Friday, January 30, 2015


I want to start today's post by thanking those for their sweet comments and emails after yesterday's post about my new diagnosis. They absolutely made my day and made the week much easier. I don't know about anyone else but this week was long and this girl couldn't be happier that its Friday and moving weekend! I am so fortunate to have my parents coming in town to help me out and I can't wait to get into the new house and of course spend some time with them. 

Here's a few finds from the week ...

/ Drooling over these turquoise earings.

/ It's been a few weeks since I have baked anything and I am thinking I may try Ashley's muffins this weekend! 

/ I took a trip to Sephora this week and grabbed a few new products to try that I will be posting about including this mask which has gotta rave reviews.

/ Pom pom throw pillows, perfection

/ I thought this article was entertaining discussing the difference between red vs white wine drinkers. I love a good Pinot Noir or Cab Sav but always a sucker for my buttery Chardonnays.

Are you a red or white wine kinda girl?
Yours truly,
Emily Ann

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Health Update: A Diagnosis Q&A

Happy Thursday friends! Anyone else beyond ready for Friday and think this week seemed to drag on a bit too much? I can't wait to be done work tomorrow and spend the weekend moving into my new house! 

Back in December, I posted about my health and a few things I was being worked up for. If you're new around here, long story short- I had high liver enzymes and symptoms of severe itchy skin as well fatigue and weight gain. I underwent a number of tests including an ultrasound, chest CT, multiple lab draws, and at the start of January when we still had no answers- a liver biopsy. It was an extremely stressful few month with lots of tears and frustrations but today I am somewhat relieved to finally have a diagnosis. Here's a little Q &A on my diagnosis and what it means for me...

Q: Diagnosis?
A: Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, a form of liver disease that affects the bile ducts within your liver and the way you process and excrete bile out of your body. 

Q: How do you get it?
A: My doctor seems to think that due to have 2 family members pass away from liver cirrhosis that were nondrinkers, I am at a pretty big genetic predisposition for liver issues- aka liver disease. 

Q: Is it treatable?
A: YES! While PBC is not curable,  medicines are able to slow down the progression of the disease, as well as help your body process bile. 

Q: What medications am I taking?
A: So far I am taking a medicine 3 times a day with meals, as well as a powder that mix with orange juice and drink first thing in the morning. The powder is probably the worse and it's definitely taken me some time to get used to it. 

Q: (and probably what I get asked most) Is this because I drink and can I still drink?
A: While I am a lover of wine and used to have a glass 3-4 nights a week, my doctor has assured me that this was in now way caused by my drinking or alcohol. It's unclear why people get PBC, other then genetic reasons and certain environmental factors- nor alcohol related. I am allowed to drink but do intend to scale back quite a lot. 

Q: What is my prognosis?
A: PBC is very much a disease that you can live with and treat the symptoms with medications. My doctor's main concern about my disease is that I am extremely young to not only be diagnosed with PBC but also to be showing symptoms. Most people do not get diagnosed with PBC until they are 35-40 and find out through a routine blood check and discover they have high liver enzymes but no symptoms. People that are diagnosed around that time then start to experience symptoms 5-10 years later. I first started noticing my symptoms back in mid July, meaning my disease technically was starting around 5-8 year ago. Essentially this just means that my disease is a bit more aggressive then most and needs to be carefully monitored. 

Q: Will I need a liver transplant?
A: At this stage in the game- no way! While my disease is aggressive and will need to be more closely moniotred then most, I am hoping that with medication I will live a normal healthy life. PBC is the number 2 reason for liver transplant but right now I am not even thinking about that. 

Q: What does this mean for everyday living?
A: The most important part of my diagnosis and how it will affect my life is to take my medications. I am absolutely horrible at remembering to take any medications and am fortunate that up until now I haven't had any daily medicines. I also need to be conscious about what I am putting in my body and making sure I am drinking a lot of water. People with PBC tend to retain water more then most, hence my notice in weight gain. Making sure I drink enough water will help with this, in addition to a low sodium diet. 

Q: How am I feeling about everything?
A: At first I definitely felt a bit overwhelmed and scared, as would anyone hearing that they have a form over liver disease. I immediately thought I was way too young for this type of diagnosis and was a bit annoyed and frustrated that it would be something I would have to deal with the rest of my life. Since then, I have had a few weeks to take everything in and get into a routine of my meds and adjusting my lifestyle and so far so good. While I still itchy occasionally and my sleep isn't great yet, I am hoping in time both of these will work themselves out and I will go back to feeling like myself again. Working in a hospital, I also had to remember that this could have been much worse and I am extremely lucky to be as healthy as I am and surrounded by an amazing support network. 

