Mini Flowergram and A Surprise Bouquet

Surprise!  This Mini Flowergram comes with a bouquet of awards…

In June, I received not one, not two, not three, but four awards from Claudia of The Wandering Youth.



Claudia is an artist and poet whose “illustrated thoughts” beautify my world.  (Check out her stunning artwork!)  She enjoys everything from fashion to making smoothies and I know you’ll enjoy her combination of words and art.  Thanks very much, Claudia!

In July, another surprise arrived — Becoming Madame gave me the One Lovely Blog Award, too.  I’m feeling twice blessed — thank you!

Becoming Madame writes about life in Paris (how lovely is that?) and it’s a pleasure to read her musings on French cooking, the City of Light and Love, and more.  (Click on the links to see for yourself!)

Last, but not least, Chocolate Chip Uru bestowed a double honor upon me this weekend:

CCU’s blog, Go Bake Yourself, is a treat to read — not only because she creates out of this world ice cream flavors and baked goods, but because she also writes with an imaginative flair.  (I especially enjoy CCU’s Undercover series — fun stuff!)

Again, thank you lovely ladies, for the sweet surprises!  Before I commence with the pleasantries, here are the “rules”…

1)  Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post.

2)  Share 7 things about yourself.

3)  Nominate (approximately) 15 other blogs you enjoy.

4)  Let each nominee know you chose them.

5)  Participation is optional; if you don’t care to pass along the award(s), that’s fine.

While I’m figuring out the logistics, here are 7 random facts about me:

*   I’m a picker-upper — clothing that’s fallen off hangers in stores, trash (within reason), etc. — if it doesn’t belong on the ground, I put it where it belongs.  Plus, bending over is good exercise!

*  I listen to 1960’s hits because the music is upbeat and I can still remember most of the words. ;)

*  The Man Of Few Words was shocked when I volunteered to clean fish for the rest of the season.  (I’m serious about improving my knife skills!)

*  I once weighed 198 pounds, but after walking 6 miles a day for almost a year, I lost 50 pounds.  I’ve maintained that weight (or pretty close to it) for 13 years now.

*  Every November, I don my wedding dress on our anniversary.  (Bonus fact:  I like the word “don.”)

*  I enjoy playing pool because it involves physics.

*  Naps make eminent sense to me… zzzzzzz.

Okay, I did the math and 7 awards times 15 nominees equals 105 links.  Hmm...  Much as I’d like to dispense that many awards, I simply have to draw the line.  (Please don’t interpret that as being ungrateful!)  Instead, I’ve decided to share them with the incredible women who have been instrumental in encouraging my writing.  Enjoy!

1)  chocolate for breakfast.  Sue Ann Gleason not only has a lovely blog, she has a way of making you feel lovely.  Sue Ann appreciates her readers and engages with them regularly — such fun!

2)  The Busy Hedonist – Tracey Ceurvels is a food writer and novelist, as well as a friend who makes me feel “at home” every time I visit her blog.  And for heaven’s sake, try her recipes!

3)  Kathleen Prophet unleashes the artistic side of me and expands my Universe to consider alternate perspectives.  Playful, fun, spontaneous… because of this forward (and inner) looking woman, I just may add “artist” to my resumé one of these days.

4)  Then there’s Shanna Trenholm…  Shanna brings clarity and simplicity to my life — writing and otherwise.  Please don’t miss out on this opportunity to pare down to “real.”  (That’s all I have to say — and all Shanna would want me to say.)  I love her conciseness!

5)  For you world travelers (and ex-pats), Nasrine Shah-Abushakra has opened my eyes to living the global life.  Culturally and environmentally aware, Nasrine tells it like it is — often from 30,000 feet!  Because of her extraordinary gift for sharing from the heart, I’m blessed to live “larger” than Oklahoma.  I hope you’ll be, too!

