Category Archives: Awards

The Infinity Dreams Award

Anand from https://blabberwockying.wordpress.com/ has nominated me for The Infinity Dreams award. Thank you so much for thinking of me with this recognition. It is greatly appreciated and truly sparks even more inspiration. Anand is an inspirational blogger who writes motivating and insightful posts that anyone and anything can relate to. As he continues to share his journey of living this beautiful life, he inspires all who read his words. If you haven’t checked out his site, I recommend you to visit him at the link above. Thank you again!


AWARD IN

The Award Rules:

  1. Thank and follow the blog that nominated you.
  2.  Tell us 11 facts about yourself.
  3.  Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them.

11 Facts About Myself

  1. I am obsessed with running. While I use to play games like Candy Crush on my phone as I ran, now I blog on my morning treadmill runs of 4 to 5 miles a day. There was also a time when I was training for a half marathon that I would play memorizing games as I ran. Some examples included memorizing the first 100 digits of Pi and Flo Rida lyrics
  2. My dream …I mean plan… is to be a published author one day.
  3. I am empathetic to a fault…if that’s possible. And I’ve been that way since my earliest memories.
  4. My dream job would be to be a singer/song writer and be able to inspire endless amounts of people throughout the world.  However, being a Special Education teacher is pretty amazing too. Plus, it helps that I have found that being TJ’s mom and my hubby’s wife are the most rewarding roles ever!
  5. I am actually a decent drawer…but I can’t draw mouths. (Ask my husband….it’s pretty awful.)
  6. As a child, I had an imaginary friend, Ernie from Sesame Street.   Unfortunately, he drowned.  (Don’t get me started on that though. Let’s just say that I have always had quite the imagination while also being overly sensitive.)
  7. If health wasn’t an issue, I would eat pizza and drink red wine every single day. They are two of my favorites. (Don’t worry, I don’t really do this.)
  8. I have had to teach myself to relax.   Relaxation does not come naturally to me. However, the beach is the only place in the world where I can sit still and do absolutely nothing and be content with it.
  9. I’ve had two experiences that tiptoed right around death. One included a struggle with anorexia as a pre-teen/teenager.
  10. My faith and God are the only reasons why I am still alive.
  11. I truly believe that impossible is not a word.  Anything in life is possible if you work your butt off and believe.

My Nominees

These wonderful people are not only supportive and friendly, they are also writers  who work hard to inspire others. Congratulations friends!

https://lindaelenablog.wordpress.com/

https://sylvialaurenceblog.wordpress.com/

http://fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com/

https://fillyourownglass.wordpress.com/

https://fivelittledoves.wordpress.com/

http://padgettwithpassion.com/

https://dearlilyjune.wordpress.com/

http://onetahayes.com/

http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/

https://theletstalkaboutblog.wordpress.com/

http://younfolded.com/


 

The Questions I Was Asked With My Responses:

Who is your mentor or who inspires you the most?

Throughout different phases of my life, I have had different mentors.   Right now since the start of my 30s, the person who inspires me the most will remain nameless.   However, I continue to look to her for guidance on how to raise a family centered on love.   She is one of those people who radiates sunshine and does not know how inspiring she really is.

Who is your best friend?

My husband is my best friend and rock. =)

What is the role of gratitude in life, if any?

I try to always thank God for my blessings no matter the size. In addition, I try to thank others every chance I can.   With that being said, thank you to all of my followers and those who comment and encourage me to continue with blogging.   You are amazing!

If you could meet one person from any period in history (it may even be fictional), who would it be?

This answer is going to be sooo random, but I am just that sometimes, sooo random.

Laura Bush or Katniss from The Hunger Games-   Like Katniss, I hope to continue to become more and more fearless to stand up for what is right.   After reading a book loosely based on Bush’s life, I was beyond intrigued and would have wanted to meet her.

What is the sweetest thing someone ever did for you?

My husband surprising me with our engagement in 2008 on a beach in Cabo wins this.

Which were the best years of your life – childhood, youth or whichever age you’re now?

Right now….I am so much more at peace with myself than back then.

Do you suffer from any kind of phobia?

Honestly, right now, I am working through the fear of another anaphylactic reaction in my son, someone I love, or even myself.   I am challenging myself several times a week to overcome this. Reminding myself to have faith over fear…

What do you need to be happy?

God, my husband, my son, my family, my friends, my faith

What is love?

Love is the greatest emotion to feel but the hardest one to put to words as words diminish its true beauty and essence. My husband and son have brought love to a whole other level that I daydreamed of as a little girl, yet never knew truly existed.

What is peace?

Peace is not worrying all the time with what others think of you or waiting for everyone’s approval.   Peace is when you look to only God for that approval that has already been promised and given no matter what.   Letting go of fear, and putting all of your energy into your faith, is peace.   That is peace and I am so much closer than I’ve ever been to it, yet still working on it. It’s a lifelong journey.

Who are you?

