This post is a bit of a departure from my normal fare - I usually try to keep on task and write about food and feeding rather than anything more personal but today I'm going to make an exception and share some stuff about me as I'm really pleased to have been nominated for the Liebster Award - a fun way of getting to know other bloggers and introducing people to new blogs.
Thanks to the lovely Karen of Spoil My Family for the nomination! Karen has these questions for me to answer:
1. Why do you blog?
Wow - I couldn't not blog! I am passionate about my area - feeding kids - and I constantly have new ideas that I want to share, or come across research that I know my readers would be interested in. It's a real privilege to be in a position to help parents when they are worried about their child's eating and blogging is a big part of that for me.
2. What did you do before you wrote your blog?
Before I started blogging I had my hands full with my young daughters and every spare minute was dedicated to writing and researching my book (War and Peas) - it was a very slow process! You know the thing people say to new parents, sleep when your child sleeps? When my children slept, I wrote.
3. What was one quality that your high school BFF had that you admire?
My closest friend from school is German and I love the way she was (and is) always really honest and direct. Maybe it's a cultural thing? We British like to skirt around a subject and are very good at harbouring elephants in rooms; I love a bit of continental frankness. It's really refreshing. I always try to be as straightforward with people as I can.
4. Where did you go on your most interesting vacation?
For our honeymoon, my husband and I went to Transylvania in Romania. Transylvania gets a lot if bad press with it's vampiric associations (we didn't spot any). It is an extremely remote and unspoilt pocket of Europe; we visited villages that had no electricity or running water, it was like stepping back in time. The medieval architecture and pristine wild flower meadows were something I will never forget.
5. What is the biggest kitchen fail you’ve ever had?
That's easy - I make elderberry tincture (a home-made cold remedy) every Autumn and a couple of years ago I obviously didn't sterilise one of my bottles properly because when I opened it to give a little to a friend who was ill, it exploded and covered my entire kitchen. It stained so badly, we had to re-decorate. No word of a lie. I was just very grateful that I didn't open it over at my friend's house where she had just had a new cream carpet put in...
6. What television character are you most like?
That's tricky. I don't watch a lot of television, ever since my daughter poured a jug of juice down it and it stopped working so well... we lived for a while without one so that she could reflect on the consequences of her behaviour and after a few weeks, we realised that life was so much better minus TV. The children play outside much more, and make their own fun. It's not a total TV-free zone as we watch the odd thing on my laptop, but the children are much more selective about what they have on than when we had a TV and it works for us this way.
7. What is the last photograph on your phone? Post it if you dare!
This is my eldest daughter having fun on the beach this week after her uncle gave her a bit if a surfing lesson. My husband grew up by the sea and we are never happier as a family than when we are on the beach.
8. What bumper stickers or magnets do you have on your car?
What's a bumper sticker?!
9. Would you rather time travel 50 years back or ahead? Why?
Hmmm... that's really hard. Forwards because I would love to know what the future will bring, especially in the world of parenting - things have changed so much in the last 50 years, I'm intrigued to know how the next 50 will shape up. It feels like we're always moving forward and making progress, but is that actually the case or is that just how we need to feel in order to have an optimistic take on the human condition?
10. What is sitting on your nightstand right now?
What's a nightstand?! Assuming it's what we Brits like to call a bedside table, I have a huge pile of books that I haven't got round to reading. I've just started Ian McEwan's 'The Children Act' and I'm also re-reading Gill Rapley's amazing book on weaning. It's still great and I recommend it to all new parents. I know it sounds weird, but I also always have a selection of cook books by my bed - food is an important part of my life and I love trying out new recipes.
11. What is something that many people don’t know about you?
Well, I spent much of my twenties playing the violin in a band - we were signed to US record label Matador and never made it big in the UK although we did OK in Germany. We toured the US a few times and played South x South West in Texas and some great venues like the Bowery Ballroom in New York. Fun times! I still play music and it will always be a part of my life.
Thanks again to Karen for the nomination. For my nominations, I've chosen some UK blogs that I love:
New Mumblings features always interesting reflections on life as a parent and is brilliantly written, Sneaky Veg is all about the trials and tribulations of feeding your family and includes some fab recipes which I love trying out. I also love English Mum for great recipes which always work (you have to try the buttermilk spatchcock chicken). Did I mention I like my food?
Here are my questions to the nominees -most of them food related!
1. What do you think is the secret to writing a great blog?
2. What advice would you give to someone who was contemplating starting a blog?
3. What do you blog about?
4. Who is your favourite author and why?
5. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? You can have four guests, dead, alive, real or fictional.
6. What is your favourite foodie memory?
7. What is your favourite place to eat out?
8. What do you do to relax?
9. Do you have any pets?
10. If you could spend a weekend in any city in the world, where would you choose?
11. Rice or pasta?