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Fair warning: this is a long one – grab coffee, Cherry Coke, or cheap beer.
As soon as I started reading all your fantastic responses to the reader survey I asked you to take last month, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.
Make a video.
It would be like a little fireside chat between me and my people.
So yesterday, after dropping off the kid at preschool (praise Jesus, its back in session), I came home, and embarked on the greatest video in the history of
the world this blog.
Also, the very first video in the history of this blog.
Nicky even came over.
Not to help me with the video, but to watch our Netflix and eat summer sausage.
While I worked on the video, he sent me texts from the next room mocking me. He’s a very supportive friend.
And when I had finally answered all your questions and told you everything I ever wanted you to know and then even sang some of your favorite songs for you (I’m not kidding – I sang), I realized the video was two hours long.
At that point, I knew two things:
1. No one wants to watch a two hour video of me talking and singing.
2. There was no way in hell I was going to even attempt to edit two hours worth of video.
And so here we are, chatting the good old fashioned way, or something like it.
I won’t bore you with all the details of the survey, but I did want to share a few things from it and answer all your fun questions.
First off, most of you have been reading my blog for 6 months – 2 years, with the majority of those people saying they have been reading for 1 -2 years.
I have only been taking Rain on a Tin Roof seriously for two years – that means lots of you guys have been on this train to crazy for a while. It totally makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Survey Question: “What was the first post you read?”
Lots of people named off the post and some people just left me fantastic comments like these:
“I don’t remember. But when you had song lyrics and movie quotes and proclaimed your love for Conway and 80s music, I knew we were kindred spirits and I would LOVE your posts.”
Yes, my friend. Yes. We are kindred spirits.
“I can’t remember honestly. Liked the way you wrote & how funny you are (or crazy, maybe?) so I kept coming back to see what you were up to.”
How funny or crazy? I. Love. It. I’m so glad you came back for the crazy.
Survey Question: “How did you find my blog?”
“Married to you.”
Hmmmmmm, wonder who that could be? That same person also requested more Grunt Labor stories multiple times.
Survey Question: “Do you follow on social media?”
Most of you are following on some social media. Lots of you are Facebook fans, which is awesome. Just remember that Facebook doesn’t always show you all my posts on there. If you want to make sure you don’t miss a new post, get the free email subscription.
Just an FYI, I also post random life stuff on Instagram – like when the kid locked me out of the house a month ago.
And I didn’t have a key.
So I watched her watch T.V. through the windows on the front porch until Uncle Nicky came with his key.
Yep. It happened.
Survey Question: “What post did you hate?”
I totally get it. That one’s not for everyone.
The Snake Bowl
I get this one too. I knew when I posted it that some people would hate it. There were even a couple people who criticized me for killing snakes that were in my house. That’s cool – I respect your opinion. However, I will still relish in the beauty of my golden snake bowl. I heart it.
Yep, I figured this would be an answer too. An entire wall covered in leopard spots is most definitely not everyone’s style.
Survey Question: “Anything else you want to say about my posts?”
Grunt Labor…………….. he Rocks. Need more of him.
hahahaha. Pretty sure Grunt Labor said that himself.
Love the snark!
That’s good because it isn’t going anywhere. I would be damn boring without it.
you make me laugh cry and go oh no xx
I make myself do that everyday as well. Every. Single. Day.
Enjoy your sense of humor and honesty. Honestly, who could not enjoy a blogger who could show that poor shower?
Guys, I was a little worried that showing you the gross and disgusting shower may have you running for the hills. It. Was. Bad. But, I’ve always put it all out there before, so why stop now?
Don’t ever, ever, in the history of the world, change how you write!
That’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. Thank you so much.
This is my secret:
Ok, not really, because that would require me to be drunk at 8am some days and at 3pm other days and that would keep me from getting my mom of the year award, which we all know I totally have in the bag.
Survey Question: “How do you feel about me posting recipes?”
Most of you were either up for it or indifferent. Its something I go back and forth with in my head. I most definitely do not want to be a recipe blog. Chances are this won’t happen anytime soon.
Survey Question: “What do you want me to post more about?”
The logic behind some decisions. Like when you mess something up, how do you figure out how to fix it?
