My Blog is Featured on Hometalk this Week

This week my blog is being featured on Hometalk, which is a site where homeowners, renters, and professionals share and help with home and gardening. I’ve shared several projects on their website and now I have the wonderful honor of being featured by them! They’ve sent me some questions to help you get to know me better. While I’m chatting and answering the questions, I’ll share some flowery photos ’cause I can’t blog without adding some photos along the way.

Yellow PomPom Flowers

How did you first get into blogging?
By chance, I stumbled across a home decorating blog and into a world of wonderful women bloggers who were doing amazing things to their homes and sharing their projects on their blogs. Three of the first blogs I followed were Mod Vintage LifeAiken House and Gardens, and Dreamy Whites. From there, one blog led to another and before I knew it, I had a long list of must-read blogs.

The thought popped into my head that if I started my own blog, I might actually hold myself accountable to complete my own home projects. I mean, if you have a home décor blog, you have to have projects to write about, right? And that’s how my blog began just over a year ago.

 

A Trio of Flowers

How did you decide on the name of your blog?
Initially I thought about a cute or clever name, but then decided my blog name should reflect who I am and how I live. For the past 16 years I’ve lived on the outskirts of the Chicago suburbs. If we travel west from our house, we’re in the country and if we travel east, we’re in the thick of the ‘burbs. We live on a quiet, dead end street that empties into a beautiful forest preserve and our town is the last stop on the commuter train from Chicago, so the name Town and Country Living just makes sense.

 

Yellow PomPom Flowers

What is your most popular project on Hometalk to-date?
Last year I found out about Hometalk’s online community when I saw a blogger post on Facebook that her DIY project had been featured on Hometalk’s Facebook page … so I headed on over. I started posting my own projects on Hometalk not knowing if they’d ever feature me on their Facebook page (which has 500,000+ fans) … but they did! My most most popular project on Hometalk is my IKEA cabinet turned crafting center.

 

Yellow Pom Flowers

What are your favorite kinds of posts to read/write?
My favorite posts to read or write are creative projects and rooms that are showcased through beautiful photos. I’m a visual person so great photos are really important to me. When I first started blogging I had a point and shoot camera that I didn’t know how to use. I was bound and determined to learn photography so I could post pretty pictures on my blog. I bought myself a DSLR camera along with a photography book, took an online photography course, and practiced like crazy! When it comes to decorating, cooking, and crafting blogs … photos are everything. It’s why we spend money on beautiful magazines and cookbooks with beautifully styled photos.

 

Yellow Pom Flowers

What advice could you give to other bloggers?
First and foremost, be true to yourself. Try not to compare yourself to other bloggers but find your own passion and focus on it. Blogging should be fun and once you start stressing about it, the enjoyment fades. Sometimes it’s good to think back on what first motivated you to start blogging. Usually that will help ground you and bring back the initial joy you experienced when you clicked that “Publish” button for the first time.

Secondly, hone your photography skills if your blog contains a lot of photos. Once you learn the technical aspect of working your camera properly (ie learn to shoot in manual mode and not the pre-loaded settings), you can start to express your true self through photography. Photos that take your breath away are those that convey a feeling or emotion. I’m always trying to capture a mood when I take pictures. It might be the way the light filters through the window … or shadows that provide a little mystery to the scene. Somewhere I read that photography isn’t about reproducing the exact scene, but is actually about creating art. It really changed how I viewed taking pictures.

 

Yellow Pom Flowers

How has keeping a blog changed you?
In addition to meeting some incredibly amazing women through blogging, I’d have to say that because of the photography aspect of it, I now see the world through slightly different eyes. I look at light and shadows in new ways. I still have a lot of work to do when it comes to photography, but I enjoy it so it doesn’t feel like work!

 

Trio of Yellow Pom Flowers

* I’d like to extend a special thank you to Miriam Illions of Hometalk for this opportunity. Miriam has a warm and encouraging spirit and I’m honored to know her.

inthebloglight

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Comments

  1. I just signed up for Hometalk and I need to explore it.

    I loved reading about how you got started blogging. My story is much the same. One of the first blogs I began reading was The Lettered Cottage. And, like you, I thought needing to write about my home would get me completing the projects I always talked about. And, it has worked. I can’t believe how productive I have been in the 14 months I have been blogging.

