Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions:

In celebration of our 1 year Blogaversary, we've put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Now  my definition of "frequently" is slightly skewed, if it was asked it more then once I've included it!
I'd like to thank anyone who sent a question this year. I'm always more then happy to answer!

So let's get this party started:
1) One of the questions we get the most is from Women who want to stay at home (either as a stay at home mom or a housewife) asking us how we're able to do it? 

In case your wondering, NO Lee doesn't make tons of money, that's usually where people go first. And NO, we don't have any super rich relatives (I did get one email asking if my parents were super rich haha NO). We realize it is a HUGE luxury to have one person at home, the way we're able to do it is strictly through sacrifice. We don't drive new cars, both of our cars have over 200,000 kilometers on them. We (like most of you) DIY as much as possible. Whether it's putting up a fence, or and oil change on the car or an entire new engine in the car (yes Lee can do that) we do it ourselves. We buy used whenever possible, we eat dinners at home, and we simply do without, as much as I'd love a couple pairs of Manolo's and Lee would love the newest latest technology it's more important to us to have someone at home taking care of business (so to speak). If you really try to save money, I mean really really try, it can be done, it's mostly a matter of what your willing to give up in order to stay at home. Stay tuned for a post about WHY we've made the choice to keep me at Home :)

2)The second question we get a lot is Do you want kids? Actually once we got "Why don't you have kids?"

Short answer: YES we definitely do want kids.
Long answer: I have a disorder called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, the severity varies from woman to woman I happen to be un-lucky and have a very severe case. If you've never heard of it before in short it's severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. We've had failed pregnancies and aren't sure what our next step is going to be, we're looking into all of our options, surrogacy, different adoption choices, but as soon as we know what our plan is we'll be sure to share it. We're very optimistic that there will be mini maillardville manor addition in the future :).

3) Is your house always as clean as the pictures on your blog?

Yes, and No. In general the house stays pretty clean (as I mentioned in the two questions before I'm a housewife, and we have no kids) it's pretty easy to stay on top of things :) But on the other hand there are things that aren't "picture perfect", I have a terrible habit of leaving my clothes on the bathroom floor, Lee likes to leave his socks on the living room floor, I don't usually make the bed, unless guests are coming or a bedroom shot is needed for the blog :) and after I make dinner the kitchen looks like an elementary food fight happened in it :)

4) A very sweet woman once asked me how old I was exactly, saying "your young enough that I can ask it without being rude :)" It made me laugh out loud.

I am 27, Lee is 35. A couple of times we've gotten asked how long we've been married and how old we were when we got married. We've been married for 5 1/2 years now. And to save you from doing the math, that made me 22 and Lee 29 (he turned 30 one week later) when we tied the knot.

5) The question I get asked after any picture that shows my hands is: "IS YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING A DIAMOND!!!!????" 

NO it's not. I chose a Green Amethyst engagement ring! I've always LOVED the light green, glacial color of the stone and knew that I didn't want a "Traditional" wedding ring. While I did want a traditional wedding set, I knew I wanted something a bit different. And the price compared to a diamond makes it a steal!
For the record, My ring is a 6.25 carat green amethyst, with three small diamonds on each side, and the band is made of white gold, we designed it ourselves :)

6) What are your nationalities and backgrounds? Family??

Lee's parents are from the Czech Republic, in fact Lee was born there and immigrated to Canada when he was 2.
Lee has one brother, he's both older and taller than Lee. He's married and has two children, our niece and nephew :) 
Ashli's parents are much more of a mix!
My Dad is half Chinese and half Portuguese
My Mom is half Scottish and half Irish.
I have one sister, a younger sister. She, as my grandmother would put it is, "living in sin" with her boyfriend hehe oh grandma. He's a good guy and we're all anticipating a wedding in the new future, although they both get mad when we bring it up :)

7) How tall are Lee's parents? 

This question makes us giggle. Lee is 6'8" tall his brother is 6'9" tall. Lee's parents are on the tall side but not anything crazy. Lee's Dad is 6'0" and Lee's mom is just shy of 5'10". No one is really sure how the boys got so tall but here they are all 13+ feet of them :)

8) What breed of dog is Max? and why did you pick that breed? 

Max is a Yorkshire terrier! And to set the record straight about this breed, there is NO such thing as a Tea Cup Yorkie. The standard size for a Yorkie will range between 4 lbs to 7 lbs, Max is 5lbs :)
There are tons of reasons we chose to get a yorkie, number one being they don't shed! They're small, we wanted a little doggie at our feet not a roommate. And they're just like a real big dog, but packed into a small little package :)
By the way, the reason his tongue sticks out all the time is because he lived in a puppy mill before he came to live with us, and they didn't take care of him at all. So due to poor diet and just in general poor care, most of his teeth have fallen out, or had to be pulled out. The poor little guy, so in short, dogs need teeth to hold their tongue in, hehe. It's super cute, I Love it!

9) Did you ever rent before you purchased your first house? If so, what kind of place?

We've rented A LOT of different places, especially Lee. But together We rented 3 apartments before we bought our first apartment.
Our first apartment was a little one bedroom on the ground floor in Vancouver's west side. It was Lee's bachelor pad before I moved in. It was a horrible little place but I LOVED it soooo much. it was the first place outside of my parents house! LOVED IT! After we were broken into we moved:
To another 1 bedroom apartment in Vancouver's Kitsalino District, one block from the beach, that was such a fun summer :) I remember we had a little balcony and I thought it was the BEST thing in the world.
From there we moved in to a newer Studio apartment on Vancouver's East side. It was in a Loft building with concrete floors and exposed ducting.  It was a little weird that our bed was about 4 feet from the kitchen but hey it was cool :)
That was the last place we rented, we bought our first apartment right after that. A very OLD, very run down one bedroom apartment but we loved it so much it was the first place we could change things in and boy did we ever. New floors, new kitchen, new bathroom. This is also where we learned of the challenges that come with renovating your one and only bathroom, which holds your one and only toilet :)

10) Have you ever had a job? Do you think you'll go back to work one day?

This one makes me laugh too. Because of course I've had a job before. Through High School I worked at Subway, that's right I was a sandwich artist extraordinaire.
Through College I was a waitress at a local Italian Restaurant.
After that I was a sales rep for a woman's silk lingerie company. We represented lingerie lines and sold them to stores.
Then we got married, I worked a part time job until we were able to make it work with having me at home, and once we could we did.
As for going back to working outside the home one day?? I don't know? Maybe? It depends, right now I'm just looking foreword to having some mini-Malinek's running around the Manor, I know that I want to be a stay at home mom but after that who knows?

11) What do you guys do for fun besides DIYing?

We share some hobbies with each other: Like Volleyball (it`s how we met) and tennis (the one sport I can keep up with Lee at), a bit of skiing in the winter.

We also have separate hobbies:
Ashli: I like to scrapbook, knit, sew, baking (come to think of it most of my hobbies are kind of home related) and now gardening
Lee: Goes to the gym frequently, LOVES to work on his car, and my car and occasionally the neighbors cars (haha), he likes motorcycles, and basically anything with an engine. And like any good Canadian he can play hockey :)

12) And the question I get asked the Most by far is . . . where did you get the baskets in your townhouse bathroom from?

They are from the Real Canadian Superstore here in Canada. I've been looking for a similar version available to our American friends but haven' found anything yet :(


  1. I lurk, but don't comment. I just had to step out of lurkdom to tell you that I am very sorry for what you are going through to try and have a baby. I have been reading your blog wondering if you've been silently dealing with infertility in the background (since you stay at home but have no children), and I'm sorry to hear that is the case. My husband and I struggle with infertility, and I have never gone through anything in my life that is harder than that. It consumed my life and I found it pretty much impossible to find happiness in any other area. We have a 14 month old son, now, and he is my world, but everytime we want to get pregnant it will be another long road with needles, daily bloodwork and ultrasounds, 2 hour long drives to the clinic everyday, and plenty of people all up in my lady parts - people who AREN'T my husband.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I am sorry for your struggles to add to your family. I hope you find your answer and path soon.

    (Oh, and I am a SAHM! We make a lot of sacrifices to make this happen, but it is 100% worth it to not have someone else raising my child all day! I would rather move to an apartment and have 1 car than send my son to a babysitter!)

  2. This was such a fun read! Thanks for sharing a slice of your lives with us net folks. =)

  3. Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed reading about you guys :) I love your home / cleaning tips, but it's fun to hear about the person writing them! Thanks! Congrats on 1 year!

  4. Thanks for sharing, I loved reading and learning more about you. Best of luck with becoming parents. I hope you will be blessed with a kidlet very soon! I have endometriosis and was born with half a uterus. I was able to get pregnant and had her at 37 weeks. We are very blessed. We are trying for baby no. 2 now. We have been trying for 9 months. Hopefully there will be 2012 babies for both of our families! :O)

  5. Too many people our age don't understand the concept of sacrifice and saving, so good for you for representing and sharing a smart and beautiful life!

  6. I enjoyed learning more about you :-) I also have a cute lil' yorkie! He's really tiny at 3.5 lbs, and his tongue sticks out too (he has all his teeth, it's just his tongue is too big for his mouth, lol). He def. has a "big dog's attitude" in a "little dog's body". He has NO idea how little his is....he's chased off oppossum's double his size, killed rats 1/2 his size, and chased off a few neighbor cats and 80 lb dog that was frequenting our front yard! lol.

    I am a sahm - not by choice, but God works in mysterious ways. I am discovering some great things along my journey.

    I'll be praying for some little ones in your future soon - whichever way it's meant to happen!

  7. I also enjoyed this post. Have never commented but have been reading a long time. I'm in my first home and find decorating a big challenge, so I like to drop by for inspiration.

    Just curious if you care to answer. What did you study in college? Did you ever think you would be a stay at home wife? Or did meeting Lee change your perspective on it?

    Thanks for the fun read.

  8. Just wanted to say that your ring is gorgeous!

  9. Thank you so much everyone!
    In college I studied Political Science, mainly, but my college offered a two year degree an "Associates Degree" to get it you have to take a range of courses, one science, an english etc. . . I thought I wanted to get into politics, I was crazy because I can't stand politics now, I had young person dreams of honest politicians haha
    My mom was a stay at home mom so i always knew I wanted to stay home with my kids, but all through college and highschool for that matter I wasn't really "allowed" to think that way so I kind of forgot about it, but once I was married it all came back to me and Lee was so supportive, it only took a couple Great Meals and a clean house to convince him haha
    Thank you so much for your question, I'll add some of these answers in our WHY I stay at home post later this week :)

  10. I enjoyed reading this post and getting to know you better. All the best with deciding what the next step is to having children. Happy one year anniversary! Janell

  11. I LOVED this, getting to know you. Yay for you staying at home. I too am at home, we have kids, but still the sacrifices we made for me to stay at home are similar to yours. I do now work on-call as a teacher for my "DIY" fund! My parents are from the Czech Republic as well, I knew no English when I started K, despite being Canadian born! I have the same baskets from Superstore - that store can be dangerous! I always stick with a list {ok, sometimes I stray}

    Happy One Year! Are you coming to our blog meet-up lunch on the 11th of June? Check the Facebook page for details!


  12. I've been reading your blog since almost the beginning - for the life of me, I can't remember what directed me here but I stayed and am always glad I did!

    What a fun post - and a great way to celebrate the anniversary.


  13. This blog is only a year old? It feels as though it's been here forever. I'm looking forward to your "why" post.

  14. It takes a very special person to give and share so much about their life....thank you!

  15. Thanx so much for letting us know more about you guys =) I don't think I've ever seen a pic of Lee. Y'all are a cute couple....family with Max ;)

  16. Wow, this was so nice to read Ashli. I have been wanting to ask you a few things but of course I didn't want to at the same time. This was a fun read-thanks for sharing!!

  17. I LOVE your blog, it's actually become one of my absolute favorites. I really enjoyed reading your answers, getting to know you better. I never would have asked most of the questions, but it doesn't mean I didn't want to know the answers! LOL Maybe you can start your own show, "The REAL Housewives of British Columbia". :o)

  18. That is such a nice answer! It's true about the not being allowed to want to be a house wife thing. But it is allowed - that is the beauty of choice. Good for you for being honest with yourself and making your dream a reality. It's hard work holding down the fort, and you seem to be really great at it. I'm also a stay at home girlfriend (not yet wife!), but I really dislike it and can't do it for long. I would rather have a job outside of the home, which I can't yet for various reasons (finishing up grad school, immigrating to a new country, etc...). I do enjoy your blog a lot though. You are great at what you do and I am learning a lot from you. :)


  19. Thanks ~J
    I think it's great that your so honest! Different strokes for different folks :) And I love that we can be different and still appriciate the differences :) Thank you!
    You're awesome :)

  20. I loved reading all of your answers to the FAQs (even "I" learned something!! LOL) Mark and I are 10 years apart, got married at 19 and 29, and I stayed home when Elie was born (21).

