Ask Jessie, Volume 1

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This is the me the year I started blogging, in 2006. I was in Thailand.

Do you know what? In almost 8 years of blogging (yeah, seriously!), I’ve never done a Q&A type post. Probably because I don’t think I’m that interesting. But I asked on Facebook if anyone had any questions for me … and they did. Here we go!

Tiffany asked: If you had to pick, what would be your all-time favorite food or recipe? And why do you love it so much?

It’s so hard to pick one food! But I think my all-time, die-hard favorite thing to eat is fresh, warm bread with real butter and orange marmalade. It’s homey, it has a lot of flavor and texture dimensions, and it makes me happy.

Out of all the recipes I’ve shared on this site, I think the one I have made the most times is Magically Delicious Corn Dip. I found the recipe early on in our marriage and it’s a perfect crowd-pleaser for parties.

Mary asked: What do you love most about the stages your kids are in right now?

Libbie is 5 1/2. I love that she has just started to read! As a total book enthusiast, it’s so fun to see her reading. It’s also nice to have a kid who can really reason and understands that we both have opinions and we have to work things out.

David is almost 3 1/2. I AM SO THRILLED HE IS FINALLY POTTY-TRAINED. Have I mentioned that? He is also just so silly. I love that he so seriously tells us, “I am so scawwy!” when he is naked with a dragon hooded towel on. He is obsessed with Cars and Lightning McQueen and Mater, and he plays elaborate games with all his cars. When he is not screaming in rage, he is a pretty incredible kid.

Joshua is 14 months. I love that he is just starting to try to talk and saying “dog.” He adores animals, which is so cute. He is trying to give big open-mouth kisses. And he is just so dang cute toddling around.

Jenny asked: What’s the one thing you swore you’d never blog about that you totally DID blog about?

I don’t know about swearing it off, but I never, ever thought I would blog so much about my, uh, girls. I had no idea when I started blogging that I would spend so much of my time breastfeeding, though!!

I also would have never, ever imagined that I would blog about fashion, considering I don’t think I have any style at all. Sweet Jill mentioned how much she likes it when I talk about plus-sized fashion. I’ve been thinking about starting What I Wore Wednesdays back up, as it really does help keep me accountable to wearing real clothes.

Kelly asked: How in the world do you make it ALL work??

This made me laugh a little. Because really, I am not kidding when I say I feel like a giant mess most of the time. Some people think I do a lot because I cook often, or because I read a lot, or … who knows. Because my kids seem relatively happy? But here’s the thing …

  • You see a lot of great recipes, but I don’t ever have to cook dinner unless I want to, since we eat in the dining hall. (Except during summer break. I’m kind of dreading cooking!!) Most of what I make is for breakfasts, for our dorm boys, or testing recipes for magazine articles. I try to make breakfasts and lunches often, but just as often the kids eat packaged granola bars and yogurt tubes for breakfast (and way prefer it) and sandwiches for lunch.
  • I do read a lot of books – or not a lot, compared to some! I read mostly fiction. Generally I read while taking a bath at night or maybe before bed in the evening. When people ask me how I read so much, I tell them I don’t clean. And that is kind of true. I am terrible at keeping things clean even on a maintenance level.
  • I stay sane by letting my kids be messy. Crumbs vacuum, rooms will get cleaned eventually, and someday I’ll have time to clean the oven. I love to see them involved in big craft projects or playing with Play-doh. I try to always say yes when they want to read a book. And I make an effort to just go out and do something fun a couple times a week – go to a playground, museum, library, friend’s house – even when I feel like I should be at home working or cleaning. They’re only little once, you know?

Wholesome Frugal Mama wanted to know if blogging gets easier as you go along.

I didn’t start out blogging as a serious blogger, not like people do nowadays. This was back in 2006. I knew two people who had a blog, and I decided to start one just to keep me writing. I had no idea how blogging would explode, and how I would make real friends through it, and how I could make money. I just wanted to write. Whenever I get overwhelmed, I go back to that. Just write.

I do think as you travel your path as a writer and blogger, you find what your niche is, who you connect with, how much time you can put into it, and even if you really want to do it. I don’t think blogging is for everyone, and if you don’t love it, you won’t keep at it.

My friend Stephanie asked: I know you love to cook, so is there a food item you find repulsive?

Raw tomatoes, raw onions, green olives, scallops, and baked apples. (I don’t really like black olives, but I will eat them in stuff like tapenade so I guess I don’t find them repulsive.) I also don’t like sweet and savory things mixed together – like sugar on rice, my mom’s Lima Bean Casserole, or Cincinnati chili.


Me a couple weeks ago at Easter, with all my people. Three of whom didn’t exist in 2006.

Well, there you go. I’m sure that’s more than you ever wanted to know about me. But if you have another question, leave it in the comments and I’ll answer it in a Volume 2!

7 thoughts on “Ask Jessie, Volume 1

  1. Aw, no Cincinnati Chili?!

    That’s OK. We can still be friends. 😉

    Great post. I’ve never really done a Q&A post either, although I have answered a few questions along the way. Hmm…maybe time to do that again…

    • I love Cincinnati, but not Cincinnati chili. Everyone else in my family loves it, though. I don’t know what happened to me. I have weird tastebuds.

  2. When I first found your blog I thought I read you use to run…as a beginner & only b/c it’s making my allergist/asthma dr happy as well as thyroid dr happy I’m “trying” to make a routine..anyway long way around to you or have lost that “want/drive” to excercise…& also maybe help with the blues?

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