A few weeks ago on Instagram, Jordan asked our followers to submit questions that we would answer here on the blog. We sometimes feel like an open book here, but at the same time, we try not to reveal too much of our private lives. We want you to feel close to you, but understand that there is also a fine line between over sharing, which we feel too many bloggers do, and keeping you all too far away. The questions were on a variety of topics and so, we will just go for it. First, let’s answer the questions that were submitted for me.
Why do you travel so much?
I grew up in a little town of 2,500 people, and my family took a one-week vacation in a car every year. My husband grew up on a 500 acre farm, and his family’s annual vacation was a week at a cottage in Michigan. We met during our junior year at college (on a bus), and in the first conversation that we had, he said he wanted to travel. That sounded good to me, but my idea of travel was very small and limited, based on my experience at that point. We were married in June after we finished our senior years, and that August we moved to Geneva, Switzerland to live while my husband played professional basketball there. That’s when the travel bug really hit us. We spent our free time visiting France (we spent our first New Year’s as a married couple in Paris,) Italy, and Germany. We have continued to travel and did so when we had young children. Thankfully, they both caught the travel bug and have spouses who also love travel. I have been to 83 countries so far, and my husband has been to over 100. I would rather spend money on experiences than on things.
How did you learn to DIY?
My mother was my inspiration. Even though she worked full time, she sewed all of my clothes, had a garden and canned and froze the produce, painted a room when it needed it, crocheted, painted as a hobby, and had a flower garden. I grew up thinking that if it needed to be done, than you did it yourself. Then in 1987 I discovered Martha Stewart. I saw the first show she made for PBS, and I was thrilled. My DIY skills are very basic, and I don’t try to do things beyond my skill set, but I try to do things myself, within reason. I can paint a room, sew things like pillow covers, shams, bed skirts, and curtains, and make simple crafts. I cannot do carpenter work or reupholster a chair.
What’s your favorite brand of paint?
We have always used Sherwin Williams.
Is your hair naturally curly?
Yes. I fought it for most of my life, but in the last ten years, I have let the curls do their thing. If any of you have curly hair, then you know it has a mind of its own.
How do you stay so thin?
I get asked this all the time. The bottom line is I count my calories every day, and I get at least an hour of physical exercise six days a week plus I am moving all day long. Our house has three floors plus a finished basement, and that’s a lot of stairs. Some days, like the days we go bicycling, I might get four to eight hours of exercise. I also do my own house cleaning, sidewalk sweeping, window washing, ironing, etc. I truly believe this mantra: “Use it or lose it.” I think too many baby boomers have stopped moving, and their health and flexibility have suffered because of it.
What was your best day ever?
Of course, the day I was married, the day our children were born, and our children’s wedding days top the list. However, take them out of the equation, and my best day was the last day of my bicycle trip across the country. Mike and I spent seven weeks riding our bicycles across the northern part of the country from Astoira, OR to Portsmouth, NH when we were both 57 years old. I rode every single mile (we call that EFI in bicycle lingo.) I didn’t get off of my bike once to push it up a hill. On our last day, we rounded a corner, and when I saw the Atlantic Ocean, I burst into tears. I was so proud of myself. I didn’t grow up playing sports, so achieving that goal was just mind boggling to me. It still makes me smile.
What was your worst day ever?
We haven’t talked about this much on the blog, but Jordan was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was 17. Getting that diagnosis from her surgeon was the worst news I have ever received.
How’s your New Year’s resolution coming along?
You might recall that my New Year’s resolution was to shop local. Until the shut-down, it was going very well. Unfortunately, since then I have had to rely on on-line shopping to keep us supplied with basics. Also, I have had to replace some major items recently (coffee maker, blender, electric tooth brush, and cast iron Dutch oven), and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to buy them locally. Once the lock down is lifted, I will continue shopping local, and I hope to make it part of my way of life.
Jordan here and I’ll answer some questions.
Do you have a job other than blogging?
While we do make some income blogging, I still consider it more of a hobby with my mom. We have fun with it, and we don’t do a lot of things other bloggers do that would make it more of a “job”. While I get to do this fun hobby, I do actually work with my brother and father. I am keeping it in the family. I help in the area of brownfield redevelopment. I also have been teaching English to children in China for almost three years. I have always loved working with children, and I have so much fun teaching online without the headaches most teachers have to deal with in a typical classroom.
What are your children’s names?
One thing I have decided to keep private is our children’s names. That is a personal decision, and maybe one day I’ll share them. I will share how we came up with their names. When we lived in Syracuse, NY, I volunteered as a chapter advisor at my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. One of the sisters had a name I loved and said I was going to remember it for the future when we had children. Once we found out we were having a girl, we decided to name her the name I had learned about and loved. Little Miss named Google. Charles and I were struggling to come up with his name, and right before we went to Thailand last year, she mentioned a name. We both liked it, so that is how he got his name. Both our children have their Thai names as their middle names.
What are some recipes for a busy mom?
While I love to cook, you can see my mom does the majority of the cooking on the blog. I try to sit down each Monday and meal plan for the week. I love my Erin Condren calendar where I have a section to write down each meal. I feel I go in waves of using certain cookbooks. I have been loving this cookbook The recipes are easy and very tasty. It has recipes for the slow cooker, instant pot, sheet pan meals, Dutch oven, and air fryer. I also love to write notes in a cookbook after I make a recipe for future reference. Before all of this, we did our best to have family dinners, and now we are also enjoying family lunches.
How is it really traveling with kids?
Traveling before kids was obviously a lot easier, but we knew that and made sure we had the right expectations when traveling with kiddos. We have learned we have to bring more luggage and move a little slower, but it is still amazing. I would never stop traveling because I have kids. We were hoping to do more traveling as a family this summer, but that right now is on hold. I also think because we have traveled a lot, especially with Little Miss, that it isn’t a big deal and is exciting. One of our favorite things to do when we travel with kids is to check out local playgrounds and the ice cream shops. Little Miss has played with children from all around the world even though they don’t speak the same language. We are sure to mix in a variety of things to do, and she still talks about some of the trips we have taken. We can’t take Google out of the country until his adoption paperwork is complete by both governments.
Do you plan to adopt more children?
No, we feel our family is complete.
Will your Charlotte home be a long term home?
I hope so. We love our home. Plus, we are currently doing the renovations to make it work even better for us. They always say location, location , location, and we love our location. We are walkable to so many things, and that is important for us. We also have great neighbors and lots of kids on our street, so that is fun for our kids – except during these times when they can’t play together.
We hope that gives you a little more insight into how we roll. If you have any questions, please submit them in the comments.
Take care and cheers!
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