Blog Love: American Tales

Friday, November 15, 2013

Do you ever get sick of reading blogs that are nothing but round-ups and mood boards and wish lists and sponsored posts and no actual content whatsoever?

Yeah. Me too.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good-looking blog as much as the next girl (and I'm no stranger to a mood board), but sometimes what I really want is a well-written insight into someone's life. I want a sense of what makes them tick, what makes them laugh, what keeps them awake at night. I want to know who they are, and I want who they are to be witty and bright and quirky. I want them to tell me their story.

Essentially, I want to read the kind of thing I try to write here, but way better.

That kind of blog seems to have dropped out of fashion of late, in favour of the fluffy sponsored crap referred to above (must capitalism ruin everything?), but fortunately I know where to find the good stuff. Turns out they were all hiding in America.

Another Damn Life

I have waited far too long to tell you about Lyn and her blog, Another Damn Life. Far, far, far too long.

Actually, that's not true. I did tell you about her, way back in 2011 when she was kind enough to write a guest post for me while I was on holiday. But those of you who weren't reading this blog back then (there must be at least four of you) haven't had a proper introduction, so it's high time I remedied this tragic state of affairs.

The problem is, I always find these Blog Love posts hard to write. There are two reasons. The first is that I'm not very good at expressing genuine, unironic enthusiasm, even when it's something I really, really like, like Lyn's blog. I'd make a terrible copywriter. The second reason is that I always have to have a quick look at whichever blog I'm trying to write enthusiastically about - for research purposes, you understand - and inevitably end up being sucked into reading it. Suddenly, an entire evening has zipped past and I've written precisely nothing. Which is exactly what has just happened while I was trying to write this. Oops.

So. In a nutshell, Another Damn Life is brilliant. Lyn is funny and awkward and interesting and when she came to Edinburgh, Smidgen let Lyn stroke her, which means she is one of the best people.

This post and this one, about travelling around southern Arizona on her own for a couple of days, are a good place to start, though frankly there is no bad place. You should read this blog. I think you'd like it.

How to Live in Ohio on Purpose

I followed Evie on Twitter for a long time before I realised she had a blog.  I'm on record as saying that if the only two people I followed on Twitter were Lyn and Evie (who follow each other and often engage in hilarious back-and-forth), I would probably enjoy Twitter about a million percent more. Evie's tweets delight me: an addictive mix of sharp observations, awkward confessions and bone-dry humour that gets me in all the right places.

I hoped her blog might be like a long-form version of her tweets. It is not. It's so much better than that.

How to Live in Ohio on Purpose is an excellent name for a blog and just an excellent blog all round. It's not really about anything, as such, but Evie draws you into her world so skilfully that you don't even notice. It's just... lovely. Like this post, about running (except it's not really about running, it's about life, but Evie is so sneaky that you don't even notice until the end and then you're like ohhhh. Also it's a little bit about pizza, which is one of my favourite topics).

Evie also shares my make-them-laugh-while-providing-no-practical-advice-whatsoever approach to How To posts, which makes me like her even more. Practical schmactical.

Update: Evie has moved her blog to a new location - you can find her at Oh Evie. She also sends out a weekly newsletter which you can (and SHOULD) subscribe to here.

Nothing But Bonfires

Let's just get the obvious out of the way first, shall we? Holly who writes Nothing But Bonfires is a stone-cold fox. I mean, ridiculously good-looking. She also had the most stylish wedding ever to the love of her life, has a gorgeous home, a high-flying creative job and a glamorous international past, and recently gave birth to an adorable child. I should probably hate her.

But I don't, because (a) she writes about it all with such warmth and humour, and (b) she posts terrible pictures of her teenage self to make us all feel better.

I have now officially run out of steam with this post (told you I was bad at writing these) so I will just say that someone once told me that A Safe Mooring was like the British Nothing But Bonfires, which made very little sense since Holly is in fact British herself, but nevertheless it made me want to kiss that person on the mouth.