Y’all, I screw up ALL THE TIME. Its totally trial and error around here. Sometimes I come up with what I think are brilliant ideas and they turn out to be catastrophes. When that happens, I just drop back and punt.
Your kid. Because I feel like you have the same feelings about motherhood as I do, and whenever you mention your child I feel an instant connection.
If I tell you too much about my stellar parenting skills, then you may call DHS on me and then all chances of me getting that mom of the year award would go out the window.
I am most definitely not a granola mom. You can read more about that in this post.
Have you ever thought of doing a series of reupholstery projects? Start small ( i.e. dining chair seat), then gradually go bigger, working up to a (couch?) as the end project maybe? Upholstered headboard, side chairs, I dunno? Its a thought.
There have been a couple of reupholstery projects around here:
Here’s how my reupholstery projects go – I start off with a crazy passion. Its going to look amazing. Halfway through, I’m thinking, what the heck did I get myself into???
Those chairs above weren’t too bad, but they were time consuming and tedious.
And we all know I ain’t patient.
So after I do a reupholstery job, I usually need about a year to recover. That means you can expect one sometime this summer maybe?
Survey Question: “What are your biggest concerns or struggles right now that you think I could help with (besides that wart on your big toe)?”
I am so not your girl for this one. Did you read that post about color coded organizing? That’s about all I’ve got, but that one is logical and simple. And then there is my organizing method with the kid’s toys: potentially living or not. I love some purging and de-cluttering though. There’s a checklist for that here.
uh… how about grown kids sucking the life out of ya… or how holidays come too fast and are too much work… or ya could just give us world peace and we will give you roses and a sparkly crown.
Can I have the roses and sparkly crown for at least attempting world peace? Those sound really cool.
Remodeling the house on a budget.
Something on this very topic is in the works – it may be a few months, but its coming!
Dude, I live in fear of pattern in my decor. My walls are beige, my furniture is brown. Cabinets are honey oak. I think I want some color in here, but really don’t know where to start. Or maybe where to finish — my living areas are open concept.
Start with something small – like a new colorful pillow. If you don’t like the color or colors in it once you get it home, return it and pick another one to try. I do this all the time. I am seriously like the freakin’ queen of returns. Target hates me. After you find a pillow, find a throw. And then bring in another pop of color with an accessory. I think I feel a post coming on about this.
And for all of you that poured your heart out to me with your concerns that are far more important than does this plaid go with that floral – you are in my thoughts and prayers. You know who you are.
Survey Question: “Ask Me Anything. What questions do you have FOR ME?”
Ooooo, this is going to be so much fun!
How much money have you had to invest into your home to get it to its current state?
If we are talking remodeling and updating stuff, then probably between $10K – $15K. Keep in mind that includes a kitchen remodel, taking out a load bearing wall, a basement remodel, new hardwood floors, a bathroom remodel, new carpet throughout, electrical and plumbing work, new appliances and a whole lot more.
How awesome is Grunt in real life?
Pretty damn awesome. But his wife is too.
Sorry. I couldn’t resist.
What’s the point of a scarf? And saying to keep your neck warm is not accepted…
As we all know, I am not a fashionista. Therefore, I am not qualified to answer this question. Man of questionable honor, would you care to elaborate?
Do you ever run out of ideas for blogging?
No. I may get behind on completing the projects I want to blog about, but I have a loooong list of ideas and add to them all the time. I fully expect to never get around to at least half of them.
I would love to hear how you started blogging and if you monetize your blog, and how you did it.
I started blogging because I love interior decorating. Always have. I mean, what other high school freshman would ask for Christopher Lowell’s 7 Layers of Design for her birthday? Its just a passion.
Update: I wrote about my blogging story! Read it here.
Yes, my blog is monetized – a girl’s gotta pay the bills, y’all.
How I did it – big news is coming soon that will involve this very subject! If you can’t wait, you can email me for more info if you can’t stand to wait.
Is there ever a time you dislike to blog?
No. Honestly, I love everything about it. There are times when I need a break. Grunt Labor is a teacher, so over the summer and holidays when he has time off, I get a little jealous that I can’t spend every second with him and the kid, but I tend to not work as much during that time, so it helps.
What brand of cheap beer do you prefer?
Miller High Life.
The Champagne of Beers
What is the best hand sander you have used? I’m in the market.
