Posts Tagged ‘blog love’

Three Bloody Brilliant Bloggers to Fall in Love With

bloody brilliant bloggers

One of the loveliest blogging souls I have the pleasure of knowing, Jaki Jelz, made my month recently by naming me as one of her three Bloody Brilliant Bloggers. I was tempted to break out the champers before 11am.

 

What is Bloody Brilliant Bloggers? It is a fab tag series started by Mommy and Rory and Odd Hogg to recognise the amazing blogs that the internet has to offer, giving their owners a virtual slap on the back.

There are some wonderful series out there now aimed at supporting other bloggeres and spreading the bloggy love:

The talented Claire of Life Love and Dirty Dishes does a monthly Blog Love feature
The clever ladies Lucy at Home and Naptime Natter run the feel good #BlogCrush Linky,
Just when you thought every blog love idea had been covered, the fab Jane of Maflingo recently started Blogging Good Reads
Oh and some woman called Prabs launched #BlogStars in 2016 to showcase posts that have particularly caught her attention, ahem.

 

Bloody Brilliant Bloggers reflects the same ‘pay it forward’ spirit, boosting other bloggers and just reminding each other that the hard work is all worth it! 

How Does #BloodyBrilliantBloggers Work?

Here are the rules that explain it all:

    1. Write a post to proudly show you’re a bloody brilliant blogger.
    2. Include the introduction (copy and paste as below) in your post, along with this set of rules and don’t forget to thank the blogger who nominated you:
      The Bloody Brilliant Blogger Tag – Run by Becky and Kimberly the tag is all about showing recognition to the amazing blogs the internet has to offer. Giving their owners a virtual slap on the back and celebrating some flippin’ fantastic posts. 
    3. Nominate three bloggers who you think are bloody brilliant and tell us a bit about why!
    4. Don’t forget to stick this gorgeous bloody brilliant bloggers badge somewhere on your post
      bloody brilliant bloggers
      THIS IS THE BADGE CODE:
      <div align=”center”><a href=”http://mommyandrory.com/” rel=”nofollow” title=”MommyandRory “><img src=”http://mommyandrory.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_1903-800×800.png” alt=”MommyandRory ” style=”border: none; height: auto; width: 300px;” /></a></div>

    5. Please share your post on Twitter tagging your bloody brilliant nominees along with myself (@mommyandrory1) and Kimberly (@oddhogg) – make sure to tag us to be in with a chance of winning the #BloodyBrilliantBloggers crown.

 

So WHO did I pick as MY Three Bloody Brilliant Bloggers?! 

Heavens above, the effort of narrowing it down to three! I’m a typical Pisces who can’t make a decision at the best of times so you can imagine how hard I found it choosing just three bloggers from the immense sea of talent. Mucho difficult!  There were numerous bloggers I went back and forth over but I kept coming back to these three:

 

Muma on the Edge

Oh my days, how I love this girl! From the moment I first read Lindsey, it was blog love (which was a relief as I actually met her at an event before discovering her site and frankly it would have been très awks if I didn’t like her blog after getting on so well with her in person!). If you haven’t read Muma on the Edge yet, she’s often feisty without coming across as angsty or confrontational (which is not an easy thing to pull off), hilarious even when she isn’t trying to be (which just makes her even more endearing) and switched on. An utter breath of fresh air. I’ve been at this blogging lark for a good while now and it’s easy to feel jaded thinking you’ve read e-v-e-r-y blog topic ever thought of. Not sure how Lindsey does it but she can take a topical news subject (that everyone and their aunt has written about) and somehow comes up with another perspective that is captivating and makes you forget you already read a whole heap on that subject. Damn her cleverness.

Mumbelievable

Where do I start? Go-getting. Confident yet humble. Articulate. Empowering. Kind-hearted. I could go on and on about Ursula. I first saw this inspirational human being across the floor at #BML16 (did I mention she’s also annoyingly beautiful and hard to miss?). I wondered who this utter goddess was as I didn’t know her blog at the time. Upon returning to Malta, I found myself in a Twitter chat with her where I learned she however knew my blog and had in fact cheered me on at the awards. Clearly this made me like her instantly and a mutual appreciation was born. Seriously, Ursula is possibly the best example I’ve come across of how you can use your blog for good. Through her blog and related social media, this powerhouse is striving to revive women’s confidence and self belief, equipping them with the tools to remember their worth and go out and achieve their dreams. What a great purpose, what a great woman.

