Behind The Blogger – Sipping and Styling

There are a million blogs out there. So many different areas and people all have different things to say. I wanted to start a series to go behind the scenes of some of my favourite drink bloggers to find out what made them get into the industry, what makes them tick and how they get their inspiration.

I thought I’d start off with a little post about myself!

I am a mid thirties mum of two, working full time in the transport sector. I’ve been married to my childhood sweetheart for over 10 years now and he is one of my biggest supporters.

I started blogging in 2016 shortly after I had my second child.I’ve been writing fiction on and off since I was younger, but sleepless nights and working full time around two kids meant I was struggling to get any motivation. Around that time I was reading a lot of parenting blogs and felt that I had some positive things I could contribute, so I wrote a few posts for other bloggers, then set up a page of my own.

Pams Bake and Baby Blog ran for two years and I absolutely loved writing for mums like myself, to give a bit of reality to the situation and let others know it was ok to not have your shit together every day. I am a big home cook so there were always lots of recipe posts and my pancakes became a big hit!

But two years ago I started being trolled badly by some people online. They would comment on everything and then started private messaging me their opinions on my parenting . I reckon I’m pretty strong minded, but over the course of a few months they started running down my confidence and I hit rock bottom. I didn’t want to publish anything for fear of comments.

Around that time I had started writing the occasional piece on easy home cocktails and reviews of gins I had in my collection. It became a total lifeline and the gin community were so inclusive and a whole different kettle of fish to what I’d encountered in the parenting blogger world! In 2018 I closed down my parenting blog and focused soley on gaining experience in the drinks industry.

I set up Sipping and Styling in 2018 and was lucky enough to get advice and a few opportunity’s from some distilleries like Oro early on and off I went. I write purely for people like myself who enjoy tasty drinks. My recipes are often easy to recreate or adapt with ingredients that are easy to get hold of (OK, occasionally I like to show off with some mad syrups and infusions, it’s hard not to run away with ideas and pretty pictures!).

I get immense joy when someone gets in touch to tell me they have tried a recipe and enjoyed it or asks for advice. I even love it when someone gets in touch to querie something or argue a point I’ve made! Only through discussion can you sometimes learn other sides to things. I don’t know that much about gin and cocktails in the grand scheme of things but I will always strive to learn. The Negroni Club has been a revelation for me and I am exploring combinations and learning lots, so a huge thanks to the guys over there!

If there is one motivation I have it is to find something that ignites a passion in someone. Finding that one flavour, taste or texture that they enjoy and giving them ideas on what could work for them. If you like bitterness but haven’t enjoyed a negroni then there a few ways of mixing one to adapt to your taste (forever greatful to Sarah at Gin_a_ding_ding for introducing me to Monica Suh’s Watermelon Negroni! If you like gin but like it sweet then there are all sorts of gins that push flavours without sacrificing that all important juniper. Realising and accepting that not everyone like a gin and tonic!

My aim is to try and be inclusive, to appreciate that we all have different palates and that it’s ok not to enjoy every gin. That just because everyone raves about something doesn’t mean it will be the one for you. I try to be supportive of everyone in the drink industry and understand that we are just doing our best.

Instagram is my great joy. I love setting up beautiful shots and am exploring this more every day.One other thing I am passionate about is Scottish Gin.

Being a Scottish girl how could I not be?! I enjoy getting to know gin brands and going to events to taste the latest products. There have been some, like Mackintosh, Hills and Harbour and Oro, that have become like friends, always here if I need to ask questions and I have come to be an unofficial ambassador for as I love their products so much.

Although I have and do accept samples to reviews, a lot of the gins and drinks I post about are ones I’ve bought myself. There’s something satisfying about enjoying something enough to put your money where your mouth is.

I was asked to be an official supported of International Scottish Gin Day this year and it makes me immensely proud. The Gin Cooperative set up International Scottish Gin Day as a way of championing Scottish gin, not just the distillers but the distributors, bars, writers and the whole community. A way to bring everyone together. The have worked hard to have an index of all Scottish Gins with a raft of information. If ever there is a drink blog to give you motivation it is Nat and Martin. I really respect their dedication and the way they have set up and run their business. Goals!

So, that’s me. What’s in my future? Well I hope to start making more videos and really want to to to more events and visit some of my favourite distilleries. I think I’m going to keep exploring gin and maybe try and get some real mixology experience.
Thanks for taking the time to read and I really hope you will stay tuned as I go behind the scenes with some of my favourite drink bloggers.

Take care.

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