Who is the Girl Behind the Pen?
Happy Wednesday! I decided this week to pull back the curtain! I wanted to share a moment for all of you to get to know me! I am always asked, why I started blogging, why books, my book selections, + more! This week I wanted to reveal those burning questions many people have about me and plus shed some light on some funny crazy things you guys may not know about me! This will be a fun way to get to know one another! Feel free to comment, ask questions, and join in as I share some of the funniest yet insightful questions that I have received throughout my writing journey! :)
Get Your FAQ's Straight...
Q: What made you start thebookspot by: K. Gardner?
K: I get asked this SO much and I love answering this question! thebookspot by: K. Gardner was literally just an idea that I had, but never saw it going anywhere in the beginning! I was in nursing school and would get so stressed from studying, testing, clinicals + more that each month, I would start adding more and more ideas that finally, I got the guts to create my website and make it my own! I love reading so much, but in this day in age, when you hear books, people don't see it as "cool" or "trendy" and some see it as "boring" that I decided to create a fun outlet for people to gather and find fun books that match what they enjoy! Also, I wanted to create a positive atmosphere for people to network, and to showcase new and upcoming entrepreneurs right in our areas!
Q: What is the funniest book related moment you've had?
K: Haha definitely when I brought a book to a date! Hey, don't judge me! The funniest part is that when he went to the bathroom, I would pull out my book from under the table and read until he got back then throw it back under the table! haha let's just say, he didn't make the cut!
Q: Who was your inspiration behind reading?
K: My beautiful and loving mom! She was the first person who introduced me to reading and I fell in love with ever since! My mom and I are complete bookworms, and that is the continued bond that we share, and why I am soooo grateful for her for introducing me to reading and books! Thanks Mom! :)
Q: What is one thing that you've learned about blogging since you started?
K: Yikes! There are so many! I would have to say the one lesson that I've learned since I've started that has continued to stick with me is definitely to not focus on what other people are doing and focus on me! This was the hardest thing to do especially since I am a new blogger and had no idea what I was doing when I started, I would go to other blogs and try to use their ideas (which is fine to feed off one another with permission of course!), but it can take you off your A game! Or K game as I would like to say :) It's always best to just focus on you and what you can bring, and the rest will come after! Have fun, don't stress about the numbers, and create a platform for others to feed off of and learn from! Best advice that I have ever given myself :)
Q: Who are your musical influences?
K: I am always a BEY fan! Definitely love the internet, Masego, Alina Baraz, Chloe x Halle, Iman Omari, Phony PPL, Tiffany Gouche, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, India Arie, and many more! I always felt that I was born before my time! I am a complete R&B and soul with a dash of old school fan for sure! I also love underground music from artists that are A M A Z I N G! Singing, playing instruments, and writing has allowed me to be exposed to so many types of music/genres! I also believe that my influences are tailored off of how I am feeling at the moment! I believe that music has that impact, which is why I love it so!
Q: Where do you get your blog posts ideas?
K: Usually my ideas stem from what's around me! Whether it is my neighborhood, what's trending, music, new books that I have been reading etc! I just like to find blog posts that are fun to read and fun to explore for my readers! Sometimes I'm Kobe in the 4th quarter and other times, I'm just lost and have no idea what I'm doing! Blogging is an up and down hobby! Some posts get amazing views while others may not and it doesn't mean that your writing sucked that day, it just means that maybe what you posted related to some and not to others and that's okay! It's your creative writing and style! Just keep writing :)
Q: How has writing inspired you? Do you feel pressured to write certain blog posts to appeal to your audience?
K: Writing has inspired me in MANY ways! I never knew that my writing could even go anywhere until my junior year of high school when my English teacher at the time and family friend Mrs. Rouse told me how amazing my writing was. At first, I thought she was just saying that because she's a family friend, but I really asked myself, "Damn, am I really good at this?" I found myself getting lost in my writing and started writing poetry, songs, and the rest was history! haha To answer the second question, I never feel pressured to write certain blog posts to appeal to my readers. At the end of the day, you either are vibing with it, or you're not. I write what inspires me for the day, what I found interesting that week, anything! Like I mentioned in the last question, everyone is not going to connect with what you're writing for that day, and that's okay! As long as you stay true and humble in your journey, people will eventually get on board. Write for you. Not for other people.
Q: How late have you ever stayed up writing for your blog?
K: Do you really want me to answer that? Haha hmmm...probably 6am! I am truly passionate about what I am writing and I will never just post something because I want to get it over with or for "views". Everything I post is from my heart and I put 100% into each post that you see on my blog! Sometimes, I lose many nights of sleep, but as they say, "A creative mind never sleeps."
Q: What book has your attention currently?
K: Definitely Black Girl Magic x Mahogany L. Browne, Idrissa Simmonds, & Jamila Woods! An amazing powerful collection of poetry from the canon of hip-hop by African American women. I am so glad that I picked this read up and am honestly almost done with it after starting it last week! A MUST READ!
