Emma at the Shore! Don’t worry: Mitch is standing off to the side, like a foot and a half away. ;) Couldn’t resist snapping a photo. My parents’ room is my favorite! (Pottery Barn bedding, Similar Pillow, PB Teen Furniture, and Similar Lamps, btw. Emma’s wearing this dress.)

As the title suggests, this is going to be a LONG post. But since I skipped last week’s Life Lately series, I have a lot of catching up to do!


The last couple of weeks had a ton of highs and then one really big low. I absolutely loved being down the Shore, and had SO much fun with family and friends. But at the risk of making myself sound like a complete lunatic, I’ll tell you: that hard drive crash really took its toll on me. It failed late Memorial Day night when we arrived home in Bucks County, and I lost all my DSLR photos of Emma as well as about three months worth of freelance and blog work… and it sent me into full-on despair. I know. Not the end of the world, and my reaction was definitely an overreaction. But I just felt so defeated and (irrationally) sad.

I tearfully ran the the thing into Princeton and dropped it off at Disk Doctors, who then sent it to Georgia to be opened up in the company’s cleanroom. Who knew those things existed? I didn’t, haha, but I learned a LOT about data recovery over the last week. It was pretty touch-and-go for a while, as the disk kept failing and the technicians were having a lot of trouble extracting the photos from it… but it all worked out in the end, and we got 85 percent of our photos back.

Yes, I’m a little crazy. But my photos of my daughter are so incredibly precious to me, and only about a quarter have made it onto this blog, and they weren’t in high-res form. I was heartbroken. The crazy thing is that this happened to me a while back with my iPhone, and I learned my lesson and set up iCloud and Google Photos to back everything up. Why, then, didn’t I back up my DSLR photos?! It was always in the back of my mind, and I guess I just kept telling myself I’d get to it when I had the time. Well, now I’m making time. The best solution we’ve found for backing up RAW files and high-res photos is Amazon Drive. ($60 per year.) Love it so far, and couldn’t recommend it more!

Anyway, learn from me and my expensive mistake. If you have precious photos on your computer that you’ve been meaning to back up forever, set some time aside this weekend and do it. <3


Emma CRAWLED on Thursday afternoon! I always thought I’d be a super lax parent, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t worry about the milestones. I was getting a little stressed about the fact that Emma hadn’t crawled yet, and she seemed stressed about it, too. (She’d just sit there and attempt and cry. So tough!) She’ll only do little spurts of it right now, but yes: we need to baby-proof the house ASAP! And go Emma. Proud of you, my Little Lady.

In other news, we were making great progress at our little two-hour childcare sessions until Thursday when… we kind of got kicked out for the day because she couldn’t stop crying. The same thing happened yesterday, too. I don’t know, guys. I was feeling awesome about this decision for a while. It’s good for Emma; she needs to socialize and become independent. It’s good for me; I desperately need a couple of hours every day to work. And it’s good for our family; it’ll potentially allow us to spend our nights and weekends together. But I’m pretty upset about how it’s going. I can’t handle it when she cries like that! Next week is a new week, though. And this too shall pass. Right? Right?!


Next week is Mitch’s last full week of school. When I think about it, I get a little teary eyed. (Happy tears! Don’t worry.) I love being a stay-at-home mom, but it’s tough, and I can’t wait for a little backup during the day, and I miss my husband. While we’re definitely going to be doing some traveling this summer, the plan is for each parent to work half days. (Mitch runs an investment company on the side, and he also handles the business/backend of this blog.) I’m excited about being fully present when I’m with Emma and not feeling like I’m being pulled in a million directions, I’m excited about family-only nights and weekends, and I’m excited about getting more sleep. ;)

Also, Mitch would like to add that this is the funniest thing he’s read in a long, long time.



My whole family is in New Orleans right now, and I have major FOMO. I know I’ve talked about this before, but Patrick and Kim are in the process of moving down there. It’s a little complicated as Kim has started her internship there already and Patrick is finishing up his residency program back in Philly, but apartments are being found and new lives are being set up and I’m so happy for them! I’m also happy to have a place to fly to next January/February/March when that lovely -25 Chicago weather starts to get to me. (Heart you, fam bam.)


HUGE news on the friend front since I last touched base. Shaheen had her baby and Blair announced that she’s pregnant! I’m ecstatic for them both.

Zain is the absolute CUTEST and a total split between Shaheen and Trevor. He’s also the best-behaved infant I’ve ever met, haha. Like, the kid didn’t cry once the entire time I was there visiting. And gosh, is he handsome. And so tiny! When I was holding him, I truly couldn’t get over the fact that Emma was once that small. Take me back! And I can’t wait to meet the little Staky nugget. <3

Anyway, I’m feeling blessed. A lot of my girlfriends here in Chicago have are pregnant or have recently had babies, and it’s really wonderful to have this little network of moms. Looking forward to long walks on the 606 and baby brunches. (Do we think we’ll be able to pull that off?!)


