H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Sunny Sweet Pea!

Jenny has been one of my very favourite people on the internet for a long time. She writes about her life and her loves over on Sunny Sweet Pea and I would love for you to get to know her...

Which three words would you use to describe Sunny Sweet Pea
Quintessentially British (that's technically two! :P), sporadic and honest. 

What prompted you to start blogging and which post(s) are you most proud of?
Crikey, it was many years ago when I decided to give blogging a go, 2008 in fact! I was unemployed and lacking direction. My days were spent applying for jobs, reading books and perusing the internet. I stumbled across a blog written by a Swedish girl living in China. I was enthralled and spent hours reading through her posts.

I decided to start my own, which was a lost less exciting. I wrote about my experiences hunting for a job in the charity sector. Thing is, once I got a job I had nothing left to say. That's when Sunny Sweet Pea was born and I've been writing on this blog since 2009. It started off incredibly book focused, mainly reviews and I vaguely remember writing a post about Norwich library and their fancy-dancy self check out machines - what can I say I'm from a very small town in South Wales. I then started to blog more about my everyday life and I guess I fell into the 'lifestyle' category, I'm not sure the term 'lifestyle blogger' even existed when I started. On Sunny Sweet Pea you'll find a mix of posts about my everyday life, travel, reading and creative writing.

Every now and again you hit publish on a post that you've poured your heart and soul into and you're really happy with. Here are a few of mine:

We share a love of books so I would like to know:

  • Your favourite book of all time
Oh lordy, the world's hardest question. I don't have many favourites, there are very few books that gain the coveted 5 star reviews from me on Goodreads, but two books I always recommend to people are:

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China - the most incredible book I have ever read. I have a fascination with Chinese history and I love reading books about both China and Japan. Wild Swans follows the journey of three generations of women, from the same family, through the tragic history of twentieth century China. It is incredibly hard to imagine you're reading a true story as what they lived through is so awful, but it is very well written and far from a boring history lesson.

This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart - if you're a blogger, a creative, an introvert, you need to read this. Susannah Conway lost her boyfriend very suddenly to a heart attack. But this book is more than just a story of dealing with grief and loss. It's about finding yourself, reconnecting with your creative side, learning to appreciate yourself. Dotted throughout with Susannah's beautiful polaroid pictures, this book is a delight for the eyes as well as the soul.

  • Your favourite book you've read this year so far
I haven't read a 5 star this year, but I gave four stars to The Cuckoo's Calling. What can I say, J. K. Rowling is a character building genius.

What does your perfect weekend look like? 

I would wake up every morning in a remote cottage in the Lake District, birds singing outside, deer mooching around the bottom of the garden. Ben (the fiance), Pip (the dog) and I would put on our walking boots (okay, so Pip minus the boots), pack up our homemade cheese and Branston pickle sandwiches and head out into the mountains for the day. We'd take our time, I'd take photos every few minutes and take notes in my notebook. We'd eat our lunch at the peak of a craggy mountain and look out over the lakes and forests below. Once down in the valley we'd have lunch in a cosy pub, in front of the fire, followed by board games and a mug of tea. Repeat, every day.

Writing is one of your passions and you're very talented! You've recently taken a creative writing course with the Open University, what is the most valuable thing you've learnt from it and is writing something you're going to pursue?

My grand plan is to pursue it. Susannah Conway's book above and a good friend of mine were the push I needed to actually give it a go. The course has given me the confidence to just try it. I'd never written fiction before so I was a little daunted, but I do feel I now have the skills to at least try. I've learnt a lot about character building, points of view, setting - I even gave poetry a go and loved it. The course cost me a fortune, but I'm so glad I did it. This is the year! I've promised myself that I'll have my first draft finished by Christmas.

Name three things that have made you happy recently.
  1. A wonderful weekend in Paris with one of my best girlfriends Charlotte, celebrating her upcoming wedding. To think we met through blogging. 
  2. Getting home to that gorgeous pooch of mine, oh and Ben's alright too. 
  3. Handing in my final assignment to the OU. I forgot how stressful assignment deadlines can be. It's been a while since I was at uni. 

