9/15/15

Coffee Date: Audrey of Putting Me Together

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Today is a Coffee Date first! Typically when I do these posts, I choose a blogger that I haven't met in real life but would like to know a little better. This time, the real life meeting happened first! I met Audrey just a few weeks ago at a local blogger event. We arrived at the same time and I instantly recognized her from her blog, Putting Me Together. So we started chatting and found out we had quite a few things in common: we're both moms in our 30s, former Bay Area residents living in San Diego. And we're both bloggers who are known online for having "casual" style but always being asked in real life why we're so dressed up! I had a great time getting to know Audrey and I wanted to give you all the chance to do the same, so I was thrilled when she agreed on the spot to be my next Coffee Date guest!

Audrey's Style (Original Outfit Posts One / TwoThree / Four)

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.
Image Source

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! 


Okay, there are probably a few non-bloggers reading this who are patiently waiting for me to move on to something they can relate to a little more, so what’s something you’re working on in your personal life totally unrelated to blogging?

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!
Dress: Old Navy / (Original post)


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:
Jacket: Express / Tee: Old Navy / Necklace: Express / Jeans: Express / Shoes: Nordstrom / Bag: Amazon / Watch: Fossil / Bracelet: Purple Peridot / Nails: Essie "Blanc"

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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!




Linking up with:
Amanda / ErikaAndrea and Narci / Lindsey / Tara / JoLynne / Erin

CONVERSATION

40 comments:

  1. I've been reading Audrey's blog for a few years and love her down to earth style! It was fun getting to know her better!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  2. I loved reading this post!! ❤

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  3. Loving all of her looks, especially crushing on the stripes! Hopping over to check out her blog :)

    Kate - Green Fashionista

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    1. Yes! I loved the red flats with that striped tee.

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  4. I have been following Audrey's blog for awhile, I do love how down to earth she is and does not seem like she is trying to sell the latest and greatest to you. One of these days, I would love to meet both of you amazing ladies!

    Alice
    www.happpinessatmidlife.com

    Would love to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

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    1. We need to set that up sometime since you are not too far away at all!

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  5. I found Audrey's blog years ago, so I'm so excited that you featured her! How cool! Loved learning more about her and seeing some of her staples. Glad you brought this series back :)

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  6. She's so beautiful! Love her style😍😍

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  7. I've followed Audrey for about two years now, and I love her style! She's definitely relatable, especially since we live in generally the same region. I will have to check out iconosquare! I really need help managing my blog and IG better. I sort of do it all haphazard and it's probably not the best way to engage. Great interview Gina!

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    1. Yeah, I have heard of Iconosquare and gone on the website once but I'm pretty lazy about actually using it to modify my habits! I guess there's always room for improvement!

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  8. Great post, Gina! Thanks for interviewing Audrey - I have always liked her blog.

    Lisa
    Daily Style Finds

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    1. Thanks Lisa! Glad you enjoyed the post!

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  9. What a fun post! Audrey's is one of the first blogs I ever discovered and I instantly loved her casual, do-able style as well as so many helpful tips! She inspired many purchases--colored jeans, booties, cargo jacket. I've been loving following her on snapchat lately! Hey you keep mentioning you're on snapchat but I haven't seen a single story from you yet. Do you have to accept people to see them? I love following my fave bloggers on snapchat!

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    1. That's odd! I don't have to add/accept you. I post the most on the weekends (not much on weekdays) but if you've added me by username you should definitely be able to see my story. Maybe try deleting and re-adding my username?

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  10. Thanks for introducing us to Audrey! She's super cute! Can't wait to check out her blog.

    Christie
    The Closet by Christie

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    1. Thanks for reading Christie! I know you will enjoy Audrey's blog. :)

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  11. I have always loved Audrey's blog. She posts bargain items and that's what I'm all about. Also, she is so regular-gal relatable and that's what I look for in a blog. What a fun series. I can't wait for the next one.

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    1. It's pretty hard not to like her, isn't it? I'm trying to get back to this series regularly so hopefully there will be another one next month.

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  12. cool interview I could always tell from her blog that she was down to earth and nice and you really proved that. Great feature!

    xo
    PinkSole

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  13. I truly enjoyed reading this interview. I learned so much already from just the few things Audrey shared. I need to check out her blog. Thanks for sharing yet another great "coffee date".

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  14. Love her style and will be re-reading this interview when I've had coffee again, haha because there are some great tips that I want to remember ;-)

    Tracy
    www.TracysNotebookofStyle.com

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    1. Haha! I understand! I need to not just *read* her tips but actually DO some of them!

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  15. Need to start following her! Her style is so cute and practical

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    1. Yep- she's very realistic in what she wears and I love that!

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  16. Thanks for sharing! She has great style and seems so nice, not to mention a blogging expert!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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    1. Right? I figure four years is approaching graduate degree level of blogging experience! haha.

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  17. How fun to get to meet Audrey! Her blog was one of the first I started following, I think I was her 700th something follower. Great interview questions, even for non-bloggers! Thanks Gina!

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    1. Aw, that's so fun that you remember being her 700th follower! And I'm so glad you enjoyed the post as a non-blogger! I think even before I blogged the behind the scenes stuff always fascinated me so I'm glad I'm not alone.

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  18. Great post!

    www.selftimers.blogspot.com

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  19. love this post :) i used to love Audrey's blog - I mean, I still enjoy it, but rarely visit anymore (that's not a bad thing, I'm not meaning to sound mean or anything, I still follow her on IG and now snapchat so thanks for that), but I have always loved her style.. I feel like she is one of the only blogs where I see her outfits and I'm like yes I would absolutely wear that to 99% of her outfits. so happy you all were able to meet and hit it off!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the post and were able to find on Audrey on Snapchat. It's such a fun way to get to know people better.

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  20. I didn't know Audrey's blog. I 'm glad I checked this older post and now I'll follow her, too. Have a nice week!

    www.spring2spring.com

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  21. Audrey has such an easy and chic style! I like here already. Thank for sharing her with us!

    www.dressed2dnines.com

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I sincerely appreciate each and every one and always do my best to answer questions promptly!