Wanda Says…The Versatile Blogging Award!

versatile-blogger-award-5[1]Most of you know that I LOVE blog awards!

So, I’m very flattered and happy to accept the nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award from two of my fellow bloggers.

The first nomination for this award was given to me by Tastehitch.  Andy’s blog is brilliant, and he happens to be the author of Being A Dad Is BrilliantHe writes a lot about fatherhood and parenting…you know, the glamorous life.  Check him out, or better yet, buy his book, and I promise you will not be disappointed!

The second nomination was given to me by Rob over at the V-Pub.  V-Pub is short for Virtual Pub, and Rob’s blog has a little bit of something for everyone.  He blogs about music, life and the occasional (or frequent) embarrassments that make the best happy hour stories.  Go check him out!

Thank you, to both Andy and Rob for the nominations!

Here is a list of rules to accept this award:

Show the award on your blog.

Thank the person who nominated you.

Share seven facts about yourself.

Nominate 15 blogs.

Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know.

Seven Facts About Me:

imagesSAEPGYH91.  I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan.  I grew up wanting to be Princess Leia.  Soooo, one of the most memorable moments of my life happened like this…..I was sitting in an aisle seat at the Coliseum, watching a USC football game with my husband.  Dan is a Trojan.  George Lucas was at the game as alumni and to promote his latest film project.  As he was exiting the stadium, George Lucas walked right past me.  That man was five feet away from me, and for about ten seconds, as I watched him approach, I swear everything went into slow motion and I heard the Star Wars theme song in my head.  It was epic, and I will never forget it.  (And yes, his hair is incredible!)

wandtattoo-0465-388[1]2.  I’ve mentioned this before in my very first Wanda post ever, but I have a strict policy of only naming my pets after historical figures or literary characters.  Since my teen years I’ve had beloved pets who bore the names of Napoleon, Ulysses (S. Grant), Thor (Norse mythology’s god of thunder), Cain (biblical son of Adam & Eve), Psyche (Greek mythology’s goddess of the soul and wife of Eros), Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird), and Oliver (Oliver Twist).  Currently, my two cats are named Lucy and Linus, from of course, The Peanuts Gang.

3. There are a handful of movies that I am unable to pass over if I come across them on television.  They become a mandatory time suck and I am helpless to change the channel or be productive in any way until the movie is over.  Some of these movies include Stand By Me, The Goonies, Rocky, The Breakfast Club, Alien (and any of the sequels in this franchise), Star Wars, and any Tom Hanks movie, ever made.  I’m a huge Tom Hanks fan.  That’s a lot of time sucking.

Goonies Never Say Die!

Goonies Never Say Die!

4.  I can sing.  Or, I’ve been told that I can sing by others, but I choose not to sing in front of anyone other than my kids and our pets.  I get embarrassed and self-conscious and that just doesn’t feel good.  My husband says that if I wasn’t so self-conscious I could be a karaoke super star.  Isn’t that sweet?  Also, the only instrument I can play is an air guitar.  I totally rock that shit.  Particularly when playing anything AC/DC.

5. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and I spent twenty years of my career prior to becoming a stay home parent working with children and adults with special needs.  Over the course of those twenty years I’ve had jobs ranging from providing direct care, managing group homes, providing advocacy services, licensing and program coordination, to being an assistant director of a private family services agency.  I’ve cared for individuals with special needs in every capacity imaginable, and it is not work that just anybody can do.  I’m very proud of the people I was able to help over the course of my career, and I have days where I miss it terribly.

6.  One of my biggest regrets so far in life is not going back to school to pursue a Master’s Degree.  At this point in my life, it may still be an option, but since I feel I’ve moved on from my previous career and would like to embark on something new, I have no idea what I would go back to school for.  I’m still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.  Any suggestions?

chocolate chip cookies7.  I’m a good baker. I make a mean chocolate chip cookie.  Ask anyone who knows me.  I used to make cookies for my friend’s as their birthday presents, and they were thrilled to get them as their annual gift.  At one point my husband suggested I open a bakery business based on his love of my chocolate chip cookies.  No, I won’t share the recipe.  I spent about five years tweaking the recipe to get it juuuuuust right.  If I ever do open a bakery, I’ll call it “You’re Not the Boss of Me Bakery.”  Yeah, that name suits me well.

