Hey there, sweet friends! I’m Abby, and I’m so thrilled that you’ve stumbled over to my blog! I started Just a Girl and Her Blog on a whim in January 2013. I wasn’t even quite sure what a blog was at the time, but I knew I needed some sort of creative outlet and decided to give blogging a try. It wasn’t long before I caught the blogging bug, and I am still totally in awe that this little blog of mine (that I didn’t think anyone would ever read!) has become a family business, with both my husband Donnie and I working on the blog full time! Our journey to becoming full time bloggers is a story all its own, and you can read all about it in this post.
I am truly passionate about creating a beautiful, thriving home, life, and business and helping others to do the same! On the blog, those passions manifest themselves in posts about organization and productivity and in practical, easy-to-follow decorating tips. And since blogging has been a total game changer for us, allowing us to work from home and spend tons of time with our sons while supporting our family at the same time, we also try to “pay it forward” by sharing what we’re learning about blogging and online business in hopes that other bloggers can learn from our successes and failures and grow their sites as well.
To try to help people even more in the areas of organization, productivity, and blogging, we have created eBooks and courses that extend beyond the information we can share in blog format and really dive deep into each of the different areas:
If you hang around this blog for any amount of time, you will discover that I really, really love lists! I thought it was only fitting, then, for me to introduce myself in list format and tell you 10 things that you probably didn’t know about me:
1. My blog name is a lie.
It’s true. When I started my blog, I had no idea what to call it, and Just a Girl and Her Blog was the first name that came to mind. The name might suggest that I do this whole thing alone, but I certainly don’t make this blog happen all by myself! As I’ve mentioned, Donnie is my business partner and does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work and will pop in to write a post from time to time. We’ve also brought on my sister Brittany to help us out as an assistant/social media manager, so if you ever shoot us an email, you might hear from her as well. It really is a team effort!
2. Donnie and I are college sweethearts. <3
We met through a mutual friend during our freshman year at Grove City College, a small Christian liberal arts school in western Pennsylvania, and the rest, as they say, is history. Our college has always had a “ring by spring” reputation– the students tend to pair up and get engaged by the spring of their senior year, and even though a bunch of my friends and I swore up and down that we weren’t going to marry Grove City boys, most of us ended up doing exactly that. Go figure. 😉
(Donnie and I during our freshman year of college…we were babies!)
3. I never in a million years thought that I would be a boy mom, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am a total girly girl. I only have a sister. I mostly babysat girls. So of course I thought that when it was my turn to have kids, I would have a bunch of little girls. Then God blessed us with our two darling boys, Connor and Caleb (who I call “the Cs” for short), and I have never been so smitten in my entire life. They are the sweetest, cutest, most ornery and darling things that I’ve ever seen and I can’t imagine life without them!
(This is typical with our 2 boys!)
4. My degree is in secondary ed, English & communication… but I’ve barely used it, in the classroom, anyway.
I’ve always loved to write, so studying English was a natural choice for me. I only did a brief stint as a high school English teacher though, before Donnie and I moved across the country to Arizona, decided we missed home after about a year, and moved back home to Pittsburgh, PA to be closer to our families. Then we had the Cs and started a blog, so I never did make it back into the classroom!
5. I, along with my mom and sister, am a carrier of the BRCA1 genetic mutation.
I told my full story in this post, but basically, having this mutation means that we are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancers. I had one surgery to reduce my risk in July 2014, and I will have another one soon. (If you are a BRCA carrier and have questions about surgeries or prevention, please feel free to email me! I am always willing to chat about my experience!)
(with my sister Brittany and my parents)
6. I’m quirky.
I have a whole list of quirks that I’m sure drive Donnie nuts. I’m a picky eater (and drinker—I don’t like coffee, tea, or alcohol). I hate loud noises, especially “pops” (keep those balloons and cans of crescent rolls away from me!). I use way too many exclamation points and smiley faces any time I write!!! 🙂 I am almost always cold. Except when I’m way too hot. I talk and/or sing to myself all the time. I watch my 3 favorite movies over and over rather than trying a new movie. I sometimes get laser focused on one thing and it’s hard for me to do anything else until I finish it. And I may be just a teensy bit bossy. Oops!
7. I’ve been a blonde and a brunette.
I had a hard time deciding between the two for a while, but I’ve been solidly brunette for the last 5-ish years or so, so maybe I’ve finally settled into a color?
8. I’ve finished a marathon.
Kind of. It was a relay and I was the last leg, so technically I am the one who finished it, right?! 😉
9. We recently moved from a little three bedroom townhouse and built a house that we hope will be our forever home.
The first three and a half years of this blog chronicled the renovations we were making to our little townhouse in the suburbs. Just when we got it exactly the way we wanted it, we outgrew it– of course!
(our renovated kitchen in the townhouse– probably my favorite transformation in the whole house)
In September of 2016 we moved into a house we had built by a community builder (a Palermo by Ryan Homes) and have been working hard at making it our own ever since. I think it’s safe to say that we have years and years of projects ahead of us in this house! 🙂
(Our current house)
10. Speaking of houses, ours sometimes looks like this:
A lot of times, actually. I have two wild and crazy boys running around who haven’t quite gotten the hang of cleaning up yet. And they have a scatterbrained mama who, though fairly organized, tends to leave a trail of projects behind her anywhere she goes. (I blame my creative side!) We’re a work in progress for sure. But just because you see a lot of pretty pictures on the blog doesn’t mean that we don’t have our days (or sometimes our weeks) when things are just total and utter chaos. And I’m learning to be okay with that in this season of our lives. 🙂
So now that you know more about me than you ever wanted to know, where do we go from here? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for!
Looking for some ways to get organized? I recommend these posts:
Decorate Your Home
Maybe you’re looking for some easy ways to spruce up your home? These posts may be able to help:
Grow Your Blog
Or maybe you found me because you were looking for ways to start or grow your blog. These posts can get you there:
Thank you so much for popping over to my little corner of the internet! I would love to connect with you on social media, so be sure to say “hi!” on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter. Talk to you soon!