Saturday, August 31, 2013


Hello, friends! Just wanted to drop in real quick to let you know that moving has been in full swing! We closed on the house Tuesday. Spent Tuesday-today working on the house, painting, and cleaning! We've made some great progress so far and pretty much got everything on our "before we move in" to-do list complete. This weekend we are hauling a couple of loads over to the new house and doing the big move on Monday. Next week will be spent doing more cleaning, lots of unpacking and settling in.

I have a couple of guest posts lined up for the week, but I'll be back with photos and lots of goodies soon! Thanks so much for sharing this journey with me. I can't wait to show you the home and share our progress as we prepare for Baby Wallace. :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I've always been more of a jeans wearing girl. I love being able to style up a nice pair of jeans with a fun top and great accessories. I'm ALL about comfort. I enjoy looking nice, but I love feeling comfortable even more. :) This pregnancy has really made me want to buy cute lounge wear lately. It's super hard passing by a cozy looking pair of lounge pants at Target. LOVE cozy pants!

And on a "let's be real" note, these are my favorite jeans. They fit me in length perfectly and are the perfect skinny fit. Now that I'm pregnant, I'm trying to get every last bit of wear out of them! I'm having to wear them completely un-buttoned and un-zipped but I purchased this amazing belly band at Destination Maternity a couple weeks ago and it's been great for letting me wear my pants longer. PLUS it's a super cozy feeling. :)

Wearing: 1// Shoulder Top - Free People 2// Cigarette Jeans - UO 3// Black & White Wedges - Target 4// Ophelia Necklace - c/o Roots & Feathers 5// Cocktail Ring - Anthropologie

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Today was a BIG day! This morning Jon and I woke up, put on something fancy, drove to an attorney's office, signed our signature a bazillion times, and became first-time homeowners!!! Of course we celebrated by getting a late breakfast at Panera. ;) It's been a super exciting day. The feeling of being responsible and owning a place of our own is amazing. We've been renting for three years and often felt like we were investing in nothing. It was hard month after month writing our renter's check knowing it wasn't going into any type of investment. It was also difficult in general to be motivated to paint or make our rental "home" knowing any money we invested into it wouldn't mean anything. Don't get me wrong, renting during our first years of marriage was great. We loved our first little apartment together, we've enjoyed this condo...but we seriously can't wait to move into our HOME.

We knew this home was ours when we first saw it. We walked in and the whole place just came to life. We imagined raising our family there, having Christmas, entertaining friends, kids playing in the backyard, making chalk sketches in the driveway, adventures, life lessons, tears, and joy. Knowing this is the place we will raise our family and grow together is so exciting. We love the neighborhood, we love how close it is to our families and we love that this home is something we can grow into. We are feeling so blessed, so thankful, and so excited!!

These next two weeks will be crazy. We aren't planning to officially move in for another couple of days because we want to get some flooring replaced and some walls painted beforehand. We've also got a lot of cleaning to do! I cannot wait to share photos with you and share our vision for how we plan to make it home. We have a major to-do list before Baby Wallace makes an appearance in February and I plan to blog about the entire process. Be on the lookout for pictures soon!!!

Photo Credit: Illustration by Shop the Clock Design

Monday, August 26, 2013


This week Jon and I have been working hard at our jobs in preparation for taking time off to move!! Tomorrow is the big day! We'll be closing on our house at 9:00AM and starting the cleaning, painting, projects, and moving process right after. It's hard to believe that we are here. I can't wait to share our new home with you.

Also, I mentioned this a couple of posts ago, but Jenny and I recently started our Bible/book study group back up after a summer break and it has been so refreshing and amazing to spend time with such beautiful and inspiring women at the beginning of each week. I so look forward to Sunday nights.

Snapshots of the Week: 1// Frozen yogurt brings me so much joy. I love it! 2// Dipping our feet in the water during an outfit shoot break with Jenny. 3// IKEA is so freaking awesome. So thankful for cool home stuff at good prices! I've been oogling over this catalog for a couple of weeks now. 4// Beautiful necklace pieces sent to me from Laura of Roots & Feathers. So love her work.

Favorite Posts/Pins/Articles:
* You might have already heard about our exciting workshop launch?! We've had such a great response so far! I can't wait to get started on these in the winter!
* I'm co-hosting a fun giveaway over on the beautiful Maddie Richardson's blog! It's awesome!
* I have no idea what this tastes like because I've never had one, but I want it SO bad!!
* Can I have all of these rugs for my house? Thank you!

Inspiring Me this Week: I've got so much "moving" on the mind that it's hard to think of anything else right now! After the move we'll be on a tighter home budget so I've been thinking a lot about creative ways to work with what we have and make our home, "homey", especially before the baby arrives!

