02.03

MadeupofLittleThings-CiderwithRosie-5

I can’t think of a nicer way to kick off the new week (and March, no less!) than by introducing you to Rachael and her beautiful blog Made up of Little Things. It’s been a regular read of mine for almost the whole time I’ve been writing my own blog, and Rachael’s one of the wonderful women who I’ve had the pleasure of becoming ‘real-world’ friends with, albeit via the magic of WhatsApp seeing as we live at opposite ends of the country! Her blog is, as the title suggests, an exaltation of life’s little moments. It’s heart warming to the extreme- I never fail to leave Made up of Little Things without a smile on my face! This week, Rachael took time out from her daily routine corralling labradors and chickens and sweet baby Forrest to answer a few of my questions, so without further ado, let me introduce you to Made up of Little Things!

1. What made you want to start writing Made up of Little Things? Had you been an avid blog reader for a while beforehand, or did you just set it up on a whim one day? :)

‘I’m going to be completely honest here and admit that I didn’t even know lifestyle blogs existed! I had discovered vlogs on YouTube and really enjoyed them but I knew I wouldn’t ever be brave enough to make one myself so I had this totally unique and brilliant idea to document my life in a similar way in … wait for it … a blog! I do realise how naive I was now :) I googled ‘how to start a blog’ and took it from there.’

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2. What three words would you use to describe your blog? And what do you hope people take away from your blog, when they visit?

‘Hmmm, three words? Friendly, simple, honest. I hope that people enjoy reading about my dull day to day life and seeing photos of my half renovated house/untidy kitchen!’

3. I know it’s hard to play favourites, but have you got a favourite post?

‘Oh God this is so difficult. I do sometimes read back over past posts because I love reading about things that I’d otherwise have forgotten. In particular, a post called ‘A Day At Home’ which I wrote pre-Forrest reminds me of how crazy busy my life used to be and how I longed for it to be more like it is now. A post I wrote about my family tradition of visiting Lake Windermere gives me the warm fuzzies too and my first ‘Obligatory Snow Post’ makes me relive that near-miss in the car as though it were only yesterday! I’m a far more cautious driver these days!’

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4. What one piece of advice would you give to anyone considering starting writing a blog? And what’ve been the most positive changes Made up of Little Things has affected in your own life? :)

‘Don’t overthink it or try to make it perfect, just start writing. Blogging has made me see my life in a whole new way, I appreciate the little things even more than I ever have and I really wish I had more time to dedicate to it. I remember the frustration of starting out and having less than 10 followers but I realised that the best way to gain readers was to work on the content first and worry about the readership later.’ 

5. Tell us a little bit about life as a new Mama! What’ve been the highlights from the past year?

‘I’d like to share one of my partner’s pearls of wisdom here – ‘babies are a real game changer’! Having a baby isn’t without it’s challenges but I can honestly say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. There are so many highlights – introducing Forrest to his first foods was great fun, watching him learn to crawl and, more recently walk, have all been so exciting. I’ve loved integrating Forrest into our lives, taking him to our favourite places and showing him things that will become important family traditions in years to come. Getting to know him, learning his little quirks and habits, his likes and dislikes. But the best thing is how it’s changed us … I never imagined it was possible to feel love like I feel for Forrest. All the cheesy cliched things people say about having children are true!’

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6. Okay- hands down, what’re the three best things about living in the countryside?

‘Definitely the fresh air and the open spaces, I feel really hemmed in when I go to town and visiting cities can be really overwhelming. The fantastic views too, I am lucky to live in the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds and I like to make the most of the area by getting out with the dogs as much as I can. And finally, it’s got to be the people. People are so friendly in the countryside, everyone waves/smiles/says hello to you , whether you know them or not. I love the sense of community that you get from living in a village, there’s always something going on and you can be involved as much or as little as you like. There was a Victorian tea party in the village hall last summer and one evening there was morris dancing on the village green!’
 

