Episode #123: (MINI) Emma’s Life Map

Today, we are doing something a little bit different— Emma is sharing her life map (the story of her life and the things that shaped who she is).


You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

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Show notes:

Emma’s Life Map:

Kindergarten: this was her moment to be loud and entertain everyone around her, so didn’t do very well in school. 

3rd grade: there was a play at church (and she got the lead role) but turned it down because she felt that she shouldn’t want too much attention.

5th grade: started going to a new school and was really nervous but made new friends, which boosted her confidence.

Middle school: started making handmade jewelry and accessories and sold them at festivals. This was her first glimpse at running a business.

High school: participated in student government and was editor of her high school newspaper during her senior year.

First job: Dollar Tree

Second job: Papa Murphy’s Pizza

Other jobs – wedding photography with Elsie, selling videos on eBay, and working for Elsie, doing her Etsy shop support and shipping.

College: attended Missouri State University during the day and took evening classes at OTC

After college – moved to Los Angeles for 3 years to pursue acting, and was an extra on Mad Men and a bunch of other shows. Her favorite job in LA was cleaning apartments and houses. This is also where she first started her food blog.

Moved home – She continued her food blog and helped Elsie with her business and moved in with her parents to save to buy a house.

Leave a comment if you are interested in hearing the rest of Emma’s life map about her career at a Beautiful Mess!


Episode 123 Transcript

  • Just catching up and Yay A+ program!! Hah, is that a Missouri thing? It must be, I did it in high school, too!

  • Hi! I really want to hear more! I have been with you guys for a long (long time, Elsie’s scrapbooking blog) but I still want to hear you talk about it!

  • Definitely want to hear the rest of Emma’s story. I actually found you all through the podcast when John and Sherry of YHL recommended you all, so I don’t know about those early blog years.

  • I would love to hear more! I’ve been a long time reader but hearing highlights from your point of view would be very interesting!

  • More, Emma, more! I relate to you in so many ways, and I’d love to hear more!!! Big fan here- long time reader and I’ve devoured every podcast episode…

    • Agree! I know its very personal to talk about their religious past but I relate soooo much and always want more

  • Unfortunately not all of us podcast lovers are longtime followers, but even so, I think we can all agree that we would love to hear the rest!! ☺️

  • Just coming here to say I also would love to hear more of Emma’s life map from the last 10 years or so!! Loved this episode so much!

  • Wow, Emma! You have always been such a boss! Would looooove to hear how you channeled that energy in your early career.

  • Loved this episode! Always wondered what it was like for you in Cali : ) Also reaffirmed the idea in my head that we are so alike lol. I also cleaned houses in college and loved being alone all day haha. I’ve been following for so long but I still want to hear the rest! I love going back and hearing about the shop and the blog and remembering all that plus hearing behind the scenes is always so fun

  • Would love to hear more from your recent years. I am one of those people familiar with the Groundlings so thought that was very cool! I’d be interested in hearing more about that experience and maybe name dropping is lame, but if you went through the program or knew anyone that is now famous I would be intrigued haha.

  • We need Part II of Emma’s story! As a long time follower of ABM, I remembered Emma sharing her story of moving to LA in a blog post a few years ago. However, I enjoyed hearing the story again in podcast form waaaay more because you’re able to add so much more detail and tidbits that you might not have included in a blog post. So even though you feel it might be repetitive to tell the same story again, it would be really interesting to hear you talk about it in podcast form this time around!

  • I’m here for Emma round 2! Love hearing more personal glimpses and perspectives from you both!

  • Hi Emma!
    I really enjoyed listening to this episode and hearing more about your life. I can relate a lot to some of the things you said about being a hard working and saving money. I just feel like a kindred spirit to you in a lot of ways and it was lovely to hear more about your life. Thanks for sharing!

  • As w long time vlog read, I would still love to hear the rest of the story! It’s fun to hear your perspective and get a little peak behind the curtain. Thanks for the fun episode!

  • Holy sh*t Emma you were part of the Groundlings and an extra in Mad Men! How did we not know!? Amazing.
    Please share the second part of your life map!

  • I would be interested in hearing more. Telling a story from a different perspective or at a different time sometimes changes it a lot. If you’re up for sharing, Emma, I would happily listen.

    • That’s true. I guess even if a lot of listeners already know the story they might hear about some part from a different perspective I have now, or just more behind the scenes… that’s a good point.

  • Thanks so much for sharing this life map. My son just started 5th grade in a new school and joined student council. I loved hearing how that was a part of your life map and helped give you confidence and happiness. It made me excited for him because I also think he is growing a changing a lot this year in a good way. This episode really inspired me to make a life map for my kids and put it with my will so that they will see and understand important milestones in my life. I am sure your son will cherish listening to this episode someday. Cheers!

    • Wow! I love that idea. I would love to hear my parents’ life maps.

      5th grade was a big year for me, and really a lot of years after that until college. I am so grateful for the unconditional love I received from my parents during that stage of my life, and also for the good teachers and school friends I had. 🙂

  • I definitely want to hear more about Emma‘s life since joining A Beautiful Mess! Please do another mini episode like this!

  • I’d love to hear your assessment of the more recent years, Emma! It was definitely interesting hearing these more specific benchmarks from your growing up years, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • I would love to hear the rest as well. I am a long time reader. And actually I was on the fence of listening to this episode, because you already blogged about your time in L.A. and some life stuff. But I enjoyed listening so much and there where a lot of new details and views I didn’t know. It was just fun listening to you and your perspective from the present. So, yes to the rest! 😀

  • I want to hear more about your life map with your career after you started ABM! And, see a screenshot of you in madmen! Loved this episode so much!

  • EMMA! We need to see a screenshot of you in Mad Men!!

    I thought it was so funny to hear about the Papa Murphy’s youth group employment – this was totally a thing in our town with our youth group as well! I never worked there, but so many of my friends from youth group did.

    Also – Some of my friends and I are wedding photographers… who shoot film… in the present day. Ha! It’s still a thing, guys!

  • EMMA YOU WERE AN EXTRA ON MADMEN AND WE DIDNT KNOW?????? Please share a screenshot!!! What episode!! That is amazing!!

    • Loved hearing your life map, Emma! You’re an awesome woman! Love your scrappiness and killer work ethic! Would love to hear the rest!! 💖

    • It’s funny because honestly I think that made a bigger impression on Elsie and than me. Ha. It was a cool experience but not really that big of a thing. Most of my friends at the time worked as extras on pretty much everything that was being made in LA then… so it was just really normal. Kind of mundane really.

  • I LOVED this and found it so fascinating. I want to do a life map myself and think this type of reflection is so insightful.

    PLEASE share what episode
    /scene you were an extra in for Mad Men. I’m a diehard Mad Men fan and gasped when you talked about being an extra.

    • Emma, would love to hear rest of story! I actually found you all through the podcast (yes, probably backwards from everyone else) so actually a more recent fan!

    • You should make your own life map! It’s an interesting exercise and you might surprise yourself with all you’ve learned and accomplished thus far.

  • I want to hear the rest of your career at A Beautiful Mess!! Love this podcast. It gets me so excited for Monday mornings! 😊

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