I asked you guys on Instagram to submit questions so I could put together my first Q&A post! These are some of my favorite submissions and most commonly asked questions I get from readers!
Where in the Midwest did you grow up?
I grew up on 16 acres of forested land outside of Madison, Wisconsin. I loved growing up in the country and am so thankful for have space to hike in my own backyard, fall asleep to sounds of crickets instead of cars and in general, become really close with nature. Robin grew up within the city of Madison, so he’s a “city kid” and I’m a “country girl.”
I went to college in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, so that’s my second Midwest home!
What are your favorite body positive or in-general positive people to follow on Instagram?
I recently did an Instagram purge where I unfollowed anyone who I found was having a negative impact on my mental health. Your feed shouldn’t be a place for jealousy and there are some creators who make great work, but I found myself spending too much time comparing. I also made a point to start hunting out accounts that made me feel good and/or challenged me to think. I think it’s really clear when people on Instagram are posting things just to capitalize on trends for personal gain instead of posting things from their heart and I cleared my feed of those people as well.
Here are some (but not all) of my favorite life + body positive accounts to follow!
When I discover new accounts or people, I frequently put them on a trial basis. I’ll follow them for a few weeks or months and if I find myself comparing or feeling bad about myself after consuming their content, I’ll unfollow or mute. This year I’m focusing on mental health and Instagram plays a big part in that!
What’s is like living in San Francisco? I’ve always wanted to move to a new city, but not sure how.
San Francisco is my favorite city on the planet. I moved to San Francisco without actually ever visiting before, which is a really crazy thing to do, but I just knew it was where I needed to be. Everyone knows the cost of living in California is high. Our rent is easily 3x the amount we would pay if we stayed in the Midwest and our apartment is probably 3x smaller but there are so many wonderful things about living here.
I love how each neighborhood is really different from the next. They each have strong personalities and it can feel like you are traveling to different cities when you go from one neighborhood to the next. I love the general “hustle” vibe people have here. The Bay Area is a place for dreamers and doers – everyone has a passion project they are working on and I thrive off that energy. We also adore how easy it is to explore Northern California from San Francisco. Within a few hours drive, you can be in wine country, or the Sierra Nevada Mountains, or in a National Park or down the coast to Big Sur.
Moving across the country to a new city is really hard, I won’t sugar coat it. But if you are itching to start a new chapter of your life in a new city, do it. Set a move out date and start telling people are you leaving. Take that 10 seconds of courage to make the leap! I have some more tips you can read here.
What are your favorite places to buy clothing that fits curvy and plus size?
I’m always on the hunt for new brands that make cute size inclusive clothes! My go-to places to shop that are affordable, have either plus size lines or extended sizes and/or actually flatter my curves are
- Target (for everything!)
- ASOS (for really unique pieces)
- H&M (for mostly dresses)
- Uniqlo (jeans, coats and basics)
How do you afford to travel so much? Do you get free trips all the time just because you’re a blogger?
I think it’s really important to make clear that while we always make sure to have fun on trips, trips are WORK for us. I think people see bloggers traveling all the time and assume they get free trips just in exchange for posting a few pics in a hotel bathrobe. I can’t speak to what other Instagrammers and blogger do on their trips, but we’re usually working the entire time. Sometimes that work means visiting a winery to take photos and drink wine (fun!) but it also means waking up at 6am to take photos by the pool before guests arrive. Or having lunch meetings with hotel marketing leaders. It’s also all the time post-trip to edit photos and write helpful guides.
We wouldn’t be able to travel so much and make so much helpful content for you guys if we had to foot 100% of the bill every place we went. We get to travel so much because we seek out opportunities to work with local hotels and/or tourism boards on press trips where they help set us up with “free” hotel stays, dinners, etc. But remember – it’s not actually free because we spend the whole time working our butts off. I can’t remember the last time I took a trip and it was an actual vacation (aka no working!)
Sometimes we get paid to travel, like on our trip to New York City with Alaska Airlines or our trip to Eau Claire with Travel Wisconsin. But most of the time, we end up paying a lot out of pocket for trips but we are strategic about credit card points, reward programs and other ways to reduce the cost.
I loved answering your questions! I’ll be doing another Q&A again in a few months. If you want your question answered, leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul!