The Miranda Sings Award

I was recently nominated for the Miranda Sings Award by the amazing Erika Kind.  Erika, thank you SO very much for nominating me for this fantastic award! It has been an absolute honor to receive this.  Make sure to visit Erika’s blog.  It will change your life!

This award was created by Claudia’s ThoughtsIt’s sole purpose is to celebrate YOU.  Let all of your blogging friends know what makes you happiest when thinking about yourself.

The Miranda Sings Award

  • Announce your win with a post and link the blogger who nominated you.
  • Include the featured image on your blog post.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers (or as many as you can think of) and link your awardees in the post.
  • List 7 things you love about yourself (This can be about your appearance, your personality, your achievements, etc.)
  • Don’t use negative connotation. (I.e. Don’t say things like – I’m prettier than an average person or People have told me I’m smart. You ARE pretty. You ARE smart etc!

7 Things I LOVE about myself:

1: I love my CREATIVITY-It provides beauty in my otherwise crazy world.
2: I love my DETERMINATION-It keeps me on track and allows me to hone in on my beautiful future.
3: I love my COMPASSION-My bleeding heart keeps me humble.
4: I love my CLARITY-Having a clear focus allows me to continue on my path without getting bombarded by the road blocks along the way.
5: I love my EXPERIENCE-These moments have prepared me for my journey in life.
6: I love my CONVICTIONS-I stand firm; saying what I mean, and meaning what I say.
7: I love my STRENGTH-This has allowed me to face each catastrophe in my life without faltering.

My Nominees:

Gretchen over at Drifting Through My Open Mind

Maria over at Four Mariah’s

Trying Not to Hate over at Deep Breaths

Alamelu over at Silk Quilling Colours

Lori over at Lori Greer in Portland

Mia (a.k.a. The Wheat and Tares) over at The Grizzle Grist Mill

Lisa over at Lisa Talks About…

Inked Thoughts and Midnight Monologues

Lynn over at Lynn Thaler: Random Life Thoughts

Erum Explores

Erika, thank you again for this nomination!  I sure do appreciate this honor!

Liebster Award

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award from Donna, over at The Raven 6825.  She has a fabulous blog full of poetry, quotes, and writings with deep meaning.  Make sure that you check out her amazing talent!  Donna, thank you SO very much for the nomination.  It is greatly appreciated!

The Liebster Award

The 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.
  • Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.

1. What is the story behind your blog name?

My blog was created to document my journey, from food stamps to a future, so it only made sense to name it as such. I wanted to have a special “sounding board” here on the web so that I may encourage, motivate, and inspire others through my experiences, my trials, and my tribulations. Success can be had by all, provided they are willing to stick with it until the end. I want to be a beacon of hope for those who are searching.

2. Why did you start blogging? Has it turned out to be what you expected?

I began blogging because I wanted to be the change that I wished to see in the world. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, and knew that I would have access to so many more individuals in need on the web.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my blog so far, and the people that I have made connections with have been an absolute blessing in my life! I was hoping that my blogging venture would be this way, but was surprised by how fast my following has grown. I have quite a few very devoted readers, and they are always here for me when I need to bounce around ideas.

3. Do you have a significant other? How did you meet?

Yes. After years of giving up hope that there was a compatible soul out in this vast world for me, I was blessed with my loving and supportive husband, Rusty. When I first met him, he was my boss. A friendship developed, and years later we fell in love. The rest is, as they say, history.

4. If you could live one day over again, what day would it be?

I would have to say that the day I would like to relive is when my mother arranged a “surprise” Spa Day for my 21st birthday. Every aspect of that day was perfect!

5. Weirdest thing you eat?

I guess the “weirdest thing” that I eat is my vegetarian food. I don’t think it’s weird, but everyone else seems to think so. I have been ridiculed my entire life over it, and on more counts than one, has it been compared to dog food by different people. All I know is that I enjoy it, so the rest doesn’t much matter. Everyone is  entitled to their own opinions.

