It’s been a little while since I shared something fun about me, and since I have a lot of new readers here, I thought I’d re-introduce myself with some personal facts. A lot of you have been following me or reading here since my blog began in 2014, so some of these facts you may have already known. Most of you know that I was Miss USA in 2011, and most of you know that for 10 years I was a redhead. Most of you know how much I love to travel, and most of you know that I am obsessed with my fur babies.
But below are some fun facts you probably didn’t know. Some are silly, and some I am preparing for some judgment over. But as I say hello to a lot of new readers, I think this is a fun way for you get to know me a little bit more. There’s more to me than just style, travel, and beauty recommendations. Do we share any fun facts in common?
10 Fun Facts about Me
1. I was born in New Jersey.
GTL! A lot of you already knew this, but for those who are new here, perhaps you didn’t. While I haven’t lived in New Jersey since I was 17, I was born and raised there in a small town called Manalapan. I grew up spending summers by the shore and praying for snow days in winter so I didn’t have to go to school. Despite being only an hour from New York City, I barely spent any time in the city until I was 17.
2. I am Danish, Italian, and Lithuanian.
My paternal family came from Naples, Italy over 100 years ago, and my maternal grandfather immigrated from Espergærde, Denmark in the 1950s. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting both Italy and Denmark twice, which made me feel right at home. I can speak Italian and Danish, although I read and write both languages better than speak it. My maternal aunt recently completed a 23 & Me DNA kit and discovered that while we most certainly have Danish blood, we also have Lithuanian blood. Considering Vilnius has been on my travel wish list for a long time, I was pretty excited to learn something new about my heritage and I’m looking forward to finally visiting Lithuania someday.
3. I don’t read novels, but my favorite is Sense & Sensibility.
I am not much of a novel reader or historical fiction reader. I prefer textbooks and historical nonfiction. However, as a teen I did enjoy reading Jane Austen. While everyone expected my favorite book of hers to be Pride & Prejudice, it’s actually Sense & Sensibility. I am 100% a Marianne Dashwood (“sensibility”), a hopeless romantic and someone who wears her heart on her sleeve.
4. My favorite band is Sigur Rós.
It’s no secret how much I love Iceland. In fact, it’s my favorite place on Earth and where I feel most like myself. It should then come as no surprise that my favorite band is Sigur Rós. For all my road trips in Iceland, I listened to all their albums. When I write blog posts, I like to have Sigur Rós playing in the background for inspiration. I also like listening to them when on walks or on my commutes into the city. My favorite songs are Hoppípolla, Svefn-G-Englar, Staráflur, Varúð, Dauðalogn, and Festival.
5. I do not sleep with pillows.
This one I am expecting you all to laugh at (and for physiotherapists to gasp at). I laugh about it myself, since my bed is covered in pillows. However, I prefer to sleep completely flat either on my side or on my belly (again, physiotherapists, please don’t come at me).
6. I’ve called New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, Spain and Hong Kong home.
I’ve been lucky to call several places home around the world. I was born and raised in New Jersey, I then spent 4 years of my life living in New York City (I lived in Brooklyn, Upper East Side, and Midtown), and then I spent nearly 10 years in Los Angeles. In between those years, I spent half the year for 3 years in Toronto and half the year for a year in Spain. Since November 2019, I’ve called Hong Kong home. Something tells me there are still several cities around the world destined to be my home for a time. I do not like to sit still.
7. I wanted to be an astronaut.
When I was 12, I became fascinated with NASA and the Space Shuttle Program. I followed every space shuttle mission, watching every launch live on TV until the program was discontinued. My parents bought me books about NASA, including a manned spaceflight log and a space shuttle manual that I read from front to back, back to front. I desperately wanted to be an astronaut and go into space. Unfortunately, I felt my sensitive stomach and Meniére’s disease meant I wouldn’t be able to. So I ended up changing my career plan, but my obsession with NASA never abated.
8. I have a fear of flying, despite dating a pilot.
Despite traveling around the world for my job, I have a severe fear of flying. The fear has always been there since 2001, but it increased in 2014. I’m that person who is crying on takeoff for every flight, and I’m also that person loudly praying during turbulence. My current beau is actually a pilot, and while he has helped me a bit with my fear, I still cry and panic if he isn’t the one flying our plane.
9. I am a mama to three fur babies and a stepmama to one.
I am the proud mama to two 9-year old cats named Renly and Daenerys, who live in LA that I share custody with, and one 7-month old puppy named Luca who I adopted here in Hong Kong. My beau has a 10.5-year old dog named Argos here in Hong Kong that I adopted as my step-fur baby (see our story here).
10. I dislike summers and prefer winter.
Despite living in a tropical climate, I prefer wintertime to summertime. I would rather live in sweaters and boots and oversized coats than anything else. I would rather have a snowy day than a sunny one. I grew up in a state that frequently saw snowstorms and blizzards. Snow puts me in a good mood for some reason. Shoveling it doesn’t, but I have always been the happiest in the snow. My last trip that involved snow was in December 2019 when I went to Hokkaido, Japan for 8 days. It snowed every single day of the trip.