What I Learnt From Blogging (Almost) Every Day For a Month

Jackie Kelly 

So, this is it. The end of Blogtober. It’s been emotional. I didn’t quite manage to blog every day, but I’ve been more prolific than I have in years. I’ll be taking a little break from blogging so frequently whilst I attempt to undertake #NaNoWriMo and give this blog a little bit of a refresh, but I’m not going anywhere, really.

The Best Laid Plans Go Awry… 

I worked really hard to blog every day, but I wasn’t always as prepared as I wanted to be and as a result I couldn’t finish the challenge completely. I was a bridesmaid this past weekend, which took up two full days, and I have a friend who’s having a hard time who I spent good chunks of the previous afternoons before that talking with. Not to mention my ongoing childcare responsibilities. Obviously, I wouldn’t change any of those things – I will always prioritise my offline life, which is probably why I’ll never be a pro-blogger, but they did put a spanner in the works a little when it came to Blogtober.

I also planned to use this time to work on my photography, but with the pressure to get a post out every day meant that I cut corners where I could, and relied on Unsplash more than I would have liked. If I did it all again, I would try to do more in advance so that when things do go a little off the rails I have a back up. 

I Prefer Creating to Consuming

There are only just so many hours in the day and a lot of mine are now spent tending to my tiny little terrorist (a.k.a. Benjamin), so my time for blogging and reading blogs is limited. With Blogtober looming over me, those limited snippets of time had to be used for creation rather than for consuming other people’s content, which is my usual form of procrastination. It’s no surprise, really, but I definitely feel better at the end of the day if I have spent more time creating than I have consuming. I will never abandon reading other blogs completely, but keeping the balance in favour of creation is going to be key. 

Blogging Is Not Just About Writing

In days gone by, a blog was mostly about the words. Now that’s simply not true, but I’ve not really kept up. Photography, video, graphic design – all of that stuff is more out of my comfort zone and it’s the first to go when I am under pressure. I would much rather type out hundreds of words than take one or two photos. I’m not really a visual person, but if I want to improve then I’m going to have to work on that element of blogging and get uncomfortable. 

Good Content Takes Time

Churning out almost 30 blog posts in one month proved to me more than ever that good content takes time. I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with ideas and making them work immediately, but having a bit more time to edit, add photos, reword or just think about the topic would definitely have improved a lot of my blog posts from this month. Even a short blog post can take a few hours from start to finish, so I need to make the time. My next aim is to juggle quantity with quality so I can blog regularly and be proud of every single post. 

The Doing of the Thing Is The Thing

It’s all well and good talking about something, but as Amy Poehler says, the talking about the thing is not the thing. The doing of the thing is the thing. You are not a blogger if you never blog. You are not a writer if you never write. You are not a painter if you never paint. So you must do the thing. And the thing can seem scary, but it will never come to fruition if you don’t get started. Every time I force myself to do something that I say I’m going to do, I remember that it is in the doing that the thing comes alive. 

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What’s Next?

Thought Catalog 

The funny thing about having a baby is that people always ask you when you’re going to have your next baby. As soon as you’ve got your tiny little one in your arms, the world wants to know when you are getting pregnant again. But the more that question has been asked, the more I have felt certain that what’s next for me is definitely not another baby. I will never say never (at least not right now), but having Benjamin has really focused my attention on everything else that I want to achieve and do in my life. It’s like my creative side has gone into overdrive now that my body isn’t focused on, you know, creating actual human life. I feel more focused now I have little snippets of time rather than whole days stretching out in front of me, and with maternity leave giving me plenty of time to think I’m already planning what’s next… 

A Blog Rebrand & Redesign 

As I said when I took on this blogging challenge, I want to take my blog more seriously. It has been my constant companion for many years but has often been quite neglected. Not only that, but things are clearly taking a different direction around here, with parenting posts sneaking in amongst the food and lifestyle stuff – so I think it’s time for a bit of a rebrand. Whether I keep the name the same or go for something different, I’m definitely going to give things a lick of paint with a redesign. I have realised that I am not a minimalist when it comes to colour, and I don’t like the monochrome look so I want to brighten things up. I’m considering a move to Squarespace to make things look pretty, but that’s a bit scary because I’ve been committed to WordPress for so very long. We’ll see. Either way, I want to up my game on the blog front – starting with a shiny new look. I’ve started researching designers and branding people who could maybe give me a hand, so if you’ve got any recommendations then please send them my way! 

