10 Things About Me

Sarah Sophia recently took a blog challenge posting 10 things about herself and now she’s asked me to do the same – to reveal 10 things you might not know about me. So without further adieu…

to 10px; WIDTH: 234px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjNXgZhIZRI/AAAAAAAADG4/fKiZoFuqfqg/s320/Tomas+HAINES08.JPG” border=”0″ />Photo: taken before gala at the Louvre

1) I may play a diva on the internet, but I’m exceedingly practical in real life. Friends always joke about my CFO husband’s family budget and his multiple spreadsheets but what they don’t know is that while he’s the fall guy I’m the one who holds him accountable for staying on top of things! He’s the impulse shopper – I’m the planner.

2) I’m so obsessed with décor because if my surroundings are unattractive it makes me physically and mentally ill. We have 1 junk room in our house that gives me a headache when I enter it…. However this one junk room allows the rest of the space to be seamless. Did you ever see the Friends episode where Chandler discovers Monica’s junk closet? That’s my junk room!

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Photo: view from my kitchen into living room

3) I dreamed I would marry my husband before I started dating him. We met when we were 16 and had one date, but we were both dating other people at the time. Two years later when I graduated from high school, we began dating but between that time and when I was 16, I had 3 prophetic dreams that I would marry him one day. Funnily enough, my ex-boyfriend’s mother (the mother of the boy I was dating in high school) – who had never met WG – also dreamed that I would marry him and told her son about the dream, asking “Does your girlfriend know anyone named WG?” She also dreamed that WG would work in finance.

4) I got married at the age of 22, two weeks after graduating university! He was 24! We’ve been married 13 years (and together 17) which means I am 35 and for the first time in my life I’m starting to feel old. Next year, he and I will have been together half my life – the best half of my life! Some people struggle with age at 29 or 30, 32 or 35 – for me, it hit me last month at 35 ½. I’m hoping this sensation of age is a passing one. On the bright side, most of my friends are older than me… so no matter how old I get, I’ll always be the younger friend!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjNXbuacSvI/AAAAAAAADGg/Z3T_iDDO5w4/s320/068.JPG” border=”0″ />Photo: taken in my Berlin living room

5) My goal is to someday have multiple homes – a pied-a-terre in Paris, a small foothold in Italy, something in Belgium – a central base for my Antiques Diva Tour Business (and more importantly for basing our tax status out of) and another in Oklahoma to be near my family whenever I’m home-sick. Hmmm, I’d also like a gorgeous beach house in Thailand for getting away from it all and to be an Asian base.

6) My top 5 favorite foods in the world are 1. Foie Gras with Toast and Fig Confiture, 2. French Fries, 3. Gigantic American Salads, 4. Lemon Gelato 5.French Cheese Courses (served with a salad). I am obsessed with asparagus season, eating it daily while it’s on sale in the markets. I also love cherry tomatoes and rarely does a day go by without me eating a salad for either lunch, dinner or a first course. Once a year I get a craving for a big fat juicy American cheeseburger – and this craving must be met or else. While in general I prefer European cuisine, the “American” food I miss most while living abroad is “Mexican”.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjNXb05Dg5I/AAAAAAAADGw/s82WRZZxNuQ/s320/champagne+on+ice.jpg” border=”0″ />Photo: taken at my 35th birthday party, at our home in Holland

7) I’ve designed my life so that champagne will be a regular part of it. I always keep a bottle chilling “just in case” the impulse hits – as nothing makes an ordinary day more special than a bottle of bubbly.

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjNZoZGId-I/AAAAAAAADHI/84nYFc_Cj1A/s320/023.JPG” border=”0″ />Photo: taken in my office – Catpuccino is also a reader!

8) I’ve read every night before bed my entire life. I’m currently reading Lifeguard by James Patterson, just finished When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro and the next two books waiting on my side table are Irving Stone’s 1961 best seller about the life of Michelangelo – The Agony and Ecstasy, and Philippa Gregory’s The Other Queen telling the tale of Mary Queen of Scots.

