Dream Big & Buy The Shoes: 2017

October 23, 2017

Halloween Inspiration

I won't lie, I wasn't always too in to Halloween. As a child, I loved it! My Mom made us such fun and unique costumes and I love looking back on all the things we dressed up as and how much we enjoyed it from the smiles on our faces. 
I wanted to share some Halloween Inspiration and ideas today because I've really come to love decorating and celebrating holidays of every kind. Each one gets me more excited than the last, and especially once we get in to Fall I go in to full on kid in a candy store mode.
This year, I unfortunately didn't have the chance to decorate for Fall due to our medical situation. My sweet Charlie offered to pull out everything and get the house ready because he knows how much I love it, but I told him to save himself the trouble. And if I'm being completely honest- I am decorating for Christmas when I get home. First, I can't imagine doing it while trying to get adjusted to a newborn and second, we want to get some Christmas shots when we do newborn pictures at home with the whole family. It's going to be wild seeing Christmas in October at the Lawrence house (sorry Charlie) but I know it will put me in a good mood with everything we have going on around us.
Enjoy this Halloween Playlist and some bar cart inspiration and some of our Halloween decor from last year, I just LOVE that witch hat tree from Pier One. Don't miss an easy recipe and free printables and my favorite finds for this year's Halloween at the end of the post!

Some other holiday fun to get you in the mood are these easy Chocolate Marshmallow Pops and then  you can attach these free Halloween printables-- they're so quick to make and the added printable makes them super spirited!

Since I didn't decorate for Halloween this year or let's be real-- SHOP ;) , I'm linking some great decor for this year. My favorite thing is decorating my bar cart and finding cute little things to add. Target, Pier One, Hobby Lobby and Home Goods always have such good deals and great finds and you can shop the widget below to see my picks!

I hope everyone has a great week full of the best spooky spirits to get you in the mood for Halloween fun! 

October 18, 2017

Back In The Reading Groove

Since being in the hospital, I've had a chance to really dive back in to reading. As much as I tried to pick up books and keep up with it over the Summer, I just didn't feel well enough to ever get in to any book.
So it was perfect when a good friend gifted my a book that I immediately enjoyed and really got me back in the groove when she visited me at the hospital. Let's start with that...after, I'll share the other random reads I've knocked off my list in the past several weeks.

"Put your hand in front of the flame and don't let anybody blow your candle out. Give yourself the permission to say no to the requests of others. To disappoint them. To even make them angry. If they get mad at you because you did something else that you wanted to do more, you don't need them in your life.
And the interesting thing is that the more things you say no to, you feel that you are paring your life down, but you'll be expanding it, because the time you give yourself allows you to grow in new directions, which arise organically from something you truly love to do. And in time you may come to the same realization that you did recently.
Which is that the candle isn't a project at all.
The candle is you."
Lisa and Francesca, the mother-daughter duo bring stories to life with laughs and love that really entertained me throughout the entire book. Francesca opens up about something deeply personal that really gets to you, but the whole book is just GOOD. While it is part of a series, you can read it as a stand alone book. So many good thoughts and lessons while are passed along while telling of their daily lives.

Ugh. I heard so many great things about this book, but don't hate me...I didn't like it. It's described as an infant management book. The purpose is to teach you how to get your baby on a directed feeding, eating and sleeping schedule so the parents can stay sane. Kind of funny reading that- I'm a parent already and am definitely not sane ;)
For one, it was extremely hard for me to get in to. I had to pry my eyes open to keep awake reading it and kind of felt like a bad parent for not enjoying it. They talk about 2 extremes- the first one being the Attachment Theory and that your baby runs your house. You have no control as a new parent and the baby takes over. Insert eye-roll. The other extreme is the one the book supports which is clock ruled on a really tight schedule. The clock determines all, and if your baby cries in between- well, let the baby cry...they shouldn't need fed. While I'm not dealing with that newborn schedule at home quite yet, I think that a schedule is a great idea, but I'm all about feeling my instincts and if my baby needs something, I'm going to look in to that, no matter what the time on the clock says.

"I didn't dare go in to the station until I was sure Dolores had departed. I strolled to the end of the tracks and sat on a bench for a half hour, breathing slow and steady, trying to calm my nerves. Then I walked in to Erie's Union Station, bought a baseball cap and a pair of oversized black sunglasses, and left, strolling down Peach Street until I saw a sign for a motel that looked like it would take cash and forgo that pesky ID check."
Just two days after finding her husband's dead body at the bottom of the steps, Tanya changes her hair color, withdraws money and flees town. Along the way of her travels she meets a bartender named Blue, and the women bond in a strange and crazy way changing Tanya once again to a new person, now Amelia. It's a crazy, wild story and throughout her journey you realize Tanya wasn't even really Tanya to begin with. I love thrillers, and this is a good one that keeps you wondering throughout.
One of my favorite parts of the story was when she traveled through my city- ERIE! I couldn't believe it when I was reading this random book from the library that Erie, Union Station (our train station) and Peach Street (one of the major streets in Erie) were mentioned...pretty cool.

