Blog every day in August: Blog goals for next month

This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

Day 31 is ‘blogging goals for next month’.

I came across Yummy Mummy’s Blog Every Day in August idea accidentally, and loved the idea of a list of themes to focus my mind and motivate me to post more often.

I’m still relatively new to blogging, so writing posts on themes such as ‘role models’ (day 26) and tradition (day 16) were a real challenge for me.

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I’ve previously written about my love for learning and achievement in my post 37 things. Before I go onto my blog goals for the near future, I thought I would share what I feel I have learned from Blog Every Day in August.

  1. I know I can think of something half decent to write on any theme, even when it’s nearing the end of the day and I’ve only just glanced at it.
  2. I’ve learned things I didn’t realise about myself, through reflection on themes such as day 18’s summer memories and day 23’s why do you blog?
  3. Blogging every day has meant that I’ve learnt a lot more, very quickly, about geeky technical stuff around images, code, search engine optimisation (SEO), how to put twitter to good use to promote my posts and much more.
  4. I’ve learned that when I begin writing a post, I somehow end up writing more than I thought I would. The act of writing generates more ideas.
  5. Finally, I’m now used to blogging every day! I’ll feel bereft if I don’t blog tomorrow! So my notebook will be out and mind mapping will commence later…

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My goals are swimming around in my mind as I write. I’ll attempt to order my thoughts:

  1. To practice some creative idea-generating techniques.. Being still fairly new to blogging and discovering how much I enjoy it, I’ve been frantically writing and reading without stopping to collect myself. I have a couple of books on creative writing techniques, including this book on writing techniques for mothers which a friend kindly bought for me as a gift. I aim to spend a few quiet evenings practicing some of these methods.
  2. To write a disclosure/pr statement. Learning and reading more about blogging has helped me to understand what I would and wouldn’t like to do in terms of use of my blog to promote brands or organisations. This is probably a controversial issue – I’m aware that many bloggers can make significant financial gain from paid-for reviews or sponsored posts. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as its what you want for your own blog. For me, I’m happy to do an occasional review, but I’d prefer it to fit with the usual content of my blog and maintain integrity (so I’ll be honest, folks!).
  3. To read more blogs! I’ve been so busy writing, I’ve not read as much as I would like of others’ posts. This is not good! There are so many great writers out there and I’m missing out if I don’t read their work.

So farewell, Blog Every Day in August! You were a great friend.

Blog every day in August: Today I ate

This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

Day 30 is ‘today I ate’.

I was dreading this theme as I feel that my diet overall has badly deteriorated since having my second daughter.

I obviously put them first and often realise I’ve forgotten to have lunch myself, or I’ll grab a cereal bar for breakfast. I’m definitely not eating enough fruit and veg.

However, janmily, today has been a reasonably good day for eating.

Here’s what I ate:

  • Porridge, with sliced banana.
  • Some hummus, pitta and olives.
  • An apple.
  • A couple of chocolate chip biscuits (well I’ve got to have some sugar).
  • Five cups of coffee (eeek! This is terrible, I know! Must cut down).
  • Several glasses of water, probably because I was so dehydrated from the coffee!
  • Finally, we are about to tuck into this:
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    I was quite the domestic goddess this afternoon. I made chicken tikka, plain roasted chicken for the girls, a curry sauce, and roasted spiced veg. What’s missing from the photograph is that I’m about to cook some Indian paneer cheese for myself (veggie).

    I hope you’re all eating something fine this evening!

    Oh, and we’ll be having a glass of wine or two.

    Read day 31, my final Blog Every Day in August, here.

    Blog every day in August: What’s on your mind?

    This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

    Day 29 is ‘what’s on your mind?’

    What’s on my mind today? Well apart from the usual “why am I so tired?”, “when is it bedtime?” and “how on earth do I cure my daughter’s eczema?” it has surprisingly been…

    Christmas.

    Christmas always creeps up on me, and every year I say to myself “I won’t do this again next year.” I tell myself I’ll buy my presents throughout the year, get my food list sorted very early, keep on top of general house tidiness ready for visiting family.