3 Things About Yours Truly:
* Bad things I'm craving: ice cream and Lucky Charms.
* Good things I'm craving: fruit!
* Dislike painting rooms, but LOVE what it looks like afterward.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Today is a BIG day! After months of collaborating, scheming and dreaming, Jenny and I are SO excited to be pairing up with Anna of In Honor of Design to officially bring you The Brand Market workshops! We launched our splash page a couple of months ago and are stoked to finally bring you the full website! Registration is now open so if you'd like to attend one of our first workshops in Atlanta or Greenville, sign up today! Each class will have 15 students and includes a full workshop day, breakfast, lunch, and an amazing swag bag! You'll be learning about how to make your brand stand out! We'll be covering photography, branding, and marketing as well as some helpful one-on-one pow-wow chats, a Q&A time, and your own professional headshot. It's going to be awesome!! 

We only have two dates scheduled for 2013, but plan to start traveling in 2014 to new cities! If you'd like to attend our workshop and want us to have one close to you in 2014, be sure to request your city by contacting us at, be sure to take a tour around our new site to get all of the details, scheduling information and find out how you can become an ambassador in 2014!

Each of us have been so passionate about this idea for so long, so to see it all coming together truly is an exciting dream come true! Anna has been fantastic to work with and Jenny and I can't wait to help enable incredible people towards what they want to accomplish in life. Let's make things happen!! I also wanted to give a shout-out to VIRB, we used them to create our site and love how it turned out! Also, thanks so Chelsey for our beautiful photos!

Of course, we just had to celebrate by doing a giveaway of some of our favorite things! Help us spread the word by entering into our giveaway! One winner will win ALL of the following items. Great things to bring to our first workshop! ;) So wishing I could win right now!

Giveaway Time!! One winner will be selected at random via rafflecopter and win the following items: A Beautiful Mess Photo Book, Rouge & Whimsy Folder Over Clutch, Ampersand Design Studio "Hello" iPhone 4 or 5 case, BKR glass water bottle in the color of your choice, Rifle Paper Co. Blue Botanical Journal and a Pencil Shaving Studio Color print!! Giveaway is open to US residents only. Winner will be selected and announced next Friday. Best wishes and thanks so much for celebrating with us!!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013


This is officially my last outfit post from Austin. Jenny and I slipped out during one of the party nights of the conference and shot some photos by the river in our fancy dresses. Normally I would have opted for something a little more sparkly and formal, however, I've been all about comfort and just had to wear one of my favorite dresses again. Aren't dresses so much better with pockets?? Also, if we have a little girl, one of the first things I'm buying is this dress. It will be our ultimate matchy-match moment. ;) Seriously can't wait to find out in 4 weeks. :)

Wearing: 1// Cat Dress - Leah Goren for Anthropologie 2// Black Flats - Target 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


In case you didn't see in my weekly post, Jon and I are set to officially close on our first home the 27th of this month!!! It's been a whirlwind going through the home buying process. Everything went along very quickly for us, mostly due to finding the house we wanted within a short time period. I seriously can't wait to reveal the house to you! It was the first house we fell in love with and we just couldn't get it out of our minds after looking at several other houses. It's in a great location and meets all of our needs well into the future. We've been busy making lists, budgeting money, and planning out a schedule for the move-in process and the projects we want to tackle right off the bat. We also have a whole separate list of to-do's to get done before the baby comes in February. Yikes! Over and over again Jon and I have talked about how excited we are to be able to invest in a home and call it ours. :)

I've had a lot of questions about the process of buying a home especially with being self-employeed. I thought I would share our own personal process/experience in light that it might be helpful! Please note that I'm a complete newbie at this and don't know everything. We've been doing our best to learn as much as possible and ask lots of questions!

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Start the process - The first step we took was to find a realtor. I recommend asking a friend for a reference who had a good experience. Some friends of ours recently bought a house through a fantastic realtor and highly recommended her to us. She has been fantastic to work with, quick to respond, and super on top of things. After we connected with her, she put us in contact with her favorite mortgage lender. We didn't go through a big time bank and using her recommended lender was a great experience. They were personable, available for questions at any point, easy to work with, and very organized.

Get pre-approved - After we made our initial contacts we had to get pre-approved before moving forward. We set up a conference call with our lender and had to provide basic information about our income, current living situation, etc. We also talked to her about the budget we wanted to stick with for a house, and how much of a down payment we wanted to contribute. She was great about explaining the full process to us and getting all of our information. As a side note, my husband is employed full-time in Atlanta and I am self-employed. Being self-employed can be tricky. The lender wants to see at least two years of income records via your tax documents that show a consistent income. Since I quit my full-time job at the beginning of the year and only started working for Maiedae full-time this year, with part-time work going back two additional years, we opted to NOT have my income as part of the approval process. My name is still on the title, but the lender only looked at Jon's income for the loan. If you are single looking to buy a house or you and your significant other are looking to buy a house and are self-employeed I recommend having two years under your belt and keeping stellar income and tax records. One of the best things Jenny and I did for our business was hire an accountant. It's majorly helpful during times like this!

Start looking - After getting pre-approved we started the house-hunting process. Check out my last post on searching for a house here. One of my biggest tips is to make two lists before looking of your needs and wants. The more places you look at, the easier it is to really pinpoint exactly what you want. AND don't settle! You'll know when you walk in that it's the house for you. Just remember to stay in your budget, walk-in with some vision, and have fun!

