I’ve Got A Love For Shopping

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Ok, in all honesty Valentines day hasn’t been that dreamy! I’ve spent it washing, tidying and painting. Where’s my Valentine you ask? His snoring on the sofa! Looks like a date with Eastenders for me!

Well, at least I have my dreams and a Groupon competition I’ve discovered on the net has given me the perfect excuse to showcase them.

So… What was the challenge? All I had to do was pull together a blog post that describes my perfect Valentines day, with particular attention on the gifts I’d like to receive.

Now I know that this wish list of mine is likely to seem a tad far fetched, especially given its already gone 8pm and the one I call my valentine is snoring like Daddy pig from Peppa pig on the sofa! But hay… whats a girl without her hopes and dreams?

First check out the little trailer I created below then I’ll give a little more detail on just how well I’ve dreamt this all up!

So as you can see, being woken to a gift of stunning earrings & breakfast in bed would be much appreciated, as would the delivery of 12 beautiful red roses.

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There would be no time to sit around. starring longingly into one another’s eyes! First I’d be whisked off up town to London for a no limits shopping spree. I’d be able to engage my love for shoe shopping without protesting form the ‘other half’!

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We’d eat lunch at a smart little restaurant then I’d be taken to have a tattoo of any wild thing I wanted, before settling down and relaxing with a full body message.

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Suddenly, just when I think my already blissful day has reached its climax, I discover we are not heading home but instead to the airport.

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Totally speechless (and that’s a first for me) I discover my loved one, has packed my bags and arranged for them to be delivered to the airport. I then find myself boarding a plane that takes me to a magical place of peace and tranquillity.

The hotel is devine and the beach has wonderful fine white sand.

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The king size bed is a wash with gifts including that of beautiful delicious belgium chocolates. Having filled my tummy, I slip into a little black number and as it approaches the early hours of the following day I find myself partying to the sounds of old Skool garage and a little drum&base just like I used too.

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Filling a tad tired but extremely happy, myself and my valentine stroll along the peaceful beach as the sun begins to rise. Here I’m lavished in diamonds by way of a big fat diamond sparkler! For me? Oh, yes… it so is?

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And then…..

I wake up!

Yer… Ok, Maybe next year!

This is my entry into the Groupon ‘A love for shopping competition’

Love for shopping

#Win A Beautiful Disney Book Collection

So, I’ve been writing this blog 6 months now (well, not as regularly as One had first hoped, but it’s still functioning all the same).

As a huge thank you to those who have supported me by following this blog I’ve organised a little giveaway to show my appreciation.

I know many of you have followed me over here from my more established blog “A boy with Asperger’s” which i have now been writing for almost 4 years. Just to know how supportive readers are when I’m starting out a new project is just so very humbling and I thank you all for the time you take to visit and read my blogs.

Well, this is not a sponsored giveaway I actually wanted to organise a prize myself, it’s not much but Harley has a set and loves them… I’m guessing they will bring a smile to another little boy or girls face just as they have his!

The prize…. 4 gorgeous hardback Disney story books.

Included in this beautifully illustrated collection is… The classic which is “Bambi” the loveable “Winnie the Pooh” the fabulous “Up” and lastly one of my favourites “The Lion King”

All four books are beautifully illustrated, each picture will capture your child’s imagination in an instant and you the reader will really enjoy reading these classic tales to your child.

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These really are beautiful and they would defiantly look grand on any child’s book case! What’s more, this is just the start to a great collection, you can add to these over the years maybe adding additional titles on birthdays or maybe a stocking filler for Christmas… I know I will be building upon this collection as Harley grows. I want him to enjoy the magic of Disney, just as I did as a child.

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It really is easy to enter… If your not already signed up for email alerts then register now! Then just tweet…

“I want to win a Disney book collection with @clairelouise82 https://mummyofmanytalents.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/win-a-beautiful-disney-book-collection/”

Leave a comment with your twitter handle so I know you’ve entered.

For additional entires just use any of the share buttons below then leave a comment for each action taken.

Lastly for one last extra entry… Pin this competition and as above comment to let me know you’ve pinned and how to locate it.

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Competition will run till 5pm on the 10th August 2012

Open to those in the UK and Europe only.

You must leave an email/twitter handle so I can contact you if you are lucky enough to win.

Once winner is notified, they will have 72 hours to claim their prize. If they don’t this may result in a redraw.

Winner will be picked at random.

Thanks and good luck

The Questions & Answers Meme

I’ve been tagged by a few bloggers to answer this fab Questions & Answers Meme. Luckily for me I have the two blogs so can post one on each.

I was tagged by the Lovely Lou over at Bloggomy. Lou is one of the first bloggers I really connected with. I really enjoy meeting her at any blogging events that occur and hope to catch up at Britmums Live.

Here’s Lou’s 11 questions that I’m to answer….