Now, I would like to nominate a few blogs in order to pass on the honor of this award. I know it says I have to nominate fifteen blogs, but I won’t just nominate for the sake of meeting a number requirement.  The blogs I nominate are…

1.  Carrie On, Y’all  (Carrie is hilarious!  I’ve actually snorted a beverage out of my nose while reading her blog.  She’s that good!)

2.  Kimboxin  (Kim is totally badass, and I love her writing and her perspective on life.  Her blog is honest, funny, and I find myself scrolling her blog to make sure I don’t miss anything she writes.)

3.  Peaches & Poppycock  (Kristin’s blog is funny, full of southern charm (she says y’all a lot) and she enjoys wine flavored ice cream!  How cool is that?!)

4.  The UnsimpleLife (Ray’s blog is amazing, but he’s currently not posting new material right now due to some recent life changes.  However, you should head over and read some of his stuff because he’s funny and insightful.)

5.  Floordeboor  (I love this blog because the brilliant woman behind it is sharing her personal journey with health and wellness.  She’s smart, gives good, solid advice and shares her recipes and tips for weight loss, workouts and just living healthy.  Check her out!)

If any of the blogs I nominated choose not to participate, it’s totally cool.  And perhaps you will enjoy some new traffic and followers based on the good things I said about you!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks again for the award!

Wanda Says…Blogging Awards, number 3!

 

neatblog

 

It happened again!

A Girl Named Wanda has been nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by Ray over at The UnsimpleLife.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Ray through his blog and you should head over and check him out.  He has a fun, wicked sense of humor combined with the madness that is raising children, and that makes reading his posts a real good time.  Thanks, Ray!

I love blog awards, and let me tell you why…there is validation in being recognized by your peers.  To receive that recognition is to know that other people ‘get you.’  They pick up what you’re putting down, and they enjoy it.  I love knowing that when I write a post and throw it out there for the world to read or discard, that even if only one person hits the like button, or only a handful of people read it or leave a comment, that someone understood what I wanted to say and maybe felt the same way too.  Or maybe I made someone laugh with my stupid sense of humor and not-so-artfully placed F-bombs, which is even better.  So again, thank you for the recognition, and thanks for reading my Wanda!

Let’s get to the award!

Real Neat Blog Award Rules:

1. Put the Award Logo in your post

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

Here are Seven Questions for me to answer, provided by Ray at The UnsimpleLife….

imagesCIAWB5U7If you could be a sound, what would it be?

Have you ever been at an airshow, and an F-18 fighter jet flew overhead?  Have you heard the earth-quaking sound and sonic boom as the jet breaks the sound barrier?  Felt the way your bones compressed with the energy and noise?  If I could be any sound that’s what I would be.  It’s strong and creates an intense physical reaction.  It forces your heart to beat a little faster and chills to sweep up and down your body .  You can actually feel that sound moving through you and the ground vibrates beneath your feet from the enormity of it.  Yeah, I would be a totally fucking badass sonic boom.  (My friends who read this are probably like, “You’re more like a sparkler, or a weak firecracker, Wanda.”  And I would say, “Oh yeah, screw you guys!  I’m a sonic boom and you know it!”).

What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you?

Of course, becoming a mother is the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened to me.  If you’re a parent, you get it.  If you’re not, then let me describe it as the moment in your life when you truly and irrevocably become part of something bigger than yourself.  And I think it’s the most amazing thing in the world.  Everyday I look at my kids and think, “I can’t believe I made you.”  (And please, God, help me not to screw this up!).

loch nessIf you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

I would go to Scotland.  I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland.  It’s so beautiful in pictures and I want to explore old, ruined castles and spend hours imagining the lives of the people who lived there.  And I want to go to Loch Ness and look for Nessie.  I totally believe in Nessie, and I don’t care what anyone says.  And just so you know, Mermaids are real, too.

If you could invite any three people (living or dead) to dinner, who and why?

