And tomorrow it will be April....

WOW. Where did the last couple months go? It's been nutty around here, but I do want to get back to blogging a bit during my birthday month. I'm starting off with my traditional "wish list" for Jimmy... but will hopefully do a nail polish dupe post (comparing two polishes that seem very similar to each other), an update about my resolutions and my progress there, and a post about Skylar and how much she is GROWING (seriously, she's getting SO BIG!!). So, without further ado... here's my birthday wishlist for Jimmy:

A print of this lovely picture:

(Working on details of this and I'll get back to you about it).

(I'm really tired of guessing at gauges. This would be SO helpful!)

(Copper, size 8)

Cross-Stitch Alphabet Book

Another Cross-Stitch Alphabet Book

Will add to this in the next few days....

(LOVE YOU, baby!)

xo, Emmie

From 2013 to 2014 or how I did on my 2013 Resolutions...

Before looking forward I like to glance back a bit. In 2013 I had 8 resolutions to work on throughout the year. I really meant to post progress reports throughout the year, but it didn't happen... so, here's a final report on the 2013 resolutions!

(In no particular order)

Resolution 1: Read More. I have so many books on my “to read” list. I want to start working my way through them finally. At this point reading at all would be an improvement to the last few months. So, my “goal” is to read at least 2 books a month in 2013!

How I did: I'm calling this one a success! I read at least 2 books a month throughout the year consistently. I still don't read a ton but it's definitely becoming more of a habit and I'm enjoying it more. Looking forward to continuing to get through my "to read" list in 2014! :)

Resolution 2: Make/do something off my Pinterest at least 4x a month. I’d like to do something once a week, but until Skylar is a bit bigger its hard to do crafts a lot. Really, I just want to start DOING the things I see as “good ideas” regularly… Instead if just “pinning” them and forgetting them. This resolution could include recipes, dress style, hair & makeup ideas, & polish inspiration.

How I did: Successful. For the most part. LOL. I'm calling this a success, but not because I really did 4 things off my pinterest every month... It's more like I used a recipe or an idea from one of my social media sites (Pinterest, Instagram, Fb, etc) at least 4x a month pretty consistently. The point of this resolution was to get in the habit of DOING things I saw online that I wanted to try. ... of actually utilizing the ideas I found -- instead of just seeing them and never acting on them. It's now a part of my general lifestyle to try out ideas, improve on them, and make things my own that I find online. Definitely going to continue this throughout 2014!

Resolution 3: Exercise! Get back to exercising! Goal is 3-5 times a week.

How I did: I had varying success for this one in 2013. I kinda ignored it for part of the year, but really got more involved with exercise toward the end of the summer. Then things got busy and exercise fell by the wayside. This is a disappointment for me.... because I truly do want to make exercise more a part of my lifestyle. So. I will try-try-try again in 2014.

Resolution 4: Cook Dinner more often. For a while I used the excuse that we were unpacking & the kitchen wasn’t put together to avoid cooking dinner every night. The funny part is, I LIKE cooking! It gives me a sense of accomplishment to cook and/or bake food for Jimmy and I (& eventually Skylar).

How I did: I'm calling this one a half-success. I could have done better at cooking more frequently, but I definitely made dinner more often than I was. This is definitely one I need to continue working on, though!

Resolution 5: Drink more wine! (Especially before buying more!)

How I did: SUCCESS! This one was fun! Heheheh.... We still have more wine I want to drink, but I did a pretty good job of drinking what we have and not buying too much more throughout the year. ;)

Resolution 6: Blog more. Specifically I want to blog at least once a week (I’d really like to work up to once a day or every-other day, but baby steps!).

How I did: I'm calling this one a failure. At least partially. I did okay with it... for a bit. But never really did post once a week. I plan on working on this in 2014. I really DO want to post more... and I still haven't completed my birth story... I actually have written most of it, but I need to finalize a few things and add pictures and times. Anyway, look for more on this particular resolution.

Resolution 7: Finally learn to crochet! I can knit, but I really want to master crocheting this year!

