Vote for me to be the next Travel Channel Star!

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Hey everyone!  I have some crazy and exciting news!  I entered a contest to become the next “Travel Channel Star” months ago, and Monday they announced the 15 finalists.  Guess who made it?!  ME ME ME!  Out of over 1,000 entrants I made it to the next round….I’m still a little shocked haha.

But I need your help to get to the next round- the top 5 finalists!  Please vote for me, Tara Malone, by clicking the link below!  Also, be sure to share on social media and tweet the phrase, “I want Tara to be the next #travelchannelstar!”

Hurry up and vote/tweet/share!  There are 3 days left to vote!  Voting ends May 15th!

http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/travel-channel-star

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DIY: Old Dresser

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So a little tidbit about me: Before I graduated high school I was torn between Interior Design and Fashion as a career path.  I am EXTREMELY artistic, creative, and love everything about home decorating, but I’ve also been fashion-obsessed since I was a small child.  I was the ultimate child-diva and at summer camp when I was in 5th grade I received an end-of-the-summer award for “Most Likely To Be On The Cover Of Vogue.”  Mainly because I used to sit in the shade being fabulous wearing my sunglasses and applying lip gloss while all of the others kids ran around on the playground.  So proud.  But I eventually decided on fashion as my career path and it’s been incredibly rewarding.  I’ve made a great career for myself on top of opening up my own boutique! I definitely made the right choice!

Though I live and breathe apparel in my professional career, I can’t help but still have the urge to interior decorate!  My favorite thing to do is rehab old furniture; take something old and make it something stylish and new.  So I wanted to start sharing some of my past projects with you!

Two years ago, I needed extra drawer space in my bedroom while I was living in my row-home apartment in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia.  So while visiting my grandmother one day, I noticed one of the old dressers she’s had for YEARS prior to me ever being born.  In perfect condition and super-sturdy, she tells me, “Take it!  I don’t want it!”  Score.  Free dresser.   Next I take a trip to Home Depot and get some paint, a stencil from Michael’s Crafts, and voila!  A DIY project has been born!

Below are the before and after results!  (Some of these pictures were taken from Instagram account, hence the not-so-great quality.)

A DIY project is not complete without wine and your step-father’s painting clothing:

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I’m sorry now that I didn’t take a better “before” picture of the dresser.  Here it was already sanded.

Dresser before (already sanded) and after with a coat of paint and stencil design.

Dresser before (already sanded) and after with a coat of paint and stencil design.

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After I painted the dresser this jade green color, I used a sander to go over it for a distressed look. The handles were spray-painted black.

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My Favorite part about this dresser is that the inside of the drawers originally had old newspaper articles printed on the wood.  The articles are dated from the 1870’s.  Super cool detail!

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What do ya think?  I will share the other pieces I did for my bedroom in a second post!

‘Till next time!

-Tara

Coffee Talk

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What’s uppppp!

How was everyone’s Valentine’s Day weekend?  Mine was cold.  Very, very, cold.  Just like my love life…  HA HA HA.  Just kidding, sort of.

I don’t know about all of you, but this single-digit cold front has me with a severe case of Spring fever!!  So, with this unbearable weather making me want to hibernate, I put on my best and most hideous flannel pajama set Friday night and stayed in it until this morning.  Also, because I love Me, I ordered myself a nice, romantic, medium-sized pizza and a ginormous piece of chocolate cake on Saturday night.  Pair that with non-stop TV/Netflix watching and I’d say it was an all-around glorious Valentine’s day.  Who needs a man.

But enough about that.  Since I am an avid coffee drinker and am borderline addicted, I wanted to highlight a cool coffee shop I’ve recently discovered in my neighborhood!

It’s called ModCup and it’s every bit of retro/1960’s awesomeness. Only a few blocks away from my Jersey City apartment, ModCup sits across the street from Riverview-Fisk Park which offers the best scenic view of the New York City skyline.  When you walk in you are greeted by the young and extremely friendly staff, and can’t help but look around at the fun 1960’s decor.  Vintage records and books line shelves in the seating area as well as an awesome 1960’s style pod chair!

Not only are these guys determined to brew the best coffee around, but their mission is to bring customers the ultimate coffee brewing experience.  This could not be more apparent during my first visit as they provided me with an artistic yet scientific demonstration while making my cup.  It’s safe to say they live and breathe coffee, scouring countries such as Africa, Indonesia, and places in Central and South America to bring the freshest and finest ingredients.  They also offer brewing classes for coffee enthusiasts!

If you live in or around Hoboken/Jersey City, definitely make a stop at this hidden gem!  Also, be sure to buy some coffee to take home and enjoy or a gift set for the special coffee-lover in your life!

