20(ish) Questions

pile of question marks

I’m taking a break from doing blog awards since they can be time-consuming.  Instead, when I’m nominated for awards I’ll answer the questions posed to me in this 20(ish) questions format.  I’ll also answer questions from assorted other question tags and the like.  Feel free to join in the fun with your own answers to any or all of the questions 🙂


A few questions from A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip‘s Game On series – weird life stuff

  • Why are supposedly easy to open packages always so difficult to open?   To make doofuses like me feel really stupid.
  • Time to fess up … what music from your teenage years do you turn on and still dance to?  It’s not so much from my teenage years as my childhood in the 80’s – a little New Kids on the Block, Belinda Carlisle, Roxette…  Ah, good times…
  • What was either weirdest book you ever read or the weirdest film you ever saw? [Please provide link]  When I was in university a roommate of mine was doing a paper about porn, and so she wanted all of us roomies to watch porn together.  I think we were all virgins at the time.  Anyway, we borrowed Ass-openers 8 (or whatever number it was) on VHS from one of our guy friends, and had a girls night in watching Ass-openers.  It was very educational, and no, I will not be providing a link.
  • Time to fess up again, what was the weirdest or craziest fashion craze you were in to as a kid?  Well, since acid wash jeans have made a comeback that probably doesn’t count.  Perhaps the neon spandex bike shorts.
  • What words did you make up and claim as your own as a kid?  I wasn’t much of a neologist as a kid, but my brother made up a ton of words and the rest of the family adopted many of them.
  • In what game is the word snap used?  Going back to the 80’s theme, one in which you’re wearing a snap bracelet?
  • Have you ever gotten completely and utterly lost? Explain please.  Living in neat, orderly Canada I assumed that streets everywhere had names and signs displaying those names.  And then I started travelling and discovered yeah, not so much.  I have a good sense of direction and am good at reading maps, but there were a few times I got completely lost in India because of the total lack of street signs.
  • Did you have a favourite piece of clothing as a kid or even as an adult? [For me it’s my sneakers, serioulsy old and battered but l love them!]  I am totally in love with Gap maternity leggings.  No, I’m not pregnant, but these leggings fit right over my psych-med-weight-baby and they’re the comfiest thing ever.
  • Do you have any strange family traditions?  I could say we celebrate Festivus, except I’d be lying (unfortunately).
  • Have you ever taken part in some kind of weird adventure?  When I was in university and living in residence my roommates and I had somehow managed to break our toilet tank lid in half.  One night we pulled off a switcheroo and swapped our broken toilet tank lid with one we stole from a washroom elsewhere in the building.  And we were drunk at the time, so we thought it was the funniest thing ever.
  • What is the ‘worst haircut’ you have ever had?  In grade 4 I cut my hair short and used hair gel to make it spiky.  Not a good look at all.
  • Can you remember who your worst school teacher was?  His name was Mr. Boyd.  He taught grade 9 honours math, but he was a PE teacher and hadn’t the slightest clue about math.  We’re talking 3×4=14 kind of thing.
  • We all have one, but who is yours? The crazy relative?  That would have to be me.  But I do recall a hillbilly cousin Gerald that my dad didn’t want visiting back in the day.
  • What completely safe animal are you TOTALLY afraid of??  Moths.  They’re like the ugly drunk uncle of the butterfly stumbling around and just generally being icky.


Come on, you know you want to answer a few – that’s what the comments section is for!


Image credit: qimono on Pixabay


20(ish) Questions

pile of question marks

I’ve decided to take a break from blog awards, but when I’m nominated for awards I’ll answer the questions posed to me in this 20(ish) questions format, along with assorted other question tags and the like.  Feel free to join in the fun with your own answers to any or all of the questions 🙂


Questions from Liz at My Wellbeing and Learning Journey:

  • Are you a city, beach, or country girl?  I’m a city girl.  I grew up in a small town and was not at all impressed.  I do have this unrealistic dream, though, of spending my later years on a little hobby farm in the middle of nowhere surrounded by various furry critters.  I would be completely incompetent at maintaining said farm, but hey, a girl’s gotta dream.
  • If you could choose to live anywhere, where would it be and why?  I think where I live now (Vancouver, Canada) is pretty great.  For one, it’s in Canada, but also it’s pretty cool that you can go from the beach to being on top of a ski hill in less than an hour.
  • Do you have tattoos?  I have 3.  A dolphin on my right hip, Chinese characters on my left hip, and a phoenix on the left side of my ribcage.
  • What are your favourite hobbies?  I think blogging is my only hobby.
  • After a stressful day, what do you do, to help you relax at the end of the day?  Snuggles with the guinea pigs, plus maybe a funny video for distraction.
  • Are you a spring, summer, autumn, or winter person?  I like early autumn, when it’s still sunny and warm-ish, but the leaves are starting to change.  I hate winters where I live – it rains for weeks at a time and sunny days are very few and far between.
  • Sweet or savoury?  I don’t think I could pick just one – both are so yummy!  What I’m not keen on is spicy or bitter.


Questions from Marie-Céline:

  1. What is your top tip for writing a blog post?  Write with yourself and what you want to express in mind, and try not to focus on what other people are likely to think.
  2. Which Country do you live in?  Canada – best country in the world!
  3. Do you like to travel?  Yes, I’ve always liked travelling, and it’s probably something I picked up from my parents.  I try to do an international trip almost every year, although sometimes my illness gets in the way.
  4. What is your favourite music?  I don’t really have a favourite.  I’ve got a bunch of songs loaded on my iPhone, and listen to whatever I’m in the mood for.
  5. What is your favourite food?  Cheeseburgers!  And I answer this question often enough that I’ll spice it up and add toppings of the day.  Today will be the oldie but goodie combo of bacon and cheddar.
  6. If you could collaborate with another blogger, who would you choose?  Maybe the author Jenny Lawson, who wrote Furiously Happy, because I think she’s totally hilarious.
  7. Do any of your friends or family have a blog?  Not that I know of.  Then again, I don’t have many friends or a lot of family, so it’s a pretty small pool of potential bloggers.
  8. Do you prefer handmade or shop-bought presents?  I’d probably do more handmade stuff if I had more talent in that department.  There was one year that everyone got scarves for Christmas, but there’s only so many scarves people need, right?  I usually try to get either something that’s useful or something that tastes good.
  9. Besides blogging, do you have any other creative skills?  Writing is really my only creative ability.  I’ve done artistic things before, like dance and playing musical instruments, but I was never inclined to do my own choreography or composition or anything like that.
  10. Would you rather text or talk?  Text, hands down.  I hate talking on the phone, and always have.
  11. If you were asking the questions, what would you like the final question to be? I’m fascinated with animals, so I’m going to pick an animal-themed question.  If you could have one wild animal magically be tame and live with you, what would it be? And I’m going to be very Canadian and choose a moose, although he’d probably find my living room a little too cramped for his liking.  He’d probably want to jump off my balcony, and I’d have an excuse to yell out “there’s a moose on the loose!”


Come on, you know you want to answer a few – that’s what the comments section is for!


Image credit: qimono on Pixabay

Real Neat Blog Award

real-neat-blog-awardReal neat blog award

Life Is Too Short Lick the Spoon and Being Bipolar, Trying to Break the Stigma have nominated me for the Real Neat Blog Award.  Thank you so much!!!

The Rules:

  1. Put the award logo on your blog.
  2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
  5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

Questions from Life Is Too Short Lick the Spoon:

  1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?  The most come from the United States, but also I’ve had visitors from some rather random countries including Mongolia
  2. What is your favourite sport?  I’m not that keen on doing sports, but my favourite sport to watch is hockey.
  3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2018?  The time I’ve spent with my Grandma, who’s 101 years old.
  4. What is your favourite quote? One of my favourites is from Nelson Mandela:“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up.”
  5. What was your favourite class when still at school? I quite liked dissecting things in high school biology, which is maybe a bit gross, but I’m a science geek.
  6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?  That I should not stick around when people treat me like crap.
  7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?  I tried learning the flute on my own and managed to do not too bad.  I think that wood-frame apartment/condo buildings are a very bad place to learn to play instruments… there’s been many a time when I wanted to track down whoever was learning to play the violin and smack them over the head with it!

Questions from Being Bipolar:

  1. If you only had one book that you could take with you, which one would that be?  Probably Pride and Prejudice.  I’ve read it many, many times and still enjoy each re-read.  Elizabeth Bennett is so delightfully feisty!
  2. What are the positive aspects of blogging according to you?  Blogging has given me a sense of connectedness that I haven’t been able to find in the “real world”.
  3. Do you find writing therapeutic?  Absolutely.  Preparing a post helps me to find more clarity, and I get great input from my readers.
  4. Do you believe writing is the best vector to translate your thoughts?  I express myself best when I have the time to think over what I want to say, and I’m not a visually artistic person, so yes, writing works well for me.
  5. What do you enjoy reading the most?  I like to be exposed to a variety of different ideas, experiences, and viewpoints, and I like reading things I can learn things from, whether that be factual information or personal experience.
  6. What do you wish the most to accomplish with your blog?  I don’t really have any concrete goals; mostly I just want to keep being able to interact with people in the blogging world.
  7. Besides writing, what is/are your other(s) passion(s)?  Because of my depression I have a hard time being passionate about much of anything, but travelling is something that’s always been very important to me.

My nominees:  Please don’t feel pressured to do an award post.  Mostly I just like being able to point out to people some of the cool blogs I’m following.  You can pick from among any of the questions that I was asked by Lick The Spoon and Being Bipolar.

