A Holiday Cocktail Party

When I was fourteen my big sister, Molly, decided that she was going to throw a “holiday cocktail party.” We planned for weeks and weeks for this party. This was before Pinterest, so all of our ideation sessions centered around cookbooks, the cooking channel, and good old fashioned magazines. We shopped for the perfect invitations and carefully laid out the tablescape. We plotted festive conversation topics. Molly thought of everything! 14 years later, I finally got the opportunity to recreate what my 14-year-old self considered to be the height of elegance. It was finally time for a real holiday cocktail party! Continue reading “A Holiday Cocktail Party”


Give It to a Busy Girl – Reflections on Time

“Give it to a busy girl, and she’ll get it done.”

My mother has said this to me about 6 million times in my life. The expression is self explanatory, but what my mom actually means by it goes much deeper.

You see, there is an old Chinese proverb that I love (that not surprisingly, my mother also taught me) that says “time is a created thing – to say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to’.” While this is a very simplistic view of time and business, it is actually not untrue when you think about it. On most days, I always seem to have time to scroll through Instagram. I always have time to look through my emails and click on the enticing one from Banana Republic informing me of (another) sale. I always have time to hit the candy bowl in the office. What I don’t seem to have time to do is go to the gym everyday, get eight hours of sleep everyday, write that check for the bill in the mail. Why? Because if I’m really honest, I don’t want to. I do want to look through fun pictures on Instagram so there is always time for that. Time is a created thing. Continue reading “Give It to a Busy Girl – Reflections on Time”

12 days of Christmas Cookies – Sugar Cookies with Autumn Walters

For today’s post, I invited one of my dear friends from Pure Barre, Autumn, to share her story. Autumn and I met one fateful day at the studio, and we were each other’s biggest cheerleaders as we attempted to hit 250 classes in one year. Over the years we have shared our love of Pure Barre, family, shared wedding visions, and most importantly: cookies! Continue reading “12 days of Christmas Cookies – Sugar Cookies with Autumn Walters”

12 Days of Christmas Cookies – Cyclops Cookies with Martha Chambers

I realized in planning out my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies that precisely because of the fact that all of my recipes are stolen from her, I would be absolutely  remise if I didn’t feature my own mother! As the woman who taught me to bake, and the brains behind the entire cookie operation at our house, we need to hear from the master!

From Martha:

Within a few readings of Emily’s blog, one immediately notices that this girl loves to bake! She comes by it honestly as both sisters and her mom are happiest when we are baking – particularly when we get to give it away! Molly’s cakes are blue ribbon worthy and Merry Grace’s banana bread is “I’ll just have one more piece” delicious, but the real crème de la crème is our cookies!

Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas Cookies – Cyclops Cookies with Martha Chambers”

Christmas Cards – A Love Story

My mother has a little photo album that sits on the coffee table during the holiday season. There are 30 photographs lovingly place inside, one for each year that she has been a mother. These photos tell the story of every Christmas from 1987 to 2017.

Continue reading “Christmas Cards – A Love Story”

12 Days of Christmas Cookies – Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

In looking through all of my family’s Christmas cookie recipes, I realized that most of them aren’t, in fact, very “Christmas-y.” Truly, what makes them Christmas cookies is just that we make them at Christmas. While this is totally fine, sometimes, you just want something that screams CHRISTMAS. These cookies do exactly that!

Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas Cookies – Peppermint Chocolate Cookies”

12 Days of Christmas Cookies – Thumbprint Cookies with Bobbie Hampson

My mother in law, Bobbie, is an extraordinary cook. She is the first person I’ve ever known to make cauliflower taste good, and there are some things that I know she makes that I don’t even try to replicate. It would be a fool’s errand! Over Thanksgiving, I of course asked her to teach me to make one of her favorite Christmas cookies: thumbprints!

Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas Cookies – Thumbprint Cookies with Bobbie Hampson”