You can discover more about ModCup and their mission by visiting their site here: http://modcup.com/

Below are some pictures I took while there (as seen on my Instagram feed!)

modcup

Picture courtesy of ModCup's Instagram account @Modcupcoffee

Picture courtesy of ModCup’s Instagram account @Modcupcoffee

<3 Happy Valentine's Day! <3

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Hey Everyone!  Happy Valentine’s Day to all you love birds out there!

It’s been a while since my last post, lot’s of stuff going on so I’ve been busy!

Here is a list of 5 things I love today, and every day:

1.  My family and friends!  They’re incredible and I could not be more blessed to have these special people in my life!  I’m one lucky gal!

2.  My pets.  Pets are the best.  Period. #FurBabiesFOREVER

3.  Coffee.  I can’t function without it!

4.  Mexican food.  I can’t get enough Mexican.  I could eat it morning, noon, and night!!

5.  Netflix.  I don’t know how I was able to live in a world without Netflix, but I never want to live in that world again.

I also just wanted to share some Valentine’s Day looks from Cirque!  Since my main site is down for maintenance, stop by our shop on Storenvy.com!  They’re having a Valentine’s Day Sale until 2/16, so be sure to check out my shop for 20% off!!  Head on over to http://www.storenvy.com/Cirquedlm!

Between the Lines-Striped Peplum Skirt

Between the Lines-Striped Peplum Skirt

Creme de la Creme- Satin Tie Cardigan Sweater

Creme de la Creme- Satin Tie Cardigan Sweater

Seeing Red- Lace-Back Tank

Seeing Red- Lace-Back Tank

Le Chat Noir- Black Cat Print Blouse

Le Chat Noir- Black Cat Print Blouse

So Long 2014!

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Hey everyone!  I hope you all had an amazing holiday season! I can’t believe it all came and went so fast.  I’m always kind of depressed the day after Christmas like, “wow it’s over!”

Santa was very good to me this year and I loved being home for the week spending time with my family.  I could not wait to come back to NYC to get away from all of the food and holiday cookies though.  My fridge here is empty, thank goodness.  I’m almost positive if I stayed at my parent’s house for one more day I’d have gone into a diabetic shock from all of the cookies, pie, and cake I was eating!  Needless to say I was actually dreaming of going to the gym which is something I didn’t think I’d ever hear myself say.

PS- In case you missed it on my social media accounts, here is my Christmas card I sent out!

Single girl swag.

Single girl swag.

Taking pictures of holiday outfits suddenly turned into me wearing a Santa hat and throwing a scarf on my cat while trying to force him to take pictures with me.  Fast forward three hours later and this happened.  I’m not even slightly ashamed.   It took about 70 shots to get one where he wasn’t in action jumping out of my arms, trying to scratch me, or hiding under the bed trying desperately to stay away from me.  Sebastian was basically tortured in the making of this but I think it was worth it, don’t you?  It’s safe to say I’ll be starting off the year 2015 very single until this image is permanently deleted from everyone’s brains.  I will say that I am proud of almost blowing up the internet when I posted this on Facebook.  I didn’t expect it to be such a hit!  I guess I’m just glad people are supportive of my cat lady-ness.  Or they feel sorry for me, not sure which.  Haha! (Ps- this was a joke and I was not serious about this Christmas card, just want to throw that out there, especially for the fellas.)

Anyway, so tonight is New Year’s Eve!  I love celebrating the new year!  Any reason to dress up in head to toe sparkle is reason enough to celebrate for me.  2014 was a year of a lot of change for me with getting a job in Manhattan and moving to New Jersey.  I have really high hopes for 2015 and feel really great about the new year!  I just turned 28 last week and 28 is supposed to be the best year of your 20’s, so I’m thinking 2015 will be the best year ever!

As far as New Year’s resolutions go?  I think I have the same one every year, to get in shape.  I really want this to be the year I feel great in my own skin and I can’t say I’ve ever felt that way.  Also, I’m going to attempt to watch my mouth and stop cursing.  I have the mouth of a sailor sometimes and I’ve recently noticed myself cursing at times I shouldn’t be….like in church or in front of my little cousins at the family Christmas party.  Whoops. I feel like a terrible person and I feel we really don’t even notice anymore what we say.   Sitting on the subway I hear people around me having conversations just peppered with f-bombs left and right like it’s nothing and I think, you’re in public?  In close quarters with others?  Why are you talking like that?  There are children around?  Do you hear yourself?  I’m usually good at watching what I say depending where I am or who I’m with, but I feel like lately I’ve been noticing myself saying things when I shouldn’t.  So yeah, I’m going to try to clean it up 🙂

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions?  I’d love to hear them!

