books to look out for this fall | collab post

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Hello & welcome back!

Today I’m bringing you a post on the books you should add to your TBR for autumn! I absolutely love reading and always have a large stack of books to read, so I’m excited to share with you my picks. This post is a collab with the amazing Nonagon from A Living Metaphor!–make sure to check out her blog & follow it!

Let’s get into the post.

1 // an enchantment of ravens by margaret rogerson

I added this book to my TBR as soon as I heard about it. I haven’t read this yet but I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Fans of Sarah J. Maas & Victoria Aveyard will definitely love this book. It’s about our favorite immortal people: the fae. From what I’ve heard, this book features romance, adventure & fantasy!

2 // warcross by marie lu

I’ve only read one series by Marie Lu (author of the Legend series & the Young Elites series), but I wasn’t a big fan of her writing style. (I really enjoyed the series, though!) Nonetheless, I’ve heard so much hype about this book and it looks really good! Warcross seems similar to Ready Player One and The Eye of Minds–it features bounty hunters, a Tokyo setting, and virtual reality!

3 // girls made of snow and glass by melissa bashardoust

 This book is everything I need. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a fairytale retelling with strong feminist vibes! It’s a loose mash-up between Snow White and FrozenI’m a huge sucker for fairytale retellings, so this looks promising.

4 // one dark throne by kendare blake

I need this book right now. One Dark Throne is the sequel to Three Dark Crowns, and I couldn’t be more excited. The first book is so clever & imaginative and full of twists and turns. It’s really hard to explain, but here we go: Three Dark Crowns is about three sisters that each have a different “skill”, and are competing for the throne and the chance to be queen. In doing so, for one queen to rise to the top, the other queens must be killed.

I found this to be a really good book & I can’t wait for the second one to come out!

5 // renegades by marissa meyer

Finally, we have Renegades! Marissa Meyer (author of The Lunar Chronicles series & Heartless) is my all-time favorite author. I am so excited for this book–it’s the start to a new series that features adventure, prodigies, danger, and betrayal.


There you have it! Make sure to follow Nanogen’s blog and check out her post on this as well! What are some books on your TBR?

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how to create a cozy autumn atmosphere

Autumn is here & I couldn’t be more excited–It’s my favorite season! Everything feels so fresh, so crisp and cold. After a long fall day, it’s time to unwind, and to be able to truly relax, you need a perfect atmosphere! Today, I’m going to be talking about some things that are essential for a lovely atmosphere.

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1 // candles

There’s something about candles…not only do they fill the room with yummy scents, but they create a feeling of warmth. I always have at least two or three candles going at once. A lot of candles have very strong, artificial scents that fill your home with chemicals that you don’t want to be breathing in, so make sure you buy a candle that isn’t too strong!

If you’re feeling creative, you can even make your own candle. My mother makes candles with beeswax and essential oils and they always smell so delicious & warm, plus the essential oils will fill your home with healthy scents instead of chemicals!

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2 // fairy lights

Aren’t these lights adorable?

Candles & fairy lights will give your house/room a feeling of warmth and comfort! There’s just something about filling your room with lights–it instantly makes the space feel more cozy and warm.

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3 // cozy blankets & throw pillows (plus a cute dog)

I have an obsession with large, fluffy, cozy warm blankets. (Admit it–you do too.) On a chilly autumn night, there is nothing better than climbing into a clean bed filled with warm blankets and pillows.

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4 // soft music

Music can really help to make your house/room feel more inviting and warm! I have a playlist on Spotify dedicated to soft, low music, and I love turning the playlist on in the evening while stretching, relaxing, and unwinding after a long day. Treat yourself, people.

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5 // decorations

Don’t forget your autumn decorations! This adorable little pumpkin is from Target for only a few bucks–and it won’t go rotten like real pumpkins! This is too cute, guys.


Hope you enjoyed the post, thank you for reading!

Catch you on the flip side.

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moments // 1

Hello my beautiful readers & welcome back!

I am very excited to share this post with you. I’m starting a new series where I’ll be sharing recent photos that I’ve taken, as well as photos from my week & life.

