LittleStuff

Blog Love – @FamilyFever tells us about the Fisher Price Starlight Mobile.

Thanks to my hugely sensible idea to thrust my hand into a running lawnmower, I’ve been out of blogging action this summer. But it’s starting to look properly empty around here – so a few blogging pals have stepped in with some posts fo their own, shouting about some great products they’ve been reviewing. First up is Family Fever…

Max and I were recently sent a Fisher Price Starlight Mobile to review.
A lot of parents will know the value of a cot mobile – something interesting to look at, and some music to listen to can often help to settle a fractious baby. The starlight mobile has soothing sleepy-time music – perfect for comfort, and for becoming part of the bedtime routine, while the sparkly, reflective stars catch the light. There is even a little starlight show that projects onto the ceiling.

So, first impressions – we love the mobile. Next step – is it easy to fit?
Well, put it this way. I am not at all technically minded – putting together ANYTHING is usually beyond me. But I managed this all by myself, and it only took a few minutes:

 

I like the way it looks – it is not too brightly coloured that it hurts my eyes lol, but there is more than enough for little ones to look at.
Time for the big test – what does Max think?

 

 

As you can see, Max is fascinated by this mobile! He loves the way the stars catch the light, and the pretty, soft music, and he spent a good 10 minutes just lying, and watching. And in case you were wondering…..
it’s perfect for bedtime. Max fell asleep :-)
My conclusion? This is a great, all round mobile, with many great features. The stars that reflect the light are a genius idea, as the light bounces around the room. The starlight projector offers a beautiful, soothing light show, perfect for bedtime, and the music is gentle, soft and not tinny. In short, there is nothing we don’t like about this mobile. It is definitely a must have for any nursery.
You can find out more about the Fisher Price Starlight cot mobile HERE.

Post was sent over by the lovely Kate from Family Fever. You can find her on Twitter as @FamilyFever, and she’s on Facebook here, and Google+ here.
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Winners of the #Aptaclub “If Only I’d Known…” writing competition.

Aptaclub Blogger Competition

A few weeks ago now we ran a competition in conjunction with Aptaclub, asking bloggers to complete the “If Only I’d Known…” statement.  You know; those things that as you’ve gone through your parenting journey you’ve looked back with a rueful grin and thought “If only I’d known…”

Whatever the entrants chose to write about, Aptaclub were looking for creativity – they want you to make them laugh, cry, wince, or simply nod furiously in agreement.

We had a staggering 47 entries! FORTY SEVEN!!

It’s taken a while to read through them all (you should go and see them for yourselves – just scroll down to the bottom of this post and start clicking – there are some amazing stories in there), but the judges have read every single one – and chosen their winners.

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In 3rd place – three winners, each winning £100 Amazon voucher are:

Chelsea Mamma, with her brilliant list of sage (and funny!) advice, gleaned from her six pregnancies.

The Rose Diaries, with another fab list (the casually thrown in unusual “If only id known… I’D HAVE TO DELIVER THE BABY MYSELF.”), and great to see the man’s-eye view of pregnancy and birth.

My Little Rays of Sunshine  got really creative, and penned us a poem. A good one too – it’s no 5-line limerick!

In 2nd Place - two winners, each winning £250 of Amazon vouchers:

Inside the Wendy House, creating another essential-reading list of tips from her own five pregnancies, setting out all the stuff she wished someone had told her – “….that I would not just get ‘cankles’, I would get ‘thankles’.  Straight down from thigh to foot my legs were like tree trunks.” *snort*

SuperLucky took a different view, and has written a really useful post about the amazing usefulness of an iPhone for the modern phenomenon which is the Digital Mother

And in FIRST PLACE, winning a whopping great £500 Amazon voucher…

 

Momma Two!

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The judges said “Definitely the most entertaining read – well written, very funny and we just loved everything about it”.

We defy you to read Momma Two’s If Only I’d Known.. post and not snurgle your tea and cry laughing…

“when you are saying the pain is around a nine you aren’t even really in labour yet. In seventeen hours you will be – and THAT pain will be a nine. This isn’t even a two. Man up.”

Well done to all our six winners, and thank you to all of our entrants – you brightened up two whole weeks worth of coffee times.

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Blog Love – Kelly from Domestic Goddesque

It’s Friday, so it’s time to spread a little more Blog Love. This week we’ve fired our insightful, thoughtful intelligent questioning (!) at Kelly – who I met on Twitter, and who never ever fails to make me snurgle my tea up my nose. She makes me laugh. A lot. And her blog’s a bit good too (and always makes me feel like I’ve fallen into a comfortable 1950′s pinny when I arrive… does ANYONE but me call them pinny’s any more?) So – over to Kelly;

Describe yourself in 20 words:
I’m the voice behind the vintage silhouette. She has a much better figure than me: I eat too much cookie dough. I’m a thirty-something wife, mother, blogger, cake maker and cocktail fan.

