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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

01.01.14 - Sailboat is Four, Thank You SO Much & Happy New Year!


Happy New Year! Two-Thousand-and-Fourteen. That. Is. Crazy! I hope you had a wonderful New Year and got to spend it with some of your nearest and dearest! I feel like my first post of the new year has become a little bit of a tradition (2011 // 2012 // 2013) and it's one of the posts I really look forward to writing each year. Today is Sailboat's Fourth Birthday! I'm so proud of my space here and so happy that you stop by once a week, once a month, or whenever you can, to say hello. You are what makes this extra special for me. I hope I would still be writing here even if you weren't reading, but it certainly wouldn't be the same at all, not even close. So, thank you. Thank you for being here, for being so supportive all the time. I don't think I would be who I am today without your kind words over the years.  

This year is going to be the year of getting things done for me, I said this last year but if I'm honest, my heart wasn't truly in it. But now I realise that I've spent far too long coasting along, almost scared of putting my everything into something in case it didn't work out. Well, life is simply too short to carry on doing that, so everything I'd like to do, I'm going to do (or at least start) over the next twelve months and I talked about a few of them in my resolutions post yesterday. One of the main things for me is to post more here. I would like to post daily, even if it's just a picture or a few words, but at the same time, if I don't have anything to say I'm not going to be too hard on myself if I miss a day here and there - If I miss too many days though I'll be sure to give myself a stern talking to!

The thing I'm reminded of each year when I sit down to have a little read through your feedback from my blog survey is that it's impossible to please everyone all of the time. Too many pictures of yourself and you're vain, too few and it's not personal enough. You know, that kind of thing. Blogging is a fine balancing act of content and personality & I always have to stay true to myself first and foremost. I've never done a follow up post to the survey before, but there were a couple of things I wanted to reply to, not because I feel like I have to or I'm getting defensive (please don't take it like that) but because I just want to explain things from my perspective.

"You don't pay attention to people without a blog or few readers."
Last year I made a promise to myself to both comment on more of the posts I read and to leave a comment on everyone's blog who takes time out of their day to leave a comment for me and this is something I'm going to carry on this year. It's something I love to do and it doesn't matter if a blog has 1 or 1 million readers, I'll still leave a comment if I can. Sometimes I get a few days behind, but I try to keep up as much as possible. I can only apologise if I've missed you out, I'm only human and this may sometimes be the case.

If you have the disqus commenting system it doesn't always load on my laptop, I'll always refresh the page a couple of times but sometimes that unfortunately still doesn't work. If there were more hours in the day I would try and find email addresses or twitter handles of those who leave a comment but don't have their own blogs, I'm sorry that I can't. I will hold my hands up to the fact I'm not very good with twitter, I don't have internet on my phone when I'm out and about so I can't reply to tweets then and sometimes when I get home, it completely slips my mind to go back and look through any tweets I may have received. I'm going to try and get better at this!

"You talk about the same products all the time and you don't do hauls anymore."
Eep, I'm sorry, I didn't realise this was such a bad thing! I'm very much a creature of habit and when I find things I like, I can't help but reach for them all the time. Since buying our home it seems to be sucking away all of our pennies and I haven't been buying as many other things. On last year's survey, haul posts were one of the things a lot of people didn't enjoy as much so I did phase them out a little. This year if a product catches my eye I'll definitely be allowing myself to buy it - I'm telling myself it's for the blog but you know, I'm pretty excited about it too! ;)

"I don't like bunnies!"
Oh dear, I'm sorry but I don't think this is going to be a bunny free blog any time soon! The bunny light has been in quite a few of my pictures over the last couple of months purely because I need the extra brightness - my home isn't the best for picture taking during the winter, we get about 5 seconds of sunlight (slight exaggeration) and it's the only thing that's been helping. I don't really want to invest in any lighting because we don't really have the space and I quite just taking quick snapshots. I never want this to feel like a career for me and I know what I'm like, most of the time I think I'd be too lazy to set up a light for a few snaps!

