Whose blog is it anyway?

When I first starting blogging back in 2012, I never thought I’d get any followers. Who’d be interested in my ramblings? I now have followers, and I am so grateful for every one of you. To be honest though, for a long time, I found myself not being able to blog on here because I felt so guilty that I didn’t have the time to read the posts of everyone who follows me. So I figured, if I don’t blog, then I won’t have to upset the people who would have known I’d been online but hadn’t read their posts. It probably doesn’t make any sense, but I didn’t want to offend anyone.

Now that I run the Merryn family of websites (Books, Charity, Magazine and Music) as well as doing my day job, I have even less time than I did in 2012. I have sorted out my email account so that I can read the posts written by my friends, but I am honestly so sorry if I’ve posted recently and haven’t been over to read your blog. If I win the lottery and can leave my day job, I’ll have time to read everyone’s blog. Until then, I have to be selective with my time as trying to please everyone has been making me ill. I figured it was better to focus on my health, which means scaling back on how many people’s blog posts I can follow.

I just wanted to put this out there so people don’t think I am ignoring them by choice, I’m so sorry x

Hello spring!

Well, winter 2016/2017 was a poop season for me, for many reasons. Dull and boring and rubbish reasons I won’t go into, but to say that spring is only 6 days old, I am loving it so far!

I spent most of the evening today watching the live feed for the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. This was mainly because lovely Louis Tomlinson (for those that may be new to following me or may have forgotten – I am a HUGE One Direction fan) was performing his single Just Hold On with DJ Steve Aoki during Steve’s set. I started watching the live feed a few hours before, mainly out of paranoia that it wouldn’t work for me, and really loved watching everyone’s sets. Louis was amazing, as always, but after Steve was Cypress Hill, who I LOVED as a teenager. I had their album Black Sunday and I was so excited once they did Insane In The Brain.

It was all go tonight as not only was it announced tonight that Cheryl and Liam’s baby (again, One Direction) had been born on Wednesday, Harry Styles (of One Direction, no less) dropped an advert during Saturday Night Takeaway that his new single is out 7th April. It’s been quite the day!

My depression was so bad before spring started, and whether it’s the warmer weather and daffodils everywhere, or just timing, I’m feeling much happier about everything.

Oh, I nearly forgot, it’s 9 months today until Christmas Day! Yay!

My blog is 4 years old today!

4-year-anniversaryI just popped on to my blog to catch up on posts and found out from my notifications that my blog is 4 years old today! This was the very first blog I ever created, and back in 2012 I was reluctant to even start one as back then blogs were quite often seen as “Look at me! Look at me! Give me attention!” kind of things, and seen in a negative light. Happily, people love blogs now 🙂

I haven’t had the chance to blog on here as often as I would like, but this blog gives me the opportunity to chat about all kinds of stuff that I enjoy, like films, music and food, and I love having an outlet to just waffle in 🙂

I took a look at my stats over the last 4 years, and here’s what I have found:

I’ve had an amazing 7,866 views! That’s crazy! I never realised that I’d had over 3,000 visitors too. For such a small blog, that’s a fantastic number.

4-year-views

I was interested to see what my most popular posts had been over the years too:

In 2013 it was when I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, which I was very proud about 🙂

In 2014 it was a poster about a bike repair and recycle project in Frodsham, which is such a great idea.

In 2015 it was a post about desserts from my childhood, which was inspired by a post by Nostalgia Pie in a post about ‘Old-Skool Ice-Cream Flavours‘. It was a fun post to research and gave me such a trip down memory lane!

So far in 2016, the most popular post has been about The Voice’s battle round 1 on 27th February 2016. I love The Voice and I was sad to hear that it was leaving the BBC for ITV, but now that I’ve heard that Tom Jones is back on it, along with will.i.am, I can’t wait to watch the new series 🙂

I had a look at the search terms that brought people to my blog and to be honest, they were all fairly relevant to the posts people ended up looking at. I was expecting comedic ones, but they were all pretty sensible. The post that a lot of search terms brought people to my blog for was “My favourite Sia songs“. I love Sia, and the fact that I mentioned that I walked down the aisle at my wedding in 2010 to Sia’s song, Day Too Soon seems to have brought a lot of people to my blog.

I have to say that I have loved having this blog and I am excited to see what I get to post about in the next 4 years! 🙂

I like weird people

I like weird people...

I saw this quote online just now and I really related to it. I am really badly socially awkward and struggle to have anything in common with most girls, as I don’t dress particularly girlie and I rarely wear make up. I’m not really a girlie girl and growing up I was more of a tomboy. Also, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which means that my body has more testosterone than oestrogen and has left me with a stocky overweight body for most of my life.

