An honest evaluation of my blogging journey so far…

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The New Year seems like a good time to evaluate and reflect on my blogging journey (more like expedition!) over the last 12 months.

Blogging has been a blast! Since publishing my first post back in February I have gained over 700 followers, published 200 posts and connected with so many of you from all corners of the world.

The Highs…

Starting out I had no idea which direction I would go. I had a sassy web address, a desire to write, a passion to be authentic and an insatiable appetite to help others see how fabulous they truly are too. It was exciting and scary and fun and overwhelming all at the same time and I was a total virgin at all of it!

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I started #itsthelittlethings as a way to document the little things that made me smile throughout the week and now it’s become a bit of a catchphrase for when something goods happens around here!

I’ve written some articles that have made my soul sing and they seemed to have deeply resonated with you guys too – Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful was such a pleasure to write and a message I try to live by.

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I’ve talked honestly about myself in the Things You Need to Know About Me series and shared my experiences about how the death of my younger brother completely changed my life and was the motivation to start writing.

In my monthly round up (Monthly Musings) I regularly share new blogs I have stumbled across that I feel are worthy of a look – this has been so successful and something that I enjoy doing so much. Connecting with others is a great bonus that I didn’t expect when I started blogging. I even became pen pals with one of you lovely readers.

The lows…

The last few weeks I have definitely felt a little ‘off my A game’ blogging wise. But hey, it happens to us all I’m sure. The pressure of juggling a full time job (and life) alongside a blog is hard. And whilst it is a great hobby, unfortunately it is the thing that suffers when time isn’t available.

Also as a result of not being around so much lately I have noticed a drop in my monthly stats – despite never being hung up on the numbers previously, it’s hard not to feel like a bit of a failure when they dip.

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Sometimes you have an abundance of ideas. You find inspiration for posts on every corner it seems. Then some days you stare at that blank white screen and…nothing. Just nothing. Even when you do write something, some days you hit that delete button so many times and question the validity and worth of what you have written that you don’t publish it anyway! My post on Why Do I Write When It’s All Be Written Before came from such a moment of unworthiness and thoughts of ‘who am I to even think I can do this’.

Also it seems there’s an unwritten rule, expectation if you like to define your niche and put yourself into a category; lifestyle, food etc. Can I not just be someone who writes to inspire people to find their smile, find what makes their soul sing and help them become the best version of themselves with the occasional lifestyle type post thrown in every now and then?

Final thoughts…

One thing I have learnt about blogging is that there are no hard and fast rules. My blog, my rules. Blogging to me, is about writing and creating content you are passionate about.

It’s about finding your voice, your slant, your style and running with it.

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It’s about sharing your experiences and thoughts and asking others what they think.

It’s about connecting and sharing and reading and creating and not taking it all too seriously!

Can I get a hell yeah?

So keep creating and writing. Stay passionate and authentic. Be true to yourself, be amazing and continue to share the love.

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Merry Christmas you gorgeous people – see you in the new year!

Nicky 💋

 

It’s the Little Things *Christmas Alphabet

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Christmas means different things to different people.

It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing or feeling that you need to keep up with the Jones’s.

How about this year you focus on what’s important to you. You make time for the things that make you smile. You fill your days with little things that enhance your days.

Here’s my little list of Christmassy things that can make a big difference to the holiday season!

Chocolate – gotta be done! I have memories of eating a whole chocolate orange to myself before breakfast as a little girl!

Happy thoughts – rather than getting caught up in the fast line of excess, why not take a moment of gratitude? Be thankful for the everyday, simple things like warmth, shelter and food. Not everyone will experience that this year. Enjoy the silly jokes, the children’s excitement, spending time with family – who knows what the next 12 months will bring.

Rest and relaxation – when the last cracker has been pulled, the last pig wrapped in a blanket and the kids are off happily devouring another selection box, take time to just sit and be still. Your body needs some recouperation time and you need a moment of peace and quiet!

Ice cold – as in the weather which allows us to wrap up warm. To me this means fluffy jumpers and warm socks. Or maybe it’s as in ice cubes in a cold winters drink?!

Stockings – give me a bunch of little gifts over one large present any day! Fun filled, carefully thought out little bundles of joy. And they look so festive hanging there – don’t you think?

Traditions – we have the ones we’ve always done (new pyjamas on Christmas eve) and ones we’ve recently created (creating a new hot chocolate). Whatever your family dynamics, Christmas needs traditions that you do, your way.

Memories – sharing time with our friends and family is always special at this time of the year. It can be hard though, when we remember those who are no longer here. Treasure those memories like the precious gifts they are – they’re always here in spirit. Be spontaneous, have fun, go with the flow and don’t forget to laugh! In the words of Kelly Finch from the movie Deck the Halls,

“That’s what Christmas memories are made from, they’re not planned, they’re not scheduled, nobody puts them in their Blackberry, they just happen.”

Advent calendars – the variety and fun of having a gift to open each day never gets old! Whether you go for the traditional chocolate ones, little gifts each day or simply cross off the days in your planner – one thing’s for sure…Christmas Eve is just around the corner!

Snow – maybe…maybe not! I live in the UK so snow is a bit hit and miss. In London we’ve only had 10 white Christmas’s since 1900!

If you had to come up with a list of things that make you smile around the Christmas season, what would be on your list?

Monthly Musings: November

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November is no longer with us, never to be seen again and the end of the year is nigh…

Bit dramatic, I know! But seriously where has this year gone?

