For me, starting a blog was just a little something I decided to do one day after school with no expectations whatsoever. It seemed like the 'in' thing, and since I really enjoyed writing I figured I'd give it a shot. Never in a million years did I think that I'd be sat here, four years later, still completely committed to blogging. Not only has it helped me to improve with writing and photography, but it's presented me with fantastic opportunities of working with brands, attending events, meeting new people and gaining a lot of self-confidence. My blog is definitely an extension of myself and I'm proud to have continued it for the past 4 years, and to celebrate this milestone I thought I'd share all of the things I've discovered and learned along the journey.

Don't force yourself to create content if you don't have time to

When I first started blogging, I decided to upload three times a week, which at the time seemed like a great idea but as I became a lot busier with school, I realised that I definitely didn't have the time for this. I shortly narrowed this down to twice a week and when I started my GCSEs I reduced it further to once a week, which I've stuck with for the past few years. This works much better with my busy schedule and the demands of college, and I've learnt that I'd much rather produce one post a week that is of a high quality and I'm proud of than to upload multiple ones that are rushed and halfhearted. Although some bloggers will be uploading everyday and it can feel disheartening to see their regular content in comparison, don't beat yourself up over it as you should only post as often as you can manage.

Write posts about topics that you genuinely like

Books and reading is a huge passion of mine, which is a given as an English student, but when I started blogging I refused to talk about this as I felt like I had to keep my blog solely beauty. I also experimented with writing the occasional fashion post, and although style is something that interests me now, at the time I wasn't thoroughly invested in it. Over time, I've realised that it's more important to stay true to yourself and write about topics that you're passionate about, as this genuine enjoyment really does shine through.

Images are just as important as writing

When I started blogging, I would write very thorough post often accompanied by only one low quality and not very aesthetic image, or sometimes I'd upload a post without any photos at all. The writing was my main focus and priority, but I've since realised that images are what attracts someone to a post and convince them to keep reading, so they're definitely more important than I initially thought, especially for platforms like Instagram and Pinterest which are reliant on visuals. I also used to use a lot of stock photos, which at the time was very convenient but I feel like it can sometimes seem impersonal.

Blogging is different for everyone

You shouldn't feel the need to blog in a certain way just because everyone else does. Although there are definitely trends in blogging, with popular niches and preferred ways of taking photos, don't feel as though you have to conform to these if you don't want to. For example, I used to always write monthly favourites posts when I started blogging as that was the norm, but I soon realised that I didn't actually enjoy creating them (I've got a whole blog post on the matter if you'd like to give it a read!) and rather than continuing cause it's what everyone else did, I stayed true to myself by stopping them and felt so much happier with my content, instead opting for a favourites post if and when I felt like it.

It's not about the numbers or exposure

More recently, everyone blogging seems to be obsessed with growing their platforms, gaining a larger readership and improving their stats. Although this is definitely important from a business point of view, it shouldn't be the main focus and eclipse all other aspects of blogging. A couple of years ago, I used to track my blog analytics every week and after a while found that I focused more on posts that I thought my audience would enjoy, rather than what I enjoyed writing. I've definitely taken a step back from this more recently and instead just focus on creating content, both on my blog and social media, that I'm happy with, and if any growth comes with that then it's an added bonus.

It takes a lot of dedication

Before I started my blog, I never thought that I'd be able to commit to such an activity. In all honesty, I predicted that I'd write blog posts for a few months before losing interest or becoming too busy and taking up another hobby instead. But something about blogging has just stuck with me and I've managed to keep posting on a weekly basis for 4 years, with no desire to stop anytime soon. However, I've also realised that it takes a lot of commitment and hard work to maintain. Spending hours taking countless photographs only to select one, or giving up every Sunday evening to edit, proofread, publish and promote my posts. Although these have become second nature to me (I've not had a free Sunday night in years and it'd be strange to now), it's definitely worth putting in the effort for the enjoyment blogging gives me and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Practice makes perfect

Everyone has to start somewhere, so don't expect your blog to be flawless and insanely popular right from the get-go. My blog is by no means amazing now, but there have been massive improvements since February 2014 when I first started it. There's no point giving up too soon if you're not seeing improvements or your blog doesn't look like everyone elses - blogging is a journey and you should instead be proud of how it looks now, as a lot of hard work has been put into it. 

To round up this post, I thought I'd share some photos from my blog, spanning from 2014 to now, both as a way of reminiscing and to see how much has changed in these past 4 years.