The photos in today’s post come from my recent photoshoot–many thanks to Carynn for modeling! If you’re viewing this post on your phone, please check it out on a computer–the photos will have higher quality & look better! Enough chit-chat, I think the photos speak for themselves.

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I think this photo turned out cool. It’s intentionally blurry, so the colors will blur together and make the photo look whimsical. I had Carynn carry these beautiful wildflowers to add a bit of color to the picture.

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I took a pre-photoshoot selfie! I’m loving this sweater, it’s so comfy and easy to move in, which is perfect for when I’m taking pictures. To the right, you can see my Canon camera bag, which has all of my equipment and lenses. 

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All photographs taken by me. Many thanks to Carynn for modeling!


As always, criticism is really appreciated. I have thick skin and I’m trying to get better, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

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coconut oil & brown sugar exfoliating scrub

Heyo & welcome back to another post!

I was scrolling through Pinterest the other day and saw a coconut oil & brown sugar scrub. It looked cool, and I had the ingredients needed to make it, so I whipped it up really quick and, holy whoa, I love it! For the past year, I’ve only been using natural products on my face: essential oils, soft cleansers, etc. So, that’s why I love this mask–it only has two ingredients!

We all know what coconut oil is, and we all know how amazing it is for your skin, so enough chit-chat, let’s just talk about the results!

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So, since this is a really gentle scrub, I’ve been using it every night. I’m always so excited to wash my face because it seriously feels so good–every night is pamper night! I splash water on my face, exfoliate with the scrub, then cleanse my skin, apply essential oils with a carrier oil, and moisturize. (Boom. You’re welcome.)

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Is my acne gone? No, of course not. Blemishes don’t disappear after a week. If they do, what are you using?! However, I have seen and felt a change in my skin. My skin feels smoother and cleaner whenever I use this scrub, and I feel like it’s really helping my skin. I’m excited to see the results after using it for a few months. Baby steps, guys.

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But this mask is not just for blemishes! It helps to make your skin glow and feel oh-so-soft. And it’s just for your face. Feel free to exfoliate your lips, hands, and feet for smooth skin!

All you do is mix equal amounts of coconut oil and brown sugar. And that’s it! Hello, fresh skin.

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not good enough | summer series #2

Hello & welcome back. I hope you’re all having a great summer so far! I haven’t been very active in the WordPress community, but I’m going to try and go through and read all of your amazing posts!

Let’s get right into the post, shall we?

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I’ve wanted to write this post for a few weeks. I just haven’t been able to put my thoughts together. But now, I feel like it’s time to get these words off my chest and share these thoughts with all of you!

So, I’ve been missing in action. There’s no use giving excuses and saying I’m busy, because I haven’t been busy. I’ve lost motivation.

Every day, I wake up feeling like this will be the day. Today, I’m going to take new photos and write new blog content. And I haven’t done it. I’ve taken out the camera, only to put it back again. I’ve started drafts on WordPress and deleted them a few minutes later.

Every time I go to do something, this thought repeats itself in my mind: you’re not good enough. Your blog isn’t good enough. It doesn’t look good. Any photos that you take will look awful.

We’ve all been there. All you have to do is push the thoughts aside, right? But I still hesitate. Because it’s true, my photos are never going to perfect. And my blog is never going to be perfect. So, why am I bothering?

Oh, and it’s not just blogging. If you’ve gone through something similar to this then you’ll know that whenever you mess up on something, the taunting voice in your head will repeat you’re not good enough. 

So I put blogging aside. I put aside doing the thing I loved. I haven’t been on my blog in a while, because I couldn’t even stand to look at it. I haven’t been reading other blogs either, because my brain keeps reminding me of my failure to put up new posts, while other bloggers are constantly posting a few times a week.

But, I’m not doing that any longer. I love taking photos, so I’m going to take photos. Who cares if they look bad. I love writing posts, so I’m going to write posts, and try my hardest to make my content better and better every day.