6. Favorite dessert?

One of my favorite desserts is Strawberry Pretzel dessert. The sweet strawberries, the salty pretzels, and the creamy cream cheese center makes it an exhilarating taste bud experience. If you’ve never tried it, make up a batch. The recipe is provided for you below.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Ingredients (Crust)

  • 3/4 Cup Melted Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Cups Crushed (Not Fine) Pretzels

Mix together and press into a 9 X 12 casserole dish.  Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes and place in fridge to get cold.

Ingredients (Center Layer)

  • 1-3ounce package Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1-9 ounce container of Cool Whip

Beat together cream cheese and sugar.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Spread evenly on top of cooled crust.  Refrigerate.

Ingredients (Top Layer)

  • 1 Large package Strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 cups Boiling Water
  • 2-10 ounce packages of Frozen Strawberries

Dissolve package of jello in boiling water.  Stir in both packages of strawberries.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Pour on top of center layer and place in fridge to solidify.

Once jello has completed “setting up,” serve.

7. Favorite books?

My all-time favorite book is Bag of Bones by the king of horror himself, Mr. Stephen King. They tried to create a mini-series, which did NOT do the book justice! I couldn’t even finish it…SO disappointing!

 8. Favorite movie?

My favorite movie, as I’ve mentioned before is, The Count of Monte Cristo. The deception and the tactics concocted for revenge are stellar! Fabulous movie…I highly recommend you watch.

9. Music you listen to for inspiration?

I have come up with some super creative ideas while listening to Nine Inch Nails and Pink Floyd. Some other good inspirational tunes (in my opinion) include: Evanescense, Linkin Park, Portishead, Gorillaz, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Psychedelic Furs.

10. What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?

I would smack myself upside the head and drill “forget about the damn boys!” into my head. They have been the root of my individual growth delay. I am SO glad I’ve finally got it all figured out!

My Liebster Award Nominees:

Zoe over at Zewing

Emma over at Life, Kids, and a Glass of Red

Julianna over at Julianna Ballentine

Natasha over at Mama Duck Quacks

Rebekah over at Wildflower in the Weeds

Donna, thank you again for the nomination.  I sure do appreciate it!

The Fire of a Dragon…

Today the fire of a powerful and loyal dragon led me to the:


Dragon's Loyalty Award

I received a nomination from Yesterday After a few days ago, to accept the Dragon’s Loyalty Award.  Thank you SO very much Carolina; I am honored to receive this award!  Make sure to venture over and have a peek at her blog, as well as her Etsy shop.  She is beyond talented!

The rules:

  1. Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.
  2. Pass the award on to other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
  3. Give 7 facts about yourself.

Fact One:

I have never been big on Ice Cream, but Sherbet…Ah!  I could tear it up EVERY day!  When I was a young girl we lived in Florida.  There’s a little restaurant down there (a cross between Shoney’s and Steak n’ Shake) called Friendly’s.  They have a fabulous dessert, only offered during the summer months, called WattaMelon Roll.  The rind is a lemon flavor, and the red center is watermelon flavored.  The seeds are little shards of chocolate chips.  If you ever run across a Friendly’s, head on in and have a slice.  You won’t regret it!

Wattamelon Roll

Fact Two:

When I moved over to Germany, I decided to start a “Deutschland Collection.”  I took a gander in the tourist shops and discovered that decorative spoons and thimbles were the most popular souvenir.  They both seemed to cater towards my mother’s generation, so I decided to collect shot glasses.  For every town that I visited, I would purchase one shot glass.  There were only two towns that I saw that I do not have a glass from.  The first was Buoch (the town my family apparently originated from); a town so small they don’t even have a souvenir shop.  The second was Stuttgart.  We had a ton of things to see in this town, but we could never even locate the Visitor’s Center.  We ended up finding the zoo, and were walking towards the entrance when my son decided it was time to potty train.  I took him to the nearest public “toiletten ,” but he refused to go because I didn’t have his potty seat.  I tried every tactic to get him to go potty, with no success.  We ended up having to drive all the way home so he could urinate.  What a day!  In addition to shot glasses, I also have a few beer steins and beer mugs.

Marktplatz-Bad Kissingen

Bad Kissingen, Germany

My daughter was born in Bad Kissingen, so I purchased her a stein with the towns’ sites.  My son’s stein depicts King Ludwig’s multiple castles.  I bought a stein in my favorite town, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and when we visited Austria, I purchased a stein there as it was a new country.  We ran out of time on our trip, and were unable to venture into France or Switzerland, although we did stop for cheesecake along the Rhine, and were able to see the Swiss Alps in the distance.  I have a few other German pieces, but my glasses bring a smile to my face.