First and second would be both of my grandfathers.  Each, in their own way were larger than life and two of the greatest men I’ve ever known.  I would introduce them to their great-grandchildren and my husband.  To be able to spend an evening with them, just one more time, would be one of the greatest gifts I could ever receive.

imagesJJGJ5OSEAnd third, I would invite Linda Carter, but only if she shows up as Wonder Woman, parks the invisible jet in my driveway and demonstrates the Lasso of Truth to my kids.  Wonder Woman was my childhood hero and I still idolize her today.

 

What is your ideal sandwich, and why?

The Rueben is my favorite sandwich.  I love it because it’s sweet, salty, and a little bit sour, just like me.  😉

What is true about you today that would make 10 year old you cry?

As a child I was painfully shy and insecure.  I grew up in a dysfunctional household (who didn’t?), which didn’t help with my low self-esteem.  It wasn’t until I became a young woman that I began to embrace my own inner-strength and to speak up for myself, as well as others.  As an adult, I would tell my ten year old self to be patient, because life gets better.   I would tell her that she has to learn that she can survive the hard things in life, because that is part of becoming who she is meant to be.  I would tell her….you are good enough, and one day you will feel the unconditional love and acceptance that you so desperately wanted as a child.  One day, you will feel whole instead of fractured.  One day, you will be confident and happy.  And it will have been worth the wait because you will be made stronger and smarter for the more difficult things you experienced in life.

What do you get out of blogging, and why do you continue to blog?

Blogging helps me to feel more connected to others.  Since giving up my career and becoming a stay home parent, I’ve struggled with my sense of self and my sense of purpose.  I like being a stay home mom, but it’s hard to feel connected to the world when your life seems to be centered behind the walls of your house.  Being a part of the blogging community takes me to different corners of the world.  I can read and share in the lives of others, both near and far.  And I can contribute my own little piece to the ever-expanding puzzle.  Plus, I feel valued differently when I write something that another person enjoys, finds interesting or funny.  It makes me feel good to know that another person appreciates what I have to say, and also appreciates my participation in their blog, or their little piece of the universe.   I also enjoy reading and gaining the insights of others on topics that I may not have much experience with.  People are fascinating, even if you don’t always agree with them.

Now, onto my nominations….to the nominees listed below, if blog awards aren’t your thing, no big deal.  But hopefully you’ll enjoy some new traffic based on the super awesome things I’m about to say about you.

1.  I Refuse to Follow Your Blog  (This blog is very funny and the mastermind behind the catchy title enjoys making fun of all things in life that he considers to be pathetic, which is pretty much everything, including himself.  It’s a great read so check him out!).

2.  inspired4business (I’m new to this blog, but I love it.  Steve’s posts are always positive, upbeat and inspirational.  Just the pick me up many of us need to regain some perspective and insight on life and how we interact with others.  Check him out and I dare you not to be moved by his amazing attitude and outlook on life).

3.  Ben’s Bitter Blog  (Now, Ben’s blog has been around for a little while, and he’s been nominated for multiple blogging awards.  But not this one, because I checked!  Ben is very bitter, about everything.  And I really enjoy reading his bitter ramblings, and if you like to laugh, you will too!).

Now, I could list seven new questions here, but I found the questions provided by Ray to be thought provoking and entertaining.  So I’m going to mooch off his genius and save myself some time.

Thanks again for the nomination, and happy blogging!

Wanda Says…Blog awards, Rick Springfield, and other random stuff.

one-lovely-blog-award[1]Recently another great blogger, Weight2lose2013, nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  This is my second ‘New Blogger’ award since I started this blog four and a half months ago.  I won’t lie, I’m pretty thrilled about it.

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer and up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow bloggers who choose them. This award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with viewers and followers.

You think I’m lovely?  Really?   Even though I use the F-word a lot?  Awww, that’s fantastic!

Prior to blogging, I’ve never won any awards.  Not ever.  Not even a perfect attendance award in elementary school.  This was partly due to how shy I was as a kid, and I didn’t really outgrow that shyness until I was in high school.  Even then, I never liked to be the center of attention so I learned to fly under the radar.  I’ve always been social and enjoyed being included in group activities but I never really put myself out there to try and accomplish something I could be recognized for.

