Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Colors of the Rainbow

This is not a food blog, mostly because I am not a big cook.  However I do TRY to menu plan, grocery shop and prepare healthy meals for my family.  Normally, I enjoy doing this because the methodical process of cooking relaxes me, and sitting down together for dinner, as a family at the table relaxes my family.

Meal planning can be the toughest part, though, because often I run out of groceries/potential meals, before I find time to plan for a new grocery trip.  I have discovered that the grocery store without a plan simply turns into an expensive snack run.  This year when I was in the busiest part of my work season, I found myself at the store with no plan, but a desperate need for a few days worth of meals. So I developed a new personal meal strategy that defies all conventional meal planning wisdom:  color coding.

Yes, that's right, I planned meals with a meat, fruit and vegetable with ONLY ONE COLOR featured.  We may not have had a color balance, but the meals were filling and the substance felt complete.  Imagine something like the following:


roasted salmon

roasted sweet potato
fresh cantaloupe with mint


Fish tacos in a YELLOW corn tortilla, roasted YELLOW corn salsa and fresh pineapple
Don't those sound like fun, delicious and EASY options?

Let's go further!


pesto chicken, roasted brussel sprouts and a green salad


crockpot BBQ, red slaw (red cabbage, red delicious apples, red onions) and watermelon

And the variations in the colors are probably quite endless.  So the next time you need a simple meal solution, try thinking monochromatically and see what creative meals you make.  I would love hear your ideas!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dear Friend,

How was your weekend?  Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends?

As we finish up our turkey leftovers and begin the Christmas decorating, I remind myself that this season is not about food, and it is not about stuff.  Christmas is about sharing the beauty found in our hearts.

Everyone knows I love, love, love pretty things (perhaps that's why I'm a floral designer and event planner), but I believe true beauty comes from a place so much deeper.  It is the reality of this world and eternity in our hearts that eventually produces the pretty things.  Sometimes beauty is hard work, sometimes it is born through pain, and sometimes it appears like a sunset, completely undeserved and unearned.

I wish you great beauty this Christmas season.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When was the last time you expressed unabashed affection
...for a stranger?
Thoroughly indulged in something sweet?

Ate something unusual?

Allowed yourself to be strapped to something risky...
just because it looks like fun?
Enjoy your life...


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Worth It

Every day I deal with a lot of emotional people...and these emotions are not always positive.  Honestly, my family is prone to tears and outbursts.  My clients are primarily brides who, even at their best, are still going through very emotional times in their lives.  While I feel my job as wife, mom and wedding planner is to weather others' storms, I still look for those special moments when it all feels "worth it".  Here are a few of my favorite "worth it" moments caught on film.
white pear tea at Sensibilities while waiting for a massage
bagpipes (and goose bumps) for a Scottish ceremony at Castle Ladyhawke, photo by Nette Lotz
a bride enjoying her wedding day to the fullest, photo by Visio Photography
my lead designer and I deciding whether or not it was safe to continue with a client's wedding during a hurricane (amazed by God's picture on a canvas of ocean)
my girls

Brady Boy

Friday, March 9, 2012

Yesterday I was feeling a bit at sea over some BIG decisions that have to be made (you now, the kind you have to use a calculator for because you'll be spending the BIG bucks) and I was also fairly convinced I was coming down with three or four diseases.

So what did I buy to make myself feel better?

No, not chocolate from French Broad...

Not a nonfat vanilla latte from Starbucks...
This is one of my top three favorite coffee mugs!

Not even a bottle of Melange a Trois...

When it's this serious and decisions have to be made, I follow in my mother's footsteps and buy...
Yes, that is an $.88 price tag on the notebook.  An impulse buy need not break the bank.  :)

There is nothing like a new pen and a new notebook to help things become more clear.  I learned this from my mother.  Isn't she wise and beautiful?

Oh, and I may have been overreacting a bit about the diseases.  Turns out, a person should not ignore a sinus infection for 7-9 weeks.  Weird.

