#AskAwayFriday with Dana

Today I’m doing #AskAwayFriday with Dana from Kiss My List.

I’ve been following Dana’s blog for almost as long as I’ve been blogging. If you haven’t met her yet you are in for a treat – she has such an honest and funny way of writing I feel like I know her through her blog, even though we haven’t met yet. From DIY projects that go right (and terribly wrong) to letters to her children, Kiss My List is a must-stop for me and I hope you take the time to visit Dana – after you read the questions she asked me below.

#AskAwayFriday Dana


If you aren’t familiar, #AskAwayFriday is an exchange between two bloggers where they ask each other 10 questions. Good, bad or ugly – it’s a fun way to find out more about other bloggers and you can check out the hosts (listed below) for more #AskAwayFriday interviews.

Here are the questions Dana asked me:

You have kids who are active in sports. Were you into sports as a kid? What is your favorite sport to watch your kids play in? (Note I said favorite sport, not favorite kid!)

I was not into sports as a kid. I started dancing when I was three and stayed with that for about 10 years. Jr/Sr high were a mix of cheer, track and then a job. I’m probably more athletic as an adult than I was as a kid.

As for my kids…it’s hard to choose a favorite (sport I mean.) It’s fair to say whichever sport they are currently playing is probably my favorite. Each one – soccer, football, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, dance and gymnastics, even flag football – has something very exciting and fun about it. With the exception of hockey (which has a long season) everything else seems to go by so quickly, I wish the seasons could last a couple extra weeks.

jan 26 project 263 soivebeenthinking.com

Teronis “fist-bumping” Mark Messier – a highlight in a long season


You’ve talked about being a thinker, dwelling on things and figuring out what to do. Can you think of a time when you just acted instead of thinking things through first? How did it turn out?

Honestly, one of the biggest, yet least thought out decisions I’ve ever made was to move to Raleigh from NY with my (now) husband. He was moving back home (from Buffalo and a job he wasn’t crazy about) and I said, “If you come back we cannot stay here.”

I don’t even know why I said it.

I suggested we go to Raleigh because it was on the cover of Money Magazine as the best place in the country to live.

I didn’t actually buy the magazine or read the article; I just saw the headline. Neither of us had ever been to Raleigh.

So you can see I did my due diligence.

For the next month we saved some money waiting tables, drove to Raleigh for a weekend, got an apartment and moved in two weeks later.

It turned out amazingly well. We lived there for 14 months. Greg’s brother and his (now) wife moved in with us for a couple of weeks, got their own apartment and are still there almost 20 years later.

Greg had a former colleague from Buffalo look him up, urged him to come to Charlotte to work at First Union and the rest is really, history. He has had a great career and we’ve had a great life. We’ve made lifelong friends and experienced things we never would have otherwise.

So from a random statement and the odd glance at a magazine came one of the best decisions I could have ever made.


Your obsession  admiration of George Clooney is well known. He’s now off the table though, so who is your runner up? 

Ahh, don’t believe it ‘til you see it.


I think the whole “crush on George Clooney” thing is hilarious. I know I started it and perpetuated it with those funny photos but…it started out really innocently.

May I tell you how? I put up a profile picture, I think for Halloween, of George and Julianna Marguiles circa their ER days. It was small, some people thought it was me. I thought it would be hilarious if it was me.

So I picked out a glamorous red-carpet photo and photo-shopped my head onto it. I’ve since improved it and made more photos but it’s more for the humor than an actual crush.

Exposed, Ultimate Steph & George

Do I think he’s great looking? Absolutely.

Is it the kind of crush I had on Shaun Cassidy as a 3rd grader? Fortunately, no. At least I’ve grown up a little.

To answer your question though, who is my runner up? Deacon Clayborne from Nashville. He’s totally #2. (please know that I am totally laughing out loud writing that!! I don’t have a real crush on him either.)


You are a great amateur photographer. What kind of camera do you have? I am still trying to learn to shoot in manual mode; do you have any tips for me?

Thank you. I love taking pictures. I am a little bit obsessed with it.

jan 15, 2014

My camera is a Canon 7D and I have three lenses I go between: a 50mm, an 18-200mm and a 70-300mm. I use all Canon lenses.

action shot - jumping off the dock


It’s hard to explain manual because there are so many variables. To figure it out myself I focused on shutter speed and understanding that particular function first (because I wanted good sports pictures). I would shoot at my kid’s games and play around with different speeds, then started reading about aperture and what I could get from the different settings. So my suggestion would be to start with shutter speed – you will see different results immediately and as you get familiar there you can switch into manual, set the shutter speeds where you want them and then play around with aperture.

Dream, soivebeenthinking.com


When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher, a Broadway star, and a mom. What were your dreams as a kid, and have you fulfilled any of them?

