|Some random windchimes to satisfy Pinterest|
However, I always nominate blogs for the MADS in as many categories as I can. I admit that I don't read baby blogs anymore as they are not relevant to me and I'm not into arts and crafts. But parenting, photography (appreciating it not producing it), vegetarian/vegan food, lifestyle, minimalism (well decluttering anyway). stationery, books, travel, education, self-improvement (again, appreciating it rather than doing it :~) ) and anything interesting, are all right up my alley.
This year by coincidence, I will be in London on September 16th when the MADS award ceremony is taking place. I'm seriously considering going and meeting some of my blog friends whom I only know by posts, comments, tweets, and pictures. So this year I was doubly interested in nominating (and being nominated if I'm honest).
I had made a mental note of the cut off date for nominations. The TOTS100 webste clearly said that nominations must be in before April 9th 2016. So leaving it to the last minute for a change :~p , I went to nominate. I was too late. Apparently they closed the nominations on the afternoon of April 8th :~O! I don't exactly know at what time this happened but I commented on someone's blog that the form was no longer available at 5pm and she had finished her nominations only half an hour before that. Oh well, that'll teach me not to leave things to the last minute (only it won't because that's how I operate and always have done :~/ ).
Rather than whine and whinge and cry 'not fair', I am giving my own very mad blog awards. The advantage of this is that I can decide my own categories. So, without further ado..... The Midlife Top 12, 2016 - appreciating and applauding blogs I love.
Best Photography Blog Award: Jax at Making It Up. Her desolate winter beaches and English gardens have me yearning to be in England. And I even get to see Tudor England when her family goes back in time to Kentwell Hall. And Jax wins the Best Education Blog Award for giving me an insight into home education.
Best Parenting Award: Candi at Looking for Blue Sky. Because she's not smug, because she's honest about the difficult bits, because she constantly advocates for her children, because she lets them be different when they need to be, and because what comes through is her overwhelming love for her family. Candi, you inspire me even when you are having moan and I love the way you write.
Best Travel Blog Award: Emma at A Bavarian Sojourn. This family seems to travel every other week. Emma takes great photos and I feel like I've vicariously been to half of Europe this year just by following her blog. The award clincher for me was when she took her 4 month old baby up to an Alpine peak in the middle of winter. Madness? I think so but they enjoy it so good luck to them.
Best Lifestyle Award: Karen at The White Approach obviously. French country house, shabby chic, New England maritime (is that a thing?), and bargain hunting at craft fairs and thrift shops. In short, everything I love living with and doing.
Best Vegan Food Blog Award: (Here's where I start deviating from the given categories). Anya at Cooking with Plants isn't even British but so what. We're not in TOTS100land anymore, we're in Selbyville. And no reading is involved here either. Anya vlogs making amazingly creative vegan food to satisfy all your food nostalgia entirely from plants.
Best Kindred Spirit Blog Award: Val at Jazzyville. I just get her. I love her sense of humour, I love her walks through the woods down to the sea, I love her holidays, I love how she cares for her family, and I love what she does for herself and others outside her family commitments.
Best Expat Blog Award: Emma at A Matter Of Choice. Emma is by far the most successful expat I've ever come across. She has innovated exciting projects in her new home on Cyprus, she's involved in the community, her children are in Greek schools and fully integrated, she has started a new business, she travels the island doing and seeing with her family, and most of all - she loves her life on Cyprus and doesn't miss living in England at all. Many expats love their new homes but most of us take a while to stop missing Old Blighty. Emma's got it licked.
Best Stationery Blog Award: Nickie at Typecast. I'm a little bit jealous of Nickie as she seems to have some sort of arrangement with Filofax. However she doesn't limit herself to Filofax and through Nickie I've learned, and become fascinated by, Midori, Hobonichi, Bullet Diaries, and all manner of other journaling, albuming, and scrapbooking. (Again this is a matter of appreciating rather than doing - who's got time for all that sticking and colouring in real life?)
Best Series Blog Award: Gemma at Helloitsgemma for her series of monthly intentions. I love this idea. At the beginning of each month she collects items symbolizing her intentions for the month and photgraphs them on the kitchen table. Then she writes it all down. She doesn't always fulfill all the intentions but this seems to me a much more realistic plan than one set of resolutions on January 1st for the whole year. And Gemma's intentions inspire me with ideas for my own.
Most Generous Blog: Becky at Lakes Single Mum for her weekly Reasons 2B Cheerful linky. Nothing like a good linky to help you connect and share. Currently this is the only regular linky I do. There used to be more but this one suits me and has a wide enough brief to be able to fulfill it most weeks. And while I'm over at Becky's I enjoy stunning photographs of The Lake District where she is lucky enough to live.
Most Inspiring Blog Award: Kate at Kate takes 5. Kate has been though some major life changes over the past five years that I've been following her blog. She handles everything with common sense, and sometimes a glass of wine or two, and comes out with sense of humour intact. From the outside Kate's life seems to occasionally take one step backwards but from there she manages to leap two steps ahead. A funny, resourceful, survivor is Kate, and I am often in awe.
Best writer: Melinda at Hermelness Speaks. Every post is a short story, fully crafted, funny, full of wisdom, sometimes poignancy, and I just want to go and spend time with her. I also admire her confidence and self-worth as a writer in that she doesn't need the feedback of comments that most of us love and crave.
So there you have it. My top twelve for 2016. Prizes for everyone can be found by clicking on the links and having a good read.