sunshine blogger award, blogger, blogger award

I am honoured to have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Erin from A Beautiful Life, The Journey! I love her blog – such a fun, upbeat and encouraging corner of the internet that I think everyone should take the time to visit! Erin is such a positive light, sharing posts about different aspects of her own life in an honest and motivating way. If you want to learn a little more about Erin, you can read her Sunshine Blogger Award post here.

I love the various blogging awards. They are such a fun way to get to know more about the bloggers that we all follow and love online. These are the people that we have invited into our lives by spending our time reading their posts and following their stories. These blogging awards give a more in-depth view of the person behind the blog, with interesting facts, fun stories and a chance to understand and connect with one another even more than we were before!

So, thank you again, Erin! I LOVED having the opportunity to read your post and learn a little about you. I had fun going through the questions that you left for us, and now I can’t wait to pass this on and see what those I nominate have to say!


What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who are creative, positive and inspiring. Once nominated the blogger is required to write a post in which they:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them.
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  4. Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.


My Answers to Erin’s Questions

  1. Why did you start your blog? What do you want others to get from reading your blog?

I originally started blogging a few years ago, with a different blog. In fact, I have had a couple blogs before this one. I found I had a problem finding one that I could stick to, that really resonated with my personality because I was far too busy focusing on how to fit into a niche, or what would be popular. I did write a crocheting blog for awhile where I just shared projects and topics related to the craft which I enjoyed until life got crazy and I didn’t have the time to keep up with actually crocheting much anymore…. Which is a bit of a bad omen for the life of a crochet blog…

Throughout the years, I have always enjoyed reading and following the blogs of others, and recently realized that my favourite blogs are those that allow their own personalities to seep into their writing. They aren’t just worried about doing what they need to in order to make brands happy, or how to get the perfect layout (which sadly looks like every other blogger’s lay out that is out there) … Instead, they use their blog to share a piece of themselves with the world and, in doing so, touch someone on a deeper level.

This was what led me to start Alternatively Speaking. I wanted to write a blog that would share my view on life, allowing my personality to shine. It would be a place where I could genuinely connect with others, and invite my readers to venture into the quirky, weird and sometimes downright scary world of my mind. I want to empower others to live life openly and freely, allowing themselves to embrace who they are rather than feeling pressured to change to meet society’s expectations.


  1. If you had to give your personality a color, what color would you be and why?

I am going to go with red. First, because I am very passionate about the people and things that I deem important in my life. Second – I will admit that when you push me the wrong way I have a temper that many will never have to see, but if you do watch out! I am highly protective of the people I care about and fiercely loyal, and if someone tests that or crosses any one of them there is an intense fire within me that can be stirred up, a fire that they will not want to come face to face with!


  1. Do you have pets? Are you a dog or cat person?

I do! I have 4 pets in the house that I call my furbabies, 2 dogs and 2 cats. The dogs are Daviana, a German Shepherd/Weimaraner, and Indiana, a Flat-Coated Retriever/German Shepherd. They travel with my husband and I everywhere we can take them, and as such are a regular character in our stories, and here on the blog. The cats are both Tortoiseshells, which is a big weakness of mine, I admit! Pippen is a long haired Tortie that we believe has some Maine Coon in her based on the body shape, the tufts on her ears, the way her coat creates a little mane, etc. She is a little princess who ultimately rules our house. Jinx is the troublemaker of the house, our short-haired tortie. Both of the girls demonstrate the stereotypical ‘tortitude’ on a regular basis!


  1. Tell me a little bit about you and your family?

I live with my husband and our 4 pets. We have no children of our own at this stage, however, due to my involvement teaching at a local band I have apparently ‘adopted’ two children now (and I couldn’t ask for a couple better kids, they are pretty amazing). Our families are spread across the province with a good majority of my husband’s immediate family living near us, however some spread as far as Ottawa. My immediate family is largely in the Muskoka area of Ontario.


  1. What is your favorite drink?

Loaded question depending on how you choose to read it, so I am going to answer a couple variations! My favourite hot drink is tea, I am a tea addict. I admit it, that’s the first step, right? If I had to choose a favourite cold drink, especially with it being the summer, I would go with lemonade. As for the alcoholic variety, my friends know that I’m a vodka/water girl, add some flavour with a splash of bar lime or some fresh lemon/lime slices and you’re good to go!


