Mary V
Shining and Striping in London!

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite songs that my dad would sing was “You Are My Sunshine”. I was the only girl in a family of five so I’ll admit he definitely doted on me and I responded with seeking to put a smile on his face! We took many family road trips and the laughter and singing was a big part of the fun. Imagine how moving it is for me, so many years later, to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by my friend, Patricia Goss Rubel, of https://thepatrishpages.wordpress.com

sunshine blogger award

This meaningful award is given from bloggers to bloggers who inspire creativity and positivity by bringing sunshine to the blogging community. Let me share today how I met Patricia and why this award makes my heart sing. Then, I want to introduce you to four other special friends who I encourage you to follow for even more upbeat vibes….’cause who can ever get too much of that pure joy?!

How We Met

sunshine blogger award
Patti (lady in red) and me (lady with leopard heels) at a Galentine’s Party!

Patti and I met in person at a conference in Atlanta, the Influencers of Midlife Summit. We independently signed up, seeking education for our respective blogs aimed at Midlife Women. There was an instant connection as we share many things in common, including a wicked sense of humor, a keen interest to inspire women and a fond appreciation for a fine glass of wine! Ever since then, Patti’s blog is one that I regularly read as it’s almost as good as seeing my Phoenix friend in person.

She has a very approachable style and take on living her best life as a midlife woman. Despite her gorgeous good looks, she is the most down to earth person I know, openly sharing both fashion tips and her hiking adventures as she treks up and down the AZ mountains and beyond! In fact, she is currently training for a serious hike through Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Utah! Such as awesome physical feat for someone who truly took up hiking just within the past year…imagine that!

Sunshine Blogger Award Q&A

sunshine blogger award

Part of the award process is to provide further insights into what makes us “Sunshiners” tick! So here goes:

Tell us about your blog and how you became interested in blogging

To be honest, my blog has been through a couple different iterations as I fine-tune my passion. I originally started out helping Seniors with the downsizing transition from home to an older adult community. It was eye-opening to see how difficult the decluttering process was for these folks! They were unprepared to let go of what they no longer needed or would not fit in their smaller space.

I had an epiphany to shift my focus to Midlife Women such as myself. Now is the time to make these decluttering decisions! Most of us are in a different phase of our lives with kids grown and out of the house. Our careers may be winding down or going in a completely new direction. Even our personal relationships may have changed or we are still with The One. Regardless, what matters most to us has evolved. It follows that the things and stuff we have relied upon are also due for a change! Why not make those decisions now instead of under duress?

Blogging about decluttering has been a most satisfying way for me to express my thoughts. Yet interestingly, the longer I’ve done this, the less I’ve talked about releasing physical things. Instead, I’ve primarily zeroed in on the emotional connection we have with things and people from our past! Truly, we assign so much emotional value to stuff that represents both wonderful and not-so-wonderful events and relationships. When we face those fully, we are able to release what no longer serves us well. We move into a better place, free to be our better selves! In other words, I’ve evolved into a Life Coach guiding folks to live their second half unencumbered by their past.

What is the most important thing you would like your readers to take away from reading your posts?

Live your best life now, not someday! We all have a story by which we define ourselves….many times, more than one story. It’s generally certain events that occurred or people who we connected with that create this story. But what matters most is the story we tell ourselves. When we realize that we are the author of our own stories, then the real magic begins: when we rewrite our stories we discover the passion and purpose within ourselves! Here’s good place to start:https://downsize365.com/decluttering-philosophy-mary-v/

Who do you look to for inspiration in your life?

I have so many sources of inspiration, I’m not sure where to begin! But rather than name public figures, I’d rather say that ordinary people who overcome extraordinary challenges truly move me. Or people who focus on making a difference in this world, this moves me, too. In other words, if we each focused on doing our part with what we have been given…and we seek to improve the lives of those we interact with…how much better would we all be?!

When not working on your blog, what do you love doing?

downsize365
Sedona vibes!

You’re sure to find me in one of three places: Creating culinary goodness in my kitchen makes my heart sing! Glamping nearby or traveling abroad with my husband, the love of my life, is my second passion. And a simple movie night at home with my husband, my three rescue dogs and a glass of wine is another bliss-filled activity (especially if it involves Game of Thrones).

What is the one place you have never been that you would like to go to?

This one is hard as international travel is one of my passions. But I’d say right now that Portugal is in the crosshairs for later this year. We had a most amazing food and wine tour of the Canary Islands and Granada last year (see how I almost combined everything here…except for the dogs?!). But there are several other incredible destinations in the bucket list, including Morocco, Greece and France. Lots of inspiring countries to dream about, for sure!

Passing the Baton for the Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine blogger award

And now, on to my list of nominees! Please be sure to stop by each of my nominees’ websites and get to know them. You may just be discovering four new friends when you do!

Robin Lamonte, https://helloim50ish.com

Robin is one of the kindest women I know! She instantly puts anyone at ease, making you feel like you’ve known her all your life. She is the epitome of a modern woman who has successfully rewritten her script several times, as she has worn many hats: a flight attendant, a mother of 4 adult children, a highly successful interior designer, a fashion influencer and now, the founder of Influencers of Midlife, a conference geared for the education and empowerment of women entrepreneurs over 40 https://www.influencersofmidlife.com

Jo Davies, http://www.midlifehighway.com

Jo has a gentle yet wicked good sense of humor! I found her on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/midlifehighway/ and I look forward to her “week of discoveries” post…a mixture of the practical along with the hilarious. She resides in Edinburgh, which demands a good deal of grit and humor, given the stark weather conditions. Fortunately, they have whisky there, too! She is definitely a ray of sunshine in my book!

Phyllis Lerner,https://followphyllis.com

Talk about a powerful woman here! At almost 68, Phyllis can knock your block off…literally! Phyllis doles out oodles of positive inspiration with her tried and true workouts, her IG posts, her blog, her videos….phew, make me tired just listing all the things that Phyllis kicks out! She is incredibly caring and soft hearted beneath her “take no prisoners” attitude…I love her and you will, too!

Lisa King, https://thefulfilledpharmacist.blog

Lisa is a whirlwind of productivity, kindness and happiness all wrapped up in one beautiful friend! She sets goals and she slays them. Pharmacist, author, life coach…she’s your gal! I meet Lisa here in Phoenix at a gathering of Midlife Women on Instagram over 50 and what a gem she is. She’s all about the tiny steps we can take to achieve our bigger goals. She is truly inspiration personified!

My questions for my Nominees

  • How do you seek to inspire your readers?
  • What are three things about you that might surprise us?
  • How do you like to kick back and relax?
  • What advice would you give your 21 year old self now (not that you’d listen?!)?

The Rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

#popuppurge
  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to his/her blog.
  • Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate other blogs and give questions for them to answer.
  • Notify your nominees through social media or by commenting on their blog.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Your Turn!

Do you feel inspired to take a new path? To look back at your past with clear eyes? To see how it has been leading you towards your Best Self? What seems to hold you back…for now?

Let us know how you forge ahead and continue remaking yourself! What tips and ideas work for you? Drop us a comment below…and thanks for stopping by!