Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} for February!

Joovy is excited to introduce a new element to Joovy Tuesday, our Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} series. Each month, we will profile one of our Joovy Mom’s and active bloggers, share a bit about them, their passions, family, blog amongst other fun and groovy things!

This month, our Groovy {Joovy Blogger} is none other than, Kate Marsh Lord of The Shopping Mama.

We had the great pleasure of visiting with Kate for an enlightening and fun discussion. We hope you’ll enjoy this introduction to Kate, The Shopping Mama and one GROOVY Joovy Mom, for sure!

1. Kate, to begin, how did you get started blogging? What was the overriding reason you started blogging?

My first blog was a small family blog that we used to keep family up to date with our adventures. As a military family we move often and don’t live near family so it was a great way to share photos and stories with relatives.

A few months after my daughter was born, after hearing the question, Where did you get that? nearly every day I decided to start a blog to show exactly where I got that! The blog evolved into so much more and it’s been an amazing creative outlet for me and has provided some great friends and unique opportunities.

2. How did you come to name your blog The Shopping Mama? What significance does this have in your life?

At the time, it was just a cute little name to describe exactly what I was doing: shopping for my kids. Now, years later, and as my brand the name seems a little silly, to be honest. But, it still describes the mission of the blog: to save time for busy moms by doing the shopping for them and sharing the best products for families.

3. How does your blog differ from others?

At the moment, the most unique thing about The Shopping Mama is that my family is living in Germany. So, in addition to traditional reviews and fun giveaways, we also document lots of European family adventures and travels.

4. How do you balance parenting and blogging? Is there a secret?

If there’s a secret, I’d love to hear it! I get most of my of my work done after the kids are asleep. Luckily my kids go to bed early, but it does mean many late nights for me. During the day I get things done while the older kids are at school and my little guy is napping.

5. Your current computer is a ________.

MacBook Pro. I made the switch from PC about a year ago. I’m still getting used to it!

6. When you’re not blogging, where do you escape to on the web?

I always get a good laugh reading Suria’s Burn Book and The Honest Toddler. And, of course, I catch up on gossip on Us Magazine and People!

7. What’s been your most popular post or topic?

Many posts seem to ebb and flow depending on what’s hot on search engines and Pinterest. Recently my son’s modern nursery has been popular as has a tutorial for a DIY mei tai doll carrier.

8. How do you involve your kids and family in your blog?

I’ve blogged the most about my son Max, including documenting my pregnancy and writing about his milestones every month. My older kids (4 and 6) know that I write a blog and that they are a big help in telling moms on the internet about toys and clothes. They love the testing and talking about things, but not so much the photo shoots. Not gonna lie: there is sometimes bribing involved in getting good photos.

9. What kind of camera do you use?

I have a Nikon D90, which I love, but found it to be cumbersome and too big for traveling and carrying around every day (in addition to all the other things I tote along with 3 kids!). I switched to a smaller mirrorless mircro four thirds camera which still takes amazing photos but is much smaller and easier to take everywhere with me. My Olympus PEN EPM-1 has served me well!

10. In your opinion, what is the best kids/gear flash site?

My favorite flash site is zulily. They have an amazing selection, good customer service and relatively quick shipping. I also really like Gilt Groupe for higher end brands.

11. Can you share your 3 favorite apps?

I’m addicted to Instagram! Follow me! I use Facebook all the time, of course, and when we’re traveling I always download an app of the area’s public transportation. Finally, I love ArtKive for storing my kids artwork.

12. What 5 blogs do you read daily?

  1. Baby Loving Mama
  2. MomTrends
  3. Thrifty & Chic Mom
  4. Momma’s Gone City
  5. Girls Gone Child

13. What is your favorite Joovy product and why?

Oh, that is a tough question! Honestly, we’ve had a great experience with every Joovy product we’ve used for our family so it’s hard to pick a favorite. Let’s see, my husband’s favorite is the Joovy Zoom 360 Jogging Stroller, my daughter’s favorite is the Joovy Toy Room² Playard, and I think recent my favorite is the theBabaSling from Joovy. I wouldn’t have survived Max’s babydom without it.

14. Anything else you want to share about you or your blog?

The Shopping Mama is always evolving and growing; it’s a new challenge every day to create engaging content that I’m proud to share. Even with all the great products and trips and opportunities (and my family has been very fortunate), the best part of blogging is the people I’ve met and connected with online. Staying home with kids especially when we move every year or two can be very isolating but the internet connects us, and for that I’m very thankful.

Joovy wants to personally thank Kate and her family for their service to our country. We are proud to have them as a Joovy family. Also, a big thank you for sharing your story about The Shopping Mama! It was a treat to learn about you!

If you would like to be considered for Joovy’s Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight}, please join our Joovy Blogger Program.