Happy Birthday, ITC! 2 Years Of Blogging

2 years of blogging

Hi Guys! Last night I decided to do a bit of baking (and I will say that again- icing is such a bitch to work with, meh!) as I thought 2 years of hard work deserve a bit of celebration. Yes, you got it right, it’s been exactly 2 years since I wrote the very first post in my teeny tiny bit of the online world, how crazy is this! I guess it’s a good place to share my experience of those 2 years with you. At the end of the day if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be where I am now- a pretty damn happy place, not fighting the person in the mirror anymore, doing what I love- thank you for sticking around! Wish I could offer you all the sweet treats now… But hey, if you’re ever in east London, you know where to find me!

2 years of blogging

Into The City

2 years ago I came up with this name as I love my urban life and its fast pace so naturally I wanted to reflect it on the blog. The “into” part sort of embraces that movement and all of the changes if you know what I mean? Being just another static figure in the city is simply boring, I’d rather jump into the city, splash some water, make some noise (and buy some coffee perhaps).

For the first 6 months my blog was nothing more than my diary and I intended to keep it that way. Like, seriously, I wasn’t even on social media, not a single channel! I’d still play drums (the thing I miss the most now), have some social life (good and gone) and spend a relatively marginal amount of my day online. That was until January 2016 when I discovered Facebook, 10 years later than an average person my age- embarrassing, I know!

My approach to social media was still pretty relaxed to put it nicely, meaning, I didn’t give a shit. All that “online fame” was so artificial and I wasn’t going to be a part of that competition- little did I know about business, clearly! I happily enjoyed my 50 friends and wrote a personal message to each of 30 kind humans who liked my page.

2 years of blogging

Then slowly, I started spending more time online, discovering other blogs, finding out what the DA is and how to improve your SEO. Clearly, I was ready to take the blogging world by the storm (or at least, that’s what I liked to think back then).

It was June 2016, my blog’s 1st bday when I was getting first comments (which btw magically disappeared once I moved my blog to WP :P) and discovering all the fun stuff of interacting with others. I started to actually commit a few hours a week to my blog as each time I opened my laptop the sparkles in my eyes were so big that you’ll all fry like bacon even coming near. That was mental- all the butterflies in my belly, sleepless nights and tennis ball-size pupils. I was in love!

2 years of blogging

I moved my domain to WordPress (a pleasure comparable to giving a birth to a flipping hedgehog yet the best thing I’ve ever done to this blog). I got me an Instagram account (second best thing) and Twitter and all the other social media channels. And that was when I felt totally overwhelmed with a pressure to post several times a day (otherwise “people forget about you”, don’t they) to the point where I started hating all the online world.

That was all oh so wrong and I needed to move back to the place where I had all that drive and urge to open my laptop instead of the fear of maniacally checking unfollowers and wondering what on earth I did wrong. It was about that time when I realised I couldn’t please the entire world. Since blogging is such a self-centred business (and anyone who dares think otherwise must be living with Lucy and her diamonds on a fluffy cloud- hope you don’t hit the ground too hard when the trip is over) I needed to focus on me, on what’s good for myself, not what to post where what time and why so late. I decided to stick to 3 platforms- Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as these are the ones I genuinely enjoy. I still admire those chicks who’re able to post every couple of hours on 6 channels and reply to all the comments as soon as they appeared- great for them, but… it’s not me. You know what I mean? It’s a bit like white houses in South Kensington and pastel Insta feeds- both cute, both pretty, desirable and sophisticated, tried both as a theme, neither worked. Why? Because it wasn’t me.

2 years of blogging

I’m not that girl from Belgravia who pays 15 quid for her avo toast and has the entire house furnished with rose gold. I’m all about dingy dance floors in sticky boozers filled with 90s rock, on the streets with brick houses full of street art. Although perfection is very much aspirational and surely tempting, I’d rather enjoy living my life before I die. And I am very well aware of the fact that my blog isn’t “girly” enough, my Insta feed is rather random and I am “getting it all wrong” but… I wouldn’t change a thing. This is my world, I am shaping it my way and the fact that some of you are still here with me only proves that however pretty the unicorn cupcakes are, you can’t really have too many without getting sick.

