Friday Focus 07/04/17 – Little Hearts, Big Love is three!

Today is my third blogiversary! It is three years today since I published my first post. What started out as a place for me to reflect, prompted by a 40acts challenge, has grown into much more. It’s been an online journal charting the little moments of my two girls growing up and an opportunity to raise awareness of congenital heart defects through sharing our life as a heart family. Through my blog, I’ve rediscovered the person behind the mummy, become part of a wonderful online community and had some amazing experiences. It is, quite simply, part of who I am now and I love it.

Blogiversary - this week's word of the week

You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet on the blog this week. It may have been quiet with regards to posts but behind the scenes has been anything but! I’ve had a similar theme ever since I started blogging and a change was long overdue. I’ve been busy making changes ready to launch my new look and I hope you like it. It’s been quite a steep learning curve in places but we’re here and the blog has survived the process (phew!)


The last three years: what I’ve learned

The last year has seen me enter the top 100 of the Tots100, become a brand ambassador and be sponsored for a blog conference for the first time. This little blog ticks along steadily and writing for it is part of my routine. I’ve learned a lot about holding on to why I started blogging and the reasons why I love it.


There have been times when I have felt overwhelmed by blogmin, hung up on stats and charts and all the things that suck the joy out of blogging. I have learned a lot about letting go of pressure and embracing the kind of blogger I am and being happy with that. The first year of blogging was about learning blogcraft and the second about discovering what I wanted from blogging. This last year has been about embracing the blogger I am and becoming comfortable in my blogging skin.


I’ve rediscovered my love of drawing since attending Jennie Maizel’s sketch club workshop at #BML16 last year. It’s been gradually creeping in to the blog here and there. There will be more of it in the future – starting with my new header.


Thank you to everyone who has followed my blog over the years, read my posts and encouraged me along the way. I’ll be offering a series of giveaways over the coming days to celebrate my blogiversary. Wishing you the best of luck if you decide to enter!


Things I have loved this week:

  • ​​​​The start of the Easter holidays and having both my girls at home all day!
  • Baking Easter biscuits together.
  • Spending a sunny afternoon at Chiltern Open Air Museum and looking forward to many more now that it’s opened for the season.
  • Making a toilet roll chick and rabbit with the girls.

A rabbit and chick made from toilet rolls, cardboard and feathers

  • Snuggling on the sofa with Jessica and listening to her read.
  • Watching Sophie having fun in the sandpit in the play area at Denham Country Park.

Sophie with an expression of pure joy as she plays in the sand

  • Lunch at the church café with both my girls.
  • Getting the girls’ feet measured and being told they’re both still the same size. No new shoes needed this time – hooray!
  • Making a dress for one of the fairy dolls from felt and ribbon.

A Periwinkle fairy doll with a dress made from felt and ribbon

  • Seeing all the pretty rhododendrons at Langley Park.


The Reading Residence


  1. April 7, 2017 / 5:31 am

    Congratulations on 3 years of blogging! I find your blog so charming and refreshing since you’re not hung up on stats and rankings. You write about what you want to write, which is great. Your doodles are fun, too. 🙂

    • Louise
      April 7, 2017 / 8:00 am

      Thank you so much Sarah. It was so liberating when I finally learned to let go and not worry about them. Makes blogging so much more fun – so glad that comes across and that you like the doodles too! 🙂

  2. April 7, 2017 / 5:33 am

    Happy blogoversary! I would have guessed you had been blogging a lot longer than three years! I do love reading about your girls and I have certainly learned a lot about CHD from your blog – I knew nothing before!
    It sounds like you’ve been on the same journey we all go on of getting too interested in stats, getting excited about opportunities and then chilling out a bit about it all and just blogging for the love of it, while enjoying the right opportunities as and when they come along.
    I love your new header. Remember I sat with you at the drawing workshop? It’s great that it has inspired you to get back to drawing. I can safely say that, much as I loved it, I haven’t picked up a pencil since!

    • Louise
      April 7, 2017 / 7:01 am

      Thank you Sarah. Technically it has been a lot longer than three years – I started my first blog on Open Diary in April 2002 and have had several on different sites since then so it’s been 15 years all in all! The journey from this one has been quite a different experience though – it shifted from me just writing online purely for me to becoming part of a wider community. So glad you enjoy my blog and it has helped you learn about CHD.

      I remember sitting with you at the drawing workshop. It was a fun session. I think it helps that the girls love to draw so I often sit at the table with them and draw too.