How I did: Fail! I really didn't try to get this one done in 2013. It's sad, really... So, I'll be trying again in 2014. I hope to find someone I know who can help me with this... I learn best WITH someone. ;)

Resolution 8: Clean up after myself. This is embarrassing to admit (especially as an almost 30-year-old), but I have a bad habit of using something & not putting it back when I’m done; completing a project & not putting away the things I used right away; eating breakfast or lunch & not even clearing my dishes to the sink area consistently; of… well you get the idea! So in 2013 I want to work on breaking that habit. I want to learn to put things away as soon as I’m done with them! & if that’s not possible at times (re: Skylar needs me or something) I want to work on taking care of it as soon as I can — before leisure time. (This is a picture of my clean & organized nightstand to inspire me to keep it that way by putting things away & not letting them get stuck randomly on that surface!)

How I did: I think I rocked this one. I didn't ALWAYS pick up everything perfectly, but I DID make a major effort to put things away right after using them, to be more organized and to clean up quicker after finishing a task. I still have a long way to go on this one, but I definitely established better habits on this front in 2013!!

Final Thoughts: And there ya have it! My 2013 resolutions in all their glory... some resolutions I feel like I completed fairly well (and hope to continue them in 2014). Others... not so much. But overall 2013 was a decent year. There were hardships (I lost both of my grandfathers and my childhood dog... and my great aunt -- who was more like another grandmother, in 2013) and there were amazing things (Skylar turned 1, a good friend got married, another friend got pregnant, relationships with friends and neighbors deepened, etc). So, my friends, I look forward to 2014 and all it will hold... and I'm thankful for all we had in 2013.

Be on the look-out for a blog entry about my 2014 resolutions at the end of January/early February!

How did you do with your 2013 resolutions? How was your year?

♥, Emmie

Christmas Wishlist

So. It's the day after Christmas. I know... I KNOW. But, because we're out of town for Christmas we are doing "our Christmas" in January (probably mid-January). Jimmy asked me to make a "wish list" so, here goes: ♥ MoYou-London Nail Art Image Plate Suki Collection 08:

♥ MoYou-London Nail Art Image Plate Artist Collection - 05:

♥ MoYou-London Nail Art Image Plate Suki Collection 01:

♥ MoYou-London Nail Art Image Plate Pro XL Collection 07:

Why I Must Have Sex With You Notepad

♥ Red Rose Ear Gauges (6):

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

The Cookoos Calling JK Rowling Pen name Book

♥ 6G Pair Broken Heart Black Dogwood Gauged Plugs Hand Carved Organic Body Piercing Jewelry Earrings:

♥ Stamper set:

♥ Nfu Oh 51 (Discontinued -- going to be hard to find and I've wanted this for a LONG time):

♥ Nfu Oh 59 (Also discontinued):

*I'll add to this soon maybe.... or maybe not... IDK*

(Love you, husband!)

xo, Emmie

My Favorite Things:

You may or may not know that April is a special month for me. It's my birthday month! In "honor" of my birthday (I turned 30 a week ago -- so it's kinda a big one) I will be blogging about myself a bit more than usual... Starting with this post! Backstory: I have a friend who started a blog around the same time that I did. LM blogs monthly about her current "favorites" and obsessions (you can check out her April blog about this here). I decided to take a page from her this month and write a post about my current favorite things. Without further ado, my current faves and obsessions:

Salted Caramel.....ANYTHING

I've seen people say that salted caramel as a "thing" has been overdone. I say nope. Nada. NO WAY. It's sooooo good! So, keep making Salted Caramel... ANYTHING. Seriously. Creamer. Candy. Cookies. Just... YUM. (and speaking of salted caramel, here's a Salted Caramel Shake that I'd like to try...)

