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Getting Personal

Hey guys,

I feel like I haven’t really wrote a real personal post in a while, and thought it was time to do so. Something has really been bothering me lately. I am sure you all know about how Cory Monteith passed away a month ago. I am not sure why this hit me so hard. I am not one to get emotional about someone I do not know personally nor would I act as if I knew someone as soon as they pass away. Maybe it is the fact that I have watched Glee since it started and Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry was always the couple I was rooting for. Or maybe it’s the fact that Lea Michele was completely surprised one night in LA by a disturbing phone call telling her that the love of her life has passed away.

I think that’s it. Why would he do this out of the blue when had planned to move in with Lea as soon as he got home from Vancouver? They had full intentions of eventually marrying one another in a couple years and then BAM…her world is flipped upside down. Lea has been by his side during his struggles with addiction, and thought he was recovering. Regardless of what killed him that doesn't take away from what a wonderful person he was. He had amazing talent and loved what he did every day. What makes me upset, and is something that will eventually make her upset is that in return he selfishly left her to deal with a horrific phone call she will never forget and funeral plans. She will now have an empty hole in her heart. I think why this whole situation has made me upset is the “didn’t see it coming” factor. I understand that he was struggling with his addiction for quite sometime, but he also had the family of Glee and the love from Lea and family who were always there for him. The fact that, that wasn’t enough, proves that no matter how much we think we know someone they also keep certain things to themselves. I don't think a lot of us realize the struggles people have behind whom they portray themselves to be on a daily basis. That's why you should hold the door for someone or smile at a complete stranger. You never know if in that moment you changed their perspective on life. Lea never saw this coming because things between them were raw and beautiful. It’s not like she didn’t know about the problem. I can imagine he told her everything and anything that would go through his mind.

I guess it just hurts my heart because when my brother passed away there was the same “didn’t see it coming” factor. It was on a rainy Thursday night and then there was that random horrifying call that my brother “is hurt really bad, I think he is dead.” My dad always is dramatic about day-to-day things. Hearing the “worst” possible scenarios about a situation was somewhat of the norm coming from his mouth. I remember my mom and I getting that phone call on the way back home from CVS. We quickly picked my dad up because he knew where it happened. My heart was racing, but I quickly stayed optimistic. Plenty of people have accidents that happen and get injured but eventually heal from…of course that is what happened with my brother…

My dad was repeating the worst possible scenarios, and I remember saying “DAD..STOP…everything is going to be ok…we just have to be positive…he probably just had a accident riding..”

Who would have known I would be right….man do I wish I wasn’t..

I remember driving up to that scene, on that rainy night, and seeing a lot of cars and an ambulance. My mom parked, and I was the last one to get out. My parents were then steps ahead of me…my dad was first. I remember seeing him fall to his knees and then seeing my mom a couple feet behind him fall against a car…very slowly.

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With Lea I heard she screamed for hours and cried until she couldn’t stop. I am not one to believe the media, but that I do believe. I will never know exactly how she feels, or how my mom feels or how my brothers feel. I also would never compare my pain to her pain. What I am familiar with is that hole in her heart she now has to deal with everyday. That hole will never be healed no matter how much people say “It will get easier in time…” If I could I would take one of the two middle fingers I have and poke them in the eye with it. No it doesn’t get “easier” you just learn to build your life around it. You are completely starting over. Someone that you once learned from, loved, nourished, talked too, looked to for advice, hugged and saw everyday for 15 years (in my case) was RIPPED out of your life. You then have to change some things around. You revaluate your life, and see if you are doing anything to make the world a better place.

I watched the Lea’s tribute on the TCA’s and immediately was crying with her. People used to tell me I was so strong…but she was SMILING while crying. She was glowing as soon as she took that stage. It was as if she had just had a baby. The things she said made me want to just hug her. I wouldn’t say anything…just simply hug her. That’s all I ever wanted…I didn’t want to hear “Only the good die young…” or  “RIP” as if it were Halloween. I didn’t want to hear “I am sorry.” I just wanted a hug. To simply be held without any pressure of talking.