Fact Three:

I love when I come home from work and Rusty (my honey, honey!) tells me that he found a new show/movie/documentary on Netflix that we just HAVE to watch.  One of the more recent shows that we have really enjoyed is “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”  If you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out.  We laughed our asses off!  Great stuff!

Fact Four:

There are two jobs out in the world that I always thought would be fun.  The first is working for Disney Pixar.  I saw a documentary (of sorts) about how they play while they are engaging in their brainstorming sessions for new movies.  They have tricycles, pogo sticks, trampolines, and so forth.  There is no better way to spend the day at work!

The second would be to work with Seth McFarlane.  He has a whole slew of cartoons that I watch religiously, and he has begun showing up quite a bit on the Hollywood scene.  He is absolutely hilarious, and his intellect astounds me.  I feel that he would be an absolute blast to work with!

Fact Five:

Have you ever been browsing through the mall when the aroma of German Roasted Nuts hits your nose and leads the way to the kiosk like in the old Looney Tunes episodes?  I have a HUGE weakness for these amazing nuts!  I grab a bag every chance that I get.  I am also in love with Hot Boiled Peanuts; I never get my fill!  Some more of my favorite sweet treats include Banana Slurpee’s, Jumbo Chewy Sweet Tarts, Cadbury Mini Eggs, and Kellogg’s Fruity Snacks.

Kellogg's Fruity Snacks

Fact Six:

Did you know that I was a nerd?  I LOVE video games!  I still own every single system/game that I have ever owned.  NES, Gameboy, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Game Cube, Wii, PS2, (2) PS3’s, Gameboy Advance, Advance SP, Nintendo DS, DS Lite, DSi XL, 3DS…  My favorites to play are Mario (vintage originals and Mario Party Games are my favorite), Zelda (love every one that I’ve ever played), Resident Evil (4 is my very favorite version), Obscure (LOVE this game, but have yet to finish it), and Silent Hill (bought this game years ago, and I still have not had the chance to play it yet).  The best part of gaming is being able to escape reality, if only for just a moment.  I have also dabbled with PC gaming.  It is fun, but I prefer the big screen systems.  I used to play The Sims quite a bit (I was creating my dream house, didn’t care much for managing the characters; seemed a bit silly to me), and I love Bejeweled, Spider Solitaire, and Free Cell.  I played the PC games mainly during my stint in Germany.  Everything in our little town closed at 6 pm, so we had to be creative with our entertainment.  If I wasn’t downstairs playing cards or board games with my girlfriend Diana, I was on the PC avoiding my husband.  In the end, it just worked better that way.

Fact Seven:

One of my favorite art mediums to work with is canvas.  I tend to do the majority of my canvas art with my fingers; smearing the paint around into each little crevice until I find my desired effect.  I like to include patterned scrapbook paper, stenciled designs, and fun stamps into my work and I generally embellish with Tim Holtz products.  Mixed Media speaks to me!  The variety of color and effects emulate the vibrant and disorganized thought processes that are trapped in my mind.  I have been running low on canvas, and have been out of printer ink for over a year now, so my mixed media projects have had to take a back seat for the time being.  I am longing to create the pieces that I have stuck in my imagination.  Soon…

Ready for a BONUS fact?

Not only am I expecting my niece’s arrival in November, but I recently discovered that Grandbaby #2 is on (his?) way.  There’s a whole lotta love in the air!

Baby Bump

My nominees for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award include:

Brey at Ordinary Adventures

Donna at My OBT

The Twenty Something Social Recluse

Tingting (A.K.A. Skydreamer) at Empower Love

Stuart M. Perkins at StoryShucker

Nicole at Cold Chicken Soup

Barbara (A.K.A. Spirited13) at Finding Mastery by Barbara Lockhart

Carolina, Thank you again for nominating me for this award!  I have had a wonderful time tapping into the rusty old memory bank to come up with my 7 facts.


