One Lovely Blog, Beautiful Blogger and Black Wolf Blogger Awards

I was very honored recently to be nominated for 4 blogger awards.  A Beautiful Blogger Award,Black Wolf Blogger Award, and One Lovely Blog Award from Ronovan and a One Lovely Blog Award from Colleen.beautiful-blogger - Copy black_wolf_award - Copy one_lovely_blog_award - Copy
My first three nominations came from my dear friend, Ronovan from RonovanWrites and LitWorld Interviews.  He is a must follow.  A creative, passionate, artist as well as a fun writer with a variety of styles. Ronovan is also one of the most generous bloggers when it comes to support and information on how to blog. He’s a wealth of knowledge and very generous in his support that continues to be there for anyone on the blog journey.  Also his poetry touches your heart and gives you reason to think.  Finally, his Litworld blog is THE place to be for author interviews.  Check him out!

My next award was received from Colleen from SilverThreading.  Her blog inspires me because she provides a healthy strength in growing within and growing wiser. She is very kind and wise.  Her cover is beautiful and perfectly captures the essence of her blog.  Kindness in words creates confidence.  Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.  Kindness in giving creates love.

Here are the guidelines for those who are nominated for the award.

1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.

2. Display the Award on your Blog.

3. Say a little something about why you love their blog.

4. Nominate 7 Bloggers you admire. Inform them by commenting on their Blog.

So I am combining these and here are my nominations,

1. Caroline from Pensuality – Here recent post included a song I absolutely love.  Her site is delightfully romantic.

2. Rachael from An Author in the Works – I’m new to her site but love her no nonsense style and beautiful encouragement.  This line from her blog sums it up for me. With a grateful heart, when we know we do not deserve what we have, we can receive joy in the giving!

3. Anissa25dotcom – Love her pictures, specially the flowers.  She takes pictures of nature and her photos have a unique view.

4. Leeanne Cole Photography  – Love her photography and I am not alone.  She has 25000 followers for a reason.  I also enjoy her photography tips.  What made me think from her blog is that she like photos with drama.  I like that thought.


Thank you!

August 18, 2014
August 18, 2014

10155393_441691035966167_7018532044441902977_nThank you! Wow, what a surprise!  1000 likes on a blog I thought no one would read.  I am truly blessed to be a part of this community and I thank you for reading, commenting, encouraging me, and sharing my life.  I’ve enjoyed reading about all your lives and getting to know each one of you!  Thank you!

Another VIBA and a OLBA – So thankful and honored


What is that you ask?
V.I.B.A.Very Inspiring Blogger Award
Being a special education teacher acronyms are my life.  I love how An Author in the Works came up with this!
VeryInspiringBlogAward I am humbled to be called inspiring.  How beautiful is that to touch another person with encouragement and support?
Thank you Rachael!

What is an O.L.B.A.One Lovely Blog Award
Thank you Ronovan from
Knowing what brings me joy and happiness is brightening another person’s day as well is inspiring to me.  Thank you for your kind words.  I am honored and truly thankful.

OK I am cheating a bit and combining them both.  I hope this is acceptable and doesn’t offend.  I deeply appreciate the positive feedback and love passing the compliments along to others who have caught my eye.  I feel like such a newby at this point still and want my nominations to be sincere and heartfelt.  As I grow and learn I am sure I will get better at this.

The Awards Guidelines are as follows:

1.Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.

2.List the rules and display the award.

3.Share seven facts about yourself.

4.Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated

5.Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven Facts About Myself:

1. I am reading The Compound Effect

2. I grew up in and around Pittsburgh, PA.  I did live in Ohio for 3 years and learned it is not for me.  I love living in the mountains!

3. I say what I mean and mean what I say.  I feel that is a lost thought nowadays.  If I say I will do something, I will.  I dislike  empty promises and statements and those who make them show their true character to me very quickly.

