07/13 Tips

Q&A: Your Questions from Instagram Answered

I held an impromptu Q&A session on Instagram to test out the new questions feature and received a lot of great questions!  Mostly ranging in topics like how to decorate, blogging, and photography, and since I know not everyone is hanging out over there, I’m transcribing here a few of the questions I answered in case you may have wanted to ask me the same things but didn’t catch the session.  I’m also going to expand a little on some of my answers since we have the space for it, yay blog! 

How did you get started blogging/what made you keep going in the beginning?

I started blogging when we moved into our apartment (still here!) and had a lot of ideas about how I wanted to decorate.  I figured I’d share the process and projects via blogging while also really really really hoping it would turn into something more.

At that time I had a career in pharmacy which I hated.  Blogging and being creative was such a huge release that it felt natural to be motivated and work on it all the time.

In short, my motivation came from connecting with my deep love of design and wanting to be around it all the time.

What did you study in college?

Physiology.  That panned out well.


What are your favorite stores to purchase items for your home?

Soooooo many.

West Elm
Need Supply Co.


Any tips for styling open shelving in the kitchen?

If we had open shelving in our kitchen, I’d make 90% of it everyday items that move often to keep dust from collecting.  Keep it all in the same color palette and sprinkle in vases/plants and cookbooks.  Man I wish we had open shelving!


How is the house hunting?

Not great :)  What we need most is patience and to find a million dollars on the ground.  Will share updates on this as they come!


How did you get your blog/insta up and running?

  1. Buy a domain name.
  2. Get web hosting (I use InMotion)
  3. Pick a publishing platform (I use WordPress.org)
  4. Design your blog (theme or custom)
  5. Publish posts!

Unsure what to answer about setting up Insta but I just created an account back when everything was veryyyyyy different haha.  Didn’t use any services or pay for growth, please don’t do this.


Do you use a professional camera or your phone?

Both!  I shoot with a Nikon D5200, most of the time with a 35mm lens, or my iPhone 8 Plus.  Currently waiting to check out Nikon’s full frame mirrorless camera release which is supposedly soon!


Is LA your forever home?

I don’t know.  Before house hunting I would have said yes.  From house hunting we’ve been thinking a lot more about the lifestyle and space we want to grow our family in and how we want to be present in our personal lives without having to “hustle” so hard or it.  Working for the rest of our lives to pay off a tiny home that’s two inches away from neighbors makes leaving this city sound appealing.  This is my head talking.  My heart says LA til I die.


Will you come to Ireland and style my house for me??

If you feed me.  I want to visit Ireland so much!!


How do you get your images so white?  Even skies!

This has mostly to do with the original photo.  Good lighting is everything.  Overcast weather will naturally make the sky appear white.  I also use the desaturation brush tool in Snapseed to help achieve whites.  It can be tricky to make this look good without overdoing it, and if the lighting in the photo was’t great to begin with.

A lot of it is also eyeballing the white balance when I edit.  I’ll either lower or raise the temperature, though most of the time I lower it to achieve cooler tones.


How do you keep everything in your place to go together?  Decor, furniture, etc…

It feels too easy to say: sticking to a color palette.  Forever a neutrals lover because it’s effortless and timeless.  Beyond that I generally pay attention to shape, mostly going for clean simple lines.

While I don’t agree that strictly keeping to one style is necessary to have everything go together, like mid-century modern or Scandinavian, it can help a lot especially in the beginning.  Starting here, then adding in your own unique elements as you become more connected with what you love is a great way to stay true to yourself while creating a cohesive look.


What is your #1 piece of wedding advice?

Don’t try to make your wedding like someone else’s.  Too much inspiration becomes detrimental very quickly and can sidetrack you from remembering what’s most important (you and your partner).  Be yourself and focus your effort on having the best time possible.  The way you felt is what you’ll remember the most!


Do you use filters for your IG pix, if so, which?!

