blogger mash-up: let the fun begin…

Today’s a super fun, special sort of day here at Design for Mankind, as my dear friend Vic is asking me to spear-head a special project she came up with (brilliantly, I might add). The deets? Well, I’ll let her explain, as it’s time for me to get to work!

I was asked to come up with a list of things that inspire me. Broad? Yes. Boring? Never. I think “What inspires you?” is the most common question I’m asked, so what better way to answer than to dedicate an entire post toward the issue?

Because I like lists and love to be organized (but rarely are!), I’m alphabetizing my inspirations. Yep. I’m doing it. Ready? Here we go:

A: Almonds. I could eat them all day, every day, and I’m fully convinced that inside those tiny little shells lie bundles of inspiration that travel straight to my brain.
B: Bloggers. This is obvious, but truly, I’ve met some of the nicest bloggers, and when we all get together, I’m really surprised the world doesn’t spontaneously combust from exothermic awesomeness.
C: Coffee. OK, I couldn’t not say it. B/c without coffee, I think I’d have no personality. Actually, without coffee, I know I’d have no personality.
D: Deadlines. I’m using inspiration in the literal sense here, as in “what-gets-me-off-the-couch-and-into-action.” Nothing does that faster than a good, healthy deadline. Plus, my editor’s reading this, so I have to say that. ;)
E: Enthusiasm. Oh, man. Enthusiasm is so, so infectious, and I looooove it. You can have a terrible product, business idea, or haircut, but if you’re enthusiastic about it? Well… then I love it, too.
F: Feta cheese. OK, can we pause and talk about how I order an omelette at the local diner and ask for extra feta, which basically pays for my entire omelette a hundred times over? The stuff is expensive, but man… it’s just so, so tasty. And tasty is inspiring, right? Right.
G: Girlfriends. I don’t have many (and most are online!), but boy, are they great when you need them. Also? Family, although that doesn’t start with a “G.”
H: Hope. This sounds so after-school special, but I really love knowing that there’s hope out there — whether we can see it or not. It’s totally, completely, 100% there.
I: Interior design. I’ve always loved it, and if I could have any other job than this, it would be to run an interior design (ok, or fashion) blog. In fact, this blog used to be an interior design blog, back before I realized that I’m weird, and other people are normal and I should never be allowed to design someone else’s space. Well, that, and I hate to measure things. So. Yeah. For now, I’ll settle for writing for someone else’s interior design blog.
J: Jaime, my other half (in the business sense). This girl has it together in a big way, and she’s so, so funny when she wants to be. Plus, she’s my project manager, so without her, nothing would ever be accomplished.
K: Kikkerland. Man, I love everything there. If I could be sold in stores (Lord knows they wouldn’t take me!), I’d want to be sold at Kikkerland. For $100 dollars, please.
L: Loneliness. I’ve always been a loner, and at the end of the day, I looooove spending a few minutes with just myself. Not because I love my own company (b/c truly — I’m a seriously boring date!), but b/c it’s the best time to really reflect on what’s important to you and why. And hey — no one else wants to watch Lifetime movies with me, so I suppose I sort of have to spend weekly moments alone. ;)
M: Miranda July. Because if you don’t think this girl is inspiring, you need to change your definition of inspiration. Yo.
N: Nylon, as in Nylon Magazine, not the fabric (although I suppose the fabric is OK, too). I get so excited when it arrives in the mail, because not only is the content insanely awesome, but the layouts are equally stunning. Besides, those are some craaaazy editors.
O: Opinions. There’s nothing I love more than a great, educated opinion, whether or not I agree. I’m not into debates, but I am into diversity.
P: Petty. As in Tom Petty, because I already wrote the inspiration for T. Anyway, I love Tom Petty, because he makes me dance. I’d sing, too, but I think we’ve already covered the fact that I lack any sort of appropriate vocal chords for such exercises.
Q: Quirky homes. I love when a home can speak volumes about someone’s personality. Actually, I love anything quirky. Because I do. (And probably, b/c I am.)
R: Readers. It’s true — I can’t tell you how many days I’ve felt lousy and lazy (which is my own fault, b/c I am lazy), and I’ve received a super sweet email from one of you. I can’t say it without sounding sappy, so instead, I’ll send you straight to this song. Replace Rod’s head with mine and you’ll understand the sentiment exactly. Except he can sing (debatable), and I can’t. So there’s that.
S: Stationery. Oh, man. This stuff makes my heart swell, and if I had a hundred dollars, I’d almost always spend $90 on stationery and $10 on beef jerky. Because I love beef jerky, but I love stationery nine times more. Although if it’s personalized stationery? I’d definitely forgo the jerky.
T: It took me awhile to get used to this, as it’s not pen and paper, and I’m a total neanderthal, but I really, really like it. (I owe the liking of TeuxDeux to Janel, who at breakfast with these gals, preached its purpose over and over until I caved into the modernism). And with this site, I can pretend I’m organized. And hey — what’s more inspiring than organization? Thanks, Tina.
U: Underdogs. Who isn’t inspired by underdogs? I love a good David vs. Goliath story, and the real life ones are the best.
V: Variety. Although I’m a total creature of habit, a change of scenery never ceases to inspire.
W: Weather. I would’ve just said “rain,” but dang, I already filled up the “R” slot. Anyway, thunderstorms always put me into a creative frenzy, and I’ve been known to start more than my share of businesses on rain days. ;)
X: I’m skipping “X”, because never was there a more useless word.
Y: Youth. We have so, so much to learn from today’s teens, and I’m continually inspired by their drive to better themselves. Being raised in a seemingly lazy generation, I love seeing young people rise up to everyday challenges.
Z: Zippers and such. I’m so into zippered dresses, jumpers and asymmetrical vests, like this beauty from Eryn Brinie. Also, Valentine’s Day is coming up, so gifts are welcomed. Preferably in the form of $160, or hey — just gift me the dress directly. I’m not picky.

