What I Wore: Polka Dots, Please

If there are just a few patterns I love, then they are certainly gingham, stripes, and of course, polka dots! I have numerous items of each pattern in my closet and wear them frequently. Lately though, polka dots have been on my radar non-stop. Everywhere I turn, there seems to be a cute shirt, bottoms, or accessory with polka dots all over! I find myself wanting them all! This shirt was no exception. As soon as I saw this I knew it had to be mine. It is so versatile and I'm imagining all the different ways I can wear and style this already. 

Top: Old Navy// Necklace: Vestique// Denim: ON Rockstar // 
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters// Clutch: Marley Lilly


I Wish I Knew Then the Things I Know Now

Life as a young adult in the working world is so much different than I had ever imagined. Actually, I take that back. I'm not exactly sure what I even thought it would be like, however, it's certainly different than my college lifestyle! Not that it's a bad thing. But, I feel like I am constantly thinking "I wish I knew that" or "I wish someone had told me that sooner."

Don't get me wrong, I am loving being a young adult, but there are definitely times that I wish that there was a handbook of sorts! Something that would give me answers or lead me in the right direction. Don't we all wish we had something like that at one time or another?!?

I have compiled a list of things I "wish I knew then" that I've been realizing more and more lately (or over time)!
Let me know if you have anything to add!

Always trust your instinct, gut, and intuition. If something doesn't feel "right" or if something feels "off" to you, I've learned that most of the time that is the case. Whether it's a feeling I get about someone or a situation, nine times out of ten my gut instinct is always right. I've certainly learned my lesson on this. I've learned (for the most part) to always trust my instinct!

Don't judge a book by it's cover. While trusting your gut is one thing, judging is completely different. I am still working on this (it's so hard to not judge things sometimes) but what you see isn't always what you get. I've learned there is always something beyond that "cover" that you see. There is always a story beyond the cover that could lead to something great. 

Be yourself no matter what. As a younger girl this is something I struggled with. I moved to a new town where I knew no one right before I started my freshmen year of high school. The girls there had been best friends since pre-k and weren't to fond of letting others in. I seemed to try to meet their "standards" and in turn lost the person I truly was. I have learned to always be myself. There is no one worth changing myself for. If someone truly cares about me and loves me then they know the real me and that should be enough. 

The past is past. The past is in the past for a reason. There is never any good that can come from dealing with people, situations, and decisions of the past. If you take away life lessons from the past then it has done it's job and is done. The only way to get over the past is to leave it behind and to never look back. No need to let the past resurface again! Pay no mind to what the past whispers if all it's doing it bad-mouthing what the present has to offer. (isn't that the truth!!)

What you want isn't always what you need. The things we want to happen aren't always what need to happen at the time. Things always work out the way they are supposed to. I like to have plans and know what is going to happen. I've learned that I can't always control what goes on or how something turns out. Instead I have learned to use the outcome to my advantage and make the best of what I need at the time. 

Life goes by quickly. Life goes by quickly. In the blink of an eye it can be over. It is so easy for people to let every day, week, month and year pass by without giving it a second thought. Enjoy your life and your time. Take advantage of those precious moments, even those that seem "ordinary." Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed, savored, and remembered.  

Mistakes and failure are part of life. I am a huge perfectionist. I never want to (or like to) make a mistake or fail at something. But you know what?? I'm human. Mistakes will happen....many times. There will be things that I will not succeed in. That's ok. That's what teaches us lessons in life and allows us to change how things are. A life without mistakes and failure is a life that hasn't been lived honestly, with authenticity. But a life living with regret from mistakes isn't a life either. Learn from mistakes and move on!

Sometimes it's ok to follow your heart (over your head). I'm not saying to always follow your heart, because lord knows, that wouldn't end too well for any of us! But in life, you must follow your heart at times to experience things you want and yearn for. The heart is a pretty powerful thing. When you get "that feeling" or love or happiness or excitement there is almost no controlling it. Let it happen sometimes. It might just be a good thing ;-)

Comparison is the thief of joy. When we compare ourselves to others we are robbing ourselves of the happiness and joy given our circumstance. Comparisons are so easily done. They can nearly drive you crazy! I've learned that everyone is different. There's always going to be that person that is prettier, smarter, better, more successful. There will always be the blogger who is more witty and popular. There will always be the person who is a better friend. There will always be the person who has more. Don't let their things define who you are. Be yourself. Don't let the comparisons steal your joy. 

