Friday Five

Happy Friday! And I’d first like to give a shout out to Fitz, who turns 1 year old today! I was hoping that he’d wake up today and decide to be less of a maniac, but no dice. The other night he stole a whole sweet potato from the kitchen and starting chewing it. In front of me. Like it was a toy. And he didn’t seem to understand why I got so upset. Obligatory picture of the birthday boy over on 365 later today.

Today is also the first Friday Five of 2012! I wasn’t good about doing these regularly last year, at least not for the first few months after I came up with the idea, but this year I’m going for the full 52 (or how ever many Fridays are in this calendar year, I’m too lazy to count). Without further ado…

1. Striped tote / 2. Je T’Aime poster /  3. C’est La Vie card / 4. Limiting my technology / 5. At Home With White

I’ve mentioned my love of Etsy store Rib & Hull before, the Warsaw based designers of incredible wool and felt bags and Mac cases, but somehow refrained from obsessing over this black & white striped tote. The whole bag is hand crafted from natural canvas and leather, and feeds my crazy addiction to stripes. Unfortunately, this winter weather makes it nearly impossible for me to carry any bag on my shoulder without wrestling down my enormous puffy winter coats sleeves, so this might be better suited for warm weather. But I promised Annie I wouldn’t talk about warm weather because warm weather means warm weather clothing, and the both of us are on a spending freeze when it comes to more clothing. I’m betting her resolve is better than mine, because I can’t go 2 days without buying something. I’ve tried.

The “Je T’aime” poster by Swedish designer and art-director Therese Sennerholt appeared in one of my favorite interior shots of all time, and I’ve spent an ample amount of energy tracking it down:

from here

The poster is a) Swedish and b) in French, so naturally it is perfect for me and I must make it mine. I finally was able to figure it out thanks to a new blog I stumbled across that I am totally in love with, Vosges Paris, an interior design blog that combines the writer’s, AND I QUOTE, “love for French grays and Scandinavian whites.” I’m pretty sure this blog is my soulmate. All she has to do is feature macarons one time and I’m going to lose my mind. Anyway, the poster is reasonably priced and might make an appearance in my house sometime soon. I just have to find a really old leather chair to sit it next to. Tell me the styling of that shot is incredible?

Continuing on with the French theme, the “C’est La Vie!” card from Rifle Paper Company is so darling I can’t even stand it. When my dad told how much he loved me, he always said, “I love you so much I could bite my toes!” I don’t know why, but it’s one of those phrases that’s stuck with me and I’ve come to use it on lots of things. Thus: that card is so darling I could bite my toes! The mixture of French, rain, a neckscarf, a striped shirt, and lipstick is just adorable. At $4, it’s a total steal and I’m going to buy one and frame it and put in on my desk. (See what I mean about not having any restraint when it comes to buying things?)

I’m going to skip number 4 for a moment, and head right to #5 on this week’s list, which is a book that was perhaps written solely for me. “At Home With White.” From what I can tell, since it hasn’t been released yet, or maybe it’s  being re-published, I don’t know, the book is a collection of home design images and tips for having all-white interiors. How to layer white, how to balance it, how to roll around on your painted white wood floors delirious with delight, etc etc. It comes out at the end of February, and I’m really considering taking the day off and showing up at the bookstore first thing in the morning. Is that weird? Probably. But someone out there not only gets me, they wrote me a book, so respect must be given.

Okay, so back to #4. The Blackberry with the “No” symbol through it. I woke up on January 1st and made a last minute resolution: I want to limit the amount of screen-time connectivity I have in my daily life. I work at a job where I sit in front of a computer anywhere from 8-10 hours a day. In the mornings, the first thing I did was reach for my Blackberry to check for facebook notifications or emails or twitter updates. I would be online on my phone during my commute to work, at a computer all day, and then on my Blackberry on my way home, where I would walk in the door and promptly boot up my iMac or my macbook and surf some more. I hate it. I hated feeling hyper-connected all the time. I missed the days when I didn’t have to worry about facebook. I made the choice New Years day to delete the facebook and twitter apps from my phone, to not check my phone once during my commute in the morning or on the bus home, and the resolution that when I come home from work, I do not touch my computers. My life has improved in the span of a week. I’m reading more, playing chess at night, having conversations with people, playing with my dog more, taking real photographs. Anything my phone has to tell me, with the obvious exception of phone calls, I have access to all day at my computer. I’m considering deleting my email from my Blackberry as well; it’s only my personal email, nothing is so important that it can’t wait until I get to work. This means that when I turn my work laptop off at 5:30, I check out, I sign off for the night. I’m done. No facebook, no email, no twitter. This change has this made me happier and less anxious. I’m more productive when it comes to this blog, because I have taken away my option of sitting on the couch with my laptop all night. I’m even debating downgrading my cell phone to a non-smartphone (I refuse to call them “dumb phones” when they do exactly what cell phones are supposed to do).