Liebster Award

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by none other than Nicole, the talented mind behind The Domesticated Goddess.  She has an amazing blog, and I thoroughly enjoy her posts.  Head on over and check her out…you will not be disappointed!

Liebster Award


Thank you SO much for the Nomination Nicole!

Liebster Award Rules:
1 – Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
2 – Answer the 10 questions given by the nominator.
3 – Nominate and Link 10 bloggers.
4 – Notify all the bloggers that you have nominated.
5 – Create 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.

Questions (for me) from The Domesticated Goddess:

1.  What is your favorite music?
I love music, and listen to it every chance that I get.  My favorite type of music is rock-n-roll, but I am beginning to prefer the older tunes over the newer ones.  Pink Floyd, Janis, Jimi, Led Zepplin, The Kinks…  There are just too many great artists to count.

2.  If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take one thing with you, what would it be?
If I became stranded on an island with only one possession to accompany me, I would choose a Toothbrush.  I cannot fathom the thought of being unable to brush my teeth, and there are a multitude of natural items that could serve as toothpaste in the wild.

3.  When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
When I was a child, I had a lot of career titles chosen.  I wanted to be a doctor, then a nurse, an artist, a writer, and a mother.  I know for a fact that I had other titles chosen, as I had quite an imagination, but these are the ones that currently come to mind.

4.  If you could go any place in the world, where would you go?
I am planning to take my kiddos back over to Germany so they can see where we lived, and the hospital where my daughter was born.  I would also like to take those trips that I had planned years ago to England and Italy.

5.  What is your favorite movie?
I have a lot of favorite movies, but there are 3 that top the list.  These include The Count of Monte Cristo, Elizabeth, and the cult classic, Harold and Maude.  I could watch these three movies everyday and never tire of them!  Another fabulous movie is The Tenth Kingdom.  Have you seen it?

6.  If you could pass on one piece of advice to others, what would it be?
Listen to your instincts!  You, and only you know what is best for YOUR life.  Listen to that inner voice, as it holds all the answers that you will ever need.

7.  What has been your favorite blog post (that you have written) thus far?
So far, I would have to say that my post on Raising Children is my favorite to date.  I have a few more posts written, that have yet to be released that are spectacular.  Counting down the weeks until I get to share them with you.

8.  What would you say your greatest quality is?
In my opinion, my greatest quality is my compassion for others.  I have always had a soft spot for my fellow peers, and I have a long list of ways in which to alter their realities.  I want to make a difference in their lives, and to be there for support during their times of need.  I hope that I will have that opportunity.

9.  If you could choose one of these cars, which one would it be?  A 1969 Dodge Charger or a brand new Ferrari?
Not a huge car person, but I would have to go with the 1969 Dodge Charger.  Cars were constructed so much better back them, and it is a much-loved, highly sought after classic muscle car.  I know quite a few people who would die to get their hands on one.

10.  What is one thing blogging has taught you?
I am still super new to blogging, but I have learned how supportive the blogging community is.  The majority of fellow bloggers are quick to share and like posts, and they write the most heartfelt comments.  I feel sorry for the non-blogging folks out in the world.  They have no idea what kind of fellowship and communion they are missing out on!

My Nominees:

Jennifer at Bajiequ5

Chelsea at Intentional Three Six Five

Ann at Muddling Through My Middle Age

Kelli at Elm Street Girl

TJS at TJS Old to New

Tenisha at Frugal Fab Mommy

Trista at Domesticated Momster

Renee at Laugh Up My Sleeve

The Snarky Blonde

Glaiza at Glimmer of Happiness

 Another (hilarious) blog worth checking out is:  Nutsrok

Questions for my Nominees:
1. If you won the lottery, how would the money impact your life, and what would you do differently?
2. Why did you decide to start a blog?
3. What is the one, most defining moment in your life?
4. Share with us one of your biggest regrets…
5. How do you handle controversy?
6. What was your biggest fear as a child?
7. I am a little embarrassed that I still do this…
8. One person from your life who has influenced you the most, and how?
9. You have an hour all to yourself.  How do you spend it?
10. If you could have dinner with any 3 people, living or deceased, who would they be and why would you choose them?

