Ask Away Friday with April

A few weeks ago I participated in my first Ask Away Friday and had lots of fun with my friend Beth.  Ask Away Friday is a fun way to meet and connect with bloggers (and make friends!) by posing questions to get to know them better.  I love getting a peek into someone’s world (nosy?).   It’s simple:  I ask a blogger 10 questions, she asks me 10 questions and we both answer them in a post called Ask Away logo

This week the lovely April of 100lb. Countdown is swapping questions with me.  April is a health and fitness blogger who’s on a journey to get fit and stay healthy for her family.  I love that–I can certainly relate to wanting to live as long as possible (and be healthy!) to enjoy life with those I love.  I’ve only been following April’s blog for a short time, but I already find inspiration through April’s honesty in sharing her life and journey on her blog.  I love a “real” blogger who understands that being open and genuine is what brings readers back to them.  Happy to meet you, April!  Cheers!

100lb Countdown

Also, make sure to pop over to the awesome Ask Away Friday hosts and see other Ask Away Friday participants – Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County, Amber from The Bold Fab Mom, Tiffany from Mrs Tee Love Life Laughter and Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings.  Thanks, gals!

Alrighty, here are April’s 10 questions for moi.

1. I noticed that you finished a 20 day home organization challenge.  What is your proudest accomplishment in organizing?   I love a household challenge that kick starts me to toss clutter, unnecessary paperwork (where or where does all the paper come from?!), and organize or re-organize.  But I have to be honest and say I’m not particularly proud of any one area or room…yet.  I’ve some ideas up my sleeve and goals to revamp and re-organize a few areas of our home.  I will say it’ll be my daughter’s room and closet as well as some memory books…stay tuned and I’ll be posting about those!  I expect that those will be my “proudest accomplishments”! 🙂

2. I admire the organization of your blog.  How do you manage to put together so many wonderful recipes and projects to post on your blog regularly?   Why thank ya, April!  I’d love to post more often and share at least 3 recipes and 2 projects a week.  But life gets in the way, doesn’t it?  I usually share favorites which makes it that much easier to post.  If I’m cooking up a favorite and I remember to grab my camera and jot down ingredient amounts as I go, then I’ll post that.  If I’m trying something new from a cookbook,  then I also try to have my camera and pencil handy and work on it when my little one is at school in the morning or when she’s eager to help me.  I try to follow a blog schedule, but honestly, these past several months I’ve had to merely squeeze blogging in when I can.  Lately, it seems I blog late at night and then post it during waking hours. 🙂  But I love to bake so I can usually find the time to do that.  😉 

Danish Puff (3): Cozycakes Cottage

Danish Puff

3. You even have an organized Christmas series!  I’m so jealous!  Where did you get your passion for organization?  haha! Don’t be jealous, really, don’t be.  My dirty secret is that I’m not completely organized and it doesn’t seem to come naturally to me.  Although I crave it and I go on rampages every few months, I tend to let things pile up some weeks and then spend far too much time organizing and cleaning up those spaces/areas.  It really bugs me.  It bugs me that I do that and it bugs me that I don’t stay on top of things daily.  My mind wants it all done, but my body refuses to do it some days.   You should see our guest room closet.  And my office drawers.  Wah.  Big wah.  My mom is incredibly organized and her home has always been clutter-free…so I think I do get the “need” for it from her.  

4.  What is your favorite holiday?  Why?  Hip hip for holidays!  Love em.  I’d have to go with Christmas for many reasons including the birth of our Savior (go Jesus!), that awesome feeling that hits the heart in December, the spirit of giving, the pure joy in my daughter’s face on Christmas morning and witnessing her understand how much better it is to give than to receive (well, she does flip flop on that because it’s just pretty fun to receive sometimes, isn’t it?), the baking (the tastes, the smell…ahh), Christmas carols, the gathering of family and friends…I could go on and on.  The only thing that would be the icing for me (besides having all my family closer) is to get a white Christmas here in southern California.  I’ve wished for one of those for years!

5. I’m just starting to get more into the kitchen, and make more real foods, including soups, stews, and more.  What are your three “must have” items in your kitchen besides the staples?  Awesome, April!  Eek, this is a tough one because I LOVE kitchen items.  So to go with the staples like fresh veggies, fruits, and a good stocked pantry, I’ll go with loads of garlic, a super olive oil, and my favorite Chinese butcher knife my mom passed on to me.  You know I want to add about 20 things to this list…ha!  Like green onions, noodles, a rice cooker and slow cooker…okay, I’m slyly cheating…or not so slyly!

6. What part of your home are you the most proud of?  Pictures please!  Since I’d like to give you a better answer for # 1 I’m going to say that today I’m pretty proud of my master bedroom retreat.  It’s a room connected to the master bedroom/my room that we used as a catch-all for the longest time.  Several months ago I finally did what I’d been wanting to do for ages and made it “my” space–a little crafty, relaxing place for me to write, craft, scrapbook, write letters and cards, etc.  I still need to add a cozy chair and small table to it and more decor, but compared to how it was before?  whee!  Here’s the part I love:

Cozycakes Cottage: Retreat Craft Shelves

Okay, so I didn’t build this, but I’m still proud.  It houses all of my craft supplies as well as some of my cookbooks, stationery, pretty papers, and more.  I thought to add labels to everything, but I know what’s in each bin or basket so I skipped that step.  My favorite thing about this are the tote baskets on the bottom shelf.  They’re the perfect neutral color for me with a snazzy little pattern to keep it fun.  I’d love to share more of this space when I complete it in the next several weeks.  I love the bright walls, the light from the windows and the cool breeze we get on this side of the house.  It’s definitely my little “retreat.”  Sometimes I just sprawl on the floor and read cookbooks.

