Sisterhood Recognizee

A few days ago I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Hilary over at Japan Can(ada) Mix named me as one of her 3 recognizees after she was nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award. I’ve just recently come across her blog and really like what she blogs about and her style of writing. Do go over and check her out.
She had included three questions that I thought I would answer even though she did say she wouldn’t hunt me down and force me to had I chosen not to.

1. What’s a hobby you used to be really enthusiastic about but don’t do anymore?
I used to always have some kind of creative project going whether it was making a beaded watch band to replace one that had broken, crocheting a throw or painting a set of terra cotta pots to give as gifts. Glue guns, X-acto knives, needle-nosed pliers  and paint were my ever present companions. I’ve somehow forgotten to take the time to do creative things. Not enough hours in the day, not having the right supplies, other things are more important…

2. What’s your top piece of advice you seem to keep giving others?
It would have to be some variation of “just do it” or “just try it”. I look back on a lot of things and wish I had tried them, done them, or taken a chance. So any time I can encourage someone to take a step (however small) to try something new or take a risk (within reason) I will happily be that extra little push they need. Taking my own advice is still a challenge (see my answer for #1… or #3 for that matter, anybody else seeing a pattern?), though I’m working on it.

3. What do you hope will change or stay the same in the next ten years?
If I focus on personal changes I’d like to be able to say that over the next ten years I would have taken up yoga and running on a regular basis. It feels like a ridiculous goal to set considering where I am right now fitness wise but I do love the idea of being able to move effortlessly and with a sense of grace, strong and agile.

Again I’d like to thank Hilary for the nod, it’s always nice to know there really are people reading your words and thoughts after you hit the “Publish” button.

And to anyone reading, please feel free to answer the same questions posed to me by replying in the comments!

Motivation (or lack thereof)

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The other day I mentioned how I often lack motivation and so I bring you:

Hobbies I Had Planned To Start But…

  1. Painting

I’ve had visions of myself standing in front of an easel, covered in paint daubs and smears, my brush in hand skillfully bringing my vision to life. I’ve even got a number of pictures that I’ve taken around town of things I thought would make good subjects. My easel stands in the corner as of yet unused.

  1. Knitting and Crocheting

Norwegian winters are long and dark so what better way to spend that time than to create warm, soft scarves and throws. Something you can wrap around yourself as you sit on the couch and look out your front window into the gloomy half dark of a cold January day, the heat from your coffee cup warming your hands. So far I’ve made a couple of pot holders and a tea towel. If I stitch them together I may be able to keep my neck warm I guess.

  1. Writing

When I was younger I always enjoyed creative writing class in school. Stringing words together, making up characters and seeing which path they take through the world I’d created for them. Maybe I’ve lost touch with that part of me that was able to bring to life people and situations that hadn’t existed before. Even if I tried I’m not sure I’d have the courage to share anything I had written with anyone.

  1. Scrapbooking

I think my last scrapbook page commemorated a winter hike my husband and I took around a lake here in Norway. Since then we had gotten married, I moved to Norway permanently and we bought a house. In other words, four and a half years have gone by with nary an update.

  1. Cooking

Once we moved into our house, the one with the bigger kitchen, more counter space and two windows I thought I’d be whipping up new and exciting recipes every other day. After all I didn’t lug the heavy “Joy of Cooking” tome from Canada with me for nothing, right? It now sits on a shelf in the kitchen resting under a thin layer of dust, two dessert cookbooks and a bread making book.

Despite my dismal track record, I’m still on the lookout for the perfect corner of the house where the light is just right to set up my easel and I’ll keep wiping off the dust on my almost pristine copy of “Joy of Cooking”. And perhaps someday I’ll see if there are any characters hanging about in the forgotten corners of my mind and give them somewhere to go and something to do.

Are there any hobbies you’ve let fall by the wayside? How do you stay motivated or even find motivation? I’d love to hear some tips and suggestions!

Liebster Award

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Blondeusk at Blondewritemore was kind enough to nominate me for the Liebster Award the other day, so thank you for that. They say you never forget your first.

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 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.
  • Answer the ten questions asked to you by the person who nominated you.
  • Make ten questions of your own for your nominees.
  • Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.
  • ALL THE NOMINEES ARE FREE TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THE NOMINATION

And my answers to Blondeusk’s questions:

1. Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
Life, the universe and everything really. You never know when or where something will spark an idea.

