Spring Featured Blogger

For my spring featured blogger, I chose Katy of Kate&Stripes. I found her through Instagram a couple of months ago, and have been in love ever since! I think she's crazy beautiful, I love her adorable and fun sense of style and she just seems so sweet! She's a third grade teacher for children with Autism, a freelance model, and a blogger. Plus she has a mini backyard farm with chickens and a garden. How cute, right? Keep reading to learn more about this lady and be sure to check out her blog! You will be inspired, especially for the spring season!

Photo by Shannon Lee Miller Photography

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your blog, Kate & Stripes? 

I like to describe it as a fashion, DIY, cooking, backyard farming, and positive lifestyle blog all wrapped up in one big sparkly bow. I am honestly not a very organized blogger. I just post on what I truly love. If I am wearing an outfit that I feel great in, or I am having a particularly awesome day, I'll post about it. If I make a cocktail, a DIY project, or a recipe that I end up loving, I'll post about it. It's all very organic, and I feel like that gives a blog a more authentic feel. I have been lucky enough to collaborate with some really great people, and am honored to be able to support some incredible ladies doing their thing, and vice versa. 

2. When and why did you start blogging?

I guess I have been blogging for years, if you count Livejournal posts driven by teenage emotion, followed by Tumblr, and a few other random places. But, I started Kate&Stripes somewhere around November of 2013, on a whim. I have a crazy stressful job (see below) and although I really love it, I needed an outlet, so Kate&Stripes was born! I knew I had something to offer, but was definitely unsure about whether other people would see it as valuable. Fortunately, I have received a great reader response so far. The blogging world is so positive and supportive, and I feel like I have found a really cool little community.

3. Tell us about your style.

My style is definitely very vintage driven. I have always been drawn to vintage patterns and silhouettes, I love the playfulness of it all. I try not to take fashion too seriously. I can't name more than five designers, and have absolutely no interest in what's on the runway. While I know that to some, it can be a source of inspiration, or a wardrobe reality, those things have always seemed out of reach for me. I might start the day off with brunch in a vintage dress and heels, and finish it in overalls and boots working in the garden. I believe in wearing what makes you feel good, and what makes sense in your own life. 

4. What do you do for a living?

I am a 3rd grade teacher at a self-contained charter school for children with Autism. I have been working in this field for over 5 years, and I can tell you that there has not been even one easy day, but I love it, and I continue to choose it when I drag myself out of bed at 5:30 am every morning. The children that I work with have a primary diagnosis of Autism, but most have multiple disabilities. The majority of the children placed in my school were unable to continue in the public school system. Sometimes it is because of violent behavioral issues, severe cognitive issues, medical needs, or the need for constant supervision to ensure safety that cannot be provided in a normal school setting. Either way, they end up with us, and it is never, ever a boring day in my classroom. These kids are heartbreaking, and inspiring, and hilarious. They have shown me that I could do things I never thought I was strong enough to do, and I am so thankful to be their teacher.

5. Favorite musicians/bands?

This is a hard one. I really do enjoy so many different types of music, and it depends on my mood. I listen to everything from the Ramones to Taylor Swift. I have a fairly large record collection with some new vinyl, but also a good deal of older 50's and 60's stuff. Anything Ryan Adams touches will always be golden to me. I have a pretty deep love for classic country as well.

6. What would your perfect day look like?

Wake up without an alarm clock blasting at me at 5:30 am, be able to enjoy coffee and breakfast on my deck. I live for slow mornings because my pre-work mornings are so hectic. Then probably do something outdoors, go for a bike ride, garden, head to the beach. Maybe some afternoon reading in a hammock where no one can find me, drink in hand. Finish off the day with dinner and friends at a delicious restaurant. I love to cook, but sometimes you just need someone else to do it for you. Oh, and cleaning, someone else can clean my house and do my laundry while I am off having fun.

7. I love that you have a little backyard farm and vegetable garden! What is your favorite thing to grow?

While I love growing vegetables because they are practical, and edible, I prefer flowers over anything else. I try to keep a colorful mix of flowers going year round in my yard, they just look so pretty. I do have a salad bed going right now, with 4 different types of salad greens. I recently added a chicken coop and three feisty hen ladies to the mix, I have had to learn how to keep my garden safe from hungry beaks.

8. What's your favorite cocktail recipe?

I love anything with Hendricks, St. Germain, or Campari. I've recently started liking more floral drinks, I shared a cocktail recipe with rose water on the blog not too long ago. I think it's really refreshing for spring. If we are being honest here, I've never really met a cocktail I didn't like.

9. Where are your favorite places to shop?

Vintage stores, thrift stores, and antique stores will always be my favorite. You can find pieces that are unique, and tell a story. I have had to learn how to sew enough to alter clothing to fit me, and it has come in really handy with vintage pieces. Other than that, I really love Modcloth, and Anthropologie. I have been finding some awesome stuff on etsy lately too. I am definitely guilty of mall shopping, I do frequent Forever 21 and H&M, sometimes it's a bust, sometimes you find something surprisingly great. I'm on a budget, so I always consider price vs. quality, and try to make smart decisions. I host a swap at my house twice as a year as well. I have ended up with some incredible finds from friends.

10. Any tips for bloggers just starting out?

I feel like I am fairly new to the game as well, so I can share with you what has worked for me so far. Be yourself. There are millions of bloggers out there, if you stay true to yourself, people will notice. Post quality content on something you are passionate about, and post often. Blogging is not difficult per se, but it is definitely time consuming, and requires energy that you sometimes won't feel like you have. Don't push yourself too hard and have fun. Network, network, network. Meet as many people as you can, take opportunities, and be nice!

Photo by Shannon Lee Miller Photography

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Katy a little bit more! Be sure to head over to her blog and follow along! You can also keep up with her on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.