What is your educational background?

It is with a slight bit of embarrassment that I admit that I possess a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Hawaii in the now rarely pursued field of Home Economics Education.  What does that mean?  Well, first off, I have a teaching credential, and, in what I think of as a past life, taught high school Home Economics for all of 2 short years before starting an apparel manufacturing firm.  Home Economists are trained in a wide variety of fields that include Food and Nutrition, Clothing and Textiles, Consumerism, Human Development & Relationships, Home Management & Interior Design, etc.  In simpler terms, we are jacks of all household trades and work to enhance the quality of life. I love all of these things and look forward to sharing some of my skills with you.

Are you a trained Cook/Chef?

As a Home Economist, I have had an extensive education in the field of food preparation and nutrition.  I did not go to Culinary School.  I think of cooking as a science and approach food preparation almost like a chemistry experiment that tastes good.  I enjoy teaching people about proper cooking techniques, which make a great deal of difference in the outcome of a recipe.  And, I love to cook for others so you will be a virtual guest at many of my dinner parties featured here.

Are the recipes you publish on the Blog your own?

Almost all of the recipes on After Orange County are original; a few are my adaptations of recipes I have enjoyed from others.  The author of all recipes found here will be clearly identified and credited.

Can I use one of your photos or posts on my site?

Maybe.  The content on AfterOrangeCounty.com is protected by copyright, so please ask for permission before using any of my content.  You can email your request to:  info@AfterOrangeCounty.com

I love the hand-forged ironwork I see in your home and cottage.  Where can I get some?

All of the ironwork you see in my homes was designed and manufactured by me via my company The Hill Ironworks.  I am in the process of developing an online store from which I will sell selected items, so please stay tuned for further developments.  If you are located in the Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear communities, I do take on commissions for select projects, including hand-forged wrought iron furniture, light fixtures, gates and railings, decorative accessories, etc. Let’s talk about your project!  Contact me at info@AfterOrangeCounty.com.

Who built your website?

My oldest son, Nathan, owns an award-winning interactive agency that specializes in website design and development.  His company, NJI Media gets all the credit for the design and development of my Blog, and for that I am beyond grateful and a proud Momma.

Are the photos appearing on After Orange County your own?

I photographed the images you see here, unless otherwise noted.  I am a very amature photographer, but am endeavoring to improve on these skills daily.  If you would like to use any of my images, please ask first and then credit it back to www.AfterOrangeCounty.com.  Any images not belonging to me will be linked back to the original source and used with the owner’s permission.  I am a huge fan of Pinterest and encourage you to Pin my images.  Please just be sure that my images link back here to After Orange County and credit my blog.

You have a travel section on your Blog.  Are you widely traveled?

One of the things I love most about my husband Brad is that we share a lust for travel.  For his most recent birthday I gave him a giant framed map of the world.  It came with colored magnetic pins that are used to identify where each member of the family has been.  We determined that I have journeyed to 47 countries and Brad to 33 (I got to see a good bit of the world before knowing him).  Having traveled to all but two continents, (Australia and Antarctica), those locations are now on the top of my bucket list.  We have taken our children whenever possible and they too have seen the world.  I have documented a good deal of my travels and look forward to sharing my experiences with you here.

Magnetic World Map | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

You built a Spanish Style house, you cook a lot of Spanish food and you design and manufacture Spanish style wrought iron.  Are you Spanish?

With the name Celia you may have guessed that I am of Spanish heritage. My maiden name is Lopez and it doesn’t get much more Spanish than that!  My father was born and raised in Spain, and to his credit, brought much of his Spanish traditions and customs to America with him. He is an excellent Spanish chef, as was my Spanish Grandmother, both of whom influenced my love of Spanish food.  I grew up traveling to Spain, where to some degree, our entire Galician village is related to one another.  My father is truly a Spanish historian and introduced me to nearly every inch of his beautiful homeland.  I love the fact that, as an American, I also have a heritage that brings great meaning and tradition to my life.  I have tried to pass this heritage on to my children, who share my passion for everything Spanish.

I understand you are married and have 5 children.  Can you tell us a little bit about your family?

I have been married to my husband Brad for 27 years.  When we married we each had 2 very young children from previous marriages.  We then had our son Austin together and like to refer to him as the glue that sealed our blended family together.  Austin, who is now 21, has recently moved away to college, making us empty nesters.  My oldest son Nathan lives in DC and recently gave us our first grandbaby, Elle and now a grandson Wills.  My son Taylor graduated from Duke University, finished a 2 year stent as a high school Spanish Teacher for teach for America and recently graduated from the University of Chicago Law School. He now works as an attorney in Chicago. He is married to a Pediatrician named Ann who we adore. Both of my boys refer to my husband as Daddy Brad, a term you will hear affectionately bantered about on this blog.  Brad’s oldest son Adam is a senior engineer for Google in New York City and is married to Alissa.  Alexandra is our only girl and she also makes her home way across the country in North Carolina.  Despite the distances we are a very close-knit family and travel to visit each other often.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

Since cooking and entertaining are my passions, I have found a way to integrate them into my life in a way that enriches me socially, nutritionally and philanthropically.  I do that by way of several groups I belong to that I Blog about here.  My husband Brad joins me for our “Comfort Food Group”, a group of friends that meet in each other’s homes monthly and share an evening of cozy comfort food and great wine.  In an effort to learn the latest news in health and nutrition, I meet monthly with a group of girlfriends for what we term our “Healthy Cooking Group.”  Finally, I am also a member of a “Support The Troops” group of women who send monthly care packages to young people from our mountain community who are serving in the military abroad.

Someone told me you worked in the Fashion Industry at one time.  Is that true?

Yes, that’s true.  When I was pregnant with my oldest son Nathan (many moons ago) there was no high-quality, natural-fiber baby clothing available in the United States market.  I longed to be able to buy the beautiful 100% cotton baby clothes I saw in my travels to Europe and South America.  So, having identified a need, I decided to fill it and started a company to manufacture natural fiber baby clothes.  Over the course of 18 years, the company became a leading supplier of high quality baby clothes to a customer base of over 3,000 retail stores across the country.  I worked very long hours, traveled frequently and had to search hard to find quality time for my kids.  So, when our youngest son, Austin, was two years old I decided to become a full-time mom for the first time and gave up the apparel business for good.  Having finally escaped the corporate rat-race and then the Orange County rat race, I am now reinventing myself as a mountain woman and forger of wrought iron.  I’ve come a long way baby!

PS – Now my lovely little Granddaughter, Elle sports her Grandmother’s clothing line (vintage of course) on a daily basis.  And by the way, my line was named after her father, Nathan J.

Elle in Vintage Nathan J

Do you accept advertising, sponsored or guest posts, etc.

I sure do. Please click here for all the information. By the way, I take these partnerships seriously, which is why I’ll never collaborate with a brand unless I profoundly believe in their product or service. I trust those I work with to make a great product that I can believe in, and they trust me to write great articles that are informative and helpful. I value these relationships which help to make this blog possible.

So there you have! If I can answer any other questions don’t hesitate to contact me at info@AfterOrangeCounty.com.

Thanks for dropping it!