Ok! You've found the house! - Here's where things really pick up! You start by making an offer, the sellers can counter your offer and you can go back and forth on an offer until you feel it's right or decide to decline and keep looking. For the house we are moving into, we initially made a low offer that was declined and later went back to the table with a new offer after looking at a handful of houses and knowing that was the one we wanted. We went up a little and the sellers went down a little and it was a perfect fit for us to accept.

Accepted! - Now that you're offer has been accepted you have lots of work to do! First of all you'll need to get busy with your lender for the mortgage loan. In order to finalize everything on their side they'll need a butt-load of information from you like your bank statements, pay stubs, tax documents for two years, a copy of your drivers license, W-2's etc. I spent almost a whole day scanning in documents, organizing them on a dropbox folder and sending everything over to our lender. Even after that we had lots of documents to sign and little things here and there to fill out and send over. You'll want to be on top of this and well organized. I recommend if you're interested in buying a house to go ahead and make sure you have all of these important documents and that they are at reach when needed. Aside from working with your lender you'll also need to get an inspection done on the house to see if it's no bueno. This is super important and will really give you an idea of what type of money you might have to throw down after moving in. Our inspector was insanely awesome. He spent four hours going through our house looking at everything and then proceeded to give us a grand tour of our house and its woes for 1.5 hours. He was thorough, honest and very helpful! Once we got a list of things that needed to be done on the house we approached the sellers about paying to take care of some of the major things before we moved in. Luckily, they were willing to take care of ALL of our requests and pay closing costs, so that was a major blessing!!

Before closing - Before signing the final documents and making it super official, expect lots of random little things to come up. Your lender might need various things, you might have to sign different documents through your realtor and get different tests or surveys done to the house. Most importantly, you'll want to make sure you have all the funds needed to pay your down payment and any additional costs at your closing date.

A quick financial tip - Aside from having the exact amount of money you'll be using for your down payment, you'll also want to set aside extra for things like an inspection or additional testing, those will come out of pocket. As well, if you have projects to take care of on the house before move-in or soon after, you'll want extra budgeted money for that. I would also recommend extra money for moving and food! Just to give you an idea, we calculated our down payment, doubled it, and set that amount aside so we wouldn't be in the hole at all during the moving process.

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I hope that was helpful information! I know it can be a lot to take in. It's a "part-time" job process and can be very stressful. Just take your time, find good people to work with, and be organized! If you have any additional questions or tips to offer, please feel free to leave a comment below. :)

Photo Credit: Illustration by Amyisla

Monday, August 19, 2013


Hooray! Today I'm excited to bring you another Favorite Things giveaway! This month I'm giving away a $50.00 gift card to LUSH! Lush is a handmade beauty product company that makes amazing natural goodies for your body. I've been obsessed with their products since finding out about them and visiting my first store last Christmas. Check out my LUSH product review video here to see some of my favorite products! :)

Giveaway Time!
This giveaway is run via rafflecopter with up to 10 chances to enter! After one week, one winner will be selected at random and announced! Giveaway is open internationally. Winner will receive a $50 gift card to use on the products of your choice. This giveaway is sponsored by the following amazing ladies: Casey of We Took the Road Less Traveled, Katie of A Girl Named Katie, Kaitlyn of Light a Candle, Amanda of Amanda K by the Bay, Alex of Love Stuff Box and Christina of Tide & Bloom.     If you would like to sponsor future "Favorite Things" giveaways, become a sponsor! Get more information here. :)

All you have to do is enter below using rafflecopter, there is one easy required entry and several ways you can enter through bonus entries! I hope you have a wonderful Monday, friends!

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This week has been full of visitors! One of my best friends came to visit from California and has been staying with us throughout the week. We also had our good friends Zach and Leah come stay with us for the weekend. We had a girls' night/dinner part on Friday. AND after a long summer apart, we finally started our Bible/book study back up last night. It was so wonderful and refreshing to see everyone again and welcome some new amazing girls to the group. It's been one of my favorite ways to start off the week.

The remainder of this month for us is going to be crazy town! Jon and I are officially closing on our house on the 27th of this month!! Whoohooo! Everything is moving along so smoothly, we can hardly wait to be in our very own home and be homeowners. :) We'll be moving throughout the first week of September. We have lots of projects to do, so I'll be sure to record them and blog about them here later.

Snapshots of the Week: 1// Couldn't believe when I started feeling little baby flutters at 15 weeks. I'm 16 weeks today and have noticed my bump a lot more lately! I ran into a maternity store and bought a belly band because my pants are NOT having it anymore. ;) 2// Best friends! We've been close since college. It's so wonderful to all be together again. It's been seven months! 3// Sneak peek at our shoot with Anna for Brand Market Workshops! We are launching our site and registration THIS Friday! Be sure to check our at the end of this week! We would love to have you there! 4// LUSH! One of my all-time favorite stores. Bought a new pregnancy safe face regimen to help with some of my hormonal breakouts. ;) See more photos by following me on Instagram! @maiedae. :) 

Favorite Posts/Pins/Articles:
* This seems like such a cool stroller, has anyone used it?
* Loving Jenny's "Let's Make Habits" series!
* Really liked Allie's thoughts on spending less.
* If you're a fan of beauty products and like surprises, check out Ipsy!

