Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blogging and Beyond- with Big Mama

I've got another fantastic Blogging and Beyond interview for you today! From time to time, I like to share a little behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of some of my favorite bloggers. It's been really fun to learn about blogging and time management from them!

Today's featured blogger is Melanie from Big Mama.
If you aren't reading Big Mama, then you are really missing out! Melanie, ironically, is not at all Big, but was dubbed "Big Mama" by her daughter during a phase in which "Big" was the highest compliment one might be paid. Melanie's was one of the very first blogs I read when I discovered the world of blogging. It is a delightful mixture of good humor, witty insight, real life, and maybe a little fabulous fashion thrown in. Her husband, P, and their daughter, Caroline, are frequent subjects in Melanie's hilarious posts.

Melanie's humor is what initially drew me to her site, and it has definitely influenced the way I write. It was a pleasant realization for me to learn that you can write about real life in a way that people will relate to you and laugh with you (or at you?). She can take a topic like living in a Melrose Place for the elderly, grocery shopping or a child's birthday party, and weave the story in with side-splitting humor to craft a post that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. No skim-reading. I was so excited to see that Melanie will have the opportunity to share her thoughts on faith, family, and motherhood in her first book that she is busy writing.

Here's what I learned about Melanie in our Q and A session!

1. Why did you start blogging, and what makes you stick with it?

I began blogging as a way to record memories for Caroline. She was about to turn three when I started the blog and she’ll be eight next week. I love having a record of the last five years and I would have never been one to sit and make some kind of scrapbook with fancy scissors and paper.

I stick with it because I love the exercise of writing something everyday. I really think that’s the key. If it were about anything else, I never would have stuck with it over the last five years. Plus, I know that even when I’m writing something that seems totally mundane, I’ll look back someday and be so glad to have the memories written down.

2. What’s one piece of advice you wish someone would have given you before you began blogging?

Don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t mind anyone finding. I wrote a couple of posts early on that I later went back and deleted. It’s easy to feel anonymous because the internet is so big, but you never know what someone may find. So before you bash the PTA president or your mother-in-law, you may want to rethink that decision and choose your words carefully.

3. How has writing the Big Mama blog changed your life?

It’s hard to even describe all the ways it has changed my life, but the most important thing to me are the relationships I’ve built with people I probably never would have known without the blog. I will be forever grateful for that.

4. How would you describe your personal style?

I really like simple things. I’m not one for a lot of fuss and frills. My personal style would be a cross between a Ralph Lauren ad and Gap back when they used to have cuter things.

5. Favorite place to find affordable, cute accessories?

I really like Charming Charlie. It’s a great place to find inexpensive accessories and I love that the whole store is color-coded.

6. What do you like to do with your girlfriends?

Get together and eat Mexican food. I’ve given and received a lot of free therapy over a basket of chips and a bowl of queso.

7. Any advice for moms of strong-willed girls?

I’m still figuring it out as I go, but the thing I’ve learned it to pick my battles. I’ve found, through A LOT of trial and error, that she will be more willing to go along with what’s really important if I give her freedom to do her own thing on the things that don’t matter that much. This explains why her hair is in her face so much of the time and she has worn the same pair of shorts for the last four days.

8. What do you and P do together for fun?

Our lives get so busy that our favorite thing to do is have a night out somewhere. We love to go out to eat and just spend our time catching up without any interruptions.

9. Favorite guilty pleasure?

Sitting on the couch watching bad T.V. Preferably while eating something involving chocolate and peanut butter.

10. How do you balance blogging and life?

Well, I’m writing this at 12:30 a.m. That’s how I balance. I really try to stay off the computer while my family is around and stick to working on the blog after everyone is in bed or at least settled in for the night. The thing I’ve realized is life goes by fast and I don’t want to miss it because I’m on the computer.


Melanie, thanks so much for agreeing to let me interview you. I've never interviewed a real, live author...especially one with such fabulous taste in clothes! This was a pleasure.

If you don't already read Big Mama, please stop by and read. Be sure to let Melanie know I sent you!

I hope you'll come back tomorrow to link up YOUR best post of the week to Weekend Bloggy Reading. Recipes, crafts, home decor, book reviews, funny stories, you name it. Come prepared to showcase your blog and find some great weekend reads.
Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. This is such a fun series, Amanda. I've heard of Big Mama, of course, but I don't know if I've ever actually read her blog, and you've certainly made me want to do that!

    I love her honesty in answering your question about balance. I think sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we're not really taking time away from our families by blogging. Her willingness to admit that she was writing after midnight was very touching to me.

  2. Thanks so much for this post. As a beginner blogger I enjoy hearing how others handle their blog. I just went and checked out her page and was captivated by her writing style. I guess it looks like another one added to my RSS feed!

  3. Awww, great, real answers! I've heard alot about her, too. Headed there now. Thanks for sharing Big Mama with us!
    Love this series, too.

  4. Big Mama was one of the first blogs I read when I first got into blogging. I remember emailing Melanie for advice very early on, and she responded quickly and so generously with her advice. And her writing--amazing and oh-so-funny.

    I really resonated with Richella's comment above and Melanie's answer to #10. Balance is so important.

  5. Thanks so much for allowing me to link up to the party!


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