Tacky Birthday Post

April 12th, 2010 in About Me

My birthday is this week.  It’s the big 27 and this is the tacky post where I make you all say, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY VANESSA!”

Ok I’ll make it a bit more fun and do a Q & A where I can be even more narcissistic and talk about myself even more.  Hey, I am the Birthday Girl. I threw out a question to some friends, family, fellow bloggers asking,  ‘If you could ask any question for me to answer on my blog what would it be?’ SO! Here we go…

If you could have one “do over” what would it be?

Unfortunately from the age of say…12, I have had to learn everything the hard way. Any form of someone saying, “Vanessa you probably shouldnot do that, you won’t be able to pull that off or you are not allowed to do that for sure” has sent me in the exact opposite direction.  Since I don’t like advice or to be bossed around in any way, I would work hard to DO the thing they were warning me against. Lots of people will say they would not change anything because of the experiences that it has brought them. But for me there are a handful of things that I had to learn the VERY hard way that I wished I had just taken someone’s word for it. I am fully aware this will jinx me with my daughters.

You say your husband is a celebrity dog trainer.  What famous dogs has he worked with, or does he work with celeb dogs?

My husband has sold to, trained for, and worked with Shaq, Jesse Ventura, Annika Sorenstam, some random NFL stars…that’s all that is coming to mind at the moment.  Most of his clients are just ‘normal’ people and their cute dogs. And yes, that is how he makes a full time living.

What are some of the coolest things that have happened to you as a blogger or through your blog?

Last year I did a spotlight on a girl named Katie who was feeding people in homeless shelters through her home garden. She was trying to spread the word, sell sweatshirts, T-Shirts, get her school involved, etc. Her mother sent me an email asking me if she could ‘Guest Post’ on my blog about it. Of course I said yes and some really cool things happened from it. Bonnie Plants saw the feature and provided a huge amount of plants to her cause. Then the Today Show heard about it and did a feature of her on the Today Show. Of course SHE was the reason for that but I felt special that my blog was used as a platform to get the word about her out there.

Also, just recently I got to help out Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolutions team with some leads, ideas, etc. Being interviewed for a NYTimes article (twice), even though neither got published, made me feel special!

Being asked to speak at certain places or have meetings with certain people has been fun. And I am not going to lie- when people recognize me out and about, it totally makes my day.

But most of all, I have enjoyed making some really great friends that I know I will have for life.

If you had to go to a job…what would you want it to be?


Growing up it was either a school teacher or a journalist. Now it would be working for a non profit organization or something in journalism.  I work A LOT from home, and sometimes I think that WAHM Moms don’t get recognized enough for how they really do work.  Sometimes I think they are not taken seriously. But man, I WORK! But if I had to GO to a job that’s what it would be.


What is your favorite craft that you have done with your girls?


Crafts that are very unstructured, natural and no one is worried how it turns out are my favorite. Where Mommy isn’t leaning over saying, “No, oh sweetie, don’t glue there or AHH! Don’t get it on your shirt.” I mean, when we can just all sit quietly, or giggle uncontrollably and just create something together. That is the best.


What would be the most ideal date night with just you and your hubs?


This is going to sound selfish but the best date is when we do something that I want to do. HA! BUT it’s only the best when I can see that he really enjoyed it too. Walking around the Farmers Market, or strolling around the city or watching a movie I was dying to see. So selfish, but so true. You know what else I really like about date nights?  When I go out on a real date with my husband I look over and always say, “Gee I really guess I do like you.” I honestly really love hanging out with my husband on date nights. Now I just need to work on being nicer around the house!


If you could be any rapper which one would you be?


Ok ha! I loved this question because there were a few years that sometimes my husband and I would only talk to each other in rap lyrics where we used the “whitest voice” we could (which isn’t too hard), and it was hilarious! Man I gotta start that up again. And OF COURSE I would be JAY-Z.


It seems like you are always doing so much with your girls and yet so much online. How do you do it both? Do you have any extra special tricks for managing everything?


Well I do fun stuff with my kids. Yes, I am lucky enough to spend a lot of quality time with them. But they also don’t need me in their face all day long.  They play together, go to playdates, play with Grandma. I am pretty hard on myself but I can say that maybe the only thing I do right in my life is spend a lot of good quality time with my girls. I also have a very busy husband so if I have to work late at night after bedtime, he isn’t home for me to feel guilty about not spending time with my husband. I DO really worry about what would happen if I had a third child.  Things would have to be cut back TONS, I think. Who knows. Also I swear by Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern and 4 Hour Workweek by Timonthy Ferriss. And I outsource a lot of stuff so I can spend time on the things that are most important to me. And then some weeks I suck at all the balancing and go to bed crying.  Sad, but true!


When did you start blogging and why? Were you the first in your family?


I had two babies in a row, was feeling a bit stuck watching my husband start a business and it really taking off fast. I was proud, but to be completely 100% honest I was a bit jealous. Is that horrible? He talked me into writing about something that was my passion (children, parenthood, home life, being an interactive parent) and try to make money with it. For our anniversary present 2 years ago he bought me 2 years worth of website hosting. Yes, I was the first in my family to have a blog (other than a family blog) and have talked quite a few of them into it since!


When you were in high school, what did you think you would be when you grew up? Is what you’re doing now close to what you’d planned?


Ok high school is really not a time I like to look back on, ha! Hmm when I grew up….I honestly truly really wanted to be a mother. I loved writing and teaching, which I think I do as a blogger. Man, I am having a hard time thinking back to high school times.  I think I have blocked it all out.


What is one of your biggest struggles as a blogger?


Comparing myself to other bloggers. Not being sure ofmyself, my style, my writing, my talents and even my weaknesses on my blog. I read bloggers like Sue or Annie or Carina or Courtney and think, “Man, I really would like to write like that.” I can get really down on myself comparing my style as a blogger to others. The thing with being a blogger is that not everyone is going to like your blog. Not everyone is going to like your style or what you blog about. You’ll find your audience and learn to find your voice and I really need to quit comparing myself to people. As long as I’m genuine with myself I will be fine. I honestly and truly blog about things that are ME and my life and my passions. I just need to work on embracing that and stop comparing myself to others. Easier said than done, huh?

Thanks for the fun questions!<–>


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