They say better late than never and so it is with my one year celebratory post. A Quirky Lifestyle turned one in November and as cheesy as this may sound, it has been an amazing year. Life itself hasn't been entirely perfect but my blog (blogs that got consolidated into one) was created to help me create a 'happy place' to cope with the lemons that life kept handing out. Over the years, amongst other challenges, we have been through a horrendous journey in trying to have a baby. Several miscarriages, a nasty surgery, innumerable hospital jaunts etc. have been trying and isolating. My blog has become a haven for happy memories, new friends and positive experiences to make up for everything else. Although I only blog once or twice a week (life and work permitting), I have put a lot of energy into it and it has in turn resulted in lots of great recognition and some lovely new friends.
I am most grateful for and proud of being shortlisted for the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013, Company Blog Awards 2013 and winning the Dorset Cereals Blog Awards April 2013. Many of my friends (old and new) were instrumental in nominating me and voting for me to get to this place and I am truly grateful. I am not particularly great at networking on the blogosphere ( something to work on this year) but have met (both virtually and in person) a few brilliant people whom I have collaborated with included Kristina Hulktranz (she did a brilliant what's in my bag illustration for me), Tamara Tobias, Global Grasshoppers etc. I've had some great guest posts including H and S from Live Love Make, Rachel Haynes from St Baranbas Charity Shop Lincoln, Emma from Inspiring Travel. As an aside, I particularly love Miss Jojangles little illustration of me at the Cosmo Blog Awards!
Whilst 'A Quirky Lifestyle' is a 'lifestyle' blog, it encompasses fashion, craft, travel, gardening and other random things. Fashion has had a strong focus on the blog and I was incredibly delighted when my very new blog ( only a couple of months old at the time) managed to get a press pass for London Fashion Week AW13. It was an incredible and eye opening experience. the grounds of Somerset House were teaming with wannabe street style stars desperately trying to get 'snapped'. Sky high heels, mini skirts with no tights, crop tops with nothing else on top and bonkers outfits were all commonplace despite the freezing February weather. The fashion shows were truly entertaining and Ashish was one my favourites with this civil engineer/builder inspired range. I also met Orla Kiely and Mawi and was starstruck on both occasions!
Despite not being a super-duper DIYer like some other uber talented bloggers out there, I was shortlisted twice in the craft blog categorizes for the Cosmoplitan and Company Blog Awards. To keep up with expectations (and because I love Craft and DIY), I have been making more effort with blogging in that category. My favourite accomplishments include making my own scented candles, upclycling old court shoes and Keds into sparkly couture inspired items, upcylcing an old pair of pumps into a Marc Jacobs style creation, making a Monreale inspired mosaic and generally creating more prettiness around me.
Other adventures catalogued over the year include travel tales from local places as well Italy, India and Paris, discovering fabulous new restaurants , favourite things in Paris and London, featuring some wonderful charity shops and so on. Looking at these photo collages which form a small fraction of the things blogged over the year confirm its been both fabulous and productive. Speaking of photos, huge credit to my wonderful husband Ed who has been the man behind the lens on most of the 'good' photos. I really could not have done this without him.
P.S. I will not be writing a 'things to do' post for the coming year just yet. However, I will focus on three things 1. I will focus on networking better. 2. I will pitch the blog to a favourite brand or two for collaborations 3. I will create more useful 'how to' and 'what to do' style posts.
First Collage: Second Row, L to R, Miss Jojangles, H&R from New Craft Society and moi at the Cosmo blog awards, Kristina Hulktranz's illustration of 'what's in my bag' amd Miss JoJangles illustration of me at the Cosmo Blog Awards Bottom row: H&S from Live Love Make's fabulous DIY clock, moi looking awkward at the Company blog awards ( I clearly haven't mastered repeat boards!) and a Tamara Tobias creation.
Second Collage: Snapshots from my personal style posts and London Fashion Week. Top row L toR, Orla Kiely LFW AW13, my favourite Lulu Guinness lips clutch and Edeline Lee at LfW AW13