When your big brother plans a suprise visit…

family maggie whitley

family maggie whitley

venice beach umbrella maggie whitley

family maggie whitley

family maggie whitley

My brother visited me for my birthday in July — a surprise visit! — and I just have to say, having a solid relationship with your sibling as adults is pretty rad. We’re only two years apart in age, but now that we have children of our own we have a totally different, awesome relationship from when we were younger.

Last year Matt surprised me by flying to Los Angeles for a week. It was his first time meeting Maxwell and it was amazing to see them interact as uncle and nephew. This year was more of a reunion for them. It was like we stepped back in time (minus my new baby bump) and the flow of his visit didn’t miss a beat. My brother has two boys of his own, so our parents are very curious if our second Whitley baby will be a boy or girl ;)

airplane bank maggie whitley

airplane bank maggie whitley


Uncle Matt and Maxwell (about 5 months old), Summer 2013

We visited the Santa Monica Promenade soon after Matt and his girlfriend Kim arrived in LA. While we were window shopping, and reminiscing about Matt’s visit last year, we stopped into a baby boutique where Matt bought a red airplane piggy bank for Maxwell.

Once we were back at home they sat at the table and Matt taught Max how to put the coins in the thin slot on top. There’s a special message written on the bottom… and reading it makes me feel so many emotions. I’m incredibly blessed to have him as a big brother, and how much he loves my family.

I’m grateful that the miles between us are like a strong, woven rope. They don’t take away from our relationship, instead they give us something to cling to.

$75 gift card giveaway with The Mint Julep Boutique!

I’m really excited to share with you today’s giveaway sponsored by The Mint Julep Boutique, direct from the heart of Dixie. The gals behind the shop have a passion for fashion and sweet tea… sounds about perfect, right? On Wednesday I shared one of their yellow maxi dresses for my 27 week bump update and as promised, today we have a $75 Mint Julep gift card to give away.

Mint Julep has oodles of colorful dresses, tops, bottoms & accessories inside their store. Here are four of my favorites:

mint julep boutique maggie whitley

1. Rising Sun tank in light blue/peach // 2. Fall Frenzy dress in magenta // 3. Amaze Me cardigan in neon coral // 4. All I Need romper in orange

What makes these four pieces my favorite is you can easily pair it with a solid or neutral. I’m a big fan of wearing gray, even though I love a pop of color, so to me these four pieces are the perfect balance to creating an outfit.

And I know you don’t want to talk about it, but with fall nearing (hello, August 1st!) I thought it would be fun to ask Mint Julep to share with MWD their favorite upcoming fall fashion trends. Their reply? Animal prints, fur vests, booties, plaid, print on print, and hints of gold.

27 weeks pregnant maggie whitley

As you know, I’m currently in a wardrobe transition ;) I can usually wear non-maternity on bottom with the help of BeBand, but my tops definitely need to be longer in the front with a little stretch to the fabric. The Mint Julep Boutique has some great pieces that double as maternity wear: knit maxi dresses, tunics, and kimonos.

27 weeks pregnant maggie whitley

sweet and simple maxi dress in yellow, paired with a vintage ring and braided sandals

THE GIVEAWAY // use the widget below to enter to win a $75 gift card to The Mint Julep Boutique! Each reader has 7 opportunities to enter to win. We’ll randomly select a winner next week and will notify her via email. Good luck, and thank you for supporting the shops that help support my family.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hey handmade makers, we need you…

the jones market maggie whitley

Back in June we hosted a summer giveaway bundle bearing nearly $900 in wares, and not only was it so fun to host but I’m pretty sure it was the greatest surprise for the actual winner to receive all of the items. Also! It was total fun for us to put it together for the MWD community.

And guess what? We’re working on a fall-themed giveaway for late August, but this time we’ll be breaking down the bundle into two categories: back-to-school & cozy fall essentials. If you’re a handmade maker and would like to join one of our giveaway bundles, click right here for all the details.

We’ll be accepting submissions through August 8th and the giveaway will be live on August 25th.

We are accepting only a limited number of shops so the giveaway doesn’t feel too overwhelming, so we would love to hear from you. Or — share this announcement with your community of handmade makers using one of the social media links below.

PS. it’s almost Friday! :)

(photo credit The Jones Market)

27 weeks baby bump.

27 weeks pregnant maggie whitley

27 weeks pregnant maggie whitley

27 weeks pregnant maggie whitley

27 weeks pregnant maggie whitley

27 weeks pregnant maggie whitley

As much as pregnancy can feel difficult or frustrating or uncomfortable, the truth is I really love being pregnant. First, there’s the blessing of amazing hair. I mean, I can wear my hair in a loose pony tail at night and in the morning shake it out and viola!, good to go. And then there are fun, sunshine-y dresses like this one from Mint Julep that transition perfectly into maternity wear. Lastly there’s the pure joy of knowing the bump my hands are wrapped around is our baby. This second pregnancy is already different from my first, mainly that Maxwell is toddling around my feet and so he keeps me very busy. But really, it’s going by so quickly. I am anticipating the heart explosion that comes with holding your baby for the very first time and I can’t even put it into words. Being a mama is my greatest accomplishment. As a little girl, I had just a couple baby dolls that I played with. For years I was invested in just a couple dolls; they were my babies. And now as a mama I am so grateful to be able to invest in real, squishy, milk-breathed babies that are made up of equal parts of Zack and me.

Hello, 27 weeks baby bump, I sure do love what you represent.

What I’m wearing: yellow maxi dress from The Mint Julep Boutique, braided sandals from Target, ring is vintage and polish is Essie.

PS. On Friday I’ll be giving away a $75 gift certificate to the Mint Julep shop. And, if you join their newsletter you’ll receive a $10 coupon right now!