The adventures of Jack Jack

The adventures of a first time Mummy and my son Jack.

Blogging tips and tricks

tips n tricks


While I am by no means a successful or well known blogger, I have been on the scene for just over 2 years. In that time I have picked up tips and information that has proved invaluable. Its time to pass on that knowledge.




  • Take your time – Blogging is not a race, its not about who review’s an item first or how many you can ‘knock out’ in a day. Pounder and muse over your writing and let it flow naturally.


  • Check and recheck – Reading over your work helps to spot mistakes and helps plant the idea of the next paragraph. I find it useful to write a post then step away for a moment. When I reread it after a short break I often find parts that need wording differently or think of more to add.


  • Stick to the topic – If you are writing a review, stick to that product. Outline the pro’s and con’s and your own opinion. A little extra info can sometimes add a personal touch but don’t run away with it and go off on a tangent.


  • Listen to your writing – I use google translate to check my posts by sound rather than sight alone. Listening to it rather than just reading reveals a lot more than you’d think.


  • Review your own items – Reviewing products you have bought yourself, as well as those given to you for that specific purpose, adds weight to your blog and shows companies you are not simply ‘in it for the freebies’ (although they are a bonus).






  • K.I.S.S – “Keep it simple stupid”. A difficult to navigate blog is likely to put readers off, regardless of the content. Use menus and tags to group reviews, giveaways and posts together.


  • Giveaways – Make it clear in the title what it is and make sure you have all the details in your terms and conditions. What is the prize, how many, where (UK, Worldwide ect), start and end dates, how long participants have to reply to your email before it is withdrawn, what they need to do to enter and if any are optional and if you will be announcing the winner on social media. Rafflecopter and gleam make it a lot easier for your readers to enter, with all comments, links and entries in one place.


  • Create a warm welcome – Visitors will be drawn to your blog for the personal touch just as much a they are for the content. A good ‘about me’ page and widget lets readers (and PR’s) get to know you better and feel as if they are checking up on the adventures of a friend. It also allows you the opportunity to have a little fun, you can use pictures or fun facts to describe yourself and the reason for your blog. On mine I included a comical ‘likes and dislikes’ for both myself and Jack.




Make yourself known

Blogging relies on virtual word of mouth, you could write a brilliant post only for no one to read it.

  • Social media – as much as a distraction and nuisance they can be, facebook, twitter, google + and the countless other social media sites can give you a wider audience to share your posts with. Many bloggers set up their own facebook page and post regular links to their latest post. There are also blogger groups on facebook, such as UK bloggers and blogsrus where you can pick up tips, ask questions and spot review opportunities.


  • Schedule - Facebook pages give you the option to schedule a link or status but I personally use Buffer. This site allows you to link your blog to every social media page you use and schedule links for all of them. Blogs themselves have the option to schedule, handy if you can’t sleep and no one will see the post if you publish it. Scheduling also means you can spend one day a week blogging yet have posts publishing all week, keeping your traffic steady.


  • Communicate - Interact with your readers. End posts with, “What would you do differently?” or “What are your views?”. Entice your readers to connect with you. Joining in with linkys is also a fab way of becoming friendly with fellow bloggers. A full list of linky’s can be found on the blogsrus facebook group here.


  • Actively seek out work – if like me you use your blog as a little more than a diary, then you need to search for the guest posts and reviews. Twitter is a good media to use with its hashtags such as #bloggerstoreview and #bloggerswanted, facebook blogging groups are also useful to watch as opportunities are sometimes posted or screenshots from other sites added.


  • Use networks - There are tons and tons of blogger networks out there ready to support you, offer tips and blogging opps and help push your blog to a wider audience. As a parenting blogger here are a few I use: Mumsnet, Netmums, Britmums, Tots100 and Bzzagent.


  • Make it clear – use a PR/contact me page to explain the reason for your blog, if you are looking to earn or work with brands and how they can contact you. An email address will suffice, you dont know whos reading your blog!


  • Don’t let yourself be pushed around – if you agree to reviewing a product or writing a post to an agreed set of guidelines, both sides need to stick to it. If a brand or PR company are messing you around or changing things at the last minute, you can refuse or pull the post. When it comes to sponsored posts (posts where you are paid to write about a certain product or topic) the rules are very similar, but you do need to add a disclaimer at the bottom of you post stating it was sponsored and you do need to inform the taxman of your earnings. Products sent to review are classed as tools for the job. They only become taxed if you sell them.


useful tips


Useful tips

  • Watermark – watermarking pictures can help avoid them being used elsewhere, as they will have your blog name or copyright on the image. This can be done on photoshops online editor by clicking tools, Photoshop express editor then upload a picture. You can then crop and edit it as you like and add a watermark by clicking on decorate and then text. You don’t have to use pictures but they help draw your readers in and break up walls of text.


