Episode 088

Tara Allmendinger

Mrs. North Carolina America 2021

by | Jan 6, 2022

Show Notes:

Joining me for this episode is the reigning Mrs. North Carolina America, Tara Allmendinger. If you’ve been following the podcast for a while, you may remember last year we featured a conversation with the 2020 Queen, Ashley George of Davidson. Tara is also a Lake Norman area resident, and so we reached out to her and invited her to join the podcast for a conversation about her journey as Mrs. North Carolina 2021. 

Tara graciously accepted our invitation, and we met at our studio in Davidson for an in-person recording. It’s always nice when we can record these conversations in person – the audio quality is better, and there always seems to be more energy during the interview.

In our conversation, Tara shares her background and how she landed here in the Lake Norman area all the way from Omaha, Nebraska. We talk about the process of preparing for the Mrs. North Carolina pageant, the many behind-the-scenes moments that competitors often find rewarding, and Tara’s work with several environmental and health initiatives. 

Tara also shares her passion for clean, healthy eating and physical fitness. She gives shoutouts to several local small businesses – a couple of which we’ve actually featured here at The Best of LKN.

I think you’ll find this conversation with Tara to be very motivating, and you’re going to notice that there’s a lot more to Tara Allmendinger than meets the eye!

Friends, we’re glad you’re joining us for this very empowering episode 88 of The Best of LKN podcast. Enjoy getting to know Mrs. North Carolina America 2021, Tara Allmendinger.

“The best is yet to come!” ~Tara Allmendinger

Tara Allmendinger

IG: @mrs.allmendinger @mrs.northcarolina 

Mr. Tickles the Cat on Instagram: @mr.tickles_thecat 

Support the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

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Transcript:

Narrator
Welcome to The Best of LKN, a podcast featuring the best small businesses and the most influential professionals around Lake Norman, North Carolina. Each week, we spotlight those businesses and individuals that are making a positive impact here in the Lake Norman area. Thanks for joining us, enjoy the show.

Jeff
Hello, and welcome back to the Best of Lake Norman podcast. Before we get into this episode, I’d like to give a quick shout out to our sponsors. This episode is sponsored by Sodoma Law North in Cornelius. Sodoma Law is the Charlotte area’s premier family law firm with a new office on Catawba Avenue in Cornelius. Sodoma Law, our family taking care of your family.

And also, by Blumengärten, Lake Norman’s premier florist. Blumengärten is your source for any and all floral arrangements from home and office decor to extravagant weddings and events.

You can find links to both of these exceptional local Lake Norman businesses in the show notes for this episode at www.thebestoflkn.com.

Now, joining me for this episode is the reigning Mrs. North Carolina America, Tara Allmendinger. If you’ve been following this podcast for a while, you may remember last year we featured a conversation with the 2020 Queen, Ashley George, of Davidson. Tara is also a Lake Norman area resident, so we reached out to her and invited her to join the podcast for a conversation about her journey as Mrs. North Carolina. Tara graciously accepted our invitation and we met at our studio in Davidson for an in-person recording. It’s always nice when we can record these conversations in person, the audio quality is always better, and there always seems to be more energy during the interview.

In our conversation, Tara shares her background and how she landed here in the Lake Norman area all the way from Omaha, Nebraska. We talk about the process of preparing for the Mrs. North Carolina pageant, the many behind the scenes moments that competitors find so rewarding, and Tara’s work in several environmental and health initiatives. Tara also shares her passion for clean, healthy eating and physical fitness. She gives shout outs to several local small businesses, a couple of which we’ve actually featured here at The Best of LKN. I think you’ll find this conversation with Tara to be very motivating, and you’re going to notice that there’s a lot more to Tara Allmendinger than meets the eye. Friends, we’re glad you’re joining us for this very empowering Episode 88 of The Best of LKN podcast. Enjoy getting to know Mrs. North Carolina America 2021, Tara Allmendinger.

Jeff
Tara, welcome to the podcast.

Tara
Well, thank you so much for having me. This is exciting in many ways.

Jeff
Great. Yeah, it’s so great to have you. I’m really happy we’re able to do this in person, record in person. It’s not something I’ve been able to do a lot in the last year and a half, so this is great. Great to meet you. You are the 2021 Mrs. North Carolina America. Congratulations. That must be very exciting.

Tara
It’s honestly, it’s been one of my life’s joys. I absolutely love it. And I’m not really even, I don’t, I might be halfway through, I might not. The pageant date may be shifting but a lot of things are shifting right now. But I’m just, I feel like I’m just getting to the good part. Like nationals, we just came back and I’m just loving it.

Jeff
Yeah, things are shifting, things are kind of fluid, especially and it’s been a roller coaster for sure. And we’ll get into, I’m curious to know what, you know, this past year has been like for you especially. But Tara, before we get into details about the Mrs. North Carolina and the Mrs. America Pageant, share for the listeners, a little bit of your background, a little bio on, share your story, where are you from and what have you been doing and what led to Mrs. North Carolina?

Tara
So, I am in Denver, North Carolina. So, that is on the northwest side of Lake Norman. People, you know, will ask, well, where are you from? And I was like, well, Charlotte, and that’s kind of a broad generalization. So, I am in Denver, North Carolina, and I love Denver because it’s got that small-town feel, it’s very relative. Things, you know, if you need something, you can get that and if you need to go somewhere else, you can jump on and get to Charlotte really fast. I love that it’s relative. And it reminds me of where I grew up because originally, I’m not from North Carolina. I’m a transplant from Omaha, Nebraska.

Jeff
Oh, wow. Okay.

Tara
So, I’m a Midwesterner and the transition for me was really easy to go from Omaha to Charlotte, like I think that they would make it really great, like compatible sister city if there was such a thing and Omaha would be the little sister. And it, the people are very, you know, similar where everyone is really kind and, you know, I really like Charlotte because a lot of people are from all over. And we know right now that this is what, the fifth hottest spot to move to, I think in the country, and it’s growing so fast. And what really led me to be interested in Mrs. North Carolina, it’s like a timing thing. I’m currently 32 and so when I started, I was like, 30. I wasn’t always a pageant girl, but always wanted to do it. And so, where I grew up on the Missouri River, it’s a very stressed river, we have flooding, and there’s a lot of like sicknesses around and we’ll kind of get into that. But here, I kind of find it interesting, I’m in Denver, and near kind of where I grew up, very similar and the river here is very stressed because everyone is moving here. And so, my big aha moment for me, was the water quality. And I’ve struggled with some health issues. And when I started drinking, like filter water and cleaner water, and putting in some systems in my home, my whole body changed, I got better. And so, I really had this like vibrant aha moment, and really felt this like deep calling, because I grew up on the Missouri River. And now I’m on the Catawba River. And they’re mirroring very similar issues. And there are some different little sicknesses kind of around the river, it really hit my heart. And I just remember it was like January, end of January of 2020, and something lit up inside of me and the current administration had changed some kind of, it was something nationally about the water and I’m not typically a political person, I don’t jump on Twitter and go nuts, and just something in me lit up and it was just like, now is the time. You need to speak about this, and my soul since has just been on fire. It really has been a really neat life event to like curate, to kind of find my purpose and my voice.

