Hello and welcome to the first ever blog post for Down in the Hollow! If you’ve read my About Me page, you’ve already gotten a little snippet of who I am but, I figured my first blog post would be a good opportunity to really dive into an introduction to the real Thessali Farr so you can get a little better acquainted and feel comfortable having a window into my life as I share it with the world!
With that being said, here’s a fun list of 20 Things To Know About Thessali…
I took the world’s kindest man off the market when I married Adam Farr on January 14, 2017. He’s all the things my mother told me I should look for but I never really thought was possible to exist all in one person…and he’s smoking hot. Adam is a CPA and a partner in an Oklahoma City based firm and specializes in forensic litigation accounting. And he just added “Instagram Husband” to his resume!
As of the time of this post, we do not have any children. But! We do have two fur babies who are our family members. Calypso, half border collie & half pitbull, and Frisco, half Shiba Inu & half who really knows. Together, Frisco and Calypso are best friends, cuddle masters and just generally make life better for anyone who encounters them.
Family is everything to me. I’m very close with my parents and probably talk to my mom on the phone no less than 4 or 5 times a week and we text every single day. I’m the youngest of four siblings and although the age gap between me and my oldest siblings is pretty big (12 and 10 years difference), we’re very close.
My husband and I just bought a Cape Cod style home in OKC that we’ll be renovating over time, turning it into our own Tudor-style English inspired cottage. The house is on Maple Hollow Court, which is where the name ‘Down in the Hollow’ came from. We’re already so in love with our new home and can’t wait for the family we will raise within its walls! And you know I’ll be blogging about the renovations and designs!
If you’re wondering why we decided to turn a Cape Code house into a Tudor cottage, there is indeed a reason. I lived in England as a teenager and graduated high school from London Central High School so British culture is a part of my story and who I am. My dad was in the Army (more on that later) and knowing that I was a huge history buff and had read over fifteen books about Queen Elizabeth I alone, he decided to move our family to England. So much of who I am was born out of my teenage years in Europe. My passion for travel, my nightly ritual of a good cup of PG Tips with cream, hosting high teas in my home, my love for cozy British fashion like Cath Kidston, my obsession with the Beatles music, and so much more.
Along with England, the military sent my family to a multitude of states so one fun fact about me is that I don’t have a hometown. I was born in Washington state and then moved to Missouri, Illinois, North Carolina, England, Virginia/Washington, D.C. and then ultimately Oklahoma where I went to college and have stayed ever since. I’ve lived in Oklahoma for 11 years now, which is the longest I’ve ever lived in one place. I guess you could officially call me an Okie!
Travel is a huge part of my life. Obviously living in Europe had a hand in that. My parents truly showed me as much of the world as they could while we were there. While we traveled dozens of countries….the absolute number one favorite for all of my family is Paris. Being that it was so easy to drive to Dover, get on the ferry, get off in Calais, France and just drive straight to Paris, we wound up doing this very often. To this day I cannot see or smell a baguette without having visions of my dad strolling through Jardin de Tuileries with a beret on his head a baguette tucked under his arm. In my adult life, I’ve kept scratching the travel itch. Altogether I’ve been to 28 countries with many, many more on the list to get to.
It would be a mistake not to highlight my parents just a little bit now that it’s established that I’m a pretty big fan of theirs. So technically this is not a fun fact about me, but I do believe we are all reflections of who and where we come from so it’s worth talking about. My mother is a Texan and spent her career as a public school teacher and reading/literacy specialist. She raised four kids, worked full time and got her Master’s Degree in Education while she still had kids at home, earning a 4.0 and still having hot meals on the table at dinner time. So, basically, she’s super human. But then again so is my dad. He’s an Okie that earned every red cent to put himself through college, joined the Army and went to dental school and served as an Army dentist but then went back to medical school (as you do) and became a surgeon. He was a green beret in the special forces as a battalion surgeon, an airborne paratrooper, a master scuba diver, a full bird Colonel, specialized in OB/GYN, deployed to Iraq in the war, retired from the Army after 30 years of service, has read more books than your typical library, is the smartest person I know and quite frankly is just an all around badass.
My undergraduate degree was Journalism with a minor in Political Science. After six years in the workforce, I’m now a student again. I’m currently a Grad student at the University of Oklahoma, getting a Masters in International Relations. Totally lines up with fashion, right? But in all seriousness, while this blog is for everyone, there is a part of me that wants to prove that women who have fast-paced and sometimes very powerful careers don’t have to sacrifice a bit of their fashion or spunk. I never have.
My first job out of college was as a Legislative Report Specialist with a local bill tracking company where I eventually worked my way up to Manager and ran the business. I was 25 at the time. My company provided political intelligence for state agencies, lobbyists, non-profits, etc. So, in a nutshell, I read every single bill filed in my state every year and then tracked them through the legislative process for my clients.
four years as a bill tracker, I wound up running for office. And I won. So, in
a former life I was a State House Representative. A lawmaker. A legislator. And
I was miserable. You’re probably uncomfortable just reading this about me because
in the current world we live in, we’re hyper-polarized politically. So, I won’t
go into the details of my job and my political thoughts will not overlap with this
blog. What I will say is that I served for two years and learned many lessons. My
mom and I joke that I “broke up” with politics, but really that’s what it felt
like. It was a hard break up but, it was a toxic and incredibly abusive
relationship so I’m better for it. No death threats from psychotic people on
the Internet anymore? Sign me up. And this little blurb is the only time you’ll
ever hear me discuss that part of my life on this blog.
