We connected with local blogger Jenny Lutes from Ruminating Mommy, who proves that there’s more to being a “mom blogger” than simply being a mom. She writes for the love of writing and connects with a wide audience while keeping her family’s lives private.
1. Tell us about yourself and how you started blogging.- I live in Vancouver, and I started blogging in 2009 for something to do in the evening. I remember sending the link to my new blog (then called Solo Mommy) to my Sister and Dad to read. I thought that I would write to reflect on my thoughts and they would read it once in awhile, and that would be it. At the time, I was separated from my husband and I was a single parent to then 2 ½ year old Ava. (My husband and I got back together a year later, and we’ve just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.)
Ava is now 6, and we have a second daughter Madelaine who is 16 months – right now I’m a stay-at-home Mom. Before Ava was born I had a Wedding Decorating company and I planned and set up decor, did the floral arrangements, sewed the linens, and made the rental pieces. I have always loved writing and fashion.
Go within and reflect and you will always inspire others. – Jenny
2. What makes your blog absolutely fabulous?- I include a mix of family posts, DIY, personal experiences and reviews – as things come up. I will turn the question around and say that it’s fabulous that people enjoy reading my blog even though I don’t, and won’t, post photos of my girls, Husband, or family. I appreciate that people find what I have to say interesting and that I can blog and still keep my family members’ lives private.
3. What type of content fits with your targeted audience?- If no one read my blog I would still write because I need to. I remember writing poetry when I was 7 years old and I haven’t stopped writing since. I think that the people who read my blog connect with something that I have written whether they have kids, no kids, something in common with me, or not. It’s human nature to reach out to others and seek a common ground. I post about whatever comes up each week whether it’s a review, quick photo, event, or DIY project. I don’t have a target audience. I’m a Mom under the umbrella “Mom Blogger” but that’s only one dimension.
4. What does a day in your life look like?- I start every week day with the usual mad rush to get Ava fed and packed up for school. We walk to school and chat about whatever is on her mind. I eat a quiet breakfast with Maddie when we get home, and then check emails briefly while she plays. While she has her naptime I write posts and surf the web or read. After school it’s homework and family time, and then I sometimes blog in the evening after the girls are asleep (while enjoying a glass of wine).
Saturday mornings we watch retro cartoons, and sometimes my Husband takes the girls out to give me an afternoon off. Sundays are always my sleep in day and family day. Currently, I contribute to www.childrensdirectory.net, www.circleofmoms.com, and www.savvymom.ca. I contributed weekly fashion posts to www.chicdarling.com for awhile as well as some review posts to www.vancouvermom.ca.
5. What types of readers are in your “pink book”?- I like connecting with women who want to connect with and empower other women; women who have a creative spirit and love to talk about life experiences, fashion/design, motherhood, and more.
6. Is running your own blog as glamorous as it sounds?- It can be glamorous and fun having a blog because I receive invites to great events, and I have discussions with people that I otherwise wouldn’t meet. I love getting dressed up and sipping wine while chatting with other social media people and business owners. My Inbox is busy everyday with companies requesting me to review products & services. I’m selective with what I choose to write about – Does the product suit my family? Would I buy it? Does it fit with my values (Does the company have questionable practices)? I hit delete if I don’t connect with the request. (Sorry to any PR people who are awaiting a response…I get too many emails to respond with a “no” to each one…)
7. What celebrity do you look at for style inspiration?- I have no interest in Celebrities – I look at what women in the real world are wearing. I style myself based on what works for me and my body type. No woman should ever compare herself to another. Life is too short for me to be distracted by “Celebrities”.
8. What are your favourite stores to shop at for the perfect wardrobe?- I will admit that I do buy on-line from Forever 21…my Husband refers to it as Forever 12…. I stay away from trendy items/colours and typically buy skinny jeans, cardigans, blazers, and cute tops. I enjoy shopping in Vancouver along 4th Ave, West Broadway, South Granville, Main St, & Cambie St – fresh air shopping. I’m not a fan of malls….
I can feel glamorous anywhere – all I need are my over-sized sunglasses and lipstick.
9. What is your favourite travel hot spot?- My Husband I were married in Cuba which remains the only hot spot that I’ve been to so far. I enjoyed the beautiful beaches, great music, and many mojitos. I swam with dolphins, and had a drink at the hotel where Hemmingway used to write….
I have travelled Canada from Coast to coast – I love antique shopping in PEI; lounging by the lake in Ontario; touring wineries in BC; picking raspberries in New Brunswick; standing beside lighthouses in Nova Scotia and looking out across the ocean; watching harvest moons and getting caught in rain storms in Manitoba… If I close my eyes I can take myself back to warm summer nights in Winnipeg and the thunder storms of my childhood…and I can still smell that distinct mixture of rain, dirt, pavement, and warmth.
I can feel glamorous anywhere – all I need are my over-sized sunglasses and lipstick. I make sure to pack my iPod for the plane, books, my iPhone to take photos, and planned outfits based on weather & trip events. Right now we always travel with our kids so my mind is on what to pack for them…they need way more stuff.
10. Can you offer any advice for new bloggers or female entrepreneurs looking to promote their business?- Write about what you know and live, and what you’re passionate about. Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t write/post everyday – the inspiration comes and goes. Make a note when an idea comes to mind and go back to it later to create a post. Pay attention to the world around you and you will always have things to write about.
Go within and reflect and you will always inspire others – readers will connect with your authentic voice. Remain honest and respectful in the Blogosphere. Be thoughtful about what you put out there and what you post to any other social medium.
Attend conferences, events, and other social gatherings where other Bloggers will be – you will meet likeminded creative people, and network at the same time.
Interview by: Talia Beckett and Sandra Depukat