An Ode To Amanda @ Small Home Big Start

Blogging has become such a nice little pass time for me these days, and even though I've always enjoyed writing and sharing some good times in my life with the internet world, I owe a lot - if not, most of my blogging experience, tips, and inspiration to the first blog I ever stumbled upon and quickly became a favourite of mine: Amanda from Small Home Big Start.

** Edited July 23rd - Amanda's site has moved to Life at Cloverhill (lifeatcloverhill.com!)

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I first discovered Amanda's blog while I was at work one day and doing a random Google search. I typed in "small apartments in Toronto" (was trying to get some ideas for the future!) and up popped Amanda's blog. I clicked on it, not knowing it was a blog at all, and the first post I can remember reading was "An Icy Start to Christmas" - in relation to the major ice storm of December 2013. I was immediately intrigued because this was something big that had just happened all across North America and I saw she was from Canada (we Canadians get very excited about little things like this!) I looked through her post and saw some beautiful photographs she took of the ice storm, winter, and a little dog of hers that I simply thought was adorable - Whiskey! As someone who just stumbled upon her blog "by mistake" I felt it to be a very inviting and pleasant place.

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I went through a few more of her posts before I exited the site and continued on with my search.

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A few days later, I went back to Amanda's site. I saw she updated it every so often and so I knew I could expect a new post to come soon, and I was looking forward to it.

I was drawn to Amanda's blog for the simple and lovely layout, the soft colours, and due to the fact that she was also from Canada and had lived in Toronto for several years. I found myself recognizing and being able to relate to quite a few things she wrote about, like going to the CNE, the Toronto Christmas Market, Canada's Wonderland, and Little, Italy in downtown Toronto.

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I also loved her more simple posts of the neighbourhood strolls she and her dog would take, or the starting of Spring and Fall. Reading them and looking at the beautiful photographs was very soothing for me during those quiet periods when I was cooped up in the office; it almost made me feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

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I felt so inspired by Amanda's lovely blog that eventually I wished to start something of my own that I could share with others as well. After overcoming a blogging fear and creating a few trial ones, I became more "open" when I created Lovely and Cozy.

I'm still trying to find myself as a person, and the same is applied when it comes to my blogging. I've been so encouraged by Amanda's site that I sometimes forget to keep my blog original - and avoid replicating hers too much! (seriously though, there's no way I could make half of her delicious recipes or creative DIY projects and crafts she comes up with).

 12312791164_3b91041833 A DIY Dog Scarf!

5200287313_7724577d4eAfter I showed Brian Amanda's recipe archives, he also hopped on the bandwagon and went in search of something on her blog he could make. He loves to cook and was pretty surprised when he saw all the awesome recipes she had posted. One night he tried to make her Spinach Parmesan Dip, which turned out great!

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Amanda and I have since connected and she has always been a lovely person and encouraged my "blogging dream." It's wonderful to have someone you can look up to in the blogging community and go to for advice and a little inspiration. Amanda and Small Home Big Start have been that person / blog for me and for that, I thank her for sharing her talent, advice, and life with us.

Thank you, Amanda! And please, never stop blogging.

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All photos are from Small Home Big Start. Be sure to check out smallhomebigstart.com :)

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** Edited July 23rd: Amanda's site is now at Life at Cloverhill! Check out lifeatcloverhill.com