Anyways I hope none of the Cory stuff offends anyone. I am simply stating my opinion and views towards a story I have been following since it happened and needed to type it out. Love to hear thoughts on the situation if one has any.

xx
EJK

Included below is the video of her tribute.

 

Weekend Brunch

This weekend was filled with sunny and warm spring-like days...(FINALLY.) Ryan and I decided to have brunch Saturday and then do a little exploring around Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was kind of fun to show her all the new places I have come across since I have moved here. I showed her a couple of my favorite thrift stores and we caught the last hour of Smorgasburg (part of the Brooklyn Flea.) 

Anyways starting off we hit a delicious place in South Williamsburg called Rabbit Hole. I highly recommend it if you are ever around the area. It is very cozy...but not in that annoying way where you hear everyone's conversation around you....ha THE WORST ever. It has a industrial/ "Brunchy" feel to it, so basically perfect for us. I had the eggs benedict and Ryan got the stuffed french toast...my mouth is watering just talking about it. They are reasonably priced, which was nice because let's face it..there is a reason brunch only happens on the weekends..haha. We had a little fun snapping some pictures while we were there. It is so weird getting my picture taken. I kind of hate it to be honest. I am usually the one taking the pictures and not being pictured. and Ryan took full advantage of capturing "Emma." haha

She took great pictures and I actually don't hate them too much. Which is saying a lot because I never like pictures of me at all. I guess it is nice for you all to see me too, and who is behind this whole "Photo Diary" thing. Oh by the way that isn't beer in my hand if you were wondering it is actually this crazy cool tea we tried at the Smorgasburg thing and it is called Kombuch. I will put link for that and the Smorgasburg thing below for you all to check out. Basically it gives you the same effects that coffee would without the "crash" part after the caffeine would eventually fade. Definitely something I could only have every once in awhile but it is worth trying if you hate the crash part of caffeine. 

I caught couple of moments while we sat near the East River, including a little girl who was just relaxing and taking in the sunshine. 

I hope everyone has a great Monday!

xx
Emma Jane

Thank you Ryan for pictures of me! <3

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Coffee, Sprinkles and Inspiration

I promised you all a happy post today, and I'd like to think I follow through with my promises! ha Anyways last week I finally decided on one of my days off to try Sprinkles! I know you are all probably like...you have never had their cupcakes....and I am all like no I am from North Carolina...nuff said. ha Well I decided to go on a day I was feeling pretty crappy and the cupcakes definitely made up for it. I had a normal sized plain vanilla cupcake and a mini red velvet. They were PERFECTION. I have had a lot of cupcakes in my day but the frosting is pretty killer at Sprinkles.

The best part about the trip was the fact that I sat down in their small place and was next to this older lady who was enjoying a cupcake as well. Can you all think what happened next....well you probably guessed it, we started talking and had a full on conversation. We talked about many things, but there was one thing she said I will never forget. She said "I think nice people meet nice people" and I said "I think your right." Those simple moments in life that many of us take for granted but that is one I will never forget. 

More after Sprinkle pictures..

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Toby's Estate Coffee

Then yesterday I decided to stop by a coffee place I pass everyday. It is called Toby's Estate Coffee. The reason I have not went in yet is because everyone you see in the window is gorgeous...so that means I had to look my absolute BEST before entering. The atmosphere is simple and awesome...filled with again BEAUTIFUL people. ha.. The people who worked there were very helpful and made me a beautiful latte! If you are ever in the area and need some delicious coffee and a great atmosphere to get something work done, Toby's is the place to go!

125 N 6th St  Brooklyn, NY 11249
(347) 457-6160

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Things that inspired me this week!

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Favorite  Portfolio Ideas

Favorite Portfolio Ideas

Favorite  Words

Favorite Words

Favorite  DIY

Favorite DIY

Favorite  Bedroom Idea

Favorite Bedroom Idea

Favorite  Moment

Favorite Moment

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

xx
Emma Jane

This one is for Sawyer..

Sorry for not being on point lately with my blog posts. Tomorrow will be both a (late) try-it Tuesday...we will just make it try-it Thursday almost Friday post...ha. This post is just letting you know why I was so behind at the beginning of this month. 

April is here and at the beginning of this month for the past...now ...4 years it has been pretty shitty. I had to grow up pretty fast emotionally and mentally. 

