My niche is…Family fun with a focus on video, especially for my travel reviews.
I started blogging in... 2009 when two friends from my TV news world were launching their site—Galtime.com. I was helping them behind the scenes and wanted to start writing my own blog. A friend connected me with Kim Orlando of TravelingMom.com and she essentially launched me into the world of writing something other than news. It was a real adjustment being able to weave my own opinion into stories.
How blogging has changed my life: Blogging has connected me to people I never would have known otherwise. I’ve also gone to places I never would have experienced otherwise, but it’s the friends I’ve made and bonds we’ve created that I adore.
A brand I have loved working with: Mercedes was my favorite brand to work with, but again, that was because of the PR people behind the brand and the way they always went above and beyond with each experience. My favorite PR people there have moved on and it’s just not the same, though. Disney works much the same way—it’s the people behind the brand who I want most to work with, though the kids kind of love the perks that working with Disney brings.
How I see the future of blogging/social media: I think a real adjustment is going to need to happen for many of the partnerships to continue when it comes to blogs with reviews. The bloggers taking it most seriously expect compensation—enough to justify the time they put into their work. Not all brands see blogging as a true form of advertisement, which it most definitely is when done well. On the flip side, the bloggers need to be professionals about what they do and be sure they share the good and bad of a product/experience and allow the brand to respond if it was bad. Too many readers no longer feel they can trust what a blogger reviews because they see it as paid and assume it’s not authentic.
Where I work: Everywhere. I do travel reviews, so one day I could be working from the beach in Cabo and the next day I could be writing from a hotel room in Orlando. Most days, though, I’m working from my living room with my laptop on my lap so that I can at least be in the same room with my kiddos while they have their friends over (during summer).
I am connected….To some of the most talented people in the world…people who have no clue just how smart, clever, and savvy they are. Many of the bloggers I know could be writing best selling novels in their sleep and just don’t realize how talented they are.
When I’m stressed...I write. I told you writing is my therapy, and often, the stress is over the list of articles in my head that I know need to be written or I’m stressed over issues in my family which I have to work out in my head…writing from my stream of consciousness about those feelings helps me get to the root of whatever is really bothering me.
My favorite gadget is….My iPhone. I’m totally admit I am not a techie—I love tech—but don’t understand it. My must-have gadget is my mobile battery charger. I have one that was purchased as a laptop charger and that thing will keep my gadgets charged all day every day, no matter how much I use them. That’s priceless to me because nothing is more frustrating than a dead phone or camera.
My favorite travel destination is….Based on who is with me, not where I am. It helps if that location has a coast. I’m a water baby and feel most sane when I’m on the water, or in the water. Favorite travel spots include Aruba, where I go every year with two good friends I met through blogging, NYC during the US Open because I’m a tennis freak and love watching the best play the game, Sandestin, Florida, because there are stunning sunsets, and Vero Beach, Florida, where I was born and raised, and typically walk the beach with my mom at sunrise.
My favorite clothing brand is…Max Studio (though I buy it at TJ Maxx—I’m all about affordable clothing). I have one awesome, fun black dress I bought four years ago and it is still my go-to dress if I want to get a ‘wow’ out of someone. It hugs all the right curves and hides all the others. I feel great in that dress, even if I don’t really feel great about my body at the moment.
I do all my shopping….Online, at TJ Maxx or Target. Unless it’s food. Buying groceries shouldn’t count as shopping because that’s not fun and shopping should be fun. When I travel, I love finding local shops that sell things I can’t get anywhere else. I love buying things with a story behind them.
My favorite TV shows: I got hooked on the series Firefly by my teen son. Unfortunately, it only lasted one season. That show had such fun characters and great writing—oh, the one liners…my fave: ‘I aim to misbehave.’ Or, simply: ‘Shiny’ (which essentially means ‘A-ok’).
My favorite movie: No Way Out, Broadcast News, Message in a Bottle…all for different reasons.
Coffee or tea: Tea, but it better be sweet and with lots of ice.
I love….Laughing, dark chocolate, tennis, my family, floating off the coast of anywhere beautiful, dancing, connecting great people with things or people they’ll love…not in that particular order.
I dream about….Having the book I wrote as part of nanowrimo two years ago published, but at this point I haven’t let another soul read more than the first page. I wrote it as a challenge (check out nanowrimo if you haven’t heard of it), and to get the book out of my head. I’m still afraid people won’t like it, so I don’t share it.
Where you can find my writing: StressFreeBaby.com, TravelingMom.com, PositivelyPositive.com (though it’s been a while since I posted there—not for any good reason), soon you’ll find it on a site I’ve sat on for a year—60SecondEscapes.com. That’s been a work in progress that I want to finally put out there to the world this month.
What else I do: I feel like I should just say ‘name it, I do it’. I organize and host an annual baby expo in Atlanta—the AtlantaBabyandChildExpo.com. How that came to be is a very long story, but something I find very rewarding and love doing each year. This year, that rolled over to also co-hosting the Blogger Bash Babypalooza in NYC last month.