7. I’m a health and fitness blogger…Which of your dessert recipes are the most “waist” friendly?  I’m laughing so hard!  Unfair, April!  LOL  I don’t know that any of my desserts are waist friendly.  Which makes me feel I should put some “healthier” desserts on my blog.  Thanks for that inspiration.  🙂  A dessert with something healthy IN it?  These awesome, seriously good, can’t-eat-just-one Chewy Oatmeal (see? healthy! lol) Raisin Cookies.  Really so good with a crispy edge and chewy center.  Mmm. 

Cozycakes Cottage: Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

8.  I just celebrated my 35th birthday and I would love to have you have catered a dinner.  If I leave the menu up to you, what would you present for a fabulous 3 course meal, with drinks of course!  Happy Birthday, girl!  WOOHOO!  That’s an awesome number!  No calorie counting on the birthday so..I don’t know what you like, but I’ll go with some favorites that I love to eat and make:  Starting with a spinach salad with warm bacon dressing and just little taste of a creamy asparagus soup.  Then a classic, simple but tasty filet mignon (or if you don’t like beef, I’d go with a tender chicken Florentine with sauce) with onions and marinated mushrooms, and a side of creamy mashed potatoes with roasted root vegetables.  I love to do 2 desserts so people have choices (and a little something to take home) to finish so I’d do my triple chocolate cake with chocolate ganache with a scoop of ice cream and a favorite cobbler with seasonal fruit (such as blackberry or peach) with homemade whipped cream.  Oh and drinks!  My favorite blueberry sangrias and frozen peach flips (the flips can be nonalcoholic, too) since it’s the season for them (with some beers on ice… just in case…and a bottle of wine for back up).

chocolate cake

9.  What made you decide to be a stay at home mother?  Was it always your desire?  Did it change after you had your daughter?  I don’t believe it was always my desire to be a stay at home mom.   That was before I had my Munchie.  🙂  I remember thinking I’d go back to work after she was a few months old, but then…nope.  Definitely changed when I saw her look at me.  She makes being a stay-at-home-mom pretty darn easy for me, too, so that helps.  I love being home with her, but I loved teaching.  I only had the chance to teach for a few years then Munchie arrived so I feel like one day I’ll go back.  I actually just substituted in her class yesterday and am there again today.  Tons of fun, loving it.  So I’m getting a little fix which is perfect.  As much as I love being in a classroom with kiddos, when I returned home yesterday I actually felt even more grateful to have the opportunity to be a stay at home mama.  I don’t want to miss any part of her childhood years that are flying by…I’m not ready yet.

Munchie and meDon’t wanna miss a thing.  We are a perfect kooky pair.

10.  I’m somewhat of a television junkie!  Do you have a favorite television show or just one that you have to catch every week?   I knew I was gonna like you, April.  haha!  High five!  I am a tv and movie junkie, too!  Right now my DVR is set to record the current season of Mad Men, Call the Midwife, and a couple of months ago I caught up on Bates Motel–that’s a fun one.  We LOVE Breaking Bad and miss it a lot.  I’m still catching up on Sherlock Holmes–so good, funny, smart.  Like kitchen items, I could go on and on with this one.  What else…Downton Abbey.  I’m leaving lots of good stuff out, but those are just a few!  I want to hear your favorites, April! 

Such fun questions for me!  I had a great time answering them!  Be sure to stop by April’s blog to see her answers to my questions!  ♥  Thanks, April!

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10 thoughts on “Ask Away Friday with April

  1. Hi Danielle. I loved reading your Ask Away Friday. Good questions for us to ask our friends. We would discover some fun and surprising answers from each of them. What also caught my eye was that chocolate bundt cake!! All that chocolate in one dessert! I am always looking for a luscious dessert to bring to a dinner party. This is it!

    Most of all, the photo of you and Munchie was delightful. You were having such a fun time together 🙂

    1. Hi Renee! Thank you for your comment! I will share that easy recipe soon. 🙂 It’s a good one. We had such a great time on our recent road trip (which is when the picture was taken of Munchie and me)…such a simple vacation, but one of the best in my book. 🙂

  2. Oh no counting calories on my birthday! That mean sounds wonderful, especially that cake and filet mignon! I’m pretty open to menu. I didn’t plan on being a stay at home either, but I’m loving it. Yes, I love Mad Men, I’ve only seen part of the first season of Bates Motel (too many conflicts on my DVR, so need to check it out). I really enjoyed switching questions with you! They were good ones too!

    1. Definitely no counting calories on birthdays! You need to get your DVR regulated, girl, and get on those shows! 🙂 Had such fun switching with you, too! Have a great week, April! xx

  3. Wonderful getting to know you Danielle! Those oatmeal raisin cookies look absolutely wonderful! As does that Chocolate cake! I am absolutely horrible about remembering to take my phone (camera) in to the kitchen with me when I cook. I normally remember after I am at least halfway through the prep! Since becoming a SAHM I have become more of a tv junkie than I ever used to be. Wishing you a great week!

    1. Hi Stacey! Thank you for coming on by. Those cookies are our favorite! 🙂 Do you watch your shows when all is quiet at night? 😉 I don’t get to see anything until after my little one’s bedtime, but I do enjoy that lounging time!

      1. Oddly, no. I watch them when the kids are doing school work or after their day is done and before the hubby gets home from work. 🙂 LOL! Once the kids are in bed I will put on some tunes or just mute the tube for some quiet time. 🙂

I love your comments and read them all.