The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

Last year circulated this one video entitled, “Instagram Husband,” and the moment it was published, I had approximately three to four people send it to me saying, “Hahaha this is so Pai.” I live in an area where there is me, and then there are maybe two other bloggers that I know of. The rest of the population kindly tolerates my fake laugh poses, my blog posts, and the mandatory “sell yourself” on the social media.

And then there is my husband. Who has been with me on the blogging game since day one. In fact, way back in 2014 when Hugs and Lattes was still The Grand Adventures of Me, I was trying to win some kind of blog award, so I pushed the blog on my regular Facebook rather than just my blog’s Facebook.

There was one cute little Pai M. who commented on the post to say in the utmost flirtatious fashion, “I’m not going to vote.” Meanwhile, he voted and I won. . . the award and his heart. Boom.

Of course at the beginning of our relationship, I didn’t subject him to taking my pictures. Rather, he had the honor of being in my Instagram photos. With a solid 200 followers and a steady average of 23 likes per photo, I was quite the persona.

Let’s fast forward to 3 years later where he not only gets the honor of being in my photos, but he gets the rare privilege of taking them.

If y’all follow my Instastories (@christinamush), you will see that Mr. M is not the most . . . ahh. . . should I say. . . cooperative player there is.

But it’s all for show. He steals my phone, shares about how he just had to photograph me holding a pineapple even though we’re not eating said pineapple in said moment, and then likes to make fun of me while I do the stereotypical blogger poses. But he is genuine and he is a good sport.

While he has never told me to “Work it” or “Vogue,” he does give genuine advice like, “Look at the camera,” and “You look prettier when you smile.” Questions have been asked like, “Why are you looking down?” and “Why are we taking a picture of a pineapple if we aren’t going to eat it right now?”

The pineapple was a big deal, y’all.

I decided to sit down with the man himself and get his perspective on what it’s like to be an Instagram Husband. You may remember last spring, I shared what it is like to date a blogger. At this point, Mr. M was in grad school, working on his thesis, and planning the most amazing proposal. He was a little preoccupied so I wrote what I imagined it was like to date a blogger.

But now we live together and he has to see my face every day, so I was able to get his own personal opinions on what it is like to be an Instagram Husband.

The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

What is annoying about being an Instagram Husband? 

Having to stop anything that is semi interesting to take a picture of video. Sometimes we stop to take pictures of a leaf.

But we’re talking about how you have to take pictures of me. 

When I’m ready to go from Point A to Point B and you see a pretty brick wall and we have to stop everything we’re doing to take a photo in front of that wall.

Do you ever get tired of photographing your wife? 

No.

Is that true?

Because your super sexy. I get tired of holding the phone and pressing the picture button. See what I did there?

Did you know that being an Instagram Husband was in our vows? 

Were they really?

No, but it was unspoken. 

Yes, I was prepared, my love.

*and let’s note here that this was said in a slightly annoyed, distracted phone. 

The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

How far is too far? 

I will never, and I’ll say it again – I will never ever compromise my manhood by taking a picture in the midst of a Manchester United soccer game. Never! If I miss a goal, if i miss a pivotal moment in the game, I will not be one happy camper.

What is your favorite thing about an Instagram Husband? 

I get to have different backgrounds on my phone. I get to have beautiful pictures on my camera roll!

Aww. There was a right answer. Fair pass. 

The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

Mr. M has really grown in his Instagram Husband skills. For instance, we were out eating ice cream one night when he said, “This would make a perfect picture.” Obviously I made him take the photo.

Mr. M also kindly decided to give a couple steps to being a Pro-Instagram Husband that you are free to pass along to your significant others.

How to be a Pro-Instagram Husband 

Step 1: Be alert at all times because you never know when the camera is on you – I could be picking my nose in the background of my wife’s instastory.

Step 2: Any object, and I mean any object can be and will be a prop. For instance: A pineapple. You took a picture of a pineapple and you weren’t planning to eat it in that moment.

Le’s note this: Selfie sticks don’t work. I bought my wife a Selfie Stick for Christmas. She got excited and used it maybe two times. But I think she really prefers a sexy human being behind the camera.

Step 3: If you want to annoy your wife, make monkey noises in the background while she’s recording Insta stories.

It’s true. that does annoy me like crazy. Any last advice? 

Consider it all joy, my brothers.

The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

Thank you for joining us on this segment of The Man Behind the Camera. Tune in next time for, “Funny Marriage Quirks.”

