Posts Tagged ‘blog stars’

20 More Brilliant Posts You Have to Read: Blog Stars 4

BLOG STARS 4 IS HERE!

#BlogStars is my happy place. I get such a kick out of running this series. Sorry if I sound cheesy but I love compiling each edition for the feel good factor it brings both myself and the featured bloggers.  Despite how much I enjoy running the series though and the reception it’s had, it’s been on pause as I took a step back from linkies for a while and then had a blog break due to a major family wedding.  So I do apologise to the regular readers among you for but I’m back with Blog Stars 4 and ready to bring you some corkers!

Blog Stars 4 featured image

If you’re new to Blog Stars, it is where I round up a bunch of posts I have truly enjoyed reading,  that have had a profound effect on me and which, in my opinion, deserve an extra shout out. FYI I don’t just feature posts from the month of the #BlogStars edition (especially as this is not always a monthly feature). This would mean excluding brilliant content purely on the grounds of date of publication, which is a pity if I’ve only discovered it months after it was published.

There’s a flavour to suit hopefully every taste.  You’ve got thought-provoking ones, you’ve got useful content, you’ve got the ‘make sure you’ve got kleenex on standby’ tear-jerkers and…of course, it ain’t Blog Stars if there ain’t no laughs.


A FEW iMPORTANT THINGS INCLUDING TWO NEW FEATURES!!

1) If you want to share this post (or any of the individual posts from it) on social media (course you do) Please Use the Hashtag #BlogStars.

2)  This edition of #BlogStars has been divided up into the previously mentioned themes.

3)  For future editions of #BlogStars I’d like to include a few  posts chosen by YOU my readers. So if there is a post that has stayed with you and that you’d like to see featured, let me know!

 

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, HERE ARE MY 20 #BLOGSTARS 

Featured Blog Stars, don’t forget to Grab Your Badge! Feel free to stick this on your featured post and/or your blog sidebar or both!

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JUST FOR LAUGHS

A Life Just Ordinary: How to Make Friends and Influence No-One

This popped up in one of those Facebook groups and the title made me literally snort. And click. It’s quite possibly the funniest and best post e-v-e-r about this bizarre, fabulous, endlessly frustrating, really gratifying, lonely, friend-making insanity that is blogging and is utterly hilarious from start to finish.  By the time I got down to the Twitter ‘tips’ and the line:

you could also achieve similar levels of success by shouting your blog posts out in full whilst walking down the street

I literally hurt from laughing.  (Actually, he should take his own advice and walk down the street shouting this very post out as it’s so good.) Dale Carnegie, please give me a sign that you’re laughing from your grave at the clever appropriation of your famous book title! Although, as I’ve already said to James, I am quite frankly bitterly disappointed and may well do my Miss Piggy hissy hair flick at him over the fact that he did not actually have the answer to how to increase one’s site traffic by 127,000% in just 4 days. #MustTryHarder [Stomps off in a hissy fit.]

Island Living: Your Father is Dragging me Back to the Dark Ages

Emma and her mother! (There’s a book title right there.) Heaven help me, every time her mum is mentioned, I know I’m in a for a laugh (and if the price is right, I’ll even tell you what Emma said about her mum just before we all stayed in a London hotel for the BiBs). The Daily Mail…the way her mum refers to it/Emma’s Dad. The bra doodles and the ‘vandalised property. And the aubergine. The aubergine! If you’re not intrigued by now…how on earth not?

Life Love and Dirty Dishes: My Husband Cheated on Me While I Slept Upstairs and…

Picking a post by the uber-talented Claire of LLDD for an edition of #BlogStars is as difficult as trying to use a paper umbrella in the rain. It doesn’t work. Not in a bad way! She is such a  gifted and funny writer that it’s an almost impossible task trying to settle on one. (Not that I think of particular bloggers I want to feature and then go and choose a post. It’s very much the other way around: #BlogStars is led by the content rather than the blogger.) I knew I’d read a great ‘cheating’ post but when I went to Claire’s site to get the url, found myself distracted by all the other great posts. This one is in a league of its own though. Notice how I’m skirting around describing what the post is about? No way I’m spoiling that one…go read. Soooo good and let me know if you guessed the big reveal before the end.

Nursery Whines: A Toddler Self Help Parody

I love clever bloggers, the ones that write something that makes you think “Damn, wish I’d thought of that”. This ‘alternative’ self-help guide for those of you with cantankerous belligerent toddlers (is there any other kind?) is just what you need! Frankly, I’m way past that stage as mine are much older but I’m kind of thinking I’ve come full circle and could do with this guide for my about to be teens too! The ‘accepting help’, ‘being open to other options’, ‘admitting when you’re wrong’, just the whole things. So funny from start to finish and I just love the dry tone in which it’s been written.

