Coffee, Vanilla and Salted Caramel Layer Cake

Coffee, Vanilla and Salted Caramel Layer Cake

coffee, vanilla & salted caramel layer cake

I was lucky enough to visit River Cottage HQ this week (thanks to the Foodies 100), and it was a wonderful day. A chance to step back, relax, meet other bloggers, enjoy the stunning surroundings, bake and try some delicious food.  The day did not disappoint and having watched River Cottage on the TV for several years now, it was really interesting to see where it is filmed and the discover the story behind it. 

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Time Waits For No Mummy

Time.
Its a funny old thing.
I always thought time went by quickly before I had children, but since becoming a Mummy it seems to have flown by. I mean Burton turned three this month – where the ruddy hell has the last 36 months gone?

One of the topics I found myself discussing at the recent Britmumslive event, aswell as on twitter recently, is time and how I for one am constantly wondering how to keep on top of everything. 
When I say everything, let me explain:

I guess I lead two lives (at least!!) 

1. Jenny the SAH Mummy 

I don’t have a ‘show’ home. I keep it as clean and tidy as I possibly can. My children are clean as are their clothes, I cook meals and although I find it hard to keep on top of my house work, which has been especially more tricky since having more than one child, my home is not a complete dump. The main rooms are cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. if I kept on top of it religiously, I would never spend any time with my boys and thats not why I became a full time SAHM.

2. Jenny The Blogger

Ok so I have this blog.
 A small piece of cypher space which I can call my own. A haven where I can waffle on to my hearts content and be me, myself and my mummy self. 


I enjoy joining in with linkies and reading other blogs (not as many as I would like to, mind you!), commenting on other blogs and when I remember commenting on the comments I get too. Oh and of course twitter (love twitter). Then there’s project 366, Pinterest, Google + , Instagram, Facebook etc..

Basically there are a lot of commitments with blogging and social networking  – at least I think so anyway. I think there is a certain etiquette if you like, and I believe that if you enter a linky you should spend some time visiting and commenting on other linked up posts. If someone visits your blog you should try (although I am guilty of not always doing this) and reply especially, I feel, if the comments ask a question or are in response to the subject I have written about and people have gone to the trouble of offering advice or sharing an experience themselves. If someone comments on a linked up post of mine, and I haven’t yet visited their blog and left a comment, I do my best to do so. 

Then there are blogs I visit on a regular basis which I try to keep on top of and interact with as much as I am able to.


 But what about new blogs? 
I rarely find the time to seek out new blogs. 


But then what about blogs I used to read but haven’t done for ages?? I realised from attending Britmumslive that there were several blogs mentioned in the keynote session, the BIB awards and just from speaking to people outside of the workshops, that I either had never heard of and now want to discover more of. It also dawned on me that I used to visit some blog lots when I first started blogging and don’t so much anymore (sorry if this is you!). 

And – yes, sorry there is still some more waffle words I need to express about this – asides from all of this I have posts of my own to write, to think up to magically find time to compose. Reviews to trial and write up. Cakes to make and blog about. Photos to be taken each day for my project 366. You know, the usual work involved with being a blogger.

This is where I am foxed. How do I fit it all in??? 
How does anyone fit it all in to their already busy lives??

How can I tweet, write, read and comment all at the same time?? Yes, I am a woman and I can multi task up to a point, but it does result with me rarely getting into bed before midnight each night!! And thats not including being kept up with children related incidents.

When I think about time management and how I can best plan my blogger commitments, aswell as all my SAHM tasks, it reminds me of the scene from the brilliant ‘About A Boy’ film where Will (Hugh Grant) is explaining how he plans his time each day:

I find the key is to think of a day as units of time, each unit consisting of no more than thirty minutes. Full hours can be a little bit intimidating and most activities take about half an hour. Taking a bath: one unit, watching countdown: one unit, web-based research: two units, exercising: three units, having my hair carefully disheveled: four units. It’s amazing how the day fills up, and I often wonder, to be absolutely honest, if I’d ever have time for a job; how do people cram them in? 

I think if I , and I am sure most parents who may or may not blog would agree, added up all my jobs that I do each day and put them into units, I wouldn’t have any spare for sleeping, let alone anything else!!

Blogging is my hobby. I enjoy it. It means a lot to me now. I care about it and other blogs. I wouldn’t want to give it up as it is mine – my ‘me’ time I guess.

I am also a mummy: this is my life and my priority. My boys are my life now and I wouldn’t change this for anything.

BUT I really want to combine my mummy and blogging roles successfully, and not have them overlap (which I don’t allow to happen, well maybe the housework in the evening has suffered slightly since I got addicted interested in blogging and twitter!).

How the dickens does anyone squeeze it all in????

Do you have the answer??


