Blogger Recognition Award

First of all, thank you to lovely Trupti at Girls Glamour for nominating me. Do go check out her blog, she has a variety of posts, plenty of great reading!

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How did my blog begin?

Well, in short, it begun as a hobby several years ago now (almost a decade infact!) when I first became a parent. I have written about the beginnings of my blog before. 

My Top Tips For New Bloggers

  • Network – join facebook groups, twitter chats, and even attend conferences/ events if possible. Put in the time and effort to connect with other bloggers. It is a great way to get support and advice, and make friends too!
  • Take it one step at a time – there are many aspects to blogging and it is likely to be far too overwhelming to take it all on at once. Focus on one area to learn about and work on, until it starts to come more naturally and slots in to your schedule/ process easily, then start on the next thing.
  • Be yourself – whether you have a specific niche or cover lots of subjects, open your heart out or are more reserved, write how you speak or more formally, stick to your own personal style and just do you!
  • Focus on social media as much as your blog – if you want people to find and read your content, you need to engage with others and actually share your blog posts so they get seen!

I now nominate the following fab bloggers:

If you would like to take part, the ‘rules’ are simple…

  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give your top tips/ advice to new bloggers.
  • Select other bloggers you think should be nominated for this award and tag them in the post. Remember to let them know they have been nominated! Don’t forget to also link back to the person who nominated you as well.

Thank you to everyone, let’s all keep supporting each other!

Sunshine Blogger Awards

Thank you Devon Mama for tagging me in the sunshine blogger awards. These are the answers to my questions…

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

My daughter answered this one very well: “It is because sometimes we do things differently to most, but we live life our way, in the way that is right for us!”

What would you sing at karaoke if you HAD to pick one song?

Tricky with Lindsay (Sorry to everyone who is not her and won’t ‘get’ this answer!)

Who would play you in a movie of your life?

Can I play myself?!

What’s your proudest achievement (aside from being a parent!)?

Taking my own path in life.

If you had to lose one sense (taste, touch, hearing, sight or smell) which would it be?

I hate these kinds of questions! Taste, I guess.

What was your first job?

Cleaner at the school I attended.

What do you love most about your child?

Her creativity and ability to think entirely outside the box.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

I would like to be able to travel more.

Why do you blog?

I enjoy it and it is very flexible.

Who is your hero?

Anyone and everyone who keeps growing, who fights for a better world and/or who comes out stronger when faced with personal challenges.

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I now tag Business For Mums to answer the following ten questions…
What is your favourite hobby? (Besides writing!)

What is your favourite TV show currently?

Where would your dream holiday be?

When was the last time you cried and why?

How did you celebrate your last birthday? 

How do you spend your ideal night in?

Who inspires you?

Why did you start blogging?

Where did you last go out? 

Who would you most like to sing a duet with? 

The Bedtime Tag

What are your worst sleep habits? Do you have a bedtime routine? I have been tagged by the fabulous Lynette at Reclusive Fox to share my bedtime secrets with you all! Here goes…

Describe your usual bedtime routine.

I don’t really have one personally. My daughter has created her herself one that includes me, but I don’t have my own.

What are your favourite pyjamas?

I don’t wear pyjamas per se, I usually sleep in vest tops (or a long sleeve tshirt if it is cold) and leggings.

What is your current bedtime reading?

Erm, twitter and facebook? LOL 😉

What would I find on your bedside table?

Nothing, I don’t have one.

What scent makes you sleepy?

Fresh bed linen!

What is your usual bedtime and wakeup time?

It varies because of my daughter’s additional needs. But generally speaking, I tend to be a night owl. I am NOT a morning person.

What are your top three bedtime products?

Erm… my bed, my pillow and a duvet sound like good answers to me lol!

What is your most common sleeping position?

On my side.

Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?

My phone. I know, I know….

What is your worst bedtime habit?

See above. I have a bad habit of looking at my phone in bed! 


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I now tag the following lovely bloggers to take part:

Coco Butter Blog

Hello Wanderer 

Johanna Montana

Becster

The Amphletts

Beauty And The Bird

The Bedtime Tag Questions

Describe your usual bedtime routine.

What are your favourite pyjamas?

What is your current bedtime reading?

What would I find on your bedside table?

What scent makes you sleepy?

What is your usual bedtime and wakeup time?

What are your top three bedtime products?

What is your most common sleeping position?

Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?

