Ask Away Friday with Shelly!

This week I am excited to introduce you to Shelly from DIY Mama! I can literally get lost in Shelly’s blog – she has such great posts on everything from organizing, to DIY projects, to being a mama, to recipes, to life overall. We are definitely kindred souls when it comes to organizing! The more I read over there, the more I realized we have in common! Make sure you take a few and hop over to Shelly’s blog – you’ll see pictures of her little girl, who is the cutest baby ever!

Also, make sure you take a minute to head over to see the lovely hosts of the Ask Away Friday link up: Amber from Bold Fab MomStacy from This Momma’s Ramblings, Tiffany from Mrs. Tee, and Penny from the Real Housewife Of Caroline Country.  

Ask Away Friday Shelly

1. Your recent selfie family shot cracked me up! What’s your all-time favorite picture of your family? What’s the story behind it? 

I have to include one from my friend Kristine again. She took some amazing pictures of our family this past summer. I think they look so “us” because we took them at the beach and a park in the town we live in, so it felt natural and fun for us. My kids are actually pretty photogenic, so it’s not too hard to capture them smiling, but it can be tough to get all of us looking natural and fun. Kristine did a great job of finding those moments and capturing them! 

Family Picture

Photo credit: Kristine Lucius

2. I’ve seen your crock-pot and winter favorites posts but what is your ‘go-to meal’ that everyone likes, is relatively simple to cook and you have most everything on hand?

I would say spaghetti. I usually will grab cans of tomato sauce, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes when they go on sale, so I usually have those in the cupboard; same with pasta. And I always have Italian seasonings, onion, and garlic since I use them so often. If I happen to have ground beef or Italian sausage, I’ll throw it in, but if not we’re fine with a meatless marinara sauce. We all love spaghetti, so it’s an easy everyone-will-eat kind of meal!

3. We’re organizing sisters! What is your favorite place to organize?

Probably the kids’ play room, because I always see a return on my time investment! And with how fast my boys grow, every few months we can weed out some toys they have gotten too old for, and rearrange to make their current faves more accessible. And I find it a fun kind of challenge to work with the space and the items and the needs of the room. Finding that balance between neat and organized, yet still functional for kids, can be tough. But I love it when I get it right and the kids can find what they need AND put it away in the right spot when they are done!

Toy Organization Picture

4. I saw that you and your husband are opposites. So are we! How so and how do you guys make it work?

I’m a definite introvert, and my husband is an extrovert. We try to balance each other out, and work with our strengths. He doesn’t mind doing a lot of the little things that cause me anxiety – like he calls and orders the Chinese because I panic about talking to people I don’t know on the phone. And he drives babysitters home because small talk makes me nervous. (I know – I have issues!) He also does a great job of talking me down from my ledges – I panic about things sometimes and let worry get to me. I do the things that he hates – like sending emails and texts to people, and organizing anything. The funny thing is, I can also talk him down from his ledges – I can bolster his confidence when he’s worried about new challenges and can point out to him all the reasons why he can handle it.


5. If you found $1,000, and you had to spend it completely on yourself, what store would you spend your money?

It’s a toss up between Kohl’s and Home Depot. Kohl’s always has a great variety of clothes so I could get some fun pieces as well as some work ones. All with accessories and shoes, too! And since I love to add some trend to my wardrobe, it would be nice to have some cash for that. However, I also would love to some remodeling in our kitchen and upstairs bathroom. So that money would go a long way towards making those spaces how I want them. I’d probably end up going the home renovation route, since I am pretty good at finding bargain clothes items!

6. Spring is SO CLOSE! What is your favorite season and why?

Spring in Michigan is kind of rainy and never as warm as I think it will be. I used to say summer was my favorite, but now as I get older I lean towards fall. The days are usually still fairly nice and lots of sunshine. I love the changing colors of the leaves. And, of course, it is football season! It’s a busy time of year for us, but filled with things we love – sports, birthdays, cool sunny days…

7. I totally go through phases with hobbies (like every other day.) What is your current hobby and/or what hobby would you like to pick up?

Earlier this week my photo-a-day challenge had the prompt “hobby.” I don’t know if reading really counts as a hobby, but it is what I continually make time for even during those busy stages in life. I love a good book and am always reading something. Other than reading, I also like to scrapbook, but am ridiculously far behind! But I do love how much my boys like to look through their “picture books” and how often they will ask to get them out.

book hobby

8. What was your boy’s favorite non-toy toy?

For my oldest, I think it would be bags. Any kind of bag. We joke that he is our hoarder, so he loves to fill a bag with all kinds of crap and carry it around. I regularly find little bags from birthday parties or such filled with plastic dinosaurs or race cars all over the house. My youngest would probably be paper and a pen. He loves to doodle, or lately he loves writing all the letters he has learned in preschool. I can give that kid a scrap of paper and something to write with and he’s content for awhile!