Single Mum Speaks

Ah the inimitable Min! What a tonic. A blogger who doesn’t shy away from issues.  She’s intelligent. She’s got cajones (gotta love a woman with cajones) and tells it like it is.  And she tells it with incredible eloquence. I don’t know how many times I’ve almost salivated over a sentence Min has conjured up. She’s also funny. What’s not to like?! Min’s parenting journey is an interesting one. A single parent with a slightly more unusual back story than ‘most’ I’ve come across, this woman can write about pretty much anything. I think she’s been blogging as long as I have and her blog is one of those I will always go back to when I want a sure fire good read that won’t let me down. Single mum speaks? Yes she does and does it brilliantly!

 

Voilà. Three bloody brilliant bloggers I’ve fallen in love with and I hope you do too.

I can’t believe it’s taken me more than two months after Jaki nominated me to write this post. But good things are always worth waiting for. Bloody brilliant things even more so.

P x

BEFORE YOU LEAVE!

HAVE YOUR SAY! by using the Facebook or website comments box below.

SHARE THIS POST! via the social media share buttons below.

DON’T MISS THE NEXT POST! just pop your email address in the orange top banner.

TO FOLLOW my pearls of wisdom entertainment on social media check out: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks Muchly!

Yeah Baby…I’m Going to Brit Mums Live 2016!

 I'm Going to Brit Mums Live title image

 So I guess it’s time I write the standard I’m going to Brit Mums Live post.

Because in a few days’ time, I’m getting myself on a flight from Malta to London as I’M GOING TO BRIT MUMS LIVE, the social media event where 500+ bloggers come together to learn about social media strategies and blog success tips!  Believe it or not, in uncharacteristically organised fashion, I bought my ticket way back in November after chatting to Amy of Mr and Mrs T Plus Three.  That is where all semblance of organisation ended however.  I then, in much more typical Prabulous fashion, took three months (after its expiry) to renew my passport, consequently only booking my flight in April and then didn’t manage to sort out my hotel til mid May (by which time there were no more single or twin rooms left.  So I shall be staying in a double room at the rather cool Hoxton Hotel and as I’m coming into town on the Friday for the pre-conference drinks, that’s two nights including Saturday night as it will be too late to get home after the Brilliance in Blogging award ceremony and the dinner I’ve got afterwards.  I’ll also be spending some quality time with Becky of Cuddle Fairy on the Friday before everything starts too so I’m really blessed.  Am I ridonkulously excited about the possibility grabbing a drink (you know just the one) at the fab Hoxton bar?  Yep.  Am I super excited that some of my blogger friends are also staying there.  Yep.  Am I excited that I get to have two (well actually 5 in total as I’m in London for a few extra days) nights kids-free?  YEP!  Mind you, I’m only spending the first night alone.   Good grief where is she going with this…? You’ll see.


Anyway, here is the BML lowdown:

My Name Is

Prabs.  No jokes about it sounding like Crabs thanks or I’ll inflict my full name on you and make you pronounce it, Indian accent and all.

My Blog

Absolutely Prabulous is an honest mainly humourous blog by a key-losing, housework-avoiding, vodka-deprived former Londoner/one-time Parisian/now full-time Malteser who talks about motherhood, marriage, beach life and various nonsense.  In a nutshell ha ha.

Find me on social media at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbPrabulous
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AbsolutelyPrabulous
Instagram: https://www.instagram/absolutelyprabulous

How I look:

I can’t lie, my initial reaction to this was What? Why should it matter how I look?!  I’m there to learn about social media/bloggy stuff and meet bloggers I admire in the flesh.  That is, until I realised Duh, people need to know what I look like, so they can identify me in the throng.  (Yes please do reread that last bit in case you misread it.)  So this is the least tired looking pic I can find.  I’d had about 3 hours sleep as I’d been celebrating my BiBs shortlisting the previous night and er…judging by that wine glass, I was apparently still celebrating!

wine for BiB

I’m a rather diddy 5ft 1.5 (yes the .5 is crucial!).  But what I lack in height, I make up for in erm…actually I have no idea…you’ll have to be the judge of that when we meet I guess.

Is this my first blogging event?

