This summer I had the sweet surprise of receiving "The Sunshine Award," which recognizes "bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."

The kudos comes with instructions.

First, thank the person who sent it to you. 

Easy, as I've been a fan of  Claudia Strasser for years, beginning with her book and then her blog of the same name, The Paris Apartment. In an only-via-the-blogosphere connection I've gotten to know Claudia through our blog commenting and emails.  It has been a true delight.

She inspires me every day with her knack for finding beauty all around her and sharing those finds in the most generous and gracious way.  Thank you for that, Claudia, and for this award.

Second, answer a list of questions about yourself.  Less easy as I'm usually the one asking the questions!  But, here goes:

Favorite color? RedFavorite animal?Hmm, let's say animal print.  Leopard.  Favorite number?5Favorite drink?Wine.  Favorite flower? RanunculusFacebook or Twitter?Facebook. Giving or receiving presents?GivingYour passion?Words and images in all their forms:  writing, reading, conversation, music, design, photography, art, travel.Favorite day? One that includes all of those passions plus a white sand beach, aqua water, family, friends, good food, laughter. 

Third, recognize 10 other Bloggers for the Award and link back to their sites. 

This was the hardest part of the award -- choosing just 10.  In keeping with Claudia's example, I am bestowing The Sunshine Award on those bloggers who support and inspire through their loyal visits and comments as much as with their content. If you don't already know these women and their blogs, you are in for a treat:

Beth & Kristy / Design Chic
Maria / Design Elements
Susan / Glossing Over It
Heidi / I Like, I Wish, I Heart
Kim / Lamb & Blonde
Shelly / Lush
Lee / Madness, Mom & Me
Susie / Orange Swing
Alison / Stuff & Nonsense
Barb / Zero to 60 & Beyond

Merci encore, Claudia, for brightening my summer with this award, and thanks to all of you, both bloggers and readers, who contribute to the conversation here at Style Maniac and help make it a sunny spot to visit.

Read more about my affinity for The Paris Apartment in this post:  L'Appartement.

"Use the good china for breakfast."