A Particularly Juicy Ask Away Friday: With Lanaya.

I say this a thousand times, and I’ll say it a thousand times over.

Unless I were to go back and track down dates and comments, I never can clearly remember when I “met” some of my closer blog friends. It just happened. It just happens. And I can’t seem to remember how it happened with Lanaya of Raising Reagan.

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Was it the night Janine and I went back and forth tweeting each other “Blurred Lines” parodies and Lanaya joined in? Yes, that helped. I was having a particularly awful day and these two awesome women made it better. Sometimes you just know things.

I knew I’d meet Michelle and Ilene in real life, and I did. I know I’ll meet Lanaya & Janine too. I was very excited to team up with Lanaya for Ask Away Friday. So excited, that we booked it weeks in advance to make sure it could happen. Be sure to check out her blog to see her answer my questions. Here are her questions for me, and my answers:

1) Show me a picture of your fashion style.

You got it, Lanaya. I’m even going to use photos of myself, because every now and then I get it right. First we have spring/summer. If I could wear sundresses year-round, I’d be totally happy to do so:

Next we have my fall style, and sadly there are no photos of me wearing it, but it’s a flannel shirt, skinny jeans and brown boots:

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Then we have my winter style, which I see you have referenced in a bonus question. Nice. Red, purple, or pink peacoat, skinny jeans and black boots:

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Lastly, we have my dream gown. This isn’t exactly right but I’d love something like this, and an occasion to wear it:

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2) I just gave you two days with your heartthrob Henry Ian Cusick. You have unlimited resources at your disposal. What do you do with him?

“Unlimited resources,” eh? This is one of those times in which my mind is blanking, and I can’t get a true read on what I feel in my heart. That’s what I want to answer with. I don’t want to answer with what sounds good in a published blog by a woman with a husband and two kids. And even to cast them aside in a parallel universe fantasy, it’s not really Henry that I’m attracted to – it’s his character, Desmond, from LOST! So that said, unlimited resources and two days! We’d fly to Alaska together, and he’d calm me on the long plane ride by speaking like his LOST character. Then we’d stay at a hotel, eat great food, and look for moose & whales together. That’s what we’d do. And if something developed in that, great. I need more than just a visual, though. I have to feel something to want to do anything more than eat, drink, be merry and go moosing. I’m probably sounding so boring but if I told you I’d want to have him naked for two days, well, I’d be lying. It would make for good blogging, though!

3) Besides your two beautiful children {and by the way can we betroth Des and Reagan already??} what is your favorite thing to photograph?

I’m all for betrothing Des and Reagan. I also have my eyes on Growing Up Madison for him too. It’s a little vague to say that people are my favorite thing to photograph, because there are things I search for. For me it’s about intense emotion, wisdom and love. That’s what I love to capture. If I see it in the world, that’s what I aim for. Sometimes I see it in non-humans:

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4) Your choice – mini getaway with Cassidy or family vacation. Where would you go?

I’d have to say family vacation. We never really have had one that wasn’t within driving distance or at a relative’s house. I’d love for the four of us to go to Alaska, with or without Henry Ian Cusick! Apparently, I’m just really trying to get to Alaska these days, and I’ll go with anyone. I’d just love it to be with my three loves.

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5) Janine and I just showed up at your door and we are having a girl’s day out. Plan it for us … What is your ideal girl’s day/night?

Wait. Might this happen? My birthday is in July! I’d take you anytime. For us, I imagine there would be a lot of catch-up. I’d love to go to a dessert/bar/cafe (I can think of plenty in my little farm city) and talk for hours. Seriously. That’s what I’d want.

6) When it comes to watching movies … do you prefer the movies of today or do you like to reminisce with the oldies?

Maybe not the movies of today, at least not lately, but within the last 10-30 years. A wide gap, sure, but I’m an 80’s baby! Those are oldies, right? There are some movies from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000(ish) that are so outstanding, I can barely discuss them. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Edward Scissorhands. American Beauty. Groundhog Day. Unbreakable. Shawshank Redemption. And so very many 80’s comedies and romantic comedies.

