a transatlantic mommy / mummy blog – my kids say "tomato" & "to-mah-to"

Medicines abroad – or lack thereof

Last week while visiting the Grandparents in Belgium, my 4yr old came down with an earache. It was Sunday, late – and a holiday weekend to boot. This meant there would be absolutely nothing open. No place to get pain meds for a child. It’s not like they are anti-meds, they whole a whole cupboard dedicated to meds – it’s like a small pharmacy, but what they didn’t have was pain reliever or fever reducer for children. (It is times like these I truly miss the 24hr stores in the US – and in the UK we live within a block of the only 24 hr pharmacy) I think there are very few things that make you feel so helpless as a parent as when your child is screaming in pain and crying and all you can do is hold them.

When I was a child – I remember my parents putting warmed almond oil into my ear to have the heat help soothe it – but we didn’t even have that handy. So I did what every geeky Mom does and reached out to other parents via Twitter.

Within a few minutes I had several credible suggestions including: warm water bottle or washcloth against the ear, warmed olive oil. Unfortunately my guy didn’t want warm he wanted cool – so instead of fighting him to try and soothe him, we asked him what would make his ear feel better.  His first suggestions was “cold” so we put an ice-cube in a plastic bag, wrapped in towels and let him apply that for a while.

Do you know that thing from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where the Dad puts Windex (window cleaner) on every ailment as a cure-all? Well my 4yr old feels the same about cold wet towels. Any type of scrape, scratch, itch, bump, freckle must have a wet towel applied to cure it. So it was only with a cold damp towel over the side of his head, wrapped up in my arms, us sitting upright did he eventually fall asleep. I remember sitting up, holding him, trying to sleep thinking – how wonderful it would be if they made baby swings in his size. (or wait, better yet – come to think of it, mine!)

The morning came quickly – although he had fitfully fallen asleep around 2, he still woke up bright eyed at 6am feeling perky and wanting to play. Not so much me. How do kids do that?

In hindsight – we’ve become rather lax with all the kiddy accoutrements. Once we shed that baby bag – we’ve been trying to pack light ever since. (Hence we only brought 2 suitcases, 3 backpacks, 1 messenger bag and 1 carry-all on a 1 wk trip to Belgium :0) ) We brought children’s toothpaste, decongestant for the trip and sleeping buddies as well as clothes and toys – but didn’t bring the children’s fever/pain medicine. It will definitely be the first thing we pack from now on.

It’s not like we don’t have a stockpile. Not only have we learned about Children’s Calpol and other UK children’s meds – but each time I travel back and forth to the US I stock up on that melt-in-your mouth cherry/grape/bubblegum flavored Children’s Tylenol (or generic equivalent). My guys never liked the syrup – so having one that melts in their mouth is quite handy. Finding new meds/the right meds in a new country can be kind of daunting but luckily I’ve had a great network of UK Mums who’ve helped guide me through Motherhood in the UK.

 

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8 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

Chocolate Indulgence – #MumsNight Monday April 2nd 8:30-9:30 GMT

One of the best things about childhood are the holidays. The fun, the excitement and best of all – the treats! As a Mum, I do enjoy seeing my kids light up with joy over holiday fun, and treats. I love making the magic happen for them. But… since I’m the Mum, Santa isn’t filling my stocking with surprises and the Easter Bunny seems to have forsaken me.

Now Mums – here’s our chance! At #MumsNight, Monday April 2nd – we’ll be connecting on Twitter to dish about the upcoming Easter Holiday learn more about chocolate, share our favorite chocolate indulgences – and 3 lucky Twitter Party attendees will win their very own Artisan Du Chocolat Easter chocolates. Best of all they are all for you! No sharing with the kids – let them get their own chocolate – this one’s for Mums only!

Each of the three winners will receive an “Eggsplosion” Chocolate Egg. The description on the Artisan du Chocolat website says:

“Nothing beats a nostalgic chocolate blast from the past! Our adored milk chocolate UFO discs coated in popping candy (a popular childhood treat that pops in your mouth) have been transformed into Easter eggs to give an eggstraterrestrial surprise when savoured slowly!”

You can enter daily for more chances to win!

Required Steps: Click on the Rafflecopter prize registration below – it will ask you to follow the Twitter accounts of @TransatlantiMom and @ArtisanChocolat

If you’d like more chances to win – you can return daily to Tweet an update about the Twitter party – for which you’ll be given additional prize entries. This giveaway is open to UK Residents 18+.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

*I have not been paid or compensated in by any brand for this post or giveaway. Any questions please ask – or feel free to visit my disclosure statement.

Full Giveaway Rules

Prize Eligibility
Only persons residing in United Kingdom who are at least 18 years of age can enter.
Sweepstakes Starts
March 28, 2012 @ 06:30 am (BST)
Sweepstakes Ends
April 2, 2012 @ 09:00 pm (BST)

- Only those over 18, who reside in the UK may enter.
- Entrants must be over the age of 18
- Entrants must be based within the UK
- 3 winners will each win a prize
- Entrants must follow @TransatlantiMom on Twitter to qualify for entry.
- Entrants must follow @ArtisanChocolat on Twitter to qualify for entry.
- Entrants must either follow @TransatlantiMom to participate in the #MumsNight Twitter party.
- Entrants must also attend the #MumsNight Twitter Party on Twitter April 2, 8:30-9:30 BST to qualify
- TransatlantiMom will not share your data with 3rd Party companies with the exception of Artisan du Chocolat who will use the information you provide for the purposes of communicating with the winners and sharing info about chocolate. You can unsubscribe to emails at any time.
- This competition is run separately from Twitter and is by no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter.
Entrants can enter the Sweepstakes for free by emailing transatlanticmom @ gmail (dot) com and requesting details about alternate registration.

 

 

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8 years ago 3 Comments Short URL

Would you ever use a “Shut Up” Gun on your kids?

You know the feeling – you’re on your cell phone and have a terrible connection – where your own voice echoes back to you with a short delay – and it’s almost impossible to carry on the conversation without holding the phone away from your head and projecting your voice into it. Along the same lines there is a new (harmless) gun being developed by Japanese researchers which shoots sound waves in an effort to disrupt and silence people who are speaking loudly, inappropriately etc. The device doesn’t cause the person it’s being used on any physical harm — it simply messes with their head.

The gun operates based on the concept of delayed auditory feedback. An attached microphone picks up the sound being made by the target and plays it back 0.2 seconds later. The effect is incredibly confusing to the human brain, making it all but impossible to talk or hold a conversation.

Would it be ethical/feasible/reasonable to use it on your kids? I know if they made one small enough or inexpensive enough – there would certainly be a time or two when I’d have an itchy trigger finger! But, just having it – would that make me less motivated to work with my kids on what’s a proper “inside voice” or how to work through tantrums. Would it make me a lazy parent and just condition my kids like Pavlov’s dogs? Ok so it’s probably not something I’ll invest in as a parent – but ahhhh *sigh* just the mental picture makes me smile!

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8 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Blogger Interview with a (Mostly) Yummy Mummy

So one of my Twitter friends is the (Mostly) Yummy Mummy (follow her on Twitter at @MostlyYummy) A stay at home Mummy of 4 and friend to many via Twitter and Facebook – she writes with style and candor that always makes for a fun read! If you haven’t checked out her blog yet you can visit it here: http://www.mostlyyummymummy.com

Ready to learn more about the blogger behind the blog? Me too! Read on…

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a stay at home mummy with four children. I have a son who is almost 14 and three daughters who are 12, 6 and 4. So my days mostly consist of never ending nursery and school runs with as much writing as I can possibly fit in between at the moment!

How did you first start blogging?

I first came across the blogging world through Twitter and after months, if not years of reading other peoples, I thought I might like to have a go myself. Then after much encouragement from one of my very best online chums, I finally took the plunge back in 2010.