Here’s a round up of my favourite bits on the blog this month…

New things for me this month

🌸 Anna shared last months musing post on her fabulous blog The Self Actualized Life

🌸 I was nominated for the fabulously named Mystery Blogger Award and mentioned on The Untamed Wildfire‘s blog too

🌸 I celebrated my 200th post!

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Best of #itsthelittlethings

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Penpal parcels
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The Shimmer Within household got festive
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Christmassy photo opportunities with our local shopping centre mascot
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Christmas coffees

My favourite posts

🌸 Need a little pick me up? Read A letter for when you are struggling.

🌸 In my other life…find out where my mind wanders to and why I believe it’s helpful.

🌸 Read about one woman’s revolutionary year Can I get a hell yes?


My favourite thoughts

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Blogs I’ve recently found that I think are worth checking out

Betcha Didn’t Know

Honey lemon Chai

The Thriveness

Where Is Adri

An Orchid’s View

The Little Mermaid

From This Window

Dancing in Violent Fields


Looking forward to next month

🌸 Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!

🌸 The posssibility of snow

🌸 Visiting the German market


Thank you to everyone who is still with me 🙂

I write because I love it and have learned so much in the past 9 months of blogging. I love connecting with you all (although lately I am struggling to find the time!) but I think it’s great to mix, meet and share our thoughts with so many fabulous people such as yourselves!

As we head into December, here’s one final thought to keep you company…

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What did you get up to this November? I’d love to know in the comments below or why not follow my Facebook Page and get in touch there? 

Nicky 💋

Monthly Musings: October

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October has been a quiet old month for me.

Perhaps it’s the shedding of the leaves, the changing of the landscape and the arrival of new colours and cold nights, but I feel slightly nostalgic. Autumn is passing by in a blur of misty mornings and evenings spent snuggling in warm pyjamas.

Maybe this is the calm before the storm (the Christmas storm), or a time to reflect on all that we have experienced this year so far and express thanks and gratitude.

Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving and Harvest, how about taking a moment to notice and celebrate the best bits of your world? Here’s mine…


New things this month

🌸 Kristian from Life Lessons Around the Dinner Table and I became pen pals

🌸 I was nominated for This award

🌸 …and this one


Best of #itsthelittlethings

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Flowers in my kitchen
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Music and coffee – 2 of my favourite things
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Early mornings = beautiful sunrises
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Weekend in manchester with my favourite people

My favourite posts

🌸 Why daydreaming is good for you

🌸 ‘It’s The Little Things’ had a little shake up!

🌸 The Worst Parts of My Personality


My favourite thoughts

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Blogs I think you should check out!

Flying Through Water

The Self Actualized Life

Being Lovely You

Fork In The Road

Golden Braid Reiki

Dreaming Inspiration

We Are The Sondering

Ramblings of a Writer

Learning to Live Like Water 

Necessary Accessories

Sasha’s Writings


Looking forward to next month

🌸 Starting to plan Christmas posts – let me know if you have any ideas for things you’d like to see?

🌸 Autumn fashion shows

🌸 Feeling optimistic about new projects and ideas


I’d like to say thank you to all my readers and I am grateful for all that I am learning on this ‘blogging’ journey!

This month has been my quietest so far since starting back in February. But I still love it! I love connecting with you all. Thanks for being my tribe.

As we head into November, here’s one final thought to leave you with…

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What did you get up to this October? I’d love to know in the comments below or why not follow my Facebook Page and get in touch there? 

Nicky 💋

 

Monthly Musings: September

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So the summer seems a distant memory; it feels as if the children have been back at school forever and the shops are now stocked to the ceiling with Christmas wares!

The countdown it seems, has begun!

Before we all start to panic, let’s take a moment to remember the loveliness that was September!

Think new school uniforms, Autumn leaves, misty mornings.

Here’s a round up of my favourite bits from September…

New things 

🌸 Letters From the Mat created her own list of things that made her smile

🌸 Becoming a brand rep for Aspire Style (Use the code SHIMMER to get 10% discount)

🌸 You Are Not Alone in This World reblogged my post about the smile challenge

🌸 At the beginning of the month I had my best views ever in one day – 169! Thankyou 💛


Best of #itsthelittlethings

This month was a big one as I set myself the challenge to post a photo EVERY SINGLE DAY of something that made me smile. Here’s a few of my favourites…

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My new tattoo
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My birthday celebrations
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Our day trip to London
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My girls finally made friends
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A parent showed their appreciation with beautiful flowers
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My parents celebrated 45 years of marriage

My favourite posts

🌸 Awards and more awards!

🌸 5 things that confident women DON’T do!

🌸 5 ways to use affirmations

🌸 Why you should embrace the glorious mess that you are


My favourite thoughts

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Starting each day with happiness
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Feeling appreciated
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My new mantra!
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Be beautiful. Be you

Blogs I think are worth checking out

Out of Ordinary

Soul Simple

Power of Enduring

Live With Style 19

Thriving Under Pressure

Confessions of a Reborn Girl

All Things Steph


Looking forward to next month

🌸 A new monthly challenge

🌸 Planning a series of interviews

🌸 All things Halloween!


Thank you for stopping by my little blog – I appreciate it so much, it’s what motivates me to write.

As the days start to get colder and slightly darker, it’s easy to retreat into the comfort of our homes, our pyjamas or ourselves. Here’s one final thought to leave you with…

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What did you get up to this September? I’d love to know in the comments below or why not follow my Facebook Page and get in touch there? 

Nicky 💋