"I don't like adverts."
I can totally empathise with this and I apologise! I'm completely aware that sometimes they're a little overbearing and I hope that one day very soon I'll be able to remove them completely. If you don't like seeing any adverts online I definitely recommend downloading adblock.

"You ask for advertisers and then don't post much."
This is the only comment that really sucked to hear. There were a few months last year I didn't post very much (i.e. less than every other day on average) and during those months I either didn't offer any advertising at all or I left adverts from the previous month up for an extra month or two to make up for it. I do my best to make things right and it really sucks to hear that you think I'm taking advantage. 

"I don't like your woe is me attitude over the past year and cryptic posts."
2013 wasn't a very good year BUT I do also think that sometimes my dry, sarcastic sense of humour gets lost in translation. I completely see that sometimes what I'm writing may come across as being super serious, but most of the time I'm just being incredibly sarcastic. I'm not a peppy person, that's just not me, but I do look for the positives in situations and I've written quite a few things about being positive and looking for the best in people & situations over the year. The positive posts are there, just like there are some where I'm not so happy. Sometimes I'm happy and sometimes I have bad days. We all do. Sometimes we need to ignore the not-so-great things and sometimes we need to talk about them, to let them out so we can move on.

Something happened at the start of the year that I didn't and still don't want to talk about in such an exposed environment. There's a very specific post I wrote (perhaps it's the one you were thinking of) that I worded in a very particular way that if you had been through something similar wouldn't have appeared so cryptic. I had hoped that anyone who had been in a similar situation would reach out and we could talk things over in a more private space, which is exactly what did happen. I'm not sure where I'd be now without their advice, support and reassurance. All I can do is apologise for not wanting to share the details but the internet is a very public place and sometimes it's important to keep things back but at the time I really needed some advice & I wasn't sure where to turn.

Slightly more recently my Grandmother died. She meant the absolute world to me and when it happened I shut down and didn't want to talk about it at all. But at the same time I also feel like this is a place where I need to be honest and I can't force happy posts - I tried but they came across terribly! My Grandfather was understandably absolutely devastated and he still is. They had been married for over 60 years, they did everything together and now she's not here anymore. We've been so worried about him and I think that worry is going to be a bit of an ongoing thing. His heart is broken and nothing is ever going to heal it completely.

The day before my Grandmother passed away Mark's Grandmother also passed. In many ways it made the whole thing doubly difficult, but in others it made it a little easier because we were both feeling similar things. Around that same time we think that Ralphie had a very slight stroke. There were a few days when we didn't think he'd make it because he also has a few on-going health problems and we were prepared that his little body may not have been able to cope. You know when multiple things happen at once and they seem to be never ending? Yeah, that happened. Thankfully he's been much better over the last little while & he's been back to his mischievous self. I'm so thankful, I'm not sure what I'd do without that little ball of fluff.

But everyone has a bad year every so often. Last year just happened to be mine and I'm a stronger person because of everything. I feel like I've learned a lot and I'm ready to move on.


The start of a new year is something I've been looking forward to and now it's here, I'm feeling very positive - not even the essay that's due in 9 days is getting me down! I'm so incredibly thankful to have my family, little Ralphie, and you in my life. I'm grateful for every opportunity and more determined than ever to make the most of every future opportunity, whatever they may be. I'm just a normal person, I get things wrong, make silly mistakes and sometimes I stray a little too far from the path I'm supposed to be on.

All I ever want to be is relateable! I'm not a beauty expert. I'm not a photography expert. I don't know anything about fashion. I'm not really a writer. I'm just Jennie. I like to take pictures. I like bunnies. I read a lot of books. I reblog too many Harry Potter gifs and pictures of cake on tumblr. I would love to be a writer. Ultimately all I can really be is myself. All I ever want this space to be is a place you can stop by for a few minutes whenever you like, and for you to feel welcome and like you can tell me something about your day, forget about your day if it wasn't the best, for you to leave a few words of advice if it sounds like I need it, or to take some comfort from some of the words that are rattling around in my head.  

