Skip to Content

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. ūüôā

    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

No comments yet.

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


My Pure Barre journey has continued through this pregnancy with Lillian. I began Pure Barre in February of 2013 and it has completely changed my body, outlook on exercise and given me an outlet of “me” time that helps me stay balanced with motherhood, work and the everyday juggle. It definitely takes hard work and dedication to stay committed but when it feels like it’s too hard to keep up with the schedule, I remind myself that I’m a better person when I go to class. I’m a better business owner, wife, mom and friend when I’m able to spend that hour of time focusing on my body inside and out. Because of Pure Barre and new eating habits (thanks to my sister-in-law Colleen McCarthy), I actually started this pregnancy 10 pounds lighter than my pregnancy with Rhett. Before Pure Barre, I had dropped most of my pregnancy weight, but still felt ‘fluffy’ – I think some of it had to do with nursing as well. I was wavering around a size 8 and later dropped to a size 4 after my dedication to Pure Barre and the results of my MRT test. I’m attempting to reach my goal of 250 classes but time will tell if I can get there before or after Lillian arrives the end of May.

During my pregnancy with Rhett, let’s just say I quit counting after I passed the 50lb weight gain mark. I just couldn’t look at the scale any longer. I wasn’t eating well and I definitely wasn’t exercising. I suffered from a bit of sciatic nerve pain and frequented the chiropractor to help resolve the pain. This ‘pinched’ nerve feeling stopped me from exercising because I was convinced it made me feel worse. Little did I know that it actually would have helped!

When I found out I was pregnant with Lillian, I made a commitment to myself to continue Pure Barre, no matter how difficult it may get through the 9 month period. It is proven NOW, that when I don’t go to Pure Barre, I actually feel WORSE. If I have to miss class due to work, motherhood duties, etc – my body gets stiff, heavy and my energy level goes down. I can definitely tell when I miss class and it gives me motivation to reschedule class and get there – no matter how¬†I have to move my schedule around. I owe it to myself and my family to go to class and stay active! Toting around a 3 year old can definitely take a toll on a pregnant body so keeping my muscle tone helps with that, too!

As far as physical appearance, keeping my ab muscles engaged throughout pregnancy has helped keep everything LIFTED. I feel less pressure in my hips and sciatic nerve because my abs are holding everything up higher. Believe it not, I can actually still feel and see my ab muscles – quite amazing considering I didn’t even have ab muscles before PB. They were completely nonexistent as well as seat muscles, too. Overall, muscle tone was definitely lacking and by increasing toning and strength, it has helped¬†me physically with toddler life, post-baby body and increased self-confidence.

I’m anxious to see the effects on the labor process this time around. I had a bit of difficulty with the physical side of labor and I’m praying that this hard work pays off in an ‘easier’ delivery and bounce back. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Next up? Adjusting your Pure Barre routine for your growing body! Luckily, the owner of my Pure Barre studio just recently had her 3rd child and she looks AMAZING! She is the best motivation to keep going to class because the post-baby results make it worth the hard work. Brook has been a great resource for advice and adjusted positions for class. There was a time that I was frustrated because physically, I felt that I could still challenge myself the same way as before pregnancy, but my body wasn’t cooperating. Physically, I felt ABLE, but my muscles just didn’t work the same way. I was feeling some of the ab work in my hip flexors so I know something wasn’t right. She showed me a few adjustments and it has definitely helped keep ab work in my ABS and continue to grow my strength. If you’re attending Pure Barre, as your instructor if she knows a few alternative positions for you, it’s much more beneficial than doing it incorrectly and paying for it later in the wrong areas of your body.

Here are a few links to help you with Pure Barre pregnancy:

Pure Barre During Pregnancy

The Pretty Fit Chick

Pure Barre Prenatal DVD


Okay, so adjusting my Pure Barre attire was definitely a task and believe it not, it was harder to dress for class in the beginning as it is now (29 weeks). If you’re been pregnant before, you know how ‘blah’ you feel in the first trimester. Your stomach isn’t hard and full yet and¬†everything seems soft and sensitive. It actually felt worse to have tight pants on vs now, tight pants actually feel better. I began my hunt for a few new pieces to get my through the 9 month pregnancy – thought I would share my finds here!