Mom, Wife, Teacher, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Writer, Runner, Football Lover, Dreamer, Christian, Believer


 

Here are my questions for those I nominated:

  1. What is your view/knowledge on food allergies?
  2. What is the one food that you could not live without?
  3. If you could have dinner with anyone, who would you pick and why?
  4. What is earliest memory that you have that made you smile?
  5. You have to get up and sing a karaoke song in one hour. What song are you singing?
  6. If you could go back and give your 12-year-old-self one piece of advice, what would that be? 
  7. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? 
  8. Who is the biggest inspiration in your life?
  9. What is your greatest achievement, or the one you are most proud of?
  10. What makes you smile on most?
  11. Why do you write?

 

Thank you again Anand for this nomination as you’ve helped us smile on ….

The Blogger Interview

Thank you New Crunchy Mom at http://newcrunchymom.com/ for nominating me for The Blogger Interview tag.  Your kindness and encouragement are very much appreciated and inspire us to continue to write and smile on…

thebloggerinterview-945x945


 

The Purpose:The Blogger Interview is to get to know the artist behind the art.

The Rules:
• Mention the person who tagged you. 
• Answer the questions in full. 
• Tag up to ten bloggers.


 

The Interview Questions:
How did you get into blogging?

Back in March 2015, I started this blog as an outlet for all of the emotions I was feeling and information that I was learning about the world of food allergies and eczema. While those first few months after my son’s anaphylactic reaction were filled with intense anxiety, fear, and frustration, I knew that I needed to turn it into something positive. Therefore, instead of laying in bed crying as my son napped, I started to spend this time putting it all into words with a blog (at the time on another site) .It was the beginning of retraining my brain to steer my focus from the challenges and terrifying “what ifs” to all the possibilities for smiles. A weight had started to be lifted…

Also, instead of sending long-winded text message updates to everyone who simply asked how my son TJ was doing with everything, I saw this site as a way of keeping family and friends updated on our journey. By sharing our story and the valuable information that we learn along the way, I hope to help educate others about this world of food allergies and eczema. Most importantly, I want to encourage all who reads this blog to “let your faith be bigger than your fear.” 

While I have just started this blog about four months ago, I believe that the following statement will become reality with time…Smiling Away Allergies is the place to share experiences and information about food allergies and life while staying cautiously optimistic, smiling on…


 

  • What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?

Since I consider myself a new blogger, the following advice is what I have been following myself.

  1. Set Goals: Like anything in life, I believe in setting short-term and long-term goals for yourself.  While I find my daily to-do lists important, weekly and monthly goals are also important for success.
  2. WordPress Classes: Sign up for Blogging 101 and 201 classes.  Both classes were extremely helpful resources that challenged me and sparked my creativity.   My site has come a long way since July due to these classes.
  3. Networking: Don’t be shy! To be honest, although I believe in the value and impact of my blog, I felt silly sharing it through social media.  It was scary at first; however, totally worth it. Reach out and explore the many, many other amazing blogs all around you.   There are really some great ones out there to connect with!
  4. Be Proud: This goes back to #3.  Share, share, share! You have something incredible that the world is waiting to read!
  5. Get Ideas/Don’t Compare: Love this quote and it really has been what I keep reminding myself over these past four months with starting this blog.

- Jon acuff

 

  • What would be your dream campaign?

Wow! I never thought about this.   It would be any campaign that would allow me to connect and help an even larger population of people.

  • Do you have a plan for your blog?

Being an organized person, I always have a tentative plan.   However, this past year and a half has really taught me that I do not have the ultimate control over these plans no matter how precise they are drafted.   Still, I use my “Weekly Smiles/Events” to guide me while also using my moments of inspiration to direct the rest.   I am constantly jotting down ideas on a note in my phone as these inspirations randomly come to me throughout the day.

  • What do you think about rankings?

I don’t use rankings. My focus is not on how people rank me. In fact, it was quite freeing once I stopped worrying about areas like my “rankings” in life. Instead, shifting my focus to what matters most in life has definitely helped us smile on to endless possibilities…

 

My Blog Nominations

 https://fivelittledoves.wordpress.com/

http://padgettwithpassion.com/

https://theletstalkaboutblog.wordpress.com/

https://amandaorlando.wordpress.com/

http://parentingfromtheheartblog.com/

http://younfolded.com/

http://dreambigdreamoften.co/

https://amommasview.wordpress.com/

http://domesticatedmomster.com/

http://myrandommusings.blogspot.com/

http://thejoyoffive.com/

https://jenniferpeck23.wordpress.com/

http://superinspiredmoments.com/

http://nickysdaywithautism.com/

http://happyfamilyblog.com/

 

 

Liebster Award – Round 3

I’m honored to have been chosen to receive the Liebster Award from Marlton Trainer I apologize that it took me a few weeks to respond.   Please know that I am very thankful for the nomination. If you haven’t already done so, check out here awesome blog.

AWARD

Liebster Award Rules

  1. Make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated me.
  2. Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post.
  3. Nominate 5-10 other bloggers and notify them of this on of their posts.
  4. All nominated bloggers are to have less than 200 followers.
  5. Answer the 11 questions posed by your nominator and create 11 different questions for your nominees to answer. Or, you can repeat the same questions.
  6. Copy these rules into your post.

Here are the questions, followed by my answers.