  • Ranking – We all hate leaderboards but they are a necessity in the blogging world. When working with companies, especially on sponsored posts, they will more than likely ask for your PR or page rank. This can be found easily by entering your blogs url at (you can also find other rankings that are useful but not as important as page rank) but there are many other sites you can use to check page and other ranks.


  • Be passionate - Remember how boring it was writing essays about the book you were reading in English or how to solve algebra while you were at school? You don’t want your blog to be the same or you’ll soon lose interest. My main interest is my son Jack and what we get up to, so thats what I write about.


  • Keep notes – I keep a notebook with me at all times to jot down ideas or reminders. Too many times my early morning call of nature has been joined by an idea, only to be forgotten when its time to get up. Organisation is also key, all those information sheets and contact info has to be stored somewhere.


I hope my tips are helpful and not too overwhelming. Feel free to bookmark this page and use it as a checklist or reminder while working on your blog or contact me if you need help.

Do you have any tips you would like to share?


Silent Sunday 17/8/14



SONY DSC Silent-Sunday

My future meet our past

Last Sunday Jack went for a sleepover at his Nanny’s and what an adventure he had.

While we were enjoying hot cups of tea and scrummy egg and bacon butties he filled his days playing with his cousins in the garden and going out with his Grandad.

Unfortunately it chucked it down for the whole of Monday but my Mother in law tells me Jack wasnt fazed, and spent all day shadowing his cousins and insisting they watch Peppa pig with him, over and over.

By Tuesday the weather was slightly better and Nanny took all four boys swimming. Jack loves water but he doesn’t like getting changed into his swimming trunks or getting out the get dry, this time however he threw a fit because he couldn’t follow his cousins into the boys changing room. Instead he had to follow Nanny into the girls and continued to scream the place down until he was dry and dressed and back with his cousins.



After a quick lunch to refuel the 4 of them were off the aviation heritage centre in East Kirkby, Lincolnshire with Grandad. East Kirkby is the home of a Lancaster called Just Jane, as well as many other aircraft and vehicles. There is also a visitors centre where you can buy a taxi ride up the runway in Just Jane and learn more about her as well as a memorial chapel to remember the fallen.



I have to say I am slightly jealous as I have always had a fascination with the battle of Britain aircraft, mainly the Lancaster and this year marks the 1st time in 50 years since 2 Lancasters have flown together. Thumper from RAF Coningsby (part of the battle of Britain memorial flight) and the only other flying Lanc in the world, a Canadian Lanc called Vera. Just Jane doesn’t have her airworthy certificate but still sends shivers down your spine when she taxi’s down the runway.

As this year marks the centenary of the first world war, I believe it is incredibly important to teach the next generation about the sacrifices made so they never have to live through those sort of horrors.



Jack certainly got a taste of history during his visit, seeing not only Just Jane but also a Dakota which is a Normandy (D-Day) and Arnhem (Market garden) veteran having flown in the conflicts, as well as other vehicles.




We spent our Tuesday taking a lazy wander around Boundary mill, enjoying having all the time in the world rather than trying to juggle 100 different things. We looked in the toy section for dinosaurs (J’s new obsession) but at £15 for a hand sized toy they were certainly too expensive for my tight budget. Every time we got to Boundary mill I have to pop in the garden centre to look at the tiger oscars.

I used to have one who we rescued from a dirty disgusting tank and nursed back from the brink of death. I named her Luna, short for Lunatic because she attacked everyone else but me, she even tried to savage a workman who was plugging something into the extension lead near her tank. She had fin rot and worms when she came to me and after a lot of hard work she returned to full health and full naughtiness but always had a soft spot for me and would nudge my hand until I stroked her.



I had to stop myself taking all the baby oscars home but luckily I had my hubby with me to keep me grounded, if not I’d have a house full of fish by now. While in the garden centre we spotted a stand full of RAF battle of Britain merchandise and to my delight they had a pocket notebook with a Lanc on the front (coincidentally the aircraft J was looking at around the same time), perfect for all my blogging notes.

On Wednesday my baby was home and within 20 minutes of being back had already asked for his favourite snack (apple and cheese) and when I gave it to him he said “thank you, love you”
Then he saw me cleaning the floor, asked for the mop and started mopping for me.

The rest of our week was spent playing indoors away from the rain and cold wind. We played airplanes (and Mummy didn’t duck in time, ouch), read stories and used his mega blocks to build the tallest tower we could.

Today we’re off to my mums for Sunday lunch along with my Brother, sister in law and 2 little nephews. A busy, excitable, scrummy way to finish off a fun packed week for J.

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Silent Sunday 10/8/14



SONY DSC Silent-Sunday



So Jack is staying over at Nanny’s house tomorrow night and here are just a few things I’m looking forward to:

A hot meal, all to myself without having to share.

A fresh cup of tea, not one thats been nuked in the microwave 3 times.

Monday morning snuggles with your daddy, without your cheesey feet in my face.

A hot bath and a dry bathroom afterwards.

Reading on my kindle, for the first time since the Christmas holidays.

Going to the loo, on my own and without an audience.

Being able to walk across the room and not having to dodge train tracks, cars, stuffed toys and mega blocks.

Watching Bones back to back.

Swearing, like a trooper if I want to

Hold a conversation with your Daddy and hear every word.

But most of all I’ll be missing you xx


Remembering the stories of WW1


This week marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of britain’s involvement in WWI.

Unfortunately I know nothing about my great grandparents and their involvement in the war and the only people who knew ,(both sets of grandparents and my dad) are no longer with us.

However my fiancés family do know at least know the name of a family member involved in the war.

Edward Osborne (My fiance’s great grandfather, Pop’s) fought in world war 1. He never spoke of his account of the war so we simply do not know where or when he fought. But honestly who could blame him, the horrors he saw and experienced I’m sure none of us would want to relive.

As his son said (my fiance’s grandfather), “The men who talked about their exploits in the war, rarely did so”

While I respect the fact that no one who lived through the war wanted to talk about it to their families, it is a shame that their personal stories die with them.

I have no idea of what either of my great grandfathers did or even if they survived the war. I believe it is incredibly important that, if we can, we remember the sacrifices made on our behalf, so that we can enjoy the freedom we have now.images


WW1 was known as the Great war, the war the end all wars but unfortunately it wasn’t. If ever we needed a reason to remember the fallen, the veterans and those still serving then learning from our mistakes should be it.

As a mother myself, I can only try to imagine the pain hundreds of thousands of mothers across the globe (allies or axis) had to endure upon receiving news of the demise of their husbands or sons.




I also  believe it is extremely important that we educate our children about the causes, events and consequences of all wars.

While trying to research about my great grandfather in law I stumbled upon an excellent site – The great war 1914-1918

This site provides an overview of the First World War battlefields on the Western Front by showing you where they are and what you can see there today. Established in 1998, the website is dedicated to the memory of 20 family members who served in the military during the Great War of 1914-1918

Not knowing much about WW1 than the facts in general knowledge, I have spent most of the day reading about the timeline of events and the Western front on that site. There are so many personal, heart rendering stories that you can’t help but read any you come across, even though you know they will leave you in tears.

2 -



Impressively the site also has a section with educational resources for teachers and details of how you can trace your family history and even medal records.

There is so much fantastic information that I myself haven’t explored it all yet.


Trying to get my head around the names of battlefields and what happened when with whom I have started reading Horrible histories – Frightful first world war I know it is written for children but the book outlines the events so simply I can get my head around them and ultimately teach them to Jack when he is older.

While I will not stand in his way if he decides in the future to join the military, I hope I can instal in him that war is nothing like call of duty and it is not only his own life that will be affected.

This has been a difficult post to write but one I felt I should write, if simply out of respect for the sacrifices made. I am extremely grateful that I am able to bring Jack up in a relatively free world, where he can enjoy things these young men never got the opportunity to.

In closing I will leave you with one of the most sobering and poignant images involving WW1.


The unknown soldier.


“Oh yes, they call him the Streak”

Another week gone and another roundup of the adventures of the small one.

With the heat wave continuing at the beginning of the week, I once again had the challenge of keeping at least a pair of pants on my son. Most of the time I failed miserably, but at least he was dressed if we were out in public. He did however strip the minute we were home but in a way I am glad he did as it made potty training less messy.