  21. Hello! I used to read your blog all the time (and even started my own), but haven't had the energy to read lately.

    I am currently going through HG (the doc says mid to severe range) so I completely understand what you've been through and how you're thinking.

    I'm only 3 months along right now, but I've already had to give up pretty much everything in my life. I left my job (which was intended since I planned to be a housewife, but i wanted to work another 6 months to splurge on baby things), I can't go out with friends, I can't drive, I can't do anything! Today is a good day for me, so I'm lucky enough to be able to sit at my computer for a bit and type. I'm in hospital at least 1 time a week, and I've lost 25 pounds due to not eating.

    I always wanted a huge family with my husband, but I cannot imagine going through this again!! My husband and I have decided that after the baby is born (fingers crossed) we will look up adoption and surrogacy for any future children. I'd love to hear of your experiences - if it's not too personal!

    I wish you both all the luck in the world and hope that the mini you comes along soon!!

  22. I would LOVE to chat with you. It's a very unfortunate few of us who can really understand and sympathize! I also have a couple online resources that I found super helpful!
    It's hell, I know! Shoot me an email and we'll chat! maillardvillemanor@gmail.com
    I tried to email you back but I didn't have you email address.
    Lots of Love
    Stay strong

  23. I'm amazed at some of the questions your readers have asked you. You have great patience in answering them :)

  24. Just wanted to post a comment here to say how sorry I am to hear of your losses in pregnancy. I have also experienced a loss, and I know how hard that is. I am sincerely lucky to have a child, and a healthy pregnancy (about 31 weeks now), but I do know how it feels to go through a loss. I do wish you the best, and I appreciate your candid nature. I also cannot believe some of the questions you have received! Since you are so open in sharing the answers, I wonder if blogging about these things is also an emotionally helpful experience. Ordinarily, I would think that asking such personal questions would be rude, but somehow in the cyber environment, people feel almost invited to walk into your home and your life in a very personal way.

    Just a note of support from a new reader in Philadelphia.


  25. I just found your blog and it was great to learn about you! Your house is gorgeous...so much inspiration! I laughed when I read the question about your engagement ring, because I thought the SAME thing! hahah that thing is huge! ;) Can't wait to go through your archives!

  26. Hi! I just had to write when I read about you dealing with HG in your pregnancy. I, too, had very severe HG. I've never known anyone else who suffered so with it! I've had two pregnancies (lost my first one) and lost 20 pounds with each. After losing my first and being sooo sick, it was REALLY hard to try again. My doctor told me to put on weight before I got pregnant again. Sure enough, at 5 weeks pregnant the second time, I was in the hospital with very severe HG. Spent weeks in the hospital and then months at home on an iv. I now have a wonderful 16 year old son who is the love of my life! We stopped at one as I just couldn't go through that ordeal again. I don't know how I would have taken care of a toddler and dealt with HG at the same time! :(

    I SO understand what you are going through and you are truly in my thoughts. If I can be of any help please let me know.
    Hang in there! :)

    - Your blog is wonderful!

  27. Oh Dori!
    Thank you for your very sweet comment!! sometimes it's just nice to know that I'm not the only one :) although i'm very sad you had to go through it too :(
    Thank you again for your comment!
    Lots of Love

  28. Hi Ashli! I've been a reader for a while, and I think I've only commented once or twice... but I would LOVE to hear more about your thoughts on adoption. I follow you on Pinterest and saw you had put something on there about it. My hubby and I have a sweet daughter who is 17 months old (I am lucky enough to be a "mostly" SAHM) but are currently pursuing international adoption (twins or siblings from Uganda!)... We have been fortunate enough to not have any fertility problems ourselves, we're just really passionate about the beauty of adoption! Anyways, I love your blog, I'm a daily reader :) and I'd love to hear more about your adoption journey, if you do decide to go that route!! Love and hugs, Julie

  29. HI Julie!
    I'm so happy for you guys, that's really something I haven't heard to much about adoption from Uganda! I'm going to have to do some more research!
    I will definitely be updating the site as we progress in our journey, but we're right at the start so nothing to exciting yet! Homestudy won't be until the fall, (fingers crossed it all goes well and we can't get this show on the road!
    Please keep us updated on your adoption! I would LOVE to hear more about Uganda Adoption!! Our email is maillardvillemanor@gmail.com!!
    Lots of love

  30. Hi! I'm portuguese and found your blog, i'm loving it! Love your house and I also have a Yorkshire as my best friend, on four legs of course ;)



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