easy simple green smoothie recipe and real life

So, good morning lovely Beach Cottage ladies, and one man in the Netherlands, I hope you are good, I hope you are well, and if you are not, then get one of these easy simple green smoothies down your neck. It’s time for some real girl talk.  Strap yourselves in girlfriends, let’s get serious. Now, [...]

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5 Real Girl Blogging Tips from the Problogger Event



So, I have been blogging for a while now and I must say I love it.

I love coming here every day, it makes me happy, it fuels my creativity, it makes me feel good about the journey of my life, it gives me connection to people who like the same things as I do and bottom line it has shown me, somehow in some back-handed way, that the little things in my life are important.

Stay with me.

Please, do not vomit on your keyboard.

As part of this journey, nearly a year ago now I decided that, ultimately, I loved this blog and what it gave me in my life, but I needed to get out there with it, if for no other reason than to meet like-minded lovelies…so a year ago I was invited to a big blog event and went not knowing what to think, and not knowing a soul.

I was a little on the nervous side about what to expect but actually I have never looked back.

And so this weekend I have been at my first Problogger conference in Melbourne

This is what I have learnt about blogging today…if you have a blog or start a blog these might be of interest

1. It’s ok to be small

Just this, it is ok to be small, we all started there.



2. It’s great to be you

I’ve banged on enough about this now that you are probably well aware that I think Blog Voice and being unique is the only way to go and that being you is crucial to blogging success.  In my blog course Real Girls Blogging I talk about how I think this is key to getting a blog going…it’s what people are looking for online, whatever the subject or niche.

But what I have learnt the last few months and what came about today as I chatted to other bloggers and listened to what was being said, is that it is ok to just be you, you don’t have to be a fancy schmancy all singing all dancing super star blogger to do well.  You just don’t.

I sat their in the audience with people with very successful blogs…with super-hot successful bloggers making full-time money out of their blogging and most of them had come from just being them.  I like that.

3. Don’t stress the small stuff.

Plugins, affiliates, adsense, comments, widgets…ahhh!

I was talking to another blogger about this in the coffee break and how how much time this can waste and how really in the long scheme of things it does not matter what comment system you are using and especially not in the early days of your blog…

Yep it’s good to get to grips with some of these things but all the bells and whistles are not crucial to the success of your blogging, trust me from someone who has spent way way to much time trying to figure out some of this stuff…don’t stress it, just get out there and create great content.

Do you waste time with the small stuff? What plugin for your comments? Whatever. Get out there and write.


4. From Little Things Big Things Grow

Light bulb moment here – we all know this one, chunking things down into manageable pieces and getting it done.

It only takes 15 minutes to get that thing that you want done on your blog done – want a slider on your blog? A few sets of 15 minutes and it will be yours. Want the clutter off your sidebar. 15 minutes will do it.  Want to write



5. It’s all about the Sparkles baby.

So Darren Rowse,aka Problogger delivered an excellent Keynote speech, I am well aware that there is probably more likelihood of Darren Rowse going to the moon than there is in him visiting this blog about white stuff and beaches but I will say this, I wasn’t thinking he would inspire me, I mean hello he’s all like serious and profssional and I blog about ruffles and polka dots.  Wrong. I bow down to him the Blogging King.

A lot of what he said resonated with this girl with the old cottage and the journey of this blog, but mostly I loved his ‘sparks’ (ideas that he followed through on and turned into content for his blog) and how sparks are your little feeds into success on your blog.  Some of his sparks have made him a lot of money. Just saying.

Now let us, girls who like ruffles and polka dots call them Sparkles though, I feel that is a whole lot more appropriate in Beach Cottage Land…he made me think of my Sparkles…one of which was my Real Girl’s Blogging Course, I wanted to write something about blogging and my journey and I felt that there was nothing about blogging that was appropriate for someone like me – a mum with three kids and a blog – it was all about SEO and marketing and techie speak and I was like ahhhhhh, so I wrote my own.

Other Sparkles have kinda become the bones of my blog…photography, a total Sparkle moment…I picked up a camera in the early days and never looked back.  Ditto food photography & styling…messing around with food made me sparkle, styling it even more so and then photographing it, hello!  From that Sparkle, Beach Cottage Too Easy Recipes was born…with a little help on the name from Mr BC.

I have more sparkles on the way, lovelies, sparkles be my blogging thing.

What are your Sparkles?  What gives you energy?  What makes you tick?

Because bet your bottom dollar if they make you tick they will tickle someone else’s fancy too.


And lastly, point 6 and before we get back on this blog to what we know and love, ahem, old furniture and curry I would like also to say that in the last few months there has been some crapola around on blogging…some trolls, talk of bullying rah rah rah, but for me I would like to quote my friend Mrs W whose widget I put up recently to raise money for charity (THANK YOU  to all of those who went over and donated to that, I love you BC girls)

‘So to me, Social Media is personal. It is not about bullying and trolls and all that sh*t. It is an avenue for ordinary people like you and me to have a say and a voice.  And how good is that.’

Whatever your voice is about, it’s yours and it’s good out here people

And that my friends is my take on Problogging Beach Cottage style.

See you next time




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Your Missing Out on Some Real FUN!

Yesterday, leftover swell from the recent string of NE wind remained on the east facing beaches providing some really fun summer time surf!  The standard surfing crew had it in the morning when the swell was up and the tide was pushing near low with very light offshore W wind.  By late afternoon, the wind switched SSE and increased to perfect “Light Air Wavesailing” strength hovering around 10 to 15 mph!  I signed off work a little early and headed out to Enterprise St in Nags Head.  Solid waist+ set waves were breaking nicely on the outer bar and though the tide was a little high and the surf was mushy, on the SeaLion it really did not matter.  The beauty of light air waveriding, even if mushy, if it has a little size, it can still work quite nicely!

I sailed for about an hour or two catching wave after wave as the beach goers looked on and a few surfers were in the lineup just south of my break.  However, looking up and down the shoreline from Jennette’s to Nags Head Fishing Piers, there were NO OTHER light air wavesailors out!?!  Perfectly FUN, EASY, summertime relaxing action, and not a soul out there with a light air board and sail in hand.  I know this is a relatively new windsurfing discipline and I try to promote as much as possible the pure fun of this experience, but we really need more folks joining this bandwagon.  There was a “heyday” of soundside windsurfing in Nags Head when Windmill Point was the spot many years ago and the sound water was filled with windsurfers just off the marshy beach at the old Kitty Hawk Sports shack.  However, now that lot is empty, few windsurfers can be found in Nags Head, and summer time sound side water quality is less than desirable to step into.

However, ocean-side, the water is clear, clean, refreshing, and the fun summertime surf is quite rewarding to simply frolic in!  Regular summer SSE seabreezes provide excellent direction for the island orientation off Nags Head as compared to other points south which are more onshore, and the multi-million dollar beach nourishment project last year has provided wider beaches for cleaner wind and nice offshore sandbars for the surf break.  

Wow, for those here who are not yet Light Air Wavesailing, boy you are missing out!

Interested in Light Air Wavesailing in Nags Head, contact me via SeaLion Rep box in upper left corner of this blog, or join the OBX Beach Life forum to find out where/when the latest session is happening!

Bill’s OBX Beach Life