4 years ago, on cold, dark December evening, I sat on my laptop and decided I wanted to create my own online space, although I didn’t really know why or what I’d do with it. In my teenage years I’d loved creating websites so I stumbled across ‘Blogger’ and thought I’d give it a go. I had never really heard much about blogging before, I didn’t know that there was such thing as the blogging community or ‘the blogosphere‘, I certainly didn’t know about product reviews, brand collaborations or earning money from running a blog. I just wanted a little webpage, to upload photos and ramble my thoughts down on paper (well, screen) so I could boring everyone on Facebook with my constant stream of consciousness and keep a personal place I could look back on. Well, I did all that and SO MUCH MORE. I can’t believe that it’s now 4 years on and my little blog is such a huge part of my life, it’s my passion and I’m even contemplating taking it full time at some point soon too. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that or anything that or half of the opportunities, friends and experiences my blog has brought me over the last four years. It’s also brought me tears of frustration, stress, nasty comments and it’s a 24/7 job (I never switch off entirely) but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So today’s post marks the anniversary of the beginnings of Fizzy Peaches and a little trip over the last year, plus I have a little gift for you too, just to say thanks for reading, as I know this sounds TOTALLY cheesy, but I couldn’t do it without either.
FOUR YEARS AGO….
So, we will start of with this embarrassing peek back into what Fizzy Peaches Blog looked like 4 years ago…. My main topics were Beauty, Fitness and Knitting! Three things I never hardly ever write about now, which just shows how things can evolve. I think this has been the key to keeping going when things get tough. I’m really relaxed about my topic, I don’t have a niche, I just ebb and flow with whats going on in my life – because of that, it’s always been my perfect fit and I never get bored. So, four years later my blog is mainly centred around lifestyle, home decor, food and pregnancy and I feel like it’s on the cusp of something new, with Baby Peaches on the way I can’t wait to see what next year brings too! (Also, if you wanted to see more cringey layout flashbacks, I put a post of my blog through the years here, if you fancy a peek!)
BLOGGING HIGHLIGHTS OF 2016:
- I’m PREGNANT! – This was the BEST DAY! I had kept our whole fertility treatment journey from my blog for about a year at this point so I was just bursting at the seams to tell everyone when we finally had our success! It felt like I was lying or not being true to myself when I didn’t write about it, it was so tough! It was only when I had to keep a BIG secret, I realised how much I use my blog as my creative outlet and how therapeutic it is to write. I feel like I will explode if I don’t blog about things.
- WOAH, I WON! Winning 30plus Blogger of the Year – This was a major highlight of the year! I was just speechless as my name was called out, I couldn’t believe people had voted for me and I was up against some steep competition! I remember I was only 8 weeks pregnant and feeling TERRIBLE at the awards ceremony so with hormones, emotions and a lack of champagne – added together I was blubbering mess at the awards. Cringe. I was so happy though, thats all that matters.
- FESTIVE SHENANIGANS – One of my favourite blogging events this year was a festive evening with Marks & Spencers to Wrap presents for Great Ormond Street. It was a warm, fuzzy, festive evening in the most beautiful house in Soho – and not only did I meet some super lovely bloggers but it was all for a good cause too!
- I’M ON YOUTUBE!! – This year I moved into the scary world of video! My first vlogs were terrible, I was nervous and scared of talking to the camera, but I think as the year has progressed I’m getting into it now! I still look back and cringe at my own voice, mannerisms and awful outtakes but I just decided I have got to push my boundaries and just DO IT. It’s a new adventure and I’m learning loads about video and video editing. Hoping to do lots more in 2017.
- BABY COLLABS! Along side the stuff you can see on my blog…. and now Youtube channel (;)), I’ve also been super busy behind the scenes planning so many collaborations for 2017 with baby and parenting brands. It’s going to be a change from my usual style but I’m really excited to share some of the projects that are going on behind the scenes, and to finally involve Baby Peaches after over a year of waiting for her to join me!
