Reader Questions Answered: Personal Stuff


When I put a call out for readers questions, I decided I’d answer all of them. The sweet, the quirky, and the oh-man-I-really-don’t-want-to-answer-that questions. I’ve been stunned at the response (I kind of thought that maybe no one would ask any) and therefore have decided to write it in three parts: Personal Stuff, Tough Stuff, and Blogging Stuff.

Reader Questions - Personal

We’re kicking off today with Personal Stuff. Here goes:

If you could only pick 2 beauty products to use for the rest of your life, what would you pick? – Kimberrleigh

An eyelash curler and mascara. No question. Curled eyelashes change my whole face. I keep a curler in my vanity and one in my car.

And since I’d be saving so much money by not buying all my other beauty products, I’d buy Benefit They’re Real mascara all the time. That stuff is magic. For now, I buy Physicians Formula Organic Wear Fake Out mascara. It’s a great dupe (for only $7) and it really holds the curl.

Do you consider Kaylin to be your bestie? And if so, do you approve of each other’s partners?

Kaylin is my best friend. We were in the same pledge class in our sorority, Delta Gamma. We’ve known each other for 7 years now and still talk nearly every day.

I just met Kaylin’s fiance when I went to California last August. I couldn’t have picked a better guy for her. He’s sarcastic as hell, laid-back, and he has a fantastic family. I’m thrilled to know them all and I’m so happy for Kaylin. I wouldn’t have cried like this when she got engaged if I didn’t love the guy.

I can’t speak for Kaylin as to her feelings about N but I feel pretty confident that she likes him and fully approves of him.

Nadine and Kaylin

If you could live during any time period, which would you choose?

It would have been cool to be in my late-twenties in the 1990’s during the dot-com boom. I am obsessed with the idea of time travel though (always have been, but Doctor Who didn’t help) and I made a list here of the days I’d re-live, if I could.

What are your future career goals?

I don’t know that I’ll stay in the non-profit world forever. Someday I may try to go back into the private sector and make a little more moolah. If we have the financial ability, I’d like to be a stay-at-home Mom when our kids are little until they are school age. You can find more of my thoughts on being a stay-at-home Mom here.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I don’t love music. I regularly get in the car and drive for 15 minutes before realizing that it’s completely silent. I listen to books on CD. On the occasion that I do listen to music, it’s usually country or something from my childhood (like James Taylor or Garth Brooks).

Does N have any traits that you know aren’t good for bringing up kids?

Yes. He’s a freaking pushover. This obviously benefits me (and Archie) but I have a feeling, especially if we have daughters, this is going to backfire. But I kind of love this about him. He’s going to be a phenomenal dad someday.

N N and Archie

Have you ever considered writing a book? 

Nope. I enjoy writing but I don’t have enough confidence in my skills as a writer.

Can you share some of your favorite vegetarian meals?

Pizza, obviously. But when I’m doing the cooking, I make black bean burgers, grilled cheese with tomatoes and avocado, big salads, Quiche (my favorite is with tomato and smoked gouda), pasta with a side of steamed veggies, grilled fish with veggies (I’m technically a pescatarian, as I eat seafood), paneer butter masala (my Indian roommate taught me how to make this from scratch – YUM), Fesenjan (pronounced fess-in-june, a Persian dish made with walnuts, pomegranate, and chickpeas). I also make Thai curries with veggies and tofu a lot.

You know how some families are potato families and some families eat more rice? We are definitely rice eaters. Our rice cooker (thanks to N’s parents for our sweet Persian rice cooker) gets lots of use.

My favorite thing recently is making a bean salad with 1 can of black beans (rinsed), 1 small can of corn, lots of diced tomato, 1 finely diced jalapeno, 1 cubed avocado, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. It’s so easy and flavorful. We’ll eat this with a small piece of Salmon each. Then the next day I put the leftovers in an omelette with some cheddar cheese.

I clearly love food, as I just wrote a novel. My bad.

Recent Eats

What is your bachelor’s degree in?


Where on the East Coast do you live?? I know we all want some privacy, even as bloggers, but I’ve always been curious as to what state and/or area you live in. You talk about the East Coast and your travels a lot, but never about where you’re located. Inquiring minds want to know!

I do this on purpose. I’m sure it’s super annoying but I try to be conscious of my personal safety. I’d rather not share specifics but I live in the mid-Atlantic area.

Will you make your kids wait to read Harry Potter before watching the movies? As someone else who just re-read the 7th book…again….I feel you understand the importance of such a question.

I really, really do. I always imagine myself reading Harry Potter aloud to my kids. I think the books are less scary than the movies (I just think about that scary face merging scene at the end of Deathly Hallows Part 2 and shudder) so I’d think I could start reading them aloud when they are fairly young. This will completely depend on their maturity. After we’ve read all the books, we’ll watch the movies.

How do you think your relationship with Archie will change when you have kids?

I imagine Archie will immediately like the kids more than me. I hear they drop food on the ground and leave half their meals on their faces. Yup, they’ll be his favorite real quick. I can’t wait to see him with our human children. I know I’ll just love him even more (Is that possible? It’s not possible). I’ll also remind said human children that Archie was a member of the family before they were.

Archie My Love

What do you feel is your true calling in life? – Zobia

Deep question. Cliché answer. Being a Mom (to dogs and humans) and a partner to N. Raising our children to be thoughtful, accepting individuals.

Secretly, I’d like to change the world. Some days I feel like I’m doing that through my work for a childhood cancer foundation. Other days it feels like I’m not doing enough. Not contributing enough. Not making things happen now.

