HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHAT BOOKS TO READ?
In my head, I’d love to say I choose books based on reading publisher news and industry press releases. You know, that I’m super on top of new releases and know the next “hot” book before it’s hot.
In reality, I go willy nilly. When it goes to actually picking an audiobook, I start with Libby (connected to my library card) and sort by audiobooks that are available and scroll until one piques my interest. If nothing is catching my eye, I’ll switch over to Scribd and check what’s available there. And then I’ll go to Libro.fm to purchase an audiobook from my list of book I want to read (or from their bookseller recommendations). I keep track of books I want to read on Goodreads (from friends’ recommendations, Facebook groups, Instagram). For physical books, I usually have a stack of books I’ve collected from press mailers, visits to bookstores, and gifts from friends. I kind of pick whatever interests me most in the moment.
Not very scientific, but that’s how it goes!
HOW’D YOU END UP AT GEORGETOWN FROM FLORIDA? DID YOU CONSIDER STAYING IN DC AFTER GRADUATION?
I knew I wanted to go to a school out of state. My sophomore year, I visited a bunch of schools in North Carolina. My junior year, I did the Virginia schools. I thought I really wanted to go to UVA. I actually went to a rowing camp one summer and my dad and I were going to go to DC before flying back home. We spontaneously decided to tour Georgetown– it wasn’t on my radar at all. But I fell in love with the campus. I knew it was where I was going to go– just a gut feeling. I applied early action and got in.
As for where I was going to live after graduation, I felt very compelled to move to NYC during my senior year. I was REALLY over school and actually traveled to NYC pretty much every weekend while a student still. (I would take the early, early morning super cheap Bolt Bus up and back.) This is kind of embarrassing to admit but I also watched Felicity during my senior year and it absolutely influenced my NYC “calling.” It made me wish I had considered Barnard or Columbia instead of Georgetown in DC.
WHAT DO YOU WANT IN A FOREVER HOME?
Our house is absolutely perfect for us right now. We love it and it will be so hard when we eventually “outgrow it” when we have a family. With that said, we have some things in mind for what we’d want in a forever home. It’s kind of funny, but I think the pandemic changed our outlook on what we wanted. I think having more land would be incredible, though I think we’d miss being able to walk into town; having a quieter neighborhood with more privacy and space. Because my parents don’t live nearby, I want a house where we could have long term guests a little more easily (especially after we have kids), like an in-law suite on the property.
I’d love more rooms so we can each have an office (we did not anticipate two people working from home and I think this is more of our future even beyond the pandemic) and a finished basement. And a mudroom (!!!).
That’s a “wish list,” but all things I think we’d try to prioritize for a forever home. Basically just more space, inside and out.
FAVORITE HALF BAKED HARVEST RECIPE?
Chicken tikka masala. It is so easy and so delicious. I felt intimated by it at first, but it’s truly one of the easiest things to make and you can make batches of the curry to store for future meals.
BIGGEST PET PEEVE?
When people are late. This is a huge issue (pre-covid when there was in person stuff) I’m sure generally, but especially in the industry I’m in. It’s incredibly annoying and just shows that someone thinks their time is more valuable than yours. I do believe there are times when it’s more valid than others (I realize that shit happens), but when it becomes a pattern? Terrible. I also don’t think it’s a “cute personality trait”– it’s just rude.
WHAT’S YOUR NEXT SEWING/NEEDLEPOINT PROJECT?
Honestly? I have nothing lined up. I’m stitching a canvas right now, but it’s been slow going. I think I just feel so burnt out from current events it’s kind of the last thing I want to do. I try not to force the issue– it’s okay to not feel like it! Hopefully the inspiration strikes again soon though 🥰
HOW DO YOU GET HEALTH INSURANCE AS A BLOGGER?
I surprisingly get this question a lot! I used to pay for private health insurance. I’m beyond grateful (and frankly privileged) that I don’t have major health concerns so I can afford to pay most things out of pocket and just had health insurance for catastrophic events. It was still a huge monthly expense, but that’s part of the cost of working for yourself. Once we got married, I canceled that and switched to Mike’s company plan. (Wedding perk, for sure.)
ARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT BEING AN INFLUENCER CHANGING?
I’ve said this from the very beginning, once it became a job. Being an influencer has INCREDIBLE perks and it pays insanely well…. but it comes with a high cost. It’s a bit like Ariel, you trade your voice for your feet. I definitely feel like I give up some privacy and I open myself up willingly to being judged by strangers. So far, it’s still worth it for me as I overall really do love what I do. But I can see how that might not always be the case. Sometimes on bad days I daydream about quitting and doing something else, but I figure everyone has moments like that with all kinds of jobs and industries.
Now a more nuanced answer….
I do think the stakes have been raised this last year. I was talking about this with a friend the other day, I think people sign up to be an influencer only thinking about the perks and overlook the tough parts. The tough parts have become so much harder in the past two years– I say this as someone who has been doing this for 12 years. It’s not that your day-to-day job is harder but the scrutiny has absolutely increased. I’ve experienced a super strong hate following from pretty much day one (at first classmates and then strangers on gossip sites), but nothing compares to the past year.
In a way, it’s positive. It’s not a bad thing to be held to a higher standard. But the actual viciousness of the hate, it’s gotten really, really bad. I also don’t want this to come across as only influencers reactions to social justice issues or current events– I understand why that happens, but it’s beyond that. There are angry, angry, angry people out there and it can be so hard to separate a few people blowing up your DMs with vile negativity and your true audience.
Again, right now, it’s totally worth it for me, but maybe one day there’s a straw that breaks my back and I’m just done 😆
FAVORITE PELOTON CLASSES?
Ending with a fun one. My favorite Peloton classes! My absolute favorite instructor is Cody Rigsby and I’ve been getting super into Alex Toussaint’s classes too. Cody is so entertaining and it helps the classes move along nicely and Alex feels like he’s right there with your coaching you through tough moments. As for types of classes, I stick to 15, 20, and 30 minute cycling. I LOVE Cody’s 30 minutes intervals and arms.