{Cider with Rosie turns two!} + some vanilla cupcakes & thoughts on blogging.



Today is the two year anniversary of the day I sat down at my computer, created a Blogger account, and typed ‘Cider with Rosie’ into the ‘Your Blog’s Title’ box. In fact, for the first six months or so, most people thought my blog was called ‘Cider with Rosie Bee’, since I wasn’t able to get plain old ‘ciderwithrosie . blogspot . com’ as my blog’s URL and so had to add the ‘bee’ to make it work!

I’d been secretly wanting to start a blog for a good few months previous (having loved reading them for years) but hadn’t been able to work up the courage to do it. I was mainly hung up on what people would think of me. ‘Will Jason think it’s really dumb? Will he mind being in photos with me, or taking my photo? Will my family and friends understand it? Will people think I’ve got too much time on my hands?’

It’s a scary thing to do, opening yourself and your life up to an audience (even though at first that audience was just my Mum!), and having to explain to friends and family that you believe other people may find your life, opinions, and thoughts interesting enough to read about requires a pretty hefty dose of confidence (faux or otherwise!). Because really, that’s what we’re doing here, isn’t it? We seize a piece of the internet and say ‘This is mine. I believe in the value of my voice, and my experiences, and I’m going to share them here both for myself and for other people.’

Pastel-cupcakes-with-sprinkles   Birthday-cupcakes

I think blogging is a wonderful, wonderful thing for so many reasons, but largely I love it for this reason: It’s never been so easy to find a kindred spirit as it is now, thanks to blogging. The people are what make blogging for me, and that, I guess, has been the biggest surprise of all. I always knew that I’d love the creativity of it all, the excitement of watching my little follower number grow, the challenge of learning an entirely new skill set- but I never expected to meet people who would become some of my very closest friends, who’ll be at my wedding next year and who were some of the first people I called to share my happiness with the day after I got engaged. I never expected that my world would become populated in such a real, wonderful way with people I’ve only ever spoken with online, or that the amount of affection I would feel for everyone who stops by to read here each day could be so overwhelming. It clean blows me away, and continues to do so on a daily basis.

Sometimes I wonder about the future of this blog, and blogging in general. I always just kind of assume that one day, for whatever reason, I’ll be finished with all this and will have moved on- or that blogging itself will have moved on and evolved into something new and different. But what if it doesn’t? What if I did actually continue to document my life here for another ten years? Or another twenty years? Will I be able to one day show my children this website, and let them walk through my life day by day and experience the person I was before they came into being? Would they even want to? Will it end up being a space Jason and I visit once in a while when feeling nostalgic, to reminisce about our younger selves?

I’m excited to discover what this next year of blogging will bring. For the new skills I’ll need to learn, and the challenges that will no doubt arise, and the people that will come into my life as a result of working in this brilliant brilliant industry. Thank you, a hundred times over, for taking time to read here once a day, once a week, once a month, or just once in a while. You all are the greatest. <3


And now (just for fun) here’s what I’ve learnt, over the past two years of blogging! ::

- If you can’t decide what you need for your camera, get the 50mm lens. It really is worth it!

- Go to events and meet-ups on your own. Don’t be tempted to bring along a friend or boyfriend or girlfriend as a safety blanket, even though you’re nervous. It’s terrifying to walk into a room full of people you don’t know, but being forced to be bold and make connections with people is invaluable. Or it has been for me, at least.

- If in doubt, lay everything out flat (and neat) and shoot from above. Then Instagram it, obviously.

- White backgrounds or strong contrast in your photos are always a good bet, I’ve found.

- Read blogs, of all genres and sizes and varieties. Make note of what you love most about your favourites. Scour Pinterest and Instagram for photography trends, and see if there’re any that inspire your own work. Learn what you can from this incredible creative industry, be inspired, and then set about forging your own path.

- People might say things about you and how you work and your life choices that are hard to read. That’s okay. Take a brief moment to see if there’s anything constructive to be gained from the comments, then take a deep breath, and leave them behind. Remember, you can’t please everybody, and will drive yourself to distraction if you try.