Yes indeedy.
#EverSoSlightlyExcited

I will be wearing…

I doubt my wardrobe choices are of interest to anyone but I’ll be placing the emphasis on comfortable chic (is that even a thing?).  As I’m flying two days before the event, I may have to pack about three different options as the English weather will change half a dozen times between me landing and the conference starting (I’m so cheeky).  I also have the additional need to think of an outfit to wear for the BiBs awards party as I’m – eeek – a finalist!

If I’m feeling particularly patriotic, I might wear my ‘Brit shoes’ (although bizarrely they don’t seem all that Brit in this pic for some reason):

brit-shoes

What I hope to gain from #BML16:

On the blog front, inspiration and advice on how to take my site to the next level.  On the bloggy love/social side, the chance to actually meet and hang out with my great blogger  friends Cuddle Fairy, Island Living 365, Just Saying Mum, Life Love and Dirty Dishes, Life With Baby Kicks, Mess Stress and Fancy Dress, Motherhood the Real Deal and Mum Muddling Through, Pink Pear Bear and This Mums Life, not to mention the many other wonderful bloggers I’ve got to know.  I’ve also been contacted by several newer bloggers recently who are hoping to squeeze in some time between sessions for some mentoring tips; really don’t know if there’ll be enough time for that but if any of you are reading this, I sure will do my best (not that I know what help I could offer)!

My tips for a great conference:

I’m the worst person to ask for advice.  But one thing that has really struck me on FB groups and people’s own BML posts is how nervous so many people are feeling.  I may have missed something here – and I may suddenly get so anxious myself that I chunder into my handbag – but I can’t imagine there is anything to feel nervous about.  I know we are all different but my tip would be relax, enjoy putting faces to names and voices to faces and if you’re a parent, enjoy the kids-free time!

Oh and try not to end up sharing a bed with a blogger you’ve never met before because there were no single rooms left…

Oh you don’t do that kind of thing?  Just me then?  And yes, if you are really good to me, there may be a blog post…

BEFORE YOU LEAVE…
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS POST?! 

TO HAVE YOUR SAY: please use the Facebook or website comments box below.

TO SHARE THIS POST: use the social media share buttons below.

TO GET MY POSTS IN YOUR INBOX: pop your email address in the orange top banner.

TO FOLLOW my pearls of wisdom entertainment on social media check out: Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks Muchly!

Blog Stars – The Second Edition

 

blog-stars-second-edition featured image cinema screen with title

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!

Absolutely Prabulous
Generate your button code

 

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!

 

BEFORE YOU LEAVE…
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS POST?! 

TO HAVE YOUR SAY: please use the Facebook or website comments box below.

TO SHARE THIS POST: use the social media share buttons below.

TO GET MY POSTS IN YOUR INBOX: pop your email address in the orange top banner.

TO FOLLOW my pearls of wisdom entertainment on social media check out: Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks Muchly!

prabs-signature

Blog Stars: The First Edition!

The number of blogs you come across as a blogger…  It’s stupendous.  

Fact is there are absolutely loads that I’m aware of but it just takes me an age to get round to reading them or they get lost among the numbers on Twitter.  Life gets in the way.  I’ll see blog names pop up on ‘xyz linky is live’ tweets and think Ooh I must go check them out.  And with the best will in the world, just don’t get round to it.  Kids get in the way.

Over recent months I’ve seen myself being described as a supportive blogger

(thank you Five Little Doves), someone who shares the blog love (so says Life Love Dirty Dishes) and as being a ‘massive part of the community’ by Right Royal Mother (athough I have a feeling she may have meant prosecco-swilling rather than blogging community .  No I’m not preening or bragging; I actually find it mind boggling that I have fooled so many people 🙂  Truth is, I don’t feel like I do anywhere near enough to support my fellow bloggers!  I do share posts on social media when I can, I do try to get round to reading blogs – a necessity if one is a regular passenger on the linky train – but I feel I don’t read anywhere near enough.  I honestly would love to do more but…  The kitchen, the laundry, the kids’ days off school, the everything, gets in the way.

Where am I going with this?

Basically, I’ve decided to start a new feature, Blog Stars to give back to this ridiculously amazing community I belong to in this great place called the blogosphere.

