Q&A Session

I have no idea if anyone will actually read this Q&A session, but if there happen to be a few of you that visit my blog and follow along then I truly thank you. 🙂  Social media is most certainly a blessing and a curse as we all know. It can sometimes be a deep dark hole of time wasted and senseless comparison.  But it can also be something so amazing in that you can connect with others that are like you.  I have followed bloggers for years now and I love when they share more of a glimpse into their personal lives versus just the highlight reel of perfect pictures that you see on an IG feed.

blogger q&a session

Photo credit:  Emily Johnson Photography

Earrings

When I started blogging and why

I officially started blogging in September 2017.  As a working mom of two, who is well into my career at this point, I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in my professional life. I find writing therapeutic and I love styling my outfits and hunting for unique pieces, thus the birth of Emmy Lou Styles. I love sharing my outfits and inspo with others and I truly am here to help YOU.  I find this blogging community absolutely fascinating because I feel like a virtual personal shopper which is kind of what I always dreamed up in my head for myself, but didn’t understand how to bring that to life.  Technology is simply amazing!

I regret not starting my blog sooner, but I’m relieved that I finally did it.  In 2012 I attempted to start a DIY/Furniture flip type of blog, but I didn’t feel like I had enough to talk about.  And after several months of trying to get that blog up and going, we became pregnant with our daughter and this part of my life was put on hold.

My family

q & a session

Photo Credit:  Liz Olson Photography

I am married to my college sweetheart (10 years married this September)!  We have had our share of ups and downs just like everyone else (no marriage is perfect), but I believe laughter is the best medicine.  He makes me laugh like no other, and he balances out my worry-wart nature.  He is the best “IG husband” and the one behind all of the pics you see in my feed.  We actually make a great blogging team – he has always had an interest in photography and actually understands how to work a camera unlike myself.

We are very blessed to have two happy and healthy kiddos!  Our son is 1.5 and our daughter is 4.  It’s so fun having a girl and a boy!  Admittedly, I was terrified to have a boy.  I was scared of not knowing how to change his diaper and just overall not understanding a boy.  But I’m here to tell you all the things that people told me ARE in fact true.  Boys love their mommies more than anything in the world.  He is getting to the age where he plays hard, but always has time to break and come over and give me an unprompted hug.   Our daughter is the best big sis and such a sweet girl.  She has bit of sass and has sometimes even been described as bossy.  But you know what, I’m ok with her being a little bossy.  I think it’s a trait that will serve her well, and as a mom I will do my best to keep that bossiness in check so that she has just the right amount of it, haha. #girlboss

Sadly, our 13 year old pooch passed away just this week.  We are heartbroken that she is no longer with us, but we are so glad to have had 12 special years (we got her when she was 1) with our loyal and patient pup.  I will be the first to admit, I wasn’t her “pack leader” that was definitely my husband.  After having kids, sadly dogs tend to take bit of the back seat and our home was no different.  But Bella was such a sweet girl to our kiddos and she will always be in our hearts.  I found this quote this week and it hit home with me. . .“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”  I have never been through the loss of a pet, but it has been one of the most heartbreaking experiences.  Our house has an empty feeling right now, and I know that will fade with time.  We say we won’t get another pup until the kids are old enough to help out, but time will tell.

Photo credit:  Cheryl M Photography

Professional Life

Oh man, where do I even begin.  I have been in the digital marketing world for the last 12 years.  I had a brief stint with outside sales right out of college and quickly decided it wasn’t for me.  I have been lucky enough to be a part of this fast moving digital marketing / tech world through some of the various employers I have worked for.  I currently work as an ecommerce marketing specialist for a shoe company.  I love getting to work in an industry related to fashion, and being a part of the ecommerce world.  My blogging life and my professional life truly fit well together.  A lot of what I’ve learned through the years has helped me to build and launch my own site, but also vice versa. It has felt so good to “own” something and build it from the ground up.   My blogging life is also teaching me a lot about the ecommerce world and it helps me to bring ideas and knowledge to my 8-5 life too.

If you made it to here, you’re the best!  I look forward to sharing more with you here in my little corner closet of the internet.  🙂  Please feel free to say hello in the comments below!

 

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removable wallpaper

How to use removable wallpaper

We are halfway through the week friends, woohoo!  Today I’m changing things up just a tad and sharing our recent bathroom wallpaper project.  It took a little convincing with the husband to let me wallpaper one wall of our half bathroom since 6 years ago we were removing wallpaper from the same bathroom. But he caved, and he even agreed to helping me with this project!  Without further adieu, here is our experience with wallpapering our half bath.

Measure the space before buying wallpaper

Before purchasing your wallpaper, be sure to measure the walls in which you’re wallpapering.  In our case, we were only putting wallpaper on one wall.   Most wallpaper rolls will tell you how much square footage it will cover.  Our space was 48 square feet but we opted for two rolls anyways because I would still like to wallpaper a small wall in our foyer (and mistakes happen).  🙂

Prep the space

Be sure to remove any existing wallpaper (do not attempt to cover over it).  In our case we chose to repaint the entire room (EXCEPT for the wall that we were wallpapering).  We did wipe the wall down prior to starting the project to make sure it was clean and dry. We also moved out our vanity and toilet as those items were on the wall we were covering.