- IVF SUPPORT NETWORK – Not only was I flooded with support messages and love after I posted IVF journey, but I’ve been touched to be able to have help so many other people through their journeys too. I get emails, texts and tweets all the time, asking me for help, advice and encouragement through all things fertility based. I’ve watched some of my new online friends from around the world, go from desperation to joy as they find out they are pregnant. This has just been the icing on the cake with it all, I’m so touched to have been part of their journey, even if it was an email exchange from afar, I remember that when you are going through IVF, every little bit of support and positivity goes miles, so I hope I can share that too.
- BLOG EVENTS AND BLOGGING FRIENDS – Of course, this is a highlight every year! 2016 didn’t disappoint on the event front, even though I’ve had to slow things down a little bit to make room for Baby Peaches (and the months I was throwing up and couldn’t leave my house!) Highlights have got to have been the 30 plus Awards ceremony and Winners Day in London, Salon Success Christmas Party (where I literally didn’t stop laughing for 3 hours!), Lush Christmas party, the Brighton Blogger event back in March, Body Shop 40th Birthday Party, Crafting with Anna Hayman, Posh Totty Makes Class, Flower Arranging with M&S and the Brighton Big Screen Launch Party. Phew – thats just to name a few, I’m sure there have been many, many more!
- ROBBIE, THE STAR OF THE BLOG – Honestly, when I post something about Robbie, the post will get more traffic, likes or comments than anything else. Everyone LOVES Robbie and so they should as he’s SO CUTE. This year I have taken part in some really fun brand collaborations which have involved Robbie. Pet collaborations are always hilarious so I love taking part – This year we have posed together on squares of black carpet for Carpetright, rolled in rose petals for the Body Shop, eaten from his personlised Royal Canin bowl and he has excitedly let me film him opening his doggy subscription box every month from Wagglepets. Robbie has some fun things coming up in 2017 too, yay!
- ALL THE FOOD – Apart from pregnancy and Robbie being my most two talked about subjects, this year has been all about the FOOD! I have been all over the place reviewing restaurants left, right and centre and this is one of my favourite posts to do as well…. I just love to eat, take pictures of food and tell people about it, so it’s combining three of my favourite things to do. I tried to write a list of the amazing places I’ve been to eat this year but I’m sure I’ve missed some – here are some of my favourites, although all the reviews can be found under the ‘Food’ category in the menu above…. Terre a Terre, GB1, Olive Grove, Cafe Rouge, Wahaca opening evening in Brighton, Hotdogs and Burlesque, The Gingerman, Isaac At, Foodies Festival, Baker and Spice, The Creperie, Nowhere Man, GBK Brighton Marina, Fatto A Mano. I was also the South-East Rep for the British Take-away Awards, which was an exciting task! All the food! Yum.
- FINDING MY VOICE AND STYLE – Lastly, I feel like in 2016, I finally found my blogging voice and style. It only took FOUR years, but it was in there, somewhere. Before now, I used to get caught up in what people might think, writing about products I thought people might want to see and comparing myself to others. This year I’ve managed to let things flow a lot more naturally. I write how I feel, I try not think about outsiders perceptions and I have become so much better about writing about products I want to recommend and fit in with my life naturally and authentically. I have also found that alongside writing, my photography style has changed too, after years of experimenting with cameras, backdrops, flatlays, lenses, props and everything in between, I’ve finally found a style that works for me and although I have a standard ‘go-to‘ photography set up now, I know what will work and have stopped trying to over complicate things!
AND TO SAY A BIG THANK YOU
Lastly, as this year has been pretty damn amazing I wanted to say the biggest thank you! This is just a little gift from me, it’s not sponsored by a brand or paid for by anything other than me – so it’s not the hugest amount (hey, we have a baby on the way….) but it means the hugest amount to me! Thank you for reading and supporting my blog for the four years! 🙂 🙂 🙂