WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START BLOGGING?
i hate saying this because it sounds so cliché (& i hate clichés), but blogging came about very naturally to me. my background is in writing, i teach writing, writing is my lifeblood! while in college, i tried to brush off pursuing something that came as “easy” to me or what others told me i would “never make a living in.” and so I tried my hand at a few other trades, but it wasn’t long before I realized my best, most efficient form of expression was, is, & always will be, writing. writing is my finest form of communication mainly because you don’t hear all my inflected california grammar, which is like so bad! following the stage where i threw my hands in the air and said “screw it, i’ve got to stick with what i love and do what i’m good at,” I decided to devote myself entirely to the art and creative process of writing. i threw all my eggs into my metaphorical writing basket and ran with it (carefully, because there are eggs in this basket!), and as the story goes, i never looked back.
writing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is my happy place. so now you’re wondering, where did blogging come in? after college, blogging seemed like a logical place to keep my writing in motion. i hadn’t the slightest idea where to begin, so i started with what content i did have. i began journaling my life, being in a hugely transitional period, and two years later, here i am.
i am so thankful i started this journey back in 2013 when i wasn’t sure i would even last a week. blogging has linked me to so many individuals and experiences i wouldn’t have otherwise encountered, and for that i am so grateful. don’t get me wrong, blogging hasn’t always been easy. being an open book, to potentially all the world, is a challenging concept. you are on the scaffold for criticism, hate, and of course, judgement. but that negativity simply can’t overshadow how much good blogging brings. when i have no where else to go or when i have no one else to talk to, my blog is somewhere i can always call home. i always try to give back (especially when i have recieved), i try hard to be a good person, and mostly i love being amongst a wonderful community of bloggers who are doing those same things. when i have time to read around other blogs i love, i find my favorites are the ones that are most honest, authentic, and uplifting, and i hope this little corner of mine, amongst the world wide web, can do that for you too. i hope when you’re reading, above all else, you take away a message of love, of blossoming into the best version of yourself in any surrounding, of gratitude and thankfulness, of finding joy in what’s around you and who surrounds you, and most significantly, a message of realization that no matter how different we all are, we, at the very core, are all spiritual beings living a human experience, and in that we are all connected.
WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM?
everything! everything that happens to me inspires my writing. from everyday events to huge life-impacting experiences and everything in between. of course, becoming a mother has been a huge catalyst for new experiences and content, but my main inspiration comes from those little everyday-life events, daily tasks, and small details that ripple and evolve themselves into grand ideas or magnificent stories. pretty much anything that moves me or drives me to emote is game.
I WANT TO START A BLOG: TIPS/TRICKS/ADVICE?
while still in college i started a healthy lifestyle blog as an experiment. i wanted to see what would happen…if it would resinate with other readers or be quick to die off. it seemed like right when the blog started to pick up a few readers, i became so busy with school, and therefore, i had to let the blogging go. i’m not going to lie, i had absolutely no idea what i was doing at that point in time, and i’m shocked i even had the couple readers i did. that was my biggest mistake—i didn’t do my research and i didn’t believe in my content. if were being honest, aside from a few creative writing courses i had taken, i didn’t know anything about the art of blogging, or that there even was an art to it. it seemed simple enough, just write content and post a couple photos to accompany the thrust of that content, right? boy was i wrong. i have since learned a tremendous amount about the components and necessities that make for a successful blog, but don’t get me wrong, i’m still learning new things everyday and the blogosphere is constantly being transformed and refashioned. it’s a constant marathon we bloggers are running & i, by no means am an expert. in today’s world where the internet gives virtually anyone a voice, it is hard to find your own unique space amongst so many others. so what advice do i have? well, for starters, my husband always says, “you can’t offer advice, you can only share experience,” so my experience is this: be yourself, find your own voice, be consistent, be colorful, and be authentic in everything you do.
