Relationships

Easter Crafting

Easter, I believe, is one of the most festive holidays there is. Together with the changing season where the world wakes up from its long winter slumber and where the flowers begin to bloom and the air feels just right, Easter, and Spring in general, inspires people to celebrate new life. More so, it is a significant feast for us in the Boreyko home because of our belief in our Lord and Savior.

I also think that this season is the perfect excuse to squeeze our creative juices together with our kids. Below are some of the fun craft activities that you and your children can enjoy making to celebrate Easter:

1. Decorate Easter Eggs

Easter is never complete without eggs and the best part about this is that the possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating them. You can try embellishing eggs with laces, adding neon glitter, painting them with bunnies, carrots or chicks, making them look like chickens using colored paper, using gold or silver leaf, and even adorning eggs with beads.

2. Make Easter Baskets

Why settle for plain old baskets when you can enlist your kids’ help to make special Easter baskets? You can use paper cups that you can decorate with fringed green paper to look like grass. Just put in a chocolate bunny or marshmallow Peeps in the shape of bunnies or chicks together with tiny chocolate eggs and you’re good to go.


3. Make Bunny Boxes or Envelopes

You can take this idea a step further by making Easter gift baskets that your kids will enjoy. Use a woven basket and decorate it with bows. Put in a handful of treats like story books, crayons, a bunny or a chick plush toy, and sweets like jelly beans and chocolate eggs.

If you are hosting a gathering for Easter, you can make loot bags shaped like bunnies in the form of boxes or envelopes. You can fill these up with sweets and even a personal message from you and your family to make it extra special.

4. Create Bunny Ears

Give your little hopping bunnies their own ears. Make a pair of felt bunny ears and attach these to a headband and watch your kids transform into bouncing bundles of energy.




5. Make Flower Shoes

This will be a great addition to little girls’ Easter baskets. Simply cut out paper flowers using crepe paper and stick them on slippers of shoes.




For more Easter crafting ideas, you can visit http://www.marthastewart.com.

Easter represents many things for people like new beginnings. True enough, along with the coming of Spring, this holiday inspires people to renew their faith and to celebrate life like never before. I hope you and your family have fun this season!

XO

Tara

 

Hearts, Crafts, and V-Day

I absolutely adore Valentine’s Day! For my husband and me, it’s extremely special and romantic because we became engaged the day before and spent the next day literally planning our wedding which was set for March 1st. I only had two weeks to plan the black tie wedding of my dreams and with the help of some amazing friends, we pulled it off!  So for us, it’s an incredible reminder of the MAGIC that happened and today we are still reaping the rewards of love.

Now that I am a mom, I try to make each holiday special for our kids and that includes lots of art time together. My twins are five and like all children, they have such a beautiful spark and wonder for creating whatever they can dream up.

I always get a special holiday book or two that explains why the day is special and we read it all month long. That way, I know they get it and fully understand its meaning. We do fun arts and crafts to celebrate the holidays.

This year, I volunteered to help with their school Valentine’s Day party and we are creating lots of fun Valentine décor and will be baking up a storm. It’s so much fun!

My husband and I will most likely go out to dinner with a few other couples and enjoy celebrating together and then we will take our kids to the Brunch this year on the Queen Mary ship. We really enjoy finding time together as a couple because we feel it’s one of the most important things in marriage. But we also make time to celebrate special days like these with the kids.

Here’s to you and your family enjoying the Day of Love and finding some alone time with your husband or wife!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

XOXO

Tara Brooke

 

Decide to Run Your Own Race in 2013

So what does it mean to run your own race? I was thinking a lot about my New Year’s message and what I really wanted to relay to you. At this time when we live in a reality TV world and when social media is at our finger tips reminding us daily of what other people have and what they are doing, I think so many people get into a game of comparisons.

They stop thinking for themselves and they decide to copy others. That can be with how people dress, what they buy, what type of car they have, who they are dating, and what type of jewelry others wear.

