When we first met, I got the full scoop on where you're from, what you do for a living, your family life and so on, so can you fill everyone else in on those details before I get to the juicy questions?
Audrey: I grew up in Northern California, then moved down to San Diego for college in 2001 and have been here ever since. In college I was part of an amazing organization called InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and now I actually work for them! I help college students get in touch with their spirituality and faith in a meaningful way and empower them to do good in the world. My husband Benson and I have been married for 7 years, and we have a spunky, energetic 1-year old daughter named Adelyn. We call her Addie for short.
Audrey & Addie (Original Post)
I followed your blog long before I started mine, and I always admired how down-to-earth you remained over the years. Seeing that you could find a supportive readership without an infinite budget [see Audrey's clothing budget here] or a ton of designer items was something that helped me find the courage to start start my own blog. I was happy to find that you are just as friendly and approachable in real life as you seem online! Can you tell us a little about your own blogging experience? How long have you been at it and what motivated you to get started?
Audrey: I’ve been blogging since June 2011—over 4 years! I think it’s important to figure out what you have to offer as a person, and therefore as a blogger. My blog is about style, but I know I’m not even close to being the most stylish person out there. However, thanks to my job I have a lot of experience training and teaching people to do things. I realized I could use those skills on my blog, just related to style. So, the focus of my blog is to teach people about style, especially those who have a hard time with it. That’s what keeps me blogging and also what I think makes my blog unique.
One of my favorite series that you have done is your "Behind the Blog" series. As a blogger I learned a lot from and generally just enjoyed getting to be nosy about your blogging process. I would also recommend it to new bloggers, anyone thinking about starting a blog, and my fellow nosy bloggers! You can find the four parts of the series here:
In person, we also talked about Instagram and how that has affected our time management, blog schedule etc. as we try to figure out what clicks there vs. the blog. Do you have any Instagram tips or tricks that you could share with us?
Audrey: I haven’t focused much on Instagram until recently, but using Iconosquare.com has been totally eye opening for me. I love how it tracks what days and times your followers are the most engaged, which is different for everyone. Once I started posting during my audience’s peak times (I generally try to post any outfits at 8pm PST) I started seeing more activity with my Instagram account as a whole. It made Instagram even more fun for me because I get to interact and dialogue with more readers since there’s more activity.
So it sounds like Iconosquare has helped you establish a good schedule for Instagram. What about your blog? Do you have an established schedule for that too?
Audrey: I spend a lot more energy on my blog than on IG, and I stick with a routine as best as I can so that I can write better content. I try to write something related to style tips on Tuesdays, ways to remix one piece on Thursdays, and something to help build your wardrobe on Fridays. On Monday or Wednesday I’ll throw in an OOTD if I can.
Sticking to a regular schedule is something I've struggled with a bit lately, so thanks for the motivation in that department! You've obviously learned a lot in your four years of blogging, but do you have any regrets? Or maybe a not-quite-regret, but something you wish you had known sooner?
Audrey: I have a few, like companies I worked with that weren’t the best fit for my readers or things like that. But I feel like that’s part of learning and growing as a blogger. However, something I wish I’d known sooner was about all of the blogging conferences! I haven’t been to any yet because when I finally discovered them it was too short of notice or I couldn’t go because of work, but it sounds so fun to connect with other like-minded people. I’m heading to my first one this month and cannot wait!
Audrey: We moved into our house when Addie was 2 weeks old. We’ve lived here for about a year now, and we STILL need to finish settling into it. If anyone wants to decorate our house for us, holler. We are terrible at it and just want it to be done!
Their new place! (Original Post)
Well, I'm in the right city to help you with that but I am definitely the wrong person because I do not decorate at all. (Unless you count tossing an US Weekly on the coffee table and a Kindle on the night stand as decorating...) There will be no home tours on this blog, however I do quite a bit of pop culture/fashion fusion here, so do you have any favorites in the books/movies/music/TV categories?
Audrey: I’m so excited it’s fall because that means my favorite TV shows start up again: Mindy Project, Modern Family, and Brooklyn 99. And recently my husband and I have gotten really into Agents of SHIELD. Also, I’ve been following Tori Kelly for years on YouTube, and I can’t stop listening to her album. Addie dances every time I sing or play Tori’s songs!
Modern Family is also one of my favorites! It's also a fun one to watch for fashion inspiration and to see what TV people think Mom Style is supposed to look like. I broke it down a little more in this post and decided that my style is very "Glare" (Gloria + Claire), and I can definitely see you wearing a lot of what Claire wears.
Claire vs. Gloria Style on Modern Family
Well since I finally brought this back around to clothes and shopping, you already know that I'm pretty focused on one store when I shop. Sometimes I need a little push to branch out, so if you were to recommend a couple of your favorite recent purchases from a retailer other than Express, what would they be?
Audrey: I’m pretty in love with my navy gingham top from J.Crew Factory!
Audrey: And I’m also digging this Old Navy swing dress for fall!
I can see both of those pieces being extremely versatile, which I guess isn't surprising since your forté is choosing versatile pieces and showing all of the styling options for them! Do you have any items that make you think, "I wear this soooo much people are going to get sick of seeing it!"
Audrey: I can’t stop wearing my cargo jacket! Totally a closet staple for me.
Original post (with eight other ways to style this piece!) / Exact jacket sold out
Totally agree with you on the military jacket! Since your exact jacket is no longer available, I will go ahead and add for that for anyone who doesn't have one yet, I picked up the Express version (naturally) over the summer and I highly recommend it! I've only had a few chances to wear it (in Air Conditioned stores and restaurants etc.), but I know I will be getting a lot more use out of it this fall:
Express / Tee: Old Navy / Necklace: Express / Jeans: Express / Shoes: Nordstrom / Bag: Amazon / Watch: Fossil / Bracelet: Purple Peridot / Nails: Essie "Blanc"
* * *I had so much fun doing this interview and learning more about Audrey. I just love how practical, honest and thoughtful she is, and she's been a favorite of mine (and my sister's!) for quite some time. I'm so glad she and I had the chance to meet in person to make this happen and I hope you all got to know her a little better today, too! If you aren't already following along with her, you can keep up with her on her blog or Instagram and find her on Snapchat @audreypmt!