EMMA’S FIRST TOPKNOT

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Emma is one year and one day old today. This called for something new, so I pulled her silky strands up in to a tiny topknot. Be still my heart. Every time I think she can’t possibly get any cuter…

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HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, EMMA!

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On June 20, 2015 at 6:21am, baby Emma Ruth Reid was born. She immediately stole our hearts and there are no words to describe the love I feel for her. She is my heartbeat.

I am overwhelmed with emotions as she is one year old today. The months go by ever too quickly. Each day is a new adventure in motherhood. It’s not easy but it’s the best job in the world. The early years are so precious and I want to cherish every moment that I get to cuddle her, love on her, train her and watch her grow. I’m not sure how I will be able to stop calling her “baby Emma” as she is now a toddler. It just doesn’t seem possible that she can be a toddler already. I must let go of the desire to keep her a “baby” and embrace this next phase. I know it’s going to be so much fun as she will be able to communicate more, start running around and becoming more independent. Ready or not, bring on toddlerhood!

Also, today is extra special…because in addition to Emma turning one, we told her that she is going to be a big sister!!! 🙂 I am 11 weeks and 4 days pregnant, due January 4th, 2017. There may be a baby on Christmas or New Years! So if you have been wondering why I’ve been MIA for the past month, this is why. I haven’t been feeling well so I’ve just been resting as much as possible while chasing Emma around. Nausea and dizziness aside, I’m going to do my best to get back in to the blogging routine. X {Below is an open letter from me to Emma}

To my dearest baby girl,

I love you with every breath in my being. You came in to this world and stole our hearts. We dreamed of you and waited for your arrival with great anticipation. You bring joy when there is sorrow and you bring light when there is darkness. You are perfect, created by your heavenly Father. You have a great destiny! I wish I could keep you from the hurt and trials of this world, but I know it’s impossible. So know, my sweet girl, that I will always fiercely love and protect you as long as I breathe. I will be your biggest cheerleader. I will be here with open arms whenever you need me. Always be passionate and brave, have courage to stand up for what you believe in and know your worth. Be humble, kind, compassionate and quick to forgive. In the words of Tim McGraw, “bitterness will keep you from flying” and that couldn’t be more true. I want you to soar in this life and embrace each day. Don’t let anything hold you back. You are already so strong and full of personality and I know you will grow up to be an extraordinary woman. I thank God everyday for giving me the honor and privilege of being your mama. Happy 1st Birthday, my darling.

JUNE FLATLAY | VOL 1

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SUMMER ESSENTIALS:

Fabric “Belle” Bow in Cream Swiss Dot | Little Mint Julep

Floral Flutter Dress | Gap {Sold out online, cute style here}

Basketweave Jellies | Gap

“You are my Sunshine” Wood Teether Toy | Little Sapling Toys

Playtime with Sophie: Board Book | Buy it here

KIDS & COFFEE DATES

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I have always loved my coffee dates with girlfriends, and when baby Emma came along I didn’t give them up. We usually meet someone for coffee once a week! It’s not quite as relaxing anymore since I have a small human to entertain, but we have fun. 🙂

I firmly believe that you have to get out with your babes starting when they are newborns. It’s our responsibility to teach them how to behave in public places and I refuse to be cooped up 24-7 because I have a child. Your social life should not come to a screeching hault after babies! Emma and I look forward to dates with our girlfriends, and even if it’s a crazy morning we pull ourselves together and make it happen. Of course we love having friends over for coffee, and if you both have kids it’s nice for them to be able to run free, but everyone needs to get out sometimes {the babes included}. 

If you haven’t ventured out with your babe yet; here are some tips I hope will be helpful: Keep a handful of toys to entertain your babe in the diaper bag at all times. I like to have an assortment of options. I always have something dangling that can clip on to a highchair, a plastic book that can be chewed on and wiped off if they drop it, a teether toy, pacifier, rings that link {these also can be used to attach toys to the highchair so they don’t drop}, whatever you know your kid will enjoy. I do not turn on my phone and let Emma watch shows. She plays, interacts with others and snacks. I recommend having a food pouch and some sort of crunchy snack in the diaper bag as well. I find that the small bags of veggie straws work well. They aren’t messy, and help with teething. Or if you want to share a goody with your babe since it is an outing, a muffin is always delicious and easy to break in to little bites {Emma’s personal favorite coffee shop treat}. I also keep a bib and bottle in the diaper bag. I fill the bottle with filtered water before we go anywhere.