In this New Year, take charge of your own life and desires and be sure to think for yourself. Don’t spend all your time comparing yourself to others—DREAM YOUR DREAM!

In life there will ALWAYS be someone that has more. Maybe they will be prettier, smarter, or have more money. You can’t live your life constantly comparing yourself to them because that person will most likely see others with more! It is how life works; each day when you get up, you need to ask yourself a few questions—are you just going through the motions of life or are you challenging yourself to be all you can be? It’s so easy to just get through that day especially for people who are experiencing challenges. But as we enter a New Year, decide today to do it right and run your own race.

Find out what makes YOU passionate and don’t decide to let some reality show person who is experiencing fifteen minutes of fame to shape who and what you are. I say this because there are so many young women right now who are watching and shaping their lives and desires after these shows.

As the New Year approaches, create your list of goals and decide what you really want to accomplish even if it seems out of reach; just write it down. Then create a plan on how to get there. In my book Beautiful Ambition, I lay out a step by step approach to achieving your dreams and goals. You must have a track to run on, you have to know where to go, and you have to know how to get there.

You can start by making a dream board that has everything that you want. Cut out pictures from magazines that inspire you and put them together. Make sure that you can easily see this board to remind you of the things that you want to achieve or have.

This year decide to do it differently even if it seems hard. You have it in you and you are stronger then you know. Wake up each day with passion and enthusiasm. Decide to break through the mundane and go after excellence. Find inspiration where you can. Sometimes it’s easier to do it for others than for ourselves so if that’s the case, do it for your family.

As you are preparing your dreams and goals for the New Year, also include a written page of what you are thankful for. Gratitude is everything—in order to have more in your life you must show gratitude for what you already have.

Moreover, be honest with yourself about things you need to make right. For example if you are holding on to grudges, pain, or feeling unforgiving towards someone, you will not be able to move forward until you reconcile with yourself and make things right in your heart.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have people in your life that have hurt you. What it means is that in your heart you have released it and have forgiven that person that you are not reliving those negative feelings or experiences in your mind all the time.

You don’t need to try to get even with people. I have said it before and I will say it again: We are all here to learn our own lessons and that means that we are ALL responsible for the choices we make. Whether they are good or bad, each of us has to live with our own Karma because it is how the universe works. You reap what you sow period.

So decide to wish those people well and move on. Take responsibility for your dreams and what you want.

This Year I know you can do it. Live with passion and run your own race.

May health, happiness and prosperity be yours this year and may all of the blessings fill your life.

Love Lots,

Tara

 

Creating Lasting Bonds

My kids love to have rituals and traditions to look forward to and the holidays are the perfect time to develop those. Whatever it is that you as a family do, make it something you love and that you can commit to so that when that time rolls around each year, your children will definitely look forward to it.

Maybe you take the kids on vacation someplace and each year it’s the same destination—for our family, my kids absolutely love Hawaii. This year, however, we are actually venturing out to the Turks and Caicos because we love to keep it tropical.

We split up our vacations so we do a tropical one and then a winter trip. This Year the kids will be spending weekends during break in ski class so there will be lots of time as a family spent on the mountain.

Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, be sure to make a big deal out of it. When your kids see how excited you are, it will be contagious!

May this Season bring you joy beyond compare. I hope that you recognize that it is more about the experience you create with your family than the amount you decide to spend. I think less “stuff” and more “love” is a better all-around gift you can give!

Be blessed,

Tara

 

On Things that I am Thankful For

THANKSGIVING !

As it gets closer to Thanksgiving, I find myself thinking of all the things that I am thankful for. In my life, I feel that it is essential to be grateful and mindful of the blessings we get every day. This allows the abundance in our life to keep coming. Mind you, I am not speaking of material things but rather of what I believe are truths to this life that we lead.

All of us come here with a purpose; we each get amazing gifts and talents that we have the chance to develop. Many of us know right away what they are and some of us take time to figure out. Either way each of us walks our own unique path.

I truly believe that LOVE and Compassion are the cornerstones of this life here on Earth. To know deep within that life is about giving and receiving love and compassion. This certainly does not mean that we do not run into daily challenges that threaten that concept. After all, we are human. This means that we have to face our challenges head on and try to do so with integrity.

My family is absolutely the most important thing in my life. Being with them, enjoying each moment and taking it all in fill me with tremendous joy or frustration at times, but more importantly a sense of purpose and completion.

I am so thankful for who they are and as a mother I can tell you they have not only made me grow as a person but have also challenged me to face things that I needed to change! It is so true how children hold up a mirror at our faults and they innocently turn the spot light on all of our areas of weakness.

Do we face these things knowing that they are there and need to be dealt with or do we hide and try our best to cover them up?

I think it is brave to admit to one’s self that there are things that need work. After all we all fall short in some ways and it is just part of being human. I hope that at this time in your life, you can find the strength to look deep within and face any of the challenges that you have in your life head on.

No matter what it may be, lean on those around you for support and encouragement and know that you have it within you to change and develop into the kind of person you want to be.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the gift of health—my family’s health and happiness, the ability to pray and have the Freedom we all have in this country. My heart is full of optimism about the future of our country and while I know there will be challenges to face, I also know that as Americans, we bind our hearts together and have the ability to stand firm. It’s just what we do!

I am looking forward to taking my kids to feed the homeless. I want them to serve others and realize how blessed they are. I want them to grow up with the knowledge that when you have a blessed life, it is essential to share what you have and to serve others just like Jesus did.

While writing a check is also important and needed, showing up and allowing your children to also watch you serve is HUGELY important.

On this Thanksgiving, may you be overwhelmed with a thankful heart and blessed beyond measure!


XO,

Tara Brooke

 

On Parenting Guide Books

Raising kids and parenting in general can be tricky sometimes. Let’s face it, while our own experience can be a great teacher, we may need a boost from time to time. This is why I love reading books on parenting. These books allow us to get valuable insight from experts regarding raising our children well. I’ve been reading three books lately and I thought it would be a great idea to share it with you.

Building Resilience in Children and Teens



Firsts up is Building Resilience in Children and in Teens by Kenneth R. Ginsburg MD. This book offers advice to parents on how to raise young kids and teenagers who can thrive in both easy and tough times. It also teaches parents how to build the seven crucial “Cs” in children namely competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control so that they will become champions in life who takes on challenges well.



Teach Your Children Well



Next is Teach Your Children Well by Madeline Levine. Aided by cutting-edge research and thirty years of experience in the field of clinical psychology, Levine explains to parents that report cards should not define their parenting endgame. She also teaches parents how to focus on a parenting style that enables children to be academically successful while developing a sense of purpose, well-being, connection, and meaning in their lives.



The Entitlement Trap



Last is The Entitlement Traps by Richard and Linda Eyre. This book teaches parents to nurture strong and healthy families through instilling in children’s minds a sense of ownership, responsibility, and self-sufficiency. They introduce the concept of the “Family Economy” where children are taught to earn money for the things that they want. Its ultimate goal is to teach parents and their kids to shy away from a lifetime of dependence and debt.



These books are available online through Amazon. I hope you also find these books as helpful as I do.

Cheers!

Tara

 

Happy Halloween and Be Safe!

Wishing everyone a fun-filled and safe Halloween.

Skye in her pretty costume.

Jaden as Zorro.

Our cute dogs dressed up for the Halloween too!

Love Lots,

Tara

 

Sunday Mornings at the Boreyko House

Everyday has its share of joys as well as challenges but there is something so magical and special about Sundays.

At our home, we try to hit the beach early with our kids and the dogs. Yes, it’s messy but that’s part of the fun! We chase each other, rock climb, and try to run from the dogs when they are ready to shake off the sand. It’s a joyous time for my husband and me to walk hand in hand, snuggle up, and have a cup of coffee.

