Frequently Asked Questions:
Or, things I’d like you to know…
If I don’t cover it, feel free to email me!
1. How did you get started blogging?
It was completely spontaneous and without any strategy whatsoever. I never kept a diary in my life, nor did I ever considered myself a writer; although I love telling stories. I just thought blogging might be a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover a supportive, encouraging community out there in the blogosphere.
Eventually opportunities started coming along to work with brands and make a little extra spending money, and who am I to turn down free stuff and a little extra income? So here I am, almost 8 years later and still going strong!!
2. Do you really make money with this thing?
The short answer is yes, I do. In the past few years, the blog has pretty much become my main gig and sole source of income. You can find the long answer in my post, How Do You Make Money Blogging?
3. How do you take your outfit photos?
I usually set the camera precariously on a counter somewhere and set the timer (this is not the recommended procedure, as once the camera fell and broke our pricey external flash — not pretty!!) If my kids or husband is home, I ask one of them to take them (the preferred method but not always convenient.)
4. Do you really look that put together all the time?
Uh, no. Just ask the neighbors. I have plenty of days that I throw on sweats or stay in my workout clothes. But I do try to shower and fix up more often than not. I feel so much better and I’m much more productive when I take the time to get dressed.
5. Do you really change your purse to match every outfit?
Not EVERY day. It just depends on how motivated I feel and where I’m going and how badly the one I was using clashes with what I’m wearing. It’s a fun and easy way to accessorize; and besides, it’s a great way to keep your purse organized and cleaned out!
6. Why did you decide to go gluten free?
I have suffered from a variety of tummy ailments for years, and I finally decided to give gluten-free living a try to see if it helped. I feel a lot better eating this way so for now I’m sticking with it.
7. Is eating gluten free healthier?
Not necessarily. Gluten-free junk is still junk, although most gluten-free companies tend to use higher quality ingredients than typical processed food. But gluten-free living is only necessary if you have a sensitivity to gluten. It’s much more important to eat a variety of good quality, organic whole foods. I experienced a bit of a food conversion a few years ago, and you can read all about that here — My Whole Foods Conversion Story, although I’ve mellowed significantly since I wrote that post.
8. What camera do you use to take pictures for your blog?
We have a Nikon D7000 and a D50 with various lenses and an external flash. My favorite is the 50mm portrait lens, and I use that to take most of my food photos. My husband is the photography guy; I just like to play around with it. I love Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography books for tutorials on making the most of your SLR camera. See my post on How To Take Better Pictures Instantly for some of my best photo taking tips for any digital camera.
9. What does your “daily routine” look like? Do you set specific hours for blogging and other projects?
Hahaha. Um. No. I am not a very routine-oriented person, but I’ve had to develop a loose routine so I can keep all the balls I’m juggling in the air.
The one thing I am consistent about is getting up in the mornings before the rest of the household. I like to get up between 5:30 and 6:00 AM and enjoy a cup of coffee and check my email in peace. Then it’s time to wake up the kids. Once I get them off to school, I work. I try to fit in a run or a gym workout sometime before lunch, and sometimes I make appointments and run errands during school hours, but I really try to keep my calendar open so I can get my computer work done while the kids are out of the house.
I try to be attentive to the kids during after-school hours, and that is when I do the laundry and dinner prep. We often eat late, and I’m a grannie so I like to be in bed between 9 and 10 PM, so that doesn’t leave a lot of time after dinner for being productive. Sometimes I read or watch TV, and sometimes I hop back on the computer, but I try to take it easy during that time. I usually take the weekends off and spend time with my family or read.
10. If you could only shop for clothes (for you) at three stores, what would they be?
Oh that is easy. I tend to shop at the same few stores all the time. If I could only pick 3, it would be Nordstrom, White House Black Market and Athleta. I do try to represent a wider variety of stores in my outfit posts because I know not everyone shares my budget or tastes, but I could pretty much clothe myself entirely from these three stores.
11. Do you have any sort of editorial calendar for this blog?
Again, I’m not very routine oriented, but I have developed a loose schedule (do you notice a theme here??) that seems to work well for me.
- Sundays: Menu Plan with Real Food Recipe Roundup
- Mondays: Recipe
- Tuesdays: Beauty
- Wednesdays: What I Wore
- Thursdays: Sponsored Post or Travel
- Fridays: Fashion
- Saturdays: Memoir/Journal (I call these #CoffeeTalk)
I do not always have a post for each of these categories every week, and I will often will throw up another post in addition to those listed, if I have a product review or a life post that fits. I try to post once or twice a day on weekdays. Weekends are a crapshoot. It all depends on if I have time or not. I try to take it easy on the weekends and don’t pressure myself to post.
12. Let me get this straight, you run this blog, you run a local social networking group, and you still find time to work out, cook and clean, and take care of your family . . . HOW do you do it all?
I don’t. Trust me. No one does it all. We all make choices, and I’m not sure I’m doing anything very well. I do tend to bite off a lot, but it’s USUALLY not more than I can chew. When it is, I cut back or drop something. I just do what everyone else does — prioritize, focus on what’s in front of me, and keep moving forward. I am not super mom — far from it! But I do hope that I can be an encouragement to other moms out there in the trenches who are doing what I’m doing — juggling work and family and self and trying to maintain a sense of humor.
Thanks for reading!