Looking forward to hearing your responses…

Infinity Dream Award

I have been nominated for the Infinity Dream Award by none other than the beautiful and talented Ms. Erika Kind.  I ran across her blog just a few days ago and have had a wonderful time reading her inspiring tales.  She is an absolute delight, and her peppy outlook on life is refreshing.  She is a true kindred spirit.  Thank you Erika for the nomination, thank you for your inspiring words, but most of all, thank you for making a difference in the lives of others.

The Infinity Dreams Award

The Infinity Dream Award rules:

  • Thank and follow the blog that nominated you.
  • Share 7 dreams that you have
  • Nominate your favorite bloggers (Fellow Dreamers) and prepare a question for them.

7 Dreams for my Future:

  • I dream to become an inspiration to my family, my friends, and to the millions of people in this big world who are in need of a voice of reason and experience.
  • I dream to become successful enough in my blog and my business to one day (SOON) work from home.  My children are almost grown, and my husband needs my presence more with each passing day.  I want to be with them all to create memories that will last through the ages.
  • I have begun liquidating our household assets.  Our plan is to move to the beach this time next year.  We have been discussing it for years, but the time has arrived.  The cold weather is pure torture for my husband, and he needs a warmer climate so that he may spend his golden years in comfort.
  • My dream is to become a published author, as well as a motivational speaker.  It is never too late in life to change your destiny, and I want to be a beacon of hope for others.
  • My dream is to make my debut on the Ellen Show.  With an audience base such as hers, I will be able to touch the masses and encourage them to change the rut that they find themselves in.  Not to mention she is absolutely amazing!  She’s funny, she is spunky and full of life, and just to watch her creates happiness in you that you just can’t shake.
  • My dream is to one day create an organization for single mothers and their children.  I have been there, and it is a hard road.  A lot of women who truly need the help aren’t eligible to receive it.  They are told they make too much money.  But I know firsthand, that just because your income looks adequate on paper that is rarely the case.  I have been struggling to put food on the table for the past two years (since losing my food stamps).  That’s part of the reason my husband and I have lost so much weight.  I have lost about 40 pounds and my husband about 60 pounds.  We always ensure that our babies are fed first.
  • My final dream is to get to the point where we can live comfortably.  I would like to be able to go to the grocery store to buy the necessary ingredients for dinner without counting up pennies, or having to reshelf items because I can’t afford them.  I would like to get to the point where I no longer have to fret over a bill, or have to go take out yet another loan just to make sure that it gets paid.  I would like to get to the point where I can once again purchase birthday gifts for my babies.  Never in life have I felt like such a failure!  But I know that the wind of change is upon us.  I can feel it.  My arms are open wide, ready to embrace it…

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”  – Friedrich Nietzsche

Erika’s 2 questions which were posed to me are:

1. What is the biggest dream that has already come true?

My dream since youth has been to have children who are healthy, beautiful, and intelligent.  I have been blessed.  I also wanted a husband who was tolerant, supportive, and so loving that he placed me on a pedestal each and every day.  After kissing a few frogs, I finally found my prince.  I have been blessed.

These dreams have come true…

2. What dream are you working on right now?

The dream that I am currently working on, which I discovered to be my life’s calling, is my blog and my Etsy business.  I have always wanted to help others, from the point that I began to talk.  I have always contained an overabundance of compassion for others.  I always thought the medical field or teaching would allow me to do this, but if you have read through my life story, you will see how that turned out.  Through my blog and my business, I will be able to help and inspire others, release my creativity into pieces that others will enjoy, allow my mind the outlet that it needs through my writings, and to be able to provide my family with the things that they deserve.

Plus, if you become a member of my club, you will be able to join me in my “Community Compassion” project that I am putting together.  There is nothing better than helping your fellow man.

So now it is my turn for nominations.  I am super new to the blogging community, but I have run across some individuals who I think are worthy of this award.  Make sure to check these fabulous bloggers out.  They may hold the answers that you are searching for:

For my nominees, I would like to hear your response to these questions:

  1. Who has inspired you to pursue your dreams?
  2. What dreams have you given up on over the years?
  3. What is your driving force in pursuing your dreams now?

Another fabulous site worth checking out is:

Your life is made of two dates and a dash.  Make the most of the dash.  –Author Unknown