1. Name three things you like that start with the letter B.
Bedtime, Baking, Blogging.

2. A web site you visit frequently that we might not have heard of:
1.    I just discovered The Foreigner’s blog and am loving it. It makes me laugh, and it makes me envious in equal measure:

3. Tell us one beauty product you can’t live without:
Does a perfume count? In which case it would be Hermes Rouge, the scent I wore on my wedding day. I rarely wear make-up. But I never forget to wear perfume. Or pearls.

4. Tell us about your pet(s) and/or share a photo.
we have a five-year-old Jack Russell called Nugget (or Madame le Nougat to give her a much more befitting title). I love and adore her but she drives me crackers, so she fits in perfectly. We tend to tell people that she doesn’t believe herself to be a dog, because some of the things she does are peculiar. The Girls love going in the car with her as she has her seat in between their car-seats so they can reach out and stroke her on the journey!

5. What are five of your favourite books?

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving is still my all-time favourite book. I absolutely love the characters, the story of friendship, the writing. John Irving has written some books I just can’t get on with, but I fell in love with this so long ago that it is almost part of my life-story now.
  • The Magic of the Faraway Tree: I was given a copy of this for my eighth (?) birthday. It was a hardback with beautifully illustrated pages and I thought that it was the most glamorous thing I had ever owned. I’m sad that I no longer own it: a copy like mine recently sold on eBay for over £50.
  • Bel Canto by Ann Pachett: my husband gave me this book on our first date nearly 10 years ago. If I tell you it’s a really charming story about a hostage situation, it won’t sell it to you. Read it, it’s beautiful.
  • I have a soft spot for Mitch Rapp in Vince Flynn’s books. I read a lot of ‘men’s fiction’ growing up, and still do from time to time. My brother and DH bonded over Mitch Rapp whilst he (brother not character) was living with us. I started one because I wanted to be able to join in the conversation.
  • Oh, and cookery books. I love reading cookery books. My parents had a set of Time Life books when I was growing up and I have clear memories of spending hours poring over the pictures of dissecting a duck, layering liqueurs or making petit-fours. I feel balanced by the number of cookery books I own…..if I put on weight, I use it as an excuse to buy a new one!

6. If you could cross-breed two animals, which ones would you choose and why? What would you name your new hybrid?
Not that I am in the habit of pondering cross-breeding, but it would amuse me to cross a rabbit and an armadillo. I’d call it a Pillow. That’s the best I can do I’m afraid.

7. Tell us an embarrassing story, something that happened to “your friend” is okay OR
Share a photo you’ve taken that you’re proud of OR
Share a delicious but simple recipe…

I’ve taken on the 366 Challenge this year after watching TheBoyandMe do such a good job last year. I’m hoping to make an album from the resulting pictures: you just don’t have massive stocks of photo albums like you used to when I was growing up. They are predominantly pictures of The Girls and what we get up to, but the comments I am getting are really pleasing. This one I took last week: the first day of the Half-Term that it wasn’t too cold to get down onto the beach. The Girls insisted on ice-cream, even though DH and I were buried in our Lands End Squall Jackets and supping hot chocolate.

 

Do go and visit Kelly’s blog, it’s a fab read. Don’t forget to say hello, and tell her we sent you – she’ll no doubt put the kettle on…

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Blog Love – Nickie from Typecast

It’s Friday, so it’s time to spread a little more Blog Love. This week we’ve fired our insightful, thoughtful intelligent questioning (!) at Nickie, who you can find opinionating on… well, just about anything, actually… over at I Am TypecastNow, here’s a little-known factet – Nickie was one of the very first people I talked to when I dabbled a little toe in the scary ocean that is Twitter (she’s @nickie72 ) – I spoke to her just because her bio made me laugh. And she only went and spoke back to Newbie-Twitter-Virgin me *proud*. Turns out she’s a bit of a fably person, and unfailingly friendly, helpful (and knows all manner of handy Sh… Stuff)… So – over to Nickie;

Describe yourself in 20 words:
39 year old grandparent with an opinion on everything.  Blog writer, Twitter-holic, Quiz freak, Wine lover. Comes with profanity warning.
(NB In the picture I’m the one with short, fat, hairy legs…)

1. Name three things you like that start with the letter B.
Blogging (naturally), Baking (I’ve just discovered a love of baking but it’s finding time to do it), Books (all hail the Kindle)

2. A web site you visit frequently that we might not have heard of:
http://www.flightradar24.com/ a live flight tracker.  It’s fascinating and a bit geeky.

3. Tell us one beauty product you can’t live without:
Black eyeliner and black mascara.  I know that’s two but I can’t have one without the other.  I can forgo anything else but I feel naked without my black circles around my eyes.

4. Tell us about your pet(s) and/or share a photo.
We have an 11 week old Japanese Akita called Yoshi.  He is trying to convince me to open a Twitter account for him…
We also have two goldfish called Bob and Oi

5. What are five of your favourite books?

  • Maggie and the Roundabout by Jane Hollowood  - this is the first book I remember from my childhood other than the Peter & Jane books (showing my age there)
  • Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence – originally read in high school
  • Forever by Judy Blume – I still have my own original book complete with sticker of Tom Cruise in Cocktail on the back
  • Echoes by Maeve Binchey – this book makes me want to move to Ireland
  • The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

(but seriously, this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what I have read and what I enjoy reading.  I’m also trying to find a book that I read about 15 years ago but no-one seems to have heard of it.  It’s another time travel story and I know I didn’t imagine it!!)

6. If you could cross-breed two animals, which ones would you choose and why? What would you name your new hybrid?
Really?  Anything…. oohhhh I’d cross a hedgehog with a kangaroo.  I’d call it Albert.
(PS.  do you ever get sensible answers for that?)
(Ed: No… )

7. Tell us an embarrassing story, something that happened to “your friend” is okay OR
Share a photo you’ve taken that you’re proud of OR
Share a delicious but simple recipe…

I have LOTS of embarrassing stories (see here for the best one on my blog ) but as I’m getting a bit more into photography you can have a look at this photo of Morecambe Bay which fits in with the picture of me that I’ve included.

Do go and visit Nickie’s blog, it’s a fab read. Don’t forget to say hello, and tell her we sent you – she’ll no doubt put the kettle on…

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Blog Love – Chris from Thinly Spread

It’s Friday, so it’s time to spread a little more Blog Love. This week we’ve fired our insightful, thoughtful intelligent questioning (!) at Chris, the rather amazing blogger you can find over at Thinly Spread. And Fab Food. And Climbing Rainbows. She’s a bit of a blogging superstar, and I’m very proud to say she’s every bit as nice in real life. She’s a fab chat on Twitter (@christinemosler ) and she does flippin fine recipes over on the Fab food blog too  (Yes, yes, sickening, I know)… So – over to Chris;

 Describe yourself in 20 words: I am Mum to four children aged from 6 to almost 16, one of my blogs’ titles sums it up really!

1. Name three things you like that start with the letter B.
Books (I have a Kindle now but I still love ‘real’ books, can’t imagine life without them), blogging (it has taken me on such adventures!) and my boys (plenty of adventures with them too – and my girl but she doesn’t begin with B)

2. A web site you visit frequently that we might not have heard of:
Oxfam’s On Line Vintage Clothing. I love a vintage bargain and this is a brilliant way to raise a bit of money for charity at the same time!

3. Tell us one beauty product you can’t live without:
I could live without all of it if I had to but liquid eyeliner would be the one I hung onto hardest.

4. Tell us about your pet(s) and/or share a photo.
I have two cats. My youngest boy actually spoke cat language before he spoke English. He still has a very close relationship with both of them, the cats are enormous and when they both sit on his lap I am a bit worried that he might actually be crushed.

5. What are five of your favourite books?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – I’ve just re read this on my Kindle and I had forgotten just how good it is, totally absorbs me
Half the Sky By Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. This book changed my outlook on the world, I can’t recommend it highly enough
The Moonstone By Wilkie Collins – I love a good whodunnit and this one (the ‘first English detective story’ is brilliant.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – my favourite as a tween, I still love it now
Anything by Roald Dahl and all the Harry Potters because I have enjoyed them for myself and have REALLY enjoyed sharing them with my children!

6. If you could cross-breed two animals, which ones would you choose and why? What would you name your new hybrid?
Oh for goodness sake, what sort of a question is that?! A squirrel with an ant and I’d call it a Squint which is what I’m doing at the question. Honestly. I ask you. *tuts

7. Tell us an embarrassing story, something that happened to “your friend” is okay OR
    Share a photo you’ve taken that you’re proud of OR
    Share a delicious but simple recipe…

Here’s a simple but delicious recipe for Rhubarb Crumble Muffins which I have lifted from my foodie blog

Makes 12
Ingredients
375g Self Raising Flour
125g Soft Light Brown Sugar
100g Butter, melted and cooled
250ml milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
200g rhubarb, sliced lengthways and then chopped
50g caster sugar
2tbsps water
For the crumble topping
50g plain flour
25g porridge oats
50g cold Butter, diced
50g Demerara sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C
Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases
Sift the flour into a bowl
Add the soft brown sugar
Whisk the egg, milk and butter together
In a small bowl, mix the rhubarb, caster sugar and water together
Make the crumble topping by putting all the ingredients, except the Demerara sugar, into a bowl and rub the butter in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Add the sugar.
Add the egg mixture and the rhubarb mixture to the flour and fold it all together. Don’t over mix, it is supposed to be lumpy
Divide the muffin mixture equally between the paper cases
Top each muffin with a generous amount of crumble topping and press it on very gently
Bake for about 20 minutes, leave the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

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Exciting News! Mothercare are teaming up with Jools Oliver – and she’s Blogging!

