Dream Big & Buy The Shoes: September 2017

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?

September 20, 2017

Baby Lawrence's Nursery Inspiration

One of my favorite things is home decor and browsing online, Home Goods, Marshall's and so many more places for new fun items to add a little something extra.

So naturally, shopping for baby girl's nursery and choosing things that will work for the space has been so fun. SO many people have asked if we are going with a cupcake themed nursery, seems natural since at this point her second middle name should be Cupcake...but I just couldn't find what I was looking for. 
Almost always, I consult Chuck about his opinion when it comes to what I call,  big decisions. With our wedding, I asked about pretty much every detail, design, color, cookie...he always said--"Whatever you want." The same has gone for baby girl...he's researched some things like the monitor, and for what we will have to deal with once she's graduated NICU- decided on an Owlet and some things on the registry but other than that he's given me free reign. I wonder what he would do if I decided on straight Bubble-Yum pink everywhere...maybe regret his laid back attitude. 

Turns out, I want something pretty simple. I want it to be a peaceful place, a room where dreams are made and love lingers and keep it light and airy. So, a nursery with Dream Big vibes is what Baby Lawrence is getting. We are sticking to white, gold, and blush and moon, stars and maybe a unicorn here and there.
Some of the inspiration came from Pinterest, and a lot from browsing website after website and piecing things together. It's so fun and easy to get lost window shopping online and next thing you know your whole camera roll is filled with screenshots and ideas.


I'm kind of kicking myself now that I'm stuck on bedrest, because I kept saying...oh let's buy the crib today and then a few days would pass and then something else would come up and I still hadn't clicked purchase. We are painting the crib and changing table gold because we don't want a natural or all white color for those...something a little different is more fun!

The hardest part was finding bedding that wasn't too busy and went with the overall color scheme and didn't take away from the peaceful vibes...luckily, Amazon to the rescue as always. And isn't it so crazy the name of it is Amelia?

I wanted a few simple shelves for little things, maybe a book or two...but definitely some little keepsakes and found this adorable cloud shelf that will be perfect.

Already purchased is a few smaller rugs, including this perfect shaggy star rug and a second small white one...can't have too many of those, right blogger babes?!

One of my favorite pieces that we will be adding to the nursery is a beautiful Dream Big sign that I was gifted last year from my in-laws. They found it at an antique store and it is absolutely amazing and I've been waiting for the perfect space to hang it...I was originally thinking a home office. But now, it will be in baby girl's room after it's painted gold. I can't wait to see it on the wall!

I'm so excited to see it all come together in the next few months. I figure once she is finally here and needs to be resting in NICU this will be a good project to keep our minds off the worrying and still focus on our little girl. This whole journey has been quite the adventure and I seriously can't wait until we are all home together sitting in this dreamy, cozy space.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on baby girl's dreamy haven!!


September 18, 2017

What Would You Do?

Not too long ago, Chuck and I were sitting in the room during one of his visits. We were hanging out, just talking and he asked, "What's the first thing you're going to do when you finally get home?!"
I replied, "lay in bed." You see, our bed is my most favorite place. Our couch is ultra comfy and I can hang out there for hours, but our bed...is like floating on clouds. If I could just be on bedrest there, life would be a heck of a lot better.

A few days later I got a really strong craving for chicken wings. Like, of every kind. I want some crispy ranch. I want some buffalo ranch. Hell, I'll even take BBQ at this point. So, I changed my request for my first day home a little bit.

When I arrive home sweet home, I will order chicken wings and when they arrive I will start a bubble bath with my favorite bath bomb and place myself in the bathtub and eat a dozen chicken wings. I may cry and will probably need tissues while eating and bathing because this is bound to be emotional, but it will be my own little slice of happiness. 

Then, I plan on putting on my cozy robe, laying in bed and drinking a glass of wine...because I will no longer be pregnant. And I can do these things. I decided I won't do the wine and chicken wings and bubble bath simultaneously because things could get real ugly and I may never leave the tub.

