The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Keep writing

As usual, after an extended period of not writing I've been inspired to write. When it comes to writing, I'm not entirely disciplined to force myself to write just for the sole purpose of the practice of writing. I used to be but not anymore, especially since having kids. As a side note: my vocabulary is not increasing as I age. That I'm aware of. Or is it? I'll have to pay more attention. I have great streaming thoughts that often lead to what I believe would be great topics to write about. The problem is that I have a husband, a three year old and a seven month old. It was easy enough to ignore the husband back in the day but it is difficult to ignore the kids. When I do, my work is only half-assed. As a parent you're never really separated from the mom brain unless you are physically separated or they are sleeping. Kids. Seriously. Just today I had three amazing thoughts that would have been perfect for bite sized blog posts. But only now am I sitting down to write. I blame it on everyone and everything else except myself obviously. I'm a morning person and a night person. Both of those times is when I do my best thinking, writing, creating, planning. It's the middle of the day that rather sucks. Mornings aren't good for me right now either due to being woken up by a crying baby that wants to nurse multiple times a night and then feeling slightly angry by the time the sun comes out and overly groggy. This in turn makes me feel like I shouldn't stay up late because I'm not going to get much sleep therefore leaving me exactly no time to write.

But bonus: somehow I've found some time read so at least my kid sees I do more than whatever the heck it is that I do looking at my phone all day. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What fall looks like

Fall has been quite cheerful this year. Bright pumpkins and blooming dahlias are so delightful. Since I'm in a season of finding myself mostly at home, I've been having fun styling some pretty photos. I have to say that photographing flowers has really been rewarding - more so than I would have ever thought. I've been thinking it would be fun to get into being a photographer for bloggers. I would love to be in a creative environment and get to photograph lovely things for inspiring people. Of course this would require me to actually get out and meet people - a daunting feat. :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Dahlia Flower Styling

Last week I took the two kids on the bus down to Pike Place Market. It was a fun, quick and easy way to get out of the house and go do something that wasn't that stressful. Perks of city living means Pike Place Market is not stressful. :) 

(I'm still a fan of the old school smiley face).

A stranger saw me photographing this wall and asked if I wanted her to take a picture of the three of us. I started to say no and then I thought it would be fun to actually have a picture with me in it even if I wasn't feeling that great about how I looked. 

Jack has been here before and knew he wanted to see the gum wall. 

This $5 bouquet was perfect! The orange hues lent themselves perfectly to the pumpkin display we had on the kitchen table. 
This is the simple set up I used for the pictures in the previous post. The giant window is just to the left. I usually use two big white pieces of cardboard but here I'm using only one. The wood is the back of a piece of art Matt and I made that hangs in our bedroom but happily doubles as a pretty background. White backgrounds are really nice but this wood added warmth and texture that really put the cozy, fall feeling into the shots. 

Here's a few snaps I took with my phone before shooting with my Nikon:

Last shot is of all my favs in Lightroom. This made me so happy!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Styling Dahlias + Pumpkins


I'd seen so many beautiful dahlias flooding Instagram. I had to get my hands on some so I took the two babies on the bus to spend an afternoon in Pike Place Market. Per the three year old's request, we visited the gum wall but all I cared about was the flowers. Honestly, the market is amazing for flowers. I don't even know why people would buy bouquets from the grocery store - seriously overpriced. For $5 I got 8 dahlias and 3 of those white things that I'm not sure what they are but look like a vegetable. For $5 I spent a lovely morning in front of the amazingly lit windows in my dining room area and photographed these stunners and then just stared at them all together in Lightroom. I think I might open up a print shop and sell limited edition prints of pretty things like these Dahlias.

If you had a pretty floral print where would you put it? Bedroom, bathroom, office, cubicle...?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Confessions of a Fan Girl

This is a work in progress.

The Internet has bred a bunch of wannabes. A bunch of people completely unhappy and dissatisfied with their life. Always comparing. Always trying to be the happy, every day people they see in pretty pictures on different forms of social media (hello, Instagram and Pinterest). I must admit that I am one of these people. Good for them but a LOT of people have made a LOT of money trying to tell other people how to do exactly what they did to have a fabulous life like they do. Seriously though, good for them. When you really look at what some of your favorite faces online are doing you may begin to wonder what exactly it is that they are doing. Is it sustainable? Let's just say some very, very successful bloggers - like what is it that they are actually doing? In the long run, in order for them to stay profitable, they will have to keep changing what it is they are actually doing or really focus on growing an actual business and not just ideas. At least I don't see "ideas" as being long term success without any real work behind them.

I've been inspired.
And I've been reminded of what I often feel to be true.
No one on the Internet is going to make my life better. I will never be those people. I will never have their life (probably for the best). There is no magic button to make a successful business. I actually just have to get out there and do the hard work. I need to stop listening to the hum of the Internets and just do what I need to do.

Sometimes I think, well what do I really want to do? You know, I can always change what I'm doing. I've loved photographing people. Ever since I was a teen, I've loved it. It scares the hell out of me. It challenges me like no one or thing has ever been able to challenge me. It makes me want to run and hide. But I keep doing it. Slowly (because I keep hiding). And these pretty people on the Internet. Well, I think they're getting me off course. Sure, I would love to run an online company so that I can work from anywhere in the world (though I don't care for traveling much outside of the west coast but hey whatev). I really would. But what would it be? I'm not going to be some type of coach or mentor. What would I mentor people on? I believe to be a real mentor you need years and years of actual success under you belt. And probably a good mentor is still in whatever field they are mentoring on. Like my step-dad.

