asked a series of these questions more times than I would have liked over the past six months. I did many amazing things in 2014. I spent much of my time traveling, visiting family, working on my financial freedom, re-learning the corporate workforce and reading. I’m proud that I took some time away from the social scene to work on building a healthy relationship with my life partner. In 2015, I will focus on my personal and professional relationships.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you decide to unplug yourself from the social norm that consumes so much of our time. 2014 was my year of epiphanies. Each year, I have highs and lows, we all do. A self-proclaimed social media junkie, I did the unexpected and decided to keep my private life, private by spending less time watching television, Tweeting, Instagramming, party hopping and Facebooking. I decided to invest in myself, my relationship, and my family. Listen, TIME isn’t on our side and we MUST be purposeful in steps in life.

Today is January 1st and few things are different from yesterday. What is different is our mindset. We choose where we go from here. We chose how we will impact the next 12 months. We choose how we will treat others and set the examples for others to see. I wish you success in your journey for 2015!

From my heart to yours,

Tara Holland

 

P.S. Shout out to my brother (@stellarwayne) for the video new year inspiration!

 

All About Tara · Business · Exclusives! · Fashion

Atlanta Needs Ladies Night TV!

I was invited to the live taping of the new late night TV show Ladies Night. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I walked on set but what I DID know was that the stars of Ladies Night were pretty darn amazing already. Ladies Night features four beautiful, talented, smart and opinionated young… Continue reading Atlanta Needs Ladies Night TV!

Business · Community Service · Event Reviews · Personal · Philanthropy

Plywood Presents, The Conference for Social Innovators

 

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I have been researching local non-profit organizations to support throughout the summer. This week, I was blessed to attend Plywood Presents at the Buckhead Theater on Wednesday and Thursday in Atlanta, GA. I first learned of the Plywood People while visiting one of my new favorite local shops in the Castleberry Hill area, The Boxcar Grocer. I was instantly intrigued and in my normal nosy way, I took to Google and did my research on the organization. Instantly, I wanted to be a part of Plywood People as a volunteer.

Plywood People, is a local 501(c)3 that supports social entrepreneurs¹ and provide relief to the poor and underprivileged  through education and implementation. Plywood hosts events, conferences, and retreats to help social entrepreneurs pursue their ideas. On Wednesday, Plywood Presents welcomed over 400 people to Atlanta for a two day conference that featured 12 presenters like Brad Montague, the Creator of the YouTube sensation, Kid President and Father Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries.

The entire experience was a life changing one for me. I met some of the most creative innovators, entrepreneurs and supporters of social change that inspired and motivated me! I admit, I’ve struggled with my true purpose in life over the past three years. I cannot say that I have all the answers, but I can say that I’m in a more concise state now, then I have been in the past few years. I’m a constant work in progress and that’s okay. Here are a few of my takeaways from the conference:

1. How do we do more with what we have? – A question posed by Grace Kim, Director of Partnership at GOOD/Corps

GOOD is a social networking website for “People who give a damn.” Grace presented this question and it was explosive! I don’t know about you but I have some pretty awesome resources within myself. I have a strong network, a great personality, excellent business skills (if I do say so myself) and a heart to change the world. What if we took a few of our many skills and used it for good? Imagine how much we could impact our city, state and world.

2. Speaker Nathan Williams, Founder of Kinfolk Magazine listed 8 things that were a success for his start-up business.

I won’t list them all but my favorites were (a) Try Not to Please Everyone, (b) Create “the master list” Time Yourself  and (c) Swim in Wild Water.

(a)  Try not to please everyone. I am so guilty of this! I over commit to many things and have a hard time saying no. This is no bueno! In business, everyone isn’t going to like your idea, attend your events, or like your designs and that’s okay. What you do isn’t for everyone. Once you realize that, you will be much better off. Don’t take it personal, just stick to your guns and politely move on.

(b) Create “the master list” will hold you accountable. My mother used to tell me to write things down and I, of course, ignored her but NOW I find it to be mandatory. Create a master list and within the list create categories like Immediate or Delegate. A key point that Nathan Williams also mentioned was to “Time Yourself.” Consider that for a moment. We can easily get distracted by the world when we have a list of tasks to complete. Use your smart phone or a mini timer to sit in your office from time to time. Turn it on when you have a pressing task to complete and it will hold you accountable to get ish done!

(c) Swim in Wild Waters. This was the speakers way of saying take time to unwind in your own way. I don’t swim but I love the water. Take a 24 hour time-out to float down the Chattahoochee, get a hotel in the city and let your cell phone battery die on purpose or send the day at the spa. Work hard but also play hard. Take mental days off to rejuvenate yourself so that you can be better at what you do.

3. Think Big, Start Small and Keep Moving – Charles Lee, CEO of Ideation

Don’t let your dreams die. If you have a crazy idea, don’t think negatively like “I can never pull this off!” Take your amazing ideas and start small to make them a reality. Make a list. Do your research. Ask the right questions and take action steps. Charles Lee said, “Brainstorming meetings are neat but they are also unproductive!” Sometimes we talk and talk and talk about an idea but we spend so much time talking that it never gets done. Keep moving! Don’t take amazing ideas to your grave, leave your mark on the world!

Here are a few images that sum up my experience at the conference. Please, click on each link in this post, learn more about the businesses and how you can become involved with one or more of these organizations!

Cheers to changing lives!

~T~

¹A Social Entrepreneurs adopt a mission to create and sustain social value. They pursue opportunities to serve this mission, while continuously adapting and learning. (reference- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_entrepreneurship)

All About Tara · Food Creations

Vegetarian Quiche w/summer veggies!

Last weekend, I went to a local outside farmers market and stocked up on fresh summer veggies. And just like anything fresh, it expires pretty quickly. My resolution to my week old yellow squash was a quick quiche! Quiche is one of my favorite dishes and one of the first things I’ve learned to cook.… Continue reading Vegetarian Quiche w/summer veggies!