Caitlin Lindquist, founder of beautifully stylish blog Dash of Darling, is a queen of balancing blogger life with family life. Mother to the beautiful baby Luna, Caitlin talks honestly and wholeheartedly about her struggles with pregnancy.
Having realised that falling pregnant naturally was more difficult than expected for Caitlin and her husband, they embarked on an IVF journey. Once Caitlin opened up about her struggles, she felt a a huge weight lifted from her shoulders. Now, she can help others that are going through difficulties, rather than holding them in.
We got the opportunity to speak to Caitlin more about her transition into motherhood, just how she balances her super-busy lifestyle and her whole blogging journey. In her words, she’s just “conquering the world, as a regular girl.”
“Work hard but love what you do. Just try and be yourself, because the thing that makes you stand out, is you. You have a different perspective to show the world and you need to hone in on that – don’t try and copy anyone else.” – Caitlin Lindquist
Taylor Magazine: Tell me about you and why you started your blog.
Caitlin: I started my blog when I was in my third year of law school in San Diego. It was partially a creative outlet, but it was also the process of hopefully opening some doors. I wanted to do fashion law, but I had no contacts, so the blog was a way to get my foot in the door. I ended up loving my blog so much, it was so much fun. My husband ended up getting a job here in Arizona, so I decided to pursue it full-time. I just thought, let’s ride the wave and go with it! I’ve been doing it full-time since around 2013.
Taylor Magazine: What do you think was the most challenging part when you first started, particularly with getting the blog off the ground running?
Caitlin: Just getting it out there! The first thing I did was send out an email to all of my friends and family, my mum was probably the only one that was reading it at the time! I just kept going with it, and it was so much fun. I’d get home from studying around 10pm, but I’d be so excited to do my blog, so I’d be up doing that until around 2am! I was so into it and it’s grown from there – I got pretty lucky from the get-go. A lot of my outfit posts were big on Pinterest, and then Khloe Kardashian ended up putting a post of mine on her website, so it was luck, but it was definitely hard work too!
Taylor Magazine: When did you realise it was sustainable as a career?
Caitlin: When we moved here to Arizona. I had only been blogging for around seven months when I decided to go full-time. I knew I could do something with it, so I just decided to go for it!
Taylor Magazine: In terms of managing mum life, family life and blogging, how do you do it?
Caitlin: I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty tough! I can’t wait to spend my time with my girl when she’s awake – I want to be playing with her, I really only get a block of an hour and a half to get my work done! As soon as I put her down for a nap, I get straight to the computer to get stuff done. When she goes to bed, I’ll do work again. It’s a little bit different now we have her, I just have to work even harder! It’s so worth it though.
Taylor Magazine: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a blog, especially as it has become such a competitive industry now?
Caitlin: You have to work hard. If you’re passionate about it, like I said, you’ll be up until 2am or 3am sometimes. But it was fun for me, and that’s what you have to make it. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself – your passions will come through to your readers and they’ll be able to see how passionate and in love with your work you are. Work hard but love what you do. Just try and be yourself, because the thing that makes you stand out, is you. You have a different perspective to show the world and you need to hone in on that – don’t try and copy anyone else. It helps me, honestly, to not look at what other bloggers are doing. You’ll lose yourself that way. Forage your own path and stick with it.
Taylor Magazine: Good advice! On a more personal level, you’ve talked a lot about IVF and fertility. What was it about that experience that made you want to share it with your readers?
Caitlin: It is really hard to share these things, put yourself out there and be vulnerable, particularly on the internet. At the same time, it’s almost just as hard to keep it in, to hide that part of yourself, because it was such a big part of our lives. My blog is sharing our world, what we’re doing, what we’re wearing, where we’re going, what we’re eating. It was hard to keep our struggles with pregnancy a secret.
“It was easier to say, ‘we’re working on it’, rather than holding it in. It’s important to be honest and be yourself.” – Caitlin Lindquist
Once I came out with it to my readers, I felt a massive weight off of my shoulders, because now people could actually be there for me instead of pestering us about when we were going to start a family. Those questions were harder for me, because I would just go and cry in a closet afterwards and have no idea how to answer them and try and hold it in. It was easier to say, ‘we’re working on it’, rather than holding it in. It’s important to be honest and be yourself.
Taylor Magazine: Do you think that’s a big part of blogging for you particularly, to be open and honest with all aspects of your life?
