Friday, 17 October 2014

Love The Little Things | 171014

Read

This quote.
I feel a bit, I don't know, at the moment. I feel like I am constantly looking around and re-evaluating everything in my life or in the communities I am part of (be it blogging or as a school mum). Looking at where I can change, other things I think need to change, and so on. It's hard to explain and I expect will prompt a blog post soon so I can get it out of my head.

With this quote, which I posted on Instagram I said:

This is something EVERY blogger needs to live by. So many people create this perfect ideal online persona, it doesn't mean they are like that in real life. We need to stop idolising each other so much and remember it's *just* online, or a brief chat at an event. It takes a while to really know someone.


Watched

Impractical Jokers, this programme is hilarious. It's basically a group of 4 friends (men) who set each other dares via an earpiece or through que cards.
If you haven't seen it and you have Comedy Central you must watch it, and also grab the ones on Sky On Demand. It is one of the only programmes that makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it.

Wore

I am so boring but I haven't really worn anything that memorable this week!
Today I am wearing shorts though. I suppose that counts.


Heard

For the first time ever I watched Bambi. Before I have turned it off because of *spoiler* what happens to his mum. It is such a sweet film though and features one of our favourite Disney songs.

Made

I'm going for it....memories. On Sunday we went out on the boat and it made us feel quite sad because it will probably be the last Sunday we go out on her this year.
Sailing season is almost up and our beauty will be going back into the boat shed in a couple of weeks time.
It has been the most amazing experience, something I didn't expect to love so much, and I'm already excited to be able to sail again next year.


and lastly...

Two of my favourite photographer friends Hayley and Emily are starting an exciting 'Photo Clinic' project.

We're super excited about it and hope to have it up and running next week. We're hoping to support the blogging community by sharing our knowledge, helping you to fix photo problems, re-edit photographs, or even offer a kind and positive critique on a photo you have taken. We're looking for patients! Fancy a visit to the clinic?




butwhymummywhy

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Abandoned

You know how some people shouldn't be parents, or pet owners? The same goes for boats.
We have been boat owners since January this year. Before that, it was always a dream. One of those things you talk about, "one day we must buy a boat and take advantage of the Norfolk Broads as we live so close". But that was all it was, a dream. We didn't expect it to become a reality, at least not so soon.
So, we bought a yacht. A yacht we needed to sail...but we couldn't sail. So, we found an instructor and we learnt how to sail. And it has been wonderful.
As soon as we met our boat in the boat shed, before we owned her we straight away felt a connection to her. It's weird and it is hard to describe without sounding totally bonkers. But we didn't expect it to be such an emotional thing.
We left with doubts on whether or not we could give her the love and attention that she would need. In terms of quality she was up there with the best. She didn't need any work done other than a lick of paint to protect her when she returned to the water.
But you can't just buy a wooden yacht and not be prepared to, at some point, have to work on it. It's not as simple as
Buy a boat.
Stick it in the water.
Go.

After a week of confusion, and tears (yes, tears) we decided to see her again and this is when we knew we had to have her, for the simple fact that as the owners were talking us through certain parts of the boat we were referring to her as ours. And we were making plans. And we looked at each other and just knew.

There is a spiritual thing with boats almost. Maybe you need to be a boat owner to understand it? We don't fully understand it. But if you ever hear a sailor say that a boat talks to you then you must believe them. Because it is totally the case.
Our boat came alive as soon as she hit the water. When she was in the shed she was relaxed, asleep almost. She then was placed into the water, moored up and then....she woke up. She had this glow to her, it was like she was breathing.
Over time we have realised that it's not just about us sailing the boat, and us looking after her. She is as much a part of it as we are. She looks after us, she tells us what to do, and she looks after us.

We are completely in love with her. She really is part of the family and as much as I have written here I can't explain fully just how, alive, a wooden yacht can be. I never thought it would be such an intense feeling.
I didn't realise just how passionate I would be either. And yes, we judge other boats when we see them. You can see who clearly adores their boat and who....doesn't.

The hire yachts are loved by the owners but unfortunately, those who hire boats, don't have even an ounce of love or respect for a boat and this year we have realised that hire boats, mainly, are treated like bumper cars.