Q: On a lot of your posts you talk about self-worth and beauty and what it means to find yourself. Was there a point in time that these concepts weren't in your life?
K: YES! I was in a toxic relationship where I thought that they were the "one" as always right? Well, I found that in that relationship, I lost myself trying to always please him and his needs and what he wanted, forgetting about me and what made me whole. I wasn't valued in that relationship for a plethora of years and I would justify it by thinking it was me or maybe I wasn't doing enough to satisfy, but in reality, I wasn't satisfying myself. I wasn't giving myself the credit of being a beautiful woman with so many aspirations and goals for myself. I didn't give myself enough worth because I consistently allowed someone to diminish that. NOT OKAY! So, from going through that, I consistently want women to know that YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Find what makes you whole and run with it! Never allow someone to make you feel less than the diamond that you are, and through my posts, I hope to reach out to someone and touch them in some way. I'm human and I hurt just like millions of other people out there. If I can touch one life, that's all that I need to touch many others. I love writing and I love that I have an outlet of my own and many others to speak out and find love within myself again. I am now in a healthy loving relationship and completely happy! I am thankful for my blog and the ability to find escape through it to reconnect and rebuild within myself! :) This was an amazing question! Thank you!
Please continue to ask questions! Leave comments! Also, follow my social media outlets @thebookspotbykg on IG and Twitter to send in questions! Make sure to hashtag #GetYourFAQsStraight! I will be answering questions all day today :) Thank you!
Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope all of you are having a F A N T A S T I C hump day, and remember, it's two days until Friday! :) I decided to create this post of "K's Favorite Things" stemming from an ICON that I LOVE and who's book club I am apart of; Oprah Winfrey! Some of you may remember on Oprah's long running and amazingly legendary talk show, she periodically would do a segment of Oprah's Favorite Things! I absolutely loved when she would do this segment because not only did she share items that she raved about and loved, but she would give them away to her audience as well! Now, I'm no Oprah haha but I thought it would be fun to revamp this legendary segment and do one of my own! As many of you may know, and some who may not, I LOVE showcasing new and upcoming entrepreneurs out there, especially during my #SundayRESETs that I post periodically, so I wanted to share with all of you some new and fun entrepreneurs that I've discovered along the way as well! Some of my favorite things include self-care products, apps, amazing restaurants in town, and much more! Kick back, grab a glass of wine, and enjoy as I share with all of you my favorite things! :)
1. Zulu Body Butter x NoiaBrittany
Ok guys! I LOVEEEEEEEE this product! I have never been a huge fan of body butters because either I look like a bucket of Crisco or I look like Tyrone Biggums (My real OG's know who this is!) haha but never a really good in between glow until NOW! This product is absolutely amazing, and really gives your skin that nice shine that you need especially during those dreaded winter months! What I love most about this brand is that it uses all natural ingredients and it also caters to dry, oily (ME!), sensitive and combination skin types! Can you say no to irritation? I can! This product doesn't cause irritated skin (another big issue that I found when using various body butters), and it SMELLS AMAZING! Brittany Bygrave, founder of NoiaBrittany created this brand to celebrate ALL skin types! Best part? She's based in Greensboro, NC! Make sure to check out all of her products + more on her Instagram: @Noiabrittany and her website: www.noiabrittany.com! MUST GRAB! :)
2. True Flavors Diner :)
Yes! I know, I can't mention my favorite things without mentioning my favorite local food places! If any of you follow me on social media (which you should!), I am always talking about this place! Local and black owned, True Flavors has THE BEST brunch foods in town! From the delicious homemade biscuits, to their mouth watering chicken and waffles and french toast platter, down to their classic shrimp and grits, this place is the real deal! The unique aspect of this awesome diner that I love is that each day, they showcase a jelly of the day! Absolutely delicious!!! Closed on Tuesdays, True Flavors opens from 7:30a-2:30p each day, and on Sundays, 9:00a-3:00p! Make sure to get there early, because this place is always BOOMING! :)
3. #WineDownWednesdays w/ K Call For Stella Rosa Black!
#WineDownWednesdays w/ K = Stella Rosa Black! I LOVE this wine! I know you guys have seen me talking about this wine on several occasions on my blog, so of course I had to add it to my favorite things! I love a nice sleek sweet red wine, and this is my absolute favorite! It's a perfect blend of sweet that I love especially when reading an awesome book! The Stella Rosa brand has amazing wines even if this one isn't your go to, there are several others that are awesome as well, and gives you an opportunity to explore and step out of your comfort zone! First time wine-o's, Stella Rosa Black is the way to go to get that nice buzz that you need to unWINE :)
4. Mask of Magnaminty x LUSH
Self love is the best love! So many people ask me how do I keep my skin looking ageless with that extra glow, and this is one of my secrets! I have really oily skin, so I am always looking for a great product that won't dry me out, but will suck out some of that extra oil that cakes up on my forehead and nose! I LOVE Lush products, but definitely this awesome and amazing mask! Mask of Magnaminty is an all natural product by LUSH that creates that nice tingly, minty face and body mask used to deep cleanse and ridding your face and body of that dreaded dirt and debris! Kaolin clay and peppermint oil are the main ingredients in this mask great for the face and fun fact: peppermint helps with memory! This product gives my skin a nice clean finish with a refreshing minty scent giving me that everlasting GLOWWWW. Shine baby shine!
