The List #8

Hi and welcome to ‘The List‘.  If you are new here, ‘The List‘ is a great linky that I co-host with my wonderful friend Hannah from (award winning) Mums Days.  The idea is simple, just link up any post that is in list/bullet point format, easy!  I use mine to record my weekly highlights and remind myself of my hit list and targets.  Yours could be a ‘top ten’ list or anything you fancy.  Your posts can be old or new, all welcome.

This week, I am linking an old but popular post Different types of Mummy and also my BlogCamp Lowdown, which is packed full of useful tips.  Hannah is sharing Rainy day activities for toddlers.

Thank you to all the people who linked up last week, it is fabulous to see such a variety of wonderful posts.  Each week both Hannah and I pick our own top 3 lists and give them a little shout out in our posts.  So I struggled with my choice again, but I made a decision and my favourite’s are;

 mummy boy girl The List #8I loved Jess’ post on 5 signs of having baby brain.  Having left my phone on the roof of the car twice; the keys up there, car door unlocked while I went round the supermarket and the car door wide open, while I went shopping and for lunch.  So you can see this subject matter is something I strongly identify with!

Dad creek The List #8

I enjoyed Ryan’s post, highlighting the 5 things he has loved most about his first year as a dad. I think it is great to read a male perspective (and see it is not much different to my own!).

Mini Yummers The List #8

If you are looking for fun Halloween treats to make your children, then look no further!  This post is packed with fabulous ideas, which we will be trying.

Now onto my list;

REAL LIFE

  • I lost 5lb in my second week doing Diet Chef and another  8.5″ across 10 measurements.  So in two weeks a total loss of 13lb and 22.5″!
  • My wonderful friend Hannah (Mums’ Days) won the best parenting blog at the NE Blogger Awards.  So proud of you hun.
  • I am looking forward to a family day out at the Baby Show on Sunday.
  • I found out a dear friend is pregnant.
  • Real life high; My weight loss, but also my two blogging achievements seeped into real life icon smile The List #8
  • Read life low; Baby likes to scream a lot, usually when I am driving.  It can be pretty hardcore.


BLOG & SOCIAL MEDIA

  • My own favourite post this week was; this one about my recent success in the LoveAllDads annual awards.  As it means such a lot to me.
  • New blog discovery: The wonderful The Mummy Daddy Diaries.  Such a lovely read, pop over and put your feet up.
  • Blog high;  I moved up to position 91 in the Tots100 rankings!  I am so thrilled!  I also won the Best Non-Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads 2014 awards
  • Blog low; None, this week has been too cool to have a low.
  • I started to work with a couple of new agencies and brands.

 

 

Rules:

1. You can link up to 3 posts per week! Be sure to paste The List badge on each post you would like to link up (code below – paste it into the HTML option of your blogging platform).

2. Comment on this post to say hi!

3. Comment on at least 2 other links – share the love man, it’s what makes this community great!

4. It would also be amazing if you could share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #TheList) on your social media channels to help grow the community. Hannah and I will also retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention us in your tweets! (@youbabymemummy/@mumsdays)

5. Finally, if you could please follow You Baby Me Mummy (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest) and Mums’ Days (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest) that would be wonderful!

By adding your post to the linkup you are agreeing to be notified of subsequent linkups.

 

So you know what do to, grab the badge and link up your lists. I can’t wait to have a read!

Badge 150 x 150 The List #8
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Creative Play – #ToyellaChristmas

We all know that play is important for our children.  Through play they learn and hone their skills.  Imagination and creativity develop best with lots of exposure to new experiences and plenty of opportunity to play and explore the world around them.

There are many ways to play creatively.  From around 15 months they will probably begin this themselves, with their toys or objects given to them.  They may pretend to eat and drink.

Ideas for Creative play

  • Dressing up
  • Playing instruments
  • Messy play
  • Play Doh
  • Sensory play
  • Reading
  • Singing & Dancing
  • Outside play, collecting conkers or leaves.

The possibilities are endless!  If you still need more ideas, then check out our Pinterest board.

Follow You Baby Me Mummy’s board Creative play for toddlers on Pinterest.

Baby is obsessed by drinking imaginary tea.  She has a fake sip and says ‘tea’ in a Carry On film voice.  So one of her favourite ways to play creatively is have a tea party and as a tea obsessed Mama I quite like that too!