7. Many years ago you introduced me to the wonder that is the fish finger pie! (It’s total genius) Will you share with Cider with Rosie readers your most favourite dinnertime recipes? :)

‘Haha, you can’t beat a fish finger pie! Total comfort food! That’s typical of my kind of cooking I suppose, I love comfort food and good homely dinners. Cottage pie, steak and ale pie, chicken and leek pie … are you sensing a theme here?? Anything that comes with a large helping of buttery mash! Or maybe a good beef stew with chunky home made bread and a good bottle of Shiraz. But my absolute favourite has to be a roast dinner, you can’t beat a proper roast with all the trimmings. I am fully aware how very Northern I am :)’

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8. And lastly, let’s play a round of ‘desert island discs’! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring with you? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, ingredients to make two meals, and one luxury item! 

‘Goodness, this is an indecisive person’s worst nightmare! Well firstly I’d cheat and put all of Elbow’s albums on one CD and all of Muse’s albums on another. I couldn’t go aw week without listening to an Elbow song, they are the soundtrack to my life! For books, it would have to be ‘Polo’ by Jilly Cooper and ‘Flambards’ by KM Peyton. My two meals would be a roast dinner (of course) and fillet steak with creamy dauphinoise potatoes and green beans, maybe with stilton sauce on the side (I’m actually salivating now) I hope there are good cooking facilities on this desert island! My luxury item would have to be lip balm, I could not cope without lip balm. I’m obsessive about it.’

** Thanks to the lovely Rachael for kicking off this week with such a fun interview! Click through to Made up of Little Things for a read of Rachael’s beautiful posts, and don’t forget to follow along via Bloglovin‘ and Instagram (search ‘madeupof’ on Insta for photos of the cutest baby you ever did see!) too! **

p.s. If you’d like to see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie, click through to the Sponsor page and book up an advert!

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27.02

Cider-with-Rosie-Friday-happy-list

 

Hello, it’s time for my weekly analysis of the past 7 days worth of weather! I just can’t help myself, okay? (Hashtag so British it hurts.) Have we or have we not gone tumbling back into winter this week? I mean, what with the all the heavy rain and the wind and the biting chill, I’ve been back to piling on layers until I’m roughly the shape of a marshmallow! It’s not been the best. Still, March will bring with it blossom and longer days and a warmer sun, and so we can’t be too unhappy, can we? :) And I spotted robins nesting in our garden this week, which is a sure sign spring is on its way. I hope your week’s been a lovely one! Here’s what’s made mine happy…

1. The sentence ‘Don’t bother cooking. I’ll bring home pizza’. It’s the way to my heart, for sure! ;)

2. Finding my Monica Vinader bracelet whilst clearing out an old handbag! I thought I’d lost it completely and was totally gutted! And now I just need to train myself to not shed jewellery/watches/accessories all over the house and to put them in a safe place instead…

3. Settling upon a first dance song for the wedding! And dancing around to it in the kitchen in the evenings. That’s pretty great too.

4. Nutella & apple slices. It’s my go-to ‘we’ve got nothing junky in the house but if I don’t eat some chocolate in the next 30 seconds I’ll cry’ snack ;)

5. Seeing my Mum totally transform her fitness through Pilates! She’s been coming to classes with me since September, and all of a sudden everything’s just clicked into place and she’s noticing the hugest difference to her fitness. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so happy and strong and full of vitality before. I’m a proud daughter!

6. Getting a hair-chop! It’d been far too long. I’m a disgrace.

7. The smell of hyacinths that’s been wafting through the house all week long. They pack a punch, and that punch smells like spring!

8. Finally getting to experience the magic of deep fried pickles from Meat Liquor.

9. Boyfriend jeans. I have a pair that’re basically like denim PJs, and they’re the absolute bomb.

10. The ritual of breakfastime. Making coffee, stirring honey into yoghurt, crushing in fresh raspberries- I find it so therapeutic.

