Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve Looks

New Year's Eve Looks

Whether your hitting the town with friends or grabbing a low key dinner, I am loving both of these looks. This year I will be heading over to one of my closest friends house for a yummy dinner, movie watching, and a bit of bubbly. I am officially trading in sequins and pumps for yoga pants and slippers and quite honestly, could not be more excited!

Yours truly & Happy New Year!
Emily Ann

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Back At It: Holiday Recap

Somehow my blogger scheduler was feeling sluggish after the holidays and my post did not make it up yesterday. Here's Monday's post:

Happy Monday friends. Anyone else absolutely struggling this morning back at work? My alarm going off this morning seemed like a bit of a joke after several days off at home but Monday is here and this girl is back at work. I can't even put into words how much I enjoyed my time at home, it was thoroughly needed and I am already missing my friends and family.

Before I get into my recap of my time at home, I did want to mention something I am very excited to share and that is that I will be moving AGAIN in just a few weeks! As of last week, I signed a house with 2 friends and will be moving to Raleigh. For the past few months I have been living in Durham, and while my commute to work has been short and sweet, I am so far away from where most of my friends live in Raleigh. I am beyond thrilled about our sweet little home and can't wait to share more pictures once we move in!

Now back to the Holidays...
I got in town late Tuesday night and pretty much immediately went to bed. In the morning it was coffee, enjoying all of my mom's wonderful Christmas decorations, and relaxing before spin class. My best friend, Alison teaches spin and I was thrilled when she told me she was teaching a 90 minute class on Christmas Eve morning. 

After spin, which was amazing and left me already ready for a nap, I headed home to get ready for our Christmas Eve party. My mom, grandma, and I went to Christmas Eve mass at 4 then hopped home to finish some last minute touches and dishes

Christmas Day and the day after we're spent visiting family and more friends and lots of relaxing. I got to fit in another spin and core class on Friday and I think my legs are still sore. Friday night was pizza and movie night with my family and one of my favorite parts of break. 

Saturday it was time to change out of pjs for errands and shopping with mom before having friends over and heading out for a bit. Two of my friends from college were in town for the Redskins/cowboys game and we decided to venture downtown annapolis that night for a few drinks. 

Sunday I grabbed lunch with the family and more snuggle session with this guy before getting on the road. 

Overall it was such a great time and I am so thankful for the time off. This week will be spent unpacking, lots of laundry, and getting back into the routine of things. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! 

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas To All

As of late last night I am officially home for the Holidays and beyond happy to be spending 5 days at home with my family. Today will consist of some last minute wrapping, Christmas Eve mass with the family, and then our annual Christmas Eve open house. I look forward to tonight every year and love getting to catch up with all of our friends and family. I hope everyone has a wonderful and 
blessed Christmas!

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann 

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Little Bit of What I've Been Up To...

I am going to attempt to do a bit of a catch up for the few weeks I was away and not posting. Thank you again to everyone for your sweet comments and emails. For a quick health update- I had my appointment with the liver specialist who going forward would like to perform a biopsy. She feels this is the best way we can get some answers and figure out why my enzymes are so high. Again, I can't thank you all enough for reaching out, it meant more then you know!

Moving on... here's a bit of what's been going on before and in-between all these doctor appointments and tests! 

Whipping up a cheese plate is one of my favorite things. This was just a small one for my roommates and I but normally I go all out with a few different meats, a fruit, and olives. 

A trip to Richmond to catch up with friends and attend my first Tacky Light Tour. 

Nights spent watching Christmas movies, sipping hot chocolate, and wrapping presents. 

Checking out a new yoga studio- Durham Yoga Company. 

Anyone else in utter disbelief that Christmas is just days away? Between moving a few months ago to dealing with doctor appointments I feel like the Holiday season completely got away from me. As for my plans and the Holidays, I will be headed home in just 2 days and can't wait to spend an extra long weekend with my family in Annapolis. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Getting Personal- A Health Update

Today's post is a bit different and more personal then my average every day post. A few weeks ago I posted that I was taking some time away from the blog due a recent health concern that deserved most if not all my attention. First, I would like to thank everyone for the sweet comments and emails I received, you have no idea how much each and every one of them meant to me.

