#FierceFriday Interview with Lifestyle Blogger Mrs. A OK
Meeting Mrs. A OK
Last week, I posted my first #FierceFriday interview with Victoria Zigler, author, and blogger. #FierceFriday is a weekly feature on Everything’s Coming Up Rosie (ecurosie) – celebrating all the incredibly inspiring and kick-ass women out there! With that, I am excited to share this week’s interview with lifestyle blogger Mrs. A OK a Work in Progress.
I first met Dean when I came across her weekly Mommy Monday Blog Hop. I quickly became a weekly contributor to the blog hop and was soon following her on Twitter. I am thrilled that she is this week’s feature blogger!
In this week’s interview, some of the highlights are: she is celebrating 15 years of marriage, is a mom to three, she once had an Etsy shop, how she keep’s her children’s privacy in mind when she posts on her blog and her message of being kind to one another.
Share Your Story – Mrs. A OK
First of all, please tell us a little about yourself. And what are some of your interests outside of blogging?
I figure I should first tell you “A O K” are my initials, and though my first name starts with an A, I go by Dean. Dean is the name close family and friends call me, you can call me Dean too. 🙂
I love to write, writing has always been a great release for me, so it shouldn’t have been such a surprise to me that I would fall head-over-heels in love with blogging. Aside from writing and blogging, I’m married to my best friend, we just celebrated 15 YEARS of marriage! We have three children that keep us laughing, loving life, and hopeful for our future.
Some of my interests include travel (though my bank account says: Do you mean to your backyard? And my anxiety says: Guuurrl! You wanna go where?), cooking, sports (I love to play and watch sports), TedTalks, reading (reading makes better writers 🙂 ), crafting, doodling, and water coloring.
How did you discover the blogging world and what made you decide to start a blog of your own?
I cannot even remember how I discovered the blogging world, really. It was some time ago, to be honest. When I started blogging it wasn’t because I thought I was ever going to be a blogger, I thought I’d share about the tutus and hair bows I made for my Etsy shop. It was a short-lived endeavor. I ended up closing my Etsy shop and diving into the world of blogging.
My little tutu and hair bow making blog brought me new opportunities, such as working as Senior Managing Editor for Tots to Teens Magazine- I loved it. While working with Tots to Teens I made the switch to Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress.
What types of topics do you post and how often do you blog?
I usually post about life in general: what’s going on with me or what’s going on in the world. I sometimes touch on parenthood and I try to share more kindness. I’d love to share more DIYs and recipes, I use to do more of that. I usually post three times a week: Mommy Monday Blog Hop, a lifestyle post, and Thank You Notes (Friday).
Do you have a dedicated office space and if so, what is the importance of having this?
I do. I’m not in love with it though. I use to have a much better office in my home in South Carolina, and when I lived in Illinois I had a cloffice. Currently, in Washington, my office is in a central location in my house, it’s not an office, it’s a free spot in the house where my desk fits perfectly. Sadly, my desk faces a wall and I hate that. Thankfully, I have a wall of windows behind me. 🙂
As a mom of three, how do you decide what to share about your family on your blog?
I did not set out to be a mom blogger, but being a mom is a HUGE part of my life. If I didn’t touch on motherhood or parenthood occasionally it wouldn’t feel right. When I do share about my kids I always want to keep their feelings in mind. Although they are MY children they are their OWN person, and I don’t want to take that away from them. I do ask permission to share some things and pictures; I respect their opinion and their privacy.
We are parenting on a different level these days, we share, share, share, share and we’re not just sharing to our close friends and family, we’re sharing to people across the world. When we were younger we got embarrassed when our moms would share OUR business on the phone with their friends. That’s one of the things I try to keep in mind when debating sharing a story about them. Once it’s out there it’s out there.
I love that you ask your readers to be kind to each other. How has this been received?
Honestly, I think it’s been received well. Last year, I asked my readers to do an act(s) of kindness and share on social media using my hashtag. I was happy to see people share their kindness, I picked a winner and sent them some goodies. I think I’d like to do it again this year. What do y’all think, should I do it again?