I know it seems counterintuitive to make this choice given that, uh, I have a blog and it’s on the internet and it requires attention and maintenance. But I just feel like I’m wasting $30 a month on a data plan (okay, fine, my mother is wasting $30 a month on my data plan, because yes, I am 25 years old and still on my mom’s family plan, SUE ME) to tell me things I either don’t want to know or things I am capable of finding out from the computer I’m in front. It’s surprisingly liberating, but it’s only been 5 days. We’ll see if I end up in withdrawal.

Okay, so spill. Have you been keeping your resolutions so far? What about my self-imposed technology-ban? Would you ever try it? Do you think you could survive? And what are you up to this weekend? Tomorrow is supposed to be fairly warm (in the 50s, they’re saying!) so I think I’ll take the birthday boy to the dog park and let him get beat up by bigger dogs. He loves it. See you on Monday, kiddos!

12 thoughts on “Friday Five

  1. Erin, You hit the nail on the head. I was just grappling with issue #4…I mean seriously grappling. Yes, it seems totally counterintuitive given that we have blogs, but I hear myself saying that I don’t read as much or I don’t create as much all because of…
    There was a time, not too long ago, that I kept to a digital schedule, and it definitely helped my sanity. I have to say, since getting on Twitter (in October) it all sort of flew out the window and my schedule has become haphazard and totally reactive. I don’t like it. At all.
    Last night, I was thinking about talking about balance in my “at this moment…” post (we must have been telephathically speaking to each other), but then decided to just stick with the original content (next Friday then?). It’s actually the real reason I said the week kicked my butt – Staying up very late every night and not nurturing other creative outlets has left me feeling out of sorts.
    Anyway, all of this is to say thank you for the reminder. I definitely support this and am trying to find my way back.
    Have a great weekend, E.
    PS~Of course, I love all your picks. That book was totally written for you. And, I like the new header. Keeper?
    PSS~Happy 1st birthday, Fitz!

    1. I’m glad to hear I’m not alone, really. I feel like such an anomaly amongst my generation. Everyone I’ve told has looked at me like I’m crazy and said they couldn’t survive without their smartphone. The other day, my mom and I had lunch together and we were trying to think of the name of a singer (Harry Belafonte) and I went to reach for my Blackberry to google it and I reminded myself that I HAVE A BRAIN and I should use it. I left my phone in my bag and thought, eventually coming up with Harry Belafonte’s name. Random story, I know, but the point is I realized in that moment how reliant I’d become on my phone to be a replacement for my brain. And not just for random instances when I can’t remember Harry Belafonte’s name, but for everything. I’d love to hear your take on this technology-dependence issue. I can’t believe you were considering including it this week, too! Telepathy, indeed. I’ll read your take next Friday (looking forward to it!). It’s great once you have time to dedicate to creative pursuits, you feel really…refreshed.

      Hope you’ve had a great weekend! I think this header is a keeper…for now :)

  2. Okay, I’m in too. I’ve been thinking about this myself. Trouble is, technology has been really good to me. (Anyone remember Kip’s wedding from Napoleon Dynamite: “Yes, I love technology. Not as much as you and me. Always and Forever…”) But, like you said Theresa, I need some balance. I’ve been crazy busy with work this week (like you, Erin on the computer all day), and I feel scattered and out of sorts, not to mention that my neck and wrist hurt. Hmmm. I don’t like answering the siren call of the “bing” of my email or text.

    So maybe what I need is a diet, not a fast.

    How can you not already own that book?

    And Happy Birthday, Fitz from Lucy, Thea and Violet!

