One of the great things about blogging is making friends. And by friends, I mean virtual friends that I have never met but know EVERYTHING about- baby names, favorite foods, likes, dislikes, favorite movies, big dreams/life goals, and so on.

There is a word for this in the real world. For when you know tons of information about someone you’ve never had a face to face conversation with or talked to on the phone. It is called stalking. In blogworld it is called community building.

Recently, I’ve connected with two new friends via twitter and they’ve nominated me for a blogging award called the Sunshine Award. And because I love you all so much, I’m going to sprinkle some pictures of Fall in New England (via my iPhone.. I’ve cropped and added my watermark, but that is JUST ABOUT IT.).

To accept this award you must do the following:

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger: Rabia from The Liebers and Anneliese Superfresh Babypants  thank you so much for this! What a fun idea! 
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.  See below.
  • List 11 bloggers you believe deserve some special recognition and a little blogging love.
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer.
  • Notify the bloggers you’ve nominated.

I can do this!

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How about some random facts about me?

1. When I was 8 I told my mom I was going to move to Boston someday so I could find the guys from New Kids on the Block. I didn’t realize that I had ever said this until I was packing my car to move to Boston when I was 20. I never found any of the guys, but I found my husband (via

2. I recently saw Santa At a Funeral and wanted to Instagam him for the world to see.

3. We let our 4 year old, Malone name our daughter Lola. He picked her name because he loves the Kinks. And if you ask him, he’ll even tell you that!

4. Malone swears in the car. I’m okay with it because he uses the language appropriately. And also because I sometimes swear in the car.

5. In addition to blogging here, I also write 3 times a week for Simple Diaper & Linen. There you’ll find stories about my cloth diaper experience and my search for a more simple & sustainable life.

6. I adore rainbows. And if it rainbow and a pattern I like it even more (rainbow chevron… swoon). There is rainbow something in every room of my house.

7. My daughter (squeal still can’t get over saying it) is mini version of myself in the looks department. Also, she was born in 10 minutes and 3 pushes. You can read all about it here.

8. If I had 24 hours alone in hotel room I would at least 23 of them in bed either napping or trolling around catching up on my favorite time wasters that I no longer have time to waste on. I’d spend hours on before switching to Buzz Feed. The other hour would be spent eating meals via room service while they were still hot and in the shower where no tiny human could knock at my door.

9. Last November, I was laid off. And it completely changed the dynamic of my marriage, my relationship with Malone, and my outlook on life. FOR THE BETTER.

10. I LOVE gymnastics and have since I was 3 years old. I spent a lot of my childhood participating in competitive power tumbling (which is big sport in the Midwest). I still keep up with elite gymnastics and could tell you medaled at the recent World Championships and play leotard fashion police, but then you’d think I was a super nerd.

11. I’ve got my eye on several blog conferences next year and am hoping to make it to at least two! I’ve made so many friends via blogging that I am DYING to meet in real life!

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Here are the questions to answer from Superfresh Baby Pants!

  1. Coffee or Tea? Coffee! Hands down. I go to bed at night thinking about my first cuppa Joe in the morning. After around 11:00 am I switch to drinking water or iced tea. I’ve learned the hard way NOT to drink coffee after noon. 
  2. Favorite season? I like them all for assorted reasons, but summer on the cusp of fall is my favorite. I love the cool mornings and warm afternoons. And fall in New England is amazing. 
  3. Favorite Holiday? I’m a big fan of the summer holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day) because they are so low key and relaxed. No stress or fuss to worry about. Typically  we end up at a back yard bbq at a friend’s house. 
  4. Why did you start blogging? Ohh.. this is a toughie! I’ve blogged on and off since 2002 and gone through 6 or so different “types” of blogs. I started blogging because writing is in my bones and I  needed a place to share my story. 
  5. Favorite vacation spot and why? We spend a lot of time on Cape Cod. My husband grew up there and still has lots of family there. It is about a 3 hour drive from our house to grandma’s place. My mother in law’s house is .75 of a mile from the beach. It is so nice to sit with my toes in the sand! 
  6. Does technology make your life easier or harder? Easier. 
  7. Whatโ€™s the strangest or quirkiest thing you do that other people may not know about? Hmm. I’m a pretty open book about most things. 
  8. Public school, private school or home school? Hybrid. I really believe learning begins at home first and we’ll always nurture our children’s curiosities outside of school.  I will not be an “official” homeschooler, but we haven’t decided where Malone will start Kinder next year. 
  9. Favorite social media site? Instagram. 
  10. How do you unwind at the end of the day? I read a book or chat with my bloggy besties via Facebook. 
  11. Do you recycle, toss or hoard stuff? I recycle, donate, hand down, or upcycle as much as we can! 

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And here are the answers to the questions from The Liebers!

  1. Coffee or tea? Coffee! See #1 above. 
  2. What’s the last great book you’ve read? The Mother Of All Meltdowns.  Which is a great read. More to come on this next week! 
  3. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? A mom. 
  4. It’s Wednesday, middle of the week.   What are you in the middle of right now? Right now I’m in the middle of “momland” aka housework and menu planning and planning out blog posts for November. 
  5. Where did you get the name for your blog? It was a 3:00 am idea. The best ones always come to me either in the shower or in the middle of the night! 
  6. Who sent you the last personal letter you got in the mail? We got a few really lovely baby cards when Lola was born this August. We also just got her hospital bill. Gulp….
  7. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate… always. And I’d actually prefer chocolate covered chocolate (think chocolate cake with chocolate filling and chocolate ganache). 
  8. What is your biggest fear? That I’ll die before my kids are old enough to have memories of me. That’s part of the reason I keep this blog. So they’ll always have my words. 
  9. Do you have a nickname? What is it and how did you get it? My first name is Nancyjo but I go by NJ. My uncles have called me NJ since I was a tot. It just seems like a better fit for me. And I HATE IT when people call me Nancy. 
  10. Mountains or beach? Both please. Give me a sandy beach on a lake near the mountains and I’ll be your best friend for life. 
  11. What TV shows are you watching this fall? Nashville and New Girl. I’d love to keep up with Big Bang Theory but I never watch TV live and it isn’t available on Hulu Plus. I also really like Parenthood but am at least two seasons behind. 

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And now for the fun part! My nominees are:

  1. Little Bins For Little Hands
  2. My Walk With Eden
  3. Redemption Diary 
  4. Happy Family Travels
  5. Tamera Like Camera 
  6. Karen Main Online
  7. The Mommy Mess
  8. The Real Nani
  9. Typical Erin
  10. Lindsey P. Brackett
  11. Pushing Twigs

And now your questions, my dears.

  1. If you could only eat one type of ethnic food for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
  2. Who is the last person you chatted with on the phone?
  3. What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? Bonus points here for a picture !
  4. If you’re married, where did you honeymoon? If you’re not married, where do you dream of going?
  5. What is your favorite pair of shoes and why?
  6. Coffee or tea?
  7. What movie could you watch over and over?
  8. What does your ideal day look like?
  9. Do you speak a foreign language? If not, which would you be most interested in learning?
  10. What is the latest “big” life goal you’ve accomplished?
  11. What is your favorite holiday?    Fall In New England 5