My Writing Process Blog Tour

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I was thrilled to be invited by ALifeMoment to take part in the Writing Process Tour. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, I urge you to do so now. It is packed full of mouthwatering recipes, beautifully presented and very clearly written. I have tried quite a few of her recipes already and am always earmarking new ones to try.Her blog has a real ‘feel good’ atmosphere and Alice’s zest for life and good food really shines through.

For those who don’t know what a Writing Process Tour is, it is a virtual tour where a blogger is invited by another fellow blogger to answer some questions and in return he/she has to invite three bloggers to answer the questions and post exactly one week after.

Here are my answers to the questions:

What am I working on?

I started a new job before Christmas so at the moment a lot of my time is spent writing about fine jewellery. Although it is related to fashion, it is a new area for me but I’m really enjoying working as part of a lovely team and learning more about jewellery and gemstones. The blog has had to take a slight backseat in the last few months but I;m determined to carry on with it. For me, the blog is as much about the visual element as the writing – I want it to look appealing and inviting to my readers. I am by no means an accomplished photographer but I am constantly striving to improve my skills. Lack of time is my biggest stumbling block – I have a number of half finished posts sitting in the note section of my phone that hopefully I will finish one of these days!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmm, this is a difficult one. I have deliberately not chosen a particular ‘niche’ for my blog as I didn’t want to be hemmed in by having to write only about one topic, be it fashion, beauty or food. At the moment my blog is a mishmash of all three, plus some interior and family related posts. I can see how picking just one of these to concentrate on would make it easier to grow the blog as the focus and audience would be clearer, but I like the variety of the current set up. It feels like the blog reflects me and my interests and I’m never short of things to write about. My blog is my little haven, away from the everyday chaos of to-do lists and piles of laundry. I want it to be a positive place for people to visit and hopefully leave with a smile on their face.

Why do I write what I do?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I’ve always wanted to be a journalist and even as a child I would make my own magazines by cutting out and gluing pictures and writing made up celebrity interviews, fashion and beauty tips. I started this blog as a creative outlet last year after I gave up freelancing as the childcare arrangements got too complicated and expensive. I want my blog to be accessible and reflect my own life and tastes. While I do write about fashion, I am not a great follower of trends nor do I tend to buy outrageously expensive things. Setting up the blog has also been a great learning curve for me. I am deeply un-technical so every small hurdle that I conquer is a major achievement in my eyes – from figuring out how to set up sub-categories in the menu to adding the social media buttons. Connecting with other bloggers through the WordPress community has also been fantastic and humbling (there are so many great bloggers out there).

How does your writing process work?

I never schedule posts and get a little bit freaked out when I read about bloggers who have several months worth of pre-written posts just waiting to be published. I wish I could be that organised but at the moment I struggle to find the time to post 4-5 times a week, which is my current aim. I do usually have a rough idea of what I want to post at the start of the week and I try to vary the content so that I’m covering all the categories on the blog.

The three bloggers I would like to invite are:

Evelenmargaret: Evangelia’s positive outlook on life reverberates through every post and her blog is a daily source of inspiration. Fashion, beauty, art and travel go hand in hand and her breathtaking photos of her native Greece almost make you feel like you’re there. I have to hide my credit card when reading her ‘Daily Find’ posts, full of covetable fashion and accessories, beautifully put together.

The Hashtag Generation: This blog is quite a new addition to my WordPress Reader but it has quickly become one of my favourites. Well written with great visuals, it is fresh and current with a great mix of content.

Gluestick Mum: Witty and sharp yet warm and inviting is how I would describe this blog. Her anecdotes on family life really do make me Laugh Out Loud and, more often than not, nod in recognition. Reading this blog is like sitting down over a cup of coffee or glass of wine with that friend who always manages to make you feel better about life and put a smile on your face.

 

My First Blog Birthday!

