Q & A with Erin Akin Carroll!

Today, we’re presenting a Q and A with Erin Carroll, one of our very favorite bloggers and a stylish South Carolina mama of three sweet boys.  We first found Erin years ago via Instagram and Facebook, and we’ve been collaborating with her since, last year with James Walker and his monogrammed Jellycat bunny…
monogrammed-jellycat
…most recently with these adorable personalized Mint Duffle bags and dopp kits for her boys!
carroll boys travel!
Smart, kind, and genuine, Erin’s the kind of person you want in your corner-she’s a bright-sider, a silver-lining finder, and she’s a source of light, love, and joy on the internet.  She’s also originator of one of our all-time favorite hashtags, #wherehayessleeps, that documents the various and sundry places that her second son, Hayes, finds himself somewhat narcoleptically napping.  We’ve added some of our favorite images found under this hilarious hashtag to the end of this post, so be sure to scroll all the way through.
Without further ado, let’s hear from Erin!
PAW: Tell us a little bit about you.  Where you were born and raised, siblings, where you went to school, etc.
EC: My name is Erin Carroll and I live with my husband, Todd, and our three boys, Hudson, Hayes, and James Walker, in Columbia, South Carolina. I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My dad’s job moved us a few times and we moved to Ruston, Louisiana when I was 7 then to Muncie, Indiana when I was 13. I moved back to Ruston for college and attended Louisiana Tech University…. go Dawgs! I moved to Columbia for graduate school and got my masters in Hospitality Management and then met Todd about a year later. I have one younger brother that now lives in Vail, Colorado. He and his fiance are getting married next spring and I can’t wait!
Carroll Family
PAW:  We knew you first as Blue Eyed Bride, and later as Erin Akin Carroll.  Can you tell us a little about this evolution?  Why did you start blogging?
EC: I started blogging in the fall of 2007 when Todd and I were planning our wedding. It was originally called “Erin and Todd.” So original! I never imagined anyone other than our mothers would read it. But it was just all about what we did on the weekends and planning our wedding. I realized I loved blogging and I love writing, so I changed the name to Blue-Eyed Bride and got my own domain. About two years ago, after we’d been married for six years, I decided that I should just change the name of my blog to my name because I was no longer a bride blogger. It was an easy transition, and your name never wears out… it was just an obvious choice for the new blog name! Ha!
Blue Eyed Bride
PAW:  Tell us a little bit about @influencenet and your role with this cool community.
EC: The Influence Network is a community of women who want to explore how to use their God-given influence RIGHT where they are for God’s glory and for our good. I love this community! I’m a part of the core team and serve as the Events Manager. It’s a great fit for me because I love the internet, I love Jesus, and I was an event planner before I decided to stay home with my kids. It is such a good fit for me and I love the women I work with and the women we serve. I plan the Influence Conferences, which are now one-day conferences in different cities where women share how they are using their influence right where they are. Our mission encourages women to stop thinking about who you COULD be and what you COULD be doing and rest in who you are and who God created you to be, and start loving the people in Jesus’ name right around you. It’s so life-giving! And it’s not just for bloggers or creative business owners. It’s for every woman. Check it out!theinfluencenetwork.com
Influence Conference
PAW:   On a scale of 1-10, 1 being never and 10 being like 100 times a day, how many times per week would you guess you hear “You have your hands full with THREE boys!”
EC: So funny! When people see me, they’ll say, “THREE boys? Wow!” But I honestly think people are excited about it. I definitely hear people ask if I’m going to try for a girl, and the answer is “no.” We’re super happy and we’re set with three kids. (I know I’m not supposed to say that or God will surprise us with a 4th.) But, really, I think people think three boys are exciting. And they are sweet sweet boys and they make me so proud. My hands are absolutely full!
Carroll Boys
PAW:  What surprises you about being a mom?
EC: I think the most surprising thing is that I never seem to get it figured out! Ha! Every day is different and as soon as I get a little bit comfortable in a stage of motherhood, something changes and I’m figuring something else out. But I will say that this third baby boy of ours has been so enjoyable. I was so high strung when the older two were babies, but I love soaking up this sweet baby boy. The third time really is the charm!
James Walker
PAW:   We love your style-both personal and in the home.  Who are some of your favorite artists and/or stylists?
EC: My mother was a decorator first by hobby and then by trade, so I think I got my eye from her. Our styles were extremely different, but she did instill that love in me. I’m inspired by a lot of people! Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper. I’d take Bunny Williams and Joanna Gaines and mix their styles and that would be me! How random is that? I love soft patterns and neutrals and light pops of color with comfortable materials, casual finishes, and then I love to throw in a pop of glam. Put me in a farm house with white walls and shiplap and exposed beams and I’ll decorate it in buffalo check with touches of gold leaf, crystal, and abstract art. It’s eclectic and collected and I want our home to tell a story.
Lovelykitchen
Ninjas on the porch
PAW:  Where are you most excited about taking the boys with their new monogrammed duffles and dopps?
EC: We’re heading to Orange Beach, Alabama in a couple of weeks with my Dad and my in-laws and we cannot wait! A week at the beach living in swimsuits and sunscreen. The boys are so excited!
personalized-duffles
Thanks, Erin, for letting us learn a little bit more about you and your family.  We hope you have a great trip and we know you’ll stay organized AND stylish with the boys’ new bags!
Keep scrolling for some adorable images of #wherehayessleeps…
WhereHSleeps WHS
WhereHayesSleepsJellycat-dreamsScreen Shot 2016-06-30 at 10.54.10 AM
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