I love meeting fellow bloggers in person. When I discovered that the new mom at my mom’s group was also a mom blogger, I was over-the-moon excited. (So was she!) DeBalino is the mom behind Sass & Smalls (formerly babyStylista). She is just as funny in person as she is on her blog, and her daughter (nicknamed Little Mama) is absolutely adorable (and a good friend of Lily’s).
Today, I’m delighted to have the chance to ask DeBalino a few questions about her blog and introduce her to you! (Updated 2020!)
TKM: First, tell us a bit about your blog.
DeBalino: Sass & Smalls is about the everyday musings of a work-at-home mama of an artistic 8 year old quirky little girl, and a hilarious, often outspoken home-wrecking housecleaning 1-year-old-toddler, bringing the big city sass to the island. Living minimally, stylishly, and creatively, while navigating through the beautiful chaos of parenting. We’re evolving from polished storytelling, to just KEEPING. IT. REAL.
TKM: When and why did you start blogging?
DeBalino: I started blogging near the end of 2011. I had spent most of my career since 2000 in the entertainment and beauty industry. As much as I loved every opportunity I had… there was something else I was meant to do.
When I became a mom earlier in 2011, it hit me, almost immediately, what that was: to style and to blog about fashion. I love kids, so it was a no-brainer that my blog was about kids’ fashion. My 3-year-old fashionista (in her own right) was, and still is, the inspiration behind my blog.
TKM: How did you come up with your blog name?
DeBalino: I had a few ideas to begin with. Somewhere in the realm of kids, style, and fashion. At the time of its “conception,” my daughter was still a baby. I could not think of a better name than what I actually was… a Baby Stylist! Not surprisingly, that name was taken, so I added a little personality at the end of it, and came up with babyStylista.
TKM: Do you have a blog schedule or do you post when you feel like it?
DeBalino: I ATTEMPT to follow a schedule, but life often gets in the way. At the same time, I know I have to be more realistic with my set schedule—and as a result of being “too ambitious” (i.e., I’m going to complete 2 blog posts per day, complete all social media in 30 minutes, and clean, cook, AND teach my daughter the proper use of adverbs)—I end up posting when it is most convenient. That is usually for a short window of time after she goes to bed!
TKM: What is your favourite part of blogging? Your least favourite part?
DeBalino: I LOVE conceptualizing and brainstorming. I get so inspired after a productive gab session with my husband and some of my favorite friends and fellow bloggers. I also love traveling as often as I do—attending shows and events, and meeting so many talented designers and brands all over the USA and Canada.
My least favourite would be the deadlines. As a busy stay-at-home AND work-from-home mom, it’s tough to commit to set deadlines—although I know it is the one thing that makes things actually happen, and helps bring things to completion. So it’s a bit of a love-hate relationship I have with deadlines. I know it’s good to have them, and I am THRILLED when I meet them and see the finished product. But it’s getting there, that is the most challenging.
TKM: What advice would you offer to other bloggers?
DeBalino: Be YOU. I know it sounds incredibly cliché, but there’s really no other way to put it. I love that we are given this amazing opportunity to speak up, and it is an even more intense reality that people out there are actually listening! This is a beautiful way to express who you are, how you feel, and what you know, in a safe place. A place where you can actually control the negativity—or avoid it altogether. A place where your intentions are completely genuine and authentic. There is no coercion or influence (that is, if you don’t allow it to happen, of course). Your blog can be a window you can open up as wide as you want, and shout from the rooftops all you know and all you believe! It’s rather insane, if you think about how freeing it is to write about the things that mean the most to YOU.
TKM: What is your favourite social media channel and why?
DeBalino: I absolutely dig Instagram! My blog is rather image-heavy, so I love that there is a social platform predominantly focused on capturing moments in photos. We have a great following in Instagram, so it’s nice to know that whatever I post on there is seen by a vast amount of people. Followers become friends, and there is constant interaction. And it’s instantaneous!
Nothing speaks more about your everyday—the good, the bad, and… (okay—no one really likes to put up “the ugly,” so I’m just going to say…) the REAL—than a photo you just took that very moment. The best part: I don’t have to say a word, and it gives my friends and followers a true glimpse into what I like to refer to as… our dress-up box.
If you like Instagram too (or want to!), check out DeBalino’s top 7 Tips to Rock Instagram!
If you enjoyed this interview, you may also enjoy getting to know Renata from Keeping the Me in Mommy.