Guess what? I have now been blogging for three whole years! Just like I say every time one of my kids has a birthday, how does the time go so fast? Three years ago, I put 19 month old Leo down for his nap and felt that all too familiar loneliness and boredom begin to creep in. Leo always napped for at least 2 hours every day and it meant that I spent most afternoons trapped in the house while he snoozed away up in his cot. I used to fill that time with housework, watching TV and baking but as the months went on I had started to dread naptime. I do enjoy time to myself but I could feel my brain starting to turn to mush due to the monotony of stay at home mum life. I needed a new project, something new to learn and help reignite my creative side. I wanted to do something in those hours every afternoon that stopped me feeling so bored and alone. That project was this little blog of mine and when I typed out my first ever post I had no idea I would still be writing it three years down the line and that it would become such a huge part of my life. View Post
Being a parent, it’s not all sleepy baby cuddles, picture perfect days out and heart warming moments that you’ll cherish for eternity. Sometimes, raising tiny humans is really hard work. By their very nature, kids are curious and it is built into them to push boundaries and test us, they need to do this to develop and figure out what being a person is all about. Despite knowing this fact that children challenge us in order to learn and grow, that doesn’t make things feel any easier when your toddler is performing tantrum number ten of the day. Parenting is definitely no walk in park. Well, not unless you usually end up feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and anxious after a stroll through the park, that is. View Post
Want to hear a secret? Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to write a book. I have always been a massive bookworm, for years I would fall asleep with my glasses still on my face and a book in my hands, the page I was reading lost until morning. I love reading, I love how I can physically just be sat in my living room but, through the power of words on a page, feel like I’m in a whole different place, watching the excitement and drama of someone else’s life unfold. Books really are amazing.
I have always admired how authors are able to make you feel so many strong emotions just through the sentences they have creatively crafted together. There have been times I have slammed books closed in frustration, cried my eyes out with what feels like genuine grief at the demise of a main character and times I have laughed so hard it hurts. That’s my dream right there; I would love to write a story that people really invested in, that moved them and made them really feel something. So why haven’t I done it, you might be wondering? Well, I have a good reason. Two good reasons actually, one is called Leo and the other is called Alex. View Post
The new year is almost upon us, what the actual eff you guys? I really can not believe 2017 has pretty much come to a close and, as I do every year, it is time to look back on the last 12 months and to plan and write down all my hopes and dreams for the year ahead. 2017 started off bad, post natal depression was at it’s worst in January, but as the months progressed I started to feel better and more like my old self and now, compared to a year ago, my mental health is in great shape. Family life has evolved so much over the last year too: Alex has grown from a squidgy little newborn into a fully fledged toddler (he started walking a couple of days ago), Leo said goodbye to toddlerhood and started school in September and we finally moved out from living in work based accommodation to a cute little house in a lovely quiet little part of town. My blog has grown this year too, I have struggled to commit as much time as I would like to writing with two little people to look after but I have managed to write lots of posts that I am really proud of and make a bit of extra cash too. View Post
Hooray for Friday! It’s time for #BlogCrush linky week 29, I hope you’ve all found some fab posts to share with us this week and written some amazing content of your own. The weather is telling me that we will be having a few days stuck in the house so I’m looking forward to having some brilliant posts to read and get me through the days we are stuck at home.
This blogging business is a bit overwhelming at times, isn’t it? I mean, I have been at it for over 2 years now and I am still learning new things pretty much every day and can often still feel a bit confused by it all. When I first started blogging it took me quite a while to find my feet and the best thing I did (and this is my top tip for all new bloggers, by the way) is to ask fellow bloggers for advice/help/support. The blogging community is so friendly, kind and, in the parent blogging community especially, the sense of solidarity is really inspiring. I have been wondering for sometime how I can help bloggers just starting out, bloggers feeling as overwhelmed and baffled by it all as I did when I first started tapping at the keys of my laptop in 2015. I am not a pro blogger so I can’t really offer many useful blog tips and tricks but I do have a strong readership, an engaged bunch of lovely mums/dads who all seem to love reading blogs. Exposure is so so important when you start blogging and it can be really difficult to get eyes on your posts when your blog is just a baby. SO, I have decided to start a new guest blogging series all for the new bloggers on the scene, let me introduce you to.. View Post
Today is my birthday! I am now 26 years old, how did that happen? In my head I still feel about 18 years old so I am finding it a bit hard to accept that I am now only 4 years away from the big 3 0. I love birthdays though, even if they do mean I am another year older, and there is nothing I like more than a good birthday party. Back when I was actually 18, the definition of a good party was one that involved lots of dancing, a brand new outfit to wear, loads of friends and way waaay too much alcohol. Now I am practically middle aged though (just joking!), I don’t actually care so much about a birthday party of my very own, when it comes to parties these days I am all about my kids. View Post
I am so happy it is almost the weekend, it has been a bit of a rubbish week this week as we had a family funeral and I am feeling a bit exhausted. I can not wait for the weekend and to spend lots of time with Oli and the boys as we have been in Mid Wales all week while Oli has been stuck in work. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Anyway, welcome back to #BlogCrush, the linky I host with my lovely bloggy friend Lucy from Lucy at Home. #BlogCrush is like no other linky out there, not only do you get to link up one your own amazing posts but you also link up a post written by someone else. What better way to share the blog love than to show another blogger you love what they do by sharing their post here, I really do love seeing everyone tweeting so much love on a Friday morning.
