BRAIDS, OUTFITS AND FLOWERS. OH MY!

11/21/14

I've been up since 2:30AM this morning. Oh the joys of early morning flights. So while I struggle here at the airport, I'll leave you all with a few pretty snaps from my phone lately. Braids, outfits and flowers. Oh my! DC, I'm coming for you! Eeeee!! Make sure to follow along on our adventures over on Instagram!

P.S. I'm obsessed with my new GIRL BOSS tee I got the other week from Style Lately (bottom left). Just in time for the holidays, Style Lately is offering HLL readers 25% off with the coupon code: LOVESTYLELATELY. Happy shopping!
xoxo


BRAIDED WRAPPED BUN

11/20/14

I had a few concerns from you guys after posting this picture on Instagram, that I took the plunge and chopped my hair. Don't worry my friends. Here is proof that its still long as ever. I am for sure in need of a nice trim and an updated color. The holidays is making it difficult for this to happen though. Where to put your money.

Well today I have a little hair tutorial for you all. It's super simple, but LOTS of bobby pins are required. At least for all my heavy haired sisters out there. Also, Eric and I are heading off to DC for the holidays tomorrow. I've never been so I am super excited to explore historical site and see pretty holiday decorations. Any suggestions out there for places to see/do/eat are much appreciated!! Make sure to follow along on our adventures over on Instagram!

Forewarning, I'm not quite sure why these pictures came out so fuzzy. It's a shame, because this braided wrapped bun was a masterpiece, if I do say so myself. You don't want to know how many bobby pins were in there. Curse you thick, heavy hair. But looks like someone needs a new camera for Christmas. That or lighting equipment. *cough cough*


To Create
step one: Part hair down the center and create two french braids. Secure with small elastic.
step TWO: Here is where the bobby pins come into play. Take one braid and start to create a low circle with the braid. Secure with as many bobby pins as possible.
step three: Repeat with other braid in opposite direction. Make sure to fill in the whole bun with your braids!
step Four: Go around and secure with more bobby pins until it feels completely secure.

Let me know if you try this look out by tagging me in your instagram photos @tanyajtaylor
xoxo

MELLOW YELLOW

11/14/14


This past week in Seattle is really golden. Metaphorically and quite literally. All that blue sky and sunshine is making this chilly weather all worth it. So Seattle, you have me mellow yellow and I'm not complaining. I could use a little mellow in my life.

Over the weekend I took a little bike ride around our town. It was great just to spend some time by myself and do a little soul searching. I should have just taken a video of this place, it was incredible. I found a pretty little tree to set myself under and just people watch for a good hour with the sun shining through big Fall leaves over head.

Here are just a few photos from that excursion.

5 WAYS TO BE HAPPIER

11/13/14


Have you ever noticed that whenever you are sad or frustrated about something you can never seem to escape it. You see it everywhere you go, on TV, at the grocery store, while on your morning run. You see it even when you shouldn't. Any little thing becomes a connection to it in your brain. Way to go brain. Since this post I really have been trying to move forward and be happy, but you know, we all have our set backs. This week was supposed to be a big week for me but things didn't work out the way I hoped. Right now it's all a little game of fake it till you make it. I am a big believer that this really does work. Fake a laugh, fake a smile, and slowly but surely those smiles become real. That laugh you thought would make you feel guilt instead brings relief. I laughed so hard the other week that I cried. To this day it might just be my favorite laugh of all time. I needed it more than I knew. Since then I've been doing my research of more ways that can hopefully speed up the process (because, you know, being sad is the pits). So if you're like me and need a little "boost" in your life, here are just a few ways to be happier.

1. Get outside. This is easier said than done. If you're anything like me, you do a good job of creating little barricades around your heart. You stay in your pj's, eat lots of cereal (because it's easy), you stay clear of any incoming calls, and Netflix. Lots and lots of Netflix. 90's rom-coms to be precise. But all these things are temporary fixes, and soon the sadness comes back ten fold. But what I found is, nothing does the soul better than stepping outside. You can only hide from the world for so long, but the truth is, life goes on. You step outside and see people all around, running their errands, driving to work, having lunch dates with friends. And you soon realize you want to be apart of that world. So you take that first deep breath that you haven't had in days and walk out the door, and let me tell you.. it's amazing!! Being inside just leads you to be left alone with your own thoughts (which rarely are ever any good). Getting outside gives you a chance to get outside of your own head. You feel a surge of energy, creativity and the realization that other good things will head your way.

2. Positive reinforcement. When going through times of hardship it's important to surround yourself with people who are on your side and there to uplift you when you need it. People who know just the right times to leave you alone, to push your buttons, to send flowers or give hugs. I think it's easy to gravitate and want to be around people who are just as sad as you are. It's easy. It's easy because staying sad can feel like the better option. But the truth of the matter is, they're drowning you. Pulling you down to the bottom of the ocean. It's in these times that you have to look up. Look for that life boat and for the ones who are throwing the life preservers your way, because that's what they are. They are your life preservers holding you up, pulling you up on that boat and taking you back to shore.

