Must Reads – Sweet Apple
When she’s not busy being a paediatric researcher (! – also, let’s never discuss how many tries it took me to spell “paediatric” correctly), or travelling to gorgeous locales around the globe and taking seriously beautiful photos, the talented and stylish Katie Appleyard writes lovely, engaging and relatable posts on her blog, Sweet Apple.
I feel like she and I are kindred blog-spirits in that we both float back and forth between lifestyle and personal blogging. I think she’s struck the balance perfectly.
She also recently launched Rosebud, a complementary style blog where she posts all manner of beautiful, pinnable style inspiration.
Katie was kind enough to answer a few questions to help us get to know her and her wonderful blog a little better.
I know when you read her thoughtful answers you’re going to want to read more (and maybe become best friends with Katie), so be sure to check out Sweet Apple!
What is the concept behind your blog and how did you come up with it?
Sweet Apple started as a place to connect with my friends who live all around the world. It quickly became a projection of what was going on inside my head on any one-day, week or month. So the content and the concept tend to change and grow with me. I have a very curious and observant mind so I write about the thoughts in my head that make my tummy flutter. That flutter usually means I have something to share. On other days, when I’m tired of being so open, I just share style tips or internet links. Things that don’t matter much, but make me smile.
How do you define success?
Very differently now to how I did three years ago. Success used to equal perfection, the admiration of others and never disappointing anybody. However, I grew weary. These days, my idea of success is a day spent cultivating self-love and the rewards that come from that way of life. Doing work that I enjoy and feel is valuable; always creating; surrounding myself with those who support me, or otherwise teach me; filling my body with good food and the occasional block of Lindt mint chocolate. Success to me is having the guts to know what I need, what is right for me, and living for myself, not anyone else. Some days I win and some days I am still learning.
What has been the most rewarding/exciting thing about blogging for you so far?
Developing the habit of removing the thoughts from my head and putting them on paper. Although blogging is not essential to this process, it requires me to be brave. I have had to learn not to worry so much about what people think of me and follow my intuition instead. To write well means being honest with everyone else and with yourself. And learning to be honest with yourself is the most valuable lesson you can ever learn. It’s the key to happiness.
How does blogging fit into the schedule of a paediatric researcher?
It’s not easy! I used to write in my lunchtime and late at night. Luckily for me, most of what I write comes out like a waterfall. It is absolutely necessary for me to write and take photos. It is how I make sense of the world. I share these creations whenever I get the time. I am currently writing up my PhD thesis, so the posts have become sporadic of late.
Who are your style icons?
Lately, my inspiration has come from the street, not magazines. There are those who are ‘fashionable’ and there are the others. Like that girl you see who is sure she was a French actress in a past life. She wears her cardigan buttoned back-to-front, her pants are tailored and she darts in front of your car at the lights in the most perfect pair of nude-coloured ballet flats. These days I try to dress how I feel, rather than following trends. Style should be an expression of what’s inside, not what’s on everyone else’s outside. I do love the simple and interchangeable style of the Emerson Fry range. We don’t have anything quite like that in New Zealand.
If you were a Golden Girl, which one would you be?
Great question. Probably Rose. In my daily life I can be easily excitable, idealistic, gullible and a little naïve. I have the mind of a child.
Is there anything you don’t blog about but wish you could?
Love. This one has been a struggle for me. I didn’t want people to know my little secret….that I really hope to find my big love one day, the real deal. The love that shines from somewhere within, even when my hair is grey and my hands are wrinkled. It feels much more sexy and powerful to act as though it isn’t a dream, or a human need. But I’m transparent and my secret is well and truly out. Love is the quiet undercurrent in everything I write.
How do you deal with writer’s block? What inspires you to keep writing through it?
If I have writers block, then one of three things is happening. 1) I’m distracted by some other passion in my life and I don’t feel as though words will do it justice. 2) I am stagnant and I’ve stopped reaching for the bigger things. 3) I’m too worried about what people think of me.
If the reason is 1) then I just enjoy the hiatus. Life is about following your excitement. If something is too beautiful to be written about, then that moment should just be lived. If the reason is 2) I acknowledge that it might be time to face my fears and change my comfortable situation. If the reason is 3) I pour myself a wine and remind myself that nothing worth doing ever came without risk of embarrassing oneself.
I also find that putting my headphones on and playing a piece of music that makes me feel something helps to get creativity flowing. Beauty and creativity are intricately laced.
What piece of writing on your blog are you the most proud of? Why?
Of late, probably ‘What Does it Mean to be a Woman’. This post received a lot of positive feedback on Facebook and it was nice to see a piece of my writing cause so many others to really think about their own relationship with femininity.
What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
This is a hard one! I laugh a lot and always very loudly. I think my last good laugh was when my best friend and I of 14 years were recalling a story of our ‘younger days’. We decided to attend a foam party at a bar (yes, I know). We were dancing away and all of a sudden I turned around and she was gone. Little did I know she had slipped off the step and disappeared under the bubbles. Remembering her shocked face popping up through the foam was enough to have me rolling around on the couch in hysterics.