You Gotta Be: Ask Away Friday with Tamara Camera Blog

Well, hey, there, blog! Remember me?

Yes, blog, you’ve been neglected but admittedly, I have a lot of distractions right now.

Like this storefront.


Hey, readers!  I miss y’all! Want to take a look at what lies beyond that building permit?

purple walls

Yeah, I’m loving the purple and green.

And when you come to visit me this summer, (see how I’m not saying “if” but “when?”), there will be photos Swami Satchyananda at the opening ceremonies of the Woodstock Music Festival and of Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon adorning those purple walls.

You want to see something else?

Meet the face of my brand.


Isn’t she lovely? I just adore her!

I promise to reveal more soon. Very soon.

Speaking of faces, you were all incredibly kind in your words about how Tamara captured mine on Christmas Eve at her parent’s house in New Jersey. There’s a 99.99% chance that if you read my blog, you read Tamara’s blog as well, so I don’t know how much of an introduction this lady really needs. If you are part of the .01%, I’ll just say that Tamara writes a kick ass blog and makes me cry over her words at least once a week and then I drool over her gorgeous photos.
Oh, and I love her kids and her entire family for that matter. She’s heart and soul and a little touch of magic and we happen to have a family name in common. Therefore, I’ve decided that we’re related.

Tamara’s asking me the questions this week. And I’m asking some over at her place as well.

Let’s hit it.

1. Let’s start with a bang! Name five items on your bucket list. And if you don’t already have one, now is the time to start. Big or small..

1) Run the New York City Marathon.

2) I want to take a family vacation to Disney World while my kids are young enough to embrace “the magic.” Assuming my business does well, there is talk about going next year. S. plans on joining us, too, which would be wonderful. Because that’s how my Modern Family rolls.

3) Start a local non-profit.

4) Write books.

5) This will have to wait until my children are older, but I would love to spend a month at Ashram Yoga in Auckland, New Zealand, which is the home of the yoga tradition that I studied in Yoga Teacher Training.

2. I adore (and am currently compiling) bad job stories. Do you have a crazy/bad/so bad it’s good story that happened to you during a job/career?

I have some crazy stories in the bad job department. I think if I had to choose one over all the others, it would be a restaurant where I waitressed in Washington D.C. while in college. When I started the job, the owner of the place had just been released from jail for tax evasion. The place was definitely a front for “something.” The bar manager (and my boss!) sat me down one night and told me that if I was ever interested in dating an older man, I should visit him at his apartment. I got my butt pinched by customers every single night. I only lasted there 2 months? Maybe 3? Although I should add that in tips alone, it was some of the best money I’ve ever made to this day.

3. If you had the chance to travel into outer space, would you go? Why or why not?

Yes – of course. I think I’d be scared as all hell – but how do you say no to an opportunity like that?

4. I cheated and asked my sister a good yoga question for you: is there anything in your life that needs more balance? And what IS balanced in your life?

First of all, I love that Lindsay gave a hand for this post (hey, sistah!).  I think when most of us talk about balance, we think of it in the physical sense, i.e., having enough “time” to get to all of the things that are important to us, work, blogging, exercise, our kids, etc. I’ve gravitated away from this mindset because I’m realizing that my life will never have that external balance we long for. As a new business owner, there are days that I work until midnight, with no blogging, no time with my kids, no exercise, and no socializing. There are other days where I don’t pay enough attention to my “responsibilities” and lie around in my pajamas, because that’s what I feel like I need. I think balance for me is more about a state of mind. Accepting where I’m at in the present moment what I need or who or what needs me – and also accepting that the proverbial *it* will never be “done” or “finished.”

5. Have you ever been successfully surprised by a surprise party/trip, etc.?

I have never been given a surprise party or trip. One of my closest friends in New Jersey threw a going away party for me before we moved in August. It wasn’t a surprise but having so many people that I love all in the same room? Priceless.

6. What fear are you trying to overcome?

Speaking up for myself. Not in that Arrogant, “I’m from Jersey, yo, and I can kick your butt,” kind of way. But speaking up about things that matter. And risking people not liking what I have to say. It’s getting better.

7. What’s one accomplishment that gives you immense satisfaction?

What I’m doing right now with starting this business? It’s immensely satisfying. Huge investment. Huge risk. Game on.

8. What’s a song that always makes you and sound. (Safe and Sound IS my safe and sound song) I learned in college psychology about ways we can ground ourselves during trauma/stress/anxiety. A big one for me is music. And if you don’t have a song that makes you feel safe and sound, what does?

“You Gotta Be” by Des’ree? It’s been my anthem since 1994. And I always hear it at that moment when I really need to. Always.

9. I found this from Ginger of, and I loved it. What profession would you most like to try? And what profession would you most hate to try?

I would LOVE to be a singer. It has ALWAYS been my “fantasy” profession. There’s just one problem: I have an awful voice! While I adore the thought of standing on a stage and belting out my favorite song with all my heart and soul, I would literally pierce your ear drums! With that said, I’ll take the liberty of saying that “singer” meets the requirements for the profession that I would most want to try AND would most hate to try. And you’d better believe I’d be singing Des’ree on that stage if I could.

10. If you could give one gift to your kids, what would it be?



You Gotta Be: Ask Away Friday with Tamara Camera Blog — 100 Comments

  1. I love that you paired up with Tamara (because of course, so natural!).
    Excited for your new business and dying to know all about it.
    Love your answer about balance – can’t do it all, can’t have it all, let’s just manage what we can, what we have, yes?
    Happy Friday!
    Alison recently posted…Through The Lens Thursday #4: WhiteMy Profile

  2. Well of course, as you know from my hurried, typo-filled emails, that song is one of my safe and sound songs too. And I always did/do hear it when I needed it.
    Like tonight, in fact.
    I’ve always wanted to sing too. And I’m TERRIBLE at it.
    And..I’m so glad we paired up. There’s always more to know, ya know? Thank you for this parting gift, even though I think I’ll be even closer to you in Florida than I am now.
    (I just looked on Google Maps and it is a bit closer!)
    Tamara recently posted…Wherever I May Roam.My Profile

    • It’s so much closer! Only 10 hours away instead of 15 hours from Western MA. And this was a great gift for both of us. I love teaming up with you! Any time!

  3. I know that Tamara took your gorgeous photo (and the some others that you’ve featured) but now I know that I need to read her blog as well.

    I feel like I’ve eavesdropped on a good girl time session and it’s made me smile. I like your bucket list. We took Wild Boy to Disney for his 5th birthday and while he loved walking in the Star Wars parade (it was Star Wars weekend), he was unfazed by it all. We now live near Disneyland and he has no desire to visit. I’m not a huge Disney fan but I was shocked that my kid wasn’t enraptured – is cynicism genetic?

    Loving your new “daughter” and the peeks into your business development!
    Melissa Burton recently posted…7+ Conferences For Health, Fitness and Nutrition Focused Bloggers in 2014My Profile

    • About Disney – I am not a huge fan myself so I really get that. My kids have been begging for years. I wonder if they will even enjoy it while they’re there or if I’ve passed down the gene myself! And I would recommend Tam’s blog to anyone – and your blog to anyone too for that matter! xo

  4. Pingback: Do I Even Need An Introduction? | Tamara Like Camera

    • Stacey, It’s great to meet you too! I’m so glad that Tamara asked me to team up with her for this! And thank you for all of your enthusiasm on my business. It really is a dream come true for me!

    • Oh, Vanita! It sounds like together, we’d break a lot of mirrors with our singing! Haha! My kids as well tell me NOT to sing! And thank you for all of your enthusiasm about my brands “face.” Exciting stuff!

