Fortnightly Favourites #6

It's that time again, where I round up my blogging favourites of the fortnight - I hope you love them as much as I do! Since starting my job at Joy, I have been bumbling a bit with the the blog-life balance; I still need to finish my post on Boston - the highlight of my New England trip - and missed my first GG chat in months; absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder. 

Nevertheless, I will always find time for a bloglovin ramble - even if it comes on the 13th day of the fortnight. The sixth edition of Fornightly Favourites features home truths on #instagoals, blog strategies and self-esteem demons, plus a guide to the Hygge-hype that's calming the world... one   cable cardigan at a time! 

As ever, blanket forts and coffee cups are the best reading companions. Or if you're thinking really Hygge, light a few dozen candles and quit your day job. All ready? Let's start exploring...

 BLOGGING  

     THE PERFECT BLOGGER   
  
So on Friday I officially found a new staple for my blogroll! This post by Dainty Alice sprinkles some much needed satire onto our #instaready world: "thou shalt drink Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Lattes" and use MAC makeup. So if you don't like that Seasonal Starbs, get out your best biro, write the "PSL" part on yourself and snap away - #bloggergoals right there guys. Thank-you Alice for putting the Yay in Friday, we need more posts like this! 
f
See my own satirical take on blogging trends in 7 Steps to Stars and Stats...


Teri-May over at A Cup of T gives another comedic take on the blogosphere - I'm loving all the satire right now! Quite tempted to suggest a Satireday Night Live blog chat... I was laughing out loud from start to finish, but my highlights have to be: "Visit a popular watering hole of British bloggers - any pastel coloured street" and "inspect your surroundings. You may spot cacti, IKEA plant pots holding a variety of rose gold make up brushes". If you ever want to join the cactus club, visit my workplace Joy: is a blogger's paradise! Rainy-day England blues? Adopt your own personal desert...


     BLOG COMMENTS I CAN'T STAND      

My biggest blogger pet peeve right now is commenting. So Life of a Glasgow Girl hits the nail on the head with this - Jordanne, trust me, you're not alone! I particularly empathised with her point on mental health posts - I've seen this firsthand and it's so inappropriate. Don't reply to something you haven't read!
The one that really gets my goat is "nice post!" *insert blog link*... When the promo is longer than the actual response, I detect a a spam sandwich - and no one likes spam, guys! I don't expect people to dish out lobster rolls to every blog they read; simply respond like they've actually - you know - read it   


     THROWING OUT THE STRATEGY      

I think it's so easy to get caught up in blogging goals and stats; I can't count the number of "how to gain followers" posts I've seen in the blogosphere. So this post by Lauren, a long-time favourite blogger of mine at Britton Loves, was so refreshing to see. 
Her description of the "4-page list of how to grow social media" is one I think many us of will relate to. Yet if we no longer "enjoy the process" - if it becomes a chore - how helpful is it? Lauren is right; by finding balance, you will be happier and possibly more successful. After all, you can't have a lifestyle blog without a little thing called LIFE!

 EXPLORING  

    WONDERFUL COPENHAGEN      

Scandinavia is a top destination on my travel bucket list, motivated by my Sister's trip to Copenhagen last December. So I was just a little excited to see this post on What Olivia Did - I am officially going here as soon as possible! If only to drink coffee at the Royal Smushi Cafe or swoon over succulents at Bast.  Based on the homeware in Olivia's post alone, I can see me needing an extra suitcase... or six: Scandi-Style has stolen my heartIf you've written a travel blog on Denmark, please send them my way!

    THE STOCKHOLM CITY GUIDE      

Moving up the world from Denmark (geographical knowledge via Pheobe Bouffay) - I've also found a friend in Sweden - credit goes to The Anna Edit, whose travel guide is true scandi-serenity. The more I learn about Northern Europe, the more I'm convinced it's my kindred home. With cycle paths, coffee culture and plantware (this should be a word), Norway has joined my ever-growing Wonder-List! I think an all-out tour of Northern Europe is calling...

    IN THE NORWEGIAN FJORDS      

... and that's before I've added Norway! The home of Elsa and Anna, The Northern Lights, my experience thus far stems from the World Showcase in Disney's Epcot - as much as 6-year-old me loved the water ride, Brooke's Fjord photography is a true showcase of Norway. She completely captures her blog name - World of Wanderlust - and makes me wish that Apparation were real... My Hogwarts letter could still arrive at 22, right?  

 LIVING  

Forget Hiddleswift, it's all about getting Hygge-Swift this season. Scandi-Style has been in-vogue for years, so Hygge (Hoo-gah) is the long-overdue move from styling to being. Think cardigans,  slow cooking, jigsaws, jumpers and The Simple Things; story of my life, in a nutshell!
I've seen a lot of posts on The Little Book of Hygge lately (after all, how could a blogger resist those #instagoals?), but the list on Sophie Cliff steps outside the box of blankets and brew; everyone can make a cup of tea, but book-swaps and board games is real Hygge heaven! Now please excuse me while I track down our Disney Trivial Pursuit... 