Inspiring Me this Week: Aside from having moving on the brain. I'm SUPER pumped about our new adventure, Brand Market Workshops. We are only offering two classes this year, but are planning a monthly schedule in 2014 after the baby is born. Jenny and Anna are fabulous to work with. We are all so passionate about enabling people to make things happen, so we can't wait!

3 Things About Yours Truly: 
* My baby is the size of an avocado!
* Been thinking a lot lately about making the most of everyday and learning to truly value and be present in all of my relationships. Feeling very thankful and blessed.
* Really wanting honeydew melon lately!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Almost immediately upon finding out we were pregnant I began downloading apps and adding books to my Kindle app like a mad woman. It's been a lot of fun reading about different peoples' experiences and especially knowing development information about the little one growing inside of me. The following have been some of my favorite books and apps, one is still on my reading list but I've heard lots of good things about it. :)

1// The Pregnancy Countdown Book - This is a daily countdown book that celebrates milestones and has interesting quotes from real doctors and moms! Each day is about a page long. It's a super cute and easy read. It's something I've looked forward to reading every morning, especially when the baby is a week older!

2// Belly Laughs - Jenny McCarthy is hilarious. I featured this book in my first trimester survival kit. I loved hearing about her pregnancy experience. She certainly doesn't hold any information back and has a way of making you giggle. I loved reading through this at the very early stages.

3// Brining Up Bebe - This is one of the books I have on my "to read" list. It's been uploaded to my Kindle app just waiting for me to get to it and start reading. I've heard a lot of good things about this book and I'm really interested to see what it has to say.

4// What to Expect When You're Expecting - A classic. This book was recommended to be by so many mommies. It's a little on the dull side, but it offers lots of great information. Definitely worth the read, despite the creepy painted pregnant lady on the cover. ;)

5// PregChat App - This app featured short videos that explain at each week where your baby is in the development process. It's one of the things I look forward to every monday morning when the baby is a week older. It's so fun knowing how it's developing and growing in there. :)

6// Sprout - One of my FAVORITE apps! Sprout shows you what your baby looks like at each week. I love how this app is designed. It's so beautiful and so neat to see what the baby is looking like. It also features "doctor's advice" which details more of the development, an organizer for you to keep track of your to-do's, and lots of neat tools like a weight tracker and kick counter. :) Love it! I bought the full version for $3.99 and felt it was definitely worth it.

7// Honest Baby - Basically Jessica Alba is amazing. I love her company The Honest Co.. The Honest Baby app is more for after you have the baby but it helps you track feedings, diapers changes, growth, doctor visits, sleep, moments, and milestones. Seriously an organized lady's dream. I can't wait to start using this when the little one comes.

8// The Bump - The Bump is really neat, too. It has a calendar, appointment tracker and a "how big is baby" reference that relates your growing little one to fruit sizes. :)

9// Oh Baby! Fitness - This app outlines a great fitness plan for you while you're pregnant. It describes different exercises, has a daily tracker, and lots of resources! It even has videos that show you how to do the exercises.

Do you have any favorite Mama books or apps to share?? I would love to hear! I'm especially interested in finding a great pregnancy yoga resource if you have one. :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


During the past couple of months I've really noticed a lack of inspiration and motivation in myself. I can pin it back to when I first started experiencing my first trimester symptoms in late May/early June. I had a really difficult time with myself coming to peace that my body needed a break, rest, and that it was OK if I wasn't productive throughout the entire day. During my worst week at the very beginning of July, Georgia had rain every day. I was on vacation from work...but spent 80% of that in bed, feeling bleh, eating what I could, and watching a marathon of shows. I wanted so much to at least have the energy to do some serious blogging or creative brainstorming, but I was drained and my brain was not having it!

Fast forward to my second trimester. After slowly drudging my way through a spirit of de-motivation and complete lack of creativity, I started feeling my energy come back slowly. I thought my motivation and creativity would also automatically come back in a giant wave of inspiration so I could get back to my day to day productiveness and hard work. Well, life happens...and through a series of situations, major changes, and levels of inspiration and go-get-it spirit weren't quite what I was expecting. After I gave myself some mercy and realized, I'm freaking growing a human and going through lots and lots of life right now, I also realized something really important for any "creative" person or anyone who feels just drained or demotivated. Take a step back!

Photo found here

Instead of trying to dive back into everything I was doing, I realized I needed (and still need!) some time to step back, re-group, find new inspiration and come back to the things in my life refreshed with a renewed mind. For example, blogging has been one of those pieces for me. I LOVE this space. I love my readers and I love the freedom I have to be creative and share my heart with like-minded people. This community amazes me everyday and I truly want to put forth a wholehearted effort into everything I do for my blog. I want to challenge myself to grow, improve, think of new ideas, and produce great content. Going through a couple months of bleh made me sad that I wasn't putting as much effort here as I would have liked. This idea can also be applied to several other areas in my life. I realized I not only needed to give myself mercy (noted above) but I needed a creative break. For me, one of the ways I find inspiration is by unplugging, opening up my journal, and brainstorming. I run across so many ideas and find so much joy in this process that I usually leave feeling a new sense of motivation. Going to conferences and learning from other awesome and super talented people also contributes to my creative fire. Making time for these things in your life on a constant basis is so important. While I'm still in the process of "re-grouping" in a lot of areas of my life, thinking about the new challenges ahead with being a mama and packing up our condo so we can move into our first home, I realize life is moving around me and I need to prioritize the big things. But I SO look forward to some one-on-one time with my journal to continue firing my creativity and inspiration throughout this process. It's OK to step back and take on other tasks, it's OK to feel unmotivated sometimes, it's OK to let your mind and creative spirit take a vacation. Just remember to ask it out to coffee when you're ready and get to know each other again. ;)

