Bloggers with Heart: Kaileen Elise

Earlier today, I announced the beginning of a new interview series on Tulips and Tea called Bloggers with Heart, featuring bloggers whose voices resonate with authenticity, sparkle, and soul. I am so excited to introduce you to Kaileen Elise, my first featured Blogger with Heart. I became virtually acquainted with Kaileen Elise a month or two ago after noticing her insightful comments on the posts of mutual blogger friends. I began following her on twitter and reading her beautiful blog, which is filled with upbeat musings, thoughts, recipes, quotes, and other bits of inspiration. As you will see in her answers below, she exudes sincerity, wisdom, and genuine kindness, and her blog is a reflection of these qualities. I am thrilled that Kaileen Elise is my first Blogger with Heart because she truly embodies the phrase. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did!

1. Why did you start blogging?

Earlier this summer I joined
twitter and began following a number of inspiring artsy yogini blogs with the help of google reader. Once I began to feel the creative power of so many talented bloggers and tweeters, I wanted to join in on the fun.

I think we all benefit from a sense of community. We all need creative outlets. I have always been a writer and someone who enjoyed sharing journal entries with friends. My blog is really an extension of things I have been doing since I was a little girl.

2. How do you come up with ideas for posts?

It's easy to find inspiration if you are looking for it. I think I struggle more with deciding which posts to write and which to put on the back burner. Sometimes I find an image that I write a post around while other times I find a quote or an idea that I really want to share. The other day I was just sitting at my desk when the inspiration for
this poem came to mind.

3. The subtitle for your blog is "Every day is an extraordinary adventure," and this sense of optimism really shines through in your posts. How do you maintain such a positive outlook on life?

The subtitle comes from my desire to find ways to make my ordinary life a wonderfully entertaining, completely extraordinary adventure. It's unlikely that I will become America's next supermodel or rocket scientist, but I can aspire to live my own life as amazingly as possible. I think the endless possibilities of life can sometimes be very overwhelming. The focus of my blog is to find ways to add sparkle and joy to our daily lives.

The magical thing about blogging, twitter and the rest of this vast internet is the delay between our thoughts and what we put out into the universe. I don't always have a positive outlook on things, but it is my choice to post something negative or positive. Sometimes when I am feeling especially crummy, I will get on twitter and talk about sending sparkle and glitter to everyone. Giving cheer to others is a small way to shift my mood.

4. In what ways is your blog a reflection of your "real life"?

I do my best not to distinguish between the two. I think it's natural for people to want to draw a line in the sand between their lives on the internet and their lives in the real world, but I would rather not live a double life. I try to approach my blog with the curiosity and courage that any new experience requires.

On my blog, I share insights that I discover in my day-to-day. Conversely, I've found a lot of ways to bring the sparkle and joy from this wonderful community into my daily grind.

5. What is the best thing about blogging?

What a nice segue! Blogging has given me a way to connect with the most amazing tribe of creative beauties. I am madly in love with the creative power that lies within so many of the people I have met through blogging (and twitter).

6. What is the hardest part about blogging?

The biggest hurdle is overcoming the fear of putting pieces of myself out there for everyone to see. I often worry if my posts will be well-received, if my message will come across as I intended or if my thoughts will resonate with others. When start down a negative path, I go back through my blog archives and read some of the amazing comments my readers have left. This helps me remember that I'm not seeking perfection, I'm seeking expression.

7. What does the blogging community mean to you?

Like I mentioned earlier, I am amazed by the blogging community. There are so many supportive, loving and creative individuals who contribute to blogs by writing content, designing pretty sites, taking gorgeous pictures and leaving amazing comments. The community is an endless source of inspiration and motivation.

8. You inspire a lot of people with your insightful and upbeat musings. Which bloggers inspire you and why?

Thank you for the compliment! There are so many who inspire me. Right now I have 271 unread items in my google reader - I follow quite a few blogs these days. It would be easy to just direct you to my blogroll and not name anyone specifically, but that would be taking the easy way out.

A few bloggers who I've followed from the start of my blogging experience are
Kimberly Wilson, Hang on Little Tomato, My Pretty Pennies, Le Love, Gussying Up the Tuttle and City Girl Lifestyle.

Recently, I've discovered
Tulips and Tea,
Heart Piercing Life, Dolce Vita, lovely little things, pencil skirts and pearls, ellecubed and coco+kelly.

