Thanks to Living Life Intentionally, I’ve had the honor of being given the Versatile Blogger Award! I’ve been blogging for a number of years now but have only really dug my heels in recently as I’ve begun preschool this year with my now 4-year-old daughter.
Now, this award does come with some homework – just what I need! But it’s fun stuff, so let’s get on with it:
1. Thank the person that nominated you with a link back to them.
2. Tell 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award on to 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know that they’ve received an award!
1. I have a twin brother. I’m a girl, he’s a boy, so we’re fraternal twins (though, oddly enough, I recently discovered there are rare cases in which identical twins can be different genders). He likes to tell people he has an identical twin sister; it takes a minute for people to get it. We did everything together growing up - rode bikes in our neighborhood, played house and other pretend games, played soccer on the same team, studied for research papers.
2. I always said I would never get married. I liked guys, but I wasn’t the dating type. In junior high/high school I dreamed of going to a career school and getting my own apartment – maybe with a few cats. One of the youngest of five kids (along with my twin brother), I was the first to get married. He, ironically, was the second.
3. I can make a wedding cake. It’s a lot of work! I learned from my mom who made lots of wedding cakes in her day and even made her own wedding cake - can you believe it? The last wedding cake I made was over four years ago, when I was pregnant with Gwen, but I’ve made plenty of smaller cakes since then.
4. I have a confession: I love sweets! No, I don’t like to suck on sugar cubes and despite the fact that I love chocolate (dark, please) I don’t like death-by-chocolate desserts. But I’ve always preferred sweet over salty, cake over pies, that sort of thing – though I’ve tried to tame my tastebuds since healthifying our eating habits. I’ve always associated special occasions with treats - think cake and ice cream for someone’s birthday, except apply it to every occasion. Whenever I think of doing something for my kiddos, my mind immediately goes to getting them a special treat – it’s ingrained in me!
5. It’s been a dream of mine to open a coffee shop. I come from a family of multi-talented individuals – my mom could be a professional genealogist (among other things), my father works in computer programming, my sister has her own graphics design business, and my three brothers are also into computers - so I would definitely have an awesome pool of resources. Nevermind my own husband who has his own construction business! My love of food (especially treats!), coupled with an affinity for playing around with ingredients and tweaking recipes until they become my own - oh, and wanting to work for myself and make some money - has kept this idea alive in the back of my mind for a while now. Maybe when the kids are older…
6. I used to have an eating disorder. I guess you could call it that. Kind of ironic, coming on the heels of the subject of food. In junior high I stopped eating; it was only four a couple months, but I lost a lot of weight and I’ve always had a love/relationship with food. And myself.
7. I’ve had plastic surgery. Sort of. And not the good kind. *grin* I was… oh, maybe thirteen or fourteen?… when I fainted in the hallway. Our home had stucco-type archways in the living room with cement ledges, and on the way down my face met these ledges (yowsers!). Luckily, none of my teeth were knocked out but they cut through the skin and my parents had a plastic surgeon stitch me up. There are a couple faint scars just below my lip. Another scar near my cheek sometimes looks like a dimple when I smile.
Well, that was fun. Now to share some of my favorite blogs – in no particular order.
1. wordplayhouse – Her tagline, “inspirational play. creative day.” says it all. All of her categories are an inspiration! I particularly enjoy the love nature walk project, rock candy tree, campfire cupcakes and maple sugaring printables (I wish we had enough maple trees to collect our own sap).
2. The Sleepytime Gal – I wish I could remember how I came upon some of these blogs; all I know is something draws me in and I’m hooked. I think what first attracted me to The Sleepytime Gal was the post I discovered about her kids’ room, including her montessori-style baskets and library nook. Seeing the beutiful Persimmon & Pink prints displayed in the room inspired me to purchase them for my own kiddos. Each time she posts something speaks to me or inspires – like a homemade cleaning station (yup, pinned it) and homemade laundry detergent, which is similar to the recipe I use. It’s also been fun watching joining her as she and daughters learn all about the Colonial days.