5. Reclaim Piece x Peace Journal x Tatiana Jerome
One of my favorite outlets when stressed or in a lost space is to journal! My fifth favorite thing is my journal Reclaim. Piece x Peace x Tatiana Jerome! I picked up this journal during a particularly hard time as I was going through various transitions in my life, and haven't put it down since! What I love about Tatiana's journals is the self-love aspect in each page! I love that she creates quotes throughout the journal to get you through and remind you that you aren't alone! Journalling is a wonderful and creative outlet to get you through those unprecedented times in your life as well as those wonderful and elevating aspects as well! I definitely try to journal everyday to start my day off positively and create a space of good energy and uplifting spirits. Interested in journalling but not sure what to focus on? Check out Tatiana Jerome's amazing journals on www.setinsoul.com :)
6. Goodbudget Budget Planner App!
Now I don't know about all of you, but I LIVE for a great budgeting app that keeps me on track with my spending, saving, and the answers to where all of my money is going! Some people hate apps that do this because they believe that it gives a false representation of spending habits or it's not "exact", but I hate to break it to you, sometimes guys it's us! There have been many times that I've looked at my account and shake my head because most of my money goes to yep...FOOD! haha eating out, fast food, groceries...all of those things ADD UP! I love anything that helps me save money and watch my spending, so this is a great app for those of you who just can't keep up with it in your head and need a little extra boost like me! The cool thing about this app that I like is that it's awesome for families! You can share and sync budgets across multiple phones, and to other people, which is a great way to create a budget as a family unit! Goodbudget is super secure, so you don't have to worry about any funny business! Great app to use to help understand where your money is going, and how to save! Collect your coins 2018! :)
7. Offline App!
If you're like me, I love to find fun events in my area, but I NEVER know what's going on in Durham especially from working all week and looking to unwind for the weekend with something fun! Offline is an amazing app to find fun and sometimes FREE events in the RDU/Charlotte area! I love that it categorizes events by food, drinks, date ideas, art & entertainment + more! Offline is my favorite thing because I love to explore new places/events in my area and this is the way to do it! Stop being bored and explore your town! I have found so many fun events by using this app, and I especially enjoy using it when friends are in town and ask the popular question, "What's the move?" haha Put a hold on Netflix and Chill and explore fun events and entertainment in your area with Offline :)
8. Record Player/Music Corner :)
One of my favorite gifts that I have received so far has definitely been my amazing and decked out record player! I have wanted a record player for many years and never had the chance to get it for myself until a special person got this for me after years of wanting it! I am a true oldie's fan at heart and I love this record player soooo much especially it being my favorite color! As you can see, I am a huge fan of all the great legends such as: Sade, Al Green, John Coltrane, Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Erykah Badu and many many more! Music has always been a major part of my life, and I couldn't imagine my life without it! It's in my ears, my voice, my soul! Nothing beats the sounds of the 70's/80's era to me! The music had more meaning, more alive, and the voices were of this world! I always said that I was meant to be born in another time by how much oldies and soul music I listen to on a regular basis! This record player will always hold a special place in my heart and will always be one of my favorite things :) Thank you M <3
9. I Am Very Busy...No But I Am :)
Okay, I don't know where I would be without my planner! My classmates and my family and friends will tell you that nothing gets by without me looking at my planner! It is literally my life! I have no idea how some people keep everything in their phones, but I am a traditional write it down, mark it off kinda girl because that shows me that it's done! Every year, I have to have a new planner to keep myself updated and most importantly, helping me with not forgetting major events/work days/classes etc! If you want to know my life, take a look in my planner! haha :) I love this planner because it sets goals for you each week and also gives really nice cute quotes when you're having a rough time! It's cute and girly and also super organized + comes with fun stickers to personalize your planner and make it your own! This is definitely a K's Favorite!
10. Drum Roll Pleaseeeeeeee!
Now I can't end K's Favorite Things without talking about my favorite book so far this year! I have always been a fan of Jenifer Lewis, but reading this book has really shined a newfound light of her life, struggles, and amazing successes along the way of her career! This book gave me different emotions! I couldn't decide whether to laugh, cry, yell or all of the above which for me, exemplifies a great book! I felt like through every aspect of her life I was there as a reader. She took me to places that were familiar to me and some unfamiliar. I loved the way that this book made me feel as I turned each page not knowing what I would get as a reader. This “Mega Diva” and costar of the hit sitcom Black-ish bares her soul in this touching and poignant—and at times side-splittingly hilarious—memoir of a Midwestern girl with a dream, whose journey took her from poverty to the big screen, and along the way earned her many accolades. With humor and warmth, Jenifer Lewis reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest. Definitely a must read! :)
QTNA: What are your favorite things? Feel free to share & leave comments below! :)