Smarties, I’m super excited to introduce you to our Smarty Mom this week, Molly Hammonds. I first met Molly last year when she was working for a client. I slotted one hour on my calendar to meet with her and am pretty sure we hung out for two, in the blink of an eye. Molly is the type of person who you immediately trust and want to hang out with for days on end!
Molly has her hands on the pulse of pretty much everything in Charlotte. She is a sales extraordinaire, a go-getter, and a networker by nature. Not to mention, she has read CSP from day 1. She had me at “day 1″…Our sales approach is soft at best, I mean because seriously, if we sense that you are hesitant about our pink & green fabulousness, we will run like the wind! But Molly has the best gal pal approach, just like we do. I knew instantly that she would be a perfect fit to our Smarty family.
Join me in welcoming Molly to our ‘lil CSP fam and let’s get to know her favorite digs. Let me tell ya, she has some GOODIES!
Meet Molly Hammonds, super mama, super wife, and super Smart(y)!
Molly’s Smarty Mom Stats:
Mom of: Clare (11) and Kate (10)
Married to: Bill ( 14 years)
Years in Charlotte: 8
‘Hood: Cotswold/Eastover area
Hometown: North Augusta, SC
College Alma Mater: Georgia Regents University
Occupation: Building markets as an Independent Consultant for Rodan + Fields Dermatologists, Freelance marketing work.
You are a serial mompreneur out of the house! Tell us how you manage all of it!
To say that I “manage” it all is a relative term! Some days feel like everything is clicking and other days feel like my skin is coming off. I can honestly say that by saying a little prayer in the morning, and prioritizing “what has to happen today” over “what can wait until tomorrow,” I am able to stay afloat. My husband is a busy physician, and it can be a challenge to take care of all my career goals in addition to family responsibilities. However, I am a happier person when I am also setting goals, working with others outside the home, and taking care of myself mentally, spiritually and physically.
What are you most looking forward to in joining the CSP family?
I have been following CSP since it’s inception in 2007! I stumbled upon it through doing a google search during the holidays on “family activities at the holidays.” I will always remember clicking on this link to a super cool website that seemed to be created specifically for moms like me. My kids were 2 and 3 years old at the time, and it was so perfect to have so much information one click away. I will never forget pulling up CSP one day, only to read that one of the founders, “Jen B.” has passed away from a very rapid terminal illness. I must have stared at the screen for ten minutes – it hit me, that even though I did not know this woman, I was floored at what Jen Plym and all of Jen B’s friends must be feeling and experiencing – not to mention what the Bunich family went through. My heart went out to all of them, and I was hooked on this very real, very in-the-moment website that continued to march after Jen’s passing. I remember thinking so highly of what Jen Plym was undertaking – on her own. It was a very forward-thinking, cutting-edge concept (at that time!) to put “reality” and “current events” on an online platform for others to read and enjoy. Voila, one of the first big blogs to sprout! So, this is my long way of saying I am joining a group of women (and yes, a couple of guys, in there, too) that I have had respect for – for a very long time now. I am thrilled to help CSP continue this great information source for Charlotteans.
You love farmer’s markets. Tell us your favorite spots.
I still frequent the King’s Drive Farmer’s Market the most. And, I am loving the Atherton Mill and Market in Southend right now, too. I have also supported the local services that bring farm-fresh goods and produce straight to homes, and really love the concept of supporting local farmers, and bringing freshness and convenience together.
Favorite farm-to-table restaurant?
My favorite casual, family-friendly farm-to-table is Pure Pizza in the 7th Street Market (and a new location is opening in Plaza Midwood, at the old LuLu’s Restaurant!)! I love going to the 7th Street Market with my family and seeing all the hard-working business owners doing such great work. I love supporting local, small businesses (especially women-owned!)
My favorite date night farm-to-table restaurant is still Rooster’s in Southpark. We have never been disappointed, and LOVE the fresh, seasonal specialties. My personal favorite is the Rotisserie BBQ chicken!
We’ve heard you are in the know on local personal chef services. Share the Smarty Scoop!
We recently hosted a wonderful party for a friend’s 40th birthday, and decided to use an in-home chef, Susanne Dillingham (a.k.a. The Tiny Chef), who spends a large part of her time as a private chef for Jeff Gordon and his wife, Ingrid. We had so much fun with Susanne! All of us chopped, whisked, and peeled — and helped prepare an amazing custom menu. This was a really great way to have a fantastic meal that we all helped prepare!
Our next in-home culinary adventure is going to be with the Clean Catch Fish Market chefs! Our friends, Perrin and Lucy, have been working with William Ryan, the owner, on a fabulous menu for our June “supper club” evening!
