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
Rules:

  • 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!

3 Day Quote Challenge-Day Two

Mansi over at Drowning Wings nominated me to participate in the 3 Day Quote Challenge. As many of you know, I LOVE partaking in these challenges! If you have never visited this fantastic blog, you need to make the time. Thank you Mansi for including me in this fun challenge. I sure do appreciate it!

Play in the Puddles

Rules for the challenge:

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you.
  • Share one new quote on three consecutive days on your blog. They can be from anywhere, anyone, or anything.
  • On each of the three days, nominate three more bloggers to carry on with the fun! No pressure; nominees are free to decline.

Quote for Day Two:

When life gives you a rainy day, play in the puddles.

-Unknown

My Nominees for Day Two:

Arcane Owl over at A Wayward Scribblez
Fawad Hassank
Sadie over at Sadie’s Nest

Thank you again Mansi.  I’m having a wonderful time!

Starlight Blogger Award

Vic, over at Just Plain Ol’ Vic has nominated me for the “Starlight Blogger Award.” Thank you SO much Vic for the nomination! I have had a great time answering these questions! I’m sure that by now, you all know how awesome Vic is, and what a fabulous blog he has, but for all of you newbie bloggers out there, you have got to make your way over to his site! His wit, his knowledge, and his compassion make him one of the coolest guys I know! You will not be disappointed with this fella, I promise!

Starlight Blogger Award

This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers…

So here are the rules:

  1. Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.
  2. Answer the 3 original questions and then the 3 new questions from your nominator given to you.
  3. Nominate your 6 favorite bloggers! In your nominees I would like for you to think at the light emanating from the stars the ones that truly touch your soul with their work, the ones that are the light for you a true STARLIGHT Blogger.
  4. Please pass the award on to 6 or more other Bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you.
  5. Include the logo of the award in a post or on your Blog, please never alter the logo, never change the 3 original questions answer that first then answer the 3 new questions from your nominator and never change the Award rules.
  6. Please don’t delete this note:

The design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from YesterdayAfter. It is a Copyright image, you cannot alter or change it in any way just pass it to others that deserve this award.

Copyright 2015 © YesterdayAfter.com – Design by Carolina Russo”

Originally Posed Questions:

What was the last TV show you watched? Was it good?

The last television show that I sat through, was last week’s kickoff to Season 6 of The Walking Dead. I really enjoyed it, but my hubby was getting frustrated by all of the “flash backs” in the episode. I had to explain to him that when the footage is in black and white that it’s a flashback, and when it’s in color that is what is presently happening. I am looking forward to tonight’s episode! (Actually watching it right now-didn’t get around to getting this typed up and posted earlier in the day like I was planning. Too many people to tend to and feed) It is one of the few shows that I watch, and I’m always working on something while I do so. (See…I wasn’t lying!) Can’t manage to sit still for a minute! LOL!!!

Stripes or Polka Dots? Why?

I prefer polka dots. For one, they remind me of coloring with my mama when I was young, and for two, they elicit a feeling of whimsy, of fun, and offer a fresh perspective on things. They remind me of my innocence.

Do you watch YouTube, and if so, what kind of things do you watch on it?

I love YouTube, and watch it regularly. I generally spend my time watching tutorials on new art mediums that I wish to learn, and every time I see a new art journaling video from Vicky Papaioannou, I watch those. It is absolutely amazing what that talented woman comes up with! If you have never seen any of her videos, you have got to check them out! She is fantastic! I also enjoy getting on there to watch music videos. Music fuels the soul, and is fantastic therapy on those “I just don’t feel good” days!

Vic’s Questions:

What is your current profession? Is it your ideal profession, and if not, what would be your ideal profession?

At my “day job” I am classified as a Preschool Teacher. I have been in this line of work for the past 10 years, and to be honest, I am completely burnt out! I worked this job to get through school, not to make a career out of. While it is relatively “easy work,” the mental stress and the physical demands with the special needs children make it utterly exhausting! When I’m not at my day job, I am working on creations for my Etsy shop, Krista Kemp Designs, and working on posts for my blog. I also have several books that I am putting together, and hope to one day earn enough money from my side ventures to be able to work from home. My ideal profession is to become an author, a motivational speaker/life coach, and a shop owner/artist. All of my secondary job titles fall under these 3 categories. I want to make a positive difference in the lives of others, and I know that I can do this with these adventures. Perhaps, down the road I can open up my organization for single mothers and their families.  I would also like to build and operate a motocross race track.