Thank you for sticking with me. Thank you for stopping by. And thank you for being you. I very much hope that you'd like to join me, wherever this year takes me. I'd like to join you on your yearly adventure too.

Here's to 2014 - lets make it unforgettable!

Love, Jennie
xoxo 

105 comments:

  1. Wow! O.O I had no idea you were receiving comments like that! And who doesn't like bunnies???

    I don't think you should worry about things so much Jennie, just stay true to yourself and write about the things you love. The right readers will then come along and stick with you. :)

    Happy New Year! I hope that 2014 will be your best year ever! ^_^

    www.amiciarai.com

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  2. Happy new year Jennie! Negative comments and feedback are great because constructive criticism is always a positive thing. However this is totally your little space of the internet to write whatever you please, and as you said above you just can't please all of the readers at once. Just post for you, we all love you on here which is why we come back. Love your blog and can't wait to see more in 2014 x x

    Claire | AgentSmyth

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    1. I completely agree, I got so much amazing advice! Thank you so much! xo

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  3. I'm not sure if my last comment published but I think your blog is great and you're fantastic at always commenting on my blog.

    Happy New Year

    Victoria
    FlorenceandMary.com

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  4. Happy New Year! x

    http://lornaswishingwell.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. happy new year :) !
    http://coeursdefoxes.blogspot.com/

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  6. <3 Happy new year, and what a lovely, well written post. Sorry to hear about the losses, and hope Ralphie's okay! x

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    1. Replying to your tweet here as my twitter won't let me reply! I did have a lovely NYE, hope you did too? My new blog is www.startanewstartafresh.blogspot.co.uk :) x

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    2. Happy New Year, Jenny! Ralphie's doing really well thank you <3

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    3. Thank you for linking, I'm popping over to have a read now <3

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  7. Hope you have a lovely year and more blog years to come!

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale |

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    1. Thank you Jackie, fingers crossed! xo

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  8. I love bunnies & your attitude to life. I find you to be real & post from the heart x
    I wish you all the very best for 2014 & can't wait to read your blog along the way.
    http://www.letstalkbeauty.co.uk/

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  9. Jennie you have such a kind heart! I think it says a lot about you that you chose to respond to those comments in such an honest and sweet way. I'm really sorry to hear about your grandmother, grandparents are so precious.

    Keep up the good work, you have one of the best blogs on the internet. I personally like it when people talk about the same products or wear the same thing a lot in outfit posts. I guess you can't please everyone!

    Happy New Year! :)

    Tara xo

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  10. Happy blog birthday Jennie!So sorry to hear of your losses, I hope 2014 brings everything you wish for xx

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  11. Happy New Year and happy blog birthday! You know I love your blog and I love it even more because you pay attention to your readers and really try to reply to them. Oh, and I love bunnies!
    Andreea | http://catsfika.blogspot.ro/

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  12. Beautiful post Jennie! Happy New Year xx

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  13. Wow, Jennie! Ah, I don't know what to say without sounding silly but I'm slightly overprotective of the people I care about so to read some of those comments - I can't help but think they're a little harsh! I LOVE your blog, always have, always will. As I've told you before, Sailboat was one of the first blogs I found, and I've never stopped enjoying it. I am obviously a little biased because we have very similar personalities so your blog just appeals to me on so many levels. I hope you never feel pressured to change into someone you don't want to be!
    Anyway, there's no real negative comments I'd make about anyone's blog - it's simply not my place!

    Happy New Year Jennie <3 I hope this one is going to be very special for you. xxx

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    1. Aww thank you so much, Carly! You're the sweetest <3

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  14. Happy New Year Jennie! I hope 2014 is good for you :) xx

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  15. I'm sorry some people gave you such shitty feedback. For the record, I completely disagree with all the negative comments said! I love your blog.
    Spider Leg Lashes xo

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  16. Happy New Year Jennie!
    It's weird reading some of the things people have said to you - if they don't like the way you write / bunnies (and how could you not love Ralphie!?) then no-one is making them read..! Like you say, you can't please everyone, and personally I love your blog and try to visit every couple of days to see what you've had to say. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2014 has in store for you!