Alex & Ani Bracelets

AlexandAni-ED-SZ I have LM to thank for these lovely bracelets being in my life. They are SO MUCH FUN. I keep requesting bracelets for special occasions. I previously noted receiving the "E" and the key from Jimmy... and for my birthday Jimmy/Skylar gave me an "S" and LM gave me my birthstone and an off-brand "Joy" bracelet. I used some birthday money to buy the "because I'm a girl." I'm really enjoying the memories attached to the bracelets and slowly building up my collection. AND it's really fun to have something like this to share with a dear friend many miles away! :)

Harley Quinn (full name: Princess Harley Quinn Banana Hammock Graham*)


I adore our kitty. She's a sweetie and definitely more than a "thing," but since I haven't blogged about her yet I thought it important to include her. THe best experiences I've ever had with cats have been tabby cats. Harley is no exception. She's amazing.... I'm so thankful my wonderful friend Mary found her for me (she was my Christmas present several years ago -- Jimmy knew, I did not). She's a lap kitty who is playful and cute and snuggly (in fact she's currently cuddled up against me!). I cannot imagine not having her in our home! ♥

Cadbury Caramel Eggs

I think it's safe to say that I'm in love with all things caramel right now (not JUST salted caramel). Because that's the case it's probably surprising that I had NEVER tried the Caramel Cadbury egg -- until this Easter... and WHAM it's a game-changer. Cadbury cream eggs have long been a favorite of mine, but this year the simple caramel filled egg just SLID into first for my favorite Easter candy of all time. SO YUM. (I have a couple left to enjoy sparingly... and then *sob* no more until next year...)

Harry Potter.

Okay, I know I already wrote a whole blog post about the books (and I'm still IN LOVE with them -- they are awesome!), but I've started watching the movies... and oh-woah that's a whole other thing! I'm so excited about the whole of it... the movies, the books... everything! I haven't finished the movies yet... but I have enjoyed three of them and I'm quite impressed by how well adapted they are! They're not perfect... no movie will ever live up to my imagination (cuz, you know, my imagination ROCKS), but I do appreciate that these movies are visually stunning, well casted, and include some of my favorite parts from the books.


It's probably ridiculous that an online shopping website is one of my favorite things, but as a stay-at-home-mom I don't get out all that much (seriously, it's a production to go anywhere -- We're going places -- but not every day). A lot of the time it's so much easier to just order something from the comfort of my own couch (with Skylar on my lap). Add that we have Amazon Prime and it's just amazing. Sure! I can wait 2 days to get that cheaper and better product! To get that product that I would have to SEARCH for in Walmart or Target or wherever... YES. Thank you, Amazon Prime! :)

Nail Polish

I love me some nail polish and really I could (and probably should) write a whole post just about this! It's becoming an obsession I think. Pre-birthday I counted all of my nail polish bottles... and I have... *drum-roll* .... 305 polishes! Of course that was BEFORE I received birthday presents and bought these beauties at Sephora today:


I also may start MAKING polish in the very near future... My neighbor actually gave me a kit for my birthday to start making polish at home... I'm so excited! I cannot wait! I need to get some free time AND inspiration at the same time... but homemade polish here I come! :)

Nathan Water bottles

I have no less than 5 of these bottles... various colors and even one that is made of metal:

I love them for 3 reasons. 1: They usually fit in a cup holder! This is huge!! A lot of water bottles are too big and don't fit well, but this one does pretty well in almost every case. :) 2: The top closes easily and quickly and almost never leaks (when it functions correctly... I've had one bottle that didn't close quite right and that one would leak a little). 3: Skylar first learned to drink out of a water bottle with a Nathan bottle and continues to prefer it. It's so easy to drink out of and I will probably own more... cuz, well, I'm obsessed. heheh... Oh, and one more reason I love them: bright colors! I've been really attracted to everything bright lately and these bottles feed that love! :)

Well, that's all I can think of at the moment... but maybe I'll make this a regular "feature" if you guys are interested... probably will depend on the way this post is received... SO COMMENT if you wanna hear more about my "favorite things." ;)


*Bonus points to those who get the name reference! ;)

A Long Time Ago... We used to be friends...

(& maybe we can be again?) Veronica Mars. You may or may not have seen this incredibly smart and interesting TV show, but if you haven't you should. It is witty, intelligent, and, frankly, one of the best shows I've ever watched. It's easily in my top ten favorite TV shows of all time... and really, it's in my top 5 -- at least.