I hope you all stay safe tonight ringing in 2015!!

-Tara

Christmas Party Look: Mixing Patterns

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We are just a few days away from Christmas! Can you believe it?! Is everyone finished their holiday shopping or are you all slackers like me?

This is my absolute favorite time of year because I get to spend time with friends and family, participate in festivities… a.k.a eating ungodly amounts of amazing food and drinking lots of spiked eggnog and other festive spirits, and of course dressing up!

I have a couple holiday parties this weekend and next week, as well as celebrating my birthday, so I figured I’d share my holiday party attire to give you some ideas on what to wear!

First up:  A red and black large check gingham plaid shirt mixed with a green and black houndstooth high-waisted pencil skirt.  I wore with black tights (my favorite thing to wear in the winter), black pumps, and accessorized with a gold textured clutch and fun jewelry!

I absolutely love and mixing and matching patterns as well as playing around with textures.

What do you think?

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Holiday Looks to Ring in 2015!

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New Year’s Eve is right around the corner and if you’re anything like me you’ll be sure to ring in the new year decked out in sequins and sparkle!  What’s more festive than sequins and sparkle?  NOTHING.

Here are some fun sequin ensembles!  All links for these looks will be listed at the bottom of this post!

Vintage Sequins!

Poppin' the Bubbly vintage sequin top.

Poppin’ the Bubbly vintage sequin top.

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Poppin’ The Bubbly vintage sequin top

It's a Rad World vintage sequin top

It’s a Rad World vintage sequin top

It's a Rad World vintage sequin top

It’s a Rad World vintage sequin top

Pop of color!

All That Shimmers Dress

All That Shimmers Dress

Shine On, Shine Bright scalloped sequin dress

Shine On, Shine Bright scalloped sequin dress

Shine On, Shine Bright scalloped sequin dress

Shine On, Shine Bright scalloped sequin dress

Sequin Skirt!

Midnight Kiss sequin skirt

Midnight Kiss sequin skirt

Midnight Kiss sequin skirt

Midnight Kiss sequin skirt

All items available online below:

https://www.storenvy.com/stores/70295-cirque-de-la-mode

http://www.Shopcirquedlm.com

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CirqueDeLaMode?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Dating is Hard

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It shouldn’t be but it is.

As a single, almost -28-year-old gal (one week until my birthday) I’ve recently had a new look at the way we are dating these days.  I’ve been single for about four and a half years now and COMPLETELY by choice.  I had three back-to-back, long-term relationships from 11th grade all the way up to 2010.  I was almost two years out of college and living in the Pittsburgh area when I had had it with my current relationship and Pittsburgh (there’s nothing wrong with Pittsburgh but I was there for almost six years and so ready to be back in Philadelphia with my friends and family).  I needed a fresh start and was so ready to be very single for the first time in years and living it up in Philly.

After moving home I got a great job in the fashion industry, was making great money at age 23, and I. was. free.  Free to stay out all night.  Free to take beaucoup amounts of shots and dance on the bar without feeling bad about it. Free to hang out with my guy friends- not that having a boyfriend ever stopped me from doing so, but there was no having to call and explain who they were for my significant others’ reassurance.  You know, that whole, “no babe, Jim and I have been like brother and sister since we were in diapers.  I’ve never touched him,” but leaving out the part about that one time playing spin the bottle in 8th grade.  God forbid.

I was so excited about life, not being five hours away from my friends and family, and having an absolute blast being single and meeting all types of guys.  It was great getting attention and being able to flirt with anyone I wanted.  I’d go on dates but nothing serious.  I was in no way ready to settle down!  Life was just getting started.

Through these past four and a half years I’ve been completely content, and still am, being single.  My main priority has always been career first and ensuring I get to where I need to be.  I’m extremely driven and passionate about what I do, and always saw myself ending up in N.Y.C. because, hey, it’s the Mecca of the fashion industry in the U.S.  The idea of finding someone was nice, and I wouldn’t stop it from happening if the opportunity presented itself, but I guess in the back of my head I knew I wouldn’t be settling in Philly since my goal has been to be in New York.  Now that I’ve finally accomplished my goal and moved to the Big Apple this summer, I feel I’m really open to the idea of actually finding someone special.  But there’s one problem…it’s not easy.  Nobody said It would be but I didn’t expect the dating world to take such a negative and superficial turn.

