FAQ: Your Questions Answered

In preparing for the new blog design, I finally wrote my long overdue FAQ page.  And since there have been a few delays unveiling the new site, I thought I would post that page here.  These are the answers to the questions I receive most often {via emails and comments}.



What inspired you to share your secret with us? I heard an amazing bit of advice at my first blog conference. That which is most personal, is most universal. I wanted to be able to relate to you, to be honest while still staying positive, to show you that a real person sits behind this screen, and that, like everyone, I have flaws–and my secret is only one of them.  Which is why I even went so far as to even show you a picture of my secret.  And because you are all showed me so much support, I know that I am not alone with my struggles, none of us are.

Do you take medication for your secret? No, I don’t.  As a kid I took medication for about 3 weeks.  My Mom said she didn’t recognize the kid I became when I was medicated. And it’s not that I’m opposed to taking medication for such a disorder, not one bit in fact.  I guess I’m just scared. Scared of the unknown.  At least, living with this disorder, I know what I’m in for every day.  And deep down I have this hope that I can beat this thing on my own one day.  One day…

What advice would you give a blogger who wanted to grow their readership faster? First and foremost, be honest. Readers don’t want to be tricked or mislead.  Be YOU.  Also, in the beginning, I made sure to always join link parties, guest post any chance I had, host giveaways, and sponsor giveaways on other blogs.  Leave comments!!!! I have found some of my favorite blogs via comments left on my blog.  The more blogs you have linking to your site the better. Be sure to check out my blogging tips posts for additional {and more detailed} tips.

Where do you shop for clothes? and for Baby W? Almost everything in my wardrobe is from Forever 21, Old Navy, Target and the sale section of Anthropologie. I have NEVER paid full price for anything in Anthropologie–ever! Baby W has a lot of older friends with great style who have graciously passed down their Gap and Ralph Lauren beauties. When I buy new clothes for him, I hit the more budget friendly Children’s Place, Old Navy and Target.

Do you blog for money? Blogging is my passion.  When I started blogging, it was to connect with other Momma’s out there who might be sharing my experiences. Basically, I blogged to remind myself that I’m not alone.  Eventually, I learned that blogging could also provide for my family.  Best of both worlds. Now I get to do what I love for a living, stay home with my son, and help support fabulous businesses along the way. But I must add, it took a lot of work, and a lot of sacrificed sleep before I started to see a a profit.

How do you find the time to do it all? Be a momma, blog, etsy, church, SOS blog, etc. I don’t. I struggle every day to find balance–and I’m a work in progress.  Many days I break down, feel like I am failing, not accomplishing all that I am capable of.  But in between the self doubt, I work to keep faith–faith that I am doing what I am supposed to, even if it sometimes seems too hard.  I fill every second of my day with checking my to-do’s off the list {I heart lists}. At the end of the day, there are still a lot of items unchecked, but I do my best to focus on the accomplishments. Woah, that was a roundabout way of answering the question.

Where did you go to college and what did you study? I went to the University of Santa Barbara California (UCSB) for two years before transferring to the University of Southern California (USC). I graduated with a degree in Communication. I had grand plans of doing something big and important in the advertising world. But then I discovered myself a bit more, rearranged my priorities, and changed my plans.  I decided I wanted to do something for a living that made a difference in people’s lives. I hope LMM can help me accomplish this goal.

What did you do for a living before becoming a Momma? I worked as a Marketing Director for two companies in the gift industry. Basically, I spent my time traveling to different cities in the U.S. attending trade shows and training sell reps, getting lots of free products, and meeting some pretty talented people along the way. Eventually I got tired of airports and being away from the hubs fro so many weeks at a time…and then I got the baby itch. The rest is history.

So, have you always been Mormon? Nope. In fact, I used to be an atheist. A series of events in my life helped me to find faith.  One day soon, I will blog about my story. My faith is a huge part of who I am–my purpose, my inspiration, my drive, my foundation for everything.

Where did you get that silver heart ring you are always wearing? This is my favorite ring ever. It’s a Tiffany’s silver heart ring that Ben got for me on our first Christmas as a married couple. I almost never take it off. I contacted Tiffany’s and they said they “retired” that ring 2 years ago, but click here for a link to another website that sells the ring {it looks legit, but I’m not sure}.

Do you use magic toothpaste? Hehe, you guys crack me up. No magic toothpaste over here, but I use the next best thing. Crest White Strips or the Target brand of whitening strips. I use them about every 6 months. And I am also an obsessive brusher, drink through a straw, and chew staining foods with my back teeth–I know, I know, a bit overkill.

What’s the scoop on your camera? I use a Nikon D3100 and a Canon Power Shot SX20 IS–currently on auto, as I learn all the inner workings and secrets of photography. Click here for all the details on my cameras.

