11 Things About Me

I don't think I've ever done one of these types of things on ye olde blogge before, but it's been so fun reading everyone's answers, and it hearkens back to the days on myspace when doing myspace surveys was an acceptable option for time-wasting.

The "technical" rules for this survey thingy are:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you've tagged them.

So here you go, 11 random things about me!

1. Other than the incredible family I was blessed to be able to grow up with, I believe that one of the most important and influential part of my childhood was being able to grow up in Alaska. I believe that living in Alaska instilled in me an independent and adventurous spirit, coupled with parents who not only never told me I wasn't capable of doing something, but also equipped me with skills and experiences which have affected me in ways I'll probably never be able to quantify.

2. I rode horses competitively for about 10 years. I got 4 horseback riding lessons for my birthday when I was 10 and my parents like to say it was the most expensive birthday present ever, as it sparked a huge passion in my life and one of the dominating aspects of my youth/teen years. My years riding and showing horses is something else I don't think I'll ever be able to quantify in terms of its impact on my life.

3. My brother was a Make A Wish kid back when he was... 11? I can't remember, but I think I was in 8th or 9th grade. His wish was originally to go to a Star Trek convention (he's a major Trekkie, and thus, our whole family kind of became Trekkies too), but the Make A Wish foundation wanted to do something more exclusive for him, as pretty much anyone can go to a convention if they buy tickets. He'd already gotten excited about the convention so we went anyways and spent multiple days in the blazing hot Las Vegas summer inside a huge hotel dressed up in Star Trek outfits (I usually opted for a Spock get-up). For the actual Make A Wish trip, we went to Paramount studios and got to go on set to watch the most recent Star Trek series "Enterprise" be filmed, as well as meet the cast members (Scott Bakula!), walk around all the sets, and then see a private showing of the Star Trek movie that was coming out at the time in Paramount's private theater. It was a really incredible experience, and also, super nerdy. So now you all know how nerdy I am (and my family), haha!

4. One of my first memories is helping my Mom garden and I was planting pansies in between roots under the huge oak(?) tree in our front yard. Also, picking tiny ripe strawberries from the garden we had.

5. I hate babies. Okay, maybe "hate" is a strong word, but I just don't like babies or toddlers. I don't think they're cute, I don't want to hold them, I just don't like them. This has been sort of troublesome as I do want kids someday, but I've always been comforted by the fact that my mom is the exact same way. In fact, she's said that when she was pregnant with me (her first child) she was convinced there was no way she'd love her baby as much as she loved their dog. She just didn't believe it was possible! But then when she held me in her arms she felt love for me in a way she didn't know she could, and definitely loved me more than their dog. Funny thing is, she's only ever liked 3 babies and those are us three kids of hers! She still doesn't like other people's babies or kids. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree I guess!

6. When I was a kid I wanted to be a doctor or a graphic designer (my parents' professions). Later I wanted to be either a graphic designer or a forensic scientist or crime scene investigator (I was obsessed with the Discovery Channel's crime shows). In college I always had a hard time deciding if I should major in just art or double major in art & premed. I guess I've always been torn between the sciences and art!

7. I was obsessed with ancient Egyptian culture when I was younger. I loved the movie Stargate when I was a kid because of this. I almost spent a month in Cairo my junior year of college, but I didn't get my visa back in time and missed my flight.

8. Whenever I do something new, especially if it's something I'm nervous about, or like starting a new job, I try to think of it as if I'm taking a class. I was always very successful at school, and so thinking about learning new skills as a sort of class where you have to learn information, apply it and become proficient in it makes it less intimidating.

9. I'm quite introverted in large groups of people. My natural tendency is to be a wallflower and just people watch and I almost never initiate conversation on my own. It's not that I'm not interested in conversations or that I don't wish to interact with other people, but I am not a natural initiator in those situations. I typically try to find someone who I know and sort of tag along with them.

10. I hate roses. Especially red roses. My boyfriend in high school was extremely emotionally dependent and would get me roses all the time. I think maybe his love language was getting gifts, or maybe he just felt like he needed to keep buying stuff for me to keep me around (probably not a good plan on his part, because if he'd known me better he would've known that my love language is quality time, and I could care less about receiving gifts, for the most part). Roses now just remind me of his desperateness and besides, I don't think they are the prettiest flower by far.

11. My feet are so tiny I can hardly find shoes that fit (size 4.5), my wrists/hands are so small that pretty much all bracelets just fall off and I couldn't wear a bangle to save my life, my fingers are so tiny that the only "fashion" rings I wear I have to wear on my middle finger because it's the biggest (and even then they're usually loose. My ring size is 3.5), and I don't have pierced ears. Soooo, I don't wear a lot of jewelry.

