She’s got two businesses, two blogs, three kids, and one of the biggest hearts you’ll ever come across. And Stephanie Smith is no wallflower. In fact, her Twitter handle is @stephsmithloud, as in the opposite of shy, the antithesis of quiet. Her blogs, Blood, Sweat, and Minivans and S.L. Smith Photography, are platforms for her passions: health, fitness, family, and capturing life’s most beautiful and precious moments. Whether she’s writing, working out, enjoying her family, or taking stunning photographs, Stephanie does it all with a smile on her face, an appreciation for humor, and a zest for life.
You’ve got two blogs. How do you prioritize them?
Haha! I would use the word “prioritize” very loosely when describing my blogging skills. I try very hard to stick to a calendar and blog once a week on each blog but, as women know, life gets crazy and hectic. For a while I was spreading myself way too thin and trying to work on both of my businesses, blogs, and housework each day. A very helpful friend told me that I needed to just focus on one thing at a time. My new goal is to set aside one day of the week to write a blog post for my fitness blog, and another day of the week to write for my photography blog. I’m trying very hard to work on balance.
As a personal trainer, what do you recommend for busy moms who think they just don’t have time to work out regularly? What small steps can moms take to improve their health?
As a busy mom of three, there are times when I have to incorporate workouts into my everyday activity. This was especially true when they were all babies and at home with me all day. I would dance with them or even lay on the floor and lift them like I was doing chest presses. Sometimes I would hold them to my chest and do squats. It was playtime and exercise all in one. We walked a lot of places with the jogging stroller too. Just be conscious of what specific muscles you are using during your activities. This sounds really cheesy, but concentrate on using your biceps when lifting the laundry detergent or gallons of milk. Focus on your shoulder muscles when lifting your child into and out of the grocery cart. Be aware of tightening your glutes and quads when lifting your child off of the floor. When walking up the stairs, really use your quads and do some calf raises on the way up. Every little bit helps.
Here is a blog post I wrote about fitting in fitness on a busy schedule: I Have No Time! ~ Creative Workouts to Kick Those Excuses in the Butt
The biggest thing is to find something you love and move your body. It does not have to be a traditional workout to improve your health. Just get moving.
What are your best healthy eating tips for parents/families?
Food is one of my favorite subjects. I LOVE all kinds of food. I have tried all kinds of crazy food trends throughout the years but find that my body and my soul are the happiest while enjoying foods I like in moderation and not having lots of restrictions. We eat as healthy as possible at our house. The trendy name for it is “clean eating,” but I just call it healthy eating. In What’s the Deal with Clean Eating???? I explain what clean eating means to me.
I think a big key to making good food choices is to plan a menu and stick to it. I know that if I don’t have a menu planned or the right groceries on hand, it is so much easier to just order a pizza. I have a few sample menus and grocery lists for the regular grocery store and Costco on my Blood, Sweat, and Minivans blog.
I try to have plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, boiled eggs, and homemade protein bars on hand. I also try to do things like turkey or egg white muffins, but that’s not always possible. I prep the food on Sunday or Monday and put them into containers in the fridge. It can be time-consuming, but it really encourages me to grab something healthy to eat since it’s already prepared. It’s so much easier to make a quick omelette, salad, or stir fry when the veggies are already chopped.
For seven years I struggled with packing healthy(ish) and easy school lunches that my kids would actually eat. Last year I came up with a school lunch-packing system that has been a lifesaver!
What are your favorite blog posts to write and why?
My favorite blog posts to write are also the ones that are the most difficult to write. These are the blog posts that are personal and emotional. It’s very important for me to be transparent and authentic. As much as I love social media (I am a junkie.), I also feel like it can be deceiving. It sometimes appears that all of your friends and other bloggers have these perfect lives where they are constantly surrounded by friends and laughter in their Pinterest-looking homes with their perfectly dressed children. Sometimes social media can make people feel lonely. I want to be perfectly transparent so that other women don’t feel so alone and they can see that someone else is going through the same emotions. One of my favorite posts on Blood, Sweat and Minivans was also one of the hardest to write. I deleted it so many times before I posted it. I think it took me a few weeks to get up the nerve to publish it.
My favorite blog post from S.L. Smith Photography was born out of anger.
I also LOVE my funny blog posts. Especially when I don’t intend for them to be funny, but they turn out that way…like the time I tried kombucha or when I wrote about gym etiquette and naked shaver lady.
What fitness and photography blogs do you love? What blogs on other topics are some of your other favorites to follow?
This is a tough question because I LOVE so many blogs and bloggers, so many just in the city of San Antonio! I’ll try my best to narrow it down:
My favorite photography blog is Xanthe Berkley‘s. Her photos and videos are so real, touching, and make you fall in love with the simple things in your life. I have taken her workshops and she is lovely and helpful.
My favorite fitness blog is Danny J’s The Sweaty Betties. I love her no-nonsense, honest, and funny approach to health and fitness.
Nobody makes me laugh like Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess. I could not read her book in public because I looked insane, laughing with tears running down my face.
I read a lot of humor blogs…even though it makes me look crazy because I’m staring at my phone and laughing in waiting rooms while I read them: