October 31, 2016

Just. Do. You. & Own It Too

You hear it all the time...lose weight, smile, be assertive--but not too assertive, act ladylike, yet act like a boss. Since when did we have to start listening to everything and everyone?

I see and read so many strong opinions on subjects day to day and wonder why we don't just do what makes us happy. I recently read a post written by a Mom explaining why she wanted to work. I'm all about standing up for yourself and making a point, but why does her point need validated in the first place? If this Mom wants to have a baby then go back to work and have a career for herself, why is it any of our business? It blows my mind. 

Have I gotten frustrated that I have to go to work and bust my ass usually more than 8 hours a day while other women seem to live an easy breezy day? Hell yea! I think, why me? Why do I have to wake up, pack lunches, go to work, come home, do laundry, cook dinner, etc..etc...?! Ladies, it can be hella frustrating. But it can also be rewarding to kick some butt at a big work event and come home to enjoy a nice meal in my cozy home. The beautiful thing about it all is that we get to live this life that we choose. 

I say--just do you. If you want to be a stay at home mom- do it. Soak that time up with your little one. If you are working at a job to just pay the bills-- do it. No one needs an explanation as to why you're doing what you're doing. Eat the brownie for lunch. Skip a play date once in a while. Drink wine for breakfast (okay, maybe only on the weekend). Just. Do. You. but make sure you own it. Please don't feel the need to explain the extra margarita at dinner after a long week or the dry shampooed hair for the third day in a row. We've all been there.

Instead of worrying about why Susie's lipstick looks a little crazy today, offer her a coffee or a compliment. Let's support one another a little more. Just do you...and own it too.

Have a great week. PS-You're doing awesome. You showed up for Monday, that's a huge deal alone ;)

October 19, 2016

Current Beauty Loves & Likes

Between having some bad days and the constant urge to shop, my online purchases have been rolling in lately. I thought I would do my good deed as a woman and fill you in on what I'm loving...and what I'm only liking or may not purchase again. 

I have been looking for a product that helps make me look more refreshed in the morning, and this is it.  The retinol works deep down to help prevent wrinkles, give an even skin tone and manage breakouts (that unfortunately have been worse during that time of the month). The Night Revolve Retinol Serum has been a lifesaver for my tired skin lately. I've professed my love for Valentia products before, and this one doesn't disappoint either. I swear by their stuff!

Not only is the packaging cute on these vitamins, but wow do they work wonders. I've been using the Eu Natural Vibrance Vitamins to make my hair stronger and healthier and the results are great. If you're looking for something to help stimulate hair growth and strength, Eu Natural has a 90 day guarantee, so you can try them out risk free! It's a win- win for sure. The biotin has done wonders for my hair, and then I had a bold moment and cut four inches off Friday...nothing like needing a change!

Revitalash has been in my bathroom cabinet for about six months. After having lash extensions (twice) I did see some breakage to my natural lashes. Revitalash has made my lashes amazing again and really helped the length. I wasn't noticing results at first, so give this product at least  30 days to kick in and use it religiously. I have debated posting about the truth on lash extensions, so let me know if it's something you're interested in hearing.

Just last week I purchased the Too Faced Lip Injection in Spice Girl from Sephora. I am loving the color, but it's not making my lips look any different. It definitely tingles and smells awful in the tube, like burnt skin from a tanning bed (no joke) so I'm not thrilled at all with this purchase. I read mixed reviews but overall it got 4 stars, so I went with it and definitely won't purchase it again. 

On the opposite, I am loving the NYX Liquid Suede in Cherry Skies. I grabbed it in the grocery store (another thing I love about NYX products) before our trip to Boston and have had some great compliments on it. It's the perfect fall color and comes at a great price too. Of course, Lindsay recommended this one, she always has great tips.

I picked up these Sephora Cleansing & Exfoliation Wipes in store and have been pretty pleased with how well they work. I got the Coconut Water scent and am anxious to see what the others smell like. I was paying $9 or $10 for 20 wipes of the Dickinson's brand I was using so this is definitely more for my money, and they have them at my local Sephora where I don't have to wait like I was for the other brand from Amazon.

Another Sephora purchase from the past few months is the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask and was really excited to get in the mail. Unfortunately I've been pretty bummed by the results. I don't notice much of a difference after using it and I hate how messy it is, especially in a bathroom with white counters. I think I'll stick to my other stockpile of masks in between using this one up.

