That Green Olive has been nominated by the lovely Maria of Sweet Spotting for the Liebster Award!
So, what on earth is the Liebster Award?
Now, if you have NO idea what a Liebster Award is (me: what is a Lobster Award?), Liebster is a German word meaning “sweetheart, beloved, darling, boyfriend…” (okay let’s just ignore the boyfriend part) – all words meaning dearest and loved, basically. So, the Liebster Award is all about bringing new blogs into the spotlight! Bloggers will nominate other new blogs (with links to the blogs), and their nominees will thank their nominators (with links back to their blogs), and then they will nominate other blogs, and so on. It’s basically a chain of kindness and celebration, really!
Hmmm. I have been nominated… but what now?
Congratulations! You’ve been nominated, and that means that someone out there admires your blog and wants to encourage you on your blogging journey! Now, you have two options:
You can either accept your nomination by continuing the Liebster Award nomination chain. To do this, you will:
- First acknowledge your nominator by writing up a little bit about their blog. Identify their niche, expain why you love their blog, and give some examples of (according to your opinion) their best posts! This is what will get their blog out into the limelight, as that’s what this award is all about!
- Your nominator will have given you some questions to answer (check their Liebster Award nomination post – they should be in there!). So, you’ll need to answer them! It’s basically like an interview – answer the questions as best as you can, so that your readers will gain a better understanding of you and your blog!
- Select a handful of blogs to nominate yourself! I’ve chosen 10 gorgeous blogs as my nominees – so I’d say 5-12 blogs will give you a decent number of nominees. Mention these in your post and link back to their blogs so that people can have a gander! You will also need to provide these blogs with 10 questions for them to answer in their Liebster Award nomination post (see? The whole chain-link idea is making itself clear here! Just follow on from your nominator, and the chain will keep going in that fashion!). Have fun coming up with questions! You want to get to know your nominees a bit more, so ask a good mix of questions (think interests, goals for their blog, why they started, all that kinda stuff.)
- In your post, make sure to include one of the official images for the Liebster Award (find them here), and link back to the official rules for the Liebster Award.
- Make sure to let your nominated bloggers know that you’ve nominated them, otherwise they may not even know about it!
Meet my nominator!
So anyway, thanks SO much to Maria for nominating me! Maria’s blog is all about recipes for (mostly) sweet treats, healthified. That sounds like my kinda jam! With recipes like Chestnut Millet Porridge, Muesli Pancakes with Apple Pumpkin Butter, Fennel Cookie Bark, and Spiced Banana Foster Instant Oatmeal, Sweet Spotting is definitely a blog you should check out! I love Maria’s ability to make delicious food combinations that aren’t the norm, and her ability to create what could be unhealthy recipes, healthy! (P.S – don’t forget to check out her Instagram page!)
Now, get to know me!
Maria’s 10 questions for her nominees are 10 pretty exciting ones. Like, it’s gonna be a fun 15 minutes from here on in!
If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?
Well, that’s quite a tricky one. I’ve literally just returned home from a trip to Melbourne, Australia, and I can honestly say that I’m missing the warm, sunny weather. Even though it is summer here in Taupo, New Zealand, it never really gets that hot here. It’s virtually always cloudy, and those bone-chilling southerly winds come straight from the snowy mountains, across the icy lake and into our lakeside town. Plus, there are hardly any shops in this tiny town, and there’s only one vegan place here – and that’s on one of the nowhere streets in town (although I must say, the food there is reaallllyy good!). Much different from Melbourne, where it’s always sunny, it’s a big city with lots of shops and malls and beaches and no snowy mountains and LOADS of vegan places!
So, ranting aside, I would very much like another holiday right now! Much different from Melbourne, perhaps a place like Bali would do me! Warm and relaxing, elephant rides, beautiful photo opportunities, lots of smoothie bowls and chia pudding – return tickets to Bali, please!🙋
Decribe youself in three words
Ambitious, sensitive, peanut butter (oh man, that was four words)
What is your favourite dessert?