Did you have a goal when you started? Do you now?

Not at all. I just saw it as a hobby and took it one blog post at a time. I still do to this day in fact!

What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?

I tend to write as and when it comes to me. I do have a favourite chair to sit in when I write, if that counts as a regular routine? And I’m usually fueled by a bucket full of Earl Grey too.

What motivates you to write?

My family, the places we go, the things we eat, the clothes that I wear, the things I love.. Being inspired by the life I live motivates me to write I guess.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Sometimes yes, I think it’s only natural when you have been blogging for as long as I have. There have been times when I have taken a complete break from blogging for weeks and months at a time. I think taking a break is always the answer to writer’s block. I always come back buzzing with ideas.

What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?

I network through Twitter and Facebook but to be honest, I don’t really see it as networking, it’s really just chatting with my friends! I know that doesn’t sound very professional but I have only ever seen my blog as a hobby not as a business as such.

How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog?

My blog has a whole mix of parenting, lifestyle, food and fashion topics and I’m generally inspired by what is going on right around me at that time. I think you have to live in order to blog, if that makes sense.

What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?

I have managed to gain a really loyal following and am lucky to get lots of traffic to my blog but to be honest, this really isn’t what motivates me to write. I don’t think about what my readers might like or what might bring more traffic, I quite simply and I suppose selfishly, blog about whatever takes my fancy!

What’s the best thing a blogger can give to their readers? 

I like to think that I am completely honest with my readers and I think or at least hope, that is appreciated. It is a case of warts and all when it comes to my blog. The good, the bad, the ugly and all that comes in between!

Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?

I think my most favourite post ever has to be ‘Ten things the baby books wouldn’t dare tell you’ which I wrote a couple of months after I started blogging. It was one of those off the cuff posts that I threw together in no time at all but it was cherry picked to be on the WordPress Freshly Pressed page and the response I received was just phenomenal! Thousands of views, over a hundred comments, it was bonkers! Especially as I was so new to the blogging world!

My least favourite post I actually ended up removing from my blog. It’s the only time I have ever taken that decision. It was a Father’s Day post that I wrote for my lovely Dad. He had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and my emotions were all too raw. After pressing that publish button I soon realised that this wasn’t something that I was ready to share and quickly took it down again.

What’s your take on sponsored reviews?

I have had some fabulous review opportunities since starting my blog but I have to say that I am really selective in the reviews that I take on. I am really mindful of the fact that this is my personal blog and while I will do the occasional review, I don’t want my blog to just churn out review after review. It’s just not for me. I’d be bored to tears and I’m sure my readers would be too! I am always completely honest in any review that I do though and will only ever promote products that I truly love.

Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?

There are so many amazing bloggers and I read literally hundreds of blogs every single week. But I can’t take part in this interview without mentioning Susan K Mann though. She encouraged me to start my blog in the first place and has been there to hold my hand along the way. 

If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?

This is a tricky question but I think you just have to be yourself. Another thing that I did when I first started out, well, I still do it in fact, is to visit lots of other blogs and never be scared to leave comments or jump in and say hello on Twitter. I think you only get out of blogging, what you put in. There are lots of blogging events coming up in the UK this year too and I would definitely suggest going along. There is always so much to learn but best of all, you get to meet so many fabulous bloggers in the flesh!

How do you feel about the term “Mummy Blogger”

I have no issue with the term at all. I am a Mummy. I am a blogger. I am a Mummy Blogger! I don’t think that the term pigeon holes me at all. Being a mummy is a huge part of who I am but of course, as there are many aspects to being a mummy, there are also many aspects of being a mummy blogger. I blog about what I like at the end of the day!

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8 years ago 3 Comments Short URL

Have boys? Read this now and prepare for your MIL pre-nup

So having boys seems to be different from having girls – we don’t bond over clothes, shoes or boys (generally) and can’t quite jive over the Disney Princess thing (um ok) or Justin Bieber (never!). But that being the case, Mothers and Sons do have a special bond – which as one Blogess, Jenny Isenman goes into detail over in the Huffington Post (if you have a boy you must read this!!!)

