Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Coffee Date with the Birthday Girl

Originally posted here | Outfit details: Jacket: Gap | Tee: Old Navy | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Stella & Dot | Shoes: Sole Society

Happy birthday to the queen of footscapes herself, Gina!!!! For my birthday, she gave me Instagram! Ok, not the whole app, but she debuted her Instagram account, on my birthday after months of pestering! So how on earth do I return the favor? It's an impossible feat, really, since she set the bar so high. I figured the one way I can give back to her is by putting her in the spotlight for once. She invests so much time promoting others on her blog that I really wanted to turn the tables around and do a coffee date post with her. She did a coffee date with me awhile back, and I just hope I'm as good of a question asker as she is! I hope you enjoy this little tribute and that you find even more reasons to love Gina!

So, I admittedly already know the answer to this question, but tell me again why you decided to start your blog.

Gina: I started blogging in 2013 right after I moved from Seattle to San Diego. I was really lonely, I missed my friends and anyone who moves as an adult will tell you it's really hard to make new ones in a new city. I loved reading blogs but had never wanted to start my own since I just didn't see what I could contribute that would be different than what was already being done. My everyday outfits didn't really seem suited for a blog, plus I hate taking pictures and being in pictures, and that's a rather major component of most fashion blogs. But after the move in all my lonely downtime I had an idea for a different approach that was brand-based, inspired by blogs like J. Crew Aficionada where there's a strong community but it's not based on the author's outfits. I thought maybe I could try something like that for Express that would enable me to connect with more people who had similar shopping habits and that it would possibly help fill my friendship void. 

Carylee: I can completely relate to this, and hope that all of us have been able to fill that void because you certainly have filled mine and then some! 

Original Post here

I think everyone would be pretty surprised to know how much of a motocross mega fan you (and Noelle) are! Can you share another random fact like this about yourself that even I don't know yet?

Gina: People in real life seem surprised that I bake all of the bread that my family eats. I have always liked to bake, but mostly sweets like cookies and cakes. In 2009 I made it my New Year's Resolution to learn how to bake bread, so I did! And once you get used to homemade bread, it's hard to go back to store bought stuff. 

Carylee: Ah! Well this explains your mad skills with your pinspired Minecraft cakes! But, no seriously, you know when I come see you again, you're totally baking me some bread.

While we are on the topic of food, any food you have an aversion to?

Gina: Not really. There are some foods I don't prefer (e.g. I don't care for watermelon, I love salad but I don't like Spring Mix and I pick out red cabbage if it's in there), but none of those things gross me out. 

I need to know your current Express portofino count.

Gina: Sixteen. That's down two from the last time I counted in July thanks to the Great Closet Clean Out of 2014. 

Carylee: Dangit! You're less than me now! Makes me need to re-evaluate my collection! It's so hard to quit any of them, though!

We have a lot of the same blogger friends thanks to Manic Monday. What non-Manic Monday blogger do you love to follow or pull inspiration from?

Gina: Right now I am all about the Insta-Bloggers...girls on Instagram who just post their everyday outfits.  For instance @erinerinhartman and @skye815 both have similar tastes to mine, plus they have a similar build to me so if they wear something and I like it, I'm pretty sure it will work for me, and that's pretty convenient! 

Carylee: Yes, the three of you and your ridiculous physiques make me equally jealous! I've definitely confused a headless Erin photo for you many times!

I always ask this of people - what is your favorite smell? It doesn't have to be perfume - anything scented. 

Gina: I love the smell of fresh-baked goods and fresh laundry.

Carylee: Ah! Clean sheets especially are the best! I feel like I'm more into manufactured smells. I'm pretty sure I played tennis in high school just to smell a new can of tennis balls on a regular basis! I kid. Mostly.

The husband wanted in on this coffee date, too, and is asking what your favorite car memory is. 

Gina: When I was a freshman in high school, my brother was a senior and he had this black 1986 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 Hatchback. (Similar to this or this  but with dark tinted windows.) So of course, since we went to the same school, he was my ride. I had a pretty terrible time with Mean Girls (middle school was the worst, but it still lingered on in high school), so it was cool to ride to and from school in his badass ride while they all got picked up by their minivans or rode the bus. On my bad days I always had that car ride to look forward to at the end of the day. It was my escape and my chance to feel "cool" for just a few minutes every day.

Carylee: Awww! That is sad and sweet all at the same time! I swear we were separated at birth because I had similar issues, but with legit bullies. Boy bullies that would steal my lunch money and tell me I was pretty. Pretty ugly. Hmm, wonder what they're up to in life now? Anyway - I love that you had your escape car!

Your most prized possession? Doesn't have to be fashion or beauty related.

Gina: My family photo albums. I've made one (on Shutterfly) every year since my first child was born and they are all of my best memories captured in photos and put into a book. If I live to an old age I know I'll probably look through those every day and cherish the reminders of those happy little moments that are so easy to forget as time marches on.

