Category Archives: Blogging

Anything to do with blogging – learning to blog, other bloggers.

#randomthoughts 2 July 2016

Back in 2013 I published a series of posts entitled #randomthoughts (see here for the first ever one). It was my way of sharing my thoughts on the blog which which I felt were worth sharing but didn’t justify a whole post to themselves.

I had intended to produce a random thoughts post every week but life got in the way and after a few weeks I wasn’t able to keep it going. This week though I happened to re-read one of those original posts and realised that despite only being short snippets they actually gave quite an insight into my life at the time. So – as you might have now guessed, I have decided it is time to resurrect #randomthoughts and whilst I am not promising weekly, I do plan to share more #randomthoughts posts in the future.

Here then are my latest #randomthoughts…


1. School mornings are like herding cats. Just 3 of them, including one that can’t move on his own, but it really does feel like more.

2. I love bananas. Filling, healthy, zero preparation and most importantly – can be stuffed down quickly when lunch seems impossible.

3. Just occasionally I want my life back – the one where I could lay in, drink a hot cup of tea and eat at a pace that didn’t give me indigestion.

4. Six week summer holidays = six weeks with none of our usual stuff to do and three children at home. Detailed planning is already well underway.

5. I squealed in Aldi this week. Literally – couldn’t help myself when I discovered the Mamia Organic baby food pouches!

As always, I hope you enjoy reading this post and I also hope it gives a fair glimpse into our family life at the moment. So – how about you – what are your random thoughts at the moment? Please do share by leaving a comment!

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Snap happy – an iphoneography competition!

Now it isn’t very often I host competitions on the blog, but regular readers will know that Ellie and I are real fans of snapping pics, including a selfie or two, on my phone. Whilst I do have a camera I actually find the convenience of using my phone means I inevitably use it to capture those crucial moments. I mean it’s always to hand, it’s easy to use and most importantly I can share my pictures with others really quickly! So you can just imagine my excitement when I was approached to run this iphoneography competition on behalf of Three!

So what’s the competition? Well it’s really simple.

In order to celebrate the camera capabilities of the new iphone 6s Three are giving one lucky winner a fantastic mobile photography kit. The kit will include everything you need to create an at-home phoneography studio including: a bubble pod, two mini studio lights, phone stand, mini light box with 4x colour backgrounds and a bag to transport the loot in!

Example Phoneography Studio
An example phoneography studio only.

To enter the competition all you have to do is make sure you follow me on facebook or twitter (or if you’re feeling generous both!). Then simply share your best iphoneography tip in a comment on this post.

The competition closes at noon on Thursday 26th November, after which the entry judged to be the best top tip will be selected as the winner. The winning tip will be selected based on it’s originality and usefulness, as well as the technical and photography knowledge shared.

So there you have it – easy to enter and a fab prize so come on, give it a go! Oh and please do share this competition with your friends too. THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

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Summer holiday reflections

So I’ve been totally remiss and not posted for pretty much the entire school holidays! The result is of course that I feel guilty (odd maybe, but true!) and that I have LOADS that I’d like to share! So, I’m promising never to leave it that long again and sharing some thoughts from our summer. 1. The words ‘I’m bored’ fill me with dread.
Now this actually started before the school holidays and the thing is – it’s not just that they say the words, it’s that they say them when they can not possibly be true. For example:

At the school fair before the end of term, with her friends around her and an ice cream in her hand Ellie looked up at me and said ‘I’m bored’.

One Saturday, five minutes before going to a particular computer gaming store to spend some of his birthday vouchers (and not doing any other shopping) Nate sloped into the room and said ‘I’m bored’.

Quite frankly I didn’t know how I would get through the summer holidays without erupting when I heard these words which were ever more commonly used. I can however happily report that we did survive it and the use of those awful words has somewhat abated.

buy prednisone in usa 2. At age 7, Ellie has officially perfected the use of crocodile tears.
My daughter’s acting skills are getting better and better and over the holidays there can be no further doubt that her ability to put on and stop the waterworks has been absolutely mastered. The funny thing is during once such episode when I was (unusually) absolutely sure it was false waterworks, I informed Ellie that I knew they were crocodile tears and she simply stopped, said ‘I know’ and then continued without missing a beat. Children are strange but inevitably she did 5 minutes later realise her mistake having been totally ignored and gave up. Sadly it isn’t always that obvious and I have now spent many a moment watching my daughter crying and been completely lost as to whether it is for real.

