It's OK to Take a Blog Break

27 July 2018



When I began blogging, I set myself a schedule that I would post Mondays and Fridays which I have adhered too and am still happy about. I also set a goal that I would blog regularly which I have also been doing but with the exception of a few weeks now.

You may be thinking she just missed a few posts, what’s the big deal?! Well, the big deal is that so much emphasis is put on bloggers to keep posting and posting otherwise you will lose engagement with your audience.

There are many amazing bloggers out there whom have scheduled posts that are pre written and might be months ahead of themselves and are able to post without fail - I honestly admire this so much!

But there are some who write posts to be posted the next day, which is perfectly alright, I have done this many times. Sometimes, I find I get ahead of myself and am able to write in advance but sometimes it is impossible to keep up.

As a new blogger, I became obsessed (no joke) with doing all it takes to be able to post every Monday and Friday and until the week of Little A’s birthday back in February I was. That week really told me that, you know what, it’s OK to not post.

I remember tweeting about it..






And now when I look back at these tweets, I laugh, as it honestly sounds like the end of the world! Even though, they make me laugh now, the response I got was amazing and very supportive and made me realise that it’s perfectly OK to take a blog break whenever you need it.

It’s OK to let life take over and give yourself time away from writing. You are not a machine, a robot that can be programmed to do things at exactly the same time, all the time.

I took another break in April and didn’t feel guilty about it like I had the first time round because it’s not always easy to keep up with everything and it’s OK to admit that. I had gotten so busy and April became a life changing month, I had a wedding to prepare for as well as moving homes and on top of this I landed a new job - a complete career change for me. So you can imagine how difficult it even was to sit down in peace and blog.


Even now sometimes I am able to post twice a week but sometimes I am unable too but that’s okay. After all, blogging should never be forced because otherwise it shows in your work and it will never be your best piece of work.

Although, the blogging world may seem like a race or a competition sometimes and you might be worried about losing your audience - fair enough but sometimes give yourself time off when you need it, it’ll do you good.

I think that’s enough of a pep talk don’t you think?

Look at me, only six months into blogging and giving blogging advice!

June Favourites

23 July 2018


It’s that time of the month again when I share my favourite blog posts that have caught my eye the past month. So without further ado and in no particular order, I present to you my June Favourites!



I absolutely loved this post by Issy and what made me even happier is the fact that she put it out there that if you’re a ‘full time Mum’ does that make a working mum who works 40 hours a week, away from her child - just a part time Mum? No! In all honesty if someone called me a part time I’d give them an earful. Why does everything have to be tagged and labelled?



I absolutely love Jenny’s posts - she’s always finding ways to motivate us to focus on ourselves and this posts she goes through things that can clearly help us improve our lives that don’t even cost a penny! Simple things that we end up ignoring that can make a huge difference!




As a fairly new blogger (it’s been 6 months but I’ll never stop saying that) I’m always on the look for posts that can motivate me to blog because sometimes you just need that little push to make you do something. Huda’s written a lovely post on how you can give yourself that positive push and I’ve found them great so I implemented them and it does make a difference!



Vicki’s written a very honest post on what she finds difficult about blogging and to be honest it’s not just her that finds these things hard but all of us in the blogging world. Blogging is hard work, especially when you’re trying to juggle so many things at once, it can become overwhelming but what’s important is Vicki’s honesty and some things you just have to accept and let slide.


Whether you’re a stay at home parent or a working parent - this piece by Amy is definitely a must read. No one has it easy, whatever you decide to do, you will be judged. SAHM’s get called lazy and working parents are made to feel guilty for leaving their child - it’s a vicious circle and Amy has written her opinion which I think was incredibly brave of her!


I really found this letter Ross wrote to lovely Rachel emotional. Following their journey, I have come to know how far they’ve both come and it’s amazing to see how things can actually change in the space of just months sometimes even days.

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Have you read any of the above?
What have been your favourites?

Our Journey Part Two - The First Time Our Hearts Broke

19 July 2018

Credit: Pixabay

For Part One - Click here.

This week marked 3 years since the very first time our hearts broke. 3 years ago on July 20th 2015 I had my 20 week scan which is also called the Anomaly scan.

It baffles me even today when I think about how naive I actually was then. An anomaly scan is a scan that is carried out to rule out anything wrong but for me it was just another exciting opportunity to get to see my baby wriggling away again.

Never in the slightest of moments did I ever think I would receive the news that I did. I remember the Sonographer asking me whether or not I wanted to know the gender and I nodded. It took her quite a while, I had to do star jumps, walk up and down the stairs because apparently baby was in an awkward position so she couldn’t see what it was.

