The fast-paced world of home decor blogging can be a difficult one to compete in. With so many competitors out there, the best sites need to have an edge that helps them stand out from the rest of the pack. Honey & Hydrangea, focusing on simple, rustic style, home decor, DIY, and recipes, has managed to attain that very edge with its heartwarming content that is both entertaining and accessible to all audiences. Recently, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Jessica to discuss her budding career, her blogging style, and her very personal ongoing battle with Lyme disease.
Hi Jessica, thanks for joining us today, Please tell us a little bit about Honey & Hydrangea.
Thank you for having me, I feel so honored to be asked. Honey & Hydrangea is something that I have created to share the things that bring me joy and brighten my everyday. I love to talk decor and swap recipes. Honey & Hydrangea allows me to do just that.
Your site has such a beautiful name. Where did you come up with the name, and does it have a personal meaning to you?
Yes, it does have a personal meaning to me. It’s no surprise that hydrangeas are a favorite flower of mine. But my love for hydrangeas is the real story.
My husband is half Greek. His papou, which is Greek for grandfather, was from the old country. He spoke broken English but he was so fun and jovial.
It seems that his generation was one of the last that understood how to be self-sufficient. He grew citrus, figs, dandelion greens, raised rabbits, and cured his own olives.
It was amazing to me. It wasn’t pretty or organized but at the back door he had 3 huge pink hydrangea bushes, which he probably only grew because they have Greek origin. I loved how the little sparkle of femininity stood out against the clutter.
I ate my first kumquat there and picked my first hydrangea. Sadly he has since passed away but my father in law dug up those bushes for me as a surprise. They have a special place in my garden and serve as an annual reminder of him and now of my own children’s papou.
Papou also raised bees, and his little cluttered suburban backyard was the first place that I tasted honey straight from the honeycomb.
So there you have it.. Honey & Hydrangea
You note on your blog that balance is your sanity. As a busy mom and blogger, how do you strive to maintain balance in your life?
I recently saw something that really struck me. It is using one word to describe your goal. My ONE WORD would have to be PRIORITIES. I work hard to keep them in first place.
An illustration that always sticks with me is like trying to fit tennis balls (priorities) and sand (the other things) in a jar. If you put the sand in first the tennis balls won’t fit, instead, put the tennis balls in first and then the sand will fill up any empty space.
Although this requires making constant adjustments, it is so worth it.
Where do you draw inspiration for the posts on your blog?
I draw my inspiration from my everyday experiences. What I fed my family that they didn’t hate, DIY successes and failures, our family vacations, and health are all part of my story.
On Honey & Hydrangea you specifically share your struggles with Lyme Disease. How has it affected your life, and your blogging?
Simply put, it affects every aspect of my life. The biggest challenge that it presents is the uncertainty of it. I never know when the bad days are going to hit for myself or for my son. I have to be flexible and keep a loose schedule.
I take a longer time to recover if I burn the candle at both ends, so I take this into account with everything that I do. I believe that this is something that many with chronic illness can relate to.
You describe your style as simple and rustic. What would you say that the biggest influences are on your personal sense of style?
My favorite places to get away are along the Central Coast of California. Places like Hearst Castle, Big Sur, Monterey, and Santa Barbara. The architecture boasts it’s Spanish Heritage and the plant life is so unique with succulents mingled amongst giant evergreens.
Not to mention the surrounding wine country with the impressive villas and sprawling vineyards. I will never tire of the diversity, on one corner there will be a beautiful Victorian home and on the other a Spanish Style Bungalow. I first visited the Central Coast 20 years ago and have been a fan ever since.
I also have a fondness for vintage pieces. I dream about who used it and where it had been before I found it. I treasure my found pieces more than the ones that I can just buy at any store.
What has been the biggest challenge so far, of balancing life as a wife, mother, and blogger?
Keeping my focus!!! Many days I find myself spinning my wheels because I am constantly feeling distracted and being pulled in too many different directions, which is also just part of being a mom.
I am finding little tricks that help. For instance, resisting the urge to multi-task, we really can’t do it as well as we would like to think that we can.
What can we expect to see next from Honey & Hydrangea?
There are many women, including myself, that feel like their home just can’t compare to images they see on Pinterest or that don’t have the time to make elaborate recipes. I am learning to love what I have and concentrate on what I can do.
My hope is to encourage others who feel similar. My goal is to produce content that is heart warming, helpful, attainable and not at all intimidating.
Special thanks to Jessica for sitting down with us today. If you would like to find out more about Jessica, or Honey & Hydrangea, please visit her site, honeynhydrangea.com