I’m getting a desk! It’s this one in “blue steel” by iNSPIRE Q. Doesn’t it look like the color of hydrangeas?! I’m pumped about it, as I really need a quiet place to work in the early morning. (And, sadly, late at night.) I’m going to be writing a full blog post on the desk (and company) soon, and I’m going to be giving away one, too. :)


It’s hot! I know I talk about how magical this city is all the time, but it’s particularly magical during the summer. If you’ve been meaning to visit, now’s the time! The restaurants are overflowing on the sidewalks; the street fairs are starting up; people are high-fiving. And no one’s shivering. Which is extra-special.

Life in iPhone Photos…

Mitch actually took this photo from the Signature Room last week, but I thought it was perfect for today’s “Life Lately” post as Emma and I flew back to Chicago on Friday on our own!

Gingham Shirt c/o (Best gingham shirt I own! You don’t have to iron it and it looks and travels great!) / Sperry Sneakers (Comfiest sneakers I own. Fit TTS. They also come in leather, and they’re on sale! Mine haven’t gotten too dirty over my two years of ownership, but I feel like leather would be even better considering my active lifestyle these days! Oh, and the chambray version is also on sale.) / Favorite White Skinnies / Whale Rug

Mornings on the Shore. Why can’t every morning be like this? ;) My favorite part of being at my parents’ is mornings out on the front deck. We just drink coffee and talk for hours, and it’s the best.

Favorite White Skinnies / Shep Shirt c/o / Emma’s Jack Rogers

Emma’s first time seeing the Ocean City boardwalk! It was really cute. Her eyes were huge as she took it all in.

Suitcase / Gingham Sneakers / Dark Skinnies / Red Striped Top / Twill Pea Coat / Cutest Phone Case in the WORLD

Taken a few hours before I left Chicago for the Shore. Isn’t Jess’ place the cutest?! And yes, very irresponsible that I was there instead of at home, packing, haha.

Emma’s Dress

Hanging out with Grammie and her best friend in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania! Love you, Gram!

Molly, my parents’ new pup, snoozing back in Bucks County.

Emma on the playground near my parents’ house. Bah! The cutest.

Plane ride to New Jersey. We’re exhausted but Emma’s ready to party.

Plane ride BY MYSELF back to Chicago. I know Emma looks happy here, but it was so hard. God bless Southwest and everything they did to help me. 

Baby Zain! I’m sorry, but is he not the most handsome baby you’ve ever seen?! And again: a complete split between his parents!

Emma’s Dress

Emma meeting Zain for the first time. I swear Emma owns more than this one dress, btw. Randomly just took a lot of photos of her while she was wearing it, haha.

Sushi night in Buck Town! Btw: Jess and I both have this striped dress and we LOVE IT. It’s lined with terry. You can find it at Shopbop or Zappos.

Emma’s Dress

More snaps from Grammie’s.

Molly relaxing on the front porch.

(Emma’s dress is from the Ralph Lauren outlet.)

Emma’s first Memorial Day Weekend: huge success!

My Uncle Chris is a rockstar with the guitar. I recorded it on Insta Stories; I hope you caught it!

Peplum Striped Top / Kiltie Slides / Skinny Jeans / Initial Necklace

In my element. Feeling so jazzed about photography these days!

Tassel Earrings and Striped Top c/o / Skinny Jeans

Possibly my favorite family photo of all time?! Shore nights. <3

Dad’s Shep Shirt

Dad and Emma down by the water. Be still, my heart.

Bow Sweater in Navy and White / Gingham Shirt (On sale!) / Skinny Jeans Sperry Sneakers (Comfiest sneakers I own. Fit TTS. They also come in leather, and they’re on sale! Mine haven’t gotten too dirty over my two years of ownership, but I feel like leather would be even better considering my active lifestyle these days! Oh, and the chambray version is also on sale.)

The end of a long bike ride!

Emma’s Dress

Okay, sorry. Another dress pic. But what if I lose all my photos again? Gotta back up my precious pics on the blog, too. ;)

Peonies in bloom in Washington Crossing.

Emma spends the day at the playground in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

Skinny Jeans / Kiltie Slides / Striped Ruffled Top

Back in Chicago! The top is on sale, by the way! Linked above.

Emma’s Dress

Dad and Emma trying to fix all my hard drive problems, haha. LOVE YOU GUYS.

A very special (belated) Mother’s Day Dinner in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Barbour Rain Coat c/o (On sale!) / Favorite Daytime Skinny Jeans / Gingham Umbrella / Hunter Boots / Similar Vineyard Vines Hat / Similar Shirt Here and Here

Had so much fun taking this pic with Mitch. COME ON. Tell me you don’t eat all the pinks first.

Little Boo, back in Chicago at her favorite park. 

Over and out!