Do you have a favorite go-to spot for coffee dates? If you are in Nashville, check out Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea in East Nashville. It’s one of our favorites and they have the BEST pastries brought in from Dozen Bakery. You can sit inside or on their cute patio. They also have a little kids table with some toys. 

I hope everyone has a coffee date scheduled soon! XOUTFIT DETAILS:

Dress | Urban Outfitters {last year}

Platform Sandals | Pour La Victoire {old}

Braided Tassel Bracelet | Madeline’s Box

ON BABY EMMA:

Fabric “Belle” Bow in Cream Swiss Dot | Little Mint Julep

Leather Braided Pacifier Clip in Ivory | Madeline’s Box

Chambray Top | Peek Kids {Found at Kid to Kid Consignment}

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Photos By Bethany Sousa

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SUMMER NIGHTS

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Yesterday we had a fun afternoon with friends, and ended the day at Chuck’s Snow Cones. It’s the cutest little spot next to a mini golf course by Opry Mills in Nashville, TN. This was Emma’s first taste of a snow cone and she loved it! Although what babe doesn’t love a good sugar high??!

This little love muffin turns one in just 8 days and she is all gummy smiles, drool, and with the Summer heat upon us…sweat and curls. With temps in the upper 90’s a trip for delicious snow cones is the perfect outing. X

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SPRING FLING

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Each year I get so excited for Spring! I take this amazing vintage coat out of storage and it just hangs in my closet, begging for a day that is actually cool enough to wear it. Nashville warms up quickly, so I feel like we have a fling with Spring each year. That said, we have had a few beautiful, cool days lately in Nash and I’m taking advantage of being outdoors as much as possible.

 Last week we had a great time walking in 12 South {my favorite strip in Nash}. This cotton candy print coat finally got some sunshine, and Emma loved all of the color and texture at the flower market!

 Since my coat is such a statement on its own, I kept the rest of my look pretty simple. I would normally slip on some nude pumps with this look, but with baby Em and the stroller, I opted for flats. Comfort has become key when we are out and about and Jack Rogers sandals are always chic and comfortable. The platinum color is my favorite since they match everything.

I hope everyone is having a beautiful Spring filled with walks in the sunshine, fragrant flowers and fun coats! X

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OUTFIT DETAILS:

Vintage Coat | La Loupe Vintage

White Button Down | Forever 21 {old}

Cropped Looker Jeans | Mother

Hamptons Sandal | Jack Rogers

Aviator Sunglasses | LOFT

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Photos By Bethany Sousa

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GRASSY

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This past weekend I celebrated my first Mother’s Day as a mama myself, and my heart could not be more full. I’m bursting looking at these images of Emma playing in the grass last week. We had some cooler, true Spring weather and it was perfect for playing outside. This was also Em’s first time actually sitting and crawling in the grass. She had a blast picking the clovers and watching Stella run around. I want to soak in as many of these moments as possible. It’s just too easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff and miss these opportunities. Sometimes you just need to drop everything and enjoy the little things. These are the moments our babes will remember. These are the memories we will cherish and talk about as they grow.

I hope that all of you mamas had a  Mother’s Day filled with these special moments! As mamas we have the best {and most challenging} job in the world, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I want to give a little extra love to my mama, Carla Schroeder. She is a shining example of love, compassion and grace. She created so many of these special moments when my brother and I were kids, and when we get together as a family we always share our favorite stories. No matter what happens in life, we will always have these memories to make us smile. I can’t wait to do the same with Emma as she grows. I love you, Mom, and Emma is so blessed to have you as her Grandma! X

Photos By Bethany Sousa

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MADELINE’S BOX | COLLAB | VOL 2

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Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fabulous Mother’s Day!

Last week I introduced you to  Madeline’s Box {@madelines.box} and featured their Leather Braided Tassel Bracelet {hopefully some lucky mamas received one as a gift!}. Today I’m showing you their best product, the Braided Pacifier Clip. I first purchased a Madeline’s Box pacifier clip as part of a set with a wood teether toy from Little Sapling Toys. I had no idea how much I was going to love this item, and now I don’t go anywhere without it!