A lot of times I don’t use a filter and I’ll make my own edits.  When I use filters I don’t always use the same one and sometimes I’ll layer a couple depending on what I think the photo “needs”.  I adjust each photo differently.  My most frequent go-to filters are VSCO A6, S2, and SE3.  Other editing apps I use are Lightroom and Snapseed.


As a blogger and content creator, do you ever experience a creative block of some sort?

I feel like I’m never not experiencing a creative block lol.  There’s a voice in my head that’s constantly telling me it’s not good enough.  It frequently keeps me from trying or sharing some ideas, and sometimes gives me anxiety over ones that I do share.  It’s still scary to put my ideas out there.  A lot of why I wanted to blog was to get better at combatting this.  I don’t have the answers yet on how to make it go away, but it gets a little better the more I try.  Stepping away and getting distance (shutting off my phone) helps the most.


If you have a blank wall behind your sofa, what would you put?

Either a mirror or one large piece of art.  Sconces too if lighting is needed!


Favorite place you’ve traveled to?

COPENHAGEN.  and Tokyo.  Tough question.  I wrote a Copenhagen travel guide here and am still working on that Japan travel guide that’s taking forever it’s coming!


How do you compromise style and the hubby’s comfort in home decor decisions?

Style > hubby’s comfort haaa.  It’s basically agreed upon that I make these decisions.  Granted he doesn’t thinking anything we have is uncomfortable but yea he would rather have a leather recliner than most things I’d pick and he lets me have my way, he’s very nice.


Tips for decorating on a budget?

Know your style and take the time you need to be fiercely sure about this before anything else.  The biggest mistake I made when first decorating was not having a plan and jumping on sales and finds I thought were a good deal only to later see that I didn’t love those items, they didn’t make sense in our home, or they didn’t have longevity, which meant I wasted my money.  If you can really narrow down what you love and want then you can spend time hunting for the right pieces at the right prices and know when it’s the one.

It’s like that Abraham Lincoln quote: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”  Sharpening the axe is planning out your decor, knowing for sure the design is something you will love for a long time, and doing the research to learn what good prices really are.  Spend the majority of your time making a plan!!!

Because of my experience with DIY, I feel the need to say DIY is not always the budget friendly option.  Often times gathering the materials and resources can end up costing the same, if not more, than hunting for the piece at a good price.  I’d say reserve the DIY for customization purposes, to create something one of a kind that you can’t find within your budget or can’t find at all but is doable to create.

Some of the places I go to first to look for furniture and decor on a budget are Overstock.com, Target, and H&M.  While I can’t say the quality is always great, they consistently provide modern styles at affordable prices.  I’m not big on Craigslist since the time and patience needed to find gems isn’t worth it to me, though if there is a specific big box retail item (ex. a West Elm table) I’m looking for I will search Craigslist to see if there is a lightly used one at a discounted price.


Are you guys interested in having Q&A sessions on the blog?  Please let me know!  Either way, feel free to leave any questions below.

6 comments on “Q&A: Your Questions from Instagram Answered”

  1. Why you never show in your pictures the part in the living room at the right of your tv? I’m so curious! =)

    1. Ha! I love that you noticed. This corner is our reading nook, which I planned on making a reveal out of so long ago but am still waiting and deciding on a few details. It’s practically an abandoned project, but I will show it soon :)

  2. Give us some fails, like a real chaotic linen closet so we can know you’re human like the rest of us.

    1. I hope anyone can give me the understanding that I am a human too, regardless of whether or not I share photos of a chaotic linen closet. Still I understand where you’re coming from, how authenticity and candidness cultivates deeper connection. Thank you for the feedback, I will work on this!

  3. Amy,
    So grateful you shared some Q & A over here on the blog as I did miss the insta one.
    I would love it as a monthly feature or quarterly– if life allows it.
    I too have been wanting to see the rest of your home….. but only if you are comfortable with sharing.
    I enjoyed your packing tips you shared. Looking forward to hear about the Tokyo trip in detail !!

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