Versatile Blogger Award

Kent here with my first written blog post on Under Open Skies.  I would like to thank Donna from Donna George Blogs for liking our blog and nominating us for this award.  We are truly humbled!  Blogs are nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award based on the following:

“the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.” – Versatile Blogger Award


The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 blogs
  • Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know

7 Facts

  1. I am a Minnesotan where there is lots of fresh water!
  2. I like cheese because it tastes GOOD especially when it is freshly shredded/oxidized.  Cheddar is better.
  3. I enjoy eating good wholesome foods but I will occasionally eat McDonald’s.
  4. Two of my favorite activities are hiking and camping.
  5. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany…just kidding, but we do have a lot of books.
  6. Our current task is to rid the house of nasty toxic chemicals found in today’s highly advertised cleaning products
  7. I admire Tony Robbins.  I just finished his book, Money, and thought is was excellent.


  1. Jess and Tim’s Tiny House
  2. Legally Ginger
  3. Travel with the Slowskys
  4. Backpacker Lee
  5. Bethany Hughes
  6. Nomad Nurpu
  7. Second Ascent Blog
  8. Taking Our Time
  9. Cheery Hill
  10. Minnesota Prairie Roots
  11. The Thirsty Kitten
  12. Craft Beer Geek
  13. Consider the Peel
  14. Love Joy
  15. The Ginger Root KC

I have enjoyed reading thorough all of your blogs and hope you will accept my nomination!


The Blogging Sisterhood

fullsizerender7Two award nominations in one week, we are truly humbled-how lucky we have been to receive so much love!  I’d like to thank Her American Wild for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award nomination.

Now what does this award mean?  The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award is another blogger to blogger award that recognizes the unique voices of women bloggers around the world.  Being a proud feminist, I love this award for it’s effort to unite female bloggers in a supportive community.

How To Accept this Award

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to her site
  • Put the Award Logo on your blog
  • Answer the ten questions they sent you
  • Make up your own 10 questions and nominate up to 7 more recipients.

My Nominees

Ilex of Midwestern Plants and Sally of Hats and Horses.  These two ladies were among the first in the blogging community to reach out and interact with me here on Under Open Skies.  I absolutely adore their blogs and am grateful to be part of the blogging community with them both.  Thank you ladies and if you haven’t yet, I’d like to welcome you into the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers through this award nomination.  Feel free to answer to same questions I have below.


  1. What are your favorite subjects to blog about?  Travel, Sustainable Living, Art, and Animals
  2. Why did you begin to blog?  I sprung from my day job in 2014 to pursue a career as an artist.  I now operate two successful business, Under Open Skies (Art by Medium/Self Reliance) and Playfully Refined (Pet Portraits).  The blogs I manage with these businesses offer me an opportunity to share and connect with a community of amazing individuals.  
  3. What are the lyrics to your life?  Ooo, this is a difficult one because it changes as my life evolves.  Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding has been a constant favorite, but right now it is Heroes (Vocal Mix) by Cazzette. 
  4. If you had a super power, what would it be?  Telekinesis (the ability to move objects with my mind) like a Jedi.  I’ve given this a lot of thought over the course of my life. 
  5. Where is the one place you’d like to visit the most and why?  Australia, I have been obsessed with the idea of traveling there ever since I watched The Silver Stallion: King of the Wild Brumbies as a child.   
  6. What’s your favorite pair of shoes in your closet?  My riding boots, lol, I even wrote a blog post about them!
  7. What is your favorite drink?  Hot tea with honey
  8. Describe your idea of a perfect day.  Waking up at sunrise to do yoga in my garden, drinking a cup of tea and then taking the dogs for a walk.  Enjoying the blue skies while out riding my horse, then returning home to do some artwork and blogging.  Finally wrapping up the evening with a tasty adult beverage around the fire pit with great friends watching the sunset and stars appear.
  9. Who makes you smile?  Anyone I meet with a warm open heart and animals–I am normally running around with a big smile on my face!
  10. What blogger inspires you most?  This is a difficult one too.  I am inspired by every blogger I follow, but right now Gone with the Wynns has been a major inspiration.  They are a husband and wife team traveling the world via RV.