I'm not sure I even know where to begin when it comes to my current situation but I guess I will start a few months ago when it all started- the itching. For the past several months I have been dealing with severely itchy skin, not just a few itches throughout the day, I mean scrapes all over myself from scratching. I never had any sort of hives or rash, my skin always looked normal just very itchy. I wasn't using any new products-lotion, detergent, or soaps and to my knowledge have never been allergic to anything. When I first saw a doctor they suggested I try a few days of steroids to see if that would clear it up. Turns out the steroids did work and my itching subsided but I ended up breaking out in small bumps all over my skin. The next step was to take a skin biopsy to look for possibly answers there but unfortunately that also turned out to be normal and have no explanation for the itchyness. In the mean time my doctor had started me on a slew of medicines to help me sleep at night as I often was unable to sleep due to the itching. 

Fast forward a few weeks and it was time for me to move to Raleigh. My itching remained about the same and would be severe at times but tolerable at others. I still wasn't using anything new and had started using clean and free detergents, soap, and lotion. About a month ago I saw my new PCP in Raleigh and recapped everything thus far on my itchy skin and tests that had been done. She prescribed me a new itching medicine that could be taken up to 3 times a day and was planning to do research on chronic urticaria aka itching all the time. 

The week of Thanksgiving was by far the worst week I have ever had, itching wise and I found myself only getting about 1-3 hours of sleep a night. I became delusional at work and was unable to focus on nearly anything. One night after scratching so much my skin began to burn, I decided enough was enough and took myself to the Emergency Room. Now I know what your thinking and believe me, I would not have taken myself there if I was not so sleep deprived and absolutely miserable. While I was in the E.R they thought it would be best to draw some blood just to take a look at my different levels to make sure all of counts looked ok. While waiting for the labs to come back they gave me ice packs for my skin to soothe the burning as well as some relaxing medicine to see if that would help me sleep. About 30 minutes after the labs were drawn, the doctor came in and said that he thought he had found the reason I was so itchy and that my liver numbers were 5 times what they should be. A sign of liver disease or a liver under stress is often itchy skin, in addition to elevated numbers, both of which I had. He recommended I receive an outpatient ultrasound ASAP to rule out any tumors, cysts, or possible gallstones. In the meantime it was recommended that I stop all medications, prescription and over the counter to see if I possibly had drug induced hepatitis. I was also told to not drink as alcohol could easily increase my numbers and put additional stress on my liver. 

Since my visit to the Emergency Room it has been an absolute roller coaster of emotions and new information. Since then I have had a clear ultrasound which ruled out tumors and cysts and a clear chest x-ray to rule out lymphoma. Next up is a CT scan and appointment with a liver specialist, who will hopefully be able to give myself and my family some answers. Thankfully both my mom and grandmother are coming in town tonight for these appointments tomorrow and I am so thankful they will be here. It has been terrifying going through all this without my family and call me childish but sometimes a girl just needs here momma with her! As for today and tomorrow I am leaving everything in God's hands and trusting everything will work out just as it's supposed to. I am so thankful to be able to see one of the top doctors at Duke and hoping all will be sorted out before Christmas.

If you are still reading all this you are a saint and I apologize for the lengthy post. I have missed blogging 100% and am looking forward to getting back into the swing of regular postings. I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday season so far!

Yours truly,
Emily Ann

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Stepping Back

Hello Blog friends. I apologize for the silence over the past week, I wish I could say the Holidays were my excuse but unfortunately that is not the case. Over the past week I have been experiencing some health issues which I am choosing at this point not to get into on the blog. I am hoping to have some answers and have things resolved over the next week but this is only my hope and may not be reality. During this time I am going to be focusing on my health and will unfortunately not be on my regular posting schedule, if posting at all. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I will be back as soon as I can!

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Thursday, November 27, 2014


This year I am celebrating Thanksgiving a bit different then I have in years past. I am not in Maryland with my family or hungover from a fun night out with my friends last night. I'm not planning my Black Friday shopping or wishing I hadn't had that last piece of pie. 

This year I am spending my Thanksgiving working, working with patients and families that never cease to amaze me with their strength. This Thanksgiving feeling thankful has an extra special meaning because it's the first time I've ever been away from my family on a holiday. My family means the world and more to me, they are my support through anything and the people who have raised me and shaped me into the person I am today. While I am missing them today, I am feeling humbled and grateful to be working where I am today. I am and have been incredibly fortunate in life, I have always had a roof over my head, a loving family, good health, and friends I don't know what I would do without. Every one is dealt different cards in life and I have to say I am a lucky winner. Today rather then feeling sad and upset over being away from my family, I choose to be happy and thankful for all that I have been blessed with. Today I choose to be a little cheer to my patients and their families who day after day are faced with more obstacles and hardships yet still find a way to smile. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Friday, November 21, 2014


Friday Friday Friday I am so glad you are finally here. This weekend I am hoping for warm weather after some pretty chilly days this week. Saturday I am heading to ECU to cheer on the Pirates with friends. We are in need of a serious win and I am hoping the home game will do just the trick. Sunday will be spent getting ready for next week and then heading to a friends for "Friendsgiving." Now onto some finds throughout the week!

/ If there's one thing you do this weekend, make sure you swing by Sephora and pick up this mask. So far I have used it twice this week and am already in love. Both times after using it my face has looked brighter, refreshed, and like I've just slept 10 hours. 

/ Last night my roommate and I were both craving cookies but disappointed to find we didn't have any flour. After googling a few recipes, we decided on this recipe. Instead of peanut butter we used almond butter and they turned out so good, a definitely try if your looking for an easy cookie recipe!

/With a few friendsgiving get togethers coming up, I am thinking this sangria will part of my contribution. 

/Around this time we all start thinking of New Year's resolutions and what we will focus on for the upcoming year. When making these resolutions it's hard not to think of past resolutions and become down on ourselves for never fully checking them off our list. This article is spot on about not being hard on yourself, picking yourself, and focusing on what's important. 

/ This is 100% true and such a good reminder. 

Here's to a good weekend ahead, cheers!

Yours truly,
Emily Ann

Thursday, November 20, 2014

This and That: Planners, Wine, and More

Anyone else counting down the seconds until Friday? I swear last week flew by and this week didn't seem to move at all. Today's post is a random assortment of catching up + some mid week thoughts...

A few weeks ago Kristina over at Medicine & Manicures posted about May Designs and how they were recently featured as one of Oprah's favorite things. As someone who takes their planners pretty seriously, I decided to check them out and absolutely loved what I found. Not only are there so many covers to choose from, you are able to customize just about everything. These would make the perfect gift for the upcoming Holidays and are super affordable. 

Hot Chocolate + being snuggled in bed... my favorite as of lately.

I am still on the hunt for a camel "poncho" sweater. I originally wanted this one but was so sad to find they sold out in my size. I stumbled on the one pictured above but still don't know if it's exactly what I am looking for or if there is something better out there. Opinions?

I am currently reading this book and loving every page. I believe I will be finishing in the next few days and am looking for my next read- suggestions welcome!

This week I tried out Whole Food's brand of wine, Three Wishes. I would say the concept is similar to that of Trader Joes and the Two or now Three Buck Chuck. If your in the south or NC region, I've also heard Harris Teeter is also now offering their own brand of wine, Oak Creek for a similar price. While I can't speak to the Oak Creek, I can say that I tried the Three Wishes Cabernet Sauvignon and was very pleased. It was very smooth and for just $3 would definitely buy it again and try the others. 

My best friend Alison has decided to join the blogging world and I could not be more excited. Alison and I met in high school, attended different colleges, and now live in 2 different states. Even though we haven't lived in the same place for years, she has been and will always be my closest friend. Alison just recently passed the bar exam and is a lawyer living in Baltimore, MD. Please be sure to stop by and check out her new blog, Barred in Baltimore!

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Eats: My New Favorite Black Bean Burger

When people ask me what I miss most about not eating meat my answer is always the same- burgers. It's been about 3 years since I have had a good juicy cheesy burger and boy do I miss it. Choosing to not eat meat is 100% my own choice and I do not have a problem with people that do by any means. My decision is simply a personal choice but also not something I think will be sustained for years and years to come. Due to my love of burgers, I am always trying to find the next best thing and have been highly satisfied by a variety of veggie/black bean burgers. I've tried multiple recipes over the years but I think I have finally found a favorite...

