So, How Was Your Day?
Oatmeal with strawberries and banana. Large cappuccino at my desk.
Arugula salad with artichokes, ham, Swiss cheese, hot yellow peppers, and olive oil & red vinegar dressing. Chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s.
Homemade pizza with fresh sliced peaches and basil on top. Peach stuffed with cinnamon and butter baked in a pastry crust.
I’m groggily awake at 7am on the dot, to the sounds of “mama! mama!” being insistently said from the next room over. I pick up my 20 month old and wander out to the living room. While she drinks her morning milk, I swish coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes (apparently it removes the toxins from your body that gather in your mouth while you sleep). My husband returns from his morning run and jumps in the shower while I try and wake our 4 year old (it’s like waking a grumpy teenager) who somehow found her way into our bed in the middle of the night and never left. Morning is a whirlwind of walking the dog, gathering supplies for daycare, snacks and water bottles for the walk, and then finally out the door (after repeated returns for items we’ve forgotten). We have a fifteen-minute walk uphill to their daycare. Then my husband and I walk back downhill to the subway, we freeze in the air-conditioned train, he gets off a few stops before me and I eagerly take out my Kindle for the remainder of my trip. I’m usually so engrossed in whatever I’m reading (right now: the Outlander series) that I almost miss my Union Square stop.
Lunch is put off because I get distracted by an author’s manuscript, it needs major reorganization, and I realize I still have to write my presentations for the launch of our next season’s books – which is happening next week. I look at photographers’ portfolios for a cookbook shoot that I need to hire for and place some calls. I read proposals, get excited about new authors coming in to the house, and get to see the first printed copy of a book I’ve worked on for two years (it’s the best part of this job). I have to drag myself away from my desk to walk outside. I work in Chelsea, which is the best neighborhood for walking, taking photographs, and getting lunch, but I still have to force myself to stand up and leave the building. A walk on the High Line or through Chelsea market sounds amazing, but I’ve delayed too long and settle instead for a quick walk over to the Union Square farmers market to pick up tomatoes for tonight’s dinner.
I pick my girls up from daycare at 5:45pm and head to a nearby park to let them run off steam for an hour. Convincing them to leave takes some master manipulation and dire threats. Dinner is a messy affair and the dog eats most of it under the table. After the children are asleep, my husband and I eat a quiet meal together. We watch a favorite show, share a forbidden dessert, and then decide who is awake enough to walk the dog. Then I settle in for a long night of some ridiculous reality tv shows, photo editing, reading, and blogging. My husband goes to bed around midnight, but I’m up for a few hours more catching up with my favorite sites. Writing my own blog based on my love of other blogs means I have to read over 1,000 design and cooking posts a day to find my favorites – luckily I’m a speed-reader. I look out the windows as the lights wink out one by one in the buildings around me and as I lower the blinds I can see the top of the George Washington Bridge blinking. I collapse gratefully into bed around 1:30am and listen to the sounds of rain on my phone to fall asleep.
Three Last Things…
1. What’s up with the serious morning face? There is some major contemplation happening in this photo…and some major side eye from your dog.
Ha! Well I think I look best from the side, and I thought it would be strange if I was smiling out the window at nothing. To be honest, I was trying to get a minute to myself that morning, the dog wanted to be walked, the girls wanted to be fed, and I just wanted to look out the window for a second. Morgan (the dog) is giving you that baleful look because that camera was in her face and she hadn’t gotten to go to the bathroom yet. If I don’t take a second to remember where I live every morning, then I’m afraid I’ll forget and not appreciate the city.
2. Between your site The Curator and your work at Abrams, you are a master at collecting, editing, and presenting beautiful information. Where did this passion start?
Thank you so much. I started the blog when I was on maternity leave with my second child. I was already reading over 100 style and food blogs daily and annoying my husband with recaps of my favorites every night. He suggested I start a site where I curate the best of the best in interior design, fashion, and cooking posts. I found it a great outlet to improve my writing, as well as store all of the recipes, home projects, and outfits I want to try out. When other people started reading and chiming in, I couldn’t have been happier. I had friends who wrote blogs, and it was something I’d never thought about before. I waffled about it for months because I felt like I couldn’t tap into a really personal idea - above all I wanted the site and writing to be unique. Then I realized I should just write about what I know, which is my love of other sites! Sometimes I get very overwhelmed with the amount of information coming in, but I am a major scanner when I read, it’s what helped me read entire books on my lap at the dinner table as a child. And I totally get frustrated sometimes, I see a lot of the same stuff out there repeated on a lot of blogs. So when I find those creative individuals doing something different I want to celebrate them. The site has also helped a lot with my job because I see a huge future with bloggers becoming authors - it’s now become a way for me to find incredible Abrams authors.
3. You see a lot of blogs turned into books. Reverse it. Choose three books that you wish were blogs.
I love this question! I never get to reverse it. (1) I just finished The Paris Wife, which follows the life of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway’s first (and most important) wife. I found her side of the sordid story fascinating, and would have loved to have been following along with their adventures in Paris in real time on a blog! (2) I also wish Julia Child was around in this day and age to blog and give recipes. I bet she’d be hilarious and totally bossy. (3) And finally, the fantastic (but sadly fictional) Amelia Peabody, a female Egyptologist and amateur sleuth working in the early 1900s and the subject of Elizabeth Peters’ bestselling books would have made a terrific blog author. I would have clung on to her every word online (as I do now in the books).
Dervla Kelly lives in Manhattan with her family. She is a senior editor at Abrams books by day and by night/wee hours of the morning writes about her obsession with cooking, interior design, and lifestyle blogs at The Curator. thecurator @thecuratorblog