Last but not least is my new saving grace for this curly head. One of the perks of my job is learning about so many beauty products in the salon and spa industry. We had an Oribe educator come in and give us some product knowledge. Little did I know that this Oribe Curl Control Silkening Creme would be my new best friend. When my hair was at my previous length I used about a nickel size on towel dried hair for the most beautiful blowout that lasts about 6 days. Only on days 5 and 6 would I need a little dry shampoo. I love how soft it made my coarse, curly hair too. Try it out if you're looking for a new straightening product curly girls!

Tell me, what are some of your current beauty loves?

Special thanks to BrandBacker for supplying a few of my latest loves described in this post. All opinions are always my own and sometimes may be bold, but especially brutally honest. ;)

October 17, 2016

That Time I Fell In Love With Boston

I visited Boston as a child, and have no recollection of specific places or events, but only remember loving it. When Chuck and I were choosing a place to spend our one year anniversary I offered up Boston and he agreed since it was somewhere he's never been.

I can't begin to tell you how beautiful Boston is, and if you've never been NEED to go. There are so many beautiful spots of the city and something for everyone to enjoy. We spent 5 days and 4 nights and had such a wonderful time. I plan on recapping the trips in several posts, so stay tuned for the full tour.

First, I want to share my absolute favorite parts of the trip (how about all of them). I've narrowed it down to a handful for the sake of time, but seriously...we enjoyed everything we did and saw.

I grew up watching the classic TV show Cheers with my dad and was thrilled when we saw the first bar. After meeting up with Biana, she filled me in that it was a replica and the original was in the Beacon Hill area. I felt like a fool for being so excited in a Cheers that wasn't the OG, so the next day on our Old Town Trolley Tour of Boston it was a must stop for us and I was over the top pumped. As the theme song played while we pulled up to Cheers I was like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. We enjoyed lunch downstairs while sipping on a Bloody Mary and then made our way upstairs to see the set bar. It was quite the fun experience!

boston cheers

beacon hill cheers

If I lived in Boston, I would have to work here because I wouldn't want to leave. Even if libraries aren't your thing, this is a must see and can be found in Copley Square. Never in my life have I seen something so gorgeous and serene and was all these things in one. The first day we visited there were numerous brides taking pictures outside on the iconic steps, students inside hard at work studying, and other tourists just like us.
It was almost closing time when we were there on Saturday, so Sunday morning we ventured back to see more. We got there right when the library was opening and the line to get in was like people attending an event. Since it was the first free municipal library in the United States it is a beautiful piece of history and you can even get tours from volunteers.

things to do in boston

must do in boston

I have wanted to visit a Georgetown Cupcake for years. Ethan and I used to watch DC Cupcakes on TLC and I love the sisters who own it, Katherine and Sophie. We were walking around Sunday afternoon and passed a girl wearing a Georgetown Cupcake shirt and I said to Chuck- YES! Georgetown Cupcakes! Five minutes later Chuck said "You know there's one a few blocks away, right?" He assumed since she was wearing a shirt, she worked there...and he was right because later we saw here when we visited.
I didn't even realize there was one in Boston and was so excited to go since we planned on visiting the area that day. I enjoyed a double milk chocolate birthday cake cupcake and wish it wasn't so hot out because I would have bought a whole dozen! If you love cupcakes like I do, it's definitely a fun, cheery place to enjoy some sweets.

georgetown cupcake newbury

One of the best parts of blogging is getting to know other people and forming relationships with those who share similar interests. When we finalized plans for Boston I contacted Biana and found out she was going to be out of town over the weekend but we were going to try and meet up during the day on Friday. She took time out of her busy work day and met Chuck and I for coffee by her office. It was so nice getting to know her better and sit and chat with her in person. She filled us in on some must-do and see things in the city and shared the best place to get cannoli's which we immediately hit up. Biana was just as sweet as I imagined she would be and we totally appreciated her taking the time to enjoy some Starbucks with Chuck and I. I bet it's so fun to live in such a beautiful city, thanks Biana for everything!

