Today, I have the pleasure of ‘meeting’ Hayley, who blogs at Devon Mama. Here she is talking about her whirlwind 18 months, her love of the beach and her hatred of lasagne…
Hi Hayley, thank you for taking part! Tell me about yourself…
Hi, I’m Hayley and I live in rural Devon with my husband, son and our very bouncy dog. In the last 18 months, we’ve gotten married, had our little boy and I’ve turned 30 – it’s been a bit of a whirlwind!
Exciting times – congratulations!
Tell me a random fact about yourself, anything at all…
I have a genuine fear of lasagne. It makes me feel physically sick just thinking about it!
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Anyone who manages to juggle parenting with his or her career and get that balance right. I love the uprising of mum-preneurs. Although I REALLY hate that term!
Tell me about your blog. What is the main theme? What inspired you to start it?
Devon Mama is primarily about parenting and the ups and downs that go with it. I try to cover family friendly recipes, reviews of products that we’ve used and insights into how I’ve found parenting… things like ‘The 6 Stages of Making New Mum Friends’ or a piece on bullying by medical professionals when I felt like my health visitor was railroading me.
I started the blog when I was midway through my pregnancy as a way to keep a bit of ‘me-time’ and document how I was feeling. I didn’t really commit to it properly until my son was four months old. I got lost in a baby mist and just didn’t have the time. Since that point I’ve tried to give myself the time to do it and use it as an outlet for frustrations as well as a memory book of our adventures.
Do you blog full time or do you work as well? How do you juggle your time? Any tips?
I blog in my free time (well, the late evening and early morning!) alongside working part-time and raising our son. I’ve recently returned to work two and a half days a week with some of that being at home. The hardest bit has been getting that balance between the two and not feeling like I’m compromising on both. My tip? Make sure you find childcare that you LOVE. We found a great nursery that goes on walks around the village, has a huge outdoor area and plenty of staff-children. I’ve heard nothing but great reviews and can only praise it so far. If you’re happy that your child’s being looked after then it makes it far easier on you all.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to fellow bloggers?
Get involved with other bloggers. I always thought it was a bit airy-fairy when people talked of ‘the community’ but I’ve found a number of friends through blogging. I’ve found Twitter to be the best way to connect to people at the beginning and from that I’ve joined Facebook support groups, general chat groups on Twitter and blogging support on Instagram. It’s like having a cheerleading squad of likeminded people that previously I never would have met. Plus, they’ve inspired me to do more with my blog!
How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?
I enjoy walking the dog – thankfully we live in a beautiful part of the world for it. I’ve made some great friends through my son and often catch up with them. If it’s just me at home, I love blogging, reading and watching trashy US TV shows… There’s just not enough free time these days!
Since Living Life Our Way is a family lifestyle blog, I’d love to hear more about yours…
What are your favourite family activities?
We love to cook and I can’t wait until our son is old enough to join in more. We live by the beach so can often be found down there, especially in the winter. It’s a beautiful place to go for a stroll and blow away the cobwebs. Finally, we spend a lot of time with our extended family.
Both my husband and I have huge families that live within a 15 minute radius of us. Our weekends are normally jam packed with visiting them and catching up with grandparents, parents, cousins… the list goes on! I loved growing up with family members so close and I want that same upbringing for my children.
Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?
The beach, for all the reasons mentioned above. In the summer, it’s always heaving with people so we prefer to stay home but I’ve spent many a summer’s evening on the beach with friends; eating, drinking and being silly! In the winter, it’s even more special. There really is nothing better for the soul, especially if you’re in a little bit of a baby funk. We strap on the baby carrier or get out the pram and go for a good walk by the sea. It’s definitely refreshing!
Best family day out?
Stourhead Estate in Wiltshire. The gardens are beautiful, there’s loads of space for children to run around and there’s a pub on the estate. Plus it’s National Trust so it just FEELS educational! I’ve written before about my extreme love for the place, it’s one of my absolute favourites.
Thank you so much for taking part!
Devon Mama is run by Hayley; a 30 year old mama, wife and recovering sleep addict. Living with her husband, baby and the world’s bounciest dog in rural Devon, Hayley can be found attempting to cook, Googling everything and embracing the strange new world that is parenting. Add in a house with ‘a lot of potential’ and a return to her ‘real’ job as a Company Director and it’s organized chaos at the best of times.
You can follow her adventures here: