A Day in the life of Kate Brennan of The Chic Series
Fashion Blogger Kate Brennan gives Helen Jon the inside scoop on her typical day.
Hi! I'm Kate Brennan, a life and style blogger based in Charlotte, North Carolina. My previous background as a buyer at Ralph Lauren and pilates instructor led me to create a space where I could merge my two passions: fashion and fitness. Since the launch of The Chic Series over two years ago, it has evolved into an inspirational guide where I can share simple fashion tips, natural beauty products, and all things fitness. The motivation behind the Chic Series is to help every single woman look good and, more importantly, feel good.
5:00 AM - My alarm goes off - early. I always start my day with a workout even on the weekends! I have coffee waiting for me and I am typically out the door by 5:30 AM. If I have time, I will scan my emails - don't be surprised if you receive an early morning email from me.
7:00 AM - Immediately after class ends, I grab my phone to get my first instagram post up for the day. While most people think that you post and that's it, there is really so much that goes into it. Editing to fit the feed, comments, linking product, appropriate hash tagging and then responding to comments. The list goes on. Each post takes all in a minimum of an hour to prepare.
7:15 AM - As I'm arriving home, my husband is leaving, so I am in full on mom duty when I walk in the door. We have two young daughters, Isabella who is 3 1/2 and Summer who will be a year old in July.
7:30 AM - Next up...Breakfast. We feel the best way to start the day in our house is a healthy breakfast. Our options typically are eggs and turkey sausage or a Daily Harvest smoothie. The more I blog, the more I become interested in health and wellness. Nutrition is something I am starting to explore on the blog ... stay tuned.
8:00 AM - We have an English Bulldog who is beyond active so, before the rush of the day really begins, we try and go on a long walk as a family. If you watch my instastories you can often see us on our morning stroll.
8:30 AM - Our nanny typically arrives who helps us part-time. This is when I can finally get in a quick (and I mean quick) shower while she gets the girls ready for the day. If I have a photoshoot that day, I typically do one last run through of my outfits before I load them in the car.
8:45 AM - My overall beauty routine is very simple. To cut down on "prep time" I have actually started getting my hair braided once a week. It's the same concept as getting a blow-out but, as a mom of two little girls, it is much more practical. A little dry shampoo and hairspray can help them last up to four days!
9:00 AM - One of the most stressful parts about blogging for me are the photoshoots. For one typical outfit, here is everything that goes into that specific outfit post:
- Initial communication with brand to start the collaboration
- Negotiation on terms between myself and the brand
- Selecting items that meet both my blog requirements/aesthetic & the brands
- Fitting the product into a shoot (when a shoot gets rained out - it is beyond stressful because it disrupts my whole content calendar)
- Once product arrives it is properly accessorized
- Each outfit is hung and given an accessory bag
- The look is coordinated with shoes, jewelry, handbag, sunglasses and coordinating lipgloss - so many items play into one single look
- I do research on actual poses that will correspond with each look
- Finally, I select coordinating props that will help it look and feel styled. Think yoga mats, beach towels, floats, water bottles etc.
- In addition, there is lots of beauty prepping and I'm considered a low maintenance beauty blogger:
- Nails - A Must - Favorite Color: Anything bright like these neon shades from Essie
- St. Tropez Tanning
- Eyelash Extensions - another great way to always look pretty without much effort
- The final step is finding a location that will compliment the product in the best possible way
- For example - this shoot was on a lake and we had to coordinate a boat rental
Then of course the actual shoot.....but I will get to that part.
9:30 AM - Isabella gets dropped off at school and if I have a shoot I actually apply my makeup in the car. My "look" is very natural and I know that is something that my reader appreciates. My beauty routine is super simple and can be done in the rear view mirror of a car - perfect for any busy mom. Again, you can usually catch me on instastories at least once a week applying my makeup as proof that you only need ten minutes and a few good products.
10:00 AM - If I have a shoot, I run to the grocery store to pick up props, like smoothies, coffee and flowers. If not, I head to a coffee shop and work for the next three hours on blog posts or make an attempt to tackle my over flowing inbox.
10:30 AM - Days when I have shoots I am often stressed. In addition to all of the photoshoot prep work, there is so much that I have to squeeze in, in a small amount of time. For the Helen Jon shoot, I drove almost an hour to get to the lake and, while I despise lake water, it was actually the most serene shoot I have done to date. Helen Jon felt like such an organic partnership and I couldn't think of a better swim line for all of my readers.
