Time to Play

October 29, 2014

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I’m excited to share a little bit about my recent trip to Palm Springs for Designer Vaca ( this was my third time to attend! ) Each retreat has been uniquely different, due to the fact that I am constantly evolving as a designer – but also because the headcount grows immensely every year. This time around, my experience was incredibly driven by friendships – old and new. Yes, I’m always excited to learn new things – aka: new photo editing apps, ways to stay organized, etc etc… but I let myself push all of that aside and just focus on having fun! I had this huge urge to just play. So I did.

The trip started off by driving to Los Angeles with Bri Scarff & Chelsey Dyer – two graphic designer friends that live here in the bay. We chatted about what we’re currently working on and listened to music via an old school boom box. We then met up with the crazy cool Brooke Baker and hit up the Venice Beach area! …even though none of these spots are new to me, it’s crazy how foreign they felt when explored with a fresh set of buddies!!


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+ Video by Ellay Films
+ All photos by Brooke Baker

Below is a booth-tribute to panama hats, big smiles, and pool hair.
A look that everyone seemed to be adopting that weekend!


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I love reading other gals posts!
Everyone seems to have a different experience and perspective.
Check out some favs:

+ Noirve – Designer Vaca 2014
+ Becky Murphy – Vaca Resources
+ Kathleen – Power Lady Posse
+ The Fresh Exchange – A Guide to Palm Springs & Joshua Tree
+ Nubby Twiglet – Fun & Sun
+ Jane Reaction – Salvation


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3 Things – NYC

September 25, 2014

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Recently, I went on a very last minute trip to New York City – aka: a treat for my quickly fading creative-soul. Basically, I work too much and needed something to bring me back to life, asap. The last time I was in New York was in 2007, when I interned for the Art Department at Teen Vogue. I was young, inexperienced as a designer, clueless about fashion and had enough self confidence to last me a millisecond. It was definitely time for me to revisit the city with a fresh set of eyes!! My time there flew by… where did I eat? Which areas were my fav? Who knows… I can tell you this though:

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01. I had heard so much about The Butchers Daughter so I quickly put it at the top of my list for breakfast / snack spots. I went by before a day full of shopping! The interior was major eye-candy, the patio was filled with cool-kids, and the to-go market next door satisfied my juice/snack needs! Overall experience = A really expensive spot to be “seen” but still fun!

02. Dumbo – It stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”. It’s a beautiful neighborhood in Brooklyn that is located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. I ended up spending a lot of time in the area during my trip. The first night I hit up Vinegar Hill House with one of my design idols. Mid-trip, I spent a few hours laying in the park. My feet hurt and I needed a nap :) One afternoon, I visited Studiomates and indulged in a food truck with Meg from Ghostly Ferns. Overall, great little area.

03. OMG, this was hands down one of my favorite shops I went to. It’s called Printed Matter and it is a black hole of printed-goodies! I think I was there for like 3 hours or something? It’s filled with art-books, magazines, zines, posters… !!

Wedding Count Down

September 20, 2014

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Sorry for the radio silence!
I’m going to be a bride in 38 days so I am a bit distracted :)

Let me give you a tiny peek at where we’re at within this whole engagement / wedding planning process. We don’t have our outfits, a menu, a cake, or a dj… We don’t have invitations, a photo-booth, or a dance floor… That’s because we are taking a much more non-traditional route that has left us feeling in control and very true to ourselves. I will 100% admit I struggled in the beginning with planning and making compromises. I always envisioned myself having a huge wedding with my huge family somewhere in Texas or Louisiana. But, when we started planning THAT wedding, it didn’t feel right. I’m choosing to spare you the nitty gritty details – just know that all of this has been fun, weird, stressful, magical, and about a billion other different emotions.

I have been honing in on my inner-wedding vibes a lot lately and seem to be going in a pretty fun direction! I’m thinking a super edgy outfit, lots of champagne ( canned and bottled, duh ), some sort of projected visual artwork, a 360 rooftop view of San Francisco… We got this. All you need is love! p.s. If you’re married, what was your favorite part of your wedding day!?


