Liebster Award 2016

Drumroll, please…

I’ve been nominated for my first blogging award!

I am beyond excited to have been nominated by @mamacentric and @evereverafterjbs for a Liebster Award! This awesome award goes out to new bloggers who have under 1,000 followers and have been blogging for less than two years. It’s a fantastic way to network with other bloggers, provide encouragement to those who are just starting out, and to work together with other women (or men) to find empowering outlets and friends. If you don’t already know, there can be a lot of competition out there in the blogging and mommy communities…I just don’t understand why we can’t all lift each other up! It’s nominations like these that prove there are wonderful people out there, there are wonderful opportunities for us all, and that we are better off as a unit than we are apart.


Liebster Award 2016

The first nomination I received was from mamacentric. She is an amazing woman! I mean, amazing. Her blog posts are filled with so much heart, wit, and depth. She leads a busy life as a homeschooler to three, she’s not afraid to express her own self-doubt – which is totally relatable to most of us women, and she tells her life like it is – not always glamorous but always with purpose. She constantly finds a way to turn it all into something positive, something humorous, and something inspiring. This woman is one to look out for.

If you need anything regarding parenting, soul-searching, and surviving motherhood, Aimee is the girl to go to. Check out her blog here. Seriously, go.

The second nomination I received was from Ever, Ever After. This woman is so hip, so cool, so beautiful! She is a mother to 2 kids under three, she writes about all things family – think date nights, advice to her littles, and daily life, plus she loves to make lists – girl after my own heart! 

Follow this teacher turned mom on her journey through life here….and maybe take a list or two with you when you leave!

Now on to the Liebster Award!

Rules for the Liebster Award Nominees:

  • Thank the blog that nominated you on a post in your blog.
  • Answer the questions asked by the blog that nominated you.
  • Nominate 5-11 other new bloggers.
  • Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer.
  • Notify all nominees via social media.

Here are the questions that Aimee at Mamacentric asked me:

1. What inspired you to start your blog?
Quite honestly, I needed the motivation to keep going as a stay at home mom. I work full-time from home with a 9-5 job BUT my kiddo is right here beside me. I was tired of having lazy, unorganized, uneventful days and I didn’t feel like that was fair on my son either. Why didn’t I just send my toddler to daycare like most families do? Well, because I knew I could do it on my own, I knew I could do it just as well if not better than a daycare provider, and I knew I didn’t want to spend that kind of money to send my child away when he could just stay home with me. Blogging has given me a platform to showcase our daily activities, it has held me accountable for making sure each of our weeks is filled with exciting and educational content, AND it is such a fantastic way to document our lives! Is it a lot of work? Absolutely, especially as a single mother, but I am so grateful to have a job that allows me to squeeze in time for my kiddo and even if it meant going to bed before 3 AM, I wouldn’t do it any other way.

2. What has been your biggest challenge in pursuing your blogging dreams, and how have you worked through it?
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with new creative things that haven’t been done before by other bloggers. I really strive to keep DIY and Dinosaurs a blog filled with refreshing content, easy planning, and cheap ideas. If I see something that I really want to do but has been done before, I find a way to make it unique – make it my own. Why be like everyone else when I have an opportunity to carve a new path for myself?

3. If you could offer one piece of advice to someone who would like to begin their own blogging journey, what would it be?
Don’t overwork yourself but don’t underestimate the time it takes for you to start a blog, either. It is not a quick and easy task. As a new blogger, I have pushed myself to be “awesome” and literally written as many as 20 new posts in one week. It was exhausting – months later I am still trying to catch up on sleep. I think a great piece of advice for those of you looking to start your own blog is to get used to planning. I have a planner that I use every single day – each Friday I write down the ideas that I would like to incorporate into next week’s theme, over the weekend I make sure I have the supplies needed to make those ideas happen, and then I prepare as much as I can. Are there some nights that I procrastinate and end up preparing only hours before our lesson for the next day? Yes. In fact those nights happen often, but plan as much as you can and it makes life a lot less hectic.

4. What makes you most happy?
Being able to be around for every single first that my son experiences. This goes back to the first question (about why I started blogging), if my son went to daycare I would potentially miss so many firsts! I can happily say that I have been there through the first teeth, the first attempt at crawling, the first steps, the injuries, the giggles, the hugs, the surprises, the first words – the list goes on. I wouldn’t trade that for all of the money on this planet. That is what makes me most happy.

