Ask Away Friday With DIY Mama

Today, I am really excited to be swapping questions for Ask Away Friday with Shelly from D.I.Y Mama. Shelly is a Disney expert, a D.I.Y and crafting fanatic, and really appears to enjoy life.  I adore reading her blog and really admire her style. See? How cute is that scarf?

DIY Mama

If you are new around here, Ask Away Friday is a weekly link up. 2  bloggers trade 10 questions and answer them on their blogs. It has been a really great way to get to know some of my favorite bloggers and to meet some new friends!



Do you practice what your blog title suggests? My great grandpa would always have dessert first and I’ve picked that up from him.

I don’t eat dessert first very often. I typically wait until the kids are in bed before I grab a treat from the kitchen, mostly because I don’t want to share. However if Malone comes to me while I’m cooking dinner and asks for a cookie before dinner, I indulge him from time to time.

 What are you most looking forward to this summer besides your blog conference? Any family travels?

This is the first summer where our travel plans are up in the air. We’ve had to move some things around and there isn’t a single trip (besides my conference) that is set in stone. We will spend some time on Cape Cod and head to Illinois to visit my family. We always head to Illinois during my hometown’s annual festival. Malone will ride carnival rides until his little heart is content and I’ll have a chance to catch up with friends. I live in a town of 2500 people and a lot of people come “home” for Town and Country Days.

Malone is turning five and Lola is turning one this summer. Both feel like a huge deal, although we don’t have any parties planned for them yet.

Instead of lavishing our kids with tons of gifts on their birthdays, our tradition has been to head to the local toy store and let them pick out their present (one thing). Malone LOVES doing this and it is so much fun to see his decision process. It is a special treat to get to go to the toy store, we don’t otherwise go. He has been chattering about a light saber but I have a feeling he’ll come home with something completely different.

 Your favorite post cracked me up! I can TOTALLY see myself doing that! What other blush inducing pregnancy stories do you have?

If you haven’t read that story, you need to read it! That really is my most embarrassing pregnancy moment!

 You mentioned you were headed to BlogU next week!! Exciting! Have you been to a conference before? What are you nervous and excited about?

I went to a mini event in Boston hosted by the SITS Girls a few weeks ago. I learned a TON in the few hours I was there. It also really affirmed that blogging and working in social media is what I want to do as a career. I don’t need to make millions, but I am taking myself a little bit more seriously.

I’m really excited about meeting a few of my favorite bloggers at BlogU. I’ve known Tamara forever…since before Scarlet and Malone were born. We live near each other and see each other from time to time.

But Michelle, Dana, Lisa, and Tara will also be there. They are some of my favorites, and I’m excited to meet them!

I’m hoping to come away from BlogU with some fresh perspective and new strategies to implement.

I am a bit nervous about how things at home will be since I’m not taking either kid with me. I know Mike is nervous about it too. He’s especially worried about Lola, who is day weaned, but up once or twice at night to nurse.

The only East coast city I’ve been to is NYC. What about your town would encourage me to come out East again?

Holyoke is really charming. I live in a really old neighborhood full of Victorian homes.

It also has a great Children’s Museum, the Volleyball Hall Of Fame, and some spectacular hiking.

 What musician do you love that you think you could totally hang out with and get along with after their concert?

NKOTB. I loved them as a kid and I love them now. I’m sure they would likely be up to all sorts of sin that I likely wouldn’t want to be a part of, but I’d still go along for the ride. My grandmother called me recently to tell me she saw them on the Today Show. Her exact words were “my… they’ve ripened well, haven’t they?”. She’s adorable. And she’s right. SWOON.

 Have you ever been skiing (on the snow or water), zip lining or bungee jumping? If not, would you ever do any of these?

Yes to all of the above, I’ve done them at least once. I am an adventure lover. Michael on the other hand, is a lover of safety. He will walk 3/4 of a block just so he can cross at the crosswalk. Meanwhile, I’m the one who is totally stepping out to see if they cars will stop so we can jaywalk and save a bit of time.

 Without picking up, what does your blogging space look like? What do you want to change about your space?

