I stumbled upon Tan’s blog a while ago, and I’ve been a loyal reader ever since. I love her bright style, her fresh and easy DIYs, scrumptuous recipes, and her clear voice. She’s the type of blogger you read and think, we should be real-life friends. Hopefully you’re already a fan of Tan’s blog, but if not, you should definitely add Squirrelly Minds to your daily read list.
AND, Today’s her 30th birthday!!! Make sure to head over to her site so that you can wish her a happy birthday and read on to learn more about Tan:
*When did you start blogging and what inspired you to start blogging?
I started blogging 14 years ago when people either used geocities or hard code. My blog morphed from an online diary to a network of 12 sites on various topics, including a fanpage on my favourite Japanese band Spitz and a graphic design site with free downloadables. Over the 8 years I became scattered and overwhelmed, so I shut them all down. 4 years later I got the urge to blog again, but I wanted it to be more focused than what I tried to do before, and I didn’t want to write solely about my life. Seeing there were several design and lifestyle blogs was so inspiring and welcoming. It was a natural return to something I missed and loved.
*What is your favorite aspect of writing your blog? What do you find the most challenging about blogging?
I think my favourite aspect is also the most challenging, and that’s staying fresh. I love creating new projects and being able to share them. It’s really exciting to see others excited or inspired by what I create, and in turn I absolutely love being amazed and inspired by everyone elses creations. Writing and blogging, especially in the DIY realm, creates such a beautiful community of makers who are excited by everyone’s ideas and want to support each other. But one of my biggest challenges is due to teaching full time, and that is finding the time and energy to constantly create, or more so, to photograph the projects in daylight hours.
*What is your favorite post you’ve written recently that made you feel like Yes! that was awesome!?
My most favourite recent DIY post is the Message in an Ornament Advent Calendar. I’m a big believer in simple yet beautiful DIY’s that have a big impact for little work. This advent calendar does just that.
*Where do you turn for inspiration?
I like perusing through pinterest, other blogs and online shops like Wind and Willow or Gretel, but I try not to rely on this too much as it’s so easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in the comparison trap. Offline, I look through old children’s books or magazines, window shop downtown or go for a simple walk and observe the scenery and interactions around me. More times than I can count, inspiration churns right at bedtime, and just as I’m about to fall asleep, a great idea pops into my head that forces me out of bed and to a notepad to jot it down.
*What is your favorite pair of shoes and why?
Hands down, my gold high top kicks. They’re my dancing shoes (hip hop) but when I’m not in the studio I sometimes like to wear them around town if I’m in the mood. They always get a few stares and smiles. How can you resist smiling when staring and gold and hot pink high tops?
*What was the last great book you read?
The Birth House by Amy McKay. It’s about a woman who becomes a midwife in a time of advancing medicine and modernization. She is pressured all around her to give up her practice and leave the small town women to a doctor’s care hours away through a precarious road. It’s a beautiful novel about a simple time when women relied on each other for everything, including very personal matters, and there’s a simple beauty in that which I think has been lost with modernization.
*What current dream or goal are you working towards (big or small)?
I recently posted a photo on instagram with a bit of an honest realization:
“I am a maker, always have been, and it’s taken several years, thousands of dollars and a university degree to figure that out. I don’t know yet in what form, but I long for the day that creating is not only my passion, but my livelihood.”
That is my goal.
*What’s your go-to meal?
Moroccan tagine! We got hooked on this delicious meal on our Moroccan honeymoon. It’s hearty, robust with flavours, and just incredibly delicious. The flavours always brings me back to that beautiful place:
*Do you have a personal motto? Lay it on us.
I don’t know that I have a motto, but I have a few things I live by:
*Who are your top five blog crushes? Is there a blogger that would you love to meet in real life?
Heather at www.thelovelycupboard.com
Joy at www.frockfiles.com
Bri at www.designlovefest.com
Sarah at www.smittenstudioonline.com
Lidy at www.hellolidy.com
I would LOVE to meet Heather. Her and I have so much in common and always have a blast during our video chats. One day!
Who are your blog crushes? Drop them a note or comment today to let them know how awesome they are! Pay it forward, y’all.