FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I love hearing from you! Over the years, I’ve noticed that I get a lot of the same questions, so I’ve answered them below. Of course, I’m always happy to answer with more detail, so feel free to e-mail me at gritsandchopsticks [at] gmail [dot] com for a more in-depth chat.
What kind of camera and lens do you use?
As of July 2015 I’m using a Canon 6D body, a Sigma 35 mm f/1.4 lens, a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II lens and a Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. Before then, I used a Canon 7D and a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens. Before that, I started out with a Canon Rebel XSi and a 50mm f/1.8 lens. In other words, I have slowly upgraded my collection over time.
What is Whole30? What was your experience like?
The first post I ever wrote about our 30-day attempt to eat healthier is here, and you can find a complete list of the posts here. The Whole30 website, which has tons of helpful information and reasons why you should do it, is a great resource. I also love Nom Nom Paleo for recipe ideas.
Can you tell me more about your kitchen remodel?
Oh, my kitchen in Falls Church, Virginia. How I love thee so. Hands down, this was the place I spent most of my free time. I have a post about our kitchen here and here, but I usually get specific questions about what materials we used, so here’s the breakdown:
Cabinetry: IKEA ADEL off-white cabinet doors and AKURUM bases (both have since been discontinued, but as of May 2015 we are still in love with our cabinets, nearly a year later); our dishwasher, with a custom cabinet front, is also from here, as well as the sink basin for our second (smaller) bar sink.
Appliances: Samsung counter-depth French door refrigerator (not our exact model, but close) and slide-in gas range
Backsplash: SomerTile Orion Moroccan tile, available at Overstock here
Cabinet Hardware: Studio Collection 128mm pulls in Bright Nickel for the cabinet doors; 13-inch appliance pulls for the large drawers and pantry cabinet (c/o from Hickory Hardware)
Pendant Lights: Simone mini-pendant from Joss & Main. Note: they change their product names frequently although the product itself stays the same. Here’s a pic of the lights we used, which mirror the shape of our kitchen backsplash tile:
Sink Faucets: We have two faucets in our kitchen, both made by Tresa in Polished Nickel: one is a bridge faucet, and the other is a bar faucet for our second sink.
Countertops: LG Viatera Rococo Quartz. We loved the look of marble but worried about staining and scratches. Quartz is the most durable and, unlike granite, never needs repolishing. We used Pyramid Granite as our supplier and installer and had a fabulous experience. They even cut a small 20×20 piece and honed it for me so that I can move it around and still take food photos next to a window when the light isn’t good. How great is that!
What was it like living in Malaysia? Should I move there?
I loved living in Malaysia! Although I’d lived overseas before, it was my first experience living abroad with the hubby. It is a country with amazing and varied food (Chinese, Indian and Malay are the predominant cuisines, but there’s also a myriad of other Southeast Asian flavors, like Thai and Vietnamese). Kuala Lumpur is a city of shopping malls, which is both a blessing and a curse — it’s wonderful to wander indoors and enjoy air conditioning, but the city sometimes seems a little obsessed with retail. That being said, Kuala Lumpur is a wonderful jumping-off point for travel within Southeast Asia, with discount carrier Air Asia based there. If you’re seriously considering moving there, do it!
From a practical standpoint, we lived in the U-Thant area of town, which was a lovely, centrally located residential neighborhood with a large expat population. We didn’t have school-aged children when we lived there, but we heard wonderful things about the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) and Mont’Kiara International School. Ge Ge, our son, was born in Kuala Lumpur, and we had an amazing, world-class experience with Dr. Paul Tay Yee Siang, who is a resident OB-GYN at Prince Court Hospital, a private hospital. My blog posts on Malaysia aren’t particularly organized, but you can read all of them here.
What was it like living in Charleston, South Carolina? Should I move there?
Charleston is home for me. I grew up in South Carolina, and throughout my childhood, trips to Charleston were special and wonderful. When we were offered the opportunity to live there from 2011-2014, we jumped at it. It’s a gem of a small city, with incredibly nice people who are welcoming and relaxed. We especially loved the food, which is incredibly sophisticated and varied for a town of its size. The beaches are just a short drive away, and the arts scene is rich and vibrant thanks to the Spoleto Festival, an annual arts festival that draws people from around the world. People moving from bigger cities will find Charleston to be a little sleepier. It’s an ideal place to raise a family. You can get a better feel for what it is like for us to live there by visiting my blog posts about Charleston here.
Why do you move so much?
We go wherever my husband’s job takes us. It’s not always easy, but we feel very lucky to have the adventures his career has given us.
Will you advertise/write a review/host a giveaway?
Let’s talk about it! Shoot me an e-mail.