"As for you, pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life. I am convinced that putting your house in order will help you find the mission that speaks to your heart."
Guys, I was SO excited to read this and then SO let down. I feel like a ton of people have already read this one, so if you have feel free to not listen to my opinion. But, I was just left feeling annoyed by the author. One friend described her as preachy- and yes, that's a good word for her.
If you haven't read it here's the scoop...Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo shares her knowledge and experience with tidying your house and decluttering to bring simplicity and joy to your life. While I will use some of her methods, I don't agree with most. She says that anything that doesn't bring you joy should be discarded. Well, my washer doesn't bring me joy- butttt it's kind of a necessity. She encourages you to thank your belongings as you empty them from your purse each day- that you should remove your wallet and thank it for doing it's job before putting it away, and then doing that the next day. I just can't do that, and I have too many other things to do other than thank all of my belongings before carrying on with making dinner. 
I do think that the KonMari method of cleaning and decluttering by category makes sense, and I would like to do it with my home to get a fresh start. She uses this method instead of moving room to room, so you can see all of your possessions in one category simultaneously. Some of her ideas are good, most I could NOT get behind. 

I have love love LOVED Sarah Morgan's books in the From Manhattan With Love series and was stoked to get my hands on this one that came out in May. 
The story is about Molly, an online columnist who is also a trained psychologist giving relationship advice in a question and answer forum. Her longest and most honest relationship has been with her dalmatian, Valentine. Daniel is a divorce attorney who gives advice on something he's never been through- marriage, or divorce. They happen to meet in Central Park as they pass each other running on several occasions and the story blossoms from there. They both think they know everything there is to know about relationships based on their professional lives, until they meet each other.
I really enjoyed the story, but only gave it a 4 because I thought there could have been a little more. It's definitely sweet, and sexy as described which makes it a good read.

I'm up to 17 of 42 books that I've challenged myself to in 2017 in my Goodreads Challenge. I originally had it set at 30 at the beginning of the year, and then changed it to 42 since I was at a good pace...that was a mistake, ha-ha. I'm currently reading The Roanoke Girls and have on wait from the library, one from my Fall Reading List- The Simplicity of Cider. After those, I want to read The Self Love Experiment because I think it will come at a good time in my life. 

As always- I'm taking recommendations, what have you read lately and loved?! Have you read any on my list? Hope everyone is having a great week!

October 16, 2017

4 Things to Remember When Registering for Baby

Registering for a wedding or baby can be overwhelming. I personally had FUN when registering for our wedding, but doing it for another human...who seems to need A LOT of stuff, that's a whole different story.
But, after going through the registry process for baby, I found some things that helped us and want to pass along to others who may benefit from someone who's been through it.

Find a realistic checklist
I have seen some on Amazon, of course Babies "R"Us and other sites, but the most useful ones I found were on Pinterest. Stores and websites obviously load there's jam- packed, because they are smart and want you to buy ALL THE THINGS. A nice comprehensive list that is resourceful but not too loaded is always a good way to go. It's hard because you don't know if your baby is going to need a swing and a bouncer or whether they will like a glider or a rocker better for night-time feedings, but those are decisions you can make as you go along, or right out of the gate and always return or exchange something later.

Decide which registry site is best for you
Some people like a variety, which we opted for when registering for our wedding. Some stores or sites just don't have it ALL. For our baby registry, we opted to go with BabyList for multiple reasons. The first being, you can add things from any website all to your registry with one easy click. BabyList also gives you prices around the web and tells your guests or buyers the cheapest place to get the item they are looking at. Lastly, I just couldn't agree with places like Babies "R"Us charging double what you can find on Amazon, and honestly, most of the things on our registry are from Amazon. I enjoyed that I could add things from Etsy, like the baby mobile and some cute bows in addition to decor from Pottery Barn and some supplies from places like Nordstrom. It's the best of everything all in one place, making it easy to organize. We also loved that they have an app- which is easy to view, add, delete or modify things for your registry!
You can check out our registry here and let me know what you think- the majority of opinions I've heard are that people enjoyed browsing it and that BabyList was easy to use, which makes me happy to hear.
Make a list, and check it twice
Prioritize what you need for baby, and then add your wants...make that list. Use the checklist you have found, and decide which things you may want to purchase right away and the ones you would like to add to the registry. For example, we purchased the crib because it's something we wanted here sooner in order to paint and get ready for baby girl's nursery. We originally had more decor on the registry, but little by little I removed things to make it more simple. I think rooms can get busy real quick, and once I took inventory of things I already had, like a mirror and her Dream Big sign and a few other little things it made me realize we didn't need everything that was on that list. So, review your list before making it public and decide on what you really need and want for baby.

