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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Liebster Award - all about me... and some new bloggers!

So I was nominated for the Liebster Award for bloggers. YAY SO EXCITING! It's super fun!

Thanks to Born Imaginative's Jackie for nominating me. I enjoyed this challenge. You MUST check out her blog, it's definitely one of my favorites:

Jackie asked me to answer these questions:

1) What's the last delicious thing you made? 
I made some yummy granola at Christmas time for some gifts for babysitters, and a few weeks ago for my SIL who had twin babies. Yummy! So easy to make. I've cooked since then, don't worry, but nothing that stands out as a-ma-zing.

2) Is there a recipe you will be trying soon? 
YES PLEASE! I'm always seeking out new recipes. I find tons from other moms and on Pinterest. Anything Italian, with chicken or Mexican are my favorites. Actually, I'd love a new soup recipe or stew.

3) Favorite Season?
LOVE the fall! I just wish that the school year didn't start in the beginning of September (I work in a school so that's when I get busy and go back to work after the long summer). I love the warmth, cool nights, colors in the trees, pumpkin and apple picking, etc. Summer is a close second, if not a tie though. I get the summers off with my two children. We spend at least 1-2 days a week at the beach. So lucky! I feel more carefree, less tired, more energetic and relaxed in the summers while not working and rushing here or there. 

4) Favorite part about homesteading?
I'm so far from a homesteader guru, but I try to make a few things myself to help cut costs and increase our health. I make my own laundry detergent, not all year long, sometimes I get into a rut where I can't find the time, which is silly because it takes like an hour at most. I make pancake mix and taco seasoning- so easy and better for you, no salt. I admire those moms who stay home, make everything, garden, take care of animals and children and bake everything. I'm far from that mom, but I'm proud of how I take care of my kids and home. Oh, I swear by vinegar and dish soap for cleaning the shower! 

5) Least favorite part about homesteading? 
I think finding the time to do all the things you want to do is hard for all moms, but must be so especially for the moms who are home and creating everything while taking care of their families. Amazing moms! 

6) Best vacation spot?
My home state of MAINE! I know I'm biased, but seriously, MAINE is amazing. Beaches, lakes, wilderness for camping, speed boats and lobster boats within a half hour of each other, amazing seafood, mountains and state parks.... it's the best place for kids to grow up, so I think it's an awesome place to vacation. My father is a lobsterman on an island off of Bar Harbor so we're lucky to take at least two mini vacations there every summer. I love being outside with the kids, it's all of our happy place, so any vacation we'd take needs to include sunshine and outdoor fun! I'd love to take them to Virginia, North Carolina and of course Disney World in Florida. My husband and I are planning when the kids are probably in middle school to take them on a drive across country in the summer for a few weeks. I've always wanted to do that and think it'd be a great memory for the children. 

7) Best day trip?
Bar Harbor, Acadia Mountain! Love that area of the state. A whale watch outside of Portsmouth, NH is fun, too, we did that years ago. Story Land in NH is so much fun also! We go to Lake Wentworth in NH a zillion times a summer, so fun there, and only about 45 minutes from my house. 

8) What you cannot wait to eat from your garden?
Sadly, I don't have a garden.... we have a big piece of property that we've waited and waited until we have more money to really re-do and make it the way we want it. In that plan is to have a large garden full of veggies and then plant some fruit trees. In the meantime, I buy fresh veggies and fruits all spring, summer, fall at the local farm store Chase Farms, LOVE that place! We pick our own strawberries and blueberries and freeze those, too from the summer. The first things I will plant when I have a garden include: cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, carrots and peppers. All of our favorites! 

9) Any good books lately?
I'm a middle school counselor so I read a lot of young adult books to keep up with the kids! I also just loooove these books, ever since I was a young adult myself. I read the Hunger Games series over Christmas and am finishing the third book now. My favorite authors are Jennifer Weiner, Jodi Piccoult, Anita Shreve, Emily Giffin, and e. Lockhart. I looove libraries! I did read this fall the Orange Rhino's book, AWESOME read for any parent, but especially those who lose patience and have difficulty with yelling. I reviewed her book here if you're interested:

10) If you had a super power, what would it be?
Hilarious that you ask me this now... this past week I was meeting with all of my sixth grade students at the school where I'm a counselor, getting to know them better. I asked them this question, tons of them answered that they wanted to fly. I would LOVE to fly! But then one kid said he'd want to be food, like to be able to turn into food... so then I realized my favorite super power would be to be able to MAKE FOOD! How cool would that be? If someone I was with said, "Oh, wish I could have an ice cream right now" or "I haven't had tacos in forever..." I could make those instantly! 

11) How do you manage doing all you do? 
I get asked this question all the time. I'm a full-time school counselor, mom of two with my husband, have a hobby of taking photos, 9 nieces and nephews whom I adore, this blog along with the Facebook discussion group... among whatever else I do, who knows. We're all busy as mothers, really!

How do I manage it? I manage it because it's FUN to me. All of it. Not every day is great, there are hiccups along the way. It's chaotic and overwhelming and not everything is perfect. Like, I wish I worked out more than I do sometimes, and I wish I made more gourmet dinners for the kids. But that's how I manage it - I don't have high expectations, I do it for ME, to have fun, and to make sure my kids are enjoying their childhood. I live simply as much as possible.

I also am very organized, everything gets written down and I routinely check things off the to do list because it makes me feel better. I also am a very fast typer, so the blogging and FB stuff comes quickly for me. I'm an early riser, that helps, too, when the kids are groggily waking up I've already written a few posts.

I also have an incredibly helpful husband who does everything alongside me. I could not do any of what I do if he weren't here helping me out. I'm also not into perfectionism. I might do tons... but I don't do it all perfectly well. I don't believe in being perfect, just doing your best with what you can do at that time. I'll take ideas from Pinterest, but then make them my own so it's easy for me to do. Whatever works right?! :)

For me, it's about prioritizing. I make sure I find that balance between work-hobbies-motherhood-me time - marriage. It's HARD. But I'm constantly trying to work it out and that helps.

11 Random Things About Me:
  1. I went to see Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood perform in Boston on Sunday night with my husband and two good friends. It was the most amazing concert EVER... which is saying a lot since I've seen Madonna, Shania Twain, Maroon 5, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, ETC. I used to go to many concerts! 
  2. I love chocolate. Obsessed. Dove dark chocolates and Hershey's hugs are my favorite. 
  3. I am also obsessed with Iced Chais. I don't drink coffee, never have, hate the taste. I loooove chai though. They are my go-to drink when running errands and exhausted with the kids, probably get it like 1-2 times a month.
  4. I had never seen Toy Story until yesterday when we were snowed in during the blizzard. How I could have missed how great this movie is, well that's beyond me. It's HILARIOUS!
  5. My favorite movie is The Cutting Edge. Along with The Sandlot and Stand By Me. Little Women is in there, too. 
  6. I start Christmas shopping in the summer. Last year I started in June when I randomly found a handmade wooden tool box for my nephew that they painted his name on. SO cute, I HAD to start shopping then. 
  7. My favorite ice cream used to be French vanilla. Then I had pregnancy cravings and it turned into chocolate chip cookie dough being my favorite. Funny how pregnancy does that to you.
  8. My dad's a lobsterman and his boat is named after me and his grandmother, Angela Rose. 
  9. My husband named both of our children. We don't really remember where he found the names, just liked them. I named my son's middle name though Joseph, after all the men in my life - dad, grandfather, stepdad, and brother's middle name. My husband named our daughter's middle name Rose after me. I also gave my daughter's name a different spelling than the typical. (AddisYn, changed out the "o" that is usually there so the "y" would match our last name)
  10. I would take college classes forever if I could afford the money and time. I love learning. I know, boring... but it's fun to me. All summer long I get books at the library. I hope to get my doctorate degree someday when I grow up.
  11. I believe in the philosophy that "it takes a village to raise a child." My husband and I made a pact when our son was born almost 5 years ago that we would not solely be raising him, that we'd let grandparents visit whenever they wanted, aunts and uncles hold the babies whenever they asked, and that we'd update them with pictures, notes, text messages, etc. to keep them in the loop. We'd ask them to babysit so they could have one-on-one time with our kids, and we'd make sure our kids knew all their family members' names. We can't do this parenting thing alone, and we think our kids benefit greatly from having so many other people who adore them like we do. 

(me in my happy sunny place - SUMMER! 
wishful thinking after we got about 20 inches of snow the last two days! )

Blogs I'm nominating to answer the questions below:

Chronicles of a Knaptime Knitter by Amanda, my crafty sister

Beth Wallace Photography by Beth, my favorite photographer and college friend

Coley Burke by Nicole, a high school friend and fellow hilarious momma

Bren Did, she seems to have a great variety of awesome topics, including things you CAN do, too

Melanie from What's Happening in the Acker Family, she's such a great, stylish mother!

The Happenstance Domestic - Jill is awesome!

Ever After Land - Jen seems awesome and is a friend of a friend

Fit With Misty Van Hooser, a friend of a friend, totally inspiring and healthy!

Minion Madness Mommy Notes by Christel - hilarious!

My 11 questions I'd like the above 
SUPER STAR bloggers to answer:

  1. What are 3 words to describe how it felt when you learned you were going to be a mother?
  2. When did you start your blog? Why did you start writing?
  3. What is the coolest thing about your life right now?
  4. If you could not do the job you do now (and tell us what it is), then what job would you want to have and why?
  5. What is one of your child's names and where did you get name from?
  6. Where in your home do you write your blog posts most often? Why there?
  7. What would you do with an extra $100 that you can only spend on YOU?
  8. Favorite meal you make? Bonus points for the recipe.
  9. 3 things you typically do on Sundays? 
  10. What is something you do often to make yourself a healthier person?
  11. What is something you want to be sure your kids learn from you?
THANKS for participating, everyone!

Here's some info I found on another blogger's site about the award:

Thanks to Jackie from Born Imaginative, this was SUPER fun to do on these snow days off from work! :) 

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