4. I do not hide things from my daughters.  Growing up being sheltered from everything and anything led to a lot f hurts and disappointments for me.  I know my parents were trying to protect me, but honestly I think it set me up.  I do feel kids need to be spoken to honestly, and as an adult you need to help them see and understand.  I feel everything is a learning experience.  It can teach you to right from wrong, grow your instincts, and help establish a firm foundation.  I also believe completely that if I don’t teach my kids someone else will and I won’t approve most likely of what they are teaching them.

5. I like lacy things. I think there is an inherent elegance to lace.  It brings femininity and softness visually to an outfit or shoe.  Pair a lace shirt with denim and it shows you are all woman but not stuffy and complicated.  LOL I know I laugh at myself too.  It is the visual aspect yes that is what I will stick with haha and no I won’t even bring up unmentionables.

6. In my last 7 facts about me I spoke about my love affair with shoes.  In all my quirkiness, I never wear shoes at home.  Shoes are for going out and yes I adore them.  But once I am home, I immediately take them off.  Barefoot is comfort and your home should be a place of comfort.

7. I am running out of things to say about myself.  I am really not that interesting and quite simple.  I am routine oriented and tend to do the same thing daily.  One of the best things about being a teacher and living in the Poconos is snow days.  When you follow a routine daily and live a busy life like me, a snow day is a perfect escape.  A break from the monotony of life and what you have to do and provides the freedom of just one day to do something extraordinary and different.

My nominations are:

Blessing through Raindrops – She blogs for her and what she likes and I love that.  I also love her Thankful Thursday – three gifts posts.  Check them out!

Variety Of Light – His blog says under the title, natural light photography and that is what first intrigued me.  As an amateur photographer light or lack there of can be frustrating.  What the eye sees and what the lens see can be different.  I found a blog with delightful photos at amazing angles.  Take a look you will love the view!

Peace, Love, and Patchouli – This is a quote from a poem I recently read from her and it sums up everything I love about her site “Thoughts on an amazing day as it all falls into place, dancing happy, heart bursting in joy.
Yay me it’s telling me and I can see the sun.”

Hope the Happy Hugger –  A piece from her about page that sums up what I love about her blog “I spend a lot of time on the social media and other blogs, mainly because I am fascinated by people. It makes me realise how different – and how similar – we are to one another. We all feel pain. We all cry. And boy, do we enjoy a good laugh!’

Also I want to mention the following who continue to touch my soul. They  have been awarded before or are award free but deserve a mention by me. Please do not feel as those you need to respond, I just wanted to mention you and say thank you for creating a lovely blog and inspiring so many, myself included!

Ronovan –
Cee –
Georgia Mom –
Honua –

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you Sweeter than Honey
Thank you Sweeter then Honey

I was so humbled and surprised by the One Lovely Blog Award nomination from Dianne at Sweeter than Honey.  Please stop by her blog. What a blessing her blog has already been just from reading!

From her about, “Other than spending time with my family, my heart’s passion is teaching the Word of God to women.  The relational and emotional needs of women are deep.  God meets those needs amazingly! Here you will see how God meets those needs in my life, and hopefully, how He can meet them in yours. When you leave, I pray that your heart feels lighter; that you feel hopeful about your day; and encouraged to deepen your relationship with the Lord.”

Following are the Guidelines for accepting the award:

1. Thank the person nominating you and link back to them in your post.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.

Seven Things About Myself

1. I simply love blueberries, red raspberries, and pears.  I would eat them everyday for breakfast if I could!  Ok, I really love fruit in general, but I am really picky.  If I cut a watermelon to eat, we at it all.  Leftover, second day fruit is just not something I can stomach.

2. I have always wanted a house with a large porch and a swing.  Maybe someday…

3. I have a thing for shoes.  Heels with pointy toes, funky colors, unique shapes and designs, anything that captures your eye and makes you smile.  I think they are fun and add to any outfit.

4. When I refer to my kids, I often say I have 4 and the oldest is my messiest.  My 90 year old grandmother lives with us and we take care of each other.  Macular Degeneration, cataracts, dementia, and 5 strokes make life interesting.  Watching her and my 13/14 year olds argue over who gets what cookie, chair, blanket… drives me crazy.

