And the Nominees are…

Well, I don’t care who else because, ME!!!

Yep, that’s right!  I have been nominated for two blog awards!!  In a bid to look way more successful and busy, I will be printing in two separate posts!!  I know it’s not a Pulitzer but whatevs!  I am taking it as a win!!!!

(No one who ever got a Pulitzer would ever use so many exclamation points so I’m not holding my breath for that in my future!!!)

The very nice lady who writes Expat Panda nominated me for the Liebster Award, which is very lovely of her.  I don’t know her and I didn’t know she read my ramblings, but I am pleased that she did.  I can now add a pretty new graphic to my page!  See….

The award isn’t a collection of nominations with a winner being chosen at some point.  The award is technically the nomination and your following post is not only the acceptance speech, but the next round of noms.

There are some rules, which you can read about here.  I am sure that there are some people who will view this as no more than one of those annoying chain letters you used to get in the early 90s, as the dude says in his post.  I think it’s nice though.  It’s like a cyber hug from people.  It’s like saying “keep typing because you can and we like you”.

I didn’t start this blog to court attention, but more of that later.  I just want to say thanks and point you in the direction of the Expat Panda again because she is officially my favourite now!!

Thank you, again!

When Panda nominated me, she posed a list of questions that, as per the rules, must be answered by the nominee.  So, here goes:

1. What is your favourite thing to photograph?

I can hear a collective answer before you all finished reading that one!

Yep, food.

I am a food fan.  My life is a constant circle of trying to follow the Slimming World rules, and trying out exciting new things or past favourites again.  I make lists for shopping.  I make plans for the week’s meals.  I print recipes for later testing and then forget all about them.  I read food blogs.  I am addicted to watching The Food Network.  Food is a major part of who I am, and so naturally I enjoy photographing it the most.  I just need to work on my presentation and my photography skills!!

Totally made these myself!

2. Which magical power do you wish you had while you were travelling?

Again, for anyone that knows me, you’ve answered this in your head already!

I hate airports.  With a passion.  I don’t like so many people in one space.  I don’t like feeling trapped.  I cannot stand when I am herded around like a cow.  I certainly don’t like all the official scary looking people.  My super power would be to click my fingers and be at my travel destination.  Or, to be at my house and then on the plane with no airport in between.  I love to fly and be in the air.  I just really do not like airports.

Somewhere over Africa, taken by me!

3. If we had a day to spend together in your hometown, what would we do?

If I had to spend a day with anyone in my hometown, we would go for a walk around Nonsuch Park, then visit Whitehall, and then have dinner at my favourite Chinese restaurant in the world! I miss that place.

Nonsuch is the park right behind where I grew up in Cheam.  In fact, it borders a couple of different places but Cheam was home.  I went to Nonsuch High School For Girls, and walked home through a section of it – which then merged into Cheam Park.  I don’t get why they were two different names, but there you go.  The history is that the park held Nonsuch Palace, which was one of Henry VIII’s planned homes.  Sadly the palace is no longer, but the site was excavated in the 60s and heralded huge steps in post medieval archaeology.  I remember my history teacher droning on about it, but can’t tell you more than that.  I was likely painting my nails at the time.

There isn’t much else in Cheam but it’s where I grew up, and the park really is stunning.

On the steps of here, my best friendship was cemented!!

4. Which TV show would you like to live in?

Ooohhhh…. so many choices!  I don’t know!  Ummmm…..

I think I will go with Hart of Dixie.  I love the small down Southern vibe.  The Major (Lavon) seemed like a dude.  The girl doctor (Zoe) was dumb as a box of frogs, but fun.  The Rammer Jammer had awesome country music and food.  It goes without saying that I would also totally be BFF’s with Lemon Breeland.  What’s not to like!?  I would make an awesome Southern Belle.  Ok, so I would suck, but I would give it a really good shot!

Hehe!  Thanks Albert!!!

5. What is your “take all my money!” store?

A few years back I would have said Monsoon.  I had over 40 monsoon dresses at one point.  I got a bit obsessive.  But the style and cut was perfect for me.  They sadly have gone a little less floaty girlie and gone a bit modern.  I do not suit dresses without tailoring.  I look like I am wearing a sack.

Now, I don’t think I actually have a “take all my money” store.  Unless Waitrose counts?!

At one point it was these two, but they aren’t in Dubai Mall anymore.

6. What food do you crave when you need comfort?

This really changes from day to day.  Today, the answer would be toad in the hole, but with bacon wrapped sausages.  I would serve it with caramalised onion gravy and mashed potato.  Some days it’s my sister’s epic lasagna served with garlic baguettes and chips.  Others it’s pretty much anything my Mum cooks because a) she is a demon in the kitchen, and b) it would mean that I was with her.  She is the ultimate for comfort.  She gives the best hugs, cooks the best food, and is all round one of the most amazing people on the plant.  No, wait… she IS the most amazing person in the planet.

