Woman and Home Food Bloggers

My ‘Healthy Eating For Rubbish Cooks’ has been featured in Woman and Home Magazine

Woman and Home Food BloggersOk, so don’t choke on your coffee, but I’ve been picked as one of Woman and Home’s BEST FOOD BLOGS!

Yes, I know that’s a bit ironic as I’m a rubbish cook.

And I really hope the other foodies aren’t upset, as I know that food blogging is a serious thing in the UK!

But I’m really chuffed.

It’s because of my features about ‘Healthy Eating For Rubbish Cooks‘.

I must admit that after writing a few background blog posts I got a little distracted.  But I’m back in the game and over the next 6 months I’ll be adding all the basic recipes I use to feed my family in a healthy way, but without any cooking ability or more than 3 ingredients at a time.  (hint hint, subscribe now so that you don’t miss out).

 

I’m very passionate about teaching people that healthy eating doesn’t have to be as extreme as eating cardboard, that treats are fine in moderation and that diets are NOT necessary when you are eating healthily.

The media only loves an extreme story (normally), so I’m incredibly chuffed that Woman and Home magazine have noticed me, even just a little bit.

 

I don’t know why chefs have to over complicate things and have more than 3 ingredients in every recipe.  But there is a serious ramification; it puts people who are rubbish off cooking and sends them straight to the ready meal section.

The majority also seem incapable of putting together a meal which actually has healthy proportions of food.  So people aren’t even used to seeing a balanced plate.

Jamie Olivers 15 minute meals are plainly more like an hour for someone as incompetent as me (I do love you though Jamie!).

I thought that maybe Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall might be onto something with ‘3 Good Things’; but that should be called ‘3 Things I wouldn’t want to eat anyway’.

Nigella is gorgeous, but her food would kill me of diabetes and heart attack really quickly.

Oh and don’t get me talking about Annabel Karmel, just note that when she is dolled up to the nines cooking her ‘easy’ meals, there isn’t a toddler clinging to her leg!

 

So rubbish cooks never fear; I am here and I’m going to get you healthy!

Good Cooks, you might want to check my stuff out anyway; you can always add extra ingredients to make the recipes clever!

And Congrats to all the ‘proper’ cooks in the list!

 

Mummy Whisperer in The Times

I’m in The Times … squeal!

Mummy Whisperer in The Times

Little Dimples and Curly Headed Boy are very unimpressed that Mummy is in a posh newspaper, but I’m chuffed and rather surprised that Mumsnet suggested me (thank you!).

However, newspapers being what they are, The Times obviously only added the one sentence that worked for their story, so I thought I’d finish the story.

 

How much is it possible to earn from being a Mummy Blogger?

 

In the article I say that I do 1 in 4 sponsored posts and earn £100 for them (I charge £50 for administering a competition).  The actual truth is that I limit myself to 1 in 4, because I have long term plans for my blog.

If however you just ran a review site or were happy to have loads of reviews, then you could of course do a lot more.  Also, you can earn more if you do ‘Follow’ links (check my pinterest boards for articles about NoFollow vs Follow).

So for me that is about 1/2 sponsored posts a month, but someone else could easily do 4 a month/week (if they were available).

Problem is that not everyone offers £100, some are offering just £20.  But if you do a real quicky and need the money then lots of £20’s can add up (I’m not getting into the ethics of wether you should do blogs for such a small sum here).

Bear this in mind:

You will have monthly costs for running your blog, plus potentially childcare costs (2 mornings per week at a nursery would be £350pm for me).

For each blog post (lets say they take an hour), you will need to do the same amount of networking/blog post pimping so 1hr of blogging is 2hrs of work.

If like me you limit your sponsored posts, then rather than it looking like you are earning £100ph, you are actually earning £12.50ph.

BUT it’s addictive!  You are likely to spend a lot more time on it than that and will therefore be earning below the minimum wage.

Plus it’s not reliable.  Last year I had lots of interesting campaigns that would bring me in £3-400 per time.  This year they have pretty much dried up.  Even the sponsored post opportunities disappeared for a while.

What I did get though was lots of lovely things to review which gave my family treats; like a holiday in normandy, muddy festival, magical festival, trip to see Andy and Mike, and the lovely Guinness World Records.  But treats come at a price, because each one needs a blog post, I try to make sure that each post is professional, there will be emails with the PR that take longer than a normal blog post, the normal pimping, and I also tend to check out other bloggers who have reviewed the same item.

 

Blogging is NOT something to do just to earn money or get freebies.

 

Why is it worth doing it then?

Because I LOVE writing.

Because it is cathartic for me.

Because I can reach more Mums with my writing than I can 1to1 with my coaching.

Because it helped me write my book on enjoying being a mum and is helping me brew my book on weight loss without diets and bootcamps.

Because I can give my family treats that in this recession are limited.

Because blogging often leads onto something else (check out my predictions for parent blogging that I wrote at the beginning of this year); that’s where people tend to make their money.

 

What do you think?

  • Do you love blogging just for blogging sake?
  • Or are you one of the few actually making lots of money from it?
  • Or did blogging lead onto a new job for you?
  • Have you noticed the change in type of paid work/reviews offered?

