The Sunshine Blogger Award- My Most Notable Blogging Nomination

the sunshine blogger award

This morning I had a spring in my step because I had been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award. It is my most notable blogging nomination to date- mainly because it is the only one I have had! You would think I was up for an Academy Award the way I went on about it to my partner and it gave me the motivation to get on with my writing work for the rest of the day. It is just nice to get recognition for the effort you have put into creating a blog from a fellow blogger. The blogger in question is Lalas Journey.

Bizarrely, had she not been the person that nominated me, she would have been on my own list of nominations as I love reading her interesting posts. Also, we have a shared passion for wine! Thank you for my nomination.

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger(s) that nominated you in the post and the link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 8-11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the ‘Sunshine Blogger Award Logo on your post and/or in your blog.

My Nominees

Everything’s better when you’ve had a cuppa tea (Awkward Whale)-

Just for writing about a diverse range of topics and for getting into the spirit of the blogging community.

With Colours and Canito in the Kitchen

Just for opening my eyes to the delights of Mexican cuisine and writing about food that looks fun.

Hub City Girl

Just for writing about so many different topics with useful hints and tips.

Book Em, Jan O

Just for making me smile with her Haiku and for sharing interesting stories about ghosts.

Julienne Red

Just for having such an attractive looking blog with great photos and tasty looking recipes.

Alex’s Nibbles

Just for being brave enough to try some of my recipes and then sharing a link to a meal she had enjoyed. 

Just Another Woman with a Blog (The Beasley)

Just for giving me fond music memories with her Friday blogs about top ten hits of each year. 

A Plate of Happiness

Just for being my latest resource for Indian food.

The Questions I Was Asked

1. If you won 1-million dollars, what is the very first item you would purchase with your winnings?

Very boring, but I would pay off my mortgage to reduce my financial strain.

2. What is the one place you have always wanted to travel and why?

I would love to go to India. I think it is an interesting culture and seems like a beautiful and diverse country. Indian cuisine is also my favourite type of food!

3. What is your biggest fear?

Something happening to my children.

4. What animal/insect are you most afraid of?

I am not afraid of any animals, as such, but rats and cockroaches make me cringe. Also, I can’t bear the thought of a moth’s wings touching me but I love butterflies.

5. What is one accomplishment in your life that you are most proud of?

Giving birth to four beautiful children. After that, it would be putting myself through a degree while I was a single mum who worked full-time.

6. Would you rather be stranded on a deserted tropical island or lost in the woods?

Tricky one as there are pros and cons to both. I think I would have more hope of getting back out of the woods if I kept walking in a straight line.

7. Baths or showers?

Baths as I hardly ever use my shower at home. I like the idea of long relaxing baths. Unfortunately, I am not very good at it. If my partner runs me a bath with bubbles and candles, I am instructed to take my time and relax. I start by washing my hair and then shaving all the bits that need shaving and then lie back. I soon get bored and get out only for my partner to tell me I have only been in the bath for seven minutes start to finish.

8. Are you a night owl or morning person? Why?

Without a doubt, a night owl. I think it is because I was a dancer when I was younger and would perform at night. It always seems like a more exciting time of the day. On saying that, if I get an early night and a decent night’s sleep, I actually function better in the mornings than the evenings and get lots done.

9. Favorite television show?

I am a big fan of cooking competitions. However, my favourite television series of all-time is Casualty. It is a British medical drama series that is aired on Saturday nights in the UK and I haven’t missed a single episode since it started when I was a child.

10. What would be your signature cocktail? This could be alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

Well, it certainly wouldn’t be one without alcohol in it! I will say sex on the beach because it sounds like fun!

My Questions to My Nominees

  1. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
  2. Who is your favourite author and why?
  3. If you were on death row, what would you choose for your last meal?
  4. What is the most unusual thing you have ever eaten?
  5. On holiday, do you prefer sunbathing on the beach, strolling around historic areas, or trying new and daring activities?
  6. What was the last movie you watched?
  7. Do you believe there is life on another planet?
  8. If you could have dinner with any celebrity, who would you choose?
  9. Who is your biggest inspiration?
  10. What is the best gift you have ever received?
  11. When was the last time you danced in the kitchen just for the sake of it?
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I’m In It for the Long Haul

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Although I have been working as a freelance writer for seven years now, this blog is a relatively new venture. In fact, as I am writing this, it is just eight weeks old. I started off with big ambitions, but I have found it more challenging than I thought and I have not produced anywhere enough content. 