Enjoying a trip alone with my husband
Chuck and I hadn't taken a trip alone in the whole 9 years we've been together. Whether it was a family trip, visiting out of town family, going to friend's weddings or traveling with friends...we have never been alone, just the two of us. I swear our 5 days away felt like 5 weeks and it was so enjoyable and much needed for us both. I was going through our pictures and realize we don't have a bunch of the two of us besides some selfies, and next trip I vow to ask some strangers to take pictures. I guess I forgot what it was like to travel without a friend willing to snap a shot. I'm so thankful for our getaway and will never forget the great time we had.

There will be more about where we visited, what you must see, and other fun tidbits. I can't wait to share more about our trip to Boston.

Tell me...have you ever been to Boston? What's your favorite part?
Linking up with Biana for Weekending!

October 14, 2016

Celebrate We Will

"Celebrate we will. 
Because life is short but sweet for certain
We're climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue
These things we cannot change"

I love me some Dave Matthews Band...classic goodness right there. Today is my husband's birthday, and in true Emelia form I'm going to celebrate in every way possible. After what he recently went through I kind of want to throw the biggest party ever to shower him with love, and at the same time just want to sit in sweatpants on our couch in our perfect little home enjoying a nice quiet night as a family. I'm one of those crazy believers that thinks you should celebrate every day, and any I get crazy excited for birthdays. 

This year I'm a little more thankful and have some wishes for my sweet husband on his birthday.

I wish for you...strength. Your mental strength the past few weeks has left me speechless. I am so proud of you every day and pray you keep it up.

I wish for you...excitement. You make every day fun for me and I hope that you find something awesome and wonderful about each day you live.

I wish for you...pride. I love watching you constantly reach new goals and do great things and it makes me so proud to be your wife. I hope you find that pride inside yourself and hold on to it tight.

I wish for adventures. You're my favorite person to do new things with and experience new places. May this year bring even more fun and a few new cities on our map together. 

Happy Birthday Husband. I am happy you're mine and wouldn't change this life of ours. No matter the hurdle, the dream, the sickness, or the day...I want to be by your side and on your team. 

October 12, 2016

What Life Is Like When You're Grateful & Scared All At The Same Time

I'll start by saying thank you. Thank you to everyone who has reached out regarding the scary news we received about my husband a few weeks ago. I truly believe that the calls, messages, e-mails, prayers, love and thoughts along with my husband's mental strength have tremendously helped us pull through this time. Anyone who's been around these parts knows that he and my Stepson are my world, and not too long ago our world was shaken up.

I have so many drafts of posts and ideas and great things that I want to talk about here on the blog, but today my mindset isn't quite there with any of those posts. I miss sitting down to write every day while I've been a little absent lately, so I thought I would let you know what's on my mind lately in the midst of being grateful and scared all at the same time.

Chuck suffered from something medically that kept him in the hospital for a while, and while I'm currently writing this he is finally HOME. It's felt like months since we've been home together as a family since right before this happened we were on vacation for our anniversary in Boston. Ethan has been such a trooper through all this and our family and friends have been extremely supportive and helpful. I would not have made it through these past few weeks without all of that help and them.

I'm grateful Chuck is alive and will be okay....but I'm scared for day to day life the next bit of time. It's something we're not used to and I know I get anxious easily. I'm scared my anxiety will hinder his recovery.

I'm grateful Ethan is handling things as best as he can...but I'm scared he's not expressing his true feelings to us. He's a sensitive soul and I just want him to be okay.

I'm grateful for my home and my bed and things like the smell of home. You never realize how much those things mean to you until they're taken away. I kept taking Chuck blankets from home to the hospital so he could have something close to him from our safe place.

I'm grateful for tomorrow...but I'm scared to not know what it brings. I'm such a planner, sometimes to a fault. I have been living off of a planner lately and making sure to write every little thing down, even things like making a phone call or doing something simple like laundry. I'm scared I'm driving myself insane or missing something.

If I can leave you with one thing today, it's to remember to be grateful for something every day. I had a thought last week about life as I laid on my bed for far too long after a shower (tell me I'm not the only one that does that). Sometimes your little things are someone else's big things...the beautiful thing is that we are all given the same ability to dream.
Life can definitely be rough sometimes but don't forget to take a breather and put yourself in a positive place where you can remember what you're grateful for, even if it's something as small as the smell of home.

Again, thank you for your kind comments and sweet thoughts. I appreciate all of your love and friendship so very much.

Dream Big and Stay Grateful.

October 5, 2016

5 Ways To Prepare For Guests In Less Than 30 Minutes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StickItToLint #CollectiveBias

It's pretty often that we have friends at our house enjoying each other's company. Whether it be game night on Saturday night or watching the games on Sunday sometimes my husband and I forget to communicate with one another if we have invited people to our home, oops...but that's real life for you.

Luckily there's ways to prepare for guests in less than 30 minutes, thanks to the help of Scotch-Brite™ Lint Roller with uses all around the house.

1. Round It Up
I start by grabbing a small laundry basket and picking up loose odds and ends around the house. Important papers that are waiting to be filed, cords for electronics, books we may be reading and other bits of craziness that shouldn't be in plain view while entertaining your guests. I use a basket so I'm not stuffing things in places that will be forgotten the next day. After our guests leave I can retrieve everything from the basket and put it in the correct place.

2. Roll Away Pesky Problems
With the Scotch-Brite Lint Roller I make the main sitting areas nice and pretty by rolling away fuzz, hair, and any other nuisances. If you have pets or children, the Scotch-Brite 50% Stickier Lint Roller is great for bigger problems like pet hair and crumbs, because they are the only lint rollers with Scotch™adhesive. I love that they are safe enough on soft surfaces like my decorative throw pillows too, because those are usually first to get dirty when we're snuggling on the couch. To get in the hard to reach places of some pillows, I easily tear a sheet off the lint roller and wrap it around my fingers to clean around buttons and any special detailing. 

3. Get Down To It
I bet you didn't think to roll your floor. Yes, I use a lint roller on my floors including the shower. I have thick, dark curly hair and believe gets everywhere. When I get home from work and my husband says "the guys are coming over tonight" the last thing I want to do is pull out the vacuum. I use the Scotch-Brite 50% Stickier Lint Roller for  quick pick up on my kitchen and bathroom floors. Get down on the ground and starting left to right easily pick up any hair with the quick roll of the Scotch-Brite Lint Roller. It's such a time-saver and so efficient when in a pinch.

4. Lighten and Brighten
Lamp shades and curtains are usually places easily viewed due to lighting in our house. Cleaning is a breeze in these odd area, just take the lint roller straight to the surface to eliminate dust and lint. After cleaning the lamp shades put a small bit of essential oil on the light bulb. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised with a welcoming scent that's not too overpowering when they arrive. 

5.Work Smarter, Not Harder
Since we have a few floors to our house I keep supplies in all the right places. One Scotch-Brite Lint Roller in the garage so it can easily be used in the entryway of the house which is immediately visible to guests. For the most visited areas of the house, the Scotch-Brite 50% Stickier Lint Roller is perfect for dust, hair, and crumbs since there's even more adhesive. To keep it pretty in the bedroom, the Scotch-Brite Printed Lint Roller does the job because of all it's fun prints that make cleaning enjoyable, there are designs on each sheet-how fun is that?!

The Scotch-Brite Lint Roller is incredibly versatile and makes preparing for guests in less than 30 minutes so easy.  I found mine in the cleaning area of Walmart, more specifically the Sponges aisle.

For more great ideas and tips on how to use Scotch-Brite Lint Rollers which can be easily found at Walmart , make sure to visit their site. If you want to see how you can use the Scotch-Brite lint rollers to pick up after some super cute puppies, check out the short video below.

Tell me in the comments, what's your number one quick cleaning tip?

October 4, 2016

September Favorites

I swear I was just recapping August, I'm not quite sure how it's time to recap September already. What I do know for sure is that time flies, I'm just so happy it's Fall!

Today I'm recapping August with Macy from To Travel & Beyond for our Monthly Recap link-up. I love hearing what everyone was up to, so be sure to add your link at the bottom of this post and join us ((the first Tuesday of every month)).

Favorite Blogging Post: I L O V E Instagram and I know I'm not alone. Raise those hands...YES girl!!  A Pinch Of Lovely shared 100 instagram hashtags for bloggers and got so many great ideas. I'm sure this isn't the first time you've heard this, but if you put these in the note app of your phone you can copy and paste them easily on to a comment in your Instagram post to connect with more people who are posting similar things.