Tara
I love that. That’s awesome. I had the executive director for Davidson Lands Conservancy on a few months ago and he brought up the water basins, Catawba River, where our drinking water comes from and some challenges around, you know, runoff and keep, you know, maintaining clean water, drinking water. So, yeah, that’s definitely a worthy initiative to get behind for sure.

Tara
Yes, yes.

Jeff
So, Omaha, Nebraska. Every time I hear Omaha, Nebraska, I think of Warren Buffett.

Tara
Oh yes, the Oracle of Omaha. So, yep, we’ve got that, and for sure, you know, whenever I hear Omaha, I always think of like the football hike, like Omaha, Omaha. I’m like, yeah, yeah that’s me. I think about that, and I graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. So, I am a Cornhusker, so college football is big for me. And I think we’re a little bit more of a basketball town here it feels like. Because this is a basketball school. So, that kind of took a little bit for me to get used to but I mean, North Carolina across the board has been doing great in football, so.

Jeff
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, we’re really fortunate to have a lot of really good college athletic programs in North Carolina. And yeah, we’re in Davidson this morning. Of course, Davidson is well-known as a basketball town.

Tara
Oh, Steph Curry, my husband’s a huge fan.

Jeff
We are too. Speaking of your husband, your husband is AJ Allmendinger, NASCAR driver, professional racecar driver. And how long have you guys been together?

Tara
So, we met in May of 2013. I had just finished my master’s degree in architecture. My sister was about to start hers and she was going to the University of Indiana. So, we just took a road trip after we had finished some of our degrees and we went out there and I had no idea that AJ was running the Indy 500. Or that there was an Indy 500 going on in Indianapolis. There was this party and we were like…

Jeff
Why are all these people here?

Tara
That’s why the La Quinta was so expensive, oh. You know, in our mid-20s going, oh. And we just happen to be walking around one night because of course I wanted to stay in Indianapolis, the architecture, and so I was begging my sister dragging her around. It was really her trip and it kind of turned into mine. God bless her for going there. And AJ had called out to us and said, hey, you guys should come hang out with us. You should have a drink and I don’t drink so I’m like nah, I’m going to bed. So, I just kept walking and my sister had turned around and they were like, where are you from? And we’d said Nebraska and AJ, like, quick thinker that he is, and he’s really a sports buff, he goes, well, I’m a professional bowler. I’m the captain of the bowling team. I’m here with my bowlers. You know, and I’m like, oh my gosh, and that drew me in. And so, that was pretty much how he got me, was he told me he was a professional bowler. And I went, oh my gosh, I really should have looked at the calendar when we came here. What’s going on? And then, you know, it kind of went on and he had told me what he did. And I hadn’t really followed racing, but I was always a car person and so we had hit it off. So, I met AJ randomly in 2013. We have been together ever since that random occurrence in middle of May, and it’s been over eight and a half years. And so, we’ve been married for two, but going on our ninth year here.

Jeff
Wow, that’s awesome, yeah. That reminds me of my daughter’s freshman year at UNC Chapel Hill. The first home football game she called home and she was walking to the Student Union. And she’s like, why are there so many people on campus? This is really annoying. It’s taking me forever to get through the lines at the Student Union. And my wife’s like, Ab, it’s like the first home football game of the season, you know? Not a sports fan, but, you know, wasn’t paying attention to the football schedule. You live in Denver, I noticed on Instagram that you participated in a car show or a parade.

Tara
Yeah, it was a parade. My father-in-law, we both love cars, my dad loves cars and so he has a really cool 1940 Ford with a Chevy engine. It’s kind of a Frankenstein, but it’s beautiful. And we have been talking about doing different things or car shows. And then the parade had come up and I was like, oh, it’s the Christmas parade. Oh, I need something to ride in. Oh, let’s do this. So, he was really excited. He shined it up, she was beautiful. I really sparkly boots and it was a crowd favorite for sure. Everyone’s oh, I loved your boots, and I said, it matches my hot rod, and everybody would laugh.

Jeff
That’s important.

Tara
You have to have your accessories on point, especially as a queen. Those are the details I relish there.

Jeff
So, that was very cool. I’m a car guy myself so it was cool to see you participate in that parade. And I’m sure they appreciated it, your hometown now and, you know, helping out there. So, that’s very cool.

Tara
Yes, they seemed to be really proud. I’m proud that they are proud that I’m their queen. I just think that is part of the magic that was hidden in this whole thing, that you just, you don’t go into it expecting that. And they’re like, oh, wow, we’re so excited that you’re from here. And you’re Mrs. North Carolina? All right. That’s a good looking one, you know, and people say that and you’re like, well, that’s really nice to hear, thanks, you know, I didn’t know I liked that, but I appreciate it, thanks. You know, that’s sweet.

Jeff
That’s awesome. Well, I want to get into the story about what inspired you to compete in the Mrs. North Carolina pageant and what was it like to train and to prepare for that?

