It is time once again for #AskAwayFriday! Ask Away Friday is a great new link up! In a nutshell, you trade 10 questions with another blogger and answer them on Friday. It has been really fun to get to know a few of the bloggers I read better!

The Real Housewife of Caroline County

This week, I swapped questions with Jodi from The Noise Of  Boys. Jodi is a new friend who offers a lot of fun product reviews and shares glimpses of her daily life with two adorable noisy boys!

Noise Of Boys

I asked Jodi some really great questions so be sure to click over to her blog and read her answers. And, follow her through any one of the social media links below!

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Jodi asked…

1.    What type of non-blogging things do you enjoy?

I love to read, listen to podcasts, and sit in community with other women (think dinner with girlfriends or a play date). I also really love thrifting. This yellow sweater onesie Lola is rocking is my latest score.

Lola SweaterThe pastor of the new church we’ve been attending has been preaching some rocking sermons lately. JUST once I’d love to sit through an entire one before I have to step out to nurse or hush a screaming Lola. Her nap schedule just doesn’t QUITE line up with the times of the service.

2.    Pick a movie, book or song title that describes your life.

I’m going to go with what came in off the top of my head. Go the F*ck To Sleep (book) and Sunny Day (from Sesame Street).

3.    Did you venture out shopping on Black Friday? Have you begun holiday shopping?

Our holidays are pretty low key. Most of the gifts we give to our family members are handmade and typically consumable. We are going out on Black Friday to get Mike a few new pairs of jeans at Old Navy (the entire store is 50% off). Typically, we go to at least a store or two every year. We head out around 5:00 am and are home by 8:00 am. It seems to be a good window to be out. All of the hard core crazies have finished and gone home. The not serious shoppers are still sleeping. We haven’t ever encountered huge crazy crowds at this time.

4.    Where do you see your blog in the next year?

I have some really fun things planned for 2014 and the blog. They’re all in the beginning stages. 2014 is going to be a year of growth for me, I hope.

5.    Do you make resolutions? Do you have any that you are thinking of for 2014?

I don’t usually make resolutions, but typically I set goals. My only goal for 2013 was to organize and back up the photos on our desktop. It didn’t really get started, so I’m going to make it my goal for 2014 too.

6.    What is your least favorite household chore?

I HATE doing the dishes, but I do them at least twice a day. My husband is around in the evenings and could  help with the after dinner dishes. But he works full time and I’d rather him spend that time with the kids.

7.    Share one thing you thought you would never do as parent, but changed after actually having kids?

Co sleep. Malone was a very difficult infant. He was generally unhappy most of the time. If he wasn’t nursing, he was crying. He never napped for more than 25 minutes and his sleep at night was horrific. We ended up pulling him into bed with us when he was 4 months old for sheer survival reasons. He and my husband still are co sleeping together, they both love it so there is no need to try to “fix” something that isn’t broken.

Lola is a completely different child when it comes to sleep. I don’t think we’ll co sleep with her. At 3 months old, she’s already sleeping through the night.

8.    You have an infant and a toddler, How do you find time to blog?

Malone is 4 and Lola is 3 months. I typically post three days a week here at A Cookie Before Dinner. I also write for a local cloth diaper and linen service company called Simple Diaper And Linen. There, I am under contract to post three times a week. So across two blogs I am committed to a minimum of 3000 words a week.

I am working really hard to blog like a horse with blinders on so the time I do invest is really fruitful. I try to keep a running topic list bank for both blogs in my blogging notebook so when I come to the computer to write, half of the work is already done (figuring out what to write about).

Otherwise, I steal the leftover moments of my day and I very rarely hit publish the same day I write something. I am my creative best in the morning, when the house is quiet. I get up at 4:30 everyday to get the bulk of my writing done before Malone wakes up at 6:00 am.

I have two standing coffee shop writing dates with myself a month. During that time, I  work on behind the scenes projects (like my recently revamped about me page) and refill my idea banks. I don’t have a hard and fast editorial calendar. I tried it, and it didn’t work well for me.

9.    What is your favorite social media tool for blogging? Least favorite?

For the “work” of blogging, the Voxer app for my iPhone is hands down my favorite. It is a walkie talkie style app that allows you to send and receive voice, picture, or text messages without calling someone.

I am connected on there with a handful of bloggers and I’ve done a lot of micro masterminding with them.It is great because if I have a minute, I can send a message saying “hey, I’m thinking about doing this. What do you think?”  We use it to hold each other accountable on timetables for goals. And we chat about real life too. It is amazing.

Voxer also has a really cool “message to self” option where I can record things and come back to my words later. I use this often to draft at times when I can’t be at the computer.

I also utilize Buffer to schedule social media and draft a lot in Evernote. I love Evernote because I can draft on my iPhone while I’m nursing the baby and then come back to my notes on my computer later. All of the work I do there saves across whatever platform I’m using it on.

My least favorite social media outlet is my Facebook Fan page because the algorithms they use are so wonky and it seems like at least 75% of my posts aren’t ever seen.

My favorite social outlet is Instagram. By far. I need to tell my story with words and photos and Instagram allows me to share both. I’ve recently started a meme there called my #morningview where I try to share whatever is happening in my world at 7:30 am.  You can find me on Instagram here.


10.  Congrats you won the lotto!  What’s next for you and your family?

Oh how I dream of this happening. Really. I do. We’re calling an investment adviser to make sure we’ve got a solid plan in place to set ourselves and generations to come up for success through wise choices. We’re funding higher education for our kids and my nephew. We’re paying off our debt. We’re buying (or building) a house.  I’m finishing my college degree. I am already doing what I love, blogging and raising a family. However, if given the financial resources I would totally hire a part time nanny for a few afternoons a week so I could write uninterrupted.