I’ve always been a pretty open book on my blog. I love getting to know the people behind the blog, and this post felt like another way to connect with you all.
Some are things you may know, some will come as a surprise, and some are things that are a little hard to share.
I was born in (the former) Czechoslovakia and when I was 3, my family immigrated to Canada, arriving as refugees after having escaped communism. When we arrived in Canada, we came with just a few suitcases. Read more here.
In my last year of high school, I became a certified gymnastics coach and taught children ages 2-12 at the same gym where I took gymnastics for 9 years during my childhood.
I have worked since I was 14 years old. My first job was in a small coffee shop in the mall, followed by working at Thrifty’s (a clothing store, now called Bluenotes). I worked many other retail jobs over the years including in clothing stores, a mall makeup kiosk and for many years, a tanning salon. In college, I would usually work one job during the school year and two over the summer.
When I moved to Houston, I wasn’t able to work, but didn’t want to sit around at home. I ended up being a “full time volunteer” for 8 months at an arts-based nonprofit organization. It got me to where I am today and I don’t regret “working for free” for a second.
I briefly worked for a bridal magazine that went under and was able to fly to NYC for both my interview and training, which all took place in the Conde Nast building. I will never forget the cafeteria. I explored the city on my own every night and even went to see Legally Blonde on Broadway by myself! (and I know every single word to every song from that musical).
I never had my own car until moving to Houston and starting my first real job. I took the bus to school from elementary through college.
Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite movies of all time. I still dream of visiting Prince Edward Island one day.
I was in French Immersion from grades 4-12. I used to be able to speak, read and write in French at grade level. I also grew up speaking Slovak fluently and can still understand it. It sometimes saddens me that I don’t get to speak it much.
We have lived in three houses in 10 years. I LOVE to move. Yes, I’m a weirdo. There’s something so exciting about finding a great space as your life/family needs change and every home getting better and better to meet those needs.
I always hoped I would have my first child by age 30. Our daughter was born 3 days before my 30th birthday.
I started my blog after our wedding. I was on a wedding forum and got a lot of messages/emails about my hair, makeup and outfits and someone suggested I start a blog to have it all in one place. Thank you to whoever that was!
My wedding hair style was pinned so much on Pinterest that I have friends who tell me all the time that their friend showed my photo to their stylist on their wedding day. My wedding hair/makeup artist told me she once had a bride show my photos to her, not realizing that I was one of her brides. It always makes me smile. I have never felt more beautiful than I did that day.
At my last job, I only got five vacation days per year. I wasn’t even able to take the Monday after our wedding off because I had to save my time for our honeymoon. I worked so hard, and wish I would have realized my worth and advocated for myself. In the end, I ended up leaving for my dream (current) job and I will never forget the elation I felt making that move.
I wish we would have traveled more before having kids. Our trip to Paris/London was so amazing.
When I was a teen and signed with a modeling agency, I had a client measure me and tell me to lose some weight in my hips and thighs (and PS, I was naturally clinically underweight at the time, even though I ate a ton). I felt a little humiliated in the moment, but I just kept eating, because food = delicious. I was basically the most horrible model. The modeling industry is insane and I’m glad I was never caught up in it.
I haven’t seen/talked to my father since I was 18 and don’t plan to. I know he can see how my life has turned out and after always being treated like I was a failure (and worse), there is nothing that brings me more joy than the realization that I have built an amazing life for myself and my family, in spite of all I went through growing up. My upbringing taught me to be proud of my strength, success and resilience.
I was blonde for many of my high school and college years. I even wore long blonde extensions. I will never go blonde again, but at the time, I loved it.
I had horrible, thin, over plucked brows in high school. My agency made me grow them out and to this day, I keep them thick/natural.
In high school, I had dark purple walls and a faux fur leopard print bedspread. What the heck was I thinking?!
I have been skiing since I was 3 years old. It’s one thing I really miss about living in Canada (other than family and friends, of course).
Okay, one more, as a bonus…
My late grandfather used to be the director of a zoo in Slovakia (he was also a published author) and he once had a baby lion living with him (for reasons unbeknownst to me). The lion eventually went back to the zoo, but my mom recalls seeing the lion in his apartment (!!!) For real though:
So, what were you most surprised to learn?