Welcome to the next interview in the series, 'Where I'm At'. It's a voyeuristic, yet helpful look into the lives of women who are finding where the light plays within them.
Their daily rituals, ways of managing stress and advice to you, the readers, are captured in these interviews.
This month we have the talented Emily from Fresh Paper Studios.
Emily is based in Oregon in the US and has her own business as a (super creative) stationery designer. She has a young daughter and provides some great insight into juggling motherhood, your own business and the rest!
What is your usual wake up time?
I usually wake up between 6 and 7. For the most part, I don’t like to use an alarm, and years of waking up early with a baby who hates sleeping trained my body to wake up on its own!
How do you like to start your day?
First, coffee! Then I sit down with my coffee and my planner and write down five things I’m grateful for.
I list all of my to-dos for the day, think of something to make for dinner, then write some sort of affirmation. (Like today it was “I am in charge of my time. I have 24 hours and I get to choose what to do with them.”)
If I wake up early enough, I’ll spend some time writing, or drawing, or doing some strategic planning for my business.
Tell us about your commute.
I walk all the way downstairs to my studio! Working from home has its advantages for sure (I get to be at home with my spunky little 3 year old!) but it’s tough in some ways, too. I never fully leave the “office” since it’s right off the family room.
One of my big goals for this year is to move my studio into our spare bedroom so that I can have a door to shut. I’m hoping it helps me separate work from home a little better!
Sometimes to clear my head and get focused I set up in my favorite little local coffee shop. A cute environment, free wifi, and amazing coffee is all it takes sometimes!
Do you like to plan your day ahead or allow for some spontaneity?
My family and I joke about this, because I FEEL like I’m spontaneous at heart. But I actually really like to have a plan! It’s comforting to know what to expect.
That said, I often find myself over-planning and getting totally stressed out. (Plus nothing goes according to plan when it comes to life with a 3 year old!) I’m working on finding that sweet spot between under-planning and over-planning. Like planning time to complete my top 3 tasks for the day, and leaving the rest to happen spontaneously.
I find the gentler I am with myself and the more I embrace the idea that there’s enough time to do everything I need to do, the easier time flows and the more I can get done in a day.
How do you like to spend your ideal lunch break to recharge for the afternoon?
My dream lunch break? Eating a healthy lunch and reading a book. Or going out to lunch with a friend and chatting about life and big dreams.
My real life lunch time? Usually it’s grabbing something quick to eat while answering client emails, or on-the-go while running errands. That’s another big goal of mine - to take back control of my lunches and give myself a real lunch time!
What kind of workout schedule do you (try to!) adhere to?
Before having a kid, I went to the gym 5 days a week at 5am! That was a little extreme.
Now I’m at the other end of the spectrum. My workouts consist of playing tag with 3 year olds or carrying packages to the post office. I just got an UP24 band that tracks my steps and sleep - it’s shockingly motivating! So I’m incorporating a lot more walks to the park and sneaking steps in wherever I can.
How do you like to end your day?
Start the day with coffee and end it with wine! After my daughter goes to bed, it’s time to unwind with a glass of wine and some TV on the couch with my wife! We may be the last people on the planet who still love Grey’s Anatomy!
When I’m truly spoiling myself, I climb into bed early with ice cream and a good book.
What time do you doze off?
I try to be in bed by 10! If I don’t go to bed by 10, I get a second wind and can’t sleep for hours. I survived way too long on no sleep during the baby/toddler years. Now I need a full 8 or 8 ½ hours to do my best work.
What do you aspire to every day but never / rarely actually do? (you can tell me, we all have them!)
Yoga. It’s my favorite way to start the day, actually. But I've let it slide!
Any advice for women trying to find ease in their every day?
You are enough. You are good enough. You are doing enough.
I think when we find life to be hectic and crazy it’s because we feel like we have to do everything and be everything to everybody. It would break our hearts if our daughters felt that much stress, right? So when things get insane, I try to slow down and treat myself with the same kindness and compassion I give my daughter.
Then I remind myself of my favorite line from my new favorite book (The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks):
“You’ll never have enough money to buy all the stuff you don’t really need, and you’ll never have enough time to do all the things you really don’t want to do.”
My mind was totally blown when I read that. It’s so true! And so I believe the inverse is also true: we have plenty of money to buy what we really need, and plenty of time to do all the things we really want to do. Just knowing that takes some of the pressure off to do it all and to do it right this very minute.
Finally, can you give us your quick go-to recipe after a busy day?
I cook up a big pot of whole wheat pasta, then everyone chooses and fixes their own toppings. Parmesan and butter, tomato sauce, heat up frozen meatballs, chop up tomatoes and spinach, whatever people are in the mood for!
It gets everyone in the kitchen and talking and making food together, which is my favorite thing about evenings.
Thanks Emily! I truly love your ideas about being gentler with ourselves and particularly want to try the ice cream and book in bed trick!
You can find Emily at:
Website - http://freshpaperstudios.com
Instagram - instagram.com/freshpaperstudios
Facebook - facebook.com/freshpaper
Pinterest - pinterest.com/freshpaper