Firstly, a huge thanks is due to everyone who read, commented and shared the first Blog Stars post (#BlogStars), helping get this new feature off to an amazing start.
I was actually a bit blown away by the love it received. I really started it as a way of simply giving back to the amazing bloggers who pour their heart, soul and effort into their blogs; little did I realise a) how totally chuffed my first lot of blog stars would be to be featured b) that others would say they’d use the series as a tool for catching up on their blog reading or c) that the featured bloggers wouldn’t just read their own blogs but would go check out the other blogs listed. So, a great result all round and I’m so grateful to you all. What a lovely bunch.
So I’m back with a second batch of bloggy treats for you! There’s some thought-provoking stuff, some tear-inducing stuff, some helpful tippy stuff and it can’t be an AbPrab post without plenty of laffs. Agreed? If you concur, here we go! Enjoy x
Featured Blog Stars, Grab Your Badge!
Do feel free to stick this on your featured post and/or your blog sidebar or both!
Now, there is one thing I’d like YOU to do!
If you’re one of my Blog Stars – or indeed a blogger who reads this and enjoys it – can I ask you to retweet this post with the hashtag #BlogStars? Cheers Big Ears!
This Edition’s Blog Stars Are:
3 Little Buttons The 10 Things That Get on My Nerves
This is not a new post but as explained in Blog Stars the First Edition, one doesn’t always come across a post that was just written that month. I could pretty much relate to all of this post which made me relive my London commuter days. Shudder. Annette did make me laugh with her descriptions of the types of plonker behaviour that goes on on the London Underground and the fab illustration, oh my… The post made me think of last Summer, when I was back in the UK visiting Ma and Pa etc; there was one week where I had to use the Tube every day…I swear it was the longest week of my life…NO idea how I used to do that every day for work). Annette also made me mentally renew my vow to never live or work in London ever again. One of the greatest cities it most definitely is. But if you need me, I’ll be on the beach…
The Adventures of a Beta Mummy The Mum’s Night Out
I am super duper lucky to have a good social life (I don’t know if it’s an island thing or just a Mediterranean thing) and I’m very blessed to have ‘my girls’. I was going to say I’m now through to the other side as my kids are no longer babies but if I”m honest, even when they were little it was easy to get out. The tiny non-UK distances make it easy here too. But although Beta Mummy’s post is far from my stage of parenting or experience, I did love her take on the need to Get. Out. Of. The. House. There was no way I was leaving this post out because…because…OMG…the PICTURE! How much did I love the picture?! The ‘seats’ bit and the ‘I’m knackered’ and the drawing itself and oh the whole thing! Perfection. Bravo Beta Mummy. Now step this way and come illustrate for me!
Beauty, Baby and Me Contradicting Advice…Cheers for the Headwreck Leading Experts!
Oh my word this post is fab. Fi talks in hilarious fashion about the myriad of conflicting suggestions and advice so-called childcare experts give out over the course of books etc. The Do/Don’t bullet point list she starts the post with had me howling and the memes are so up my street. Poor girl, she really reminded me of my angst with my first two kids (and how by the time it got to the third, I was so busy running around after the first two, all the angst was gone and she almost had to bring herself up!). The last paragraph warmed my heart as I’d been feeling so sorry for Fi throughout the post, wondering what reassuring advice I could impart as a ‘seasoned’ (but totally unwise lol) mum, only to find that she’s got her head screwed on and a great approach to the whole thing.
Confusing Diaries of a Puzzled Mummy Take My Kid Out of Your Box
An excellent post about the problem that British education and parents are facing with the endless testing of students for no other reason it seems than to tick boxes, satisfy statistic-obsessed academic boards and march to the drum of whichever education minister happens to be in power. This is such a well-written post that had me nodding my head furiously, asking myself yet again what the hell today’s education system is doing to our children’s mental well-being (and thanking my lucky stars that mine go to a school in Malta that totally champions the individual/creativity/inquisitive learning approach).
Cuddle Fairy How to Increase Domain Authority
I first became aware of the term DA during a twitter chat with Amy of Mr and Mrs T Plus Three several months ago. I had no idea what it meant (and…er…was too embarrassed to ask her!). In the last few months however, I’ve seen a lot of articles on it and was delighted to discover my DA is respectable. This post is for sure one of the better ones I’ve read on this topic. If you’ve not read Cuddle Fairy yet (although that’s probably unlikely), you need to check out her ‘tips’ posts. Queen of helping other bloggers, she writes ‘how to’ posts in an easy-to-digest friendly manner, jam-packing them with helpful advice and info. There is no way you’re leaving this caring sharing blogger’s site without having learned something. I promise!
Life as a Rambling Redhead In Honor of the Forgotten Anniversary
You know when you know about a blog but the whole ‘life getting in the way’ thing I mentioned in the first #BlogStars happens and you just don’t get round to reading them for the longest time? Yep. That one. A very good friend of mine regularly shares Jenn’s posts and this one popped up in my feed when I was busy writing a post (and by writing a post I mean faffing about on social media achieving nothing much of anything). It’s not a recent one but who cares? It is SO damned funny. Not only does this woman get my vote for actually forgetting her own wedding anniversary – seriously rock star lol – but the erm ‘alternative’ less than conventional wedding photos she shares in this post and the hilarious explanations… Nearly broke a rib laughing.
Life With Baby Kicks Expat Living: When You Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye
I’ve said goodbye to more people than I can recall over the last ten years of life on the rock. It used to be a real blow in the early days but I’ve said goodbye to so many now, it doesn’t affect me much anymore as I’ve just hardened myself. But there was one that made me cry two years ago to the point where my then 10 yo had to console me! The worst aspect is how many best friends my kids have had to say goodbye to. It’s such an awful part of expat life but of course an inevitable one. When I was out with some of my besties a few weekends back, we said how we have to make a pact to never leave Malta. We joked that the leaving do of the next person to go will require a dress code of funereal black as we’d all be in mourning. This is all a long-winded way of saying that I totally got every word of this gorgeous post by Laura who has written many a post showing a real love and respect for the place that is Dubai. I truly sympathise with her over that in limbo feeling one has between country moves; just the whole thing.
Live Love Blog Blogger’s Best Blogging Tips
You know when you start writing a post or at least start planning the outline of it in your head…only to come across something very very similar already written? Yep. My heart sank a bit when I read this fab post by the power house that is the Live Love Blog team, in which they’ve rounded up advice from various bloggers. Sinking hearts aside, I thoroughly related and am hard pushed to choose a favourite tip. However, the two that really had me nodding in agreement were those of Angela from Days in Bed and Emily of A Slummy Mummy. I could not agree more with Ange’s comment about those who are genuinely interested in your blog gravitating towards it; whilst I do see the sense in going after a specific target market and sticking with that, I do feel it depends on whether that makes you happy. As mentioned recently in my Confessions of a Guilty Blogger post, I’ve finally ditched the niche angst and now just write what I want to write. Ever seen the film Field of Dreams? If you build it, they will come…that! And I almost squealed with delight at Emily’s comment – and actually wanted to reach through the screen and hug her for – ‘don’t get it right, get it written’. Halleblogelujah. I so need to remember that as I drive myself nuts with wanting e-v-e-r-y freaking detail to be exactly right in a post (not that I have any intention whatsoever of divulging how long it’s taken me to put this one together!)
Motherhood In Real Life Looks Like We Made It
This really is one of those posts that takes your breath away; it’s so touching when a mother writes a heartfelt post for their child. I kind of held my breath as I read it and felt so much sympathy in parts and could relate to other parts. Becoming a mother throws enough of a curved ball but struggling with an ill child is a tough cross to bear and Motherhood in Real Life bears it brilliantly and writes about superbly well.
Mess and Merlot All the Carbs Please
I featured Charlie in Life in the Prab Lane and the first #BlogStars. I’m sure people are going to think we’re sleeping together or that she’s paying me. But what do you do when a post is too good not to be featured? You feature it dammit! The bit about homemade flapjacks full of nuts and syrup being “ALKALINE and therefore good for [her] and the vodka and menthols ‘diet’ and ugh the whole thing…and the memes! I just had to. (Although just what the heck she’s doing ingesting blueberries combined with spinach is just beyond me…wink emoji.)
Mum Muddling Through When the Blog Days are Over
Yes, Sarah featured in the very first Blog Stars. And with good reason. There is a handful of bloggers who draw the kind of reaction from me that Sarah’s writing does. I have such a deep respect and admiration for how this blogger uses words, choosing them carefully, shaping them into the most perfectly crafted sentences that I wish I could reach into the screen to grab and eat. (She’s probably going to laugh self-effacingly and say she slaps them together without thinking!). ‘Are we all one unexpected event away from hitting publish for the last time? Or will we just get bored of it?’…I welled up a bit. I would never ever think of using phrases like ‘Bloggerati’ and the ‘Pearly gates of blog heaven’ but this lass does. And phrases like that, as well as the rather emotional response I had to the whole post because right now I can’t think of my blog days ending as they are my life, are why she’s in Blog Stars 2.
Mummy in a Tutu How To Get Noticed as a Blogger: Boobs and Arse
Oh my…I just wanted to reach through the screen and hug Katie for this one, as it kind of saddened me in some ways. Not that I’m implying for one second that it is a plea for sympathy on her part, by the way, as it clearly isn’t. It just got me thinking about other posts I’ve seen about the slightly, well, dare I say it. ‘unfortunate’ side of blogging: the side that sees bloggers getting hung up on stats, the side that has bloggers eyeing another blog with envy, the side that sees bloggers feeling a bit down during awards season. To tell the truth, I was almost relieved that I was such a clueless blogger in the first 18 months and that I had no real drive if I’m honest! I can’t help wondering if I’d have felt deflated if I was aware of even half the things that Katie already knows in the few months she’s been blogging. I just hope she knows is a very clued up blogger who is doing everything she needs to be get noticed. It will come…
Plutonium Sox A Letter to a Busy Mum
I feel it’s so clichéd trotting out the phrase ‘heartfelt post’ but that’s what this post is. And honestly, I had the biggest lump in my throat reading it. In fact, out of this month’s #BlogStars, this is the one that broke me. Kleenex was required. I’ve touched on this sad side of parenting where we feel we don’t spend enough time with our kids (and don’t know a way around that) myself and I have no excuse as I’m a SAHM (albeit one whose blog is taking over her life)! Read this, then go hug your baby/babies.
The Secret Life of the Baby Day 38, A Birthday Celebration
I can honestly say hand on heart, this post is one of the funniest I’ve EVER read. I pretty much decorated my side of the sofa with erm my own personal ‘spray’ as I snorted and spit-laughed all the way through. The great thing is that I missed my yoga and pilates classes the week I read this but it didn’t matter. This hilarious post written by ‘Baby’ about mummy’s birthday celebrations including daddy’s pathological lying and mummy’s dubious taste in clothing, gave my pelvic floor and abdominals enough exercise. There is literally no way I could ever read this aloud and not end up in bits laughing, so don’t ask me to read it to you. Go do it yourself (and let me know what you thought of it)!
The Secret Life of the Baby Day Seventy Three
Yep, I’ve put two posts by this blogger in this round up. Maybe it’s cheeky but it’s my blog so there. Sorry, what I meant was this chick is so ridonkulously clever, talented and funny and I loved this post so much, it would have been dishonest and unfair not feature it. The line about Dad’s haggard look due to illness (the one about age…I won’t spoil it because it’s too good), ‘I’d put a solid five hours in yesterday and I found it quite bizarre that they were recalling past illnesses with such fondness’… Oh my. This woman is genius. ‘You haven’t been cooking again have you?’ Ba haaa HAAAA.
And Then There Were Two My Babies Haven’t Read the Sleep Rules
Okay, so I know there are a lot of posts written about babies not sleeping (link to Laura). You know, just a few… Oh alright, it’s probably THE most written about topic in close contest with breastfeeding. But this one really made me laugh, erm, even though I’m not exactly saying it’s funny when babies don’t sleep. You’ve got to hand it to a blogger when they take a topic that is causing them genuine angst and headaches and write about it with humour.
Tea or Wine 9 Ingredients for a Succesful Blog Post
This is by far my favourite so far of Cheryl’s although I did nearly throw myself on the floor and cry as I had just started writing something similar of my own! This is truly excellent spot on advice. Go read and listen to her people! Nuff said.
Thanks to the fab linkies run by these hard working awesome bloggers! Without you, I wouldn’t have found half these posts. Mwah.
I hope you find some posts you enjoy.
I for one, am in awe of these talented #BlogStars. See you next month!
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