Jack has a lovely pink hippo pool/sandpit, that was given to him by a friend of ours last summer. Its just the right size for Jack but as I found out not big enough for mummy to squeeze in too :(



No matter, we had an impromptu water fight instead. I love spontaneity when it comes to days with my boy, much to his daddys annoyance when he saw how much water we had managed to throw in the house by accident, whoops.

The next day we spent cooing over the firemen that had stopped across the road (for different reasons ;)). They were installing a free fire alarm but Jack being a 2 year old boy nearly wet himself over the fact there was a “Friengine” outside. He did me proud by holding mine and his Daddy’s hand as we crossed the road, then asking the firemen very politely if he could have a look inside.

The lovely lads from the Lincolnshire fire department were kind enough to let him have a little look and put the lights on for him. His obsessive appetite for all things that go was satisfied (if only for a brief moment) and my tired boy asked to go back home to his den for a nap. He did get a little upset that this meant he had to say goodbye to the “Friengine” but as we got back across the road the firemen pulled away and every single man aboard waved to my boy.

I must admit I did get a lump in my throat from the massive grin that appeared on his face at that moment. Just goes to show how important their job is, not just in fire rescue and safety but also by implanting those important life lessons in our children. When playing with his fire engines Jack always says “ouch, hot” because he knows fire is dangerous.

I know, I’ve turned into a real softy since having J and get tearful watching him laugh at a cartoon. Dont get me wrong I am by no means a pushover but I suppose after a tough childhood I was scared to show weakness of any kind.

Since having the little bundle of love, hugs and stickiness that is my boy, I have lost the need of hiding my true feelings. I cry on Christmas morning, on Jacks birthdays and lately when he told me he loved me for the first time. In fact he ended up crying because Mummy was crying and Daddy just raised an eyebrow and supplied the tissues.

My lovely next door neighbours have a grandson who is 9 and sometimes pop round with toys they have held on to but no longer need. This time they came round with a little desk and an electric car for Jack, all for free as they wouldn’t accept payment of any kind.

I must get Jack involved in a thank you gift crafting session I think.

After leaving the car on charge overnight Jack spent Tuesday morning keeping me on my toes stopping him from crashing into things as he drove up and down our quiet cul de sac. Jack has quite a fan club on our road so many of our neighbours stopped what they were doing to watch him attempt to run me over and laugh gleefully as I jumped out the way.

This road rage did hamper my efforts to take the perfect picture of him in his car and all I managed was a short ‘don’t crash’ video.

The desk is a life saver, no more tripping over crayons my colouring mad boy has left on the floor. It also came in pretty handy for a teddy bears picnic during a rainy Saturday afternoon.


By Wednesday we were putting the heat, and J’s nakedness, to good use to try and kick nappies out our lives for good.


It didn’t happen, we managed one wee in the potty and lots on the floor, den, sofa and lots of changes of pants. The less said about the poo and toy tractor incident the better, I’m still trying to forget that myself while storing it away for Jack’s 18th birthday.

To be fair I did buy him a nice shiny new toy tractor with a scoop on the front, but doing said deed on my carpet and using the tractor to scoop it up wasn’t quite what I had in mind.

I spent a while searching youtube for potty training songs and cartoons in the hope they might help Jack to realise he can’t just go anymore. I think the main problem is he gets too caught up in playing but the dry like me pads we were sent to review are helping to save my furniture and floors. Fingers crossed those youtube videos help with the toilet training over the next few days, for mine and my washing machines sake.

As the week came to an end so did the heat wave and the wet weather meant we couldn’t really go out to play. If it was warm but raining I had no problem with Jack running round the garden but it didn’t stay warm for long. Stuck inside Jack’s naughty side came out to play and he taught us that WD40 is excellent at removing crayon from painted walls and jam sandwiches don’t fit in the dvd player very well.

In a bid to channel his energy into something productive I gave him the peg bag and helped him count out ten pegs. In an instant he had it sussed and now counts everything, including his dinner (taking ages to finish in the process).

Jack had an adorable request while getting ready on Friday morning.

“Mummy Brewer dress too.”

Luckily I had packed all his clothes away ready for a future baby number 2. After a little rummaging I had found all Jack’s newborn outfits which were a little spacious for Brewer the bear but at least he could wear them. Every morning and night now we have to change Brewer too and Jack has to help him learn how to brush his teeth.