9. I currently have a Lemon Meringue Pie candle at my desk and a Paris candle in my bedroom. What is your favorite candle scent and do you have certain scents for different areas of your home?

My sister is a Scentsy consultant, so I no longer have any candles in my house – but I have a ton of Scentsy warmers!! I definitely have certain scents I like for certain rooms. I try to keep food scents limited to the kitchen – my favorite in there is Central Park Praline, but I also like anything with a spiced scent or vanilla. In the living room I like the Welcome Home scent – it is subtle but has a warm scent to it, if that makes sense? In the bathrooms I like simple and clean – we usually have a White Tea and Cactus (I think!) in there. In my own room I like to have Satin Sheets – another one that is subtle but has a little bit of a musky scent to it. For the boys’ room, they usually pick by wax color, rather than scent! Haha!


10. I loved your post on streamlining FB! It was really helpful! I also use Path, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Reddit for various reasons. Do you use any other social media site and what for?

Thanks! And I absolutely love social media. I have backed off on Facebook a lot – the drama I would see from my personal page got to be a bit much, and as far as my blog page, no one was seeing my posts anyway so it was a waste of effort to keep spending so much time there. I love, love, love Instagram right now! In fact, you can read why I think Instagram won’t be the next Facebook over at BlogHer. I love that Instagram is really a life told in pictures. It offers that glimpse into the everyday of people, without feeling like you’re a voyeur. Sometimes with Facebook I felt like I was in people’s lives way too much, but Instagram offers just enough to feel comfortable. I’m on Twitter, but honestly don’t hang out there much. I love Google+ for sharing content and finding great content to read. I heard someone refer to it as “Pinterest for content” and I loved that. Pinterest is really fun to play on. I will browse through Pinterest when I need some zone out time. It has also become my go-to source for recipes, ideas for kids crafts, printables, and so much more.

Bonus: Answer a question you asked me!

I’m more excited for summer, than for spring around here. Besides hot dogs (which I know we both love!), what is your favorite dinner on the grill?

My absolute favorite summer meal is one we can cook entirely on the grill! I love a good steak, some roasted potatoes (I cut up red skins into chunks, drizzle with olive oil and garlic salt, then fold up in aluminum foil packets for the grill), and grilled asparagus. Top it off with a bottle of Summer Shandy, and it’s perfection!! 

fave dinner pic 


  1. Yum! I want that dinner!
    And my husband always has to call people for me. Even my own bank! I am so anxious about it. I also have trouble ordering food, although less so.

    • Haha – that’s so funny because my husband has called my bank before! I even made him call the snow plow guy to make sure we were on his list again this year. I have no idea why the phone causes me so much panic!

  2. I am so in love with your toy organization. I need to do that asap! I had a bin system but after maybe 3 years the bins cracked and broke…BOO! I really need to get a new system set up.

    Insurgent! Love It! I read through Divergent so fast and then they teased me with a full 2 CHAPTER preview of Insurgent so of course I downloaded it immediately…

    Have a wonderful weekend :)

    • Thanks!! Our storage is kind of pieced together. A unit I picked up at target, a book case we repurposed, the Lego rack was a gift. I just try to make it work with what we have, and if I absolutely can’t make something work, then I buy something new.

      That’s exactly what they got me with!! Those preview chapters are better than the candy bars at the checkout line – impossible to resist the impulse buy! haha! I’m about a third of the way through insurgent and it’s killing me that I have so much to do this week! I actually thought about calling in sick one day so I could read all day – how bad is that?!

      Hope you’re having a great week!

  3. Hoping to read Divergent series soon! And we love Leinenkugels here too! I would NEED way more than $1000 at Home Depot, though I have a ton of home improvement to do!

    • It’s so good! Loved the first book and so far the second is just as good! I like that the books move fast – helps to keep you interested!

      I love Leinenkugel’s! I always love getting their variety packs every season.

      Oh – we could use as much as we could get at the home improvement store! haha! The list for our house seems never ending!

  4. Yum with roasted potatoes! I think I love everything potatoes! LOL. It’s funny that we’re similar in that I also can’t bring myself to talk with someone I don’t know over the phone.. although I’ve learned to manage that because my husband would usually insist I do it. Hah! I love your family photo! :)

    • Me too! I joke I love potatoes so much cause I’m an Irish girl!

      My weird phone phobia has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. Maybe because emailing, texting, and messaging on social media has made it so much easier to communicate other ways. Who knows – maybe I’m just a nut case! haha!

Speak Your Mind