...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Welcome to House*Tweaking’s first ever S.M.I.L.F. Week!  What’s that?  You don’t know what a S.M.I.L.F. is?  Well, it’s a stylish mama I‘d like to friend, of course.  And I’ve got a long list of them. They are blogging mamas with incredible style, great senses of humor, inspirational blogs, cute kiddos and beautiful outlooks on home life and beyond.  In honor of the impending Mother’s Day holiday, I asked some of my favorite S.M.I.L.F.’s to answer a few questions related to design, kids, and life in general.  I’ll be sharing their answers with you throughout the week.  I know with kids AND work AND house projects AND blogs these women are busy bees, so I’m very grateful to them for taking the time to participate in my nosy little interview.  Thank you, S.M.I.L.F.’s!

So, without further ado, let’s get right down to it.

Sherry Petersik of Young House Love: You know her as half of the YHL wedded blogging duo, The Petersiks.  I love her for her optimism, wit, dangly earrings, energy {she cuts down her own trees for Pete’s sake!}, frugal style and smile.  She does have a lovely smile, no?  And I always get a kick out of her calling grocery shopping “food shopping.”  Apparently, it’s a Jersey thing.  Take a look at what Sherry had to say about being a mom and how it’s changed her home and life.

H*T – What do you do for a living, where do you live, and who all lives in your home?

Sherry – Well let’s see. My full time job is “stay at home mom/blogger” (my mom still doesn’t know what a blogger really is though). I live in Richmond, Virginia with my sweet hubby John, our adorable daughter Clara (she’s almost a year old) and our weirdo chihuahua named Burger.

H*T – What’s your favorite baby/kid item in your home?

Sherry – John made Clara some wall mounted book shelves that I love.

H*T – What’s your #1 piece of advice for mixing kids and style together successfully under one roof?

Sherry – Don’t sweat the small stuff. All those crazy colorful little blocks and toys are good stuff (they make Clara squeal with glee, so who are we to deny her). We just look for big bins and baskets to hide it all quickly if company happens to be arriving in T-minus two minutes.

H*T – What’s been your biggest surprise since becoming a mom?

Sherry – How full I feel. Of love and gratitude and fear and hope and joy. I know it’s cheesy but Clara has made my life. Not my day or my week. My whole darn life.

H*T – What do you and your hubby do to keep the spark alive?

Sherry – Home improvement. You think I’m joking, but we really love it. Nothing says romance like building or painting something together. I think there’s just something sweet about working together to blow off steam and make your house really feel like home. I’d even venture to say that house pride might be an aphrodisiac. Haha.

H*T – What’s your favorite activity to do at home with your kid(s)?

Sherry – We love playing “where’s the doggie” with Clara, which basically just consists of searching for the dog in all of his favorite hiding spots until we find him. Reading books on the floor and looking for flowers outside is also a good time.

H*T – What’s your favorite time of day and why?

Sherry – Whenever Clara gets up from a nap (usually around noon and four). She’s just so sweet when she wakes up. All squishy and quiet.

H*T – How do you unwind after a busy day?

Sherry – We curl up on the couch and watch some tube. We’re happy to admit that shows like Modern Family and The Soup make us die laughing. And I think laughter keeps us sane after a long day of blogging and baby-wrangling. So yes, I just indirectly suggested that TV keeps us sane. Haha.

H*T – What do you hope to teach your child(ren) about home and family life?

Sherry – I just want Clara (and any other future kiddos) to know that they matter and they can make a difference and they can do whatever they dream of doing. When you’re young you really do believe that you count and that you can do anything. But I think it’s so easy to grow up and feel like you’re anonymous and unimportant and all of your hopes and dreams are too big for you. But they’re not. I don’t want Clara to give up on herself. Cheesy but true.

H*T – What home-related items would make it onto your Mother’s Day wish list if money wasn’t a concern?

Sherry – Lately I’ve been dreaming of a Sawzall. Might sound unromantic, but clipping back tree branches in one minute with a mini chainsaw instead of 15 with a manual hand saw is about as romantic as it gets for a girl like me.

Thanks Sherry!  I hope John gets a chance to read this so he can make his lumberjacking wife’s dreams come true.  And I especially love the part about Sherry not wanting Clara to lose her inclination to dream.  I think we adults could all use a little more dreaming in our lives.

images:  Young House Love


LOVE the interview! Sherry is too sweet and they have just an adorable family! I can totally relate to the “romance” of home building/decorating/designing. It’s a big reason why we named our blog, Design Build Love. The hubby and I have WAY too much fun working side by side and it only makes us stronger as a couple. It’s wonderful to have big-bloggers we can look up to! Thanks for sharing this wonderful interview Dana!!!

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Wait, not everyone calls it “food shopping”??? I’m from NJ too and I thought’s that’s what everyone called it, haha! You’re shopping for food, why call it anything but “food shopping”?
Thanks for letting me know and for the great interview with Sherry, she’s awesome!

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I have been reading Young House Love for quite some time, and I just love reading posts by Sherry. I know she used to work as an editor in New York, and I even had a dream once that I visited her home asked her for career advice! Proof that I spend a lot of time on her site :). Oh, I’ve spent a lot of time on your site, too! Thank you for sharing, Dana.

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Great interview! I am going to love your new S.M.I.L.F posts! I look forward to the next interview. I love Sherry too, I wish she could join my mommy play group:)

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Such a great interview! i love their blog!

will come back to your blog!!! love it

xoxo, yvonne

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love this idea! and Sherry! and you! :) can’t wait to see who else you share with us

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Great interview, and I completely agree with what Ashley@DBL said!

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I thought I’d clicked on the wrong blog for a second. Love the Petersiks!

I’m in Virginia and grocery shopping and food shopping are pretty much interchangeable.

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I highly recommend the Sawzall! And, I wholeheartedly agree about helping kids to reach for their dreams! Great interview Dana.

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