Tag Archives: Blogging

Blog Birthday!

Hey Everyone!

Just a short one from me today to celebrate my little blogs birthday. 5 years old. I remember the day I started it. My school was going through the process of closing down and I needed something, a little project, to keep me going. I loved books and I was forever baking. Thus, booksandbakes1 was born. I’ve never looked back!

I wanted it to be a place for me to talk about the books I loved. I read through my first ever post this morning and it’s still the same for me. I never really expect anyone to read it or reply but I love it when they do. It’s always a surprise to have so many amazing people comment and check in. It’s a really special community.

There are three very special blogging friends, who have been with me since my very first day. Thank you, always.

There’s literally hundreds of blogs I’m inspired by daily. It really does feel like one massive family. I’m really humble to be a small part of it.

My plan for today is to read and maybe bake something. Have a beautiful day everyone!

Big love to you all xx

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4th Blogiversary πŸ₯³

Hello Lovelies!!

Just a quick post from me today to reflect upon my little blog because yesterday, 25th May, it turned four years old! I can’t believe it!

Every year I feel like I say the same thing which must be so boring for you all. I tend to just gush with gratitude and marvel in how amazing this community is. I’m incredibly grateful for the love and kindness I get on here.

However, this year I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve learnt along the way.

  1. It’s absolutely ok to not post something every day / regularly. I admire people who do this! They’re extremely talented. Personally, sometimes I just don’t want to or I feel like I don’t have anything worthwhile to say or (most likely) I’ve done a 12 hour day at work and I’m about to drag myself home to mark some exercise books. Regardless, I know the community will welcome my next post with open arms when I return. They do it for everyone.
  2. We can’t all like the same thing. I mainly blog about books, places I’ve visited or a few photos here and there. Whilst this is perfect for me, it may be that I blog about a book / place which you absolutely dislike. That is fine! How boring would the world be if we all liked the same thing?! πŸ€—
  3. Offer support back. I mentioned in the first one that the community always welcome you back with open arms, but give something back. Leave them a like, tell them you’re pleased to see them. We’re all behind a screen here so none of us really know how the other is or what insecurities they may be feeling. Reach out to someone new. Make them welcome. I wouldn’t have got this far without the support of some of my fellow bloggers, especially those from the start.
  4. Have realistic goals. Whether this be for scheduled posts or word counts or number of books, keep it realistic to you. Don’t compare what you’re doing to everyone else. It’s not a competition on here – it’s a network, a community. I’ve never set a target of how many posts or anything like that. For me, my goals are to keep in touch with the bloggers I follow now and post whenever I feel like it. I do have one goal this year and that is to read 100 books. So far, I’m on 42! 😎
  5. Be kind, always. I know I have flaws. I miss posts that people have spent hours crafting. I forget to check notifications after a long, challenging day at work. None of that matters if you show kindness with it. I apologise (a lot)! I do catch up or try to at least. Inevitably, there will be something people miss. That’s absolutely ok! I’m really really fortunate. In four years I’ve never received any hateful or hurtful comments. This is the place where you can write what you want! Your blog is for you, after all.

That’s it really! But they’re huge lessons to learn and I really value learning them. I want to be a positive support on here, to everyone.

So to start this lovely Sunday, I’m off to celebrate the life of the amazing Judith Kerr now. How many generations have been shaped by her writing?! Such a loss, but what a life! ❀️

Honestly, thank you to each and everyone one of you who have stopped by, commented, liked, and stuck with me over four years. I’ve nothing but love and good feelings for you all! I can’t wait to see what the next four years bring!

Big love all. Xx

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12 Days of Christmas Blogging: Day 2

Evening! 

Time for Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas Blogging extravaganza! Thanks again to Amy & Curiouser and Curiouser and Laura @ Lala’s Book Reviews for nominating me. 
The Rules:

  • Include the photo below in each blog post
  • You may start at any point in December
  • Use the topic supplied for the post of that day
  • Make sure all posts are in December, but they don’t have to be posted consecutively (lets face it it’s a busy time)
  • Nominate 3 people after each blog to start the challenge
  • Have fun!

  

  

Day 2: My favourite tradition new or old.

My tradition is more of a family tradition. I don’t think that’s against the rules?! Well, I’m going for it nonetheless! 

Anyway, the tradition we have as a family surrounds the Christmas Eve run. We’ve been doing this ever since I can remember and the pattern has rarely changed in the past 20 odd years. 