I actually just created a page a couple weeks ago with all my top picks for tools, including a hand sander.
All the tools listed there are tools that Grunt Labor and I own, love, and use on a regular basis. You can see the list of tools here.
How do you find the time to start and finish projects?
Bahahahaha. Y’all, its a whirlwind around here. There is always a project in the works and those projects always take longer than I expect them too. What I try to do is work on hands-on projects while the kid is a preschool. She goes three days a week for 4 1/2 hours each day. I get up around 5:30 or 6am on the weekdays to work on things like posts, social media, etc. I also work on that kind of stuff when (if) she takes a nap during the day.
If you didn’t blog what would you do with all of that free time?
Honestly, I think it would drive me crazy. I am a person who always has to be doing something. I cannot watch hours of t.v. on end – unless its Sex and the City – then you might as well forget about any productivity coming from me. That being said, I don’t work on the blog or projects all the time – I just like to be doing something.
How do you come up with diy ideas?
Usually the good ones hit at the oddest times – like when I’m drying my hair, or once at the Atlanta airport, I saw this cool idea for an accent wall. I am also a magazine whore – I mark up and rip out ideas in there all the time. Grunt Labor is also great at coming up with ideas and we bounce stuff off each other all the time. He’s pretty useful.
How many children do you have?
One that I actually carried for nine months and then there are about three part-time children and then there are at least 20 that get money out of me for the McDonald’s dollar menu, mouth guards for football, basketball shoes, or other random life things.
What do you do in your spare time, if any lol?
Hang out with the kid and Grunt. We like football in the fall, high school and college. I love to watch our boys play basketball. Grunt and I will take Will to get pedicures together, because ya know the family that pedicures together, stays together. We do pizza on friday nights. And Target – I relish in solo trips to the Target.
What is your favorite book?
Absolutely too many to name. Anything by Rick Bragg. The Last Madam. Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Mayfair Witches Series by Ann Rice. The Eden Moore Series by Cherie Priest (they are based around where I live, so that’s pretty cool.)
What does your living room look like – design wise?
You can tour it here.
Do you have any pets?
Yep. We have a Boxer and Boston Terrier. Well, technically they are Grunt Labor’s. I am not a dog person, or really a pet person at all. Grunt had them when we got together. He loves the dogs, the kid loves the dogs, so I love the dogs.
What part of the US did you grow up in?
I am a 100% southern girl.
Who is your favorite President of all-time?
Fun fact, I went to college to be a history teacher, so really I could talk about this all. day. long. But, I won’t bore you with that. I could never pick a favorite. John F. Kennedy though, is one that I think could have done amazing things had he lived. I also really liked Clinton.
Favorite NFL Team?
I’m not an NFL girl, I’m a college football girl – Alabama.
Favorite College Basketball Team?
Not really a college basketball girl – I prefer to watch our boys play high school basketball.
Who do you think is the most important woman in this century?
Damn. That’s a hard question. There are many, but the first that comes to mind is Oprah. I think she has empowered women in a way that no other woman ever has before.
Why do you feel that interior design is important in the grand scheme of things? Why is this your passion?
Its not important at all in the grand scheme of things. It just makes me happy.
Have you ever plugged a product when you know there is a better one out there?
Never. I would never do that to you guys. Come on, you know me better than that.
What is Mrs. Claus’ first name?
I don’t know, its just the first thing that came to mind.
Is there anywhere else you would like to live? Or visit for a long time?
Not really. I always told Grunt I would go wherever he went. Right now, we are good here. Now, as you well know, I could go down to New Orleans and stay a spell.
What is your favorite type of project?
Easy and cheap ones – instant gratification.
How does your husband really feel about being called Grunt Labor ? 😉
So guys, he came up with that name on his own. I think I should write a post on it. Its actually funny someone asked this because just the other day, someone commented on a pin of mine which included Grunt Labor in the description. He or she said something like, “I would really like to click over and read this post, however I cannot because I feel it is very rude and demeaning to call someone Grunt Labor.” I immediately showed it to Grunt and we laughed out loud over it. He loves it.
What was your biggest screw up project? The worst mistake kind of thing?
haha. So this one time, I saw this beautiful bamboo side table. Its legs were made of three bamboo sticks and it had a small round top. I was like, “I can SO make that.”
