Ask Away Friday with Jodi from The Noise Of Boys

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 Sweater The 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.


  1. 1

    The Real Housewife of Caroline County says

    I’m with you on the dishes! Thank you for joining us and Happy Thanksgiving!
    The Real Housewife of Caroline County recently posted..#AskAwayFriday Week 17 with Mrs. AOK!!My Profile

  2. 3

    Sarah says

    Thanks so much for connecting me to this fun ay to blog. I loved it!! Can’t wait to ask you my questions.
    Sarah recently posted..#Ask Away FridayMy Profile

  3. 5

    Michelle says

    You mentioned the coffee shop…that is my favorite place to write! I get so much more done there than at home. I need to go more often!
    Michelle recently posted..#AskAwayFriday with Stevie from Joy in the Midst ofMy Profile

    • 6

      NJ says

      I’m a huge fan of writing at Panera. I treat myself to a little something from the bakery if I hit my goal for that day (whatever it was). I love the quiet and the fact that I’m not interrupted!

  4. 7

    The Dose of Reality says

    Oh, that onsie with those itty bitty leg warmers? ADORBS!!!
    My goal is to organize and back up all of my online photos, too! I can never find the picture I’m looking for when I need them and I could be devastated if anything happened to them. I’ve got to get that done this year!!
    Your sleeping story was just like mine!! I never thought I’d co-sleep, but we had to do it with Bobby back in the day or none of us would have slept at all. It is just what worked for us! Then Lucy came along, and she didn’t like co-sleeping. She’s wanted her own space from the beginning. Go figure!! :D
    Loved this Ask Away Friday!! It was so much fun!! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Pinterest Nightmare #228: The Best of Black Friday 2013My Profile

    • 8

      NJ says

      Lola has quite the stash of leg warmers. Malone also has HIS OWN set. But that sweater onesie is one of my favorites so far! I just wish the size match up was for a warmer time, but I’ll deal! That is so fun that our kids are parallel with their sleep!

  5. 9

    Carissa says

    I a so with you on that part time nanny!!! But I love the idea of the coffee shop date with yourself…I can’t wait to tell my husband so I can implement something like that…I could get sooooooooooooo much done!!!!
    Carissa recently posted..#AskAwayFridayMy Profile

    • 10

      NJ says

      I take two a month, and I try to take them on a Saturday morning where I can do a #sitssharefest in peace. I usually leave the house around 8 and am back a little 1 or so. It helps to be able to blow through a bit of projects that take more time!

  6. 11

    Dana says

    Your answers are so thoughtful, NJ – I learned so much about you. 4:30 am? Wow. I got up at 10 today. And you’ve peaked my curiosity – can’t wait to see the big things you have planned on the blog for 2014!
    Dana recently posted..Ask Away, Tamara!My Profile

    • 12

      NJ says

      Thanks Dana! There is a little bit of a cheat. Lola is usually up to nurse at 4:00 am so I just stay up when I’m done. I get so much stuff done between then and when Malone wakes up! As for the big things, they are BIG and I’m excited !

  7. 13

    Sonya says

    I never thought I would co-sleep either, but both of our kids sleep with us.
    Sonya recently posted..Old Navy $7 Fleece Jackets & Other Black Friday DealsMy Profile

    • 14

      NJ says

      Malone (4) is such a snuggler. His love language is physical touch, for sure. I don’t mind. I figure as long as everyone is sleeping, why mess with a good thing.

  8. 15

    Brittnei says

    Aw man. I can’t imagine what it would be like missing a service because of the little ones. I have my toddler and a baby on the way. We haven’t found a church since we’ve been in Arizona but I do like to listen to these podcasts from this church we like that is located in Texas. I listen when everyone is asleep at night usually. Wow, you blog for 2 blogs with 2 little ones! You are super mom in my opinion! :)
    Brittnei recently posted..Feature Friday- Week 2My Profile

    • 16

      NJ says

      Aw thanks. When Malone was born, we stopped going to church all together because I just couldn’t deal with it (sad, but true). He was a very unhappy baby and if he wasn’t nursing or sleeping, he was screaming. Lola is way way better. We usually make it about 3/4 through the service before she needs to go out for a few minutes. We sit in the “baby” section. There are about 10 families or so with babies under a year old.

  9. 17

    Tamara says

    You and Jodi!! Did you know she used to live in Northampton?? We talk about it all the time.
    Lola is looking a little too cute for word lately!
    Tamara recently posted..And This Is How It’s Done.My Profile

    • 18

      NJ says

      I didn’t know that until I asked her the question! Lola is too cute. If she is awake I get NOTHING done because I’m too busy staring at her.