A couple tips for stepping back:

1// Realize - Don't wait until you're completely overwhelmed before you make the call. Do the best you can to anticipate life and when you might need to step back from certain areas of your life to make time for important things.

2// Mercy - Again, whether you are feeling unmotivated, have lots of life happening or feel your creative juices being run dry, give yourself mercy. Just make sure to pick yourself back up after giving yourself the "step back" time you need to keep going. No need to beat yourself up about it. ;)

3// What's Your Thing? - We all have something that really puts us in a place of inspiration. When you're ready to get back to blogging, painting, crafting, business, decorating, cooking, photography....or whatever it is...take some serious time to refresh and re-motivate yourself. Have a date with yourself to your favorite coffee shop, go to your favorite park, take a mini road-trip retreat...wipe the slate clean and start fresh with new ideas and thoughts.

Being able to say "no", make the call, and step back from things in life can be hard, but you've got to take care of yourself and your priorities. Life is too short to turn into a major stress-ball just because you can't get everything done you want in a day or have no motivation for it. It's OK. :) I'm looking forward to taking a few steps back from things in my life to focus, get excited, and serve in other areas for a little while.

Are there things in your life you need to step back from and take a creative break from? What do you plan to do to re-inspire yourself when you're ready to get back in the game? Please share your thoughts below!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


During my pregnancy you can probably find me wearing this scarf on my head 5 days out of the week. It's such an easy hairdo and doesn't look crazy. Sometimes it's nice to put less effort into things (like my hair) when everything else is changing and busy! ;)

Also, this is probably my favorite skirt of all time. It's actually a dress, but I love to wear it as a skirt and knot it on the side. Thank you Target for your random amazing treasures! Also, a lot of my outfit is from Target. Oh Target. 

Wearing: 1// Head Scarf - Thrifted 2// Dress (worn as a top) - H&M 3// Purse - Target 4// Belt - Thrifted 5// Skirt - Target 6// Sparkle Sandals - Target 7// Earrings - Forever 21

Monday, August 12, 2013


It's been a week of insanity. Aside from having pregnancy hormones that make me want to break out crying at the drop of a hat, we've been packing, buying new appliances, hosting friends, spending time with family, and going through lots of changes, some good some not so good. My focus this week has been to rest and not let myself get too stressed, take advantage of my productive moods, and spend lots of time with Jon. On a really happy note, I'm 15 weeks today which is CRAZY. I can't believe how quickly time is flying by. In just 5 short weeks I'll be halfway through my pregnancy. My bump is starting to be a lot more noticeable which is exciting. We can't wait to find out the gender and start preparing the nursery. :)

Snapshots of the Week: 1// Sweet Kaito face. 2// Smoothies all the time. Loving chocolate and banana! 3// Favorite nighttime products currently. 4// Favorite lunch spot with friends. 

Favorite Posts/Pins/Articles: 
* This is pretty much the coolest thermostat in the world - geek alert! 
* I've been thinking a lot about homemade mac and cheese lately. This recipe by ABM looks amazing! 
* One of my best friends, Leah, (who also works for Maiedae) is such a great writer and so awesome in general, if you haven't taken a look at her beauty/lifestyle blog you need to! 
* Love Katie's advice on backless dresses, so clever!
* Also, Elizabeth has a new puppy and she's SO FREAKING CUTE!  
* Is it weird that I really want a fun laundry room? I just like the idea of a nice fresh space that you actually enjoy doing laundry in. ;) 

Inspiring Me this Week:
I've been in a crazy nesting mood lately. Since I'm holding out for when we move, I've been looking at magazines, surfing the internet and sketching out ideas for every room. I'm so excited! Jon and I even spent some date time going to Lowe's together, which is just crazy for us, but we can't wait to have a place of our own. :) 

3 Things About Yours Truly: 
* Just started watching "Orange is the New Black" after hearing so many good things about it.
* I love reading Buzz Feed in the morning. 
* My appetite has been insane during the second trimester! I'm so hungry! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Have you heard about VSCO Grid? You might already have the VSCO Camera app on your phone. I love their filters and the richness it gives photos. It's one of my favorite go-to photo editing apps. Recently VSCO released Grid. The VSCO Grid is NOT a social network, it's just a way to display your best photos in an absolutely beautiful and simple way. You can access it via your phone, tablet, or desktop. There are so many amazing artists on there and it's filled to the brim with inspiration! You can visit my VSCO Grid here, I'm still working on adding my favorite photos. :)

Since the Grid is still in it's beta version you'll have to request an invite to get your own. Check out this link on how to request your Grid. While you're at it, also be sure to check out the VSCO journal and some of the beautiful curated photos on the VSCO community Grid. :) 

Do you have a VSCO Grid? I'd love to see! Please share your link below. Happy Saturday! 