1) What did you want to be as a child when you grew up? I wanted to be a pilot, probably because I’d never been on a plan and spent a lot of time wishing I could. Well, that was in till I finally did! Age 17 off to work in Greece and the worst flight ever! I never thought it was possible for a plan to bounce up and down 32,000 feet in the air… needless to say, my dream job was no more! However, I then wanted to be a police women, something I still think about today (running over a load of yobs, though kinda put me off).

2) Can you bend forward and touch your toes with your legs straight (I can!!) Of course I can Lou, so sadly you’re not the only one (said with huge grin upon face)! 

3) What is your most annoying habit? I’m flawless me, how can I be annoying… seriously! If you was to ask the man in my life, he would say it was my ability to forget things, such as, the running bath or the bread in the toaster. I blame my last pregnancy… pre-baby brain has never returned!

4) What habit would you change of your partners? (come on no-one is perfect!) He loves to read and often thinks because he finds his book interesting the rest of the world will too (mainly me)! With this he takes it upon himself to read aloud, sadly none of it has processed, so I just sit nodding (the life of the underworld, and no that’s not under the sea I’m referring to, is so… not my thing)! 

5) Horrors or Chick Flicks? Horrors every time, though I have the tendency to end up so scared that I spend the night unable to use the loo, and I hear these isn’t a good thing for a lady!

6) What is the most outrageous thing you have done in the back row of the movies? Fallen asleep… Seriously, I’m a good girl!

7) If you had the house childfree what is the first thing you and your partner would do (we would lock the doors – only joking)! Probably go to bed, but this isn’t for the reason’s most would think (Lou you have a dirty mind). Sleep is precious in this house and comes in short supply!

Blnguyen sleep

Image via Wikipedia

8) Have you ever lied to get a job? No, I just wish I was in the position to get a job let alone lie to get one! Still volunteering and blogging keeps my brain healthy.

9) What one thing is on your list to do before you hit 30, 40, 50 or whatever significant birthday is next? I’m actually going to be 30 the beginning of April (Goodness, where does the time go)? It would actually be great to do something as simple as having a night out with the girls, I feel like most of my 20’s have consisted of early nights that still don’t result in me getting much, if any sleep! 

10) Classic or modern films and why? It’s both for me, I love films like Breakfast at tiffany’s then those later films like Greece and dirty dancing (not forgetting Bob, sue and Rita too… “I’m having a gang-bang, I’m having a ball” (those who haven’t seen the film are now thinking I’m a bit of a dirty one)! I love all the Saw films and I am a huge fan of “Transporter” (though Jason Strathamhas a hell of a lot to do with it)!

Jason Statham at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con ...

Image via Wikipedia

11) If you were a vampire who would be the first person you would bite? Wow, what a question! Can I ask, have you been watching my favourite show… “Being Human”? I’m a massive fan of vampires and think it would be rather cool to be one if they existed! I would probably bite Jason Stratham himself, only because he would probably taste good & make an incredibly sexy vampire to have at my side. 

Part 2 – My 11 questions

1) If you had the power to make one thing better, what would it be?

2) What makes a great blog?

3) What was the inspiration that brought your blog to the blogosphere?

4) SHAM or Working mum?

5) Favourite blog post that you have read over the last week?

6) What easily ticks you off (puts you in a bad mood quickly)?

7) How many children do you have?

8) Is there anything you have ever regretted writing on your blog?

9) What’s your favourite blog post you have written this year so far.

10) Do you ever enter other bloggers competitions, and have you ever been lucky?

11) What was your last blog post about?

Part 3… who I’m taking to answer the above

1) @coombmill, 2) @baggiesbabe69 3) @More_than_a 4) TiredmummyofTwo 5) @HelpfulMum 6) @mummydaddyme 7) @emmys_mummy 8) @MummyBarrow 9) @kykaree 10) @nurturestore 11) @yummymumto2

Mummy Bloggers are a lot like Marmite, You either love um or you hate um

Hi my names Claire I write two blogs and yes, I’m open to working with brands!

Long Pause

(((((BANG)))))

That was the sound of me being shoot dead!

Seriously people, move on, get over it, who bloody cares!

This stigma attached to the “Mummy blogger” is worn out, old, dated and if I’m honest, a tad boring. Did I rage with anger when I sat reading the odd twee, (that seemingly grew in a pestiferous rhythm) labelling us “Mummy bloggers” as nothing other than scummy greedy blaggers?

Yes, a little, after all… who didn’t?

Do I still have a little anger manifesting deep within me?

Hell no!

You see, blogging is based around relationships, the whole mechanism of your blog is built up around relationships, reviews or no reviews!

You have your relationship with your readers, those with your twitter and Facebook followers, your community of like-minded bloggers and of course you have the relationship between blogger and brand!

It’s keeping these relationships positive that counts, it’s what matters. You want your readers to be happy and I feel that even though not every review will be read by your regular readers, they will still return to read what ever it is that interest them because you blog with passion and proficiency! I’m sure that if they are looking for a review on a certain product, they will look through yours first!

This is the beauty of email subscription, if one article isn’t to you’re liking then you just delete the email, no harm done! When a post does fall into their inbox that does interest them, they will hit the link and make their way over! It’s like a magazine, unless you’re highly lucky, you never read a magazine cover to cover as there are bound to be bits in there that have no interest to you whatsoever! The point is true followers will stick about, appreciate your writing, after all that’s why they subscribed in the first instance!

So… why do I care what some random pesky person on twitter has to say when expressing they’re flagitious and unsightly remarks, after all most are made by those who lack the skills to write a review so therefore sit about all day deliberating on what to do next, actually try it, or just pop on twitter and mock the “Mummy blogger” who does it and does it well, all in the hope of an argument unfolding! Sad, I know!

Now the only time I find such remarks offensive is when they are made by fellow bloggers, one’s who vacillates between conflicting opinions as and when it suits them! A month down the line such bloggers are often found hosting a somewhat converted blog from personal content into this top-notch review site… Now that’s just bloody annoying!

So, with the blogger, blagger debate in full swing in the run-up to Christmas, I began to notice a huge decrees in the number of PRrequest sent via the twitter hashtag, tweeted by my “now apprehensive fellow bloggers!”

Then came the tweet, the one containing that big question…

“Is this the end of the mummy blogger?”

I laughed, I laughed a little then I laughed some more!

“Baby… this is just the beginning!”

It would only be a matter of time till the request started filling the timeline of that hash-tag once more and with it would come a host of PRs and Brands willing to comply! You see, I have seen requests made by bloggers, that have me thinking, “You cheeky sod” and some bloggers can be a little greedy, but as long as they are delivering what they have promised, then to call them a blagger is barbaric, cheeky OK, Blagger… I don’t think so!

PRs are not credulous, they approach the blogger offering reviews, they also receive direct requests from bloggers that are full off ebullience. If the PR/Brand in question agree then that partnership a long with its agreed terms and conditions, is designed to benefit both! The PR gets its client considerably cheaper advertising on a site that quite often has more hits than your larger big brand sites, the blogger reviews a product of interest, gets to voice their opinions, supply honest feed back while doing what they love… writing/blogging! Only if that blogger does this in return for payment, can the review item be looked upon as a “FREEBIE” otherwise, I feel it’s a pretty low payment for the potential hundreds, even thousands of hits a brand can obtain via that honest, detailed product review.

What’s important here is the relationship between blogger and brand, a good mix makes the perfect working relationship and as long as they are happy with you as much as you are with them, they will return in the future and you’ll be happy to accept any offers when they do.

We are women as-well as mothers… a few blog post calling us a name or two, or that of a string of RTs on twitter, branding us freebie grabbers with no self-respect isn’t likely to knock us down, it just fills us with more doggedness! I for one have been dealt bigger and uglier situations then this one! I make my own choices as a grown arse woman, no fellow blogger, tweeter, or other, contradicts what I do on my blog, it is my blog after all!

I blogged for well over 2 years before I even considered a PR request (which wasn’t due to a shortage of emails containing invites to some of the hottest events while gaining access to some of the top products on the market at that moment in time). Yet, I was on a mission to get my son a statement of special educational needs, a school to meet those needs, a winning outcome of a pending disability discrimination tribunal case, on top of coping with sleepless nights, miscarriage, pregnancy, a new addition to the family and a personal journey of self discovery! A review did not appeal to me (even if it was something pretty cool) anyhow, I had no time, it wouldn’t be fair on anyone, myself, family, readers or the PR/brand offering.

It’s now January 2012, the Mummy blogger/blagger debate is still out there baring its ugly head, yet I can’t see it, and don’t wish to nether!

I’ve sat back and observed twitters PRrequest timeline as its refilled itself with bloggers requests once more! The signs that would indicate the past events is no more! I’m pleased that my fellow bloggers haven’t been pushed away by these hostile, jealous, over opinionated haters, even if the odd request is somewhat “Cheeky”

If anything I love them “Cheeky” requests, you know the ones…

“Established blogger is lost without her iPad 2 since the nipper threw it down the loo, anyone out there wanting to send me one in exchange for an extensive review on my blog #cheekyprrequest”

Why do I love them?

Because it alway brings the “Anti Mummy Bloggers” sliding out from the woodwork, joining forces, it quite obviously give them a means of conversation, therefore meaning that in actual fact, “Mummy bloggers” are doing what they do best… creating hot topics of conversation therefore giving social media a good old push in the right direction!

“Mummy bloggers” are a bit like Marmite, you either love um or you hate um!