For those of us Mums who are afraid of what will happen when our boys get married and move away – I’m sure you’ll be glad to have this Mother In Law Pre-nuptual Agreement

This is a MIL-nup, and it goes like this:

    • I will compliment my mother-in-law’s (MIL’s) cooking, her decorating, and, most importantly, the incredible way she raised her son, my husband.
    • I will marvel at my MIL’s beauty and miraculously never-aging skin every time I see her.
    • I will acknowledge that my MIL’s son is on loan to me so that we can make grandbabies, which will probably look like her and have her wonderful traits, which I will mention in conversation frequently and with great fervor.
    • I will remind my husband to call my MIL daily, saying, “Have you told your mother you love her today? You should, she rocks.” Plus, I will throw in phrases like this:
        • “That amazing woman raised you! You should call and thank her… again.”
        • “You can truly never thank her enough.”
        • “Let’s go over and thank her in person.”
        • “We should bring her a gift when we go.”
        • “She’s so deserving of gifts.”
        • “Let’s take her on vacation with us.”
        • “And get her another gift.”
        • “Maybe a beautiful locket with pictures of you and our children.”
      • “No, I don’t need to be in the pictures; she didn’t raise me… unfortunately.”
    • I will tell other women that their mothers-in-law are not as fabulous as mine, and I shall be willing to throw down in the event that said women disagree.
    • I will take my MIL to her weekly hair salon appointment and shopping at Loehmann’s, when it is deemed necessary by age.
    • I will spend all holidays with my husband’s family, because they are so awesome and gracious, and I realize how much mine sucks by comparison.

And lastly:

    • I will move to be near my MIL, whether she has retired to Century Village in Florida, decides to live in a nudist colony in Arizona, or goes bat-s**t crazy and moves to Alaska for the fresh sushi. She is so wise and wonderful that I’m sure her choice of habitat will suit me and my husband perfectly!

Oh, and:

  • My MIL can so live with me and my husband when she’s old and can’t remember who I am.

There. You can print this to be signed when the inevitable happens. I just saved you from losing your sweet, sweet boy. You’re welcome.

 So what do you think? Is there anything you’d like to add?

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8 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

Keeping in touch while traveling

One of the hardest things while traveling for work is keeping in touch with the kids. You’d think in this day and age it would be easier than it is – but with timezones and tech it can often be a challenge.

The hardest is when I’m on the West Coast in the US and trying to chat with the boys back in London – it’s almost a half-day away in terms of timezones, so there ‘s almost never a convenient time to connect between my meetings, their school and sleep schedule.

When I do reach out – I prefer not to use my UK cell phone, due to roaming charges but instead use FaceTime on my iPhone to connect with the boys/family at home via iPad or MacBook – or use skype on my phone or computer. Both of these options (FaceTime and Skype) require a good internet connection, so it’s essential to find a good wireless hotspot.

Often – when I try and connect with the boys via FaceTime,  I get rejected, as they’ll be playing their games on it – I try and ring through and they hit the cancel or reject button! Arrrgh. After trying to get through multiple times I finally resort to calling the house phone (using my expensive roaming phone) to tell them to stop rejecting me and pick up my call. Then when I do get on, they’re like Mummy I miss you but can you go away I’m playing iPad. Then I hear later that they cry because they miss me and didn’t get to talk to me. I think there’s no way to win on that one.

How do you keep in touch while traveling – any advice?

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8 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

I have a sneaking suspicion my kids are better eaters than they let on…

So, when my oldest was first eating solids – he wouldn’t eat any meat or traditional American kid food like hot dogs, chicken nuggets etc. His favorites were

  • lentils and brown rice with garam masala
  • black bean burgers
  • Ethiopian food
  • anything with garlic

It was often a struggle to get him to eat much when visiting relatives who also had kids as he definitely did not want to eat what they were having.