3. Time is a strange thing
It turns out that a 7 week school holiday (yes seven!!) can totally fly with the exception of the 2 weeks when Ellie is away at her Dad’s when it slows down to a snails pace. In the name of honesty I should add that the 7th week of the holiday was a week too far and there’s no doubt that Ellie was ready to be back at school and I was ready for that too.

4. Afternoon/early evening naps are amazing.
Whilst being pregnant has obviously been what has caused the development of this new habit of mine – it is a habit I would very much like to keep after our fifth family member arrives. What’s the chances?! It also has to be said that it doesn’t matter how you explain it – it is simply not possible to get a child to understand that you are feeling tired because you’re pregnant, not just because you are a) lazy or b) a bad Mum.

5. It doesn’t have to be all days out, does it?!
At the start of the school holidays I told myself that it’s ok that we don’t have big days out all the time over the summer – firstly, the cost is incredible, secondly relaxing and entertaining yourself sometimes is a good skill for children to learn and finally, they will appreciate the days out more when you do them. In practice, the first is true, the second might be true but the latter is definitely not.

So there you have it – my summer holiday reflections. Please let me know what you think and what you’ve learned this summer.

Finally, I will leave you with a picture of one of our favourite days out – one that cost nothing, but was great fun – the day we did some of Birmingham’s The Big Hoot. (Click here to find out more about The Big Hoot.)


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Wading in on feminism

I almost blogged about feminism after attending Blogfest and britmumslive last year, but never quite had the er…balls…to do it. (Pun intended). This year though, the fire was once again lit for me at britmums live.

Let me start by saying that I’m not a ‘must join the debate’, ‘burn your bra’ or ‘lets be controversial’ kinda girl. What I do believe is that life is short, the world is better when we are kind to each other (male and female) and when we stick together we achieve more. I also think that feminism in the truest sense of ‘advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality’ has to start with women doing it for themselves.

My personal brand of feminism can therefore be described as a let’s work together, let’s be kind to each other and let’s respect the fact that different people see things differently kind of feminism.

This weekend then it was my absolute pleasure to attend #britmumslive and the weekend was full of highlights. The key note speeches from Emma Freud and Benjamin Brooks-Dutton were both inspiring in their own way. The social media for advanced bloggers session by Paul Armstrong from Digital Orange was brilliant – causing me to write more notes than you can possibly imagine! I also met some amazing bloggers who were friendly and fun – some old friends and some new. There are some really inspirational women in our blogging community and I enjoyed grinning inanely at a couple of my blogging hero’s at the weekend – not quite managing to actually say hello! (i’m aware that sounds slightly pathetic.)

britmjus 2014

Along with the many positive memories I have from the weekend though I couldn’t help but come away with a tinge of frustration because despite all the talk at britmums live (right from the opening panel session) about feminism and sticking together it just doesn’t always seem to work like that in practice. Let me give you an example.

At one point this weekend I sat down on my own in a session and enthusiastically introduced myself to three bloggers already sat there – I handed over my cards (which had become my ‘go to’ tool for breaking the ice) and asked for their cards. One of the bloggers handed a card over whilst the others simply took my card and turned away.

I’m a fairly confident person but walking into a group of bloggers who already know each other and joining in is, for me, a tough ask. When I build up the courage to do it and the group don’t seem to want to speak to me it hurts. It doesn’t feel like feminism in action.

Most bloggers aren’t like this at all, but the irony of the experience at an event where feminism was being openly discussed and celebrated wasn’t lost on me.

So I don’t know if this post adds anything to the debate, but what I’m hoping is that it states the flipping obvious – we’d be far better off to stop talking about feminism and start behaving like we want to support and be there for each other.

Lift off – the new blog site is finally here!

At last I’m ready to launch my new blog site! If that seems like a random sentence to start with then do read my previous blog post and all will become clear! Grumpy – me not the children

So anyway – here it is. Now when I say new blog, what I mean is – it’s a new site and it looks a weeny bit different, but it’s still me, it’s still about me, my family and life in general; and I still really hope people will read and comment.

I was waiting until I’d perfected the new site but I seem to keep finding new and exciting things to play with and change, so I’ve decided to go for it and here it is!

One key change to note is that I’ve added some new pages and in particular one which highlights all my favourite linky’s – giving a huge ‘big up’ to those bloggers who regularly give everyone a chance to link up and discover new amazing blogs to read. Go on…have a look!

I’ve also made sure that there is the option to subscribe to the blog (on the right hand side) and it’s easy to use…so why not subscribe and make sure you never miss another post.

That’s pretty much all there is to say for now, but do let me know what you think and for you bloggers out there….I’m really open to any hints and tips about! 🙂

One final note – there is more to come, but I shall build it gradually as time and life allow 🙂