I’m very excited about this week’s #AskAwayFriday. Each week I sign up I get a little more comfortable but it’s still hard to shake the feeling of being a little more exposed. It’s a good thing, but it’s not easy.

Exposed #AskAwayFriday

 

This week I’m partnering with April from 100lb Countdown.

Exposed 100lb Countdown #AskAwayFriday

April and I have just met through Facebook although I have visited her blog a few times before now. If you want to be inspired, not just to get active and take control of your weight, but about your kids, your family, your LIFE – you need to check out April’s blog. All I ask is that you read my answers first and then go see what questions I asked her.

The ladies who host the new #AskAwayFriday…you should check them out too! There’s a lot of good stuff out there and everyone is spilling it on #AskAwayFriday. (It’s not just me, I’m not the only masochist.)

TamaraLikeCamera

Let the exposition begin:

I’m not much of a music enthusiast like I was as a teenager. Radio stations seem to play the same stuff, and I’m too lazy to look for new music. Although I like all types of music, I tend to lean towards R&B. Which of your playlists do you think would be great for me?

I can honestly say, at this time, you won’t find one. That is probably one genre I just don’t know a lot about. If I were to create one it would have to be “old school,” I’m thinking of the following off the top of my head:

Let’s Stay Together, Al Green

 

Living For The City, Stevie Wonder

 

Me & Mrs. Jones, Billie Paul

(I didn’t have the right type of file to upload this song, but I’ll bet you’ve heard it!)

 

I’d Rather Go Blind, Etta James

 

Fire, Ohio Players

 

I Wish, Stevie Wonder

 

Give Up The Funk, Parliament

 

 

I’ve gotten a lot into spiced rum. What cocktail recipe do you recommend?

My simplest answer: Captain Morgans & Lemonade. Try it, it’s fabulous. It’s also good with ginger ale, lemon and lime.

Exposed sweet + tart

 

You mentioned that you don’t say everything on your mind for fear of hurting someone (or ones) in particular. I’m the same way. Where are you in the process of opening up? Will you open up?

You know, I’ve been thinking about that answer since I gave it.

It’s true, I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone but also, putting yourself out there for other people to judge is difficult. There is a meanness and rudeness on social media that you don’t generally see in real life. I’m probably the opposite – if I’m angry or upset I will want to hunt you down and hash it out verbally (not physically) but I would never call someone out publicly from behind the computer screen.

I honestly don’t even like to do it by text because you can’t read “tone.” So it’s probably a combination of the two things that keep me a little “closed.” Let’s face it, I could offend someone simply by writing this answer, I will never please everyone. My hope is that if I’m respectful of your need to express yourself, I hope you will be respectful of mine.

Exposed Respect

 

 

I noticed a recent guest post of Raising Competitive Girls. Are you competitive? What sport are you willing to go all out while playing?

Ha! This is a funny question. I am competitive but not sports-wise. Even watching my kids play sports – I want them to do well and it’s great if they win but I just don’t care about wins and losses long term. And by long term I mean unless they need to talk in the car afterwards, it’s over. I really just want them to be healthy and to have fun.

 Exposed jan 30 project 365 soivebeenthinking.com

I’m competitive with the things I love to do: if I try a great drink I know I can make it better; if I have dinner in a restaurant I figure out the ingredients and we make it at home (and of course, it’s usually better!); if I see a cool, funky piece of leather jewelry my mind starts working out how I can make it and make it better; I do it with certain pictures and even graphics. It’s not an “I’m better than you” thing its because I love figuring stuff out and I can’t help myself.

 

What character traits do your children possess of yours that you like and don’t like?

UGH! Do I really have to answer this one?

Tris

Dislike: Well my daughter needs to tell you every detail of her day down to the color hair-tie a girl I don’t even know or care about wore. I used to do that to my husband after work. He and I would share a bottle glass of wine at least and laugh about all the stuff I was telling him. I know he enjoyed it (haha), I have a hard time paying attention to all of that detail, especially when it is irrelevant to anything that will ever affect us.

Brown Eyed Girl pulling off a hockey helmet smiling at the camera

Tris

Like: She’s supersmart. She figures things out fast. If you explain something technical or complicated to her she get’s it and doesn’t forget it. Just. Like. Me.

Exposed Just Like Me

 

 

Teronis

Dislike: Teronis is impossible to get out the door. He is so slow. He is constantly looking for shoes, pencils, backpacks. If I’m standing at the door saying, (use your whiney voice) “Come on!” then you are struggling in the speed department. If I’m ahead of you, you are slow. Unless I’m driving, then all bets are off.

blue eyed boy in Bauer hockey helmet with pink mouthguard

Teronis

Like: This kid is a math whiz. Just. Like. Me.

