Saturday 31 October 2015

Just Another Linky #27

It's another week and here is another linky. The past week has been a busy one so I am playing catch up.

Great bunch of link up's again this week, loved reading each and every one of them. Now onto this week
Meet your hosts

HOST - Beth | Life-As-Mum | @lifeasmumblog

CO-HOST - Kirsty | Something Crunchy Mummy | @crunchy_mummy

- No more than 2 posts a week
- Comment on at least 2 other posts
- Giveaways, reviews and sponsored posts allowed
- Link up a blog post not just your homepage
- Grab the badge below so everyone knows where to find us

We would really appreciate it if you could grab the badge below and pop onto your post or blog, or even just a link somewhere on your blog would be great!

Feel free to tweet your post along with the hashtag #justanotherlinky and tweet your hosts @lifeasmumblog and @crunchy_mummy and we will retweet you.

By linking up to this linky you are giving Beth & Kirsty the right to copy one of your photos if you are chosen for Featured Post of the week.

Linky is open every Saturday from 12am until Monday at 11:55pm.

Featured Post

This weeks features post for me was by Five Little Doves with D.I.V.O.R.C.E. A very honest and well written post. 



Friday 30 October 2015

Our Day At Puzzlewood

With Finley starting school next September I am making the most of the days we have together, especially half term. A friend mentioned a place called Puzzlewood that had a Halloween trail on with witches hidden in the trees and children need to find them to fill in a word search with the colour of the witches to win a prize. I had never heard of it before so after a quick google search I decided this was definitely somewhere I wanted to take the boys. It looked like so much fun and somewhere the boys could have a real adventure.
Monday morning came and we jumped in the car, picked up our best friends and headed off. It was only about an hour away from home in the Forest of Dean, just across the old Severn bridge which was an adventure in itself for the kid.
We arrived about 11am and headed on in. We had to queue a little bit to pay which is to be expected on a half term but it wasn't too long and we were off. The admission prices are really reasonable and I ended up paying £6.50 in total for the 3 of us and then an extra £1.50 for the witches trail.
As you head into the wood there are a couple of barns which one has picnic tables in and the other has an indoor play area for the kids with cosy coupes and a pretend road.
You enter the wood and it is breath taking and I can totally understand why they come here to do some films. Its dark but not scary dark, you are surrounded by trees and the floor is covered in tree roots, I can understand why they say it isn't pushchair friendly.
About 2 minutes into the trail we found our first witch, a red one high up in a tree with sunglasses and an umbrella. It was a pretty impressive witch. The kids were so excited as we jotted the colour down on the word search but we weren't hanging around as they were off to find more.

There are a few routes you can chose from but they all lead back to the same place so you are sure to do every route possible. There are lots of steps which as it had been raining were a little slippy but every staircase had a hand rail which they definitely needed.
The whole wood is magnificent with so much to see and so much for the kids to explore that they never got bored. I did have to have a few words with Finley as he kept running off which then resulted in him falling over and in a place like this he could really hurt himself if he wasn't careful. There were stepping stones, bridges to cross, branches to climb and little caves to explore all whilst keeping an eye out for the witches.

There are 8 witches in total, some with faces just hanging out in the trees and some that have crash landed into the woods and their faces are hidden. They are all so well decorated and made that they look like real witches which makes the experience that much better as the kids think its real. They aren't scary witches so the kids weren't scared in the slightest.

About half way round the kids were getting hungry and we managed to find a quiet spot off the main track that had a couple of benches where we stopped for our lunch. This was a good find as it was a dead end so not many people passed us while we ate our lunch.
After lunch we set off again to find more witches and in the end we found all but one, the pink one but managed to guess the colour by the word search. We were in the wood for a good 3 hours and in that time the kids didn't get bored once, if anything they were pretty sad to be leaving the wood.
We headed to the café to receive the kids prizes which was a Halloween coin and a spooky wand. Even though we had only purchased two trail packs the lady in the café kindly gave us 3 so all 3 kids could have something, which I thought was very kind of her. There is a little park just across from the café which we popped into and spent about 10 minute here before heading home.
I would totally recommend this place to anyone, with children or not. Older kids or younger because it has something for everyone and even after Halloween without the witches it would be an adventure in itself. 

* I was not paid in anyway for this review, I just wanted to shared an amazing day out. We paid full price to enter and all views are 100% my own. *
Binky Linky
Mummy and Monkeys
The Twinkle Diaries

Thursday 29 October 2015

Throwback Thursday #4

I've not done a Throwback Thursday for a while with Helen at All The Beautiful Things and Sarah at Run Jump Scrap but I came across this photo and I had to share.

This was in 2010 when all the family got together as we had some a relative over from Australia. I am with my amazing Nan and my brother.

Family is everything to me.


Wednesday 28 October 2015

Wicked Wednesdays #38

Maybe Big Thunder Mountain wasn't a good idea (Finley & hubby in the front) 


Tuesday 27 October 2015

My Interview By Tamar UK

I was recently asked by Tamar UK if they could interview me and post on their blog and on social media sights in connection with social media week. Of course I said yes and I thought I would also post it on my blog as I really enjoyed answering their questions.

So here they are:

1. What made you want to start a blog? Was there a particular idea behind it? Do you have any aspirations for your blog? Where would you like it to lead?

I started my blog after following and reading some other parent bloggers. I wanted somewhere to vent about being a parent where others would know how I feel and also a place I could showcase my boy’s achievements and our days out. I don’t have any plans on where I would like my blog to go, I am just enjoying writing about our day to day life as a family and interacting with so many lovely people.

2. Do you have another job, or is blogging your main job?

I work part time for my husband who is a partner of a company. I look after their advertising and social media. I wouldn’t say blogging is a job, more a hobby as I love to do it. It’s not something I have to do, it’s something I love to do.

3. Do you have more than one blog you manage?

No I have just the one blog, this takes up so much of my time that another blog would be far too much.

4. Tell us about your blog/life balance. How often do you post? How do you come up with ideas for posts?

I blog as and when I can. As it is a hobby, life comes first and my blog is an add on to in where I can share our life with people. I try and post every day, I schedule posts so I have posts written for about a week or so in advance. This way if life was to get busy I could spread them out to keep my blog interactive. My post ideas come from my everyday life and my children. My blog is centered on them and they provide the content.

5. How long was it before you started to notice traffic to your blog?

I have only been blogging since January this year and didn’t really know where to start. I started to notice traffic onto my blog after I attended a blogging event and I learnt I should be scheduling twitter posts and I realised I needed to have posts ready to post in the morning and not just post as and when I wrote something. So I noticed traffic coming to my blog after about 5 months of blogging.

6. When you first started, how did you promote your blog? Did you use any specific channels, e.g. Twitter, Instagram etc? Where did you see the biggest engagement in terms of social and what was the best thing to grow your community size?

When I first started I used Twitter mostly and a little bit of Instagram. I used twitter to interact with people and to post my blog links, I saw my biggest engagement on twitter and I still do. I now use Facebook but I find Facebook very hard to get likes so my main social platform is twitter. And I believe twitter is the best place to grow your community, Just chatting to people helps grow a community I believe.

7. How long before you started to get approached by organisations? How did they approach you and what did you think?

I was first approached and ran my first review and giveaway in April, so 3 months after starting. They approached me by email as I have my email on my twitter account. I was really excited when I received that email as I had seen people doing reviews and really wanted to do one but didn’t know how they came about. After that I got one a month which was lovely and as my blog is growing and I am engaging with more people I am getting approached by more organisations.

8. How do you retain your authenticity when working with a brand?

I write honestly and I write as I would any blog post. I don’t change my style of writing so to remain myself and so the review is honest and real.

9. What’s the worst approach you’ve ever had from a brand or agency?

I haven’t had one as I haven’t been approached that much. And every approach I have had has been very professional.

10. And what’s the best approach you’ve ever had?

I was approached by a brand recently and you could tell that they had read my blog and they had taken time to find more out about me by reading what I had written. It made me feel like they actually wanted to work with ME.

11.   Do you ever proactively approach brands you want to work with?

I have only every approached a brand once. It was for a day out when we were on holiday. I thought the boys would love it and it would be a great opportunity for me and them. Luckily they said yes so I haven’t been put off by doing it again. But I still don’t have the full confidence to do it again, yet.

12.   And finally, are there any particular pearls of wisdom you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself before you started blogging?

Be yourself and write for yourself. I haven’t been blogging long but when I started I was writing what I thought people wanted to read. Now I write about what I want to write and it’s more natural.
The Twinkle Diaries
Mums' Days

Saturday 24 October 2015

A Day In The Woods

So yesterday can only be described in one way, pretty awesome.

