I feel like most of the people that read my blog or follow me on social media have already met me in person and have known me for years. But, that isn’t always the case. There’s a new feature on Instagram where fellow Instagrammers can ask you a question and you can respond. I used the feature and received a really interesting mix of questions. It was really fun to answer them on Instagram. I’m sure there are things about me that you don’t know. So, for those of you who’d like to get to know me better, thank-you for reaching out. This post is for you!
1. How did you start your blog?
You can read my blog story by clicking here.
2. Are you a fashion blogger?
No. I consider myself a “mommy lifestyle and travel blogger”. My blog began as an events page and quickly grew into product reviews, travel coverage and now is a mix of everything pertaining to the life of a busy, yet social mom.
3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I really enjoy helping other people save time and money. That’s not to say I’m a “bargain hunter”. I’m not. Most of my audience is luxury oriented. They don’t use coupons. They are interested in the latest trends on what to do, who to see and where to go. My mission through blogging is to share my experiences in a way that lets you know a product or service is worth your time and your money. Sharing resources and information makes me happy. I also really love the community of people that I’ve met thru my blog. I have a passion for connecting people to one another.
4. What is the biggest misconception about blogging?
There’s a lot of misconceptions floating around about blogging and bloggers. But, the ones that I encounter most often is that “being a blogger is easy”. They think they can take a few selfies, tag a few brands, have an Instagram page and call themselves a blogger and get paid. If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it. Another misconception is that bloggers get everything for free or that they only work in exchange for freebies. Not true. I’ve been blogging for almost ten years and I don’t work for free or for freebies.
5. How do you make money from blogging? Like, do you consider this a “legit career and business’?
Yes, I absolutely consider blogging and social media marketing a legitimate career and business. Universities are actually beginning to offer social media classes. I believe that social media will eventually become a major at reputable colleges. There are journalism programs that have social media as an elective. I’m sure what you’re really curious about is how the heck do we [bloggers] get paid? People are baffled by the idea that we actually get paid and can make a career in social media, but they don’t want to be rude by asking the question. Everyone is different, but I get paid directly from brands, companies and marketing agencies. These collaborations are called paid partnerships. The brands and companies hire me to create high quality images and to write an article/post based on my authentic experiences, post the content on my blog and share it on my social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. I also represent various brands as a spokesmodel, print model and brand ambassador in a similar fashion to how celebrities get paid to endorse brands. Click here to learn more about how bloggers are changing the marketing and public relations strategies for brands and how some of the top bloggers and social media influencers are getting paid.
6. Is it true you were in a movie with Channing Tatum?
Yes, it’s true. I played Channing’s best friend’s girlfriend in the original movie Step Up. It’s a short speaking role. My hip hop dance scene with Channing ended up on the cutting room floor. However, I can be seen in the first few minutes of the movie, my name is in the credits at the end of the film and the film is listed on my IMDB.com page. I actually have one of those too. I just had it cleaned up so you can’t see all the “interesting” work I’ve done in my past.
7. Have you done any other movies or television stuff?
Yes. I’ve done over two dozen local television commercials, about a dozen national commercials including commercial print and billboard ads. I’ve had very small speaking roles in movies with Keanu Reeves, Don Cheadle, George Clooney and Mary Louise Parker. I’ve also been featured in a couple of reality television shows. On occasion, I’ll pop on a local television station and host a segment.
8. You seem to visit Cleveland quite a bit, are you moving there?
My husband and I both are from the Buckeye State. I grew up and went to school in Northwest Ohio. My husband Dave is originally from Cleveland and he inherited a house on the west side of the city. We have a lot of family back home, so we try to visit as much as possible. We use the Cleveland house as a vacation home.
9. How did you meet your husband?
We met at Bowling Green State University when I was a freshman studying Journalism and he was a graduate student in the Economics Department. It was love at first sight for me. He had long hair and was a little scruffy. He reminded me of Keanu Reeves’ character in the movie Point Break. I introduced myself to him in the lobby of my dorm. It was a brief, slightly weird encounter. I saw him a few weeks later at a college night club and we’ve been together ever since.