Supplies needed:

  • Razor blade
  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Painting tarp
  • Dry wash cloths
  • Straight Edge / Level

wallpaper prep

 

Begin the wallpaper process

We chose to use this 56 sq. ft black and white watercolor check by Magnolia Home.  This particular wallpaper was 20.5″ wide for reference.  The steps below are what we followed when using this particular wallpaper.  If you’re using a different brand, consult those specific instructions that come with the product.

Step 1:

If possible, choose the least conspicuous corner of the room in which you are applying wallpaper (i.e. behind a door, furniture etc).  You will want to measure out from the corner that you’re starting in, make a pencil mark 1″ less than the width of the wallpaper in order for the first strip to wrap 1″ into the corner.  In our case, we made our mark at 19.5″.  Make several marks on the wall and connect these with a straight edge.  This vertical line will be where you line up your first strand.  Not all walls are square, so this is a great way to ensure your wallpaper doesn’t go on crooked.​

Step 2:

Roll out the wallpaper to the length of the wall that you’re covering, plus an additional 4″.  This will give you 2 extra inches at the top and bottom for trimming once you have it on the wall.  Cut the strip.

measuring wallpaper

Step 3:

With the pattern side down (as shown in the picture above) on a flat surface begin to spray water on the back in a fine mist and pay close attention to the edges.

Step 4:

Loosely fold each end of wallpaper to the middle (hamburger style).  You should avoid creasing the paper and let it sit for 3 minutes.  This begins to activate the paste.

Step 5:

Carry your wallpaper strip to the wall that you plan to cover. Begin to unfold the top half of the folded strip which aligns with your vertical line that you wrote on the wall in Step 1.  The paper will allow for you to reposition as necessary to get it as level with that line as possible.  Start to unfold the bottom half of the strip and stick the wallpaper to the wall making sure you are placing it into and around the corner of the wall. ​You will have excess paper at the ceiling, at the baseboard, and in the corner. You will trim with your razor blade (this happens a little later).

Step 6:

Begin to smooth the wallpaper out using a clean towel. You will likely see air bubbles, but you should be able to work those out by working diagonally from the top of the wall down. Once you have all wrinkles and bubbles out, you can trim the excess paper with your razor blade and straight edge.

Step 7:

Now you’re ready to cut your next strip.  Be sure to use the pattern to match at either the baseboard or ceiling next to the strip you already placed on the wall.  Then, measure out your length from the start of the pattern (+ an additional 4″ again) and cut your piece.  Repeat steps 3-6, making sure you line up the pattern right next to the strip already on the wall.  Do NOT overlap the seams.

Step 8:

That’s it!  Move your belongings back into the room and enjoy!  Let me know if you have any questions.  Happy to answer!

magnolia home wallpaper

 

wallpaper

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Favorite Winter Things Q and A

I thought I would take a break from the standard types of posts I normally do here and get a little more personal with everyone.  A fellow Saint Louis blogger, Sarah from www.sarahoutandabout.com tagged me in this fun Winter Things Q and A session!  So without further adieu, here are some of my Winter Favorites!

What’s your favorite Holiday Tradition?

Now that we have two little ones, my fave traditions are definitely focused around them.  In the last couple of years, I have  made a point to build and decorate a gingerbread house with my daughter.  It’s a fun way to let her creativity come through and she loves eating the candy of course.  I can’t wait for my son to be a little older so he can start in on the tradition as well.

gingerbread house

What’s your favorite winter lip treatment?

I love Smith’s Rosebud Salve.  It smells pretty and it tames chapped winter lips.

rosebud salve

What’s your winter favorite scent?

I love anything that is a “fir” scent and smells just like a freshly cut xmas tree!  I always have this kind of candle burning in the month of December.  I love the Winter scent from Bath and Body Works!

What’s your favorite winter accessory?

This one is easy, a hat of course!  It keeps you warm and it’s an easy way to dress up an outfit (+ cover up a bad hair day). floppy wool hat

What is your favorite holiday movie?

Christmas Vacation is an obvious pick, but I also really love the classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  The kids love watching it and I love watching with them.  This year I took my daughter to see it at the fabulous Fox Theatre here in Saint Louis!

What is your favorite Christmas Song?

Obviously I like Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You” but another true fave of mine is Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee.  I just love upbeat and happy Christmas songs!

Do you prefer to travel or be home over the holidays?

I prefer to be home over the holidays.  All of our family is local and we are very fortunate in that regard.

What is your favorite winter skin must have?

My skin is always super dry this time of year so I cannot live without my L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. It smells so fresh!  This one is the perfect size to stash in your purse so you have it on the go.

shea butter hand cream

What’s your favorite winter hair product?

I use Pureology’s Colour Fanatic Multi Tasking Hair Beautifier on the reg. It contains 21 unique benefits that prime, protect, and perfect color treated hair.  You just spray it on before blow drying and comb through.