    It’s nearly the end of August and although I haven’t bought any presents throughout the year, at least I’ve started to think about it, namely:

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    Where will we buy our Christmas tree this year? We normally buy a locally sourced tree, and decorate it ourselves. This year, nearly-three year old will be able to help.

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    Argh!! How many presents do I need to buy this year? What would my children like? What would Mr EC like? Men are particularly hard to buy for, I always think.

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    What size turkey to buy? This always causes some debate each year. We usually have seven adults plus children. I think we went for 13.5 pounds last year, but as we’re a family that enjoys leftovers, we may have to go even bigger.

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    The sprinkling of fairy dust on Christmas Eve! I love this, and nearly-three-year-old will be captivated with it this year.

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    I think nearly-three-year-old will understand a lot more about the story of Father Christmas this year. I think she will be on pins about whether or not “he’s been” yet.

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    Finally, I’ve got to keep on top of the cleaning! I know it’s ages off yet, but knowing us, we’ll suddenly key realise come Christmas Eve that the place is an utter tip and run around like headless, well turkeys, trying to clean and tidy.

    I’m excited for Christmas already- get me!

    Read day 30 here.

    Blog every day in August: When I grow up

    This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

    Day 28 is ‘When I grow up’.

    Does anyone really ever grow up? I suppose there are some people I can think who seem a lot more ‘grown up’ than me.

    Those who do the ironing for their partner and have a tidy, sparkly clean house all of the time. Those who own a leather-bound Filofax which is with them at all times.

    Those who don’t find children’s TV funny, and don’t secretly wish they were the presenters.

    Of course I am a grown up in many of the ways I imagined as a young(er) person.

    I have a job, a house, my own children. I listen to Radio 4 and watch Question Time (when Mr ExpressionConfession allows. He gets annoyed at “normal people getting awkward about politics”).

    Crucially though, I don’t do any ironing, which leads nicely onto…

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    I recently wrote in my post 37 reasons to love life, now I’m 37 about my love for ‘being silly’.

    What I meant by this is that I find it provides relief from the pressures of modern family life to just let go. Do something stupid. A silly dance, an inane text with one of those ridiculous smilies, singing with my children to tots tunes, gurning, relating an inappropriate joke I heard at work.

    Ignoring the washing up because I just feel like it. Not even noticing the ironing (what’s that?).

    Not (completely) growing up is a lot of fun, and it lightens the load.

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    Read day 29 here.

    Blog every day in August: Wishlist

    This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

    Day 27 is ‘wishlist’.

    I’m quite late with my blog every day in August post this evening. So I decided to use it as a series of ‘hints’ (mainly to Mr ExpressionConfession) of what I and our daughters may want for Christmas.

    Kind of a virtual, blogging treasure hunt, if you like.

    Here goes.

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    Read day 28 here.

    Blog every day in August: A role model

    This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

    Day 26 is “a role model”.

    I really struggled to think of someone who I think of as a role model. There are people I admire, but not enough to be a role model. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a role model is “a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.” I mean, my thoughts went to writer Caitlin Moran, who I admire very much, but I don’t really want to imitate her.

    So I had to turn this theme on its head.

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    It’s me, isn’t it? I and my partner alongside other close members of our family are role models to our daughters.

    A quick search of the literature on the subject fetches legions of articles on the topic. Parents are the first people children emulate – we’re their world, how they’re shaped, how the connections in their developing brains decide to match up. We set the pattern of their future behaviour.

    Am I a good role model? I guess that will be for them to decide, in future years.

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    Sometimes, I feel like I’m not (the picture above looks just like me, by the way!). Some days will be a ‘bad mummy’ day. As the day progresses, my nerves will feel increasingly stretched, and I lose it, I shout.

    Then, in the evening when all is calm, I feel guilt. I realise that my exasperation did not help matters; on the contrary, it made nearly-three-year-old even more moody. And why wouldn’t it? Makes perfect sense when you have the time and mental space to think.

    Am I a good role model in these moments? No. Obviously I should be a perfect Jo Frost inspired perfect toddler-disciplinarian and behaviour manager. They’ll emulate my behaviour, therefore I should be on an even keel all of the time.

