Yesterday, I was browsing around on one of the Facebook Pages I am a member of, and Dara of She Seams So Crafty, had been nominated by a fellow blogger for the Liebster Award and was seeking to Pay it Forward. If you've been in the blogging world for awhile, you probably already know what this award is. I'm a baby in the blogging world- just under one month- so I wasn't sure exactly what it was, but I did some research and decided to put my name in the hat to be nominated- and I made the list!
What I learned was this: the Liebster Award is basically a chain letter for bloggers. It in an online award that is given to bloggers by other bloggers. It helps those who have less than 200 followers on any social media platform a network boost and puts them in the spotlight by another blogger just like me and you who are just starting out.
To acept the award, there are just a few very simple things we must do:
Sounded like lots of fun to me- plus, I get to display the award on my blog for everyone to see! So, without further ado....
First of all, let me take a few moments to thank Dara of She Seams So Crafty for nominating me for the Liebster award. Thank you so much Dara!
Dara is an amazing blogger and young mom to three beautiful children. She is married to the love of her life and God has blessed her with being able to stay home with her children and run a cloth diaper store online from her home. Check out her blog- she's got lots of fun things such as craft ideas, giveaways, and even reviews. Thanks again Dara for nominating me for this award!
Now, to answer Dara's 11 questions about me:
1) Why did you decide to start blogging?
I've considered starting a blog for a year or so...but just couldn't get it to work out. A few months ago, a company that I do freelance writing for asked me if I would be interested in writing reviews on their blog. The way it would work would be she'd send me over offers for products and if I was interested in it, I'd contact the company, get the product, and write the review. So, I've been doing that for several months, but still wanted to start my own blog. So, after much prayer- and a Cursillo retreat- God finally opened the door for Grace and Beauty. My plans were to think it over and launch on January 1- but the Monday after my retreat, I woke up- and the name and purpose of the blog were crystal clear...and if there's one thing I've learned in my life- you don't put God off.
2) What inspires you to write?
Encouraging things inspire me to write. The whole purpose of my blog is to be an encouragement to Christian women, no matter what walk of life they're in. I believe that this world makes it very hard sometimes for us as Christians to keep our heads up. Satan is running rampant in our world and doing everything he can to tear us down and tear our families apart. Hopefully, Grace and Beauty will be a light in the darkness to let women know that you're not alone- we are all in this together.
3) Is blogging a hobby or a job?
Honestly, it's a calling. God called me to do this. If it brings in an income, that would be great. However, if it does not, simply being an encouragement and light to other women is more than enough. I just want to be a light in the darkness.
4) What are your goals for your blogs?
My goals for my blog is that it will be an encouragement to Christian women in all walks of life- something to let them know that they're not alone. As Christians, we are all sisters, and we can all support and love one another through whatever life throws our way.
5) Tell me about your family!
I met my husband online in the Summer of 2011. We started out as friends- he was in the middle of some very difficult personal things and just needed a friend to lean on. Over time, we began to fall in love and in June 2013, we said "I do." Not only did I say "I do" to him- I also said "I do" to his three wonderful boys. They are now 13, 12, and 6- and I am proud to say that I am their bonus mom.
6) What do you do besides blog? Work? Stay at home?
I am a freelance writer, working mainly on sites like Elance, Freelancer, and others. I have four Scripture study type books that I have written and have for sale on Amazon in both Kindle version and paperback. I have some ideas for a couple of others that I am planning on having out by January 2015. I am hoping I can get some in the local bookstores.
7) What are your passions?
I am pretty passionate about crafting. I love making beaded jewelry and doing monogramming and hoping to one day officially turn that into a booming business.
8) How often do you blog?
So far, I have to admit, I have not been very good at blogging- but my goals are beginning to fall into place. I'd like to try to blog at least once per day- more if the day calls for it. The #thankfulchallenge has gotten me to where I'm writing at least one post per day for the month of November. I think if I can keep participating in challenges, I'll be able to get a post a day in.
9) How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging off and on for about a year and a half- maybe longer. I know when I started writing my Scripture Study books, I planned on writing about my journey with that, but then that kinda fell apart. Then, when I got married, my goal was to write about my journey as a bonus mom- but since we don't have physical custody, there really wasn't a whole lot going on there. So- again, I dropped the ball. Then, during the summer, I was offered the chance to start doing product reviews for 50 Things to Know Life/Mom Reviews and Giveaways. That caused me to get bit by the blogging bug and I desired to start my own, but didn't know where or how to start- then, in October 2014, God opened my eyes and the ball started rolling.
10) What are some goals you have for your blog?
Basically, I just want to reach out with encouragement for Christian women. As I've said, Satan wants to destroy us and our families- but he can only do that if we let him. As Christian sisters, we need to stand together. That's what Grace and Beauty is about. Some days, I wake up and God specifically says, "You need to say this today...." Other days, it's not as clear. No matter what though, I want to be a light in the darkness.
11) What's the most difficult thing you have found about blogging?
So far, the most difficult thing I have found about blogging is trying to grow my audience. I've never been one to "toot my own horn" so to speak- but I know that if I don't TELL people about my blog, they'll never find it- right?
Now, in my research about this award, some information I found said that in addition to answering the questions, I needed to post 11 random facts about myself. Other information made no mention of that- so anyway, here are my 11 random facts:
1) I'm married to a wonderful man (He's my cowboy & I'm his angel)
2) I'm a bonus mom to three wonderful boys
3) My husband and I are trying to conceive
4) I am Catholic
5) I love animals
6) I have a (very hyper) Chiweenie named Bella Rose
7) I love country music
8) I love going for long walks (listening to my music)
9) I am new to the world of blogging
10) I love going to Chill Frozen Yogurt with my husband
11) I love inspirational, Christian-based movies
And my nominees are:
1) Avery @ AK Reviews
2) Marsha @ The Belly Rules
3) Erin @ Lil' Paper Crumbs
4) Jamie @ Seaside Beauty Box
5) Angela @ The Unclutter Angel
6) Laurie @ Eye for Elegance
7) Jeanae @ Just Jeanae
8) Patty @ "Fun Little Pieces" of Life
9) Trish @ Fitting in Frugal
10) Annette @ Consider This...
11) Amy @ Growing Together
Congrats to you all! To accept, you must answer the 11 questions I have provided below. Once you have done this, please let me know so that I can read your answers. You can tag me on Facebook or simply comment below with the link and I'll stop by and read them.
Make sure that you link back to the person who nominated you to thank them and then choose 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers on any social media platform and give them 11 questions to answer. Let them know you have nominated them and give them the link to your post so that they have instructions on how to accept. Also, if you're feeling up to it- include 11 random facts about yourself that you'd like to share with your readers- that part is optional, some instructions said to include them and some did not.
1) Tell me a little about yourself and your family.
2) What is your favorite thing about blogging?
3) What is the biggest challenge you find in blogging?
4) What is your favorite holiday and why?
5) What makes you truly happy?
6) What is your biggest pet peeve?
7) Where did the name for your blog come from?
8) Why do you blog?
9) What is your favorite movie and why?
10) Do you read often- and what do you read?
11) How often do you blog? Do you wish you could write more often?
I've had fun writing this post and I look forward to reading the posts from my wonderful nominees! Have some fun getting to know your fellow bloggers and remember, there's absolutely nothing wrong with showing a little love! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll consider subscribing!