Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Country Living Blue Ribbon Blogger Awards


 I think this is probably the hardest post I've ever written.  I'm overwhelmed by the past few incredible days I've had and it's hard to sum up an amazing experience in just a few words!

  If you recall, awhile back I was notified by Country Living that my blog had been nominated and chosen as a finalist in the 2012 Country Living Blue Ribbon Blogger Awards.  I was so honored and excited but never dreamed I would actually be chosen as a winner.  When I was notified last month that I was selected as the judges' pick for the best lifestyle blog, I could truly hardly believe it.  I'm pretty sure there was some jumping around followed by, "Oh my goodness, what am I going to DO?

I've never been away from Rosetta longer than just a few hours, so the thought of leaving my girls for a few days was terrifying.  But I am so thankful for my mom, who reassured me that this was a once in a lifetime experience and she would take care of the girls and they would be just fine.  The amazing part?  She was right... they had a fabulous time with my parents and my husband and I had an absolutely amazing time visiting New York City just the two us.  

I took so many pictures of our time there, but I think I'm going to start with the awards and work my way back in another blog post! 


Country Living is located in the Hearst Tower in Manhattan.  It's a gorgeous building 46 stories high and was the first "green" building in the city.


First on our agenda for the day was a tour of the Country Living offices.  As we stepped off the elevator, I could hardly believe I was there.  Oh yes, there were many butterflies in my stomach!


 I didn't realize until recently that Good Housekeeping is a sister company to Country Living.  (We actually got to tour the Good Houskeeping Research Institute, which was fascinating... I'll share it in another post!)

After the tour, we got to meet with Rust-Oleum, the sponsor of the awards.  I'm so anxious to try out some of their products I learned about.


 Then it was time to head up to the 44th floor, where the award luncheon was being held.  Isn't it just beautiful?  Country Living put so much effort into this lunch... they were all warm, welcoming and gracious.  I was so honored to be there. 


The guests began trickling in.  It was definitely a surreal moment. 


 Here is a picture of the amazing view of Central Park and the city from the 44th floor. 


 The photographer was sweet enough to offer to take a photo of my husband, Justus, and I.  I am so glad he was there with me!

Funny side note here.  Prior to the event, I took a trip to our nearest shopping mall to try and find the "perfect" outfit.  Shopping for clothes for myself is not something I particularly enjoy, so after two hours of nothing, I was about ready to give up (especially since my husband and girls were following me around).  That's when my hubby came to my rescue and suggested that maybe I would just be comfortable being "myself".  Which meant I went to a Country Living event wearing my Justin cowboy boots and a dress from Target!

 

 Here is a photo of the winners... it was so wonderful to meet them!  (From left to right: KariAnne of Thistlewood Farms, Katrina of Made by Katrina, Stephen and Michelle of Gourmandistan and myself)


I love this picture of us laughing with the judges (Jodi Kahn, Cooper Boone and Brent Ridge) before taking a series of more "serious" shots. 


 A final group shot of us with the lovely ladies from Rust-Oleum. 


 The tables were set so beautifully... the flower arrangements were stunning.


The seating was assigned, which I imagine was not an easy thing.  One of my favorite things about the lunch was visiting with everyone at our table... every one of them were so sweet and a real pleasure to meet. (I wish I had thought to take a photo...)


 The awards ceremony began with an introduction by Kassie Means, the publisher.  (Unfortunately, Sarah Gray Miller was not able to attend.)  Later, with dessert, Cooper Boone handed out our blue ribbons and also said some wonderful things about each of our blogs.  I wish I could remember word-for-word what was said, but it was absolutely touching. 


Oh, the food!  It was incredible.  This was the main course, which was every bit as delicious as it looks! 


And finally, a last picture of Cooper Boone and I, who I had the pleasure of sitting next to.

It was an amazing day and I'm so glad I can share it with you!

I would not have been there if it was not for those who believed in my blog.  I started my blog at a time when I needed a little outlet... it reminded me of my many blessings at a time I needed the reminder.  I had no idea of all that would come from sharing a few things on my mind or something we had going on that day.  Since then I've been inspired, I've made some wonderful friendships, I've discovered a love of photography, and I still enjoy writing as much today as I did in the beginning.

Thank you, friends, for reading and always for your sweet encouragement.  And thank you, Country Living, for a truly amazing day and experience.  It was such an honor! 

