I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by the unparalleled Pinky Poinker. When I first saw a Liebster post, I had no clue what it was.

After extensive googling research, I learned that it is an award that exists only on the internet and is passed around by bloggers to other bloggers. The idea is to answer a few questions and to paste one of these babies into your post:

liebster-award

 

I think the Liebster Award is basically the blogger equivalent of an encouragement award. You know the ones? I had a handful of them in primary school:

“Awarded to Amy for always trying her best!” “Awarded for consistent effort!” “A+ for effort!”

Story of my life! But I’m not complaining- it’s very nice to have your efforts noted and it’s certainly a step above the other awards I got- you know the ones you get just for participation? A nice bit of cardboard with your name on it that basically said “Thanks For Showing Up!” I got loads of those. So enough faffing around and down to business. The Liebster Award means I have to answer a bunch of questions as determined by the person who awarded it to me.

1. What makes you happy?

Many things. I’m a pretty happy person. I love hanging out with my family, of course, but also spending time with my husband. People often say they married their best friend and that’s definitely true of us. No one makes me laugh like he does- we have the same off beat humour and are completely irreverent. Whether it’s making up ridiculously rude limericks or having one of our famous pun-offs we spend a lot of time laughing. What could be happier than that? There’s also wine. And food. Did I mention wine? Wine makes me happy!

2. Why did you start blogging?

I started because of this one time when I, along with a bunch of other parents, kicked up a hell of a fuss and landed myself on the telly, explaining to Kochie that breastfeeding in public does not need to be “discreet”. After that surreal episode, I came across an article about the whole fiasco on a website maintained by some misogynistic creatures “Men’s Rights Activists” which you can read for your own amusement via this link (Don’t worry I used a do not link so you’re safe to click through!). I’d been toying with the idea of a blog but this hilarious post gave me the thing I’d been lacking- a name. HandbagMafia was born because I like having a voice- even if it was just me speaking into the ether, it was good to get my thoughts out. I blogged sporadically for a while until I got to know Emma, who blogs at 5 Degrees of Chaos. She dragged my butt through the blogger basics and together we hosted a blog carnival to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Through Emma, I discovered the Australian blogger community and started writing with much more frequency- I guess this could be added to question 1- it makes me happy!

3. What is the best thing that anyone has ever said about your blog?

That they read it! I’m always amazed that people actually read what I have to say. Even if no one did, I’d probably still scratch out my thoughts here. But knowing there are actually people interested enough to read my posts, comment on them and share them is very humbling and I’m very grateful!

4. What is one piece of advice you would offer or one saying you live by?

I wrote a little thing a while back about words to live by and the essence of what I said there as true now as it was then- just don’t worry about what people think. Be yourself, do your own thing. Consider what you think before worrying about how other people might respond.

5. What are your top three bucket list items?

A passport, my own home and a trip to an elephant sanctuary. I want to travel but it won’t be for a while yet, I want my own home because renting is bleerghh and who wouldn’t want to go to see elephants living peacefully and doing their thing without fear of hunters? I think that would be amazing- even more so in a world where all game hunting was simply a terrible chapter in our history and not something practiced anymore.

elephant

Elephants in Botswana- Gorgeous

6. What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?

Oh I have quite a few pleasures and none of them guilty- who has time for that? Good food, sleeping in, a massage or an excellent bath complete with bubbles and a good book. Pinky says hers is eating garlic bread for dinner and I’d be all over that!

7. What is one product or service you cannot live without?

Coffee. I like it. I need it. More.

COFFEETHOR

8. What is your favorite Australian travel destination?

I love travelling in NSW to see my country cousins and I’ve been all over the place but my all-time favourite destination is Melbourne. Melbourne, to me, is our culture capital. To get all Australian about it, the place is literally chockers with culture. The street art is phenomenal, the bars are often artworks in themselves and the places you can eat are top-notch.

graffiti-311884_1280

 

Also, from a Sydneysider’s point of view, it’s laid out so nicely:

map

9. What two countries make you the happiest to visit?

I’ve never been, unless you count Tasmania (which is lovely, by the way). So far, I’ll say Australia and Australia!

10. What is your dream destination?

I’ve always fancied going to Italy because I’m fairly certain I was born with an Italian stomach (Pasta- come at me!) and also Scotland. I started reading the Outlander series as a teen and I’ve had a mildly obsessive interest in Scottish history and culture ever since. That series turning into a TV show has done nothing to put me off, largely thanks to Sam Heughan who plays Jamie- a total crumpet, as Mumabulous would say- and a prime example of your typical Scottish male, I assume.