When my second son came along – he would anything, as long as it was on my plate, not his.

Now that they are old enough and articulate enough to give detailed food requests – I’ve been frustrated that foods they loved yesterday they turn their nose up to. For example, last week I made them Cheese Quesadilas without chicken, they cried because there was no chicken and wouldn’t eat it. So, the next day I made them Chicken & Cheese Quesadilas and they wouldn’t eat it because it had chicken in it, and still wouldn’t eat it after I removed the chicken. *Sigh*

Lately we’ve been laying down the law of this is what we made for dinner, eat it or don’t but we’re not making you anything else, and no you can’t have a {cookie, apple, yogurt, orange, ice-cream, banan, crisps or whatever other million things you ask for}

At the same time though I feel really bad if they go to bed hungry. When they pipe up just before bedtime that they are starving…. (having not eaten their dinner) I again offer them their plate of dinner. When that’s turned down – I say if you are truly that hungry you can have bread and water. In one sense it feels totally hardcore for me to say that – I come from a big family where it seems like it’s your familial duty to stuff others with delicious foods – at all times. It goes against the grain for me to say/do that. On the other hand, I feel guilty because I feel like I’m caving, giving in to their getting away with not eating what I cooked for them – a delicious well balanced dinner.

We’ve asked our older son “What do you do when they serve something you don’t like at school.” And he told us he eats it, or else he’d be hungry… Hmmm.. I wasn’t sure how they were working that out until I was at the school recently for a recent Parents evening and spotted the school menu.

Judging from the photo below – I’m pretty sure – my son eats better than I do during the day.

How do you deal with picky eaters? How do you deal with the “I’m starving!” at bedtime?

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8 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

Little Liars

So my younger son (4) is talented at so many things – including lying. He’s convincing, does it with a straight face and no giveaways like facial ticks or raised voice etc. Which, is worrying. He clearly lies because he believes he’ll get in trouble (rightly so) but even when it’s about small things – where we know he did it and is lying to our face, but the actual thing isn’t really a big deal and we’re just trying to get him to confess – he sticks with the lie.

*Sigh*

I read a great book a few years ago, called NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children. If you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend it!

NurtureShock is a groundbreaking collaboration between award-winning science journalists Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. They argue that when it comes to children, we’ve mistaken good intentions for good ideas. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, they demonstrate that many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring–because key twists in the science have been overlooked. Nothing like a parenting manual, the authors’ work is an insightful exploration of themes and issues that transcend children’s (and adults’) lives.

So one of the things they cover is lying. “If 98% of kids think lying is morally wrong, then why do 98% of kids lie?” They basically said that all kids lie – but if you call them on it and discuss it the frequency and scale goes down over time, but if you let them get away without calling them out on it – the frequency and scale increases.

We’ve been following that method – calling the kids out if/when they lie – and it’s worked well with our older son who for the most part never does it. But for our youngest, it doesn’t seem to be diminishing, or scary thought here – maybe it is diminishing with this approach and if didn’t call him out on them there would be even more lies…

When discussing lying with my 4 yr old, unsolicited, my older son 6 piped up that he thinks the younger learned it from Bart Simpson – and maybe he shouldn’t watch the Simpsons anymore… I don’t think the Simpsons are a bad influence on the kids, but it was an interesting theory.

So how do you deal with lies, and the lying little liars who tell them?  Any advice to share?

*update* I took the conversation to Twitter and here’s one of the responses I got… So, it looks like I’m more responsible than Bart Simpson as a role model for my son’s bad behavior. Which I think is absolutely correct and clearly something I should work on myself.  When you think about it – it’s often us who start the kids down the path of lying with social lies, like : Tell Grandma thank you for the present and that you love it, or Say the food was delicious….  

