I met Lisa when I had the chance to read The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the book she contributed an essay to. We have become good friends and have even crossed over to being real life Facebook friends. We’re going to be meeting for the first time in a few weeks at Blog U and I am so excited! Lisa blogs at The Golden Spoons. She originally started her blog as a place to hold memories for her children but since starting, it has grown beyond memory keeping to include great recipe ideas and a fun link up called Tuesday Ten.

I love Lisa because she is funny and kind. Her words are honest and real. I adore her authentic voice. I asked Lisa some great questions this week, so be sure to head over to her blog and check out the answers!

The Golden Spoons

Ask Away Friday posts are my favorite ones to write. Two bloggers trade 10 questions and answer those questions on their blog. Everyone links up and gets to know more about one another. If you’d like to swap with me, I’m working my way into my June and July calendar because we are doing A LOT of traveling this summer. Email me at acookiebeforedinner@gmail.com.



1. This week’s Finish the Sentence Friday prompt is “the nicest thing someone ever did for me was . . . ” How would you finish that sentence?

Right before I was getting ready to fly across country with Lola and Malone this winter, my mother’s closest high school friend sent me a gift card to Starbucks via email. It was such a sweet treat and a lovely way to let me know she was thinking about me.

My mom passed away before I got married and her best friends have continued to be an influence in my life. They’ve held me pretty tightly. Thank goodness for Facebook!

It isn’t the nicest thing someone has ever done for me. But, small gestures matter to me even more than big ones.

[Tweet “Small acts of kindness are the new big.”]

 2.  I know you met your husband via Match.com.  They say opposites attract, so do the two of you have very similar personalities or are you more like opposites?

 Our core values are very much the same, but our personalities are opposite. Michael is an introvert who analyzes almost everything. When I ask him a question, I can see him running the different answers and outcomes in his head before giving me an answer. He is very quiet until he gets to know you. He has the same core group of friends that he made in college.  He likes getting to know new people, but it takes him a long time to loosen up and engage with them.

I am an extrovert through and through. I like meeting new people and finding common ground. I enjoy social situations and have a personality that shines well when others are around me. I recharge my batteries by hanging out with friends or talking on the phone. Michael needs time away from people to recharge. It works out well for me, he almost never minds it when I head out to see my friends at night!

 3.  Your about me blurb says you would like to go out for coffee and I know (and am totally jealous) that you got some alone time at a coffee shop last weekend!  What is your favorite kind of coffee drink and does it change with the season??  I love a Starbucks caramel macchiato, but in hot weather I drink it iced!

I spent about five hours at Panera on Saturday morning, writing and working on the blog. Michael and I had a conversation last week because I felt like I wasn’t able to give my family and home the attention it deserved and keep on target with my blogging goals. Instead of encouraging me to give up blogging, he suggested I take time on the weekend to write posts in bulk. I ended up writing 3 posts and knocking out a ton of emails. None of those posts have published yet because I’m beefing up June’s calendar. We are traveling A TON.

As for the coffee, my favorite of all time is a peppermint mocha. But I only drink those hot and around the holidays. They are TOO fattening to use as my drink of choice all year. Most of the time, I drink a dark roast of iced coffee with cream and splenda. My “treat” drink is an iced three pump caramel macchiato.

 4.  I love that you have a clearly defined goal for how you want to raise you children – “to raise empathetic, self sufficient, open-minded tiny humans who love the world and their neighbors as themselves.”  Is that goal something you and your husband discussed intentionally??  How did it come about?

I don’t know if we ever sat down and had a specific conversation about it, but those character qualities are the ones that are the most important to both of us. I spent a long time thinking about my motherhood goals and deciding what I really wanted to pour into our kids. The above mission statement is what I came up with.

Parenting decisions that had the potential to be hard are much easier. If the activity, friendship, book, club (whatever really) is going to reinforce or teach our children about those traits, we are likely to consider it. If it doesn’t, we’re much more apt to say no.

 5.  When I was in 8th grade and then again in 12th grade, I was voted “Most Dependable.”  What superlative would best describe you?

Most likely to buy the coffee of the stranger in line behind her.

 6.  Speaking of school, what was your favorite subject in school??

English class. I had a high school English teacher who really encouraged me to pursue love of writing.

 7. I love your Ten Commandments of Blogging.  Which one of the Commandments is the hardest for you to keep?

I have a hard time with #7. It is really hard to watch newbies come onto the blog scene and explode in popularity while I sit back in my space wondering if I matter. I try to blog like a horse with blinders on, but it isn’t always easy. I think the more I work at defining my long term vision for this space, the easier it will get to focus on my growth instead of others.

 8.  Your children are younger than mine.  What are you most looking forward to as they get older?  Anything that scares you?

Malone is almost five and Lola is eight months. I’m looking forward to seeing their sibling relationship continue to thrive and develop. The older Lola gets, the more fun the two of them have.

Malone is off to Kindergarten next year and I’m not looking forward to the logistics of pick up and drop off while a toddler in tow. We’re not quite sure where he’s going to go to school yet, but it is looking more and more like he is going to attend a school outside of our district.

In MA, if a neighboring district has an opening and you want your child to go there, by law the district has to let them in. Most schools have more demand for these school choice spots than they have openings, so they hold lotteries. The lottery season is done and we found out that  Malone got into a really great school, but it is 20 minutes away and we have to provide transportation. If you factor in the carpool lane, it could easily be an hour and a half of driving a day.

 9.  I can’t wait to meet you and so many of my blog friends at BlogU next month!!!  What are you most hoping to get from the conference?

I went to a mini event in Boston a few weeks ago through SITS, but BlogU will be my first full conference. I’m going into BlogU with very few expectations other than to learn more about my craft. I would like to learn more about the business side of blogging and am hoping to learn more about freelance writing.

This will be the first time I’m away overnight from Lola. I’m looking forward to sleeping through the night!

 10.  Let’s make the last one a fun one!  If you could travel anywhere in the world – money and time are not a concern – where would you go and why??

I’d love to take a trip around the world with my family. I don’t have the exact countries in mind that we’d go to, but we ‘d try to hit up every continent if we could. There is so much to be learned from spending time in other countries!

Well, Lisa had great questions for me, didn’t she? The first question she asked was from another link up called Finish This Sentence Friday. I’m new to that community, but I’m going to link up there too!

Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic