What do you want to know?

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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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Photo by Marco Garghentini

I‘m fairly certain that Simple Mom readers are the best in the blogosphere. You’re interactive, you’re smart, you’re funny, you’re passionate. You answer each others’ questions, and you read each others’ comments.

In short, you’re great.

I haven’t done this yet, but I’ve wanted to. Some of my favorite bloggers have done this, and I loved the posts that followed. I can’t promise anything, but I’d like to see what you come up with.

Ask me anything.

Seriously, ask me anything that’s on your mind. It can be deep, it can be silly, it can be about me, it can be about you. It can be about simple living, or blogging, or home life, or whatever. And I’ll try to answer some of them in future posts.

A lot of you write me emails daily, and they will always be welcomed and appreciated. But if you’ve had something on your mind, feel free to just leave it below in the comments. Have an idea I haven’t yet covered here? Curious about something in my life? Have a nagging issue in your home, and think Simple Mom is the place to post its answer? Please share!

A caveat – I won’t answer the following questions:

  • Where do you live?
  • What does your husband do for a living?
  • Can you give me specific, one-on-one blog coaching or advice for free?
  • Can you give me big bags of money?

Sorry, no can answer those questions. Well, I should say, I’m not at liberty to answer the first three – the last one, I literally can’t do.

And you’re still welcome to write me an email, if you’d rather not leave it below.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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Comments

  1. Here’s my serious question: What are your views on children and TV/Computer time, and how should such media play a role in “simple living” for families?

    And my silly question: What are you craving from the states? I live abroad too and have vivid dreams about corn chips. BBQ corn chips. Yum! You?

    • May I suggest something? I like 1 hour per week (while I make dinner) and 3 hours on Saturday (after they clean their rooms and while I clean the house) Sunday no TV – it is family day. I have 3 girls (5, 7, 8)and while I was pregnant with the last 2 the tv was on a lot. It made the kid/s cranky. I would like them to learn to entertain themselves.

  2. Any tips on balancing both home managment and time with your children?

    Also, we are moving, once again, and will be downsizing for sure. Right now we live in a very nice, spacious parsonage (1600sq. ft.) and in less than 4 weeks we’ll be moving to something much smaller. The thought of going smaller after having all of this space is difficult. I need to just get rid of things I guess. How did you go through your things when you moved overseas and decide what to bring?

    One more question! =) My daughter is five and my son is three. If we were to find a three bedroom home for rent (like we live in now), what are your thoughts on putting the children together in one room and having the other room as a playroom/schoolroom. Have you ever tried anything like this? At first it sounds like a good idea, but then I think they need their own space and privacy.

    Thanks for doing this…I need someone’s brain to pick! =)

    • Laine: When they are the age they are now, it seems okay, but when they get older, not so much. I have 3 boys and 1 girl and my oldest son (12) wanted his own space. However, as they get older, the need for a playroom diminishes, so maybe you can start moving them apart then. Just be careful. In some places, boys and girls are not supposed to share rooms after a certain age. Just heard this somewhere, and do not know if it is true. But as they mature, they’ll want their privacy. Good Luck.

    • An excellent topic, Laine. Just to let you know, my kids share a bedroom, and the 3rd room is a playroom. We call them the “sleeping room” and the “play room,” and we do this for many of the reasons already mentioned by other commenters. Keep in mind that our kids are 3 years old and 8 months old – youngins.

  3. If you could give just one piece of advice to a new mother, what would it be?

  4. I enjoy your site every day, but this is the first time I’ve been compelled to comment. Could you tell me/us/the world :o) how you and your husband knew that the time was right to start a family? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

  5. You have mentioned in the past that you only place ads on Simple Mom for products or services you believe to be worthwhile. I would like to read an expanded post on this concept, i.e. “advertising with integrity” or something like that. I would like to know how you decided things like when to put advertisements on your blog, how to choose the ones you used, and how to maximize the benefits of advertising if you are a mommy blogger. I have read some stuff at Problogging on advertising but none of it has been geared to mommy blogs, and I think we have our own unique concerns.

    I would also like to see a list of books you like to read (adult books that is!). What about a Simple Mom book club? I think that would be great since we are such an interactive group of readers!

    Lucie’s last blog post…Reader Survey – Please oh Please Respond!

