So to celebrate my turning 30 this coming weekend, I figured I'd do a Q&A with questions submitted by my friends and readers. I was hoping to give you guys a few more details about me and this blog. Some questions have to do with blogging and some have to do with my life in general.
So here goes...
How many hours a week do you spend on your blog?
In the beginning I spent A LOT of hours on this blog but eventually I got into a great routine where I had the ball rolling and was always ahead on posting. So the amount of time has definitely decreased but still, the more time you put into something, the more successful it can be....so the answer to that is probably about 10 hours a week between writing posts, taking photos, responding to emails, and doing my own research for blog post topics.
What made you want to start a blog?
Well, my friends have always come to me for advice as far back as I can remember and they'd always tell me that I gave such good, neutral, realistic advice that I should write a book. So I did the next easiest thing and I started a blog where I could give advice to people on a variety of topics.
What is your favorite blog entry you have made since you started?
There are 2. They also both happen to be the most viral of all posts. Since I live my life on a budget and manage my money very well, it's definitely my How To Be On A Budget post and My Cash Envelope post. I love that these 2 posts have helped change people's lives!
What is one thing about being a blogger you think people will be surprised to find out?
Bloggers...they're just like you. They blow their nose, they go to the bathroom, the drive cars. Okay, just trying to mock those gossip magazines that say that kinda stuff about celebs. But seriously, bloggers are just like everyone else. The vast majority of us have 9-5 jobs, stage photos (our homes aren't nearly as perfect as the photos on social media make it look), and we become neurotic when we are out in public. We have to get just the right photo of our dinner when we go out to eat. Sometimes it takes 25 outfit photo poses until we fine the single one that we will use on our blogs. It's A LOT of work. I think the biggest misconception is that we just sit around and write. That's not how it is. There's so much planning, tracking, coordinating, scheduling, etc. that goes into every single thing we put out into the world. Oh and while it may seem like we get a lot of stuff for free, we really don't. I mean I'd be living the life if my entire grocery bill was covered from different companies I work with but that's not how it is. We're people too! :)
What are some of your favorite blogs to read?
Of course I have to plug my best friends' blogs and some of my fav bloggers that I stalk. Just kidding...or am I?
Helene in Between
Jersey Girl, Texan Heart
She Said, He Said
What is the biggest accomplishment you achieved due to your blogging?
Hands down, my book, Fixing Your Finances. Without this blog I would never have seen how viral my financial advice could go so I never would have had the confidence to do it!
What are your favorite opportunities that blogging has brought you?
There are a few. As far as companies and products are concerned - I got my dream product - a robotic vacuum named Bobi. I also got my first piece of furniture from Castro Convertibles - a 3-in-1 Ottoman/bed.
I also work with car manufacturers to drive and review them, which is a huge luxury for me.
And then in the category of things I'd never get to experience except through blogging - well, I went to Lucky FABB Conference in New York a couple years back and saw Eva Mendes and Kate Bosworth. Also, I got to meet fashion designer Peter Som!
What are your favorite TV shows?
Honestly, after a long day of work I need mindless entertainment. I watch a plethora of TV shows, some are really classy and others are raunchy reality shows. Real World, The Challenge, Teen Mom, Catfish, Naked & Afraid, Couples Therapy, Bad Girls Club, Animal Kingdom, The Walking Dead, Shameless, The Affair, and of course Seinfeld.
What's your biggest life accomplishment?
Normally, I wouldn't have an answer for this. But thanks to blogging (and the extra income it gave me) I have to say my greatest accomplishment is becoming debt free!!!!
What do you do on weekends?
Surprisingly, I'm a homebody. I love socializing, but on weekends I like to just relax around my house and do whatever the heck I want. Nowhere to be, no schedule to follow, not a care in the world. I like to garden and read library books too. So exciting isn't it?
What's your biggest pet peeve in life?
I can not stand when people are negative and whiney, especially about something they have control over. If you are miserable all the time, take the steps necessary to get yourself in a better scenario or situation. When people are constantly whining to me, it starts to weigh me down with all the negative energy. Over the years I've distanced myself from negative people. Maybe that's why I like being alone so much.
How do you handle having 4 dogs?