What are your thoughts on the How I Met Your Mother finale?

I’m definitely in the minority here but I didn’t hate it. The fact that she didn’t want kids and he did was the main issue. I could see them being great companions later in life, now that Ted had children and they are nearly grown. I really don’t know why they bothered having Robin and Barney get married though. I hated that, as it didn’t feel true to either of their characters.

So I have finally started dating again after a while away from the game. When is the appropriate time to kiss someone?

I feel like this isn’t a question for me to answer but I said I’d answer all the questions, so I will. When you feel like kissing someone, do it.

What is your favorite childhood memory? – Lindsay

As a kid we lived in rural Maine for some time. My brother and I got laser tag from my Dad for Christmas (which thoroughly pissed off my Mom) and I have great memories of us playing in our barn, swinging from the rafters and trying to shoot each other mid-swing. My brother is awesome.

Nay and Curt

Are you close to your family? Do you see each other often or not much at all? – Jo-Anne

I am very close to my entire family. I have 4 parents. I have known both of my step-parents since I was about 7 and don’t really remember a time when they weren’t in my life.

I am the oldest of 4. My oldest brother is 2 years younger than me (and turning 24 tomorrow!), my sister is 13, and my little brother is 11. I live close to my Dad, Step-mom, and young siblings and see them all the time. I get to visit my Mom, Step-dad, brother, and grandmother, who all live in Maine, fairly frequently.

I got VERY lucky in the family department. Though my parents had a not-so-lovely divorce (I mean, is there such a thing as a good divorce?), I try to keep it in perspective that I really hit the lottery with my step-parents (and subsequent siblings) as a result.

Welp, that’s it for the personal questions. Check back tomorrow for my answers to the tough questions – getting engaged, GOMI, and that tattoo post.

  • Can’t wait to see the rest of the questions! This was a good idea 🙂

  • Books on CD? A girl after my own heart! I commute listening to audio books!

    • When I had a long commute to work every day, I blew through books on CD. It is so much more amusing and distracting than music.

  • I loved reading your answers, can’t wait for more!

  • This was a fun one – great idea! Those Archie pics are adorable! Eric and I often joke too about how our little puppy Stella is going to love our kids so much more than us because she’s such a beggar for foo scraps. Thanks for answering my question! I think it’s awesome you have such a close relationship with your brother! My younger brother and I are really really close too – brothers are awesome 🙂

    • Thank YOU so much for submitting a question for me to answer! I don’t talk about my family too much on the blog (for the sake of their privacy) so it’s nice to share a little bit about them now and again.

  • These are great questions 🙂 I definitely sympathize with how you feel about writing a book. It seems like everyone’s publishing an ebook these days…I just don’t really have any interest in doing one myself.

    • I don’t have any interest either. I only read fiction and I don’t know that I’m creative enough to come up with characters and a plot line and everything that people would really want to read. Maybe someday I’ll get the itch, but for now I’m content with a blog.

  • It was fun to get to know more about you. I will also have to try out that mascara, as I’m getting sick of how hard it is to get “They’re Real” off at night!
    -Rachel @ With Love, Rachel

    • That’s one of the things I LOVE about the Physicians Formula one. It stays on all day – no flaking or anything – and then washes off SO easily at night. I don’t need makeup remover at all. It’s a great product.

  • Fun! I’m kind of a new reader so this is perfect 🙂
    I did, however, dedicate a blog post to you the other day, don’t know if you saw on Twitter. Maybe it’s totally lame, but all in good fun 😉

    • …and I would like to add I share your feelings on being a stay at home mom. Something I never ever thought I’d consider, but now, I feel that if I can financially that will be the best thing for them while they’re young.

  • Katie Foster

    I love that you said you’re not much of a music girl. I basically ONLY listen to podcasts in the car and I commute an hour each way to work. I remember being in middle school and the teacher asked our favorite type of music and I said I didn’t like music and everyone was shocked. As a middle schooler I remember feeling very vulnerable. It’s not that I don’t like music because I totally do, but I’m definitely not obsessed the way most people seem to be.

    • Exactly. I could probably not listen to any music for weeks and not even really notice. I listen to a lot of podcasts also. Honestly, I like getting out of my car and feeling like I’ve learned something. Like I’ve enriched my life in some way. It makes me feel like long drives weren’t a huge waste of time.

  • I loved this! I feel like I know you a bit better now. 🙂 I’ve been thinking about doing a Q&A post lately, especially since some of my newer readers don’t always know about the whole disability thing, so I wonder if people would want to ask questions.

    • I really thought that like no one would ask anything and I’d feel like an idiot. Instead, I had so many questions that I’ve had to break it apart by topic. These will be some good links to add to my about me page also. I say, do it! Do your own Q&A post!

  • Great answers to the questions, I forgot I had asked a question till I read your answer it is great that you get along so well with your step parents

    • I’m very very lucky that my step-parents are both so awesome. They’ve always treated me like their own.

  • Loved learning more about you! I keep trying eyelash curlers, but can never get them to work. I’m going to try that mascara, though. I’m not loving what I’m currently using, so appreciate the advice.

    • I’ve tried a couple different brands of eyelash curlers and I always go back to my Revlon one. I buy the slightly more expensive Revlon one (it’s gold and like $6 instead of $3). I curl my eyelashes close to the lash line and then three more times up the lash until I curl the very ends. I do LOVE that physicians formula mascara though. Definitely try it.

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