Have fun with it
This is your little love, make the process fun! It definitely can be overwhelming- I remember asking Chuck do we REALLY need all these things? And sometimes asking the question alone can make you feel like a bad parent, because they're your baby- of course you do! But, find the fun in it. We had a good time looking for books to add- they're are SO many cute ones out there, and adorable coffee cup teething toys and picturing baby in a cute chair at her big brother's soccer games next Summer. Think of all the FUN that's to come and take your time composing the registry. It doesn't need done in a day...browse items, keep your checklist handy, but make it an enjoyable process for everyone involved! When you feel stressed, take a break and come back to it the next day.
If you missed it, you can see our baby girl's nursery inspiration and why we added certain items to the registry.

There's my 4 big tips to remember when registering for your baby... I hope it helps you or someone in your life who needs the advice!

Today is scheduled to be Baby Lawrence's grand entrance, please keep us in your good thoughts that she arrives safely. Thank you for all your well wishes along our journey- we truly appreciate this community of friends and sweet readers!

October 13, 2017

Best Graphic Tees

There's a lot of fashion I'm really loving lately- like mules, velvet, mustard, pink for fall...the list goes on and on. Something that never goes out of style, in my opinion, are graphic tees.
best graphic tees
I absolutely cannot wait to get out of the hospital and dive in to fall fashion this year. I usually wear graphic tees like I'm Sporty Spice- with some jeans and a pair of Nike's or a relaxed sweatshirt type top. This year, I'm ready to pair a cardi and leopard flats with some tees and step out a little. I've rounded up my favorites I've seen while online shopping, and a few I already own.

Britney Spears- this is a men's tee, but you better believe in addition to getting Charlie one, I also picked one up for myself. It's really comfortable and soft and fits well, obviously size down when purchasing for a female.

Wi-Fi, Pizza, Sweatpants & Big Dreams- yes please...all I need on a Sunday Funday. Anything with the word Dream in it I'm personally attracted to, but I love the combo on this tee.

Michael Jackson- the man! There's one MJ shirt I saw on Instagram, but the blogger had got it years ago at a vintage shop and it was SO cool. I love the vibes of this one.

Eyelashes- any makeup lover needs this, perfect to pair with a bold pink lip...this is going on my Christmas list.

Girls Will Save The Future- can I get an AMEN?! This is such a great statement tee and they need to make it in children's sizes too if you ask me.

Dream On- need I say more?! Dream On and Dream BIG!

Coca-Cola- any other caffeine lovers out there? A classic Coke always does me good- especially if from McDonald's...come on, you know it's the best.

Stevie Nicks- my woman, the ultimate Gypsy Queen. I could probably add 15 different tees of her to my closet and be okay with it. 

Heartbreaker- I wanna sing every song with this word in it when I see this tee, but I love the cute simplicity of it the most. 

Ciao Bella- I love a plain and easy vibe- and that's what this tee is packed full of. Total cuteness!
best graphic t shirts
A few other shops I love for tees are:
Saturday Morning Pancakes and Top Knot Goods...there's so many good ones, like Return of the Mac (and cheese) and Legalize Dreams. 

Shop the tees below:

Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites and H54F!
On Monday our little babe is scheduled to make her entrance to the world, so I do have a few posts scheduled, but may be a little late getting back to you. 
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend- TGIF! 

October 11, 2017

Baby Lawrence- Last Update Before Delivery

I figured I would share one last update on Baby Lawrence before she joins us on the other side of this world. Last time, the bumpdate was not so positive and a little crazy but thanks to all the love, prayers, good vibes and outpouring of support we have received we are surviving!
When I first got admitted to the hospital because the doctor discovered my water had broke, I had almost no fluid and we learned that this could cause problems with baby girl's development, most specifically her lungs. After one week of being here on bedrest, my fluid levels had come up to over an 8 which was much better and showed me that even though being here is no fun, it was working in some regard. 
Soon after, I earned wheelchair privileges and was allowed out one hour a day with one of my visitors on hospital property. The first day we stayed inside, but the next day once I felt fresh air and sunshine on my face I instantly cried tears of joy. We visited the NICU and faced the reality of what is ahead for us. It was emotional, but the nurses seemed SO sweet and were very detailed and answered all our questions that we had so far.
At the beginning of September we had a very positive growth scan that showed little Lawrence was in the 61st percentile measuring at 26 weeks and 2 days when I was actually 27 weeks and 5 days. The doctors said this was positive with all the setbacks we had experienced, and she was at 2 pounds.
As the days went on I could feel baby get more and more active which is the best feeling and one I will definitely miss after this pregnancy. We had another sonogram that net week and my fluid levels were back to normal which made sense given all her activity. The technician showed that she had some hair and now weighed 2 pounds, 10 ounces.
We made it past 28 weeks which Doctors said was a big accomplishment and baby girl flipped to head down, which looking back makes me laugh...you'll see why. I've been hoping to attempt to deliver without a C-section so it was good news! 

