The Versatile Blogger Award & The Dragon’s Loyalty Award

I was honored with a nomination by Detox Mama ( for a dual award; the Versatile Blogger Award & the Dragon’s Loyalty Award.  Thank you so much, Detox Mama!  I truly appreciate the support as I “learn the ropes” of blogging.  Detox Mama is passionate about nutrition and health.   She blogs about her detox experiences while sharing wholesome, organic recipes for you to try at home.  Some of Detox Mama’s recipes have become my favorites to play around with in the kitchen!
versatilebloggerThe Versatile Blogger Award looks at the quality of the writing and the uniqueness of the subjects covered. It also looks at the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page as well as the quality of the photos and the love that went into taking them.
dragonsloyaltyaward1The Dragon’s Loyalty Award is an awarded to the loyal follower who frequently likes and/or comments on blogs, sort of like a “high 5” for showing the love.
Both awards require that I share 7 facts about myself and then pass on the awards to 15 fellow bloggers. Since these were awarded to me together, I will award them together as well. I then thank and tag the person who nominated me, then tag and notify my nominees.

7 facts about me:

  1. I rarely listen to music yet I hum random songs all day long.
  2. I want to have my own kind of food revolution like Jamie Oliver (
  3. I am social worker turned food radical, working cook/chef & have always worked for non-profits in both fields.
  4. I am a native Oregonian.
  5. I have a secret (not so much now!) desire to be a race car driver.
  6. I have had many hobbies in the past including card making, glass & wood painting and glass magnets.
  7. I am about to start a new craft project involving small terra cotta pots!  I think it will be lots of fun!


Honestly, I am just new enough in this blogging environment and dipping my feet in slowly.  I admit I really don’t know 15 bloggers well enough to pass on these awards.  However, I wish to share 8 of my favorites.

Here are my nominations:

  1. Holistic Fitness & Wellness,
  2. I Need A Feed,
  3. Cat at Things My Belly Likes,
  4. Kate at Gluten-Free For Lunchboxes,
  5. Wise Monkey Abroad,
  6. Outlook In Life,
  7. Espirational,
  8. My Foray Into Food Storage,


Please answer 7 facts about yourself, tag & thank the blogger who nominated you, & nominate 15 new bloggers (or as many as you can).  Tag them on your blog and notify them on theirs.



The Liebster Award!!

The Leibster Award!!

The Leibster Award!!

I have returned from an ocean getaway that kept me from the internet for several days.  I find I have been nominated for The Liebster Award!

Thank you so very much to DetoxMama  for nominating me.  I appreciate the support you have shown me since I began this blogging journey.  I am truly amazed at the love and kind words from all over.

DetoxMama has an awesome blog about her journey to health by learning to understand what her body says to her about the food she eats.  I love the passion displayed in her writing and it shows in the yummy dishes she makes.

It is inspiring to see the experimental play with ingredients DetoxMama uses to create fantastically delicious food.  She displays mindfulness when choosing ingredients, using premium quality, local and organic products.  She takes care of herself and her family, following her own nutrition parameters to maintain wellness while still enjoying the fantastic tastes that makes eating fun.

Her blog helps me to be a bit more bold with my own creations!!  Check out her blog and see for yourself!!  There is some good food to be found over there!

The Liebster Award is intended for up and coming blogs with fewer than 500 followers. It helps new blogs get some visibility and also connect bloggers to each other.  So, as part of this process I have been asked to answer a series of questions as well as nominate some other well deserving bloggers for this fabulous award.

Here are my the questions posed to me:

1) What is your spirit animal and why?

Years ago I took a shamanism class and learned that my spirit animals are the tiger and the badger.  I had always connected with the tiger as my spirit animal, but the badger was a new totem to me.  I realize now that badger is connected to me as a reminder to stay grounded to the earth and have faith in my own abilities. Regardless of what others say or believe, I know I will always have the right tools to take on any challenge and be successful.  

2) What is your happy place?

Besides the kitchen?  I find so much happiness there.  My happy place where I find ultimate peace and calm would be the forest.  Specifically, the beautiful mossy green forest where the ZigZag River flows.  Every time I find  myself sitting on the river bank, dreamily taking in the essence of all that truly “Is” I know in that moment I will be okay and I can breath.  Pure Peace.  That is my ultimate happy place.

3) What is your favorite ethnic cuisine?

My favorite ethnic cuisine is Thai.  I adore noodles, coconut based soups, nutty sauces and curried dishes. It’s versatile  menu gives me the most variety to satisfy both my cravings for comfort, my desire for healthy eats and falls within my nutritional boundaries.  Thai food is good food!

4) What was your favorite food as a kid?