Sarah and Louise: The Day I Shat all Over Myself

I have to say this post needs to come with some sort of health and safety warning (or at least a sick bag). The girls need a medal for being brave enough to publish this one but mercy me, it is damned funny! To be honest, for me Sarah and Louise are much like This Mums Life in that I’d happily read their grocery shopping list because even that would be funny. Choice bits in this one?  How about:

Do I just hang myself on the emergency cord above the toilet so I never have to face the humiliation and embarrassment?

or the cream leather seats of the father in law’s car (!) and the pièce de resistance…[cue famous Psycho ‘screech’ music]…the HOSPITAL GOWN [Guffaws.]

 

TISSUES AT THE READY PLEASE

All The Beautiful Things: I Was the Mum

You see a lot of the same issues covered the more you blog and there will always be the regulars that crop up but of course, everyone’s experience is unique to them.  In this post by Helen, she talks about having one of those days in parenting; you know the one!  The one where nothing goes right and your child just doesn’t comply and you just wish you could manipulate time to bring bedtime forward and end the day.  This is one of the better posts I’ve read on this. I don’t want to call this sad or heartbreaking as Helen ends it on a positive beautiful note with the maturity to recognise parenting isn’t a walk in the park and you just have those days and it’s ok. I did feel for her when she walking out of the shopping centre feeling tearful 🙁

Beauty Baby and Me: One for the Husband

The one and only Fi. If/when I finally meet her, I shall squish her muchly with hugs; consider yourself forewarned Fi!  We all have our demons – yep even the most outwardly confident amongst us – but most of us aren’t good at revealing them. Fi puts it out there, warts and all on her blog. She’s one fine writer (who was actually featured in the second blog stars with a hilarious swipe at parenting experts) but for me, this is the one…the one I’ll remember a year from now when I’ll have read a further trillion posts, many of which will have faded from the memory because my brain just can’t hold that much in it. Such a raw, brutally honest, relatable and yet somehow funny post…how the heck did she pull that off?! If blog posts were edible, I’d have at least two helpings of this.

Five Little Doves: We are All Mums

Well I think it’s safe to say that it’s nigh on impossible to read a post by Laura without requiring an entire box of tissues or a stiff whiskey (preferably both) at the ready.  You won’t regret reading this stunning post because it’s a masterpiece. But you will regret not having those tissues or drink ready. This woman breaks me almost every time I read her.  I try not to skim read blog posts; I’m generally not a skim reader by nature anyway but in the interests of time management, what with All. The. Blogging. I am ashamed to admit I do sometimes have to do it out of necessity.  I don’t skim read Laura.

Ever.

Nor should you.

Just Saying Mum: You Were Once a Babe in my Arms

Helen is one of my go to/won’t let me down bloggers. If I’m having a bad day, I know I can visit her blog and my spirits will be lifted by her words. She’s just so good at what she does, whether it’s making us laugh at ourselves growing older or blooming CRY at our kids getting older!I I’ll admit, I actually groaned at myself over including her in yet another edition of #BlogStars because I’m sure regular readers will think it’s cronyism with certain bloggers cropping up in more than one edition! But how do I leave out something I loved reading? How do I skip a post that totally deserves a place in a roundup of amazing posts?! It would be almost dishonest to do so, just because it’s by a good friend every cell of whom I love dearly.  Do yourself a favour and read this. Just remember… #NotWithoutKleenex

Mouse Moo and Me Too: The Bad Mum Files

I don’t know how to describe this post. I read it a few months ago not long after it was published and just stared at the screen almost numb with disbelief and relief in equal measure. It is no discredit at all to Sam’s brilliant writing (so good it turns out I’ve in fact previously featured her in this series) to say that I still don’t know how to describe it, such was its raw visceral effect on me. Things could have turned out SO differently for her and her kids on the day this happened and thank goodness she lived to tuck her kids (and herself) into bed that night. Huge cyber hugs to Sam.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Madhouse Mum: Time on our Side

Alison writes with a sensitivity and beauty that just gets me every single time. She’s also bloody funny at times too.  This post about having one of those rare occasions where you actually just have the chance to get time with one kid (I guess you have to have more than one child to really appreciate this or have grown up with several siblings) is a beaut. “It feels as if I snatch at parenting them….” Sigh. Such a clever writer. In fact such a clever writer that I simply had to share another of hers:

Sexual Control

I almost winced when I saw the title of this because I was fairly sure I knew where Alison was going with this. It’s a very well written and frankly scary prognosis of the sexually-obsessed culture our kids are now growing up in and the enormous burden of worry and uncertainty this places upon us as parents. As the mother of a boy and two girls, the eldest of whom is 12 at the time of writing (and who has come home telling me the most hair-raising things about what her friends know/talk about/watch), I totally related to this post. The info about the porn industry’s core target almost gave me heart failure.

Mother of Teenagers: The Value of Female Friendships

Although happily married I am not a woman who regards my husband as my best friend and am always somewhat surprised and intrigued by those women that do.

Hear hear! I nodded all the way through this eloquently written post by the rather fabulous Jo. It’s a rather beautiful appraisal of friendships that come and go throughout our lives and the role that her husband plays in her life and how it all fits together. I’ve watched Jo handle ‘that birthday’ with aplomb throughout her blog and social media posts and she’s rather an inspiration to me in so many ways. And boy does she know how to write.

