How did you get into blogging? When did you start and more importantly, why did you start and how did you get to where you are are today?
I never imagined myself as a stay-at-home mom, but once I had our first son, everything changed. The love for a child is beyond powerful! I couldn't imagine my days without him. It took a year to convince my husband (who was on a teacher's salary) that we could make it on one salary. I began couponing to save money, and came across several coupon blogs that provided me with tips and tools to take my savings to the max.
Then I joined a local mom group seven years ago, and met a blogger who asked if I'd consider writing for her. My passion for writing was born, well technically I've always had a huge love for reading and writing, but I'd never considered writing online. After writing for her for almost a year, I began my own site, My Boys and Their Toys.
Starting a blog from scratch with no followers or readers is hard work, but I was dedicated! I hustled my way up the blogging ladder by teaching myself everything there was to know about the blogging world. I watched youtube videos, read articles on blogging, paid for online courses, attended several blogging conferences, and continued to absorb everything I could about this evolving influencer space.
What are your goals for your blog?
Building a readership; a community. I combined my joy of helping others with blogging by sharing my experiences on the site. Word of mouth marketing never dies, and that's what we as bloggers do. We share our experiences with up-and-coming products, suggest DIY projects, offer parenting solutions, and even travel the country, and sometimes the world, to share our recommendations with others.
Who are some of your favorite fellow bloggers? Who or what inspires you outside of the blogosphere (books, movies, TV, other people’s stories, etc.).
One of my favorite bloggers is Trisha at Momdot. She's been in the blogging space longer than I have, and is crushing it. She has a private Facebook group for bloggers to share advice and help one another.
Blogging is a competitive space, but I find comfort in her blogging community. Ruth at Living Well Spending Less is another blogger I admire. I paid for her online courses to grow my brand/blog. She is super knowledgeable. The person who inspires me the most outside of blogging is God. I have always had a strong spiritual bond, but that's not something I typically talk about on the blog. Politics and religion can be controversial.
Who would you invite to your ultimate dinner party (celebs, family members, historical figures, etc)?
Oh boy, that's a loooong list! Haha. I have always envied Oprah and Dr. Phil. I tend to draw towards people who help others. It's something I'm really passionate about myself. I love all of their wisdom and would love to pick their brains!
I've also had the amazing opportunity while blogging to work with Walt Disney Studios and interview many celebrities like Chris Evans, Michael Douglas, and Rachel McAdams. It's truly a dream come true. That said, if I could invite Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, and Sandra Bullock to my dinner party I would be over the moon.
What’s your favorite part about living where you do?
I live near Mickey Mouse! I'm a born and raised Floridian and couldn't be prouder of my hometown. Honestly I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. We're sort of spoiled here in Central Florida with an abundance of activities to stay busy.
What are some of your favorite things (think Oprah style) - food, fashion, home decor, etc. All the little things that make your day better!
Anyone who knows me is aware of my love for chocolate. I am constantly sharing dessert recipes on my Facebook page (sorry everyone). ;) My favorite chocolate is hands-down Reese's Cups. As for fashion, it's definitely Maxi dresses. They are perfect for almost any occasion. Beauty products I can't live without are Aveeno shampoo and conditioner, and Tarte Shape Tape concealer. They're a must! My home is filled with beachy decor. Since I live in Florida and enjoy the outdoors, I surround myself with everything from pictures of waves to starfish.
What’s your personal motto?
Keep looking forward and believe in yourself!
What do you do in addition to blogging?
Raising kids/being a mom, side hustles, etc. First and foremost, I'm a mom of two sweet boys, and wife to an Elementary School Principal. If I'm not photographing and writing for my blog, you'll find me volunteering at the school. I'm also a Young Living wholesaler and enjoy sharing my knowledge for natural products with others. One of my most popular blog posts of all time is an essential oils blend that helps my son's tics.
Who’s your role model? Which women do you find inspiring?
Any woman who's her own boss. That dedication, inspiration, and hustle is fierce!