Happy 4th Birthday Handbags And Cupcakes

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Me, with cupcakes (obvs), at my pink-themed 18th birthday party… So nearly four years ago! Gosh, Handbags and Cupcakes is four years old today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, little blog! I can’t remember why I decided to start a blog four years ago today. I will have been 17, and have just finished my AS-level exams. Well, I hope I’d finished. There’s every chance I was just getting to the end of my exams, losing the will to live (or revise at least), and thus procrastinating by starting a blog. We’ve all been there, right? Handbags and Cupcakes wasn’t actually my first venture into the blogosphere though. I started another one the year before, but never really got into it. To be fair, it took me a bit of time to get into Handbags and Cupcakes too, but I think that’s ok.

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Champers, anyone?

A lot has changed in the blogging world over the past four years. Back then, none of my friends had blogs, and I didn’t really tell anyone about mine either. Oh, how different it is now! Quite appropriately, I’ve actually just had the honour of being interviewed twice by the great site Her Campus about all this. Here’s the first one, about my top tips for internships and blogging success. (Not that I’m by any means an expert!) And here’s the second, about starting a blog, inspiration, dream jobs and student life. Have a read if ya fancy! This week has also seen a little milestone in the life of Handbags and Cupcakes: you may have noticed in that little box at the top of your screen that I’ve bought a domain name (and as such now feel très profesh.) So yay, that’s exciting. Looking pretty chuffed with my Sachertorte in Vienna a couple of years ago

Four years ago, I genuinely cannot remember what I thought would come of my blog. Did I even think about whether I’d still be doing it at the ripe old age of 21? I doubt it. I just wanted to write and have my own little space online. I don’t think I ever imagined my blog would become such a big part of my life though. Now, Handbags and Cupcakes is really important to me. I absolutely love developing it and always have so many ideas for posts, improvements and designs… Just not enough time! It’s rather frustrating. However, I am quite proud of the fact that I have managed to grow and develop my blog around finishing my A-levels, getting into uni, being a full-time student with various part-time jobs and now working full-time on my year abroad whilst still having uni work to do at the same time. (Note I say I have uni work to do, not that I’ve finished doing it. Oops. As Nigel Farage told me recently: “There’s always more time than you think.” Is it wise to take his advice? Moving on…)

And through all these changes in my life, Handbags and Cupcakes has had to evolve as a result. It’s really nice that despite the fact that the subject matter of my posts continues to change, readers (I hope!) aren’t abandoning me. At London Fashion Week back in February 2011 (collecting goodie bags, natch) I really hope that through my blog I can make people a little happier, maybe make their day a little cheerier. Handbags and Cupcakes is a jolly place, and if my posts entertain, amuse, interest, educate or inspire anyone who reads them, that makes Rachel a very happy gal. The past year or so has seen much excitement in the world of Handbags and Cupcakes, most of which kicked off with being shortlisted and then Highly Commended in the Cosmo Blog Awards. I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it again: I still can’t believe that happened! Me! And with nominations having just closed for this year’s awards I’m keeping my fingers crossed but not expecting anything.

Blogging is kind of a big deal in. I mean, who DOESN’T have a blog?! It sometimes seems like everyone does anyway. And it’s so much fun to be part of a blogging community. Making myself at home in a BBC Radio studio. I really hope Handbags and Cupcakes will be going strong four years down the line, bigger and better than it is now. Fancy sticking around for the ride? I’d love it if you would. It’s the BEST thing to get feedback from readers – please, tell me what you enjoy, dislike and want to see more of. It’s always interesting to know what goes down well and what  you skim over or skip altogether. Really, on my fourth blogiversary (that should totally be a noun) I want to say a massive thank you to you. Yes, YOU, reading my blog riiiiiight now. Sorry, I know it sounds like I’m giving an Oscars acceptance speech here (must try not to cry), but I really am grateful for all the support I’ve had. Spread the love, people… It’s encouraging.

Raise a glass (or a cupcake) with me?

Ideally I’d have a delicious cake recipe for you to accompany this post, but alas, what with work and travelling I just haven’t had the time. Boo. However, how can you have a blog birthday without cake?! Especially when the blog in question is called Handbags and Cupcakes! This evening I travelled from Brussels to London and may just have stopped off at the Hummingbird Bakery to pick up something of the cupcake variant to celebrate. Mmm cupcakes… One carrot and one red velvet. AND the packaging matches my nails! Too great.

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