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.
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 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 28, 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 6 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, and were able to make it work with having me at home.
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't found anything yet.
13) What paint color do you have on your main floor?
Our entire mainfloor is painted Mourning Dove by Martha Stewart Paints! It's a grey, green, taupe color :) We love it!!!