Friday, July 11, 2014

#AskAwayFriday: Sonya K. asked & I answered!

     
Finally, #AskAwayFriday is here!

A little over a month ago, the very lovely Sonya K., the shopping guru behind the ever practical blog Saving Everyday with Sonya K., invited yours truly to partake in the renowned swapping of questions, also known as #AskAwayFriday. This weekly event, which is the brainchild of Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County, has since become a big deal in the blogosphere, and I'm honored to take part. Current #AskAwayFriday hosts include Tamara from Tamara Camera, Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter, Stacey from This Momma's Ramblings, Christy from Uplifting Families, Amber from Bold, Fit Mom, and Carol from Battered Hope.

If you have not yet visited Sonya's blog, do so. And be prepared to get the heads-up on tons of fabulous steals and deals because Sonya is great at what she does. Today on Sonya's blog you'll find her responses to the ten questions I asked her.

So without further ado, here are my responses to her questions...

1. I love your hair, so let’s start with some hair questions. You recently starting wearing your hair curly. Can you give us a curly hair update (do you like it, is it here to stay)?
A recent post I added to Facebook explains it all:


So basically, I’m back to straight hair...and back to craning my neck like a giraffe so that I don’t ruin my blowouts during my son’s toddler swim classes. It’s not that I dislike curly hair – I’m just not a huge fan of it on me. Plus, my hair is so thick and long that it takes days for my hair to air dry completely between washes. I’m addicted to my flat iron. There. I said it.

2. Have you ever had short hair? If so, pictures please?
I’ve never had short hair. Rather, my hair, for the most part, has always fit into one of three categories: long, longer, and – currently – longest. The shortest my hair has been was about an inch past my shoulder, but I know that’s not technically short. Here’s a pic on my birthday back in 2011 when I was three-months-pregnant with Scotty:

3. Congratulations on your 7th wedding anniversary. If you and Scott could take an impromptu anniversary vacation where would you go?
Thank you! Oh, that’s easy: Jamaica. Hands down. Although we’ve both been there before, we’ve never gone together.

4. What was one thing that you learned about your husband after getting married that surprised you?
That he is surprisingly good about tidying up our bedroom and clearing off his nightstand on a regular basis. Mine, on the other hand, is where useless things come to die. I am embarrassed by the layer of dust, which I’m sure is a violation of health code.

5. You are very lucky to be married to a chef. What is your favorite dish for your husband to cook?
Yes, I count my blessings almost daily that Scott decided to pursue the culinary arts after playing football. I’d have to say his shrimp-stuffed Portabella mushrooms. But I love everything he makes, right down to how it looks. One of the first things chefs learn in culinary school is that we eat with our eyes first, so when Scott prepares a meal, he also considers presentation. Here are a few of his dishes (pardon my photography, as there’s a reason why magazines pay food photographers big bucks); the plate on the far right, steak Oscar, actually inspired my story “Baby Wants Steak,” which was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food & Love:

6. Online or in-store shopping? Which one do you prefer and why?
Laughing. Online! No question. I only find this question amusing because everyone close to me knows that I’m addicted to online shopping. I’m not kidding. I’ve gotten better in recent months, though. I’m a bit of a hermit – and I don’t really enjoy going to a store to shop. I’m particular. I like what I like – and I know whether I like it (or not) mere seconds after I see it. Online shopping allows me to get in, get what I want, and move on. So I can get to more important things…like waiting for the goods to arrive on my doorstep.