2. How often do you blog?
So far it’s been every few days though I’d like to make it an every day or every other day thing.

3. What motivates you?
That’s a tough one. Motivation for me can sometimes be seriously lacking in certain respects but knowing there’s so much out there to do and experience and so little time to do it motivates me.

4. Why did you start blogging?
There’s only so much random rambling my husband should be forced to listen to so I thought I’d see if others were willing to listen and ramble back.

5. What is your favourite quote?
“Life finds a way”

6. Describe yourself in three words?
Stubborn, creative, dog-lover.

7. If you were a famous brand – what brand would you be and why?
Jaguar. Yes, the car and it’s more of an aspirational kind of thing. Sexy, sleek and with a touch of old money elegance. I know it’s weird… don’t judge.

8. When was the last time you got angry?
I don’t think I’ve gotten properly angry in years. Lots of things annoy me and I’m not above sulking and being a sourpuss for a bit but I never really get angry.

9. What is your star sign? Are you like your star sign?
I’m an Aries and going by the most common traits being natural leader, competitive, stubborn, impulsive, extrovert, adventurous, impatient, headstrong, holds grudges and optimistic I’d say I’m kind of like my sign. I’m definitely not an extrovert, impulsive or particularly adventurous though I am stubborn, like to be in charge, and can hold a grudge for years. And I’m really a nicer person than this list would make me seem.

10. If you could go back in time where would you go?
18th Century Scotland. I blame reading the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. Scotland, brawny men in kilts, swordplay… what’s not to love?

And now I’m going to diverge from the rules a bit by not nominating anyone in particular. If you’re reading this I invite you to answer the following questions (any or all) in the comments.

My questions to you:

  1. What’s the strangest thing you believed to be true when you were a child?
  2. If you could trade places with anyone for a week, who would it be?
  3. What’s love got to do with it?
  4. What is your ideal pizza topped with?
  5. What is one hobby you wish you had the time to take up?
  6. What makes you happy?
  7. Which of your posts are you most proud to have written? (provide a link)
  8. If you were only allowed to read/reread one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  9. What superpower would you want to have?
  10. If you could become fluent in any language, which one would it be?

6 Things I Learned My First Month Blogging

“Yes! Finally going to start a blog!” was my thought one month ago. I was raring to go, ready to put down my thoughts and send them out to the world.

“So, what now?” was my next thought.

The 6 Things I Learned My First Month Blogging

  1. Picking a blog name

Finding something that’s both unique and says something about what you’ll be blogging about is a challenge. Finding a name that’s not already taken is even harder. Although you may have the perfect name in mind be prepared to do some tweaking as your dream name may already be in use.

  1. Deciding on a template or theme

I could sit down and guesstimate how many hours I spent browsing through different themes and templates. I could tally the time I spent fiddling with the different settings and layouts once I finally decided on a theme. Not going to though for fear the number would cause many of you to question my sanity. You can get bogged down with choices and worrying if what you’d chosen is perfect but don’t. You can always change things up if need be.

  1. The About Me page

I always hated going to a job interview and waiting for the moment when the interviewer would ask me to tell them a little bit about myself. The About Me page can feel a little like that. At first I was hesitant to write anything at all but then I decided it would be easier to connect with people if they could get a sense of who I was and why I was blogging. It took me a few days and a number of different drafts but I’m pretty happy with what I came up with.

  1. When to blog

Most of us have jobs, family, friends and other interests to keep us busy so you may find you don’t have as much time to devote to your new blog as you had hoped. In this case, as in many others, what matters is quality and not quantity.

  1. The statistics page

Being new at this and with only a handful of followers and an even fewer number of comments I sometimes find myself checking and rechecking the statistics page, wondering why I hadn’t gotten any views from the UK today when yesterday I had gotten five. It can be addicting and while having a whole slew of views is exciting what I really enjoy is seeing the notification that someone had commented on one of my posts.

  1. Socialize

It can sometimes feel like I’m at a party where I don’t know anyone and I spot a group of people over there chatting and I’d love to walk over and join in, they really seem to be enjoying themselves, but I don’t want to seem pushy or too needy. Checking out other blogs and commenting on different posts has been something I’ve been working on. While this may not be the neighbourhood café where people get together to chat I feel it’s important to connect with others and let them know their words had some impact on me.

Here’s to one month in and many more to come!