the liebster award seal of awesomeness

Hello, 2018 Liebster Award Nomination!

I’m so excited! The existence of something called The Liebster Award was unknown to me until very recently, when I was nominated by a fellow blogger. As I understand it, it is fun a way for bloggers to recognize other bloggers who are writing content in their domain worth reading. We bloggers are inspired by other bloggers, so why not tell the world about each other? In the process of paying it forward, we get to learn more about each other and share our writing more broadly.

By gum, it’s just a bloggitty love-fest!

About my Liebster Award nomination

I was fortunate enough to be nominated by Mr. Thrifty, who writes the blog Thrifty Enough. I enjoy following his posts on the web but most often come in contact with him on Twitter, where he frequently posts gems of his own as well as sharing wisdom from the extended FIRE community. Recently he started a feature on his blog called “This Week’s Thriftiest Content,” an aggregation of favorite FIRE posts from the previous week. I’ve enjoyed it so far and hope everyone will check it out!

Thanks, Mr. Thrifty, for the nomination!

How it works

1. Post the award on your blog.

2. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog.

3. Provide 10 random facts about yourself.

4. Answer your nominator’s questions about yourself.

5. Nominate between 5-10 blogs you feel deserve this award.

6. Choose questions for your nominees.

7. List the rules on your post.

8. Notify the bloggers you have nominated for the award.


penguins lets do this


10 Random facts about me

I share a lot of personal things in my blog, so I will try to choose ones that I haven’t already mentioned elsewhere…

1. When it comes down to it, I’m pretty scrappy. I value function over form. I recalled a random memory the other day of being in my early 20’s, not having much money, and needing shelves. I stacked sturdy cardboard boxes open side out and voila! Shelves. They even held a decent number of books.

2. I am an author of one of those “Complete Idiot’s Guide” books published by a Penguin imprint called Alpha Books. (I’m not going to say which title because I’m going for anonymity here!) Even though seeing my title in print was pretty awesome, it was finishing the manuscript and getting it all turned in that felt like the biggest accomplishment. At the time I was working 9-5, was maintaining a different blog, and was a breastfeeding mom, so the 20 weeks it took to write my book was a significant commitment.

3. I taught myself to bake bread a number of years ago, and even though it isn’t much less expensive than just buying a loaf, it is much more fulfilling to make my own. My favorites to make are challah and french.

4. I am a Red Sox fan. Mookie Betts and Craig Kimbrel are currently my favorite players (since Big Papi retired.) Last summer I saw a Red Sox / Yankees game at Yankee Stadium. It. Was. Awesome.

5. I once went to an airport baggage claim with my classmates in a leadership program and offered hugs to random strangers just to brighten their day. Surprisingly, it worked. It was an amazing experience, and I never would have guessed how easy it is to make a difference for someone.

6. In the early 2000’s I had a “routine” surgery that went awry, leading to two additional surgeries, time in the hospital and a painful and extended recovery, during which I lost my job. I learned the value of having both short-term and long-term disability insurance, and will always make sure I have both while in the workforce. I didn’t sue for malpractice, though I probably should have.

7. Although I don’t often indulge in it as a pastime, I love video games. Even though I get motion sick from first-person games (I couldn’t get very far in Skyrim), my very most favorite are the two Portal games made by Valve. It was the puzzle aspect and the humor that kept me playing. I also love the newest installment in the Zelda series, Breath of the Wild, which is beautiful, challenging and fun.

8. Until I was 39, I had never lived on my own. About 2 months after getting my first apartment, there was a fire and I had to move out. (Luckily the fire didn’t reach my unit, but there was water damage and I couldn’t stay.) The next apartment ended up being better than the first and Junior and I stayed there for 3 years.

9. In my mid-20’s, I declared bankruptcy. Although I’ve had serious financial trouble since then I’ve always been determined to not let it get to that point again, and have always managed to bail myself out one way or another.

10. I’m a big old nerd and have an analytical streak a mile wide. Yes, I’m impulsive and it gets the best of me, but I really enjoy research, pattern-finding, and problem-solving. I also have a tendency to find flaws and poke holes in ideas, which doesn’t always go over well at parties.


it crowd animated gif


My answers to the nomination questions

1. Where do you call home these days?

I have intentionally kept my location private to preserve my anonymity, but I will say that I’m on the west coast of the U.S.