Seriously – this is one hard one to answer. I LOVE vegan cheesecakes (they’re better than the real thing, bro), crepes/pancakes/French toast/ waffles (let’s just class those as breakfast dishes to save me from having to choose between them), tarts with crispy pastry and a creamy filling, filled doughnuts… this is just WAY too hard.
For now, let’s just say vegan cheesecakes. I seriously can’t stop
eating taste-testing the batter straight out of the blender – it ‘s that good. Plus, I like to make at least two different flavoured fillings so I can make multiple-toned swirl cheesecakes, a nice base of toasted nuts and dates, and to top it all off, I like to make a layer of vegan agar-agar jelly. Then I’ll decorate it with balls of leftover base, pipe swirls of leftover filling and decorate with nuts, seeds, edible flowers and a drizzle of some sort. Delicioso!
For you, what is the most beautiful place in the world?
PLEASE READ: Well, this place of mine is a place I’m super passionate about, but it isn’t a physical place.
You probably have no idea that I’m a HUUUGE muso (a rock muso at that)! I play the electric and acoustic guitar and the drums. Despite my quiet, kind, compassionate nature, I’m actually a bit of a metal-head! I am literally OBSESSED with the hard rock/alternative metal band Chevelle, and I love a bit of Muse as well! It’s quite ironic though – I’m all shy and quiet and vegan (which I guess says a lot about compassion!). So, you’d think I’d be into light, happy music like pop or indie or whatever – but I’m far from it! During the latest performance from the school rock band I’m in, a fellow student told me, “It’s so funny – you’re all little and cute and quiet but then you’re shredding on your guitar” 😂!
Active music listening first gripped me a couple of years ago, before I even knew it was a “thing”. I simply shoved in my earphones, when it was all quiet at night, with no background noises to distract me. I turned up my music and just listened. My mind and my conscious was surrounded by it. When you’ve got that much music, loud and clear, filling your ears, you just don’t think about anything else!
Now, this isn’t just simply listening to music – this is a phenomenon called active music listening. Active music listening means that you’re actively listening, not just passively listening. You’re dedicating your full time and attention to the music – not just listening while you’re doing your work or going for a walk.
Active music listening is SERIOUSLY amazing. You get all kinds of emotions flooding your brain – literally every emotion possible. You actually FEEL the music speak to you. Every time I actively listen to music, I end up a crying mess because it has THAT MUCH of an effect! You kind of build a relationship with the songs you actively listen to, so that when you’re out walking and that song starts playing, you’re like, “wow, that’s the song I had that experience with.”
Call me weird for thinking of songs as people, but that’s just part of the therapeutic, energising sensation that active music listening will bring you! But on top of that, you hear the music in ways you’ve never heard it before. You pick up on those little details that you wouldn’t hear if you were simply just “listening.” You notice little things and think, “huh, I never knew the bass did that little slide at the end of the phrase!” or “hey, I can actually understand what he’s saying now!” (that’s happened a lot 😂).
I actually wrote a speech on this topic a couple years ago! I poured my heart out about the passion I have for this many times in front of my English class and at the speech finals. As you can see, it’s a pretty close thing to me!
So this is the most beautiful place in the world for me – the place your conscious is transported to through active music listening. Your mind will not think about the stresses of life, all it will think about is the music! You will actually FEEL every emotion that the artist has put into that song, and the music will speak to you and affect your emotions in ways you’d never imagined. It is seriously an amazing experience – if you haven’t actively listened, then you’ve gotta do it! Just shut yourself out from the world for a few moments in a quiet place with NO sounds or distractions and just listen! It’s an experience you just can’t miss out on!
What is your favourite quote?
Definitely the Bible verse Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Basically, everything’s gonna be okay, and if it doesn’t seem that way, you were only put in this situation as part of God’s plan for you (which will ultimately work out for your good)! This verse has virtually been my lifeline during hard times. I know that everything that has happened was meant to work out that way, either to prevent something else that may have seemed awesome at the time from happening, or to benefit myself or others (or both).
And as I’ve had faith in this verse, it has helped me not to worry about things.
If something happens and it feels like my world is ending, I just tell myself that it was meant to happen, and I know that because of this Bible verse. And as time has come to pass, I have little “eureka!” moments when I think, “hey, remember when that terrible thing happened? Just as well it did happen, because now I’m better off for it!” I swear, every single thing that has turned out bad for me has created a better outcome in the future, and for those that haven’t yet, no matter how small or insignificant, I know that they WILL benefit me!
What is your worst fear?
I remember when I was younger, there was many a time when I was faced with this question. Most kids answered “spiders” or “clowns” or “the dark”. But I could never think of anything! For years, I would wonder what on earth my fear was. Sure, there were boys who would show off and say, “I’m not scared of anything” – but I actually didn’t know what I was scared of! Plus, I was too scared to admit it because I thought people would think I was lying to make myself look strong 😂. So yeah, there isn’t anything really that I’m particularly scared of (although since I’m quite shy, I guess you could say I’m a little afraid of people and what they think of me? However that’s not really a fear is it?)
I guess you could say running out of peanut butter is my greatest fear. We ran out of peanut butter yesterday and that was reallyyyyy scary. (Yes, both the natural stuff and the cheapo, additive-ridden stuff.) Like, I never thought I’d see the day where I would suffer from a peanut butter shortage! 😱
What makes you smile each and every time?
It always makes me happy to see kind comments left on my Instagram posts. It really encourages me and lets me know that I’ve got a good support base! They let me know I’m on the right track, and they let me know what people want to see more of and what’s best to be hidden from the camera 😂. Feedback is great. It’s always great to have people backing you and complimenting you on your passion, right? 😊💓
What is your nightmare in the kitchen?
Well, this one’s an easy one! Every Sunday, I celebrate Pancake Sunday by making vegan pancakes or crepes. The problem is, my stomach can’t handle much gluten, so I always try to make gluten-free pancakes. I don’t have any spelt flour (it is SOOOOOO expensive!!), so my only options are rice flour, cornstarch, buckwheat flour, and a little ground flaxseed. The problem: I generally get pancakes that aren’t bound enough, pancakes that don’t cook very well so turn to mush, pancakes that shrink when I try to get the spatula underneath them, and pancakes that break when I flip them. So when that happens, it’s usually a case of scrambled pancakes to cover up my mistakes! 😂
So yes, I do sometimes have to make pancakes with plain flour. The price: I have to put up with an upset stomach for the next few days. Gluten-free, vegan pancakes will be the death of me, I swear. 😂
What inspired you to start blogging?
When I first started my Instagram page almost 2 years ago, I looked at food. A lot. And I soon realised that some of those gorgeous Instagram pages with pictures of cinnamon rolls and smoothie bowls and casseroles (see what I did there?) had links in their bios. Soooo, I clicked on them! These links led me to websites with recipes for those cinnamon rolls and smoothie bowls and casseroles, and I became instantly intrigued.
I noticed that a lot of foodie Instagrammers had links in their bio, and picked up on the whole “food blog” idea. At first, I loved them because man, there were so many recipes with beautiful photos and beautiful layouts! They were so much more exciting than the lame ol’ recipe section of the supermarket website!
I thought man, I want one of those! But I doubted that I could ever make one of those beautiful blogs, or not once I’ve left school/exams/homework/stress anyway… so what was the point? I could only look at these blogs, drool over the recipes, but make no plans to make one of my own.