--->Before going further I don't want this to be viewed as a cry for sympathy, but more of me just telling you a little bit so you can all get to know me more.

So let's all breath in and breath out.....and read along..

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My brother Sawyer, the youngest of my four brothers....yes that is right I am the youngest of four crazy but loveable brothers. Growing up with them wasn't easy but Griffin, Hunter and Adam were a lot older when I was a baby but sawyer was the youngest, which made us four years apart from one another.

He was the one who was responsible for all the bruises I had when I was younger and I am sure I have a couple dents in my head too. I am sure you are like wait....what DENTS...well that would be because our rooms were directly across from one another growing up. Therefore when we would be going to bed and there were times I would "tattle tale" on him about 5 minutes ago when he hit me or just talking and he didn't want to hear me so he would then....throw stuff. Keep in mind this was in more of the younger stages from like well maybe 1 year old till about 14 years old. I am not sure if he ever liked me haha. I do have evidence of him holding me as a baby, but usually he had such a mischievous face when around me. His so called "hugs" I see in pictures with me is actually him choke/hugging me. When he was suppose to be going to sleep/waiting till the last minute to do homework and knew he couldn't come into my room and physically hit me he would reach on his desk (which was located right beside his bed) and would throw ANYTHING he had at me across the hall. Let me just give you a couple of examples.....hmm I think I recall pennies(any kind of change for that matter), pencils, erasers, hangers that you use for clothes.....basically anything that had enough weight to travel in the air. The worst thing was that he NEVER missed me!! No matter if I would duck or see it coming at me...he never failed to NAIL me in the head...haha.

Then there was this one thing he used to call me...oh not my name..I don't even think he knew my actual name. He would refer to me as "Gay." No my brother was not a homophobe...but I suppose one wouldn't/shouldn't throw that word around of course. I think it was just a thing that was easy to say instead of my actual name that is only one more letter long. I would like to think he meant it in the actual definition of Gay. 

Gay: The term was originally used to refer to feelings of being "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy".

If that was the case then I totally accept it because I was/am a pretty happy and loving person. Somehow I don't think he meant it that way....but we will just go with that for now. Anyways..one thing I will never forget was when this generally started. I think it was right around when I was 13 or so. It would be late at night because I have always been a night owl..he would be in his room and yell my name. "Hey gay, go get me some tea..." and I am like... "uhhh...no" In the back of my head I knew I would probably pay for that "no" later so I just went and got him a tea or some food. I would like to say this was where the so called (bonding) a brother and sister have was -->FINALLY<-- starting between us. Yes definitely a totally different bonding then others may have....but I will never forget it. Eventually I got used to it and didn't really care because I was thinking one day he WILL do something for me if I really need him too.

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....and of course that wasn't the case..let's be real..if he picked me up from school he was told to do so from mom. haha

Eventually I got a little older and we became a lot closer. At this point the "gay" thing was still in play but instead I would be up late doing my hair. No I was not a primadonna more just I had a process you could say. My mirror was on the floor which would be behind the door when you open it. So around 1:30 or later in the morning I would be in "my hair process" and sawyer would be getting home and he would open my door a little and peer in and say "hey gay, what you doing?" and I would be like "just my hair....where are you getting in from?" We would talk a little then he would go to his room. Sometimes I would go in and we would talk a little and watch TV or he would be telling me about something he did that day with his truck. I want to let you all know my brother was far from stupid. He would probably be considered "gifted" with how smart he was with anything he set his mind to. I have never seen someone try and figure out why things were put together the way they were by completely taking them apart. He knew it was a challenge and he dominated it every time. Whether it was his little remote control cars when he was little or as he got older it was his dirt bikes and his trucks. He never stopped until it was fixed or fixed enough for him to ride it a little..ha. Basically we were just getting to that point where we could both talk to each other and he wouldn't hit me or there wasn't that stereotypical "sibling hatred." We were cool, we had those talks that brothers and sisters have. One night he was showing me his bow that he got and how you pull it back..I tried and of course half-way succeeded. He randomly said to me "Hey, promise you won't do or try anything like smoking or drinking without doing it with me first.." and I was half stunned and kind of completely happy at the same time. I then responded with "I promise I won't"...then being the annoying sister I am I made him pinky promise. That was a moment where the whole "family is everything" came into play. I knew if I ever needed my brothers to beat a guy that hurt me up I could just snap my fingers and they would be on it. They never pushed it though...I think sawyer was the only one who may have threatened guys without me knowing....(if people who know me and him are reading this and know of a time..DO TELL!) I never thought that my brother really cared about me to a point where he brought me up to other people. (Again if there are any stories I am not aware of...I would love to hear them.) So at this point we are finally bonding you could say and he is being that "protective brother" that sisters want/don't want. I will admit that protecting can go to far with some brothers, but for some reason I loved hearing he had my back. Finally after all these bruises from him kicking me and all these dents he put in my head from pennies and pencils (which by the way is probably the reason I don't test that well) it was finally worth it. He was being that brother/soon to be friend I would have to go to if I needed him.