To read more about the talented winners and awards, visit Country Living here.

(To read "Part Two" of our trip, click here)

72 comments:

  1. This is so very exciting! What an honour and how great that we get to share the day with you! ~ Maureen

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  2. YAY, congratulations on winning your category. I knew KariAnne won hers, but wasn't sure if you did or not. So happy for you and glad you had a great get away. You need those now and then.

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  3. Andrea, Great pictures of your wonderful day to celebrate YOU!! I'm so happy you won, because your blog is awesome. You look terrific in your cute outfit too!
    Mary Alice

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  4. congratulations!!! i went and voted for you, because i have really enjoyed your blog since i came across it. :)

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  5. Wow, that is so amazing Andrea! You so deserve the honor, like I said before there is something so authentic & guenine about you & your blog!!! Great pictures!

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  6. Yay! You looked wonderful and I'm so glad you got this experience. So happy for you...

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  7. YES!! I knew it had to be true... I've been wondering, and wondering about this.

    I'm so happy for you!! What a wonderful thing for you to celebrate and remember for a VERY, VERY long time.

    I love what you're hubby said - about just being you - with the clothes thing. You can tell you look so comfortable. Kinda like you kept it at simply "Keeping it Cozy"... nothing outlandish or not real or not-so-you! But comfortable you!

    That blessed me...

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  8. CONGRATS, CONGRATS, CONGRATS!!! So happy for you!!! Xo, Ashley

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  9. You look darling!!! I am SO happy for you! Congratulations!!!

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  10. Congratulations! What a special honour! I am new to your blog, but very much look forward to exploring your past posts, and seeing what the future holds =) ps your outfit was perfect....I would have thought you had shopped for days to find it.

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  11. I am not surprised you were chosen, I always enjoy visiting your blog! Congratulations,I am so excited for you! :)

    Kimberlee from The Fancy Shack

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  12. First of all, you look fabulous! Your chosen outfit is my idea of perfect! Secondly, YaY! I voted for you! I'm so very glad you won this much deserved award. I'm thrilled for you!

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  13. Enjoyed reading your post of your win. CONGRATULATIONS! Loved seeing your pictures and know you had a fabulous time in NYC. I also live in Tennessee so was happy to see you win. Much Love ~Jen

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  14. OMG!!!! Congratulations! What a wonderful "happening"! I loved the picture of you and your hubby the best! What a cute couple you are. I love your blog and your home and writings and family and the "farm" style you decorate with. Thanks for all you do!

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  15. SWEET!!!! Congrats... such an exciting time....
    Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers, Gee

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  16. Fabulous and I love your "look". I would wear cowboy boots and a dress too. So excited for you!!!

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  17. Andrea! This is beyond exciting news!! I almost screamed out loud when I saw this on Country Living! And to think you have kept this news quiet for so long. What a well deserved recognition for your wonderful blog. I'm sure this is just the first of many great moments for you and Keeping it Cozy!

    ~Lynn

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  18. Andrea - Congratulations!! You deserve this so much. I think it is an added compliment that the Judges picked you. They saw everything and liked your blog the best. That's a real accomplishment!! So proud of you.

    Your outfit was perfect!!

    Again, congratulations on an honor well deseerved.

    Judy

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  19. Oh Andrea, I couldn't be more excited for you! Every post on your sweet blog truly feels like it comes from your heart. The picture of you and your husband is adorable ~ he looks so proud of you! We are too!

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  20. Congrats! That's a wonderful accomplishment.

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  21. Andrea this is sooo cool! What are you going to do with the Blue Ribbon?

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  22. Andrea, I am so incredibly happy for you and can I say proud of you? You are so deserving of this award. You are real..authentic! You look absolutely beautiful in those photographs. The perfect outfit and the perfect boots.

    No one else is more deserving!!!

    Blessings to you sweet friend. I believe you have got so much more to look forward to in this area of your life.

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  23. You already know how I feel about this ! SO PROUD OF YOU! luv ya bunches ! xo

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  24. Congrats on your lovely achievement:-) So glad I happened to go to Country Living site for some decor inspiration and read about this.. Love your style..
    Looking forward to getting to know you and your blog..
    Blessings..

