A blogging honour.

Joy of Joyfully Green has nominated us for our second Liebster Award. If you want to learn more about the award itself, check out this post. We love the Liebster Award for allowing us to share with you our favourite blogs, as well as getting a whole new list of great blogs from the person who nominated us. In addition, the nomination is different every time, as the questions change. So here are our answers to Joy’s thoughtful questions:

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

Mama says: I would like my 13-year-old self to be more confident in herself and to care less about what she looked like. I would like to reassure her that not being your typical teenage boys’ fantasy is a good thing, and will probably save her from a lot of awkward and embarrassing situations with the opposite sex during her teenage years.

Big Poppa says: Cheer up.

What is your idea of perfect bliss?

Big Poppa says: Eight hours sleep.

Mama says: A day to read. Also, these days, an empty shelf.

What books have been the most influential or inspiring to you?

Mama says: I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was 10 years old and it changed my life. My complete understanding of the world had to readjust. I knew a safe and secure world and it shocked me to learn that other children in other places didn’t experience that. It lead to me reading a lot of books set in the Holocaust as a child and teenager. I’ve read a lot in my life and books will often take on a depth of meaning to me that changes my ideas about things. This is a hard question to answer!

Big Poppa says:  Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist gave me a different perspective on life. Marilyn Manson’s Long Hard Road Out of Hell was a great music book as far as learning about the music industry. He was really creative child and teenager from a painfully normal home, and I identified with that. I was a bit of an outcast. I felt understood when I read the book.

 What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about life? About blogging? (A two-parter!)

Big Poppa says:

Life: “Never pay full price for late pizza” – Michaelangelo

Blogging: Consistency is key – maintaining your output is important if you want to retain readers.

Mama says:

Life: I think that this year I have learnt more about life (and myself) than in any previous years. I have learnt that less is more – and not just in the sense of belongings and consuming. Less busy-ness and less events and less rushing. I’ve also learnt to give less weight to the stuff I own. It’s just not that important.

Blogging; My answer is kind of the opposite to Big Poppa’s and I think that is partially because I do the bulk of the blogging around here (BP is maybe thinking about all the times I’ve nagged him for a new entry, which is probably the most honest way to describe how we work as a blogging team). I have learned that although keeping a readership satisfied is important, it is most important to not lose sight of our overall goals for the year. We want our year to be simple, and sometimes blogging 3 – 4 times a week makes our life less simple. When we get busy I no longer feel guilty if I prioritise other stuff over blogging, especially if it’s Little Fearse or sunshine or all those good things. I have also tortured myself a little over what appears on the blog, especially after receiving some negative feedback on one post. I have realised that I can’t change who I am, or the way I write, for my audience. If my audience doesn’t like what I say or how I say it the choice has to remain with them whether they continue reading. I don’t feel it would be honest for me to change who I am for my readers, and it would defeat one of the purposes of the blog.

What single quality do you most appreciate in people?

Big Poppa says: Loyalty.

Mama says: There are many that are equal, but if I had to name one if would be kindness.

What or who is under-rated? What or who is over-rated? (Another two-parter!)

Mama says: Non consumerism is definitely under-rated. And, predictably, having new stuff is over-rated. Very over-rated.

Big Poppa says: I think motherhood is under-rated because there is so much external pressure put on mothers, and expectations. People don’t appreciate that level of pressure. Television is over-rated. With the way the internet is these days, where you can literally watch anything you’ve ever wanted to watch, why would you still watch programs with advertising, or pay for television?

What do you avoid at all costs?

Mama says: Shopping centres – I always hated them, but now we thankfully have few reasons to visit. This has been a lovely side-effect of the BNN year.

Big Poppa says: I avoid reading about certain technologies that are cool and would be handy, but are not necessary. For example, I refuse to read about the Playstation 4, so I am happy to stick with the PS3. But if I did read something…it would be really hard to not buy one.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Big Poppa says: Stealing cuddles from Little Fearse when she’s asleep.

Mama says: Stealing food from Little Fearse’s plate when she’s not looking.

What do you want people to say about you after you leave the room?

Big Poppa says: “What’s that smell?”

Mama says:  “I wish she was my Mum.”

What’s your favorite post that you’ve written? (Link, please!)

Big Poppa says: The Meat Line

Mama says: Generosity of Spirit (or Awesome x 8)

Thank you, Joy, for giving us the opportunity to blogroll some of our new favourites. I’m still unsure what the requirements of the award are, some say it’s about how long the person has been blogging, and some say it’s about how many followers they have. Our list is going to be a list of blogs we love, regardless of these apparently ever-changing rules. 

A Denver Home Companion

The Maiden Metallurgist

The Simple Year 2

Thriftypop: Living with less

Down to Earth Mother

And, questions for the nominees, if they choose to answer them:

1. Which books are on your bedside table right now?

2. What is the most sentimental item you own?

3. When is the last time you pushed yourself to your physical limits?

4. What amazes you in this world?

5. If you could choose anyone in the world to become your instant house mate, who would it be? (and why?)

6. What makes you happy?

7. What do you wish you could change?

8. If you could go back and observe (fly on the wall style) one day in your life, which day would you choose?

9. What principles guide your life?

10. Name one item you absolutely could not live without.

Please do comment with the link if you choose to answer the questions.

Thanks again to Joy,

Big Poppa and Mama.


