I had planned to do an entire 2019 recap and “this is what I learned” and “this is what happened” blah, blah, blah…you know the drill. But let’s be honest, I think the thing we’re most curious about is what you guys loved in 2019!
This past year was so crazy! It was the year I was supposed to slow down and take a break. Umm, that didn’t happen. However, I didn’t travel as much and I was able to spend more time with my family so that was a HUGE awesome bonus. It’s strange. I thought that if I took it easy in 2019, that things would slow down. I think being more present and at home more just made things even crazier! But a good crazy. The best kind.
So I’m just covering all the positives! The best of the best. The best blog posts, the funniest moments, and the things you love best. Including, your TOP 20 PURCHASES from all the links I shared this year!
I think we can all agree that we started out the year on the right foot…with the right bra! I had so many questions about the right bras, the ones I loved the most. So I broke it down and put my top 3 in a blog post for you! If you’re still wearing a bra that makes it unbearable to wear one, make sure you read this post!
February was a big month for me! And despite appearances, these pictures were hard to show! But what I loved most, and I think most of you really connected with, is that my journey wasn’t about losing weight. Most of you know that I live a gluten-free lifestyle due to a celiac disease diagnosis a few years back.
After struggling with gluten and arthritis for more than a decade, I found myself with really low energy levels, an uncomfortable level of softness, and daily pain/discomfort. I was diagnosed with arthritis and really high levels of inflammation in my teens and I’ve dealt with the side effects of it throughout my teen/adult life. It’s one of those things that is hard to see on the outside but definitely wreaks havoc on the joints and ligaments of the body. There’s a definite disconnect when how you look on the outside doesn’t match how you feel on the inside!
Compound that with my digestive issues and there were a lot of years I wasn’t a super happy camper. I remember when I was pregnant with Dash (8 years ago) and having to brace myself to even go up the stairs. My joints were giving out on me and I was MISERABLE. A day didn’t go by where I didn’t have to take some sort of medication. I was always trying to fight off a migraine or coax myself to go up the stairs. That isn’t a fun way to live.
Changing the way I treated my body resulted in a complete 180 in my health. If you are looking for the motivation you need this year to jumpstart your own health journey, make sure you read this post!
SHOP MY LULU DUPES
This month was big – Pennie was new-ish to our family and still wreaking havoc everywhere she went! We love her and we’re glad we all made it through 2019 alive. I thought Braun was going to ship Pennie off there a few times!
Speaking of Braun, his blog post about mindset and the books that have helped him cultivate his was one of my favorite posts. Braun is the most driven person I know.
He’s the type of guy who says things like “Positive Mental Attitude” or “Decide To Like It” and he totally means it! Not in a sarcastic way. But in a heartfelt, you-can-do-better, life-is-what-you-make-it type of way.
He goes to the gym to work on his physical strength. Church to work on his spirit. And books to develop his mind. When I asked him how he chooses books and why these specific ones, he had this to say:
“I focus on books that can help me in my relationships, with my work and leadership skills, with sales, and self-help or becoming a better me.” His post on his books is a must-read. Especially if you’ve got some big New Year’s resolutions to tackle!
SHOP BRAUN’S FAVORITE BOOKS
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We love to travel. But with 2 adults and 4 kids, we usually have to book 2 rooms. According to Statista, the average daily rate (ADR) of hotels in the United States was 128.94 U.S. dollars as of February 2019.
And that’s $2 up from last year! Every month and every year rates go up and it gets more and more expensive for a family of our size to stick to a budget while traveling, let alone go on vacation.
But over the years, we’ve gotten a bit smarter about how we do vacations and lodging is one of the things we try to figure out and get out of the way first! And yes, price is always something we’re trying to get as low as possible but there are also a few things that make my vacations more pleasant. So I broke down all my tips & tricks so you can travel 2020 in style and within budget!
Now that I think about it, 2019 was a very “Tara’s an open book” year! But I really wanted to demystify the whole influencer gig for you guys. I wrote a few blog posts last year about this very topic and they were some of my top blog posts of all 2019!
There’s a handful of common questions I get asked on a daily basis from followers and people I meet in real life, but none more popular than these two:
How did you become a product tester?
How do you make money as an “Influencer?”
Both GREAT questions and ones I haven’t really known how to answer. I’ve been in your shoes!
How do bloggers make money? Are people just giving them free clothes and trips? I still wonder about these things – haha. But this post goes over all “Influencer” thing for you, dispells some myths, and maybe inspire one of you to follow your passion and do something you love!
You can never teach your kids about financial responsibility too early! I remember watching movies like Clueless and thinking Cher had it all. A cute car, an automated closet, and a credit card that made it feel like money grows on trees. But as Emery has gotten older, Braun and I talk about how to teach not just her, but all of our kids about money and fiscal responsibility.
Enter Greenlight – the kid-friendly debit card that let’s them spend and earn. And I can honestly say it’s one of the best choices we made in 2019.
I am a better person when I’m tan. And I believe most of us are. So I broke down my top 10 tips and tricks to getting the perfect faux glow. Even if you’re a newbie!
SHOP ALL SELF TANNERS
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It’s not pretty but it’s yummy. And if your food is so good that there isn’t any leftover at the end, does it even matter if it was pretty to begin with? I made this Chicken Pot Pie up at the cabin this weekend and it was AMAZING!
I made a gluten-free version, gave you some dairy-free options. And, it’s the yummiest thing you’ll make all winter. Check out the full recipe in this post!
If you’re the only mom who didn’t get Christmas pajamas for her kids, don’t worry, I gotchu. It’s that time of year where the sun sets earlier and the crisp air means cozy nights inside become a must. One of my favorite things is to snuggle with my kids and read books in their pajamas at night. But if you’re like me, you’ve struggled to find that you and your little ones can agree on. Either you’ve got one that sleeps really hot or one that gets too cold. Don’t even get me started on cartoon pajamas…
Be the mom that gets New Year’s pajamas…read that post HERE.
Don’t worry, we’re definitely going to get to your top 20 picks of 2019, but there is another list I think that’s worth a mention! And I know you guys loved it because it was one of my top read posts in 2019. As mom, we don’t get a ton of presents. We often get forgotten on birthdays and Christmas because we’re the ones shopping! But if you’re way overdue for a little #treatyoself therapy, this is the blog post for you!
I put together my top 10 items that are spendy, but WORTH the splurge. And it’s like giving yourself a little gift for all of your hard work. After all, reviews are in and you got top marks. So check out my top 10 items that are splurge-worthy!
This is when things really got crazy and I knew I just needed to get you guys something that would support you through the holidays and all the running around: JEANS! So I rounded up all of my f