Spring is in the Air (finally!) and Awards, too

First flowers of spring from a few weeks ago. I moved the garbage before taking the pic.

First flowers of spring. Pic taken after I moved the garbage away. Hey, it’s city life, what can you do.

It’s that time again, awards! I feel pretty lucky to be on the receiving end of some new awards thanks to two bloggers I quite admire,Traci Carver and Kristine from Thank Heavens.

I feel like I’ve “known” Kristine for a while now. It could be because blog years are like dog years, since it’s been less than six months since we “met” online. Regardless of time, I love her blog, Thank Heavens, The Gluten Free Lifesaver, which is filled with delicious looking recipes and charmingly written posts, not to mention tons of helpful information about celiac disease.

Traci Carver’s blog is a more recent discovery. She’s a young world traveler who has returned to her small hometown to teach high school and bide her time until her next big adventure. But she finds plenty of small adventures close to home and writes about them cleverly. After her mother was diagnosed with celiac disease, Traci wrote a hilarious post about baking gluten free dessert for her mother’s party.

I’d like to thank both ladies for their generous bevy of awards. In order to keep things simple, and to keep my head from spinning off my neck, I’m going to consolidate by posting the badges and then sharing a list of great blogs. I made myself a bit crazy last time, trying to follow each blog award very specifically, but I think the heart of these “awards” is gratitude and recognition, to both the nominators and nominees.

Here is a general list of award “rules” which I forgot to include initially, but are important for those new to this sort of thing. Each award is a bit different, though the essence is the same. (Google the specific award names if you want more specific instructions.)

1. Link back to the nominator (that would be me in this case!)

2. Post all the badges in your awards post and/or on the side bar of your blog

3. Nominate your own list of blogs, the # depends on the award but seems flexible

4. Reveal a list of interesting personal stuff, or answer questions given to you by the nominator

5. Let the nominees know about their nomination by posting a comment on their blog with a link to your post

* Just so you know, there are no actual “winners” of theses awards! Something I had to figure out on my own, ha. It’s more about acknowledgement and encouragement. Spreading the love, that sort of thing.

Okay, so here are the Badges…

leibster-award sweet-blogversatileblogger111 very-inspiring-bloggerNow for my List (in no particular order) of Awesome Blogs…

Gluten Free Jenny (formerly Canada Jenny) – I love Jenny and her fantastic blog. Even though her daughter is newly diagnosed she already is baking bread with multiple flours AND using psyllium husks (which I have yet to use myself, ha).

Based on a Sprue Story – Molly’s amazingly hilarious and clever Celiac Fairy Tales, retold through the eyes of the newly diagnosed, made me an instant fan. And the name of her blog is awesome, too. Her posts are informative and clever. I always look forward to reading her posts.

Sensitive Flour – Another fabulously named site (as a former English major I can’t resist a good pun) and filled with great gluten and lactose free recipes written by a sensitive flower living across the pond in England.

Sophie’s Foodie Files – Anyone who posts a recipe for Gluten Free Boozy Smoothies has my vote, but Sophie has much more than one trick up her sleeve. Her site is filled with delicious and imaginative recipes, many of which are gluten free. She has a very helpful tab on her site that will quickly lead you to recipes in your dietary restriction of choice.

Fructose Free Me – I had never heard of fructose being a problem until I came across this lovely blog written by Donna who suffers from fructose malabsorption. Instead of lamenting the many foods she can’t eat (including garlic, onions, honey and wheat), she focuses on what she can and makes it look damn good.

Gazing In – Sarah’s site is filled with healthy and delicious looking recipes (many are gluten free) and snippets about her life in rural Washington State with her three beautiful boys. She also does lots of cookbook reviews, which are always helpful.

Almonds and Avocados – Rachel makes some of the most gorgeous looking (and tasting) gluten free pancakes and healthy veggie food around the web. I am often inspired by her beautiful salads and healthy smoothies. Did I mention her pancakes? Um, WOW.

My GI Journey – Laura is an Italian girl whose addiction to all things gluten went bust when she realized she was gluten intolerant. Her blog follows her new GF journey with humor and honesty, a winning combo in my book.

