Good morning everyone and happy, happy weekend to you! I know things are about to start rockin’ and rollin’ down in Florida, and gosh… the chaos of the last few days for Florida and Caribbean residents gives me heart palpitations. I’m not familiar with hurricanes in the slightest, so I can’t pretend to relate. Just praying for better than expected outcomes for all and normalcy ASAP for these areas and those of you who live there. Whew.
On a lighter note, I am excited about today’s feature. 🙂 This week’s blogger is Elizabeth from The Lovely Latte, and let’s just say that she saved my booty this week with making this feature happen! She helped me put together this feature in a flash, and I so enjoyed emailing with her about all the similarities we had going on this week. Sometimes you can just tell through the internet that someone is a nice person, and I get that vibe from Elizabeth! I hope you enjoy getting to know her and pop over to her blog to say hello. <3
Q: Please tell us a little bit about who you are in three sentences or less.
A: I am mom to Madeline, wife to Corey, and furmom to Riley, a super spoiled Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Follower of Jesus and passionate about healthy living. Honestly, I’m just trying to navigate life with as much grace as possible…one cup of coffee at a time.
Q: When did you start your blog and what you do enjoy writing about?
A: I started my blog in 2011. It was a time of big change in my life. I was finishing up graduate school, had just started my first teaching job, and my then-fiance (now husband of five years) had just received a new job requiring us to relocate from South Carolina to New Jersey. I loved that my blog helped me connect with other women while learning that we sometimes simply must learn to bloom where we are planted. My blog is definitely a lifestyle blog and I write about a little bit of everything – daily life, parenting, recipes and healthy living, fitness, shopping finds, and marriage.
Q: I know that you’re a former teacher but now a mama who is working from home. What do you do from home?
A: I still very much love education but as a teacher, I had so little spare time for my own family! I run two online-based businesses now, which allows me to be a full-time mom and still earn an income around my own schedule. I get my education fix by creating resources for the website Teachers pay Teachers and I really love that I now have the time to create fun, engaging lessons for teachers who are short on time themselves!
I’ve always loved fitness and strived to be healthy but after my daughter was born, I became very interested in nutrition and ended up beginning a health coaching business. It was actually completely on accident – I really just wanted to have the knowledge and tools to prioritize my own health and to raise my daughter with a healthy lifestyle. Well, it turns out that many women and mamas are struggling with balancing health with all of their other responsibilities – so a business was born and that’s how I get my teaching fix – by sharing with other women the tools to live a healthy lifestyle.
Q: What was the transition like leaving your teaching job to stay home full time?
A: I thought it was going to be really difficult because I always wanted to be a teacher. In fact, I am a fourth-generation teacher in my family so it was a career that felt natural to me and something I came to love easily. But, a few months before I became pregnant, we lost my father-in-law quickly due to a very aggressive Glioblastoma and that really put a lot of life into perspective for me. For anyone who knows someone who works in education, you probably know it is not the same as it was five years ago as far as time commitment outside of the school day. This made the transition so much easier than I anticipated because it allowed family to be my first priority and my focus to shift to where it really needed to be.
Q: You share so many delicious and healthy recipes on your blog! How do you juggle putting dinner the table while working and taking care of your daughter?
A: I have to plan out my weeks ahead of time and prioritize my day each morning. I write out a meal plan at the beginning of the week and healthy meals are a non-negotiable for me. Then, I wake up before my daughter every day, review my planner, and decide what order I plan to tackle things in throughout the day. I try to plan meals that are quick to prepare so that I can get it done while my daughter plays in the kitchen. I also love anything healthy that I can throw in the crockpot!
Q: You were so raw and honest when it came to sharing your fitness journey after having your baby. Tell us a little bit about that journey.
A: I struggled big time with fitness after my daughter! I have always been active and loved exercise. I was not as active as I thought I would be while pregnant, though, and dropped down to two workouts a week, which just really wasn’t enough for me. Then, I gained almost 15 pounds while I was nursing which was totally unexpected! I honestly didn’t know it could work like that! Haha! We all know nutrition is 80% of our results but it can be really easy to ignore that when we are a tired new mama. Especially since my husband travels so it is just me and baby for long stretches of time. It can also be really discouraging when our body doesn’t react the same way it did to exercises that were effective before baby or that our body is shaped differently or we have problem areas we never did before. For me, I had to study nutrition a little more in-depth than I had before and then find workouts that were quick (because…infant at home!) and effective. I’m so proud to say that I am now healthier and in better shape than I was before I was pregnant – it wasn’t an easy journey but I’m definitely proof that it can be done. I want other women to know that it isn’t always easy for everyone – but totally worth sticking it out!
Q: I love that you’ve documented and shared so much of your home. It’s beautiful! Are you working on any DIY or decorating projects currently?
A: My husband and I moved from our first home, which we custom-built brand new, to an older home about a year and a half ago and we are slowly but surely updating it. We don’t have any big inside projects in the works right now although I’m tempted daily to see if I can retile the yellowed linoleum laundry floor myself. We have been working all summer on landscaping, which is the most boring project I’ve ever tackled but was a necessity. Our yard had tunnels and archways built from hedges, making it really segmented, high-maintenance, and not very child-friendly. We are still in the “it gets worse before it gets better” stage but I’m confident we’re about to turn a corner any day now!
Q: Your daughter is so precious! Tell us a little bit about her. 🙂
A: Madeline is eighteen months old and she is so funny. She is a perfect combination of me (super Type A) and my husband (a little wild!). Music class is the highlight of her week and she is so sweet right now and wants to hug and blow kisses to everyone. It is super fun being her mom!
Q: Where should new readers start on your site?
Q: Where can we connect with you on social media?
And just for fun…
- Silver or gold? Silver
- Text message or call? Call
- Steak or chicken? Steak
- Online or in-person shopping? Online
Thank you so much, Elizabeth!
Is this your first time to Whimsical September? Welcome!
Hello! I’m Erica. 🙂 I created the Saturday Sit-Down series in January 2017 as a way to give back to the blogging community and link readers with new bloggers whom they may share similar interests with. Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured in the Saturday Sit-Down.
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in early 2018 and would love to feature you! Please fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch with you.
Whimsical September Email List
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo