Hey ladies, it’s Anna from Fash Boulevard again, bringing you another edition of my interview series, Ladies Who Laptop. This month’s spotlight is the fashion blogger behind the blog M Loves M, Mara Ferreira. This digital darling’s journey started behind a desk at a law firm before becoming a top fashion and lifestyle blogger who pops up on Pinterest feeds everywhere with her flirty and feminine style. Mara combined her passion for fashion and writing into a full-time job that now has a hugely loyal following. Today, Mara opens up about her three favorite beauty products, life as a new mom, and her favorite blog posts of all time. Let’s dive in…
Let’s go back to the very beginning. What were you doing before you decided to start your blog?
I started my blog in 2009 shortly after graduating from college. I was working full-time at a law firm, studying for the LSAT and thinking I had everything pretty much figured out. Of course, that’s never how things go, right?
What inspired you to start your blog?
Growing up I always had diaries and journals, and even kept one throughout college. I’d write about my day and the things that I did. Working full-time though I felt like I couldn’t have a journal with me at my desk. That would be weird, right? Well, I loved the idea of keeping a journal online that could be accessed wherever there was a computer. I could write short entries, a lot faster on the computer too, and minimize the window if my boss walked by. Needless to say, writing my blog became my favorite hobby. My now-husband (then-boyfriend) and I were in a long-distance relationship and I also felt like writing about our trips together gave me something to do when I was missing him. Of course, I didn’t tell him—or anyone—about my blog for over a year!
What is a typical day in the life of Mara Ferreira?
My typical days are so different now as a new mom. My son is 6 months old (or young I should say!), and life pretty much revolves around him right now. I wake up around 6am, make breakfast and we sing some songs. He goes down for 3 naps during the day, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. In the time he’s napping, I have to hustle to get my work done. I answer emails, prep the following day’s blog post, upload an Instagram, and try to fit in some cleaning and meal prep. When the baby is awake we play on the floor together, go for walks, and visit with friends. When he goes to sleep I’m able to continue my work, and usually, go to bed around midnight. Right now he’s only up once in the middle of the night, so I’m able to get a bit more sleep than I had been in previous months. This season of life is all about Augustine right now, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! He’s the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me. When he’s asleep I’m happy I can get some work done, but I totally miss him and can easily get distracted looking through photos of him on my phone!
Photo shoots rarely go as planned. Do you have any funny stories of shoots gone wrong you can share with us?
Oh my goodness, there have been so many! One funny story was actually last summer. I was about 38 weeks pregnant, dying in 90-degree heat and I realized that I had bought a dress that I hadn’t tried on before. I had picked it up and assumed I could fit into it. Wrong. I’m struggling to get the dress over my head and of course it’s the tightest thing ever. What was supposed to be a loose shift dress ended up being a tight, too short, borderline body-con dress. Somehow we were able to make it work for the photos and I don’t think anyone noticed. And of course, I know I need to share it with you now. It was this post! Can you tell how tight and short this dress was?!
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m actually not the biggest fan of being in front of the camera! If you think about the girl that started her blog, she was someone that wanted just an online place to write. I wasn’t really thinking it was going to turn into what it is now. While I love it, I do get nervous shooting, and being in front of the camera still doesn’t come the most naturally to me.
What’s your favorite social media platform and why?
I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram. I love that I can be so inspired but I also dislike how the new algorithm change has made it harder for me to see the people I love to follow. One thing I’ve been loving about Instagram though is the Stories feature. I’ve been able to connect with so many readers and followers on there and it’s helped remind me why I love what I do. I love that I can be more real on Stories and it doesn’t have to be curated. It’s such a breath of fresh air in an otherwise “perfection-obsessed” industry.
I know it’s difficult to decide, but what are your two favorite blog posts you’ve written and why?
I think my favorite post would have to be my pregnancy announcement. I was so excited to finally share this big secret that I had been keeping for months. It felt like a huge relief and a big celebration! My second favorite blog post was actually one that Matthew wrote. He shared his story of our proposal which was so fun after having my own version. Whenever Matthew can write a post, it’s always really entertaining!
What trends are you most excited about for spring?
Spring is my favorite season to dress for! This year I’m really looking forward to the bold black and white stripes, floral prints, and ruffled and lace details. Anything feminine makes me a happy girl!
The digital space has changed drastically since the launch of your blog, M Loves M. Can you tell us about those transitions and how you keep up?