Q: What now?
A: I have a few more easy tests to look at my vitamin levels and bone density, as those are things that can be affected by liver disease. I will follow up with my liver specialist a few times a year but should be fine if no complications arise!

While I was unsure if I wanted to post about my diagnosis, I am glad that it's out there and I am able to share about it on my blog. It's very personal and something I am still working through but as always, the blogging world has become a part of me and I am always thankful for the support and encouragement I have gained through my blog. If you are still reading- thank you and I apologize for the length post!

Here's to getting Thursday out of the way and onto the weekend! 
Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bedroom Inspiration

At the end of this week I will be moving into my new house in Raleigh, to say I am excited is a bit of an understatement. When I first moved to NC I found a quick housing option with roommates in Durham, just minutes from my new job. I am so fortunate to have found such a quick option and also to have found such amazing roommates. I knew I eventually wanted to make it Raleigh but it was just a matter of timing and finding the right house. Sure enough right before Christmas, I found my new house and am so excited for the big move. I also can't wait to be living with one of my best friends and a friend of hers that are both moving from the DC area. 

Being that I will be moving into a new space, I thought it would be fun to refresh my bedroom a bit but also use some pieces that I already have. I created this vision board and think I will be able to recreate it almost exactly. 

Bedroom Inspiration

Things I already have from this collection:
- Antique White Dresser
-Small White Side Table
-Antique Crystal Lamp

Things to Get:
- Area Rug
- Upholstered bench
Decorative Tray
- Sitting Chair + Throw Pillow
- Art Work

Being that I have a pretty good start, I think over time I will definitely be able to add to the room and can't wait to see the finished product. 

I would love to hear how people have decorated their bedroom, incorporating things they already have and adding new touches!

Yours truly,
Emily ann

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Recap

This past weekend I traveled back to Richmond to catch up with friends and also babysit overnight for a family I have known since in high school. It was such a good weekend and I am so glad I was able to catch up with so many friends in Richmond, as well as spend time with my favorite 3 and 5 year old. Here's a bit of how the weekend looked...

Friday I got into town and actually stopped by my old hospital to visit and say hi to my old coworkers.I hadn't seen or talked to most since I left back in October so it was really nice to see them and catch up. Next I headed to run a few errands, one of which included stopping to pick up a few new beauty products (post to come.) Once errands were out of the way I headed out to dinner to meet 3 of my closest friends in Richmond for a fun girls night dinner at Lucys. I had never been to Lucys but our meal was amazing and I would definitely suggest it if you are in the Richmond area. They have a farm to table concept and we all loved our meals. I went with the spaghetti squash and "meatballs" made from avocado, artichokes, and spinach... so amazing. 

After dinner I met up with more friends for a fun evening out. I wish our picture had turned out but we were having so much fun I didn't bother to get another one. 

Saturday morning I headed to babysit and boy did we have a busy day. I have known these boys since they were babies and have loved watching them grow up. We ended up going to the Farmers Marker, Sugar Shack for donuts, the Children's museum, and our last stop was the grocery store. I thought it would be fun to make homemade pizzas with the boys and while only one of them wanted to try it, he loved it and actually did a great job. 

Sunday morning obviously called for pancakes and of course coffee for myself while the boys played on the Wii. 

After breakfast I pulled the boys away from the TV and we ventured to Bryd Park to check out the fountain and birds. The weather was so nice and the boys enjoyed walking around the pond looking at the different ducks. 

I had so much fun babysitting but have to admit I was a bit relieved when their parents got home earlier then they expected. Watching two boys for the weekend was no joke and I give major props to all the momma's out there. Going to the grocery store with a 3 and 5 year and making it out without so much more then we needed and only a few things knocked was a miracle. By the time I got back to North Carolina, I was beyond tired and didn't get stay up to catch Revenge. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend Shopping

Sorry for the lack of posting last week- it turned out to be a crazy week and I also had my follow up appointment and received an official diagnosis from my doctor regarding my liver biopsy. While I do plan to post about it at some point, for now I am going to focus on something a bit more fun- shopping! There are so many good deals going on right now, I have definitely been doing some online perusing. Here's a few things I have my eye on as of lately...

