Don’t Give Up

Don't give up

Life is hard. That’s a lesson I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older. I’ve run into several spots along the way in my life where I just feel like throwing in the towel and calling it quits. For a long time, I felt like the only person that constantly felt like the world kept throwing challenges at them and I was getting so tired of it and kept asking “why me?”

Why did I have to have such severe anxiety that I can’t function like a “normal” person?

Why did I keep getting criticism about my artwork?

Why have some of my friends just walked out of my life?

Why, why, why, why and why?

It was after asking myself enough times, that I realized that it was a part of life. Nothing ever goes as planned. Friends leave, the world can be cruel, and sometimes things just aren’t fair. But that’s life.

I realized that I had to stop constantly asking “why me?” and take control of my negative thoughts. I began to realize (after a LOT of self-help sessions and through the help of my counselor) that bad things are always going to happen to you. Things are going to keep happening in your life that you have absolutely no control over, and they will tear you down and bring you to your knees, and you can’t control what happens. So you have to focus on the one thing you can control, which is how you react to those tough times.

Instead of continuing to feel like I just wanted to constantly give up, I tried really hard to redirect my thoughts and all that sad and negative energy I had into thinking about things in a different light. A light that wasn’t so dark and gloomy.

I went back to those thoughts I was experiencing and sorted them out and fought back instead of just letting them win. Instead of saying “why me?”, I changed the way I spoke to myself about those hard times. I changed them from “why did this have to happen?” to “This happened, and I can’t control that, but I can control how I react to it. As much as it makes me sad, I understand that it happened for this reason and I can accept that. ” So on, and so forth.

I took the time to realize that I’m the only one who can help myself, and I’m the only one who can decide to just give up. I can either choose to keep taking baby steps when things get hard, and get through it with each passing day, no matter how long it takes. Or, I could simply give up and let it win.

A few years ago, I would have just let the negativity win, but not now.

Now, I know to stand up to my thoughts. 

Now, I know that I am worthy of all the wonderful things this world has to offer.

Now, I know that I am strong, independent, and a wonderful person.

If you’re reading this and you’re thinking “wow this really sounds like me”, then please know that you aren’t alone. And also know that as heavy and dark as your negative thoughts may feel, they’re just thoughts. They are thoughts that can be changed with a simple change of your outlook on life and switching to a more positive mindset.

No matter how hard life gets and no matter what curve balls are thrown at you that you didn’t see coming, just make sure that you never give up. You can beat whatever battle you are facing.

Hey Emily Anne Blog

October Happenings: A Night at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in Rhode Island

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo

If you live in New England and you are looking for a something fun to do this October, then you have to attend the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular! This event takes place every year at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island. And let me tell you, it does NOT disappoint!

I recently went last week and I really enjoyed myself! You walk through a pathway in the zoo through a story telling arrangement of about 5,000 lit jack-o-lanterns. And these aren’t just carved faces like you always made growing up. Oh no, they have professional artists create these gorgeous scenes on the pumpkins, and it’s amazing! I found myself stopping to take pictures every few steps I took because the artwork was just that good.

When Should I Visit?

I recommend going on a week night for two reasons. One, week nights are value nights so it’s a few dollars cheaper to get in. And Tuesday’s are AAA nights for anyone that has AAA!
And two, it’s a lot less crowded there during the week as opposed to the weekend. Now don’t get me wrong, there are still a lot of people during the week, but it’s not so busy that you keep bumping into people like the weekend usually is.

What if I get hungry or thirsty?

They have a lot of food and beverage stops available during this event too! I told myself I was going to save my money and not get anything, and I was doing so good up until the very end when we were leaving and a scrumptious chocolate cupcake caught my eye and I just had to get it. I mean how could I resist?!

The last time I went before this, I had gotten some hot chocolate and that was yummy too! Warmed me right up!

So what exactly do you do there?

I’d have to say one of my favorite things about this event is that it’s not just walking around in the silence of the night and looking at carved pumpkins. They set up the pumpkins along the path to tell a story and to help tell that story, they incorporate music along the way! This year’s theme was travelling through time so you start off with the age of the dinosaurs, then you get a glimpse into the ice age as you make your way to Ancient Egypt and Rome. And it goes on from there until you reach present day! It was so fun to hear all of the great throwback songs and I definitely stopped and danced a bit along the way!


Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo

So that about sums up this amazing event! I hope you’re able to carve out some time (see what I did there?) to go experience this spooktacular Halloween event!

Happy October, friends!

