Frequently Asked Questions

What is this site about?

SlowMama is a lifestyle and parenting blog about living a meaningful life in a speed-obsessed world. Here you’ll read posts about parenting, family, food, home, DIY crafts, design, style, health, travel, and the stuff of life. You’ll also notice a special emphasis here on adoption, because that was my path to mama-hood.

I try to make this site a positive, helpful, fun place to be. That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally vent, complain, or say something sarcastic. After all, I’ve got to be me. And please don’t mistake what you read here for my whole life. It’s just a small slice of the pie.

What exactly is a “slow” mama?

The name is a play on the Slow movement (made famous by the grassroots organization, Slow Food), which is all about countering society’s obsession with speed and sameness. It’s also a bit tongue-in-cheek — a slow mama is pretty much an oxymoron.

Living “slow” doesn’t mean moving like a turtle all the time, of course. That would be ridiculous. Instead, it’s about trying to do everything at the best pace. It’s about simplifying, prioritizing, and staying connected to what’s important. More than anything else, it’s an attitude. A “slow mama” is a woman who commits herself to a richer, fuller existence.

What are your credentials?

I’m a published writer, certified life coach, consultant, and former leadership team member of Slow Food Baltimore. I’ve got a master’s degree in counseling, two bachelor’s degrees, professional experience in various fields, and I make a mean apple pie.

meIs there anything else I should know about you?

Hmmmm… I don’t know. Here are some random tidbits: I have nine siblings and they are the best. I love to read historical biographies and cookbooks. I fantasize about being a farmer, an international journalist, and a professional dancer. Oh, and running a chocolate shop, One of my favorite memories is making cheese at a farm in Ontario, Canada on a frigid December day. I’m Catholic. I’ve met a pope and a president. I know some extraordinary people. I was an extra on HBO’s The Wire. I’ve sung professionally. I’m afraid to fly. Injustice fires me up. I almost worked in Kenya. I want to know Spanish. I want to eat crepes and pain au chocolat in Paris. Grocery shopping relaxes me. I like discussing politics and religion. I wish I were more domestic and crafty. I love my bed. And my husband. And I think my daughters are the greatest things God’s ever made. That’s enough for now.

Since you seem to be into food, what is your food philosophy?

am into food. Always have been. Food is life, and a cornerstone of culture. How and what you eat says a lot about you.

I espouse the basic philosophy of Slow Food — that food should be good, clean, and fair. I support the local food and wine movements and believe that farmers and food producers are key to a thriving civilization. While technology has linked the world and changed the way we eat, we must find ways to preserve and celebrate local and regional food culture, traditions, recipes, land, and seeds.

Eating for health is also a major priority for me, which means you’ll find things in my cupboards that aren’t local to me, such as coconut oil, chia seeds, cocao nibs, and maca powder. I could never give up foods like olive oil, bananas, citrus, spices, and nuts.

At the same time, you’d be hard-pressed to find strawberries or fresh tomatoes in my kitchen in January, or endangered fish and industrially-raised poultry any time of the year. I buy a lot of my food from local farmers and growers. I’m not a vegetarian, though I eat that way a lot. I could never join the vegans, because they use margarine (ugh… fake food!). I love butter, cream, bread, chocolate, and every edible mushroom I’ve ever met.

Why did you decide to adopt, and why Ethiopia?

Decisions about building a family are always personal, but people are curious about adoption. I’m always happy to share because adoption is an incredible way to become a parent. My husband and I thought about adopting internationally before we met. Time flew by, biological kids never showed up, and we decided we better get to it. The process took us almost four years. Ethiopia is a country we were not only eligible for, but drawn to; we love the culture, the history, the people.

Do you know who your kids are and when they will arrive?

Yes we do, and they’re finally here! S and H — as they’re known on this blog to protect their privacy — are (now) five year-old twin girls from northern Ethiopia. They came home on October 12, 2012. It was a long and wild ride to becoming a family and these girls have changed our lives forever.

Can I contribute to SlowMama?

I do not currently take unsolicited material for SlowMama, but if you have a short article that you think is the perfect fit, feel free to contact me. Please be sure to read the archives here and peruse the site to make sure you understand the kind of content I publish here.

Can I advertise here?

Yes, so long as your product or service compliments the values of this site. Please contact me for more information.

Do you do give-aways?

Yes. Occasionally the prize is something I’ve purchased, usually it’s been donated. I will only give away or review something I like. If someone sends me a product or service to review or give away, I’ll always be upfront about it. Full-disclosure is the name of the game around here. If you have a product or service you’d like me to give away or review, let’s chat.

How do you make money from this blog?

I occasionally sell advertising, I do sponsored posts, trades, and partnerships (if they’re in keeping with what this blog is about), and I’m an Amazon Affiliate.

I like your site — who designed it?

Thank you. The guys at Proof Branding in Nashville did a fantastic job. They’re talented, super nice, and great to work with. If you need a logo, web site, marketing or branding help, check them out. And be sure to tell them I sent you.

Where do you get the photos you post?

A few pictures on this site were taken by Renata Grzan. Otherwise, unless otherwise noted, I take them myself. My contributors take their own pictures as well. If you wish to post or pin one of our photos, we ask that you provide attribution and link back to the original post on this site.

Why don’t you have a blog roll?

I do have one of sorts — right now you can find it under my Resources tab. There I list various blogs, web sites, books, and films related to Slow living, living a good life, parenting, and anything else I think is worth knowing about. If you’d like to be listed there or have a great resource to share with me, let me know.

Can you tell me more about your contributors?

Happy to.

First up is Ann Waterman, a mother of three, based in northern Virginia. Ann is not only one of the best home organizers I know, she’s got an eye for the items and information women seek. Lucky for us, she shares her great finds and sage advice here on SlowMama.

Next is Margaret Cabaniss — called “Mags” around these parts — who hails from Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s an editor by day, and happily for all of us, lends her editorial talents to make SlowMama’s content even better. In her spare time, she dreams up creative craft projects that are fun, do-able, and pretty darn cool and writes about them here.  In addition to her arts and crafts posts, Mags treats us to some of her home cooking creations and her eye for fashion.

Past contributors include Alissa Lively, a mother of four from Washington, DC, and Leah Moss, an interior designer who writes for ApartmentTherapy and  runs her own site, Numerous guest bloggers have also appeared on SlowMama since its launch. You can read more about my talented contributors here.