Don't worry so much. Now, that's easier said than done for me...slowly but surely I am working on it. Worrying about anything (and everything in my instance) doesn't cure or fix the situation. It only makes you dwell on it, overanalyze a situation, and freak out a little bit more! What will be, will be!

What are some things you know now that you wish you knew then?? 


Southern Blog Society

Calling all southern bloggers! Are you a blogger in the south? Do you love all things southern? If so, apply to join the Southern Blog Society! I recently became a NC contributor and can't wait to network with other southern ladies! So, come one, come all y'all, and join our little southern corner of the internet blogging world! Each week you will be introduced to a southern blog contributor and see features on DIY, Eat, Learn, and Wear.

I love that SBS was created and founded by two precious fashion bloggers, Cathy from Poor Little It Girl and Jessica from My Style Vita. So we have them to thank for creating a place for us to interact, be featured, and connect with Southern bloggers!

So what are you waiting for? Head over to Southern Blog Society and apply to join! 
Keep Calm + Stay Southern!


Friday Five

We finally made it to Friday! Now, if I can just make it to 5 p.m. then I will be good to go! I'm heading to Charlotte this weekend to hang out with my sweet boy and friends! Even with the freezing temperatures (and the supposed bad weather) I know we will have a great time! What are your plans for the weekend?

One week ago I added a little fuzzy friend to my apartment (if you follow me on twitter or instagram then you know this!)  I honestly got him on a whim! My stepdad had to take our cat to the vet and noticed there were two precious kittens waiting to be adopted! Their shots and adoption fees had already been paid for, so I really just couldn't say no! 

One of my goals of 2013 was to work out more. I'll be honest and say that I haven't been the best at working out like I said I would, but I have been going! I want to go at least three days a week and this week I went twice, so that's a start! I am by no means trying to lose weight, but I would like to be more toned and stay healthy! 

I seem to always be having the "planner" debate with myself. I can never find one that satisfies my organization needs. I've used Sarah Pinto and it was too small. I've tried Erin Condren and it was entirely too bulky, and now I am using Lilly Pulitzer. While I like the LP agendas they are becoming a little juvenile and not exactly what I need. I decided to start 2013 out on a new organizational foot and try May Designs! I am anxiously waiting for my pretty customized planner and blog book to come in! Have you tried May Designs?

Now that I have time to read for pleasure, I have been adding plenty of books to my "to read" shelf on Good Reads. By the way, if you are an avid reader, like myself, then you should definitely get a Good Reads account! It helps you keep track of books you've read, what books you want to read, and even gives you suggestions! I have it on my iPhone, Kindle, and Macbook! I recently started reading The Paris Wife by Paula McClain and I can't seem to put it down. It is a great book so far.

Have you entered my Chloe + Isabel Giveaway yet? Well if not, then you should! You could win this cute bracelet to add to your #armparty! I love mine! It is the perfect touch to any stack!


Color Crush: Neutral


Happy Thursday, lovies! It seems this week has flown by, for me at least! I am definitely looking forward to the weekend. Lately any and all neutral items have been catching my eye! There is something so classic about neutral that I seem to love! 

Think neutrals are boring? Well, think again! There is nothing boring about the above items that I've spotted lately. Neutral can be so subtle and yet so versatile. Here are some way to spice up those neutrals in your wardrobe!

Add a pop of color: What better way to add something to neutral than a bright accent color? Adding a pop of color, especially to a neutral outfit, can make any neutral stand out a little more.

Mix textures: For a classic and sophisticated look mix a neutral lace piece with a silk piece. Want to feel a little more bold in your neutral attire? Add in a neutral fur! 

Play with patterns: Combining contrasting patterns is a surefire way to make a statement with neutrals! 

how do you style your neutral pieces?


Chloe + Isabel Bracelet Giveaway

Here at Life with Emily, we all know I am a huge fan of the #armparty! The more bracelets the better! I like classic, trendy, and even a little more edgy!  You will always find me with quite a few bracelets stacked on my arm! April from Classy Little Things recently sent me the cutest bracelet from her Chloe + Isabel boutique!! As soon as I opened the box I knew it was love at first sight. It goes oh-so perfectly with my daily stack! 

// Michael Kors (similar)// David Yurman

Love this bracelet as much as I do??
Today is your lucky day! 
Enter below for your chance to win the Chloe + Isabel Crystal Baguette Bracelet! 
This giveaway will run until Jan. 31st!
Good Luck xoxo

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday Inspiration

Happy Tuesday, all! I hope each and every one of you had a great weekend! I haven't done an inspiration post in a while and I could certainly use some inspiration on this Tuesday!

