Blog of the Year Award 2013!

November was busy!  New home.  Home renos to said home.  Preparing for new baby.  Coping with complications with pregnancy and third trimester stuff. Oh, and NaBloPoMo…which seemed to have ended for me about a week early.

Then amidst the daily chaos of life I found this lovely comment from Melanie Jean Juneau at Mother of Nine9:

you have been awarded the BLOG of the YEAR by melanie at http://themotherofnine9.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/even-though-i-said-no-awards/

I was flabbergasted.  And giddy.  And, oh so grateful!

The rules for Blog of the Year 2013 Award are:

  1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.
  3. Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)
  4. Stop by and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/
  5. Recipients can now join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page. Click the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear and share your blog posts with  an even wider audience.
  6. And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars!

I will begin with #6 – Thank you so much Melanie from Mother of Nine9!  I love reading your blog.  You have a lovely perspective on parenting and children that aligns with my own.  Also, you have become a strong supporter of Book Marks, so thank you!

Here’s #1 & #2:  I love reading these blogs and I am grateful to these bloggers for always being so supportive of me and my blog!

Jessica Vealtzik at TRUE Stories – Jessica writes such an honest blog and tackles all sorts of subjects from the very personal, to parenting and best of all she allows many to tell their true stories on her blog.  Jessica offers a variety of perspectives on the experiences of women and family through story telling.  She has also recently published her first novel.  Looking forward to reading it!

Heather Lindskold at Between the Covers – Heather is my book blogging guru. I am normally in awe of the way she devours books and offers such succinct, clear and fair reviews.  She LOVES books and reading. It is a great blog for book lovers.

Bulging Buttons – this is a fun, diverse blog.  I came across this blog during NaBloPoMo and am very happy to have connected with this blogger.

Dawn Kealing at Life, Love and Adventure – I also met Dawn through NaBloPoMo.  She has a great travel blog and reminds me of my younger self.  I have fun reading through her adventures and travels.

Rebecca Scaglione at Love at First Book – Rebecca is another dedicated book blogger.  She too reads through so many books and offers great reviews.  Her blog is all things bookish and she inspired my Friday 5 Favourites.

Franco at Peach, Plum, Orange – Franco writes honestly on all sorts of subjects – and responds to comments quite thoughtfully which is great for discussions.

I foresee lots of time away from the blog once baby arrives, but in the meantime I will try to continue blogging and keeping up with my favourite blogs.

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What NaBloPoMo Has Sparked

Blogging every day for a month.  It’s been challenging – but not daunting.  It has inspired me to move forward with a few ideas for my blog.

I don’t know how soon I’ll put these into place -especially since they’ll fall apart in a month with a new baby…BUT they may help me get back on blogging track once I’m out of the new baby stupor and desirous to get back to writing.

Mondays I think I’ll dedicate to all things parenting – whether anecdotes, interesting tweets or posts from parenting cites I follow or something I’ve learned and can pass along.

Mommy Mondays WM

On Wednesdays I’ll probably need inspiration to get through the rest of the week.  I hope to inspire my readers too with interesting quotes and images that just might do the trick.  These may be quotes from books, their authors or other people we can all learn from.

Quotable Wednesdays WM

Thursdays will be dedicated to all things bookish.  In honour of why I started this blog in the first place.

Bookish Thursdays WM

On Fridays I hope to post about things that I love.  My lists can include classic books, modern books, vacation spots, parenting advice, beauty products…anything that catches my whimsy that week.

My Friday Five Favourite Things WM

That leaves Tuesdays.  I might participate in a meme or I might consider adding “Teachable Tuesdays” to the list.  I could provide teaching ideas for things that have worked in the classroom, or discuss teachable moments – personally and professionally.  I’m not sure yet.

What do you think? Has NaBloPoMo caused you to think differently about your blog?

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The Small Things

Bulging Buttons inspired my post todayThe Small Things.

I have had a very stressful month and recently reminded myself that it is by feeling gratitude that I will find my way back to peace, balance and contentedness.

