Well, summer is pretty much here and the countdown to the six-week summer holiday is now on! I’m just hoping that we’ll get to see a few more sunny days while the kids are off school as I’m hoping to get them out exploring a bit more rather than just staring at their screens!
Which reminds me, I’ve got a good blog post on that – 11 bulletproof ways to get your kids away from their screens – might come in handy this summer!
It has been another jam-packed month and although I’ve managed to stay on top of the workload, I still feel that I could have done more. Does anyone else feel like this or is it just me putting pressure on myself?
I guess there’ll never be a month where I’m 100% happy with how much I got done or achieved, but writing posts like this does help put things in perspective and reaffirm to myself that I’ve come a long way in the 20 months I’ve been blogging. I vividly remember staying up all hours determined to learn as much as I could about WordPress and pushing ‘Publish’ on my first post!
At the end of last month I mentioned that the Wright clan had enjoyed a weekend family break courtesy of Visit Leicester.
We went on a ‘Stay, Play, Explore’ getaway, which includes three amazing activities and a four-star overnight stay with breakfast for a total of £149! You can read more about the experiences we chose or watch the video
I also teamed up with Aldi to highlight its new range inspired by the beach. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Aldi is very good at anticipating trends and jumping on the bandwagon to offer thrifty interiors. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at some of its products.
And last but by no means least, I have recently returned from a press trip to Corsica with Mark Warner.
I had the most fantastic time trying out the operator’s superb range of watersports, along with taking a cycling tour and walking to a beautiful waterfall where we all managed to swim in a lagoon – it was magical and I didn’t want to come home which, for me being a home girl, speaks volumes!
There’ll be a blog post coming soon, along with a hotel review and a video or two – so keep your eyes peeled!
In the charts
Just before I started writing this update, I decided to check my Google analytics to see how many people had been on mu site this month and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that 5 people were currently checking out my blog.
I nearly fell off my chair! Now I know that 5 people doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ve only ever seen 1 or 2 people at the most looking at it, so I was a bit taken aback.
I got a screen grab as proof of this moment as I may never witness it again!
Talking of stats, you might have noticed a HIBS badge on my blog which lists my chart progress for Home Interest Bloggers. Back in January I ranked 255, in February I jumped up to 247 and the last time I reported (in April) I was 191.
I had another peek this morning and looks like I’m heading in the right direction. I’ve jumped 49 spaces to take 142 position. I’ve decided that if I make the top 100 I will treat myself to a meal at my fave restaurant!
Guest Posts & Opportunities
A few companies have contacted me to share posts with them or offer tips and tricks.
Blinds Hut featured my post on open plan living on its summer trends campaign page, while Carlen Glass asked for my thoughts on using glass in my home. You can read what I thought in their article ‘Our favourite interior designers on why they love glass’.
Meanwhile, I was thrilled to learn that I made the Eat Sleep Live list for ‘Essential Interior Design Bloggers’
My vlogging channel
I managed to get almost all my videos made from our Easter trip to Disney World in Florida – you can watch what we got up to every day at a dedicated Disney Playlist channel that I created.
If you are heading to Disney World Florida this year or next and you’d like ideas on the rides, you’ll find my diaries on the blog… Part 1 here (where I chat about our booking, Magic Kingdom and Blizzard Beach), Part 2 here (where I show that we got up to at Typhoon Lagoon, Animal Kingdom and WonderWorks), while the final Part 3 showcases Epcot, Cirque Du Soleil’s show La Nouba, an Airboat Ride on The Florida Everglades and Hollywood Studios!
Outside of the Weekly Scoops that I cover with my daughter, Girlwrighter, and the Disney Diaries series, I haven’t uploaded many videos this month, but I’ve got a whole heap of them lined up for next month!
A couple of things that I’ve learned this month I’d like to share with other bloggers. One of them is from instantprint who has created a free ebook on how to manage time effectively available to download.
Also, I’m a big fan of Aby Moore from You Baby Me Mummy – I keep thinking we would have been great partners in crime if only I had started my blog many moons ago. She’s incredibly hard working, ambitious, funny and seems genuinely very caring and helpful when it comes to other bloggers – all traits I aspire to!
Anyhoo, Aby shared a little hack on Pinterest that I didn’t know before – which you may also find useful.
She says: Pin one pin multiple times right from the get go – This tip came from a super successful US blogger who’s kind of a big deal on Pinterest. When you pin your post (probably to your blog board first), it flashes up where the pin is and says see it now, click that – then repin the same pin to a new board. Then immediately click the new ‘see it now’ message find the pin on the new board and pin it again to another relevant board of yours. Each time pinning the same pin from its new location. Pinning this way immediately gives your pin X number of repins before you even start and because of the smart feed, it won’t show up multiple times. Pinterest will then consider it to be a more popular pin and will show it to more people.
Nice tip Aby – thanks!
In other news, Inghams launched its Foodie Finds recently and offered me the chance to check out its recipe book featuring Alpine-inspired recipes!
Here I am donning a Inghams’ branded apron ready to tackle one of my fave recipes in the book…and as I’m a kind-hearted lass, I’m sharing it here with you….
Those who know me will know that I’m more of a baker than a cook, so I had to go with French Sablé Breton – a popular sweet treat which originated in Brittany.
130g plain flour, ½ tbsp baking powder, 115g unsalted butter (softened), 85g sugar, ½ tsp salt, 3 medium egg yolks, 6 tsp raspberry jam, 6 tsp Nutella
- Preheat the oven to 165˚C and grease a muffin tin
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and in another bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and salt to the butter mixture and combine.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until you’re left with a light dough
- Take a marble-sized piece of dough and shape it into the bottom of the tin. Add half a teaspoon of jam or Nutella into the middle. Cover with another marble sized piece of dough, moulding to the shape of the tin
- Bake for around 14-16 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn out onto a cooling rack until cool enough to serve.
The Blogging Month At A Glance
What was great? The highlight was my amazing trip to Corsica with Mark Warner. I want to go back!
What wasn’t? Feeling like I haven’t dedicated enough time to the blog.
Goals for July: I met my June goal of getting the media pack done and dusted and I’ve started sending it out to people. My goal for July is to upload more YouTube videos, become a brand ambassador and (I’m sticking with this one)….getting my wonderful ebook out there! It’s my birthday month so I’ll be pulling out all the stops to make it happen! Wish me luck…!