What quote best describes who you are or how your life is currently?

I would have to say that this quote pretty much sums it up…

“My story isn’t over yet”

 

If you HAD to do one of these activities,

  • Skydiving
  • Diving with Sharks
  • Acrobatics in a Plane

Which one would you pick and why?

Honestly, I think that the first two options sound like fun! I have always wanted to go skydiving (it actually holds a spot on my bucket list), and I am fascinated and terrified by sharks, so I think that would be something fun to try. Life is all about living, right?! Acrobatics in a plane, I just find that to be a bit too difficult. While I am super flexible (for a big girl), I just think it would be too cramped on a plane to be able to do acrobatics in.

My Questions for my Nominees:
1: What is the #1 item from your bucket list that you HAVE to do before you die?
2: What do you do to spoil yourself?
3: What is one embarrassing moment from your past?

My Nominees:

Carolina over at Yesterday After-The creator of this fantastic award

Sarah over at Sarah’s Attic of Treasures/Our Neck of the Woods

Erika over at Author Erika Kind

Jennifer over at Jennifer’s Soul Purpose, the Creative Spirit

Tingting (a.k.a. Skydreamer) over at Empower Love

Lyn over at Lynz Real Cooking

Please Note: I would add Vic to this list (as his posts speak to my soul), but I’m assuming that he doesn’t want to answer the same questions again.

Vic, thank you again for nominating me!  I am honored to receive this fantastic award!

One Lovely Blog Award

I have been nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award” by The 20 Something Social Recluse. Her blog is full of great writings and super useful and informative posts. Make sure to drop by and check her out. Thank you SO very much for this nomination! I am honored to receive it!

One Lovely Blog Award

The Rules:

  • Thank the nominator and link them.
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Add 7 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 7 other bloggers and let them know via a comment.

7 Facts About Me:

Fact One: In the past 34 years, I have 5 hospital stays under my belt.

  • Stay #1-Weeks shy of my very first birthday, I suffered from a severe (almost deadly) case of Salmonella. As per the story I have been told, my babysitter made me a sandwich with mayonnaise that had been out in the Florida elements for too long, thus causing a very sick and dehydrated baby.
  • Stay #2-Giving birth to my baby boy, Kody. The typical 2-day stay.
  • Stay #3-Giving birth to my sweet baby girl, Kayla. The standard “hospital stay” in Germany (based on what I was told) is 5 days, but after expressing to my doctor that my husband (ex) was incompetent and incapable of caring for my son that long, I was able to go home hours after giving birth.
  • Stay #4-Emergency Cesarean with my youngest son, Kolin. I was doped up on morphine, but believe I was only there for a few days. Unfortunately, my premature miracle baby had to stay for a few days more in NICU. You’d never know it now!
  • Stay #5-After being told it was “Just Allergies” by multiple doctors, I finally found a physician who took me seriously. We discovered that I had a massive amount of gall stones, and he suggested that we opt for gall bladder removal. Then I went to my OBGYN and discovered that I had a Teratoma (tumor that resembles a fetus in my ovary which was the size of an infant’s head). I made plans to have these two organs removed as well as a mole from my shoulder (that ended up being cancerous). They ended up taking both of my Fallopian tubes while I was under. I was there for 2 days.

I’m not a huge fan of hospital stays! Been there, done that just a few too many times.

Fact Two: My favorite flower has always been a daisy. I love the simplistic beauty of it! It ties in with my inner hippie spirit.

Flower Child

Fact Three: I have always enjoyed coloring. It is super therapeutic (for me at least) and it reminds me of my one-on-one days with Mama when I was a little girl. Mama always bought my sister and I Precious Moments coloring books (she collected the figurines and has the most impressive collection today). She would color one side and I would color the other. I was always amazed by how much prettier her pictures turned out than mine. She always took it a step further and added little details like polka dots, swirls, and hearts. By doing this, she motivated me (without realizing) to keep working harder and to never give up until I had reached my desired outcome. Its mind blowing how such an innocent activity can elicit such profound growth!