A little time passes and it was almost like everything was OK in the family...meaning we were all kind of happy..doing good. You know that feeling where everything just seems alright for the moment...but wait that's not a realistic feeling in this lifetime. SOMETHING has to go wrong...whether it is small or a big ordeal something bad or unnecessary had to happen for it to be...well..LIFE. And then the unspeakable and unimaginable happened..my brother was gone..just like that.

How can someone so young already be so talented and already be taken away. As if he has already fulfilled everything he was supposed to do in life...just taken.

I ask that question everyday..

On April 2nd, 2009 my brother was in an ATV accident...it had rained earlier so roads were slick that night and he was taking someone home. On his way back..2 miles from our house..it just happened. Maybe he didn't realize the curve was a little sharper then he thought...but he KNOWS how to use/work a 4-wheeler. He knew what ours couldn't do so he wouldn't force it. He is SMART when it comes to that stuff. My brother was a goofy/funny/always smiling..oh that never failed..ALWAYS smiling kind of guy but when something was real like dealing with vehicles he was smart with them.

This whole situation kind of pisses me off..obviously I'm not happy about my brother dieing..I mean he was 19 who would be half-way or at all ok with that? He has a whole life to live..or so I thought. The worst part is I am 19 about to be 20 and I will soon be outliving my older brother. What is up with that? I am literally mind boggled at the fact that I am living longer then him and the fact that it has already been 4 years. It feels like yesterday..no one knows that unless you have been through it but it really feels like one day I am going to be at home and he is going to come in and peer into my room and say "Hey gay, what are you doing?" No I am not in denial, I am simply probably still in shock really. Also sawyer was ALWAYS out doing stuff so I wasn't used to him being home all the time. That is why it kind of feels like he is on a very long vacation...but I also know he isn't coming back and never will.

I have never been so inspired by someone or look up to them like I constantly did with him. I never can recall a time where he wasn't constantly smiling or helping someone or making them laugh. I'd like to say that is the thing we had in common. I love to see people happy and make them happy no matter how crappy my day may be going. We both smile A LOT. There is one thing I have learned is to live everyday like it's your last. Yes I am in NYC "living a dream life" no I am simply LIVING life. I am constantly emailing people to take their pictures and for them to be apart of my blog...doing what I love and what I know best, and that is talking to everyone like I have known them for years and photographing them like that's the first and final time I will be able to do so.

I am sure I should be crying a lot more and letting those feelings out constantly so that one day that won't all be added up and I just BLOW UP. To be honest my way of "dealing" with this loosing a brother thing it's how I celebrate him and honor him. I kind of did that with tattoos and through my senior pictures and how I am always smiling. He will forever be my brother and apart of me. His name was my first tattoo and the smile was the second. When I am having a bad day I know I can always look at my wrist and find myself laughing...firstly because there is a smile on my wrist his smile to be exact and secondly how could that not bring joy to one's heart.

