Q&A with Shay PART TWO!


I was actually looking forward to Monday.  Ha!

Yesterday, Kensington came home from Hawaii bright and early, Smith had a baseball tournament and it was Ashby’s birthday (and party!), so needless to say, I’m still recovering this morning.  I thought I’d throw up a few more questions and answers from last week’s Q&A with Shay.

If you missed PART ONE, you can see that HERE.  Again, I am blown away by all of your questions!  You ladies are so sweet to participate.  THANK YOU!!

This time of year, I only use THIS RIGHT HERE.  It’s my favorite especially in summer!

Well, we keep growing!  I have seven wonderful girls who work here with me.  I could not do it without them!  They are all amazing, and I am so thankful for each and every one of them!

I’m assuming you mean outside of Dallas/Fort Worth…and my answer is Fredericksburg (and the Texas hill country right in there too!).  Fredericksburg is the cutest German town right in the heart of Texas.  The food, the shopping, the bed and breakfasts, the cute little town…it’s all fantastic!

Five…Sunday through Thursday.

The first year we were married (way back in 2004/2005).

Since the weather is so nice here most of the time, they play outside.  They play basketball, football, baseball, climb trees, ride bikes, use scooters and such…they explore, build, dig…you know, nine year old boy stuff.  We really don’t have play-dates inside very often.  Sometimes, when we do, they’ll watch movies and/or play upstairs (Nerf guns, etc).  The outside play dates are way more Smith’s speed.  (The girls have more indoor ones: Barbies, crafting, playing school, etc.)

Ohhhhh!  I think I have a happy feed!  I’m positive that I will leave someone off of this list, but here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):


These right HERE.

I start an hour before.  It doesn’t take me an hour, but I hate rushing and then that gives me an extra 15 to 20 at the end to wrap up anything else.

I love McKinney, TX!  When I die, I hope they bury me here.  That being said, I don’t know?  I always think that maybe when Andrew and I retire, we’ll stay…or we’ll move.  A house in Florida sounds pretty good 😉 .

Waiting is the hardest part.  The waiting feels really long when you’re in it.  I don’t think I’ve gotten to the hardest part post-adoption yet.  I don’t know what that will be, but so far, nothing has felt really hard.  Some things have taken more work than I anticipated (like articulation and vocabulary), but I don’t think that’s necessarily “hard”.

I would eat all the German food.  Schnitzel, sausage, spicy mustard, sauerkraut, cabbage, spaetzel, and of course, strudel!

Okay, I don’t know specifically what concerns you. I think our weather is pretty fine.  The only thing I would change is that I wish we had four more distinct seasons.  We tend to get hot, a minute of fall/spring, cold and hot again.  If you’re concerned about tornadoes, I don’t ever think much about them.  I’ve lived here almost 38 years and have never come anywhere close to one.  I’m not saying it couldn’t happen…but it’s not something I ever worry about.  I actually think our weather is probably a perk to living here.

Purge, purge, purge. I’m constantly editing, removing, donating, and cleaning out.  I like a tidy closet.

Agh!  That’s like asking me to name my favorite kid!  Here are my top five from 2018 (in order from 5 to 1):

Swear on this Life

Where the Crawdads Sing

Castle of Water

The Great Alone.

My Oxford Year

Anything CHRISTMAS!!!

Oh my gosh, NO!  I’m still confused on how that’s happened.

I love putting conditioner or coconut oil in their hair before they swim (either wet or dry).  I really think it helps keep is soft and not-green after they get out.

She did not.

For those of you who don’t know what this question is about, the last week of school, K had all of her dance shoes stolen out of her dance bag.  Sigh


My very favorite is HERE.  I wear it even when I don’t have something strapless on.

Good question!  I’m sure there is a blog post somewhere that explains it, but when I started making recipes, I “mixed and matched” a lot of staple recipes and turned them into something new.  For instance, I’m pretty sure I have 4 billion versions of a Sloppy Joe on here (I mixed and matched the original recipe).

We still wake up early!

Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas 🙂

Set boundaries.  It’s really easy to get sucked back into work because it’s just right there.  I really have tried hard to set working hours.  I “close up” my office at the end of my work day (computer off, planner out and ready for the next day, etc) , so that I’m not tempted to go back in there.

I’m not a good napper.  Naps make me cranky.  And kind of nauseous.  When I wake up from a nap, I just want to go to sleep until morning.  Hahahaha.

Canned beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce to name a few.

Almost always more than 15,000.

