5 Questions for 100 Designers

November 20, 2014


I’m so excited to be apart of 5 Questions for 100 Designers – a mini project organized by Yevgeny Yermakov. He asks participants the same 5 questions in an attempt to provide short-and-sweet answers to very important topics. I got sucked in and basically read all of them, ha.

A few of my favorite interviews include /
+ Roanne Adams
+ Verena Michelitsch
+ Leta Sobierajski
+ Lotta Nieminen

The 5th question inquires about book recommendations, I’m anxious to check these out /
+ 79 Short Essays on Design by Michael Bierut
+ How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer by Debbie Millman
+ Video: The Inbox Zero System

Mrs. Emma Brooks

November 06, 2014


Are you guys ready for me to stop talking about my wedding on social media yet?? I might… I haven’t decided yet! I will say this, there will 100% be an additional wave of love-talk when I get my photos and video from Jen and Wade. Just you wait!

Also – apologies it has been absurdly quiet on here lately. Between planning fun stuff for our celebrations ( we had like 5 mini weddings, ha ) and trying to put the majority of my energy towards designing for my clients, the blog has become an after-thought. The marital-madness has slowed down and now all that’s left to do is write thank you notes and drink leftover champagne! I think I’ll manage.

+ More soon!
+ p.s. the Smilebooth backdrop was made from Julia Kostreva’s Night Flowers print


Time to Play

October 29, 2014


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:


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


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!?

Wedding Round Up3

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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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?


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


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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July 24, 2014


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?


…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


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.


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