The 8 Stages Of Blogging Awards

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Every time another set of blogging awards comes around again, bloggers everywhere go through a range of stages and emotions…

1. Nominations announcement. This is met by a flurry of excitement by the blogger. Another blogger awards! ‘Could I possibly win?’ thinks the blogger.

2. Filling in the nominations form. Blogger’s mind goes blank. Um, which blogs do I read again? Blogger checks Twitter feed to jog memory. Clicks onto Bloglovin’. Looks at RSS feed then blogger remembers they have no idea what an RSS feed even is.

3. Still filling in nominations form. Blogger gets tired and hungry. Wonders if it takes everyone else two hours to complete the form. Blogger can’t quite remember why one blog is a favourite. Types ‘is nice to me on Twitter’ as reason for nomination.

4. Canvassing nominations. Blogger tweets and posts on Facebook, asking for nominations for their blog. Blogger realises that only Mum and Auntie Sue will probably be bothered to do so. Blogger hopes that some genuine nominations will be cast their way. Self doubt sets in. ‘Does anyone read my blog?’ thinks the blogger. Continue reading

Win! One Of Five £50 Petit Bateau Vouchers!

Some things in life are underrated. Like Vanessa from The Saturdays (she is clearly the most beautiful member of the group) and eating a basic cheese sandwich (sometimes it’s just the best). When it comes to children’s fashion, a brand that is sometimes overlooked is Petit Bateau.

Petit Bateau kidswear

Beautifully made, great quality and classic designs, you’d be hard pushed to not find something you love for your kiddos. My 3yo has a nautical striped dress and it washes so well and doesn’t need ironing (lazy-mum-win).

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are my picks for boys and girls. Just LOOK at the yellow raincoat. It’s for boys but really, a girl would look awesome in it too. And those red sandals for girls? Gorgeous. Actually, do they come in my size?

Gorgeous outfits for kids from Petit Bateau

Fab outfits for girls from Petit Bateau
Petit Bateau have given me five (YES FIVE) £50 vouchers to give away. That’s £250 worth of vouchers up for grabs. *Plays fanfare* For your chance to win Continue reading

Bad Mums’ Club: The Tantrum Tipping Point

So what is The Bad Mums’ Club? It’s a collection of posts by bloggers on our failings as mothers. Of course, we know we’re not really bad mums, but I think it’s important to highlight all the imperfect stuff we do, as well as the amazing rose-tinted moments. It’s good to keep it real, right? At the moment, The Bad Mums’ Club consists of me, Morgana from But Why Mummy Why, Aimee from Pass The Gin and Katie from Hurrah For Gin (Can you tell, mum bloggers like gin?) but really, everyone is welcome. If you’re a blogger and fancy writing a Bad Mums’ Club post, you can link it up by heading to Aimee’s blog Pass The Gin this month.

I'm a member of the Bad Mums' Club


The Tantrum Tipping Point

Picture the scene: I’m in the kitchen with my three-year-old daughter, getting ready for pre-school. She’s already refused to get dressed, has barked that she wants “MILK NOT WATER PLEASE MUMMY” and is now watching Mister Maker on the iPad (I know. Tsk! TV before pre-school…)

I’m boiling the kettle to make myself a tea. “Can I have toast please, Mummy?” she says, not even looking up from the crepe paper octopus being made on screen. “Yep, of course,” I reply as I pop bread in the toaster and head to the fridge. “Oh. Sorry,” I say. “We’re out of jam. Just butter OK?”

Just then, time stops. Everything goes into slow motion. She glances up at me, and I wonder how she is about to react. This is going to go one of two ways:

1. Her face will crumple, her shoulders will sink, her chin will jut out and she will say (shout) in her whiniest voice: “I WANT JAAAAAAAM!” She will possibly also throw herself dramatically off her chair and onto the floor, where she will wail and pound the floor with her fists. And repeat “I WANT JAAAAAAM!” 47 times.

2. She will frown, think for a second or two, and then as she goes back to watching her TV programme, say quietly: “OK, Mummy.”

This moment – these slow-mo few seconds of time – is called the Tantrum Tipping Point. You have no idea which way things will tip, and you pretty much have no control over it. Or do you?

For me, distraction is the key. Some of my favourite ways of distracting my daughter at the Tantrum Tipping Point are:

  • SINGING. “We’ve run out of jam! We’ve run out of jam!” to the tune of Three Blind Mice would work.
  • SHARP INTAKE OF BREATH. Smile while doing this (so as not to scare them) and then say something like “You will NEVER guess what! I’ve heard Peppa Pig doesn’t like jam!”
  • LAUGHING. This usually sounds more manic than jovial but laughter can diffuse any tense moment.
  • POINTING AT SOMETHING. The classic ‘look over there!’ trick. I often point at something on the TV and ask a question about what’s happening on it.

Or, alternatively, y’know, just let the tantrum play out. Pick up your cup of tea, sit down (preferably in a sunny spot) and stare out into the world outside, thinking about nature and wildlife. And Brad Pitt. Mean? Probably. But sometimes, it’s the only way…

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Psst! If you liked this post (and like the blog) then I would love it if you headed over here and voted for me – I’ve been shortlisted for a Brilliance In Blogging award in the Writer category… which is TOTALLY AMAZEBALLS (and a bit of a shock) but if I want to become a finalist, I need your vote! Thank you!

VOTE FOR ME BiB 2014 WRITER

 

Butlins Just For Tots: The Highs And The Lows

Butlins Just For Tots review

Someone says “Butlins” to you, and what do you immediately think of? The seaside. Chalets. Red coats. Cabaret shows. Hen and stag dos perhaps. It’s probably fair to say that its reputation dwindled a bit in the 80s and 90s, but since 2000, Butlins have invested £70million in their facilities and I’ve heard lots of parents talk about what a brilliant place it is for a UK family holiday. And this month, Butlins have launched a special break for families with  pre-school age kids – the Just For Tots breaks are jam-packed with entertainment aimed at under 5s and have loads of activities included in the price you pay when you book. Sounds like the dream, right? We were asked to road-test the Just For Tots break, and I headed to sunny Bognor Regis on the south coast of England, with my mum and three-year-old, ready to have some serious fun. We stayed for four nights in a king room, with partial sea-view, at the Shoreline Hotel (one of three hotels – Ocean and The Wave are the other two) and it was close to the beach and a two minute walk away from the action. Rooms were basic but comfortable and staff were super friendly. The same break in June 2014 will be £367.
The Shoreline Hotel, Butlins Bognor Regis

So what did we think? In a nutshell, there were lots of fantastic things about the Just For Tots break. There were also lots of things that weren’t so fantastic. If you were to ask my daughter if she’d enjoyed her holiday, she’d nod enthusiastically and ask when we’re going back! But my view, as a grown up, is slightly different, so (ahem) borrowing a concept from fellow blogger Morgana from But Why Mummy Why, I thought it would make sense to tell you what the three-year-old thought and what we thought. If you’ve booked to go to Butlins, or you’re thinking of going, this might help. Continue reading

My Top Blog Crushes

Being a blogger, I read quite a few blogs myself. Some blogs I read because I have got to know the blogger through Twitter or Facebook, and some I read because the posts make me want to stand up and shout ‘YES. I THINK THAT TOO.’

Others, I go back to again and again because they have a magnetic draw. I can’t always put my finger on what it is – sometimes it’s the photography, sometimes it’s the blog design, sometimes it’s the ‘dream’ that the blogger is selling. I basically have a big old blog crush on them.

Here are some of my current top blog crushes…

1. Maggie Stone

A fab hand drawn header, amazing photography and posts about really cool things, Maggie Stone is written by mum of two Kelle. The blog is named after her grandparents and you have to take a look at her kids’ rooms (Fraser’s here and Hattie’s here). I look at this blog and sigh with happiness. Is that silly?!

maggie-stone-blog

maggie-stone-blogs

2. Tigerlily Quinn

Fritha has been writing this blog for a few years, and I heard her describe it recently as a mix of everything in her life – there’s fashion, family, interiors, food and a bit of other stuff thrown in for good measure. But I think it’s the photography that makes me LOVE her blog. I quizzed her about her photos at Blog Camp and she said she uses RedLab to edit them. But really, I could use RedLab too and my photos still wouldn’t be as good – she clearly has a talent for photography.

Amazing blog - Tigerlily Quinn

Fritha from Tigerlily Quinn

 

3. More Than Toast

I got to know blogger Alice on Twitter and religiously follow her blog. She’s a fantastic writer – I find myself drawn into all of her posts, even ones she is writing on behalf of a brand (now that’s the sign of a great blogger) and her photography is ace too.

more-than-toast-blogMore Than Toast

4. Wearing It Today

A blog written by Red magazine’s Laura Fantacci, this is a must-read for any fashion fans. I usually click through to see what she’s been wearing and which products she’s recommending a few times a week. There are lovely photos and her magazine-style images are brilliant.

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Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 09.14.59Which blogs do you have a crush on?