Although I sadly don't have any photos of my first ever blog design, the photo above is the earliest one I have, from about 6 months into blogging. As you can clearly see, a lot has changed since then! Daisies and Delights was definitely in its basic form, and the image with the bird that I used was actually one that I found for free online and repurposed. I honestly find it crazy to look at this image and think that my blog has grown from this into what it is now!


The above three images are some more blog headers that I designed in the early days - I seriously used to change my layout like every week! The top one was another free image that I found online and just stuck my blog name on, but I then decided that I wanted to have a go at making my own headers from scratch. The middle one was actually created on Microsoft Powerpoint, as I had yet to discover Photoshop and Illustrator and had no idea what else to use, and the bottom one was made with Canva (which I still highly recommend as a free alternative to Photoshop!). I remember being incredibly proud of all of these when I first made them, and now it's crazy to see how much has changed.

As you can see from this image above, my blog header hasn't drastically changed since 2015 when I created the watercolour flower on Photoshop, although I've definitely tweaked it since. However, the rest of my blog certainly has! It was around this point that I started experimenting with downloading blog templates online and using them, which is something that I still swear by today, as it's honestly miles better from the preset templates available when you start. Even though there's a slight likeness with my current blog in terms of the header, I still think that there's been huge changes and improvements between then and now.

I also thought it'd be worth sharing some of my old blog photography so you can really get a grasp of how much it has changed and developed over the past 4 years! It's crazy that my photos have went from this...

To this...

Thank you for reading this post and I'd just like to take the opportunity to say thank you for the continual support. Whether you've been reading my blog since day 1 or have only just joined, I really appreciate it and it's you guys who continually motivate me to keep blogging and allow me to have some fantastic opportunities. And if you're someone who doesn't have a blog but have been considering it, let this be the blog post that persuades you to start one! I'll see you as usual next Sunday for another new blog post, so until then!

Love from Daisy x

If you follow me on Twitter then you'll already know that I've just spent the past week on holiday in New York, and had a seriously unbelievable time. I honestly loved every minute of it and genuinely fell in love with the city, as well as taking a ton of gorgeous photographs. I really wanted to share this with you guys, so I thought I'd put together this post of everything we did to share my amazing visit and hopefully inspire you to go there!

F R I D A Y   9 T H   F E B R U A R Y

So Friday was mostly a day of travelling, which was honestly extremely tiring and hard work. A total of 10 and a half hours on a plane, as well as 3 hours waiting in a German airport for a connecting flight, isn't exactly the most easygoing of journeys, but it was definitely manageable. We travelled with Lufthansa and ended up with a really nice plane, as well as tons of films and TV shows to choose from. I managed to settle down doing a bit of college work while watching Murder on the Orient Express and La La Land, and thankfully with the frequent snacks and refreshments the flight wasn't too long.
By the time we made it to New York and arrived at our hotel room, it was early evening and had already gone dark. Although this meant that we didn't get to properly see the city that night, it did mean that we were greeted to our hotel room with this absolutely phenomenal view. I still can't quite get over how beautiful everywhere looked when it was all lit up, and we were lucky enough to stay on the 23rd floor meaning our view was insane.

On the hunt for some food, we ended up having a bit of an explore of the area and stumbling into Times Square. I can't even put into words how insane it was seeing the countless flashing signs and billboards, definitely makes you feel like such a tiny speck in an enormous city. We also saw the Empire State Building all lit up, which was an amazing view to see from right outside our hotel and I really couldn't get over how amazing it felt to finally be visiting New York.

S A T U R D A Y   1 0 T H   F E B R U A R Y

This was our first proper day in New York and we decided to make the most of it by doing a lot of sightseeing. We were really lucky that our hotel was very central and so Fifth Avenue was only a short walk away, so we decided to head down there in the direction of Central Park, just taking in all of the sights and browsing in the shops along the way.
Being inside the Empire State Building was definitely a surreal moment, and it's such a phenomenal and huge building - much more than you expect just from seeing it on TV. We also walked past the New York Public Library, which was another landmark that I definitely wanted to see.

