Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting to Know Me

I received the "Getting to Know You" tag from Laura, from A Place for Tea. Time to force me out of my shell! I've been reserved on this blog, since the information is available for everyone in the world to see. But the truth is, I have nothing to hide, and I am quite flattered that you care to know more, since I very much enjoy your blog. So here goes:

1. What is your favorite time of day?

The still of night - I have the entire house to myself to clean without it immediately getting messy again, I can read without being interrupted, and of course, I can blog without feeling like I should be attending something or someone else, except my sleep. It's all on the table at 1:00 long as I can wake up in the morning with my son and go to work, which is not always easy, but when I indulge, it's worth it.

2. When and where did you meet the love of your life?

Met: Arlington, VA, Spring, 2001, intramural soccer league, work team: This tall, dark and handsome stranger ran onto the soccer field in a hurry - he was late. In the brisk night, under the lights, I laced up my cleats next to my then boyfriend, feeling guilty and not knowing why. The new guy was filling in for our goalie. Since I was on defense and had no idea what I was doing (I'm more of a hockey/lacrosse kind of a girl), the new goalie yelled at me the whole time. Since that was his job as goalie and he turned out to be a really sweet guy, I forgave him.

Fell in love: Arlington, VA/Washington, D.C., Late Summer, 2002: I was planning on moving back to my hometown in a few weeks. He offered his band to play for my going-away party. I said sure, and sparks flew. The next few weeks were head-over-heels, falling in love. The next few years were long-distance romance with long telephone calls and weekend drives back and forth to see each other. In 2005, he moved to the area, and the rest is history.

3. What three words would your friends outside of the blogging world use to describe you?

I don't have any. Just kidding. Straight from the horses' mouths (no offense ladies - you know I love you!):

Responder #1: Free spirited, adventurous, loyal
Responder #2: WOW - Only selecting 3 is hard. Genuine: There is nothing fake or pretentious about you. You call it how you see without judging or being harsh. Outgoing: You have always taken risks; studying abroad, moving to DC after school, got married and had a baby (haha); those are no small feats. I don't know the word for it but I call it "The Ferris Bueller Factor" - You always come out on top with a smile. You are one the smartest people I know but I have to laugh at your time management skills and the cute clumsiness about you!! I think you're fabulous.
Responder #3:genuine (i.e. real, know what I mean ; ), caring, patient ....ha ha Ok seriously not patient, but loyal
Responder #4: generous, spirited, compassionate

4. What country would you like to visit and why?

I would love to move to the middle east for a year or two. I love the exotic nature of arabian music, belly dancers, hookahs, horse races across the desert and veiled women. Perhaps Turkey as a home base so that I could still live and dress as I do currently and could take smaller trips to other countries like Syria, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE and just keep on going. I'm not sure if I am brave enough to go to Iraq yet but would love to some day. I love the food, architecture and history of the general region. I dig Istanbul because of the East meets West sophisticated cosmopolitan (which is completely opposite of my life now!) vibe.

5. What is your favorite dish to cook?

I love cooking. It's my creative outlet. My new favorite thing to make is a chard tart. It's like a vegetable pie, which sounds unappetizing but is actually delicious. This summer, I made it a personal challenge to learn how to make crusts. This led to learning to make dishes that involve crusts. Of these, I think the chard tart is my favorite, which leads to the next question...

6. Salt or sugar?

That's easy. Salt! Salt, salt, salt...I would choose homefries and bacon over pastry, cheese over cake, french fries over ice cream, chard tart over raspberry tart and popcorn over cookies all day long.

7. Must have beauty or make-up?

I am still just learning how to put on make-up. My daily beauty regime is to wash my face every day, throw my hair in a ponytail and go. But if I'm a) feeling down on myself or b) need to get fancied up, then...

Age-Defying Oil of Olay face wash every morning and night.

Age-Defying Oil of Olay moisturizer with SPF every morning and night.

The NARS Multiple can be used on eyes, cheeks and lips.

Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara.

Do love my curler...

Eau de Toilette - BVLGARI Jasmine Noir.

8. What are you favorite flowers?

While I am delighted by flowers of all kinds, my absolute favorite are the Jennie Dahlias.

9. What are your worst vices?

It depends on what you consider a vice. Me? I don't considering my love of red wine or rich food a vice. I consider it fully appreciating the bounty that the Good Lord has given us. But, if you do consider that a vice and you're right, then I'm going to hell.

Now, this blog? Yeah, that's probably one of my biggest vices right now. And if you're talking about the real stuff, the big stuff...then....I am guilty of not using the gifts that I have been given to improve the communities that I belong to - my town, my church, my region, my state, my country, the world - more than I have.

10. What was the happiest time of your life?

I think elementary school age - what a fun time! Working is learning. Working is playing. Make-believe comes easily. The woods beyond the field represent the ultimate adventure. Being silly is not yet uncool. There are no difficult decisions or compromises to make, and your biggest responsibility is to feed the dog. Yup. That has to be it - definitely elementary school age.

The thought that the happiest time of my life was over twenty years ago would probably depress me if life after wasn't also good in its own way. Now, I am excited to join with my husband to help my child(ren?) create the same kinds of memories. how was that? xoxo Anne

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Friday Flower to Natasha at 5 Minutes Just For Me

This Friday's Flower goes to Natasha at 5 Minutes Just For Me.

Natasha is a very sweet and generous woman from Brisbane.

She loves her family, reading magazines, going to the beach, Christmas, Disneyland at Christmas, teacups, her beautiful kitchen, candles, pink roses, decorating with cloches and blogging.
She hosts two features on 5 Minutes Just For Me that I just love: 5 Minutes with... This is an interview with a blogger she likes and follows, who all just happen to be amazingly sweet and talented. It's a great way to get to know a community of very sweet, talented and inspirational bloggers. On Sunday Songs, she posts about a song every Sunday and asks others to link up their posts about a song. This is such a lovely way to get to know other bloggers and new music.

She recently offered a giveaway in honor of her blogaversary. How generous and sweet! I am so excited for the goodies to come in the mail.

Thank you Natasha and Happy Blogaversary!

As usual, linking up with Laura at A Place for Tea for Flower Fridays.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Can a big breakfast nook replace a dining room? Should it?

Should we plan a little breakfast nook in the kitchen for a quick bite with the dining functionality of the house augmented elsewhere with a dining room?
Should we have a big breakfast nook that can double as a dining room and just ELIMINATE the idea of a separate dining room?

How do you do it? Do you use your dining room? Do you double up?

This one below would also be a great place to serve the breakfast rush. I can just imagine feeding the kiddies oatmeal here, having coffee with friends, having friends hang out while I cook.

This one below is so cute and peaceful. I can totally imagine sitting here for cuppa tea or coffee after the morning rush. This are tiny, though, and would definitely require a separate dining room for holidays and special occasions. But maybe that is good to have? I do love dining, but a whole extra room just seems like a waste of space.

These next two are beautiful and could do double duty as dining rooms. I love how how bright and airy they are, with the vaulted ceiling, the multitude of windows and the french doors leading directly to the outside of the house.

We have a big local family with big family parties...I'm thinking a breakfast nook like this could accomodate everyone, and maybe we just eliminate a dining room? What do you think?

I started collecting these photos way before I started blogging, so if you know where they are from, please let me know, so I can cite the source.