7. I see you like shopping on eBay. What has been your favorite find on eBay?
eBay has been very kind to me over the years. From cashmere sweaters to cloth diapers to the personalized cocktail napkins on the wet bar in our great room, I’ve purchased so much. I’ve been an eBay member since 2003, and I just made my 779 transaction. (I think I deserve waaaaaay more from them than a purple star, by the way.) I have so many favorite finds! Far too many to name. But if I can only pick one, I’d have to choose my authentic vintage Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 that I bought back in 2007 from an eBay estate sale. It’s the handbag that has launched a thousand ensembles…and even provided the inspiration for my bridal shower cake: 


8. I saw your three part series on your favorite closet relics. You have a lot of shoes that you love, but if there was a fire and you could only wear one pair of shoes out of your house which pair would you choose?
Oh, Sonya. How dare you make me choose? Sigh. Here’s the thing: My relics series was, quite truthfully, born out of emotion and not practicality. Meaning, the primary reason I would never throw any of those items away is because I love them…but I don’t necessarily wear all of those relics on a regular basis. As much as I love my holey Uggs I featured, I probably wouldn’t think to save them in the event of a fire. The answer to your question would vary depending on the season: If the fire was in the winter, I’d save my Bogg boots; if the fire was in the fall, I’d probably go for one (if not every) pair of Minnetonka moccasins: 

But if the fire was in the summer, I’d probably have to go with a pair of Tory Burch shoes. Right now, I’m loving her limestone Reva flats and her Filipa wedge espadrilles:




9. I was impressed that you are a yoga instructor. How about a few yoga questions. How long have you practiced yoga and what is your favorite pose?
I began practicing yoga when I was in college over 15 years ago. I had been running track and long-jumping competitively since I was 12, and I used to believe that exercise had to hurt in order for something good to happen to your body. Yoga. Changed. Everything. My favorite pose to do is headstand:
I actually feel incredibly calm – “blissed out” is what we call it in yoga – after I've held this pose for a few minutes. I even practiced this pose when I was pregnant with both Scotty and Kennedy…but I couldn’t for as long with Kennedy because I gained so much more weight with her. When you so much as gain one ounce – trust me – it makes a difference when you’re standing on your head. The pic above was taken a few winters ago for Yoga Journal’s talent search. There were so many phenomenal yogis, that doing headstand in the snow doesn’t even earn you an honorable mention.

10. What was the hardest pose for you to learn?
Toe stand:

Quick story about the photo above, which was taken on the boardwalk in Hollywood Beach, Florida, where Scott and I vacationed about six months before becoming pregnant with Scotty. I woke up at 7 a.m. every morning to do yoga alone on the beach, and this older gentleman would always be watching from a nearby bench, and, understandably, he totally creeped me out. On the second to the last morning of our trip, he approached me, told me that he was a photographer, and asked if he could take photos of me doing yoga. “Yeah, okay. That’s what they all say,” I replied. But, seriously, he really was a photographer – and quite well-known in the area, I would come to find out. The next day, he showed up again on the beach and gave me a CD with every photo he had taken. I ended up returning to Hollywood a month later, this time with my mom, and, again, he took more photos of my yoga sessions as well as some beautiful photos of my mom and me on the beach, which he later e-mailed me…but back to toe stand. It’s hard to learn, I think, because it requires surrender. If you are too stressed to concentrate, worried about this or that, you’ll fall over just trying to get into the pose. I was actually physically capable of doing this pose for months before I was prepared mentally. It was hard for me to just let go. But it’s the sweetest lesson to learn…in yoga, in motherhood, and in life.


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34 comments:

  1. Both of these yoga poses are impressive, Courtney! I lift weights all the time which I looooove, but I always say I'm going to take a yoga class to get intouch with my inner zen! I am so very relieved to read you wouldn't save the holey uggs if there was a fire! One of these days they may just spontaneously combust on their own!!

    xxo

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    1. Hi, Susie! Oh, how I love you, but you DO know that them's fightin' words about my beloved Uggs, right? lol

      Two more words for you: Take Yoga. Okay, one more word: NOW. What with the strength you already have acquired from weight training, I think you will see -- and feel -- benefit instantly...