Exposed Just Like Me

 

 

Scar (btw, I didn’t choose their blog names, they did!)

Dislike: Scar can be cold. That doesn’t mean his feelings don’t get hurt but he has a side that can be unemotional, distant and uncaring. It’s not often and it’s not usually for no reason but if he gets to that dismissive state – well, I just hate seeing it because I know what it feels like.

Hazel eyed boy staring at camera, not smiling

Scar

Like: His love of music. He likes almost everything and will listen to whatever I play but has definitely developed his own preferences. He will even (try) to introduce me to new music (and that is adorable.) He thinks he’s a music guru. Just. Like. Me.

Exposed Just Like Me

 

 

I’m in the process of looking for new recipes. I’m leaning towards the Paleo diet. What’s your favorite recipe that would go along with a meat and vegetable eating plan?

I know absolutely nothing about the Paleo diet.

My husband and I do have two seafood and vegetable dishes that you don’t need a starch for that we love.

One is pan seared sea bass with a puttanesca sauce (that we developed from an amazing dinner out – which means we call it puttanesca but I’m not sure if it is exactly that).

The sauce is tomato based with capers, kalamata olives, garlic, cherry peppers, balsamic vinegar.

My mouth is watering just writing that.

I would write an actual recipe for it, but it is so “spoonful of garlic, handful of pitted olives, 4 shakes of balsamic” that it may as well have been written by Greg’s grandmother (she’s from Italy and we’ve seen her crazy recipes.)

So until I make it again, I mean until Greg makes it again and I write it down properly, it’s not very shareable! This recipe is very close – we use anchovy paste instead of anchovies and add sliced cherry peppers and crushed red pepper – this fish can handle spicy. Also, drizzle some balsamic vinegar and olive oil to finish.

 

I haven’t read a book in a LONG time, except in January, I read “The Mother of All Meltdowns”. How do you find the time to sit and enjoy a book?

I don’t sit and enjoy a book.

I lay down in bed and read until I fall asleep.

exposed sleep

I read every night and heaven help you if you have taken my iPad from my nightstand or left it with a dead battery.

Generally I’ll fall asleep after 2-10 pages, depending on how interesting the book is.

This past week I’ve been up until 2 or 3AM every night reading the book I just finished. I could not put it down, it was breaking my heart.

Another blogger, Tamara, (Tamara (Like) Camera) had mentioned Me Before You, I wouldn’t read her descriptions of it (I don’t like to know anything ahead of time) but since she had written about it twice I figured I would check it out. I am so glad I did. Although I’m so tired right now from staying up late, I’m not sure it was a good thing!

 

I want to do more reviews. What do you recommend to putting myself in the right position to do more?

Oh I am so not the person to ask about that. I have just started with a couple of reviews outside of the Mother of All Meltdowns book review I did. I got that review because I had linked up to a party that several of the authors (unbeknownst to me) were a part of.

That association has led directly to any other review I’ve done. From what I understand – social media and “analytics” numbers are very important.

Building those numbers and delivering quality posts for everything you do are what I’m personally focusing on.

I also don’t think it can hurt to write about the products you love – if it’s genuine and fits your genre and is a value to your readers.

Like the Anew Riesling post for me…it fits, I like wine, I write about cocktails and everyone can use a party recipe.

Everyone wins and I’m not “selling” or taking advantage of the people reading my blog.

**These are just my opinions though, other people may not agree. If those people make a lot of money – you should definitely listen to them.

Are You Feeling It Simple Summer Sangria

 

You mentioned that you did Project 365 for years and you are still committed to it. Being a Stay at Home Mom, I struggle to find inspiration in my daily life to take a picture everyday. If you check out my instagram, they are often of my children. What advice can you give me to take great pictures every day… or just regularly?

You found that post?!?

I actually just signed up to do my first Project 365 this year. I’m going to have to go check what’s still up because I took pictures for January, February and a little over half of March.

project 365, feb 15

 

I posted pictures for January and most of February, maybe even up to March 4.

Exposed Project 365

Then I lost it and hid the post (or at least I thought I did) so I could update it and catch up. That was about 2 weeks ago.

project 365, feb 10

I’m not sure it will be back. I found it way harder than I anticipated to find something I felt was worth sharing every day.

I take lots of pictures one day of the kids playing in the backyard and then go 4 or 5 days and don’t take anything.

project 365, feb 9

My advice would be to be content with what you enjoy taking pictures of. If it’s all pics of your children, thats perfect, enjoy that.

Instagram is a great place for a Project 365 because you don’t have to upload from your camera to a computer, yadda yadda.

