Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I Love Your Blog: Jaye Rockett


I love when I get the chance to do this series. There are so many great bloggers out there, people sharing great ideas, great words, great images, and I love having the chance and the platform to share some of them here with you.

I actually cannot recall the first time I met Jaye, but I am oh-so-glad I did. Stylish, funny, and utterly addicted to stationery (qwe bonded hard over a mutual love of Kikki K, Paperchase, and Erin Condren, among others!), she's such a creative and kind member of the blogosphere, and I'm delighted that she agreed to take part in 'I Love Your Blog'.

.......

 1.      How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging now for almost five years, but my blog has taken quite a few forms during that time. I originally started it as something to keep me occupied when I moved to London for Uni and knew nobody, and it’s kind of evolved into something of a digital diary!

2.      What do you blog about?  Do you have a specific goal with your blog, or is it more a record of your life?

I started off blogging solely about beauty, but as I became a bit more settled in my beauty routine (and no longer with a student loan to blow in MAC)I started to incorporate other topics. Whilst I was at uni it became quite a useful tool for landing internships and work experience, I was studying Journalism so they like to see that you’re constantly writing! I never really have had an end goal with my blog, it’s just always been something I’ve enjoyed doing, and as a writer anyway, I found it was nice to have somewhere to write freely! I’ve been lucky enough that my blog has afforded me a lot of great opportunities, from helping to build my freelance business, to landing me work experience, to fantastic opportunities to meet with other bloggers and work with brands I love.


3.      What is your favourite thing about blogging?

I’m lucky in that though my readership is small, it’s the most wonderful group of (mostly) women. Writing my blog is almost cathartic to me, no matter what’s going on in my life my blog + readership are a constant, and the community that has built around it is so supportive and wonderful. I think it speaks volumes that 99% of my friends these days I met through my blog! 


4.      What is your least favourite thing about blogging?

There’s a lot of expectation with blogging, mostly from the blogging community. I think it’s often assumed that by having a blog, you want to be the next Zoella, when really, if my blog stays as it is, I’d be quite content.


5.      Do you have any favourite posts on your blog – pieces you’re really proud of, which document something special, or which seemed to strike a chord with your readers?

This is a tricky one, mostly I’m always just blown away by the positive reaction + support I receive from my readers whenever I post anything more personal. I’ve had quite a rough year personally, and I was always a little afraid to click publish on any personal posts, but I’m always overwhelmed by the love I get back. Those are usually the posts that garner the most comments + discussion on my blog, and having that support system, even from people you don’t know, is so heartwarming. 

6.      Whose blogs do you love?  I’m always looking for recommendations :) 

Oh my there are so many! Discounting the obvious (your bangarang girls are all blogging babes) I adore Tami’s blog - especially her ‘if you do one thing’ posts, Carrie’s blog is a little ray of sunshine on a drizzly January day, and I always find something interesting to read over at Wit and Delight


7.      You are very organised about your blogging – how do you prepare and plan?

Because I try to post daily, I’ve always had a very practical + organised approached to blogging! I use Evernote to keep a running list of content ideas, as well as a content calendar - that way I can access it all easily on any device. Within my calendar I have posts colour coded by category - Beauty, Lifestyle, Travel or Style, to try and avoid posting too much of the same content at one time. I try to work a week or so ahead of myself + I dedicate a day each week to taking photos for the week ahead. For the most part though, I’m writing about my life right now, or things I’m loving right now, so I never really struggle for content ideas!


8.      I think the pictures you have on your blog are great - do you have a favourite camera, or a favourite editing program?

Well thank you! The photographs on my blog are super important to me, so I always try to use the best tools I have at my disposal! For the most part the photos you see on my blog are taken with my Canon 70d + a 40mm pancake lens, which is a bit of a magic camera formula in the blogging world. That being said, if I’m out for lunch and decide I want to blog about it, I am quite happy to just snap some photos on my iPhone 6 and use those! I love photography, but I never want having to have the right equipment to feel like a burden! With good lighting and a little clean of the lens, you can take great photos on an iPhone! For blog photos I use Lightroom to edit, I shoot in RAW and find this is the easiest way to edit without losing quality, but if I’ve been using my phone, I’ll often just use the A Colour Story App! I’m loving the Flashes of Delight filter pack right now. 

9.      Like me, you’re a stationery fiend. Which brands are you loving at the moment?

I love Kikki K and everything they do, so it’s no surprise I’m fawning over their new Valentine’s Collection. I’m always browsing the New In section on The Fox and Star, they stock all my favourite brands (including my weakness, Rifle Paper Co!). I’m also currently umming and ahhing over placing an order from Appointed, but the shipping costs are astronomical! 

