I’m interrupting the regularly scheduled “Friday Five” series today because¬†I am thrilled to be part of a “Behind the Blog” tour that Sabrina (Hands and Hustle) has organized this week. You may have seen other bloggers’ day-in-the-life contributions earlier in the week,¬†and today¬†Vanessa and I are ending the week with our behind-the-scenes look into our lives as bloggers.
Ready? Okay. Let’s go.
1. What time do you wake up and what’s a typical breakfast?
I wake up to my alarm clock at about 6:15am every¬†weekday.¬†I eat just about the same thing every day: toast with my parents’ homemade jam, berries or a fruit of some sort (I love fruit), a glass of water,¬†and a latte.
On the weekends, I often¬†have a pain au chocolat from Golden Hearth¬†Bakery after I’m done my grocery shopping at the¬†Kitchener market. I also love making¬†waffles (I use a recipe from Gourmet). Yum. I do love weekend¬†breakfasts!
2. Do you have a day job? If so, what do you do? How do you find the balance between blogging and work? What are the pros and cons? If¬†blogging is your full-time gig, explain how that came to be.
I sometimes tell people¬†that¬†blogging is my full-time job and being a professor is my part-time gig. In reality, it’s the other way around. I¬†finished my PhD in Education last year (focused on language learning and teaching), and I currently teach¬†academic writing at university. My students call me Doctor, but my blogging friends¬†know me as the gal¬†who is obsessed with white. My two worlds rarely collide, although I’m increasingly¬†trying to make small connections between them.
Balancing blogging and work can definitely be a challenge. Giulia and I actually presented a session at BlogPodium 2013 about balancing a day job and a successful job. I’m not an expert, and I usually take on more than I should, but¬†I also really love my down-time, so I make sure I have a good chunk of it in my weeks!
I treat my blog as¬†a part-time job…a really fun, interesting, engaging, and rewarding¬†part-time job. I don’t put pressure on myself, and I am content with allowing the blog to evolve organically.¬†I try to remain professional, committed, educated, and approachable in my blogging life, just as I approach¬†my academic work.
3. Where did you grow up (what city/town, do you have siblings, can you share any stories about your upbringing)? Where do you currently reside?
I was born in Toronto, but¬†I spent the first five years of my life in Saudi Arabia (I know¬†it’s¬†a bit random). When I was five, my family¬†moved back to Toronto. I have lived in Toronto, Kingston, London, and Waterloo (all in Ontario, btw), and I have spent quite a bit of time in France and Switzerland. I currently live in Waterloo, Ontario, and I really do love living here. I used to think I was a big-city girl, but I’m not really. I completely appreciate the ease of small-towns, and the people in Waterloo are¬†so¬†kind.
Some readers may already know that I have one older sister, Corie, who recently moved with her family from Manhattan to North Carolina. Many of our FaceTime conversations revolve¬†around design trends, blog news, or our upcoming¬†travel plans. I am certainly¬†looking forward to¬†spending time with the team soon.
4. Outline your average, typical day.
Typical? I’m not sure I have any really typical days, but I guess my weekdays generally go something like this:
–¬†wake up early
– shower, get dressed
– eat breakfast, make lunch
–¬†check in on¬†Twitter and Instagram
– update/check White Cabana,¬†read a blog or two, respond to¬†a few emails
–¬†walk to work, call¬†family members for updates
–¬†work all day¬†(with a quick break for lunch at noonish)
– walk home from work (I love my¬†walking commute!)
– make dinner, eat dinner
– do a blog/social media check/update, read my mail (hopefully a magazine, too)
– go to class (my MBA classes began in September) or do errands or hang out with¬†friends or do homework or blog
– check in with friends/family via texts/social media/email/phone calls
– read blogs or a book
– fall asleep
While I do respond to blog-related emails¬†and reader comments throughout the week, I spend weekend days drafting¬†upcoming posts. Because my day job can be¬†pretty hectic, I prefer to keep my blogging work¬†flexible. I don’t use an editorial calendar, for example, because I don’t want to over-schedule my life.
5. What’s your dream job/career? How are you working towards that?
When I was young, my dream job was to be an architect. That didn’t work out. I think I¬†didn’t actually know what path I needed to take to achieve this goal.
Then I¬†thought computer science was for me. Although I began my undergraduate degree with a major in¬†computer science, I realized that this wasn’t for me. Although I thought it was totally cool when I managed to make a “worm” move across the computer screen through the¬†coding I had created, my computer science program didn’t seem to promote collaboration, and I felt pretty isolated.