Friday, August 09, 2013


It's good to be 14.5 weeks along! As usual, the first trimester was difficult. I was blessed to not have extreme nausea but the worst part of it for me was the complete lack of motivation to do absolutely anything. See my 1st trimester journal here. I spent A LOT of time laying around in bed. I am so grateful for this little one growing away in my tummy, AND I'm thankful that my 1st trimester is behind me! I've been feeling a world of difference lately. My nausea is gone, my energy is back and I'm starting to get into the nesting mode. I'm not allowed to nest until we move into our new house so I'm holding out and pinning to my heart's desire. ;)

I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite "survival" necessities that I found extremely comforting and helpful during my first trimester:

1// Cute Pajamas - I felt like I lived in my pajamas during the 1st trimester. If I didn't have to go anywhere, PJs it was! Living in your PJs week after week can really make you feel down. Hunt down your cutest and favorite pair of PJs hiding in your closet or make a little "you time" trip to the store to buy a couple pieces. Might as well look cute while you feel puke-ish. ;)

2// Remote Control - For obvious reasons. ;) I'm not ashamed to say that I had my husband move our television up to our bedroom. Since we don't have cable, I spent ALOT of time watching movies and browsing shows on Netflix and Hulu. My favorite show to catch up on was "How I Met Your Mother". It's good to have a marathon show you enjoy that also makes you giggle. Also, beware of The Little Mermaid or any other slightly emotional might make you burst out in tears. (King Triton was so kind to let his daughter marry the love of her life....he's really. going. to....miissss herrrr *cries*) 

3// Ginger snaps & other snacks! - The best advice I got to help with the nausea was never letting your stomach get empty no matter how much you didn't want to eat. I certainly had a lot of food aversions but noticed a huge difference when I tried to eat every 2-3 hours. I'd usually turn over around 7 or 8 in the morning, snack on a few ginger snaps or saltines just to get something in my tummy before I started my day. Don't go too long in-between meals if you can help it or you might be sad and sick feeling. :(

4// Bath Bombs - LUSH is pretty much my favorite, so I knew I'd find some good natural comfort in their products during my pregnancy. I loved using their bath bombs during a rough day to have some extra relaxation time. I definitely sat my iPad on the toilet seat and watched Hulu during bath-time too. ;)

5// Facial Wipes - Not that it's good to be lazy or anything, but when you're growing a human you need to give yourself a little mercy. Most of the time during my 1st trimester I used these wipes to get all the make-up and dirt off my face from the day. They are quick and easy to use, which meant I could crawl back into bed sooner!

6// Baby Lips - Things on your body just get dry and tired just like you. I was a chapstick-o-holic during the 1st trimester and was alway reaching for soothing lip balm whenever I could.

7// Belly Laughs - This is one of the first books I read after finding out I was pregnant. Jenny's pregnancy experience was certainly different from mine but it was hilarious to read about all the nitty gritty. She is hilarious. It's important to have some serious laugh time. It makes you feel loads better. :)

8// Cocoa Butter - Go ahead and get started now! This stuff smells and feels great. I'm super blessed to say my husband is good at massages so after he learned a little bit about giving safe pregnancy massages and using this stuff, it made me feel SO much better. I've been getting a lot of back pain so it was defiantly relieving. Also, it just feels nice to keep your skin moisturized during this time!

9// Water Bottle - I love my BKR bottle. I'd much rather drink out of glass than metal or plastic. I also love that this bottle has a cap, so when you're swinging yourself up out of the bed in the morning to pee for the 173rd time you won't make a mess when you knock it over. ;) They also come in pretty colors, which is awesome.

10// Body Pillow - I love my Leachco body pillow. Although I'm not massive yet, this really helped me get comfortable during the 1st trimester and start getting used to sleeping on my side. It did make Jon a little jealous though. It's like a giant pillow fortress of comfort.

Every pregnancy is different, but I hope some of these tips might help you out during your 1st trimester.  I'd LOVE to hear your 1st trimester survival must-haves! Please feel free to share in the comment section below. :) Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, August 08, 2013


It's unbelievable to think we've only been looking for houses since July 20th. A LOT has happened in 19 days. I'm actually sitting here a little shocked that it's ONLY been 19 days. We feel like we've been searching for months and have known our realtor for years! Our decision to buy a house happened during the beginning of July. We were pretty determined to continue renting our condo for the next couple of years but really felt strongly that we needed to move and we needed to buy a house. After some phone calls and references we found our realtor, contacted a lender, got pre-approved, and met our realtor all within a few short days. The first day we looked at four houses, one we thought was really interesting but didn't get those butterfly feelings when we thought about it. The second day we looked at a really nice townhouse on the other side of town, but ultimately wanted to move into a house and wanted to live much closer to our families, if possible. Our third time looking at houses we found one we really liked but decided to continue looking. Our fourth and final time looking at house we saw three and enjoyed all of these for different reasons. All that to say, after a quick whirlwind of looking at only nine houses within a week, we've come to this point...