However, this hasn’t deterred me from keeping going. This week, I have had so much paid work that I had planned not to write anything on my food blog at all. I was going to concentrate solely on my paid work and sorting out the house. I don’t know how, but at the end of each working day, I have found myself taking my laptop to bed with me as I couldn’t resist the urge to sit and post something on The Fruity Tart

I have decided that there is something very addictive about blogging. I love checking my views, my likes and who is now following my blog. However, this isn’t the only addictive part of having a blog. I have also become addicted to checking out the reader section of WordPress to see what other people have posted. I am now following a wide range of blogs, so my reading material is diverse. While some are fellow food bloggers, I am also enjoying reading poetry, historical and factual information, personal experiences and blogs about all sorts of niche subjects. 

Regardless of how successful my own blog is, blogging is so addictive that I am definitely in this for the long haul. 

Written in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Haul’ on The Daily Post

This Is Harder Than I Thought

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The whole food blogging business is a lot harder than I had anticipated. I started the blog as I have spent years writing for other people’s blog and decided to do it for myself for once. The reason I chose food is that cooking is something I enjoy and spend a lot of time doing every day. 

The first problem I have faced is the amount of time it takes to write for the blog and then promote it on social media. Fitting this around looking after the children and my full-time work as a copywriter is difficult; far trickier than I thought. Thinking of new ideas constantly is another aspect I have found challenging.

It has also involved me sorting out my social media pages. For example, I have been on Twitter for years but have gone through phases where I have hardly needed it for work. For that reason, I have made no attempt whatsoever to connect with people and had only a low following. I have gradually worked on increasing this over the last month.

I have also felt completely overwhelmed with the task I set myself when I first started the blog. My initial intention was to add every recipe I know and then create many more. I have started with the basics, such as sauces and pastry. I have suddenly realized how many recipes I know and just how long this will take me to write. 

Another of my intentions was to regularly write reviews of restaurants in which I have eaten. Time constrictions have prevented me from reviewing the places where I have eaten over the last few months and my financial situation at the moment is preventing me from eating out at new places. 

There have also been some issues along the way, such as when I needed to change the name of the blog for legal reasons and having problems with adding photographs to the blog. 

I am not saying I am giving in as I love a challenge and always see things through. However, I really anticipated what a huge task I had set for myself. Unfortunately, being overambitious has always been one of my worst traits. It is over a month since I started this blog and I intend to keep it running for at least a year before deciding whether to continue. I know full well that I will feel so attached to it after putting in a full year of work I will keep it going.

Food Blog Photo Disasters

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So far, this blog is going well, although it still needs some work. One of my main issues is photos. The images used on blogs make a difference to whether or not a post attracts readers or not. To be honest, my images aren’t great. I would love to take my own photographs for everything I post on here, but so far this isn’t happening. I reckon about 10% of the images I have used on this blog so far are my own and the rest are images from the Internet that are free to use commercially and modify.

There are several reasons for the issues I am having with phots:

  1. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of cooking meals while looking after four children and work at the same time mean I simply forget to take a photograph of the food I have made.
  2. I don’t necessarily write about food that I have made recently, so I have to use other images.
  3. I don’t have a camera, so any photos I do take are on my mobile phone.
  4. The lighting is bad in my kitchen and dining room. The food looks fantastic on the plate but the photos do not reflect this at all.
  5. There are lots of images available online until you try to search for ones that are free to use and then the selection of decent photos gets much smaller.

I would love some tips from other bloggers, either on how to take better photos on my mobile or places I can find good quality images of food on the Internet that are free to use. I currently use the advanced settings on Google Images, Flickr, Pixaby, and Pixels. 

Any tips?