Thank You For Visiting!

Talking is hard, so instead I write.

Welcome to my blog. I am Erin (short for Catherine, call me either) and my life is a confusion of books, tea, school and travel. Here is where I review the books, spill the tea and document the travel.

When my head is not stuck in a book, you will find me bullet journalling, practising my cello or travelling. I am heavily influenced by the adventures of my life and am always seeking new ones!

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The Little Book Of Lykke (book review linked here)

I started this blog because I am an introvert and a creative. Blogging is a good way to channel my thoughts without speaking to people. Speaking can cause a lot of misunderstanding. For me in particular, I tend to get words wrong or be silent in the wrong places. I’m not even going to try and cure my awkwardness because I love to be quiet. Through various social media platforms, I promote positive messages that mean a lot to me, and share my love for literature.

Thank you for stopping by. I will always be writing for those of you that stay!

erin x

Find me on my other social media platforms:

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Instagram

Or take a look at what books I’m reading to spark conversation:

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Advice From The Best Of The Blogosphere | Interviewing Sophie’s Corner

For a while I have been contemplating starting an interview series on my blog. They are some of my favourite posts to read, so why not start writing them? Blogging is more than just writing posts and it takes a lot of effort behind the scenes. These interviews are to show readers what it’s like to be a blogger, and hopefully it’ll be relatable for those of you that are writers! Through my blog I aim to inspire others, share positivity but also be realistic. To kick off this exciting new project, I’ve decided to interview one of my favourite bloggers (you’ve heard me mention her before) Sophie’s Corner! Sophie’s blog is incredibly inspiring, the perfect place for you to find ideas and motivation. The girl behind the screen is super lovely too. We’ve collaborated together in the past and have been chatting with each other for a really long time. It was really intriuging to read her answers, and I’m sure you’ll find it interesting too!

If you enjoy Sophie’s interview (which I’m confident you will) then head over to her blog and check out her beautiful Instagram. They’re all worth a follow! It’s like having a little sunshine in my feed. In fact, Sophie is one of my main motivators to blog. If ever I’m struggling for ideas, I head right over to her!

Without more of my rambling, let’s hop into the post:

Why did you start your blog?

I started blogging because I always had a passion for writing and I wanted to express my thoughts to the world. After I joined Instagram back in January 2019, lots of people had blogs that I enjoyed reading and I felt so inspired! So I tried it out for myself – not sure what I’d make of it – and then fell completely in love with it. Now I can’t even imagine my life without blogging!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get inspiration everywhere! Sometimes I will just be out & about, at the supermarket or on a walk for example, and I will suddenly get an idea for a new blog post so I’ll jot it down in my notebook which I carry everywhere with me! I also feel inspired by some of my favourite bloggers (like Natalie Kennedy, Infinitely A Daydreamer, Oh Lola, The Progress Project, Jess’s Wondering and My Blurred World) as well as all of the wonderful friends I have made through Instagram and my blog. These girls inspire me every day to be the best possible version of myself and I am so grateful for every single one of them!

Why did you decide to post daily during lockdown, and have you ever struggled with content ideas because of it?

Initially, before we entered lockdown, I was posting three times every week and I wasn’t being as consistent as I would have liked to be. When we came into lockdown, I seized the opportunity to make the best of a difficult situation and be much more active on my blog. As one of my niches is ‘positivity’ I decided that I wanted to continue spreading this positivity while we were all at home in lockdown. I wanted to lift people’s spirits and give them all some content to read through this strange time period. I haven’t really struggled with content ideas as I have a list that I constantly refer to which I have been adding to since August last year and it has hundreds of post ideas!! I also get regular emails and DMs regarding requested posts so I enjoy reading through these & then writing them out for my readers! I have also gained over 100 followers and my engagement has shot up in numbers since I started posting more regularly!

Why are you anonymous/will you reveal your face in the future?

I set my Instagram account up when I was twelve and I was super cautious about staying anonymous, just for various reasons and I didn’t really understand the Instagram algorithms so I didn’t want to expose myself too much or anything like that. I’ve not told anyone at school about my blog, just because it’s not something I really feel I need to tell them about. I also have quite a large friendship group at school so I feel like if I told anyone then it would get around very quickly so I prefer to keep quiet about it. I’m sure if my Instagram account and blog both continue to grow, I will build up the confidence in the future to possibly reveal my identity etc but for now I am very comfortable and I feel that I can fully be myself without being judged and so on.

Are there any tips you could give to new bloggers struggling with inspiration?

My advice to new bloggers is probably to be yourself, find your ‘niche’ and be patient. Engagement will not happen straight away and this will be disheartening but just stick with it & don’t give up! If you’re struggling for inspiration then I would advise that you binge-read lots of your favourite bloggers’ posts and this will probably inspire you lots! Or you could scroll through Pinterest as this never fails to make me feel motivated and inspired!

Wasn’t that as amazing as I promised? Sophie is such a talented writer, and I hope she carries her gift into later life. Please support the work she is putting into her blog at the moment. I’ve linked it here! Also, for snippets and behind the scenes, she has a wonderful Instagram that she regularly updates. 

