Happy Wednesday you guys and happy Q&A day! I had such fun compiling this post and am excited to share the questions you all wrote in and my answers to them in today’s post.
Thank you so much for all of you who snapped / Instagram messaged / emailed / commented questions! It was a delight for me to see what you guys wanted to know more about and insightful for me as a blogger to see what you’re more keen on hearing about.
What’s your favorite part about blogging? Least favorite?
Hands down my favorite part is the blogging community itself. It’s nice to feel a part of something that’s collaborative and supportive and I’ve met some great friends as a result of blogging.
My least favorite part? Trying to find the time to create all the content I have swimming up in my head!
Do you dye your hair?
This blonde? Why it’s natural of course! I wish. :). I started dying my hair blonde in college and have been doing so ever since. Frankly, I wish I hadn’t ever started. It’s incredibly high maintenance from a cost + time perspective and would be easier if I just didn’t color it! That being said, I love being a blondie.
What do you do when you struggle in life? (Be it family drama, friends/relationships, career doubts). 2016 has been quite rough for me and I’m always interested in knowing what people do to lift them up. (Also because you seem very positive all the time.)
First of all, I’m sorry to hear 2016 has been a hard year for you! 2013 was a total shit year for me and it still feels like yesterday but things get better and life does turn around. Remember that <3! Onto answering your question, I really love this inquiry because it took me a long time to figure out what to do when I was struggling in life. I used to feel so sorry for myself and snowball situations into being more dramatic or stressful than they needed to be. I brought myself and those around me down and that’s no way to spend your day! My best advice is something my mom taught me. When you’re going through a rough time, at the end of every day identify three things that made you happy that day. It could be something as small as someone holding open a door for you. Did you receive a compliment? Did you make someone smile? Did you get the last croissant at the coffee shop? Search your day for a few things and find gratitude in those. And know that things will get better. This post with some lessons in life I’ve had may be a helpful read, too! And remember that through social media and blogs it is easy to imagine everyone else’s life is going amazingly awesome all the time but we all have crosses to bear and we all have bad days so it’s finding ways to get through the rough stuff knowing there’s a lot of good on the other end! Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, have ice cream for dinner if that’ll make you feel better and when in doubt, grab your girlfriends and some wine! That’s a surefire way to cheer me up :).
What did you do this year out of your comfort zone? Or something you are working on?
I would say working for myself full-time was the biggest thing I’ve done out of my comfort zone. I had to get up to speed on a lot of things I didn’t know before and the challenges have been daily but it’s also been 100% rewarding. As for something I’m working on, it’s getting out more and learning to put work on hold when it can be so I can see friends more, say “yes” more and even date more!
Now that you have started off working for yourself, what have you experienced so far when it comes to challenges encountered?
Where do I begin!? I would say the biggest challenges have been getting myself more familiar with operational things like legalities and insurance and finances involved in working for yourself. Before this year I never had an attorney or accountant and have had a learning curve when it comes to protecting myself and my businesses. I’ve also had challenges when it comes to marketing myself and pricing myself – it’s hard to do so when you’re just representing yourself vs. having a company representing you and I’m continuously reminding myself what my time and skills are worth. People will try and take advantage of you and it’s important to remember your value and the types of partners you want to have in business. I was thinking of doing a post on the most important things I learned in the first six months of self-employment, would that be of interest?
What inspires you in your daily life in NYC?
Exploring! My favorite thing about living in New York is that no two days are the same. I love that even after almost six years here I still feel like I have so much left to experience! Every time I see a new neighborhood, try a new restaurant, meet someone new…I’m left so inspired. I’m a routines and habits person by nature but ticking something off my bucket list still thrills me. Some of my favorite days are those I put everything else aside and I create a little agenda for myself of things I’ve never done or places I’ve never visited. I am left feeling so inspired and happy after days like that!
Being in New York for a good number of years, what do you feel is one place or experience that you have not yet explored but would love the chance to do?
