THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 6: Elizabeth Moyer, Blogger

Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious—and maybe a little obsessed—about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us feel a little better. Every Friday I’ll feature a new interview. Here’s what Elizabeth Moyer had to say…

No. 6: Elizabeth Moyer, Blogger

Age: 46… that still shocks me to write!
Where I live: Rye, NY
Job: Lifestyle blogger, Pretty Pink Tulips
Ages/genders of kids: 2 boys ages 9 and 12

ebm headshot

Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
Not at all! After I graduated college, I went into a management training program with Bank of America and began a 14-year career with that company. I started out in retail bank management (think running a McDonald’s without the hamburgers, while dressed in a suit and heels), then managing trusts, estates, and investments for high net worth individuals and families and then, finally, marketing. I learned SO much during those years and I think it helped me forge a lot of organization and leadership skills. Creativity, however, was sorely lacking. I “retired” from banking after my first son was born. When my sons were 5 & 8, I felt ready to embark upon some type of work that would connect me with like-minded people and help fill a creativity void. Blogging seemed to be the perfect answer, as I could be my own boss, structure my own work day and set the tone and direction. Pretty Pink Tulips was born in April of 2010, and I’ve been blogging away ever since about living, giving, and entertaining with style and grace.

Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I am of the belief that you can have it all, just not all at the same time. I think a happy life is about priorities, which are always shifting. The key is to be willing to shift our time and attention when those priorities shift.

What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
Honestly, I think I’m a pretty balanced person, living a pretty balanced life. But, I think that is born out of an acknowledgement that I’m not going to give 100% to everything in my life, at all times. Sometimes I may give 80% to health and fitness and 50% to friends. Other times, that is reversed. I think being balanced means being true to yourself and what you value and then letting some other things go.

What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
I think I’m getting better at balancing my own expectations. I no longer value multi-tasking, for example. I used to pride myself on that trait. However, that is also when you are not giving anything your full attention and if you’re not doing that….how can you truly do it well? So….tackling things one at a time is something I’ve gotten better at. I may get things done slower, but they are usually done better.

What was the best advice you ever heard on balance…
From a mentor/co-worker? When I worked at the bank in marketing, I felt that I had some really solid role models for balancing things. We worked hard during the day (and whenever needed, at home), but the happiest people always had interests outside of their work.
From your mother? My mother is a living, breathing example of how to live a balanced life. She does not hurry. She savors things. She keeps things tidy and clean, so there is a place for everything and thus “everything in its place.” She puts people first, yet takes care of her health. I could go on and on, but I realize I have had a really good role model.
From your kids? My kids are so perceptive. They often mirror back to me my frustration about something that I might “need” to do. They help me recognize that I sometimes get wound up over things that aren’t really that important. It goes back to priorities.

If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
I would listen to music or exercise. Both of those things really ground me and calm me.

What would you have told yourself…
20 years ago? Take more risks. Go into a creative field. Have fun!
20 years from now? Good for you for taking more risks and living a creative life. (Here’s hoping!)

What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource? 
Loading the dishwasher. I really don’t like dirty dishes.

Whose job do you wish you had? 
I wish I could paint and do illustrations like my friends Patricia and Jeanne. I would love to be editor of House Beautiful, as I love interior design. I would love to have Linda Fargo’s job as head buyer for Bergdorf Goodman, as I love fashion and fashion shows. I would also love to be on a morning talk show, as I just think it would be fun to meet so many interesting people. Clearly, I went for the “fantasy” realm here.

Whose job are you glad you don’t have? 
Accountants… just would bore me to bits. Emergency room physician or nurses… I think the stress and blood would kill me.

Favorite book?  
All of Alexandra Stoddard’s books. Bunny Williams’ books. The novel Roses, by Leila Meacham, about three generations of Texans (I’m a 4th generation Texan).

What are you reading right now?
Masterminds and Wingmen, by Rosalind Wiseman, a non-fiction book about the real-life struggles of boys.