Guess what I am going to cook for dinner!?

7. What has been your most valuable failure?

I don’t believe in failure.  I think everything we do, whether it goes to plan or not, bring us to this exact point in our lives and therefore is a positive thing.

I have had a number of things not go quiet to plan, but nothing that stands out as “the most”.  Although, that said, getting very drunk with my best friend ahead of an international flight probably was one of my least bright decisions!!  What did I learn?  Never get drunk before getting on a flight.  You wake up half way through with a raging hangover that won’t go away, surrounded by people, unable to have a shower and brush your teeth, and with the Advil laughing at you from the hold.  Oh, and you find things like this on your phone:

I have no recollection of taking this!

8. What’s your favorite Disney movie?

Easy!  Mary Poppins!  Wait… is that actually Disney?  Let me go check… Yep, it is.  It was produced by Disney so it counts.

I don’t think it would actually be my favourite if it didn’t remind me so much of growing up.  My sister was obsessed by it.  Despite being the younger of us, she was the bossy and strong one so most of the time she made the decisions.  I was quite happy as I could sing and dance along.  That was a must for a movie in my world.  It came in handy though when I was the only kid who didn’t need to try hard to remember all the words to Chim-chiminy for her dance school production!

Rumour has it that my father threatened to divorce my mother if he came home one more time to the sound of Julie Andrews being all supercalifragilisticexpialadocious!!!

Couldn’t find a pic of the chimney sweep, so have Ballet Me instead!

9.  What would you have told your 16 or 18-year-old self?

To my 16yr old self:  Stop being such a know it all bitch.  Also, you really should continue with your French tuition.

To my 18yr old self: Continue to sing with confidence, and dance like no one is watching.  Shine your weird little light with pride and don’t try and be anyone else.  You are perfect because you are you.

To me at any age: Life is fun.  Don’t be scared.  Live it.  Shit happens, but it makes you stronger.

16yr old me.

10. Tell the world the story of how and why you started your blog.

When I moved to Bermuda in 2006, I sent regular emails to friends and family at home called “Sharon’s Shenanigans”.  It was a weekly update on all the new things I had one and places I had been.  I had never lived away from home before and I was excited about everything.  I wanted to share that with the people that I had left behind.

As the time went on the emails became less and less because everything was becoming routine.  It was a beautiful island, and one I still miss living on very much, but it was my daily life.  I wasn’t doing as much or seeing as much.  There wasn’t as much to say.

5yrs later when I was leaving, I decided to start up a blog.  I had originally thought I would be heading back to the UK and staying put. I thought it would be a bit of a ramble about how to re-assimilate with normal people!  Then it snowed.  Twice.  In the space of 5 weeks.  I made the call and got myself a job in Dubai.  It then became my adventures in Dubai so similar to the original email concept.

Over the last 6 years, I have had times of major adventuring and blogging, and then nothing for months and months on end.  I didn’t start this blog to make money or gain followers.  I just wanted a place to ramble on.  I never thought anyone would really read it outside of my family and a few friends.  It doesn’t have a huge readership now, unless it’s my post on Brock O’Hurn which gets daily hits!!  It’s my word place though.  Sometimes I have lots and they fight to get out of my head.  Some days I have none.  There is no pressure to post at any time and that’s how I like it.

Defo not secret since I emailed about everything!

That’s all the questions done!  It was a lot of typing so it will be a lot of reading!  Sorry!  Now onto the next bit…

One of the other rules is to write a 150-300 word piece on your favourite blog.  I have lots but my current favourite is this beautiful lady: Rainy Bay Blog.

I have a separate (secret!) Instagram account for all my Slimming World food photos.  I wanted to be able to follow purely Slimming World types with ease, and not miss my friends pics of normal life.  I came across Rainy Bay very soon after setting up.  Her pictures were good, and I liked her words.  Most people just blah on about what the actual food is.  She gave some background to hers.  It made for a nice change.  She wasn’t perfect but she was trying.

I hadn’t realised for the longest time that she was a blogger too.  For some reason I hadn’t made that leap, probably because I don’t pay much attention to the names of the people posting, just the posts.  Anyway, something made the connection in my head and so I checked out her latest post.  I was gripped by the honesty.  I had literally in the days before written my most honest piece about falling off my diet wagon.  It had been incredibly hard to do and I still don’t feel entirely comfortable about it.  However, her entire blog was raw honesty.  She suffers with an eating disorder and I think her aim is not only to help herself, but also to help others.  I know I have used a couple of her mindfulness methods, and they have helped me.

So that’s why she is my favourite.  I nominate her for this Liebster Award and for the Blogger Recognition award.  Anyone who writes as openly and freely should be admired and applauded.  This is my way.

