Thursday, January 3

liebster blog award!

I've been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Laura from The Turquoise Home.  It's a really unique award given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated, and to help spread the word about new blogs.   The award was created to promote appreciation and recognition among the blog world.   Liebster translates to "dearest" (or favorite/best) in German. It is also known as the Love Blog Award.  Thanks so much for the nomination, Laura, and for showing my tiny blog some love!

**The Rules:**
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
5. No tag back (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you)!

**11 random things about me:**

  1. I was not allowed to wear red nail polish (because "nice girls don't wear red nail polish") or watch The Simpsons (because Bart was disrespectful to his parents) as a kid.  My parents had some of the most random rules ever.
  2. I collect vintage blue Ball Mason jars from local antique stores and thrift shops and use them to store just about everything.
  3. I spent one year in elementary school in a multi-age 1st-3rd grade classroom, and I really wish that style of teaching had caught on more.  I learned and grew more that year than ever before.
  4. I took dance from the time I was in first grade through my first year of college.  I quit after a bad audition and really regret that I gave up so easily and compared myself to other dancers so much.  I am still really inspired by dance and it's my favorite way to work out.
  5. As a kid I refused to wear the color green because it was the color of the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz.
  6. Tunnels, including subway/metro tunnels, really freak me out.
  7. My favorite color has been purple since my mom bought me a purple sunflower hat like Blossom had on the television show.
  8. I was once on a softball team that either lost or forfeited every single game we played.
  9. In college I spent two weeks in Ireland for a January term English class with my two favorite professors.  I don't know if that's long enough to count as study abroad, but it was perfect for a homebody like me.  I would love to go back someday and take Mr. Q because he is Irish-American and has never been there.
  10. I have been obsessed with France since high school and my #1 dream travel destination is Paris.
  11. I was almost an Anthropology minor, until I started falling asleep every day in my archaeology class and realized it was probably not really for me.  I still love learning about other cultures and traditions from around the world, and about traditional agriculture and cooking.
Keep reading for Laura's questions for me, my questions, and my nominees!

**Here are Laura's questions for me:**

1. How did you meet your spouse, if you have one? If not, tell your best love story.

Mr. Q and I were introduced by a mutual friend - she was one of his college roommates and worked with me at a summer camp.  We talked all night, about everything, and spent almost all of my nights off (I got one each week) together that summer.

2.  How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to blog?

I have been keeping online journals since high school, when my posts were mostly about which boys I had crushes on and what music I was listening to.  I started this blog when my friend was getting married and I caught "wedding fever"... I chose the "notjustbrides" part of the URL because I wanted this space to reflect the roles of everyone involved in putting a wedding together and supporting a new marriage.

3. What is your #1 item on your bucket list?

To publish a book, ideally one for young adults.  Seeing my name on the cover of a published book has been my dream since third grade.

4.  Where is your favorite vacation spot?

I love the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Nicholas Sparks' books and movies are actually a really realistic portrayal of the area - people are very kind and life is very laid-back.

5.  What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Spending Christmas Eve with Mr. Q's family - they always invite my mom to join their celebration and I LOVE that we are one big, happy family now.  The night is always full of laughter and happy memories.  We eat a potluck dinner, watch A Christmas Story, and open gifts in turn from youngest to oldest.

6.  What is your favorite meal?

I am in love with Tosca Reno's "Keep It Tight Tilapia" from The Eat Clean Diet.  I make it about once a week with rice and vegetables - the spices are so yummy! 

7.  What is your go-to outfit?

Like many teachers, I am a cardigan queen.  My basic outfit is a fancy t-shirt or embellished tank top with a colored or gray cardigan, dress pants or jeans if it's Friday/the weekend, and ballet flats- usually leopard print since they go with everything!  I also always wear a necklace, my engagement ring and wedding band, and my college class ring.

8.  What are your favorite blogs to read? List at least 3.

9.  What projects are you currently working on?

Getting our office/guest room organized and cleaned up is my biggest organization project right now!

10.  What is your favorite project you've ever done?

My Christmas-themed paint chip mosaic - with every step of the process it looked more beautiful and gained more character.  I had never worked with wood stain before, so that was a learning experience and lot of fun - I felt like I was channeling my inner Miss Mustard Seed.

11.  Are you a person who can't live without coffee? Or do you like tea?

Both - I need a little coffee in the morning to help me wake up, and I like chamomile tea at night to help me relax.
**Here are my questions for those I nominate to answer:**
  1. Do you play any musical instruments?  If not, what do you wish you could play?
  2. What is your favorite holiday to celebrate?
  3. What was the best gift you received this year?
  4. What is the last book you read and loved?
  5. What would be your ultimate travel destination?
  6. What forms of social media are you active on?
  7. What DIY or craft project are you most proud of this year?
  8. What are your top three can't-miss TV shows?
  9. Any celebrity crushes?
  10. If you could go on any game show, which one would you choose?
  11. Why do you blog?
**And here are the 11 blogs that I nominate for the Liebster Award:**
  1. Unabashedly Me
  2. From L.A. to LA
  3. Gourmet Veggie Mama
  4. Music City Sarah
  5. Saving Room for Dessert
  6. Sweet Mama M
  7. Coffee and Sunshine
  8. Jengerbread Creations
  9. Allons-y Kimberly
  10. My Sesame Seed Buns
  11. High Heeled Mama
Note to nominees: Please leave me a comment with your post so I can read up on you.  It takes a while to come up with 11 random facts, 11 answers, and 11 blogs, so take your time!  Additionally, please link back to this post on your blog. (Please do not be offended if you actually have more than 200 followers!)


  1. Hey, thanks for the nomination! :) I didn't know you had dreams of publishing a book -- that's awesome. I yearn to see my name on a cover one day, too.

    1. Teaching has been both a blessing and a curse for my writing dreams - I know more about what teenagers like to read and what they are interested in, and what day-to-day life for them is like, which is wonderful, but I'm usually so tired after a day of teaching that I don't feel like writing. Still working on it - one of my goals for 2013 is to write every week.

  2. This is my first time here, and this was such a great introduction to you! I went to quite alternative schools as a youngin...and I wish they had caught on more, particularly having more than one grade in the classroom!

    1. Hi Deidre and welcome to my blog! I post about a lot of different things so I hope that you will enjoy it.

      I love, love, loved my multi-age class - we could never figure out what we were being grouped by because our teachers mixed us up in so many different ways. That's almost impossible to achieve in a traditional classroom.

  3. Thank you! And I officially have 200 followers now, so with rounding I think I'm totally eligible!

    And I college I spent 3 weeks in France, and most definitely count it as studying abroad. My college was actually the first in the country to require all students to study abroad, but they do count these 3 week coarses towards the requirement.

    1. Yay! Congratulations on reaching 200 :)

      I think UVa is working toward making study abroad a requirement for all students. I think it's a great idea as long as they offer financial aid - I wouldn't have been able to go on my Ireland trip if I hadn't gotten scholarship money.

  4. Thanks for the nomination Heather...I've just publicly posted it!

    Let me know what you think!!

  5. Thanks for nominating My Sesame Seed Buns Heather. Here's the link to my Liebster nomination post.