On Sunday night, we hosted our first informal dinner party with Will’s parents and their best family friend. We cooked three different kinds of pizza as well as asparagus hollandaise and I’d say everything turned out reasonably well (read: edible) besides me overcooking the asparagus. Maybe it sounds silly to those of you who are more experienced chefs but it was a fun little milestone for us in building up our confidence in the kitchen.

That said, it was pretty hilarious how unprepared our kitchen is for any kind of entertaining. “Where are the wine glasses?” (A lot of them broke during our move.) “Do you have a pizza cutter?” (No.) “Is there a third cookie sheet?” (A very tiny one.) “Is there a fifth placemat?” (No.) “How do you make hollandaise without a double boiler?” (By precariously balancing a metal bowl on top of a small pot.) I started making a mental list of everything we ought to invest in but decided to document it here as I know some of you are in the early stages of stocking your kitchen as well.

cute kitchen supplies

double boiler  //  cookie sheets  //  oven mitts  //  pizza cutter  //  wine glasses  //  placemats

Are there any items you’d recommend for a beginner’s kitchen? Do you have a favorite brand for pots, pans, etc.? I’d love to hear!

P.S. See our kitchen here.


Will and I love looking at real estate. Whether it’s on Trulia (or StreetEasy when we lived in New York), an architect’s website, Pinterest, or just driving around our new city, I find looking at real estate super motivating. (Anyone else know what I mean?) I thought it would be fun to start a little series cataloging some of my most aspirational real estate discoveries, if only to give all our dream house boards a little new content.







Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Architects: Ferguson & Shamamian

Anyone else ready to move in?!




1. 7 places to put on your bucket list if you love wine.

2. Did you see Olivia Palermo’s collection for BaubleBar? This bee necklace is my favorite!

3. From the archives: 25 things you can accomplish in 5 minutes or less.

4. How to break out of a rut.

5. I can’t wait for Reese Witherspoon’s new store in Nashville!

6. I loved Ali’s recap of our trip to New York!

7. I needed this: how to cook perfect quinoa every time.

8. I want these shoes real bad and this weekend they’re up to 30% off with code FALLEVENT.

9. Monogram etiquette for men.


Oh man, am I happy it’s Friday. I’ve been out of town the past two weekends (first Nantucket with friends and then Indiana to see Will’s grandparents) and I’m ready to have a weekend at home to knock out some errands and life maintenance. It hasn’t been my most prolific week of blogging so I thought I’d share some ramblings about what I’ve been up to in real life:

emily ley simplified planner

*planner available here

1. Product development. Gretchen and I are finding manufacturers for all kinds of custom items that will be hitting the boutique in time for Christmas. I’m keeping all the product photos saved to my desktop so I can open them up for a jolt of inspiration because they are gooood.

2. Pop-up night. We did a big trip to Ikea to buy shelving and tables for our pop-up shopping night in the new office. Dallasites, mark your calendars for Thursday, October 22! More details to follow… once we’ve got this place all spiffed up, eeeek.

3. One Room Challenge. Oh yeah, that blog series where 20 bloggers have just six weeks to totally transform an entire room? I’m doing it again. Check out last year’s One Room Challenge and get ready for my first post next Wednesday.

4. Buying bonanza. I don’t know how it’s already October but that means the holiday season is right around the corner and we need lots of new items for you holiday shoppers! I’ve been opening new wholesale accounts and sourcing new artwork left and right… This really is my favorite part of the job and I love finding things I know you won’t see anywhere else!

5. Web redesign. We’re working with a local designer to whip up a new logo and redo the boutique website. This stuff can be really overwhelming but it’s way overdue and it’s going to look b-e-a-utiful once it’s all finished!

6. Puppy training. Okay, at age three, Rory’s not technically a puppy anymore, but Will and I have been taking him to group lessons on Monday nights in preparation for a possible new addition in a few months… Because when you have a full plate, what could be better than a new puppy? #bitingoffmorethanIcanchew #butIwantallthepuppies

7. Double dating our way through Dallas. For some reason, we’ve been out of town when our friends are in town and in town when are friends are out of town… and now finally this weekend everyone’s here and it feels like there’s so much to catch up on! I didn’t even grocery shop this week because we have so many little evening outings planned for the next few nights. I will say I love how social Dallasites are… Knowing that I have 7:30 dinner reservations makes me so much more efficient during the day because it creates a deadline for when I have to stop work, something I struggled with when I lived by myself in New York.

8. Booking travel. We’re visiting my parents in Connecticut at the end of the month, doing Christmas in Maine with both of our families, and heading somewhere warm in January for a much-needed break after the holiday mayhem. And I want to plan another international trip for early 2016… Bring it on!

9. Sending birthday wishes to my sister Reilly who turns 24 today and is celebrating by performing stand-up comedy in Brooklyn because she is cooler and funnier than I will ever be. #proudjusttoknowher

Let’s just say I have my hands full at the moment but I feel like for the first time in a while I’m in a really good groove… Must have been all your sweet comments on this post pumping me up. Now I just need more hours in the day! Anyway, enough about me… What’s one cool thing you’re working on right now?!


I have a confession to make: I wore these exact flats nearly every day for the entire summer. They are beyond comfortable and the pointed toe makes them feel a little dressier than the rest of my ballet flats. Now that we’re slowly transitioning into fall, I’m not ready to give up the habit — in fact, I’d like to stock my closet full of them so I have plenty of options for feeling put together without wearing one or two pairs into the ground. (Anyone have a great cobbler in Dallas?!)

 pointed toe flats for fall

one  //  two  //  three  //  four  //  five  //  six  //  seven

Pssst, three of these pairs are under $60!