While I can't say much at this point, we've found a house that we are truly in love with. It meets all of our needs, a lot of our wants, and is the type of home we can imagine growing a family in for years and years. We are working through the entire process still but things are moving along smoothly and I hope to be able to reveal "the one" to you soon. :) Again, a lot has happened over the past 19 days!

As Jon and I have been going through the home searching process, we feel like we learned a lot in the way of searching for a home. Here are some of our top "learnings" so far:

1// Realize what you're looking for - Before we started our search, Jon and I spent a couple days discussing our "deal breakers" and "wishlist" items for the house. This really helped us in our decision process and helped us to view each house and ask ourselves if it would fit our needs. The more houses we looked at the more we realized what we truly wanted and needed in a home. Check out some of our "deal breakers" and "wishlist" items on this post.

2// Listen to your heart - *Sappy music starts playing* but seriously, people told me that we would get that "feeling" and just know the house that was our house. Waiting for that feeling and being patient for that definitely paid off. We both felt that way when we first saw photos of "our house" and each time we looked at it afterward.

3// Don't pressure yourself - If you see a house that you like ok and feel any pressure to make an offer because of the deal or because of other offers already on the table, don't do it! Hold out for the house you love. It's really easy to get wrapped up in the "game" of finding a house. Don't loose sight of finding "the one"!

4// Advice is great, but it's your decision - Being first time home buyers, we felt the stress of not knowing a lot about houses. Luckily, my dad and Jon's dad are great with homes and have a lot of knowledge and advice to offer. We found their opinions and thoughts super valuable but at the end of the day realized it was our decision to make. Seeking advice from smarter people is always wise, but just remember you're not trying to find a house that will please everyone, you're looking out for you and your family. :)

5// It's stressful - Going into this process felt almost like we were taking on a part-time job. There are lots of decisions to make, things to think through, papers to collect, documents to sign. Expect that your journey might be stressful, but in the end hopefully filled with lots of joy when someone hands you the keys to your new home. If you're not feeling it, step away, continue looking. You'll know when it's your home! :)

I seriously can't wait to share more with you about the home. It's a great story. Once things become really official, I'll be sure to share more. We'll have lots to do before the baby comes in February, so expect lots of home update posts, too! As well, if you have any home searching advice to add, please feel free to share in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: Homes Illustration by Amy Blackwell 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


1// Pleated Chiffon Dress by CiChic - I think chiffon is one of my favorite types of fabric to wear. I love the flowy-ness and they way it fits. I love how simple and elegant this color-blocked dress is.

2// Jaxen Flats by Need Supply Co. - I love how classy these flats are! I've been looking for a similar style black flat lately and I'm loving the straps on these!

3// Tulum Print by Max Wanger - I'd love to have this print in a massive size to hang in our house. I have a lot of wall space to fill! The colors and feeling of this photograph is stunning. In general, I'm a huge fan of Max Wanger's work.

4// Photo Idea Book by A Beautiful Mess - I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book when it comes out in August! These girls are the sweetest and SO inspirational. I know this book will be filled to the brim with inspiration and awesomeness. I'm always on the lookout for photo inspiration!

5// Flash Bobby Set by ShopBando - I can't stop eyeing the goodies in ShopBando! It's awesome to be able to dress up my crazy curly hair with something a little extra. I'm always wearing bobby pins anyways, might as well make 'em flashy!

What's on your August wishlist?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Yesterday, Jenny and I returned from an amazing weekend in Austin attending the Texas Style Council. This was probably our all-time favorite conference of the year. We had so much fun networking, meeting new people, meeting friends in person, learning, and enjoying Texas. :) It started on Friday night. We were invited to attend a dinner hosted by Minnetonka. We got to meet a handful of other amazing bloggers that have worked with Minnetonka, got a peek at their new line of shoes, ate delicious food and mingled with some awesome ladies. You can get more details from our dinner over on Tieka's blog! After the dinner on Friday, we attended a clothing swap party hosted by Lulu's. It was hectic and awesome. Jenny and I each scored some great pieces that we're excited to wear. :)

Saturday and Sunday were filled to the brim with amazing classes taught by awesome bloggers. There were so many incredible sessions to choose from it was hard to pick! Saturday ended with an amazing dinner with some of my favorite ladies and a "Prom" party complete with a dance-off and superlative awards. Jenny and I were able to connect with a lot of great companies during that time and have fun with our new friends. Some of these blogging ladies sure can dance!! Sunday was the last day, but we ended it with an after party and more great conversations. It was so sad to leave on Monday, but we were so thankful to have the opportunity to attend the conference and connect with so many amazing people. I knew I liked a lot of the bloggers attending, but after meeting them, I just love them to pieces! What a supportive and encouraging community to be part of! Can't wait to go next year!!