Hey Emily Anne Blog

How to Decorate For A Spooktacular Halloween Party

target michaels party city halloween products

I love a good Halloween party. I just love the month of October in general! As an illustrator, I love all of the bold colors that come out around this time of year. The color combos are also super gorgeous too, I just love them!

This year I’m planning a Halloween party and I had the funnest time walking the aisles of the stores and coming across so many cute products! I came home with about three bags worth of Halloween decor and goodies and just had to share it with you guys in case any of you are planning a party this year! All of the items I got came from Target, Michael’s, and Party City.

Halloween product hall

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I will make a small percentage if you choose to make a purchase, at absolutely no additional cost to you. Thank you!

I got all sorts of fun items from a “Boo!” banner to an inflatable witch hat ring toss game (you can’t make this stuff up, folks), to Halloween bingo! I’m going to go through and list all of the goodies I got below. I hope you’re able to find something to use for your Halloween party!

Cat Shaped Paper Plates by Celebrate It (Michael’s)

I’m a crazy cat lady so obviously I ran straight towards these adorable plates the second I saw them.

Spider Web Treat Bags by Celebrate It (Michael’s)

I was looking for a cute small sized treat bag and these guys were perfect! I also thought the spider was adorable! (How often can you say that? )

Boo! Spider Napkins by Celebrate It (Michael’s)

These were so cute! I loved the little “boo!”.

Celebrate It halloween party

Halloween Funfetti Cupcake Mix + Frosting

I have such a deep love for Funfetti. Ever since I was little, my mom always makes me a Funfetti birthday cake every year for my birthday. Even now at 23, I still get one every year and I always look forward to it! It’s my sweet treat indulgence for the year.

Halloween Themed Bingo Game Set (Party City)

I LOVE Bingo. Side story, when I was in college, the number one thing I was most excited about was the fact that they had a bingo night once a month. I was there every time for the first year or so until I got busy, it was sooooo much fun.

Inflatable Witch Hat Ring Toss Game (Party City)

Alright, so I totally got this for the laughs because I mean come on, how does this not look like fun?! Whoever comes to my party is probably going to hate me for making them play this, but it’ll be worth the laughs that come from it.

halloween party products

Orange Cupcake Holders by Celebrate It (Michael’s)

Witch’s Crew Paper Cups (Party City)

I love bold and colorful things so these colorful cups really stood out to me!

Boo! Banner by Celebrate It (Michael’s)

I had a tough time choosing between a few banners at Michael’s but ultimately I ended up with this one. I’m pretty happy with my purchase! I’m going to be putting this one on the wall behind the food table at the party. I think it’ll look so cute and festive.

halloween party products

Halloween Big 3 Pack Plastic Table Cover Set (Party City)

I really lucked out with finding this! I was looking for three table covers to cover my kitchen and dining table, as well as a snack table that I’ll be setting up for the Halloween party. I saw this and was like “YES!” Score. =)

halloween party products

halloween party products

I still have more shopping to do for the party but I’ve gotten so much already that I just had to share! I’ll be doing another post or two, highlighting even more Halloween party products that are out and available this season, in addition to some photos of when the party is all set up!

Happy Halloween shopping!

Hey Emily Anne Blog


My Favorite Beauty Products Under $10

Drugstore beauty products under $10

Beauty products shouldn’t have to be expensive. There are actually some really nice high quality beauty products out there that are under $10 and sold at stores that you and I go to all the time! Target, CVS, Walmart, you name it!

Now, while I’m a girl who definitely loves to put on makeup and get all prettied up, I definitely don’t have the type of cash to spend on high-end products, as much as I wish I did!

I wanted to put together a list of some of my all time favorite beauty products that are all under $10, are from a trusted brand, and are all products that I personally use daily and could not live without.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

-Dickson’s Witch Hazel Toner

I started using this toner fairly recently within the past year or so, and I can honestly say, I don’t know what I ever did without it! Over the years, I always thought that toners needed to have a strong alcohol/astringent smell to them and that they had to be very drying. Wrong! This toner is effective yet so gentle, I never experience any drying from it what so ever. I use it after I wash my face to get rid of any excess makeup that I may have missed. It makes your skin feel smooth, fresh, and squeaky clean!

I’ve also noticed that it really evens out my oily skin so it’s not as oily anymore. Win!