Sitting in a hospital bed days on end...3 weeks and 5 days today, to be exact can do some funny things to you. I've got A LOT done- luckily this has given me more time to blog and research things and come up with post ideas. I'm back in my reading groove and luckily get to work remotely for my salon and spa throughout the week as well. I have a pretty big room, cards, flowers and love surrounding me and Netflix too. Life isn't too bad. But not getting to walk outside and get in my car and just drive, or snapping a picture of the sky whenever I please or feeling fresh air at any given time can really mess with your mood. 

It's hard to say that I won't ever take some things for granted. I have road rage, and will probably complain about driving again in the near future. But, fresh air, chicken wings at any time, bubble baths and my bed...I'll take you ANY day of the week. When I finally get home, I may not want to leave and that's perfectly fine with me. I have all I need inside those walls. It's all about perspective. Chicken wings baby...life is good!

Tell me...what would you do when you got home? I would love to hear it!


September 15, 2017

Currently Loving

Happy Friday loves! I hope everyone is having a good week and that if you're in the path of Irma that things are settling down and soon you're back to normalcy.

I wanted to share some things I'm currently crushing on...from beauty, to fashion and home decor--all of my favorite things! I love to online shop, and sometimes will add things to my cart and let them sit there and debate if I really want or need them. 
A LOT of shopping happened during the Nordstrom sale, but I stocked up on a bunch of basics and things that will last me several years so I don't feel too bad about it. I am LOVING mustard for fall and red too. One of the cardigans I ordered from Nordstrom is still on back order and won't be here until late November and the wait is killing me...so maybe I need another one ;)

Let's get to it....

These Shop Riff Raff mules- OMG! So cute and the price tag is not bad at all...except they're currently sold out in my size. I should have bought them last night the minute I saw them.

I know I'm not the only basic white girl obsessed with Bath and Body Works candles and the labels this year make them even better. Hands down all time favorite for me is Pumpkin Pecan Waffles--total yum!

The search for a good lip plumper is STILL on-- can anyone recommend one they have liked? I tried a Too Face one and the smell was too much for me, and I really don't feel like it worked. I came across this Dior Lip Maximizer and may give it a try but would love to hear from you. Anything tried and true you can send my way?

Charlotte Russe hasn't been a store I've stepped in to for years, but I came across this cardigan and think it looks so cozy. One of my favorite things about Fall is a comfy sweater and scarf...and this one is perfect. 

Speaking of cozy...blankets are a total weakness for me and time after time Target does it again with this winner-- it just makes me want to lay on the couch and watch Netflix!

Last but not least, this mini boxwood wreath is SO cute --and you have the option for a scent. I'm thinking these would make wonderful Christmas gifts for anyone who loves home decor. Boxwood is always a good option.



Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy every second--it's supposed to be beautiful, so take in that fresh air for me ;)  What's on your current love list?!


September 13, 2017

How Do You Prepare?

I fully intended on having this post go up Monday...but the draft was empty due to a never ending migraine over the weekend and not having the proper words to express my feelings.
I'm not sure I still have the right words, but I'll try. The devastation that Harvey and Irma have caused absolutely blows my mind. All the worrying, the stress, the damage, the lives at risk and much MUCH more...I just can't comprehend it. 

I have family in Texas, friends and family in Florida, and even friends I've never met in these areas too ( hi blogger friends!) who were and are constantly on my mind. It got to the point of me worrying about power, cell phone service and more that I obnoxiously sent every tip I found and read about from those who went through Harvey to our best friends preparing for Irma. I then asked if we could have a safe word, because what if their phones were dying and we couldn't text the normal paragraphs we do?!
The Weather Channel didn't leave the TV for a good 48 hours...that was a first for me. I'm not big on weather and news watching all the time because unfortunately a lot of it is sad and stresses me out too much.

As family and friend prepared I thought...how do you even prepare for something like this? Children, animals, houses, gas, power, food...it's so much to process. People judged other people for not getting out, or attempting to make the trek out of their homes. How do you decide? It seems pretty much impossible to make the right decision when so many sources are pulling you in different directions.

It made me think about life on a larger scale--how do you prepare for anything difficult you're about to face? You probably make a list of what's most important and go from there. Safety, necessities and beyond and work your way down the list before whatever is about to happen, just happens.

