Category Archives: recommended blogs

bloglovin’ vs Stumbleupon

Good morrow fellow bloggers, it is I, Ellen, here to tell you about 2 blog sharing sites that you may or may not want to join up with.

It’s kind of like the Matrix in one respect – “You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

Last week I signed up to both Bloglovin’ and Stumbleupon. One I love, one I hate.


StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web search engine), that finds and recommends web content to its users. Its features allow users to discover and rate Web pages, photos and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social -networking principles.     WIKIPEDIA

I joined this first and I have to say I was a little confused and non-plussed with it all. You sign up, make a tiny profile, choose some interests and click stumble. You get a random web page linked to those interests you specify. NOT A BLOG, BUT A PAGE. Yes you can continue looking around the site/ blog but you only get one at a time. You can like or unlike the page. The more likes a page gets the higher in the stumbleupon rankings it gets and therefore more likely to be seen by more people. You can add and share your own content, but who wants to be inundated with your followers pushing their own stuff on you all the time, you know? Press stumble button again and you get a new page.

I also found a lot of the pages were old, years old, some even when pages were grey and square/ rectangle boxes everywhere (I’m trying to say they wouldn’t have looked out of place in 1999!).

It’s all a bit overhyped if you ask me.


This one on the other hand is much easier to use, it’s much clearer with a more modern and cleaner finish to it.

Bloglovin’ is a platform that allows users to read, organize, and discover their favourite blogs on mobile and desktop. It is a design-focused platform that aggregates feeds from sources with RSS feeds, allowing users to discover and organize content. As of April 2014, Bloglovin’ reaches over 16 million global users monthly. Bloglovin’ caters primarily to the “lifestyle” crowd. 90% of Bloglovin’s users are female.       WIKIPEDIA

Bloglovin reminds me of Pinterest but instead of pins, you get blogs and their pages. It’s very visual like Pinterest, so I imagine those posts with pictures do better on this site than just words.

Sign up and straight away you can search for blogs, I recommend searching for and claiming your own first. I find it’s better if you’re searching for blogs with the whole address on here ([]) but again you can search for your personalised interests on here.

To claim your blog, type in your address and click on yours when it comes up, to the right will be a little link that says ‘claim it’ and click on it. A little box with code in will come up, copy and paste this onto a html blog post (the last post I published shows you what the code does – it verifies you are the blog owner and provides a link for people to follow you). So you will need to have wordpress open in another tab ready and waiting when you claim your blog.

I couldn’t find a way to do this on the dashboard so I had to use the my site page to do this (when you see all your stats and have the option to use the reader you will see all the options on the left side, that’s the page I mean). Click on add new post and you will find a tab on the top right which says html, click on that and post your code there. Publish the post. Done.

Sounds complicated but it’s really not!

Bloglovin actually offers a useful help page so there are lots of screenshots to help you.

So, what next? I will keep up with bloglovin, but I think I may be deleting my stumbleupon account soon, it’s that horrible in my eyes. Maybe I could upload something, but it’s very difficult to work things out I think.

So, these are just a couple of options if you want more ways to generate traffic to your blog or just to reach out to more blogs, since they won’t all be wordpress ones.

Maybe you will have more luck than I on stumbleupon, maybe you will hate bloglovin. Good luck with both and hope to see you on bloglovin soon.

Ellen xx



Pink is the new Black!

First of all, before I get started, thank you Mrs Blooms for the carrot cake recipe you posted for me, anyone wants a good recipe to try, head on over to and add it to your recipe collection right now! Thanks again! 🙂

Second I have been asked by 3 people today what I am giving up for Lent. The answer is a resounding, huge, big fat NOTHING. OK? Good! And no, I didn’t even get pancakes yesterday…*sighs*.

Something different for my craftiness today. Is it crochet? Is it knitting? Is it cross stitch or baking or writing? Nope. Pottery.

My friends Lizzie and Kerrie bought me a pottery course for my birthday last year and for the last four weeks I have been making pots and hearts. The course is run at a shop called PoppyRose and it’s just off Stockton High Street on Silver Street. The course was run by a lovely mum and daughter couple called Lou and Ann and they also do other crafty courses if you’re interested, head on over to and have a look – lots of nice crafty things in the shop too! If you look on their facebook page you will find a lot more pictures on there. There are lots of lovely local regulars that go along as well, some making bowls, figures, throwing on the wheel, little pretty flowers…and it’s been really nice to try something totally new and different to the usual kind of crafty things I do 🙂

Here is what I have made so far:


Some little hearts and shapes to hang up. I had fun mixing the colours for these (I especially like how the butterfly turned out). To those friends who I wrote names on…oops just act surprised lol!

They have been fired once, now painted and glazed and will be fired a second time. So it’s not a quick process at all. It takes WEEKS and yet I cold have a crochet scarf done in an evening! They will also look shinier once they have been fired.

I really enjoyed myself and can’t wait to see how these turn out, so thank you girls!

I guess I don’t really do Wordless Wednesdays do I?!!

Ellen x

Follow Mrs Blooms! She’s got cake!

Back when I first started blogging (way back in June 2015) I was new to the whole blogging scene. People liked my posts and people commented on them, re-blogged them and followed them. And it was all new to me. I was a like a little puppy who’s ears perk up every time they hear something. What’s this? What’s this?!

One of the first people I came across was Mrs Blooms (I just sort of started calling her that – I hope she doesn’t mind lol! :O) from Candelo Blooms. I’m not kidding when I say she is probably the nicest person on the internet. Her comments are always really sweet and she takes the time to write long ones not just a thumbs up!

