Oh my goodness I have been nominated for an award on WordPress! I can’t stop smiling! Yesterday Katherine Bassfordnominated me for the Liebster award. I am absolutely delighted to have been nominated by a fellow blogger; especially this lady. Check out her blog You Can’t Hide The Spark. It is all about finding your spark, no matter how deeply it has been hidden, and letting it shine brightly. It is about being You and I love her words. Prepare to be inspired to find your spark ladies and gents.
The Liebster award is for blogs with less than 200 followers. Although WordPress includes my Facebook friends as followers and says I have 259, I actually have 54 treasured followers. I never thought 10 people, let alone 54 would want to hear my words and share their stories with me. It staggers me that I have 54 followers and I am so thankful to each and every one of you. I haven’t forgotten the terror of publishing my first blog post and wondering how it would be received. I literally shook with fear as I hit the publish button. So thank you for being a part of my journey and helping me believe I can do this; you don’t realise how much you all inspire me.
So what is it I hope to achieve with my blog?
To inspire you in return. To help you believe in yourself, to make you realise how wonderful you are and to be that cheerleader for you as you reach for your dreams. To pick you up when you stumble, remind you of the reasons to keep on hoping, dust you down with a gentle hand and send you onwards knowing you can do it. To think I may have done that for one person let alone more leaves me a very happy lady indeed.
Here are the Rules for Leibster:
• Post 11 random facts about yourself
• Answer your nominator’s 11 questions
• Nominate 11 deserving blogs with less than 200 followers and ask them 11 questions
Let’s get started then with 11 random facts about me
I can’t believe I am going to admit to some of these….Feeling the fear but let’s do this!
- I once ate even desserts in one sitting on a cruise of Doubtful Sound in New Zealand. I ended up in hospital shortly afterwards with an ‘unexplained’ stomach condition and was unwell for weeks. I couldn’t bring myself to tell the doctors what had caused it.
- I am prone to the occasional mishap at work (ahem) and in the past eight years I have: fallen backwards into the river I was surveying, had to be rescued from a deep field of snow after my colleague and I got the car stuck in said field, fallen off my chair and into my filing cabinet, electrocuted myself twice, caught the crotch of my trousers on a barbed wire fence and had to ask my dear old male customer to unhook me from the fence and fallen into the office main doors in my inappropriately high heels.
- I cry every time I watch The Snowman. I just can’t hack it when he melts.
- I have been pooed on by birds in excess of 12 times as an adult; once on my cheek whilst as I was chatting up the man I fancied.
- I tried to steal Robbie Williams’s pants from the washing line in his garden
- I faked a panic attack/fainting in a queue to get Chesney Hawkes’s autograph
- I had three perms as a teenager and no friends. Also see 6 and 7 to understand why
- I squashed my sister’s hamster by dropping a chest of drawers on it (by accident!) I told her it had a heart attack…sorry sis.
- I love skinny dipping whenever and wherever possible and have been caught by various people in various countries
- I am terrified of scuba diving yet I am determined to become a scuba diving instructor
- I am hopelessly in love with my best friend and now my secret is out
And here are my answers to Katherine’s questions
What do you like best about being a blogger?
The part I love the most is connecting with people and having the freedom to just be me. The freedom to express myself through writing with no limitations, no rules and always in the hope that I will inspire someone to keep on smiling. When I hear that someone likes my post or sends me a comment, it means more to me than anything else in this world.
If you could create your own cocktail, what would be in it and what would it be called?
It would be called The AquatiKat. It would be a delicate pink mix of the finest champagne with a dash of lychee juice, fresh mint and a syrupy pink hibiscus flower nestled in the flute. It would be presented to me by the staggeringly handsome Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters whilst he serenaded me with my favourite song My Hero.
How do you overcome moments of self-doubt?
First of all I step back and ask myself what I could do for me that would comfort me and do whatever it is as soon as possible; be it taking a bath, reading a book, blogging or having a glass of wine etc. Then I get an extra long sleep that evening and the next day I ask myself what it is I am so scared of. What is the fear? Then I think of my Mum, her incredible courage when she was ill and her peace with life, remind myself never to give up and shout chaaaaaaaaaarge loudly in my head as I just do it anyway. If that fails I eat a lot of chocolate and have a good cry until I feel better.
What is your favourite day of the week and why?
When I worked Monday-Friday it was Thursday because I was excited the weekend was approaching and I could lie in and be less hectic. Now I work less predictable hours and days, doing a job I adore, I love every day. Each one is magical, unpredictable and reminds me how good it is to be alive.
What helps to keep your creative spark ignited?
A combination of two things keeps my spark ignited.
- People: Being around others and hearing their stories inspires my creativity hugely, as does positive feedback and talking about life on that deeper level with those people
- Time alone: I need time to go for my daily run or walk on my own, to sing to myself, to daydream and hear my inner voice. That ignites my spark when all else fails
Did you set out to blog professionally or just for fun?
I set out to do it just for fun and as a form of therapy for me. Having said that, I want to blog and write professionally but I am still working up the courage to do so.
First paying job?
Shop assistant at Legends Surf Shop in Leamington Spa, England
Favourite teacher from school?
Miss Jones. My first teacher in kindergarten. She had this incredible way of lighting up the class with her creativity and long auburn hair. Miss Jones gave me my first prize for completing a project at school – a little fluffy bumblebee. I have never forgotten that moment.
What are your hopes for your blog?
That more people read and follow my blog and find my words inspiring and uplifting. That I can find the courage to write and publish an inspirational book and change peoples’ lives.
Where’s your ideal place to live?
Somewhere in the sunshine with an ocean full of sharks on my doorstep and sand to run along each day. My perfect home is cosy and peaceful with a patio to sit on so I can enjoy a good bottle of red wine. So far South Africa gives me all of this and more but we shall see where my free spirit takes me…
What’s your biggest dream(s)?
Excluding the dreams I am currently experiencing in terms of sharks and diving. I have five others:
- To sing in front of an audience with a jazz pianist accompanying me
- To stand on the TED stage and give an inspirational talk to those that need it most Check out TED here. Talks I cannot live without!)
- To publish my book
- To be swept off my feet by the man of my dreams and not have to always be good at doing DIY!
- And most importantly….to keep on growing, learning and laughing every single day of my wonderful life
Okay, so enough about me. Here is the part where I can to nominate 11 deserving blogs for this award. Except I am instead going to nominate four, as most of the blogs I follow so far have thousands of followers already and I think these four are truly wonderful. They deserve to be read more, encouraged and loved for being who they are.
First up is ChocolateButterflyGirl. This blog is brand new and the creator Marie deserves a HUGE round of applause for how she is turning her life around and finding the courage to follow her dreams. My wish for this lovely lady is that as many people as possible support and encourage her every step of the way. Go check out her blog and be a part of her story as it unfolds.
Second up is The Live Simply Community and the creator of this, Amanda. I love the way Amanda describes herself ‘I am young and reportedly out of my mind’. Her words and beautiful photographs inspire me and bring me peace when I need it most. She has some great practical ideas on how to live life simply and I adore her style of blogging.
Third up is Travel Live Life. Words cannot describe how beautiful the images by Veronika are on this blog and the posts constantly make me want to travel more and live for the moment every single day. This blog is a work of art that needs to be seen to be believed.
And finally, Piano with Rebecca-Singerman-Knight. I love to play the piano and this blog reminds me of my passion for music and deserves to be read by all. Rebecca had the courage to follow her dreams of becoming a professional piano tutor and made her dream a reality. She inspires me to keep reaching for my dreams and to never give up. Awesome!