    Congratulations on being featured.

  2. your pictures are wonderful
    ♥doris

  3. Good Morning Jennifer, Congratulations on being featured on Hometalk. I enjoyed reading about the reasons you started blogging. I started blogging with a bit of trepidation, because, quite honestly, I could not believe people would be interested in what I had to write about. I still have a lot to learn, but I am enjoying the process. I am so glad I took the step to begin blogging as I have met so many wonderfully talented, generous spirited women from around the world.
    Jennifer, I have to say your photographs are beautiful.
    Enjoy your day,
    Best Wishes
    Daphne

  4. Hi Jennifer,
    I enjoyed reading your post and seeing your beautiful photographs as well! I am so impressed that you taught yourself photography because I’ve always thought your photographs were amazing (along with your decorating skills.) And you are so right about blogging making you commit to projects and seeing them to their completion. Congratulations on being featured and I enjoyed getting to know you better through your post today!

  5. Congratulations! You’ve really mastered photo techniques to make your pictures stand out!!
    Mary Alice

  6. Jennifer, I really enjoyed the interview with Hometalk. I learned a lot more about you. Your photographs are so beautiful and I think you’ve mastered the use of your camera very well in one year! All the best to you! Pamela

  7. Congratulations Jennifer! . I’m proud to have found you through the blogging world and to be recognized in HomeTalk.
    Excuse me, as always, my disastrous English writing.

  8. Jennifer,
    This is a great post. I always love seeing your pictures they are beautiful. Great post.
    Kris

  9. Love your post, Jennifer! Leave it to you to do something unique with your Bloglight post – I can practically smell those flowers! Thank you so much for sharing your story in the Bloglight, and for your kind words. Honored to know you as well.

  10. Good morning Jennifer, Congrats on the Hometalk!!! I enjoyed reading more about you and getting to know you more. Have a great day!

    Cynthia

  11. Congratulations, Jennifer. Your interview was wonderful and I really enjoyed learning so much more about you and your perspective on blogging! It’s nice that I can call you “neighbor”!

    XO,
    Jane

  12. I liked your blog name before I knew the reasons behind it, now it just makes so much sense.

    Your flower photos are looking mighty fine lady.

    Bliss

  13. Just found your site! Love it. Look forward to adding you to my list of favorites

  14. Congrats Jennifer! I’ve loved your blog for a while now. I agree with you on the photography aspect. I look back at my earlier posts and cringe! I got a Nikon D3100 for Christmas and I use it on auto but already my photos look much better than the point and shoot. I always love your photos. So beautiful!

  15. congrats, jennifer! i don’t know too much about hometalk, i’ll check it out:)

  16. Great to get to know you a little better! You know I love your home and style!!!

    Well deserved feature!

    xox

  17. Hi Jennifer … Congratulations. Your photos are beautiful. I need to take lessons and practice and see if I can make better photos. Love your decorating style too.
    Blessings,
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  18. Such a great feature! Congrats! Visiting from blogtlak

  19. you have a beautiful home and it is fortunate for us you capture it so beautifully through your photographs. nice spotlight & cheers Jennifer.

  20. Botanic Bleu says:

    Congratulations, Jennifer. Reading your blog is enjoyable every post. It’s nice to see you being recognized by Hometalk.

    Judith

  21. so proud of you girl and your so deserving.. YOU have a great blog. I want to sign up for home talk myself.. HUGS and sooooooooooo happy that you were featured.. .. Have a blessed new week

  22. I always wondered how you thought of your name.Your photography is amazing Jennifer you truly inspire me! Still working on mine but I know with practice it will get better! Congratulations on your feature!
    xx
    Anne

  23. I have not looked into Hometalk yet! I am going to have to check it out! Life to the full! Melissa

  24. Congratulations on your feature! I enjoyed learning more about you.

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