My Basement Studio Space

If you’re looking for a crispy white Pinerest worthy studio space that’s perfectly organized with an abundance of gorgeous natural daylight, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you’re looking for real life, nitty gritty, true hustler life, THAT I can do for you.

My studio spaces have evolved over the years from bins under my bed in my dorm room to a spare bedroom in my parents basement to a corner space in my tiny loft apartment. That being said, I’ve also picked up several new hobbies over the last couple of years including sewing, scrapbooking, and of course pom earrings so my arsenal of craft crap is halfway to crazy.

So when we moved to the Primary House I was a little nervous about where I’d be able to put everything. Like everything else that didn’t have a place anywhere else in the house (including extra clothes and workout equipment) it found a home in the basement. Cement walls and all. While it’s not the most glamorous space in the world, it’s where all the magic happens – lookin at you atomic poms.

My desk is a folding plastic table, not a crisp write Anthropologie find. My chair is not a pink velvet midcentury beauty, it’s a $10 folding chair from Target. But, the best things started in unlikely places like this. Amazon, Google, Vera Bradley, Mattel, and Disney all started in a garage. This is my beginning and it’ll be a great story to tell. Until then, the cement cellar I go!

Grab your very own pair of atomic poms here. Sign up for my newsletter and get 20% off your purchase!

18 Things I Learned in 2018

2018 has been one hell of a year, let me tell you. It has pushed me outside of my comfort zone in ways I couldn’t even imagine. On NYE last year, I sat at a bar in downtown Milwaukee with some friends and thought about what I’d like to accomplish for the year. I was still living with my parents and at a job that was eating me alive. I felt drained creatively and absolutely positively stuck. I looked at Jake and I said, “If we’re still where we are this time next year, we’ve got some major issues.” So we made the change and created a year full of changes and and teeing up for our best year yet. Its been “End of an Era” and “Out with the old in with the new” year. Here’s 18 things I’ve learned in 2018…

  1. You’re not stuck. If you’re unhappy, make a change. F*** what people think.
  2. Invest in your creativity and self love above everything else.
  3. Living alone will teach you more about yourself than you ever imagined.
  4. Comparison is the most toxic chemical. Period.
  5. Talk about your mental health – I can’t stress this enough.
  6. Quitting a job is the most terrifying and liberating thing in the world.
  7. I can’t do diets or workout plans. Been there, tried that. F*** it.
  8. If your squad isn’t on your same frequency, you need a new squad.
  9. If you don’t ask, the answer is always “NO”
  10. If it’s not a “Hell YES” it’s a “NO”
  11. It’s OK to dish a big unapologetic “NO” if your plate is too full.
  12. Money comes and goes. Pay your bills. Get shit done. Period.
  13. Set aside time to be creative or you will never have time to be creative.
  14. Send more handwritten Thank You cards.
  15. Call your mom – and other people you love for that matter.
  16. The only way to get through loss is to feel your way through it.
  17. Do something everyday that scares you. – Thank you Eleanore Roosevelt.
  18. Never stop hustling. At the end of the day you’re all you’ve got. Push yourself to reach your potential.

Now…for 2019. Bring it on. My montra “Have grace with yourself” because I’m not perfect. I read this amazing quote on Pinterest- “Grace works best on messy people.” The pressure to be perfect is real. Sh*t is gonna hit the fan and that’s ok. I’m gonna mess up and that’s ok too. Get ready for the most pomTASTIC, authentic, and colorful year yet. 2019, I am READY for you!

5 Things We’ve Learned From a Long Distance Relationship

I didn’t believe in love at first sight until he walked into comm class with this longboard and worn out Bon Jovi T-shirt. I was the creepy secret admirer crushing hard in the back of the class and trying to keep it suave. Months later, he asked me to do a watercolor portrait as a gift for his mom and boom, I had the “in”. It took about a year of figuring out how we’d make the distance work before finally making it official. Now fast forward two years and it’s safe to say we’ve learned a thing or two.


They say “distance makes the heart grow fonder” and while that is true, distance also makes the heart grow sick and effing tired. Let me tell you, we’ve learned a lot about making this work over the last two years and it has not been easy. As we celebrate our second anniversary, I wanted to reflect on 5 things we’ve learned from being in a long distance relationship.


Communication is everything – Yep…super cliche. You hear it all the time. But be honest and vulnerable at always. Having a bad day? Tell them. Oh…and don’t text an argument. Read that again. You want to post up and fight about something? Call or facetime immediately and talk it out.