Featured #BlogCrush posts
This week my #BlogCrush is Talking Mums, this is a very important campaign and something all pregnant women should red – #AlwaysAsk: Tommy’s encourages mums to follow their instincts
Lucy’s #BlogCrush is Old House in the Shires – The wobbly tooth brigade
Congratulations to you featured bloggers, if you would like you can grab the featured badge below to display on your blog. Also, if any of you noticed one of your posts featured as someone’s #BlogCrush in the last link up, feel free to grab the badge too 🙂
#BlogCrush linky – week 12
This week I am linking up my post about feeling clueless over weaning – Weaning, still winging it second time around
Lucy is linking up That time the school attendance letter made me sob
It is time to get linking! #BlogCrush is all about sharing the bloggy love, Lucy and I have noticed a few people not following our main rule of adding a post written by another blogger, can you please make sure you do this as it is the whole point of this linky. We don’t like being the blog police but it is not fair to just drop your own link when #BlogCrush is all about sharing content written by others as well as yourself. Also, my badge code doesn’t work sometimes, if you have any problems please massage me and I will try to sort it. THANKS!
Here are the rules ..
* The linky will run every Friday 6am – Sunday 9pm (UK time)
* You can link up 2 posts per week – 1 of your own posts and 1 post by a blogger that you love, your #BlogCrush
* Please add BC in the inlinkz form when you add the link for your blog crush post
* Add the #BlogCrush badge to the post you are linking up from your own blog.
* Tweet @naptimenatter and @lucy_at_home on twitter and we will retweet your links
* Also, tweet your #BlogCrush to let them know you have added them to the linky
* Comment on one of my posts and one of Lucy’s posts, 1 personal post and 1 blog crush post – that is a total of 4 comments please. This linky is all about sharing the blogger love so if you want to comment on more posts too then please go ahead 🙂
* Lucy and I will comment on all the posts and share them all on our Twitter accounts.
* Each host will choose a favourite post and feature it in the next linky post as well as linking it up as their #BlogCrush post in the following week’s linky.
* If you could also follow Lucy and I on social media then we will love you forever. Naptime Natter twitter , Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube Lucy At Home twitter , facebook
Happy linking lovelies!
Oh my god you guys, it’s new years eve! How has this happened? I know it’s such a cliché thing to say on December 31st but, seriously, where has this year gone? A lot has happened in the past 12months, the major event of course being the arrival of my gorgeous second baby boy in October. 2016 has been a big year for my blog too, my audience has grown, I’ve worked with lots of lovely brands and I’ve written lots of posts that I’m really proud of. At the beginning of the year I wrote down some goals I’d love to have achieved by the time the year was out. Well, time is up. The moment has come to look back and see if I managed to smash my goals or not and to set myself some brand spanking new ones for the fresh new year ahead. New year, new goals..let’s do this. View Post
2016 saw my blog go from just a hobby to something a little bit more serious. Although I am by no means a pro blogger or making a monthly wage from my blog, I have been able to make a bit of extra cash from blogging and hope to continue to do so in 2017. Currently I am blogging from my PC which is stuck on a tiny table, wedged in the corner of my living room. If I am honest I find it very difficult to concentrate here, the living room is full of distractions and when I find some child free time to blog it can be all too easy to accidently watch TV instead or start tidying up all the toys/baby clothes/general mess littering the living room floor. So, to help me give my blog the love and attention it needs to grow and flourish in 2017, I have set myself a mission to create my own blogging corner. I don’t mean the corner I am currently squashed in now but my own little space in the house, away from the chaos of the living room and somewhere I can sit and type in peace.
