Introducing… Clementine Daily

Earlier this spring, I felt an itch to do something big. Something meaningful and challenging and time-consuming and kind of crazy and… big. Because as much as it pains me to say this, I’m afraid I’m outgrowing my obsession with design.

Outgrowing isn’t quite the right word, to be fair. And neither is obsession. For seven years now, design has been at the very core of my professional life. But I’d always felt a bit of a fraud, because you guys? Design is not at the core of my personal life.

It can’t be. Because at the core of my personal life is the everyday stuff: the quiet mornings with my daughter, trips to the grocery, afternoon lattes, impromptu thunderstorms, great memoirs, my favorite bank teller, back porch chats with my husband. The core of my personal life is each day, and each day isn’t necessarily designed to be perfect.

I love design. I think it matters, and I think it’s meaningful and necessary and I’m endlessly inspired following the careers and creative paths of so many talented artisans. But lately, I feel a bit out of touch with it all. Something’s shifted within me that wants to shout from the rooftops, “Hey! It’s totally fine if you love design, but not perfection. It’s great if you love parties for the people, not the photo opp. It’s perfectly OK if you love high-end fashion but shop at Target.”

It’s realistic and honest and true-to-life, and it should be celebrated.

So I sent a few emails, enlisting the help of bloggers who I know have felt the pull to speak authentically about their lives. Bloggers who care a great deal about good design, but aren’t willing to sacrifice their stress levels or savings accounts or sanity to attain it. Bloggers who write about inspiration, rather than aspiration. Bloggers who live inspiration, rather than aspiration.

And I found them. And we came together in the most perfect of ways, to launch a perfectly imperfect website about beauty in the everyday. Beauty despite the tea kettle’s whistle and ringing phones and barking dogs and filled-to-the-brim calendars. (Beauty because of each of those things.)

We are Amanda and Anne and Joanna and Stephanie and Elizabeth and Julia and Melissa and myself – all gathered around a virtual dining room table, lost in an ongoing conversation about what it means to be real women living authentic-sometimes-frenzied-often-harried-but-always-inspired lives. We’ll share tips and tricks and products and stories and advice and encouragement, layered around a deeper, more meaningful core: the Clementine.

I hope you’ll join us.
XO,
Erin

p.s. A huge thanks to those who made the above launch video possible: my dear husband and talented filmmaker Ken Loechner, model/wardrobe stylist extraordinaire Esther Boller, the most beautiful songbird/songwriter Cassie Beer and our dear launch partners Hayneedle.com. From the bottom of my Clementine-loving heart: thank you.

  • This may just be everything I’ve been looking for lately! Sure excited to check it out. And yay! to everyone on the team!

  • I started reading your blog not that long ago. Your words and ability to tie design and life together are inspiring to me. Love the idea of a site that pulls together the “every day” in an equally beautiful package. I’m a busy work-from-home mom of two and can totally relate to trying to live an “authentic-sometimes-frenzied-often-harried-but-always-inspired” life! It will be great to have a community in it too!

    • Awww thank you, Sarah! We’re so excited to create a space to talk about some of these authentic, but beautifully frenzied issues! :)

  • The video and launch page are beautiful—I’m anxiously awaiting all of your beautiful essays. Can’t wait to get to know your editors and contributors, too!

  • I’m excited about this. I remember seeing a quote about how design is as important as the air we breathe, how it makes life worth living. It was a beautiful quote at first sight, but the more I thought about it the more it rang false. My faith is as important as the air I breathe….my family is what makes my life worth living. I love design, I love the tool for good it can be. But if it came right down to it, I would live in an ugly world of Comic Sans, loud, plastic toys, and overcomplicated housewares and websites, with my beliefs and my relationships rather than in a perfectly designed world without.

    My beliefs make me who I am, and relationships give me a purpose in life–isn’t there brilliant design in that very truth? I love the blogs that I pore over every day, I find a great deal of inspiration in them, but at the end of the day my life feels the best when I have let most of that go and just lived life fully–without instagramming it, needing the perfect dress for it, or wondering how I can cleverly post about it.

