I am delighted to invite Paloma Contreras of La Dolce Vita on Behind the Blog today. Most of you know Paloma, who has been blogging for a few years now, for her incredible sense of style, and flare for the sweet life. In 2010, she set the wheels in motion to make her dreams a reality and is launching a digital lifestyle magazine at the end of this month. Her loyal readers have been with her every step of the way. It is with great pleasure I introduce Paloma Contreras, the wonderful woman behind the blog, La Dolce Vita.
Who is the person behind the Blog La Dolce Vita?
I am a former high school Spanish teacher, turned freelance writer and blogger who took a leap of faith this year and decided to found a new digital lifestyle magazine, High Gloss. I am someone who is constantly searching for inspiration, which is why being a blogger suits me so perfectly. I also have a major case of wanderlust!
What inspired you to start blogging?
I began writing my blog in July of 2007, right before the start of my last school year as a teacher. I needed an outlet for tapping into my passions and interests, which was essentially what blogging provided for me. I never could have imagined the places it would lead me.
What was your earliest experience in design?
I am a romantic at heart and from a very early age, I’ve always sought to find the beauty in everything. I’ve loved art for as long as I can remember and that eventually lead to a passion for interior design as well. As a child, I was always very specific about the way I wanted my room to look.
Who are your style/design icons?
For style/fashion: Gwyneth Paltrow and Olivia Palermo—They both have an innate sense of style that comes across so effortlessly. They are the style icons of our generation that will endure the test of time.
In design: I like so many styles that it is incredibly difficult for me to narrow down the list. I love Mary McDonald and Miles Redd for their maximalistic approach to style. I also love the Spanish designer, Lázaro Rosa Violán whose work is supremely unique and interesting. It is the definition of eclectic glamour. I am also a big fan of the ladies at Massucco Warner Miller, Nate Berkus, and David Jiménez whose work is classic with a twist. Lastly, I love the cool vibe in the work of Tia Zoldan. Her work has such an effortless quality. It is at once modern and classic, tailored and eclectic, and just all-around fabulous. We are featuring her home in the first issue of High Gloss.
How do you define your personal style?
Classic with a twist. I wouldn’t say my style is trendy, but I do like to be on trend. Jewelry is my weakness, so I love to accessorize with fun cocktail rings, necklaces, and earrings.
What item in your closet can you not live without?
Jeans. I am very lucky to work from home and wear whatever I want. Jeans are just so comfortable, but they’re easy to dress up. I love J.Crew’s High Heel Flare which were unfortunately discontinued within the year that they were introduced. Luckily, I stocked up and have several pairs in different washes. I also love a good, black, skinny jean.
Area, Houston TX
How do you enjoy your days when you aren’t blogging?
Ha ha! I don’t have very many days without blogging. I usually blog twice a day, Monday-Friday and I will spend a little time on Sunday afternoons working on posts for the coming week. I usually don’t blog on Saturday when you can find me visiting my favorite design destinations around Houston, spending time with my husband Fabian and friends, or relaxing at home.
Paloma's formal room
What is your favorite room in your home and why?
I really love my formal living room. The colors are soothing and among my favorite (lots of orange) and I think it’s very representative of our style and our interests. We have a series of framed maps and we both love to travel. I am also obsessed with vintage chairs and have a few in the room.
What is your most prized possession?
I am a sentimental person, but I don’t know that I have a prized possession. My wedding band and engagement ring are very special to me. I’m not sure if dogs count as possessions, but Tate, who we call our puppy son and a bona fide part of our family is definitely up there on the list. I adore the little guy. He gives us so much love and happiness.
Do you have a New Year’s resolution or goal for 2011?
My main goal is to make High Gloss as successful as possible. I want my team and I to constantly challenge ourselves to create the most inspiring content that we can. We are all so passionate about it and have some amazing things in store for our readers.
I didn’t really make resolutions this year and instead opted for a 2011 to-do list that I blogged about here.
What inspired launching the soon to be revealed High Gloss Magazine?
I am beyond excited about High Gloss! It has been a true labor of love and the result of taking a huge leap of faith and following my dreams while trusting the path that my blog has lead me on. I had been thinking about really focusing my career on writing and had given thought to the idea of starting an online magazine for some time. Finally, late last spring, I decided to go for it and started putting the wheels into motion. By mid-summer, I had brought on the amazing members of my team who are all so incredibly talented (and stylish!).
Can you give us a little scoop on what’s in store in High Gloss later this month?
High Gloss is a digital lifestyle magazine featuring inspiring interior design, the latest in fashion, fresh ideas for entertaining, and swoon-worthy travel destinations. Our style is polished and glamorous without taking itself too seriously. We shot Tia Zoldan’s amazing house with the renowned photographer, Grey Crawford. We are also featuring some of the most stylish places in the Napa Valley, and have a feature with a pretty big celebrity. I don’t want to give away too much, though. Our first issue will officially launch in a few weeks and we are so excited to share it with everyone.
Your 3 most memorable posts of recent & why?
Outlining my To-Do List for 2011, rather than making traditional resolutions in the post “Here’s to a Fabulous 2011!”
The post that served as the inspiration for the newest series on La Dolce Vita, “My Dream Home”—This serves as a very accurate and tangible representation of my style.
I had a lot of fun putting together this fashion post, Jacket Required. It centers around two basic wardrobe staples: black skinny jeans and a white tee and builds upon that with various jackets, shoes and accessories.
Lastly, how do you define happiness?
My idea of happiness is feeling fulfilled, whether that comes from the love my husband and I share, the immense feeling of challenge and satisfaction that I get from working on High Gloss, or the joy that fills my heart while traveling.
Paloma, thank you so much for participating in Behind the Blog. I am looking forward to the premier issue of High Gloss, and a wonderful 2011.