Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

It has been a momentous week with a royal wedding that broke the mould, the British weather behaving itself, a couple of little football matches (Blue supporters in my house very happy….well royal blue fans anyway) and the Bloggers’ Bash and Annual Bloggers’ Bash awards.  Well our golden invite was lost in the post, but tickets were already booked for the Bash so we would have politely declined anyway – who would have turned down the opportunity to meet good friends in person?  So hubby and I set off for Chiswick, with the dulcet tones of Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 keeping us updated on the beautiful day unfolding in Windsor.

Monday Magic (21 May)

We arrived to be met by those giants amongst bloggers Shelley and Hugh …. at the George IV pub and then the game of spot the blogger began in earnest.  Hubby was completely out of his depth, having only ever glanced over this blog, so to be surrounded by so many other bloggy people left him reeling!  But with the wonderful Geoff, resembling a curious reverse version Papa Smurf with his blue beard, and his partner in crime, Graeme overseeing the smooth running of the day we were in for a treat!  Bloggers’ Bash Queen Sacha took to the stage to welcome us and introduced the whole committee: Shelley, Hugh, Geoff, Graeme, the beautiful Suzie Speaks, elegant Helen and last, but by no means least, Adam.   Thank you to the whole committee for a fantastic event and your hard work this year!

I was delighted to meet my heroine Ritu – she also had a non blogging hubby with her, so we left them talking football, curry and kids – along with old online friends and new blogger pals.  The day flew by with laughter, food, drink, sunshine and more laughter.  There were even a few awards given out!!!  The diversity and talent of all the nominees is wonderful to see (and read!) – and the number of people who took the time to vote is testimony to the fantastic movement that Sacha and her team have built up.

So without further ado, and as I am much later with this than normal, the blogs for this week have to be the Award winners!

Best Overall Blogger:  Linda’s Book Bag

Funniest Blogger: The Tattooed Book Geek

Most Inspirational Blogger:  Ali – the Dragon Slayer

Most Informative Blogger:  Jennifer Gilmour

Best Book Review Blog:  JoandIsalovebooks

Services to Bloggers:  Compulsive Readers

Hidden Gem: The Quiet Knitter

Newcomer Blogger: The Beardy Book Blogger

Best Pal: Being Anne

So check out some fantastic blogs and for a full list of the winners and runners up go HERE!

Have a great week,

Claire x

 

The Mystery Blogger Award

img_0989I am delighted to have been nominated for this award last month by Kim – I have delayed sharing it to avoid boring you all, having already written about one award in January! It is always an honour to be recognised by a fellow blogger and I am so thankful to Kim at Keep It Mindful blog. I “met” Kim at the end of last year soon after she started blogging about living life as a young mum with 2 children and a chronic illness. Kim has Multiple Sclerosis and writes with frankness and honesty on all manner of things – about her illness flares to potty training! Visit Kim here on Keep It Mindful and find out more.

The Mystery Blogger Award:

“It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”
  Created by Okoto Enigma.

The rules are:

Put the award logo/image on your blog.

 • List the rules.

 • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

 • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

 • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

 • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.

 • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

 • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).

 • Share a link to your best post(s).    

photogrid_1476365612975

Three Things about me:

1.  I am an avid reader, belong to several online book clubs and a local one where we meet monthly in the pub.

2. I started nurse training 30 years ago next month – March ’88 set.  We are having a reunion weekend in May – I haven’t seen some of the others since the early ’90s.

3. I have a fish phobia – live fish or fish with heads & eyes.  Not great when hubby had a huge tropical fish tank when we were first married!!

My Nominees:

 

My questions for you:

  1. What book has made an impact on you (at any age!)?
  2. Who from history would you like to have a drink  with?
  3. Tea or coffee? Cup or mug?
  4. What has been your greatest achievement?
  5. How would your friends describe you – in 3 words?

 

My answers to Kim’s questions:
1. What made you start blogging?

I was about to have a trial for a spinal cord stimulator to help control my chronic nerve pain and the blogging idea was to cover two bases: for friends and family to know how I was doing & save hubby on phone calls; I had received so much support from others online and I thought maybe I could give back some support & experience.  I must admit the fact my kids thought no one would want to read anything their mum wrote was a bit of a red rag to a bull!

