Ebb and Flow

Welcome back! 

I’m sorry for the extremely long hiatus.. but like I said in the beginning.. I’m pretty bad at this stuff; so thanks for coming back, even though you were sorely tempted to not.


Recently I’ve been thinking about the ebb and flow of life. Everyone has a saying: Good (or bad) things come in 3’s; Life comes in tides; blah blah..  I also am aware that without the bad, difficult, trying, hard times, we wouldn’t appreciate the good times. But that doesn’t make those bad times any easier.


Admittedly, I am awful in tense or sad situations. I almost never know what to say, and if I do, it’s usually the wrong thing. But not a tragic event happened that I realized that even if people didn’t know what to say, their just being there made me feel immensely better. And now, as things are difficult for many people, I know that even if I don’t know what to say, being there and saying nothing is better then avoiding the situation in fears of making it worse. 


My whole family is very family-centered. The saying “You can’t choose family” does not apply to my family. Although every family has their things, mine always is so loving towards each other, and bands together, in the good times and the hard times. It is times like these that I am so so so so thankful for the family I am blessed with. 


Thank you all for your patience. I know that this post was short and somber, but I am promised that sunnier days are always around the corner, and promise the same to you. 






Open Ended Letter to Bad Drivers

Please feel free to add to this list in the comments.. but for some reason, people have been driving like MANIACS lately.. this letter is for all of those people, to hopefully make them less obnoxious, or potentially empower them to not be lead-footed, lane weaving, rude, oblivious, jerk-a-poo’s.


Dear Bad Drivers,


1. You will read this and either say, “I am not a bad driver” OR you will read this and say, “Maybe you just drive like a grandma, you deserve it!” If you think/say either of these things.. you are probably a bad driver. A circle of hell is reserved for you, where you will be forever trapped behind a small, elderly lady driving 25 mph in a 65 mph zone, one lane, no chance of passing– good luck with that.


2. Some bad drivers are born that way.. some bad drivers learn their habits:

  • Born: Some people are just born too nervous, too anxious, whatever, and it leads to them being a bad driver. These people often drive WAY to slow (or in some cases, too fast) and make decisions only because they have run out of time to make the CORRECT decision. Example: If you aren’t sure whether or not there is enough time for you to make a turn into already moving traffic without getting hit.. THEN DON’T GO! WAIT! STOP! DEFINITELY don’t roll hesitantly into the lane with fast-moving traffic, get halfway there and then decide it was a bad idea, stop, and then either cause a crash, oncoming traffic to slam on their brakes, etc. The second worst thing to do once you are stopped in the middle of the lane is to try to back up with other cars behind you.. yeah, you made that pickle.
  • Learned AND Born: Jerk drivers. These people weave in and out of lanes, through heavy traffic, with no blinkers, at high speeds, cut people off within inches, and just expect everyone to get out of their way. YOU are Grade-A jerk. Under no circumstances are you that important and you are literally putting HUNDREDS of people in danger. Knock it off.
  • Mostly Learned: College drivers. These people get their own category because they do SO MANY things that are just awful. From fighting over parking spots (legitimate fist fighting in some circumstances… a fair amount of pushing.. flipping the bird.. etc.), driving 50 mpg in a parking lot, cutting people off on purpose, generally ignoring ALL rules of driving, etc. Basically these people learn from other bad drivers that anywhere remotely close to campus is a vehicle shark tank– eat or be eaten. THIS IS DUMB. Drive like a sane person and then you won’t have to call your parents and make up some stupid story about how you “sneezed and hit a divider in the parking garage” when really you came in so hot on that parking spot you couldn’t stop in time (REAL STORY, overheard in the library).
  • Probably Learned: College drivers, Part 2. Although these people aren’t IN cars, their behavior would make their MOTHERS CRY! For some reason, college pedestrians (particularly on campus, or college age humans that have just come from campus and are now spreading their stupidity downtown/etc.) have absolutely no self-preservation. Now, I do understand that pedestrians have the right of way… but honestly these people play BLIND chicken, with moving vehicles, and then pretend not to notice. When I walk up to a crosswalk, I stop, look both ways, and if the coast is clear, I walk– that’s how it should be. College pedestrians see a crosswalk, barrel at it as fast at their backpack carrying legs can muster, plough head-first into it without looking at all, and NEVER EVEN LOOK UP to see if they could possibly have been hit by someone not paying attention or someone with road rage, etc. They just blindly step out, into moving traffic and TRUST AWFUL COLLEGE DRIVERS not to hit them. NOT a chance I’m willing to take. If you don’t value your body from the waist down, fine by me. But I DO value my bumper, so get your nose out of your iPhone for one second before you jump into a crosswalk, mmmkay!? (Note to all mothers: PLEASE SAY SOMETHING TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT THIS… SERIOUSLY!!!!!)
  • Born: Oblivious Drivers. Now I’m sure you’ve run across people like this in life, but put these people in a car, and you’ve got yourself a problem. Changing lanes without looking, casually running lights because they forgot to look at what color the light is, starting a left-hand turn in one lane to end up in the other, backing out of parking spots without checking for traffic, you know what I mean. Take a look around, person! The world exists around you, and you are not in a protected bubble that just magically takes care of you– you are probably leaving a trail of swerving, honking, swearing drivers in your wake because they were paying attention and you weren’t!