5. What is one thing you wish you could rid the world of?
Heartache. I have had my fair share of heartache – some days it’s easy to shake off, other days it feels like the pain will never cease. If we could live a life without heartache then we may find comfort in those we have lost to tragedy, those we have lost to heartbreak, those we have witnessed fall ill, the bills we won’t be able to afford, etc. On the other hand, without heartache we may not have the hustle, the self-reflection, the deep love, and the fear. There’s always an upside and a downside to everything, isn’t there?

6. How do you nurture yourself on the rough days?
I cry. I cry so hard! And then I write in my journals, I use blogging as an outlet to get my mind off of the day, and most of all I depend on my friends and family for support. I wish I was the type of person that could brush off the struggles and the self-doubt but I really do find the most comfort with expressing myself. My family (especially) has been there for me more than I ever expected to need them in the last couple of years. There have been countless nights that I have called them and chatted into the wee hours of the night…and they put up with it all. In fact, they don’t just put up with it, they are amazing. They calm me down, the give solid advice, they play devil’s advocate, and they will talk to me until 2 AM on a Tuesday even when work calls them at 6 AM. The older I get, the more I understand the love, guidance, and importance of my family. I without a doubt would not be where I am today without each and every one of them.

7. How do you recognize and celebrate the best days?
As a single mom it’s hard to find time to celebrate yourself but I always try to find something I am grateful for or excited about. Once I find one thing it seems like the ball rolls out of control and soon I have a long list of accomplishments and things that excite me. Simply just recognizing myself and celebrating myself at some point each week is a great feeling. Money wouldn’t be able to do that for me. My happiness is totally dependent on my mind set…however, a glass of wine and massage every now again don’t hurt either!

8. What is the most beautiful sight you have ever seen?
When I was a freshman in high school I job-shadowed an OBGYN nurse and watched two births. I mean literally watched them as in depth as the doctors did. I vividly remember the first birth as being the most beautiful experience in the entire world. The labor was intense, the mother was in obvious pain, and the father was being sweet and supportive. As soon as the baby was born the father ran to the window and cried, I mean sobbed. He was so beside himself that this miracle had just come into their lives. I don’t know the back story of the family and I don’t know where they are today but I will never forget that experience. I only hope one day I have a man who is excited to tears about the baby we bring into this world. That is a memory I will never forget and I still sometimes wonder where that family is today.

9. If your loved ones described you in only three words, which words would they choose?
Grateful, determined, and…stubborn! Haha!

10. Picture your life ten years from now. What do you see?
I would love to have purchased a house, be married to someone who makes me giggle each day, have at least one more child, and be a successful monetizing blogger!

11. You have an entire, uninterrupted day to yourself. How would you spend it?
This idea is so foreign to me that I don’t even know how to answer it! I suppose I would treat myself to a massage, do some online shopping, catch up on sleep, catch up on blogging, and spend the evening with my girlfriends and a few cocktails.

Here are the questions that Brittany at Ever, Ever After asked me:

1.What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Definitely finding a way to be a single mother and love it. To be honest, I never actually saw myself having children and when I ended up four months pregnant with a broken heart I never knew I could turn it into something so positive! I’ve never had the opportunity to raise my child with a partner so I don’t know what I am missing (if anything) – that has allowed me to become a strong woman and a stronger mother. Not only am I out to prove that I am amazing (insert hair fluff here – haha!) but I am determined to raise a son who any woman would be proud to date, any mother would be proud to have, and any child would be proud to call mommy. I have a terrific son who is well rounded, polite, eager learn, and so SO well disciplined. Sometimes I cannot believe that I got this lucky.

2. What goals are you currently working on?
First and foremost, giving my toddler a great education from home and allowing him to recognize his own mistakes/consequences. Secondly, I am always trying to get rid of the dimples on my thighs – hello, stairmaster! Haha! And finally, I am serious about becoming a full-time blogger…hopefully one day I can make more money than I do at my current job. Big dreams? Uhhh, totally.

