February 15, 2015


Hey everyone ~ I just wanted to say Happy Valentines Day weekend, all the way from sunny Palm Springs. I’m here for a few days celebrating Modernism Week and am having an absolute blast!! Have you been following along? Bubba is here with me and we’re considering it a mini honeymoon of sorts, since we didn’t go on one after the wedding. Our favorite past-time so far?? Exploring this insane place on adorable bikes. I’ll share more as soon as we get home!


Home ( for now )

January 28, 2015


Welcome to my tiny apartment in Oakland, California! I really enjoyed the studio tour I put together for you last year and thought I would do the same with a more personal space of mine, my living room. It’s not much but I sure do love it ( …and hate it at times, lets be honest ) I share the apartment with my husband, our 2 bikes, and my business. See that open door to the right of me? That’s my current at home office. Although, that will changing ( again ) soon, as I just found another studio space I’ll be moving into. yay! More on that later, I’m sure.


We’ve been through many ups and downs over the last 2 years here — stolen plants, block-parties, crazy neighbors, oakland protests, new restaurants, leaky roofs, evening walks, new friends… The main takeaway ( besides Calif. is awesome! ) has been to live as minimally as possible. There is such little storage that we physically can’t own much – there’s no arguing it. At first it annoyed the hell out of me but now I welcome the challenge. I consider all of my purchases, down to how many rolls of toilet paper we can store, ha.

One thought that always leaves me feeling excited and grounded at the same time, is that we’ll have many other homes throughout our lives, outside of this little space. I love to remind myself this when I get frustrated or complacent about my current situation. It inspires me to live more in the now and enjoy what I have today, which can be very difficult at times.

+ Enjoy the look around!

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Bubba and I made our coffee table in a few hours one afternoon — it was super simple. We don’t have a dining room or any kind of kitchen table so we spend a lot of time at it — all of our meals, drinks, chats with friends, movies, email-sessions… everything!

Our new couch ( I’m obsessed ) is the Atwood Sofa by Gus Modern – via Smart Furniture! As you can imagine, we needed something that was nice to look at AND comfortable. The walnut base and button-tufted upholstery sold me. It’s an excellent option for a clean modern living room!

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2015 Update

January 12, 2015


Man, it’s been too long since my last post – major apologies. I thought I’d do a brain dump, as I feel like I’m starting to get back into my usual routine & can focus on something other than emails and my clients happiness. Cheers to a new year eh??

I spent my final days of 2014 in Austin, TX with a good friend – Chelsea Fullerton. She is the kind of buddy that makes me feel at home – a rare treat that is hard to come by as I get older. We explored, laughed, worked, brainstormed new business ideas… it was a wonderful mini trip that left me feeling incredibly energized. Something pretty big is actually going to materialize from that trip – so get excited! That’s all I can say for now.

48 hours in Austin, TX

+ Chelsea’s studio mood-board
+ Exploring the grounds of Hotel San Jose

+ We hit up Spartan-Shop ( omg ) where I got these graphic clips
+ I played with these pets non-stop, I need a dog… and a cat…

We also got coffee at Jo’s on Congress Street, peeked through the gates of Hotel Saint Cecilia ( austin has got it covered on the hotel front ), and ate tacos at El Chilito and Taco Deli ( both amazing! )

2015 resolutions, what resolutions?

There will be no talk of resolutions here! I’ve reflected. I’ve processed. I’ve said my goodbyes to 2014. I’m ready to leap into 2015 with more life and energy than ever before! I could write for days about all of the things that I wish were different. It’s so easy to obsessively crave the new isn’t it? I have a few goals ( wishes ) that currently weigh heavy on my mind. They will be the areas of my life that receive attention right out of the gate. I plan to manifest these things into existence through focus and hard-work. Wish me luck!

Regarding my blog in the new year, I felt the need to tell you that my posts are going to slow down a bit. I’m not going anywhere, I just need to focus my energy on other things for a little while. To keep you excited, some posts that you can expect in the near future will involve: A tour of my newly decorated living room, our wedding photographs and video ( I’m so anxious to share these! ), and a preview of new design work that I completed in 2014. Stay tuned!

Confetti Brain

December 03, 2014


It’s pretty safe to say, I miss my studio. I don’t think I even shared the full story of why I left. It’s a pretty messy one so I won’t go into the gory details but I will say this: I had an amazing year there! I shared a beautiful space with beautiful people. I learned a lot about myself, design, art, conflict… It was time to move on and I don’t regret leaving. Change = good!

In celebration of working from home again, I thought I would share a photo I recently helped Ashley Batz create — in my tiny living room! Amazing right? It’s apart of a series called Super Humins — you can see my feature in its entirety right here. We joked that this was what my brain looks like on a daily basis. I’d like to think that brightly colored confetti is bumping around up there alongside all of my worry and stress. Next time I get too riled up, I’m going to think about this photo.


Confetti Group

The Real Deal

December 02, 2014

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Lately, I’ve been brainstorming new column ideas for the blog – nothing too serious! Just little snippets that could pop up every once in a while. I’ve had a lot of fun with my Insta-discoveries — it’s quick, easy, and leaves you guys with something new to consume. With those same guidelines in mind, I came up with an idea I’m excited about. I’m not sure if it will stick but I’m anxious to put the feeler out and see what you guys think! It’s called The Real Deal and it shows you an actual Instagram photo that I have posted to my account. I then pair it with a zoomed-out version that reveals what was actually going on when I took the photo. A little side note: I take my Instagram account seriously because I use it for my business — I understand that it’s not the same kind of outlet for everyone so please ignore me if this seems over the top to some of you!


I have to admit, I was a little worried that this might somehow devalue my account, my images, and what I post from here on out. I don’t want you guys thinking that everything I share is staged or bending the truth. But, I do find it fascinating how much control we have over how people perceive our lives. I want to be super transparent for a change and show you more of the real-deal. Take the vase photo for example! That is my den and yes those items were already arranged and sitting there when I took the photo. What you guys didn’t see was the huge mess directly to the right of it, our ugly exposed heater, and that massive eye-sore of a tv.

Social media can be deceiving.
Do you really care or do you love it??

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+ Photo 01 | 02 | 03

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!