I’m so excited for this new series on the blog, A Cup of Joy!! I feel like this is our time to connect as friends and talk about everything YOU want for a change 🙂 Every week, I’ll put a post out on my instagram asking for questions and we’ll take if from there! Follow the hashtag #cupofjoy to keep up-to-date!
here goes nothing!
1. I know that blogging is your “business” (and you are so enjoyable to follow)…but is there another passion you have that you hope to someday turn into a business? At the moment I am so lucky to be living my dream life and this is my passion which I was able to turn into a business. I get to do everything I love, cooking, decorating, fashion, essential oils all while being able to spend quality time with my family. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
2. What’s your favorite part of living on the East Coast? How do you like the suburb life? I have a few things I love about the East Coast/suburbs. My favorite parts are access to the ocean and all the great beaches. There’s a ton of New England/North East charm to soak up. We get to experience all of the seasons. I love being able to have a car and drive to paces like the grocery store, Target, or just a scenic drive. I think the suburbs are a great place to raise a family as you can have a yard for them to play outside instead of needing to walk to a park, and a neighborhood for them to safely play in. But that’s just what I prefer I am sure there’s tons of great benefits to raising a family in the city I just prefer where we are right now.
3. What are you most excited about in your 34th year? My favorite thing in life is simply being with my family. I hope in 2019 my career enables us to do that more. I hope to shift to more of a focus on us as a family than just me and growing Pure Joy Home into more of a family brand and see where that takes us. I also love how Brian has his own Instagram account now (if your not following already check him out @brianjoy – I think he’s hilarious!)
4. What was your original thought/topic when you first started your blog? What was the first step you took to starting? Did you ever get discouraged that it would never go anywhere? How long do you see yourself blogging for? Any advice for new bloggers? When I first started my blog I wanted to blog about what I was going through at the time which was transitioning into my role as a new mom to Brian and being a stay at home mom that was trying to navigate how to create a career from home. That morphed into many different things over the years, I had a papery on Etsy, I did strictly lifestyle blogging for a while focusing on recipes/home decor, then I moved more into fashion and now morphed it all back to together. In terms of how I started, I just opened a webpage on blog spot and sent it to all my family and friends on Facebook as there was no Instagram or Pinterest at the time (crazy right?!). There were times I did get discouraged, but I loved writing and being creative so much that it never deterred me even though at times I thought I would never grow. I honestly was just really happy writing and creating even when my community was small it was fun just sharing with them. I see myself blogging forever. My advice for new bloggers is to write about/share what inspires you and try not to get distracted by what everyone else is doing. Stay true to yourself. Do what feels right regardless if it’s trendy or not. You have to be living a life you love in order for that to transfer on to paper so that’s probably your first step. Whether it’s blogging or another type of career I highly recommend making sure you like what your spending your time doing. It’s too easy to get stuck in a job or career that you aren’t passionate about and I believe it’s possible to find something you love and run with it no matter what it is. Just stay positive, work hard and try your best!
5. How do you deal with the pressure to always be updating your home/decor to stay fresh? What if you’re just content with how it is? or I guess do you even feel pressured? I don’t feel any pressure at all. There were things in our home that needed some upgrading, like our kitchen hadn’t been really updated since the 60’s, etc. I usually update little things as I go and this was the first major renovation we have done. Other than that I am passionate about home decor so there is no pressure involved for me. I’m very visual I love putting together little spaces (like our kitchen shelves, the foyer, etc.) and that doesn’t always mean buying new things. It can be re-purposing things I already have so I’m constantly inspired to move things and changes things around.
7. Last year I moved from Cali to Mass and I feel like we are always trying to figure out things to do. What are some must dos on the east coast? Preferably family friendly? Go to the beach! We love going to the beaches in Rhode Island, Montauk, the Hamptons and Block Island (which is our absolute favorite!). It’s fun to go to little divey lobster shacks on the CT shoreline. When it’s fall you can look up where the best foliage is and take a drive or go pumpkin picking. We love going to a Christmas tree farm and cutting our tree down. You can take day or weekend trips to NYC, Boston, or Newport, RI. Montauk and the Hamptons have beaches that are not to be missed!
