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Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

Originally Posted: November 7th, 2017.
Recently Updated: November 11th, 2019.

Good evening everyone! I’m very excited and honored about today’s post. Jenn at nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. Her blog is no longer active, but I truly appreciate her for the nomination.

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Info About the Blogger Recognition Award

Made by bloggers for bloggers. The Blogger Recognition Award is a way to let fellow bloggers know that you recognize and appreciate the hard work that they do.

If you accept the nomination, there are a few rules to follow:

  • Write a blog post to showcase your award
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Share two general pieces of advice for others
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers
  • Let your 15 bloggers know that you have nominated them

Old & New

Because I’m refreshing an old post, I thought I would do something a little different. Some people know that my old blog, PAE Reviews turned into this one Join The ME Project. But they don’t know the story behind it.

Today I will be telling the full story. And in doing so, it will give me a chance to nominate a new set of bloggers for the Blogger Recognition Award. This will be a blog post of both old and new.

Why PAE Reviews Was Created

The short answer is, I didn’t like my life. You’re probably confused by this so I’ll give you the somewhat condensed version instead. December of 2015, I had ACL Reconstruction and Meniscus Repair. Then I started physical therapy to gain the muscle strength I lost.

June of 2016, I had a Knee Synovectomy and another Meniscus Repair with another round of physical therapy. In April, I had Carpal Tunnel, Cubital Tunnel, and Pronator Syndrome surgery on my right hand and forearm.

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I’ve discussed some of this before in Where Would We Be Without Support? if you want to check that out. During this rinse and repeat with surgery and physical therapy, I was getting diagnosed with other health conditions. I’ve mentioned in The Illusion Of Social Media that my outlook on life was wrong.

Prior to a year and few months ago, my health was an obstacle to overcome. I wasn’t viewing it as a part of me. Even though I was still going through the motions, my mind was still very much in the past on how I used to be when I was “healthy”.

One day, I took a good look at myself and I didn’t like what I saw. I knew that I needed to make changes in my life in order to be healthy and happy. I made PAE Reviews to document that process and promote things that I think help with that.

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From PAE Reviews to JTMP

Maybe a year into blogging under PR I started a side project, literally called The ME Project. The M & E in the name stood for motivation and encouragement. Initially, it was a way for me to write about topics that made me happy. And I could highlight and interview bloggers that I felt embodied those two elements.

I just didn’t expect the response I got back. I write about it in About Join The ME Project. Everyone really seemed to like the project. And after a while, I started thinking about the next step.

I felt the name PAE Reviews no longer fit with what I was doing. I wanted a name that could umbrella everything even my future projects. One day I took out a piece of paper and just started writing. And that’s how I came up with Join The ME Project.

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Advice To New Bloggers

  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It sounds a bit generic but it’s true. Don’t wait for people or opportunities to come your way. Always take the first step.
  • Quality vs Quantity. Numbers are a big thing for everyone: followers, subscribers, etc. It can be very easy to get wrapped up in and stress yourself out. If you create great content, the numbers will follow.
  • If you support others then they will support you.
  • Don’t be afraid to write about a topic that has been written about before. Your experiences, point of view and life make you different from everyone else.

Nominations For the Blogger Recognition Award

First Round

  1. Jess
  2. Cami
  3. Denelia
  4. Sarah
  5. Emily
  6. Amy
  7. Winnie
  8. Holly
  9. Brianna
  10. Beth
  11. Rebecca
  12. Aimsy
  13. Daisy
  14. Michelle
  15. Huda

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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Get to Know Me Q&A

Get to Know Me Q&A 1

Get to Know Me Q&A

Originally Posted November 13, 2018

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. I’ve been blogging now for over two years. First as PAE Reviews and now under Join The ME Project.

I thought it would be fun to do a Get to Know Me Q&A. There’s been a lot of changes over the years. Especially just with my blog in general. This way you can get to know me and hopefully if you like it, I can do more in the future.