As the years passed, I discovered that I enjoyed the super detailed pictures, and found that my preferred coloring utensil was Prismacolor Colored Pencils. It is because of these years of coloring that I have morphed into such a detail oriented artist.

An Artist in the Making

Fact Four: When I was in Pre-K, there was a little girl in my class that had double jointed fingers. I thought it was so cool how she could bend her fingers, so I started to emulate what I saw. I’m not sure if I was double jointed prior to my experimentation, or whether I created them, but I now have double jointed fingers. While it is a cool party trick, it can be embarrassing at times, and painful at others. Every so often they lock up. It will be a miracle if I have the use of my fingers when I grow old. I believe that carpal tunnel will eventually seize them.

Fact Five: When I was growing up, I was a chunky girl. I had a larger build (you know, the “I’m not fat, I’m big boned” dilemma) like my daddy, while my sister was super skinny like my mama. I battled with my weight for years, and finally decided in 6th grade to do something about it. Of course I went about it the wrong way, but ended up a size 4 by the age of 17. While I had a slim waistline, my heart shaped ghetto bootie and these childbearing hips made it damn near impossible to find clothes that I liked and that would fit. If they fit over my ass, they were super loose in the waist. So, after years of disgruntled and frustrating clothes shopping sessions, I have grown to despise it! Unfortunately, now my clothing issues don’t revolve around my super skinny waist and ghetto bootie. Those days are LONG gone! I find it easiest just to stick with a good pair of blue jeans (I love my Silver’s!) and a band T-shirt. I stay so cold that I wear a hoodie year round, so why waste the effort trying to look cute? It’s all about comfort these days! And shoes…what girl do you know that’s NOT a fanatic over shoes? Well, you’re looking at one. I have 2 pairs of tennis shoes, 2 pairs of flip flops, 1 sandal, and 2 pairs of house shoes. That’s enough for me!

Fact Six: All my life, my favorite color has been purple; that deep, dark, rich Royal Purple/Indigo shade. Over the past few years, Kawasaki (neon) green has been added to my list. Those 2 colors together are absolutely gorgeous!

Fact Seven: One fact that fascinates me is that I have gone 34 years without breaking one single bone. This blows my mind because I am SUPER klutzy! I have boogered myself up pretty bad over the years (me being the daredevil that I was), but I have never once broken anything. Sometimes my feet get twisted in the sheets/blankets at the end of the bed and I go stumbling through the room trying to regain my balance. All the while my loving hubby is rolling his eyes under cupped hands, shaking his head, snickering, and enjoying the show. AND, sometimes, I forget how big my hips are that I slam into tables, chairs, shelves, desks, really anything and everything within walking distance. My nickname at home is “Grace,” and my lower region is covered with bruises. I couldn’t begin to tell you the cause for any of them!

Well, there you have it; 7 new facts about me, Krista Kemp. Thank you again, The 20 Something Social Recluse, for this wonderful award! I have had a wonderful time sharing these little tidbits from my life.

My Nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award:

Glitchy Artist

Bora Blog

Heena Rathore P.

Through Open Lens

Souldier Girl

Impacted By Life

Joann’s Food For Thought

As Loyal as a Dragon Award

I have been nominated for the “As Loyal as a Dragon Award” by none other than Mr. Vic over at Just Plain Ol’ Vic. I am honored to receive this award, and humbled that my blog was selected out of the millions in the blogosphere for this nomination. Vic, you have been a dedicated reader since the beginning of my blogging adventures, and I have come to think of you as a friend. Your kind words and support over these past months have meant the world to me! I look forward to our friendship evolving throughout the years.

For those of you who have never ventured onto his site, you must take the time for a visit. His posts contain a plethora of information that the world needs to know, on a variety of different topics. You will be glad that you did! Vic, thank you again for this award; it is greatly appreciated!

As Loyal as a Dragon Award

The Dragon’s Loyalty Award is an award for the loyal fan/commenters, whether the recipient is a fellow blogger or just someone who follows and comments regularly.

Award Rules

  • Accept the award with thanks.
  • Give your readers 5 facts about you.
  • Nominate other bloggers and let them know.

