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I am truly honored and humbled that one of my peers, Julie from How We Find Happy, has nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This award recognizes new bloggers who bring positivity and creative content to the blogging community. Nominees are chosen by fellow bloggers. Thank you, Julie! 

A little bit about Julie, author of How We Find Happy  

Julie from How We Find Happy: Her blog name alone should entice you to follow. She and her family are Michigan transplants currently living in Florida. Not only do they enjoy travel and Disney, but they are also big fans of Marvel, Star Wars, breweries, and Michigan football. I appreciate Julie’s ongoing support and her authentic blog posts on where to travel, what to do and where to eat.  

A little bit about me 

As part of the award and to connect with others, those nominated are given 11 questions. Here are my responses to Julie’s questions. 

If you could go back to the beginning of starting your blog, what would you change? And why?  

I’m not sure I would change anything as I believe that everything you experience is for a purpose and leads you to exactly where you need to go. However, I would pass along this tip to any new bloggers: research all your options to determine where you will host your domain. If you decide to change hosts, you’ll have to wait two months before going live (it’s an industry-wide regulation). 

Are you a morning person, or an evening person? 

Definitely a night owl – I’ve been known to go to bed as my husband is getting up for work (he gets up super early which seems like the middle of the night for me).  

What is your favorite part of the blogging process?  

I’m naturally curious so love the entire learning, researching and creative process – and receiving comments that what I’ve written has provided value and helped someone make a decision on where and how to travel and what to read next (I also write book reviews).  

Of all the vacations you have taken, which has been your favorite? And why? 

That’s a tough question. I think I would choose when our family all traveled to Europe for the first time (our son was 8; I was 40 the first time I traveled to Europe). We visited London, Paris and Luxembourg; the latter is where my husband’s mother and grandparents were from and where his extended family lives.  

What is a pet peeve that drives you nuts? 

I read once that what you don’t like about someone else is usually a reflection of what you don’t like about yourself so I think I’ll focus on improving what I do that drives others crazy (it’s a long list).

We all have causes which are dear to us; what is yours? 

All efforts and causes that improve and protect human rights, animals, and our planet are important to me. One area that I’m specifically focusing energy on is raising the awareness of The Holocaust. I found it alarming when I read a Washington Post article last year that said two-thirds of young Americans surveyed could not identify what Auschwitz was. And 22% hadn’t heard of The Holocaust or weren’t sure if they had.  

My husband’s grandfather was a concentration camp survivor so making sure that part of history is not erased is extremely important to us. My family and I are planning a trip to Austria in May 2020, the 75th anniversary of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp liberation to honor him, those who died, those who survived, and the U.S. soldiers who rescued them. History is a responsibility. It’s important that we all remember – not just those of us who were directly or indirectly affected – and never forget so that a humanitarian crisis like The Holocaust never happens again.

I’m documenting our journey as we learn more, which you can read in my Planning a family legacy trip blog series.  

Who do you most admire in your life right now? 

My husband and my son – they are my biggest cheerleaders as I navigate through this new way of life called travel writing/travel blogging. Although I am living my dream, there are still some lows that go with those highs. And my guys are always right there to encourage me. I couldn’t do this without them.

Which destination is top on your bucket list? 

Our family trip to Austria to honor my husband’s grandfather is at the top of my bucket list.  


Beach or lake? 

Yes and yes. My perfect getaway is on a beach in the Caribbean or Hawaii. I also live in Minnesota – land of 11,842 lakes – so equally love hanging out at and on the lake.  

Before starting your blog, what was your previous job? 

I’ve always been a writer/editor; my last official position was a corporate communications manager for an international company. I worked there for 16.5 years before I took a blind leap of faith to try something different.

What is your favorite kind of music to listen to on a road trip? 

I am an 80s lady! Although many times when I’m road-tripping by myself, I don’t listen to any music and appreciate the silence (unless there’s a weird car noise then I turn the volume up high).  

Sunshine Blogger Award guidelines  

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and link back to his/her blog. 
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the award and ask them 11 questions.
  4. List these rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and on your blog.

My nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award 

Here are just a few of my favorite bloggers in my online communities that I want to share with the universe and invite you to follow. If they’ve already been nominated, I won’t be surprised because they are worthy of all recognition.  

Clara, author of The Trecking Family 

Glory, author of gscinparis 

Hera, author of Travoodie 

Janina and Jim, authors of Stromfield Adventures 

Leeanne, author of In the Olive Groves 

Lori, author of Serendipity on Purpose 

Stacey, author of The Flip Flop Files 

Stacy, author of One Fly Life  

Taci, author of Life Beyond Zebra 

Yaya, author of The Eclectic Yaya 

Questions for my nominees

  1. What do you use daily that you think will still be around in 100 years?
  2. Beach or mountain vacation?
  3. Team Harry Potter or Team Lord of the Rings?
  4. How many hours do you sleep on average?
  5. Carry-on or checked luggage?
  6. What’s the quirkiest thing you keep in your purse/wallet?
  7. What’s the kindest thing a stranger has done for you?
  8. What’s the most meaningful place you have visited and why?
  9. What’s the most meaningful book you have read and why?
  10. What’s the story behind the name of your blog?
  11. What’s your favorite family tradition?


Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller


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