I’m winding down my blogging before my Florida vacation next week, but I’m sure you’ll still hear from me here and there. And I’m not gone yet. In my “Go Ahead, Ask Me Anything” post last week, I unleashed you all to ask me anything in the comments, and you did it. You really did it! I was astounded at the variety and creativity of the questions. Ask Away Friday is usually only ten questions, but I’m just going to start, go in order, and see what happens. If I don’t finish them all, I’ll do so in another post in a few weeks. I’m a little nervous, to be honest. These questions were really good. I’m up for the challenge!
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber from Bold Fit Mom, as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers, between two bloggers! This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Ask me if you want to swap!
We are sad to be losing Amber as one of our amazing co-hosts, as she is working to pursue other business ventures and focusing her attentions on her fitness ventures. We wish her nothing but the best, and hope for her thriving success!
When one door closes, another one opens…and we would like to give a huge Ask Away Friday welcome to a brand new co-host…drum roll please…Welcome Echo from The Mad Mommy! She is both a friend and a fellow blogger. I dig her.
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Echo from The Mad Mommy
1. Here’s one, do you hate when us southerners complain about our lack of winter? Like do you stick your middle finger up if I post on FB that it was 73 degrees on Sunday? – This question is from Kenya G. Johnson!
This made me laugh! I do understand that we all live where we live for a variety of reasons. I think winter is a piece of crap, but it’s only three months (often more..) and we do love our town. I don’t hate that people complain about not having winter, but I do laugh a bit when people think 73 is cold! I guess we all do get acclimated to our places, though. To some, 73 is cold! I don’t like heat or humidity at all so I never feel jealous of people who live in Florida. I just come visit. What I’m truly jealous of is people who live in San Diego. It is perfect there year-round. No snow AND no terrible heat and humidity.
2. What if you had never met Cassidy? What do you think your life would look like today if somehow the universe hadn’t aligned the way it did and the two of you had never crossed paths? – this heavy hitter is from Lisa of The Golden Spoons.
Whaaa?? How did you get into my brain?? It’s impossible to know but possible to speculate. When Cassidy came back into my life, I was in a serious relationship. I had a steady paycheck that gave me well more than I needed. I had an incredible group of friends, close relatives and a nice home. Why would I leave all that??? Well, it was hard. I do think it had to happen. I can remember wanting to leave New Jersey when I was only seven. That’s powerful. I was built to answer the call somewhere. It may have taken a winding road to get here, and still twisting and turning, but I can’t help but hope that somehow I would be doing something like this – mothering, writing, photographing. As for the relationship I was in with someone else, I don’t know if it would have lasted either. I don’t know if I could have fallen in love with a third person, down the line. I think so.
3. What is one piece of advice you can offer novice photographers that will immediately alter the quality of their snapshots? – from Rudri of Being Rudri
Immediately? Do they have a DSLR? My biggest piece of advice is to learn to shoot manually (doesn’t have to mean manual focus). Once you get control of your exposure and focus, your images will change dramatically. It’s like night and day.
4. If I could ask you anything…what’s your favorite photography app to use when you’re taking photos with your phone? – from Jessica of Pig & Dac
I honestly just use Instagram! I know there are many fancy ones but I have to learn to master iPhoneography before I get too fancy, because I do believe you can get photos with good exposure and focus with your phone alone. I’m a work-in-progress!
5. I’ve read and heard many cool facts over the years about San Francisco, you know all the wonderful things Tony Bennett sings about. What were your favorite things about this uniquely charming city by the bay? – this question comes from dear friend, Eddie Staudt.
I suppose I have to answer about the city, huh? My favorite things about San Francisco were the amazing cliffs, beaches and warmth surrounding the city! So I’ll go into the city and explore a bit. It was about the fresh food, the exotic seascapes and hills, the fact that the city never really got below 50 or above 80, the many dreams and visions I had about the city, the rich history that is tied to classic rock, the rich history that is tied to my mom and grandmother’s love for California, and everything I’ll always hope and believe about finding my way back there, even if just for part of the year. I’ll always dream.
6. My question would be if you ever decided to cut your hair what celebrity would you most look like? I have a second question because you know, you are my photography idol. So which lens would you purchase after the standard 18/55?? – this two-parter is from Nellie at Brooklyn Active Mama
Well, Nellie, I’m answering both! You know I would never cut my hair! So I’m going to answer – Sofia Vergara! And I suppose in that case I’d have to grow my hair too, but I’m sure there would be a cut thrown in there for layering and body.
As for lens, I started with an 18-55 but it bummed me out. My first portrait lens was a 50mm 1.4. I really recommend it for portraits because it’s not too expensive and if you learn how to use it, it’s ridiculously creamy and dreamy.
