February Blogger of the Month – Last Year’s Girl

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This month it’s our huge pleasure to have Lisa Marie Ferla of Last Year’s Girl in our hot seat as blogger of the month. Lis, who has a law degree and a masters in journalism, lives in Glasgow and blogs joyfully about everything from music, fashion, music, beauty, music, her city, music and mental health issues. Oh, and music.

When and why did you start blogging?

I set up my first blog, or “online diary” as we called them back then, in August or September 1999 – just a few months after the word “blog” came about, if Wikipedia is anything to go by. I’d grown up keeping self-important, lengthy paper diaries which I always wrote as if somebody was going to read them some day, so when I first got unrestricted access to an internet connection and discovered that it was possible to publish your diary online it seemed like a logical progression!

Of course, those early diaries weren’t like blogs as we understand them today and I was hosted through DearDiary.net and then Diaryland and LiveJournal before purchasing my own domain and publishing my first post on Last Year’s Girl in September 2005.

What’s your favourite lifestyle category (interiors, food, travel, fashion …?)

In keeping with my blog’s beginnings as a personal diary, my favourite posts are the ones in which I get to share a bit of myself – so, mental health-related posts or the ones in which I try to make sense of the state of the world through a pop culture obsessed, feminist lens. I also really love travel writing: I’m never more inspired to scribble in my journals than when I’m out exploring new places and new cultures.

What blogs do you read for inspiration? 

I have a lengthy blogroll and, in keeping with being an old-timer at this stuff, love to leave as many comments as I can! Among the HIBS blogs, my favourites are Colours and Carousels (she’s one of my best friends IRL, but I will cheerleader her stuff to my grave because she’s consistently great and an amazing photographer) and Forever Amber, who’s been at it as long as I have and can combine style or beauty posts with this brilliantly chatty, diary-led style. I love the aesthetics of Aye Lined, being Erica and Miss West End Girl, and Polkadot Pink‘s magpie eye. I’ve recently fallen quite hard for London-based travel blogger Charlie Distracted too – I love her style and sense of adventure!

What do you love most about your home? 

That it’s mine, hahaha. I purchased a gorgeous new-build almost two years ago now, it’s one of the ones that was built to house the athletes at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I love owning something that’s both a part of my home city’s (recent) history, but is also brand new – meaning that I can fill it with my own stories and memories. Although it’s mostly full of cat hair and records.

Which independent brands and designers should we look out for? 

I was lucky enough to work with a company called Made to Last on my blog late last year: they’re less a single brand, more an online marketplace through which companies that produce British-made, sustainable homeware, fashion and gifts which they are willing to guarantee can promote and sell their wares. Individual brands I love include Flamingo Candles, Vinyl Clocks (they make exactly what it sounds like) and hair flair goddess extraordinaire, Crown and Glory.

What’s the best thing to come from starting your blog?

I’ve blogged in some form my entire adult life, so this is a difficult question to answer: it’s such a huge part of my identity and what I do it’s almost the same thing as asking what’s the best thing to come from getting up in the morning. That said, though, it’s a good feeling knowing that there are few corners of the world that I wouldn’t be able to visit without meeting somebody I’ve gotten to know through sharing my life with the internet – and getting a monthly new music magazine column out of it has been pretty cool too!

What one item would you save if your house was on fire? 

Assuming my husband and cats made it out okay, and my iPhone was in my pocket? There’s a cuddly lamb, Cuddles, that has been with me since I was seven years old. If I managed to get her back after leaving her in a hotel in Israel, or accidentally throwing her in the bin while moving house, there’s no way I could make it out of my burning house without her. Yes, I am 34.

Thank you so much for sharing, Lis. We can’t wait to read about your next adventures.

If you’d like to be considered for blogger of the month, leave a comment below or tweet us at @HIBS100.

Alice Cullerne Bown is a blogger, author, journalist and fanatical cushion-plumper. She spent much of her childhood creating room sets in shoe boxes and now attempts to style her real-life home, despite the best efforts of her husband, two children, two stepchildren and two cats. She is addicted to home makeover shows and likes to Hoover while watching Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners. She blogs at DD's Diary, www.dulwichdivorcee.com, and you can catch her on Twitter at @DDsDiary

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As you've likely heard and seen, there's an increasing focus on the authenticity of follower growth and engagement on social platforms across the Influencer Marketing community. The platforms themselves have taken measures to deter inauthentic activity and brands now more closely scrutinise the audiences of the influencers with whom they are partnering.

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