Blog Stars title in pink on faded image of a laptop

Blogging has given a huge piece of me back to myself (which you can read about in my guest post for Mum Muddling Through’s Meet the Members series) and I’ve long wanted to do something constructive to give back to blogging, so to speak.  However, I often find myself totally overwhelmed with trying to write regularly, load up my Facebook, tweet away on le Twitter, produce guest posts for others, pursue monetisation opportunities etc etc, oh and erm be a mum to my three kids from time to time, that the actual reading of other people’s blogs takes a backseat, despite how much I enjoy reading them.  I’m going to lay my cards on the table now and admit that I often don’t get round to reading linky posts in time.  I either read a few on time or end up binge reading the following week.  It’s not ideal.  In fact, it’s not good, period.

And there has been guilt.

Lots of guilt.

So in honour of the fab linkies I join (sorry about the rubbish layout, I’ll try to sort it out for next time):

and the awesome posts I discover through other sources, I thought I’d do a regular round up of my favourite posts from around the blogosphere.  I’ve not yet decided if this will be weekly or monthly, so watch this space.  Also, as I don’t necessarily come across posts the very month they’ve been published there’ll be a mixture of recent and not so recent posts and I won’t necessarily showcase 20 each time. Finally, all blogs are listed alphabetically.

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.

Right, here are my favourite 20 posts for the first ever Blog Stars:

Caring in the Chaos Ending a Friendship

This is a thought-provoking and to be honest quite melancholy post about the loss of friendship, or more particularly that moment when you realise that a particular friendship doesn’t serve you well anymore.  It’s one of those posts about something you might not think of that often but it really resonates now you find yourself reading about it.

Five Little Doves For Lewis on Your 12th Birthday

Five Little Doves was recently ‘nominated’ for a not a dry eye in the house award by Single Mum Speaks in her post about the upcoming blog awards.  If you’ve read any of Laura’s posts you’ll see why she got this nomination. Every post I’ve read of hers stirs great emotion in me. I could actually pick ten posts for this post right here!  But I’ll go with this beautiful tribute to her son on his 12th birthday.  Kleenex please.

Island Living Thank You Letter

Oh my goodness, how do I talk about Emma’s blog?  To be honest, as with Laura’s blog, I could literally choose any one of her posts for a Blog Stars round up, she’s that damned good.  Island Living was one of my blog discoveries in the first ever Life in the Prab Lane of recent months, and this gratitude post about what blogging has done/means for her shows you why I chose her.  “Uprooting the girls and taking them away from their family.  Leaving the house I loved and where I brought Youngest home as a newborn baby. Closing the door on the play room where Oldest and I sat at the table as I helped her learn to write.”  Sob!  More Kleenex purleeeeeese.

Just Saying Mum But mum is there wifi?

Every once in a while a blogger comes along and from the first post you read, that’s it:  #InstantBlogLove.  Then you comment on their post, they respond and you just hit it off immediately.  That’s what happened when I read Helen for the first time; her post about ageing cracked me up and had me nodding in agreement.  This one about her kids’ obsessive attempts to ‘stay connected’ via their smartphones whilst on holiday is an utter hoot and the whole handbag analogy is so so clever.  Did you ever read my Blog Geek post?  Yep…number 7… Just saying. (See what I did there?)

Life Love and Dirty Dishes DIY Before Kids and After Kids

If you read me regularly or follow me on Facebook, you’d need to be living all alone on top of a very high mountain in a different galaxy not to know how much I adore Claire’s blog.  She is just very very good at what she does: hilarious, always-on-the-nail posts about parenting and domesticity.  I read this a few weeks ago and I still chuckle thinking of the Fleur-de-Bastard-Lis line but heaven help me, the line about her normal clothing vs DIY gear and her husband’s reaction. On. The. Floor.

Mess and Merlot 40 Before 40

I love this girl.  Charlie has such an affable ‘air’ about her in her writing that oozes infectiousness (is that even a word?).  This is as the name suggests a list of forty things Charlie would love to do before she turns 40 and there really are some goodun’s on here.  And of course, there are a few giggles.

