2 Year “Blog-iversary”

It’s hard to believe that I started this blog two years ago – I remember the moment it came to me, it was over brunch at this little streetside cafe in Columbia, South Carolina. I was sitting outside with my roommate between lectures talking about how I couldn’t believe that I was going to be graduating in a few weeks and moving to London to begin such a big chapter in my life – I said I was thinking of a blog to keep in touch with everyone but I would have no idea what to name it and I wasn’t really confident in my writing or photos so I left it alone. About a week later, I was having coffee with a different friend after a particularly rough exam and she urged me to consider it, she loved my instagram and told me to  start there – so I did – I scrolled through my Instagram and I noticed a very clear pattern…

I drink a lot of coffee and wear too much lipstick for someone who spends the day rushing to lectures and walking their dog but that’s my life and so Lattes & Lipstick was born.

The Inspiration behind Lattes & Lipstick
The top left is from the day I first said I was thinking about blogging & top middle was taken the day my friend convinced me to go for it

In honour of this happy anniversary I thought I’d take a little trip down memory lane and relive some of the most popular moments over the last two years. When I first started I really didn’t like the idea of taking pictures of myself or getting sucked into writing about my clothes since I wanted this to be for those back home – so I began writing for University of Westminster about all the things going on around London and my life as a student.

Top 3 Posts in Year 1 of Blogging 

My top post of 2015 is still my most popular viewed and shared post: The Differences Between Studying in the US & UK – but I suspect that has something to do with Westminsters traffic than anything else but I still get a number of questions relating to this topic – especially now that I’m a graduate so it’s a super helpful link to share.

Studying US and UK

In second place is the ever lovely Love Die Late: Coffee & Cocktails review I did of this adorable little place near my campus for Westminster. I spotted the sign one day as I was wondering around taking pictures of hidden alleys and the name really caught my eye so the next day I stopped in before a dissertation meeting and it quickly became my meeting routine. After taking a few dozen photos of my coffee (duh) and the place the manager finally came up to me and asked what I was doing and I was stricken with fear – how do I tell her why I’m taking so many pictures or stalking this cafe, I didn’t really consider myself a blogger and was slightly embarrassed to say I just like to insta my coffee but I took the plunge and called myself a blogger for the very first time and it was terrifying – until I got a free crossiant and then I was like “hell yeah I’m a blogger, thanks!”

Love Die Late - Cafe

This next one is always so special to me – Winter Wonderland – it’s where Rich and I went on our first official date, after I blew him off about four other times, bless that man for never giving up for me. I was hesitant to share this one too because it’s such a special place to me but I knew that if I was gonna do this blogging thing I needed to share every part of my life and that’s the moment L&L started to take a different turn and even got a new section – the Personal section – and it was still is terrifying but it’s like my own little journal in that respect.

Winter Wonderland

Top 3 Posts in Year 2 of Blogging

2016 was a bit of a different approach to blogging, it was less about writing and sharing my day to day with those back home and more about sharing insights to my life and lifestyle with all those people I’d met online in blogging groups or through Instagram. As I watched my social media following and page views grow my confidence started to build too, I was less terrified every time I hit published and started to really focus on my photography and even get in a few pictures throughout the year.

It seems fitting that the top post was Things to Do in Santorini (also my second overall post) because Greece was such a highlight for 2016 and I think the happiness and love I experienced during that trip really rolled over into all my Greece posts and especially in my photos, although I think it’s impossible to take a bad picture in Santorini – but still. Greece is also where I realised Rich might be allowed to hold the camera a little more after he came up with this picture, which resulted in him running across the road and standing on a little ledge to get the right angle (so adorable).

Santorini Greece

Second place is a bit of surprise for me actually because it’s something that I do very rarely on L&L, but maybe it should be more regular? It was my Fourth of July Dessert – now food is not something I normally post about, maybe glimpses on Instagram or Facebook but rarely full recipes and especially not step by step directions and photos. After spending all morning photographing and putting together a simple dessert I have so much more respect for full time food bloggers – not to mention serious thanks to my friend who helped me out.

Easy Fourth of July Dessert

Ano last but not least on my little roundup, my most popular hotel review to date – The Lodge Hotel – and the funny thing is that we’ve been back to this hotel since then (to celebrate our 4 year anniversary) and it’s still just as perfect. I truly do love this hotel and it’s top of my list for recomendations in London.

The Lodge Hotel, Putney -- A Review

Well this has been one of my longer posts – very likely my longest ever, look another milestone – but maybe that’s just another step in my evolution of blogging? 2 years, 24 months, 104 weeks, 730 days and 132 posts later L&L is still making changes and evolving as I get used to this whole blogging world. Speaking of big changes – so excited to launch our new layout design this week so stay tuned! Love to hear your thoughts and comments below as always xx

About the author
Staci West is an obsessive compulsive traveller who is currently dealing with a chronic case of coffee addicition. Symptoms include blackouts from online shopping sessions, a ferocious passion for everything colourful and energy levels that exceed a normal human capacity. On the advice of her carer and companion, Kendall her yellow labrador, she created L&L, a down to Earth lifestyle blog, as a distraction for her pathological need for shoes.

2 Comments

  1. Congratulations Staci! I love your blog and your writing style. It was so fun to read the history behind your blog. I have to say, I was surprised that even you got nervous calling yourself a blogger in the beginning or publishing posts. Congratulations on your blogaversary and all that you’ve accomplished!

    1. I was literately terrified Lena, sometimes I still get a little nervous to hit publish on new posts too when they’re out of my normal style but after seeing when I came from it’s fun to keep pushing the envelope. Thanks again! Xx

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