    • Sending you huge hugs from my corner of the world, City Girl. And yes, I would give that song to my kids and to the entire world if I could! xo

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE the purple and green and the face of your brand…ADORBS. I couldn’t love it more. *swoon*
    I’ve always adored that Des’ree song. Her voice is just so silky and smooth. The words are just so wise. It’s just awesome.
    I bet you are going to cross off of those bucket list items. –Lisa

    • Oh, Lisa! I am really hoping to dig into that bucket list – one at a time. And THANK YOU for swooning over my walls and my brand icon. That little face makes me so happy!

  6. Tamara and Ilene together = Happy Friday! The logo is looking amazing, Ilene. And I love the colors. Can’t wait to see more.

    I love your answer for the balance question. I’ve recently come to terms with this as well. There’s an amazing blog post from Seth Godin about never being done. Because if you’re done that means you didn’t do enough. Something like that. I can’t quite find it right now, but it’s short and powerful…Like you! 🙂
    another jennifer recently posted…Philanthropy Friday: The Evolved DogMy Profile

    • Short and powerful like me! I love that!!!!
      And thanks about the logo Jen and I am so grateful for all of your input with stuff along the way!

    • Thanks Natalie! That is SUCH an empowering song. Like I said above, I would wrap it up and give it to the whole world if I could!

  7. What a pair- you and Tamara! I’m so excited for you as you ready your new business; love the brand face and the colors. So much energy in that space already! And I hope Disney is in your future. My kids still feel the magic at 15 and 12 – you’re never too old.
    Dana recently posted…What’s behind the curtain?My Profile

    • Dana, I am so glad that your kids still feel the magic. I hope my kids do too – especially if it takes us a few years to get to Disney!

    • Michelle, Your comment made me smile from ear to ear. Thank you for the enthusiasm and thank you tenfold for your kind offer of help. I will definitely tap your shoulder in the near future. For certain!

  8. I’m pretty sure you and Tamara are related 🙂 – soul sisters!
    (and I’m happy I found her blog through yours)
    Where do I begin??? I love purple (my office is painted in a light shade of purple), I LOVE the face of your business (and the whole process OMG so exciting!) and I’ll be singing that song for the rest of the day 🙂
    Kerstin @ Auer Life recently posted…A Lady in France – A ReviewMy Profile

    • Kerstin – I should have known you had purple walls somewhere in your life. You’re kind of kindred to me too, you know. And thank you for all of your enthusiasm my friend. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

    • Awesome squared? Rabia, you are so sweet. And that video? I played it over and over again on Friday and sang the song all day! It’s not a bad one to get into your head, I guess.

  9. Name that opening date and I will move heaven and earth to be there with you as you celebrate! This is a year of big things for you my friend, big juicy happy things!

    I love the logo, she’s sassy and smart but best of all grounded in the things she wants out of life. Just like you are!

    I loved this match up this week, mostly because you both know each other so well. xo
    NJ @ A Cookie Before Dinner recently posted…Ask Away Friday With Mommy A-ZMy Profile

    • NJ – I am blown away that you would try for a second to try to make it down here for the big day. I can tell you this: There will be a ribbon cutting and I am anticipating it to be in early March. And I will definitely let you know the exact date….just in case the stars align! Yay! xxooo

  10. Hi Ilene! So nice to meet you through Tamara’s questions and your answers…I think I have become an instant fan 🙂

    I love how you explain you are conquering your fear of not speaking up for yourself. I’m actually working on a post about something similar…LOL It’s funny how life can lead you to people in your similar situations to give your perspective.
    Tiffany recently posted…#AskAwayFriday W/ Wendy From EffieGirlMy Profile

    • Tiffany, it’s a pleasure to meet you and I can’t wait to see your post about speaking up for yourself. I could go on for hours about what this process has been like for me. I can’t wait to see what you have to say.

