Do I have the best contributors, or what?!? As you know, ‘Or so she says…’ is all about great ideas for women, from women. And the women who write (and have written) for this blog are who have made it so fun for the past 5 years. Thank you to all my contributors and guest bloggers! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
So, we have a couple fun things for you, today and next Monday. Today, I wanted to give y’all the chance to get to know these ladies better. And, what better than with a good ole fashioned Q&A Blog Hop! I carefully crafted 10 questions that I wanted them to answer, that would help you get to know more about them and their blogs. Each one of these contributors have been hand-picked by me, and I know you will love all of their blogs. So, please show them some love today, give them all a big high-five, and bounce around to read their interviews, check out some of their favorite things, their blogs, and what makes them tick. And of course, I’ll answer the questions too (below.)
Next Monday, the contributors and I are hosting a big Favorite Books Giveaway, along with a California vacation! If you love to read (or need a vacation), be here to check out each one of their favorite books and enter for your chance to win ALL of them and a fun vacation from Get Away Today!
Here’s a little about me (Mariel):
What inspired you to start your blog (or shop?)
Well, hmmm… okay, so it was back in 2009, when I was lying in bed thinking about how great Target is. I mean, what woman doesn’t love Target? Awesome stuff, all sorts of stuff, all in one place. Then my mind shifted to wondering why there wasn’t a blog like that; not JUST crafts, not JUST recipes, not JUST anything, but everything, all great, organized, in one place. And, that’s when ‘Or so she says…’ was born. The next morning I hit up my super cool cousin, Jessica, and convinced her to do this with me. We blogged together for a couple years, but eventually it ended up being just me. No drama story behind it, sorry ladies. She just needed more time for the fam. What started out as a desire to just get lots of great ideas, all categories out there, from lots of women, turned into a strong desire to put UPLIFTING content out there. Sometimes the internet can be a depressing place. So, it’s my goal to be real, inspire women, promote motherhood, families, and being your best self.
What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?
Let’s save the good part for last, end on a happy note.
My least favorite thing would be the commitment. I’m all for a good commitment, but when you get this grand idea to start a blog, you don’t really think about the commitment involved. Well, at least I didn’t. I mean, it’s EVERY single day. I may arrange ahead of time to get a little blog-breather, but there is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t have to concern myself with what is happening on the blog and the list of things I need to get done. As a homeschooler and mother of 6, I really have to make sure my priorities are straight and I’m feeling at the top of my game (physically, emotionally, etc.) so I can multi-task like nobody’s business. I fully admit to having random mental breakdowns, where I just want to hide from everything. But a good cry and hug from the husband, and I always feel better afterwards…or more likely, by the next day. Ready for more. 🙂 There is nothing on my plate I feel like I can give up. I love being a mother. I love teaching them at home and seeing them grow in so many ways. I love my blog and what it’s done for me and other people. But, it’s a real commitment, I tell ya.
My favorite part about blogging… well, there’s a few things. First, I love learning and I can’t believe how much I’ve learned over the years. I’ve learned to cook better, be a photographer, manage my own business, work my way around computers, new programs, and the internet, etc. It’s been really neat! Second, I’ve met lots of new people, even if many are just online meetings. I always love getting to know my contributors and seeing the creativity that comes from them. Third, I love seeing my posts help other people. It’s fun to see people pinning things because they’re helpful or inspiring. I especially love a random email saying how much a blog post meant to someone. It’s a real boost and motivator to keep going!
If you’re interested in blogging, check out this post: My Top 10 Blogging Tips for Beginners.
Tell me with only 20 words, 20 things you love.
God. Family. Beliefs. Scriptures. Golf. Tennis. Reading. Learning. Volleyball. Cake. Shoes. Nature. Fitness. Broadway. Gravy. Relaxation. Travel. History. Books. Writing.
What is the one recipe you are most often asked to share? Please share it with us!
Well, the number one most requested recipe is my mom’s super-secret chocolate chip cookies. I am literally hounded right and left for that recipe. But, it’s under lock and key. My mom is SLOWLY working on putting a business together around her cookies, so I’m obviously not allowed to pass it around. But, maybe someday! It’s reason enough to be my friend. 🙂 My second most requested recipe is the sugar cookies I make. If there is ever a family event, it’s more important to everyone that my cookies are there, than that I am there. Ha! Just teasin, but not really. The last time I brought them to an event, while I was walking in, everyone started clapping. Not for me, but because the beloved cookies had finally arrived. Yep. You can find the recipe here: The Best Dang Sugar Cookies in the World
5 favorite beauty products, right now… what are they?
First, I would say Chapstick. I have never found anything that works better on my lips, than that.
Second, Liz Earle Cleanse and Muslin Cloths (found on Birchbox). The face cream reminds me of Noxema, but better. And, I love the muslin cloths for a gentle scrub and to wash the soap off. It gets AWESOME reviews.
