Friends, I am LOVING all the fun questions I am getting from y'all! I want you to keep them coming (they are, indeed, an excellent diversion as I had hoped!), but I am going to get cracking on answering as many as I can now just so I can try to keep up.
So, here goes...
We'll start with a few fun, easy questions:
What movie can you watch over and over?
The entire Ocean's series. I loved Ocean's Eleven when it came out and have fallen more in love with each of the two sequels. Brad Pitt and George Clooney together absolutely crack me up!
What song can you listen to on repeat?
I'm honestly a huge sucker for good, old hymns. For my birthday I went nuts on iTunes and grabbed up a lot of good versions of my favorites. I love "Be Thou My Vision", "Of the Father's Love Begotten", "What Wondrous Love is This" I could go on and on.
Beyond that, I'm sort of boring when it comes to music. I listen to whatever Ry's listening to. I love Broadway show-tunes and Harry Connick Jr.
What book do you never tire of re-reading?
My sister and my Christine are going to hang their heads in shame when I answer this question. I'm honestly not a big reader. I did read The Nanny Diaries about 3 times in a row a few years back, shortly after a 3-year career of working as a nanny myself.
What family activity never gets old? Eating with my boys. We have some of the best conversations. Oliver cracks us up and it's so fun to get to share the joy of parenthood with the man I love and who loves Oliver as much as I do.
Favorite Christmas Tradition? I love the evening we set up the Christmas tree. We play Christmas music for the first time of the season, eat good food, pull out all the familiar ornaments. It's festive and wonderful. My other favorite is our Christmas Eve service at our church. It's wonderful and worshipful and so great to celebrate our Savior's birth with our covenant family.
Any inexpensive decorating tips? I love the color grey. Okay, I'm a little obsessed. If you're looking for a neutral color and don't want to do a boring shade of white or beige or tan, may I recommend something like Benjamin Moore's boothbay gray or coventry gray? Grey is a nice, warm neutral that is a refreshing update that's still not too committal. (We have the boothbay gray in our bedroom!) How's that for a cheap decorating tip?
What is your favorite cleaning product? So glad you asked, miss Seraphim! I have actually begun to lean away from chemicals when I can, particularly in the kitchen. It turns out that you can clean a lot with just a mixture of 2T mild dish soap (I like Seventh Generation's rosemary lavender soap) and 2C water in a spray bottle. It's great for our kitchen table, countertops, even wood trim and cabinet fronts.
That's maybe the best question yet. Over the past year and a half the reasons have definitely changed. My blog has changed. That makes me a little sad in someways. I miss having a small audience and thinking that I'm the only one reading. I miss feeling safe to share everything I have to say. I guess part of this little "questions" exercise is for me to figure out just what I am doing here anyway.
What sewing machine do you use? If you don't love it can you tell me which one you've been envying?
I use my sister's basic Brother machine. It is just fine for my needs, although I'd LOVE to someday have one of those fancy computer machines. Or, better yet, one that embroiders! Heaven!! Truth is, I haven't done a lot of sewing machine research - do y'all have any recommendations?
What's been going on with you over the past few months? We've been missing your frequent posts, and am tickled pink to see two in a row!
Another excellent question. The answer? A LOT! Lots that I wish I could share but can't at this time. Beyond those things, just a whole lot of summer and mothering and teaching and such. Life has been busy!
What is the strangest thing you have come across at a garage sale?
Ha! I love this question! Probably the most obscure thing I saw was a framed latch hook bit of 'artwork' (and yes, I use that term loosely) with a person's name, birth date and death date on it.
Yes, a framed rug headstone.
For sale at a yard sale.
I'm going to go ahead and guess that they packed that sucker back up or tossed it at the end of the day.
I know grief is a crazy thing, but how can something like that even happen to begin with?
What are your comfort foods or what foods do you love to make?
I love sweet curry chicken. My friend Danielle gave me this recipe a few years ago and it's one of my staples.
Have I mentioned that I also have a strange yet powerful addiction to Twizzlers.
What is your favorite game?
I love to play Hand and Foot with Ryan, my sister and brother-in-law. We play with Skip-bo cards, boys against girls. VERY good times!
Did The Scout eat your mums this year? No. Thank heavens no.
**Christine, for the sake of my male readership, I ought not answer your other question. If you'd really like to know, you'll have to contact me privately. ;)
What color is your hair right now?
It's a stunning shade of I-haven't-been-colored-in-almost-a-year-mousy-faded-light-brown. Sexy.
How much did you pay for your IKEA white (and gray) curtains again? Were they the $15 ones (per panel) or $30? I'm trying to decide with online pictures, and it's hard.
I bought the Ikea Merete 98" curtains in brown for my downstairs living room and bleached for our bonus room. They cost $39.99 a pair. And, for the record, totally worth it. I love the big grommets and 98" length!
Do you think you blog less because of Twitter? I hear everyone does.
Hm. I'd never thought of it that way before, but I totally think I do. I love to tweet! It's so nice and quick!
Where did Oliver get his beautiful blonde hair? Was yours that light? Ryan's?
Ry and I were both towheads. Evie's was the same way. Our children are destined to be blondies.
How did you decide on both of your babies names? I love them.
Thank you, Mary. I love them too :)
I first fell in love with the name Oliver about a year before he was born (2005). (Yes, before I was even pregnant with him). I was in my senior year of interior design school so I was required to read and report on design magazine articles all the time. I read an article in Traditional Home about the newish hot designer Kelly Wearstler and there was a photo in the front of her in bed with her two sons. They were adorable and one of them was named Oliver. I was hooked.
As for Evie Grace - we actually first heard that name our freshman year in college. My roommate's sister's name is Evie (pronounced with a short 'e', it rhymes with 'levy'). I don't know, we just loved that name. Grace is my Grandma's middle name. Evie means 'life'. We named her the evening we found out we wouldn't get to keep her. Somehow giving her a name that meant 'life of grace' seemed so fitting. It suits her well and has only become more meaningful and appropriate.
How is the dress making on Etsy going? It's officially nonexistent. I loved it while I was doing it but it soon became overwhelming. Too many orders for me to keep up with and there were so many other sewing projects that I was having to put on the back burner. The moment it became no longer fun was the moment I was glad to be done. I only wanted to do it for fun :)
Where's your favorite place in Nashville to eat? Any mom and pop places we haven't discovered yet? We don't eat in Nashville a lot but I have a lot of favorites in Franklin. Our number one favorite is McCreary's Irish Pub on Main Street. We also like Mellow Mushroom. Ry has a few Nashville favorites: LaPaz for mexican, SuhiYobi on Music Row and Ginza in Greenhills. We also love to go to PeiWei at the Hill Center for less expensive but quality chinese food.
I would love to know how you find all those AMAZING yard sale items you post each week? Do you typically go to yard sales in more upscale neighborhoods? Yes, the upscale neighborhoods definitely help.
When you go yard sale-ing, how do you scope out your stops? Do you just drive around until you find some or do you look in the paper and then call? What's your tactic? I mostly use Craigslist. Folks around here are pretty faithful to post their sales there so it works well. I never use the newspaper. Neighborhood sales are the best because all of the sales are concentrated into a walkable area. I've heard tell of a soon-to-be online garage sale search engine that I will tell you about when I know more!
I saw the pic of your kitchen and want to know what color it is because I love it!
Glad you like it, Holly! Our kitchen and dining room paint color is a Ralph Lauren paint called "Urban Living", a part of their Urban Loft collection.
Which kind of Twizzlers do you like better? Original or pull and peel? (or, gasp, black??)
My favorite is just the good old fashioned strawberry twists. Pull and peel is a nice treat from time to time though.
The even more important detail about my Twizzler fetish is that I am really picky about what bags I buy. I have been known to dig through the shelf at the grocery store to find a good "batch". They have to be thinner an dark and a little shiny. Sometimes they are a little fatter, lighter red and dull and those taste totally different. Call me crazy, but I just call it discriminating taste. :) (Has anyone else noticed these differences or am I totally alone?)
Have you finished your bag of Twizzlers yet?
No, not yet. A very wise friend reminded me when I got home from Target and Tweeted about my highly anticipated bag of Twizzlers last night that there is such thing as a too-many-Twizzlers bellyache. I heeded her gentle reminder and had a lovely and modest little bundle then went to bed quite happy. More for later!
What is your favorite smell?
Oliver's head. Ryan's cologne. Lilac bushes. Buttercream Yankee candles. And wet paint. (but not in a weird, huffing way) :)
My biggest question, because I'm a totally clueless type of person.... HOW DID YOU MAKE THE INDIGO COLOR?!
(FYI - Amy is asking about the rainbow cake I made for Oliver's birthday). I mostly just thought of it as a lighter purpler, like a lavender with just a little more blue. So just less blue and red than you'd use to make the violet, allowing it to lean just a little blue. Does that make sense?
Okay, that's all I can do for now. There are lots more that I've already got copied into another post awaiting answers. I just thought I'd knock out the easier ones first.
I hope this was enjoyable for you. It was a lovely distraction for me. Thanks for all your fun questions and sweet encouragement and KEEP THE QUESTIONS COMING!!!
(Okay, now that I'm re-reading I'm sort of kicking myself for not buying the bit of latch hook art while I had the chance. Could have come in handy for a moment such as this!)