If any of you have been through this, or are going through these feelings of doubt, let me say this: you are good enough. You right where you need to be. Some days you’re going to feel like you can’t do anything right, and those are the days when you will become stronger.

So. I’m going to try my hardest to post more, to be more active. I’m sharing all this with you, not for sympathy, but I feel like when bloggers share things about themselves, we all grow together! We truly are one big community, and I hope that you know right now, you are enough. You are enough. Let those words replace the doubt.

Everything gets worse before it gets better.

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new summer series | personal growth

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Hello & welcome back!

People can change a lot over the summer. Some people grow taller, get a tan, dye their hair, get their ears pierced…there’s almost always some kind of physical change. (I’m praying to grow taller. It doesn’t seem to be working.) But people can also change a lot emotionally and mentally.

That’s my goal for the summer: positive personal growth. I’ve been working on becoming more confident and not caring about what others think. Well, today, I’m really excited to announce my new summer series: it’s all about personal growth! I’ll be doing posts on gaining confidence, loving yourself, and feeling good all the time! And so much more, of course. Obviously.

I really hope this series will be fun for all of you, and hopefully, it will be a way for us bloggers to become closer, since we’re all one big family! Remember, real queens fix each other’s crowns.

My hope for this series: at the end of every post, you will walk away feeling positive and inspired. I hope that this series will help you with personal growth, and that you will get something out of every post.

Give yourself a big hug right now. You are amazing, you are beautiful, you are strong. Thank you so much for reading, have a fantastic day, God Bless every single one of you!

Any thoughts on the series? What kinds of posts would you specifically like to see in the series?

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The “Dream” Life | Thoughts

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Hello & welcome back! I’m currently writing this post on vacation in Cape Cod. We just arrived here yesterday, and will be here for a week, so stay tuned for more posts on our vacation.

Today I just wanted to share some thoughts that I’ve been having lately. A few weeks ago, I was having a hard day, one of those days we all go through. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, and I just kept feeling like I wasn’t good enough. I kept comparing myself to my friends, kept comparing myself to other bloggers, I just kept comparing myself to everything.

We all go through these days, so I’m certainly not special on this, but I think we can all agree that these kinds of days are completely awful.

I’ve always loved myself. Not in an egotistical way, but in a kind way. I’ve been raised to love the way I look and my personality, and not to compare myself to others. Because if we can’t love ourselves, how are we supposed to love others to our fullest ability? So, I don’t usually go through these kind of days, which is why this was so hard.

I was scrolling through Pinterest and looking at all the nice outfits people had, all the nice homes people had, all the vacations people were going on…it was just cluttering my mind. It was horrible. So I shut off the laptop and just tried to cheer myself up: working out, listing things I like about myself, etc.

And I found myself thinking: why am I comparing myself to others? Why am I wishing for the “dream” life?

And by the way, what is the dream life? Society tells us that if we have perfect hair, white teeth, beautiful clothing, a beautiful house, and a million other things, our lives will be perfect.

Late that evening, right after the sunset, I stood on my deck and looked out at the yard. A slight drizzle of warm summer rain was falling, crickets were chirping in the distance, and the air smelled like freshly cut grass and flowers.

And as I stood there, I realized this is the dream life. Not the life we see on Pinterest, but this. The dream life, in my opinion, is a life filled with happiness, adventure, and simple things. I don’t need perfect clothing and perfect hair and a perfect house to live the so called “dream” life.

Yesterday I was walking on the beach. The cold waves swept around my ankles, the wind whipped my hair,  and I couldn’t stop smiling. That’s the dream life: those small bursts of happiness. The simple things.

Moral of story: don’t focus on trying to look perfect. Focus on trying to feel perfect. Focus on being happy.

Thank you for reading & I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Have a fantastic day.

