Finding My Confidence With Laura Shaw Photography

This year was the year I had set goals to challenge myself, push boundaries and try new things.

Over the past few years so many people have asked why I don’t appear more on my blog and the simple answer to this was always that I was way to critical of myself.

I would take endless selfies and delete them all or get one of the children to try and get a picture that I would be remotely happy with and to be honest this very rarely happened.

I hated myself for how shallow this made me feel but due to a culmination of different insecurities I just couldn’t bring myself to be on screen.

A while ago now I won a competition to have a photo shoot with Laura from Laura Shaw Photography and I knew from the very first moment I met here she was going to be the lady to put my mind at ease when it came to getting in front of the camera.

The session was booked and cancelled endless times and finally a few weeks ago all the pieces fell into place and the session went ahead.

I probably didn’t pick the easiest of locations for my nerves as a high street packed with people would never be a place you could naturally relax, but Laura worked her magic and after shots that felt terribly uncomfortable I finally relaxed and started to being to thoroughly enjoy the whole experience.

It was actually a few crude words from Laura that set me off into fits of giggles and I will never look at her without thinking of these worlds again!

The hours flew by as we flitted around the town borrowing changing rooms and handbags from the lovely Nancy of Gerrards and stopping to use the beautiful surroundings off Willows florist.

I have have to say a big thank you to guys at Stone House Vinyl as we plotted up there on a few occasions during the day!

This really was an experience I never thought I would have the courage to do and I can’t thank Laura enough for finding my confidence, giving me an amazing afternoon of fun whilst capturing the most amazing images.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Ten

Running behind with this series once again – but hey ‘better late than never’.

It was a pretty big one for me work wise and was a little hard to really concentrate on the smaller things when there were so many exciting things taking place, so this is exactly where I will start.

Working With Kids: By this I don’t mean having to go out of the house everyday and leave the kids, I am in fact lucky enough to take my little ones along with me for a large part of the work I do and this saw Izzy taking to the ice with some of the stars from Disney On Ice and little Oscar get a special screening of the new Peter Rabbit movie.
They always say never work with kids and animals and although it can be pretty stressful at times I am very grateful to be able to do just this.

Loving My City: A lot of my work takes me into London on a weekly basis and normally involves me flitting from one place to the next and not really stopping to take it all in. After the Peter Rabbit screening I had a few hours with Oscar and we took this chance to wander around town taking it all in; from the beautiful architecture to the eclectic groups of people.
London has so much to offer and I really need to slow down and make the most of it when I get the chance.

Oscar Writing His Name: This is a proud moment, mixed in with a little Mum guilt too if I’m honest.
The more children I have obviously the more limited my time is to spend with each of the children and with the older ones having homework to complete I sadly devote a lot of learning time to them a poor little Oscar gets a little left out.
So the other day whist he was writing his Grandad’s birthday card with Izzy, she came in showing me how well he had done with writing his name without any help from her.
I was over the moon that he had done it and a little guilty that there had been little input from me! So its a big thank you again to his fantastic nursery and a big kick up the bum for me to set some time aside to work with him.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Seven

Well I am really playing catch up with myself this week and I am really behind with my “celebrating the small things” posts, however I promised myself I wouldn’t miss a week and I’m going to stick to it.

This week I’m going to be looking back over half term which was a pretty horrendous one for us to be honest!

All of the children were ill until the end of the week and to say I was getting cabin fever would be an understatement, but we still managed to get a few good moments to record.

Feeling Grateful For My Job: School holidays can be a real issue when it comes to thinking of things to occupy the children and this is where I am extremely grateful for my work as it brings such amazing opportunities for the children and allows their time off to be filled with amazing memories.

This half term we were asked if we would like to become Chessington World Of Adventure ambassadors again this year so it would have been rude to not have a trip to celebrate wouldn’t it. We also had a wonderful afternoon at a Little Miss And Mr Men Tea Party where the children were treated to an afternoon of food, fun and personalised pictures from Adam Hargreaves.

Growing Up Fast: I received an email from Oscar’s nursery to let me know that they would be changing things a little at nursery to get the older ones ready for their big move to reception this coming September.

If I’m honest it gave me a big lump in my throat to think that my last little one would be moving on and I won’t have a little one around the house during the day anymore.

We spent a good while that afternoon practicing writing his name and learning his numbers and I was immensely proud of how far he has come…even if I’m not quite ready for it!

Feeling Proud Of My ‘Middlish’ Child: I say ‘middlish’ as when you have five children there isn’t really a middle child is there!

The one I am referring to however is Izzy. I often underestimate how much she does for me and when I sit back and think about it I would be pretty lost without her.

I always told myself that it was my decision to have a large family and putting on the older children was something I wouldn’t do as it has never been their choice.

In reality though a huge part of my day involves try to solo parent whilst working and this is no mean feat at times and I have to call in some help which 9 times out of 10 falls on Izzy.

Don’t get me wrong she loves to have a moan and a groan about it at times but is always there to help wether I ask or not and I really need to show her my gratitude for this more often.