I wanted to own a clothing store or be a teacher. I definitely did not want to have kids.

I work in marketing and have three kids so clearly something changed along the way.


Tell me something quirky about you.

Sound freaks me out. I should say too much sound. We went to Six Flags with the kids and it’s loud without you realizing it’s loud. When I went to bed that night I just kept hearing the noises of the park as if I were still there, it was so loud (in my head) that I couldn’t sleep. It happens if I’m at a loud party, too. Too much sound is a stressor, it’s like being in a small room with a roaring engine that you can’t shut off.


I’m a fellow curly girl, so this question is completely self-serving. What hair products do you use? And do you embrace your curls, or do you fight them?

I definitely embrace the curls, I’m too lazy to fight them. It would take me forever to blow dry my hair straight and it always looks “rough” so it’s just not worth the effort.

The products I use and love for styling are Ouidad. I use their leave in conditioner and Tress Effects gel, rake & shake application method (you can see videos on their website) and that’s pretty much it. Very simple.


What is your favorite post ever? 

That I wrote? I guess I would say (so far) it’s my guest post for Eli at Coach Daddy. We were coming off a frustrating hockey season and I was kind of rant-y but I meant every word.

are we having fun yet?

Click this “to go to there” once you’ve finished reading here, of course

I also love my meltdown story, I think it’s hilarious and sadly, it’s true and speaks volumes about me.

My Meltdown, The Blue Leg


Tell me your favorite: scent, sound, touch, and taste.

Scent: lemon

Sound: my kids laughing

Touch: a soft, fluffy blanket

Taste: lemon, garlic, butter and salt when it’s cooking


I always end with a “Would You Rather?” Would you rather eat only one food (of your choice) for an entire year, or never be able to eat your favorite food again?

I would want to eat only one food for a year but I can’t even imagine what it would be, maybe popcorn? I could make that salty or sweet at least. I realize it has no nutritional value but could you imagine eating only carrots for a year? You’d have an orange tint to your skin!

If I can’t have something I obsess about it and want it even more so, I wouldn’t want to give up my favorite food.


That’s it for today. Thank you so much for stopping by and please go visit Dana to find out her answers to my #AskAwayFriday questions and visit the hosts of #AskAwayFriday on their sites, below:
#AskAwayFriday Hosts

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Amber from Bold Fit Mom



  1. I loved reading your answers, Stephanie! I learned a lot about you, including the Clooney backstory. Thanks for swapping with me this week. I can’t wait to chat in person in a few weeks!

  2. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons

    Great questions and answers! I had no idea you were a fellow North Carolinian!! I’m in Greensboro, so, of course, I loved your spontaneous move to Raleigh story. 🙂 Looking forward to meting you at BlogU~

    • Lisa @ The Golden Spoons

      So, I just read your “About Me” and realized that you aren’t in NC anymore, but I’ll forgive you and we can still be friends! 🙂

  3. Great questions!! I had no idea you were sound sensitive, sometimes that happens to me too especially in carnivals and fair etc. I LOVE the photoshopped photo of you and George!! 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

  4. I love how the George Clooney crush started and you do kind of remind me of Juliana Marguiles now that you mention it here. Definitely made me smile reading more about this and want to wish you a wonderful long weekend ahead now 🙂

    • She’s way more put together than I am – for sure! I primarily want to clear the air that I am not an actual crazy 40-something crushing on a celebrity! I laugh every time I write about it or think about it – it’s so silly.

  5. I feel the same way about sound. I pretty much want a quiet and peaceful environment. I love your Raleigh story! As much as I obsess about planning, I think it would also be interesting to just let go and see where life takes you.

    • I’ll bet if you sit and think you’d surprise yourself with moments you’ve let go and not realized it. I think I’m a control freak but I was surprised when I started thinking of the times I had let go (by force or by choice!)

  6. Wow! You were so brave to do a major move like that. Raleigh is a great place and so is Charlotte of course I may be a bit biased to anywhere in NC 😀

    Your photos are amazing. I’m still wring with the lens my camera came with but I am definitely on the search for other to help me improve.

    • Thank you! Looking back – it was brave. At the time – it was the right thing to do.

      I’m gonna suggest you get a good mid-range 18-200mm lens and start shooting, you’ll get quality results, enough to encourage you to get better. And as you get better you’ll get even better results which will encourage you to get even better…you see what I’m doing? And how I became obsessed?

  7. I did not know that about Raleigh! That is amazing. And that old photo of the kids…so cute…it made me realize how long I’ve known you. And I LOVE lemon and garlic too. My whole family does. The kids even know when we’re out of it, we eat so much of it. It’s kind of funny to be in the grocery store and have your kid ask for garlic. LOL

    • That is funny – mine love it too. If Tris walks in the house when it’s cooking she always says “what smells so good?” And we have known each other for a very long time – in dog years, we’re in our 70’s.

  8. Wow your kids play some rough sports. My oldest son wants to do athletics next year and we don’t have him playing football because of the high risk of a concussion. Guess Im kinda paraniod plus I grew up around soccer, so I would rather my kids play it.

    • They do. Not by my choice for sure, but they LOVE sports. Our tv is on ESPN or a game more often than anything else.

      I have to mention…because my daughter plays soccer…a friend of mine, a pediatrician, said he sees more injuries from soccer than any other sport. There’s no protection at all outside of shin guards.

      I am starting to see a little more headgear over the past year than I have before. I think because the injuries, when they happen, can be more devastating from certain sports many of us, me included, tend to think some are safer than they are.

      It’s hard letting them do any knowing the risks involved. They do love playing though and it would be hard to take any away as well.

  9. Interesting questions and answers! Love the story of how you chose to go to NC.

  10. Deacon Clayborne! I haven’t seen the finale yet so I don’t know what will happen there.. I just love him. I want Rayna with him but I’m saying this as someone who had never seen the show until recently. When I was doing data entry I watched about five current episodes just to help me through the work. So. I know nothing but I know I love him!
    A lot of people say to choose aperture first but a lot of times I choose shutter speed first. I think it’s important for sports and toddlers.
    Popcorn is my favorite food, actually. And mashed potatoes and ice cream and cookies. Oh yeah. And kale. (just kidding)
    I’m going to Six Flags soon (season passes here) and I hate loud noises. Uh oh!

    • I want them together, too. I want to know what you think of the finale.

      Your answer makes me laugh, and understand why I like you so much…we are a lot alike.

      I tried with aperture first…like you said, most people and books recommend it…but I could not, for anything, get my sports pictures to come out. Since that was my main focus I decided I’d work on what I knew would get me results. It did and I learn something new all the time – it’s like a puzzle I’m constantly working on.

  11. What a fun story about moving! I love it!
    I have issues with sound, as well. I thought maybe it went along with being an introvert, but maybe it’s just some people are more sensitive to it than others. I can’t handle too many sounds. I’ve figured out I can handle two – like the TV and a kids video game – with a little irritation. But if it hits three, that’s when something has to stop.
    Have a great long weekend!!

    • Funny you’d mention the tv – it is one of my peeves. Especially if it’s one of those teen/tween shows. Nails on a chalkboard. Hope you had a good weekend. I’ll catch up with you soon!

  12. anotherjennifer

    The story behind moving to Raleigh is great! Every now and then I think about just moving across the country like I did when I was young and without kids. And then I remember I’m not that young anymore and I have kids! Plus I like where I live. The whole manual camera thing just confuses me. I never remember what aperture is or what shutter speed I should use.

    • Those kids will keep you back every time!! lol Manual is confusing, try starting with everything (ISO and white balance) auto and switch between shutter priority (kids, playing, sports) and aperture priority (flowers, a park, pictures in the house) and go all up and down the settings. You’ll get the hang of it. You’ll love some photos, check what the settings were and go from there. I refuse to believe there is only one way to get the best shot…I play around a lot.

  13. I really enjoyed reading this post. I feel like you’re my sister from another mister at this point! Your kids are gorgeous, you are gorgeous and if you really wanted George Clooney you could totally steal him away from Hollywood. Oh, and while you’re there but before you take Goerge? Would you please convince Natalie Portman that you know a nice man….

  14. Awesome answers, Stephanie! I think that we all need a little bit of impulsiveness in our lives! I am so glad that it worked out, too! The meltdown story is amazing! You are so right about the sound of the kids laughing. Lemon scents and tastes are amazing! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  15. That’s awesome that your random thought on where to live turned out so well. I’m pretty random on the small decisions, but I take forever making the big ones. I’m not a big fan of change!

  16. 1. Dana – that was a stellar post and it was an honor to have it on the CD.

    2. I won’t get all girl-like giddy and say, “OMG, two of my faves in one place!” I just won’t. (But you know I have a parallel sentiment that will fly if the fellas ever heard it).

    3. At first, I thought Mark Messier had Teronis by the collar. “Go for the knees, Teronis! The knees!”

    • 1. Thank you!
      2. Think of something, I really want to hear it!
      3. Oh don’t think for a minute he wouldn’t, (or that Messier wouldn’t expect it). Have to say…that guy is pretty cool. Each season Teronis’ team has played his sons he goes into the locker room to sign autographs and take photos. On the bench he is quiet, never yells at the kids, class act.

      • “Seeing Dana and Stephanie in the same blog space is like getting a double-bacon cheeseburger and a cute waitress who doesn’t even charge you for your Coke Zero and calls you ‘hon’ the whole time you’re there, but not the other guys.” (Not that I’d know.) So there’s your dude equivalent!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.