Mr and Mrs T Plus Three Humanity

So, it was the usual busy morning.  I was trying to do four things at the same time  – dishes, laundry, tweets and writing – and failing miserably at all of them as per usual.  I’m not very good at reading posts that come up in my Twitter feed there and then; I have a nasty habit of liking them thinking I’ll come back to them later.  Good luck with that Prabs.  Then Amy’s post whizzed by in my feed… As it threatened to disappear further down the screen, superseded by others, I hauled it back and read it then and there.  I’m so glad I did.  So sad I did.  Floored.  Amy describes an incident that happened, something that could SO easily happen to all of us, which made her question her sense of humanity and think about her behaviour.  I fought back tears reading it and it has stayed with me. The issue she raises is something I’ve often thought myself and frankly, there is no easy answer or outcome in situations like this.

Mum Muddling Through Lost Property

This is one of the most clever posts I’ve seen in a while.  I love it when a blogger takes a much-covered topic and does their own unique take on it.  In this case, it’s the enormous change parenthood brings to a person’s life and the aspects of our ‘former’ life that no longer exist once kids come along.  So far so done.  We’ve seen so many posts on it right?  But Sarah’s very funny spin on this familiar topic is too good.  Honestly, it’s so spot on.  And the ending is fab.

Mum Revised 25 Crafts Using Kale

There are no words to describe how much I snorted at this post. NO WORDS!  Along with Mum Muddling Through’s and Just Saying Mum’s posts, this has got to be one of the most clever I’ve read in a while. If you’ve never read Kristin’s blog, oh my…she is funny as hell.  (I’m proud to say she has featured in my #OopsFiles guest series with this corker.)  Not only is she funny but funny in an amazingly intelligent way.    “…I came up with some ideas to keep kale in our lives without having to ingest it” is just one of the snort-inducing lines in this post.   By the time I got to the end with the brilliant “When this reporter asked the Tempura family why they just didn’t stop serving kale” and its hilarious punchline – which you’ll have to click on the linked post to read cos I ain’t no spoiler meanie – I could barely breathe from laughing.

Not Just the Three of Us Keeping Calm and Going Camping

Oh how many ways did I love thee, oh fab post that converted me about camping?  It’s always a pleasure to discover a new blogger for the first time and go Ooh I like her/him! Any reluctant or first time campers out there need to read this as Nicky is a self-confessed neat freak who isn’t (or wasn’t) the camping type at all…  Yet camping she did go.  And love it she did!  Her writing style is absolutely my cup of tea and I was in the palm of her hand with lines like “The camp would be sorted…with our combined strength, we would make Bear Grylls look like Barbie” and “a face full of rain awaited the first person to unzip the tent as they glimpsed the dark sky of the new day”.  And if this doesn’t make you want to go camping by the end of the post, NOTHING WILL!

Queen of My Castle I Love My Babies, Now I’m Learning to Love My Body

What’s not to love about this?  I had pootled around a bit on this chikita’s blog a little bit before but this is the post that grabbed my attention and put her on my radar.  A wonderful post about what childbirth does to our bodies containing hits-the-nail-on-the-head lines such as “Bizarrely, even though we know that our lives will never be the same again once we have had a baby, we expect our bodies go back to the way they were.”  So true!  As I said when I picked it as one of my #passthesauce favourites, Queenie wrote about the changing body of a woman post-birth in such a gentle, intelligent and relatable way, I couldn’t help love her. There was something about this post, layers of tenderness and a woman’s inner thoughts captured in one very endearing post.  Queen of my Castle was also one of my blog discoveries mentioned here in the blog section.

Reflections from Me We’re So Lucky to Have Curves

An extremely insightful clever perspective on the female body image issue, analysing recent comments by Kate Winslet about the female body’s curves vs other shapes.  This post put such an interesting (and in my opinion accurate and astute) perspective forward that really got me thinking.  I honestly had never thought of it this way and Mackenzie really does make some excellent points for those of us raising kids, but especially girls.  Bravo that woman!

Rhyming with Wine Why Would Someone Knit a Boob Anyway

Seriously, where do I even start with this?  The whole thing is ace from start to finish.  If you haven’t discovered Dawn’s blog yet, boy have you been missing out or what?  Basically, her posts are all, yep, poems.  Clever, insightful, often hilarious, amazingly penned (well alright typed) creations.  This is possibly my favourite out of the ones I’ve read so far (and it was one of my #passthesauce linky picks I co-hosted with Agent Spitback) but I do need to binge read her back catalogue really.  It is oh so funny whilst managing to cover so much about breastfeeding, all within the space of a poem which by rights ‘should’ be more limiting than standard prose.  Yet she pulls it off like a flipping pro; just like she always does.

