the GRACEFUL guide NEW YEAR’S
TRAVEL INSPO VALENTINE’S DAY
table of CONTENTS
5 WINTER TRENDS
ABOUT THIS ISSUE
7 MY 2019 WORD
BORN AND RAISED IN DALLAS, TEXAS I WILL FOREVER CALL THE LONE STAR STATE HOME. Growing up in a big city, I was constantly trying to define myself by what was around me. I had to be a certain image, look a certain way, and wear certain clothes (or so I thought at the time). While trying to fit into the mold, I also tried to stand out, living in a constant battle with myself. My parents and mentors taught me to be strong and independent, but the little girl inside of me wanted so badly to fit in. After graduating from high school though, I knew there were other adventures waiting, so I began the first part of my journey in Auburn, Alabama at Auburn University. I will be forever grateful for my time in that small town because it allowed me to grow in to the person I am today. I learned how to truly love myself, as well how to view myself in the eyes of my heavenly father. My family, mentors and friends taught me to be proud of who I am and what I stand for. Their love and guidance helped light a path that I never knew existed. I began to understand that it is not about being perfect, but more about loving the imperfect version of me. I am constantly learning, growing and being shaped into the woman I am today, and I am so thankful that the Lord has tailored me, â€œFor I am fearfully and wonderfully madeâ€? (Psalm 139:13-16).
about this issue
Well, it is a new year, can you believe it? We rang in 2019 with a bang and I am excited to hit the ground running. This new year means so many new things for Gracefully Taylored and I am so excited to share them with you, starting with the second issue of The Graceful Guide! In this issue you will find packing tips for vacation travel, previous travel guides to both Napa and New York, Valentineâ€™s Day outfits and gift ideas, AND I am sharing with you trends that I am loving right now. And of course, to welcome the new year, I am sharing my word of the year for 2019. I hope you find what you are looking for here in The Graceful Guide and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
mountain VACATIONS WHAT TO PACK
I wonâ€™t lie, my ski skills are lacking, BUT I still love to go to the mountains because I never get to style cold weather gear in Louisiana! These are some go-to items for me that I always try to have in my bag when we head to the snow. Cozy sweaters, puffy coats and fun hats are always a must!
tropical VACATIONS WHAT TO PACK
If you know me, then you know that I would choose the beach over the mountains ANY day. Whenever Jon Luke wants to take a trip, my first reaction is to look for somewhere sunny and warm. But I do compromise! BUT for those of you who have a beach vacay planned soon, here are some things I am loving for any tropical location!
nap a travel guide
I have to say, I think one of my favorite places in the world might be Napa Valley. I’ve made the trip twice now and both times were pretty magical. It is funny though, the two times I have been were during the exact same time of year so I have only seen Napa in the fall (late October to be specific). But y’all, the fall in Napa…it is perfect. When you hear people talk about the California weather and how good it is, I know I often roll my eyes (probably with jealousy) because in my head I am thinking, “it can’t really be that good.” Well it is. The weather is perfect, the leaves are changing and the wine is endless. My kind of place. I could go on and on about just how much I loved visiting Napa. It truly has become one of my favorite places to visit and I cannot wait to go back! After this recent trip, Jon Luke and I have decided that we want to expand our wine knowledge even more and have begun to catalog our wines, learning more about each bottle we have. It is something fun to take with us as we continue to learn about wine, and we can reminisce on each bottle we brought back with us! If you are looking to plan a trip, I hope this little guide helps you in some way. I will say, you cannot go wrong while you are there, as it is all beautiful. Just be prepared to enjoy good food and great wine and you will be set!
PLACES TO STAY: Carneros Resort and Spa, Senza Hotel, Hotel Yountville, Bardessono, Vintage House
GRAB A BITE: Oenotri, Ad Hoc, Boon Fly Cafe, The French Laundry, Auberge du Soleil, Solbar
TIME FOR WINE: Scribe Winery, Kelly Fleming, Cade, Viader, Beaulieu Vineyard, Vine Cliff Winery, Tamber Bey, Opus One,
THIRTEEN L LY TAY L O R E D
new yorK travel guide New York has literally always been on my mind. When I was in high school, my dad and I started going every year at Christmas. It did not take long at all for me to fall in love. FUN FACT: I wanted to go to graduate school there. I was close but I decided to get married instead haha But seriously, New York has always held such a special place in my heart. The city, the lights and the people...all of it gives me the feels. It is my favorite thing to take people to New York for their first time, but every time I go I find new places...which is the beauty of it! You can go to New York every month and do something COMPLETELY different. Just get lost in the hustle and wander.
WHERE TO STAY: Rent an Apartment, 1hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Lotte New York Palace, Arlo Nomad, The Broome in Soho
GRAB A BITE: While We Were Young, Wo Hop (Chinatown),
Cecconiâ€™s Dumbo, The Spotted Pig, Beauty & Essex, The Butcherâ€™s Daughter, Jack Wife Freda, Charlie Bird in Soho
A PICK ME UP: Happy Bones, Chalait, Sweatshop Coffee (Brooklyn), Devocion Cafe
SEE THE SIGHTS: Wander, Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, See a Show, Top of the Rock, Central Park, Shopping and Drinks in Soho, Chinatown and Little Italy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
TRE TOP 2019 WINTER
TW HREE N I NE EN TT EY ET N
I N E E D T H IS
LOVE THE NEUTRAL
ADORABLE MAKE A STATEMENT
There is nothing I love more during the cold months than to be snuggled up by the fire. With that being said, I have become a HUGE fan of the teddy coat. Seriously, there has become a space in my closet specifically for these cozy coats. Not only are they super cozy, but they are fun to style as well which is why this trend is one that I cannot get enough of!
