Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween from smith & emma!


Happy Halloween from Smith & Emma!!
We hope your day is filled with plenty of treats and just enough tricks ;)

We'll be back with a few great posts this week, but until then--I just wanted to stop in and say that I hope you all had a splendid Halloween weekend! I can't wait to show you some of the exciting things Jena and I were up to... trust me, you'll love.

Until then though.... is it too early to admit I've been listening to Christmas music and lovvvvving it?? Specifically this song... Justin Bieber, rapping, Busta Rhymes, Christmas music--Annye love.
I have no shame. At all.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

halloween! questionable costumes.

It's Halloween week, and being the big fan I am of the holiday, I thought it was only right that we celebrate here on Smith & Emma. So I've dug up some of my old Halloween pics (and some of Jena's are coming, too!) and wanted to share some gems for my past.

I'm usually in one of two schools of thought on Halloween costumes--I'm either going to go hilarious and weird, or quick and easy. If I go the hilarious and weird route, I've had some sort of epiphany ahead of time and have the time to throw together something more elaborate. Because I love the holiday, I usually start thinking a few months in advance about what I want to be. Also, it's worth noting that the good Lord blessed me with a very talented mother who is seriously a whiz with a sewing machine She's definitely the talent behind my ideas and has been making Halloween amazing for years.

So without further ado, I present to you what I like to call:

Questionable Costumes Through the Ages

2006- Nicole Ritchie. Get it... skeleton and blonde wig??! Yeah, no one else did either. Boo.
2007- The furry chicken. One of my finer moments... Stole it from a Martha Stewart baby costume idea. Hand crafted all by yours truly. (Yes, those are feather boas.) Literally left feathers everywhere I went. And got some pretty wicked stares.
2008- Last minute, Ellen Griswold with my ex, who was Clark Criswold, ala Christmas Vacation. Basically an excuse for me to wear mom jeans and pearls.

2009- An Indian. The headdress (not pictured) is what sold me. My mom made my dress and sent it to me in Chicago. Still love her for that.
2010- My friends and I did the "3 Little Piggies" for a Razorback game.
That night I was "Baberham Lincoln." (Pictured with Jena, the nerd.) I don't think people were sure what to make of it (a lady in a beard with a mini top hat, say what?), but I still find it hilarious. So there.

And just as proof that I haven't always been such an oddball...
my sister and i, circa 1999

So there you have it. I'm looking forward to dressing up this year--I even get to wear a costume to work on Monday! My mom is crafting my costume as I type this. I don't want to say what it is, but I will tell you it's not hilarious or weird. Just simple.

My tips for a last minute Halloween costume? Think about the things you already have in your closet! One year I was a "tennis pro" for one party--tennis skirt, sweater tied around my neck, polo, tennis shoes. Also, the Internet is your friend. A good google search can give you the best ideas.

Since I've showed you mine, I want to hear about yours! Tell me about the worst costume you've ever donned, and the best/cutest/funniest costume you've ever worn. I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


“Life change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.”
--Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

I picked up Ann Voskamp's book after countless mornings of lying awake in bed, wishing I could stay there all day. I couldn’t figure out what was making me that way. It wasn’t my job, it wasn’t my friends, I really couldn’t put my finger on anything that was “wrong” with my life. One Thousand Gifts was just what I needed--A dare to live fully right where you are.

But, this isn’t a book review. This is just to say that sometimes life sucks. And you have to do what you can to make it better. And this is how I made it better for myself.

One of my favorite lines in the book was, “Above the clouds, light never stops shining.” Translation: sometimes all you need is a change in perspective. It’s so easy to focus on the bad and forget about the good. I needed to remind myself that not being happy with my life is my choice. Meaning, I was the root of my own problem. Nothing had happened to make me unhappy and no one was doing this to me. I was doing it to myself. Therefore, I was also going to have to be the one who made me happier again. No one or nothing else could do it for me.

I quickly realized the ability to stop focusing on the negative and start embracing the positive is what makes me a happier person. Being thankful for the little things add up to bigger things. Good traffic on my way into work. A delicious cup of coffee. A day without dealing with rude people. My afternoon diet coke. The leaves changing colors. Each of those things seem inconsequential on the surface, but I know that they make up a grander scheme of my happiness. These silly little things turn my days into enough.

The beauty of it is, nothing had changed except my perspective. I still have the same life I had before, but all I needed was a little thankfulness and gratitude for what I had been given. Bad things still happen every day, but my ability to point out the good, no matter how small they are, allows me to keep perspective. Perspective also means realizing that every bump in the road is part of a grander plan for your life--it's not stopping here. Maybe those days of getting up when I would have rather been lying in bed were preparing me for something down the road...

