Hey ya'll! Jessi here. Meet Kristen. The lady behind life at the table & Vie a la table. I wanted ya'll to get to know her a bit better and here are some questions she answered to help do just that. ..........................................
Kristen, tell us a little about your blog!
Vie a la Table, is an extension of me and my husband's domestic adventures in Portland, OR. I began blogging when I was only 19 in 2005 (and embarrassingly enough, those archives are still there!), as a way to share my life happenings as a shy design college student in Tennessee, with all our family back on the West Coast. It grew to include my husband during our engagement & newlywed years as we kept in touch with our family. Over time (a few domain names and a cross country move later) it has evolved into a creative outlet for cooking, house projects, photography and a deep thought here and there. I love the concept of knowing our lives are documented for us, our future generations, and for you lovely folks. And we have not one, but two great danes, and they slip into a post here and there, because honestly, they're a little big to overlook!
Tell us more about your shop and your favorite item!
My shop, Life at the Table (translate it to French, and you get our blog name!), is way to bring a few passions together: making sustainable choices in our daily lifestyle, celebrating food at it's best, and sewing & drawing. In there you'll find handmade bags with the purpose of being used over and over...reusable sandwich bags, market totes for the grocery store and farmers markets (or anywhere!) and drawstring produce bags for storing foods like onions, apples, veggies, grains, you name it (even crafts, kid stuff, traveling). I also love to sketch and draw, so you'll find my take on vintage and botanical style drawings of antique serving ware, herbs, and vegetables. Perfect for spicing up your kitchen walls. Right now, I think my favorite item(s) are the sandwich bags...they are fun to make, so colorful, and I like to find really fun fabrics in small quantities, so once a fabric is out, it's on to the next fun print!
Tell us about the transition from working full-time to running your own shop.
This has been an interesting year in my life... we had been doing our best 'planning our life' ourselves and little did we know that God maybe had a different idea! I had struggled not getting an design job in my field in a city with a terrible real estate and job market, so I took something just to pay the bills. But that didn't last as long as I had hoped when my happiness and peace were being sacrificed. I put in my notice quite a bit earlier than expected and had to jump in feet first to doing this full time, and I love it. We don't have kids yet, but I am thankful for the way God provides and has orchestrated things to prepare us & our marriage for the next step. My biggest challenges are pushing my introverted self out there (in person and online) as well as balancing my time between all the online/networking/marketing and actually sitting back and just producing and creating.
What has surprised you most in this life?
(ps - this is my new favorite question)
I don't know if there is one specific instance, but just the fact that I never truly know what tomorrow holds. I can plan as much as I want and put myself on certain paths towards certain directions, but God always has his plan in mind, whether it's opening an unexpected door along the way or shutting the one I was determined to go through. Even just this week am I reminded that I am not in the drivers seat when unexpected opportunities fell into my lap from nowhere! And thankful for that too, since it'd be a mess if I was in control of my own life. How do you get recreated/refreshed/renewed?
I think my biggest sources of refreshment come from time alone and time with my husband. If I just turn the computer off or set something aside every once in a while and pick up a book and be enveloped in a story, it helps to take my mind of reality a little bit. My husband (who graduated from culinary school) is a pretty darn great chef and cooking in the kitchen is something we love doing together. My first year of gardening this year has become a daily reminder of God's intricacies and beauty, and to take the few successes from that and work alongside my husband creating an interesting dish together always brings me peace and joy, and also encourages me to photograph and document it. If you saw our hard drive, you'd have a hard time finding pictures of people, but plenty of food shots!