Would you like to meet another Design Mom contributor? I hope you’re nodding your head right now because she’s a good one. Actually, much better than good! Lindsey Johnson is that friend who always elicits a sigh. Her pantry is stocked perfectly, no matter what recipe you’re dreaming of making. Even at midnight. Sigh. And have you tasted or tested her turkey and pie crusts? Two sighs. Wondered how to store asparagus? How to properly iron a dress shirt? How to mend your favorite favorite favorite pants that have an unfortunate hole in an unfortunate spot? Sigh. Of course Lindsey knows how to help! And I’m so grateful that she helps all of us on Design Mom. Friends, meet Lindsey.
Q: If we only knew four things about you, what would they be?
A: I love to learn about anything and everything. I like to read and am a sucker for memoirs, particularly if they are written by chefs or food bloggers. This is my favorite one at the moment. Everything in my life centers around food and cooking and the people I love. They are intertwined. I am very passionate, but not many people get to see that side of me. A lot of times people think I’m a snob, but really I’m just sort of shy and reserved and I prefer to quietly observe the world. But if you get me talking about something I love, good luck trying to shut me up!
Q: How did you get here?
A: I wish I could say I’ve lived all over the world or had an interesting upbringing, but it was really rather ordinary. Things did get interesting when I turned 20 and on an impulse, moved to New York to work for a year. I was a pre-med student and was buckling under the self-imposed pressure of my upper-level science classes. Organic chemistry had me breaking out in a sweat in the middle of the night.
I didn’t love New York right away. Right after I moved there 9/11 happened and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Eight months later, I finally decided I was in love with New York. It helped that my husband and I spent a lot of our courtship wandering through Manhattan shopping, going to museums and movies, eating at every Indian restaurant we could find, and going to see They Might Be Giants perform. I admit I’m a much bigger fan now than I was then, though I did a great job pretending.
My husband started grad school and I started having babies. Staying home with babies and toddlers was really good for my cooking and baking habits, and blogging was a natural outlet for that. I also revived my love for photography and scored my first DSLR for Mother’s Day in 2006 thanks to my persistence and our generous tax refund. I had always loved photography and had taken a few classes here and there, but I had never taken pictures of food before. My best friend Liz suggested I start taking pictures to go along with the recipes I was posting on my blog and I was hooked. Food doesn’t move, you see. And if it does, then I’m not eating it or blogging about it!
We moved back to Utah four years ago with our three kids who were three-and-a-half, two, and two weeks old at the time. I don’t recommend moving across the country with a newborn, by the way. Total craziness!
Little by little, and now that I’m in my thirties, I feel like I’m finally discovering what it is that I would like to be, or what I’m meant to do in this world. My interests are so varied and it’s been kind of difficult to decide just what I want to be when I grow up. Last week I’d have said an organic farmer who raises goats and makes Chèvre. This week I think I want to go back to school to become an Occupational Therapist. Next week I might decide to become a full-fledged food photographer. And after that, who knows? A novel maybe?
One more thing about me: I’m incredibly indecisive.
Q: Tell us about your life today, this very minute.
A: It’s been a really quiet day. That’s unusual. Most days are pretty busy. My husband and I both work from home; he has changed careers from being a librarian to doing special effects and art direction for TV and film. I write, develop recipes, style and photograph those recipes, and try to keep my laundry and dishes under control. Whenever I can, I help him with his projects, and he reciprocates. Prop hunting is our favorite thing to do. Every day is different and I never really know what to plan for when I get up every day. That’s unnerving and incredibly fun at the same time. Quiet days are always welcome.
Q: Three things you love, and three things you don’t love at all!
I love seeing new places and meeting new people, good food, and my collection of Havaianas flip-flops. I hate Winter, sauerkraut, and earwigs.
Q: How do you spend the favorite part of your everyday?
A: It changes from day to day. Some days I will wake up really early and be alone for a bit as the sun rises over the mountains and that will be my favorite. Other days it will be the nights that my kids are in bed too late and I’m snuggling them and listening to the five happy and five sad things about their day. Another day it might be that moment of satisfaction when I finally tackled the sink full of dishes that had been sitting there for a week. Or two.
Q: The last thing you saw online that moved you…
A: I recently learned about Malala Yousafzai and I was incredibly moved by her story. I cried. Malala is a Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban and left for dead because she spoke out about wanting to go to school. I love the “I am Malala” campaign.
Q: If you were given one do-over, what moment would you choose to change?
A: If I have to choose just one, I would definitely go back in time and stand up to the boys who bullied me on a daily basis in junior high and high school. Actually, could I just go back and redo all of my teenage years now that I’m so much older, smarter, and braver?
Q: Please fill in the blanks: If I wasn’t a (blank), I’d probably be a (blank).
A: If I wasn’t an Anglophile, I’d probably be a Francophile!
I feel much better now: she leaves dishes in her sink sometimes for a week. Or two. Sigh. Perhaps there could be an upcoming post on how to tackle washing dishes, Lindsey? If anyone could make that chore look stylish and simple, it’s you!
P.S. — You’ll be meeting another one of my lovely and smart contributors soon!