Andrea (Drea) Duclos is the creative and oh-so-sweet South Floridian blogger behind ohdeardrea – a natural living blog that documents her adventures in cooking, gardening, home design and veganism alongside her happy little family. Her bright, color saturated photos, adorable subjects (aka daughter Marlowe and a few furry friends), clean eating recipes, and glimpses of her lust-worthy home is what had us at hello. Us, and tens of thousands of other Drea-loving followers. In the spirit of yesterday's holiday, Drea shares the deets on being a full-time creative and mama. She also let us borrow a few of her home tour shots to drool over (just start scrollin', you'll see what we mean)!
To start out can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your sweet family, including your furry family member(s)?!
Well, I’m a mom, a wife, a blogger, a gardener, a pizza lover, and a big dreamer. Married to a handsome chef and bread maker, Alex, and together we've got Marlowe, the most genuinely sweet four year old around (biased, but whatever). Two dogs, Jerry the Dog Garcia and Waylon Dum-dum Jennings. We have Jerry the Fish II and are brand new happy owners of two baby chicks: Ella (the cute one) and Betty aka Little Haiti (in her fabulous ugly kid stage).
We love your blog ohdeardrea (obviously!). When did you start it, and was there a particularly inspiring moment behind its creation?
I started ohdeardrea about 4 and a half years ago when I became pregnant with Marlowe. Things have changed a lot since then, but at that time I wanted to document my journey as a single mom. I had been publicly writing online since I was about 15 years old (15 years now!) so ohdeardrea was just an extension of that. No grand ideas or visions, just another place to spill out and record my life.
In addition to blogging about home and design, you share experiences and knowledge around living naturally, gardening, and Veganism. How and why did these things become so important to you?
I’ve always been a nature and outdoor lover. Science (and art) were my favorite topics in grade and high school. And in college I chose to study marine affairs and took a lot of courses on environmental sustainability — I’ve always cared deeply about the earth and as I grew older I realized that it was silly to not play a more active role in not only taking care of the big picture, but also the smaller picture within my home. The more I learned and more I practiced a more natural life, the better I felt and the more I loved myself — it’s really just a positive circle, once you start it. I liked feeling good within my body, within my home, and knowing I was making small, but positive changes on our earth.
What inspires you? What would you say is the "kick in the butt" that keeps you blogging so often? Is there something bigger that drives you other than the paycheck?
Gratitude mostly. I feel so immensely grateful to be able to make a living just doing the things I love. I really couldn’t ask for anything better. On top of it all, I’ve had so many incredibly positive experiences and made so amazing friendships through this space. My blog glows better when my life is better and my life is better because of my blog. It’s a win win win all around.
How do you stay creative between the day-to-day tasks of everyday life?
I enjoy the day to day tasks. I like to have creativity throughout routine and structure. It’s easy to enjoy simple tasks when you’re in a space you love.
Tell us about your daily routine as a mom and blogger. Is there anything specific you do to get your creative juices flowing? Any specific ritual you take part in to help fuel ideas or inspiration?
I say it often, but I really enjoy to live first, blog second. We don’t have many posed moments, I simply just have a phone in hand or in back pocket to snap candid moments often. Not to put the more styled and posed family and style blogs down, but I feel it takes a bit of whisking away from our moments to break for staged family scenes. We all enjoy creative and vibrant activities around here, so it’s easy to live our daily life and me to recap all of it in the quiet evenings. I put Marlowe to bed around 830 each night, tidy up, and sit myself at my desk to type out posts, respond to emails, or edit photos until Alex gets home from work (around midnight or 1 am). It’s my own time to enjoy my creative, quiet space.
You're style is so unique and fun and it totally comes across in how you've decorated your home. How would you describe your decorating style?
Tropical comfort? Haha, I’m not sure. I’ve always enjoyed the more colorful, floral, and comfortable vibe. I have home photos from 10 years ago and my style was still very much the same — floral and tropical prints everywhere, plants everywhere, and patterns EVERYWHERE. Inviting and bright.
Do you have any design rules that you kind of decorate by? Like, mix more expensive items with less expensive accessories, etc.
I like things to be mostly multifunctional. Other than that, I believe its good to buy beautiful, but practical pieces to fit in your space — items that can last for generations and not just fade out with a trend. I thrift often and splurge only on the items I love the most.
How have one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces played a roll in how you've decorated your home? Do you think buying handmade is important, why?
One of a kind and handmade pieces tell a story. They make otherwise every day items conversational. Buying handmade supports small businesses and big dreams. It helps others and allows you the opportunity to bring unique items to your home to make life that much more interesting.
Do you find the balance between being a full time mama and blogger difficult?
When trying to create a 125 page recipe cookbook + blog full time + raise a toddler? Yes, definitely. Otherwise, not usually :)
How has your relationship with your mom and the other women in your life influenced the way you're raising little Marlowe?
I have really wonderful memories growing up with my mom — special dates for french fries and being allowed to sneak out of bed past bedtime for snacks and movies — my mom (and grandmas too!) taught me that its those little moments that will matter most.
As Marlowe grows up into a young woman, and maybe a mom one day, what's the single most important thing you hope she learns from you?
I hope she knows to never doubts herself. She’s a badass creative and kind little human and she’s going to be able to do really powerful things — I hope she knows that she can and should always give herself permission to be truest self.
Are there any fun things you're working on now that you can share with us?
My cookbook, A Family Feast, just recently became available for pre-sale (exciting!). I have a few small ideas in the very beginning phases, otherwise I’m just looking forward to traveling more, growing more food, and celebrating my book once it’s released :)
If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you do?
Thats a tough one. We have tropical fruit farm dreams and small food shop dreams — but those are maybe, some day, probably never dreams though — so I’m really not sure. Hopefully something amazing ;)
Photos via ohdeardrea.blogspot.com