What is your worst bedtime habit?


The Bedroom Tag Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their blog.
  • Display the Bedtime badge; which you can find at the top of this post. (save the picture)
  • Answer the ten questions included above.
  • Nominate between three and five fellow bloggers to take part, and set them the questions.

Reasons Why I Am #RockingMotherhood

Parenting is hard. And it is easy to focus on the mistakes we make, the things we haven’t done and the things we could do better. All too often we criticise ourselves, and give ourselves a hard time, rather than celebrating our own achievements as a parent, the things we did right and how much we actually rock! So I really appreciate both Mama Wilkos and The Baby Boat Diaries tagging me to write this post about the reasons why I am, in fact, rocking motherhood

  • I know my child. Ok, this sounds like I am stating the obvious, I’ll admit. But she is a very complex child with some major additional needs, and I really get her. It doesn’t always make it any easier to deal with of course, but at least I understand exactly where she is coming from!
  • I am her mum, teacher, friend and therapist. I am her rock. I am even her business partner! I do my best to be absolutely everything she needs me to be.
  • I have taught myself the extra skills that I need to support her as fully as I possibly can with her needs, including CBT. 
  • I have adapted our lifestyle and carved out our own path to better suit her unique needs, even though it isn’t always easy to go against the grain. 
  • I support her in finding and developing her true passions in life, and to follow her interests.
  • I give her the freedom to learn at her own pace, and allow her the time and space to enjoy a raw simple childhood.
  • I teach her to be comfortable and confident with herself and who she is. 
  • I make sure she is never afraid to fail or try out new ideas.
  • I help her to be a solution-focused, free thinker who throws away the box completely! 
  • I nurture her sense of wonder and exploration of our natural environment and the world around us, and teach her how to protect it. 

RockingMotherhood

I tag the following awesome mamas to take part in this challenge too!

Friendly First Foods

Me Becoming Mum

Better Together Home

Cups Of Charlotte 

Mrs Mummy Harris 

Rules

  • Thank the blogger(s) who tagged you and link to their blog.
  • List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (This is just a guideline, it can be more or less, I really don’t mind)
  • Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
  • Grab the #RockingMotherhood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.

If you would like to, you can also tweet your post to me at @followourpath and/or @whitecamellias (the lovely mum who started this challenge). We would love to read them and RT for you! 

My Hopes and Wishes For 2017

​Moving on slightly from my new year resolution post, I was kindly tagged by Devon Mama and Friendly First Foods to share my wishes for 2017 in different areas of my life. I am grateful to be involved in this because it helps me to focus on my aims for this year; I do like to set myself goals, as I said previously! 

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Personal Wishes

  • To make time to dance, go to gigs, listen to music; do the things I love.
  • To meet more like-minded people and build new friendships.
  • To try new activities/ do different things/ go to new places; be adventurous!
  • To volunteer at a couple of events.
  • To keep developing myself and continue with my inner growth.

Blog Wishes

  • To increase my reach, so that more lovely people read my blog!
  • To meet some more fellow bloggers in real-life, maybe even make it to one of the blogging events this year.
  • To start my nature linky, which will motivate me to post regularly about our outdoor adventures. It will also help me become more organised about blogging too!
  • To continue my guest series ‘A Quick Cuppa With….’ because it is a lovely way to connect with other bloggers and support small businesses, plus it helps me to have scheduled posts in advance!
  • To seek out more paid opportunities as my blog continues to grow. 

Family Wishes

  • To organise a good balance of home ed activities that interest and develop Squiggle, whilst giving her plenty of freedom and the flexibility needed, to meet her needs.
  • To explore some new days out, such as Kew Gardens for example.
  • To have a family holiday.
  • To expand our etsy shop to sell more sustainable clothing with Squiggle’s own designs.
  • To continue taking an active role role in protecting our environment.

Hopes and Wishes

  • That 2017 is a peaceful year.
  • That we stay happy and healthy.
  • That we are able to overcome challenges and find solutions.
  • That we maintain our sense of wonder for the world around us.
  • That we set a good example and inspire.

So that’s my list of hopes and dreams for 2017! 

I tag the following lovely bloggers to take part too…

Han Plans

Waffle Mama

The Amphletts

Big Family Little Adventures

Life As Mrs D

Five Little Doves

Mummy Miller
I look forward to reading your posts!

