Newbie Tuesday Round-up: Who should I pick from the Fresh Voice shortlist!

round up of newbie blogs 610Have you ever wanted something so badly you didn’t know what to do about it? Well I know 16 bloggers who are in that boat today. I know this because 2 years ago I was shortlisted for the Fresh Voice category in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards. It’s such a buzz. But it’s terrifying! I’m made up to see some of my favourite new blogs in there, who I’ve featured over the last year on the Newbie roundup.

I’m ashamed to say though, that there were one or two blogs in there that I haven’t read before. So I thought I’d put that right, have a read, and use this roundup to highlight my favourite recent post from each of these brilliant bloggers. Hopefully it will help you decide who you’re going to vote for!

My pick of the best from the Fresh Voice shortlist.

Sisterhood (And All That) packs a proper punch. Super-professional in look, and incredibly articulate. I loved When New Mums Get Angry, full of the undisputable facts of managing your partner when  you have a new baby, and coloured with irony along the way. There’s even a smattering of advice for said partner when faced with a new version of his wife, which goes even further than “pick up your pants and change the loo roll.”

More than Paleo is where I’m going after my holiday to shed the beach bar pounds. This “eat like a caveman” diet is sweeping social media at the moment, with incredible results. At first listen, it sounds like you need to catch and eat woolly mammoths with the odd side order of turnips, but in this post Alice explains exactly how to do paleo properly. And if you check out her sidebar there are recipes for cake!

A Mum in London is a fresh-looking blog featuring lots of lovely travel posts, all connected to getting out and about with children. What I love about this blog is that it’s very real, as this post about travelling through Gatwick airport with children shows. Lots of ideas for places to visit in London too, as you’d expect.

I love Three Boys and a Cat. Just a lovely, real account of family life, telling the tales we all have in our homes, and making us think a little along the way. This post about coming clean over Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy started by making me feel sad. But the more I read, the more my smile returned, as I realised that confessing all to my children doesn’t stop the magic, it just changes is for a different kind!

My pick of the best posts from Gaming Daddy of Two is very apt, given that I write this the day after attending #BlogOnMOSI. At Laura’s event I was privileged to be hosting the session on creative copywriting, alongside @janeblackmore and @Aresidence. One of Penny’s top tips was to start your post in the middle of the action. Adam has that nailed as he begins:

I think I’m literally going to kill @tiredmummyoftwo.”

I’m so glad he didn’t!

Katie, at Hurrah for Gin rarely fails to raise a grin, and frequently has me snorting tea all over my keyboard. It’s the way she inserts her particular brand of irreverent humour into everyday, which ensures that the most humdrum aspects of raising a family are painted with edgy colour. In her post about starting school as a summer baby, she manages to convey exactly what her fears are for her boy, whilst giving us a snigger along the way. Clever writing.

Adventures of Adam is an awesome resource of cheap, quick and simple ideas for entertaining a toddler. Emma describes her blog as featuring “play activities that don’t cost the earth but will mean the world to your little one.” And it really does deliver. No complicated crafts for which you need a trip to the DIY store before you can begin. Just very quick and easy activities that you can do in a few moments – which, after all, is about the attention span of a toddler! Here are her top ten picks of Adam’s favourite activities.

Make me an Earth Mother writes a complete mash up of funny and serious, day-t0-day and different. It’s just a lovely Mummy Blog. If you visit, I guarantee you’ll feel as if you know Judith because she is in every post – something of her, as well as something of her children. My favourite of her recent posts sees her pondering rock-and-hard-place dilemma of getting out and about in the big wide world. We want our children to experiment, experience, but how do we marry that with our need to keep them safe? Have a read, you’ll see what I mean.

Have you read Katy Hill’s Blog yet? The gorgeous BritMums Live keynote speaker turned blogger in our midst has a lovely site, as you’d expect. But did you know she is also very real? Of course you did, she’s the first to call herself out as an over-sharer. But isn’t that what you need from a blogger, especially a well-known blogger? Well have a read of Out of the Mouths of Babes – she is totally real and every bit as in the parenting zone as you and me 😉

I met the beautiful Jenny from Let’s Talk Mommy this weekend for the first time, and now I know why her blog feels so fresh and lovely. It’s a total reflection of her, and her Phrase Day Friday posts have me in stitches every week. Her little boy is so cute with the things that trip off his tongue, you’ll be hooked in no time.