Three posts I’ve loved reading :: Garance’s inspiring thoughts on laughter lines || Carrie’s photos from a husky sleigh ride in Finland || & Valerie’s recipe for healthy chewy chocolate cookies.

What’s made you happy this week? :)

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26.02

Cider-with-Rosie-lifestyle

Sharing all the wonderful blogs that’ve been linked here on Cider with Rosie each month is one of the best parts of blogging for me. It’s always so lovely hearing so many people say they’ve found new favourite reads from these monthly round ups, and I love taking time out throughout the month to really get to know each blog and blogger in turn. This month, there are such beautiful blogs linked here. Most are lifestyle, which, though they fall under the same umbrella, are all unique and different and individual in their own amazing way. And what better way to spend an hour or so on a grey Thursday, than getting to know a whole host of beautiful new blogs? Enjoy!

Made Up of Little Things 
Rachael was one of the first ‘blog friends’ I made way back in 2012, when we’d both not long started our respective blogs. I’ve followed along with her for such a long time now, and can’t think of a lovelier blog or blogger to be recommending here on Cider with Rosie! Rachael lives in the Lincolnshire countryside with her partner Matt, baby Forrest, two beautiful labradors, and a few chickens too! Made Up Of is a documentation of Rachael’s ‘happy things’- stories from her experiences as a new Mum, photos of rural scenes, and, my favourites, posts full of Rachael’s honest and candid updates about her recent goings on. I just love the charming simplicity of everything she does, and just know you will too.
Favourite post of the past month? Friday Round Up. 

Let Us Wanderlust
Oh, I just love Carly’s blog. It’s been such a pleasure getting to know it over the past few weeks! Let Us Wanderlust, as you’ve probably guessed from its rather beautiful name, is first and foremost about travel. I’ve never really been much of a wanderer myself but hearing about other people’s adventures is one of my favourite things, so Let Us Wanderlust has quickly become a firm favourite read! Along with sharing photos and stories from her travels, Carly blogs about her personal style (which is awesome, by the way), recipes, and her most loved items from each month. It’s just such a lovely read, I know you’ll love it!
Favourite post of the past month? How to survive long haul flights. 

Silverspoon London
I’m so glad to have got to know Angie over the past couple of months she’s been advertising here- not least because her tips for where we should go in Koh Samui in July have been a total Godsend! Silverspoon London is a luxury travel and lifestyle blog, and is always so much fun to read. Angie’s posts are unfailingly amazing- whether its her photos and recommendations from her travels, or restaurant and hotel reviews- her posts are always well written, beautifully put together, and so very useful! It’s full of such incredible advice and information about the hottest places to visit both in the UK and abroad, and is a must-read guide for any avid restaurant-goer or travel obsessive!
Favourite post of the past month? A Luxurious Day in Istanbul. 

Supernaturally Healthy
Kezia’s site is such an inspiring one. It’s a total one-stop-shop for all things health- with everything from recipes, to amazing advice about how to maintain balance in all things, and articles about current health buzzwords and myths. I find Kezia’s passion for her subject so very inspiring, and never fail to leave her site feeling pepped up and keen to treat my body like a temple! This month, she’s shared recipes for grain-free pancakes, and talked all about food cravings and why we should listen to them. That post in particular is a great example of why I admire Kezia so much- she’s honest and realistic about what it’s like to maintain a healthy diet! Absolutely worth a read.
Favourite post of the past month? Why we need to listen to our food cravings. 

Namaste From Ananya
I’ve just loved getting to know Ana’s lovely blog over the past month! Namaste from Ananya, in Ana’s own words, is an documentation of the attempt to face a fear every day. I don’t know about you, but I find that idea pretty inspiring! On her blog, Ana shares her reflections on life, peace, happiness, and personal growth, and her posts never fail to move me in some way. Her writing’s just so beautifully honest and serene, and her thoughts on the word ‘namaste’ in particular have stayed with me ever since I read them. If positive thinking and wellbeing blogs are your cup of tea, you’ll just love this one! It’s fast becoming one of my favourite daily reads :)
Favourite post of the past month? The Story Behind a Blog Name. 