New Year Resolutions

I don’t usually make any New Year Resolutions, I prefer to generally set myself goals throughout the year. I do get it; new year, new start. But do you know what? Every single day can be a fresh start. Heck… any given hour, or any single minute in fact, we can choose to change our lives in some way. Vowing to make a new start, take on new challenges and aim for new goals is something any of us can do any time we want. New year resolutions, I feel, mean we kind of put undue pressure on ourselves and build it up too much. I think that level of hype works for some but yet can be the downfall for others. 

So my own new year resolution is very simple; to build on what I started in the past year. For me personally, 2016 was a time of change and inner growth, the year I begun to rediscover me and who I really am, and to find my direction again. So this year, I aim to keep growing, developing and moving forward. 

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Everyday, whatever the challenges, I remind myself of the ideas that inspire and motivate me. The things that really resonate, and help to lift me higher and to do better. Some of you might relate, whereas I suspect a few of you actually probably hate this kind of stuff! But that’s ok, we are all different. I need them, so I am sharing here as a reminder to myself as much as anything else. Here are some of the inspirational and motivational quotes/ ideas that I live by:

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. I used to think this was utter nonsense! The original quote I saw mentioned Beyonce, and I just thought “yeah right, she has a tonne of help and support around her to get things done. Everyone can achieve more with so many extra hands on deck, it’s like the equivalent of having a spare week available everyday!” But now I see I was missing the point. Maybe we can’t all be Beyonce (obviously, unfortunately!) But everybody can stay focussed, work hard, use their time effectively, do their best to overcome barriers and achieve (great) things. And as for her entourage, that brings me onto the next thing…

We can achieve more when we work together. When we collaborate with others and team up, we can achieve more and achieve it faster. Network, seek out others who share similar goals, build up a support system, ask for help, and find your tribe. And on that note, my door is always open (well my inbox is anyway!) if anyone would like us to work together on anything. I am hoping to connect with others who share similar values and collaborate more this year! 

It’s never too late to start. Alan Rickman got his first major TV part at the age of 36. Fashion designer Vera Wang didn’t design her first dress until the age of 39. At age 39, Stan Lee created his first comic. Henry Ford found success at age 40. Morgan Freeman got to 52 before he became an international star. Nelson Mandela made history when he became president of South Africa, he was aged almost 76 by that time. It is not too late. Repeat. It is never ever too late to start over, to try again, to begin something new. 

Keep moving forward. Set goals, achieve them. If it is a difficult patch, remind yourself that it doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you keep going. In a year or two time, you will be glad you kept at it, even if it feels like tiny baby steps that won’t get you very far at the time. Progress is progress. Keep going. If you need to rest, then pause. But don’t give up.

See the opportunity in everything. Look for solutions, not problems. Don’t be afraid to fail. Mistakes are an opportunity to develop. Failure teaches how to do things better/ differently next time. Challenges can be overcome. Don’t let obstacles stand in your way. Attitude makes all the difference! Don’t stand in your own way.

Richard Branson ~ If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”


Balance. Know when to keep fighting, but also know when to let go. Prioritise. Word hard but take time to take care of yourself too. Life is a constant juggle, so figure out how to keep up!

………………………………………………..

So those are the philosophies that motivate me, and have helped me through 2016. There have also been a number of charities and non- profit organisations that have been truly inspirational and changed my life. 

Thank you to the following in particular: 

Turning Green 

The Wildlife Trusts 

Lonely Whale 

WhaleFest 

Ocean Unite 

Surfers Against Sewage

If any of your New Year Resolutions include green living, protecting the environment or conservation, then be sure to check them out!

What are your new years resolutions? I’d love to hear them, let me know in the comments!

The (Not Big Or Fat) Quiz Of The Year!

Since it’s the end of the year, here is a little Q&A quiz just for fun, to reflect on this past year and look ahead to 2017…

What was your highlight of 2016?

Getting my first paid opportunity from my blog! (Not because of the money itself but because of the sense of achievement and what it represented!) There were lots of non blog-related highlights too, of course, but since I am currently writing this as a blog post and my head is on blogging goals etc… it’s the first thing that came to my mind at this moment in time lol!

Name one thing you are most likely to remember about 2016 if asked in five years time?

Hmmm. Brexit and Trump sadly I think will come to my mind. And the loss of so many greats. Hopefully I will also remember it as the year of so much personal growth in all aspects of my life too though.

Sum up 2016 in one word.