9. What else is inspiring you right now?

Making new radio stations on
Pandora, reading The Joy Diet while immersed in a bubble bath, writing blog posts from a corner of my favorite Starbucks on Thursday nights, sipping flavored Chai tea lattes, catching up on blogs, discovering new twitter friends, creating thoughtful holiday presents for friends and family, cutting images and words out of magazines, breathing deep during yoga practice, relaxing in the middle of a hectic work day, snuggling with my mister, waking up early to set my intentions for the day, making packages for other bloggers and discovering new creative adventures.

10. What advice would you give to someone just getting started as a blogger?

Be patient with yourself. Study your favorite blogs. Listen to your voice. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Seek the help of those who you most admire. Ask a friend to help you proofread. Spread your limbs. Connect. Smile when you type. Write posts that you are craving to read.

12. If you had the opportunity to create "the perfect space" space for blogging and other creative pursuits, what would yours look like? (How would it be decorated, what objects would surround you, how would it sound, feel, smell, etc.?)

If the options were endless, and time, money and space were immaterial...

My perfect creative space is the "loft" part of a chic New York City apartment. It is functional, colorful, neat and bright. Paint is splattered on my desk, and lightly scented candles are burning all around me. Bulletin boards full of inspirational quotes and images cover the freshly painted walls. Music is always playing in the background. A fuzzy dark brown flokati rug keeps my toes warm. My MacBook has plenty of desk space to breathe. Pictures of my friends and family surround me. A large white board lists all my plans, goals and aspirations on one wall (like this). A big mug of raspberry green tea latte gives me endless energy. A yoga mat is rolled out in the corner for spontaneous stretching. Magazines are piled on one corner of my desk for easy inspiration. Close by, a bookshelf is home to all the written words I hold dear. My journal is tucked away in my desk drawer for safe keeping. Art supplies are neatly organized and paradoxically scattered around my creative space. It feels like home.

11. Five by five. Tell us your five favorite: books, movies, albums, foods, and simple pleasures in life.

Books: The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, Hip Tranquil Chick by Kimberly Wilson, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Blink by Malcom Gladwell

Movies: A Little Princess, Romeo + Juliette, Closer, Best in Show, Anchorman

Albums: Veneer by Jose Gonzalez, The Con by Tegan and Sara, Third Eye Blind's Self-Titled Album, O by Damien Rice, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill

Foods: chips & salsa, fresh fruit, avocados, mashed potatoes, chocolate

Simple pleasures: going to yoga class, snuggling with a loved one, going for a mani/pedi, shopping with a girlfriend, reading a great book (or blog)

13. In five words or less: what is the meaning of life?

To breathe, love and give.

Kaileen Elise currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina where she explores all things extraordinary. She is a student of life, tea drinker, artist, writer, blogger, yogini, & entrepreneur.

Thanks Kaileen, for sharing your thoughts with us and for blogging with heart!

Image courtesy of Kaileen Elise.


Caitlin said...

Thanks for the lovely interview! I've been following Kaileen's blog for a while now, but it was so nice to learn a bit more about her!! Looking forward to the rest of your series!!

Stephanie said...

I love Kaileen's blog as well. I met her on Twitter and I have to say she is beyond inspiring. Sometimes, when I'm having a tough day, I look for her tweets to lift my spirits.

In times such as these, it is nice to know that the interweb can still be a great medium for inpiration.

Ashley said...

Great questions and thoughtful answers! Kaileen's words "I'm not seeking perfection, I'm seeking expression" make a wonderful mantra, I'm going to remind myself of that from time to time. And I think the advice to "Write posts that you are craving to read" is excellent! I especially love the question about describing "the perfect space". This was really fun to read, I look forward to more!

Micaela said...

first- Analiese, what a great idea!!! i have a feeling i will become a loyal reader to your series.

who better to start with than a person that fits every bit of your serie's title. Kaileen is just wonderful. and you can tell that with her answers.

"smile when you type"- the absolute best advice. i'm siling as i type THIS. :)

i too am madly in love with connecting with others, who otherwise would be just beautiful strangers.

great first installment.

Melita said...

this is a fantastic series. you couldn't have found a better person/blogger to kick this off than the darling kaileen elise! i look forward to reading more interviews.


Carolyn said...

wonderful! i can't wait to read more

kimberly wilson said...

what a fun idea, analiese, and kudos to kaileen's wonderful inspiration! xo


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