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8 years ago 2 Comments Short URL

Exclusive Interview with a City Girl Turned Suburban Mum

Today CityGirlNoMore, granted me an exclusive interview which I’m sharing with you. CityGirlNoMore is engaging Twitterer, Blogger, Mum and ex-Londoner and almost-kind-of-a-neighbor-if-you-don’t-believe-in-the-space-time-continuum. Apparently we have both lived in the same neighborhood at alternating times – so while we have an appreciation for the same restaurants etc, we’ve never actually been in them at the same time :0) I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did. (The words are hers – the highlighting is mine.) Be sure to follow her on Twitter @CityGirlNoMore and check out her Blog at http://www.CityGirlTurnedSuburbanMum.com

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? …..
I am somebody who has managed to go through life always attempting to live a life that made me happy.  This is, and always has been my uppermost motivation and goal.  As a Capricorn, I’ve worked very hard to achieve success in whatever field I have entered, be it writing, marketing, public relations or running my own company.  As a multi-task expert, I’ve probably done most of these things in conjunction with each other.  I like nice things in life, but would give it all up in a moment for continuing health and happiness.

2. What would you consider your superpower to be? (or which would you like if you could have one)
Definitely multi-tasking and fixing things (usually problems) – So I’d probably be wonder-woman.

3. How did you first start blogging?
It was totally unplanned and something I just got up and did one morning, late last year (originally on a blogger site) until OH changed me a week later onto my own website.  I’d had a few attempts at failed novels, as I tend to get bored after about the first 12 chapters, so blogging seemed a great way to write, with an immediate audience – instant gratification.

City Girl Turned Suburban Mum

4. Did you have a goal when you started? Do you now?
No, when I initially began I was writing my own story, so my goal was to attempt to put out one chapter every ten days.  Many friends over the years had advised me to write a book about the adventures I’d been on, but this seemed a little too serious, but a blog for those purposes was great.  I soon discovered that my story in blog form was just too big and too spread out, so after lots of encouragement, recommendations and people approaching me in person and on Twitter telling me to ‘hurry up’ with the next blog and complimenting me on the writing and storyline, it gave me the courage to attempt putting my story into book form.  My goal now is to take those initial blogs, complete them and then turn them into a book and have it ready to publish by 1st June.  After that, I’m hoping to have my first fictional novel Alex Black, An End to Innocence ready for publication by the end of the year.  So blogging has certainly inspired me.  I will however, continue to blog at the same time.

5. What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?
No, I write as and when I feel like it.  Usually my motivation comes when there is a looming deadline.  When I wrote my weekly columns for New York, I’d generally start writing it the morning it was due to be handed in.

6. What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for bloggers?
I think the most important thing I look for is a good topic.  In blogging, I believe controversial issues can also prove very interesting.  My personal taste is positive bloggers.  I know we can’t all be happy all of the time, but blogs whose main purpose is to moan about how bad things are, without then giving a positive spin on how one would deal with those problems to turn them around, does not really do anything for me – so it definitely should have good balanced opinions.

7. What motivates you to write?
I love writing, irrespective of whether it is to complain to a company that has wronged me, to catch up with friends, to blog, to tweet.  It is my main source of communication and I don’t really need to motivate myself for this, just need time to be able to do it.

8. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Not particularly and because I do not have a ‘set time’ to write every day, I generally only sit down to write when I have something to say.  Generally as I am going about my chores, a whirlwind of ideas is flying around in my head for the next blog, or chapter of a book, and then I can’t wait to jump onto the computer and get going.  I never sit down ‘cold’.

9. What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?
As my story was mostly about me, it has been challenging when I have to write about times that may have been difficult or painful.  In my general blogs, especially my ‘Twit’(ter) Awards, its keeping abreast of what is happening and who’s doing what to who, so that you have enough material and good ideas each week.  These have now come to be expected every Thursday and people have actually commented that they use them as a gauge on who to follow.  They now receive an enormous following each week.

10. How would (someone) describe your blogging style?
Probably not too serious.  I like to think people view it in the light hearted manner it is intended and hopefully see it as both funny and witty at times.

11. What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
Generally helping run our family business, looking after my two boys, elderly dog, shopping and most definitely eating out, as I am a huge foodie and so are my boys now.

12. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
The only networking I do at present is Twitter, which I also love for the banter.  I may go to a few conferences in the future when I have more time.

13. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog?
Most definitely my overactive imagination has a lot to do with it.  Also current affairs can produce some effective blogs.  It also helps to blog about things that are happening in your life, like a recent debate on whether to allow an underage child to watch 18+ games.

14. What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
I think you should always prioritise content.  You only have to do a few bad posts then people will not bother going back next time you have something to say.

15. What’s the best thing a blogger can give to their readers?
Honesty, if you do not believe in what you are writing about, why would others.

16. A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
I haven’t actually approached blogging from this angle personally, but there are sponsors out there should you wish to take advantage of them.  Many Twitter friends are being sponsored to attend events, review products.  Indirectly I suppose, should I begin to make money from my book, then I will have my blog to thank for this.  

17. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
Word of mouth amongst friends initially got my blog noticed, but aside from this, I advertise my posts on Twitter and find this creates the most hits to my blog.

18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
My favourite posts are my Twitter Awards, because they are enormous fun to do, I enjoy researching them and they always get a fantastic response.  My least favourite post it probably my one on food – it was pretty boring.

 

19. What’s your take on sponsored reviews?
I think as long as there is transparency, there is no problem doing a sponsored review.  However, if just because somebody has gifted something to you, you then feel obliged to write something positive about it, then you should not do it. (think Top Gear)  I could never recommend a product or endorse one if I did not fully believe in it, nor a person.

20. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
I am going to keep a dignified silence on this, because there have been so many bloggers who’ve offered help and encouragement to me over these past few months, I would not like to miss any out.  My ‘Twit’(ter) Awards are generally a good indication of what I like and dislike, who I look up to and why.  They are always done very honestly and after a lot of research and consideration.  I am hoping to put up an archive of old Awards soon.

21. If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
Have fun and enjoy yourself whilst doing it, because it will shine through in what you are writing.  Also get yourself on Twitter or Facebook and build up a network of friends who are also bloggers.  Everybody likes to know their work is being read.

22. How do you feel about the term “Mummy Blogger”
I don’t have a problem with it, but even as a mother of two young(ish) children, I always still consider myself a person first, mum second.  I do lots of things with my children, my writing allows me to be me for a while x

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8 years ago 2 Comments Short URL

The most outrageous lie I’ve told my children and gotten away with for over a year!…

When we lived in Chicago we had a daily commute of 7 miles in the morning and evening – that, due to speed limits and traffic took 45-1.5hrs each way and passed 4-6 McDonald’s depending upon the route. My kids had an unnatural ability to spot those Golden Arches from blocks away and create an unholy din in the car as they’d begin clamoring for Happy Meals.

While I don’t have anything against a Happy Meal – the problem was my kids never actually ate the food. So it became an expensive waste. They would only ever just drink the juicebox and play with the toy. We quickly learned that we could just purchase the Happy Meal toy from the drive through for less than $1, and they’d be happy – but it’s certainly not a precedent I wanted to set on a daily-drive basis.

So when we moved from Chicago to London – we got rid of our cars. Our daily commute now involves walking, buses, the tube and an occasional taxi. But here’s where we get to the good part. You see we seized up on the opportunity of the move, and that things are different here in England – to tell our children, that “There is no McDonald’s in England.” This strategy has served us amazingly well! We’ve even walked down the street past it and they’ve not noticed (as we’ve drawn their attention away…) thanks in part due to how different in appearance the McDonald’s restaurant locations are here, and how small their external signage and arches are. Thank you local building authority and regulations!!!

So we’ve gotten away with this for over a year. Recently, our 6yr old said he spotted a McDonald’s from the bus near his school, we told him he must have been mistaken, that it was advertising for America. Which, familiar with ads on his TV shows etc – he’s buying for now.

So how about you – what’s the most outrageous lie that you’ve told your kids? Did it work?

 

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8 years ago 5 Comments Short URL
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