    Jess xo

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    1. Thank you, Jess! That means the world to hear <3

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  17. I think your blog is just perfect Jennie, please don't change a thing, do exactly what you want, because I love every single post you write, how you write it and your pictures are just beautiful. My 2013 was rubbish too, I'm hoping that this year will be a much better one, but I figure we've got to try and help it along too.

    All the best for this year, lets hope it's a good one ey

    Helen

    www.fragile-bird.blogspot.co.uk

    xxx

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    1. Thank you, Helen. That's so wonderful to hear! Absolutely, I hope it's a good one for both of us <3

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  18. Jennie, i love to read your blog. I'm an awful commenter but i'm always reading. I love your personal, "cryptic", lifestyle posts and everything you do is so you. I say more Ralphie and more Jennie! Happy Birthday beautiful Sailboat, i hope you sail for many years to come!

    K xo

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    1. Thank you sweet, you're so lovely! <3

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  19. Jennie, I love this little space. I like watching it evolve with you- that you're building a home, and working out which path to take forward, and dealing with losses, those are big life forming things and despite not 'knowing' you, I feel pretty privelaged to get a glimpse into these things. I guess I was never really drawn to Sailboat for the more flippant posts like the hauls, but to the ones where you gently try to work out your thoughts and feelings on particualr issues, or ones where we get allowed into your life, so it wouldn't cross my mind that you should do those. Blogging is a funny thing because there are so much expectations of what we should and shouldn't do, when really the blog should be fitting with the life we are leading right now, rather than the life our readers might expect us to lead. Do not apologise for your life and feelings having been what they have. I hope that 2014 is a year full of love and joy for you, and I for one will be here reading along and cheering for you :)
    xxx
    Chambray & Curls

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    1. Thank you, Laura, for such kind words. They really do mean the absolute world. I completely agree, blogging is a very funny thing. I hope 2014 is nothing but amazing for you too <3

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  20. Aww happy birthday Sailboat! <3 You definitely should be so, so proud of your wonderful blog Jennie; it was one of the first I found and one I wanted to keep visiting without a doubt and absolutely nothing has changed in the last two years. Like a lot of people have said, you always post from the heart and that's one of the reasons why your blog is so special, heartwarming and enjoyable.

    I wish you the very best for 2014, here's hoping it's a lot better for you & stay true to yourself, we all love your blog and that is because you are YOU! xo

    Sophie xx soinspo

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    1. Thank you so much Sophie! You're the absolute sweetest and I hope this year is incredible for you! xo

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  21. How could people love sweet little Ralphie? One of the reason I love your blog so much is because you seem to have the same love of bunnys as I do! Wishing you lot's of luck and happy moments this new year♥

    http://positivelygrand.blogspot.co.uk/

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  22. I think your blog is one of my favourites Jennie, I don't think you need to apologise for anything as after all you can't please everybody, nobody can. I personally really like your content and try to comment on every post but sometimes life gets in the way, I don't have time to read every post and then I fall behind. We're all only human and do the best we can, keep blogging on and I look forward to reading more next year and seeing some more pictures of Ralphie! :)

    Happy New Year x

    Amy x A Little Boat Sailing

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    1. Thank you, Amy! I really appreciate your kind words <3

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  23. Happy New Year Jennie! Such a well written and articulated post and I think you showed massive dignity in your responses! I completely know what you mean with the dry, sarcastic humour being lost in translation. I'm exactly the same and it sometimes doesn't work so well in a written format!

    Hope you have a great year ahead of you and good luck in everything you do!

    Nick | N.E. Boy

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    1. Thanks Nick, I really appreciate that! :)

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  24. Happy New Year Jennie, and congratulations to Sailboat on 4 years! Absolutely loved reading this honest, reflective post. Your blog continues to be one of my favourites even after all this time and I enjoy all aspects of your content (including pretty little Ralphie!). Here's to a fun and inspiring 2014, I hope you manage to meet your goals and, even if not, have fun doing so! (:

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! Happy new year :)

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  25. First of all, Happy New Year and Happy birthday! Thanks for sticking around, your blog is seriously such an inspiration!