Amy Antoinette
Amy’s blog has been on my reading list for such a long time now, so it’s such a treat having it linked here in the sidebar of CwR! It’s the most gorgeous space- everything Amy produces, from her photos to her writing to her site itself, is so carefully styled and put together that I never fail to be inspired by her attention to detail! Amy Antoinette is a family and lifestyle blog, documenting Amy’s experiences as a mother, a wife, and a soon-to-be expat! Amy and her family are off to the States this year, and it’s been so fascinating following along with their adventures so far. If you’re fond of beautiful photographs and dreamy writing and sweet families whose love for one another shines like a ray of light, you’ll just love Amy Antoinette!
Favourite post of the past month? Bon Voyage!

Dear You, Love Em
Oh, I just adore Emily’s blog! I’ve followed along with it right from Em’s very first post, and it’s been the so amazing to watch it grow and develop! Dear You Love Em is always so lovely to read- the posts are a mixture of photos and stories from Em’s life in Australia, sweet daily thoughts and inspirations, lovely recipes, and so much more. All of Em’s photographs are just gorgeous, and there’s something about her posts that keep me coming back time and time again to catch up on her recent goings on. It’s exactly the sort of charming lifestyle blog that’ll capture your heart the instant you click through to it, and hops right to the top of your reading list!
Favourite post of the past month?  Five Things | I’ve learnt in my twenties. 

Wander to Wonder
I first discovered Miho’s blog months and months ago, and it’s always such a pleasure to have it linked in my sidebar. It is, in a word, beautiful. Beautifully written, beautifully photographed- I can’t recommend it highly enough! Wander to Wonder is London-based lifestyle blog, featuring restaurant and cookbook reviews, recipes (red velvet truffles- need I say more?)…in short, so much good food you’ll find yourself running to the kitchen for snacks every time you read a post! I’ve added so many restaurants to my ‘must visit’ list thanks to Miho, and would be willing to bet my last Rolo that you’ll do the same!
Favourite post of the past month? Cake Decorating with Konditor & Cook.

More wonderful blogs to read and fall in love with! ::
Loved by Laura || Favourite post? How to make coodles without a spiralizer!
Quintessentially Me || Favourite post? The Urban Villa London Experience.
The What Now Blog || Favourite post? Life’s Too Short.
Get the Skinny || Favourite post? Fat Buddha Yoga / The View from the Shard.

To see you own blog featured here, head over to the Sponsor page and take up an advert! It’d be a pleasure to get to know you and your blog better :) Take 10% off all ad spots through the rest of February with the code ‘FEBRUARY10′!

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24.02

February-favourites-Cider-with-Rosie

I can already tell that the temptation to begin each of these monthly posts by saying ‘where on earth has the past month gone?!’ is going to be strong. But it’s true though, where *has* February disappeared to? I can’t say I’m sorry the past four weeks have zipped by, since it surely must be a universal truth that February is the lamest of months. January might be longer and darker, but at least we’ve got memories of Christmas and hopeful New Year’s resolutions to keep us going through it. That’s why the little things- a new pair of shoes, great coffee in the mornings, a stack of brightly coloured bowls- are so important in these rather grey months.

B E A U T Y ::

The-White-Company-Cider-with-Rosie

The White Company White Pompelmo hand & body balm – £20.

I was actually given this body balm at a little Christmas dinner The White Company hosted back in December, and have been so seriously impressed with it. I’d never tried any of The White Company’s skincare range before, and have loved this one so much I ended up buying a couple of others bits for my Mum for Christmas! The fragrance is to die for (of course, it’s a White Co product after all!), and it’s just the right consistency for using daily. It’s not the most easily absorbed of lotions, but the plus points of its lovely citrussy scent and the fact that it comes in a pump-bottle make up for having to leave it a minute or two to soak in before sticking my jeans on a hundred-fold!