Tara
Yeah. So, me, like I had kind of talked about the water and my aha moment, I suffer with celiac disease, and I have lactose intolerance, I have a lot of like food, and very specific environmental allergies. And it has taken my whole life through trial and error to try to figure these things out. And a lot of times, like I would say, most of my life, I was in a lot of pain, stomach pain, always had bloating and brain fog, and just a lot of issues that you kind of, almost sideline your life and you feel like you are an imposter. And you show up and you smile, and you work really hard. I was very successful in school and my master’s degree, and I was a cross country champion. My team and I were state champions. And so, I was always able to like, achieve, but I don’t think people knew, like how hard I was working, or how much I had to do kind of behind the scenes to show up with a smile on and kind of like, wince through the piercing pain. And so, I would always go to doctors, and we were trying to kind of figure out, like what is going on. But it’s only been until recently that we’ve been talking about the brain and the gut connection. And actually, our gut is our first brain. And it wasn’t until I was 27, I’m 32 now, that I’ve really started to feel better. So honestly, for the only like the last five years, I like, I feel great. I had no idea that people felt like this, or you could feel like this in life. And so, I feel like I’m just, I got a new lease on life. I had always wanted to do a pageant, I always wanted to do a fitness competition. But I always just focused on school because I didn’t think people would take me seriously either. I think when you look a certain way, people assume that life is perfect, and oh, you’re pretty so you must have everything handed to you. I’m like, well actually I work really hard in school, and I have this brain fog and my stomach hurts. And I’m really trying to be successful and I’m struggling, but everyone just thinks well, your life’s perfect. It must be easy. You’re like, dang, like, what do I have to do just to just be like, hey, I’m a person too. And so, I always kind of fought this, like, emotional imbalance. And I didn’t realize it until I started with this pageant. Like I said, I always wanted to do it, my mom and I kind of as a kid, like we would kind of prepare or practice that but in Nebraska it wasn’t big, and I lost her 10 years ago to pancreatic cancer. And I started to kind of put together some of these things with the river and the water quality and my environmental issues and my food issues and then her pancreatic cancer. And it just kind of kept thinking like with my background in architecture and then I did aquatic consulting here. So, I designed commercial pools, but I had to learn about the water and where it came from and what we have to do environmentally to get that permit. And I started to learn probably too much about water, and I went, hmm, I think it’s time that this is really my platform, and I do have a story and I do have an experience. This isn’t just something like well, you know, I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer so I’m just going to be a spokesperson for pancreatic cancer. And I’m just going to wear purple and I’m gonna walk a parade like, to me, that’s wonderful. But it also feels like, I can do more. And I should do more. And I’ve got a master’s in architecture, and my husband’s in the spotlight. And I feel really good now. And I’m attractive. People come up to me and go, what are you doing? And I went, there’s a lot of responsibility here, huh. And all this makeup that I’m buying and now I feel great. Like, maybe we should do something with it. You need to do something with it. And I just kept feeling this, like poke in the back in this, like, get up. You need to do this. And so, the 2019 Queen had reached out to me on Instagram because I started following her and she goes, hey, I think you’d make a really great one. All I needed was someone to just say, hey, I think this is the time. And I didn’t know that Mrs. pageantry existed. Like I thought my chances were over when I got married. That was my one thing as I was like, getting my bridal makeup done, I’m not gonna lie. And I was like, dang, I never did that pageant.

Tara
And then I was like, oh, wait, there’s Mrs. pageantry. Well, that’s really phenomenally interesting to me, because I’m married. So, this aspect of being single and almost hunted is done. Because I find that a little bit like, I don’t want that aspect in there. Okay, I’m beautiful, wonderful. Okay, I’m married, wonderful. We can kind of check these boxes off, and then we can get to the meat of it instead of always being like, okay, so you’re pretty and you’re married, so your life’s great, I’m like, okay, well I also have something else to talk about. Like, I can get to the deeper things in pageantry, which it seems like that would be the opposite. But that’s what I’m trying to get to. It’s like, okay, well, we’re comparing a lot of likes here. So, what else? And that’s what I find interesting is okay, so what else? And that’s kind of where I can compete with this Masters of Architecture, and this fitness and all of these things that I know, I’m like, where can you bring that to compete, and to really kind of be like, here I am. Because I think that this area needs, one, a leader, women and little girls are going to look to me. My fitness competition, I was in like this really sparkly bikini that showed a lot of me and a four-year-old came up to me and she goes, I want to be you.

Jeff
That’s really sweet.

Tara
And it wasn’t about that it was sexy, or that I was half naked. It was about you’re a symbol of strength, and you’re beautiful, I want to be like you. Before the world got to her. And I went, oh my gosh, aha. So, I kept having these aha moments as I kept kind of going through this journey of things that were told to me like, well, you evoke sexual tension in the office, we really love your work. Like I was always told that, we really love your work. We love being around you. You’re a really great team player, we just like find you great, but also, you evoke sexual tension so you’re a problem. I’m like, what do I do with that? Like, okay, so I was like, this is like the ultimate anarchy for me. It’s almost like your queen, there’s a monarchy, but my sort of like, power, and my business and my wellpreneur attitude is anarchy. It’s not breaking the rules. It’s kind of reading between the lines and going, what’s really going on here? What can we do here instead of okay, well, here’s the status quo. Or we can put our heads in the sand and just be like, oh, I’m not supposed to be this so I’m just going to pretend that it’s okay to be pretty here, but not here. That’s a lot of responsibility, you know. So, for me, I think it was just that gut punch of, you got a lot and I think you should do a lot with it. And it was like, yeah, I think I think I should do this. And so, it was a big marketing scheme almost for me just to be like, here I am. Here’s what I’m about. What do you think about that? And people were like, well that’s great. And even the contestants were like, well, what are you doing with your health? And when you post that bikini photo of you when you compete in swimsuit and there’s the dress, yeah, people are like, wow, you look beautiful in your dress, but that swimsuit, what are you doing? And then you go, well, you know what? My aha moment was with the water. And my bloating went away. And my acne went away. And I was able to deal with my celiac disease and my mold issues because my body wasn’t fighting the water. And then I started to heal myself. And then there’s the journey. And everyone goes, okay, I’m listening. What else do you have to say? And you’re like, I think I should get a microphone and maybe put myself on YouTube, you know? So that’s where I’m at now.

Tara
We talked about that a little bit before we hit record, about your plans to start doing, build a YouTube channel. And it’s getting back to something you mentioned earlier. It’s funny what kids notice, to look at things from a kid’s perspective. And it takes a lot of guts to compete in a pageant. And that child saw the guts, the courage that you had, you know, and that’s what I take away from that. Speaking of the courage it takes to compete, your big, fitness is huge for you. And you’ve competed in some fitness pageants as well. Were you competing in fitness pageants before Mrs. North Carolina, or did that come after?

