Field Notes | May by Emily Margaret

Welcome to Field Notes, a monthly blog series. At the end of each month, I'll share a few things I learned, books I read, interesting blog posts from the web, recent projects, and other things of the sort. This month's Notes are brought to you by bacon-peach pizza. So much yes.


Read: Last month I had a goal to finish the (several) books I had in-process and read The Girl on the Train and I almost met that goal. I finished The More of Less and wrote a review about it, and I'm really close to finishing Restless. I started and finished The Girl on the Train and I'll be honest that I wasn't expecting to like it, and while I appreciated the writing and the twists in the story, I anticipated correctly. The story was a bit too dark for my taste, but was overall well-written. As for blogposts I loved this one and this one here, and found them to be fitting for my month. (Bonus- if you're looking for some new titles, Anne Bogel's summer reading lists do not disappoint.) 

Listen: Still lots of podcasts! Find some of my favorites here.

Think: When your priorities and boundaries get out of whack, everything else shifts around, things get unbalanced, and life gets messy (not in a good way.) It's amazing how little things like shutting down the screens at 8PM, doing yoga, making time to read, and cleaning out the closet make such a big difference. Resting well is essential to working well. Doing less allows you to do the things you do better. Other things that also help- Powersheets and webinars from Hannah Brencher.

Do: I did a little promotional photography for a new local hotel and photographed my little cousin's 6 month portraits. I also launched my Session Films as an add-on to my photography collections and can't wait to do more of them. And I discovered my new favorite pizza combination when I visited Bowling Green for the first time (bacon and peaches, you have to try it). An instagram workshop was also taken which included networking with local business owners and pretty flower arrangements.

Enjoy: This in-home family lifestyle session. I'm seriously in love.

Goals: Surprisingly, I completed 5/6 goals for this month! Hopefully that momentum will carry over to June. Here's a few of my goals for June:

What was your month filled with? What are some of your goals for June?

Favorite Podcasts | Lifestyle Edition by Emily Margaret

While I edit, blog, and respond to email, I love to listen to podcasts. I've grown to love them so much it's kind of ridiculous and I keep finding new ones to add to my playlist (sidenote-anyone wanna start a podcast with me??). If I wrote a post with every single podcast that I listen to it'd be too long, so I'm breaking them up into categories. Today I wanted to share a few favorites podcasts that I'd categorize in the lifestyle genre and many of them feature conversations with some of my favorite authors/bloggers. 

favorite podcasts emily margaret photography
  • The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey (itunes link) - interesting, fun, and happy are the three words I'd use to describe this podcast. In each episode, Jamie talks with a guest who (usually an author, blogger, speaker, etc) and they chat about life, books, balance work & life, and other fun things. Several of my favorite authors/bloggers have been on the show (Sarah Bessey, Jennie Allen, Jess Connolly), which is how I found the podcast in the first place. A favorite episode- #67 with Sarah Bessey.


  • HopeWriters/Hope*ologie (itunes link) - I love everything Emily P. Freeman does, so when I found the podcast she started with her father and sister, I of course began listening to it. It originally launched under the name Hope*ologie, but now is relisted as HopeWriters following the launch of their new online writing community. They chat about writing, life, slow summer living, and books. A favorite episode- The Day I Realized I Had a Job.


  • The Simple Show (itunes link) - one of the very first podcasts I began listening to regularly. In this podcast Tsh Oxenreider talks about the topic of simple living and making the most of life in every area- work, travel, play, family, and more. Her guests are always people who I enjoy hearing from, like Anne Bogel and Gretchen Rubin. As Tsh is also world traveler, I especially enjoy hearing about her travel experiences. A favorite episode- Bread and Wine with Shauna Niequist.


