#AskAwayFriday with A Cookie Before Dinner

posted in: #AskAwayFriday, Blogging, Bloggy Friends, Link Up 59 comments

For a few weeks now, I’ve been reading a few friends’ posts where a fellow blogger would ask them 10 thoughtful questions. It was incredibly fun to read, and I was hankering on getting in on the action, mentioning it in someone’s comment section. NJ of A Cookie Before Dinner swooped in, and inducted me into Ask Away Friday, so thank you, girlfriend! If you haven’t met NJ, go say hi! I love her blog title (of course), and her honest writing. A mother of two (a sweet boy and one adorable new baby girl!), NJ is a Red Sox fan and writes about parenting (and breaking rules – my kind of girl). 

NJ A Cookie Before Dinner

This fun weekly link up is hosted by Penny of The Real Housewife Of Caroline Country and Amber from Bold Fab Mom. Typically for Ask Away Friday, bloggers pair up, swap 10 questions,answer them on their blogs, and link up their posts with Penny and Amber. It’s such a great way to get to know someone better.  

These are NJ’s questions for me.

1. If you could only use one social media channel, what would it be and why? 

Oh girl, this is like asking me who my favorite child is! I love social media, warts and all. I like Twitter for its immediacy and easy connection. I adore Pinterest,  because, pretty things. I have a love/ hate relationship with Facebook – I can’t live without it, but sometimes, I really want to delete my account. Google+ is my new love, I always find really great content and awesome people there. Instagram is a fun way of capturing daily life snippets, and I love it. I love feeling like I’m part of my friend’s lives because I know what color their last manicure was. So if I had to use only one social media channel, just kill me already. I can’t choose.

2. You live overseas. How did you “land” in Malaysia? 

I’m Malaysian, born and bred. I did live in England for 3 1/2 years when I went to university there, and spent one summer in London the year I graduated. I’ve been back in Malaysia since 1999. I’ve written about where I came from, and this city I live in.

3. What is the number one thing your boys fight about? 

Things. ALLTHETHINGS. It could be the bike. The toy piano. Space on my lap. A pen. A crayon. A piece of torn paper. A fork. The last cookie. Clothes. You see, my little one wants whatever his older brother happens to have in his hands. Even if it’s THE EXACT SAME THING he has. This will be the story of our lives, won’t it?

Boys on bike

4. What do the holidays look like in your house? What is your favorite tradition? 

We don’t really do holidays or traditions. We don’t celebrate Christmas and we don’t have the kinds of holidays Americans do. My side of the family do celebrate Chinese New Year in a fairly big way, so we make the trek to my hometown, eat a lot of food, see many relatives, and generally endure a lot of noise, welcomed and unwelcomed. If we had it our way, it will always just be quiet acknowledgement of the holiday. We are however, trying to start and continue our own family traditions.

5. If you could give once piece of advice to someone who wanted to grow their blog in a serious way, what would it be? 

Be true to yourself. Write what you know and what you love. Connect genuinely with people whose words you enjoy reading, and comment like a human being, not a robot. Don’t waste time trying to be like someone else, because someone else is taken, said Oscar Wilde, and how true that is of bloggers. 

6. Speaking of blogging, you founded your own company, Little Love Media. How did the company get its start? 

Little Love Media was born through a genuine desire to help others. The original idea was to offer social media consulting advice to small-business owners in environments like Etsy. There are so many talented people out there, selling their lovingly crafted goods, and it’s easy to get lost in the sea of online shopping. I wanted to offer them a way to stand out. Almost as a second thought, I decided to offer blog evaluations and strategies. As destiny would have it, my first client was a blogger. Then the second. And third. I grew to love this part of my business, and focused heavily on growing that. However, I recently signed on my first small-business client, a Malaysian boutique design company, and I’m excited!

Little Love Media

7. The house is quiet. Everyone has gone to bed early. You’ve got several hours of piece and quiet ahead of you. What are you going to do with yourself? 

First, I pinch myself to see if it’s real!

But seriously, during the week, I sit down with my laptop and a cup of hot green tea, and start reading blogs. Later in the evening, I may watch TV with my husband for an hour or so, and we also take the time to catch up with each other. If I have a client, I’ll likely be working until 10pm or so. Then, you can find me on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. 

On weekends, I try to stay off the computer as much as possible, and in the evenings, I read. Taking time out to read is part of my journey to taking back some happiness. 

8. You are a community lead at SITS and heavily involved there. How did you get involved there? 

I was a Community Lead at SITS up until recently. I joined SITS in April 2011, a couple of weeks into blogging, and was always fairly active on the site – reading and commenting on posts, participating in the Saturday Sharefest, and visiting featured bloggers on their SITS Day. A year later, I was asked by SITS to join them as a Community Lead, and of course I said yes! I’ve met so many wonderful people in the community, and have learned so much. After 20 months there, I felt that it was time to move on to other endeavors. 

9. What color do you love the most? What do you think your love of that color says about your personality? 

Yellow. It wasn’t always yellow though. I was always a blue girl, then black in my 20’s (what does that say about my 20-something self?). Lately though, I have been really drawn to yellow. It’s always struck me as a happy color, and I suppose, subconsciously, I’ve been seeking for more joy and happiness in my life. I hope my love of yellow means that I’m happy.

10. What has been your most humbling moment as a parent? Did it change your outlook in any way? 

Two moments – when each of my boys were born. With my oldest, the reality of actually being a parent hit me full force when I was alone with my baby for the first time, just the two of us. The enormity of my responsibility as his mother, truly humbled me. A year before that moment, he was merely an idea, a desire. Three months after that, he was just a bunch of cells. And now, he was here. My entire outlook changed.

With my second, seeing my boys together for the first time made me realize that the dynamics of my relationship with each member of my family, would now be different. Going from one to two children, is humbling. Blessed twice. How can that not change someone?

Brothers, babies

Thank you for your lovely questions, NJ! Please check out NJ’s post where she answers the 10 questions I had for her. 

My question for you: What was YOUR most humbling moment as a parent?
And if you want to play #AskAwayFriday with me, let me know, we can swap questions!


Comment on at least two blog posts in December, and stand a chance to win a 30-day, 150×150 sidebar ad on Writing, Wishing! Get all the details here!

With the help of three mom photographers, I wrote a post at Everyday Family, offering 7 great tips on photographing children during the holidays. Let’s just say you really don’t need professional experience or a DSLR camera. Check it out!

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • December 20, 2013 Natalie

    I love this and learning more about you my friend! I wished we lived closer!
    Natalie recently wrote…Review Extravaganza: July-September 2013!My Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      I do too! Our boys would have so much fun together (and so would we)!

  • December 20, 2013 Gracielle

    Welcome to #AskAwayFriday, Alison! I’m so happy you joined along with NJ – I love reading her blog, too. Congrats on your success so far on Little Love Media! Your boys are adorable and my 2 kids fight about just about everything, too. To answer your question – the most humbling moment as a parent was when Arielle was just a few months old and had very bad eczema. I had accepted the fact that I was her mommy and responsible for this little precious life, but it wasn’t until then that I realized that I don’t have control over making sure everything is perfect. Luckily there was medication that cleared it all up, but I doubt that will be the case as she grows up.
    Gracielle recently wrote…{Ask Away Friday} Questions with @JoyInTheMidstOfMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Thank you for having me, Gracielle!
      My oldest has eczema too (and developed asthma and a severe dust mite allergy over the last year), so I know what you mean. It was especially so because he’s my first born. Such is motherhood!

  • December 20, 2013 NJ

    I am so glad we swapped this week! I loved getting to know you more. Honestly, I’ve been wanting to ask you some of these questions for a really long time.

    I saw a picture of you wearing yellow the other day on Insta. It is such a great color for you! I think it really fits who you are. In fact, if I had to pick for you, I’m almost certain I’d also choose yellow.

    The boys are adorable. I’m pretty sure that if my two were closer in age (and Lola was older) they’d be fighting about ALLTHETHINGS too!
    NJ recently wrote…Ask Away Friday With Writing WishingMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Thank YOU so much for pairing up with me, I loved answering your questions!

      When you commented on my picture with my yellow shirt, I was dying to tell you it was the color I picked to answer your question πŸ™‚

  • December 20, 2013 The Bold Fab Mom

    If I was left at the house with no kids, I would be pinching myself to see if it were real too! πŸ™‚

    I’m so glad you decided to join us for Ask Away Friday!
    The Bold Fab Mom recently wrote…Ask Away Friday With Christy at Uplifting FamiliesMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      I’m so glad I joined too! Thanks for having me.