3. What is your favorite part about blogging?
The unity in mothers, the support of each other, and the community in which I am involved with. I seriously am surprised with how supportive the blogging groups, instagram community, and facebook followers have been. I am so used to seeing moms compete with other moms that I sometimes feel like the luckiest girl in the world when I receive this unnecessarily kind feedback from other moms, bloggers, and people in general. How am I so lucky to be a part of something SO spectacular?

4. If someone wanted to read just one of your posts, which one would you pick for them to read?
My posts are all about activities for children, easy and cheap DIY posts for moms, and a sprinkling of workout reviews. If I had to pick one very favorite blog post for kids I would suggest: Our Lego Block Face activity. For the DIY mom? The $1 Flower Pot Makeover.

5. What is your go-to on a bad day?
I probably would call my sister first for some unbiased advice. She is super great at playing devil’s advocate, but in a way that isn’t offensive or judgy. If she didn’t answer her cell phone I would resort to cuddles from my little guy, some wine, and a sad/sappy movie.

6. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
I think my most entertaining childhood memory is one from my 6th (or 7th) grade birthday party. My mom had an outdoor screened in porch that myself and a dozen friends camped out on, we brought out our karaoke machine, snacks, party favors, and lots of balloons! The girls and I enjoyed typical sleepover activities but one in-particular was very special to me…My mother had created a scavenger hunt all around our small little town. We would get a clue and have to walk to someone’s home or a public location and act out a cheer, the ‘I’m a Little Teapot’ song and dance, a yard race, or some other fun event in order to receive our next clue. All of the clues led us back home where cake and presents were waiting. After that the girls and I stayed up until the wee hours of the night doing what pre-teen girls do – nails, gossip, boy talk, and singing/dancing – it was so much fun!

7. Do you prefer to eat out or cook? What is your favorite food to eat?
Before I had a child, I would probably say eat out – what’s better than having someone else cook for you? Now, the effort it takes to go out to eat and the impatient nature of my child around food makes me cook more often. I still don’t love to cook – why does it have to take so long? – But I am trying to prep and plan better, so my answer these days is cook. One trick I love? Make twice as much and freeze the extra for a lazy-day quick meal!

8.  Who inspires you?
My son. He is little but he is mighty. He is kind. He is amazing. I just want to prove to him that setting goals and having dreams isn’t some out-there concept. I want to need to show him that if you set your mind to something, you have determination, and you do not give up that you can truly make anything a reality. This blog will be my proof, mark my words!

9. What is your guilty pleasure?
Arby’s curly fries! Did you know they sell them in the freezer aisle now? OMG.

10.  What is one quality that you hope to pass down to your kids?
I am a very determined person and I don’t hesitate to share my opinion. Sometimes that can get me in trouble but it also offers me a great communication platform to stand on. In my experience, nobody who struggles with communication will be able to succeed in a career or relationship…so being able to express yourself is a quality that I really respect. As far as determination goes, I don’t really find myself interested in people who don’t believe in me – in fact, I don’t really find myself caring about the opinions of others in general. Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to hear that people are receptive to your ideas or support the goals you have in mind but I think a lot of very successful people have had to be determined, confident, and believers of themselves…on their own…in order to get where they are. Even if nobody else believes in you, you have to have faith in your dreams – I really believe that! I hope my kids chase their dreams to the moon and I hope that they know I will support them 110%.

11. Beach or mountains?
Beach! I really do love to go skiing on the mountains and I think the lodgy feel of a cabin has it’s time and place, however I cannot resist the hot sun on my body, a nice tan, and a drink in my hand. Ahhhh.

Back to the drumroll…

Here are my nominees!

My 11 Questions to Pass On:

  1. Share one of your favorite memories of having a kid.
  2. What does a normal day in your life look like?
  3. What do you feel you are destined to do in life/what is your dream or true talent?
  4. What is the best part about being a mom?
  5. What is the one thing you never had that you want for your kids?
  6. How is your blog different from the billions of blogs out there?
  7. If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?
  8. How did you pick your blog’s name?
  9. What single quality do you most appreciate in people?
  10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  11. What do you do in order to overcome writer’s block?

I am super excited to see what you all have to say! Please don’t forget to tag me in your post (so I can see your responses) and nominate some other mommies/ bloggers that inspire you! I am so pumped to find even more blogs to explore and to get to know each of you even better. Bloggers, unite!

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