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Monday, July 8, 2013

An Authentic Blog | Pretty Emma

I saw a quote a couple of weeks ago that has resonated with me :

"Your biggest fear should not be failing.  It should be succeeding at things that don't matter."

It made me stop and think - is what I do something that matters?

I hope so.

Though I feel like I do try to share with you, my readers, a "real" reflection of our life, I love to get reminders like these that keep me on track. 

Since Emma was born, it has been my goal to transform this blog from a picture perfect "magazine-type" blog to a genuine reflection of a life well-lived.  I share with you my life - in the form of recipes, family photos, home projects and travels, in hopes of inspiring you to live a full life.

Sometimes I run into people that say, "Oh, you're a blogger?  I don't read blogs because they just make me feel bad about myself and my home!"  Ugh. 


I want people to feel empowered by my blog.  I love that it is my "job" to inspire others to live well through their own efforts.  What I write about might not be life-saving, but sometimes having a new and interesting recipe to make for dinner or a tidy linen closet can definitely be a day-saver.  So many times the little things mean so much - the daily struggle of refusing to become overwhelmed by the clutter, the stress, the finances, the laundry... it can all add up to feeling underwater all of the time.  Especially when it seems that everyone on Insta and Facebook has more than enough time, energy, money and patience.

I feel you.  Peeping into others lives can make you feel sub-par - unless you're looking at the right things.

I hope this blog is place you can come to glimpse into our home and find peace in your own home.   

I'll be returning tomorrow from our little break with some new recipes and projects - and a recap of our festive fourth!


  1. Hi, Jenny! I recently put my career on hold to stay home full-time with our new baby, and the quote you shared really resonates with me. I have realized that nothing I ever do in life will be as important as the job I do as a mother and homemaker (and I am blessed to have the opportunity to do so - many women would love to stay home if they had the choice). I know through this blog that you share these ideals, and you always help to inspire me to make my home a cozy respite for my family. When my child(ren) grow up, I want them to have wonderful memories of the life we made in our home - the meals, the traditions, the comfort, and the time shared. I'm sure you want the same from Emma. :) Thanks for providing such beautiful and accessible examples of this!

  2. Ohhhhh sweet, beautiful Baby Emma, you have grown so much since your last photo your Mommy blogged about during your trip to the strawberry patch. How adorable & precious you look. I love this very pretty little dress you have on, too! :-) It's also sweet and fun to see Mr. Darcy again! :-)
    Jenny, I adore and truly appreciate your blog! Your blog provides me constant inspirations for my home, my kitchen, my family, holiday home decorations, etc...It's actually made my life a little easier, a little lighter, more organized. Thank you & God bless you and your family. :-)

  3. Yes, it does just that, helps me find peace in my own home (and helps me figure out what to serve for dinner!)! For one, I really enjoy sharing your recipes with my family and friends. I often raise my glass to you at our dinner table ! No joke! Every recipe I have served from your blog has been an incredible hit (both to make, as your recipes are easy and dont require 1000 ingredients and to EAT!) Your blog is genuine and I never find you gloating or boasting (as so many bloggers do!). Its refreshing! Your words are helpful and insightful and your photos are beautiful. Your layout is creative and professional. Somehow you have got it all right. Enjoy it and dont ever let it be more important then your family :)

  4. Katie4:37 PM

    Jenny - Thank you for this post and for all the work you do for this blog in general. I still remember the post you did right after the holidays and how inspirational that was. You have wonderful ideas, a great eye for design, delicious recipes, and I appreciate that you share all of that with us! Like you and your family, my husband and I recently purchased and moved into our new house and we are happily working to make it our home. I come to your blog for inspiration all the time. I love cooking (especially Barefoot Contessa recipes! Love that Ina Garten!) and my husband and I love entertaining. We are going to Europe for the first time this summer and when we get back, I'm hoping to turn one of our photographs into a painting like you did for your home. I never would have thought to do that before. I think you make so many of your readers (myself included) feel like we have the power to live the life we want to live, have the home we want to have, and find the peace and happiness within ourselves that is ours to find. Thank you!

  5. You are a great inspiration and your sweet little girl steals my heart. Your photography and recipes are a delight! You've been one of my favorite bloggers for a long time!

  6. Marina Bell5:43 PM

    Jenny, never think that the work you do isn't important. You've certainly inspired me! I have a job that many would consider "important," I'm an attorney and I try child abuse cases. That said, my days are filled with unpleasant thoughts and images, so I often need "everyday occasions" to look forward to and to remind myself that life is good! You inspire me to bring flowers into my home so I see something beautiful after a long day's work. Emma is a year older than my son, so seeing her grow and develop gives me a sneak peek into Colin's future. being organized and having your easy, "go to" recipes enables me to make a comforting dinner to relax and enjoy even after a crazy Monday! So, kudos to you, for bringing sunshine into my life, and the lives of many others! Your blog definitely matters to me.

  7. I sure find your blog to be an inspiring place! I have been making a home for 35 years (yikes!), and yet I find new ideas and inspiration here in your corner. Just last month, my daughter and I hosted a baby shower for her friend, and I came right here for menu inspiration!