  6. Ooooo. Nice one.

    How do you build community and maintain meaningful connections in a culture where you are an outsider?

    Thanks!

    Laura at Wild Parenting’s last blog post…Get ‘Em Outside

  7. Making the most of the small spaces…. and multipurposing rooms. Finding space for the kids necessities…. books, craft stuff, etc, and keeping it all organized so that I already know what I have and don’t have to purchase more.

  8. I know you just did a post on photo organization. I am currently trying to declutter my photos on my computer and my printed ones too (what a job). Anyway my concern is about the long term storage of my photos on the computer. I take a LOT of photos as I scrapbook and I have 4 little kids saving photos to CDs doesn’t seem practical because I can’t fit very many on one CD. I don’t have a DVD burner. Do I need to purchase an external hard drive or if I download my photos to a site like Walgreens or Picasso are they safe and going to be there indefinitely? What’s the best way to go about this? Thanks!

    • Hi Mindy,

      AskMoxie had some guest posts from an archivist on how to store photos, both digitally and hard copies (I think). I’d find the link but Typepad is down. It shouldn’t be too hard to Google.

    • I must say that Picasa is a great tool. The online interface is always expanding and getting easier to use, to catalog and access your photos. The software is also fantastic and gives you the option to directly upload to your PicasaWeb albums. And after 4-ish years (I have actually been with Picasa since beta1), I have never lost a single photo.

  9. Hmmm…. ANYthing??? Really?? Gee… where do I START??? Well… first let me say that I LOVE you… truly I do : )
    I wonder what you do to keep financial anxiety at bay, I am a sahm mom, and love being able to be with my 2 babies, HOWEVER… living on one income in NYC is sometimes… how do you say…. TERRIFYING??
    I’m sure your faith helps, I wonder if you could share the more emotional side of managing anxiety (do you meditate? keep a journal, pray, and if so could you share when/where you find the time)
    I am beginning Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover”, and reading Dan Miller’s “48 Days to the Work You Love”, to help me get my photography business back up, as I miss creating and using that part of my brain : P
    You ROCK… and even though you’re probably a few years younger than me… when I grow up I wanna be just like you!!
    Be well.
    Peace.

    • Jenna- Dave Ramsey is the best! Can you find a Financial Peace University class near you? It’s a Dave Ramsey course offered through all kinds of organizations and churches. It has changed our lives! We don’t have the stress and anxiety that we used to have before the class. We’ve paid off debt, now have savings and now are on the same page for our finances. We went down to one income and had to learn how to live differently and it’s been so good for us and our marriage to go through this class together. One church around here that offers it even provides free daycare during the class.

      lindsay’s last blog post…Our first ER trip – and it wasn’t Jana!

      • WOW!!! DAYCARE WHILE class was in session… geez, that sounds more like heaven then church !!! I have checked in the city for his classes, haven’t found any, but maybe I am not searching hard enough…
        Thank you so much for your encouraging words, I truly appreciate them.
        Peace.

  10. I have a couple questions.

    1. When do you find time to do your blog(s)? I find that time “blogging” can be sooo consuming…how do you balance it or control your time on the internet?
    2. Do you exercise & what kind of exercise do you do?

  11. As a mother (and therefore also woman), what is your perspective on Sarah Palin?

  12. I don’t have a question but I do want to respond to Laine. Our family just downsized from a spacious Victorian four bedroom house to renting a tiny two bedroom home. (We moved several states away where the cost of living is much greater and a two bedroom is what we can afford right now.) We have a seven and five year old (daughter and son) that are having to share a room. Obviously sharing a room isn’t a long term solution. We gave the kids the master bedroom which is slightly larger and we bought loft beds so that each child has their own space. Our rule is that the kids have to stay out of each other’s beds unless they are invited up. So far it has worked out with only a few arguments. On occasion we have sent a child to our room for “time out” or to separate the two. Sharing a room with siblings of the opposite sex used to be quite normal.

    As far as downsizing goes, we got rid of a lot of stuff and we still have too much! It’s amazing though how you go through stuff and realize that you don’t really need it. The letting go process can be difficult but also “cleansing” in a way as we let go of certain things. It really puts perspective on what is most important.