Creative Play tea party 1024x502 Creative Play   #ToyellaChristmasI recently gave Baby play doh for the first time.  We had bought some, but there are lots of recipes on Pinterest if you fancy making some!

Play doh 1024x932 Creative Play   #ToyellaChristmasShe wasn’t hugely keen on the Doh itself, but she did love the pots.  In fact, she used these pots to pretend she was drinking tea!  I see a common theme developing in Baby’s creative play.  Actually when I think about it, when we are playing in the garden her watering can becomes a tea cup too!

Watering can Creative Play   #ToyellaChristmas

Maybe we should try encourage creative play that doesn’t involve tea!

I hope this post has given you some inspiration for creative play.  Maybe you have other ideas of how to play creatively?

 

This is my entry to the #ToyellaChristmas Blogger Competition.  For further details on this competition click here.

ToyellaBadgeComp zps7631f58f Creative Play   #ToyellaChristmas

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The Alphabet Project {X is for….}

Welcome to the ‘Alphabet Project’, a fun photography project brought to us by Charly over at Podcast Dove.  The idea is simple, we take a picture each week based on a certain letter of the alphabet.  The links can be literal or more abstract.

This week it is ‘X‘ and for us X is for Xylophone.

Xylophone The Alphabet Project {X is for....}

Click here to check out my Alphabet so far.

Why not pop over to Podcast Dove to check out some others.

4d06e438 4e6a 4f3b 88b2 0c1093350397 zps361ad0e9 The Alphabet Project {X is for....}

 If you enjoy my posts, why not

 The Alphabet Project {X is for....}


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Weight Loss Weigh in #2- Sponsored by Diet Chef

Weekly Weigh in Badge Weight Loss Weigh in #2  Sponsored by Diet Chef

Welcome to the second edition of my weight loss weigh in sponsored by Diet Chef.  First up, I will show you what I ate, which maybe useful to you if you are considering the plan.

 

Week 2 menu 1024x666 Weight Loss Weigh in #2  Sponsored by Diet Chef

DC week 2 1024x993 Weight Loss Weigh in #2  Sponsored by Diet Chef

My experience

I am still finding the plan super easy to do.  Everything is ready for you and takes so little time to get it ready.  This is a huge bonus when you have kids.  I think many people end up grabbing things to eat, with no time to actually think about what they are eating.  I am still gobsmacked by how tasty the food on the programme is.  I haven’t yet come across anything I don’t like.  I am in love with the savory bakes (snacks) and from a person that isn’t particularly into crisps or crackers, this is praise indeed.  I would actually eat these even if I wasn’t trying to lose weight.  There are so many meals in each range (i.e breakfast, lunch…) that you never get bored.  I have grouped together all the ranges to make it really quick to grab something.

So let’s see this week’s stats!

Vital Statistics

Weight lost

-5lb

(total in 2 weeks 13lb)

Total inches lost (across 10 measurements)

- 8.5″

(total in 2 weeks 22.5″)

Verdict on week 2

I still genuinely love it!  It is a plan that you can do with so much ease, no cooking or trying to figure out how many calories are in things.  Nothing is left to your judgement (apart from the added fruit and veg), which I think is a good thing.  I have had the occasional rumble in my tummy, but nothing more than that and I find drinking helps.  I have definitely not felt desperate for any meal time to arrive.  It is just enjoyable when it does!.

 

The programme I am on would cost £8.75 per day.  However, if you order a 12 week supply this daily cost reduces to £6.61 (this is for all three meals and a snack).

Disclosure: I was sent a 28 day Diet Chef hamper in return for an honest review.

 Weight Loss Weigh in #2  Sponsored by Diet Chef

fJzNWoE Weight Loss Weigh in #2  Sponsored by Diet Chef

We Will Do It Support Linky Button Weight Loss Weigh in #2  Sponsored by Diet Chef

 

Share Your Wedding #38

Hello!  Welcome to Share Your Wedding.  The weekly feature that gives you the chance to re-live your wedding day and may just give soon-to-be–weds some inspiration.

This week we have an invitation to Susan’s wedding.  Susan blogs at Happy Healthy Mumma and can be found on Twitter @Susan_HHM

Hi Susan,  Introduce your family,

Hi I’m Susan and I write the blog Happy Healthy Mumma.  I’m wife to Patra who’s Thai and studying for a PhD at Sheffield Business School and mum to Thomas who is 1 years old.  I’m currently a stay at home mum, I was planning on going back to working in international development….but have decided to spend more time with my son.  Time is precious!  We currently live near my family in Buckinghamshire.

