Crafts with Nightcat: Spotlight on Family Blogger Kayla Aimee
Kayla Aimee is mom to a micro-preemie baby girl named Scarlette and founder of the faith and family blog, Kayla Aimee Writes. Her blog not only features DIY projects, her home renovations and travels, but also offers support and advice to other parents of preemie babies and babies with long-term NICU stays.
Anchored, Aimee’s first book, released this past summer and is a “memoir of finding hope (and humor) in the most unexpected.” Aimee’s work has been featured on the Today Show and the Huffington Post.
Recently, Crafts with Nightcat got to chat with Kayla Aimee.
Crafts with Nightcat: We love how your blog is always evolving based on your family’s journey. Tell us more about yourself and Kayla Aimee Writes.
Kayla Aimee: Thanks! I’m a sweet-tea loving southern girl and mom to two. Our daughter Scarlette is headed to kindergarten so I’m currently in the midst of an emotional upheaval about all that. And we just welcomed our newborn son Ridley this past April, so I am currently writing this under extreme sleep deprivation. That might account for all the aforementioned emotions. My husband and I are about to celebrate a decade of marriage and I’ve been blogging for just as long! I love writing and am thrilled to currently be working on my second book. Kayla Aimee Writes is a place to hold my stories and share the things that I love — like crafting and traveling. I hope that visiting my site is an uplifting part of someone’s day.
CWN: What inspired you to create Kayla Aimee Writes?
KA: My long-term college boyfriend broke up with me and I thought it would be a good idea to write about that on the internet. Obviously I was super young and made wise decisions. 🙂 Eventually it turned from an angsty online journal to a dedicated place for me to really focus on my writing and build a business out of words + pictures. I’m that girl who just loves to share about things she likes. Yesterday I overheard a woman at Target talking about her pregnant daughter and stopped her to tell her all about my favorite baby product. (That’s either very awkward or very endearing.) So it has been wonderful to share our favorite finds or fun craft projects or stories about our family and have that be the avenue that allows me to stay home with my kids. I feel really lucky to be able to combine the things that I love into a job that involves my kids.
And since my writing style is narrative, it’s fun and special to have a comprehensive documentation of our family history over the past decade in story-form.
CWN: Do you remember the first crafting project you and Scarlette completed together? What was it?
KA: Yes! And I have pictures because I was the Quintessential First-Time Mom. I also have instructions on how to do it — it was this Ziplock Baggie Finger-Painting project. Scarlette was born at 25 weeks and only weighed one and a half pounds at birth. She spent nearly six months in the NICU and needed a lot of therapies when we left the hospital. She refused to touch certain textures or get her hands messy so this was a great way to slowly introduce her to finger painting while containing the mess.
CWN: What is your favorite kid-friendly craft and why?
KA: We have a tradition of keeping a Gratitude Jar each year during the holidays. It is such an easy craft to do with your kids and a great way to teach them about thankfulness and instill in them a love of serving others. Here are the directions + printable gratitude cards that you can use to do this craft with your kids!
CWN: Do you have an anecdote about an unusual experience that inspired a blog post? Please share!
KA: This is so funny because my blog is where I document all of my “misadventures.” There are too many to even name! One of the funniest is the time I was trying to potty train my two year old and so I took her to buy some Buzz Lightyear undies. She wanted to know if I was also going to get some Buzz Lightyear undies and I sadly had to tell her no. So when we went to checkout she handed them to the cashier and cheerfully told the teenage boy behind the register that her Mommy did not wear any underwear. Clearly she had a terrible grasp on “context.” That led to me writing an entire series on my blog called Stuff Scarlette Says, which documents the hilarious shenanigans my kid gets me into. It’s probably the most popular thing I write. My secret dream is to one day write a children’s series based on it.
CWN: What do you hope to achieve with your blog in the near future? In the long term?
KA: I took a hiatus this year because I was on bedrest during my pregnancy and to enjoy having a newborn at home. So my short-term goal is to get back into my routine. In the long term I hope to continue to develop as an author and create writing that brings people hope and humor. I want my writing to be a bright spot in someone’s day, giving them a bit of encouragement or just a good laugh. There is a lot of darkness in the world and I hope that I can alleviate that for someone with a well-placed word.
CWN: What is your family’s favorite summer activity?
KA: Running through the sprinkler in the backyard. The kids think it is fun, no one has to pack up a bunch of stuff and lug it to the pool, and I appreciate getting my plants watered without effort. It’s a win all around.
CWN: What do you wish other people knew about Kayla Aimee Writes? Is there something that surprises most when they first learn about your blog?
KA: Mostly people are surprised that blogging can be a job! I think people are always taken aback by how much time and effort it takes to maintain a site that provides for your family. I’m really blessed to have been able to take it from hobby to job but that means a lot of hard work. It also has brought some amazing opportunities like writing a book or getting to be on the Today Show or visiting Ireland. I love what I do and I am really passionate about helping others get started — I have a step-by-step guide to help people who want to do the same thing here and I authored an ebook that goes more in depth on the subject.
Another thing would be how great the online community is. I think the internet sometimes gets a bad rap but every single year for the past four years my readers have helped donate enough supplies to give every single family in our local NICU a gift basket full of helpful and encouraging gifts. Our family distributes the basket every year on Christmas Eve and it is a huge undertaking, one that we could never accomplish on our own. It is amazing to see people of all walks of life come together through one little blog to bless other people in their time of need.
CWN: Here’s a silly one. If you and your family had to be stranded on a deserted island, but all your human needs (such as food and water) were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?
KA: A toothbrush and my kindle, loaded with books. I need books like I need air. I mean, okay not exactly like I need air on account of things like “anatomy” but pretty close.
CWN: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
KA: I’d love to invite you to read the first two chapters of my book for free! My other secret dream is getting to give away free stuff like Oprah, so this is a small start 😉 Just click here and the first two chapters will head for your inbox!
Visit Kayla Aimee’s blog at KaylaAimee.com.
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