Category Archives: Personal

Important Blog Update!

Hello lovelies!

I mentioned this weekend that major changes were on the way. Well, they’re here! I have a brand sparkly new blog! I will no longer be blogging on A Touch of Lovely. Instead, I’ve moved over to my own domain:I hope you’ll follow me there. I’ll be blogging about many of the same things but will be focusing on improving my writing. If you enjoyed yesterday’s post, you’ll love what’s to come on Cuddles and Chaos.

Please note that if you currently subscribe to A Touch of Lovely and would like to continue getting updates on my newest posts, you’ll have to subscribe to my new site. There’s a spot for you to put your email address in on the right side underneath my social media icons.

Speaking of social media, you can find me at all of the old places (Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram) as well as on my new Facebook page.

Thanks friends!


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Happy Weekend!

I have MAJOR changes coming to the blog next week, but for now I’m going to relax and enjoy the last weekend of summer with the hubs and my girls. I hope you get to do the same!

via Pinterest

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Today is my anniversary!

Today marks three years since my husband and I got married (work that math and our six-year old daughter out in your head and we’ll talk about it another day). To celebrate, I did a fun little post over on Bijou, my bridal blog. Check it out to hear each of our versions of how we met as well as a little bit on what we think of each other.

And, just because, I’ll leave one of our favorite songs here for you to listen to…


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Help a Blogger Out?

Can I be really real for a second?

Lately, I’ve found myself in the middle of an identity crisis of sorts. I started this blog because I’m a hardcore word nerd (which is totally glamorous, if you ask me) and I was looking for an outlet to flex my writing muscles. Yet, in recent weeks, I’ve found myself turning my nose up at some of my own posts way too often. They seem so frivolous and fluffy, as if they’re written by someone on autopilot. And maybe that’s because they are.

I’ll spend an hour finding the perfect shirt and skirt combo and then surround it with writing that is nothing short of bullshit. Yes, I mean it when I say I like a particular outfit. But it’s as if I’ve been sleepwalking through the writing part of my posts. I’ve been throwing superlatives around like rice at a wedding and leaving it at that.

This must change.

There’s honestly no point of continuing with this blog if I’m not doing it right. Spewing out thoughtless sentences and not challenging myself or trying to improve my word nerdery (yeah, you can be a language geek and make up your own words) just feels wrong. I feel like a little bit of a fraud.

So, I’ve decided to switch some things up around here. I’m hoping all the changes will be for the better and I know the general direction I want to move in, but I need your help. I’m curious to know which posts are your favorites. Are there any that stand out? Is there anything you’d like to see that I haven’t been covering? Do you have any constructive criticism that might help a sister out? I’m a big girl, I can take it.


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And We’re Off!


I didn’t think we’d be able to do it this summer, but the girls and I are headed out on another little getaway! This time the hubs is staying home (he has to work, boooo) and we’re going out to East Hampton to hang with his mom and aunts for a couple of days. Continue reading


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My Week Through Instagram

Why not start off with the obligatory face stuffing photo? This shot is of my favorite little piglet thoroughly enjoying some homemade pizza that Samantha and Tim made the other day.

On Saturday, we headed over to my mom’s (for some more pizza!) for a lunch date with my sister and my fat-cheeked niece, Olivia. This little munchkin was a few weeks early, but you’d never know it. Her briefly skinny little thighs are now big and fat–and those delicious cheeks speak for themselves!

Here’s a little look at Ellie loving on her cousin. She was madly in love–a little bit too in love, with lots of grabbing and belly patting and grabbing for eyelashes. It’s so amazing to see a nurturing, maternal instinct kick in at such a young age.

Speaking of maternal instincts, Samantha has loved to take on a mommy role for as long as I can remember. I love the look on her face as she’s staring at her sleeping cousin. She decided Olivia is the cutest baby in the world–even cuter than her sister! She doesn’t give that award out often!

Because I can’t get enough of these ladies, I had to include another shot. My nephew wasn’t around for this play date, but we’ll get him in there on Saturday when we invade my sister’s house (with Ellie in tow, any visit is an invasion).

This one isn’t the best quality, but it’s my little babycakes out cold after a long day. She looks just like her big sister here.

Once our crazy girls were asleep, my husband and I were on a bit of a board game streak this week. This shot is from the most brutal game of Trivial Pursuit ever. We played for about an hour and probably answered five questions correctly–combined. We stopped after I got a piece of cheese which means I’m the superior player, right?

Yesterday was Samantha’s first day of summer camp and Ellie and I were at a bit of a loss of what to do with ourselves. She’s trying to be a crafty little artist like her big sister here while mommy tries to get some work done. Gotta love Color Wonder markers! She can draw all over herself without leaving a mark–and believe me, she will draw all over herself.

This shot is of one of the sweetest/saddest moments of the week. Ellie escaped from my clutches for a minute while I was cleaning up and this is how I found her: tucked in to her sister’s bed with the book we’ve been reading at bedtime this week with a sad little look on her face. What you can’t exactly see is that she fished a pair of her sister’s underwear out of her closet and put them around her neck before climbing up.

Follow along with my crazy Instagram adventures @atouchoflovely!

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My Week Through Instagram

We started this week off the same as last week: lots of pool time. My Ellie Bean likes to take a second to relax in her little chair, stuff some food into her chipmunk cheeks, and collect ideas for mischief making from the big kids in the pool.

There was so much pool fun last week that on more than one occasion one or both of the ladies fell asleep in the car on the way home. On this particular day, we had to make a quick stop at BJs. Ellie stayed asleep through a diaper and outfit change and (much to her big sister’s delight) slept on Samantha’s lap for most of our shopping trip.