Let’s set the scene..

How did you meet?

I met Patra through his sister sister, Ploy.  She was studying for a PhD at Bath University with me.  One weekend Patra came to visit his sister and he came with us to the cinema.  We went to watch Public Enemies with Johnny Depp in….it wasn’t very good…but we got to talking after the movie and kept talking ever since!

How long have you known each other?

5 years

How did he propose?

After knowing each other for just 4 months or so, he proposed, sitting on the sofa in his bachelor pad in Sheffield…..he tried to look so cool, but I could tell he was really nervous!  Wow he’s a fast worker!

How long were you engaged before you were married?

2 years

Share Your Wedding

When did you get married?

July 2012, we got married on a Monday.  To cut a long story short, a Chinese fortune teller in Bangkok gave us the date.  It was the only auspicious date for us to get married on that year and as Patra’s mum is very superstitious, we had to get married on that date.  This did mean we only had a couple of months to plan, but the good thing was that not many places were booked up on a Monday!

Was it a large wedding or a more intimate affair?

We kept it small, we had 40 guests and 2 bridesmaids. Only Patra’s mum and sister came over from Bangkok, the rest was my family.  We had planned to go back to Thailand not long after the wedding to have another ceremony with his family, but are still living in the UK 2 years on!

Tell us about the venues?

We got married at the same church where my parents got married in a small village in North Buckinghamshire. It looks beautiful!

susan 681x1024 Share Your Wedding #38

Then after the ceremony we all headed to The Dairy in Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury.  It is a beautiful house set in amazing grounds owned by the Rothschild family.  The Dairy is a specialised wedding venue, voted one of the top 10 venues in the UK to have a wedding in – and I completely agree it was amazing and I felt so lucky to be able to celebrate there.  Stunning.

susan 2 1024x681 Share Your Wedding #38

Did your wedding have a certain style?

The wedding definitely had an English country vibe.  My family are all from small villages in North Bucks and I love the countryside.  You look amazing!

Tell us about the most important thing, the Dress?

Well, I chose my dress in under 15 minutes in the first dress shop I went in!  As I only had a few weeks to prepare I couldn’t get a dress made for me.  I had wanted a lace long sleeved dress but it would have taken 3-4 months to make.  To be honest, I never really could imagine myself getting married, it was so surreal trying on dresses!  I went to the best dress shop in Milton Keynes, as I didn’t want to mess around going to loads of different shops.  They only had 4 dresses in my size, two were too big and one was too tight, which left one dress and I snapped it up.  I took Patra with me and he said he liked it….I’m not superstitious about the groom seeing me in the dress!  He brought me a small tiara to go with the dress as a surprise as I was getting changed, he was so excited about it!  The dress I ended up getting was a strapless Lusan Mandongus dress in ivory, very plain with a bow on the front.  It was a bit too big so I got it taken in and it was ready a week before the wedding.  Such a beautiful dress.

susan 3 1024x683 Share Your Wedding #38

Describe your wedding?

My mum loved freesias, she had a freesia bouquet for her wedding.  So I wanted to remember her on my wedding day by having freesias in my bouquet.  I went with a ivory, lilac and peach theme and my husband wanted a few roses in there so I think there was a good mix of everyone’s tastes!  The bridesmaids bouquets were the same as mine, only smaller and the table arrangements matched.  I let each of my aunts and grandmother take home the table arrangements at the end of the day as they love flowers and I knew they would really appreciate them!

My husband chose a grey suit from Debenhams.  He didn’t get a top hat or anything.  My dad got the same suit to match.

susan 4 681x1024 Share Your Wedding #38

The food at the venue was amazing.  We went to a special food meeting a few weeks before to talk about what we wanted and to taste a few things.  My husband loves to cook and we both love seafood, so we had loads of fun deciding on our menu.  I was adamant that I wanted to blow people away.  I was fed up with the mediocre food I got at most people’s weddings, so we made a big effort with the food, it was the most expensive thing we spent on our wedding.  When people arrived at the venue they were met with Champagne and canapés.