2. How do you most enjoy investing your time?

Investing my time in my relationship with Junior, and in his well-being, is far and away the most important to me. In all honestly, I can’t say that I always enjoy it (hey, parenting is hard), but I do most of the time, and I definitely enjoy knowing that I am being the best parent I can for him.

3. Why did you decide to start blogging, and how long have you been blogging?

I started my current blog, FI Before I Die, in February 2018. I decided to start it when I was on the cusp of major life changes that would allow me to get a grip on my finances. My rationale was that there must be other people my age facing retirement with not enough savings, and even some who are in this position as a result of mental illness, so I decided it was time to talk about it.

4. If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

A treehouse in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, where I could listen to birds and creaking trees while I work on my novel.

5. What would you do if you received a 10 million dollar windfall tomorrow?

Be the best stay-at-home mom ever. Get Junior into the best school program possible for someone with his challenges. Finish my novel. Travel. Volunteer at pet shelters. Buy a house. Donate to causes close to my heart. Invest wisely and live off of passive income. Not necessarily in that order.

6. What are your short-term and long-term goals in blogging?

Short-term goal: stay on track with my financial goals and spending behavior modification.

Long-term goal: Inspire others struggling with being way behind on savings and/or are impacted by mental illness to talk more about what they are up against when it comes to finances.

7. Who inspires you and why?

Carrie Fisher, who was radically and insistently HERSELF, right up until the end. She was creative, talented, irreverent, and an advocate for those with bipolar. I wish I had even 1/10th of her courage, talent, and grit.

8. What have you learned that can help people who want to start a blog?

To write it for the joy of writing it. I know some people blog as a job and source of income, and while that would be nice, money isn’t my primary motivation. It is personally rewarding. There are things I am learning about myself and my situation as a result of this blog. I will figure out all the rest as I go along.

9. If you could visit any time period in history, which one would it be and why?

The Roman Empire in late antiquity, because I have academic interest in topics related to that time/location.

10. What’s the number one piece of financial advice you’d give to someone?

Even more than you deserve to “treat yourself,” you deserve to be free of fincancial stress and worry. Give yourself that gift.


My nominees are…

Double Debt Single Woman

Jane Has Debt

The $76K Project

The Land of Milk and Money



shia labeouf clapping


Questions for my nominees

1. What inspired you to start your blog?

2. What is your greatest hope for your blog?

3. How do you keep up with your favorite blogs? Social media? Feed aggregator? Something else?

4. What is the most important money lesson you’ve learned?

5. What is your favorite song/album/movie? (Your pick.) What is it about it that you love?

6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

7. If you could meet anyone, living or not, who would it be? What would you talk about?

8. What are your top 2 values? What do they mean to you?

9. If you could wave a magic wand and be living the life of your dreams, what would it look like?

10. What is a question you wish I would have asked you, and what would be your answer?


Thank you for playing!

The Leibster Award may or may not result in more readers, but it encourages us all to support each other in a community of like-minded people out to squash their debt, save their money, and live their best lives. I hope all of my nominees will consider participating, but even if you don’t, know that I appreciate what you are doing and look forward to continuing to read your blogs!

Thanks again, Mr. Thrifty, for the nomination. I hope you don’t mind that I borrowed your post format. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Hello, 2018 Liebster Award Nomination!

  1. I could totally do the treehouse in the PNW, too. Yeah for Skyrim!
    Glad you were safe from the fire. But I would have took that as sign to not live on my own!
    Similar for me being a long time before I went at it alone and it was tough when I did. Now I see it was a worthy lesson to live – learning to believe in myself and be okay standing on my own two feet.
    That’s cool you are author to an Idiot’s guide.

    Thanks for the nomination.

    • You’re welcome! I like the idea of bloggers promoting bloggers, especially those of us just entering the space.

      Glad you are standing on your own two feet now too! It’s a great feeling to be independent. Now on to financial independence! 🙂

  2. Congratulations!

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