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How To Take The Perfect Instagram Photos | Guest Post

Hello & welcome back to another post! Today I have an awesome guest post for you from Taiya, a fellow teen blogger. I found her blog via Pinterest and I totally adore it! Make sure to give her a follow & leave a nice comment at the end of the post! Without further ado, let’s give the spotlight to Taiya…

A while ago, Abigail reached out to me to join my Teen Group Pinterest Board, and I checked out her blog and FELL IN LOVE! It was so refreshing and inspiring to find other teen lifestyle bloggers having great success and a wonderful following on her blog. After we emailed back and forth a few times she asked me to write a guest post for her and I couldn’t be happier to work with her and her wonderful amazing audience (that’s you!)

But before we dive right in, here is a little about me…

  • I live in a small town, Canada, and when I mean small, I mean small, trust me 😉
  • I have been blogging for about a year and a half now, and I couldn’t be happier with how much my blog has grown and changed for the better over these past few months!
  • I may have a slight obsession of shopping for clothes (but what teenage girl doesn’t, right?…)
  • I can never get enough chocolate, like seriously, I could live off chocolate if needed.
  • I love dancing but you’d never catch me in a ballet class; I’m more of a dance-in-the-kitchen-to-the-radio type of dancer if yah feel me.
  • And best of all…I just finished school for the summer! Yippee ☺
  • You can read more about me here.

Alright, enough about me, let’s get into the photography! In this guest post I am showing you my top tips and tricks on how to take better photos, and how to get those picture-perfect Instagram pics!

#1. Keep an Eye on The Background

When taking photos, you always want to be aware of what’s in the backdrop. A cluttered room or random people in the background could definitely ruin a good picture. If you are trying to take the perfect selfie in your bedroom, I recommend checking what’s in the shot behind you. Do you have some laundry on the floor (guilty), or could you close your closet doors so it’s less messy looking? (also, guilty) Whatever it is, try to keep your background nice, clean, and minimal.

#2. Natural Lighting

When taking photos, natural light is your best friend, I promise you. Artificial light usually looks “fake” on iPhone photos and destroys the quality. When taking blog photos in my room I always try to take them mid-afternoon when the sun is shining, open my blinds, and turn off the light. For me personally, natural light is always the best way to go for the best results.

#3. Try Out Different Angles

I don’t know about you, but photos with a unique angle is always wayyy cooler than a boring straight-on shot, especially for outfit photos. A shot from the left or right side always looks awesome. So, play around with it, try close in, far out, maybe from the left side, or right side. try it out and see what you like best for that particular shot. ☺

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#4. Act Natural

When posing for pictures, I know this sounds obvious, but act natural. Easier said than done, I know, but trust me when I say over-posed photos looks fake and staged. Try natural positions and remember to keep your shoulders relaxed. Using objects around you as props also helps. I love this picture not only because of the photos but the way she is effortlessly sitting on the steps in a natural pose.

#5. Take Advantage of Street Art

If you live in a city, street art is your best friend. Colorful walls on the side of buildings or pretty street art is not only trendy, but definitely Insta-worthy! Often when I’m walking around downtown in cities I see gorgeous walls that would be the perfect backdrop for an Insta pic, so grab a friend and take a couple shots! Here are some examples: 

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A post shared by Tara Michelle (@imtaramichelle) on

 #6. Use Filters, Sparingly

I’m all about those filters, but you definitely don’t want to go overboard. I use VSCO Cam (free app) to edit all my pictures and I LOVE their free filters. Now I would recommend avoiding those bright pink filters you used back in 2010, yeah, you know what I’m talking about, enough said, LOL. I prefer filters that are bright, crisp, and clean looking. I like to use A6, A4, and HB2 (from VSCO Cam). I will also sometimes veer off the filter path and just manually edit the photo myself. If I do that route, I usually adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation.

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#7. Take OOTD Shots From A Lower Angle

If you are going for that perfect OOTD Insta, ask your photographer to crouch down a little. If you are coming from a lower of an angle, it will elongate your legs and make you look taller 😉 And who doesn’t want that?

#8. Use The Rule Of Thirds

If you haven’t heard of the rule of thirds before, don’t worry! There are tons of helpful YouTube Videos on the rule of thirds for beginners. The rule of thirds is basically a photography trick that enhances your photos and makes them more appealing to the eye. You just line the subject of your photo on a “third” line to make an interesting shot. See the first photo below? Boringgg, it’s just a plain ol’ straight on shot. The second one, taken using a “third line”, is much more interesting to the eye.