I must admit I got a few funny looks from people when Jack, Daddy and I popped down to the shop during a sunny spell on Saturday.


Yes I may be making more work for myself but what’s wrong with a 2 year old little boy enjoying a little pretend play with his bear. A massive plus of it all is that Jack now gladly gets dressed and brushes his teeth because Brewer is doing the same, thats a win for me.

On a plus side the cooler weather did give J a chance to wear him new bunny outfit and pull a grin that set my face leaking once again.


Its not everyday you see a 3 foot bunny doing some colouring.

Its not everyday you see a 3 foot bunny doing some colouring.

Our Sunday has been spent mostly in our pj’s watching Disney movies while the rain drummed on the windows.

Heres to more of life’s little adventures.

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Silent Sunday 3/8/14


Silent-Sunday SONY DSC

Water play and fun in the sun.

The past weekend was spent enjoying the sunshine (in between thunderstorms) and with Jack running round mums garden completely naked.

It all began on Friday when my 2 youngest nephews came over to play for the afternoon and Daddy decided they were well behaved enough to enjoy an ice cream. One game of footie and 30 sticky minutes later and Jack had poured most of his down himself and wipes just weren’t clearing up the mess.


“It’s ok” said Daddy “I’ll get a bucket of warm water and sponge to clean him up with”

Little did Daddy forget two toddlers and a five year old and water don’t tend to end in tales of everyone staying dry.

Within seconds of Daddy washing a sticky Jack Jack, my baby had got hold of the sponge and was chasing his cousins round the garden, as naked as the day he was born.


I bet you can guess what happened next ;)

My nephews soon stripped off to join in the fun, good job it was my little nephews and not my teenage ones blushes

We added a squirt of soap to the water for foamy fun and a few car sponges then took shelter in an attempt to hold back the soapy, wet hordes of nudie wuddies.



Pretty soon the storm clouds made an appearance again and 3 shivering children were quickly dried and dressed and my nephews were soon picked up by their Dad.

During that night’s storms I managed to capture my first lightning picture.


On the Saturday Jack had just one request the minute he woke up, water Mummy!

At least it wasn’t such a faff wrestling him into clothes that morning, just had to strip off his pj’s and apply lots of suncream.

He did look a little lost at first, with no body to play with but soon invented a few little games to play by himself.

Once I had finished what I was doing I joining him in a water fight (with my clothes on I might add, don’t want to scare the neighbours!). Daddy joined in and quickly decided I was far too dry.


We tried splashing the water hard, then soft and discussed how it felt. At 2 years of age Jack has a pretty good grasp of describing words, he stated the water felt cold and wet and hard when he hit it.

We also had great success with Jack using the potty during the good weather, woo hoo.


Once he was dried and dressed he asked to have a go on the drum kit so I was only too happy to help.

On the Sunday I decided to put my water baby to use washing the car, with a little help of course.



This was quickly followed by more water fights and Jack getting hold of the hose. Finally after a quick nip to the shop and a boogie in the back of the car we all enjoyed very well deserved bbq.


Hardly surprising Jack slept 13 hours Monday night ;)

Oh and lets not forget my mothers scatty cats, Baloo hiding in her wardrobe and Mowgli the cat with a  foot fetish.


This post was inspired by Center Parcs blogger, Steph Tilley’s tips to preserve memories.

One of my favourite ways to log a memory is through video. Video captures a special moment as it happens – perhaps you want to remember the look on mum’s face as she flies down a zip wire, or the moment your little ones ride their bike for the very first time.

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots100 August challenge.  If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Sherwood forest – Rufford, Nottinghamshire.


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Making the most of the sunshine.

Jack and I have had a busy few weeks, enjoying the sunshine and getting caught in cooling showers.

We covered the garden in chalk drawings.



We puddle jumped.



We rode around and around until we got dizzy.



We played at the park with Brewer the bear (complete with cape).




On the way home we found a friendly cat.



We bought a car with a little help (thanks mum!)




We invaded Grandma’s house and played chase with Daddy round her garden.


We spent the cooler days colouring and enjoying cuddles.




We stole Daddy’s hat and pulled a cheesy grin.




We danced in the garden to acdc.


We took a walk through the farm at the top of Grandma’s road and saw some sheep and a tractor.




I prepared for little leg’s birthday and succeeded in hiding a substantial stash of presents.


Phew, what a busy few weeks we had Jack.




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