Y’all, it wouldn’t even stand up.
I ended up using the bamboo to make this mirror.
What does your craft/supply/tool area really look like?
Let me show you:
A hot mess.
All of the yard sale items are currently residing there.
Is there a particular charity or cause that you are passionate about?
A couple. One is St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The man of questionable honor used to work there and one summer Grunt Labor and I went to visit him. Brandon gave us a whole tour of the facility and it was, well, I don’t really think I can describe how it makes you feel. You are overcome with feelings of sadness, hope, disbelief, heartache and more all at once. Honestly, my eyes are watering up now. You just want to take these kids and mamas and daddies and wrap ’em up in your arms and love on ’em until all the pain goes away. But you can’t. All you can do is give the hospital what money you can in hopes of kicking childhood cancer’s ass for once and all
The other is The V Foundation. I actually wrote a post about it last year. If you have never heard of Jim Valvano, an extraordinary coach and human being, then you should read it. Right now, I’m still drying the tears after writing about St. Jude, so I need an emotional break. 🙂
Are you interested in the environment?
Well, we recycle. Does that count?
Want to come build a bed and headboard with me?
Abso-freakin-lutely. You just have to get me there and provide cheap beer, mkay?
Do you have a toe growth?
How many kids do you and the hubs want to have?
We. Are. Done. We believe in the “one and fun” theory.
Have you always been a DIYer?
Yes and no. I learned to be a DIYer in my former life when there wasn’t a lot of money to pay someone else to fix up my great grandfather’s old house. I have always been a creator though – I used to paint stars all over my walls and rearrange my room when everyone else went to bed.
Why are you so cool?
You think I’m cool? I love you.
How long did it take for you to get sponsored? Recognized?
I think I got my first sponsored post about 7 months into actually deciding that I was going to take this blogging thing seriously. Once more, there is something big in the works on this very subject. If you are interested in knowing more about growing your blog and turning it into an income, email me!
I always wonder how you bloggers have so much time to get it all together and post such wonderful posts. But that is probably a trade secret!
I fly by the seat of my pants, oh I mean my broomstick. Sometimes, I am way ahead (by the grace of God), sometimes I’m taking pictures for a project the day before I need to post about it. I do what I can when I can do it. I have a schedule, but sometimes life happens and you just roll with the homies.
Survey Question: “Anything that just bugs the crap out of you around here?”
Ads, but I know a girls gotta pay bills!
Yep guys. This is one of those necessary evils. I love you all dearly and you are my people, but this blog is also my job and provides food for my family, juice boxes for the kid and basketball shoes for my boys.
Not being able to control your blog on my screen! I don’t have this problem with any other blog. I can’t seem to reduce or enlarge, nor move to the side to read all the post!
Ok, so a couple of people said they have issues when viewing my blog on their phone or tablet. I’m not really sure what is going on, but if you could give me more details, that would be great. My blog shows up fine on my iPhone and on our iPad. There is an email subscription pop up box, but you should be able to hit the x in the corner and dismiss that. I do apologize for this and want to fix it! Let me know exactly what you’re seeing!
Survey Question: “What do you think I could improve at?”
Including more Grunt.
I’m starting to think Grunt needs to do at least a monthly post. You?
More posts! *insert whip sound*
My goal every week is to give you at least three posts. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Its one of those things where it is what it is. Sorry if you are wanting more, friends. I tried the whole posting everyday thing once and it almost turned me into a raging alcoholic. My sanity is more important.
Maybe just giving us more tips. I feel like a fool when I’m trying to figure out top coats. Oil over latex, latex over oil. Spray or brush. Will it yellow? Is this thing going to blow up if I put another coat on it.I’m new to refinishing furniture and just the little things trip me up. I had to repaint my second to last dresser twice. In the florida heat. I sanded it then just laid across the top and waited to die at one point. I sh*t you not.
Oh honey, bless your heart. I am so sorry! I think this is a great idea for a post – I’m on it!
I want to see blogging tutorials.
Once again, something big is in the works! Email me if you want more details!
Survey Question: “How do you feel about the sponsored posts that I do?”