What’s your favorite winter activity?

I love going with the fam to this cute little tree lot by our house and picking out the perfect tree!  It’s not a tree farm but the owners of this little lot are so nice and the kids love going.  They get a Christmas tree coloring book each year too.

christmas tree lot

What’s your winter beauty product must?

I love using the Pixi by Petra Glow Mist!  You can find this at Target and you just spray it on after you’ve done your make up. It gives you a nice natural glow.  So pretty.

Snow?  Love it or hate it?

I like it when I don’t have to go anywhere in it and I can admire it inside in my pajamas!

What is on your holiday wish list?

This amazing faux fur trim parka from Loft!

faux fur trim parka

What is your favorite holiday treat?

Oh man, too many to count! I love sea salt chocolate caramels!

Shopping – last min or finish it before December?

I usually can get a fair amount done before December, but somehow I always end up running around like a crazy person right before the big event!

I hope you enjoyed learning more about me and my winter time favorites.  I am tagging two other bloggers that I love following. . . Lauren from Lauren’s Life & Style Daily as well as Meggan from Golden Style Book.  I hope you will take a chance to visit their sites and learn more about them!

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How to host a virtual baby shower

You guys, this was by far one of the coolest and most special things I’ve ever been a part of.  My dear friend/college roommate lives in London and is expecting her first baby in December.  As much as we would’ve all loved to travel abroad to see her, that just wasn’t feasible haha.  Enter the virtual baby shower idea!  Myself and another gal pal got the wheels in motion for this and it just snowballed into amazing-ness from there.  We all have friends/family that live near and far and throwing a virtual baby shower is a great option!

STEP 1:  Send an invitation to attendees

In our case we decided to surprise the mom to be so we worked with her husband and he was great at keeping a secret.  I whipped up an invitation using Canva (a free online tool that allows you to design all sorts of fun things – including invitations). I then attached it to an email that I sent to the guests (+ dad to be).  The email had additional details around gift collection (we sent them an Amazon gift card via email), plus info on how to join the Facebook Messenger Video Chat.  The tutorial linked here was super easy to follow.  The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you can only see up to 6 people.  Once more than six people are on the call, just the dominant speaker is shown to all participants.

STEP 2:  Shop for party decorations + treats

I grabbed a pink pom pom banner from Target + pink paper plates.  I bought two of each of these and sent one set to the UK so they could have the same matching party decs we had at our house! A few of the other attendees bought the same banner too.

Trader Joe’s is ALWAYS my go to for fresh flowers and they didn’t disappoint with these beautiful pink roses (30 of them for $10)! Say what?! I was able to make two vases full. Their sparkling pink lemonade is delish, and how cute are the pink and white shortbread sprinkle cookies?!  These are all great options for a girly party of any kind.

I snagged these cute (and yummy) strawberry cupcakes from the bakery at my local grocery store ($1.25 / ea) and then just displayed them on a little cake platter.

STEP 3:  Celebrate!

Let the shower begin!  Our call lasted about 45 min and we only had a few bad moments where the reception wasn’t great.  It was so fun to surprise the mom-to-be and still give her a memorable shower experience even from afar.  Technology is simply amazing!

 

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Missouri Wine Country (Hermann, MO)

Happy Monday friends!  I am coming off of a super fun weekend so I’m having one of those “fun” hangovers if you will.  We spent a glorious kid free Saturday in Hermann, MO at the wineries with our nearest and dearest friends.  If you live in the midwest and have never been to Hermann, MO let me suggest that you make this a priority in the near future.  It’s only an hour and 15 min from STL, and 2.5 hours from Kansas City, MO.

Our group of 10 met at 9 a.m. and boarded our “party” bus (aka, school bus turned party transit mobile).  Amtrak runs routes from STL to Hermann and KC to Hermann, unfortunately we were too late on booking train tickets this year (better luck next year).  We started the day with some wine tasting at the beautiful Stone Hill Winery (there are some really spectacular views from here, I failed to get those pics though)…just trust me on it.  The wine here is delish, our fave was the Hermannsberger.  It’s a dry red – perfecto!  It’s only $5 to enjoy a tasting in one of their beautiful and ornate rooms.  You won’t be disappointed!

IMG_4930

Next, we somehow managed to find the only Uber driver in all of Hermann and he was wonderful!  He picked up half of our group and drove us the mile and a half back to downtown Hermann AND then turned back around to pick up the other half of our group.  We stopped in at the Star Lane Tasting Room  for another lovely tasting.  Try the Vin-Gris (another dry red … I’m sensing a pattern here).

IMG_4931

(Photo credit to one of my biggest cheerleaders & dear friend, Jackie)

We enjoyed a sweet little German band and dancing with the cutest couple (married for 59 years – relationship goals) adorned in full lederhosen at the Hermannhof Festhalle.

IMG_4929

Before boarding our bus to take us home, we enjoyed dinner at the Tin Mill Brewery on their cute patio.  It was a fun, fall Saturday in the midwest!

IMG_4928

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