  1. What are your most enjoyed hobbies?
  2. Your favorite song?
  3. And your favorite book?
  4. Where would you like to live?
  5. What do you write about?
  6. What keeps you motivated to keep blogging?
  7. Who do you look up to and why?
  8. Which other languages would you want to learn?
  9. Do you have pets?
  10. Your best recipe?
  11. We live in Matrix. Red pill or Blue pill?

What are your most enjoyed hobbies? I love running, writing, blogging, and reading.   Most of all, my favorite hobby is hanging out with my son and watching him discover the world.

Your favorite song? Music has always meant a lot to me.   Being a strong believer in “anything is possible” if you work hard and believe in it, singing is definitely not my area of talent or possible for me to do without piercing some ears (Although my son doesn’t seem to mind.)   While my dream of being a singer/songwriter may not come to play mainly because I have no singing voice at all, music is a constant inspiration to me. During all the difficult times in life, I have gotten through them with the help of particular songs.   For example, when I struggled with an eating disorder as a teenager, Celine Dion motivated me to make a major change in my life and survive one of the scariest times. During some difficult times in college, Matchbox 20 and Keith Urban both wrote perfectly in a way that I knew I could go on.

Most recently, during this past winter when we first learned about my son’s multiple severe food allergies, I turned to Christian music. Kutless’s “What Faith Can Do” and Jeremy Camp’s “He Knows” helped me to change my negative thinking around and start believing again. Sometimes, I secretly wish I could still become a songwriter. However, for now, blogging and working on my book are keeping my creativity active and satisfied.

And your favorite book? Reading has always been another favorite pastime of mine.   One of my favorites in the past few years was “The Language of Flowers.” Also, most memoirs that I read change me. One of my favorites is “The Glass Castle.” And of course, “The Secret” which I read during a very difficult time of anxiety. It really reminded me that only I had the power to change my thinking which is just what I did several times in life, retrained my brain to think positively.   However, I have soooo many books that I love!

Where would you like to live? I would love to live right near the beach one day.

What do you write about? I’ve been writing about food allergies, health, and my growing faith as I navigate through the world of allergies through my son’s experience.

What keeps you motivated to keep blogging? I have been and continue to be inspired by my now 18 month old son each and every day, and even with naming this blog. You see, throughout all of our emergency room trips, endless doctor and allergist appointments, and even the worst of days, he smiles on, giving me the courage and motivation to do so too.

Who do you look up to and why? I look up to many people in my life for different reasons.   One incredible person that I admire is my Nana.   After suffering from a stroke 11 months ago and all of the complications that have and continue to arise, she battles on with her deep faith. No matter how serious her conditions get, she continues to spend her time praying for all of her family and friends.   Her selfless words and acts along with how she stays positive define strength in a way I never knew possible until now.   I aspire to be just like that one day.

Which other languages would you want to learn? I have never been adept to learning different languages. I wish I knew another language though.

Do you have pets? We have one yellow lab who is an amazing pup and furry brother to my son even when being tackled, stepped on, or bear-hugged.

Your best recipe? I only cook the basics now.   Before my son’s anaphylactic reaction, I use to love to cook and bake especially when entertaining others. Some of my favorites were crab cakes and crumb cake. I think it is time to get back into it but in an allergy-free-kind-of-way.

We live in Matrix. Red pill or Blue pill? I had to look this up as it has been 20 years since I watched this.   I chose red because in my experience so far, there is really no healthy way to escape reality. Instead, we face it head on and hopeful while of course, smiling on…


Although I would love to nominate all of the blogs I follow for inspiring me, here are the ones that I nominate for the Liebster Award this time around.

https://sylvialaurenceblog.wordpress.com/

http://fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com/

https://fillyourownglass.wordpress.com/

http://happyfamilyblog.com/

https://fivelittledoves.wordpress.com/

http://padgettwithpassion.com/

https://dearlilyjune.wordpress.com/

http://livefromtheplayroom.com/

http://onetahayes.com/

https://thatnewcrunchymom.wordpress.com/

http://nickysdaywithautism.com/

http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/

The Creative Blogger Award

The Creative Blogger Award

To start, thank you to Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha at http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/ for nominating me for this award.   Your creativity and beautifully written posts always bring sunshine and inspiration to my day.   It is no wonder that you have received so many blogging awards.  With that being said, I do apologize that I took so long to respond to this.   October was sure an “eventful” month for us.

Once again, thank you! =)

creative-blogger-300x300

The Rules:

  1. Nominate a few bloggers and contact them with the amazing news.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. Post five (5) facts about yourself.

5 Facts About Myself

(Some of these facts are similar to other award responses; however, I added new details.)

  1. I am obsessed with running. While I use to play games like Candy Crush on my phone as I ran, now I blog on my morning treadmill runs. There was also a time when I was training for a half marathon that I would play memorizing games as I ran. Some examples included memorizing the first 100 digits of Pi and Flo Rida lyrics.

  2. As a child, I had an imaginary friend, Ernie from Sesame Street.   Unfortunately, he drowned.  (Don’t get me started on that though. Let’s just say that I have always had quite the imagination while also being overly sensitive.)

  3. Aside from my two favorite roles in life (being TJ’s mom and my hubby’s wife), I am an English Language Arts/Special Education teacher for grades 6th through 8th.