There’s still so much I want to do! Topping my list are an outdoor movie in the summer, visiting the Rockaways (& Rockaway taco!), exploring Cobble Hill in Brooklyn for a day, dining at Blue Hill Stone Barns and 11 Madison Park, walking the promenade in Brooklyn Heights and seeing the ballet at Lincoln Center. (Clearly I couldn’t just pick one thing!) (Oh and seeing Hamilton but sadly that’s not in the budget currently!)
Is there any individual that you consider to be a role model?
There’s a lot of amazing women I find inspiration from but if I were to pick one person it would be my mom! She’s the epitome of thoughtfulness, selflessness and dignity. She’s my best friend and a continued inspiration for doing the right thing, being kind and remembering what’s important in life.
Alright, might be a dumb question, but–how do you date in NYC/what’s the scene like? I’m getting ready to move there, and–while I’m so excited overall!–I’ve just heard NYC dating horror stories and it makes me really nervous. I’m planning on doing standard online dating (like I have been in other major cities I’ve lived) but wanted to see if you have any firsthand advice!
So excited for you that you’re moving to NYC! It’s an experience I’d wish for anyone so BRAVO! Re: Dating in NYC: Ok so I’m probably not the best to answer this as I have 100% prioritized my work over dating the past few years BUT something I promised myself when I started self-employment was to start to “get out there more.” That is truly they key I think. Literally putting yourself where other people are. Sure dating apps are available but I (nor have my friends) found long term success with them. I’ve gone on and off them over the years and certainly have had some bad dates, but generally I haven’t found dating to be worse than when I was living in San Francisco in my early 20s.
What are your favorite stores to shop at in New York?
I tend to do 90% of my shopping online these days but when I want to browse in store I do have a few favorites. For clothing, I will usually pop into Club Monaco, Aritzia, Madewell, Cynthia Rowley, Barneys New York, & Other Stories and Rag & Bone. (If I’m making a ‘splurge’ purchase, I always buy it in person. It feels more special I think!) For beauty I love Space NK and am recently rather obsessed with Credo Beauty which opened not too far from my apartment. And Pink Olive is my #1 spot for when I’m in need of little gifts or to stock up on cards. (Paper Presentation is my other favorite card spot – I could spend hours in there looking at their selection!)
What are you always carrying in your purse?
Any tips for working from home? I just started it and would love know how to balance working at home but still getting out of the house and into the city.
I had so much to say about this that I did a whole blog post about it! I hope it’s helpful!?
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from living in New York?
Be kind always! New York City is much smaller than you might thing and you never know who knows someone and your reputation could easily precede you. It’s easy to let this city run you down or overwhelm you and put you in a mood. Instead, muster up the courage to power through those days that have you down and just be kind to people and don’t let the city make you a cynic. (Related: a so-called love letter to New York.)
I’m coming to New York during the holidays, do you have any recommendations?
You bet! Here’s an old post about some of my favorite Christmas traditions in the city. I also always share lots on Instagram in November & December!
If you weren’t living in New York where would you live?
Paris, no doubt! It is my hope that I will be able to live there again – even if for a short time.
Do you have a favorite concealer?
Yes! It is the Bobbi Brown corrector / concealer combo (so good it doesn’t require touch ups throughout the day!) For under eyes it is the Sisley Paris Eye Concealer with Botanical Extracts. Expensive but life-changing.
What are your favorite apps?
I did a post on this that you can find here! I’d update it nowadays to include Dropbox which I use religiously, VSCO which I now use for editing all my photos before I post to Instagram and PhotoCircle which I use to see photos of my friends + their little ones that live far away. Also I’ve been testing out the Infatuation’s app which Taylor swears by.
And there you have it for my friends! If you have more questions…send them my way and I’ll compile into a Round 2. I’m truly grateful for any and all interactions with you guys and appreciate you wanting to get to know one another better!
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[Bekka Palmer Photography]