    “Inspiration rather than aspiration”. I love it. I love the idea of celebrating lives that are well-designed, rather than rooms, parties, or outfits. Because the best designed lives ARE frenzied, harried, authentic and wonderful. And I’m not sure I would have it any other way.

    • Ahhhh, I am so encouraged by your thoughts, Tiff – thank you for sharing this! I’m in precisely the same place. :) The goal is for design to support/simplify our lives, not our livelihood to support design. (I think!) ;)

  • I subscribe to the concept of Voluntary Simplicity. YOUR blog is special in that way and Clementine Daily looks just as. . .right as rain. Imperfect? Wonderful! Perfectionism very nearly killed me (my own sense of it and what was foisted upon me by a previous work environment). I’d like to stamp it out.

    Thank you for the good you are adding to this world.

    • “I’d like to stamp it out.” I love this, Tricia! Thank you for joining us in our perfectly imperfect mission! Biggest of hugs to you. :)

  • I’m so super excited for this! Amanda and Anne are two awesome chicks and I can’t wait to see what you’ll all be sharing!!

    • Thank you, sweet Jacqueline!!! :) Truly, truly couldn’t have done it without your amazing interview skills and support! ;)

  • Yes to this. I’ve been thinking a LOT this year about a creative life and blogging and design and relationships and authenticity.

    A LOT.

    Too much running fast and not enough reflecting of my real life. Inspiration rather than aspiration.

    Amen to that!

  • “Bloggers who write about inspiration, rather than aspiration. Bloggers who live inspiration, rather than aspiration.” I love this statement. It’s a reminder to forget about keeping up with the Jones and focus on living your life and the things that make you happy. Congrats on the new venture!

  • I’ve thought a lot about this topic over the last few years… I’m beyond excited to see what you brilliant ladies come up with! xxo

  • Erin, so excited for your new adventures and I love who you’ll be blogging with as some of them are my daily reads. It’s so great to hear about some other down to earth designers out there – can’t wait to see what’s to come for all of you!

  • Was really taken with your words above. Speaks to me in a big way and really reflects where I am at in life. The video I must admit I struggled with. It showed a – dare I say it – perfect – life. Nothing really new. Very beautiful sure, but you know, perfect. Look, maybe I just need a coffee or something. Still excited to see where this project goes.

    • Ah, thank you for your feedback, Olive!! That makes complete sense, and I feel silly for having overlooked this note. We really tried to focus on everyday details of a simple life – she’s pouring Cheerio’s, not prepping a fancy breakfast. She’s wearing minimal makeup but swiping on an easy lipstick. Her life is focused on those around here – mailing letters to friends and inviting family over for dinner (using a watering can as a vase, b/c that’s what she has on hand!). And then, she’s taking a breather for herself at the end of the night. We wanted to be strategic that this was a close, intimate look at her day but I think you’re right – we could have shown a spilled coffee or two! Thanks for pointing this out, and know that we’ll do our best to ensure our content reflects this mission in a more accurate way!

  • I’ll have to second what Olive just said. I really love the shift that the blog has had in the last months, and I’m really touched by your intentions. But the video… while beautiful, was just too perfect, another beautiful perfect video. I really want to see what Clementine Daily brings though!

    • Thank you, Soledad – I totally appreciate your honesty! I’m going to copy what I said to Olive:

      Ah, thank you for your feedback, Olive!! That makes complete sense, and I feel silly for having overlooked this note. We really tried to focus on everyday details of a simple life – she’s pouring Cheerio’s, not prepping a fancy breakfast. She’s wearing minimal makeup but swiping on an easy lipstick. Her life is focused on those around here – mailing letters to friends and inviting family over for dinner (using a watering can as a vase, b/c that’s what she has on hand!). And then, she’s taking a breather for herself at the end of the night. We wanted to be strategic that this was a close, intimate look at her day but I think you’re right – we could have shown a spilled coffee or two! Thanks for pointing this out, and know that we’ll do our best to ensure our content reflects this mission in a more accurate way!

      • Yes! Spilled coffee. And I’m sure you’ll be able to think on many more small “mishaps” that are also part of what a beautiful but always imperfect life looks like. Looking forward to it! XO.

