Thursday, March 31, 2016

small

Since starting this business of mine, it has given me a complete new found appreciation of small businesses. I will be the first to admit I never fully grasped all the hard work, time and dedication it takes to get a business up and running. Now I am not saying I don't love the staples of a box department store or chain restaurant but there is something so idyllic knowing a person put the time and devotion in picking out that perfect product for you.

Here are a few great shops that encourage me to continue shopping small:


Brittany Garner Design - While I have not previously ordered from Brittany, a fellow blogger highlighted Brittany's' work earlier this week. I am all about some cheeky, humor and Brittany nails it!

Hattan Home - I actually reached out to Lindsay before I started and she was so sweet to respond with some tips. I love this precious collection of everything I seem to need :) I ordered some gifts from Hattan Home a few years ago and see many occasions in my future.

Waiting on Martha - Mandy is based in Atlanta so following her blog is a must but her shop is perfection. She even opened a pop-up store that I insisted to Aaron we must visit. This pineapple cocktail shaker would be a great bar cart addition.

Jenn Meador - While I have not personally ordered from Jenn, all her designs are fantastic. I love the pops of metallic in her artwork. Jenn and tons of other artists are great to follow on Instagram for pics of all their fabulous pieces.

Natalie Chang - Hand-lettering and printed partyware = love! Natalie's work is so fun and I am definitely pondering some of these monogrammed cups come summer.


Bobbins Design - I ordered from this precious store when my nephew was born and their customer service is great! Having to order something sight unseen is always nerve-wrecking but I had no doubt the final product would be perfect.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter 2016

 A great Easter weekend in the books! Little Miss has hunting down pat and thought an Easter basket was pretty cool :)
Unfortunately it was raining in our neck of the woods so we had to forgo the community Easter Egg Hunt and improvise with a hunt of our own. Mary Tilman caught on pretty quickly and realized the good eggs are the ones you shake and hear something inside. We also dyed eggs which she was sometimes a little over enthusiastic about hence my workout clothes and her XL smock.
Easter morning this little love bug looked gorgeous. My mother-in-law is quite the talented lady and makes these hand-sewn gowns herself. A glimmer of sun gave way to a quick photo session outside by the flower cross.

Apologies for the quick recap... I am dragging this Monday

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thoughts on Thursday

Thoughts on this lovely Thursday :)

I ordered these sandals for Easter... yet they haven't shipped. So like any sane person, I inquired to be told they won't ship until mid-April. What happened to good customer service where you communicated with people a little better? If they weren't so dang cute I would cancel them based on the principle, but I can think of some fun places to sport them in the coming months.


Maybe I am creepy but I love looking at houses. If your house comes up for sale in our neighborhood, you are asking for it to be MLS-stalked. Atlanta is full of gorgeous homes but this traditional, Southern style takes the cake. Something about all white and columns spell dream home right here.

I am a sucker for well-priced fun jewelry. I used the words "well-priced" opposed to inexpensive... which sounds cheap. Anywho I came across this Etsy artist on Instagram and her pieces are definitely on my birthday list. If too much fringe is wrong, I don't want to be right.


Terrain - an Anthropologie sister company - is maybe the cutest garden/home decor ever. I am always on the hunt for a great go-to gift and these take the cake. I would almost buy this just for the planters.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday Words

As cheeky as the above quote can be, it hits home this week. As I look at growing this new business of my mine, I instantly race to compare myself to other entrepreneurs that are three-plus years old. They have more followers, more inventory, more sales. They seem to have the perfect life, being able to devote their complete attention on growing their business. 

Saying this, we compare ourselves all the time. What if I had her legs or wardrobe? What if I drove that car or my house had that many square feet? Or gosh I would love a vacation home there! We constantly strive to have something bigger and better.

As of January 1st, my only goal was to be content. This is probably the hardest resolution yet. I constantly have to remind myself that my life is pretty darn awesome before I go down the road of envy. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing people in my life and blessed beyond belief with the opportunities I have been given.

Gosh I am getting sappy, deep lately but I think contentment is a resolution we can all get behind in the virtual world we are surrounded by these days.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Hippity Hoppity

Easter is this weekend and boy does it seem early. If these freezing temps could scoot out, that would be ideal as all of our Easter attire depends on it (just keeping it real).