  11. Excited to see what business venture you have in store 🙂 Ha,I remember this song!! Very inspirational. I would also love to be a singer but it’s not in my cards either, maybe in the future I’ll take singing lessons just for shits and giggles. I have a fascination with Maria Callas – she’s awesome and if I could meet anyone in any period of time, it would be her. Haha. Happy Friday ladies!-Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted…Why I’m ‘Crazy’My Profile

  12. Love the lavender color! I think it looks like what I chose for my laundry room. Which reminds me, the can of paint is still sitting in the laundry room. I need to get to work!

    I also love the little face. I stared at it for a while trying to break it down into pieces and find any hidden meaning in it. I still plan to stare at it again in a minute. (other people do this too, right?)

    You and Tamara = two of my favorites! I’m just a lot jealous you got to spend time together twice.

    I have felt drawn to yoga for a while now. Not as much for the physical aspects as the emotional and learning part. Although I could use the physical help just as much, it’s a scarier component for me. I have never felt comfortable learning physical things. (Gym teachers were NOT my people) English teachers, they were my people!
    tammigirl recently posted…Calling All Amazing People!My Profile

    • I really hope you find guidance on your yoga journey. I WANT you to have a yoga journey. I want everyone to have one since I know how much yoga has given to ME. And one day, Miss Tammi, one day, it’s gonna be all 3 of us, you, me and Tam.

  13. Since I don’t know either of you well but like what I read and see on your blogs…what a great match! Excited to hear about your biz…from my entrepreneur’s heart. I feel the Disney magic still. I’ve been on that stage singing many times. It can be awesome when you’re on, baby, but please get me off this stage when you’re not!
    Laurie recently posted…Living Well Minute: Don’t Be AfraidMy Profile

    • I never knew I had this entrepreneur thing in me, Laurie. Did you? Or maybe when you find your calling you can also at times be lucky enough to find the vehicle for your calling as well? We’ll see very soon.

  14. I love how things are looking for your business so far!

    And yes, WHEN I come visit. Hubs writes insurance for a lot of businesses out your way, so I will see if I can tag along with him on one of his visits!
    Shell recently posted…Call for Guest PostsMy Profile

  15. I’m new here but I’ve been reading Tamara’s blog. 🙂 You have a great bucket list and I seriously want to try Yoga. My father is into it but I’ve never really tried. Hopefully one of these days I can find time.. I love your explanation about balance and a balanced life.

    Speaking up for myself is something that I’m also trying to be good at these days. Wish you all the best on your business Ilene!

    • Hey, Rea, thanks for coming by. Try yoga when you get a chance! It’s life changing! For real! And speaking up for ourselves can be the scariest thing and the most liberating thing at the same time. I wish you the very best!

  16. I came back! I had to run off there, and kept thinking about allALL of the things I wanted to say but didn’t!! (LOL)

    Like how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE that face of your business!! It is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!

    And how incredibly proud and impressed and inspired I am by your ability to step into fear with the strength and fortitude to believe in yourself and what you can do.

    And how beautiful you look- and how beautiful you are- and how excited I am for your future- because I just know so deep deep down in my heart- that there will be fireworks of love and success bursting forth in your life.

    You are a woman of integrity and perseverance… and damn am I honored to be in this world with you!
    Chris Carter recently posted…This Is How God Works: Part 3My Profile

    • You came back? Oh my gosh – could I love you any more? And I mean ANY more?????

      Thank you not only for your support but for your unswerving faith in my and in all that will be for me. And I too am honored to know you.

  17. I loved reading both your answers to Tamara’s questions and her answers to yours – so obvious that y’all know each other!!!
    I love the face of your brand!!! I can’t wait to hear more about it!! I’m so very excited for you as you enter the exciting scary world of being a business owner!!! You are going to be awesome!!
    Kim recently posted…Some Friday FavoritesMy Profile

    • Thank you Kim! It’s definitely a blend of scary and exciting! And thank you for the feedback on my “face.” I am really glad to have her by my side!

