Liza Hawkins has one leg planted firmly in the corporate world, and the other growing fruitfully in a creative world. When she’s not focused on her role in leadership development at a large insurance company, Liza spends her time managing her blog (a)Musing Foodie, as well as other freelance writing gigs for online and print publications – including Frederick Magazine, Tots2Tweens.com, Want2Dish.com, PrimeParentsClub.com, FiND iT FREDERiCK magazine, and others. The rest of her free time is devoted to her two kids, ages 7 and 3, connecting with friends, running 5Ks, attempting to keep up with her book club, and giving back to the community through work with Leadership Frederick County.

 

Over the years, how have you learned to balance career and motherhood?

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself balanced all the time, but I have learned to compartmentalize my days in such a way that I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself and my family of quality time together. The laptop, for example, gets put away most evenings until my 3-year old is in bed.

I suppose balance was hardest when the kids were babies, and as a mom you feel this innate urge to be home with them – especially during the early months. With my 7-year old I was able to wait until she was 4-months old before returning to work, but I had just switched jobs when my 3-year old was born and due to lack of sick leave, I had to return when he was just 5-weeks old. I felt the most unbalanced at that time, but am thankful for a very supportive family that helped out tremendously (and still do) – if I had to pick one reason, “family support” is probably the best way that I’ve been able to balance career and motherhood.

Is there one particular parenting lesson you’ve learned about raising kids?

Never think that you have it all figured out, and always be open to learning new things. Take care to point out the positive in what your kids do on a daily basis, even if it’s something as simple as a compliment on finishing dinner without having been hounded. One little compliment goes a long way!

Battling stress? Any advice?

I love this quote that I saw on Pinterest a couple days ago, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength.” We’ve been through a lot over the past three years as a family – job changes and major debilitating long-term illness to name a couple. If we spent time stressing out over all the craziness, we’d be supremely unhappy – and maybe a little crazy. I take each day as it comes, and make the best of it (and sometimes I’m still a little crazy, but that’s okay)!

Tools or products you can’t live without?

Oh gosh – well, being a foodie, there are several “must have” items for my kitchen. I have two 5” Santoku knives that I use religiously every day. I also adore my wooden cutting boards for non-meat cutting, and a good set of skillets (both non-stick and stainless steel). It seems silly, but Pinterest is a tool I can’t live without these days either – it’s the perfect virtual space to pin and repin recipes and other pieces of eye candy in a way that no other space can. I’m hopeful the legal issues become non-issues, and Pinterest can keep on going as-is.

Do you have an inspirational quote, motto or philosophy you can share with us?

My blog’s motto is: eat, read, cook, dine, write, and my favorite quote is, “Everything in moderation, including moderation,” by Julia Child. They pretty much go hand-in-hand, I think!

Favorite resources, books, or website?

As a food writer, I love my dog-eared copy of “Will Write for Food” by Dianne Jacob (@diannej), as well as “Garlic and Sapphires,” by food critic Ruth Reichl (@ruthreichl). In general though, I use most of my social media outlets as inspiration and reference, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other blogs.

Latest passion?

I recently started work with Houzz.com as a Guest Ideabook Creator – think Pinterest meets interior design, in a more professional setting. The ideas there, both professional and not, are overwhelmingly addicting. If you haven’t visited, you really should – I dare you!

Connect with her:

Twitter: @aMusingFoodie
Facebook: Facebook.com/aMusingFoodieBlog
Blog: aMusingFoodie.com 
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/aMusingFoodie
Houzz: http://houzz.com/user/aMusingFoodie
Google+: Liza Hawkins