I love hearing from you guys, I love chatting with you guys and I love feeling like I’m making new friends – something that can be a challenge in DMs. I wanted to start a new weekend series on here a couple times a month (or more) rounding up some of your questions. I shared a question box on Instagram and encouraged you guys to ask anything from home questions, relationship advice, work curiosities or more!
I got some great questions from you all and I’m so excited to spill the beans on so many things. Be sure to follow along on Instagram so you can drop you question for next time or leave it in the comments below.
Grab your morning joe and let’s dig in!
Q: Next big home purchase?
A: If you follow along here or on Instagram, you know I’m bad about changing our house very often and always working on a project. It kinda drives RJ nuts but I love it. I actually just made a very large home purchase but it hasn’t been delivered yet. I’ve been eyeing this mirror (it’s actually 40% off right now!) for so long and I finally decided to take the plunge. Yes, it was pricey but I feel that it’s a classic piece we will have in our home for the rest of our lives.
Q: Favorite restaurants in Chattanooga?
A: A tough one! I am so bad at picking restaurants. In fact, choosing a restaurant is what leads to 99% of RJ and I’s arguments. We definitely have a few restaurants that we love to frequent… Taco Mamacita, Urban Stack, Il Primo, Clyde’s, Edley’s BBQ & Main Street Meats.
Q: How do you and RJ divide up the house chores?
A: We don’t really have a strict list, we usually play it by ear and try to help each other out as much as possible. Some weeks go better than others haha! Since I do work from home most days it has been a struggle because I often feel guilty if I don’t clean the house during the day but I’ve learned just because I’m here doesn’t mean I’m not busy. We try to just split things or take a weekend morning and knock everything out together. I will say RJ is oddly OCD about the upstairs, so he really cleans that on his own. If we ever have a guest stay with us, RJ spends at least an hour cleaning up there after they leave. It’s odd but I guess there are worse problems to have haha.
Q: Advice on saving vs. splurging in terms of furniture and home decor.
A: Well as you see above I just splurged on a home piece. It’s actually one of the most expensive home items I’ve purchased. I like to look at things as trendy vs. classic. If it’s something that you think you’ll have for 10-20+ years, I definitely think it’s worth the splurge. If it’s smaller home items or trendier pieces, I try not to spend too much. I know it will probably only be out for a few seasons so I don’t want to spend a ton. I also look at things and think about their functionality. If something would work in multiple rooms, I would probably spend more. Lastly, I like to search for cheaper options before splurging. I searched long and hard for a mirror like the one above (which is actually identical to an Anthropologie mirror but about $500 cheaper) when I couldn’t find anything similar, I decided to splurge.
Q: More travel tips! Especially for overseas.
A: I actually have another travel guide coming up next week for our trip to Switzerland so I’ll be sure to share more tips in that post but I can definitely share a few tips now too. One of my biggest tips is that I think people feel like Europe is very expensive, hard place to travel and from all our experiences it’s the opposite. It’s not ‘cheap’ but compared to a lot of trips we’ve taken in the US, it is often the same price or a little less expensive. I think keeping an open mind is huge for travel and to make plans but also expect to go with the flow. I promise to go into this further in a future post, so please send any other travel-specific questions and I’ll answer them.
Q: I need to know more about affiliate marketing and being a brand model.
A: This is such a great question and something that I think should be more transparent in our industry. One of the main ways a blogger makes money is by affiliate networks and sponsored posts. I actually wrote a whole post about ‘Sponsored, Ads and Collaborations’ here but I will also give you the TLDR version. Basically, one of the two main ways a blogger makes money is through sale commisions and then paid sponsorships. Affiliate marketing is almost just like an online version of a store clerk who makes a commission on a sale. This is done through different networks (I mainly use rewardStyle, the owner of LiketkIt) and links in our posts. If you click on a link and purchase an item, we get a small amount of commission and I mean small, most items range from $0.50 – $2 an item. Sponsored posts are when a brand pays you to promote an item on your blog or Instagram. I have been on a break from taking sponsored posts because my work life is so busy that I don’t want to commit to a sponsored post and then struggle with the deadlines. I hope to have more help in 2019 and get back into working with new brands to bring you fun new items and content.
Q: Do you ever get lonely working from home?
A: No not really! I travel to Knoxville once or twice a week for work and I’m in an office with other people who I adore. Also, days where I’m here, I’m often meeting with clients, having conference calls or emailing a lot. I find that all of this keeps me from getting lonely. I also have the dogs who I call my ‘favorite coworkers EVER’.
Q: How often do you do a total cleanout of your closet, home decor, makeup, etc.?
A: NOT OFTEN ENOUGH. I’m really bad about saying I’m going to do this and then never tackling it. My goal for this year is to be more on top of this and if I figure out a good method or schedule, I will let yall know.
Q: What is one thing you know about blogging that you wish you knew when you started?
A: Did you guys know I’ve been blogging for SIX YEARS this June. Crazy right?! One thing I wish I knew then was consistency and branding. I think it took me so long to find my rhythm and niche that I struggled with a blog identity for so long. I think if I could go back and not try to be a million different brands, my blog would be so much further along. I think though that is also part of the journey. Just as my blog has grown and changed over the years, my life has grown so much as well. When I started blogging I was 20 years old and had no idea what I was doing. Now I am much more secure and confident in myself, brand and life and I think that translates here as well.
Q: How does your brain function at 5 am to blog?!
A: Coffee, lots of coffee. I think I’m also able to wake up at 5 to blog before work because I truly LOVE writing and sharing posts with you guys. Very rarely does it feel like a chore and I think it’s a great start to my morning. I love cozying up with Doodle, a cup of coffee and knocking out a post while the rest of the world is asleep.
Q: What are your best tips for working for yourself?
A: I don’t know if this is a tip but more of a blessing, I have an amazing support system of family and friends who are SO helpful. Since it is often just me working on a project, I love that I have friends to bounce ideas off of, check grammar and listen to me vent. I’m also lucky to have parents who help me figure out business things that are quite often over my head and then RJ is an angel, he has to put up with more than anyone else hah! A few tips though: stay organized and learn to say no. Being organized and creating an at home work station is something I’ve really been working hard on and I can tell how much better my days go now that I’m more on top of things. Also, learn to say no to people. Since I do work from home, I used to get caught up “Oh, yes I can grab lunch today!” or goofing off, especially during gorgeous Summer days, when I should be working. Learning to say No is something that’s hard for me but necessary.
Thanks so much for dropping by and submitting such great questions! I hope you enjoyed this post. Have a wonderful weekend. XO