Questions & Answers

Full Name

My name is Erika Elizabeth Alexandria Parks. My brother gave me my first name. His name is Eric. My mom and father both had a grandmother named Elizabeth. And Alexandria was the name of an actress that my mother liked.

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Meaning Behind My Blog Name

I talk about this a little bit in,Where Would We Be Without Support?, I think. But my intention with this blog is to share my thoughts, views, and opinions. So essentially, I’m sharing myself.

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With my first blog, PAE reviews, I wanted to involve my name somehow. EAP Reviews didn’t look or sound good to me so I settled on, PAE Reviews. The blog title, Join The ME Project came about on its own in a way. It was the name of my side project and then it became my blog.

See Also: About Join The ME Project

3 Fears

Bugs, disappointing my loved ones, big bodies of water

Last Song I Listened To

Bad by Tablo featuring Jinsil. This song is one of my absolute favorites.

Favorite Movie

Night at the Museum is one of my favorites. I actually like the sequel and the third one. I’ve always been a history buff and I tend to stick to comedies and family movies so this is right up my alley.

Favorite Songs/Music

I have too many songs to list them all, but I’m pretty selective when it comes to genres of music. At the moment I like: 90’s R&B, Classic Rock, Funk, KPop, some Pop.

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Favorite Color

Turquoise, Coral & Orange

A Fact About My Personality

I’m an introvert, usually, in conversation, I’m the listener, not the talker. I’ve always been better at communicating when I could write things down.

What I Dislike Most About Myself

I’m constantly overthinking and worrying too much. I’m naturally an anxious person. I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but every once in a while, I’ll drive myself crazy worrying over something.

What I Like About Myself

My sense of humor. I try not to take things too seriously, my mom always says that you need to have humor in your life.

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My Relationship With My Parents

As I mentioned before, my father isn’t in my life. But my mother is just about my favorite person on this earth. I tell her just about everything because I know that even if I don’t like her advice at the time, it’s what I need to hear in the end. Plus, she’s simply hilarious.

Last Time I Cried

I cry about small things frequently. I think it’s a good stress releaser. But the last time I had a huge ugly cry was when I found out that a good friend and mentor had not only passed, but he died months before. I talk about that in, Teen Ink| Personal Experience & Saying Goodbye

Favorite Sports Team

I like College Basketball in general. I’m not loyal to one team, I just go crazy during March Madness.


Plenty, I have scars on my knee from two surgeries. Then I have scars on my right elbow, forearm and wrist from a Carpal Tunnel and Cubital Tunnel surgery. And now, I have scars on my hip from my recent hip surgery.

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Day or Night?

Night. I’ve always done my best writing and thinking at night. I can barely function in the morning, especially without coffee.

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As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award 2

The Versatile Blogger Award

Originally Posted October 4th, 2017

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. Today, we’re talking about The Versatile Blogger Award. Abbie of WhatAbbieSays nominated for this award. I’m honestly so awestruck each time I’m nominated for something like this, thank you so much, Abbie. Please go check out her post and her blog, she is an awesome blogger.

Rules to The Versatile Blogger Award

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The rules are as follows: 

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog post
  • Nominate 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  • Share 7 facts about yourself

7 Facts About Me

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So let’s get started with the facts!

  1. I could be a professional napper. I love taking naps, especially when it’s raining outside that’s the perfect napping weather.
  2. I’ve always been fascinated with dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. Once upon a time, I thought about becoming a paleontologist. Now I will watch just about every movie and documentary that I can get my hands on.
  3. My comfort food is tacos. I can eat tacos just about every day.
  4. My favorite animal is a panda.
  5. Although I have the height, I never played any sports. I was on the dance team for two years in high school.
  6. I studied ASL for a year. I just need another year of classes before I can take my certification.
  7. I’m not a morning person. It takes me forever to wake up. I didn’t start drinking coffee until a few years ago and I honestly don’t know how I got up before then.