Her latest post is up and involves Martenitsas which I wrote about a few weeks ago. They are Bulgarian good luck charms and are worn throughout March pinned to clothing (or trees I think). See, Trina Collins, look what you have started! Now even people in Australia are wearing them!!!

The Summer Garden

Mrs Blooms always takes such amazing pictures of her garden and flowers and I do sometimes wonder how long it takes her to put a blog post together as there are always so many lovely pictures. I also like nosing at the veggies and fruit which are being grown, it’s the eco warrior in me…makes me dream of smallholdings and homesteads.

You should definitely head on over there to have a look and follow her lovely blog, a while back she posted a recipe for an apple cake which I tried and was very delicious just so you know!

Have a good day Ellen xx

Roundup Time

I haven’t posted much for a few days because I’ve been reading quite a bit, both books and blogs, and getting to grips with Pinterest. Which I am liking more and more each day I have to admit.

So here is a quick roundup of what I have been reading/ watching:

DARTH TRUMP! OMG you have to see this I laughed so hard…Donald Trump dubbed perfectly over Darth Vader…You’re Fired (as he chokes someone).

This article was really interesting to me as charcoal making is something I have wanted to try for a long time. A totally random longing, I know…!

This whopper of a post has 200 ways to make money online…definitely some good ideas here.

My parents got me a cheesemaking set for Christmas which I have yet to try out. This post has lots of pics and shows how to make mozzarella cheese.

A fantastic list of places to look if you’re interested in publishing an e-book

A weird combination of sites but that’s a good thing, right?



A few months ago I did a post called ‘10 BLOGS YOU MUST FOLLOW’. Since then I have, literally, followed DOZENS more blogs and I thought I would do an updated list here.

  1. This blog is about 2 families in France living the good life – gardening, cooking, videos…all good stuff! I love the pictures and the food looks so fresh and yummy!
  2. One of my favourite blogs, I love the posts about making a passive income, not something I would have thought about if not for this blog! It has definitely inspired me to look into it further.
  3. This guy aims to ‘retire’ at 40…I have only come across this relatively recently, so haven’t had chance to have a proper look around, but it looks good so far!
  4. lots of recipes, love the look of the cabbage rolls! This couple lives in Lithuania, so lots of Lithuanian recipes…good if you want to try something different!
  5. this again is similar to freedom 40 plan, this time the goal is a debt-free portfolio in 1500 days. This also looks good, so will be checking back here every so often!
  6.  I would LOVE to get into proofreading and writing so this is my dream job site (don’t think I will be doing it anytime soon but it’s good to dream, right?!)…also I like the blog with little interesting, wordy facts about the English language 🙂  I get so annoyed at people who use ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’, ooh I see a potential blog post coming up!
  7. Green living, sustainability, homesteading…what more could a blog need?! I love this blog!
  8. Another great blog to follow…check out the post about plastics in the ocean – it’s a recent post…climate change, animals, I like this blog!
  9. I love the pictures on this blog…crafty things, home things, toddler things! Definitely worth a look. One of the more famous I think of the crafty type blogs, but for a reason – the pictures are amazing!
  10. And the best till last, lovely pictures, recipes (I made the apple cake a couple of months ago and it was nom!) and Mrs Blooms is possibly the nicest lady on the internet!

Have a look and see if any catches your eye here. One blog leads to another leads to another.

And it looks like some of these have one thing in common – FANTASTIC PICTURES, which I think is where my blog fails…I am just not arty in the photographic sense. In fact, when it comes to taking pics I am like a man shopping – buy the first thing that fits in the colour you want and that’s your shopping done! So, some future homework, I think.

And that’s me done for another post! Off to have a cuppa now, get ready for tomorrow (find out bus times into town – I haven’t had to get the bus in years!) and maybe see what is lurking in the kitchen cupboards for me to nibble on. Hopefully there is something nice and tasty, but I will settle for just something at this point!

Have a Wicked Wednesday! x




  1. A really good blog for health and wellness. Her ‘I Quit Sugar’ series is quite good and I love the section of her blog where she talks about living a simpler life.
  2. Possibly my favourite blog of all time. This is a blog dedicated to the efforts of a group of people who knit, sew, make and buy desperately needed items for the people of Pine Ridge Reservation (in particular the Wanblee area). Really inspirational and fascinating to read about the abject poverty of this area of the US and the work of this group.
  3. I came across this blog when I was looking for themes for my blog, I think it uses the same one. I found it, looked through the site, saw a book by Sarah Wilson (above) called I Quit Sugar and went on to buy it from Waterstones 3 days later. Which just goes to show the connections from blogging!! Inspired Mood is good for lifestyle changing inspiration, especially recipes regarding quitting sugar and her motivational posts.
  4. Since I love all things to do with recycling and upcycling, this blog is right up my alley! A really good read and lots of creative ideas!
  5. I WANT HER GARDEN!! This blog deals with a crafty, good life and I absolutely adore her pictures of her garden which she posts every week in the growing season.
  6. I came across this by accident on facebook (of all places!), someone had posted a link to one of her tutorials and I had to see more! A good mixture of video tutorials, patterns, projects etc. for sewing and general DIY projects.
  7. This blog is run by an artist and I love checking out the new designs. This site to me shows how a blog can promote your business, there are lots of ways to push your products and designs.
  8. An American family living in France. I love the pictures of their farm.
  9. A foodie blog by an English woman living in Rome – you would not believe how much she can write about Pesto!!
  10. Possibly the most nerdy and geeky blog I have EVER come across. But that’s ok coz we all have a bit of geek in us somewhere! Geeky news, reviews, pop culture, tech…

These blogs inspire me, hopefully they will inspire you too!

Ellen xx