Newbie Tuesday round-up: Busy busy busy

newbie round-upWelcome to another installment of Helen actually finds time to read blog posts/Newbie Tuesday! You know what I’ve noticed in blog world this month? Bloggers getting publishing deals! Or speaking engagements. With Mark from Best Dad I Can Be on an all-expenses paid trip to Rotterdam, and Alice from More Than Toast getting an out of the blue approach from a literary agent, it’s been an epic month all round for bloggers moving on with new ventures. But one new blog I discovered this month is doing it the other way: first she published a book, and now she has a blog! And I’m so glad Amy Ransom chooses to blog about time with her toddler, because she is bloody brilliant. And frankly, I haven’t got time to read a whole book, as the BritMums Book Club organisers must have gleaned by now!

Mama H is another new blogger who is appreciating time. After a hectic week she writes about how much she relishes time with her family, and time alone, and how that makes her endless to-do list a lot more tolerable. Do any of us ever really feel in control? I rather suspect that Shell, of With Smiley Eyes, has been sucked into the vortex that is parenting, because she hasn’t posted since February. I wish she would, because she’s funny. Please go and pepper her latest post with pleas for her return to the blog, as I like it.

Quite early in the month I happened across this post from The Day in the Life of a Busy Mum – I warn you now, it is quite simply CAKE PORN so do not go there unless you have already eaten/shopped/brushed your teeth, because it will drive you straight to the biscuit tin. Once there you will not find anything likely to satisfy the cravings for pretty deliciousness that Deborah has unwittingly caused you and you will find yourself opening cans of condensed milk in an effort to numb the agony. And another word of warning: don’t let your child see her site, as she is rather better at birthday cakes than most of us!

If you’re avoiding cake I can send you to Follow My Line, who is dieting, but still able to eat a delicious-looking chicken bake from the “Hairy Dieter’s” recipe book. I can’t find her on Twitter so if you know this lovely blogger please send me in her direction so I can snap up more recipes from her the minute she tweets them. As this could prevent me having to increase my clothing budget for the summer, I will be very grateful and send you all my biscuits. Thank you.

I now must confess to having become slightly voyeuristically obsessed with another new blog recently. You know that TV show, 16 Kids and Counting? Well they’ve only gone and started a blog! The Radford Family not only manage to juggle the kind of mayhem that would make my brain give up and implode, they even write about the importance of teaching children to cook! *Puts chicken nuggets back in freezer and hangs head in shame.*

I found a new mum this month who already has the measure of the various baby groups out there. She measures their effectiveness according to price, levels of enthusiasm from her baby, and quantity of biscuits provided. Bee, from Beeeee in my bonnet, has sussed very early on that a meet-up is only worth dragging your weary bones out of the house for if it not only entertains the child, but also the mother’s requirement for oral stimulation, ie. food. I did venture to imply that as the child gets older the requirement for biscuits lessens, but only in direct correlation to the necessity for wine.

Sarah, who blogs at In a field somewhere, describes herself as “a bit of a hippy,” which is cool with me if it means she’s raising awareness of environmental issues on her blog. I’m also a tad jealous of her lifestyle now that the sun has started to shine. She claims her family spends every weekend rambling round the country in a campervan and I’m liking the sound of that. I tried to see if it was something I could manage with my gang yesterday and we ventured out onto Dunstable Downs. Within minutes Actually Daddy was gardening up the “moss problem,” GG was whining about ice-cream, and the Bug’s legs were aching. Oh well, I’ll just have to live out my countryside yearnings through Sarah’s lovely posts about festivals and campsites

I have memories of summer holidays in a caravan as a child, and especially of the well-dressing festivals that went on  close to my home town. I was treated to a lovely reminisce today when I visited White Feathers and so Much More and chilled out for a while in her most recent blog posts about the bank holiday weekend. Here she describes the pagan traditions behind well-dressing, which I’m sure I wasn’t aware of as a child – either that or there’s an extra-large hole somewhere in the sieve that is my memory. Have a read, it’s fascinating!

And in yet another jealousy-inducing moment I made myself read all the way through Lou’s Lake Views post about Banff 🙁 It was torture, it’s too beautiful, and my children are too young to go on skiing holidays, and they’re so expensive anyway, and it’s NOT FAIR!! Ahem, calming down somewhat I was eventually able to be happy for this blogger, who escaped from Essex and can now write about such a stunning location. A bit…

I’m loving Carolynne’s blog Mummy Endeavours at the moment. She has twins (I KNOW, how on earth does she do that and still find time to write a blog, run a business and spend time on Twitter?). This month she touched a raw nerve with me when she wrote about how August babies are disadvantaged in school. As the mother of preemie twins born in August she must be worrying more than most parents about the beginning of the new school year. I’d love to see comments on her post from those of you who have had a positive experience with the education of their summer-born child.

Right, I’m off to ogle that cake again, after which I shall make (and no doubt consume) this awesome corned beef pie from teddie’s family. Because I neeeeeed it! What an awesome way to post a recipe!

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About Helen Wills

Helen Wills is a mum of 2 children in primary school and blogs at Actually Mummy on parenting issues, school, travel, and life according to the kids. Since starting her blog in 2011, Helen has won 2 national awards, and puts a lot of her success down to the amazing online community of bloggers at BritMums. As her children grow older, her writing is increasingly influenced by their opinions, and her blog reflects this drive to get the most out of family life.

Helen works from home in copywriting and social media. She is on Twitter @actuallymummy.


  1. 08 May 2013 / 10:43

    Thank you so much for featuring me in this Newbie Tuesday round up. Feel completely excited and over the moon about it… like I want squeal and tell the whole world!!!!! Am I over-reacting?!! Hehe I don’t care! You’ve absolutely made my day! xxxx

    • Helen
      08 May 2013 / 12:29

      Fab! I’m so glad you’re pleased! Go tell the world! x

  2. 08 May 2013 / 14:20

    Hey, it’s not all roses and sunshine on our summer trips either.
    Thanks for the mention, you are very kind.
    Our first ‘trial run’ adventure this weekend was a disaster. Van broke down and I’d left it to husband to find a pull up. He checked the pub allowed, dogs, kids and sold Harveys but failed to book us in to eat. We arrived about 7pm to find them fully booked for food so we had Easter Eggs and Gin for dinner.


    Could be worse.


  3. 09 May 2013 / 19:43

    Thanks SO much for the mention, what a lovely surprise to stumble across at the the end of the working week!

    • Helen
      09 May 2013 / 21:30

      Brilliant. I tried to tag you on twitter – don’t know if that worked.

      • Mama H
        09 May 2013 / 22:01

        Oh! No, I don’t think it did. Never mind! X