Sunday, March 3, 2013

Leibster Award!

Leibster, (Leibste) meaning kindest, dearest, beloved, cute, endearing in German.
Well, thank you...I haven't been called so many nice things in quite some time.

The Liebster Award is a blogger to blogger, peer award, used to highlight up and coming, smaller, lesser known blogs that are less than 6 months old and have less than 200 followers. Liebster is an award that you accept with an intention of paying it forward. 

I was nominated by Jenna at Rain on a Tin Roof. Jenna has fast become a bit of a mentor for me. She just guest posted here at Commona-my House last week and it was so much fun getting to know her and peek in on Rain on a Tin Roof!!! She is such an inspiration and I am grateful and honored to have been nominated by her. Thank you, Jenna.  I accept!!!

When you accept your Leibster, you must pay it forward and nominate other bloggers that you would like to award. 
So, here are the guidelines for the award:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 new blogs you love and link them in your post.
5. Please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you!

My 11 random things:
1. I was born in a small town in Connecticut. My roots, family and heart are still in New England, even though I have loved living in other parts of the country (and abroad).

2. I have a Japanese Drivers License. I had a really cool Toyota van, driver's side on the right, built in cooler between the front seats, it was a TOYOTA HI-ACE. They have funny names for cars in Japan. There was a Hundai Enima that used to park on our street. I laughed every time I saw it.  (We lived in Japan for 14 months when our son was 2 going on 3 and our oldest daughter was born in Japan).

3. I secretly wanted to be a backup singer to Bob Marley when I was a kid. WEIRD, yes, maybe a little. I thought it would be cool to be the one white chick with rhythm on stage. This backup singer wish almost came true when in Philadelphia, I had a second call back in auditions for being a backup signer on the Lenny Kravitz tour. I wore pig tails and sang "ME & BOBBY McGEE". They said I had the "chops" but was "too cute".

4. So, question #3 leads into #4: I love music. Just about every type. I think it is part of me to listen to music and sing while I'm cooking, cleaning, driving, reading...and blogging. I love everything from Debussey to Foo Fighters to Janis Joplin to Cake to Sinatra to Cash to Mumford&Sons to Adele ...and ok, well, I could go on.  I love music.

5. I started this blog as a sort of nod to my Gram. She was one of a kind. She was beautiful, scrappy and life sort of chipped away at her. She was funny. She taught me a lot about decor and style and being creative. She was gifted with being able to make something out of nothing. I like to think that I get that from her.

6. I love kids. We have 4. We thought we'd only have 2 and then somehow 2 more came into this world...into our family....and I never thought that we'd be a big family...but here we are. And I wouldn't have it any other way, despite the fact that it's ALWAYS either a zoo or a party. 

7. I've had some really fun jobs.  Starting quite young, I worked for my Dad at his Antique Auction Gallery...then in high school and college: clothing stores, gift shop, catering company, stationery store, nanny and after college: PR account coordinator (I had some awesome assignments like the Cezanne exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Contract negotiations between the Philadelphia Symphony while it was on strike, DKNY's going public, a mile long Hoagie to celebrate our client WAWA (it's a PA thing);  Business Analyst for Boeing Contracts for Aviation and Space Technology at NASA HQ in DC and THEN my husbands career sort of side lined things for me for quite some time..did I mention 13 moves and 4 kids?

8. I'm a chocoholic. Gotta have it. The darker the better. I get this from Gram, too. And my niece, Celia has this gene as well. If there is chocolate in the house, it will not be there for long.

9. I love to bake. It has become a fun thing for my kids and I to do together. I bake and cook from scratch as much as I can. The one thing that I'm not good at baking is home made bread (no I'm not talking about bread maker bread). I've tried to make artisan loaves from scratch and they never turn out 'just right'...I will get it one day, though!!! One thing that being a military wife has taught patient, independent and you can do it!

10.My favorite food: blood oranges. It reminds me of my summer semester in Italy.

11.My blog is my happy place. For so many years I've been wife, mom, this, that...letting other people's needs define who I am. And that is ok...that is life. But I needed a place where I could be Amy and if I want to get out all of my thoughts about Quatrefoil or my latest modge podge masterpiece, well, I can here. 

11 questions that Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof has set for me to answer:
1. What is your dream home? My dream home is a small beach town cottage in New England.  Not huge, but cozy. With a deck. And a garden. And a killer kitchen with professional range and a butcher block kitchen island big enough for several friends to sit and chat while I cook.

2. What is your favorite song and why? This is a REALLY tough question for me, because I have had several favorites over the seasons of my life.  "Le Vie en Rose" brings tears to my eyes every time. But I think one that keeps coming back is "Love me Like a Song" by Kimmie Rhodes and Willie Nelson. I love music... it is a tender song. I used to listen to Johnny Cash records with my dad when I was a kid. This sort of has similar guitar riffs with that Cash/country feel.... I could imagine June Carter Cash singing this with Johnny. 
And I do love Willie.

3. What's your family like? My family is eclectic. I love how each one of my kids has their own personality, interests and talents. My kids mean everything to me. We try to be fun, responsible, spiritual, respectful and HUMOROUS. We also try to be adventurous, but seem to like family nights with take-out Chinese and movies just as much as when we plan a big adventure. Our kids are pretty spread out in age (14 down to 2) so it is hard sometimes...but I'd like to think that they will have special relationships with one another as they grow up.

4. What is your favorite blog post you have ever done and why? hmmm....again, tough question. I think my favorite post would either have to be the one I did on The Greek Key pattern (my favorite design) or my very first post, on my Gram and why I had finally after years of thinking about it and even writing draft posts, launched my blog.