It's been a tough week with all three of us not being on top form. Finley having testosterone outbursts (as I've been told they are called), Noah being a terrible two year old and pushing the boundaries & me not being the mum I normally am, telling them off for the littlest thing. I think we have all been tired and the half term has come just in time so we can chill out in the mornings, get dressed when we want and catch up with friends & family.

Today we spent the day with our friends, mine being someone I met through having Finley and someone that was & is a huge support to me in motherhood and Finley's being his best friend harry who he has known since birth.

We headed to one of our favourite places, Westonbirt Arboretum, where we both hold an annual pass, with a picnic packed and no time restraints. The boys really do love each other but they have their moments, as all children do, but on the whole they play lovely and seeing them grow up and seeing how they play grow with them in so lovely to see.

They spent the time sharing a bike and scooter, climbing trees, finding conkers and the odd boystruss fight but all in all they had a lovely time. This was proved when Finely turned to me and said 'This is so much fun isn't it Mummy, I love spending time with Harry'. Hearing their conversations is at times hilarious because the things 4 year olds come out with is so funny, I'll keep that secret as its something special I think between them.

We stopped for lunch which involved some dogs trying to pinch our food - which they found hilarious, some pushing and shoving which ended in them being split up - which then resulted in Finley crying as he wasn't sat next to Harry and some giggles (you know what I mean Kerri, all I will say is scooter lol).

There were moments when there were tears, shouting and anger but that is going to happen but the day was a good day in our books and I look at the pictures, have the memories and they make me smile.

We spent 5 hours walking around the wood, finding new walkways and stumbling across new sculptures and it was just lovely.

Noah while all this was going on walked along side me, holding my hand and occasionally joining in but was quite happy being with me and Kerri as well as having a little chat with 4 month old Charlie. He giggled so much and it really was one of the best sounds in the world.

We ended the day as every wooded walk should with hot chocolate all round (and maybe a chocolate brownie for the mummies that we may or may not have shared).

The sound of the leaves crunching under our feet and the laughter from the boys will remain in my head as a very happy memory, yesterday was awesome.

What Katy Said
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Best of Worst

Just Another Linky #26

Hello lovely linker uppers! It was yet again great to see so many new and existing blogs linking up.

The link up length has changed and we are now closing on a Monday night at 11.55pm rather than Wednesday at 11.55pm.

Meet your hosts

HOST - Beth | Life-As-Mum | @lifeasmumblog

C-HOST - Kirsty | SomethingCrunchyMummy | @crunchy_mummy

- No more than 2 posts a week
- Comment on at least 2 other posts
- Giveaways, reviews and sponsored posts allowed
- Link up a blog post not just your homepage
- Grab the badge below so everyone knows where to find us

We would really appreciate it if you could grab the badge below and pop onto your post or blog, or even just a link somewhere on your blog would be great!

Feel free to tweet your post along with the hashtag #justanotherlinky and tweet your hosts @lifeasmumblog and @crunchy_mummy and we will retweet you.

By linking up to this linky you are giving Beth & Kirsty the right to copy one of your photos if you are chosen for Featured Post of the week.

Linky is open every Saturday from 12am until Monday at 11:55pm.

Featured Post

My featured post this week is from Midwife and Life with How NOT To Help With Night Waking, I could totally relate to it. Take a peek, I'm sure we can all relate in some way.



Thursday 22 October 2015

A Surprise Captured Moment

Some days just don't go to plan. Some days the boys will have an off day. And some days they will test our patients.

On Sunday we headed to Westonbirt for a family walk to get us out the house after I had had no car for half of the week, the boys and I were getting a bit bored of walking to Sainsbury's and dare I say it, eating popcorn and watching DVD's.

These family outings always have high expectations in my head of lots of laughs and giggles and us all having a wonderful time. Yes we did have some laughs and it was wonderful spending time with the 3 people that make me the happiest but we're not in the movies and days out with children don't always go to plan.

Unfortunately for us Finley had had a few off nights so was a little bit tired and any little thing seemed to set him off. There is only one way to put it, he was grumpy. He cried and moaned and was generally unhappy, apart from when he was climbing trees.

I had taken my camera along in the hope of capturing some shots of the boys as the setting is just perfect. I snapped away but after all the tears and grumps I thought I hadn't captured anything - until I looked at my camera when we got home.

There was this picture. Yes he had been grumpy, and yes he wasn't the best company that day but I was so glad that I got to spend my Sunday with this gorgeous boy that calls me Mummy.
Running in Lavender
Binky Linky
Mummy and Monkeys
And then the fun began...


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