It’s been a weird week. Because of that, you all get two Chronic Coffee Chat posts today! In this one, we’re talking with Ivy of Perfectly Ambitious. Let’s meet her!
My name is Ivy and I’m currently living in East Alabama, but I was born and raised in South Florida. I married my high school sweetheart turned U.S. Sailor and we have three amazing fur babies together.
In the last year or so, I went from 6 diagnosis to 18: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Astigmatism, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Anxiety, Depression, Lupus, IBS, Sleep Apnea, CREST, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Sinusitis, Chronic Tonsillitis, Restrictive Lung Disease, Lung Nodules, Dysautonomia, Eye Toxicity, and Hepatic Steatosis. It’s not easy, but I’m making it work!
Being the perfectly ambitious woman that I am, I’m always up to something. Right now, I run two blogs, two online shops, and I’m working on four different books (3 fiction, 1 non-fiction). In my spare time, I love to read books and binge watch supernatural shows on Netflix! Oh and cuddle with my animals, of course!
If you’re interested on finding me online, I’ve got lots of links to share with you!
Perfectly Ambitious: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Bloglovin‘ | Google+ | Pinterest
Ivy Cirillo Books: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Bloglovin‘ | Goodreads
Shops: Perfectly Ambitious Shop | Fiverr Shop
Q: So, Perfectly Ambitious is not actually your first blog. Can you tell us a little bit about your blogging journey and how you came to be a spoonie blogger?
A: Definitely! Perfectly Ambitious is, in fact, my second blog. A few years ago, I started the blog Darling Distractions to discuss all of my favorite hobbies and the things that I loved. A few months in, I realized that I just didn’t have the time or energy to focus on a blog and I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I thought I could make a quick buck and I was clearly mistaken!
After a few years had passed, I started gaining diagnosis and I wasn’t feeling too great. I ended up having to quit school and work and I spent all of my time at home, bored out of my mind. I had started sharing my story on Instagram and one of my followers introduced me to the spoonie community. From there, I checked out her blog and some of the ones that she recommended. That’s when I decided that I wanted to start a new one!
Q: I’ve seen quite a few book posts on your blog! Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, too. Do you have a favorite book, or are you a “I like them all” kind of person?
A: If reading is one of your favorite hobbies, then you’ve got a lot of book reviews to look forward to! I recently started an author site for myself and I now post 4-5 book reviews a month between the two of them! As for my favorite book, that’s a hard one! I’m definitely not a fan of everything I read, but I do have favorites for different stages of my life. Currently, they look like this:
– Early Childhood: Blessings Every Day by Carla Barnhill
– Childhood: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
– Middle School: Indigo Blue by Cathy Cassidy
– High School: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
– College: The Bones Season by Samantha Shannon
– Currently: Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Q: Your a photographer, and you’re obviously #TeamNikon. (I’m #TeamCanon !) Do you have any tips for bloggers wanting to take better photos?
A: Yes! I actually wrote a guest post on this once and these were the tips that I shared: use natural lighting, take more than one picture, keep the background simple, reflect the light back onto your subjects, and adjust your exposure. Even after a year, I still stand by each and every one of these tips!
And for the bloggers that just can’t seem to get the hang of it, that’s ok too! There are plenty of photographers and bloggers out there that will help you with this! In fact, I have recently started working on my own set of stock photos to sell to bloggers and I know a couple of my blogger friends do this too!
Q: What’s the main message you hope readers take away from your blog?
A: When I first started this blog, I had two main focuses in mind: 1. to help share my chronic illness story & raise awareness for those outside of the spoonie community and 2. to let women know that it’s ok to be perfectly ambitious!
As someone that was born relatively healthy and grew up without a medical hitch, I was taught that anyone different was less than. It doesn’t mean it’s true or that’s what I believed, but that’s what I was taught. So after learning that I had medical issues and very little support, it became clear to me just how much needs to change in our society. I want my blog to bring hope to those in similar situations, while also working towards ending the stigma against physical and mental illnesses.
Not only that, but many people struggle with finding their purpose in life because they’re conditioned to think that it can only be one thing, but that’s just not the case! You can have tons of hobbies and even multiple businesses and that’s perfectly ok! If you want to be a photographer, a blogger, and a jewelry designer, then that’s what you should do! Yes, that might be too much for other people to handle, but you know what you’re capable of, so don’t let anyone talk you out of it!
Thank you to Ivy for joining us today! It was a great chat, and we learned some great tips about photography— plus who doesn’t love some good book recommendations? As always, check the #chroniccoffeechat hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for occasional bonus content.