Q: I'd like to hear more about your childhood. Were you happy and are your parents still living the same lifestyle?
A: I didn't enjoy living remotely and primitively as a teenager (I didn't mind it as a young girl) and wished more than anything to have a normal house, close to my friends. However, now that I'm grown, I'm thankful to have experienced that lifestyle because it made me a very strong and determined person and I give thanks every day for the modern conveniences of my life now. My parents still live on our 40 acres deep in the woods, and continue to live primitively.
Q: Are you planning on writing a memoir?
A: No, I have no plans to write a memoir at this time, if ever. I enjoy writing about my upbringing from time to time on my blog.
Q: How did you end up in Alaska?
A: There were lots of people from my little hometown that were living and working there, and I desperately wanted to experience life outside of the tiny town I grew up in.
Q: Do you or have you ever lived on a farm?
A: No, I came up with The Farm Chicks name after being invited onto several old farms to buy out the contents when we were just getting started with our business. Since we were obtaining so many beautiful old farm pieces, it sort of became our specialty and that, combined with our deep love of the American farm is where The Farm Chicks name came from.
Q: Where do you live? What does your house look like? What will your new house look like?
A: We live outside of Spokane, Washington, in the country. Our house is on the prairie, surrounded by thousands of acres of wheat fields. We have a modest home that has a huge kitchen and is filled with light. Very open and airy. Our new house will be a farmhouse, nestled in the Greenbluff area, not far from our current home.
Q: Did you find a house plan? When do you start building your new house?
A: We have been working with a wonderful architect, Nancy McKennon, for a few months now. We're almost done with the design and hope to start building in the spring.
Q: Have you found a sink yet?
A: I've been looking for the perfect farmhouse sink for a while now and still have not found it. I know it's out there!
Q: Describe your home decorating style. Do you change your wall color often?
A: When we first moved into our house, we painted the living room walls red and I loved it for a couple of years. However, I tend to gravitate toward bright, happy colors and I didn't like the chaos of a red wall and bright objects. I've since painted our living room walls pale blue and like that much more.
Q: Is there a way to mix decorating styles?
A: Yes, of course! One of my favorite decorating books is Camps and Cottages. I love how the campy style and floral styles are mixed together throughout the book. When combining different styles, I think it's important to be selective with what you place in your home. Not to overdo it. Otherwise, it can start to look like a flea market.
Q: What is your most prized possession?
A: I've thought a lot about this and I think it would have to be all of our family photographs. Nothing else comes to mind. When my childhood home burned down, I was most devastated by the loss of family pictures.
Q: Do you have a problem with wallpaper in your laundry room?
A: No, I've never had a problem with the wallpaper. The dryer is properly ventilated, so there's no moisture in the room. I love seeing the bright and cheery walls whenever I walk in there!
Q: Do you have any tips on nice ways to store items found in the bathroom?
A: My parents always kept soap and shampoo in beautiful old glass bottles and then topped them with corks. I don't mind seeing the shampoo bottles, but I do like to keep Q-Tips, cotton balls, and band-aids in old apothecary jars.
Q: What is the least organized space in your home?
A: My house is really organized at this point in my life. When the boys were younger, being organized was much more of a challenge. But now that I have more time to get things done, I've made it a point to have things orderly. I don't like chaos. I'd have to say my car is the least organized. It's a jungle in there! :)
Q: Do you have a planner? Routine? How do you stay on top of things?
A: I do have a planner, but I often forget to check it. I have to force myself. However, we do have a great daily routine during the week that works really well for us. I stay on top of things by not over-scheduling our lives and not having our children do so many activities that it becomes more of a chore than a joy for them and our family.
Q: How do you find time to do crafts while raising children?
A: Unless I'm working on a project with the boys, I usually do all of my crafting during the day while they're at school, or on the weekend.
Q: How do you promote the interests of each of your sons?
A: Each of our boys are very different from one another, and have their own unique interests. We encourage them to explore what they're interested in such as music, art, legos, sports, etc. And we also make a point in not only spending time together as a family, enjoying these things, but we also make sure to have some quality time with each of them one on one as well.
Q: Do you menu plan? What are your favorite sites for recipes?
A: Yes, I make a menu for each week and make a grocery list off of that menu. I keep a menu board with all of the options for the week on the board. At about 3pm each day, I choose a recipe off of my menu, based on what sounds good to me that day. That way, I'm never stuck trying to figure out what to make for dinner and it saves me lots of time by not having to visit the grocery store too often. I enjoy using recipes from Giada's cookbooks, Everyday Food, and occasional magazine recipes that catch my eye. And I love to experiment with dinners that sound good in my mind.
Q: What's your favorite
recipe to make for dinner?
A: The dinner recipe that my family currently loves the most is the turkey soup from our cookbook. And probably because it's so nice for a winter meal. However, the favorites change frequently around here.
Q: Where did you find the gingham topped jars shown in your pantry post?
A: The gingham jars are vintage, I found them at a thrift shop.
Q: What is your favorite thrift store in Spokane?
A: My favorite right now are the Union Gospel Mission thrift shops (formerly named Classy Rack).
Q: How do you find out about estate sales in Spokane?
A: Mostly by reading the classifieds in the Spokesman Review and in the Exchange. Sometimes I hear about sales from friends or someone in the community who will contact me to tell me about something coming up.
Q: What is your favorite website for antiques?
A: Etsy and Ebay.
Q: How can I market my Etsy site?
A: I'm definitely no expert on Etsy, but here are some suggestions. I'd start a blog and reach out to anyone who might be interested in what I'm selling. I'd tell all of my friends and family and ask them to spread the word as well. I'd make sure to have interesting photographs and update my inventory frequently to keep shoppers interested in what I have to offer.
Q: Can you offer advice to someone starting a blog?
A: The first thing you should do is read the book Blogging For Bliss. It's packed with really useful information.
Q: Do you have a mentor?
A: I've never had a mentor until recently. I've begun a new project with The Farm Chicks (I can't wait to tell you about it soon!) and a dear friend of mine, who I wrote about in the cookbook, Elaine, has been an incredible mentor to me. She is a wonderful woman who I cherish. I look forward to talking more about her in the future.
Q: Are you planning another book?
A: Yes, the next book (A Christmas book!) will be out in the fall.
Q: Do you ever get creative block?
A: Yes, definitely. I've learned when this happens that I just need a break for a while. Creativity, for me, can never be forced. I love visiting unfamiliar places and seeing new sights. That always inspires me.
Q: Do you have plans to travel to other states or take The Farm Chicks Show to other states?
A: I do travel for business with The Farm Chicks from time to time. I will be in Minneapolis in September, taking part in the Creative Connection. I have no plans on taking The Farm Chicks Show to any other locations.
Q: What is the deadline to apply for The Farm Chicks Show?
A: You can apply for the show at any time throughout the year. Whenever there are vendor openings, they are filled on a first come, first served basis.
Q: What is your favorite place to shop for clothing and accessories?
A: I have several favorites. Bodenusa.com for clothes and shoes, Forever 21 for clothes and accessories, Target for accessories, Nordstrom for clothes, shoes, and accessories, and Anthropologie for clothes and accessories.
Q: Can you describe your pie crust?
A: My favorite pie crust, adapted from my mother-in-law's recipe, is available in our cookbook, as well as on the Country Living website.
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