Again, thanks so much to Life Is Too Short Lick the Spoon and Being Bipolar, Trying to Break the Stigma for the nominations.  I hope everyone will check out the blogs I’ve linked to on this post, because they’re fabulous 🙂

Liebster Award

Liebster Award nomination badge


I was nominated for the Liebster award by A Guy Called Bloke and Doodlepip’s AdventuresBipolar Barb, and Being Bipolar.  Yippee, it’s time to play!



Rules:  This version of the Liebster Award has five rules. They are:

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator asked.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers.
  4. Ask them 11 questions.
  5. Let them know you have nominated them.

 Questions from A Guy Called Bloke round 1:

1. What breaks and never falls and what falls and never breaks? dawn and water
2. A farmer had 752 sheep and took one shot that got them all. How did he do it?  Some crazy Russian 190-proof vodka.
3. What’s your favourite morning drink?  tea with milk, no sugar
4. What is your favourite number plus 16 times 5 minus 7?  That would depend on if you do those calculations sequentially or if 16×5 is calculated first.  Ah, memories of math class…
5. Well done, you have made it onto the local baseball team, which position are you? The person drinking cider out of a water bottle in the dugout.
6. What will your favourite colour resemble once you have added pink, green and orange? I feel like I had that outfit in neon when I was a kid in the 80’s.
7. All-time favourite sweet/candy’ … why?  Reese’s peanut butter cups, and if you need to ask why then that’s just a whole other issue.
8. You are offered a meal out at a restaurant of your choice, what do you pick?  A local chain called White Spot that has yummy burgers.  Simple pleasures…
9. Who comes first? A close friend in need or a distressed family member? That wound depend on my non-existent magic eight-ball.
10. If animals could talk – who would be the rudest species?  Camels.  They’re grumpy motherfuckers.
11. Which is the best head wear style to date?  If you’re not Canadian you might have to Google this, but the combo of hockey helmet and Jaromir Jagr’s mullet.  Gets me tingly all over just thinking about it.

Questions from a Guy Called Bloke round 2:

  1. When wearing socks, which foot do you dress first?  That depends whether the foot is being dressed in slippers or sky high heels.
  2. If we count sheep to fall asleep, what do they count?  Guinea pigs.
  3. Why do we HAVE to keep up with the Joneses?  I would like to throw rubber chickens at the Jones.
  4. What is the ‘secret of success?’  Big Mac sauce.
  5. What would be better than the fountain of youth?  The fountain of chocolate.
  6. How much do you exercise and does it help?  Does lifting cup of tea to mouth count?
  7. Why do they say ‘drown your sorrows’ – what happens if they can swim?  They might be able to swim, but depending on how massive the shitstorm is, those poor buggers might not make it.
  8. How do we truly know that the world we live in is the real one and that we are NOT just the finger tip of some giant?  I’d be more inclined to think a wart on said giant’s ass.
  9. If you had one week left of life as we know it, how would you live it?  I would eat and drink the most unhealthy yummy things I could come up with.
  10. Jolly Green Giant and the Big Friendly Giant are fighting over beans, who is going to win.  The Friendly Giant.
  11. … and why?  Because he would lull the other two into such a peaceful state that they’d hand the beans right over.

Questions from Bipolar Barb:

  1. What is your favorite holiday, and why?  The one that I happen to work and get paid double time for.
  2. Do you prefer to travel or stay close to home?  These days I prefer to not leave my cave.
  3. What’s in your fridge?  Well, what’s maybe kind of gross in my fridge is fish sauce that’s been in there for a whole lotta years.  I figure there’s so much salt and chemical stuff in there that it’ll last until the end of time.
  4. How many e-mail addresses do you have? 2 work, 1 blog, 1 alumni, and 3 personal.
  5. Do you have any siblings? How many?  One younger brother.  He’s 3 years younger but he’s more millennial and I’m more gen-x (I think those are the right terms, but I’m kinda out to lunch about that sort of thing).
  6. What is one thing you cannot live without? copious amounts of water
  7. Do you like to cook? yes but I’m lazy at the same time
  8. Would you rather lose an arm or a leg?  That would depend on whether I could choose which arm
  9. What is your favorite thing about summer?  Sun, sun, and more sun!
  10. If you won $1 million playing the lottery, what would you do?  Save it.  Sounds boring, but if my genetics have anything to do with it I’m not dying anytime soon.
  11. Where did you grow up?  Oliver, a little town of around 4000 in western Canada.  Now they have good wineries there, but back in the day there was sweet bugger all.


Questions from Being Bipolar:

  1. If you could do it again, would you choose the same path or take another one?  I would be living in a yurt in Kyrgyzstan married to a yak.
  2. What sort of music do you like?  Mostly pop, i guess.  Although I suppose in the yurt it’ll be the snuffly noises of the yak.
  3. Do you see the glass half full or empty? It varies, but mostly empty.
  4. What is your passion? I think my passion got run over by Kim Jong Un’s secret green train.
  5. Do you have a “bucket list”?  I did, and it consisted of travel destinations.  But it will be no longer required once I’m living in yurtland.
  6. Is creating something concrete or abstract, therapeutic for you?  I think it’s most helpful when I try to fit my mental diarrhea in some sort of more concrete form.
  7. If you could take only one book with you, which one would it be?  I feel like I should pick something profound, but instead I’m going to go with Pride and Prejudice.
  8. Does the weather affect your moods?  Yes, to some extent.  When it’s dark and rainy for days on end it’s hard to see any glimmer of light.
  9. Are you more of a cat or dog person?  I am a guinea pig person!
  10. Do you have a tendency to drive fast or slow?  Fast.  I’m lucky I’ve only ever gotten a few speeding tickets.
  11. What is your most meaningful dream?  I rarely remember my dreams, so I think my most meaningful is probably locked away in my subconscious.


My nominees: I hope you’ll join in the fun, but no pressure!  Feel free to pick whatever questions were posed to me that grab your attention the most.


Thanks again to A Guy Called Bloke and Doodlepip’s Adventures, Bipolar Barb, and Being Bipolar for the nominations.  I had fun with this one 🙂

Mystery Blogger Award

Mystery blogger award logo

Something mysterious is in the air…  I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Midsummer DaydreamerDiscovering Your HappinessThe Colour of MadnessGirl With the Paw Print Tattoo, and A Guy Called Bloke and Doodlepip’s Adventures.  Thank you all so much! ❤️

Why Was the Mystery Blogger Award created?

“I created the award because there are a lot of amazing blogs out there that haven’t been discovered, yet. And, most of these blogs deserve recognition. For that reason, I decided to create my own award; and nominate people who can also nominate others; and so on. This is one of the best ways to create a friendly community and build a link between bloggers in the blogosphere; as everyone gets nominated and they too can spread the fun by nominating more people for the award.” – Okoto Enigma

Mystery Blogger Award Rules:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

3 things about me:

  1. I have ridden several kinds of animals: horse, donkey, camel, elephant, and dolphin
  2. I have tried sky diving, bungee jumping, and parasailing.
  3. I don’t like onions, which is annoying because they’re everywhere.

Questions from Midsummer Daydreamer:

  1.  What game or movie universe would you most like to live in?  For the most part video games haven’t been my thing, but I liked playing Legend of Zelda on my brother’s Super Nintendo because I thought the Zelda universe was cool.
  2. What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years? Given my potty mouth, probably something along the lines of “What the fuck is going on?”
  3. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch? My ex used to like watching the show Robot Chicken.  I found it so obnoxious I couldn’t even be in the same room it was on.
  4. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Visit a foreign country.
  5. What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of? Snapchat.  Maybe it’s because I’m too old, but I just don’t get it.

Questions from Discovering Your Happiness:

  1. What is your 2018 goal?  I’d like to go on a trip to Europe.
  2. What is one of your biggest accomplishments?  I’m proud of getting my masters degree in psychiatric nursing.
  3. If you could pack up & move, where would you go? I’d stay in Canada, but maybe move to a farm in a rural area.
  4. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?  I truly have no idea.  I feel like my life is too uncertain to predict that far in advance.
  5. What is one of your biggest fears?  In a physical sense spiders, and in a psychological sense bering unable to feel safe.

Questions from The Colour Of Madness:

  1. How do you see a glass, half full or half empty?  I would likely drink it very quickly, so it would be just plain empty.
  2. What do you prefer, to read a book or to listen to music?  Read a book.  I like music in the car, but otherwise prefer quiet.
  3. What do you like most about mother nature? The random assortment of amazing things all thrown in together.
  4. What is your favorite movie?  Dirty Dancing.  No one puts Baby in a corner!
  5. What do you like most about traveling?  Almost everything, so instead I’ll answer the things I don’t like: assorted nasty bathroom situations, and various intestinal beasties that necessitate frequent trips to those nasty bathrooms situations.

Questions from Girl with the Paw Print Tattoo:

  1. What actor/actress would you want to play you in a film about your life?  I’ll say Natalie Portman/Keira Knightley/Anne Hathaway.  Somehow, despite the fact that they are all 3 distinct people with very minimal resemblance to each other, in my mind they are fused into one.  And therefore I can’t pick just one.
  2. You have just woken up from being cryogenically frozen. What is your first question?  Where’s my cup of tea?
  3. What type of movie would your life be? Romance? Drama? Comedy? Horror?  I wish my life was a cheesy 80’s movie, but in reality, if I Google lists of most boring movies they’re all more interesting than my life right now.  So even though I’ve never seen it and am going entirely based on Elaine’s reaction in Seinfeld, I’ll say something along the lines of the English Patient.
  4. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?  The all guinea pigs all the time channel!
  5. If you were famous, what would you want to be famous for?  Kicking some serious mental health stigma ass.

