Newbie Tuesday roundup: The #BiBs2015 Fresh Voices!

newbie round-upWell this week has been fun! The 2015 Brilliance in Blogging Awards were announced, and I have happily spent the last 7 days reading blogs. For once, I’ve had an excuse for spending all my evenings on the sofa with my laptop – it’s work! Kind of…

Anyway, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working my way through the Fresh Voice shortlist, and here’s my take on the final ten. Hope it helps you narrow down your voting decision!

23 Week Socks is a startlingly honest blog about life with a new baby – and depression. In this post Louise talks about PTSD, as it affected her during her pregnancy. A good friend of mine suffered with PTSD following the birth of her first child, and I know how much it has taken her to come to terms with it. My own journey through infertility and miscarriage led to a pregnancy filled with fear, rather than excitement, and I’m sure that many more of you will understand what she talks about in this post.

Scan the home page of Carry on Katy, and you’ll be intrigued by what might lie behind the headlines, such as Why Big Macs make me a better parent, and 6 Reasons I want to go to prison. The one which might resonate most though, is 10 Careers all parents could have. I nodded along smugly and added ‘bomb disposal expert’ to my CV as I read this one, all the time sipping the wine that is now part of my job!

At Big Trouble in Little Nappies you’re going to have a laugh. Yvette bills herself as someone who isn’t prepared to live up to the myth of the perfect parent, so as you’d expect, her posts are peppered with all those moments that drove you bonkers in the early days with your child, but which you can now chuckle over – maybe. You may even recognise your own child in The Ten Personalities of Toddler Group, and you’ll certainly laugh more times than you can sing Wind the Bobbin Up…

The Ordinary Lovely. What can I say? Rachel has made a promise to herself and her family, to treasure not just the big thrills but the lovely moments that happen every single day, if you stop for long enough to notice them. It’s a beautiful approach, made even more significant by her stunning photography. This post about pretty things reassures me, because I can never quite decide what look I want in my home – my tendency to minimalism and elegance abandoned ship with the arrival of my husband children, so to know that someone whose style I admire can never quite decide either, is reassuring! See what I mean about the photographs..?

The Baby Bible is funny. It’s what most of us want to say about new motherhood, but are too polite – or maybe not brave enough! It’s motherhood, and it’s not sugar-coated. Covering everything new baby, from pregnancy to post-natal depression, with a sassy take on the trials of a new parent, it’s the anti-baby manual – a guide to what to do when the guides haven’t worked. I don’t know a new mum who hasn’t suffered ‘mother guilt’ at not being quite good enough, so I love this post about why you are a good enough mum

Mother Pukka is a very new blog that has already garnered a big following. With a very contemporary style, it has a huge range of features, and I especially like the regular Angry Bird articles. Love her or hate her, you’ll have an opinion on Katy Hopkins, and so does Mother Pukka..!

Sometimes you find a blog that wakes you up every time it drops into your inbox. The Unmumsy Mum is one of those, and the reason is humour. It’s the kind of writing that has you nodding along with every line, and for anyone who has ever eaten out in a restaurant with young children, this post will resonate. It’s real, with bells on.

Running in Lavender is such a pretty blog and I can’t put my finger on what it is that I love about it; it just feels warm and real. The anecdotes of a normal family, without frills, but with such a refreshing reality about it. Heledd runs weekly linky My Captured Moment, which is a prompt for readers to publish an old photo on their blogs. A very simple idea, it has really taken off, and I love the sentiment of adding a little bit of history to our online spaces, for our children to dig out in years to come. It’s one I’ll be joining in with soon.

I’ve only just found Hello Archie, and already I’m loving it. Smart and clean to look at, it’s also full of smart posts. Ever wondered why your child is so cross and frustrated all the time? Because he hates you! It’s true – read this post and see if you don’t agree!

Finally, I need to tell you about Not So Smug Now. I love the post titles of this blog, as well as the design, but it’s the common sense reality that keeps me reading once the headline has drawn me in. Just exactly how do you make new friends when you find yourself newly babied-up while all your work colleagues are carrying on as before? With a huge amount of guts, as it turns out, but this is one that most of us have had to deal with as new mums.

So, now you have all the information you need to make your decisions and cast your vote. Nope, me neither, still a harder a decision than the general election! Good luck, enjoy the new reads, and then go and vote in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards.

Share Button

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. 05 May 2015 / 18:09

    Helen, thank you so much for your amazingly kind words. I’m a bit of a sleep-deprived, emotional wreck at the moment so am weeping at the slightest thing. Needless to say, I wiped a few tears away after reading this. I love my blog but have a tendency to look at all the others out there and only see what mine lacks rather than what’s special about it. Reading your comments and anecdotes about the very different blogs that have been nominated in the Fresh Voice category has reassured me that we are all wonderful in our own unique ways and despite the voting element, are not really in competition because there’s room for us all.

    • Helen
      05 May 2015 / 19:57

      You’re so welcome! And so right – not everyone’s blog is for everyone; they’re all different, and thought-provoking in a different way. But there’s room for everyone. I would so NOT like to be the judge in this category! 😉

      Sorry to make you tearful – it’s all true though! 🙂

  2. 11 May 2015 / 11:57

    Thank you Helen from the bottom of my heart for your kind words. Blogging has given me a new enthusiasm and passion that I never knew I possessed. What started as a little hobby has literally taken over my life. I love every aspect of it but most of all, I love that I now have an ongoing record of my girls’ childhood.

    This is a great roundup of the Fresh Voice category, I honestly feel so lucky to have made the shortlist with such a talented group of women. Good luck to us all xxx

  3. Awe, I’ve just stumbled across this! What a great post – thank you so much for taking the time to really look at all ten blogs and write such lovely summaries… which made me want to vote for all of us!!

    I feel really thrilled to be a part of this, along with nine brilliant blogs, and this has just left me feeling even warmer about the whole thing. Cheers to Helen and Britmums and good luck everyone!