I keep my desk fairly clean because I my brain doesn’t function well with a lot of clutter around. I get to distracted by the piles of things that need to be organized. My desk is right in the middle of our main “hub” and in between the kitchen and the living room.

We live on the second floor of an old Victorian home. All of our rooms are near each other and I can vacuum our entire space from one plug. If I could change anything about my writing space, it would be that I had dedicated office that was AWAY from the noise. I really love to hear myself think while I write and there aren’t too many hours of the day where someone isn’t making noise. Even at night after the kids go to bed, I can still hear Michael watching TV in the living room.

More often than not though, my blog space is at a coffee shop. I usually sneak away on Saturday mornings to get as much writing as possible done.

 Finish this sentence. Sometimes, when no one is watching, I _______.

Sometimes, when no one is watching, I take a selfie. I have an iPhone full of selfies. They mostly involve the kids and I. I don’t have a ton of pictures of my childhood with both my mom and I in them. Likely, because she was behind the camera. I want my kids to know that I was there with them playing, painting, and having fun!

 What’s something you or your husband did as a child that you want to make sure your kids get to experience?

Mike grew up on the beaches of Cape Cod. He is a 4th generation Cape Codder and if we lived there, Malone and Lola would be 5th generation. His family line goes back to some of the original families on the Cape. His parents built a small modest house 3/4 a mile from the beach and Mike went there almost everyday in the summer.

We both want our kids to have memories of swimming in Cape Cod Bay, walking to the beach down the bike path, and running across hot sand when the ice cream truck comes by.

Cape Cod holds a huge piece of our history and we’re looking forward spending another summer there this summer. Mike and Malone are headed there this weekend to help his 93 year old grandmother move to a new house. We will spend the long weekend around 4th of July there and likely take a full week in late July or early August there too.

Shelly had great questions for me this week! Make sure you head over to DIY Mama now to read her answers to my questions!


  1. 1

    Echo says

    Ok, I am so totally jealous that you got to hang with Tamara and her awesome kids! I so wish I could attend BlogU! Perhaps, I will be there next year!
    Echo recently posted..Almost Wordless Wednesday!My Profile

  2. 2

    Tiffany says

    I always have a blast coming by to visit you NJ! I totally have an underpants story but it was a bit more embarrassing…LOL The things we go through as preggos :D
    Tiffany recently posted..3 Flights, 2 1/2 Kids and 1 Act of AppreciationMy Profile

  3. 3

    Nancy says

    Your underwear story still cracks me up. Maybe we’ll see you this summer…we’ll be there last week of July through the first week of August.
    Nancy recently posted..The Lazy Cinnamon Bun.My Profile

  4. 4

    Rea says

    Victorian houses are so adorable! I just love looking at them. I’m an adventure lover too and I’m dying to try bungee jumping and skydiving! :)

  5. 5

    Carol Graham says

    Blog U? I’m intrigued. Let us know everything you learn! Love the old Victorian homes with all the nooks and crannies. Great pregnancy laugh.
    Carol Graham recently posted..#AskAwayFriday with April Grant of 100lb CountdownMy Profile

  6. 6

    Lisa @ The Golden spoons says

    Great questions! Love that preggo story, too! I hated maternity underpants. Actually, I just hated being pregnant all three times. But, the results were worth it! :-) Can’t wait for BlogU – one week from today, we’ll be hanging out together!!! Squeeeee!!!!!
    Lisa @ The Golden spoons recently posted..Summer Bucket List 2014 {Tuesday Ten Linkup}My Profile

  7. 7

    Beth @ Structure in an Unstructured Life says

    Love that you admitted to eating dessert after your kids are in bed because you don’t want to share – I am the EXACT same way! Haha! And just yesterday I impulse bought sugar cookies at the store on my way to pick the kiddos up and we had one when we got home!
    And it never amazes me how much alike we are – it seems every single week I find something else we have in common! This week – both NKotB fans, and my desk is also fairly neat and sits in between our kitchen and living room. And we live in an old house, too – just in the midwest instead of the east coast!
    I take a lot of selfies with the kids, for the same reason you mentioned. I want my kids to have pictures with me in them, instead of always being behind the camera.
    Have an awesome weekend, NJ!
    Beth @ Structure in an Unstructured Life recently posted..My Non-Adventurous Adventures, NKotB, and Even a Poem!My Profile