7) Scarlet is quite the little diva {Just like Reagan!} They both love their princess outfits. If you could be any Disney princess which one would you choose?

I always liked Belle. Is that shallow? Should I be liking Merida or something? Isn’t she just a kid? I like Belle. She likes books and beasts.

8) You lately wrote a blog post that started off with one of my favorite songs of all time: “Live to Tell …” by Madonna. You and I have both connected so much with each other and realize that life, motherhood, being a wife can be incredibly hard sometimes. Do you have a song that you relate to right now?

Ah, so many. Always. I keep thinking of my Tom Petty trifecta of love, change, career, parenting, etc. “Learning to Fly,” “Face in the Crowd”, and “Into the Great Wide Open.”

9) Are you still waiting for me to send you a pair of cute yoga pants or have you run out and nabbed yourself some?

I’m still waiting for you. I really need these. I want them. What can I send you in return?

10) I’m a huge fan of photography … my favorite photos are landscape shots. Do you have a favorite photo you’ve taken of a landscape?

Well, landscapes aren’t my usual thing, mainly because it’s hard to show intense emotion, wisdom and love in them. However, I like a wide range! I try everything. I do product photography, landscapes, insects, anything! The only thing I don’t do is flowers. I don’t photograph flowers.

I took this many years ago with a film camera and no tripod:

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A favorite from around Vancouver:

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From a helicopter:

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They’re not professional photos – all were taken about ten years ago – but I like them for memory’s sake.


Bonus Question:
1. Can I have your red pea coat?? I know I don’t need one now that I’m moving to Arizona but I have always wanted a red pea coat!

Sure, I have several! I have a weird frame, though. Narrow shoulders but on the taller side of average. So I only buy coats with long arms and not-puffy shoulders. You can have your pick of my closet.

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  1. I really hope to meet all of you ladies someday for a mini blog meet-up. I am definitely due to get back to MA soon and would so love to tour the area again! Maybe even book you for a photo session, but mostly to have fun! 🙂

    1. Heck yeah! Photos and fun!! And you would love to see our yard. My daughter would give you the grand tour. And just think, you’d be so close to your old stomping grounds.

  2. Love seeing pics of you all dolled up in your summer sundresses! I’m a huge fan of casual sundresses (Patagonia, Horny Toad) in summer. Paired with my fav flip flops, and I’m ready to go to the beach. Or lunch. Or anywhere. But I love fall weather too. Hooray for skinny jeans and long sleeves! Blogger convention in Alaska?!

    1. Not sure why we’re all slacking on the blogger convention in Alaska thing. I can think of 17,000 (slight exaggeration) of us who are interested.
      I love your summer wardrobe – or what I’ve seen of it!

  3. Seriously, we need to make it happen they we all three meet, because I was reading this and just so happy at the mere thought. I love you both and that night on Twitter with Blurred Lines was the absolute best. And Scarlet and Lily agree on the Belle connection, because all of a sudden everything is Belle the Beast (yes she calls her that) here and she even changed her mind from Minnie for Halloween to Belle!! 🙂

    1. Belle the Beast!! haha. Can’t wait to see Halloween photos. Well I know I will meet you. It’s Lanaya we have to work harder for – all the way out in Arizona. Sheesh.

  4. Oh Tamara, you are definitely one of my faves! I’d like you to take photos of me. Maybe with my hubster. Clean shots. Before we “age”! 🙂 Your sundresses are so you. Alaska is one place I’ve never really had a “I must get there” feeling. Everyone talks about it though. I would love to real-life meet my blogettes as well, we should have a local get together somewhere. A place that’s in the middle for all of us. Do a Christmas theme, with an exchange of ornaments for our trees. Or other 🙂 Loving the Q&A you girls have going. XO

    1. I’m not sure you two will ever age, from what I’ve seen! New Hope photo shoot! I do like your idea of an in-the-middle blog get together. I’d be down!

  5. you two are so cute! I also never remember when I met my blog friends. I once went back through posts to see when I started reading someone’s blog, it was interesting! I love Desmond on Lost – is that who Des is named after??