    I feel so touched by your well written post. To be honest those complaints seem like utter c*** to me.

    I hope 2014 brings everything you wish for hun! <3

    Fashion Written With A Lipstick

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    1. Thank you! Happy new year lovely <3

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  26. Happy New Year lovely lady and happy bloggy birthday. You should never have to explain yourself Jennie. It's your blog to write what you want. I hope 2014 has lots of exciting things in store for you.

    Jenny | sunny sweet pea xx

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  27. Happy New Year Jennie :) hope its a good one! xox

    www.thestylekhaleesi.com

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  28. You can't please and satisfy people and that's ok!
    You don't need to feel responsible for that. We all have
    our own taste
    and opinions and sometimes they are unfortunately
    not so nice...
    But don't feel encouraged because of that! This
    happens in real life too. Stay positive c: Happy
    2014! Xx

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  29. Happy new year and happy blog birthday.

    Your blog is great ignore the negative comments xx

    Catherines Loves

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  30. Happy New Year! I'm so glad I came across your blog, its amazing!
    Best of luck for the new year!

    Olivia xxx

    olivialucymitchell.blogspot.co.uk

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  31. I'm sorry you've not had the best year, hopefully 2014 will be your year and if not, it'll be better than 2013. You're strong for getting through it and it's perfectly understandable to be honest on your blog as after all it is your blog! Happy New Year and Happy Blog Birthday! I absolutely adore your blog and it's one of the ones I've read consistently because I really enjoy your posts, keep it up.

    Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

    xx

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    1. Thank you so much lovely, that means a lot! xo

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  32. I'm hoping this next year will be full of amazing wonderful things and less sadness. I don't think you owe anyone any explanations for having sad days, they happen, people can't be happy all the time. Also, who doesn't love bunnies?! More bunny = more happy. Thanks for being you :)

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  33. I can't believe people complain about advertisements. Your time is worth something. -Hanna Lei

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  34. I love your blog and it always makes me smile when I get a comment from you! Most bloggers with lots of followers aren't as interactive as you are so it's really nice :)

    Annie | www.raspberphobia.com

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  35. Wow thanks for being so honest, its good to see someone who is willing to share the good and the not so good - loved this post and lots of things resonated with me. Heres to a Happy 2014.

    Louise xx

    www.apocketfulofgorgeous.blogspot.com

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  36. I wish you all the best of luck for the new year and I hope you have a great deal of happiness ;)

    -Shelby
    http://bittersweetshelby.blogspot.co.uk/

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  37. Happy new year sweet lady! I think it's brilliant that you've asked for feedback and are sharing criticisms and your response to it, that's that not always easy to do. I think you and your blog are wonderful x

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    1. Thank you so much, Cat! Happy new year <3

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  38. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother :-( must of been tough on you both. I think you are such a sweetheart for commenting on blogs that visit yours, must take some time. You are so relatable and down to earth, and I like that you don't review a hundred odd products, I like to know about the ones you like - so I know what new products to try. I think you should aim high, with your blog and in life. You don't give yourself enough credit or realise how good you are at writing and coming up with intresting content. Happy new year! x

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    1. Thank you lovely! Your kind words mean so much! <3

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  39. This is such an open post and I love the way you've responded to some of those comments. I hope you have a wonderful 2014 :)

    Sophie
    http://what-sophie-said.blogspot.co.uk/
    xxx

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  40. Well done for responding to those comments :) I absolutely love your blog and you and your blog are VERY relatable in so many ways :) 2013 was my bad year too and I'm sorry it was yours- here's hoping 2014 is good for us both! :) xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Emily! I hope it's much better for both of us! xo

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  41. I love reading your blog and when I'm browsing through the blogs I follow (mainly looking at the pics until something catches my eye and I stop and have a read) I always stop to read your posts.

