Bright, vibrant, happy, colorful, and fun are just a few ways to describe Loren Brooke’s Instagram @ThinkElysian. Filled with travel destinations, food and drink recipes, stylish outfits, cute decor, and pretty little moments from everyday life, the @ThinkElysian feed is simultaneously dreamy yet down-to-earth. Scrolling through her photos and reading her captions, it is clear Loren is thoughtful and humble despite her social media success and amazing adventures. Everyday, she finds beauty in the small moments and reminds us to stop and smell the roses.
UrbanandStylish got a chance to catch up with Loren and see what she’s up to next! Read below for the exclusive interview.
Check out Loren’s awesome blog! http://www.thinkelysian.com/
You seem to be very active on your blog, Youtube channel, podcast, and Instagram, all while traveling and maintaining a very interesting life! How do you find balance and keep up with everything?
Over the past couple of years as Think Elysian has grown I have forced myself to go with the flow and let go of complete control. Help is key! I’ve learned that it is fun to have guest bloggers and other people working behind the scenes to help me. I currently have two amazing ladies working with me, one who guest blogs and the other who is my social media saving grace who helps me with scheduling posts and other tasks involving social media. I am also so fortunate to have the support of my husband who is constantly reminding me what life is really about. He doesn’t let me get caught up in it all. He is the first one to tell me to step away from the computer and grab a drink!
Many people find that being so involved in the online worlds of Youtube and Instagram can easily be addictive, draining, or impact their self esteem. Do you ever find social media affecting you in a similar way? How do you cope?
I do! Social media is an easy rabbit hole to get sucked in to. There is such a focus on how many likes or how many shares an article or photo can get. I admit that I get trapped in it all sometimes too and to a certain extent, because this is my job, social media statistics do matter. But I have found it better for my sanity to try to avoid comparing myself to others. When I find myself straying away from positivity I immediately take action to reset my mind and focus on my personal goals and remember that everything is relative.
Everyone has a different journey and it’s important not to compare yourself to others in any way. Social media is quite the opposite of addicting for me! Since it is “work” I am always ready to turn it off and step away. I think that is why I am so obsessed with binge watching shows. I have an unnatural obsession with Gilmore Girls and Supernatural. I think it’s important to find another outlet to go to relax.
Your Instagram is so full of bright, fun, and captivating things! Do you stick to a formula or pattern for what you post, or are you very lax?
There definitely is a rhyme and a reason to my Instagram flow! Overall, I like to keep things light, bright, and most importantly FUN. I used to be very meticulous when it came to the pattern of my Instagram photos. It’s actually a New Year’s resolution of mine to be “goosefraba” with Instagram and not be such a perfectionist. It has been so hard for me being a visually creative type A personality to be more lackadaisical. The struggle is real!
Who takes your photos for you and how do you edit them? Have you always been a natural in front of the camera or did you have to adjust?
Me? A natural?! 🙂 You only see the best 10 photos from about 50! I am notoriously awkward in front of the camera. I try so hard, but it is just not in my personality to be a fierce model. I love to laugh at myself and I feel like such a dork in front of the camera most of the time. Any photos that you see of myself, my husband has taken, but otherwise they are all taken by me. It has been quite a task training my “Instagram husband.” I usually make him pose in the way I want to pose and take the photo of him so he can get a visual of exactly what shot I want. So I have quite a few hilarious photos of my husband in the girliest of poses. 😛 I edit all of my photos in Lightroom, but the key is to get the photo right in camera so there is minimal editing to do on the computer. Photography is my favorite part of blogging, hands-down!
You travel to so many great spots! Which was your favorite and why? Least favorite?
Oh gosh, it is so hard to pick a favorite because every single place I visit brings me a different kind of happiness and special memories. My all-around favorite destination I have been to that brings the biggest smile to my face is Nicaragua. It is where we made some great friends, learned to surf, and were pushed way out of our comfort zone. I think our trip to Nicaragua was my first travel experience where I wanted to really immerse myself in the culture & live life like the locals. It changed the way I travel for the better. As for my least favorite? I don’t think I have a least favorite. Every trip has taught me something about myself no matter how big or small. I always have things go wrong on trips – my life is like a National Lampoon’s Vacation movie most of the time so I’ve learned to laugh it off and find the positivity and fun in every situation.
When you travel, do you set aside specific time for gathering blog material and specific time off? Or are you always on-the-go and working?
I like to set aside specific times to get work done so that I can play the rest of the time without tasks weighing on my shoulders. I typically shoot the majority of my travel style photos back to back as soon as I get to the location because let’s be honest when I’m actually wearing those outfits during our trip I will most likely be a hot mess, sweating, sans makeup and hair styling — definitely not as cute. 🙂 I do work here and there throughout the trip taking photos and notes, but I like to get the majority done in one sitting to really enjoy everything.
What motivates you to keep going on your bad days?
Besides jamming out to Andy Grammer and Gavin DeGraw? 🙂 Just remembering why I do this in the first place — to inspire others! Bad days are inevitable, whether it is a mean comment or stats being down it will happen, but it’s turning that negativity in to drive that keeps me going. I have always been an unusually ambitious person and I use those bad days as fuel to realize new aspirations and set new goals to achieve.
What is your next big project you are or you would like to tackle? What are your 2017 goals? I see your Instagram bio says “flight attendant adventures coming soon…”
There is SO much is changing in 2017 for me! I will be moving from Houston, TX to Austin, TX in July, and shortly after I will be training to fly the friendly skies with a major airline. I am ridiculously excited for my new flight attendant adventures that will allow me to travel so much more. I can’t wait to start flying and share my experiences with everyone!
If you had come come up with a motto for your blog, Instagram, podcasts, and everything else, what would it be?
I like to think “Elysian” is a motto within itself for my life and my blog. “Elysian” means blissful; beautiful and creative; divinely inspired. I try to encompass elysian in everything I do. My hope for my blog is to inspire others to live their life to the fullest, do whatever makes them happy and share my love for style, travel, and life.
Taking the first step in putting yourself out there online is hard. What advice would you give to someone looking to start a Youtube channel or blog?
It is really hard putting yourself out there! I never think of myself as a “cool girl” so I was always self conscious of what people might think once I started a blog, but my husband gave me the confidence to channel my creativity and share my love for style and travel with others. I won’t lie — most people won’t understand “blogging.” Heck, even my own family still doesn’t understand what I do for a living. Find a small group of other bloggers that you can count on. I am so fortunate to have found a group of bloggers from all over the country that have become my confidants and biggest cheerleaders. Surround yourself with positive people and people who believe in you more than you believe in yourself. Don’t get caught up in the stats — jump in, find your passion & have fun! 🙂