Dogs of the Blogs: Once Upon a Blog
There are some blogs that grab your attention the first time you visit. For me, Once Upon a Blog did just that and I haven’t looked away since.
In the over saturated world of living and style blogs, what makes me click through every time is the personality behind the screen. That’s exactly what you get with Julia Ralston.
With the likes of Google and Facebook on her CV, Julia is no stranger to the online world, yet her blog is reminiscent of (the impeccably stylish) girl next door.
Julia, and her adorable sidekick pup, American Bulldog Daphne, has crafted her corner of the internet to give you a direct insight into her style (on trend), travels (exotic), and everyday living (the perfect mix of aspirational and take home tips). This is one blog to bookmark.
Who: Julia and Daphne
Where: Once Upon a Blog
In A Nutshell: At first glance, it’s a fashion and lifestyle blog, but at heart, Once Upon a Blog is the story of me, my husband, and our dog, Daphne, as told through the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the places we go, and the people we know.
Why did you start blogging?
I spend most of my work day writing. I was previously an editor at a magazine, and now I focus on creating online content. I started blogging to keep up my writing outside of the office and also to work on other skills, like photography and design.
What is your most popular blog post or most favourite blog post to date?
My most popular post is A Man’s POV: Lululemon, written by my husband, who revealed his unexpected love for expensive yoga shorts. His posts are so popular that now he has his own section on the blog.
Tell us about Daphne…
Daphne is an American Bulldog who first won us over with her looks (I mean, have you seen that eye patch?) then with her sweet personality. She loves to cuddle and always wants to be right by our sides (or in our laps). Her motto is “I wanna be where the people are” (sung like Ariel in The Little Mermaid).
Describe Daphne in 3 words…
Entertaining. Model-material. Accident-prone (we spend a lot of time at the vet).
If Daphne was a superhero what would her name and power be?
Daphne already has a power: the ability to squeeze into the tiniest of spaces, such as the one free inch of the chair that I’m sitting in, the laps of unsuspecting visitors, or between me and my husband in bed—yes, this sixty-pound snuggler sleeps in the bed. She’s the Canine Contortionist.
How is Daphne involved in your blog?
When I first started blogging, I thought I’d include Daphne in the photos my husband takes of me for style posts, but it’s not easy get her to sit still in front of the camera. Instead, Daphne’s usually trying to chase a squirrel while my husband attempts to hold a leash, a camera, and oftentimes a wine glass (he’s very talented). Then, Daphne is always at my side—or in my chair with me—as I write each post.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
We’d cruise down the California coast and stop in Carmel, a beautiful, dog-friendly beach town. We’d go for a stroll in the sand and let Daphne play with the waves. On our way home, we’d stop at a roadside farm stand, plus a winery or two, and pick up fresh ingredients for dinner. After cooking up a healthy, Pinterest-inspired meal, the three of us would curl up on the couch and watch an episode (or ten) of Homeland.
What is your favourite blog/website and why?
I adore Into the Gloss, especially the Top Shelf series because I love getting to peek into other women’s beauty cabinets. I take notes like it’s college while I’m reading each post.
What is your #1 tip for other bloggers?
Get a dog! Wait, that tip is for everyone. Dogs make life better, so they’d probably make your blog better in some way, too. Another tip is something I’ve learned from my time working at Google, which is focus on the user—or in this case, the reader—and all else will follow.
Julia’s TOP 5 Pretty & Fluffy picks…
1. Anything from David Yurman. His pieces are beautiful, versatile, and my go-to accessories.
2. The sweet pictures from Daphne’s puppy photo session (pictured).
3. Tory Burch flats, which are cute enough to wear on a dinner date and comfy enough for walk around the block with Daphne (pictured).
4. Kiehl’s Cuddly-Coat Grooming Shampoo to keep Daphne looking pretty and fluffy (pictured).
5. Scented candles, especially the Capri Blue jars at Anthropologie. They’re kind of a must when you have a mud-loving mutt.