10 Facts that Prove Coffee Isn’t Bad for You

10 Proven Facts Coffee Isn't Bad for You

Every morning as I’m walking out the door, my (sweet, awesome, hott) husband hands me a tumbler of coffee, and I swear it makes me want to marry him all over again. In case you didn’t know, I’m obsessed with coffee. I love to drink it, smell it, try it in new ways. Earlier this summer, we had dinner with our friends and they served us Brazilian coffee after dinner. AKA espressos in the cutest little espresso cups. I fell in love.

I could talk about coffee all day long. Coffee fuels us. It brings people together. It makes people fall in love. (No, seriously.)

But sometimes there are those haters. There are those people who say, “Coffee is bad for you.” These are the kind of people I want to sic Lorelai Gilmore on. But instead, I would like to counter that argument with some hard facts.*

10 Facts That Prove Coffee Isn't Bad For You

Fact #1: Coffee is not bad for you because it gives you energy.

Sure, caffeine is the number one drug used in America, and sure it sounds bad if you say caffeine is a “drug.” But do you know what is also a drug? Ibuprofen. And if I don’t get my coffee fix, you can bet four of those little suckers are going straight to my liver ASAP because no coffee = major headache and low, low productivity performance. No one wants that.

Fact #2: Coffee is great for your digestive system.

Have you ever got 1/4 of the way through your morning cup and had to head off to spend some time in “the Oval Office” as they so call it? If you’re ever feeling constipated, just drink some coffee and BOOM praise the Almighty because your colon is cleared!

Fact #3: Coffee puts you in a good mood.

This is a proven fact. For me at least. And probably because I enjoy the smell of coffee. When I wake up in the morning to the smell of coffee brewing downstairs, I know today is going to be an OK day. When I’m having a hectic day and I step inside my favorite artisan coffee shop, I know all will be right with the world as soon as my cinnamon and honey cappuccino is in my hands. If your girl is in a bad mood, bring her some coffee. It will make her fall in love with you and put her in a better mood.

10 Facts That Prove Coffee Isn't Bad For You

Fact #4: Coffee keeps you from killing people.

We all know this. When someone is getting on my nerves, I have to take a deep breath, take a long sip of my coffee, put in my headphones, and pray to Jesus. It’s a four step process, but it works.

Fact #5: Coffee is healthy.

Coffee comes from a bean. . . beans are like vegetables. . . so by the transitive property, coffee is healthy. Right? I think right. . .

Fact #6: Coffee helps you live longer with a better quality of life.

Years ago when I was in college speech class, I did a whole informative presentation on the benefits of coffee. I had several sources that said that a) coffee helps you live longer and b) those who drink coffee on the reg decrease their chances of getting dementia. So anytime someone tells you coffee is bad for you, tell them to put down their soda, you’re choosing life.

currently very caffeinated 🙃☕️

A post shared by Christine drawing Krysteen (@yeahitschill) on

Fact #7: Coffee is a great ice breaker

Want to make a new friend? Ask him/her out for coffee! It’s not the commitment that dinner or inviting them over to your house is, but it also shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile and sit down with them in an artisan coffee shop and make eye contact with them for at least an hour.

Fact #8: Coffee relieves the awkward

OK so what if your friend date, first date, or tense conversation isn’t going well? You can look at your coffee, you can take a sip of your coffee. It is the physical manifestation of “Um.” Don’t know what to do with your hands? That’s what coffee is for.

Fact #9: Coffee is a great perfume.

I often smell like my grandmother (who smells like coffee) because I spill coffee on myself. While it may not be Dolce & Gabanna, at least it’s an attractive homey scent. You know all those older people that smell like coffee and you just want to give them a hug because they smell like comfort? You can smell like comfort, too! All it takes is one little spill and you’ll have a nice tan stain on your cream colored shirt and smell like a delicious cup of comfort.

Fact #10: Coffee gives you something to photograph.

Are you an amateur instaphotographer like me? Don’t know what to shoot? Take fun, artsy pictures of the artsy latte art that someone else did! It makes you look legit, and gets you thousands of coffee shop followers. #CoffeeisLife

10 Facts that Prove Coffee Isn't Bad for You

 

*These facts are not 100% scientifically proven by a study. They are proven from my daily life experiences.

How about you? Are you Pro Coffee or Pro Tea? What keeps you caffeinated during the day? How do you keep from strangling annoying people?