H O M E ::

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Anthropologie Latte bowls - £3.50 each.

If I’m being honest, the unbridled joy this little stack of brightly coloured bowls brings me is verging on embarrassing. The white and blue ones I’ve had for probably a year or so now, and I bought the peach and yellow right at the beginning of February during a day in town with Kathryn. They’re arguably the most reasonably priced item in the whole of Anthropologie…though maybe it’s a clever marketing move to keep us buying more bowls each time new colours are released? Well hey- it’s working! ;) But really though, the happiness that comes from eating your breakfast out of a bright yellow bowl? Priceless!

Zara-Home-candle-Cider-with-Rosie

Zara Home dark amber candle – £19.99

This candle was a birthday gift from my lovely cousins back at the end of January, and has introduced me to the magical world of Zara Home! I knew the store existed before but hadn’t ever tried anything from it, and if the quality of this candle’s anything to go by, I’ll definitely be shopping there more frequently from now on. The candle itself is gorgeous- a really dark, warm and spicy fragrance, with a good even burn. It’s lasted such a long time as well, and throws off such gorgeous light thanks to the double wicks. The ‘Green Herbs’ candle is next on my list to try…

M U S I C ::

Cider-with-Rosie-Monthly-favourites-Spotify

Erato ‘Pictures of Pets’ album.

Erato was a total ‘stumble upon’ group for me, back in the summer of 2013. I’d come across them via Lennon and Maisy’s cover of their ‘Call your Girlfriend’ remake, but could only find one or two of their songs online at the time. Which I listened to on repeat so much so that Jason was basically tearing his hair out, and had to ask me to stop trying to sing along to their Swedish songs in what was blatantly total gobbledegook ;) Their ‘Pictures of Pets’ album (released last year, I think) is totally amazing- really easy listening but not so much so that it fades into the background, and full of their trademark ethereal harmonies. ‘Mariestod’ is my favourite song from the album by far. Oh, and it’s available on Spotify, which is always a winner!

W E A R ::

Reebok-trainers-ciderwithrosie

Reebok Skyscape Harmony slip ons – £40
{though the only ones I can find online are listed as £54)

These are the most comfortable shoes in the world. Fact. Jason and I popped into Reebok the weekend we were in Guildford buying wedding rings, and I tried these on on a total whim. They were totally dreamy but I decided not to buy them at the time, and literally could not stop thinking about them the rest of the weekend. They eventually came home with me a couple of days later from Richmond, and all was well with the world! They’re insanely light and well cushioned, and feel like walking on teeny tiny clouds. And they’re machine washable! I am, in short, obsessed. Reebok- never stop making these, okay?

D R I N K ::

ciderwithrosie-coffee Cider-with-Rosie-Monthly-favourites

Waitrose Tarrazu Mountain ground coffee – £3.30, & Anthropologie Kebaya mug – £10.

Since becoming something of a coffee addict during the past couple of years, I’ve set about sampling  as many types of ground coffee as I can get my hands on trying to find the very best one. Some have been good, others have been terrible…and now I think I’ve finally found my favourite. It’s such a rich and fruity blend, and has such a beautiful flavour that I’ve been drinking it black more often than not this month. And I’m counting down the days until the warm weather arrives, bringing iced latte season with it! There’s a new bottle of vanilla syrup sitting ready and waiting in the cupboard for when the moment arrives…

And, speaking of coffee- this mug was a new addition to the getting-crowded-very-quickly mug cupboard in our kitchen this month, and I’m very much in love. It’s not horrendously heavy like some of Anthropologie’s other mugs, and, in true Goldilocks fashion, is *just* the right size!

And that, my friends, is the February round up! What silly things have been keeping you going through the past month? :)

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