The friendly and fashionable Lauren Kelp is the creator of her own lifestyle blog, laurenkelp.com, which offers advice and recipes for a healthier, more balanced life for the everyday woman. Kelp graduated from LFHS in 2007 and is currently in Arizona shooting for a magazine collaborating with her blog. Just as sweet as she is talented, Kelp answered some of the questions we had to share some insight on the inspiration behind the blog.
What inspired you to start a lifestyle blog?
“I was just out of college and was helping start a social media strategy company and one of our clients said that she would like for her business to have a blog. I remember thinking….what is a blog? So, naturally, I Googled it, started tinkering around, got myself a WordPress account, and started learning to code. I never intentionally set out to start a lifestyle blog, I just needed something to play around with and I picked the first thing that came to mind — entertaining!”
What would you say your favorite section of your blog would be?
“To me, the website is different than your average blog, because we talk a lot about the importance of community. In fact, our tagline is “thoughtful living without the pressure of being perfect,” and to us, that means living a full, rich, inclusive life rather than a trendy, self-focused type of life. Lots of sites give you prepackaged content or tell you how to melt fat (which is gross if you think about it), we won’t. While we love a good outfit tip, we are the gals that you invite over to run your business idea by. Cooking for a date and have no idea where to begin? Call us, we can help.
I don’t know if I have one specific section I like better than the rest because they are all interconnected. Sure, the recipe portion is great, but it’s better if you combine it with the Entertaining section because now you can share a meal with some friends and voila, community!”
What are your favorite recipes on your site?
“We have a really great 30-second cocktail section and truthfully, that is probably the most robust portion of the Recipe section. Other than that, we’ve had some amazing contributors across the years that have shared some insanely delicious stuff – like the Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, Two-Ingredient Pancakes, or one of my favorites, the Olive Oil cake with créme fraîche!”
How do you manage to balance blogging and life outside of that?
“The website is all about creating community, inviting people in to share and connect in real life, so balancing the blog and a personal life is pretty easy because we are constantly having dinner parties. Once you make the decision to put community first–or to make building community a priority–people catch on and it’s kind of contagious. All of a sudden you aren’t the only one offering to host a book club or girl’s night. Your friends bring new friends and those new friends become your friends and it all kind of flows organically from there.
In terms of balancing blogging and my career, I have never been, nor have I ever hoped to become a full-time blogger. The blog started as a business tool and it’s still used as one. The workplace today is vastly different from what it was ten years ago, and one of those ways is that everyone has a side hustle. Everyone in your office or at school has something they are working on outside of their “day job” – maybe it’s a podcast, a blog, or a new album, it could be anything really.
I have worked hard at leveraging the blog to help my career growth and visa versa. With how integrated tech, social media, and influencer strategy is today in marketing plans, it would be crazy not to.”
What keeps you motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
“Once you’ve crashed and burned emotionally and physically a few times, you realize very quickly that something needs to change and that ‘something’ is you. We all are so busy and exhausted and it can all get so overwhelming very quickly and no one really has time for that. No one wants to be burnt out all the time, and guess what…we don’t have to. Taking some time for self-care isn’t selfish, it’s responsible. It says, I care enough about my friends and family to not combust at them at a drop of a hat. And maybe that means taking a nightly bath or going for a run or telling the people in your life, ‘hey, I need like 10 minutes to myself to unwind and be a better human.’ Asking for that space might feel weird at first, but it is remarkable what communicating your needs does to relationships.”
What is the most important tip you follow for self care on a mental level?
“Ooh, good question! Obviously this is so different for everyone, but for me it is all about setting up boundaries. There are certain days of the week that I block out my calendar for social engagements – coffee dates, phone calls with old friends, or other social things. Those days are my social days, and I just make plans around that. The other days I have set aside for work, self-care, and days where I can just get lost in whatever project I am involved in. That also applies to emotional boundaries – knowing your limits, knowing when you are exhausted and just need to re-schedule plans, and creating a space for yourself (and others) to do that without feeling guilty.”
How did your blog become so well-known and what did you do to reach this popularity? Did you expect this in the beginning?
“First of all, that is so flattering and kind of you! I never expected for the blog to gain any momentum, especially in its early stages. I’ve found that the people are hungry for positive authenticity online and I’ve tried to stay true to the principles and ideals that spurred me to start the site, and it’s been really compelling to engage with people throughout the process. I try publish content that resonates well with people, and have also been willing to close down parts of the site that stray too far from the initial vision.”
What company, or companies have you started collaborating with?
“I have been very fortunate to collaborate with a ton of amazing brands. My very first collaboration was with Kendall-Jackson where we hosted dinners and talked about the importance of inviting community in. From there we’ve worked with brands like Martha Stewart, Real Simple, Crate & Barrel, Mark & Graham, Macy’s, and some amazing smaller brands that are doing great work.”
Be sure to check out laurenkelp.com, her blog, for gorgeous dinner parties and self care advice. You will not leave disappointed! The clean aesthetic of the blog and colorful pictures are sure to draw you in, and her witty but meaningful articles will keep you reading on. As she mentioned, it’s never selfish to take care of yourself, and by simply learning about and listening what Lauren Kelp has to say, you’ll be on track to a better you.