8. What do you pack for Brian & Grace’s lunches? I have a picky toddler starting preschool soon and I am looking for ideas! I usually will give them a sandwich (Sun butter and jelly or Turkey and cheese) a fruit, some veggies (they love peppers or cucumbers and hummus), and some sort of cracker like goldfish and a yogurt. I’m also not afraid to give them a cookie every once and a while.
9. What year was your house built? It’s beautiful. Thank you! I think the 1960’s.
10. I’m always curious how bloggers shop – how do you find the best value items and decide when to buy what? I have my go-to stores – Nordstrom, Anthro, Loft, Madewell and J.Crew that I will check early in the morning to see what type of sales they have going on to share with you all. I usually shop their new arrivals and don’t really get to shop their sales since I like to buy product, test it out/wear it for a while then share with you and notify you when the items I love go on sale!
11. What brings you more peace – going to a Mumford & Sons concert or a tropical vacation? This is a very tough one – watching Mumford on the beach is that an option?! But if I really had to choose a tropical beach with my family as Mumford is more a thrilling thing I enjoy.
12. How often do you clean your kitchen? It always is sparkling! This is a funny one for me because it’s not always clean but when I take a photo for Instagram I obviously clean it, but usually it’s looks like a normal kitchen in a house where kids live! I do try to wipe down the counters frequently especially after meals and tidy up before bed each night so we wake up to a clean space.
13. Best advice for transitioning from 1 to 2 kids. Buckle up because it is a huge shift. Your first child is going to feel the more emotion and change than your newborn so I made sure to spend a lot of quality time with Brian to help him adjust to the new norm. Grace was mostly feeding and napping so I knew she was taken care of but Brian got most of my time when I could. I tried to get him to help with the baby but to be honest he wasn’t really interested which was OK. I also think it’s important to ask for help and know that this beginning phase doesn’t last forever and it’s the second time so you know a little more about what to expect with the baby so in some sense it’s a bit easier. Don’t stress about the house being clean or keeping on top of chores, it will all get done when it get’s done, just focus on your family and don’t be afraid to leave the kids to go on a date night to take care of yourself and make time for your marriage.
14. I absolutely love your hair! What do you use to get so much volume? So I color my hair which gives it a lot of texture. I wash it twice a week and I like to alternate what I use because I get bored easily. I will use the Young Living Copaiba Vanilla shampoo and conditioner and this shampoo and conditioner from Target. I also use a purple shampoo 1x a week to keep my color fresh. I recently incorporated the Living Proof texture spray (and I like their Dry Shampoo) into my routine when I curl my hair and love it! I also think using the T3 to curl my hair helps a lot with volume.
15. What was your design idea for your house? I’d love to see a virtual home tour. How would you describe your design style? I take inspiration from everywhere on the internet. Studio McGee is my favorite to follow and the rest is stuff I have been dreaming up for years. I would call my style Modern/Classic/Farmhouse with a touch of bohemian so basically all the styles rolled into one lol.
16. What are your Christmas traditions? We have Christmas eve with my family which is the full Italian fish dinner and a smaller family celebration on Christmas day. Christmas morning we wake up and have a nice breakfast (usually pancakes) with the kids and play with the toys. Then we will go to my moms or I will host mid-morning and it’s really casual maybe we have mimosa’s before the celebration later on. Then we usually spend the night watching Christmas movies in our PJ’s and just relaxing.
17. Do you and Brian plan on having more babies or is your family complete? We are completely overjoyed with our family of 4 right now and everything feels so right an manageable. Neither of us are sure about adding a 3rd right now but if it happens one day it will be a blessing and if it doesn’t, equally a blessing.
18. Best advice for home renovations? Patience, Instant Pot and Wine 🙂
19. What was your most favorite vacation place ever? I have to say hands-down Tuscany. I wrote a post about it when Brian and I went there which you can read here. Then we also all really enjoyed and Jumby Bay with the kids.
20. What is your favorite recipe for a crowd? A really good bolognese (my recipe is linked here) with a fresh loaf of Italian bread and a good salad.
21. If you could give one piece of advice to your babies what would it be?? Do what makes you happy. Don’t do what other people tell you to do. Pave your own way. The most important thing is that you fill your soul with people and experiences that make you smile and happy.
22. If you could have dinner with someone dead or alive, who would it be? Why? And what would you eat? I would love to share a dinner with Leonardo DiCpario on the French Rivera (don’t tell brian). Because he is the most beautiful human on the planet.
23. I just turned 34 as well! Though I’m not quite as excited about it. I wanted to ask what your recommendations are for someone who has never used essential oils? I want to start but have no clue where to start…2 things: I have asthma & wondered if any could trigger it? And I have anxiety which is main reason for wanting to start! Any tips would be appreciated! You should 100% jump in with the starter kit. That will give you everything you need to get started including 11 of the most commonly used oils, diffuser, theives and Ningxia samples and I would add valor to your order to help with anxiety. People have actually said it has helped with their asthma.
24. Number 1 piece of advice for parenting (and any advice for parenting strong willed boys). Your kiddies seem so happy and full of life. You seem so patient and kind with your kids. Any secrets? Thank you that is the kindest compliment I could receive 🙂 I feel like yYou have to find your zen, whatever that is. If you need a min in the bathroom to take a deep breathe, exercise, diffusing oils, having help whatever you can do to keep yourself calm while dealing with them. Plan things that will help them use their energy and do things they love to get them exercise and then calm when they need rest. Get help (and don’t be ashamed of this at all!) you can’t always be their entertainer. Try to find the peace in your home so you have more tolerance and patience and take care of yourself because it is hard. I learned to stop having knee jerks reaction. So now when they are both yelling for more snacks or needing my attention, I ignore them until I can answer peacefully. I also try to avoid the triggers that make me loose my patience so I never rush anymore. I leave myself plenty of time to leave the house, I will keep the house in order as much as possible as clutter was a trigger and keeping TV’s on a low volume as stuff like that grates my nerves.
25. New to the blogging world over here! I would love tips or tricks for styling photo shoots. Natural light, you only really need an iPhone and invest in lightroom presets.
26. What’s your favorite essential oil for your face? Frankincense as it helps with fine lines. My Glow serum is life.
27. Talk to us about your morning and evening routine with the kids! I could use some tips because there are times where I feel so unorganized! I wish I could say that i am the mom that woke up before thekids and sometimes I do but lately not so much. I prep lunches the night before, I keep breakfast simple with cereal or pancakes, I get outfits ready when they are eating and they put on own shoes and jackets so we get out the door faster. Then at night we have dinner as a family at 6:30, we play then do bath time from 7:15-7:30, read books, diffuse, bathroom (a few times) then bed. Pretty basic no magic here lol.
28. What are the essentials in your fridge? (Looked in my fridge to write this!). Leftovers lol, eggs, orange juice because grace is obsessed, berries, Cheese sticks, fruit, veggies, hummus, go-gurts, half & half for my coffee, Ningxia Red, almond milk, ketchup, grapes, parmesan cheese, onions, berries and apples.
29. Any NYE outfit ideas for stay at home/kid party? Pajama’s?! I plan on sharing some ideas in stories today/next week!
30. Are you going to have another RV life it’s about that time right? H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS-NO!! Never again.
31. What vacations are you taking in 2019? I’m really tempted to book a trip to Jupiter FL with my daughter. Doing all the research now!! Thank you! We are going to Florida, Block Island in the summer and that’s all we really have planned right now but our goal is to get to Hawaii.
32. Do you use eye cream along with your Young Living routine? I don’t. I don’t like to use too many products.
33. How did you and Brian meet? Here’s a post on it <3
34. Can you recommend local pros you used for the renovation?You can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you local contacts I would recommend.
Thank you for the awesome questions that was fun I can’t wait to do it again!!