Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

Hello! I’ve got some exciting news… I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!!! It’s wonderful to know that you are out there reading American Wife Brazilian Kitchen and that you like it!

So what is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award highlights writers whose content is positive, creative, and inspiring. Based on pier-recognition, it’s given from bloggers to bloggers, functioning with the “Pay-it-Forward” philosophy. Here are the official rules…

Sunshine Blogger Award guidelines for nominees

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger that nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers and write them 11 questions.
  • List these rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post.


Thanks to Denise, the author of My Tips & Tea, who nominated me! Find her blog here:


11 Questions from Denise…

1. What made you want to start a blog?

I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a kid, but at that point I poured my time into studying violin because I wanted to be a professional musician. (And my dream actually did come true! For two years, I held a contract in the Orquestra Sinfonica de Minas Gerais.) Anyway, after coming to Brazil, so much in my life changed! And I realized after talking to a mentor of mine one day that I needed to share my experiences, reach out and try to connect with other people. Expat life in Brazil was really lonely for me. Staying connected with family and friends back in the States and meeting new people here is one of the biggest challenges I face. But since I created American Wife Brazilian Kitchen, I’ve begun to meet other people and work up the courage to share my experiences.  


2. What do you like most about blogging?

I really enjoy that rush of satisfaction when I hit the “publish” button! But on a deeper level, it’s so meaningful to have the opportunity to share my experiences as an expat and nurture others’ appreciation for all that Brazil has to offer. When I first came to Brazil, I was so lost, confused and disoriented. I wish I’d found a blog written by another expat. That would have been so comforting. So the most fulfilling aspect of blogging for me is the possibility that I could give someone else what I wish I’d had while going through culture shock and becoming acquainted with a new country. If someone reads one of my recipes and it sparks curiosity about Brazilian food, or adds Brazil to their bucket list after reading a culture/travel post, or if someone reads a reflective piece and feels like they’re not “crazy” and they’re not the only one… then I’ve succeeded! 


3. What do you like least about blogging?

Writers’ block. Trying to get into the “zone.” I think this photo says it all…

She believed she could... |












4. Describe your blog in 3 words?

OK. I’m going to cheat a little bit… letters and symbols don’t count as words, right?… 

Feijoada 4 Stomach & Heart. Feijoada is Brazil’s national dish, and it’s really hearty, nourishing, like the ultimate comfort food here. It’s also something that people traditionally eat together. So I think that kind of embodies the idea of this blog… recipes that delight your taste buds and satisfy your stomach/conversation and community that feed your heart and soul. 


5. Coffee or tea? How do you take it?

Cafe com leite. (Coffee with milk… three spoons of sugar.)


6. Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt? Favorite flavor?

Ice Cream. And it’s so hard to choose between all of the amazing flavors, but since I was a child, I’ve always defaulted on Blue Moon when I can’t decide.


7. What’s your super hero name and what would your power be?

Oh nuts. Ok. Let’s start with the super power and then I can figure out what the name might be… I haven’t really thought about this before. 

So I suffer a lot with feeling like an imposter, like I don’t belong. Especially since moving to Brazil. It makes sense, being that I didn’t grow up here and everything is new and different. When I had my orchestra contract, for example, mastering the music was like a cakewalk compared to the battle I fought with anxiety. (And no, the music wasn’t easy. We were playing symphonies, concertos, and operas in the standard repertoire. So plenty of work for a violinist.) In rehearsals and concerts, I always fought this feeling that I’d somehow conned my way into the job but didn’t belong there… and that was rubbish because my scores from the audition were really good. But to someone with imposter syndrome, a good score is just a lucky fluke. The anxiety was so bad that during concerts, I often felt like I was playing under water – I couldn’t hear myself or any of the other sections clearly… everything sounded muffled and I had to rely on my muscle memory and vision to get through the concert.

So the thought that came to my mind was, what if, instead of feeling like an imposter, I could be the greatest, most convincing imposter. On purpose.  As in, turn the tables. Become master of what I fear the most. Maybe that’s terrible… I mean, I’m kind of saying I’d like to be the con-artist of all con-artists. Be able to fool everybody. But if it was for a good cause, then maybe you could forgive the fundamental falsehood of this “superpower?” 

