Wonder Mom: Trae Bodge is a Smart Shopping Expert
This Wonder Mom is an accomplished Smart Shopping Expert, lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who has appeared on dozens of TV shows, including Rachael Ray, CNBC and Inside Edition. She works with a variety of brands, is a contributing editor at Woman’s Day magazine and regularly contributes to several online publications. Trae loves delicious food, beautiful art, rocking music and exploring new places. She spends her free time with her 11-year old daughter, her husband, their guinea pig and family and friends.
What do you do?
I call myself a Smart Shopping Expert, which in a nutshell means that I help people make smart shopping decisions, whether it’s how to save money on their purchases or sharing the coolest products that are budget friendly but don’t seem like it. I do this through a variety of mediums, from print magazines to online publications to TV and radio. I also partner with a variety of brands to help them get their message out there.
How did your career come into being and how did you know it was the one to run with?
After working for beauty brands early in my career, I launched my own, Three Custom Color Specialists, with two partners. After many years there, I felt like I needed a change and while interviewing at various beauty brands, I started writing for a few websites covering budget living. I ended up freelancing at RetailMeNot.com and eventually became their spokesperson. I was on their internal PR team under marketing, and it was a very multi-faceted role that I held for almost four years until the company underwent a layoff. I enjoyed my work at RMN and felt that it was something I was good at, so after the layoff, I continued down the same road but on my own terms. It was scary and liberating at the same time! I’ve been freelancing for two years now and loving it.
How has having Sadie Mae transformed your lifestyle?
I was working for the beauty brand that I co-founded when I had my daughter, so things didn’t change much for me professionally, except that I changed my schedule around a bit. Things changed socially to an extent – fewer late nights in the city, of course – but since many of my friends had kids around the same time, we just kept on hanging out, just with more birthday parties and kid-centric outings.
5 words to describe your personal sense of style?
Quirky blend of vintage & modern!
How do you find time to get ready (especially camera-ready!) and maintain your style?
Because I do TV – and often at the last minute – I have to be “ready” most the time. I do my own hair, makeup and nails and have learned to pull myself together quickly in a pinch, but my husband and daughter know to give me the space I need to do that.
For TV, meetings and events, I have outfits on hand that are dressy but are comfortable enough that I could run to the train in them! When I’m not doing TV or having meetings, my style is low-key…lots of athleisure!
Where do you get your energy?
I have a decent amount of energy and I think it comes from a combination of regular exercise, vitamins and enjoying what I do. When it comes to exercise, I work out at home, carving out 30 minutes a day most days. Everyone knows not to bother me until I’m done! I see a lot of parents sacrifice their physical fitness for their kids, and maybe it’s easier because I just have one child, but my daughter has grown up seeing me work out regularly and she knows to leave me alone until I’m done (most of the time!)
What is your spirit animal or dream super power?
My dream super power would be to be able to remember more. I feel like I have so much going on that I can’t retain everything that I need to. Thankfully, when I need to remember talking points for a segment, I can, but my long-term memory is not so hot.
If I were to have a spirit animal, it would be a male peacock. I love how they’re pretty cool looking birds in general, but when they really want to turn it out, they can!
Who inspires you? (other than Sadie Mae)
My friends (personal and work). I know so many interesting people who are doing amazing things – they inspire me and drive me to do more.
Any words that you live by?
Suck it up and move on. It sounds harsh, but life can be harsh. We all encounter adversity at one point or another and it’s up to us to decide whether to let it stop us or whether we can learn from it and keep going. The caveat here is that I don’t think that everyone has the same ability to bounce back – everyone takes their lumps differently. I feel like I’m very resilient and I’m grateful for that quality. I’m trying to raise my daughter to do the same.
What is your favorite thing to do with Sadie Mae?
I love reading to my daughter in the mornings while she sits with our guinea pig. We choose a book that is a bit above her reading level and talk through complex ideas and unfamiliar words as we go. Her school has a super early start time and it’s my way to help her wake up gently while spending some quiet time with her before we start our day.
What would you do with more time?
Travel more, read more, spend more time with friends. Eat more (if calories didn’t count!)
How do you balance family and work?
Sometimes things can feel overwhelming, but for the most part I feel like I have it pretty easy because a) I have one child and she’s fairly self-sufficient and b) both my husband and I work from home so while we work a fair bit, we have a lot of flexibility. We don’t always have the time to do things as a family because we have to divide and conquer, but when we are all together it feels special.
What do you do to relax?
I love watching movies at home and going to the movies with my husband and daughter, reading, gabbing with friends, long walks…
What time do you get up and go to bed on a typical day?
Unfortunately, because my daughter’s school starts crazy early, my weekday alarm goes off at (yikes) 5:30am. I check my phone and think about things for a half hour, wash up and then wake her up. Once she’s gone, I exercise and get ready to work. I usually go to bed between 10:30/11pm.
What do you typically eat for breakfast?
I make homemade whole grain pancake mix, so I usually have a pancake with peanut butter and fruit. I also make my own granola, which is another yummy breakfast option. I’m no Julia Child, mind you!
Coffee, tea, wine, tequila, or other?
I have a coffee in the morning and then drink herbal tea during the day. Some evenings, I’ll have red wine or Rosé or a bourbon cocktail, like an Old Fashioned.
What is something that you struggle with fitting into your lifestyle and how do you deal with it?
Housework and projects around the house, like scraping paint, gardening or keeping things organized. (Because I write about products, I have a lot of products around, and sometimes that gets the best of me.) Something I’ve been doing these past couple of months is a) committing to doing a little bit of light housework every day – which helps when Inside Edition calls in the morning and wants to shoot a segment in two hours! And b) doing a house-related project every weekend. It’s been working well, so I hope to keep it up.
Any advice for new moms, or moms who are struggling to make it all work?
- You’re never going to be perfect, because life isn’t perfect.
- Make sure to take time for yourself. It’s just as important as all the things you are doing for your family.
- Resist the urge to compare yourself to others. No matter how well you think you know someone, there’s a lot you don’t know.
- Delegate when you can. If there’s something that overwhelms you, try to resolve it another way. Maybe you need to have your groceries delivered or hire someone to help clean your home. If you need some time to yourself, maybe you barter with a friend – take their child one day so they can take yours another.
- Spend time with your partner, alone. You don’t want to lose the reason you came together in the first place.
- Learn to say no. If someone is asking something of you and it feels like too much, let them know.
- Set limits. Especially if you have your own business, establish working hours and switch off after that. I let my limits slide around the holidays when I’m super busy and opportunities pop up at random times, but otherwise, I’m pretty good – I shut off at 7pm on weekdays and don’t work most weekends.
Photo Credit: Jill Lotenberg
ABOUT WONDER MOMS:
From Sheryl Sandberg to Marissa Mayer, women are not sacrificing themselves for their kids like they used to. Why? If you ask me, a confident and happy woman makes a better mother and role model. And whatever it takes to get her feeling that way should be done. But as a mother myself, I know how hard it is to maintain a sense of style, run a successful business and to feel like an okay parent all at the same time.
Women who are flawlessly manifesting this enchanting trifecta are the new wonder women of our times and they are my idols. So I got to wondering how they actually do it all and have it all. Is it really possible? Are they hiding something? Do they secretly never floss? I hope to answer these questions and to give the rest of us moms motivation to stay true to ourselves, live fulfilling lives and love our families as much as ever through interviews with moms who are already doing it. These are the Wonder Moms.
If you know a woman who fits this mold, please share her info with us on Twitter @metromomclub
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