Fuck off Gluten – Okay, so you already know I’m a sucker for a good name and TJ’s hilariously irreverent and potty-mouthed blog is awesome. She is newly gluten free and pissed, but in a good way. Check out her GF journey and her attempts at baking GF bread (3 fails so far, but as far as I’m concerned, 4 times is the charm) among other great and successful recipes.

The Patient Celiac – Here’s one I forgot but totally meant to include! I’ve been following Jess’s blog since she started it. She is a doctor AND has celiac, and she posts very interesting and accessible articles from both a medical and personal perspective.

That’s it for now. I’m probably missing a few, but my brain is currently shutting down due to lack of food. Must dip into my kid’s stash of Cheddar Nut Thins and contemplate lunch. Hope you’re all enjoying some spring weather!

Blog Awards (and my Holiday Cookie Addiction)

Blog love is going around. Sort of like holiday cookies. Which I’m having a problem with, by the way. The other day I ate cookies for every “meal” until 4pm when I forced myself to have an apple. (Unless biscotti doesn’t count as a cookie, though I’m pretty sure it does since it was dipped in white chocolate and coated with green sprinkles).

I blame my talented cousin Peeps for this since she gifted my family an enormous bag of treats for the holidays. I would have taken pictures of what she made, but um, I ate them all. All gluten free, by the way. Yeah, she’s awesome.

You know who else is awesome? Angie and Amanda. Both are talented bloggers who nominated me for two new awards! Angie of Angies Grapevine nominated me for Blog of the Year, and Amanda of Celiac and Allergy Adventures for the Liebster Blog Award.

If I could, I’d send them these cookies I just made from Gluten Free on a Shoestring. But since I can’t, I’ll at least share a picture. They look all fancy and stuff, but really, so easy.

Yum, right? Those are peppermint Hershey Kisses in the middle. So. Good.

Those are peppermint Hershey Kisses in the middle. So. Good.

So here’s the deal for Blog of the Year. First, the logo.
Blog of the Year Award 1 star thumbnail
Thanks again, Angie, for the nomination!
There are so many blogs that inspire and entertain me. Here are a few that I’m nominating for Blog of the Year:
Here’s the deal for those nominated. As I’ve said before, no pressure to participate!
Congratulations on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award! The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:
  1. Select another blog or other blogs who deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award;
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award;
  3. Include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award at the Thought Palette and provide these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
  5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

6-stars-image

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different.  When you begin, you will receive the ‘first star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog, you can add another star. There are a total of six stars to collect. This also means if one of your favorite blogs already has a star, or more than one, you can still nominate them until they reach the maximum of six.

Now for the Leibster. Thanks again, Amanda, for the nomination!

liebster-blog-award

By accepting, I am supposed to share 5 random facts about myself and answer 5 questions posed by Amanda. Then I have to nominate 5 other blogs and come up with 5 questions to ask them. This is kind of a lot of work. But fun too. Here it goes…

1. As a kid I had two imaginary friends, one was a doctor. Weird, I know.

2. I was in a movie once. Okay, not exactly. My scene (um, about 15 seconds) got cut, but it made the deleted scenes on the DVD. If you want to see a younger, fitter, and more well rested version of me, borrow The Brave One and go to the self-defense scene.

3. I’ve almost always had really long hair. It was like my security blanket in junior high when I wanted to hide, which was often. In college I decided to finally get it cut. I made sure to tell the hairdresser NOT to give me the Jennifer Anniston shag cut that was frighteningly popular at the time, and she totally did. A few weeks later I went to a different salon where I had it de-Aniston-ed.

4. Last week I got my hair cut the shortest it’s ever been, perhaps since the unfortunate Jennifer Aniston incident. I love it.

5. My life, since having my two kids, is completely unrecognizable to me. I mean that in both the best and worst ways.

Amanda’s Questions

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go first? 

I am answering this in a fantasy way, meaning as if I didn’t have kids to bring or leave behind. I’d go to New Zealand, because ever since I saw Lord of the Rings I can’t get the gorgeous landscape out of my mind.

2. What is one thing you would change about your life right now?

This one might make me cry. I’d start sleeping again. All night long, uninterrupted.

3. Would you rather cook or bake?

Bake, bake, bake!