It can be chaotic sometimes but my life would not be complete without all 4 of my babies. My world revolves around them, as it has since I was 19 and got my first dog, Pixie. I wake up early even on weekends so I can feed them, I clean my home religiously, and I spend a fair amount of money on them. They are my children and I wouldn't have it any other way.
How are you so hilarious on Snapchat?
Honestly, I just say what comes to my mind. I love being sarcastic so I embrace that side of me. I like to relate to people and I know they can relate to the things I share on there. Plus, I keep it real... what you see is what you get... if it's 9 at night before bed, I'm damn well gonna have no makeup on and be in my PJs for my snaps. There is no way in hell I'm getting myself all done up again just for social media.
How do you balance 2 jobs... your 9-5 and your blog?
I used to do most of my blog work on weekends but over the years, I've wanted to enjoy my free time more so I found a way to get things done during the week. During the day, when I'm at lunch or take my breaks, I respond to emails and peruse social media to interact with my peeps. On weeknights, I take photos for posts. First thing in the morning before I get to work I write a post or 2 a few weeks in advance of when it will go up. Somehow with my time management, I've been able to stick to that same routine so the two jobs don't really ever clash.
How do you feel about turning 30?
For a year or two I was dreading it, and then in the months before my birthday I've pretty much embraced it. Everyone older than me says that your 30's are the best. It's like your 20's except you have more money and more common sense. I am pretty excited to be 30 and I'm going to embrace it because life is short and there's no sense in dreading something that's inevitable.
Are there any things you want to achieve in the next 10 years before you turn 40?
Funny you should ask. In case you haven't seen, I had a 30 Before 30 bucket list which was a blast. In my 30's I would love to go whale watching, visit the World Trade Center memorial, go on a vacation to a tropical location, and build up a real healthy savings fund! Now, those sound like some major adult goals!
What are you doing to celebrate your 30th birthday?
I normally keep it low key and have my family and my grandmother over for a cookout. That's what I plan to do this year as well. Like I said, I'm a simple gal.
What do you do to stay in shape?
In the winter months when it's too cold to venture outside, I have a gym in our basement so I lift weights and use the elliptical. In the other months, I take long walks every other day. And every single day I make sure to get well over 10,000 steps on my Fitbit. I even take walks on my breaks at work.
How did you learn to cook those delicious meals you always share on Instagram?
Well, I started downloading Hello Fresh recipes from their site, and I'd buy all the ingredients and make the meals. I like thier recipes because they are set up so nice and so easy to follow. So basically those are still the main recipes I follow.
Do you plan on having kids?
Nope. It's something me and James have always felt even before we knew each other. From a young age we just never felt the urge to want to be parents. So we are a match made in Heaven!
What are your biggest fears?
I hate heights. And spiders. And deep water where I can't see the bottom. That's pretty much it. Also, I don't watch horror films. Ever.
What's your favorite food?
Honestly, it's so hard to answer that now that I've been cooking so much. I used to be a simple girl that didn't want to try ANYTHING new. Once I began cooking and following recipes I learned to try and enjoy new things. I still love sushi the most, even though I can't make it.
How do you stay so organized in life?
Well, I did this little thing called the KonMari Method of Tidying and it's changed my life. I own less stuff so it's easier to keep track of what I have. I don't buy what I don't need. My home is neat and tidy so the only cleaning that needs done is just cleaning surfaces and vacuuming the floor. I think everyone should try it. It's life changing!
Mac or PC?
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to freeze time. So I could get things done and not have so many interruptions at work, ha!
How do you give such good advice?
What a compliment! Honestly, I just take all of my biases out of the equation and give people a neutral and realistic point of view.
Do you ever see your blog closing down? Don't even say that! It gives me anxiety just to think of it! No, I don't. I plan to keep this going for as long as I possibly can. That's why I designed it without sticking to a niche like "20-something", etc. This blog will evolve as I evolve.
How do you deal with internet trolls?
I don't. I ignore them. If they comment, I delete it. Simple as that.
What's your all time favorite TV series?
It's a tie between Breaking Bad and LOST.
Thank you guys so much for being my readers and my friends! I enjoyed answering these questions for you!