Questions from A Guy Called Bloke:

  1. If you were trapped on an isolated hilltop after your plane had crashed with your family and friends, would you resort to starvation or cannibalism?  Probably starvation, not so much out of some kind of moral stance but more a matter of major ick factor.
  2. If your best friend had murdered someone would you help bury the body?  Depends on how likely I thought it would be that I’d get found out for aiding and abetting (and speaking of which, is there actually a difference between aiding and abetting?)
  3. Do you ever wonder – what next – after the end of your time? if so, what is next?  I’m hoping for nothing.  One life is plenty.
  4. You know in the movies when the victims are being chased by the terrible nasty and they hit them, and think they are dead, but look back and discover the body gone?? If this was YOU how would you ensure the thing stays dead?  I’ll go with Tesla’s death ray; I googled death ray because I thought it sounded like a thing, and turns out it (except not really).
  5. What’s the meanest thing you have ever hoped would happen to someone ……….. eh??  I feel like it might be breaking some sort of law to tell the truth on this one, so I’ll go all Ronny Jackson on y’all and plead the Fifth.

My nominees: Please don’t feel pressured to do an award post.  If you do decide to join in the fun, pick the 5 questions from among those that I was asked that grab you the most.


Thanks again to Midsummer DaydreamerDiscovering Your HappinessThe Colour of MadnessGirl With the Paw Print Tattoo, and A Guy Called Bloke and Doodlepip’s Adventures for nominating me. ❤️   Please check out all of the blogs I’ve linked to in this post, because they’re all well worth a read!

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog award badge

I’ve been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by A Leap of Faith and Bipolar-(notice me aliens).  Thank you!!!


  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Share seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate 7 other bloggers and inform them.

7 things about me:

  1. The household task I hate the most is taking out the garbage.
  2. I’ve lived in the same 2-bedroom condo for 13 years.
  3. When I moved in my realtor gave me a plant.  It’s still alive even though I’m normally a plant-killer.
  4. I’ve never bought a tv – I’ve always gotten my family’s rejects.
  5. The boy I had a crush on in grade 3 ended up behind bars as an adult for aggravated sexual assault.  Glad things didn’t work out in grade 3!
  6. I have camped in a snow cave.
  7. I’m very prone to motion sickness.

My nominees: please don’t feel pressured at all to do an award nomination post 🙂


Thanks again to A Leap of Faith and Bipolar-(notice me aliens) for the nominations, and I hope people will check out the various blogs I’ve linked to in this post, because they’re all fabulous. ❤️

Blogging chums award

Blogging chums award

Yippee!  Thanks so much to Emilia at My Inner MishMash for nominating me for the Blogging Chums Award.

The Blogging Chums Award is given to particularly brilliant bloggers who are really providing something special to the community, either through their writing or the way they engage with other people: they’re just brilliant!  The award was created by Robert at The Non-Alcoholic Student.

Here are the rules:

1. Be sure to use the award image!
2. List the rules & about paragraph!
3. Thank whoever nominated you!
4. Write a letter to someone who means a lot to you to spread some positivity around the Internet – anyone will do!
5. Nominate 5-10 more people for the award and go let them know about it in their comments!

My letter:

Dear Grandma,

Thank you for being one of the most important figures in my life.  You’ve always been 110% on my side, and frequently tell me how wonderful/smart/beautiful I am.  Your home has always been my 2nd home, where one of the bedrooms is designated as “Ashley’s room”.  You never took anything too seriously, and you could always see the humour in everything.  Much of our time together is spent laughing, and when my brother and I were young we had the most fun when we were staying at Grandma’s house.  I have learned so much from you about the history of our family, and I feel like I know well all of these people that I never had the opportunity to meet.

Back in the day when it wasn’t considered acceptable to do so, you walked out on your husband because he was putting you down rather than lifting you up.  That must have taken so much courage.

It’s truly amazing that you’ve made it to 101 years old.  I know that means I won’t have you around for much longer, but I try to avoid thinking about that.  Age has taken its toll on your memory, but you still have the same spark and readiness to laugh.  Some of my favourite moments have always been those times I’ve spent with you.  You have truly brought light to my life.

Much love forever,




Thanks again to My Inner MishMash for nominating me.❤️  Happy blogging everyone!

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger award badge

I swear, it’s raining sunshine!  I’m so excited to be recognized by fellow bloggers Sibple: My not so simple bipolar lifeOrange Walls, Midsummer DaydreamerBlooming Bipolar, Blue Sky Days 365Imayormaynotkillmyself, and MentallyNotReyt, who’ve nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  If you aren’t familiar with these blogs yet, please check them out, because they’re awesome 🙂

The rules:

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

Questions from Sibple:

  1. Do you write anywhere else besides your blog? (other blogs, websites, journal, etc.)  Before I started blogging I had some work published in a few nursing and mental health journals.  Now I mostly write on my blog, with the occasional guest post on another site.
  2. Where is your favorite place to write? (your desk, outside, etc.) Sitting on my bed.
  3. Do you share your blog with friends and family or do you remain anonymous? I’ve told people that I blog but haven’t shared my blog name/site with them.
  4. What other topics have you considered writing about?  I feel like all the important stuff I have to say is somehow connected to the topic of mental health.
  5. If you could be granted a new talent, what talent would you like to have?  I would like to be good at job interviews.
  6. When the mood strikes…is it to sing or to dance? Dance
  7. What song(s) can affect your mood in a positive way?  Fun favorites from the 80’s, like New Kids on the Block.
  8. What is your ideal vacation spot? Somewhere off in a foreign country where everything (culture, landscape, etc) is totally different from home.
  9. What bad habit do you have that you wish you could break?  The skin on my hands can get scaly from eczema, and I pick at it.  It’s really quite gross, but that hasn’t stopped me yet.
  10. Where is the first place you would go or travel to if you won the lottery? Tibet.
  11. What household chore do you hate the most? Taking out the garbage.

Questions from Orange Walls:

  1. What/who inspires you to blog? My own experiences as well as what other bloggers have to say.
  2. What are your favourite self-care tips and tricks? Aromatherapy is a fave.  And time with my guinea pigs.
  3. Where do you see your blog in 5 years? Hopefully still going!
  4. What is the hardest part of your illness(es)?  This is a tough one.  I’d say that while there were various symptoms that felt really tough at the time, probably the biggest thing is the extent of its effect on many different aspects of my life.
  5. What thing(s) can you celebrate about yourself?  I make learning a priority in my life.
  6. Do you have any hobbies? If not, what hobbies can you see yourself doing and why? Blogging and guinea pig mothering.
  7. Where do you blog/write (i.e at a desk, in the kitchen…) and why?  Sitting on my bed because it’s comfy and I have the guinea pigs nearby.
  8. What kinds of tips can you give to someone who has recently been diagnosed? Be open to learning from as many different sources as you can find.  No one’s illness is going to be exactly like yours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn valuable things from them.
  9. What is your favourite season and why? Early fall, because I like the warm golden sunlight and the leaves changing colors.
  10. What keeps you blogging when barriers exist?  The WordPress community.  This is an amazing group of people we’ve got here.
  11. If you have 1 thing to say to your readers to inspire them, what would it be? Find your passion and follow it wherever it will take you.

Questions from Midsummer Daydreamer:

  1. What fictional place would you most like to go? The world of My Little Ponies 🙂
  2. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue? I would travel more and fly first class.
  3. What job would you be terrible at? Probably a lot of them, but I’ll go with telemarketing, because I hate talking on the phone and I’d hate feeling like I was bugging people.
  4. Are you usually early or late?  It stresses me out to be late, so I’m always early.
  5. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?  School/course-related stuff.
  6. What are some small things that make your day better?  Five small things: my pet guinea pigs!
  7. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?  I’ve gone pretty far afield, maybe the farthest being India or Tanzania.
  8. What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with, but you just don’t get the point of? Various social media.  A lot of that stuff I don’t even know what it is.
  9. What would you rate 10/10?  The movie Dirty Dancing
  10. What fad or trend do you hope comes back?  Hmmm…  There was a lot of pretty fun stuff in the ’80s, but it’s probably best that it stay there.  I loooooved my acid wash jeans wish slouch socks and bright blue Converse high tops, but somehow I don’t think it would translate that well in the present day.
  11. Where is the most relaxing place you’ve ever been?  Various beaches, but also Luang Prabang in Laos – even the souvenir sellers would be sprawled out napping in the middle of the day.

Questions from Blooming Bipolar:

  1. What is your favorite book? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
  2. Do you have a pet, what do you have? 5 guinea pigs!
  3. What is your ideal vacation spot? I’ve answered this one above
  4. What’s your favorite meal? Cheeseburgers 🙂
  5. Which TV character do you identify with the most? Not sure, but some similarities with Monica on Friends.
  6. What did you want to be when you were a child? A cardiologist
  7. Who would you love to see in concert?  I’m actually not all that keen on concerts.
  8. How long have you been blogging? 6 months
  9. Which time period would you love to live in?  If we’re talking recent past, I’d say the 80’s.  Going further back, I’d say the Jane Austen era.
  10. Which movie can you watch over and over again? Dirty Dancing and Top Gun.
  11. What do you do for self-care? I love afternoon naps.  I don’t usually sleep, but I love to just lie there and turn my brain off for a while.