A Podcast 

I stumbled across an idea for a podcast last month and it’s been percolating ever since. I am scared to contact people and line up interviews and actually make it happen, but unless I do it will never get done and will be yet another project that I have let fall by the wayside. But, as Amy Poehler says, the talking about the thing is not the thing. The doing the thing is the thing. And so I must do the thing. I’m planning to hit up a few podcasting friends to get some advice on how to start and then start contacting people in the coming month. In my dreams I can have a season’s worth of episodes ready to go to launch at the beginning of January, so let’s see if I can hit that goal, shall we? 

#NaNoWriMo 

In the more immediate future, I have decided that this will be the year that I attempt #NaNoWriMo. I have talked about it for so many years but never taken the plunge. I am not confident of my novel idea, but I’m hoping that getting into the practice of writing fiction every day will help the plot and characters come together. And if they don’t? It’s no big deal. I’ll have given it a shot. This blogging challenge has got me into the habit of writing every day and I only have to write 1,667 words per day to end up with 50,000 in the end. Even if it’s 50,000 rubbish words, that’s still an impressive achievement and might kickstart that novel writing career that I’ve always dreamed of… 

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Learning to Finish What I Start

Neven Krcmarek

I am full of ideas. A week doesn’t go by that I don’t dream up a new creative project or business venture, and I often have my fingers in many pies (both literally and figuratively, if you’re talking about the time when I decided I wanted to open a pie shop…). There are not enough hours in the day for all of the things that I want to do, experience and learn. But, despite being full to the brim with plans, goals and dreams, I rarely execute them – and when I do, I rarely finish what I start. I have a whole box full of half-finished knitting projects, a Google Drive full of sentences and plots from stories and blog posts that never got written and a never ending to do list with items that have never gotten off the ground. I have talked about starting a podcast and a supper club, new blogs and websites, and all sorts of other things – but before I start anything I have to learn to finish. 

I think my problems with finishing my projects are many; for starters, I am a perfectionist so I am often afraid to start or get too caught up in the middle of the project when it’s not going exactly how I imagined. In my head, my supper club is a triumph, my podcast a raging success and my craft projects perfectly executed. Of course, you can’t get to success if you don’t start in the first place or if you give up halfway through. Logically, I know that, but I get stuck in my own head at the crucial moment and bottle it, once again.

I also have a short attention span, and I always find that creativity begets more creativity so it is when I am in the middle of a project or venture that I have even *more* ideas and the new ideas are so shiny and exciting that the current one gets abandoned in favour of pastures new. So I never give myself the opportunity to really grow and improve, or the satisfaction of a final product. I have a tendency to take too much onto my plate, so each thing doesn’t get the attention it deserves and so takes much longer than it needs to, which doesn’t help with that short attention span. I get greedy, imagining myself fulfilled by a plethora of creative pursuits, surrounded by the fruits of my labour (most of which are praise-based, I won’t lie to you…), when it would be far more sensible to take on one thing at a time and really master it before moving on. 

Over the past month, I have thought about giving up this blogging challenge on many occasions. Blogging is probably the only thing I have really stuck at for any length of time; I am a blogger right down to my bones and it comes naturally to me to type out a few hundred words on whatever I’m thinking or doing at that moment. It is a quick endeavour, when done imperfectly, and so it provides that satisfaction and feeling of achievement that I strive for in other pursuits. But even then, I faltered every time it became a little bit tricky – when I didn’t have a post lined up for the following day and a full roster of activities with Benjamin making it difficult to sit down and type something up. There have been moments where I’ve lacked inspiration and even more where I’ve lacked the confidence. I like to think I’m pretty good at the words part of blogging, but blogging has moved on so much from when that was the most important part and there are so many other bits where my skills or execution are lacking. I am determined, for once, however, to finish what I have started and I am learning, slowly, the benefits of doing so.

