Welcome, y’all! I’m Steph, a retired beauty queen, proud dog mom of two, and traditional southern girl living in a midwestern world. I love Jesus, pairing champagne with Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust pizza, and binging on true crime documentaries. To give you a little bit about my background, I’m a born-and-raised Floridian with a heart for hospitality and an affinity for traditional southern living. I have a degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!), and I’m a self-proclaimed mega math nerd to my core. I started my blog, Diary of a Debutante, in 2012 as a means of documenting my year in the Miss America Organization, and in 2015, I left my actuarial day job to make it my full-time project.
Leaving my “grown-up” job in finance was a scary leap of faith, but I know it was the right move for me. I feel so blessed to do what I do, and I’m incredibly fortunate that I can do it from anywhere. Case in point, I was able to pack up my office and move to Columbia, Missouri with my fiancé Kyle in 2017. Adjusting to small-town life in the Midwest was tough at first, especially for me, but we’ve genuinely grown to love it. Plus, we’ve adopted two precious puppies named Nala and Nellie since the move, and they could honestly make anywhere feel like home.
As far as my content goes, you can expect to see a slew of budget-friendly style picks, beauty tutorials, and realistic, southern-inspired lifestyle hacks, from simple appetizer recipes to DIY home decor projects. I’m not a professional party planner, nor am I a renowned stylist, crafter, or master chef by any stretch; I just enjoy learning new things and getting to share them with y’all, too. I actually get most of my inspiration from popular lifestyle magazines like Magnolia Journal, Southern Living, Country Living, Better Homes and Gardens, and Good Housekeeping. So, if you’re a fan of theirs, you’ll hopefully enjoy poking around my blog a bit, too!
Most importantly, though, I’m a big advocate of transparency, and I speak openly about my struggles with mental illness. As the survivor of two severe eating disorders, my personal and professional mission is to promote mental health awareness through a variety of affordable fashion, realistic beauty, and healthy lifestyle topics. I know how intimidating and overwhelming social media can be these days– and I know how inadequate it makes me feel at times, so I’m committed to being as real and open with y’all as possible. I do use affiliate links on my blog when sharing items I love (read my full disclosure policy here), but I only promote products that I personally use and believe in.
Finally, I absolutely love hearing from you guys, and I’m always, always, always open to your comments, questions, and feedback. You can check out one of my favorite collaborations to date, which talks in detail about my blog and my mission, here on YouTube. You can also read more about my mission statement here. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Whether you have comments, questions, or concerns, I’d absolutely love to hear from you! Feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email to get in touch. I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP!
For media inquiries, please email [email protected]. I’d be happy to send over a media kit and pricing list as soon as I’m able. In the meantime, though, if you’d like to learn a little more about me, check out my collaboration opportunities and notable media mentions. I’m still pinching myself that I’ve actually been featured in some of my all-time favorite publications. That being said, if you’re working on any stories and think me or my content might be a good fit, I’m always happy to arrange an interview or provide high res imagery for media use (with influencer and photographer credit).
Look forward to chatting with you soon!
Photography by Catherine Rhodes