On September 9th I was on the monitor for our normal nightly time when baby girl's heart rate sky rocketed and I had to get an IV put back in and get some fluids. It came down quickly and they're not sure what happened- she may have been in a weird position. A few days later I woke up in the middle of the night and didn't feel quite right, and discovered some bleeding. They did a sonogram and discovered my hematoma I first had earlier on in the pregnancy was back and think that when baby girl flipped- AGAIN, now feet down...she may have hit it. So, I was hooked back up for fluids and monitoring when I started having contractions. The nurse called the doctor and they prepped me that we may be having a baby on September 11th. I got an emergency dose of steroids and had to get changed back in a gown in case we had to go in for surgery. I called Chuck and he made his way to the hospital and my Mother in Law came and we literally just hung out. I was on the monitor and fluids all day, and the contractions got to 2 minutes apart at one point and time, but she never came. Contractions stopped and all was good. It was quite the eventful day and we found out that my fluid levels came up even more, which is why they think she's getting more and more active...our little gymnast!
At one point just before this first episode the Doctors had discussed me possibly going home on bedrest, and I knew that after this scare it wasn't going to happen. As much as I despise hospitals, we truly are in the safest place for all that's going on with this pregnancy.

On September 18th we had another sonogram and found out baby is now weighing in at 3 pounds, growing like a champ! She flipped to head down again and it just makes me laugh...it's like she's discovered all this area since there's more fluid and she's doing tricks in there.
Thursday September 21st brought a new episode when I was on the monitor during our normal time (we monitor twice a day- the nurses and doctors watch baby's heart rate and other signs) and I heard her heart rate drop. I leaned over and saw it was at 77 opposed to her normal 150 or higher. I immediately text Chuck that it was low and next thing you know my nurse was in the room. I felt baby push very high and low on me at the same time and her heart rate dropped even lower when the nurse rang for an emergency. I text Chuck, get here now. I was so scared and I looked up to count nine people in the room- nurses, doctors, help. I got an IV in me again, they put an oxygen mask on me and they ran in an emergency sonogram machine. It was hard to stay calm, but I think I was just in shock and kept counting the number of people here and looking at their faces for some sort of cue or expression. The doctor then said, "She's stuck!" So between him and some nurses they literally pushed on various parts of me to get baby in to a different position. Once I heard her heart rate get normal again I was able to relax. The doctor said she seemed to have get stuck flipping because she was now head up. I have to add that Chuck ran in the room right after they flipped her and my nurse was in shock as to how quickly he got here, from his desk at work in this room in 7 minutes...crazy! Daddy on a mission!

Thankfully, she stayed stable and we had a quiet few days. Chuck and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary on September 26 and although stuck in a hospital, we enjoyed it and talked about all the fun things to come with our new family of four.
I had my most recent sonogram and hit another huge milestone on October 2nd, we made it to 32 weeks! She gained only 4 ounces, but other than that the doctors are thrilled with her body movements, activity, heart rate and everything they monitor. She is SO active which makes us all happy to hope that she's just thriving in there. She is little, but fierce! The doctor came back after the first sonogram to tell us that she wanted one of my cord and blood flow to the placenta since the weight gain was so minimal.
The sonogram and test results showed that everything is normal, so due to my hyperthyroidism and all the issues we have had, she just may be a tiny peanut. They will continue to do this type of sonogram every Thursday and Monday until delivery and if any problems arise, we will begin to induce labor prior to 34 weeks.

Quite a few people have asked, why 34 weeks? Which is a good question. Due to my water breaking at 26 weeks, she does have to come out early because she is at a high risk for infections staying in past 34 weeks. Research has shown the doctors that the difference between 34 and 37 weeks delivery isn't enough to keep babies in longer. So, this does mean NICU time- although we aren't sure how long. Of course our hope is that it's as little as possible. We've heard wonderful and positive news from the doctors that if she makes it to 34 weeks there's a very good chance that she could be home well before her due date of November 27th because she just has that much more time inside of me to grow and develop. Every day of me still pregnant is 3 less days of little Lawrence in NICU, so we want to keep Cupcake cooking until October 16th. We won't know how long her stay will be until she's born and they can monitor things and we did find out that during labor a NICU doctor and NICU nurse will be in the side room so that they can get her as safe as possible the minute she's out. This was all reassuring to hear and reminds me that they are highly trained for this situation and our baby girl is in wonderful hands.

So, the next time I write about a Baby Lawrence update it will be after she's made her grand entrance. I know this was very long winded and a lot of information that is pretty uneventful if you're not in to babies and pregnancy, but it helps me to write it out and process it after experiencing it. I've been journaling every day and can't wait to tell little girl about all her flips and moves and this whole journey.
I once again want to thank everyone on behalf of our entire family for the prayers, love, support and positivity. Every single one of you rooting us on has helped make it through day by day. We can't wait to "internet introduce" you to our little Angel once she's here- only a few more days!

Thank you for reading- hope you're all having a wonderful week!

October 9, 2017

Fall Playlist

Music is such a necessity for me, as I'm sure a lot of people. My favorite thing to do is take a drive and blast my favorite music, it's so refreshing and helps clear my mind and put me in a great mood.
I wanted to share some songs that make me feel like Fall and get me in the mood for the season. I need to get back to listening to my playlists when I'm cooking or cleaning to help the time pass better. A lot of times on Sunday mornings Chuck plays records which is always fun, but I don't want to break his player...so Spotify or Pandora it is for me when he's not around ;)
From Britney (obviously) to some good old Tracy Chapman and November Rain to Taylor and Fleetwood...I personally think you can't go wrong with this selection, but that's just me.  I'm thinking I need to make a Halloween playlist next-- what do you think friends?!