3. Know the bad days from the good. Not every day is going to be on your side, and that's okay. It's important to know that we can't always be happy. When things don't go our way I like to think that it's life's little way of humbling us. Now I know that in extreme cases this will not be an acceptable answer or may not even apply, but for me in this instance it does. This isn't to say that I was doing anything wrong, but it humbled me. It humbled me to know that sometimes rotten things can happen to even me, and that I will live through it. Painfully, I might add, but I will. It made me weaker and stronger all at the same time (if that makes any sense). I know not every day is going to be my day, and that's okay. I'm now prepared for that. I'm prepared for those bad days if and when they should ever come. I know that some things are just out of our control and all we can do is wait. Wait for the waves to settle and then face the next day. It's just like Anne Shirley says, "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it."

4. Have a plan. Starting the day with this simple question: "What good shall I do today?" Sometimes even setting the most simplest of goals is all it takes to make us feel productive. I don't know about you but whenever I feel productive, when I'm checking things off my list, it brings me loads of happiness. You went grocery shopping. Yay! You went to the gym. Yay! You answered just one email. Yay! Cherish those little victories, because that's what they are. Small steps that you're taking to get back into the swing of life.

5. Have a purpose. Now by no means does this mean that you need to find the all encompassing answer to what our purpose is here in this world. No. Steer clear of that because for right now that's not what you need. Well, maybe it is, I don't know. But for me, this is a time to focus on myself and just giving myself one small purpose to aim towards. It could be as simple as make someone smile every day, or even just finding a DIY project to work on and get really good at. Anything to bring you happiness! But let those purposes push you a little bit out of your comfort zone. It helps keep things interesting.

And if all else fails, ask yourself, WWRSD - What would Ron Swanson do?

xoxo

8 INSPIRING PONYTAILS

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

11/10/14

I found myself watching The Help this past week. No reason in particular, I just wanted to have something in the background while I was doing some meaningless work. I'd seen the movie before. It's good, heart felt and eye opening. But this time was different. The movie took on a whole new meaning to me when it came to this scene:

"You is kind. You is smart. You is important." 

These past few weeks have been emotionally and physically draining on me. Some days are better than others. But when this scene came on I immediately stopped myself from what I was doing and let out a good cry. You know the one. The kind of cry when you dramatically sob into your hands and collapse into a small ball on the floor. Where you think the whole world is caving in on you, and you take little sips of air to bring you back to reality. It's quite an embarrassing scene when you think about it afterwards. Not at all attractive, like how they look in movies. Luckily the only one there to witness it was my dog, Teddy. Bless his little heart. He didn't judge. He just sat right there next to me and gave me little kisses right when I needed them, and sat on my lap the rest of the movie. Even now as I type this I'm working hard to hold back those same emotions that came flooding up inside of me that day. I know this is all starting to sound so cryptic. Sorry for that.

The point is, this quote really had my thinking. Thinking about how we treat ourselves. I know firsthand that I am my own worst enemy. When something goes wrong, when something doesn't go exactly how I planned, I turn inward. It must have been something I did. If only I had done this. Maybe I should have done that. Or those days when I look in the mirror and don't like what I see back. I wish I didn't have so many freckles. Check out those raccoon eyes. How about those legs grow 5 more inches. I don't think that should be shaking when I walk. If only I could look like her. Or for those moments when things just don't line up and you feel like a failure not only for yourself but for those around you. Trust me, these negative thoughts run through my head on a daily basis. More now than ever, or at least since I was 16.

"You is kind. You is smart. You is important." I want this to be my new mantra. I want this to be constantly running through my thoughts whenever I turn inward. 




I took this picture of myself the other day. I took it right after coming back from a grueling weightlifting class at the gym. I wasn't feeling particularly beautiful this day. In fact, it was another one of those crying days. But I wanted to take a picture of myself to reflect. I took the picture and immediately stopped and looked at it. Instead of seeing the greasy hair, my flabby arms and those freckles (oh so many freckles), I decided to be kind to myself. I really looked at this person as that, a person. A person who was created out of love between two people, who is loved by her family and friends. A person with a past, who has scars. Battle wounds on her heart that are trying to be put back together. "Be kind to her", I told myself. And immediately I did. I saw those freckles as little memories. Memories of days spent on the beach given kisses by the sun. Memories of holding my moms hands and seeing the same freckles staring back at me. I saw those arms who had given so many hugs to loved ones who are no longer here with me. I saw those bags under the eyes as moments of showing vulnerability as opposed to weakness. From many sleepless nights and crying spells. Those little bags are worn proudly as badges of honor for those moments of hardship recently endured. 


If you are still reading all of this blubbering I applaud you. But mostly I just want to say that I love you. Be kind to yourselves this week, and know that you're in my thoughts. There are so many of you that I just feel connected through, whether it be through your comments, emails or your own blogs. Know that you are kind. You are smart. You are important. 

xoxo.

HANDS UP FOR LOOSE WAVES

11/6/14

Let's take a hot second to talk about hair, shall we?

I posted this picture on Instagram the other day on whether or not to cut my locks. Thank you all for your awesome input, I read every single one of your comments. You guys are literally the sweetest! I still feel a little torn in my decision. Pinterest would do that to you. So many cute hairstyles out there right now! So in the meantime I'll keep it long, perhaps get a few inches off to keep me from doing anything drastic and wait for warmer weather to take the big plunge.

But one style that works for any length of hair is the loose waves. Here are some of my favorite looks courtesy of my favorite bloggers. I think what I love most about the loose waves look is that it gives off that perfect mixture of effortless, classic and the "I just woke up like this" vibe. Is there anything better? So rock those loose waves ladies.

xoxo.


Photos: Image 1 // Image 2 // Image 3 // Image 4 // Image 5 // Image 6