I said in #9, I’m currently a graduate student studying International
Relations. I actually started this degree six years ago in DC but took a break
to pursue my career in Oklahoma. But I finally decided to go back and finish my
degree while I’m still in my 20’s (oh p.s. I’m 28). I’ll be spending June this
summer in DC at George Washington University intensively studying nuclear
security policy. And yes, I will be sharing my outfits because, like I said, I firmly
believe in being chic and fashionable no matter if you’re a stay at home mom, work
in a corporate office, a classroom or work in nuclear security, diplomacy or
extremely passionate about Africa and have spent a lot of time there working on
a variety of things. My first trip was to Malawi where I worked on breaking
ground for a new school and orphanage in an incredibly remote village. A few
years later I left my job for a summer to go work in Cape Town, South Africa at
a center for refugees. To this day, Cape Town is (outside of Oklahoma, England
and France) my favorite place on the planet. It holds such a special place in
my heart. At the center I worked at, I provided after school educational
programs for children whose parents were victims of apartheid and so they struggle
with English, Math and Reading since it was illegal for their parents to learn
those subjects. I also provided free AIDS testing and counseling in slums and refugee
you can probably tell from reading about me so far, I have an overwhelming
desire to fix all the things in the world that I’ll never be able to fix.
Mother Theresa once said that we might feel like what we are doing is just a
drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less without that one drop. I have a
tattoo on my wrist that says “A Drop in the Ocean” as a constant reminder to be
a drop in the ocean every single day in some kind of way. It’s basically my
life’s mission to add as many drops to the ocean in my lifetime as I possibly
also have a white kite tattooed on my ring finger because I broke that finger
in my growth plate while flying a kite when I was twelve and it stopped
growing. For a long time I was really self-conscious about it although it’s barely
detectable unless you know about it and are trying to see the length
I’m a total bookworm. Books have given me so
many different worlds to explore, so many depths of knowledge and so much joy
ever since I could pick up a book. Reading is one of the most important things
to me. It’s a trait I’m proud to have inherited from my parents and one I can’t
wait to pass on to my children. Favorite book: The Count of Monte Cristo. If
you haven’t read it, you need to do that literally right now.
part of any home is the kitchen. Being from a big family that entertained
often, we always had heaps of food and always spent time as a family around the
dining room table having home-cooked meals. I enjoy cooking so much it makes my
little heart want to burst. It’s my personal philosophy that the kitchen is the
heart of the home. It’s where you gather with your family, where you whip up gooey
chocolate chip cookies, moist cakes, crusty breads, hearty soups and let the
smell fill up every nook of the house. It’s where your friends gather around
and enjoy cheese boards and glasses of wine. It doesn’t matter how late I’ve
worked or how stressed I am, I will still pop a cork on a good bottle of wine
and get in the kitchen to make a delicious dinner for Adam and I.
In my opinion, there is literally nothing
better than a good glass of red wine. I have a love affair with wine, y’all. I’m
not sure you can convince me there’s a better sound than a cork popping out of
a bottle or that there’s a better smell than a dry red as you swirl it around a
big glass. To me, wine is such a beautiful representation of the Earth and God’s
love for it. It’s a story of the attention paid to the vines by the vintner, it’s
a reflection of weather patterns, it’s a communion. It’s a safe bet that if you’re
ever looking for me, I’m in my kitchen drinking wine and listening to records
as I bake or I’m in my backyard under the fairy lights, holding Adam’s hand,
drinking wine and dreaming about the future. Wine is life. End of story.
I’m very old school in a lot of ways. I read
paper books and would never own a Nook. I send snail mail on monogrammed cards.
I love a good Cary Grant film. I’m an avid antiquer and enjoy nothing more than
the thrill of finding some treasure hidden away in an antique mall or flea
market. I have an overflowing collection of vinyl records that I listen to on a
gramophone. I believe that church on Sunday should be followed by a pot roast
and biscuits. I’m oddly into gift wrapping and believe deep down in my soul
that gifts should be beautifully wrapped with meticulously chosen paper and
perfectly tied bows. I find a lot of modern fashion to be absolutely abhorrent and
on this blog you’ll find classy, chic and timeless ensembles AKA it’d be a
frozen day in hell before you’d catch me wearing a crop top. Gone With the Wind
is my favorite movie and if I’ve had a bad or stressful day you will 100% find
me curled up in bed or on the couch watching it. I adore Audrey Hepburn, Grace
Kelly and Jackie O and draw a lot of my fashion inspiration from them. I could
go on, but I think you get the point. I’m an old soul.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s important
for anyone reading this blog to know that I’m a Christian and I have no fear of
speaking openly and honestly about my love, gratitude and appreciation for my
God. I was born and raised in the Church of Christ and my husband and I now attend
a non-denominational church here in OKC. Anyone of any religious background is
so welcome here, but I won’t be shying away from talking about my faith from
time to time and I hope that’s okay with you!
And now that you’ve read a full-on biography
of my life, I hope you’ve decided to stick around and follow my blog. I promise
not every post will be this lengthy. I just truly believe that it’s important
to get a true and raw sense of who I am so that hopefully you feel like you
know the person behind the blog. And it’s my hope that I will get to know all
of you as well so please interact as much as you want!