Location: Seattle, Washington
Child: Harper (4)
Online Home: Harper's Happenings
Using what appears to be some kind of blogging magic, Mandy strikes the perfect balance of humor, honesty, craftiness, and advice on Harper's Happenings to keep readers always on their toes--and sometimes rolling on the floor. Though its title hints that the blog relates only tales of her (completely and utterly precious) daughter, Harper, it succeeds in being so much more. This blogging mom manages to share the spotlight with Harper, delighting readers with her own happenings and hysterical musings, which reach well beyond her being Harper's mom.
You may remember Mandy and Harper from Harper's Room Tour earlier this year. (Mandy, Harper, and dad, Scot, have recently moved so we're still waiting to see the big reveal of Harper's new room, but you can check out the sneak peek below.) An avid thrifter and all-around crafty gal, Mandy also shares her thrifting finds, craft how-to's and recipes, photography tips, and details on where she gets all of Harper's super cute outfits. We asked Mandy to share a bit about her being both the brains behind one of the funniest mom blogs around and mom to one of the most hysterical and adorable kids ever to grace the blog world.
When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging in 2009 (if we're not counting my super amazing MySpace "blog"...which we aren't) when my daughter was a few months old. My in-laws had recently moved away and I wanted to keep them and other far-away family members up to date with Harper's...happenings. Ah, blog naming fun.
In a nutshell, how would you describe your blog, and what are your favorite posts?
My blog offers a little bit of everything. It's obviously mostly parenting related - most days I'm blogging about Harper and my life being her mom. But I do sneak in some recipes and DIY's here and there. My favorite posts are the ones where I sit down and just write. It can be hard to find that time these days, but when I look back, the ones that make me smile the most are the ones I know were tapped out in the middle of the night with a glass of wine and no inhibitions.
How has blogging and/or the Internet community affected how you parent?
Honestly, I can't imagine parenting without the internet. Meeting people in my same boat when Harper was brand new and reading that everything I was going through as a new mom was normal was priceless. As she grows and we encounter new phases, the community I've found online is there to tell me it's all okay and chime in with answers if I have questions. I've found that Twitter is better than Google!
What tips do you have about being a mom and a blogger, and how do you find a balance?
For me, balance has come (mostly) easily with these two things because the one (mom) always comes before the other. Blogging is my happy place that I can go to when everything else is done. There was a time when I tried to make blogging more of a "job" but it wasn't for me. As with any hobby or activity you really enjoy, I think it's important to find that time for you. I love getting up really early sometimes, making a big cup of coffee and sitting in silence with my Wordpress dashboard. Naptime and after bedtime are also popular blogging times in my house.
Where can I get a kid as cute, funny, and personable as yours?
Ah! If only I knew. I'd love to pre-order another one myself!
What are some of your favorite Internet stops?
Two of my favorite parenting blogs are Grumbles and Grunts and Bebehblog. Both are candid, funny and real. Katie's Pencil Box, Shutterbean (oh the food! Amazing.), The Friendly Fox and Kendi Everyday are also big time favorites of mine.
What's one great piece of parenting advice that someone has shared with you?
I've gotten endless amounts of great advice from my own mom and my awesome mother-in-law. Recently though, my favorite quote came from something I saw on Pinterest which said to be careful how you speak to your children, for one day it will become their inner voice. It really stuck with me. My number one goal in life is for Harper to grow up to be a happy, confident woman. Little things like that quote that remind me it's all up to us are always a good kick in the pants when things feel rough in toddlerland!
Thanks, Mandy! Readers, keep up with all of Mandy and Harper's haps at Harper's Happenings.
(Images: Harper's Happenings)