How to tell if you are a Serious Blogger

  1. You have written an open letter. The letter didn’t do badly, you got some decent traffic and in the open letter you addressed people in an emotional and empathetic way, so you fully engaged with them to get your message across. You also tweeted this post to all available media outlets – it was featured in a few. Success!
  2. You have at one point or another half-heartedly got involved with a charity thing. Aside from ‘giving back’ you also got great views, some worthwhile backlinks that shot your DA up a bit, and you proceeded to then tell everyone how it has ‘opened your eyes’. But it was only for that week because after that there was another bandwagon to get on.
  3. You’ve probably reviewed yoghurt with a value of 99p for 6, while hustling a PR up to £150 for a link in another post.
  4. Everything is an Instagram opportunity. But only if you can stand on a chair to get the right angle, and get it next to the window for the natural light.
  5. You have a ‘corner’. This corner is untouched by humans hands other than your own and is ONLY to be used during a photo session where you photographed aforementioned yoghurt in 25 different ways.
  6. You are a fan of the faded matte photograph. Your lightroom has a preset which makes all of your photos look like this.
  7. You are a fan of very light white photographs. Your lightroom has a preset which… you get the idea.
  8. You have been to countless blog events to learn new tips and tricks. You bring a new notebook and have the very best intentions. You do brilliant in week one and week 2 you forgot your login to the new site, with the feed, that streamlines your everything.
  9. You blog stalk. You head to the blogs which you consider to be the very best and wonder if you can a) replicate their very nice layout b) if they have paid for it c) why you even bother blogging anymore.
  10. You have on a few occasions, though you will never now admit it, used the #prrequest tag on twitter because you wanted something at blogger rates – i.e – at the cost of a review, tweet & Instagram picture.

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Disclaimer: I do all that shit and more.

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The Great Outdoors and Kids

If your kids are anything like mine, and I suspect they might be, they will love the great outdoors. They run free, play wildly and can’t get enough of it. Rain, sun or snow they love it. Me too actually, I love watching them play. I love to watch their imagination run rampant and turn twigs into swords and houses, build homes for fairies and so much more.

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While on our adventures we spotted hollowed out trees, they were amazing, but at home, we don’t have something similar. This got me searching for playhouses with a difference and I came across the one below. There are so many reasons I love it, it is massive for a start, so if you have a couple of children there is room for them all to play. I like the rustic look of it, it would fit in so many styles of garden, but most of all I love that it looks like the houses from the children’s books I read to the girls. They are always built of wood, always a little bit bent and ALWAYS look dreamy.

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Imagination is something that seems so fleeting, one day they are pretending to be hiding from dragons, the next they are reading novels and asking for iPads. The great outdoors, even in the garden, is a glorious place and the right playhouses can contribute to many a great adventure.

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*collaboration*

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Papa John’s BBQ Beef Brisket Pizza

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Introducing the BBQ Beef Brisket Pizza

Oh my goooooooooodness. We got to try out a Papa John’s BBQ Beef Brisket Pizza, last week, you may have seen that on my Instagram and Twitter. It was amazing. We love pizza anyway, but this one had a twist on a traditional BBQ sauce, it was a cola one. Which works so well with the onions, and burnt ends. The burnt ends aren’t the same as normal beef, they have a slightly smokier and deeper flavour.

The kids loved it. The said the BBQ sauce was the best they’ve had in a long time.

Here is what Papa John’s say about the meat they use and how it’s seasoned:

We source only the finest beef brisket from only British and Irish farms. The meat is seared and then blended with a mix of nine herbs and spices, including garlic, paprika, oregano, ginger and cumin, before being slow cooked for four hours to get the finest, melt in your mouth pieces of beef you’ll have ever tasted.

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If you’ve ever had a Papa John’s pizza I don’t need to tell you about the garlic butter sauce. The pizza can totally take a good dipping in the sauce without overtaking the flavour, they work wonderfully together. Make sure you order some sides though, the pizza was gone in minutes!

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Peanut Butter and Honey Bites

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I love the ‘no bake’ trend, although is it a trend if it’s so popular and stays around for this long? Who knows. What I do know is that these Peanut Butter and Honey bites are no bake and my children can make them. I’ve made them in ball form previously and shared the recipe then too. These ones are great for sharing with friends and family and perfect for a last minute get together.

What you need for the Peanut Butter and Honey Bites:

200g Oats (I use a cheap bag of porridge oats)
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
Pinch of Salt
120g Honey, clear runny honey works better
120g Peanut Butter (I used crunchy!)

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In a microwavable bowl, melt your peanut butter, honey and coconut oil together. It only takes around a minute for it to reach a melted consistency.

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Next, stir in your oats. Make sure they’re all coated.

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Next, line a baking tray with baking paper, then add in your tasty peanut butter and honey mix. To get it smooth, use the back of a spatula and press down till it’s all one thickness. Leave in the fridge for about 1 hour.

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Once set, removed from the baking tray and begin to slice into whatever size you like. I opted for squares.

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I serve my Peanut Butter and Honey Bites with a hot cup of tea. They are a huge hit with the girls and people who pop round for a cuppa.

 

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5 Tips For Dry Skin Babies

I’ve always had little patches of irritated skin on my body. When I was younger it was a nightmare, I’d scratch my way through the summer causing cuts and bleeding on the already thin and painful skin. When I had my eldest she appeared to have escaped the horrible nightmare of eczema. With baby number two she had a few patches then they magically disappeared and haven’t really (and luckily) ever returned. However, my youngest, from top to toe is covered in dry, scaly and itchy skin.

I have got myself and her into a routine now to keep her skin soft, moisturised and as itch free as possible. Here are a few tips I use to keep her condition as minimal as possible.

  1. Don’t bathe too often. This one horrifies a lot of people, but I try to avoid bathing daily and aim for every 3 days. If we’ve been out and she’s muddy we have no choice but if we’ve been relatively lazy and there hasn’t been a mass amount of dirt involved I give her a skin a rest as much as possible. When she was bathing daily her skin was so dry that none of our routine worked. We sat with our doctor to find a better way to tackle it.
  2. When you do bathe, do some research into what you are going to use. I found a handy list of 25 Organic Baby Washes on Babies Lounge , we have found that Aveeno bath oats have been amazing and leave her skin soft, clean and we’re hard pushed to find and patch of red skin while she’s bathing.
  3.  Cream. Cream. And more Cream. Her skin is very, very dry. The drier the skin, the itchier it becomes and then you get into the cycle where the skin needs even more help to heal. We opt for a mixture of creams here. We use something with healing help on anything that is bleeding or cracked, and a thick itch relief cream on anywhere that is dry but not cracked. This was a trial and error stage, it took months to find creams that really worked. Learn the difference between lotions, ointments and creams – and work with your doctor to find the ones that work.
  4. Clothing. We stick with light, breathable fabric, we try to avoid tights, wools and anything with large tags that can irritate during the day. When we are at home she rarely wears clothing, it’s a choice she has been making for months now. It allows her skin to breathe, she itches less and is happier.
  5. Take a look at what type of detergents and soap products you are using on your clothing. It might be worth swapping to something else. They are often slightly more expensive but in the long run, the benefit to your child will be massive. Look out for dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, and suitable for sensitive brands.

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*collaborative post

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