- Clearing up after making blog-related messes never gets any easier. (The kitchen is still a giant mess after making these cupcakes, for example ^^)

- Your friends and family will get so used to waiting until you’ve taken a photo of your meal before taking a bite that on the odd occasion you don’t do it, they’ll ask ‘What? No photo?’ with genuine concern.

- There’s no such thing as too much Nutella. Trust me on that.

Vanilla-cupcakes Vanilla-cupcakes-pastel-frosting Pastel-frosting

{An old-school recipe for vanilla cupcakes, with Hummingbird pastel-tinted vanilla frosting}
4oz self-raising flour
4oz margerine/spreadable butter
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250g icing sugar, sifted
80g softened butter
25ml whole milk
1 or 2 drops vanilla extract
A few tiny drops of food gel/colouring, and some sprinkles

- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, and line a muffin tin with muffin cases. Put *all* the ingredients into a large bowl, and beat the hell out of them with a wooden spoon until they’re smoothly combined. Then beat a few more times, to incorporate air and make the mixture beautifully light.

- Divide between the cake cases, and bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are light golden brown and spring back when gently pressed.

- Beat the butter and sifted icing sugar together, mix together the milk and vanilla, then slowly beat into the sugar mixture. Beat it continuously for a few minutes, until light and fluffy. Divide and tint with gels/colourings if you fancy (I use this Wilton set, and love it) and then pipe/swirl/spoon onto the cooled cakes.

Thank you, again, for reading. x

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  • http://daydreamsofsummertime.blogspot.co.uk/ Sarah

    Happy second blog anniversary! Your blog is absolutely lovely and such an inspiration to us blogging beginners! Hope you are having a lovely week!

    P.S. those cupcakes look divine! xx

  • http://arowantree.blogspot.com Polly

    I discovered your blog a couple of months ago (through Tania’s blog) and I love reading along! I even got so excited when you got engaged :) Keep up the good work!
    I think about the future of blogging too. I’ve been doing it for 5 years now (wow?!) kind of on and off though, and the blogging world has already changed so much. I wonder what will come next… will everyone have a blog!?
    One question – although I’ve made a few ‘virtual’ friends, I haven’t gone to many meet ups or events. As you are fairly local, where do you go to meet other bloggers? How did you meet them in real life?

  • http://www.waterpainteddreams.com Hayley

    Congratulations Rosie. Your blog is one of my favourites so here’s to many more years of blogging!

  • Cath

    So proud of you, lady. Me and Rube think these photos are totally beautiful and well worth making a mess…

  • http://seekingvictory.blogspot.com Nicole

    Happy blog-day!
    You really do take stunning photos. And make such pretty food

  • http://www.theperksofbeingahipster.com Cate Cruse

    I’ve only found your blog recently, but I adore it and it’s really inspired me to keep blogging. I hope my blog can become half what yours is now :) xxxx


  • http://newgirlintoon.co.uk Chloe

    Congratulations!! Love your blog :)

    Here’s to many more years!


  • Chloe

    Your blog is so lovely,it’s hard to believe you’ve only written it for 2 years; seems so much more seasoned and sophisticated. having said that, your photography has come on hugely since I first started reading. Your blog is one of my favourites! Was wondering if we’d see Teddy any time soon? :)

  • http://www.intoruth.com/ Ruth Johnston

    Happy Blog Birthday, Rosie! Your blog truly is one of my favourite reads. I think the advice about ‘bringing friends to an event’ is one I something I should take on board, but safety blankets do make me feel a bit more at ease, we’ll see how that goes. AND you managed to squeeze a recipe in – an oldie but a goodie, I’d love to get my pastel frosting as on-point. x

  • http://www.hecticophilia.com Jesse Lili

    It’s incredible to think that you’ve been blogging for two years and I wish you a happy blog birthday. I love reading your blog because I always find it tasteful, surprising and interesting. It really shows that you blog for yourself but also have in mind to show something inspiring to readers. To two more years! *raises glass* Jesse.

