My 2017 Blogging Goals

This year saw me do something I had thought about doing for many years; setting up my own blog.  I love to write but never really had anything to write about before but once I had Oliver and with the encouragement of Stu I finally plucked up the courage to start my own little space on the internet.  I think I have found my voice, but it’s still only little and in the next year I need to get bigger and a bit louder!

My first blog goal for this year is to get organised.  When I return to work in February I’m going to have to share my time.  Even though I’m only going back two days a week, they’re long days, meaning I will be out the house a little before 7am and not back until 8:30pm or later.  I need to get myself organised and start pre-writing posts and scheduling them.  This is one of the things I am worst at, I generally write and post, or scheduling goes as far as the post going live the morning after I write it.  I have so many things to write in my head but I don’t find the time to get them all down at once.  This needs to change!


My second goal is increasing my social media following.  I love Instagram, it’s by far my favourite platform and I am slowly but surely growing my following on there.  I love learning about new hashtags and communities on Instagram, Katy at Hot Pink Wellingtons wrote a great post about different hashtags recently and I found it so useful.  I need to try and interact more with others on Instagram too, at the moment I try to comment on my favourite feeds but I feel I would like to actually chat with some of the people on there sometimes, I just don’t have the confidence!  My Twitter following is slowly growing and I find this the most tricky platform to interact with, my Twitter is mainly just my blog posts and linkups.  I struggle with the pace of Twitter, it’s too fast for me! But in 2017 I will try and change this.  My Facebook page is slowly gaining followers, and I from what I’ve seen it is the hardest platform to gain a following.

Drawing on my point in gaining confidence to chat to others, in 2017 I really want to start chatting to other bloggers and my aim is to attend a conference and/or meet-ups.  Sunita from Lucky Things invited me along to her Lucky Things meet up in January, but due to Stuart starting a new job in the new year he will be away on training so I wouldn’t have childcare and I can’t attend.  Hopefully I will be able to attend a future meet-up.  I need to grow more confidence in my self and feel like I can chat to other bloggers.  I am just a bit shy, and even though in my job I am always speaking to strangers, I just feel a bit nervous to chat to people online.  So my goal is to start interacting more! If you fancy chatting, feel free to message me!

In 2017 I’m going to go self-hosted, I’ve decided I will take the plunge and as scary as it looks, I am going to do it.  Hopefully I will try and do it before I return to work, but I will have to see how I get on with that plan!  I have seen lots of helpful posts on going self hosted and I’m hoping I can use them as a guide through the deep darkness of self-hosting my blog.

My final goal is to start vlogging.  It’s something I’ve always imagined doing, but not really known how to start it.  Stu has always encouraged me with starting vlogging (he loves YouTube) and I have filmed things in the past with every intention of starting vlogging, but the problems were all in the editing.  My laptop is from the dark ages and is so slow and useless when it came to trying to edit a video it took me so long to load anything I gave up.  But in 2017 I have been promised a new laptop, a nice shiny Mac, so once I have that I will have iMovie and hopefully I will be able to easily edit my videos and feel confident enough to post them!  I feel like vlogging is sometimes needed in the blogging world and I am eager to give it a go. 

 

My final goal is to have fun and enjoy myself.  I don’t want to get too caught up in the what ifs and should I’s, and just write what I feel passionate about and why I want to write.  It’s what I’ve tried to do from the start and I’ve enjoyed it so far.  Sometimes I am scared to push the publish button, I’ve put my thoughts and feelings out there for all to see.  The posts that I have been scared to post are all the ones that have done the best in terms of readership, so actually it just goes to show you need to do what scares you, because actually that’s what I enjoy. 

I’m excited to see what 2017 brings my blog! What are your blog goals in 2017?

3 Little Buttons
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Gin cocktails for Christmas

If you have read my blog before you will know I’m a big fan of gin.  I can’t get enough, so obviously when Christmas comes around and there’s a lot of self indulgence, gin is high on my list of treats.  I love a cocktail, as I’m sure most people do, the best ones are obviously always going to be those that you find in a cocktail bar, but it’s always nice to try your own at home, which is what I’ve been doing over the festive season.  I thought I would share my two current favourites, great for Christmas (or any other time of the year!)