The actual reason behind getting me to do the exercise wasn’t because she couldn’t work out the gender but because she could see something wrong with the heart and wanted baby to lay in a better position so she could get a better view.

Another Sonographer and a Doctor was called in and alarm bells began to ring in my ears.

‘There appears to be something wrong with the heart.’

I heard one of them say and I burst into tears, my Mum grabbed hold of my hands and told me it was going to be okay but it felt like tonne of bricks had just fallen on top of me.

The Sonographers tried their best to reassure me saying that it may just be the way Baby is positioned so they are unable to get a clear view. I was then taken into another room where a midwife frantically tried to arrange an appointment with Great Ormond hospital.

When I received the actual telephone call from Great Ormond asking me to come in the very next day, it really hit me then.

This was serious.

That night felt the longest night of my life as I waited for the sun to rise so we could find out what was really going on.

Laying there on the bed, the next day, at Great Ormond St as the Sonographer carried out the scan and took pictures of my little angel, the eerie silence started to become incredibly deafening.

Even though, I’d ask her to tell me what she sees, the only thing she’d say is that the Doctor will come to see me.

We were sent back out to the waiting room where we met a lovely pregnant lady who told us that her baby had a hole in his heart. She seemed like the loveliest woman ever and it hurt me so much to hear her news but I kept telling myself that I won’t be put in that position, kept reassuring myself that everything was just going to be absolutely fine.

The Doctor met us and began to explain the situation to us, there here presented to me a yellowish tinged pages of a small textbook with a picture of a heart with labels all around, he went onto explain how a normal heart functions and how my baby’s heart functioned.

It’s best if you terminate this pregnancy,’ He outright bluntly said.

‘NO!’ I screamed back in his face, whilst my little angel kicked and danced around inside of me.

‘I understand this is difficult but you need to go home and think about this,’ He pestered.

I had already made up my mind and I repeated to him that I was not going to let my baby go.

‘Seeing his condition, he might not even survive the birth..’

I was then told that I’d be rescanned in 10 weeks time, if we decided to carry on, we made the appointment and were taken to another private room to to think.

But I didn’t have any thinking to do, I didn’t want to hear anything, as I cried on my mother’s shoulders whilst holding my husband’s hands I just knew that there was only one thing I ever wanted and that was to never let go of the life growing inside of me.

Five Things: June Edition

10 July 2018

I’m really excited to be finally joining this linky run by From Rachael Claire and Georgia. It’s a special linky to help you focus on yourselves for once - what can get better and interesting than that?

June has been a hit and miss month for my family, we’ve had reasons to smile for and also heartbreak to conquer. So I’m glad to be participating in this linky so I can focus on the positives. But I had to re write this entire post as I forgot one rule and that was to focus on yourself and not you as a Mama.
So what positive five things engrossed the month of June for me?

Shopping at 7:30am


Yes, you read that right! Shopping at 7:30am, on a weekday, just before work - and not for groceries either! For clothes, for home decor items... just for leisure! I can’t tell you enough how very quiet and peaceful it was!

Eid



There was no way that I was going to leave Eid out - it was exceptionally amazing, it always is, whatever the occasion to be able to spend quality time with the family and extended family. I really looked forward to it this year as since starting full time work, I just needed an excuse to put my feet up and enjoy.


Work conference



I attended my first conference at work and I’m not going to lie - I was nervous at first as I did not know anyone there but it turned out to be such a lovely day. I’m not sure whether it was the friendly atmosphere or the actual location of the event that made me feel good but all in all, I had a lovely time.

Taking the lead


I started work nearly 2 months ago and have felt myself develop so much. Although I’m new, I didn’t let that stop me from putting myself forward to join a new committee that is focusing on how to improve the work as well as focusing on how to make breastfeeding successful in the U.K. - I am really looking forward to this as I believe that having first hand experience will definitely be beneficial on how the NHS can and needs to improve in this area.

Reading



The last time I had read an actual novel was back in 2016 when I was pregnant and even then I didn’t actually finish it! I use to be that girl who you would always see with a book, that girl who you would see crossing the road whilst reading a book (yes, I know dangerous but I did look around!).
Now, I have been trying my best to get back into reading and finally chose Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland which I’m thoroughly enjoying, I won’t say much on here about it as I do intend to do a full book review when I’m finished!

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So there you have my very first post for My Five Things! What have been your top 5 favourites/moments for June?

6 Months of Blogging - 6 Tips and Tricks!

6 July 2018




It’s been a little more than 6 months now since I joined the surprisingly wonderful world of blogging.

