New to San Antonio, Kelly Xavier started her blog, Happy Accidents Happen, last spring as a way to document life with two small children, while also finding ways to maintain a strong sense of self. On her blog she writes about, “Random acts of cooking, crafting, parenting, and self-discovery.” Although a self-admitted introvert, Kelly enjoys meeting other bloggers and getting to know her new city. Let’s give Kelly a warm, San Antonio-sized welcome!
Why did you decide to start your blog?
I started a blog back in 2008 as a way to keep family and friends up to date when my mom was sick. It didn’t really go any farther than that and it only had a handful of posts. When I moved to San Antonio, I was looking for a way to bring in a little income, so I started ghost blogging for an online SEO marketing company. I started to see the blogging world (and the whole Internet) from a different perspective. That’s when I got interested in starting my own blog.
Since I moved to San Antonio, I have been staying home with my son and I have had more time to enjoy the things I enjoy! I have been using blogs all the time to look for teaching ideas, sewing projects, DIY tutorials, recipes, and everything in between. I guess, at some point, it finally just clicked that I do all of these things too, so I decided to try blogging about them. I suppose I just never had time before.
Where do you find your recipes (or how do you come up with your own)?
I don’t have a great history with cooking. I have always hated to cook. My mom worked a lot. When she got home from work, understandably, she didn’t take the time to teach us because she was usually trying to get supper on the table as fast as possible. As a parent, I completely get that now! I never really learned to cook, and that was fine with me because I never cared much about it.
Out of necessity, I’ve recently taken more of an interest in cooking. Secretly, I am in love with Gordon Ramsey! I love watching cooking shows. I realized that cooking really isn’t that hard, and once you learn some basic strategies, it can be pretty fun. I love good food, but I can’t afford to go out to eat all the time. I also got tired of the kids complaining about the food that was put in front of them. I consider it a personal victory whenever they get excited about eating my food. I’m not always successful, but I’m getting better (or they have just given up complaining because they know it won’t get them anywhere!)
When I’m cooking, I look at several recipes, figure out what they have in common and use that as a jumping off point. Then, I tailor it to what I know my family will eat. I still enjoy going out to eat occasionally, but honestly I find cooking really rewarding and somewhat cathartic.
How and when did you learn how to sew? Will we get to see more sewing tutorials on your blog? What are your favorite sewing projects (and/or blogs if you read any about sewing)?
I remember sewing with my grandma when I was young. I was maybe five or six years old. She taught me how to embroider little designs onto tea towels. I still have a couple of them. When I was in college, my mom got me a sewing machine for Christmas one year. I’ve tinkered around with sewing since then. I was a sculpture major as an undergrad, so I love to make things, especially for other people. I don’t always feel like the most credible source for sewing how-tos because I have mostly muddled through to figure out what I need to know, but I also feel like I can make it easier for others to figure it out by providing the possible pit-falls and what-to-do-whens. (Full disclosure: The tension on my sewing machine is messed up, so that is why there haven’t been as many sewing tutorials lately! I hate technical things, so I have been dragging my feet about fixing it. If anyone wants to volunteer to show me how to do that, I would be most grateful.)
My favorite sewing project is came out of a less than ideal situation. Earlier this year, my son fell of a bike and broke his collarbone. The worst part was trying to keep a four-year-old from using one of his arms! I decided to design a kid-sized arm immobilizer for him. It worked perfectly, and he looked pretty cute. His doctor even took a picture to show one of the pediatric orthopedic surgeons. I thought about trying to market it, but it sort of an odd thing, right? Waiting for someone’s kid to break their collarbone so that you can make them a custom arm sling!
I love how, in addition to writing about parenting, your blog focuses on self-discovery. What’s one piece of advice you can give to parents about not losing who they are in the midst of the demands of parenthood?
I’m a work-a-holic. I am totally comfortable giving 110%, but I often forget to recharge until it’s too late. Moving to San Antonio forced me to slow down and blogging has really helped me focus on rediscovering the things that I enjoy. I love writing. It relaxes me. Blogging forces me to slow down and really reflect on the “what” and the “why.” Everyone needs to find that thing that helps them feel good about who they are and what they are doing with their life. Kids are sponges and mirrors. I realize when I start emitting negativity because I see it reflected back at me immediately. My kids have helped me realize when I need to slow down and take some time for myself.
What are three blogs you can’t live without?
There are so many blogs that I read that it is hard to narrow it down to three, but here are a few that I really like: