Monday, 4 April 2016

Blogging - Inspiration, Encouragement & becoming your own.

When I look back at my first blog post on the 8th of September 2012 I can't help but feel all sentimental. It was then called 'My two little rays of sunshine' but soon changed to 'Little Jam Pot Life' after a lot of thought about what I wanted this place to be about. Preserving life like a delicious pot of jam, a little pot which is our little bubble of life. Sounds barking mad doesn't it but the best way I could describe it at the time. All I wanted to do was continue to document, freeze and preserve our life.

 I've said before about my huge passions which are photography and writing, so when I came across this wonderful way of combining the two - I couldn't resist, and its been a big part of our lives ever since. Back when I started, I was going through a very tough time with personal circumstances and I just wanted to keep in tune with embracing and enjoying motherhood as much as I possibly could. For me, this meant documenting the simple things, the tough times that we overcame, the blossoming bond between my girls and this continued this way when our little boy came along. I have always had doubts of what I share, and if it was the right thing to do to write about our life on the internet, as its such a powerful place to be at times but its something special to us (as it is to many) and I am very aware of what and how I do share those things.

Along with this, I have made some lovely friends through this community, I may have only met a couple face to face once but there's something so inspiring and comforting when you're talking to people on the same 'wave length, who have that same drive to create great content, document life, encourage others and to feel uplifted themselves. Last June I attended my first ever blogging event Blogtacular, and wow what a buzz that was. To finally meet people I had spoken to for over a year, got to learn some wonderful things and to just feel like I'm understood. It may have only been for a day but the people I did meet face to face were so lovely in 'real life' and made me feel a lot more at ease, and that I wasn't the only one wanting to learn, and who still felt a little overwhelmed but equally excited about the evolution of the blogging.

I've been one of those people in recent years since learning more about this wonderfully baffling blogging world that has been sucked in my the pressures, the comparisons, the feeling of defeat. Then a few months back it hit me.

We're all here doing what we love, and that's exactly what it should be about.


 Yes it's nice when you have some recognition through emails, comments, likes etc but there's so much more to it. As long as you are creating the content you want, write from the heart, follow your own niche, of course feel uplifted and encouraged by others work but this is about you, your journey. and this is something I am forever bearing in mind. On the flip side of that, it is a lovely thing when you support one another, likes, comments etc but just to know not get sucked in by it all and let it be the reason you're in this.

 When looking back on my blog I can see the evolution of it - in a good way. Change can be hard, but its also a good thing. I've gone from literally using it as an online diary/family documentation to gradually including more of my photography skills, videography, advice on certain topics, or most definitely words from my own experiences that may help others in some way but for me, i'm proud of the added elements. I've been lucky to work with some lovely brands throughout this pregnancy, collaborating on some lifestyle posts, & have some fab opportunities that are still yet to unfold this year and for that I thank blogging.
If I talk (or waffle on!) about blogging in 'real life' I often get the impression that it's just an odd interest for some people, misunderstood maybe. Trying to have a conversation with people who have no clue about it is something I often feel a bit rubbish about because I love to talk about it, I want people to know that as much as its an interest/passion - it also takes a lot of hard graft, tiring late nights, thoughts and effort to get where I am. Especially with three littles and one whos arrival is imminent!

For me, its progressed on from being that online diary, and I want to make something of myself doing what I love, its a place for me to create, dream and inspire - and feel inspired myself! It gives me the drive to keep learning new things as its such a diverse area. It has made me step out of my comfort zone, gain more confidence in my abilities as a writer & photographer with the additive of stepping in front of the camera too. I have always loved photography, and have slowly been planning a business start up, but for now I am continuing to put my all into this blog as its something I've stuck at for years now. When baby is born and life becomes a new level of normal for us, I will carry on with the business start up too!

So where do I see my blog in a year or so?

Who knows, but I have so many plans including redesigning my page, I want to continue engaging with others and to support them also, we have our newest family member joining us really soon so I'm pretty sure I will continue to document snippets of our life here too. I want to further my creative side, and delve into lots more interests of mine and share that with you here.

Whatever I do, I will give it my all and try to embrace it all.