Questions from Blue Sky Days 365:

  1. What is your favourite time of day, and why?  I’m an early riser, and I like being awake while the rest of the world around me is still sleeping.
  2. Which country have you visited most often?  The United States because it’s close by; otherwise, there’s too many new places to go to do repeats.
  3. What one thing would change your life for the better?  Remission!
  4. What decade did you enjoy most and why?  I was a kid in the 80’s, and it was so much fun.
  5. What would you spend a £1000/$1000 prize on? Travelling!
  6. What was your favourite band as a child?  I was a huge New Kids on the Block fan, particularly around grade 4-ish.  I had an awesome NKOTB t-shirt.
  7. What could you not live without?  Some type of internet-accessing device.
  8. What is your favourite play/musical/theatre show?  Hmm, not sure.  But Phantom of the Opera was the very first musical I ever saw, and I loved it.
  9. Which movie character do you identify most with?  I can’t think of a serious answer so I’m going to go with April O’Neil from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  10. Which person living or not, would you invite to dinner?  I think I’ll go with the Dalai Lama, although I’m not sure what I’d cook for him.
  11. What is your favourite ice cream flavour? Ben & Jerry’s peanut butter half baked.  Haagen Dazs chocolate peanut butter is a close second.

Questions from Imayormaynotkillmyself:

  1. What’s you’re favourite song and write a lyric from it that makes you love it so much.  My current favourite is Praying by Kesha.  A lyric I particularly like: “I’m proud of who I am.  No more monsters I can breathe again.”
  2. If you could change your name to anything what would it be? At one point when I was in university I wanted to go by my middle name (Leia).  I told my TA  for math tutorial that I went by Leia; probably was, he’d say that name and it failed to catch my attention.
  3. Would you rather fly ,be invisible or be invinsible?  If I could fly like Superman and avoid airplanes that would be very nice.
  4. Finish this sentence ” I would never ever try to ……  eat an insect.  I saw fried critters being sold in Cambodia, but I am not that daring.
  5. If you only had 24 hours on this earth who would you spend it with? My grandma, who’s 101.
  6. Which 3 words would you use to describe yourself? Guinea pig mama!!!
  7. which 3 words would you think others would use to describe you? I would rather not know.
  8. Truth or dare? Truth, like letting it all hang out on a blog…
  9. Tell the truth now have you ever cheated on a test? No, but in 3rd year anatomy I could see that my buddy sitting next to me was stressing out, so I intentionally tried to let him see my answers but he was too caught up hyperventilating to notice.
  10. I dare you to write a quirk that you have. It’s been a while, but socks on during sex.  Icy cold feet are not sexy.
  11. If you could let others know one thing about you what would that be? I think by the end of all these questions you’re thinking no more!  No more!

Questions from MentallyNotReyt

  1. What inspires you in life? It’s been really inspiring to read how other bloggers have taken on all that life throws at them.
  2. What small thing makes you smile?  My youngest guinea pig is very energetic and she’ll go tearing around the cage like a bat out of hell.
  3. What is a memory you can never forget? Well, my grandma is 101 and dementing but still remembers things from when she was 10 years old, so probably I’ll always remember my childhood home.
  4. What is your favourite taste? Chocolate.
  5. Where is your ‘happy place’? My bedroom.
  6. Who has your heart?  My guinea pigs have their mama and her heart wrapped around their little feet.
  7. Revenge or forgiveness? On a good day, forgiveness.  On a bad day, revenge.
  8. Do you think lying is ever acceptable?  I think “white lies” are acceptable.  If there is no benefit to anyone in telling the truth, there is no chance of the truth coming out later, and the white lie could make the person feel good and the truth would make them feel bad, I would tell the white lie.
  9. What is a quote you love?  “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius
  10. Where would you love to visit before you die? I would really like to go to Lhasa in Tibet.
  11. Is there an afterlife?  I imagine that the energy within us goes back into the earth to support the creation of new life.

My nominees:

I’ve done a few of these award nomination posts before, and I’ve decided to try to nominate new people each time to spread the love around as much as possible.  Please don’t feel obligated to do an awards post; I know they can be a lot of work, and I’m still not that confident I know how pingbacks and stuff work.  As for questions, I figure why wrack my brain for new questions… instead, you can pick whichever 11 of the various questions I was asked that grab you the most.  And as a side note, I wasn’t feeling sure if “wrack” was the correct spelling, and it seems that wrack vs rack is kind of po-TAY-to vs po-TAH-to.  Anyway, back to business.  The nominees are:


So there it is, sunshine galore!  And if you’re sick of learning things about me after all of these questions, that’s ok, I won’t hold it against you!  Thanks again to Sibple: My not so simple bipolar lifeOrange Walls, Midsummer DaydreamerBlooming BipolarBlue Sky Days 365, Imayormaynotkillmyself, and MentallyNotReyt for the nominations! xoxo  Happy blogging everyone 🙂

Mystery Blogger Award

Mystery blogger award logo

Woot woot!  I’ve been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Eternal ConversationsTherapy BitsMy Inner MishMashThis Girls’ Got Curves, and Scarlett’s BPD corner.  Thanks so much!  And for anyone who hasn’t already checked out these blogs, you should most definitely do so.

What I like most about doing these award posts is hopefully being able to give people some new ideas of great blogs to follow.  To those I’m nominated, please don’t feel like you have to do an award post.  I know they can be a lot to take on, and I certainly take my sweet time doing them.

The Mystery Blogger Award:

Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts.  Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates.  They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get.  This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.  – Okoto Enigma


  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Tell your readers 3 things(facts or anything you want to share) about yourself.
  • Answer the questions you were asked(if any)
  • Nominate 10 – 20 people & notify.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions(optional) of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).


Question from Eternal Conversations:

If you’re supposed to become an animal, then what animal on this whole planet you would like/choose to become ?!  I would pick dolphin.  They’re smart and they get to frolic around in the water – sounds like a pretty good existence!

Questions from Therapy Bits:

  1. How do you view your past? I try to avoid looking at the past, which is probably not a good thing.
  2. How do you view your future? I used to have a fairly clear idea of what my future might be like, but now I have no idea.
  3. What is the most gooey, cheesy thing you like to eat?  Mac and cheese with bacon.
  4. If you changed careers for the love of it, what would you be doing?  I love my career as a nurse and wouldn’t change that, but I would like to change up where I’m working.
  5. Do you consider yourself to be good at math(s)?  I’m good enough to do basic math in my head, but it’s never been a subject that really interested me.

Questions from My Inner MishMash:

  1. What’s your biggest fear? Spiders.  If I’m watching a movie or something that shows a spider I need to cover my eyes until it’s gone.
  2. What’s your biggest accomplishment in life? I was really proud of getting my master’s degree in psychiatric nursing.
  3. How many Jacks or Jackies do you know and do you like them (this weird one).  Hmm, the only person I can think of is a girl I knew way back in university.  She had a nice alliterative name (jackie Jarvis), and yes, I did like her.  
  4. Do you like your job? If you’re not working, what job would you like to have?  I love being a nurse, but my current jobs are just so-so.
  5. Do you write anything else besides on your blog?  I’ve done some guest posts on other sites, and in the past I’ve written about mental health in several nursing journals.

Questions from This Girl’s Got Curves:

  1. What do you want to be doing five years from now?  I really don’t know.  I used to have a much clearer idea of where I wanted my life to go, but the future has gotten a lot fuzzier.
  2. Who do you most look up to and why (alive or dead, famous or family)?  I really admire the Dalai Lama and the message he puts out to the world.
  3. What do you do first in the morning?  Feed the guinea pigs.  Sometimes they can tell I’m awake because they hear me shifting around in bed and they start squeaking to demand their food NOW.
  4. What is your favorite song?
  5. (Silly) What is the oldest thing in your fridge? Probably fish sauce that I use for Thai cooking.  I don’t know why they make the bottle so big when you use so little at a time.  I figure there’s so much salt and who knows what else in there that it just never goes bad.

Questions from Scarlett’s BPD Corner:

  • What was the most important experience in your life?  Probably my first episode of depression when I got really sick and spent 2 months in hospital.  Not important in a good way, but it hugely impacted the direction my life has gone in since then.
  • What makes you keep going?  Probably inertia, mostly.  My pet guinea pigs are also helpful in this respect.
  • If you had to choose between streaking and eating the same meal for 5 years, what would you choose? That would depend on so many factors, but probably the same meal.
  • What was the post you enjoyed writng the most? Talk a bit about it and why it made you feel so much enjoyment?  I think I get the most satisfaction out of posts that involve ranting about stigma.  There’s just something satisfying about a good rant.
  • What is your favorite topic or theme to talk about in your blog?  Anything mental health-related.

My nominees:

I’ve picked as nominees blogs that (at least according to the vast wisdom of my blogging spreadsheet) I haven’t nominated for awards before.  Rather than give you new questions to answer, feel free to pick from whichever of the questions I was asked that you find the most interesting.


So my friends, there you have it.  Thanks again to Eternal ConversationsTherapy BitsMy Inner MishMash, This Girls’ Got Curves, and Scarlett’s BPD corner! xoxo  I hope you’ll check out all of the blogs I’ve linked to in this post, because they are fabulous.


Liebster and Versatile Blogger Awards

Liebster Award nomination badgeversatileblogger3

It truly warms my heart to be recognized by fellow bloggers.  Love you guys!!!  LivinglifewithmentalhealthBipolar – Notice Me Aliens, and A Guy Called Bloke nominated me for the Liebster Award, and Life With an Illness and The Jessica Effect nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  If you aren’t already familiar with these blogs, definitely check them out, because they’re fabulous.

These awards are a fun way to get to know each other and also to spread the love around.  I’ve picked as nominees people that I haven’t nominated for awards before (at least according to my all-knowing blogging spreadsheet), and hopefully I can give you some ideas of cool new blogs to follow.  For those I’ve nominated, please don’t feel obligated to do an award post, or take your sweet time doing one…  I know they can be time-consuming!  Oh, and if you’ve already been nominated for the one that I’ve nominated you for, please feel free to switch your nomination over to the other award.  As you can probably guess from the alphabetical order, no thought went into which award to nominate you for 😉

So, time to dive right in.

