Love the Little Things 26.09.14


It’s been one of those weeks where I haven’t picked up a book or magazine at all. Best blog posts: What random searchy things people bring to my blog over on Hurrah for Gin. This one made me literally laugh out loud which is exactly what you need after the bedtime bunfight (that and a large glass of gin?).
I also loved Lucy’s Shine on you Crazy Diamond over on Put up With Rain. It’s a really lovely exploration of her daughter’s character (which sounds irrepressible!) and a heartfelt plea to her not to be ground down by the world – to retain her shine.
I’ve also read a lot of posts dissecting the MAD Blog Award experiences (as well as enjoying the Instagram pics on the night!) and I almost feel like I was there too so thanks to all who took the time to share and congratulations to everyone who was even nominated because you are all fabulous!


I’ve been catching the odd little bit of this and that – a few X factor hopefuls (sadly no Ella Hendersons this year) the absolutely hilarious Ofsted inspection episode of Big School and Jo Brand’s Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice which always makes me chuckle. I began watching a programme about men who have many wives one night which looked quite fascinating but then the hubster came in and switched over! I think I’d quite like to be one of many wives – especially if the other wives were a good laugh!


The new tune from Wilkinson (loving it!):


As Google informed me that it was officially the first day of Autumn earlier in the week I thought now would be as good a time as any to cook up a big batch of beef casserole. I cooked this one slowly on the hob for about 5 hours.

Beef stew


Some of the lovely moments in my week include eating lots of cake at the weekend over at my dad’s allotment where he won first prize for his tomatoes at the Autumn Social before being treated to a lovely Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall inspired marmalade gammon roast with the family (thanks Mum!); having a coffee and catch up with my cousin and her adorable 17 week old baby (who proceeded to puke down my top – one of the only situations in life where it is acceptable for a man to vomit down your cleavage); and last night (after a somewhat frantic school run/in-law drop off) whipping over to Kingston to meet up with the lovely Elfa from Californian Mum in London for John Lewis’s Autumn blogging event promoting their beauty and fashion ranges (where I also met the lovely Steph from Sisterhood and All That who is frankly, beautiful and looks great in bright red lippy 🙂 ). All in all, not a bad week!

Happy Friday Little Loves!



A blogging holiday

Relaxing under a palm tree on remote beach

My blog is pretty much a year old this month and, particularly in the past six months, I have become more and more invested in it – both time and even money wise. I tend to find myself binning off other activities (of an evening) in favour of concentrating on either writing, reading or commenting on other peoples’ blogs. And that’s without even factoring in partaking of a little tweet here or there or fiddling about with picture editing.

I enjoy it. I like writing; sometimes I even love writing if the muse has really struck me and I am 100% invested in my subject. But sometimes my commentary and involvement with others suffers because I have set myself these high writing and posting targets and it has felt like I am ‘failing’ in some way if I’ve missed out on a regular linky or the stats have dropped off because I haven’t written and then promoted a post properly.

I am currently on holiday for a week (physically, with the family!) and I told myself I would attempt to have a bit of a blogging holiday too. All I have done is write and draft a few ‘easy’ posts and scheduled them in advance so that things don’t lay dormant for too long. I know that this is a good thing. I know that I will benefit from this headspace. Sometimes these blog targets we impose on ourselves become so all encompassing that we can’t see the wood for the trees (and for me – why? Its not even like I’ve attempted to monetise my little corner of cyberspace or even engaged with PRs).

I recently read The Blog Lowdown on the lovely Reading Residence courtesy of Hurrah for Gin this week and took a lot of notice, for here is a blogger who appears to post relatively sporadically, but who is well known within the circles I blog in, receiving twice, three times or even four times more comments on a post than I have had on even my most popular posts and nominated for recent prestigious blogging awards (rightly so and nominated by myself too I might add!). And she doesn’t appear to do it for money or stuff or any kind of gain really. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing or questioning – the fact of the matter is that she writes very funny, dry, honest and heartfelt pieces very well and is clearly a lovely person who others warm to – one of those people who you think, “yeah, I’d want you to be my friend” after five minutes familiarising yourself with her witty, beautifully self-illustrated, charming blog.

So I was interested to read her take on what makes her blog tick and her list of tips on blogging in general. The one that struck me the most was the advice to avoid blogging too much to the linky schedule. She says ‘It’s your blog, nobody else’s so you should be in the driving seat’. This one really resonated with me because nowadays, I find it hard to be bothered with a post unless it’s attached to a linky (this being a case in point I guess although Jocelyn & Iona’s theme for The Theme Game this week happens to fit in perfectly with things I have been thinking about a lot lately anyway!).

I suddenly feel like I am getting it all wrong; that I am missing out on more relaxed personal space of an evening, more variety of entertainment and more time to actually engage with my family rather than getting increasingly frustrated if their neediness delightful and continual interruptions jar my blog flow. Its just not good karma – it feels like my cosmic microcosm of life is out of balance somehow. I need to write less, read and engage more. Its probably as simple as that. You take the pressure off yourself and you focus on doing what you love (whether it be writing, socialising/cyber-socialising, reading, cinematic pursuits, baking, knitting, singing, ukelele or skydiving).

So watch this space (but not too closely, I’m on holiday, remember 🙂 )

PS the picture above is less a true representation of my current holiday than a picture of a toddler with chicken pox crying at a very large adventure playground would be… :-/


The Reading Residence