What’s the name of your blog?
Where do you live?
Take us Behind the Blog with Magnolia Stripes, and what did it take to get where it is today?
I’ve always been the friend in my circles who brings everyone together, hosts parties, and serves as a resource for others planning their own get-together’s, so this was a natural step for me. It’s a fabulous creative outlet and I’ve loved building it to where it is now. The sky’s the limit!
What’s been the hardest business lesson you’ve learned from blogging?
Two words: time management. I still struggle with fitting everything I need to into my days. Block scheduling has been a huge time-saver for me. I’ll often write in two- or three-hour blocks, edit photos all at once, and shoot for several posts in one weekend.
What does a typical workday for you look like?
I work in communications, so there is no typical workday! What I’m working towards is harnessing my mornings better. I’d like to wake up around 5:45 or 6:00, get a quick walk around the neighborhood in, take time to pray and enjoy a little quiet time, get some work done for the blog, scan the paper, then head out the door to my 9-to-5. Afternoon tea and a walk around the city are built into my days as much as possible.
I normally try to get a workout class right after work unless I have an event in the evening. My hubby and I both love to cook dinner together. It’s relaxing and one of my favorite things that we share (aside from a love of traveling). I usually tee up my post for the next day in the evenings. I’ve also gotten into the habit of reading before bed, usually with mint tea in hand. It’s a great way to wind down and limit screen time right before bed. I’ll check Instagram DM’s and social media comments once or twice during the day, but I really try to limit my time there and focus on creating before consuming.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in the blog world?
Focus on creating quality content first. The rest will come.
What do you think the blogging industry will look like in 5 years?
I think we’re going to see more and more brands utilizing influencers on social media, especially in long-term partnerships. We’ve already seen this pick up over the years and I think it’s just going to get stronger as more and more people join the industry and readers continue to discover new and beloved products, places to visit, and party planning ideas through their favorite influencers and bloggers. The blog as a medium isn’t going anywhere.
What’s been your favorite project, or post you’ve worked on?
I’ve been honored to work with some amazing brands and organizations. I couldn’t possibly pick just one! I love my tablescape posts. Almost all of the ones I prepare are for actual parties and this is one of my favorites. I love to include little details and mix old pieces with new and highs with lows. The hydrangeas I found at my local florist really inspired the color palette. I tied in our wedding china and crystal with blush taper candles and some of my great great-grandmother’s silver. I loved it because everything on the table told a special story.
How do you stay inspired? And where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere! I love interiors and get a lot of inspiration from there. We also travel extensively and have our favorite spots. Those are always sources of inspiration for me. My readers and friends are also good about asking me questions that usually lead to a post, too! Ultimately, my goal is to make entertaining easy and accessible, so the more I can be a resource to others, the better!
How has blogging helped you in your day to day life or 9-5 life?
I have learned so much through blogging. It’s helped me get better at my job since I work in a field that overlaps a good bit as far as skills are concerned. It’s also taught me to be brave. Putting yourself out there, learning to be comfortable on camera (photography and video), and getting a shot with people all around you really teach you to be comfortable with yourself and test your courage sometimes. It’s all worth it and I couldn’t be happier learning these skills and getting to do the things I get through blogging.
Do you consider yourself a blogger or influencer?
My blog is my baby and everything I do is to drive traffic back there. I think that’s so important whether you’re just starting out in this world or have been in it for several years. That said, I think there’s a big place for social media. I love Instagram for the stories and inspiring photos, Pinterest for collecting ideas, Twitter for chatting, and Facebook for getting new posts and info.
Which social media platform do you wish you knew more about or spent more time on?
YouTube. I’ve dabbled in and found that I adore being on camera, but I haven’t been able to devote enough time to learning the in’s and out’s yet.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what’s the one cocktail you would bring with you to enjoy for the rest of time?
I’m such a cliche, but an Aperol Spritz all the way. If I was allowed a bottle of wine, too, I’d take one of my favorite Napa cabernet sauvignon’s from our growing wine collection.
What’s your favorite blogging hack, tools or trick?
I use every second of every day. I’ll edit photos while I’m waiting on my smoothie to be made at the gym. If I’m running errands, I’ll write a few lines of a post or jot down ideas for new posts while I wait for my dry cleaning to be retrieved from the back.