  • December 20, 2013 Stacey Gannett

    Wonderful questions and answers! It is amazing getting to know you better! Your boys are absolutely adorable. My two youngest tend to have their fights as well, though mainly due to lil sister wanting to spend time with and play with her big brother…even if it is a video game. Have a great week!
    Stacey Gannett recently wrote…#AskAwayFriday 20 with Melissa from Home on Deranged!My Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      It’s lovely that your little one wants to spend time with her big brother, so sweet!

  • December 20, 2013 Christine

    So fun that you decided to play along! I’ve been reading and watching from the sidelines and it’s been fun to get to know people a little better. And there are always such great questions! My boys fight over allthethings too allthetime. Motherhood has most definitely been the most humbling experience in my life – that first night home with Jasper and not having and freaking clue what to do!
    Christine recently wrote…Old School Blogging – Holiday EditionMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      OMG the first time with the baby at home? CLUELESS. πŸ™‚

  • December 20, 2013 Tamara

    I’m so glad to see you at Ask Away Friday, and I would certainly love to book you to be my partner soon! My kids don’t fight over ALLTHETHINGS yet, and I wonder if it’s because he learned to walk later, so she still thinks of him as a baby! I know that’s fading now that he’s a walking, talking ball of opinions, but for awhile it was the case. Either that or it’s the male/female thing and their big time for fighting is still coming. (probably)
    I love yellow too. I would love a golden yellow sundress to pair with my dark hair. Maybe this summer.
    Tamara recently wrote…Can I Really Do This?My Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Is it mean of me to tell you that they WILL fight? πŸ™‚ But maybe in a gentler way. My boys are just super boisterous and they feed off each other (OMG).

      Yes! Let’s pair up! (email me)

  • December 20, 2013 Rebeccafaith

    This was a fun post! Please excuse me as I jump from thought to thought in my comment. Congratulations on your new client! It’s so fun to see people succeed in something they love doing. I’m one of five daughters and I could help but laugh when I read about your youngest wanting whatever his big brother has in his hands. I’ve been there- ain’t no competition like siblings! Your two most humbling moments as a mom are such treasures. I adore the way you think and write. Thanks for updating, I needed my fix. I cant comment on your archived posts so hooray!
    Rebeccafaith recently wrote…The Voice of Reason is SO AnnoyingMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      I love that you’re reading my archives! (sorry about closing comments, it’s to prevent the crazy spammers!)

      Thank you for your well wishes, I am happy that LLM is moving on up, albeit slowly, but it’s a pace I can manage. Oh and my sister and I used to fight over allthethings too!

  • December 20, 2013 Herchel S

    My most humbling moment as a parent was when the Dr placed my newborn son on top of me in my rolling hospital bed while they wheeled us to our room for the operating room. I had been given too much epidural and couldn’t move from the neck down and was terrified that he would roll off and I wouldn’t be able to catch him.

    I still feel that terror when I look at him sometimes. I always want to catch him if he falls but I also want him to be able to land on his own or dust himself off after a fall. It’s a difficult balance as a mother.
    Herchel S recently wrote…What the Ho?? ….Fa!My Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Oh, I get what you mean! The need to protect them, yet, knowing that they need to venture out on their own, make their own way into the world. It’s just part of being a Mom.

  • December 20, 2013 Sarah

    I loved reading your answers and imagining what my life is going to be like in about a year when my baby is old enough to steal toys from his brother! I also enjoyed reading more about your business — I’d seen the info about it on the sidebar but I didn’t really know how it came to be. My most humbling moment as a parent… I would agree that realizing the enormity of the responsibility I’d taken on (although my realizing of that came in waves, not all at once thank goodness) and when we were trying to get my older son into speech therapy (there were a lot of barriers due to what he qualified for, insurance not covering it, shortage of therapists, etc.)
    Sarah recently wrote…Missouri Holiday TraditionsMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Sarah!

      My oldest is going for speech therapy too – – fortunately it’s a much easier process for us here, since everything is private (we just find someone we think is suitable, go for an evaluation, then start if we want to).

