Monday, September 1, 2014

The Liebster Award: Take Two

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A big thanks to Alana from Healthy Family Simple Budget and Kori from Just Another Mom for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  Please check out these two awesome parenting blogs that are full of great activities for kids, helpful tips and beautiful words.
Here’s how The Liebster Award works:

1.  Each person who is nominated should post 11 things about themselves.

2. You must also answer the questions that the tagger set for you in addition to creating 11 questions for the individuals you nominate to answer.

3. Nominate 5 – 11 of your favorite bloggers and link them in your post.  I don’t know a lot about the qualifications for The Liebster award.  However, I  have read that nominees are supposed to have no more than 200 followers. 

4. Visit  your nominees’ pages and inform them of your nomination.

5. Thank and link back to the person’s blog who nominated you.
I was nominated for the Liebster award another time.   Here’s that post, if you are interested!
Here are 11 interesting things about me:
1.  In high school, I helped decorate a float for the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena.  I applied moss to wolves.  The moss was stuck under my fingernails for days!

2.  I went to college at UCSD in La Jolla, California.  I used to go running down at Black’s Beach.  However, I didn’t realize it was a nude beach until I saw a few naked men running along the shore.  That was an interesting site. 

La Jolla      Photo Credit:
3.  I have been married for 11 years!  Marriage is hard work but so wonderful to be married to my best friend.

4.   I have two cats and two dogs.  I’m often vacuuming.

5.   I have a personal relationship with Jesus!  My favorite verse is Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
6.  Both of my kids have a stork mark on their forehead.  It is a small birthmark that fades as you get older.  How do I know this…... I had one too!

My Daughter (left) and my Son (right) © Melissa Matters
7.  I took Gospel Choir in college. It was a pass/fail class and a very fun way to get credits.
8.  My current favorite television programs are “Rookie Blue” and “Parenthood.”  Confession time: I also watch “Pretty Little Liars.”

9.  Splash Mountain is my favorite ride at Disneyland.    

10.   A long time ago, I worked at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  I ate way too many caramel apples.  

11.  I’m a credentialed teacher.  I stopped teaching after having children but will probably go back.  
Now for the questions:
Questions from Alana at Healthy Family Simple Budget
1. What’s your favourite post you’ve written so far?
2. On those parenting days where nothing seems to go quite right, how do you move beyond the melt-downs and mess?
I try to get out of the house by myself for a bit.   If I don’t have anyone around to watch the kids, I will take them to the park to get the wiggles out.  Oh, and I reward myself with chocolate...lots of chocolate.
3. What’s one of your favourite go-to recipe?
I make homemade pesto sauce.  I use toasted slivered almonds (ground up), fresh basil, parmesan and olive oil.  I mix it all up in my "Magic Bullet."  My kids like it too.

My pesto sauce with bow tie pasta!  © Melissa Matters
4. What are your favourite blogs to read?
Well, Healthy Family Simple Budget, of course.  I also enjoy Three Boys and a Mom, Rookie Parenting and Mommy A to Z,  This Heart, Just Another Mom...I have a lot I’m enjoying.
5. What prompted you to start your blog?
When my daughter was born, I started writing articles for the web.  A few months ago, one of the main sites I wrote for, Yahoo Voices, went out of business.  I have found other places to write.  However, none of the sites I write for allow me to write about parenting or first person accounts.  I started the blog because I enjoy having a voice.
6. What blog post are you the most proud of?
Great question!  I would say Saying Goodbye to the Baby Years because it was an emotional one for me.  Also, I think a lot of parents think moving beyond the baby years is a bittersweet time.  
7. Would you rather a year without social media or a year without coffee?
My son had GERD when I was nursing so I had to be very careful about what I ate.  I got used to living a caffeine-free life.  So, I think I could go another year without coffee….even though the smell is so inticing.
8. What’s your favourite baby shower gift to give?

I like to give practical clothing such as onesies and sleepers.   
9. When writer’s block hits, or you find you are not completing posts, where do you find inspiration?

I try to get some sleep.  Usually, I have writer’s block when I am super-tired.
10. What are your favourite books to read your kids? (*This post contains affiliate links).
I love The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems.  It is very funny!  I also enjoy books from Chris Van Allsburg (The Sweetest Fig) and Shel Silverstein (The Giving Tree is my favorite).

11. What is your favourite outing with your family?

We love going to the beach.  We live in Southern California so we have a lot to choose from.  

© Melissa Matters
Questions from Kori at Just Another Mom
1. Why did you start blogging?

When my daughter was born, I started writing articles for the web.  A few months ago, one of the main sites I wrote for, Yahoo Voices, went out of business.  I have found other places to write.  However, none of the sites I write for allow me to write about parenting or first person accounts.  I started the blog because I enjoy having a voice.
2. Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla. I always get vanilla milkshakes or ice cream.  However, I don’t like plain vanilla ice cream.  It has to have caramel or fudge on top.

3. Do you drink coffee or tea?

I like coffee.  However, after being pregnant and nursing, I got used to de-caffeinated tea!

4. What is your favorite season and why?

I would say fall.  I love how the weather is cooler so I can go to the park or be active any time of the day.  In the fall, I  enjoy going to the pumpkin patch.   

5. Do you have a favorite month of the year?

December because I love Christmas

6. What is the first letter of your middle name?


7. Have you traveled outside of the United States?

I have been Cabo San Lucas and Italy.

In Rome
8. How long have you lived in your current city?

I have lived here for 10 years.  Wow, that’s a long time.

9. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?

I have a guitar and used to be able to play.  I haven’t used it in a few years. However, I would like to be much better.

10. Do you have a favorite author?

I like Douglas Coupland! He wrote All Families Are Psychotic.

11. What’s your birthstone?

Aquamarine!  It's beautiful.

So who am I nominating?  It’s hard to choose.  (I’m only nominating four this time because I wanted to make sure I was very familiar with my nominations).  Congrats to the nominees:

1.  Ashley from  This Heart: Ashley’s Devotions.  Ashley has a poetic way of explaining life through the eyes of a parent.   When reading her posts, I often find myself nodding my head in agreement.

2. Pamela from Rookie Parenting.  Pamela takes a scientific approach to parenting advice!  Her blog is well researched.  I have definitely learned a thing or two when reading her posts.

3.  Ingrid from My Boss Wears Diapers.  Along with amusing parenting tales, Ingrid also gives tips on how to earn and save money!

4.  Cristi from Easy Being Mom.  Cristi has plenty of stories that will make you think and laugh!

Now nominees, here are your 11 questions to answer (I copied the questions from my first Liebster award):

1.  Why did you start a blog?

2.  What is your favorite family activity?

3.  What is your biggest parenting fear?

4.  What is your most popular blog post?

5.  If you could travel anywhere, all expenses paid, where would you go?

6.  What is your favorite season?

7.  What is your favorite book to read to your children?

8.  What is the best part about blogging?

9.  ….And the worst?

10.  Where is your favorite kid-friendly recreational spot to go (amusement park, park, etc)?

11.  What is your favorite television program or movie?

Thanks again for nominating me Alana and Kori!

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