We were excited to get the nod from Mothercare that they are working on an exclusive collaboration with Jools Oliver. And that Jools will be blogging on the Gurgle site! Woot!

You can see Jools Oliver’s first blog if you click right here…

The new range is launching in both UK and international stores from 17th August 2012, and the new collection will include nursery bedding and accessories, newborn and children’s clothing aimed at babies and children from 0 to 5 years, and original gifts suitable from birth to 3 years.  The new collection ‘features a unique mix of high quality, affordable pieces with an eclectic and timeless look and feel that reflects Jools’ love of nostalgic yet modern collectables‘.

 

We’re a bit excited – can’t wait to see what it will be like!

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Blog Love – with Keris Stainton

We’ve decided that as a large proportion of our readers are NOT bloggers, it would be a nice idea to run a series where we introduce you to a new blogger every Friday. We’re really lucky to have Keris as a regular contributor here on LittleStuff (she only loves us for the freebies, to be honest) – a journalist turned successful YA author, we simply love her writing. And her sons. And her – a little bit. So we were extra thrilled that despite being on a tight deadline with her latest novel she took the time out to answer some stoopidity for us…

Describe yourself in 20 words:
I’m rubbish at describing myself, so I asked Harry who was loitering, waiting for me to get off the computer. He said: Beautiful. Stylish. Works a lot. Always wearing glasses. A naughty husband. Helpful. Kind. Angry sometimes. Reading books a lot. Good.

1. Name three things you like that start with the letter B.
Books, obviously. Couldn’t manage without books. Bread – I just bought a rye/linseed loaf in Asda yesterday. It’s absolutely gorgeous. There’s very little of it left. Booze – I love a glass of red wine and in LA last year (*flicks hair*) I got addicted to margaritas, but not in a bad way…

2. A web site you visit frequently that we might not have heard of.

http://www.scoutingny.com/

I love New York (which is why I wrote a book about it) and this site just proves how endlessly fascinating it is.

3. Tell us one beauty product you can’t live without.
Oh dear. I’m embarrassingly low maintenance (Harry was very sweet coming up with “stylish”, but he couldn’t be more wrong), but I’d be very sad without my Mac Fling eyebrow pencil. My eyebrows are blonde and feeble.

4. Tell us about your pet(s) and/or share a photo.
I don’t have any pets, but I did have a budgie when I was growing up. His name was Nipper and I loved him. I actually got sent home from school when he died, I was so upset. And this was secondary school.

5. What are five of your favourite books?
Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman. This book actually helped me decide to have a second child and I’ve reread it at least three times. It’s funny and sweet and I sent the author a gushing fan letter.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Yes, it’s YA and it sounds a bit like the Groundhog Day of Death, but don’t let that put you off. It’s a beautifully-written, breathtaking, book.

The 52 Seductions by Betty Herbert. Betty and Herbert (not their real names!) decided to try something new sexually once a week and blog about it. I read one post after seeing a link on Twitter and was completely blown away (fnar) by Betty’s honesty, humour and wonderfully warm writing.

Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce. I’ve just started reading this to Harry, having read it myself when it first came out. It’s just a joyful book. (The film’s good too.)

Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine. I’ve been recommending this book to everyone for ages now. It’s a brilliant study of gender difference and research, but it’s actually very accessible and often very funny.

5. If you could cross-breed two animals, which ones would you choose and why? What would you name your new hybrid?
What weirdo came up with this question?! I’d cross a tiger with a cat and have a little cuddly tiger round the house.
I’d call it a tat, obviously.

6. Share a photo you’ve taken that you’re proud of;

I love this photo, taken in London a couple of years ago. I fell out of love with London when I lived there in the mid-90s and it's only recently that I've started to fall back in love again. When I took this photo, I'd been for a long walk along the river and I was looking back and thinking about how in some places the view probably hasn't changed for hundreds of years.

Do go and visit Keris’ blog, it’s a fab read. Don’t forget to say hello, and tell her we sent you – she’ll no doubt put the kettle on…

You can also see Keris’ writings for us here – but she does quite a lot more than that;

OUT NOW! Jessie Hearts NYC
“A breezy summer rom-com, with oodles of New York glamour.” The Bookseller

Twitter @keris
My website
Girls ? Books
The Big Zeroes
Ready for Ten

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Blog Love Friday – Jo the Slummy Single Mummy

We’ve decided that as a large proportion of our readers are NOT bloggers, it would be a nice idea to run a series where we introduce you to a new blog every Friday (we’re struggling for a catchy name for the series though – feel free to send any ideas our way…). To kick the series off we’d like you to say hello to Jo…

Jo Middleton is a freelance writer and marketing consultant, and mum to two daughters. She writes the award-winning blog, Slummy single mummy .

