Awards Season PART 1: Liebster, Shine On, Versatile Blogger…and All That Jazz!

Just so you know, Hollywood doesn’t have a monopoly on Awards Season.

Meet Oscar

Who needs an Oscar when you have a Liebster


Out there, in the vast ‘blogosphere’ that is made up of millions of blogs, some huge award love is happening under our very noses. Liebster, Versatile Blogger, Shine On…you name it – there’s an award for it.

Today’s epic post is my mega nod to the unexpected outpouring of blog love that has landed on the doorstep of my modest little corner of the internet. Yes, there are actually people out there who know I am alive and kicking in here and have nominated me for a slew of blog awards. I’m touched.

Now it’s about time I pay back the salutes of my fellow bloggers with an awards post of my own in honour of the nominations I have received.

Due to the sheer number of chainletters awards piling up for this blog (who knew I was so popular lol) I’m making this a marathon post to handle all the blog awards received to date and it’s such a mammoth task that I am even splitting it in two -:

  • Part 1, this post is for the blog voyeurs out there and contains all the juicy, boring and gloppy facts about me.
  • Part 2 – will be my nominations/ questions/ rules for each award featured here so I can pay forward some of this award love to those blogs that I really envy love.

Thank you to each and every one of you for the ‘pat on the back’ – it means a lot to me that you cared enough to stop by my ‘rant & rave’ space and even after all of that, still want to find out more about your mostly anonymous ShopGirl next door. Much love, darlings!

Now, in return, I shall let the blog hermit out of the cave and get to the titillating business of telling you a bit about the blogger behind this blog.

Facts about me that I would, under normal circumstances, take to grave will be revealed here today because I am bound *gasps* to honour the rules of these awards. Bloggers Honour. Guard these rare tidbits with your life.


I''ll do my best to shine :)

I”ll do my best to shine 🙂 Thank you, Laura!

The nomination for this award comes from the lovely, Laura @ Pebbles & Pearls.

Little does she know that I’m slapping myself for not calling my own blog Pebble & Pearls before she came up with the darling moniker for her blog but she’s a dear and deserves it more than me. A gorgeous blogger fully deserving of a gorgeous blog name. On the other hand, I deserve mine. It will do.

As part of the rules of the award, here are…


1) I love blue cheese – the bluer, the better. I enjoy celebrating the idea that mould is good.

2) I own more than 200 cookbooks and still want more, more, more! I tend to get carried away when I collect anything. I really should pull up my socks and start collecting money.

3) I love movies set in post-apocalyptic scenarios and will hoard food in real life if it came to that. I will also hack off heads if it came to that. No joke. A girl’s gotta live.

4) I read good poetry but am really good at writing bad poetry and enjoy inflicting my bad art on others when they least expect it. You have been warned. Examples here and here.

5) Life imitates art. I was once under duress to train a rat in a lab as part of a course requirement. Now, I’m the rat in my own mad beauty lab. Everything should come full circle. That’s karma.

6) I own a copy of every cookbook ever written by Alice Medrich. Some signed. She can come across as a bit precious but god love her, she is brilliant with chocolate and for that I can forgive her for everything else. You will not regret making her Cocoa Brownies. They will change your life and you will never suffer another bad brownie again if you do. Trust me on this.

7) I have a morbid fear of bananas. I loathe their scent, texture, flavour and the way they smack against the roof of my mouth when I eat them. I try not to eat them anymore.


I also try to be versatile

I’ll also try to be versatile!

Anjali @ Blog For Anyone so very kindly nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award way back when I was just starting out with this blog and was barely read, mostly dead and struggling epically with the technical intricacies of blogging.

It’s a wonder she saw anything in these pages worth a mention but yet she did and this finally, is my tribute to that nomination. Thank you, Anjali! So very sorry that it has taken me such a long time to pull this thing together but it’s been a steep learning curve for me with this blogging journey and I’m still navigating the etiquette between all the nuts and bolts.

And here are…


1) I never hug my parents. Yes, we’re that family. Everyone to remain at arm’s length. Lots of love but no hugs. These are the rules, folks. I didn’t set them.