Change.

Name one pearl of wisdom from 2016 that you will carry with you through 2017.

I have surrounded myself with some hugely inspirational people this year. They have helped me to grow in a number of ways that I most certainly will carry with me. I think this deserves a separate post of its own to be honest!

Do you have any new year resolutions?

I don’t really do new year resolutions as such, I prefer to set myself goals throughout the year instead.

How are you seeing in the new year?

I’ll be at home. We do a fake new year earlier in the evening so Squiggle can get to bed when she is tired, due to her needs. Hopefully she won’t get disturbed once asleep but that’s probably abit optimistic!

What would you most like to do in 2017?

Travel. Anywhere really!

What are your main goals for 2017?

Continue to grow my blog. Help Squiggle to develop her etsy shop selling sustainable clothes with her own designs. Collaborate with others, and support some awesome charities.

I tag Mummy FoxThey Grow So QuickThe Baby Boat DiariesJust Average JenSophie Ella and MeAccidental Hipster MumBig Man in the WoodsEmma Plus ThreeWaffle MamaTo Aufinity And BeyondLisa Cowan and Living With A Jude to answer these questions next. I look forward to reading your posts! 

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Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy New Year! 

Merry Christmas!

Happy holidays everyone… and for those who celebrate, Merry Christmas! Thank you for all the love and support this year, I appreciate you taking time to read my blog and connect with me!

Merry Christmas, Living Life Our Way, selfie, snapchat filter
I love snapchat filters, in reality I was sat in my pjs and no make up when I took this 😂

I hope your day is filled with laughter and fun. But if today is difficult for you for any reason, as I know it can be, please remember you are not alone. Feel free to message me if you need to, via email or any of my social media accounts.

Helpline Numbers:

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Helpline numbers (UK)

Wishing you all a happy, healthy 2017!

Katie xx

Christmas Tag!

I love reading about how other families spend their Christmas and sharing abit about how we spend ours, so thank you to Bell and Bear for tagging me in this festive Q&A! Here are my answers…

What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

Love Actually. I have already watched it several times this month! I used to love Santa Claus: The Movie when I was a child. The bit where the reindeer finally does the super duper looper to save the kid always made me cry bucket loads. Every. Single. Time.

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Not that I can remember. Perhaps when I was a child, maybe? I’m not sure.

Where do you usually spend your holiday?

At home. I have never been away for Christmas. When I was a child we used to go round to visit my grandparents on Christmas day but they were local (well, same county anyway!) But that’s the furthest I have ever been for Christmas lol!

What is your favourite Christmas song?

Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

Of course not, how could we? Santa won’t have been yet! 😉

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

In a word… no! Erm, Rudolph obviously. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Blitzen…  How many are there? Oops, I think I just failed the parent test. Oh dear….

Which holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

Making our gingerbread house together on Christmas eve.

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Fake. It’s child size, blue and decorated by an 8 year old. What could be better than that? (Do not answer that! 😂)

What is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?

I can’t think of a specific answer to this really. But I loved the vegan meal we had last night for our Christmas do, it was delicious!

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

Giving. Honest answer.

What is the best Christmas present you ever received?

Anything from my daughter!

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

New York would be high on my list, definitely.

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

Terrible, I fail miserably. I hate it and I suck at it. Fact.

Most memorable Christmas moment?

There are lots of memorable moments! My daughter spotting ‘Santa’s sleigh’ in the sky for the first time a few years back, that was magical!

What made you realise the truth about Santa?

I have no idea what you’re talking about… 😉

What makes the holidays special for you?

Spending time with family.

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So, that’s my Christmas tag answers! And I’m tagging LeeLee Loves, Mum Times Two, Adventures in Homeschool, Emma and Family, BecsterJust Average Jen and Emma Plus Three to take part too!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!

#Blogtober 2016 – Day 30: A Letter To Someone

First of all here is an open letter to Squiggle…

Hi sweetheart

Be yourself. You’re awesome. Remember to always see the best in all situations, attitude is everything! And know that I am here, always. I love you more than anything. 

All my love

Mum xxxxxxxxx



Secondly, here are a couple of letters from my mum, that she sent me almost 20 years ago now, when I was working abroad in Tenerife. I am so glad I kept them all this time! 

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Blogtober, family, letters, working abroad, blogtober, living life our way

Last day of Blogtober tomorrow! 

#Blogtober16