9 Inspiring Books for Women and Mothers

Between spring cleaning and checking in on those New Years resolutions, this time of year is a great opportunity to get refreshed. Inspirational reading always gives me a new perspective on life and I’m always up for getting lost in a good book. Anyone feel the same? I rounded up 9 interesting books – both from this year and before – that are sure to refresh your outlook on womanhood, motherhood, marriage and life in general. Let me know what you think!

9 Inspiring Books for Women - Tamera Mowry1. The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan. You know how important I think a positive outlook can be, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. In this book, you will learn just how much gratitude affects your own outlook on life – from the perspective of someone that’s experimented with it personally and researched it extensively. Gotta love seeing New Years resolutions come true!

2. Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman. This book is all about how to appreciate the little moments in life. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut, but that’s life – it’s not about making every moment exciting, but learning to appreciate even the not-so-thrilling ones.

3. The Fringe Hours: Making Time For You by Jessica N. Turner is for the woman that is always taking on everything. You know you need to make time for your interests and passions, but there doesn’t seem to be a minute to spare. Turner helps you make the most of the tiny moments that could be used for you.

4. Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World by Karen Ehman. If you’re not completely happy or just feel like something’s missing, Ehman provides a solution: giving. How being kind and lending a helping hand – even in the smallest ways – can lead to our own fulfillment. This book is based on the idea that living a self-focused life is what really leads to unhappiness, and loving others is the key to joy.

5. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. Brown has written many things since this book came out, but this one is a must whether you’ve followed her work or are just now discovering it. It’s not just the motivation you need to feel more comfortable in your own skin, it’s a tried-and-true approach to finally living the statement “I am enough”.

6. Happy by Darren Brown is a good basis for a lot of the topics the rest of these books tackle. Instead of just striving to be happy, Brown helps us find out what happiness really is, and why we want to achieve it.

7. Love Unending: Rediscovering Your Marriage in the Midst of Motherhood by Becky Thompson. The first line you’ll read when researching this book is “How can I remember how to be a wife when it takes all I’ve got to be a momma?” Thompson just gets it – sometimes we don’t feel like we can give each and every part of our lives our all, including our marriages. With 21 days full of inspiration and challenges, Thompson helps you rediscover the love that brought you to this point.

8. Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom by Lisa-Jo Baker. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – no two mothers’ journeys are alike. This memoir from the perspective of a woman who never thought she was fit for motherhood is sure to inspire any mom who has questioned her journey along the way.

9. Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist. Lastly, this book focuses on the kitchen table as a way to anchor the relationships in our lives. Party memoir, part recipe book, it’s all about the way meals don’t just nourish us, they bring us together. A good book and tasty recipes… You can’t go wrong. ;)

Have you read any of these books? Let me know which books are inspiring you lately.

Xx,
Tamera

5 Tips for Spring Entertaining on a Budget

Now that spring is finally here, it’s time to start thinking about entertaining. Just because the holiday season is long gone doesn’t mean you don’t get to play hostess every now and then. There are so many reasons you might want to invite people into your home this time of year, but don’t worry – you don’t have to spend a lot of money to show friends and family a great time.

5 Tips for Spring Entertaining on a Budget -  Tamera Mowry

How to Entertain on a Budget

Host a potluck. People have mixed feelings about potlucks – guests don’t always want to feel forced into it, but it can be a great way for an already busy hostess to save money and time, too. The trick here is to make it worth guests’ while. If you’re going to host an event potluck style, be sure to take on something else instead. Give guests a guide or suggestions on what to bring instead of a strict menu, and offer something like ample drink options or custom décor in order to make the event feel special.

Cheap cocktails. Beer and wine is often cheaper than a bar full of alcohol, but it can still add up. Create your own cocktails with bubbly for a fun, inexpensive alternative to traditional event offerings. With a little fruit or a homemade simple syrup, you can take sparkling cocktails up a notch and not need to worry about getting the fanciest bottle.

Create an ambiance. A lot of people think you need great flowers to create a beautiful centerpiece, but you can actually create a fabulous tablescape without the blooms. Opt for a little greenery (preferably from the farmers market – you’ll get the best prices) and lots of candles instead. You can even buy votives in bulk for the occasion, allowing you to save room in the budget for more important things. This looks even prettier outside, so if you’re entertaining in warm weather you’ll be able to impress guests without completely transforming your backyard. If outside, hang bistro lights for an added oomph!