  4. I have had to teach myself to relax.   Relaxation does not come naturally to me. However, the beach is the only place in the world where I can sit still and do absolutely nothing and be content with it.

  5. I truly believe that impossible is not a word. Anything in life is possible if you work your butt off and believe.

Blogs I nominate:

(There are so many I love that I know I must be leaving out a few.)

http://nickysdaywithautism.com/

http://happyfamilyblog.com/

http://thejoyoffive.com/

https://jenniferpeck23.wordpress.com/

http://superinspiredmoments.com/

http://fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com/

https://fivelittledoves.wordpress.com/

http://padgettwithpassion.com/

https://theletstalkaboutblog.wordpress.com/

https://amandaorlando.wordpress.com/

http://parentingfromtheheartblog.com/

http://younfolded.com/

http://dreambigdreamoften.co/

https://amommasview.wordpress.com/

http://domesticatedmomster.com/

http://myrandommusings.blogspot.com/

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you ajoobacats  for my nomination. If you haven’t checked out her awesome blog, I definitely recommend it.


THE RULES:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • You must list the rules and display the award.
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

7 Facts About Myself

I am obsessed with running. While I use to play games like Candy Crush on my phone as I ran, now I blog on my morning treadmill runs.

My dream …I mean plan… is to be a published author one day.

I am empathetic to a fault…if that’s possible.

My dream job would be to be a singer/song writer and be able to inspire endless amounts of people throughout the world. But there’s one problem with that, I can’t sing! However, being a Special Education teacher is pretty awesome too. Plus, it helps that I have found that being TJ’s mom and my hubby’s wife are the most rewarding roles ever!

I am actually a decent drawer…but I can’t draw mouths. (Ask my husband…it’s pretty bad.)

My faith and God are the only reasons why I am still alive.

I truly believe that impossible is not a word. Anything in life is possible if you work your butt off and believe.


15 Bloggers I Nominate Should They Decide To Accept: (Sorry I keep nominating some of you…I just really think you are awesome.)

http://nickysdaywithautism.com/

http://happyfamilyblog.com/

http://thejoyoffive.com/

https://educatingbriansworld.wordpress.com/

https://jenniferpeck23.wordpress.com/

http://superinspiredmoments.com/

http://www.theguiltfreeguide.co.uk/

https://theloveofacaptain.wordpress.com/

https://fillyourownglass.wordpress.com/

http://fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com/

https://fivelittledoves.wordpress.com/

http://padgettwithpassion.com/

https://dearlilyjune.wordpress.com/

https://sonyca.wordpress.com/

http://cathylynnbrooks.com/

Blogger Recognition Award

AWARD

Thank you Deniza for this nomination! It is greatly appreciated.  Make sure to check out her  resourceful, well-designed, aka awesome blog at https://askdeniza.wordpress.com.


THE RULES

  1. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post and give a brief story of how your blog started.
  3. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.
  4. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.
  5. Let the nominees know you have nominated them and provide a link to the nomination details.

How everything started:

Back in March, I started this blog as an outlet for all of the emotions I was feeling and information that I was learning about the world of food allergies and eczema. While those first few months after my son’s anaphylactic reaction were filled with intense anxiety, fear, and frustration, I knew that I needed to turn it into something positive. Therefore, instead of laying in bed crying as my son napped, I started to spend this time putting it all into words with a blog (at the time on another site).It was the beginning of retraining my brain to steer my focus from the challenges and terrifying “what ifs” to all the possibilities for smiles. A weight had started to be lifted…

Also, instead of sending long-winded text message updates to everyone who simply asked how my son TJ was doing with everything, I saw this site as a way of keeping family and friends updated on our journey. By sharing our story and the valuable information that we learn along the way, I hope to help educate others about this world of food allergies and eczema. Most importantly, I want to encourage all who reads this blog to “let your faith be bigger than your fear.” 

While I have just started this WordPress blog a little over two months ago, I believe that the following statement will become reality with time…Smiling Away Allergies is the place to share experiences and information about food allergies and life while staying cautiously optimistic, smiling on…

Read more about our story here and why we smile on.


Advice for new bloggers: 

Since I myself am a new blogger, the following advice is what I have been following myself.

  1. Set Goals: Like anything in life, I believe in setting short-term and long-term goals for yourself.  While I find my daily to-do lists important, weekly and monthly goals are also important for success.
  2. WordPress Classes: Sign up for Blogging 101 and 201 classes.  Both classes were extremely helpful resources that challenged me and sparked my creativity.   My site has come a long way since July due to these classes.
  3. Networking: Don’t be shy! To be honest, although I believe in the value and impact of my blog, I felt silly sharing it through social media.  It was scary at first; however, totally worth it even if I don’t have many followers yet! Also, reach out and explore the many, many other amazing blogs all around you.   There are really some great ones out there!
  4. Be Proud: This goes back to #3.  Share, share, share! You have something incredible that the world is waiting to read!
  5. Get Ideas/Don’t Compare: Love this quote and it really has been what I keep reminding myself over these past two months with starting this blog.

