creative life

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. 

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  • 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?

 

What is Creativity? by Emily Margaret

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you can see that I talk a lot about creativity. But what does that really mean? What does creativity mean to you? How do you incorporate it into your everyday?

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For me, creativity is more than just making a pretty picture or writing a book. It's more of a lifestyle and perspective; a way of doing things that aren't necessarily the most common route. It's trying new things and experimenting, because I enjoy the process as well as the destination.

One way I'm more creative is through intentionality in what I consume and buy, because not everything is good for us and our dollars have more power than we think. I've been slowly transitioning to more natural & healthy beauty products because a quick scan of any common beauty product will show you a list of ingredients that are difficult to pronounce and are known to be harmful.

Recently, I had the opportunity to try the HASK Bamboo Oil Strengthening collection and I'll admit- I'm picky when it comes to natural products because they sometimes don't work as well, especially when it comes to sulfate-free shampoos. I know they're better for you, but I've used several different ones in the past that just didn't do the job. However, I was pleasantly surprised with HASK's Bamboo Oil Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner. They cleaned my hair as well as regular shampoo, made my hair feel really soft, and smell amazing.

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For extra moisture and strengthening, HASK also has a Strengthening Shine Hair Oil and Deep Conditioner. The oil can be used on wet or dry hair and I've enjoyed using it after blowdrying my hair to smooth down the frizziness and add some shine (because I pretty much look like this after using a hair dryer). I haven't tried the Deep Conditioner yet, but if it's anything like HASK's other Bamboo Oil products, I know I'll love it!

What is creativity to you? How does it influence different areas of your life?


**Disclosure: I was sent the products mentioned above in this post in exchange for review. All thoughts are my own honest opinions and were not influenced in any way by the company.**

It's Not All About That Online Life. by Emily Margaret

Confession: I'm tired of the internet.

I'm tired of the constant comparison game, the hustle, the brighter and louder, and the more. It's hard when you use the web and see what everyone else is doing, but when it's an integral part of your business, it's even easier to feel like you're constantly trying to keep up and find the next thing before someone else does.

And I know it's not all like that and there are so so many good things that come out of the web, but it is so easy to get lost in the hustle and the noise.

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I've been thinking about the internet a lot lately, and right before I went to write this post, I found that I'm not alone (recommended reading: Rachel's post) and that gives me hope that things will change. But we have to actively start making those changes instead of only talking about it.

In my social media feeds, I've seen how the bigger and better becomes trendy and drowns out the small and honest and real. The stylized coffee instagrams and images of well-dressed couples embracing in front of a backdrop of mountains somewhere in the #PNW becomes all we see, conditioning us to feel that unless we're doing that too, we're doing it wrong.

We know that's not true, but yet we feel inadequate. If you didn't instagram/blog/tweet it, it might as well not have happened, right? We talk so much about living with intention and authenticity that the words change to represent a curated instagram feed and the real meaning gets lost.

In the words of Hannah Brencher, "I wish I could meet more people who are devoted to the reality of life, rather than the perception of perfection we give our lives to on the screen."

So, I'm going to do things that I want to do and the way I want to do them- not because it's what they say I should do to keep up with the hustle or to be successful, because how do you define that anyway? 

There's a time and place for creating spaces of pretty things and I really enjoy doing that, but I don't ever want what I post to create feelings of inadequacy in someone else's life. I think there's a balance in there somewhere between posting the pretty and the real messy moments and I'll be the first to admit that I don't yet know how to find it. It will take time and experimentation, but I want to be real and yet inspiring at the same time.

In an effort to simplify and remove distractions, I'm logging off and unfollowing. I'm limiting my online time and keeping the media that I consume to a smaller amount. I'd rather create more than I consume and follow those who truly inspire me and don't cause me to constantly compare myself to them. I'm following who I want to follow, instead of who I feel like I "should" follow. I'm finding that streamlining my systems helps me manage my online accounts and decrease the amount of time I spend on them.

I hope that you don't feel pressure to do what others do, but instead do what makes your heart feel alive. With the power of the internet comes great responsibility. Use your powers for good. (Yes I'm a nerd, whatever.)

Thoughts? How do you feel about the internet? How do you keep it from negatively impacting your life?

 

The Week Without A Phone by Emily Margaret

Last week, my phone spontaneously died, which was very inconvenient but also fantastic at the same time.

My friends and I were having a conversation recently about the influence of social media and technology in our lives, for both the good and the bad. After being convicted by Jen Hatmaker about my instagram addiction, I set out to decrease my screen time, but there must be a law of the universe dictating that when you decrease your intended online time, you actually decrease your offline time. So when a few days later my phone broke and forced me to unplug, I did not miss the irony. Aside from the inconvenience of having to use other methods of communication (hello old-school email!) and being unable to randomly text my boyfriend cat videos (you know, the important stuff), I didn't miss my phone.

I didn't miss the constant buzz of notifications or the feeling that there was so much going on that I wasn't a part of. I wasn't thinking of about what everyone else was doing, comparing my life to theirs. I wasn't thinking of the tweets, the facebook statuses, or the instagram likes that I wasn't getting because despite the way we feel and what facebook would like us to believe, that is not the stuff that matters. What matters is the things like the relationships that I grow, the books I read, things I write, praying, my church community group, traveling, actually cleaning my room, spending time with my family, doing yoga, and using my gifts and business to help people instead of growing my own following. That is the stuff that matters. 

Let's have less stuff and more experiences. Less facebook and more people. More of the things that matter. Rome wasn't built in a day and I'm a big fan of progress over perfection, so this doesn't mean going full retro and ditching social media all together. Technology/social media can be amazingly useful and powerful, but it shouldn't be a distraction from the important things in our lives, but instead a tool we can use to create more connections and community.

What are your thoughts on the influence of social media? How do you keep it from becoming a distraction in your life?