What would you add to your Fall playlist? Have a happy Monday and great week ahead!

October 6, 2017

Favorite Fall Staples

This post contains affiliate links.
Fall is my favorite season-- you may here me say that about 800 more times in the future, so I'll be discussing it a lot here....be prepared.
I've rounded up my favorite Fall staples, because these are my go to items year after year for the season- no matter what the current trends. It's fun to add in those frills depending on what is IN that particular year, like mustard and mules in 2017...but these are my every day basics for Fall.

I' ll admit- I haven't shopped at Abercrombie & Fitch since I worked there in college, but when I came across this cozy scarf online I fell in love with the mix of patterns and how soft it looks. It's a great fall staple that you can mix with a lot of outfits.

While we're on the topic of scarves...I definitely consider leopard a neutral and must have in your closet. I mix leopard with hot pink shoes and bold accessories because it's so fun. I own and love this BP leopard scarf. I scooped it up during the Nordstrom sale for an AMAZING deal and it's so cute.

I'm huge on booties and have added quite the bit of TOMS to my closet. Who knew they could be so cute? I picked these booties during the Spring and LOVE that you can wear them for so many seasons because of the peep toe. They are insanely comfortable and such a good buy in several colors.

When people say they don't wear leggings, I don't believe them. How could you not? I mean you look put together but feel like you're in pajamas...these people are totally missing out. My favorite brand of leggings has been HUE due to how well they hold up and the inexpensive price tag. I love these faux leather leggings that can be worn with a mix of different items from you closet you probably already own like a crisp white classic tee or a feminine pink top. 

Cardi's of al shapes and sizes are my JAM. I wish I could wear them year round, and not end up with obnoxious armpit sweating that comes too easily for me. Lindsay turned me on to this Old Navy cardigan and since it fits like a dream and is so soft & cozy I may grab it in another color. I love a good staple you can wear year after year.

Accessories can be difficult since trends change so much. As for me, I always love a classic hoop earring or big and bold ones. But nail polish is an easy go to that helps add to your look and this isn't the first time I mentioned Smith & Cult. It holds up SO well and a standard manicure usually lasts me about a week--can't beat it. Their colors are so unique and the names are awesome which is an added bonus. 

Maybe it's the kid in me, but I just love backpack's. It's the perfect way to be hands free and not worry about straps falling or having a free arm to carry something else with. Gap has a great bag this season and that velvet is giving me ALL the heart eyes!

As the weather cools off, you need the perfect jacket that you can grab from your closet each year and while the trend really took off a few years ago, I think a moto jacket is a classic and cute option. There's SO many good ones out there, and I'm digging this olive color. 

Last, but definitely not least is a a good lip to finish off your look. I love how the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil's from NARS apply and look and have a handful of colors, and think I should add the Chestnut Rose to my makeup bag for sure. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fall filled weekend enjoying the first weekend of October!
Linking up with Amanda and H54F
What's your favorite Fall must have item?!

October 3, 2017

September Favorites

Am I the only one who feels like September absolutely FLEW by?! Some of the days were long, but overall it was such a quick month and I can't believe we are fully in to Fall.
My favorite season is here and so is one of my favorite posts to put together each month...my round-up of favorites and monthly recap with Macy. I really enjoy sharing posts from my go-to bloggers, but am trying to find more and more that maybe you haven't seen links from. Let me know if there's anything new or a fun category you'd like to see me include next month!

Favorite Blogger/ Influencer Post: Erin from Living In Yellow always cracks me up, and her video at the end of this post really made me LOL. The whole post is great though if you're a blogger or an influencer--thoughts, pros and cons of living your life online which those of us who do can definitely relate to. 

Favorite App: Paribus- You used to have to pay for this awesome service, but now it's FREE! You sign up with the e-mail address where your online receipt for purchases come, shop like normal and Paribus works in the background looking for price drops so you can get refunded. There are some places that they do not or cannot automatically refund to you, but they give you the information and even a script so you can call and take care of everything. I got an alert that something dropped in a Gap order and I called the number they gave me, listed the order number and items and the customer service rep was extremely helpful and so nice...I got refunded $28 total for 5 items! SCORE!

Favorite Everyday Advice: Kallie has got some GREAT ideas and thoughts on why boredom is actually a good thing. Especially going in to this busy season, when we are always on the go--it's good to unwind, relax and use some of the tips she shared. 

Favorite Fashion Week Post: Some people do NOT agree with me, but I love seeing all the hustle behind NYFW and every year at this time we get an overload of it. Courtney Kerr gave us her opinion about how she's learned to enjoy it all these seasons later and a little bit of what goes on in the streets and shows.

