Q & A WITH MACKENZIE DEONIGI

Mackenzie

This post has been a long time coming, so I think it’s safe to say that I’m more than excited to share it with you guys! For a little background knowledge, Mackenzie and I met on Instagram and instantly clicked after realizing many similarities between the two of us. We each had a child at a young age, grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and enjoy a lot of the same activities. I had recently started blogging during this time, and was later introduced to Mackenzie’s blog, Keeping Up With Kale. We agreed on the idea that it would be so much fun to collaborate on a post together – bringing me here! Mackenzie, better known as one of the fan favorites from season 19 of “The Bachelor,” is one of the sweetest and most down to earth girls I’ve ever met. So, in honor of ABC’s season 20 of “The Bachelor” kick starting yet another new love adventure, let’s get to know a more personal side of Mackenzie through Love Kaila’s exclusive Q & A interview below!

Q: From what I’ve seen through social media, as well as on “The Bachelor,” it’s obvious that you’re an amazing mother to your son, Kale! What’s your favorite part about being a mom?

A: My favorite part about being a mom is having the ability to watch something that I created grow, learn, and become his own person. It’s truly incredible, and I am so fortunate to have a son who makes life that much more fun and enjoyable. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Q: Kale is such a unique name! Is there a special meaning or story behind it?

A: My best friend actually named Kale. She heard it one day at the grocery store, and asked what I thought of it. Turns out, I loved it! Then I looked up the meaning which is “faithful,” and it had me sold. His middle name is James, which is named after my brother, as well as Kale’s dad’s brother!

Q: You have a spectacular talent for painting that not many people know about! What got you into art, and is there anything specific that you love to paint?

A: My mom paints for a living, and compared to her, my work is crap. But thank you, that really made me feel good! My mom had always bought me my own paints while growing up, which is what got me started. I really like painting with watercolors because of the way the colors blend together. It gives the picture movement. I’m also really into painting sea-animals and pretty much anything involving water.

Q: In your opinion, what’s the hardest part about being a young mom? What’s the best part?

A: The main thing I don’t like about being a young mom is the fact that I’m not married. When I first got pregnant I was still in college and just two years into getting my bachelor’s degree. I still haven’t gone back. It’s something that has really been weighing on me, since becoming a mom at a young age did take a toll on plans I have for the future. I know it’s possible to eventually accomplish what I want to do, I just need to find a healthy balance. Another thing that really bothers me about being a young mom is going out in public with Kale and being questioned by complete strangers if Kale is mine, and how old I am. I personally don’t think it’s appropriate for strangers to approach you and ask that.

On a lighter note, a positive thing about being a young mom is the fact that I feel I have a lot of extra energy to keep up with Kale throughout the day, compared to having him at an older age. I occasionally go hiking with him on my back, float the river, and participate in various other activities with him. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only mom at the playground who’s willing (and has enough energy) to go on all of the silly toys with their child.

At the same time, it’s important to remember that every mom is different no matter the age. I’m sure there are moms out there who are ten years older than me, doing the same activities as Kale and I! I do have to add, WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE REALLY READY TO HAVE A BABY!

Q: We all know you were on ABC’s previous season of “The Bachelor” (my all time favorite show). Were you satisfied with your experience on the show, and is it something you were glad you went through with in the end?

A: I did enjoy the experience I had on The Bachelor! It was a once in a life time opportunity, so I couldn’t pass it up. My best friend nominated me, and I never thought that I would actually get on the show. I have to admit, I was a little bummed when I found out it was Chris Soules. I was really hoping for someone else! But, I figured that I was there for a reason, and maybe Chris was it! Instead, I came out of the experience with some great friendships. We all have this crazy adventure in common which is something I can’t share with anyone else. Staying in the Bachelor Mansion, traveling, getting to dress up, and living life in the spotlight for a while is something I will never forget. The only aspect of participating in The Bachelor that really aggravated me is how I was portrayed on the show. I feel like I was shown as someone way too young to find love, immature, and weird! I would never actually talk about noses and aliens on a first date. After having it all blow over, and thinking back on how things actually went while filming, I was satisfied with the experience.

Q:You’re quite the fashionista! Yourself, as well as your son Kale, are always sporting the most stylish outfits! What is your go-to place to shop?

A: I am so flattered, thank you! I usually shop at Nordstrom, Guess, Target, Saboskirt (online), and sometimes even random thrift stores. I get all of Kale’s clothes from H&M, Target, and Fred Myer.

mack

Q: The age difference between you and Chris on ABC’s “The Bachelor” seemed to be a bit of an issue for some viewers and even contestants. Do you think age really plays that big of a role in a relationship, and if so, why or why not?

A: When I was living in The Bachelor mansion, I absolutely hated being the youngest. I felt constantly judged, and in the beginning, some of the girls would even harass me and question my intentions for being there. My parents are 20 years apart and got married when my mom was 21, so I never really thought it was a big deal. I was surprised with how many people it bothered on the show. If you want to be with an older guy, and the feeling is mutual, then I say to go for it! After getting to know the girls better, the ones who bugged me about my age ended up apologizing to me and we became friends.

Q: Your Jeep Wrangler is to die for! Would you consider it to be your dream vehicle?