Now for my other nominations, one of which isn’t under the 200 followers mark:

1. Lil One Of The Ashes is my absolute favourite blog in Dubai.  She is a food and lifestyle blogger, and tries out all kinds of different places.  Her writing style is clean and simple, but engaging, and she always takes time to give the full information of prices and locations.  If I am looking at a new place to visit in Dubai, I will always check to see what she has had to say about it.

2. daveywankenobie for his fun and motivational posts.  Davey has been blogging about his weight loss journey, of which he has completed 12.5 stone of so far.  Bravo!

3. Emily’s Home Cooked Kitchen for her very tasty sounding recipes, and her lovely comments and chat.  It’s so nice to be able to connect with people.

4. Fit Slow Cooker Queen was a very random but great find!  I had just bought my slow cooker and aside from a chicken casserole, I hadn’t a clue what to do.  Now I have lots of ideas!

5. Trainer Ty DXB gets a nod because he is my trainer and I am a bit scared of him!  Only kidding!!  I know he plans to do a lot more with his blog when he gets going and it will be a great resource for both fitness and motivation.

One last thing… The questions for my nominees if they wish to partake:

  1. Have you seen a shooting star and if so, where?
  2. What is your all time favourite dish or cuisine?
  3. Which is your favourite country to visit?
  4. In your home town, or the town/city you currently reside in, which restaurant is ‘off the beaten path’ but that you would recommend to any new person to the area?
  5. What is your take on the Kardashians?!
  6. Champagne vs Prosecco… go!
  7. What is your biggest achievement in life?
  8. Who is your most embarrassing ‘celebrity’ crush?!
  9. Which is your favourite grocery store, and why?
  10. If you could have dinner with two people, dead or alive, one from your personal life and one from the wider world, who would they be and why?

Finally, I have reached the end of this incredibly long post!  I feel exhausted, but even more convinced now that I made the right decision to split the info on the two awards!  No one needs to read any more today!!!

Thank you again and, yay me!!!!


12 Comments Add yours

  1. Cathy Dodd says:

    I’ll be following all your blogs now Sharon … Happy Easter !! Xxx

    1. Thanks, Aunty! Happy Easter to you too xx

  2. O dear, firstly I am so embarrassed I missed this post !!!!!!!! Just went through it properly !!!!!!!! Aw thanks for the comments, means a lot !! And congrats on the nomination !! (I’ll try tone down with the exclamation marks as well in my comments… (!!!!!) …)

    Did you really take that photo in the plane when you were hungover? Lol!

    On Mary Poppins – have you seen the theatre version..?? They’re playing at Dubai Opera soon I believe!

    Thanks for the nomination, I miss these ‘answer question’ things.. I’ll get onto a post sooonnn!!!

    1. I was meant to have commented on your blog to tell you, but then the weekend got in the way!

      No, not hungover on the plane… ragingly drunk at that point! I found it when i was in the middle of the hangover from hell, because I was trying to work out how I had gotten so drunk in the first place!

      I really want to go see Mary Poppins and am currently working on convincing The Boy that it is a great idea! I will wear him down eventually!!

      Look forward to your post 🙂

  3. Expat Panda says:

    Ok I have so much to say about this so here goes…

    I love reading your answers because it made me realise (something that happens very often when you are an expat) that even though you can be from opposing cultures and opposite ends of the world, you can still find a lot in common with people. For example, my entire childhood revolved around Mary Poppins too, I also look like a bag of potatoes in dresses without tailoring, also think that airports and flying is the worst bit about traveling and of course, I am also obsessed with food. I wouldn’t choose Hart of Dixie (more of a Downton Abbey girl) but totally agree with you on the simple humour in that show. Thanks for the kind words and keep up the great blog 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I tried to link this to your post, but it didn’t work! I’ve just posted the second which I’ve tagged you in again. I’m glad you enjoyed this one, and the answers! I love discovering how much people in general have in common. It’s one of my favourite things about reading peoples musings! Thank you again for the noms 🙂

  4. bonnielangille says:

    Hey Sharon! I had no idea you did this until I saw the post on FB. Congratulations! …..and btw, I’m totally with you on the airport thing…love the flying, hate standing in roped off lines like cattle……AND your toad in the hole looks amazing! Do you have a recipe or have you made it so much you just know how now? Hugs! B.

    1. Thanks Bonnie!! The toad in the hole is just super simple… you part cook the sausages (fresh) wrapped in bacon, then add the Yorkshire pudding batter and cook until it’s done! If you need more details just pop me a message and I’ll send 😊

  5. Our decisions together only ever go two ways, up like the day on the public pool steps, or down, like the day before your flight… Either way we always only have fun!!!

    1. That’s all that counts!!! xx

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