5 Facts About Me:

1:  I have always walked to the beat of my own drum. I have been a trend setter, a classic, an original. I have not followed the trends, nor the crowd, even though at times I felt as though I should. The few times that I contemplated it, I felt like a phony, a hypocrite, a poser. To follow others is to give up on one’s identity. That unique spark that makes up me, who I am, and what I stand for. Why would I want to be just another nobody, when I’m perfect and dazzling just as I am? I think I’ll stick with my status; it’s working for me and I like the company here…

2:  I love to play cards, and am pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. My husband and I used to sit down at the dinner table with the kiddos and play round after round of Rummy. It got to the point that no one wanted to play with me anymore because I always stomped them. It’s a real shame too; we always had so much fun! I also enjoy playing Spades, Cribbage, Hearts, Phase 10, Bull Shit, and Canasta. My girlfriend (Diana) in Germany and I used to play cards into the night. Great memories!

3:  One item that I always make sure to keep in the house is a bag of popcorn kernels. Before I could even walk, each Saturday night my daddy would pop me down on the kitchen counter to help make our movie night corn. It was our special tradition, and I have continued doing this throughout my life. I LOVE popcorn!

My “Popcorn Recipe” has changed just slightly since I was a young girl.

Movie Night!

When popcorn night (or day) comes around, I grab my air popper (you know, the classic 70’s model-it works the best!), my bag of kernels, and some butter. I chop up the butter into small cubes and nuke them in the microwave until melted (unfortunately, my popper no longer has the butter dish on the top). Once my corn is done popping, I pour the melted butter on top. I fluff/toss the bowl slightly to mix the buttered pieces throughout. Then I sprinkle some Lawry’s (after taking a sniff-it’s a “Daddy’s Girl” thing), some McKay’s Chicken Seasoning, and some Parmesan cheese on the top. I then repeat the fluff cycle. Then I dig in, ensuring to sop the butter and seasonings from the side and bottom of bowl onto each piece of popcorn. Delicious! I could eat it EVERY day!

***Confession Time: Sometimes I eat popcorn in place of meals. But, don’t tell anyone……..

4:  I have touched on this personal tidbit before, but here it goes again. I have always been confused about what I wanted to be when I “Grew Up.” There were SO many titles that I wished to hold, but I was always told that I had to choose JUST one. I didn’t want to choose just one, I wanted to do them all! So, this explains where the confusion came about. After a lot of soul searching, and realizing that I just really didn’t want to grow up, I finally figured out how I could obtain each of the career titles that I wished to hold. Through my blog and my Etsy business, I am able to be a writer, an artist, an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, a life coach, a graphic designer, and so on. With these 2 business ventures, I am able to hold a multitude of titles, and I have so many different projects going on that I’ll never get bored. The trick now is to figure out how I can run both of these Full-Time from home without having to venture out to my “day job.” I am anxiously awaiting that day!

5:  Writing has always called my name, and I have always answered. When I was in 3rd grade, I wrote a book about a baby bear that got separated from his parents on a train ride. In 9th grade, I wrote a short story about a battered woman who was fed up with the lies that her abusive husband dished out. Both pieces were class assignments, and both were adored by my teachers. In fact, they loved them SO much they wanted to send them off to have them published. Not sure where the break down was there? It would have made getting noticed today a WHOLE lot easier! In addition to these 2 pieces, I spent my teenage years writing poetry. In college, my Literature professor, who admittedly did “Not Give A’s” in her class, marked my paper with 106%. I have written several children’s books, several eBooks, and have more than I can count in the works. I love to write, and I’m pretty sure that my craft is appreciated by others.

So, there you have it; 5 facts about me, Krista Kemp. I hope that I haven’t bored you.

My Nominees:

Erika Kind

Sarah’s Attic of Treasures

Empower Love

Yesterday After

Jennifer’s Soul Purpose, The Creative Spirit

Stephie’s Beads and Baubles

Becoming The Muse

Have a super weekend!

 

3 Day Quote Challenge-Day 1

I really hate that it has taken me so long to get around to accepting this challenge, as it is one that I thoroughly enjoy!  Prior to my computer crashing, Vic over at Just Plain Ol’ Vic nominated me for this 3 Day Quote Challenge.  Thank you so much for nominating me Vic!  I sure do appreciate it!

So, without further delay, let’s get to today’s quote…

Don't Delay, Start Today!

