So many of you ask me questions on a daily basis – usually in my Instagram DM’s. Sometimes I get 100-200 questions a day about everything from raising kids, home decor advice, to blogging/business + more. I thought why not begin answering some of the questions here on the blog? I love having the opportunity to open up about my life…
I’ll answer any question, and if I decide to focus in on a certain topic, I’ll let you know ahead of time so that you can ask me all the appropriate questions.
Last week’s Q+A Session was so fun. We talked about what advice I’d give my younger self, what made me become a flight attendant, a story about how I “borrowed” my parents car when I was 15 to pick up a friend.. (It didn’t end well for me.. ;)), and a bit about blogging & business. Click here if you missed it and would like to read it.
I wanted to start by saying Merry Christmas – I hope all of you have an amazing holiday weekend with your family. We are just hanging around the house, watching football and enjoying one another’s company. I wanted to share with you some of our holiday traditions – Do we share any? Let me know in the comments!
By the way – Please ask me any questions in the comments of those post that you’d like me to answer in next’s weeks Q+A! Thank you.
A few of our Holiday Traditions
- We like to head over to Williams-Sonoma during the holiday season to get some of their Hot Chocolate mixes and Peppermint Bark. Both are amazing and a staple in our home during the November – January months.
- When it comes to decorating the Christmas tree we decorate it together with our favorite holiday movies playing in the background. I bought a new tree this year and I’m in love with the flocked style. I wrote a whole post about it – you can click here to read more about it.
- When we set our table for Christmas dinner we always place an English Christmas cracker on each plate. Everyone opens their cracker, places the crown that comes wrapped inside on their head and reads the joke that comes inside out loud. It always makes for a fun & festive night.
- The kids always open one present on Christmas Eve.
- We go into the city (San Francisco) and eat lunch at Neiman Marcus overlooking the large tree in Union Square during the Christmas month. We usually pick out a new ornament for our tree as well. It’s always a special day.
How tall are you?
I’m a very tall 5’4 ;)
What are your suggestions for decorating in January?
I’m still all about keeping things cozy, but with an emphasis on clean. After the holiday months, I’m ready for more of a less is more kind of attitude. It’s usually my organizing month and after a very dressed up Nov-Dec, I like to scale back my decorations in the house. I usually go on a cleaning rampage and donate as much as I can. I’m all about simplifying my life every January – spring.
You seem so laid back… does anything make you mad?
Yes – I’m human and get mad just like anyyone else. But not often. It’s usually over something stupid like Emma leaving her room a pigsty and I’m tired. ;) I really do try to always be positive however. I always look at life with a glass half full approach. There are too many real things to be upset about (losing someone or someone getting very sick) to waste time being upset or angry.
How do you whiten your teeth?
I had a set of trays made at the dentist that are molded to fit around my teeth. I place the bleach that’s made for teeth whitening at home inside the tray 1-2 days in a row for 30 minutes or so and I do that about once a month.
Glass cleaning tips.. how do you keep your windows so clean?
I hire a window cleaner that comes every May after the rains to give the windows a through cleaning. If I’m desperate I’ll beg Jeff to clean them. ;)
How do you and Jeff hide all of your TV components?
Because we renovated the house Jeff was able to place the electrical and cable wires directly behind the tv into the wall. No wires makes a huge diff. Cable boxes are so small now they can sit right behind the tv and rest on the TV wall hanger between the tv and the wall. Out of sight and out of mind. I love it!
What are your best parenting tips?
I really believe it’s important that parents set the example that they want their kids to follow. Kids emulate behavior they see. If you want respect from your kids then you need to treat your spouse and others with respect. Be kind toward one another. Do what you say you are going to do, etc. :) Set the best example you possibly can.
Set certain house rules… Bedtime rituals are huge. We always stuck to a routine. Bedtime wind down happened around 7:30 when Emma was young and she knew what to expect. Teach kids to clean up after themselves from an early age. We always tried to make it fun when she was really little. I taught Emma how to use the washing machine at 5 with a step stool and she was a whiz. ;)
So many other tips… I’ll have to write a blog post about what I learned as a Mom. :)
What are the details on your soda stream?
My soda stream is one of our favorite water options. I love that we don’t have to pay for carbonated water and we are able to flavor it any strength we like. You can click here to find out more about the one we have.
Who are you inspired by when decorating?