Oh my!  I think I had so many favorites as a kid.  My mom made some amazing dishes.  When I look back at memories from my childhood kitchen, what stands out is pot roast.  Sunday was the day for this delicious dish because it was “special”.  My mom made up a meal that was just a little fancier than the pork chops, chicken legs and hot dogs we enjoyed during the week.  As an adult, when I choose this cut of meat for a meal at my own house, the aroma and the flavor are reminiscent of the comfortable kitchen my mom created.

5) What is your favorite food today?

Oh gosh, this is so hard!  I have so many favorite foods!!  It seems like a long ingrained pattern!  Well, if I were to narrow it down, I would have to say that my favorite food today is chicken.  I love it prepared any way in just about any dish.  If you’ve followed my blog, just refer to my post about roasted chicken!  It is definitely my all time favorite. 

6) What are you typically doing on a Wednesday at 11:30 AM?

I am typically making a mad dash around my work kitchen finishing food preparations for lunch and getting last minute items together for afternoon snacks.  I run a Head Start kitchen and serve four classes breakfast and morning snack, then three classes lunch and afternoon snack.   Toss in a few group socials and parent meetings and I’m making food for about 150-185 daily.  11:30am is the busiest time of day as two of the afternoon classrooms are off site so food needs to be safely loaded into the van by noon and delivered.  Additionally, our Early Head Start Program runs a group social, often falling on a Wednesday, requiring additional preparation and meals.

7)) Why do you blog?

This is a very good question!  For several years I have said I wanted to start a food blog, but was intimidated by the process.  I didn’t really know what I wanted to share with the people who would stumble upon my blog, nor did I really know what I wanted to write for myself.  I then gave myself an ultimatum and stated I would begin a food blog in 2013.  On December 30th 2013, just after a fit of tears over the loss of my mom, I had an overwhelming motivation to sit down and create my blog.  

I blog to share my beliefs about what creates good health through nutrition.  I blog because I want to share what I have learned to help me be healthier and pain free.  Living in pain is the worst way to live.  I hope to inspire others toward the best healthy self they can be.  Mostly, I blog because it is one more way to express my passion in words and pictures.  It is a way to record my process of healing.  And, like the badger; it connects me with my roots.

8) What do you do when not blogging?

Currently, not much!  Grief often keeps me from doing the things I love right now.  So, in happier times when I am not blogging and not working, I am cooking in my kitchen.  I cook a lot!  I look forward to the happier times to come.  

I have begun playing in the garden beds and have some vegetable starts going.  This keeps me busy and it motivates me to spruce up other parts of our yard, too.

I am a lover of adventures, especially if it involves nature, water and wildlife.  I enjoy traveling locally to cool hang outs as much as a day trip drive to the coast or the mountains.  It is one of many reasons I love living in Portland; two hours east or west and you will have some fantastic outdoor sights and adventures.

9) What’s the biggest life lesson you’ve learned to date about nutrition/food/health?

My biggest life lesson to date is that most major illnesses and diseases can be prevented through diet and exercise.  I am currently taking an on line course called ‘Nutrition For Health Promotion and Disease Prevention’.  A recent lesson on ‘Cancer and Nutrition’ reminded me again that this and so many other diseases can be prevented with proper nutrition.

 10) What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned to date about something other than nutrition/food/health?

Well, that’s easy.  My two biggest life lessons are tattooed on me.  One is on my arm and the other goes around my wrist like a bracelet.  Both are quotes and both bring me peace and grounding every time I feel frazzled.

“All you need lies within you.”        “To Thine Own Self Be True”

These are the blogs I am nominating: Check this blog out for all your wholeness needs.  Here you will find detox remedies, reminders to breath and the benefits of meditation.  I love checking out Soul Cake to use as a guide along my mindfulness journey.  Maybe you’ll connect with her words as well.  There are some delicious and healthy snacks, treats and yummy desserts over at Hungry Cub’s food blog.  I love checking out the whole food, organic treats that are displayed.  The best part is it lets you indulge in healthy treats!!  No need to feel deprived!  Check out this tasty blog!  I’m sure you’ll find the treats delighful!

Here’s the Award Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Answer the questions you were given.

3. Nominate other blogs with less than 500 followers.

4. Post questions for your selected nominees to answer.

5. Tag and link the nominees and post a comment to let them know you have nominated them and appreciate their hard work.

Please take a moment, dear bloggers to answer the following questions:

  • What do you hope to achieve through blogging?
  • If you work outside the house, do you pack your own lunch?
  • Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
  • What inspires you to continuing blogging?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • Do you shop at your local farmers market?
  • What is your favorite “out to eat” place and why?

Thank you again for this honor.  I hope that my blogging, tagging and linking skills prove to be adequate for what is needed in this post!