1. The first thing you would probably be very surprised to know about me is that I an introvert. It took me several of my adult years to figure out why I was so drained after a social event or why making small talk at a cocktail mixer gave me a sense of dread and anxiety, while many of my friends and my husband are so good at it. I took a personality test and realized I have an introverted personality and then the figurative lightbulb flashed on. I'm just not wired to be ultra social unless I am in a small group of people I know well. Blogging is an odd job combination for my personality type then - but thankfully I have a photographer that brings me out of my shell a bit and I usually politely decline 'networking' events to save my sanity. Weird, maybe? But I can live with it. It is also why I read so much, if I've had to be extra "social" or extroverted for a day I can take time to rejuvenate myself with a little time in a book.
2. I've been blogging for over 8 years. (Eight!?!?) That sounds like forever... doesn't it? Before Facebook had "Pages", before Twitter, before Instagram, before Pinterest, Snapchat, etc etc... the list goes on. I'm very thankful I got in on the ground floor. Although it made for weird conversations with some friends and family at the time. A what!?!? What's a blog!?!? Now I can say that I blog for a living and maybe get a few sideways glances, but nothing like 8 years ago. Another fun fact, I also had a different blog before this one. It's long shuttered, but just remember that if at first you don't succeed: try, try again.
3. Speaking of blogging for a living. Blogging is actually my "job." I think a lot of people think since I'm a mom I just do blogging on the "side" or as a "hobby" or "isn't it so cute Jill has a blog?" It's true I often make it look effortless to friends and family since my schedule is super flexible, but I still log the hours and do the work - even if it's the wee hours of the morning or night or all afternoon on a Sunday to catch up. If I didn't blog for a living I would have a different job because giving my fair share to the family finances is important to me. As a mom, I am SUPER thankful I stuck it out in the blogging industry after 8 years of ups and downs. Now my job pays well with great hours and allows me to take care of my kiddos and support my husband in his career which is very demanding lately.
4. I take sponsored posts very seriously. I think bloggers easily get a bad rap that they gets "tons of free stuff" or just take whatever money whatever brands throw at them. For this blog that couldn't be further from the truth. I rarely get free stuff and when I do, I make sure it's something I would have spent my own hard earned money on myself. I get probably 8-10 junk proposals a day for the weirdest products people want featured on the blog (e-cigarettes, feminine products, baby clothes giveaways - what!?!?!) that don't even fit the vibe of this blog at all. If I don't love it... it doesn't show up here. The end. That way when you see a sponsored post or a free product I've featured you know that it's gone through rigorous screening and thought. I need to make money here on this space of the internet... but not at all costs.
5. I worry about getting "old" in the biz. It seems like there is a fresh crop of young and gorgeous bloggers popping up everyday all day. At almost 40 years old it can be really intimidating. I feel young (until I see a college age kid and they look like one step up from a toddler!)... but hey, the reality is I'm still getting older every day. I think most women worry about their age and there is added pressure when your looks are tied to your career. I am trying to be super level headed about it though. Lately I've been contemplating lasers, botox, injections, etc but I want to make sure I am doing those things because they are what I truly want to do and not doing them just to make sure I look good for the blog. It's important to keep it real for me... plus, (hate to break it to you) you lovely ladies are aging everyday with me. My hope is we can all do it gracefully together. Deal?
(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)
Jeans, Gap (no longer available, love these!)
Bag, Rebecca Minkoff
Wedges, J.Crew - on super sale! Also, FYI I went down a full size on these.
Sunglasses, Tory Burch