2) I did 19 years of formal schooling and hated every day of it. I’m sorry but some of us are too cool for school. Life outside of school is so much better. Imagine a life where you are able to shop during school hours! This is my life. Need I say more?

3) I have two dogs and love them but secretly prefer cats because they’re more elegant. I am also fond of mice and monkeys but they tend not to be very elegant.

4) I once set up a stall selling gourmet salads even though I didn’t know how to make a salad. That didn’t stop me. Naturally, I lost all of my investment in just one day and that was the end of that. Tough at the time but hilarious in retrospect and a lesson well suffered. Salad does not become me. I should have sold fries. Look at how far that got McDonald’s.

5) Math is my weakest subject. All hell breaks loose in my head when it comes to crunching numbers but yes, I got a job in a bank despite it. Little did I know that there are banking things to do for those who don’t add, subtract, divide or multiply. Who knew? Indeed, there’s a place for everyone in the world…and in banking. I’m proud to state that no money was lost or harmed during my tenure and I was not fired. I left peacefully of my own accord. I swear it.

6) I love listening to French music although I don’t speak French. Probably better that I don’t. Words might be too sappy and cause me to retch.

7) I don’t wear yellow. Not yet. Maybe not ever but I can’t say never because stranger things have happened.


Liebster Award - Volume 1

Liebster Award – Volume 1

Arpita @ Shopaholics Anonymous is one of my very favourite bloggers of all time. She’s deadpan. I admire that in a person.

Not only that, but might she be as madcap as I am which I appreciate, but what she has become really famous for is how she puts other beauty haulers to shame with her massive hauls. They’re so big they freeze up my computer screen – I kid you not! I am at once both impressed and jealous by this.

She also has this stubborn unflinching commitment to finding the perfect BB Cream as only another beauty blogger would appreciate and this often involves the shock/ horror task of revealing her bare 6am pre-makeup face for all the world to see. Not that she’s not beautiful at 6am without makeup but I honestly cannot work up the nerve to reveal my face at all on my blog so for that I commend her.

You are leagues beyond me, babe – *salutes Arpita*

Dedication (to beauty sampling) is Arpita’s middle name and shopping is her only crime. She also tries stuff so I don’t have to. Even the bad stuff. God bless her.

She saw fit to send me some Liebster Love. Thank you, doll.

Here are her questions and my answers-:

1) What’s the best book you have ever read?
The Lorax. Even if I am guilty of wanting Thneeds like the next person. I also want my very own Bar-ba-loot.

2) What does your happy place look like?
Down a rabbit hole and into the woods…so I can nibble at a gingerbread house. I love my fairy tales. I’m afraid I’m a closet misanthropist at heart and my happy places are always far from the maddening crowd and best inside a book, in a palette of makeup or buried in a bar of chocolate. Or at an online beauty sale.

3) If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?
I would travel back in time, of course! Oh, the things I would get up to *rubs hands in wicked glee*! It’s the ultimate way to tour the world/ universe and wreak havoc.

4) What gets you up in the morning?
The need to make money so I can shop online. Boring but true.

5) What is your poison of choice? Coffee, tea or chocolate?
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate – downed with a mug of hot tea; no milk, no sugar. But sorry, I’m not a fan of that horrible imposter that contains no cocoa butter but is filled with lecithin. Die, bad chocolate, die! The world does not want you!

6) How do you make a bad day better?
Eat chocolate. Shop online. What can I say, I’m a simple girl with simple needs. Not at all high maintenance.

7) Who or what is your stabilizing force in life?
There isn’t. It’s mostly delightful to live like a chook without its head. Planning is arduous. Stability overrated. Any hint of it is a pretense and a charade. Let the good times roll …and roll with the punches, I say!

8) Are you afraid of the dark?
Hell, yes! Who isn’t?! Bad things live in the shadows, don’t you know?! On the other hand, I can see the benefits of the dark when I’m too lazy to put on makeup. I’m divided.

9) What 3 items could you not live without if you were going on a 20 year mission to Mars?
Water, food…love. In that order. I give priority to the first two before I will consider the third during my Mars tenure. I’m practical like that.