One day, earlier on this year, I was sitting outside under the summer afternoon sun. I was bored, yes, and it was the school holidays (holidays = actual spare time). The food blog idea came to me again, and instead of flagging it, I thought, “why not?” So I started my blog then, and I loved it! I’ve transitioned through different servers and hosts since then (and I’ve had a LOT of hurdles and stuff-ups but due to exams and just school and general, I was never able to get my blog up and running again until about a month ago, when the summer holidays began). I’m now thrilled with my blog – I think I’ve finally got it sussed!
What are your goals for 2018?
Make some recipe videos! I got a DSLR camera for Christmas and a tripod for my birthday, so with the little equipment I have, I’m sure I could pull off some decent instructional cooking videos!
I also want to become more mindful and practise self-love. For me, it’s really important to set some me-time to look after myself. It’s basically a way to remind myself how worthy I am of my own attention!
My confidence needs a good boost, I think! Confidence is one of those things where you need enough of it, but you don’t want too much of it, either. I’m hoping to regain my confidence in myself this year, and make it stick!
I realllyyy love photography! I want to continue to build my photography skills this year – both in general and for my blog! Photography is really great, because you can capture memories and moments in the most beautiful and pure of ways. I aim to gain my skills so that I can use my camera well at anytime and anywhere!
I want to grow closer to God this year and see the world the way He does. Life is a blessing, and I hope I can really connect further with myself, with God and with all of His creation this year!
My 11 Liebster Award Nominees
Now, it’s time to announce my nominees. But first, let me tell you about my FAVOURITE blog: Pies and Tacos! As if the name wasn’t enough to allure you, let me explain a little more about this blog. Camila’s recipes are oh-so-delectable; think Chocolate Roll Cake with Pecan Buttercream, Espresso Chocolate and Walnut Scones, and Chocolate Bundt Cake with Raspberry Cheesecake Filling – yes, this blog is THAT GOOD. Something I admire about Camila is the amount of effort that goes into her blog! Her photography is absolutely stunning – she has created a beautiful aesthetic for her blog that is so bright, fun and trendy! Find her on Instagram here!
Recipes for tempting food and beautiful photography meet in Camila’s blog!
Celine’s delicious recipes, reviews of her favourite products and experiences make this an awesome blog to read!
Find creative, healthy and scrumptious recipes (with little ingredients needed!) over at Caitlin’s blog!
Zhenya creates easy recipes, blogs about her travels, and shares ideas about her favourite books!
As the name may suggest, Altha shares healthy recipes from all different cuisines, as well as stories from her travels. However, she is also a total smoothie ARTIST – seriously, check out her smoothie bowls of art!
With Meg’s blog, she proves that scrumptious and indulgent doesn’t have to mean unhealthy! She’s even got an exciting Holiday Baking series in there! 🎅
Georgie blogs all things from recipes, to travel diaries, to eating out in Auckland, NZ!
Helen’s blog is jam-packed full of healthy, creative and delicious recipes, beauty tips, reviews and ideas!
You’ll find reviews of moreish meals from eateries around Singapore, including thoughts on veganism, waste and noteworthy ideas here!
Awesome tips, product reviews and gluten-free, high protein recipes make Jade’s blog a great read!
Dorota creates gourmet recipes (the flavour combos here are seriously unreal!😍) complimented by gorgeous photography!
Question time for my nominees!
Yes, this is the fun part! Fun for me, creating 10 awesome questions that I’m just dying to find out the answers to, and fun for my nominees because they get to answer them!
- What is your favourite style of music (also give a favourite artist and song if you’re feeling good!)
- Who are your absolute blogging inspirations (bloggers or social media inspirations)?
- Pancakes or waffles?
- Tell me about one hobby of yours and why you love it so much!
- What is your life motto?
- Name at least three things that happened today that you’re grateful for!
- What are you known for?
- If you were a spice, which one would you be? Explain why!
- Spill the beans on your most embarrassing moment!
- What is the ultimate dream for your blog? What do you want to get out of it?
To my nominees: I hope you have LOADS of fun answering these questions and continuing the Liebster Award Nomination chain! Let’s help to bring new blogs into the limelight!