Behind the Screen: Blogger Introductions


I am so excited today because I have the opportunity to link up with the fabulous Kiki over at her blog In Its Time for her monthly linkup series known as The Circle. It’s an amazing group of women/bloggers and I love getting to know each and every one of the ladies even better month after month. 

For July Kiki and I were thinking about a prompt idea and it occurred to us: what’s better than getting to know the blogger behind the screen a little bit better? I follow quite a few blogs, Instagram & Twitter accounts, but there’s only so much one can learn about the person just by simply following along each week. So, for this month we want to get to know more about YOU with the prompt of Blogger Introductions!

Let me introduce myself...
My name is Kelly and I am the blogger here at Primarily Inspired. I originally began blogging when I was teaching kindergarten (and later second grade) and decided one day to venture into the world of creating a teacher blog. I am so blessed by the teaching community and resource sites such as Teachers Pay Teachers because it’s allowed me to share the resources that I’ve created to fellow educators in the classroom meanwhile providing a small income for my family and I. 

Since taking a break from teaching since our move to California, I decided to create an extension of my interests besides teaching and voila the lifestyle blog, Primarily Inspired, was born. Blogging has been such a great adventure for me as I’ve learned how to create and share my life story with others and the sense of community it builds has been very rewarding. (Thank you readers!).

The Wife & Fur-Mama
I am the lucky owner of these two handsome boys. My husband, Philip, and I just recently celebrated our first year of marriage and I can’t believe how quickly a year flies by. Being a wife has been so fulfilling and it’s almost difficult to describe the role adequately. I love spending every day with my best friend and growing together has been a unique, but fun, adventure.

Shortly after saying ‘I do’ we adopted this little nugget, our mini-dachshund, Murphy and my heart grows every single day because of these two. Being a fur-mama, and even for Philip, has been the perfect introduction to being a parent, you know, to a human, and having him has been the most fun form of practice!

[read more posts about marriage here]

The Home Cook
If you follow me on Instagram or my blog you’ll quickly learn my affinity for food and wine. It doesn’t take much for me to fall in love with a new recipe or mark my calendar for Food Truck Fridays (which is every third Friday of the month here in Ventura). I have always loved food, but it’s my husband who gets all of the credit for this one. He first introduced me to tasting menus, charcuterie (which happens to be the best thing invented of all time), wine pairings, and nigiri sushi. Long gone were the days of Chipotle and TGI Fridays...especially considering he would never eat at chain restaurants when we first met. 

Over the years we’ve been together I have had the fun of exploring different recipes and cooking with my husband has been a fun way to spend time with each other. I am always on the lookout for new and exciting recipes, but made from the freshest ingredients. It only takes a few good food documentaries to alter how you look at food production in this country and I am always looking to support local farms by buying from farmers markets or buying fresh from Trader Joe’s. 

[see how I save money and time grocery shopping here]

Thanks for stopping by and I can’t wait to meet you!

An Interview With My Husband: July Edition


One thing I’ve really enjoyed is bringing my husband into this little blog of mine in the form of monthly interviews. I am always surprised by his responses and every time his answers make me see that he’s got a lot more going on in that mind of his than he lets on. I especially love how I try to give him boundaries (like, #4!), and yet he runs with it! I love the enthusiasm he brings to our conversations and every now and then I learn a little more about him. Not to mention his affinity for Bond...

Here’s the July interview...

1. What are the chances you’ve passed up on in your life that you look back on?
……Tricky question.  I’ve taken a lot of chances that panned out and some that didn’t and I don’t have any regrets.  That being said, nothing stands out in my mind.  So, I guess I haven’t dwelled on it – and I think that’s a good thing.

2. What terrifies you the most?
For a long time, I would’ve said nothing because I was arrogant enough to say that I was untouchable.  But my big fears involve losing you and our Murphy dog.  Like I’ve said in the past, once you wear your heart on the outside of your body, you stop worrying about yourself.  My family is the most important thing to me and I would burn cities to the ground if it meant protecting you.

3. What is the most important life lesson you would want to share with our future children?
Nothing ever lasts.  Good or bad, everything in this world has a finite amount of time (this applies to the tangible and intangible).  When it’s good, enjoy it for as long as it lasts.  When it’s bad, press on – one foot in front of the other until you’re through it.  It will be very, very difficult sometimes; you will find yourself broken, maybe even more than once in your life and you may ask how you ended up there.  You will experience dark places and dark thoughts and question humanity and the good in the world and you will wonder if you will ever recover.  You will.  The sun will shine again and you will forget about the darkness, but you will recognize who you’ve become because of it.  You will be stronger, smarter, and better prepared for the next storm that is inevitably heading your way.  This I know because I was able to come out on the other side a better person – and you will too.  Because you are mine.

4. If you could only pick 3 essential values we want our children to embrace above all others what would they be?  

(My first 3 are my essentials, but those that follow are things I find important)
  1. Treat others as you would like to be treated, but never assume that others do the same.
  2. Play to your strengths in public, but work on your weaknesses in private.
  3. Never stop learning – the competition doesn’t.
  4. Time is the only currency that matters and youth is your greatest asset.
  5. Always go for the kiss.  At worst, an awkward moment; at best, who knows?
  6. Never beat yourself up, there are plenty in this world that will do that for you.
  7. Never apologize if you don’t mean it (and don’t let anyone shame you into saying sorry).
  8. Also, never apologize to someone you are giving money to.
  9. Always assume that you know less than you do.  It’s when you start thinking you are smart that you cease to be.
  10. Never speak about money in public.  Whether talking about how much you make or how expensive something is on the menu – both are bad form.
  11. Invest in quality.
  12. Never let someone else dictate what is or is not “important”.  But know that I would never lead you astray.
  13. Never threaten.  Threats are for the weak.  The strong act swiftly without warning.
  14. Always keep your cool.  When you start yelling, people stop listening.
  15. Question everything and everyone.
  16. Never grow up.
  17. Travel.
5. How can I add to your happiness?
You have honestly made me the happiest I’ve ever been.  The only thing I can think of that would make us both happier is babies.

6. To you, what is the difference between living and feeling alive?
Living is just getting by – eating, sleeping, going to work, going home, becoming comfortable.  Being comfortable will kill you quicker than you think. 

Feeling alive is doing things that others are afraid to – taking risks, being adventurous, developing a sense of wonder, always questioning everything, and never accepting anything for face value

7. What is your favorite book? What about that book makes it your favorite? (could be from childhood up until now)

I have a few favorites...

Starship Troopers (fantastic story – and no, it’s not like the movie.  Which is also pretty sweet.), Jurassic Park (first book to really hooked me in when I was in high school), and every Bond book that Ian Fleming wrote (I’ve read them all twice).  But when it comes down to what I really appreciate from a book, it’s when I am left in a daze unable to focus on anything but what I’ve just read.  There are only 2 books that have ever had that effect on me (spoiler alert):

Farewell to Arms (Hemingway) – the last 2 pages of this book are incredibly somber.  The main character lives through atrocities of WWI and has to escape his unit or else face being shot point blank, is branded a deserter and struggles to get back to his love.  She is pregnant with his child and they run away to Switzerland in order to avoid being arrested.  For a number of pages, they live in peaceful bliss through her pregnancy and he acknowledges that the worst of his life is behind him and he may now live a wonderful life as a husband and father.  Unfortunately, both his wife and baby boy die during childbirth.  He visits his wife as she passes, kisses her on the forehead and leaves the hospital to wander nowhere in the rain.  After reading such a powerful ending like that when you aren’t expecting it, it lingers on.  And because it is so difficult, it forced me to reflect on how fragile life can be.  That no matter how hard you fight and struggle and love, sometimes you can’t escape the dreadful.