Name three things you like that start with the letter B.
This is one easy peasy, as both my daughters’ names start with B – Bee and Belle – and they’d never forgive me if I didn’t choose them! Just getting one free choice makes it harder though – books or biscuits or bed?? I think biscuits, but that could be just because I haven’t had lunch yet.

Tell us one beauty product you can’t live without.
My charming boyfriend very helpfully suggested ‘a paper bag’ for this one. He is a lovely man. I don’t actually wear make-up much, or use loads of lotions and potions, but I ALWAYS moisturise. I like the daily fluid from Olay as it’s really light and has SPF15.

Tell us about your pet(s) and/or share a photo.
We don’t have any pets at the moment. We did have a goldfish, but he died about three months ago and I carried him up to the toilet in an empty fishfinger box. I thought it was fitting. I never actually even wanted a goldfish – my mum bought it for Bee when she was about seven and the damn thing lived to be nearly ten years old. He jumped out of the tank twice, and always looked fairly miserable, but he just wouldn’t let go…

What are five of your favourite books?
I love books, and have fairly eclectic tastes, so it’s really hard to choose five! I’m going to be cheeky and include collections as one choice…
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- The Time Traveller’s Wife
- The Adrian Mole diaries
- Silence of the Lambs
- Nancy Drew

If you could cross-breed two animals, which ones would you choose and why? What would you name your new hybrid?
Blimey, what a question! I think I would cross a cat and a parrot that could talk. A carrot maybe? It would look like a cat, and be able to sit on my lap for cuddles, but it would be able to chat back to me.

Share a photo you’ve taken that you’re proud of


I’m really proud of this photo of folk singer and musician Seth Lakeman, which I took at Glastonbury festival a few years ago. I’m normally rubbish at photography, so this was a really lovely surprise! I was there with Bee, who was then about 13. She was a massive Seth fan at the time, so we’d arrived about two hours before he was due to start, and stood through the act before him, so that we’d be in prime position ready to get to the front. He’s an amazing live performer. We’ve seen him about ten times and he’s brilliant every single time.

Do go and visit Jo’s blog, it’s a fab read. Don’t forget to say hello, and tell her we sent you – she’ll no doubt put the kettle on…

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It’s Back! We’re calling for some Blog Love to be shared…

I know, I know, we’ve been Blog Love Slackers. Tis true. Sorry.

You know how it is, end of term, children, summer weekends, blah blah…

Anyhoo. We’re here. As are you, we know. So come share a little Blog Love. Tell us about the bloggers who have written something which has made you sit up and take notice recently. Remember that 70% of our readers are NOT bloggers – they won’t have heard of any of the posts we feature, and it’s a great introduction into blogging for them, so please do join in and share your tips.

So. There’s no Linky, no Hop, no theme, no rules. We just want you to share some Blog Love – and tell the rest of us about a fabulous post you’ve read over the last few weeks. Maybe it made you laugh, brought a lump to your throat, gave you instructions for something you intend to try out – or simply made you nod furiously in agreement. We don’t mind – there is no theme, we’re just looking for those posts which are worth talking about.

Simply leave a comment with a link to the post, and a quick line about why. Leave as many as you like (but more than one link in a comment will find you in the Spam folder, so maybe you could separate them pleasethankyou?). Oh, and self-pimping is totally allowed… but we’re reserving editors rights on those self-nominations.

On Monday we’ll do a Blog Love round up, and send some Blog Love out to all the posts YOU think are worth it.

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Calling for your Blog Love suggestions

Haven’t done this for a few weeks – so here’s your chance to share a little Blog Love for those bloggers who have written something which have made you sit up and take notice recently. Remember that 70% of our readers are NOT bloggers – they won’t have heard of any of the posts we feature, and it’s a great introduction into blogging for them, so please do join in and share your tips.

So. There’s no Linky, no Hop, no theme, no rules. We just want you to share some Blog Love – and tell the rest of us about a fabulous post you’ve read over the last few weeks. Maybe it made you laugh, brought a lump to your throat, gave you instructions for something you intend to try out – or simply made you nod furiously in agreement. We don’t mind – there is no theme, we’re just looking for those posts which are worth talking about.

Simply leave a comment with a link to the post, and a quick line about why. Leave as many as you like (but more than one link in a comment will find you in the Spam folder, so maybe you could separate them pleasethankyou?). Oh, and self-pimping is totally allowed… but we’re reserving editors rights on those self-nominations.

Over the weekend we’ll do a Blog Love round up, and send some Blog Love out to all the posts YOU think are worth it.

(BTW – we’re finalists in The MADS, did we say? There’s still time to vote y’know… *grin*)

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Blog Love – The Round Up

Yes yes, I’m cheating. I didn’t call for your Blog Love nominations this week.