    1. Haha, Kip is such a great character. Now I need to go watch Napoleon Dynamite! Technology has been good to me as well (hello, blog, photography, etc) but I think I need to find a balance again. This really became obvious for me a while ago when I had my eye exam and my eye doctor told me I needed glasses after I told her I’d had to make the font on my Blackberry bigger to be able to see it. I’d gone 25 years of my life without glasses, but within a year of getting a Blackberry and a job that keeps me in front of a computer all day, my eyesight had deteriorated to the point that I needed glasses. It’s definitely enough to make me feel out of sorts.

      I love your “diet vs fast” analogy. A little bit of distance will do me some good, whether or not it becomes permanent.

      Fitz thanks Lucy-the-Beagle, Thea and Violet for the birthday wishes!! Oh, and that book hasn’t been published yet, haha, that’s the only reason it is not in my clutches.

  3. I love #4! My new job takes more time and brain energy as I learn the ropes so I’ve been disconnected from email, facebook, and even my (neglected) blog! But the break has been kind of nice! Disconnecting oneself can be grand. :)

    1. I’m so happy to hear from you! I was getting worried!! Congrats again on your new job. I’m hoping to have the same disconnect in my own life from technology, it does sound grand. :)

  4. So I remember a post you wrote a few months ago where you talked about how many books your read on your twenty minute bus journey so things have obviously deteriorated since then!

    I totally know what you mean. It’s all about the dopamine (apparently). I have been running down my iPhone battery nearly twice a day and that’s really bad! And in my last job I developed a crick in my neck on the right hand side and I realised that it was from constantly turning right to check my phone. Ouch.

    So i’m curious how you write your posts then? Do you do them at work? I’ve been really struggling this week and have had no choice to be sit down on the laptop as soon as I get home from work then before I know it’s bedtime.

    I hate Facebook and I spent my train journey home tweeting you instead of reading a book. but it was fun! Deleting those apps is a great idea but I worry it’d mean I’d have to spend all evening catching up. but then what’s so important really that you get from Twitter or Facebook.

    I can’t believe you’re playing chess, that’s so sophisticated! Well done you. And I’m sure the birthday boy is delighted to have more attention.

    And there is no way I have more restraint than you, I’m a nightmare!

    1. Yes, exactly! I was a reading fiend and then laziness set in and I just defaulted to reading news or facebook on my phone. I’m a new twitter convert, and I’ve greatly enjoyed our little tweeting sessions, don’t get me wrong! But I’m back to reading and picking up my camera (obviously) and it feels good so far! I realized it’s been a long, long time since I did a post on books, so clearly I am overdue, and that says something about my technology dependence as of late.

      I totally know what you mean about running down your phone battery! I was charging my phone all night and then bringing my charger to work with me because inevitably it would be drained before I got on the bus at the end of the day. Since deleting those apps (and you’re right, who needs them anyway?) my phone’s battery life has tripled. But at work, I’m always on a computer, so I’m constantly leaning on my elbows and I’ve noticed they’ve started to hurt. And my wrist, too. No good! The only upside is that I have enough pockets of down time at work that I’m able to finalize or write up whole posts without it impacting my daily work. I know there will be times when I will be swamped at work and will not have the ability to blog in my cubicle, and will have to come home and sit down with my laptop and my whole grand principal of no-screen-time-after-work will go right out the window, but for now this is really convenient.

      Oh gosh, chess would only be sophisticated if I wasn’t such a sore loser and didn’t result to storming out of the room every time I lost. I’m a huge baby, haha. Kind of embarrassing, but oh well.

      You have to have more restraint than me, you’ve been off full-time work the last few months! Out of financial necessity alone, I’d imagine you shopped less than me. But I love shopping, so even if I buy something really small the experience is so intoxicating. I sound like an addict, but it’s true!

  5. PS one thing I have done is massively cull the number of blogs I read. I was finding it a real chore to read them all and then I remembered it’s supposed to be fun, not another job to do. So that’s helped. And I comment on less of them, only the special ones, where I’ve connected with the author in some way, which naturally includes you guys’ awesome blogs!

    1. I’ve done this, too!! My sidebar list of links is actually more blogs than I check on a daily basis. It definitely helps knowing which blogs are worth checking out and not having to read a million a day. I think now that I’m settled in my blog I know which blogs I like and don’t like, and having culled that list down has landed me on you lovely people. None of which would have been possible without you, dear. You found me, and through you I found Theresa, and Lauren.

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