Last week on Instagram, I asked for questions you would want to see answered in a Q&A. I love getting to know you better, so please comment something (or a few things) about yourself at the bottom of the post! As for what you asked me, I tried to answer everything and added in a few of my own. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions! My answers are split into 3 categories: blogging, personal, & style/beauty. Let’s jump in!
What were you doing before you started blogging?
I worked as a writer for several technology companies. While I loved my first marketing job out of college, subsequent roles were increasingly less creative. The last corporate job I held was at Facebook in California, and I always say it was the “best job that wasn’t for me.” The company, people, and culture were incredible, but I never felt that I was using my creative skills to their full capacity.
How did you know you wanted to start a blog?
While planning our wedding in 2015, I found myself really happy working on the creative elements (paper, design, colors, etc.). I didn’t know then, but that was my first clue to move into a different industry.
Who takes your photos?
David takes photos of me, and I take everything else. Photography is new to us and we’re eagerly learning as we go!
What kind of camera do you use?
We use a Canon EOS Mark IV camera with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L lens.
Do you have plans to use YouTube or Instagram TV (IGTV)?
Having worked in the social media space, I think Instagram TV was prematurely released. Right now, I would rather provide quality content via one medium rather than mediocre content across many.
Whose art or creativity inspires you?
This changes often! We recently watched a documentary about Fred Rogers (from the 90s children’s show, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood) and his understanding of how to employ his creative gifts for the betterment of children floored me. He did his work seriously and hoped people would understand what his work was about, which was a singular message: give an expression of care every day to each child to help him or her realize they are unique and accepted as they are. He also understood that his own emotional vulnerability was key to the process of creating, which is something I strongly believe as well.
What does David do for a living?
David owns a hedge fund that invests in alternative markets. He comes from a family of entrepreneurs and, while we share the entrepreneurial bug, he’s the numbers guy and I’m the creative.
What do you do to decrease stress/anxiety?
I struggled with anxiety in the past and while it doesn’t surface often now, it can rear its head from time to time. I’ve found that staying present is essential. Rather than rehearse immaterial, anxious thoughts, I intentionally focus on the present moment. Whether it be my fingers on a warm mug of really aromatic tea or the sky, breeze, and greenery around me on a long walk, what I can see, smell, touch, and taste somehow has a way of pulling me into reality and out of my head.
As for stress, much of mine is relieved when I create. Early morning long walks (without my phone), good sleep, and art (books, music, movies, etc.) help as well. I also journal frequently.
What do you eat in a day?
My healthy eating journey began in college, but I learned the most about nutrition working with various groups in California. Something I’ve noticed about today’s nutrition world is that it’s very “campy.” There’s the vegan and paleo groups yelling at each other, and every other day someone is demonizing fats or carbs or broccoli or fruit or dairy. Rather than pick up on every trend blowing in like a storm, I try to keep it rational and focus on what has worked well for me over a long period of time.
For me, this looks like eating high-quality foods from the earth and lean animal proteins I enjoy. I eat about 95% of my meals at home on a monthly basis and absolutely love grocery shopping in the expectation of filling our refrigerator with colorful, nutritious foods. I avoid things I know I’m sensitive to according to legitimate blood tests. For me these include whey, eggs, pineapple, almonds, pistachios, cashews, and trout. Strange list, I know!
Our staple groceries include berries, apples, Ezekiel bread, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, spinach, quinoa, brown rice, Japanese sweet potatoes, high fiber tortillas, chicken breast, wild salmon, barramundi, and fresh herbs and lemons for flavor.
Do you have an exercise routine?
Yes, I love to workout! I played soccer through high school and took up running in college. I love functional workouts (I sometimes stream @pvolve but prefer private sessions with @longleanclub when I’m able), power walking, and running.
What was it like living in California?
I am a West Coast girl at heart. We lived in San Francisco for about 6 months before moving down to Palo Alto. While I didn’t enjoy San Francisco, I absolutely loved the valley. The weather is perfect year-round. There’s fresh food everywhere and endless adventure a short drive away (Napa, Lake Tahoe, Santa Cruz, Carmel, Big Sur). Our neighborhood was homey and the local grocery shop attendants knew us by name. We also loved the culture; it tends to be more transient, so it’s like being in college – everyone is open to making new friends. It’s taken several years for me not to feel a little achey when I think of Cali. Thankfully, we still visit for vacation or work 1-2 times a year.
How do you spend your free time?
It depends on my mood! Since my job is sedentary, I like to go on long walks with my pup in the evening. I also love downtime at home cozying up with a book or my journal and a candle. Sometimes I’ll play guitar; sometimes I’ll try a new recipe. At least once a day I can be found relaxing on our porch’s bed swing.
What are you favorite things to do in North Carolina? In Raleigh?
I love the North Carolina coast. We love the Outer Banks and Emerald Isle for vacation.
In Raleigh, David and I try to get out to a new restaurant or bar about once a week. When we’re not dining out, we like finding local events at art museums, coffee shops, or downtown. Honestly, though, I am a homebody and an introvert. My ideal Saturday usually involves being around 1-3 people at home relaxing, while David’s involves getting out with 10-12 friends. We are still finding a balance for our social time together.
Do you have a twin?
No, but my sister, Molly, and I are often mistaken for twins! She looks like a brunette version of me. I dyed my hair brown after college and my parents were constantly confusing us.
I’ve noticed you periodically sift through who you’re following and unfollow people on Instagram. Why and how do you do this?
I decide based on whether or not that person, influencer, or brand is positively affecting my life in the season that I’m in. If I’m in a more vulnerable place there are certain accounts I won’t follow. If I sense I’m needing more creative inspiration, there are certain accounts I will follow and so forth. I am highly sensitive to my environment (what I see, read, listen to), which is why I choose to do this about once a month.
How did you meet David?
David and I met at a wedding the year after I’d graduated college. I actually didn’t even know the bride and groom but was asked to the wedding on a blind date (not David’s date!). David was interested in me from the get-go but I wouldn’t give him the time of day for almost 8 months. He’s very persistent, to say the least. I’ll share more of our story come our anniversary this October.
Style & Beauty
Do you color your hair?
Yes, I started getting highlights when I was 16. This year I decided to start going back to my natural color (ashy blonde). I wrote more about my hair care and color here.
Do you have any packing tips for short weekend trips?
Yes! We became very efficient travelers living in California; those coast to coast trips aren’t exactly a piece of cake. For short weekends away, there are two keys: organization and staple pieces.
For staple pieces, you can’t go wrong with a white tee, denim (shorts or full-length depending on the season), a lightweight jacket or cardigan, pajamas, and something nicer like a dress or a maxi skirt with a feminine blouse. Pack one pair of flats, one pair of heels, a pair of trainers (if you like to hike or workout), and you’re set.
Do you have a skin care routine?
I primarily use Zo Skin Health products and see an aesthetician every 8-12 weeks. Other than that, I drink lots of water and go makeup-free whenever possible. I shared every product in my morning and nighttime skincare routines here.
Do you take supplements?
Yes, I take a multi-vitamin, B complex, Vitamin C with rosehips, wheatgrass, and biotin daily. My husband and I love this protein shake as well. I learned a lot about supplementation working with Stark Training and Brook Eneas.
What are your favorite places to shop?
I love Revolve, ShopBop, Nordstrom, Dermstore, Alo Yoga, and Reformation. I also love places like Zappos and 6pm for discount shopping.
Now it’s your turn! Let me know 2-3 things about you in the comments or on this Instagram photo. I love getting to know my readers!