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Articles tagged with: Blogging

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #35 'A Not So Ordinary Evening.'

on Sunday, 21 September 2014.

This past week has been a little bit of a funny one in our household.  Our house has quite literally been turned upside down as we are in the process of having our bathroom renovated.  While this is incredibly exciting, I have been waiting to be able to afford to do it since we moved in five years ago, it also has caused havoc to our routine.  The week has passed me by in a blur of dirt, mess, builders and grumpy children who haven't been able to nap due to noise.

Therefore I haven't been able to even contemplate taking any photos for my ordinary moments post this week, my mind has been completely elsewhere.  Therefore I am slightly cheating and sharing some photos that are actually anything but ordinary.  Oops.

On Friday I headed up to London for the Mad Blog Awards.  For anyone who doesn't know what they are, they are a rather swanky awards celebrating parent blogs in the UK.  I couldn't believe it when a few months ago I found out I was a finalist in two awards, Best Baby Blog and Best Blog Photography.  

I met up with my good friends Morgana and Jenny who I was sharing a room with, and we had some lunch and spent some relaxing time chatting, getting ready and drinking birthday prosecco.  We also had a gatecrasher in the form of Katie, who writes one of my favourite blogs, so it was lovely to have some time to chat to her.  The afternoon whizzed by and soon we were in our dresses ready to head down to the awards.

I can't possibly name everyone who I met and saw but it was a fantastic evening, meeting new bloggers and chatting to old friends.  The awards were being hosted by Dr Ranj from CBeebies, something which Mads was utterly excited about.  The Best Baby Blog category was the second award of the evening, and I know that everyone says this but I truly didn't expect to win this year, therefore I was gobsmacked to hear my name called out.

I was shaking really badly as I headed up to the stage and I think I may have uttered the most terrible speech ever, speaking far too quickly and with my voice breaking on a couple of occasions.  I used to have to speak and do presentations in front of lots of people for my work all the time, but for some reason I just clam up when it comes to my blog- I think it is because it means so much to me.  I was so nervous.  The rest of the awards passed in a blur, with some incredibly worthy winners including some of my favourites My Two Mums, Little Button Diaries, lovely Fritha and Actually Mummy.  I didn't win the photography category, but my good friend Lucy was a very deserving and talented winner. 

We were actually quite tame (some of us were anyway Katie who broke the world record for the amount of sweets you can fit down a pretty dress) and didn't drink too much, but it was a late night, with the night ending with myself, Morgana and Jenny eating pizza at 2.30am in our huge big bed!    Waking up in the morning, my timeline was full of tweets congratulating me- thank you to anyone who took the time to do that and to who voted for me in the first place, it really does mean a lot.

I am honestly over the moon to have won an award, especially as the other finalists were all so fantastic.  We all care so much about our blogs, and to get a little recognition for your hard work out of a community of amazingly talented people, is just such a special feeling.  For a long time I haven't told friends or family that I blog, although a few have found out, but I really am starting to feel proud of my little online space.  More than that though, every time I go to an event, I feel so lucky to be able to call myself a blogger and to have met some such incredible people through writing about my little ladies.  

 

I only had my iPhone on me, but here are some photos.  They are a little blurry as the light was SO bad...

 

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 Beautiful Jenny in our huge room!

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Gorgeous ladies at lunch, it was lovely to be able to spend some quality time with Morgana and Jenny.

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All dressed up.

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 I was sat on a table with two other winners- Fritha and Tom.

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Jenny and I with Dr Ranj!

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Some lovely ladies- Fritha, Lori, Bex, Kirsty, Becky and Lucy.

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Katie, Morgana, Jenny, Sarah and Suzanne.

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2.30am pizza- always a good idea.

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A yummy omlette and waffle brunch with Morgana, Jenny and Katrina.

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Yippeee so chuffed and amazed!

 

M is for Mads... (And Mango!)

on Monday, 08 September 2014.

One of my favourite brands is Innocent- not firstly for the fact that I am a little bit obsessed with their Innocent Veg Pots (Yum!) but also because I have always had a secret yearning to work at Fruit Towers- it looks like the best place to work ever.  When Innocent got in touch to see if we wanted to be one of twenty six bloggers spelling out the alphabet for their Alphabet Challenge, we said yes of course.  We would happily sell our souls in exchange for some free vouchers.  (That bit might not be entirely true)  

We got given the letter M so of course M is for my Mads.  And Mango.

*****

Little over a year ago I wrote this post.  In it I wrote down all my feelings about Mads potentially starting preschool, about how it was the end of an era and how about we should treasure all these precious moments together.  I read it back today and almost cried, I look at those photos of her running around in her little pink tutu clutching some balloons and she just looks so young.  I remember that day like it was yesterday, yet so much has changed.  She has grown at least a foot taller, those little ringlet curls have got looser and are now almost down to her bottom, and she has changed so much in the face.  Gone are the not quite a baby/not yet a girl features, instead now she is a little girl through and through.  This Summer has seen the arrival of a splattering of freckles, sun kisses as we call them, over her little button nose.  

I'm feeling very nostalgic at the moment, and a little sentimental too.  Seeing proud parents post photos of their children all over social media, smiling in their slightly too big, ironed and crisp new school uniform, I am well aware that next year that will be us.  It's something that every parent goes through, we have known it was coming even from when she was tiny, when the very idea of school seemed like a far off dream.  But slowly we are ticking those milestones of the list- she's been at nursery/preschool almost a year now, she can write her name, she no longer needs her little musical doggy to send her off to sleep at night.  Tick, Tick, Tick, another day passing, another milestone achieved.  

She drives me mad on a daily basis, she takes about fifteen minutes to get into her car seat especially when I am in a rush, and she can throw one hell of a wobbler if she doesn't get her own way on occasions.  But for the most part, we are best friends.  She is completely innocent, still sucks her fingers and plays with ears when she is tired and still believes we are the centre of the world.  While she realises there are bad people in the world, or that bad things can happen, she doesn't truly grasp that concept quite yet.  She lives in a world of rainbows, fairies and Toy Story characters that come to life.  And I am not ready to leave that world behind.

Growing up hurts sometimes, it hurts us parents who watch them leaving those precious days behind- those tiny, wailing newborn days, those days where you feel like you will never get off the sofa without a child attached to your breast, those terrible twos where they won't eat anything but fromage frais, and those funny days where they learn word after word and pronounce them wrong.  But that's life.  We change.  We grow.  We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, let alone a year from now.

So I had to dedicate my letter in the Innocent Alphabet to Mads.  My precious little girl, who over the next year is going to change and grow more than ever.  Who one day won't think her Mummy is the centre of her universe.  Who a year from now I will have to let go of just a tiny little bit, as she learns to become the person she is meant to be through the help of her hopefully special and memorable school days.   We will enjoy the next year together, the lazy days, the days where we don't have to rush around for the school run, and the days where it's just the three of us.  We will bake cakes, see friends, go to the playground and make smoothies.

M is for Mads.  And Mango.

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{The Ordinary Moments 14} #32 'Celebrating The Ordinary Moments.'

on Sunday, 31 August 2014.

 

Blogging is a funny old thing, it's really hard to explain to someone who doesn't really know all that much about it.  It's something which has become a part of me, of who I am, and I am now just automatically programmed to think about my blog each day- to check twitter, instagram or to read blogs, it's part of my day to day routine.  I've made lots of friends through it, had many opportunities and been able to showcase my freelance work.  Of course there are times where I wonder what the point is, why I obsessively document our memories, or times where I wonder why people want to read about it.  Our life is happy and simple, but it's pretty dull.  We are just an average family, with nothing particularly exciting going on.  But then I know why I read my favourite blogs, because I am genuinely interested in their lives and I love to hear about what they are up to.

There are times where I feel really uninspired, when I can't be bothered to pick up my camera and it sits behind the sofa collecting dust, or where I need to just spend my evenings with my husband and not worry about writing a post.  There are times when I just need to switch off and there are times when life gets in the way and I just don't have time to record our memories, or absentmindedly flick through my social media channels.  But after doing this for over three years, I know that there is something ingrained in me to always come back to blogging- that it's ok to take a break, to feel uninspired or to just quite frankly not be bothered for a while.

One thing I do love doing is writing these Ordinary Moments posts each week.  When I haven't written or done much blogging all week because of being busy, or feeling uninspired, I know that I have this post to write.  I know I don't have to do one each week, that I could leave it for a couple of weeks, but it's almost like I have become programmed to write it.  Like with anything, it will get to Saturday afternoon and I will spend the girl's nap time writing a post when I should be doing the housework, but I like the fact that I started this little project and that I am documenting our day to day life.  Because really I am such a creature of habit, I love the days out or the exciting times, but home is very much where my heart is.  I thrive on routine, and as such so do my girl's, so our weeks pass quickly in a blur of mealtimes, seeing friends, nap time and bits and bobs.  It's not particularly thrilling but I really do relish these times the most.  I am happy living our slightly boring, ordinary life.

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Clarks who had found my Ordinary Moments project and wanted to collaborate with me on their new Autumn/Winter brand book.  I was genuinely thrilled that they wanted to work with me and a couple of days ago they sent me a few copies that have finally been printed.  My little ethos on celebrating and documenting the ordinary moments will now go out with every single pair of first shoes bought, as a reminder that it's not just the big milestones that are important, and that makes me feel really proud.  Out of all the opportunities I have had through my blog, this one has really stood out for me because that is exactly why I started my blog in the first place- to record our family life together.  

My blog may not be the most exciting, the most glamourous or indeed the most interesting blog to read- I don't do many reviews, I don't write posts that stand out or make a difference, or that make people inspired or laugh out loud, but it has reminded me exactly why I will continue to spend my very rare and limited spare time coming back time and time again to this blog.  

To record and treasure our Ordinary Moments.  

Because they really are the ones I want to remember.

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clarks brand book

 
NB:  Clarks didn't ask me to write about featuring in their brand book, but I am just really proud!

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #25 'People Like Me.'

on Sunday, 22 June 2014.

I have said many times before what blogging has bought to my life.  It's strange but I almost can't remember a time before it, it's become such a big part of it.  It's just my ordinary life now- I wake up, I look after my girls, I check in on social media, I write a blog post or I see what my online friends are doing- it's just become a second nature to me.

It's a hard thing to explain to someone who isn't a blogger.  For a long time I was embarrassed of my little online space, fearing people would think I was 'weird' for sharing so much of our lives online, or 'odd' for chatting to people I didn't know via a computer.  And to an outsider, maybe it is a little hard to comprehend.  

But this weekend I sat in a room full of women (and a few men too!)  who 'get it'.  People like me.  They understand what it is like to feel an incredible connection to people who you only speak to through typed words on a screen, or a 'like' on social media.  How it feels to feel like you know someone inside and out even though it's the first time you have met face to face.  All united in the fact that we are women and mothers who share a love, a passion, and a very special hobby.   

I spent lots of time with some amazing friends, real life friends not just 'online' ones.  Friends who I confide in, laugh with, cry with and share a very special bond.   Ladies who I am exceptionally proud to know.  I got to meet so many lovely people and I wish I could name each and every one but I would get finger ache, there's that many.  I got to share many hugs and happy words, even if they were just a fleeting hello.  It's a great feeling to feel such a sense of unity, support, kindness and love amongst people from all different walks of ilfe. 

And to top it all off I won an award.  All the finalists in my category were amazing and I was in such shock.  I reached the stage shaking like a leaf and mumbled something about how I wasn't very good at this kind of thing but it meant the world to me.  

And that's just it.  It really does.

Without being cheesy, blogging has changed my life.  It's brought me opportunities I could only dream of, it's enabled me to finally take the leap to work for myself, it's made me meet people who I am lucky to call my friends and it's made me appreciate every.single.second with my girls.  It's taught me that incredible sadness exists, that it's ok to cry in front of a room full of 500 people and that we are all connected by this quite frankly amazing online community.  

Blogging is such a ordinary moment for me now, as much of a part of my day to day life as brushing my teeth.  But when you stop and really think about it, it's actually a very extraordinary thing to be a part of.  I am truly thankful to get a chance to be part of a community of 'people like me.'

 


(I was a bad blogger and didn't take many photos this weekend but here a couple I did take- would have loved to have taken some more with others.)

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An absolute pleasure spending a lot of the weekend with these ladies, what fabulous friends- Jenny, Lucy and Morgana.

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The ever so lovely Alison, someone I feel thrilled to have finally spent time with after chatting online for SO long, and beautiful Alex who is hands down one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. 

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Toilet selfies and Lucy, my bestest.

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Still in shock. 

 

*Disclaimer- Winning an award is definitely not an 'ordinary moment' for me but it's ok to bend the rules every now and again.  ;)

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