Get to Know a Mama: Jess from IROCKSOWHAT V. 4

Who are you?

What is your name and birthday? Jess Craig – Sept 29, 1986 – 24 years old!
Where are you located? Hampton, VA
Where can we find you: www.irocksowhat.com
What are the names and ages of your children? Wyatt Craig – 20 months

Why did you start a blog?
I started blogging so my parents could keep up with everything that Josh and I were doing. Josh had just deployed and my step mom suggested I start up a blog. It was really dumb at first and totally uninteresting – but I had never expected that anyone would ever want to read it, so I didn’t care.
Any blogging tips to share? I actually get asked this a lot! The best tip I could possibly share is to truly just blog about whatever you want. Don’t feel like you’re writing TO someone. I sometimes do this, ’cause it’s natural when you know people are going to read it. But the best blogs are from those that just don’t care what people think. You gotta just do what makes you happy.

Where do you see this whole crazy world of “mommy blogging” headed? Hmm… good question. Well, I kinda think it’s just going to keep growing and be more and more popular. That’s why it’s really important to be your TRUE self on your blog, because there’s only going to be more and more typical mommy blogs. You gotta stand out somehow, and what’s better than just being your rockin’ self?

Are there certain things you wont write about on your blog? Probably obvious things. For the most part I’m pretty open about how I feel and think. I won’t talk about anything that would hurt my husband or my son, so that means things that I know they wouldn’t want me to talk about. 

What do you think of Vlogging?
It’s okay. I find it kinda awkward. And there’s a lot of prep work involved before you upload it. I’m not uncomfortable with it at all actually, but I am embarrassed to do it when my husband is home. 

Likes?
Can you give us a list of things you recommend and why: 
-Pursuing whatever you like. If you have a dream for yourself, then get up and do it! It’s really not impossible. We are the only ones that hold ourselves back.
-Do not let your child dictate your day/life. I’m a firm believer in making your kids mold to your life. It’ll make them really well rounded and not BIG BRATS. Wyatt’s schedule has to work with my schedule (obviously within reason -if he’s tired, hungry, or sick his needs will come first- but I’ll never hold my life back because he’s got a ‘tude). This will also make them more go with the flow. 
-Indulge in something that you love once a day. I LOVE espresso with half and half and I drink one cup a day. And it really gives me a deep happiness to know that I have that in my life. Hahaha… not joking. 
-Take naps! No explanation needed! Who cares if there’s dishes in the sink!?
-Go out for walks. Everyone is happy after burning some energy off. 
-No matter how irritated your spouse/significant other makes you – Say nice things to them everyday. It’ll help your relationship.

List a couple things on your mommy wish list: 
-everything from shabbyapple.com

Can we get a couple links to a few of your FAVORITE blog posts you’ve done?

STOP BEING FAT.


Questions from her very lovely readers:


 Family life…

What do you plan on doing after your little guy is in school and SAHM stage is over? Aw man, I’m really scared about this! But, I plan on blogging and offering my services with design work, photography, and even promoting other blogs. I’m just hoping to grow in the mean time!

When are you and Josh planning on having another baby? Do you want a girl or another boy? There probably won’t be another baby for a very long time, or maybe even ever! My husband doesn’t want anymore, and I definitely don’t want any for the next 5 years… so it’s not looking so good in the baby department. There is so much I want to do with myself and I’m now feeling like I have my LIFE back (selfish, I’m sure). I love the little family we have right now and that it’s so easy to tote Wyatt around with us everywhere. He’s going to be able to experience a lot of things that I wasn’t able to experience because money isn’t being split 2-3 ways (like it does when you have siblings). If we had another baby I would of course love and cherish him/her and just be totally obsessed like I am with Wyatt, but things are getting a lot easier for me now that Wyatt is out of that newborn stage and I’m not ready to go back. 

What do you and Josh do to keep your marriage fresh and new/keep the sparks going? BOW CHICKA WOW WOW. I don’t even know the answer to this question. We’ve almost been married 7 years and I think everything just works because we have an understanding of each other. We grew up together and dated for a few years prior to marriage, and so he’s just a part of my life. Like, not just in my life, but a part of it. But we are always struggling with keeping things fresh and new just like everyone else. I honestly have no answer! 

What if….
 

If you could live anywhere, where would you live? TEXAS! I don’t know why, but I love that state. 


If you could change anything about your life, what would you change? I wish I would have gone to college! When I graduated High School I wanted nothing to do with school, and the idea of going to school straight after just plain out SUCKED in my head. So, Josh and I ended up getting married and moving to Alaska. That was just really hard and we grew up really fast. I kinda wish I would have done the college route (with Josh of course). I probably would have done horribly in college though. At the time I really wasn’t into any sort of structure and I had no real ambition. If who I am now was just graduating high school, I’d probably be a maniac in the LEARNIN’ department. I have a lot of drive now. I guess that’s what happens when you have kids. It really just puts life in perspective. I think about going to school all the time, but it’s just really hard to figure out finances and schedules. Meh.

Blogging…
 
When you started blogging a couple years ago, what was the purpose; did you have a “big” dream for your blog, and if so what was it, or did you literally just “end up” having a successul blog when it wasn’t really your intentions to begin with?
 Ugh. “A successful blog” – what is that? I wouldn’t call my blog a successful blog. Yeah, I have some followers, but have you seen what the blogging world is like?! My blog isn’t really worth mentioning compared to some of these bloggers. My dream is to grow into an amazing website that will entertain, teach, and just be plain cool for people to visit. But I don’t think I’m nearly there yet. I definitely have a couple of thousand followers to go. When I started blogging, I actually was completely oblivious to this blogging world. I didn’t know that people even blogged! The only blogs I had seen were for knitters or just general crafters. I actually thought it was a nerdy thing, but I liked the idea of using blogger to update my family, so I used it. My blog was actually originally called ‘Just Jess’, but randomly one night I just changed it to IROCKSOWHAT and it took. A week after I started my blog, I found out I was pregnant and then I started updating about that. Little did I know that people LOVE to follow pregnant chicks – and then I slowly but surely started to gain followers. It really did happen randomly and slowly. But for months I just had one follower (Olya) and then funny enough, Marcella from Mar and the Peej was probably my second follower (and I was originally one of her first followers too – we were both pregnant at the same time). And it just sorta grew from there. 


What was the most controversial post you ever wrote? What kind of feedback did you get from it? I don’t think I’ve really ever written a controversial post. I’ve talked about weight loss and how to lose weight and stuff, but it got pretty positive feedback. The most controversy I get from people is due to me allowing my son to watch cartoons. Which is so totally ridiculous. But I’ve had several people comment on posts that have Wyatt watching some Spongebob or something – and I get a lot of flack about it. It’s funny too ’cause it’ll just be a cute fluffy post of Wyatt relaxing and watching TV, and then I’ll get several comments from people telling me my son should be taken away from me. People feel really strongly about things that really don’t matter. Sorry, that was a little vent.



How do you manage your blogging time so well? I blog at night after Wyatt goes to bed. I schedule it to post at 7 am the next day. I’m also always thinking about my blog and what I want to post, so when the time comes – I know how to execute. As nerdy as this sounds, I make sure that everything I need to get done gets done while Wyatt is up during the day. That way when he’s asleep, it’s completely my time.

Any pointers on how to edit photos? Just like everyone says, the better your original sooc pictures, the better your edits will turn out. I’ve learned a lot about editing in the last year. When I first started editing, it was down right embarrassing and I’m humiliated looking at those photos now! Not saying I’m awesome or anything, but I’ve definitely gotten better. I think it’s important to remember that classic never goes out of style. Having a really weird funky tone all over your photo might not look awesome in 10 years, and can make your picture look outdated and cheesy. I try to remember that. I do occasionally have fun with editing though, but I make sure to have a back up picture that I’ll be proud to look at later. OH! I just thought of something that’s a good tip – EVERYONE, STOP EDITING YOUR EYES RIDICULOUSLY! So much eye sharpening on the eyelashes and enhancing the color and light to almost make it look like you have glass doll eyes are going on. It’s really distracting! A little goes a long way.
 
What do you mean when you say “wife to josh, mother to wyatt. never reversed.”?
 Well that just simply means that I’m not Josh’s mother. Nor will I ever act like it.


What does josh think of you blogging? Does he like it get annoyed with it or doesn’t care? At first he thought it was “cute” and kinda cheesy… but then he saw how serious it’s become and how it’s actually benefited our family. He gives me lots of props and tells people about my blog now. It’s cool. 


Does Josh like you taking a bunch of photos of him or is that a struggle? Hell to the NO. I pretty much threaten his life for every picture. And that’s why I have a million shots of him refusing to smile and making weird faces. 

When did you start to ROCKSOWHAT? Are there classes where I can learn to ROCKSOWHAT? If so, do you know if these ROCKSOWHAT classes are in my area? I started to ROCKSOWHAT shortly after my first birthday. Before then I was still “finding” myself. Unfortunately, there are no classes to ROCKSOWHAT. It’s just something you’re born with.

How can I also rock? If you don’t already know, then it’s too late for you my friend…

Do you intend of using your photography to make money/business plans later on? I would love to, but it’s hard to find business around here. For some reason, people are really into portrait studios at whatever major department store you can think of. Also, I don’t think I’m good enough to even begin taking pictures for other people. But one day, yes.

You… 

Besides blogging, what are your favorite ways to spend your time? What do you wish you had more time for? One of my favorite things ever is actually being BY MYSELF, and trying on clothes at Target. I’ve done it forever, and now that I have a toddler, it’s IMPOSSIBLE. I wish I could do that more. 

Once the kid’s asleep, dishes are done, laundry is put away… what do you do for you? Uh, does waxing my lip count? Because I don’t really do too much for myself nowadays except for blogging…

I would love to know what inspires you? Meaning do you take inspiration from books, art… maybe clouds…? People and their success inspires me. I admire creative people and what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. I strive to be more like them.
 