Rhubarb and Custard cocktail

This one is I think my absolute favourite.  Discovered at a gin festival, it tastes exactly like the rhubarb and custard sweets you buy.

The recipe is: 

50ml (a double) Rhubarb & Ginger gin (I used Edinburgh gin)

50ml Advocaat

50ml Apple Juice

A squeeze of lemon

A dash of rhubarb bitters (this can be optional, it just doesn’t have the real rhubarb kick without it)

Mix together with some ice and give a good shake. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Saigon Cooler

This I ordered whilst out with some of my mummy friends. It’s so refreshing and has quickly become a favourite.

The recipe is:

50ml Gin 

15ml Chambord

A squeeze of lime

75ml cranberry juice

A handful of raspberries

Mix together with some ice and give it a good shake. Pour over ice and serve with a few raspberries.


If you are a gin lover as well, what is your favourite cocktail?

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My baby boy: you’re 10 months old

We’re into double figures now *cue tears* and I can’t quite believe it. What happened to my teeny tiny little boy? Now you’re a fully fledged person, you can move, ‘chat’ and have a proper little personality!  This time last year I had a big old bump and it’s weird to think we didn’t know you then.


You’re becoming a real little boy now, you babble away talking to us and if we babble back you love it, so I end up walking around with you saying ‘babababa’ and people probably think I’m a bit crazy!  You are so quick at getting about now, you love crawling and we are now waiting for you to start standing independently.  You’ve been surfing the furniture for about 3 months now, and you’re so confident, occasionally you let go and stand for a few moments but then you realise you aren’t holding on and sit down or grab back on.  You love climbing on boxes, anywhere where you can’t get a better vantage point and see what’s going on!

 Your appetite and interest in food has come on so much this month, since you were ill at the start of the month when you didn’t eat anything for 2 weeks, you now won’t stop eating! You will happily sit eating for a long time now, and you are actually eating the food.  You’re still breastfed, your feeds are still quite often, every 2-4 hours, I keep thinking you’re cutting down, but then you don’t!


You still haven’t said mama, you sit there watching me say it and you concentrate so hard, but still it comes out as baba, I think you’re almost there now though!  No teeth have appeared yet, I can see your top two are right there ready to come through, but they haven’t yet! This month has seen you make your first flight, which you were a superstar for. Sadly whilst you were there you got your first fever, and weren’t very well for over two weeks after that.  Lots of sickness that ended up with us being sent up to the hospital as the GP was worried you were dehydrated, luckily when we got there you perked right up and were much better!

You still love In the Night Garden, it’s the one thing we can guarantee will stop you crying, especially on the long journey to your Grandma in Wales when you’re fed up of being in the car!  You’ve definitely become more attached to your bunny teddy, you hold its hand and drag it around, and suck on its ears too, which means it’s usually a bit damp.

Even though you were poorly we had a good month, visiting friends in Ireland, seeing Auntie Becky at Wisley, visiting your grandparents in Wales and seeing your Auntie Katie too. Daddy had a week off, so you got to spend lots of time with him, which you love.


This month is going to be a good one, Christmas is coming and we are so excited to spend our first Christmas with you.  Your Great-Uncle and cousin are over from Australia, so you will finally get to meet them too.

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First Time Meeting Santa

Last weekend we travelled to Wales to spend some time with Stuart’s mum and stepdad.  It was almost like a mini Christmas as we won’t be seeing them during the Christmas period.  It was lovely to get away from it all, we spent our time walking the dogs, relaxing by the fire and just spending time together.  

We visited one of my mother in laws friends to take Oliver to see her animals, as she has a bit of a mini farm.  He was fascinated by her sheep, chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys.  I forget how creepy turkeys look in real life, and how big they are!  


On Saturday the local village was putting on a Christmas fayre in their village hall, so we thought we would go and see what was going on.  There were some lovely little craft stalls and the obligatory raffle, Oliver won himself a tube of buttons so he was pretty pleased (or was that me?!) The church next door had a little santas grotto, so Stu’s mum treated Oliver and paid for him to make his first visit to Santa.