You can foster to adopt here in the US for almost nothing!  Some domestic adoptions and foreign adoptions do cost more for various reasons, but we have to remember that you can adopt from the foster care system here for little to nothing…so many kids need homes!

I love having friends!!  Sure 🙂 !

I feel so silly saying “I’ve been recognized”, but truthfully, two weird places stand out.  One time, I was on the side of a mountain in Switzerland up in a town that required I take multiple cable cars and such…and someone recognized me.  And then, one time, I was at this random Viking museum outside of Oslo, Norway and someone did.  I mean…the world is small, y’all.

Before they wake up or I don’t.

I am the least chill person you will ever meet.  I like structure, routine and discipline like you wouldn’t believe, but the key to traveling with kids is RELAX!!  I might be super structured at home, but I’m super chill on vacation.  The more relaxed we are, they are.  If we don’t stick to rigid nap schedules, feeding schedules, bedtime schedules and just enjoy being on vacation, the whole thing just works so much better.

My two big kids have!

We do not!

In all seriousness?  I would be a flight attendant.  I have friends that do it and love it.  I love traveling, being on planes, being in airports, meeting new people and seeing new places.  I also love flexible schedules and hours.  I have one friend in particular who is ready to sign me up today 🙂 .

They’re both Coton de Tulears 🙂 .

Agh!  I don’t know that I’m doing it right.  I really try and just set boundaries and limitations.  I say no to so many things so that I can focus on the rest.  I get up early (one key to getting more done!), write down everything on a list to stay focused and organized and just try my best.  I like to read at night to chill me out before bed.  I also like to spend time with my girlfriends and hubby too.

Our town square!!  McKinney has a great historic square!!

This time of year, this one HERE.

I have a summer work schedule and a school year work schedule.  I work on both Saturday and Sunday mornings year around (about 2 to 3 hours each weekend morning).  I would say on average, I work 8 hours a day.  Some days more, some days less.  In the summer, I take a break for about 3 hours every day to do something fun with my kids and then I work later after.  It varies.

Robin and Alex for sure!

Yes!  I was always the kid that preferred to wake up and get stuff done instead of doing it later at night.  I always took 8:00 AM classes in college and have always worked out before my day started instead of mid-day or at night.  I do sometimes hit snooze and don’t always want to get up, but I never regret it!

In December, I got my nails “dipped” for the first time with Nexgen.  The con is that now, I have to go every 2-3 weeks and have them “done”, but the pro is that they look amazing all.the.time.  There is no chipping, peeling, etc.  I took them off for a week in January thinking I would just go back to doing them myself, but I immediately had them dipped again because I missed it.

Hmmm…this question stumped me.  I think my answer is that they’d be surprised how focused I am.  I know it appears that I do a lot, but because I really stay on task, on schedule and organized, it’s not that hard.

They might also be surprised by how much I drink and therefore potty.  Hahaha!

This has been a good year!!  This year, we haven’t had any armadillos mess with my garden (does that sound so Texas or what?!?!), and we went with the “less is more” theory.  Often, I put too much in my garden and it gets too crowded.  I eliminated tomatoes this year because they just dominate everything.  Right now, I have jalapeños, bell peppers, and a lot of herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley, sage, etc).

The majority of it was purchased on trips and then we have it framed at home.

We never really sat down and said “this is your job, this is mine”, but after 15 years, I pretty much always empty the dishwasher, make dinner, schedule the kids’ doctors appointments, put away the kids’ laundry, and things like that while he does all of the yard work, cleans out the garage/manages the trash and recycling and stuff like that.  We kind of just found our niches and stay in our lanes.

Whew!  Another Q&A in the books!

Thank you again for playing!!  I hope you all have a great Monday!!

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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog June 10, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Love the range of questions you answer! I like it that you support women in your business. You’re always someone I can look up to, Shay! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Sheaffer Sims June 10, 2019 at 5:13 am

    Love these posts! I always learn something new!

  • Erika Slaughter June 10, 2019 at 5:26 am

    A great way to start my Monday morning! Love these posts!

    • Laura E Fredlund June 10, 2019 at 6:22 am

      I loved this Q and A! Feeling inspired, and ready to tackle my day!

  • Narci June 10, 2019 at 5:59 am

    I love the q and a posts! I could totally see you as a flight attendant!!

  • Allie June 10, 2019 at 6:04 am

    Love these posts!

  • Ashlee June 10, 2019 at 6:24 am

    What is your favorite go to snack when its your turn to bring snacks for your kids sports team?