It’s almost been eight years since I started blogging and it’s amazing to see the changes that have happened over the years. When I started my blog, and even in 2011 when I was going through a career change, I never once thought that my blog could be my business. I remember outfit posts where you wouldn’t even link what you were wearing. I used to wear a ton of vintage, and designer items that were bought seriously discounted. A sample sale was my favorite thing! Now, my readers want to be able to shop the specific items I’m wearing, so I’ve had to make some adjustments to what I buy. It is such an incredible thing to make a career out of something you love. I wouldn’t be where I am without the support and trust of my readers, so it’s important for me to be as genuine and real with them as possible.
Since you blog about your favorite beauty products, can you share a couple of your current favorite items?
Yes! Beauty is one of my favorite things! I always love to try new products, but I have some favorites I always fall back on. I love the Kate Somerville Age Arrest Eye Cream—always keeps my mama bags in check! I’ve been loving using facial oils and this Korres Vitamin C Brightening Oil is a favorite during the day. At night, I love using the Kiehls’ Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil to remove makeup and unwind from the day. It smells amazing and instantly relaxes me.
What is your favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?
My favorite thing about blogging is connecting with readers all over the world. I feel like I could go anywhere and someone would have a recommendation for me on what to see, eat and do. I love making those connections! It was incredibly wonderful when Matthew and I were in Portugal a couple years ago. My least favorite thing about blogging is the pressure. It can be way too easy to compare yourself to others and I have to remind myself to focus on what I’m doing. Especially with the life change of being a new mom, sometimes I feel like I’m not doing as much as I could be doing. I need to remind myself though that I can only do so much and I have to pick and choose what’s important to me. I might not be able to jet off to Paris for Fashion Week, but there are other things that I can do, and do well. When I started my blog I felt like the blogging community was so wonderful and accepting. Unfortunately, now there’s a bit of a competitive feel. I truly believe that we can all be successful, though. Just because someone follows one blogger doesn’t mean they aren’t going to follow the other. I think we could do a better job at supporting each other and helping each other grow.
You’re a new Mom! Was it a natural transition to share your pregnancy and baby updates on your blog?
Incredibly! It felt like such a natural transition to share my pregnancy and baby updates since many of my readers have followed me through other big life changes. While many of my readers are moms, there are still some that aren’t at that stage yet, so I try to keep my motherhood posts to once a week. I don’t want to alienate my readers and I feel like having a specific day set aside for those posts makes things a little easier.
We’re all about healthy living her at LC.com. What does a typical day of eating consist of for you?
I definitely am all about healthy living, with some indulgences thrown in. Typically, my breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal with almond butter and apples. For lunch, I try to have a salad with salmon or a veggie sandwich. For dinner, I love roasting or grilling vegetables or making shrimp kabobs with pesto zucchini noodles. I always have to be careful about dessert though because I have a major sweet tooth!! Matthew and I did a chocolate chip cookie contest for Valentine’s Day, and we tried some of our favorites around town. It was such a fun thing to do, but I totally woke up with a stomachache! Sweets are definitely my weakness. And a glass of red wine!
As a successful blogger and a new mommy, how do you find a healthy and productive balance?
It’s so tough! I recently went to my first yoga class and the teacher was asking how we practice self-care. That felt like the first time I did something for me in the 5+ months since I had Augustine. It’s become a challenge to balance mom life and work, and also fit in “me time.” I think it’s a process though and I’m trying to work on accepting help from others when I can. Once Augustine is sleeping through the night, and on more of a schedule, I think I’ll be in a better place. Right now I’m still in the trenches and just trying to keep everything going.
What has been your biggest “pinch me” moment since launching your blog?
To be honest, it all feels like such a pinch me moment. The fact that I can do what I love and stay home with my baby feels like such a gift. I’m so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given through my blog and I know they wouldn’t be possible without the support of my family and incredible readers! One incredible moment was when I was able to travel to Alaska on a cruise, though. Alaska was one of those places on my bucket list. We did so many cool things but taking a helicopter to the top of a glacier and going dog sledding felt so surreal. I think my smile was frozen in place all afternoon!
Words to live by?
Be Kind. Be Humble. Be You. I always strive to be sincere and loving and approach situations with a kind heart. I hope that shines through in everything I do.
Thank you so much to Mara for answering my questions, and sharing so much of her story with us!
Who would you like to see me interview for my next Ladies Who Laptop?
Let me know in the comments below!