10.  What tips do you have for bloggers growing and nurturing their blogs?

Stay true to your own voice - in an oversaturated market that’s your USP! Don’t listen to anyone who says you have to have a niche, write about what you want to write about, and your work will be much more natural + enjoyable to read!

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Loved having you visit for an interview, Jaye - hope we can catch up in London soon!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pizza Club at Firebrand Pizza


One of the true delights of blogging has been the many wonderful people I've met. Inspiring people, clever people, funny people; amazing writers, photographers and wits; dear friends and kind souls. I'm always amazed at how fortunate I've been in the people I am lucky enough to call my blog-friends and the many joys they bring to my life.

Three such wonders are my Pizza Club buddies, Emma, Connie and Vicky. From a series of throwaway tweets in the middle of 2016, Pizza Club was spawned, and now every month or two we get together to eat pizza, try new flavours, and catch up on the goings on in our lives. On this occasion we were kindly invited by Firebrand Pizza, a sweet little pizzeria a hop, skip and jump from Marylebone station.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Life Goddess, Fitzrovia

I love finding little spots in town that are great for lunch. In this busy, bustling city, it's so great to find somewhere where you can pull up a chair and enjoy a delicious meal on a lunchbreak or of an evening. Imagine my delight, then, when I met up with the lovely Charlie and we headed to The Life Goddess in Fitzrovia for lunch a little while ago.

This little gem is a true delight, nestled away in the heart of the city. Part deli, part restaurant, it was the ideal place for a catch up over great, fresh food.


I settled upon the slow roasted pork belly with rosemary potatoes and salad...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Brunch at Boondocks

Whatever your personal feelings about Valentines, February 14th is all about the love.

How fitting, then, that my blogging calendar has me writing about something I truly love today (I love many things, but today's topic is definitely one of them!).

Brunch.

I love brunch. The options, the chat, the cocktails, the coffee. There's something so delicious and inviting about spending time over a meal with friends, family, loved ones, and a long brunch is a charming way to catch up and check in.


I've passed Boondocks, on City Road, a fair few times since it opened. With a fair few friends living and working in Old Street, Hoxton and Shoreditch, it's a part of town I see often. I also love a bit of southern-US comfort food, so it was very much on my radar to try. Imagine my delight, then, when the lovely Katy said she'd been invited along to sample their new brunch menu. And that she had a plus one. I love it when the universe conspires to bring me, breakfast food, and dear friends together.



Sunday, February 12, 2017

Exploring the Royal Museums, Greenwich


Last month, I was lucky enough to spend a day out having adventures with the lovely Emma. We brunched at Big Easy then we spent an enjoyable afternoon exploring some of the wonderful museums over in Greenwich.

Our first stop was the National Maritime Museum. I've been here several times on school trips, but on this occasion it was lovely to explore without having to pause every few moments to do a headcount (I'm such a triple-checker when I run school excursions!). The museum is light and inviting and full to bursting with the most fascinating pieces which chart the naval and sailing history of our island nation. 


Saturday, February 04, 2017

Big Easy, Canary Wharf


A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to get to hang out with the lovely Emma and do some exploring here in town. Once we settled on a date, we quickly formulated a plan - brunch at the Big Easy in Canary Wharf followed by exploring and culture at the museums in Greenwich.


As the picture demonstrates, I was super excited to try Big Easy - I've been meaning to do so for ages but this was actually my first visit. I love me some southern-US food so was excited to head on down and try. The Canary Wharf location is lovely, easy to get to, with bags of space and great light, so all in all it's a blogger's dream!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January by the numbers, and my goals for February

Happy end of January, all. Hasn't this month felt long? Even though I like January, this has felt like a long old month. Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the dark, maybe it's the political maelstrom, I just know it's been a long month and I'm quite looking forward to a new page on the calendar.

As this year I've made my new year's resolutions monthly targets, I figured I'd check in each month with an update on how they've gone, as well as given a few vital stats for the month just past. There are lots of plans and changes afoot in 2017, and I think it'll be fun to keep a record.

So, January by the numbers...

Blog events attended: A rather lacklustre 2. I have, however, had some lovely get-togethers with bloggy friends.

Brunching up a storm with Emma was a highlight!

Books read: A better 6 (The Dry, Relativity, Homegoing, How To Be A Grown Up, The Bear And The Nightingale, The One).

Hi, I'm Claire...

Hi, I'm Claire...

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, books & travel, and a lot more besides. I'm never happier than when having adventures, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book.

If you'd like to work together, or if you'd just like to say hello, my email is: countrymouseclaire@gmail.com

Please note that on occasion affiliate links may be used in this blog. All items received for review or paid posts will always be disclosed.

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