I would love to know how you manage your time/roles.
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Thank you xx

Britmums Live 2012

I have just got home from the most fantastic two days attending the Britmums Live event. It was an honour and a privilege to meet so many amazing, inspiring and truly wonderful like minded people and everyone was genuinely lovely and friendly.


I would imagine meeting bloggers and fellow tweeters is a bit like online dating: you meet them on line, you chat often and get along, you find out so much about them and their families and ways and then then you arrange to meet! Instead of wearing a red rose in our lapels, we wore printed name/blog name badges pinned to our bosoms (or chests or belts in the case of daddy bloggers), and you spend your time checking out faces and badges to help identify those you have been having an online relationship with for so long.
Anyway, this is what I discovered about Britmums Live 2012
What I have learnt
I am a ‘strawberry‘ – who knew? (although with smaller bust – indeed much smaller!) and all this time I thought I was a ‘pear shaped’ kinda gal when I wasn’t! No wonder I haven’t always got it right in the wardrobe department
Remember why you started blogging. Use this to get yourself back on track if you find yourself in a blogging rut or have lost your blogging mojo
Incorporate great photos into your posts (when relevant)
Dont get hung up on stats

 

Cherry Healey used to be a dancer and could break dance!
Ruby Wax is funnier and more amazing in real life


 

Blog for happiness
Be true to yourself, your blog and your readers

Don’t drink two glasses of wine after midnight when you have to be up early the next morning
Don’t let Helen (The Crazy Kitchen) drink her cup of tea sat on the bed when very merry as a wet tea patch will form on the bed sheet!
Don’t try catching a taxi to Victoria bus station via Euston train station, it’s too far!
Highlights
In case you missed this snippet of news, I celebrated my birthday
Had my name mentioned in the opening speech by Jenny and Susanna re: my birthday
Buff waiters
Birthday cake made by Helen

Cherry Healey, Sarah Brown & Ruby Wax speaking
Meeting so many lovely bloggers – too many to mention but :

From Mum To Fun is as lovely as I imagined and her gorgeous Miss G chose me a cute animal birthday card

Karen is such a yummy mummy to be and wore such pretty dresses


 

Kate is just gorgeous and funny!


I know, I know I met so many others and you were all fabulous 🙂
Doing it for Aleyna – hearing her keynote speech on her cancer post
Sharing a taxi with Actually Mummy and Mammasaurus (so funny)
Swag bags

(Burton opening some ‘swag’ bag goodies’)
Yummy food, great company and cool looking bar at Al Volo Friday night


 


Mammasaurus saying bit about how we speak to people from all walks of life who we wouldn’t normally as we may not mix in those social circles eg. Film directors, teachers, SAHM’s, Writers, Journalists, solicitors etc…
I read a book -an entire book – something I haven’t done in over three years (!) Con the train!
Lowlights
Hung over Friday morning
Missing my bus Saturday
Turned another year older
Missed my boys


Thank you to everyone who made me feel so welcome and part of such a wonderful, kind and friendly blogging community.


In Conclusion
Bloggers rock and rule!
Britmums (and Dads) are brilliant and amazing!
Britmums Live was fantastic!
I cannot wait until next years event!!
What were your highlights?
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Thank you xx

Happy 2nd Blogaversary To Me!

Two years ago today (date wise) it was a Tuesday and Burton was spending a few hours with his Granma – only the second time he had ever spent time away from me at the age of 9 months.

It was an ordinary kind of day and for some reason after lunch I decided to start a blog! I had been thinking about doing so for a couple of weeks having seem a couple started up by other Mums (mainly Emma from Mummy Musings) and I thought it was something I could enjoy as a hobby and it would get my brain ticking over again!

My first post I have featured recently in a Show Off Show Case which was all about me being apart from Burton for a few hours from him on that Tuesday. To be fair most of my posts at the start where about my little baby and his exploits about our life together oh and his penguin!

Of course in the beginning I didn’t get many comments or visits to my blog. It takes time to get established and I did not like ‘pimping’ my posts more than once as I didn’t have the confidence in my blogging just yet. I did join in with The Gallery in May which definitely helped get me more visitors to Mummy Mishaps, introduced me to other blogs and got me more people to follow and be followed by on twitter who were other mums like me: people who I had things in common with. It was thanks to Emma from MeThe ManAndBaby and CrystalJigsaw who supported me and my blog in the first few weeks or it being started (thank you ladies).

Fast forward to now and I am really proud of my blog and its content. Of course I write about far more than just Burton now (although he does still feature a lot!) as there is another little person I can find post inspiration from!! Having two has been rewarding but ruddy knackering!!

I have made some great blogging friends along the way and I love how everyone on twitter and in the blogging community is so caring, supportive and lovely!!