A few weeks ago I found a Loft gift card that I had completely forgotten about and boy was I excited. I made the mistake of stopping in the store when I only had a few minutes to look and didn't end up leaving with anything due not being able to make up my mind. 

Floral Charm Pocket Blouse- I tried this blouse on and immediately fell in love. It would be perfect now paired with jeans and booties as well as some white jeans and wedges in summer. 

I also tried on this Two in One top and was surprised how much I liked it! It's very flattering and could easily be throw on to run errands with leggings or dressed up with some skinnies, heels and a fun necklace. 
Bonus- Both of these tops are on sale right now!

J.Crew Factory
How adorable are these dot shorts, I am loving them and think they would be perfect with a slouchy black tee and wedges. Also currently 30% off!

Also loving these print pointed flats, I am a true sucker for anything white and navy. These are also included in the sale and a great deal right now!

I was so sad to hear that Piperlime is closing, they always have the best selection and variety of brands and products. They are currently having a sale and I would anticipate a lot more before they officially close in April.
Loving this simple brown leather watch. Perfect for casual weekend arm party. 

This Joie blouse is stunning and looks so flattering. Another piece that would work in winter/fall with jeans or white jeans and jacks during the summer. 

What are you shopping for this weekend?
Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekend Review

This past weekend was jam packed with so many fun meals and activities, lets jump right in...

Friday morning I picked my dad up from the airport and we headed to run a few errands before grabbing lunch. I needed to be measured for a bridesmaids dress for my cousins wedding I will be in in August. She has chosen a bright poppy pink color, strapless and floor length- absolutely beautiful. This will be my first wedding as a bridesmaid and I am looking forward to all the various events we have planned over the next few months! Back to the weekend- after grabbing my measurements, we were both in the mood for sushi and headed to one of my favorite Raleigh restaurants- Cowfish. I was lucky enough to have tried Cowfish before when I lived in Charlotte and was so excited to learn there was also a location in Raleigh. 

One of my favorite parts about Cowfish is that you can get a half of a roll. In other words if your are trying to decide between two different rolls, you are able to get a half of each- perfect in my book. 

After lunch my dad was feeling pretty tired from his early morning flight and wanted to get settled into his hotel. I went back home and ran some errands before it was time to head back out for dinner. Friday night's dinner may have been my favorite part of the whole weekend. I have been dying to try out 42nd St. Oyster Bar and was so excited when my dad mentioned being in the mood for oysters. 

We opted to sit at the oyster bar and had one of the best meals I've had since living in Raleigh. 
Of course we had to try out the oysters and they were absolutely amazing. For dinner we both had the grouper and it also did not disappoint. We also finished our meal with Apple Pie and rum sauce.. holy yum. 

Saturday morning I headed to the gym to get in a quick workout in hopes of working off some of the last night's calories. After the gym, my dad and I headed to breakfast at Guglhupf, a German bakery in Durham. I had been once before but was definitely looking forward to returning, especially for their latte, which is still my favorite in the area. 
For breakfast I went with my favorite, the Eggs Arnold- toast, 2 poached eggs with tomatoes, artichokes, and spinach finished with a bit of hollandaise and fresh fruit. If you are in the Durham or Raleigh area, I highly suggest checking out Guglhupf, it has quickly become one of my favorite spots! 

After breakfast I actually had to head into work for just a bit but it was the perfect chance to show my dad around my new hospital. He was very impressed with some of our newer buildings and renovations and it was fun to show him where I work everyday. 

Next we headed to a man's dream world- BassPro Shop. My dad has only ever been to one before and since they don't have in Philadelphia, I thought it would be something fun for him to see as he loves to camp and fish. My guess was right and we walked isle by isle for nearly 45 minutes looking at all the different outdoor equipment and products. 

Next we headed to try out a local brewery- Lonerider. 
Lonerider makes one of my favorite Brown Ales, Sweet Josie so I was especially excited to check out the brewery and other selections on tap. Lucky for us the weather was gorgeous and they had a food truck! Another good place to try if you are in the Raleigh area and looking for a good craft brewery!

After the a few beers and snacks we headed to the movies to see The Theory of Everything. 

Dad let me pick the movie and after seeing so many previews and hearing how good it was, I couldn't turn down the chance to see it. The reviews turned out to be correct and I actually loved the movie, aside from getting a bit teary at times. I had no idea that Stephen Hawking is still alive and am looking forward to doing a bit more research on he and his family. 

After the movie we rush back to change and get ready for our dinner reservation in Chapel Hill at Lantern. When I was originally preparing for my dad's visit I knew I had to be prepared restaurant wise because my dad is not just into food, but really good food. After getting several suggestions from people, many people recommended Lantern as a good upscale but casual restaurant that would not disappoint. 
Our experience at Lantern was absolutely amazing and I would definitely recommend it to others as well. From the service to the wine to the dessert, everything was lovely and such a treat. 

Sunday my dad's flight wasn't until the evening so we had the whole day for more exploring and hate to say it but even fit in one more yummy meal. Sunday morning we ventured into Raleigh and had brunch at Tupelo Honey.

I honestly shocked we were able get a table but was happy we could check it out. Our breakfast was amazing and both my dad and I couldn't believe how good their coffee was. As someone who loves good coffee, it definitely did not disappoint and reminded me of something one would find in a small coffee authentic coffee shop. 

After breakfast we headed to the mall to walk around bit and I ended up scooping up a new dress I am really excited about.
I originally went into H&M to see if I could find Emily's dress she scored on clearance but had no luck. I actually loved so many things at H&M which could end up being a post later this week. 

After the mall we headed to check out a new brewery located just blocks away from what will be my new house in a few weeks!
If you are in the Raleigh area, this is another brewery I would definitely check out. They have a great space, both indoor and outdoor seating, cornhole, and live music on certain days. Two of my friends ended up coming up to meet my dad and I and enjoy a beer and some of the live music they had playing. 

Sadly we head to the airport that afternoon so my dad could catch his flight but boy did we have an amazing weekend! Major props if you made it through this length post! 

How did you spend your weekend?
Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Friday, January 16, 2015


Anyone else beyond relieved the weekend is here? This week seemed to drag on but I am so happy Friday is here AND that I have a long weekend! Being that I worked last Saturday, I was able to take today off and am really looking forward to the extra relaxing. This weekend my dad is flying in from Philadelphia and I can't wait to spend time with him and show him around my new city. We have dinner reservations both tonight and tomorrow and fun activities between so it should be a great weekend ahead! Here's this week's links and finds...

/ As a lover of sushi, I can tell you that this recipe will be happening ASAP. 

/ I've been on the market for a new watch and I love the timeless look of this one

/ This Manhattan apartment

/ As someone who uses heat on their hair almost every day from either a blow dryer, curling iron, or straightner, I think I need to incorporate this product into my daily routine. 

/ One of my favorite quote finds yet this year, so true. 

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday Eats: Power Blueberry Muffins

Baking is not my favorite activity, to be perfectly honest I'm not much of a measurer which is normally pretty important when it comes to baking. However, once in a while I find a recipe on pinterest and decide to give it go, especially if the recipe has berries. This past weekend I was in the mood to make something sweet but healthy and easy to grab for breakfast in the morning, insert- Blueberry Power Muffins. While I can't say where exactly the "power" part comes into play, I can say that they are healthy and each muffin contains a little over 200 calories. 

I followed this recipe but did have to make a few changes for things I didn't have on hand. 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats–quick or regular oats ( I used regular)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Truvia Baking Blend OR 2/3 cup sugar ( I only had sugar on me but used a bit less then recommended)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt ( I also didn't have salt)
  • 1 1/2 cups honey nonfat Greek yogurt 
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Ran out of this, yikes I know!)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin pan, set aside until mix is ready. Mix flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Combine the wet ingredients in with the dry and then fold in the blueberries. Scoop mix into muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes. 

While I wish I would have had all the ingredients, I will say they still turned out great and have made for a yummy breakfast this week! 

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Tuesday, January 13, 2015



These are a few things I've had on my radar lately. Between getting ready to move to my new house and forking out a good amount for all my medical tests and procedures, this girl is no place to shop. However it's fun to look around and pretend all of these things are absolutely needed. I have yet to take the plunge and buy a fitbit but really thinking I may do so in the next month or so. Anyone have one that loves theirs or things I could do without it? I've also heard rave reviews about this eye cream and thinking I may need to see what all the fuss about. 

What have you been shopping for lately?

Yours truly,
Emily Ann

Monday, January 12, 2015

Let's Chat: Golden Globes

Let's jump right into today's topic- favorite looks of the Golden Globes. While I can't say that I watched  them from start to finish, I did happen to catch a bit of the red carpet entrance. In my opinion, the red carpet is the best part about any award show and the only part I tend to watch. Here were a few of my favorite looks from last night...