That’s because I caught up on a little Blog Reading of my own, and found I was making note of one fab post after another – there was something in the Blog Waters this week!

So we’re going retro this week, and doing it the old way; simply showing you my own round-up of the best blog reads over the last week. Feel free to nominate others in the comments of course, we always like to hear of great posts.

First on my list was was Josie’s brilliant ‘Contentment’ post, oozing warm early summer simple fulfillment. Charmingly perfect.

Next up I had to wipe the keyboard once I had finished drooling over the truly special 50′s wallpapers that Tales From the Village linked to (I have earmarked the Norcombe in Jazz for my bedroom makeover).

I saw a few blogs mentioning Kristen Brozina, but I dug out the original NY Times article I read a year ago to show you, as it’s the best I have read on the Jim Brozina and his daughter. Kristen has a book out now, written about The Streak – but you have to go read the article to see how completely brilliant it is.

Belgian Waffle has changed her regular Confessional to a non-confessional, which is possibly even more compulsive reading – be sure to stay for the comments too. So many of her anxieties had my own stomach turning a little as I recognised the identical tap-tap-tap of worry at the back of my own brain.

Caroline makes a great point in her post on No Such Thing As Can’t. In a week when I’m doing my best to break my brain as I wrap it around a whole new subject, her post lifted a weight from me; it’s not that I CAN’T – I just don’t know HOW yet.

Dedham Patch’s Stupid Parenting Archive was just one of those strange places I ended up by following a Mystery Link tour with a  spare half an hour. But it made me laugh, and start cataloguing my own Stupid Parent moments.

Mummy Mania always makes me stop, and think, and appreciate. Her post Simply Complicated is no exception.

Sally raises a great point in Wishing & Hoping – how high ARE our expectations for our daughters. Would we genuinely be happy if they fulfill a lifelong ambition of being a hairdresser? Hand on heart? Yes, I think I would. Whilst anticipating No.1 will be an architect, Jolly will be an officer in the Army…

Dottie Angel’s post on Yesterday & Today is, as ever, whimsically charming. but mostly I just want my garden table to be THAT pretty.

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Blog Love

Blog Love round up is here again…

Starting up I wanted to point you all at Clinically Fed Up’s discourse on More Than one Way To Skin A CAT. It had me chuntering away like a Middle-aged Daily Mail reader in no time… And itching to go wave it in the face of my son’s SATS-obsessed school.

I Loved Laura’s Pair Of Spaniel’s Ears over on Are we Nearly there Yet Mummy – and am now terrified of my long-(overdue) promised trip to M&S.

There is a self-pimp from Never Plain Jane for her Strawberries & Cream Cookies. Lushness.

Next up was another self-pimp, this time from Milla. But I was going to post this one myself. It’s simply called ‘Later’, and anyone with older 11+ children should read with a warning – I’m not the only one who found it a bit tricky to get through without a lump in my throat.

No More Wine-ing from Grenglish was proffered up by Bianca, and if you pop over, make sure you read the next post too…

Bianca the Richmond Mummy also offered a small self-pimp of a post of her own. Which is simply fab, and a great read. Titled This Much I Now Know, anyone who’s ever had a baby will nod their way through.

MummyLimited offered up a thought-provoking post from Slugs On The Refrigerator, “Why isn’t It Enough“. Certainly it made me stop and think – and I know we probably all feel the same at some point, no matter what out situation is.

And MummyLimited finally hit that pregnancy Zen moment, when Everything Feels Fine.

 

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Callling for Blog Love Shouts

It’s been such a bonkers couple of weeks (we’re finalists in The MADS, did we say? *grin*), I’ve been very slow to catch up on my Blog reader.  But now’s your chance to let me know your favourite reads from the last couple of weeks. Remember that probably 80% of our readers are NOT bloggers – they won’t have heard of any of the posts we feature, it’s a great window into blogging for them, a fab introduction into blogging.

So. There’s no Linky, no Hop, no theme, no rules. We just want you to share some Blog Love – and tell the rest of us about a fabulous post you’ve read over the last couple of weeks. Maybe it made you laugh, brought a lump to your throat, gave you instructions for something you intend to try out – or simply made you nod furiously in agreement. We don’t mind – there is no theme, we’re just looking for those posts which are worth talking about.

Simply leave a comment with a link to the post, and a quick line about why. Leave as many as you like (but more than one link in a comment will find you in the Spam folder, so maybe you could separate them pleasethankyou?). Oh, and self-pimping is totally allowed… but we’re reserving editors rights on those self-nominations.

Tomorrow we’ll do a Blog Love round up, and send some Blog Love out to all the posts YOU think are worth it.

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Blog love – The Round Up

Yes, yes, it’s late, I know – but as you can see *glances proudly around the site* we’ve been a bit busy.