BEGINNINGSSource: http://www.polyvore.com/dont_compare_your_beginning_to/set?id=62408815

   6. Speak (Write) from the Heart: Isn’t that what life is really all about?

IN YOUR HEARTSource:  https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Home.aspx


Who I nominate:

Nicky’s Day with Autism

Happy Family Blog

Super Inspired Moments

Womb 4 Rent

Amanda Orlando

Parenting From the Heart

The Seeds 4 Life

Canvas of Thoughts 1

Mom Needs to Vent

Unperfecting Motherhood

Jennifer Peck 23 – What Motherhood Has Taught Me…

The Joy of Five

YOUnfolded

Robyn’s Road to Real Food

Thank you again Deniza! You gave us more reason to smile on…


Liebster Award – Round 2

I’ve had the privilege of being nominated again for the Liebster Award by https://theletstalkaboutblog.wordpress.com/! Check out her awesome blog!  I will try to keep my answers shorter this time =)

AWARD

Here are the rules for this:

  • Make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated me and include the Liebster Award sticker in the post.
  • Nominate 5-10 other bloggers and notify them of this in one of their posts.
  • All nominated bloggers are to have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer the 11 questions posed by your nominator and create 11 different questions for your nominees to answer.  Or, you can repeat the same questions.
  • Copy these rules into your post.

Here are the questions I was asked and my answers to them:

Do you remember your 14th birthday? How was it?

I remember having a sleepover with my closest friends at the time, staying up all night, eating, talking, and laughing. Back then, that was how I felt most comfortable with a small group of friends.

Do you fear death?

During times when my anxiety is in full force, death is one of those fears that squeezes its way into my thoughts.   However, my new outlook and way of battling back at this fear is to live life with no regrets and simply, yet whole-heartedly believe and repeat to myself, “I trust you God.”

If you would have a daughter being born today, what would you name her?

Right now, her name would be Madison or Addison Rose or Cara Addison.

Are you at the place in your life that you wish to be?

Yes, I love my life. But, I have too many goals to settle here so I continue to shoot for the stars.

Do you like having lemon juice on top of a pasta dish?

Hmmm… while it is not something I usually do, I would try it. Is it gluten free? (Ha just kidding)

If you could travel anywhere for free today, where would you go?

I would love to go to Australia; however, the older I get, the more and more I dislike flying. Maybe someday though… If not Australia, then I would definitely love to go to Hawaii and Alaska especially if it’s free!

Have you ever broken up with a friend?

There have been several phases of my life where I needed to reevaluate some of my friends. I would not call it breaking up but instead, opening up new positive doors for myself by walking away from those “friends” or rather, people who brought me down.

Who is your favorite character on FRIENDS?

Rachel, Joey, and Chandler were my favorites. Oh wait, Phoebe cracked me up too.   Maybe, I just loved them all.

What do you know about Sweden?

Sadly, not as much as I should know… Oh wait, didn’t H&M originate there?

What’s your dream job?

If I had any lyrical talent, I would want to be a song writer/singer.   Mainly, this is because I want to be able to inspire others every day. Being a published writer would also be pretty awesome. Although I do love being a Special Education teacher, I feel a huge drive to be able to help a greater population of people on a greater scale. I know I will…it just takes time.

BEGINNINGS

Source: http://www.polyvore.com/dont_compare_your_beginning_to/set?id=62408815

What did you have for breakfast today?

Rice Chex cereal with strawberries, blueberries, flax seeds and soy milk


The amazing blogs I nominate are:

http://nickysdaywithautism.com/

http://happyfamilyblog.com/

http://superinspiredmoments.com/

https://sonyca.wordpress.com/

http://cathylynnbrooks.com/

https://unperfectingmotherhood.wordpress.com/

https://educatingbriansworld.wordpress.com/

Here are my questions for those I nominated:

  1. What is your view/knowledge on food allergies?
  2. What is the one food that you could not live without?
  3. If you could have dinner with anyone, who would you pick and why?
  4. What is earliest memory that you have that made you smile?
  5. You have to get up and sing a karaoke song in one hour. What song are you singing?
  6. If you could go back and give your 12-year-old-self one piece of advice, what would that be? 
  7. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? 
  8. Who is the biggest inspiration in your life?
  9. What is your greatest achievement, or the one you are most proud of?
  10. What makes you smile on most?
  11. Why do you write?

Please leave me a comment if you do answer these questions so that I can go in and read them!

Thank you again https://theletstalkaboutblog.wordpress.com/ for nominating me! I really appreciate it so we smile on…

Encouraging Thunder Award

https://katinabobinadotcom.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/encouraging-thunder-award.jpg?w=809

Encouraging Thunder Award

Thank you @http://cathylynnbrooks.com/ for nominating me for this blogging award. I really appreciate the encouragement and recognition.


My Nominees are:

http://nickysdaywithautism.com/

https://jenniferpeck23.wordpress.com/

https://joseelavallee.wordpress.com/

https://theturtleway.wordpress.com/

http://happyfamilyblog.com


My purpose for blogging:

To start, I must admit that I am a strong believer in cliches and an even stronger believer in God working in my life through the good and the bad.   With that being said, I am no expert and will never claim to be.   Instead, my faith and determination to do everything that I possibly can are my driving forces in this as well as everything in my life.

