Friday, November 15, 2013

Ask Away Friday: Week 15

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When I first started working on making The Patchwork Paisley what it is today just a few short months ago, I explored the SITS girls Forum. There were some great, experienced bloggers willing to chat with newbies and give a few words of wisdom, but I felt a bit overwhelmed and intimidated by them despite their kindness. I began chatting with two other newbies and we came to the conclusion that it would be cool to create our own little e-gathering spot to troubleshoot, support and ask some of the questions that we maybe felt too self-conscious to address to a seasoned pro. We took this idea and formed The Newbie Blogging Support and Share group on Facebook, or as we like to call ourselves, "the newbs." My friend Chelsea @ Directionless Mom was of those two women, along with Shauna at Momma Candy (who I will eventually be harassing to join me for a future edition of #AskAwayFriday...) and I am so excited to have Chelsea join in for Ask Away Friday this week.

When we met, me were both pregnant with our second child due within weeks of each other and instantly bonded over learning the ropes of blogging and motherhood times two. Now you get a chance to get to know even more (is there anything else at this point?) about me in our 15th installment (!) of Ask Away Friday through 10 questions...

1.) What is your guilty pleasure music? What band or artist do you secretly sing along to in your car? 
Well, I've already blatantly admitted that I embrace my childhood boy band obsession with the Backstreet Boys (I watched that movie "This is the End" last night and practically squealed at the BSB cameo...) Somehow I think I'm less ashamed of liking them than I am of the fact that I was blasting Taylot Swift's "Red" in the car on the way to work this morning...I vacillate between finding her adorable and agitating as all get out.

2.) If you could go back in time and meet any person in history, who would it be, and why?
I need to really sit down and think about this one. I have a go to answer that always pops in to my head with this question and it's Walt Disney. I find him to be pretty fascinating and he is the ultimate visionary. Still, I think if I give it more thought I will come up with someone else that I would really hate to miss the chance to meet should the opportunity ever arise (time machine anyone?)

3.) What's the first thing you notice about people?
I tend to notice their overall style. Probably because I wear my clothes like a billboard expressing exactly who I am, so I'm always interested to meet others who do the same or get to know the person behind a look that doesn't advertise the way I do. It's kind of like a game. Do the insides match the packaging? 

4.) I know that you're a teacher so I think this question would be great to ask you. What do you think we could do to best improve the education system?
I am a firm believer that teaching students to a test and making everything about numbers is useless. I work in a school full of amazing teachers who are being forced to cram everything they teach in to a predetermined box, backed up by numbers and statistics. It is sucking the life and joy out of a profession that is shaping the leaders of our future world. It is really magical to watch (and even more so to be) a teacher in their element, teaching something they're passionate about to a room full of students who are thoroughly engaged. I see it every single day, but it is starting to drown in paperwork and accusations with the teacher's taking all the responsibility and very little being expected of the parent and kids themselves. It's not everywhere, or every parent or every student, but it's a lot more common than it used to be and it's a problem.
5.) What has been your biggest accomplishment since you started blogging? How did you get there?
Last month I hit 10,000 pageviews and I was really excited about that. Especially because it happened in a 3 months span after about a year of slowly creeping toward 300 total pageviews. It was nice way to see the result of the hard work I was doing making connections on Twitter (and learning to use it at all), linking up to blog hops and forming relationships with other bloggers who have now become faithful readers and amazing friends. I would love to be able to saw that I've been getting to work with awesome brands or amazing sponsorships, but that hasn't really happened yet because I haven't had the time to devote to it unfortunately. Still, I find some of the smaller, more personal accomplishments to be pretty rewarding, like some of my friends and family who have read my blog complimented me on my writing. Despite countless journals and have finished stories, I've never fancied myself a writer, but lately I've realized how much I enjoy it and it's nice to know I can connect with someone in writing through more than a text message or email.

6.) The earth is going to end in one week and you have a free pass to do 3 things you've always wanted to, what are they?
I would rent a giant RV and spend all my money on a trip across country with my loved ones visiting all the places I've always to see. There would be boat rentals and hot air balloon rides...and food. Lots of food.

7.) You have two adorable girls, but if you had a boy, what would his name be?
We always knew that if we had a boy his middle name would be Austin. It's John's fathers and brother's name and it's his middle name. We have this thing about one syllable first names and two syllable nicknames, or vice versa. That's just the way it has to be (Violet Bow, Ruby Jean...) Dean was the boy name we had picked out for a while, but before we knew we were having Ruby we also started liking the name Grant, so if we had a boy it would either be Dean Austin or Grant Austin. 

8.) I just recently read the book "The Mother of All Meltdowns" and did a review on it and it got me thinking. What was your worst mommy meltdown?
I don't think I can recall one giant mommy meltdown I had, but instead multiple weekly mini meltdowns. Every once in a while my messy old house that is falling apart around me with no handyman (or money for one) in sight, I feel like walking out the door, going to the airport and boarding a flight for Bora Bora for a week. At least this way after I let the sun sink it I would

9.) You live up north in Jersey and I live in the deep south in Alabama. We switch states for a month. What are you most looking forward to experiencing in the south? And what are you least looking forward to? (No hillbilly jokes! LOL!)
I' never actually been down down south but have often felt like I belonged there. I love me some bluegrass and wide open spaces. To me happiness is some drinks around a campfire and a few tunes on the ol' gee-tar. Plus I love me some southern hospitality a nice drawl. I think I would miss having malls, stores and restaurants at my fingertips though.

10.) The Holidays are coming up. What is your absolute favorite Christmas tradition in your household?
I'm looking forward to going to pick up and decorate the tree with the girls and John. Elf on a Shelf should be fun this year too now that Vi is a bit older and Christmas Eve at my parent's house is probably one of my favorite nights of the year. There is something that is so indescribably comfortable about being at your parent's house and at Christmas with the fireplace lit and our old childhood stocking hung, there is nothing better.

That's it for my questions from Chelsea this week! Don't forget to stop by The Real Housewives of Caroline County and say hello to my girl Penny, then check out the link up with some of the other awesome bloggers participating this week!


  1. Love your answers! My thinking and yours is the same for education! Take the stupid test pressure off teachers and kids and just learn! Also if you ever want to come visit ole Bama just let me know. I'll show you how we do it down here in the heart of Dixie ;)

    1. I would LOVE to visit Alabama. Seriously, always wanted to. Thanks so much for trading with me this week!

  2. Love you Christmas fireplace. I think I'll decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving this year, I always seem to get earlier each year. It's my favorite, the lights, music, decorations, love!
    I will be swinging by to see what the 'newbs' have going on, thanks for sharing that with a May 2013 newbie! XO
    We need to meet up.
    Have a great weekend.

    1. I'm thinking the same for when I'll decorate too...Gotta get the Halloween decorations down first!! Haha...Yes, let s meet up soon! I've been going out in New Hope a lot lately. Will probably go check out some live music at John and Peter's soon.

    2. That's a great little place. Haven't been there in so long.
      Have a great week!

  3. Hands down DEAN AUSTIN....
    You know there's James Dean... and then there's me Dean :)
    I've always loved the name Austin! Plus on my #AAF I confessed my love for Austin. I became a travel agent {is there still travel agents?} selling good ol' Austin Texas to my readers :) I think you'd like Austin, Tx... btw.

    Funny you say you felt that you would fit in the south, when I learned you were from Jersey, I have to admit I was a bit surprised. You don't seem like a Jersey gal to me..
    P.S I like your packaging and I think the inside is just as nice!

    1. How did I know you'd like the name Dean? ;) Not that I can blame you because it is a pretty great name. I'm surprised you didn't expect me to be from Jersey. Sometime I feel like the typical Jersey girl.

  4. Completely agree with your thoughts about education and teachers. I used to teach and know the perspective from the classroom on standardized testing. But now being on the parent side, with a first grader, I have a new perspective. When we were at my son's parent teacher conference I had a question about his standardized test report. The teacher told me the test is on the computer and is 57 questions. He just turned seven and had to sit at a computer for 57 questions. She said some of the kids are just in tears by half way through the test. There's no way you can tell me that is helping my child at all.
    And great call on the RV! :)
    Awesome questions and answers!

    1. That's the way it is with all these tests, it's ridiculous. At the same time, we're pressure to differentiate our instruction to reach all learners and yet every students is required to sit and test in the same way. Modification of extra time, or a scribe etc. are not enough to judge the student's intelligence and then put the blame on the teacher!! I don't understand how this happens!!!

  5. Walt Disney would be such an awesome person to meet!! I totally agree about the clothes too, I try not to judge but secretly I am like huh I could be their friend. ;)

    1. I know, I'm the same way. I don't dismiss people because they're not of a certain style, but when I see someone who has one that's similar to me I already know we have something in common.

  6. I would SO absolutely love to meet Walt Disney...I love everything Disney. Have you heard about the movie Saving Mr. Banks? It's supposed to focus a lot on him and how he fought to make Mary Poppins! I can't wait to get even a glimpse of what he was like. Great answers as always... xoxoxo

    1. I haven't heard of it but I'm about to look it up now! I've read his biography and grew up a huge Disney lover. I still am too

  7. Hello Meg,
    It was great getting to know a little bit about you through #AAF. I also taught for a few years and share your sentiments about testing. I remember in Kindergarten learning through playing and social interactions and recess and naps. So I was in for the shock of my life when I began teaching Kindergarten and the kids no longer did an of those things. Broke my heart. Only 10 Minutes of recess and they were expected to come in well behaved afterwards. Oh, such is life, huh? Thank you for sharing a little of your world with us! ;-)

    1. Thanks for stopping by!! I totally agree, it is a shame that kids today are so pressured by test results that they don't put the same importance on learning through play and interaction and just being kids!!!


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