Naptime Natter HQ is now moving upstairs to the attic, we have two rooms up there full of junk and there is a perfect little nook in one of them, just waiting for me to transform it into my blogging haven. I have a lot of work to do, it isn’t going to be an easy job but I can’t wait to get started on creating my new blogging corner and documenting it all here. Before I do though, I am writing down everything I would love to have in my new little office, if you are thinking of creating your own space for blogging too I hope you can get some inspiration from my wishlist. View Post
I have been blogging now for nearly 18 months and I can confidently say it is my favourite hobby. However, as any fellow bloggers out there will know, blogging is so time consuming. There are always posts to be written, photos to be taken, promotion to be done, comments to read..oh the list goes on. A blogger’s to do list really is endless. With baby number two due to arrive in less than 8 weeks, I am starting to have a serious think about my blog and how I am going to be able to keep it going when I have a newborn as well as Leo to look after. I have decided to create a new blogging schedule in an attempt to be able to keep on writing, even through the sleep deprived and baby brain days. View Post
Welcome back to my Working with brands mini series. If you missed part 1 – My top tips for new bloggers – please go and have a read, especially if you are a new blogger interested in making money from your writing. I was so overwhelmed by all the positive comments I received on this post, so many new bloggers genuinely grateful for my advice and thanking me for sharing my experience of working with brands as a small blogger. This week I thought I would share with you 10 lessons I have learnt since I began making money from my blog, the list includes positive things I have discovered as well as some hard lessons that I have learnt along the way. I suggest popping the kettle on, grabbing a coffee and making yourself comfortable, this is quite a read but I think (hope!) it is worth it. Enjoy. View Post
It is not very often you will find posts about blogging here on Naptime Natter. It is not that I don’t enjoy writing about my favourite hobby ever, it is just that I feel there are so many more experienced bloggers out there who can offer you much more valuable advice and tips than I ever could. You see, when it comes to stats and all that stuff, my blog is still pretty small. Although I may be a very small fish in the overflowing pond of parent bloggers, this hasn’t stopped me from working with brands. View Post
Happy new year!
I can not believe it is 2016, where did last year go? I hope you all had fun celebrating New Years Eve last night. Oli and I had a curry, drank prossecco and watched a film. I passed out on the sofa at 11.45 but Oli woke me up in time to see the new year in.
January 1st is usually the day where I write a list of new years resolutions. You know, eat less chocolate, exercise more, be more positive, the usual stuff. I rarely ever stick these though, I eat healthy for a week or two or whatever but it is not long before I just give up and slip back in to my old ways.
So, this year, instead of wasting my time writing a list of resolutions that are doomed from the start, I am going to write a list of what I want to achieve from my blog in 2016.
I think I am more likely to stick to these as I really want my blog to do well this year. I put a lot of my time in to blogging and having this list of goals to achieve will help me focus and make my little blog a success, hopefully.
My 2016 blogging goals…
1. Take better photographs – I love taking pictures for my blog and would love to learn more about framing and other photography techniques. I need to stop using my phone and instead use my camera, there is only so much you can do with a camera phone and sometimes my pictures look a bit blurry. The blogging world is more visual than I first thought and I don’t want my images letting my posts down.
2. Grow my audience – This applies to my page views and followers on my social media channels. My twitter account seems to gain followers with very little effort which is great, one less thing for me to do. However, my Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and G+ accounts only have a small following and I am struggling to boost my audience here. I need to set time aside each week to focus 100% of my online time on my social media channels. Hopefully, as these accounts start to grow so will my blog page views.
3. Work with other bloggers – I would love to help co-host a linky, collaborate on a series with another blogger or write a guest post on one of the blogs I love. Since starting my blog last March I have got to know so many amazing people and would love the chance to work with some of them this year.
4. Comments – Comments make me so happy. If you have ever commented on any of my posts, thank you, it means so much. I am pretty rubbish at writing back, I always do but sometimes it takes me weeks to get around to it. From now on I am going to write back to someone as soon as I see their comment, that way I won’t have to spend whole evenings trying to catch up.
5, Reach out to brands – So far I have only written two sponsored posts on my blog. This is fine as I don’t desperately want or need my blog to be making money. However, I really enjoyed writing these posts and a bit of extra cash never hurt anyone. The 2 companies I worked with contacted me initially, I am yet to make the first move. This year I plan to put myself out there, reach out to some brands I love and just see what happens. The worst thing they can do is say they are not interested.
6. Be more organised – At the minute I have no real blogging schedule. I blog when I want, sometimes only once a week and other times I blog every day for a week. I have bought myself a diary, specifically for my blog and I am going to plan and write posts in advance and publish posts on the same day each week. I am hoping to manage my online time more effectively so I don’t find myself frantically typing the night away when I realise I haven’t published anything in over a week.
7. Do what makes me happy – My final goal is the most important. Yes I want more people to read my blog and all the rest but I don’t want my blog to take over my whole life. Sometimes I worry I spend too much time on my phone/laptop and that is time taken away from Leo. Although I mostly blog while he is sleeping, sometimes the list of jobs can’t help but overlap with the hours while Leo is awake. I need to know it is ok to take a break, if trying to keep up with social media as well as writing posts is stressing me out and making me unhappy, then I have lost the true reason why I blog. Blogging is a hobby I love because I love to write, if all the other things start to dwindle my passion then I want to make sure I take a break. Yes stats are important to me but keeping my love of writing and spending uninterrupted time with my family is more so.