Who I Nominate

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I nominate the following bloggers:
















As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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Falling For Fall Tag

Falling For Fall Tag 6

Falling For Fall Tag

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. I guess you could call today a basic October weather kind of day. We’ve got 50-degree weather and I’m bundled up in a throw blanket. I thought today would be an appropriate day to do the Falling For Fall Tag. Or rather, I’m revamping it. Ashleigh was kind enough to tag me, you can read her post here: For The Love of Books, Falling For Fall Tag

Let’s get started,

The Questions

What is your favorite fall scent?

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I have to agree with Ashleigh on this one, anything Cinnamon scented. In my opinion cinnamon, just adds a sense of warmth to whatever it’s being added to. I don’t think Apple is exclusively a fall scent, but I like Apple and Apple Pie scented things.

See Also: How to Make| Kentucky Cream Pie

 Do you prefer apple stuff or pumpkin stuff?

This is where I get kind of particular. I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie, never have been. But I like pumpkin seeds. I can get down with a PSL though. So I lean more towards Apple definitely.

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What is the one thing that you look forward to every single fall?

I’m a really big nature lover. I don’t get the chance to get out much, but I love to watch the seasons change. We live in Ohio now but I grew up in West Virgina. It’s still considered a tri-state area and there’s always fairs and festivals this time of year. Fayette County, West Virginia, has Bridge Day every year. It’s a one-day festival with food and extreme sports. But the view is so gorgeous.

See Also: Top 5 Things To Do in Columbus, Ohio

How do you like to spend the more chilly/cloudy days in fall? 

It depends on if I have to go somewhere. If I have to go out, then I try to get my errands done as quickly as possible. When I’m out in the cold, I start to get really achy and my Fibromyalgia and Arthritis will flare up. And I feel like I’m moving in slow motion. If I can stay home, you’ll find me bundled up with a hot drink in my hands. And I’m either watching something on Netflix or Amazon Video.

See Also: Spoonie Tips for Surviving Winter

Which do you prefer: Halloween or Thanksgiving?

I actually don’t celebrate holidays. But if I had to pick one, I would choose Thanksgiving. When my grandmother was alive she would go all out with the food and drinks. Our family was important to her and spending time together was just as important.

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What is the one way you embrace the fall season?

Switching my summer clothes out for my winter clothes. This week I’m actually working on my bedroom decor. I’m not trying to make it fall related, but a more muted tone for the winter time. What I had before was just too bright for the season.

What photos would you like to take this fall?

 I would love to take some pictures of the leaves before they all completely change and fall off. We’ve got a really pretty garden in the back of our apartment so hopefully, I can get back there and take some photos.

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Favorite childhood memory from this season?

The house we moved from had a tree in the front yard. When I was little I would go sit underneath it. In the movies, you always see people gathering up leaves into a pile and jumping or falling into it. I did that one time and almost broke my butt, it’s not as much fun as it looks.

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What is your favorite trend (fashion, makeup, etc) so far this season?

Fashion: Red, 70’s Plaid, and Mid-Length Skirts

Makeup: I’m still learning about makeup, to be honest. I like neutral colors and natural makeup but that’s all the time.

Describe what the fall weather really looks like where you live? 

The temperature has been up and down recently. Last week it was in the 70’s but currently, it’s in the 40’s. It’s been sprinkling today, but it hasn’t rained that much. The weather is usually mild, but I’ve heard that we may have a bad winter.

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As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow JoinThe ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award 7

The Liebster Award


A big thank you and shout out to Lisa at Lisa’s Notebook for the nomination, she tagged me to do the Liebster Award, you can read her response here. The Liebster Award is a way to get to know and promote other bloggers in the community.

Lisa explained the rules really well so I’m going to quote what she wrote.