So many people… My Mom, other designers like Mark Cunningham, Studio McGee, Jeremiah Brent, Joanna Gaines, Barbara Barry, B. Patrick Flynn, and others. I like a good mix of styles, and I don’t like to box myself into just one. I love that nowadays everything is accepted.
How did you manage being a flight attendant with home life?
When Emma was little, I took time off from flying. When I went back to work, I went back part-time. Jeff and I juggled our schedules quite easily since we just had one child. It’s definitely a difficult job if you have a lot of kids and don’t have family who can help you and live close by. I admire those who manage to work full time and have kids… It’s soooo hard!!
What advice do you have for people starting their own blogs?
I have learned so much about blogging do’s and don’ts. I really thing it’s important to build your audience through social media first, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. That helps drive people and the necessary support for your blog. Consistency is key in posting ( I’m still working on this), building a schedule and deciding you’ll post a certain number of days a week so people know when to expect your posts.
Know who you are as a blogger and pick which category you fall into: design, lifestyle, fashion, DIY’er. When you know who you are, your audience will believe in you more as well.
What camera do you use?
I have always used my iphone until 2 weeks ago when I purchased a Canon EOS Rebel SL2. I still use my phone for most pics but love how sharp the camera makes everything look. I’m sure I’ll use it more as I learn more about it.
Have you ever visited New England?
I used to live on the East Coast and went to college in Virginia. There I met so many friends from the New England area. My college roommate was from Scituate, Mass which is right on the water. My college boyfriend was from the Berkshires (Great Barrington to be exact) and I spent tons of time visiting his family there. I went to Boston all the time for fun and on my working layovers and I have visited Rhode Island as well. I’ve been to New Hampshire but I have never been to Maine. Dying to go to the Cape & Nantucket soon with the family.
Did you ever consider adoption after having Emma?
Adoption was our backup plan before having Emma.. Once we had Emma, we were so tired. After everything we went through in regards to our IVF process, etc. to have her… we honestly felt so happy and fulfilled, we were ready to close that chapter. Do I wish I was able to provide siblings for Emma? Yes. Sometimes I wish that I adopted a little later.. I have always wanted a large family and Emma would have loved to have had a sister/brother.
What things are worth splurging on? What things do you save on?
A nice vacation with the family is something that I will always treasure and think is worth splurging on. I’m always trying to get a good deal on everything that I buy in regards to the home and fashion. If there is something that I really want I will usually try to hold off until it’s on sale. There is always another vacation to be had… adventure awaiting us that is more exciting than a handbag or shoes.
Where is a place you’d like to visit but have never been before?
There are so many places I want to go… the Maldives, Africa, Antartica, South America, Hong Kong, Japan, Barcelona.. and more!
How do you become partners/sponsors with various companies as a blogger? Do you reach out to them once you have a large following?
This is my experience and it does not reflect any other blogger but I will share what I think has helped me.
When I first started out on Instagram 4 years ago, I didn’t have as many followers as I do now. I had 3,000 in the first 3 months and then it grew to 25,000 + toward the end of the first year. Most companies reached out for product exchange/trade for posts on my account at that point.
4-5 years ago, there were quite a few bloggers who began blogging in 2007 – 2010 but they didn’t necessarily have huge IG audiences. Some bloggers did not value Instagram that much at the time as a marketing tool. I, on the other hand, began my brand with Instagram, then developed my blog after. I felt that IG was a huge tool and asset for me in terms of marketing and business and helping my blog grow.
As numbers grow on both Instagram and your blog, more companies will begin reaching out via DM or e-mail. At first most influencers find it’s for trade or exchanges only because you’re still small, but as you become more established as an influencer, then you become more valuable for them. Sometimes I will reach out to brands, but for the most part brands reach to me first.
I’m going to dive into this topic more in a separate blog post in the near future. It will be based on my experiences and what I have found works well for me. :)
What does Jeff do for work?
Jeff works in Cyber Security for a large technology company during the day… at night he loves to cook dinners at home and work on the house whenever possible. He is always doing something… With our newly renovated home he not only ran all the wires through for cable, internet and the speakers, but he completed our master bedroom built-in closet, added french drains to the yard, all the outdoor wiring for lights, etc. and so much more… He is a jack of all trades as are his 4 brothers. They pride themselves on figuring out how to do things. Through youtube, google, friends or whomever they will do everything they can to complete projects and complete them well. :)