10. Out of all the places in the DC area, why did you choose to move to Clarendon/Arlington?
When I first moved to DC, Dave and I bounced around a bit. We originally lived in Potomac, then we moved to College Park, Greenbelt and Lanham. Maryland seemed too far away from all the action in DC, so we moved to the city of D.C. A friend suggested that we had the youthful energy and vibe of the community in Clarendon. She invited us to her neighborhood to check it out. It was the perfect blend of an urban and suburban lifestyle, yet we stayed in DC until we had kids. We learned about how great the public schools are here in Arlington. The buzz and walkability reminded us of Manhattan. I created my blog here and we’ve been here for almost 10 years. The area fits our active lifestyle and we love the diversity of our community.
11. Is your husband an “Insta-husband?”
Ugh, no. I wish. He doesn’t like being in the picture and he doesn’t enjoy using a camera or camera phone. But, he definitely enjoys all the perks I earn as as blogger.
12. What do you do when you’re not gallivanting around?
I try to fit in some self care. That usually involves a sheet facial mask, a teeth whitening kit and binge watching television or just sitting in silence for an hour. Silence is golden!!
13. What television shows are you currently watching?
I just downloaded Hulu! I’m watching The Handmaid’s Tale, Portlandia, Younger, Broad City and that’s pretty much all I have time for.
14. Do you speak any other languages?
I speak something called Spanglish. My dad’s from Mexico, so I grew up hearing Spanish every day. However, my mom is American and doesn’t speak Spanish. It was a very different time when my dad moved to the states. Immigrants wanted to blend in, so he perfected his American accent and decided not to teach me his native language. I took four years of Spanish in high school and like one semester of it in college. I definitely understand the language better than I can speak it.
15. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
My ears are pierced 4 times on one side and 2 times on the other ear. I don’t have any ink, but I love seeing it on other people. On occasion, I’ll get henna.
16. What type of music are you listening to these days?
I just downloaded the new Twenty One Pilots and Drake albums. I also just downloaded some new songs by Weezer, The Foo Fighters and some old songs by Depeche Mode. People are often shocked to discover that I am a huge rock-n-roller. I am from the Rust Belt after all. I also love dance music, especially latin dance and house music.
17. What other bloggers do you follow?
I have a variety of blogs that inspire me. But, right now my favorite blogger is Lee From America. I just enjoy all of her topics and how real she is. Even though she’s a lot younger than me, I feel she’s completely relatable and I see a lot myself in her posts, especially my younger self. I am also greatly inspired by Adventurous Kate, Cailin O’Neal and The Chriselle Factor.
18. Do you prefer to sing or to dance?
I will do both and don’t mind being the only person doing it! I love singing to classic Hole, Luscious Jackson, The Breeders and I love dancing to Daddy Yankee, Pitbull and J Balvin. I am a horrible singer. I guess that’s why I like songs where you can just talk, whisper or scream. I studied dance as part of my acting training in New York City, but I have to admit that what you see on the dance floor, I’ve more than likely memorized from a music video or my favorite dance class at the Sensazao Studio.
19. Are you an extrovert or an introvert?
I’m an ambivert. I recently went on a press trip and we went around the dinner table and answered a question for our hosts to get to know us better. One of the questions was Are you an extrovert or introvert? I was so surprised to hear that 8 out of 10 bloggers/social media influencers at this event considered themselves to be introverts and they also thought of themselves as socially awkward. I’m definitely more of an extrovert, but I really appreciate my time alone too. I like being social when I want to be social and value my privacy and silence when I have down time.
20. Tell me a little bit about your kids.
Ella is 10 and Logan is 8. They are both very creative and enjoy art, music and travel. They are both taking acting and film making lessons this summer and we are making plans to start taking music lessons this fall. Logan wants to learn the guitar, the drums and how to dee-jay and Ella plays the violin and is in chorus at her school.
