Crystal Martin is a stay at home mom of 4, married to Clay who she's loved for over 20 years, living in Kentucky but loves traveling to the Smoky Mountains. She is the co-owner/admin of Cinnamon Hollow and offers her services as an online blog assistant with skills ranging from Wordpress installation, customization and maintenance to html editing and administrative tasks.
Crystal was most recently part of our #AvedaNaturallyStraight campaign.
We caught up with her to find out more about her life and here is what we found out, in her own words.
I live in…. Central Kentucky (Go Big Blue!)
My niche is…We write a lot of reviews but our *niche* is family, travel, recipes and crafts and family-friendly products. Ok there’s not really a niche. Just family I suppose.
When did I start blogging: I started back in 2007 but my blog really took off and I started focusing on it more in 2009, after the birth of our youngest child.
How I see the future of blogging/social media: I don’t ever really see it going away. I think that being able to interact with people through blogs and on social media is just too big and makes coming together daily so easy that it will continue to grow.
How has blogging changed my life: Blogging has made me much more sociable. I am a VERY shy person. I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to speaking in public. Being able to write my thoughts out on the blog and social media has allowed me to make new friends and share my thoughts “out loud”. Blogging has opened many new doors for me!
A brand I have loved working with: That’s a tough one. I’ve worked with several. I’ve loved working with Tyson. We were able to create some fun recipes. I think my favorite brand to work with, though, has been Febreze. I’ve participated in a couple of campaigns with them and their blogger kit packaging has been just as awesome as their products. That really makes them stand out and makes them a fun brand to work with. Oh and Aveda. I love working with Aveda. Oh! And Sheer Cover Studio Makeup. I could go on and on.
Where I work: I work at my desk in our home in my comfy blogging chair. I also work from the couch, on my laptop, when I’m sick or when the kids want some snuggle time when I having a deadline. When we’re on vacation, I micro blog from my phone, iPad and laptop. I’ve asked my kids if it bothers them that I’m always so “connected” and they say no. We blog as a family. So they are taking photos and getting ideas along with me and their dad. It’s so much fun coming up with blog post ideas as a family. And being able to tweet a quick message or share a status update or teaser photo on FB, about an attraction we’re visiting, helps me when I’m ready to write my full post. It’s sort of like taking notes! And not every trip is a working trip. We do have fun too!
When I’m stressed, I….. Take a break from it all. Honestly, as much as I am constantly on email and social media, I have to just take a break from it all sometimes. I mentioned that not every trip is a working trip. We all take a break from social media, blogging and even our every day lives when we’re stressed, hop in the car and head out for a weekend to the mountains. If we don’t have the money for a quick trip, we still unplug and just relax.
My favorite gadget is…. My phone. It’s not fancy. It’s a Samsung Galaxy S3 on a prepaid plan. But it’s awesome! I can check email, take photos and videos, take notes, text family and friends, add events to calendars, get the kids grades, keep up with teachers… you name it! I love how that one little device can do so much.
My favorite travel destination is…. Oh that’s super easy. The Great Smoky Mountains. Anyone who has ever read our blog will know that we have a bit of an obsession with the Smoky Mountains. It is the one place that all 6 of us absolutely love. We head there every chance we get.
My favorite clothing brand is… I don’t have one. Seriously. I love t-shirts and jeans and my fall boots. I love looking at fashion, but I don’t spend a ton of money on it. I just shop for what fits my body and what holds up well, doesn’t matter the brand.
I do all my shopping…. At Walmart. Really, I do. It’s the closest place to me and has pretty much anything we typically need. I buy the kids clothes from their favorite retailers but all my other shopping is done at Walmart and sometimes Target. Then for groceries we head to Walmart, Sam’s Club or Kroger.
My favorite TV shows: I love Dancing With The Stars and The Voice.
My favorite movie: Steel Magnolias and pretty much every Disney movie ever made.
Coffee or tea: It varies. I drink tea daily and I drink coffee several times per week. I can’t live without either one! Maybe I could combine tea and coffee and make, ummm Toffee! Oh toffee… chocolate…. Oh sorry. Tea. I like tea.
I love…. The fall. Everything about autumn makes me a happy, happy, happy girl.
I dream about…. Raising my kids right and someday having a big giant farm where they can rip and run and be kids and have fun.
Where you can find my writing: Cinnamon Hollow Reviews. I also co-blog on Vacation Maybe and am a Titanic Pigeon Forge Mom Blogger.
What else I do: I’m an Online Business Assistant (social media assistant/virtual assistant) for a couple of great ladies. I do their social media sharing and daily blog tasks as well as install and customize Wordpress and Genesis child themes. I am also an Independent Representative for Jewelry In Candles.
My latest She Speaks post: http://thecinnamonhollow.com/aveda-smooth-infusion-naturally-straight
Causes I've worked with and made a difference via blogging about: I share a lot of causes on Cinnamon Hollow but 4 that I’m most passionate about are Alzheimer’s Awareness, Child Hunger Ends Here, Allstate Foundations Purple Purse for Domestic Violence and Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.