visited 18 countries and lived in 5, before marrying a Canadian boy at age 22.
She has degrees in Theatre Arts and French and worked in professional theatre for 8 years, before having
her first baby. Shortly after she was born,
Heidi's family moved from Canada to Austin,
where they had three bouncing baby boys.
Heidi channeled her wanderlust into exploring Austin and surrounding cities,
and sharing her
MM - What was your life like before becoming a mother?
I was spoiled rotten with travel. I interned in London's West End, studied in the South of France, and toured Central Canada as a member of an acting troupe. My husband and I spent a summer exploring Europe and a summer camping in the Rockies. I'm glad I got to squeeze in so many trips back in the days when I didn't mind sleeping in hostels, taking day-long bus trips, and surviving on baguette and Nutella.
MM - What has been the biggest parenting challenge for you? Any advice for new moms?
My first child had Colic, screaming day and night for months on end. Nothing has ever come close to being as difficult as that first year of parenthood. My advice to new moms is to cut yourself some slack and to not compare yourself to other mothers. I'm pretty sure none of us knows what we're doing. We're all just muddling through, trying to be more patient, and hoping we don't end up on the Funny Farm.
MM - Congrats on the success of Free Fun in Austin! Please tell us a little bit about when and why you created it.
Thanks! Free Fun in Austin started as a hobby back in 2010, when my two big kids were in school and I was left with two littles at home. I'd take the littles out to explore someplace new and then write about our expedition while the boys were napping. It was my creative outlet - not just the writing, but also learning how to design and develop a website. I had no idea what I was doing, but Google was my friend.
MM - How do you find all this free fun?
I discover a good deal of events on Facebook and Twitter, but local businesses, friends, and readers also send me information. It's getting easier now that I've been doing it for a few years. A lot of the same events come around every year, so I know to look for them.
MM - What other projects are you working on 2013?
As the "Family" Local Expert in the Austin Convention & Visitor's Bureau's True Local program (http://www.austintexas.org/visit/true-austin/), I spend time answering the questions of families planning trips to Austin, which I love. It's wonderful to get people excited about visiting our city with kids. I've also just started as the Social Media Director of a local company called Orange Wall Collective (http://orangewallcollective.com/), which connects brands to bloggers through events and social media campaigns. We are brand new, but have big plans for 2013!
MM - How do you find work/family balance?
I have to physically leave the house or I would work all of the time. That actually works out pretty great because it means my kids get to go on more adventures and I have more to write about!