We Are Camp Bestival Offical Rock Stars!

For anyone that reads my blog I’m sure that it hasn’t gone unnoticed that we are huge fans of Camp Bestival.

I have been getting so excited over all the fantastic acts that are set to hit this fantastic festival this year and with it being their 10th birthday it is sure to be even bigger and better than last year.

Last year I was asked to be an offical blogger at Camp Bestival and it was honestly the absolute highlight of our summer for so many reasons.

This is why I am delighted to announce that this year we have been chosen as Offical Rock Stars and can’t wait to get covered in glitter and rock out with everyone else at the best festival around!

Keep an eye out for updates on the ever growing acts that are coming through thick and fast and hopefully if you like what you see you can come along and join in the fun with us too!

           

The BiB Awards 2017 Are Open And I Would Love Your Support

Two years into blogging and I think I can finally now say that I now know exactly what ignites my passion to keep writing…photography.

When I first started my blog I floundered around not really knowing what I wanted to focus on and was forever worrying that I didn’t have a niche.

Still this far down the line the title family and lifestyle really does suit me best and the topics I cover are as irratic as my life and this is what I love.

I would be bored writing about the same subject all the time and as they say ‘variety is the spice of life’

One thing that has stood firm through the though is my passion for photography, in fact I would say my love grows for it by the day.

I’ve not had any formal training and that is something that is still on top of my wish list but my aim had always been to try and capture those moments be them good or bad so they they are recorded for a lifetime to come so they are never truly forgotten.

If you read my blog I hope that you have enjoyed scrolling through my images on my posts and over on Instagram which is something I have a pretty large addition too!

I really hope that you love looking through my photos as much as I enjoy taking them and I would love you to take a few minutes to click on the link below and cast a vote in the photo section for me.

It would be a dream to get nominated and here is a big thank you for taking the time to read this post and hopefully give me a vote.

BritMums

As My Blog Grows So Does My Waistline

It is coming up to nearly two years since I started my blog and my love for it is a strong as the moment I hit publish on my first post which now seems like a lifetime ago!

Blogging has bought me so many wonderful opportunities and I never in a million years thought it would be something that I could turn into a job and I am absolutely over the moon that my little pipe dream has become a reality.

The only downside to staring this journey has been my ever increasing waistline!

All my time and energy are being engulfed by my family and my blog and my passion for exercise has fallen to the wayside and been replaced with a far more sedentary lifestyle. 

I was always a five times a week girl when it came to training in the gym and this would always be a priority, which in turn managed to keep my love for food under control.

In the past two years I have managed to gain a considerable amount of weight that has been really getting me down…yet apart from some sporadic training I have done little about it.

With the New Year started I have decided that with some organisation and getting my butt out of bed they little earlier in the morning I have the ability to give just as much effort to losing weight as I do to my blog and I’m feeling really positive about the changes I have been making.

Last year I attempted to get my old self back by tracking my progress on here.

This was an epic fail so this time I am going to put less pressure on myself, throw away the scales and just get back to a healthier and happier new me.

Wish me luck X

Goals And Aspirations For 2017

A New Year is a chance for a fresh start, a blank page, a time for infinite opportunities.

A lot of people aren’t fond of the idea of New Years resolutions, but for me it gives me focus and something to work towards. If I don’t fulfil them by the end of the year I know that I have tried my hardest to get there.

Here are my goals for this year and I hope that I can fulfil as many as I can:

Educate Myself – I really want to press on with improving my blog this year and to do this I need to learn some new skills.

Photography has become a huge love of mine but I have been completely winging it so I am going to enroll on a photography course to hone my skills.

SEO is something that scares and baffles me in equal measures and is something I am determined to understand and implement this year.

Blog design is something I have no idea how to start with, but I’m going to have a complete rebranding this year and hope to do most of it myself.

A Tidy House, A Tidy Mind – My house has become increasingly cluttered this year with piles in corners and stuff squirrelled away.

This year I want to have a clear home that will hopefully allow me to be more organised in other areas of my life.

Giving Back – The extravagances of Christmas have got me thinking about teaching the children there are people out there that a lot less fortunate and getting them involved in projects that allow us to give a little something back.

Making food bank donations and sponsored fun runs are just a couple of the things I have in mind for us to do.

Play Everyday – After lots of time together and the obligatory Christmas games I have decided to dedicate one night a week to just playing games together as a family.

No screens will be allowed and we can have a few hours together having some good old fashioned fun  as a family, so any board game recommendations would be more than welcome!

Stop Procrastinating – I am terrible at putting things off in favour of doing something more appealing.

This is why I get into a state of panic several times a week when I’ve left posts until the last minute or school projects that that kids need help with.

From now on I will make lists of things they need doing and get them done without the constant distractions I make for myself.

One On One Time – I’ve attended a few events this year that I’ve only taken one of the children to and this one on one time with them had been so good for both of us.

