11 Awesome Blogs to Read Today – Sunshine Blogger Award

Happy hump day!

This is a special post regarding The Sunshine Blogger Award. It’s a fantastic exercise and the questions involved can be used for yourself to do some self reflection. Read on or jump to:

What the Sunshine Blogger Award is.
Some fun questions I answered.
Who nominated me, and who I’m nominating.
My fun questions for them.

I woke up this morning feeling a little down. I’ve been working on some posts and, as a new blogger, I’m working hard to create quality content for my readers.

My ultimate goal for this site is to provide helpful, relatable stories that give others the support and tools they need to make it through each day.

I have tons of ideas about what I want to write. But I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. I want to make something to grease the wheel.

That can be a difficult task in the internet age, and the main challenge I’m facing is how to give fresh perspective on things.

I search for answers as a reader myself—how to clean this, how to handle that, how to raise my son, and how to stay sane while doing all of it.

Granted I find a lot of good articles, and I’ve found a lot of fantastic bloggers on my journey, but I don’t often find guidance for when my Pinterest project fails. Or when I declutter the whole house only to have a disaster zone again next week.

So, as a blogger, it gets challenging to incorporate your passion into quality content that will stick out in the world. And that’s what I’m working on.

That’s why being nominated by the wonderful Creative Cochrane really brightened my day. 

Not only is she amazing at momming, cooking, crafting and blogging, her nomination post really says it all for what new bloggers AND overwhelmed moms are going through. Something she said that really stuck out  to me is,Did I bite off more than I can chew?” 

So I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart. This is really what I needed today to keep my gears spinning!

Without further ado, let’s get on to the rest of the Sunshine Blogger Award post.

What is The Sunshine Blogger Award?

This is the first question I asked myself. I’ve seen a lot of it floating around so I did a little digging.

From what I gather, this is award is for those who inspire readers and spread joy and positivity. In the blogging world it helps writer’s to connect and promote each other’s work.

But for me(a new blogger) just being nominated by someone is an award in itself. To know that someone actually thought of my work is wonderful and I’m proud to display the logo on my site.

Rules and Nominating Process

1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you for the blog post and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Questions for me

If you could revisit and relive any age of your childhood what age would you pick?

My childhood was actually pretty rough. Looking back makes it hard for me to pick a certain age. I cherish the memories I had with my family though. When I could cuddle with my mom while she rubbed my back, or when my dad taught me about nature on our trips to the woods.


2.If you won some strange lottery that gave you the ability to buy any ONE item, what would you buy?

Honestly, I would buy a mansion for my mom. And (insert Price Is Right voice) a brand new car! I would probably just give her the money, because she’s worked so hard her whole life to help me get to where I am today. If I could do anything in the world, it would be to make sure she never has to stress a day in her life again.

3.If you had three books to bring with you on a deserted island to re-read for the rest of your life, what would they be?

This is a tough one. I do like to read, but I don’t actually read many books. I read a lot of blogs and magazines. Books that I do enjoy reading are self help or self teaching, so I’d say I would bring a book about surviving on a deserted island, a Good Housekeeping magazine and book about edible plants.

4. What is your guilty pleasure song? (you know that song that you can’t help but sing along and dance like a fool to anytime it comes on? Mines Justin Bieber.. :O)

There are quite a few songs that pop on the radio from time to time that will just annoy me to no end. Those tend to be the ones that get stuck in my head. A recent one is Taylor Swift’s “Look what you made me do”.

On a side note, I do like Justin Bieber now. I still have a hard time admitting that.


5.Would you rather have the ability to fly anywhere in the world or be invisible?

I’d rather fly! I could go anywhere and experience the world. I’d love to go to Italy or somewhere in Europe!


6.Who is your greatest role model?

I’m going to answer this one in relation to blogging. My greatest role model would be Natalie Lue over at Baggage Reclaim. I started reading her posts years ago when I was going through a nasty relationship. I read her content every day and became a regular reader. She really helped me pull through some dark times. And I hope to be able to reach people like that through my own site one day.

7.Where do you hope to be next year with regards to blogging?

As I mentioned above, I would like to provide great content that will people can really identify with and use. I want to be able to help others find their balance and joy in life. This time next year, I would like to have a regular readership built. I’d like to have my writing style really polished and a weekly newsletter with subscribers.

8.If you could offer any advice to someone considering blogging for the first time what would it be ?

Do I have to pick one thing?! I’m  still new at actually *doing* the blogging, but I’ve toyed with it over the last few years. I havebeen2 important pieces of advice.

DONT STOP. Serious blogging takes a lot of focus and patience. You can do it no matter what your situation is in life, but it won’t happen over night. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

YOU’RE NOT PERFECT AND YOUR BLOG WON’T BE EITHER. Don’t get wrapped up in the name, design, and pretty colors. Make sure it’s easy to access and read, but something I’m learning is that readers want good content. Think about it. When you’re reading a big site, what color is the sidebar?

Exactly. We don’t pay attention to that. We pay attention to the words.

9.If you were to get up in the middle of the night and grab a  snack what would it be?

Something sweet. I have a wicked sweet tooth at night. My current craving is Graham crackers and Nutella.

10.What is your dream vehicle?