no one wants you to tell them what they want to hear—they are on your blog to get to know YOU, awesome, unique, unbelievable, and noteworthy you! they aren’t stopping by to visit the person you are pretending to be, so be yourself, everyone else is already taken. find your own voice. to put this in perspective, finding your own voice would be equivalent to finding your own passion. what type of voice will you be for your readers? will you be informational, funny, inspirational, creative? figure out how you want to be heard or come across and stick with it—which leads me to my next point…be consistent. try to blog everyday, or at least be consistent with your postings. people love reliability. i like to relate this to fishing. when you go fishing, once you hook the fish, you don’t just wait a few weeks to reel it in do you? no, the fish would be gone by then, if not on someone else’s hook or dinner table. blogging is the same way. when you get a couple nibbles and then neglect your blog for a good chunk of time, chances are, those you reeled in aren’t checking back anymore to see what new content you may or may not have posted. in speaking of readership, you’ve gotta be colorful. this is pretty self-explanatory, but post pretty, colorful photos, and make your blog appealing to the eye both figuratively and metaphorically. in doing all of the above, be authentic. let’s get real, not everyday will lead into some grandiose story, but tell us what in your day was real to you, make us feel like we were there too. life isn’t always happy. although, i try and post about what makes me terribly happy on the regular. i do realize this isn’t reality & my choice is a conscious one. i want this blog to be uplifting, but i do still share some hardships. people want to feel like you are a real person, and they want to be able to relate to you in some way. someone who is happy every moment of everyday isn’t a real person. you’ll find that people will appreciate your authenticity the more you share personal details about your life. i encourage you to let your guard down, but at the same time remember some things are sacred and shouldn’t be exposed to the entire world. be selective in what you choose to blog about & protect what’s important to you. that’s all the experience i’ve got!
oh, and where are my manners?! congratulations on your new blog! i wish you all the luck in the world, and if you’re anything like me, you’re gonna love it!
WHAT DO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND DO FOR WORK?
after finishing school and working as a waitress for 5 years, i started blogging. at that time, i wasn’t pulling any income at it, so i went out and got my life insurance license & worked in life insurance for a solid year. i hated it! it was tedious and depressing. it made me a little bit of income which made me feel good because i wanted to contribute to our household, but i soon realized i was just as vital to my home without bringing home bread. i knew i was important in other ways and i felt it was important for me to be with my son full-time so i became a stay at home mom for luca’s entire first year. it was magical. i cannot explain the reward that comes with staying at home with your children. if you can manage, i would urge nothing more. i started substitute teaching part-time because i felt i needed to use my degree. that position evolved into a position as a resident sub, and then into a full-time position as an english teacher. after the school year came to an end, i decided i couldn’t do it anymore. i had too much on my plate and i’d be a better person for it. in short, i am a full-time wife, mother, and blogger. do they have a more concise title for that?!
being a wife & mother are my favorite & most treasured vocations. these are my number one priorities over all else. i have tried to create a work/life balance in the past, but have realized it is simply impossible. i’ve had to learn to schedule “me” time, schedule “marriage” time, schedule “mom” time, “family” time, and “work” time. this means i delegate tasks in my day that can be handed over to someone else, i wake up early, stay up late, am always tired, work when hours seem unfavorable, pick and choose my battles, laugh a lot, cry a lot, say sorry probably more than i should have to, feel fulfilled, feel guilty, have to be reminded to put my phone away often, exercise to keep the stress at bay, make healthy lifestyle choices, go on dates with my husband, go on dates with my son, and try to make time for myself (this is a work in progress). a happy me is a happier life for everyone. it is way easier said than done, but with the right support system, and with enough motivation in place, i assure you, it can be done!
as for my husband, he worked for a skateboarding manufacturing company and was their marketing campaign & events manager for a long while, and while he enjoyed it, he wanted to get his education. in january 2015 he decided to quit his job and enroll in school full-time! i was so proud of him for it. he was able to be home with our son, i got more quality time with him, and he loved what he did. after his school year came to a close, he was offered a position working for a company that houses the skateboarding brands: emerica, entnies, es., and altamont. knowing school would always be there & this opportunity possibly not, he decided to try his hand back in the industry he called home. in addition to this, miles has helped me a great deal with my blogging endeavor and i am so grateful for his input and assistance over the years—this blog truly is a labor of love!
