A Blogiversary Top 10

Today marks my first ever blogiversary!

I started my first blog back in 2014, but I got as far as one post before the PND hit. I’d been thinking about starting another one for ages, and last year decided to just go for it. At first I just wanted to log my thoughts and experiences – mainly the good ones – but it took a bit of a turn when I realised I had lots more ideas that I wanted to share. I outlined my plans for a new set-up in Bright Blogging Days but although I have the ideas and the motivation, everyday life comes first.

Still…37 posts later I’m still going. To celebrate I thought I’d share my top 10 of my blogging year.

  1. Getting to know people from all different communities in the blogosphere. Having a mix of subjects on my blog has led to interaction with a range of different people.
  2. Writing a guest post for the Sewcialists page. You can read my contribution to the #sewstripes challenge here.
  3. Having a place to share my witchy side. It’s not something I talk about with most of the people in my life, so it’s nice to have a place where I can be more open about practising magick.
  4. Breaking the silence on my experience with PND. Mental health needs to be discussed more openly.
  5. A world of inspiration awaits me in my feed. So many different people writing about different things in different ways!
  6. Gathering followers – this wasn’t ever one of my aims, as I started this blog for me. I’ve been amazed at how many people have stuck with me though, and taken the time to read what I have to say.
  7. Giving myself a voice. I have a lot to say, but sometimes find I can put across my point more coherently when it’s written down.
  8. Logging my family’s adventures. The blog acts as a way of recording our time together.
  9. Encouraging me to actually do the things I think/talk about doing – then to blog about them!
  10. Celebrating one year of blogging.

Thank you to everyone who has read, liked and commented on my posts. It’s nice to know that my voice is being heard. Any ideas on improving the blog/posts you’d like to see will be welcomed in the comments. I’m working on some new post ideas for the upcoming weeks, so watch this space.

Here’s to a bigger, bloggier second year!

The Sparkly Grimoire

Since I’ve started exploring my witchy side, I thought it would be a good idea to write everything down. In doing so, I hope to learn what works for me, what doesn’t work, plus I can log all of the new discoveries I make along the way.

A few years ago I looked at bullet journals (bujo) and thought I’d start one of my own. There were so many beautiful spreads on Pinterest, and the styles really appealed to me. Just one catch – I’m artistic in the creative sense, but I can’t draw for toffee! I laboured over the first five pages of my bujo, but a weekly spread took me about two weeks to get “just right”, so I abandoned it. There are so many ways of creating a bujo without using the artistic spreads, but by the time I came across them, I was scunnered with it all!

I kept diaries in my early teens, and it’s always been my intention to start one up again, but apart from my brief liaison with a bujo, I’ve never got round to it.

Until now.

In my post The Magick Within I talk about how I’m not following any specific witchy tradition. I want to discover what works for me; what resonates most with me, without feeling the need to follow any strict teachings. There will of course be some rules that must be adhered to. However, there are certain rules which must be followed in cooking, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment or mix things up a bit.

I’m going to write down everything witchy that appeals to me. I’ll include moon phases, the elements, herbal remedies, and spells. I’ll also note my experiences with oracle and tarot cards, plus Sabbat celebrations. I have plans for a magickal garden space too. Anything and everything I come across on my spiritual journey will be included, so that I can adjust if and when I need to. It’s also a wonderful heirloom to pass down to my children, should it be a path they wish to follow.

A witch’s journal can be known as a grimoire or a book of shadows. There are many different images on Pinterest and Instagram of beautiful leather-bound books, covered in magickal symbols. My grimoire is an A4 gold sparkly notebook that I bought on sale at my local supermarket! It looks like it’s been sprinkled with gold faery dust, which suits me just fine, as it looks like magick just waiting to happen!

Do you have a special way of recording your path? Is there anything else you would include in a sparkly grimoire? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Whimsical Wednesday: Lotsa Lists!

Welcome to the first instalment of Whimsical Wednesday here at Sunbeams and Sass! These posts will include any whimsy that takes my fancy – be it a list, seasonal antics, or crafty things!

