Day 10…The Liebster Award! – My Favorite Blogging Surprise

I was unexpectedly delighted and surprised to learn that All Manner Of Inspiration received a  Liebster Award!


The Liebster Award is given by nomination from a fellow blogger.  It’s an award for bloggers with under 200 subscribers made to encourage one another in the blogging trenches–how wonderful is that?  Liebster is a German word for sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing & welcome.  {With a definition like that, I think it just became one of my new favorite words!} 

My real life friend and fellow blogger Nyleen nominated me for this unexpected and lovely dose of writing encouragement!  She has a wonderful blog – Mulling Spices – and is a regular contributor to the Elephant Journal.

Part of the award is answering the 11 questions passed along from the previous winner to help your readers get to know you better.  Since I’m sharing favorites in my answers, I thought this was a perfect addition to my 31 Days.

1. Why did you start blogging?

In 2008, I went overseas to China to perform in a New-York based tour of the musical, The Sound of Music.  I had NO aspirations to be a writer, and my first blog (on blogspot) was a very rambling, unedited online journal of my travels and performing adventures abroad.  I think that first blog had the funniest and wittiest title – Confessions of A Protestant Nun.  I started All Manner of Inspiration in 2012 as another creative outlet after getting married and moving permanently to the Midwest.  I feel like I’ve taken my blogging seriously only the past few years.  I have an insatiable need and calling to write these days, and I am grateful to consider it part of my creative process and calling as an artist.

2. What is your favorite book?

Honestly, picking just one favorite book is like picking a favorite child. (What? Clearly I have no children other than my puppy dog yet.)  I wrote about one of my most favorite reads, Walking On Water, Reflections of Faith & Art by Madeleine L’Engle here, and I also shared some life-changing-for-me reads in this post.  Recent favorites would probably be Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist and Ruth Reichl’s Comfort Me With Apples.  I’m sure there’s a gazillion others I could name, but those are the first titles that came to mind.

3. What makes you laugh out loud?

Random things, I think.  Funny people, my husband when he surprises me with a goofy joke or statement, animals, the classic comedy video, Bill Cosby, Himself; the movie and stage version of Noises Off, Melissa McCarthy, ‘Cam’ on Modern Family.

4. What is your favorite social media medium?

I’ve surprised myself in the last few years by really getting into social media.  I begrudgingly joined Facebook in 2008 when travelling overseas, and for awhile, took a break from it because of a then-cringe-worthy relationship.  If I had to pick a social medium as my favorite, it would most likely be Instagram – I LOVE it!  A close 2nd is Twitter – because I can follow so many interesting people, and find interesting links.  I have to admit that I am probably a little too addicted to social media these days–probably in part because I’m living in a place where I don’t have many, if any close friends.  Its actually been a saving grace in that regard, but I need to continue to learn to balance my social media time.  I think my husband is a rockstar, because he refuses to be on any social media other than LinkedIn.

{I’d be honored if you followed me on Instagram and/or Twitter}

5. Who would play you in a movie?

Hmmm.  The only actress I’ve ever been told I looked like was Julie Delpy of the Before Sunrise movies.  I think I definitely looked like her before I gained weight from hypothyroidism, and I think she’s a very pretty and lovely actress – I was flattered by that compliment.  So, perhaps her.  In my fantasy world – Meryl Streep would play me, and make me seem so much prettier and more interesting than I actually am.  My Dad used to say I reminded him of Kate Winslet in Titanic. {???} I think she’s another great actress, so that wouldn’t be bad either!

6. How long have you been blogging?

Technically, since 2008, but there were HUGE breaks in there.  I blogged at a now-defunct, pretty mediocre blog in 2011.  I’ve been at this site since 2012, and I love it!

7.  What time of the day do you write?

I’m kind of all over the map with this one, but that’s most likely because my schedule is much more free these days than its been for most of my life.  I used to journal in the mornings, and late at night.  I’m trying to be diligent about writing at least 4 hours a day, so lately – its been in the middle of the day.  I tend to get the midnight oil creative inspiration juices flowing at night, after everyone but me is asleep.  So, its a hodge podge, I guess.

