Long time no blog?

I figured I’d better dip my toe back in, before you all forget about me!!

So… this is a quickie really: a while back, my lovely insta-mate Tracey from The Naughty Forty Diaries nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award

… It’s a blogger to blogger award, and surely, there can be no higher accolade?

I was supposed to answer the five questions Tracey had put to me at the end of her nomination blogpost and then nominate a few bloggers myself.


I didn’t do it.

Life kind of took over.

And now, more recently… another insta-mate, Gail from Not Givin’ In nominated me again.


It reminded me how remiss I was to not respond to Tracey’s original nomination… and so, here’s my double whammy of answers:

Gail’s Questions:

1. What was the catalyst to writing a blog?

I’ve always wanted to write, and harboured fantasies of being a print journalist or author but never pursued any avenues which might have led to writing. In November 2015, as the fug from becoming a mother at the age of 41 began to lift, I stumbled upon a few blogs and a few months down the line, I woke up one morning and thought “feck it: just do it!” and that’s precisely what I did in March 2016.

I will admit though, that my first few months of blogging were a little inconsistent, because I was a bit like a headless chook and had also discovered Instagram at the same time and was enjoying that… so it took 6-7 months for me to settle into it and feel confident in what I was sharing, my own writing voice etc.

2. How much time do you give to it each week?

Blogging is more time consuming than you’d imagine!  I generally allow myself 2 hours maximum per blog post – rather 2 hours per a ‘Sunday7’ blog post: the writing part just flows for me and comes easily (I think!) however, the research of which pieces to include / style the wildcard item of the week was time consuming and would sometimes push me to 3 hours.

Interviews / Spotlight (on brands) and opinion pieces can take less time to write, but there’s always research that needs to be done.

And of course, if you are including your own photography within a blogpost, it can take longer still: taking your own photos and then editing them is a whole other job in itself!

I usually only publish one blogpost a week.

3. Can you share three top tips to keeping motivated?

Good Question! I’ve seen a fair few “Hey! Guess what! I’ve set a blog up! Little old me!” style announcements on my Instagram over the past 3 years… but after that first, initial blogpost… nothing much happens… which I really do “get”: they’re used to Instagramming which is quick, easy, instant gratification etc etc so… why invest in time-consuming blog posts when, on the surface, the rewards seem much less?

However, I started my blog before joining Instagram: the purpose of it was always for me to write and share my thoughts on fashion and styling… with a smattering of lifestyle posts here and there: and *that* desire to do just that, still remains, and *that* is my motivation.

I don’t earn an income from my blog, it’s never paid a single bill… but it’s a very important creative outlet for me, and my mental well-being: it brings a balance to my life, I guess.

4. Where do you find inspiration?

For blogging / writing? All around me, quite literally! I might hear something on the radio which triggers a train of thought, it could be a conversation with friends or family… my mind is always brimming full of ideas… so much so, I have a long, long list of blog posts I’d like to write… but I need to make more time for it: tricky when it’s unpaid, right?!

In terms of Fashion / Style: I know my own mind, I know what I like and I know what I want to post about: I can’t just do a ‘give the punters what they want’ style of blogging… for me, rightly or wrongly, it has to come from the heart and I simply draw on classic styling imagery my mind has been exposed to for 48 years: whether it’s from the Golden-Oldie Hollywood Matinee era, though to my teens in the 80s, grungy early 90s and so on… I have a tendency to look at the very high end for inspiration on re-styling and re-purposing what I already have: I’d like to think it keeps my finger on the pulse in terms of being creative and trying new styling ideas with my own existing clothing rather than simply mirroring what others are wearing, on say Instagram.

That said, there’s no doubting that Instagram and some of the grammer’s I follow are a constant source of inspiration: but I would never *not* look at print/magazines and other sources, it’s a habit of a lifetime and one which, I’d like to think… has served me wel1! Narrowing myself to just Instagram or one source of inspiration wouldn’t be enough for me: I think I’d end up losing my own identity a little if I did just rely on Instagram; although, as one of my followers pointed out, as a mum to a toddler and a newborn, Instagram is her one and only source of Inspo as she’s so time poor and Instagram is easy… which I gotta say: it’s a fair point!

 5. What other platforms do you use to communicate with your audience?

Just Instagram!