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 7:14 am

      I’m past that stage in life!! Woohoo!! My kids are all on teams with no snacks now. Back in the day, we always had lists to pull from with pre-packaged things like Lara Bars, goldfish, etc.

  • Caity June 10, 2019 at 6:29 am

    I’m really curious about this nail dipping!

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 7:13 am

      I was really skeptical…and now, I’m sold!

    • Stacy Preisler June 10, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      Dipping is great! I didn’t want to start but it really is a great way to extend time between visits to nail salon. After a recent trip to Vegas, I was surprised how unpopular it is outside of DFW area. I learned no spa will do them and not very popular off the strip either. At least not yet…Caity- try them if someone nearby does them but you will be hooked! 🙂

  • Amy June 10, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Love that someone recognized you in the real Norway – and I saw you at Norway in Epcot! It is a small world. 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 7:13 am

      I just LOL, Amy! Hahaha!

      • Betsy June 10, 2019 at 8:02 am

        I LOL’d that you referred to the most popular and famous tourist attraction in Oslo as random! Ha!

        • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 9:09 am

          There’s no way that’s the most popular place! We visited way more that were really crowded. This place didn’t have many people in it, was outside of town and super random to be “spotted”.

          • Betsy June 10, 2019 at 10:23 am

            You crack me up! I didn’t say it wasn’t random to be spotted outside the US but you’d be hard pressed to find the Viking Museum not in the top 3 of any “Top Things to do in Oslo” list. Especially because it is on the same peninsula as the National Folk Museum and KonTiki Museum–certainly not in suburbs outside of town.

          • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 3:40 pm

            Let’s be honest, it was random. I’m a mom from McKinney, TX in a viking museum in Oslo. That’s really random. It wasn’t like I was spotted under the Eiffel Tower. That sounds a wee bit more realistic…the fact that I was in Norway in the first place is kind of random 😉 .

          • Tabitha June 10, 2019 at 11:35 am

            Hi Shay, I LOVE this post!! I think this reader is agreeing that although your being spotted in a foreign country is indeed random, the Viking Ship Museum outside Oslo, although at times quiet, it is actually quite mainstream and a top 5 Norwegian tourist attraction. There are only around a dozen Viking ships in existence across the world, and none of their locations are indiscriminate.

          • Kristina June 10, 2019 at 2:48 pm

            Also you were in Norway and your a blogger from McKinney Texas, so even if it was the most popular place that is pretty random!

  • Chrissy June 10, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Hi Shay! What do your kids do when you work while they are awake? I work from home and it’s nearly impossible to get stuff done with my 3 year old awake.

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 7:13 am

      In the morning, Andrew is home, so they eat breakfast, watch a little TV, play, get dressed, etc. After our daily activity, they have play dates, play, take naps, etc. They’re all older now, so they’re pretty independent.

      • Robin June 13, 2019 at 8:10 am

        I’m sure I’ve commented this before, but I would love to hear more about a “typical” (I know everyday is just a bit different) summer schedule from you. I’ve always been a full-time work outside the home mom and have just reduced my schedule to where I’ll only be working three days per week. Similar to you, working out and having a tidy home are important to me, but I also want to be mindful and intentional about making memories and taking advantage of this time with my kids (this goes by so fast). Anyway, I’m looking to learn all the tips, tricks, ideas on balancing/scheduling in the summer!

        • Mix and Match Mama June 13, 2019 at 8:18 am

          Oh gosh, I don’t know how well I do it…but I sure try my hardest! I get up early and am at my desk by five (on mornings when I go to the gym, I’m there by 4:15) and work until they’re all awake. We always try to do some sort of fun activity each day for about three hours and then they have camps, play dates and stuff like that after. Andrew is a big help in the summer too. Sometimes, I work late or after their in bed…I just piece it together and try my best.

  • Mother of 3 June 10, 2019 at 7:18 am

    I am the same way with naps; if I nap I feel so groggy and tired for the rest of the day and I am just miserable. Usually I just push through the tiredness by tackling a project that gets me up and moving and then hit the sack a bit earlier that night. Such a fun post!

  • Elizabeth June 10, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Love my dipped nails! But then recently I heard about the instances of melanoma in nail beds due to the UV light. Admittedly the article was specific to gel nails, and with the gel, your fingers go under the UV lights between every coat…with the dip it’s just the top coat. Just wondering your thoughts since you are so on top of your game in terms of skin checks, etc. I kind of have to wonder if 30 seconds every 2-3 weeks is truly terrible….Ugh….adulting is hard. 😉

  • Sarah Shaneyfelt June 10, 2019 at 7:50 am

    I loved the questions this time around–so interesting! I drink a ton of water, too, and so I’m always going to the bathroom–the price you pay for being hydrated haha!