Favorite Instagram Post: How could I not share this one?! The fabulous chics who own Georgetown Cupcake- sisters Katherine and Sophie are the best. I've followed them for years, and loved when they had their show on TLC. They shared one of my IG posts with my beautiful cupcakes that were sent to me in the hospital by an awesome friend. Made my day- and so FUN!
A post shared by DC Cupcakes Katherine & Sophie (@katherinesophie) on

Favorite Story: This post from Color Me Courtney made me tear up- she's such an awesome person and always SO real with everyone. She's fun, uplifting and cheerful--but this story shows how it wasn't always that way in NYC and she thanks Sarah Jessica Parker for being a guiding force in her life in the city.

Favorite Moment: Since I do a lot of the same monotonous things in the hospital, it's hard not being out there living life and exploring like normal. But, continuing to get good news about our baby girl makes me SO happy. She's doing really well, is super active, continues to make me smile with all her kicks and I'm just so proud she's sticking it out in there. Funny how excited you can get about someone who's still inside your body- I can't even wait to see her sweet face and tell her all these stories some day. 

Favorite Mom Post: Sierra is so beautiful, inside and out and you can see it in her posts with her littles. They have such a sweet relationship and I really enjoyed her post about the time being a Mom caught up with her. Her recommendations and advice really hit home, such a good read!

Favorite Beauty Post: I always seem to forget this stuff if it's not on the makeup label--but Rachel reminds us how long we should keep our beauty products. Pin this one- it's a good resource!

Favorite Home Post: I don't have a kitchen nook- but if and when I do...oh the ideas are flowing. Check out these dreamy nooks and get to drooling along with me.
image via
Favorite Recipe: Michael shared a Butter Pecan Cupcake recipe that I am dying to make when I get home and how adorable are the free printable recipe cards too?! There's links to a bunch of past ones which would go along great when you pass along a homemade treat to someone. 

Favorite Relationship Post: The Everygirl shared some stay at home date night ideas that are outside of just watching a movie together. 

Favorite Dream Big posts in September:
Baby Lawrence's Nursery Inspiration
Fall Reading List
Charlie Chat: Daddy Thoughts

Join Macy and I next month on November 7th to share your goals, highlights from your month and favorites! We would love to have you join us.

What was a favorite post or moment from you in September?

October 2, 2017

A Pinterest Positivity Board

I'm one of those people who needs positivity surrounding me to help slap me in the face when I really need it most. 
I have an e-mail inbox at work labeled LOL, pictures of memes in my camera roll that I occasionally look at just to crack up and even a Pinterest board to keep me on track. 
This board has been around for a few years, but I keep adding to it and looking at it for great, uplifting reminders and images that make me happy. Blog posts that I've written that spark inspiration and happy thoughts are also added from time to time as a nice reminder of what I was thinking or how far I've come.

From Britney Spears, Dreaming Big, Coffee and more...I  L-O-V-E having all the things that make me happy in one place, and through such a simple concept.

Forget the "rules" of Pinterest. What does positivity and happiness mean to you? It doesn't have to look pretty to be just right.
Is it a mural? Memories of your favorite city? A recipe for your go to cocktail? Your favorite words?
Put it all together so you can have a go to Happy Place...that's yours and yours alone.
Hey, if you want to-- you can even make the board private on Pinterest, so it's truly your own escape.

Another idea, which isn't anything new is a Vision Board to keep your goals and dreams in mind. I found these free printables for a vision or positivity board, and love the simplistic but cheery reminders.

I hope you take a moment to make your own Pinterest Positivity Board as a way to help get your mind right when you need it, turn your frown upside down, or just make you shine bright like the star you are!

Do you have a Pinterest board like this? What would you add to your board?

September 29, 2017

Loving Lately

We made it through another week- yay for Friday! I hope everyone's week has been great, but now it's time for the good stuff--weekend on!

I've enjoyed sharing my favorite finds with you and what I've got my eye on lately. Browsing online and checking out deals is a great way to pass the time, especially where I am. So, let's get to the reason we're here--

Busy 'n Buzzed has the CUTEST to go coffee cups that will make you want to sip on even more caffeine. The designs are so darling and their newest pumpkin spice one is giving me life. They have been so kind to extend this coupon- EMELIA10 for 10% off your order until October 10.
The Sephora Favorites have been released this season and they're as good as always--the Give Me More Lip is on my Christmas List this year. I'm loving this Perfume Travel Sampler as a gift too!  For $25 it's the perfect pick me up for a friend or family member and comes with travel sizes to test and a a certificate to redeem for a full size rollerball.

This platter is just TOO cute and also could make a great gift if you can part with it and not keep it for yourself. I love the crisp white and hilarity to it all. The whole line is great...good for parties and plenty of laughs.

Every year I get the Brittany Fuson planner and absolutely love it. The illustrations are so chic and fun and it's such a great one to carry with you every day and on the go. Her 2018 version was launched a few weeks ago and Charlie grabbed it for me and I already can't wait to start using it. I was thinking about doing a review on it for you to show you the layout and images--interested?

I picked up this Fedora at Target on major sale and can't wait to wear it this season. I was worried it would be sold out online, but technology can be so great. You can't beat a hat under $10 and free shipping with your RedCard from the Target app.