The rules are quite straightforward, you need to:

Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their post,

Answer the 11 questions they asked you,

Nominate 11 other bloggers, with your own set of 11 questions,

Tag your chosen 11 bloggers, and don’t forget to tell them as well!

Lisa’s Questions For Me

When and where do you like to blog?

It’s a two-step process really. For the most part, I come up with blog ideas on the spot. I never really know when inspiration will hit me so I like to write down my ideas in a notepad. Sometimes I’ll even do a rough draft on my phone. But I like to do the final draft on my laptop because I use Grammarly to edit while I write. While I’m on my laptop I usually end up laid out on the sectional or on my bed. I like to be comfortable when I’m writing.

What is your favorite post you’ve written and why?

I don’t think I have a favorite. Each time I write, I get to do what I love. I don’t believe in doing anything if I don’t enjoy it or feel that it’s my 100%. There have been a few times that I’ve had ideas for blog posts, but it felt like pulling teeth to write. In the end, those posts got trashed because I didn’t like how they turned out.

See Also: Letting Go of Old

What’s your favorite type of blog post to read?

I like to learn. So lately, I’ve been reading blogs about subjects I don’t know much about. Mainly I’ve been reading beauty blogs and travel blogs. I know how to do my eyebrows and that’s just about it. And other than traveling up North I’ve not done much traveling.

If you could be any superhero/heroine, who would you be and why?

Oh, this is so easy, Storm. And I mean the actual comic book Storm, not the movie Halle Berry (not that there’s anything wrong with her). My parents were both into sci-fi and I had cousins that loved comic books. I remember the X-Men being really popular when I was a child and I just gravitated towards Storm.

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Growing up, there wasn’t a whole lot of representation for girls of color. But it seemed like out of the blue for me came this heroine who could control the weather and fly. As a child I was fascinated, now as an adult, I just appreciate the character even more. She was always seen as a person of authority who had great leadership skills.

T-Rex or dragon? Why?

I have such a love for dinosaurs, but if you think about it, T-Rex’s have tiny arms. I mean, they do have other great qualities, but dragons can fly. I’m not sure what we’re talking about here, but I’m going to guess it’s which to have for a pet. I would like to have a pet that could fly so I’m going with dragon lol.

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Do you believe in ghosts? Why/why not?

No, I do not. But I do believe in demonic forces. I was raised in a Christian household and I read the Bible. The scriptures say Satan and a third of the angels were cast down to the earth. I really doubt they’re down here playing cards.

What book are you currently reading?

I feel bad, but I’m currently not reading one.

What was the first single you ever bought (or downloaded!)

B5- All I Do. It’s a remake of Troop’s All I Do Is Think of You which is a remake of The Jackson 5’s All I Do Is Think of You. This song came out in 2005 and at that time I was in middle school and couldn’t help but fall for the boyband-ness of a 90’s style remake of a remake lol.

What was your favorite subject at school?

I didn’t just have one, English, History, & Math were my favorites.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I went through phases. Writing has stuck with me since I was young. I’ve always been fascinated with dinosaurs and fossils so I thought about becoming a paleontologist. The sight of blood has never bothered me, so my mom is surprised I didn’t go into something medical.

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Saturday night: Strictly or X-Factor? Why?

Neither. I don’t watch competition shows, I’m not good at tuning in every week. If I have evening free I’m usually watching something on Netflix.

I Nominate These 11 Bloggers:

Below are the following 11 bloggers that I nominate. I have not only listed their names, but their Twitter handles. The links will take you to their blogs.

11 Questions For You

  • What motivates you to keep blogging?

  • Do you have a blog schedule?

  • What platforms do you use to share your blog posts?

  • If you got the chance to collab with a brand, who would it be and why?

  • What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

  • Write an inspirational quote you think of when you’re having a bad day.

  • What do you do when you’re not blogging? (job, school, etc.)

  • If you could interview a famous person, who would it be and why?

  • What’s your favorite junk food to snack on?

