3 Quote Challenge: Diana

What is it about us Americans and our obsession with the royal family? So many of us have fallen in love with the royals and keep up with their lives and happenings. Most recently, this past weekend baby Charlotte was christened and as I am in England I was contacted by several family members and friends about watching the christening on television (and no, I did not attend the ceremony.) There’s just something romantic and exciting about modern day royalty and since America lacks its own royal family we turn to the next best country: England.

As a child I remember following the story of Princess Diana. From a young age I knew about Prince Charles and Diana and the scandal involving Camilla. I crushed over Prince William (sorry, Harry). I even was a bit sad when Kate Middleton married into the family crushing any hope for me. However, my husband has me feeling like British royalty often enough.

I recall watching Princess Diana on the television and in interviews quite regularly as a child. She was so beautiful and always dressed so well. She seemed very down to earth and she was such a kind and philanthropic woman. When I was seven years old I was at a wedding on August 31, 1997 (also my younger sister’s 6th birthday) when I received the horrific news of Diana’s death. Although I was young I understood what a terrible loss this was for England. She had done so much good and was a great role model for women everywhere.

Today I wrap up my 3 Quote Challenge with a quote by Princess Diana. For those of you just starting to read through my challenge I am in England visiting with family so I chose three British figures for my 3 quotes. So here is the quote of the day:

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I have chosen this quote of Diana’s because it relates so well to what I have been writing about over the past couple days. It does well to summarize the kindness I discussed on day 1 and the impact of action on day 2. This quote discusses the fact that our motivation to do good should not be selfish. Kindness should not be done in order to receive anything in return. We should be moved to act kindly by the mere fact that if we were in someone else’s position we would appreciate the kindness of another.

Diana led a life that was a great example of selfless kindness. I strive to achieve this kind of attitude for myself.

As my 3 Quote Challenge comes to a close I would like to nominate three new blogs to carry on the challenge. If you should accept the nomination you are challenged to examine a quote a day for three days and post about each of them. You must share the quote and then allow that to prompt your post for that day. My nominees for the 3 Quote Challenge are:

1. Between Blue Rocks

2. Book Club Mom

3. Way Off Script

I hope you have find my quotes and thoughts insightful.

I’ve really been enjoying my time in England. I’ve been blessed with an awesome family of in-laws. The Sisleys are a great clan and we always make so many memories during our stay.

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3 Quote Challenge: Austen

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The second of my British quotes comes from author, Jane Austen. Without meaning to I sort of selected quotes all relating to kindness and action. One thing I like about this quote is that it calls to action. It challenges me to reflect on what I profess and think and causes me to think about ways in which I can live them out.

One thing I profess is my faith. I talk about it. I blog about it. However, I am convicted about how often I live out my faith through my actions. Faith should speak for itself through my actions without the need to be spoken. People should be able to tell that I am a Christian based on my actions and I wonder just how often that is the case. I’m not perfect and luckily the Bible doesn’t tell me that I have to be, but today I’ve reflected on how well my faith speaks through my actions.

Matthew 7:16a says, “You will recognize them by their fruit…”

This means that my life should speak for me. When Jesus said this he was warning about false teachers. He warned his listeners to take a look at the actions or proofs in someone’s life before accepting their teaching.

My prayer today is that my life and actions would show that I am a Christian and love Jesus. I know that Jane Austen was not a particularly religious person, but this quote is speaking to me on a faith-based level and this post is all about what this quote means to me. My questions for my readers today are:

1.What are your actions proving?

2. Is your action defining you in the way you would like it to?

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Just a quick note about our trip in England. Today we visited with my husband’s nan and family in Dover on the coast. It’s turned a bit rainy, but we managed to still have a great time in Dover visiting. We were also able to arrange a play date for Arianna and her cousin, Lexie, which went extremely well. I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July. It’s not quite the same without the fireworks, but I suppose the English choose not to celebrate the day America gained independence.

Thanks for stopping by. Check back tomorrow for my third and final quote challenge post.

3 Quote Challenge: Churchill

Over the past several days I have had the privilege of being nominated to complete the 3 Quote Challenge. I was nominated by Autumn at Welcome to My World and Liv at The Inspirational Dreamer to post a quote a day for the next three days and write about that quote and what it means to me. As I am in England vacationing and visiting with my husband’s family I found it to be only fitting that I should focus my three quotes around a British theme. I have chosen my three quotes from three of my favorite famous British figures: Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, and Princess Diana. I look forward to sharing these quotes and some of my own thoughts with you over the next three days.