We will see boats that need a clean, that need some work done on a bigger scale, and we can't help but question why the owners don't feel it is important to keep up with the maintenance.
And then....we see boats like this one. We see it a lot and it breaks our hearts.

This sad, abandoned boat, which with the right care and attention has so much more life in it. Proof of that? It's still floating. Despite being in such a bad, unloved condition, it is still alive.
But it hurts, you can tell it is hurting, and suffering, and that it just wants someone to come along and comfort it. And to make it all ok. To let it live and to do it's job of making sailors enjoy the wonderful waters around us.

Whenever we sail past I give it a smile, just so it knows that someone still appreciates it, and understands how it feels.

But at the moment it's abandoned, and will probably stay that way.



Sunday, 12 October 2014

Coffee, To Do Lists and Snacks #morningwin

It's safe to say that mornings in our household  can be a bit hectic, as they can in many a house with children of school age.
A 5 minute delay in a well oiled routine can ruin everything and before you know it you are longing for the 7pm bedtime.
Breakfast is always a funny one here with the boys. Cereals go in and out of fashion and then there are the days when they want porridge. Now, I don't know about you, but whenever I have to cook porridge it throws our morning routine out of the window. It takes longer than a normal bowl of cereal and then there is the cooling down time. And lets not even talking about the meltdown if we don't have a sneaky spoonful of Nutella to add to the bowl.

I've never been one for breakfast, in fact I have a personal rule (not one I make my children follow) of not eating until 12 as if I eat before I end up binge eating all day.
However, sometimes I need some energy or a little snack depending on the days plans, or if it's an afternoon preschool day a 12 o clock lunch tends to be pushed to 1 o clock and sometimes I need a little something to keep me going.
As a rule we don't have biscuits in the house. Three words 'Late Night Snaking', but after recently discovering belVita breakfast biscuits I have relaxed this rule somewhat.


Sometimes when I sit at my laptop with a hot black coffee, and no children as they are at preschool/school, I do think it would be the perfect opportunity to have a cheeky snack. belVita breakfast biscuits are ideal for this.
Packed with 5 wholegrains plus other delicious ingredients they are super tasty (I highly recommend the hazelnut dipped into black coffee! Heaven!) They are the only breakfast biscuits proven to slowly release carbohydrates over four hours as part of a balanced breakfast.

There's nothing quite like starting your morning with a hot cup of coffee, a tasty snack, and a pen and paper to write your daily to do list. By the time you have charged your batteries with the snack and coffee you are ready and raring to go. And by the time your list is done, it will be time to have a coffee and snack again.

Although these are called Breakfast biscuits I quite happily eat them all day. I think these make a great snack throughout the day, particularly mid afternoon and the boys are loving coming home from school and sitting to have their hot chocolates with 3 biscuits on the side as a special treat.



This post is an entry for #MorningWin Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast. Learn more at http://bit.ly/belVitaUK

Friday, 10 October 2014

Love The Little Things | 101014

Read

After recently exploring and falling in love with two new places in Suffolk I have made a list of other towns and villages I want to visit in this county. It's been nice reading up about certain areas around here that I hadn't even heard of before.
I started a blog series called 'Exploring Suffolk' and these are the posts I have done so far in that series:

Watched

My brother has a motorbike and is pretty much into all things related to that (racing and stuff) and told me to watch a feature length documentary film called Road. I'm not really into motorbikes or racing as a sport but I watched this simply because my brother told me to, and I knew it must be good if he was that passionate about it.
My goodness, I cried a lot. It is a wonderful film, and I have a tiny appreciation for the sport now....and more so for the Dunlop brothers.

"Narrated by Liam Neeson, ROAD is the heartbreaking and adrenaline-fuelled tale of a family who have dominated road racing for over thirty years. Robert and Joey Dunlop. Quiet men from a rural village in Northern Ireland - but racers who risked everything to win. And Robert s sons, William and Michael. Two of the world s leading road racers today. Young men determined to continue a family tradition. Featuring stunning action, candid race day scenes and a gripping narrative, Road is the story of two generations of one family that have been united by success. And united by tragedy."