  • When did your friends and family find out that you had a blog?

  • If there was a day in your life you could go back and re-do would you take the opportunity, and why?

Please tag me in your answers, I would love to read them!

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

Originally Posted October 18th, 2017
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The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Originally Posted February 6th, 2018

I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Sonam of Kind Culture originally nominated me three months ago. It has taken me too long to make this post, and for that, I apologize. I have been nominated again recently and that helped kick me into high gear. I will warn you that this may be a long post.

Information about the Sunshine Blogger Award

The award was created to encourage a sense of community and support for bloggers. I have been nominated by Kind Culture, Oddball Content, and Helen’s Journey. Thank you all for nominating me! Please go and check out their blogs, you won’t be disappointed.

Rules For The Award

  • Answer the 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and give them 11 questions to answer
  • Notify your nominees

Let’s get started!

Kind Culture’s Questions

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What has been your all-time favorite post to work on?

I would say, “Nana! The Pot’s Burning!” because it was a personal piece. It involved a story from my mother’s childhood. And I got to write about my family a little bit. It took me a long time to write this one, but I don’t think I would have done it differently. I love reading the comments. Everyone relates to it.

What is one piece of advice you can give to anyone that wants to start their own blog?

Do it, don’t hesitate. I waited a long time to start blogging because I kept psyching myself out. Sometimes I wonder what I could’ve accomplished if I started sooner.

How different is your life from one year ago?

I was actually thinking about this the other day. My physical health has gotten a bit worse but I would have to say that my mental health has made such an improvement. To me, that’s what is really important. With life, there are things that we can’t change or have no control over, but we can choose to be happy.

Where is one place that you always wanted to go?

Tennessee. As I’ve gotten older I realized that I will probably always be a country girl. I don’t like visiting busy, fast-paced places. I’ve always wanted to rent a cabin for the week and relax.

How has your journey as a blogger been for you?

Insightful. I have learned more about myself since I have been blogging than ever before.

What is your all-time favorite film? And why?

I pick the Night at the Museum series. I’ve never been a fan of serious or scary movies. Family oriented films are more my speed. I think I like the films because it combines comedy with history.

Tell us about a book that made an impact on your life

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Yes, there’s a story behind this, lol. I took an AP Lit class in high school. At the time, I thought “I love English and Creative Writing so why not try AP Lit.” Once I got the summer reading list my tune suddenly changed. That summer was so horrible, I felt that I couldn’t connect to any of the books.

When school started, I found out it was too late for me to drop the class. I was stuck. We began to read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and I fell in love. Actually, I was the only one who did. Everyone else in the class hated the book. They said they didn’t understand it. I just loved how sarcastic the characters were.

How you made any new years resolutions?

No, I have come to the conclusion that I just don’t believe in them. For some, they do help. But I would rather set goals.

What is the boldest choice you ever made?

To chop off all my hair and go natural. I  kind of dived head first on that one.

What is your spirit animal?

Definitely a turtle or a sloth.

Who inspires you in life?

My mother is my biggest source of inspiration. She has been through so much, but she is the strongest person I know.

Oddball Content’s Questions

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What is your dream job?

Blogging professionally. It’s never boring and there are so many topics to discuss.

What do you think your life will be like in a year? And in ten years?

Oh, my that’s kind of scary to think about. In a year, I would like to see myself happy and doing what makes me happy. In ten years? I have no clue.

What is your proudest achievement?

Going self-hosted was huge for me. I honestly didn’t think that it would be a possibility until it happened.

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

Other than the one I listed above, I really enjoyed writing, #WhatTheHealth| The Illusion Of Social Media. It was the first time that I had shared something personal. It allowed me to draw back the curtain on a topic that I think we are all affected by.

Apart from blogging, what are your hobbies?

I love creating and writing. Some days you may find me with my sketch pad or a notebook writing poetry. I used to make jewelry but I stopped doing that last year before we moved.