No superhero is perfect, right?  Anyway, as for the name… maybe something to do with morphing?  Any bright ideas, guys? 


8. Who is someone you admire?

My Grandfather. I think I’ve mentioned him a few times here on the blog. He’s taught me so much, and I love him for his no-bulls*** approach to the Bible, God and spirituality. He has the most wonderful gift for extracting what’s most important and focusing on that.


9. If you were to be stranded on a desert Island what 5 things would you like to take with you?

Stranded. Shucks. Because my first thought was I would take my Husband, my son, my Mom, my Dad, my Brother… but if I’m stranded that’s a no-go. So… I guess… my soapstone pot, my violin, a lifetime supply of matchsticks, (I’m not about to bet my life on trying to start a fire with sticks and stones), a hammock, and swiss army knife. 


10. Favorite Travel Destination

Somewhere I haven’t visited yet! 


11. What is your guilty pleasure? (TV show, food etc) 

Good Girls, from Netflix. And Queen of the South. And Chef’s Table. Binge watched them all. Yikes. 


My 11 nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award go to, (drum-roll, please)…

1. Jodie, CUT THE CHRONIC: A blog about Jodie’s daily battles with Fibromyalgia, Bipolar Disorder I and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In her own words, “I write with candor about my struggles and victories paired with a ton of information, new research and studies, inspiration to live your best life, a dose of humor and hope, and resources and helpful products.” Her newest post describing hypomania, is gold! If you are trying to understand someone who lives with Bipolar Disorder, I recommend this post… and pretty much the entire blog.  You’ll laugh, cry, and understand much, much more.


2. Kailee, FEED LOVE GROWA treasure trove of information from the heart of a fellow, “mom, wife, pediatric nurse, and lover of dark chocolate.” (Yess Kailee, CHOCOLATE FOR THE WIN!!!) Feed Love Grow aims to help moms and families live their best possible life. Kailee’s posts talk about everything from breastfeeding to gardens in a cheerful, candid way that makes you feel like your sitting together on the sofa, just shooting the breeze. Kailee’s posts about raising chickens and gardening are inspiring if you’d like to raise your kids with a deeper appreciation for nature. And if you’re pregnant or nursing, be sure to check out all of her articles on breastfeeding.


3. Sean, AUTHENTICALLY AVERAGEFeeling depressed about your “normal” life? Wishing you could add some shine to your lackluster existence? Let’s face it, not all of us can be the next superstar. And yet we’d all like some validation that we’re doing okay at this #adulting thing. Enter, Authentically Average, a blog that sets out to: “1) to try to capture and popularize the normal, often overlooked parts of “adulting” and living life, and 2) to wow readers with a healthy mix of sarcasm, honesty, and silliness.” This self-proclaimed normal guy, writes about his average life in a way that will make you chuckle and appreciate the beauty, charm, and potential of being… UN-extraordinary. Or so you think.


4. Cassie, Jess, Jessie, Jill, HOT MESS ANXIETY CLUB: Anxiety is the farthest thing from fun and lighthearted, but this blog is a joy to read for the anxious and the supporters alike, and you’ll come away feeling like you’ve been seen, understood, and you’re burden is lighter. These four authors describe their blog as, “a community of like-minded individuals. This is the home of real, raw, uncensored life. So many people struggle with anxiety, we four included. We want all of you to know you aren’t alone. When you’re anxiety feels overwhelming, we are here to talk it out. If you feel like you just can’t get it together, you can come here and vent. We’re here to have open honest discussions, to end the stigma, and to remind ourselves that anxiety does not define us.”


5. Jane, RAISED IN THE FOREIGN SERVICEThis blog covers a unique sub-category within the topic of life abroad. Jane shares from her experiences as a third culture child of foreign service agents. Now retired, she writes about life, alternating between storytelling of her present goings-on and remembrances from her childhood. She also includes posts more specifically related to the foreign service. As an American expat raising a third-culture child, I’ve enjoyed reading Raised in the Foreign Service. Jane’s posts are beautifully written, relaxing and intellectual. Be sure to check out her post from September 20, entitled, “The Palm Tree Socks.” Reading that one made my day!


6. Kevin, MY UNEXPECTED LIFEThis blog is such a delight! Kevin is also a classically trained musician, and so I immediately “clicked” with his insightful, reflective approach to blogging. It seems like many musicians enjoy contemplating life on a deeper level, and Kevin is certainly one such artist. If you are looking for down-to-earth, genuine, interesting storytelling about food, music, travel, relationships, and all of life’s unexpected twists and turns, you’ll  love My Unexpected Life. Grab a glass of your favorite wine, coffee, kombucha… whatever, and enjoy. Don’t be surprised if you end up binge-reading the whole blog… Kevin’s gentle-natured authenticity and classic charm make My Unexpected Life an understated gem.


7. Kristina, THE LIVING WONDERFILLED STUDIOAside from sharing the same first name, and even cooler, the same spelling (!), Kristina and I are both expat bloggers. So I naturally connected with her posts and I’m so glad we found each other on Twitter! For anyone interested in traveling and living in a foreign country, The Living Wonderfilled Studio is an excellent resource. Kristina’s articles have substance, good advice, and so much warmth, something I’ve come to appreciate from living in Brazil. If you need a friendly connection overseas, I’d recommend stopping by The Living Wonderfilled Studio and reaching out to Kristina!


8. Michaela, MY UNCOMMON ITALYMichaela shares some common themes with my story… She’s also an expat! And when she moved to Florence, Italy, she was in for quite the culture shock. Now, she’s blogging about her experiences in the hope that she can help other people who’ve moved overseas and find themselves disoriented and disappointed, and perhaps wondering why their move hasn’t been  the fairytale adventure they hoped for. I appreciate her blog so much because she’s not trying to sugar coat her experiences. My Uncommon Italy paints an honest, insightful picture of expat life while seeking to encourage others in the “same boat.”


9. Guendalina, MAMA IN THE KITCHENRaise your hand if you love Italian food… Yep. I thought so. Who doesn’t?? But it’s a whole new world when you taste the “real thing” – Italian food from an Italian cook. And that’s what you’ll get from Guendalina at Mama in the Kitchen. She’s sharing all of her authentic Italian recipes with us…!!! NEED I SAY MORE?! Her blog will teach you the classics we know and love such as pizza and risotto, and you’ll increase your repertoire with dishes like her Roasted Bread Salad and Peperonata. Che delizioso!


10. Melissa, FUNKY CRUNCHY MAMAI’m always on the lookout for other free spirited, funky people! So I was delighted to discover Melissa and her blog! You’ll just have to read her description [of herself] for yourself and see what I mean! “Melissa (aka Funky Crunchy Mama) crunches numbers by day and strives to be a wife and mom extraordinaire by night. She loves spending her free time writing and crafting in her wool-filled dungeon.” Melissa, you had me at wool-filled dungeon. This made me laugh! Anyway, if you’re looking for informative articles about family, food, fabric and frugality, hop on over to Funky Crunchy Mama.


11. Cindy, SHINY HAPPY WANNABECindy’s blog is the place to visit if you’re overcome with the melancholia and you’re just trying to “fake it ’till ya’ make it.” She’ll help you out with lots of humorous gifs, reflections and “existential introspections.” I scrolled through numerous editions of Cindy’s “Hump Day” posts, dedicated to the funnies gifs shared on Twitter every Wednesday. Visit with a bad ‘tude and leave in a good mood! As her motto states, “We can’t always be shiny happy, sometimes we’re a shiny happy wannabe.” And the message here – it’s okay not to be okay. But you’ll probably feel better after spending some time on this blog.


My 11 questions for my nominees:

  1. What’s your favorite flavor of pizza?
  2. What’s the one kitchen utensil you can’t live without?
  3. If you were a genre of music, what would you be?
  4. What was your favorite band/musician/album from your high school years?
  5. What’s your favorite feel-good movie?
  6. What’s your favorite comedy film?
  7. If you could relocate to another country, where would you go?
  8. Fixer-upper mansion or decked-out tiny house – Which would you choose?
  9. Tell me 5 things that make you laugh.
  10. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
  11. Describe your ultimate international vacation.
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2 thoughts on “Sunshine Blogger Award”

    • Hi Jane, You’re very welcome! I’ve appreciated your insight and perspective since I’m an expat and raising a bi-lingual, third culture child with dual citizenship! I was naturally intrigued by your story since it’s similar to my son. I’m looking forward to reading more! All the best, Kristina

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