It was really lovely, Oliver just stared at him a bit befuddled, but he didn’t cry, which I was fully expecting him to.  He happily took the gift from Santa and couldn’t take his eyes off of him!  All I can say is, who knew that Santa was a full on Welsh man? 


We had such a lovely weekend, even though Oliver was a nightmare at night time, and we were sad to go home on Sunday.  We probably won’t be back up there until the spring as Stuart is starting a new job in the new year and then I’m back to work, but we look forward to visiting again when we can.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

 

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The Christmas Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Lucy from Lucy’s Locket to complete The Christmas Tag.  As I LOVE Christmas, I was very excited to complete this tag! I’m really looking forward to Christmas this year, being Oliver’s first Christmas, although at 10 months he won’t have a clue what’s going on! The tree’s up, the music’s playing, I can’t wait!

What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

At the moment, it’s probably The Holiday.  I love a good rom-com at Christmas!

Have you ever had a White Christmas?

Yes, but not for years now.  I wish every year for snow but it rarely comes true!

Where do you usually spend your holiday?

We spend Christmas at my mums every year, it’s generally me, my mum, sister, Stu and his twin brother. Last year we were also joined by Stuart’s older brother as well, there were more of Stu’s family than mine!

What is your favourite Christmas song?

I don’t think I could choose!  I have Buble’s Christmas album in the car for the whole festive period, and Idina Menzel’s, and the Now Christmas album…. I suppose my all time favourite would be I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard, I remember singing it in junior school!0849ebf3-9100-49a2-91d0-aea6ad0d7910

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

Only in the past couple of years, growing up I remember my sister and I always pleaded for one but were never allowed!

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Rudolph, Vixen, Dancer, Prancer, Dasher, Comet, Donner, Blitzen, and I can’t remember the other one!

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

We are hoping to go to the crib service at our local church on Christmas Eve, I haven’t been in years as I have worked the past few Christmas Eve’s. I think the real traditions will begin next year once Oliver knows what’s going on.

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Real! I can’t do fake, we always had a real one growing up, I love the smell of it!

What’s your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?

All of them?! Gingerbread, mince pies, Lindt chocolate santas….I’m feeling hungry now!

Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?

I love receiving gifts, but I think I like giving the most.  I love planning what I will buy and going out to get it and then seeing their face when I give the gift!  I start Christmas shopping early (usually, although this year I’m being a bit last minute!)

What is the best Christmas present you have ever received? 

Oh that’s a difficult one, I think probably the year I got a GameBoy, I had REALLY wanted one, my parents put it in a HUGE box and I really thought they hadn’t got me one, but inside was another little present which was the GameBoy, I was so happy and I really loved it!

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

Somewhere cold and snowy, but generally I would rather stay at home for Christmas Day.

Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably? 

Definitely a pro, I take a lot of time wrapping presents and have a big kit of wrapping products. It’s part of the fun of Christmas!

Most memorable holiday moment?

Erm…probably the year me and my sister woke up at about 4am and saw santa had been, we both carefully unwrapped a present each and rewrapped it! I think that was the year we went into our parents to unwrap our stockings at 5am and they were most unimpressed! We were allowed to unwrap them but were swiftly sent back to bed and told not to get up until 7.30 or 8!

What made you realise the truth about Santa?

I can’t remember now, I think I asked and my mum told me! I was quite old, maybe 11 or 12 I think but I had to keep quiet because of my sister.  She believed even longer than I did!

What makes the holidays special for you?

Spending time with family, it’s really the most important thing for me.  We usually have lunch at mums and then walk over to Stu’s grandmas to see his grandparents and his dad.  This year his Uncle is over from Australia with his little girl as well and Stu’s dads side of the family are going to the pub for lunch just down the road from us so we will be meandering down for a festive drink with them! After that we go back to mums and sit/snooze in a food coma!

I tag The Frenchie Mummy, Mrs Mummy Harris, and Top Five Mum.  No obligation to complete 🙂

3 Little Buttons

 

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