You rely on strength, faith and love. You do what you need to do and make the most out of the situation you have been dealt. It's not easy and you don't know the outcome, but you make it through stronger and most likely more grateful.

Whether it's a hurricane, a tornado, a huge life change, or something serious happening to you...I think having a positive mindset going in to things or attempting to prepare can help. While I've never dealt with anything on Harvey or Irma's level, the situations I'm reading about-- people seem genuinely relieved and grateful for the outcome thus far. Yes, some have lost everything and I can't speak for ANYONE, but when you're still alive after something like this I'm sure you come out somewhat of a different person.

There's no best way to prepare, and that's my point. It's natural and human to stress, worry, and not know what to do in these situations but following your heart and relying on your strength and the support of others can help. Here's a secret--nobody's ever ready.

To all my friends and family having to deal with these disasters--I'm constantly thinking about you and hope this all ends soon. Sending love and positive vibes to you all! XO!

September 8, 2017

A Few Unexpected Ways I've Changed...

I feel as though I've changed lately, and that can be a good thing. Looking back on the past several months things that have gone on and ways I've reacted to those situations have made me proud of myself. It's not that I'm a brand new person, just that I've grown a little more.

I've had this post in my drafts for a while, and all this quiet time in the hospital led me to hit publish. In some ways, I wish it wouldn't have taken a miracle like pregnancy or a hard time to realize all these things, but it's a blessing to feel as though I've changed for the better.

I've learn to let things go a little more.
I have anxiety and a touch of OCD when related to my diagnosis. When I was first diagnosed years ago I was a little embarrassed, but it was good to know what was really going on and now I feel okay talking about it. Often times my anxiety hinders me in certain ways- like getting overwhelmed at work because I'm an organizational freak and very set on a schedule, and when things don't go that way it messes me up. At home, I'm used to a very tidy space. I like dishes put away, clutter out of sight and things just right.
When I got pregnant, I got very sick. Most days I was in bed at 7 pm for the night with piles of laundry on the floor and my lunch bag not even unpacked. This quickly became the norm, and it became okay with me. I learned to get go and not get so upset that the house wasn't perfect. I can't tell you how long a laundry basket would sit on the floor before Chuck or I took care of it. There's more to life than an immaculate house 24/7. I wanted to spend the times I felt good doing something I enjoyed and being together as a family, not cleaning or stressing.

I've realized what's truly important.
It's the little things in life that really have made me the happiest. Yes, I still love shopping...a walk through Home Goods with a Starbucks in hand is seriously a perfect afternoon for me, but to be honest I've been buying less and not needing all the things. I wouldn't call myself a minimalist, although Chuck and I talked about really cleaning out stuff we don't need and use because why keep it around?! Things like Ethan having a good day, Chuck nailing a big work project and those types of things really make me the happiest. Sitting at home relaxing as a family watching a movie and eating popcorn is my idea of a great night and driving around doing nothing on a Sunday afternoon is complete perfection!

All you need is love.
I thought 2016 was going to be a great year...I mean it was, until about the end of September and then it was a huge smack in the face. Going in to 2017 I had a feeling something was going to be different, and maybe that was me getting pregnant...but it's still been a crazy year. I don't like to complain, I mean we all whine from time to time right...but being honest, aside from this baby being a huge blessing and making us so happy- this has been ROUGH. I probably won't quit saying it-but I couldn't get through all this and most tough things in life without love and support. I'm a planner- in every way, shape and size...and when I can't plan things, I freak. We didn't have a nursery ready yet, and at first that made me worry, cry and flat out panic...but at the end of the day, we need some necessities for her...and love. That's it, just love. We will make it through with out a fancy mobile or chandelier hung.

Yes, a lot of what I wrote applies to my pregnancy, but you don't have to be a Mom or be pregnant to realize these things. I had plenty of bad days before this and there will be more. I've just come to see that there's more to life than worrying, new bags and all the other stuff in between. Will I stop shopping? Nope. Will our baby have a bigger closet than me? Probably. But- it's about learning the rest and knowing that at the end of the day love and strength will get us through anything. You may not always be strong, I'm not...but I guarantee you if you stop and count your blessings and think about things a little deeper you most certainly will have a better day.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and stop to take in the little things. Hug someone you love. Have a few minutes of peace and quiet. Enjoy life!