So having my silly, ridiculous little blog acknowledged in a positive manner by my peers in the blogging community feels pretty amazing.  I never thought anyone would read it, so I am beyond flattered that any of you enjoy it enough to keep coming back and checking in on Wanda.  I truly enjoy being a part of the WordPress community, and I want to thank Weight2lose2013 for the nomination and support.  All of you should go check out his blog immediately!

Now let’s get to the rules… 

In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  2. Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  3. Share 7 facts/or things about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blogs

Here are seven random facts about me:

1.  I often read to myself, out loud.  I can’t help it.  When I’m engrossed in a good book reading out loud to myself just happens, and when I try and suppress the urge I get frustrated and end up re-reading a paragraph several times trying to concentrate.  I don’t like to read with other people in the room for this reason.  Does anyone else have this problem?

e2e9241c60145eca0ead8eaa485ad1dc[1]2.   I’ve had a white hot crush on Rick Springfield for about 30 years now, and I don’t see that changing, ever.  Growing up, I really wanted to be Jesse’s Girl so Rick would love me too.  (Sigh)

3.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people ask me if I’m wearing contacts.  I have blue eyes, and five out of ten people will ask me point blank if I am wearing contact lenses.  Here’s what irritates me about this…they don’t ask if I’m wearing colored contacts, just contacts.  I do wear contacts because I have horrible vision, but they aren’t colored.  Frequently, people just assume my eye color is enhanced with blue colored contacts, and when they ask it’s almost like they’re accusing me of something.  It’s the knowing tone of voice they use, like they just out-smarted a used car salesman that annoys the shit out of me.  I usually reply by saying, “Yes, I wear contacts because my vision is horrible, but how could you tell that just by looking at me?”   My point is that people shouldn’t assume that because someone has an interesting feature that they’re fake in some way.  And even if they are, why should you care?

coffee cup4.  Coffee is my favorite beverage.  I worship coffee.  I could drink it all day, especially when it’s cold and raining.  I don’t like black coffee, though.  I like my coffee like I like my ice cream…sweet and creamy.  When I travel, I even pack my own sweetener (Stevia) and non-dairy creamer.  So many people and hotels don’t have Stevia or the cream I like, so I never leave town without it.

5.  I love books of all kinds and I read books from every genre.  Historical fiction is my favorite, but paranormal romance is my secret, guilty pleasure.  Sometimes, after reading something heavy and thought-provoking, I need a book that doesn’t make me think too hard.  Something that just makes me laugh, takes me to the edge of my seat, and makes my heart race with the anticipation of the two main characters finally getting their shit together and realizing they belong to each other.  Some of my favorite series include the Fever series, the Immortals After Dark series, the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and the Charley Davidson series.  All of these series are sexy, smart, action-packed and hilarious.

281795_500884599951422_369738967_n[1]

6. I really do have a weird obsession with the zombie apocalypse.  Last month my husband was cleaning out the garage and he knew to pile everything he wanted to get rid of in the driveway for me to look at first, just in case I wanted to save something for my zombie stash.  He wanted to get rid of a Brita water filter tank and several new, replacement filters.  I was like, “What if the zombie apocalypse comes and we need a way to filter water for drinking?”  He calmly put the water tank and filters back in the garage, without saying a word.  I think he appreciates the fact that I’m thinking ahead.  😉

7.  Sometimes, I spontaneously start dancing around my house.  Sometimes with music, most of the time without music.  My dancing is usually motivated by doing something silly with my kids.  I think I’m a great dancer.  My kids think I’m ridiculous and my husband just thinks it’s funny.