Now, we are parent bloggers. We blog about our children, and ourselves. Which means that very often our partners don’t get a look in. I’ve been reading Californian Mum in London for a while now, and I love her frank but gentle style. When I saw that she had written about how she met and married her English husband, and came to be in London rather than California (I KNOW!) I almost skipped on to the next post. But the title drew me in (you’ll see why) and then I was hooked. Such a lovely read, and so nice to know a little more about the blogger we think we know from all the parenting posts.

Cool Bananas is one of the aforementioned blogs I hadn’t seen before. But now I’m left wondering how I missed it! Katrina (never Kat) has a quirky style, and some fab photos. When she does a review, she really does a review – I’m totally checking her blog before I buy anything in future. And her post about going to BritMumsLive paints a picture so energetic that I’m looking forward to meeting her there hugely!

Beautiful Misbehaviour is a parenting blog with a difference. Stephanie is a writer. She takes her writing very seriously, getting up before her earliest riser in order to practice her craft. In this very honest post about accepting interruption, she talks about learning to deal with the constant breaks in concentration when you are the carer of a young child, and references a couple of other writers who have approached it in different ways. She also runs a virtual open mic night where writers read their work to an online audience! Go have a browse – it will make you think about why you write.

Mama Duck is a very peaceful space. Filled with musings on parenting styles, with great recommendations for further reading, this blog discusses and references the parenting experts, as well as the ad-hoc lifestyle posts the author reads, and wants to pass on. This post about choosing kindness is one such good read. It reminded me to slow down, to accept imperfections, and to spend more time enjoying life.

Perfume and Trumps. What can I say, that isn’t already said in the title? Well, it is exactly what you’d imagine, and I wish I’d seen it sooner, for I have a feeling I’m going to relate to a lot of Sarah’s tales. Second post in, and I’m already googling ‘how to play old-fashioned games with my kids’ as her story of skipping and elastics catapulted me right back into the playground of 40 years ago. Loved it!

Finally, I need to make a declaration: I am an introvert. No, don’t all stand up and yell contradictions at me – I know how it looks, but I’m an introvert. Bear with me here. The Intrepid Misadventurer writes stunning posts – thoughtful, as well as beautifully constructed. And when I read her post about being an introvert, it resonanated with me completely. It’s a fascinating read that dispels the popular misconceptions about introverts being mousy little things with no personality. In fact, as you’ll see, an introvert is often the strongest character in the room.

Good luck all of you, I can’t wait to see who makes it to the finals. And the rest of you, go vote, and put them out of their misery 🙂

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. 06 May 2014 / 13:34

    A lovely post, thanks so much for this, Helen.
    Lovely to discover so many brilliant new blogs & I’m honoured to be among them in the shorist!
    Good luck to everyone in the shortlist 😉

  2. 06 May 2014 / 15:11

    Thank you so much Helen – so chuffed to be in the line up against so many wonderful blogs and touched by your kind words xxx

  3. 06 May 2014 / 16:20

    VERY excited to be in the list with such great company! x

  4. 06 May 2014 / 16:21

    And thanks Helen and “Hello” everyone! *waves

  5. 06 May 2014 / 16:27

    Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

  6. 06 May 2014 / 17:52

    Thank you Helen! Bloody exciting and it will be very cool – and bizarre given some of us have shared some intimate details – to meet each other! x

  7. Helen
    06 May 2014 / 21:33

    Aw you’re all very welcome – can’t wait to see you all on the night!

  8. 07 May 2014 / 08:52

    Thank you for a wonderful post. You just made my birthday! I am awe of the other bloggers in the list. My blog is only two months so certainly a newbie in the blogging world.

  9. Thank you Helen…I loved this post, simply because many of these blogs are new to me! I’m so glad to be part of such an intelligent and varied group…I look forward to putting faces to names at Britmums Live, (which I must admit makes me feel a tad panicky as I don’t know a soul in person!) 🙂 x

  10. 07 May 2014 / 23:01

    Wow, so flattered! Thank you so much for this lovely write up, chuffed to bits. Well done everyone else – honoured to be amongst you. x

  11. 09 June 2014 / 21:28

    WOW Helen thank you ever so much. I never knew you mentioned me here until I accidentally came across it in google. So sweet of you to say. It was lovely to meet you and I am glad you find my Phrase Day Friday funny, always worried I am the only one! lol Thanks for the mention. Sad I didn’t make it to the finals but grateful to have made the shortlist.