  • http://www.mascaraandmud.wordpress.com mascara & mud

    happy birthday to your gorgeous blog! I may not comment all the time, but I read it! Those cupcakes look uuumazing! I sometimes wonder where my blog is going, but as it’s something I’m really enjoying, I’m just going along with it. have a nice day xx

  • http://theperfectionistpen.wordpress.com/ Gemma

    Congratulations! I always enjoy reading your posts :)

  • http://www.letitbecosy.com Rocio

    I don’t know what to say, I just want to give you a big hug!
    Here’s to many many many more years of blogging, learning and happiness.

  • http://www.escapetothewestcountry.co.uk Sarah

    Hi Rosie,
    I have been reading your blog for some time and you have inspired me to start my own little blog which I hope will grow.
    I got a DSLR in January so I need to get out and practise with it more now the weather is nicer!
    Keep up the fantastic work

  • http://www.la-lingua.blogspot.com Lucy

    Beautiful cupcakes!
    And a whole host of congratulations are in order it seems, for the blog birthday and the imminent wedding! I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and tips on blogging, it’s really great for those of us starting out to see what the future may hold!
    I hope you are still posting in 20 years! xxx
    La Lingua : Food, Life, Love, Travel, Friends, Italy

  • http://www.nishaantishu.com Freya

    Happy blog-birthday (blirthday?) my lovely! See you soon!xxx

  • http://www.racheliselsewhere.com Rachel S

    Happy 2nd birthday!! I totally get the future of your blog thing, I always wonder if I’ll look back in 10, 20, 50 years and be proud of what I’m doing now. Imagine if we all did continue this for the rest of our lives, what an incredible database of thoughts and events! It definitely serves as a nice memento of things we might otherwise have forgotten.

    Rachel | Rachel is Elsewhere

  • http://www.everywordhandwritten.co.uk Rosie

    HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYYYYY! I have bloody LOVED reading your blog <3 And now I really want cupcakes…

  • http://www.melissalovesthis.blogspot.co.uk Melissa

    Happy 2nd blog birthday. I have been reading your blog for a while now and love your personal approach to your posts.

    ps, those cupcakes look delicious. You can’t beat a good old vanilla cupcake!


  • http://www.twitter.com/whenwetalkabout Lucy

    Many happy returns! Cider with Rosie is an absolutle favourite for me, I’m always excited to read about your life in all it’s little loveliness. Hoping for more splendid blogging years for you!

  • http://www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk Lauren S

    the cupcakes are so cute ! and that’s the same reason i started blogging, i’ve been creating blogs/youtubes since 2008 so i’m glad now to be focused on my blog to share thoughts with everyone !
    Lauren x
    Please nominate my blog for Best Lifestyle Blog and Newcomer here !
    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography – http://www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

  • http://www.benourishd.co.uk Katie

    Happy birthday! Great advice and wow, those cupcakes look so good!

  • http://www.the-zfactor.co.uk Zoe

    Happy second birthday to your blog. It’s absolutely beautiful and a pleasure to read – hard to believe you’ve only been doing it a relatively short time. Congratulations!

    Zoe xx

  • http://www.littlemisskaty.co.uk Katy English

    Happy Blog Birthday! Those cupcakes look divine :) xx

    Katy | http://www.littlemisskaty.co.uk

  • http://www.rosalilium.com Elizabeth @ Rosalilium

    Congratulations on your two years of blogging! Hoorah!

    And I totally agree on being able to find so many likeminded souls through blogging – it’s the best!

  • http://www.notquiteenough.co.uk Lisa

    Congratulations on your two year blog birthday. I can only dream of achieving what you have with your blog in the space of two short years.