Personally, I think we are pretty awesome #mummybloggersareawesome 🙂

20 things that make a successful Mummy blogger

I’ve been blogging over three years now and truly love it! At first I thought it may be a bit like keeping a diary and if this was true, then it would be a passing phase that’s forgotten two months down the line. This didn’t happen and I discovered that I truly loved to write and then broadcast that piece of writing to anybody out there interested in what I had to say. I enjoy it and find myself wanting to engage in such an activity on a day-to-day basis.

I’m no expert, but I have been blogging over on my blog “A boy with Aspergers” for a long time now! I love to social network and have therefore discovered like-minded bloggers, all parents blogging separately but somehow coming together as one community. With this in mind, I think I’ve discovered one or two tricks to keep you on track and on your way to becoming a better if not successful blogger.

  1. Passion is what keeps a blog floating, without it… your nothing… you will sink quickly and disappear!
  2. Be honest, it’s the key to gaining a good readership
  3. Join up to twitter, tweet your post, find like-minded bloggers, most importantly interact as well as promote, this way others get to know you and are more interested in what you may have to say on your blog (you will also uncover truly lovely and talented people along the way)
  4. Create a Facebook fan page, link this to your blog, set your blog to auto post to your Facebook page, followers can then navigate their way to your blog every time you post something of interest
  5. Join Social groups such as BritMums, get involved in blogging campaigns, voice your opinions without fear,  involve yourself in group conversations, (or even start your own) via the forum or specially designed groups hosting like-minded bloggers.
  6. Many mummy bloggers are creative and enjoy taking pictures. Get involved in photo projects such as project 366, Silent Sunday  & Satcap, then link your post to the linkys in other blogs (don’t forget to check other people’s links within the linky).
  7. Successful mummy bloggers are those who help others, whether it’s by giving advice to a fellow bloggers on Tech issues or supporting a charity campaign.
  8. Become part of the community! Mummy bloggers have become much more mainstream now. You can find plenty of articles about us in national papers and even through the TV, when I started blogging I chose not to involve myself as much as I do now, plus there were certain sites and social networks that took me a while to discover. My advice is to step into the community, not only can you gain advice and support, you can also bag yourself a good friend or two!
  9. Comment on other blogs you enjoy reading! Successful mummy bloggers build both good relationships and readership by commenting on other bloggers post (plus replying to those who commented on their own).
  10. Don’t blog for the hell of it, good mummy bloggers produce great content by blogging when the urge takes them (giving its possible with the kids around your feet). Blogging just to keep your post content regular or your stats high, will only produce poor content
  11. Create a YouTube account and vlog to your heart’s content then link up with others that like to vlog (checkout the BritMums vlogging group).
  12. When them creative ideas Pop into your head, write them down on paper… or if possible share it there and then (after all, the next day you may have writers block)
  13. Don’t do something because every other blogger is doing it, do it because you want too… if you don’t like it, then don’t blog it… it’s that simple. Everything you post, needs to be there because you really wanted to write it, its my opinion it shows within your writing (I even make sponsored post my own, and never write a full press release)!
  14. Many great mummy bloggers do reviews on their blogs, others don’t… personally I feel the hype of the blogger blagger debate crushed the confidence of some mummy bloggers… If you want to review, do it, stand proud and don’t worry what others say or think… successful mummy bloggers are strong mummy bloggers
  15. Attend conferences and bloggers workshops! This allows you to gain ideas, get advice, mingle with bloggers and brands all while having a good time. Britmums Live and tots100 blogcamp are worth a visit.
  16. Great mummy blogger are not afraid to start a huge debate. I feel debates are a great way to get readers and comments on your blogs as long as you feel strongly about what you write and its true to your heart then its worth writing… plus your honesty will win you more readers in the long run.
  17. Stick to what you know! I’ve read blogs where someone has written a post that’s been of interest within the media therefore assuming it will gain them lots of traffic. However they clearly have no idea about the issues at hand, therefore losing a load of traffic in the long run.
  18. Be up front about what your open too. No one likes to see a blogger stating.. “I’ll never except a product for review” only two months later their blog is full of them.
  19. Be careful what you write. Don’t leave yourself open to copyright theft (you can get free protection) and be careful when posting pictures or content that isn’t your own. Publishing content of this type should only be done so when giving full recognition to it’s original author, plus a full link back..
  20. Successful bloggers do check their states, submit their blog URL to directories such as the Tots100 top mummy bloggers listing, although it is advisable not to become obsessed by states, ranks and whatever else… it still helps to have a goal and target for the month, it gives the blogger drive (difference is we just don’t cry about it if we don’t reach it). The most important thing to remember is to be original!

So, there you have it, my little list of tips! Yes, I could have added one or two others but with a toddler shouting “Mummy” in my ear, that’s my call to go!

Hope it helps and I’d love to hear how any of you newer bloggers are getting on!