    1. It totally is, Dara! I confess. We just love that it's a strong, handsome name for a heroic person. Unusual but not weird. And I love the nicknames "Des" and "Desi." So he's Desmond, but he's become Des, for now.

  6. Love your landscapes – was that first one by any chance taken in NH? reminds me of Manchester, NH.

    That would be cool if you could met up w/ your bloggy buddies 🙂

  7. tamara, your photos are breathtakingly breathtaking-professional as well.
    omg, your little one is the cutest little girl ever!!
    you two are so very beautiful!

    what an adorable post, tamara!
    have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you, Betty! I hope you have a great weekend too. And thank you for saying they look professional – only some of them are in this post!

    1. Thank you! It was when I first met my husband. So I like its romantic history.

      Seeing Tom Petty live is on my bucket list! Bruce Hornsby was on there too originally, but I saw him live in April. Yay!

  8. Love this!! Great fashion pictures – always love seeing pictures of you on here.

    And – I'm with Joi – those landscape pictures are incredible!!!

  9. LOVE your style pics!! I totally want your red coat, too!! (And I'm sorry, but–even though she's a slightly older woman–I think Lucy and Des would be a great couple. They already have the perfect names for each other. I'm just sayin…. –Lisa

  10. I seriously love every single answer you gave here! And that shot of Vancouver? It literally took my breath away. It's so amazingly beautiful!

    Also, I desperately want to go to Alaska, too. If you're ever planning a trip, watch out, because I swear to you, I might just sneak into your luggage.

    1. I was just about in college when it came out – maybe a year or two before. It rendered me speechless. So do my pea coats! I'll have to send some out. Maybe a red pea coat giveaway. That's when I'll know I have made it in this world.

  11. Okay, not professional but yet amaze balls is what I think you meant 🙂

    We had the same question this week and LMAO I picked Merida!! Eh, but I was a mega tomboy growing up–I could see *me* being that tough princess with a marshmallow heart.

    PS love your style!


  12. You are so gorgeous! Like totally babe-a-licious! I even love the photos from years back. That animal one though? Amazing. He (she?) looks so thoughtful. Deep-moment in animal time. But I don’t know what it is! Is it a raccoon?? My bio-sister lives in Alaska. Let me know when you’re going and I’ll hook you up!

    1. It's a "he!" A red panda. You really gotta applaud the red panda. He looks like a wise old monk or something.

      Ok, I'm going to visit your bio-sister tomorrow. Do you think that will be awkward if I show up on her doorstep?

  13. Lanaya asked you great questions – it’s clear she knows you pretty well! My favorite winter coat is my hot pink wool one – you and I would look so bright and cheerful walking down the street together. I’ll meet you in Alaska 🙂

  14. I love how honest you are especially about #2, it's very similar to how I feel about George Clooney but never have been able to expess as well as you did.

    1. My husband made fun of me because I agonized over how to answer it! I didn't want to sound…boring and not..you know..human. I also didn't want to sound disrespectful to my family. Honesty works best!

  15. These are awesome questions! I would have no idea what to do with another man. Not the way that sounds, but I just don’t look at men and think to myself that he’s hot. I’m attracted to personalities anyway. Those travel pics are stunning!

  16. I love AAF, loving the questions, loving the answers and loving the photos! And yes Des is totally Madison's, Maddie and Desi. 🙂 The military has a base in Alaska and I would so love to go there, I heard it's very beautiful there. Loving the style too, especially the fall. That's how I love to dress in the fall. Hope you're having a fabulous weekend, mom-in-law!

  17. Ok, you guys did such a great Ask Away Friday! I love your pictures (of course) that you posted with this. That one of you and your husband was so cute. You really get a sense of your fun personality! That’s why I always love reading your posts. I feel like I’m having a conversation with one of my friends. This also reminds me that I need to get my act together and do the Ask Away Friday posts again!

  18. I love all your answers and love your style pics! The cutest sundresses! I seriously think a blogging convention in Alaska – so want to go there!

  19. What kind of “non-human” animal is that? Nice shot. Love all the landscapes and that dream gown – love! As much as the movie Ground Hog Day gets on my nerves, if it comes on television I’ll sit down and watch the whole thing. And I’ve seen Shawshank so many times I think I know it by heart.