Where did you get your hair extensions? Are they expensive? Are they made with fake hair? They are actually 100% real hair. Fake hair cannot be washed, blow dried, curled or straightened–therefore, I use real hair. My hair dresser has me buy the hair and then she puts it in. I bought my extensions at a local beauty supply store, but I am sure you can find it online as well. I would google: weft hair extensions. My hair dresser braids a corn row into my hair and then she sews the extensions into the braid. They last about 8-10 weeks before she has to take them out and sew them back in. The hair cost me approximately $100 for 2 ounces {which is a lot of hair}, and I have been using the same hair for a few years. It washes just like my actual hair. Be sure to buy the hair type most similar to yours. I use my extensions for thickness, not length. Although I am thinking of getting some longer hair put in.

How did you lose the baby bump? What is your workout routine? Seriously you are all too kind. My answer: Spanx. Also, an energetic toddler that keeps me moving 24-7. But really, the pooch is still very much there. I obviously just don’t post pictures that highlight it in all its glory. Before Baby W, I was a work out fiend. 100 mile bike rides, 5 mile runs, spin class 3 nights a week, boot camp–you name it, I did it {except yoga, I’m not really the yoga type}. But in the last 2 years and 10 months, nada.

What does your husband do for a living? Ben is an insurance broker. Mainly specializing in employee benefits packages, health insurance and life insurance. If you ever have any insurance questions, he’s better at answering emails than I am. [email protected]

Do you reply to your reader emails? If so, how long does it take you to respond? I do my best. But there just isn’t enough time in the day. I have a folder in my inbox titled “sweet emails I need to return”, and I have good intentions of returning them all. Whenever I get a free moment, I try to return a dozen or so at a time. But I read every single one of them–often multiple times, and often out loud to the hubs. They make my day, they inspire me, they make me laugh, they bring tears to my eyes, they remind me why I started this blog in the first place–they mean the world to me, I promise!

How do you keep your furniture white with a messy toddler? I purposely bought a couch with slip covers so that I can throw them in the washer when Baby W decides to wipe his spaghetti face on the cushions, or pee on every single panel (true story).  As far as the secret to all other white furniture: Magic Erasers, available at Target–they really are magic (I use them on my walls too). 

Did I forget anything?

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Comments

  1. I just found your blog and feel like I know you already! Your honesty and humor is from the heart and that is awesome. I too am a teeny tiny woman…5' when standing tall (I was measured at the doctors a week ago and the nurse said 4'10 and 3/4 but I made her re-measure me because her measure thingy must be malfunctioning…I was right…or she just gave in to the crazy lil lady). I look forward to many more of your postings! πŸ™‚

  2. Remember me? The one who wanted so badly to hate you? Hahaha. Ashley, there are about 5 blogs I search for in my blogroll and yours is one.

  3. tahnie @ a happy girl says:

    you are a gem ashley. you shine so bright in this crazy blog world!

    sometimes i get incredibly frustrated with my blog; i feel like i'm working my behind off, i have a fabulous story, a unique perspective, i have a passion for words. my blog readership is nowhere near yours, but it is A LOT of work to get your story heard.

    xo.

  4. Great post. I love your honesty. Its weird to be a reader and feel like I know you or am a friend when I have never met you, but at the same time its great and refreshing. I check certain blogs everyday and yours is one of them. =)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ashley! I am addicted to your blog!!! I am a new momma trying to get out my sweat pants as well! I love reading your stories, thoughts and even more so….your outfits. I am trying to revamp my wardrobe and being 4'10 myself….don't always know what I can and can't do. Thanks for bringing me some smiles:) Also…. I love, love, love the pictures of you in your living room… I love your outfit from head to toe:)

  6. jamie @ kreyv says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love getting to know my fave bloggers. I think I need to do a better job of showing who I am on my blog. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. Faith's Place says:

    Definitely enjoyed reading through our blog after finding it on TT&J this morning. I admire your candidness and ability to connect with your readers! Keep up the great work….you are very inspiring!!! πŸ™‚

  8. Sarah @ Scissors and a Whisk says:

    I love getting to know bloggers like YOU. Honest, simply good people. I didn't know you were Mormon. That's what my fiance and hsi family is. My dad is Atheist, and after my mom (Catholic) passed away when I was young, I still feel very confused to this day.

    Keep doing what you do πŸ™‚

  9. Tiffany says:

    You are awesome. I can't wait to hear your conversion story.

  10. I think I needed this today…feeling overwhelmed and just blah. It's so nice to remember there are those of you out there that choose to share and suddenly I'm not so alone anymore. (deep breath) Thanks again Ashley!

  11. I love your blog and the fact that you can be so raw and real to literally the entire world. I'm not a momma yet but you are an inspiration for when I do become one!

  12. Visiting from TT&J. You are beautiful inside and out.:) love your blog and your shop!

  13. james @ agirlcalledjames says:

    thank you for letting us get to know you.

  14. Amanda M. says:

    You are so awesome. Your honesty is just THE BEST. I love this blog and I absolutely LOVE your shop, too! πŸ™‚

  15. I'm so glad that you are a little obsessive about foods that stain your teeth too!! My husband is always laughing at me because of it. Glad I'm not alone! πŸ™‚

  16. Alexis Kaye says:

    You are so great! Thanks for being so real.

  17. Attilio says:

    hi ashley. just wanted to say that each time i come visit your blog, you just get more and more like a "real" person, (ie not just somebody half way around the world writing what she feels like). it really shows that you write from the heart and i can only guess that this is what makes you special to alot of people, close and far alike. honest people are rare jewels, count yourself one of them.
    ps in you bad moments come back to read what all your fans have to say about it and repeat it to yourself: you deserve it.
    keep it up
    becky
    bpbajona at maltanet dot net

  18. I too LOVE every part of your blog. I love reading about your little guy and your adorably decorated home. My guy likes it too. I often show him your blog too. He loves your style. When we were out shopping the other day I showed him a shirt and he said "I like it, it's very Little Miss Momma-ish" πŸ™‚

  19. i absolutely love your blog and your genuine honesty!! i too was a communications major and then decided i wanted to help women and families and switched the human development. it was so inspiring to hear someone have such similar aspirations and who is actually following and fulfilling her dream. gives me hope that i can someday follow in your footsteps πŸ™‚

  20. Shellsea says:

    You have a great blog and a great voice. Your bravery for honesty is inspiring. Thank you.

  21. The Dutchess says:

    You crack. me. up. I'm not even a momma, but I get super excited whenever you post something.

    You are simply adorable and your stories about real life with a toddler make me feel a lot less intimidated about having kids…which sounds backwards, but now I know that it's not as "simple" as the perfect picture some bloggers paint of having kids.

  22. Christina says:

    I love your blog!
    SO glad you posted this, love your honesty πŸ™‚

  23. two little chefs says:

    I'm so glad I found your blog!

  24. Lindsay says:

    I adore you! πŸ™‚

  25. I absolutely LOVE your blog!! Thank you for opening up and answering questions!

    Hope you will stop by my blog…
    http://sweetsewnstitches.blogspot.com/

  26. I always say that Magic erasers are God's gift to mom's! πŸ™‚

  27. Anonymous says:

    I can't wait to hear about how you met Ben/your love story.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I second the comment above…I have been dying to hear the rest of your love story that you started a while back. Love your blog!!!

  29. Drvance19 says:

    So, wait a minute, hold the presses…are you using the same exact hair or do you just mean you have been using the same brand for a couple of years? If it is the same exact hair from 2 years ago that's insane and I am amazed that it holds up that well.

  30. Love your honesty!
    You are so sweet for answering all these personal questions!

  31. Chrissy says:

    Love your blog. Love the questions & answers. Thank you for sharing. Everyday! And thank you for your inspiration!

    Chrissy

  32. It's fun to get to know you better :0

  33. Bluebird Kisses says:

    can't wait to see the new blog layout! and awesome job answering those questions πŸ™‚

  34. dooleynoted says:

    I just read through your FAQ's and they are filled with such great information! I can only hope to be 1/2 as successful as you on my one-year blogging anniversary- and that's in November! EEKS!!

  35. Hi Ashley! I found your blog about a month ago and now read it daily! I love your style and honesty. πŸ™‚

  36. Noelle {Priss Designs} says:

    Thanks for sharing Ashley! I love your blog and I love that you are so honest about everything!

  37. Baby Shopaholic says:

    I appreciate all the information you share on your blog! You keep me and I am sure all your other followers inspired!

  38. Lexie Loo & Dylan Too says:

    It was nice to learn more about you!

  39. Lexie Loo & Dylan Too says:

    It was nice to learn more about you!

  40. A Girl Named Miss Kate says:

    I really think it is amazing that you shared your secret! it makes so many people feel like they can share theirs. and there is no point to hide anything! you need to be yourself! you are such an inspiration!!!

    love reading your blog<3

  41. I have just found your blog, and have been reading through, and I must say, some of the things you have said, are so true to me, but I have never said. I just wanted to say thank you for being so honest with all you say. From one of your newest followers.

  42. It was so fun getting to know you a little better. I am going to try some of those Crest white strips! You do have very nice teeth! :0)

  43. Brittany says:

    Please move next door so we can be BFFs…

    Pretty please?

  44. Anonymous says:

    how do you keep up with the blogs you enjoy reading? I find that I get overwhelmed by all the information that is available.

    [email protected]

  45. As known, Mulberry has always represented a peculiar British juxtaposition. For the 2010 season Mulberry Bags UK has launched a new bag that is attracting amongst the fashion press.

  46. I can’t wait to read all about the Atheist to Mormon story;)

  47. This is such a good idea. Helps new readers (like me) get to know you so fast!

  48. Hi! I just came across your blog and I absolutely love it. The way you write is so inspiring, I want to just sit and read all your posts!!! Your honesty is so refreshing. Thanks for sharing:). Kelsey

  49. You are adorable. So real and genuine. And inspirational!

  50. Hi Ashley,
    I love your blog! What “theme” do you use from WordPress? I absolutely love the layout! So easy to navigate and visually – just great! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

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  1. […] talked about my hair extensions many times. I summed up most of the details in this post. But a lot of you still wanted to know more. So I decided to bring my camera with me on my most […]

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