susan 5 1024x683 Share Your Wedding #38

Most of the food was locally produced and very British food.  We tried to get a bit of Thai influence in there with the lemongrass in the dessert!  For starters we chose chargrilled tiger prawns, seared red mullet and Devon crab fitter with roasted asparagus tips and sauce vierge.  For mains we chose slow cooked lamb and braised shin of beef with dauphinoise potato, baby spinach, caramelized shallot, roasted carrots and Rothschild red wine jus OR lemon sole (I forget what was with it!).  For dessert we had a trio of desserts which consisted of vanilla cheesecake with raspberry couils and fresh raspberries, lemon posset with lemongrass jelly, and finally chocolate torte with white chocolate mousse and hazelnut brittle.  The cheesecake and chocolate torte are my favourite desserts and my husband wanted something fresh with Thai influence so he decided on the lemon posset.  Yummy!

Our cake was from Hockleys cakes in Northampton.  I saw the exact cake I wanted when we went to the Woburn wedding open day.  It was the most spectacular cake I ever saw.  It totally blew my cake budget 3 times over, but I HAD to have it!!!  My husband had no say in the matter ha ha.  I tried the chocolate and fruit versions and loved both so decided to get it made half in fruit and half chocolate.

susan 6 681x1024 Share Your Wedding #38

What was your favourite part of your Wedding?

The favourite part was my husband’s speech after dinner.  I thought he would be really nervous standing in front of all of my family; But he did such a good job and even brought a tear to my eye!

susan 7 1024x681 Share Your Wedding #38

What extra touches made it special for you both?

Waddesdon gave us our own wedding planner, so we didn’t really have to do anything!  She paid so much attention to detail she was really amazing!  Also, the chef was so good and he really listened to us and our own tastes and came up with the best menu ever.  But I have to say the most special thing was the ‘something borrowed’ from my mother-in-law.  She brought her diamond earring, necklace and bracelet set all from her collection from Bangkok.  She let me wear them for the wedding.  I have never worn such expensive or sparkly jewellery before and did feel really nervous that I was going to lose them!  But they looked wonderful and made me feel like a princess.

susan 8 1024x681 Share Your Wedding #38

For our 1st wedding anniversary my mother in law told me that the jewellery set was now mine, she wanted to give them to me.  So I got to keep them!  In addition, it was my mother-in-law that got my wedding and engagement rings specially designed and made for me.  I didn’t see them until we were getting married as they took a long time to get made.  The designer used to design for Cartier and the main diamond in the engagement ring was 3 carats surrounded by small diamonds.  It is a one of a kind ring and I am in love with it!  It would never have been something I would have chosen for myself (I would have gone for minimalistic!) but it is true Thai-Chinese flamboyant style and so I love it!

Did anything not go as planned? Any funny stories?

Mainly the timing didn’t go as planned!  Funnily enough most hairdressers aren’t open on a Monday!  So I agreed to meet my hairdresser at 10am, but she didn’t turn up until 10.30 which made us late.  Also, one of my bridesmaids left her suitcase on the train from Bath, so we had to go out and buy her a new dress the day before in the same(ish) colour as the other bridesmaid!  And she didn’t have anything to do her hair, so the hairdresser also had to do her hair too which took ages!  I ended up arriving to the venue an hour late so my cousin who did my make-up had to really rush.  I saved a bit of time, but ended up at the church 30 minutes late!  In fact, the whole day ended up running 30 minutes late!  I would have been so stressed.

There were so many fun little things that I remember about the wedding….my mother-in-law is Thai and didn’t understand much English, so she ended up following us down the aisle after the ceremony instead of my bridesmaids who were suppose to look after my dress.  She ended up stepping on my veil which was pinned to my hair and my whole hairstyle nearly fell out and I had to spend the rest of the day with a very loose up-do!  I did think I should take it out as it wasn’t high enough but I decided just to keep it.  Also, we had raw pork cubes tied to red string hanging from each the wing mirrors of our wedding car….. it’s good luck in Chinese culture…..I don’t think anyone noticed them!! And then there was my dad’s marathon speech after dinner….he took days to write it, but didn’t use any of it and ended up talking about Facebook!  Arh the memories!! Ha ha

Would you do anything differently with hindsight?

Book my hairdresser 1 hour earlier and walk down the aisle more slowly!

What song did you walk into and what was your first dance song?

Walking into church we had Pachelbel’s Canon in D playing and leaving the church we had Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.  For our first dance we had a trio jazz band play ‘Apple Blossom Time’, which is the song my grandfather used to sing to my grandmother when he wooed her!  How lovely.

