I had no idea when I started my blog in late November 2011 that it would be the catalyst for building friendships across the country and the world. I have met and formed bonds with some of the most amazing women. What a blessing this little space on the web is to me.
One of the first bloggers I met is a gal named Beth who blogs over at Structure in an Unstructured Life. As she mentions in today’s Ask Away Friday post, we can’t remember how we met in the blog world. Doesn’t matter, we met and I’m thankful we did because we have so much in common. Beth blogs about her life; the light and the heavy stuff, the parenting moments, the joys and trials of being a devoted mom and wife while working full-time. She shares her menu plans, recipes, organizational prowess, and her perspective on a variety of subjects. We became instant blog pals, but I consider her a “real life” friend who I can’t wait to see one day in person. I have a feeling we would laugh hard, share stories, and find our way to good food and entertainment. She’s a writer at heart and a mom of 2 darling young boys. I felt an instant connection to her and I hope you’ll take a moment to pop over to her blog to see the 10 Ask Away Friday questions I asked her and read what she has to say in response.
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 Friday. I’ve never participated so THANK YOU, Beth, for welcoming me today.
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, let’s get to it. Here are Beth’s 10 questions for me.
1. I know your daughter – Munchie – is 5. What are your favorite and least favorite things about this age? I could go on and on with this question, but I’ll try to keep it short(er) :) My favorite things: I love that she’s really coming into her own, growing into a little adult. I know she’s still young to “know” herself, but she shows such confidence in many areas and doesn’t try to be someone she’s not. I hope she keeps that up! I love the endless giggling, the creativity, the make-believe, the innocence, that she pushes herself more and more to try new, scary things. And I ♥ the curiosity. Yesterday she asked me about retirement, what it means, and why most people wait until they’re in their 60s to retire. I felt like I was talking to a 20-year old. Most of all, I love how she feels for others now. She shares in their happiness and their sadness. My least favorites things: A little whine has entered the stage. And as someone who struggles with patience (ahem), I have to make concerted efforts to stay calm and handle it with grace. Also, she’s heard new words and phrases now that she’s in school 5 days a week, and asked me about them. I a) don’t want to hear them and b) don’t want to discuss those yet. Can’t live in a bubble forever, but sometimes I wish I could! It also seems the age when their lives have the potential to get crazy. The pressure to over-book them with activities and play-dates. I have to remind myself that I know what’s best for her and running her from activity to activity isn’t going to make her a better person. On the other hand, I do like the social aspect for myself (chat, chat, chat) and for Munchie since she loves learning something new or practicing a skill with peers/friends.
2. You have some amazing recipes on your blog! What is your favorite dish to make? What is your family’s favorite dish to eat? Thank you! I love cooking my husband’s favorite chicken biscuit dinner and he also loves my turkey meatloaf (which isn’t mine, but Ina Garten’s!). Munchie said her favorites are Chicken Olivia and broccoli, and peanut butter noodles (a Taiwanese noodle dish that is far better than it sounds). And then, of course, I love to bake sweet treats.
My Lazy Daisy Hot Milk Cake
3. You’ve been posting your progress on the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home series. Which room in your home needs the most attention? Cringe. Our spare/guest bedroom, definitely. It becomes home to laundry I need to fold or iron (mountain), holiday decor, and gifts I like to buy before events and then fail to wrap or put away in a safe place. And the closet. Oh, the closet. Now I’m starting to itch.
4. If I were to come visit you for the weekend (Oh, how I wish I could!) – what would we do? I got SUPER excited when I read this question (make it happen!)! In no particular order, we’d pop over to an authentic Mexican restaurant (we have so many yummy ones here) to catch up and get our squeals out over margaritas, Mr. Cozycakes would take us out on the boat for a bay cruise (bring Coach!) through the downtown area over to Coronado Island and have dinner on the water, spend a few hours walking and chatting at my favorite beach, head to a Chargers football game, dine at another favorite place then head to a fun movie (I love that you love film/tv, too!), put on one of our mutually favorite shows while we make one of your entrees and one of my desserts before a long, chat-filled night, and head to tea time at a favorite tea room. And we need to do a little shopping since we need more boots for our favorite “uniform.” So much to do, so little time!
5. You’ve mentioned before you used to be an elementary teacher (me too!). What did you learn from teaching that you bring into your parenting? (high five!) I definitely learned that if I’m patient, my students/child have/has a MUCH better experience and shot at learning and mastering something new or difficult. Also, we all learn at different paces and from different styles–if it doesn’t work one way, try another, and another, and another. It’ll come. The beauty of growing and learning is in the entire experience–the successes AND the failures.
6. I loved your Cozycakes Christmas Series! With Easter coming up, what Easter traditions do you have with your family? Each year, we dye eggs together the old school way I did with my family as a child (vinegar smell, anyone?). We go to our church for the Easter service the day before Easter. Easter morning, Munchie’s Easter basket (filled with See’s Candy just as mine was when I was a wee one) is waiting for her when she wakes and she searches for the eggs we dyed. Then we head over to my in-laws’ home for a fun hunt in their yard and then we eat a YUMMY breakfast of my mom-in-law’s delicious creamed egg over toast and homemade cinnamon rolls. We try to make it home to visit my family up north, too, but it is usually just after Easter–no difference, as it’s all about what we are celebrating not when we are able to celebrate.
My mom-in-law always sets out lots of See’s Candy for all to enjoy after brunch. We are See’s loving folks!
7. You have an amazing following on Facebook! How do you manage keeping up with your community there, without letting social media take over your life? I never expected to reach over 100 followers on Facebook so I’m stunned that I’m pushing 14,000 today. I have very supportive blog friends to thank for sharing my page. It can be a huge time-sucker, but I aim to commit about 15-30 minutes in the morning on social media for my blog and then another 15-30, as needed, at the end of the day. I’m usually working on blog posts at the same time. I don’t like working on the computer when Munchie is home or awake. Before, I thought I needed to pop in and out of Facebook all day long, but it’s unnecessary–I do what I can and though I love the community over there, I’ve cut back on “tech” time tremendously this year. I love interacting with people on my Facebook page, though, and it feels like a real community of friends.
8. If you had to choose one cause you are most passionate about, what would it be? I’d have to say the health and well-being of children. What’s more important than those little ones? We should feel obligated to make sure children feel and are safe, loved, and healthy. Any organization that genuinely devotes itself to children has my vote and support.
9. Sometimes I think we should trade locations as you love cool weather and I love warm! What are your favorite and least favorite things about living in sunny California? HA! People are probably SO sick of my complaining about our weather here in southern California. But you’ve got it right–I LOVE colder weather, brisk days, and RAIN. I get why people love the weather here: it’s beautiful. The sun shines, the birds sing (really, pretty much all year). But I’ve lived in California essentially my whole life and I think I’m just wired to love cooler weather and rainy days. However, I love that close to 365 days of the year, I can head outside for a long walk with my dog in capri running pants and a t-shirt while Munchie rides her bike next to me. We can swim and take a short road trip to the snow in the same month or week for that matter. Pretty cool. But…more rain, please. I love cozy, cuddly days best when there’s a fire going and something baking in the oven.
10. What song do you have trouble getting out of your head these days? Let it gooooooo, let it goooooooo! Please, go away, Song from Frozen. Munchie sings it all day and so do I because it won’t get out of my head. It’s everywhere! Also, “Everything is AWESOOOOOME!” from the Lego Movie. That one actually cracks me up so it doesn’t bug me and I find ways to insert it into conversations all day long (weirdo alert).
So fun! I probably need to learn to ramble less with Ask Away Friday. :) I’ll get better, promise. Be sure to stop by Beth’s blog to see her answers to my questions! ♥ Thanks, Beth!