This past Saturday marked the two year anniversary of Teal and Polka Dots and I thought it would be fun to do a behind the blog/Q&A, including some frequently asked questions.
What has changed the most on this space in the past year?
The past year has seen more DIYs, outfit remixes and day-to-day kind of stuff. Participating in linkups like Currently and Pin to Present have helped me dip my toes into the lifestyle blogging waters and I like having more to offer than my daily outfit post. I'm
continuously impressed with the smart, clever women that are part of this community and honored to be a small of it. There's so much inspiration to be found - a
fabulous outfit, creative DIY, yummy looking recipe or insightful reflection - which in turn has encouraged me to try new things on this space. While outfit
posts are still my bread and butter, I've enjoying having a bit more diversity in posts, and I hope you have as well!
Walk us through the set up of writing a blog post.
I'd love say I'm super organized and plan posts in advance, but most of the time everything is thrown together. A typical outfit post goes like this: the day beforehand (okay, sometimes the day of) my sweet, long suffering husband takes outfit photos for me. We work at the same place, so it's whenever we can find a spare five minutes to knock them out. Sometimes it's first thing in the morning before the workday begins, other times at lunch, and every once and while we get adventurous and find a new spot after work. I'm still using my Canon T3 and standard lens (sadly my 55mm lens broke and I have yet to replace it) and most of the time shoot in full auto. I spend 20 minutes or so in Photoshop cropping, brightening and getting rid of a zits and double chins, then set to work writing content. Usually it's whatever comes to mind at the moment. I chose some time ago to monetize my blog though Shopstyle, and dedicate some time locating outfit items. I then read through the post a time or two for errors (unfortunately miss a few) and hit publish. From photos to finish, I'd say it typically takes me an hour and a half, though posts can take much longer depending on complexity.
What have you learned in the past year?
It's a lesson I have to keep reminding myself, but sometimes you can't do it all. I'm not Wonder Woman and trying to be can quickly lead to burnout. My job is very seasonal, sometimes it's relatively quiet and other times (like now) insanely busy. Feast or famine. In the end it comes down to priorities. My family will always be first. No matter what. Somewhere after family, friends, work and life comes the blog. This is definitely a hobby for me. One I love - but at the end of the day it's not something to stress over, but to enjoy and have fun with!
What it your favorite post from the past year?
My favorite outfit post by far has to be the one where I wore a lilac pleated midi skirt and chambray shirt. I felt so darn pretty and confident, and it was one of those outfits that looked equally fantastic in pictures as well as in real life. I just liked the way I felt in it. It might be cheating a bit to pick two things, but I've loved the monthly Mom Style Remix challenges and how they have inspired me to look at everyday items in my closet differently.
I've noticed you've lost some weight. Can you tell us about the process and do you have any weight loss tips?
I haven't meant to be mysterious about my weight loss, though it's not something I plan to do post on. Long story short, I got sick at the end of December and ended up in the hospital for a week. A long recovery time (and 30lbs later) I emerged a (somewhat skinnier) me. In full transparency, my doctor prescribed me a prescription weight loss pill (which I know is not for everyone). I don't think it made me lose that much weight, but did help keep the weight off. So that's my weight loss journey, and one I wouldn't recommend unless you feel like spending Christmas in the hospital, getting sick to your stomach for months afterwards and having the extra bonus of losing a bunch of your hair from stress. But not to worry, I'm all healthy now, feeling great and my hair is thankfully growing back. :)
How do you see Teal and Polka Dot's continue to evolve in the next year?
One of my goals for next year is to be more organized and have more intent when it comes to this space. I definitely want to be more proactive on social media. While Instagram remains my favorite, with Pinterest a close second, I know I need to give Twitter and Facebook more love. It goes back to the time/hobby thing - the trick is figuring out how to balance it all, which I'm definitely still working on!
Thank you so much for everyone who has made the past two years of blogging so wonderful. The words of encouragements, sweet comments and connections I've made are invaluable!
Read my first-year blogiversary Q&A here.