It’s been a minute since I’ve published a new post, and I’m so excited to share that I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Last week while I was visiting family in West Ocean City, MD (and lets be honest, getting behind on all things blogging related) I was so excited to receive not one but two nominations for this peer blogging award.
I’m so thankful to both Consistently Curious and The Yogans for nominating me for this award and bringing a little sunshine my way. Below is a little info on both of their blogs. I highly encourage you to follow them both!
My first nomination was from Stephanie at Consistently Curious. Stephanie has a family travel blog out of Cincinnati, Ohio and finds the best things to do in their home city. In addition to exploring Cincinnati with her husband and 2 year old daughter, she also shares fun travel destinations and tips to help you deal with the reality of traveling with littles. They are currently taking an amazing Midwest road trip, so be sure to follow them for inspiration near and far. Stephanie was one of my first contacts in the family travel blogging world, and it’s been amazing having someone with similar interests in my corner.
My second nomination was from Miranda at The Yogans Blog. Miranda is currently based in Pittsburgh with her husband and son. They do full time renovation work with a baby in tow, while managing other real estate properties, and it’s seriously impressive. Miranda has a knack for home design, and her blog shares insight on home renovations as well as design inspiration. Miranda has been a great contact and source of inspiration as we navigate this blogging journey together.
The Reality of Blogging
Blogging is seriously hard work. I started it as an outlet to have something for myself after making the decision to stay home with my son. What I didn’t realize is how much time it would take. Between figuring out the technical side of maintaining a website, writing blog posts, staying connected in the family travel space and ALL of the social media overload, there’s so much involved. The nap times and evenings are never enough, and I’ve come to accept the fact that my to-do list will always be growing and downtime is practically nonexistent. (As I type this, it’s currently 5am. Which brings me to the reality that even though I no longer have a demanding, pressure-filled job in financial services, my brain will never shut off!)
All of that said, I’m super thankful for opportunities I’ve had through blogging, the places I’ve been able to take my family and the experiences I’ve been able to give my son. I couldn’t do it without the support of my family and friends and the community I’ve gained through blogging. Peer awards like the Sunshine Blogger Award are just the icing on the cake!
What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer recognition to bloggers who bring positivity, joy and creative content to the blogging world. While so much of what we do behind the scenes can feel unnoticed, I love this award and that it gives our fellow bloggers the chance to recognize one another. The fact that others are seeing my content and like it enough to nominate me is definitely the best feeling.
Questions I was Asked for the Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination
I received two difference sets of questions from each of my nominators for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I attempted to consolidate them here into 11 questions, to share a little more about me and my blogging journey.
1. How would you describe your blog to someone who’s never visited it before?
Toddling Traveler shares family travel destinations (including kid-free trips) and travel tips to make the planning process just a little bit easier. My hope with the blog is to inspire other families to travel with their kids from a young age. As you often hear me say when it comes to traveling with babies and toddlers, it’s not always easy but it’s always worth it! When we’re not traveling, we love experiencing new things in our hometown and sharing fun things to do with kids in Pittsburgh, PA.
2. What or who inspired you to start your blog?
I’ve always loved traveling to new places, and growing up we were constantly taking weekend trips to new places in addition to annual family vacations. I REALLY caught the travel bug after going to London for the first time in college, though. Once I met my husband (who hates flying, by the way) I’ve tried to encourage him to share my love for new places.
My 2 year old son, Will, is the real inspiration behind the blog. When he was born, I was determined to continue traveling and inspiring others to do the same. I’ve always loved the idea of a travel blog, but my career never would have given me the time to do it. Once I made the decision to stay home with Will, it seemed like the perfect time to start this blog to make the most of our time together. I love that it gives me a way to document our memories and share with others too. Head here for more on my story!
3. Who has had the biggest impact on you in your life?
Aside from my son, who was a life changer in the best way possible, I would definitely have to say my Mom. She taught me the value of hard work and putting my all into everything I do. She also raised me to be independent and figure things out for myself; something I’ve realized more and more is so valuable as an adult. (Although if you asked her she probably would say she never anticipated I’d be as independent and adventurous as I am!) Aside from all of that, my Mom is a genuinely loving and caring person. I wouldn’t be the mother I am without her, and I would love to have even half of her patience!