OUTLANDER

 

Now I get to nominate others to amuse themselves over 10 questions in the same way I just did, so without further faffing around, here they are:

Sanch from Living My Imperfect Life

Natalie from Our Parallel Connection

Rebel from Rebel Without a Pause

Ladies- feel free to edit the questions to make your posts more amusing or interesting or whatever- Pinky had some alternate suggestions here!

And lovely reader- why not pick a question and answer it below!
IBOT @ Essentially Jess

Brilliant Blog Posts @ Honest Mum

 

 

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  • Oh coffee! Fun to get to know more about you! x

  • LydiaCLee

    I think Australia is a pretty top travel destination. But those elephants look pretty awesome (and I’m sooo with you on the coffee!)

    • I agree- but one day I will go and see the elephants!

  • Congratulations on your award! Well deserved. I love that your guilty pleasures aren’t guilty – I agree!

    • Haha, I couldn’t be arsed with feeling guilty for enjoying something!

  • Love these posts πŸ™‚ Visiting an elephant sanctuary is high on my list too. And coffee. Always coffee.

  • Love a Liebster. Wine is wonderful. Makes me happy too. πŸ™‚

    • Oh good, I was worried it was just a me thing πŸ˜‰

  • Love reading about fellow bloggers. Interesting story on how our blog came about. You have me even more intrigued to read Amy.

  • These are great Amy! I love Emma’s blog, and I was so happy to see her blogging again this week, yay! Also, please make sure that you drop me a line if you’re ever in Melbourne, I’d love to meet up.

    • Me too, thrilled to see her back! And absolutely, I’d love that πŸ™‚

  • I do love the liebster award and the encouragement it offers. Melbourne is my favourite Australian city as well. Though I’ve not been to Adelaide yet xx

    • Radelaide! Haven’t been there for many years…might have to go back!

  • I hope you get a passport and get to travel to see Elephants and Italy and so much more. And I never knew why you started your blog. That is what I love about these Leibster things, you learn so much!

    • Thank you for the hope! And yes, you do get learn a bit, don’t you? Nice bit of fun πŸ™‚

  • I love hearing more about you!

    I choose the question: 9. What two countries make you the happiest to visit?

    My answer is simple – USA because my bestie is in Pennsylvania so we visit America often and Hawaii (which, like Tasmania isn’t technically its own country but hey …) because our holidays there have always been so gloriously relaxing and memorable … and we renewed our wedding vows there in 2008 (our 10th wedding anniversary). We’ll be doing Vegas with Elvis for our 20th (or Captain Kirk if the Husb gets his way).

    • Oh how fun! What a great thing to look forward to. I must get to the USA one day!

  • I really enjoyed reading this post. I couldn’t stop laughing at the Melbourne and Sydney street image. I’d love to get lost in both cities and shop and eat good food and eat lots of chocolate at all their chocolate cafes/shops. And in regards to Outlander, I would love to see the series. I saw an advertisement for the show and it looked good. Maybe I should read the book series first?

  • Ahh, this post has been very educational – learning more about the Liebster Award AND you! Great story about how the blogging came about. And soooo with you on the wine, coffee and elephant fronts.

  • Its great finding out a bit more about my favourite bloggers πŸ™‚ I’ve been nominated a couple of times but have never got around to doing it yet :-/

  • I love reading these kind of posts! Usually. Okay, only when they’re a blogger I already like. Luckily, that’s you.
    What two countries make you happiest to visit? I’ve only been to three outside of Australia. And New Caledonia sucked. So France and Thailand by default. As Homer Simpson would say, the two sweetest words in the English language. DEE FAULT! DEE FAULT!

    • Bahahaha! What was wrong with New Caledonia??

      • I went there when I was 15 and stayed with a host family for a short time. My ‘host sister’ took me to a friend’s house and they chromed all afternoon. Seriously, anything aerosol in the house was covered with a cloth and inhaled. Then the friend and her boyfriend started to have sex right there in front of us on the couch in the living room. I went and sat outside until the host-sister was ready to leave. Then I found out we were going to a Christening that afternoon and she was the god-mother. She was OFF HER FACE through the whole thing and I swear nearly dropped the bub.
        I promise, cross my heart and hope to die, that not a word of this is exaggeration. It was truly awful. New Caledonia is probably lovely. But I will never go there again.

