Blogging Good Reads, featuring Charlie from ‘Mess and Merlot’.
Welcome to the third instalment of my series, ‘Blogging Good Reads’, where I invite fellow bloggers to tell me about their favourite blog posts (their own and those written by others). In doing so, I hope it creates a wonderful ready-made reading list for you all, saving you the job of hunting for fabulous things to read yourselves.
With so many blogs waiting to be discovered, it’s hard to know where to start, so I hope Blogging Good Reads will introduce you to some brilliant writers and blog posts. Before I started blogging, I didn’t read many blogs and I certainly didn’t think of looking for blog posts if I fancied something to read. However, in the last 18 months, I’ve been blown away by the quality and diversity of the blogs I’ve read. There are some truly gifted writers out there and I’ve laughed, cried and cheered in equal measure.
Charlie: Mess & Merlot
For this instalment of Blogging Good Reads, I’m delighted to be featuring my mate Charlie, a who blogs at ‘Mess and Merlot’
If you dip into Charlie’s blog, you’ll find it crackles with wit and humour, but more importantly, it’s refreshingly honest too. I love Charlie’s ‘take me as you find me’ attitude to life and blogging. She isn’t churning out posts or worrying about stats – Instead, she writes ‘on her terms’ and because she loves it.
Charlie’s series about body image, ‘She loves herself’, is a must-read for those of you who are sick of all the body shaming and want to read something that celebrates our bodies instead.
If you love cakes, Charlie isn’t just a talented writer, she’s a dab-hand at cake making too! Go and check out her fabulous cakes in her Instagram feed:
See what I mean!!
Blogging Good Reads: Mess and Merlot.
1. Tell us about your blog using Twitter’s 140 character limit.
Ooh you know, parent stuff, kid stuff, body image stuff. My little place to natter, share, connect and learn. Come and say hi!
2. If your blog were a cake, which 5 blog posts would best represent the key ingredients?
Why body-shamers can kiss my (squidgy) butt!
Running my first10k – before, during & after
3. What’s your most popular blog post and why do you think it’s successful?
Eek – I’ve gone public!‘ was popular because I guess it was a post every blogger can relate to. I still haven’t told my Mum about my blog though!
4. What type of blog posts are most popular with your readers and why do you think that is?
My posts about body image issues usually have a strong response as, sadly, it’s something many of us have experienced at some point. My blog is a place where I feel comfortable expressing my own feelings on body confidence, as a result readers are so supportive and often open up about their own experiences. My ‘She loves herself‘ guest posts are all about celebrating and promoting body confidence and I am so proud and grateful to everyone who has been part of the series.
5. Have any of your posts ‘gone viral’ (or viral compared to your usual page views). Tell us about some of them and how and why you think it happened.
Ooh no! I’ve never had a post go viral – it makes me nervous just thinking about it!
6. What post has been your most controversial in terms of the reaction it’s received and why?
I hate confrontation so it’s unlikely I’d ever intentionally cover a controversial subject. There was one post which I wasn’t sure whether to publish or not (I don’t want a job and that’s ok) because I felt it may have been seen as self-indulgent. I know it can be an emotive subject whatever parents decide is best for their own family. Luckily my readers responded in their usual understanding and supportive way which was a relief.
7. Which of your posts do you wish had received more attention and why?
The Quiet Man. It was one of my very early posts and the first time I experienced getting emotional about the subject, my son. The post itself probably doesn’t seem at all emotional or even noteworthy to the reader but being new to this whole writing malarkey it took me by surprise how the much the process can affect you.
8. List your three favourite blog posts and tell us why they’ve made your top three.
Throwback Thursday – For my third post, despite being written in a sleep-deprived stupor, something clicked and my writing style appeared on the screen in front of me.
Vogue 73 questions – Spurred on by a post written by Helen at Just Saying Mum this was my first attempt at vlogging and although I can’t watch it back without a sense of utter mortification, I feel proud that I was able to face a huge fear of mine by going on camera. The quality is shocking, I say ‘um’ a gazillion times and think about deleting my YouTube channel daily given how embarrassing I find it.
Running My first 10K – Before, During & After – This time last year I couldn’t run for 30 seconds never mind complete a 10K. When I started blogging I just fancied learning a new skill, I never imagined that it would really bring me anything. Having the chance to run and raise awareness for The Children’s Society was one of the most rewarding challenges I’ve ever faced. I really wanted to convey this in my writing and hopefully, the readers were able to get a sense of the whole experience in this post.
9. What’s your favourite blog post title (from those you’ve written) and why?
Lean in 15 (years) – It just perfectly summed up the expectation Vs reality of my dieting experience and by happy accident allowed me to play on the title of the No.1 selling book at the time.