Tara
So, my very first one was April of 2021. So, it was right after the first one. And like when you compete in a pageant system, it’s best that you stick with that one system. So, this is the America system. It’s not necessarily attractive to start jumping around to different systems. Well, I didn’t win this one so I’m gonna go to this one, I’m going to go, sort of like a pageant cliche, like pick where you’re going to go and kind of stick there for a while and then if it doesn’t work, move on to a different system. And so, there was some combatibilities with this one and I wanted some more stage time. And I’d always wanted to do a fitness competition too. And I think, for me, I was like, ooh, this would be really good, like, stage time, this would be like a good on-moment for me to learn about myself. A little different but there are some like unique similarities. And because of my food allergies, I already eat really clean. And I was like, well, what could I, how could I flip the script on this even more? Like that narrative shift from the victim to the victor and fighting from victory. And knowing that you have everything in you to heal yourself, and it’s just about involving yourself in the process and continually asking questions and being almost like a warrior for yourself. And so, that fitness competition was really about that because my goal is to be Ms. Olympia in bikini, that is a huge goal. I will be starting January 1st, again, like eating and eating, I have to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat. And for someone with celiac disease, your stomach isn’t always wanting to eat. And so, I had to figure how do I eat? I learned so much from this fitness competition on how to eat that it actually helped me prepare for my backstage at Mrs. America. So, I’d always wanted to do both of these things. And it kind of seemed like in tandem, that they would feed each other. And that I would be able to learn, you know, kind of how to like, swing my weight one way or the other, really just through water and carbs and protein and not losing weight, but just the ratio, what I was eating, and then it became another superpower. I’m like, dang, this is really cool. I could really change my whole outlook, my whole body composition, knowing that my diet isn’t everything that I’m eating, but it’s like how I’m doing it while I’m eating. And I think for me, people think you know, it’s about the muscles. I’m like, no, no, it’s about mental health. This is my mental health. And if I don’t necessarily get to the, it’s not about the gym, but just do something for myself to get the, I guess your lactic acid moving, your juices flowing. Something happens in my mind, like I just become kind of angry or unsettled. And I’ve noticed that if I don’t stir myself up a little bit, and get that breathing going, because breath heals you and movement heals you, I’m not a good person to be around. So, I’m like, wow, I really noticed that I enjoy this as a way of living because it helps my mind and when my mind’s better than I’m able to serve my community and I’m a better wife, and I’m a better, and I realized that it’s not something that I, it’s on the side that I’m trying to make time for. It’s the thing that needs to be first because it’s helping me do all the other things better. So, I’m going to keep doing these fitness competitions, even if I never win or get there because man, my life gets better each time I do it.

Jeff
Absolutely. Yeah. I’ve interviewed several gym owners and fitness instructors on the podcast as well. One thing I’ve learned over the years is our bodies are built in the kitchen and the gym, you know, so like and it’s probably 75% kitchen, isn’t it?

Tara
Oh yeah, if not more. You know, and I’m like, well, if I have to eat brussel sprouts and chicken and rice all the time, like I’m going to do it and win. Like, how do I win at this type of thing and make this a competition. And so, it makes eating and doing all that, like it’s another level, another dimension to it. But it creates another level of mindfulness like, what am I putting into my body? What is my relationship to the food and how it gets here to who grows it and what water is on it because I have to eat organic. And it comes down to the chemicals that it’s sprayed with or washed with or the water and where it’s coming from. And it’s so interesting, like how sensitive I am. But it’s not necessarily that that’s a bad thing, that’s a superpower. Especially because my mom died of pancreatic cancer. And those were the things that were hidden that killed her because she was a very athletic, just like me, you know, mover, shaker, coach. I mean, she could throw down on the basketball and volleyball court. Oh, my goodness. I mean, I would just pray that I was half the athlete that she was. So, that was very surprising to me. So, I think that that was a big wakeup call and kind of part of my like, her name was Glorie, G-L-O-R-I-E, so one of my hashtags is #fightforglorie and that will always be my motivator to do a pageant, to do a fitness competition, to do any of these things. To show up, to do that YouTube, you know, is that aspect of it because especially when it’s your mother and she was your warrior and she helped you with all your food allergies and issues and she was really the only one when doctors were telling you, well, I think you need to see a psychologist, and you’re like, no, I think my stomach hurts. Oh, you have celiac disease never mind, sorry. You know, she’s your mother. She’s in your corner going, I’m gonna fight for you and then something happens to her, sort of relative to you, and then these things you find out you go, yeah, my whole lifetime I will be motivated warrior to figure this out because my mother died of it, you know. And so, it’s kind of one of those, I’m not angry, it’s not one of those bitter things, you’re just like, we can do better, we can all do better. This is something we should get better at, you know. And so, it’s like, I will always have that warrior motivation. And I think that I’ve found that in pageantry because all the women that I’ve competed with and become friends with, everybody’s got a story, and they all are warriors. And so, it’s really neat when you kind of get everybody in the room. And sometimes you can just get some bad apples that are there, they just want to win. You got to watch out for the ones that just want to win. If you don’t have like, your why power, you didn’t find it or you didn’t bring it into the room, you’re gonna mess up the energy in the room and for yourself, you know, that’s really not what it’s about. Yes, everybody wants to win the crown, but I call pageants like, this is like a women’s retreat. Oh, and at the end, somebody gets a crown, you know, it’s really kind of like, woo, that’s a bonus. But what you get out of it, and the people that you meet and kind of just being in that like-minded energy that goes, oh, you too, huh?

Jeff
Yeah.

Tara
You too, huh? And that’s, that’s important. I think we miss that, especially with COVID because, we all got separated. Y’all come back together, and you find out like, what, how you suffered in silence, because I suffered in silence for so long with these issues. And a lot of women have something, and people too, suffered in silence. And they just said, okay, I’ll make it work. And then you kind of start talking about that. And you’re like, wow, this is powerful. How do I care for this part, take that power back, and then put it back out into the world? That’s why I think pageants are really neat. You know, it’s not this, it looks like the heels and the dresses, but that’s just sort of the celebration regalia, you know, for the warrior at that time, but it’s all the other time off of the stage that really is what you’ve brought to celebrate, you know, and you should move on past that, too.

Jeff
There’s so much going on behind the scenes, right, that people don’t, they don’t realize.

Tara
Yeah, and everyone’s preparation for a pageant is going to be a little bit different, you know, and it is going to come down to food and eating. But for me, I was like, well, okay, I have that, I have that rhythm because one, my food is like that, and two, my mental health is connected to this, and three, I want to keep growing so I could be viable in a fitness competition. So, I’m like, okay, well, everything that I had worked for 27 years to get to I had, you know, so I was like, now that’s, that was part of the reason too, I’m like, now it’s time. I’ve climbed that mountain; I’ve gotten it under control. Now I’m ready to show everyone and fight from victory because I’ve got the answers and so I’m always fighting. But it’s from a different place. It’s from a place that I know how to win. I win in life, because and now I can, like my husband on the weekend, he’s waving the checkered flag. He was really good at winning races this year. But I can pick that checkered flag up and show other people like, look, I’m no different than you, you can do this very same thing and wave that checkered flag in victory lane in your winner’s circle, because of your attitude and your narrative shift. And that is in you it’s just, you have to be a warrior for yourself, you’re your sword, you’re your shield, put that victory, checkered flag in your hand and go into battle, because it’s an everyday thing. But you fight with a different spirit, that spirit of victory. That was my state costume, and I waved the checkered flag, you know, and I had on my power words on my, sewn onto this fire suit, kind of that I would have, like my husband would, but it was my spirit of victory. This is why I fight. This is why I win. This is my why power. And so, all of these things kind of helped me figure out me, my brand. And now how I’m moving forward. So, Tara for America came out of competing for Mrs. America. And I love that because it was kind of who I’ve always been. And even as a kid when I was in like elementary school, I always was the kid that did my homework on Fridays. And people are like, why don’t you, I was never the person that waited. I was always like, I was the salutatorian in high school, I was valedictorian, I was always, and I was not the smartest person I just worked really hard because I was like, yeah, but my country and people around me in my group, like I’m the leader, they’re gonna need me. So, I need to finish my homework. Like, I don’t know why as a kid, you would have that in your heart, but I always did. Why are you so motivated? Because people need me. And I didn’t get that until like, right now. Why are you doing your math homework now? Because I’m needed. I’m a leader. This needs to be done so I can fight and be stronger and get to the next assignment and it’s just like, oh, I am Tara for America. That’s been as a kid like that was my whole mindset. Like, I’m a leader. I have to be ready. That’s why I’m doing my math homework now. I have to be ready. Hold on.