Anthropologie always has the cutest home items and I'm LOVING this Rosé All Day tea towel--such a cute addition to the bar cart or home bar.

Last but not least, an old favorite that I just can't live without--my beloved Batiste Dry Shampoo. I've heard of more and more people that still haven't been introduced to this love of mine. The Bare scent is one of my favorites and this brand beats SO many of the high end ones I've tried. If you haven't yet, pick some up and your hair will thank me later.

If you missed my post last week- I rounded up some great Fall books to check out. Cozy up and enjoy!

There are affiliate links in this post and you can shop the items here:

Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites and High Five for Friday. Have a wonderful weekend filled with big cups of coffee and all the fall things, friends!

September 26, 2017

Thoughts On Year 2 of Marriage

Last year I shared a post about what marriage was like, since we were one year in to this whole being hitched thing. We've made it through another year and since I'm older and wiser...there's more to share.
As I already said in my cheesy anniversary Instagram post...if you would have told me 2 years ago that we would go through this much as Husband and Wife I really wouldn't have believed you. Year one was great, it was fun, we learned some things and had some arguments...but overall it was pretty low key which was needed, after coming down off a high of getting married and all that celebrating.

We shared a beautiful trip away to Boston for just the two of us to ring in our first year and it was one of the best things I've experienced with Chuck thus far. We really needed that time for just us to connect, to laugh, to take life in, and just experience things. 
A few days later, my Charlie battled a medical experience that rocked our world. I'm not here to focus on that, but holy shit can things get crazy and life really can test you when these types of things happen. In a twisted way, watching my husband persevere and overcome his battle also pushed me to get through and be there for him and our family.

As we went through the next few months I learned that I didn't need anything but our family and love. There were many days that I didn't honestly know what day of the week it was, I would find myself aimlessly wandering down aisles at the grocery store blanking out and trying to remember what I was there for and have breakdowns at the cash register hoping I didn't forget anything because I knew if I had to come back I would lose it. Day by day, life got more normal and things like a ride to the library or a walk around the peninsula at our usual spots filled my day with so much joy.
There's times as a parent you feel as if you're barely hanging on and can't do much right and I started to let go of some of this guilt and just listen to Ethan...find out what he needed. Luckily he's a resilient kid and helped me through these tough times more than he knows.

I learned that the vows in sickness and in health came in to play way before I thought they would and that's kind of when just being with Chuck as a girlfriend or fiancé made me feel different, and more like a Wife. I'm happy things didn't change much at all from the point of girlfriend to Wife because I loved our relationship. It kicked my butt in to gear to finally get my name changed...yes, I waited so long because I'm lazy...and tried to get my things organized in case something like this dare happen again. Ladies, get your name changed before you're in the middle of dealing with 100 things on top of it.
One of the scariest, nervous, and best of all exciting moments is getting to share something so special like telling your partner you're pregnant. I always thought I would be that cute Wife who would drum up some Pinterest idea and save it for a date night to make it some momentous occasion. Ha! I sat at the edge of the couch for what felt like forever waiting for him to get home and flat out interrupted Chuck recapping his day to proceed with telling him we were going to have a baby.  Life is pretty great, but one of the coolest experiences was sharing this joy. So yes, stomach flips and nervousness can also mean great things..take them in stride.

My husband knows I'm high-maintenance, I swear I wasn't always this way...and still loves me for it. But, some of my favorite nights are the ones where we have no idea what we're going to do and hit up Dairy Queen for ice cream and he surprises me with a ride to see the sunset from a different spot, because he knows they're my favorites or when we go to a local baseball game to not watch the game, but wait in line for the giveaway and go in for a hot dog and leave. The silly moments have become what I live for, because they're really the best.

So yes, life can change a LOT in a matter of 365 days. It can test you, it can surprise you, but around every challenge is another joyful memory. I'm sure our challenges are not behind us, but I know that we can make it through...together.
Charlie, Happy Anniversary--I wish I could put in to words how much happiness, and let's be real...sanity, you bring me. I'm forever the luckiest because you chose me. Thank you for being you, and taking on this journey with me...I'm ready for this part of the ride!

Photos of our beautiful memories thanks to R. Frank Photography

September 25, 2017

Charlie Chat: Daddy Thoughts

It's been quite a while since our last Charlie Chat...so I thought what better time to do this again than right now while in the midst of dealing with me being pregnant and crazy and a bunch of other things ;)
Let's get started..but before we begin, here's the rundown. My questions are in bold italics, Charlie's answers follow and my commentary, if any after the *asterisk.
Missed a Charlie Chat?
You can read the very first one here, one about our wedding here, and one from earlier this year here
If I haven't mentioned it before, I will now....I always e-mail these questions to Chuck so that he can take a look and respond, and he e-mails them back. I like it that way so he's not on the spot to be too nice or come up with something he doesn't have time to think about a little. Just to give you a background on all this.