      Have a great weekend, my sista.

      xo

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  2. Courtney, thanks for partnering with me this week for AAF. Well, you gave curly hair a try...lol. I think you look great with both, but it is hard to make the switch after being use to wearing your hair one way for a long time. I actually just cut my hair and I'm loving it.
    You are a lucky woman you have a husband that can cook and he cleans. The food above looks amazing.
    Your yoga pictures also look amazing. I have two yoga DVDs that I like to use at home, but I've never actually taken a class. I would love to take a class one day. I always feel good when I do my yoga DVDS on a consistent basis.
    I prefer online shopping too! Especially since I've had kids, it's just so much easier to shop online vs. taking the little people out and trying to look with them. Once again thanks for partnering with me I had fun.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Why, thank YOU for the invitation, Sonya! You are the reason our collaboration happened...

      I've got a few things to take care of around the house after I put the kids down for a nap, but the first chance I get, I'm putting a pot of Joe on and will settle in to read your answers...

      It has been a pleasure, my friend. Enjoy your weekend!

      xo

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  3. I'm so glad you played along this week! I usually do AAF a few times a month. It is really fun!

    I'd save my Minnetonka Mocs in a heart beat too. They are so comfy!

    Your husband's food looks amazing. Does he do most of the cooking in your house?

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    1. Hi, NJ! Nice to meet you! (And thank you for the Twitter love...)

      Don't you just {heart} Minnetonka's??

      Thanks for the kind words about Scot's cooking. He can throw down in the kitchen far better than I EVER could. Thanks GOD one of us can put a decent meal on the table...

      After Scott graduated from the Art Institute in New York City and volunteered at the James Beard House, he became a head chef at two establishments here in Michigan...all the while still making magic in the kitchen here in our home...

      Thank you so much for visiting -- and commenting!

      xo

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  4. Hot Dang girl! You look gorgeous doing your yoga. I wish I was that strong/flexible. Recently Downward Dog screwed up my wrist for days...so I've got to find some different support options.

    This was really fun to read... and I envy your shoe sense! :)

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    1. Oh, Dakota, you are too kind. But, actually, if you'll look closer, you'll see that I look like a hot mess in both yoga pics: I had no make-up on in the headstand one -- and what little make-up I had on in the toe stand one had been sweated off due to the hot Florida sun...

      Hey, I've got something I want you to try for your wrists...I offer this as a modification to any of my students experiencing wrist pain, and it often provides some relief: roll a nice-sized, soft bath towel into a log and lay it across the top of your mat. When you position yourself to do downdog, place the heels of your palms (where your palm meets your wrist) on the edge of the towel. You might have to figure out exactly where to position your palms to make it most comfortable, but let me know how that works...

      Namaste. And thank you for commenting. :-)

      xo

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    2. Ooh, thank you, I will try that tip!

      And you do yourself an injustice by claiming you're a hot mess. :)

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    3. LOL. Thank you. ;-)

      Let me know how the towel works. I neglected to add that rolling up a yoga mat works just as well, if not better, in some cases, if you have a second one lying around...

      Delete
  5. I'm a new reader, hopped over from the AAF page :) Loved Sonya's questions (she makes ya THINK, doesn't she?) and loved your answers. As for me? While I'm craving your Minnetonka moccasins (they're the BEST), I'd probably save my slippers, if only because they'd be the first things I'd slip on in my hurry to GET OUT lol. Loved getting to know you! Have a great weekend :)

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    1. Hi! And nice to meet you! Thank you so, so much for taking the time to visit. And I feel ya 100% on the slippers. (smh) I just have way too many shoes to save -- they're like Lays: I can't pick just one.

      I'm looking forward to getting to know you as well.

      Have a terrific weekend! :-)

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  6. It's my first AAF too! I'm so glad I read your blog - what fantastic questions and answers. I'm in awe of your yoga prowess. I haven't done it for over a year now and totally miss it.

