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It’s been a while since I have done a personal post on the blog. My blog started about 10 years ago after I married my college sweetheart. I wanted a way to document our newlywed life and dabble a bit in showing my design work. Little did I know that people would actually start reading this blog of mine and that it would grow into a prospering business! Boy, do I feel blessed beyond belief. As the business grew, my time to dedicate to the blog grew smaller and smaller. Then along came Master Rhett! Life entered in a new level of fun and adventure, but the blog was definitely not at the top of the list any longer. Then came along Miss Lillian! Needless to say, it’s all I can do to keep my head above water nurturing a family, household, marriage, thriving business and a growing team. The blog? Well, it has become the project I think about daily, but no time to act on it. And that’s okay. My priorities are definitely in the right place but it doesn’t change the fact that I want to share my thoughts and creativeness to the world. I thrive on helping others, challenging us to spread joy and dedicating my life to creating beautiful things, inside and out. I know I was given the gift of creativity for a reason. And that reason is to inspire fellowship among others. I was having a conversation with my dad about the gifts I have been given. I struggled in determining how I was really using these gifts in the glory of God. I did know one thing, opening the Shoppe was something I was led to do. I prayed about this decision for a long time and seeked guidance from my husband, a few very close friends and my parents. Not friends that would tell me what I wanted to hear, but one in particular that would challenge me to find purpose in this decision. I was inviting a heavier workload with a new baby and I needed confirmation that this would pay off in the long run. Would it be hard now? Sure! Has it been hard? Sure! Do I regret it? Not one bit. This past year as confirmed that we made the right decision. Back to the conversation with my dad, he enlightened me with an angle that I had not occurred to me. He said, “Emily, you have a gift that encourages fellowship and joy.” Wow. This really hit home. This was exactly what I needed to hear. He went on to explain that the products we design, the invitations we create, the homes we help fill, those are all ways to encourage people to spend time together, creating joy in every day occasions. Big or small, every moment counts. Every moment deserves celebration. Celebration with JOY. Opening the Shoppe has allowed us to spread joy to every single person that walks in the door. Not only do we help them select the perfect gift to bring joy to someone’s day, but we help them find ways to celebrate life’s most important moments. There has been nothing more rewarding in my career than walking into the doors of the shoppe and looking at all of the possibilities we have ahead of us. The Shoppe is my pride and joy as a business woman, the pinnacle of my career to date. It holds all of my favorite things, that have also become the favorite things of all of our clients. It’s really hard to put into words the fulfillment this brings to my heart. In the long run, I pray this Shoppe becomes a well-oiled machine and allows me the chance to take the time I need for my family. In talking with a few mothers who owned businesses, they all had the same advice. They said, if you’re going to open a Shoppe one day (which was always my dream), then do it now. As crazy as it seems, it’s actually going to be easier to do it now, versus down the road when your children are in school. This was the opposite of what I thought. They said, you are actually needed by your kids more as they get older than right now. And you know what, they were right. By doing this now and getting the Shoppe and my team off the ground, I will be able to take the time I need to attend class events, after school activities, sports, etc when it’s time. Right now, my children are the happiest kids I know and are perfectly content spending time with their grandparents and their little schools. Patrick and I work so hard to provide for our family, it is something we have chosen to do intentionally and to show our children that anything is possible when you have the drive and encouragement to do so.

So this past year has been a whirlwind to say the least. We embarked on this huge business decision, grew our team from 2 to 9, and managed to still grow the business exponentially from years past. On the personal side, Patrick and I have grown as a couple to find more time for each other and spend valuable quality time with our children. This year, we made a promise to live more intentionally. To plan more trips, to make the most of our weekends as a family, to have more date nights and to grow in our relationship with God.

So where do we go from here?