  18. There is not anything I do not love in this post. The colors, your girl (I want a girl), your bucket list… The best part, which I needed to read this morning was the statement… “Huge Investment. Huge risk.” I am about to make a big leap, one that hasn’t happened yet because of fear. It’s a huge investment, but I know it’ll be the answer to my prayers once it’s done.
    Love you!

  19. Love Des’Ree! That song always brings a smile to my face. I used it with a blog post a while back; can’t remember which one! She’s an island girl too (well, her parents are from the Caribbean although she was born, like me, in England).

    I love your color choices too: Purple is my favorite color and I try to incorporate its many shades wherever I can.
    Alison Hector recently posted…Here’s to fond memories…My Profile

  20. Love your brand sooo adorable! And very calming, attractive colours.

    I loved your answer to the balance question. I struggle with balance all the time, never *get* there or get it all finished or even close. But you are so right balance should be more about the bigger picture.
    Jess recently posted…Easy Canvas Prints Review!My Profile

    • Thanks Jess about the brand! And yes, we will never get “there” but that’s OK, I think – especially when we can let go of having to.

    • Bev – I love that song and I swear I always hear it at the “right” moment. And that job? I think I only lasted as long as I did because for a 20 year old, it was amazing cash.

    • Joi, thanks for the great feedback on the logo. And the big reveal is going to be soon. Very, very soon. And I had NO IDEA that Aukland was the home of Les Mills! No idea whatsoever!

    • Oh, Allison. I love this comment. I am sending you a huge hug right now and a few “Om Shantis” – just good for measure. xxoo

  21. This is so weird. I totally remember reading every last word of this post. Why did I not comment? Or maybe I did and didn’t press something right. Your space colors are so nice and your brand logo is just adorable!

    I’m sure the business will go very well and you’ll have a wonderful time at Disney next year.

    We should all learn to speak up for ourselves. As long as it’s done in a constructive manner.

    Great song pick. I wasn’t sure what it was at first but as soon as I hit play I knew and realized why you’d pick that.
    Carla recently posted…Living with Celiac Disease: An Interview with Eats and Exercise with AmberMy Profile

  22. I’ve been tryiing to overcome fear of loss for quite some time now and just live in the moment. Ongoing work there. I absolutely have some alltime classic work stories to tell you because of my field of work but unfortunately I can’t share them for a few more years until I retire (law enforcement). I’ve wanted to go into space all of my life! My sense of accomplishment would be always giving to others unconditionally. Great post and congratulations on your new digs, Ilene! 🙂
    Mike recently posted…Phoenix’s Trip To The Dog Grooomer, A FlashbackMy Profile

  23. I cannot wait to hear more about your new business! I love the walls and your cool logo. And Tamara and her photos. And your new horsey friend! She did a great job of capturing you, ya gorgeous woman!

  24. I am so excited for you and I can’t wait to come visit and see it for myself. That’s right. I invited myself on a girls’ weekend to come see and support you. 🙂 I love getting to know you a little bit more with your answers to these questions. They all sound so uniquely you. I hear ya on neglecting the blog. I have been awful about getting stuff written and read. You have a better reason. 🙂
    AnnMarie recently posted…Happy 4th Birthday, Gia!My Profile

  25. I’m in tears but I’m not sure which is making me cry more – what happened to you and your daughter or how you had the courage to change your entire life? You are such an amazing inspiration! Thank you for everything you do and write and how you fill this space. I’m thankful for you my friend.
    Allie recently posted…I Heart Headbands & RunnerboxMy Profile

  26. I cannot wait to hear all about this new business of yours. How incredibly exciting and I LOVE the way it’s all coming together for you 🙂

    And seriously, that logo. I can’t get over how very cute it is.

    Also that waitressing job you had sounds pretty horrible. I think I also at one point worked for a business that was a front for something else. Biggest tip? When I asked the grandson (he was 6 at the time) where his grandpa was and he wiped his hands together and said he’s “taking care of business.” !!!

  27. Pingback: #AskAwayFriday W/ Ilene From The Fierce Diva Guide To Life |

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