The conventional concept of beauty is so different from the way I like to think of it. Conventional beauty applauds falsity and the strain to fit into a certain mold. It overlooks natural imperfection, the details that are so often beautiful in their own right. Freckles, laugh lines, too-long legs or a too-short torso. An antique tablecloth with a coffee stain, a pair of jeans so worn with holes and grass stains and memories. Whether it be a woman’s body or the design of a garden, I’m more in favor of the effortless, the embraced mess, or the simplified.
A Table in the Sun — with her natural foods approach to recipes and love of gardening — has nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award, and in turn it is my pleasure to nominate 15 other bloggers for the same honor. To me, a Beautiful Blogger is someone who is real and honest in their depiction of their beautiful life, however messy and imperfect it may be. As a Beautiful Blogger, they look for the beauty in the details without straining to create perfection in every vignette.
But first, I’m supposed to share seven random facts about myself — here are a few silly things that my readers have probably never wondered about!
1) I’m an only child, and the only grandchild on both sides, and the only great-grandchild on one side of the family. (Can you say attention hog?)
2) I’m working on launching my own business.
3) I used to be really good at dancing. Then, one day, I woke up and my skills were gone.
4) My favorite movie is “The Dead Poet’s Society.”
5) If I had a lifetime supply of scented candles it still wouldn’t be enough. I love to light a pretty votive candle and watch it warm up the room.
6) I have a dream of writing a cookbook, a novel, and a children’s book.
7) Grapefruit is my favorite fruit.
* * * * *
Here are my 15 Beautiful Blogger nominees — all proponents of a real life lived with purpose and conviction, sometimes with a little mess thrown in for good measure.
The Blue Squirrel: A girl on baking adventures with a writing style that is just as quirky and kind as she is you feel as if you’re sitting across the table from her, sipping on some tea. She channels Julia Child as she tries to grow her baking business…but right now, she’s got her own bun in the oven, which takes up more of her time than blogging. Still a Beautiful Blogger, regardless.
m.davis: Armed with a slick new blog redesign, Mille blogs about the decadent details of life, thankfulness, style, and a few recipes thrown in for good measure. As a social media expert, she rocks at Instagram. And accessorizing.
There and Back Again: A photo and word diary of one girl’s adventures at home and abroad, with old friends and on new adventures. Lately she’s documented her summer full of travels and her future as a teacher-in-training.
My Sister’s Pantry: With healthy recipes (usually vegan/vegetarian) spanning homemade bread and baba ghanoush and natural sweeteners, these sisters also tackle issues like taking baby steps to better overall health, quitting sugar, and stocking a kitchen pantry.
Bettencourt Chase: “Things we make, bake and photograph” on this blog always keeps things fresh. Helen and Lindi are incredible photographers, and bring their joy for life to every project they undertake. Whether it’s a beautiful cake or a newborn portrait session, each post and photo is artfully crafted.
Day At a Time: A look at newlywed life amidst jobs, triathalon training plans, house renovation adventures, with two ornery pet-children thrown in the mix for good measure. Always a joy to read an update here.
The Urban Poser: “Yoga & Vibrant Gluten-Free Living” does little to sum up this sweet blog, but the description at least hits the tip of the iceburg. I love her better breakfast posts and her focus on veggies and wholesome, healthy living – but her healthy-fied paleo desserts add some decadent balance to it all.
The Delighted Momma: This Momma offers a simple, lovely perspective on a real life, busy with kids and a home and a hubby. I love her “Things that make me say Yay” posts. Plus, she offers great beauty and skincare advice from her knowledge as an esthetician.
Heed the Feed: This blog is beautiful because the recipes are creative and as close to natural foods as possible, with plenty of whimsy to boot. Check out Jessa’s recipe for chai spice pumpkin pie and miniature fried green tomatoes!
Whole Larder Love: Growing, cooking, making, building, baking, and everything in between is documented on this blog, from the homestead of a foodie committed to farm-to-table life. The recipes are wholesome and rustic with an intense connection to the farm, and here even the slaughter of a bird for a meat pie becomes a poetic commentary on life and death.
The Verdant Home: Here, you can find yummy, healthy recipes and musings on real life. With topics ranging from learning how to let go of worry to how to shape a rustic pear tart, this is a beautiful catalog of ways to make life lovely from an ex home-economics teacher.
Five And Spice: Emily is a nutritionist with impressive credentials and a creative hand in the kitchen. She knows her stuff but isn’t afraid to indulge a little and enjoy life.
Natalie Creates: Natalie comes across on her blog just as sweet as she is in real life. Here she documents her adventures gardening, canning and preserving, thrifting, and homemaking.
Health Faith Love: Honesty, transparency and encouragement from a sweet girl learning to eat and live her way back to full health. Sarah also offers plenty of product recommendations and recipes for a nourishing lifestyle.
Mama’s Weeds: Her writing is quick and witty, her recipes are easy, her photos are simple and explanatory, and her struggles are real. Allison just had her third child and is trying to keep up with a healthy lifestyle, vegetarian cooking, exercise, and Barbies in the midst of it all. But her banana bread is ballin’, so check the girl out.
* * * * *
How do you define beauty? Who do you think is beautiful? Be sure to visit my Beautiful Blogger nominees and give them some love, and thanks again to the sweet A Table in the Sun for the nomination.