9) I don’t watch much television – and WG watches even less than me! We are both readers, retiring in the evenings to the library to read with a glass of port in hand – though I must confess, I might have majored in English literature in university, but WG is a more intelligent reader than I am. He’s currently working his way through anything written by an American expat in the 1920’s and 30’s and as of late, he’s been channeling Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Last week in Italy he even bought an ascot. We moved to Berlin a little over 3 months ago, and I still haven’t went to the store to buy the cable cord to hook up our TV to the cable outlet even though cable is provided free in our apartment.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjNXbsBFW-I/AAAAAAAADGo/X5ekVNGFlWA/s320/berlin+starbucks.jpg” border=”0″ />Photo: taken in Starbucks on the Unter den Linden nearby our home in what was East Berlin. And they call this progress?

10) I’m currently writing a novel in my spare time. I’ve written over 100 pages and am going strong. Just last week, I came up with an idea for a follow-up novel when I finish this one. I know it’s cliché, but I’m writing my novel fro
m the Starbucks on the Freiderichstrasse nearby my home in Berlin. I find when working on this book I need a change of scenery, so Starbucks has become my novel-writing office. I sit with a caramel macchiato in hand, me and my laptop for hours on end. I know this is Europe and I should not be frequenting Starbucks, but Starbuck’s wifi access and central location, cliché or not, win over Berlin authenticity and ambiance.

Now, I challenge you – can you tell me 10 things about YOU!?!!

Until next time,
The Antiques Diva™

Photo: taken last week at a stopover for dinner in Bellagio Italy

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • #3 is so amazing – I have weird prophetic dreams sometimes too, how cool that you married him! Love this blog and your antiquing through Europe business! I've always been in love with anything 1920's and 1930's. LOVE that stuff! I wish I didn't have to have all disposable furniture in our place, so will enjoy a little vicarious living via your adventures!

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  • Victorian Cobweb
    – My Long Lost Name Twin – So glad to see you're back in Comment Land! I have no clue why the comment field "rejected" you but don't take it personally!! I"m delighted to see your oh so familiar name again!!

  • Okay, finally after months and months I can post comments! But what did I do?? Who knows…….

    BTW Great posts over the last several months! LOL

  • Age is in the mind, you are only as old as you think you are! Besides age is just a number nothing more.

    Loved your 10 things, lets us in on who the real Diva really is! #3 is wonderful! Nothing like fate/karma/esp/meant to be/whatever you call it – the perfect piece to our puzzle.

  • Nice to read the things about you!

    You're really still quite young…

    Haven't been able to see enough of your painting, I have to admid… you know old age and eyesight…!

    Yes, I guess, it's important to have pleasant surroundings! We have now been renovating non-stop for the last 3 years and it's getting to me. No wonder i've been writing war stories all that time! It some times really felt like having been bombed!

    Nice you posted this and I like the pics!

    I see you're writing a novel as well… you might wanna be interested in this post:


  • Toma we have quite a bit more in common and yet I sensed it. I just made fig jam yesterday. How that for serendipidity!!! Lemon gelato..hello cool perfection. Weirder still. I actually dreamt about my ex (yup sad to say but true) before I ever met him & he's from Australia. My first collection was about the experience of our life & love coming together & then separating paths & I may know why you like to write in Starbucks…there's not too much excitement to distract but just enough difference to set yourself apart from your home life. Thats my reason. I use to try to work in my friends coffeehouse but I never got any writing done.
    Lastly don't fret the age thing. I loved turning 40. You'll become more free.
    No go eat some yummy cheese for me…it realy tastes better on your side of the pond.

  • Johnson Family –
    I know, it's amazing isn't it?!!?
    I'm looking very forward to seeing Kellie (of A Rendez-Vous with Style for all you Diva Readers out there!). Just a few more weeks before she & I will be shopping in Berlin!

  • Your description is very good Toma. You are a great personality and an excellent writer. I ‘m not sure though if you should follow the same pattern as Sarah Sophia’s “10 things about yourself” and include in your post your views on sex, romance, health etc. I have to contact Sarah Sophia to find out about the rules of the game!!! 🙂

  • Judith,
    There's nothing champagne on a rainy day can't cure!!! When my mom comes to visit me she says she has more champagne in 2 weeks than she has during her entire life!

  • Girl, you will NEVER get old! Age means nothing, you know that, just look at an antique, it's as pretty today as it ever was. And for the record, you ARE a diva any which way you slice it and we love you for it!