  3. April 7, 2017 / 7:23 am

    Happy blog birthday/anniversary. It sounds like you’ve come a long way since you started and you obviously e joy it. Here’s to many more years x

    • Louise
      April 7, 2017 / 8:01 am

      Thank you Cath – it’s been interesting to look back 🙂

  4. April 7, 2017 / 9:31 am

    Happy blogiversary! Wow, three years, where’s that time gone?! I’ve been reading your blog pretty much since you started, I think, and I always enjoy it. I do think you become more relaxed about just doing what you want to do over time and not getting hung up on those things that stuck the joy out of it. Love the new header and look, too! Thanks for sharing with #WotW x

    • Louise
      April 7, 2017 / 4:58 pm

      Thank you Jocelyn – yes you were one of my first readers and your linky was one of the first I joined and I’ve been joining in ever since! 🙂

  5. April 7, 2017 / 10:21 am

    Happy Blogversary 🙂 I love your new look, it’s very chic and your heading is perfect. I do love your drawings anyway, I think I may have told you before 😉 It sounds like another lovely week, and your girls are on holiday already, I’m still waiting for mine to finish this afternoon x


    • Louise
      April 7, 2017 / 4:59 pm

      Thank you Anne. So glad you like my new look and my drawings – it’s lovely to get back into doing them. Hope you have a good Easter holiday 🙂

  6. April 7, 2017 / 11:50 am

    Happy blog birthday! You seem to be getting a great deal out of blogging. It’s funny the unexpected ways it can enhance your life isn’t it? I hope your next 3 years are just as successful! #wotw

    • Louise
      April 7, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      Thank you Louisa. I’m really enjoying it and it’s lovely to be 3 years in and happy in my own blogging skin 🙂

  7. April 7, 2017 / 12:28 pm

    Wow! 3 years! Congratulations. You seem to have found the right rhythm for you, and the right look too. Glad everything survived the change. Here’s to the next three years and more. #wotw

    • Louise
      April 7, 2017 / 5:02 pm

      Thank you Cheryl – I’m quite relieved to be the other side of it with the blog still working!

    • Louise
      April 8, 2017 / 8:53 am

      Thanks Donna 🙂

  8. April 7, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    Ah I’m going to have a good nosey on my laptop! Looks great and congrats on 3 years. You are one of the first blogs I ever read and will continue to do so! Amazing on entering the top 100 and sounds like a fab week xx#wotw

    • Louise
      April 8, 2017 / 8:53 am

      Thank you so much Sarah. Love reading your blog too 🙂

  9. April 7, 2017 / 6:36 pm

    Happy Birthday to your blog. You have done amazingly well. I love your drawings. You are so talented. All I can draw is stick men. hehehe I love the new header.
    I thought you had been blogging more than 3 years though….

    • Louise
      April 8, 2017 / 8:55 am

      Thanks Kim! Nothing wrong with stick men – they’ve worked out well for Hurrah for Gin! Technically I have been blogging longer than 3 years – it’s been 15 since I started out on Open Diary but starting this one opened up a whole new world and brought a new love of blogging. Prior to that I was mostly blogging for myself 🙂

  10. April 8, 2017 / 11:35 am

    Ah happy blogaversary, its been fab to ride along the journey with you. And you are right it becomes sort of precious, my blog has too. Woohooo what not needing to buy shoes, what I paid for Jack trainers this week made me weep ! Their feet grow so quickly xx

    • Louise
      April 13, 2017 / 3:46 pm

      Thank you Sarah. It’s crazy how much shoes cost isn’t it!

  11. April 9, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    Its really lovely to read such heartfelt posts from you Louise and also to hear thst youre so comfortable in your blog-skin. Ive been bloghing in earnest for nearly 2 years and i do think it takes a while to ‘find’ your blog self! Looking forward to seeing your new look! #wotw

    • April 9, 2017 / 8:25 pm

      Now i feel like a right wotsit! My ipad opened your post part way through and ive just seen your new header!! Looks great 🙂

      • Louise
        April 13, 2017 / 3:57 pm

        Lol, easily done! Thank you 🙂

    • Louise
      April 13, 2017 / 3:57 pm

      Thank you Carol. It certainly took me a while to find my blog self. It’s such a nice feeling to be comfortable with where I am blog-wise too 🙂

  12. April 10, 2017 / 10:30 pm

    Wow three years of blogging. I like the illustrations that have crept in to your blog and reading about all the lovely things that you and yours have got up to. #WotW

    • Louise
      April 13, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      Thank you Helena. I love sharing them 🙂

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