Going back to cliches and beliefs,  “everything happens for a reason” and “God will never give you more than you can handle” are two pieces of major motivation for me.   I believe that I was given this life and dealt its cards for a specific reason or reasons.   It is in the moments that I feel a sense of inspiration that I must act.  This is exactly what I am doing by starting this blog. Plus, someone very wise and dear to me sparked the fire in me a couple of months ago when he said, “prayer with belief is powerful.” Therefore, I have no choice but to pray the biggest prayers and believe with the fullest faith. They say that one’s true character builds during times of difficulty and struggle. When I gave my son his first taste of yogurt, I did not know that I would be thrown into the world of food allergies. Before that single taste, I had been naive about the severity and seriousness that could be associated with a food allergy. It was extremely eye-opening on so many levels.

Throughout much of my life, challenges with food were definitely on my list of vices. After winning the battle against an eating disorder as a teenager, I continue to have to catch myself during difficult times in life to make sure that I don’t start to resort to old ways as a way of trying to control the inevitable, life.   However, battling for yourself is much different than battling for someone else, someone too young and innocent to know what is going on.  Someone too young to be scared and speak up from themselves.   Someone who then turns to you and says with no words, only their eyes, “Mommy help me.” On Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 5 pm in the evening, just when I was getting into the routine of being back at work as a working mom, food challenged me to my biggest obstacle yet. Food allergies!

Back in March, I started this blog as an outlet for all of the emotions I was feeling and information that I was learning. Instead of sending long-winded text message updates to everyone who simply asked how TJ was doing, I also saw this site as a way of keeping family and friends updated on our journey. By sharing our story and the valuable information that we learn along the way, I hope to help educate others about this world of food allergies and eczema. Most importantly, I want to encourage all who reads this blog to “let your faith be bigger than your fear.” 

Thank you for reading our story and I look forward to hearing about your experiences as well.

Read more about “Why We Smile On…”

Sunshine Blogger Award


Thank you @https://jenniferpeck23.wordpress.com/ for brightening our day with your nomination. It really means a lot to me that I have already been able to connect with others.  It is encouraging to know that as we share our story, we are educating others along the way.  That is definitely a reason to smile on…

Here are the rules:

They can, if they would like to accept, answer the questions below and, in turn, can nominate 11.


 

The 11 blogs I nominate are:

https://escapetolife.wordpress.com

http://happyfamilyblog.com

https://sayyes2themess.wordpress.com/

http://unperfectingmotherhood.wordpress.com

http://parentingfromtheheartblog.com/

https://joseelavallee.wordpress.com/

http://cathylynnbrooks.com

http://nickysdaywithautism.com/

https://educatingbriansworld.wordpress.com/

https://healthandfitnessablackwomansperspective.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/the-process/

https://theturtleway.wordpress.com/


Here are my answers:

Least favorite household chore?

Ironing

Favorite season?

Summer

If you could change one event in your life what would it be?

I used to always think about this question and there were a couple events I thought that I would change.  However, I am not sure I would change any of it anymore because it has led me to exactly where I need to be, here.  Of course, I would love to change and take away TJ’s anaphylactic reaction to yogurt.   However, I truly believe that it happened when it did to keep him safe from other events that could have happened without this knowledge.  Everything happens for a reason even the crappy stuff, right?

Worst trait?

Chronic worrier – Wish I could be a bit more carefree

Favorite song?

I have soooo many.   However, one of my favorite songs ever is “Boys of Summer.”  It doesn’t matter what version; it has always been a favorite since I was little.

If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world where would it be?

I would love to go to Hawaii!

Do you like your job?

I do enjoy teaching middle school (English Language Arts/Special Education) a great deal. However, I love being my son’s mommy and my husband’s wifey even more. =)

Would you go skydiving?

I would love to be more carefree but it’s just not me.   I am almost positive that I would have never gone skydiving at any point of my life.   Well, maybe in college and my early 20s? I was a different level of “crazy” back then.

Favorite holiday?

Christmas is my favorite because it is such a cozy and cheerful time of year.  I also enjoy buying gifts for others and seeing the joy on their faces when they open them.

If someone gave you $10,000 how would you spend it?

That’s a great question! I have no idea…maybe pay off some graduate school loans. =(

What’s the best advice you could give to your children?

Anything in this life is possible if you believe and work hard, allowing God to lead your steps.

I want them to see that no matter the challenge, no matter the difficulty, no matter what negativity is thrown at you, it can’t define you.   These are all defining moments in which we decide how we are going to define ourselves.  I believe that everyone’s story is written in these defining moments in life.   Therefore, I want my son and any future children I may have to believe in themselves and their endless possibilities.


Here are my questions:

Least favorite task?

Favorite hobby?

If you could change one event in your life, what would it be?

If you could relive one event in your life, what would it be?

Greatest accomplishment?

Favorite song?

If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world where would it be?

If you could live anywhere other than where you live now, where would you live?

If someone gave you $100,000, what would you do with it?

What’s the best advice you could give to our youth or your own children?