5. What are your favorite blogs and why do you love them? I love blogs. There are so many great ones out there. I think highly influential blogs for me are: which is the brain child of my dear friends Katie and Brett McKay. Katie had encouraged me for years to start Commona-my House. I love the magazine style format that they have. 
Others that I have regularly followed are:
Design Sponge: Fun, quirky, great ideas.
Copy Cat Chic: Fantastic perspective on how to get the look you want for less.
Apartment Therapy: Great house tours.
The Hand Made Home: I love Ashley Mills. She is so creative and her fun style and love for figuring out a way to do something is contageous.
Cote de Texas: You've gotta love Texas style. Its BIG.

6. How long have you been blogging and why did you start? I've been blogging since mid November, 2012. I started because I finally realized that I had a lot to say. And even if it was only my sister reading my posts I still needed to get out all of my opinions and creativity. I began college as a BFA major and switched to English Lit as a major my junior year because my father said that I wasn't good enough to be a professional artist. HE WAS RIGHT. And I'm glad I switched majors, but I've always had to have a project going on. My blog is my creative outlet combining my love for design, writing and connecting with people. 

7. Who is your hero? My hero- oh boy. I have so many. Teachers and professors that saw my potential. People who have forgiven my faux pas. So many people who have helped me grow. I guess, most of all my parents. I love them dearly, don't get to see them very often because of geographical distance, and now that I'm an adult an a parent myself, I have a respect for them that trumps all of the little issues that seemed to be magnified when I was younger. But I love Audrey Hepburn so she could be my hero, too: Stylish, lovely, smart and brave. Her work with UNICEF was monumental. 
8. What is your favorite memory of all time? Some of my favorite memories of all time have been riding bikes. (not like tour de france, doping, yellow jersey bike riding). But old bike, basket and  take the old road around the pond sort of bike riding). When I was a kid, when we've been on vacation with our kids, along the beach, when Ryan and I were in South Beach this past fall, and even now, when we're teaching our younger kids how to ride...there is a joy in it. Lots of fun memories.

9. How do you want to be remembered? As a good person. As a thoughtful person. As a special person. As a loved person.

10. Who is your favorite author? Oh boy, this is almost as hard as the favorite song question...depends on the season of my life that I'm in...Jane Austen is the easy answer. But I have to be fair to Chaucer, Lawrence, Tolstoy, Harper Lee, Tolkien, Tennyson, Browning (who I wrote my senior thesis on), Wharton and a lesser known author Anya Seton Chase...she wrote fantastic romantic historical fiction. My favorite book of hers is "Green Darkness".

11. If you could meet anyone in the world, who and why? I'd meet Martha Stewart, and tell her it was okay for her to retire and turn everything over to me. That it would all be in good hands.

11 blogs I nominate:
1.  Briana from Sweet Dreams are Made of These. (Briana has been blogging longer, but she is re-birthing her blog, so I'm going to include her). 
2. Deb from Vintage on a Dime 
3. Jessica at Barefoot by the Sea
4. Danielle at The Sweet Pea Pod 
5. Selene at Restoration Beauty 
6. April at House of Hoff 
7. Angie and Kristen at Blonde Designs
8. Laura from Make Life Lovely 
9. Lina from Fancy Frugal Life 
10.Heidi from All that brings Joy 
11. Mallori from Vintage Finds 

11 questions for the nominees to answer:
1. What is your dream home?
2. What is your favorite song and why?
3. Who is your celebrity design alter ego? (ex: Nate Berkus, Martha Stewart, Holly Becker @ Decor8, etc).
4. What is your favorite blog post you have ever done and why?
5. What are 3 of your favorite blogs and why do you love them?
6. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
7. "I'll ----------- if it's the last thing I do".
8. Best vintage or decor find of all time?
9. What is a home trend that you have tried/followed that you've regretted?
10. Who is your favorite author?
11. Favorite Pattern?

Nominees: Please leave me a comment below with your Liebster post, so I can read up on you!

Can't wait to read your posts!!!
Thanks again, Jenna. It was a fun "assignment" to think about all of these things that define me and Commona-my House!!! I'm honored to be a Leibster!


  1. I'm not a mini-van kind of girl, but one with a cooler?! I'll take it! Loved reading up on you!!


    1. I never thought I'd drive a mini-van either..but this one fit everything including a surf board! Loved having this experience and learning more about you. Thanks for schooling me on so many things ;) Happy to have gotten to know you better. I think you can even learn things from the questions that are put towards you- XXXOOO!

  2. This was a blast to read! Thank you for the kind nomination Amy! I will let you know as soon as I post mine!

    1. Thanks and you're welcome, Selene!!! I love your blog. It IS fun to get to know one another better and pat each other on the back a bit. Although, it was sort of weird to talk about myself so much...I loved the experience but I think I prefer writing about Modge Podge rather than writing about myself!! XXXOOO!

  3. Thank you for the nomination! It was great to read about you!

    1. Hi Danielle! Thanks for accepting the nomination! I love what you're doing with your blog and am looking forward to reading your answers, too! All the best!

  4. Thank you Amy for my nomination!!! I am so grateful for your encouragement and lift!! Such a fun award:)

    Hello readers of Commona-My House! So nice to 'see' you once again:)
    Head on over to my blog Sweet Dreams are Made of These to read my 11 random entries and answers to Amy's questions!

  5. I loved reading this! I started a blog for the same reasons. I hope I don't start worrying too much about increasing readers. I want to be authentic. I'm totally reading Green Darkness next!