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  25. Oh Andrea. I can hardly see through my tears. This is exactly the sort of post I knew you would write. Humble and grateful, yet thrilled at the same time. I am so, so happy for you. I have told you this before, but I knew from the first time I opened your blog that I was in a special place. I am delighted that we met, I am proud of your accomplishments and I am incredibly thankful for your friendship. Enjoy the rest of the week with your family!

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  26. I am so happy and immensely proud of you! Words to live by from someone who has always admired you: Stay true to yourself and your values. Keep it simple, because you make simple so very special. And keep smiling and loving those beautiful little girls. And of course, keep taking wonderful photos and blogging.
    Love ya, Brenda

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  27. Congratulations! You deserve the award!
    Farmhouse hugs,
    Cindy

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  28. You look gorgeous just being yourself. Justin was right! So happy for you. :-)

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  29. Amazing!!! Oh I'm celebrating with you sweet Andrea!!! How much fun you all must have had...and you looked adorable. So so proud for you!! Love your blog and glad they chose you. Very well deserved :)

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  30. Congratulations! We are all so proud of you and your family and your farmhouse, and of your parents for being there for the girls. You looked just right in the pictures. What good memories you'll have of this time.

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  31. Congratulations! You did yourself proud! I am sure this is something you will always remember with a smile- xo Diana

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  32. Oh my goodness, Andrea, that is so exciting! I'm so happy for you. That must have been an amazing trip...something you'll always remember. You look adorable in your outfit. I think your husband gave you some very good advice. xo

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  33. Oh my word.

    This is the greatest thing - and you SO deserve it- your blog is awesome, and everything a winning #1 blogger is all about.

    Just so excited for you - what a neat thing, and I am SO glad you two took that trip. Isn't NYC awesome? We try to go there at least once a year and it is never enough for this gal. I love my "nest" but I love leaving it too - hope lots more of these adventures are in your future.

    BTW? You look like a million in your Target dress and your awesome "country living" boots, I mean you are the real deal, lady!

    Lots of hugs and grats to you!!

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  34. Andrea,
    Congratulation on your win well deserved! I am genuinely happy for you! It is a pleasure to read about your memorable experience.
    You look wonderful!

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  35. Congratulations on your award. It is well deserved. I think wearing what you were comfortable in was a good move. 8-)

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  36. Congrats on the award!! I'm so happy and excited for you...and so glad that I voted. Love your blog!! You looked great in your boots and dress from Target. (That's my girls favorite store.)

    ~Cindy

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  37. I am so thrilled that you won the lifestyle award. I have mentioned this many times but once I visit your blog I never want to leave. Congrats to you!!

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  38. Congratulations! I love your blog! I also love your outfit. It is perfect! I'm heading to Target this weekend to see if I can find that dress!

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  39. Congrats! So happy for you! You must be on cloud nine. Wahoo!!!

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  40. YAY! YAY! YAY!!!!!!! Oh Andrea!! I'm truly so very happy for you!!! Thanks so much for sharing the great tour of the day!!! Hugs~ Jennifer

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  41. Congratulations, so happy for you! Such a wonderful experience!

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  42. Congratulations! Your blog is such a welcoming place to visit! I am thrilled to see you win this award - so well deserved.

    Enjoy every minute!

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  43. Congratulations, Andrea! I have really enjoyed keeping up with your blog. It always adds an interesting and thought provoking tidbit to my day. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip.

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  44. Wow, I feel like I just won!! So glad you went as yourself, that part of why we love you!! I am so, so proud of you, and happy for you, my sweet friend. Your blog is wonderful, and now hopefully you know what the rest of us have known all along.

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  45. Sooooooo Excited for you!!!!!! CONGRATS!! I absolutely love following your blog... and it's so easy to see why you were chosen!!! Terri

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  46. Congrats! This is so exciting enjoy every minute.

    Cynthia

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  47. I'm thrilled for you. Well deserved!!!

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  48. Congratulations!!! I've been wondering what ever became of this. I voted for you many many times and I'm so glad you won. You deserve it. And your boots were adorable, love 'em!

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  49. Congrats and well deserved! Love your boots & Target dress too!

    I am friends with Kari from Thistlewood Farm - two KY girls winning - how exciting!

