A giant THANK YOU from the lovely Jessy at WestEastern for nominating The Usual Bliss for the Liebster Award! I’ve loved getting to know Jessy via Blog Land, who happens to live a few miles from my folks in Colorado. Someday soon, we hope to meet up for a coffee date. Check out her adventures as a New Englander transplanted out west.
As many of you know, these awards generally require a Q&A and some random facts about the recipient. I thought it might be fun to mix things up a bit, so I asked my sweet mountain man to help out.
Without my input, John came up with a series of interview questions for me to answer and a handful of ‘About Amber’ tidbits. His perspective is adorable. Read on.
What is your favorite thing to cook for YOURSELF? On an evening without you, I’d likely order take-out, pour wine, and watch a chick flick (even though you secretly love them). If I did feel motivated to make a meal just for me, I’d choose a creamy pasta of some kind- like my Chicken Asparagus Carbonara or Pasta Primavera recipes- and make a garlicky cheese bread on the side. (Drool.)
What is your favorite thing to cook for ME? I love cooking anything for you because you love food, you love the experience of enjoying a good meal, and you love my cooking! I appreciate how you focus on choosing a good wine, create a perfect plateful before beginning, and always take a moment after the first bite to really TASTE what I’ve made. An emphatic Mmmm! before you dive in for more bites is music to my ears. You always clear your plate, you’re very generous with compliments, and most of the time, you clean the kitchen after dinner!
If you had the president (or George Clooney) over for dinner, what would you cook? If I had President Obama over to dinner, I’d come up with some kind of multi-dish family-style meal to pass around the dining room table. I’d probably employ you to grill your famous BBQ chicken and focus on some awesome, fresh side dishes and my killer ice cream sandwiches or stellar key lime pie for dessert. Is it weird that I can envision it?
If George Clooney was dining with me, I’d serve him anything but Italian food (since he gets the real deal on Lake Como) and be sure to pour him generous glasses of really good wine so he’d get tipsy enough to make out with me. Sorry, sweetie. I love you.
What is your favorite past time when you have absolutely zero obligations? I love time to read a good book, take an afternoon nap, get outside in the sunshine with Cholula, hit the road in Betty with you, explore a new area, laugh with friends, try new recipes. And then I truly love to write about my adventures.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Home is anywhere with YOU, and I’ve got it pretty good right where I’m at. But my farm girl dreams must come true someday- open land, a river, baby goats and a chicken coop, barn cats, more dogs, a big vegetable and herb garden, lots of sky. I’d also love a cozy, western-style cabin tucked into the woods somewhere and a quaint little cottage with flowers in the yard in a lazy beach town, like Bolinas or Point Reyes. Please make all of these happen. Thank you.
Who in the world, past or present, would you most want to share a glass of wine with? I’d choose my Grandmother. She loved wine and she loved to laugh. She was fun and fabulous.
Who would you say has been your biggest mentor in life? I’m not sure I have a mentor, but I certainly have role models. My folks are, in different ways, examples of the kind of person I hope to be: good parents, full of integrity, fun-loving, adventure-seeking, family-centric, generous, and married for 40 years.
I also find inspiration in my friends who juggle work, children, family, etc. and still make a point of being social and enjoying life.
If you could wake up on vacation tomorrow, where would you most want to be? Today, as winter drags on and my view is varying shades of white and gray, I’d like to wake up in our honeymoon villa on the beach in French Polynesia. The color of the water! The sunsets! A sundress, sand between my toes, beach hair, freckles and tan skin, fresh fruit and coffee for breakfast, a stack of books, rum cocktails, tons of activities in the sea and sunshine, incredible fish straight from the ocean for dinner…positively dreamy.
What is your biggest regret in life? There are things I could have done differently in hindsight, but if given the chance, I’m not sure I’d change anything. I am who I am today because of all of it, good and bad. I wouldn’t be where I am now without everything that has led up to this moment. I do pray that it isn’t too late to have a family.
What is your best accomplishment in life? Finding strength to do what was best for me- choosing to love and respect myself. And continuing to take the high road in a extremely difficult situation, when it would have been easy and gratifying to do otherwise. I can look back on a horrible part of my life and know that I handled it with a little bit of grace.
Bonus Question: How do you want to be remembered when you pass on? As someone with a big smile and a bigger heart, who focused on others and brought joy to the lives of loved ones. I’d like to be remembered as what I feel like I am: a happy person who truly loves LIFE.
Mornings are not your friend and until you have at least 1/2 a cup of coffee in you, you can be a bear.
Yellow is your favorite color.
La Crema is your favorite winery.
Making people around you smile makes you smile.
When you are excited about a bite of food you are about to eat, you cock your head to the left a bit and smile before eating it.
When you are REALLY enjoying said meal and all the components on the plate, you start by taking time to create perfect bites but end up making a “goulash” of sorts and scramble all of the components together.
You have seen all of the ‘Sex in the City’ episodes at least 5 times and yet, you still continue to watch them every chance you get.
George Clooney leads your ‘celebrity clause’, but James Franco is now a close second after your run-in with him at Sundance this year.
You love your family unconditionally.
You love fishing and more so, when you out-fish me. (which is the majority of the time)
Bonus fact: You have a voracious love for hotel schwag (soaps, moisturizers, slippers, etc) and steal it at every opportunity and you often even consider taking the BATHROBE home with you, as well!
What can I say? The man knows me well. (I have never, however, out-fished him. Not yet, anyway.)
I’d like to recognize a few blogs I enjoy. Be sure to check out their corners of Blog Land!
Bravejuice: Well-written, interesting perspectives.
The Band Wife: Crafty, beautiful, funny, articulate, and married to a rock star. HELLO.
Trying to be Conscious: Snippets of Cecile’s life and thoughts from New Zealand.
Again, THANK YOU to Jessy at WestEastern for the Liebster Award nomination!