     MY AUTUMN WINTER BUCKET LIST      

I think around 99% of Arora's posts have been hearted on my bloglovin' page. Her virtual home - Arora Appleby -  is like cup of tea on a rainy day; if Hygge was a blog, this would be it! I was actually torn which post to put here, but her AW bucket list really inspired me: when I discovered paper-crafts earlier this year, I sent a few handwritten letters
Yet since getting my job, I haven't found time and I want to change this. I'm also want to start leaving my laptop downstairs and reading before bed; that way I can read more and cut down on internet, so  it's a win-win situation!


Who else is ridiculously excited that Bridget is back?! The only thing that could top this is a Friends or Mean Girls reunion. Robowecop Rihanna's selection of Bridgetisms are made for the Hey It's Ok section of Glamour; my top two have to be "you have a talent for embarrassing yourself in public" and "your flirting skills are questionable at best".
I managed to combine these in spectacular fashion at a University night out. I was talking to some postgrads about accommodation (as you do) and ended up announcing "all I have for company is a bush outside my window - I've named him Henry." Not even a Dyson hoover could have swallowed me and my Bridget knickers up 

 SPEAKING OUT  

    OCD PROBLEMS      

I think Kayleigh is one of the blogger I would love to meet in real life, as she's simply pretty amazing! Through her blog - Very Berry Cosmo - she is doing so  much to challenge the stigma of OCD and the blogging community the world needs more people like her! I've made no secret of my frustration towards the trivialisation of OCD and I'm so glad Kayleigh included the example of Khloe Kardashian's "#OCDProblem". 
Most of all, however, I'm thankful to her for challenging one of the most common but dangerous stereotypes of OCD - that it is a synonym for "neat freak". Like Kayleigh, I am not a tidy person, but completely resonated with her description of internal "contamination". Please watch and share this video on Social Media! Only by speaking out can we end the stigma. 



So little miss Katie - mother of Penguins - is officially one of my favourite people in the world. I feel privileged to know her in real life and could have burst with pride last thursday - Born Without Marbles was shortlisted for Best Blog in the Mind Awards! If you don't have a sense of humour, this probably isn't the blog for you; however, if you've been searching for a Penguin to demystify the Mental Health Act, a Spider to cheeky tango with or a Potato to plot world domination, look no further... 
On a serious note, her post on Fighting Fear with Fear is a staple for any Recovery toolkit. As much as I would love to believe that i could motivate myself through recovery, the reality isn't quite so rose-tinted. I can't simply look at a "seize the day" postcard and eat my cheerios with glee - as cheery as the cereal may be. Katie's "fight fear with fear" is a strategy that I need to employ more: "use fear to make you do the things you are scared of by creating a far more horrifying alternative: "I am scared to eat dinner this evening, but I am more scared of being taken back into hospital". Slightly brutal? Perhaps, but sometimes tough love is the kindest - in the long run. Note to self: the anxiety you feel now will not last forever. Nor will anorexia, if you choose to fight past the fear. 

 WELLBEING  

     A LETTER TO YOU, FROM THE WORLD           

With her "musings on life, creativity and more", Bianca Bass is the blogging equivalent of an older sister. How did it me this long to discover her posts?! From "Why brilliant people take breaks" to "Be your own publicist", her advice is empowering and attainable; "self-help" posts are the new coconut, but you can't "be a girl boss" with slogans alone - you need substance! This is where Bianca steps in.
A letter to you, from the world is the reminder that "we've all been there. We get it". I could quote every line from this post, 

     DEALING WITH ESTEEM DEMONS           

I think it's so I'm all too familiar with the esteem demon, so I could really empathise with Sarah's recent post on The Scarlet State. I think most of us, at some point, have fallen into the online comparison trap; I therefore loved Sarah's description of the "highlight reel", which gives an (ironically) real picture of the social media world. 
Reading about her decision to vlog with less makeup, it's made me think of how I could work on self-acceptance. I know that I've avoided wearing jeans for years, so maybe I could allocate a weekly jeans day? I could also try going makeup-free on my days off... okay, scrap the "could" and "maybes". I WILL! 
As for Sarah's concluding question: what is your favourite thing about yourself? I want to say my writing/ ability to dress like a 5 year old... gosh this is hard, I second guess everything! Okay, I'm going to go with my ability to learn new skills; a year ago I couldn't knit or crochet, but I taught myself, persevered and proved the esteem-demon wrong. Have faith in yourself! 

     AN OPEN LETTER TO DEPRESSION     

I discovered Hannah and her blog - Little Thoughts - earlier this month, following a particularly eventful #TalkMH chat - search #justgoforawalk on twitter for a running commentary... Since then, I've been catching up on all Hannah's blog and my oh my am I glad to find it!
I've read about "open letters" to mental illness as a form of therapy, but have admittedly been sceptical; I worried that it would make me dwell on the past. Reading Hannah's letter has changed my outlook. While she is candid about the darkness of depression, there is also a sense of hope: "the battle is mine."
What blogs have you been loving lately? 

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