If you HAVE seen Veronica Mars, then you know that it was cancelled way before it's time. Since the show ended there have been rumors and discussions online and tweets, and, well, you get the idea... about a MOVIE to give Mars-ers some closure and to enjoy the characters and the richness that is the Veronica Mars universe for a bit longer. Since the show ended in 2007, I had pretty much given up hope that a movie would actually happen. Then today I hopped on Facebook for a bit while Skylar was napping and what do I see? THIS AMAZING VIDEO:


And this website... with $800,000+ ALREADY RAISED as a "kick start" for the project: The Veronica Mars Movie Project. To say I'm impressed with our fans is an understatement... but I'm not SURPRISED. This is exactly what I would expect from the die-hard fans that loved Veronica Mars. The very same fans who paid for a blimp to fly by the CW offices (in an attempt to keep the show on the air) and who paid to have half a ton of Mars Bars sent to the offices as well. THEY LOVE THE SHOW because it's AWESOME.

So, will you jump on board? Will you help fund this truly ground-breaking project??!?! I will be ... I hope you will be too!

xx, A Marshmellower

Homemade Mayo (Instructions, Review & more!)

A while back a friend of a friend posted on Instagram and FB about making her own Mayo in order to make an Avacado dressing. I was instantly intrigued. I've never made anything like that... and was curious about what was involved. Recently I decided to try it to work on one of my resolutions and actually make the mayo myself! (remember a post about all of them will be up sometime near the end of January/beginning of February)! So, here's the video I used to make my very own Olive Oil Mayo at home: 


And here are a few pictures of the process:


It was actually pretty simple and took me around 10 minutes (after the egg and lemon juice got to room temp for about an hour). The thing I did find interesting was how warm the mayo was when I scraped it into the container. I guess that makes sense considering the friction involved in this process & the fact that it started out at room-temp, but I wasn't expecting it. :)

Soon after I made the mayo I realized that I could just use the "dirty blender" to go ahead and make the "Dreamy Avocado Dressing". Since I obtained the recipe for that directly from the friend of a friend I will post it here for you:

Dreamy Avocado Dressing

• 1/2 large avocado • 1 tbsp lime juice • 1/4 cup olive oil mayo • 1 small garlic clove • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro (optional) • 2 tbsp water (optional -- I used it, but use or omit it depending on desired thickness) • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Place all ingredients into blender and or food processor and puree to desired consistency. Add water 1 tbsp at a time if necessary. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.  Store covered in the fridge! Like the Mayo the egg's expiration date is your dressing expiration date. :)


I like both the mayo and the avocado dressing. I especially love the dressing for eating cut veggies. It's a healthy-er version of a regular dressing. I think both the mayo and dressing are better after sitting in the frig for a while. It helps add a bit of depth of flavor for all the ingredients to "mellow" together. Also, I didn't use fresh cilantro for the dressing (only because I didn't have any). I used some dry cilantro  but I *know* it would be better with fresh herbs. I'll try it again with fresh and update once I do!

If you try these recipes please let me know what you think and if you discover any new or interesting ways to update them!



Farewell Virginia, It's Official

map_of_lynchburg_va It's odd. I really expected to be happy to be free of the tiny town where we once lived in Virginia. But when we were driving out of town for the final time (in separate cars) on the way to our new home in North Carolina I found myself crying. True, I was only around 4 weeks postpartum and I happened to have a crying baby in the back of my car at the time, but really, I was truly sad to be losing Lynchburg as our home.

VA House-ed-sz

A couple days ago our house officially sold. Yesterday the funds were transferred to our account. And today Jimmy confirmed that the "money is in the bank". So. It's official. Our house is sold and gone and we are no longer tied to the small town of Lynchburg in Virginia. Except that we are. Never-mind the good friends we still have there (and there are many!), but Lynchburg will always be the place where I grew up. The place where I moved after leaving my parent's house. The place where Jimmy and I started a life together as a married couple (heck, it's the place where I MET Jimmy -- truly the love of my life). It's where I had my first "grown up" job working full time hours for "the man" (heheheh). It's the town where we put down some roots (albeit small ones) and bought our first house.