Jeff
There’s a lot to be said for outworking everyone else.

Tara
Yes.

Jeff
You know, like, I have a good friend that owns a, he’s a really successful entrepreneur and CrossFit gym owner over in Concord. And he was a guest on another podcast a couple years ago and he played basketball in college. And he admits, he says, you know, I didn’t make the team because of my talent. He goes, I just outworked everybody, like I was determined to, nobody was gonna outwork me and it was just sheer determination that got him on the team, and I think he’s started a few games, but.

Tara
Wow, yeah, that would be me, I would say that that is who I am, and my husband, he’s got a saying that I kind of like, he says, obsession is passion, you know, I’m like, obsession can be destruction also, and there are, with every action force there is an equal and opposite reaction force, you know. And so, I think that there’s still balance that you have to have when you’re chasing a goal or something you’re obsessed with, or you’re passionate about, because you can fly too close to the sun and burn yourself out, you know. So, I’ve learned the lesson of balance in seasons in my life to do this as well. That this is a season that’s going to lead to another thing and being able to focus on something and give yourself like, the space to focus correctly, has been another key to like success, because I’ll be that person that’s like, I’ll take it all on. I can outwork everybody. Whoopsie, yeah. And then I take on too much, and I’m trying to work too hard, and then I will burn myself out. So, I’ve learned as like, an overachiever, Type A personality, I like, figure out how to streamline that because I’m a people pleaser, you know, you want to say yes to everything. And that’s been one of my like, struggles, was to figure out what, like to prepare for this, like, how do you keep yourself happy? And not just be a yes person. So, that was hard for me. I had to learn to say no, I had to learn to say, you know, that’s actually not for me, or you know what, that actually offends me. Will you please not do that? And I won’t stand up for myself or say something is offensive, I just won’t be offended. I’ll deal with my emotions elsewhere. But I don’t really think that that’s very powerful. I don’t think, you know, you don’t have to be confrontational, you can be tolerant. But I don’t think you should have to, like, be ran over, you know, and like, I am really great to be, before I had done the pageant, I was like, a really great doormat, just yes, I’ll work hard, I’ll do it, just because I’m trying to get to the next level. And I’m trying to be a team player. But I did learn that that’s not always the case and the key either, that people will, if you give them an inch, they’ll take that mile, and then they’re not going to look back at you either. And I’m not that kind of person. Like, I’m like a team leader, I want everybody to come along, I want everybody to be successful. Even with this pageant, I want to teach everybody what I’ve learned. You don’t have to pay me, I’m excited to show you. But not everybody has that heart, I’ve learned that too. I have a very specific heart, like I want to teach, I want to around people that aren’t like that. And that is something to, like I was naive to before. I was like, everybody’s wonderful and happy and fine. But that’s not the case, you do have to, as a leader, as a queen, as a warrior, you do have to make like, certain discerning decisions to like, audit yourself, audit your narrative, audit your circle and like, tough love and confrontation really is how you grow and like, that’s ultimately how I built a relationship with myself was through confrontation. Looking in the mirror and go, okay, well, if you don’t like that, then stop making excuses for it, you really literally could change this, you know, and then doing that. And I think that that’s where a lot of us get stuck. They’re like, well, how did you do it? I’m like, you kind of have to like, grab yourself around that and give yourself like a head squeeze and go, enough’s enough. Like you have to be your police, you have to learn to be your warrior for your inner mind. And I think some of us just think it’s hard to get that inner, inner, inner deep look, it’s uncomfortable. It really is. But once you do sort of start transforming your mind and doing a renovation in your mind, like I tell people, I’m like look, here’s where you start. As an architect, I would pretend like you were just putting a wrecking ball on a crane in your brain, and I just want you to wreck everything. And I want you to rebuild from the ground. And you can build in your mind, these different places of escape or tapping into joy or happiness or where you want to go. Like build the castle in the oasis in your mind and then go from there. And I think a lot of people are just direct in their minds. They don’t have to rebuild, but it’s like you could pick whatever you want. Put some marble in that kitchen, like you can do it. But do it, and it starts in your mind. And so, like that’s what I tell everybody, I’m like your transformation starts in your mind, like actually physically build that house, that castle, that dream, whatever, build it in your brain. First, you’ve got to see it. Otherwise, you’re not going to have anything to go back to, nothing. So, I think that’s my best advice to anybody.

Jeff
That’s a powerful visualization. And being too agreeable, trying to do too much, saying yes to everything is something that I’ve struggled with, for years. And I’ve finally been able to focus more on doing one thing, focusing on one thing at a time. And I’m so much more productive when I do that. And I say that, I’ve learned how to say no, but, you know, there’s, of course there’s a way to do that, which I’m sure that you’ve experienced as well and practiced. But yeah, I mean, we can try to do so much and then we end up not doing anything, right?

Tara
Yeah, you’re chasing all those rabbits, and you get zero. I mean, it really is true. It is.

Jeff
You’re already in preparation and training mode for Mrs. North Carolina, and then followed that up with a fitness pageant. That reminds me of Cara Cremeans, a financial advisor that I had on the podcast over the summer. She’s a marathon runner, and she was training for the Chicago Marathon, this fall, which she ran, and she said, and I’m gonna go ahead and do Charlotte, because it’s just a few weeks after that, and she said, you know, if I’m training for one, I may as well do two. You’re training anyway, right? So, this is what reminded me of that when you said that, but yeah, that’s very cool. Who was the 2019 queen?