Do you have any blogging goals for 2016? Or are you happy with your blogging life as it is? I would love to know. I am hoping I will be able to achieve all of mine.
It has been 2 and a bit months since I started this blog. When I sat down to write my very first post all those weeks ago I never expected that my blog would become such an important part of my life.
Blogging has become a much loved hobby and I now spend more time reading other blogs than I do books, this is a big deal for me! I feel like I am gaining so much from my blogging experience and I never imagined my little corner of the internet would end up meaning so much to me.
Sometimes being a mum is hard work. We all have those days where nothing is going right or we feel like we can’t cope. Having a good old rant about Leo’s bad behaviour, talking about things that are stressing me out or reading posts from happier days really makes me feel more positive. Even if I spend an hour furiously typing and not one person comments it doesn’t bother me; sometimes just putting how you are feeling into words and getting it all out is enough to make you feel better. Finding posts by other bloggers who are experiencing similar difficulties to you is always a great comfort when you are feeling alone and don’t know what to do.
Reading other blogs as well as writing your own come hand in hand with the blogging experience. Before I started my own blog I had only nosed around a handful of other parenting blogs, now I am reading several different blogs every week. From reading other peoples blogs I have been inspired to do lots of different things. I have discovered lots of fun childrens recipes, craft ideas and toddler activities and have read lots of posts that have made me laugh and cry. Also, other bloggers have inspired me to work on my own writing skills and imrpove my own blog in the process.
5. A place to meet new people
There are so many parenting blogs out there. This can feel over whelming sometimes, like your voice isn’t going to be heard amongst the thousands of other bloggers sharing their own stories. Don’t worry though, if you put the effort in people will read what you have to say and you willl start get to know lots of new people. I am slowly beginning to form online relationships with other bloggers and through people commenting on my blog I am recieving lots of great advice and support. Every parenting blogger I have spoken to so far has been nothing but lovely. As I only have a small network of friends where I am currently living, it’s nice to know there are thousands of like minded people just a few clicks away who are doing what I am doing: bringing up a baby and telling the world all about it!
Has your blog had a big impact on your life? What do yoou love about blogging? I would love to know.
• Having a place to express myself, write down my worries and document what’s going on with Leo.
• Feeling the love from other bloggers through their lovely comments on my posts.
• Embracing my creative side and indulging my inner writer.
• Discovering lots of other parenting blogs and reading so many inspiring posts.
• Using an android tablet and mobile phone to write my blog. The blogger app is ok but everything would be so much easier if I had a laptop. Copying and pasting html, adding images and even just typing text are 10 times more difficult that they need to be on a tablet.
• Blogger. I regret deciding to use Blogger to host my blog instead of WordPress. There seems to be more design options and you get a .com url when you have a WordPress blog. Ah well, I’m sure if I put a bit more effort in I can make my blog beautiful.
• Writing and perfecting posts is quite time consuming.
• There are these amazing things called linkys. These are weekly/monthly post sharing events hosted by other bloggers. They are a great way to get your blog seen and the prompts can give you inspiration if you are suffering from writers block. My favourites are The List and Twinkly Tuesday. If you want more info on linkys click here.
• I have lots of ideas but not enough time. As soon as I started my blog I knew that thinking up content would not be an issue for me but finding the time to write it all would be. My head is bursting with post ideas but this is just a hobby and I don’t want it to consume all my free time.
• Social media is essential to grow your blog audience. I have kept my Facebook page just for personal use but I am now sharing my blog on my Twitter account. In the last month I have had several interactions with other bloggers who have been lovely enough to retweet and share my blog.
• Honesty is the best policy. The best blogs I have read are written by people who are not afraid to be themselves; their posts are real and honest and this makes for much more enjoyable reading.
• Trolling does not seem to be present in the parent blogosphere (well I am yet to experience it anyway). I was worried about people judging me and my parenting skills when I started this blog but everyone seems to be really lovely and supportive.
• How to add text to pictures.
• How to add big social sharing buttons to my page.
• Improve the layout/design of my blog.
• Write posts more regularly.
• Find and get to know more lovely mummy/daddy bloggers.
• Fix laptop so blogging becomes easier and therefore more enjoyable!
I know it’s important not to get bogged down by statistics but I am just looking back out of curiosity…
New twitter followers: 25
Most popular post: TimeHop: A love/hate relationship.
If you’re looking for some great blogging tips I recommend giving You Baby Me Mummy blog club a look.