Anyway, I just wanted to wish my blog a very Happy 2nd Blogaversary and to thank all of you who read my ramblings and take the time to comment – it means a lot so thank you – yes YOU 🙂

So help yourself to a slice of (virtual) cake!!

I am linking this up to a great link

  FlashbackFriday

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Thank you xx

Blogging For me Again

As many of my regular visitors will know I committed myself to the NaBloPoMo during November, and I actually enjoyed the whole experience and kind of enjoyed my daily deadline of having to post every day for 30 days. There were only a couple of occasions when I struggled to find a topic to write about, and although every night was spent writing which meant late nights, I found the whole NaBloPoMo experience a positive and a good one, and I was glad I took part.

NaBloPoMo 2011Then on the 1st December, I stupidly decided to take on the the same challenge for another 31 days because I found that I was missing the buzz of creating a post every night. I had bored fingers and decided to sign up and give it a go.

I had already decided that the content of my posts would not be as good as the ones I had devised during November, because I figured I would not have the time to dedicate to writing some deep and meaningful posts for the following reasons:

  • Christmas was on the way
  • Presents needed to be purchased
  • Cards needed to be designed and written and sent out
  • Christmas food prep need to be done
  • Tots 100 Xmas Party weekend at Butlins

Therefore, I figured that as long as posted every day whether it be a recipe or a review or a linky submissions I was doing ok and not to get bogged own by my post content.

To begin with all was going so well and then the following things happened:

  • Our heating and hot water system packed in , resulting in no heating and then no hot wanter either for a couple of weeks
  • The boys, my OH and I stayed at my mums and then his mums while we waited for our heating and hot water problem to be resolved
  • Due to the above living arrangements, my Christmas cookery prep, Christmas card making and Christmas shopping trips were limited or non existent.
  • As much as I really enjoyed my Butlins Winter Wonderland weekend away with my family and meeting all those lovely bloggers, as a result I caught a tummy bug and Jenson became ill with a really nasty cough
  • Owing to Jenson being so poorly, even when we were back in our own home (with heating and hot water again – yay!) and wanting to be cuddled so much meant I didn’t get much done during the day or night blog wise or Christmas planning wise

However, despite all of this I blogged everyday bar the Monday after Butlins (because I was suffering with a tummy upset), and so fulfilled my NaBloPoMo commitment. Even Christmas Day I posted a Silent Sunday photo, and I was all set to post on Boxing Day too when it suddenly dawned on me – what on earth was I doing? It was Christmas (just!) and I was visiting and being with my family, and here I was spending my time first thing in the morning (very early!) trying to write a post. Trying to pen a post while entertaining and playing with my boys and talking to members of my family, and after having crap sleep and feeling shattered due to Jenson playing up during the night!!!

So there and then I decided to stop my NaBloPoMo commitment and I put away my blogger dashboard and took a couple of days off. Why was I pushing myself to get a post out every day, when it really didn’t matter ? I wasn’t going to get into trouble or get told off by anyone was I ? Or have the blogging police track me down and arrest me!

I posted again last Friday (30th) because I wanted to and not because I felt I had to. And do you now what? It was great only having to write a post when I felt the need to, and not feel pressured about having to do so. I really enjoyed having a few days off aswell, and even now writing this I feel happy knowing that it is up to ME when I blog next.

I did enjoy my writing everyday during November, and I honestly thought December would be manageable. However, as it turns out real life is more important and I don’t want to have to bust a gut to get a post up on my blog, I want to have a more relaxed attitude which I have again now.

Mind you committing to the project 366 is also time consuming – not the actual taking and posting a photo part (or two in my case, as I am show-casing Burton’s daily photos too), as that is relatively easy. However, as with any shared project or link-up you not only commit your blog but you also commit to sharing an experience, and in doing so commit to visiting other blogs and seeing their photos and commenting. Therefore, I am still spending a fair amount of time each evening on blog ‘stuff’.

BUT  I am not complaining as I enjoy seeing what everyone else is up to, and it is nice to view other blogs again and catch up with whats been going on while I took my few a days off.  Infact this was something which I didn’t do as much of as I would have liked during November and December – visiting other blogs that is, because I was so busy blogging and doing real life Christmassy things and dealing with a poorly baby. I just didn’t have the time to do it all! My tweeting time definitely took a nose dive too! (see my Klout score!)

So what was the point in this post? Nothing really, just to share how wonderful it feels to be blogging for me again and not for blogging sake. I think sometimes you need to get some blogging perspective and step back and relaaaaax and breathe and then start again.

Don’t Worry About Blogging: Be Happy & Play Butthead Instead 🙂

Oh and also to thank you for bearing with me during those weeks of hectic posting and maybe for not giving as much blog love out as I would normally.

xx

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Thank you xx