Mary Tilman now understands the amazing-ness of free things. She loves a good bribe so I know this year's Easter basket with blow her mind. Like any good momma, I fill it with useful things, like shampoo and utensils. But who doesn't' love a wind-up bunny and candy :)


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thoughts on Thursday

- I just gifted myself some new summer wedges, courtesy of the Tory Burch Private Sale. Who doesn't love $150 off with eBates cash back--told you I love coupons :).

- I love the Gaines family on HGTV's Fixer Upper. To be honest, her style is not really my thing but boy are they not the cutest couple ever. She is a stunner and he has the cutest personality. I can't wait to buy their book this fall and read more about their marriage and life together.

- St. Patrick's Day has me thinking back to our trip in 2013. It was probably one of my favorite trips, hands down. The people, the scenery, the quality Hubs time.... I seriously want to go back soon.

- I appreciate all the love with yesterday's announcement. The support and sweet notes make this all the more exciting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Open for Business


Today is an exciting day! J. Wills, a children's boutique, has launched! This has been a secret and labor of love for the past few months, yet I am so excited this day has finally come!

Having a little girl, I love to dress her up in the cutest clothes (she has won the best dressed award at school a few times). Saying that, cute girl clothes are hard to find. The print is either too busy or the style is too grown up. It reminds me of that saying, "babies don't keep." They grow up too fast being the reason I love classic, timeless pieces that can be passed down for future generations to enjoy and create new, precious memories. Well, J. Wills aims to do just that. The goal is to provide timeless, quality pieces delivered with customer service that keeps people coming back while offering staple brands alongside up-and-coming designers.

The past few months have been a world-wind to source inventory, stock product and finalize a website. With most people having placed spring orders last year, I was behind the game when it came to inventory. Luckily I have met some amazing people and vendors along the way to help me in this new venture and teach me the ropes rather quickly. While learning a new business has made for a few busy months, it been so much fun! I get excited just thinking about where this little business can grow.

 

As with any big life event, I look back and just reflect. I am truly giddy to think about the future ahead for this little dream. I admit, the endeavor seemed daunting. I was scared. I didn't tell many people at all for the risk of failure. I didn't even  tell my dad if that tells you anything. The more I look back on what I have accomplished, I am pretty darn proud. I think your life succeeds if you let it and I vow to put in my all. Shoutout to the hubs for being my rock and support through this. Your support means the most to me and I am so lucky to have it.

Thanks for reading this far, if you have made it, and thanks for your support. If you have made it this far I know you are a keeper :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Weekend Recap

This post should actually be called, Weekend {not much to} Recap! Our weekend could be summed up by the awesome weather. We got a lot accomplished but also spent a lot of time outdoors.

Tile is a four letter cuss word in our house. The husband says he never wants to step foot in that bathroom again... only after I fake laughed and said "but you will for bathtime right?" The bathroom truly looks great and is a labor of love lots of time. Hopefully I will have a picture to share later this week.

Speaking of bathroom, what does it take for a girl to get a decently priced, classy shower curtain? I found a gorgeous one last night and wanted to throw up a little when it had a $356 price tag? Does it double as a ball gown? I am leaning towards this one but have read bad reviews on the monogramming size. Any recommendations would be phenomenal!


We had a birthday party this weekend so little Miss got all dolled up. Dress are few and far between in this house because they impede on her full-out sprints at school. I took this picture to capture our new shoes. News flash - if you need birth control, visit a kids shoe store during 10-12 on a Saturday. They should serve champagne to calm your nerves with kids literally running everywhere. This running everywhere then makes your own kid think it is a perfectly acceptable thing to participate in. Note: there was a cookie bribe involved.

This last picture sums up the weekend and our life. Winston wanted hammock time so Mary Tilman then insisted to join, only after Winnie felt unloved.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thoughts for a Thursday

It's Thursday! Hallelujah!

Spring is here! Yay for daffoils, boo for allergies. I feel like someone took a bat to my head. I don't know if anyone else is like this but allergy meds either make me super sleepy or don't even work. Although I will take fresh flowers anyday! If I was hosting Easter at my house I would totally tackle this gorg. thing!



The bathroom renovation is still happening. Public kudos to the hubs on the demo and week-long project undertaking. Public dismay to tile producers that can't make their products consistent. Uneven sheets + mismatch hexagon shapes = calling in the experts.

I ordered white jeans and I am ready to rock them in two weeks (I am an Easter rule follower). In college you could not have caught me in anything but "designer" jeans. Now I realize Gap does just fine. Plus I could buy three pairs of their pants for the price of one designer set. Not only a no-brainer but that equals another pair of shoes :)




The hunt for an Easter dress is on. When I say Easter dress, I really mean a multi-purpose dress I can also wear to upcoming weddings. Here is a gorgeous one from Banana Republic but I don't know if it is "Easter-y" enough.


