Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happiness & Sunshine

I have recently had the honor of being nominated for my very first blogging awards. Since I don't have much experience with memes and blogging awards, please forgive me for being a bit clueless about the process and for my slight tardiness in responding. As some of you may be aware of already, my life has recently been spinning a bit, well... erratically. I keep waiting for all of the craziness to go away, for my life to go back to some semblance of normal, but I still have to be patient a bit longer for that to happen.

The only way I know of to stay on top of all the stress and pressure and downright miserable-ness of it all is to try to stay cheerful. It is very easy to turn very sour or even a bit mean and grouchy when faced with seemingly endless struggles, and yes there have been times when I have cried myself to sleep over it ... or grabbed a bag of trail mix (my crutch food) and nibbled away nervously while thinking about what on earth I will do to resolve things. But mainly, I just try to wake up each morning as if everything was all a bad dream. I start over and try to do whatever I can to keep a smile on my face. Cooking and baking have always been one of my biggest outlets for creating some joy in an otherwise dreary day. After all, who can be that miserable when you can smell brownies baking?

I try to keep the details of my personal trials and tribulations fairly private, so forgive me for not going into great detail about everything that is going on in my life. I'd really rather share a smile and a cookie with you all anyway :) Since I am trying really hard to stick to this new diet I am trying out this week, I sadly have no cookies or other goodies today, but I can at least share this with you instead:

Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies

Thank you to Karen of Eat Drink Wash Up, who blogs about her creative versions of recipes from both the US and England, and Judy of Bebe Love Okazu, who shares recollections of her Japanese and Chinese family recipes, for these two awards. Your kindness really brightened my day and I really appreciate it. I enjoy reading both of your blogs and you have both given me such inspiration to try new recipes.

As part of the Happiness Award, I have been asked to list 10 things that make me happy, so here you go:

10 Things That Make Me Happy

1) seeing my daughter's eyes sparkle and her face glow when she is doing something she truly loves

2) my best friend, who lives much too far away, but talks to me every single day

3) the sound of birds chirping

4) holding a baby in my arms

5) baking treats for someone I love

6) freshly brewed coffee, especially first thing in the morning

7) chubby bumblebees in a garden

8) cute cuddly animals

9) the scent of lavender

10) the color blue

As part of both the Happiness and Sunshine Awards, I have been asked to spread the joy around by mentioning some of the blogs that bring me happiness and brighten my days. I know that some of you don't participate in awards or tags, but I want to mention you just the same, even if you can only accept this with a smile. If you wish to, you may pass on either or both of these awards to some of the blogs that inspire you, or you can just have a seat and nibble a few cookies. :)

So here are my nominees, which will be for both awards, since each of your blogs have brought me both Sunshine and Happiness:

Marie from A Year from Oak Cottage - you have always been there to cheer me up and offer words of wisdom, and your Canadian and English recipes are fantastic

TulipFairy from Tulip's Kitchen - for giving me the inspiration to try out healthy recipes and reminding me to actually use all of those kitchen gadgets I bought

Edith from Precious Moments - seeing your lovely decorated cakes and all of your other amazing baked goods always makes me want to run to my kitchen and start baking something

Anne from Anne's Food - for sharing your delicious Swedish recipes and adorable photos of your beautiful cats and precious baby

Coleen from Coleen's Recipes - everything you have shared on your blog makes me so hungry, especially those yummy baked goods

Deb from Kahakai Kitchen - your photos make all of your recipes look so delicious, you always inspire me to try new ingredients and try out wonderful healthy fish dishes, soups, and salads

Charlene & Kevin from Welcome to Our World - for sharing your Malaysian recipes and your quick & easy US recipes, reading your blog makes me homesick for NY in a happy way


  1. Thanks! Reading your blog brings us both Sunshine and Happiness too! =)

  2. Sorry to hear things are not going well. I hope things turn around for you soon. Glad to hear you eat trail mix when you are stressed. I totally pig out..tubs of ice cream..mounds of cookies. So I gain weight and then get more depressed..LOL. Cookies sound yummy.

  3. Thanks Raina. Actually, I gain plenty of weight from the trail mix - it may be nutritious but all those nuts have tons of calories. >< I am living proof of it! lol

    I would love a cookie right now too. :)

  4. Thank you so much for the sweet award, you are most generous. As far as being on a diet and watching too...thank goodness I have family who loves to eat all my baked goods.

  5. You're welcome, Coleen. :) I really enjoy reading your posts and drooling over your recipes.

  6. Heather thank you so much for thinking to pass these lovely awards on to me. Your kind words about me mean the world! You have really had a rough year, as have had we, but you are so right, there is no point in dwelling on the negative. It doesn't help a thing! Much better to look at the glass as being half full!! Love your ten happy things. Many of them are the same as my own. I keep meaning to say I love seeing the daily kittens every time I visit your page. It is a lovely orange kitten at the top today, my favourite kind! (((hugs))) xxoo

  7. Thank you so much! What a special treat to receive these from you.

    I like your happy list. ;-)

  8. Thanks Heather. You definitely chase away the Monday blues.

  9. Marie - you're welcome. :) Those daily kittens always manage to make me smile. I know you have had about as bad a year as I have had and I sure hope things get better for us both.

    Deb - You're welcome and thank you for all the lovely recipes. I can't tell you how many salads and soups I have made and then realized I forgot to join in your events! Silly me! But I do still read them even when I haven't officially joined in. :)

    Edith - you're welcome. :) I enjoy reading about your life and I am in awe of your beautiful desserts.