This weekend we headed down to Long Island to visit Tim’s parents and get the girls to the beach. My little neat freak went wild and was so covered in sand that she left a huge pile of sand not only on the floor outside of the bathroom when we got back to the house but she also could have built a castle with what came off her in the tub (this was after rinsing off at the little shower at the beach, mind you).

While she went wild building a sand castle and an incredibly long road to it (which included a lot of shouting orders at her dad and grandpa), my usually messy monster refused to put a toe in the sand. I held the  stubborn little thing just about the whole time,  sure that she would eventually relent because she wanted to get in on the action. She never did!

It was hot, hot, hot on Saturday, so when we got back to the house, we got out the kiddie pool for the girls to cool off in. I had no more swim diapers (do they even work?!) and regular diapers get so huge and waterlogged (not to mention the mess if they burst), so we put Ellie in a pair of Samantha’s underwear to run around in. We couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of her tiny tush.

We left on Sunday afternoon (after Tim took care of an eyeglass emergency) and the girls slept the whole way home while my husband and I continually cooed about how cute they are.

On Mondays we always go to story hour. After listening to the story and doing the crown craft afterwards, my little princess decided we absolutely had to go to DSW and try on shoes before heading home. So we did. And she posed like a superstar.

She (of course) absolutely had to try on the most glitterific pair in the place. I’m not sure how she does it, but she finds the most sparkly pair every time.

OK, so this shot isn’t the best quality but I had to include it. Samantha has been wanting to do a sneak attack pedicure on my husband for at least a week now. We (not-so) secretly decided that if he passed out on the couch watching TV, we would paint his toes. When I looked up from my work at about 11:30 on Monday night and saw him out cold, I knew I had to wake her up. So I did. She was ecstatic. We painted his toes with a hot pink strawberry-scented polish. As Sam said, mission accomplished.

Last but not least, my buddy tried out a pottery wheel she got for her birthday while the babe napped yesterday. She absolutely loved it and I’m hoping to find a pottery class somewhere nearby for her to do next year. Can you guess what everyone’s gifts from Sam will be come the holidays?


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My Week Through Instagram (Mini Edition)

You know it’s been a busy busy week when there are little to no pictures to show for it, the floors of your house are sticky, and the girls are both sound asleep before seven. That’s what last night was like in our house.

These three shots sum up our week better than I ever could. We’ve spent most of our time at the town pool where Sam is taking swimming lessons and Ellie is getting way too comfortable with the water. The girls have been loving it, which makes it nearly impossible for me to decide to drag them home.

When we do leave, it’s usually with promises of heading to the park (which is where the shot of Ellie with melted chocolate all over her face came from. That’s what happens to chocolate covered strawberries in 90+ degree heat!).

The rest of this week will be made up of more of the same, with swimming lessons ending on Friday and a slightly more free schedule to adapt to come Monday. What have you been up to?

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Pinch of Positivity

Reality is slowly starting to set in that I really won’t be able to do it all this summer. Taking my girls on lots of mini-adventures, working on multiple projects, and also spending time with my husband at the end of the day is just not possible. Something will always suffer.

At the moment, it’s my sanity. I’m cranky and overtired and that’s no good for anyone. So today I’ve decided to take a step back, reassess and reprioritize. I need to put less pressure on myself and stop saying yes to everything placed in my path. I need to carve out time for myself so that I don’t go completely insane. I need to take a second to just breathe.

I also took a look through my “Inspiration” Pinterest board for a little kick in the butt.

Lisa Congdon

Magpie Paperworks

via Pinterest

29 Design Studio

via Pinterest

Netties Expressions

via Pinterest

I might have to buy or DIY a couple of these so that these words are shoved in my face from time to time to remind me to breathe.

Is there anything you’re feeling overwhelmed by at the moment? What do you do to recenter yourself?

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Happy 6th Birthday to My (Big) Baby Girl!

Exactly six years ago today, I waddled through the front door of the hospital as if I was about to be executed (in fact, to this day my mom still laughs about how I was “dead man walking” that morning). My first child was due four days earlier and I had been four centimeters dilated for a little longer than my doctors would have liked. They decided to induce me, although I would have been more than fine with letting her hang out in there for as long as she wanted if it meant I didn’t have to face childbirth.

As I stepped into the elevator to go up to labor and delivery part of me wanted to run–or at least walk briskly–as far away as I could. I was absolutely petrified, with visions of screaming movie moms dancing through my head. And as if that wasn’t scary enough, there was the whole notion of being responsible for another human being’s life. For nurturing her and guiding her through life and raising her to be her best self. I felt so heavy and so scared. And don’t even get me started on the look on Tim’s face!

Three hours later, after a miraculously simple labor and delivery, my little rosebud was placed on my chest. She promptly pooped on me and I fell in love. One glance into her big eyes and my husband and I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is such a thing as love at first sight.

Fast forward six years. SIX YEARS. Not only is today my best buddy’s birthday, but it’s her last day of kindergarten. I am a big, emotional mess. The kind of mess that bursts into tears after hearing all of the kids scream “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” when she stepped onto the bus. How did so much time go by so quickly? How did she get so big?

Samantha is one of the sweetest, most caring people I know. She has a flair for drama (but you have to love her for it) and acts as if she’s 16 instead of 6. She’s funny and she’s smart and I just love that girl to pieces.

Instead of continuing and becoming a big, blubbering mess, I’m going to share some pictures of my sweet petunia…


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