Biggest vices… 
Activity? Probably too much time in front of my computer.
Food? I like tortilla chips—it’s all about the Tex-Mex for me.
Website? I regularly like to “browse” women’s fashion websites.

How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
I usually am in bed for 8 hours, but it’s not always a great sleep.

What do you read every morning?
My blog, my email, a quick news scan, and other blogs.

Complete the following sentences:
I think I: am doing all right.
I wish I: could figure out what project I should work on next.
My kids: are a joy!

Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
I have a few favorites: “Bloom where you are planted,” (I made four major moves during my 30s: Dallas to San Francisco to New York City to Charlotte to Rye, NY) “When the student is ready, the teacher appears,” and “Each of us is as happy as we make up our mind to be.”

About Elizabeth
Elizabeth was born and raised in Texas and to this point has spent more time there than any other place, so its influence is still felt profoundly on all she does. She likes friendly people, Tex-Mex, seeing the sun dip beneath the horizon, lipstick, and high heels. She always loved to write and take photos, so becoming a blogger was a natural fit. Married 15 years to her Midwestern, hardworking yet fun-loving husband, she is doing her best to raise two young boys, making sure they learn their manners as well as their math.

Find more about Elizabeth and her blog here:
prettypinktulips.com
Twitter: @prettypink2lips 
Facebook: Pretty-Pink-Tulips
Pinterest: PrettyTulips

Please share your own tips on balance below and check back every Friday for another interview from THE BALANCE PROJECT. Better yet, subscribe in the box to the right and I’ll let you know when a new one posts…

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6 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Moyer February 28, 2014 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Susie, thank you so much for inviting me to be part of The Balance Project! I’m honored and humbled to be in such amazing company!

  2. Annabel Monaghan February 28, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Elizabeth, loved this and loved your take on multi-tasking. What a waste of my time (and everyone’s time!) it’s been for me to race around getting things half done. I’m much better off if i slow down – maybe i’ll try to be like your mom!

  3. pvedesign March 3, 2014 at 7:01 am - Reply

    Hello Suzie,
    I admire Elizabeth so much for her gracious focus and style that she brings to each of us every day on her blog. Elizabeth aspires to live with beauty, to slow down, to be a good role model or reflection for one’s own family and friends and to me that is so refreshing.
    The articles of women complaining about their lives being out of balance bore me. I would much prefer to look up to those that have mastered the art of the lasso and trying to find what works best for them. I love learning tricks from Elizabeth at “Pretty Pink Tulips” to infuse my day with pretty things, nice manners and kindness. Embracing lost arts of living a more gentile life is an honor to strive for, even if the dishes are still sitting patiently in the sink.
    Thank-you Suzie & Elizabeth for this interview! I feel honored to see my name here. I can teach you both to draw and paint.
    pve

  4. stitchfork March 3, 2014 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Enjoyed reading this interview Suzie and Elizabeth. E, I’ve always admired your gracious sense of entertaining, style and life! Savor the moments.
    xo

  5. Jeanne McKay Hartmann March 4, 2014 at 11:47 am - Reply

    So much fun to learn more about Elizabeth and to hear her perspective on “balance.” I admire Elizabeth for having her priorities straight and for understanding that creating a beautiful life is an important piece of the puzzle, and not something that is frivolous or and after thought. A very interesting and inspiring read (and how nice and flattering to see my name mentioned!) Thank you Suzie and Elizabeth

  6. mydesignchic March 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    This is such a fun idea, Susie, and love learning more about you, Elizabeth! You are always such an inspiration to us, and love following your blog – full of beauty, organization, grace and charm…just like its author. I definitely need to learn to follow your advice of no more multitasking…always think I’m getting so much done and in reality, I know things are not getting done as well as they should – balance. And Susie, we learned of your book from Elizabeth’s blog and can’t wait to read it!!

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