  1. If you could give one piece of advice to a new blogger, what would it be and why?

Be patient with yourself. When you are starting out it can be so overwhelming because there is so much more to blogging than most people realize. You’re the writer, the editor, the photographer (unless you’re having someone take photos for you), the designer, the marketer… It’s a lot for someone new to take on! Just take your time and try your best. They say experience is the best teacher, and I firmly believe that is beyond true in the blogging world! The longer you blog, the better you’ll develop your style and technique, and hone your skills. Don’t expect yourself to have all the answers, reminder – you’re new! The blogging community is wildly supportive, so it’s ok to admit that you are new and ask for help when needed. If your goal is to be a big time, popular blogger with a professional looking blog and brands knocking down your door, Awesome! You have the ability to do it if you set your mind to it, just remain patient as you go through the learning curve!


  1. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Hmm… I’m going to go with my heart. My friends and family are my world, and I would do nearly anything for them should the situation arise. I’m also quick to volunteer for local charities, I spend much of my time focusing on teaching children of all ages music where I can whether it’s through the bands that I am currently involved with or coming into the local schools to work with their students. I love to give, it makes me feel alive!


  1. If you had to choose 1 meal for your last meal, what would you choose and why

I have a serious addiction to salmon. I don’t even care how it’s cooked – grilled fillet, smoked, whatever… I could eat salmon every day of my life and never grow tired of it. I will even go as far as to admit that salmon is the reason that I am a pescatarian and haven’t eliminated seafood from my diet…


  1. What are some of your hobbies other than blogging?

I am a musician, specifically, I play the saxophone. That is a HUGE part of who I am! I also LOVE the outdoors, and happily spend a lot of my summers camping and hiking with my pups…. Ok fine, with one pup. Daviana will hike with me for hours on end happily, Indiana is a little bit of a lazy dog who will go for about 20 minutes then literally lay down on the side of the trail and look at me like ‘we’re done, right?’

I also enjoy working out, either at my little home gym I have going here or visiting the gym. I need my daily workout in order to be able to function in the same way that some people need their morning coffee.

Also, as I mentioned above, I crochet. I stopped for quite awhile because life just got crazy, but now that I am starting to figure out a routine and a daily schedule in my life I have recently picked up a project again. I’m hoping to continue to get back into it because I find it to be very calming and relaxing! It’s a great activity for people looking to find a relaxing task as part of their self-care.


  1. Did you have someone help you when you first began blogging, and if so, who?

When I first started out I did it on my own. I wasn’t aware at all of the amazing community that exists in the blogging world, and even if I did believe it was out there I had no idea where to even start trying to connect with someone. It wasn’t until I stated Alternatively Speaking that I wound up on Twitter and started to stumble across the blogging community. At first, it was just noticing a Twitter Chat here and there, and then as I started to participate and follow other bloggers this whole world has been opened to me.

Since discovering the blogging community I will say I get help on a regular basis… We support one another, promote one another, bounce ideas off one another and give each other tips, hints and constructive criticism where needed. I have developed some amazing friendships this way!


  1. What is one of your dreams?

In returning to school to get my Business – Marketing Diploma I have started to chase one of my biggest dreams, going through a rather large career change recently and starting my own business. Despite currently being in the middle of it all, it still often feels like a far-off dream because there is SO much work involved with it and such a big shift.

If I had to pick a dream that I haven’t started, there is one travel dream that my husband and I share. We have talked at length about it, read travel blogs about it, watch shows and videos that share aspects… We badly want to plan one big dream vacation and travel across Europe. For those of you in the UK (I know a lot of my readers are) that may not sound as exciting as it does to us over here in Canada, but I promise you it’s a super big dream for us! We have been talking about doing it once my business really gets rolling.


I Nominate…

  1. Cassie – Zombie Goddess Beauty
  2. Natalie – Gorgeous and Geeky
  3. Erika – Entirely Erika
  4. Rebecca – Rebecca’s Radiant Life
  5. Brandy – The Wandering Pigeon: Gratitude
  6. Single Vegas Girl Blog
  7. Meg – Mystic Mogwai
  8. Sarah – Sarah’s Dreamscapes
  9. Sidra – Think Like Art
  10. Kala – Cook. Drink. Decorate.
  11. Claire – Eclairs Cares


My Questions for the Nominees!

  1. What do you like most about blogging?
  2. How did you choose your blog’s name?
  3. What does ‘friendship’ mean to you?
  4. If money wasn’t an option, what one thing would you buy right now without hesitation?
  5. What is your biggest fear?
  6. What is your current favourite song?
  7. What is the most amazing thing you have experienced while traveling?
  8. What is your fondest childhood memory?
  9. If you had to leave right now and could only take 3 things with you to a mysterious, unknown destination, what would you bring and why?
  10. What is your favourite quote?
  11. When you aren’t blogging, what are you doing?


Congratulations to all of the nominees, I can’t wait to hear your answers! Thank you again to Erin for the nomination, I really did have fun with this one!