There’s few things in
life we love more than a morning cup of coffee and a read through of our
favourite blogger’s latest posts. One such blogger is Jen from Jenlittlebirdie –
a Scottish mum of one living in West Yorkshire. Working a few days in a Market
Garden, Jen’s posts have an earthy soulful quality to them that makes the cold
morning starts so much more bearable. Jen blogs about a variety of topics:
gardening, interiors, and ‘52 weeks of happy’ - a project focusing on the
little things that bring you happiness (check out our first week of happy here!).
Wanting to know more
about Jen, we thought we’d ask her a few questions about blogging, her
favourite home style and the one home product that she can’t live without.
1 Jen what inspired you to begin the blog?
I started the blog nearly
two years ago. I'd always wanted to be a writer, but I'm also a terrible
procrastinator, so I never put pen to paper!
However, I'd had quite a rough few years in my job and found that blogs
helped me get through the day. It was great to see how other people with
similar interests to my own lived their lives and they inspired me immensely to
change my life. Once I gave up work and had more time to myself it gave me the
opportunity and the incentive to actually sit down and write.
2 What pros/cons have you discovered with
Firstly I've made some
great friendships with other bloggers. Fantastic people I would never have made
in 'real life'. And then I get the most amazing comments and emails from people
who have read the blog and have found something they like in it. It's also
fantastic to me that I've inspired others to write their own blogs. I love that
we can motivate one another to change our lives or situations. There aren't a
lot of negative things that I've discovered about blogging other than I get the
occasional email from companies wanting to write their own posts on the blog,
strange things like nanny-ing services!
3 Bloggers block - what pulls you out of it?
I think all bloggers
suffer with this, and I do get this regularly! Mostly it's because daily life
just gets in the way and that has to take priority. But quite often it's
because I'm not inspired. At first I used to feel that I had to blog all the
time, but now if inspiration doesn't strike, then I don't write again until it
does. I think it's always better to take a break and not 'force' the words out.
4 You blog a lot about home style. What’s your
favourite home style?
I love Scandi style.
White walls, wooden floors and simple furniture. But then brightened up with
bold injections of colour from accessories like cushions, art and lighting. I
love the added touch of using vintage pieces that create a home that has a
history and make them totally unique.
5 What’s one home product you can't live without?
It would have to be my vintage
Conran Habitat Maclamp in bright yellow. I fought hard to win one of those on
Ebay and lost several. But then one day I got lucky! It makes me happy
6 You’re vegetarian. What’s your favourite dish
My absolute favourite
vegetable is the Aubergine. I could eat them everyday. I particularly like them
slowly cooked in the oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes, then toss in a few of
the sundried tomatoes, some pine nuts and some fresh basil. Mix with pasta and
then grate over a little bit of cheese. Simple, super quick and delicious.
inspired you to start 52 Weeks of Happy?
52 Weeks of Happy is a
weekly post I do every Tuesday. It's my way of highlighting the little things
that make me truly happy. It's not about buying things but more the simple
things in life. It started out when I came across a quotation - 'The happiest
people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of
everything'. And I think that's a great way to look at your life. Don't worry
about what you don't have and look at what you do. I've had a fantastic
response to this idea, and now a lot of other bloggers are joining in with it.
It's great to see all the other happy things and people out there!
8 You work
in a Market Garden - what does this entail and how did you get into it?
I started working in the
Market Garden after I left my job in Arts Management. It was very much a case
of right place, right time. I was friends with the owner and had been a shopper
there for several years. I'd always expressed an interest in working there and
it just so happened a vacancy had arisen the day I called in for my shopping! I
simply mentioned that I'd resigned from my job and I was told 'you are hired'.
I was that lucky!
We grow lots of
different types of vegetables and fruits and have been nominated for several
awards. It's a family business, so we all muck in and do a bit of everything.
So I'll sow seeds, plant out, harvest, work in the shop and pack up orders for
restaurants. Oh and sometimes I'll deliver too! I've learned a lot and have met
some great people who have become good friends.
9 Do you
have any tips for wannabe bloggers?
Just start writing. It
doesn't matter what the layout, the design or the quality of your images looks
like. All that will get better in time and as your skills and confidence
develop. If you want more people to visit your blog, comment over on their
blogs. It's the best way to get people to come over and see who you are. Keep
posting regularly. Sometimes it's
difficult to find readers, but it's important not to focus on how many people
are following or have left comments on your blog. I started out with no
comments and very few followers. I will admit that I felt a bit despondent, but
I've realised that none of that is important. The trick really is to keep
are your plans for Christmas?
We have a quiet
Christmas at home. My husband usually has to work on call over the holidays,
but someone has to do it! So we'll awake early after Santa has visited, gather
round the fire and open presents. We'll have Christmas lunch about 3pm and
watch a movie together on the sofa. Boxing Day we'll be hopefully seeing family
(weather permitting as it's a bit of a journey!).
Thank you Jen, it's been an eye-opener!
*All images by Jen from Jenlittlebirdie