I’m very new to the world of blogging, and with about 450 millions blogs out there, I’m also, it would appear, very late. That is a lot of people with a lot of things to say! And now I’m one of them. So you can imagine my shock when I received a cheeky little Twitter message from Margaret at Oldfarm (back in September ’13 – for shame) to inform me that I’d made her list for the ‘Very Inspiring Blog Award’. Firstly, I had, and really still have, no idea what these awards are, or how many awards there actually are out there in internet land, but to be on any list especially an inspiring one, well, its very nice, and very flattering and I’m very grateful.
So this inspiring blog award has a few strings attached – and these are as follows (I’d like to say at this point that I completely copied and pasted this entire paragraph – including picture from your blog post Margaret – I hope you don’t feel plagiarised – but you pretty much said exactly what was on the tin! )
“There are the ‘terms and conditions’ to this award so I’d better make sure I adhere to them!
The conditions include posting the badge, acknowledging who bestowed the award and the other three conditions of receiving the award are:
- List 15 bloggers who I conisder to be inspiring
- Tell them all that they have been nominated
- AND list 7 things about me that folks out there may not know.”
So lets get started. A brief history of how I came to blogging I think will help. It was 2007 when I got my first laptop and later in the same year when I discovered my first blog. It was aptly named ‘Waffler’. It looked like a website, but it had somebody’s thoughts and words and humour and images and personality all over it. It was like looking right into somebody’s diary, someone’s life and someone’s mind. And I liked it. A lot. Because deep down I’m very very nosey! Now don’t confuse that with gossipy – I tend to retain certain information in my memory for very short periods of time so really am a useless gossip, but I do enjoy a good snoop. And thus began my relationship with blogs and their masters. There has been so many blogs that I’ve discovered, some I’ve loved, some not so much, some I check daily, others bi-weekly, but always for the same reason, I’m curious about and interested in people and their lives. I like to see how they cope with life situations, how they manage tantrums in their toddlers, how they can cook their way through every cookbook they own, how they make a quilt by ripping up clothes in their wardrobes, how they see the world and capture it on photographs, and how they can come onto their blog and be honest about it all, good or bad and put it out there into the world – for all to see, and sometimes judge, but moreoften than not, be inspired. So on that note – here is my list. And to make it fair, because I enjoy a lot of blogs, I’m going to list blogs that are currently inspiring me, and some that I’ve been with from the get go. Except for Waffler, he sadly is dormant since 2008!
Blogs from far away…
Soulemama – I have a love/envy relationship with this blog. But I’m inspired on a daily basis by Amanda, as she writes on a daily basis, which makes me happy. Lovely photographs, a working homestead and smallholding, happy talented children, food and craft! She has also written three books which I have, and has a magazine ‘Taproot’ which I’m subscribed to. What more could you ask for. This blog is my homepage, has been for a long time, and I’ve read ALL her archives… (see, lots of love with a lil bit envy!!!)
HEY NATALIE JEAN – Natalie makes me want to live in New York. Well actually, and more truthfully she makes me want to live with her in New York, she is just that cool. She has a lovely style – both in her writing and her actual fashion sense and she’s funny. And her little boy Huck is a dote. She’s also writing a book – which no doubt I’ll probably end up buying!
The Daily Muse – Becca also lives in NYC. She takes impressive pictures.And makes impressive food. I’m impressed.
Blogs from over the road…
Dr. Hows Science Wows – Now this talented lady is from my neck of the woods. She’s a scientist. And a mammy. And seriously, if you ever had a question about how anything works, or why things happen, this is the place to go. Because Naomi has all the answers. And she makes it all seem very very cool. She also will go to your house for birthdays and do science stuff which is fairly fantastic. Check out her rocket teabag experiment. Its one of my faves! Oh and she’s nice.
Greenside Up – Dee is the inspiration here. She knows how to grow stuff. And she does it well, and she’s a good onion, as she also teaches others how to do it too. She heads up community gardens and encourages everyone to try their hand growing their own. (I’ve had many conversations with her about courgettes!!!!)She’s also very highly regarded in the blogging world, winning a host of blog awards. She deserves its though because she’s a topper.