Side story: my step-father has successfully for over 30+ years run his own company. He is not on the Internet. (His company of course has a website and is somewhat involved on Facebook but he is not on the internet). He probably doesn't know what blogs are, Pinterest - whatrest? And the guys a success. You can't fake it for over 30 years.

There is so much STUFF out there. Just tons and tons of stuff that is positioned to help you become better, more successful, etc, etc, etc. But all it does is leave you grasping for straws. (Is that a saying)? I've watched and read so many business and marketing related content in the last six years. It's actually slightly depressing because all that says to me is 'hey, why haven't you actually done anything?'. Without even being 100% aware, I just am one of those people in my generation. One of those people who doesn't think they have to work hard to make things happen. I hate admitting that. I've done nothing but complain about how I'm still not where I want to be in life. It's pathetic. I have a bookcase full of marketing and business related books and look where I am. I haven't put in the work. I've been ruled by insecurities. I've sulked in self-pity over comparing myself to others who seemingly have the perfect life online.

Maybe I should do this.
Maybe I should shut out all the noise. Unfollow all the people. Why am I looking up to them anyway. Let's call it what it is. Jealousy. Envy. Greed. Stop trying to be and just do.
For a month. And just see if actually doing gets me further than reading about doing. Reading about doing comes with the illusion of feeling like you are actually doing something productive when in reality all you are doing is playing make believe. It's just a dumb rat race where everyone is trying to keep up with everyone and no one is really making it anywhere anyway.

But. And I have to add this caveat. Or do I? Geez I don't even know. I'm an addict. There's always a caveat. There's always something. But. Ok, well, I mean the Internet should go back to what it was. A super awesome great fab place to look up stuff that you are looking for and on occasion be inspired by something that you randomly find not some place that is just throwing ideas and shit at you from all sides about anything and everything and making you feel like you need anything and everything in your life or else your life sucks. I KNOW I am NOT alone in feeling like this.  But I was going to say that there is probably some value in having a VERY small circle of blogs or people that you follow online. Very small. Around 10 or less. Probably less is better. Less is more. In life. So, I was going to say that I wouldn't cut out everyone but I think I'm going to do it mostly.

I'm going to cut out all the noise. All the crap. All the stuff that makes me feel like a hurricane of needs and wants and desires with no destination or idea or or. I just don't need #allthethings in my life.

This theory to be continued....

Thursday, October 8, 2015

How your words become reality

It can't be said enough, choose your words wisely. It can be very easy to start talking negatively about anything but for the purpose of this post I am going to focus on talking negatively about other people. Throughout life, I've noticed that when I speak negatively about anyone that those words and ideas can have the power to change how I see a person. Whether true or false. My negative thoughts have the power to shape who that person is in my mind. It's a slippery slope and one about which I choose to stay very alert.

Think about it.

Sometimes when a person is speaking negatively about someone else, what are they really saying? Is it rooted in jealousy? Is it rooted in their own insecurity? Is it rooted in plain ignorance? Because those negative thoughts that you want to say about someone really do shape your entire relationship with that person. You start to take on those negative conversations you've had about them as your truth about that person. It dictates your thoughts, attitudes and interactions with them. It creates an invisible wall. On top of all of that, it effects how others may view the person. Negativity breeds negativity. It is ugly and heavy. Even if some of the negative things are true, if you talk about it multiple times, it becomes a big, ugly cloud over your relationship with that person.

I want to be intentional with what I say. I want to create positivity about others. So I'm choosing to stay more aware. To hold my tongue if it doesn't have anything of value to say.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

With the end in mind

There's a new "About" section that I wanted to share here. To hold myself accountable and to continue on this journey with clarity. I will share it now:

This blog is a journal of the process.

I've always been someone who hates the process. I'd rather just be at the destination, please. The process is difficult, uncomfortable and unknown. It's also builds character and refines the soul. (Those last two are fancy words for VERY HARD WORK).

I have a somewhat vague idea of what I'd like my life to look like in general in 3-5 years. I have an even vaguer (is that really a word?) idea of how I'm supposed to get there. Which makes the process excruciating.

One day, I know I'll get to where I want to go or at least I hope I am aware of how far I have come as my goals continue to expand.

So, this is a journal of the process.

To be clear and to act as a reminder of where I am trying to go (3 year plan), let's write this down:
  • Creative entrepreneur. Self sustaining. Lifestyle photography. I love taking pictures of people. Photographer for other creatives (bloggers, stylists and designers). I love taking photos of pretty things. I'd also love to see what I can make of the flower collages. Anything from paper products, to prints, to wallets and other accessories.
  • Blogging. Become a tastemaker. 
  • Family. Flourishing marriage. Loving mom. Kid's at my school of choice.
  • Education. Always. Learning. Building an environment in my home that values lifelong education and the pursuit of knowing whatever you want in life.
  • Home. Well decorated. Of course. ;)
X marks the spot. Map is not clear. Mind is set. Let's do this.

Monday, August 10, 2015

In the land of dahlias

Dahlias were my first favorite flower. It was the flower that taught me just how deeply beautiful flowers were. For a girl who once thought I didn't care about flowers I certainly have surprised myself. The beauty of these is undeniable. I'm seriously drooling over these pictures.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Conservatory in Bloom

Tuesday, July 14, 2015