I have been at this blogging thing since April 2015. I had no idea whether I would like it or not, or truly what I was even getting myself into! As I started this blog, I barely knew what a “url” was! The best part is that I love having a place to share my thoughts and ideas with so many great readers. I have the great fortune to get to know so many great people and I get to read and hear their thoughts and ideas too! I’m having SO MUCH FUN!!
Last week I was pretty excited to find out that I was being nominated for the Liebster Award by one of my new blogger friends, Nicole over at Naturally Nicole. The Liebster is a great way for bloggers to connect with each other and to discover awesome new blogs and to share that info with their readers!
Nicole has asked me to share some information about myself by answering a few questions. Afterwards, I will introduce you to the new bloggers I am nominating!
1.) How did you come up with your blog name?
I came up with the blog name as an extension of my first experience with essential oils. When I first tried essential oils for our family – I was amazed at how wonderfully they worked and I couldn’t believe that everyone didn’t know about them or that they weren’t already using them. I wanted to talk about essential oils in the context of family health and wellness. But I didn’t want to just write about essential oils or just about things everyone has heard of. I wanted to try new modalities to improve our health and wellbeing. I also wanted to share with others what we’ve already done as well as the new things that I wanted to try. And, I’ve decided to share my super personal journey with my weight. I’ll periodically be posting about loosing over 100 lbs. and then having babies and now having some more work to do in that department 🙂 So keep checking back for that.
Then I thought about how the things that I would be talking about (elimination of toxins, healthy recipes, GMO’s, etc.) were not even an issue 50 – 60 years ago. So everything that I work pretty diligently at doing for our family feels like such a luxury in today’s fast-paced world whereas it was taken for granted 50 – 60 years ago as the norm. I sometimes wish many things were as simple as it seems they were 50 – 60 years ago. It feels like I’m spoiling my family with simple, straight forward things. There is was – the word “spoil.” Which also contains the word “oil.” It was perfect! SpOIL My Family, the blog, was born!
2.) What’s your favorite food to cook? I have a “before and after” [kids, that is] answer. Before kids: I’m a real foodie, so I loved to cook anything complex, new, with interesting ingredients or combinations of ingredients. I don’t bake, but I loooooove cooking. So I love to play with recipes. If I serve you something delicious (which I frequently do), enjoy. I probably can’t duplicate it exactly ever again. After kids: What’s healthy that I can get on the plate in under 30 minutes? I steam a LOT of broccoli, like almost daily. It’s a good thing we all like it. I also roast a lot of veggies – they are really easy to toss in the oven while I work on everything else. I grill a lot, because it’s quick – chicken, steak. Fish is an easy go-to for the weekend; I like to make it with veggies in parchment. Easy, quick baking, and virtually no clean up. Can’t beat that!
3.) If you could be any animal, which animal would it be and why?
My dog. I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, named Barkley, whom I adore. He was my first baby boy! He’s 11 years old now and he’s moving a little more slowly than he used to – but he’s the best dog ever! He’s content to hang around the house, by my feet. He’s happy to sleep late (not like I ever get to do that anymore…) or to get up early. He’s a great hiker, traveller, camper, and companion in everything I do. He can also be carried in a “foo foo” doggie bag and go shopping with me! The best, most loving, dog ever.
4.) What is something that really makes you laugh? I know this will sound cliche – but my boys. It never fails that I get a really wonderful belly laugh daily from one or the other or both. They each have really wonderful senses of humor!
5.) What is your biggest pet peeve? My pet peeve du jour… I never lived with boys before, so this hadn’t been an issue until the last several years. But that whole toilet seat thing. Am I right???? And I’m routinely peeved by stupid people. Just throwing that out there.
6.) What is one item you just could NOT live without? This is a hard one – but I think I would have to say my Vitamix 5200 Series Blender, Black. It took me so long to break down and save the money to buy it. I was afraid it would become the most expensive kitchen towel holder in history! But, I’m so happy that I’ve come to use it almost every day. Smoothies are something that we all enjoy regularly. But it’s also great for chocolate, avocado dairy free “ice cream!” I can use it for soups and salsas, too. It’s completely replaced my food processor and blender. It does both. I use it daily and would NOT want to be without it.