How would you describe your fashion style?

Bohemian Funk

What’s the best place you’ve ever been to?

NYC. I’ve been twice and it is such a fun experience. There is just so much to do.

If you had £1000 (or equivalent in your currency), what would you spend it on? Or would you save it?

I would pay up some bills and save the rest.

What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done? What would you do if you were a little braver?

Stick up for someone who was being bullied. I made a great friend in high school that way. I think back on my high school days sometimes. There were a lot of people that needed friends. I kind of wish I was braver back then and I could have been that person.

What is/was your favorite class at school, college or university?

Always English and Math.

What is one thing you want to learn or change in 2018?

I want to learn as much as I possibly can about blogging.

Helen’s Journey’s Questions

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Where in the world are you based and have you ever met up in person with any fellow bloggers in your local area?

I live in Ohio, USA. And I know of other people in my area who blog.

If blogs had to have a theme tune that played every time people came onto your website – which song would you choose?

It would be the instrumental of, Falling by John Park.

Why did you choose the specific niche you write about for your blog?

I went with what I know I guess. One day I sat and wrote down my basic interests, from that I found my niche.

Tell us about the best photograph you have taken, that is featured in one of your blogs (include a copy of the photo in your answer).

This my accidental profile picture. I have such a hard time taking pictures of myself. I never really know where to look in the camera. But I needed to take pictures for a review. So I’m learning to get more comfortable in front of the camera. I sat down and took a bunch of pictures in a series. In the end, I came up with this.

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I turn 35 in September and I’m planning on a getaway holiday with a group of friends to celebrate, somewhere with no more than a few hours flight from England, some September sun & cool places/buildings etc to see – where would you recommend and why?

I have no idea lol.

Which social media app do you get most blog traffic through and what makes it work so well for you?

Twitter is the best one. I find it easy to interact with my readers and fellow bloggers.

How long have you been blogging and have you ever taken time out away from blogging during that time?

I started blogging September 14, 2017. Since then, I think I have taken a week or two off. I think it is a good idea to do if you feel yourself getting stuck or losing inspiration. It brings things back in to focus.

If you had to choose a smoothie recipe to represent your blog what would it be?

Mixed berry.

Have you ever heard of Fibromyalgia other than from me/my blog/my social media?

Yes, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia when I turned 20.

What piece of advice would you give bloggers for creating images and for taking photos / flatlays / blog feature images etc?

There is no wrong or right way to do it. Personally, I love using to create my blog and social media images. Do what comes naturally to you. When I first started, I felt so pressured because I thought my pictures had to look a certain way.

Do you make money off blogging? If so how?

Sometimes, it depends on the type of sponsored post that I am doing. The majority of brands that I have worked with so far have sent products for my review.

I Nominate

CE01B946-3C7E-4886-ADA3-66F6159BF9CF-300x198 The Sunshine Blogger Award 2019 Blogging May 2019 Tags and Q&As

I nominate you. Yes, I’m talking to you. If you haven’t been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, then you have today.

My Questions For You

  1. What is your favorite quote, why?
  2. If you could work with a brand/company who would you pick?
  3. How do you deal with writer’s block?
  4. Night or Day?
  5. Where do you draw most of your inspiration from?
  6. What has been the hardest blog post for you to write?
  7. Which of your social media do you check the most?
  8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  9. What color represents you the best? Why?
  10. If you could start your blogging journey over, what would you do differently?
  11. How often do you post on your blog? Why do you think it works for you?

And that’s it for today. Thank you so much for reading!

7CF142DD-4F1E-4FD8-B7D9-A5523D7B26B8-200x300 The Sunshine Blogger Award 2019 Blogging May 2019 Tags and Q&As

4FC89912-3049-463C-97DC-43A61C27EC43-200x300 The Sunshine Blogger Award 2019 Blogging May 2019 Tags and Q&As

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