  • What Should I Read Next? (itunes link) - I love reading and have been a long-time fan of Anne Bogel's blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, so when she started a podcast I knew it would make my list of regulars. In each episode, Anne has a guest who shares three of the favorite books, a book they don't like, and then Anne suggests what they should read next. Literary matchmaking, if you will. With every episode, my to-read list grows longer. A favorite episode- Episode #6 with Tsh Oxenreider.


  • Sorta Awesome (itunes link) - this podcast has a little bit of everything, from pop culture, podcasting, making friends, to intentional living. The hosts are big fans of the Myers Briggs personality types which makes my nerdy heart ridiculously happy. Favorite episodes- #32 with Sarah Bessey, #15 about Myers Briggs, and #51 on Podcasting.

Do you like to listen to podcasts? What are some of your favorites?


The More of Less by Emily Margaret

I'm a firm believer that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" and have become a big fan of the currently popular minimalist movement. Late last year, I discovered the blog Becoming Minimalist from Joshua Becker, and have enjoyed reading about adopting a more minimal, simplistic lifestyle. So when I had the opportunity to read his new book, I was pretty excited.

The More of Less - Emily Margaret

In The More of Less, Becker shares his story about how he and his family discovered the benefits of living with less, shows how everyone can benefit from a more minimalist lifestyle, and offers practical tips to apply to your own life.

Becker defines minimalism as "the intentional promotion of things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them". When I first heard of this lifestyle, it was portrayed as living the the fewest possible number of possessions, so I like how Becker debunks this myth and shows that instead it is about only having things that help you do the things that matter most to you and getting rid of the things that don't.

However, I have to confess that I didn't finish this book.

As an occasional reader of his blog, I felt that this book sort of forced-feeling. To me, the first three chapters could have been shorted together to be only one chapter, and the rest of the book felt that way to me. I rarely stop reading a book before I get to the end, but this book felt like it was written to reach a certain page count and it wasn't holding my interest despite how much I like reading about the minimalist lifestyle.

For someone who hasn't read Becker's blog, they may not feel the same way, but as someone who is familiar with the minimalist idea, this book felt sadly unnecessary despite my best intents of finishing it. If you are new to the idea of minimalism, I would still recommend you give it a read as The More of Less provides some interesting insights in to the popular lifestyle.

I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for review from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Are you familiar with the idea of minimalism? Would you read a book about it, or would you prefer to read a blog?

Field Notes | April by Emily Margaret

Welcome to a new blog series called Field Notes. At the end of each month, I'll share a few things I learned, books I read, interesting blog posts I found, and other things of that sort.

Read: I had a goal to finish the books I had in progress at the first of the month. I finished All the Light We Cannot See (highly recommend 5/5), made progress in Restless, and got halfway through More of Less. It wasn't as much progress as I would've liked but it was a good amount! I felt like I got my reading groove back, like it was before college when the constant flow of textbooks and research papers burnt me out. I also learned that I really like having one fiction and one nonfiction book going at the same time. (Bonus: blog posts I enjoyed- here and here.)

Listen: Lots of podcasts while editing and blogging. I'm planning to do a post this month on some of my favorites, but a few of them are Sorta Awesome, Chasing Creative, and The Simple Show.

Think: I got tired of the internet and figured out what to do about it.

Do: Photoshoots! I did some photos for family members, second shot a wedding, photographed a couple high school seniors, started a new project, and did a few other random shoots. Lots of fun stuff! I also went on a spontaneous weekend trip up to Iowa with a friend to help her go apartment hunting, during which I was reminded that I have more of a southern accent than I think I do, haha.

Enjoying: The 1SecondaDay App, time with friends, springtime, a new haircut, getting to know the members of my photography mastermind group, and k-pop music.

Goals for May:

  • Finish the books I currently have in progress and start The Girl on the Train.
  • Launch my new projects
  • Get back into a daily rhythm/routine
  • Make a plan for my next personal project
  • Clean out my closet and get down to more of a capsule wardrobe
  • Send in my passport application

What did you do this month? What are some of your goals for May?