3. If you have ever done any of these things.. have no fear. You are curable. Bad driving is not a lifelong sentence. Be NICE while driving, watch out for yourself AND others. Stay calm and realize: you will still get wherever you are going even if you don’t drive 130 mph. And PLEASE keep in mind that a ton of people could end up hurt from one person’s bad driving! Not worth it people! 


❤ E

WHEW, I feel better 🙂

Wildflower Recap!

Ok, ok, I know I’ve been word-vomiting Wildflower happiness for like two weeks now! Well, after I get it all out of my system (during this post, obviously), we will move on to the NEXT triathlon and you’ll forget all about Wildflower!


Start at the beginning: I literally started actually training in the beginning of April; not my brightest idea. Honestly, I work hard once I’ve set my mind to something, so it didn’t end badly.. but I would NOT recommend that as a training plan for anyone.

I literally spent every day from April 2nd right up until the race on May 4th riding my bike, running, swimming, or some combination of the three.


My strongest of the three, just from prior experience, is swimming. I swam and played waterpolo and there is no viable way for me to fall down, so obviously this is my most natural habitat besides sitting on a horse. I swam more then the required length of the race in practice, and thoroughly enjoyed the swim leg of the race. It was obvious I was more comfortable in the water the a majority of the other athletes, and besides dodging slower swimmers and an occasional ankle grab, I finished easily, without tiring myself out.


There isn’t much general strategy to swimming laps in preparation for this type of triathlon. JUST SWIM. DO IT. No matter how cold the water is, how much you don’t want to. Triathletes, by their own admission, struggle most in the swim. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be, and it will be even easier if you KNOW that you can swim the distance without over-exerting yourself. Avoid panic and anxiety by doing your homework: swim.

One small note of advice: Don’t expect to have a calm, leisurely swim in the actual triathlon. There will be ump-teen people swimming at all different speeds, in all different directions (seriously, ALL different directions). It is impossible to not get kicked, touched, bumped into. The more comfortable you are in the water- and holding your own, if need be- the easier and more relaxing it will be.

Also: Use mostly arms to swim. Your legs will be working HARD for the rest of the triathlon. By using a mostly-arm stroke (such a freestyle or backstroke) you warm up your legs kicking a little but you don’t tire them out to the detriment of the rest of the Tri.


Swim is completed, on to the bike.

Again, I anticipated my late training start to hinder me more in my biking then it actually did. I increased my bike miles from 6-10 over 2 weeks and then focused on cursing up the large hills around my neighborhood. Now, I legitimately was cursing up these hills, but it ABSOLUTELY paid off. The majority of the Wildflower bike course is a 3 mile hill. That is ridden TWICE. Talk about a bun-burner. Although my chain fell off my bike THREE times, I made it without incident and loved every minute of it.


