1 Month Update + Two Blog Awards

It’s hard for me to believe I’ve only been blogging here for one month (today! Happy blog anniversary to me!) I’m really surprised at how S+F has become such a big part of my life. I love having a creative outlet and learning so much about the blog world.

One thing that has (pleasantly) surprised me is all the incredible people I’ve met online. I’ve become pretty active on Twitter and I feel like I’ve found a great community of like minded people with similar views about simple living, travel and just a general love for life!

Two of these lovely folks have nominated me for blog awards, both of which are awards that are passed around to recognise smaller and newer blogs. Ditching the Daily Grind nominated me for a Liebster Award and Brittany from Simply Travel nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks so much to both of you for thinking of me!

Ditching the Daily Grind is an inspiring and honest blog about a young family who are taking a path less travelled, with plans to retire early and enjoy life more.

Brittany at Simply Travel is a kindred spirit (seriously – when I found her blog I couldn’t believe how alike we are!) We are both passionate about travel, minimalism, freedom and intentional living.

As part of the award, Ditching the Daily Grind has given me 11 questions to answer about myself, so I thought it would be a fun way to share a bit more about myself with you? (With the Versatile Blogger award I’m supposed to share them 7 facts about myself but I’ll just stick to these 11 questions to avoid information overload!) It was fun answering random questions about myself – I hope you enjoy the answers!

Simply + Fiercely: One month update and Liebster Award

Why did you start blogging?

I’ve actually been blogging since before it was called ‘blogging’. I used to have a Yahoo Geocities site called “Follow Jen’s Life” that I started when I spent a summer teaching English in China in 2001. (Cool blog name, right?)

Since then I’ve had various blogs, mostly because I love sharing ideas. I’ve seen my life completely change because strangers (both in person and online) have shown me that a different way of living is possible. If those people hadn’t generously shared their ideas and stories, I would never have travelled the world or embraced minimalism (both huge game changers for me.)

I suppose I hope by blogging I can inspire others with my ideas and also learn a few more for myself!

Since each of you currently live outside of the United States, what do you like most about your local area? I’m curious to learn more about other places.

I live in Brisbane, Australia and I love it here. Australia is my adopted home (I grew up in the US); I don’t want to get too political, but it’s amazing how much ‘little’ benefits like universal health care, mandatory paid leave, and a decent minimum wage effect your life. Many things are more expensive here, but overall I feel much secure and considerably less stressed.

On a less serious note, I love living in a subtropical climate, a short drive from world class beaches. There is good food, good coffee and incredible wine (always screw tops which I love!)

Queensland Collage

{Not too brag, but it’s kind of awesome here.}

If we were to ever visit the country you live in, what hidden attractions do you recommend that others may not know about?


I lived for nearly eight years in Tassie, the little island off the southeast coast of Australia. It seriously one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been; remote white sand beaches, ancient forests, mountains, convict ruins, wildlife, insanely good food. It’s relatively undeveloped and only gets a small portion of overseas tourists, but I’d 100% recommend fitting it into your itinerary if you ever come down under.

What is your favorite place to visit in the U.S. and if you haven’t been here, where would you like to visit?

I grew up near Baltimore, but my favourite place is the Southwest. In 2001 I did a 5 week camping road trip across the country and the highlight was definitely camping in the desert (feeling so small, under all those stars … love!)

This year, as part of my big trip, I’m actually hiring a campervan out of Vegas and doing a 3 week loop through the National Parks. I can’t wait!

What is your favorite hobby?

Is it wrong to say eating?! Actually, probably travelling and eating, with a bit of reading and blog writing thrown in.

What season (spring, summer, fall, winter) do you prefer and why?

I like warm weather, so it depends a bit on where in the world I am. Here in Brisbane, summer is a bit too hot, so I’d have to say spring. Pretty much, I love the time of year when it’s still warm at night and you can walk barefoot in the grass, with a cold drink, and watch the sunset.

Would you rather go sky diving or scuba diving?

Definitely NOT sky diving – I have the feeling of falling and you won’t get me on roller coasters either. I’d like to try diving … but I’m a bit of a scaredy cat. Maybe one day.

What is your go-to food/snack?

Asian, Thai, Indian, cheese or anything sold out of a cart. Sorry I can’t be more specific!

If you had to work and money wasn’t an issue, what would be your ideal job?

A very tough one for me. There are many jobs that I’ve enjoyed but the truth is I really struggle being tied down. I also need to be doing something new all the time. So if money wasn’t an issue and (since we are in make believe world anyway) I’d love to have a job where I could do something new every year and be location independent, so I could work anywhere in the world. (Not too much to ask, right?)

Vanilla or chocolate?

Chocolate with peanut butter please!

We can’t think of an 11th question, you get a free pass!

Ok then! In the spirit of my upcoming trip I’ll share some of my favourite travel photos from the past instead.

Simply + Fiercely - Travel Collage

{Clockwise from top left: Thailand, Thailand, Alaska, Bali, Tuscany, Rottnest Island, Angkor Wat, Cappadocia.}

Now, to keep the love going I’d like to nominate the following blogs for the Liebster Award.

$mart Woman – Jaymee blogs about personal finance for young women and it’s the kind of blog I wish I had found years ago – I’d have saved myself a lot of financial heartache!

The Gratefulist – Wendy changed her life by practicing gratitude – how good is that?

The Yachtless – Sarah is another personal finance blogger. I love how she describes the Myth of the Yacht.

Ladies – if you’d like to play along these are the rules as given to me:

Link back to the person who nominated you
Answer the questions given to you by the nominator
Nominate up to 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers
Create 11 questions for the nominees
Notify all nominees via social media/blogs

My 11 questions are:

1. What’s the number one destination on your travel wishlist?
2. What’s a skill you’d like to learn or a topic you’d like to learn more about?
3. Tell me your favourite book and why?
4. Share a favourite quote?
5. Inspired by the Gratefulist – what are 3 things you’re grateful for today?
6. Do you have a habit you wish you could break (or a new habit you wish you could start?)
7. What’s the most impulsive thing you’ve ever done?
8. Share a blogging tip or lesson you’ve learned as a new blogger?
9. Name a ‘go to’ happy song (I love new ideas for my playlist!)
10. What was your first job?
11. If you had an extra hour everyday, what would you do with that time?

I hope you enjoyed this Q+A! Even if you weren’t ‘nominated’, feel free to play along and answer a few questions in the comments!x

Please comment

photo credit (top): Karolina Grabowska // Used with permission // All other photos are mine

Author: Jennifer

Hello there! I'm Jennifer and welcome to Simply + Fiercely, a community of people striving to live simpler, more intentional lives. As a former shopaholic and workaholic, I know how it feels to live a life that doesn't feel true to what's in your heart. Fortunately, I've transformed my life and gone from feeling cluttered and confused to living a curated life filled with purpose and joy. Now I'm here to help you do the same. 👉🏻 Click here to get started!