I can’t believe I turn 40 soon! *help*

Well, it’s only a few weeks now until I turn 40! I had so many things planned to achieve before I was the big 4-0, but life situations and ill health have held a lot of them back. Life (and health) is better now so I am looking forward to achieving many things in my 40’s!

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A thing to remember

Sometimes in life, people like to cause trouble for others. It’s tempting to react, but the adult thing is to rise above it and just continue with your life.

Babies seeing for the first time

I just spotted the below video on YouTube and it made me smile so much! I got my own glasses at the age of 4, so I have no idea how bad my eyesight must have been before I got glasses. These babies are so cute when they react, I would have loved to see my own reaction back in the early 1980’s!

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

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!

My first photo of 2016!

New Years Eve 2015

Happy New Year!

I’m looking forward to seeing what photos I upload this year, what adventures me and Michelle get up to and which new people we’re going to meet this year.

This is me last night (New Year’s Eve) and I don’t usually wear make up, but I think I’ll make more of an effort in 2016.

I hope you all have a fabulous and happy 2016! xxx

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.

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!

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