From here, I am making a promise to contribute more to the blog this year. I truly need this for my heart. I need to share in this journey of life, just in case that you need a word of encouragement in your personal life or business – I want you to find it here. I also want to use this platform as a way to show you my convictions and what we stand for as a family. I’ve struggled over the past couple of weeks because I felt that I had this opportunity to share my beliefs to such a large amount of people, but I felt restricted to do so because of the ramifications of this instagram post. In what world can we not encourage love and joy without getting so many rebuttals? This truly bothered me and left me feeling very discouraged. I seeked guidance from a very close friend (who I refer to as my spiritual go-to pal!) and she asked me to pray for guidance on finding the right way to spread my message of love and pro-life. This journey is still in the works, but it is definitely weighing really heavily on my heart. So much so, that I know this stand is a part of me and will never change. And I don’t write this to receive any negative or combative comments. I’m not looking for a fight other than fighting for the rights of unborn children. Becoming a mother only strengthened this belief inside of me. Nothing anyone says can ever change my opinion. And the difference is that I fully respect that others have a different opinion than I do. And that’s okay. I don’t expect or demand that the entire world feels the exact same way that I do. We all come from different walks of life, all leading us to make different decisions and have opposing stands. That’s also okay and what makes us human. We can’t all lead different walks of life and expect the same results. I respect that others don’t agree with me and I think that has been what has bothered me most about the last few months. We have truly lost respect for one another. We need to respect our differences. We need to love each other no matter your beliefs or convictions. We are called to love unconditionally. Hate is the absence of love. Give more love. You can never love enough. Love the stranger next to you, love the friend that has completely attacked you for your beliefs. Because in the end, they just need love. We all need a little more of it in my opinion.

So how do you plan to love more this year?

How do you plan to challenge yourself this year?

How do you plan to live with more joy?

Ask yourself these questions and let me know what you decide, comment and tell the rest of us!

If you can’t pinpoint how to find your answers, let me know, I would truly love to help you.

Live joyfully,

Emily McCarthy

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Categories: in the life of..., inspired by

We have been a little quite around the shoppe and studio lately – and there is good reason why! Hurricane Matthew arrived to Savannah with a vengeance and we hunkered down to protect our homes and beautiful city. Just this past week, we were able to start trickling back to our businesses and homes – some damaged immensely. We consider ourselves extremely lucky – we had very minimal damage and a week without power. Compared to the loss that some families endured, we are thankful to be here and with a roof over our heads.

14479821_10154109643047987_5447767362429617570_n 14495285_10154109643062987_5295610617109805022_n(We boarded up our house before leaving for the Hurricane)

The storm rolled in Friday afternoon and we decided to wait it out by staying in Savannah. We felt safe and secure at my in-laws due to the construction of their home – it was definitely built to withstand hurricane-strength storms. We awoke Saturday morning to find a city of destruction. Our beautiful Savannah was hit hard. Very hard. We have spent the last week repairing the damage, clearing roads and restoring power (thanks to thousands of power company linemen that traveled from all over the United States – and my husband!) We were able to return home from many nights with family when we regained power at our home Thursday afternoon.

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Needless to say, we are GLAD to be home!

We decided to uplift spirits and create a moment of Joy in the Shoppe this week with a Power Party! We had coffee, treats and a place for our favorite guests to join together for a happy celebration.


I was feeling extra thankful today so I thought I would share with everyone. These past couple of weeks has helped us focus on the things that really matter. Not our possessions, not material things, but the moments we are spending together making memories. We have each other and that’s the only thing we really need in this world.

What are you thankful for? Who is in your life that you couldn’t imagine your life without?

Go tell them….today!

I’ll close with one of my favorite inviteJOY cards from the Shoppe:

inviteJOY Cards – Emily McCarthy Shoppe

 Emily McCarthy

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Categories: emily's favorite things, in the life of...

This week, we had the joy of getting to know more about Kimberly Whitman for our readers. She’s been a household name around the studio ever since we were able to lend our monograms to her new book, Monograms for the Home. Another name we can call her is “friend”. We’re positive you will be able to tell from this short interview what a truly warm, inviting, and happy presence she has.


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EMc: How do you carry your signature style into all aspects of your life be it home decor, entertaining, or fashion?

KW: I just choose what I like when I’m faced with a choice! I figure that if it resonates with me, tells a story, or makes me smile, it suits my style!

KSW Dinner Party August 19 2015-181
EMc: What is your personal definition of “signature style”?

KW:When I think of some of my most stylish friends, I must say that they are hard to box in. In other words, they are always evolving and open to new things and new looks. I like that! To have signature style, you have to have curiosity about life and design and be driven to discover what you like.

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EMc: Give us three words to describe you. Why did you choose these three words?

KW: Classic, Joyous, Colorful? I don’t know! That is so tough. What three words would you use for me? I’m so curious, after sharing these photos, etc, what you would say!

EMc: You know, Kimberly, after reveling in all the gorgeous photos you sent to us and reading your answers… we would absolutely use the words vanguard, whimsical, and joyous. 

EMc: What are three of your most prized pieces that you think fully represent your signature style? This could be a piece of furniture, jewelry, art, etc.