My Random Musings:Birth Rape

Where do I start regarding this standout post by Debs? The term ‘thought provoking’ feels fluffy and almost dismissive as a description. I had never heard of the term birth rape before reading this. At the risk of incurring wrath or falling foul of my readers – and not wishing to belittle anybody’s birth experience – I do agree with many of the points raised by Deb in this article and respect how thoroughly she has covered it trying to see the topic from all sides. It is an emotive issue, one that I can see polarising people. All I can say is go read and let me/Deb know what you think!

Pink Pear Bear: You Will Only Ever Have Half my Attention

Ah can there be a mother out there who wouldn’t relate to some or all of this? Louise has a way of writing as though she’s just chatting to you and I actually felt like this post was a chat  over a cup of coffee (you know while one of her kids tugged at her to go while Louise thought of three things she needed to do!)

I feel like I’m juggling sand…like I’m on one of those airport moving runways and thoughts are whizzing past me as I try and grab them

A well-written post that perfectly encapsulates what it is like for most women raising families, working and just trying to keep their s**t together.

TeacupToria: Finding the Courage to Walk Away

This is not a new one at all (and I’m thrilled that since writing it, things seem to have improved for Tori)  but it had such an effect on me when I read it that I filed it away in my mind for future revisiting. I found this post about the breakdown of a marriage (almost as soon as the couple were in fact wed) absolutely heart-wrenching. It comes across as though every word was carefully chosen yet never feels contrived or geared towards attracting sympathy. It’s just a very honest and even beautiful account of a mother’s hurt, fierce determination to protect her son above all else and calm ability to make the right decision. I believe good things finally come to those who deserve it.  Tori and her gorgeous son deserve some good luck and judging from her recent posts, things are starting to fall into place.

Toby and Roo: Let’s Talk about Sex Baby

Remember the fab 90’s tune by Dimitiri: “The Last to Know”? No, of course you don’t; you’re too ruddy young. Ugh. Anyway, that’s me. Always the last to find out the big news, the last to adopt the latest trend etc, a lifelong Little Miss ‘oblivious to what’s going on at school/uni/workplace/school playground’. So you can ALL go ahead and have a jolly good laugh at how I only discovered Toby and Roo a couple of months ago (universal gasps).  I pootled around her site and stumbled across this. No I’m not going to talk about sex with you baby…I’m going to let Harriet do that as she’s far braver and better than me on that front. PS Fave bit? The ‘Chinese take out drive’. She’s a bit good that Harriet.

Winnettes: Parents vs The Internet

I’m still not decided how I feel about some of the issues raised in this. I’m a bit of a dinosaur. I cannot for the life of me understand how so many parents give their kids devices (even if it’s ‘just’ letting their kids play on their phones whilst in the car/in a doctor’s waiting room/at a restuarant) or phones from an early age. I don’t understand how children under the legal age for Facebook account ownerhship are allowed to have a FB account when under that legal age etc.  I’m a traditionalist who’s had to be dragged kicking and screaming into this ‘kids need devices’ era we now live in; shall I describe the ‘joy’ I felt when Hubster decided to let our then 11 year old have a phone, without discussing it with me first? However I can’t deny Kirsty makes a good point regarding getting wise about technology and she really has made me reconsider my reluctance to show my kids’ faces here on the blog and my AbPrab social media. It’s a thought-provoking post and any post that provokes thought is worth sharing.

HELPFUL STUFF

Life with Baby Kicks & Toby and Roo: From 0 to 50k in 12 Months on Instagram

50K? It’s enough to make you spit your coffee out isn’t it? All the blogging, all the Twatter, all the Faceberk aggro, all the pinning (God give me strength I haven’t yet mustered up the energy for the great big Pinterest overhaul of my blog) and then…then…Instasham. Seriously, I love blogging but the whole follower number thing makes me break out into a cold sweat. Sound familiar? Fear not, Harriet is here again! This time, she’s on form with a series of these-will-do-nicely-thank-you tips to help you get your Instagram on…and who better to advise you…because since writing it…she’s now got 75k IG followers!! Plus it’s a guest post for my blog bestie Laura so she gets a nod too.

Motherhood the Real Deal: Make More Money from Your Blog, How I Doubled My Earnings

Well as I invariably end up saying if that isn’t a ‘does what it says on the tin’ title for a blog post, then I don’t know what is!  Talya’s one of my mentors, is always there for me with no nonsense advice and is seriously switched on as i’ve said in my post about reaching for the sky.  What can I say apart from go read it to find out how my blog wife Talya made £2000 from her blog recently.

You Baby Me Mummy: Why Your Blog’s Not Growing

Excellent one from Aby here. Obviously with all the blog tips she’s known for I could choose any number of posts but this straight talking super informative one caught my eye a while ago and has stuck in the brain ever since. It’s not a long list that ends up leaving you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of which bits of advice to implement; just a solid few points that make SO much sense….and how much did I love the ’80/20 rule’ which caused a proper blog epiphany with yours truly?!

 

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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.

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