  • http://www.thelobsterandme.com Ibbs

    Congratulations sweetie :)
    So lovely to read a reminder on why we spend so much time effort and creativity on our little spots of the interspace!
    Keep up the wonderful work
    x x x
    {The Lobster & Me}

  • http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk Jessica Rose

    Happy 2nd Birthday to your blog and a big congrats to you…with sprinkles and a cherry on top!! ;) xx

  • http://whatrachaelwrote.blogspot.co.uk Rachael

    Happy two years Cider with Rosie! I’ve loved your blog for so, so long and I’m sure I will continue to do so. It’s strange thinking about where our blogs will be in ten years time, or if blogging will have become a thing of the past. P.S. those cupcakes looks amazing! xx

  • http://brunchataudreys.tumblr.com Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    Happy birthday! I’ve only found your blog recently through a friend, so I can’t say that I’ve seen your blog blossom throughout the years, but I can say that your blog is absolutely amazing, and I always look forward to seeing your posts! The fact that the layout of your blog is gorgeous is just a plus. Your cupcakes look delicious, and I hope that cleaning up afterwards wasn’t all that bad :P I can attest that there is no such thing as too much Nutella as I’ve been dipping my strawberries in them almost every day, or rather, I’ve been sprinkling my Nutella with strawberries ;) Anyways, I wish you and your blog all the best! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • http://allaboutthegirlblog.blogspot.com Caroline

    I think this is a great post, I often wonder if blogging will still exist in years to come, and I think it’s a wonderful thought to imagine that your children or just other random people could stumble across this and read your life as it was many years ago. I’m so glad you did start blogging, your blog is one of my absolute favourites,and I really do find it an inspiration. I’d love to take photos as well as yours, and right as beautifully, and it keeps me going with mine when I’m struggling to motivate myself :)

    And I’m even more excited now you’re getting married too xx

  • http://www.thisparticular.blogspot.com Ala Skrakowski

    Congrats Rosie, you deserve all the blogging love that comes your way! Cider With Rosie is one of the best blogs around; very well written, beautiful imagery and fab content! Long may you continue! x

  • http://www.lifeoutsidelondon.co.uk Michelle

    A very merry blog birthday to you!
    M x

  • http://stacie-lifeisworththefight.blogspot.co.uk Stacie

    Yay Happy blog Birthday Rosie!! Those cupcakes look amazing!!

  • http://www.rhymeandribbons.com Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

    Massive congratulations! I think your blog growth over the past 2 years is super inspiring! x

  • http://pigtailpixie.blogspot.com sammie

    I love your blog – I’m so glad I found it. And now I have an enormous craving for cupcakes.

    PS: happy blog birthday!

  • http://tea-for-tina.blogspot.com/ Tina

    Immeasurable congratulations to you and this lovely space you have created. I cannot wait to see what you become or accomplish in the following year, I started my own blog yesterday and this post has given me the strength to push forward with no limits, again I thank you for the genuine content you post and the inspiration you have given me. – Tina.

  • http://www.sallytangle.blogspot.com sally

    I cannot believe this space is two years old! I say that because i feel as if you have always been here! I love to stop by and read your rambles, inspirational posts and lovely words of wisdom and you are one of the very reasons Sallytangle was born. And in turn in a round about way, why i have managed to get some of my writing published in magazines and local publications, that all came from my blog and without you i might never have started to think people might want to read about the clouds, my feelings, walnut whips and what makes me, ME.

    I will always be inspired to do what i do ‘cos’ve you and this little space SO Happy Birthday and the hugest of thank yous to your lovely face! xxxxxxxxx

  • http://dinoprincesschar.blogspot.co.uk char

    Congrats on your two years! :)

  • http://jowinwood.blogspot.co.uk Jo Winwood

    That frosting looks brilliant! Mine always comes out too runny so I tend not to bother (plus I’ve got boys who wolf things down before even looking at them so where’s the incentive to make them look pretty?)

