How To Be A Lifestyle Blogger: Meet Sarabeth McElhaney

“I make it my mission to be authentic through the platform I have because I believe it’s important for others to see reality in influencer content.”

Current City/Hometown: Clarence, NY

Hi Sarabeth!! Welcome to The Boss Diary! So glad you’re here. Tell me all about your blog, February Fox, and how you started. 

Thanks for having me! Blogging has been a part of my life for over a decade, whether it be my teen years on LiveJournal or my angsty college Tumblr, but it wasn’t until I moved to California back in 2011 that I started on my own platform. I was working in the publishing world as a magazine editor and craved creative freedom to write about the topics that inspired me most. It was always something I considered a hobby until I had my first child in 2015. I realized I wanted to try to make a career out of it so I could stay home with him while keeping in touch with who I was as an individual. Being a new mom was the most beautiful thing, but it was easy to feel like my identity was flipped upside down. Blogging helped me to find balance between the two.

I love your blog and reading all about your beautiful family. And let me say, Fox is absolutely adorable! (love that name by the way). How do you balance your mom duties with your blog/work life?

In the beginning I was working full-time, starting a blog, and trying my best to handle a colicky newborn. I think that a mixture of pure adrenaline, coffee, and the excitement surrounding a new venture all got me through the first year. As my business grew it became harder to balance and, to be quite honest, I wasn’t doing so hot at it! It wasn’t until Fox turned 2.5 that I gave myself a little grace and decided to treat my blog as a business and opted to enroll him in school. It’s helped us both to grow so much and I don’t regret it for one moment. It is possible for women to have both families and careers!

Recently, I read your blog post, “Feeling the Buffalove.” Such a great post! You talked about the pros and cons about relocating to your hometown. I can totally relate to that feeling. In what ways do you think your new ‘home away from home,’ has shaped you into the woman you are today?

Living in California was a huge adjustment for one reason alone: the people. There’s a reason why Buffalo is labeled the City of Good Neighbors and no matter where I go in this world I’m reminded of it. Seeing Buffalo boom with life from afar made me prideful, but I also felt that twinge of jealousy that others were able to experience it in large doses when I couldn’t. I knew from the beginning I wanted to raise my kids where I grew up because I believe this city produces good humans, and seeing everything blooming just solidified that. I strive every day to be driven, kind, and proud, all traits I think are a direct result of living in Buffalo.

Ok girl, your Instagram feed is absolutely beautiful! What is the process for creating and editing your content? 

While some photos are planned and prepared days or weeks in advance, a lot are on-the-fly. After transferring them from the camera, I do all of my edits on my phone using a collection of popular photo editing apps. Most important is making sure each photo is cohesive with the composition and color as the last. I’m true to the colors I love, even if they aren’t the usual bright, white, clean lifestyle photos that flood Instagram these days. 

Everyone has a purpose, and it’s so refreshing to find women who are truly living their best life through their passions. How would you define your own purpose? 

I make it my mission to be authentic through the platform I have because I believe it’s important for others to see reality in influencer content. Although I may not share the major meltdown my toddler had that morning, you will see me in leggings or pajama pants in nearly every photo I’ve taken recently because I’m pregnant and that’s what I want to do! So in short, my purpose is to be myself and hope people can relate.

Who are some of your favorite female creatives or business women that you look up to?

I always struggle with an answer to this question because I look up to pretty much anyone who starts and maintains their own business is my kind of people! But from an all-around person I admire perspective? Michelle Obama.

Tell me one thing that most people may not know about you. 

There are very few things that don’t absolutely terrify me! I’m afraid of most things: heights, planes, birds, tight spaces, etc. That said, I never let my fear hold me back from experiencing things, so you’ll frequently find me traveling to new countries and taking in some serious views.

Name one thing that your hometown city is known for that some people may not know. 

I always think it’s really interesting that Buffalo was formed from a part of Clarence, as it was the first town established in Erie County!

What would the “18-year old you,” say to you today? 

“Don’t stray from your dreams because it doesn’t match up with everyone else’s.”

Before you go, what is one piece of advice you would give to women out there who are mothers and want to start their own blog or business?

Don’t leap before you look. Spend time creating your business plan and practice plenty before launching. Think of it this way: if someone picks up a magazine for the first time and doesn’t like what they see, they may never try again. Make engaging content or high quality products for an audience of none — then launch! 

This or That:

Thin crust or deep dish: As long as it’s Buffalo pizza, I’m happy

Lipstick or chapstick: Chapstick, although I’m a sucker for a good liquid lip!

Tea or coffee: Coffee in the morning, tea at night

Romance movie or horror film: Horror

J Lo or Shakira: J Lo. I saw her in person when I lived in Los Angeles and she’s ethereal.

Instagram or Facebook: Instagram because it really highlights creativity from users across the board!

Girls Night Out or Netflix: Netflix! I’m a total homebody.

Quick 5:

  1. Where is your next vacation? No vacations planned at the moment since baby #2 is due in March!
  2. What is your favorite 90’s jam? High and Dry by Radiohead to chill out but Semi-Charmed Life is my karaoke go-to
  3. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? A sloth because I’ve needed a nap for a few good years now — ha!
  4. If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why? Olivia Wilde because we’re both very sarcastic.
  5. What are three things on your bucket list? I made it my mission to cross most items off prior to starting a family, but three that still stand? Travel to India, explore the Amazon Rainforest, and buy my dream home.