KW: Oh gosh – that is so hard! I love “stuff” and cherish the memories that come along with so many of my belongings. One of them is certainly my engagement ring. It was my husband’s great grandmothers ring. All of the ladies in his life wore it and that means so much to me. It is a sapphire (colorful and blue!), an heirloom, and a very classic and lady like style. I adore it and I think it completely suits me even though it wasn’t made for me! I also love the bracelet that features the dates my children were born and my monogram by Hannah Fergeson. I wore it in my author photo for my new book, Monograms for the Home. I also cherish my son’s portrait by Stella Ehrich. She is so talented and did such a beautiful job capturing who he is. She spent time with us and got to know him before she started painting him and the final painting is just magical because he really shines through! The best part, besides our new friendship with Stella, is that she even painted his toes that cross over – just like my father’s toes do!

Schlegel Kitchen
EMc: What is your best tip to encourage others to find and develop their own signature style?

KW: Explore and try new things! Mix and match things that resonate with you. Edit like crazy and you will probably find that the things that stay around you all have a common thread.


Continue following along with Kimberly’s whimsical style here:

Twitter and Instagram @KimberlyWhitman
Emily McCarthy

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Categories: emily's favorite things, in the life of..., interiors, monograms, signature style, style, style crush

Savannah, Georgia is such a destination spot for vacationers and I am often asked to share my favorite local hotspots. When J. McLaughlin asked me to sport a few of my favorite items from their collection, I thought Savannah would be the perfect backdrop for a family tour! First stop? One of my go-to lunch spots, Kayak Kafe.

Since we are gluten-free (husband has celiac and I have a moderate intolerance), we stick to a very limited list of restaurants that provide GF menu choices. Kayak Kafe offers many options for their signature tacos, paninis and salads. Delish! I love their focus on fresh ingredients and a “California” style. They have two locations, Downtown on Broughton Street and Midtown on Paulsen Street.

For lunch with a girlfriend, I decided to go with the Tania Top and Pippa Pants – super comfy and stretch for a fulfilling meal and chasing little ones!

J. McGlaughlin Tour of Savannah with Emily McCarthy J. McGlaughlin Tour of Savannah with Emily McCarthy J. McGlaughlin Tour of Savannah with Emily McCarthy J. McGlaughlin Tour of Savannah with Emily McCarthy J. McGlaughlin Tour of Savannah with Emily McCarthy J. McGlaughlin Tour of Savannah with Emily McCarthy J. McGlaughlin Tour of Savannah with Emily McCarthy

Photos by the talented Sarah Buck Photography

If you’re planning to visit Savannah and would love to know any more meets on my favorite spots, say hello! [email protected]

Also, head on over to Visit Savannah for helpful tips as well!


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Categories: emily's favorite things, in the life of..., savannah, style

I had to share a few snippets of our latest trip down to Tybee for the afternoon. You’ll also notice a few of my favorite things like the new Sundress cover-up and The Beaufort Bonnet Company for the kids.

This was Miss Lillian’s first beach trip and we dipped her tiny toes in the ocean!

The Beaufort Bonnet Co. Monogrammed Hat The Beaufort Bonnet Co. Monogrammed Hat The Beaufort Bonnet Co. Monogrammed Hat BeachLillians1stTrip-10 BeachLillians1stTrip-11 BeachLillians1stTrip-15 BeachLillians1stTrip-43 BeachLillians1stTrip-53 BeachLillians1stTrip-61 BeachLillians1stTrip-64 BeachLillians1stTrip-70 BeachLillians1stTrip-82 BeachLillians1stTrip-87 BeachLillians1stTrip-93 The Beaufort Bonnet Co. Swim Trunks BeachLillians1stTrip-107 BeachLillians1stTrip-113 BeachLillians1stTrip-126 BeachLillians1stTrip-142 BeachLillians1stTrip-144 BeachLillians1stTrip-145 BeachLillians1stTrip-154

One comment

  1. Sarai @ Confessions of an ex-ballerina says

    You have some cute kids. Love the hats too. 🙂

    July 29, 2015
Categories: in the life of..., Lillian Joy, motherhood

Our little bundle of “joy” arrived in May 28th and we have been enjoying baby snuggles and coos 24/7. I’ve also enjoyed a little quiet time here at home with my kiddos – creatively, it was the perfect time to take a break and have some relaxation. I have no doubt that this time will rejuvenate my creative spirit and I will be back soon in the studio!

For now, let me present my little miss!

