More months back than I care to admit, Asia of Sparrow Soirees generously nominated me for a Liebster Award. These awards are given to and by fellow bloggers as a way to get to know one another as well as a way for our readers to learn a little something new about us.
The rules for nominations are pretty simple. They go something like this:
- Share 11 random facts about yourself;
- Answer 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you;
- Give mad props to the sweet blogger who nominated you; and
- Nominate three bloggers with your own set of 11 questions.
Asia is a total #GirlBoss who plans parties, rocks as a social media consultant, raises two young boys and makes killer crafts so to be nominated by her was a treat to say the least. Still, as much as I blog, I don’t often say much about me—something I’m trying to work on. So, while it took me longer than is customary, here I am opening up and sharing a little bit more—and by a little bit more, I mean a lot, at least in terms of word count 🙂
Here we go!
11 Random Facts
- I was born in Vermillion, South Dakota and didn’t visit there again until 30 years later.
- I have always lived with at least one cat. Currently, I’m at three with Stanley, Clio and Timmy.
- I’m left-handed even though my second grade teacher tried to tell me otherwise.
- When I was a kid, I used to write up invoices for fun.
- Once, I got to walk Morgan Freeman to his hotel room.
- I have been to Tataouine, the namesake of the Star Wars planet, Tatooine.
- I just spent three solid days organizing my 1,000+ Christmas ornaments. I loved every minute.
- When I was 18, I went before a judge to have my name legally changed.
- A mean boy knocked out one of my front teeth with a Super Soaker in the 8th grade.
- I take after my mother by visiting local cemeteries whenever I travel.
- Someday I want to attend Renegade Craft Fair in all seven cities.
11 Questions from Asia
1. Name three blogs you always find the time to read and, in a nutshell, why you read them.
At present, I subscribe to just over 300 blogs! They are almost evenly split between work-related and blog-related interests. Fortunately, all these blogs don’t post everyday and even still, for most of them they are just quick headline scans.
That said, there are a handful that always grab my attention and those are Swiss Miss, Brain Pickings and Messy Nessy Chic. What they are all exceptional at is curation. Swiss Miss is wonderful at bite size diversions – fun tidbits and quotes she finds around the web. Brain Pickings is riveting and thought-provoking. She illuminates the best of humanity and opens up worlds to me. Messy Nessy Chic is an amazing Internet sleuth. She finds the most fascinating topics and images. I’m always doing a double take. For all three, there is always excitement, discovery and exceptional taste.
2. Why did you start your blog?
Growing up, I crafted all the time with my mother. Looking back, I now consider my younger self to be very creative. I was always willing to try out something new and explore. This continued through college where I studied photography and graphic design. But gradually, as adult responsibilities grew, I spent less time making. Years went by and I wasn’t feeling creative or expressive even though my job title had “designer” in it.
In 2013, I was on a project for work that was very closely tied to blogging. I was interacting with bloggers and their content and I was working among creative people. It was these conditions that served as the impetus to start blogging. It felt like the right motivation and platform to start exploring and creating again. I also needed some structure and accountability to make sure I kept it up. It’s been a gradual, creative resurgence but over the past year I’ve tried out more new things than I did in the ten years prior.
3. What do you find the most challenging about having a blog?
Gosh. Just one thing? With the new year, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Most often time comes to mind as a big challenge, but when I press myself it really isn’t it. It’s prioritizing. Even as an amateur blogger, it’s an incredibly time consuming and relentless activity. The more I accomplish, the more time it demands.
What I’ve encountered over the last several months is a shift in priority – both in why I blog and how blogging impacts the rest of my life. Far too often, my guy does a ‘drive by’ of my office just to see me. If he didn’t, I’d be holed up—oblivious to everything else happening in the world—for hours. I’ve also felt a shift in why I blog—it now feels like I’m trying to create a blog vs. having a blog to create things.
I’m working on a solution for better managing priorities, which I hope to share soon, but for now awareness of the shift is an important first step.