  13. You guys are coming up with amazing questions. Seriously!

  14. What fun! My brain isn’t working well this morning, so I don’t have anything brilliant to ask or add, but I love Lucie’s idea of a Simple Mom book club. :) I, too, would love to know what books you enjoy reading for yourself. The post on kids’ books was fun!

    Heidi @ Mt Hope’s last blog post…Oh, Phooey!

  15. Another response to Laine, We are a family of 7 living in a small 2 story heritage farmhouse that has 5 SMALL literally 9×9 and 9×10 bedrooms. One of these is on the main floor and is our schoolroom. Our 2 boys share a room as do our 2 girls and the spare bedroom upstairs is the playroom. We have a four month old baby who will be moving in with the 2 and 4 year old boys sometime soon (he sleeps in a crib in our room right now. ) I love that;

    1. bedrooms are BED rooms. No room for toys. Just beds, closets, and a little shelf for a few current books. One stuffed animal allowed.

    2. That the kids are in company. I love hearing them natter away at each other when they go to bed.

    It’s been great.

  16. What do you read for fun? No books that help you become a better person allowed. Just favorite novels, stories, poetry, etc. that you enjoy just for the heck of it.

    I loved the children’s book post and comments, I’d love to see what people have to say about “grown-up” literature.

    Nikki’s last blog post…Xanadu-ish

  17. Do you mind if I answer a couple of the questions posed here?

    Laine Chambers, I have 7 children and we live in a 3 bedroom house. My 3 girls share a room, 3 of my boys share a room, and the baby sleeps in my room. I think that it’s excellent for children to share a room! It cuts down on nighttime fears, helps them feel closer, and teaches them to share. You might have a little trouble getting them to sleep at first, as they’ll want to talk or play instead, but once you get past that it’s so worth it! Obviously since you have 1 boy and 1 girl, eventually you’ll need to give them some privacy, but I think at 3 and 5 years old they’ll love sharing! Plus you’ll love having a play/schoolroom. My bedroom is somewhat large, so I made a play/schoolroom of half of it, and it’s my kids’ favorite place to be! And *I* love how much of the mess it keeps out of the living room. ;)

    Mindy, I have an external harddrive for long-term storage of my photos, and it works great. You really need to keep at least 2 separate backups of your photos. Some people use CDs or DVDs for this, but I don’t like them because the home-burned ones only have a “life” of about five years (after that the photos will start to degrade!). So I keep my photos on my computer’s harddrive, with my first backup on the external drive. If you watch the sales you can get an external drive very cheaply these days, and the prices are dropping all the time!

    Your second backup needs to be offsite. (IOW, not kept in your home.) This is for in case you have a fire, or flood, or something similar and everything is lost. I keep my offsite backup on my website, which is hosted on a server that my husband and I lease. I would *not* recommend Picassa or Walgreens or *any* free website for this. If it’s free, they don’t feel too badly if they lose or erase your data. I don’t think Walgreens even intends their site to be used as photo storage. Plus, sometimes uploading to these sites degrades the image quality (depending on the site). I recommend buying space somewhere for your photos. Maybe a pro Flickr account? I’m not sure since I’ve never used them for that purpose, but you can ask their customer support.

    Simple Mom, here’s my question. :) I’ve been reading on your site about budgeting, which is something that my husband and I really need to get under control. My husband has always been a bit impulsive about money, and we’ve always had a problem with every bit of each paycheck getting spent before the next one comes. (He is getting better — he’s started paying the bills FIRST, so even though he still spends the rest of the money, at least all the bills are paid! He used to try to save enough to pay the bills when he got around to it, and then would realize he’d forgotten one or was wrong about the amount for another.) BUT, we have no debt. We’ve always dealt strictly in cash because we knew we were bad with money and didn’t want to get into trouble. Unfortunately, all of the money management programs we find are about how to manage or get out of debt so you have more money. There’s no “extra” money to be gained by paying off and getting rid of credit cards, etc. if you never had any in the first place. So my question is, how would you go about budgeting and starting to manage your money properly if you had no debt?