The most common use for the braided clip is to hold your babes pacifier. Even if your babe doesn’t take a pacifier, you still need a braided clip! There are so many other uses for the clip besides holding a paci! You’ll see in these photos that I actually have two with me. I love my Ergobaby carrier, it’s the best, but there aren’t any pockets or places to hold extra items. This is tricky when you want to go for a walk or a hike and don’t want to carry anything else. Here I clipped on a hat for Em and let it hang from the side of the carrier. I also sometimes loop on my keys, a teether, and other goodies. One clip holds more than you would think!

In these photos I’m highlighting the new Softy Braided Clip in “Softy Sunshine“. This style is a bit bigger and has some stretch. Emma loves to chew on it too! I’ve threaded it through a paci to show the most common way this can be used. Madeline’s Box also offers Natursutten pacifiers that work great with the braided clip as they are easy to thread {check them out here}. I just used the pacifiers I had already which are similar {find them here}. You want to make sure that if you offer your child a pacifier you are using one that is safe. The Natursutten pacifiers are all natural. I would actually purchase this one next time around as it is better than silicone. If you breastfeed, the shape of the pacifier you offer your babe is also important so you don’t cause nipple confusion. The shape of these pacifiers are designed to fit your babes mouth and provide the feeling of comfort they get while breastfeeding.

Shop Madeline’s Box this month using my code and save 20% when you spend $20.00 or more! Click on the code below to start shopping and make sure to enter ERICA20 at checkout! X

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Softy Sunshine Braided Pacifer Clip | Madeline’s Box

Ivory Leather Braided Pacifer Clip | Madeline’s Box

Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier | Amazon

Ergobaby Four Position 360 Baby Carrier | Amazon

Photo Apr 06

Photos By Bethany Sousa

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MADELINE’S BOX | COLLAB | VOL 1

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This month we are thrilled to be featuring Madeline’s Box {@madelines.box}!  Heather, creator of Madeline’s Box, started this company after making her own braided pacifier clip for her son since she couldn’t find one on the market that fit her style. MB is one of the very first to bring leather braided pacifier clips to the market! Nothing makes me happier than supporting other mamas who are living out their passions while providing for their families. I love to shop small whenever I can, and I tend to splurge on fun little things for Emma.

That said, my first post about Madeline’s Box is actually featuring the Leather Braided Tassel Bracelet. Emma is wearing her Leather Braided Pacifier Clip from MB in these photos, but I want to talk about the bracelet I’m wearing since Mother’s day is just one week away! These bracelets are the perfect gift for the mamas in your life! They come in white or gold and can be personalized with an initial pendant and/or jewel. I chose the “E” for Emma and the “Glass Slipper” jewel since it’s closest to the April birthstone {diamond}. April was the month that I miscarried my first baby and it is also my birth month so it has special meaning. I love that this bracelet matches everything and has such sentimental value. I’ve shown it on it’s own in these photos, but it’s also super cute layered with other bracelets. The fit is perfect, and it’s leather so it can stretch and form to your wrist.

If you are looking for that perfectly priced Mother’s Day gift with a personalized touch this bracelet is it! Shop Madeline’s Box this month using my code and save 20% when you spend $20.00 or more! Click on the Shop Now button below to start shopping and make sure to enter code ERICA20 at checkout! X

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P.S. We are nibbling on a blueberry muffin and drinking coffee {water for Em} at one of our favorite spots, Eighth and Roast, in Nashville, TN. Make sure to check it out if you live here or are visiting!

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Leather Braided Tassel Bracelet with Initial Pendant and Jewel | Madeline’s Box

Leather Braided Pacifier Clip in Ivory | Madeline’s Box

Emma’s Bow Headband | Little Mint Julep 

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Photo Apr 06

Photos By Bethany Sousa

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APRIL FLATLAY | VOL 3

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Featuring this month’s collaboration…

LittleSapling

You guys! Tomorrow {April 30th} is the last day to shop and save using my discount code! Enter code “ERICA10” at checkout to save 10%!

A big THANK YOU to Little Sapling Toys {@littlesaplingtoys} for collaborating with us and giving us the opportunity to feature you this month! We love following you and can’t wait to see what designs you come up with next! X

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You Are My Sunshine Wood Toy Teether | Little Sapling Toys

Panda Wood Toy Teether | Little Sapling Toys

Diamond Gem Wood Toy Teether | Little Sapling Toys

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Photo by Bethany Sousa

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