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#AskAwayFriday with Beth from Structure in an Unstructured Life

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Welcome back to #AskAwayFriday! Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber from The Bold Fab Mom came up with this concept as a chance for bloggers to connect and learn more about each other. If you’d like to get more information about joining the party, head over to visit Penny or Caroline!

This week I am teaming up with Beth from Structure in an Unstructured Life. I actually met Beth through #AskAwayFriday. If you are looking for help with organization, you are definitely going to want to check Beth’s blog out! She has a lot of great posts on that topic! Guess what I have been doing? You all know how much help I need in that department! Of course I snuck in a few questions on organization! Please head over to her place to see her answers to my questions!

Ask Away Friday with Beth from Structure in an Unstructured Life

But first, before you do, here are her questions to me!

1. I see your kids are all into (or close) to the teen years. What is your most favorite and least favorite thing about this stage? My most favorite is probably their independence. I also love watching their sports events…they really have skill at this point, and it’s fun to see how far they’ve come from when they were little. Least favorite? Back talking, definitely. Teenagers think they know everything and that they are the only ones who have ever been through the things they are going through. I guess it’s a rite of passage. I know I was the same way. It doesn’t make it any easier though.


2. I also see you have three dogs – we just got a puppy this fall. What is the best dog training advice you can give me? (I’m desperate here!) My best advice is probably to just be consistent. I’m not sure what your puppy is doing, but we have found that having a “friend” is crucial. It keeps them occupied and away from tearing up the house when they are bored. Our “puppy” who is now 2, has a crate, and he loves it. Our other two dogs are older and don’t want to play with him all the time. His best buddy is a cat, but she doesn’t really play with him…she snuggles. So sometimes he goes in the crate when we are going to be gone for a longer period of time. Another thing that we find really helps keep the crazy energy at bay is making sure they get their exercise. We run with the dogs in the morning.

Spoiled Pooch

 3. You have quite a few organizing posts and one of your goals this year is to get more organized. What is the most organized area of your home and the least. (Bonus points for including pictures!) I’m not sure any area of my house is terribly organized. However, my photos are fairly well organized. My office is by far and away the worst…you can’t even walk in there! I highlighted it in the picture for my guest post from professional organizer Seana Turner the other day!

3 Simple Steps to Organize Any Space

4. Would you rather watch a movie or read a book? This one is a tough question! I love to read but I rarely get to watch movies. I don’t really watch tv (although I am slowly being convinced to come back) so the movies are a nice treat. I can’t decide! It might depend on the movie…I am a huge sports movie fan.  Miracle and Remember the Titans are two of my favorites. I love this scene in Remember the Titans…”attitude reflects leadership…” How true this is!

 5. All your kids are involved in sports – how do you balance sports schedules with family time? Balance? What is that? Actually that is one of the things I want to work on this year! It is hard, because we are always coming or going. I know it’s suggested that families eat together every night, but the reality is, if you have kids in travel sports, it’s next to impossible. We very rarely have all three kids home at the same time, and usually one of us is on carpool duty. In the winter, we try to go skiing as a family once in a while…we go away for the whole weekend. In the summer, we have a lot of family time too, hanging out by the pool. We also eat dinner together as a family during the summer.

6. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? It depends on the setting. In my professional life, I am much more of an extrovert. I love meeting people at blog conferences, and online. In my personal life, I am more introverted. I have some really close friends and occasionally I make a new friend in real life, but I don’t have a lot of free time, so I’d rather have fewer really good friends that I can count on rather than a bunch of friends who I’m not all that close to. 

7. I see you chose a word – well three – for the year to center your personal goals around. I also jumped on the bandwagon of choosing a word for the year. What are some things you plan to do to bring these words into your daily life? New Year’s Resolutions didn’t seem to fit this year…but words did. And of course I couldn’t choose just one. As of right now, I am trying to put more balance in my life…I tend to work round the clock when things need to be done, and I have been putting things down and going to bed at a reasonable hour instead of one or two in the morning. I am also getting off the computer for a while when the kids come home. When they start homework, I hop back on. As far as organization goes, we have been working on organizing room by room. I am using an editorial calendar this year to keep my blog more organized. And I plan to tackle my office soon. Giving…I want to focus on the little things that make someone’s day…those things that will make someone remember how you made them feel in a positive way.

8. If you had to choose one cause you are most passionate about, what would it be? We definitely feel strongly about animal rescue…6 of our 7 animals are rescues. But one cause we volunteer with every summer is the Fresh Air Fund. It’s a program where a disadvantaged inner city child comes to stay with you for a week or two in the summer. We have hosted the same child for the past 7 years, and it truly is a life changing experience…for us as much as it is for her.

Fresh Air Fund

9. You have both dogs and cats – do you consider yourself more of a dog person or a cat person? I absolutely love dogs. They are always there for you…they love you unconditionally! They are always happy to see you. I guess this means I am more of a dog person. That said though, I do love my kitties. They all have such distinct personalities. I’d love to have a cuddly cat, but the closest I’ve come to that is one cat that will sleep with me sometimes. And she only started doing that after she was sick, and I started bringing her to bed to keep an eye on her.  She’s fine now, but she still sleeps with us at night sometimes.

10. Would you rather have a day at the spa, a day shopping, or a day site seeing? I wouldn’t mind getting a massage, but a whole day at the spa would probably be over the top for me, and I don’t love to shop, so I’ll go with site seeing. I do love to explore when we are traveling and take pictures and learn more about the places we are visiting. Plus it makes for great storytelling in my photo books…it’s a great way to remember a place!

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catherine gacad

Friday 24th of January 2014

now that we will be homeowners with a backyard pretty soon, we are thinking about finally getting a puppy! but i'm also thinking we should have two so that they're companions instead of one puppy all by his lonesome.

Michelle Nahom

Friday 24th of January 2014

I definitely think that it's better to have two -- they keep each other company! And hopefully out of trouble!

Christy Garrett

Tuesday 21st of January 2014

You have an adorable dog, we also have two dogs. We crate trained them when they were younger and it worked out great. This is how we potty trained overall but if they had an accident we always stuck their nose in it. Then we tossed them outside. We got our youngest as a puppy and this method worked out fairly well. They are smart and will run to the back door to tell us that they need out. Sometimes they will even bark at me to tell me.

Michelle Nahom

Friday 24th of January 2014

Only our youngest is crate trained...he is the first puppy we have ever had and the first to be crate trained. The two older ones were shelter dogs. We actually have an electronic dog door that lets them in and out when they get near it (sensor on their collars) and that works great for us! They come in and out all day as they want!


Tuesday 21st of January 2014

So fun reading and getting to know other blogger here :D Day at a spa and a day of sight seeing would be great.

Michelle Nahom

Friday 24th of January 2014

#AskAwayFriday is a lot of fun! I've enjoyed getting to know so many new people!!


Monday 20th of January 2014

I love sports movies also. They're usually pretty inspiring. It's so great that you've opened your heart and your home for a child to share with your family. Great answers!

Michelle Nahom

Friday 24th of January 2014

We enjoy being part of the Fresh Air Fund's a great experience all around and being able to host the same child is nice. One year they called because there was a mixup with the paperwork and asked us to take another child. I was completely thrown and said that I was calling her mom...because I knew she was coming! We are very comfortable with her and she with us. It would be hard to start over when we already have a great relationship with a child that has been with us so long!


Monday 20th of January 2014

I can still remember the sass and back talk I gave to my mother as a kid. Even at 4.5 Malone has a good deal of it. It drives me insane!

I think I'd pick a day of shopping, specifically a day to spend a going to all of my favorite vintage places!

Michelle Nahom

Friday 24th of January 2014

I wasn't so stellar either! What comes around goes around, I am finding. My daughter is very similar to me in a lot of ways.