Favorite Inspirational Post: "What people think about you means nothing". I loved this piece of advice from Kerri that she shared in her post titled 10 Things I'd Tell My 25 Year Old Self. I think it's a wonderful idea to look back and remember what life was like back then and what you would really focus on now that you're older.

Favorite Purchase: Call me crazy, but it's the simplest purchase. Necessary? No. Awesome, for sure. I found the cutest casserole dish at our newly opened Home Goods that says "Baked With Love" in gold on it. I made a new amazing pierogi recipe in it shortly after I purchased it that you can find on my Pinterest page. For even more delicious casseroles (which are my favorite in the Fall) you can get some ideas here--

Favorite Recipe: Simply Stine published a post at a perfect time that I was thinking "Why have I never made banana bread?". If you're being welcomed to the real world and making bread this season you HAVE to try this Hawaiian Banana Bread recipe. I gave one loaf to my grandparents and they raved about it. It melted in my mouth and I can't wait to make it again. I also gave some to my mother in law...which made me think that this would be a great welcome home gift after baby, or welcome to the neighborhood dish that can be enjoyed all day long.

A photo posted by emelia💜 (@emeliaanne_) on

Favorite Moment: I wish we could go back to Boston tomorrow, because it was the best place we could have visited for our anniversary. Serious beauty on every corner...we really enjoyed ourselves. There were so many fun things, cool places and beautiful sights so the best moment of last month was...Boston itself. Chuck and I haven't been on a trip alone the entire time we have have been together. Crazy right?! It's always to visit family, with family, or adventuring with friends. This trip was much needed and really awesome.

A photo posted by emelia💜 (@emeliaanne_) on

It's a short recap this month, given coming back from vacation and all that's been going on with my family lately.

Favorite Dream Big Posts In September:
Giving Yourself Grace
Exploring The Cleveland Botanical Garden
The Final Recap & My Favorite Pictures: Wedding Wednesday

I hope you're all having a wonderful start to the new month, yay October!

October 3, 2016

What You Gonna Do? Stir The Sauce!

I haven't had the chance to recap our Boston anniversary trip yet, but it was amazing. If you haven't visited that beautiful city yet, I highly recommend a trip there. Every turn was incredible and my husband and I loved it.

We took an Old Town Trolley Tour which let us hop on and hop off a bus to see the sights of Boston and loved it. We got a variety of tour guides since we got on and off quite a bit. We made sure to do see absolutely everything that was on the top of our list and then got back on to ride through and make some additional stops after that. 

The very last tour guide we had was an Italian man named Hugo. The first thing I noticed about him was his infectious personality. I couldn't stop smiling the entire time he talked and to make things even more awesome,  his tip hat had a picture of his daughter on it and said "Emma's College Tuition Fund".  
At one point he started talking about how furious other Boston drivers get and how he just tries to let it go and screaming isn't going to do any good. He told a story about his sweet Italian grandmother and that when crazy things were going on in the world she would smile and stand in the kitchen saying "What you gonna do? Stir the sauce!" Hugo said it was her answer for anything and everything. 

I couldn't stop thinking about it the rest of the day and even since then. What a great outlook and an awesome way to live life. We can't control most things that happen to us, so why get worked up? They won't change by getting mad and they certainly won't get better.

On Wednesday, to put it mildly our family's world was rocked. My husband suffered from a medical issue that will take us all time to recover from, but especially him. I keep questioning why this has happened, especially since no medical evidence has been given to back up what happened. They're telling us there is no reason why what happened should have in fact happened. So what am I gonna do? Be mad about it? Maybe once in awhile. Cry? Occasionally. I'm emotional, so that's a given. But I can't do anything except be his cheerleader. I've always wanted to be one, so that's pretty's my big shot. 
We're just gonna stir the sauce. I keep saying hour by hour...because that's all I can focus on. 

Things around these parts may be a little sparse for the next...well, I don't know long. We are in the midst of figuring out our new normal. I find routines necessary, and right now I don't have one, but we are making it work. 

I'm sorry I haven't been reading many of your blogs lately and still haven't responded to several comments and e-mails for the past few weeks. Your patience is appreciated during these crazy times. I don't like to ask for much...ever, but if you have a second to send some prayers up or put a positive thought in your mind for my family I would appreciate it more than you know.

Chuck will be okay. He's tough and he's stubborn too, so there's no stopping him. One hour at a time...just stir the sauce!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!