Pure Barre Gemini Tight
The owner of my studio suggested the Gemini Tight from Pure Barre because of the adjustable waistband. You can wear it high to stay ‘sucked in’ and then fold it over as you need more room. These have been my favorite so far and will work great for post baby body!

Beyond Yoga Maternity Pants

After a bit of research, I found these maternity pants from Beyond Yoga – these are great for later in pregnancy – I had a hard time keeping them up in the early stages. The stretchy top feels amazing on the tummy!


Lynx Tank from Pure Barre

Lynx Tank from Pure Barre

This is the top I’m sporting in the photo at the top – I love how LONG this is because it fits over the belly with room at the bottom – I don’t feel like it rides up during class which is a plus. The built-in bra is nice, too! I can’t seem to wear lots of layers during class, I get too hot and stuffy!

Devon top from Splits 59

Devon 3/4 Sleeve Top

I like these oversized tops to throw on top of a sports bra or over tanks after leaving class to run errands. You might even find me wearing these around the house – they are so soft and comfortable and leave ample room for belly! I also love the open back so it lets air in during class – very breathable.

Hope this inspires you to stay active during your pregnancy! Just remember that it may seem hard at first but feels so much better in the end. Even just a simple brisk walk can do the trick if you’re not up to the difficulty level of Pure Barre.

If you’re interested in attending a Pure Barre class, it’s never too late to start. Even if you’re newly pregnant, I know a quite a few people who started during pregnancy and continued after having their baby – their bounce back stories are amazing!

Visit Pure Barre’s website for more information about a studio near you:¬†

Their blog also features great recipes and sneak peeks of the technique in case you’re curiosity gets the best of you before attending class.

Remember, the smaller the movements and the more you shake, the better the results! The technique is designed to be isomeric movements focusing on small muscle groups – using your muscles to contract rather than joints and big motions. If you’re planning to try Pure Barre (pregnant or not) – be sure to check out their starter technique classes called “Breaking down the Barre”.

If your’e located in the Savannah area – I hope to see you at the Barre! Visit their Facebook page for updates and tell them I sent you!

LTB Love,


Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 9.51.22 AMScreen Shot 2015-03-20 at 9.44.52 AM

One comment

  1. Katie says

    You look wonderful and your attitude is inspiring! I LOVE Pure Barre (I’m not pregnant, but I definitely plan to keep going to PB when I do get pregnant!). Keep up the good work!

    March 21, 2015
Categories: beauty, in the life of..., motherhood

In preparing for Lillian’s arrival the end of May, I thought I would share my inspiration board for her nursery! We will be transforming Rhett’s nursery into Lillian’s since he has moved into a larger big boy room. We will be keeping the dresser, glider and crib and incorporating a few feminine details. For Rhett, I went with giraffes as an accent (something about those tall lanky legs reminded me of me and Patrick growing up!) so why not Flamingos for Lillian. I’m going to paint a large canvas for above the crib of a Flamingo using the colors from the inspiration board. I also plan on incorporating this adorable hummingbird print since my Nana Lillian loved hummingbirds.

Lillian's Nursery Inspiration Board

For Rhett’s nursery, I created a custom pattern using R’s in a celtic knot, but for Lillian’s I have opted for a custom pattern by way of wallpaper! With the help of Cotton and Quill, we will be covering the striped accent wall seen here with Lillian’s custom pattern. Lillian’s pattern incorporates all things feminine and coastal palm beach chic!

Lillian's Custom Pattern by Emily McCarthy

I chose bedding from Serena and Lily – and the shade of pink is important in the big picture. I’ve chosen a shrimpy coral pink with punch oranges, linens and gold accents.‚Äď-shell%2Fgrapefruit/P10216.html#start=6

Also coming to the room are these details! This bamboo bookshelf in a punch orange from Guildmaster:

Mobile from Cohen’s Retreat

Gold acid-treated Cowhide from Saddlemans

Nursery Inspiration and Custom Wallpaper from Emily McCarthy

Stay tuned for the reveal over the next couple of months!