Even so, the nominations for this weeks’ Blg Love were pitiful. Rubbish. To the point of nothing. Not One. *shakes head*

But do we care? We Do NOT! (*whispers* well, maybe a little bit) Because we have read some really wonderful posts ourselves – so here’s our own Blog Love we want to share this week…

MammyWoo’s woeful ‘No rest For The Crazy’ literally had tears streaming form my eyes – I had to read it on bursts because I was laughing so hard and frightening the dog. I defy anyone to get past the clamber onto the dentist’s chair without snurgling loudly.

Our very own Keris’ Biscuitgate just made us laugh. A lot. If you read Keris regularly you’re probably already a bit in love with Harry – if you’re new, you soon will be.

Mummy Mania’s post about Sandwich Filling is NOT what it sounds like – but as ever is thought-provoking, evocative and a beautifully written comment on her rather difficult situation.

Nikki over on Clinically Fed Up has a great post on Copyright of images – It’s a Biatch.  Not only is it a well-written post, but the message is really important (and close to my own photographers-wife heart); all bloggers should go read. As should The Guardian.

As a Mother of a shy shaggy-haired geek, I read Spudballoo’s Hairy Tale with heart in mouth – I was terrified of what ‘those girls’ were going to do…

And lastly, we’ve had more hits on my own post about my son for M.E. awareness week than for anything else. Thank you for reading – and especially thank you for your lovely comments.

Oh, and a last minute addition – apparently Kelly from A Place Of My Own DID leave a comment, and we ate it all up. (sorry). Her suggestions were to my own post about my son (thank you! ), and also Imperfect Pages post about dealing with a suddenly-a-bit-naughty toddler – if the post itself wasn’t good enough, the comments are also well worth a read through.

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Shout out for some Blog Love

Personally, I think it’s been a fab week for blogging. I’ve read some tremendous posts, and will be happily sharing them with you. But now’s your chance to let me know yours. Remember that probably 80% of our readers are NOT bloggers – they won’t have heard of any of the posts we feature, it’s a great window into blogging for them. Just this week I also received this mail:

“Dear Little Stuff – I recently discovered you from a friend and love the site! I really love the weekly round ups, and the direction towards some great new blogs”

and another comment via Facebook

“I’m totally new to this whole blogging thing, but do read your FB feed. Your Blog Love round up has been a great introduction for me, helping me find seom really great blogs and just discover just what blogging is all about”

So. There’s no Linky, no Hop, no theme, no rules. We just want you to share some Blog Love – and tell the rest of us about a fabulous post you’ve read over the last couple of weeks. Maybe it made you laugh, brought a lump to your throat, gave you instructions for something you intend to try out – or simply made you nod furiously in agreement. We don’t mind – there is no theme, we’re just looking for those posts which are worth talking about.

Simply leave a comment with a link to the post, and a quick line about why. Leave as many as you like (if you can do one comment per link that would make rounding them up a bit easier pleasethankyou). Oh, and self-pimping is totally allowed… but we’re reserving editors rights on those self-nominations.

Tomorrow we’ll do a Blog Love round up, and send some Blog Love out to all the posts YOU think are worth it.

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Blog Love

This week‘s fortnight’s Blog Love round up is a goody. So grab yourself a mug of something hot, throw the window wide to let the sunshine pour in and settle down for a small trip around the interwebs, and some amazing writings this week.

Be sure to leave a comment and say hello.

First off the mark was zooarchaeologist, who said it’s “Not so much a particular post, but I never cease to be humbled, touched and inspired by Carries blog: Carries War

Next was a tumble of nominations via Twitter.

First @mummylimited (Mummy Limited) sent us to a really charmingly sweet royal wedding post (*want* that dress!) over at Young and Younger.

And her second spot was a really fab post from the talented Carrots and Kids called “loving what you have” – it was a post that resonated very strongly with me, too.

Next Ellie pointed us at a lovely post from Mamafour on Muliebrity about the bittersweet sadness of missing the younger version of your own grown-too-fast children, titled “Last night we watched Home Movies“.

Also via Twitter, @MultipleMummy did an almost-embarassed touch of self-pimping, and proffered her own post on birthmarks “Beastly or Beautiful”, which I thought was definitely worth including.

A more blatant self-pimp came from Eleanor for her Love Vs Kate post, another Royal Wedding themed post which did make me laugh.

And finally (see, I told you this week was a goodie) I’d personally like to point you at That Harlot the Muse by one of my fave bloggers, Vix. As always, she made me laugh – and made  me think too (there just aren’t enough bloggers who casually throw around Virginia Woolf quotes for my liking). A Room of her own… my most recent one was a train journey to London and back. Heaven.

 

Oh and couple of last minute entries – firstly for Multum in Parvo – Our Common Journey is an extraordinary post which everyone should read.