Do you have any advice for the soon to be married?

Don’t spend too long on the preparations, I think a lot of people get stressed out and spend far too much time going over every small detail.  Just enjoy your day, whatever you chose it will be one of the most memorable days of your life- don’t stress over the little things!  I am so glad I only had a few weeks to prepare!

Where did you go on honeymoon?

Two years on and we still haven’t gone on our honeymoon!  We were waiting for my husband to finish his PhD- so should be at the end of this year.  We are thinking of going to the Caribbean or South America- somewhere far away that we wouldn’t get the opportunity to go to usually.  We can get to anywhere in Asia quite easily from Thailand so wanted to go somewhere different!

Thanks again to Susan for sharing her wedding with us.

If you want to Share Your Wedding just drop me a line youbabymemummy@gmail.com

share your wedding button Share Your Wedding #38

 


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Stur Drinks Review

Do you drink a lot of water?  I really needed to increase my water intake, but I always struggle as I dislike the taste.  So when Stur offered to send us their all natural water enhancers, I was really keen to give them a go.

Stur is a family run company that was set up to help the wife drink more water during her pregnancy.  The water enhancers are made using real fruit and stevia extracts.

We were sent a pack which included these six flavours;

  • Boldly Blackcurrant Apple
  • Purely Pomegranate Cranberry
  • Orange Mango
  • Real Brewed Tea and Lemon
  • Real Brewed Tea and Peach
  • Goodness Green Apple

Stur 1024x908 Stur Drinks Review

The company advises a one second squirt into each 8oz of water.  This obviously varies according to personal taste.  I think I used a little more than that to have a slightly strong taste.

On first impressions, I thought I that I probably wouldn’t like the taste of the tea flavoured ones.  Despite being a complete tea monster, I usually dislike anything other than a milky English cuppa.  Baby and I decided to have a tasting session.  They are safe for children to drink, but not recommended in great quantities, due to their high vitamin content.

The Verdict?  We loved all of them, I surprised myself as I actually liked the tea ones too!  I gave Baby little sips and she lapped them all up.  She normally has boring old water, bless her, so she was thrilled to be involved with this review.

Main benefits for us

  • It is fabulous that there are no calories or sugar in Stur.  Great for dieting.
  • They are made using all natural ingredients.  I try to avoid Aspartame so this is good news for me.
  • Really handy size.  Ideal to pop in your handbag.
  • The added vitamins.  I think most of us could do with some help in the vitamin stakes.

Cost

How much Stur Drinks Review

Based on buying the pack of 5, one bottle would cost $3.99 (approx £2.48).  Each bottle is concentrated enough to make 20 x 8oz drinks, which means each drink is 12p.  I think this is very reasonable and it is certainly less than buying canned drinks of the equivalent size.

I really enjoyed reviewing Stur water enhancers and I would definitively recommend them to anyone looking to drink more water or replace their fizzy drinks.

Stur drinks Stur Drinks ReviewDisclosure: We were sent this pack of water enhancers for an honest review.

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BlogCamp – The Lowdown

BlogCamp BlogCamp   The Lowdown

With the lovely Taming Twins and Brummy Mummy of 2 (Photo courtesy of Tots100)

Last Saturday many bloggers migrated to Birmingham for BlogCamp, which is organised by Tots100.  It is an amazing opportunity to meet other bloggers, network and learn from the fabulous free sessions; yes people BlogCamp is free!  There was so much information to ingest and so much to learn from the other bloggers too.  I thought the easiest way to disseminate this vast amount of information was just to write a good old list!  (we all know I love a list!).

Working with Brands/Contacting Editors

Kiran Chug (Journalist/Editor/Blogger at Mummy Says

  • Be confident.  You are a fresh voice.  You already have an online portfolio, which some professional writers don’t have.
  • Be specific.  Target who you pitch to and try to get their name.
  • Your pitch should include; what you do, a specific link to a piece of your work, why you wish to write this piece (are you an expert, have experience or have researched the area).
  • Tell them you have access to suitable images.
  • Demonstrate your social media reach.
  • Be concise in your pitch.
  • Think about whether you are you willing to work for free?  Decide at the outset.  This can be in the form of reviews or maybe writing for a website you love.  It can help you build your portfolio.
  • Be professional and take yourself seriously.
  • Don’t let people down.
  • Know your worth.  Parenting bloggers are very important.  As a collective we have a huge reach.  Your readers trust you, as you put yourself out there on a daily basis.  They know your family and can identify with you.
  • There has been a change in the appreciation of bloggers worth.
  • We are offering targeted advertising for products, which is so valuable.
  • Use twitter to chat to Editors. Don’t stalk!
  • Make sure your Linked In profile is up to date.  Editors will look at it before they hire you.