With just a few days left in October, I am looking forward to the breathing space that will allow me to see other projects through that have been hanging over me for months, if not years. I am annoyed at myself for not coming to this conclusion earlier, because I have so much less free time and opportunity to pursue my greatest plans with Benjamin needing so much of my attention, but maybe that is a good thing as it will focus my mind on those that I really want to finish and let the others fall by the wayside. Watch this space, my friends – I’ve got a few things up my sleeve… 

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Why I’m Blogging Every Day in October

[Photo Source]

So, call me crazy but at the end of last week I had the mad idea to sort-of join in with Blogtober and blog every day in October – the first being today, of course! I don’t think I can follow all the prompts from the official challenge, so I’m just going to aim to put *something* up on this blog every day. Whilst to the untrained eye, that may not seem like a whole lot of work, but anyone who’s ever written a blog knows that’s quite a big commitment. But I think the time is right for a few reasons… 

I Need a Challenge 

I know you’re supposed to spend your days on maternity leave soaking up every precious moment with your baby, but it turns out those precious moments are interspersed with quite a few dull ones. Whilst it’s wonderful to spend time with Ben, he’s still sleeping an awful lot during the day, so I have quite a bit of time on my hands. I’m not someone who wishes they never had to go back to work; I already miss the challenge (and the camaraderie) of my job, but whilst I am the main carer of my tiny little one, I need to find some challenges and projects to keep my brain occupied that I can do at home. And since blogging is my main hobby, it’s the obvious first place to look for a new challenge – and what’s more challenging than going from an occasional blog post every now and again to completing one every day? This is definitely going to test my productivity and time management, but what better time than when I’m at home pretty much all the time?

I Want to Commit to Blogging 

I have invested a lot of time and a fair bit of money into this blog, but I’ve been unable to commit to it properly for various reasons so I often feel that it’s stagnated a little bit. Unsurprisingly, my blog tends to do better when I’m putting up content regularly but I haven’t kept that up for years – so here’s my chance to kickstart the whole process again. Blogging has been a hobby of mine for over ten years, and it really makes me happy. I don’t kid myself that it’s ever going to be my job (and I actually don’t think I would want it to be, even if the opportunity arose) but I do want to take it more seriously. I love the conversations and connections that blogging brings, so blogging more often will hopefully add even more to my life over the next month! 

I Want to Improve my Blogging Skills 

My attentions have very much been elsewhere over the past year (and even longer, if I’m honest) so my blogging skills are a little rusty. I can still knock out the words relatively easily, but all of the photography and social media stuff that comes alongside the writing could definitely do with some improvement. Whilst I don’t expect to become professional level within a month, getting back into the swing of things and forcing myself to do things that feel a little bit uncomfortable right now won’t go amiss when it comes to polishing those skills a little bit.

I Have A Lot of Ideas 

Or rather, I have about a month’s worth of ideas – so why not use them all at once? I don’t think that every one is a total winner but needing a new blog post every day will hopefully stop me from overthinking everything and just *get it done*. I’m not someone who often harks back to the ‘golden days’ of blogging, as I’m not sure that they really were as great as everyone likes to remember, but I definitely used to be less bothered about what I posted on my blog. There were years where I would blog almost every day, about anything that came into my head – and whilst that’s not sustainable long term, I do want to recapture a little bit of that spirit. I find that creativity often begets more creativity, so I’m crossing my fingers that as I go through the month I will have even more ideas and will be inspired to blog more regularly going forwards. 

I Want to Find A New Path 

As I have grown, so has my blog. For a while it was almost exclusively a food blog, and there were the days where I was eating out in Leeds much more often and that was reflected in my blog. But right now I am a new parent with new priorities, so whilst those things will always be a part of my blog, I’m hoping that by trying to blog every day for a month I’ll help myself find more of a voice and a direction for where I want to take this blog going forward. It’ll always be my personal diary of sorts, but that could take so many different angles and I’m excited to see what comes out. 