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Well, girl. That’s it for this post, I really hope these tips and tricks helped you step up your photography game a little! It would mean the world to me if you popped on over to my blog and checked it out. Thanks a ton for reading, you rock ❤

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How To Always Have A Good Day

Okay, maybe always is a bit far-fetched. Naturally, there are always going to be things that we can’t control that make our day bad. But if you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, there’s always some things you can do to make your day better! So, in today’s post, I’m going to be sharing a few tips that I have found help me to have a good day.

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  1. Get sleep Obvious as it may be, you are more likely to have a better day if you wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
  2. Don’t get right on your phone If you grab your phone to check social media, you’ll probably end up spending an hour scrolling through Instagram. Instead, make your bed, wash your face, get some coffee, write out a to-do list…and when you’re all ready for the day, check your phone.
  3. Eat a healthy breakfast Again, I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes, but a healthy breakfast is so important to having a good day.
  4. Wear your favorite outfit It’s a fact: when you take the time to dress up, style your hair, and put on makeup, you probably feel better about yourself then wearing sweats and leaving your hair unwashed. There’s nothing wrong with a good old lazy day, but if you wear a nice outfit, you’re more likely to be productive, choose healthier meals, and feel good about yourself.
  5. Excercise If your day started off on the wrong foot, exercise! It will make you feel more energized and positive.
  6. Be productive I always like to write a mental list for myself of things I need to get done, and I spread it out throughout the day.
  7. Go somewhere Of course, a lazy day filled with Netflix is always fun, but there’s a whole world outside your door. You can watch Netflix later. Go outside, go to the mall, go to the park, go somewhere. Make new memories.
  8. Talk to your friends Whenever I text or email my friends, I almost always leave the conversation feeling more positive. A good friend lifts you up and makes you feel better, instead of leaving you feeling worse about yourself. If you are having a bad day, just talk to your friend, they are sure to lift your spirits.
  9. Pamper yourself At the end of a long, productive day, now it’s time to treat yourself. Turn on Netflix, paint your nails, put on a face mask, take a nice bath…self care is pretty awesome.
  10. Settle down for the evening. Put away your electronics and get ready to hit the hay. I like to write in my journal, read my Bible, and settle down with a book before going to bed.

There you have it! Thank you for reading, and I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Do you do any of these things? What helps you to have a great day?

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My Goal For Summer

Hello & welcome back to another post!

Well, summer is upon us! I was going for a walk around my backyard this morning, and as I was picking some flowers, an idea sparked for today’s post. I got rid of the post that was planned for today, snapped some pictures, and wrote this post. Today I’m going to be sharing with you my goal/mantra for this summer. Of course, I have a million goals: I want to be kinder, make more friends, etc, but I narrowed it down to one main goal.

Ready? Let’s get into the post.

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If I had to sum up last summer in one word, I would say discovery. Last summer, I really learned a lot about myself and my personality. I hope I will continue to learn things about myself as the summer goes on, but I have one main goal for this summer: Personal Growth.

I would love to grow my hair longer while we’re talking about growth…;) But that’s not the kind of growth I’m talking about!

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I want to grow in my interests and beliefs. I want to stop worrying about little things and just relax. I want to grow to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to grow my blog, and make it bigger and better.

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I want to grow and develop my friendships with others. I want to grow to be kinder, stronger, more positive. Though I’m already very emotionally strong (I don’t cry or get affected by things very often), I want to grow to be even more emotionally strong, so that what people think of me doesn’t matter.

I also want to grow in my faith. I want to be even closer to God and read the Bible twice a day. (I’m currently reading it once a day.)

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Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Colossians 2:6-7


This was a quick post, but I hope you enjoyed. Thank you for reading! I hope that this summer will be a summer filled with growth for all of you. Have a fantastic day, catch ya on the flip side!

What is your main goal for this summer?

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