I've been really honoured and pleased recently to be nominated for the Liebster Blog, the Versatile Blogger and the Sunshine Blog award by some of my fellow bloggers. Although I'm running a bit late, it's now time for me to do my bit and pass them on.
I was given the Liebster Blog Award by Laura at Aga Girls. This was a lovely surprise, as I must admit that I had not discovered Laura's website at the time. It was a weird mix of embarrassing yet lovely to find someone who had visited and enjoyed my blog. However, I've now rectified that and am a regular reader. There are some great posts. including this Jubilee Lemon Shortbread. Laura is, like me, a fairly new blogger, and I so look forward to reading more from her in the months to come.
"The origins of the Liebster Blog award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it originated in Germany, Liebster meaning favourite or dearest, to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Upon accepting the award the recipient must then pass it on to five more blogs of note. A way of introducing other bloggers to the blogs you enjoy."
Gem of Cupcake Crazy nominated me for the Versatile and Sunshine Blogger Awards. I must admit I was amazed by this, as Gem's blog was one of the first I came across a while back, thought was fantastic, and inspired me to do my own. Gem is lovely and, as you may guess, cupcake crazy, but also is a total Americanophile and, like me, is really into her American baking. She has started her own blogging challenge 'United Bakes of America' as a result.
A few days later, I was also nominated for these awards by Ros (aka Baking Addict) of the More Than Occasional Baker. Again, I was really pleased as Ros has also been one of my blogging heroes for quite some time now. Her sheer inventiveness and baking knowledge have me in awe, and I can't wait for each new post from her to see what she has been up to in the kitchen. Ros also runs, along with her partner in crime Caroline, of Caroline Makes, the Alphabakes challenge.
Well, the rules for both the Versatile and Sunshine awards are :
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this Award and link them back.
2. Say some 5 random facts about yourself.
3. Spread the joy by nominating other bloggers.
4. Let the bloggers know about their nomination.
So, first, here are my five random facts:
1. I've always been a bit of a tomboy and it shows itself repeatedly in my love of football, and Cardiff City FC in particular (a family tradition). Being a Bluebird is a total rollercoaster experience - we've been lucky enough to reach Wembley (the holy grail of football) on four occasions over the last four seasons. An FA Cup Semi Final, the FA Cup Final (which was on my 40th birthday - what a present and a day to remember!), Championship Play Offs, and this year's Carling Cup Final. Unfortunately, we're not so good at winning there, or in attaining that elusive promotion to the Premier League :(
2. Beyond baking, I also love Indian Cookery, and the best £80 Mike and I have ever spent was on an evening course at our local Adult Education Centre. The course lasted thirty weeks and I learnt so much and cooked so many different dishes that it has kept us well fed for the last 12 years, with an average of one curry a week being cooked from my repertoire. I also learnt how to make all the usual accompaniments and I can now roll a mean chappati ...
3. I hate spiders. Nothing personal, and while I have learnt over time not to instinctively beat the cr*p out of one if it enters my field of vision, I cannot stand them in the bedroom. I cannot sleep if I know that there is one in there. So many times, at some ungodly hour, Mike has had to be deployed to remove one before I can get to sleep. Even then, I lay awake wondering if spiders have the same attribute as buses ...
4. If I had a 'best bits' montage of my life (like on Big Brother when the person is kicked off at the end), top of the list would be the morning I spent with Mike, Josh and Ben snorkelling in Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) and then having a glorious tapas lunch at a little bar overlooking the fishing harbour in the brilliant sunshine. We hadn't tried either before, and it was glorious. The perfect day.
5. I visited the then Soviet Union six weeks after Chernobyl. It was an amazing holiday, but a bit scary. We were due to go to Kiev, but weren't allowed to as it was near to Chernobyl, so that part of our trip was cancelled. We spent longer at Yalta instead, and on a visit to the Summer Palace, where the conference at the end of WWII was held, got talking to a lovely American lady, who pointed out to us in some of the photos of the conference her husband. He had been part of the American delegation with President Roosevelt, and she had travelled there with him. She was kind enough to spend some time with me telling me all about it. That was an absolutely gobsmacking moment for me - I was 18 at the time and about to study history and politics. I felt like I was literally touching history.
So there you go. A little bit about me. Hope you enjoyed it.
It just remains for me now to nominate five fellow bloggers to receive these awards. I've found this a bit difficult, as there are so many that I love (and I know have already received these awards previously). But I decided to go with some of the ones that I really want to recognise anyway, even if they have had them before (sorry guys!). Some of them are fairly new blogs, all of them amazing though, and I'd encourage you to visit if you haven't already done so. Each one of them is a fantastic read.
Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog : Nicola is amazing at cake decoration. I have been in awe at some of her creations!
Laura of Laura Loves Cakes : Laura really does love cakes - her beautiful, picture perfect cakes have me smitten with sugar paste skills envy!
Rachel of Dollybakes : A fantastic blog based in the North West. Rachel is also an organiser for Clandestine Cake Club. She loves Big Bundts, too!
Culinaria Libris : Gretchen is an American living in London, with an extensive cookbook collection. She regularly posts about them and I love discovering new cookbooks through her (although with around 600 already, Mike grimaces every time I visit Amazon!).
Jo at What Do You Make Of My Cake? : Jo is a fantastic baker, and I love reading about her bakes. She also has a fantastic collection of vintage china, which she uses in her beautiful photographs.
Please do check these out. They're well worth it :)