  • December 20, 2013 Nina

    I loved reading this and learning more about you. As for question #1– I still just don’t feel the excitement on G+. Sigh, I’ll keep trying. If you can believe it, I’m liking FB more than Twitter these days. I know–for shame.
    Nina recently wrote…Our Santa Inspired Tooth FairyMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      I get what you mean about G+. It took me a while to get into it, but once it clicked, I love it. It’s also incredibly good for your blog’s SEO/ authorship and so on, because Google loves it when you use ALL their products. πŸ™‚

  • December 20, 2013 Ilene

    This was wonderful! Alison an old love paired up with NJ – a newer find for me! Alison, I am so grateful you did your stint as a SITS community lead because i feel like that’s how I first noticed you. And going for your dream with your business has been so inspiring for me to watch. I had a blast reading this interview!
    Ilene recently wrote…SpeedMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      SITS has done so much for me, I’ll forever be grateful. I’ve met so many awesome people there. I’m glad talking about LLM is inspiring you, Ilene!

  • December 20, 2013 Michelle

    Loved reading this Alison! I would pinch myself if I ever got peace and quiet too! Most humbling moment as a parent? There are so many. Frantic moments when your child is lost or out of your sight…that has happened to me with my first born several times…of course he’s a junior in high school now! Or the times when we have ended up in the ER with the boys…it’s never my daughter… That panic you feel when you think something might happen to them and you just can’t breathe because you are so scared.
    Michelle recently wrote…Holiday Reflections {Ladies Only Blog Share}My Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Those are my big fears! Just reading about yours is making me panic a little. πŸ™‚

  • December 20, 2013 Allie

    Great interview. I love learning more about you. I know this will sound weird – but I love the question about your favorite color. I think it says a lot about a person.
    Allie recently wrote…Who’s Your Hero?My Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      It’s not weird at all! I love knowing about people’s favorite colors too.

  • December 20, 2013 Carissa

    Love reading about you!!! Im going to check out your company…I was just reading all about the strategy!!! I like it!!! You will be hearing from me!
    Carissa recently wrote…#AskAwayFriday with Megan from The Patchwork PaisleyMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Carissa, I would love to hear from you!

  • December 20, 2013 Kerstin

    Love this, Alison! I’ve seen a few of these posts floating around and I really enjoyed reading yours.
    #3: I wish I could tell you it gets better, but my kids still fight about ALLTHETHINGS…
    Also: so excited for you growing Little Love Media, you are the best!
    Kerstin recently wrote…OneMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      At least tell me that because they’re older, they will be able to settle it without pushing each other over? πŸ™‚
      And thank you!

  • December 21, 2013 Rea

    I had to laugh when I read your answer to the first question. Haha because I had that question too and it was kind of killing me inside coz I cannot choose so I end up choosing the one that I enjoy the most at this point which is Pinterest. My humbling moment was the same as yours, it’s so surreal to be able to give life to a blessing. I love it when you said: comment like a human being, not a robot.. haha it’s true for some who just want to get more followers. πŸ™‚ Glad to have known you better through AAF Alison!
    Rea recently wrote…#AskAwayFriday with Homemaking With StyleMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Thank you for dropping by, Rea!
      I love Pinterest oo. I really do. But it gives me jitters to think about giving up the rest. πŸ™‚

  • December 21, 2013 Shannon

    I love this. What a great way to get to know you better. I think I’d pick Instagram as my favorite social media outlet. I want to become more active on there. Facebook is love/hate for me, too.
    As for humbling parenting moments, I think they happen here daily.
    Shannon recently wrote…Welcoming AweMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      I’ve only recently just gotten more active in IG (I had it on private before), and I am starting to enjoy it more!

  • December 21, 2013 Julia

    I love your answer about colors I feel the same way I tend to like different colors at different stages of my life. Though I am always drawn to gray, sometimes I have to remind myself to add some color to my wardrobe even thought I love color.
    Julia recently wrote…Old School Blogging – Holiday EditionMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Grey is actually a beautiful base color – you can always add a pop of color!

  • December 21, 2013 Shannon

    I am loving these Ask Away Friday posts you ladies have got going on! What a fun way to get to know fellow bloggers on a more personal basis! Don’t you already kind of feel like you know bloggers on a persona/friendl basis, even though they may not know you? MJ has been a dear to me as a fellow blogger. She took her own precious time to answer some questions I had and I appreciated it very much! Sweet gal!
    Shannon recently wrote…What we woreMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      I love them too, it is a great way to know more about others. And though it seems we already know enough, there’s always something new to discover!

  • December 21, 2013 KalleyC

    Great interview! I always wondered how one becomes a community lead. If I had several hours to myself, I would be doing the exact same thing–minus the client.
    KalleyC recently wrote…Old School Blogging: Holiday StyleMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Sometimes, SITS does a call out on social media if they need more Leads, so keep an eye out if you’re interested!