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    1. Hi, Liv! Whew! I thought I was the only newbie on the AAF block this week! Having done yoga yourself, I know you already know about all that yoga has to offer. But here's the best part: It's always there waiting for you. Just return to your mat when you can -- even if only for 5 minutes here or there...I took a looooooong hiatus after having Kennedy -- heck, I'm still on my maternity leave from teaching.

      Let me tell you, my body did NOT snap back with this second pregnancy like it did with my first, and it was like pulling teeth to get me back on my mat...I'm rambling, so I'll just stop now. lol

      Nice to meet you; and have a nice weekend!

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    2. Nope! I'm on number three and each of my babes has left their own special mark. But I yearn to have the time and the peace to get back to it. Soon.

      You have a great weekend too!

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    3. I know, I know. Gone are the days when I could do an hour practice. I haven't in way too long. What little time I do have to myself is spent blogging -- and event hen, I need to take my butt to bed to catch up on some sleep!

      Delete
  7. Hi Courtney! I enjoyed this exchange so much! We must swap sometime :) I have wanted to learn Yoga for so long now, we used to have it as an option for PE in High School (I'm a Catholic School girl and went to an all girl high school) and I loved it. Yet now I am so intimidated by it. Plus I have no idea where to begin: classes, dads, youtube? No clue. Maybe it is worth a bit more research. I don't like the pain associated with exercise but I do want to be strengthened and I definitely need to experience a 'blissed out' moment :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Hi, Tiffany!!! How are you? THANK YOU so much for stopping in! <3

      Okay, if I may, I'd like to offer my 1 1/2 cents on yoga -- not because I am an expert, of course, but because I feel fortunate in that the route I took ultimately enabled me to learn yoga in a comfortable, stress-free way, and I'd recommend it to anyone...

      First, don't be intimidated. At. All. Nowadays, yoga has become some sort of a competitive "exercise" thing, when the real true essence of yoga couldn't be farther from that!!! Yoga is not about being flexible and doing cool poses -- I mean yeah, those poses are fun, but you'll get there in due time with regular practice. Yoga is about acceptance and surrender, that whatever your body allows you to do today, is fine, fine, fine! Some days I can't stay up in headstand long. Oh well. That's just how it is...And another thing: People tell me all the time, "I can't do yoga because I'm not flexible!" My reply? "Then YOU are the person who needs yoga the most!" lol

      Second, go to Amazon. com and order "Yoga for beginners" by Rodney Yee. Or any beginning DVD by Baron Baptiste. Trust me on this one. Either one of these DVDs will give you good, quality instruction that will enable you to learn solid fundamentals at your own pace...and then you can begin to incorporate classes at a local studio you'd like to try, and then go from there...Let me know how it goes!

      Oh! And while I went to public school my entire life, my mom is indeed a Catholic school girl, having gone from K-12...

      Yes, let's swap sometime. SO glad for your visit and have a nice weekend...thank you, again for your kind words!

      xo

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  8. The yoga story is too much! And the photo is incredible. You certainly have some stories. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Susan, really. It's funny, I do something as simple as plain 'ol yoga on the beach when I *think* nobody is around...and THIS is what comes of it. I'll have proof to share with Scotty and Kennedy one day -- when I'm old and crotchety -- that Mama really could do a thing or two on her mat...

      Have a fantastic weekend, and thank you for commenting. :-)

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  9. I think I have the same hair categories! Long, longer and longest. The shortest my hair ever was, was when I was born! And that was still some hair! And then I had a little bob when I was four and got it cut to my shoulders when I was 24. Never again!
    My husband is not a chef but he is a fantastic cook. Just fantastic. I get very lucky. And the desserts!!

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    1. Hi, Tamara! Oooooh...a bob? Man, are you brave! I've never done The Big Chop, and God-willing,won't ever have to...