Once we get home, it’s time to create something great in the kitchen. This Sunday we made croissants with homemade jam, and turkey mushroom with  Havarti cheese baked Frittata. It was so yummy!

My daughter helped set the table and my kids are at the age where I totally bring out the nice china. After all, they have to learn at some point. Making it special for the family feels good and I want them to have these memories for a lifetime.

Next, we scoot off to church and then home for a day filled with swimming, riding bikes or scooters, and of course now, football!

It’s just wonderful to be together. I wish you and your families those special moments filled with laughter, tons of kisses and above all, the gift of health.

XO

Tara Brooke

 

Summer Comes to an End

Wow, another summer is coming to an end!

This summer has been truly amazing. When I think of all the fun things I have been able to experience with my family, I find myself in awe at how cool everything has been in the past few months.

We had great trips to Sea World where my kids were actually tall enough for their first roller coaster; We gave kisses to all of our favorite Disney characters at Disneyland; We had Knight Battles at Medieval times with my kids dressed in Royal attire; We spent weekends at La Costa, the beach, and of course, our back yard; daddy was throwing them in the pool a hundred times while I was chasing them in the pool while I am still fast enough to catch them. These are the years that they will always remember.

These are moments that pass so quickly. Knowing in our hearts that these things come and pass in just a blink of an eye keeps us enthralled and simply in love with these moments.

There was this instance when we were watching the Olympics and we had to explain to our kids the powerful images of the sprinter without legs. Gazing at their awe-inspired faces as he ran, never giving up on his dream, made me realize that for the children, he is just truly amazing.

There had been beautiful moments with my dad and my mom as well. I watched them enjoy their time with their grandkids and they truly savored every moment of it.

I will always remember looking into the rear mirror as they sing a “One Direction” song and not missing a single word. My daughter, who’s almost five years old even asked me if Katy Perry can come to her birthday. How she even knows who Katy Perry is at this age scares me!

I also taught my daughter the joy of cooking and setting the table each morning with flowers picked fresh from our garden.

It’s just been incredible—my kids reading bible stories with daddy every night and being excited about God and Jesus. They sit there, wanting to learn and know more. It’s exciting to watch their enthusiasm about God! They love Sunday school and never want to miss even just one Sunday.This summer I also watched as they commit to their fourth year of swimming. They are now only training in the Olympic size pool—learning to dive off the boards and learning to do forward underwater flips like the “big kids”.

They were also able to break boards and have tested for their orange belts. Now my son (who is super tall) is getting ready to start his first season of basketball while my little girl wants to start cheer and hip-hop! All in all it has been busy and rewarding at the same time. As summer comes to a close, I look back with great appreciation of each experience and look to the future for even more rewarding times as a family!

As a nation, we’re getting ready to decide who will enter the white house. Will it be our current president or will we embark on a new path with Mitt Romney? Each day we pray for our great nation and the protection of our country and all those that make it possible. I believe that God will continue to protect us all and allow this great country to thrive once again.

May each and every one of you find joy in even the smallest details of life! If you are one of the millions of Americans that has been experiencing the loss of your home, your job, or are facing health issues, I pray that the weight that you carry be lifted and that those burdens will begin to lift and that joy and happiness will begin to consume your daily life.

Seasons change so hold on to the moments that are worth cherishing. I know you are right around the corner to a new season of possibilities and happiness! We all deserve it!

Be blessed!

Tara

 

A Message to Yourself

family beach shoot


“If given the chance to go back in time and offer your younger self at 16– your best advice, what would you tell yourself?”

I love this idea because it makes one think about what he or she wanted in life when growing up, provides a person with the opportunity to see how life has changed, and shows the path one has decided to take. Did you follow your heart? Perhaps had a change of heart? Or possibly have had it broken when everything you thought would happen just didn’t turn out the way you imagined it to be.

In life, the one thing we all know that is constant—is CHANGE.