From Instagram here

Carylee: You are just tugging at my heart strings right now. One of these days, I'll get to meet your kiddos in person. For now, they can always send Auntie Carylee their OOTD selfies until they're old enough for their own IG account!

If you could have any talent or be any profession - what would it be?

Gina: I'd love to have a nice singing voice. I don't think I'd want to sing professionally, but it would be a fun talent to have on karaoke night!

Carylee: Well, if you ever change your mind about singing professionally, I would love to be a backup dancer! I just need to learn how to dance first! 

Getting to know Gina over the last year and a half or so that she has been blogging has given me more confidence than I could ever describe! First, I was always ashamed to admit that I was an avid Express shopper. The store has an odd reputation with not as big of a following as, let's say, JCrew. She's actually made me PROUD to shop at Express again, and I love hearing friends tell me that they also have a newfound appreciation for the brand.

Aside from that, I truly don't think I could do what I do on this blog without her support, feedback, and just knowing that she's got my back. I hope you'll all hop over to her blog or Instagram page and wish her a very happy birthday!



  1. I love this so much Happy Birthday Gina, so happy to have met you.


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sorry, I had to delete because of an egregious typo. Let's try again:
    You. are. too. much. And damnit you are good at this. You're going to put me out of a job!! (Wait...I don't have a job....) You did an amazing job putting this together and adding the pics and commentary. :) I COULD NOT and would not have made it this far in blogging without you. Honestly. Thank you so much for your support and friendship. (Huge understatement!!) My kids would love to send you more OOTD selfies so I'll let them know. Ha ha!
    Gina - On the Daily Express

  4. oh my goodness, I literally clapped my hands when I saw your post title! LOVE getting to know a little bit more about Miss Gina!! I loved all your questions, great job with the coffee talk! I adore both you and Gina and an heading over now to wish her a happy birthday!
    Kellie @ www.ie-style.com

  5. I. Love. This. Thank you so much for interviewing Gina, Carylee. You are right, she is so kind to always promote others. This was the perfect way to honor her on her birthday! I loved learning more about her. The homemade bread! Holy cow, so impressed (and hungry now....). So sweet about her family albums. I want to do that someday.

    Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

  6. I'm a huge fan of Gina and loved getting to know her more! Heading over to her blog now to wish her a Happy Birthday!

    Doused In Pink

  7. Aww this was so nice getting to know Gina more! 16 portofinos??!! WOAH lol Happy birthday Gina!

    Cha Cha The Fashion Genius

  8. Love this post. I can relate to Gina a lot because of this it. Family is super important to me and I too take a lot of pictures and now I'm thinking of doing a photo album now because of her. I also like her piece about karaoke, if I can sing; I would do it all the time. I just have to settle for karaoke with my cringe worthy voice, but hey I love it.

    If you reading this Gina...Happy birthday!

    Kreyola Jounerys | Instagram

  9. Ahhhh love this post! Happy Birthday GIna! This was such a good idea Carylee, she really does highlight the rest of us bloggers, about time someone put her in the spotlight!

    xo, Jasmin

  10. I loved reading this. Love Gina! Happy Birthday girl!! <3

  11. Okay, this is the cutest damn post, ever.

  12. Aww! I love the friendship you two have made! I definitely plan to do the Shutterfly books every year once we are married! Our first one is going to be our guest book at the wedding!

  13. This is such a great post! I loved getting to know more about Gina and the friendship you guys have developed because of blogging is wonderful.

    Nicole to the Nines

  14. Loved reading this piece! Such a wonderful way to celebrate Gina's birthday! You two inspire me so much :)

  15. loved learning more about you Gina! motocross and baking? you're amazing. and mean girls - ugh, they are definitely the worst and i had those problems as well. boo. off to stalk those instagram ladies..

  16. What a sweet and thoughtful way to honor the birthday girl today caryl! This was such great fun! I had no idea that Gina loves to bake her own bread! I'm awful in the kitchen so maybe when we go to supercross in a few weeks I can get some recipes! Her blog is absolutely one of my favorites. It's refreshing to read about ladies who love fashion, but who don't take it too seriously. I also love that she's privste, particularly with her kids. If and when i have kids, they will not be plastered all over the Internet and I love that she keeps her kiddos safe :)

  17. I squealed with glee over this post. Thank you so much for doing this. Gina is one of my favorites and it was so much fun learning more about her. You did a great job with the questions and the post. Bravo!

  18. This is a fantastic idea Carylee and what a perfect way to honor Gina then by having her on a coffee date! It was great to learn some tidbits about her. She is truly an awesome person and I am so enjoying getting to know you guys!


  19. I absolutely loved reading this., Happy BDay to Gina - one of my favorite bloggers and an Express lover like me. =) Great interview, Carylee. And I agree Portofino Shirts are hard to quit. I only own 2 sleeveless ones and 3 with sleeves. LOL

  20. Happy belated birthday Gina! Absolutely loved reading this post as it was an opportunity to learn more about her outside of her AWESOME outfits! Thank you for linking up with the Thrift Sisters.

    Thrifting Diva