Liebster Award

“The Liebster Award is an award for bloggers that is given by other bloggers. It exists only on the internet and gives recognition and exposure to new and promising blogs. Liebster is a German word that means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. The winner is chosen and awarded at the end of each year.”

The official rules of the award are as follows:

  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award logo.
  • Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award.
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Let the bloggers know of their nomination!


Questions from Livinglifewithmentalhealth:

  1. When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?  When I’m old I dream of having a farm with a bunch of  critters, so kids will want stories about the critters.
  2. What animal would be cutest if scaled down to the size of a cat? A komodo dragon.  That’s not actually the cutest, but it just popped into my mind.
  3. What weird food combinations do you really enjoy? I’m sure there are a few, but what’s jumping to mind isn’t actually a food combination, but a combination of pancakes and cold temperature.  I love cold pancakes.
  4. What are some red flags to watch out for in daily life? Guinea pigs who aren’t interested in food.  Huge red flag.
  5. If your job gave you a surprise three day paid break to rest and recuperate, what would you do with those three days? Chill out at home.
  6. What’s the most creative use of emojis you’ve ever seen? I’m a bit baffled by emojis beyond the basic ones.
  7. What “old person” things do you do?  Go to bed by 8pm.
  8. What’s something you really resent paying for?  Parking.
  9. What riddles do you know? None that I can think of.
  10. If someone narrated your life, who would you want to be the narrator? Sean Connery because he has a cool voice.
  11. If you were moving to another country, but could only pack one carry-on sized bag, what would you pack? Laptop, passport, wallet, pills.


Questions from Bipolar – Notice Me Aliens

  1. What is your favorite hobby/passion? Probably travelling.
  2. How many languages can you speak?  Just English, but any time I travel I learn a handful of words in the local language.
  3.  You like animals?  Yes!!!!!!
  4. You ever play a videogame? If yes what is your favourite?  I haven’t played video games since I was a kid, at which point I liked Legend of Zelda (or whatever it was called).
  5. You have any piercing?  I have both ears pierced, but don’t actually wear earrings that often any more.
  6. You have any tattoo? I have 3.  My favorite is a large phoenix tattoo.
  7. The last book you have read? The Introvert Advantage.
  8. Your goals/dreams for the future? Do more travelling.  Find a job I like (same career, just different job).
  9. What you think about the “stigma” to mental illness?
  10. Favourite flavor of pizza?  “Canadian”, i.e. pepperoni, bacon, and mushroom
  11. Morning or night? Morning morning morning


Questions from A Guy Called Bloke:

  1. What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
  2. Do you own a pet if so, what? I have 5 guinea pigs, which may officially make me a crazy guinea pig lady.
  3. What is your favourite game – this can be old fashioned board games all the way up to current? Colonel Mustard with a rope in the dining room… Clue!
  4. Have you ever had to make a decision that you didn’t like? Discuss if you wish or simply answer Yes/No?  Yes.  Quit my job or continue to be bullied.
  5. What animal would be cutest if scaled down to the size of a guinea pig?  It doesn’t get any cuter than a guinea pig, so that’s that.
  6. What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of? Dirty Dancing.  Patrick Swayze just keeps getting sexier and sexier every time.
  7. Where are some unusual places you’ve been?  Riding on horseback and staying in a yurt in Kyrgyzstan.
  8. Do you think that aliens exist? I think the chances of Earth being the only planet with life are very slim.
  9. What mythical creature do you wish actually existed? A unicorn.  and I would braid purple ribbons in its hair.
  10. Which of your teachers at school resembled the dragon or a dragon? Who is the dragon?  I feel like I’m missing something….  But my grade 6 teacher was Maori and he struck me as a warrior-like individual who could kick some dragon ass.
  11. If magic was real, what spell would you try to learn first?  Making icky people disappear.


My nominees:

I like the questions that were posed to me, so for my nominees I say pick at random from the 33 questions above.

Versatile Blogger Award

The rules are simple:

  • Give 8 interesting facts about yourself.
  • Nominate few versatile bloggers and you’re done.

Facts about me:

  1. I have one grandparent still living: my grandma, who is 101 years old.
  2. Longevity runs in the family, and I have little hope of dying of natural causes before I’m 90.
  3. I’m thinking about getting a new tattoo of a Celtic oak tree design.
  4. I’m a notorious plant killer but I have 2 happy prayer plants in my bedroom.
  5. Bedtime is often my favorite time of day.
  6. At this moment I can see my iron sitting in my closet, and realize that it has been several years since I last used it.
  7. I have cold feet so I prefer to wear socks even in the summer.
  8. I’m glad that I’m part Arabic, because it means I tend to tan rather than sunburn.


My nominees:


So, there you have it!  Thanks again to LivinglifewithmentalhealthBipolar – Notice Me Aliens,  A Guy Called Bloke, Life With an Illness, and The Jessica Effect for the nominations.  Please have a  look at these blogs and the blogs I’ve nominated…. they’re well worth a read!

Blog awards mashup 2

Liebster Award badgeVersatile Blogger Award BadgeBlog award badge

I feel very honoured to be recognized by fellow bloggers with award nominations.  I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Funky Chrissy, the Blogger Appreciation Award by A Balancing Act, and the Versatile Blogger Award by Scarlett’s BPD Corner and Therapy Bits.  Thanks so much to all of you – you’re amazing!!!  I like doing these award post because they’re a great chance to spread the love.  The blogs that nominated me are all fabulous, so please check them out if you haven’t already.  With the nominees I chose I’ve tried to pick blogs I haven’t nominated before and that I think you might not be familiar with yet.  So definitely go have a look!  And for those I’ve nominated, please don’t feel in any way obligated to do an award post – I know they can be a lot to take on.  And if you decide to do an award post, feel free to take your sweet time 🙂

Ok, here we go!

Liebster Award

This seems to be the magically morphing award.  I’ve had a few of these, and it’s always a different award image, rules, etc.  Sometimes it’s an award for new bloggers, and sometimes it’s not.  Maybe it should be renamed the kitchen sink award!


1.) Acknowledge the blogger who nominated your blog.
2.) Answer their questions.
3.) Nominate 11 other new bloggers to encourage them.
4.) Ask them 11 questions.
5.) Let them know you have nominated them.

Questions from Chrissy:

1.) If you were to own a prehistorical animal, which one would you choose and why? A pterodactyl, because flying could be fun.
2.) If you had the chance to go to school for free, what would you study to be? Probably a PhD in nursing.
3.) What movie do you not want to see a remake of?  I think they never should have made a remake of Dirty Dancing.  Nothing could have possibly lived up to the original.
4.) Would you rather live way back in the past or in the future…and why?  I think I’d be inclined to think the past, before I got sick.
5.) What moment of your life do you wish you could relive forever?  I don’t think I have a single moment, but probably my most interesting experiences have been while travelling.
6.) If you had to perform your least favourite song on stage, what song would it be?  If it was me performing, it wouldn’t make much difference whether it would be least or most favorite song, because it would all sound equally bad,
7.) If you were to give your best friend a pet name instead of a person name, what would it be?  One of my pet guinea pigs is named Cookie, or Cookie Monster for short (ok, I know it’s not actually shorter, but whatever).  I think that would be a good person name.
8.) What do you think you are much better at than you actually are?  Possibly driving, because other people think I drive too fast.
9.) If mythical creatures existed, which group would you hang out with? Which group do you think would be the A List group?  I guess it depends what we mean by mythical.  In terms of old school mythical, phoenix all the way.  And I don’t know if this counts as new school mythical, but the whole She-Ra/He-Man situation sounds like a fun little gang.
10.) What are you interested in that most people aren’t?  I am a geek and like to learn new things.  I watch continuing medical education webinars and read research papers just for the hell of it.
11.) What TV show character would it be the most fun to change places with for a week and why?  Jem from Jem and the Holograms.  Yes, I know I’m dating myself what that reference.

My nominees:  I’m not very creative at coming up with questions, so I’m going to pass on to my nominees the same questions that Chrissy asked me.


Blogger Appreciation Award

The rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their site.
  • Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself.
  • Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish.
  • Use the Blogger Appreciation Award Image.

Something positive:

I am a good guinea pig mom.  I have 5 little munchkins, and I give them a happy home with lots of love and lots of fresh vegetables.  They are active, chatty, and engaged, all signs of healthy piggies.  It’s the one area of my life where I feel like my level of functioning isn’t impaired at all, which is reassuring, and I get a lot of benefit from my informal emotional support animals.

guinea pig sitting in a hay manger

My nominees:


Versatile Blogger Award


  1. Thank the person who gave you this award and link to their blog.
  2. List 7 things about yourself.
  3. Nominate 10 to 20 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

7 Things about me:

  1. As I write this I’m visiting my grandma, who is 101 years old!!!
  2. I could happily eat cheeseburgers and cheesecake all the time.
  3. I try to be very organized.  I rely on a spreadsheet to keep track of all things blog-related.
  4. I have cold feet and wear socks all the time.  Yup, even in bed.
  5. I will be turning 40 in just over a year.  I used to think it would be a big deal, but now I realize it’s just another number.
  6. I don’t own a suitcase.  Backpack all the way!
  7. I think my next trip is going to be to Slovenia and Croatia.

My nominees:


Alright folks, there you have it!  Again, thanks so much to Funky Chrissy, A Balancing Act, Scarlett’s BPD Corner, and Therapy Bits for the nominations ❤️  Please check out the various blogs I’ve mentioned because they’re all wonderful 🙂

Blog award extravaganza


Liebster5Blogger Recognition Award badgeSunshine blogger award badgeMystery blogger award logo


Wowza.  I have been nominated for 5 different blog awards recently, and I feel so incredibly honoured to be recognized by my fellow bloggers.  This is an amazing little love-fest we’ve got going on in the WordPress community.  Since I get overwhelmed easily, I’m going to combine them all into one big adventure.  I’m using the spreadsheet I have for all things blogging to try to make up for my brain being not very on the ball, but if any of what follows gets jumbled and makes no sense, it’s the brain’s fault, not the spreadsheet’s 😉  And the take-home message in all of this is please check out the blogs I’ve linked to in this post, because they are all fabulous.