6 months?!

It literally only feels like yesterday that I was sat in bed writing my first post on New Year’s Eve whilst listening to the fireworks erupt in the sky.

What a 6 months has it been!

I never knew that the blogging community was so welcoming and friendly. To be honest, I really did think that the only person who would actually read my blog was going to be Steph, my buddy IRL. But I have readers from all corners of the world! So thank you!

I’m not some experienced blogging guru but I do have some tips for new bloggers out there if you’re interested and I guess it just doesn’t apply to newbies but those bloggers who have already made a firm position in this world.

So in no particular order..

1. Plan Ahead

I know this isn’t for everyone but I really do think it would make your life so much easier and blogging less stressful because as much as blogging can be fun it can get your stress levels rocketing especially if you want to keep posting regularly.

If you know you’re going to start blogging in a month’s time - how about starting writing your posts now? I seriously wish I had done this!

2. Social Media!

Social media has its pros and cons but I’m going to focus on the pros. If it weren’t for Twitter - no one, I repeat no one would have known that there is a blog called The Mum Affairs.

Twitter is also the best place to find out about Linky Parties - everyday there is one or more going on hosted by fellow bloggers - these are a great source of traffic.

Not only these but also Blog Comment Threads - all you have to do is leave the link to your post which needs love and read and comment on everyone else’s blogs and you’ll have readers dashing to your blog.

Importantly, don’t make the same mistake as I did and ignore Instagram. Instagram seemed like a scary world to me compared to Twitter purely because I can’t for the life of me take good photos but I bit the bullet and have become active there as well - I wish I had done this so much sooner as the second largest source of traffic for my blog is the gram!

3. Photography

When I began blogging, I was of the mindset that I didn’t need to bother with photos - a huge mistake no doubt! I naively believed that people would come to my blog for my writing... um, it’s not always that! Photography is what attracts us to a page. You don’t have to be a pro or have one of those fancy cameras, just use your phone! I am in no way an amazing photographer but since I’ve started making the effort and including actual photos and not just picking one from a free website, I have had an increase in followers!

4. Research

Before launching your blog, do a bit of research into blogging itself. Check out other bloggers, their work and engagement. Dig into your potential audience and just see what’s out there.

5. Theme

One of the features of a blog that attracts me is the actual theme and you don’t have to burst your budget to get that dream look for your blog. Without a second thought, I bought a theme in the very beginning and thought that was the best thing I ever did but it really wasn’t - nothing wrong with the actual theme but being a new blogger I shouldn’t have jumped up so high. If I had done my research beforehand then I wouldn’t have spent so much on a theme.

I gave my blog a makeover and the current theme is more than half the price of my previous one - ETSY is the best place for purchasing that perfect theme for your blog and believe it or not you can get amazing themes for less than a fiver.

6. Be Yourself

I cannot stress enough how important is this! You might look at other bloggers and lush over their work and think maybe if you adopted that style it will do you good. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting but if it isn’t you then I’d just say don’t bother. You are unique and it is you who will make your blog stand out from the crowd.

I know I said I’ll be giving six tips but I just wanted to add a little something else as well - ENJOY YOURSELF! Don’t make blogging something you find that you have to do and make it a chore. Blogging should be fun, that corner of the internet where you can do what you want, however you want, with a smile on your face.


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Is there anything that you’d like to add to help out other bloggers?

To celebrate my 6 month blogerversary I am doing my very first giveaway for you all! Would you like to eat some scrumptious personalised cake?! Head over onto my Twitter to see how you can get your hands one!


20 minute Banana Oaty Biscuits with Raisins

2 July 2018

I made these yummy oaty bars for Little A the other week and they were a hit. What I love about them is that you can experiment however you want. This time round I added raisins, Little A hates eating raisins but she happily ate them with these but the next time I might add another fruit or even juicy dates!





Prep time: 5 mins Cooking time: 15 mins

Makes 16 biscuits

Ingredients:

3 medium size bananas
170g oats
14g raisins (you can add more, I didn't as Little A isn't really a fan)
Tiny drop of vanilla essence
Sprinkle of cinnamon



Method:

Pre heat the oven at 180C.
Mash the bananas and gradually add the rest of the ingredients.
Prepare your baking tray by lining it with greaseproof paper.
Spread your batter evenly, not too thin and not too thick, just enough so it doesn't break in your hands but forms a perfect bite for your little one.
Place them in the oven until golden and firm.




These not only make fantastic snacks but also the perfect go to breakfast with a warm cup of milk! Next time I'll also be adding some delicious peanut butter - what about you?

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