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Q and A

Q & A

I received a really sweet comment and a great suggestion by a reader on my last post.  Here is part of what she said…

“I think you should have a question and answer day!  You know how Becky does Feedback Friday?  Not that often so that it doesn’t take away all your other great posts.  I always have lots of great questions for you.”  

Thank you!  Such a sweet comment from an anonymous reader.  (BTW – I have to say I feel pretty lucky to get so many sweet comments from “anonymous”- Once in a while a snarky one will come along, but for the most part I get sincere, heartfelt comments and for that I am truly grateful!  So thanks again to all of you for your kind words.  They always make my day.)  Anyway, back to the comment.  I think it’s a great idea!  I don’t know that I can commit to a regular schedule for a question/answer post because I’m having a hard time committing to anything lately that doesn’t involve Kole’s therapy, the new house, and regular mom stuff, but I really would like to do more Q & A posts on the blog.  I get a lot of really great questions and I do my best to keep up, but sometimes I fall short.  My computer time is pretty limited (9:00 pm until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore) and if I answered everyone’s questions I wouldn’t have time to blog.  Hopefully that won’t always be the case, but it is at this stage in my life.  So from now on if you ask me something in the comments or an e-mail and I don’t get back to you right away it’s because I think your question is something other people might also be curious about and I’m saving it for a Q & A post.

So!  With all of that being said.  Here is the first of my Q & A series…

“Where did you stay in Palm Springs?  The place looks great!”

I had SO many questions about our Palm Spring resort after I shared some pictures of our Spring Break. We stayed at the Westin Desert Willow Villas.

We have a time share in Maui with Westin Resorts (I talked more about that here).  Kenny and I love Westins so much and we love the Villas.  Lots of room for the kids and a kitchen so you can eat in the room.  Whenever we travel (especially with the kids) we always stay at Westin Villas.  There are two Westins in Palm Springs and we stayed at the newer location.  I really liked it!  We were staying in a room that was further away from the pool but men come and pick you up in little golf carts and take you back and forth.

My kids thought riding the golf cart was the best part of the trip.  :)  

There was a huge slide, but Addison didn’t meet the height requirement (Ellie did) which was a bummer for us.  The didn’t have a great shallow kiddie pool (which was ok since Kole mostly just wanted to run around the pool instead of swim in it) so overall I’d say a great place  to swim – especially if your kids are age 7 and up.  Lots of pools (one had a huge movie screen at one end and they played movies for the kids each night at 8:00 pm).

It was a fun trip and I would definitely recommend staying at the Westin!

“After moving from Virginia to San Diego how did you go about making new friends?  I’ve just moved and it’s something I have to learn again.  I’m curious how someone who has had the same experience I have (moving cross country to a place where you know no one) went on to create something good for yourself?”

I think this is such a great question!  I grew up in a beautiful smallish community and was surrounded by family and friends who I had known my whole life.  I never had to “try” to make friends.  Everyone knew each other and knew my parents.  I went to high school with the same kids I went to Elementary school with.  I had always had lots of friends and family around me.  I was pretty sheltered and I loved it.  I had every intention of getting married and buying a house down the street from my family and being happy and sheltered my whole life.  And then I married Kenny.  My Kenny who had big dreams of travel and law school on the east coast and moving out of our smallish town and making a life for ourselves somewhere else.  

We moved to Virginia and I made friends with some of the teachers I taught with, but I really didn’t have a lot of time for girlfriends.  I was working three jobs and when I did have a break I wanted to spend time with Kenny.  Then we moved to San Diego and all of that changed.  Kenny started life as an attorney and was working all the time.  After teaching two years I had Ellie and became a stay at home mom.  All of the sudden I was home all the time.  I was used to working.  To being busy.  To doing my hair and getting dressed every day.  Life felt so different when I started staying home.  The days all just ran together.  I was happy and depressed and overwhelmed and bored all at the same time.  I quickly realized that I was going to have to create a life for myself if I was going to be happy.  I also quickly realized that I was going to have to step outside of my comfort zone.