Lindy DeMelo -Garner (Tots100 + Blogger at Squidgyboo)

  • Find out what the brand’s expectations are at the outset.  Do they want video, links, post, social media?
  • Ensure you can meet deadlines.
  • Do a good job, which will help you get repeat business.
  • Take care with your images.  Make sure they are good and there is no rubbish in the background.
  • If you want to make money, you have to treat Blogging as if it is a job.
  • Be nice and understanding, when dealing with people.
  • Be unique and weave a story into posts i.e reviews.
  • Don’t burn your bridges.

Professional Blogging

Emma from Emma and three and Vicki from Honest Mum (Both full time professional Bloggers)

  • Be honest, if an opportunity is not for you respond and tell them why.
  • Negotiate with brands.
  • Ask your audience what they like reading best, i.e. via Facebook.
  • SEO so important.  Install Yoast to help you.
  • Tell a story and engage your readers.
  • Ask yourself whether it makes sense to agree to an opportunity.
  • Ask to run a competition alongside a review, as it will bring in more traffic than the review alone.
  • Spread out reviews on your blog.  Don’t publish one after another.
  • If you have any issues, communicate regularly with the brand to keep people informed.
  • If you are doing a review you can ask the company for high resolution images.
  • Look at blogs outside your niche for inspiration.
  • Use the bottom of your post to promote your social media channels.
  • Sign up to Pro Blogger.
  • Pimp your blog icon smile BlogCamp   The Lowdown
  • Use the same profile picture across all your channels.
  • Make sure you use a picture of your face, especially on Twitter.
  • If you promote the same post in different places, use a different photo.
  • If you want to work with a brand, comment on a sponsored post, as you know the brand will be reading that post.
  • You can find freelance work from Elance and People Per Hour.
  • Possible have an annual rate and a permanent rate for posts on your blog.
  • Conduct yourself professionally on all your social media, some brand check your networks before they agree to work with you.

Collaboration

Penny ( Wayfair A Residence) and Chris (Thinly Spread)

  • Linkies – Great way to collaborate with other bloggers.  Either link to someone else’s or run your own.
  • If you run a linky all the people linkers should get a follow link.  You could pin each post to a Pinterest board.
  • Videos – You could collaborate on a review vlog to give a different dimension.  Or video each other.
  • Guest Post – Gets you in front of a new audience and the back links help blog juice!
  • Organise a blog swap with a group of bloggers.
  • Google Hang Outs on a topic and subsequent posts.
  • Collaborative Pinterest boards.
  • Join with other local bloggers, set up a Facebook group.  Discuss goals and how you can help each other.  Be each others mentors.
  • Collaborate with Charities.
  • Set up a collaborative blog, more niche than your main blog.  Maybe you all offer different things, so it could work well.
  • Asking others for help, can build a community.
  • Collaborate with other bloggers on a giveaway.  You will be able to secure a bigger prize and all share the Rafflecopter code.

Professional Blogging – Advanced

Panel including Frank PR, Claire (Cheshire Mum) and Vicki (Honest Mum)

  • If someone pitches you an idea and you don’t want to do it, you could counter pitch a different idea to them.
  • When you contact a PR to pitch a story, make it personal.
  • Be original, find a unique idea.
  • Have a brilliant ‘About Me’ section, as that is where PRs go.
  • Don’t post under #PRRequest, as it flags up to agencies that you are not serious about creating bespoke content, you just want free stuff.
  • Write about your passions.
  • Be confident and fake it until you feel it.
  • Use your side bar to promote your achievements.
  • If you don’t want to do a post, refuse but offer to tweet out a link for them.
  • Screen grab all the coverage a post has got and send it the agency with the post link.  They will love you for it.
  • Recommend other bloggers for opportunities.

This is a selection of the tips and information given out to us, but I hope something will be useful to you.  Thanks to Tots100 and all the speakers who gave their time so generously to the blogging community.