4. What do you find the most rewarding about having a blog?
Again, just one thing?! I think it has to be that blogging is a great driver for making, creating and imagining new ideas and possibilities. It’s helped me flex my creative muscles in new and different ways, which makes me a better person at home, work and elsewhere.
5. What advice would you give a new blogger?
Don’t get caught up in the blogosphere. It’s alluring and tempting but it’s also a serious distraction that can easily make you feel inadequate and unaccomplished. Instead, focus on how blogging makes you feel. Do more of the things that make you feel good about blogging and less of the things that make you feel bad, anxious and stressed about blogging. After all, for most of us it’s a hobby and even if it’s not, it is our time and no one else’s. Make it worthwhile for you first and then everything else will fall in line.
6. What’s your favorite social media platform to use on a daily basis?
I flip flop between Pinterest and Instagram. Right now, it’s Pinterest because I had some extra downtime over the holidays, which made for prime pinning time. Mostly, though, I prefer Instagram because more of my friends are on it and I can see what they are up to.
7. What are you currently reading for fun?
Based on the recommendation of a voracious reader and excellent brunch pal, I just started reading Eleanor and Park. I’m splitting my time between it and Lean In, so I haven’t gotten very far – but so far so good.
8. Who are you currently listening to on the radio, satellite, or music app?
Since this season of Serial is over, I’ve been listening to StartUp, “a series about what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one,” which is hosted by former This American Life producer, Alex Blumberg. I don’t have plans to start my own business anytime soon but his knack for storytelling as well as the universal life lessons make it a must-listen podcast.
9. If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go? Why?
This may seem counterintuitive given the winter weather but if I could take any trip right now, I’d be gearing up for Antarctica. I imagine Antartica feels extraterrestrial. It’s so far removed from any construct of normal or familiar. I love how remote it is, that it’s home to mass wildlife migrations and that it’s relatively untouched by human civilization.
It’s a bucket list item, and a doozy at that. I’ll be saving for the next 20 years to afford this trip but when it happens, it’ll be magic.
10. What is your favorite comfort food?
I have more of a genre than a single food and that genre is baked goods. I love a good slice of artisanal sourdough or pumpernickel. A kouign amann feels like it was designed by the heavens just for me and a fresh, flaky croissant is France’s greatest gift to the world.
11. If a tourist came to your city/town, what are three things you’d tell them is a must do/see/eat/drink/etc during their visit?
Cinerama was one of the first great experiences I had in Seattle. It is a single screen movie theater with state-of-the art technology, an amazing concession stand complete with beer, wine and chocolate popcorn and the most comfy seats you’ve ever rested your movie-watching bum in.
Crumble & Flake is simple and sublime. It is the pinnacle of craftsmanship in the food world. I don’t want to oversell it, but seriously, it’s so good!
Having grown up in the Midwest, the Ballard Locks—and the Seattle topography in general—were such foreign sights to me when I first arrived. I’d never seen so many lakes and bridges. The Ballard Locks are a great example of both. You walk through a lovely park and then across walkways where you watch the boats pass. If you come at the right time of year, you can even see the salmon migrating.
Now it’s time to pass the torch. My nominees are:
- Dawn from Change is Hard. Dawn is one of the very first bloggers I ever knew and she’s been at it since I met her back in 2006 at grad school.
- Terumi from An Emerald City Life. She has great tips on things to do in Seattle for families, couples and visitors.
- Jessica from Oh So Antsy. Jessica just turned 31 on New Year’s Day and makes amazing jewelry year round.
My 11 Questions
Here are my questions for Dawn, Terumi and Jessica. I can’t wait for their answers!
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- Why did you start blogging?
- What’s the story behind your blog’s name?
- What is your favorite blog post?
- What is the best thing you’ve learned through blogging?
- What do you want to do more of in 2015?
- What do you want to do less of in 2015?
- Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
- What’s your idea of a perfect weekend?
- If you could have anything to eat right now, what would it be?
- What are 3 blogs you visit every week?
Thanks for joining me on this epic post – it’s been fun but now I need a nap!