Thinking back, when I was 16 and still in high school, I was working with two jobs while dreaming of graduating and moving to LA to pursue my modeling career. I certainly had no intensions of getting married at a young age, and the idea that I would have a family someday wasn’t at all in my planned future until much later. You see, I grew up watching my parents have a painful divorce and the years that followed suit made me want to be completely self-sufficient. I didn’t buy into the fairytale of love, though I wanted to. I thought that happiness for me meant having a successful modeling career and being on my own.

It’s so funny because when I look back, I was able to achieve my dreams and I enjoyed having a career as it allowed me to travel and have financial security, not to mention the fact that I gained a lot of self-confidence. So from that perspective, I feel like I stuck to the plan for at least a little while.

Life is very funny. Especially when you are not paying attention, the very best surprise can come and that’s what happened to me when I first met my husband. I was only 22 years old, about to turn 23 and right on the verge of taking my career to the next level. I feel like I got really lucky because I was so focused on what I wanted and what my dreams were, that it almost cost me the greatest love of my life. Jason was so persistent and that’s what saved the relationship. I was so young that I didn’t see the value of having this relationship until I almost lost it. There were so many times that I would cancel date with him, and eventually realized that I definitely put him through the wringer. I am sure that many of his friends told him “to bail out on this girl”, and would have been the same advice I would give if I’m in their position.

It wasn’t until Christmas Eve when my mother mentioned him, asking how that handsome man I told her about is. “Jason—he seems like a wonderful guy. Tara, you should call him and wish him a ‘Merry Christmas’”. Little did she know that he wasn’t very happy with me after calling off a planned weekend trip with him to LA. He was at the airport and about to board when I phoned in to cancel. But taking a leap of faith, I decided to dial his number and said “It’s Tara and I was thinking about you. I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and tell you that if you want to give it one more try, I would love to see you again.” Well that phone call saved everything. 20 minutes later, he called back and said outright that he was taking a plane. Once he arrived in LA, Jason told me that he wanted me to be his girlfriend. No more seeing other people and wanted to make sure that I was done playing games.

He was adorable telling me that I had to call him back within 24 hours (as sometimes I would take 3 or 4 days to contact him). I loved that he was laying down the law. After all I had been dancing to my own beat; it felt good to let a real man take control, that it definitely got my attention.

So to make the long story short, it was about a month after we started dating, until he popped the question the night before Valentine’s Day. He totally surprised me of pulling off a planned and very romantic proposal. Of course I said yes, and 14 days later… Yes. 14 days and you heard me right!!! We were married in front of 100 plus people at the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena, California. It was my very own fairy tale. Today, we are about close to celebrating 15 years of marriage, not to mention that our twins are about to turn 5 soon!

So the advice I would give myself at 16 would have been this:

Be open to love. Don’t allow yourself to be convinced that the issues your family had when you were growing up, would be the same issues you’ll have in the future. I would tell myself that only love will give the greatest gift one could ever have in life that no amount of money or fame could ever compare. I would also tell myself to keep my standards high but still be open to love. I got that second chance in love, but I also came so close to losing it.

What dreams did you have? Is there a way to go back to those dreams now? If life changed for the better, Bravo! And you should feel so happy and blessed! But if you feel like you let a dream pass by, please know that it’s never too late for you! In life, each of us has issues to overcome and draw lessons from and that we never stop learning from it.

So my wish for you today is that, may you be able to take look at your life and learn from all the good as well as the negative things it came along with, and that may you have a new outlook on what you really want and have the determination to go after it, with passion!

Once I got married, I decided that traveling the world without my husband is no longer an option. So I made the necessary adjustments that would allow me to prioritize my relationship first, while still being able to work on the projects I loved. I knew then that it’s not going be easy. But compromise needs to be made on both ends to make it work, and it’s definitely worth it. We are partners in business. I became a published author. But most importantly, I have two lovely and healthy children with my soul mate. I may never have made it to the cover of Vogue Magazine, but I would not change a thing. Happiness and love is out there for everyone! So never stop believing in the power of LOVE!

Here’s to you finding your dream today!

XO
Tara Brooke