The Leibster Award!

liebster-award 2

I’m so excited to accept the Liebster Award.  I’ve been nominated a few times, by Inspiring Max and Pumpkin and Peanut Butter, and I’m proud to be in their company.  Essentially, the Liebster Award is recognition for newbie bloggers with good content; I’m so happy that others are enjoying what I’m writing!!  So, before the blogosphere starts playing the music a la the Oscars, I’ll get on with accepting the award!

First, I’ll be answering the questions Liz asked me in her nomination post:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I’d toyed around with the idea of starting a food blog for quite a long time before I actually took the plunge and registered with WordPress.  As much as I love cookbooks (and I have shelves full of them), the majority of my recipes come from other bloggers around the web.  I figured a food blog would be a way for me to share my own recipes with others while also dabbling in writing, which is something I’ve always liked.  For the longest time, though, it was really just an idea sitting in the back of my mind.  The final push was my decision to undertake my cooking around the world challenge.  It gave me something specific to write about, and provided me a good introduction into blogging before I branched out and started writing about more and more of my culinary adventures.

2. What is your go-to thing to cook?

Pasta.  It is so easy, and the possibilities are truly endless.

3.  Extrovert or introvert?

I’m definitely an introvert.  Don’t get me wrong, I love people, but I prefer them in small groups.  If I had the choice between a huge loud party or a small group of friends sitting around and playing board games, I’d choose game night every time.  And that’s not just because I’m becoming a lame, boring adult now that I’ve turned 26.  Nope, even in college you would find me in the dorms watching a movie on a Friday night rather than at a Frat Party.

4. What is your favorite holiday?

I’m going to have to say Christmas.  As much as I adore Halloween, I think that might be because my birthday is the day after, so as a kid I reveled in the opportunity to gorge myself on candy on one day, then eat cupcakes in school the next.  Christmas, though, is so steeped in tradition.  I love decorating the tree and baking cookies and watching all of the Christmas specials on TV.  There’s just something so cozy about the entire Christmas season that makes me happy.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

France, in a heartbeat.  Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to go to Monet’s gardens in Giverny (I was a really cool kid, in case you couldn’t tell).  Plus I took about six years of French lessons, so I could walk down the Champs Elysees feeling all cool, like in that Mary Kate and Ashley movie (I told you I was cool).

6. Mac or PC?

I have a PC, but I would love a Mac.

7.  What kind of camera do you use?

That’s been an evolution!  If you look through my blog, you’ll see quite the evolution of photography.  It started off with my iPhone and an old Sony Cybershot.  Then, my camera died and I started using my husband’s Cannon point-and-shoot.  Now, I have my super fancy Nikon D3200 and I’m absolutely in love with it!

8. If you could be an animal, what would you be?

My husband was asked this question for a game at my bridal shower.  He said I’d be a giraffe.  I still don’t understand why.  I’m not that tall, and my tongue is not blue.  If I had to answer, I’d probably say a dog because they get to live inside and I really don’t like the cold.

9.  Favorite way to exercise?

I love yoga, but there aren’t any studios that close to me.  Recently, I’ve been going to the gym and alternating between the elliptical and stationary bike for cardio, then I cycle through some of the weight machines as well.

10.  Pumpkin or peanut butter?

Peanut butter, especially if it’s mixed with chocolate.  But even if it’s just peanut butter on a spoon, I won’t complain.

11.  Favorite saying or quote?

Oh, that’s a tough question!  I’m probably going to go with “everything happens for a reason.”  It tends to be quite a reassuring philosophy for me.

Now, for 11 random facts about myself:

1. When I studied abroad in Italy, I befriended a member of the Swiss Guard, who arranged a private tour of the Vatican.  It was incredible.

2. I played clarinet for 10 years, and was the drum major for my high school marching band.

3. I was taught to drive on a stick shift rather than an automatic.  After my first lesson, I cried hysterically and insisted I would never drive again.

4. I once had three fish named Nu-nu.  Well, I won one at a fair, but then it died.  I was pretty little, so my parents replaced it twice in a two week span.  After that, it was time to have the death conversation.

5. I’ve had the privilege of attending over 30 Broadway plays, including one premiere.

6. I had my appendix removed when I was 15.

7. My husband and I went spelunking in underwater caves on our honeymoon.

8. I have read the complete Harry Potter series at least 3 times.  I still cry when Dobby dies.

9. The Elf on the Shelf scares the living daylights out of me.

10. I double majored in Political Science and Mass Communication in college.

11. I’m a proud Jersey Girl, and have only pumped my own gas three times.  This is despite living alone in Ohio for a year, and living in Delaware for 4 years.

Now, for my nominees!

1. Herbs & Spice & Other Things Nice

2. Life Gone Vegan

3. I Accidentally Ate the Whole Thing

4. Wicked Delicious Kate

5. Learning to Thrive in 1455

Here are my questions for the nominees:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. Coffee or tea?

3. Where is your favorite place you have traveled?

4. What would be your superpower of choice?

5. What is your least favorite chore?

6. What is your favorite season?

7. Who would play you in a movie?

8. Beach or mountains?

9. What is your favorite cuisine?

10. If you could adopt any animal as a pet (and it would be happy and healthy and safe, etc), what would you pick?

11. What is your number one guilty pleasure?

Rules

1. Create a post dedicated to the award, linking back to your nomination, and display the award in the post, or elsewhere on your blog.  (A google search for The Liebster Award will give you bunch of images to choose from!)

2. Answer the eleven questions I provided, then include eleven random facts about yourself — remember, the goal is to get to know your fellow bloggers a little bit better.

3. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, and have fewer than 1,000 followers.

4. Create a list of new questions for your nominees, and explain the rules in your own post.

5. Let your nominees know via a comment on their blog, and have fun!

Thanks again, Liz & Max, for nominating Quinoa & Cookies!  I hope you’ve all enjoyed getting to know me a little better, and I’m looking forward to hearing all about my nominees!

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