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I’ve hinted a bit at this news on my Instagram stories, but haven’t officially shared my life-update on the blog here: I’m officially self-employed! After 8 long years of running this blog late nights after work, filling my weekends with content projects, and taking many of my vacation days to attend events and photo-shoots, I’ve finally made the jump and decided to make this blog my full-time job! It’s probably the most exciting and terrifying decision I’ve made in a long time. I have had quite a few “oh my gosh it’s finally happening!” moments, and an equal number of, “oh.my.gosh, is this really happening?” moments too. read more

I have started this post on maybe ten different occasions now, and each time I sit down to write it I get a little stuck. I think part of it is that it’s called a “birth story” post and I honestly roll my eyes a bit when I see other people share those because I assume they’re going to be either gross and filled with graphic pictures of the actual birth. Or worse, they’re stories written by women that describe birth as the most fluffy, magical, beautiful experience and fail to mention the screaming and sweat and tears that went on during the delivery. So I guess I’ll start with the disclaimer that there are zero pictures of the actual birth in this blog post, you’re safe! Enjoy these cute pictures from Jane’s newborn photo session instead (by Bring to Light Photography). I’ll also mention that my story is a good mix of the happy fluffy snuggly baby moments with a bit of the sweat and screaming mixed in too. read more

It feels so appropriate that my last blog post was a 41-week pregnancy update, and I’m jumping back in after two weeks off from blogging to share the news of our little family addition! Jane Emerson Bowler was born on Friday, January 20th at 6:04pm after quite a few days of laboring, restless nights, doctor’s visits, and a surprise C-section for her grand finale! She is the absolute best 8 lb bundle of love that has ever existed (okay, I may be biased). We have been learning our new “normal” over the past two weeks, getting in lots of snuggles and sniffs of that delicious newborn baby smell in between a few sleepless nights. I’ve got lots of big plans to share a full birth story, posts about what I packed in my hospital bag, and how we’re surviving these first few weeks. But for now, I’ll leave with you a few candid pictures from the selection of hundreds I’ve already taken on my iPhone! Welcome to the world Miss Jane!  read more

Well, I didn’t think I’d be writing a post with “week 41” in the title, but Baby B is enjoying her stay and just doesn’t want to seem to make her arrival yet! I spoke to my mom on the phone this week and I joked that she couldn’t be my child, I absolutely hate being late. My mom assured me though that she would be exactly like me, because this baby is doing things her own way and demanding  complete control of the situation around her. Mom’s always tell it like it is, and I realized she couldn’t be more right.  So while we not-so-patiently await her to let us know when she’s ready to greet the world, I figured I would squeeze in one more bump update! read more

I have a tradition of waiting to start New Year’s Resolutions until after my birthday on the 10th, because I know I usually still have a week of partying left in me. Why commit to goals I know I’m going to break? This year is a little bit different, the partying is taking a hiatus while we wait for Baby B to arrive. I’m still completely and totally exhausted, but it has nothing to do with my champagne intake this year! The benefit of waiting a bit to write your resolutions is you get to be inspired by what others are sharing about their own goals and intentions. Reading resolution posts from other writers and friends is so energizing – I love to hear what people are working on and how they’re approaching their New Year outlook. read more

Happy New Year! I mentioned in my last post how much I love celebrating the New Year; it’s an amazing feeling to start with a clean slate and to be able to see all of the opportunities that lie ahead. This year though feels a bit different! The normal surge of energy I typically feel from the new year, full of possibilities and fresh calendar pages, is not quite as present at 39 weeks pregnant as it has been in the past. In fact, my biggest accomplishment in the first two days of the year has been successfully getting my socks and shoes on in the morning!  But I’m doing my best to use this quiet time before the baby’s arrival to capitalize on the start of the year by reflecting on 2016, gathering inspiration and clarity for 2017, and attempting (slowly!) to get things organized for a productive new year.  read more

I just had a minor panic attack looking at my pregnancy tracker app, three and a half weeks to go until my due-date, oh my! As I’m nearing the end of this crazy journey, I have been thinking about what I’ve enjoyed during the pregnancy experience, and a few things that I won’t miss at all (like skipping a post-work glass of wine). One thing that I surprisingly enjoyed was getting to build out a little capsule wardrobe of maternity clothes. It’s a strange thing having to buy a whole new wardrobe all at once! It had it’s perks though, like stretchy waistbands, getting to plan out pieces that would mix and match together in versatile ways, and getting to experiment with styles I’ve never tried before (body-con dresses were suddenly acceptable with a bump!). I thought I’d share my favorite pieces, shops, and maternity-wear tips here as a good starting point for anyone that may be in the same boat soon! read more

My holiday gift guide inspiration is continuing this week with tons of festive ideas for the hostess! A host or hostess takes on so many meanings at the holidays. It might be the family that’s invited you to stay with them for the weekend, a co-worker treating you to a holiday lunch, or the Christmas party hostess with the mostest! I hit Bed Bath & Beyond for their huge selection of my favorite brands and a one-stop-shop for these fun, festive and unique gift ideas and came up with a few themed present ideas for everyone on my list. read more

This post was created in partnership with Capital One.

Maybe it’s rooted in my deep affection for a fresh yearly day planner and ripping the first sheet off a crisp new calendar, but I love this time year when we get to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and start setting goals for the New Year. With my birthday the first week of the year, I always give myself a free pass on resolutions until the day after my celebrations end (which helps me from fumbling on those fitness and health goals!). This year, with baby B due in that same first week, I’m pretty aware that the impending storm of chaos and exhaustion may make that timing difficult in 2017. Instead of putting this important resetting period on the back burner, I had the opportunity thanks to Capital One to get started a little bit early this year on planning for a fresh start.
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Less than 3-weeks left until the presents need to be wrapped and under the tree! I cooked up another fun gift guide this week with the procrastinator in mind. Everything on this list is Prime-Eligible on Amazon, so even if you wait until the last minute you can still steal these gift ideas and have them delivered in time! I love the idea of gift theme, and built out eight fun ideas based on a book, with little add-on gifts to go with each one. From co-workers to couples to families, there’s a little something for everyone — check out the ideas below!amazon-book-based-gift-guide read more