Blog Name: Remaking June Cleaver
While I have never met Kenda in person, she’s tops on my list of “Bloggers to Meet.” She may have a few bad habits (lover of horror movies, Patriots fan, etc.), but I honestly consider her a friend and truly value her input. In fact, she is the only other blogger I have ever trusted enough to handle the reigns on Mommy’s Busy, Go ask Daddy when she attended the Disney Planes Premier and Little Mermaid Event on my behalf. And as expected, she did a real bang-up job. She’s a fabulous designer and a great writer. Go read for yourself!
How did you get started blogging?
In 2009 I was living in Los Angeles working in web design. I was getting to the point where my passion for design was dying, but I’d just had a new baby so I didn’t want to work outside the house. A good friend of mine told me about her parenting blog; how it provided cool, free outings with her kids and made her some extra money in the process.
I admit, I was one of those people who jumped into blogging thinking I’d instantly make money. Obviously that didn’t happen, but I did enjoy it so I just kept working at it while staying in the web design field a bit longer. Within a few years I was able to dedicate myself to blogging full time and make an income that matched. I can’t see myself doing anything else now.
What do you love most about blogging?
Having complete control. I’ve had many jobs that I enjoyed, but even the best of them annoyed me because everything – from pay to duties to hours – was under the control of someone else. I’m a very rebellious person, so being told what to do 9-5 drives me batty. With blogging, I’m the boss. Freedom actually makes me work harder and allows me to excel.
What’s the worst part about blogging?
If you’d asked me a few years ago, I would have probably said the work/life balance or the competition – things that all bloggers go through. Now? Those things are either balanced or I’ve just stopped caring about them. Sure, there are minor annoyances like brands micromanaging, having to put a million hashtags on a tweet… things like that. But overall, I’ve finally found my groove.
Why do you blog?
In the past few years I’ve really become enamored with consumer awareness. As a shopper, I saw a lot of reviews online that were vague or only highlighted the good about something. Half of them didn’t really provide any insight that you couldn’t already get on the product’s website. That’s not very helpful when you’re trying to make a buying decision. So, I wanted to expand on that and give more in-depth information that people can actually use to make purchases that are a good fit for them.
There’s also the whole working in my pajamas thing while I watch Netflix on the other monitor…. man, I love that.
How’d you come up with Remaking June Cleaver? What does that mean to you?
Moms are more than just potty training and PTA meetings. We’re also tech geeks, political pundits, creators, innovators, business owners, and more. Being a mom today is about putting a different spin on mothering, one that fits your personality – not the cliché. We are constantly remaking the role of “mom.” And who is the classic mom? June Cleaver, of course.
Does your family read your blog? Ever get in trouble because of it?
My mom is a fan on my Facebook page, does that count? Seriously though, I think they might glance at it from time to time, but they’re more interested in behind the scenes. They love hearing about the adventures it affords me and I share with them about what I’m doing, companies I’m working with. I’m actually a private person when it comes to real life stuff, so they know I’d never publish anything that would upset them. Now, if I blogged about politics that might cause some fights at Thanksgiving dinner…. #BlackSheep
How has blogging affected your life?
I’m happier overall. I’m not tired, fighting with coworkers, cursing about a bad schedule, or mad because I have to miss my son’s school play to take a second shift.
I also feel more accomplished now than I did with my previous outside jobs. I’m doing well and it’s all my own work. Sometimes I stop and think, “Wow… I built this.”
Have you met other bloggers in person? Is it awkward?
Meeting bloggers is 10 times easier than any other mixer situation. I’m not an introvert, but I’m not a social butterfly either. I’m also horrible at idle chit-chat. When meeting people who aren’t bloggers, I have to push through that weird introduction phase of “So…what do you do? Do you have kids? Have you seen any good movies lately?”. It makes me want to roll my eyes right up into my head and drool in my drink.
With blogger meet-ups that isn’t an issue. I already know the answers to those questions from reading their blog and interacting in groups. I can skip all the introduction awkwardness and just… hang out. Sometimes I see other bloggers that obviously feel uncomfortable and I just want to give them a hug and say, “Dude… I’m just a person. You’re just a person. You’re allowed to relax and be yourself.”
You are a horror fiend! I faint at the first sign of a paper cut, yet you thrive on gore. What is it about horror that you find so appealing?
My love affair with horror started around six or seven years old. My parents took me to see my first movie in a theater – American Werewolf In London. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I have actually seen that one! I not only didn’t pass out, but I liked it!] I covered my eyes for most of it, but I was hooked anyway. Over the next few years I started collecting classic horror novels from our neighborhood book swap store. Every week I’d walk down and trade Sweet Valley High for The Shining or Cujo. The attraction never stopped.
I’m not specifically into gore, though. While I’m eager to watch any horror movie at least once, my true preference is films that are creepy and psychological. Japanese flicks are my favorite for that. When you’re done watching them, you feel… unsettled. Or you sit there and think for an hour about what you just watched.
Why do I like it? I don’t really know. Adrenaline junkie perhaps? I love roller coasters, fast cars, and free fall rides too. My mother says I just have a “dark side.” Maybe it’s as simple as that.
I am seriously blown away by your design sense. Every time I visit your blog, there’s something new. You make things look so good. What’s your secret?
Years of self teaching. I started out as a a classic artist. I’ve been drawing and painting since I was small. Once I realized I also loved technology, it just felt natural to put them together. I spent years watching tutorial videos, reading, and a ton of trial and error.
Bloggers tease me about how often I change my blog design. I get that urge to create something new, and what better place than my own site? I used to change every few months, but it’s been a year since my last redesign. That being said, I’m currently creating something new behind the scenes. So much for kicking that habit!
You are an enigma. You’ve got this punk, tough gal side of you, but you are also an equally loving mom, all-around super nice person. Explain!
That is an interesting question. I’ve never thought about it, really. I don’t believe the two personalities are mutually exclusive. I wouldn’t even call myself “tough girl” so much as “Doesn’t care about BS girl.” I’m 40 and feel like I wasted so many years caring about what other people thought, said, did. So, now I put my emotional effort into things that matter (family, close friends, my marriage, etc) and take the rest with a grain of salt. It’s all about balance and making sure that even if you have to pull out the “tough girl” side, you do it for the right reasons and with as few casualties as possible.
And be sure to tell Kenda that Andrew from Mommy’s Busy, Go Ask Daddy sent ya!