I thrive in the summer. So I’m soaking up every summer day
we have left until the rains decide to come back in Seattle. The sunshine, the
picnics, and the twirly dresses make my heart so happy.

So when my friend Ribicca from Nordstrom invited me to do a
summer picnic themed shoot for the Nordstrom blog, I was ecstatic. I was joined
by my boyfriend Brandon, my friend Doug from The Need for Expression, and my
friend Hamdi. This amazing project was photographed by the very talented SamFu. And our make up was done by Mahlet Kelel – a rising make up artist in the Seattle area. You can find the original Nordstrom blog post here by Britt Burritt.

As we wrap up the last few weeks of summer, I wanted to
share this incredible project for Nordstrom and a few style tips to help you
end summer with a bang.

Here are 5 tips to end summer in style:


1. Don’t be Afraid of Bold Colors


I absolutely fell in love with this red Tularosa dress from
Nordstrom. Wearing a bold color like red, yellow, or orange is such an easy way
to brighten up your entire look.

If you grew up in the Northwest, it can be easy to stick
with the neutrals. We have all winter to wear blues and neutrals. So don’t be
afraid to pick up that red or yellow dress off the rack. Try it on. Twirl in
it. And wear it out with confidence!

2. Versatile Heels are Always in Season

The strappy pair of nude block heels from Sam Edelman in this look is so comfortable! These heels also transcend summer into other seasons since they’re nude. If you’re looking to update your wardrobe now for the end of summer and fall, these heels are a great pick!

3. Menswear Inspired Dresses


Another trend I see sticking around for a few more seasons
is menswear inspired pieces. If you haven’t seen this trend already, you’ll be
seeing menswear inspired dresses and blouses all over fall. I absolutely love
how the striped dress Hamdi is wearing has played around and updated the
neckline for today’s cold shouldered trends.


4. Embellished Purses


Whether its embroidered, studded, pearls, mirrors, or
glitter, embellishments are coming in hot this fall! This adorable purse from
Top Shop added a feminine touch to Hamdi’s menswear inspired dress.

5. Embrace Your Polaroid Cameras & Straw Hats

Two of my favorite accessories for this photo shoot were the Polaroid camera and this Eric Javits hat. The camera is essential for capturing your favorite summer memories. And of course the hat is a must have for not only keeping the sun out of your face, but also completing your summer picnic look.


Thank you again to Nordstrom for inviting me to be a part of this project!

You can shop my entire look here:

Creative Direction/Styling: Ribicca Mayume

Nordstrom Blog Writer: Britt Burritt

Make Up: Mahlet Kelel

Photos: Sam Fu

Models: Hamdi Mohammed, Doug Ta’s, Brandon Ellendt, Emma Cortes

Here are some more end of the summer looks from Nordstrom! 
I made sure to include pieces you can take with you into fall.



(Another) Summer Picnic


Labor Day Weekend


Exploring Your City


A Shopping Day with Your Girlfriends

This photo shoot was made in collaboration by Nordstrom and all my opinions are my own. The additional looks shared in this post were styled by me.

Thank you for reading!

Love, 

Emma

This past week, I was invited to watch Ingrid Goes West at
the AMC Theater in Pacific Place.

The protagonist Ingrid,
struggles with mental health issues
and strives to find human connections. She turns to her phone and Instagram in
hopes of feeling connected to others.

After seeing an #instafamous girl named Taylor
on Instagram continuously post about her incredible life in LA, Ingrid makes a
drastic life decision and chooses to relocate to California. She creates a new
Instagram: “Ingrid Goes West”, and works to befriend Taylor from Instagram.

As I followed along Ingrid’s journey, several themes emerged
in her struggles and plight to find friendships. The most important topics
included Instagram, the online personas we cultivate, and the struggle to find
real human connections.

Not only could I relate to Ingrid – who constantly checks her phone and Instagram, but I could also relate to Taylor because I’ve been guilty of asking random strangers to take my photos at landmarks or sunsets… This movie has inspired me to reflect about the online presence I’ve worked so hard to build – specifically on Instagram.

So today I’m going to share with you my life beyond my
Instagram feed.


Let me first begin by saying that blogging and social media
is just a piece of my life. What you see on Instagram is me, but only a segment
of who I am.

Let’s look at what you DO see:

A Curated Feed

What you do see on my Instagram is a feed of edited and
professional photos.
You see a curated feed.
You see me with my hair and
make-up completely done. 

You see my photos from Europe and some incredible
sights in Seattle.

What you don’t see:

  •          Me brainstorming content to create for you guys.
    I literally reach out to a few of my friends and little sister to run content
    ideas by them before I even start writing.
  •           Scheduling a time and place to shoot with my
    photographers.
  •           Hunting for new locations
  •           Fighting with the wind and looking for the best
    light at the photo shoot location
  •           And the thousands of photos I’ve taken to select
    the few photos published on my feed

What you DO see on my Instagram stories:

You may follow along my Instagram stories. Sometimes you see
my dog Boone and other times you see blogger events.

You may see other
bloggers, free food and drinks, and sometimes giveaways or fabulous clothes.

What you don’t see about those blogger events I share on Instagram
story:

  •           My commute from Everett to either Downtown
    Seattle or Bellevue after work. Sometimes I’m sitting in traffic for over an
    hour just get to a fun event…
  •          You also don’t see me rushing home, throwing off
    my office clothes, and changing quickly into something cute and rushing out the
    door.
  •          The struggle to find parking.

Here are a few other things you don’t see online….

  • What you don’t see on my Instagram or blog is that I work
    for the Boeing Company full time.
    I’m not brunching in the middle of the week
    or hanging out at coffee shops in the afternoon. I’m literally running meetings
    or building power points.
  • What you don’t see on Instagram is that I don’t cook and I don’t prioritize the time to learn how to… I literally live off salads and Trader Joes pre-made meals…
  • What you don’t see is me studying for the GMAT, taking the
    test, and me continuously questioning myself and my next steps. Oh and of
    course, applying for grad school. This was a whole process and experience for me to go through last year. 
  • What you don’t see is that I attended class once a week for
    9 months to get my marketing management certificate from the University of
    Washington.
  • What you don’t see is my getting up at 5am each day, walking
    my dog, working out at lunch, and writing in my free time.
  • What you don’t see is that I have dreams of planning an airshow one day and also dreams of being in front of a magazine cover.

Though I love creating beautiful content for you guys, I do want to be honest with you and share more often that my life does extend beyond my instagram feed.

Ingrid Goes West is a great reminder that our online
personas are not a whole representation of who we are.
 
 It’s also important to remember that we cannot replace them with real life
connections and friendships.

We are more complex and more beautiful in real life.
Our struggles and lessons of life that make us human are what also connect us.

Additionally as much as I love blogging and social media, Ingrid Goes
West personally reminded me that all the established bloggers I follow are real people – who also have mastered to curate a beautiful feed and tell a story online. Sometimes I get so caught up about feeling like I need to keep up with the other blogger around me or that I need to be doing more.

But I have to continuously remind myself why I love blogging, writing, and taking photos. My blog and Instagram allow me to express this passion. As long as I’m helping others or bringing new perspectives with the content I write and the photos I take, I’m happy.

In essence, this movie reminded me to stay grounded and honest with not only our
followers, but also ourselves. We don’t have to lose who we are or become
inauthentic in our journey to become #instafamous. 

Thank you for reading!

Love,
Emma

P.S. Ingrid Goes West is out in theaters on August 11th!

Photos: Miriam Subbiah