It’s always hard to figure out who to nominate for awards, and a lot of it comes down to who happens to be at the top of my WordPress feed when I happen to be working on the post.  I try to mostly nominate people who aren’t already in my spreadsheet as blogs I’ve nominated, but I’m generally pretty discombobulated.  If I haven’t mentioned you, it’s not because I love you any less!  And for those I have nominated, please feel free to ignore the nomination, accept it and leave it at that, or join in and do your own award post…  whatever feels right for you.  I know these award posts can take a lot of work, so no pressure to take that on.  And on a side note, if anyone’s not familiar with pingbacks yet, if you link to a blog’s website (not the blog’s page in WordPress reader), the blogger will get a pingback notification that you’ve linked to their their blog.  It definitely took me a while to figure that whole situation out.

Alright, time to dive right in!



The lovely Sweet Summer Online has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.

The rules:

  • Write 7 interesting facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 amazing bloggers for the award.

7 Facts about me:

  1. I have 5 pet guinea pigs, 3 girls and 2 boys.
  2. My middle name, Leia, comes from my great grandmother rather than Star Wars.
  3. My ancestors are a hodgepodge of English, Scottish, Danish, and Lebanese.
  4. I am a plant killer extraordinaire, but I have a prayer plant beside my bed that’s doing well and does a lot of moving around, which is cool.
  5. Dance has always been my favourite form of exercise, and I’ve done everything from ballet to ballroom to hip hop.
  6. The only famous person I’ve seen up close was Penelope Cruz in Cannes.
  7. My favourite book is a tie between Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) and Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens).

My nominees:



I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by the fabulous Hyper Child Chill Mom.

What is the “Mystery Blogger Award” ?

It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.  It appears to have been started by Okoto Enigma


  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  • Share a link to your best post(s).


  1. What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?  I have a round indented scar between my eyebrows from chicken pox.
  2. Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving? I’ve already tried bungee jumping and sky diving, so next up would be shark diving.
  3. What is one of the weirdest things you used to do as a teenager? I was a geek and had a pretty tame life in high school.
  4. In your opinion, what is the best Disney movie to come out since Disney’s Golden Age?  I’m not so up on my Disney and don’t actually know what the golden age was, but I’m going to say Lion King.
  5. What is your favorite Wikipedia article? I don’t think I have a favourite, but I do use Wikipedia a lot.  A few years back I went through a phase of doing a lot of Wikipedia article editing (which, by the way, anyone can do).

My nominees: I pass on to all of you the same questions I was asked by Hyper Child Chill Mom.



I was nominated for the Liebster Award by the very cool former Rude Girl in an Aspie World, who’s now blogging at Discovering My Authentic Self.

The Rules:

  • Write about your blog and thank the person who nominated you. Share a link to their blog and write a little something about their blog too.
  • Display the award on your blog
  • Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel would enjoy blogging about this award.
  • Answer the questions provided.
  • Make a new set of 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • List these rules in your post
  • Inform the people/blogs that you nominated.

The Questions:

  1. What inspired you or why did you start blogging? (This could also be related to writing. You choose)  I was looking for something to give me a bit more sense of purpose, and I think it’s really important to talk about mental health.
  2. What is the reason behind your blog name and/or url?  It was something I’d had in mind as a potential name if I start a private nursing practice at some point down the road.
  3. In your personal opinion, what is your favorite blog or best blog you have posted so far and why?  I honestly don’t have a favourite, because they’re all about topics that matter to me.
  4. What are some of your favorite tips for new bloggers? Write about what moves you.
  5. How has blogging changed your life? It has absolutely changed my life, making me feel much more connected to the world.  Plus it means I’ve always got something productive to do with my time.
  6. Do you like music? If so, what are some of your favorite artists or songs etc?  I like to crank up the tunes while I’m driving, but I’m not really that attached to any particular artist.  Favourite song tends to rotate based on where my head is at.
  7. Do you read? If so, what are some of your favorite books or authors?  I do like to read.  I used to read more fiction, but for the last while my concentration hasn’t been that great, so non-fiction is easier.
  8. What are some of your hobbies? Blogging and being a guinea pig mom.
  9. What places do you really want to see, experience or visit? I really want to visit Lhasa in Tibet.
  10. If there was one thing (anything) in humanity or the world you could change without question ifs or buts, what would it be?  I would make people more compassionate.

My nominees:  I pass on to you the same questions as I was asked by Discovering My Authentic Self.



Functioning in my dysfunction and Little Lost One Blog nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  Interestingly enough, I discovered both of these lovelies through the award post nominating them on Scarlett’s BPD Corner.


  1. Shout out to the blogger who nominated you with a link to her/his blog.
  2. Answer questions given by the blogger.
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers for the sunshine award, with links to their blogs.
  4. Don’t forget to notify your nominees.
  5. Come up with your own questions and tag 11 other bloggers nominating them to do the same.


  1. What is your favorite animal?  Guinea pigs – I have 5.
  2. You’re streaming Netflix, what are you watching? Lately I’ve been watching true crime stuff.
  3. What’s the biggest goal you want to accomplish this year? I’ve got a paper about bullying that’s almost finished that I’ve been to nervous to submit to an academic journal because I worry about negative feedback from peer review, but I’d like to move forward with that later this year.
  4. If you had the chance to travel the world, what’s the first place you’d visit? I think my next trip will be to the former Yugoslavia area.
  5. What’s your dream profession and what made you choose it?  My dream profession is being a nurse.  I love my work, I just don’t like the politics and the crappy management that tend to go along with it.
  6. Who is your biggest role model? I don’t have one in particular, but there are a lot of amazing people out there.
  7. What are the top 5 songs on your playlist? Right now I’ve got a couple of John Legend songs in heavy rotation.
  8. What do you do for fun?  Fun?  What’s that?  …. Unfortunately, I don’t really remember.
  9. Why did you start blogging? To add to the conversation about mental health.
  10. What keeps you focused?  My meds.
  11. What do you hope people take away from your blog posts?  That it’s ok to talk about difficult things.

My nominees: I pass on to you the same questions that I was asked.



I was nominated for this award by my dear name-sister Ashley at Practicing Imperfection.

Here’s how the award works:

  1. Post the Blogger Recognition Award Rules.
  2. Use Blogger Recognition Award badge on your website.
  3. Share the reasons why you blog.
  4. Share two tips for new bloggers.
  5. Nominate other bloggers for this award and notify each of them about this nomination.

Why I blog

The more we talk about mental health, the better things will be for all those of us living with mental illness.

Tips for new bloggers:

  1. Decide on an intention or purpose for your blog, and bring yourself back to that regularly, because it can be easy to get swept away.
  2. Write about what matters to you, and don’t limit yourself with what you think you can’t or shouldn’t say.

My nominees:


If you’ve made it to the end of this epic post, good for you!  This post is all about spreading the love, so I hope you’ll check out the blogs I’ve mentioned.  Thanks again to the wonderful bloggers that nominated me – hugs to all of you.

Blog Award Mashup





I’ve been nominated for three different blog awards by several lovely bloggers:

Blogger Recognition Award: Alys and Alicia

Blogger Appreciation Award: Nuclear Asteria.

Liebster Award: The Colour of Madness

A huge thank you to all of these ladies, who are fantastic bloggers.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should definitely do so!  I love these blog awards because they’re such a great way to discover new blogs, but I’m doing this as a mashup so it’s not as overwhelming for me.  Figuring out who I should nominate is always hard, because I love you all.  However, to keep me from spending too many hours on this, I’m picking a random assortment from this amazing blogosphere that I feel so lucky to be a part of.


Blogger Recognition Award

  1. Show your gratitude to the person who nominated you and provide a link back to the person’s blog.
  2. Give a brief story of your blog.
  3. Share two or more pieces of advice for beginner bloggers.
  4. Choose 10 other bloggers to nominate.
  5. Comment on each blog by letting them know they’ve been nominated and provide a link to your award post.


Blogger Appreciation Award

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their site.
  • Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself.
  • Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish.
  • Use the award image.


Rules of the Liebster Award 2018

The winning blog wins a prize. Each blog gets one entry. To enter you must:

  • Link to my blog post in your Liebster Award blog post.
  • Answer the questions given to you (if nominated, if you were not nominated you can use my questions).
  •  Create more questions for your 5-11 nominees to answer (judged on uniqueness and creativity).
  • Comment on this blog post with a link DIRECTLY to your Liebster award. (To make it easy for the judge to read them all.)
  • Entries start 1st Jan 2018 and ends on 25th Dec 2018. The winner will be picked on the 31st of December


Now that the rules are out of the way, here are my answers and nominees….

Blogger Recognition Award:

  • My blog’s story: I’ve always cared about challenging mental illness stigma, but for a long time I stayed away from social media because it just made me feel crappy about myself.  Last fall I had a lot of time on my hands because I wasn’t working much, and I was looking for something that would help give me a sense of purpose and feel less isolated, so my blog was born
  • Advice for beginner bloggers: Write about what matters to you, not about what you think other people want to read.  Engage in the blogging community and all the support that it has to offer.  These kinds of award posts can be a great way to get hooked into that.

My nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award:


Blogger Appreciation Award – something positive about me: I am a damn good nurse.  I work in mental health, and I consistently get feedback from my clients that they feel I listen to them and treat them with respect and compassion.  I’ve had more than one nasty manager who questioned my abilities as a nurse not because of my work with clients but because I spoke my mind and called bullsh*t on policies that went against my values.  Yet even at my most depressed, I knew that not only were they @ssholes, but they were just plain wrong.

My nominees for the Blogger Appreciation Award:

Questions from Kate at Colour of Madness for the Liebster Award:

  1. What is your favourite sense and why? (as in taste, touch, smell etc)  I would have to say vision because it plays such an important role in my passion, travelling.
  2. If you found $1000 in a bag at the local park and nobody seemed to be around, what would you do with it? I’d be torn between turning it in to the police station so maybe its owner could claim it, or donating it to charity.
  3. Do your friends and family read your blog? If not, why not and if so, how does it change the way you write?  No, and I prefer it that way because I don’t feel the need to check myself at all in my writing.
  4. What is the quirkiest little habit you have that you just can’t break?  It’s not quirky, but I do have quite the potty mouth, although I’m not sure the issue is I can’t break the habit or I just don’t give a sh*t.  Probably the latter.
  5. What is your favourite post from your own blog and why? I don’t have one, because they’re all about things that are interesting/relevant/important to me.
  6. If you could go back in time and speak to your 16yr old self, but only for 5 minutes, what would you say?  I’d say don’t waste a single day of being well.
  7. What is your favourite physical feature and why?  I like that I’m tall (5’8″), because it’s the one feature that there’s nothing at all I’d want to change about.
  8. Are you a Winter person or a Summer person? Summer.  Bring on the sunshine.
  9. If you could bring a celebrity back from the dead and take them out for the afternoon, who would you choose and where would you go? Nelson Mandela would be amazing to meet, but I might be tempted to go for someone scary and creepy.
  10. Who would have the best chance of survival in a Zombie apocalypse, you or your best friend? Why?  I don’t actually have friends any more, because I’ve pushed them all away.  I think I’d be ready to join team Zombie.
  11. This is the big one guys… The toilet paper roll. Under or over?  I’m militant about this one: over.  I just don’t understand why anyone would want under.  Over is like the toilet paper being presented to you on a silver platter – who doesn’t want service like that?

My nominees for the Liebster Award: I pass on the same questions to you.


If you’ve already been nominated for the award I nominated you for, please feel free to switch to a different award.  And if you don’t have the time/energy/inclination to do an award post that is 110% okay.  They can be exhausting!

I do hope, though, that people will check out all the blogs that I’ve mentioned, because they’re awesome.  Thanks again to Alys, Alicia, Asteria, and Kate for nominating me ❤️

Liebster/Mystery/Awesome Blogger award nominations

Liebster award logo         Mystery blogger award logo


Ok, so this is very much a shortcut, but here’s the deal.  I feel so honoured to have gotten award nominations recently from several amazing bloggers for three different blog awards.  I find I have a hard time giving these kinds of posts the concentration they deserve, so I’m going to roll them all into one to make it a bit easier.

My nominations came from the following lovely bloggers that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already:

Liebster Award: The word liebster means beloved in German, which makes a nice name for an award.  For anyone who’s read a few Liebster award posts, the rules are always a little (or a lot) different – it reminds me of the kids game of telephone.  I’m just going to go with the simplest set of rules from among the nominations I received:

  • Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you.
  • Provide a link to their blog.
  • Include the award graphic.
  • Answer the questions provided.
  • Nominate 10 recently followed bloggers and share your post with them, so they can see it.
  • Make a new set of 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

Mystery Blogger Award: It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.  It appears to have been started by Okoto Enigma.

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Answer the questions you were asked
  • Nominate 10 – 20 people & notify
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Awesome Blogger Award:  “This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”  Created by Miss Maggie @ Dreaming of Guatemala

The rules are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated


Ok, so here’s 3 things about me:

  1. Travelling is my biggest passion in life.  Not that I feel passionate about much of anything right now, but I hope to get that back.
  2. I think chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven.
  3. I find laundry relaxing.  Yup, it’s weird, but it just feels so simple and domestic.


Questions asked of me: This is an assortment of questions drawn from the various questions that came to me.

  1. What changes would you like to see in the world within the next ten years?  I would like to see the stigma around mental illness dwindle away to nothing.
  2. Do you own any pets? If so, what kind? I have 5 beautiful guinea pigs, and to be honest if I lived in a house rather than a condo I’d probably have a mini-barn in the backyard with closer to 50.
  3. What is your least liked thing about blogging? I find it easy to get overwhelmed.  It wouldn’t be as overwhelming if I didn’t spend as much time reading, but at the same time I enjoy being able to read other people’s blogs just as much as I like writing my own.
  4. How in touch are you with your surroundings?  I am the most unobservant person in the world, and I would make an awful police witness.  But when I’m relaxed and not doing anything I’m much more mindful of what’s around me.
  5. What is your favorite social media site? I’m not a big fan of social media, but there is a lot of amazing content on Twitter.
  6. Do you wake up early or like to sleep late?  I go to bed crazy early and wake up early.  I like having quiet time to myself before the rest of the world wakes up.
  7. Where would you most like to visit and why? I would like to go to Lhasa in Tibet. It seems like such a different world, and in a spectacular setting.
  8. If you could have a drink (can be water) with anyone alive or dead, who would you choose? Nelson Mandela if I was looking for inspiration, or Sigmund Freud if I was looking for more of a bizarre, surreal, am-I-on-another-planet kind of experience.
  9. What is your favourite book? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I like how feisty Elizabeth Bennett is.
  10. If you could be any animal what would you be? A dolphin – they’re intelligent, and it seems like a nice life swimming around in the ocean.  Or maybe a guinea pig – life is as simple as eat, poop, and sleep.


My nominations: It’s always so hard to narrow this down!  I’ve done up a little spreadsheet for myself to try to keep me a bit more organized, but it doesn’t really make it much easier!  Please consider yourself nominated for any or all of these awards, and if it’s a bit more than you’re able to take on I get it completely.  As for questions, I’m going to pass on to you the same hodgepodge that I picked above.

So there you have it, my own little awards menage a trois.  I hope you’ll have a look at the bloggers mentioned in this post – after all, that’s what makes this whole blog awards thing so cool!


Awesome Blogger Award Nomination


The fabulous Ashley from Practicing Imperfection as nominated me for an Awesome Blogger Award which is… well, awesome!  Thanks so much!  She’s got a really good blogger, so if you haven’t check her out already you should!

Awesome Blogger Award Is:

“This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

Created by Miss Maggie @ Dreaming of Guatemala

The Rules Are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated

My questions from Ashley:

  1. What color eye shadow?  I like to play with colors, but a smoky brown look is always good.
  2. Do you like sandwiches? (If yes, please describe favorite!) I’ve really cut down my bread intake but for a greasy breakfast indulgence I love Moons Over My Hammy at Denny’s.
  3. Flats or heels?  When I’m well, heels.  Depressed, flats.
  4. How much water do you drink every day, on average? Probably 2 litres a day.  I always have my water bottle with me.
  5. What is the best coffee you’ve ever had?  Hmm, not sure.  Lattes are my favourite, though.
  6. How do you feel about the smell of rain? I live in Vancouver, Canada and we don’t really get nice rain smell; we just get ugly downpours.
  7. If there is one blog you think I must follow, which is it? No way could I pick just one.
  8. Corn chips or potato chips? Salt and vinegar kettle-cooked potato chips.
  9. Number one thing you want to do before summer 2018. I’m treating myself to a sunshine vacay in Mexico this winter.
  10. How long have you been blogging?  3 months – I can’t believe it’s only been that long!

My nominations: I just published a Liebster Award post where I nominated 10 of the folks that were in my WordPress notifications from today.  For this, I’m going to nominate people that were in my notifications from yesterday.  Thinking up new questions is a bit more than I can do right now, so I’m going to pass on the questions that Ashley asked of me.  These blogs are all beautiful in their honesty and in their courage to share the really difficult stuff.

Well, after 2 of these posts I’ve gotta say I’m pooped, but it’s always great to be able to give shouts out to some great bloggers.  Thanks again to my name-sister Ashley for the nomination!



Liebster Award nomination

Liebster award logo

It’s always such an honour to be nominated for awards like these.  This nomination comes from Sunshine and Demons and My Loud Bipolar Whispers; both are amazing, powerful blogs that tackle difficult mental health issues.  Definitely check them out if you haven’t already.

What is the Liebster Award?

A recognition award from one blogger to another. The word Liebster means “dearest” or “beloved.”

Rules of the Liebster Award (these are kind of like the kids game telephone and morph with each telling, but that’s ok)

  1. Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you.
  2. Provide a link to their blog.
  3. Include the award graphic.
  4. Answer the questions provided.
  5. Nominate 10 recently followed bloggers and share your post with them, so they can see it.
  6. Make a new set of 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

My questions:

  1. What is the goal and/or purpose for your blog?  My goal is to engage with others around mental health and related topics.
  2. How did you come up with the name of your blog?  It was floating around in my mind as a potential name if I start a mental health nursing private practice in the future.
  3. Name three things on your bucket list.  I want to go to visit Tibet; not really anything firm other than that.
  4. What is your favorite quote and by whom? “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Confucius
  5. What are your favorite types of books to read and why? I like nonfiction, because there’s so much to learn.
  6. What is your favorite movie and/or television show? Favourite movie would be Dirty Dancing.
  7. What is your best memory from the year 2017? Being able to use my animals to help others.
  8. What did you learn from the year 2017? That I could start a blog and people would actually read it.
  9. What are your hopes and goals for the year 2018? My greatest hope would be to get my depression back into remission.
  10. What is your favorite post you have written.  I don’t have one, maybe because they’re all coming from the same place.