21. Is it true you just started drinking coffee? What took you so long?
Yes! This is true. When I was a teenager, I sampled my mom and dad’s coffee at home. It was disgusting! I sampled it again in college and just couldn’t get used to the flavor. I also felt like it was something that old people drank. My life changed when Blue Bottle Coffee invited me to a Grand Opening/DC Influencer event at Union Market. After sampling their coffee, I fell in love with all of the flavors and the different ways it’s prepared. I learned so much about coffee and was instantly fascinated! But above all else, I fell in love with the euphoric feeling I got from drinking it. I’m really surprised at how much energy I actually get from drinking coffee. It’s like a miracle drink! I’m surprised coffee is legal. It’s like too good to be true!
22. Tell me something about yourself that most people probably don’t know.
Hmmn. Maybe that I’ve had a ton of jobs in my life, but blogging has been the most rewarding. I’ve been a paralegal, a rabbinical recruiter, a headhunter that recruited attorneys (my second favorite job in my life), I deejayed for college radio, and I’ve worked for a popular record label that produces house and techno music and I also worked as an assistant manager at a luxury day spa. And I’m still modeling and acting.
23. What do you want to be known for?
Helping and connecting others. I am very faith based (I believe in God) and I believe that my purpose in this life is to connect others. I derive happiness from truly making connections and bridging connections. I also want be known for being a loving mom, a doting spouse and a great friend. I want to be known as a kind person.
24. You’re a member of the network Awesome Women Entrepreneurs. Tell me about the organization.
Awesome Women Entrepreneurs is an amazing network of women business owners. The organization is for women entrepreneurs to network, collaborate and support one another through small group gatherings at local venues and our Facebook page. The organization was founded by my good friend Karen Bate. She has created the ultimate professional, social setting where busy women business owners can inspire and help each other. I’m on the board of advisors for AWE and I’m so happy to be part of an organization that is all about women honestly and truly supporting other women.
25. Where would you like to retire?
My husband and I love being by water (especially by the ocean or a lake). We both grew up near water. San Diego is a possibility. Los Angeles, Naples Florida, or Geneva Switzerland are all ideas. I fell in love with Montana when I visited a couple years ago. I absolutely love Washington D.C. We still own a condo in Hillcrest neighborhood that we could always retire to when the time is right.
26. What’s your go-to breakfast?
A Cali Bowl made with açaí from South Block Co in Clarendon. If I have time to cook, then I’ll make tofu scramble, black beans and sliced oranges and bananas with a champagne glass filled with sparkling water and a slice of cucumber.
27. How do you make health one of your priorities on a daily basis?
I try to schedule at least 30 minutes a day to mediate and sit in silence. It’s so important for my mental health. And rain or shine, I make it a priority to get outside in nature and go for a walk or a bike ride for at least 30 minutes a day. It doesn’t always work out with my hectic schedule, but I try to take at least one full hour to focus on physical and mental health on a daily basis.
28. What advice do you have for people struggling with the pressures of social media?
Remember that most people present their best selves on social media. Try not to compare yourself to others. Doing that isn’t healthy. Have fun with social media. Be yourself and if you’re feeling overwhelmed by it, take breaks! I take breaks all the time. Also, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. I began my blog before Instagram ever existed. Instagram takes up a ton of time for most people. It’s exhausting sometimes. I don’t have time to be on my phone that much. I produce content whenever I can and I plan an editorial calendar based on the deadlines of my business collaborations. I want to have fun with social media. I don’t want it to feel like a chore.
29. How do you juggle everything?
I’m a family woman first and foremost. Then, a business woman. In the words of Suze Orman “People first, then money, then things”. I’ve always abided by that rule. At the end of the day my relationship with you, my clients, my friends and my family is more important to me than being able to go on a trip to Disney World.
30. Tell me a few secrets about yourself.
I don’t really enjoy drinking alcohol that much, just some wine here and there. Random facts: I have a huge crush on Bill Gates and Keanu Reeves. I’m a pretty good vegan chef, although I eat everything. I’m very olfactory. I love to wear perfume and smelling good is an obsession.
Thank-you for submitting all of your questions! Please feel free to DM me on Instagram with more questions or leave them in the comments below!
Photography consideration by: Ksenia Pro Photography