8 minutes to read

This time last year, I was regularly reading a handful of blogs. Well, basically two. Now though, I can’t bloody move for the things, which I suppose I shouldn’t moan about considering I’m kind of a blogger myself. What a declaration!

Anyhoo, I don’t go in much for New Year’s Resolutions anymore but I do set myself a few “wouldn’t it be nice if I could…” goals, and one of those is to read more in 2017. Blogs, newspapers, magazines, books, cereal packets – it’s something that ironically, I don’t get to do that much of and I miss it. Reading picks you up in a lovely soft blanket and drops you into another world, fictional or real-life, and it’s truly quite a blissful state to be utterly absorbed in the power of words.

Some blogs really get me in the gut and take me to that place, like a secret room in my own little world. Your tastes won’t be the same as mine, but I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you, in case you’re looking to expand your reading horizons too. Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive and if you have any beauts that you’d like to share with me, feel free to leave me a comment. So, without further ado…

Bridie By The Sea

Bridie’s blog is a beautiful collection of lifestyle, travel, recipes and parenting, all delivered from her home in Brighton. Bridie’s writing style always engages me from the get-go as she never sounds false or trite – she’s immensely readable and genuine and I love her gentle way with words. Then she’ll deliver something rip-roaringly funny and make me laugh out loud. Her site is stunning too, which trust me, makes such a difference to a reader who wants to stick around for a while.

Island Living 365

Emma lives on Jersey, which is a place I’ve never visited and I can’t say it’s on my bucket list (sorry). Emma too admits that it can be quite a stifling environment, which is what prompted her to start her lifestyle and parenting blog. Like Bridie, she writes in a really calming and friendly way, and her posts always give me something to chew over. She’s currently running a fantastic series of guest posts around the subject of feminism (I bribed her into letting me be her opener) which is definitely worth catching up on. She also makes me want ALL THE INTERIORS and it’s her fault that I spent a small fortune on some Joseph Joseph chopping boards. Husband, if you’re reading, forget that last sentence.

and another ten things [sic because the non-caps makes me ache]

Suzanne started blogging around the same time as me and the first post that I read made me wet myself with laughter, not even kidding. Most of her posts are lists of ten, which makes them nice and short (always a bonus for the time-strapped reader) and never boring. Then she ripped up her own rule book and started a line of spin-off posts, called Number 11, which don’t always take the form of a list and are wonderfully thought-provoking pieces. She’s diverse and clever and witty and you really should read her.

A Life Just Ordinary

Token fella alert! Again, James started his parenting blog at a similar time to me and, without casting aspersions, he’s REALLY GOOD for a bloke writer. I’ll get lynched for that, I know. Oh god, what’s a better way of saying “he keeps it real” than “he keeps it real”? Anyway, that’s what he does – he taps into what I’m thinking, as a parent, and makes me laugh about twattish things like the new series of Paw Patrol. When I met him at Blogfest he very kindly gave me the last lemon drizzle cupcake on an otherwise empty platter, which I took as payment for appearing on this list (jokes). If you’re a dad or a non-dad, do give him a read.

Celery and Cupcakes

Ooh now this is a relatively new discovery for me and I LOVE it. Jemma is a health and wellness writer and her beautiful website is an uplifting and can-do mix of lifestyle, fitness, cookery and nutrition. She’s totally anti faddy diets and quick fixes, and her website is full of ways to encourage her readers to make balanced choices and changes to suit THEIR aims. One trend I’m loving at the moment is hygge, which is the Danish art of living well. Jemma wrote a gorgeous post about embracing hygge on a budget which I urge you all to read post-haste (once you’ve browsed my site for an hour or so, obvs).

Whinge Whinge Wine

Awww now Fran is a buddy of mine so I couldn’t NOT include her in my list otherwise she’d be ever so cross. I remember I started to follow her when I was just beginning to toy with the idea of starting my own blog, and when she followed me back on Twitter I thought I was the absolute shit. This will probably sound like an almighty disservice to her, but Whinge Whinge Wine is probably the closest blog to my own writing style in this list so if you like me, you’ll find her infinitely better. Y’know, like suffering through a packet of Aldi digestives then being handed a china teaplate of Waitrose chocolate dipped shortbread. She ALWAYS makes me piss myself and if you’re after a good starting post, try this bad boy for size.

The Adventures of Beta Mummy

I know Beth from a previous non-blogging life and I remember sitting with her in a coffee shop, heavily pregnant, oohing and aahing over her first sketch book of doodles. Beta Mummy is BRILLIANT because her doodles and illustrations are hilarious and incredibly easy (and fun!) to relate to. Then she upped the stakes by writing posts to go with the doodles, which are nothing short of genius. She’s always topical and on point, and I love seeing her reactions to things played out in coloured pens. This post is a fairly “vintage” one of hers, but she launched it around the same time as I was doing battle with a very expensive baby carrier, convinced that I was going to rock baby wearing. I didn’t. But this post is the bomb.

Five Little Doves

Ok, so this blog makes me cry. I’m not sure that’s the primary intention of Laura when she writes, but she speaks to me in a way that most bloggers don’t. She talks a lot about mental health and wellbeing which is quite prevalent in my life, and she also writes beautifully about baby loss awareness. Thankfully I don’t have first hand experience of that, but if you do – try giving this section of her website a read. She has bloody gorgeous children too, her Instagram feed is a thing of beauty!

Eats Amazing

Mmm, maybe this is more of a website than a blog but Jesus Christ, Grace Hall makes “kid food” look absolutely phenomenal. I have lost hours of my life happily trawling through her pages, which make healthy food fun and accessible. I’ve popped myself on a temporary ban from her shop too as I don’t actually NEED five lunchboxes or heart shaped sandwich cutters. If you’ve got fussy eaters, you must take a look at her lunches section. For example, if you’d have said to me “dude, whip up a Roald Dahl themed lunchbox” I’d probably have smacked you one, before I’d seen this example of pure literary foodie genius.

Turning Up In Devon

This is the sort of blog I never imagined I’d like, ever, because the description I’m about to give will probably make it sound knobbishly twee. I’ll plough on regardless. So it’s a fictional blog about life in a small Devon village, and it’s just really funny. The posts are long, but immensely readable, and they immediately embroil you into the slightly gossipy, sordid ways of a teeny tiny community, as depicted from a “normal” person watching from within. I’m totally not selling it so please just read this one and thank me later.

Gah, I’ve just given you a list of ten and realised that there are so many more I could bang on about! Here’s a quickfire five with an even more quickfire description.

Notaneffingfairytale – Contains heavy and repeated use of the C swear and much debauchery. Love.

The Unsung Mum – Hilarious pictures about shitty family life with very funny accompanying words.

Mumzilla – An addictive mish-mash of lifestyle, interiors, parenting and recipes – absolutely love Sarah’s writing style and variety.

Rainbows Are Too Beautiful – A blog designed to raise awareness and provide support to families affected by autism. Incredibly eye-opening and funny to boot.

Just Saying Mum – Helen is beautiful, her children are beautiful, her writing is beautiful. Read and agree, read and agree.

-SJW January 2017

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