So I will begin today with a little wisdom from good ole Winston Churchill. He was a brilliant man. My students sometimes refer to him as my “boyfriend” because I teach World History (a great deal of which is British history) and I have several quotes and photos of Churchill up around my classroom. Today, while milling around Eastleigh, the town where my husband was born and raised in England, I came across this quote and decided it was fate and I had to write about it today.

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This quote was given shortly after Churchill became Prime Minister in England in May 1940 and was the official call to arms against Germany. With this statement England found itself at war with Hitler’s Nazi Germany. This heroic statement meant that  England was joining the fight against fascism and Churchill was beginning to prove that he was a leader that would stand in defense of others in order to aid in the fight against dictatorship.

To me, this statement can be profound in its application to our lives. In our society it is so easy to become an individual bare of any community involvement. However, it is when we band together with others like us that we are able to best move forward. We should come to the aid of those in need or oppressed the way Churchill called England to do. In living life in a community of helping one another we can accomplish vastly more than mere individuals.

Today I’d like to leave you with a thought. I am no Churchill, but I’d like for you to think of a way that you might be able to come to the aid of someone else. How might you help those in need or those oppressed? I won’t call you to arms or battle, but I do call you to action. Think of a person or a group today and find a way to help them out. It could be as easy as visiting a lonely relative or as trivial as giving spare change to a beggar on the street. Whatever it may be that comes to mind I call you to kindness and generosity today.

As always thanks for reading and I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

Liebster Award

A couple of weeks ago I was humbled to accept yet another award for my blog! I put off accepting the award until I was able to locate a few new recipients to nominate. After some blog browsing and new subscriptions I finally feel equipped to genuinely nominate some new up and coming blogs as well as introduce you to some of my personal favorites.

So…without further adieu, let the awarding begin…

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The Official Rules Of The Liebster Award

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

1. thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2. display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)

3. answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

4. nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)

5. create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.

6. list these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:

7. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

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I would first like to thank Anna from Millennial Creativity for nominating me for this award. Her blog is so fun and if you like some of the ideas behind my posts please check out her blog as well. She is creative and often writes on creative topics and reflections.

Next, I must answer the following questions about myself:

1. Who’s your role model?

I have many role models in my life. I look up to different people for different things, but my ultimate role model is Jesus. There are a lot of people I try to gain wisdom from, but at the end of the day the one person who I try to emulate is the only one who lived a perfect, sinless, and fulfilled life.

2. What topics are most fun for you to blog about?

I love my current blog series The Date Jar. This series is particularly fun because it involves spending quality family time together and trying new experiences. If you pay attention just about every post in this series involves partaking in coffee and food (two things near and dear to my heart). It’s really fun to take part in the activities and the comments and suggestions I receive from other bloggers are fun as well.

3. If you could visit any other country / region, where would you go, and why?

I would love to visit Italy. Actually to be specific a Mediterranean Cruise sounds like about the most appealing adventure to me. I would love to visit Italy and maybe cruise down to Greece. I’ve always been fascinated with Italy and Italian food, but as I am also a history teacher I really would like to see Rome.

4. Do you have a creative space in which you work?

I wish. My workspace is wherever I can get away in my home for a few minutes. Sometimes I blog in my bedroom, sometimes in the home office, and other times I hide away for a few minutes in the bathroom. Alone time is hard to come by for me so I take advantage of whatever setting is provided daily. A goal of mine this summer is to transform our spare bedroom into a more productive and creative work space, but it isn’t my highest priority. For now, it’s working for me.

5. Complete this sentence: Most people would be surprised to find out that I…

ate five cupcakes yesterday 🙂

6. What is one thing you hope to do to improve your blog over the next year?

I am currently working on a project where I interview some mothers from all walks of life. I’m really excited to get this series published because all of the stories that are lined up deal with mom’s who have overcome various struggles and who I find to be inspirational. I also plan to hone in more on the strengths of my blog. After some solid research I’ve begun to make plans moving forward about post topics and I really plan to focus this summer on fine-tuning my voice as a blogger.

7. How do you wind down and relax in the evenings before bed?

Netflix. Since I was pregnant in 2012, my husband and I have been binge Netflixers (yeah, I created a word. You know you use it too!) We get hooked on a show and watch an episode or two every night until we finish the series.

8. What’s your “Achilles’ heel” when it comes to blogging?

My Achilles heel would have to be my lack of technology experience/knowledge. I am not the best with technology and I’m working on not letting that stand in my way! I’m learning a lot.

9. Biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is constant negativity. Positivity does not come naturally to me. I am, by nature, a critical person; however,  I have spent a lot of time to create a positive mindset and when I get around people who are always negativity it drives me crazy. Yes, it takes effort to be positive sometimes, but a glass-half-full mentality is so much more productive and healthy compared to a doomsday mentality.