2. Where would be your dream place in the world to see?

Thailand

3. What is your ultimate goal in life?

For me this links to number 5 – to live life to the full whilst I can.  We never know what is around the corner.  If my kids are happy, generous and thoughtful adults…and I have been able to support/help others for as long as possible (I know, I know – the nursey, touchy, feely bit!) then my job is done!

4. If you had one super power what would it be?

Recently I have watched the TV spin off from the X Men, The Gifted – the gift of one mutant was the ability to change/take away the feeling of pain.  This would be my super power!!

5. Who or what is your motivation?

One of my closest friends died aged 37 from breast cancer and I have cared for various young patients as a cancer, AIDS & hospice nurse who died.  They are definitely my motivation, particularly now I have chronic illness, to live life to the full.  There are too many to list here but a few names that stay with me are Clare (aged 21 uncontrolled type 1 diabetes), Connie (age 23 cancer), Paul (age 28 AIDS), Sunil (mid 40s Motor Neurone Disease), Samantha (age 27 breast cancer) John (mid 30s Cancer of tonsils).

 

My 2 favourite posts that I have written are: Today You Beat Me and Be Kind to Each Other

Thank you again, let’s keep the positivity and enjoy your day/night.

Claire x 

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Mystery blogger pin

Blogger Recognition Award

I’ve been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by the lovely Rachael from Rachael’s Thoughts. We first met on the facebook group Big Up Your Blog, a fantastic community set up by Suzie and Em.   Rachael blogs about all sorts and recently she has shared about her move back to the North East of the UK with hubby….just one week before Christmas! You can see her original nomination post here.  Thank you so much, Rachael.

Blogger Recognition Award


RULES FOR THIS AWARD :-

  • Write a blog post to show your award
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you
  • Tell your readers how your blog started
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Nominate other bloggers for the award

How my blog started…

In all honestly I knew nothing about blogging and it started on a complete whim, and as a little bit of a joke.  I was going into hospital to have a spinal cord stimulator trial in the hope that I would find some relief from the chronic nerve pain in my leg and back – secondary to nerve root damage and a genetic condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  Initially I asked my son to set up a blog thinking that friends and family could follow my progress and save hubby from too many phone calls.  The kids thought it was hilarious – “why would anyone want to read anything you write, mum?”.

 

I had found advice and support online from others invaluable in the lead up to this, and if I could offer the same to anyone else then I wanted to give it.  The writing process itself has been really therapeutic and I have found a lovely community out there – a chronic illness community who I can both support and gain support from, and some fantastic new friendship groups who are a lifeline for someone like me who spends increasing amounts of time on the sofa with symptom flares/deterioration.

I can’t quite believe that I am still here, tapping away and part of a world that just a couple of years ago I knew nothing about.  My kids can’t either – and daily regret introducing me to Facebook, Instagram etc….but that is another story!

 

Two pieces of advice I want to give to new bloggers:

  1. Enjoy it! – Take it slowly, Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that, find your blogging feet and get into your writing groove whatever that may be.  I know that there can be a tendency out there to focus on stats, followers, traffic etc…..but think about why you are doing this.  Don’t get so embroiled in the numbers that you forget to enjoy the experience.
  2. Meet & support other bloggers – much the same as Rachael said in her post.  Follow other blogs that interest you, leave likes and comments – generally engage.  Join groups on Facebook – for me it was the Chronic Illness Bloggers and The Book Club on Facebook initially – and take part in threads and chats.  If you are a social media dinosaur like yours truly, learn about Twitter & Instagram & Pinterest….but don’t try to do it all at once as you risk feeling swamped.  None of them are going anywhere.  But it is out there that you will find your community and then your own blog will grow…..but it isn’t a competition.

MY NOMINATIONS:

https://brainsandbodiesblog.com/

https://dazzlingzebra.wordpress.com/

https://kimc91.wordpress.com/

https://schoolrunshop.com/

https://fancypaperblog.wordpress.com/

Keep sharing the words and the love!

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Blogger Recog award