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Ali Fedotowsky-Manno is getting real about the challenges of moving.
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, the former Bachelorette star, 36, opens up about her family's recent move from California to Nashville and the difficulty of adjusting to a new city.
"When I first moved here, I was really feeling down about wondering if we made the right choice," she says. "I knew we had to give it time, but I definitely was feeling down with the transition."
The mom of two says she remembers "crying and being sad" during the first three months in Nashville as she wasn't able to see many people due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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"Transitions are hard for everybody. It doesn't matter who you are, or what you do, or how much money you have or whatever it may be, transitions to anywhere are a horrid thing," she shares. "There were times definitely where I just missed my girlfriends."
While her kids are off at school, Fedotowsky-Manno says she's been planning "friend dates" to meet more people in the area.
"I call them friend dates because I literally treat meeting friends like dating. I make it a priority," she says. "It's been great. Now I can tell, we totally made the right choice and I know we're going to love it here."
Fedotowsky-Manno says she's also been hanging out with fellow Nashville resident Jana Kramer and made friends with The Home Edit's Clea Shearer. While her friend and Bachelor star Kaitlyn Bristowe is "so busy," she says she hopes to plan a date with her soon.
Each & Every
With Mother's Day around the corner, Fedotowsky-Manno also dishes on her plans for the upcoming holiday and shares her top gift ideas.
The reality star says she's looking forward to spending time with her kids on the occasion and "can't wait" to see the gifts they've personally picked out for her.
"I'm very excited to see what they choose, a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old picking out gifts for you, we'll see what I get. I'm sure it will be wonderful!" she says. "It's fun because [my kids] are at an age where Molly's going to draw me 1,000 pictures and Riley's just going to say, 'I love you, Mom.' "
As for what she is giving the moms in her life, one of Fedotowsky-Manno's top gift ideas is her limited edition natural deodorant set with Each & Every.
"When I got pregnant with Molly, the idea of putting natural products on my skin became more important to me than ever. I'm a mother now and I need to live a long, healthy life to take care of these kids," she says. "Your skin is your biggest organ, you have to protect it."