Blog Archives

Lilly Pulitzer Zia Skirt

alittlebitofem lilly pulitzer zia skirt

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alittlebitofem beach

First, I want to say that I’m here. I’m just fine. 🙂 My full-time career is managing employee benefit communications for clients, and this is the busiest time of year for me. So my time has to be devoted to my clients and less to my blog. So the next few months, posts will definitely be sporadic. So bear with me (and thank you for caring!).

Labor Day weekend we did get away for a few days to Ft. Walton Beach in Florida. Of course I had purchased a few things online at Lilly’s huge sale, but I went to the store in Mirmar Beach to see what they had left. I picked up this great skirt for about $35. I would much rather throw on a skirt or dress than shorts, so this is perfect for me. Cotton and comfy – so easy to throw on with just a white t-shirt! And look, I can even jump in it, LOL.

The girl got a few things at the sale too, including these super cute shorts and tank top. She loves her Lilly just like her momma! ❤ This shot is something we always try to do at the beach. I think we started it when she was probably 7 or so. I love taking photos like this so you can go back and compare how she’s growing up.

On me: Skirt – Lilly Pulitzer Zia Skirt; Earrings – Kendra Scott Danielle; Shirt – Gap

On the girl: Tank top – Lilly Pulitzer; Shorts – Lilly Pulitzer Ocean View

14 Years and Counting

jim and em 14 years

I wanted to take a few minutes to wish this guy a Happy 14th Anniversary. Fourteen years ago, we dedicated our love to each other in front of many family and friends. Since then, we’ve had two kids, grieved over too many family members we’ve lost, moved to the South, rescued two St. Bernards, brought a French Bulldog home, watched our daughter go through open heart surgery, bought two homes, changed four jobs, traveled a ton, and written a story with many ups and downs. We’ve written our own story that tackles every emotion. Every marriage is tested, ours included. No one is perfect. No marriage is perfect. People make mistakes. Forgiveness is given – and earned. Focus shifts to the children, without remembering why you became a couple in the first place. But over the last year, we’ve taken time to start a new chapter. Well, I guess it’s more of starting the next chronicles of our family instead of just one chapter.

I love this man. More than ever. I’m lucky he chose me to be his wife and the one to spend his life with. He’s my biggest cheerleader, but also keeps me level headed when I tend to think with my emotions. I wake up every morning thinking how lucky I am to have him and our family. I’ll never take it for granted.

“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”  — Maya Angelou 

Mom and Daughter Bonding Time – Love It!

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Last week, the girl and I saw Ariana Grande and Rixton in concert. Going to concerts has turned into mommy and daughter adventures. And I love every moment…and I hope she does, too.

When we were getting ready for the show, I was just looking at my little girl and realizing that she is growing up too fast. You know when they are babies and you just want them to keep reaching those milestones? “I can’t wait for her to sit up. I can’t wait for her to walk. I can’t wait until she gets out of her car seat.” Those milestones come and go so quickly. I just can’t believe she’s going to be 11 in a few short months. As I was fixing my hair, she got in my closet (like she always does) to play in my high heels. When she put one pair on – she was almost as tall as me! AHHHHHH! I know the day will come when she will actually look me eye to eye. It will be here before I know it.

I’m trying to learn to enjoy it all. Since you can’t take time and slow it down, you have to live in the moment. Put the phones down. Enjoy the time you are spending with your children. Before the concert, we ate at P.F. Changs and just talked. About anything and everything. I think that was my favorite part of our evening. Just hearing about her school day and swimming and just life as a fifth grader. I want her to always know I will be there to listen.

We both enjoyed the concert. I have to say Rixton was a great opener. They knew how to engage the crowd – and they are great singers. Did I mention their British accents are awesome? I’m a sucker for accents. Ariana has some big pipes for such a petite girl. I could tell it was her first headlining tour; it seemed a little unpolished as she constantly exited the stage to change and there were big gaps of time. I wouldn’t rate it in my top shows I’ve ever seen, but the girl enjoyed it, and that’s what matters. I bought the tickets for her (and I’m so glad she didn’t want that $40 concert t-shirt either!).

I’m looking forward to many more mother daughter bonding adventures! How do you bond with your daughter?