I am sorry for this some-what depressing post....LONG too...also sorry about that. I just want you all to know what is constantly making me strive to challenge myself and to always be good to everyone I meet. You never know what they may do for you someday or when you will see them again. I will never give someone a reason to dislike me...no I don't mean I am fake..I am and always have been a humble, loving person. I guess you could add "strong" to the list but I still don't see that. I have just decided to live my life and not let the little things touch me. "Pick your Battles" that is what my favorite English teacher told me and I will never forget it. No sense in dwelling over that boy that didn't text you back or maybe how someone cut you off while driving down the road. Is it really worth all the rage and anger? I mean there are far worse things that could happen right?

Anyways..take this as you will..man did that feel good to let out..maybe I should write a book or something..haha just kidding.

An uplifting post will be up tomorrow I PROMISE! ha

Much love,

Emma Jane

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Face to face with Jay Wolman

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I had the pleasure of meeting an amazing and inspiring guy named Jay Wolman. I came across this little hole-in-the-wall (aka the BEST kind of places) place in Chinatown this past week. Cheeky Sandwiches is the place to try when you are in the area. From Chicken Fried Buttermilk biscuits to even something for all those vegans!

I was greeted by Jay, he asked me what I'd like and I said I have no clue, make me your favorite! If there is one thing I have learned from my older brother Hunter (chef in the family) is to always try EVERYTHING. No matter if it may look weird or sound crazy, one must try everything. If you are going to a new brunch place down the street or dinner with friends get what the restaurant is known for. I would never go to a burger place and order a salad or chicken...they are known for their burger so try that first! Anyways I thought Jay was a pretty cool guy..not to mention his beard is top notch;) I hope you enjoy a little face to face with a full blooded Texan. 

Jay wolman
23 years old
Cook at Cheeky Sandwiches

How long have you worked at cheekys? What drew you into the place? I've been working at Cheeky's for about a year now. I remember having a "woah" moment the first time  I went in there as it immediately reminded me of home in the South, and this was a rare gem in the big city.  I knew I wanted to be involved in a place like that.

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Cheeky's definitely plays with different ingredients when building a biscuit. What do you think cheeky's offers that other places may not? Cheeky's isn't a normal sandwich shop. We take the flavors and culture of the South and New Orleans in particular and apply it to our daily work. Our food is simple and straightforward, and the shop itself just feels cool and cozy. Its weird working in a small kitchen generally alone. You're a baker, head chef, dish washer, and waiter all at once, and theres definitely something special about that. I just love the freedom and unique individuality of this place, we are small and keep it that way. Our customers become friends, our team are a band of brothers, and honestly where else can you eat fried chicken while listening to crunk Southern rap music in New York. That's why I love this place.

How long have you been cooking? I've always been into cooking, but I started taking it seriously about 3 years ago. I'm completely self taught, with inspirations from a couple important people.

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Who or what has most influenced your path toward becoming a chef ? Firstly my mom, always a great cook who taught me the importance of ingredients and the joy of food. My Caribbean nanny from my childhood; Violet inspires me to this day, as I love the flavors from her native region. We also used to celebrate holidays with her and buckets of fried chicken which left a big imprint on me. Din Yates who owns Cheekys has become a big inspiration for me mainly just by watching his insane work flow and contributions to this shop. He's a workhorse and he spills his personality into his restaurant. It's infectious and you can't help but not be driven by and to it. 

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If you weren't a chef what else would you love to pursue ? If I wasn't cooking I don't know what else I'd be doing really. I feel like I finally found something I'm good at and don't get bored with. To actually answer you though, I like working with my hands, so maybe some wood work or building things. Manly old world shit, you know.

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What has been the most surprising thing that cooking has shown you? Cooking teaches you a lot about yourself, it pushes you and challenges you in ways that you can't expect. It's taught me to stay innovative and thinking on my feet, but most of all how to multitask on a grand scale. There's always work to be done or food to be prepped. It's a labor of love.

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 5 years seems like a long time but it goes fast when you work 70 hours a week. The goal is to have my own restaurant, bringing the flavors and greatness of Texas to a new region on this map. I want people to enjoy the goodness I keep boggled up in my mind. It's eventually gotta come to life, and my own place seems like a damn good start.

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Cheeky's Sandwiches 
35 Orchard St  New York, NY 10002
(646) 504-8132

Also check out his food blog below! I promise it will have your mouth watering in seconds!
Thank you again Jay,

xx
Emma