Biking is an interesting part of the triathlon. There is every level of rider on the lower level, sprint courses. From serious mountain bikers, to road bikers, to the occasional beach cruiser, every bike is different, as is every rider. The most important thing to say about the bike is WATCH OUT FOR OTHER RIDERS!! Because of the huge range in skill levels, crashes are lurking everywhere. DO NOT follow too closely!!! If the person in front of you crashes, you need time to account for going around them, without hitting other people doing the same. The same applies to hills; following closely might seem competitive, but if the person in front of you burns out and there is not enough time/room for you to pass, you’re stuck walking too. Again, like the swim, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If you are regularly riding 10 hilly miles, then one 10-mile ride won’t be too much of a sweat, whereas if you ride 6 miles regularly, at a leisurely pace, you still might make it, but exponentially more tired then if you had trained properly.


The run.

Normally, I LOATHE running. Hate it. Only run if something is chasing me, thank you very  much. But I surprised myself. Not only was it nice to see my fitness increase noticeably during runs, but the 2-or-3-a-day workouts got my body used to going from one thing to the other– this meant that I had WAY more energy then I anticipated when I was done with the bike. I admittedly didn’t run the ENTIRE portion, but I felt great and sprinted to the finish line, which was exhilarating!


In training, the same thing goes for length of training. I should have started earlier, and would recommend others to do so (duh). Know your course– If its flat, awesome, but if its hilly, train that way or you’ll be in for a rude, tiring, awakening when it actually comes down to it. Also, be aware of your running style. Amping up running can create body problems just from the wrong pair of shoes, so make sure you aren’t creating problems for yourself! It pays to make sure everything fits and works properly!


All in all, I had an AWESOME time!

I met all my goals (Finish, don’t crash, don’t barf), even my secret ones (finish under 2 hours– I finished in 1:48!), and I look forward to doing more triathlons in the future!! …. Maybe the Olympic at Wildflower next year?? …Maybe.

My next goals are to do the Santa Maria Triathlon in June and the SLO Triathlon in July!


Happy Trails!

❤ E

Random thoughts.. List

So at the beginning of each day, I make a list. Of things to do, projects to finish, appointments for the day, errands.. etc.

Sometimes, however, random things end up on the list.. Or I just lump all random things into one list. That’s what happened today. Here it is:


  • Retrieve missing bucket from unruly horses
  • Do laundry!
  • Check on impending arrival of Polar Heart Monitor (VERY EXCITED for this..)
  • Make Blackberry+Meyer Lemon Gin & Tonic (Recipe here)
  • Find a series of related objects to redesign the packaging of (the wicked never TRULY rest)
  • Paint my toenails
  • Get awesome toe shoes from Big 5 (preferably in pink)
  • Pull manes on Razzy and Arnie
  • Grow an Avocado tree from an Avocado pit
  • Make T-Shirt with skull cut into the back (for intimidation after I whiz past people slowly pass people during Wildflower)
  • Make and fly a Dragon kite
  • Bedazzle a collar for Lila
  • Find a cute new swimmin suit.. (I really want to get one of those cool fringe-y ones..)
  • Find someone suitable to write Bio’s for the “Equestrian” section of this site (taking applications…)
  • Wear my glasses more (now, don’t go thinking “Sweet Baby Jesus, this girl just admitted to living her life blindly, constantly putting others in danger!” Truth is, I wear contacts but am self-conscious in my glasses, but they are beautiful and shouldn’t go unused just because I’m a weenie)
  • Leave a notepad in my car– for people who deserve rude notes, kind notes, etc.
  • Plan Crossfit schedule for after Wildflower
  • Convince Significant Other to come to Crossfit
  • Find another potential Triathlon to strive for
  • Make silly hat


Just a few of the strange thoughts that cross my mind during the day. Feel free to comment with some that you find yourself thinking!

Hopefully, I will have time tomorrow and Friday to post, but will definitely be updating again on Sunday, after the Tri. So, Until then, Happy Travels!


❤ E

Oops… I’m Baaaaacckkk!

Soooo.. like I said.. a bit hard for me to post every day…

I sincerely THOUGHT about posting.. but there are a lot of other things taking priority right now!