      • Thank you for your constructive feedback, Soledad! You’re helping us make the site even better, and I truly appreciate your thoughts! Thank you. :)

  • Great news! This seems like a breath of fresh air. And I’m so glad you collaborated with Esther Boller – I’ve been following her blog for a long time and she’s so talented and lovely.

    • Isn’t she WONDERFUL?! She’s so incredibly sweet to boot. :) Happy to hear she has a fellow fan in you!

  • I have to agree with Olive, I was super excited reading your post, but then the video seemed to be the exact opposite. It was certainly beautiful, but nobody’s life looks like that.

    • Thank you for your honesty – I completely understand! And I suppose part of me thinks that’s the way life should like: simpler, and with plenty of time for the people you love – writing letters, visiting over dinner. Wishful thinking!

  • Love your words and your spirit. I believe you are such a genuine person. But I totally agree with Oilve and Soledad. I’m a mother of four, a writer, and a teacher in training. I do not look like this in the morning – I’m lucky if I get to comb my hair properly, and I usually sleep in a old t-shirt that is covered in milk stains from breastfeeding! LOL! I wish the video had spoken to this — the beauty in what real life so often looks like for many women–not neat and clean–but messy, loud and crazy. :)

    • Really appreciate your honesty, Shelley – we’ll absolutely be keeping this in mind when creating content for Clementine Daily! We want everyone to feel welcomed – breastfeeding stains and all (which YES – has been the story of my life for the last year!!). ;) Thank you, Shelley.

  • First, congratulations!!! I’m looking forward to the launch of Clementine Daily and I adore the idea of inspiration rather than aspiration. After reading some of the previous comments, I must say I find the video quite charming. Our society is so conditioned to expect frenzied and frazzled in our everyday lives that anything other than that is considered unobtainable. Of course, we ALL sleep through our snooze button or walk out to find our car battery dead on occasion, but that doesn’t mean we can’t strive to enjoy the simple pleasures in life too! The key to an inspired life is really soaking in the good stuff and leaving the frenzied behind. Best of luck ladies!

  • This fills me up. I’ve been thinking so much lately (actually, after you posted a while back about “smog” in the blogosphere) about what I want to do and who I want to be, and what I want my online presence to be. Especially right now, as Ryan and I are traveling through Europe for an anniversary, being out in the world and experiencing things is changing my perspective. Thanks so much for the inspiration and the challenge to be real and to live real lives. Can’t wait for what’s next — the everyday. :)

    • Ahhhhh I LOVE hearing this! And I can’t wait to see how traveling shapes you – it has a way of truly molding someone, you know? Thank you for sharing this with me, sweet Chelsea! (And tell Ryan hello for me!)

  • This is so exciting! From someone who loves design but gets frustrated from the cost and perfection of it all…I am excited to see all this about!

  • As always, a breath of fresh air! I have been feeling this especially since the birth of my daughter- I still love fashion and design but it’s just way less important. I love our simple imperfect life. I’m most inspired not by the people who “have it all” but by those who make the best of what they have, of their situation, and find joy in the small/simple things of life with people as most important.

  • This is so wonderful, Erin! I cannot wait to see all you ladies have to offer. And kudos for your years here in this space! (As you know, Kat and I maxed out at 2!) At some point, it just becomes about the stuff itself; stuff you don’t really need. Very excited for you!

    • Thank you, Julie! I’ll still be here for the long haul – I can’t leave design ENTIRELY. And I love having a space to process and journal, so perhaps this will be it! :)

  • I’m sooooo excited about this! It’s so much of what I think: I love fashion but I shop at Target. I love travel and big ideas, but mostly I’m a middle school teacher who likes to write and play in the kitchen. I just love this!

