Ask Away Friday: Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More

June 26, 2014
Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More - Sweet and Savoring

Random street art picture from Brooklyn last weekend!

Oh my goodness, I just happened upon a vintage map of France in my desktop folder. I have travel on the brain all the time lately. Luckily, I do have a small-but-exciting trip on the horizon, to a country I haven’t been to yet (I’ll keep you guys guessing a little bit longer!), and I’m dreaming about that everyday.

But I’ll put the wanderlust on hold for a minute and get down to today’s #AskAwayFriday!



#AskAwayFriday is a great blog swap and link-up. The concept is simple: you swap ten questions with your buddy for the week and then you answer those questions on your blog. Interviewing and being interviewed is fun, and results in out-of-the-ordinary posts on topics we might not have thought of on our own. Thank you to the lovely ladies listed above for hosting!

This week, I swapped with April of 100lb Countdown. On her blog, she features family life, maintaining an active lifestyle, giveaways, and more. Be sure to check out April’s answers to my questions here!

1. You take beautiful pictures. Do you consider yourself a photographer or have you taken any classes?

Thank you! I suppose I am a photographer in that picture taking is a big hobby of mine. I was an official paid photographer three years ago at the Omega Institute, which was such a great opportunity. But when I look at my husband, he is the more serious, dedicated photographer out of the two of us; if I put too much emphasis on my picture-taking, it usually results in me having less fun.

This is one of my favorite pictures of all time. I took it in 2006 and unfortunately lost the original file, so it will always be small:

Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More - Sweet and Savoring

2. What’s the one thing that differentiated your Andy from others? Why did you choose him?

Gender difference aside (Happy Pride weekend, NYC!), there are a few things that made Β Andy stand out from anyone else I had been attracted to or dated. He had (and has) this visible passion and charisma that I noticed right away. I was drawn to his adventurous spirit, and when I got to know him better, the fact that we shared a lot of social, moral, and environmental values. Most importantly, I felt at ease with him right away– wherever he was, that’s what home felt like. Thankfully, seven years later, that feeling has persisted!
Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More - Sweet and Savoring  [photo by Andy Milford]

Andy and I in a leaf pile in 2007, the year we started dating

And just for fun, here’s Andy at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival in 1996:Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More - Sweet and Savoring
3. On the flip side, what’s your least favorite thing about your husband?
Oh, I don’t know- maybe when he snores πŸ˜‰ (Thankfully not often!)
4. I loved reading the Letter to Your Husband on your anniversary. What prompted you to write that publicly?
Thank you! I think that the blog has been a wonderful way for me to write regularly again, to open up that expressive part of me that has really been devoted solely to photography for several years. I wrote that post pretty early on and felt slightly crazy publishing it, but I know vulnerability and authenticity are what I like to see from other bloggers, so that’s why I did it.
Β Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More - Sweet and Savoring
5. This summer, my husband would love to go to the Bahamas, but I’m just not interested in going this year. Is there any place that Andy wants to go, but you just don’t? Why?
Honestly, I’m pretty sure we’d both like to go everywhere! We share a love of discovery and photographing, both of which tie into traveling quite well. I know he wants to go to Detroit, since it’s such a great place for photography and abandonment, but we just haven’t made that happen yet. We both absolutely want to travel to the UK next year, since he hasn’t been home since 2004 and it would be so wonderful to see his parents, extended family, and friends from both England and Wales.
We have seen Andy’s parents and sisters since then, on separate occasions, but that was the last time they were all together (Andy’s on the bottom right):
Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

Guess what Andy brought everyone for Christmas presents?

6. When I’m depressed, I find it hard to blog. How do you muster up the ability to express your feelings online during those times?
It isn’t easy. On days when I have been at my lowest (usually in the winter, but not always), I typically haven’t written anything. But I do like to share depression-related posts when I can, because I just can’t imagine that there will ever be too many depression stories on the Internet or in the news. People need to read and hear about these struggles; they need to be brought out of the darkness.
Of course, when I do write something when I’m depressed it isn’t often the most articulate or what I like to think of as my best writing, but it’s raw and honest, and that’s the goal.
7. I love red meat so much, I couldn’t ever think of going vegetarian. What meal can you cook for me that might change my mind?
Well…I don’t think you can force a different lifestyle on someone. I don’t like most meat, and certainly don’t miss it. I do like seafood, but gave it up two years ago for environmental reasons, and honestly have never really found it difficult to eat healthy, filling vegetarian meals. If you’re looking to substitute that meaty texture or flavor, some foods that work well are eggplant, mushrooms, or tempeh, or seitan.
Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More - Sweet and Savoring

One of my favorites: breaded and fried (or baked) eggplant works well with pasta, rice or quinoa.

Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More - Sweet and Savoring

Tempeh is fantastic in homemade sushi rolls with rice, pea shoots or other greens, shredded carrot, and avocado.

8. As much as I’d love to work out in the mornings, I struggle to roll out of bed. What gets you up every morning to work out?
The alarm! No, really, what gets me out of bed to work out is the promise I’ve made to myself to treat my body better. And as for mornings specifically, I love getting out before the world really wakes up. It’s nice to have empty streets (or track) and a pretty sky before the sun is all the way up.
Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

I’ve been running regularly since April, and don’t want it to be just a phase this time!

9. What do you think was the most important lesson you learned as a child? How did you learn it?

Tough one! This isn’t technically a lesson, but I think I learned to have a good work ethic and to stay focused on your dreams from my parents. My dad worked crazy hours for the phone company, and got a temporary job delivering fried chicken when he was on strike, trying to support our family of six.

My mom worked as a substitute teacher before deciding to go back to school for her master’s degree while my siblings and I were still in grade school. I watched as she stayed committed to her goal of becoming a children’s librarian, commuting from our home on Long Island to Queens College, writing a super long thesis paper and finally graduating. She is one of the only people I’ve ever met that truly loved what she did. Thanks for setting such a good example, Mom!

10. Describe your perfect home, including location!

Oh wow, I really haven’t put much thought into this in detail– probably because most of my focus is on travel πŸ˜‰ Okay, let’s start on the outside: I would love a screened-in porch, maybe on the side or back of the house. A mud room at another entrance (the front?) would be lovely. I often think how nice it would be to have a library, but another part of me just likes having shelves and piles of books in every room of the house.

The perfect home would have to contain a studio for Andy, either in the basement, or a large room dedicated to his various art-related supplies where he could also work. I would also love my own room- not sure I like the sound of “office”, maybe I’ll call it a parlor. This will have a daybed with lots of comfy pillows, a desk with my computer and a calendar, plenty of maps and photos adorning the walls, and of course, more books. Perhaps one wall will be painted a bold orange, with the rest white.

The bathroom would have a large tub and a separate shower with dual shower heads, tiled up to the ceiling. Our kitchen would have plenty of counter space, a separate pantry area, lots of plants, and our vintage table that Andy salvaged:
Loving the Hubble, Vegetarian Eating, and More - Sweet and Savoring  [photo by Andy Milford]

I would love some red and silver diner-style chairs to go with the table!

The master bedroom doesn’t need to be too large since we’d already have our own space elsewhere, but large enough for a king-sized bed. Perhaps we’d have more bedrooms for a kid or two? And a dog? Who knows?As for location, since we’re talking about dreams, I’ll say this house would be somewhere in the UK πŸ™‚

Thanks for the thought-provoking questions, April! If any of you would like to participate in #AAF, either let me know or you can pop over to our Facebook group and make a buddy request.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. I’m off to my nephew’s high school graduation ceremony! His party is tomorrow afternoon, and then hopefully Sunday we’re hanging out with friends. Wheee, summer!
Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. Β  Β  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  • Tamara June 27, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    I love that you and Andy have so many hair incarnations. I’m not sure that’s the right word but I’ll go with it.
    I used to be paralyzed when I was depressed or anxious. I couldn’t do anything, much less write.
    One day, when the anxiety came back, I thought maybe I’d blog about it instead. It’s been very beneficial.

    • Christy June 28, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Haha, yes I’m pretty sure that is the right word. You’re right, we’ve both had all the hair extremes! I like to think it represents our mutual appreciation for change πŸ™‚
      So glad that writing about anxiety has helped you, it’s wonderful to be able to express ourselves that way.

  • Rea June 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I loved April’s questions and your answers too! And there you go with the food again! Hahaha. I always get hungry in a positive way when I look at your photos. Well, hungry for both food and travel. You have a great perspective in life in achieving your goals and I like that. Also, your “dream” house sounds perfect!

    That photo of a wall art is amazing!

    • Christy June 28, 2014 at 10:57 am

      It’s funny, I inspired myself with those food pictures- I made that vegan sushi roll four years ago and haven’t tried again, but now I will!
      Thanks for your sweet words, Rea- more on goals and more personal life stuff coming up on Tuesday.