    1. haha – it’s a red panda. Cool, huh? I haven’t seen many. This was in a zoo in New Jersey. GroundHog Day can be very annoying. I don’t even know why I’m obsessed with it until after I’ve finished watching it and then I remember every time.

  20. Yes, I’m back!! I love Lost, that was and is my favorite show. I sometimes still watch the seasons on Netflix. I also love the red peacoat. I’m a huge fan of peacoats.

  21. I'm so glad you're back! Hope you're feeling all around great. And a fellow Lostie, too! I had a LOST themed wedding and a LOST themed baby. I'm a nerd.

  22. Oh Tamara! What beautiful photos! And I love your fashion choices for each season. The boots are to die for. Just bought some today (and have to return some others now!) I'm developing a boot fetish! LOL

  23. So wonderful getting to know you better through Lanaya’s questions. I have been to Alaska (briefly,) but unfortunately never saw a moose there. Bad luck. But it was gorgeous and I will always remember it.
    I love peacoats, too – I may have to invest in one this winter. Love your style choices!

  24. Oh how I love these questions!!! And of course your answers! I need to go find this lovely blogger- I know I have seen Lanaya around… apparently I am definitely missing something extra special!!

    Those shots of landscape- amazing. Especially that first one. WOW.

  25. Many of the movies you named are also on my list. I could watch Groundhog day over and over. Which almost seems redundant.

    I always love your pictures of animals. I have one of piglets that you did on a Pinterest board titled "things for my sister". She loves it as well!

    1. haha, I know what you mean about redundant. It works, though.

      So glad you and your sister love my piglet photo! And I remember when I first posted it and you commented.

  26. Tamara! It's so nice that you are this close with Lanaya and Janine. I, too, would love to meet you one day and go for coffee. I love your style. The fall outfit is so awesome! I, too wouldn't mind wearing something like that gown to a special event or occasion. The landscape pictures are amazing!

  27. Please don't kill me for just now getting to this post! I was so excited to read your answers to my questions. I read them on Friday in a Subway somewhere in Southern California.

    I love you more and more and more!!!!!!



    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo


    1. I am so happy you came at all, amid your moving! And is it your phone or my blog that makes it hard to comment on phones? If me, I need to remedy it!!

      Love you more.

  28. I'll go to Alaska with you, Tamara! It's on my to do list as well. I think you really need to get up to Maine and see some moose too. Moosehead Lake is a great area to find them. That's where I had my first up close experience with one. It was an interesting experience. Not really one I want again, but still exciting.

    1. That's my favorite place! I've been to Greenville Junction three times, and the first time was accidental. I saw about 20 moose in one day, at least, so I went up a few more times. I ache for it all the time. Someday. And I'll tell you before I go so you can come too!

  29. I think I can remember to the day and to the post that I met you. I think it was the 9 things I've learned about parenthood post that you commented on. I think. I think I was also following you on Twitter and responded to some of your tweets last winter about maneuvering small kids in the mornings in snow and ice. I have a crazy memory like that. I am also selfishly wondering if I get to see you rock the flannel shirt skinny jeans look in November. November? Maybe? I'm also thinking I need to email you and Michelle later to see if this is gonna happen.

    1. Now I really need to go back and see all of this. That makes me so happy.

      I'm also thinking the flannel shirt skinny jean thing is going to happen SO SOON.

  30. Isn't it amazing how they are just certain people you know you were meant to meet? I count Lanaya among those for me as well. I've enjoyed your answers and her questions. Those landscape picture are amazing especially that first one. Beautiful!

  31. Come to Canada and I will show you moose and I'll throw my kid in a indoor pool (because it is nipple-y out) and make him pretend that he is a whale. And then we could trek across Canada to Alaska and pan for gold. Sound like a date?

    We would also wear sundresses because I had shorts.

  32. Ah, these pics are gorgeous! And I’m digging your spring/summer style :).

    Belle is definitely not a shallow pick! She’s a bookworm and totally into inner beauty. That’s not shallow at all.

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