I had seen other moms with little kids in our neighborhood so one night I typed up a flyer about a play date at the park.  I still remember what it looked like.  It had the date and time and a cute little butterfly on it.  Then I walked around my neighborhood and went door to door handing out the flyers.  (Yes!  I handed out flyers for crying out loud!)  I introduced myself and invited any moms who were home with little kids to meet me at the park.  I still can’t believe I dared to do that!  But I was so desperate to make new friends and to get myself out of the house and out of the “new mom rut” I was in.  Then on the day of the park playdate I was scared to death that nobody would show up.  But they did!  Four other moms with kids in tow met me that day.  We all introduced ourselves and got to know each other a bit.  We decided that it was hard to visit at the park while we were chasing our little ones around so next week we would meet at the same time and place in our neighborhood cul-de-sac.  The next week one of the moms invited another neighbor.  And a few weeks later another mom came.  Before I knew it, my park playdate had turned into a regular get together in our cul-de-sac with over 10 moms and a whole crew of little kids running around.  We met in the cul-de-sac by my house every Tuesday afternoon for years.  Those moms are great friends of mine to this day and we still hang out and chat and carpool.  Our kids have grown up together and are also great friends.  It always makes me happy remembering that I was the one who initiated our friendships.  Even though I had to be a dork with flyers to do it.  :)  

Through the years I’ve made lots of other friendships.  Sometimes they just happen – you meet someone somewhere and just instantly click.  But most of the friendships I’ve made have happened because I put myself out there.  Go to activities in your church, community, at work, etc.  If you meet someone with similar interests ask them if they want to go on a walk or grab something to eat.  You have to step outside of your comfort zone and be friendly and initiate a get together.  If you’ve met some nice people at work or in your community, invite them over.  Kenny and I love meeting new couples and going out on the weekends.  If one of us has met someone new that we clicked with we always see if they want to bring their spouse and get together for dinner (with fingers crossed that our spouse will click with their spouse! :).  Or we see if they want to meet at the park on a Saturday afternoon with kids and have pizza.  A few months ago we initiated dinner with a couple we briefly met at one of Kenny’s client/firm parties.  We LOVED them.  Had a great time and have been getting together with them once a month ever since.  We’re heading to their house for a BBQ in June.  

It’s hard to start over.  And it’s hard to step out of our comfort zones and to be the one who initiates a friendship, but every time I’ve done this (and I’ve done this a lot) it gets a little easier.  The more you do something, the more natural it becomes to you.  The initial nervousness always goes away and most of the time the person you attempt to get to know is happy to have a new friend too.  :)

“Love the way you organize your home.  I need some ideas to organize my closet.  Would you take a picture and show us how you organize all of those beautiful clothes you have?”

Just did a closet organization post!  You can check out the details here.  I also store additional clothes in my dresser and at some point I’ll get around to sharing how that is organized.   

“I know you have mentioned in the past that you have a small list of blogs you read each day.  I would love it if you would share those!”

Well.  I have to be honest and say that I am not checking blogs all that often anymore.  Once I had Kole I started just checking blogs once every few days and this year because of my crazy schedule I hardly check them at all.  It makes me sad!   I miss reading blogs!  If I can sneak in a few minutes of computer time during the day I usually respond to e-mails and then head over to Pinterest or other house sites to get ideas for my new home.  Then if there is a minute to spare I check on a favorite blog or two.  Usually I don’t read blogs during the week and then I catch up on all of my friends’ blogs and other blogs I enjoy on Friday night after the kids are in bed.  I don’t post over the weekend so I take the night off and relax from a busy week catching up on all of my favorites.  There are SO many amazing blogs to read but I’ve found that I just can’t do it all and it’s better for me to have a small blog list so that I don’t lose hours on the computer — which is SO easy to do when it comes to blog reading!  So that being said, I’m happy to share my list of Friday night go-to’s!

Clover Lane – A favorite for sure that I’ve mentioned several times.  I love Sarah to death.  She is an amazing friend, an amazing writer, and an amazing mother.  Her blog always makes me try a little harder to be a better mom.
No Biggie – written by Kami – another friend I’ve made through blogging who I simply adore.  Always fun ideas and tips and amazing photography on her blog.  We are going to meet someday.  It’s a goal of mine.  :)
I Heart Organizing – I think my heart skipped a beat the day I discovered Jen’s blog.  An organizer’s dream!!
Centsational Girl – She really is sensational.  That’s all I can say about Kate.  Her decorating is beautiful and so is her writing style.
Home Stories A to Z – I love Beth and her fun home projects.  She has been so sweet to feature me a few times in her “tips and tutorials”.  I always enjoy her blog and checking out what other people are up to during her link parties.
House of Turquoise – Jaw usually hits the floor when I view this blog.  Gorgeous interiors.  My “pin it” button gets a workout whenever I stop by.
Just me, my soldier, and our 4 little chicks – Stephanie is the sweetest.  Wife of a military man, mom of 4 girls.  I relate to her SO much.  She writes from the heart.  Sincere and honest and real.
Becky Higgins – Well.  What can I say about Becky?  THE Project Life creator.  I’ve been a fan since I created my first scrapbook in high school.  All hail Queen Becky!

