At “The B Keeps Us Honest,” Jessica Lieb shares glimpses into her family’s life in Knightdale as well as helpful tips on everything from storing veggies to how to keep an active preschooler entertained. In addition to sharing advice, she also shares stuff – giveaways are a big part of the conversation on the blog. She’s been blogging for a decade, but that doesn’t mean she’s stuck in a rut. As her life has changed, so have her blog titles and post topics, and she’s taking us all along for the ride.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself, and about your family.
A. I’m married and have 3 boys (5, 2 and 10 months). My boys love Star Wars, all four of them, so we spend a lot of time watching and playing Star Wars. I love spending time with my family and we are always on the go. When we aren’t running around town having fun I like to watch HGTV and eat dark chocolate.
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Q. OK, so what's the story behind the name of your blog, "The B Keeps us Honest"?
A. My husband and I often have strange and random conversations. The kind of conversations you can have with someone who knows you backward and forward. The kind of conversation that would make outsiders cock their head, raise their eyebrow and slowly back away from you. Ok, maybe not that weird.
For several weeks I'd been planning a new blog, but I had yet to find the perfect name. Until, one day we were riding in the car when I blurt out, "I forget we have a "b" in our name." (In case you didn't know, our last name is Lieb. I believe the origin is German from the word, liebe which means love.) To which my husband promptly replies, "The "b" keeps us honest." After a moment of pause I get the joke and chuckle. Then suddenly a light bulb illuminates above my head, "That's it! The perfect name for my blog, ‘The B Keeps Us Honest.’”
Q. When did you start the blog, and why?
A. I’ve been blogging since 2003 (Xanga!) about random life stuff, then about planning my wedding in 2007, and then I started another blog in 2008 about being a new mom, We3Liebs. I started The B Keeps Us Honest on Nov. 1, 2009. I wanted to write about parenting and products for parents and offer giveaways. Honestly, we were pretty broke at that point in time and I was looking for a way to supplement our income since I was a stay-at-home mom. Little did I realize how much work a blog would be and how little money it would actually produce, but along the way I fell in love with the online community and it just sort became “my thing.”
You post on the blog almost every day – sometimes several times a day. How do you find the time (and energy!) to do that while juggling three kids?
Juggling time with three boys is always a challenge, but I don’t work much when they are home and awake. They are my number one priority so I put them first every time. I take advantage of scheduling posts and primarily write in the evenings or on the weekends. I typically write a week’s worth of posts in the matter of a day or two and just schedule them accordingly.
Q. Do you ever have a hard time thinking of stuff to write about?
A. I occasionally draw a blank when it comes to post ideas. When I get stuck I do two things: 1) I read other blogs – reading other blogs get my creative juices flowing and I usually find inspiration when I read. 2) I consult my “idea list” – I keep a list of random blog post ideas so when I get a great idea for a post at 2 a.m. I can just jot it down and revisit later when I’m fully awake. That usually helps, but if not I’m OK with not writing, it’s good to take a break.
Q. What post or topic has gotten the most response from readers? Why do you think it got such a strong response?
A. I’ve gotten a lot of response to my Whole30 Challenge posts, specifically my Paleo recipes. I think there are a lot of people looking to make a healthy lifestyle change, and eating real food is a great place to start. Our family has experienced dramatic changes since doing our first Whole30, and even though we don’t fully live a Paleo lifestyle, we try to maintain good eating habits to set a good example for our children.
Q. What's your favorite thing to do with the whole family in the Triangle?
A. On a typical Saturday you will find us visiting a local coffee shop (Global Village and Jubala Village are our favorites) and then venturing off to a local park (Mordecai Mini park and Pullen Park are our favorites). Ironically, I don’t drink coffee but my husband loves his coffee and the boys love their chocolate milk. I just tag along for the company… and the tea.
Q. What's your favorite thing around here to do when you get a few hours to yourself?
A. On those rare occasions I like to get a pedicure or go shopping at Target by myself. I’m far from high-maintenance but I do like to indulge a little when possible, and a getting a pedicure is one of my favorite ways to relax.
Q. What's the best parenting trick you've picked up so far?
A. Always have snacks. When kids get cranky, feed them and they usually cheer up, unless they are overtired. Then you just need to go home and put them to bed. I always keep little boxes of raisins stashed in my purse because my kids love them.
Q. What's the best advice someone has given you about being a mom?
A. Relax. If you are stressed, your kids can sense it and will react to it. If you are calm and relaxed your kids will also be calm and relaxed. (Most of the time; I mean, they are kids, so calm is relative.)
Q. What's your least favorite part and most favorite part of mommyhood?
A. My least and most favorite parts of mommyhood are the same: watching them grow up. I love watching my kids master new skills and become more independent, but in the same respect as they become more independent they need less of me. It brings me so much joy to watch my little ones take their first steps, go to school for the first time, ride their first bike. But the firsts are fleeting and soon they will be distant memories as I watch them go off to college, get married and have their own kids.
Know a cool mom in the Triangle we should profile for our next "Meet" Q&A? Or are you a mom with a story to tell? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (please put "Meet" in the subject line).