I have also heard really wonderful things about Chef Alyssa. She and her husband have a business that runs classes and private events. I would love to do a private event with them!
Favorite family dinner?
Blueapron.com, foodiecall.com, HarrisTeeter.com, wholefoods.com
OK, I’m kidding, but a little bit serious.
I love to cook and bake, but a shortage of time takes the fun out of it.
I love everything my mom, Jenny, makes, because she makes it with love. Especially cakes. She says “I Love You” especially with cakes. So, let me share the love…
White Almond Sour Cream Cake
1(18 ounce) box white cake mix (Betty Crocker or Pillsbury)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
2 T vegetable oil
1 tsp real vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites
Instructions: Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together with a wire whisk. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour into greased and floured cake pans, filling each pan a little over half full.
Lightly tap cake pans on counter to bring air bubbles to top.
Bake in preheated 325° F oven until cake tests done.
Baking time varies according to the size and depth of pans being used.
(For cupcakes, I would check at 25 min, press center to see if it springs back, and add 5-min increments if needed.)
Paper or electronic calendar?
BOTH! This probably reveals a little about my Type A personality. I can’t stand it when I lose a detail or get a time wrong. If I lose one (paper or electronic) I like the idea of having a backup. I keep my paper Erin Condren planner super handy for lots of notes. I then enter everything on my Google calendar for alerts!
Moms in Charge or eBay?
Amazon! OK, that wasn’t one of the choices.
This is a tough question! It really depends on what I’m looking for – MIC is great for me in the way of selling items. I enjoy seeing what everyone is selling, as well! It’s quick, easy, and local. And, I love meeting the other moms. Who knew it would be such a great social vehicle for moms in Charlotte?! And I really love the mom who started MIC, Sandra Kraus – our kids all go to Providence Day School together, and I think what she has set up is truly wonderful. And she oversees it on a completely volunteer basis – a labor of love!
eBay is just still so easy when I am looking for a particular item.
Favorite workout in the QC.
Overall, I’m still a yoga addict, and I love Y2 Yoga and Charlotte Yoga. I have to get my cardio in, though, and still LOVE Flywheel. It’s the best workout, and I love the instructors, the energy in the room, and the music. I also enjoy barre workouts, when I can fit them in, for strength and toning!
Favorite thing about raising girls.
I have to pick one favorite thing?! I love my daughters so very much. I love how different they are. I love their talents. But the best part of raising girls? I would have to say that it would be teaching them one day at a time — to one day be empowered women. I don’t want them to be mini versions of me…or who I think they should be. I want them to be Clare and Kate. I want them to be authentic and true to themselves. I want them to learn from my successes AND my failures. I want them to be courageous, and strong, and compassionate at the same time. I love watching these qualities develop in my girls.
What are you most afraid of in parenting?
My biggest fear and toughest challenge is in “letting go.” This has several meanings. I have to let go of their childhood little by slowly. I have to let go of judgements. I have to let go of outcomes. I can give them love, and support and prepare them for “the path,” but I cannot “prepare the path for them.” Moms are wired to protect and serve. When a child doesn’t need as much protection and service, a mom can begin to feel afraid, or lonely, or left behind. And, so I fill that time and fear with lots of prayer, service to others, and self care that is easy to push aside!
Behavioral trait you hope your children don’t inherit from you.
There are definitely some traits that they don’t need to inherit. My toughest trait by far is perfectionism. It does not serve me well. I am harder on myself and others because of this trait. It can be a double-edged sword – this trait helped me always go the extra mile on grades, projects, and other activities. But it can also get in my way and others’ way too!
Biggest pet peeve.
My biggest pet peeve is negativity, whining, mud-slinging and gossip – especially on social media. Gossip is completely counter-productive. People that judge others, and their actions, don’t have the full story at all. There is so much we don’t understand about why others operate the way they do – and what they have been through. To assume that we know what’s best for another human being, and even talk about those people with other people, is the worst. We need more positivity and open-mindedness in the world!
All I want for Mother’s Day is…
A prayer said for me. A homemade card with a heart-felt drawing. A massage. Or a pedicure. Or both! I’m not picky! I am all about some relaxing pampering time. It’s chicken soup for a mother’s soul, right?!!
I also love pottery pieces. I know several area artisans that do exquisite pottery work. One of my best friends, Charlotte, makes gorgeous pottery and has gifted me with several pieces that I just treasure. And, my husband has been steadily building me a unique collection of hand-thrown plates, goblets, mugs, and platters for everyday use, and some special occasions. I truly adore each unique piece.