You're hosting a dinner party and you've invited the 3 people you admire the most. Tell us a little about them and how & why they inspire you.

Samantha - forever my inspiration, she's the 'good friend' I mention above. In fact she's a great friend. She's been through so much, things that I can't imagine ever dealing with myself, yet her determination to overcome and to live her dreams are never ailing. She'll be walking with me down the aisle next year and I can't wait!

My mum - my head is full of dreams, happy memories and ambition because of this lady. She has always believed in me, no matter what route I decide to take next. And believe me, there have been many.

J. K. Rowling - who isn't inspired by this lady and I haven't even read all the Harry Potter books (I KNOW!?), but she's the author that all budding children's authors aspire to be. Like me, she didn't have a background in creative writing, she was just a lady with a story to tell. It's time I got these strange stories and ideas of mine down on paper.

If you could only keep 5 possessions, what would they be and why?
  • Pip - I cannot imagine my life without her.
  • Ben - totally a possession of mine. I'd be pretty lost without him.
  • My notebook - my blue moleskine that Ben me bought me for my 30th birthday, it has all my ideas and snippets for my book.
  • My engagement ring - because it's sparkly and beautiful and it's not often Ben chooses something for me all on his own.
  • My camera - life without pictures would be pretty dull.

- Quick Fire Questions! -

Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Night owl.

Sweet or savoury?

Summer or winter?  

Current favourite song?
We recently went to Big Weekend, so Taylor Swift is back on repeat! Style by Taylor Swift

Currently reading?  
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters and listening to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Your three favourite blogs of the moment? 
Lavender & Leeks - living my allotment dreams through Katie.
We Made This Home - I've been a long time follower of Laura's, her blog is beautiful.
Little Birdie - Another stunning blog by a lady called Jen, I can't read her posts quick enough!

* * * 
 I hope that you got to know Jenny a little better 
& that you'll pop over to Sunny Sweet Pea and say hello! 


  1. This is such a great idea and what a lovely interview :) I've never seen anyone do this for their advertisers before! Brilliant! <3 xxx

  2. This was a lovely little insight into another bloggers head!


  3. What a lovely post! I love Jenny's blog, it was one of the first ones I came across when I started blogging! x

  4. This has made me feel like I'm too slapdash with my 5 star reviews on Goodreads! I do sometimes look back at them and think 'um, I don't really think I liked that as much as that...' but I continue to get carried away when logging a finished book, with OMG YES 5 STARS!

    I've not commented on your blog (or posted on mine for that matter) for three years! I've still been reading though, and am going to try to start blogging again, just posted for the first time in yonks.

    I hope you're well x

  5. @Jenny, does the Swedish girl who lived in China still blog? I'm so curious to know! I lived abroad in China for eight years and just moved back to the States last year for college. Good luck with your creative writing endeavors :) And I think it's really awesome how you've been blogging for so long, before the industry started growing, before it was even an industry! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

  6. Brilliant post Jennie! I love finding new blogs to read and you've really introduced her well in this post (although apparently according to Bloglovin I'm already following? I'm so dire with Bloglovin I never find the time to get to the bottom of my unread posts!). Thanks for conducting this interview and sharing :) XX

  7. Thank you so much for mentioning my blog (little birdie). That's totally made my day! x

  8. I really enjoyed this interview!

    It's so inspiring to read about other people's thoughts on writing, and how they overcome their fears about it. I've been in a dark place with my own self doubt since finishing my Creative Writing degree, but I suppose it's important to keep trying to find inspiration and to let go of fear.

    I'm reading Memoirs of a Geisha at the moment, and the picture it paints of Kyoto is so magnificent that I want to read other stories set in that part of the world. Chinese and Japanese history is unparalleled.

    I didn't know of Sunny Sweet Pea until now but I want to take a closer look this weekend.


  9. This post is so lovely and entertaining:)



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