Who are your top three favorite bloggers? And why?
Top THREE?!? Oh, my that’s tough, I have too many favorites. I would feel awful if I left anyone out. Luckily, I am surrounded by awesome and supportive blogging friends that inspire me with their: enthusiasm for life, parenting style, DIYs, recipes, fashion, writing style, and honesty.
What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from that?
That’s another tough question. My greatest failure… hmmm… my greatest failure would have to be the gray period of my life. This was the time in my life where I let fear completely rule me. I didn’t live life as it should be lived. I feared constantly. I robbed myself. I tried to hide this feeling from family and friends, except from my rock. He let me lean in on him, and I leaned in so hard.
I learned that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. I learned that fear is a nasty thief. I was determined to abolish the fear and by doing so I learned that I was in control Writing, creating, talking, sharing, blogging, and loving helped me.
What has been your proudest moment with “Mrs. AOK, a Work In Progress”?
I am actually quite proud of my blog. Even though lately, I haven’t blogged as much as I would like to, I’m extremely proud of the progress I’ve made. My blog is my life unfolding. I do not make thousands of dollars blogging, I do not have a million readers, and I am not Instagram famous. However, I have made money (But that’s not what I started my blog for. Don’t get me wrong I’d gladly take all the money, but without selling my soul of course.), and I have readers! Those readers are friends, and those friends have helped me to open up, and by opening up, this work in progress has blossomed. I’ve written posts that have touched other people. Connecting with people through my words/stories feels good. I’m proud to connect with people.
Another proud blogging moment came when BlogHer accepted a post from me on their front page! I have, to be hones,t I was over-the-moon about that. 🙂 I may have danced around the house like a mad woman.
How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
Sometimes it is hard to keep things going, I have more to life than my blog, I get busy (like cross country moves) and sometimes the blog shows it. And though that may be the case, my blog is my story, and my story isn’t over, I’m a work in progress. 😉 I must share my story. 🙂
I also have a little thing I like to call blogger’s guilt. Does anyone else have this? It’s like mom guilt, but for bloggers. Your blog becomes your baby, you want to nourish it, give it attention, make sure it’s satisfied, and when you’re not giving it your all… you feel guilty. When there are comments unanswered your stomach starts to tighten a bit, because: WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU! REMEMBER WHEN YOU HAD ZERO COMMENTS, WOMAN, GET ON WITH IT! Is that just me? Anyone?
What two blogging tips would you recommend that you’d only share with a close friend (and everyone reading this blog)?
Be sincere. Bloggers have a keen sense to realness. Be real. Be you. You don’t have to fake it, you are it! I think there is nothing more admirable than a person who tells their truth from the heart. Also, when leaving comments being sincere is KEY. Bloggers are more likely to build a rapport with a person who lives genuine comments. If you glance over a post and then write: I agree, great post. That’s not really going to build connections. If you don’t have anything to say, share. 🙂
Take good pictures!!! Aside from the obvious: craftsmanship and proper grammar, pictures need attention too. I didn’t always take good pictures, sometimes I still don’t, but I have improved immensely
Sleep in or get up early?
If I get to choose it would be to sleep in! But I can’t sleep in, I’m not even sure if I truly know how to anymore.
In the future where do, you hope your blog will take you?
I hope my blog will keep growing, keep providing me with a dose of healthy cognitive medicine, and new creative opportunities. And remember that thing I said about money… that wouldn’t hurt. 🙂
Last but not least, where can we find “Mrs. A.O.K”? I’m sure many of my readers will want to continue following your journey.
Thank you, Dean, for hanging out and chatting with us at Everything’s Coming Up Rosie! 🙂 It’s been wonderful getting to know you, the importance of being kind and why you blog.
Dean is a lifestyle blogger who recently moved to the Pacific Northwest with her 3 kids, husband, and their squishy face dog. Writing and creating are a constant that keep her grounded wherever she may go. You can catch Dean write about life in progress on her blog, Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress.
Let’s chat in the comments – did you enjoy this interview with Dean? What other questions do you have for her?
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