Sarah and Louise Stop Licking the Car

I’ve only just discovered this blog and I have to say this post about fussy eaters is blooming brilliant (and relatable).  So many good lines in it including “Why is it that snot gets tongue swiped from the top lip without hesitation but a delicious fish pie would be elbow swiped off the table?”  Why indeed!  And “the pressure of the 5 a day rule looms over our heads like a giant hand ready to slap us round the back of the head at the end of the day if the figures don’t add up”.  Let’s face it, the idea of smearing butternut squash across the car window as a strategy for getting our little blighters, I mean cherubs, to eat one of their vital veg requirements is not only hilarious but actually slightly genius!

Someone’s Mum Teaching, A Break up Letter

Danielle is such an amazing writer whose posts on teaching and the unbearable pressure it places on teacher and student alike, not to mention its impact on teachers who have families, are just heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.  This was the saddest yet in some ways the most uplifting of posts; sad that she was pushed to the point of leaving but uplifting that she is at peace with her decision and the reason she made it.  I really wish her well.

Hot Pink Wellingtons Things I’ve Learned From Six Months of Blogging

Ah this is a great little post from Katie.  It’s so easy to breeze past posts like this once you’ve been blogging for some two and a half years as I have but the human curiosity factor made me click on this and I’m glad I did.  Such a lovely honest post about what blogging has done for her and number 5!  Yes sod having a niche!  When I think of how much I’ve wsated agonising over this, pah!

Mess, Stress and Fancy Dress Things My Children Never Need to Know

Helen is one of my absolute favourite bloggers.  There are very few people who can make me laugh as much as this fat blond Kardashian (don’t look at me like that, those are HER WORDS!!).  She is the fab writer who provided the brilliant first guest post of the #OopsFiles series which still makes me laugh just thinking about it.  The post featured here does what it says on the tin, as the saying goes, and is typical Helen.  Number 6 had me nodding.  I mean, it used to be you went to uni a) to get s***faced and b) get a degree (half joking). Now you go a) to get a degree and b) to die bankrupt. Pffft.

Pink Pear Bear No I Can’t Just!

Oh my good grief I was almost exhausted by the time I got to the end of this; exhausted in a good way because it’s a great post.  Louise (who has also featured as #OopsFiles 9 with a hilarious nudity and spiders post!) writes about the very very many things she/most of us do in our roles as mothers/partners/chief bottle washers/taxi drivers etc.  You get the picture.  It’s incredible how we don’t even realise it half the time (although as a self-confessed lazy bum who was the only mother who sent in shop bought cup cakes instead of baking them with her kid as part of a homework project recently, I can’t claim to doing everything in this post!).  I just loved the title and honestly had visions of Louise hitting her hubby with the nearest kitchen utensil if he dared ask if she could just…!

R is for Hoppit Toddler Art

I keep using the word clever in this round up.  But it’s impossible to talk about Silly Mummy’s blog without using that adjective.  Simply one of the funniest, cerebral mum bloggers around.  This post had me in absolute fits as Silly Mummy takes you through the various forms of art expressionism all carried by one rather clever toddler.

This Mum’s Life Being Scouted

Even though when it comes down to it, the main subject matter of weight gain in this post is no laughing matter at all, the fact is this made me guffaw.  This blogger is one of my hands down faves as she never fails to make me absolutely howl with laughter.  I do feel her pain in this hilarious tale but I’m sorry, the mental images I had following the porch description, Tena Lady comment, the “smallest voice ever” and “resting bitch face” lines…Heaven help me…my sides hurt.  I was torn between crying my eyes out with laughter  and being horrified at the behaviour of the ‘scouter’.

So that’s it, the first ever Blog Stars.  I’m soooo glad to have finally got round to doing this.  See you again!

PS I realise I’ve used the word love rather a lot in this post.  It was entirely justified.  I thank you.

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE IT! Just use the buttons below.

And DON’T MISS THE NEXT ONE!  Just pop your email in the top orange banner to receive my posts.

To leave me a COMMENT, please use either the FB section (BLOGGERS Please comment as your blog ID not your personal name!) or the website comments box below.

Follow my pearls of wisdom entertainment on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks Muchly!


Linked to: