Life is not too short, hold your head up, do everything and smile.

This is the first time I have had an award for anything and probably the last, so I get to do the speech. I’m up on the stage in my amazing dress. Down to a size 8, obviously, hair done, dripping with jewels….

“This is so unexpected, I’m so honoured to be given this award and proud to be amongst my fellow nominees. I’d like to thank my family and friends and my husband for sticking by me when most of the time I am a chaotic nut case, but mostly, I would like to thank my friend Mary V of https://downsize365.com/ for this Sunshine Blogger Award ”

This meaningful award is given from bloggers to bloggers who inspire creativity and positivity by bringing sunshine to the blogging community. The extraordinary thing about blogging and Instagram is that you get to meet people that you have a real connection with and who you feel you have known for ages. Mary is one of those people. She lives thousands of miles away and yet often I feel like she is next door. She laughs at my jokes, so frankly, she can do no wrong.

Mary is a decluttering guru if decluttering was an animal, she would be called a whisperer! She understands what its like to spend your whole life collecting ‘stuff’ that you need for a short time as your family grows, your house gets bigger, and as you take all these belongings with you, their significance becomes disproportionate to their actual use. Then the children leave home, we get older, we move to a smaller place and we start drowning under all our ‘stuff’ and thats where Mary steps in. She encourages you to release the excess in your home that no longer adds value while at the same time keeping what is practical, useful, and sentimental. How awesome is that, and thats not even what I love about her!

I love her attitude, she is positive, uplifting generous with her advice and sharing wisdom and she is a kick ass Midlifer who has the ability to brighten the greyest days. She inspires me to grab life with both hands and live it.

Part of the process is to provide further insights into what makes us “sunshiners” tick! So here goes

HOW DO YOU SEEK TO INSPIRE YOUR READERS

The first blog I ever wrote was three years ago whilst walking the Camino Frances.. It started off as just a diary for myself to record the journey. My husband and other family members had the link, and they shared it with others until quite a number of people were reading it. I ignored this fact, I felt that if I kept thinking about who was reading it, I would stop being true and honest with my account and start writing for those who were reading.

The same is true today. I try to write my blog posts almost as a note to myself. As though I am talking out loud. If I aim to do anything or inspire anyone, it is to be true to themselves and honest. This will come across in your writing and it will either appeal to people or it wont, but you will be true to yourself and in this increasingly crazy world we live in, your sense of self is crucial and I hope to inspire others to remember that.

WHAT ARE THREE THINGS ABOUT YOU THAT MIGHT SURPRISE US?

Yikes, see answer above 😀. I am so open and honest I don’t think I have many surprise revelations. I like to think that I am a positive and upbeat person and have been all my life, but 25 years ago I went from happy go lucky to hospitalised with severe anxiety and panic attacks almost overnight. A brain overload of work, house moving, and getting married had literally caused my brain to blow a fuse. The most terrifying thing about it was the suddenness. I literally thought I was going mad. The whole recovery process though taught me some amazing life lessons and coping techniques that have been invaluable to me so some good came from it.

My husband was a holiday romance that has got way out of hand! We met in Portugal on holiday. There were 6 guys and me staying with a friend. Jon was one of the 6 (all still my very great friends).

My family is everything to me. I have 4 brothers, a half sister and 18 nieces and nephews. My stepfather is my fathers (died when I was very small) cousin, so my family is huge, complicated and amazing. I would be lost without my husband who is literally my rock, he is my opposite and as such my perfect balance.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO KICK BACK AND RELAX?

My perfect job would be the person who puts the age classifications on films. I love films. I love the escapism, the drama and the comedy. I love sci-fi and romance and thrillers. I don’t care if they are far fetched and ridiculous thats part of the fun, so I love going to the movies.

If I’m honest though, I love books more. For all the same reasons as I love films, but its more of a ‘kick back and relax’ with a book. There are only 2 books that I have ever started reading and not finished, both of which might surprise you. The Life of Pi and Goldfinch. Just couldn’t put myself through it even though there are those out there who will say they are their favourite books.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 21 YEAR OLD SELF NOW.

Firstly, that the guy I thought I would just have a holiday romance with would be tough to shift 🤣.

Don’t put your life on hold. I put my life on hold for 18 years until my eldest left school and it hit me like a fist that I hadn’t done anything except exist in this state of Motherhood for 18 years. No one had told me to do this, I just thought this is what you do, and you can, if thats what you want to do then go for it, but now I wish I had done more. Found a career that worked around my kids instead of giving up a career that didnt. Travelled more with my kids rather than think it was easier just to holiday in the UK. Done things that meant I met people who weren’t all the same as me, so I didnt spend 18 years talking about schools, kids diets, universities, driving lessons and tutors.

Lastly dogs are gorgeous and you love them, but they are a real tie and responsibility when your kids have left home and you want to go away all the time.

 

PASSING THE BATON FOR THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

And now, on to my list of nominees! Please be sure to visit each of their websites and get to know them. They are awesome!

Annette @reinventing50s

One of the first amazing women I met on IG. She is literally a ray of sunshine, always smiling and positive. She is all about Style, beauty and happiness and living your best life. She is the best friend you could find online or off and her support is wonderful. Have a look at her fabulous account. There is a link to her blog there.

Susie @themiddleageddiva

Susie is awesome! She is super bright and a full time teacher. What I love about her though is her style. This is the primary focus of her IG account, but she also imparts her unique insights into her midlife journey and she has a great sense of humour. Do check out her account and the link to her blog. You wont be disappointed.

Robynn @robynnlin.ageless

Robynn has been an amazing support on my IG journey. She is all about being ‘ageless’ never taking yourself too seriously and practicing wellness. She is indeed ageless and when you check out her page you could be forgiven for thinking she is 30! She has an amazing sense of humour and is always out for fun. Just look at her page and blog and you’ll have a smile on your face.

Lori. @mindful.eating.lori.

Lori is my fellow Brit. She is a fantastic nutritional advisor having had her own food issues, she knows how hard the whole ‘diet’ game can be. She offers great advice and really easy to follow recipes as well as all the necessary nutritional info. I love her down to earth attitude, and greatly value her friendship and support. Do have a look at her page and you will also find a link to her blog.

MY QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES

1. Who is your hero?

2. Do you have a skill or talent we don’t know about

3. What is the best thing that you have found since setting up you blog

4. What is your favourite food and your worst food

THE RULES FOR THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their IG/blog

2. Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you

3. Nominate other blogs and give questions for them to answer.

4. Notify your nominees through social media

5. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post.

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