  • April June 27, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    I have not done well with eggplant, but I think it’s just because I don’t really know how to cook it. When I fry it, it’s soggy and when I bake it, it’s just eh. But that sushi roll with tempeh looks amazing. I loved you description of your dream home. As I read it I imagined it being built. It looks gorgeous, at least in m mind. I would love to visit and really get a sense of good vegetarian cooking. I would love to get into running. I need to get up early to get my workout in… but my babies keep me awake all night! Maybe not right now. I loved linking up with you! Thanks for swapping with me!
    April recently posted…Just the Right Temperature {Turtlemeter by Ozeri Review}My Profile

    • Christy June 29, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Oh, I hear you- I didn’t say cooking with eggplant was easy! πŸ˜‰ I’ve learned that it helps to slice the eggplant and then sprinkle salt on it, letting it sit like that for 30 minutes so a lot of the moisture comes out. Then when you fry it, less sogginess! (Let it be said that I rarely if ever take the time to actually do that. Plan ahead? Me??)

      Aw, thanks for saying that about my dream house, haha.

      I hear you on not being able to run in the mornings- I know my life will change dramatically if I have kids!

  • Tiffany June 28, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Always fun to come by and visit! I can’t wait to find out where your travels are taking you next. My dream home DEFINITELY has a screened in porch or deck in the plans. I love the relaxation of sitting outside but can’t do bugs! LOL
    Tiffany recently posted…Blogs Are So Last Year!My Profile

    • Christy June 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      I always appreciate your visits and comments, Tiffany! And I agree 100% on the bugs. It would be soooo nice to have a screened-in porch. Dreaming & hoping at the moment!

  • Deb Rothaug June 29, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Your answers are so very honest, and helpful to many, I think! Question 9, about lessons you learned as a child….wow! Your answer brought tears to my eyes, and reminded me that when I was in the throws of finishing my graduate degree, someone told me all the effort would be a good example to you and your siblings. I can’t put into words how your words touched my heart. Yes, I am very blessed to have loved (and still love and miss) my career as a school librarian, and most importantly, my life as a mom of kind, loving, honest children like YOU, and your sisters and brother. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    • Christy June 30, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Mom, two things- you’re the queen of cheese! πŸ˜‰ and two- I’m glad you liked my answer! It’s true, you were a rockstar when you were finishing your degree and I really don’t know how you did it! You’re welcome, see you this weekend. xoxo

  • Sonya June 29, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make homemade sushi but I’ve never given it a try. I eat meat, but usually only eat it twice a week. So, I’m always looking for new vegetarian meals to make.
    I would love to have a house with a screened in porch and a mud room too.

    • Christy June 30, 2014 at 9:21 am

      If you’re looking for some vegetarian meal ideas, both and are wonderful resources with a ton of recipes to choose from. I love them both!

  • JC July 2, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Christy I’m stopping by from NE Bloggers, and have been having fun poking around your site. It’s nice to see another blogger from upstate NY! And so close too! This was a great post to start with! PS Your husbands hair in 1996 is amazing!

    • Christy July 2, 2014 at 9:23 am

      Hi, thank you so much for poking around! I only realized I was the featured blogger today when I got some NEB-specific comments, haha πŸ™‚
      I will pass on that hair compliment to Andy, I’m sure he’ll have a nice laugh.

  • Stacey Gannett July 3, 2014 at 1:04 am

    I love that first picture, it has some really great elements to it. I love how you describe that feeling with your hubby, it is a great feeling to have. I would so love to go to the UK, someday my lottery win will come in and I will be off! LOL! A girl can dream! I love the passion that you express on your depression struggles, and I can so relate. You are so right that it does help, others to maybe feel as though they are not alone. Your dream house sounds amazing! Hope you have a wonderful week, Christy! And I can’t wait to hear about your upcoming adventure!

    • Christy July 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks, Stacey- yes, I think that feeling of safe home is what solidified things with Andy for me! Dream houses usually *do* sound amazing, don’t they? Like you said, a girl can dream…
      (Look for more adventure news in tomorrow’s post!)

  • Uplifting Families July 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I love the photo of the house, it is so cool looking. I really would love to get some tips on how to take better photos. I just got a new cell phone and I am hoping it takes better photos than my previous phone. We shall see. πŸ˜‰

    • Christy July 3, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you, Christy! I know what you mean, my phone doesn’t take very good pictures, either. Some quick tips: natural light (turn off that flash!), get a different perspective (look above you, or behind you, or get down on the ground like I had to for the puddle picture), and take a LOT, because the more pictures you take, the greater the chances are of getting at least one that you really like. πŸ™‚

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