Sarah and I met at Making Things Happen in Atlanta, Georgia. I was there leading the workshop with Lara and Gina. I sat near a fiery red-head from Tampa and we hit it off right away. Sarah’s one of the funniest gals I know and I’m so glad she’s part of our team here at EL. xo, Emily
I was born and raised in Orlando, but somehow ended up with a Southern accent. It could be all the sweet tea, or the fact that I was raised on soul food and Southern charm. I’m a fan of the Amen — you know the kind, it’s usually accompanied by a hand in the air and follows some sort of profound statement. Yes ma’am, I love a good Amen. When I’m not designing for Emily, I can be found with my church’s Student Ministry or deep in conversation with a good friend. (Photo by Shay Cochrane.)
MOPHIE JUICE PACK HELIUM BATTERY CASE: It’s no secret that my generation might as well have their cell phones super-glued to the palm of their hand. I am constantly on my phone – it does everything I need it to and more (Hello, compass.) I use it as my watch, my calculator, even as my flash light, alarm clock, portable radio, note pad and time killer. It also houses my personal and work email accounts (all four of them!) as well as all of my calendars and social media accounts. Needless to say I can kill a battery fast, and being tethered to an iPhone charger doesn’t really work for me. Enter the Mophie Helium Juice Pack for the iPhone 5. This nifty little battery case doubles my battery life and makes my sweet little cellular capable of lasting through almost two full days of normal usage. It protects my phone, too, fully enveloping the rather-delicate shell that is characteristic of most Apple products. The charger is the best part, each night when I plug my phone in, the case and the phone charge at the same time.
CLARISONIC MIA SKIN CLEANSER: Three years ago when I moved to Tampa, I immediately noticed that my hair and skin were reacting to the water differently than they had in Orlando and Gainesville. My hair was softer, but my skin didn’t fare so well. I was breaking out like the average 12-year-old and it wasn’t pretty. I was also training for a half marathon in the middle of July, so my forehead was dealing with an uncharacteristic amount of perspiration and no amount of concealer was going to, well, conceal it. I marched myself into Sephora prepared to drop an ungodly amount of money on the Lauren-Conrad-approved Kate Somerfield product line when a friendly cosmetologist pointed me toward the Clarisonic Mia. She said that combined with my typical, I’ve-used-it-since-puberty Clean and Clear facewash, the Mia would provide the proper balance of cleansing and exfoliating that my skin needed. I’ve TRULY never looked back. My favorite part is that the bristles pulse, vibrate and rotate for a set amount of time, which keeps you from over-exfoliating sensitive facial skin, but ensures that you spent enough time to wash off the icky stuff.
FULL LENGTH SONG ALARM CLOCK: I love to sleep … I love my bed, my pillows and my covers, and I rarely ever want to extract myself from them, so 7 am wakeup calls (yeah, yeah, yeah, judge me, I know.) don’t always go so well. In fact, for about six months straight I was setting five alarms and snoozing ALL of them – finally getting out of bed around 8:15. NO BUENO. About a month ago I picked three different songs for the three most common times my alarm goes off (using the standard iPhone alarm clock app.) If I’m waking up early (around 6:30 am) it’s Lead me to the Cross by Hillsong United. If I’m waking up at the usual time (7:07 am to be exact) it’s Ain’t it Fun by Parramore. And if I’m “sleeping in” til around 8:15, it’s Anything Can Happen by Ellie Goulding. I sleep with my phone on silent and across the room, so I wake up slowly to a good five minutes of excellent music. I’ve found that I wake up much easier these days – and I have plenty of time to get ready for my day. (That said, I still set my alarm 10 minutes ahead of when I actually have to get out of bed.)
LUXY HAIR EXTENSIONS & WEN HAIR CLEANSER: Alright y’all it’s about to get real. I wear clip-in hair extensions and my conditioner is mail-order. I love long, beautiful (read: Disney Princess) hair. But my naturally red mane can be unruly and obnoxious at times and it is impossible to grow it long AND keep it healthy. I stumbled across Luxy extensions when I watched one of the founders’ (Two really cute sisters who are successful entrepreneurs in their 20’s, yay!) hair tutorials on YouTube and I was sold. At their price point (about $120 per set) Luxy extensions are a STEAL for their quality. I have two sets – one more auburn and darker, and one that is more copper and lighter. I mostly wear them for special occasions, and I happily admit when I have them in. (I even fully removed them while standing in Emily Ley’s kitchen for the first time…) They make my hair fuller and easier to style, AND they allow me the luxury of a trim when I need it without sacrificing length. (Disclaimer, my extensions are only about an inch longer than my actual hair, but it’s the fullness that really counts.)
I mentioned WEN hair cleanser here as well because I think it goes hand in hand with my extensions. It is a one-step process (cleanser is code for neither shampoo nor really conditioner) that cleans and nourishes the hair. You can’t get WEN in drugstores, so mine comes in the mail every other month. I have a subscription… to hair products… yeah fine, okay, judge me, but then try WEN and you’ll understand. (You can also get it at Sephora.)
YOUVERSION BIBLE APP: This might be my favorite thing on my list (and I’ve got to redeem myself for telling you about my hair extensions.) I LOVE having a bible with me everywhere I go. In high school, I carried a pocket bible in my backpack – this is the new-age version. My YouVersion account syncs on my iPhone, iPad and online, so wherever I go, I have access to scripture, to notes, to reading plans and to the exact passage where I left off. Now of course the “phible” (phone bible) doesn’t replace the good ol’ paper book, but it certainly makes working a life lived in the word more convenient when you’re on the go. I use my ESV study bible (the paper kind) for my quiet times, and I do my best to highlight and annotate scripture in it the same way I do in my app. But I use the bible app on my iPhone each morning before I even get out of bed (I lay back down after my alarm goes off) to read the Verse of the Day and I use the app on my iPad every Sunday in church to follow along with the sermon and take notes. If you’re a bible-reading techie like me, I highly encourage you to create an account with YouVersion and sync it across your devices. My favorite thing is when I can say to someone “Oh I was reading in Romans the other day… blah blah blah…” and then screen shot the passage on my phone and text it to them. It’s such a fantastic way to share scripture!
MARC JACOBS FOR TARGET GOLD MAKEUP POUCH: This one isn’t so much about the pouch (though it’s really stinkin’ cute…) as it is about the purpose it serves. I consider this pouch my prep for being a mom. So here it goes, my gold pouch carries: a bottle of Advil, a bottle of Zyrtec, a pack of Dramamine, a few shades of lip balm and gloss, 2 tubes of real lipstick in red and a pinkish nude color, a few tampons and panty-liners, a smattering of bobby pins, an assortment of hair ties, a travel size bottle of hairspray, a pack of gum, a handful of spare change, a tube of mascara and an elastic headband. You never know when you’ll need any of these items, but it’s always good to have them on hand.
Follow along with Sarah:
THE SIMPLICITY SERIES features busy gals, in different stages of life, making what matters happen and tips and tricks they’ve found to be helpful. Simplicity is about building margin into your life and spending time on and with that which fuels your heart. While we love to share products and services that help us day to day, but simplicity is about HEART and intentionally choosing the thing that matters most (your TREASURE) more than anything money can buy. We wear many hats and we know you do too, so we’d love to hear your thoughts as well!
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34