Friday, July 22, 2016

things that made me happy this week


1// Our wedding RSVPs started showing up in the mail! Only 75 days to go!

2// Tootsie Pops - I forgot how good these are...I grabbed a bag at the store the other day and now can reach in the candy jar at home if I want a little treat.

3// This recipe from The Minimalist Baker. Going to try and recreate it this weekend!

4// Taking the dogs swimming for the first time {at the lake}. HILARIOUS. Literally was laughing my a** off at Dexter...I failed to get any pictures or video, but I think we are going to try and take them again this Sunday, so I will try and get photographic evidence of his hilarity then ;)

5// Refreshing summer cocktails like these - and only 100 calories! 

6// Our new game of "Guess Who is Playing Pokemon Go" when driving around Columbus. Also, this meme. 

7// National Ice Cream Day <3

8// Couples golf lessons that Aaron and I are taking together. I think I'm acutally getting better!

9// The Secret Life of Pets - so cute.

10// A big glass pitcher of iced green tea with mint in my fridge. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

midweek musings

Hiya everyone - thought I would stop in and share some recent happenings, as well as some things that I've been loving this week.


// Throwing together simple summer cocktails.
This one is a combination of Mike's Hard Watermelon Lemonade, lots of ice, sparkling water, and lime juice. 

// Going to baseball games.
Aaron isn't playing this year due to his crazy travel schedule for work, but we still have managed to go see the team a couple times. This past weekend they got to play at the Minor League field in downtown Columbus, and a big group of us went out to cheer on our friend Mike because it was his birthday! 

// Sitting at soccer practice
Aubrey's club soccer team is back in the full swing of things after a couple months off. It was nice having a break from all of it, but the weather is nice and we love watching her play, so no complaints here. Talk to me again in a couple months and I might be singing a different tune ;)


// Decor inspiration
This is from Liz Marie's gorgeous farm house. She & her husband just moved in and they are already making amazing progress on the renovations. 

// Silly Netflix movies 
Now that all the regular shows Aaron and I watch have ended for the season, I have been making my way through Netflix (mainly the romantic comedy section) in the evenings. Recently I've really liked Decoy Bride (a British romcom - can't get enough of these!) and An Unfinished Life (always love me some JLo). Any recommendations??

// Dream home inspiration
We got the green light on a home improvement loan recently - so there will be lots of renovation projects happening over the next few months! Can't wait to share it all with you - and I've been browsing all over the internet for inspiration now that some of these dream projects can actually become a reality! 

What have you been loving lately?? xx 

Friday, July 15, 2016

bachelorette & bridal shower weekend

My amazing friends and sister - the ones responsible for this perfect weekend!!

Brace yourself - it's a long one ;) 

It is hard to put into words how wonderful this past weekend was. All I know is that I have the best friends, sister, and Mum in the world. They put so much time and effort into making me feel special and gifting me with an outrageously fun bachelorette party and stunning bridal shower.

..:: SATURDAY ::..

I drove up to Akron and arrived around 2 pm. Alissa, Andrea, and I ran to the mall to pick up some makeup and I was in desperate need of an outfit for the night! I was able to find something at Express and we head back to Andrea's to do my trial makeup run for the wedding. Before long, all the other girls were showing up and the house was full of us running around getting ready! Andrea's dog (Max) was not impressed ;)

After getting ready, we head to Bricco in downtown Akron for dinner and drinks. I won't forget to mention the obscene gifts and party favors that were waiting for me when I got in the car haha! Those who know me, know that this MORTIFIED me, but they let me keep everything in the least until later ;)

After dinner we did a little bar friends had come up with really fun places to take me including The Northside Speakeasy (with secret door entrance), Chop & Swizzle (a specialty cocktail bar), and The Noisy Oyster (our old stomping ground). 

A little after midnight, we ended up at our favorite place - Square Bar, a gay nightclub in Highland Square. Once we were there, we danced for hours! We made it back to Andrea's... which is right around the corner... and sat on the back patio talking and drinking wine until almost 4 am. SUCH a good night with my best friends! 

The gorgeous mermaid crown was hand-made & gifted to me by my lovely friend Andrea (far right)

..:: SUNDAY ::..

Sunday morning I was up at 8 am (holy tired) and hung out at Andrea's until it was time to get ready for my bridal shower. We drove to the location and I almost died when I pulled up to it - it was an AMAZING old-world mansion in West Akron that has been turned into a bed & breakfast. This place was just stunning. It has so much character and a gorgeous garden surrounding the property.

The O'neil House

My friends and family had gone above and beyond - decorating and making everything just perfect. I am so blessed to have all of them in my life. It brought me to tears actually! The center piece was created by Andrea and the favors of homemade mint body scrub (in cute mason jars) were made by Abby. After a quick tour of the mansion... we ate a delicious meal, drank mimosas and topped it all off with cupcakes from Alissa. 

After the wonderful meal, we head into the great room for games and presents. My Mum had two fun games planned - a quiz about how well you know the bride and "Find the Groom"...which was hilarious. Here's a quick shot of "Aaron" and all the other "Grooms"! We all decided Rob Kardashian would be the worst ;)

I was overwhelmed with such thoughtful gifts from everyone, but my favorite (that made everyone burst into tears, starting with me) was when my Mum gave me her light blue garter from her wedding to my dad to use as my something old & something blue <3

After gifts we head outside (not for long because it was over 90 degrees!) for some pictures in the beautiful garden...

