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14 May 2017

Blog Gem - Simple & Season

Yay, it's time for a Blog Gem interview! For those of you who are new to my blog, this series takes a look at the person behind the blog, what inspires them to blog, where they blog, the story behind their blog and some fun questions too. This month I'm over the moon that the blogger I'm sharing is the incredible lady behind Simple and Season. Kayte writes such a beautiful lifestyle blog all about simple living, with the most stunning photos! She also has some incredible tips on marketing, social media and photo styling. So, without further ado, lets dive on in to the interview....

Simple and Season blog gem interview Adventures and Tea Parties

Hello there, can you tell all of the Adventures & Tea Parties' readers a little bit about yourself?
Hello! I’m Kayte (pronounced Kate – the ‘y’ is silet). A relative blogging newbie, I’ve been writing about fitting simple living into a busy modern lifestyle since September 2016. I always dreamed of living in an old farmhouse with an orchard full of chickens, and a daily grind of baking scones, reading novels and taking long, languorous baths. I started Simple & Season as a way to inject a little bit of slowness into my fast-paced professional life.

However, come June that dream will become a little more of a reality. I am moving to a little town in Snowdonia, North Wales, and will be working as a freelancer and coach – providing wholesome marketing for soulful creatives. So maybe there won’t be an orchard, but there will be mountains and I can’t pretend that there won’t be any afternoon baths… ;)

Simple and Season blog gem interview Adventures and Tea Parties

Where do you blog? What is that space like?
At the moment I blog from the sofa, usually propped on cushions and wrapped in blankets like the Princess and the Pea. Our little terrace is very small and we don’t have a table, so it’s lap working only, usually with our Jack Russell, Baggins, trying to get on my lap too.

Simple and Season blog gem interview Adventures and Tea Parties

If you had to take only one tool to a desert island, what would you choose and why?
It’s got to be something with a large blade, hasn’t it? Something that can cut firewood, whittle spears and prepare food. Perhaps not the most imaginative answer, but definitely a practical one.

Simple and Season blog gem interview Adventures and Tea Parties

How do you get inspired to blog? 
Inspiration never comes when I sit down to plan out that season’s content. In fact, I almost never write any of the post ideas I plan in advance. Inspiration usually comes from conversations I have with online friends, daydreams I have on dog walks or things I struggle with in my life that I think my readers might struggle with too.

I also have a seasonal theme on the blog that I try to loosely hang content around – Spring, for example, is ‘New’. I don’t stick to it too rigidly, but it gives me a starting point when faced with a blank page.

Simple and Season blog gem interview Adventures and Tea Parties

What top tips would you give to anyone starting a blog?
My first tip would be to write what you’d want to read. Before I started Simple & Season I dabbled with another blog for a month or so, but I felt strangled by it. I was writing the content I thought “bloggers” were supposed to write, but it wasn’t even the sort of thing I would read. I was bored to tears writing the stuff, so no wonder I didn’t keep it up! That was my one rule when I started Simple & Season, that my content would be focused on being enjoyable to the reader, not just me writing about what I’d done. It’s also made it more enjoyable for me.

Secondly, I’d urge you not to wait until everything’s perfect. Blogging is such a steep learning curve, but you don’t improve unless you’re actually doing it. I look back at my earlier photos and can’t believe I ever published them online! But I do keep them up just as a record of the huge growth journey I’ve been on. But the point is, if I’d waited until I had the perfect post, I still wouldn’t have published anything else. You learn by doing, so you just have to take a deep breath and jump in.

Simple and Season blog gem interview Adventures and Tea Parties

Is there a story behind the name, 'Simple and Season'?
When I first started the blog I was very inspired by lifestyle blogs with ‘something and something’ names: Me & Orla, Lobster & Swan, Seeds & Stitches. This naming trope is, I think, one that is common within the creative/simple community, so I wanted to emulate my role models as well as attract the right audience with the name.

I chose ‘simple’ and ‘season’ because, well, they’re pretty self-explanatory! The blog was about living simply and seasonally, unfortunately for ‘seasonal’ it had too many syllables so I had to drop the ‘-al’. Even though now my content is changing to include more about marketing a soulful business and social media, the name still works, which is a relief! It does go to show that a blog can take on a life of its own and the name needs to allow for that.

Simple and Season blog gem interview Adventures and Tea Parties

If you could go to a Blog Award dinner with any 5 people (dead or alive, real or fictional) who would you choose?
This is a really difficult question for me, I’ve spent days thinking about it! I am intensely introverted (on my last Myers Briggs test I was 95% introvert), so tend not to really like situations where I’m surrounded by people I don’t know. But I realise this is just hypothetical and I probably shouldn’t take it so seriously!

I like to surround myself with witty, sassy women who aren’t afraid to belly laugh or stuff their faces with French fries.

The first seat would have to go to Sarah Ferguson (@sarah_louise_ferg on Instagram). She’s been my Insta bestie for the last six months, since my sub-100 follower days, and she’s been such an inspiration to my styling and Instagram growth. She lives up in Scotland, so a hypothetical dinner party might be our only chance to meet.

I’d invite Grace Dent because she seems like my kinda girl, witty, sharp and a total foodie. Whenever I’m London I love to read her restaurant reviews in the Evening Standard magazine; she writes like she’s already your hilarious best friend.

Seats three and four would go to Sara Tasker and Siobhan Watts. Both talented photographers and writers whose blogs I’ve followed since before I started mine. Both their personalities shine through everything they do and I know they’d add excellent conversation to the party.

Lastly, I’d bring along 1960s-era Doris Lessing. I read The Golden Notebook at university and found it such an eye-opening and engaging feminist parable – I think I might need to read it again at a later stag of life to fully understand it. I imagine Doris at that age being full of fire and ideas to really shake up the conversation and make us think.

Simple and Season blog gem interview Adventures and Tea Parties

And finally...if you had to choose one song to represent 'Simple & Season', what would it be and why? 
I was dreading this question! I’m quite weird in that I don’t listen to music (cue shocked gasps). When I was at uni I couldn’t study with it on and I just got out of the habit of listening to it, so I do tend to work and sit in silence! Music just isn’t a part of my life. To me, Simple & Season is more the sound of birdsong, a page turning, of a pot bubbling on the stove and footsteps in a silent wood. And, of course, of fingers tapping keys.

Thank you so much, Kayte. It's been an absolute pleasure hearing all about your blogging world and what inspires you to blog. I think your advice for anyone thinking of writing a blog, to just start, is spot on. There is no time like the present and you do truly learn as you go along; many other bloggers would definitely agree with you about that. Thanks again Kayte and do keep up the wonderful blogging!


I hope you've all enjoyed reading about Kayte's inspiring blogging world and are heading over to Simple & Season right now to read more! And for those of you that want to discover more inspiring bloggers, you can catch up on all my Blog Gem interviews here.

Thanks for reading!

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