Friday Update and The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hi Friends! Happy Friday! I hope your weekend is off to a great start!Spring is finally here, and that beautiful sunshine is starting to show up a little more frequently here in Michigan! And we are all glad about that! In like a lion, out like a lamb (at least that is what we are hoping for, hah!)

As you may know, I’ve been recuperating from a slip and fall on the ice that left me with a broken ankle/leg and surgery with some nice new hardware. So the prescription (besides more cowbell) is to hurry up and wait! I’ve been surrounded by so many good souls that have lavished me with acts of kindness, encouragement, help in a million ways, cards, goodies, really I feel quite spoiled!

My friend Debbie Damesworth sent me beautiful chocolate covered strawberries this week!

My friend Kat Wright of Tacari Salon of Plymouth, MI dropped by my house to help spruce up my hair and help me feel pretty since I have been homebound with my accident. She has been a dear friend to me, and Tacari Salon has been so kind to me!

And then just the other day, I received a note from one of the brightest flowers on the west coast, Loretta Sayers of Loretta’s Countdown to 60, and she wanted to nominate me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! This award is given from bloggers to bloggers who inspire creativity and positivity by bringing sunshine to the blogging community. It is a way of encouraging and supporting one another and also to get to know fellow bloggers.

Now I want you to imagine me sitting on my makeshift bed by my doggy and that note bleeps on my computer screen. Gaaahhh! It just made my day! Loretta always brightens the room, but to get this lovely note from her, well I think it was divinely timed! I read it a few times to be sure I was reading it correctly and then the tears started to fall because it was such a lovely act of kindness!

I have shared about Loretta and her awesome blog before, and if you have not read her blog, Loretta’s Countdown to 60, you should check it out immediately! It is real, it is fascinating, and it will capture your heart better than a NY TImes best selling book! She is such a gifted writer! You can also follow her on Instagram @ Lorettas_Countdownto60

I had met Loretta online maybe a little over a year ago. And when I went to the Fiercecon 2018 Conference in Los Angeles last October, I got to meet her face to face.

I had intended to stay a few days later, and drive up to Santa Barbara to do a little sight seeing. Well, Loretta lives in Santa Barbara, and she invited me to breakfast and took me for a full day of exploring the best of the best in Santa Barbara! This was one of the most fun days I can remember in a long time!

Loretta asked me the following questions, and I will share them with you here.

Why did you start your blog?

I have always loved writing and encouraging people, even when I was a little girl. My job for the past 15 years has focused on writing for and working with kids in my church. But I had a longing in my heart to try a different kind of writing, where I would be connecting with people in my own age bracket. While those feelings were stirring in my heart, our family was going through what seemed like one troubling situation after another, even tragedy. My husband and I began to do some simple household updates just as a diversion from some of the heartache we had been through. And you know what? It actually helped!  

So then I thought why not try some new fashion and even a new hairdo. I had been on the 20 year plan with both my fashion and my hair, and it was really fun to try something new! So I began to try lots of new things!  I stuck a crowbar into all my lifelong habits and ruts and said, “Let’s rethink this!”

And it was like a whole new life opened up! And I thought, “Maybe there are other people out there that feel like I had been feeling, and maybe I could write about my life and interests and encourage them that just because we may be empty nesters, this can still be not only a wonderful chapter in our lives, but yes even “Your Favorite Chapter”.

My son Jake taught me how to kayak. What a fun memory!

Saying yes to life, and sharing and encouraging that with my readers became the passion of my heart!

How do you bring sunshine to your readers? 

I think people like to see an average gal getting out there and trying things! If they can see me do it, then they know they could do it too, or do whatever is on their heart! I often have to laugh at myself because I am such a rookie and I think that knocks down all kinds of walls because I’m really learning as I go, and it’s kind of fun to watch those awkward new steps! 

But my favorite part of every single post is a moment I share my heart with the reader at the end. I always have a note of encouragement, and something that I want to communicate to the reader to inspire and wrap them up in the knowledge that this world is a better place because they are in it! And this life is worth living to the full!

What are 3 interesting things about you that your readers may not know?

  1. I love to shop Craigslist, and then get in the car and go no matter how far for whatever treasure I have found! True story, one time I drove to Binghamton, NY for an antique convex mirror… one of my all time favorite memories! Talk about an adventure!
  2. My favorite food is pizza- pepperoni with fresh basil, and I choose pizza for my birthday dinner every year.
  3. I think this is interesting, my husband and I have 2 sons. My sister Stacey has 3 sons. I helped take care of her kids for many years, while she worked. So it was like I had 5 boys of my own. So I have become a bit of an expert on Tonka Trucks, Hot Wheels Cars, Video Games, Baseball, Cross Country, and now MMA fighting! The only other female that has had a daily influence is my beautiful dog Kasey! And she is pretty much all dog!  I am a “boy mom” through and through. 

What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

I love to get in the car and go for a ride. Now honestly I would be happy to drive and drive for a week straight! But we do pretty much go for country drives every single weekend. And the prize is when we see wildlife! I am happy when we see bunnies or raccoons or a soaring hawk, And a deer sighting is to me like a gift straight from Heaven!

Thank you, Loretta for such a lovely honor!

And now, the baton is in my hand to pass on. I now am charged with nominating some bloggers that I see share their message with a positive perspective.

My nominees are:

Patricia Goss Rubel of The Patrish Pages and her Instagram is @patrishpages . What I love about The Patrish Pages is that Patricia has recently discovered a love for hiking. And as she learns to hike, she shares her adventures in her blog! And she has faced snakes and scorpions and hiked on a twisted ankle! She is really fearless! But she also loves fashion! So she sprinkles her posts with some of her fun shopping and travel adventures! It is just a lovely escape, and I am proud that Patricia and I are also friends, having met at FierceCon last year. Don’t miss this blog! Favorite Patricia story… one time we went to a pub to grab dinner, and a friend (Sophie Davies) Did not have shoes (we had been to the beach). The establishment would not let Sophie in without shoes, and Patricia pulled a pair of Louboutins out of her handbag and Sophie wore those! I had never even seen Louboutins! Hah!

Tamara Batsell  of TB Styleworks is a Fashion Blogger and Stylist for the Over 40 woman. She looks like she just stepped off the runway and so many times she will tell you she found her outfit at a thrift store. I kid you not, the garments look like they were tailor made for her! Most of her activity is through videos and posts on her TB Styleworks Facebook page. and her Instagram is @TBStyleworks . Her tagline is “Defy Age. Look Fabulous. Feel Empowered.” And friends, this woman is not just sharing fashion, she is sharing wisdom, and encouragement to get out that and have a fabulous life! I absolutely love her videos, as she just pours from her heart! Don’t miss Tamara Batsell! She is a gamechanger!

Jonet Wooten of Fabulously Chic Over 50 is a delightful award winning fashion, beauty and travel blog. Her Instagram is @Fabulously_Chic_Over_50 . Ladies, this blog is bursting with energy and fun and all things relevant to women in midlife! Jonet has a fantastic sense of humor, and creates really fascinating content that just sparkles with fun, laughter and energy! She also is an expert on blogging and is involved in helping new bloggers (she helps me all the time!) This is a must read! Her heart is true blue, and every few days she checks in on me just to be sure I’m not pushing myself too hard. She is a fantastic blogger with a beautiful heart!

Eugenia Russell Hargrove of  The Age of Grace , such a lovely and sophisticated fashion and wellness blog! Her Instagram is @theageofgrace .  Eugenia sets the bar so high with her beautiful classic and elegant style! I honestly feel so blessed every time I go to her page! It is stunning, everything is laid out so beautifully, and it just has the touch of Eugenia everywhere you look. It is just so lovely! You have to check it out! She also posts these excellent health and wellness posts! She is a brand ambassador for lovely boutiques and stores like Chicos. Her photography is always stunning and creative. And Eugenia has been such a kind and helpful friend to me. I was all set to go to one of her fashion meet up events with Athleta and Ulta in Pennsylvania, and then I broke my ankle! Ladies, there is not much that would stop me from a trip like this, but I had surgery the day before her event. One day I will make it to one of her events! My secret dream- to go shopping with Eugenia!

Your Questions Ladies:

  1. Tell us a little about you and how you chose to become a blogger.
  2. Your influence has had such a positive impact on so many women. Are there any dreams you have for other directions you might like to take your influence?
  3. What advice would you give to a woman who feels her life is in a rut and she wants to change it up but doesn’t know where to start?
  4. What are three bucket list items you want to include in your life story?

THE RULES FOR THIS AWARD ARE AS FOLLOWS:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to his/her blog.
  • Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate other blogs and give questions for them to answer.
  • Notify your nominees through social media or by commenting on their blog.
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Thank you to my nominees for participating and may your days be filled with sunshine!

Thank you to my readers for letting me share some of these wonderful bloggers with you! It feels like Christmas Eve because I know how happy you are going to be when you discover these bloggers!

That is the best part of living, when we share joyful things with one another! I remember my kids when they were little running in the house with bouquets of sunny dandelions so excited to share them with me! They were learning the joy of giving!

My mom and I call each other and share our good news and our difficult news, what a gift to have someone to share things with like that! My dad is always trying to think of what nice thing he can do for someone. It’s because he has learned that nothing fills you more than a heart that gives!

My husband right now is sharing with me all the time since I’m somewhat incapacitated. He sometimes comes home with a grin on his face and a bag of treats he picked up at the store. You should see the goody bag he brought me tonight! He is enjoying the blessing of sharing something special with me!

Nothing will take the blues away more than thinking of a way to bless someone and make their day! Sometimes all it takes is your kind eyes and beautiful smile! Or a cheerful word of encouragement. You can be the game changer for someone else’s day! Isn’t that a powerful truth?

I thank all of you for the continued kind notes and cards and encouragement. Have a fantastic weekend!

Love Always,

Amy

There is no joy in life like the joy of sharing.   ~Billy Graham

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18 comments

  1. This was SO fun to read Amy. First, you and Rob are soul food mates with the love of pizza. You should read his recent blog post on a place in Phoenix that we really loved. (www.filofeast.com)
    And you have the nicest friends to help you out. That’s because you are an incredible friend yourself. I hope you are healing well!!!
    Big hugs and lots of love,
    XOOX
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    1. Oh my goodness, Jodie! I just finished reading your husband’s blog post “Rob in Pizza Heaven” from FiloFeast! Great post! I commented! And I shared the post with my husband! And we are just crazy enough to plan a vacation specifically around visiting a great restaurant like Pizzeria Bianco!

  2. Amy, I loved your answers!! You are so relatable and that is the thing that drew me to you from the beginning.

    I always cherish your last words of wisdom in every blog post and look forward to those each week.

    I too am a mom of boys! And I grew up with so many brothers!

    Thank you for sharing a little more of you!!

  3. You are definitely a ray of Sunshine and so worthy of this nomination. Fun getting to know a little more about you. I remember those rides down country roads up there (so peaceful) and spending days with 5 boys??…bless your heart!!. So kind of your hair dresser to pop over, but I suspect you’re an awesome client for her too. Take care and keep following doctors orders xo

  4. Amy,

    How wonderful Loretta nominated you for the Sunshine Bloggers Award!
    You are definitely a sunny disposition blogger!
    I enjoyed getting to know you better and happy you’re surrounded by family and good friends while you’re healing!

    Hugs,
    Robin

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