5. I took many years of piano and voice lessons growing up.  I had a piano but needed the music room for Nana when she moved in so the piano had to go.  The girls and I enjoying singing, making up the words, and just being silly.  I love to see them laugh when I change the words to songs.  Especially when it can be “heard” with my silly words.  One thing I learned from my lessons is IPA is very important in singing.   IPA works by using symbols to denote the way in which certain letters or letter combinations should be pronounced during singing.  What is IPA? It is the International Phonetic Alphabet.

6. I don’t delete email from my phone/computer.  If there was an email hoarders show, I could go on it.  I have this what if I need that info fear or what if I have to do this again.  I can also line them all up to show entire histories of emails when needed.  That flow / organization is why I love digital.

7. I have a fish tank inside full of guppies and I simply adore the tiny babies.  The colorful tails are beautiful and they are very self sufficient.  And let’s be honest, if one dies … another will be born soon.

My nominations are:

1. Reflections from my Soul –
Beautiful photography, a fighter with a spirit and soul that encourages, and teaches me about settings and photography in her posts.  Stop by her site, it will inspire you!

2. Friendly Fairy Tales –
Stunning Photos with poetry to bring them alive. Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages is in her cover and it is perfect.  I also love the vivid photos she includes in her stories.  It brings the tale to life!

3. Spanishwoods –
A fellow Pittsburgher with stunning photography and vivid poetry.  I also love the photos of the Allegheny 🙂

4.  Sunflower Solace Farm –
I love the encouragement and goal of bringing her viewers a different perspective, not to just create one that matches hers, but rather to enhance and uplift theirs.    I also love the encouragement given to new blogs found in her Thursday Tale Teller Tattle post.  Love it!

Wow 100 – So Thankful

Thank you
I am so thankful for this crazy thing called blogging.  In my short time here, I have been delighted by the great people I have met.  Today was a huge milestone for me as I hit 100 followers.  Wow! I am stunned and surprised.  Thank you for being a part of my life and giving me new delights and sights! Looking forward to many more!

Brave Heart Award

Brave Heart Award

Thank You Ronovan from
Thank You Ronovan

I was honored to be nominated by Ronovan at for the Brave Heart Award.  I was surprised and very moved by this nomination.  I wouldn’t call myself brave, but am proud to be called a good mom.  I may not be good all the time, but I do try. Thank you Ronovan!


  • Tell us a little bit about your blog. Who designed it?
The Theme is a free one from WordPress and I have put together the look and feel of it to match the place I am in.  It started out much darker and different but I have updated it.  I want to change the background but honestly haven’t gotten the time to find what I would want.


  • What is the title and description of your blog?
 Dazzling Whimsy – My Photography and My Life
    I hope that I can share who I am and what makes me unique through my pictures and my thoughts.


  • Who is your intended audience? Whoever happens to wander through. I want to be a place people can come to see something a little different, beautiful, or interesting.  I also want it to be a place that is unique, so I add my own personal, and sometimes quirky view to the photos.  You might get a recipe with it, a story, or a different take.  While pictures mean different things to different people, I think knowing a little about their meaning to the person taking it can add a different look for some.


  • How did you come up with the title of your blog? Well, I struggled with it for a long time.  At first it was more of a focus of how I am alone.  But with some encouragement from friends and fellow bloggers I decided to make it more positive.  Instead of everything I was struggling with it would be more of what I am blessed with in my life.  Once I made the decision to change the outlook I needed a fun name.  It took me a while and a lot of googling so it would be unique.  I love whimsical spontaneous moments with my daughters, and since I have three daughters and they all cheer there is a lot of glitz and sparkle in our lives.


  • Give us an interesting fun fact about your blog. I have only been doing this exactly one month today, July 16th


  • What other blogs do you own and what makes them alike?This is the only one I have


  • Do you have any unique talents or hobbies? Talents – none, Hobbies  – photography, design, computers, cooking, and gardening


  • What can we expect from you in the future? I have also spent the last month working on getting myself healthier.  I have been thinking about sharing my trials and pitfalls on my road to fitness.  Also once cheer season hits in full swing, you will see a lot more World Cup and cheerleading posts.


  • Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers/bloggers? Read others blogs.  You can see a lot of interesting things out there and pick up a lot of fun things to do.  Also ask questions.  I have found a lot of people are ready to help and very knowledgeable.


  • Before you go, could you share a snippet from your blog? I will share a piece of a post I wrote yesterday. “She is so enraptured and wrapped up in his touch, his look, his hug.  What a lovely peek into their relationship.”


I would like to nominate the following blogs for the Braveheart Award:

To be honest I am not sure exactly what makes up a brave person.  I am very flattered and honored to be chosen for this award by Ronovan from  as I have never thought of myself as brave.
I think what is brave to me is someone who posts something that is truly theirs and not following the norm.  Someone who is inspiring despite hardship.  Someone who takes the mistakes and bumps in life and makes them good things.

1. Juju Films –
First, I thought of Juju Films.  I love their true to life approach to their blog and I enjoy getting a glimpse into a life unlike my own.

Their vision is is a result of our passion in film, music, quality delivery and meeting the needs to provide an outlet for uniquely talented artists. As a global recording and multimedia venture we offer a broad array of local and international artists, as well as an impressive catalog of documentaries, short films, and rare footage. In all areas of our services our audience receive an additional benefit of gaining insight into socioeconomic and cultural awareness in Africa and its Diaspora.

2. Embracing a Wounded Soul –
Second I thought of Honua.  I love her honest approach, her poetry is moving, and she touches so many lives.
From her get to know me page:
I am here to help others Embrace Their Wounded Souls just as I struggle to do every day; yes it is a struggle. But that is the beauty of human resilience.

I hope through my words and through shared experiences we can all help others heal, laugh, cry and live.

I believe that we are all wounded at one point in our life, but we can move past it and embrace who we are despite our wounds.

3. april4june6: A journal of self-tranformation –
Third I choose April4June6 for her post a day for three months.  I like the way she breaks things down and just reflects putting it in a very direct perspective for her readers.

From her update page
Before sharing these thoughts I might have had a tendency to focus on the difficulties to reach my goals. By writing something that is open to others, I focused on the things that could inspire me everyday. And enjoy more the journey.

4. Christina from Little Sprouts Learning –
Finally, I choose Christina for her loving approach to children and her honest blog full of snippets of life.  Whether something works the way she planned or not, she shows how it can be a good thing for the children in our lives.

From her about page
I love Jesus with all my heart. I believe kids need structure and limits. I believe kids need to be hands on in order to learn. I believe kids need to get messy and dirty. I believe that everyone makes mistakes and we should all be allowed to learn from them. I believe kids are the future and I want to change the world through them! Come along and learn with us!

I think the rules are to answer the above questions, post the award, link back to who gave it to you and nominate others.  



Feeling Humbled and Awed

Thank you Ronovan from for nominating me.  Such an honor!  Also thank you Michelle from
Thank you Ronovan from for nominating me. Such an honor! Also thank you Michelle from

When I first started this blog, I had no idea what blogging was truly about and no idea what it would become in such a short while.  Today, I reached quiet a few milestones, 50+ followers, 200 likes, and 2 inspiring blogger awards.  I am blown away and humbly say, thank you.  Thank you for welcoming me into this fabulous blogging community, for sharing your thoughts and reading mine, and for bringing a sense of community to someone who is often alone. Inspiring anyone is exceeding all my expectations as a blogger. When I started a few weeks ago I thought of this as a place to get some thoughts out of my head and maybe tinker with some of my photos.  One of my favorite surprising aspects of blogging is getting to interact with a diverse community of WordPress bloggers. I had no idea the sense of community I would feel now when I wrote that first post.

Thank you so much for the nomination, Ronovan and for welcoming me into your blogging community.  In my short time here on WordPress Ronovan, from you have been very inspiring to me, with your heartfelt pieces, your how to articles, your witty pieces about life, and your helpful and always kind responses to comments.

Thank you also to Michelle also for nominating me, a fellow teacher with wit and advice that will make you chuckle and think a little deeper.