This recipe is hands down amazing and I can't wait to make it again. The recipe makes 4 large patties and left me with enough for different lunch and dinner options throughout the week. I also plan to make these again and freeze a few for last minute options. 


2 Cans of Seasoned Black Beans, drained but not rinsed
1 cup of Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of Grated White Onion ( I actually didn't measure mine and probably used less)
1 Egg
Splash of Chili Powder ( I added a bit more then normal because I like things spicy)
Salt and Pepper
Hot Sauce (I used Sriracha because it's what I had on hand)

Empty your drained black beans into a large bowl, using a fork begin mashing the beans until most are broken but leaving a few whole. Once most of black beans are mashed, add in rest of ingredients. Mix until well combined and form into 4 large patties. Add a bit of olive oil or your choice of nonstick spray and place patties in pan. Cook each patty about 4-5 minutes on one side before switching to the other. I waited until mine had a little charring on each side and then took them off the pan. These can be added to a bun like a normal burger, or eaten plain with just a slice of cheese. You could also add them to a salad and create a taco salad! 

I promise this recipe will not disappoint and is too easy to not try!


Yours truly,
Emily Ann

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Favorite Things- Christmas Wish-list

Happy Tuesday friends! Before I talk about my Christmas Wish-list, I have to mention this past weekend and how amazing it was. I have become horrible about documenting my weekends but truth be told I don't mind it. There's something nice about not paying attention to your phone or worrying about taking enough pictures, simply because your enjoying the moment. 

Friday night I didn't get out of work until late and was so tired I knew it would be an early night. On my way home I stopped and got a personal pizza from Whole Foods and a bottle of wine. I caught up on Greys and Scandal from the night before and was asleep by 10... totally OK in my book. 

Saturday morning I hit the gym for Muscle Pump then ran a few errands and did some cleaning around the house. That afternoon I headed to my friend, Mackenzie's house for some relaxing before a fun girls night out. Mackenzie is my little in my sorority and I am so thankful we are finally living in the same area. Saturday night we headed out for a fun dinner at Sushi Blues and then grabbed a few yummy cocktails at Clockwork. We had such a fun night catching up and enjoying each other's company, it was just what the doctor ordered after a stressful week at work! 

Sunday we continued our girls fun and headed to the mall for a little shopping. We spent nearly forever in Sephora, both being makeup junkies and walked out with some fun new makeup. Next we hit a few more stops before grabbing a late lunch. The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning around the house and getting ready for the week. Like I said... a wonderful weekend!

Now onto my Christmas Wish-list! 

This year I am so anxious to get home for the Holidays and spend time with my family. I normally have a few things in my that I want to ask for but this year I really had to think and do some research. I pulled a few things together and this is what I was able to come up with...

My Favorite Things- Christmas Wish-list

(One) Nars Cheek Set- Lately I am all about contouring and learning the art of what products to use and wear. I absolutely love Nars and currently use their blush and bronzer. This would be a great product to add to my collection to play a bit more with highlighting and definition. 

(Two) Paige "Huxton" Skinny Jeans- Paige is one of my favorite brands of jeans, they are soft but structured and don't need to be washed after every wear due to stretching out. I am a bit picky when it comes to my jeans and prefer them higher waisted, as well as super tight throughout the leg. 

(Three) Sultra The Bombshell Curling Iron- A friend of my mine has this wand and I can't wait to have it as well. It gives the perfect large barrel curls and looks so natural. I also think that using this wand holds better then using a regular clamp curling iron. 

(Four) Tory Burch Caroline Patent Ballet Flat- Call me absolutely insane but I do not own one pair of Tory Burch flats. I also bought a pair a few months ago during one of the Tory Burch sales but for the life of me could not decide which pair I wanted. I've decided on this pair and couldn't love them more, they go with nearly everything and actually look comfortable. 

(Five) Sam Edelman Penny Boot in Black- When it comes to riding boots, I have always stuck to a brown or cognac color. Black boots have never looked quite right on me until I tried this pair. My favorite thing about these boots is how plain and simple they are, nothing too extravagant, just a basic black boot with button detail. 

(Six) Kate Spade Gramercy Grand Watch- My gold watch broke a few months ago and I still can't believe I haven't given in and bought another one. I love this watch and think its incredibly elegant with the pearl background detail. 