September 5, 2017

August Favorites

Wow...it's September already?! I'm not a big one of rushing time or even from one season to the next, I mean I get excited for certain things like the first sip of a PSL, and the twinkle of a Christmas light (too soon?) but as I get ahem, older I like to savor time a little more.
A bunch of rambling just to tell you it's time for another monthly recap of my favorites! This has been one of my...lack for a better word, favorite posts to do time after time. I really enjoy seeing what's out there on the Internet and finding different stories to share with all of you. And with all of that being said...this is probably the biggest round-up I've ever done. Let's savor the Summer a little more and check out my August favorites- a link up with Macy and I.

Favorite App: I was working on a way to really be conscious of my daily water intake and wanted an easy app, and found Water Tracker. I have a few cups I use that are 20 oz. and work best for making sure I get enough daily. 

Favorite Fashion: I always enjoy Pamela's relaxed and chic looks--she pulls off so many things effortlessly, this casual classic outfit being one of them. 

Favorite Career Post: Many of us know Amanda from blogging, but it's not her only side project--she manages a full plate. Her post about side hustles being the new normal was so inspiring, especially coming from her and all she does. It reminded me that sometimes blogging can be a lot, but if I keep working hard it can continue to open doors. And sometimes, it's just about making ourselves happy. Whether it's blogging, painting, an Etsy shop or being a health coach...whatever else you have to offer the world outside of your 9-5, you should!

Favorite Instagram Post: I follow allll sorts of cupcake places, travel accounts and of course Disney Springs. This picture popped up on my feed one day and I couldn't stop laughing. This cutie, the Cupcake ATM, and allll that sass! I love it!
Favorite Blogging Post: Do I even need to tell you at this point how much I enjoy Dana's posts? She kills it with another one on her thoughts of the growing blogging industry, it's a must read for all us who show up to share our lives and thoughts online. The blogging world--it's over-saturated, but damn if it's not totally worth it. You'll enjoy this one blogger friends!

Favorite Awareness Post: Kristin is wonderful in spreading awareness about chronic illness and shares her beauty must have items that help streamline a routine if you are someone who lives with this too. Some of the items on her list you can find in my bathroom too, so I know they are great for saving time!

Favorite Moment: We went to Pittsburgh for a family reunion on Chuck's side and got to enjoy lots of family time with my in-laws from North Carolina. Pittsburgh has a special place in my heart, so Pirates games, boat rides and all the fun stuff that comes with the city is awesome to enjoy time and time again. It was a fun weekend!
A post shared by emelia🖤 (@emeliaanne_) on
Favorite Read: A great article about self respect and how it relates to changes in your life-- like changing your mind and not feeling bad, being creative and so many more good points.

Favorite Advice: I think a lot of us get in rut's from time to time...what to post, what to do to inspire others, etc...Katey wrote a lot of great ideas on how to get out of a creative rut. My favorite take away was to hone in on what the rut is telling you.

Favorite DIY: Remember the thoughts I shared from the bathtub? Turns out I really enjoy baths more these days. Actually, Chuck just asked me today what the first thing I'll do when I get home is. This may be it...take a bath and lay in our heavenly bed. Anyways, Kenzie shared this beautiful DIY for Floral Bath Salts and I'm totally doing this in the Winter. 

Favorite Travel Post: Okay, okay...we all know it, I love Boston. How could you not?! This about sums up my love with the best places to watch a sunset in the city.  Sky pics and one of my favorite places--YES Alyssa- 2 months in a row I've shared her posts in this category...sorry, not sorry!

Favorite Baby/ Littles Post: I've followed Tara on Instagram for years and always loved her style, but oh my goodness if little Livvy, her daughter is not the cutest thing alive! She always looks adorable and has such a fun style of her own thanks to her Mama, and Tara shared her favorite places to shop for littles--you'll be adding items to your cart so fast.