Create a paper table runner. Instead of expensive linens, there are tons of pretty printed papers that can double as a table runner or placemats. You can even buy a roll of kraft paper for less than $5 and create a rustic base to arrange all those candles on. This handy trick also makes the table a lot more personal for your guests to enjoy.

Keep it casual. Who’s ever said no to a casual hangout? Especially when the temps warm up. If you’re on a budget, don’t go overboard trying to make an event more formal than it needs to be. Guests aren’t always thrilled about spending a lot of money on an outfit or dinner anyway, so they’ll be relieved to attend a casual dinner party during a season with so many weddings and formal events.

Find more entertaining ideas on my Pinterest!

Xx,
Tamera

How to Rediscover Yourself

Hey guys! Today I wanted to talk about a topic that I think is on everyone’s mind at some point in their lives. Whether you’re struggling with maintaining a sense of individuality as your family expands or feeling caught in the hustle of a demanding career – it’s easy to look up and wonder if we’ve lost touch with ourselves.

It’s important for me to look inward from time to time for this reason and I’ve talked about how when I take care of myself, I feel better prepared to take care of my family, friends and job. It’s a little tough to know just HOW to rediscover yourself though – it requires a little soul searching. Here’s what has worked for me:

How to Rediscover Yourself - Tamera Mowry

1. Get curious. Think about what really inspires you, or used to. Think of what your biggest passions or hobbies used to be – maybe it’s time to reconnect. It also helps to explore (it’s never too late to find a new hobby!) and become more open to opportunity and adventure.

2. Get reading. Nothing like a good book to help you discover secrets about yourself. Sometimes reading someone else’s story can teach us about ours. Find a few books that sound interesting and dig in – it usually leads to a fresh perspective. Not to mention it can force you to take a little time off when you’re feeling busy. (Stay tuned for an inspiring book post on my site soon!)

3. Get moving. Life involves a lot of sitting and waiting – and not necessarily in a relaxing way. Even truer if you have a sedentary day job. My workout classes have given me life – you never know what you’re capable of until you really push yourself, and this kind of self-care and confidence is important to discovering yourself. Don’t knock it till you try it ;).

4. Get social. I know, it sounds pretty strange that self-discovery would involve other people but here’s the trick – get out of your rut or routine. Have conversations with old friends or even branch out of your circle. I know that for lots of working moms at least, when life gets busy the social life is the first to go. Yet, quality time with other people is essential to channeling the real you. Make sure you carve out a little time for rediscovering the social “you”.

Have you ever felt the need to re-discover yourself?

Xx,
Tamera

Real Talk: Enjoying the Journey

Happy Monday! Are you ready for the next Real Talk topic of 2017? (If you’ve missed some of my past posts, you can find them all here.) You may have heard me say the phrase “enjoy the journey” before when talking about New Years resolutions. But this isn’t just some goal that will fade, I’ve come to think of it as a lifestyle. Yes, the term enjoy the journey is a nice piece of inspiration, but you’re probably wondering what it means to actually live it.

Enjoying the Journey - Tamera Mowry

The biggest question isn’t how to enjoy your journey (whatever that may be) when life is GOOD but when times are tough. Can you really enjoy difficult parts of life too? Let me tell you, no one’s life is all rainbows and butterflies; no one finds success without failure, love without heartache. But enjoying the journey IS possible – it’s all about maintaining that attitude of gratitude, and focusing on what is going right.

The trick is not to try to pretend that there aren’t hurdles or obstacles. We all have them and they can teach us a lot about us and our convictions. Enjoying the journey isn’t about ignoring our struggle, it’s about embracing them as part of who you are. If you can start to respect those hard times and realize that you’ve learned and grown as a person because of the bumps along the road, you’ll look at life from a more compassionate place.. One that is not only less harsh on others, but kinder to yourself too.

Once you make peace with the fact that struggles are part of the journey, you let go of the impossible expectations that seem to always lead to disappointment (you know the ones). You learn to be content with every part of the road because it led you to this moment. Thinking of life in this way always lifts me up when I’m down, and I hope it does for you too! It’s so empowering to know that no matter what, there’s something to take from each experience we have.

“Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to enjoy your life.” – Joyce Meyer

What does enjoying the journey mean to you?

Xx,
Tamera

Real Talk: Dealing with Self-Doubt

Hi everyone! Did you catch my last Real Talk post on setting boundaries? Sometimes you need boundaries with other people to improve your relationships, but other times the one person getting in your way is – you guessed it – you.  How many times a day do you catch yourself saying or thinking, “I can’t”? A lot of us don’t even notice how much we do it.