3. A Beautiful Mess - I don’t normally frequent fashion blogs, but Elsie Larson’s delightful hodge-podge of vintage clothing (I love her daily outfits!) and the story of how she started her own boutique is inspiring. Thrown in the mix are some scrumptious recipes (I’ve had a hankering for soft pretzels, and the salted caramel hot chocolate looks to-die-for.) and snazzy DIY tutorials (check out the Fall Leaves Garland – on my project list!).
4. 1+1+1=1 - When I finally decided to embark upon preschooling Gwendolyn, it was Carisa’s website that gave me much of the inspiration – and free Preschool Pack printables! – that I needed. The fact that she’s a Christian and wants to share with other Christian mothers – not only on 1+1+1=1 but her other website, Totally Tots – is something that really drew me in. I fell in love with her idea for Tot Trays and started using them even before officially beginning preschool. I now enter my preschool blog posts regularly on her Tot School posts and enjoy getting new ideas from the other mamas who share.
5. Homeschool Creations – I discovered Jolanthe’s website through Carisa’s, since the two of them often collaborate on homeschool materials. I enjoy reading how they go about their days and have her printable resources very useful. I add my preschool posts regular to her Preschool Corner.
6. Counting Coconuts – I was inspired by the montessori-style approach Mari-Ann uses to teach her son. Her sensory tubs inspired me to create one for my kiddos and I’ve use some of her other ideas – like the felt counting fish and muffin tin meals. One of these days we’ll be making Me on the Map to teach Gwen about her world.
7. design finch – “organize : create : inspire” – I totally relate! Check out this post for getting DOORganized. And I love how she rounds up lots of creative ideas that she comes across – like these Thanksgiving printables (I pinned the Thankful Paper Chains). How about Organizing on a Budget? Great ideas!
8. no big dill – This blog really makes me wish I could learn how to use my old sewing machine - she has lots of sewing tutorials. Even if you don’t sew, the beautiful posts about her family and the photographs she shares are wonderful. I love her series, Once Upon a Thread, projects inspired by children’s books.
9. Little Birdie Secrets – I gravitate towards crafty blogs, and this one is no exception. There are lots of cute tutorials; I remember bookmarking the heart strings project for Valentine’s Day. Her chick tutu gave me some inspiration for Gwen’s mermaid tutu.
10. The Artful Parent – A treasure trove of kid-friendly arts and crafts. The watercolor ideas are cool - especially the salty watercolors - as are the tissue paper stained glass. Oh, and I really want to make the candy cane playdough with the kiddos and give some as gifts.
11. Mini eco – I love their simple, colorful, inventive tutorials and have pinned a few of them already. I’ve made the playdough, which is awesome, and really want to make the twig boats with the kiddos.
12. Clean. – I first found Rachel’s simple, peaceful spot on the internet when looking for homemade toothpaste recipes. Then she blew me away with her downsizing challenge, inspiring me to get down to business and simplify our posessions; a number of people felt the same way and she hosted the Simplicity Parenting book club. Our similarities made me feel connected – the fact that she unschools her children (an idea that greatly appeals to me), knits and crafts, and strives to live a more whole, simpler life.
13. saltwater-kids – I happened upon this lovely little gem while looking for homeschool material. I pinned her beautiful scavenger hunt cards for future reference and was totally psyched when I discovered her fort building kit tutorial (hello gift for my six nephews!). A simple, clean blog with lots of great ideas; almost every post contains vivid pictures detailing the steps.
14. Lasso the Moon – I love the Albert Einstein quote they have on the main page, “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” They’re dedicated to keeping that curiosity alive. Check out their Box of Love projet; I’m thinking Christmas gift for the grandparents. Their 100 Things Challenge is pretty inspiring, too.
15. WhiMSy love – Just like its name suggests, this place is cute and colorful and… whimsical. She has lots of funky tutorials, one of my favorites of which is the Bug Catcher Necklace. I just found her snazzy idea for a hanging advent calendar using a shoe organizer! Love it; wish I had thought of that this year, before December.