  • yay! to say i’m excited about this is an understatement. thanks for taking a risk and speaking what so many of us are thinking. so proud of you, friend!
    xo . t

  • Oh my gosh, THANK YOU. This is exactly what I’ve been feeling. I had stopped looking at design blogs for a while because all it left me feeling was inadequate about my life. Blogging should about a celebration of everyday, no matter how imperfectly “styled”. There is more beauty to me in a pile of my daughter’s clothes scattered on the floor than any designer dress. I am a new mommy too…maybe our daughters have unknowingly taught us more than we could ever hope to teach them. :)

    • I think you’re right, Lauren – kids have a funny way of teaching us things we never understood (listened to?) before. I’m so happy to hear the site resonates with you as well! :)

  • from bakery with Jaime to DFM, to minikind, you’ve never ceased to inspire. As we grow, so do our motivations and our goals; that’s the beauty of life. excited for this new project, and i can’t wait to follow along on your journey. all the best and congrats. xo

    • Ah, thank you, Melissa. This is such an uplifting note, and gosh – BAKERY seems like forever ago, but what a wonderful season that was!! :)

  • I’m soooo excited about this! You have perfectly fit into words how I feel. I can’t wait to explore the new site – at a quick first glance, it is lovely and inspiring. Congratulations.

  • Holy. Moly.
    :)

    so proud of you. so happy for you. so excited for all that’s to come!
    beautiful creation
    very right.

  • Best of luck in the new venture; it looks lovely. I hope that the collaboration ends up giving you more time to do the things you care about most. I admit it will be sad to see your voice/energy diluted among the others. I don’t mean that as an insult to any of the other amazing talents you’re working with, it’s just that the evolution of this blog has been NCREDIBLE over the past several months. The Web is full of overhead shots of food, dollops of makeup and clean, white Scandi-style homes. DFM felt a bit of a safe haven with its profound musings on art, design and the meaning of life itself. It will be missed. :)

  • Oh Erin, what an exciting thing!!! (how did I JUST discover you’re doing this?? OH, because I’ve been pulling away from social media and LIVING, as you so beautifully said!) I can’t wait to follow along on this new adventure of yours. It sounds like a brilliant idea. And YES you are the unofficial Nicest Girl on the Internet. xoxoxo alix

  • erin! I followed your blog long ago…followed as a faithful saint… and today is the first time i’ve been able to visit again in a WHILE. and amongst the slew of wonderfully lovely things i come here to see and your witty writing as always…i see this.

    and can i say as much as i love you and your writing and all the links you share to awesomeness…THIS is your best post yet. :D

    i’m PROUD of you! i too have come to realize that beauty lies not only in “design” and the “high-fashion” “life-style” things…but in taking the dog out, and my dirty dishes, and kissing my husband goodbye, and doing SO many loads of laundry. i went to school for interior design. i thought my life would ALWAYS look like that magazine cover. but i learned that wasn’t the case and that i was missing out. and not only that…that these blogs that portray this image of what beauty must be (and don’t get me wrong….i am still in love with it all!) … increasingly made me ungrateful for the life i DID have. that i WAS leading. always one more link to something i hadn’t thought of, or hadn’t bought, or hadn’t done….

    what you’re doing here is rare in the world. and i applaud you! here’s to being grateful for life we’re blessed with and seeing beauty in the little things, while still pursuing what you love! i hope it’s a TOTAL success. i will definitely be staying tuned.

    didn’t think i could admire you more. ha! but i DO!

    • Lauren, this note made me cry! Thank you for your perspective and heart and support. I feel so encouraged to hear I’m not alone in this, and although I love those magazine covers, too, I’m learning not to want it for myself. :)

      Love to you,
      e.

  • I’m so behind on my blog reading and am so excited to hear about this! I’ve always loved your more personal posts and hearing your perspective on things and so am looking forward to following along with what you’re doing on Clementine! The name is great! I wish you the best of luck with this new endeavor!!

  • hello erin. congratulations! i’m a bit slow to hear this news and just discovered clementine tonight. what a delightful discovery too! and then to learned the brains behind it was you! even more delightful. so much of this post rings true for me right now. i wish i could arrange words the way you do. but i’m grateful this skill lies with you and look forward to stopping by clementine again soon.

    • Oh Evie – you are so kind! Thanks for your love and support and encouragement – we’re so excited to celebrate this new space (and today’s modern women!).

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