Make Plans – You both need something to look forward to. Visits, trips, and weekend getaways make the distance easier to digest. Create timelines. Work through future plans and most importantly, figure out a plan of attack of when and how you’d like to be in the same place.


Be honest about your love languages – Physical connection is obviously out of the equation here. So how can you love someone from a distance? Surprise date nights. Letters. Care packages. Send surprise flowers. Phone calls. Send periodic selfies, stupid memes or even a song that makes you think of them. Sometimes it’s the little things.


Stop comparing your relationship – This will sink your ship faster than you can blink. You’ve got friends that are living together? Know people that are planning their wedding? Everyone on your facebook feed getting engaged? Great. You’ve got your own empire to build. Your time will come. Be patient. This one gets me every. Damn. Time.


Be honest about the future – It goes without question. If you’re not driving on the same street you might as well turn around and go the other way. If commitment freaks you out, be open to having the conversation about it. What are your biggest fears looking ahead 5, 10, 20, or 30 years? You don’t have to talk about what you’ll name your kids. As a team, talk through where you’d like to be physically, financially, and emotionally. Be open and honest about what you’re truly afraid of no matter how silly you think it is. Its most important to face these fears together as a unit and not on two separate islands. 

Jake, thank you for going on this journey with me. The thousands of miles on the road, too much money on tolls, and hours driving are worth it. You are my safe place and my oasis. The water to my fire and my favorite thing to look forward to.


Photography by Anna Marie Photography! Visit her site! This girl is a ray of sunshine and truly captures the most beautiful moments.


Authentically YOU

Dear You,

I know you’re struggling to find what is “authentically you.” You’re probably feeling lost. Maybe you’re feeling like there’s no way you could ever stand out in this overwhelming crowd of perfection.You could be feeling like you don’t know what you’re called to do. I know you’re feeling like you can’t figure out who you really are through all the noise. I know you don’t know what your next steps should be. You find yourself reading quotes on Pinterest like “Just be yourself.” But you’re like…ok but how though?!  

I also know you’re not alone. Because…ME TOO.

This season has brought on a lot of trials, questions, tears, and triumph. I’ve had to unpack and refocus to figure out who I really am at my core and what makes me happy. Am I ready to write down an elevator pitch of who I am? Nah…not yet. But I can tell you I’m working through it and finding my way through the noise.

First, I wanted to get down to the basics and build a foundation. This is not a quick process. Nor is it an easy or sparkly process. But these are the things that have helped ground me in what makes me who I am.


People: You are a product of the 5 people you surround yourself with. Who makes you feel creative, loved, and important? Who fills your cup? When you leave a conversation, do you feel drained or did they breathe light into you? Who supports you no matter what season you’re in? Who understands your greatness and pushes you to be your greatest self? Make a list of those people. That is your support squad. Mom, Jake, Corissa, Masy, Anna, Marissa. I love you.


Places: Think of a safe place. This could be a place you’ve traveled to, a place that comes to you in your dreams, or a place you’ve never been before. Where do you feel at peace? That is your safe space. When you’re feeling lost, take your mind back there to rest. You owe yourself rest. My safe place? The guest bedroom in my grandparents house. It’s a cloud bed with a beautiful linen smell.


Things: I don’t mean material things. Make a list of things that make you happiest. I don’t are what it is. The smell of rain, a show on netflix, someone’s laugh, or your favorite colors. Make a list. There is a reason these things make you happy. I keep lists on my phone and in a physical moleskin journal that I carry with me. I also collect things that make me happy on Pinterest and instagram archives to keep me inspired. It sounds silly but I will scroll through those things as reminder of the lens at which I see the world. You will start to see a pattern. This is not an accident.


Keep pushing through this journey of being authentically you because the world needs you. But most importantly remember you’re not alone.

Inspiration Station

Sometimes I get the funk. I’m not talking groovy “Brick House” “Boogie Wonderland” funk. I’m talking the overwhelming daze of monotony and loss of inspiration. I can’t seem to get my creative juices flowing, imposter syndrome takes over and it feels like I couldn’t possibly dig myself out. So I’ve created a list of 20 things that keep my motor running on this hot mess express. All aboard!

My squad – Holy sh*t. I am so blessed. I am surrounded by a squad of badass ladies who are all hustling in their own ways. Each of them are so unique and beautiful inside and out. I never realized the importance of having a support squad and now I couldn’t imagine my life without them. I could go on and on!


Change – So much has happened in the last year. I can’t help but be inspired by change and the opportunities that come with it. Scary? Absolutely. But so so worth it.