39 Questions I Have for Bloggers

39 Questions I Have for Bloggers

Every day week I come back to the laptop after a full day of actually living life (i.e. going to coffee shops, date nights with the boo thang, or just a Netflix coma) and wonder why. Why am I blogging? Why am I here? What is the point of it all? It’s an Internet existential crisis if I ever saw one. I’ve slowly developed my brand, and am still working into my brand/switching and refinding my new voice, and building my follower count slowly but surely. And then there’s some little whippersnapper who just pops up out of nowhere and “has only been blogging for six months!” and has 10k followers. Like, how?

How do you have so many followers when you’ve been blogging for four weeks? I’ve been here four long years. And I have to work for my 3-4 comments. And here you are, with your white background and your perfectly posed pictures.

 

Why don’t we use GIFS anymore? Is that a thing of angsty teens and Tumblr? I miss GIFS.

Is everyone an inspiring minimalist? Because I’m just an aspiring de-clutterer. Someone teach me to not be sentimental.

How do you have money to pay for ipsy boxes every month?

How do you have money to buy $150 ad spots, and does it work?

When do you find the time to take all your photos with your DSLR?

How do you know how to work a DSLR?

Did you paint a wall entirely white and install a floor length window just for your “blogging desk” and how do you keep that wall free of scuff marks?

Did you find a house with granite countertops just to take the perfect pictures of your perfectly proportioned strawberry/granola/overnight oatmeal for the Instagram?

Doesn’t it take 5 hours to cook dinner for your husband if you have to stop and take pictures of the whole process?

Does your boyfriend/husband/mom/co-worker get annoyed with taking OOTD pictures for you?

How do you look so stylish? Who pays you to wear their clothes? How do you afford to buy anything that isn’t from TJ Maxx?

How do you find the time to just sit down and write out 5 posts faithfully each week with great content

How do you get 312 likes on your picture of flowers? I got 22 on a picture of my family.

Why do staged pictures do better than real life pictures?

How do you “theme” your Instagram?

How can you afford all the blog seminars/webinars/conferences?

Do you have to drink wine to be a blogger?

Why do you have to say you have fur babies?

Where do you find all the white rugs/towels/shirts/sheets/bed comforters and how do they stay white?

How do you work full time, work out full time, and blog full time and still have time for a social life?

Do you buy your followers?

Do you buy flowers just for the ‘Gram or do you ask Kroger if you can walk outside with a bunch of flowers just to take a picture of them?

Do you get sad when people unfollow you?

How do you get so many sponsors?

How do you have time to do sponsors?

How do you get sponsored posts?

How do you get sponsored posts where people are still willing to pay you?

What the heck is SEO?

How do you SEO?

Do you hide from your Google Analytics like me?

How do you vlog without being awkward?

How do you Snapchat/Instagram in public without feeling awkward?

Are all the rings on your hands real or fake?

Do you pay for perfectly manicured hands for your pictures?

Doesn’t blogging exhaust you too?

How are your iPhone photos not grainy?

How do you have time to network?

Do you hide from your emails, too?

If the blog life confuses you too, raise your hand and lets all kumbaya together.

What It’s Like to Date a Blogger

As told by the blogger. . .

what it's like to date a blogger

I dated a guy my sophomore year of college who knew I was a blogger, but pretended the blog didn’t exist. He thought it was weird, and was uncomfortable with the notion that I bared my soul in words to the rest of the Internet world. I was already insecure about being a “blogger,” because yes, we basically write every week about ourselves on the Internet. I battled with whether or not I should tell my next boyfriend that I had a blog. And how do you know the right time to tell a guy that you blog?

1st Date: *lets it slip into conversation* Oh yeah so I have a blog and it’s a lifestyle blog and I have a significantish following and – Date looks at you as if you have a nubbin on your face. “So. . .um. . . are you gonna write about. . . this?” He proceeds to ask awkwardly. There isn’t a second date.

3rd Date: This is the date where, according to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days you can kiss. *Date leans in for kiss, you start to lean in, put your hand on his chest, “Um, Tom, I have to tell you something. I have a blog.” Mood. Killed. “A blog?” He asks. “Like, you display your life on the Internet like you’re some kind of famous novelist?” Well. . . yeah. . . isn’t that what we all do? There is a fourth date, but no kiss.

1 Year into the Relationship: *You’re hanging out, eating pizza, watching The Bachelor, and your bae looks up from his computer, “Babe, I found pictures of us on this website. Weird, huh?” All time and space stops. “Oh, yeah I’ve been meaning to tell you about that. . .I’m a blogger. That’s my website. I wrote a post about our trip to the Hamptons.”***

*** Clearly these are all made up scenarios (I’ve never been to the Hamptons) just to show you it’s hard to tell a potential mate that you write a blog because it’s just weird. Thankfully, Pai already knew I blogged before we started dating. In between my sophomore and the spring of my junior year, I became more comfortable in my literary skin (if you call a blog literary) and began publishing different posts on my personal Facebook page. I was in the running to win “Sweetest Single Blogger” in a blogging contest and I asked my Facebok friends to vote for me and Pai commented on that post and said, “No.” I don’t know why I’m telling you all this. But I took that as a sign that he actually liked my blog, and liked me.

Since then, he’s learned a lot about what it’s like to date a blogger. But he’s really busy with work and grad school so I’m just going to tell you what I imagine it to be like from his perspective, which brings me to my first point:

–>Your woman speaks up for you. Maybe you’re in one of those couples where the man “wears the pants” in the relationship, but on her blog, she might occasionally speak for you even though you never said any of this.

–>She snapchats everything. You have to realize that bloggers have to stay current, stay consistent. They have to keep up with all the social medias and share their work on all the platforms. She’s exhausted. It’s exhausting. But her fans followers want to know the real her, not just the Internet her. Thus the Snapchat.

–>She stresses out about blogging. She hasn’t written a quality post in a while, her Instagram only got 23 likes (seriously guys?! Why is it that when  gram a picture of Doug the Pug you’re all like, meh but when Doug the Pug instagrams a picture he gets 17k likes? Seriously?!) and now she’s falling into a pit of irrelevancy.

–>She gets free stuff, but she has to take pictures of it and write about it. Don’t question why she spends 15 minutes arranging lighting and stuff on a white board.

–>She Instagrams a lot. Instagram is how bloggers connect these days. Don’t judge the above frame of her coffee, socks, and computer. Don’t judge the hashtags. Hashtags are what bloggers use to connect these days.

–>She wants to take lots of pictures of you two. You’ll thank her later when you’re old and grey and have all these beautiful memories surrounding you!

–>She drinks a lot of Starbucks. Part of it is taste, part of it is keeping up with the Joneses. Sometimes she may just get the cups to take pictures of it for a post. Because that’s what bloggers do.

–>She’s probably an oversharer. Oh, you mean you didn’t want all 800 of her followers to know about that one time you two almost got arrested? Oops. It’s fine. *My suggestion here is to set some boundaries. i.e. She can blog about your dates, but not about the really weird things you say that she keeps a list of in her phone.

–>She’ll want to take a picture. . . for the blog. . . for the gram. Just let it happen. If you tell her she’s too obsessed with social media she may break down and cry because blogging is hard and she may feel like you’re not supportive.

–>She has blogging friends-turned-real life friends. It’s weird, but it’s cool. Just accept it, bro.

–>She’s probably really good at writing you love letters because she’s really good at writing, so embrace her bloglife and maybe you’ll eventually start a blog too. . .

My Most Embarrassing Post

My Most Embarrassing Post

 

Do you ever have those posts that you publish and you look back and cringe? I have a few of those. I war between keeping them up and quietly converting them back to my drafts folder. IT doesn’t help the fact that when I merged to WordPress from Blogger, all my comments were lost and now I can’t merge them because Disqus is screwed. up. I’m a little sad about that. So here’s a disclaimer: *Any Blogs that have 0 comments in the past 3 years actually did have comments; I just lost them all in the move* Insert dramatic face crying emoji here.

Yesterday I received a tweet from Karen at A Peek of Karen’s World that I was nominated for a blog award. I love awards. I hopped on over to her blog and scrolled through the list and noticed I was awarded new blog (which I’ve been around for 4 years now, but thanks! Maybe they meant Hugs and Lattes is new…er?) and then I noticed that I was awarded funniest post and I thought, “Hmm…. which post is this?” I used to be hilarious. But then I grew up and got boring.

No worries, though, the post about having an IBS attack on a date definitely made it into that nomination. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read all about it here, and if it made you laugh, comment on it since I lost all the comments and then vote for it here.

Thanks, you’re a gem.