10. What’s your funniest post?
Mr Grey I like to inject a bit of humour into my posts when it’s appropriate but this was my first attempt at a poem and I was actually trying to raise a giggle – the pressure!
11. Which blog post means the most to you and why?
Arrgh – this is really hard because the posts that mean the most to me are all guest posts for the She Loves Herself series and I couldn’t choose just one! Body image is such a tricky subject and when someone agrees to write openly about their feelings on the subject it honestly means so much to me.
12. What post was the hardest for you to write and why?
Why body shamers can kiss my (squidgy) butt. Body image is not something I feel comfortable discussing. Despite this I felt like in order to be a good role model to my daughter, it was really important that I started with working on my own body confidence first.
Blogging Good Reads: Other bloggers.
13. List your 5 favourite blogs (not blog posts) and why you like them.
Well apart from Maflingo (but since you’re reading this you’re obviously a fan already)…
Rhyming With Wine – Dawn is an utter word genius and should have every one of her poems published in a book in my opinion. They never fail to make me laugh.
The Cake Blog – In my other life, I have a home baking business so am forever swooning and salivating over the creations here.
Absolutely Prabulous – Ahh gorgeous Prabs. A ‘say it like it is’, warm, funny mamma blogger-babe with the ability to make you laugh, cry… basically do as is her will through her brilliantly humorous, heartfelt and witty words.
Mummy of Boy Girl Twins – Jess’s blog is one of the first I ever really followed with interest and still do. It’s a thing of beauty and a constant cause of disappointment at my own wardrobe, decor, blog, basically life. Maybe if I spent less time gawping at her Instagram pics…
Not Another Mummy Blog – Another joyful feast for the eyes. I just love everything about Alison’s blog, the images, the words and now a shiny new series of podcasts with fab guests to boot!
14. List up to 5 of your favourite blog posts by other bloggers.
– Maflingo: Creative Inspirations-Chris Baker Art
– Just Saying Mum: Come On Girls, Release Your Inner Vlogger
– Beauty, Baby and Me: One For The Husband
– Pink Pear Bear: Pssst! Everyone Is Faking It
– Mad House Mum: Be Realistic
15. If someone is new to reading blogs, which 3 blogs (not blog posts) should they be reading right now, and why?
Not Another Mummy Blog – a mix of style, travel, life and parenthood. I love to have a little mooch on here with a cuppa.
Domestic Sluttery – I followed this blog years ago and was sad to see it go but this year it made a comeback – hooray!! You can sign up for a daily newsletter full of fashion, food and fabulous things you don’t need but will definitely want. Oh and they do a weekly sales spy with all the best bargains of the week straight to your Inbox – my all time fave way to waste time online.
Nic’s Nutrition – Nic is a registered dietitian who blogs about nutrition, health and fitness. I love her sensible approach to looking after our bodies and regularly scour her blog for healthy recipes and tasty treat ideas.
16. Tell us about blog posts which have made you:
Anything by Dawn at Rhyming With Wine
For Joseph On Your 11th Birthday by Five Little Doves. Laura writes so beautifully and openly about the very personal experience of baby loss to raise awareness and help others who have been affected by it.
Why I Support Kicks Count In The Ban Of Home Dopplers by Five Little Doves. A subject I knew little about. This post was interesting, informative and as a result, I signed the petition to ban home dopplers.
17. Which blog post by another blogger do you wish you had written and why?
The Truth About Coconut Oil by The Nutrition Guru and The Chef. To be honest this is one of MANY of the posts on this blog that I wish I’d written. Tara debunks a lot of the questionable ‘health advice’ put out there and you can tell by her Facebook videos that she really cares and gets frustrated when people are duped by marketing or pressurised into trying fad diets.
Also, there’s the tiny matter of me not being a Nutritionist so not having any authority to write such posts – thank goodness for people like Tara who do!
18. Finally, which Maflingo blog post is your favourite and why?
Oooh! This is a tricky one because I love a bargain, I love the arty crafty posts AND I love interiors – agggh. OK, this might seem like a bit of a random one but I really enjoyed the unboxing you did with your Approved Food Haul. Something so satisfying about seeing a huge table full of discounted food right? 🙂
Thanks to Charlie for sharing her Blogging Good Reads.
I’m a big fan of some of the other bloggers mentioned in Charlie’s lists and can thoroughly recommend them, too. So, if you’re looking for some fabulous blog posts to read and enjoy, Charlie’s Blogging Good Reads are a great place to start.
I love Charlie’s blog and I especially love all the body image stuff too – she’s a lovely gal and I’m really looking forward to a cup of tea with her next week. I wonder if she’ll have cake??
Why thank you lovely lady!! Always on the lookout for new guest on She Loves Herself, just saying 😉 x
Thanks for having me Jane, hope you enjoyed my suggestions- looking forward to the next in the series! 🙂 x