My guest this week is the hilarious and amazing Elizabeth Passarella, the author of two books, “It Was an Ugly Couch Anyway” and “Good Apple.” She is contributing editor for Southern Living and former editor at Real Simple and Vogue.
Elizabeth has spent more than 20 years writing about food, travel, home design, and parenting in outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Parents, Martha Stewart Weddings, Coastal Living, Airbnb Magazine, and Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn.
Elizabeth grew up in Memphis, Tenn., and graduated with a degree in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children.
4:18 – Elizabeth 101
- Elizabeth is a writer and has lived in New York City since 1999, but she’s a Southerner at heart.
- Her books are humorous essay collections about her life, including parenting, marriage, friendships, her faith and some politics.
7:22 – New York City
- Elizabeth’s dad encouraged her to attend college up north and move somewhere different from where she grew up.
- She finally realized how fun and high energy New York City was.
- Once she got to New York, she didn’t plan to be there long-term, but she felt a spiritual calling that it was home.
19:56 – Books and family
- Elizabeth’s mother is supportive but wants her to stop writing books, especially ones that talk about their family.
- Elizabeth enjoyed working part-time for magazines and also raising her kids.
- A former magazine editor turned literary agent asked Elizabeth to write a book.
25:28 – Green lights from God
- There were lots of green lights with writing a book. God made it very clear to Elizabeth that she should keep writing.
- God kept opening little doors, so she kept going.
35:11 – Taboo Christianity
- It can feel taboo to be a Christian in New York City, but the city has a lot of churches.
- It’s a misconception that there aren’t a lot of Christians in New York.
40:21 – Raising kids in the city
- Elizabeth didn’t take her kids to touristy areas in New York City until friends came into town and wanted to see the sights.
- Living in New York City, space is the biggest thing you give up.
- Elizabeth has a minivan, but her family mostly walks everywhere.
Once I got to New York, I didn’t think it was where I was going to live forever. But it was a cosmic, spiritual transformation in me. I just knew in my bones that this was home.
There were lots of green lights with writing a book. God made it very clear that, “You’re doing what I want you to be doing. Keep doing it.”
It’s a misconception that there aren’t a lot of Christians in New York. There are a lot of thriving churches here.
I’m not always fighting to hold onto God. He’s fighting to hold onto me. He’s fighting to hold onto all of us.