Real Talk: Dealing with Self-Doubt - Tamera Mowry

Growing up, we have parents and teachers to tell us what we can and can’t do. But who’s telling you that now? While there’s so much more we CAN do, it’s easy to tell ourselves no, especially when the going gets tough. In the past few years – especially since becoming a momma – I’ve found myself capable of doing more than I ever thought possible. Yet, I still catch myself wrapped up in negative self-talk from time to time, who doesn’t?

The funny thing is, we can be so sweet about it. We politely tell ourselves, “oh, I couldn’t do that”. Putting ourselves down in this way can be so subtle we don’t even notice it – yet its effects are enormous. It’s a way of telling ourselves we can’t be trusted, that we can’t handle the things we were put on earth to experience, that we’re silly for evening considering it. While it might a well-meaning voice designed to protect ourselves from harm, when listened to frequently, it keeps us from living life to the fullest.

So, how to combat this negative self-talk? My solution is to come up with a response. Sometimes it helps to determine whether or not these doubts are reasonable. Next time you catch yourself thinking or saying “I can’t” – answer it back. Ask why not. Find out why you think you can’t. Think long and hard about the why; sometimes this is coming from a place of fear or doubt. If there’s no good reason for something, you’ve got one more step – turn that negative into a positive. Tell yourself you can.

Do you struggle with self-doubt? We’re all capable of amazing things, sometimes we just need to hear that voice out – and go for it anyway.

Xx,
Tamera

A Letter to My Fans

Over the past couple weeks I’ve received more comments, emails, and messages than ever and I wanted to address a few of you guys because I don’t get the chance to do that very often. If you watch The Real you might’ve seen that recently we all got up close and personal about how guilt can hold us back in our lives, making it hard to make our New Years wishes come true. I mentioned my desire to go a little easier on myself, and talked about how I’ve experienced mom guilt from being a working momma away from my little ones so much. At the time, I knew that of course lots of other working moms could relate, but boy did it finally sink in!

Tamera Mowry Dressing Room on The Real

Photos of my family in my dressing room at The Real.

It’s true that on social media there are plenty of people who aren’t into hearing about motherhood, who don’t relate to raising two young children who are my everything, but what I’ve seen lately is that all of you who DO relate, who felt supported by MY feelings and who in turn supported me, outweigh the naysayers.

Tamera Mowry Dressing Room on The Real

I’ve received a ton of inspiring messages and stories but a few really touched my heart and I wanted to share and just say thanks to them and everyone else who has spread positivity already this year – whether it was to me or just by inspiring a mom friend or anyone who needs it. I hope that everyone who reads this can be inspired by your amazing messages too :)

Lauren B said, Today I watched the clips about guilt on The Real’s YouTube channel. I watched them as I sat in the “Mother’s Lounge” pumping at work. Your words resonated deeply with me. As I watched, I knew my husband was waking up our daughter and getting her ready for the day. I long to be there in the mornings. I feel guilt for leaving her day in and day out to provide for our family. I worry that she’ll love her dad more than me. The feelings you expressed and the words of encouragement that Jeannie, Loni, and Adrienne shared were very beneficial to me today. Especially coming back to work from a wonderful vacation. I needed that extra boost to help me carry on. 

Phebby Z said, I remember as a child missing my mother but looking forward to her coming home and sharing with us all her experiences. She has a huge sense of humor and the moment she got home, it was like she never even left. Because, she would just shower us with love and play catch up on whatever was going on in our lives individually. In my eyes my mother is the best mother ever! We’ve all grown up to be strong women and men and nobody has any issues as a result. All of us kids agree that between mother and daddy, we got the best parents ever! …From one woman to another, those little blessings you have are always looking forward to your coming home and telling them all about your day. Don’t think you have to make up for lost time without them! Just be there when the time allows according to your schedule and play and lather them with as much LOVE as you can.

Juliette said, As mothers we always want to do more and be the best we can be and not everyone is going to agree with how we raise our children, but then not everyone will understand the things we give up to make sure our families want and need for nothing. Even if it means missing out on a few things here and there… Be proud of the mom you’ve become because trust me it’s so worth it in the long run when they turn to you and say, thank you mom… Continue to be who you are never let the negativity disrupt that.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who chooses to lift other women up instead of tearing them down. You inspire me.

Xx,
Tamera