Liebster Award

I’m so excited to share I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by a fellow blogger:

Sara from Shabby Grace Blog

Wow, thanks so much Sara! I'm truly honored to be recognized. “Liebster” means “dearest” or “favorite” in German. It’s also known as the “Love Blog Award.”

The award is to show newer bloggers that they’re appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs.

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:
1. Acknowledge the blogger(s) who nominated you.
2. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger who nominated you provided.
4. Choose 11 blogs you love and nominate them.
5. Create a list of 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Let your nominated bloggers know!

11 Random Facts About Me
1. My parents are from Trinidad. It's a small country in the Caribbean Sea, very close to the tip of Venezuela. We went annually until I was about 18, and I haven't been back since I was 25. I was born in the US, and my mom loves to call me a Yankee.

2. If I had been born a boy, I would have been named Marvin. Let's all take a minute to thank nature that I was born a girl!

3. I've never broken any bones in my body. I had a stress fracture in my leg 9 years ago, but that doesn't count as a break. It still hurt like hell, and I was in a boot for 6 weeks.

4. I was a good swimmer when I was a kid, and butterfly was my best stroke. Some of my Trinidad relatives were waiting on me to get to the Olympics. We had to tell them that was never happening. I was good for summer league swim team, and that's about it. And once it became not fun anymore, I stopped.

5. As a kid, I was REALLY picky about what I ate. Nothing could touch each other, and if I didn't like it, I refused to eat it. That lasted until I was about 15. I also had a meltdown as a little kid once in Wendy's because of the square burger. I very loudly (and repeatedly) told my parents "that's not a burger". The manager took it in the back and cut off the corners, but it was too late. I'm pretty sure it was a long time before we ever set foot in Wendy's again.

6. I am a voracious reader, and always have been. As a kid my nose was constantly in a book. My would drop me off at the bookstore, go run errands, and come back and get me when she was done. I would sit in the kid's section all by myself and read. But then one day someone robbed the bookstore while I was in there--he was really quiet, and nobody else knew until the cops showed up. First of all, who the heck robs a bookstore? How much money did he really think he was going to get?! As you can imagine, I was never left in the store again.

7. I have the sickle cell trait. Thankfully I'll never get the disease or any of the symptoms/problems, but I do suffer from very low iron.

8. I HATE NEEDLES. Always have. My mom said when I was 5 and needed blood work done, it took 4 nurses to hold me down. Even so, I give blood every couple months, because it's the right thing to do. And because I have sickle cell, I can only do platelets which means the needle is in my arm for about 90 minutes.

9. I never got any of the childhood diseases (measles, chicken pox, etc). I was around friends who came down with it the next day, but I got nothing. Let's all hope I don't get it as an adult, because I hear it's brutal and potentially life-threatening when that happens

10. Both my parents come from big families. My dad is one of 12, and my mom is one of 6. I have a half-sister, but she's never lived with us so basically I'm an only child.

11. When I go to the mall, I have to go down one side and back up the other. I can't cross the walkway to a store on the other side

My 11 questions:
1. How would you describe your home decor style?

It's kind of pathetic, but I really don't have a specific style. When I find something I like that goes with the color scheme of the room, I'll get it. That probably explains why 8 years later, most of my wall space is blank. I get bursts of energy and motivation and take all the floor/wall samples with me to the store, and then get frustrated when I can't find what I want. Or I'm not sure if I really like it enough to buy it.

2. What’s one thing you wish you knew about blogging before you started?

How time consuming it is! I started the blog as a personal journey 3 years ago, and during my crazy work times I'd go a couple months without a post. And it didn't phase me too much. But when I started to really focus on growing the blog (joining social media sites, being active in blogger groups, and being active on link parties) I realized that I truly needed to do something every single day. Or at least every other day. I've really struggled with that the past couple weeks, because this time of year my world is focused on getting ready for the first home game. So by the time I get home the last thing I want to do is work on the blog. But I know I need to, so I'm on a mission to devote an hour a night to doing just that. One thing that has helped is that I didn't jump on the social media train until this spring. So I'm able to republish old posts regularly, and that has really increased my readership and followers.

3. What’s one tip you would give to a new blogger?
You have to be your own activist for readership and followers. It's easy to get discouraged when nobody is reading your stuff. It takes time, and you have to actively promote your work. And do it regularly.

4. What’s your favorite social media when promoting your blog?
Well I have two, for different reasons:
My Facebook page, because I can easily track followers and who's reading my posts. I can republish old posts that otherwise probably won't get read. I share posts of my fellow bloggers, and hopefully they do the same of mine.

Twitter, because when I do restaurant reviews I always tweet the restaurant. When I first started doing that it didn't have much traction, but now most of them will favorite and/or retweet. And some will even comment and promote my review. I haven't gotten a free meal out of it yet, but hopefully that's next :)

5. The best piece of life advice you’ve been given?
Be willing to move wherever the job takes you. From the time I was a kid, I wanted to work in sports...specifically for a college football team. I honestly don't even know where that came from. I was lucky enough to work for Maryland Football for 13 years, and I learned early on that you have to work hard (even harder as a female), be willing to put in long hours, and if the job moves you all over the place, you run with it. 20 years ago I had no idea where Stillwater Oklahoma was, when I came out to visit in 2000 I told Coach Gundy I would never live here; and now I've been here for 8 years.

6. Your favorite book?
I don't have a favorite book, but my favorite genre is mysteries/suspense. They are so hard to put down because I want to know what happens! I was devastated one day when I finished the second book in a series, only to find out that the third wasn't coming out for another year. That's not even fair.

7. If you had to pick ONE store to shop at for a year, what would it be?
Wow. That's a hard one. Probably Super Target, because then I could buy clothes, groceries, and toiletries all in one.

8. What’s your favorite Holiday?
Christmas. I love the smell of the live Christmas tree, and transforming the house with decorations. We've always had a live tree. One year when I was 3 or 4 we were going to Trinidad on Christmas Day, so my parents planned to not get a tree here. Not what a toddler wants to hear, and kids don't understand that concept anyway. Apparently I cried and screamed so much they went out on Christmas Eve and bought one.

9. Do you have any children or pets?
None of either. I love kids and always said I would have a couple. But it never came to be. Besides, I'm much better as Aunt Karyl because I can give them back!

As a kid I was absolutely terrified of dogs, but I still wanted one. My parents said no way, but of course I kept begging. So they got me a goldfish and told me if I could take care of that, they would get me a dog. Goldfish don't tell you when they're several goldfish later their evil plan worked. Now that I can get a dog myself, I never have because I'm just not home enough.

10. What’s your favorite restaurant and/or type of food?
Once again, I don't have just one. I love all kinds of food, but my top 4 are Thai, Italian, Mexican, and Chinese. My favorite foods are steak, pasta, pizza, burgers, and seafood.

11. If you hit the lotto, what’s the first thing you’d buy or do?

I would set up trusts for the kids of my very close friends and my cousins with kids to cover their education expenses until they turn 21.

Bloggers I Nominate

My 11 Questions for You:
1. If you had a super power, what would it be?
2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
3. You have an entire day completely to yourself. No spouse/kids/work. How do you spend it?
4. What have you found to be the most frustrating part about blogging?
5. What is the best advice you have for new bloggers?
6. If you could have dinner with any 3 people, living or dead, who would they be?
7. If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?
8. If you were trapped on a deserted island what are your top 3 things you would want to have with you?
9. What is your favorite sport to watch? Your favorite team (college or pro)?
10. What do you do at the end of a long day to relax and unwind?
11. What inspired you to begin blogging?

Can’t wait to read your blog posts!