Today I am stoked to introduce a weekly series that will take you behind the scenes with some pretty amazing bloggers. I’ve been wanting to start a weekly guest posting series for a long time, because I think it’s fascinating to hear from so many different women on their likes and dislikes, the things that define their style, their favorite designers, interiors, etc, etc, etc. But in crafting my own idea for a series, I realized I wanted to get to know you guys on a (hopefully) deeper level.
It can be scary to put yourself out there on the Internet for the entire world to see, but I find that I am most inspired by posts where the writer is brutally honest and gives us a sneak peek into their lives. After all, blogging is ultimately about connecting with people. And while we can all connect over our love of ikat, I wanted to be a bit more personal than that. What inspires the authors behind my favorite blogs? What are their goals? What are they proud of? What are their plans for the next few years?
So with that in mind, I’m kicking off BEHIND THE SCENES this week with a blogger you hopefully like — me! This post is definitely more personal than the usual fare on the site, but I figured if I was going to ask blogging buddies to put themselves out there, I had to do it too! It’s only fair, right? I hope you enjoy this series, and be sure to check back each Wednesday for a BEHIND THE SCENES post with a different blogger.
Name and age: Victoria, and scarily enough, just a month and a half shy of 27.
Your Blog: vmac+cheese (obvi)
Current City: San Francisco, CA. Before this I lived in LA, and before that I lived (and grew up) in Austin.
There are so many places I want to see in the world, but five places I must visit in my lifetime are: the Greek Isles; Morocco; Cape Town, South Africa; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and every last bit of France. Paris simply isn’t enough — I’m dying to experience oysters in Brittany, Sancerre and chateaus in the Loire, perfect cassoulet in the Languedoc, the quaint towns of Alsace, and the perfect pace of life in Provence!).
Four books I want to read in the next year. Although really, I’m hoping to finish them by the end of the summer/early Fall-ish. Is it cheesy that I want to read the musings of reality show queens? Whatevs. At the end of the day, these are some smart business women that probably have some pretty interesting observations about life. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m clearly going through a transitional phase in my own life, and have been turning to non-fiction reads for advice, insight, and inspiration. The fact that the only fiction book I want to read is named ‘The Help’ is just ironic.
I also have Water for Elephants and Let the Great World Spin downloaded, but sad as it sounds, I’m less excited for those and more excited to hear what Kelly and Bethenny have to say.
Three photos that exemplify what I want my life to look five years from now:
A sense of inner peace — knowing who I am and where I’m going. Isn’t that what your 30s are for?
Successful…I want to feel like I’m on top of the world when it comes to my work. That doesn’t have to mean huge cash flows or fame — but I am working towards a true sense of ownership, pride, and personal success, and in five years, I hope I’ll have something to show for that. Success is of course a tricky thing, meaning lots of things to lots of different people. But in this context, I want to feel successful by own personal standards. This includes feeling creatively fulfilled, challenged, and above all else, doing something I love.
Joyful. My current home life is particularly happy, and I hope that in five years, we’ll have shared lots more laughs and many joyful moments.
Two goals I’m currently working on (and what I’m doing to get there):
1. I’m considering opening an Etsy shop. It’s true! I’m currently drafting a short business plan (which is good, because it helps me flesh out all the gaps in planning, costing issues, and generally brainstorm). The most difficult thing with trying to plan any kind of side business is finding balance between work, relationship, exercise, and having simple ‘me’ time. But, if you really, truly, deeply want something, you absolutely have to work your butt off for it. So it might be a busy summer!
2. Challenging myself to see what it feels like to be as healthy as possible. This doesn’t just include working out, though I’ve amazed myself by how much better I feel after 6 months of regular exercise and eating leafy greens by the bunch. The book I mentioned last week, Clean, as well as the beauty book No More Dirty Looks have really given me a lot to think about in terms of what it means to be healthy and truly feel your best. I want to do right by my body and take as good a care of it as I can.
I’ve been dreaming about working for myself for the better part of four years. In 2008, it was (somewhat) of a reality, when I worked as a freelance writer and made ends meet by working lots of odd jobs on the side. I eventually shuttered that business about a year after I started. But when I look back now, I feel like I gave up on myself too soon. I learned a lot from that short time, and I still find myself dreaming about owning my own business, setting my own schedule, and enjoying all the crazy peaks and valleys that come with self-employment. And this time, I’ll be able to anticipate what the valleys feel like, and I’ll know not to give up. Failing just means you’re trying, after all. I find myself asking myself “what if” so much that I’m sick of listening to my own wistful thoughts and am ready to go out there and DO IT. It’s the what and how that I’m currently working on!
How did your blog get its name?
Vmac is a name a lot of my friends called me in high school, a combination of my first and last names. I originally started this blog a few months after I’d finished culinary school, and thought I’d be real cute with a name like vmac+cheese, especially since back then, I really only wrote about food. This was branding fail 101. The minute I diversified, the name no longer made much sense, but of course, there’s no going back.
Who serves as a source of inspiration for you?
Other women who’ve struck out on their own, believed in themselves, and made their dreams come true. Also, travel, food, and good conversation. Visually, and in blog land, places like Pinterest can’t be beat, along with the bagillion blogs that are in my Google reader (seriously you guys, I opened it up yesterday after not looking at it for 3 or 4 days and it said 1000+ posts. Bloggers are a prolific bunch!). For magazines, I love reading Vanity Fair. It has a great mix of culture, entertainment, politics, current events, and gossip. I’ve been subscribing to it on my Nook color and it’s fantastic!
What is your proudest achievement to date?
I’m absolutely my own worst critic, so I’m pretty bad at stopping to enjoy moments when I should. I’m the type of person that gets to a place and thinks, “Great. What next?” It’s a blessing and a curse. If I reflect back though, I’m proud that I had the courage to seek out a new, unfamiliar life when I finished high school. I moved across the country where I didn’t know a soul, and not only was I able to have fun doing it, I met the love of my life along the way. Not bad.
Where is your favorite place to rest and re-charge?
It’s a toss up between my own apartment, curled up in bed with some tea and a stack of books and magazines, or Napa, where Joe and I regularly go for weekend lunches and (way too much) wine. Some of our best, most honest conversations have been held over a bottle of wine with the sun shining down on us in wine country.
When did you first start blogging…
I first started blogging in the summer of 2008, when I was temping at a PR agency. I didn’t keep up with it very well until the tail end of 2009, when I realized just how fun and creatively fulfilling it could be.
And why do you keep doing it?
Blogging has provided me with such a wonderful creative outlet. But beyond that, it always amazes me that there are so many people out there who love and appreciate the same things I do. You discover a HUGE community of people who finally get you, and all your weird obsessions. This, for me, has been one of the best things about blogging — connecting with so many people, learning about so many new things. I’m one of the most curious people you’ll ever meet, and blogging totally feeds that.