We also visited the Rockefeller Centre, albeit with no Christmas tree, and this was yet another incredibly tall and imposing building yet a fabulous one to visit. As you can clearly tell, I really enjoyed taking photos of everywhere and just taking in the sights, still not fully comprehending that we were in New York.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral was the next stop on our walk and I definitely fell in love with it here - the building itself is gorgeous with the neo-Gothic architecture and the ornate, stained-glass interior is definitely eye-catching. After lighting a couple of candles, we really took our time to fully explore the cathedral and take it all in.
After not much more walking, we made it to Central Park, which was perhaps one of my favourite locations in New York. The park itself is absolutely huge but I really enjoyed walking around it and taking a ton of photos. It's seriously crazy seeing all of the trees and grassy areas surrounded by a perimeter of enormous buildings, and there was even a bit of snow left on the ground!

S U N D A Y   1 1 T H   F E B R U A R Y

Sunday was a shopping day for us, which meant heading back towards Times Square but this time of the day. It was really rainy and miserable weather but that didn't stop us from making the most of it, and all of the billboards still looked incredible in the light. Although I had a browse in a few shops, I saved most of my shopping til later in the holiday so it was more of a sightseeing day for me.
We also walked past the Flatiron Building, which I definitely had to photograph as it's quite a sight seeing a building so slim, and there was definitely some impressive buildings and sights in this area.

Macy's was another stop on the list that we visited later in the evening, and let me tell you that it's absolutely huge! That shop is honestly like a maze, with 10 floors that are packed with everything you could possibly think of and taking up an entire block, meaning you could easily spend hours and hundreds of dollars in here!

M O N D A Y   1 2 T H   F E B R U A R Y

On Monday, we decided to explore the financial district of New York, which is a bit of a distance away from the centre but presented us with the perfect trip out. The day itself was absolutely freezing, which you can tell from my beret and scarf, but I really enjoyed exploring this area and it had such a different feel to places like Times Square that you wouldn't think they were in the same city.
While in this area, we also decided to take the Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty. This was definitely another huge landmark on my bucket list and so it was amazing seeing it, even if it was absolutely freezing sat on the ferry!

Later on, we decided to visit the area of the One World Trade Centre and Ground Zero, which was incredibly moving and a touching place to visit. Although everyone has heard about the tragic events, it really puts it into perspective when you're visiting there and you can picture what it must've been like on that day. Although it was quite emotional, this is definitely somewhere that I knew I had to visit while in New York.

Although we just had a chilled evening on this day, I really just wanted to document how gorgeous the sunset was from our hotel room, and I knew throughout the whole visit that I really wanted to see a New York sunset. We spent the evening enjoying the sights and watching Friends, since I could now recognise a few of the areas in transition shots, and it was actually a really enjoyable evening.

T U E S D A Y   1 3 T H   F E B R U A R Y

The American Museum of Natural History was definitely somewhere that I wanted to visit, both to see some of the amazing exhibits and also to relive my Night in the Museum dreams, so that's what we did on on Tuesday morning. What started as an idea to help my brother get photographs for his graphics project materialised into a lovely and really interesting trip, and I loved spending time in this museum amongst all of the exhibits.
In the afternoon, we decided to visit Grand Central Station, which was another place on my itinerary that I knew I wanted to visit. I definitely wasn't disappointed, as this building is beautiful both inside and out, and in terms of stations, it certainly puts all others that I've seen to shame.

W E D N E S D A Y   1 4 T H   F E B R U A R Y

Wednesday was sadly our last full day in New York, and since we'd already seen pretty much everywhere we wanted to, we decided to take a trip to the Upper West Side and explore. We saw the beautiful Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, as well as visiting the cafe from Seinfeld for my parents who are huge fans of the show, and it was really nice having a day out in an area of New York that is less cosmopolitan and had a more traditional feel to it. I also got my ashes done since it was Ash Wednesday and they were offering it outside the Cathedral, which was definitely a nice addition to the day.


The afternoon was spent focused on shopping, since I still had a majority of my money left and this was the last chance to spend it. I was a bit worried I wouldn't see anything I liked but I managed to find some really nice things, picking up a variety of clothes and makeup. I'm not going into too much detail as I'll probably write a haul for you guys if that's something you'd all like to see.

Sadly, the holiday came to an end on Thursday, which I was gutted about but at the same time I really enjoyed the trip and did everything I wanted to and more. I seriously couldn't have wished for a better holiday, and so I'm writing this blog post to share it with you and also for me to look back on in the future. I hope you enjoyed it and I'd love to know what your favourite parts of New York are if you've visited, or if not then what you'd most like to see! Thanks for reading and I'll see you again next Sunday!

Love from Daisy x