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01. Jeffrey Campbell Boots | 02. The 2 Bandits Choker | 03. Sofia Coppola Champagne in a can | 04. Anthropologie Wine Opener | 05. Chanel Nail Polish and Lip Color | 06. Geometric Coaster

+ Images of Houghton Ready-To-Wear


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Reflection

September 02, 2014

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With August behind us and the fall season slowly approaching ( …although, the bay is about to enter into an indian summer, yay! ), I wanted to take a moment to reflect on how wonderful the last few months have been. I got engaged to a serious hottie, I launched the new Emmadime website, I travelled to new dreamy places, I moved out of my studio & committed to working from home again, I started to dabble in photography in a more serious way, the list goes on… It’s amazing what can happen in just a few light-filled hot summer months. I have come away from everything reenergized and exhausted. Happy and sad. Inspired and beaten-down. Summer always exudes such life, doesn’t it?

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I wanted to pair these thoughts with a video that captured my attention a few months back. You all know Wade Koch, my favorite videographer in all the land! He had the unique opportunity to travel through Bali with a girl named Tengku Nabila and document her spiritual and celebratory expedition. Being incredibly moved the first time I saw the trip preview ( watch below ), I was on pins and needles to see the completed video unfold. It’s an odd thing – being moved by a strangers story? I thought I would share, as it left me feeling energized, inspired, and hopeful.

…a few words from her:
“After experiencing a broken engagement, I decided to shift the feeling of being overpowered to feeling empowered, and after weeks of thinking and reflecting, feeling and seeking, I finally decided to follow my gypsy heart­, the heart that finds strength and comfort in movement, and Bali was calling my name loudly. Traveling to Bali, I brought two things with me – a backpack and an open mind. The sense of calmness that exudes from the beautiful quaint towns, the gentle way of life from the Balinese people taught me to appreciate the beauty of simplicity. Most importantly, what the two-week journey taught me was to never underestimate my own strength as a person. I am definitely stronger than I often give myself credit for.”

+ Watch the FULL version here!
+ Photos by: Hazmiljapilus


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Happy Long Weekend

August 29, 2014

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Checking out early for the long weekend. I’m headed to Yosemite for a four day hike and I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty nervous. I’ve camped before but it’s always for 1-2 nights and then we circle back around to our cozy campsite fully stocked with supplies! This trip requires us to wear a pack and carry everything with us for miles on end. Call me a sissy but come on… I sit in a chair all day! My muscles are jello-like :) oh and also, there are bears. We have to put all of our food in a “bear-can” at night and hang it up high in a tree. Sigh….

Wish me luck!!
…I’ll let you know how it goes!

California, I love you

July 31, 2014

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So, I had every intention of writing about my recent trip to Cancun, Mexico but somehow California swooped in and stole all of the attention. Upon returning from one of the most relaxing and visually stimulating trips ever, I fit in a short week of work and started making my way to Los Angeles. Nothing special was on the agenda – just your standard exploring, eating, and sun-soaking! But you guys, something happened. I don’t know if it was the constant smell of sun-screen, the cooler of cold beers on the beach, or the warm evenings filled with happy-go-lucky story telling… but summer has officially stollen my heart. My computer has become my worst enemy and all I want to do is run around in sandals and hats, singing oldies and eating cold grapes. ha… I hope you guys are having a killer summer! I refuse to accept that July is almost over…

A few favorite moments /
- Hitting up one of my favorite beaches, El Matador
- Taking my new CRAP sunglasses out for a spin
- Visiting LACMA for the first time
- Rocking my new Citizens of Humanity shorts
- Watching skaters at Venice beach
- oh, and listening to this July playlist!


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INSTA-DISCOVERIES NO. 16

July 24, 2014

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Hope you guys are having a killer week! Turns out vacation is awesome and it’s hard coming back to real life? Who would have guessed!? There were two things I loved most about being in Dream-Land-Mexico and away from my normal routine. 01 – I wasn’t sitting down in a chair all day. I was on my feet, running around, moving…!! My body was almost instantaneously happier. If only I could design a logo while exploring? 02. My head was so much more clear. I’m pretty ocd so when it’s time to work ( which is basically all the time ) my brain is on hyper-active / list-making / goal-achieving / self-improving / etc etc mode… I’ve only been back for a few days and I’m already exhausted again. Come on life…?? Mexico, where you at?