What is your favorite thing about being a mother? I actually feel stronger. Sometimes I think, “Dang, I grew a human and then pushed that human out of my va-jay-jay.” I’m really proud of myself and I’m proud that I’ve been raising Wyatt without too much help (husband deployed twice, I don’t have family around, and no one in my family would help me anyway). Even though I whine about the hard stuff, it’s really made me stronger and I really like that. So, my favorite thing about being a mother is that I’m a good one. 

What did you do before you became a mama? I lived for myself! I was pretty selfish. It was awesome. We traveled a lot. I worked for a few different banks as either a foreign currency teller or just a regular teller. 
 


What kind of shampoo DO you use? Do you switch it up? OOO: Do you use conditioner? I use whatever is cheap! I used to be a fancy expensive shampoo person, but then I realized that spending 25 dollars on a bottle of shampoo is kinda ridiculous when I seriously see no difference. Currently I’m washing my hair with a shampoo and conditioner all in one by Suave. I don’t normally condition though. 




How do you have so much self-control when it comes to your dieting??? I, for the most part have A LOT of self control. But then there are days that I just totally sabotage my diet. But for me, the key is just to be “good” as much as humanly possible, that way when I do go nuts for a day, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t really have an answer for how I manage to stay on my diet as much as I do – I think there was a serious change in my mind that is allowing me to stick to it even more so than the average person. I really believe in my way of eating as a WAY OF LIFE. So it’s really natural to me now. Other than that, I have no answers!


Do you drink? Is that a deal breaker to loose weight? But, the real question for you is: do YOU drink ever? I actually BARELY drink. Like maybe once or twice a year. And the only real reason is because I hate the way alcohol tastes. I don’t really get casual drinking (without the purpose of getting drunk). Why would I want to sip on a gross beer when I could be drinking some ice tea? And it actually tastes good? Honestly, if I drink, it’s for one purpose only and that is to get totally WASTED! Haha! And since I feel disgusting afterwards, or I still have to get up with my kid – I choose not to drink. I have no problem with drinking though. My husband is a relaxing on the couch with a beer kinda guy. It’s just not for me. As far as a deal breaker in losing weight – well, that just depends. Just be sure to count it in your daily calorie intake. If you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning, than drinking is going to keep you from losing weight – or make you gain! GASP! So if you know you’re going to drink, I’d just watch your diet super strictly that day.
  
Have you tried the 30 day shred again yet?? Uh, no! But I need to. I’m seeing all these people do it right now and I’m so inspired. But I’ve been feeling lazy. I can diet, but I suck at committing to working out!


What is your goal weight and what will you do to maintain that weight? It’s probably an unrealistic number, and I’m not actively pursing it – but i’d like to be about 120-125lbs. I’m 5’5” and i’m currently 135-140lbs. I haven’t really been working too hard on achieving it because I’m not unhappy with my body right now. I do think everything could look better, but it’s not my obsession anymore. 

When are we having a play date? I swear I’m way cooler in person than in blog status plus Wy and Pey would make beautiful Blonde hair blue eyed babes. (the Peanut Gallery) I don’t know! Maybe soon you crazy lady.

I may or may not have been consuming alcohol while posting my last question so here is a real one~ If you could have dinner with any one person dead or alive who would it be and what would you talk about? I’d have dinner with my Dad. I miss him and I’d just tell him all about how much Wyatt has grown and what kind of a kid he’s become. 

How painful is waxing your armpits? It’s painful. Really painful. I don’t do it often.  

What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about yourself? I like my personality. I hate my butt.

What is your biggest fear? Losing my child.

What food could you eat all day, everyday and not get sick of? (assuming the cals and fat don’t exist) Chips and dip! Any dip!



What other states have you lived in? Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Alaska, and Florida


Are you crazy enough to receive an exchanged student in your house?…me to be more clear.
Nope, not that crazy.


What is your favorite movie of all time. ever? I love Raising Arizona. 


What is your favorite color to wear? Green.




And… the final questions…

Do you have a censored curse word you like to use in front of baby? Uh… no. We cuss. But we’re trying to really get a hold of that since he’s learning to talk. Lately I’ve been just not cussing at all. And I’m not really replacing the words for other words. I mean, maybe I’ll say “freaking” or something?

Where is your favorite place in your home to get away from it all (like hide from the baby meltdowns or to take a break)? I actually just walk away and hop on the computer or something. But I don’t really have anywhere to get away from it all. He follows me. 


What is your favorite parent related word? I love the phrase – “Want something to eat?!” because it means that he sits in his high chair for at least 20-30 minutes and I’m sorta free. 


What is you least favorite parent related word? I hate the phrase – “STOP TRYING TO TOUCH YOUR POOP” – for obvious reasons.
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Thanks Jess for being so awesome and answering all those questions! AND: in record time! You do rock. Don’t forget to visit her at IROCKSOWHAT and buy many blog banners from her. 🙂 And, while you’re at it… get some vintage goodness from her shop. 🙂
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If you’d like to see my past Get to Know a Mama interviews… click here!

Chelsey

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BlogHer 2011!

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