Are you ready? Let’s do this. 

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An Open Letter to My Blog

open letter to my blog

[Photo by Green Chameleon]

Hey Boo

It’s me. I think it’s time that we talked. Because what we’ve got going on? It’s not working for me. And I don’t think it’s working for you, either. You deserve more from me. I know that I can be hot and cold – some weeks, it’s like we’re barely apart, and others, it’s like you don’t exist. But I’ll be honest, I think you expect too much from me sometimes. It’s unhealthy, this cycle of obsession, neglect and guilt. That much I know for sure.

But you know what else I know for sure? I am a blogger. It’s just who I am. I have been blogging for around ten years – longer than I have done almost anything else other than eat, sleep, and read. Blogging is my first love, and is so much a part of my personality that I think I would be a blogger even if I didn’t have a blog.

Things have changed in that time. What was once a nerdy hobby that none of my friends understood, now blogging is a glossy career that my friends still don’t understand. Scribbled musings have given way to staged photoshoots and content creators. I started blogging before I started tweeting, Instagramming or even oversharing on Facebook (although I like to think I’m not too guilty of that one). Now? Social media is an extension of blogging, an obligatory if enjoyable extra. I’m not saying that any of this is a bad thing – I don’t like the lamenting for the ‘good old days’ without an acknowledgement of the ‘good new days’. But things are different, now.

Let’s be real – we’re never going to be professionals, you and I. That’s just not the way we work. I like the buzz of an office, the security of a regular paycheck, and the company of colleagues. Not to mention that, despite my many years in the trenches, I don’t think I have what it takes. So I want this to be fun, for both of us. I’ve got a lot going on IRL. There’s a lot of competition for my time, and I often feel a lot of anxiety about how I spend it. If I’m blogging and spending time with you, I worry that I’m missing out. And if I’m doing something else and spending time with others, I feel guilty about not taking care of you. You are selfless – you wait for me to return – but sometimes I threaten not to and that seems unfair to you. Sometimes I like the idea of a life without you – whole weekends without posts to write, emails to return, photos to take. Can you imagine such a thing? And yet, when you left me briefly earlier this year (thanks to my own technical incompetence) I sobbed as if a relative had died. I have poured myself into this space, it is a record of my life and a testament to my achievements and I couldn’t live without you.

So let’s change things up. Let’s make friends again. No schedule. No pressure. More posts that I can look back on in years to come and sigh and giggle at the memories. Less blogging for blogging’s own sake. More writing and enjoying and recording. Shall we?

You’re still my number one. Always and forever.

Lots of love

Amy

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8 More British Food Blogs to Follow

uk food bloggers

After I shared my 8 British Food Bloggers to Follow last month, I stumbled across/thought of so many more that I wanted to share with you. It’s so exciting to see so many UK bloggers creating such beautiful photos and recipes – I’m taking a lot of inspiration from these wonderful blogs and I hope you will, too! 

Domestic Gothess

Oh gosh, this blog has such beautiful photos. I love how evocative Hannah’s images are – they seem to capture the dish perfectly and always make me want to rush out and make the recipe straight away. You’ll find a mix of different recipes on this blog, but it’s the sweet treats that will make you stop in your tracks. She’s got a lovely recipe index to explore, so I suggest you get stuck in! 

Patisserie Makes Perfect

Now, patisserie is something I usually stay away from in the kitchen (although in a bakery it’s a different story altogether…). I’m not one for finickety things – I haven’t got the skill or patience, but Angela’s blog makes me want to give it a try. There’s some seriously delicious stuff to be found on this blog – check out these Salted Caramel Praline Macarons for starters – and the fact that Angela is a mostly self-taught cook makes me think that maybe it wouldn’t be such a disaster if I gave it a go… 

Figs & Pigs

This blog is a new discovery of mine, but Rebecca and Jamie have already got me drooling over their delicious creations. Because it’s new to me, I assumed that it was new to the Internet as well, but their recipe listings suggest otherwise, with lots of good-looking things to try out. Discovering Figs & Pigs is a lesson to me to keep my eyes open! 