  • December 21, 2013 anymommy

    Yep, that was fun to read! I love that your favorite color is yellow. There’s a little boy in this house who would prefer the entire world be painted YELLOW everywhere!
    anymommy recently wrote…Someone like youMy Profile

    • December 21, 2013 Alison

      Oh honey, I would love that too! Yellow, yellow, yellow!!

  • December 22, 2013 sarah reinhart

    love learning these things about you, though I think I knew a lot of these already! which made me smile πŸ˜‰

    • December 22, 2013 Alison

      We’ve known each other for a while, haven’t we? πŸ™‚

  • December 22, 2013 Wendy May

    Hi Alison, so nice to meet you!
    Your boys are adorable. I am jealous that you don’t have to celebrate the spending of our celebrated Christmas holiday, haha! Yellow, a lovely color bringing freshness and happiness!

    Wendy May recently wrote…#AskAwayFriday, #20My Profile

    • December 23, 2013 Alison

      Hi Wendy, nice to meet you too! And thank you!

  • Just loved reading this!
    To answer your question : my most humbling moment as a parent was when I spend an entire week in the hospital with nΒ°1 because she had pneunomia. There was nothing I could do really, just hold her as she slept, rinse her nose every few hours and make sure she did not bite the nurse when she got her medication. I never felt more like a failure of a mother then during that week.
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…The tale of IsabellaboboMy Profile

    • December 23, 2013 Alison

      But you know you’re not a failure right?
      Some things are just beyond our control. That’s on scary part of parenting.

  • December 22, 2013 Lady Jennie

    There is always more to learn about you! πŸ™‚

    My most humbling parenting moment were the few times my kids were in danger and could have died, and I just realised how out of control I was. Completely out of control!

    Is it snowing on your blog?
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…FrostMy Profile

    • December 23, 2013 Alison

      There are just some things that are totally beyond our control – such is life and parenting, yes?

      Yes it IS snowing on my blog! (love the new WP)

  • December 23, 2013 Katie E

    I love this – I need to check out all these Ask Away Friday posts – seems like fun! And just so you know, my girls fight more now (at 9 and 12) than they used to πŸ™‚ But maybe boys start early and get it out of their systems?

    I have no idea what my most humbling moment has been as a parent – there are just so many. And so many of them have stuck with me. Some associated with hard moments in life – talking to my girls about their dad going to rehab or their grandmother dying unexpectedly – and some fun, like telling my older two that we were going to have another baby πŸ™‚ And lots of little humbling moments in between!
    Katie E recently wrote…Year in Review Part 2 – April through JuneMy Profile

    • December 23, 2013 Alison

      The fighting doesn’t end, does it? But it’d be awesome if they can somehow resolve it themselves without intervention, which I hope happens when they’re older. πŸ™‚

  • December 23, 2013 Kim

    I love the question swaps – they are such fun!
    I have had many humbling moments since starting this parenting journey. I think the first one was when I had trouble with nursing my oldest. I had this plan about exclusive breastfeeding and when I was unable to do it, I was devastated. I learned that even though some things don’t go according to plan, they can still be OK – and that some things that you feel are so important can pale in comparison with others.
    Kim recently wrote…WishesMy Profile

    • December 24, 2013 Alison

      My birth plan didn’t go um, according to plan. From then on, I basically threw out all my other ‘plans’!

  • December 24, 2013 Stasha

    Love this. Most of all the fact that I knew everything except that your favorite color is yellow. I remember you wore the prettiest navy blue dress for your prom πŸ˜‰
    Stasha recently wrote…Monday ListiclesMy Profile

    • December 24, 2013 Alison

      We have known each other for quite a while, haven’t we?
      Ah yes, I did love my blue dress. πŸ™‚

  • January 7, 2014 Brigitte

    It’s good to know somebody else also changes favorite colors. I was kind of freaked out when I changed from green to red. I still can’t figure out why, well, some things aren’t really meant to be figured out.

    Thanks for your advice to new bloggers. I have been dying to start my own blog and have been trying for years to no avail. The thing is, there is just so much that I want to write about that they all confuse me. You have written somewhere (probably on Facebook, because that’s where I’m usually at) that ideas come to you when you are doing things around the house. They come to me too, but when I’m already in front of the computer, I don’t remember them. What a crappy memory I have.

    *sorry for ranting
    ** your boys are adorable.

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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