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…some favs that helped get me back into the groove this morning!

01. Melissa Sonico – CA based writer
02. Stacy Longenecker – Founder of LEIF
03. Liz Gardner – Design Director for Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine
04. Justina Blakeney – Los Angeles based Designer, Author, and Mama

Summer Vaca

July 15, 2014

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I’m gunna go ahead and check out early this week!! Monday = Friday for me ladies & gents. I’m headed to Cancun and nobody can stop me! My beautiful twin cousins are celebrating their birthday and invited me along for the ride. It’s my first time to experience an all-inclusive resort so you can imagine my excitement and curiosity! The last time I went to Mexico, I hit up Cabo San Lucas with a few Los Angeles friends. Needless to say, it was a memorable trip that has left me with high hopes for Mexico-Round-Dos!! Hope everyone is having a great summer. More soon!


3 Things

July 09, 2014

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Three things that have made me happy as of late:

01. I recently wrapped up a branding project with one of the coolest shops around, Oakland Surf Club! We created a mark for the “mini” addition to their shop. They have an adorable display that houses tiny clothing for tiny people, aka: kiddos! All of the printed collateral is making it’s way into their hands so I stopped by to check it out, starting with these tiny little stickers. Ohhh so fun!

02. Every once in a while, when I am alone at my studio, I will go check out my mates corners to see what they are working on. They never fail to have all sorts of eye candy laying around for me to drool over. This week, it’s Cortney’s wall & her purple mini zines. Yum.

03. Oh and I got a new rug! I can’t decide if it will stay on the floor or be hung on the wall. You can hang rugs right? Either way, I sense a new addiction starting.

Forever

June 16, 2014


In case you missed it on Instagram, I got engaged this weekend! I’m so excited to share a few snapshots from the special day. In a nut-shell, Bubba & I planned our “engagement day” together, which basically consisted of us rolling out of bed and putting our rings on at the same time. Then we bopped around San Francisco all day, eating, drinking, shopping, and playing with our big white balloon. ( Note: We did not elope – Bubba’s ring confused a lot of friends and family. Although, we did highly consider running away to France & saying “I DO” along the Seine ) Let the planning ( and dress hunting ) begin!



I have to brag a tiny bit about Bubba’s ring(s) because I am just sooo excited about them! Yes, them. As soon as we made the decision to get married, we went to Kate Ellen’s shop here in Oakland. I wanted Bubba to explore the variety of handmade pieces she carries, in an attempt to hone in on his jewelry preferences! We discussed materials, finishes, shapes, concepts… It was awesome! He totally got into it.

We landed on this: 4 thin gold rings that he will receive at different times in his life! They were designed to sit flush next to each other, creating a flat surface, as each one is added. He received the first one this Saturday, on engagement day! The 2nd one will come on our actual wedding day! and #03 and #04 will be a surprise – pretty awesome huh? I thought so :) xoxo


BC Summer Roadtrip

June 04, 2014


Raise your hand if you’re excited for summer?? I spent this past Sunday at the Alameda Flea Market getting a major sunburn ( …and sadly, I kind of loved it ) Being from Texas, I enjoy nothing more than feeling the hot hot sun on my skin – warm days feel like home! That being said, I’m super stoked to kick off summer with my friends over at BC Footwear. They are hosting the #BCSummerRoadTrip, where they will be “visiting” 8 bloggers in 8 different cities across the country. It started with Cali Vintage in Los Angeles and Chelsea Lane in Minneapolis – I’m up next, representing the Bay Area!

I decided to rock the Every Night sandal for a morning in Oakland. I grabbed some iced coffee at Subrosa, the tiniest coffee shop around, then ran over to Temescal Alley – a super cool spot a couple blocks from my apartment. This is definitely a must-stop area, it has so many unique shops packed into one little block.