8. What is the most annoying song in the universe?

Ugh.  I can never think of these type of songs right off the bat when asked this type of question.  My first thought is Red, Red, Wine by UB40.  When it first came out, it felt like the radio station in my town played it ONE BILLION TIMES A DAY–thereby ruining the laid-back vibe of the song for me.  To this day, if it comes on my radio, I immediately turn it.  I also have to admit I really don’t like most anything by Weird Al Yankovic.

9. What part of your home is your favorite?


There’s this beautiful small sun room in our house that has become my absolute favorite place to read, write, pray and just ‘be’.  There’s a rocking chair that’s been in my husbands family for generations, a comfy couch that the dog has claimed as her own, a ceiling fan when its too hot, and lots of sun streaming through the windows.   I keep Scripture art on the walls and my favorite piece of art I inherited from my grandmother there to help me stay centered during my quiet time.  I’ve never lived in a house with a sunroom before, and its quite lovely.

10. What is your favorite recipe?

I LOVE salad dressings – especially the homemade variety.  Since I learned how easy it is to make your own, I’ve pretty much been doing that regularly these days instead of buying bottled dressings.   In terms of a favorite, it would be hard for me to narrow it down to one particular favorite recipe.    I’ll be posting some of my personal favorite recipes in this 31 Days series in a few days, but here’s one I’ve been making non-stop recently.

I’ve been making Brannon’s Caesar Dressing featured in Shauna Niequist’s book, Bread & Wine almost weekly since reading her book.  Its not  a ‘ceasar-like’ dressing at all, in that its not creamy.  It tastes like a somewhat tart and vinegary vinagrette – and its DELICIOUS.  Combine all of the ingredients below in your food processor, or shake them up in a mason jar, and enjoy:

Salad Dressing You’ll Be Making Every Week

  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard (I usually add a little extra)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese
  • a few dashes of hot sauce to taste
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves  (minced with a microplane if you’re not mixing it in the food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

11. What is your favorite season?

It used to be spring all the years I grew up in Kansas.  When I moved to Pennsylvania for about 5 years, I discovered the glories of a real fall season, and fell in love. I now love the changing of the leaves, finally feeling chilly when I go outside, pumpkin-flavored products, and the anticipation of the holidays.  I suppose spring is now a close second, but yep, now I’m a fall-lover.


Thanks so much Nyleen for this lovely award!  I’m honored that someone who writes with such beauty, truth, humor and wit would think to read my blog – love you friend! {And yes, you would kill me in a nonsense word rhyme-off…but I could probably win if we were singing it. Har.Har.}

Check out Nyleen’s blog, Mulling Spices, and give her some love!

One of the best parts of this award is that as soon as you win it, you get to pass on the award love to one of your own favorite bloggers.  I’m excited to nominate one of my blogging kindred spirits for her own Liebster Award:

Katie of Cardigan Way!

Head over to her blog, and give her some love in the comments.

31 Days of Favorites Button -

3 comments on “Day 10…The Liebster Award! – My Favorite Blogging Surprise

  1. What a fun post!!! First, I am amazed you never had aspirations of writing! You are so talented and even though you may think it was rambling, I’m utterly fascinated. I may google it. 🙂 TSOM is my all-time favorite movie. I’ve never seen a professional version of it on stage, so I’m going to pick your brain. NEXT. WEEK. In person, when we are roommates. {How is it time for Allume!?}

    Also, I didn’t know you were a “dressing” gal. My mouth watered just seeing the word “Brannon’s”! Can’t wait to get to B&W one of these days.

    And thank you, thank you for nominating me! How very exciting and FUN! I’m so thrilled, honored, and excited to write the post. In the meantime, thank you for tweeting that this was up. I’m knee-deep in a paper, so this was a perfect study break that I might have missed if it weren’t for twitter. {I think I may get you to tutor me in tweeting next weekend!}

speak your mind, share your heart