You know how they say you wait ages for a bus and then two come along at once? Well whilst this has nothing to do with buses, I have actually been really honoured to receive two nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award this week! You can imagine the sunshine-y, grateful, smiley, happy dance I’ve been performing!
And by two of my blogging favourites no less! Kerry from Kerry, Life & Loves and Lisa from Glowology! Both of these inspiring ladies run their own awesome blogs, which I highly recommend you check out if you’re looking for some more positive inspiration in your lives (and let’s face it, we could all do with more of that now couldn’t we!)
So what is this Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award by bloggers to bloggers.
In Kerry’s words, ‘It’s all about sharing amazing blogs, showing appreciation and promoting the wonderful world of blogging’ Which sounds good to me and as Lisa says, ‘it’s a great way of paying it forward’ so I’ll happily be nominating other bloggers at the end of this post!
Kerry & Lisa have kindly set me the questions I’m about to answer, which I hope will help you all to get to know me and my blog a little better!
1. Has your blog evolved (topic wise) and is it different now to when you started it?
Living.Pretty.Happy is only a year old but in that space of time has evolved. It started out as a lifestyle blog, but soon became a well-being lifestyle blog when I realised nearly everything I was writing centred around well-being in some way. It’s the lifestyle I lead and so I guess it’s just a natural progression.
My approach to posts has also evolved. Before I start writing anything, I always consider ‘How does this help someone? What can they take from this?’ Personally, it just helps to give more meaning to what I do.
2. What is your biggest frustration with blogging?
I do find it strange that people suddenly think it’s appropriate to ask what I earn. I wonder if this happens to other bloggers? It happens to me all the time – but you don’t tend to hear it happening to people from other professions do you?
You: Oh hey what do you do for a living?
Random person: I work as a solicitor
You: That’s great – how much do you earn doing that?
cue awkward silence
But other than that, my main frustration with blogging is myself! I can have a habit of standing in my own way, be it through procrastination or anxiety or poor time management. But this past year has definitely taught me a lot. I’m a lot more compassionate and kind to myself now. I’m pushing my comfort zones and I’m focusing more on the wins. I’m not ignoring the ‘could have done better’s’ but I’m using them to learn and to grow rather than the stick to beat myself with.
3. What has been your favourite blogging moment?
It’s only been a moment since I started blogging, but I feel blessed to have lots of lovely moments to consider. I know it might be a bit obvious, but finding out I had been made a finalist in the UK Blog Awards was a massive wow moment for me. I cried snot-filled happy tears at that one, I’m not ashamed to admit. Whilst I think blogging is great, it’s also hard, lonely work, which tests you, so for me making the final 8 out of 400 means so much. Whether I win or not in April, I’ll always be proud of getting to this point within my first year. Fingers crossed for LPH though please!
4. What has been your favourite post that you have written and why is it?
I’m torn. The posts I feel proudest of are the ones that were actually the most difficult to write. The ones where I had to sit and stare at a blank screen for hours, get up pace around, decide I’m giving up, maybe eat a biscuit or 5, go through numerous re-drafts of and then finally producing something my editor (aka my husband) is happy to green light.
So it’s difficult to say ‘oh this is my favourite’ as I know how much went in behind it and given the subject matter, but the one that means the most to me is Keeping Mum (Life after loss). Believe it or not I’m quite a private person and writing something so personal and raw was very challenging. But ultimately this is the post that allowed me to take something terrible and give it meaning. Hopefully providing some comfort for others in a similar situation. I wouldn’t say it’s my best article, but it’s definitely the one closest to my heart, which makes it special.
5. Who, which bloggers inspire you in the blogging world?
I’m inspired by a lot of the bloggers I get to interact with within the blogging world. I definitely have bloggers that I look up to such as Kerry and Lisa, but also Lauretta from Home and Horizon, who has been exceptionally supportive and encouraging as well.
I’m a fan of Hayley Hall’s blog (formerly London Beauty Queen) and I think the fact she set up the 30 Plus blogger network is worth a big mention and thanks!
6. How do you keep motivated with your blog?
I want it to work more than I want not to work at it? Does that make sense? There is no Plan B. So there is a lot of drive in me to succeed at this and keep pushing forward. Plus wine helps.
7. Why did you start blogging?
The whole story is explained in my 1st ever post: New Beginnings: Living Pretty Happy. But in short, I hated my job. I hated that it took me away from my kids, that there was zero flexibility, 100% stress and 0% passion within me for it. I was in a very negative place. I decided it was time to focus and find my purpose. What was it exactly I wanted? How could I turn that into a career? My good friend (and ex-colleague) Max suggested blogging to me I think and it just went from there. The idea of being able to write about the things I love, the flexibility, the self-management really ticked all the boxes. So I went for it and now here I am! I’m really happy to see that he is now trying to pursue his passions too. Watch this space!
8. What would you like to achieve with your blog?
So much! But more than anything a long and throughly enjoyable career that I can look back and feel really proud of.
9. How has the blogosphere changed since you started yours?
Living.Pretty.Happy is still really new, so I personally haven’t really seen any changes as yet from when I started. But if I could manifest a future change, it would be nice to see the actual blogs taking precedence over the social media side. Don’t get me wrong, I think social media is a good catalyst for promotion, building community, news absorption and learning but it also can detract from the actual writing. It would be good for quality of writing & content to be recognised more than SM follower numbers (and that will always be my opinion no matter how many followers LPH gains)
So that is very much enough about me! Thank you again to Lisa & Kerry for the nomination and questions!
Here are my nominees for a Sunshine Blogger Award:
1. Kate from All the Trinkets
2. Lloyd Stevens from Eat, Drink, Stay – Lloyd Stevens 29.com
3. Sophie from Sophie’s Notebook
4. Lauretta from Home & Horizon
5. Mrs J from Typical Mummy
And here are my 5 questions for you (not quite Louis Theroux style)
1. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
2. What is the most important thing you’ve learned so far from blogging?
3. How does your blog influence your daily routine?
4. Is there anything you would like to do but have never done before?
5. What would be the title of the current chapter of your life?
THE RULES FOR THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
2. Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate other blogs and give questions for them to answer.
4. Notify your nominees through social media or by commenting on their blog.
5. List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.