Chocolate? Or Vanilla?

Years ago I read the book The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. A young girl, Lily, tries to piece together memories of her departed mother by running away to the very place her mother ran away to—a bee farm. I teared up at the tender moments where she  was so innocently deprived of the little details that make up a person. Among the curiosities Lily wondered of her mother was whether she liked chocolate or vanilla. This is now a question I think one should know of anyone they are close to. If there’s someone you care about, you should know whether to get them a chocolate or vanilla dessert. And I realized, I didn’t know this about my own mother.

I borrowed the questionnaire assembled by the editors of Lonny to learn more about my mother, step-mother, and one of my best friends, a new mother this year. It’s a great activity for family or your friends. Intimacy is in the little details. And these were SOOOOOO fun to read!

My Mom, Sally Jo

Chocolate or Vanillavanilla
City: St. Petersburg
Thing to Wear: jeans
Piece of Jewelry: diamond stud earrings
Hostess Gift: candle and bubble bath (to pamper and relax after all the work of hosting)
Color: green
Meal: sushi
Guilty Pleasureany of the “housewifes of…” shows
Flower: peonies
Style Icon: I need one!
Museum: d’Orsay and the Rodin
Book: Wuthering Heights
Musician: Neil Young
Professional Influence: Dawn Steel
Personal Influence: My family
Website: 1stdibs
Risks Worth Taking: falling in love
Favorite part of being a mother: hugs and kisses; watching my children grow into happy and satisfied people
Lipstick: rouge coco shine: color “boy”
Skin care tip: keep a lip care product on your bedside table and use at bedtime; I like to use a dab of my eyecream around the lip area every am.
Vacation destinationa beach
Greatest extravagance:  a white porsche
Prized Possession: the sterling pieces from my Mom; a photo of my Dad with his leica camera
Cocktail: vodka &tonic w/3 limes

My Step-Mom, Marisa

Chocolate or Vanilla:  usually chocolate.  sometimes vanilla.
City: Camden, Maine and San Francisco
Thing to Wear:  maxi dresses
Piece of Jewelry: wedding ring and grandmother’s emerald ring
Hostess Gift: to give or receive?  wine is usually good in either case.
Color: depends on the day of the week!  Orange, green, blue.  Anything but yellow
Meal: grilled cheese sandwich and artichoke soup at Duarte’s.  And a side of the fried okra from Butter.  Both wonderful meals I shared with you, in fact!
Guilty Pleasure:  cigarettes.  I have enjoyed every one I have ever smoked and wish with every puff that I didn’t.
Flower: hydrangea, gardenia, magnolia.  Pansies in winter.
Style Icon:  Steven Tyler?  George Costanza when he drapes himself in velvet?  Suri Cruise?  I don’t know.  People that are comfortable and confident in their own skin.
Museum:  Smithsonian
Book:  I can’t even think of the name Enzo without crying (tearing up just typing this!)  The Art Racing in the Rain.  And The Stand by Stephen King
Musician:  Burt Bacharach.  duh.
Professional Influence:  I don’t know.  It’s not Alan Stanford, Bernie Madoff or Ken Lay though.
Personal Influence: my grandmothers
Website:  other than foxnews, cnn, drudgereport…  shopsalus.com  all natural, organic bath and body products.  Every single thing she sells is wonderful.  And addictive!
Risks Worth Taking:  marrying a guy with 4 kids 😉
Words of Wisdom:  If you can’t be up front and honest about something then you shouldn’t be doing it.  (from a VERY wise man…your dad)
Favorite part of being a mother:  Spending time together.  Seeing everyone happy, healthy and successful.
Lipstick:  lip gloss
Skin care tip:  cleanse and use a good moisturizer with spf EVERY DAY.  And don’t smoke.
Vacation destination:  anywhere with Steven, Bella and Lucy (the dogs)
Greatest extravagance:  Seat warmers in the back seat of the car for Bella and Lucy.
Prized Possession:  my family
Cocktail:  Goose, soda, lime
Meredith. Meredith is one of my closest friends from growing up. She lives in Atlanta now with her adorable husband, pooch, and now, a very handsome 5 mos. old fella named Jack. This is my first friend that I’ve watched start a family. Awesome. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FIRST MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Jack Attack.

Meredith, Brand New Hot Mama

Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate
City: hmm…good question
Thing to Wear: Jeans
Piece of Jewelry: my wedding ring
Hostess Gift: flowers or candles
Color: pink or blue
Meal: chicken fajitas at Ninfa’s on Navigation
Guilty Pleasure: watching what some might call “bad” reality TV on Bravo
Flower:  white hydrangeas or Titanic roses
Museum: the children’s museum in Houston]
Book: The Great Gatsby or The Men We Became
Musician: James Taylor
Personal Influence: my husband
Website: duh! https://chocolatevssex.wordpress.com/
Risks Worth Taking: falling in love
Words of Wisdom: Live in the moment
Favorite part of being a mother: Seeing my sweet boy’s smiling face light up when I walk in the room. And learning what it feels like to love someone so completely and unconditionally.
Lipstick: don’t really wear lipstick
Skin care tip: always wash your face before you go to sleep
Vacation destination: the beach
Greatest extravagance: Dermalogica Age Smart Renewal Lip Complex. $25 is a lot for a tube of “chapstick” but I love it!
Prized Possession: my engagement ring…..or should i say my baby??!
Cocktail: stoli doli or chardonnay 


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