Time to Share the Liebe


We have been nominated for the Liebster Award!  What is this award you might ask?  The Liebster is given to new bloggers by their fellow bloggers as recognition for a job well done and a welcome to the blogosphere.  In short, another blogger stopped by Under Open Skies and wanted to show us some love, or liebe, for my fellow German speakers.  Our nomination comes from writer Barbara Gabriel of Steal Just One Day (many thanks!).

The Liebster Award Rules

  • Acknowledge and link back to the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  • Give your nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post about the Liebster Award.

 Barbara’s 11 Question

  1. If you could play hooky for a day, what would you do?  The beauty of doing what I love for a living is that everyday is a “hooky” day.  I write, paint, carve wood, weld metal sculptures, and dream up ambitious projects–whatever my little heart fancies!  Most mornings start with a cup of tea, yoga, and playing with my animals.  I make time to travel and explore since I can take my job with me wherever I go!  I didn’t always have it this good, but now that I do, I won’t be going back to living the old way.
  2. “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” or “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”? I haven’t seen or read either.
  3. Do you prefer international travel or to explore closer to home? Why? I love travel of all kinds, but particularly international travel.  I have near lived anywhere longer than three years, so exploring closer to home is always a given!
  4. What’s your go-to comfort food?  Kraft Mac N Cheese–the good kind, with the powdered cheese.  Although I haven’t had this in a while since I’ve been on a quest to eat more natural, organic foods.
  5. Dinner companion: Abraham Lincoln or Betty White?  Betty White because she is hilarious and I love a good laugh around the dinner table.
  6. If you left home for a year or more, what would be in your suitcase?  I am a very light traveler, but I would need to have my camera gear, a sketch pad, and a good book.
  7. Give us a link to the best or the favorite of your own posts. What made you write that one? I don’t have a favorite post, but I was really excited to write Mapping out a New Direction.  I had just made the decision to refocus Under Open Skies around our homesteading adventures and had started my second blog, Playfully Refined for canine and equine posts.
  8. How do describe yourself? Use just three words.  Free-Spirited, Loving, and Adventurous
  9. How do others see you? Three words.  Conferred with a friend for this one, he gave me “Courageous, Fun, and Bright”–I’ll take them!
  10. What word do you dislike? Hmm, I love my words and tend to think even the negative ones only have the power you give them.  However, I suppose I do dislike any word that my phone’s auto correct gives me the run around on when texting.
  11. What interesting thing will you choose to do this week? This week is all about finishing a wood carving art piece called The Flower of Life, and getting our house ready to list for rent.

11 Random Facts

  1. My birthday is on Valentine’s Day so I celebrate “Birthday Week”.  It is seven days of utterly insane fun!
  2. My favorite books are the Harry Potter series–I have been sorted into the Griffindor house.
  3. I have never lived anywhere longer than three years–my “homes” span three different countries.
  4. I love a warm cup of tea and a good book.
  5. I had dreadlocks, but cut them off and now I rock a pixie cut.  Love it!
  6. We have two massive dogs, Fox (Long Haired German Shepherd) and Denali (Siberian Husky)
  7. We rescued a little black kitten from outside and named her Onyx.
  8. We have one horse, Mahailia, and we be getting her a buddy soon.
  9. We are looking forward to our move to New Mexico this year from Washington D.C.
  10. I love yoga, namaste.
  11. My favorite thing I learned how to do last year was welding steel.

11 Questions for My Nominees

  1. What is the biggest personal change you have ever made?
  2. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 29, and find line 4. What is the book and does it say?
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
  4. If you could change one thing about the world, what would you do?
  5. Is the glass half empty or half full?
  6. When is the last time you ate a homegrown tomato?
  7. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  8. What is your favorite time of the day?
  9. What inspires you?
  10. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  11. What three things in nature do you find most beautiful?

My Nominees

  1. The Chelsea Project
  2. FFFrail
  3. Kristel’s Food Finds
  4. The Healthy Secret Identity 
  5. My Lost Lexicon
  6. It’s a Wanderlust Life 
  7. Year of Awesome You
  8. Spanish Moss Series
  9. Confessions of a Food Tourist
  10. Life and Beans
  11. Uncomfortably Optimistic

Your Liebster worthy blogs are looking lovely!  I look forward to reading your answers to my crazy questions and to see your nominees!

Happy Blogging,