And lastly (honestly this time), there’s the unfailingly-marvellous Flea and her struggles with her dreadful mother in Conversations In The Shower. Actually made me burst out loud laughing. When my boys grow up, I’d quite like one of them to marry Flea y’know.

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Ready To Share Some Blog Love?

Last week was a tricky one, and we missed Blog Love. So now you have a bumper crop of choice, as this is your chance to spread some Blog Love. No Linky, no Hop, no theme, no rules. We just want you to share some Blog Love – and tell the rest of us about a fabulous post you’ve read over the last couple of weeks.

All you need to do is tell us about a blog post which has touched you. Maybe it made you laugh, brought a lump to your throat, gave you instructions for something you intend to try out – or simply made you nod furiously in agreement. We don’t mind – there is no theme, we’re just looking for those posts which are worth talking about.

Simply leave a comment with a link to the post, and a quick line about why. Leave as many as you like (if you can do one comment per link that would make rounding them up a bit easier pleasethankyou). Oh, and self-pimping is totally allowed… but we’re reserving editors rights on those self-nominations.

Tomorrow we’ll do a Blog Love round up, and send some Blog Love out to all the posts YOU think are worth it.

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Blatant Self-Pimping For Any Last Nominations

We’ve been nominated for the Best MAD Small Business Blog… so we’re going to pimp it. Oh yes we are.

Pleasewouldyounominateusplease?

Today is the last day to nominate so if you like what we do we’d really really like it veryeversomuch if you could possibly take the time to venture over to The MADS  and nominate us for Best Small Business Blog.

The MAD Blog Awards celebrate great British families and their blogs – you have to nominate a ‘best blog’ first (if you’re new to the bloggerverse, and aren’t sure who to nominate, fret not. After the first one, you can choose as many or as few as you like, you don’t need a full complement of 15. Secondly, our own Blog Love page is a great place to look for inspiration), and then you go through to the category nominations. Placing us in the Best Small Business Blog box would be so jolly lovely of you…

Please?

*fluttering eyelashes in best and most winning manner*

Anyhoo. Thank you, whoever nominated us. And thank you, if you’re heading over to nominate now… Mwah

Laura & Katy

x

 

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This week’s (rather late) Blog Love

Crikey, sunshine AND the school holidays? It’s a wonder anything at all has been achieved this week. But a little bit has – and we’re actually quite glad we’re late with the Blog Love round up, as there’s been some last minute fab entries to include (we’re not the only ones with better things to do than sit at a computer screen, we know).

So: here’s your pick of the best posts around the blogosphere this week. Do have a browse with a coffee, and be sure to leave a comment and say hello.

First up was an anonymous nomination (please leave us your name so we can link to you! Even if it’s your own blog, we really don’t mind, we’re here to share the Lurve y’know) for Transatlantic Blonde’s post about an image which has whipped up a mini furore in the US. Shockingly, it’s a boy in pink nail varnish, no less. *shakes head*

Next, Windmill Tales told us about Bod for Tears letter to her daughter, which brought tears to her eyes. It’s simply called ‘Don’t’ and it’s wonderful. PLEASE go and read it.

PantsWithNames really enjoyed Hot Cross Mums ‘Life Cycle of a Blog’ - and she’s so right, it’s clever, VERY true and an excellent read.

Kelly pointed us to a really great post by fellow Goddess Christine, where she and her daughter create a village for the Little People. Craft blogs often simply leave me feeling inadequate, but this looks like SO much fun, and the results are SO charming I can’t resist trying it myself…

For my own recommendation, I wanted to swoosh some Blog love to Mammy Woo, who has been struggling with Depression. This Time Next Year is a positive, thought-provoking post from one of my favourite Bloggers at the moment.

Lastly, Imperfect Pages threw in a last minute offering via Twitter – she wanted to make sure more people read this post by Wanderlust – a new blog to me, one I’m so glad I found, and one I will be following from now on. ‘Blood Red Life’ is an incredibly powerful, moving account of one woman’s struggle.

 

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This Weeks Call To Share Some Blog Love

Once again, this is simply your chance to spread some Blog Love. No Linky, no Hop, no rules. We just want you to share some Blog Love – and tell the rest of us about a fabulous post you’ve read this week.

Leave a comment here telling us about a blog post which has touched you in the last week. Maybe it made you laugh, brought a lump to your throat, gave you instructions for something you intend to try out – or simply made you nod furiously in agreement. We don’t mind – there is no theme, we’re just looking for those posts which are worth talking about.

Simply leave a comment with a link to the post, and a quick line about why. Leave as many as you like (if you can do one comment per link that would make rounding them up a bit easier pleasethankyou). Oh, and self-pimping is totally allowed… but we’re reserving editors rights on those self-nominations.

On Thursday we’ll do a Blog Love round up, and send some Blog Love out to all the posts YOU think are worth it.

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