    I think you have just gotta be yourself and if people don't like it then they don't have to sit and read it do they? I guess that's the only trouble with doing a survey, you're always going to get some not so nice comments, and not everyone is going to like the same things.

    And if you love bunnies, then keep them in there. I saw a bunny scarf with geek glasses, so nearly bought it, thought of u!

    Happy New year anyhow x

    Hannah.
    http://surfjewels.tumblr.com/

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    1. Thank you so much, Hannah! I don't mind constructive criticism at all, I got some amazing advice, I just wanted to touch on some of the things that probably aren't going to change because they're just who I am :) x

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  42. Happy new year! I feel like giving you a huge hug for having a rubbish 2013, it seems lots of people had an awful time. I personally find myself identifying with your blog so much and feel such a warm happy feeling when you post, whatever you post about, and I can completely understand real life affecting blogging, i think as an online community readers maybe need to take that sort of thing into account a bit more because sometimes it just isn't the most important thing going on. Here's to a fulfilling 2014! xx

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    1. Happy new year lovely! I hope this year is so wonderful for you <3 xo

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  43. I think you're doing a fab job Jennie! It's true you can't please everyone, but that's just life. Keep it up! :)

    Happy New Year! x
    www.natalielovesbeauty.com

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  44. Well you're right in that you can't please everyone but for those of us readers who are pleased, we're very pleased indeed! I hope that 2014 is a wonderful year for you Jennie, you really deserve it after everything :)

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  45. The latter half of last year was when I started reading your blog as regularly as I could because that's when I started engaging more. Everything you've described in the last half of your penultimate paragraph is how I consider your blog. It's one of two that I genuinely am always eager to read because you seem so honest and seem to have the very outlook on things I wish I had, without being excessively smiley about every single thing. It's been a wonderful escape for me so thank you for that.

    I don't feel like your content is repetitive, I find it varied and well written. I like that you always have something positive to say even about things that aren't so great. And you do engage with other people's blogs. I see your comments on blogs every single time I browse.

    I hope you have a much better year, without misfortune and I would just say keep doing what you're doing. Like you say, this isn't your career but your personal space to write and share what you wish to. Forced content is always easily discernible. Those who enjoy your blog will continue to read and engage.

    Sej || What Would Grace Kelly Say?

    x

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    1. Thank you for saying such lovely things, they really do mean the world! <3 <3

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  46. Happy Birthday, Sailboat! :) I really enjoyed reading this post! Glad little Ralphie is ok and I hope 2014 is kinder to you!

    imeowlife. ,Dixx

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  47. Happy 4th blog birthday and Happy New Year! I am so so sorry to hear about your Grandmother, the passing of a loved one sucks and I am sending you a big hug through the screen my lovely. I hope to see many more blog posts from you in 2014 and as for 'Not liking bunnies' WTF??? Keep going as you are Jennie 2014 will be fab! x

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  48. Happy Blog Birthday :) I just wanted to say that your blog is one of my absolute favourites because you always come across as very real and down to earth. You don't post about things to please other people and you seem to stay true to yourself, which I really admire. I always make sure yours is one of the first I head to to check for updates and am looking forward to continuing to read your posts in 2014!

    Jenny xx

    ramblingsofajaffacat.blogspot.co.uk

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  49. Happy New Year and Happy Blog Birthday! I know I'm a few days late, but I just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your blog a lot, and if someone doesn't enjoy a particular post then they should just skip over it. I rarely read/comment on nail polish posts, for example, as it's just not my thing...but books will always get my attention. Different strokes for different folks, and all that. I was also sorry to hear about your losses; I hope things are a little easier now xx

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  50. I love you and your blog, that is all xx

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Thank you so much for reading! I love when you leave your thoughts so I would love if you left me a little comment, I read every single one, they mean so much and I try my very best to reply to each one!

You are very welcome to leave a link to your blog in your comment, but please just leave one link and I ask you not to promote giveaways. Thank you for understanding. With love, Jennie May xo