7.) If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would it be?
Whoopi Goldberg. She has seems to be a most unique combination of irreverence, humor, wisdom, and thoughtfulness – just so many qualities. And, if I’m truthful, she cusses. If you asked me to describe how I aspire to write – I would choose to have my writing embody all of those qualities. I would love to know how she does it! I also love hearing stories about her mother – who sounds like she was an amazing woman who passed on a lot of wisdom to Caryn. (Oh, and did I mention – we share the name?…)
8.) What are you driving?
9.) If you could change your first name, what would you change it to and why? I always wanted to spell “Karen” “Caryn.” My mother wasn’t having it. At one point I wanted to be “Karen Marie” so I would never be mistaken for un-Southern. That turned out NOT to be an issue. I’m pretty happy with Karen.
10.) If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? I would like it to be simpler with more trust and less greed, more free spaces for our children to play and roam, food that I could trust to be safe, cleaning and beauty products that I could trust. Just simpler, kinder, and more honest.
11.) What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
I wasn’t actually given this advice personally (I wish…), but it’s some of the best I’ve ever followed: Dr Maya Angelou’s advice – “When somebody tells you who they are, believe them the first time.”
So here they are, my favorite new blogs that I’m luck enough to get to share as my nominations for the Leibster Award:
The Hot Mess Kitchen: Sarah over at The Hot Mess Kitchen has some great recipes to share. She’s super funny and throws in a dash of toddler hot mess to keep everything light. She’s great about spotting hot messes and starting great conversations about them!
Earl-Leigh Designs: Earl (a girl 🙂 has a great site with a little bit of everything thrown in. She works outside the home full time, designs baby and women’s accessories, cooks, works out, AND… has an almost three year old daughter, Harper, who’s adorbs. She’s never met a glass or wine or a cupcake she didn’t like (we could completely be friends…) and she likes to lift heavy at the gym. Maybe we could lift heavy together and then have cupcakes and wine:-) She loves living healthy, happy, and simply.
Make This The Day: Andrea titled her site “Make This The Day,” her take on Carpe Diem! That immediately drew me to her blog, because starting my blog, for me, was all about stepping outside of my comfort zone. She’s got lots of great posts about family, homeschooling, living simply, and walking in faith with Jesus. She wants her site to be a place to move toward your dreams – take her up on it!
STEAM Powered Family: Shelley over at STEAM Powered Family has got it going on! Her blog is, I kid you not, three weeks old. And it’s gorgeous!!!! She’s got her degree in psychology and loves all things brain! She lovingly refers to her husband and two boys as her “gaggle of dragons” and she tells us all about them. Her younger son is adopted and both boys have special needs. She’s taken the leap into full time homeschool this year. She’s got info about everything: homeschooling, recipes, travel, brains, parenting, saving pennies, and all kinds of fun activities!
Emotionally Aware Feeding: Jo has a really interesting blog. I’ll definitely be hitting her site for great info! Jo is a therapist and feeding consultant. I didn’t know there was such a specialization! Since you already know what to feed you kids, Jo gives great information about how to feed your kids so that they develop a really healthy relationship with food.
My Questions for My Nominees:
1. Why do you blog?
2. What did you do before you wrote your blog?
3. What was one quality that your high school BFF had that you admire?
4. Where did you go on your most interesting vacation?
5. What is the biggest kitchen fail you’ve ever had?
6. What television character are you most like?
7. What is the last photograph on your phone? Post it if you dare!
8. What bumper stickers or magnets do you have on your car?
9. Would you rather time travel 50 years back or ahead? Why?
10. What is sitting on your nightstand right now?
11. What is something that many people don’t know about you?
I can’t wait to hear from all of you! Thank you so much for this, Nicole. What a great way to share so many wonderful new blogs that I have found!