  • Outlander has made me want to visit Scotland too! I haven’t seen the show yet, but one day!
    Also, the other week, I went out with friends for dinner, and the menu didn’t really appeal, so I ordered hot chips, garlic bread, and wine. It was awesome. You, Pinky and I should go out for dinner! πŸ™‚

    • Oh do watch the show. Jamie is just what you’d imagine! And that is a meal I could get behind! Yum!

  • Lizzing Lightly

    It’s great to hear a bit about your blogging journey – I am so with you on loving Melbourne. I always joke that Perth (where I currently live) is the polar opposite of Melbourne. Totally agree with the Sydney and Melb map info too, lol

    • I always liked Perth but yes-totally different vibe to Melbourne!

  • The Melb / Sydney map made me LOL and I stole it to share on my Facey page. Trust ok. I tagged you. Is that how we do it?

    Loved learning more about you and I am very surprised that you are not a traveller. You have such an open outlook on, well, everything that I totally pegged you as one. One day! x

    • Totally. I think that’s how we do?! Sounds right!
      I will travel for sure- just when the kids are a bit older πŸ™‚

  • Brilliant! High-five number 7 yes yes yes! and that Sydney Melbourne map is priceless, I’m a Melbourne girl and Sydney in my head is always a rabbit warren of streets that I somehow feel someone changes every time I go there (which is often by the way) Man I get confused in Sydney….

    • It is a bit of a rabbit warren! And hi-five on the β˜•οΈβ˜•οΈβ˜•οΈβ˜•οΈβ˜•οΈ

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

    Thanks heaps for nominating us Amy… And I do think Tassie is counted as heading overseas…

    • Welcome! I look forward to your responses πŸ™‚

  • Great to find out more about you, I love the Liebster Awards for that. Another one that loves the Sydney / Melbourne map, that’s hilarious and so true although I’m very loyal to Sydney. I haven’t seen Outlander but one of the most special experiences in my life was going for a walk with elephants in Botswana I so hope you get to do it one day and until then there’s always wine!

    • They are really good for getting to know people a bit better πŸ™‚ And yes- until then πŸ˜‰

  • Soul sistas, fo shizz

  • Bahahahahahahahaha!! Melbourne and Sydney- so true!! I love Melbourne too, but hubby has a thing about the weather down there. Ugh. Lovely to *get to know you* a bit better!! And definitely head to Scotland- it’s amazing! Actually put Dublin down there too- feels like home! x

  • Love your mantra. It’s so true. Just gotta be you! I love the Liebster, it’s so warm and fuzzy!

  • HA!!! “Pasta come at me.” I like your spirit! yeah!
    Just watched the BF video. I remember seeing that on Sunrise. I didn’t read your blog back then. Good on you!!! I was pregnant with my son and watching you would definitely have impacted me feeling more comfortable with my stance on open feeding! Thank you so much!!! You are an absolute champ in so many ways Amy! I wish you got more time to speak. Kotchie just kept repeating himself.

  • Tash from Gift Grapevine

    So great to read more about you Amy. Wine, coffee, sleeping-in and Thor – a woman after my own heart. I love your mantra too – wish I’d read that back in my teen years. Too many years worrying about what others thought! Hope you get to complete your bucket list someday soon xx

  • Thanks for the nomination πŸ™‚ Scotland would be wonderful to visit I reckon…except not in winter perhaps. I did like Melbourne too when I visited but the weather and fewer beaches are what I hold against it. πŸ˜›

  • I do love these Q & A things, great getting a sneak peek into another’s life… I Love coffee too, and also need it…do what makes you happy, yes. I hope your bucket list gets ticked off. I do think you will love Italy as well, it truly is a sublime country to travel in, something for everyone. X

  • Oh good work Amy! I watched that episode of Sunrise so I must have seen you! How funny it is that now we’re bloggy friends. Love your Melbourne meme but I never had trouble finding my way around good old Sydo when I lived there. I prefer Sydney any day but my husband’s a Melbourne boy so it does produce some good things. It’s lovely being married to your best friend isn’t it xxx

  • I married a Scot (and divorced him), so wouldn’t want to go there again (!) – although it is a beautiful country, but I’ve never been to Melbourne, so does that make us quits? Europe is definitely worth a visit, but try and do it whilst the kids are small. The southern Europeans treat kids like mini royalty. It’s very cool.