So what I’m saying is, if you ever find yourself in a funk like I was, perhaps all you need is a change in perspective. Look at your life from a different angle and you may find it is enough.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Via Pinterest
It's one of the scariest things in life. We get used to things. Even if they aren't good for us. We like routine. Security. Knowing where we are headed.

But things change. People change. As they say, the only thing consistent in life is change. Sometimes we make changes. Sometimes change just happens to us. Sometimes we're happy for a change. Sometimes we dread it.

Sometimes we try to predict it.

Last Friday, I called my psychic. Yes, my psychic. Her name is Carol, and she lives out East. She converses with those who know us who have crossed over. Angels, she calls them.

Friday was the third time in my life I've called Carol. The first was a few years ago when I was dating my terrible ex. She predicted our break up. Knew his faults. Knew mine. The second time I called was when my ex and I had finally broken up and I was trying to move on. I thought at this point in my life I would be sad forever. I thought it was impossible to move on. Carol predicted my becoming close with the two people who would get me through it and a book that would change my life. This last time Carol predicted things I didn't really want to hear. Changes that scared me a little. Because, well, they are big changes.

Who knows if what Carol said this time will happen in my life. The great thing about life is it's not up to Carol. Or angels. I have a say. It's not just based on fate. And maybe I will make the wrong choices. Maybe I will take the long route or the hard way to get to where I am supposed to be. But thinking I am meant to be somewhere is as comforting as having a choice in the matter.

I had a conversation with my mom recently about all the pressure I feel to make the right choices--with my career, where I live, with who I love. How the decisions I make now are going to impact a huge part of my life. She was quick to reassure me that they will have a big impact. They will not go without consequence. But we've got to make choices anyway. We can't stand there paralyzed by fear.

But, as my mom was even quicker to remind me, if we are one of the lucky ones, no matter which path we take, wrong or right, short or long, we don't have to go through our journey alone.

Monday, October 17, 2011

music monday: the breakup blues

I love music, so I'm hoping you'll induldge me a bit by letting me write about it. I can't promise that it will be earth shattering or anything, or that we'll even have the same taste, but you might like what I have to share... and if nothing else, you'll know what not to listen to ;)

Last fall, I got my hands on Sara Bareilles' album-- Keleidoscope Heart. I listened to it for the first time on a solo road trip. I wasn't going through a break up--I was actually pretty happy. But from the first time I listened to the entire album I realized she was singing about every emotion I had felt a year before when I was going through a pretty rough time. I listened to that CD from start to finish probably four times during that trip. It was love at first listen.

Now, a year later... that is still the CD I recommend when I know someone is going through a tough time. The best thing about it is it's not too sad or sappy--though singing about broken hearts, love lost, etc... she manages to keep it upbeat and peppy. It's almost fun to sing about these things. There are enough sappy songs out there to fall asleep crying to, am I right? It's nice to have another option from time to time. When you're going through a tough time it's easy to let yourself wallow, but I honestly think this CD lifts you up and snaps you out of it, if only for a little while.

Here are two songs from the record that I love:

You've probably heard this one on the radio...

King of Anything by SaraBareilles

But it was this one that I completely fell in love with. In fact, when Jena and I were tossing around ideas for this blog, this song was a huge source of inspiration for me.

Sara Bareilles - Uncharted [Radio Mix] by MMMusic

Listen and let me know what you think! What are you go-to heartbreak songs or artists? I'd love to hear!

Friday, October 14, 2011

a week of happy

To follow up on our challenge of 30 days of happy things, we thought we would share with you the little things that have brought happiness lately.

A few things that are making us happy this week:

Annye's picks:

Weeknight movie night starring Ryan Gosling. His face makes me happy. So does a trip to the movie theater.
Stealing my roommate's clothes and accessories while she's out of town {Love you Meagan!}... having other closets to raid is truly the best.
Red & white outfits to cheer on the Razorbacks.
Quotes from Real Simple magazine that speak to me out of the blue.
Good books and journaling--a new bedtime ritual that I am loving.
Nieces who are cuter than anything else in the world and daily picture texts to remind me of it.
Plans to see my college bff's next weekend, and funny text messages from friends.
Teaching kids at church every Sunday night--something I once dreaded but have learned it's good for my soul to help others.

Jena's picks:

Warming up in the sun.
Micah as a dad. And the piano I love listening to them play!
Seeing old friends!
Cupcakes. And holidays... because I have two little kiddies in my life to celebrate them with!
Baby D always makes me happy. She stole my heart from the moment I knew she'd be arriving in 9 months.
Comedy. I love it. Even when it sucks! I commend those who can stand up in front of other people and try to be funny. Kudos!
One of the most simple things in my life that gives me joy: coffee.
Passing things on! This was my boyfriend's firetruck when he was little. Thinking about passing things on to my family some day makes me all kinds of happy.

What's making you happy this week? Please share!

Have a great weekend friends!

Smith & Emma

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"you smell good"


Every girl loves a good compliment, and I’m no exception. There are three in particular that my ears really perk up to {hint, hint boys!}.

My hair. Like I’ve said, I care way too much about my mane. Have I made that clear yet? Someone who pays attention to my hair, and can appreciate a good poof, is good in my book.

My clothes. I’m not delusional enough to think I am ever the best dressed in the room, especially when I hang out with people like Jena who always look fabulous. So a compliment on my clothes is a rare treat that I sure do appreciate.

The way I smell. There is nothing better than someone who smells good, and recognizing this—I love to be told how good I smell. Plus… it’s something fairly easy to control so I think EVERYONE should smell good, without excuses. I'm what some may call a perfume hoarder. If you looked under/on top of my bathroom counter right now you'd find at least four different scents that I switch between.

The power of scent is pretty strong. As our strongest sense, smell is most linked to memory. We all smell things and associate them with ex-boyfriends, times in our life, etc. A strong case for always smelling our best I would say!

I go through phases of what perfume I wear, but if I find something I love {and that others do too} I stick with and it will stay in constant rotation. Here are a few tried and true scents I swear by…

Euphoria, Calvin Klein. Had to start off with this one because I wore it for four years straight through college, without ever straying and it will probably always top my list of favorites. I rarely wear it anymore because it is so closely associated with that time in my life. But I have never been complimented on my perfume as much as I was when I wore Euphoria. People used to come up to me all the time and then tell me later they bought it and wore it too. Love that!

Breathe , Lollia. I found this about a year ago, before I had ever heard about Lolia, at a store in Lawrence. I was immediately hooked and made my brother buy it for me because I couldn’t find it anywhere in Northwest Arkansas. Well, now of course I feel like I see it everywhere! I like to think it's because of my good taste. ;) Fresh and floral, and as someone who strays from floral scents as far as she can, trust me—it’s good.

Lavender Pumpkin, Harvey Prince Eau Flirt. This is a recent Birchbox find that I’m currently obsessed with. Having used the entire tester they sent me, I’m contemplating shelling out an insane amount to order a bottle of my own. This is a fruitier scent that would be great in the springtime.

Santiago Huckleberry, Voluspa. If you know me, you’ve probably gotten a Voluspa candle for a holiday/birthday/special occasion at some point in our friendship. My love for those candles knows no bounds. So, when I found their body spray while shopping at Anthropology , of course I had to get it. Reasonably priced and a scent that I already loved—I was sold. The scent doesn’t last that long, but it certainly pleases for short stints.

Light Blue, Dolce & Gabbana. Total flashback perfume—it was huge while I was in junior high/high school. After rediscovering it late last year, I was reminded of what a classic scent it is for any occasion. If you can’t remember what it smells like, please check it out at Sephora next time you’re there and tell me it doesn’t remind you of the early 2000’s.

I’d love to hear your favorites! I’m actually on the hunt for something new right now…
PS. I'm also opinionated about what cologne boys wear. Might have to keep that in mind for a future post....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

hooray for clothes

Smith & Emma has been a little heavy lately. Meltdowns and crises have been averted, and it is time to take a little joy in the simple things in life. Like...clothes! Here are some of my favorite trends this fall. What are yours?

So many girls think they can't wear these. But I promise, you can. I am s.h.o.r.t. and that actually tend to elongate me. Yes there are some styles that look better on me then others, but I do not have to miss out on this trend all together because I'm not six feet tall.

I think this era is the one I was meant to live in. I love the style. The wavy hair. Big earrings. High-waisted pants. Free love. Kidding. Anyway, 70s inspired fashion is fun, bright and carefree. Dig through your mom's closet or check out vintage stores for one-of-a-kind digs. If you don't want to look like you time-traveled, pair something 70s inspired with something sheek and modern like a graphic tee or a simple button up. 

For a while I really sucked at mixing prints. I couldn't get the hang of it. If you feel like me, keep practicing! Practice does make perfect in this arena. And honestly, anything goes this fall. Put stripes on stripes, or, my favorite, polka dots on polka dots. If you're a little nervous you will look like you let a 4 year old dress you, take baby steps. I promise you stripes and floral print always go together. Same with cheetah and anything! Shoes and scarves with prints are also a great way to incorporate different prints without it being too bold or in-your-face.

Don't ask me why but I love sculpted skirts. This shorter version of the trend by Gentle Fawn is one of my favorites. Paired with the thigh-highs? Heaven. But this trend has also made its way to maxi skirts, which I also adore! I think I like it so much because I feel like I've never seen it before. Did the fashion world come up with something new? Who knows. But this trend adds a little funk to whatever you are wearing. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

gray hairs and denial


I was 22 when I sat in my hairdresser’s chair as she started counting my gray hairs. As in, I had so many that it was fun to count them. As in, more than one or two or three.

