Saturday, April 9, 2016

My Own Very Mad Blog Awards

Some random windchimes to satisfy Pinterest
Every year there are a number of UK blog awards and conferences which I can never go to as I'm here in Israel. In 2014 I was nominated for the MADS (Mum and Dad Awards) run by TOTS100 where I'm a member. It was thrilling to be nominated and it didn't matter that I didn't win as I couldn't be in the UK for the award ceremony anyway.

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.


30 comments:

  1. Ooooh thank you!! That's made my day!

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    1. You're welcome, you really are the most successful expat out there.

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  2. Thank you very much for including me, and for building the rest of this list. A couple I'm unfamiliar with so I'm going to check out :)

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    1. Ooh good about checking out the ones you don't know - that's what it's all about. And thanks for all the retweets on this one.

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  3. Aww thank you so much for this lovely recommendation. I am so touched xx

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    1. You're welcome. I save loadsa money admiring your bootsale finds rather than going to them myself. ;)

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  4. Thank you so much, this made my day and I agree with so many of your choices too. I'd like to nominate Midlifesinglemum for Best Personal Blog, because you write about so many interesting things and I know that I will always learn something new or discover a different perspective whenever I visit. I really hope you win an award one day because you definitely deserve it xx

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    1. Ooh thank you - I accept the Bet Personal Blog Award. I was thinking about what I would award myself but couldn't come up with anything.

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  5. Oh these are all so worthy. Some I know, some I will now get to know. Good on you for posting this even though you missed the deadline. I prefer your headings anyhow. I find both awards have very generic headings. Love your kindred spirit one that is just divine. You have such solid beautiful reasons for picking each one, this was really uplifting to read.
    I had NO idea that Jax's photography had got so good (or maybe it always has been and I just wasn't aware). So many people are upping their game with photography. I clicked over and found the first few pics I looked at breathtaking.
    Liska xx

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    1. I have so many more blogs I could have included. I should have had a 'Good Friends Award' and given it to you and Mich, and Vegemitevix in NZ. I'm sorry now that I didn't think of it in time.

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  6. Reading the post again and this really made me chuckle: "who's got time for all that sticking and colouring in real life?)" <<< that is so me. I read her posts and watch her videos. Admiring. But not intending to copy as I just don't have the patience. xxx

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    1. To be fair, Nickie doesn't do that whole hobonichi thing herself. I got interested in it through her posts and then went on to trawl You Tube for people who have almost made a religion out of it all.

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    2. I'm so basic when it comes to journalling!! I have no IDEA how people have time to spend decorating and drawing. This was approached in on of the FB groups I'm in and it was a total divide - for some it's their hobby (like mine is running) so I now accept it more but it's definitely not for me. I just like making lists :-D

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  7. Thank you SO MUCH for featuring me in your awards. It's a huge honour - and whilst I already follow some of my fellow 'winners', there are some new discoveries too so THANK YOU for that too.

    I'm always pleased to hear that people like to read/watch my stationery upates - it makes me feel less of a freak ;-)

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    1. Not sure if we're less freakish or if there are just a few of us stationery freaks around. I spent our whole holiday in London in December looking for the perfect diary for 2016 and then realized that none of them are suitable as we start our weeks on a Sunday and have a Fri/Sat weekend. Now I'll have to wait until August to buy one for our new year in September.

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  8. Rachel, this is such a positive read. It might just be nostalgia, but I am sure blogging used to involve more of this type of supporting and 'back-patting' each other. We are seem to move along in our own little bubbles just trying to keep on top of it all (I know I do anyway). It is always so good to read who other people enjoy and read. It is a reminder to visit new places and places not visited for a while. I really hope you get to go to the MADS. You've been part of the community for such a long time it seems only fair your turn should be to enjoy the social side too. Thank you so much for mentioning me, it's always nice to feel appreciated. You are such a supportive fellow blogger. Award yourself a big slice of cake for your generosity of spirit and commitment to community. It's always a joy to pop over to your blog - long may that continue.

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    1. Thanks Gemma. Interestingly enough, I was thinking that most of these blogs are blogs I've been reading for years. It's like a small group of old friends and you were one of the first, or possibly the first blogger I connected with.

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  9. Replies
    1. Well you life has just changed completely then cos you're a winner here. :)

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  10. Replies
    1. Thank you. I checked out your blog. You are abrave woman talking about that topic. I applaud you.

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  11. Thank you so much. We have been away again so I am behind on comments etc and have only just seen this. I have had a poopy day with misbehaving children, food in the freezer that wasn't what it was supposed to be and the dentists so this has made my day. Thank you xx

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    1. Happy to have helped save your poopy day. xxx

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  12. Thanks again for this Rachel. Such a fabulous idea and I feel seriously honoured to be included in such company. And I feel very guilty for not commenting here before now. I've had a bit of blogger's block recently, and when that hits I can't even read blogs let alone write them!
    If I'd known about the MADS in time I'f have absolutely nominated you.
    Perhaps in the:

    'Interesting Midlife Blogger from Israel' category. Because I love hearing about the ever-hilarious antics of her very gorgeous DD. Because I love her stories about her Israeli life, and being educated in her customs. And because I love when she shares the interesting contents of her mind.

    xx Jazzy

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    1. I love that category - I'd have a better chance of winning in it than in any of the others. And thank you for the rest. *Blush* xxx

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  13. What a brilliant list! Some new blogs for me to discover from here. x

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    1. I am so seriously considering it. It's like a gift - there will never be a time again when it's in London and I happen to be there at the same time.

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