blogging essentials art + graphic design class discount


You might notice that I’m on a watercolor painting kick. It started with the seasonal essentials prints, was seen in this custom print and now a super-cute painting made especially for bloggers.

The Allume blogging conference is happening this weekend. Ryan and I went last year and it was one of the highlights of our year. We’re sad to miss it this time around and wanted to be part somehow.

So instead of being there in person, I have sent an art print for all of the Allume attendees for their swag bags.


I asked a few of my blogger friends what their blogging essentials are and we came up with this list: coffee (iced or hot), laptop, iphone, notebook + favorite pen, social media (I should have put pinterest on there!), washi tape (why not), a camera and cute strap (of course). Certainly all essential to my blog work and hopefully the ladies at the conference will find it whimsical and a cheerful piece to put near their workspace.

On the back of each print is a promo for our beginning graphic design class – which is perfect for bloggers of all levels, and also non-bloggers, too.


Since I’ve offered a discount to the Allume ladies, I thought I’d make it available to all of you who are not in Greenville at the conference this weekend. If you’ve been waiting to take the Simplified Graphic Design class, now is the time to jump in! Save 25% off tuition with code ALLUME.

PLUS, everyone who signs up before 10/29 will receive a free 8×10 Blogging Essentials Art Print ($24 value).



If you have any questions about the class, I’d love to answer. It is truly a fun class to be part of and has helped over 1,000 students so far on their graphic design journey. Join in!

(the blogging essentials print is available for purchase in the shop! Check it out here)

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chosen (thoughts + free art prints)


My parents divorced when I was 20.

I know they say that adult children deal with divorce better than younger ones – and that probably is true to a point – but it sure doesn’t feel good or easy or right even when you’re grown and out of the house.

Let me back up for a second …

My childhood was just about as good as I could have ever asked for. I am the middle of three girls, our parents were young and fun, we lived in family-friendly neighborhoods with good schools and activities nearby. We grew up close to our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins spending a lot of time with them for holidays, sleepovers, every chance we could. We had traditions and memories, vacations and love. Truly, I could not have asked for a better childhood.

Which I think is what made the break-up of our family even more difficult to deal with.

A handful of factors led to that devastating moment when my dad made the choice to leave us.  It never made sense to me – maybe it still doesn’t – how a man who adored his family and did everything he could to protect and provide for us could make the choice to walk away. I don’t think he knew what the true consequences were going to be. Maybe if he did, he would have chosen differently. I’d like to think so.

It still stings all these years later. I’ve healed a ton, but gosh my heart is still fragile. I miss him and feel sad and let down and even though I know their divorce was not my fault, I still can’t get over the feeling that maybe we just weren’t worth enough for him to choose us.

I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I guess I’ve just been struggling with some of the long-lasting issues that come with feeling not-chosen and it seems like something I should confess. Maybe you feel rejection in your life, too?

There is a whole string of moments throughout my life when I’ve felt rejected. Some are big ones (like my dad leaving) others more insignificant (not getting an invite to a party, feeling like a tag-along) and over the course of this year, they have all flooded back into my memory. WHY? Why now? What am I to do with these ugly-feeling memories and how am I supposed to grow from them?

It hit a low-point in Rwanda this summer when my soul nearly broken in two because nobody sat next to me on the bus. I know! I’m 35 years old and crying because the seat next to me was not taken?!! It felt ridiculous and yet, it felt real. That little moment broke me (well, the whole week was filled with every emotion, so I was already pretty broken, this just made the final crack). Thankfully, I had a dream-team of new friends there who spoke truth and honesty back into me and helped me see that:

1. even though I do have some decent-sized rejection issues to deal with

2. I am chosen

If I only look for all the times I’ve felt rejected, I’ll find plenty. And the truth is, it will continue for always. Over and over again I will not be chosen – that is just part of this life. I can surround myself with people who love and accept me, but even they will let me down at some point. It’s not something I want to fear and dwell on, but if I put all of my hope in my husband or kids or parents or blog readers always choosing me, I will have set myself up for disappointment.

I’m still working through my rejection issues. I don’t know why they have tumbled into my memory this year or what exactly I am to do with them. All I’ve been able to figure out is that I get to choose what I believe. If I linger too long in these memories playing over and over the hurt, the words, the feelings, I’ll almost always come to the conclusion that I’m not worth choosing.

If instead, I take my eyes off of myself and focus on Jesus, I’ll see this most gracious God who himself took on the highest form of rejection in order to set me free. He gave up his life so that I could be deemed worthy. It blows my mind and doesn’t make sense and this fragile heart of mine is still trying to let it soak in.

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” 1 peter 2:9-10 (the message)


So this is what I’ll do. I’ll stand in his promise and tell others of the ways He has redeemed my story, our family, our hearts.

Life can be so hard, can’t it? It just hurts sometimes. But God’s grace offers us acceptance and peace and I’m so grateful for it.


I was so encouraged by the Message version of this verse – especially that last line – that I made up an artprint to hang on my wall. You are welcome to download and print these 5×7 prints as well. May the words encourage you today, my friends, wherever you are.

xo, emily

(To download the prints, log in or sign up for The Archive below)

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caught my eye

This weekend we had friends over for football watching-turned movie watching. When we put a movie on for the kids upstairs (mr. peabody), we poured ourselves a glass of wine downstairs and decided to turn on a movie for the grown-ups, too.


None of us knew much about this movie, but the reviews were good and so we went for it. We all loved it.

Here’s the summary: “Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what’s next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo) and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen — and zest for life and love.”

The story was great, the acting perfect, the food makes your mouth-water and from what I’ve read, they do a good job depicting the reality of the life in a restaurant kitchen. There is bad language – just to warn you, but you’ll fall in love with the cutie-pie kid and you’ll probably want to make a really yummy grilled cheese after watching the way Chef Carl makes one.

So we loved the movie, but what really caught my eye was the great honeycomb wine rack in the LA restaurant scenes.


It looks like a sculpture and is so graphic against the white marble and stainless steel kitchen. I love the a-symmetry of it and would totally put this in our house. I’d also take the marble and stainless steel.

After a little bit of searching, I came across this look-alike hexagonal wine rack from World Market:


It’s not quite as organic or impressive in shape as the movie’s version, but has that same graphic/geometric appeal. And for $29.99 it makes a great gift or addition to your kitchen/dining room.


There’s inspiration to be found everywhere. When it comes in the form of a really entertaining movie, it’s a double win.

Have you seen Chef? Did you love it?

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