In honor of the mid-point of our first pregnancy, I'm devoting this post to all the working mamas out there. I honestly do not know how you do it. My baby's in my belly and I already get overwhelmed with the combination of the two (especially thanks to perpetual morning sickness that followed me until about 18 weeks - now it's just nausea, but I digress...) The first twenty weeks were not without their dramatic points:

1. After a year of hoping and wishing for Baby Ley, we gave up. (read: my insane 4-week National Stationery Show prep took over my life in May)
2. At the end of May, Bryan and I decided it was time for ELP and ELC to deserve my full attention and I gave notice to my employer.
3. Two days before my last day with said employer, I had a strange craving for Twizzlers on my way home. Thanks to a friends crazy dream that I might be "with-child" I also picked up a little test.
4. A few hours, lots of tears, frantic reading and re-reading of test directions - Bryan and I were officially mommy and daddy to microscopic Baby Ley.
5. Lots of morning sickness, a near-trip to the ER for fluids, constant napping and carb-cravings ensue.
6. 13 weeks: "Congratulations! Baby Ley is almost certainly a GIRL!"
7. 18 weeks: "Congratulations! Baby Ley is ('see this right HERE') most definitely a BOY!"
8. Multiple false positives on multiples tests, a few heart attacks, many mommy-tears later... Baby Ley is healthy, strong and a future NFL-Kicker (He'll play for the Chicago Bears, of course).
9. Here we are... after 12 lbs, many kicks, lots of ketchup (random craving) and gummy bears (not together, of course) - halfway to the day where we'll get to hold our little Boy. 

We're 98% sold on a name and do plan to share it before his birthday... stay tuned. Now... there are a few things I could not (CANNOT) live without as an expectant working woman. 

My Mossimo Drape Front Sweater (Target). I wear this every day. Not kidding. We keep our home pretty cool, so this is a nice lightweight cardigan. But during those "I swear I'm pregnant, not just chubby" weeks (which JUST NOW have given way to a nice obviously pregnant belly), this made me feel much better. It's very flattering - and a great deal at $20.

Chick Fil A diet lemonade was my lifesaver when I was feeling really sick. It's low in calories and super refreshing - especially given that my sick days were during the PEAK of the summer here in South Florida (July-August).

Essential tanks from Ann Taylor LOFT - they're $5 right now, but I got some for $2! I'm 5 months along and can still wear these. They're very cute under jackets or cardigans. I have 8, I think. I wear these all the time - including to sleep in.

Something about being four months away from being a biz-owning, working mama of a newborn has made me incredibly thrifty - and this website is my favorite for that. At first, I shied away from this for really dumb reasons. I thought "Well, we can afford our grocery bill (etc) so I dont need to take time to cut/carry coupons." Essentially I was saying that my money wasn't important to me and I enjoyed giving it away. WHAT?! There are so many things we want and want to do with B-man (yes, his new nickname) and my being a savvy shopper helps that a lot. This website is fabulous (thanks, Dusty!) I promise to write a longer post for all you savvy, Southern ladies (including working-mama's in my same boat!) about exactly how this is done. Let's just say my last trip to Publix cost $8 with a total savings of $69.

iCal: What would I DO without this program? I use this for everything. It's synched between my iMac, my iPhone and my Macbook Air. iCal allows you to have multiple calendars all on the same calendar (color coded), so I have my personal calendar, work calendar, birthdays, etc all in one. This has been so helpful in getting me on a schedule for ELP, ELC and my growing family. Working for yourself is amazing, but it is HARD. I have to be really disciplined with myself. I schedule everything and try to do a half-way decent job of sticking to it. My ideal day (and you better believe 90% of these things are ACTUALLY on my iCal):

7am: Wake up, breakfast (typically cereal or yogurt w/ granola)
7:30: Gym
8:00: Run any errands for the day (Publix, Post Office, Staples, etc) OR home to clean up the house
8:30/9:00: Home to shower and get ready for the day
10:00ish: Start working - create a to-do list for the day
12:00: Lunch at my desk, still working OR on some days, lunch with a friend or Bryan - always nice to get out :)
12:00-5:00: Working on branding projects, fulfilling wholesale orders, phone-dates with potential ELC clients, shipping fun
5:00: Attempt to put something together for dinner
6:00: B gets home, dinner time
7:00: Wrap up work and spend some q-time with B

I get to enjoy this schedule for 4 more months, then it gets jumbled up and mixed with feedings, play dates, and probably email time at midnight. I know there are a lot of you who've emailed me that you're expecting (or newly expecting!!) and I hope this is helpful. 