      And don't you just love a baby with a head full of hair? I was born with a lot, too -- and so were both of my children. My daughter's actually had to be cut around her face before her first photos were taken because she looked like Cousin It. lol

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your Saturday! :-)

      Delete
  10. Hold the phone! The ex NFL player is a chef? Ya'll need to get your butts back down to the Hollywood Broadwalk and visit us, and let me shoot a segment with you. I need yoga lessons and cooking lessons....stat. My mind doesn't work, I'm lucky to do downward dog.

    Loved learning more about you. And EAT some of your hubby's food...there is no cellulite on that body of yours that needs cream!

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    1. LOL! You are a trip, Kristen! LOL I cannot stop laughing at your comment...

      I don't know when we're set to get back down to MIA, but when we do, I'll let you know!

      THANK YOU for commenting, and I hope you're enjoying your weekend.

      xo

      p.s. You can't see the cellulite on the back of my thighs in toe stand. ;-)

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  11. This AskAwayFriday feature is great!

    Your husband is such a great chef! You're so blessed Courtney!

    OMG look at that yoga pose! If I have tried that I would be in a hospital bed...LOL!

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    1. Hi, Louida! Yes, I'm very blessed. :-)

      LOL about the yoga. You, too, can do this, Louida! It only takes a little practice...

      Have a groovy day. :-)

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  12. Hi Courtney - I'm loving all of your behind the scenes. As a curly girl, I've learned over the years that curly girls want to be straight girls and straight girls want to be curly girls. It's always about wanting what we can't have, isn't it? I surrender in the humid summer - top knot with random frizz sticking out. Every day. But my (cough cough hack hack) ### high school reunion is this weekend and I'll be straightening it. Much to Hubby's delight LOL!. Oh and PS - a chef? For real? L.U.C.K.Y!!!!!

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    1. Holly, you are TOO kind. And yes, I want what I don't have. I want hair so straight that my flat iron would say to it, "Sorry, Ma'am, there's nothing more for me to add here." lol

      Have a fun time at your reunion. Will you be posting about it? You had better! I'd like to hear all about it...

      Hugs to you. xo

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  13. I about shat myself when I saw that picture of you doing yoga on Facebook. What an awesome photo and your strength!!!

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    1. Oh, it's deceiving, Dina. My core strength is actually quite inept. (And what little I did have took a severe nose dive after my abdominal muscles had been stretched from here to Timbuktu after two back-to-back pregnancies. Both of those poses require more agility than actual strength.

      But I'll gladly accept your compliments, as they have made my day. :-)

      Thank you for commenting!

      Delete
  14. I have a couple of yoga videos that I want to get started on, but I just have not had the time yet. I am hoping that once I get done focusing on my garden and taking care of our yard, that I will be able to get to it! I love your hair! How do you get to the back? My hair is a smidge longer than yours and I have trouble getting that back to straighten. I actually have naturally curly hair, though it is more wavy now due to the length. I am a major hermit, myself, and would do all of my shopping online if I could get away with it! LOL! Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Hi, Stacey! Yes, just dive in, pop the video in, and steal fifteen minutes of your own time to make yourself feel good! It's hard, I know. I'll be the first to admit it. But you won't regret it...

      As for getting the back of my hair straight, Stacey, let me tell you, my friend, I can get that hair as straight -- if not straighter -- than the hair that frames my face! It's practice, honey. Good 'ol fashioned elbow grease. lol I've been at this straightening thing for a very long time...

      (Plus, I have decent arm strength,so my arms rarely get tired from the time it takes to hold my dryer and flat iron up -- another benefit of yoga! ;-)

      Thank you so much for visiting, and you have an excellent week as well.

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  15. I have heard great things about Yoga but I haven't tried it. I heard its great for chronic pain too.

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    1. Yoga is excellent for chronic pain! I have to tell you...back in my "suit-n-heels" career days, my back killed from the draining hours I worked. Yoga ended up being the only reliable therapy -- way more effective than anything else I did.

      I encourage you: TRY IT!!

      Thank you for commenting, and enjoy your weekend.

      xo

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