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Hey there, friends!! How are you doing? Guess what...it's my birthday! Woohoo! It doesn't even feel like today's my birthday, but I think that's supposed to happen as you get older, right? Today, I turn twenty-four at specifically 6:17 pm. Twenty-four is a weird age and I'm kind of freaking out that I'm just one year shy of a quarter of a century, haha.
Want to know what's super cool about this birthday, though? It's the first time since my birth that I'm in the same area I was born in. How cool is that? I was born in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania but grew up outside of Worcester, Massachusetts all of my life. Just last month, Michael and I moved to The Poconos, so it feels as if I've come full circle.
I was trying to think of a fun way to celebrate my birthday with all of you - my amazing blogging community! After a couple days of deciding on what to do, I figured I'd do a Q&A! Last Thursday, I posted on Instagram and some of my other social media sites and gave you the invitation to ask me anything. Today, it's time to reveal some answers...24 to be exact! 😉
24TH BIRTHDAY QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
1. Why did you start blogging? Has your "why" changed since then? (-Kristen S.)
I first started Coffee With Summer back in the summer of 2014 and my intentions was to cultivate an online community of authenticity. My "why" is still the same - to inspire others to life a life of authenticity, but it's also been enhanced a bit, as well. CWS is also a community focused on living an intentional life! One major thing that has changed here has been the topic focuses of my blog: self-care, style, blogging/social media - all wrapping up into the intentional lifestyle "niche" or focus.
Further reading: Why I Decided To Pursue Blogging Seriously
2. What is your favorite movie? (-Neely M.)
I have many, many movies that I admire for many, many reasons...but my all-time favorite movie is Twister! I know that probably seems quite random, but it's the first movie I can recall watching at a young age (probably 5?) and it sparked a love for adventure in me. Growing up, I wanted to be a tornado chaser because of that movie! It's also my favorite movie because it's also one of my best friends from high school's favorite movies. Whenever we watch it together, we quote the whole thing, haha.
3. What's your favorite brand of coffee and how do you take your coffee? (-Crystal B.)
Oooo this is a toughie for me! I personally am a huge fan of any coffee shop that roasts their own beans. My favorite right now has to be Passenger Coffee Roaster's Keystone Blend. If you enjoy caramel, cocoa, browning butter and dried fruit keynotes, I highly suggest ordering yourself some! I don't take my coffee any set way, as it depends on where I am or what I'm having. Typically, I either drink my coffee black or with a little bit of creamer in it.
4. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? (-Lauren B.)
Gosh, this is a hard one for me too! I would say that Australia and Iceland are an easy tie for me. Of course there are many places I long to travel to, but these are the top two for me.
5. Where do you see Coffee With Summer in 5 years? (-Tawni S.)
Wow! I don't know. While I'm one to look ahead and dream about the future, I also don't want to limit myself. I love the community that I have cultivated here over the past almost 3 years and I don't see myself stoping that growth of community at all ever. I would love to continue to monetize my blog so that I can one day be making a full-time income off of it! If I could accomplish that by 5 years from now, I'd be super proud of myself.
6. What are your top 3 favorite lip colors? (-Hilary P.)
Shockingly, this wasn't hard to pick! My 3 favorite lip colors are:
- ColourPop's Ultra Satin Lip in Lyin' King (my favorite "going out" color)
- Also what I'm wearing in these photos!
- ColouPop's Lippie Stix in Brink (the perfect everyday neutral)
- LipSense's Fire N' Ice...
SURPRISE! If you saw my Instagram post on Tuesday, you got a hint from me that I was working on a new side hustle...and that's being an Independent Distributor for LipSense! I LOVE and believe in this product like crazy. LipSense has been life-changing for me, and although I never saw myself pursuing direct sales, I am beyond excited to start!
Want more details?! Request to be added to my Facebook group!
>> The Darling Lip Studio <<
7. What's the best advice you've ever received from someone? (Cara O.)
To not be ashamed of my past or my mistakes...to learn and grow from them instead. To share my story with others, because you never know who might need to hear it.
There are many other pieces of advice I have received over the years, but it'd be too long to list them all!
8. What is your favorite season and why? (Amberly L.)
Autumn is my favorite season! I love everything about it - the leaves, scenery, fresh air, apple picking, apple pie, scarves, boots, jeans, and more. I grew up in New England, so I was spoiled with perfect autumns every sing year.
9. What motivates you when you are blogging? (Taylor M.)
There is so much that motivates me when I'm blogging: my blogging community, my blogging tribe, and the passion that I have for it no matter what. Being completely honest, I'm not always motivated to blog. Somedays I'm really down and discouraged about my blog. I doubt myself and my abilities, and even get caught in the comparison game a bit. What always brings me back to blogging and reminds me of the fire that I have for it is God. That may sound cheesy to some, but it's honest and true. Whenever I'm down or even if I'm excited about a project, God keeps me fueled to pursue my blog no matter what.
10. If you could have a superpower what would it be? (Georgia K.)
I would SO want to fly! I think it'd be the coolest thing to just take off and fly wherever I wanted to.
11. What is something you wish you had known before you started blogging? (Allie)
One thing I wish I knew before I started blogging seriously would be to collaborate with other bloggers and creatives right away. It took me a little bit before I dove into collaborations. They've been some of the best things about blogging, so I definitely with I started earlier.
12. Do you use self timer to take your photos? Or does Mike or someone take them? (Ariel W.)
I very rarely ever use a self timer for my photos, as it's hard to always get the shot to be focused correctly and because I have gotten more adventurous with my shoots. Mike (my husband for those of you who don't know) is usually the one who takes all of my style photos for me. He totally rocks! I appreciate him more than he knows.
13. What's your favorite thing to do on your birthday? (-Rachel P.)
You know, I don't think I have a major favorite thing to do on my birthday. I love being able to spend it with my husband or some loved ones. If I'm not able to spend the whole day with people, I love going to Target and treating myself to all of the things. 😉 But today, I'm spending the morning with Michael and then I'm driving back home to MA to see my family for the weekend. Win, win! I'm sure there will be some Target shopping, as well.
14. How do you edit your photos to put writing on them? (-Kelsey T.)
When I edit my photos to have text on them, I use Canva 98% of the time. I cannot rave enough of Canva. If you're a blogger, you need to use Canva! The other 2% of the time, I'll use Photoshop. Back in the day when I needed to add text to a photo or graphic on the go, I used the Word Swag app!
15. What makes you really, really happy? (-Megan H.)
The littlest things in life... Jesus, sleeping in with Michael, Juniper (my cat) greeting me at the door, really good coffee, dancing, singing in the car when I'm alone, people watching in coffee shops, Target, getting surprise mail, encouraging others, seeing others go after their passions, the ocean, Long Island Iced Teas, leggings... the list can really go on and on.
16. What do you use to edit your photos? (-Doreen)
I use Photoshop, Lightroom, and VSCO to edit my photos. Photoshop for all of the basic editing needs: touch-ups, exposure, etc. Lightroom for brightening. If I'm using a very slight filter on a photo, it'll always be one from VSCO. I'll be doing a post this spring on how I edit my photos! Be on the lookout.
17. What are your best kept skincare secrets? What new fun beauty goodies have you not told me about? (Kristen R.)
Girly, you're my bestie and I get all of my beauty tips and secrets from you! Haha! But, my best kept skincare secret would be to have a couple different skincare routines and to switch between them every few months. My skin tends to get used to a routine quick and then it doesn't work, but I've found switching it up helps a ton. Beauty goodies? LipSense!!
18. If you weren't blogging what would you want to do as your career? (Krysta L.)
I have no idea! I love being able to work from home, so anything that I could do from home would be amazing. But honestly, I just want to be a mom! Hopefully that'll happen sometime soon. 😉
19. How do you keep your skin so clear? (-Ro K.)
Funny question, because my skin is not as clear as I'd like it to be, haha. I stay consistent with my skincare routine and use a couple different foundations (not at the same time) that cover everything up just great! But with my photos - I always edit out any blemishes! No shame at all!
20. What's your idea of the perfect day? (-Kayla H.)
I have two ideas of the perfect day. 1. Being completely lazy and doing nothing but spending the day with my husband. 2. Going out and adventuring! Perhaps finding a new coffee shop or going on a road trip to the ocean.
21. Do you plan to get Juniper a friend, or are you a one cat kind of gal? (-Kristin C.)
Great question! I would love to get Juniper a baby sister kitten, but Mike isn't too, too keen on that idea, haha! One day, I plan on getting a dog, but that won't be until after we have kids. I don't mind having just Juniper, though! She's the cutest and quirkiest!
22. What's your favorite espresso drink? (-Rachel M.)
I love a great iced caramel macchiato! That's typically my go-to drink at Starbucks. Simply delicious! If you haven't ever had one, go try one right now!
23. What is the most rewarding thing from blogging? (-Christina B.)
Oh gosh, this answer could be super duper long, as there are so many things that I have found rewarding. I'll keep it short since this post is just about at 2000 words already, haha! One of the most rewarding things for me from blogging has been the community that I have been able to connect with. I have made some of the best friends through blogging and social media, and I'm so grateful for that. Blogging has also been rewarding for me, as I have found my voice and passions even more through it all.
24. What's your go to Pandora/Spotify station? (-Alexis D.)
I actually don't listen to Pandora at all - it's been years. I am a huge fan of Spotify, though. I don't use it to listen to any specifics stations, as I love making my own playlists, but I do enjoy perusing the different playlists they have for indie music.
WHAT I'M WEARING:
I love, love this outfit so much. It's classic and is one of my go-to looks whenever I'm on the run. I'm wearing my favorite denim jeggings from American Eagle. They're super comfortable and go with basically any top! I scored this Zara top and Topshop booties from thredUP! I grabbed this top for only $9.60 and these booties for just $12.80. Yes, I'm for real! I seriously can't rave enough about thredUP and all of the goodies I have found there. They have all the name brands you love at amazing prices.
So, that's a wrap!! Thank you to everyone who asked me questions. It means the world. I'm continually left so grateful for all of the support and love you all show me. I couldn't keep CWS going if it wasn't for you. So, thank you.