Today we are learning all about the lovely Toulouse of the blog, Toulouse and Tonic. This is yet another case of the Internet bringing two people together that were meant to know one another. This lady not only is raising two boys, she is also a fellow horse-lover, a shoe maven and from a matriarchal family. Her story, "Stranger in the Land of Twigs and Berries", in the anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone had me laughing out loud and bumping my chest in solidarity.
Toulouse's blog is packed full of hilarity. She speaks frankly of parenting and life, always with wit and panache. In short, she's brilliant. Head over to her favorite posts and prepare to settle in with your laptop and a cup of something warm, because you'll be there for awhile, clicking through all of her posts and discovering that you love each one even more than the last. Trust me. I speak from experience.
To top it off, not only is does this lady possess a great talent for writing and humor, she also possesses great beauty. And her family... they're all gorgeous. Seriously. I'm going to adopt all of them.
CFG: Tell us about your start in writing?
T&T: I folded a piece of paper in half and drew what looked like a balloon - but was supposedly a person - on it and called it my first book. My dad swears I was 2. In the 3rd grade, I composed a poem called "The American Heritage." I saw it on a book spine and, having no idea what a heritage was, wrote a poem about a monster. No one called me a genius - but they did call me creative. Eventually I studied writing a bit in college and came back around to it as an outlet when I "retired" from the career world and began to go nuts staying at home with my first baby. When people ask what I dreamed of being when I was a child, writer is the first and last answer. In between are things I would've been heinous at like actress, singer, football coach and world's shortest, meatiest-thighed fashion model.
CFG: How did you come up with the name of your blog?
T&T: Toulouse is my alter-ego. She had never done anything more productive than drink and instigate things before the blog so this has been her chance to redeem herself. She also gives me a chance to talk about myself in the third person which most people think is just adorable.
CFG: Who is the wind beneath your wings?
T&T: I have a lot of people who've been very important in my life but since we're talking about writing, this one goes to my husband. He's been incredibly supportive and encouraging about a "job" where the benefits are often not very tangible. He's also not afraid to ask me to rise up when he thinks I can do better. That's a tough job and even though I sometimes want to close a door on his face after he critiques my writing, ultimately I find he's almost always right.
CFG: What is your biggest pet peeve?
T&T: It's hard to choose just one but I'm gonna go ahead and admit to being a really big nerd about grammar and spelling. Now everyone go straight to my blog and email me about every error you see there. PLEASE DO NOT. I also get disproportionately upset when I see people wearing leggings as pants.
CFG: What is the craziest, weirdest thing on your bucket list?
T&T: I don't have one. I stayed single for a long time and I did a lot of crazy shit. I'm happy to ride out the rest with my husband and kids just living life and maybe taking a side trip to Disney World.
CFG: What is your most regrettable fashion faux pas and will you please provide us with photographic evidence?
T&T: When I was 12, all the girls were wearing zip-up one piece jumpsuits. The only one I could find was orange polyester. I put on and pranced myself to Wednesday night church. I was a neon traffic cone of original sin. I never wore it again.
CFG: What person/place/thing do you hate that you love?
T&T: I kind of hate that I love US Weekly. But at the same time, I don't give a shit. Everybody needs something to read in the bathtub.
CFG: What is your greatest fear?
T&T: I'm afraid of heights and orange polyester jumpsuits but the only thing I'm really afraid of is losing my husband and kids. I have a total freak-out every time they all ride off in the car together. But as soon as they're safely where they're going, I'm ecstatic to have some time alone.
CFG: I do the exact same thing.
CFG: Who is your favorite animated character and why?
T&T: I have boys, which means I end up watching about 5 minutes of a lot of superhero type stuff as I pass through the room stepping on legos and cursing under my breath. The only one that can get me to sit down and actually watch the whole show? "Oh, there you are, Perry!"
Phineas & Ferb is the best thing to happen to mom's (and dad's) of boys. All of the characters are great but Perry is a platypus AND a badass secret agent who saves the world, like, every day, duh!
CFG: Who are your celebrity free passes?
T&T: I think my husband would've understood if I'd ever gotten the chance to shack up with Paul Walker before he so sadly passed away. My other free pass is David Beckham, but only if he doesn't talk. I just want him to come into the room in his underpants and stare at me like he does in the ads. What happens after that is none of your business but it involves ice cream, wine, foot massages and "The Golden Girls."
CFG: What is your favorite chapter in I Just Want to Pee Alone and why?
T&T: I loved every story there but I think Meredith from the Mom of the Year - hers got to me. It's the rare person who can make death with all of its pain somehow hysterically funny.
CFG: Any new projects you're excited about?
T&T: The sequel to "I Just Want To Pee Alone" is out this Saturday, March 22. It's called "I Just Want To Be Alone" and I'm in it with a story about how boyfriends, bleach and margaritas don't mix. It's a story I've wanted to tell for a long time and I can't wait to see what everyone thinks of it.
CFG: Congrats! I can't wait to read it!
Suzanne Fleet is the writer behind the award-winning blog, Toulouse & Tonic, and mom to 2 stinky boys, who together with her good-natured husband, give her loads of funny writing material. Suzanne is one of Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms, and a contributor to Huffington Post, In The Powder Room and Bonbon Break as well as a proud co-author of the best-selling books I Just Want To Pee Alone, I Just Want To Be Alone and You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth. You can also find her on G+, facebook, twitterand pinterest.