And Lynchburg will always be where we first found out I was pregnant and where we welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world. Because of that huge change in our world: It will also always be where I learned about pregnancy, labor, and delivery and where I felt incredible connection with other mothers at "The Motherhood Collective". It's where I met an amazing Doula named Laurie Flower (seriously, if you're having a baby in Lynchburg -- look her up!) who became a friend as well. And in early August I experienced what it meant to become a Mom.

There was something simple about living in a place where I knew how to get (virtually) everywhere and could drive there within about 30 minutes (end to end). And there was something comforting about having friends throughout the area -- including those we had known for, literally, 10 years. But every chapter of life has it's end... and Lynchburg was not destined to be our final home. I'm not not sure that Raleigh is either, but we'll see.

For now I've enjoyed getting to know some neighbors... and am slowly figuring out how to get places (even some without the GPS! Gasp!). Driving back to NC after a trip finally does feel like we're coming "home" -- though it's a home where we're maybe not quite as comfortable yet... but have so many plans and hopes and dreams.

Newness has it's place...  It's exciting to start anew! But today I'm just a bit melancholy and memory-ridden as I think about the "could have beens" and "used to bes". As I remember the "snowed in" parties of old and all the past fun we had in our previous home.... And I miss people and relationships and all that support and love... but those memories will always be with me, locked in my heart -- forever the first place I truly called "home" that was ours and ours alone.

So here's to the future. And all that it has to hold in this new home (always remembering and loving, but looking forward -- ever hopeful).



We will visit. We DO visit and often. So, while we've said "goodbye" officially to Lynchburg as a "home" it will always be a destination that we love.... and that will be true as long as it holds those we care for and care for us. ♥

Healthy Snacks: Balls and more balls!

At the end of January I plan on posting my resolutions for 2013 along with info about how I'm doing with each of them.... One of my resolutions involves cooking and another involves my pinterest. I'm hinting because I can't wait to share about this past weekend of cooking! On Saturday Jimmy, Skylar and I headed to a Whole Foods for the first time:


Talk about food-mecca! It was incredible in there! It took Jimmy & I a while to get our bearings, but we were able to get some amazing food! I also was able to purchase a ton of raw ingredients I planned to use for making healthy (but tasty) snacks:


On Sunday after making a ridiculously bad for us (but super yummy) breakfast of french toast, bacon & fried eggs I settled into making snacks for the upcoming week! I made three types of "balls" (apparently that's the form many "snack foods" come in -- who knew?) and here's a picture of all three:


Now for the reviews! First the top left: Clean-Eating Cookie Dough (click for the recipe). These are the ones I was the most excited about and are probably my least favorite. Not only do they take the most work, but the recipe yielded the fewest "balls". I do like them -- just not as much as I had hoped. I may make them again and tweak the ingredients some to come up with something I like better. I will say that probably only about half of the almonds called for are needed to "coat" the balls. So, "food process" a 1/4 cup instead of half a cup.

Moving on to the bottom left type of "ball":  Power Truffles. I like these. They are actually similar to the next recipe, but with more actual nuts in them. Because of that I will likely make these again and will play with the types of nuts I use. This time I used cashews, almonds and walnuts. I would like to see what this is like with other nut combos. I also would probably add a few more cranberries and possibly raisins and a bit less sweetener (I used 3 T of honey). Overall, though, these are pretty satisfying.

Finally, my favorites (saving the best for last) on the right in the above picture: No-Bake Energy Bites. These are my "go to" snack balls at the moment. They are yummy and there's something about the oat texture in these that just reminds me of oatmeal cookie dough (with chocolate chips). I think if I made these with raisins I would enjoy them as well and they would truly be "oatmeal cookie dough bites". I may try that next. Or maybe I'll make half the batch with chocolate chips and half with raisins. Either way, these are awesome.

Along with these snacks I also cut up a bunch of veggies and separated them out into baggies for "easy snacking". Here's what I ended up with:

Veggies (Carrots, Zucchini, & Celery)

There ya have it friends! Here's me dipping my toe into the "healthy snack" arena. I will be experimenting with this a lot more in the coming year and I can't wait!

Love & Kisses,


PS: Last night I made home-made olive oil mayo and an avocado dressing out of the mayo. I'll write up a post about that in the next day or so -- after I try it with my veggies! :)