Are you a blogger? Is there any advice you could give to beginners?

Leave it in the comment section so that anyone scrolling by, wondering whether to start a blog or not, has some advice! When I started out I was very naive and hardly knew a thing about formatting and engagement. Some help back then really would have been useful. Hope you all have lovely days! 

erin x

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Exciting Announcement! | Staying Happy During Lockdown + The Uprise Of Positive Social Media

I can’t contain my excitement to announce this new initiative! For a while I’ve been considering starting my own hashtag because they seem to be really popular on Instagram at the moment. Also, since The Positivity Project, I’ve been searching for new ways to spread happiness even in the darkest times. After a couple of late nights and brainstorming, I thought of the perfect idea: Stay At Home Sunshine!

In its simplest form, this hashtag is a hub of positivity. However, just photos was too simple for me. I’ve decided, taking inspiration from the amazing Emma Blether, to create questions each week for people to answer in their captions, via photos or as blog posts. They won’t be any random questions either, always sticking to the initial idea of positivity. This week’s question is ‘What are you grateful for?’ Can’t wait to see your answers on Instagram, or even over here on WordPress! Just make sure to tag me so I can see it straight away.

Not only will this hopefully increase levels of happiness for my followers, but also growth! Hashtags are a great way to boost engagement and find new people. Plus, if all people posting to that hashtag are passionate about positivity, you’re curating your feed to be a good space! This seems like a great idea in my mind, and that’s why I need your help.

Creating a project like this one requires a lot of energy. To see all of that effort wasted, due to people not responding, is so disheartening. Please, if you have the time, participate in my positivity project! Every comment is dearly appreciated, from two word answers to paragraphs of inspiration. Don’t forget to add stayathomesunshine to the bottom of the caption either!

My Instagram feed at the moment is so inspiring. Loads of people have been spreading love and happiness, and that’s the main reason I began this whole thing. It’s you, my wonderful followers, who make it possible. I can’t thank you enough for that.

So, in response to Week One of Stay At Home Sunshine…

What are you grateful for?

YOU!

Hope you all have a great week, whether you’re participating or not. Remember to head over to my Instagram because that is where the bulk of the project will be shared. However, I’m also hoping that if we get some lengthy answers then I can compile them into a blog post (with the author’s permission of course!) You may also want to be aware that I’m going to like and comment on every post under the hashtag. EVERY SINGLE ONE! Can’t wait to see your responses.

Lots of love,

erin x

Spread the word! I’d appreciate if you could reblog, share the link with a friend or even leave a like. Anything to help get more people involved is worth it! This project isn’t about boosting engagement or followers, it’s about being happy even in the darkest of times. 

Instagram (where they party music is playing!)

Goodreads

The Hustler Blogger Award | Why I Started Blogging, My Inspiration & Favourite Bloggers

It has been such a while since I was nominated for this award that I have completely forgotten who nominated me! Whoever it was I’d like to thank very much. From the questions I can already anticipate that this will be an interesting post. 

Rules

1. Include the banner in your award post.

2. Be sure to give the creator credit (markanthonyswall.wordpress.com) so he will be able to read them.

3. You can nominate no less than 5 bloggers, but more if you choose.

4. Answer the questions

5. The person who’s being nominated can add one more question of his/her choice to his/her nominees.

Questions

  • Why did you start a blog?

They are many people who got their inspiration from right where I did: Zoella. From reading her books a few years ago I was very intrigued by the idea of having an online platform to share my writing. Since I was a very small child I’ve always enjoyed the process of writing books, poems songs and anything creative. Having somewhere to share my writing really excited me! 

  • What/who inspired you to do it?

As I mentioned in the previous question, it was definitely Zoe Sugg and her books. Although I don’t make any content similar to Zoella, just that initial idea of sharing my thoughts was the inspiration. Since then I’ve found a lot of inspiration through YouTube, bookstagram, Pinterest and other people’s stories.

  • What motivates you to keep pushing and creating content and make your site alive?

The idea of giving up on something really scares me. Even if at points I am not enjoying blogging, I will push through until that spark is reignited again. If I were to take a break, I may never return. So what really motivates me to keep going is failure. I know that taking a break isn’t failure but to me it seems so. I’ve always had that mentality. It may not be healthy but it does help me sometimes! And of course, flicking through my reader always help me to stay motivated. That leads us on nicely to the next question:

  • Who are your fave bloggers? And how do they urge you to grow as well?

Okay, so there are a lot to choose from. However, if I were to make this answer as concise as possible, I’d have to list these five beautiful people:

Maryam @ Infinitely A Day Dreamer

Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner

Pooja @ Life’s Fine Whine

Gracie @ A Light In The Darkness

Zoe @ Zoe Ware

Their blogs always provide me with post ideas for my own blog. Sophie has especially inspired me over the last couple of weeks! What is even more special is the fact that they will always take time to reply to your comments and engage with your account too. That is what I find really important about the blogosphere: there will always be someone out there to help and encourage you. 

  • What lesson/s have you learned through your experience?

I don’t suppose I have learned many ‘lessons’ as such, however I can definitely give advice! Such as replying to your comments, keeping to a schedule and remembering that it’s just a hobby – you don’t need to spend ages and ages of time on each post! I’m slightly perfectionistic but blogging has taught me to care less. No-one sits there analysing the structure of each and every sentence. 

  • Has blogging brought impact to you as a person? If yes, what are these?

Ooh, I don’t know if it has or not! It’s really hard to identify what factor has impacted your change of style, aesthetic and interests. Through consumption of blogs I may have changed up some parts of my life, however I can’t pin-point what these are. In a way, yes. But I wouldn’t know unless I had never blogged in the first place! (that sounds like nonsense – does any one understand those last few sentences?)

  • Not everyone is confident enough to start a blog. What advice can you give them?

I’m not confident within myself, so I began an anonymous blog. There’s nothing to be afraid of if no one is aware of who you are behind the screen! Of course I don’t mean to encourage catfishing, but instead just hiding little parts of your identity that you’re not ready to share yet. If you’re not confident to start a blog, perhaps it isn’t the right thing for you. If you do have a passion, however, don’t be scared of sharing it. People will hear you. There is so much encouragement awaiting you! There may be set-backs, a few nasty comments here and there, but there is much more love in the blogosphere. Don’t be afraid – this little community is awesome!

  • Give 3 facts about you as a blogger (strengths or flaws)

Trying to stay positive, I’ll mention three strengths. We need some self-love in the air!

  • I’m good at writing post way before they are scheduled. 
  • I’ve not missed a single day of upload in about two years (three times a week!)
  • I have found an editing style on VSCO which works for almost all of my photos.
  • Drop down your blog post which you are most proud of (together with the link so we can read it)

Usually I stick to awards, tags and ‘list’ posts however this one was a bit different – I talked about yoga. Just a small little rant about what I enjoy about yoga! You all seemed to love it which was quite a shock. We have smaller attention spans by the day so I wasn’t at all expecting so much love on a chatty post. You can read it here.

  • Do you think you’ll love meeting all the bloggers you got to know in the blogosphere?

Wouldn’t it be nice to see all of the people you interact with online? I don’t think I could meet you all at once since I get drained by social situations, but it would be cool to meet little groups at a time. Beginning with my little UK friends, then branching out to Europe, America, Australia and Canada! I would love to meet you all, but I don’t think you’d want to met me haha since I’ve not revealed my face to the blog yet. I promise you I’m a teenage girl, not a random alien trying to steal your information then cause an invasion.

My Nominees

Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner

Rhi @ Marshmallow Harmonies 

Jules @ Casual and Up Close

Millie @ Millie Button

Grace @ Grace Ariya

Neve @ Neve Frank’s Blog

Emily @ Princess Emily M

Rachel @ Emma Blether

–  and anyone else who would like to take part! I love reading posts about blogging, and how people find inspiration. So do make sure to tag me in the post if you answer the questions (link my recent post so I get a pingback – otherwise I won’t be able to find it).


Woah! That was a pretty substantial post. Thank you so much for sticking to the end. I really appreciate it! Please leave in the comments your favourite blogs if you have any. I would love to know what you’re reading and branch out to new people. 

What blogs are you reading at the moment? What inspired you to begin a blog in the first place?

erin x

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Goodreads

 

Six Word Story

The dark light within stalking shadows.

A very moody six word story for this Wednesday. I don’t know if any of you get those mid-week blues! If so, I hope they pass. You deserve to have a brilliant day ❤

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The Best Ever Tea Bread Recipe | Fruity, Easy & Perfect With A Cuppa

After procrastinating writing this recipe for so long, finally I am here. To be quite honest I’m not sure why I left this so late! This recipe is among my go-tos because it’s so tasty but easy to make. Let’s get our ingredients and start baking:

Ingredients

  • 300ml hot tea (made with 2 tea bags)
  • 360g mixed dried fruit – I used raisins and sultanas
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 135g soft brown sugar
  • 30g butter, softened
  • 1 egg

Method

First you will need to boil your kettle and make your tea. Then measure out your mixed dried fruit. Once you have done that, take out your tea bags and pour the hot liquid on top of the fruit to soak overnight. I recommend using a large bowl for this.

Add the flour, sugar and butter to the bowl. We only had demarara sugar in the cupboard so we had to use that, however the best one of the job is soft brown sugar (light or dark doesn’t matter). Once combined – it will be a stiff mix – add your egg. This will loosen the mixture and bring it all together. 

Now preheat your oven to 140°C. Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper or if you have pre-cut cases – brilliant! Then spoon your mixture into the tin.

Bake for 1 hr 30 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Serve by cutting the loaf into 5, then in half. This is because thin slices usually break apart when cut. Keep that in mind! Another option is to serve with butter and creamy cheese, though I like it plain.

And that wraps up this recipe! Super yummy, so easy and works out perfectly every time. Don’t forget to send your creations of this recipe to me via email or Instagram. It would be so great for you to try this out for yourself.

Do you like fruit cake? What other recipes do you want to see from me?

Leave your suggestions in the comments and have a lovely day,

erin x

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