Welcome back to Friends ask Friday! Last week’s post was my first segment and it was a big success!
Today I’m excited to share something special I have in store for you! Make sure to keep reading beyond the initial segment! You won’t regret it!
But first let me answer a few questions some of you had for me!
Friends ask Friday #2
1. Christie asks:
How long does it take you to plan a typical party? You always have every last detail thought of so I’m wondering – Do you start creating months ahead of time or do you get your awesome creativity on a “whim” and throw everything together in a week?”
Christie, that is so sweet of you to say such kind words! For a typical party I do plan and start executing prep work about a month in advance (depending on what it is I’m planning, and how many people will be attending). I order most of my purchases on-line and the shipping time here can be very slow. This is one reason I prep so early. I’ve also found that with my day-to-day responsibilities, if I don’t prep in advance I end up killing myself to get things accomplished. There are only so many hours in a day! Four weeks out I’m usually doing all the mental planning of decorations, food/dessert ideas, themes, logistics, and ordering of products. Three weeks out I start planning any games or activities that will be involved, and prepping any materials needed. Two weeks out I assess everything that I have (usually all items have arrived by this point). I visualize how the set-up will be, where items will be placed, etc. I start hanging decor that doesn’t get in our way from day-to-day (I’m crazy, I know)! One week out I start prepping to make the cake, wrap any gifts or prepare parting gifts or favors, grocery shop for the food, etc. As you can see, it’s a commitment… The only events I’m able to throw together in a week are dinner parties, and low-key gatherings.
2. Devon asks:
Why are you so darn cool?!
Let me first state to my readers that Devon is a good friend of mine and I can HEAR the sarcasm in her voice! HA! However; since she asked, I will play along! Devon, we can’t all be as cool as you, but any coolness I get is because I hang out with you! Btw, Devon is the one that makes all those cool lunches for her son that I’ve shared on Facebook!
Okay, enough of the silliness! I’ve got something super awesome to share with you!
As mentioned last week, I wanted to take Friday as an opportunity to feature other bloggers, and even readers such as yourself!
Remember, if you’ve been featured on ‘Friends ask Friday’, you can grab your button here!
Today, meet Grounded and Surrounded!
Your blog name is Grounded and Surrounded. Give us a little insight to what your blog is about and how it came to be.
Grounded and Surrounded:
We are both passionate about health. Not just health in a physical sense, but also spiritual and emotional health. We hatched the plan to start our own blog on a plane flight home from a business convention in June 2014. It took us a while to agree on a name, but when we finally landed on Grounded & Surrounded we knew it was a perfect fit for us. We are constantly trying to live more grounded lives by cooking from scratch, growing our own food and simplifying our work and family life. We also recognize the value of being surrounded by people who love and support us. We love to educate and inspire women to take a small step towards a healthier way of living through our delicious recipes, educational articles, and fun video blogs.
I became a fan of your blog while watching some of your playful
Youtube videos! You two gals have a contagious energy about you! How do
you two know each other, and does blogging together affect your
We are best friends. We are so blessed to have found each other! It is a funny story. Sammi used to work for my mom when she was a teenager. I was a few years older and we never really paid much attention to each other. It wasn’t until after our two youngest children were born that we really connected. We discovered that we lived just down the street from one another and were attending the same church. We connected first through Bible study, then we started working together and eventually realized that we were doing just about everything together. Running our own blogging business has definitely highlighted our differences and put a unique kind of stress on our relationship. Fortunately, we both agreed early on that NOTHING is more important than our relationship and we use that decision to shape every aspect of our blogging life.
You gals have a pretty cool summer project that you recently put together! Can you tell us what the ETHAN project is and what inspired you
to put it together?
The ETHAN Project was born out of necessity. We have been working so hard to get our blog off the ground, and we realized we just couldn’t keep up that momentum through the summer months. We also realized we didn’t want to! We are both stay-at-home moms and our children attend a small Christian School. We were able to squeeze blogging into our lives this year because the kids were away at school for at least part of the day on most days. We won’t have that time during the summer, so we had to create a way to keep up the momentum on our blog while reserving more energy to focus on our children. ETHAN is an acronym for “ENJOY the HERE and NOW.” And that is exactly what we intend to do this summer. We have created a unique challenge for each week starting June 5 and running through August 15. We will be encouraging everyone to share their stories on social media using our #ETHANproject hashtag and by participating in our ETHAN Project Facebook Group.
I love that the Ethan project incorporates not just other bloggers,
but actual moms and dads! Share with us how parents can get involved in
When we started discussing our own concerns about juggling our kids and our blog this summer, we realized that we were probably not alone! We worked hard to develop the ETHAN Project challenges, graphics, and social media strategy. Why not share it with others? So we created the #ETHANproject Blogger Kit for Moms and so far it has been a huge success. We have more than 20 other blogging moms joining us for the summer challenge and documenting their stories on their own blogs. It is our hope that by partnering with other bloggers we are able to turn up the volume on the ETHAN Project and get more people involved with the 10-week Summer Challenge. Everybody needs a reminder every now and then to STOP and ENJOY the special moments with their children. Even though the ETHAN Project primarily focuses on moms, we have some grand plans of getting our husbands involved in as many of the challenges as we can.
Thank you Rachel for giving us the opportunity to share some of the “untold-story” of Grounded & Surrounded with you today. We sure do hope that you and your readers decide to join us for the ETHAN Project this summer, it’s going to be a blast!
Well, I’m certainly thrilled for the challenge and most certainly will be joining in! I’m a very visual and ‘check-list’ type of person. One of the things that I personally love about this project is that it is all layed out before me. You ladies have come up with an incredible list of challenges and I’m already brainstorming of things to do for them! Friends, I will be posting more about this project and sharing the things that I’m doing here on my site! I hope you join along with me!
Sarah Koontz is a stay-at-home wife & mother of 2 beautiful little girls. She is passionate about writing, and loves sharing her advice and experiences with anyone who will listen. She has a blog with her best friend Sammi at Grounded & Surrounded where they write about all things Healthy! Heart, Home, & Habits. You can find Sarah on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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