Here's a little round up of some of my favourite posts from 2016 so far:

1.'Why I love capturing, documenting and preserving our memories of our life'2. 'Do you ever feel Mama guilt?'3. 'Believe you can, and you will - my tips for a positive birth'4. 'Breastfeeding - My hopes & fears fourth time around'5.'Siblings in March 2016'6. 'The six week countdown'
7. 'They love you already'8. 'Kitchen love - Our home sweet home makeover'

So theres a little round up of recent loves! And with all that being said (probably lots of rambling there!) I'd love to be voted in the MAD Blog awards this year, and also the Bibs. I believe that if we all continue to inspire, feel inspired, encourage one another in this blogging community, good things will carry on happening. I'm definitely casting my votes to those who do just that and think everyone who has a blog they love should be proud! So which ever category you feel fits me, please spare two minutes by clicking the pictures below and cast a vote for me (maybe in the photography, family or pregnancy categories?) or vote for any of your favourites really! and thank you so much to those who have voted so far, it really does mean the world to this wonderful community!

Thank you so so much :-) XO



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16 comments

  1. It's amazing seeing how blogs evolve and how far our little spaces online have come. I love your blog name and the meaning behind it - it suits you and your family perfectly x

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    1. Thank you Donna, I think its such a special place to be and wonder why so many don't do it! x

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  2. Your photography is stunning - I feel everything you capture. Beautiful light and colour. And your blog is gorgeous. Great job :) I adore blogging too - kind of feel as though I have found my happy place :) xx

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    1. Thank you so much, means a lot. Its a lovely thing to have for yourself isn't it x

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  3. I totally get this — my blog has changed and evolved so much too since I began writing it. I'd no idea that I'd continue after my pregnancy — but I did! And it's still here! Blogging has opened up so many doors — friendships, opportunities and a career change. It was by happy accident that I started it but I can't imagine life without it now. It is a memory box for everything I love.

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  4. A really lovely post - like you I find it frustrating not really being able to talk to anyone about blogging as it really does become such a passion. I'm going to BML this summer though so really looking forward to meeting fellow bloggers in 'real life'. Sounds like you're really getting a great deal out of blogging - I can't imagine how you fit it in with three children, I struggle with the one! #sharewithme x

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    1. I may meet you at BML (never been!) I have no idea how I fit things in some time either lol! x

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  5. You and I started very close to the same time you a little earlier than me and you have done so many AMAZING things here on your blog and I wish you all the luck and the bibs and mads. Your photography makes motivated me to keep practicing as mine is absolutely crap and I was really hoping this year I would get better with it and I need to take some notes out of all your advice posts because it's just not improving like I hoped this year. I was the same I started for my love of photography and writing together and a way to share our lives with my family all back home and its blossomed into something so much more than that. It's lovely to have met you too hunny and have some real life online friends through blogging. What a bonus ! Keep on doing what you are doing I love your blog. Thanks for linking up to #ShareWithMe means the world your support.

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    1. The photography is a never ending learning journey. I've just used trial and error and just trying to stick to my style that suits me. I think we all need to start somewhere and have our own way. I love the photos of your little ones and I even find that some of the best images are ones that aren't technically near perfect. capturing the moment means so much more! xxx

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  6. I think it is quite easy to get sucked into the whole statistics and comments side of blogging and forget why you started. I started like you as I wanted a place to write a diary of our life and I also found it cathartic to share my experiences raising a child with autism. I always try to remember those goals but must admit that i do find myself sucked into other things at times. I too love the friendships that blogging has given me. As an EXPAT I felt quite lonely and now I don't anymore! I really enjoyed this post as felt we shared a lot of ideals.

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    1. Thank you for the comment and yes to the not comparing. it can be very dangerous but keeping a realistic mind is so important I find x

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  7. What great images - I love your home posts. It is too easy to compare against others and forget why we started in the first place. I think your attitude to it is perfect. #sharewithme

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  8. First of all, I've got that diary too! It's so pretty and I love turquoise! And secondly, there can be so many pressures that come with blogging, even if it's 'just' a hobbie but I love that it's generally such a supportive community. #sharewithme

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    1. I've found that too, so many lovely people to talk to xx

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