When I was in my 20’s, I really REALLY wanted to be an FHM Magazine High Street Honey. That, to me, was the epitome of social acceptance; FHM had agreed that you had an attractive face and body, and had included you in their annual honey list. As I got older, I still wanted to be a high street honey, and would scour the list, looking for which honey was the oldest; was I still in their age limit? I would never actively actually DO anything to become a “honey”, I just wished I could be one. Nowadays, I’m really grateful that I’m not “high street honey” beautiful. Imagine trying to pop to the shops for toilet roll and getting hit on by every man going.

It’s taken until I saw that quote just now to realise that I have finally learnt to embrace my “weirdness” and I feel so free. It’s such a shame that I have spent the last 26 years (since school started being more “dog eat dog” and “it matters what you look like”) trying to fit in with everyone else, rather than just being happy with the me that I’ve become. So, today has been a big day!

Infographic: Build Your Cat a Better Life

This is simply fabulous!

Katzenworld

Hi everyone,

Today we would like to share a fun infographic on how to build some great items for your cat yourself rather than going out and buying ready-made stuff. 😀

Each suggestion comes with an indication of the difficulty level and how much time you’ll need.

This infographic is courtesy of Power Tool World, a company who sells power tools and loves to think of DIY projects that they can do to make their lives more fun.

Have you got additional ideas on what to make for our fur friends? 🙂

Not subscribed to our Newsletter? Click here!

Thanks,

Marc

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My favourite Christmas adverts!

Ah, ’tis the season to be jolly, and time again for the battle of the Christmas adverts! John Lewis had everyone tweeting like mad about their #ManOnTheMoon, but I have to say that I much preferred their Monty the Penguin advert from last year. These are my favourites 🙂

Vodaphone
We’re going vegan this month, so this advert pleases me! I thought it was genius that they used “Flying Without Wings” 😀

Sainsburys
Mog the cat is so cute! Mog was created by Judith Kerr who also wrote The Tiger who Came to Tea and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit as well as the Mog books. Judith even appears in the advert as a neighbour. To coincide with the advert, Judith wrote a brand new Mog story, which is being sold exclusively in Sainsbury’s stores. Proceeds from the book will go to Save the Children’s efforts to improve literacy in children.

Spanish Lottery
You don’t need to know any Spanish to watch this heartwarming story about Justino, a night security guard in a mannequin factory. Warning: you may need tissues for this one.

McDonalds
You wouldn’t necessarily expect a Christmas advert from McDonalds, but the reasons I love it are: the great use of the Wizzard Christmas classic “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” and the northern accents. Being from Leeds, hearing the northern accents on the advert really made me smile.

Irn-Bru
Haha, if they don’t sell this jumper in real life, they’ve lost out. This is Irn Bru’s first new Christmas advert in nine years, and it’s a corker!

BHAFC
I must admit that I don’t know anything about football, but this Brighton & Hove Albion promo for half season tickets starring Bobby Zamora, David Stockdale, Kazenga LuaLua, Bruno and Gordon Greer is pretty cute.

Pieces For Places
My, my, my, I wasn’t expecting the second half of the advert at all! I laughed so hard and it really made me want to jump in the car and drive straight down to Wales to buy scarves a plenty. Incidentally you can buy the scarves in the video, with money from sales going to charity Age UK.

Vision Direct
I love pugs so I was so excited to see Gizmo the pug in Vision Direct’s advert. So so so cute!

TK Maxx
I like the message that TK Maxx is spreading here: “love your neighbour”. According to research from Churchill Home Insurance, 51% of people with neighbours admitted that they didn’t know their neighbour’s first name. Source.

Aldi
Then of course, there’s the John Lewis parody from Aldi. Simply genius.

If I don’t get the chance to blog before the big day, I just wanted to say that I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and a Happy New Year! xxx

November already?

The last time I was on here it was September and the weather was warmer. Now it’s November and not so warm, sadly.

So, how is everyone in WordPress-land? Since I’ve been on here, I’ve turned 37 (the hardest age I’ve had to deal with so far. It’s too near to 40 for my liking), I’ve been working on my new project, Merryn Magazine and we’ve gotten ever closer to Christmas. We recently watched “Cowspiracy” on Netflix, but I’ll talk about that in my next blog post.

Those of you who know me know that I am married to Michael, but things have changed in that department. I am still married, but Michael recently legally changed his name to Michelle, as “he” is transgender. She has been referred to a Gender Identity Clinic and we have been on the waiting list for three months now. We should be seen sometime next year and it’s all very exciting. I’m so relieved for both of us that I am able to support Michelle through this as I know that not all marriages survive one partner transitioning from one gender to another. The journey is going to be a long one, but one that will all be worthwhile once Michelle can be truly happy with who she is.

So, it’s been a busy couple of months, I’m really excited to see what December will bring (besides Christmas!).