I’m going to kick things off with a list. I love lists, and have been making them since I could hold a pencil. Even though they trick me into thinking I’m organised, I wouldn’t be without them. I have notebooks full of lists stashed all over the house. They help me organise my thoughts, as well as my tasks; if I didn’t use them, my brain would be fried! I write to-do lists and include stuff I’ve already done, just so that I can score them off! I know I’m not alone in that sneaky wee tactic! Anything to feel a sense of achievement, even if it’s merely to say that I put the clean washing away…although come to think of it, that’s a pretty huge feat in our house…

My lists take many different forms:

  • illegible scrawls on old receipts
  • neater scribbles in plain notebooks/jotters
  • categorised inventories beautifully inscribed in exquisite journals

There are less of the latter and more of the former, but there is something therapeutic about taking the time to write something out artistically. Thanks to the digital age, pen and paper are used less frequently nowadays, but to me they bring a hint of nostalgia. I get ridiculously excited over a new notebook and pen!

Today’s list is a list of…well…lists! There are so many lists I want to make, that I need to write them all down. I was trying to find out the name given to someone obsessed with lists – the best I could find was a ‘listophile’. Works for me! 

My list of lists reads (to date) as follows:

  • books to read (this one grows on a daily basis)
  • recipes to try
  • cakes to bake (separate from recipes, as I do love to bake!)
  • films to watch (and which ones to see after I’ve read the book)
  • television shows to watch
  • cloth nappies I want my littlest ray to try
  • ways to be more eco friendly/produce less waste
  • cleaning jobs in each room of the house
  • DIY jobs in each room of the house
  • plants/veg/herbs to grow in our garden
  • places I want to visit (both locally and abroad)
  • skills I’d like to learn/hone
  • crochet projects
  • knitting projects
  • sewing projects
  • clothes I want to make for myself
  • festivities throughout the year and the different ways they are celebrated
  • craft projects to do with my children
  • gift ideas for family and friends
  • cocktails I’d like to make (and drink)
  • restaurants to dine in
  • ways to embrace hygge
  • things I’d do if/when I win the lottery
  • natural beauty products I want to make
  • summer fun with my children
  • books I want to read with my children
  • winter projects/fun with my children
  • different ways to be spiritual
  • self-care
  • date ideas for my husband and I (both at home and on the rare occasions we get to go out)
  • budgeting/saving ideas
  • ways to show my husband how much I love him (he knows, but I like to show it with little gestures)
  • general bucket list
  • party ideas
  • ways to increase confidence in my children
  • ditto confidence in myself
  • classes to do with my littlest ray
  • routines
  • exercises to try
  • meal plans
  • favourite words
  • blog posts I want to write

This is just a snapshot of the lists I have floating around in my head, taking up room! None of them are ever complete, as there are always new discoveries to make, new titbits of information for us to chew over. I’ll keep adding to my lists, as well as my list of lists. I’m always on the lookout for new lists to make. What are your favourite lists to write? Feel free to share them in the comments (this is a sharing kind of place!) Happy listing!

Bright Blogging Days

I’ve been thinking about how I can be more active on my blog, and create more of a presence for myself in the blogging world. I’m good at thinking up ideas, but then procrastinate until the cows come home. This has resulted in some big time lapses between posts. 

One of the reasons for this is that I’ve been trying to work out my niche – where I fit in the blogosphere. It occurred to me today, however, that I don’t need a niche to write. I’m interested in lots of different things, therefore I want to write about different things. I originally intended this to be my log of sunbeams – little moments of pleasure in an unpredictable world. I then went off on a tangent and had a wee rant about some issues that bother me. So I expanded my original intentions and included rants too! As a mum of four, I have a lot going on – all day, every day. My children love to learn, be it through playtime, crafts, reading, food, television and more. I also have a lot of interests: sewing, knitting, crochet, baking, reading, cocktails (yes, it is a legit interest), education, eco-living, spirituality, gardening…

And so I expanded yet again… This shouldn’t surprise me, as I’ve always had a bit of an eclectic personality. Music, books, fashion – I like a wide range of everything.

So how do I fit all of this into one blog? Simple – different instalments on different days:

  • Mags’ Monday Musings – a longer post, detailing whichever sunbeam or rant that has caught my attention that week.
  • Whimsical Wednesdays – usually a list of whatever takes my fancy (oh I do so love a list!), or details of any seasonal antics that my family have been up to.
  • Follow Friday – a round up of some fellow bloggers that have caught my attention.

So there we have it. My plan to stay active in the blogging world. It may expand again, but that’s ok. If we’re not constantly expanding our thoughts and ideas, we’re at risk of stagnating – and that’s not what I want. Stay tuned for more alliterative/sibilant/assonant titles!