I really love this quote and try to remember it as often as I can. For me, one of the things I struggle with is being myself and not worrying about those around me. It is so easy to get lost among others while trying to keep up with the Jones' per se, especially in the blogging world. I am slowly (but surely) learning that I don't need to try to keep up with anyone, try to be better than anyone, or blend in with any other people. 

I simply just need to be myself

Everyone can always improve and try to be a better person in some way, shape, or form. What one person may be doing may not always be best for me. And I need to realize that. Just because someone else is doing it doesn't mean that I have to. Instead of looking in to other's lives I need to look to myself and figure out what I can do to better myself and my own life. One step at a time. 

I have decided that I am going to start keeping a journal of things that I would like to improve on or do better about. That way I am taking the time to write them down and think about them while doing so. It will be great to look back months down the road and see what I have improved on! 

Currently, I need to improve on:
sassiness (guilty as charged!)
gaining self-confidence 
trust (in myself and others)

What are some things you want to work on for yourself???


This Week's Uniform

Today marks day five of rainy weather in my parts of North Carolina. While rain can sometimes be a good thing, I have had my fair share. Enough is enough. I am ready for pretty skies and to actually see the sun for once! 

When it rains it throws off my whole week...for a few reasons. Not only does rainy weather make me a) want to be laying in my bed 24/7 b)  feel dreary and sad but it also makes me c) feel limited in what I wear. (hellllo, fashionista's nightmare)

I have to say goodbye to my favorite flats, my beloved suede booties, and even my furs. What fun is that?!? I have pretty much implemented a "uniform" of sorts for when it is raining. So this, my friends, is what I've been wearing for pretty much five days straight. 

Hunter boots: Say hello to puddles. I am ready for a flood in these babies (hi Brian, totally stole your joke!) I was on the fence for a while about getting these because I had my LL Bean boots from college, but I am so glad I took the plunge. These can be paired with nearly any outfit and you still end up looking pretty chic. Seriously, if Atlantic-Pacific can do it, why can't I?!

Button Downs: I'm not sure what it is about J.Crew's button downs, but I love them. They are so "easy." They're perfect to be peaking out under a jacket on all of these rainy days.

J.Crew Downtown Field Jacket: Well, I love this jacket. Simple enough. And I hate rain jackets! It allows me to still look put together!

MK Hamilton Tote: Ever since I got this bag I haven't been able to put it away. I love that during work hours it can hold my planner and anything else I need for work, and then I can throw it over my shoulder for a night out on the town. This bag goes with me everywhere!

Leggings: I know some people don't agree with wearing these as pants, but I see no problem doing it. I always, always, always wear two pair of them (don't want any slip ups!) and they go great with my oversized sweaters and tunics!

So, as much as I have grown to love this "uniform" over the past few days I am extremely ready to put this away and get back to my suede booties and fun tops! 



Wanderlust (n): A strong, innate desire to travel about.

This past weekend the weather was amazing. I mean, 70 degrees in mid-January, who would've thought? While I enjoyed every minute of it, it also left me wanting more... especially when the following days were filled with rain puddles. 

Almost every year at this time I get this urge to go somewhere warm. Somewhere exotic. Somewhere that doesn't have blistering wind, cold temperatures, and downright gloomy days. 

So naturally, I've been searching high and low for some place to (hypothetically) go! I'm ready to hop in the car and drive. Or better yet jet set to a tropical locale. Don't all of these places look amazing right about now???



What Sundays are for

When I was in college I always looked forward to the weekends because it meant going out with friends and game day fun. But then came the dreaded Sunday where I would have to spend the entire day in the library writing papers, working on design projects, and preparing for the following week. No fun.  

Now I look forward to the weekend not only because I get a break from work, but because that also means time to relax. I don't have to bring my work home with me, I don't have to stress, and I don't have anything to do on Sundays. Which, to me, is nearly perfect. I can spend all day doing what I want to do!

Here are some things that I enjoy doing on my Sundays! 


Cozy up with a good book: I love reading. During the week it is hard for me to find time to read, except right before bed, so I love spending my Sunday laying around catching up with a good book! 

Catch up on weekly TV shows: I have a confession: I don't have cable in my new apartment. Weird? Yes. Beneficial? Yes. I am working from 8:30- 5:30 during the week, so I didn't really see the point in having cable when I am rarely there to watch it. Instead I have the Roku, which like Apple TV, has Netflix, Hulu Plus, and a number of other apps. I can still watch all of my weekly shows that I love (that I missed during the week!)

