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12 September 2014

Meet Cat from Oddly Lovely

One of the many reasons I got into blogging was to meet new people and I've got to know, and now follow, a number of different bloggers, whose blogs I really enjoy and look forward to reading their new posts each week. There are so many great new blogs out there, I'd thought I'd introduce you to some of my favourites and offer an opportunity to get to know the bloggers behind the scenes.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to Cat from Oddly Lovely. A blogger from across the pond in San Francisco, Cat is a lifestyle blogger/superwoman covering everything from fashion and beauty to her dog Ru, while also having a good eye for food photography. Sharing a love for correct grammar and punctuation, as well as eclectic music tastes I'm pleased to introduce Cat as my first featured blogger.

What inspired you to have your own blog?

Actually, it’s a bit of an unusual story. I work in social media marketing and part of my job is coordinating sponsored posts on blogs for brands. After doing it for a couple of years and getting super inspired by all the awesome blogs I saw, I decided to give it a shot! I’m actually pretty well-equipped to blog, since I’m a writer and social media marketer by trade and have plenty of experience with photography and Photoshop editing. The biggest challenge has been designing and coding the blog itself. After investing probably 100+ hours, I ended up hiring someone to do it for me, haha.

My favourite posts of yours have to be your recipes, some of which are really unusual (i.e., strawberry balsamic tart with goat's cheese), where do you get your inspiration from? 

I post about a lot of different things on my blog (fashion, beauty, movie, etc.), but in real life, my best strength is probably my cooking. The kitchen is truly my “happy place” and I find working on a foodie project to be incredibly therapeutic. So much of learning to cook is learning what flavour profiles just work together. For example, I love the combination of fruit and cheese, which inspired my recipe for fig, prosciutto and gorgonzola pizza. Or I knew that caramel and oatmeal would taste amazing together, which is how I came up with my caramel chunk oatmeal cookies. My best advice is don’t be afraid to try unusual foods when dining out and actually think about what makes the dishes you like “work.” 

Your recipes appear to be going from strength to strength, can we see this continuing and what recipes do you have planned that we can  look forward to? 

Right now, I’m planning to share my mochi coffee cake, some different smoothie combos, and 3 dessert popcorn recipes! You can bet I’ll never stop sharing my foodie creations.

What are your favourite posts to write about?

Haha, is it okay if I admit my favourite posts to write are the ones that have great photography? I usually come up with a post concept, do a photo shoot and then write the post itself. If the pictures turn out beautiful, I always feel more confident and excited about the post. I am truly interested in a variety of topics, which is why I have a lifestyle blog and not a beauty blog, fashion blog etc. It’s fun to write about a new subject every day!

Are there any skills from your work life that you have incorporated into your blog?

I went to university for creative writing and I absolutely utilize that every day in my job in social media marketing. I work in a pretty small agency and am the resident copywriter, which involves creating websites, apps, promotions, blog posts, and social media posts for brands. My job, blog and creative projects absolutely overlap and I utilize the same skills for all three.

What's your favourite dish?

Without question my favorite recipe is my chicken pot pie. It’s a little time consuming to make but totally worth it. I also have a really delicious enchilada recipe, which I have yet to share on my blog because even though it tastes delicious, I can’t imagine it would look very good in a photograph, haha! When I’m eating out, I absolutely adore beef bone marrow and calamari.

What are your short-term/long-term goals for yourself and your blog and what are you currently doing to achieve them?

I have two goals - make my content spectacular and reach more readers. Having more followers is awesome, but I truly think that you need to have really stellar content first. Right now, I’m making a point to try a lot of things on my blog to learn what works and what doesn’t. I’ve already seen noticeable improvement in my photography and how comfortable I sound when writing. I’m also learning how to 'market' my blog on social media and other avenues. There’s plenty of trial and error involved in that, but a lot of it is just about being patient and putting in the time. 

What's your favourite thing to do in San Francisco?

If you’re here visiting, I definitely recommend going to Haight Ashbury (the centre of the 1969 hippie movement), getting a chocolate sunday at Ghirardelli Square, and checking out some of our really incredible museums like the California Academy of Sciences or the de Young Museum of Art. As a local who lives in the East Bay, I love hiking up in the hills with my dog and the delicious ethnic restaurants like Burmese and Pakistani food.

What up and coming blogs have you followed recently?

I’m not normally a big follower of beauty blogs, but I have a soft spot for Allison of Mercuteify. She has these gorgeous clean, bright pictures and just a warm and friendly voice when writing. I kind of want to be her friend. I also just discovered the blog Wildlandia by Nicole. She’s another SF Bay girl, and her blog has this wonderfully whimsical style. Plus I might try and steal her dog.

To find out more about Cat, and follow her dog Ru's escapades, visit her blog Oddly Lovely.