10:35 AM - Outfits are lined up and ready to go and, even though I am very prepared, I still get nervous before shooting. Luckily, I have become really good friends with my photographer Paige Winn. She helps put me at ease and makes me feel more comfortable in front of the camera. FYI - The photoshoots are not glamorous. I am often changing in the back of a car (eek!) and am thankful whenever we are shooting at a restaurant or hotel where I can actually get changed in a bathroom.
11:00 AM - I typically squeeze in 4 - 5 outfits per photoshoot. More than two years later it still takes me awhile to warm up in front of the camera. For anyone who is curious about getting into blogging or has a big photoshoot coming up, I rounded up a few tips I have learned over the past few years.
11:30 AM - This was one of my favorite looks to shoot! This striped bathing suit compliments my figure and is the perfect suit for any mom who needs support and coverage. Even my husband told me how much he loves it! These loungewear pants feel so luxurious and are beyond comfortable. The loose, flowy leg feels heavenly to wear and designed with a fold-over waistband, it not only looks good but feels good too.
12:15 PM - After shoots, I almost always change back into athleisure - or as I like to call it my "momiform". These super soft pants have made their way into my beach/everyday uniform.
12:30 PM - My shoots typically last an hour and a half and my car looks like a disorganized train wreck after them. It takes me at least an hour to unpack and re-organize after a shoot ends. Post shoots I quickly scan my emails or DMs and look for anything that needs immediate attention.
1:00 PM - I pick my daughter up from school and, because I too struggle with the mom guilt, I make time for us to enjoy thirty minutes together. We head to starbucks everyday after I pick her up. Her selection and mine are always the same. She picks a pink cake pop and a chocolate milk and I have an iced green tea latte with coconut milk. Isabella almost always asks to sit in one of their large leather chairs, together, and we enjoy our time as we talk about her day.
2:00 PM - In an ideal world I'm back to answering emails and writing blog posts but with two little girls my afternoons don't always belong to me.
My "momiform" - Athleisure, Braids & A Bold Lip
3:00 PM - Quick dinner prep - almost everything I make starts in the crockpot. That thing is a lifesaver. After having Summer, I connected with Nancy Anderson, a trainer and nutritionist, who helped me lose the last 15 pounds of baby weight, something I struggled with for almost 9 months! I now follow her Bible Diet and enjoy the food that I eat and the way I feel after eating. No more bloating or over indulging instead I feel healthy and satisfied after meals.
2:45 PM or 3:45PM - My second instagram post of the day goes up. Most people scrolling on instagram at this time are looking for a break. With this in mind, I typically put up a quote or an image that affords them that moment away. Here is a perfect example.
4:00PM - UPS typically arrives and drops off our daily shipments which can either be very exciting or slightly overwhelming. Again, follow along on my instastories and you can see me unpacking packages almost every day.
5:00 PM - Our nightly walk. After living in NYC with a dog we became trained to go on a walk every evening. Even if it's raining I try and get out of the house at least for a quick walk as this is usually witching hour for the kids. My mom's advice for crazy kids is get them outside in the fresh air and it works every time.
6:00 PM - Being that I am on my phone what feels like 80% of the day, I try and stay off of it during family time every night which is between the hours of 6-8:30PM. It helps me focus on my family and recharge.
8:30 PM - Post bedtime - I'm back on my phone checking emails and finishing up blog posts. I have multiple shows like Billions that I would love to catch up on but just can't seem to find down time.
9:15 PM - Last instagram of the day goes up. For the next hour (errrr sometimes 2) I am returning DMs, commenting and mindlessly scrolling. I also use this time as outfit prep for upcoming shoots. I often fall asleep scrolling Pinterest for #outfitinspo.
11:00 PM - Bedtime. At the end of each day I try to remember to be thankful for everything I have in my life. With a career that focuses mostly on beauty and fashion, I feel this is something that helps me stay grounded. I highly encourage it because it will help put your mind at ease and allow for a restful night of sleep.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about a day in the life of a blogger - it's not as glamorous as it sounds - right?! I hope you visit me on Instagram or on the blog or even send me an email. Would love to hear from you!
We would like to thank Kate Brennan of The Chic Series for giving us insight on a typical day in the life of a fashion blogger!