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 Meย 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 contentย 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 ๐Ÿ’‹

 

Things you need to know about me #9

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I’m a sensory gal.

I love the feel of soft things against my bare skin – it is an essential part of my day. And when the weather is cold – it’s the perfect excuse to envelop yourself in something that feels like you have yet to leave the comfort of your bed.

I love the opulence and vintage glamour that springs to mind when I wear or accessorise with faux fur. Think 1950’s Hollywood sirens sashaying in fur stoles and coats in films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Singing in the Rain.

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There’s something a little bit sexy or naughty about a dash of fur against an all black outfit and a red lip – and I like it!

And for a more casual look – simply throw on a soft or fluffy jumper with a pair of jeans or leather trousers. Stylish. Sassy. Satisfying.

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And fur pom-poms on your handbag are an easy and affordable way to add a little glamour to your everyday look.

If I’m feeling stressed a fluffy, furry cushion or throw is a tried and tested way for me to lower my anxiety levels and ease away the dramas of the day. I’m not sure if it’s reminiscent of being tucked in tight at night with a soft blanket; that feeling of being safe and looked after or if it’s just the thing that soothes my nerve endings, but I know that snuggling against or wrapping myself up in something soft is the perfect antidote to a stressful day.

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Last but not least – there’s always the real thing to give you those much needed cuddles to pick you up after a long day…

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Tell me – are you a lover or hater of all things soft and fur-like?

Why my heart did little star jumps…

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As a new blogger on the block, I felt humbled the first time I was nominated for this award…but not this time!

This time I was excited!

To know that another fabulous person thinks you are worthy of The Liebster Award again felt so awesome my heart did little star jumps!!

To know that people still enjoy reading my content 6 months in excites me.

To know that people like your blog and what you have to say so much that they want to others to know too fills me with happiness.

To know that you get a chance to nominate and share blogs you enjoy reading with others makes me smile – because this is what it’s all about.

…and who doesn’t love a good Q & A session?

So, thank-you toย Yasmin’s Lifestyle Blogย and Dressing Egos for nominating me (a few weeks ago, sorry!)


There’s a bunch of things you’re supposed to do:

Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
Nominate 5-11 bloggers that you think are deserving of the award.
Let the bloggers know that you nominated them.
Give them 11 questions of your own.


So let’s get this party started:

What is/was your favorite subject in school?

That’s easy – English. All I ever wanted to do was read books and write stories.

What is your favorite book?

Ooooh not so easy! Depends what mood I’m in…I absolutely love reading teenage fiction, however I’m reading a lot of biographies of kick ass women at the moment! So, I don’t really have one (hope that’s an acceptable answer?)

Have you voted in any election before?

Yes.

Whatโ€™s your go-to summer outfit?

A floaty, girly dress with sandals.

If you could only put on one make-up item which would it be?

Tinted moisturiser – I do not have good skin!

If you could travel in any where in the world where would it be?

Probably America as there’s a bit of everything there – beach, mountains, shopping…

Do you prefer a good movie or a few episodes of your favorite show?

Ooooh another tough one…I am really fussy about what I watch on TV (no crap basically!) so if I’m watching a show it’s because I really want to watch it.

Mac or Windows?

Mac definitely!

Fruits or veggies?

Vegetables all the way – fruits are the enemy, they don’t like me at all!!!

Do you have a specific exercise routine?

Nope – just whatever I fancy doing! I do yoga, lift weights, run, dance….

Favorite weekend activity?

Breakfast in a lovely restaurant, shopping and chilling at home – oh that’s 3…


Things I need to know about you:

If you had to change your name, what would it be?

Name your best quality.

What foods do you detest and why?

Do you have a favourite number or one that you notice a lot?

What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

Dogs or cats?

Would you say your glass was half full or half empty?

What is the one piece of advice you wish you had been given before starting a blog?

Where is your favourite place to be?

Have you ever seen a sunset?

Who was the last person you spoke to?


I am nominating these worthy blogs:

Learns and Laughs

Watching the Daisies

Woman in her 20s

Peace from Panic

Tenaciously Tina

Healthy Happy 316

Not quite 11, but I have highlighted or nominated quite a few lovely bloggers lately and this was all I could manage.

Don’t forget to let me know when you post as I can’t wait to get to know you a little better.


If you think someone is doing a great job, or deserving of some praise don’t forget to tell them.

You just might change someone’s day!

xo

Writing on your blog…is that even allowed?

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Poets don’t draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently.

Jean Cocteau

Thankyou to Adelina from The Living Me for inviting me to take part in this challenge!

I do a challenge each month and although I’d already planned my playlist one, this one caught my eye because how often do you get chance to show yourย writingย on your blog? So, two challenges in one month?

My blog. My rules.

Speaking of rules…here are the rules:

๐Ÿ’› Write your name
๐Ÿ’› Write your blog name
๐Ÿ’› Write your favourite word and its definition
๐Ÿ’› Write something nice
๐Ÿ’› Write the name of your favourite song right now
๐Ÿ’› What you’re writing with?
๐Ÿ’› Write a fun fact about yourself
๐Ÿ’› Write/ draw your favourite emoticon
๐Ÿ’› Write a silly message
๐Ÿ’› Write who youโ€™re inviting

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Answers:

Your name: Nicky

Your blog name: the shimmer within her

Favourite word: Beautiful – possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about etc

Something nice: I believe we are all amazing!

My favourite song right now: It’s amazing! By Jem

Writing with: a boring pen!

Fun fact: I love reading teenage fiction!

Favourite emoticon: ๐Ÿ™‚

A silly message: May some day you find the peanut to your butter!

ย I invite:

Sparkle with UC

Bedlam and Daisies

Pretty Charms

I hope you enjoyed something a little different.

I did. It was fun.

Any time you get asked personal questions, you have the opportunity to learn a little more about yourself. I started this blog with a dream of helping others find out who they are and who they’re destined to be. With a little soul searching and reflection I believe everyone can become more confident in the beautiful person they truly are.

So have fun with this!

What have you done lately that you’ve not done before or done simply for the fun of it?

Let me know below ๐Ÿ’›

Nicky xo

Little Miss Sunshine

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Who doesn’t love a little sun to shine on their day?

I love getting an award – not just because I’m honoured and humbled to have been chosen (which I am!) but because I get to share some of the new blogs I’ve found with my existing readers.

It’s so great to get a shout out. My heart does little star jumps when I read my comments – the fact that someone has taken the time to read and write on my post makes me smile from ear to ear.

So thank you to Blogmomrocks2 for nominating me for The Sunshine Blogger Award – you are awesome!

The rules are as followsโ€ฆ

1. Thank the person that nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions from your nominator
3. Nominate 11 bloggers.
4. Give them 11 questions to answer.

Here’s what you wanted to know…

1. A ham and cheese sandwich or a veggie tray?

Probably the veggies – not too fussed wth sandwiches.

2. Friendship or Marriage?

I think a friendship within a marriage is the best answer – too many people are unhappy in their marriages. I love being married. But it’s because we are friends. We treat each other as we would our friends – you have to put the effort in.

3. Facebook or Twitter?

Going to say Facebook – but actually my fave is Instagram – so much friendlier.

4. Your preferred form of transportation?

Walking. I love being outside in the fresh air. I actually can’t drive and have no intention to learn at present.

5. Fiction or Non-fiction?

Oooooh toughest question yet! Going to say fiction has the edge – but I’m loving reading autobiographies of kick-ass women at the minute.

6. Puppies or kittens?

Definitely puppies.

7. Wendy Williams show or Dr. Oz show?

I live in the UK and don’t watch much TV – so unsure who these are….

8. Pants or shorts?

Again, UK gal. Going to say pants (hope that’s trousers) although I prefer skirts and dresses over both.

9. Living in a Mansion or a country home?

How about a mansion in the country? Wouldn’t actually mind either – as long as it felt like home and all my kids were there.

10. Sweet or salty?

Salty. No sweet tooth here!

11. A Nature Preserve center or an Art Museum?

Art museum – it’s good to broaden your experiences.

I proudly nominate…

Hide Away Girlย 

A Flair for the Dramatic

Yasmin’s Lifestyle Blogย 

My Favouriite

Life Lessons From Around the Dinner Table

That’s So Jacobย 

Francis and Anna

Send Sunshine

Sparky Jen

Brizzle Lass

Joseyphina’s World

Anyone else who would like to take part and add this award to their blog – you’re all worthy!

And finally, I want to know….

1. What’s the last thing you do every night, before going to sleep?

2. Think of an adjective to describe yourself that starts wth the same letter as your name.

3. How many blogposts have you published so far?

4. What’s the title of the next post you’re going to publish?

5. If you had to choose one colour to wear for the rest of your life, what would it be?

6. What was the last lie you told?

7. Name one nice thing about yourself.

8. When we meet for the first time, what will be the first thing I notice about you?

9. What do you like to do when it rains?

10. If you had to change your blog name, what would it be?

11. Name one nice thing you will do for yourself today.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little more. Don’t forget to give me a shout out when you post as I can’t wait to learn more about you!

Have a sunny day. And remember to keep those smiles firmly in place ๐Ÿ™‚

Nicky xo