If you want to improve your photography and keep your kids as the focus I will recommend checking out Click It Up A Notch. I met Courtney in Dallas and I have downloaded her book Unexpected Everyday.  

jan 9, natural light

 

Her site has tutorials, contributors with different styles, tips and tricks and just holds a lot of information for anyone wanting to improve their photography.

action shot - jumping off the dock

If nothing else, change your point of view: get down on the ground, look up at your kids, take candids when they aren’t posing, these will all help give you great photos.

Update: I did go find that post, it is gone until I can do it justice

 

Describe your dream home if money was no object. Give me all the deets, including location.

Wherever George Clooney lives.

Exposed, Ultimate Steph & George

I’m not really kidding about that but here’s another more realistic answer:

I have such a hard time choosing a location because I immediately think of the friends and family I would not be able to visit (easily) if I chose, say, Hawaii.

So, my dream home is on a beach but whether it’s Hawaii, Cayman, Charleston, Laguna Beach or any other beautiful place I just haven’t decided. If I win the lottery though I will update this post with a forwarding address.

soivebeenthinking.com

Ocean Isle Beach, NC

What I do know: I will have an infinity salt water pool, hot tub and basically an outdoor living room with a fire pit. I will also have an outdoor stone grill/cooking area with a fridge so we can cook and entertain outside and not be running in and out and in and out of the house.

In my dream space there are no bugs though so…the running in and out would only be annoying because I wouldn’t be able to sit. By the pool. And eat and drink and get tan.

I will have a total chef’s kitchen in the house, sunken living room looking out onto the ocean.

Tons of windows.

And a big, oval new-to-me bathtub.

I don’t know if I want jets (in the tub, I’d certainly take an airplane) or not – I guess if it’s my dream home someone else can be in charge of cleaning/maintenance (and flying.)

But the tub must not ever have been used by anyone else. I’ve lived in my house for 13 years now and cannot take a bath because it grosses me out that other people bathed here before me. It’s weird, I can’t help it.

 

That’s it for today. Thank you April for swapping with me and asking great questions. Please take a moment to check out April’s answers at 100lb Countdown, you may just find your next favorite blogger – after me, of course.

Now it’s your turn – what would some of your answers be? Tell me something your kids do that you do that you wish they didn’t. Or let me know where your dream home would be…I’d love to hear all about it! Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great weekend!

36 Responses to Exposed for #AskAwayFriday

  1. If we ever swap, I will find a way to get that George Clooney photo in again!
    The photo of Scar is so beautiful. I feel like him a lot – like I have that side.
    The name Teronis still cracks me up.
    Tris is a beauty.
    I can’t help thinking about what you said about how you are competitive. I think my husband is like that and he’s often right about what he can do better. And all I could think was you thinking, “I can read ‘Me Before You’ better than Tamara!”
    Obviously you wouldn’t think that but if you did, it would be true! I still have nightmares..

    • Stephanie says:

      I updated that picture…fixed my neck angle, it’s way better now! I am not competitive about books, that made me laugh out loud! I didn’t expect the book to end as it did. Well, not completely. Thanks for the recommendation, based on the cover alone – I never would have picked it up. And that would have been my loss.

  2. Mikki says:

    Loved reading the bits about your kids- you are spot on with them!! and to all Stephs’ readers- Yes- she is QUITE competitive- but mostly in a great way! I think it is what keep her striving to be a better writer and friend and she is doing one heck of a job!

  3. I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii! It seems like a beautiful place. :-)

  4. I totally read Me Before You, too and I am so glad I did, but I to have been slacking on the reading the past two weeks with work and life in general getting in the way. Also, I did 1 Snap a Day photos last year an admit that about August, I too gave up posting daily and just couldn’t keep up. I do still take photos, but I post more on Instagram when I can and have time to share now :)

    • Stephanie says:

      At least you made it to August. I felt bad about not following through but it does take a lot of work. I think I would do it through instagram next time. If there is a next time.

  5. Caroline says:

    What a fun post! I love the info about your kids… they seem so sweet!

  6. MrsTee says:

    Happy Friday! I am the same way when it comes to trying to figure stuff out…I’m not trying to be better than you but more like better than myself. I always want to see how good I can make something. I admit sometimes I annoy myself…LOL

    I too read until I doze off…it’s so relaxing but you’re right when it’s a really good book it can lead to an all nighter. LOL

  7. I think these answers are brilliant and the photography is phenomenal. Your children are beautiful!

  8. Oh Stephanie, loved your answers! Love the descriptions of the kids! I trade music with my oldest quite often, and I love it…he has given me some great tunes over the years. I love your R & B selections, too…Give Up the Funk is awesome! Your dream house sounds amazing…I definitely dream of sandy beaches…I also love the no bugs in your dream…amen to that! LOL! It is sometimes difficult to put your heart out there, but I am finding that this amazing group of ladies that I have come across are nothing but supportive and full of love! Hope you have an amazing weekend!