My nominations: Now this is the part that always gets a bit overwhelming for me, so I’m going to keep it simple and nominate the 10 fabulous people that are currently in my 10 most recent WordPress notifications.  You may have already been nominated (and maybe already been nominated by me), but I’m not quite up to thinking it through that much…  Anyway, feel free to ignore if you’ve already done this;)

I’m going to reuse the same questions for my nominees as the ones I was asked, as I think they’re good ones.

Again, thanks so much to Sunshine and Demons and My Loud Bipolar Whispers for the nominations!

Mystery Blogger Award

Mystery blogger award logo

Wahoo, this is exciting!  I’m loving this whole blogging thing, and it’s really great to be able to share ideas with all of you wonderful people in the blogosphere.  I was nominated for this award by Shannon Diana, who mixes raw honesty, passionate advocacy, and fun lifestyle ideas all in one place.

The Rules of the award:

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

4. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself

5. Answer the questions you were asked

6. Nominate 10 – 20 people & notify

7. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)

8. Share a link to your best post(s)

My Nominations:  All of these blogs have amazing stories about mental health and I’ve learned a lot from them.  I’ve tried to nominate people who haven’t previously been nominated for the award, but I’m not all that on the ball so I’ve probably made some mistakes.  And I would love to nominate more blogs but am feeling a bit worn out.  Such is life.  Anyway, definitely have a look at these blogs.

  1. The Bipolar Writer
  2. Mental Health Diary
  3. A Journey With You
  4. Beckie’s Mental Mess
  5. Convolute Me
  6. Deanna’s Dark Diary
  7. Letters of Hope From the Soul
  8. Mentally Un(qualified)
  9. My Battle – the Struggles of Depression
  10. The Daily Struggle
  11. Let’s Talk Depression
  12. Be Your Own Light


3 Things about me:

  1. I don’t keep normal human being hours.  I usually go to bed at 8pm and wake up around 3am.
  2. When I was 14 I did a school exchange to Japan and my host family fed me a fish head for breakfast.  Um, thank you?
  3. I still remember from that same trip how to say “please sit here” in Japanese: “koko ni suwatte kudasai”.  At least my memory isn’t entirely shot to shit.

My answers to Shannon’s 5 questions:

  1. What is your best achievement in your life so far?  Probably completing a Master of Psychiatric Nursing degree, especially since based on my thesis work I ended up getting a couple of papers published in peer-reviewed journals examining my own experience of mental illness.
  2.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?  I have no idea.  I’m not really in a headspace right now to look much beyond tomorrow.  Whatever I’m doing, I’ll be surrounded by a big herd of guinea pigs.
  3. What advice would you give your younger self?  Reach out for help.  Sooner rather than later.
  4. Why did you start blogging?  I wanted to engage in conversation about mental health issues.
  5. What is your funniest moment? This wasn’t funny at the time, but I was at a train station in India in the middle of the night.  I’d gotten confused about where to catch my train, and staff told me I’d missed it.  I cried like a 5-year-old, and it worked.  Turned out the train was still pulling out of the station.  They radioed to the engineer, and an employee picks up my backpack and starts sprinting down the platform, with me huffing and puffing behind him.  I was then able to leap onto the moving train.  No kidding.

5 questions for my nominees:

  1. What would you want as a one-line eulogy?
  2. What has been your most funny (or frightening) toilet-related experience?  Come on, it’s gross but you know you want to share!
  3. What is your favourite farm animal?
  4. What country would you most like to visit?
  5. What is the strangest food item anyone has ever offered you? (i.e. can you beat fish head for breakfast?)

Link to my best post:

couple kissing

I have no idea what my best post is, but the one that has gotten the most views by far is Let’s Talk About Sex (and Mental Illness).  I’m not that into Pinterest, but I do create a pin with a link for all of my blog posts.  Almost every day I’m getting a click-through from Pinterest to this post.  Go figure.


Thanks again to Shannon for nominating me.  This whole spreading the love award business is a lot of fun.





Liebster Award nomination

Liebster Award nomination badge

This is my 2nd Liebster Award nomination (my 1st was here).  I was nominated by the fabulous Shannon Diana, a passionate crusader in the fight against mental health-related stigma.

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award serves to bring new bloggers some recognition as well as some well-needed motivation. This blogging community is brought closer each year through this award which enables us to support each other.

Here are the rules If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award and you choose to accept it, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  3. Provide 10 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5 – 12 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
  5. List these rules in your post. Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post.

Now the most exciting part of all of this is to make some nominations of my own and share with you some of blogs I’m loving right now that have less than 200 followers.  You should definitely check them out.  My nominations are (in no particular order):

  1. Letters of Hope From the Soul
  2. Happy Mentality
  3. Nourish My Life
  4. Mental Illness: It Does Not Define You
  5. Convolute Me
  6. My Battle: The Struggles of Depression
  7. Reclaiming My Sanity
  8. The Asylum
  9. Confessions of a Borderline
  10. Stigma Unraveled
  11. This Bipolar Brat
  12. Living With Bipolar II


I’m going to skip the 10 facts about me because I’m just coming off a week of night shifts and my brain is working rather slowly, and instead I’ll move on to answering the 10 questions posed by Shannon.  Oh, and nominees, I’m passing the same 10 questions on to you (again, creativity is just not happening in my brain right now, so can’t come up with 10 questions of my own).

  1. Why did you start blogging and where were you when you started your blog? I started my blog 2 months ago.  I wasn’t working much, and wanted to do something useful with my time. 
  2. Do you ever fall out of love with blogging? I haven’t been at it long enough to get bored yet.
  3. What’s your favourite movie? Dirty Dancing – “no one puts Baby in a corner”
  4. Favourite make up (or hair/body care) product? Eye shadow – it’s fun to experiment with colours.
  5. What app do you use the most to promote your blog? I don’t do anything blog-related on my smartphone, so no apps, but I have started using Twitter.
  6. What’s your favourite memory do you have while you have been blogging? I usually write my posts a couple of days before I publish them, but it’s been great to throw in some spontaneity once in a while.
  7. Are you glad you started blogging? definitely
  8. What advice would you give to newbie bloggers? Try not to worry about follows and likes and all of that business.  Just enjoy writing and reading!
  9. How often do you post? 2-3 times per week usually
  10. What would you want to happen in a year time for you and your blog? Mostly I just want to keep feeling good about the experience of blogging.
  11. What make up or (hair/body care) product is your least favourite and why? I don’t like foundation, because I don’t like to feel like I’m wearing makeup.


Thanks again Shannon for the nomination, and thanks also to my nominees for sharing your words on the important topic of mental health.


Liebster Award nomination!

Liebster award logo

I’m used to expecting any news to be bad news, but today got a lovely piece of good news: Mentally(Un)Qualified nominated me for a Liebster Award!  Thanks so much Chelsea!  Her posts are genuine and make you feel like you’re talking to an old friend.  She is able to inject hope even into difficult topics.  If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you definitely should.

Part of accepting this nomination is to mention one of my own favourite blogs.  While it’s hard to pick just one, I’m going to go with  Be Your Own Light, which was recently nominated for a Liebster award herself, along with a Sunshine Blogger Award.  Eleanor is lovely and kind, and a great advocate for mental health services.  She brings in some interesting guest bloggers to spice things up.  Always a good read.

Here’s what I’ve come up with in response to 10 questions posed by Mentally(Un)Qualified:

  1. Why did you decide to start a blog?  Because the best way to fight stigma against mental illness is to talk about it.
  2. What is your favorite passion that helps you relax? Cuddles with my pet guinea pigs – I have 4 and am well on my way to becoming a crazy cat lady-type person.
  3. Best concert you’ve ever been to? I really enjoyed a local symphony’s performance of Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.
  4. Which animal do you feel you are most like?  A mongoose.  I don’t even know what that is, but it just popped into my head.
  5. If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?  I would live exactly where I already live in Vancouver, Canada
  6. Favorite guilty pleasure snack?  Cheese if I have wine to go with, otherwise Cheezies.
  7. What movie makes you cry every time you watch it?  The Lion King, when Mufasa dies.
  8. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you need most?  Toilet paper, a blanket, and a book to read.
  9. What is your biggest fear?  Spiders
  10. What is your favorite memory?  Any of my memories from travelling, even the gross 3rd world toilet stories.


Spreading the love…  Here are some fabulous mental health-related blogs that I would like to nominate:

For these rockstar nominees I have 10 questions.  They’re a bit odd but I’m having a hard time being creative at the moment:

  1. Do you have a tattoo?
  2. What is the strangest toilet-related experience you’ve ever had?
  3. If you had a farm what animals would live on it?
  4. What’s the best tv/movie portrayal of mental illness that you’ve seen?
  5. If you had to be either blind or deaf, which would you pick?
  6. What country is at the top of your list to visit?
  7. Do you ever drink pickle juice straight out of the pickle jar?
  8. How old is the plant you’ve had in your house the longest?
  9. If you were to pick one canned food to stash in your earthquake/flood/etc survival kit, what would it be?
  10. What public figure makes you the angriest?

Here’s what’s involved in a Liebster Award nomination:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  4. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. List these rules in your post (you can copy and paste from here or simply link to this post). Once you have written and published it, you then have to.
  7. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine (Jack Henry) if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it)! Post a comment in the comments below (on the website https://theglobalaussie.com/blog/liebster-award-2017/ ) so Jack Henry can view your post and check out your blog. Jack Henry personally visits each and every blog. He visited a few hundred last year!

Thanks again to Mentally(Un)Qualified, and I hope you can check out some of the blogs I’ve mentioned.  Happy reading!