Life on Hushabye Farm – This blog has Alpacas. Ok it also has some other fantastic things like some nifty family recipes, parenting musings, lovely family pictures, but c’mon ALPACAS!!!!!!!! Elizabeth combines it all beautifully making it a lovely place to visit over your morning coffee.
Where Wishes Come From – Sadhbh is the queen of this blog. And it is a fantastic blog. I’ve only recently discovered her, but already I’m a huge fan. You can totally get your craft on for the kids in this space, AND she’s also fond of the ol’ Gaeilge. What’s not to love.
Office Mum – This is another blog I only came across quite recently. And let me tell you, its funny. It’s all about trying to keep a balance between being a mam and working outside the home. She writes so honestly about the real trials of keeping this balance, and hits the nail on the head every single time and I find myself sporadically bursting out laughing whilst reading. She also champions other working mums out there very well. She is currently not getting enough sleep. Go on, show her some love.
Susan Jane White – I’m currently crushing on Susan. She is the author of The Extra Virgin Kitchen which I’m devouring, and feeling very virtuous whilst doing so. This girl can write. She’s also very funny. And she makes some fairly fine food. This blog encapsulates all of that, and makes you want more for your body and your brain. No substitutions.
Nessa’s Family Kitchen – Another wonderful family food blog. Author of the fab cookbook Apron Strings ( which I also have), Nessa makes you feel like you’ve just walked into her kitchen and she’s making you a grand cup of tea. You feel at home on this blog and her recipes inspired by her lovely young family, can be drawn on many times for your own.
Farmette – I’ve been a fan of this blog since it was called ‘I Married an Irish Farmer’. Imen’s blog is absolutely beautiful. Its a joy to behold. Beautiful photography, beautiful recipes and beautiful stories, which are my favourite. I love to hear stories, and Imen is the storyteller. And everything is just so pretty. She’s also a fairly nifty producer, with her film ‘Small Green Fields‘ achieving high acclaim. Her farmhouse cheese and milk loaf are firm favourites in my house.
ISLE Magazine – This is a fantastic blog that’s showcasing all that is positive in this place we call home. Lisa brings to us some wonderful people and places in her quest to promote Ireland to its fullest. She is certainly doing it well. Check out her next issue of the online publication coming soon.
Like Mam used to Bake – Rosanne is the author of the cookbook of the same title, and the blog that started it all is such a pretty place to visit, you’ll think you just walked into a small cozy tearoom. For someone that says she’s not a writer, a photographer or a pastry chef – she sure can put words together, take a fine array of pictures and make a mean chocolate cake. In real life, I’d say she likes to chat!
Bealtaine Cottage – What Colette has achieved in the time she’s lived at Bealtaine Cottage is nothing short of wonderous. A whole permaculture ecosystem that she tirelessly cares for, protects and nourishes, and which in turn nourishes her back. She is living a self sufficient life in Sligo, and sharing it all with her readers. She is an advocate for Mother Earth and her causes, and voices these on various social media platforms. You could learn a thing or two from this inspirational woman.
Chicken soup for the Soul…
Síle Looks Up – I can’t lie. This is one of my most favourite places to visit. And no, I don’t have it as my homepage, and I don’t have any of the individual posts in my reading list, but that’s because I protect it like its a precious secret treasure. A place that I can quietly slip into when I have a minute and I wander and explore each post as if I was there, living and breathing it. I also imagine that I do all this in total silence, as I fear that any noise would break the spell of Síle’s writing. Her beautiful images, catchy post titles almost don’t hold a candle to her words and her formation of them. Raw and honest, some of them feeling so very personal that you check whether you should be there or not. But all incredibly stunning – indeed chicken soup for the soul.
So there you have it. A list of some of my favourite online destinations for regular doses of inspiration. And now for those seven things you don’t know about me (or probably don’t want to know, but I’ll tell you anyway..)
1. I love to talk. I talk a lot. Really.
2. I cry at everything. Even cartoons. I’m an emotional wreck by times.
3. I really want a pig and a goat.
4. I used to be an Ann Summers rep. (random eh)
5. I’ve 11 trophies for Ballroom Dancing. However that was back when I was 8.
6.The thing I’d tell my younger self is ‘Don’t buy ornaments’
7.I’m getting a tattoo when I turn 40 next year.
There you go. Do with that as you will. But as for the blogs above, why not go and have a snoop, be inspired, then inspire.