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With everything going on over the weekend I had almost missed that today is A Spoonful of Style’s first birthday! It’s hard to believe that a year has already passed – scary how fast time goes. I started the blog as a way to keep my writing going while being a stay at home mum and in many ways it has become my little cyber haven away from the chaos of everyday life. When I published that very first blog post I had no idea that I was about to join a wonderful community full of friendship and support. I want to say a big thank you to each and every one who has taken the time to visit my blog, read my ramblings, like my posts or leave a comment.

My blog was something of a slow starter, held back to some extent by my own technical inabilities, but in time I managed to get myself set up with both Twitter and Instagram, and recently I even created a Facebook page for A Spoonful of Style. I know we shouldn’t just focus on the stats but I thought it would be fun to do a quick roundup of my blog year in numbers:

Followers: 731

Number of posts: 259

Page views: 20,675

Best ever day for views: 327

Comments: 2,372

Small potatoes compared to some of the bigger blogs out there, but my quest has never been world domination. I’m happy to let my little corner of the blogging world grow organically and am determined not to get too hung up on numbers – it’s quality not quantity that counts in my book! That’s not to say that I plan to rest on my laurels. A Spoonful of Style is still only half the blog I would like it to be and the main reason for that is lack of time. When I landed a ‘proper’ job just before Christmas I did consider giving up the blog as I knew it would be hard to find the time to keep it going. But I’m very glad that I decided to carry on even though my posts are sometimes rushed and not as frequent as I would like. Oh what I would give for an extra three hours in each day!

Going forward,  I would like to use more of my own pictures on the blog, which goes hand in hand with my ongoing quest to improve my photography skills. I would also love to feature recipes every week, more outfit pictures (unfortunately a lot of the time what I wear is not worthy of a blog post!) and guides to things like the best places to shop for interiors, fashion etc. Hopefully, this will be the year that I realise some of those plans.

But in the meantime I’m going to blow out the candle on my cyber birthday cake and start thinking about a giveaway to celebrate this 12 month milestone.

Thanks for reading! xoxo

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A Spoonful of Style is now on Facebook!

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Some of you eagle eyed readers may have spotted a row of pretty pastel coloured button on the top right corner of this page. I have finally added social media buttons for Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and also – drumroll, please! – created a Facebook page for A Spoonful of Style. I am always immensely proud of myself when I master anything technical on the blog – I’m sure that for many bloggers these are very simple things to do but for a ‘non techie’ like me it is a real achievement! (I always worry that I will press the wrong button and ‘Pouff’ the whole blog will somehow be deleted!)

Anyway, the blog is still here and now with its very own FB page. So I now have a tiny little favour to ask of you: if you click here or on the ‘F’ button in the top right hand corner you will get to my Facebook page. Obviously there is no obligation whatsoever, but if you did feel like pressing the ‘Like’ button on my page, it would make my day!

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500 Followers and First Ever Giveaway!

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Wow, I am totally bowled over that A Spoonful of Style has reached 500 followers! A huge thank you to Angela from Read,Sugar who alerted me to this fact as I had totally missed it. To celebrate reaching this (for me at least!) landmark number, I have decided to do my very first giveaway.

Up for grabs is the lovely Charlotte Tilbury makeup bag printed with the fabulous lip prints of some of the most iconic women in fashion (a similar version featured in one of my first ‘Currently Coveting’ posts). All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I will pick a winner at random after the weekend.

I can’t say it often enough – thank you so much for reading my blog. 500 followers AND it’s Friday, my favourite day of the week!

Here’s to a great weekend ahead. X

Six Month Blog Anniversary and Thank You for the Awards

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I just realised today that November 12 marked the six month anniversary of A Spoonful of Style! My goodness, where has the time gone? I have enjoyed every minute of blogging so far, largely thanks to the amazing people that I have connected with – I know I’ve said it before but it really does feel like we’re part of a lovely little cyber community. I really do appreciate every single visit, like or comment that people take the time to make and I am constantly in awe of all the great blogs out there. It seems fitting to use this post to say thank you for the awards I have received in the past few weeks. I am truly grateful and humbled to be nominated by these inspiring bloggers and hope to get time in the new year to respond in full with my own nominations.

Ada from More Food, Please and Judit from Judit Bakes both nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Check out their fantastic blogs for delicious recipes.

