It can often seem that the life of the Instagram influencer is one of sun, sand, sea and infinity pools, but for Herefordshire-based Lauren McDermott, inspiration is closer to home

You’ve been writing your blog for over five years. What prompted you to start a blog initially?

Hereford Times: Home is where the heart is for Lauren McDermottHome is where the heart is for Lauren McDermott

I always remember the exact date that I pressed publish on my blog because it was in my final days of pregnancy with our son Ollie, in July 2015.

I'd just started maternity leave and didn't really know what to do with myself so it felt like the perfect time to take the leap.

I remember being very nervous before launching it, almost a little bit exposed.

I worried what people would think, particularly my friends and family who didn't really understand what a 'blog' was back in those days.

I really believe that it's one of the best decisions I've made though, I'm so glad that I shrugged all those fears away.

What did your life look like when you began the blog?

It's actually been a pretty busy five years now that I'm looking back.

At the time, I was Regional Sales Manager for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, for whom I still work in a different capacity.

Colin, my now husband, and I were living in Cheshire as my role then covered most of the UK, Ireland and Scotland, so Cheshire was a perfect spot for that.

Hereford Times: The county offers a wealth of photo opportunitiesThe county offers a wealth of photo opportunities

We already had our eldest son, my wonderful stepson, but the littlest two were yet to arrive. I don't think I really appreciated just how much life would change once Ollie arrived.

We quickly realised that living in Cheshire we were in the middle of everything but close to nobody.

We missed our family and friends, which is what prompted our move closer to Wales, to beautiful Herefordshire.

At the time there was a chance the move was another temporary one, but it's safe to say that this beautiful county and the people here stole our hearts pretty quickly.

How has life changed? And at what point did you realise how successful Hunters and Heels had become? The point at which you realised it was now your career?

I think that the true measure of success is happiness, and whilst there have been (and will continue to be) many ups and downs along the way, I know that my blog has brought me a great deal of happiness.

From the wonderful friendships I've found, to the amazing opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

The most important of all being the ability to work flexibly around my family, I'm just so grateful for that every day.

How long have you lived in Herefordshire?

It's been four years now and we are still discovering it and falling more in love with it every day! It's the UK's best kept secret isn't it?

Hereford Times: Lauren McDermottLauren McDermott

Some of my friends who've lived here all their lives laugh at me when I say that but it really does blow me away with its gorgeousness!

How much of an inspiration is where you live to what you’re doing?

It's a huge inspiration, not just for content but for so much of life. I didn't grow up in the countryside, but I'm so grateful that my boys get to.

Hereford Times: Herefordshire is proving a great place to raise the familyHerefordshire is proving a great place to raise the family

I love how we see the seasons here. The blossom covered orchards in spring, wild poppy fields in summer and I don't think you can beat Symonds Yat in the autumn. We love the food and drink culture in Herefordshire too, we've lived in lots of lovely places but never anything as lovely as this, and its really fun sharing a bit of it with my friends online.

Tell us about your family .... Do they feature in the blog?

They do, they're my world so I can't imagine not featuring them.

I’m very conscious about what I share about our children, and their privacy, but they are my definitely my little muses.

I'm sure they will gradually feature less as they grow older.

That's the case with our eldest who's now in high school. He'll have his own Instagram soon and I want to make sure I don't cramp his style.

Why did you recently change your blog name from Hunters & Heels to By Lauren McDermott?

It was my husband who came up with the name Hunters & Heels (Hunters as in the boots!) as a kind of jokey name for my Instagram many years ago and it stuck. Occasionally people in the street would say "Oh it's Hunters!" which was funny.

Hereford Times: Beautiful landscapes are a regular feature of Lauren's Instagram feedBeautiful landscapes are a regular feature of Lauren's Instagram feed

I think for a while though, I just wanted to have my name, so around New Year I decided to take the plunge and change it.

I think/hope ByLaurenMcDermott is a bit more grown up and hopefully I can't get bored of my own name, surely....

What's the best thing about being a blogger?

You know it's funny I still don’t really call myself a “blogger”, not only because my poor blog has been a little neglected of late, but also because I tend to think of it more as “sharing stuff” online.

A lot of the time I’m simply sharing places, experiences, thoughts and products with this big group of friends who share similar tastes to me. It’s lovely!

One of my favourite things about that is the knowledge that I might have inspired someone to do something, go somewhere or bring an item into their life that brings them joy.

It's lovely hearing that people have been really happy with my recommendations.

What advice would you offer someone who thought they’d like to give it a try?

Oh my goodness – "Go For It!!". The space online feels almost limitless, there's room for everyone.

My advice would be to stay true to yourself and share what brings you joy, like-minded people will find you, it's quite amazing really how it works.

What does the future hold for ByLaurenMcDermott?

Oh who knows what the future holds. I do feel, like many people I'm sure, that this last difficult and unprecedented year has taught me a lot.

We have been very fortunate in the grand scheme of things, but it's felt pretty hectic balancing home schooling and working from home at times, and a lot of plates had to get dropped.

So the prospect of having more time to dedicate to my work is actually quite exciting. So let's wait and see....