(Seven) Steve Madden Galleryy Pump- Probably one of the things I need most on this list are these nude pumps. They are perfect and would go with so much and are just tall enough without making me nervous I would fall over. Also a steal right now at under $50!

(Eight) GiGi New York Uber Clutch- I have admired these beautiful clutches from afar for far too long now. I love this deep magenta color and would definitely add a gold monogram in the center for an added touch. 

What's on your Christmas wish-list?

Yours truly,
Emily Ann

Friday, November 14, 2014


I am literally in shock that Friday is already here, this week absolutely flew by and I am so happy the weekend is here. On tap for this weekend includes catching up on sleep, relaxing, and staying warm in the chilly weather we are supposed to be getting. I haven't had a weekend in a few weeks with no plans and I must say they are my favorite. Here's a few finds and favorites from this past week!

/ Last week I whipped up some of Christina's Easy Pumpkin Bread. It was so easy to make and made for the perfect sweet treat throughout the week!

/ These booties... I need. 

/ As someone who battles dry dull skin all winter long, I can't wait to check out some of these masks

/ Tips on shopping in your own closet and making the pieces you have work. I am so guilty of having a closet full but nothing to wear. 

/ Truth

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Thursday, November 13, 2014


This week has flown by and I am not complaining one bit! My mind has been a bit cloudy due to busy days at work and terrible sleep so I thought today deserved a "Currently" post...

Smelling: The smell of fresh coffee, a personal favorite. 

Making: Way too many excuses on why I can't make it to the gym, help!

Wearing: Lately my uniform at work has consisted of cropped pants, blouse, and flats. 

Cooking: A new black bean burger I can't wait to share!

Listening: Lots of sneezing and sniffling through the hallways of my hospital, yuck, 

Wanting: A camel colored sweater poncho... recs?

Drinking: Lots of coffee in the morning and a glass of red at night.

Loving: Having 0 plans this weekend other then to catch up on sleep

Eating: Warm steel cut oats with a dollop of almond butter.

Wishing: I could replay last weekend with my friends and family all over again. 

Reading: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty... so good!

Needing: A pedicure, it is way over due y'all. 

Noticing: The importance of starting your day with positive thoughts. 

What are some of your "currentlys" ?

Yours truly, 
Emily Ann

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend + Feeling Grateful

This past weekend was for lack of better words absolute perfection. I was long overdue for a good weekend at home and boy did I get one this weekend. Friday I was able to scoot out of work a bit early and was immediately headed North. I also picked up Taylor Swift's new cd for my drive and it did not disappoint, I jammed the entire way home. 

Friday night was spent spending time with my parents and grandmother just catching up and enjoying each other's company. I whipped up spaghetti for everyone and then camped on the couch with a glass of red and Pottery Barn's Holiday issue. 

Saturday I was up early and out the door to grab coffee and walk around downtown Annapolis with my friend Kerry. I practically lived in this scarf all weekend and loved how warm and cozy it feels. 

Of course I had to snap some pictures of all the beautiful sail boats. Annapolis is known for it's sailing and it adds such a special touch to the town. 

Next I met my mom downtown for more walking around and a quick lunch. We grabbed mussels and fries at a new downtown spot and it totally hit the spot. 

I also was lucky enough to meet up with a few friends at a popular downtown spot, Pussers for a few drinks and catching up. 

I can't believe I don't have any pictures from Saturday night because my family was sweet enough to do a mock Thanksgiving for me since I will not be able to make it home this year. We had lots of family and friends over and so much yummy food. My best friend Alison and her parents were in attendance and I was so happy to be ale to spend time with them. Alison just passed the bar exam and I could not be more proud of her! 

Sunday we grabbed brunch in Eastport then headed to the Naval Academy to see some of my family that was working and playing in a lacrosse tournament. The Academy is absolutely gorgeous and something I enjoy seeing every time I am home. 

My mom, cousin Shannon, Aunt Donna, and Gram! 

Overall it was such an amazing weekend and has left me feeling so grateful on this Monday morning. While I am so sad I won't be back home until Christmas, I am so thankful for this past weekend. Good time with family and friends, yummy meals, and beautiful weather... what more could a girl ask for.