6)  Helen Hunter Makenzie has served as my mentor, teacher, and ongoing inspiration.  In fact, service encapsulates Helen to a capital “T.”  Thank you, Obiwan. ;)

7)  Denise Ellis Stewart‘s posts leave me breathless… and wanting more.  Click here for one of my favorite posts — you’ll love it! — heartfelt, honest, and basically what we’re all going through.

8)  Laura Gates.   Here’s one of Laura’s posts that pushed me to the edge… dare I say into outerspace?!  NASA consultant, teacher, and share-er of life’s experiences, mine has been richer for knowing her.

Ladies, please dispense these awards as you see fit, have fun doing it, and thank you for making my world a lovely place.

Enjoying unexpected bouquets,

~ Kim




March Gladness

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote: “Into each life a little rain must fall.”  In that same poem (The Rainy Day), he also penned one of my favorite lines:

“Behind the clouds is the sun still shining.”

We had over 6″ of rain this week, but when the sun finally reappeared, there was a RAINBOW.

Even rainy days have their merits.  But… this post isn’t about rain, it’s about sunshine!  Or more accurately, The Sunshine Award…

I recently received The Sunshine Award from Becoming Madame, an intriguing blogger who writes about her life in France, authentic French cooking, art, literature, and more —  after packing up lock, stock and barrel to leave the U.S., marry the love of her life, and move to Paris.  For a fascinating glimpse at her transition, please visit her blog!  Merci, Becoming Madame. :)

This award comes with “Ten Questions” which I’ll answer without further ado:

1)  Favorite color?  Orange

2)  Favorite animal?  Platypus

3)  Favorite number?  9

4)  Favorite non-alcoholic drink?  Coffee

5)  Prefer Facebook or Twitter?  The less time I spend on-line, the better, but ok… Facebook

6)  My passion?  Writing…  No, music…  Nah, make that cooking.  (Does it have to be just one?!)

7)  Prefer getting or giving presents?  Giving, but I’ll never turn one down!

8)  Favorite pattern?  The test pattern at 1:00 a.m. when TV used to go off the air.

9)  Favorite day of the week?  The humble and highly underrated Thursday.

10)  Favorite flower?  A single, long-stemmed red rose.

And now for the fun part… passing along the award to 10 bloggers who inspire me!  That’s a tough call.  All of you inspire me.

In the context of sunshine, I’d have to say the following folks do a wonderful job of brightening up the world…

1)  Isabelle At Home.  Isabelle built her own chicken coop, named one of her hens Steve, and has daughters named Bear and Sunshine.  If that’s not enough to make you smile, she also has a great sense of humor and is a dang good cook, too.  Shine on, Isabelle!

2)  basilmomma.  I admire Heather, being able to incorporate “family life,” blogging, writing a weekly column in a local paper, shuttling sons to swim meets, and living up to her name with basil in some of my favorite recipes gleaned from her blog.  I also enjoy her Facebook updates!  (A bright spot in murky cyber-world for me…)

3)  The Culinary Lens.  Mike is an Irishman and a gentleman, not to mention a catering chef at Saks Fifth Avenue.  He also hosts great “link parties” and his food photos make me drool.  Basically, he lights up my life with his take on “life in the Big Apple” (and Ireland.)

4)  Welcome To Shirley’s Luxury Haven.  Shirley and I live half-a-world away, but we have SO much in common, including the need to be pampered (in the kitchen and out!)  I never know what Shirley’s next post will be about — beauty creams, exotic dishes, or trips to Finland because she won an Angry Birds contest! :)  Treat yourself with a visit to her “feel good” blog!

5)  Jenna’s everything blog.  Chicago can be bleak and bleary (they don’t call it The Windy City for nothin’), but Jenna’s blog lights up the Chi-town skyline bigtime.  One of her posts was also “Freshly Pressed” — an accomplishment that truly shed a ray of sunshine!

6)  flourtrader.  Tina and I are relatively new acquaintances, but I love her style, recipes, and writing.  She has a unique gift for naming her posts and recipes — I smile every time I read them.  Please check her blog out!

7)  Cooking Healthy For Me.  Ann, to me, is the epitome of “encouraging.”  Her comments appear nearly everywhere I look in “blog world” and it’s like finding a friend wherever you go.  That’s a bright spot in my life.

8)  The Orgasmic Chef.  Maureen is an Australian blogger who lives life and enjoys every minute of it.  She also recently remodeled her blog (with great success, I might add)  — it’s bright, clean, and inspiring!

9)  Go Bake Yourself.  This young lady is taking blog world by storm — with good reason.  (Keep reading — there’s more to follow.)

10) No Ideas.  Dawn says she has “no ideas,” but truth be told, I think she has GREAT ideas!  She also says: “Do one thing every day that will make you happy.” :)  I love “ideas” like that!

Speaking of which… today I’m going to do two things that make me happy, since I also received the Versatile Blogger Award.

This award comes with the following “rules:”  (Comments in parentheses are mine, not part of the rules!)

1.  Thank the person who gave you this award.  (In this case, I have two lovely ladies to thank!)

Nolita Morgan at M*O*R*G*A*N*I*C, whose tagline is “Mostly Organic,” hence, Morganic.  I invite you to head to Nolita’s blog, where you’ll find a delightful mix of writing, photography, family, remodeling, and more.  I feel hugged every time I visit.  Thank you, Nolita!


ChocChipUru, who asks: “Seriously, how else do you wear away a rainy/sunny/snowy/thunderstorming day…?”  (An apt byline for today’s post!)  Not only am I amazed at her baking skills and delighted by her writing, the fact remains that ChocChipUru is one-third the age of most of my kitchen gadgets… incredible!  Treat yourself to a fresh (baked) perspective by visiting her blog, Go Bake Yourself.  Thanks, ChocChipUru!

2.  Include a link to their blog.  (Done deal, see above.)

3.  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.  (15!!)

4.  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.  (Ditto!!)

5.  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.  (Stay tuned…)

6.)  In the same post, include this set of rules.  (Check.)

7.  Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.  (Coming soon to a comment section near you!)

NOTE:  Due to time constraints (and the length of this post), I made an executive decision and picked 7 bloggers who, in my book, exemplify versatility:

1)  Ally’s Kitchen.  Ally’s home page states:  “This website is about so much more than food.”  Yes, indeed it is.  When you visit her website you’ll see why.

2)  My Finace’ Likes It So It Must Be Good.  Peggy is going to culinary school and planning a wedding, plus her “header photos” shine!  Need I say more?!

3)  Sweet Alchemies.  Maia is a classical violinist who combines her passion for music and cooking by writing “recipes set to music.”  Near and dear to my heart.

4)  The Harried Cook.  Marsha describes herself as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, cook, baker, and a lover of good food.  I would also include: terrific writer and supportive soul.

5)  Shary Hover.  Shary is a writer, dancer, gardener, dog-lover (not to mention wife and sweet friend), which is a whole lot of versatile!

6)  The Southern Lady Cooks.  I linked to Judy’s “about me” page because you simply must start there.  The South (and the world) are a better place because of Judy’s versatility.

7)  Savour The Senses.  Jenny cooks at Morimoto Waikiki, hostesses “Featured Foodie Fridays” on her blog (as well as writes and posts recipes in between!), surfs, and dreams of owning her own food truck.  Versatile with a capital V!

As for 7 things about “moi” (in random order):  1) I went fishing this morning.  2) For those of you who don’t already know, The Man Of Few Words is the love of my life.  3)  My world is fueled by coffee.  4)  … and chocolate!  And, if you simply must know more, click on my previously revealed facts 5) here and 6) here. And oh yeah, 7) here.

Turns out, the “bowl cut” is my most frequently searched topic. :)

Enjoying rainbows, sunshine, and versatility,