Moonraker (Fleming) – (Note: the book is nothing like the horrible movie)  James Bond is placed in a position that he is certain is going to kill him and an innocent woman he has been protecting and comes to terms with his death; he holds her close as she is crying and wonders if life could have been different for them.  They do manage to survive (with great injury) and on the final page Bond is contemplating his feelings for her as he waits to meet her in a park.  He imagines being with her and mulls over the things he wants to say to her once he sees her.  He is excited at the prospect of falling in love and allowing someone in after being closed off to everyone for so long.  As she approaches he notices a man waiting for her - A man she hadn’t mentioned before.  Without showing how hurt he is, he bids her farewell, watches her walk away, and turns around to face his own existence alone once again.

I realize that both of these examples are a bit melancholy, but they have always struck me as powerful endings to great stories that I could relate to as I struggled to become a man.

8. The song that makes me think of you is ________. 
I have a few but the first that always comes to mind is Sparks by Coldplay.  It’s a very simple song, but the music makes me think of you every time.  

9. What was the best meal you’ve ever eaten? Where was it and what made it the best?
I have had so many great meals that it’s hard to narrow down really.  I’ll always remember when we were initially dating and I took you to have charcuterie and cheese for the first time.  You seemed to love it so much (and still do) and I was grateful that I was the one that introduced you to it.

10. What is one goal you’d like to accomplish by the end of this year?

I’d really like to get a raise

Blogging: How We’ve Lost Sight & 3 Ways To Regain It


When I first began blogging and created Primarily Inspired, I was chasing a feeling of adventure that was new and exciting. I had followed other lifestyle blogs, and still do, that inspired me to share my life story in hopes that it will be worth reading. I have become so grateful that this little blog of mine as it continues to introduce me to other bloggers and people from all around the world with different stories to tell.

However, you may have noticed (or not) that I’ve been a bit quiet around not only the blog, but social media in general. I had begun to notice something around other blogs lately that didn’t sit with me well because it made be begin thinking about the purpose of my own blog and what I enjoyed about it so much.  Here are my thoughts on how we have lost sight due to the current blogging trends and the reason I decided to take a few mental health days away from behind the screen.

All I ask is that you continue reading with an open mind about yourself as a blogger as I have done when deciding to publish this. Everything I am about to say has been because of my own evaluation and the three key ways I can regain the purpose of my blog.

Advertising Is King
What happened to the days of button swapping...for free? Not because you wanted to make a buck but because it was a blog you loved to read and wanted to share it with your own audience? What happened to authentic posts being shared so that others could benefit...and it not being a #ad or otherwise a post that is being paid for by some company for the exchange of products?

Now more than ever are blogs being turned into little businesses, but even larger blogs like cupcakes + cashmere have authentic posts that aren’t trying to push products with affiliate links onto their readers. I am guilty for even attempting to publish posts that are riddled with links, referrals, or in general trying to get bloggers to buy ad space. I feel guilty that blogging has come to this and it sucks to know I was trying to keep up. Because of this need to sell via the blog space, it’s turned me off to a lot of the blogs I used to love reading every week and it would be no wonder if I lost readers too.

Regain By: Keep writing authentically and share blogs and products freely. 

Our Obsession With Numbers

How do I gain more followers? How do I utilize Pinterest to gain page views? 

It’s all the same no matter what question you ask. I see more agendas for blog growth being discussed than I do with the actual posts being written and shared. Shouldn’t we be discussing the stories that matter and the reason we follow certain blogs in the first place?

It really bothers me to see how we’ve become obsessed with numbers and equate that to how successful we are. I do understand that page views are important and so is all of the other data Google Analytics provides us because it gives us a direction in terms of what our audiences like to read. However, sometimes we need to unplug and reset our train of thought and remember the purpose we have for our blog. The questions being asked here should be:

What was the purpose behind beginning my blog in the first place? 
How can I better reach my audience through meaningful posts?
What can I do differently on my blog to better engage my readers?

Regain By: It’s not about the page views it’s about the content. Have great content and everything else will follow.