Favorite Recipe: I'm a sucker for baked goods, hi cupcakes I'm talking to you! Cara shared her recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins...are you drooling yet?!! They sound pretty easy to make, I'm sure are delicious, and come on...who doesn't let bananas go bad ;)

Favorite Tip: I shared last week how I save time grocery shopping--it's seriously a life saver. The few places I don't mind walking around are Wegman's because of the flowers and macarons ;) and Aldi's for the great deals. Here's 8 Aldi shopping secrets to help you plan your next trip.

Favorite Dream Big Posts in August:
About Me In 3's 
A Thank You
My Latest Ulta Haul

If you made it through all of that...WOO-HOO and high five to you! I hope you found some links and reads you enjoyed this month. I am trying to get back to a normal M-W-F posting schedule, but I won't be here tomorrow due to this post today...but here's to some regular scheduling coming soon!

What was one of your favorite parts of August? Or share a post of yours with me in the comments!
Link up with Macy and I for our monthly recap every month, we would love to have you!



September 1, 2017

My Favorite Recent Amazon Buys

Amazon has become a staple in my life the past few years, there's pretty much nothing I can't wait two days for. I thought I would share some of my favorite recent Amazon buys, they may be random...but who doesn't like some of that?!
amazon-buys

Tyler Glamorous Wash, Diva- let me start by saying, I have switched to Norwex laundry detergent for safer purposes for our family...but, I found this on Amazon and heard people rave about it and had to try it. It's pricey, but I only use it for our sheets, blankets and sometimes towels...it's heavenly and I may be addicted. You only need a splash which is nice, so it lasts for several loads. I warn you NOT to buy this if you want your guests to ever leave your house ;)

I Need Coffee Sleep Shirt- I have been really trying to increase the comfort level of my PJ's...such an adult thing to say. As much as I love t-shirts and shorts, I'm really digging sleep shirts lately. I have a few from Victoria's Secret, but wanted a little more inexpensive one to add to my closet and this was the winner. I mean, we always need coffee...and for the price, it is just right. It's 100% cotton and like an oversized comfy tee.

best-comfy-pajamas


Kitchen Pantry Organizer- I am still working on getting our pantry organization down to a science since moving in to our new house, but this was one of my first purchases. Currently, this is in a cabinet for our lids...I feel like they always get in the way and we don't use them every time we cook, so this was a perfect solution. I may get another for baking sheets since it works great.

amazon-home-buys


Adjustable Bar Stool- at our new house we have a breakfast bar, and one of Ethan's favorite things is sitting there eating his snacks, or doing his homework and just hanging out. I go both ways on furniture- I can see spending a good amount for quality, resistance and more...but if I can save a few bucks I'm also down with that. To start, I purchased one of these...Ethan is picky to say the least and has a strong opinion and I wanted him to love the stool he would be sitting at all the time :) It passed the test, so we added another and I may add 2 more so we eventually all have a seat at the bar if we want. For just a few extra dollars I added the 3 year warranty also...because, teenagers.
best-kitchen-seating


Pyrex Lids- this may be just news to me, but you can by lids ONLY on Amazon for your Pyrex. Thank the kitchen gods, but how is it that we lose lids to this stuff all the time?! Now, there's an answer...it's the simple things guys.

Revlon Mini Tweezers- I always had a pair of mini tweezers, until the move...and it was another thing lost in the shuffle. I bought this 2 pack of Revlon ones and all is right in my world again, for some reason my fingers operate better with these than regular sized ones.

Makeup Storage Case- this became the main reason for this post today, my amazing makeup case. I've had a few questions when I've done some beauty and makeup posts about where my storage system is from. Amazon of course! I've bought one at T.J. Maxx in the past, and another size on Amazon...but this one is legit. It holds SO much stuff, has a built in liner inside the drawers and doesn't get all scratched up and weird like some of my other ones did.
cheap-makeup-organization

What have you bought and loved recently from Amazon? Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites!

Hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend-- remember to link up with Macy and I on Tuesday September 5th for our Monthly Recap...share your favorites, goals, memories and more!