Now onto BlogFest!  Are you joining me?

 

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The Black & White Photography Project #15

Photographer extraordinaire Charly over at Podcast Dove hosts a weekly photography linky, which gives us the opportunity to show off our Black and White pictures.

O.k, so I know this isn’t completely Black & White, but I couldn’t resist leaving a pop of colour!

BW 15 The Black & White Photography Project #15

Why not pop over and have a look at some other lovely black and white captures?


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Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014

Love All Dads Award1 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014

Wow!  I think I might still be in shock.  A few weeks ago, I was gobsmacked to find out that we had been nominated alongside four amazing bloggers for the Best Non-Dad Blog award.  Having only been blogging just over a year, I genuinely thought that I had no chance of winning.  On Sunday I had been practicing my gracious loser face all day, as there was NO WAY we could win.  Sunday night arrived and just out of casual interest (!) I kept refreshing the LoveAllDads Twitter page.  Well blow me down, we actually won!

I don’t want this to turn into a Gwynnie Oscar acceptance speech, but I did want to just let you know what it means to me;  to show you how much I appreciate it.

About a year ago, around the time I started this blog, I was diagnosed with PND.  This in itself was a shock to me;  I was not the type of person to be depressed (ha ha, little did I know PND doesn’t care what type of person you are).  I hadn’t got time to be depressed;  I had everything I wanted so badly and I really felt guilty for feeling so sad.  However, it was true, I think crying several times a day should have given me the heads up!  For those who have never suffered, PND robs you of the essence of you; you change and at some points don’t recognise yourself.  The confidence you used to have disappears, the simple things you used to do easily become challenges and your emotional resilience decreases.

I was lucky, I found my blog and although I rarely post about PND, it has given me back my voice.  It is my place to escape to and something I love dearly.  However, probably due to the PND and being terribly British, I find I am quite apologetic about my blog.  I am always so surprised when someone tells me they have actually read it; even more so when they say they like it!  My confidence is pretty low, so I automatically think other blogs are automatically better than mine.

So this award, the fact that someone liked what we do enough to nominate us and then the panel selected us as the best in that category…. Well we must be doing something right;  maybe I should start to believe.  All the lovely comments that I have received through social media, congratulating me, were amazing!  I appreciated every single one.  So thank you to LoveAllDads for picking my blog and for helping to give me back my confidence.  Congratulations to all the other winners and finalists.

4214440889 493455662a z Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014

I am linking up with Jaime at The Olivers’ Madhouse for #MagicMoments, Debs for the #MMWBH & Vicki for Brilliant Blog Posts

magicmoments150x150 zps58f60c40 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014
MMWBH3 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014fJzNWoE Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014

Image: Steve Rotman

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Point + Shoot – I am the new co-host

Welcome to Point + Shoot, which is a great photography based linky run by my dear friend Em over at Snowing Indoors.  Recently Em asked if I would like to co-host Point + Shoot and I jumped at the opportunity to work with her.  Also as a bit of a photography obsessed Mama, the opportunity to snoop round peoples photos was too good to miss.

So what is Point + Shoot?  The concept is really simple, you’re sharing your weekend with the rest of the blogging community.  It can be one picture or a whole bunch, it is up to you.  An accompanying story is also fine with us.

 Rules:

  • You can link up to 1 post per week!  Be sure to paste the Point + Shoot badge on the post you would like to link up (code below – paste it into the HTML option of your blogging platform).

  • Comment on this post to say hi!

  • Comment on at least 2 other links – share the love, it is what linkies are all about.

  • It would also be great if you could share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #PointShoot) on your social media channels to help grow the community.  Em and I will also retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention us in your tweets! (@youbabymemummy/@snowingindoors)

  • Finally, if you could please follow You Baby Me Mummy (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest) and snowingindoors (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest) that would be fantastic!

 

You don’t have to play every week, just drop by when you have something to share.  You don’t need a fancy DSLR either, a phone camera works just as well.

As for the photos, they can be of absolutely anything, if you saw it, or did it, at the weekend, then photograph it and link up!

Just point…and shoot…and share.

Point Shoot Point + Shoot   I am the new co host
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.youbabymemummy.com" title="You Baby Me Mummy"><img src="http://youbabymemummy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Point-Shoot.jpg" alt="You Baby Me Mummy" style="border:none;" /></a></div>



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