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you.
  • Share one new quote on three consecutive days on your blog.  They can be from anywhere, anyone or anything.
  • On each of the three days, nominate three more bloggers to carry on with the fun!  No pressure; nominees are free to decline.

My Quote for Day 1:

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”

-Les Brown

My Nominees for Today:

Allison over at How to Get Things Done in 10 Ways

Lisa over at Because I Can

Nimmi over at Soul Mate’s-So Near, Yet So Far

Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

My Friend, my Ray of Sunshine, my Fellow Blogger, Ms. Erika Kind, has graciously awarded me with the Blogger Recognition Award.  Thank you SO very much Erika!  I am honored to receive this award!  If you have never been over to visit this talented writer’s corner of the blogosphere, then you need to make the time.  She is an absolute delight, and her fresh outlook on life is enough to brighten the worst of your days.  Erika, thank you again for this recognition!

The Rules:

  1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.
  2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you
  3. Write a post to show your award
  4. Give a brief story of how your blog started
  5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers
  6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  7. Attach the award to the post (right-click and save, then upload)
  8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them
  9. Provide a link to the award creator:  Edge of Night.

Blogger Recognition

My Blog Creation:

For years I have considered creating a blog, but I had always held off because I just never had a clear idea of what I wanted it to be about. With the creation of my 5 year plan, the opening of my Etsy shop, and all of the goals that I had set out to obtain, it only made sense to bite the bullet and start one up.

When I began blogging, I still only had a broad idea of its purpose, but I knew that the topics would revolve around following your dreams, various inspirational and motivational tidbits, and life lessons that I felt others could benefit from. I have truly enjoyed my time thus far, and my expectations have been exceeded tenfold! The blogging community embraced me with open arms, and for that, I am truly thankful.

I have made some phenomenal friends in the short time that I have been blogging, and I have realized how supportive others from around the world can be. To each of my readers, please accept my sincerest “Thank You!” Your interactions have made each day special for me, and I look forward to our friendship evolving throughout the years.

My Advice for Up and Coming Bloggers:

  1.  You don’t have to have it all figured out when you first begin blogging. Your entire direction may end up changing once you get your feet wet. Things that I had planned to implement when I first began, I have realized, were not necessary, and did not tie in with my overall theme/niche. I tried my best to cross all my t’s and dot all of my i’s prior to my blog launch date, and I have come to realize that it was just a bunch of useless worry and time. So, don’t delay, start today!

2.  Before I began blogging, I had the worst time trying to wrap my mind around the differences between an RSS feed and a Newsletter. The only way that I was able to rationalize it, at that time, was by using a Facebook comparison. The RSS feed is similar to your “Friends” on Facebook. Your friends want to make sure that they don’t miss any of your news feed updates, so they befriend you. The RSS feed is like the news feed in that you will get an email for all new blog posts (updates) from blogs that you follow. A newsletter, ONE, has to be signed up for, and TWO, has additional material (posts, tutorials, updates, contests/raffles, and so on) that is not covered on your blog, similar in nature to “Like”-ing a Facebook business page. With newsletters, you can choose the frequency that they are sent out, while with the RSS feed, it is shot out every time you publish a new post. I know that my comparisons are a bit of a stretch, but I hope that it aids you in hitting that “Aha, I finally get it!” moment for at least one person. I searched high and low for that useless little tidbit, and never did find my answer. But, in my defense, my brain was super fried (WARNING: Information Overload!!!) by the time I got to that point in my research.

My Nominees:

  1. Sarah Sue at Sarah’s Attic of Treasures
  2. Vic at Just Plain Ol’ Vic
  3. Tingting at Empower Love
  4. Lyn at Lynz Real Cooking
  5. Stephie at Stephie’s Beads and Baubles
  6. Rich at Waffle Me This
  7. Teacup Talk
  8. Tricia at Sometimes I Cook
  9. Amy at The Twenty Something Social Recluse
  10. Brey at Ordinary Adventures
  11. Supa Life of a Shopaholic
  12. Ushasree at Creative Crafts DIY
  13. Diana at Myths of the Mirror
  14. Heidi at The Art in Party Planning
  15. House of Heart

Erika, Thank you again for nominating me for this award.  It is truly appreciated!

 

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!

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