Baby Center is a great website for information. What to Expect When You're Expecting is a great book too. If you get scared or confused, don't google anything (trust me on this one), it'll only make things worse. Perhaps my favorite pregnancy book is Jenny McCarthy's "Belly Laughs." It. Is. Hilarious. She basically tells it like it is - reading it is like laughing with a girlfriend who's been there done that. Granted, it's a little graphic at points, but a really quick, fun read.

And if any of you pro's out there have any tips for soon-to-be-working-mama's like myself who want to make things happen for their businesses and their families, I hope you'll comment and share your wisdom - I know I'd love some pointers!


Where on earth have the past three months gone? Things have been busy, crazy, new, exciting, scary - almost too much to put into words. I've been trying to connect with this new idea of becoming a mommy - and not just that, a full-time-business-owning-mommy. Earlier last month I was fortunate to spend a week back home in Pensacola with my family. This photo is a girls' trip to the beach - with my Mom and my best friend, Taylor (who also just HAPPENS to be my little brother's long-time girlfriend). Yes, the girlfriend part happened first - for all who are wondering. It was so nice to unwind and relax - the next few weeks held a bit of craziness.

This is likely my last post in this little blog before the new one launches. This little handmade blog has been great for the past (almost) two years. Two years... holy cow. ELP will be two years old late this December. Two years has gone by very fast. Speaking of two years, Bryan and I will be married for two years in three weeks. Thank God for him. Many don't know this, but we went through a very scary two weeks worrying over sweet Baby Ley thanks to some abnormal test results. It's safe to say they were two of the hardest, scariest two weeks I've ever faced. Bryan, of course, donned his brave face (if only for me) and guided us through it. Late last Friday we got the news that Baby Ley is just fine. He is strong and kicking hard and growing every day (especially this week! I think he may have had a little growth spurt - this belly is getting bigger!) I have so many special posts I cant wait to share when the new blog launches. Alongside that blog, Emily Ley Paper and Emily Ley Creative will be brand new as well. Stay tuned.


What a whirlwind of a week! I am totally late in posting this as I've been digging out of an ENORMOUS shipment of Emily Ley Paper album orders, holiday album design, Emily Ley Creative branding clients (oh so much to say about these... amazing, inspiring, passionate, artistic people....) and somewhere in the middle - finding out that my sweet baby girl is actually a SWEET BABY BOY! (You better believe I'm already shopping for little bowties!)

Whew! Right now, I am just so so so excited for the winner of the MTH2010 Scholarship! Lara made the announcement today on her blog. I cannot wait to meet everyone on this amazing journey. Let me just tell you that reading all 141 entries (which seemed to DOUBLE overnight at one point) was amazing. The stories that were told in that little comment field were so real, so wholehearted and so sincere.

Hop over to Lara's blog to watch her video and hear some OTHER exciting news! I cannot WAIT until November!

go, go, GO!

Being a one man show is TOUGH. So rewarding though - to see the direct fruits of your labor. These albums are such a labor of love. They've been delayed a thousand times for a thousand reasons - each I've learned from. The biggest being the TERRIBLE morning all day sickness that hit me as soon as the NSS was over. I have learned SO much about creating these puppies since creating (in a short span of 4 weeks) the lone album I toted with me to NYC. I plan on writing a detailed series of posts with NSS tips (including album building tips) as soon as these albums are out the door. At the end of the day, I will be so proud of them. They ARE shipping next week - as soon as the binders arrive. Hallelujah! I cant wait for these to be in stores. A few photos of the madness here...

iPhone images I forgot I had... me with my lone album on my way to set up for the NSS. Middle: me, getting ready to place loose stationery on the magnetic wall at the English Paper Co booth. Right: The ENORMOUS stack of shipping boxes awaiting albums.

Images from the ELP Everyday Album

More images from the ELP Everyday Album & ELP Wedding Album page stacks - awaiting samples to be adhered to them.

Craziness ensues :) You better believe I have a massage and a date planned for the day these puppies ship.