Caitlin: Absolutely, yes. I’m such an open book, and that’s kind of how I was raised too – to talk about my feelings and share things with people. I maybe overshare sometimes, but I think that that helps people. I can’t even tell you how many messages I have got from people that have gone through the same thing, or are going through the same thing, and just want to share their story. It’s incredible how you can connect with people that you’ve never met. It’s satisfying and helpful for me to know that I can be there for others in that way.
Taylor Magazine: In terms of your own personal life, what is a typical day like for you?
Caitlin: Now, it’s a little different! I usually wake up at around 5:30am to go and feed Luna, I’ll put her back down and hopefully she’ll go back to sleep. Usually, she wants to play so we’ll do that for a little bit most days. Then when I put her back down, I’ll hop in the shower before she wakes up again. Once she wakes up, we’ll head out the door and go grab a coffee. I had a meeting this morning, so we were doing that from 10 until noon and then had some lunch. Then in the afternoon, I’ll put her down for a nap and try to get some work done!
Taylor Magazine: So it’s normally quite full on, but you spend a lot of time with her?
Caitlin: Oh yeah, for sure. She comes everywhere with me! To my meetings, my photoshoots, she’s usually a part of the shoots. When we get home, she’s always tired! When I put her down, she’ll sleep from around 7pm – 5:30am… she’s a good sleeper.
Taylor Magazine: What do you like to do in your spare time, for you?
Caitlin: If I had a dream day… I would get up and work out, have some nice quiet time with my coffee, I would hit the spa or get my nails done, do some shopping, go for a hike (I love hiking), my husband and I love to play tennis as well. I love to be busy, I would prefer to be on the go, running from appointment to appointment. I mean, I love a Netflix and chill day but that’s usually after 6pm. Rosé in hand, Netflix on.
“I love a Netflix and chill day but that’s usually after 6pm! Rosé in hand, Netflix on.” – Caitlin Lindquist
Taylor Magazine: What do you love about living in Arizona now and is it completely different to your life in California?
Caitlin: At first, it was an adjustment for me, honestly. When we moved here, it was hard. We loved California and San Diego. When we moved here my husband was at work all day, I worked from home and so I wasn’t meeting a lot of people. It was a difficult adjustment, but now, I love it so much. The creative community here is really close – we’ve all banded together and do lots of events. I’ve made a lot of friends through that. It’s definitely a different lifestyle, but a good adjustment. As soon as I branched out and made friends, it helped so much. When we moved here, I was in a bit of a dark place because that was before I shared our struggles about falling pregnant, so I was holding all of that in too. But, we made it through!
Taylor Magazine: We’re all about simple living and minimalism, so if you’re having a bad day and you were stressed out, what would you do to pick yourself up?
Caitlin: Coffee! Quiet time and coffee is a really good mood lifter for me. Music as well – I’m always a huge fan of The Beatles. If I want feel-good, happy music I’ll put on The Beatles. Bob Marley if I’m laying by the pool.
Taylor Magazine: What advice would you give to a new mum, who was maybe in the situation you were in? Someone who is excited for motherhood, but also a little bit scared?
Caitlin: Have a try. Whether it’s a try of a friend’s, or another mum’s, support is invaluable. Friendship goes a long way. I read a study that said that women who have good relationships with other women, live longer. Whereas men live longer when they have good relationships with members of the opposite sex. Having a good support system of friends, particularly if you’re a mum, someone to call and ask ‘what do I do’ is so important.
“Friendship goes a long way. I read a study that said that women who have good relationships with other women, live longer.” – Caitlin Lindquist
Taylor Magazine: What are the words you always live by, or your life motto?
Caitlin: That’s a hard one! During difficult times, I always tell myself ‘this too shall pass’. Nothing lasts forever, you will get through this. Also, ‘don’t worry, be happy’.
Taylor Magazine: Three things you would take with you to a desert island?
Caitlin: Chapstick, my daughter, my husband.
Taylor Magazine: What should we look out for from you in the next year?
Caitlin: Exciting things! I can’t quite share everything yet, but we will be doing a lot of travel! I’m a little nervous, we’ve done Mexico with Luna, but we’re heading to Europe in three and a half weeks, so I’m gearing up for that! I guess just sharing more of motherhood, my blog is our family experiences and what we’re going through. Still being fashionable, while breastfeeding. Conquering the world, as a regular girl!