10. If you could have any superpower, what would you be able to do?

Teleportation. I wish that my family didn’t have to be split by a giant ocean. I wish my husband could see his family and friends more often. Sometimes we talk about how awesome it would be if we could just show up for dinner in England every now and again.

11. My advice to other new bloggers:

Stay positive. I haven’t been blogging for long, but the positive feedback and my new outlook on areas of my life have been worth it. I don’t do it for the view numbers or statistics, but it is nice to know that people all over the world are able to read my posts and share in life with me. If you get too focused on “getting big” or your popularity it will be very difficult to maintain a positive attitude when it comes to blogging. Write about something that inspires you to keep going and don’t be afraid to take risks.

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The blogs I would like to nominate for this award are:

Witty’N’Pretty

Real Mom of Long Island

Simple Provisions

Parenting and Stuff

JJ’s Ways

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Nominees, please answer the following questions:

1. In one sentence capture the essence of your blog.

2. Who is your target audience?

3. Name three things you have learned since you began blogging.

4. Why did you decide to start a blog?

5. How do you incorporate social media in your blog?

6. What is your dream job?

7. Where do you see yourself in five years?

8. What two personal goals have you set for yourself?

9. What two blog goals have you set for your blog?

10. What motivates you to write?

11. What other hobbies, besides blogging, do you enjoy?

Please take some time to visit the blogs awarded above.

The Versatile Blogger Award

The blogging world can be so many things. In the beginning of my blogging days I would describe it as overwhelming. When I began to learn about some of the ins and outs I described blogging as creative. Now, as I have been introduced to so many new people and become a part of their daily lives I describe blogging as inspirational. Blogging can be so much more than these adjectives, but these are three that quickly come to mind. Although my goal is to ultimately publish my writing in a traditional medium, blogging has helped me to find my voice and niche. Blogging has allowed me the opportunity to write on several of my insights and interests to see what I am best at and to teach me some creative techniques. I am grateful for all of the praise I have received for my blog (both those who have spoken to me in person about my blog and those who have met me via the blogging world and offered encouragement in the form of comments and messages).

This post is in response to yet another blogging award that I received from the lovely Autumn at Welcome to My World. Some of you may remember her blog from a previous post of mine. The author of this blog is a very inspirational mother whose superpowers rival that of my favorite superhero, Spiderman. She’s overcome a lot in the short time she has been a parent and I am inspired by her story and can relate to her on so many levels about life as a mother of a toddler. Please take some time and check out her awesome blog and let her know you found her through my post!

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The following is the list of rules for my newest award. All of the information on this award can be found on the VBA website:

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

So for those that I nominate for this particular award: (I don’t want to continue to award the same blogs…so it’s not quite 15)

1. Witty ‘N’ Pretty

2. Live to Write

3. Ali Does It Herself

4. Nerdy Book Club

5. The Persistent Platypus

If you’ve enjoyed my blog I recommend subscribing to these blogs as well. All of these blogs are positive and inspirational. The authors write on a variety of topics from fashion to parenting and so much more. Take a few minutes and check out these sites!

And finally…for seven things about myself (I’m going to try not to repeat anything from my last award post)

1. I love to travel. My husband is from England so my family visits the family overseas every summer, but I also enjoy traveling within the United States. I’ve been to a lot of big cities in the east, but look forward to one day venturing out west and traveling through every one of the fifty states.

2. I have two full-time jobs. The first full-time job is being a mommy for a beautiful 2 1/2-year-old girl. My second full-time job is teaching English and History to 9th grade students in Ohio. Both take a lot of work and patience, but both roles are very rewarding.

3. I’ve been married for almost four years to the love of my life. I met my husband the first day of college in an Honors English course and we quickly fell in love and became inseparable. We dated all through college and got married a month after graduation. I wouldn’t trade any of our time together for a thing in this world. He is amazing and I love my husband so much.

4. I really enjoy a good book. Although they are slightly more convienent I do not prefer to read on electronic devices. There’s just something special to me about a physical book. I also love real books because I have the chance to pass it on more readily once I have completed reading it. As a teacher, this is key. My students are always asking for recommendations.

5. I love to cook healthy homemade meals for my family. It is so rewarding for me to set the table with healthy options and entrees most evenings. Yes, we occassionally dine elsewhere, but the principle of gathering and eating together is priceless to me. I can count on one hand the number of days we have not sat down and eaten together as a family (no matter where that meal may have taken place). I think family meal time is not only physically healthy, but emotionally healthy too. This is a habit that my husband and I plan to continue until death do us part.