Emma Stone. 
While I can't say I have ever been a huge fan of the "pant suit" look, I thought she looked absolutely stunning and extremely classy. I love the bow detail and her tousled curl look. 

Reese Witherspoon.
She can literally do no wrong. Although the dress and her look was very simple, she looks exquisite and like she hasn't aged in a decade. 

Jenna Dewan-Tatum.
Somewhat of a random pick as I am not a huge follower of Jenna, however I loved her whole look-hair, makeup, and dress. If only I could get my hair to curl and look like hers I would be golden. 

Camila Alves
She is absolutely stunning no matter what she wears or looks like. From her olive complexion to being married to Matthew McConaughey, she's a winner in my book. 

Another favorite of mine, she looks majorly in shape and fit. Also loving her choice of navy and glam curls. 

Who was your favorite look of last night?

Yours truly,
Emily Ann

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy Weekend

I am so happy that Friday is finally here. Between extra long days at work and FREEZING temperatures here in North Carolina, I am looking forward to some relaxing time this weekend. A movie night with girlfriends, lunch date with a friend, and checking in to see how the new house is coming are a bit of whats in store for the weekend. Next weekend my dad will be visiting from Philadelphia so I am hoping to have most of our weekend planned including yummy meals, a trip to the movies, and a few fun touristy spots. Here's some finds from this week...

I am a big believer in the benefits of drinking lemon water but this article does a great job of explaining just how amazing it is for you. 

Thinking this recipe might be on next week's dinner menu, so easy and filled with veggies. 

So happy this poncho is back in stock, currently deciding which color I need to have. 

After much deliberation and research, we have finally picked the spot for our girl's long weekend getaway! I am thinking this bucket list may come in handy for our trip. 

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Favorite Christmas Gifts

Santa, aka my family was majorly good to me this year. It's only been a few weeks since Christmas but I have already put my gifts to good use and am loving them so far. Here's a few of the things that landed under my tree...

My Favorite Christmas Gifts

1. Ren Glycolic Radiance Mask: I've talked about this mask before on the blog but it truly is one of my favorite masks. I have very sensitive skin and was really hesitant to try something new, especially in the cold dryer months. I use this mask about twice a week and have absolutely loved the results. Not only does it not dry my skin out, it leaves it glowing and feeling soft. It's a bit more then I would spend on a typical facial mask but this one is worth it. 

2. Anastasia Contour Kit: Let me preface by saying that I am no makeup pro and even the idea of contouring used to stress me out. However as someone who has an extremely round face, I learned early on that a good bronzer, blush, and highlight could give anyone cheek bones, as well as define the jaw line. I am still learning how to use this kit and the corresponding brushes but so far it has been great for adding depth and color to just the right places on my face. 

3. Kate Spade Ruby Earings: This was a total surprise from my mom that I was not expecting at all. Ruby is my birth stone and I thought these Ruby studs from my mom were so sweet and thoughtful. I've already worn them a handful of times, especially when I am needing a fun bit of color in my outfit.

4. Long Puffer Jacket by Laundry: I don't have the actual link for this one because I was unable to find mine online. The above picture is pretty close to what it looks like just a few little differences. I had been wanting a longer winter coat since last year and after wearing my mom's North Face one a few times, I decided it was time to get my own. With temps in the teens this week I can tell you it is getting a lot of wear!

5. 3 Day Bender 1.25 Curling Iron: While I can't say I have used this a ton yet, I can say that the few times I have used it my curls have turned out perfect and seemed to last longer. Before Christmas I made the decision to chop a good 4-5 inches off my hair and since have been struggling with ways to style it. One of my favorite looks has been to do a rough blow dry with lots of volume product and add in loose big waves using the curling iron.

6. Fresh Sake Perfume: This is my second bottle of this perfume and while I normally like trying new scents, I couldn't resist making this one of my signature scents. This perfume has a much different smell then most on the shelf and while I can't exactly describe it, I can say that it has undertones of musk, vanilla, and lilly. If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly suggest you do so, it's very light and has become my favorite for everyday wear.

7. What could make a girl happier then a Starbucks giftcard? I got a few of these over the Holidays and loving the extra treat throughout the week! My got to beverage these days is a tall latte with an extra shot of espresso, finished with a dash of cinnamon... perfection.

What were some of your favorite gifts?

Yours truly,
Emily Ann