    Thank you for sharing your life (and your sweet baby girl) with us, your readers. :)

  8. Kay Carver6:07 PM

    I so enjoy your blog, Jenny. I am a 64 year old "mom"--no grandkids yet. Emma is an absolute joy and delight. Please continue with your beautiful photos, creative dishes and adorable Emma.

  9. I love your blog and it is very much inspiring! I don't think you will ever regret having this piece of history in your life. Keep it going!

  10. Jenny, you do a beautiful job with your blog presentation and all your posts! Your projects and recipes keep me inspired to do the same for my home and family. Life is all about making memories while having fun along the way and that's exactly what I get from your blog. Thank you for sharing with us!

  11. Jenny, I love your blog ... I peek at it daily for new recipes, pics and YES inspiration! Emma is adorable, growing up way to fast right? Our little "Buddy" looks just like Mr Darcy, too funny :)
    Keep up the work!

    Sylvia ~

  12. Beautiful Emma! I love visiting your blog, even when it was magazine perfect. I am inspired by your writing, and your photos and you have helped me learn new recipes but also want to improve my own blog.

  13. Emma is so beautiful! I love reading your blog an have to say that I am definitely inspired by it! You are doing such a wonderful job!

  14. Love the pictures of Emma and Mr. Darcy is so cute! I love your blog for exactly the reasons you mention. You are real, genuine and always have gorgeous pictures. I love taking a peek into the lives of others and your blog always provides valuable inspiration.

  15. I've been reading your blog since before you had Emma and I think it's wonderful! Emma is gorgeous and you have a beautiful home and family. I have taken a lot of inspiration from your blog- I love your classic style!

  16. I love that quote and this post. Your blog is very inspiring to me and my very favorite of all. :)

  17. jenny! you are lovely, emma is lovely (and she looks soooo much like her father!) and i thank you for this post. i am an italian literary translator, i made some choices in my life that make me proud but sometimes, you know... i often feel that i haven't reached the goals people think i should have reached, and that everyone has clean houses, cute kids, nice jobs while i struggle and struggle. truth is, i come here and i feel peaceful and recharged. no pressure, no anxiety. and that's because you live a full life, not a perfect life, and you teach us how to do the same, one step at a time.
    so thank you again!


  18. Emma is growing so fast! She is charming!
    Made your Easy Grilled Fingerling Potatoes. The recipe is a keeper. Yummy results.
    Keep up the good work!

  19. I love your blog and exactly what you are's a breath of fresh air and as someone who lives in the midwest and longs for the sea, your pictures, your recipes, your home remind me of why I love the east's casual elegance at its best. and yes, life on a blog never represents the whole, just a glimpse...thanks for giving us that glimpse!

  20. Jenny, where is that quote from? It's so inspirational and can be applicable to so many different areas of life - from raising young ones to re-examining one's career (which is what resonates most with me).

    Your blog is "magazine-quality" but you make everything SO ACCESSIBLE, even for those of us on limited budgets (and with limited culinary skills). I can't tell you how many times I've made those mini-pecan pies or some of your other recipes. They've been the inspiration for many family holiday gatherings and I look forward to many more.

    Thank you for sharing!

  21. Lindsey5:19 PM

    Hi Jenny, Just wanted to pop in and let you know that your blog is one of my favorites because it is real and inspirational! Thank you for sharing your ideas, recipes, and family photos! As a young married woman, I find all of your posts relevant and amusing. It's nice to look up to someone who has similar style and interests!

  22. Anonymous5:23 PM

    I love your blog. Really, really love it. It always makes me feel good and's calming and always beautiful, whether it's the photos of your home, a meal, or Emma -- I always look forward to it. Sounds like you are making a difference, doesn't it?
    Marilyn in Mt. Vernon, VA

  23. Your little Emma looks so grown up in these photos! I always look forward to reading your posts and seeing your lovely photos and great recipes! You have a beautiful family! I love the quote too! Good reminder for all of us! My family is from Missouri - lots living in Springfield & St. Louis (I'm in California) - so that makes me especially fond of and loyal to your site!! I would say you're making a difference!! I hope you keep it going forever - we'll want to see Ms Emma grow up through the years!!

  24. Jenny, I often come to your blog at night after my long and stressful day at work and then the stress of transition to my home with my children and family time. Your blog grounds me, invigorates me, and just takes me to a place that I feel peace -- not to mention how much I love seeing Emma's beautiful pics. I have mentioned this before, but I cannot wait till you publish your book, so I can have your book on my night table. Thanks for everything. I never knew the Sur-La-Table glasses would excite me so much. Thanks for all you do.

  25. I'm sounding so pushy about the book bit... I should had said, "I do hope you consider publishing a book some day." :-)

  26. Jenny - In a world filled with such negative news and spin, I find your blog refreshing and inspirational. I have used many ideas and recipes to brighten my home and make it a place of love. Keep it up!

  27. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Jenny, yes I would like to order the parchment sheets. How great not to have to get the scissors out and cut a sheet or two every time I need one. GREAT IDEA, and great price! Marilyn in Mt. Vernon, VA (who used to live in Leawood.)


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