6. I have a secret craft passion. Of all the things that make me who I am I generally don’t mention my love for a good arts and crafts project. I do, however, enjoy a good project that I’ve created with my own hands. Pinterest is an addiction.

7. I tend to fill my life with positive people. Who has time for negativity?

Well, that’s all folks. Thanks for visiting and supporting. I am a grateful recipient of this Versatile Blogger Award.

Second Month…Second Award.

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Over the past two months I have been sharing pieces of my story and my journey as a busy mom with readers from all over the globe. What I started as a therapy for myself has opened doors to relationships in various parts of the world. I was shocked when the first stranger began to follow my blog and my site stats have blossomed beyond belief. Here I am not even through my second month as a part of the blogging community and I am receiving my second award nomination from a fellow reader and blogger.

I am so pleased with the adventure I have begun here in the blogging world. I also am excited over the next few weeks to reveal some new and exciting ideas with those who follow me. So before I begin addressing the award itself and the requirements for nominees I first would like to thank those of you who have made it a habit to keep up with my musings and life through subscribing to my blog, liking my posts, and leaving me comments. There have been days that I’ve felt discouraged, but then received a message from a follower that has helped give me a sense of purpose in this writing realm. So…Thank You!

So here’s the deal:

“The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer or up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and to also help the new blogger reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow-blogger who chose them. This award acknowledges bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers.”

I was nominated by Danielle at Way Off Script for this particular award. Danielle and I have exchanged many comments over the past weeks. She is an encouraging follower of my blog and an inspiration as she is raising twin toddlers. Thanks, Danielle.

Those who receive this award must first post seven fun facts about themselves so here are mine:

1. I am married to a British Basketball Free-styler. His globe-trotter like hobby has allowed us many opportunities to travel as a family. He has done professional shows all over the US and England and has a few really cool gigs coming up. Stay tuned to where his talents are taking our family.

2. I am a high school English and World History teacher at a rural school in Ohio. I have my dream job and I love it (most days)

3. I graduated high school early and so I was a fully employed teacher at the age of 20! (That was crazy because I had some students that were only 3 years younger than me at the time)

4. I ran competitively in high school. I qualified for the Ohio state cross country meet two out of four years in high school. I’ve also run two half marathons since high school and would love to complete a full marathon at some point in the future.

5. I love reading young adult fiction and my favorite sub-genre is Science Fiction/dystopian literature.

6. One day I would like to write a novel. This has been a goal of mine for many years and the publishing of this blog is my first step in that direction.

7. I am a coffee addict. I had a casual relationship with coffee until I had my daughter. Now, I’m close to the Lorelei Gilmore status as far as coffee addictions go.

My second task is to nominate up to fifteen other blogs for this award. I don’t know about fifteen since I am still a new blogger, but here are a few of my favorites:

Navy Striped Peonies

The Persistent Platypus

Desperate Housewife

Honey Hive Home

Welcome to My World

During my time as a blogger I have found inspiration and hope in these blogs. These are all women who write about an array of topics ranging from crafting and fashion to raising toddlers and having victory over mental illnesses. Please take some time show some love to these blogs.

One thing I have grown to love about the blogging community is the positivity and kindness that seems to be contagious. When I choose blogs to follow I look for writers who are genuine and promote a positive message thus making my daily readings inspirational and applicable to my own life. I love being a part of a community of people with a story to tell and the creativity and drive to do so.

My First Award: Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

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Just over a week ago I made the bold decision to begin publishing my musings in the wonderful blogging realm. I’ve always been a journal keeper and a secret writer, but I took the leap of faith (and advice from my husband) and began to publish my writing on this blog. I have been completely overwhelmed by the response I have received. My site stats are quite impressive and have exceeded my expectations. I’ve been averaging around 100 views per day and have created a following and community with blogging strangers around the world. I’ve gained some feedback from those more experienced than myself and I value that feedback greatly. But today, I have reached a new and unexpected milestone. My blog has been nominated by Welcome to My World for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.

I am honored and delighted to be nominated for this award. The nomination comes to me from a follower of my blog. If you enjoy my blog you should follow this inspiring blog as well. The author is a cancer survivor who writes about everyday life with a toddler and all of life’s ups and downs. Her posts are very relatable and sometimes I feel like we are great friends because her everyday life so closely resembles my own. I’m really excited to be nominated for my first award. I feel like maybe some of my ramblings may be inspirational to others out there. So I am very grateful for this nomination.

So what’s the point?