Wow. If you read all that, you deserve massive amounts of cookies.

Now it’s time to pass it on! Part of the beauty of the Blogger Mash-Up is the ability to interact with each other, so next on the list is Blissful*Thinking! Take it away, dearie!

  • perfection, all. i am fond of you, friend.

    i’ll be here awhile, so don’t freak out when you see your stats. it’s just me. absorbing.


  • Oh this post was so funny — you are too cool.
    And I’m with you about Nylon mag, but really, who wouldn’t be?
    The Blog it Forward project is going to be so fun! I can’t wait to travel around and meet everybuddy.

  • Oh I love this idea!! Quirky homes, YES or even that one totally out of place quirky piece makes me so happy! Variety something I crave when I am “stuck”! Thanks for sharing!

  • Hope…readers…underdogs…almonds…youth…interiors…this is all soooo good. What an awesome list! I’m inspired just by reading it! Thanks for sharing. This blog mash-up is going to be epic.

  • I totally hear you on the “alone” thing Erin. But, to be clear, I’m always happy to hunker down for a marathon Lifetime movie session with ya’! We can just substitute a bowl of feta for the popcorn! I’ll wear my top hat, tails, hot pants, and m’big ole disco shoes! What? You said you like quirky! ;)

    (LOVE the list but don’t know how you got all that together?!! Impressive!)

  • I love the alphabetical order! Man feta cheese is like the best cheese, way more inspiring than regular old jack or cheddar. ^-^ Enthusiasm is also an amazing thing, something I never would have thought of as inspiration, but it totally does encourage you to get enthusiastic too. Like this whole Blog It Forward event. Makes me want to get out there and kick butt!

  • OhhhhhYES! Erin, I know you hear this a lot but, I am going to say it anyway….you are just freakin adorable and I am smitten! :) LOve, love your alphabetized list and couldn’t agree more with all of it, especially hope, feta cheese, bloggers, enthusiasm and opinions(read:diversity)
    You are a darling and have smokin style and I am now officially even more your fan than I already was! :)
    ps I would watch lifetime movies with you, yeah baby! :)

  • oh erin you are so amazing. what a creative way to list what inspires you.. the whole alphabet? thats legit!! ;) loved reading through it! xo. danni

  • oh, erin. this was so perfectly…you! i laughed, i smiled…i’m sending you beef jerky so you can spend the other ten bucks on stationery!

    thank you so much for starting this off on just the right note. xoxo

  • ahhh you guys are SO. NICE. i should have added each of your names to the list — just so it had extra pizazz. ;)

    THANK YOU! this was such fun; congrats to you for heading it up, vic! :)

  • What a great post! I was so upset I missed out on being part of the Blog It Forward thing, but I am satisfied living vicariously through you.

    And I am with you on the almonds and that TeuxDeux app is fabulous!

  • VARIETY! YES, that’s what it’s all about.

    Almonds? less so, although i just had a great flourless almond cake on this very day.

    Can I have my cookies now, please?

  • Wow, this just makes me miss you even more. Which I really didn’t think was possible. I would alphabetize all of the ways you crack me up if I wouldn’t die from the giggle fits before I finished. And yes, a shout out for Janel and changing my life with Teux Deux.


  • Ohhh…this was so much fun to read Erin! You are just adorable and I love all your wonderful inspirations! Thank you for sharing them with us today! xo Ez

  • Superb list! oh how I love tom petty, and i’m with you on alone time… (as with pretty much everything else on your great list!)

  • I just clicked over, because I’m in your group. I cannot believe I’ve been missing out on your blog all this time! So glad BIF brought me here today. Because you are hilarious.

  • Such a creative way to let us in on your inspiration. I love how each person is interpreting this project uniquely. Thanks for sharing

  • Amazing, thank you for sharing! You are such an inspiration and made me smile all the way
    PS: Looooove Feta too!

  • i love this post. love it…all of it…everything about it.

    but especially love that almonds and feta cheese inspire you.

    that makes me happy

  • this is just perfect! it’s laid out just perfectly:) i will watch lifetime movies with you! those are my favorite guilty pleasure!

  • What a super creative way to post about what inspires you for this blog it forward! I love it!! I cracked up at a lot of these too, soo funny!

  • Cheese inspires our little family as well. It is the most expensive item on our shopping list and our most frequent purchase. This was inspiring, so I suppose that means that this Blog It Forward business is working. It takes talented people to make it work, however, so thank you for sharing your talents like this.

    After reading this, I read the About section of your website for the first time and found it to be very entertaining.

    So thank you for the inspiration and the laughs.

  • Another reason to love TeuxDeux: saying it. Even though it’s supposed to be pronounced like “To Do”, I always give it a little extra flair. Like I’m French. “TeuxDeux”. Ha! Get’s me every time.

  • well, i read the whole thing…and since i find you so very inspiring, it was nice to know what inspires my inspirer. or something.

    now, where are my cookies?

  • Erin – you are too cute and creative for words. I read the whole thing (!!) and LOVED it! I’m off to inspire someone else now…paying it forward….hugs!

  • e=entertaining
    r=rock star blogger
    n=nutter (but only a tiny bit!)

    loved this — you always make me smile!

  • Feta cheese and beef jerky while we watch Lifetime movies the next time we see you….loved your post!

  • You have inspired me to make my own inspiration list in my sketchbook! And you definitely made the cut. :)

  • i started reading your list yesterday and just finished it. i’m kidding. love your list, which is full of your usual inspiration. thanks for being here (and there and everywhere). enjoy your weekend!

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