Top photo credited to Tieka of Selective Potential 

Monday, August 05, 2013


It was so fun planning outfits for our trip to Austin. Since Jon and I are working on buying a house I decided to really behave with my budget and not buy anything before the trip or during the trip. So I had to get a little creative in my closet by reviving pieces I haven't worn in awhile and bringing along some of my favorite staple pieces. These mocs and black and white skirt are definitely on the list. :)

Before the trip to Austin I did a little color touch up on my hair and decided to try my hand at cutting my own hair! I was a little nervous at first, but decided to go for it. It had been a long time since I'd had a good cut and my curls were getting really weighed down and sad. I followed Elizabeth's "cut your own hair" video tutorial and it worked out perfectly. It's actually one of my favorite cuts and it was FREE. Yes please! Bye bye, salons!! 

Wearing: 1// Blue Collared Top - Nordstrom Rack 2// Braided Belt - Thrifted 3// Herringbone Skirt - Thrifed 4// Moccasins - Minnetonka 5// Midi Rings - Urban Outfitters 6// Yellow Ring - Forever21 7// White Toast Nail Polish - Urban Outfitters (love this color!!)

Sunday, August 04, 2013


Hello from Texas! Jenny and I have been having an amazing time enjoying Austin. It is HOT here. The conference has been amazing so far, definitely one of our all time favorites and I can't wait to tell you more about it soon! We've had the opportunity to meet so many amazing ladies and make great connections. Tonight concludes the last events for the conference so we'll be heading back home to Atlanta in the morning. :)

Whenever Jenny and I get to travel together, we always have great opportunities to really brainstorm about our business and usually generate so many exciting ideas for ways to grow our brand and challenge ourselves in new ways. We've managed to put together a whole list of projects and topics we want to explore further from this trip. We are feeling so inspired!

I've definitely needed a little inspirational pick-me-up lately. Between going through the 1st trimester of pregnancy, working on moving and buying a house, keeping up with our fabulous design clients, and going through lots of changes at home, it's been hard to find the extra motivation to blog how I really want to on this space. Sometimes the best medicine is taking it slow, getting a kick of inspiration from a great conference, and talking with people you admire (like Jenny) to get their advice and perspective on how you can grow. While things will still remain busy, busy...I'm feeling like I'm in a much better place mentally to get things back on track. :)

Snapshot(s) of the Week: 1// Dinner with Minnetonka and some of the amazing bloggers they work with. Love all of these ladies! Also, so great to finally meet some of the amazing ladies that work for Minnetonka in person. 2// Yay! Love this girl. 3// Beautiful Austin 4// Starbucks/re-charge breaks are a must during a busy conference. Vanilla Bean Frapps have been my go-to drink lately.

Favorite Posts/Pins/Articles: 
* I've got moving on the brain and I'm definitely planning to reference these packing tips!
* Also, I love this idea for planning out room decor and paint! How practical!
* Met the ladies from Lulu's at the conference and I'm really digging their variety of clothing.
* If you haven't visited Moorea's shop, you really need to! Moorea is one of my new favorite people.
* I'm kinda obsessed with everything on this 4Mom's site. I'm thinking all of these pieces will be on my registry.

Inspiring Me this Week:
I've been talking to Jenny a lot lately about how I have a huge running list of things I would like to do better and different habits that I would like to form. It's been a really overwhelming thought for me lately, but I've been really encouraged and inspired to take some quiet time to really narrow down my focus to what those are and think of ways to work towards accomplishing them.

3 Things About Yours Truly: 
* I'll wear jeans during the summer. I like to be warm, especially in the frigid Georgia air conditioning.
* I feel most inspired during a flight when I have time to "un-plug" and think creatively.
* I CAN'T WAIT to be a mom, I've already had baby dreams about holding our child. In my dream it was a blonde curly-headed boy...we'll see if that comes true?!

Friday, August 02, 2013


Jenny and I are attending one of our last conferences for the year and we couldn't be happier that it's Texas Style Council! This is our first time in Austin and we are loving it so far. Can't wait to head out soon to the downtown area and get this conference started! We will be in great company this weekend and have the opportunity to meet so many amazing bloggers that we look up to, have worked on designs for and have connected with over the years. It's wonderful being part of this community AND getting to meet some of these amazing women in person.

We have a busy couple of days, so be sure to follow us on our blogs (Jenny's blog here) and keep up with our Instagram feeds! We'll be taking lots of pictures on @maiedae and @jennyhighsmith. :)

Yay! And if you are in Austin attending the conference please come say hi!! We would love to meet you and give you one of our special business cards with an amazing discount on our graphic design services. Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 01, 2013


I've been trying to restrain myself from going crazy with the purchasing for baby, especially before we know the gender. However, after winning a baby goodie giveaway, receiving a couple of gifts and making a few of our own purchases here and there, we've started a good gender neutral collection. :) Once we know if it's going to be a little gal or lad I'm sure we'll be plenty dangerous in all of the baby stores!

1// Lemon Stripe Skinny Leggings - Little Hip Squeaks 2// Baby Neon Onesie - Hello Apparel 3// Ocean Stripe Knotted Hat - Little Hip Squeaks 4// Wooden Animal Elephant Clock - c/o RedEnvelope 5// Copper Moccasins - Freshly Picked

Can't wait for a little one to fill these clothes!!