Why would one want to be nominated for a blogging award? The answer is two-fold. One goal of every aspiring blogger is to gain readers and followers and awards help make that happen. When I began blogging I wanted to know that the information I was putting out on the Internet was helpful and inspirational to other people. Of course, it is a great outlet for my thoughts and creative thinking, but my goal the whole time has been to encourage other people through letting them in on my imperfect life. By being transparent I believe that other moms or women may be able to relate to my position and be encouraged that we don’t have to have it all together all the time. Another reason why I am so thankful for this award is because it means that I am achieving that goal of inspiring another woman out there and hopefully countless others.

As a nominee for this award I have 10 questions I must answer on my blog so here it goes:

10 burning questions for the nominees:

  1. If you had the opportunity to donate what or who would you donate to and why? If I had the means and opportunity to donate I would choose to sponsor children overseas through organizations like World Vision. I currently sponsor a child in Guatemala through World Vision with a club that I advise at the high school where I work. For $33.00 a month we are able to provide food, clothing, education, and Bibles for our sponsored child and his family. If I could I would sponsor several more children. I wish that all children had the privilege and necessities that my own child has and it breaks my heart when I hear stories where that is not the case. One of the coolest things about World Vision is that they send correspondence between you and your sponsored child. (They even translate when language is a barrier)
  2. What is your favorite season and why? My favorite season is Spring. What I love most about Spring is the feelings of new beginnings. The winter in the mid-west can be daunting and at times (like right now) it seems as though the warmer temperatures and longer days will never come. Once spring sets in I receive new energy and look forward to all that comes with the changing of the seasons.
  3. Who is your favorite author? This is the toughest question on this survey. I love reading which is why I am a high school English teacher. I have several noteworthy favorites. I love Harper Lee, JK Rowling, Beth Moore, and many many more.
  4. Early bird or night owl? Early bird for sure. Since I was pregnant with my daughter my days as a night owl have disappeared. I would much rather get up early than stay up late. I’ve also learned that I am a much more productive person in morning (granted, I have the jump start of a cup of coffee…or two)
  5. Favorite dessert- Can I count coffee as a dessert? If not, then anything coffee flavored (cheesecake, tiramisu, cupcakes, ice cream…)
  6. Describe your perfect day from start to finish- The perfect day would begin with a little bit of a late start. I may wake up earlier than most, but I would take my time getting ready for the day. I would spend the morning drinking several cups of coffee, journaling, blogging, doing a devotional all while cuddling my daughter and husband on the couch. We would make  a family lunch and dine together still in our pajamas. After lunch, we would head to our favorite corner of the world: German Village in Columbus, Ohio. The weather would be beautiful. We would go to Schiller Park, walk the brick-paved streets, visit The Book Loft, and have cookies and coffee at the Pistachio Vera Bakery. Dinner would be at the quaint and world famous Schmidts in German Village. After dinner, we would venture home and watch several episodes of our current favorite show on Netflix until we all fell asleep on the couch. Yep, perfect day!
  7. What is your dream job? My dream job is yet to be determined. Something where I am able to use my gifts to help and inspire others. Right now I’m a teacher and I’m pretty happy with that!
  8. What is your favorite thing about blogging? My favorite part about blogging is that it is not only therapy for myself that allows me to creatively work out my thoughts and ideas, but it also is a platform to encourage and inspire others.
  9. Favorite movie- Wizard of Oz. Why? Because I’ve known every line and dance in that movie since I was 3. I also love all Disney movies and many many musicals.
  10. Warm or cold climate? Warm. No contest. I am much more happy, energetic, and productive with a healthy dose of Vitamin D from the sun. The cold is depressing and makes my joints hurt. Maybe I should think about relocating from the midwest 🙂

As a part of the nomination process I must also create 10 questions for my nominees:

1. Who do you admire most in your life? Why?

2. Where do you turn for inspiration and encouragement?

3. Why did you begin blogging?

4. What are three goals you have set for yourself (long or short term)?

5. Describe your family and its members.

6. What is your favorite accessory? Why?

7. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Why?

8. What is your favorite TV show?

9. What is your favorite blog and why?

10. Where do you see yourself and your family in five years?

I nominate the following blogs to receive this award as well:

Desperate Housewife

Thyme is Honey

https://acaffeinatedblog.wordpress.com/

Nominees, here are the ground rules:

– Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site. (that’s me 🙂 )
– Put the award logo on your blog.
– Answer the ten questions sent to you.
– Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
– Nominate seven blogs.

Thank you once again, Welcome to My World. You have made me feel like my time spent narrating my life is well worth it. I have also been encouraged by this award to set some new and higher goals for my blog and to pursue my own personal writing dreams. It means a lot. Please take some time and check out my nominee sites and help them reach their viewer/follower goals.

Life is good.