Danielle's 11 questions:
1. If money, schooling or time was no obstacle, what career would you choose?
This is such a hard question because my brain is pretty much always teeming with ideas for things I want to do, but I'll narrow it down to two things. 1. Start a coffee shop/boutique full of pretty things to wear and cozy spaces to read books in and sip on delicious beverages. 2. Start a women's expedition company where I get to take groups of ladies on overnight/multi-day adventures in nature to help them towards realizing their powerful spirits, brave hearts and capable independence. That being said, what I do right now is pretty much the best ever and I feel so blessed that I am able to blog and design blogs for amazing ladies on a daily basis.

2. What’s the one thing you look forward to every day?
I really enjoy logging into my bloglovin' and going through all the new posts from blogs I love. It's so relaxing and inspirational. But my other favorite thing is that usually, at the end of the day, Dan & I walk to one of the nearby pubs and grab a couple beers and chat about what's been going on in our brains, or just whatever. It's a nice time to disconnect from all the busyness and just slow down for a bit with my favorite human being.

3. What is your number one, all-time, favorite blog?
I feel like pretty much all the blogs I follow are my favorites, but for the sake of the question, I'll say Rebecca's blog, The Clothes Horse, since it was one of the very first blogs I ever came across and was basically the reason I started blogging in the first place. Her blog is still one of my favorites, so I feel like that probably qualifies it as an "all-time favorite" blog.

4. Biggest online pet peeve?
One of my big pet peeves, besides what Jen and Julie already mentioned in their answers to this question, is something that just came up over at Design*Sponge, and something that D*S founder Grace Bonney responded to amazingly. That is the phenomenon of women being snarky or demeaning towards other women's success, especially in the blogging world. In her response, Grace says,
"I often see female commenters leaving comments like this on other female bloggers’ websites when they perceive something as a sign of financial success. A “joking” comment that often reads as a passive-aggressive attempt to make the blogger feel guilty or embarrassed about their financial success.
I never see comments like this on male bloggers’ sites and find that the majority of female bloggers quickly jump to say “oh no, i don’t make any money”, etc.
I’m proud that i’ve built a business that supports full-time employees and allows those people (including myself) to have a job where they pursue their passions on a daily basis. no matter what our salaries are, i think it’s more important to judge someone’s success by what they choose to do with it. do they continue to give back and share the wealth with their community? if so, then i think their financial choices are just that- theirs. and comments that make women feel bad or guilty about being financially successful ultimately keep us trapped in a place where we don’t feel comfortable to demand higher salaries, raises or ask for freelance rates that are fair."
I love that blogging has been able to allow so many women to quit unfulfilling day jobs to pursue something they are passionate about, and something that is so inspirational to others! I know so many bloggers who have either started shops, quit their day jobs to blog full time, been hired by amazing companies because of the networking aspect of blogging, and so on. I love seeing so many creative and entrepreneurial women going out there and making a name for themselves in the business and blogging worlds. If you'd like to read the discussion and comments Grace was responding to, check it out here.

5. What is your all-time favorite book?
I think it's probably The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand or The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck. The Fountainhead is just a beautiful read, but I feel like The Road Less Travelled should be read by everyone.

6. What would your “last meal” be?
Fresh, wild Alaskan king crab with drawn butter, fresh, wild Alaskan sockeye salmon barbecued with brown sugar, butter onions and lemon, garlic mashed potatoes, and caesar salad.

7. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Absolutely not. I use M. Scott Peck's definition of love (from the book The Road Less Travelled, haha!) which is, "The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." I don't think that love should have different definitions for romance, friendship, family, etc. We can have different feelings towards people we love, which can be romantic, friendly, etc., but love exists completely separately from these feelings. It is a willful act that we choose to engage in on a daily basis, and is frequently quite difficult. So, that being my definition of love, I just can't see how one can love another person at first sight. You can definitely have strong feelings and attraction at first sight, but love is something quite separate from feelings.

8. What would your ideal Sunday morning consist of?
Well, ideally it would be bright and sunny and hot. And ideally I would probably wake up, magically, in Hawaii or something. Ideally. Okay, well, if we're talking about realistic idealism, I would love to wake up early on my own, sans alarm, to a beautiful cloudless and hot summer day in Tacoma and then sit on my back porch soaking up the warmth maybe reading a book or planning some fun activities.

9. Why do you blog?
I love how blogging is something I both participate in as well as get inspiration from. I love the community and all the amazing people I've had the pleasure of becoming friends with, working with, talking with, but I also love reading other blogs and being inspired by all the beauty in the blogosphere. One thing I really appreciate about blogging is that it's almost exclusively a positive environment (at least the blogs I choose to read are). While I think we all recognize that there is sadness, ugliness and pain in the world, I like that blogs provide a space for encouragement and positivity. It's a very encouraging and uplifting community to be a part of .

10. If you had to choose one color to wear forever, what would you pick?
Oh man. Um... I'd like to say yellow, just because it's so happy, but I think the color I own most of is blue. So maybe it's safer to say blue.

11. What is your all-time favorite band?

If you want to do this, go ahead! And link me to your post in the comments, so I can read your post! I won't make 11 new questions, mostly because I like the ones Danielle came up with. And I'm too lazy.