My husband helped me set up a wordpress template for my blog in around 20 minutes flat; one that was done he looked at me and said “Now we need to secure your handle on all social media platforms..” I knew what each individual word he’d spoken, meant, but I did’t understand what he’s just said to me!  I had never been on *any* social media so once he explained, I reacted quite badly as it was my idea of heli, and we had quite a heated exchange about Facebook and how they own all your photo’s and snip-snip-snip and on and on and on I went…

Except… how was anyone going to find my blog? Asked my husband.

G’ah! I’d not really considered that.

I could never have imagined how much fun a social media platform could be! I never facebooked: it’s awkward to use and not especially intuitive, is it?  I didn’t feel witty or succinct enough for twitter… but Instagram with it’s fluffy, supportive fashion community and that it was imagery led… well that was right up my street, and although Instagram has changed vastly since March 2016, for the main part, I still find it fun and social and enjoy it!

And Tracey’s Questions from a few months back:

6. What piece of advice would you give to anybody thinking of starting a blog?

Firstly, stop talking about it and just do it!

Be your own, true, authentic self and just take that leap of faith.

And be consistent in that… don’t try and mirror or emulate anyone else but you.

The readers will then come.

And they will stay and want more!

7. Who is your inspiration?

For Blogging? My lovely friend Sue from Susiesoso is a blogging icon of mine.

That we’ve now met, and I’d like to think that we are mates is very much the cherry on the icing of a very fabulous cake!

8. What’s your proudest blog related achievement?

Since December 2018, I’ve taken a few blogging risks and put posts out about a whole bunch of random stuff from Racism, Interiors and more recently about Sustainability in fashion and the slow fashion movement.

None of these posts were based on facts and figures, rather they all had a personal element and were from the heart… which of course, left me feeling a little foolish, and vulnerable.

And yet… all of these posts turned out to be my post popular – from most views, to most commented on: my little tiny blog is lucky to get a couple of comments here and there as most people leave feedback via Instagram; however, when you’re getting in excess of 30 odd comments, and then the same again in direct message feedback (well, nearly a 100 DMs in the instance of the racism post…) where debate and discussions are opened up, there was certainly a feel good factor to those posts.

I’m proud that I was brave enough to publish those posts.

9. Where do you see your blog being in 5 years time?

Ooooh Tracey! Now that’s a question and a half… and one I’m not sure I have an answer for because I just can’t imagine it!

How rubbish is that?

My oldest kid has just one year left at primary school… when he enters into the next, secondary school phase… I worry about how my blogging and sometimes very daft Instagram posts might impact on him.

But for now… at least… I think I’ll just carry on as I am.

One thing’s for certain: my old Sunday 7 format is dead in the water: I just don’t feel comfortable promoting fast-fashion now that I have woken up to the horrors that go hand in hand with it.

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Random Factoid:

Anyone who reads my blog or follows me on Instagram will know… I love a good #interestingnotinteresting factoid, so here’s one about my Sunday 7 blog:

I named my weekly blogpost after the day of the week and the time of the day it was being published on: I’d read that Sunday night from 7 – 9pm is a good time to schedule your eBay auctions to end as that’s the time of the week that most people pick there phone up for a good old browse.

With that in mind, I figured it would be a good time & day to publish a blogpost on.


Not much?

Well… what’s next?

My Nominations for a Sunshine Blogger Award go to:

Sue from SusieSoSo

Kate from Wears My Money

Lara from Lara in the Middle

Mel from Styled by Mel

Lisa from Lisa Dawson Styling

Not to mention the two fabulous ladies who nominated me of course, Tracey and Gail…. and indeed I can only second their other nominations as well!

{*Some of these *are* of course giant blogs, and others are small… I figure we all, regardless on size of readership, regardless of whether we have been published in print or in receipt of actual industry accolades… we all like to know that other bloggers are reading our blogs and that they admire and like what we’re doing?!}

My five questions for all the these fabulous nominees:

1. What was the trigger point that made you think: F*ck it, I’m just gonna do it, I’m gonna blog?

2. Do you feel like you have always been your own, true, authentic self in terms of your blog-voice, or did it take a while to settle into it?

3. What’s the difference for you, in terms of satisfaction, between Instagram and Blogging?

4. Tell us your blogging routine? (when, where, cup of tea etc etc?)

5. In an ideal world, what would be the next step on from your blog?

It would be an honour if these ladies decided to carry on the chain-blog-post that is the Sunshine Award Nominations… but… I know all too well how busy life can get.

So… Apologies for the delay in getting my own blogpost up and Tracey: I nicked your header… I hope that’s ok?!

Thanks for reading