Here are seven facts about me:

1. I shop far too much online and have been known to hide packages from my husband.

2. I would love to be the type of mum who organises home made nutritious meals way in advance but usually I’m scrambling around the fridge and kitchen cupboards looking for something to cook at 5pm

3. I hate board games but when I do play I usually win (much to the annoyance of my kids)

4. I was a cheerleader in high school.

5. I’m quite claustrophobic and hate going on the Tube or in lifts

6. I love baking and am pretty good at it but I’m rubbish at cake decorating

7. It frustrates me that I have had a very nice camera for over a year now but still don’t know how to use it to its full extent.

The lovely Donna from Donz Webb nominated me for the Unique Leaves award and asked me this question: What makes you unique? Everyone is unique in their own way but if I had to pick one thing I would probably say my international background. I think (and hope!) that having lived in four different countries (and attended an international school), has made me more tolerant and accepting of other people and cultures.

Evelen Margaret, whose blog is an endless source of fashion inspiration, nominated me for the Liebster Award.

Here are my answers to the questions:

1.What’s your daily motivation?

I will let this image answer it for me:

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2.Do you have a particular song that makes your day?

Hobart Paving by St Etienne

3.Name five items that you always carry with you.

My phone, purse, lipstick, keys, sunglasses/umbrella and wet wipes

4.What was your best movie you’ve seen recently?

Philomena

5.Full breakfast or on the go?

I prefer a full breakfast with pancakes, bacon, eggs etc but I usually only manage that on the weekends. During the week it’s breakfast on the go.

6.What do you first notice on another person?

As the shallow fashion obsessed person I am, I usually notice what they’re wearing first!

7.Do you agree :”Less is more”?

Yes, except at Christmas!
8.You can’t live without …

My family.. and that first cup of coffee in the morning!
9.First Love is unforgetable but second Love is Lovelier .Do you agree ?

I met my husband when I was quite young, 18 years ago, so in many ways he is my first love.

10. Last but not least :Have you already bought your Xmas gifts or at least made a list?

I’m working on it this week! I have a list in my head – does that count?

Aspiring designer Kat who writes the blog My Journey on Becoming a Full Time Designer also nominated me for the Liebster Award and here are my answers to her questions:

1. Who are your three favourite comedians and why?

Cameron, Casper and Clementine – my three children who make me laugh on a daily basis

2. What made you decide to be Kat’s follower or a friend?

I admire her determination and creativity and wanted to follow her exciting journey.

3. What is your favourite book now and which one was it as a child?

I don’t have much time to read at the moment but it’s an ambition of mine to read more of the great classics in the future. As a child I loved the books by the late Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.

4. The shoes to wear in Prague are..? Heels or flats? Do you have any connections to anything Czech?

I have never been to Prague so I would have to say flats as they would be most comfortable for walking around the city and seeing as much as possible.

5. How about everyday challenge, as Kat writes right now, would you go for that and what would you write about?

I would love to exercise regularly but am very much a stop/starter. Maybe writing about it would encourage me to stick to an exercise regime for longer than a month or two. But I think I’m to lazy to get started!

6. Do you have any regrets in life?

No I don’t, although I do sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out if I hadn’t left Sweden as a child or if I had stayed and settled in the US, where I spent a year when I was 19.

7. What is your next project? And did you start already?

My next project will be to figure out what I want to do work-wise when Clemmie starts school next September.

And finally, the amazing Angela from Ruby Angel 711 – her blog is a daily source of fashion & beauty temptation for me! – nominated me for the Wonderful Team Membership Award.

Thank you so much to all of you! X

#BritishBloggerSelection

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Hello! It is a lovely sunny autumn morning here in London, perfect for my son’s mini golf birthday party this afternoon. We still have loads to do (including packing 19 party bags full of sweets and little toys…Incidentally, when do they grow out of party bags? Do you still have to provide them for a 12th or 13th birthday party? I sincerely hope not..) but I just wanted to let you know about a new blogging group I’ve joined called #BritishBloggerSelection.

