My name is Kristina Schnack Kotlus, and I live in Woodbridge, Virginia with my awesome husband and 3 great kids, who I home educate using a classical model. I have a degree in Comparative Religion and used to work as a Children's Minister. I am a Prince William County native- I grew up here and only left for college before coming back! I like pink, sparkles, iced tea, and reading.
How did you first become involved in with blogging?
I used to keep a calendar of events for friends in a mommy group, and since I'm a true local, I always knew about various places around the area. A friend encouraged me to make the information accessible to everyone, so PwcMoms.blogspot.com was born. It took off, and now, thanks to some work from my web guru/husband, it's now just PwcMoms.com
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working on your blog?
We've had so much fun meeting people! Since my children are home schooled, they come everywhere with me and we've had a blast meeting everyone from local business owners at places like Swim Kids to local media moguls like Rebecca Barnes from Prince William Living to fun personalities like the Ringmaster at Ringling Brothers or Elmo. My favorites, though, are the local business owners who are also moms. Their ability to juggle family, children's activities, and a business is such an inspiration to me.
What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
My kids take up a lot of my time. They play hockey and football and are year-round swimmers. My daughter just took up figure skating, and the boys are in art, piano, and scouts. I really love entertaining, so I'm always cooking up a storm for dinners or hosting game nights, and I've been really trying to convince myself I love running. I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in April and I'm doing some local 5k's while I decide on my next race. I'm slow, but I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish! My whole family is local, too, so we enjoy boating and camping with them, as well.
What websites do you visit every day?
Proverbs31.org for my morning devotion, PotomacLocal.com, Google News, Twitter, InsideNova.com, and Facebook. Unfortunately, writing/interviewing, school and our family doesn't let me read as many blogs as I'd like! I have a few homeschool blogs that I love, but I don't visit them very often, either!
What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
I actually don't drink very often! I'm fun enough on my own ;) But, at our last MamaMafia dinner at Manzo/Carmellos, I definitely loved their martini menu. All of it.
What book do you casually put out on your coffee table to impress visitors?
I'll admit to casually throwing down a scrapbook or two, but other than that our coffee table usually prominently features Ranger Rick and Cobblestone!
What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
Person- Delegate Rich Anderson. When my son (at age 5) wanted to get involved in politics, he didn't laugh me out of his office when I showed up to volunteer with a 5 year old in a suit, a 3 year old asleep in a stroller, and an infant in my arms. He's also so kind about my website and sent me a congratulations card when I won Blogger of the Year from Northern Virginia Magazine and when I broke 2,000 Facebook fans, even though I'm sure he doesn't read my site often!
Place- Historic Occoquan. This was hard for me, because there are so many great places out there! We love the Workhouse Arts Center, Potomac Overlook Park, Mount Vernon, and more, but Occoquan is such fun to walk with a few girlfriends!! I worked at Touch of Gold for awhile and just really fell in love with all the great local merchants. Walking around to shop and then grabbing a sandwich or cupcake and sitting in the gazebo by the water is a great way to spend a weekend!
Thing- Art Lessons at Edgemoor Art Studio. This isn't your typical arts and crafts lesson, Ruth Johnsen really teaches these kids art using classical concepts and artists while still leaving room for imagination. I spend $180 a month on lessons for my kids and would cut out just about anything else before letting these go.
What is your goal for retirement?
This question sounds like it would require some kind of foresight or planning. I'm going to skip it on principle. In a previous interview, I said that I love my community and love telling its stories. As long as I can keep doing that and being happy, I hope there will be a place in my life for my website. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own blog?
Learn to knit. It's way less drama.