I sort of always knew that teaching was for me. My concurrent education program (I completed my¬†BA and BEd at the same time) was great.¬†I learned a lot and I thought that teaching elementary school would be amazing. It was…until I needed a change.
I headed to grad school…just for a bit of a break, I thought…and¬†after my Master’s degree, I went back to teaching elementary school.
I was a primary school teacher for a year after my Master’s, but I¬†became¬†quite frustrated with¬†teaching.¬†I had so many questions about education, and I didn’t have time to investigate any answers. So, I returned to my happy¬†place…university. Five more years at university and I’m now Dr. Jordana. I (mostly) loved doing my doctoral work. Those five years were hard, rewarding, interesting, engaging, and fascinating. I was happy with every project I took on.
Now, I’m doing what I love. Teaching at a university is really rewarding.¬†I learn as much from my students as they do from me, and I really do feel forever young.¬†My work is energizing, interesting, and fun.¬†Working in higher-education is fascinating and the learning never stops.
Speaking of learning, I¬†didn’t stay away from courses for too long after my PhD.¬†I am now¬†pursuing an MBA degree on a part-time basis, and I’m loving it (well, mostly loving it – who knew accounting could be¬†so tough?).¬†I’ve been asked the “How long are you going to be a professional student?” questions so many times. I think my family has finally figured out that they should stop asking.
I’m very happy where I am¬†now in life and work. That said, I probably wouldn’t say no to an academic job in, let’s say, Paris!
6. What would be your dream dinner-party guest list? Explain why you chose each person.
Oh, man, this is hard and requires much thought! I love meeting people who have diverse interests, so I would want my dinner guests to have diverse work and life experiences. For a celebrity-focused dinner party with people who are dead or¬†alive, I’d like to dine¬†with the following group, and I might¬†ask them the following questions:
Audrey Hepburn:¬†Who¬†is your favourite shopping partner?
Seth Godin: What book do you think everyone must read?
Martha Stewart (this would be risky; she would certainly judge my food):¬†What is the one collection you’d never give away?
Sophie Kinsella: What’s in your handbag?
Leonardo DiCaprio – Do you ever sing the Growing Pains theme song?
Gwyneth Paltrow: What’s coming up next? A GOOP store?
JD Salinger: Have you taken a ride on the Central Park merry-go-round?
Audrey Tatou: Would you ever really travel with a gnome?
Kristin Wiig:¬†Who makes you laugh?
Ina Garten:¬†What does¬†Jeffrey cook for you when you’re off cooking duty?
Matt Damon: Do you want to come to my next dinner party?
I’m not so¬†sure how this mix of people would get along in real life, but it would be neat to ask these celebrities some¬†questions.
7. What’s one thing you’d like to start, one thing you’d like to stop, and one thing you’d like to continue?
Start: my basement renovation
Stop: complaining about things not worth complaining about (e.g., vacuuming)
Continue: to make travel plans
8. What’s your current obsession?
Design: I have been obsessed with¬†Alessi¬†for quite a while now.
People: I love spending time with my high-energy nephews and niece (even though they wear me out).
Food:¬†Pizza. I could live on it.
Celebrity news: Prince William & Duchess Kate¬†Middleton.
9. Link to 5 websites/blogs you can’t go a week without.
This is such a hard question for someone like me who reads a lot of blogs! Six¬†of my frequent reads¬†are:
Lark & Linen – Jacquelyn’s photos are beautiful¬†and I love her “Scenes from my Weekend” series on Mondays (which is now going to shift to “Scenes from my Week” because of Jacquelyn’s new design venture).
Rambling Renovators – Jennifer is one hard-working lady, and¬†she’s been¬†a leader for many¬†bloggers. I really look forward to her Friday Love List column.
Atlantic-Pacific – Blair Eadie’s style is top-notch. I want absolutely everything that she wears.
Love Taza – I think I actually have zero things in common with Naomi, but I keep coming back to her blog. I think it’s because I started reading her when my sister and her family were living in Manhattan. They sort of lived parallel lives.
A Beautiful Mess –¬†This blog documents the work of a¬†whole team of talented and artistic people. They live a much more colourful life than me, that’s for darn sure. ¬†I’m mostly interested in the recipes. I’ve tried a few of them and they always work out.
Swiss Miss – Tina¬†always posts¬†something new-to-me and interesting.¬†I really like her aesthetic.
10. Tag and mention 1 blogger who you’d like to partake in this feature.
I would love to know how Erica Cook manages her day.¬†She’s uber-talented and seems so very nice.
Interested in learning about other bloggers involved in this Behind the Blog series? Check out the schedule:
Friday, October 3rd
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!