As I’ve said before, one of the great things about blogging for me is the sense of camaraderie and groups like these really help to foster that community spirit. It was started by Ellie over at Little Vintage Camera and if you want to join just click here. It doesn’t matter what your blog is about – fashion, cooking, lifestyle, beauty etc – you just have to be British (technically I’m Swedish but I think that after 30 years in this country I qualify..)

I really have to run now, as the clock is ticking but I also just wanted to say a big thank you for sharing your weekend plans in my previous post – I loved reading about what you’re up to. Hopefully I’ll be back later today with my ‘This Week’s Favourites’ post but until then: Have a great Sunday. X

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Sunshine Award – Keep Smiling, Keep Shining!

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The lovely and hugely inspirational Donna over at Donzwebb (if you haven’t yet checked out her blog I urge you to do so now) nominated me for a Sunshine Award almost a week ago. As you can see in my little ‘About Me’ snippet in the sidebar one of my objectives for writing this blog is to hopefully brighten up my readers’ day, so I was over the moon to receive this award!

I’ve only been blogging for a few months but I really love it and am humbled and inspired every day by all the amazing bloggers out there.

Now it’s time to spread the sunshine!

The rules are:

1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
2. Link to the blogger who nominated you
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself
4. Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award
5. Link to your nominees and let them know you nominated them.
6. Answer the 10 questions at the bottom and create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

10 Questions about me:

1. What’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever experienced and how did it change you?

My eldest son being diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the age of two. Seeing him in horrible pain and unable to walk or even bring a spoon to his mouth was heartbreaking. Eight years on, he still has arthritis although it is managed with medication and there is a small chance he will grow out of it. Having a child with a chronic condition has taught me not to take anything for granted but I am also incredibly grateful for modern medicine and we take part in all the research projects run by the hospital to establish the cause of JIA (and hopefully one day find a cure). Thirty years ago my son would probably have been confined to a wheelchair but today the advances in treatments mean that he can run around, jump and play sports like his peers.

2. What’s the number one thing on your bucket list?

I would love to travel across America (East to West) with my family one day.

3. Why did you start blogging?

I trained as a journalist and while I still do freelance occasionally I was looking for another creative outlet for my writing. I started writing for a website called Mummy’s Own just over a year ago and then eventually plucked up the courage to start my own blog.

4. If you could witness any historical moment, which would you choose?

I’m re-reading The Great Gatsby at the moment and I would love to be transported back to the 1920s – such a glamorous and decadent time in history.

5. If you could meet one person in the world who would it be and why?

It’s not just one person but it would be really awesome to meet some of the friends I’ve made in the blogging world in real life one day, over a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

6. What sound do you absolutely love?

The sound of my three children laughing together while they are all absorbed in a game of make-believe.

7. Best book you’ve ever read?

I’m not sure it’s the best book I’ve ever read but the one which stands out is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I was obsessed with her as a teenager and used to carry her poetry books in my school bag. Pretentious moi?

8. If you won the lottery today, what is the first thing you would do?

Buy a bigger house so we wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of having an extension built next year.

9. Favorite vacation spot?

Do I have to pick just one? New York for a long weekend break, Majorca for a family holiday, Italy for the food and Sweden where I grew up for that ‘going home’ feeling.

10. What was the last movie you watched that made you cry?

Blue Valentine

Here are just some of the bloggers who always brighten up my day:

4 Mothers

Reverse Commuter

Cupcakes Cocktails and Kids

Evelenmargaret

The Blackberry Boys

Escaping Elegance

Journeys of the Fabulist

Fashion is All That

Sweet Wildflower

Mid-day Spritzer

More Food Please

Sixty Payments

And here are my ten questions:

1. Who would play you if your life was made into a movie?

2. Where in the world would you most like to travel?

3. What is the best thing about blogging?

4. What is your secret indulgence?

5. If someone handed you £1000 tomorrow what would you spend it on?

6. What do you never leave home without?

7. What’s your favourite meal of the day?

8. What makes you laugh?

9. Who would be your ideal dinner party guests?

10. What was the last thing you Googled?