There you have it, a few of my favourite blogs. Care to share yours?


Images: 1. Erin Hearts Court 2. Lauren McGlynn 3. From Evie's blog 4. Sean Slinsky

20 boats moored

  1. I was looking for some new blogs to follow, having FINALLY weaned myself off all things wedding. Trusting your taste implicitly. *runs off to read*

  2. Kirsty, you are my slice of normality, sarcasm, wit and warmth in a blog reader of wedding fluff, unachievable interiors and 'hello lovelies'. I trust you implicitly and will check all the above out toot suite.

    Also VERY impressed at the post-a-day thing this month. As someone who struggles to post once a week, I know this is no mean feat. Have a *whoop* on me xx

  3. Blogs about peoples lives are generally a lot more interesting. I find my own blog boring, but as someone who is often quite dull, has very little artistic skill, and who is perpetually afraid of putting myself (or my house, or my cat or my boyfriend) on the internet due to an irrational fear of being googleable, I am sticking with the boring as it is a bit easier and less intimidating than the thought of blogging about interesting things badly.

    Also v impressed at the BEDN!

  4. Yep, Lyn & Evie own the internet. Read 'em and weep (with joy)!

  5. Agreed. I've noticed so many more sponsored posts recently. i love this type of blog too and yours is definitely up there with the best of them!

  6. What an honor to share top billing with my girl, Lyn. Made my dayyyy.

    Now I want pizza.

  7. Evie's tweets usually make me want to quit Twitter because there's no way I could ever be that searingly insightful/funny. But then again I don't want to, because I'd miss her tweets.

    But let's talk about YOU, and how when I read your blog I feel a little stab of envy about your writing. The way youput an acerbic edge on a phrase. The way you drop something poignant in the midst of your writing, quite unexpectedly. The way you gather seemingly disparate themes into one bright, attractively wrapped package. Your general fantastic Scottishness, which will always remain an exotic thrill to my bumbling Americanness. Yes. It's all true.

    I have been appallingly behind on my blog-reading during the last few weeks but I am pumped to read the posts you've written so far this month (like Christmas come early!) and also looking forward to checking out Nothing But Bonfires. New blogs, yay!

    Thanks for this warm write-up! It really truly made my day.


  9. I *will* check these out when life is less intense and scary (and exciting) so I might at some point ask you what those blogs were you mentioned. Just forewarning you x

  10. Your blog is my favourite. Tis True. x

  11. I've been thinking about this lately, your comment about capitalism is spot on. I find i will read someone's blog much more after following them on twitter because i end up having a genuine interest in their lives. Also your ironic enthusiasm keeps me coming back :D

  12. Oh these three blogs are lovely and right up my street, thanks for sharing. Personally, I know my blog is a mixture of both kinds of blog you talk about here - I hope I get the balance right to keep people interested.

  13. With you on NBB - she was the first blog I ever stumbled on, and is such a joy to read. I'll check out the other two you recommend as well.

    Also to say how great it's been to read so many of your posts recently. You're such a lovely blogger and your words always make me smile.

  14. Ughhh, I thought I'd left a comment on this several days ago when I first saw it, but I did it on my phone and apparently it didn't take! Anyway, I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for the kind words; I am supremely flattered! Excited to check out the other blogs you recommended too. I'm sure my original comment was far more witty and hilarious, but now I can't remember exactly what I said, so just pretend this one is too.

    1. Ah, commenting roulette, Blogger's favourite game. You're welcome - thank YOU for being hilarious!

  15. Ok, so I'm totally late to the game here, behind dreadfully on every single blog I do gratefully enjoy including your own little spot on the interwebs - and yet, I've spent hmmm HOURS languishing in the loveliness of these blogs. I get so caught up in the whole interiors blogger thing that sometimes I forget there's a whole host of other blogs out there that are ready to be settled into and enjoyed. Thank you for reminding me. xxx


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