    Michelle’s last blog post…My Recent Tweets

    • Our situation is quite similar, therefore my humble suggestion is this: We have read or tried so many books and plans and seem to find our way back to the short end. We live on one income and the promise of our home business that my mom, aunt and I have started, but the program that has finally broke through the fog of our particular situation is YNAB or “you need a budget.com”. It has parts that are about debt, but the aspect that helped us the most was how to get on the right side of bill paying. I hope this helps!

  18. How and why did you start your blog? Is it your full-time job and does it strike the balance between fostering your creative side and providing a steady income?

  19. wow – this is fun!

    I too would love to know about how you got started in blogging. It’s easy to see why your site is so popular; from the design to the very helpful tips, it’s one of my favorites.

    I am really struggling to organize my daughter’s toys and art/craft supplies in a way that will make it easier to clean up. She is both a packrat and very untidy and I’m starting to go nuts . . .

    Thanks!

    Vintage Mommy’s last blog post…Wear Your Jewelry!

  20. I personally would like that bag of money you can’t give away. But, if you can’t send that over how about a question. My house is a mess. A real utter mess. I would love to hire a housekeeper, but think it is an extravagance. Although it would make our lives easier and with starting a full time job I could easily budget for it. What do you think? What do people typically pay a housekeeper that comes 2x a month? Thanks.

    • I would jump in and offer…over the years, my mom has paid people to come in and clean weekly/biweekly off and on a bunch of times…what they always find is that they spend the entire night (or early morning of) before the cleaners came getting all the clutter/junk/stuff out of the way so they actually could clean. I think the biggest problem most of us have (me included) is too much stuff and stuff in places where it doesn’t belong. I’ve been trying to make a habit of carrying something (that needs to go back there) from one end of the house to the other every time I go…just little things like that can make a big difference! Using a timer to work on one area, say for 15 minutes, also really helps! best wishes!

      jodi’s last blog post…A new leaf…

    • When I got a promotion (and crazier hours) last year, I hired a cleaning lady. I just switched two two great sisters who charge $15/hour. They come for four hours every other week, and they do windows! This is pretty cheap, though. My mom pays $30/hour for her two cleaning ladies, and they don’t do windows. I think, more than anything, it forces me to clear the clutter once every two weeks. When you say utter mess, I really understand what you mean…maybe overflowing clothes hampers, wilting plants, mounded kitchen counters, occasionally locating a hidden pull-up (reminds me of college, actually)… Finding balance with kids is so tough, working adds to the demands, and having the house cleaned every other week lets me spend time with my kids, avoid the health department showing up at my door, and have a serene home (at least until the weekend). I come to this site to find motivation and tips on getting it “all together” and finding the right balance, but until I get there, I’m keeping the cleaning ladies!

  21. Great idea!

    Here’s my question, what are your favourite blogs and why?

    Liz@VioletPosy’s last blog post…The difference a day makes

  22. I’m just getting into the “simple mom” life”. It’s always been in my blood but at times I’m better at it than others. After I lost my second baby things seemed so out of control. I finally feel like I’m feeling whole again and being organized and having a clean home has helped my overall attitude. I’m expecting my 3rd in December and want some tips on how to keep all of these good efforts up once we have a newborn and a toddler. How do I keep the meal planning, grocery shopping, house cleaning in order with so much going on and family and friends coming and go all the time? Thanks so much!!

  23. I, too, like the question by Erin and VintageMommy and would love to know more about your blog beginnings, but my question is:

    What is the least simple thing in your home or homelife that you struggle with? The thing that gives you the most angst or trouble dealing with?

    Laurin’s last blog post…A Balmy, Breezy Night

  24. This could keep you busy for AWHILE!

    My question? What gives you the most pleasure/joy (APART from those things connected with being a mom/wife) ??

  25. Great idea! Since you’re not handing out bags of money I’ll have to give this some thought. What fun :)

  26. Hi,
    I’m a new reader but have thoroughly enjoyed your sight so far. Here are two questions, which you can feel free to combine if there are others like them or just leave me a link to wherever you may have answered them before. :)
    1. What, other than not wasting time, has inspired you to pursue a simple life?
    2. On a more practical note, what is an average day in the life of Tobelerone? How do you get it all done? Can you give us an a rough schedule of your day?
    Thanks!