Third, Hollywood Fashion Tape comes in super handy, especially as a Mormon gal who wears what we call “garments” under my clothes. This fashion tape helps me keep my shirts with a wider neck directly lined up with my garments, so they’re not hanging out from under my clothes. I’ve also used the tape to fix hems on shirts that are coming undone. The four pack is nice because you can throw a little tin in your purse, in the bathroom, car, or wherever else you may need a little clothing adjustment. Or if you’re like me, you’re always telling people about it, giving tins away, and then you only have one left. So, a four pack is much needed.
Fourth, LA Looks Hair Gel. I have really curly hair and have been around the gel block a few times in my life. I’ve tried the super expensive kinds, all the way to the super cheap kinds. And, guess what? Nothing beats cheap hair gel. I swear. I used to buy Dep, until I couldn’t find it anymore. Now, I buy LA Looks. If you care, I usually buy the yellow kind. But this, in conjunction with Aussie Sprunch Spray and my non-frizzy curls method, and you’ve got some great curls.
Fifth, MAC Eyeshadow in Brun for my eyebrows! I was recently at a blog conference where this was recommended, and I love it. I used to use a eyebrow pencil, but I love this so much more. The color looks great on most anyone. Just be sure to buy an eyebrow brush to apply with.
What’s your personal mantra(s)? Something you tell yourself on a regular basis?
Honestly, I think I repeat in my head, ‘Life is supposed to be hard. You can do it,’ more than anything else. And really, I guess I like life to be a challenge, a learning experience, productive, meaningful, and rewarding… with a few breaks in-between. 🙂
What movie made you laugh more than any other?
It’s been a while since a movie has really got me going. But, a lot of it has to do with the kinds of movies made… they’re funny but at the same time super crass. That’s not really my thing. But, a super clean movie that almost made me pee my pants? Napoleon Dynamite. I kinda go for that dumb humor.
If you could recommend one family vacation, what would it be?
We’ve been on lots of family vacations that we loved. Renting a house on the Oregon Coast is always super fun. A cabin in the woods, fun. But, I think my kids would say their number one vacation was Our Disney Cruise. They are dying to go again… I’m saving my money. You can read all about our vacation through the link. Or, just click on the pic.
What goals are you currently working on?
Oh, heck. What am I not working on? I feel like I’m juggling so many goals always. Um, I’m working on updating my food storage (emergency supply.) I was doing so good, had a whole system going, but then I got busy with school and forgot where I left off. My goal is to get back up-to-date before school starts again. I’m working on losing the last of my baby weight. Bleh. It’s been a real fight this time! But, between a personal trainer (see her Post-Baby Work-Outs) and a nutritionist, I’m finally just about there. Yay. I’m also working on my homeschool plan for the fall. I’m adding another child into the mix, so I need to re-evaluate what I was doing before and make things work with my new situation. Finally, well not really finally… just the last one I’ll bore you with, is that I’m working on a new blog design. I’m trying to really capture what OSSS is about with this new design and make it more user friendly to find past ideas and gift ideas.
Looking for gift ideas right now? Check out (and pin) Gift Idea Central.
Please share links to 3 blog posts (or items from your shop) that are special to you (or favorites of yours), and explain why.
First, I loved writing ‘I Can Do Hard Things.’ It’s the story about a hard time my sister went through and what she and I learned.
Second, I loved this one about Interviewing Grandparents. It’s a blog post about an awesome night my family had with the grandparents. It was a bonding experience for all of us. I hope everyone will do something like it! …I’m already anxious to do it again.
Third, just to add something a little more fun and/or creepy to the mix. This is a weird post because I combine a favorite super-duper easy recipe for Chicken and Dumplings with the story of some people trying to break in my house. Good times. It’s been a favorite on Pinterest.
And, that’s a wrap! Remember, this is a blog hop… SO…
Get to know my fellow contributor friends too! They have fantastic blogs that will keep you pinning all day. (There are just a couple that couldn’t participate in the blog hop, but pay them a visit anyway. You’ll be glad you did! :))
Cooking with Ruthie
Lemon Tree Dwelling
Tips for Family Trips
Five Heart Home
Double the Deliciousness
Nine a Plenty
Bits of Everything
Kiki & Company
Additional Contributors (not in blog hop):
Packed with Fun
Kleinworth & Co.
The Connection We Share
And, a big thanks to YOU, my readers. I love you. Thanks for reading and being so supportive of me and all the ladies who share on the blog. Thanks for all of your pins, shares, comments, and emails. Thank you!
What a great idea to get to know your contributors and you! Love learning about all the people who give such great ideas, tips and recipes.
Thanks, Nichole. You’re so nice!
I just pinned the sugar cookie recipe and am seriously looking into the Hollywood tape. Thanks for creating an uplifting place full of great ideas! It’s been fun to contribute.
Thanks so much, Allison!