Here are he rules:

1.Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.
2.List the rules and display the award.
3.Share seven facts about yourself.
4.Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
5.Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

7 Facts About Me

1. I have moved every three years of my life until college.  No hometown and no longtime friends can be had when you move a lot.  My father changed careers midlife and had to go back to school.  As his schooling was done he moved up and got reassigned.  It made me quiet and independent.  I was always starting over, always the new kid.  I love giving my children the stability I did not have.

2. I love chickens, frogs, dogs, ducks, cats, and well just about any living creature.  You know the movie, We Bought a Zoo?  Oh my that would be incredible!  But seriously, someday I hope to buy a small farm, surrounded by land, to have my animals, my quiet, and be able to eat what I grow.   You know,a place with a driveway that makes you drive up a long dusty road until you think you might be lost and then come through the trees to a clearing that is a little piece of heaven with a country house with a large white porch, chickens in the yard, and a dog or two announcing your arrival. I’d move there today if I could.

3. My daughters call me a hacker.  I love technology and computers.  Not much I can’t fix or find on a computer.  I enjoy using it in my classes, love to help out my daughters’ cheer schools with websites and publicity, and can find just about anything on the internet.  I have found connections through technology that day to day in person you can not have.  It also keeps my mind active, makes me learn new things, and takes me out of my comfort zone.

4. I live a very routine filled life.  I am a teacher, take care of my 90 year old grandmother, run three kids to cheerleading an hour away 5-6 days a week, work in the evening for their cheer gym, and try to work out daily.  All of this and yard work, house work and the daily chores has to have a tight schedule to work.  It has to since I haven’t figured out a way to clone myself yet. So when I have the opportunity to be free from responsibility and have a vacation I love to be spontaneous.  The girls and I love to make zero plans and take off for adventures unknown.  Drive until we are tired.  Stop when we find something fun or interesting.  No responsibilities, no care-taking, just enjoying life around us.

5. I secretly have clown hair.  Very few people have seen it.  Trust me it can be horrifying!  I have ridiculously thick hair that is extremely curly and while wet it can be somewhat cute.  What happens as it dries is it expands.  It expands upward and outward until I get a Bozo the Clown or Carrot Top look minus the red.  Trust me a lot of product and effort goes into the sleek straight hair I am seen in daily.

6. My girls and I do everything.  I don’t believe in being helpless.  I have been on my own for a long time and I want my daughters to be empowered.   If you want something, make it happen.  My daughters and I painted our house one summer, we built a patio, and we installed Pergo flooring ourselves last Fall.  I have taught them there are only three things that are imperative in life. First a desire to always want to better your surroundings.  Second is a determination to finish. Don’t start and quit because it was harder than you thought.  Third is a butter knife.  It is a very handy tool that has been used in many many ways in my house.  Now if something needs repaired, my daughters will say you can do it mom let me get you a butter knife.

7. My one daughter was born in an ambulance and so her birth certificate says place of birth, Route 378.  I have twins.  The top one was transverse and the bottom twin was head first.  The entire pregnancy I said to them please don’t make me deliver them both ways.  I was promised and ensured that wouldn’t happen.  It happened!  When my water broke I drove myself to the hospital while my brother drove my oldest to my friends.  I had called first to see which hospital I should go to. At the last appointment I was close to not needing a NICU.  They told me to come to the closer hospital, the no NICU one.  I felt a sense of relief the babies were big enough and all would be ok.  I was wrong.  I waited for hours upon hours for an ambulance to take me to the hospital with the NICU which was an hour away.  When it finally came, I begged them not to put me in the ambulance telling them she was coming.  I was told I was hysterical.  Abut 5-10 minutes into the trip they realized I was telling the truth.  They panicked, sped up to 100 mph, and then stopped without calling ahead at another hospital, which denied us entry.  As illegal as that was, it was for the best.  It was a rehab hospital for the elderly lol.  We then went south to the next hospital however Mandi did not wait and was born on the highway.  She was 33 weeks, 4 lbs and needed help.  Consequently, she had many problems for 2+ years including seizures, paralysis, cognitive disorders, and speech disorders.  Easter Seals, many prayers, and many sleepless nights turned her life around.  Check out my video of her tumbling in My Other Passion. Today you would never know the struggle she began life with.  The second hospital the ambulance went to did admit us and they took her away from the ambulance in a flurry of staff to the NICU isolation room.  I was in the ambulance calling out for help.  After all, I was having twins and they didn’t know.  They got me out and were wheeling me in when I grabbed the first arm I could reach and yanked her down and said I am having twins please help my other baby.  They pulled the curtain around me in the ER exam room and tried to find Molly’s heartbeat.  It had been 22 minutes since Mandi was born.  There wasn’t one so they took this giant bottle of antiseptic, covered my eyes, and threw it all over me and the floor, and the gurney.  They gave me gas and I had an emergency c-section.  The NICU staff revived Molly and then saved my life as my placenta had fully abrupted in the ambulance and I was bleeding to death.  So it ended up I delivered Mandi naturally without drugs and then had a c-section 22 minutes later for Molly.  I am thankful for the staff at St Luke’s and the wisdom of the Good Shepard staff to break the law in our best interest and refuse to help us.  My doctor told me if we had been in the ambulance for 5 more minutes Molly would not have been saved, 10 minutes and I would not have been saved.  All of us are fine today aside from a belly of mine that has some very large scars.

