In The Apple-light: Ali

Hello, friends! May I introduce you to someone?

Meet Ali, full-time mama to Logan, a five-year-old girl who is all about pink, and Callen, a three-year-old boy who is all about cars, and writer and co-founder of Mama Manifesto, a Web site for moms with daily nap-sized musings, product reviews, tips and recipes for the modern mom. (Watch for a little Shabby Apple shout-out there soon.) Oh, and Ali just went into business with her husband, as well. Tired already? Keep reading!

Tell us about your family: After having an infertility struggle, I feel utterly thankful to be a parent. My children are often the best this about my day, as well as often the most challenging aspect to my day. Being a mom has definitely rocked my world in every way. I just spent a big chunk of my day driving an hour and a hald to track down a beloved blankey for my son. The things we do for love now! My husband is still the man of my dreams after 10 years of marriage, and is by far the best friend I will ever have. He works a corporate gig and is an amazingly talented musician on the side. (Check out Drew Bray on iTunes!)

Favorite color: Right now it is probably a tie between green and a vintage aqua blue. I think I like these two colors because they always feel fresh and fun. I am debating painting my old farm-style antique dining table aqua blue.

Favorite food: Does coffee count as a food? It is my favorite way to start the day-- a hot steaming cup of coffee with lots of cream and a splash of agave nectar. I am not officially awake until the first few sips.

Favorite movie: I am a total sucker for romantic comedies! One of my all-time favorites is "When Harry Met Sally..." I think it reminds me a bit of my husband and I as we were really good friends before the chemistry kicked in. I also love the old people sharing their stories throughout the movie. I cannot wait to sit on the couch next to Drew some day and be wrinkled and squishy and still giggle at each other.

Favorite indulgence: Dessert! I would choose to eat a plain chicken breast at a fancy restaurant just so that I could indulge in a heap of yummy dessert. I am not that picky about my sweets, but I definitely appreciate anything with chocolate in it.

What makes you special? I appreciate my ability to pause and reflect. I have learned a lot over the past year about gratitude and now I can choose to live life with a more aware perspective on how blessed I am. It has revolutionized my life in a very short period of time. I can also entertain a lot of kids at once-- it's the former camp counselor in me!

What is your greatest accomplishment? The daily nurturing of my beautiful family. It feels like a beautiful tapestry that changes always time, and always becomes more beautiful.

How do you get in a creative mood? I love to sit with a favorite magazine and a cup of tea in a quiet space and flip through the pages. Just seeing the photographs will usually inspure some sort of project, whether it be to paint, change my home decor, sew or sit down and write for my Web site. (Magical favorite magazines include: Country Home, Country Living, Coastal Living, Martha Stewart Living.) Also, my secret garden of inspiration is my local Anthropologie store. I can go and just wander through the store and leave feeling so inspired. Well, maybe I feel inspired and utterly depressed at the same time because I cannot afford 99 percent of the items sold there! (Amen, sister!)

What are you listening to right now? The chatter of my daughter playing with her ponies on my bed. Pinkie Pie is teaching the other ponies how to catch butterflies.

What is your favorite place you've lived or traveled? It is hard to choose a favorite. A very cherished place for me is the Italian Riviera! There is nothing like it. But, probably the place that has the most nostalgia for me is "Deep Creek Lake" in Maryland. My family has been going there for more than 25 years. We now take our children every summer and it is my own little haven. I love everything about it... tall grass, crickets, the lake, homemade ice cream, fresh farm-stand corn, seeing kids make s'more after s'more, and of course, time with family.

What is your worst habit? Allowing anxiety to creep into my head.

What would you do with $1,000 right now? Treat my husband and I to a massage and a mini-shopping spree.

What is your favorite Shabby Apple dress? I LOVE the entire line of dresses and think that it is brilliant to make clothing for a specific body type. God bless you for that. (Well, thank you very much!) My favorite is probably Nantucket.

What is your favorite item of clothing? My Paige denim jeans. They are the first pair of "luxury denim" I have ever purchased, and they are also the first pair of jeans that have ever fit me really well. I love them!

Who is your style icon? I think Gwyneth Paltrow is a classy gal. I enjoy her style quite a bit.

What is one New Year's Resolution you are determined to keep? To fight to be in the present every moment I have with my precious family.

Describe yourself in one word: Well-rounded.

And that's Ali! I hope you enjoyed getting to know her as much as I did! Don't forget to check out Mama Manifesto for more Ali, and some great stuff from Shabby Apple, too.

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