A: I have always wanted a Jeep, and before my dad died, he talked about wanting to buy me a newer car. We had been searching for months for the perfect vehicle. He ended up dying before we could find anything, so my mom stepped in and finished the car shopping with me. We came across the Jeep at one of my friend’s auto shops, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I feel like I’m driving a toy or something! It suits my lifestyle perfectly.

Q: If you had one piece of advice you could share with other young moms, or just mothers in general, what would it be?

A: The greatest piece of advice I could give to mothers would be to FIND A BALANCE. It’s obviously super important to be a mommy who’s around for your baby, but you also have to make time for yourself! Don’t give up on your dreams. You are completely capable of being a great mom, all while going to work, hanging out with friends, and reaching your goals.

Q: I love all the pictures you share of Kale on your Instagram. He looks like he’s growing up so quickly! Which “stage” of his life has been your favorite so far, and what did you like most about it?

A: Kale is currently in the “terrible two” stage, however this has been my absolute favorite so far! He walks, talks, swims, and his personality is shining brighter than ever! I love spending time with him.

Q: What got you started down the path of becoming a dental assistant?

A: I went to school originally to be a hygienist and unfortunately didn’t make the cut to get into the program. They recommended that I get experience assisting in a dental office beforehand, and then I would have a better chance at getting in. So, I found a job doing sterilization, eventually moved to front desk, and am now assisting. I plan on going back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree, and hope to go into dental sales.

Q: Your blog, “Keeping Up With Kale,” is a great read. Do you have a preference on what you typically like to focus on as far as writing?

A: I originally wanted to do fashion blogging until I realized that the title I chose for my page could be very misleading. I’ve had a lot of fun writing about “Kale and mommy” topics, but have recently changed things up by adding a few new sections to the page!

Q: Chris’s season of “The Bachelor” had quite the group of ladies! Did you have any crazy or funny moments you can share with us that weren’t seen on TV?

A: Something you didn’t see on The Bachelor was how often I cried! Going back to media portrayals, Ashley was totally made out to be the girl who cried over everything. I feel like I cried just as much as she did! Maybe that’s why we clicked so well. I had a meltdown probably every single day over being away from Kale. You can’t have your phone when you’re there so I had to schedule Face Time dates with him. Another thing you didn’t see was more in depth into my first date with Chris. It was actually very long and we made great conversation! I told him about my dad’s passing, and he opened up to me about his family too. Chris also gave me a water color painting of the two of us on a farm with a jar of kale (before he even knew about my son being named Kale)! Oh, and I would never actually talk about aliens or noses on a first date. One last thing that you didn’t see was when Megan and I put on face masks, and snuck up on the girls to scare them! Everyone was screaming, it was so funny.

Q: Washington, where you’re from, is full of plenty of things to do outdoors, while also possessing an equal amount of city life to experience. Would you consider yourself to be more of a country girl, or do you prefer the city?

A: I’m definitely a mix of country and city. I have to be surrounded by nature, water, and especially mountains. A big yard and garden are a must. At the same time, I love shopping way too much, so it’s ideal to live somewhere with a mall or downtown area nearby.

Q: What was your initial reaction when you found out you were pregnant, and how did you handle it?

A: When I first found out I was pregnant, I was shocked and nowhere near prepared. I tried ignoring it, and didn’t tell anyone until after I was about four months along. Even then did I only decide to tell a few people. I developed a form of depression and told myself I wouldn’t be able to raise this baby. Thankfully, I pulled through, and decided I could do this. I’m so glad I did! I’ve never been so in love. Going through that experience completely changed my views on abortion as well. Motherhood is amazing, but can also be very difficult, so wait until you’re ready!

Q: Life can change extravagantly after having a baby. Is there anything you miss about life before Kale?

A: Honestly, I try not to think about life before Kale or a life in which I didn’t have him!

Q: You’re gorgeous, and your makeup always looks flawless! Do you have any special tips or tricks you can share with us on staying beautiful?

A: Thank you! I truly wish I had more confidence in the way I look, and it’s actually something I’ve been working on. With that being said, I think I could use a few special tips and tricks myself!

Q: I’m sure you get this comment a lot, but you don’t even look like you had a baby! Were you one of those mamas who just “bounced back,” or do you have a fitness routine you incorporate into your daily activity?

A: Okay, look who’s talking! But no, I didn’t do anything fitness related after having Kale. It was totally weird because I gained almost 60 pounds throughout my pregnancy, and around two weeks later I was pretty much back to my pre-pregnancy weight! My bubble butt deflated and my hips got a lot wider too! My body has definitely changed, but that’s all I really noticed. I also decided that I should probably get a boob job because it’s like they’re so flat they’re almost sucked into my chest…and I’m only half way kidding.

Q: You seem like the type of person who does it all! From hiking, to painting, working, to blogging – your interests and hobbies are all across the board. Is there anything else you really enjoy doing that most people may not know about?

A: I’m a water junkie! If you follow me on any of my social media accounts you may already know this, but I’m completely obsessed with anything water related. Floating the river, boating, wake boarding, paddle boarding (that’s a big one), snorkeling, shell hunting, even mermaids, you name it. I grew up on the water so it’s always been something I’ve loved. It’s funny because Kale already loves being on the water too. Another thing is that I also really like helping raise money for local charities around Seattle. I try to participate in at least one charity event each year.

And that’s a wrap! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below. If you enjoyed this Q & A as much as Mackenzie and I did, be sure to “follow” Love Kaila from the button in the upper drop down menu!

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