    Jen’s last blog post…Musings on Books and Sports

  27. Well this is so exciting. I have enjoyed the comments and replys so far. We live in a small house and we have WAY too much stuff. It seems that once we started having kids it just got out of control. Now that the “having kids” part is over for our family I would like to get my house back. Were is the best place to start decluttering? We have an attic and that is where we dump anything we are not using so should I start there or in the part of the house where we actually live?

    Stephanie’s last blog post…Research

    • I can answer this in a more-detailed post, but just to give you something for now, I’d say to start with just throwing away trash. In your entire living space. Sounds weird, I know, but I’ve always been surprised at how much stuff collects that really can just be thrown away. That’s part of Day 1 in my e-book, so I think that’s what I’d suggest. Hope that helps a bit!

  28. I love all of the ideas posted here!

    I would love to hear more about life as an ex-pat…without giving away your location, of course, but questions like how your children handled the adjustment, how you made friends, the strains and joys of being “on your own” in a new place with your husband, etc. Have you always loved travel? What led you to the choice of saying “yes” to that opportunity…

    Thank you! Our family will potentially have this kind of opportunity in the next year or so and we are information gathering…

  29. I’ll echo the questions about how and why you started blogging. And I’ll add . . . How much time do you dedicate to blogging each day? And how do you find room for it in your schedule? I’ve given thought to starting a blog of my own, but I wonder if I would be able to find time to really do it well.

  30. I haven’t seen this idea of “ask me anything”. I love it, although you may find it overwhelming. I agree, you’re getting some great questions.

    1. I love the photos on your blog. Are they your original photographs? If not, where do you find them.

    2. My kids are 11 and 9. I have been trying to spend less in the last couple of years (paying down the mortgage, putting money into savings). I was kind of seeing a 10 year plan where everything would be paid off and savings were in great shape but I realize that this is when the kids would be gone. I am wondering whether to enjoy the next 10 years while my kids are with me (take them travelling, to amusement parks, museums, etc.) and worry about saving when they’re gone (and when I possibly go back to work – hence saving doubly fast).

    3. I like the questions about decluttering, blogging as well as managing your time, home and family.

    Suze’s last blog post…Music for Children

  31. I recently purchased your ebook, Spring Cleaning for Normal People and am loving it. I feel like I’ve gotten stuck in the kitchen area (we’ve got a super duper small kitchen with no pantry). I would love to hear some advice about organizing a kitchen, the best way to organize spices, baking stuff, cooking stuff, pots and pans. I’m cleaning and de-cluttering, but I feel sort of stuck in the “organizing” phase of it.

    Thanks Much!

    Mandy Houle’s last blog post…Whistle while you work

  32. What kind of music do you listen to? Who are your favorite musicians?

    The Secret Life of Kat’s last blog post…How To Break Bad Habits And Get Over Stuff

  33. How do you teach your children about faith/religion in an age-appropriate way? Also, how do you navigate going to church with them?

    We have one (almost) 21-month-old, and mass is very difficult with him. The only thing that seems to work is bribery with food. But I am not sure how I feel about that.

    • Hi Felicia, this had been my life for about 8 years so I thought I would share what we have done. My first encouragement to you is that it is never too early to start teaching your kids about God. If God is a part of your day to day, that will trickle down to your kids. We talk about how we can see God in everything from the very begining. We pray with our kids, we have verses plastered all over the house. We read stories and have a time of reading the Bible together as a family every morning. Now they may not always understand everything, but thats ok. They always understand more than I think they will. God was a huge part of our lives before we had kids and it has just extended down to them out of our love for God and for them. Re: church: food, books, crayons we’ve done them all early on, but when our kids @ 4 they have to participate. When we stand to sing…they stand to sing. When we pray…they pray. And when they can read and write they start taking notes. We sit in the back and try to be as little a distraction as possible. Be encouraged…of the many years you have and will attend church, these early child raising years are few and they will fly by.

      Stephanie’s last blog post…Research

  34. Is a question about religion too nosy? I want to know what religion you are, if any?

    Mary P.’s last blog post…our baby is growing up…

    • Really quick-like… No, it’s not too nosy, and I can answer this in a more detailed post later. But to give you the short answer, I’m a Christian. I plan to eventually make a “what I believe” page and link it to my about page, but I just haven’t found the time.

  35. Okay – I thought of a few:

    1. how did you go from being a beginning blogger to where you are today (not every single step, but you know…the big picture)

    2. what was the transition like going from 1 to 2 kiddos – especially in the realm of managing your home, running your online blog/business…I keep the office for our construction business, have an etsy store and have baby #2 on the way in Jan – my little guy turns 2 next week…just curious to hear what it was like for you, as I know 2 will be a difference!

    3. and then would love to know more about what you do have liberty to share about your life overseas…I spent a year in Europe as an exchange student after high school and it’s always fun to reminisce about those days…are ya’ll there for a short time, a long time, do you even know? do you have the most amazing bread bakeries where you are (I hope so!!) random little tidbits are just fun to get a small snapshot of a lifestyle that is (pardon the pun) foreign to so many of us! :)

    thanks!

    jodi’s last blog post…A new leaf…

  36. How kind of you to open your brain and heart to us.
    I read your blog daily…well on the days you post :). My children are older 12,10 and twins 9. but I try to be simply a mom (wife and refuge maker of my home)
    1.But where do you go for advice as they begin to grow older?
    2. (with a few added whats and hows)
    What do you do when you get lonely? or down…I hope I am wording this well…you know those times you feel like you are surrounded by family and things to do…but are overwhelmed and just feel like you are going in circles.
    If you have never had this sensation, please delete my comment and I will continue screaming in a pillow when it happens to me.. :D said in all jest…but would love to hear your overwhelming ideas to counteract

    Anne’s last blog post…The Hand of God

  37. What are some ways you like to play with/stimulate/preoccupy your children? I have a nine month old and I love finding new things – simple things – to show her and do with her.

  38. Can you give me a LITTLE bag of money?
    ;-)

    I have been trying to declutter in all rooms of the house and one thing has me stumped. I have never seen it addressed before. What does one do with old KNIVES ? I finally got some new quality knives for once. The old ones still work but aren’t great. Some have handles about to break. I dont think you would give them to the thrift store…would they even take them? You cant just put them in the trash. What if someone somehow got their mitts on them somehow and committed a heinous crime with them . What to do??

  39. I’d love to know how you organize your blogging? Also do you answer every comment and how many blogs do you read yourself regularly?

    Org Junkie’s last blog post…Have you heard?

  40. OK, mine is a bit deep, but real

    What do you do when the dreams of your life are shattered?

    Miguel de Luis’s last blog post…How to learn a foreign language.

  41. well, I asked you for help with my template (which is the same as yours), and I wanted to PAY, but I got nothing… :(

    • So, I’ve seen your repeated emails, but if you remember, I told you that I just do not have the time to help one-on-one. Please go to the Thesis theme forums to find help, and perhaps even find someone there who is willing to give you individual consultation. Thanks for understanding.

  42. What is the key to not falling back into the old cluttered ways? And how do you find time each day for personal meditation/alone time?

    Mikki Roo’s last blog post…chicken packets

  43. I just want to tell you thank you, for a beautiful soothing site. I’m still pondering my question. :)

    Gabrielle

  44. I’m glad you asked. You read my mind! I was going to email you this weekend with a suggestion for a future post, so here goes…

    What are your thoughts on raising “simple kids”? My daughter is entering the stage where she is noticing things in stores and asking, asking, asking for everything! I have been talking to her about what it means to be content but would love to hear how you handle this, and if you have ideas on how to teach kiddos that less is more! Another thing to address might be how to prevent being inundated with “stuff” from well-meaning family members. We give our family gentle reminders around the holidays, but they aren’t always heeded :)

  45. I love your site and thank you for it. It has wonderful info. I’ve told you before I love the Link Love posts. So my question is: how do you collect these posts? How do you find the sites/etc.? Thanks for letting us ask away!

    Laura Leigh (LLMajer)’s last blog post…Local Link: Meet Wylie Mom!

  46. i’ve been looking for high quality stationery and cannot seem to find it on the web. any ideas? in addtion, do you have some favorite websites in general from which to buy artistic/good design-oriented paper goods?

    tacy’s last blog post…Silk Leaf

  47. Thanks for asking!

    Here’s my question: What would your suggestion be to a soon-to-be mom as far as getting things done goes?

    I’m due in November and have been simplifying my schedule and working on not having lots of projects or errands, but I have a tendency to want to do a bit of everything and with the holidays coming up I know I’ll have a tendency to want to do a lot of fun stuff (baking, decorating, etc). Any suggestions?

    Jessica’s last blog post…Works-for-Me Wednesday

  48. One more question!
    Being a mom of 3 kids under 6, I feel that “simple” is the furthest thing from where my life is right now. Not that I don’t enjoy it – I do immensely – but it’s certainly not simple. Marriage is complicated, money is complicated, sustaining friendships is complicated, even just getting to church, getting some kind of spiritual sustinence when all three of your kids are not healthy at the same time for several weeks in a row is extremely complicated… Shall I go on? :)
    So how do YOU define simple? I’m just trying to get a handle on what “simple” looks like at this stage in life. What are you aiming for?

    Jen’s last blog post…Musings on Books and Sports

  49. Since I’m living abroad too, my question has to do with raising your children interculturally. I’m trying to bring out the best in both our home and adopted cultures, but I’m still trying to figure out how formal education will work. Your kiddos are young too, but do you have any ideas about this.

    Julie’s last blog post…Someone stole Mr. Bunny!

  50. Ive been in the forums… long story. It ok, no hard feelings.

  51. Hi,
    We have been doing a massive purge, for simplicity sake and since we’ve decided that two boys will probably be it for us unless we adopt someday. So, my question is this, how do you feel about donating vs. selling items that you are giving up? Most of the things I have set aside for our church rummage sale or have found homes for through Freecycle, but there are things that I’m also considering taking to a children’s consignment store or putting on Craig’s List. I guess the reason I have this question is that many of these items were given to me and not things that I actually spent money on, but I know that they would probably sell, and like most people in this economy, we could use the extra cash.

    Your blog is excellent – helpful and inspiring!

    • I hope this will help. I also have been given many things as hand-me-downs etc for our kids. In turn we have given tons of stuff away as we have not needed them. When I give something I let the person know, “pass it on, do whatever you like with it after you’re done.” Or if I receive something I ask what I am to do with it after our use, because I have “loaned” a couple of things or gave things that I thought would be keepsakes (homemade clothing etc) without communicating and then saw them for sale at that persons yard sale the next year. I admit it bothered me, but I am not bold enough to ask for it back. If I would have communicated up-front, the issue would not have arisen. If you can, just ask the people who gave you the items what they would like you to do with them and then follow your heart in the matter.

  52. thanks for all your wonderful advice, especially about finances! now if i could just turn back time and start saving 10 years ago…

    i was wondering if you, or anyone, has any advice about holiday cards. we have a new baby and i would love to find an inexpensive, creative way of sending her picture to family and friends this holiday season. i love to craft but sometimes get stuck in the rut of feeling like i need to buy a bunch of expensive materials to create the ‘perfect’ thing!

    Erin’s last blog post…Hand appliqued Elk onesie

  53. Ooh! I’m so glad you asked.

    If you’re willing to share, I’d love to get a glimpse into your site’s growth. I have a background in web marketing, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a site take off as fast as yours. If you’d be willing to answer, I’d love to know:

    1. By what percent has your site grown in the past, say, six months?
    2. Did you intend for the site to be this big this quickly?
    3. What would you say the top three things are that you did to increase your site’s traffic?

    Even though I’m a total web nerd, I think a lot of folks with blogs would love to hear some tips in this department. :)

    Jennifer (Et Tu?)’s last blog post…Faith, trust, and control

  54. I’d love to know what you can share about where you live? what prompted you to move, how long you’ll be there, how you’re fitting in, do you like where you are, what you love most about the people, what you enjoy least :) and what you miss most about home!

    Gee – I know i’m curious but I love travelling and these are the questions I’d ask you if we met up and had a cup of tea together :)

    Organising Queen’s last blog post…The Friday Declutter Challenge – 19 Sept 08

  55. I’m sure all the good questions have been asked by now… I’m a little behind in my reader. :P
    But I will say, where do you get all these good ideas on organizing/simplifying/etc? Have you done a lot of research over the years, or just really paid attention to what has worked and hasn’t worked in your own life?

    Gidget’s last blog post…Weekly Surf Spots

  56. What advice would you give to a newly divorced mom to live a simple life?

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