10850273_10204632310666415_4707739932497491559_n[1]

Now for the blogger nominations!  I don’t know fifteen new bloggers to nominate, so I will nominate the bloggers that I do know and believe you will enjoy as much as I do.

http://jurassicmom.com/

http://lindsaysmiles.wordpress.com/

http://sweetykannoth.wordpress.com/

http://redcarpetsquare.wordpress.com/

That’s it!  Thanks again and I hope everyone has a fabulous week!  🙂

Wanda Says…I was nominated for a Liebster Award!

wpid-liebster2[1]Recently I was nominated for the Liebster Award by my fellow blogger, Sweety Kannoth at The ‘Pen’lightenment of the Soul.  Thank you Sweety!  And please accept my apology for the lateness of my response to your nomination.

I’ve seen this award on other blogs I’ve read and followed, and while I’m still figuring out the ins and outs of blogger nominated awards,  I am extremely flattered and appreciate the mention.

For other bloggers to whom I will pass this on, here are the rules:

1. Link and thank the person who nominated you

2. Answer the questions they asked you

3. Pick eleven awesome bloggers to nominate ( preferably those with less than or around 200 followers )

4. Ask them eleven questions

5. Let them know by commenting on one of their posts

Here are my questions, provided by Sweety Kannoth :

  1. Give one word to describe your blog.—Honest
  2. What is that one quality that makes you different from other bloggers.—I have no idea.  I think other bloggers would have to decide that for themselves.  I’m not trying to be different from anyone, I’m just trying to be me. 
  3. Which is that one place in the entire world that you would want to visit before you die?—Egypt, and the Giza Plateau.  I need to see the pyramids before I die.  I know the aliens built that shit, and I want to see it with my own eyes.  LOL!  Just kidding!  Seriously though, I think it would be an amazing experience to stand before that incredible example of ancient engineering and world history. 
  4. Name three things that inspire your writings or pictures.—My family, my personal interests, and my depression.  Depression can be a tough subject to talk about, and I’ve found the best way to deal with it is to make fun of it. 
  5. What according to you is more important, money or memories?—Memories, of course, but I would like to have money so that I can go to fun and exciting places to make more memories.  Let’s face it, memories in your living room are good, but memories of amazing and sometimes disastrous family vacations can be epic. 
  6. 1604719_10202055273162751_545831537_n[1]Which is that one place, close to your home that always makes you take out your pen or camera?—The beach by our house.  We live a few miles from the Pacific Ocean and Manhattan Beach.  At the right time of day, it can be breathtaking.  My husband took this picture not too long ago, so you can see exactly what I mean. 
  7. What is that one quality you look for most in a friend?—Loyalty
  8. How did you start with blogging?—Depression was slowly eating my soul, and I needed a hobby to help me feel like me again.  My husband suggested it because he knew I needed an outlet, and he thinks I’m funny.  🙂
  9. 9.  Which is your most favorite holiday destination to date? (a place you have been)—We usually only travel to see family on the holidays, and those are not exciting locales.  We love seeing the family, but not necessarily the location.  So I would have to say that as far as my favorite places to travel, Chicago is my favorite city.  First runner up would be New York City, and then the Caribbean after that.  Barbados is my favorite island in the Caribbean. 
  10. What is your favorite hobby other than blogging?—Reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. Which is your favorite movie and why?—The Goonies, because Goonies never say die!!!!!!!!! 

So now I’m supposed to nominate eleven new bloggers for this award, but the problem is that I don’t know eleven new bloggers to nominate.  I’ve only been blogging for three months, and most of the bloggers I follow have been around a lot longer than that and have already participated in this award.  So, I will nominate these great bloggers, and more later on as I find them:

http://joyceharkness.com/  (Because she is incredibly smart and inspiring).

http://positivelyeffervescent.wordpress.com/  (Because everything she writes makes me laugh).

http://wandaringthroughlalaland.wordpress.com/  (Because she is hilarious and her name is also Wanda)!

http://brandedexplorer.wordpress.com/  (Because she is quirky, sarcastic and funny).

http://hysterectomy4dysmenorrhea.wordpress.com/  (Because she is also hilarious, smart, and she’s not afraid to tackle some really tough subjects with regard to women’s health and wellness).

If any of you nominated choose not to participate, that’s fine.  I completely understand.  But if you do choose to accept the award, please answer the same eleven questions stated above.

Thanks again for the nomination, and have a great week!  🙂