4. What’s your top three favorite songs of all-time?

This question made me think of the first night when I met my husband (to be). We talked for hours, so easily and honestly, and flirtatiously too, obviously. Then suddenly the conversation skidded to a halt when I asked him what music he liked. I don’t even know why I asked that question since I hate answering it myself. I could see in an instant that he was totally struggling and I laughed and told him to forget about it. So, I will respectfully abstain here. I mean, if I can’t answer that in front of the man I ended up marrying, then I can’t do it here. Even for you, Liebster.

5. What’s your favorite type of weather?

I’d almost say fall because I love the crisp autumn air, only I never seem to have the right coat or sweater. So I’ll go with those warm and balmy spring days when you can go outside in a t-shirt and feel totally comfy.

My nominees

My questions

1. What is the best gift you’ve ever given or received?

2. What is (or was) your favorite pair of shoes?

3. What actor would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

4. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

5. What is your favorite cookie?

Who knew? I’m a “Beautiful Blogger” Nominee

So, during my (brief) time as a blogger, I’ve come across various “awards,” often while reading comments on other people’s sites. The more I see them, the more intrigued I become, which leads to inevitable feelings of inadequacy and me wondering, how do I get one of those?

Now look up! There’s one right there! So crazy! Thanks Angie!

But first, some backstory because that’s the way I roll.

In some ways, blogging reminds me of high school. (Important note: I was a nerd. My lovely friend Jen corrected me once, saying I was a “hot nerd,” but I definitely didn’t feel that way at 14.) Collecting followers to your blog and “likes” on your posts can start to feel uncomfortably competitive (for me, anyway, since I suffer from a total fear of competition).

It’s sort of like when the yearbooks came out at school and everyone rushed around to get the most signatures. That ALWAYS stressed me out. My first instinct was to opt out and act like I could care less, which quickly transformed into running around like a maniac for signatures.

(Do kids even have yearbooks anymore?! I’m so out of touch.)

Since I have about ZERO extra time on my hands, I’ve been rather laid back about blogging. I consider it a success if I can keep up with my twice a week posts. When I put Little Guy to sleep, I check out other blogs I like and try to post comments here and there. I don’t have time to run around and gather signatures, so to speak.

But apparently I don’t have to because I was just nominated for my first award! I’m excited in a goofy kind of way, so bear with me. After taking care of my girl for the past 4.5 years and now my Little Guy, I feel like I’ve been in a mama-bubble of sorts. I love being a stay at home mom, but it can also be a bit isolating. In my past life I was (um, am) a writer, so the idea of people (other than my husband) reading my blog and enjoying it enough to nominate me, is well, pretty cool.

Angie from Angies Grapevine nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award, which has the following rules:

1. Link back to the person who nominated you. Angie, thanks again!

2. Post the award image to your page. Did it. See above.

3. Tell 7 facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 7 bloggers and let them know about the nomination.

Alright, let’s get started. Here are my 7 facts. Hopefully they are vaguely interesting.

1. Crazy but true… I’m not on Facebook, Twitter or any social media sites. This has way more to do with my fear of competition (i.e. collecting “friends”) than me making some kind of big social statement.

2. Before I had kids, I was a self-defense instructor in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and apparently, excelled at groin shots. The company is still kicking (pun intended!) so check out the link if you’re interested in signing up for a class.

3. I love reading in a crazy obsessive sort of way and have been known to bring books into unusual places such as movie theaters and concerts.

4. One of my biggest goals, since I was a kid, is to become a published writer. Novel or short story collection, or both. The idea of seeing my book on a shelf in a store is my ultimate dream.

5. One of my biggest fears is that this will never happen.

6. My mom died five and a half years ago and I still miss her every day.

7. Sometimes when I look around online I’m blown away by all the cool blogs that make mine seem small in comparison – but, then Angie nominated me and made my day!

And the nominees are… (in no particular order)

Celiac and Allergy Adventures

My Sister’s Pantry

Suburban Girl Gone Country

Going Without Gluten

Real Food Real Deals

The Kidds

The Nerdy Farm Wife

Since each nominee is invited (no pressure!) to nominate 7 more blogs, it’s almost like a blog award chain letter. I’m into this, but please don’t ever send me a real chain letter. Those drive me nuts. Especially when the sender promises you bad karma or whatever if you don’t send it on. Meanwhile, if you do send it on, then all the people you send it to hate you. Anyway. This is NOT that. If you’ve been nominated, please know you will not receive any bad karma from me whatsoever if you simply enjoy the compliment and move on.