7. How long does it take you to assemble a post, including loading the photos? – this one is from Seana of The Seana Method
I do love this question. It does vary, but each post takes a long time. My just-writing ones, which are rare, usually take five minutes to spit out and then maybe I’ll give it a full hour when you factor in editing and scheduling. My Ask Away Friday posts take about an hour or two, because I generally don’t edit new photos for them, but I do work with code and key words and co-hosts, and I do search for photos to use. My photo-essay posts take a long time because of the photo editing. I am a very quick writer. I once wrote a 12 page paper on Walt Disney the morning it was due and got an A+. In college. I’m not quick with editing photos. Sometimes I’ll batch-process but mostly I sort of daydream through them. So those long posts can take 3-4 hours, which seems obscene but you have to remember that I need to upload those photos anyway, because I took them.
8. What makes you the happiest? – This question comes from Live By Surprise
It’s the ability to get high on life, in that real and dizzying sense. It’s that inner drive that keeps me awake and alert and ambitious most of the days. It’s healthy kids and time with family and friends and love. It’s all of the earth gifts we get, like love and sex and chocolate mixed with peanut butter and farms and summer nights and spring breezes and beach sunsets.
9. So I will ask this, have you and your husband always had the geeky loves (ex. Dr. Who, Han Solo) or did one of you have it more and ‘influence’ the other? – from Angela of Working On/Working Mom
The Force is strong in both of us, Angela. I know we nerded out to many things throughout our childhoods – movies, music, TV shows. I have always loved Star Wars and X-Files and a gazillion other things. Cassidy grew up on “Doctor Who”, though. In that case, he influenced me, but hey – I didn’t have to love it. And I do! I’m all for toys and props in the house.
10. What is the proudest thing you’ve done the last 7 days of 2015? – this comes from Nina of Sleeping Should Be Easy (brilliant name, right?)
Well I submitted four writing type things into the world! One was published TODAY, one was accepted into a book, and two others are to be determined.
11. Now, for my question, which is really strange but something I’ve always wondered. In my head, I pronounce your name Tam-a-ra (because, you know, it sounds like camera). But I also know someone who pronounces the same name like Ta-mara. Which way do you pronounce your name? – this is from Kristen of 31 Million Seconds
Well, I’m glad you asked! You had it correctly – Tam-a-ra. It rhymes with camera, BUT, it’s not spelled that way. Three A’s. I get Tamera a lot and it turns my stomach even more than hearing my name as Ta-mara!
12. Here’s a question for you: what is one experience you are looking forward to in the next week? – from Kerri at Diagnosed and Still Okay, which used to be called Undiagnosed but Okay
Kerri, next week I am getting on a plane with my family, heading to a beach house in St. Augustine for a few days, and then heading to Orlando. There are one million things I’m excited about right now and all are in Florida!
13. If Vladimir Putin said you could only post photos but not write, or write but not post photos, for one year, which would you choose, and why? – from Eli at Coach Daddy
Vladimir Putin, eh? Are you certain I would follow what he says?? Do I really have to answer this? Crap. I’d have to say that I would write, but not post photos. Sob. Just for that, I’m going to post a photo right now, PUTIN. I mean. ELI!
14. Ok, if you won $100,000, what would you spend it on? – This is from Raquel of Organized Island
Well. Where on earth to begin? Kids’ college funds, house repairs, a new master bathroom, an updated basement, an outdoor hot tub, two new cars, a new camera body, two new lenses, and if I had anything left, I’d buy a trip to Alaska for my family.
15. What’s your favourite Jelly Bean flavour and I’m not talking sucky jelly beans…I’m talking Jelly Belly Jelly Beans…the gourmet beans. – this is from dear Kim of All Work And No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something
Well, Kim. It would have to be cherry or strawberry. Or as they call it, “the red flavor”, because red is a flavor in America.
16. Here goes! Right this minute, first answer that pops in your head (no cheating) where would you like to be and with whom? It can be a time, pretend or real, or an actual place. – this is from Jen at Jenerally Informed
Umm… the butler! In the ballroom with a revolver! Tim Curry? In actuality, I would love to be in the warm sand with a book. It would be nice to be with Cassidy and for both kids to be magically napping. Or maybe in New England in the spring.
17. What is your favorite way to get out of a slump? – from Kate at Another Clean Slate
Well my slumps are generally anxiety-based so sometimes the things other people do to get out of a slump – chocolate, long walks, call a friend, etc. won’t necessarily work for me because I’m anxious and afraid. Generally it’s feeling ambitious – it’s that inner drive to create. Writing and photography help. The kids do, but sometimes not. Music is generally always welcome.
18. I have a health related question for you. You’ve mentioned that good vitamins are one of the things that help you with your anxiety. I just started taking good vitamins last year and I love the Garden of Life brand. I noticed a difference within a week of taking the good stuff (cleared up my issue with dry and peeling skin). What supplements do you take and do have a favorite brand? – from Sonya of Saving Everyday With Sonya K.
Well you’re right in that there’s a huge difference in taking the good stuff. I take Rainbow Light brand vitamins and I think it’s Pioneer B-vitamins. I also take Sundown vitamin D drops every day. They say New Englanders are mostly always deficient.
19. If you could chose to have one car for the rest of your life, what would it be?…and where (in the world) would it be parked?…and what or who would be in it? – this is from Allie of VitaTrain4Life
I’d just like a Honda Civic. Or one of those amazing Subarus. (can you tell I live in Northampton?) It would be parked at home with Tim Curry in it. In the ballroom with a revolver. Wait, what? It would have my family in it and we’d be seeing moose.