    Glad to have found you and hope you're still basking in the glow!
    Kelly

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  50. Andrea,
    Congrats on a well deserved award!!!!!!!!
    I am so glad that I follow your blog and had the opportunity to vote for you.
    Enjoy this awsome time,
    Vanessa

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  51. Andrea...I am so over the top happy for you....I love seeing the picture of you and my friend KariAnne...you two so well deserve this most prestigious award....and you looked wonderful "as you"...your husband was so right....you looked so fabulous in your Justins!!!....As always, I look forward to reading your most beautiful blog!!!

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  52. so deserved, andrea!! congrats to you!

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  53. YAY congrats! :) You know, when you'd changed the picture on your blog ( your personal photo ) I'd wondered if that was because you had notice of winning..I thought that it might have been from a photo shoot or something. Then the other day I was just thinking "well its almost Thanksgiving and we have not heard" :( So at that point I assumed perhaps you'd not won after all, though I did think that you should have.
    So I am very glad for you ! :) Congratulations! :) Well Deserved! :)

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  54. Congrats! !! You deserve it! !!

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  55. So proud of you, Andrea! Your award is well-deserved. Your blog is simply beautiful and your personality and talent shine through. BTW, you are gorgeous. I'm glad you chose a simple dress from Target - you look so cute, young, and hip and simply amazing. xoxo

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  56. How exciting Andrea! I'm so happy for you. My first thought when looking at the photos was I love your boots! I love the you shinning through........that's why you won! Well deserved. Keep keeping it real :)

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  57. How absolutely wonderful! Congratulations! You could not have looked any more lovely in the most expensive dress in NYC!!

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  58. Congratulations, Andrea. I am so excited for you. I think it is wonderful that you went just as yourself. you looked perfect :)

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  59. Congratulations! You are so deserving of winning in your category and you looked just charming at the lunch! What a wonderful day and honor for you :)

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  60. Andrea, how wonderful!! You totally deserve this honor. Your writing and photography is amazing and I always look forward to your posts. You looked perfect. I am sure you charmed everyone there. Congratulations!

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  61. Congratulations, this is so very exciting! I am really looking forward to seeing/hearing more about your trip to NYC. What fun! You looked fantastic, and I really had to laugh when I read Justin's comment and the results. Isn't it true that when we feel the best, we look the best too!
    Very happy for you, and I have to tell you that I "shared" your photo from Country living magazine's fb page, on my page. It's fun to have even a tiny connection to a celebrity ;)

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  62. Congratulations! How exciting for you! I'm so happy you won because Brenda shared it on her page and now I've just "discovered" you thanks to her! I am adding you to my Reader. I can already tell that I'm going to love what I see and can't wait to poke around a bit more. Do you mind if people pin your stuff? Is it o.k. if I pin some things?

    You have a very wise husband. Whenever you're the center of attention it can be a bit overwhelming so the more comfortable you are, the better! You looked adorable! Can you tell that I have an addiction to exclamation marks!!!!!!! I am seeking therapy for that.......

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  63. I couldn't be happier for you, Andrea! It is a joy visiting your blog and only a matter of time the rest of the world realized it! My favorite part of your post was about your dilemma choosing what to wear. Your husband is wise beyond his years to tell you to just be your(charming)self. Congratulations!!!!

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  64. Oh my GOODNESS...how did I miss this post!! I couldn't be happier for you. You so deserved this and I am thrilled that you won! What a wonderful trip for you and your hubby, too:).

    Congratulations!!

    ~Julia

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  65. Congratulations Andrea! I am new to your blog and it has quickly become my favorite! Your beautiful, kind spirit is so welcoming, and your home is simply lovely. When I saw your kitchen sink, it reminded me of my grandparents sink of when I was growing up. Their house sold some years ago but is currently vacant. It sparked an idea to try and acquire that drainboard sink somehow. I should hear back in a few days if it's still there and if I can get it! I also want butcher block countertops ;) So, thank you for featuring it on your blog and sharing your wonderful home with us.

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  66. Andrea, I'm so happy for you!! You so deserve the recognition! How wonderful. :) You and your husband look great and your outfit was SUPER cute!! ~ Jamie

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  67. Awesome awesome... and so well deserved! I'm delighted that you can be recognized in such a way! And lucky you - walking through the halls of Country Living magazine??? amazing! i'm giddy just thinking about it.

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  68. Congrats you look gorgeous in your target dress and boots....miss you!

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  69. Andrea, somehow I missed this post and I am so happy for you! The award is well-deserved. Love the fact that you went as "you." Well girl, you look so stylish!

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