Tara
Phaedra Pistone was the 2019 queen. She had quite a long reign because of COVID. And then Ashley, and I finished first runner-up. So, there’s two queens that are crowned out of the Americas system for the Mrs. division. They’re just, that’s how it is. So, there’s two always go to Mrs. World, so you’d have to run for both. So, either Mrs. America or American, and so I had finished technically first runner-up to the first crown. So, I was third. The first time I competed, there was like, 23 of us, I think. So, I was like, all right, that’s pretty great. Like, I wasn’t disappointed, I was like, I’m just gonna keep going. This is cool. And loved everyone. Everyone was really supportive, and then had come back and won. And so, you know, I just tell people, like, you don’t have to do this all, like, this isn’t something you don’t have to be a career pageant girl. Honestly, it’s probably better that you go into it sort of, like not knowing anything, and finding and asking questions, because sort of in the struggle, or the quest is where you find like, your power in your, you know, your health or wherever. So, I think that’s, that type of mentality to it is fine. So, I look, I’m excited to be part of the forever sisterhood to continue to recruit people into I call it a personal investment strategy, like come to a pageant, but really, it’s a personal investment strategy for you. And you’re gonna learn all kinds of stuff about yourself like, well, I don’t know how to walk, I don’t know about being in a swimsuit, I’m like, you’re focusing on like, 2% of what this is. It’ll be over in like two seconds. It’ll be a blur. You won’t even remember it.

Jeff
Is Phaedra in the Lake Norman area also?

Tara
Yes, Phaedra is, and she is the owner of Classic Bride. So, she’s just over here in Davidson, in Cornelius, kind of that edge there. So, she is, a lot of women come out of the Lake Norman area, like this pageant system, the America system specifically, is very driven in the Lake Norman area. And I think that’s why I chose it. And I had kind of seen it. And it was the thing that I really had seen first is because it just, I kept seeing women from here that was Mrs. North Carolina. I’m like, oh, that seems like something I should really probably try to do or try to plant seeds. And show people here I am. Because in Nebraska, people knew who I was. And I mean, there’s not as many people here, but when you go to a small town, and you’re really successful, in cross country, people in the state knew who I was, you know, and I can come back and oh, you were, you know, so I had a network there, and people, professors, and then you know, you have all these different firms that might want to hire you, and then it was gone. So, it was like, oh, how do you like, how do you plant seeds when you’re new, especially if you’re a wife, and your husband is either moving or is there for a certain reason, you know, and you come along, a lot of times, I think that that’s the case, that the wife comes along with the husband. And that’s a niche, but I’ll speak from that niche, because it’s a bigger one. Like, that’s me, like I moved away from my family to be here. So, you have to start, not over, but you gotta be really creative on how you put your seeds and it takes a long time to till the ground and nutrient, you know, you put the nutrients in, you put the seeds in and then they grow and then you got to harvest. It takes a while, like I was, what I thought about on my drive here, I was like, it really takes about seven years to kind of get like your first sort of production of seeds. And I’m like, kind of in there. Like I feel like I’m in my like, seventh year of trying to like, what’s Tara and who is she here kind of thing. And, like I grew up in Nebraska, but I was really able to curate and grow out in North Carolina and so competing as Mrs. North Carolina, yeah, my married life, my adult life, me has been here. Like, my foundation is in Nebraska, but that’s why it’s important for me, Mrs. North Carolina. Like, yeah, because this is where I’m growing up. I had to silence the noise everywhere and got to start over in a sense, and like, this is important to me for that reason. And you know, so I was like, I didn’t feel bad, like well I’m a transplant from Nebraska I can’t be Mrs. North Carolina, like, no, I feel really powerful. And like, I would be proud, and I think that you would be proud of that too. You know, so here let’s go together.

Jeff
Yeah, absolutely. And so, we had Ashley George on the podcast last year, and she was, I believe, I if I recall correctly, she was originally from Illinois, Chicago. And so, Phaedra owns Classic Bride in Cornelius. This is good timing, we’re actually, my number one copywriter, Abigail is writing an article for our website, featuring the best bridal boutiques in the Lake Norman area.

Tara
Oh, well that’s perfect.

Jeff
Yeah, I had no idea that Phaedra owned Classic Brides. So, we’ll have to reach out and connect with her sometime.

Tara
Yes, well I have another big bridal boutique if I could plug that in here.

Jeff
Yeah, absolutely.

Tara
Because they helped me with all of my like, so they first started and they did my wedding gown and they’re in Denver, Finishing Touch Bridal. And fantastic, Kathe and Patty are in there. And Patty did all of my alterations. So, we started with my wedding dress, and I just fell in love with both of them. It was just so fun to like, go and get the dress fitted and try on and hang out with them. And I was like, I don’t really want to be done doing this. But what else is there? And so, that was kind of another little piece to this pageant, like, oh, well, I could get another dress. We could do this some more like, I kinda wanna do that. I mean, that’s part of it, too. Like I like that part. That’s part of the celebration, you know, the romanticizing your life, the oh, well, I’ve worked so hard to put myself in this figure, like, let’s put some dresses on and let’s play some dress up. Like, that’s very healthy. That’s a very healthy thing for a woman and I encourage women to play dress up, pretend you’re Barbie, if you’ve worked on yourself, or you want to feel that way, like, do that. Because that was good for my brain. It might be good for yours. Like it’s not just about, I’m putting on dresses and heels and earrings. Yeah, not so much. That’s not actually what it’s about, you know, that’s fun, but. So, I started with them. And then I was like, hey, I’m gonna do a pageant. And so, then I just bought dresses and dresses and dresses, and they got really, really busy now that we’re kind of through the pandemic, everybody, their weddings are ramping up, and they always found time to get me in. They have fit everything because I have a very long torso and when you start doing competitions for fitness, like your body changes, you can’t just buy something off of the rack. So, they do pants and everything for me. So, but they specialize in weddings. So, Finishing Touch Bridal. I can’t give you a big enough shout out because you just always took me in.

Jeff
We’ll definitely have a link in the show notes for them as well.

Tara
Ok, good. They are wonderful.

Jeff
Absolutely. And we’ll make sure that they’re included in the article as well. I believe they are, but I’ll double check.

Tara
Ok, good. They certainly should be, good.

Jeff
Yeah, I just had Ivy Robinson, wedding planner from Charlotte on the podcast. And right now, we’re recording on the 20th. Her episode hasn’t released, is going to release this week. But she’s planned some big weddings in the Lake Norman area. And she told me that 2021 was just a fast and furious year, like when it opened up it just, you know, because you had all those weddings that were postponed and cancelled from 2020 plus all the 2021 ones that were already planned. And it’s just been crazy.

Tara
I hope that a reality TV show would follow her. Oh my goodness, God Bless her. Wow. Wow.

Jeff
She’s really cool. You’ll have to listen to that episode.