20. Ask ya anything huh? You’ve already answered sooo many great questions….if you wrote a book, what would it be about? – this is from Lisa of Expandng.
Well it would be creative non-fiction and it would be a photography & parenting book about living through anxiety.
21. Least favorite household chore? – this is from Gingi at Domestic Geek Girl
All of them? I think the trash is up there but at least it’s quick. So maybe I’ll say kid laundry is my least favorite.
22. Here’s a light question for you – what do you plan on doing when you get to Florida later this month? So much sunlight and warm weather waiting for you and your family… – this comes from Gracielle at Mommy A-Z
It’s actually quite cooler where we’re starting our trip – St. Augustine. Even 65 will be great, though. I plan to sit on the beach a lot, even if I need a jacket. We will spend some great time with my in-laws and RELAX. It will get crazy during the second half of our trip – Orlando. We plan to go a little theme park crazy just like last year!
23. Who is your celebrity crush? – this is from Amber at Airing My Dirty Laundry
Well, I’m not really a celebrity crush type. I don’t have time for that! My biggest TV crush as an adult was Desmond from the show LOST. And Hook from “Once Upon a Time” is really up there. He’s grab-and-kiss worthy, don’t you think?
24. You are very open and honest – but what is the one blog post you’ve written, but never published because it is too personal? – this is from Kristen at Mommy In Sports
This is tough because I at least touch upon things when I can’t get into them. I think there’s family stuff that’s personal. Every family struggles but sometimes it’s not about me. It’s about my parents or my siblings. Once my brother got mad at me because I wrote about how much I hate Jersey. Well, I was in a bad mood, and I have never regretted leaving.. but.. sometimes I need to be more sensitive. I don’t talk much about marriage, strange crushes or broken-hearted things I’ve done.
25. My question for you is do you have a morning ritual? – this is from Christine at Love Life Surf
It’s funny because I just wrote about taking back mornings! Usually I sleep until I’ve already overslept. I always have to shower before heading out because otherwise..ZZZZ.. so it’s about getting to the kids and pets that Cassidy didn’t feed or clothe and then taking both kids to school. Then I come back home. And I have a quiet breakfast with a good book.
26. If you could study with any photographer, who would it be? – from Ashley at Happy.Pretty.Sweet
I think it would be Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York. I think he’s got guts. I would love to see his approach in New York City – and how a day of photography comes together for him.
27. How did you and your Hubby meet and how long were you together before he proposed? – from Lisa Thomson
That’s a 20 part story! We had gotten together twice, but I’ll just count the second time. We got engaged after about nine months of solid dating.
28. Who is the disciplinarian in your home? – From Kim at Day With KT
You see, people think it’s Cassidy and I can understand that. I’m a bit of a lone wolf sometimes. Picture this – there is someone you work with and you share the same position and the same skill-set. However. Your co-worker is much more assertive than you are and you hate confrontation and tend to shrink back. You don’t have confidence. It’s like that. I’m afraid to get in between a Scarlet/Cassidy thing because I’m honestly afraid one or both of them will hurt my feelings. Now also consider that Cassidy is out of the house over 60 hours a week. That’s a lot of parenting for me. And I do feel that I discipline the kids and generally, things work out well. They are empathetic and dreamy kids. I’m happy about that.
29. What were the best and worst moments of your day today? – from Leslie at Pampers, Play Dates and Parties
Worst – the morning rush and being late to daycare dropoff. And having gloves that don’t know how to glove..
Best – a lunch date with Cassidy today at Holyoke Hummus Company. No kids, good company, incredible food.
30. What’s your favorite thing to do at Disney World? – from Lana at Two Teens and Their Mama
I’ve only gone once as a parent, so my favorite thing was the look of glee on Scarlet’s face! Always, it’s the Peter Pan Ride!!
31. Which country would you like to visit in future? Which place in your country you visited and you would recommend for tourists? – from Fashion and Food Blog
I would love to visit England first. As for this country for tourists? Definitely northern California as a whole. Gloriousness.
32. What Disney movie would you love to be a character in?– from my girl, Mrs_AOK
I’d most like to BE Elsa, because I relate to her very much. I’d most like to be IN Peter Pan, because, flying!
33. Have you ever been deeply betrayed? – from Katbiggie
You can read the 20 part love story for some of that! I had a close friend in high school who dated someone I was “in love with.” That wasn’t really what got me, though. It was that I felt like we were drifting apart and I told her so and she said, “Drifting is good.” Well, ok then.
34. If you could live a week inside any fantasy world – Dr. Who, Star Wars, Marvel – which would you choose; and of course, why? – from the wonderful Rorybore!
Confession? I don’t really like outer space. At all. I can’t go on those rides at EPCOT. At all. Marvel can be a bit intimidating. I’m choosing Doctor Who because for all of the deep questions and disturbing stories and weird special effects, ultimately, I just want to race around the universe for a week. Maybe do some damage. Maybe save some lives. You know how it is.
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