|Photo by Abigail Joyce Photography in Chicago. Hire her here!|
I’d like to take a post to reintroduce myself. I’m Marette Flora, the writer behind the Floradise blog. In the past several months I’ve worked on growing this space of mine, and it’s finally time to let any new readers know more about me.
Who is Marette Flora?
- What do I do for a living? I am a full-time editor for a commercial real estate research department. Fun stuff, huh? I also make side income from Floradise blog and freelance writing and editing.
- I went to Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. My focus was print journalism and I originally wanted to be a magazine writer. Most of my internships were at local magazines and newspapers.
- A couple of weeks after graduating from ASU, I was offered a full-time job at The Arizona Republic, the largest newspaper in Arizona. I held many positions and did many things during my nearly seven years there. I also met some of my closest friends there, including my maid of honor, Charlsy. There’s something about working in the newsroom under the most chaotic of circumstances that brings people together! Working there created some of my favorite memories and inside jokes.
- I created Floradise blog in 2009 when I was going through a tough time. I didn’t update it often. I would write a post maybe once a month, if that. I would write about things to do in Arizona. Going to new places and experiencing new things took my mind off my anxiety and depression I felt at the time, if only for a little while.
- I started running in 2011. I was still in a bad head space and I needed to break out of it. I could previously not run a mile without gasping for air and stopping to walk, but I signed up for Pat’s Run anyway. (Pat’s Run is a 4.2 mile race in Tempe, Arizona, that honors Pat Tillman.) Finishing that race gave me the boost of confidence I needed to make changes in my life and let go of toxic people and emotions. (See also: Running milestone: 500 miles)
- I met my husband Graham in 2010 at a friend’s going-away party. I was sitting alone at the food table (where else?) while everyone else was playing flip cup. We didn’t start dating until a year later when I was single again and finally making changes to get out of my funk. Our first dates included a camping trip to Fossil Creek, Arizona. We’ve had fun ever since!
- We got married in 2014 in Maui. It was absolutely perfect. (See also: Our wedding and reception at Gannon’s, Maui)
- I completed a 200-hour yoga-teacher training in 2013. I am still certified via the Yoga Alliance to teach yoga. Anyone want a free class?
- I moved to Chicago in March 2015 when my husband got a job here. I had never even visited the city before we packed up, sold, donated and shipped our belongings in just 10 days. It’s been a wild ride, but it’s also been a lot of fun.
- We have two dogs, Taylor and Capone. Taylor has traveled from Louisville to Phoenix and Phoenix to Chicago in the car, along with countless other road trips. She is the best travel dog and she loves to swim. Capone has also made long treks. Graham found Capone in 2011 after he had been abandoned and tied to a fence in the Phoenix heat. He hasn’t left Graham’s side since Graham gave him food and water. Literally, though, he always under our feet.
- Some of my favorite things: brunch (or dining out in general), baseball games, travel, doughnuts, my garden, Johnnyswim, Bravo, Mexican street corn, Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refreshers, hikes, camping — and have I mentioned food?
- I’ve always been a minimalist when it comes to makeup, and most of the time I forget to put on lipstick. But lately I’ve become obsessed with finding the best products and trying to improve my makeup looks. I hope to share more of the beauty products I love soon!
- Pet peeves: not using apostrophes, condescending tones, the follow-unfollow method people use on social media, speaking to someone who is clearly trying to read, and many more!