Thought Thoughts for the Day:


1. I am very pleased with my fitness progress lately. I have NOT been slacking in that area, which helps with everything else, strangely. Getting up at 6:30 is not NEARLY as hard as it used to be, and I am definitely noticing the changes in my fitness, strength, and body! I heard a statement yesterday about how 1/3 of all women are on a diet. Honestly, I don’t consider myself on a diet (although I am in the process of modifying my eating habits, I do not consider myself on a diet because I am not restricting myself from eating bad things, I am just working on choosing and making GOOD things!). Apparently only 1/4 of guys are on a diet… That is A LOT of people on diets!! 

One thing I have learned on my quest for better health (not that you asked) is that if I eat correctly (non-processed foods, making food at home instead of going out, looking for healthy options when I DO go out) I don’t miss unhealthy food at all. I used to hide behind the “I’m not going to limit myself from eating certain things because then I’ll just want them more” statement.. but what I have REALLY learned is that while I still will have chocolate or cheese or butter (mmmm.. butter!), I need to balance that out with healthy food too.. which I have really come to enjoy. 

Alright, alright. Fitness, blah, blah, blah.. Everybody’s doing it…. WELL THEY SHOULD BE!!


AND my very first Triathlon is this Saturday! Wildflower should be really fun and tiring! But I am really looking forward to getting out there and doing it, and seeing my parents who will also be participating!! 


2. 6 units of Design classes gives me just as much trouble as 22 units of G.E. and Design classes! Who knew! Here I was thinking “Oh, awesome, 6 units. Relaxing last quarter!”… NOT!!! While admittedly.. it isn’t the hardest quarter I’ve ever had, it does have a lot of moving parts that I have to keep track of! Package design.. sketching, building, sketching, designing, comping, building, finalizing.. Portfolio.. sketching, arranging, re-arranging, re-re-arranging, deleting, starting over, arranging, re-arranging… Graduation.. CANNOT forget about graduation… you get where I’m going here. 

Only 6 more weeks to go, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting the days.. 


That’s about all I can think of right now.. Not super exciting, I’m sure. 

But hopefully you’ll come back tomorrow for more! Because I’ll be here all week!

WordPress Stress

Getting to know you me business:

Although I am slightly uncomfortable writing to what might end up being no one.. I think a slight introduction to finding myself here is needed..

So, the original reason for this blog site is for a senior-level Portfolio class at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I am graduating in June, and would ideally love for this to be the witty site I send people to to preview my work and sense of humor. However, upon making it, I am experiencing a minor anxiety attack, trying to think of ways to keep readers entertained while still maintaining design-y posts and of course being hip and slightly sarcastically funny. I know– quite the chore!!

For now, I’ll probably be updating this page with project progress, final work, interesting design problems and solutions, and general life-of-a-designer business (such as my embarrassing love for paper– and my ever-patient significant other, conceding to give me my own shelf of paper samples, swatch booklets, strips of excess paper I MIGHT use one day and other “clutter”).

Day 1: What the heck do I talk about?!

I find myself thinking that a blog is a scary beast to tackle. Not only because it requires a surprising amount of thought and consideration for posting, but because like most college-age humans, I am very, very bad at maintaining something like this. Almost a mutant, I rarely update my Facebook page (Wild Horse Designs), and in fact, mostly just use it as a photo storage facility to rummage through if need be. Twitter (@emily_hollis) is the same way.. I have one, and use it infrequently, mostly because the only person who reads what I “tweet” is me!

One social media avenue I do thoroughly enjoy is Instagram (@emilyhollis)! It is a pleasant way to post interesting pictures without having to get annoyingly specific about captions, content, etc. I have a fair amount of followers and choose who I follower depending on what suits me at the time (right now I’m on a mission to become fit, fast, and triathlon-ready, so there’s a fair amount of fitness motivation going on in my feed).

So.. In a round-about way.. I will by trying to mix my photo-friendly Insta-sensation pictures with some witty, lyrical genius.

Tune in daily (goal!) for a designer’s stream of consciousness about finding her way in the world!