Remember when it was so un-cool and weird to online date?  You wouldn’t dream of being caught dead on a dating website.  Only creepy and desperate people do that!  I can totally remember when I was living in Pittsburgh and one of my super attractive best friends told me she was on a dating website and had been going on dates with a bunch of doctors and lawyers.  I was in complete shock!  Why would she need to be on a dating website?  Of course I was in a relationship at this time so I wasn’t able to wrap my head around the fact that it was difficult for a pretty girl to go out and get a date.  It cannot be that hard.  I soon figured out her pain with dating and I am still experiencing it.  Sure enough, I’ve found my way on and off multiple dating sites over the years and honestly can say I am a complete advocate for online dating.  It is a great tool to meet incredible people that you’d never meet at a bar and I’ve had many friends end up marrying someone they met this way.  It’s 2014 and EVERYONE is online dating to some extent.  It’s no longer weird or creepy and has become the norm.  The shift that I’m seeing though is that a few years back, these sites were used to genuinely find a connection but because it is the norm and more people are online dating than ever, the abundance of single people at just one click or swipe is becoming insane.  It’s too easy anymore.  Sure you go on a date with a great guy or girl who meets “all of your standards,” but before you can even go on a second date, you’ve already had five new Tinder matches and you’ve forgotten all about the great date you went on last night.  We are just so ready for the next best thing. 

I just had this exact conversation with one of my girlfriends this morning who could not have agreed with me more.  Dating is absolutely exhausting these days because you already know what’s going to happen.  You’ll meet, go on another date, maybe even make it to date three but then it just slowly fizzles out before anything gets started.   Nobody makes another move.  You don’t hear from each other again and you’ve already scheduled three new dates with three different guys next week.  I’ve turned into a serial dater but that’s mostly because my issue with my dates is I’m never really attracted to them.  This sounds shallow but you have to agree there has to be some sort of physical attraction. Once I finally do have an attraction to someone and I’m interested, cue the fizzling, and like that they’e gone.  *Sigh*

I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNT!

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Can you tell I’m excited?!

About a month ago I was sitting on my couch in my robe, drinking a cup of coffee, cat staring at me whilst on my lap, surfing the net (typical Tara scenario) when I see a text from my sister pop up, “whatcha doing?”  I INSTANTLY knew something was up.  Call it a sister’s intuition.   Is that a thing?  Well it is now.  I text her back painting that beautiful image of me on the couch and the first thing I said to myself was, “She’s going to call me and tell me shes pregnant.”  I have no idea why I thought that.  It’s not like she’s told me she was ready to start a family and wanted to have a baby soon.  Last I checked she and her husband were waiting until she was finished with school.   Sure enough 30 seconds later my phone rings and I answer as suspicious as possible only to hear, “You’re going to be an aunt!”  All I could say was, “I KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO CALL AND TELL ME THAT!”

I never expected to be as excited as I was/am.  I am the oldest child, with two brothers and my sister Kelly.  Kelly is the youngest and has been married for almost four years to her husband Dan. This is the first grandchild in our immediate family and we all are so pumped!  My sister being pregnant naturally means that I’m having a baby as well, right? Obviously. Me being the over-protective, smothering, and loving older sister that I am I made sure to lay down the law and let her know right off the bat that this baby has two moms, to which she replied, “I know.”  Awesome.  

As any big sister, when the news finally started to break to friends and family, aka me telling the world, I can only help but scream in everyone’s face, “We’re pregnant!  I mean… Kelly’s pregnant!”  Totally normal.

So there’s that.  I am beyond excited and can’t believe I’m going to have a niece or nephew in a few months!  Since the minute my sister told me the news I’ve been on Pinterest everyday looking at baby stuff.  I swear the baby is a girl, but she finds out the sex on December 19th!  Just three days before my birthdaaaayyy!

If you’d love to hear more about my sister and her pregnancy journey being a 22 year old student, wife, cross-fitter, and mommy-to-be, follow her blog! Below is her link.  Send her some love!

http://lifefitfortwo.com/

XOXO,

Tara

Me and my sister Kelly in Ireland! <3

Me and my sister Kelly in Ireland! ❤

baby kel

Can’t believe my little baby is having a baby! I hope it comes out looking just like this!!! (This picture is from the day she was brought home from the hospital!  I think I’ll have that same grin on my face when I get to hold my new niece or nephew <3)

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Sistaaasss ❤

Support Small Business!

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The sales haven’t stopped yet!

I value my customers more than you can ever know, so in honor of Small Business Saturday and as a thank you to my wonderful customers, I’m offering 40% off when you use promo code TURKEY14 at checkout in my boutique!

Shop small today!

http://www.shopcirquedlm.com