The Emerald Girl

The Emerald Girl

life in seattle

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Pink + Grapefruits Palm Desert Style

The morning light in Palm Desert is perfection. Especially this time of the year when you don't have to get up to early to enjoy it. When I saw these pink lacey pants at J.Crew Factory I knew I had to have them! The perfect pants for every occasion and most of all Valentine's Day. They paired perfectly with my favorite Lilly For Target collection clutch and those freshly picked grapefruits!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

This Was Not the Vacation I had Planned

I'm lucky enough to have a place to stay in Palm Springs whenever I want. A short 2.5 hour flight and I'm having fun in the sun. The goal of this trip was to just be warm and feel the sun. So, in the that respect, my goal was achieved and I reminded myself of that daily. I will gladly trade below 50 degree weather for over 70 degrees any day of the week. My other goal was to eat at Tommy Bahamas Restaurant a couple of times and that also was more than achieved.
This time of year, the desert is beautiful. The surrounding mountains are topped with snow while you sit in 80 degree heat. The first leg of our family vacation was spent with my parents. The second half of our trip was going to be just my little family of four but our plans got cut short when Matt had to fly home early. As a loving wife, I was, of course, supportive of my husband but one can't help but feel sad when the plans of being just us got cut to everyone leaving on the same day while I stay behind with the kids. It's mostly just the single parenting that I don't enjoy. A 5 year old and 1.5 year old are a LOT of work and do not ever let anyone tell you otherwise. The cherry on top of all of this was being punched in the eye by my 5 year old and having a black eye the entirety of the trip and beyond.
I dealt with it the best way I know how. Fill the days. So fill them I did. The kids and I were out and about every day, sometimes driving over an hour to see the sites. The funny thing is, as I told Matt, I probably did a heck of a lot more things without him than I would have done if he was here. I've got a YouTube video coming soon to share in the many adventures of me and my littles.
Although the trip was not what I thought it would be, it was bittersweet leaving in the end. I never want to leave the sun and the palm trees but I did miss my husband and was ready to dual parent again.



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What I'm Giving Up for Lent 2017

I'm about to embark on a one month leave from social media. Everything except blogging and possibly IG stories (just creating, not consuming). On this leave of absence, I will be treating myself to Artist Dates.

"The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore
something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly
“artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the
imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the
play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well
of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask
yourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it."
-Julie Cameron, from here.
For over a year now, I've seen the "Be Still" text that is so popular on the internets, felt a deep calling for myself to be still and yet I have not heeded the command. My heart longs for creative entrepreneurship but I feel more like a hamster in a wheel - just running in circles. It's exhausting and discouraging. I have fallen deep into the death trap of comparison (as you may have surmised from my last post). It's time to step back, breathe and fill my well.
It's scary and exciting but mostly scary. I had put so much energy into my Instagram so to stop and lose the momentum feels depressing. I think the scariest thing is letting go of the tiny bit of what I felt like was moving me in the general direction that I wanted to go. It's scary to think that maybe my goals aren't what God has planned for my life and I hate the idea of not getting what I want. Hope is what remains. Hopeful that I will gain clarity and feel enthusiastic and balanced.
I'm not catholic but think that lent is a good day to embark on this new challenge. 40 days and 40 nights without consuming other people's social media feeds, 1 artist date a week (I'll look up some fun stuff to do and share in another post), reading the Bible, playing with my kids, reading other books, writing. Lent begins on March 1 and ends on April 13th. This is a perfect transition out of this gloomy season of winter and into spring.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

First Tulips of the Year

Shades of pink are beginning to pop up everywhere. The day I bought these tulips it was pouring down rain but I had heard fresh tulips were showing up at local farmers markets and I had to get some! It was quite serendipitous that I parked across from pink painted trains. Happy first day of February - let the countdown to Valentine's Day begin!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Looking Through Social Media

Social media is the modern day looking glass house. In it you see wonderful, mysterious, whimsical things. There are larger than life things and smaller than small. Excitement waits around every corner. With one simple click you are transported to a fantastic world. But this romantic fantasy is lined by a deep, dark forest. Where the shadows slowly creep behind you until all at once you can no longer see anything but darkness. Daydreams turn into nightmares and the dancing sugarplums all but vanish into nothingness.
In this analogy, we are Alice.
Our goals, ideas and passions are the marvelous things that curiosity grows. Social media, in its vast mightiness, has the power to inspire and encourage our thoughts, our relationships and our core being. Amazing things happen in the great internets. And yet, with a simple turn of the clock, what once sparked joy and called action begins to cripple under the crushing weight of comparison. That thief which strikes in the darkness.
The little lies that add up over time. Those little lies, we might not even notice but when the snowball comes we can't pick them off. We can't tell where one begins and where the other ends. When joy turns to jealousy and the heart becomes bitter think about stepping back to see yourself more clearly and remember that little screen is only a looking glass that reflects a distorted reality.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Saturday Donuts

The pink frosting melted in my mouth and the sprinkles added the perfect crunch to the fluffy Krispy Kreme donut. Sometimes Saturday calls for a little breakfast treat. Who am I kidding? Saturday always calls for breakfast treats. The sweet strawberry smell evident the moment you come within range just begs to be eaten. Slowly my props disappear from six to five, then five to four and so on until only one remains and the only thing left is sprinkles on the pavement. Can't say that's anything to complain about.

All images shot with my iPhone 6.

What's your favorite Saturday breakfast treat?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Pitfalls of Being a Yes-Man

Saying no is one of the hardest things for me to do. Admittedly, I am getting better but nonetheless I am still facing the consequences of saying yes to too many things. This past month alone, I've had four different opportunities that have reinforced in my mind that I need to get better at saying no.

