1. How did you come up with the name Merry Golden?

As a little girl, I would often garden with my green-thumb-mum. My favourite flowers were Marigolds, but I renamed them to “Merry Goldens” and the name has been in my back pocket ever since.

  1. How many kids do you have?

Two fabulous daughters (two years apart).

  1. How many kids do you plan to have?

Time will tell. But kids are like chips: you can’t have just one!

  1. You talk a lot about simplifying. You must be really scheduled and disciplined. How do you do it?

I am scheduled and I am disciplined. But, not in the ways I would like and never enough. My bathrooms still get dirty, I fall behind on folding laundry and scheduling dinner dates with my husband, and I still somehow overbook myself despite my best efforts. At the end of the day, I strive to be a little more “Mary” and a little less “Martha” if you know what I mean.

  1. Why did you turn to a more grain free diet?

I have struggled with my health for as long as I can remember. It took hitting rock bottom in 2010 for me to seek to out all options, doctors, practices and medicine. With an autoimmune condition, an inflamed gut, and a proclivity to catch any and every bug, as well as a few too many trips to urgent care, I spent the last of my energy, a chunk of cash, and loads of time, dedicated to becoming more than functional – I was ready to take my life and health back. The key ingredients to my new found health: the help of a persistent and intuitive Dr. Linda Kodnar, a more natural approach toward food and medicine, lots of veggies, and a journey toward simplifying and living with purpose. I have never felt better. I still have bad days and flare ups, but a  (mostly) “Paleo” lifestyle has helped lead me down the straight and narrow to a fresh start.

Please note: my husband is German and loves grains, cheese and all things Haribo. He has also come a long way in his personal journey to health, but as his system is not as sensitive as mine, he can handle different food groups. Hence, the “normal” recipe posts you come across on my blog to cater to his love of “traditional” food.

  1. There aren’t many pictures of your husband or daughters on your blog. Why is that?

My hubby would like to keep his life as private as possible and I respect that. For my daughters’ sake, I want them to have some say in their online presence. If I am going to wait to let them choose to pierce their ears, I think it’s only fair to let her determine how they presents herself to the world.

  1. Do you speak German?

Ich probiere. I try to speak German and love learning languages. I think I would now place myself under the advanced category, but it is definitely the most complex language I have studied (thus far). My husband’s family lives in Germany and I want my daughters to be able to thrive in both languages and countries.

  1. Did you really give birth “at home” and with no medication?

Nope. Not true. I gave birth at a “Birthing Centre” with my first daughter which is a home-based environment near the hospital. But yes, I did not take any medication. No superhero award, I am simply terrified of needles.

The story and circumstances started out much the same with my second delivery, but escalated from birthing centre, to ambulance, to hospital, to c-section. You can read more about my birth story here.

  1. What did you study in University and what do you do now?

I studied “International Communication and Media” in the Netherlands. And now? Other than laundry, dishes and kisses, I left behind my work in Investor Relations, and I am enjoying my maternity leave.

  1. I like your style. Where do you find inspiration?

I have never been the most conventional when it comes to style. You should see the look on my husband’s face when I come with yet another pair of patent shoes, mustard yellow cords,  curtain-like skirts, grandma dresses, pleather pants, toques with obnoxious pom-poms or pharaoh-type necklaces. It’s just me. I like what I like. I love yellow. I love simple pieces. I love a good deal. (There are some years I would like to forget in my fashion foraging, but I was having fun at the time!).

Favourite clothing stores: Gap, MindyMaesMarket, Aritzia, Banana Republic, Jcrew, Boden, Albionfit, and when I can afford it, Anthropologie.

Favourite home stores: Ikea, EQ3, West Elm, Target, Hanna Anderson, Home Sense, Superstore, H&M home, Urban Outfitters, Amazon, Anthropologie and Chapters Indigo.

Favourite children’s clothing stores: Joe Fresh, Zara, Mini Boden, Baby Gap, Old Navy, Hanna Anderson, Hema, and my best friend’s hand me down bins!

Feel free to submit more questions at anytime. I’m an open book!