Christmas Eve is an exciting day. It’s the day where everything is brought together ready for the BIG day. We wake up relatively early, with a list of jobs to be completed as long as my arm. The first thing we do is load the car with all the presents for my grandparents. The first stop is the grandparents. We swap presents, have a quick cuppa and a mince pie. We talk about our plans for tomorrow, and consult with the TV guide, noting the number of repeats usually! 

From then we head towards the turkey farm to collect our bird for tomorrow. It’s always a bit eerie there because it’s so quiet. The turkeys we’ve been driving past every weekend have suddenly gone… One lovely thing is the family hasn’t changed. I remember when one lady was pregnant. It dawned on me last year that that little baby actually processed my payment and gave me my bird. He must be a teenager now. I felt old for a second… 

This then leads us to the next stop which is my other grandparents house. We swap presents, eat 20+ homemade sausage rolls and more mince pies, drink more tea and recheck the TV times, noticing especially when the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special is on. (The food is always better here because my grandma is an excellent baker.)

We haul ourselves out of the sofa and head off into the dark towards home. My mum nags at my dad to have the Rod Stewart Christmas CD on as we drive along. Once home, we put the presents around the tree, watch whatever Christmas programmes are on, bath and get ready for bed. Depending on work commitments, my best friend usually pops round for a quick present swap and catch up. 

The Christmas Eve run is quite tiring, but writing all this up has really made me feel a)homesick and b) excited that I can do this again very soon. It’s those little traditions, that are personal to you, that make Christmas so magical. The smiles, the laughs, the hugs…

  

I’m jingling my bells all the way to:

Erika @ Bookventureland

Melanie Noell Bernard

Arec @ Rainy Thursday’s 
Like usual, feel free to take part or ignore if you’re busy! 

Big love xx

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12 Days of Christmas Blogging: Day 1

Hey everyone! 

I was tagged by the wonderful Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser and Laura @ Lala’s Book Reviews to take part in this blogging extravaganza, all in the name of Christmas! I should also point out that this was created by Steph J. Check them out πŸ™‚ 


The Rules:

  • Include the photo below in each blog post
  • You may start at any point in December
  • Use the topic supplied for the post of that day
  • Make sure all posts are in December, but they don’t have to be posted consecutively (lets face it it’s a busy time)
  • Nominate 3 people after each blog to start the challenge
  • Have fun!

  


Day 1: My favourite things about Christmas. 

I love Christmas wholeheartedly so I could probably list a vast number of things. However, I’ve decided to ration this down to my top 5 things as others will sneak into the other topics of this challenge! 


1. Time with family. 

I work miles away from where my family are, so it’s a time for me to go home and see them. I really miss them when I’m away. Christmas time is definitely family time. Also, we got this little guy on Christmas Eve last year so I’m really looking forward to cuddles on the sofa with him again! 

  



2. Christmas dinner.

It’s the time of year where you can really indulge. For me, Christmas dinner has always been cooked by my dad. The smell of everything roasting makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Then the Christmas pudding – always made by my grandma. It’s just so special. 


3. The lights. 

I love seeing all the Christmas lights and all the houses lit up, sparkling away. It just creates a jolly feel and it looks really pretty. When they are set against the ever darkening sky in winter, it provides that little bit of light that we need. Shakespeare’s birthplace always looks beautiful at Christmas. They do a light show with real actors and it’s really quite remarkable. 

  



4. The Christmas Tree.

My mum and dad are brilliant because they wait for me to finish work and come home for Christmas so we can decorate the tree together. One thing is always the same, the lights are tangled and some don’t work. We have had a mad Christmas Eve dash to buy more lights as well in the past! All the baubles have a story, whether it being a present from someone or a special place where we got them. A beautifully dressed tree really is a special thing. Real trees all the way as well! 
  



5. The gift of giving. 

I love to surprise people and I really enjoy buying gifts for people. I keep all cards as well – in fact I have every card since I was born. I was part of a conversation the other day where someone was saying they don’t have any surprises anymore. She picks the gifts out (by request – she’d much rather have a surprise) for her family to get her. This made me so sad. Christmas is meant to be magical! Well, she will have one surprise under her tree this year from me. That feeling when you give a gift to someone, when you treat them, is indescribable. 

I’m spreading my Christmas cheer to:

Liam @ Liam’s Library

Emily @ The Geek Undergraduate

Nicola @ Literary Ramblings

Feel free to ignore if you’re busy or if it’s not your cup of tea. 
Big love x

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