Liebster Blog Award

   First of all, I want to thank all of our readers for showing so much love and support!  When I started blogging I was embarrassed to be putting it all out there and shocked anyone cared about what I had to say.   But it has been really beneficial in being able to connect with other moms and I am so grateful to everyone who stops by (even the haters...thanks for the traffic)!  Whether it's a comment from the author of a book I reviewed, When a Dragon Moves In, or a private message from a stranger, it means the world to me!  I have heard that my stories have touched a chord in some of you and even helped a few on a rainy day.  The only (shared) criticisms have been consistent in expressing I don't post enough.  I'm working on new series that I can execute without turning into novels so I can post more often.  Look for *Special Sights* (focusing on cool websites I've recently discovered), *Lately at the Library* (for a rundown of our favorite storytimes or books we've checked out), *Pretty Pictures* (to showcase some favorite illustrations), and *Blueberry Martini Books* (an extension of our children's Blueberry Books into parenting books for adults) soon!

   But most of all, I need to thank Lee Schaef from A Wednesday Child for nominating this blog for a Liebster Award!  It means so much to know someone is thinking about you.  "Liebster" means favorite or beloved in German and the award is given to recognize up-and-coming blogs with fewer than 200 subscribers.  Thank you to Lee for weeding through so many blogs and raising us up so more can get involved in reading to their littles! 

Here are the rules:

  • Post 5 random facts about yourself
  • Choose 5 other deserving blogs with less than 200 subscribers to nominate and link their blogs in your post.
  • Tell your nominees you have chosen them for this award by leaving a comment on their blogs.
  • Answer the 5 questions the tagger has asked you and ask your own 5 questions to the people you nominate.
  • No tag backs.

Five random facts about me:

  1. I lived in Italy (Milano) for several months right after I turned eighteen.  It was a last-minute opportunity and I didn't prepare myself for possible culture shock.  I ate at McDonald's every chance I could- that is, until I finally figured out how to order in a foreign language. 
  2. I never understood girly-girls and therefore thought I would have all boys.  I am the proud mother of two little princesses.
  3. Nothing in my life is black and white- except my tattoos.  I have a black one and a white one.  If I ever get any more, they'll be white.
  4. I met and worked with many A-list actors during my previous career.  Once while sitting in the makeup chair, a younger Amy Adams told me she'd never "make it" because she's not one of the pretty girls.  She was so wrong.  What a gorgeous talent!
  5. I am obsessed with any form of sandwich- wraps, hoagies, gyros, paninis...I even consider fajitas and sushi types of sandwiches.

 My five nominations:

this is a little place where i share the things that are happening around me as a God seeking, big dreaming, sometimes silly, hopeless romantic, who brags about her kids. i love to collect coffee table books and striped clothing, and anything floral

We are Candace and Julie, and in a nutshell, we’re both working mothers who are just trying to find the balance between the independent, creative, and (slightly) wild women we were, and the wives, mothers, and professionals we are now.

the joy of my life is knowing the all-powerful, ever-present, forever faithful, intimate brother and friend Jesus - who is the Son of God. I am thankful for His grace that revealed to me my sin, lead my heart to repentance, and took me into His family. I was once an orphan - alienated from my Creator - and now I am One with Him.

Christian, mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister, teacher, lover, dreamer
This is my way of connecting with the world, just a little "hello, I'm here and I've got a few things to say". Hence the title No Mum is an Island. It is my hope that this blog may (I repeat, MAY) allow my brain to thrive while I am in a haze of baby-induced isolation from the real world.

Five questions for me to answer:

- What has surprised you the most about being a parent?

I am most surprised that I am not so great at being a mom.  When you're pregnant everyone tells you not to worry, "You'll figure it out- just like we did!  It's all common sense and natural instinct anyway."  Well, it wasn't that way for me.  I never would've made it through the baby phase without our amazing pediatrician and a stack of baby books!  I used to daydream about being a mom when I was a child.  Everyone was clean, fed, happy, and well-dressed in my fantasies.  Reality is a far cry from it.  But it is all so worth it just to see your child smile, laugh, grow, and learn.

-What is your least favorite food, your favorite food?

When my husband and I are trying to figure out where to eat (on one of the many nights I don't feel like cooking), I sometimes say, "I don't care where we eat as long as it's not Long John Silver's."  So, my least favorite is anything at Long John Silver's.  I'll pretty much eat anything otherwise.  My favorite food would have to be an avocado since I like it on everything!

-What is your dream vacation?

I have always dreamt of touring the pyramids in Egypt.  But it's not safe and a hot camel ride to wind through sweltering hallways isn't exactly relaxing.  Instead, I'll say some sort of warm/stable-weathered exotic island where my fingertips are cold from sampling fruit-rimmed drinks, where I can rub elbows with the locals in town, share space with some wildlife while ziplining or hiking through the rainforest, and alternate between living on room service (movie clip below) or catching our dinner straight from the sea- basically Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations meets the One & Only Pamilla...with a heaping cup of Hawai'i and New Zealand mixed in.  No big deal.  (And this of course will happen when the girls are older and can appreciate it all.  For now, playing in the murky waves of Galveston is enough to rock their world...and ours.)

Of course the morning we leave it finally gets sunny outside.

-What is your favorite part about your daily routine?

My favorite part about my daily routine is any moment when I feel a sense of completion- right after a meal when everyone's bellies are full and they're smiling ear to ear, the way my girls' hair smells like strawberry shampoo right after a bath, when a hamper is empty and all the clothes are hung or put away (from just that one hamper, not all of them- let's not get crazy).  But mostly, I love anything that breaks the routine- a spontaneous dance session in the living room, the girls giggling at a funny part in a book, an out-of-the-blue hug or kiss from one of my angels, or a glance from my husband that reminds me of when we were dating.

Five questions for my nominees:
  • Why did you start your blog?
  • What do you enjoy most about being a Mom?
  • What do you see other parents struggle with that is a breeze for you?
  • What do you miss the most about your life before you had children?
  • If you could offer one piece of parenting advice to your readers, what would it be?

Thank you, again, for reading this and for supporting us! 


  1. I did mine! It was fun and I may have gone a little overboard! THANKS!!! xoxo

  2. What a great story!!! What a beautiful family - they have a wonderful Mom!!