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When did you start this site?
Heather started writing the original site in 2000. Back then it was through Yahoo Groups and everyone would respond to her stories via email in a chain. This was good and bad depending on how much you enjoyed getting hundreds of emails a day. The day we moved over to an actual website in 2002 it felt like life changed overnight.
Do you really travel over 150 days a year?
We sure do! Some months we are going practically the whole month, I'm looking at you May, November, and December. Some months we are only gone 2-3 days, like July. We tend to stay home during the summer when everyone else is traveling.
How do you afford to travel?
This is the question we are asked the most and we are working right now on an extensive guide to help others add more travel to their lives and to make money as a professional blogger! The short form is that we have the majority of our travel paid by sponsors from this site and we earn enough income to afford to pay for the rest from blogging. Since this site supports our whole family we don't have traditional jobs that keep us in one place and we can work wherever our travels take us. After blogging for all these years we have also built up a wonderful following of readers and developed relationships within the travel industry. These relationships have made us the go-to family for those looking for inspiration on where to vacation and also for brands wanting to share their family friendly travel locations.
How do you make money?
We write full time here on this site and on our social media channels, and we are hired by brands to promote their services, products and family friendly travel locations. We are paid for our promotional services. However, we only share what we truly love and what our readers would enjoy learning about. We also host Twitter parties and Heather writes for brand websites and acts in an ambassador position for multiple clients. What we have learned in creating an online income is that you have to diversify. Although all of our income is earned online, it is earned in multiple ways. Pete is also a Real Estate Broker specializing in residential investment properties, although he now does this in a very limited capacity in order to dedicate the majority of his time to our online sites.
How much money do you make?
We have worked hard to build up our income to provide for five people in our expensive Southern California area. Our income is well into the six figures.
Who writes on this site?
It's a Lovely Life! is written by the whole family, as are our social media pages. Pete and Heather write the majority of the articles with Heather writing the photo heavy posts and Pete responsible for most of the video content. Maddie curates our Pinterest account.
Can I write a story for your site?
We love that you love our site enough to want to write a story of your own here, but we do not offer guest posting opportunities at this point.
How did you start blogging?
Sixteen years ago Heather started this site with Yahoo Groups. It quickly evolved and in 2002 we moved it to our own website. Back then we wrote about parenting and saving money and as the economy has changed over the years, so has our name. From No Excuse Budget to Full Price? Never and then to It's a Lovely Life! As our readers have transitioned from starter jobs to careers with more expendable income, our site has evolved right along with them. We recognize that the need is still there for learning how to make money online like we do, so we are currently working on a course to show you how to do it too. To get started with your own blog, read our post, Start Your Own WordPress Blog
How can we work with you?
Thanks for asking! You can find more information about working together here.
It looks like you guys are headed to our area soon. Can we meet you?
How nice of you to ask! We love meeting new friends on our travels and we are going to try to do some meet-ups this coming year. Please send us an email so we can see if we can say hello in person!
Are you world schooling your kids? Where do they go to school?
Yes and no. We certainly value the education that our children are getting from our travels and we can't think of a better way for them to learn about people and places that are outside our home area, but we also value a traditional education. Thankfully our girls have the best of both worlds. Maddie and Ashley go to an online high school and Maddie even attends a local college (also online). Emmy is enrolled in a local school that offers her a flexible schedule. For privacy reasons we are unable to share what school she attends. Thank you for understanding our need to keep this information private.
Where do you live?
We live in Southern California. Our home is on over 4 acres and has a view that we absolutely love. As much as we enjoy traveling, we also enjoy our time at home!
Will you share about my Go Fund Me/Fundraiser/Book/Small Business? Can I get a shout out?
I wish we had time accommodate all of the requests that we get but there just isn't enough time in the day. If you are a business interested in advertising please visit our work with us page. We love giving back so each year we chose a charity to support. This is done on a personal level and emails of this sort are not submitted for consideration.
How did you and Pete meet?
We met at a restaurant shortly after St. Patrick's Day in 1999. We were engaged on July 1st of that year and married in October. Less than three years later our family of 2 had grown to a family of 4! Emmy joined us when the big girls were 8 and 10!
Which one of your daughters is adopted?
I love that this isn't obvious! We knew “someone” was missing and as soon as we saw Emily we knew she was the missing piece of our family. Em was adopted domestically from here in San Diego and Pete and I were there when she was born. Heather even got to cut her umbilical cord! Adoption was the best decision of our lives and we are forever thankful to her birth parents.
Can we send you something?
You are so sweet to think of us! At this time we are not accepting any mail, although you are always welcome to email us!
Who is your web host?
We spent a lot of time researching the best host for cost, speed, and support and we chose SiteGround. We have been with numerous other hosts over the years, and SiteGround has shown us the best WordPress support. This post, How To Start A WordPress Site for $3.95/mo has all the details.
What theme is your site on?
In Feb 2017 we switched to the Look theme on Themeforest. We have used Themeforest for many WordPress sites, and we have had some great luck with them. There are so many quality designs to choose from.
What camera gear and lenses do you use?
Camera – This is the DSLR we use for still photography and some video.
Lens – This professional level lens is what we use for portrait type still photography and video. Heather never leaves home without it.
Wide Angle Lens – This quality lens is our go-to for travel and landscape still photography and some videos too.
Wide Angle Lens – This was our first wide angle lens and is a good lens that is a little more affordable. We use it for still photography and videos when we are traveling and think there is a chance it could get damaged, like on boats.
Microphone – We use this for the videos we take with our DSLR.
Point and Shoot Camera – We use this in most of our daily vlogs because of its compact size and quality video…especially in low light conditions. It also takes surprisingly good still photos too.
Drone – This drone provides quality aerial video in 4k and has a very easy learning curve. We use it to take aerial videos when we are at resorts and at home.
Action Camera – This is Pete's favorite action camera because it is easy to use and provides quality images.
Tripod – This is by far the best tripod for the money! We take it with us when we travel and use it at one.