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Healthy Snacks That You Can Actually Feel Good About Eating

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gluten free snacks

Growing up I didn’t have very healthy eating habits. My mom tried and tried again to get me to eat better but I just wanted the unhealthy, yummy tasting stuff. As I’ve gotten older and into my twenties though, I realized that I needed to make a change, for the sake of my well being and also my mental health. This need for a change came about during a time in my life that I hit a wall. I had just graduated college and had no idea how to manage my life after graduation, my anxiety was at an all time high, and I was experiencing new sensations like brain fog and tingling in my extremities. I had no idea what was going on, all I knew was that I felt terrible and not like myself at all. To put it simply, I felt sick. I thought it was just all in my head and figured it was just me going through a stressful time, it must just be stress right? Wrong. Because once the stress in my life had gone down, my symptoms stayed the same. So, I knew something wasn’t right.

I did my research and late one night I came across an article that was about food intolerance and its relationship to symptoms like depression, anxiety, tingling, brain fog, etc. A light bulb went off and I knew I was on to something. The next morning I made an appointment with a naturopathic doctor and in two weeks I went to see her and everything changed.

The appointment lasted about two hours as we went over my medical history, any medication I was taking, what mental illnesses I was experiencing, and my long list of unexplained symptoms. I had a food intolerance blood test performed and within a week I was back at the office to find out the results.

*drum roll*…

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The Ultimate Fall Bucket List To Have The Best Fall Ever!

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The Ultimate October Bucket List

YESSS. It’s that time of year again! Snuggle weather, plaid shirts, leg warmers, scarves, fall events, and the beautiful color change of the leaves.

If you can’t tell by my excited intro, I love Fall. I love everything about it (except for the pumpkin flavored stuff- I’M SORRY EVERYONE!)
I wanted to put together a bucket list for you guys, and for myself, of must do things this October! It’s jam packed with so many things from pumpkin carving to apple picking and so much more. I hope you enjoy it and that you’re able to cross off everything on the list this October! Have fun!

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How To Take Care of Yourself and Keep Your Sanity When You Work From Home

How To Take Care of Your Self and Keep Your Sanity When You Work From Home

On the outside, working from home may sound like a dream job to everyone. I mean come on, you get to stay in your pajama’s all day, binge watch your latest favorite Netflix show while you’re working, and you don’t have to leave your house and go out and face traffic every day. That sounds pretty dang good!

And while it is pretty great, it’s very easy to fall into a slump if you have a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. It’s also very hard to separate your home life from your work life since your office is at your home. You can’t just leave your 9-5 office job and go home and not think about it again until you have to go back the next day. No, with working from home, you’ll probably end up working even more hours than you would at your typical 9-5 because it can be so hard to tell yourself to stop or to set business hours for yourself.

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September Favorites and My Month in Review

September Favorite + My Month Review

Hi everyone! Something that I’m planning to do on this blog is monthly favorites. These will include a little round up of my faves for the past month including music, books, fashion, beauty, etc.

Before I dig in though, I wanted to share a bit about what all went on in my life this past month! There’s some pretty interesting stuff, promise!

Yellowstone National Park

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

The beginning of September started off great! I had a lot of work to get done and deadlines for my illustration business so that’s always a good thing! I was prepping like crazy to get ready to exhibit at a local art festival, stART on the Street in Worcester, MA. This was my fifth or sixth year doing the show and it’s so much fun! I exhibit there with my illustration prints, cards, and handmade products I make either out of my illustrations or my pattern designs.

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My Fourth Quarter Goal List For The Rest of 2017

My Fourth Quarter Goals For the Rest of 2017

Can you believe that 2017 is almost over, and 2018 is right around the corner? I sure can’t. This year has flown by, and I wish it would slow down! This has been a really good year for me full of new opportunities, taking big steps in my career as an illustrator and surface pattern designer, and getting to go on fun trips!

So that’s why I’m making a fourth quarter bucket list for myself, to complete as 2017 comes to an end. Here it goes!

Pink Flower

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The Ultimate Vacation Guide to a Weekend Getaway in Jackson Hole, Wyoming



Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Ahhh Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

How can I even begin to describe how beautiful of a place this town is? Once you visit there for the first time, even if it is just for a few short days on a weekend getaway trip, I can guarantee that you will never want to leave.

Jackson Hole is full of charm, beautiful mountains,  and a touch of western. What more could you ask for?!

I just recently got back this month from a western USA road trip that I went on with my family and one of our destination spots was (you guessed it!) Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole is a must see destination and I am so beyond happy that we made this one of our stops on our road trip. (I’ll be doing vacation guides for the rest of our road trip destinations so keep an eye out!)

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