What's your favorite impulse buy?  Did you learn it from your mother?  Leave me a note!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday Lists

Good Morning!

7AM found me wishing for an extra hour of sleep.  Another day of work responsibilities seemed insurmountable.  My inner inspiration's quiet voice seemed to be taking a vacation.

This happens often for me, not because I have depression problems or a bad job.  It happens because I am tired.  Each day requires so much physical and mental energy as I try to take care of my family and hold my Company together that I often feel completely exhausted by Wednesday.  Does this ever happen to you, friend?

My dreadfully un-romantic strategy to "keepin' on keepin' on" is list writing.  Something about having a list keeps me moving from one simple step to the next without feeling as overwhelmed.  It also helps keep me focused when I am sorely tempted to use the Pinterest as work excuse, rather than doing real work, or even washing the dishes.  (Of course, Pinterest really is work sometimes, just saying :).

One of my favorite places to keep lists is on my iphone.  This is handy because I don't lose my phone as much as a notebook, and I can delete things as I accomplish them.  I can also keep several lists in one place on that app.  My current lists that I can go to today for the next step are:

Task List (a running list of things I must do for work)
Client Experience
Several client names (actions to take from meetings, site visits, etc)
Blog ideas

Mine look like kind of like this, but in English.  Click on the image for instructions from Dr Drang on how to make your iphone notes "pretty"

I also LOVE the notes app on my iphone for grocery shopping.  It allows me to type out weekly menus and groceries on the same list, then I can easily delete each item I buy at the store so that only the menus are left on the list.  The menu list is very handy because I can find it on my iphone all week!

Evernote is an app that I have downloaded and used to write one note, "Love my husband".  It is supposed to be an amazing tool, allowing me to share my notes with all of my devices and other people.  This would be a great way to handle lists for the Company that any one of the Team could get done.  I could even use it for specific assignments, allowing me to keep everyone in the loop.  Hmmmm.  May have to try that today.

Finally, I love old fashioned pen and paper for lists.  Sure, I often lose the lists before I finish them, but writing things on a piece of paper in my best handwriting feels like I have done something already.   Crumpling them up and throwing them away is also a perfect sensation on the rare times I do actually finish the list.

Sometimes, it is important to add special things to your list for a Wednesday, such as wake up and/or an extra trip to Starbucks for a grande nonfat vanilla latte.  We need a couple of accomplish-able and happy items!

What's your favorite list tool?  Please share it with me in the comments below.

Love, Emily

Monday, March 5, 2012

As you may know, I own a business which I began in 2008.  I have been so fortunate to see this business multiply every year and to be joined by some amazing individuals who help me achieve the mission.  Other women often ask my opinion on how they should go about starting their own business.  So, here's my most basic advice:

Do something!!!  It all starts with one little step.  Decide what you want to be, then be that person.  Want to be a gardener?  Plant one type of flowers and sell them in big, lush bunches at the local farmers' market this summer.  Want to be a writer?  Start a blog and write minimum one paragraph, then press the publish button minimum three times weekly. It is free after all and what do you have to lose?

My mantra is "Do what is possible, not what is perfect".  Some of the most talented people I know never do anything because they are waiting until they achieve perfection in their field.  Sadly, this means many talented people never get started.  This leaves the field wide open for people like you and me who are willing to take a few risks and look a little bit silly.

I love Jennifer Lopez's get "On the Floor" (and do something :), when I need to inspire myself to take the next step.  The ladies who work for me say J. Lo is not actually singing about starting a business or anything of the sort, but it gets me moving!
My second bit of advice is to remember that no matter how big your dreams are (and big dreams is my middle name), there is always something bigger.  Remembering this brings peace to my heart and puts the world in perspective.  I may do something big, but at the end of the day, it is not my responsibility to save the world.  Takes a little pressure off which gives me the courage I need to take baby steps.

"My Glorious"

What inspires you?  Pick a song (or two) and play them each day to get you out on the floor, knowing whatever you do is part of a bigger picture.

Oh, and please leave a comment when you discover what your songs are!