4 Blogs I Always Read

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Today I'm taking inspiration from Hannah Gales' recent post - "7 blogs I always read" - where she (let's be honest) fangirls all over her 7 favourite bloggers.  It got me thinking about who my favourites were, and although I do read quite a lot of blogs (everything from beauty to food to tv to weddings) there are just a select few where I'll read EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of their posts. 

So these are the blogs where you can guarantee I will go and read their post the minute they announce an update on Twitter.  The blogs that I'll actively go check in Bloglovin "just in case" there's a new post, even if one hasn't come up in my feed.

There are varying reasons why I love these blogs, but it's largely because I care about the girls behind the blog and I want to hear about their lives and what they're up to and what they ate for breakfast etc etc.  These are blogs that make me smile, blogs that make me laugh, and even blogs that make me want to cry sometimes by virtue of second-hand sadness.  One common factor is that they all seem like genuinely lovely human beings, and if I could I'd give them all a big squeeze and tell them that they are awesome.

In the words of Dermot O Leary, in no particular order, here are the results.

Given that I got the idea for this post from Hannah's blog it should be no surprise that she's one of my faves.  I first discovered her blog a year or so ago when someone on Facebook shared a link to one of her lists posts (I think it was this one - 42 things all noughties teenagers will remember).  At the time I didn't really think of her as a real person with a blog.  That sounds weird. What I mean is, I saw that as a fun list on a website, not a fun list on a blog written by an actual real life blogger.  That still doesn't quite explain it but let's move on.

I love Hannah's style of writing - it's really open and honest, and has a proper personality to it.  She's also witty and very very funny - I mentioned her lists briefly and she has a TON of them so if you're looking for an amusing trip down memory lane then she's your gal.

OK I know Kirsty is my real life pal, but she is also one of my absolute favourite bloggers too and I was obsessed with her blog before we met.  I remember I used to read her posts and think "I want to be friends with this girl!", and now I'm proud to call her one of my closest pals.  Like the others on this list one of the best things about Kirsty's writing is her honesty - you really feel like she's pouring out her soul and you can't help but feel a connection when reading (some of my faves are her Confessions series).  She's also naturally hilarious which I can confirm is definitely the case in real life too (as you can see in the videos we filmed together for my youtube channel).

Louise was one of the first vloggers I discovered back when I was getting into watching Youtube.  At the time she was pregnant and I loved her chatty videos where you felt like you were right there with her.  I've continued watching her videos and reading her blog for a few years now and have seen her achieve so many great things that I feel oddly proud of this person on the internet.

Sometimes I read criticism that she's changed too much since she started out, but I think that's really unfair.  If you think about how her life has changed over the last few years - having a child, making new friends through Youtube, and all of the opportunities that expanding her channel have brought her, it's unreasonable to think that she'd stay the same (quite shy) girl who first started filming videos in her bedroom.  I mean when I think back to my own personality 4/5 years ago and compare it to now I feel like I've completely changed, and that's just from growing up and being shaped by my new friends and career etc.  I can't imagine how different I'd be if I was sitting here with a million subscribers, being screamed at by a crowd of fans at meetups, and casually filming videos with Jamie Oliver of a weekend.  

Anyway, the point is - I don't care that she's not quite the same person she was a few years ago, I enjoy reading her blog/watching her videos and getting an insight into her life.  I love that one post/video could be about doing errands with her 3 year old daughter and the next could be about being on stage with David Blaine at a Youtube party.  Never a dull moment with that one.

Little Winter

Ahhh sweet wee Katy. Not only is she another beautifully honest writer, she is also the proud owner of the most adorable cat in the world. OK yes let’s get this out there – I love that cat like it was my own. Look at it wearing a bow tie for crying out loud!!

Life has been a bit shit for Katy recently and her posts about how she’s coping with having to re-adjust after a breakup have left me wanting to reach through the screen and scoop her up into a big hug.

Also as well as her personal posts I also love her lifestyle and homewares post - she has the best taste.

So that’s my 4 most read blogs – the ones that I’m most excited to see a new post notification from in my Bloglovin feed. If you aren’t following them all already I’d definitely recommend having a read, as, in case you can’t tell by my love letter above, I think they are pretty bloody amazing.

Do you have any blogs where you read every new post without fail? What is it that makes a blog unmissable for you? For me it’s being an honest writer who you can feel a connection with from reading their posts, but I know everyone is looking for something different so I’m curious!

Friday Thumbs Up: Wedding Invitations

Friday, 22 May 2015
Currywurst thumbs up

For my second Friday Thumbs Up (see last weeks here which includes an intro to the series) I want to tell you about two websites that have been an absolute godsend in the last few weeks.

As soon as we started wedding planning I decided that when it came to invitations I wanted to design them myself, despite not actually having any design experience, or knowing the first thing about using a tool like Photoshop.  After pissing about in Word for a few days and having no joy whatsoever (other than you know, invites that LOOKED like they were made in Word) I thought I'd give Fotor a go as I'd used it a few times to build collages for blog posts.  

By using their blank canvas collage option it meant I could pretty much do whatever I wanted, adding text boxes, images, shapes, background colours etc - and in a really simple, easy to use interface that required no technical knowledge whatsoever.  Now it's not perfect - my main issue with it is that you can't save and come back to something later which is annoying, but for a free tool it's pretty ace.  

Now obviously doing the design is only the first part, you then need to turn those into physical invitations and that's where the second lifesaver comes in - Printed.com.  I found out about these guys thanks to A Rosie Outlook as she wrote about using them for her own wedding invites recently.  They will print a huge range of products for you from invitations to flyers to stickers and posters.  They also have a fantastic range of paper types (which was the one thing that put me off using Vistaprint - which I used for our save the dates - as their options are fairly limited).  Also - and most importantly - the prices are really really reasonable, when I first generated a quote for my invitations I was shocked to see it come in at just under £20 for 80-odd.  £20!!  

Aaaaaaand as I'd started going through the checkout process when getting the quote (just to check there weren't any extra costs I'd been missing) I got one of those "we see you put some items in a basket" emails a few days later with a 20% discount code.  Little do they know I was always planning on coming back to complete the purchase, I just needed to finalise the reverse side of the design, so SCORE!  

Obviously as I've not actually bought them yet I can't confirm the quality of the print (although Rosie was really pleased with hers and in general their reviews are great), so I plan on doing a follow up post with images of my design etc later in the year once the wedding is over.  If you're in the same position as me though and are looking at designing and printing your own invites then I'd definitely recommend looking at both Fotor and Printed.com, as they have made what could have been a very painful process nice and stress free for me! I'm also going to use them both to design and print our table names and some artwork for decorating the venue, and anything else paper related I can think of!

Revolution Edinburgh

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Last week I was invited to try the new menu at Revolution (aka the best type of blogger mail you can ask for), so Blair and I went along after work ready for a feast.