  9. Rea says:

    My son can be stubborn and would always go for whatever he wants. I mean he’s just 3, it can change when he grows up anyway. I hope, LOL. And I’m exactly like that too, stubborn in so many ways. Hah! I love your Project 365 photos! And your dream home idea sounds really interesting too.

    • Stephanie says:

      Thank you Rea. The best part (and the hardest, too) about kids is that they are always changing. Sometimes the days feel so long and then before you know it six months have gone by and they are doing something completely different.

  10. Too funny. I read ‘Me Before You’ based on Tamara’s recommendation, along with a few other bloggers. Talk about a tearjerker!

    Loved learning more about you and your family!

  11. The Dose of Reality says:

    I love, love, LOVE your song choice! If that makes me old-school…SO BE IT!
    Your sea bass recipe made MY mouth water, too. Anything with capers is always good. It just always works that way! (and I ADORE the names your kids picked for the blog. They are awesome!) –Lisa Ps. Wherever George Clooney lives…BWAAHAHAHAHA

  12. Eli Pacheco says:

    My girls are like three college dudes when it comes to eating and general tidiness. I think they get that from me. A dream home would have been a small cabin in the mountains with a Diet Coke fountain and Ingrid Michaelson.

    • Stephanie says:

      That’s pretty funny. I didn’t even think to go the tidiness route but I could have had a field day. I also would have embarrassed all of us so I’m glad I didn’t.

  13. Yummy cocktail suggestions! I’m in a rut of almost always ordering a 7&7 if I’m out, but have been looking for a new idea. Something not too sweet and not with vodka. Might have to try this one!
    Loved your thoughtful answers about your kids!
    And I read the same way – sometimes get frustrated that it takes me so long to finish a book because I keep falling asleep a few pages in every night!!
    Have a great week!!

    • Stephanie says:

      I’m similar when I’m out – I have a tough time. I find Sapphire & Soda splash tonic, slices lemon and lime is good. Light and not sweet. Or Hendricks or Tanqueray with same mixers. Unlike most, gin makes me happy. No vodka, huh? Now I’m intrigued.

  14. I am just like you, I read right before bedtime. I started reading about a year ago because I needed a few more hobbies. I downloaded the Kindle and Nook app on my phone and downloaded a bunch of free books. I love being able to read in the dark.

    • Stephanie says:

      Me, too. I used to have to use a flashlight – this tablet thing has that WAY beat. Plus flashlights are kid magnets so I was constantly searching when I wanted to go to bed. Then I’d be angry and not exactly ready to relax anymore. You may know about it already but you might light BookBub – daily emails of free and really inexpensive books.

  15. This was awesome! I’m like you with recipes…I am always thinking how I can improve them and I get frustrated if I get something in a restaurant that I know I can make better. I will never be able to make a cocktail better though…I will just call you. I saw George Clooney got engaged and my first thought was, “does Steph know?” Hahaha

    • Stephanie says:

      Hahaha! I must have had a premonition – I haven’t used that pic in a while. I did update it though and it’s way better. As for recipes: I also won’t order something (generally chicken or a pasta) that we make or could make easily at home. That just seems like a waste of a good meal out.

  16. Dana says:

    You must have been crushed by the news of George’s engagement – hope you didn’t take it too hard! And making something better than a restaurant does it? That has never occurred to me. Ever. But I’ll use your recipes anytime!

    • Stephanie says:

      I guess I could have been crushed, you know, if I was really crazy about him. The whole thing – picture, etc, – just makes me laugh. I was learning a new editing program when I did that picture several years ago and you’d be amazed at how appropriate it can be. I will not take credit for the cooking portion of our meals (I can, I’m just messy about it) but Greg is amazing at pulling the ingredients together – I tell him what to do, he does it. Win-win.

  17. How fun was this to read! Your kids are so precious. I can totally see what you mean about finding things your kids do that are like you that you dislike or like. I’m still figuring it all out with our 2 year old. Respect is a very important thing. It’s to the point where people feel sometimes if you have strong beliefs that you will misjudge them or condemn them. I just do my best to conduct myself in the right way so people can see that I’m different regardless if someone is “deserving” of mistreatment or not :) Thanks so much for stopping by at my place to read about the Spring Feasts we celebrated! I hope you’re enjoying your week :)

  18. My daughter does that with the details thing. She’s 15 though, and really, really immature for her age. She still tells me she’s a cat at least 10 times a day. Not sure if I should start worrying but I guess it’s better to be sweet and naive at 15 than jaded and cynical.

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