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    This is what I should be like.

    I like to think, however, that I am most of these things for more than half of the time (for more than half of the year?!). I’m hoping that this takes me some way to being a good role model.

    The key issue here is that I aim to be the best role model I can be for my children. I want the best for them, and I want them to be confident and resilient enough to unlock their potential.

    I’m human. And I’m a mother.

    Read day 27 here.

    Blog every day in August: A perfect day

    This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

    Day 25 is ‘a perfect day’.

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    What makes a perfect day?

    I’m sure its different for everyone, but if I was to pick a recent perfect day, it would be the day where my family celebrated my partner’s birthday.

    It was one of those days which was just really enjoyable – and there were no tantrums, teething or other child-related ‘stuff’ to deal with.

    We had breakfast in bed together, went out for brunch, parents came and we had fun in the garden in lovely bright sunshine, then we went for a family meal.

    Family meals with two children aged nearly-three and then months can be quite a challenge. On this day, however, it’s as though they both decided to behave perfectly!

    Why do I think this day was perfect? Three elements: family, good weather and good behaviour from everyone!

    Read day 26, here.

    Blog every day in August: A quote to live by

    This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

    Day 24’s theme is ‘a quote to live by’.

    Well, I do mention the phrase “this too shall pass” quite a lot, especially in relation to the difficult time as a parent (bad sleeping periods, mainly).

    For the purposes of today’s post, however, I’m going to go for this:

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    “There’s now’t so queer as folk”, as my Grandad would say!

    It’s so true. People are diverse by nature – we all have different tastes, interests and idiosyncrasies. Some of us are a bit eccentric maybe. I have my own eccentricities – for example my love of fridge magnets which my partner is gradually trying to stamp out. I’ve been known to put the bins out in my onesie and Ugg boots in full view of the whole street.

    I think this is a good quote to live by, whenever you can’t understand someone’s behaviour or just think they’re weird. We’re all a bit strange!

    Read day 25 here.

    Blog every day in August: Why do you blog?

    This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

    Day 23 is ‘why do you blog?’

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    I wrote about my reasons for starting a blog in my very first post. My main reason was that, since becoming a mum of two, I felt an increasing urge to write down and share my life-changing experiences.

    Now, nearly five months on, I ask myself “why do I enjoy this so much?”

    Three reasons:

    1. Sense of achievement. I feel a strong sense of achievement in not only writing about my experiences, but having something tangible – a kind of interactive diary – that myself and my children can access in the future.
    2. A new community. Wow – I’ve ‘met’, i.e. interacted with, so many people since beginning this journey, mainly via the blog itself or twitter. I have ‘properly’ met a few, actually in person, too! I recently wrote about how important it is to my wellbeing to feel part of a community here. I have so far found the blogging community to be welcoming, helpful and supportive.
    3. It helps me wind down. A friend recently asked me if I ever felt that I just couldn’t be bothered to write once it got to the evening. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt like this once. This might change of course, but it does really help me to wind down in the evening, to get my experiences down ‘on paper’ (for want of a better phrase!).
    4. It’s Friday evening, so I’ll leave you and go and…do some blogging (with maybe a glass of wine in hand).

    Read day 24 here.

    Blog every day in August: time for change

    This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.

    Day 22 is ‘time for change’…

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    I recently wrote about my love of change and its inevitability in my post 37 things. I’ve learned to welcome change and the new opportunities it brings.

    Today’s theme has come just at a time when I’m feeling as though it is time for change. Life is naturally changing around me as my two little ones approach three and one.

    I’ve returned to work, albeit part time, and enjoy using my brain in a different way again.

    I know we don’t want a third child, so it feels like life is moving on – the baby stage is over, there’ll be no more maternity leave, my children will continue reaching their milestones and I’ve started to gain new interests myself (i.e. blogging!).

    It feels as though change is happening to me, and I welcome it. What’s around the corner? What new opportunities can I reach out to? What interests will my daughters develop?

    I’ll be interested to read this back in a year or two. One of the most exciting aspects of life is that we never know what’s round the corner.

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    Read day 23 here.