Monday, 3 August 2015

The Blogger Interview Tag

I've seen this tag floating around many a blogger's page recently and when I was asked to join in I thought it would be a great opportunity to let some people know why I blog. 

How did you get into blogging?
I have been blogging on and off for years. Mostly within the Tumblr community. When things started to get a bit too bitchy over there (the parenting community is pretty horrendous) I realised that I wanted to create a platform to share what me and Max had done with our day. I didn't expect people to even read it but surprisingly a few of you do! I had pretty severe postnatal depression and when someone suggested writing as a coping method it really helped. It's something that has grown into an extension of me now.

What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?Think about what you want to write. Don't do it for the freebies because chances are you won't get any. I know it sounds pretty pants but think of your blog as a brand/job. You wouldn't offend someone at work so don't do it online. Your online profile can be seen by everyone so think about what you are writing and posting about. Some things should really be left offline. Also think about what others may want to read, find your own writing style and run with it. You don't want to sound like everyone else!
How has your blog changed since you started writing it?
I think I've found my style. Before I was reviewing things and talking about stuff that everyone else was. I was too obsessed about stats. Now I sit and think about what I write. I have features that I love to do (Friday Reads for example) and take more time with my writing and photos. 
What would be your dream campaign?
A festival would be amazing. We are a music obsessed family and have been fortunate to do Camp Bestival a few years ago (thank you student loans) and a few smaller ones. To be sent on a summer of festivals as a family would be amazing. Max is the biggest rockstar I know so it would be a summer come true for him!
What advice would you give to PR’s wanting to approach you for a campaign?
Don't skirt around what you want. I'm open to discuss most opportunities if they fit with my blog but if I don't think it will work then don't be offended! I'm not scary (though Max can do a mean dinosaur impression!)
Do you have a plan for your blog?
Yes to a certain extent. I want to make more of some parts of my blog, refine my photography skills again (I did a degree and still have so much to learn) and also shout about more of the things I love. I'm working with some amazing  organisations on various projects that I can't wait to share with everyone. 
What do you think about rankings?
Honestly I used to be obsessed. Now I don't care for them. Each search engine, ranking site and award ceremony has different lists. Becoming obsessed with them can distract you from the reason you started blogging. To write about things you love. So I took a step back and de-registered from quite a few of the ranking sites and now feel much better about my writing. 

Friday, 31 July 2015

Friday Reads: If You Like Diary Of A Wimpy Kid

Most kids love a good series of books. It's great to see them get stuck into something that will keep them entertained for a long time. Sometimes though they can get a bit stuck, they don't know what to read next. One of the most popular kids series at the moment is Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. Perfect for kids from ages 7-12, this book has captured the minds of millions. But with so many other books out there I've compiled a list of suggestions for things they can read next.

Tom Gates - Liz Pichon
Set out in a similar style to Wimpy Kid with doodles and drawings, Tom Gates is based around Tom and his hate of everything homework based and trying to impress that girl that sits next to him at school. An award winning series that sits perfectly next to Wimpy Kid with it's comic book style.

Gangsta Granny - David Walliams
Walliams has done an amazing range of kids books. Gangsta Granny is my highlight though. Ben doesn't know how great his granny really is. I mean beyond the boring cabbage and scrabble she's planning to steal the queen's crown! This has the great humour you would find in Wimpy Kid with a bit more of a challenging read.

Series Of Unfortunate Events - Lemony Snicket
A bit of a darker series compared to Wimpy Kid but the series that follows the Baudelaire orphans and their strange uncle is definitely a great addition. A series full of fun and mystery, it's one that kids will love. And with a Netflix series in the works it needs to be read!

Dork Diaries - Rachel Renee Russell
Think Wimpy Kid but with a girl as a lead character and Dork Diaries is what you come up with. This hilarious series follows Nikki who is, let's face it, a dork. All she wants to do at her new school is get by and reinvent herself.

Goth Girl - Chris Riddell
Ada Goth is an only child, a bit of a lonely one at that. When some visitors come to stay they must make sure that the indoor gamekeeper doesn't cause the havoc he is planning. A beautifully illustrated book that is great for the older end of the Wimpy Kid fans.

Fortunately The Milk - Neil Gaiman
Gaiman is a bit of a literary god in our house and this book is no different. Telling the adventure of a dad on his journey to get some milk, this book takes loads of unexpected twists and turns! With a hilarious story and great illustrations, this book is one that kids and grown ups will love to read together!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Meet the Penguins at Bournemouth Oceanarium

As many regular readers know, we are always visiting our local Oceanarium. Having been season pass holders for years we thought it would be an amazing time to pop down and see the new penguins that have just arrived!

We popped down with our friends over at PooleMamma to have a snoop and let the kids enjoy themselves whilst (hopefully) learning something about penguins.

Having just opened this week, the penguin enclosure is a welcome addition to the Oceanarium. Boasting a split platform view it means that you can see them up close on land level, or pop downstairs to watch them below water level. This is great as you can see them swimming and diving away. 

Upstairs also has a great new terrace bar which would be great in summer to have a picnic. Downstairs they also have a small climbing area, something which I think is the perfect addition as the parents can enjoy a coffee (and see the penguins) whilst the kids let off some steam. They also had jellyfish downstairs which is Max's personal highlight. He's got a thing about jellyfish at the moment!

One highlight of our trip was the moment that one of the giant turtles took a fancy to Max. We assume his jumper must have caught his attention as he swam right up behind him and started interacting with us and Max. It was so amazing to see them that close. His marine biologist uncle would be proud!

As always we had an amazing time at the Oceanarium. It's somewhere we go almost every week. Can't wait to see what our next adventure there has in store for us.