Next Wednesday, I have a big surprise up my sleeve. It is not a baby (for those on Baby Number Dos watch) but a labor of love these past few months.... Eeek I can't wait!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Get Real

I have always thought of this little blog as not just a place to share pictures of the little with family and friends but to have an outlet. An outlet for thoughts, like a super public diary.

I like to write. Writing is part of my job. If I have something on my chest, I write. It is my outlet. So... here I write...

Last year was a hard year. Not hard in the fact of hurdles or huge life-changing events, but hard in the fact that I think I had to find myself again. The whole birth thing did a number on me. I just felt off. I felt stressed, overwhelmed and an overall emotional wreck. One second I would be a hormonal crazy woman wanting to scream at the top of my lungs and then I would just burst into tears.

I know they say women go through lots of changes after childbirth but I think the emotional part is something we don't talk about. We don't say you know what, your world has been rocked. Your body will never look the same, you may never have "me" time again... your life is just different now. We as women don't talk about it. We think admitting something is wrong is a fault; like we failed.
This is not a pity party by any means. This is a acknowledgement of my limits, faults and most importantly strengths. With all the downs, there are the ups. There are the ah-ha moments where you realize you are pretty blessed. You realize you need to stop comparing that instagram-worthy kitchen or realize those seventeen pins on how to lose your muffin top are pointless. It comes down to what makes you happy. Does that margarita make you happier than Zumba? Who cares if you own fifty pairs of shoes.  Just do you.

As you can read, there has been a lot of soul searching. Who am I? What legacy do I want to leave? What can I change to make myself happier? What do I want my daughter to think of me when she gets older?  I have realized I am who I am and I don't need any excuse for that. My mentor at work told me a few weeks ago to stay true to myself. She said that my reputation and hard work can supersede anyone who would try to break me down. It was kinda like a movie lightbulb as I cried in her office. I realized I need to stop trying to fit in a mold. I need to stop trying to be supermom, superwife, super-everything. I needed to just do me, ups, downs and all.

This post is not asking for a response. It was really for me to finally acknowledge I can be me and that is a-okay.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Weekend Recap {aka phone dump}

I am out of words today but wanted to share our weekend (also referred to as pictures of the little).

Top Left | This was our guest bathroom when I got home from work on Friday. Talk about pit in stomach. The hubs, bless him, worked all weekend long on our guest bathroom. I am super proud of him for taking it all on and it already looks like it belongs in this era (opposed to circa 1970).

Top Right | As of Friday, we have been together 10 years. This picture was when we were babies and I only had one chin.

Bottom Left | The little celebrated her half birthday on Friday so we treated her to our local sketchy Mexican restaurant. Really momma needed a margarita so it was a win-win for all.

Bottom Right | I got this precious little outfit  this weekend. Now, I just need spring to come so we can rock those baby legs all season long.
Top Left | With all the house work, MT and I prowled around town. We scored front row seats for the 15 second penguin waddle... #momwin

Top Right | If you live in Atlanta, buy an aquarium membership. Seriously two visits pay for the entire year. Side note: buy a zoo pass too... they have lost money on us. Then, you can be like us as we wave and say hello to all 5,000,000 fish

Bottom Left | You can wave to the whales too

Bottom Right | After nap, we did what any sane mother would do.... we went to the mall along with the other residents Atlanta. Thank goodness for the Great American Cookie Company because several bribes were involved.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake

I for some reason thought baking with a toddler would kill time and be a great bonding experience... haha insert laugh in face. She was stacking ingredients like building blocks and said a defiant "no" every time I offered to help stir. Luckily the husband swooped in to play "princesses" while I finished up.



Here is a great recipe that is almost to pretty to eat (almost):
 
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
Icing
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice
DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and butter for crumb topping. Mix until crumbly and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and milk to combine. Mix in lemon zest. Next, add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in blueberries.
  • Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
  • Bake at 350º for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and remove ring. 
  • Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice to create a thin glaze. Drizzle icing on cake.
- Recipe from Barbara Bakes -

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

decorate with a {discount}

If you know me I love a good deal. I am not a search-a-flea-market type person but I rarely pay full price on anything. That being said, deals don't only apply to clothing. I am a lover of home decor and throwing in a discount makes it a win-win in my book. There are some great resources available online without having to break the bank.