I got a nice surprise the other day when I received a message to say that my little blog had been nominated by Khloe of Simply Khloe for the Leibster Blog Award! The Liebster Blog Award is great way to get to know other bloggers that you follow, and also a way to get to know newer bloggers!
The rules are very simple:
1. Answer the questions your nominator has asked you.
2. Nominate 11 other bloggers (preferably with under 200 followers).
3. Ask your own 11 questions.
4. Let your nominees know they’ve been nominated!
Firstly, these are the questions that Khloe asked me…
1. What are your favourite movies?
This depends on the time of the year. Generally my favourite film is The Shawshank Redemption – such a brilliant film. However, it’s not officially Christmas in my house if we haven’t watched It’s A Wonderful Life and the first Die Hard Movie!
2. How do you stay organized in terms of blog posts?
I used to be very disorganised when I started blogging on this blog, and also the previous blogs that I have done. I found it hard to get inspiration for blog posts, and it became longer and longer between posts. However, I have realised that inspiration can come from the smallest things, which once you get started can grow into a fantastic idea for a post. I am an English teacher in Piacenza, and since I work strange hours each day, I now write my blog at different times throughout the week, so I can blog every Sunday without fail.
3. Favourite time of year?
Easy – Spring! There is something about everything bursting back into life and the feeling of freshness and regeneration that never fails to lift my spirits each and every year.
4. What is your proudest blogging moment to date?
My proudest moment came when I was doing my previous blog “We Grow Our Own” (now deactivated) when I was living in England. This started off as a blog about our allotment and the myriad of chillies that I was growing. The blog was spotted by a producer for ITV’s “Britain’s Best Dish” and I received an invitation to audition to appear on their cooking show. The idea of the show was that you had to cook your favourite dish and refine it throughout the different heats of the show if you were lucky enough to win that heat.
My dish was Thai spiced mackerel with a cucumber and a green papaya relish, which comes from my love of Asian food. I made it to the final seven in Britain, and my videos of my exploits can be found on my old YouTube site. If you watch them, you’ll be able to see me setting fire to a small part of a professional kitchen on the episode where I got knocked out!
As a result of this, and my love of chillies, I was then asked to be the “Chilli Guru” for Wahaca, the chain of Mexican restaurants opened by Thomasina Miers, the winner of the first series of the revamped Masterchef UK. The restaurant gives free chilli seeds with your receipt after your meal. My role is to offer video growing tips and advice for people growing chillies, which I continue to do to this day!
5. How do you wind down?
This is going to sound cheesy, but I find blogging very relaxing! I have always liked blogging and sharing the beautiful things this world has to offer, but have never got round to writing that book that everyone allegedly ‘has in them.’ I’ve found that I don’t have that part of my brain that allows me to write fiction, but once I start writing a blog post it just seems to flow.
6. What are you favourite apps for blogging purposes and otherwise?
I use WordPress to write my blog as it allows me to tinker with the layout to my heart’s content. I started using the free version, but found it a little restrictive, so I now ‘self host’ my blog through my own hosting, which only costs £4.00 a month, which allows me the freedom to play with the layout and to have all the features I want.
7. Other than blogging what other hobbies have you?
As I now live in Italy, my main hobby is embracing the Italian lifestyle, and eating and drinking everything this beautiful land has to offer. The people are so friendly, and every week there seems to be a festival dedicated to each and every ingredient or food this wonderful place has to offer. However, it certainly isn’t good for my waistline!
My other hobbies are photography, and also trying to improve my rudimentary Italian. I also love reading (both cookbooks and fiction) and also killing various baddies on my XBox.
8. Have you a motto that you live by? If so what is it and why?
My motto is definitely “count your blessings, not your flaws.” I have always tried to be a ‘glass half full’ person, sometimes unsuccessfully. However, I feel that many people spend too much time concentrating on the negative things in their life, and not realising all the fabulous things that they already have. For example, I definitely earn less now that I’m living in Italy, but I am surrounded by beautiful scenery, delicious food and wine, and have a relaxing lifestyle that many people dream of. A 25 hour week is considered full time in my teaching job!
9. Are you taking part in Blogmas this year?
I wish I had the discipline to blog every day, but due to my teaching schedule (sometimes teaching from 9am to 9pm) I don’t think I would be able to do it, but I have admiration for the people who are able to do it!
10. How long have you been blogging?
I started my previous blog ‘We Grow Our Own’ in 2010. It started off as a record for me of things that did and didn’t work on my allotment, but gradually morphed into a growing and cooking blog ‘Sow Grow Cook Eat.’ I had a monthly competition where I would challenge people to cook something using a selection of seasonal ingredients that I would nominate, and the winner received a prize generously donated by another Twitter friend. Through this I found several other dishes that I had never thought of.
11. Why did you start blogging?
As I wanted to grow seasonal food that I could not get, or was very expensive to buy locally, my first blog started off as a record of mine and my wife’s allotment. However, as I’ve mentioned above, it suddenly became so much more, which then gave rise to many opportunities that I had never even considered!
Ok, now it’s time for my questions…
1. Out of all the countries, you have visited, which one did you like the most?
2. What is the most extreme thing you have ever done?
3. Do you think education, as it is today, does justice to life and learning?
4. What is that one post made by you that you like the most, and why?
5. If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?
6. What is your favourite book or series?
7. If you were going to be a character in someone’s book, who would you like to write it?
8. What is the best memory that you have while travelling?
9. What is the scariest thing you have experienced while travelling?
10. If you could take someone with you on your travels, who would it be and why?
11. If you could give someone £1,000,000 who would you give it to and why?
I’m tagging the following bloggers to answer these questions …
1. Choclette from Tin & Thyme.
2. Alex from Gingey Bites.
3. Lauren Ann from Lauren Ann Beauty.
4. Stefania from My Modena Diary.
5. Ireti-Elizabeth from Wine Press Girl.
6. Jordana from Ahoy Small Fry.
7. Rosie from FreyCob.
8. Jay from Comic Books And Yellow Ducks.
9. Elana from Traveling Bytes.
10. Erin from Heard In London.
11. Emmie from Carpe Diem Emmie.
While you’re waiting for their answers, go and have a look at their blogs!