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Articles tagged with: Blogging

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.  ;)

2014 Mad Blog Awards Finalist...

on Tuesday, 25 March 2014.

I've said many times before that starting this blog has changed my life.  It sounds a bit dramatic to say that, but really it has.  

When I first started my blog, on the 28th March 2011 (three years in three days!) I was a new Mum to a 13 week old daughter and I hadn't got a clue what I was doing (with motherhood or online!) but I thought I would give it a go.  I named my new blog 'Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three' as Mads was wearing a vest with that sentence on it.  I still wish I had thought more about the name.

Over the time I have been blogging I have met some incredible people, made some lifelong friends and made a very best friend.  I have had some amazing opportunities, developed a passion for photography and design, and have managed to fulfill a dream of mine when I didn't return to my original online marketing job after the birth of LL, instead working freelance for myself.  

But above all I have captured details and memories of our life that I just wouldn't have recorded had I not had my blog.  I have visions of one day sitting down with Mads and LL and reading all the posts together, laughing over the stories and reminising over the hundreds of photos I took.  This blog gives me the opportunity to write about my number one passion- my girls.  And I am so thankful that people find it interesting enough to read.  As really in the end of the day, I am just a Mummy who is incredibly proud of her children.

Last year I had the most lovely night at the Mad Blog Awards, getting to dress up for once and feel a little bit special.  What made it even more special was that I won the 'Best Pregnancy Blog Award' - something which I didn't even dream I would ever win.  I had tears in my eyes when I collected my award, so I am super glad no one videoed it!  But it wouldn't have mattered if I hadn't won, just to be nominated felt like such an achievement.  (Although the hangover afterwards was a bit of a come down.  Note to self- you are not 20 anymore) 

This year, I honestly didn't think I would be a finalist.  There are some incredible blogs out there, ones which leave me in awe, and so many people deserve recognition for their little piece of online life.  But on Sunday night I was treated to a barrage of tweets to let me know that I was a finalist in two categories this year- Best Baby Blog and Best Photography

I am so shocked, and over the moon to be a finalist, this year more than ever as I have had moments where I have really doubted my blog over the last few months.  The other people in my categories, especially photography, are some of my absolute favourite blogs so I am under no illusions I will win but if you love my photographs or tales of life with my gorgeous little ladies then please do consider voting for me.  I am really not good at asking for votes in these things!

 You just need to look at my whole blog to see posts full of LL and photography, but if you want to see any more then check out my favourite posts and my photography section.

It sounds incredibly cheesy, but thank you to whoever nominated me as it really means so much to me.  

 

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This is how LL reacted to the news. She would like to win Best Baby blog the most, as naturally it's all about her!


Voting closes on the 24th April and you can go to the voting page by clicking below or on the shiny new button in my sidebar!  Thank you. :) 

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