What I looked for as I consider those I will nominate for an award was who has inspired me in the beginning of my journey as a blogger, who has a passion behind their blog that is felt in their stories, their photos, and their comments, and those who provide that sense of community.  The two people I thought of immediately were Ronovan and Cee, however I received the award from Ronovan and Cee has an award free blog.  Please visit them both, you will be welcomed and encouraged and delighted by what you see and read.

My nominees in no particular order

Andrea from Garden of Eady Her blog is a true treasure to delight the eye and your mind.  She is very knowledgeable and gives great information and tips to help you in the garden with beautiful photos.

Andrea from hereisandrea Beautiful photography and delicious recipes.I love her attitude that shines through her posts.

Dan Frugalberg I really enjoy his photograhy and the poetry he writes to go with each piece.  I also enjoy how he adds a Bible verse that reflects the image portrayed visually and in his words.

Wooly Muses Wooly first career was shearing sheep and now is an educator.  What I enjoy about his blog is how he shows you the original photo and the one cropped or edited.  I love how you can see the change and get a peek at the insight and creativity he has to see the end photo from the original.  Also he does a photo speak thing I call it.  It is where he shows a photo and says a little and then the next photo and says a little more leading you through a visual journey.

Georgia Mom Wow what can I say about her. When I first started this blog I was going through a rough time and started it as a way to get what I was feeling out of my head.  It was not good thoughts and I really never thought anyone would read it or care what I was thinking.  She reached to me, made a Pinterest board for me, and gave me the direction I needed to turn this into a blog that focus on what makes my life special and not what brings me down.  I still have difficulties as everyone does but rather than dwelling on my problems Georgia Mom showed me it is better to stop the negative spiral with a positive outlook.  Focusing on what I am grateful for instead is the inspiration she has given me and I thank her for that.

 Nick Christian Nick was the first blogger who linked to one of my posts and showed me the connections of interests between strangers blogging can create.  I love how he includes others in his posts giving you a way to see how the writing prompt is seen by others or how a photo challenge can be so varied.  In following him I have found an interesting person with a variety of interests.  What I liked about him immediately is that he wants to help people and wants to tell people’s stories. That is why he works for projects like Remembering Homicide Victims.

Elizabeth I enjoy her blog and love the journey she is on as I feel it is one many of us have experienced.  Her photos are amazing and the captions she writes with them are lovely.  My favorite post of hers has a caption that says, “It’s Nature letting go. I’ve many things in my life that I should let go, but I still can’t. Nature is the perfect teacher.”

I know I should list 15 nominees but I have only done this for 2 weeks and while I have met incredible people so far, I want to make sure who I nominate is meaningful and special.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  It is an amazing experience this blogging thing, isn’t it? Kate

Be sure to check out the other awesome bloggers nominated as well

“You like me! Right now, you really like me” ~Sally Field