WHO WATCHED “L” WHILE YOU WERE AT WORK?
my beloved grandmother, “granny,” was lu’s daycare. granny deserves more than just this tiny space on our page. she deserves the whole world. personally speaking, i owe this woman my life. when i was eighteen, my mother passed away. granny stepped up & made sure i never felt like i was missing out on anything without trying to replace my mom. in short, granny is a saint. shortly after we had lu, granny came to stay with us. she would drive a good distance to our tiny home in encinitas to help us maneuver our new life as parents (if you don’t know, they don’t give you a handbook or anything). not long after that, she offered us her home in mission bay, so we would have more space. for six amazing months, we lived in a postcard. granny has journeyed with us every step of the way & we can in no way repay her for all she has done for us. to top things off, L and granny share such a special relationship which brings miles and i so much joy. i just know lu will cherish the memories he and granny are making, right now, forever. so in answer to your question, granny watched L for us, but “watch” wasn’t nearly enough to describe what she did for us, not in the slightest. everyone needs a granny & we wish each and every one of you a “granny” in your life. now that lu is a bit older, he goes to a pre-pre-school three days a week. we enrolled him so he could have more interaction with other children and to give him more opportunities for playful learning. we’ve been really happy with our choice so far, and hope to share more about this experience soon. if you live in southern california, and would like to know more about the daycare we chose, i’d be happy to chat with you. contact info. is below!
HOW CAN I CONTACT YOU?
you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHY DID YOU LEAVE SAN DIEGO?
why did we leave san diego? i ask myself this question all the time! i don’t know, we loved san diego. we lived in north county, which has to be one of the most magical places to live in the world. that being said, in living in such a majestic place you are given a pretty majestic price. we didn’t have any family out there either. my family lived an hour north and my husband’s dad lived an hour south. we wanted luca to grow up around a lot of family & we wanted a yard. that landed us in the high desert. while there isn’t near as much to do where we live now as there is near the ocean, we are pretty centrally located. we’re thirty minutes from the beach and thirty minutes from the snow. while i wouldn’t say we live in the most ideal city, we love our home and we love our family. it has been quite the culture shock and adjustment for us, but we’re in a good place now. luca gets to see family almost on the daily, and my father-in-law, who i adore, gets to come out often and we actually have a room for him to stay in! we do have plans to relocate by the time luca starts school, but as of right now, we’re enjoying ourselves.
CAN YOU DO A GUEST POST OR INTERVIEW ON MY BLOG? CAN WE COLLAB?
we love collaborating & we are so pleased you asked!
it is important to us that This is Our Forest is genuine and transparent, so we are selective in which partnerships we take part in. It is extremely important to us that our partners, sponsors, and affiliates are a direct reflection of the values and interests we hold as a family. we only partner with or share brands we believe in and use. if you feel you are a good alignment with our brand and vision, chances are we will gladly accept, although please don’t be hurt if we do not. when we do choose to partner or work with a brand, we do so with full disclosure and any type of sponsored post, gift, and/or giveaway is noted as such. miles and i continuously strive to create and promote content that works well with our lifestyle, and is a good fit for our readers. we never post, promote, or giveaway products we would not use ourselves.
*This is Our Forest offers paid banner advertisements on the sidebar of this blog, as well as collaborates on select projects and giveaways we feel are a good match. we may use affiliate links when linking to a specific product which means we may make a small commission from sales purchased through that link. if you would like to inquire about partner & sponsorship opportunities , please email email@example.com.
CAN I SEND YOU A FREE PRODUCT TO TRY OUT?
of course! thank you for your generosity and for thinking of us! i must disclose though, that sending us a free product does not ensure or promise a mention and/or promotion of your product. (please read our disclaimer in question above.)
CAN I REPOST YOUR PHOTOS ON MY BLOG?
you may not take any images or content from this site without written consent.
WHO DESIGNED AND BUILT YOUR WEBSITE?
we drafted the wonderful help of the designer and web developer, fran of freeborboleta. fran has helped us bring to life the vision we had for This is Our Forest. we are beyond grateful for her hard work & we could not be more thrilled with the outcome.