awards and acknowledgements III

citruswater

It’s 1.30pm on Monday afternoon and unusually, I’m still at home on the couch. Unfortunately it’s due to sickness rather than leisure, as I’ve had an awful virus that’s affected my sinuses, blood pressure and balance over the past week. I hate being sick. It feels entirely unproductive, unless you count the… uh, nasal productivity? Sorry, that’s quite inappropriate for a food blog. I’ll stop now.

Looking on the bright side, the past week has given me ample opportunity to consume some of the six kilograms of citrus that I’ve been blessed with over the past three weeks (from colleagues with lemon trees, my mother’s lime tree and another friend’s clementine trees). I’m sipping from a steaming mug full of hot water, lemon juice and honey as I type. I’ve also processed about fourteen jars of lime and clementine marmalade in an effort to cure my boredom.

peelsmontThis past week has also provided some required time to catch up on blogging awards that I’ve been neglecting for the past month or so. Fourteen, to be exact. I feel quite terrible about this delayed acceptance post, but… to be honest, the awards have been arriving at a pace that I’ve found hard to keep up with.

So, after a few weeks of reflection, I regretfully inform you that this will be my last full award acceptance post. I just don’t feel that I have the capacity to respectfully accept and renominate fellow bloggers through this medium whilst also focusing on my food-related recipe content. Though I will continue to express gratitude and humility to each blogger who sees fit to nominate me, I will no longer be fulfilling the renomination and acceptance criteria. I hope that’s okay.

Now, on to these awards (you can read about the first five awards I received via my Awards and Acknowledgements posts one and two). I’ve broken this post into two ‘halves’ to avoid reader eye strain and honest boredom. You’ll see that I’ve only provided 3-4 nominees for each award, due to the sheer number of awards that I’m responding to (3 x 14 = 42 nominees!). I’ve also omitted ‘award acceptance criteria’, but your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to trace back to my original nomination post (on the referenced blogs) for details.

Sorry. I’m being lazy. Just know that I appreciate each and every one of you who follows Laura’s Mess!

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1. Versatile Blogger Award (x2)

This award was gifted to me by sweet Genevieve at Life is Like a Dumpling and the beautiful blogger who created Married in Marrackville. I attempted to understand this award a little more by reading the supposed award page, however the absence of information just made me more confused! Anyway, before going on to seven facts about me, I just want to introduce you to my two lovely nominees:

Married in Marrackville is a Sydney-based foodie blog run by a former Western Australian girl (yay! Sandgropers unite!) of Russian, Italian and Greek heritage. It contains gorgeous photography and mouthwatering recipes, my favourite of which (so far) is the gorgeously rich recipe for Mexican Chocolate Chilli Pots (suggested for a date night, though my Aaron despises chocolate and chilli together. Sad face). This blog is food for the eyes, heart and belly. Definitely worth visiting.

Life is Like a Dumpling is a predominantly vegetarian blog run by the gorgeous Genevieve (a Toronto/Hong Kong girl who’s currently studying in St Andrews, Scotland). Her recipes and photos are seriously mouthwatering, but my favourite thing about Gen is her writing. She writes in a way that makes you feel like you’re right there in the warmth of her living room, eating good food, surrounded by friends. Check out her recipe for Coconut French Toast. It’s absolutely delicious!

Okay, seven facts. Here goes:

  1. I scribble all of my recipes onto scrap paper, particularly the back of envelopes or receipts. I think it’s a product of my creative untidy mind; when inspiration strikes, I reach for the closest ‘word receptacle’ (I should start carrying around a notebook).
  2. I once wrote a recipe for Moroccan chicken on the back of my electricity bill. I… uh, then forgot to pay it.
  3. I always keep goats cheese, homemade beetroot relish, Dijon mustard, natural Greek yoghurt and cured meat (usually chorizo or bacon) in the fridge. They’re great as last minute flavour boosters for the most average of meals.
  4. I could very happily live in my Havaianas. I’d wear them to work if I was permitted.
  5. I dislike socks. I wear my Chuck Taylors and high tops sans socks, even in winter. In fact, I only compromise on the sock rule whilst exercising. Sweat requires sock absorbency.
  6. I studied Japanese language for two years at school and remember negligible traces of it (Konnichi wa?)
  7. I used to eat one banana per day until the impact of Cyclone Yasi hit Queensland in February 2011, devastating banana crops and hoisting the price of bananas to around $14 per kg. I’m now completely out of the habit and often forget that they’re in the fruit bowl (cue: banana bread). Weird but true.

Nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

  1. Loving Homemade – I love this blog. It’s creative, inspiring, honest and ‘homely’ in the best sense of the word. Rachel, the woman behind the blog, is a true creative who makes nourishing, delicious food that you’d love to have on your kitchen table. She’s awesome.
  2. The Local Kitchener – this blog was created by Jon, a cook and locavore who values fresh and sustainable produce. He creates really awesome, wholesome and delicious meals from his kitchen in Kitchener, Ontario. Visit him (on the blog, not, uh… his house) and be inspired.
  3. Lilly Sue’s Bites and Brews – Lilly Sue is one of my favourite bloggers, ever. She’s unashamedly beer, food and travel obsessed, whist also being a darn smart engineer. I always feel happy after visiting her corner of the internet. She provides amazing beer and food reviews, all with a touch of carefree humour. You need to meet her. Now. Go to it.
  4. The Peckish Kiwi – Mr P is not only a versatile blogger, but he’s an all-round awesome guy. He covers everything from restaurant and bar reviews to WordPress recipe tests (written by fellow bloggers) and product reviews. He does all of these things very well, with a touch of humour and intelligence. Love this blog. You will too.

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2. Sunshine Bloggers Award

This award was gifted to me by Mr P at The Peckish Kiwi. His blog is a joy to read with restaurant reviews, recipes and a special section entitled ‘WordPress Cookbook‘ that contains his recreation of fellow blogger’s recipes. At present, he’s also completing a review series of local New Zealand ice-cream. As an ice-cream fiend, it’s making me insanely jealous. Just check out this gorgeous review of Joshua’s Lemon Curd ice-cream. Drool worthy. Even on toast.

Nominees for the Sunshine Bloggers Award are:

  1. The Striped Strawberry – This beautiful blog was created by Beverly, an honest and inspiring woman who set a recent goal to create a healthier version of herself… to take control back over her body and mind. She’s now glowing, inside and out (well, not that I’ve seen her insides but… she’s eating a whole lot of good stuff) and she’s sharing her secrets with the world! Take a look at this really beautiful, positive blog. Put a bit of sunshine in your day!
  2. Searching for Sugarplums – this gorgeous blog aims to turn ‘everyday moments into celebrations’. It’s beautiful, unashamedly floral, sweet and inspiring. I do feel that the ‘Sugarplum fairy’ (as I refer to her!) is sunshine and light in a world of boredom. Visit her lovely space, fill your kitchen with fragrance and be inspired.
  3. Le Pirate – Sam, the gorgeous woman behind the blog, is a ray of Australian sunshine (she’s also one of Mr P’s favourite bloggers, so this nomination is quite fitting!). Her photography, recipes and stories are beautiful, and I know that every time I stop by her blog I’ll be greeted with warmth and cheer. I have no idea how Sam manages to maintain her blog standard in the midst of exams etc, but… she does! She’s gorgeous, inside and out. She’s way more talented than I. She’s going to go far!

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3. One Lovely Blog Award (x2)

This award was given to me by the beautiful Poppy at Poppy’s Patisserie | Bunny Kitchen and a very new blogging friend, Κουλούρι. Now, I’ve been a regular at Poppy’s beautiful blog for a while now, but I hadn’t visited Κουλούρι prior to the award nomination. It’s humbling enough to get a nomination from a blogging friend, never mind someone who has to translate your posts into Greek to be able to read them! Now, let me introduce you:

Poppy’s Patisserie | Bunny Kitchen is a beautiful UK-based vegan blog run by Poppy, an effervescent 20-something who loves fresh, wholesome produce and animals (in the field, not on a plate). Her posts are a pleasure to read; honest, warm and inspiring. I love her achievable approach to recipes. She makes a fabulous vegan carrot cake with coconut cream frosting that I’d love to have on my table. Like, now. Please.

Κουλούρι is a baking blog written predominantly in Greek (with some English posts; the rest is translatable via the wonder of Google). From what I’ve read so far, this blog is pretty much an ode to the wonder of sweet treats: cakes, cookies, slices and confections of all sorts. There are a few cafe reviews to read too, so I’d definitely encourage you to take a look. This post about chocolate cake with ‘pigs in mud‘ looks divine!

Nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award:

  1. Papaya Pieces – Sofia is one of the loveliest, most generous bloggers around. She welcomes each comment with an honest warmth that is only equal to the beauty of the recipes she creates! Her food covers Western favourites through to Asian fusion. I love the way she writes; it’s almost like you’re watching her prepare her meals in her own kitchen. Lovely, in the true sense of the word!
  2. Indian Cooking Made Easy – Whitney is awesome. She’s also the woman behind this beautiful blog that has fast become one of my favourites. Looking for Indian recipes? Find them here, written by a white girl who unashamedly loves Indian food. She’s inspiring, lovely and darn funny. Check out her internet space.
  3. Cottage Grove House – I love this blog. It’s like cottage charm, warmth and genuine hospitality stuffed into a virtual web space. Mrs Cottage Grove House (in absence of her real name!) is very generous, encouraging and welcoming to new readers so I’d encourage you to go and visit her beautiful space. Be nourished!