Tara
Yeah, I’m looking forward to that. I will.

Jeff
She’s a lot of fun. Well, while we’re on the subject of local small businesses, do you have a few others that you can give shout outs for?

Tara
Yeah, so BoatYard Lake Norman, so that’s been around for a while, but it’s under new ownership, kind of since the pandemic sort of happened and took over. So yeah, BoatYard Eats, live music. They had a live DJ last Saturday; we were there, and it was amazing. So, definitely go there. On The Nines is in Mooresville, and that is a wonderful bistro. You should definitely check that out for dinner. I don’t know that they’re open for lunch. I think it’s just, they start opening at four, but it’s fabulous. And if you’re a bourbon drinker, you have to get a cloud nine because that comes in like the hickory smoke and it comes at a globe and they let it like sit there and they bring in and you can have your bourbon like, it’s just has a really great ambience and atmosphere for a restaurant that I’ve not been in and the chef is out of Charleston so all of his dishes are like his creations and they’re very good. So, you definitely check out On The Nines and BoatYard Eats and that’s in Mooresville and then BoatYard Eats is in Cornelius. And then on the Denver side, I work out at Iron Physique gym. And that is, it’s like he started that in 1988. The gym and I are about the same age, which I love and you walk in and it’s this very small gym with like the wood wainscoting and the machines and it’s like a Rocky gym and I love it like it is my sanctuary and so if you are looking for a place to work out and for someone to really guide you, Mike Keever is your guy and that is where I work out and I take American freestyle karate from the McCall’s karate dojo there. So, that is another place that I would certainly suggest if you go in there there’s a picture of young Chuck Norris I don’t think anyone’s ever seen. John Claude Van Damme is on the wall, like these gentlemen have choreographed some pretty serious movies. So, there are some very famous people in this very, very small Rocky gym and Dojo. People are like, why would you work out there? I’m like, you don’t even know what’s in here. So, it’s really a well-kept secret in Denver and I probably shouldn’t have said anything but if you really are serious about your fitness and you kind of are like that old school, like you like the grit and like, you’re pretty serious about it, like this is the place. Come join me.

Jeff
That sounds amazing. I’ll have, yeah, we’ll throw some links in the show notes and give them a shout out as well. BoatYard Lake Norman, one of the partners, Chris Boukedes was featured on the podcast. I had a conversation with him. And I actually, total coincidence, I have an interview with the executive chef at On The Nines next week.

Tara
Oh, Steve.

Jeff
Yeah, Steve.

Tara
So, Chris actually, got ordained and he is who married AJ and I. So, we had an outdoor wedding and Chris is like AJ’s best buddy, they’re basically brothers.

Jeff
What?

Tara
Yeah. Chris is like AJ’s best friend. And so, AJ put in and invested in On The Nines and on BoatYard Eats, so that’s my shameless plug. Because Chris Boukedes is our best friend.

Jeff
Oh my gosh, I didn’t know that.

Tara
So, he got ordained to marry us at Murray’s Mill outdoors when we got married. So, it’s a very small world.

Jeff
It is a small world.

Tara
Chris is AJ’s brother basically.

Jeff
Oh, my gosh. Okay. So, full disclosure, I had no idea.

Tara
I was like, oh, here’s the surprise. That was a good build up though.

Jeff
Yeah, that was an awesome build up, I love how this worked out. I just spoke with Chris actually last week. And we’re doing, Abigail is writing an article on the best wedding venues in the Lake Norman area. And The Venues at Langtree, of course, is one that we’re going to be talking about. So, I reached out to Chris to see if I can get some photos of the venue and then we reconnected about, we had talked about featuring On The Nines last year, and everybody just got busy and distracted. So, we were able to reconnect there and finally schedule it with Steve. So, this is really cool.

Tara
That’s great. Yeah, so that’s where we had our wedding reception. So, we got married at Murray’s Mill and then we moved everything to On The Nines, and it is the best wedding venue. Honestly, I loved it. When they built it, I was like, oh, yeah, I can see this. So, it was, it’s a really great place. Honestly, I would like, unbiased, I would really highly suggest it, just because it does have this like very southern charming ambience to it. So, if any brides are out there, like, check it out, girl you’re gonna like it.

Jeff
Is that Langtree or On The Nines?

Tara
On The Nines.

Jeff
On The Nines, okay.

Tara
And the Langtree. And there’s a lot of really great places over there. Yeah, I mean, I’m excited for this feature. But yeah, check it out. There are some really good places around here.

Jeff
Very cool. I love how this is, I like how all roads lead back to The Best of LKN.

Tara
Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

Jeff
Very cool. Tara, share with the listeners. What are some goals coming up in the future? What are some new goals?

Tara
Yeah, so our cat, Mr. Tickles, he’s actually the real rock star in our family. We found him under a dumpster in 2015 and two days later, he was in a cat carrier on the way to Watkins Glen International. And he went to the racetrack and so for five years, he traveled with us to every race. Like, he loves getting in the car, he loves getting in the airplane, and people at the racetrack know who Mr. Tickles is. Like AJ was in the championship Final Four for XFINITY and we’re in the Phoenix race and he comes back with a picture of this lady who had made a sign with our cat’s face on it, like we love Mr. Tickles, go cat dad. So, at the racetrack people yell to AJ like, if it’s not Mr. North Carolina, which is great, it’s Cat Dad, Mr. Tickles’ dad. So, Mr. Tickles is kind of like this avatar for us. But people, like I could post a photo of myself looking real good and then I could post a photo of this cat. This cat will get more photo likes that I will. Like, it’s just, people love this cat. And so, our goals for it, is he was, we were in a commercial with Grumpy Cat before she passed. So, this Grumpy Cat is a very famous well-known cat, the sad looking, grumpy, disgruntled cat. We did a commercial with this cat with Friskies. And Friskies, it was a social media like online web, and it was Lap Up, or Lap it Up, and it was about their gravy. And so, we did a promotion for that. And so, Mr. Tickles had a fire suit and Grumpy the cat was giving him a hard time and heckling him and so Friskies, because we did that, donated $30,000 to what was at the time, Lake Norman Lucky Cats and they help trap and neuter and spay and release from the feral cat community. And so, that was really something we were able to learn about and help support and so for me, the next goal is to take Mr. Tickles like to a larger brand, like we’ve talked about making him into like a plush toy, because I’ve started working with child advocacy centers and children that you know, unfortunate things happen to them either from family members or just they have to be removed from their family situation. And they come into a place where they’re able to tell their story and they’re rehabbed and when they come into this place, they’re given a stuffed animal and I kind of was like, aha, so that is kind of my next thing is, I think there are some ways for us to bridge this lovable cat and this cat dad who races and, you know, this beauty queen who’s about health and fitness, and then they have this cat who’s really the rock star and everyone loves that these things can really be more and do more in our community. And so, I think that the next steps is to try to fashion him into a plush toy so that he can be with other people, because he just seems to have this like, this is one of those low hanging fruits that you’re like, if I don’t capitalize on this, it’s going to be sad. So, this is really to me screaming that, I don’t have to try, and it just seems like it’s easy. And it’s very, it’s just effortless.