Write my blog posts for the week: I'm not always inspired to write all of my blog posts at once, but occasionally I will have so many ideas running through my head that I find it best if I just write them while they come to me! If I am lacking inspiration or words I simply brainstorm what I could blog about for the upcoming week.

Get in a good workout: With the holiday and all the food I really got slack in my workout routine. No more of that. Warmer temperatures are just around the corner (in the South at least) and that is all the motivation I need to get my butt back in the gym!

Clean, organize & do laundry: Nothing starts my week off better than having a clean apartment, knowing where everything is, and having fresh clothes and sheets. It starts the week off on a good foot and allows me to have more time for other things during the week! Plus, these are things I like to do anyways, so they don't seem like chores! 

What do you like to do on your Sunday?


Friday Fancies: Emerald City

When you first saw the title to this post was your first thought "Wizard of Oz?" 
Mine too.

But, today I won't be talking about the Emerald City in Wizard of Oz (although that's one of my favorite movies!) Today is all about a color I am absolutely loving right now... emerald green. I think this is such a flattering color. Almost anyone can pull it off, and nearly every clothing item looks good in that shade! I don't think I've found an item yet that I didn't like.

What always makes a great color to me is being able to wear it both casual and dressy. While not all colors are like that, emerald definitely is. I have a pool cover up that is emerald along with one of my favorite formal dresses!

I love the day to night styles below! What do you think?

Top: Nelly.com // Leather Leggings: The Row // Shoes: Top Shop Maisy T-Bar Shoes
// Dress: Tory Burch Kathy Silk Dress // Shoes: Christian Louboutin


Setting Goals (& Sticking to Them)

I know last week I posted a few of my goals here. As the first week of 2013 is coming to an end (yippee) I have been doing some thinking and decided I wanted to add a few more goals to my list and blog about them so I am held accountable. Like I said before, I don't really get resolutions, it's like they're made to be broken, but goals keep me motivated and accountable!

I live by setting goals for myself. Whether it's my goal of what I need to finish throughout the day, what I want to have accomplished in a year, or the goals that I have for myself over the next few years, goals keep me motivated and keep me in line with what I want out of life!

Beginning a new year with a fresh start (and new goals) seems like the perfect idea. I love the feeling of accomplishing something, changing something I don't like about myself, or improving on things. That sense of satisfaction really helps to keep me going when I am challenging myself.

Here are the goals I hope to accomplish in 2013.

"I want to find myself" Over the past year or so I have had a lot of things happen in my life (both good and bad). I am still in my early 20s, so I am still working on finding "me." I want to be confident in myself. I want to not be embarrassed or feel like I have to change who I am depending on who I'm around. I feel like a lot of girls go through this. I want to find myself and be happy with who I am.

"Try a new food once a month" I am one of the pickiest eaters you may ever know. Growing up I was always the child who brought in McDonald's Happy Meals to restaurants. Over the years I have branched out more (no more Happy Meals for me) but there are still things I want to try and foods that I need to learn to love. My goal is to try at least one food a month in hopes that I can acquire a taste for a new food.

"Work out three times a week" In my last blog post about goals I posted about wanting to work out for. I am not wanting to work out to lose weight, but I want to gain muscle and strength, and feel better about my body and health.

"Save money" This one is pretty self explanatory. With adult life comes adult responsibilities. There are items I want to save up to buy. There are also places that I want to travel to. By saving just a little money every paycheck it could really add up and allow me to purchase something or travel somewhere!

"Work on time management" I also mentioned this one in my last post about setting goals. I have always been pretty good at managing my time, but when you add in a full time job and a long distance relationship it makes managing and dividing my time a little more difficult. My goals is to divide and manage my time equally between my job, family, boyfriend, and friends.

"Work on being less judgmental" This is one goal that I really want to work on. It is so easy to be quick to judge or talk about others without knowing anything about them. This year I want to avoid being judgmental or talking about others. It isn't a very becoming feature (on anyone) and it doesn't ever lead to anything productive. This is something we can all work on!

So, these are my goals and I hope you all can keep me accountable to these! What are your goals or resolutions for 2013?
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Friday Fancies: New Year, New You

new year

Happy first Friday of 2013! This year is off to a great start so far! 
I love this quote by Oprah Winfrey. It is so fitting for starting over in a new year!
Cheers to getting "it" right this year! 

I love how simplistic this outfit is. You can get the items here:


Cheers to a New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2013 brings you all happiness, opportunities, success, and anything else you desire!

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