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4. Very Inspiring Blogger Award

This award was given to me by Lori Leigh Wilson, a beautiful blogging friend based in Canada whose lifestyle blog contains posts on a range of topics from parenting to fashion, recipes and general health. She maintains a predominantly vegan diet and has managed to convert her three children to the wonder of green smoothie breakfasts each morning (a pretty amazing feat, methinks!). One of my favourite things about Lori’s blog is her beautiful, eloquent way of writing about self-acceptance, true beauty and wisdom as we progress through life. I find her inspiring, and I think you will too (plus, her ‘swiftly adapted’ black bean burritos look absolutely delicious!)

Now for 7 interesting (well, that’s subjective but I’ll try my best) things about myself:

  1. I dislike most romantic comedies, which sometimes gets in the way of ‘female bonding movie nights’ with my girlfriends (I’d rather watch an action movie, particularly if it has zombies in it).
  2. My favourite coffee is a well-made, simple flat white (no sugar required)
  3. I love the colour green but I only own one item of green clothing, a forest-green corduroy jacket with brown leather buttons (the rest is mostly a neutral palette of cream, blue, grey and brown).
  4. I used to think that I preferred dark-haired men but I’ve married a blonde (and I think he’s the most handsome man in the entire world)
  5. I’m obsessed with small vintage medicine bottles (I now own about twenty)
  6. I’m a dual Australian and British citizen
  7. I love bugs and think that the world would be much more boring without them. Check out this video for example. So cool.

Nominees for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award are:

  1. Welcome Company – Danielle is one of the strongest, most beautiful pillars of faith I have ever ‘known’. Her blog is raw, honest, inspiring, heartbreaking and humbling. She’s chronicled everything from thoughts on parenting to love, marriage, food, faith and values. She’s made me think more times than I can mention. Take a look at this space. Join the community. You’ll be welcomed warmly.
  2. From the Bartolini Kitchens – Now, I’m sure to most of you John doesn’t need an introduction. He is one of the most inspiring, generous and versatile bloggers I know. His blog contains everything from beautiful, nourishing family recipes to genealogy and Bartolini history. He actually doesn’t ‘do’ awards (due to experiencing the same thing as me, I’m guessing) but I wanted to mention him anyway.
  3. Middle East Moments – Andrea is a blogger whom I now count as a foodie sister. She’s incredibly wise, strong and eloquent, and I’ve felt it a privilege to be able to follow her experiences as a wife, mother and Australian ex-pat in Jordan. Some of her stories are hilarious, others are cringe-worthy and frustrating. It’s an honest, genuine account of life in raw form. You’ll love this blog. Visit and be inspired.

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5. Shine On Award

This award was given to me by the beautiful Helen at Eat Pray Bake. She’s a Toronto born girl who’s passionate about nutrition, food and cooking. Lucky for us, she’s shared a lot of her delicious recipes via her blog! For example, check out this Vegan ice-cream sandwich with banana soft serve. Drool-worthy!

As far as I understand, the Shine On award is:

“…for the blogs that shine, make you feel good and are inspiring to the reader.”

I have so, so many blogs on my reader list that fit that category! But before the nominations?

Seven things about me (are you sick of me yet?):

  1. I dislike my feet, but as I can’t walk without them I’ve grown to appreciate their usefulness.
  2. I hate being photographed (I had to pep-talk myself for months before my wedding day)
  3. I’ve never met a vegetable I didn’t like
  4. I attended law school for three years (out of five, as I was doing a double degree) before deciding I wasn’t cut out to be a lawyer. I transferred into psychology, then anthropology, then finally social work. I still don’t feel like I’m following the right career path. But it makes me money, so I do it.
  5. I was born in Hammersmith, London (England)
  6. My father is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) and registered auditor. I hate maths.
  7. I’m currently reading Magician by Raymond E. Feist. Such a good book.

Nominees for the Shine On Award:

  1. IBD and Beyond: This blog was created by a beautiful woman named Lucy who was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ulcerative colitis in 2001. She’s since undergone surgery to remove her colon (in 2009) and now has to manage a stoma/j-pouch as part of her everyday routine. But still, she smiles. Beautifully. Her blog has lots of tips and anecdotes to help fellow IBD sufferers manage their condition. She’s also given us a peek into her personal experience with a j-pouch. This woman is strong, courageous and inspiring. She’s an ideal candidate for this award.
  2. Saucy Gander: I love this blog. It’s the brainchild of a pretty awesome lawyer chick who also has a passion for food and travel. She has a fantastic sense of humour that shines through all of her posts. I always feel happy to experience the foodie life with her. I’m sure that you will too!
  3. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 4 – Kimberley is cool. Very cool. She’s also an amazing photographer who shares her beautiful world view with us on a regular basis… just check out links such as My View Master. Ah-mazing. I feel inspired by the feeling, light and sentiment that seems to inhabit her photographs. They’re much more than images on a screen. Take a look. You’ll be glad you did.

pulpmontNow, that’s seven down.

Seven to go. Onto the next post. Thanks for bearing with me.

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