To say we all do it doesn’t make it an excuse. Although it is true. Every blogger looks to other blogs for guidance and almost sets a goal to to be just as successful as they are. I mean, we all want our ventures to be successful! Comparing ourselves to other blogs, whether it goes back to my previous point of page views or followers, it’s something we’re all guilty of at least at one point or another. However, there’s a difference between guidance and comparison. Comparison leads to disappointment and who needs to feel that way when beginning something new? Blogging is a long road and many will tell you that it’s taken them 5+ years to get to where they are, so it’s a good idea to stop comparing yourself to others. Instead learn from seasoned bloggers, do your homework, and learn by doing. Oh, and lend a helping hand to other fellow bloggers because we’re a community and we should be there for each other.

Regain By: Stop comparing and focus on your content!

No matter what your stats tell you, know that you are awesome and are doing awesome things with your blog. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it, the fact is: you’re doing it! Don’t get sucked into the trends of today’s blogger and steer clear of things that will distract you from your purpose. At the end of the day, blogs become successful when they’re authentic and have content people want to read and can relate to. Everything else is nonsense.

What trends in blogging are driving you crazy? Or am I the only one? What advice would you give to new bloggers who are facing the current overwhelming world of blogging?

Easy Seared Scallops


A great summer dinner that is one of my go-tos is a nice seared scallop. It’s a light and refreshing meal and pair it with a nice aioli or drizzle lemon juice on top and you’re good to go. This yummy recipe is something I combined with a couple different recipes from Weight Watchers. I love finding new ways to cook the same ingredients and this was a fun one to attempt.

The original scallop recipe is from Weight Watchers and you can find it here. I love the ginger aioli that goes on top because the Sriracha mixed with ginger gives it a punch of flavor. The original recipe calls for it to be placed on a cabbage slaw but I decided to take some liberties and created a creamy cilantro slaw instead. You can find the slaw recipe from WW here.

2 tbsp reduced calorie mayonaise
1 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (to taste)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/4 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 lb fresh uncooked scallops
1/4 tsp salt
Cooking spray

  1. On medium-high heat, spray skillet or large pan with cooking spray. Season scallops with salt and place in pan to sear, flipping every few minutes until cooked through.
  2. Serve scallops over slaw mixture and topped with spicy ginger aioli.
1 cup Shredded green cabbage
1/4 cup minced shallot
1 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 tbsp reduced calorie mayonaise (or greek yogurt)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp sugar

Slaw Directions:
  1. In a small bowl combine green cabbage, shallot, and cilantro. In a separate bowl whisk together mayonnaise, dijon, vinegar, and sugar; pour over cabbage mixture and toss to combine. *Optional: place in fridge for a few minutes to chill.
  2. When ready to serve, place a few spoonfuls on a large plate and place scallops on top with a dollop of ginger aioli.

Currently: July Edition


Is it seriously July already?! We’re now into the second half of the year and I can’t believe how fast time is moving. But such is life. I am excited to spend this upcoming weekend in Vegas with good friends and enjoy the pool, nightlife, and amazing food.

Craving // Oh the cravings! Any holiday that comes around has me craving all kinds of foods, however mine currently has to be a breakfast food that I don’t typically eat all that often: pancakes! Lately I’ve been all about them and found this yummy recipe for the home.

Grilling // Crazy, I know but we actually don’t own a grill *sad face. But it’s definitely on our wishlist for the future!

Listening // Murphy crying because he so badly wants to go chase the birds. All day he’s whining to me about letting him loose in our courtyard so he can chase birds. It is actually pretty funny to watch but sometimes I have to get work done!

Planning // Lots of planning and exciting things coming up! Can’t share yet, but stay tuned!

Decorating // One of my most recent summer decorations, and one that has me the most excited, is my Travel Keepsake from our vacations in Turks & Caicos and just recently Hawaii.

Be sure to catch me linking up over at In Residence and Gold &Bloom

Also! Check out my giveaway for a $50 gift card to Stitch Fix, which ends this Sunday (7.5)!