Who or what makes you smile the most? =)

Smiling on with The Liebster Award

          Throughout my entire life, writing has always been where I turned during times of any intense emotion. Being the over-analyzing and sensitive person that I am, I have always found it easiest to express my true emotions through journaling, poetry, and now blogging.   When my son had his initial anaphylactic reaction last December 2014, I spent those next weeks, terrified of everything and confused about this world of food allergies that I had suddenly entered.   After praying for strength and guidance, I knew I had to take action in organizing my emotions in addition to all of the information I was learning.   Therefore, I started my blog as a way to organize, educated, and share our story, hoping to ultimately be able to encourage and help so many others. https://theartofamessyhouse.wordpress.com/

            Because my site is still in the works, I never expected to already have some followers. With that being said, I am beyond honored to have been nominated by two of these amazing bloggers. First of all, a big thank you to https://unperfectingmotherhood.wordpress.com/ I admire how you are encouraging other moms by sharing the truths of motherhood while incorporating your deep faith in God.   While we may only know each other through blogging, your passion and love for being a mother shines through your entries.   Your family is beyond lucky to have you as their own. Secondly, I also need to send a thank you to https://escapetolife.wordpress.com. Your view on life and your experiences are truly inspirational. You add an inspiring and eye-opening perspective on these experiences that can easily relate to anyone. I definitely look forward to future posts and what lessons they will teach and share.

https://unperfectingmotherhood.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/wpid-wp-1439784336210.png

The Award Rules:

  • Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
  • Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.
  • Nominate 5 -10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
  • Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer the eleven questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make eleven questions of your own for your nominees or you may use the same questions.
  • Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.

My responses to ESCAPE TO LIFE’s questions:

  1. Where do you gather your core inspiration from?

I am an over-thinker, over-analyzer, over-worrier, over-everything unless I write.   When I write, all the jumbled words and emotions in my head just seem to flow naturally, thus allowing me to gain a better understanding of myself. To add, praying and running are both when I do my best thinking. However, my core inspiration for everything in life comes from my love of my family and my faith in God.

2. What is your favorite color, and how does it apply to your life?

Pink and red are both my favorite colors.   While I disliked them most of my life because they were too “girly,” at some point of my life that completely changed.   I think it was somewhere in college I began to draw hearts all over my notebooks and switched to loving red and pink, the colors of love.

3. What does music mean to you? Has a certain song gotten you through a hard time?

Music has always meant a lot to me.   Being a strong believer in “anything is possible” if you work hard and believe in it, singing is definitely not my area of talent or possible for me to do without piercing some ears (Although my son doesn’t seem to mind.)   While my dream of being a singer/songwriter may not come to play mainly because I have no singing voice at all, music is a constant inspiration to me. During all the difficult times in life, I have gotten through them with the help of particular songs.   For example, when I struggled with an eating disorder as a teenager, Celine Dion motivated me to make a major change in my life and survive one of the scariest times. During some difficult times in college, Matchbox 20 and Keith Urban both wrote perfectly in a way that I knew I could go on.

Most recently, during this past winter when we first learned about my son’s multiple severe food allergies, I turned to Christian music. Kutless’s “What Faith Can Do” and Jeremy Camp’s “He Knows” helped me to change my negative thinking around and start believing again. Sometimes, I secretly wish I could still become a songwriter. However, for now, blogging and working on my book are keeping my creativity active and satisfied.

4. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

I would love to go to Australia; however, the older I get, the more and more I dislike flying. Maybe someday though… If not Australia, then I would definitely love to go to Hawaii and Alaska.

5. What is your favorite book, and how has it changed you?

Reading has always been another favorite pastime of mine.   One of my favorites in the past few years was “The Language of Flowers.” Also, most memoirs that I read change me. One of my favorites is “The Glass Castle.” And of course, “The Secret” which I read during a very difficult time of anxiety. It really reminded me that only I had the power to change my thinking which is just what I did several times in life, retrained my brain to think positively.   I am definitely forgetting some of my other favorites right now too.

6. What do you consider to be your strength in life, or your favorite part about yourself?

I believe that my greatest strengths are that I am an extremely empathetic and open-minded while also extremely motivated and hard working. Now, the combination of empathy and sensitivity caused me a lot of tears over the years, resulting in me being ashamed of it until my 30s. It wasn’t until after having my son that I really began to realize that my ability to be so empathic and open-minded really is such a blessing and something to be proud of. Something I am proud of. Therefore, my ability to see the world through various lenses is my greatest strength.

7. What do you want to be when you grow up, or in other words, what is your dream job?

Oops, I answered this above.   If I had any lyrical talent, I would want to be a song writer/singer.   Mainly, this is because I want to be able to inspire others every day. Being a published writer would also be pretty awesome. Although I do love being a Special Education teacher, I feel a huge drive to be able to help a greater population of people on a greater scale.

8. What is your favorite animal, and why?

Dogs are my favorite probably because I have almost always had one since I was born. 

9. Who would win in an improv poem war: a phoenix or an eagle?

Interesting question…. I believe the phoenix would win because of its hidden inner strength. I think the strongest people often have that type of invisible strength.

10. Who is your best friend?

My husband is my best friend, my soul mate, my rock. While he may drive me crazy at times, it is because of him and my son that I continue to be made into a better person each and every day. They have both taught me more about life, faith, and the true definition of love than I ever imagined.

11. Where do you see yourself in half an hour?

My son will wake up from his nap and we will be outside somewhere playing enjoying this beautiful day.

My responses to UNPERFECTING MOTHERHOOD’s questions:

  1. What is your biggest challenge as a mom?

Food allergies and eczema are by far the biggest challenges I have as a mom.   I think because I cannot control them 100%. In my perfect world, I would be able to take them all away and cure my son. Seeing him in discomfort and limited is so heartbreaking and frightening, which is why I try to keep a positive outlook and attitude about it all.

  1. What is the greatest life lesson you what your child or children to learn?

Anything in this life is possible if you believe and work hard, allowing God to lead your steps.   I want him to see that no matter the challenge, no matter the difficulty, no matter what negativity is thrown at you, it can’t define you. These are all defining moments in which we decide how we are going to define ourselves. I believe that everyone’s story is written in these defining moments in life. Therefore, I want my smiley “Cutes” as I call him to believe in himself and his endless possibilities.

  1. What do you and your spouse do to spend quality time together?

Before meeting my husband, I was the opposite of a homebody. I always needed to have my days and nights lined up with plans. However, now I love spending my evenings at home together. Add some pizza and wine outside on the back deck and it’s an added bonus.

  1. What do you do to cut family expenses?

I have cut back on some shopping but this is definitely an area that I wish wasn’t so stressful at times.

  1. What advice would you give to a future mom?

Trust your instinct.   Also, learn to laugh at yourself and not taking yourself too seriously. There will be TONS of people who offer you advice and tell you what you should do without you even asking. Despite what you may think during those first few crazy weeks of motherhood where hormones are all out of sorts, all, or most of these people do mean well. Ultimately, only you know your child best and therefore, trusting your instinct is the way to go.

  1. What do you love most about being a mom?

I love the new found joy that I now have in the simplest things such as going on a walk to look and count birds or airplanes or stopping to dance at even something so random as a catchy commercial that my son hears.

  1. Do you say some of the same clichés as your mom? If so, what?

I have yet to use the same cliches. However, I have found myself saying something my mother always warned us, “I am going to get Daddy.” I say this to my three year old dog though, not my son. Oh boy!

  1. How do you know if your child is lying about something?

Since my son is only 15.5 months, he hasn’t told any lies.   However, he does give me a certain look right before he is about to do something he knows he should not be doing. “Toddlerhood” has started!

  1. Do your kids act more like you or your spouse?

I am a very organized person.   Without trying, I have made my little guy into someone who likes to push in drawers and put his toys away before leaving a room. I think this is a good quality right? My husband is a very silly person and TJ is also super silly.   It’s funny how motherhood changes you though.   Before having TJ, I spent too much time being caught up in over thinking and worrying what others were going to think.   I promised myself before he was born that I would try my very hardest to only show my happy side around him and from day one, I made sure to do just this.   In doing this, I somehow became way sillier myself, dancing and singing to whatever song is playing in the car, on the television, or on his toys. (This is something that no one would have ever seen me doing without several drinks before being a Mommy.)
10. What do you do to pamper yourself?

Once a month I get a manicure and pedicure. Once or twice a year I get a massage. Hmm…speaking of massages, I think I am due for one. =)
11. What’s the one thing you would change about the world to make it better for raising children?

If I could change anything in this world, I would replace all hatred with love. The older I get, the scarier this world gets.   If people truly opened their hearts to faith and God, they would be able to view the world through lenses of love instead of viewing people for their differences.

 

My nominations for the Liebster Award:

  1. http://happyfamilyblog.com/ – An incredibly creative and resourceful blog that any mom/parent can relate to. In addition to sharing excellent ideas, you also bring up several interesting, thought- provoking topics. I look forward to continuing to read about your adorably, happy family.
  2. girl.under.wraps- When first reading The Girl Behind the Blog, I totally related to having too many thoughts and using writing to help organize them.       I love this writing style and use of graphics. I look forward to all this blog has to offer!
  3. https://sonyca.wordpress.com/ – What a clever idea this talented writer created with “Only 100 Words.” Since I just recently found this blog, I am excited to read more and more of these great stories.
  4. Stay Calm I’m a Foster Mom- I love everything about this blog.   This family is an amazing inspiration for all of us. The interviews just melt my heart and I could read them over and over again.  Our world is a better place because of people like you.
  5. https://healthandfitnessablackwomansperspective.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/the-process/ – This woman is one of the most amazing people I know.   Her story, outlook on life, and incredible faith in God are beyond inspiring.   Check out her blog! I know I am looking forward to more posts.

Here are my questions for all of you:

  1. What/who makes you smile the most in life and why?
  2. Are you a spiritual person? If so, how does your faith inspire you?
  3. What are the biggest goals that you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
  4. What is a lesson that you learned the hard way?
  5. What moment(s) has/have changed you most?
  6. What would you tell your childhood self?
  7. Who is your biggest role model or hero?
  8. What do you consider to be your strength in life, or your favorite part about yourself?
  9. What’s your biggest challenge and how do you face it?
  10. If you could change anything at all about our crazy world, what would you change?

Sorry for this incredibly long post! Thank you to both of my nominators as well as everyone who takes the time to read our story.

And with extra gratitude in our hearts, we smile on…

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