I know staying true to myself is such a cliche yet I find it harder and harder to find authenticity in the blogging world for some reason. Quite a lot of bloggers are those arse-licking creatures trying to please everyone (“oh my god, I’m so sorry, I just realised my lipstick shade looks weird in this light, please forgive me guys, it’s so distracting, normally it’s coral and it looks more pink in here, I’m so sorry, please don’t be offended”). I mean, seriously? I don’t buy it. First of all, because I simply don’t believe in pleasing everyone. Secondly, it’s just plain boring, lack of personality covered with so much of artificial sweeteners that they make you sick.

On the other side of the barricade we’ve got those “I don’t give a damn” bloggers who are usually more interesting, yet often simply rude and arrogant while trying to play it cool. I mean, if you genuinely don’t give a damn, why do you bother carrying on in the first place? Get yourself life instead.

So yeah, I wish we could all stay authentic (with our personality rather than dodgy sponsored content bustling trough our posts) and kind, no matter how many followers we have and how many zeros our bank account shows.

2 years of blogging

Also in November 2016 I moved to London and I feel the last 6 months, although quite rocky, have been the happiest for both my blogging and private life for all the different reasons- I met my blogging bestie, completed the course of my dreams, attended my first blogging event and happily turned down a few collaboration offers.

When I started this blog I made myself a promise not to ever write about a product I wouldn’t spend my money on and I still think it’s a pretty good filter. We are all tempted to get some free stuff and keep the money coming and, especially being a lifestyle blogger it’s very easy to fit various products in that niche. And I completely understand that “all opinions are your own” but would you pay the full price for the product and still write about it? Not quite? There you go.

I’ve done a bit of traveling around the UK lately too- still not enough and still hungry for more but for the moment when I think I want to travel my bank account seems to be asking “like… to the backyard?” so that will have to wait. I’m fine with that as London is absolutely spectacular and I couldn’t ask for a better place to live yet those cities in the north… I don’t know what it is about them, but they just feel entirely different, making you feel welcome the minute you get off the train. And northern people are just so friendly, there’s such a strong sense of community up there! People actually talk to each other (that’s why I’m oh so thankful for the Italian barman in the local pub who always comes up with funny sayings and genuinely cares to see the person behind their order number). Anyway, I’m desperate to go back to the north!

Last but not least I also lost the 4 incredible evenings with Frank Turner, my all time favourite singer-songwriter. It was just like Christmas, only better as music has always been a huge part of my life and I’d be a grumpy, miserable creature without my songs for sure. If you fancy checking out the tunes which kept me going through those 2 years, the music I create posts to, the songs I sing in the shower and dance to like crazy when no one’s watching, I collected some of them in this playlist for you.

2 years of blogging

Alrighty kiddos, this post has already become far longer than planned so I’d rather shut up and let you carry on with your day. Once again, many thanks for sharing this journey together, it means the world Xx

  • Tiffany Bailey

    Yay for blog birthdays! Congrats! It’s been quite the journey (it seems blogging cruelly works that way?) I love how true to yourself and authentic you are….by the way, “arse-licking blogging creatures” 😂😂😂 weird how you have that feeling of needing to conform to begin with and then as you find your feet with blogging you get quite defiant about it…..that’s where I’m at!🖕 did you really make those delicious looking lollies by the way….new career if blogging doesn’t pan out?! ❤ p.s blogging has ruined my love of rose gold forever …… so much so I just wrote a post about it….. sigh.

    • Thank you so much Tiff for all the love ❤️ And that’s the plan, when I’m old and rich enough to buy all the songs from my online playlists on vinyl I’ll just open a little pop-up bakery in Cornwall and have some social life for once 😂 Oh and I still find rose gold super pretty, what I mean though is… let’s keep home a home, not a flipping zillion quid museum we take a pictures of to show off if that makes sense? Some homes are just “too perfect” which makes them a bit soulless? Great to for a dose of inspiration but only as long as we remember it’s not real life, it’s just lots of money and a huge glass jar Xx