All my dance besties - Alissa, Abby, & Andrea
Mumsie xx
My little sister, Allison, Mum, & I
My Michelle - best friends since the 7th grade!
All these women made me feel so special and I can't thank them enough for giving me the perfect weekend. A few of my best friends were missed, as they live out of town - but they were there in spirit! Aaron had a great guy's weekend too - fishing and boating for 3 days up on Lake Erie with Andrea's husband! xx

Friday, July 8, 2016

cora // the organic option

I'm so excited to share this company with you! As many of you know, I've been on a journey over the past year or so to replace products in our home with things that are cruelty-free and products, cosmetics, etc. As a women, I knew that also included feminine care items, since we have to use them on a reoccurring basis for much of our lives. This is a category I had been struggling to find alternatives in your typical I was ecstatic when CORA reached out to me about their 100% certified organic and cruelty-free tampons. 

Did you know that the average woman uses over 10,000 tampons in her life? That number shocked me. And even more shocking are the "ingredients" that make up a typical tampon - synthetics created through a chemical heavy process (that includes bleach!), non-organic cotton, and even undisclosed ingredients. Not okay. 

These CORA tampons are made of only premium organic cotton - that's it! You can learn more about them here.  

Not only that - but how many times do you forget to buy tampons...then have to run to the store at the last minute? I know that happens to me all the time. With CORA, they have a delivery system. Yes, your tampons will literally show up right on your doorstep! They have tons of package options that are totally customization to fit your needs. PS - have you noticed the killer packaging?! 

Finally, I am always looking for companies that are giving back in some way - to the environment, to the less's very important to me. So, I was thrilled to learn that CORA has a mission to donate feminine care items to girls across the globe who do not have access to them! 

I'm so thrilled I was able give this brand a try, and I'm thoroughly impressed with their products and look forward to using them again in the future!

If you are interested in trying CORA out, use the code CORA5EMILYS for $5 off your first order!

Disclaimer: While I was provided products by Cora, all opinions and reviews are my own.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

things that made me happy this week

// My bachelorette party & bridal shower are this weekend! So excited to celebrate with my best friends!

// Attending the restaurant opening of our good friend, and next door neighbor. The venue is amazing and the food was delicious - I can't wait to go back! Plus, I got a chance to wear a VS dress that has been sitting in my closet for like 2 years ;)  

// Realizing I have 3 weeks of grad school my whole life ;)

// Finally getting the ball rolling on home renovations! Due to major spikes in home values in our neighborhood, we are able to refinance and get some money to make home improvements. Aaron and I made a list this week and we are going to do a walk through with a contractor to get estimates, then make final decisions on what gets done - so exciting! 

// This lovely lady's Instagram and blog - just love following her. 

// My festive ASOS dress from our 4th of July celebrations this past weekend. 

// My parents celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary - the best example of love & a marriage full of friendship, hard work, and adventure. 

// Getting the side of the house that is connected to our backyard filled with pea gravel and a stepping stone path...which is designated as the new Doberman-Pee-Zone! No more potty on the newly revived grass - at least until it is more established ;)

// Dreaming of the day we can move to a home with more land. We bought our house before owning two 80-pound dogs - and they really need space to run. Plus, Aaron and I are starting to "outgrow" the city and long for an area with more nature and space. It'll happen one day, but until then, is my bff for dream-home browsing.

// Browsing for hair inspiration to take with me to my next haircut appointment - which is WAY overdue! Do any of you ladies with long hair have this problem? I go way too long in between cuts because I have very long hair and don't dye it...I haven't been to the hairdresser in almost 11 months (no joke). I think Ms. Jessie Decker is going to be my next haircut inspo photo ;) 

sonia kashuk

Do any of you use Sonia Kashuk products? I walked by them for years when shopping at Target (where they are exclusively sold) and didn't start taking notice and actually purchasing them until a few months ago...and I have to say, I am SO happy I did!

This line is really good - I have yet to dislike anything that I have purchased so far. The products are very high quality and come with a very good price tag...not quite as cheap as typical "drug store" makeup products, but definitely reasonable. AND this is a completely cruelty free line!

I wanted to share a couple of my favorite items so far...

// Shimmering Loose Mineral Bronzer - great for fair skinned girls, like me! Gives a beautiful glow without looking too heavy or "muddy" as many bronzers can. I brush this all over my face and neck, concentrating on the most product on the contour areas of the face.

// Perfecting Luminous Foundation - I've mentioned this so many times before, but it really is one of the best foundations I have ever used. I find it is applied best when you use a sponge, such as the beauty blender or Real Techniques miracle complexion sponge. My only gripe is the is designed poorly, so there is always product left over that you can't get out - unless you are crazy like me and decide to smash the plastic open and scoop it out yourself. What can I say? I hate wasting product ;)

// Eye Makeup Remover - very gentle, no fragrance, and effective on even the toughest eye makeup and mascara! 

// Core Tools Synthetic Buffing Brush No. 130 - honestly, one of the best makeup brushes I have ever owned. It is dense, but soft and applies product very evenly. I use this with the loose bronzer powder mentioned earlier. I definitely want to get my hands on more of SK's brushes after using this one! 

// Longwear Eye Liner in Black Onyx - a great, all-around eyeliner for the waterline. It glides on smoothly and has good staying power throughout the day. 

I would definitely recommend picking up a couple Sonia Kashuk items the next time you are in Target. If you try anything and love it - let me know...I'm interested in trying many more items in her line! xx