Interview with Food and Lifestyle Blogger Kait Ruben

Let us know a little about yourself and how we can connect with you via website, blog, books, and social media sites.
I’m Kait Rubin, and I run the blog slumberandscones.com, which is a food and lifestyle blog focused on baking, brunch, cocktails, home, and hosting. I’m pretty active on Twitter (@slumberscones) and Pinterest (pinterest.com/kaitrubin). But you can also find my blog on Facebook (facebook.com/slumberandscones) and Instagram (@slumberandscones), with a bit less activity. 

What is the name of your blog or book and how did you get started?
Slumber & Scones is my blog, which is kind of a play on bed & breakfast, since I write about food and hosting. I feel like I’ve been blogging in some fashion forever! But I only started S&S a couple years ago. Previously, I ran a blog with my sister called Girls Are Geeks, where we posted about the cross-over of geeky and girly topics. My favorite posts to write were the ones about the themed drinks and desserts we made, so I spun off to focus on just that aspect.

What is your favorite food?
Bread! I love any type of bread really. My absolute favorite is a warm piece of challah with homemade butter, but honestly any will do. 

What foods do you crave all the time?
I tend to crave fresh fruits and vegetables, especially in the winter when it’s harder to find really delicious ones. I’m also a chocolate lover, and often reach for a piece when I’ve had a stressful day or need a pick-me-up.

What is your favorite comfort food?
I’m pretty sure there’s nothing that a chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting can’t cure!

If you could learn how to make any food what would it be?

I’d love to learn how to make cheese. I’ve made ricotta a couple times, which is fairly simple, but I’d love to expand into more complicated cheeses like mozzarella and burrata. Maybe one day I’ll even be able to make harder cheeses like cheddar and parmesan.

What is your favorite thing about being a blogger, writer, or author?

I absolutely love the community of writers and bloggers online. Everyone is so creative in their own way, and it’s incredible to see the amount of support we all have for each other. There really is a “rising tide lifts all boats” mentality, that’s hard to find in other places.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?

Just write things down. One-liners, quotes, dialogues in your head. I always get these thoughts in my head and they would quickly disappear if I didn’t jot them down. You never know when something will be relevant and useful. 

What do you like to do for fun?

I like watching sports, mostly hockey (go Devils!) and college gymnastics. I have two chihuahuas that are perfectly cuddly and adorable, so I often spend time with them. I go through phases where I love building and decorating houses in The Sims. And I really like reading cookbooks like they are novels.

What helps you to stay motivated and keep writing?

I like baking and mixing up drinks that I’m not going to publish on my blog, to remind myself why I love it. I know that sounds counterproductive, but it helps me get my head back into producing content. Not everything in life needs to be blog content, and reminding myself of that makes it easier to create when I need to. 

How do you attract new readers?

I love creating new pins for Pinterest. Each of my posts probably has 8-12 different pins, and I’ve started seeing those bringing in some traffic. I also have recently learned about SEO, which can draw readers to my blog from Google. Then I hope my bright colors, fun recipes, and thoughtful content keep them around!

What has influenced you the most as a writer?

The old style of blogging, back in the early 2000s, when everything was about storytelling, and capturing moments in words – that really stuck with me. I have seen the trends for bloggers shifting a lot toward being informative, and removing that personal touch, but to me that’s what makes a blog worth reading. I want to really get to the know the person writing, and so I try to always interject my personality into my own content as well.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Outside of cookbooks, I really love contemporary young/new adult fiction, psychological thrillers, and non-fiction books about neuroscience and psychology. 

What are you reading right now?

I’m trying to read House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski, for maybe the fourth time. I’ve gotten further than ever before, but it can be a tough book to read. My goal is to finish it this time! I’m also reading my way through Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest by Lauren McDuffie, it’s a cookbook filled with intriguing stories about growing up in Appalachia. 

What is something about yourself most people don’t know?

I tend to be pretty open about myself, but most people might not realize that I totally have an addiction to skincare products and beauty boxes! I just love them!

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

On my own, I like listening to classic rock, alternative, and indie music, but I have a soft spot for nostalgic pop as well. I really love making playlists for parties and events, pulling together songs that make me go “oh I haven’t heard this in forever!”

If you could live in any book what would it be?

Can it be a cookbook? But actually, it would probably be any of those chick-lit books where a woman goes off and inherits or buys property in a small town, and makes her life there as an inn-owner and pillar of the community. I always romanticize that sort of thing.

Who are your top three favorite authors?

Oh gosh, that’s really tough! Of all time, I’d probably say Douglas Adams, because Hitchhiker’s guide is just such a classic; Sarah Dessen as a throwback YA author, because I always loved the characters in her books and how their worlds subtly intertwined, and Malcolm Gladwell for his psychology books.

Do you have any blogs or books you can recommend?

In the food world, I love Joy the Baker’s blog (http://joythebaker.com/) and all of her cookbooks. Outside of that, a nostalgic favorite series of mine is the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. 

If you could have super powers what would they be?

Teleportation! I love visiting new places, but I am a horrible traveler. If I could skip all flying, I’d love to see the world.

What is a typical day of writing look like for you?

I have a full time day job, so most of the time I spend on my blog is on evenings or weekends. I work in unstructured blocks, where I’ll get a bunch done and then take a break to do something entirely unrelated. But I also always have my phone with me to jot down ideas when they come to me. 

What is your favorite movie that was based off a book?

I’m usually a book over movie person, I’ll admit, but The Princess Bride could not have been any better. I watched the movie recently and it still stands up years later!

What projects are you working on right now?

I always have a novel in progress, and maybe one day I’ll finish it. Right now, my big project is focusing on Slumber & Scones, and allowing that blog the chance to flourish. I’d love to be able to focus on that full time, and have more time for additional hobbies and projects. 

Any other information you would like to include to our readers?

I just want to say that it’s okay to be yourself, and not to feel guilty about it. I spent a lot of time doing that when I was younger, and letting it go made my life a lot easier. Take critiques in stride, but brush off criticism. You don’t need to make everyone happy all the time. 

Thank you Kait for such a great interview!

If you are a fellow writer, author, or blogger and want to be featured with your own interview on this blog go to https://noshwithchefjulie.com/contact/ for all the details!

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