The Versatile Blogger Award!

I am excited, and proud to announce that I was nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award by Nicole from Cultural Comments. She nominated me because of my coverage and support of the floods in Cinque Terre. I am honoured that Nicole thought of me for this award, because I have great respect for her blog, and especially the words she rights consistently on her Italian blog. Please check it out!

I started Bellasabroad after my 2nd trip to Italy in April/11 because of a bad experience I had with a leather vendor in Florence (see Scams and Scammers), and I wanted to warn others about him specifically, in hopes that he would change his poor business choices to ones that will benefit tourists like myself, as well as the reputation of the other vendors in his area.  After I started my blog, I discovered that I wanted to keep writing and sharing the 1000’s of photos, and countless memories I acquired in Italy, and now in other parts of the world. It is a way for me to keep my creative juices flowing, that I too often don’t devote enough time to.  And the icing on the cake for me is that I have been introduced to a very large, and diverse community of fellow bloggers. Who knew??

Now, back to the award because there are specific rules that come with it.
Rule #1: Link back to the person that gave you the award
Rule #2: Pass this award on to 15 other deserving blogs
Rule #3: Give seven facts about yourself
There is a bit of diversity in the blogs that I follow, or bookmark, but honestly the overall theme is definitely about traveling, and of course Italy. I always like to look at the blogs that other bloggers follow, and that is how I have found most of these blogs. Please visit them,  make comments (we bloggers LOVE comments), share them with your friends, and family, or even subscribe to follow the ones that you really like.
13.  Hip Paris
7 Facts About Me:
1. I am fiercely independent.  I got my first job when I was 12- a newspaper route, and as a result I discovered that I like having my own money, and have had many jobs since- dishwasher, A&W, waitress, bank teller, flight attendant, Discovery Toys Educational Consultant/ Senior Manager, Life Planner, book keeper, the many hats of being a mom, and wife.  Another sign of my independence is that I ‘moved out’ when I was 17.
2. I am an advocate. I speak what is on my mind, and also the truth. I think it is important to stand up for what is right, and not allow others to get away with injustices. I not only stand up for myself, but also for those that I love, and are in my life.  But I am also an advocate for what is good. I am quick to let others know my praises, by way of posting reviews on  Tripadvisor, product websites, and of course by telling others about a good experience at a restaurant, store, products, or people in general. Sharing is Caring!
3. I am passionate about health and wellness. I live a clean/ green life. I do not use many, if any chemicals in my house, or on my body. I want myself, and my family to be as healthy as we can, so I have spent a lot of hours researching, along with my Mom finding good companies with good products like vitamins, face and body care, cleaning products, food, and many more things. If I am going to put it in  or on my body, I read all ingredient labels first, and carry the Dirty Dozen list with me always.
4. I LOVE to eat! As healthy as I am at home (my kids call me the food Nazi- please do not be offended by the tacky name), I love good quality, gourmet food also.  But I also love good quality, healthy/ vegan food.  I am not a meat and potatoes girl, and please do not make me eat a salad in a bag salad.  Cook me up something fresh, like a nice fish, or even a vegan dish, and I will be as happy as a clam. I also love trying new things, and love many different ethnic food like Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, Thai, to name a few.
5. I dream of living in Europe one day. My husband and I are going to be traveling to Europe this summer with our 3 kids (16, 12, 10), and I am going to try my hardest to pass along my love of traveling in Europe to them also. I am SO excited to expose them to all of the culture, history, and of course all of the Amazing food in Europe!
6. I am currently learning french. I took several years of french in school, and went on a french exchange to Quebec when I was in grade 9, so I definitely know some french. But my 3 children are all fluent in french because they all attend French Immersion schools, so I want to be able to speak with them in french also. Plus, no matter where I have traveled so far, I have met others that speak french, so it will come in handy in my future travels.
7. I am passionate about living a balanced life- for me, my family, and my work. I hear quite often, “I don’t have time”, or “I am too busy”. When in reality, I want to ask them if they are not giving themselves the time. WE are the budgeteers of the hours of our days, and if there is not time to do something that you want to do, then you need to go back and do a few simple things: Write everything down that you need to do in a day, then: Prioritize, delegate, and/ or eliminate.  If you do this consistently, then the answer will either be yes, or no; not I don’t have time.  Life is about choices.
Thank you to Nicole once again for the honour of this Award!
I hope you enjoy reading my future posts!