So, you're going to be a Dad...again. What are your thoughts?
I haven’t been this excited in a long time. I cannot wait to meet this little Angel. I’m always a little leery of bringing a girl into this world to be objectified and paid less for doing equal work, but I know that she’ll be strong like her Mom and beautiful like her Dad, so I think she’ll be okay. (It’s a known fact that beautiful people have an easier go than less attractive ones, so don’t hate me, it’s Science!)

Did you know this baby was going to be a girl?

I think deep down in my soul I knew she was a she was going to be a girl. All of the crap that I talked and this life that I’ve led…what else could she have been? I obviously never told you I thought she was a girl because it would have just blown your head up.

* I knew it, he knew it...this babe was destined for all thinks cupcake and pink.

How many times a day do you want to lose your shit on me? 

I don’t think it’s nearly as many as you would assume. I’ve always been cool hand Charlie, especially since last year’s medical scare, so it takes quite a bit to rile me up. Ethan on the other hand…

*I don't think I've been the easiest pregnant woman to deal with, so I was expecting this answer to go a different route. Poor guy hates sickness and I wouldn't hold back telling him how many times a day I got sick at work and bombard him with text messages. I'm glad it wasn't too bad on him though. 

What are you most excited about having a newborn again?

If I’m being honest, it’s the lovey eyes from all the college co-eds when they see me with my beautiful basic baby in my BABYBÖJRN at Starbucks. What? That’s not what you meant? I thought this was my safe place? What the hell? I have to sleep on the couch? For what? This is literal bullshit.

*No sleeping on the couch Charlie, there's middle of the night diaper changes and bottles to be had.

Do you realize how broke you're going to be for the next 30 years?

The way I look at it, Ethan will probably be living with us for at least the next 30 years and you’re already high maintenance so what’s another mouth to feed? As long as I get my Tesla, you guys can have whatever money is left from now until forever. Plus, how can I turn down Britney rompers and onesies that say “You Can’t Sit With Us”? I can’t, Emelia, I can’t.

What are you looking forward to with a girl? This is a whole new world for you.

I’m looking forward to terrible side ponies when you’re at work and her wearing UGGS in August because I can’t find her damn LeBrons. I’m looking forward to Daddy/Daughter dances and being better than Aubrey’s dad on Teen Mom 2. I can’t wait for her to love football and wrestling pay-per-views and eat chicken wings with me on the couch and I’m excited to teach her how to drive stick shift in a cemetery someday. I’m excited to do the Bad Boys 2 thing with Mike when some little Reggie comes over to pick her up for her first date and I’m excited to watch her graduate. What are YOU excited for?

*Daddy daughter dances are some of my favorite memories growing up, so this makes me really happy. I just can't wait to see all these sweet moments...but let's hold off on first dates until she's like 21.

Anything else you want to share or add?

I know that this has been a lot on you, but I am so incredibly proud of you and I could not ask for a better partner to take care of this sweet baby. She is going to be loved infinitely and probably spoiled nearly as much. She’s going to have haters early but just like her mom, these fools will never dull her sparkle. I cannot wait to see all of the amazing things she does and I know that my ride or die will be right there with me. I love you.

*I didn't expect this answer either. I thought it would be some sarcastic hilarity that usually comes out of his mouth, but thank you Charlie. I'm equally as blessed and although I don't have a clue what I'm in for, I'm ready for this new adventure with you.

Thank you friends for reading another edition of Charlie Chat, we always appreciate your comments...especially Charlie. Have a great start to your week!

September 22, 2017

Fall Reading List

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I love reading anytime of the year, but there's something about being cozy on the couch with a good book that makes me really happy. I've been getting back in to reading and am hoping it continues- Fall and Winter are my favorite times to dig in to a good book.
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
I actually already finished this, and didn't expect to so quickly--but you know I love a thriller. Right after her husband dies, Tanya flees town and is on the run even though she says it wasn't her. This isn't the first time she's been on the run and the story takes you through a wild adventure wondering...what is this woman really running from?!

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
Another domestic thriller that caught my eye about a couple who lives in New York with no problems, until the wife is missing. It's discovered that she was in an accident and can no longer remember a thing, and when she returns home and tries to move on something is too different. Now, everyone is a stranger.

The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert
A love story about a talented cider maker who gets a visit from a handsome man and his family and is  then led to make decisions based on her father's family business and groans from other members of her family. The handsome man's family and Sanna's life become intertwined in a story about love and magic...and anything dealing with cider is perfect for Fall.

The Self-Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser
One of my friends told me she was reading this and loving it- so I looked it up, and what a perfect concept. Shannon guides you through removing the thoughts that scare you to lead you to love yourself and put your dreams first. I'm a firm believer that if you can't love yourself first and foremost, you will struggle loving anything else. I think this would be a good read for anyone going through a tough time, or for a good pick me up reminding you what's important in life. I'm excited to read this one!

Between the library and my iPad, I like to keep busy reading...even if one book takes me several weeks. I linked some of my favorite cases, and fall cozy wear to lounge in below which make Fall even better. 

What are you reading or on your list to read this season?