April Blogger of the Month

Happy April everyone! I’m feeling so good now that it’s finally Spring and hopefully the weather will keep warming up and up!

With a new month comes a new featured blogger!  This month we are talking about Samantha Jo of Life By The Gills. Samantha is such a beautiful person, inside and out, and has the most adorable family that I’ve ever seen! Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

I asked Samantha a few questions about blogging and life in Buffalo. Here’s what she had to say!

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How long have you been blogging?

A little over 5 years.

What made you want to start blogging?

I first started my blog when my husband and I got married as a way to document the start of our new life together. I’ve always loved writing creatively, so blogging just seemed like a natural fit.

What’s your favorite thing about being a blogger?

I love the storytelling aspect of blogging. Since my blog is a family / lifestyle blog, it’s a great way for me to capture memories of my family and share aspects of life that people probably wouldn’t otherwise know about me. I’m really bad at scrapbooking, so my blog is another way to document our days.

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What is the meaning behind your blog name?

I’ve branded and re-branded my blog more times than I care to admit, but “Life by the Gills” came to me one night and it just kind of stuck. It’s both literal and metaphorical – life by the Gills, because it’s a diary of our family life (our last name is Gill) – and “grabbing life by the gills” has an underlying meaning of making the most of life and taking charge!

What do you love most about living in Buffalo?

I technically don’t live *in* Buffalo, but I love the community feel of Buffalo in general. The fact that so many people are willing to go above and beyond to collaborate and help each other out rather than compete and get ahead is something that’s really unique to our area.

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What’s your favorite local restaurant?

Since I live in the south towns, I have to give Hamburg the love – Juicy Burger Bar makes the best chicken & waffles and moscow mules I’ve ever had!

What are your favorite seasonal activities?

My husband is a teacher, so he has the summers off. That, paired with the fact that I can work anywhere I have a decent internet connection, means that we LOVE to travel. We do most of our traveling out of our camper at various campgrounds in the Adirondacks. Last summer, we spent a total of 40 nights away from home! Getting out in nature, going on hikes, and ending each day with a roaring bonfire is our “happy place.”

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What is your favorite neighborhood in the city?

I love visiting the Theatre District and my years of working on Main Street made me partial to the Main / Washington Street area, too – the market on Main Street during the summer months is one of my favorite things!

What are are a few of your favorite Instagram accounts that you follow?

@jlgarvin, @sydneyliann & @thefebruaryfox for that “mommy blogger” life; @yeahbuffalo for local goodness; @inhonorofdesign & @marinamcavoy for home decor / style; & @nickholden for when I need a good dose of the Good Word!

What advice would you give to people who would like to start a blog?

Go for it! What do you have to lose? Also – don’t underestimate the amount of time it takes to really get your blog off the ground, and be sure to stay consistent with your voice. It can be tempting when you start getting offers to run sponsored posts, but making sure you only partner with brands and products that you can naturally tie in with your voice and communicate to your readers is important!

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