It is hard for me to say no because I hate to look like a failure or let someone down or look like a bitch. I'm the type of person that will do anything to try to make it all work out and the truth of the matter is that I can't do everything. Saying yes to one thing inevitably means that another thing is going to be pushed to the side.

As people get older, time shrivels up. Between being married, having kids, working and other responsibilities, there are only so many other things I can practically say yes to. My choices need to be intentional and meaningful if I want to achieve the goals that I have set. I hate that it's like that, I hate that I can't say yes to every exciting opportunity that comes across my desk.

Just this morning I had to turn down a really great opportunity because it didn't fit in with my overall goals in life right now. I hit send on the email that declined the offer. I felt deflated. Like a loser. My real issue here is that I need to work on feeling secure in my decisions but still. I hate the idea that someone might think I don't want to put in the hard work. The truth of the matter is that my life with an *almost* 5 year old and a 1.5 year old is the hardest work and right now I don't want a lot of other stress or responsibility in my life. I'm striving for balance in health, family and work.

Here's to hoping that this decade of my life can be defined by me finding my voice and strength in who I am and what I want.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The #1 Rule of Texting

There are so many different ways a person can communicate these days, I often find myself in the middle of multiple conversations each using a different form of technology. Speaker phone with my mom, texting with my sister, emailing with a friend, oh, and then that random IG DM convo. Each form of communication carries with it some unwritten rules of etiquette, including the timeliness of a response. Texting is the easiest and fastest way to convey information but it seems that receiving a texted response back is like trying to ask a Real Housewife for an apology - it ain't ever going to happen!
Texting etiquette 101:
When you receive a text, it is polite to respond even with a small acknowledgement within 24 hours. After the initial response it is not necessarily required to engage in a back and forth conversation; that depends on what is said.

No one should expect an immediate response back because you never know what the receiver is doing. They could be driving, sleeping, running after children, making out with their boyfriend, at a movie, zoned out, accidentally left the volume off or a number of other things.

What I can't get over and what has become such a pet-peeve of mine is people who never respond. I'm not texting people just to see how fast I can type. I'm conveying information that I thought was important enough to send someone. When people don't respond to my text messages, I'm left wondering if they even got the text message? Or I'm left with the sinking realization that I'm not important enough to the receiver to respond. Or I simply think of that person as rude. Sure, I have times when I receive a text while I'm in the middle of doing something and then I forget to respond until way later but that's why it's acceptable to respond within 24 hours. That happens to all of us.

Remember: a quick response is better than no response.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Making Christmas Cookies

Every year my Mom likes to host all of her grandkids for a Christmas cookie baking get together. It's fun, it's a mess and it's something I'm glad my mom hosts because I don't have much patience for baking or for making the ginormous mess that is required for 6 kids to make a bunch of cookies. I'd be done at about the length of time it takes to make the dough and put it in the fridge. I'd probably never get around to actually making the cookies. I guess I wasn't blessed with any kind of kitchen genes. I am, however, quite blessed with the ability to eat cookies and spoonfuls of frosting. 😜

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

10 Christmas Tradtions

Christmas is a favorite time of the year. As cliché as that may be, I still love it. I wanted to compile a list of all of the holiday traditions Matt and I have started since being married and having kids.
1) Decorate the house. This may seem obvious but it's such a fun part of the season it can't be left off the list. From twinkling lights on the tree, to embroidered stockings to our growing collection of nutcrackers. Which brings me to...
2) The Nutcracker collection. We started this last year. Nutcrackers remind of the good ol' days in Christmas history. They're kind of quirky and carry a sense of European flair. So in thirty years we'll be those weirdos with 30 nutcrackers and it will be hysterical and I will love it. 
3) Santa pictures. My Grandma had a framed board that held the santa pictures of my dad and his siblings through the years so it's always seemed like something families do. Even though we didn't do Santa pictures growing up, I love having my kids visit him and seeing the pictures as they grow. 

4) Cutting down the Christmas tree. I wrote about this last week, so I won't go in to detail but it's just another fun activity for making merry bright. 
5) Cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve morning. I started this last year because I really wanted an excuse to eat cinnamon rolls and I'm committed to making this happen once a year!
6) Opening a present on Christmas Eve. OK this is not a real tradition that we decided on. I just love getting presents and can never contain my excitement to give as well so we always end up doing this. I think I'd rather wait for all of them on Christmas morning but it's always just too much. ;)
7) Christmas breakfast: Eggs Benedict . Matt carried this tradition from his childhood into ours and I can't complain. We all sit around the table drinking orange juice. It's kind of picture perfect and so delicious!
8) Annual Hot Chocolate party. This is also something we started last year but we plan on continuing it forever. It's a friends only invite due to the fact that we live in a small place and we see our families on the 24th and 25th. The event is meant to be a sort of come and go thing, where people can come by for some hot cocoa before heading out to the city for other plans like seeing The Nutcracker or going to some other party. Since our kids are so young this works well as it ends before bedtime. 
9) Watch Christmas movies. My all time favorite is The Family Man. Matt really likes Love Actually. There's The Family Stone, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street. We also watched The Night Before. What are some other good ones?
10) Family. We both grew up celebrating with our extended families and it's something we both still love to do and want our kids to grow up experiencing. Luckily, Matt's family gets together on Christmas Eve and mine on Christmas Day so we don't have to split the time and we get to see everyone. 
That's it.
For now. 
Anyone else have fun traditions they like to do?