Born May 28th at 11:07 am

Weighing 6 pounds and 19 inches long

Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 11.20.53 AM Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography Newborn Photos for Lillian Joy  |  by Erin Rene Photography

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Categories: in the life of..., Lillian Joy, motherhood

Head over to Style Me Pretty Living for a little Q&A with yours truly! Beautiful images from Kelli Boyd Photography.

Click here to view the feature.

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Categories: in the life of..., press, signature style

We enjoyed a family evening on Tybee Beach a couple of weeks ago and Erin Rollins from Erin Rene Photography did the most amazing job on capturing our family in preparation for Lillian’s arrival.Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography DQ2A5708 Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene Photography Maternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene PhotographyMaternity and Family Photos by Erin Rene PhotographySOURCES: Dress on Emily  |  Pearls (Gift from my sweet friend, Kathryn to pass down to Lillian)  |  Charm Bracelet (belonged to my Nana Lillian)  |  “Lillian” Vintage Pin (belonged to my Nana Lillian  |  Shortall on Rhett

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Categories: in the life of..., lillian


I’m so excited to show you the reveal of Lillian’s Nursery! We have been busy bees working on the final touches and I can’t thank everyone enough for their hard work! We transformed Rhett’s nursery into a colorful room for his little sister (see his nursery here)

I wanted to go with a unique color palette of Oranges, Pinks, Corals, Taupes and Golds. You know me, always wanting something a little different. (see inspiration post here).

I think the details came together so nicely – the focal point of the room being her custom wallpaper that I designed using Flamingos, Pineapples, Bamboo and Palm Trees! I wanted a colorful oasis that would translate well into her big girl room in a couple of years.

Special thanks to my amazing friend and interior designer Kathryn Myrick who helped me bring together the ideas successfully, my mom for helping me hang that beautiful wallpaper, Mary Catherine Folmar with Cotton + Quill for helping me bring the wallpaper to life, Lindsay at Cohen’s Retreat for the beautiful embroidery, my mother-in-law for the sconces passed down from Lillian’s aunt’s nursery, my amazing husband for entertaining my creativity and letting me run wild with her room and everyone who sent and made the most amazing gifts and treasures for her room!



I spotted this gorgeous bamboo shelf at the Atlanta mart earlier this year and it really inspired the entire room!LilliansNursery-23webLilliansNursery-28web


Of course, what southern little girl’s room would be complete without her monogram! I designed her custom monogram LJM and had it stitched on a few linens for the room.


We had to include a photo of my Grandmother, Lillian! This beautiful frame was a gift from my friend Paige (her fabulous blog here!)

LilliansNursery-39webI adore this vintage brass pineapple from Fig House Vintage!

Her bonnet and sunhat from The Beaufort Bonnet Company awaits her arrival! LilliansNursery-45webA few details from my childhood.


Custom Wallpaper available through Cotton + Quill. Email [email protected] to inquire within.
Coral Bamboo Shelf from Guild Master
Crib Bedding from Serena and Lily
Glider from Doodlefish
Metallic Cowhide Rug from Saddlemans
Orange/Pink Ikat Fabric from Greenhouse
Sunburst Mirror from Cohen’s Retreat
Crib – see original post here


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Categories: in the life of..., interiors, lillian

This cat finally came out of the bag this month and I’m so excited to share with you our journey with HGTV Magazine! (Click here to online feature) My talented friend Elizabeth Demos styles for lots of publications and she scouted our home to pitch to the editors. They immediately jumped on board and scheduled a photoshoot for last August.

Of course, I immediately begin working towards lots of project completions so the house would be in tip-top shape for the photoshoot. Their wonderful Editors, Photographers and entire team spent 2 days in our home and they couldn’t have been more pleasant to work with!

Pick up the May issue of HGTV before it’s gone to see the home tour of our home. We have put a lot of heart and soul into our home to combine our styles – kind of like marriage! Decorating is all about mixing styles, knowing when to pick your battles and compromising to make each of you feel at home. When you have very different styles like Patrick and myself, you just have to work through each room and figure out what elements will work for each personality. In the end, you get a really unique look for your home that isn’t cookie-cutter – but more eclectic like your family!

I also love to make really practical choices when it comes to fabrics and colors. Everything that is white is easily washable/bleach-able. Also, a lot of the fabrics (even window treatments) are outdoor fabrics so it’s easy to wipe clean from grubby little hands.

The local Savannah Morning News did a feature as well about the article – you can read more here.

Photographer: Kim Cornelison

Feature Author: Kathleen Renda

Editor: Jennifer Berno

Photo Stylist: Elizabeth Demos

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Categories: in the life of..., interiors