Praise the Lord for hair dye, so I don’t have to regularly withstand the emotional toll it takes on a 23-year-old when she remembers she’s already got a head full of grays. A vain 23-year-old who cares way too much about the state of her hair.

At my age? Gray hair is just a sign of bad genes {thanks Mom & Dad!}—or so I tell myself. Which is why I fully accept the denial I have cloaked myself in and years of bi-monthly trips to the salon.

As I was mulling over my gray hairs, I realized I hold onto the defense mechanism called denial just a little bit in other areas of my life as well….
  • Jeans from high school that still sit in my closet. Never going to be able to/want to wear those again—get rid of them!
  • No, Justin Beiber is not in my top played list on iTunes. My music tastes are much too refined for that.
  • And my personal favorite: Winter boots that are a size too small—wore them all last winter because I could not find them in a bigger size and loved them too much to pass them by. Now have two ingrown nails to show for that one.
As they say—Denial: it's not just a river in Egypt. It’s something we all suffer from—or at least I hope I’m not alone on this one.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

getting some air


It all started on Monday afternoon. And spiraled out of control very quickly. My semi-mental breakdown, that is.

I was having dinner with a girlfriend after work. We, as usual, were discussing in detail our love lives as of late. Nothing interesting on my end, but stories galore from her. Typical conversations between two friends over drinks and a meal.

It had already been a weird day involving seeing an old friend, which was unexpected but great. Random texts from another friend, discussing how it felt like there was a full moon because of all the strangeness of the day {not a full moon though alas}. And then… after dinner I go home only to get a text from my ex. Not necessarily too out of the blue, but will I ever get over the jolt I feel when his name appears on the screen?

Later on that night I decided to read my horoscope, as I do at the beginning of most months, out of curiosity. There, on my computer screen, Susan Miller, my go-to astrological guide, was telling me I was going to be single until October 2012. Cue mental breakdown. She explained a lot of stuff that went over my head but what I could gather was that Saturn {that bitch} has been clouding my love life since October 2009. Which happens to also be {roughly} the same time the ex from above and I broke up. Also to note: my last significant relationship.

Too many coincidences.
Too much thought.
And there was nothing I could do about any of it.
Or so it seemed.

Frantic text messages were sent to family and friends. Willing them to tell me there was no way my horoscope could be true. Each throwing me a lifeline and rightfully telling me I was crazy.

Two hours later I go to bed.
Eight hours later I wake up.

I’m not that girl. Not the girl who lets her horoscope of all things freak her out. Not the girl who worries about being single for another day, month or year. Not the girl who lets silly things get in the way of her happiness. {Totally the girl who sends out frantic text messages to the ones I love most though.}

So it was decided—I would do something about it. The challenge was born. We could both {and probably many of you} use some happy. As simple as that.

Day two and I think this is just what I needed. A new frame of mind. A new goal. A new outlook.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Challenge!

via Pinterest

Annye and I have both been in a bit of a funk lately. And as good friends do, we have to help each other snap the heck out of it. To kick our butts into gear, we are taking a 30-day happiness challenge. We have to do one thing, every day, that invests in our happiness.

What those things will be, I have no freaking idea. I for one, have forgotten what makes me happy. How silly is that? Let's see if the next 30 days helps me figure it out.

We will post a recap once a week to let you guys in on the fun, not to mention hold ourselves accountable.  Especially me. I tend to say 'eff this' when the going gets tough. So I'll be proving to myself I can stick with something. (Thanks mom and dad, for letting me quit piano and dance team. You ruined me. Kidding. You knew they were all idiots, too.)

But this is something worth sticking to.  So bring it on.

P.S. We hope you join us! Check out 'the challenge' tab. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

pipe dreams


Today Jena and I are entertaining fantasies of picking up our lives and moving somewhere new. Yes, it crosses my mind at least twice a week to pack up my bags and head somewhere else. Realistic? Probably not. Dreamy? Totally.

I love the possibilities that are out there. New city, new people, new things to learn. Of course I love home. But Arkansas will always be around. Why shouldn't we move now while we can? (This argument is usually what gets me in trouble.)

Here are my top five places I would pack up and leave for....
  1. Chicago (obvious choice)
  2. Southern California (for the weather mostly)
  3. Austin, Tx. (culture, culture, culture!)
  4. Paris, France (I'd be there in a heartbeat if I could)
  5. Charleston, South Carolina (say it with me: east coast, southern charm)
If you could live anywhere, where would you head? Have you ever picked up and moved? I want to hear. Give me inspiration!