I feel like I have that. My whole life I’ve dreamt about fancy cars or houses. I thought having those things would make me feel whole.

But they don’t. They just make you look for something else. I currently have a 2017 sedan and it’s perfect. Why? Because it functions, it drives well, and it’s not falling apart.

11.Last but not least – What is your favourite animal?

Elephants. They represent strong will and patience. Second place is pandas because they are so happy and loveable, and third is birds because they’re beautiful and graceful. I love watching birds.

Nominations

All the bloggers that follow work hard every day to spread their passions and create a better world. Please support them by checking out their sites, and if you can, they would love feedback and conversation on their posts.

I was nominated by  The Creative Cochrane– A wonderful blogger with amazing recipes and crafts.

I would like to nominate

1. Baba’s Field Notes – a talented artist who shares hilarious cartoons about parenting that we can all relate to

2. Kelcie Makes Patterns– another talented artist with the passion to spread wonderful graphics for your site or project. Not only does she have amazing patterns for free, she even does tutorials on how to make your own!

3.Sarah’s Sage Advice– this woman really covers the struggles of momming. From married moms to single parents she covers it all. My favorite post is about making a mom friend. 

4.Family By Choice– an inspiring site full of articles that make you look inside and really challenge yourself. Created by a blended family with a passion for creating community. They really make you feel welcome and supported.

5.My Passion Projects– if you are looking for ways to boost your productivity  and yourself, this is the place for you. She has lots of wonderful how tos for new bloggers as well.

6.No Light Without Darkness– as a recovering addict, this one really pulls at my heart strings. If you or someone you know is a recovering addict please check out this blog. It will give you a taste of what it’s like to walk in those shoes.

7.The Violet Blonde– looking good can make you feel good, and she has a knack for helping you do just that. From beauty to saving money and more, she covers a wide variety of lifestyle topics.

8. The Jumbled Brain– recovery isn’t just about drug addiction. There are millions of people who struggle with disabilities and injuries if all types. This blog gives you a peek inside the life of someone with TBI (traumatic brain injury).

9.Pampered Wife – a blog for those living the married life, she shares her story and talks about the ups and downs she has faced in her own life.

10.Pieces of Ashley– what blogger doesn’t love a blog about blogging (say that 3x fast!)? Ashley provides tips and advice that she wishes she had when she first started out.

11.Ellie’s Bits of Beauty– find out how to pamper yourself the right way with this beauty blogger. She suggests products and tips to really make yourself feel good.

Wow,that was tough.There are so many great blogs covering a wide variety of topics. It took a lot of time to think about and nominate just 11! Now, here are my questions for you.

1. What made you start a blog?

2. How did you narrow your niche?

3. What did you do to find readers, or what are you doing to increase them?

4. What are your 6 month goals for your site?

5. What’s your favorite way to relax?

6. What’s your favorite topic to read about on other blogs?

7. What’s your favorite part of the day and why?

8.What are some of your hobbies outside if your blog/what you write about?

9. If you could wave a magic wand and make anything happen, what would your life look like?

10. Who is your favorite blogger/role model?

11. Lastly, what do you love about YOU?

I look forward to hearing your answers, and I hope you have as much fun doing this as I did!

On Making Difficult Decisions

It amazes me how quickly we can forget about the good things in life that keep us moving. We tend to focus on the negative side of things; what’s lacking and what we *want* instead of what we already have.

Last night I asked my boyfriend, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” To which he replied, “Time travel.” He said that it would be kind of cool to know what the future holds and that it would help us make difficult decisions in the present.

But, we can’t travel through time. We can’t see what’s ahead of us. All we can do is our best right now. But what if you have to make a difficult decision that will change your life forever? What do you want to be when you grow up? Should I take this job or go to school? Money will benefit me now, but what about in the future? Planning is an important part of securing your future. So what are we to do?

There are plenty of ways to make difficult decisions… but that doesn’t mean they are easy. Here are some tips on making it a little easier:

 

Ask around.
Ask trusted supports like coworkers, friends or family what they think of your choices. Sometimes they can see more clearly what we cannot.

Try to remember that you may not like their answers, but they truly care about you and want what is best for you.

 

Weigh the pros and cons.
Make a list of the costs and benefits of each choice. Weigh them by quality, not quantity.
A good way to do this is to divide a piece of paper into 4 squares. In the first square, write Option A . In the same square, write all the pros of going with that choice.
In the square underneath, write all the cons.
Repeat on the other side for option B.

This will allow you to see the pros and cons of each decision next to each other and make it easier to weigh them out.

 

Ask the important questions.

Think about what the decisions entail and how they will affect your life. Be honest with yourself when answering them! Some questions to ask include:

Will this make me happy?

How?

Does it align with my values?

How will this affect my family?

Will they be happy?

Am I just fantasizing about Opt. A/B?
Am I being realistic?
Is it doable?
What will this look like next year if I go with it?
These are all very important questions to ask yourself when making difficult decisions.  Consider the consequences of each action carefully. Take as much time as you can to let your answers to these questions incubate.
Come back to your list in a couple days and see if you have anything to add.

If you’re still having a difficult time it could mean that the change you’re considering isn’t a good idea after all. Our gut instinct tends to kick in with these kinds of things and it’s important to learn to listen to them!