My lovey love – Grossssss…I know. But he truly pushes me to be the best I can be in every way. He’s a dreamer (my sweet pisces) and he keeps me creative when I’m feeling blah. Plus he dresses up as a TRex with me. What’s not to love?

Polaroid image with dinosaur for lifestyle blog, Hey Allie

Painting – My escape and I don’t do enough of it. People get “runner’s high” I’m pretty sure I get “painter’s high” after a while…and no I don’t think it’s the fumes. Take a look at some of my work here


Pinterest – A no brainer and a little cliche. But honestly, it’s my go to place when I am in a funk. It’s the quick fix for inspiration. Check out my page here!


Girl Bosses – Women rule the world. Plain and simple. I can’t help but be inspired. #feminism. Cue Create & Cultivate, The Wing, Evolvher and so many more for girl boss inspo daily.


Art Museums – All of the greatness in one place. Every single piece is a portal into someone else’s perspective of the world that they created with their hands. How incredible is that?


New York City – I love New York City because nobody is there by accident. Every single person is there to hustle and find success. There is nothing more inspiring than that.


Antique Shops – My grandad owns an antique shop and I’ve been fascinated since I was little. Every single piece has a story behind it that we may never know.


Subways – Not like “Eat Fresh.” I’m talking crowded subway trains. So many people in one place living completely separate lives but somehow we’re all connected. Just think about all of those stories in a little tunnel underground.


My Little Brother – The kid is the most disciplined, amazing 20 year old I’ve ever met.  He half asses NOTHING and puts his heart into absolutely everything he does.


Mr. Kate – My ultimate creative muse. I absolutely love her and her vibe. Plus she’s a cat lover. I mean come on.


Jenna Kutcher’s “Goal Digger” Podcast – J Kutch and I both went to UWSP. We’re both photographers, and both met our beaus in Comm class at Point. All fangirling aside, she is such a powerhouse and bosslady inspiration.


Book stores – So you probably get it by now. I LOVE a good story. But who doesn’t? It connects us all and I can’t help but be inspired by being surrounded by amazing stories.


Fresh flowers – There is something about a bright bouquet of flowers that brings me so much joy. There are always fresh flowers on my kitchen counter. 


Coffee Shops – There’s something about the sound of the espresso machine, the smell of a fresh brew, and being surrounded by the hippest hipsters that keeps me feeling a little extra creative and inspired.


Instagram – Also cliche, I know. But there are so many accounts that I LOVE. So many amazing artists, creators, influencers, activists, etc. Pro top: Unfollow people that make you feel less amazing than you are. Nothing kills inspiration and creativity more than comparing yourself to someone else’s highlight reel. Also, the archive tool is the best thing everrrrr.


Brene Brown – I’m a sucker for a good self help book and Brene is no less than the queen. She knows how to stick it to you with a good amount of tough love and grace. Start with Daring Greatly and you’ll be hooked.


Street Art – Larger than life, absolutely stunning, and awesome backdrops for the gram. What can I say? I love going into a big city to see these giant pieces pumping some color into a concrete jungle.


Poetry – Again, something I don’t do enough of anymore. I love listening to poets hour their hearts out. I love hearing their hearts as I read their words on a page. Listen to one of my favorite spoken word poems here.


How do you stay inspired?

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Create & Cultivate – Windy City Edition

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It’s hard to believe it’s already been almost two weeks since the Create & Cultivate conference in Chicago! Being in a room full hundreds of passionate women was both incredibly humbling and inspiring. Not to mention hearing from #bossladies like Ashley Tisdale, Whitney Port, Alli Webb, Jennifer Hudson, Olivia Rink and sooooo many more! Create & Cultivate certainly knows how to over manage the details from the cocktail hour and the instagramble wall installations down to the stickers on the floors. It was a dream. Start to finish. 

I walked in feeling uncertain about what I really wanted Hey Allie to be and what I thought the brand needed to look like. I left feeling refreshed, inspired, and reassured that I do, in fact, have something to offer. Here are a few of my biggest takeaways from this amazing event: 

“You can never be anyone but your beautiful self.” – Koya Webb, Squad Up Panel Discussion

We hear it all the time. But for several months, I realized I didn’t know what that looked like anymore. I was so consumed with this vision of what I thought I needed to be or what I thought was be acceptable. I forgot to recognize what makes me “me.”


First, I picked out the most “Allie” outfit I could possibly come up with – a pair of high waisted pink trousers, a polka dot top, and pom earrings. I was in my truest form, but also so far out of my comfort zone. But then I found myself feeling so confident and getting compliments on my outfit throughout the day. Look good, feel good, do good. Right?


