Wow, look what happens when I leave the country!

While J. and I were in Iceland, our first tomatoes began to form in our incredibly neglected, novice backyard garden; L. lost his first tooth and learned how to swim; and the lovely Liz of Family Foodie Survival Guide nominated me for a very sweet award called the Sunshine Blog Award!  Apparently, the Sunshine Blog Award is given to recognize “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” Aw, Liz, I’m blushing!

So I’m new to this whole bloggers-loving-bloggers-with-awards thing.  But I guess I’m supposed to do some stuff to officially accept.  There are some questions to answer, and then I have to give it to 10 other bloggers who deserve to know that they’re kind of sunshiney awesome, too.  So here goes…

The Questions

  • Favorite Number: 25.  When I was in high school, I managed the football team, and my jersey number was 25.  Somehow it sort of stuck with me.
  • Favorite nonalcoholic drink: COFFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE….
  • Facebook or Twitter: Pfffft.  Puh-leeze.  Only Facebook allows me to truly express my insanity — who can do it in 140 characters?
  • My passion: Oh, gosh, I have so many.  🙂  I guess I’m passionate about living well and joyfully, and that means a lot of things.  Food’s a big part of it, though.
  • Favorite pattern: Tartan.  I’m part Scottish and proud of it.
  • Favorite Day of the Week: Saturday!  Farmer’s Market Day…sleep in (kinda) day…
  • Favorite Flower: Yellow roses.  My grandfather sent me a bouquet every year until I turned 21.  Sometimes when I’m really missing him J. brings me some.

The Lucky Winners

It’s HARD to pick 10 bloggers to give this thing to — I think all the dedicated bloggers out there deserve an award for their commitment.  But I’m going to honestly, truly pick 10 bloggers that are in my heart right now.

Don’t Forget to Feed the Baby.  This is probably against the rules or something, since Kathy V. of this hilariously funny parenting blog already GOT this award from somebody else.  But really?  She deserves it twice, if for no other reason than the fact that she allowed a reader and fellow blogger to nickname her baby Sausage.

The Lunch Tray.  I suppose a blogger who’s been in the national spotlight like my buddy Bettina doesn’t need me to tell her she’s awesome and full of sunshine and rainbows and unicorns.  (I added the rainbows and unicorns, Bettina, but only because you deserve them.)  But she IS awesome, and as far as inspiring others…?  No contest.

Food With Kid Appeal.  Jenna just started blogging again after taking a whole year off to devote herself entirely to healing some medical issues in herself and her family.  She gets my vote just for THAT.  Jenna, welcome back!

The Full Plate Blog.  So, again…somebody who was mentioned in Forbes Magazine hardly needs my pat on the back.  But Eila gets it anyway!  She’s pursuing her passion right now and not only keeping up with a great blog and a bunch of new projects, but also studying holistic nutrition and, oh yeah, raising her family.  Inspired?  You better believe it.

Kristen in London.  Ever since I started writing as part of the community at HandPicked Nation, I’ve been smothered in a warm fuzzy blanket of foodie awesomeness.  I’d give my fellow HPN contributor Kristen a shout-out just for her fabulous Moussaka recipe, but it doesn’t hurt that she has reached out in friendship too.  She’s so genuine and real that it almost makes me forget how jealous I am of her insanely picturesque bell-ringing, luncheon-throwing life in London.  (Kidding, Kristen.  Sort of….)

Out of the Box Food.  Kim has been working absolutely tirelessly — not to mention selflessly — to not only maintain her own blogging efforts, but also to head up the Real Food Advocates Team for the Jamie Oliver Foundation.  I’m sure the job sounds more glamorous than it really was, but Kim did it beautifully and never lost her composure (or at least, never let the rest of us team members see her sweat!).

Keeley McGuire Blog.  I heard about Keeley through the inimitable Kelly Lester, creator of EasyLunchboxes.  Keeley and I are both contributors to Kelly’s upcoming “Cooking with Trader Joe’s” cookbook, and I have to admit that her story about finding a way to provide a small school of disadvantaged kids with beautiful, homemade bento lunches got me a little misty.  Anybody who finds that kind of generosity in her heart (and time in her schedule!  Good Lord!) deserves a whole bucket full of sunshine, in my book.

My Munch Bug.  J. and I are too familiar with the challenges of raising a child with (thankfully mild) special needs, and while we’ve been able to work well with L.’s sensory-based feeding issues over the years, I’m acutely aware that most families don’t have it as easy as we do.  Melanie is a feeding therapist who does some of the most noble work on the planet.  Better yet, she does it with incredible love and passion.  Now that, folks, is sunshine.

The Jolly Tomato.  Jeanne has been a part of two virtual progressive dinners with me now, and not only does she always come through with great posts and great food — she’s also always an enthusiastic cheerleader for the rest of us.  This is a case of blogging karma, Jeanne, and I THANK YOU wholeheartedly for being a stand-up member of this community.

Little Ladies Who Lunch.  Susan took the proverbial lemons and made lemonade, according to her site…”and preserved lemons.  And lemon roasted chicken.  And lemon yogurt cake.”  When she and her young daughters were diagnosed with a chronic health issue that could be managed through diet, she decided the best course of action was to make beautiful, healthy lunches for them…and blog about it.  And we’re all so glad she did!  I’m becoming a LLWL addict…gorgeous photos, great ideas, and she’s always passing around OTHERS’ great content, too.  Class act, Susan.

There are SO many other bloggers I could have mentioned tonight, but truly, these 10 are deserving of a little extra special love and attention.  Thanks again to Liz for the honor, and thanks to all of you for reading!  You make Red, Round, or Green what it is and what it will be.  And you make me a happy blogger.