  10. 19

    Dana Butler says

    I enjoyed this, NJ!! I didn’t know Voxer had the message to self option – gonna have to check that out. I like the idea of using Voxer to do mastermind-type-stuff. Great thought there. And I will forever be impressed by your 4:30 wake-up time. Holy, MOLY. I do NOT think I could write in the mornings like that. I mean, maybe in a future season when my kids both sleep thru the night. We’ll see. :) Anyway, so fun getting to know you better. Vox soon… :) xo
    Dana Butler recently posted..Ask Away Friday {in which Sarah digs deep into my soul, and I return the favor}My Profile

    • 20

      NJ says

      I’ve done some masterminding both with Sarah and Christie. It just come up in conversation sometimes. It has been a lot of fun to have someone to bounce ideas off of. The message to self option is great. Here is a disclaimer about the 4:30 am wake up time- both Lola and Malone are sleeping through the night. Lola goes down around 9:00 pm and is up to nurse somewhere between 4:00 am and 6:00 am. If she wasn’t sleeping through the night, I’d sleep in later. FOR SURE.

  11. 21

    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families says

    Many people are against co-sleeping until they get to the point where they don’t sleep at all. Of course, when your breastfeeding I always think co-sleeping makes things easier. My husband was against it so it didn’t happen with my youngest.
    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families recently posted..Happy ThanksgivingMy Profile

    • 22

      NJ says

      Mike and Malone are still co sleeping in Malone’s bed. They both really love it, so I’m not about to change it. Initially (when Malone was an infant), Mike wasn’t for it either. I frequently saw 11, 1, 3, and 5 with Malone and was becoming a shell of myself due to lack of sleep. We pulled Malone into bed with us when he was 4 months old. Malone was still up, but I could at least half way doze while he nursed.

  12. 23

    Mrs.AOK says

    I loved your answers and I have to check out your apps! Kudos to you for nursing, cloth diapering, mothering, writing , blogging and keeping it all together flawlessly!!
    I’m so happy to see you at #AskAwayFriday!!!!

  13. 25

    Tiffany says

    Wow! i am so glad you are a part of the #AskAwayFriday crew! I should have come to you for advice on how to tackle my 1st Black Friday! We so went at the WRONG time! Everything was packed including Old Navy! I waited in line to get in then once I picked my items through a oddly winding crowd of people I realized THAT was the line…I put my stuff down and retreated back to the safety of my car. LOL I’m so NOT a Black Friday Pro!
    Tiffany recently posted..#AskAwayFriday W/Rabia From The Lieber FamilyMy Profile

    • 26

      NJ says

      The secret is to go to the store BEFORE Black Friday and do all of your trying on. Then, when Black Friday comes you can get in and get out! You have to hit the right time window too!

  14. 27

    Alison says

    I love your idea of #MorningView for Instagram! Mine is usually the same every day so it’d be kinda boring :)
    I look forward to seeing what you’ve got planned for your blog next year!
    Alison recently posted..In Giving, We ReceiveMy Profile

    • 28

      NJ says

      Allison, I”m going to tag you to play along soon! I can’t wait to see your view. There is beauty in the mundane. For sure! I’m excited about 2014 too!

  15. 29

    Stacey Gannett says

    There is truly nothing better than a day of thrifting! My bestie and I try to go every 2 or 3 months, and stop for McDonald’s for a treat. I too, dream of winning the lotto, a girl can dream! LOL! Have a great week!
    Stacey Gannett recently posted..Thank You to My November Ladies!My Profile

    • 30

      NJ says

      I would love to go once a week. I get both kids’s almost entire wardrobe second hand via thirfting. We have a Savers near us which is AMAZING!

  16. 31

    Sarah says

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I seen about the Old Navy sale, that is my favorite store!! I should have went.

    • 32

      NJ says

      The Old Navy sale was really great. We filled in a few wardrobe holes and got a few things for gifts. I don’t typically shop at “new” stores so it was fun!

  17. 33

    Wendy May says

    The Q&A is great with you two!
    I don’t know how in the world you organize so much in your life! I’m not working a full-time job and I still can’t get my schedule in sync each day! Makes me nuts. I am STALKING, oops, watching you in the 2014 year! maybe I’ll learn something.

    From one Jersey-Girl to another!
    Wendy May recently posted..#AskAwayFriday #17My Profile

    • 34

      NJ says

      Stalk away! I am organized because I HAVE to be. Truth be told, I don’t spend a lot of time in front of the TV. That probably is part of it.

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