Gratitude is defined as “the state of being grateful; thankfulness” – it is not an easy state to be in in a society that is bent on criticism, self-loathing and medicating itself to have some kind of feeling.  But, it is possible.

Some great quotes about Gratitude:

(courtesy: pinkchocolatebreak.com, inspirationboost.com, pinkchocolatebreak.com, todaysmama.com, revelinitmag.com, quotes.wishbowl.org)

I am using these quotes as inspiration to think about the things that I am thankful for.  Here is my completely random list of 5 small things, off the top of my head, in no particular order, and I’m sure it will change day-to-day.  However, today, these are the small things I am thankful for:

  1. The time to read a really, really great book.  My time is so precious – I feel like each day it is accounted for in so many ways that do not involve time for me.  This is why I blog at night, when my head is bobbing with sleepiness.  When I have 15, 20, 30  minutes to spend with a (great) book I am so grateful!
  2. My mother’s daily “check-in” – I speak to or text with my mom every day and I am so grateful for a mother that nurtures, loves and is my friend.
  3. Aveda’s “Be Curly” line of products – finally, a line of hair products made for my hair! Frizz is tamed. Curls are defined without being crunchy.  I’ve got that great SJP in Sex & the City hair that I love!
  4. Seriously can I write a post like this and not include the sound of my son’s laughter or his gorgeous poofy eyes and rosy cheeks and bed-head hair when he stumbles into our room every morning for a cuddle before getting up?
  5. I am grateful for the vintage bottle of wine brought over by a dear friend.  It lies there waiting for when I can savour it with my husband when we are deliriously happy and sleep deprived because of a new baby.

What small things are you grateful for?  Comment below or at Bulging Buttons or on your own blog and link back!

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What I Have Learned From Daily Blogging

Week 1 of NaBloPoMo done…today’s prompt is to reflect upon what we’ve learned from blogging everyday.  So, what have I learned?

  1. It’s not as hard as it sounds: once forced to blog every day because it is a challenge, because you’ve made a commitment, the words seem to flow out of your fingertips and onto the keyboard with less trepidation.  The more I write, the easier it becomes.
  2. There is writing material everywhere: while NaBloPoMo provides writing prompts for those days when I’m stumped (such as today), being challenged to write every day also forces me to pay more attention to the way life unfolds around me. Inspiration is found in small moments, in interesting articles or blog posts, or an idea that’s been nagging at me can finally come to fruition.  Basically, there’s never a shortage of material.
  3. Meeting other bloggers:  part of NaBloPoMo includes supporting other bloggers in their daily writing journey.  This challenge is about more than just writing, it’s also about being exposed to other blogs and feeling a part of the blogging community – which is enormous!
  4. Finding time to read is easier than I thought: daily blogging has also forced me to make more time for reading in order to keep up on the bookish topics on my blog.  I’ll be doing my first author interview soon and reviewing a book or two from my fall tbr list.
  5. Appreciation and Gratitude:  while I am always grateful for every single person who chooses to follow my blog, who comments and hits that “like” button – it is especially gratifying when other bloggers visit and choose to comment on Book Marks.  Out of the plethora of choices in the NaBloPoMo blogroll…they’ve chosen my little blog!  It’s awesome!

I’m sure the learning will continue throughout the month.  All in all, it has been a very positive experience.  Have you accepted any challenges recently from which you have learned about yourself?

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Inspiring A Fellow Blogger

Melanie Jean Juneau from Mother of nine9 honoured me in quite a lovely fashion last week!  I have recently discovered her blog and am loving it.  It is a beautifully written blog about mothering, parenting, children and a few other things too.  One of Melanie’s featured posts includes inspiring quotes matched with beautiful art.

And, on Halloween, she used one of my comments as inspiration for her quote/art post!

I was surprised and deeply honoured.  One of my personal goals through my writing (whether on this blog or through other forums) is to inspire others, to provoke thought, to provide insight.  Melanie Jean validated these goals with her post last week.

If you get a chance, take a moment to read the post and check out her blog.

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