4. How do you start your morning?
Way earlier than I want to! I’ve always been a morning person, which can be a blessing and a curse. (And it means that even if I’m away, totally kid free with no worries, I still can’t sleep in.) Now that my son is finally sleeping in past 5am and I’m still up early, I use the extra time drink a cup of coffee that’s actually hot, have some quiet writing time and plan my day.
5. What is your favorite season and why?
I love the Fall, but I have to say Summer will always be my favorite season. My husband and I are both born in July (as well as my brother) so it’s always meant birthday celebrations all month long. I also love being able to spend as much time as possible outdoors. It can certainly be hot and humid in Pennsylvania in the summer, but it’s the perfect excuse to escape the heat and travel to places like Ireland that have amazing weather in the summer.
6. If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
That’s a tough question since there are so many great places I love! And I feel like every time I go somewhere new, I instantly want to live there. I’ve loved the West Coast ever since I lived in Los Angeles. I’d have to say though, somewhere like Sarasota would be ideal from the late Fall to early Spring and I’d love to live in Northern Ireland the rest of the year.
7. Mountains or beach?
Another tough one! I love all kids of outdoors, and I have to say it’s a pretty close tie between the mountains and beach. If I’m forced to choose, I’d have to pick the mountains. I love hiking and being in nature, and my recent trips to Boulder and the Northern Ireland coast reminded me that I need to do more of that! Although I absolutely love the beach and being near the water, I was never one to lay outside all day long. (I blame my fair skin for that!)
8. What is your favorite post that you created? Why?
My favorite post that I’ve created to date is 12 Reasons to Travel with a Child Under 2. It really captures how I feel about traveling with little kids and how it shapes them (and you) for a lifetime even if they don’t remember everything. Plus, it was a great way for me to reflect back on where we’ve been and how much we’ve learned and grown as a family.
9. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
For me personally, I love that I get a chance to learn new things and make great connections while still staying at home with my son. Between the technical side of blogging, the social media aspect and fine tuning my writing style, I’m gaining way more skills than I ever anticipated.
The family travel community has also opened my eyes to so many new destinations (as if I needed to add any more to my bucket list) and the possibilities of what we’re capable of with little ones in tow.
10. What has been the biggest challenge in maintaining a successful blog?
Never having enough time. My full time job and priority is my family and taking care of my son. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the reason I started staying home with him was for the quality time together, and it can be hard to set boundaries when so much of what I do is from my phone and on social media. Instead of putting pressure on myself to pump out regular posts, I’m trying to focus on better, more searchable content (while also trying to make a connection with my audience.)
I’ve also quickly realized that my goals are different than that of other blogs I may follow. I started this blog as a hobby, so the fact that I can make a small amount of affiliate income and also get paid in experiences through sponsored trips is far more than I never expected.
11. What are the most important things you hope to pass on to your readers?
I’m a firm believer that experiences are better than things, and I hope to inspire others to live by this same philosophy. I also feel that exploring starts in your own backyard. You can have just as fun adventuring in your own city as you can by traveling across the world. I’m trying to remind myself of that every day by really experiencing the city of Pittsburgh and sharing pieces of it with my readers along the way.
For my readers with kids, I also hope to help them navigate some of the scary unknowns of traveling with babies and toddlers by sharing my best family travel tips to make it just a little easier. And for those of you without kids (or like me, who just need to get away) I’ll continue sharing ideas for kid-free trips as well.
Rules for the Sunshine Blogger award
- Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the same 11 questions that the nominating blogger answered, or create a few new questions.
- Nominate (at least) 11 new blogs to receive the award and have them answer the 11 same or similar questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
The Bloggers I Nominate Are:
- Jaclyn- Much Love, Jaclyn
- Molly- Exploring Through Life
- Natalie- Voyage Scribe
- Jessi- The Rambling Raccoon
- Gail- Travel Talk Cafe
- Zena- Zena’s Suitcase
- Kelly- My New Danish Life
- Karen- Been There Done That With Kids
- Terumi- An Emerald City Life
- Lauren- The Wild Kids Wander
- Amanda- Patsey Family Travels
11 Questions for Those I Nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award:
- When did you start blogging?
- Who or what is the inspiration behind your blog?
- What is your favorite thing about blogging?
- What has been the biggest challenge in maintaining a successful blog?
- What’s your favorite blog post you’ve written and why?
- If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
- Do you prefer the mountains or beach?
- What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
- What was your biggest travel mishap?
- Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
- What is one thing you want your audience to take away from your blog?