Jeff
It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Tara
Yeah, it just makes sense. And so, it just makes sense to me. I’m like, we’ve got to push this forward. I mean, he’s had more airtime than I have. And NBC will run specials, and montages on AJ and this cat. So, to me, I’m like, there’s a lot of love that we can put back out. So, that to me is one of our big goals is to take the real rock star in our family and make him even more of a rock star.

Jeff
That sounds amazing. I love that. Yeah, we have a dumpster kitty at home, too.

Tara
Oh my gosh, they’re the best.

Jeff
Yeah, that we adopted, gosh, I guess, seven years ago. So yeah, and two dogs that she bosses around every day.

Tara
Yeah, they’re the boss, we’re just living with them. All of them. So, Mr. Tickles, he’s very well known on social media. He has his own Instagram and Twitter and Facebook. So, for anyone that is interested Mr. Tickles the cat, and you won’t be disappointed. Everyone says that that’s what they look forward to in the amount of messages that I get like, you have no idea how much I needed this today. Like that blows my mind. But if that’s what it’s about, and that works, and that made somebody’s day like, I have no reason to stop.

Tara
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I wondered about the social media accounts. So, I’ll make sure that we throw some links in the show notes for Mr. Tickles the cat.

Tara
It will make your day.

Jeff
How about, Tara, how about advice for women who are considering competing in a pageant? Any advice?

Tara
Yeah, don’t overthink it. I think the best thing that I did was get out of my own way. You are standing in your own way, girl. That’s honestly the only thing. It’s not your husband, it’s not finances, it’s not your kids, it’s not your busy schedule. It’s you deciding that those things are standing in the way. Yeah, you’re gonna need help, so ask for help. That was really hard for me too. Let your husband into the process. I didn’t realize the first time around that I was living with my pageant coach the whole time. So, the second time around, it was much better that I let him into the process. I kept him out. Because I was trying to guard myself. Because I didn’t know. Don’t overthink it. It’s just about you celebrating the I get up every day and I wash dishes and I drive my kids to school and back. Okay, that’s a lot actually and you’re a warrior and that’s not nothing. And there’s actually a lot to you and you’re gonna fall even more in love with yourself. So, it’s just like you’re in the way, you, not anybody else. When you go look in the mirror, who’s in the way? You. But who’s the one that’s gonna get out of the way? You. And who’s gonna be that one shining standing on stage? You. So, just get out of your own way. That is the best thing I can say. Because literally it is you. It was me. It’s you. It’s all of us.

Jeff
That’s really good advice for a lot of us. Not just those…

Tara
Not just women. Yeah. You’re in your way. I don’t know if you know this, but it’s you.

Jeff
Yeah, I can relate to that.

Tara
Me too. So much so. That’s why I think it’s important. Get out of your way.

Jeff
That’s excellent advice. I love that. Tara, how can listeners learn more about Tara Allmendinger?

Tara
You can follow me, Instagram is where I like to be the most. So, that’s @mrs.allmendinger. That’s where I’ll be posting a lot of my recipes, I’m going to make sure that I put those out, I have a really great muffin recipe that keeps me alive through the day and I just think people will love that. So, certainly stay there because that’s where most of my like main links will go. I have a website that I’m rebuilding right now that I hope to have out kind of the first of January, www.taraallmendinger.com, really easy. And then everything will link from there. But yeah, the YouTube, that’s my next big thing. So, everyone be looking for more conversations, more interviews, more talks like this, because honestly, I think even through what we’re going through, now, we’ll always be somehow fighting this COVID thing that communication and camaraderie that’s important to fight COVID.

Jeff
Absolutely. Communication and camaraderie. I love that.

Tara
That will fight COVID. Yes.

Jeff
That’s really excellent. I will, of course have links in the show notes and looking forward to seeing the work that you produce for YouTube. That’s exciting. It’s a lot of work.

Tara
Yeah, I’m taking notes here.

Jeff
And redesigning the website, I can, we can relate to that. We are constantly updating and redesigning the theme for our website, too. So, it’s just a process that never seems to end. Yeah. This has been amazing. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me here in Davidson and record a conversation for the podcast. I’m really excited to share it with our listeners. We’re honored to be able to feature you and your work on the podcast and just want to say thank you so much. Tara Allmendinger, Mrs. North Carolina 2021, and so much more. Tara, thank you so much.

Tara
Thank you. Thank you again, and to all the warriors out there. Hey, keep fighting and the best is yet to come.

Jeff
Big thanks to Tara Allmendinger for joining the podcast and sharing her journey in fitness, beauty, wellness, and clean water advocacy. Friends, you can learn more about Tara online at taraallmendinger.com or Instagram @mrs.allmendinger or @mrs.northcarolina. Oh, and don’t forget to follow Mr. Tickles the cat on Instagram too. I’ll have those links as well as the links to the beautiful, local small businesses Tara recognized during our conversation in the show notes for this episode. As always, you can find the complete show notes for all of our episodes at the home for Lake Norman number one small business podcast, www.thebestoflkn.com. While you’re there, consider signing up for our email newsletter. The email newsletter is a great way to stay up to date on all the new content we’re publishing every week. New for 2022, each week the email newsletter will now feature a curated list of weekend happenings and things to do around the Lake Norman area, complete with short descriptions and direct links for more information about each event. You can find the sign-up form for the email newsletter on our homepage. Big thanks again to our sponsors, Sodoma Law North and Blumengärten Florist, both located in Cornelius. You can get to know the team at Sodoma Law in Episode 54 of the podcast and the team at Blumengärten way back in Episode 7. I may be a little biased, but both of those episodes are among my all-time favorites. Have a listen, I think you’ll really enjoy them too. My friends, that will do it for Episode 88 of the podcast. Thanks as always for joining us, having a listen, and following along with the team here at The Best of LKN as we share conversations with some of the most interesting people in the Lake Norman area. We’ll be back next week with another episode. Until then, cheers Lake Norman. Bye for now.

Narrator
We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of The Best of LKN. For more information about this podcast, show notes, video episodes, and links to our featured businesses, please visit www.thebestoflkn.com. We publish episodes weekly, so be sure to subscribe and stay up to date. Until next time, cheers Lake Norman.