This is going to be a hard one but I’m going to try my hardest to get some time every month on my own with just one child at a time.

Time For Me And My Relationship – Both of these this are always way at the back of the queue when it comes to priorities and every year I promise to put myself and my husband first every now and then and it never happens.

From now on even if it’s just a coffee on my own to be away from the home to collect my own thoughts or a trip to the cinema with my husband it’s going to be one of my top priorities as I’m sure it makes for a happier home for everyone in the long run.

Who knows how many of this goals will be meet and if they are will I keep them up for the entire year.

All I know is I’m going to try my hardest and give my all and I can’t do any better than that!


 

How Productive Is Your Home Office?

More and more of us are now choosing to work from home if our job allows for a huge array of different reasons.

For many working from home cuts the extra cost and stress of the daily commute, some would like to be their own boss and only have themselves to answer to and for a lot of people including myself working from home allows the big problem of childcare to be solved.

When I started blogging I never imagined it would be something I would be able to take up as a job but I have been lucky enough to be able to do something I love from the comfort of my own home.

This allows me to have time with my children, not have the worry of having to pay out for childcare and the flexibility to set my own working hours.

One of the downsides of working from home though is keeping up your productivity as there are so many more distractions than working in an office. 

The biscuit cupboard calling every five minutes, that pile of washing that keeps catching your eye or a little one trying to grab your attention whenever they can.

There are of course still deadlines to meet as with any work and having to set your own targets and making sure you are as organised as possible can be a real challenge.

One way to try and get into the right mindset is to create a good atmosphere.

There is something called Attention Restorstion Theory that belives people concentrate more if they have a calm outlook to their workspace.

Take a look at this video that will delve into this theory a little more and help you create a more productive workspace which will inturn make for a happier and healthier work/life balance!

Saying Goodbye To A Fabulous Summer 

As much as the kids can drive me absolutely up the wall at times I love having them off school for the long break over summer.

We have had countless trips to the park and spent many days eating out of the sandwich bag, a wonderful week in Chichester where we got to explore places we’ve never visited before.

 

We had our wonderful family over from America and got to spend lots of time with them catching up on everything we have missed over the years and getting the chance to join them on the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

One of our favourite annual trips is to the Mayfield Lavender Fields, infact we had more than one trip this year!

What I have to be grateful for this year more than anything though is everything that we have been able to experience though the opportunities that blogging has bought to us.

The lovely ladies Ruth and Katy organised a brilliant day of pizza eating and movie watching with Pizza Express and Fox Studios that was the perfect start to the holidays.

 

We got the chance to visit Shrek Adventure and the London Aquarium. 

We took park in an action packed spy day with the new release of the Project MC2 for Netflix.

We filled out bellies with afternoon tea at sketch and Kerb at Camden Market.

For me though the highlight of our holiday has to be getting made an official blogger for Camp Bestival and having the chance to experience the most wonderful few days ever!

Those six weeks may be over but we have made some stellar memories that will last a lifetime!

What have you all been up too?

Mummascribbles

A Thank You For Sticking With Me

At the end of February my blog turned a year.  In my usual unorganised fashion the date came and went and I did nothing to recognise this.

After a bit of a reflective day in which I have decided to get myself more organised I thought it would be fitting to take a look back on how my blog has progressed over the past year.

I started my blog mainly due to my lovely sister really.  I had a lot of interest through my personal Facebook with friends asking where best to go with the children and she said it would be worth setting up a blog as people seemed interested in what we get up to.

After some time I bit the bullet and wrote my first post.  The whole thing had to be set up by my sister and my son as I’m such a ‘techno phobe’ and to be honest I’m still running to them with even the simplest technical issue!

It wasn’t long before I got the bug, and to be honest I am now completely hooked – my Husband would definitely verify this.

I love everything about it.  The feedback you get when you publish a post, the wonderful blogging community I have come to know and love and the wonderful opportunities it has opened up to the whole family.

It has been an outlet for me to express my feelings good or bad and have the comfort of people sharing their opinions and advice with me.

I have met some wonderful fellow bloggers along the way and be it online or in person I would now class a good number of them friends that have all helped me out along the way.

We have been to many events as a family trying out new products and getting to enjoy some fabulous days out and trips away.  One of our favourites had to be Chessington World Of Adventure which we have been lucky enough to experience twice.
One of my first product reviews was with the wonderful ladies from Lara and Ollie.  I thought it would be fitting to work with them again and offer all of my lovely readers the opportunity to win one of their fabulous necklaces.  Please click below for your chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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It does take up a huge amount of my time and the social media side of things really drags me in and it’s something that I need to rectify as it is a huge asset to my blog but also a massive time waster that I can’t seem to switch off from!

This said my hard work has paid off in many ways and I have managed to get into the top 100 in the Parent Bloggers Leaderboard and I’m currently ranking 226 in the Tots100 charts which has around 8000 blogs registered.

I hope that you will all continue reading and enjoying as much as I love writing and fingers crossed I will still be around to tell my tales next year!