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 Amy Selling had to say…
No. 31: Amy Selling, Lifestyle Blogger
Where I live: Livingston, NJ
Job: Lifestyle Blogger: Lulu and Lattes
Ages/genders of kids: Two boys ages 7 & 10
Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
Omg no. Before I had kids I was the Sales Manager of the women’s Burberry showroom. After having my first son, Zach, they told me I had to come back full-time or leave… I left. Several years later, closing two businesses, lots of stories, and a will to share, I sat down to write. From the minute I wrote my first post, I knew I would be writing forever. They say do what you love.
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
Overrated. There is no such thing as having it all. Nobody lives the perfect life, and if they do I would love to meet that person.
What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
Owning your business and working from home means you are always on. I try hard on the weekends and after school to turn off social media and “work” but I struggle with this constantly, and I need to find a way to hide my phone!
What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
I am getting better at acceptance. It has taken me a long time to realize that people are who they are. They are not going to change just because you want them to. I learned I have to change how I handle people instead of waiting for them to change to my expectations.
What was the best advice you ever heard on balance…
From a mentor/co-worker? Last summer (2013) only a few months after I started my blog, I wrote a blog post that went viral. I thought I was on the map but quickly realized it was lightning in a bottle. A very successful owner of a PR firm who is a dear friend, sat me down and said, “Amy, your blog is three months old. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Write what you believe, not what you ‘think’ people want to hear. You will gain readership with your honesty, voice, and point of view.”
From your mother? “Date night. It is so important for the health of your marriage, the independence of your kids and the stress of your week!”
From your kids? Having kids and watching them grow so fast has taught me to value every moment. Life can change in a blink of an eye and my kids have shown me time and time again how precious our moments are together.
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?
Reading. There is nothing better than reading great book in a warm sunny place.
What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
I didn’t “have” to find a husband and get married so quickly. I think I was so focused on finding a husband, I didn’t enjoy the time I had dating and having fun.
What do you hope to know by time you’re 60?
If Botox is safe.
What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
LAUNDRY, hands down. I hate every minute of it.
Whose job do you wish you had?
Gwyneth’s: acting and writing a blog on everything healthy and clean. I aspire!
Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
I once had a colonic. I have NO IDEA how people give those for a living.
Oh so many! The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.
What are you reading right now?
Henna House by Nomi Eve.
Activity? Reading in the loo. I could take a book into the bathroom and stay for an hour and pretend I am “going” to the bathroom. I find any place to escape and read.
Food? Taffy lites and french fries!
Website? Amazon Prime. Big problems there… From books to protein powder to snacks to every single thing you can think of, big problems.
How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
7-8 hours. I am an EARLY RISER. I wake up around 5:30/6am everyday and go to bed around 10.
What do you read every morning?
Instagram first, Facebook, my Twitter feed, and The Times. I am a social media whore.
Complete the following sentences:
I think I: need four more hours in every day.
I wish I: could eat whatever I wanted and not gain one pound.
My kids: are my biggest accomplishments. They have shown me the meaning of life and how important it is not to sweat the small stuff.
Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
I have two:
“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation, trying to put the pieces back together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.” (Tupac)
“Surround yourself with people who push you, who challenge you, who make you laugh, who make you better, who make you happy.”
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just something short. It took me 39 years to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Through thick and thin I have stayed true to who I am and what I want. I have learned along the way there will always be nayers and there will also be yayers. Life is about balancing the good and the bad, the no’s with the yes’s and the never’s with the I can’s. After two businesses I finally am doing what I love. I say keep trying until you know. I promise you will know.
Amy was born and raised in Bucks County, PA. She became a camper at 5, read her first book at 6, and began writing in her diary at 8. She dreamt she would be a fashion designer but wound up at Syracuse University in fashion management with a weight gain of 15 lbs by sophomore year. Dieting, fashion, NYC, and dating was her life in her twenties. Amy found love, married, and had two awesome boys. After the birth of Amy’s first son, Zach, she was on a quest to do something other than changing diapers and discussing how to sleep train your kid. Amy designed a children’s accessory line which was sold throughout the U.S., started a gorgeous cupcake business that got her on Cupcake Wars, and finally closed shop to follow her love of writing. So many stories, so much gossip, so much wellness to share, Lulu and Lattes was born!
Please share your own tips on balance and check back every Friday for another interview from THE BALANCE PROJECT.
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 1: Jessica Mindich, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 2: Veronica Beard, Fashion Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 3: Emily Liebert, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 4: Lyss Stern, Mom-trepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 5: Lauren Slayton, Nutritionist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 6: Elizabeth Moyer, Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 7: Annabel Monaghan, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 8: Holly Gordon, Director
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 9: Jill Salzman, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 10: Jennifer Levinson, Jen’s List
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 11: Jenny Hutt, Media Personality
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 12: Angela Santomero, Kids’ Media Creator
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 13: Carola Donato, Yogi
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 14: Tiffany Washington, Pastry Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 15: Emily Giffin, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 16: Alana Sanko, Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 17: Cara Lemieux, Journalist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 18: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, Authors
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 19: Nikki Mark, Author & Foundation Director
Shonda Rhimes on Doing It All
Indra Nooyi on Balance
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 21: Jill Bryan, Comedian
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 22: Cindy Callaghan, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 23: Stephanie Hirsch, Artist
My Times of India Interview on Work-Life Balance
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 24: Whitney Dineen, Author/Baker
AmEx’s Sobbott on Balance
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 25: J0-Laine Duke-Collins, Dessert Stylist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 26: Whitney English, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 27: Jennifer Gooch Hummer, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 28: Melissa Amster, Book Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 29: Nigel Marsh, Author and Entrepreneur
T HE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 30: DayNa Decker, Entrepreneur