A Few Oakland Favs –
Esqueleto: A rotating assortment of artists, objects and jewelry in a desert-like shop – I want just about everything in here. Crimson: Looking for some horticultural rarities? You’ve found the place – I stocked up on air plants and candles during my last visit. Donut Dolly: Need a sugar-fed energy boost? Why not get some donut holes stuffed with filling? Book/Shop: A light filled, meticulously curated, incredibly inspiring book shop. I could sit in here for hours. And last but not least, my new favorite, The Homestead Apothecary: This is where I get my sleepy time tea and remind myself to take a deep breath every once in a while.

Around The Corner –
Bakesale Betty’s: The best fried chicken sandwich you will ever eat. The line is consistently around the block, every single day! Pizzaiolo: Insane food with a cozy atmosphere. Dona Tomas: Modern Mexican with killer margaritas! I’m obsessed with their logo and even more obsessed with their back patio area ( …do you like bocce ball? )

What I’m Wearing –
Levis Jeans | BC Sandals | Steven Alan Purse | CAMP jacket | Vintage tank | Lookmatic Shades



>> A now for the most amazing GIVEAWAY ever!!

One lucky winner will receive 6 pairs of BC shoes ( yes – you heard me, SIX ) – alongside a super fun Summer Survival Kit. Hint Hint: You can enter with all 8 bloggers to increase your chances of winning. To enter with me: Leave a comment below mentioning which pairs you have your eye on. Also, follow BC Footwear either on Facebook or Twitter. Wishing you lots of luck! ( you have until June 11th to enter with me and you must be a US resident to win )

→ Photos by Ashley Batz


Ashley Neese

June 01, 2014


Last month, I had the opportunity to chat with Ashley Neese, a Los Angeles based holistic nutrition consultant. We first crossed paths when I asked her to be a Lovely Lady. She is beautiful, positive, and encouraging in every way. She is passionate about holistic living and wants to inspire from a heart, mind, and body perspective.

During our sixty minute one-on-one session ( via video-chat ), we examined my current life status, discussed healthy improvements to my overall diet, and considered removing obstacles that leave me feeling unbalanced. You’d think it would be hard to fit all of that into 60 minutes but honestly, it was the perfect amount of time! Also, since finishing the consultation, she has consistently encouraged and challenged me to meet the goals we set and to stay positive through any difficult changes I am working through.



Although, I have to say it has been a lot harder to tackle my “weaknesses” than I thought it would be ( I’m trying not to view them as weaknesses but more as unhealthy habits ) – mainly because I am so busy but also because deeply rooted habits are hard to break, right?? One of my top concerns when starting out was how to add MORE to my schedule and mental head-space while keeping my stress level down. Ashley claimed that if I have awareness and a desire to see change ( which I’d like to think I do ), that it would all fall into place more naturally than I probably anticipated. We decided that I should focus on these three areas: Food, Sleep, and Breaks/Meditation.

I won’t go into too much detail about each but I will say this – having one intentional conversation with Ashley has completely turned things around for me – for the better, of coarse! I have found focus and in turn, am seeing improvements in all areas mentioned above. I feel very lucky for the insight and encouragement I’ve received from her – as it’s given me a new found appreciation for myself and my body.


…and guess what!!? Ashley has kindly offered up one 60 minute Holistic Consultation & Recipe eBook for a giveaway! ( this giveaway has ended ) To enter, leave a comment below telling us a bit about your favorite way to take care of yourself. Then either follow Ashley on Instagram or sign up for her newsletter.

She has also put together this delicious juice, just for us. Bubba and I tried it out this past weekend during a trip to our neighborhood park. We stored them in mason jars and brought along my favorite giant boba straws for sippin* It was the perfect cool treat while lounging in the sun.

    Apple Fennel Cleanse Juice

    Ingredients ( serves 1 ) –
    2 small apples, cut, seeds removed
    1 fennel bulb with stalks and fronds
    1 medium cucumber
    1 large bunch of spinach
    Handful of fresh mint
    1/2 lime

    Method –
    Run everything except the lime through the juicer.
    Squeeze the lime juice in at the end to taste.
    Juice will keep 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge!
    Glass jars are the best.