  1. Cindy Miller says

    I love the wallpaper in Lillian’s nursery. Can I buy it thru you or can you give the vender. And does it come in other color ways? Thanks for your help, Cindy

    March 11, 2015
  2. emadmin says

    Hi Cindy! Yes! I’m actually partnering with Cotton and Quill to offer the design on wallpaper and fabric. It will be available in different color ways. I will pass along your information to Mary Catherine who can assist you!

    March 12, 2015
  3. Cindy Miller says

    Thank you so much, we are starting a Reno in a guest bath, can’t wait to get this ordered. Thanks again Cindy

    March 13, 2015


Categories: interiors, lillian, motherhood


[ credit: Sarah Buck Photography ]

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. We are the busiest we have ever been at EMMA J DESIGN and I am continuing my daily efforts of being a good mom, wife, daughter, designer and friend. Wearing multiple hats every day…all day can take a toll on a person. It’s really hard to be the best at everything so I try to take it day by day and do the best I can THAT day. I am so grateful for the people who help make life happen around me – without them, nothing would be possible. Today, Rhett’s little keeper is here for a day of fun while I get caught up with work. Feeling overwhelmed and sleepy, I’m in the office trying to gather up enough energy to get my creative juices flowing. Maybe I just need to just get all of this out, then I’ll be fresh faced and ready for the day. Working from home with a toddler can be quite challenging. I’m so happy that Rhett is here at home with me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I get to be both business owner and mommy all at the same time. Most days, I’m lucky to get about 4 hours of solid work time squeezed in. Considering we have about 30 branding clients and 15 weddings, you can understand the pressure of the daily to-do list. I’m going to keep riding this train as long as it keeps going though – I just LOVE my work and I love my clients. I know it’s possible to do both and I’m determined to make it work. Sometimes I wish I could make a day stand still. Please don’t let this day move any faster, I still want to take Rhett to the park, make a home cooked meal and finish 4 designs today.¬†Well folks, it just doesn’t happen that way. Priorities come into play and in the end, Rhett and my husband are the priority. I have to always remember that the world isn’t going to end if a proof isn’t sent that day. They will be just as excited to receive it tomorrow. That’s just the way it is. There are many companies out there offering the services that I do, but I feel strongly that I offer something truly unique. Something that only I can offer them. I’m a huge believer in God-given talents and I’m certain this is what I was supposed to do with my life. But, I will always wish for time to stand still and the ability to just stop and breath. Take it all in…you will never regret doing so.



  1. Mary Beth says

    Love it! I believe that you should use the gifts God blessed you with, and not let them go to waste. God blessed you a wonderful gift of creativity and an amazing personality to match. You help make the world a little prettier everyday.

    May 6, 2013
  2. Hadley Binion says

    Wow. I can totally relate. I’m a designer and business owner and mommy to a 16 month old…and oh, the multiple hats we wear! ūüôā You’re right, at the end of the day, they are what matter. Great to hear this coming from you too. You are truly an inspiration!

    May 15, 2013
  3. emadmin says

    Hadley – you are so sweet! It’s always great to relate to others in the same situation. We are so blessed to be at home with our little ones!

    May 15, 2013
Categories: in the life of..., motherhood

It is amazing how much pure joy and unconditional love a child can bring into your lives.¬†We are feeling so incredibly blessed to have this wonderful baby boy and little piece of heaven above. God is SO good and our lives are complete now. This past year is one we will never forget as we have cherished every single moment in Rhett’s life. Celebrating Rhett turning ONE today and feeling lucky to be his mommy. I love you sweet boy!

No comments yet.

Categories: in the life of..., motherhood

Thank you for all of your love and support these past 9 months! I’m happy to announce that Rhett has arrived and he is so handsome! I would love to share a little peek into my new life as mother on my new website To Rhett With Love. I will be sharing snippets from the new life, documenting our little man with photos and sharing tips from my experience as a new mom. The website is custom designed by me so I hope you enjoy!¬† ¬†


  1. CAC muffin says

    CONGRATS he is just perfect!

    January 24, 2012
  2. parenting articles says

    aaaww… congratulations!!<3

    Online Parenting Class

    January 26, 2012
Categories: motherhood