Liebster Award (and our somewhat dodgy acceptance speech)

liebster-awardAs you know, we are new to the blogging world. We have had so much great feedback here on the blog and in conversation with others in our ‘real’ life. It has really heartened us and made putting effort into regular writing well worth our while. This week Rebecca at The Dissocial Mom surprised us with a nomination for the Liebster Award. It means a lot to us that of all the blogs she reads Rebecca chose ours as one to honour.

Of course, being the Mama I am, I did a little research into the Liebster award. This article gave me the most information and also educated me on the constantly evolving nature of an award that has no real “winner”, prize or judges. It is really a cool way of blog rolling new blogs to your own readership. So, while it once began as a way of sharing blogs with less than 3000 followers, it is now a way of sharing blogs with less than 300 followers. It also, in its current form, asks for 11 facts about you, answers to 11 questions set by the person who nominated you, 5 or so blog nominations and 11 questions for your nominated blogs.


The thing is, we’re not always great at following rules. So we’re skipping the 11 facts about us, because you can find out most of the interesting stuff about us just by reading our blog. We’ve answered Rebecca’s questions below. Also, instead of nominating other new blogs we’ve included a list of blogs we love. Most of them don’t meet the criteria of having less than 300 followers, but each of them adds something to our day. This isn’t because we’re trying to buck the system, we just don’t read a lot of new blogs. Perhaps by perusing some more of Rebecca’s nominations we can rectify this.


What motivated you to start blogging?

After we’d discussed the possibility of doing Buy Nothing New this year Mama posted a query on her FB status asking if anyone had tried it, or something similar. Lots of people had tried different versions, or were able to share blogs with us by people they knew who had done it. Our friends asked us to please keep them up to date with how we go if we decided to BNN. Mama promised we’d blog about it and there it all began.

If you could ask only one thing of your children, what would that be?

Big Poppa says “Sit still for 5 minutes”. Mama thinks Noni Hazlehurst says it best.

What is your guilty pleasure as a parent?

Big Poppa – whiskey

Mama – Call of Duty

What is your best “go to” dinner when your imagination fails you and you don’t feel like cooking anything else?

Mashed potato. Sometimes with other stuff in it to make it healthier, sometimes just…loads of butter.

What is your most favourite thing to do during your “kid free” time?

Together we love watching Survivor – we’ve recently knocked over three old seasons in a row. Mama loves to read and drink good coffee when she gets a chance. Big Poppa writes music in his down time.

What is one inanimate object in your home that you just could not live without and why?

At the moment, our chest freezer. It is FULL of meals for those nights when we’ve both been busy, or Little Fearse is being a scamp, or it’s really hot. It’s saved us so many times (and so much money).

What is your favourite quote of all time?

Big Poppa reluctantly narrowed it down to JayZ’s You can pay for school, but you can’t buy class. Mama’s favourite “at the moment” quote is John Lennon’s Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. She still can’t.

Who is your favourite author and why do you love them?

In her personal reading Mama is drawn to strong female writers such as Lily Brett, Margaret Atwood and Zadie Smith. At the moment, while she introduces Little Fearse to as many stories as possible she is rediscovering childhood favourites like Enid Blyton and has to admit that she still holds them very closely in her heart. Also, Maurice Sendak – who doesn’t love him?

Big Poppa loves Roald Dahl because he’s got so many classics from his childhood in his catalogue that it would be hard not to choose him. He likes that he’s a bit dark and nasty, but still a children’s author.

Little Fearse loves Dr Suess.

What is one thing that you used to love doing as a kid that you still secretly enjoy doing?

Big Poppa still loves watching Sesame Street, not so secretly. Mama still enjoys licking the plate after a good meal. Little Fearse has started to copy, which Mama inappropriately thinks is funny.

What is the best advice you can give other parents on how to cope with stress?

Big Poppa says whiskey. Mama repeats this mantra over and over in her head “This too shall pass”. It has helped her through a lot of long, tough days and nights.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how much did you enjoy answering these questions?

On a scale of 1 to 10 we zero want to answer this question. Hehe.

A few of our favourite blogs (technically speaking Mama’s favourite blogs, as BP and Little Fearse don’t read any):


The Simple YearKerry ‘s year of living simply is sadly coming to an end in April. If you are thinking of trying to live a little more simply for a year or longer you may want to consider taking over The Simple Year to blog about your journey. Check out her Hand Off link for the details.


Born Again MinimalistCaitlin became an overnight minimalist when she got rid of more than half of her stuff all at once. This is her story of sudden minimalism.


Make Do and Mend YearJen and her family made a commitment to make do, mend and buy nothing new from September 2012 to September 2013. She’s much craftier than me, so I find her blog very inspiring.


Inglorious PlasticsEva-Melina is going without plastic for the 40 days of lent. I’m hoping she will keep writing, because I enjoy her blog. It has really got me thinking a lot about the amount of plastic we bring into our lives through packaging.


Childhood 101Christie writes about all things child related. I love her learning through play activities, plus she has a daughter the same age as Little Fearse so I get lots of age appropriate ideas for fun times.

Cat versus HumanClick the link. You won’t regret it.

Honorary (or actual) Liebster Awards to you all.

Liebster Blog Award - Honorary

Honorary just means you can have the award without following the rules.

If you would like to officially accept an actual Liebster Award we are more than happy to ply you with thoughtful questions. Mwah!

Thank you again to The Dissocial Mom for her kind words and the surprise nomination. We’re stoked!

Mama xoxo (accepting on behalf of Big Poppa and Little Fearse, too.)

PS Notice how we’ve started a category titled ‘Awards’. One can only hope. Hehe.