So, How Was Your Day?
Fried egg on toast, salted/peppered. A few berries. Huge glass of water. Small decaf iced coffee.
Platter of cheese, almonds, tomatoes, carrots, apple slices, pita chips and hummus. More water, and lots of it.
Caprese salad. Spinach and goat cheese pizza. More water.
The alarm clock (aka baby monitor) sounds and I’m awakened by my 6-month-old daughter scratching at the sheets of her crib mattress. She babbles for a few minutes, then her talk turns louder as she lets me know she’s ready to play. I leave my husband and two dogs in bed and pad over to her nursery to start our day. I change her diaper and nurse her, then we head into the kitchen for breakfast. She sits on the kitchen counter and plays with her favorite toy (a wooden spatula) as I cook and read my emails aloud to her from my phone. After I’m finished eating, I leave my phone in the kitchen and we head to the spare bedroom for a good hour of uninterrupted, tech-free playtime: crawling, bouncing, singing, eating blocks and chewing stuffed animals. It’s fairly quiet, just Bee and me. She tires quickly so I lay her down for her morning nap. I then head to the office to answer emails and plan my day. She naps for an hour or so, and then we start the cycle all over again, sheet-scratching and all.
My husband wakes up (he’s a night owl) and takes over baby duty while I shower, prep some lunch and head into our office to start my work day. I draft a few articles, answer emails, distract myself with Twitter and take breaks throughout the day to feed and smooch the baby. She’s in that fun, squishy stage where she smells like perfection and Skittles. Today I squeeze in a few calls: (1) With a snap manufacturer in Los Angeles to order custom color samples for a baby onesie line I’m designing, and (2) With a European content creator to discuss an upcoming keynote presentation I’m giving this summer. More Twitter distractions, some mindless Instagramming, some lengthy blog post edits and a few additional email responses before my husband calls me in for dinner.
Enjoy a quiet dinner with the husband and baby, which generally includes taking turns feeding Bee avocados and re-capping our days. Tonight, I head back to the office to tie up a few loose ends while my husband gets Bee ready for bed. He calls me when it’s bedtime and we head back to the nursery for her last feeding and some cuddle time. After Bee goes down for the night, my husband and I go through our nightly ritual of The Decision: (1) Watch an episode of Fringe? or (2) Enjoy a sauna? (My husband just built the most decadent Finnish sauna out of a spare closet in our bathroom.) Tonight, Sauna wins and we chat until our fingers prune and the steam fogs the door. I head to bed early to prep for another quiet, early morning with Bee, and Ken heads out to the office to edit a film he’s working on. He tucks me in with the dogs and I drift to sleep in 2 minutes or less.
Three Last Things…
What’s up with your dreamy porcelain skin? Your skin products, please.
Oh gosh, this is so hilarious because I have the most problematic skin in the universe. Everything breaks me out (I think the latest discovery is dairy, but I’m not willing to forgo cheese), so I’m constantly changing up my skincare regimen. Right now I’m using a combination of jojoba oil as a make-up remover, Neutrogena deep clean facial cleanser and Dermalogica skin smoothing cream. I also use shea moisture body wash and am obsessed with EO’s lotion for my legs/arms. And, of course, my #1 skin product is Photoshop.
2. You made a commitment this year to join the slow blogging movement. What was your tipping point to take a step back and let your ideas marinate?
I think after you become immersed in any job for so many years, you start to lose the why of it all. Blogging became very plug-and-play, and I hated that I was following the same formula for generating content and producing posts. It was becoming easy and old and tiring, and I wanted to jump-start my creativity again. So I returned to my roots - the reason I started blogging, which was to focus on discovery and ideas and sharing. As a result, I’m less concerned about posting daily and more concerned with whether I’m inspired at the very moment I hit “publish.” It’s been an amazing change - I feel invigorated by the idea that I can sit down for the day and have no idea what I want to share with the world, and I find that I’m letting my thoughts and imagination dictate the content I’m publishing, rather than what I have planned in my editorial calendar.
I think, too, that when you’re constantly searching for the next big trend or designer or product, you lose the magic that comes with truly connecting with the product or person you’re sharing. I’ve so enjoyed interviewing artists/designers again and truly listening to their stories. It’s been an incredible inspiration for me to hear of the struggles they’re overcoming daily. It’s nice to allow myself the time to ruminate over an in-depth concept, rather than trying to summarize and condense it as fast as I can so I can move onto the next post. It’s like a slow feast of flavors, rather than a quick trip to the drive-in. I’m so thrilled with the pace.
3. Your mission is to uncover “how design can change the world”. What designs have had the biggest impact on your life since you started Design For Mankind?
Oh man, choosing one piece/concept is so hard, but I find myself continually thinking of this infographic journal project even though it’s been nearly a year since I uncovered it: the Infographic Journal by Merel Brouns. I just can’t help but think how much better our world would be if we all took a moment to truly reflect on our days in this fashion - from the mundane to the groundbreaking. What sort of things would we realize about ourselves? There are so many minute behaviors and habits that we sweep under the rug, but by documenting everything about our days, the proof is in print. How might this motivate us to make positive changes in an effort to live a life that’s [quite literally] note-worthy? An inspiring thought, yes?
Erin lives in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. She is a writer, speaker, stylist, and consultant. Erin’s work has been featured in Glamour, Lucky, Dwell, Nylon, Apartment Therapy, and The Huffington Post. Her blog, Design For Mankind, was named one of the “top 50 design blogs in the world” by the London Times. designformankind.com designforminikind.com