  8. 8

    Jenny says

    Such a great idea to have your kids pick out one toy for their birthday. I always feel like we get too much of what my son doesn’t want. I’m going to have to steal that one.oh, Cape Cod…so beautiful. To be a native of such an amazing place must be thrilling. I’m excited because I’m taking a vacation day on Monday just so I can blog. nine plus hours of writing and planning. I’m going to be in heaven! I’ll be at Blog U next year, fingers crossed!
    Jenny recently posted..I Know Where I’m GoingMy Profile

  9. 9

    April says

    Loved your underwear story and it seems to be a common occurrence in this house lately (it’s a good thing!) My sister was invited to go to Cape Cod and turned it down. I was highly disappointed, granted I wasn’t going to go. LOL! My grandma always had a bite or two of her dessert before dinner. It was great!
    April recently posted..Pet Peeves that Drive Me Crazy! #AskAwayFriday with Carol {Battered Hope}My Profile

  10. 10

    Shelly says

    Lovely answers NJ! I loved swapping with you and finding out a little more about you. My grandma used to take me once/year for a Mental Health Day where she’d let me pick out a toy and an outfit and it was really special to me. I love that you do that for your kids! I’m excited for them to experience Cape Cod as well! I hope you have so much fun at Blog U meeting up with current friends and meeting new friends! Can’t wait to hear about it! (For real, I want to hear about it!)
    Shelly recently posted..# Ask Away Friday with NJ || A Cookie Before DinnerMy Profile

  11. 11

    Uplifting Families says

    We have been allowing our kids to pick out their own birthday present for the last several years. it is fun letting them go wild and letting them choose their own toys. This year my youngest picked out Chutes and Ladders and a bowling set. For the older kids we usually set a certain budget and they can get what they want within the set budget.
    My youngest we still can get away with spending less money on him and he is still satisfied. :)
    Uplifting Families recently posted..#ASKAWAYFriday with Tia from Becomin NeuroticMy Profile

  12. 12

    lisacng @ says

    Wow, you are adventurous!! Funny that your hubs is complete opposite and walks 3/4 block to get to a crosswalk :). Now I’m so sad I won’t be at BlogU because you and Tamara will be there!
    lisacng @ recently posted..I’m a firecracker and shallow: #AskAwayFriday with Sarah from Beauty School DropoutMy Profile

  13. 13

    Tamara says

    Oh, that picture! Scarlet was wearing that ladybug girl costume that surely has plenty of good valley germs in it!
    Our summer is up in the air a bit, because I’m feeling sobby about kindergarten and I want to drink up time with Scarlet, but BlogU and Cape Cod are solid, set in stone. And mine are turning two and five. WAH!
    Tamara recently posted..What Will Blogging Be Like In 100 Years?My Profile

  14. 14

    Bev says

    For several summers when I was growing up we spent our summer family vacation on the Cape. I’m really looking forward to doing it again for the first time with my little family AND my parents and husband’s parents. I would love to make it an annual tradition with Eve. And if I ever have the money, I would love to own a little cottage over there. And I’m going to check out your pregnancy post!
    Bev recently posted..Lida Brooke Designs: An Interview with Maker Lida BrookeMy Profile

  15. 15

    Stacey Gannett says

    OH NJ, the underwear story is amazing! The things we mom’s go through! LOL! I would so love to have grown up on the beach, that would be wonderful for the kids, too! You hometown festival sounds wonderful! We have one, too, that we used to go to, but it just got too expensive. Isn’t it funny how those bands from our childhood do seem to “ripen” well! LOL! Have a great week, NJ!
    Stacey Gannett recently posted..#AskAwayFriday With Lisa from The Golden Spoons!My Profile


  1. […] click on the Content Brew badge in my right sidebar. Fun questions NJ! I’m excited to see your answers to my questions!! Anyone have ideas on how to style that giant nightstand? What about experience […]

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