Wore

I had to return the trousers from last weeks post because I noticed that had a massive hole in the leg. Grrrrr. But whilst there I picked up this midi ring. I don't usually wear cheap rings because I don't want them to take anything away from the ones I wear usually but for £1.50 I couldn't resist. D is an important letter for me as it is the initial of my brothers name, my nans name and Harry's middle name. 
I also wore these Disney pyjamas. Harry is CRAZY for Mickey Mouse, to the point that he wants us to permanantly call him Mickey and not Harry. I got these pyjamas not only because they are cute but also because I knew Harry would love them. I'm a bit obsessed with H&M pjs at the moment and like that legging and jumper style.
I also wore my new Dune Leopard print shoes which I adore.

Heard

We were cleaning my car and had KISS on the radio. Harry was loving listening to KISStory and ended up learning the words to  Artful Dodger 'Re Rewind.' At one point we were both on the driveway singing and dancing along. Harry picks up songs so quickly, and this week has also been singing along to 'All About That Bass' by Meghan Trainor (who by the way he thinks is beautiful and is his current crush) but changes 'no treble' for "marshmallow".
video

Made

My husband went out for his mums birthday last night so I took the advantage of making Chilli and Nachos, as he won't eat them. Ohhhh man. Soooo yummy.

and lastly...

Despite having some really cool plans in October I have realised that a busy packed with activities and events life is just not for me at all. With so many appointments booked too including a hair cut, a dental one for me, the one ladies don't like-clearly for me, and then other appointments for the boys I am surprised I have mixed them all up.
It's all made me feel pretty meh and like I can't enjoy each thing as I am constantly ticking them off the list and moving onto the next thing.
Next weekend I am staying with a friend for 2 nights and hoping that will help me relax and to pick my mood up a bit.

butwhymummywhy

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Creating Blog Content: How to Find Inspiration

One of the toughest things about blogging is when you come up against a wall and you have nothing to write about. It might not even be that you have nothing to write about, you might have a lot to write about, but can't work out how to write it, or even find the motivation or passion to do so.

I've had moments like this, and have set myself up with a plan to overcome these moments, or at least be able to ride through them and still feel like I have some control over my blog and the content.

Drafts

I have a collection of posts which constantly sit in my drafts folder. These posts are either half finished, or need words added to a photo, a photo added to go with the words, or are just posts that I set aside for if/when bloggers block strikes. Make these posts easy to access and easy to publish, preferably as simple as doing them on your phone. If you are having bloggers block then reaching for the laptop isn't something you'll want to do that often, but being able to quickly pull these posts up on your phone and hitting publish makes life a lot easier.

Collaborate

I think it's easy to sometimes become stuck with your content. I go through moments of having so many things to say that I have to write everything down, to then feeling like there is absolutely nothing whatsoever to write.
I think collaborating with others, be it bloggers, brands or a digital agency, such as Total Media, is a good way of keeping your blog fresh and your mind ticking along. It can also create new ideas and even new avenues for your blog to go down that you maybe didn't think of before.

Say it with photos

Sometimes a post full of photos can tell your reader more than your words can, or do just the same job. Not only that, it can also create intrigue and conversation if your reader wants to know more.

Use Pinterest

I've had an on/off relationship with Pinterest but recently have really "got" what it is all about. I'm finding a lot of inspiration from there for all sorts of things in my life, my blog included.
The great thing about Pinterest too is that you can write a simple post on your blog of things you have recently pinned. Giving a round up will entice people over to Pinterest to follow you, and your boards, as well as giving your reader an insight into the kind of things you are into.

Use Instagram

As with Pinterest, some of the simplest posts I see particularly on the lifestyle blogs I follow are ones that update the blog reader on "life lately" via a collage of recent Instagrams. Simple posts like this also show that you constantly have blog content there, in your hands.

Interviews

I really love the idea of interview style posts, but rather than you interviewing someone else you are interviewing yourself.
I particularly like the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind, and with something like this can be broken up into a series of posts. It's simple content that is almost set up for you, and also gives you the chance to have fun answering the questions as you go.

Linkies

Linkies offer a lot of inspiration when it comes to content. A particular favourite of mine is Love The Little Things hosted by Morgana at But Why Mummy Why, simple round up of little things from your week which are split into categories. This linky, and others like it, provide easy content for your blog whilst you find your feet again (and are also great to join in with on a weekly basis even when you have found your feet!).

*Collaboration