      • Tiffany Bailey

        Yes I totally agree, all this posing in front of pillars of Kensington is just so fake! I’m still sick of rose gold though….. and marble 😂😂

        • Haha, would never expect to hear that from you! 😄 Nothing like a good old carpet, isn’t it 😀 We old hate the bitch but if I had to choose I’d still go for that familiar quirkiness and an ugly colour rather than having to face the cold of marble floors getting our of bed each morning! Xx

  • Happy blog birthday! Everything looks really delicious and beautiful 💕
    I really enjoyed reading this post. I love how you talked about not posting about products that you don’t like. I have unfollowed way too many bloggers because of that lately! Like, why someone would promote “the best sheets ever!!” and the next day she sells them 😱

    Heidi 🍓 | Heidi’s Planner | Instagram

    • Thank you Heidi for all the kindness ❤️ I think sponsored content and how selective we are is quite a big issue in the blogging world. I can’t believe the story you mentioned, how awful! That’s simply a lack of respect for your readers and your own work if you ask me! Xx

  • Congratulations on 2 years – I loved this post!

  • Congrats on Two years! That’s a milestone! I totally agree with you about aunthenticity in the blogging community. I’ve only been blogging seriously about 2 months and have observed so much already! I hope to never lose my authentic voice because what’s what this thing is really all about in the end!
    Since I blog about beauty and skincare and often feature probducts, I have been concerned about whether or not I should feature products I don’t like. My resolve was to name them but never provide direct link. Basically if it didn’t work for me, I won’t lead you to where to buy it. Does this make sense? I’d love to know

    • Hi there, thank you so much for your kind comment ❤️ Lack of authenticity is quite an issue in the industry, isn’t it! And like you said, blogging was so attractive at the beginning because it was all about honesty, real people and real opinions, unlike the magazines’ content dependent on which advertising brand paid more. Shame it’s becoming the same in here.

      As for your question I think it’s a good idea. I would even take the game a step further and write a review of the product and why you don’t like it, why it didn’t work, you could even make a “win or failure?” series on something. Since we got used to the reviews of products which are “amazing” and “definitely a must-have!” it would be interesting to read something different. Hope this helps 🙂

      Happy blogging! X

      • Definitely! Thank you Mal. I am a new fan of your blog 🙂

  • Thank you for all the kindness sweetheart, it means a lot <3

    I know exactly what you mean, how we are totally obsessed with perfection and all those nice girls next door you used to know suddenly turn into aspiring celebrities, ready to pay any price for their 15 minutes of fame. I think blogging and all this social media adventure is a bit of skating on thin ice as the border what's real and fake is so fluid these days and it's quite easy to become everything we said we'd never be. I'm so fed up seeing clones of other people, what we need here is the authenticity, honesty, passion and drive as without these it's not fun anymore, I completely understand why you want to step back.

    I'd really love to come to Manchester this summer and meeting you for a coffee (or five!) would be amazing! Xxx

  • Thank you! x

  • Thanks a lot Kristi, that’s very kind of you! Xx

  • Nallely Tapia

    Congratulations on your 2nd year! And wow you went all out!! Everything looks yummy!! Wish you lots of more success in the years to come

  • Nina Ahmedow

    Congratulations! You’ve done a great job from starting with a very small personal blog to getting it out there for a bigger audience. Best of luck for the future!

  • eva

    Congratulations!!!! Love your content – so genuine. Thanks for all your hard work! 💙
    xo, Eva
    http://www.TheCharlieBird.com

  • Stacey Herrera

    Congratulations! I totally enjoyed your insights on your blogging experience thus far… and I also loved the pastry pics #somuchyum <3

    I agree that it is challenging to stay true to you, because there is so much noise out here in www land. But I believe in the power of intention. And because you are clear about how you want to feel… your blog feels like you.

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey and for being committed to keeping it real. I appreciate you. <3

    • Thank you Stacey, this is one of the most beautiful comments I’ve ever received, what you’ve said means the world ❤️

  • Haha, thanks you so much Clare! I think being “wrong” or “imperfect” is what makes us amazing and unique ❤️❤️❤️

  • 4 years of blogging?! Now that is something! Congratulations lovely! ❤️