The Power of Girl Power

Life inevitably brings ups and downs, but sometimes, in between, you find yourself stuck in a funk.  Things are going pretty well, but you just feel kind of "blah".

The past few weeks I have teetered between totally stressing out and just feeling kind of, well, blah. I knew what would make me feel better, the same thing that always makes me feel better... girl time! 

But it is hard for me to just call someone and feel like I'm complaining, especially when things aren't that bad. 

Luckily, before I even had to reach out, several friend had called or texted to check in on me. Isn't it nice how those closest to you, just seem to know when you need a little TLC?
And then there's the times when I don't even know that I need support, but a friend checks in, and I can't stop talking about whatever it is, that I didn't know I needed to talk about.

Do you have that group of girls you can just sit and talk with for hours? Isn't it the best? One minute you are laughing so hard you're crying, and the next you're in a deep discussion about life's challenges.

Here are a few pics with my besties, the inspiration behind this post...
Obvi, having friends to share life celebrations is just as important. But they say you find out who your true friends are when life gets tough, and I agree. It's easy to talk about fun exciting topics, but it's the people that aren't afraid to help you navigate life's b.s. crap that turn out to be genuine friends. 

Which makes me happy to be a girl, because I don't know that guys get quite as much emotional support from their friends as we do, and definitely not as openly. 

To be able to freely share emotions, fears, and our wildest dreams, and get guaranteed support, is girl power at it's finest.

I couldn't be more thankful that I've been able to carry such friendships through so many years and multiple cities. Who knows where I would be without the coffee dates, wine nights, phone calls, and even text convos that last so long, my hands begin to ache.

This blog post is dedicated to all the supportive women out there, in my life and in yours. 
Us girls need to stick together because when life is unstable, there is nothing like rock solid friendships to help you keep it together.
Happy Friday... phone a friend! :)

Denim on Denim ~ A Fashion Do?

When the double denim trend started popping up on runways in 2013, I thought, "maybe if I turn my head, look the other way, pretend I don't notice, it would go back to where it came from".. comfortably tucked away with the track suits and leg warmers of the 80's.
Please God, no!

But with every issue of US Weekly, comes a new celeb photo donning the denim on denim fad, and while some fall short, there are a few ensambles that I must admit, are actually pretty darn cool.

But in order to pull of the perfect head to toe denim look, there are a few rules to follow:

1. Mix up the wash and weight of the fabric
2. Don't be afraid to dress up your denim: statement heels or funky accessories are a way to put your own touch on this fad.
3. Find pieces that look lived in. The key to this street style is to appear effortless. You want to be comfortable, casual, and look like you just grabbed two of your most comfy pieces, put them together and Wah laa!
If your denim collection ends at blue jeans, here are a few items to get you started:
After searching my own closet, here is my own double denim look...
 I dressed up my jeans and chambray with patent leather Kate Spade heels, chunky bangles, and one of my favorite scarves for fall.
I also tried playing with my Madewell shirt, and thought it looked cute tied up as well...
 
One of my favorite things about fashion blogging is putting together outfits I didn't even know I had! 

May the denim on denim trend last another season!

Leading With My Heart

I am the definition of someone who wears their heart on their sleeve shirt.
Starting at the age of two, if I did something wrong, my mom could just look at me and know. If I try to sneak around, in order to surprise my hubby, he can always tell something is up. And if someone or something upsets me, there is no point in pretending like I'm fine.

On the other hand, I keep a stash of tissues in my purse, because a sentimental commercial, sappy movie, or even the sweet coo of my friend's baby, will undoubtedly bring tears to my eyes.

In fact, I've discovered, that I can be overly empathetic, maybe to the point of fault.

Being supportive for the people in my life is one of my proudest qualities. But it's also what keeps me up at night, worrying, praying, or even simply feeling joy for their promotion/ engagement/ pregnancy/ enter exciting news here.

I named my blog after my predisposition to let my heart lead the way. So whether it's a blessing, or a mascara bleeding curse, I did find the perfect sweatshirt for my heart driven life..
Signing off with love...



Continuing the Pursuit after "I Do"

Have you ever heard Oprah speak of her "Aha" moments?
Well I just had one!

We were at a couples' study the other night, when our chaplain brought up the notion of pursuing your significant other. 

Instantly, my mind jumped to date nights.. we always do those! And while yes, that is important, the pursuing he was referring to runs deeper.

Generally, when you put a ring on it, or say yes to an engagement, you've landed your perfect partner, checked off every box on that dreamy love list, and believe that you've found your better half. 
Obiv, our engagement was one of the best days of my life. But believe it or not, when we fall in love, we've just barely scratched the surface of how strong our relationship can be. 

This is where the pursuing comes into effect. Each persons' potential in this world is limitless. It's our job, as a spouse, to help discover the passion within each other, and speak to it. 

The idea of two, unified souls encouraging one another to be the best version of themselves, is just a beautiful thought.

Recognize what makes your partner's face light up. No one's words hold as much weight, as Mike's do, to me. If he tells me I can do something, I believe him. 

When I think of what sparks my interests, a few things come to mind:
Doing Hair
Fashion ~ still dying over these:
 Traveling ~ with my sissy at the Vatican
Working out ~ after finishing my first half marathon
And writing... hello blog!

I do my best to work towards goals in each of these areas of my life, but Mike recognizing those passions and providing support is invaluable.

The first few things that come to mind for Mike, beyond football, would be...
Golf ~ I can compete better at Top Golf, which is where he is here
Home projects ~ He hung this chandelier!
And innovative business concepts ~ Don't get him started on Elon Musk!
So not only should it be a joy as his wife, to engage in conversations about his passions, but also encouraging him to take the next step in exploring any type of opportunity in these fields.

Life is too short to become stagnant, just because things are going well, doesn't mean we are thriving as individuals. When you get married you have a partner for life, and pursuing the best in that person is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

Imagine a world where every human met their maximum potential?

After all....


Walking the Baby Borderline

Do any of you non mommies out there, ever find yourself teetering between the affection for sleep and freedom, and being completely in love with your friends babies? Fueling the subtle desire to have one of your own.

Every time I meet a bestie's new baby, I cry... every time. So that maternal instinct must be in there somewhere.

Yet, I am without a doubt one of those people, torn between hanging onto the days of sleeping in with my hubby, after late night wine dates, and the curiosity of feeling the first kick of our little miracle growing inside my tummy.

Since getting married, and then turning the ripe old age of 30, I can't fully ignore the increasingly louder ticking of my biological clock.

Yet my hubby and I just aren't ready... yet.

Tell that to a few of my new mommy friends, and they respond, "you'll never be fully ready". Ask mother's of kids a little bit older, and they say "enjoy your freedom...everything changes".

Like I wasn't confused already... it isn't always easy to get pregnant, yet I know people who do so after their first try. I wish I knew which category I'd fall into.

Between the mixed emotions, contradicting advice and not being a "planner", like most women seem to be, I guess I just have to trust in the good Lord's plan for our life. And pray that we will be one of those couples who, just know, when the time is right.

Until then, I've got these little cuties to love on..
My oldest BFF Laura and her hubby Darrell's son, Sam
 Our Godson Kai, who's mom is a great friend of mine, and daddy used to play football with Mike
Noah, the little angel of two of our closest friends in Cinci.

Here are Kai and Noah together for the first time this past weekend:
Heart melting!

And Nolan, the newest baby, born to my lifelong bestie, Wendy and her husband Ryan
If you didn't notice, this has been the year of boys, but aren't they just the cutest?! Let's hope Mike and I have a son first ~ we will have lots of friends to turn to! {not to mention all the hand me downs!}

Until then, Aunty Em sure does have a nice ring to it!

The Power of Pink

I recently attended the Chris Collinsworth Pink Ribbon Luncheon for breast cancer. To say it was overwhelming was an understatement, which I will get to, but first let me start by asking, isn't it funny how things have a way of working out?

I went to the event last year for the first time, and the sole reason it sparked my interest was because I saw on the news that Giuliana and Bill Rancic were the guest speakers.
Love them!

But, two days later...{two!}...my own mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

It was obviously devastating, daunting, terrifying news, but the inspiration I felt after the event, helped prepare me to support her through the hardest 12 months of our lives. 

Fast forward one hell heck of a year, and my mom was able to come with me to the Pink Ribbon Luncheon. And, let's just say, it held a whole new meaning for me this year. 

We entered the event down a long pink carpet:
It was gorg! I could use one of these leading up to my front door!

But, before the main event, we got to hear Geralyn Lucas, author of "Why I wore Lipstick to my Masectomy..." speak. 

Geralyn was diagnosed at 28, and has since devoted her life to awareness and supporting other women. She is strong, witty and so obviously compassionate about what she does. {Remember the van outside of GMA that found Amy Robach's tumor last October? She set that up!}
My mom, in the pink wrap on the end, was one of the beautiful survivors on stage at the end of Geralyn's presentation. I felt so proud of her, I couldn't help but cry, a bit lot ~ thank you waterproof mascara!

When we found our table in the grand ballroom, I had to take a photo ~ it was just so pink!!
During the auction portion, it took ALL of my will power not to bid on this adorable item...a mini golden doodle puppy! He went for $3,500 so my hubby will be happy I was so strong willed..
This year the guest speaker was Joy Baher; however, it was scheduled to be Joan Rivers. As she spoke of her friend, Joy talked about Joan's love for making people laugh, and in her honor, Joy did just that during her speech.
Looking around the room, some of the ladies were survivors, many were supporters, and some are currently going through treatment.

To see a room, filled with women of all ages, dressed in pink, fighting for the same cause, was beyond powerful. This nasty disease effects so many! No woman should feel alone in her battle.

After so many hard days, it was the perfect afternoon for my mom and me!
I was also lucky enough to be surrounded by my fabulous friends from the team, who have supported me with prayers, love and many hugs, during the past year.
After getting home from such an inspirational event, there was no way I could leave my little girl out of the pink party!
Doesn't she look adorable in her fur?!!

And why stop there? Breast cancer awareness goes all month long, so I picked the prettiest pink I could find for my afternoon mani!
God bless the power of pink, and all the beautiful women behind it!