Saturday, 7 September 2013

A Liebster Award! (Or three.)

On Thursday I was nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Annatha of Prattle and Froth--thanks Annatha!  And then... on Friday I discovered that I'd also been nominated by Celia of Celia's Antics and Louisa of Duck in a Dress for two more!  Thank-you ever so much, ladies!

So...what is a Liebster Award?

That's pretty much what Dave said when I told him I'd been nominated for one by Annatha.  I flailed dramatically a little, and then lamely said, "It's when someone really likes your blog?  And to...make friends?"

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Apparently “liebster” is German for “sweetheart”. This award is the “sweetheart blog award” then.  I'm not sure I've ever been considered "up and coming" before--how fabulous!

Here are the rules:

1) Link back to the person who nominated you
2) List 11 facts about yourself (optional--I left this out as I had three sets of questions)
3) Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you for an award
4) Nominate 11 blogs/bloggers who have 200 or fewer followers
5) Think up 11 different questions for the people you are nominating to answer
6) Notify your nominees so they can join in!

Annatha's questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started Little Apple Tree because I missed blogging.  In 2003 I started a food blog, A Spoonful of Sugar, which was quite successful for three years.  Sadly it faded away after I had Lucas and I eventually let the hosting lapse as I just couldn't get my blogging mojo back at that point.

I got the blogging urge again this summer and since I didn't just want to blog about food exclusively any more--my food presentation skills seem to have left me--I settled on a lifestyle blog where I could write about my life and the things I love.

2. What is the best thing about the place that you live?

I love Bristol because it has all the hustle and bustle of a major city, while being moments away from the countryside.  I can look out of the back window and occasionally see horses from a local stable clip-clopping across the common at the bottom of the hill, or I can nip into town and spend a happy hour at the Apple store.  I like that you have the best of both worlds.

3. Who/what inspires you?

Lucas is a huge inspiration to me.  His boundless enthusiasm and optimism is infectious, especially as I am a bit of a pessimist.  He loves life, and in return life loves him back.

4. What is your favourite thing about yourself?

I like that I keep going no matter what.  I might piss and moan a bit when things are hard, but the bottom line is that I knuckle down and get things done.

5. Do you have any unusual talents?

Unusual?  I'm not sure what qualifies as unusual, but I can hold an entire conversation in my sleep and apparently make sense.  I have to be told all about it in the morning, though, as I remember nothing.

I can also sleep standing up.  I perfected that by standing in matriculation queues at university!

6. What is your favourite smell?

Cinnamon.  Some people say that it's the smell of Christmas, but it smells of love to me.  So many things that we love eating are spiced with liberal amounts of cinnamon.  Love it so much.

7. What is your favourite book?

Oooh, tricky!  There are so many awesome books out there!  I've pondered this for a while, and I think I'm going to say The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  It was the first book that I became utterly entranced by, losing myself in the story that Lewis wove.  I still re-read it every so often,

8. What do you hope to achieve in the next ten years?

You're making me think!  On a weekend!!

I would hope that in ten years I'll have a job, doing something that I love--not that I don't love being a full-time Mum--and that Little Apple Tree will keep growing.  I'd quite like to write a book, too.

9. What is your favourite time of the year and why?

Autumn.  Gorgeous colours, gorgeous lighting, gorgeous seasonal food.

10. Where is your favourite place in the world?

Where I am right now is pretty damn good.  I love Bristol more and more as time passes.  It's a fabulous place to live!

Celia's questions:

1. Post a photo of what your day has been like today.

Today I have been baking.  We're going to a big family picnic tomorrow and I wanted to make something special to share around.  Also, Dave and Lucas made omelettes for breakfast <3

2. What is your favourite season to dress for? Summer or Winter?

I fear I am going to be a bit of a disappointment with some of these questions...Sorry, Celia!  I'm going to say Winter, as it's a lot easier to keep warm than keep cool in a heatwave!

3) What's your favourite post you've written on your blog so far and why?

I wrote about our holiday on Chark Farm in Cornwall.  I felt that I really captured the spirit of our holiday in the post.  The farm is such a lovely welcoming place, and I suspect we'll be heading there every summer for years to come.  (We're bringing Nanny, Grandad, Auntie and the girls with us next summer.  Woohoo!)

4. What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it? 

I read Killing Floor, the first Jack Reacher novel by Lee Childs.  Dave and I watched the film recently and I instantly wanted to read the books as the film was so good.  The writing isn't the most sophisticated--no Booker Prizes here--but it was a fast-paced story with a badass hero.  I loved it!  (I was disgusted with Lee Childs recent interview where he proudly boasted of writing stoned every day.  I am hoping that enjoying the book doesn't mean that people think I condone his lifestyle!!)

5. Who is your favourite blogger at the moment and why?

I really enjoy reading The Londoner.  Her life is really different to mine (and most other people's too, I should imagine), but I like losing myself in the glitz and glamour.

6. Describe your ideal night-in.

Me, Dave, the sofa and a creature feature B-film on the TV.  Ideally with pizza and ice-cream to follow.

7. What is your go-to beauty product?

Err...I'm not much of a beauty person, to be honest.  I look at the aisles and aisles of products in Boots and just get intimidated.  It doesn't help that my skin's a bit sensitive--I itch walking past Lush--so I try not to buy anything highly fragranced.   I'm going to say Soap & Glory's Flake Away as it keeps my legs and elbows lovely and smooth.

8. Are you a cat or dog person?

Dogs rule!

9. What is your Chinese zodiac sign and does it describe you well?

I'm a Dragon.  I've never felt that it describes me particularly well, but I am at the cusp of the sign.  I do have a quick temper, though, and if you really annoy me then prepare to be yelled at. A lot.

10.  If you could only buy your clothes from one shop, which would it be and why?

Principles, but they have gone the way of the dodo.  I guess Next is the next-best-thing (sorry!).  I liked Principles because everything was effortlessly glamorous.  I used to browse in there for ages despite not being able to fit more than a toe into the trousers and dream.  Next has more or less the same effect.  (I am so not a fashionista, so a very boring answer!)

11. What is your least favourite item of clothing to shop for?

Underwear.  Bra shopping is hell on earth.

Louisa's questions:

1. What's the story behind your blog's name?

I have a little apple tree in the garden.  It seems to thrive on my inept gardening which consists of a yearly weed around it, and simply ignoring it for the rest of the time. This year it is dripping with apples and I'm so proud of it.  It's the little apple tree who could!  (Despite having a dreadful gardener as an owner!)

2. If you could choose any career in the world, what would you do?

A Food Historian.  If I'd known there was such a career when I was in high school, I'd have gone all out for that.  I love discovering the history behind dishes or cakes, finding out how our Kings and Queens of days gone by ate and trying to recreate old dishes.  My favourite part of stately home tours is always the kitchen!

3. What special super power would you like?

Oh, this is a tricky one!  I'm a huge comic book geek, so I can see all the downsides to every power as well as the cool stuff.  I think I'd like super-strength, like She-Hulk.  I'm quite partial to green, too.

4. Are you a tea or coffee person? Or neither?

I'm a definite coffee person.  I rarely drink tea, but I do have the occasional flirtation with camomile and peppermint tea.

5. Printed paper books or ebooks?

Until a few years ago, I would have said printed all the way, but my eyesight isn't great these days, so eBooks are my friend.  I can bump the text size all the way up when I'm stuck at the Eye Hospital with blurred vision from the dilating drops they use.  I still love my book collection, but there's something nice about being able to carry hundreds of books around with you in a little gadget!

6. What would be your specialist subject on BBC's Mastermind?

After much thought, I think it would be the Chalet School books by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer.

7. Is there anywhere in the World you've never visited and would really like to?

Iceland.  I want to see spectacular waterfalls, geysers, bathe in a natural hot spring--hopefully without boiling and featuring in my own disaster film--and eat all manner of disgusting local specialities.  Plus I'd get a really, really good view of the Northern Lights.

8. Which Harry Potter house do you belong to? (apologies if you have no idea what I'm on about)

As much as I'd love to be a brave Gryffindor, I suspect I'm more of a swotty Ravenclaw.

9. Which crafty skill do you wish you were good at?

Machine sewing.  I cannot machine a straight line to save my life.  I see so many awesome patterns and fabrics and wish that I was better at controlling the sewing machine.

10. What's your favourite season of the year and why?

Autumn.  I love the crisp, cool air; watching the trees slowly change from green to gold; blackberries in hedgerows; warm bowls of soup; and the promise of winter whilst you say goodbye to summer.  Then there's the harvest, with huge pumpkins appearing in the shops which make me think of soup and pie and apple-picking days in orchards with gnarled old apple trees.

11. If you could bring back one children's TV programme from your childhood, what would it be?

The Worst Witch!  I loved that programme so much.  I've bought the first book on kindle to share with Lucas and he thinks it's pretty cool, too, despite being written about a girl.

Here are my nominations!

And here are my questions for the nominees:

1. Gold or silver?
2. Tell me one of your pet peeves.
3. Are you a glass half-full or a glass half-empty person?
4. Countryside or city?
5. Do you sing in the shower?
6. What are your ambitions for your blog?
7. Star Trek or Star Wars?
8. Who is your favourite actor?
9. How do you spend your free time?
10.What is the most exciting thing you've ever done?
11. What's the worst Christmas present you ever received?

Have fun, everyone!


  1. Cool to find out more about you and thanks for sharing the Leibster love :-)

    M x

  2. Thanks for the nomination Angela! :)

    Tough questions, can't wait to get answering them! :) x

  3. Thank you ever so much for nominating me! I'll have to do this in the week. Thanks lovely! x

    1. My pleasure! Looking forward to reading your post xx

  4. Aww, thanks for answering my nosy questions! It's really interesting to find out more about your favourite bloggers :-) (and I'm checking out the blogs you mentioned which I don't already follow - you have good taste!)

    You definitely need to visit Iceland someday, I went there years ago with my Dad and then I went back with Andrew for our honeymoon. It just seems a completely different atmosphere, the people are so laid back (not much over-zealous health and safety!) and it's amazing to see a land alive beneath your feet. I did a post all about Iceland for Day 10 (Travel Dreams) for Rosalilium's blog ever day challenge. It's over here > if you fancy taking a look. :-) x

    1. Thanks for the link, Louisa! Iceland looks awesome!


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