The Bearded Bakery

Michael is more than holding his own as a man in a rather female-dominated list (and blogging niche – where the food blogging boys at?). As well as sharing his tasty-looking bakes, he shares tales of his travels around the UK and beyond and a regular playlist to help you discover some new tunes. An all round gem of a blog! 

Amuse Your Bouche

I can’t resist a good pun, and this blog is no exception. Becca sums up her blog as ‘simple vegetarian recipes’, which is exactly what you’ll find here. This blog feels very inviting and cosy, and the recipes might even tempt my carnivore husband to risk going meat-less every now and again. Could I ask for more? 

Essbeevee

Written by Sarah, this is more of a lifestyle blog with a foodie bent but it’s definitely one to keep on your radar for a bit of yumminess every now and again. Sarah cooks up the kind of food you’d love to come home to every night, as well as some more slimming-friendly recipes that don’t feel depressing (there’s cheese!). Just lovely. 

Wilde Orchard

Debs is a trained chef who has worked in Michelen starred restaurants and it really shows – her food looks absolutely beautiful! As well as being complete food porn, you’re bound to learn something from this blog as there are some great little how-tos. I was completely won over by her latest recipe, Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli, and I’m eager to see more from this gorgeous blog! 

London Bakes

I can’t get enough of the sweet stuff, and there’s certainly a lot to be found on Kathryn’s blog. The sidebar promises ‘sweet and lovely’, and that’s what you’ll find on London Bakes. A lot of the recipes are gluten-free, but without a lot of the faff that you often see with gluten-free foods – so this blog is a great place to start if that’s something that’s important to you, or if you fancy trying out something a bit different. 

Who are your favourite UK food blogs?

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8 British Food Bloggers You Should Be Following

british food bloggers

For a long time the food bloggers I followed tended to hail from across the pond. There are some really fantastic American food bloggers, and they are so easy to stumble across on the Internet. However, over the past couple of months I’ve made an effort to seek out more UK-based food bloggers and, let me tell you, there are some truly awesome ones. Not everyone on this list is British by birth, but, as far as I know, they’re residing here for the foreseeable future. All hail British food bloggers!

Top with Cinnamon 

Izy is a bit of a superstar in the food blogging world, with her first cookbook ‘Top With Cinnamon’ storming across the Internet (and rightly so). Chances are you’ve already heard of her, but if not then make it your mission today to go and read some of her archives. Her photography and styling is so beautiful it makes my heart hurt, and every recipe I’ve tried of hers has been totally delicious. Her Instagram is a sight to behold. So yeah, I’m a fan.

Supergolden Bakes

Can we all just take a moment to admire the photography on this blog? It is truly gorgeous. I love the variety of recipes on this blog – everything Lucy posts I want to go out immediately and make! The cocktails, in particular, are stunning. I wish I’d discovered this blog earlier, as I’m sure I’ve missed out on plenty in the archives, which are extensive. A total winner! 

The Little Library Café

I love this blog. I wish I had thought of it first, although I’m sure I couldn’t have done it so beautifully. Kate cooks the food from her favourite books, combining literature and food in a simple and oh-so-sweet way. Her photography is beautifully minimalist, which makes the whole thing that bit more wonderful. I want to climb headfirst into this blog and nest there throughout the winter. I narrowly missed out on going to Kate’s Harry Potter pop up dinner in London a couple of months back (yep, food from the Harry Potter books. With tables named after Hogwarts houses) so now I just need to somehow persuade her to bring that gloriousness to Leeds… 

Rachel Phipps

I think Rachel’s was the first food blog I ever followed and it’s still one that I click over to time and again, whether to read new posts or look up recipe ideas. Rachel combines accessible recipes that make you want to get into the kitchen with reviews of restaurants across London and Kent. I trust her recommendations for anything foodie, and her foodie travels in Los Angeles over the past couple of years have inspired me to plan a trip there next year! 

Cate in the Kitchen 

I’ve really been enjoying Cate’s #bakeoffbakealong posts, which is what caught my eye and turned me on to this blog in the first place. In between sharing her baking adventures, Cate also posts mostly-vegetarian recipes, many of which I’ve bookmarked for making at a later date. An all-round yummy blog! 

Flora Shedden 

You’ll probably recognise Flora from this year’s stellar Great British Bake Off line up, but did you know that she has a blog, too? With simple photography and food styling, and perfect flavour combinations, this blog is genuinely a delight. I’m not sure how I didn’t stumble across it before! Am I jealous? Only a little bit… 

The Little Loaf

If you’re looking for a nostalgic baking blog which will have you running straight for the kitchen, apron in hand, then this blog is definitely the one for you. Kate’s baking feels old-fashioned in the very best sort of way, comforting and familiar with a touch of something new every now and again to keep you excited. As an added bonus, her cookbook is one of the most beautiful I have ever cooked from and I want to bake everything in it. 

Whip Until Fluffy

Lil hasn’t blogged for a while, but I live in hope that she will revive her blog and provide us with some more of her gorgeous recipes, which simultaneously manage to be down-to-earth and exciting at the same time. Her blog is one of my all-time favourites, and I love her writing. I have made her Goats Cheese and Chorizo Scones many times, and they always get an excellent reception. I know you’ve got a lot going on right now Lil, so no pressure 😉 

I’m sure there are plenty of amazing blogs that I have missed off my list, so please do share your favourites in the comments below so I can discover even more British food blogs! 

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Let’s Go To Blognix!

custard factory

So, do you guys remember when I went to Blognix last year? Good memory, if you do! It was totally rad, I learnt loads of fun stuff, made some new bloggy friends and came away totally inspired to make this blog better. A lot of which got waylaid due to a certain dissertation and a subsequent lack of time…

BUT (and it’s a big but) Blognix is back for a second round! I’m going to help out this year, and I’m so looking forward to coming home with a notebook full of ideas and knowledge, a pocket full of business cards and a belly full of cake (I’m stepping up my game for the Blognix Bake Off this year…). I’ve already got itchy feet to improve this blog, so this is an absolutely perfect opportunity.

tree of hope The line up looks absolutely brilliant; there are talks and workshops on branding, podcasting, photography, accounting, monetising (to name a few) so I’m pretty sure my brain will be stuffed full by the end of the day!

I’m not going to say that blogging is a niche hobby, because I don’t believe that it is anymore. Whilst a few years back it was certainly something that people looked at with a bit of a side-eye, nowadays the most popular bloggers are basically celebrities and everyone has a favourite blog to read. That being said, almost none of my ‘real life’ friends are bloggers, and like with every hobby it’s always fun to get together with people who share your passion and understand your triumphs and frustrations.

So, do you want to come with me? If it’s your first time coming to a blogging event, Blognix is absolutely perfect! It’s honestly a super friendly space, and everyone understands that it’s kind of daunting turning up somewhere that you know almost no one! If you’re tempted, do come along and we can chat blogging. It’ll be awesome, I promise!

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5 Blogs You Need to Be Reading in 2014

snowflake

(source)

I’ve long been an advocate of blogs. I think I first started reading blogs about 10 years ago and since then the landscape of the blogosphere has changed completely. No one could have predicted how it has exploded – blogs are now a viable form of alternative media and there’s one on (pretty much) every topic.

These are blogs that you need to be reading. Not because they have the prettiest pictures or the best recommendations for Mexican food in NW1 but because these are stories not often told, voices not often heard. They will make you a better person and expand your worldview (or at least, they did for me). This is my favourite thing about blogging, and I couldn’t keep it to myself…

A Girl Called Jack 

Jack’s blog has charted her journey as a single mother on benefits in a world which very much disapproves of that. Ultimately, this is a food blog; she shares nutritious, delicious recipes which cost pennies – an essential when on such a budget. But, it’s not just that. She’s also told the story of poverty – of going hungry, of having to keep the heating and lights off in the house due to a missed benefits payment, of selling everything you possess to stay alive. Reading her bio, I found out that Jack is only 25. That’s amazing to me, as I’m turning 24 in less than a month and don’t feel half as wise or as brave as Jack. Nowadays, she is a journalist, author and a charity campaigner. Most recently she has petitioned for a debate about food banks in the House of Commons (which sadly turned into a horrible farce). Definitely a must-read.

Fiending for Hope

Britni is probably the person responsible for my feminism. Or, at the very least, helped to shape it. I was reading her blog when I was a baby feminist, just trying to find out what I thought about the world. I have had a soft spot for her ever since.

In the time that I have known her (digitally speaking), she has gone from Florida party girl to sober Bostonian with a baby on the way (or thereabouts). Her blog talks frankly about feminism, sexual assault, street harassment (she also works on the Boston Hollaback! team), drug addiction and pregnancy. She is totally open and honest, and despite the perhaps depressing topics, it is refreshing to read.

One More Mum’s Blog

This blog is truly heartbreaking but it’s a story that needs to be told. One More Mum tells the story of her family as they try to navigate her daughter’s anorexia. This is certainly not your average mummy blog, that’s for sure. It’s honest, raw and shows a side of eating disorders that doesn’t often see the light. It’s heart-wrenching to read – I have cried for them more than once and wished that there was more that I could do than send good thoughts – but reading this blog has really opened my eyes and certainly puts my own problems, small as they are, into sharp relief. This isn’t a flashy blog with fancy photos, mouth-watering recipes or top beauty buys but it is one that should make its way into your feed reader.

Eat the Damn Cake 

I have been a long time advocate of Kate’s work, so you may have heard me recommend her blog before. The main focus of the blog is body image and Kate explores her own issues with her body with a truly open heart. Although the topic of the blog is not always a happy one, there is something joyful about this blog and it’s made me stop and think on more than one occasion about how I’m perceiving myself and others. As well as body image, she talks about work, ambition, love, friendship and motherhood. She also happens to be one of the best writers on the Internet, in my humble opinion. I can tell which blogs I really like by the ones which linger in my Feedly unread; I save Kate’s blog posts until I can give them my full attention rather than flicking through them on my lunch break or on the bus to work. They are thoughtful and wonderful – I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Captain Awkward

I am addicted to the Captain Awkward blog. It may be the only blog (apart from Yes and Yes) that I could never stop reading. It’s an advice blog which truly gives the best advice. I have learnt so much from this blog, even though my own problems do not align exactly with the letter writers.

There is so much great advice held within its (virtual) walls about setting boundaries, self-care, communication and compassion which have given me life skills which I did not possess before. If everyone read this blog, I truly believe that the world would be a better place. This is the stuff they should be teaching in schools.

Although it may sound it, this is not a staid blog either – it’s witty, warm and has a wonderful community surrounding it that means you can stray into the comments section without fearing for your life (a rare find in the Internet world these days).

For real, this blog will change your life. Trust me.

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Help Me Improve This Blog!

Iblogging

This year has been something of a whirlwind; I don’t think you need me to tell you that! I feel like I’ve packed a lot into the last 12 months but it’s time to sit down and think about how I want the next 12 months to pan out. Resolutions, goals, that sort of thing.

This blog plays a big part in my plans for next year. Now that I have the luxury of weekends again, and no other projects to work on in my spare time (for now), I want to throw myself into this blog and make it the best it can be!

Which is where you come in! I am always amazed when I look at my Google Analytics page and see how many of you there are visiting this blog on a regular basis – so I want to know more about you! I want to know which bits of this blog that you like, and which bits you would scrap. What do you want to see more of, and what would you happily never see again?

I am already working on making my recipes printable – I’m sure it’s not very complicated but December has been rather hectic so I’ve not had time to sit down and look properly. An e-book is in the works as well, but I know that those things are only scratching the surface!

Be honest with me, I can take it! None of the questions are compulsory, so if you only want to answer one of the questions then that’s totally fine. All survey responses are totally anonymous and I won’t be sharing them with anyone – it’s just for me to look at when I plan my content for the next year. I want you to want to read this blog – so any help you can give would be much appreciated!

You can fill out my short survey here, or just leave me some comments below – please and thank you 🙂

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