So that’s it!  My favorites and my Friday night go-to list.

Well!  I think we can all see why I have a hard time keeping up with answering questions.  I’m a bit wordy to say the least!  :)  Hopefully the next Q & A won’t be quite so long winded.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Any other tips on making new friends?  What is your all time favorite blog?  Any other questions for a future Q & A?  Tired of asking me questions and not getting an answer?  I’m working on it.  :)

xoxo, Erin
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25 thoughts on “Q & A

  1. Great idea to do a Q & A.
    You asked what is our favorite blog,
    Heres some I read often:
    Sunny side up ( yours is my fav!)
    I heart Organizing
    House of Smiths
    Young House Love
    Inspiration for Decoration ( website)
    House of Turquiose
    & of course Pinterest is totally addictive !

  2. Hi Erin! You’ve done a great job of explaining how to make friends. I think your flyer idea was genius! I started a baby group with the moms from my prenatal class. We all exchanged phone numbers at the reunion class and then once a week met at one of the group members’ house. As for favourite blogs, well, I’ve got to say, yours is my favourite! I always look forward to your posts :)

    ~Wendy, from Vancouver

  3. Hi Erin. I agree with Wendy – thankyou so much for writing such a detailed reply! We’re considering a move and making new friends is a concern of mine. Thankyou for being so ‘real’ again! xx

  4. I so needed to hear your response to the meeting friend question today. I become a stay at home mom to a 2 year old in September of last year and am having another little one in July. I have been having the hardest time adjusting to staying at home. This line “I was happy and depressed and overwhelmed and bored all at the same time.” is exactly me right now. So I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one with those feelings and thoughts! And that I will make it through it. We joined a play group with some of my friends from high school and that has helped so much to get me out of the house and doing something!

  5. So this is totally unrelated to your post, not that it wasn’t good, but mentioning Kole’s therapy reminded me. I tried to comment the day you mentioned it and it wouldn’t let me and then I never got back to it. Anyway…. my little Emery also has a speech delay and has been getting in home therapy for almost a year and a half. She has come leaps and bounds in just the last few months. I really think she just had to progress on her own time table. I know as moms we worry, but she is fine in everything else, in fact, she is a little too smart for her own good. I would suspect that is the case with your little one. We are now at the point where her home therapy ends and have to go through the school district , I am a little nervous for that. I just wanted to let you know I hear what you are going through and can sympathize!!

  6. Hi Erin!

    I love your blog! I read you use Pinterest a lot for house ideas. I was going to suggest the site for inspirational house ideas! We are also going through renovation “nightmare”. Lol! This site AMAZING!!! I have literally spent hours on it!! They also have an app for your iPhone or iPad! Good luck!


  7. Hi Erin, I’m a mom of two up here in Washington and just discovered your blog this week while looking at Sarah’s friend list from Clover Lane-love her blog and now your’s too! Love all of your great tips and ideas-seeing how fast you curl your hair (so pretty!) has inspired me to take a few minutes to curl my own! I can’t say that I have an all time favorite blog but here are some of my favorites…..

    Lil Blue Boo
    The Pioneer Woman
    My Yellow Sandbox
    71 Toes
    Your Homebased Mom
    The Small Things Blog
    I Heart Nap Time
    Beneath My Heart
    Clover Lane
    Jones Design Company
    and now yours! :)

    Now I’ll go check out the ones on your list! Blessings to you and your family!

  8. Oh thanks everyone! I’m so glad the meeting friends answer was helpful. It really is so hard to start over after a move. OR to start staying home with kids after working.

    Lindsey – so happy to hear your little one is doing better! Kole is showing progress too so my fingers are crossed that he will catch up and be talking my ear off soon. :)

    Donna – I’m on every day! SO many fun home ideas. That site is crazy good.

  9. Erin, you are so sweet for including me in your list. What an honor to be included. And someday…it will be so fun to meet. :)

    I think we feel the same way about Sarah, she is one of my favorites along with you.<3

  10. Hi Erin, I have a question for a future Q&A…what did you decide to do with your kids photos. Are you still doing a Project Life album for each of your children or did you decide to do photobooks in the end? I keep alternating between the two and am SO indecisive! Gen

  11. Thanks for taking the time to write a Q & A. It is so fun to get to know someone through blog land. I have to say Erin. Your blog is my favorite. I go to bed late and I always check to see if you have a post up. I started a blog…(sort of) But I never went back to it. Maybe someday.
    I don’t think there is a post that you have written that I don’t enjoy. You are so real and I really think that you are such a sweet person!!
    I also love Savy Seasons, Kelly’ Korner and I heart organizing. I have so many bookmarked and I enjoy reading them all. However, Your is the one I look forward to reading the most.
    Have a fantastic weekend.

  12. What a great idea! Love learning more about you and your ideas.
    Can’t get enough of Sarah’s blog, Clover Lane. A must for all moms out there (young and old).

  13. Oh Erin I am so embarrassed! That was was my comment and I can’t believe it came up anonymous! I am always always always signed into google, so I have no idea why it came up as anonymous. I wasn’t trying to hide behind my comment. Anyway, I am Michelle from Hagerstown, MD. I love that you are going to do some Q&A posts and as soon as I stop blushing, I will add my questions. Although, one of them was already answered- I was looking for a list of blogs you read one day and couldn’t find it. So glad you included that- thank you! Thank you for sharing your organization and parenting tips and just everyday life. Those are my favorite posts :)

  14. Love your Q & A and that you took flyers around – so cool with such a great message in so many ways :)! I’m off to Target later today to get some more bins for my closet – thanks to you! Have a great weekend.

  15. Hi Erin, I enjoyed this post as always. I feel like we’re so similar in so many ways, especially relating to motherhood and organizing. So my favorite blog is I Heart Organizing. I would love for Jen to get a hold of my master bedroom (the least organized area of our home). My scrapbooking favorite is Ali Edwards, not just for her pages but for the very real emotion that she displays. I also have a toddler starting to receive therapy at home for speech and some behavior issues that we’re having (ie. he’s the baby of the family and gets whatever he wants). Would love to hear more about your day to day struggles with Cole as the ones you share are so similar to ours. Keep up the great work. I so have enjoyed getting to know you and your family!

  16. I was wondering if you share more on your project life books. Also do you use the reward charts for your girls?

  17. Cathy – thank you so much. That is SO sweet of you to say! I’ve loved getting to know you (you are such a sweet person too!). :)

    And Michelle! Hi! Thanks for the great Q & A idea! So nice to “meet” you. :)

  18. Great idea to do a Q&A every once in a while. It’s always nice to learn a little more about a person than just what they typically post on their blog. I’m a big blog reader(and not much of a writer on my own!) but some of the ones I check daily are:

    Yours (but of course!)
    Young House Love (such detail in their posts and just plain wonderful ideas)
    I heart Organizing(and I do “heart” it!)
    Keep calm and carry on (such a sweet girl)

  19. “. . . Life felt so different when I started staying home. The days all just ran together. I was happy and depressed and overwhelmed and bored all at the same time. I quickly realized that I was going to have to create a life for myself if I was going to be happy. I also quickly realized that I was going to have to step outside of my comfort zone. . . . “

    Wow – talk about hitting the SAHM nail on the head. Thank you for such a great reply to my question! I see by other responses that it helped a lot of others as well :) How brave to go door to door with your flyer! Good for you! You’ve given me energy to contiue to persue making new friends here, in my new home.

    So – now a question that has nothing to do with anything else – I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is SNOWING right now, el cinco de mayo! I love the little breeze of warm California air your blog blows my way. Your photos are great – could you tell us more about your photography – what camera you use? how you got started?

    Thank you, Erin. Your blog is a delight.

  20. Whatever…I guess your small private friend blogs don’t make the list of must reads???? :)

    You know I’m just giving you a hard time.

    Miss you. xoxo

  21. I’m with you Shari! Now that Erin is famous, our lousy blogs don’t matter all that much! ;)
    At least we can say we actually knew her!

  22. You are 1 of my daily reads Erin, I love it! I have 2 girls (Under 3) and I like my house clean & organised & always feel a little more inspired each time I check in.
    Some of my other faves are, Young House Love, Bower Power & also I heart organising aswell!
    I cant wait to see the finished built house of yours :)

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