CUTE WITH BOOTIES OR TALL BOOTS
SUCH A EASY SWEATER TO STYLE
LOVE THE SLEEVES
LOVE THIS COLOR
OBSESSED WITH THE DETAILS
Now lets be real...this is my favorite trend of all. There is nothing I love more than cozying up in an oversized sweater when it is cool outside. In my opinion, the bigger the better. I invest in SO many sweaters each year, to the point where my husband tells me to reel it in. But I just love them!
sweaters TWENTY TWO
TW W EE NNTTYY TTHHRRE EE E
LOVE HOW TALL THESE ARE
As soon as the temperatures drop, my boot game gets strong. I think that is my favorite thing about the cooler temps...boot season. From over-the-knee boots to a good bootie, I love styling my boots. This season, I have absolutely loved the shearling boot trend. Finding these cozy, fuzzy styles has been something different for my wardrobe and you guys know I love to style new things! These boots definitely came into play during our ski trip this year because they are perfect for the snow, but I will definitely be wearing them in Louisiana until the temps heat up!
xoxo valentineâ€™s day
CLICK HERE FOR DATE IDEAS
CLICK HERE FOR OUTFIT IDEAS
CLICK HERE FOR GIFT IDEAS
MY 2019 word
I have seen so many people lately talking about their word of the year. The word that they want to focus on in 2019. The word that may change them, break them down, or lift them up. Truthfully, I have never done this. Picked just one word I mean. I guess I have often times felt that there was no way one word could truly define my year. How could I place all of my heart on just one word? How could I select just one word to live by, think about, or pray over? Well, after 2018, I think I understand. This past year was one of rebuilding. Actually, the past few years were. There have been times where I felt extremely broken, and others when I was dancing praises. Truthfully, it was the in between times that were the most difficult. When things seemed to be going my way, I rode that gravy train with a smile on my face. And when things were not so grand, it was easy to fall to my knees. But it was those in between days where I felt lost, confused even. I was so wrapped up in the things, and the hustle, that instead of becoming dependent on my heavenly father, I was becoming (heavily) dependent on myself. Which, let’s be real…I can only carry the weight for so long. I quickly became worn down, tired, and very weak. My constant desire to please everyone was unfulfillable, which made me even more upset. My anxiety levels rose because I was not crossing things off my to-do list like I thought I should be. This endless list of tasks was growing by the minute and my heart just could not take it. Which is when I heard the word GRACE. That was it. What I needed. To give myself a little grace. And y’all, this was (and is) not easy for me. I have talked about it several times throughout the past year, but I am EXTREMELY hard on myself. When I feel like I have failed, I have this little voice in my head that never sleeps. It rattles on, constant blows to my heart, “I knew you couldn’t do it.” “You are worthless.” “You will never measure up.” And the sad thing is, I start to believe it. And it wears on me…in all aspects of my life. My negativity cup runs over and even begins to show in my day-to-day routine. My smile fades, and I become weary. While I fight the voices in my head, I push myself harder, becoming even more physically weak/tired. In the sense of this platform, I became so inundated with social media that my head was constantly in my phone, missing out on the things around me. But why? Because I needed to be better. Or so I thought. What is so funny about this though is that NO ONE around me told me that I was failing. Not one person sat me down and said, “Taylor, do better.” It was all in my head. But I had convinced myself of this failure. Convinced myself that if I stopped, things would fall apart. Well, I finally hit my breaking point. The night before I left for New York last month, it happened. My sweet husband was trying to take me on a date before I left town. And I wanted to go of course. However, I also wanted to finish packing, finish a blog post, and finish ‘The Graceful Guide’ at the same time. (You can probably see where this is headed.) We could not decide where to eat at first, but eventually came to a decision. Or so I thought. He left the table to get ready, and I kept at it. After a few minutes, he returned looking super spiffy in his jeans and sport coat, ready to take me out for a NICE steak dinner. And all I could do was cry. I thought we had settled on a quick meal at our local Mexican spot…so the panic set in. My heart began to race and I tried to type faster, get one more email out. When he heard the tension in my voice, he became confused (and had every right to be) which made me think he was upset. I started to shake a little…then the tears came. Uncontrollably, out of nowhere. WATER WORKS. And y’all, I do not like it when people see me cry. Which made it worse. The tears came more rapidly and the only thing I could do was throw my face into my hands and sob. It was then that Jon Luke (very calmly) wrapped his arms around me and held me. And in just a few words helped me to breathe. “Taylor, it is okay.” Just like that. It was all I needed to hear. That my not being able to pull myself together for dinner was okay. That not having all of my emails answered was okay. That my new project (“The Graceful Guide”) was going to be okay. That I did not have to post to Instagram that night and it was okay. That I did not have to have everything together…and it was OKAY. He was extending that GRACE I needed. I just needed to be able to extend it to myself. So fast forward to now. 2019. It is a new year. And the perfect time for me to truly meditate on this word. To think about it. Pray over it. And constantly ask for help in one of the things I find most difficult…not doing it all. And as I said before about last year, there were tough times where I found myself on my knees. But why only then? Why was it only in the times when I felt completely defeated that I felt the need to ask for help? Shouldn’t that be my constant response? To go to my heavenly father and PRAISE HIM for the wonderful days, LISTEN TO HIM during the in between when he is teaching me, and THANK HIM for carrying me through the worst? That is where I feel I can truly understand what that GRACE is. If He can love me through all of my mess and at the end of the day still say, “Daughter, you are loved,” then what am I really doing? So with all of that being said, you guessed it, GRACE is my word for 2019. Remembering to extend myself GRACE when I feel overwhelmed. Extending GRACE to others when I feel let down. And accepting the GRACE from my heavenly father because I am in no way perfect. And that my friends is so good to hear.
I S S U E t w o
2019 Winter Issue