  • Elspeth Mizner June 10, 2019 at 7:55 am

    I love these Q&A posts, it’s amazing how much you can learn from someone based on questions. I hope everything went well yesterday. I can’t wait to hear all about it

  • Megan June 10, 2019 at 8:13 am

    Love the Q&A. Would you do a tween toiletries and starter skin care routine post?
    Also- praying for Papi today!! #34

    • Leslie S June 10, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Yes! I’d love a post on all things tween girl too! We are a year behind Kensington so I am wondering all of the things. Red Sox fan here too, praying for Papi

  • Mallory June 10, 2019 at 8:20 am

    I’ve never used a travel agency and therefore have zero clue how they work, so I’m curious…if you don’t charge a fee, how do you make an income from it?

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 9:08 am

      From the vendor. It’s built into every price automatically when you sell travel here in the US.

  • Angela Ellingson June 10, 2019 at 8:20 am

    I love these so much! Is there a difference between the Kopari Coconut Melt and just a regular tub of organic, unrefined coconut oil? Because that appears to be the only ingredient. Just wondering because Costco could hook me up for less if there is no difference. Ha! I’m definitely in the market for a new body lotion.

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 9:08 am

      Same thing, Angela!! Grab you some and ENJOY!

  • Brooke Richardson June 10, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Shay your comment about being a flight attendant made me all kinds of nervous but would totally fit you! It’s on my list of jobs I’d be least likely to do. 🤣

  • Sloan June 10, 2019 at 8:27 am

    This wasn’t part of your IG Q and A, but I’m curious about what you say No to? Like I say no to cleaning my house- we have someone that comes in once a month to do it.

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 9:08 am

      Stuff like that, but big work things to. I’ve said no to writing more cookbooks at this time, no to speaking engagements, no to stuff like that too.

  • lori reggio June 10, 2019 at 8:29 am

    love your q&a!!! you have a beautiful home!!! do you have cleaning help?

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 9:07 am

      I do!!

      • Sarah June 10, 2019 at 1:35 pm

        Do you have a cleaning person more than one day a week? I have someone come once a week but my house isn’t quite as big as yours and I only have 2 kids and I feel like I’m still spinning my wheels. 🤪

  • Lauren June 10, 2019 at 8:41 am

    I just LOVE these posts!

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick June 10, 2019 at 9:27 am

    I just started following the rambling redhead the other day and she’s so funny! Her hair is amazing too. Love these Q&As!!
    That Inspired Chick

    • Julie June 12, 2019 at 9:24 am

      I just started trying to get more steps in every day. I’m only averaging 10,000 and that is with a 60 minute fast paced walk on the treadmill. How do you get 15,000 which is like 7 miles??!!! Give me advice!!! ☺️

      • Mix and Match Mama June 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm

        Well, I work out almost every day! I typically get a lot that way. Plus, I’m awake a lot of hours (like 4 AM to 10 PM), so that helps too. We often walk home from school, I walk outside and play with my kids…I just move a lot.

  • Randi jo June 10, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Love all your posts of course but these are some of my faves! I was really surprised to read you work (on average 8 hours) day . In all these years of reading, I didn’t realize that !!

    • Randi Jo June 10, 2019 at 9:35 am

      Oops sorry my comment got sloppy hope it made sense!

  • Casey June 10, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Will you post and talk about the changes you just made in your kitchen with counter tops etc?

  • Corbie June 10, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Shay I just made your sausage ravioli dish to take to a friend in need. What is another “go to” easy dish to cook to bring to families? What else do you bring? Do you bring salad, dessert too? Thanks!

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm

      I typically do!! Usually, I just pick up both at my local grocery store. I find that any type of casserole/lasagna/enchiladas work great for taking to someone.

  • Dianne Whiteman June 10, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Would love to know if you have a steamer that you like to use; both at home and on trips?

  • Julie June 10, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Shay,do you have any tips for hosting a coed/couples baby shower?

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm

      I love those!! I always think they’re fun when they’re mixed. I like to make it both about the mom and the dad. I see cute themes on Pinterest all the time, you should look there!

