Tuesday, 5 April 2016

My February/March Update


I can't believe we're in April already. I wrote a draft of my February update last month but life was just too busy to finish it I'm afraid so I didn't get time to publish it. Instead, here's my life & blog update from the last two months.

Blog Update
  • Exciting news! We are going to be featured in the June edition of Gurgle Magazine, our first magazine feature!
  • In January I made it in the top 500 of the tots100 (top UK parent blogs) for the first time. Then just after writing about it, I dropped out the following month, typical! However, I've since risen back up and am now at 427, my highest ever position, yay! I'm also ranked at #75 in the Trips100 (top UK travel blogs). I know scores aren't the be all and end all but it's always nice to see your stats rise!
  • I entered two writing competitions in February, one to be a Mark Warner Mum and another for James Villas. I didn't win either (boohoo) but it was nice to write about my previous holiday in Venice when my son was just eleven months and another focusing on what my perfect holiday would include. 
  • I have started reviewing many new products which will be featured on the blog soon. The most exciting is the Indie 4 Bumbleride Buggy which I am in love with already! I took it to Dorset, to London and will be taking it to Amsterdam this month. It's light and ideal for me with a heavy toddler!
  • I received news about another exciting blog/travel related opportunity that I will discuss soon.
  • My Followers have grown to over 10,000, with 6000 on twitter, eek! Thanks to anyone that follows me!
  • I've been nominated for a Mad Blog Award in the Family Travel category. I put in as much effort and time into my blog as possible and never ask friends/family to vote for me so being nominated in an award means a lot. Thank you to whoever voted (plus there is still time to vote, link below, hint hint).
  • I was thinking about buying a new template design for my blog but was so undecided so I made some little changes myself including adding html in the css section. I'm no tech whizz, I usually just wing it (as you can probably tell) but there is something satisfying about doing it yourself. I think I will buy a template at some point though.
  • My travel/photography linky #MyFavouriteTrip is doing well and it's always lovely to read other travel/day trip posts & discover new blogs. It's given me so much inspiration to travel more. If you have written about a day trip or holiday go and check it out. I pick a winner weekly who wins £20 to spend at Truprint, my sponsor for #MyFavouriteTrip. 
  • I'm thinking about going to this year's Workfest and Britmums conferences, as I really enjoyed both last year, but haven't bought tickets yet.
  • For all the fantastic things blogging brings, the downside is that it is hugely time-consuming! It was stressing me out a bit in February and blogging was becoming a chore rather than something I love to do, so I've made a conscious effort to reduce my time on social media, especially facebook, and also to say no to things that don't appeal to me or that I'm not compensated for. Along with freelance work and looking after a little boy I don't have many free hours left and time is precious. I've been much more selective about what I accept recently and I feel much better for it!
  • I have read so many blog posts but two have stood out recently. One is Jenna's post on Tiny Footsteps about her life lately. Sadly Jenna had a miscarriage last year and decided to take a break from blogging. In her break she realised how much extra time she now has and how she appreciates her time with her little girl much more. I love the bit where she talks about splashing in puddles with her daughter instead of rushing back home. I relate to this in many ways. I've just finished an eight week mindfulness course (blog post coming soon) and it's been an eye opener. It's also made me realise to focus on the smaller, day to day things more and to let go of all the things that really can wait! My son will always come first and there is something free and liberating about fully appreciating and living in the moment. 
  • The second post is 'The happiest time of my life: A post about perspective' written by Emma at Crazy with Twins. I only discovered her blog a couple of months ago and I really love the way she write. This post is just beautiful and I had a smile on my face reading it. Emma's been through a rough time recently and her post is a reminder to us all to focus on what is right in front of us. Please go and read these two posts if you haven't already, they are worth it!

Life Update
  • A lot of things cross over with blogging. It's been lovely getting away on different weekend trips and at the end of this month we're off to Amsterdam!! I haven't been abroad in nearly two years and can't wait!!!
  • As mentioned we've been away on lots of little trips. I've also loved all of our visits to the seaside (photo above). I can't wait for summer to arrive.
  • My eight week mindfulness course came to an end and it's been an such an amazing experience. It's helped in so many ways, has brought many benefits and will continue to do so I hope. 
  • Freelance work is going well and I'm thinking about longer term possibilities. As mentioned above, I've reduced my time spent on social media and have a much better work/life/blogging balance now. It's not perfect and I don't think it ever will be but it's much better than it was. I've also made a conscious effort to stop rushing around, be more organised and when I'm not working to enjoy the moment!
  • Years ago, I belonged to a book club which I absolutely loved and was sad to leave! I'm now looking for one in Brighton so if you live locally and know of any please give me your recommendations :-)
  • My son had terrible croup a few weeks ago and needed to go to A&E. He took some medicine and recovered quickly though and is absolutely fine now. It's so horrible when your kids are ill.
  • We've been going to our regular play groups and have tried out a new craft class. We have a new saplings course starting soon. It's related to Forest School so all outdoors fun and I can't wait!
  • My little boy is growing so quickly. He'll be three at the very end of next month and will be starting school next year. How is that possible? It makes me even more keen to appreciate the moment before these days whizz by!
  • I went on a proper diet last month and lost 4 pounds! This was before stuffing myself with chocolate over Easter so have probably put it all back on now. Trying to eat more healthily though!
  • My aim for April is to prepare well for Amsterdam so I'm not manically packing everything the night before which usually happens! My other aims are to continue with mindfulness at home and continue focusing on the here and now.
I always plan to write a short update but it never happens, sorry!
What have you been up to this month? Would love to hear what you've been doing.

You Baby Me MummyWave to Mummy

ethannevelynclairejustine

It's award season & I'd love a vote in this year's blogging awards :-)

Tots 100 Awards 

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7 comments

  1. Oh my word - you've done so much this month! *hides head in shame* sounds like something had to be cut, and social media is the best choice - of the people I've known who have cut back, none have regretted it. Good luck with the MADS!

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  2. Lovely to read your update, Polly, lots of things happening for you! Your mindfulness sounds interesting and I'm looking forward to hearing how you and your little one find the saplings Forest School. I can relate to the need to step back sometimes, good for the soul. Congratulations on the nomination (I shall pop over to vote in a mo) and enjoy your upcoming trip! Jenni x

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  3. Wow! Sound like you had a really busy month. You have done so much! I just wish I have more time to do more writing. I can barely squeeze 2-3 post per week! Well done on the Tots ranking and Mad blog nomination. You certainly deserves it. You have worked so hard. Enjoy Amsterdam! Looking forward to hear all about it. Xx

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  4. Wow so much going on! Well done on all you blogging achievements and on the weight loss. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

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  5. Gurgle magazine, woot woot! :)

    I think you have had so much going on recently it is making my head dizzy :) I know what you mean about getting higher rankings, although I don't care really I do care a little bit - I've been on Tots500 now for nearly 6 months but just hovering there and nothing seems to budge me upwards to the next step. Oh well. Fab btw about Trips ranking!

    You should totally come to Britmums, I've already got my ticket and looking forward to it :) thanks for linking to #mymonthlyroundup!

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  6. Oh wow, lots of exciting things ahead! Congrats on the magazine feature! Lovely picture :)

    Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop

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