Lily

Lily
Lily Mae

Photography

Photography
Photography

Archer

Archer
Archer Leo

100 Instagram hashtags for bloggers and how they can significantly boost your following


Ok so let's be honest here, Instagram has gotten pants lately. We can all admit it. What with the recent updates, especially the scrapping of photos appearing in chronological order, it's become less about the photo's themselves and all about trying to beat the algorithm and get yourself seen.

And it's shitty. Just plain shitty. But if you're on Instagram to try and promote your blog, like so many of us are, then unfortunately you do what you gotta do to get your posts out there.

One thing I've found to still be really helpful, despite all the latest changes, are hashtags.

Our Week in Pictures - #4


As I type this I'm so beyond exhausted that my eyes keep closing every few minutes or so. Blinking furiously is doing nothing. Nor is the second red bull I hold in my hand. (seriously are these things all a con or what?)

It's lunchtime and I'm on day 3 of absolutely zero sleep. 72 hours of tending to poorly children day and night. I'm surprised I'm not at the hallucination stage yet.

(Oh but its coming. I can feel it, haha.)

My first thought when uploading earlier was how the photos this week don't represent how my week has gone at all. Like, one little bit. Funny that. Although I guess not so surprising as you don't get out a camera and snap whilst your childs having a meltdown really do you? But still, looking at these pictures the kids look happy. But the reality this week was that they were far from it.

Siblings in June


The past few weeks have been all about playing in the garden for these two. The warmer weather has meant we can have the patio doors open and I'm really enjoying being able to sit down with a cuppa and watch them play!

Strangely the most expensive items in the garden, the swing, play house and water tray aren't getting a look in and instead both Lily & Archer having been enjoying the cheap plastic tunnels and tents I purchased a few years back and have lived in the shed ever since until recently! Now that it's summer and we're spending most of our time outdoors I'm on the look out for some more garden toys, ideally ones that wont break the bank, so if you have any suggestions or links for me I'd love for you to leave them in the comments.

Despite all the lovely garden play though I'd say this month has been the hardest month in a while in terms of sibling bonding.

Slimming World journey so far | Update 1


I'm going to be honest here and say I have a long drawn out love/hate relationship with Slimming World, and have done for a while now. I've made no less than 5 attempts at starting Slimming World since having Archer and have fallen flat on my ass with it every single time.

I've finally had enough of glancing in the mirror then having to furiously look away. Honestly I've been living in a forced bubble of oversized winter jumpers the past few months (or well, since Archer was born really) but Summer has begun and I can't stay in these jumpers forever - it's slowly killing me!
As I'm now three weeks in to Slimming World, the longest I've managed in my attempts this year, I finally feel like I'm determined enough that I'm not going to go cold turkey and that I can therefore confidentially sit down and start writing about my journey.
I know that many people don't feel comfortable in sharing numbers when they do their slimming world updates, tending to just focus on food diaries, but I personally look for these figures just as much as the meal plans themselves when reading other peoples journeys. I like to know peoples starting weights so I can have a better idea of how far they've come and therefore I will be sharing my own starting weight and losses/gains in lbs as I go along.

Before I start I have to say that I don't believe that the size I am now is in any way 'large.' So when I reveal my weight and any other stats in these blog posts I dont want anyone to feel offended that I'm claiming it's not an acceptable weight  because that's not the case at all. It's all relative. It all depends on your body type, shape and what you're comfortable with. You know your own body type and what your natural size and weight is so don't let anyone tell you what's right or wrong for YOU. 

So lets go right back to the very start of my Slimming World journey back in 2013.

Little Loves | Feeling Fed up & Snapping out of it


June! It's June guys, what the hell.

First of all, how are we half way through the year? Second of all, it doesn't feel like June with this horrible weather. I actually felt guilty for having had the heating on yesterday until the ITV weather girl stated that we're currently in Autumn temperatures. Ugh.

There's nothing more depressing than being trapped indoors thanks to driving rain and gale force winds. Except for maybe being trapped inside with a teething baby who has me in a perpetually sleep deprived state and who has been desperate to get out himself, bless him.

With all that being said, I'm trying to be more positive. (Ha!) Yes I've been in a moany mood lately, it's been one of those weeks, but the recent attacks on our beautiful kingdom have put everything in to perspective, it really has. So whilst I'm sat here moaning about all and sundry, know that its tongue in cheek and that I'm actually extremely grateful for all that I have.

Feeling uninspired


Monday has rolled around and I only realised this morning, mid downing my coffee and dressing a squirming Archer that I don't have a post to go up today.

I contemplated not putting one up, as I didn't want to post for the sake of posting, just so I can say I'm sticking to my own self imposed schedule if you know what I mean. I don't tend to pre write and schedule my posts as I'm quite frankly not that organised ,I usually just write them the day before/day of posting. And because I'm just really uninspired lately I didn't want to force something out.

But now that I've dropped Lily at nursery and Archer is having a nap - I have an hour window of rest on this manic Monday morning and actually, I'm finding myself writing anyway.

Our Week in Pictures #3


We've spent every day of this week outdoors in the heat and it's been blissful.

I've spent so much of the last few months moaning about the weather and wishing for sun that now that it's here I feel like I have to cram everything in before it goes again! It's meant a whole heap of photo taking too, and I've actual had to narrow down the amount of photos I'm including in this particular post for fear of photo overload (if there is such a thing!)

Summer Clothing with Simply Be


I tend to think of myself as much more of an autumn dresser than a summer dresser. Give me oversized cable knits and skinny jeans over summer dresses, shorts and skirts any day. Or that’s what I thought anyway. Until I took a look at Simply Be’s summer collection.
You’d be forgiven for not thinking of Simply Be straight away when you think ‘summer wardrobe.’ I hadn’t either, in fact I’ll be honest and say I hadn’t really heard of them at all until they got in contact. However when they asked me to take a look through their summer range I really, genuinely, was pleasantly surprised. So many gorgeous items – so much to choose from!

Let me take you through what I chose

To Those Who Write about Mental Health..


It's not all that often that I reference other peoples blogs on my own blog. I think because of the competitive nature of blogging these days, there's always the assumption amongst a lot of bloggers that if you link to something in a blog post you are doing it for your own gain somehow. Innocently recommending a blog or website that you like just wont be taken seriously because there's so many 'false' recommendations about. And I get that. I do. But I read a post today that actually made me cry, and then smile through my tears as I read. And I've not read a post that's sparked that sort of emotion in me in a long time and I feel like it's something I genuinely want to mention on my blog, so that other people can read it too.

The post in question was this one by Hayley of Sparkles & StretchMarks - Being an over sharer and why I wont stop.    

And it's just bloody brilliant.