Me: Dress – Anthropologie (super sale!!); Sandals – Kohl’s (old); Necklace – Tiffany; Watch – Rolex

Girl: Dress – Lilly Pultizer via ThredUp; Flip flops – Target (old) 

Love Those Blackhawks On and Off the Ice

I grew up watching the Blackhawks and going to games at the old Chicago Stadium. Why? Because my daddy loves the Blackhawks. 🙂 Keeping up with the Blackhawks keeps me connected to my dad. We have a ton of stuff to talk about, but in some way I know since he never had a son, it’s my attempt to be able to talk sports with him.

kane and toews fans

When I was up in Chicago in December, my dad even surprised me with buying me a Kane jersey. Seriously, it was the sweetest gesture (especially since my daughter and son are the ones who receive the gestures…they have him wrapped around their fingers!).

I follow the Blackhawks on and off the ice. I know so many sports teams are involved in their communities, and it warms all fans’ hearts. These guys can bring so much joy to so many people by doing the littlest things. The team puts out videos on Blackhawks TV, and some of these videos can bring you to tears. Let’s take a look at a few of my recent favorites…and see if your eyes are dry afterwards.

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Now, I know this post is about the Blackhawks, but this video from a Bruins game tugged at my heart strings, too!!

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Daddy’s Girl

I don’t care that I’m 34. I will always call my dad “daddy.”

As an only child, I’m very close to both of my parents. But, I’ll always remember weekend errands with my daddy. Seems like we would always go pick something up at True Value…and end the day at the car wash. I loved hanging out with him, and I always looked forward to Saturdays.

He also tends to give me advice at just the right times. And when he does, I always listen. His advice is invaluable. He also always has a way to throw in some dry humor as well; it’s his way. I’ve learned so much about the working world from him, with the best advice being to “Choose your battles wisely.”

He’s also been the greatest Pop-pop to my kiddos. He is wrapped around both of their little fingers. And he would do absolutely anything for them – and they know it. I look at his relationship with them, and it warms my heart.

Here’s to you, daddy! Love you!

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Do you Kinect?

For Christmas, Santa brought the kiddos an Xbox 360 with the Kinect sensor. Now, I was hesitant of this gift at first because the last thing I wanted is the kiddos sitting on their booties playing video games. BUT…I was completely wrong!

The Kinect is awesome. All of the games we have bought for it so far get all players up and moving. No controller necessary. In the winter months, even in Georgia, it can be hard to get outside to play, so the Kinect is one of the best indoor options in my book. Last night, the boy came upstairs sweating he was playing so hard. Disney’s Rush game is currently their favorite, and I’ll admit I was down there playing it with them this morning.

Of course momma had to buy a few games as well. Just Dance 2014, Hip Hop Experience, and Zumba Fitness have joined the game collection. I did the 45-minute Zumba “class” today on the Easy level and it kicked my booty! I was sweating just as much as I was in class the other day.

So if you are hesitant on buying your kids – or the whole family – a video gaming system, try the Xbox with the Kinect sensor. It truly is fun for everyone!!

Xbox Kinect

Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Happy birthday to my “baby,” who turns 7 today! It’s amazing how fast the baby became a toddler then became a little boy. The hubs and I have tried to learn to treasure all of those little moments because before we know it, both of our “babies” will be off to college and then having their own kids! I wish time could just slow down just a little.

Here’s my baby throughout the years. I may be a little biased, but he is just the cutest thing EVER!! Happy birthday, buddy!

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A Favorite Thing – My Hubby

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You know how I said last month how my children were two of my favorite things…and so is my husband, but that post will come later…well….it’s later.

One thing that is funny about my husband is when I first met him, I thought he was kind of a jerk. I was a marketing intern at a zoo, while he was a full-time zookeeper. He shaved like once a week and he just seemed very straight forward with zero personality. On Fridays, I didn’t have class, so I worked all day at the zoo. Well, that’s when we started to bond and become friends. I really got to know him and learned how my first impression was completely wrong.

As we started hanging out, I also saw him around his nephews and niece. I would constantly think to myself, “Wow. This man is going to be a wonderful father someday.” And I would like to say how completely right I was about that thought!

And since I write about fashion so much – I have to side track real quick with this side note. OMG. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not great fashion sense to 10 being the best dressed man, I would have given him about a 2.5. But one good thing, he was completely open to letting me help him shop. And I still love shopping for him to this day!

Now…back to the story…we got engaged when I was 21 and he had just turned 28. My mom and dad were hesitant since we hadn’t dated very long, but they already loved him. You want to know how he won my mom over? After our first dinner out together, he wrote my parents a hand written note thanking them for a wonderful evening. Who does that? Uh, my husband does. And it worked.

We got our first house right before our wedding, and life has been busy ever since then. So that’s a whopping 10.5 years now. We have gone through a lot, which I know most marriages do. We’ve rescued a St. Bernard, got pregnant 6 months after we were married (surprise!), found out I have a blood disorder called Factor V Leiden Mutation, lost my husband’s mom to cancer, had another baby, watched our 3-year old go through open heart surgery, got new jobs, moved to the South to a town we had never even visited, drove a mini-van (what?! oh, yes!), transitioned our son to a facility daycare when he was used to home daycare, lost my husband’s dad, lost my grandmother and grandfather…and I’m sure I’m missing a lot of other things in between, too.

Our relationship has been tested a few times, but through it all, we’ve learned to love each other for who we are. Through thick and thin. Through mistakes and faults. Through sickness and health. Through grieving and extreme happiness. That’s what marriage is, folks. It’s a partnership. It’s being a team. I am blessed to have my husband as my teammate in this crazy life of parenting two children and being working parents.

I’m so lucky he knows me so well…my quirks and all. He even knows exactly what I want to eat when I’m sick (Panda Express anyone?!). I’m so lucky I can be so dependent upon him sometimes because I know he will be there. For me. For our children. For my parents. His heart is the size of Mount Everest. How am I so lucky?

Here’s a few pictures from our 10-year vow renewal. It was an unbelievably touching moment that we will never forget. It was a testament to our commitment to each other – no matter how crazy our lives can get.

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I love you, honey! I hope you know how much.

You are definitely my favorite thing.

Favorite Things Thursday – My Kiddos

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Now, this post isn’t about my favorite makeup or my favorite accessory…this edition of “a few of my Favorite Things Thursday” is dedicated to my favorite two things in the whole world. My kids.

I know I usually don’t talk about them or the hubs on the blog a lot. They are a part of my life that I just don’t want to share with the whole world. But today, I just felt like it. 🙂

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See these two? I’m a little biased, but they are the cutest things EVER. I had the girl right after I turned 24, so I was a young momma. But I wouldn’t change that for the world. Her personality is one in a million. If I’m stressed or had a bad day, what does she do? She’ll come over and just hug me for the longest time. Her heart is so full of goodness, it’s amazing. And speaking of that heart, we just passed her 6-year anniversary for her open heart surgery. Talk about one of the most scary times in my husband’s and my life! Just thinking of the chance your baby could be taken away from you, makes you learn to appreciate what loving a child is all about. It puts your life (and your priorities) into perspective real quick.

The little man, although extremely shy to outsiders (he has selective mutism), is the sweetest, most loving boy. When he says he loves me, I just want to melt. I’m hoping he’ll stay this way forever, but I know the stage in life when I’m the most annoying person in the world will be here before I know it. His spirit and demeanor just make me smile. One of my favorite moments is when we are traveling and he’ll be deep into watching a movie in the car, I’ll look back at him from the front seat, and he just looks at me and gives me the biggest smile on the planet. I’ll reach to the back seat and pat his leg, and then his little hand pats mine. Love. That. Boy.

Being a working mom is challenging at times, but I’ve never known it any other way. I feel the time I do have with my kids is special. And truthfully, I think sending them to daycare and summer camps has helped shape them into the great little people they are today. Do I ever get working mom’s guilt? Oh absolutely. But the kids now know how to get along without mommy or daddy being right by their side. It’s helped them gain independence at a young age…and I’m so glad for that.

By no means do I want to speed up time, but I am looking forward to seeing the people they are going to grow up to be. Will she become a nurse? Will he outgrow his shyness and anxiety in new situations? How many grandbabies will they give us? 🙂

My kiddos are definitely my two favorite things. Hands down. (Oh, and my hubs is the third, but I’ll save that post for another day!)

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