  • Kacy June 10, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    I really like the Q&A blog posts! Do more in the future 🙂

  • Sarah June 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    I have to know, and I don’t think you’ve ever said it here. What brownie recipe do you use? Is it a box mix or your own recipe? And do you and Andrew finish off the whole box in a week? Do your kids eat dessert after dinner? I saw on Andrew’s post he said he baked some cookies for them but do you still make your dessert recipes for them throughout the week or is it more of a special occasion type of thing? ☺️

    • Mix and Match Mama June 10, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      I typically only post about 2-3 dessert recipes a month (unless it’s fall/holidays), so for the most part, if they eat dessert it’s something random like cookies or we make homemade ice cream a lot. I just use a brownie mix. Nothing fancy!

  • Yley Allen June 10, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Loved these Q and A posts! So fun to read. I’m nosey I guess!! 😆

  • Robin OSBORNE June 10, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Hmm.. I thought the name Mix and Match Mama came from having biological kiddos and adopted kiddos. Regardless, you seem to have a wonderful family where everyone is well loved!

    • Mix and Match Mama June 11, 2019 at 4:48 am

      Nope. I’ve been the mix and match mama a lot longer than I have been an adopted mama.

  • Angelica June 10, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    I love this post Shay! Out of the 8 hours per day you devote to work, what’s your split between the travel agency and blog? I want to start a blog and am wondering how much time it will take. Thanks!

    • Mix and Match Mama June 11, 2019 at 4:48 am

      It depends on the day of the week, but the travel hours absolutely outweigh the blogging hours.

  • Rebecca June 10, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Shay, I think you’re purposefully confusing the commentary here.
    Earlier today you said, “And then, one time, I was at this random Viking museum outside of Oslo, Norway.” Clearly you were referring to the museum as “random”.

    From your Norway recap you said, “After a quick morning stroll, we made our way to the Viking Museum. This was something the kids were so excited to see! We saw it featured in a Rick Steves video before we left and they were dying to check it out themselves. … We thoroughly enjoyed this museum!” Obviously, this was not some “random” stop. You are referring to the museum by name, even referencing that you had planned on visiting due to seeing it on Rick Steves.

    When this reader above challenges you that this museum is most certainly not a “random” stop, you instigate an argument stating you meant the encounter was “random”. I thought you’d take the high road.

    • Mix and Match Mama June 11, 2019 at 4:47 am

      Sigh. I mean, talk about over-complicating a little question. I was saying the whole experience was random. It was random that I was there, it was random anyone else there knew who this mom was…right? It’s all random. Of course we purposely went there (I didn’t ever infer that I accidentally found myself there), but it was random. I don’t think it’s random when a reader recognizes me at my local Nordstrom. Or Fenway Park. Or church. I do think that was random. I’m totally up for you thinking it’s normal that I be recognized at the Viking museum in Norway though. If you think that’s not random, that’s awesome. I’m giggling because out of all of the Q&A questions, it’s funny this one was “controversial”. Ha!

  • Renee June 10, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Could you answer more Peloton questions? Or maybe do an entire Peloton post? Which Alex rides do you like? I love his Motown rides. Robin’s rides are hard! Which ones do you like? I try to vary the instructors and types of rides, but I do gravitate to certain instructors I am always up for suggestions.

    I have never been interested in Yoga until you introduced me to Kristin McGee. I love her power yoga videos!

    • Mix and Match Mama June 11, 2019 at 4:43 am

      I pretty much ride anything Robin or Alex. Just yesterday, I did one of her 30 minute intervals and arms rides. I typically stick to intervals or tabatta. I think they’re both really hard, so I always gravitate to them!

      • Renee June 26, 2019 at 4:24 am

        Have you tried Olivia? I think her HIIT rides are harder than Alex’s. She is a new favorite of mine. I think Matt’s intervals rides are harder than anyone else’s. I am doing tabata rides now thanks to your comment above. They are tough but not as bad as I feared.

  • Erica @ Whimsical September June 11, 2019 at 7:36 am

    I really enjoyed this post for some reason! Ha! I rarely comment but just wanted to say that I appreciate your openness and how unapologetic you are about how on task and focused you are. You are successful because you clearly work hard and you own it! I respect this about you so much! You also manage to stay super humble too, which is equally as admirable. So glad you keep up your blog. It’s been a favorite for years!

  • Christine June 11, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Nail dipping….I LOVE it and ended up buying a kit to do it at home! Peppi Gel is amazing and I seriously don’t ever have to go get them done again. So many colors, lasts at least 2 weeks, and can do it when the kids go to bed…it is addicting!

  • Susan McKain June 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    I agree with you, Shay, about being spotted in Norway!