I help bloggers on a weekly basis via The Wonder Jam. Sometimes I’m redesigning their blogs (like this one, or this one, or most recently this one!), sometimes I’m consulting and other times I’m teaching them how to take photos! I’m constantly helping bloggers grow their audience, increase revenue + improve their content.
Sometimes it feels weird because I don’t usually have the same goals. I don’t blog to make money, I don’t display ads and heck…I don’t even post that often! So why do I blog? To be terribly real.
I love this quote from The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. With the recent news of Robin Williams (and so many other hurting individuals), I remember how much I hate to think of people feeling lonely. Since I was a kid, I would reach out to the kids who had no friends. I would have the girl over who had pet snakes (but everyone teased) or the kid who lived with his grandma (that everyone ignored). It never really made me popular either but I couldn’t bear to think of someone sitting alone or feeling rejected. As an adult, I experience anxiety and know that certain times can feel really dark. I can’t imagine what it’s like for those struggling with depression.
My goals for blogging have changed over the last 5 years but I now know why I continue to post: I love connecting with you all without bias. I come to this place with the desire to hear what you think, how you feel and who you really are (without all the superficial shit like how much money you make, what you look like or if you were homecoming queen 15 years ago). I hope that’s why you continue to visit and please know that if you ever need to talk or find yourself in pain, you can reach out to me.
I’ve met so many wonderful people ALL OVER THE WORLD because of this blog and that makes me smile. I promise to continue to bring honesty, authenticity and my true self to this space for however long it lasts.
*Photo of me bent over laughing…by Meghan Newsom
In no particular order:
- Olaf from Frozen. I watched the movie three times in three days
- Wireless bras from Journelle. More comfort and I don’t need them any perkier.
- Working out. Especially yoga via YogaGlo.
- Chrissy Teigan, in general.
- Sam Smith’s new album, In the Lonely Hour
- No plans to travel much in the near future. I’ve enjoyed being home.
- The book I’m co-writing. More on that next week!
- Nude nail polish.
What’s been making you smile lately?
Five years ago (June 5th is my anniversary), I moved to Columbus after getting married and slowly began to explore this city. I wasn’t gluten-free back in 2009 and we lived in the ‘burbs. That meant a lot of Olive Garden, Applebees, Little Caesar’s and Chipotle. Ehhhh. As we made our way south, towards downtown, we realized what a good-food-loving-city Columbus really is.
Instagram allowed me to document this journey while I fell in love with Columbus’ taste in good food. Food trucks, small diners, farm to table, reallllly good alcohol. All local. It totally blew me away. Even as I became gluten-free and began to refine my diet, the Columbus restaurant scene still delivered.
So here’s my favor. For what you would spend on a really sugary drink at Starbucks, you could help me and my city. We are getting an amazing gift called The Commissary. It’s going to be a flexible space for pop-ups, meetings, and classes where food makers and farmers can experiment, create, collaborate, and share. I’m excited to be on the board for their non-profit section and am going to be able to teach food makers how to take better photos for their websites.
Okay I got distracted…so for $6, you can help back it and help them meet their goal. You’ll get a sticker. You’ll make me smile. And if you ever come to Columbus, we’ll hang out and eat all this amazing food.
If you find it in your heart to support this awesome thing that I’m involved in, comment below and I’ll send you a little thank you in the mail! Plus, who doesn’t love pen pals?
But it doesn’t get as many Instagram likes.
There’s lots of talk lately about Instagram and what it encourages: perfectly styled photos, standing on chairs to take a photo of your food and selfies for days. I would say it bothers me 10% of the time.
I jump on Instagram or Bloglovin’ and many of my peers are renovating homes, re-designing every room in the house and somehow all of them have the most amazing natural light. Then I look up from my phone and at our home, the duct tape keeping our AC window units working, the fact that I never have steamed out the creases in our Target curtains or the fact that our kitchen floor always looks dirty and think, “Oh my gosh. When are we going to be able to upgrade this shit!?”
Or there are the days where we eat Chipotle every night for dinner and I see all these beautifully styled (okay…too styled) plates of fresh, CSA meals being prepared by fellow bloggers across the country.
That’s 10% of the time. The rest of the time I’m just submerged deep into The Wonder Jam, side projects, collaborating with my friend across the country, photographing the beautiful people in my life or sleeping. I love how cheap our rent is. I’m proud of how long I can go without doing my hair. I love other people who are down-to-earth + real. I admire those who aren’t using social media.
But I’m all about Instagram as my happy/visual place. I love the perfectly styled photos and the selfies where you feel beautiful. Plus, people can do whatever they want. Less judging! Just know that my feed (or this blog) isn’t my whole life. It’s a small snippet and it’s a space where I see beauty in the life that I’m creating. But damn, my life is usually a mess. And I’m cool with that.
As you may have noticed…our May was quite eventful. AND EXPENSIVE. It left us quite high and dry and we’re treating June as a “re-save all the monies” type of month. Some expenses included:
- Trip to Nashville (while it was a Death to the Stock Photo trip, we spent money of our own) $
- My birthday $$
- Trip to NYC (same as Nashville x 100) $$$
- Put down our deposit on our studio (we’re currently subleasing but had to sign the lease for when we take over September 1 and put down a month’s worth of rent as a deposit) $$$$
- A pipe exploded under our bathroom sink $
- We hosted our 1 year birthday party for The Wonder Jam $$$
Oof. So last weekend, I decided to treat myself with a twenty dollar bill that Adam’s grandma sent to me in the mail for my birthday. While it was belated, it came at the perfect time. I bought myself an iced cinnamon honey latte (with almond milk) down the street for $3.75 and skipped over to Walgreens for some drugstore makeup.
I’m sort of a walking dichotomy because I equally hate AND love getting “ready.” I probably only wash my hair once a week and the idea of getting ready usually sets my eyes rolling. BUT I also love makeup. It’s an obsession and when I do wear it – I really, really love it. I watch all the makeup artists who are huge on YouTube, I buy really high end makeup but I also love drugstore makeup. (Side note: when did drugstore makeup start getting so expensive though??)
All that to say…I sat in our empty guest room (we call it the ZEN ROOM) in front of a mirror and did my makeup 100 different ways and experimented with braiding my hair. Oh and my brother sat in there with me while he worked. What a pal…
So there you have it. My $20 treat day. Since Adam and I are going on a beach vacation with his family next weekend, I sold a few clothes over on Instagram and intend on buying some beachwear soon. There’s something strangely challenging (in the best way) about being on a budget.
Long time, no talk! We had been in NYC since last Thursday and arrived back in Columbus late Monday. Yesterday I spent the day catching up on email + client work but I thought I would break up each day in NYC and give them each their own post. I took enough pictures to share!
After a flight delay, we got into NYC around 4pm and headed straight to our Airbnb in Red Hook. I wasn’t familiar with this part of Brooklyn but I always love getting to know new neighborhoods when we travel. Photos to come later! After dropping off our bags, we snagged an Uber taxi and headed to East Village to meet Dabito for ice cream at Van Leeuwen. Pistachio ice cream is my jam (FYI).
We later found tacos (I ate way too much corn on this trip which left me feeling slightly like a blimp) and wandered the streets. While I wasn’t hungry at all, we had to stop by Tu-Lu’s Gluten Free Bakery because…red velvet cupcakes. If only their employees were as friendly and warm as our very own Cherbourg Bakery!
Exhausted from a day of travels, Adam and I headed back to our apartment while David scampered off to a electronic swing dance party. If only I was that cool.
Stay tuned for day 2 and how NYC gave me its own version of a blowout…
Today’s my birthday! I’m celebrating with good coffee, quality time with Adam not working + hopefully not too much rain.
We made it to Friday! Instead of my usual “Let’s Get Coffee” post, I thought I’d switch it up and grab a glass of wine with you! I’ve done this a few times and it’s like a virtual date and I get to know more about you all. Here’s how we do it! You answer any of the following questions in the comment section. Mine are down at the very bottom!
- What’s your biggest fear?
- What song is stuck or playing in your head RIGHT now?
- Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
- If you’re at a coffeeshop – what do you order?
- What’s your middle name?
Here are my answers!
My biggest fear is that I’ll be arrested and found guilty of something I didn’t do.
TURN DOWN FOR WHAT?!
Introvert. Big time. I’m working on a secret introvert project right now so if you want to chat or could answer a few questions, email me!
Usually I order just a black coffee but if I don’t want to sit and sip for awhile I’ll order a double macchiato (but not like Starbucks…like the real thing. Espresso and foam)
My middle name is Rose!
Looking forward to hearing from YOU! Also read the last two in this series here and here.
Most of the blogs that I follow are based on either coast (mainly NYC or LA) and while I tend to drool over their photos, I will always be a midwest girl. I grew up in Illinois, went to college in Indiana and now I live in Ohio. Last weekend we spent 24 hours in Indianapolis (specifically in Fountain Square) and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. I found myself distracted by all the typography, signage and the little details. Plus, New Day Meadery makes my favorite mead. I had a glass of their strawberry rhubarb alongside a plate of brie, honey and prosciutto. Quite divine.
Yesterday Adam and I were able to spend a solid two hours with our friends Josh and Megan over coffee & tea and it was good for the soul. I have known Megan since we were fourteen years old and both had an interest in art. We stayed close in college while both majoring in the arts. We painted, designed, sculpted + more.
Fast forward nine years and here we were: married, owning businesses, owning homes and yet still creating. I realized on our way back to Columbus that many of my close friends throughout my life haven’t been artists or designers. Besides Megan and my friend Kellyn, it has always been a bit scarce. I miss watching talented people create right in front of me. Less tech, more hands-on.
What do your friends do? Do you all have similar occupations or hobbies? Do you think that’s important or do you think as we get older those things don’t matter quite as much?