10) What is your current obsession?
Expensive cosmetics I really can’t afford. I don’t care about shoes, clothes, bags…Gimme. That. Makeup. Now!

11) What ideology (quote, theory, motivation) inspires you most?
A toddler once said to me, “Make money, buy something”. Most inspiring thing I’ve ever heard and such wise and grounded words from one so young and who doesn’t make money. This is the very mantra that keeps me from leaving my job.


Liebster Award - Volume 2

Liebster Award – Volume 2

Not that I really deserve it but Laura @ Pebbles & Pearls actually saw fit to honour me with a double-barreled nomination and sent me a Liebster Award nomination on top of the Shine On Award she flagged me for. Epic!

Can’t wait to meet you one day, Laura. Thank you for believing in me 😉

More questions and more answers…

1) How are you feeling today?
Rather fat, actually.

2) If you could sum up 2013 in one song, what would it be and why?
I’m tempted to say something classic like ‘I Will Survive’ but that would be just too clichéd not to mention borderline plagiarism of every other person who has answered this question with that song.
I’m going to go with what Edith Piaf said best, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien!!

3) Name something / someone you cannot wait for.
My next haul, of course! What else?! Come to me, my precious!

4) What is the first thing you notice about people?
Their jewellery. It’s true, *shrugs* I do. Then their eyebrows because I have a seriously incurable case of brow envy.

5) If you were an ice-cream, what flavour would you be?
Rocky Road – unequal measures of nuts, fluff and an occasional bite of sickly maraschino in between. A deal sealed with chocolate.  Lumpy, bumpy and rough around the edges yet indulgent. Just like me.

6) Do you like your name?
Absolutely not. I can’t wait to change it to something that invokes more celebrity awe like Kate, Jessica or Jennifer. Did you notice how many A-listers have one of these three names?! One of them might even have all three. It’s like a pre-requisite to fame and glory. I want some of that.

7) Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I grew up in the Lucky Country where people would get drunk every Friday Night just for fun. Only god knows why I am now here but it ain’t half bad. Less drunkards, that’s for sure. Always a good thing. No offense intended to the often inebriated. To each your own as long as you don’t throw up on my shoes.

8) Have you actually fulfilled your childhood dreams, or are you doing something completely different?
Yes & No. Most days I feel like I’m doing what I love and am fairly good at it. What I really wanted to do as a child involved chocolate but Willy Wonka had already chosen Charlie Bucket for the job. Bummer.

9) Can you fake a smile?
Yes. But only an ugly one.

10) Lips or eyes?
By way of makeup? Lips. I have no natural lip colour to speak of and need to draw them in or bite them hard to draw blood before I can face the world. The latter takes more courage and commitment so I only save that for very special occasions.

11) If they ask nicely, would you give a stranger a hug?
Ew! Germs! Gawd, no! Ok, maybe…if that stranger was Ryan Gosling. I’ll overcome my hangup for him because I want to prove that I can make meaningful exceptions in life.

So there you go, a bevy of answers for an avalanche of awards! Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien!

Thanks for managing to get this far. I deserve another award for this, don’t you think?

In PART 2, I will be the host of my very own awards night as I flag down nominees from the many blogs I stalk…so stay tuned for that edition as I share with you the blogs that rock my little world.





  1. I think you just made my day with all the answers! If anyone deserves 3 award nominations, it’s you!
    I couldn’t agree with you more about fairy tales, especially the truly gruesome ones by Anderson! Those were made to teach lessons. But Alice in Wonderland undoubtedly ranks as my favourite. I’ve been fascinated with its insanity since I was a child!
    And now that you’d spoken of those brownies, it will be my baking expedition this weekend! It’s a shame you won’t be around because Laura and me are meeting for hot chocolate on Sunday! When you get back we shall plan another round!
    Dare I show affection to make you all iffy? I LOVE YOU *hugs* 😛

  2. @ Arpita, aw shucks, gal! You make me blush all shades! And, from one shopaholic soul sister to another…I love you too! I would love to catch up with you and Laura…over lamb and cake, of course. Soon, I promise!

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