With the exception of about five or so people, you guys said that the sponsored posts were always project related – not like a t.v. commercial. That’s exactly what I try to do with any sponsored post I get. I never ever ever want them to seem like a commercial. On that note, I will only do sponsored posts for products that I love and truly believe in. No way in hades am I gonna tell you I love something when its really a piece of crap. Sponsored posts and the ads are what provide for my family. Yes, Grunt Labor works and we can live on just his income – we have before – and it wasn’t fun. My income from the blog allows my family to do things that we weren’t quite sure we would be able to do.
Survey Question: “What do you like most about reading my blog?”
Your style is really bold and unique… and weird. But a good weird. 🙂
Good weird is always fun. 🙂
All the honesty and snarky little comments. They make me LOL!!
That’s all I know, friends.
I like the fact that out of the gagillion other home/house/life/everyday life blogs out there yours has sass and is more down to earth. Sure I can look and see how someone on Pinterest decorated their bedroom for $5000 but Kee-RAP, I can’t even think of trying out those crafts or buying that kind of stuff with kids. I like honesty too which I think you dish out. Some blogs sound like straight out advertisements and I don’t feel they are on the level with us. I think that is what keeps people coming back.
Oh honey, $5000 for a bedroom makeover? Umm, I would rather spend that $5000 paying down a student loan or heck, on a vacation filled with cheap beer. Yea, that would buy a lot of cheap beer – I could even upgrade to whiskey and Cosmos for the week.
Stories about the Circus, I love hearing about the boys your husband coaches, and your home tours/furniture makeovers are great. Oh and the maid of questionable honor– hilarious. I love stories about you 4.
And I love sharing those stories. Its actually funny, when I was in high school, I had a friend who was quite a bit older than me. He would always tell these crazy a** stories and I would just listen to them. One day he said, “Don’t worry. You’re gonna have stories like this one day.” Hell, my stories are better than his now.
And the final most important survey question: “What’s Your Favorite Song?”
The responses to this question only further solidified the fact that you are my people.
Time After Time.
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting…
Just one? Not possible!! Anything Bon Jovi, Journey, George Strait, Garth, Josh Groban. All music in general!!
In high school, my locker was plastered with pictures of Jon Bon Jovi. I kid you not.
George Strait. There are no words. He’s just a true country singer.
Garth. In this house, we refer to him as the Jesus of country music.
It’s All About the Bass.
I’m bringing booty back.
Sweet Home Alabama or Jesse’s Girl
I knew every song of Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits album by the time I was three and I knew Jesse’s Girl by the time I entered kindergarten. Thanks, Dad.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this song and Taylor Swift’s new album. I don’t care a bit that this song is all about making bad choices. The kid and I rock out to it in the car. Once more, I obviously have stellar parenting skills.
Mine and Grunt Labor’s song.
Anything Johnny Cash.
Anyone who doesn’t like Johnny Cash just ain’t livin’ right.
Brown Eyed Girl
Do you remember when we used to sing
Sha la la la la la la la la la la dee dah
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Shake It Off
Once more, another current Taylor favorite. Cause you know the players gonna play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off
Give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away
Ahh, Billy Joel, you are a classic.
You & I by Lady Gaga
Another song I have some serious jam sessions to in the car.
Dolly Parton-Coat of Many Colors, Jolene
Yes! I have to say though my favorite of hers is Hard Candy Christmas and Islands in the Stream with Kenny.
Miranda Lambert-she rocks!
Yes, yes she does. She is my favorite bad a** country girl. We rock out on a regular basis. She makes me drink too much usually.
I can’t think right now, because I have “Wannabe” running through my head right now, thankyouverymuch
So, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want
I hope its in your head again now.
anything Rolling Stones
You can’t always get what you want. One of my favorite songs. In the history of ever.
It’s Only Make Believe by Conway Twitty
Oh my dear Conway, how I love you so. This is no secret.
Honky Tonk Girl by Loretta Lynn
Would you guys believe that Grunt Labor did not know who Loretta Lynn was when I was talking about her the day? This is now the second time I have questioned our marriage. The first was when he didn’t know who Fleetwood Mac was.
And this was the longest blog post ever. If you made it this far, you deserve an award.
Thanks for sticking around with me guys – its only gonna get better!
You know you don’t wanna miss any of this crazy.
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