 

 

 

Sex life for busy parents

How to fit sex into a busy life as a parent?

Sex life for busy parentsI’m back to doing what is most popular on my blog: writing about sex!  In particular how to fit sex into a busy life as a parent.

I kept a little quiet for a while as I was in Woman’s magazine a few weeks ago, and it was REALLY embellished.  So I kept my head down incase anyone actually read it!  I wasn’t expecting to take up a whole page, I thought it would be more like a little corner, so I was a bit shocked.

Big northern one, you might want to go away for a bit as I share some (not all) of our secrets!

Here’s our problem:

  • We’ve got rubbish sleepers.
  • Little Dimples is still napping at lunch time, so doesn’t go to sleep until late, by which time I’m knackered.
  • Now we have two kids, nap times aren’t available for a quickie at the weekend.
  • There are no relatives nearby, so no accessible babysitting; my kids are fussy about trust.
  • Little Dimples is still breastfeeding so evenings are tricky in terms of going out for a meal because that’s when she most wants milk.
  • I’m co-sleeping and sometimes Little Dimples is very aware of there being no actual body next to her.

 

So you can see that in order to fit in sex to our lives, it requires some ingenuity.

But there is some ‘good news’!

  • Whereas I used to get really grumpy without sex, I’m now more chilled about it.  I think that I used to need it for intimacy, but I now get loads of cuddles and love from the kids, so I’m basically just after sex (sorry if that is shocking to anyone who doesn’t think that Mums have any libido left).
  • Being over 40 has helped too, as I’m more confident in myself, and less nervous.
  • Losing 2 stone last year and getting to a healthy weight has helped me gain more confidence
  • My kids love a little old lady who lives locally who helps out with looking after Little Dimples when I work.  So she is available sometimes during the daytime at the weekend.

So what are my tips?

 

Tips For Mums

 

1) What’s the minimum?

Work out what the basic minimum is and aim to hit at least that.  Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing; they’re probably lieing about it anyway!

Basically compromise between what you would both ideally like, any differences in libido, and reality.  I know you’re tired, and I’m not suggesting you make it worse, but a couple of 20 minutes here and there per month  aren’t going to make it much worse; you might be lucky, it might only be 5 mins ;o)

 

2) Be patient and adjust rather than complain

‘This too shall pass’ – it’s not long in the lifetime of a marriage to have to adapt your sex life a bit for a few years.  Remember that this is about keeping your sex life alive in some way, and ‘a change is as good as a rest’.

Be realistic about the type of sex you are going to have.  If your life is like mine it is likely that long romantic sessions are not going to fit in, maybe enjoy the excuse to have ‘quickie’ sex!

 

3) Plan it and think out of the box

Don’t complain about the lack of spontaneity, after all it can be fun to schedule sex and have the anticipation.

Don’t leave it to the man to make sure it happens.  They aren’t going to be as aware as you are of the difficulties of fitting it in.  So it’s up to you to keep an eye on your monthly diary and make sure that you can fit in at least the minimum with trips/visitors and your period (if he’s fussy).

If evenings hardly ever work out for you, think about organising for your kids to go to see a neighbour/friend/relative during the day for a couple of hours.  Our excuse is that we want to go out for coffee for a ‘chat’ (which we do also do sometimes – now I’m blushing at the look I’m going to get every time I mention coffee to my neighbours!).

 

4) Find a way to cut down on the foreplay time needed!

Don’t be subtle.  If he doesn’t notice the lingerie, perfume and the fact that baby went to sleep early, just be direct i.e. ‘Fancy a quickie?’ works well.  (I’ve got some more posts up my sleeve to help with this!).

If you need a build up, then whisper something suggestive in his ear at the beginning of the day and enjoy the fun of ‘sexting’.  By the time your chance comes you’ll both be up for it.

 

5) Don’t worry if it doesn’t work out

If you are managing to hit your minimum, then you should be able to have a sense of humour when things go wrong; i.e. the kids puke or one of you ends up snoring!

Plus you’re parents, so you’re probably tired, especially if you have young kids, so a degree of pragmatism is going to be needed.  Make sure that you keep talking about it and don’t stick your head in the sand; you’ll probably find that chatting about your mutual tiredness and frustration will help loads.  Perhaps go out for that coffee after all, just to get a chance to chat together and feel more intimate.

 

Tips for the man:

Often all you’ve got to do is ‘turn up’ and don’t mess up your chance at getting some sex!

Check out my post on what makes a man unsexy and my other one on what makes a man sexy and my top tips on persuading a wife that isn’t keen on having sex.  I’ve written loads more about sex and being a parent here too.

Basically if you want sex, make sure she isn’t too knackered or feeling like a drudge, and don’t be grumpy/smelly/lazy in the last couple of hours of the day, because then sleep is going to look a lot more attractive than you.  Plus remember that many women will need some intimacy, romance or affection in between as well!

 

What do you guys reckon?  Do you have any top tips you’d like to share to help out other busy parents with fitting sex into their hectic lives?

Would any of these tips just not work for you at all?

How many of you find that because you don’t schedule your sex life in any way, it often doesn’t happen for weeks or months on end?