Authenticity is everything. Now, I never leave the house without first asking “Ok, is this the most ‘Allie’ that this outfit can possibly be?” I want to make sure I am always projecting my truest self. Polka dots, pink pants, poms and all.

“Start with what you’re passionate about and then focus on what works” – Unknown, How to Monetize panel

I started the conference without a clear direction. I kept asking myself: Should I just focus on  just photography? Do I want to be considered a fashion blogger? What about my art? How does this all fit together? Listen sister…my greatest takeaway was this: Just DO the damn thing. Then you can focus on what’s working.


“There’s a reason horses race with blinders on” – Alli Webb, Founder of @Drybar, Keynote 

The only thing standing between you and your dreams is the WORK. Nothing is going to get handed to you. You have to hustle. Focus on YOU and your brand first and foremost. Don’t get hung up on what other people are doing. 

“Collaboration Over Competition” – Create & Cultivate

We met and listened so many incredible powerhouse women this weekend and I wanted to take a second to give a shout out to some of them so you can check out their work too!

Masayo Madison, The Letter Bea, Kaitlin Claywell, Champagne Getaway, Inspo and Co. 

 While you’re at it, grab yourself a copy of “Work Party” by Jaclyn Johnson and “You’re Not Lost” by Maxie McCoy. Super excited about these reads! 






“Palms are Sweaty, Knees Weak, Arms Are Heavy…”

I am going to be that girl that celebrates the “First Dateaversary” because I worked pretty damn hard for a long time to snag a date with this hunk. I’d been swooning over Jake for several months….longer than I’m willing to admit on record. I was the girl that sat in the back of class and admired him from afar, a stone cold fan girl. But he still hangs out with me – WIN.

To celebrate two years of adventures, I thought it might be fun to get our perspectives on our first date and share them with you…so here goes nothin’!




Driving to Fort Atkinson, WI for my first date with Allie was full of all kinds of emotions. I was terrified, nervous, cautious, and thrilled. This was the girl I had been talking with for months and the girl I had always wanted get to know. I knew she was fun and I knew I liked her but I couldn’t stop thinking about what could go wrong.

What if she doesn’t like me? What if she doesn’t like the show? What if she notices I completely sweat through my deodorant already?

When I parked my heart was already pounding. I couldn’t wait to see her. We had both driven 45 min for this first date and we hadn’t seen each other in awhile. I got out of my car I could feel myself getting hot and breathing faster. Every step started to shake a little more than the last.

After walking in and enjoying our meal, I found myself lost in conversations and laughter. The whole vibe felt effortless. It was fun, exciting, and all feelings of nervousness and cautiousness melted away. I had to pretend to like the nasty raspberry dessert cheesecake because she lit up when the waitress brought it to us–later to find out she hates cheesecake just as much as I do!

I wasn’t in the best stages of health but she never mentioned it.. She didn’t look at it as a definitive feature of my presence but rather looked straight through it–right to the core. I thought to myself: “This girl is something special.”

As we walked back to our cars I was dreading the goodbye. I didn’t want it to end. One thing will forever stick in my mind though.

While we tried to drag out the farewell as much as possible, I will never forget her squealing in excitement looking at a small hill on the edge of the parking lot that was full with dandelions. I leaned against the hood of my car–trying to act cool like Danny Zuko from Grease– watching this girl dance through the flowers. She twirled and smiled at me. In that moment, I knew that I had just witnessed the beginning of an extraordinary adventure.



Two years ago today, I put on this exact little black dress and my favorite shoes to go on a first date with my dream guy. I’d spent hours picking out the perfect outfit. I tore every dress out of my closet and got a pep talk from my mom.


We had this date planned for almost two months. Jake had made all the arrangements at a dinner theater in Fort Atkinson, WI. I didn’t know what to expect. I had never even heard of the show Sister Act so I Googled the plot beforehand.

I sang to Aaron Carter (the first love of my life) at the top of my lungs on the drive there to drown out the nerves. I was absolutely terrified. I have about as much game as a toaster and I hadn’t been on a date in over a year.

He showed up in a suit that was a little too big and it was the sweetest thing. Who wears a suit on the first date?! (Fellas, if you want to impress a girl, you wear a suit on the first date.)

He looked at me with excitement and admiration in a way that nobody had ever looked at me before. He was kind, chivalrous, and had the most calming presence. He made me feel important and valuable. Instead of taking control of conversation, he asked about me and truly cared about the answers. It didn’t feel forced or awkward and there was never a shortage of conversation or laughs.

