Last week, providence was smiling down on me as I received not one, but two awards from fellow bloggers and friends. Thank you both for making the experience of blogging such a pleasant and rewarding one :)

The Sunshine Award

This is my second time receiving the Sunshine Award, given to bloggers who are deemed warm, inspirational and positive, hence the beautiful sunflower which symbolises it. Congratulations Lazaro and thank you for sharing this with me; it doesn't matter if it's the first or the fiftieth time. Recognition and appreciation never, ever get old :)

Lazaro and Nancy are the artistic and creative forces behind Lazaro Cooks, an inspiring, thoughtful and enviably well written blog which features gorgeous recipes that often bear their hallmark of unique and unexpected twists, and encourage the use of local, seasonal and sustainable produce. Lazaro, who does the cooking, is a cook who not only takes obvious pride in his creations, continually striving to give his very best, but also one who genuinely believes eating should be a joy for all of our senses as well as nourishment for both body and soul.  Please go take a look - I promise you will find it time well spent.

To the award winners, here are the Rules:

1    Put the logo on your blog or within your post
2    Pass the award on to 12 bloggers!
3    Link the nominees within your post
4    Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5    Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award

The first time this award came my way, I struggled to limit myself to 13 blogs (I bent the rules a little) so I'm glad for a second chance to hightlight more blogs, all of which I feel are excellent and deserving of your attention.My chosen 12 are:

1      Luvtoeat
2      Cristina from Buenos Aires to Paris
3      Teenie Cakes
4      Little Hungry Heart     
5      Spice Sherpa
6      One Tribe Gourmet
7      My French Kitchen
8      My Little Space     
9      Neo Homesteading     
10    Chef Wanabe    
11    Peas and Thank You
12    The Kitchen Nerd   

Now my lovely dozen, it's your turn to pass on the sunshine. Some of you may have already received this award from other bloggers. I leave it entirely to you to decide whether or not you would like to participate and pass this on. I understand perfectly if you decide not to as we all seem to be running around like headless chickens, trying to accomplish everything we need to get done, within the measly 24 hours that we call a day. Just know that I picked you because I enjoy your wonderful blogs and wanted you to know how much I appreciate your work :)

The Happy 101 Award

This came to me from LeQuan at Luvtoeat. Congratulations dear, sweet LeQuan. She is the mother of two adorable angels,  wife to lucky Gary, and is the biggest Superman fan on the planet, possibly the biggest Lynn Chen fan on the planet, and by her own admission, a textbook OCD case. To me, LeQuan is the very embodiment of warmth and sincerity as she shares her days with us, including the ups and downs, lumps and bumps, the yummy food she prepares and shares with her lucky family and the fabulous restaurants she eats at from time to time. Please take a minute and check out her blog - I guarantee her warmth and humour will have you chuckling and chortling all the way down her page!

Here are the rules:

1    Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2    List who gave the award to you and use a link to her blog (or hyperlink).
3    List 10 things that make you happy.
4    Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.

10 Things that make me happy:

1    Knowing my kids are safe, happy and healthy.
2    Knowing my mum and husband *fingers crossed* ;) will always be there for me.
3    Friends, "real" and "on-line"
4    Children laughing and babies gurgling and drooling!
5    Rainy days, when I'm indoors, all snug and warm.
6    Libraries and books.
7    Big, beautiful, open and empty S-P-A-C-E!!! We get so very little of it over here *sigh*
8    A really great meal or a perfect ingredient. 
9    A really great song
10  Writing

Since this is a happiness award I've decided to share it with the following bloggers who've made me smile, for one reason or another. Pierre, and LeQuan you both belong here too, but I've already given you the Sunshine Award so...

1    Biren @ Roti n Rice
2    Lazaro @ Lazaro Cooks
3    Liren @ Kitchen Worthy
4    Sara @ The Lonely Radish
5    Cleo Coyle @ Village Blend
6    KM @ The Kitchen Masochist
7    Bonnie @ Sweetlifebake  
8    Jenn @ Defunkt Gourmet
9    Silvia @ Citron et Vanille
10  Stella @ The Witchy Kitchen
11  Rick @ Bittersweet     

Thank you all for the smiles and giggles. Again, some of you may have already received this award and because of the many demands we each contend with on the little time we have, I understand if you prefer not to participate. All I want is for you to know you make me smile and I'm glad to know each one of you.

If I've made any mistake, omission or general screw-up, I apologise. Please let me know and I will make any required changes/amendments.

And with that, I'm off with my notifications. Live, cook, eat with joy and spread the sunshine and happiness :)