  • http://www.madeupoflittlethings.com Rachael

    Happy Bloggiversary! Beautiful photos, as always. Keep blogging, you’ve created something really beautiful and it grows every day

    rachael xx

  • http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/a-trip-to-san-francisco.html gina

    haha, good thoughts on nutella, really enjoy your blog
    happy birthday http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/a-weekend-away.html

  • http://lavidalaura.com/ Laura

    Happy blog anniversary! Really interesting to read your thoughts on blogging – I always think about looking back on the blog with my hypothetical future kids too :) Kind of a strange thing!

  • http://doorbelle.blogspot.com Liesa

    Love love love this! Coongratulations on Cider with Rosie turning two! I love your view on blogging, the people you get to talk to is the absolute best bit about it. And oh my, those cupcakes look so delicious I’m going to HAVE to try them ;) xx

  • http://www.daisychainsanddreamers.wordpress.com Sarah Linda

    Really humble post Rosie, love your cupcakes and Happy 2nd blog birthday!


  • http://the-cup-and-saucer.blogspot.com Alice

    Happy blog birthday Rosie!! Seriously love your little corner of the internet, so keep on doing what makes you happy, ‘kay?

  • http://sophieinthesticks.co.uk Sophie

    Only two years old? I can hardly believe it! You deserve all the success you’ve had :) x

  • Zoe

    What a great blog post; I only stumbled across your blog earlier this week, and I’ve been reading your posts religiously since then! I really do hope you keep blogging for a long time, as you’re clearly talented at it, and this is quickly becoming one of my favourites. Happy 2 year anniversary! Xx

  • http://thekathalogue.wordpress.com Kathryn

    Happy 2nd, Rosie! :) I’m 17 years old and I’ve always been an avid reader! Your posts inspire me to just be happy with life and your photography skills are getting better and better in each post! Again, congratulations on your engagement! You deserve all the sweetest things in the world! :)

  • http://www.beccalouisa.com Becca Louisa

    Congratulations on your two year anniversary, Rosie! Here’s to many more! xx

  • http://www.littleobservationist.com Steph

    Wow, those cupcakes look amazing! And congrats on the 2 year anniversary. I would have assumed it’s been a lot longer. I adore coming here. And totally agree there’s no such thing as too much nutella!

  • http://www.onbackroads.com Hilde

    Congrats! Your blog is one of my faves, keep up the good work!

  • http://www.thegirlinthemoon.co.uk Anna

    Congratulations on your two year blogging birthday! Blogging, when you think about it, can seem like a very odd thing to do. I find it difficult to tell people about mine because I worry they won’t understand at all, but I love this wonderful community and all the things I learn from having my own little corner of the internet, and visiting others’ too!

    Anna xx | The Girl In The Moon

  • http://handbagsandcupcakes.blogspot.co.uk/ Rachel Hosie

    Lovely lovely post!

    Rachel x


  • http://onserpentineshores.blogspot.co.uk/ Alex

    What a beautiful blog post! Gorgeous photography, a delicious recipe and a great list of tips. Happy Birthday to your blog and thank you for this post! xx

  • http://anastasiavictoriaisfunny.blogspot.co.uk/ Anastasia Victoria

    Happy blog birthday and what a great post, love it ! I love the photos of the cakes, they look so pretty .

    I would love it if you would follow me and leave some comments on the blog posts etc xx


  • http://www.sophieharriet.com Sophie Harriet

    This is a beautiful piece of prose that I can entirely empathise with. I too had always wanted to start a blog, but fear and concern over what others would think always deterred me. Finally I realised that if I let fear prevent me from doing something, then I would lose a lot of opportunities in life, so I took the plunge and have not looked back. Blogging is a wonderful expression of self, allowing me to channel my thoughts and passions.

  • http://inbetweendaysblog.blogspot.co.uk Sam

    Rosie, I found this article to really interesting and helpful. As someone who has just started up her own blog it is hard not to get myself in a tiz comparing myself to others. Your tips were great and those cupcakes look amazing! Happy 2 year anniversary!

  • http://lifeblooming.com Lisa

    I only just found your blog today through another blogger so hello and happy 2nd anniversary!
    I enjoyed the tips and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the recipe.
    I’ll be back for more!

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