I don’t remember anything about the show or what was said. But by golly I got the guy…5 months later!

I knew long before our first date that he was my person. This is just the beginning.


My Momma and My Momma’s Momma

My momma and my momma’s momma (Nana) sat down over wine and talked about life and motherhood. I can think of no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than digging deep with laughs and even some tears. 


What is the best thing about being a mom?

MOM –  Seeing your kids becoming a better person than you are and more successful. Because that’s what you want as a parent.

NANA – I would have to agree. I think there’s incredible fulfillment in seeing your children become contributing high functioning human beings.

MOM – What I’ve learned from you guys that I wish I would have learned when I was younger is to follow your passion and somehow discover that before you’re middle aged. 


What was the hardest thing about being a mom? The most rewarding?

NANA- The hardest thing about being a mom is not feeling like you did everything that you could have done. Also dealing with your own measurements of your abilities as a mom. The most rewarding is seeing the fruits of your labor. Your kids don’t grow up to be good people by accident. They don’t just happen to become responsible, contributing, loving people. They’re formed into that.

MOM- The hardest thing is the worry. It doesn’t stop. I’ve heard that it’ll never stop. Sometimes you have to let your kids go through difficult times. I’ve learned with different experiences how much you get involved and how much you don’t.

NANA- And seeing your child in pain. Physical, emotional pain. It’s like someone’s cutting your arm off.


How did being a mom changed you?

NANA – For me, I became a mom so young that I don’t know who I am as an adult not being a mom. So I don’t know that I can say that it changed me. It’s just part of who I am.

MOM – I think it made me more focused and responsible and I had a purpose. But I always knew that I wanted to be a mom. But I always thought I would have three kids. Two boys and a girl.

NANA – Right. Me too. I just got an extra boy. Boys are less drama than girls, but harder to keep alive. (laughs)



As a mom, what was one of your most proud moments?

NANA – WOW I’ve had SO many. My cup runneth over if you will. My kids have made me proud in a million ways a million times.

MOM – I would agree. I can’t pick just one


Favorite motherhood story?

MOM – I don’t have a particular story but I think seeing the different personalities that you and Ryan have. You’re more outgoing but Ryan is a little more reserved. And then how you were into dance and choreography really young and that was it and you stuck with it. Ryan was so different. He would try everything and finally settled on football.

NANA – I definitely have favorite memories for each of my kids. There are so many funny stories that come to mind.


If you could go back to any decade, where would you go back and why?

MOM – I would say the 90’s. That’s when our family was born. It was just such a fun time. 

NANA- A lot of good things happened in the 90’s

MOM-  Even in the documentaries you watch, even in terms of world events it was pretty calm.

NANA- You got married, I got married, Allie was born, Rylee was born, Ryan was born. We built a house. The 90’s were good.

MOM – And we didn’t have phones. We didn’t have any money to speak of but it was good. We had so much fun. Lots of laughs. It just seems like life was a lot simpler then.


If you could go back and give advice to your 20 something self-what advice would you give?

MOM – I think I would have said a couple of things. Forget about the boys. Go off, go way to college, and travel. I couldn’t imagine going to New York City at age 20. It just never crossed my mind. I love the idea of traveling, I just hate flying. But I would say go out there. 

NANA – The grass isn’t greener. Nobody has the right to keep you in a place for their own convenience. Ask for help. 



So would you consider yourself a perfectionist and how do you deal with that?

NANA- I think I used to be a perfectionist. I used to be really hard on myself and really hard driving in every aspect of my life. Then life slapped me around a little bit. Now I just roll with it. I’ve adopted the “The world won’t end if I don’t do this perfectly.” I’ll do my best and it’s not worth killing myself over.

MOMMA- I try and focus on my goals and what I’m doing. I just try and reel it back in. Still definitely a perfectionist but I try and prioritize.


How do you stay inspired?

NANA – I’m mostly inspired by great ideas. Just innovative, great shit. It just energizes me. I love big thinking out-of-the-box shit that works. It’s gotta work though. If it doesn’t work then it’s not a great idea. Its intoxicating for me.

MOMMA – I have to say I’m kind of going through a period right now where I’m really trying to get that inspiration. I went through burnout. Massive burnout in the last two years. Now I’m kind of working on what inspires me now.

NANA – Sometimes that takes work and it’s really hard. You wouldn’t think so. But sometimes it takes some real soul searching.


Happy Mother’s Day to all the fabulous mommas out there!