The Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you so much to the ever-lovely Natalie from Searching For My Inner Zen for nominating me for this award. Not only is she a beautiful writer and inspiration, but she is a beautiful person who I am very grateful to have met through our blogs.


What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma


Rules:

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include link to their blog
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself
  • Nominate bloggers you feel deserve the award
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one

Three Things About Me:

  1. I’m a fully qualified Photographer
  2. My son was born at 24 weeks, weighing just 1lb 9oz
  3. I would love to write a book

My Nominations

BaffledMum                                        WhatAbigailSays                                   HejHej

StephLoves                                          EverythingMeganX                               TheScribblingsSite

MotheringEveryday                          BrutalHonestyBlogger                          AshleighWrites


Q&A

  1. Who are some people you only met once but they left a big impression on you?    The obstetrician who delivered my son – and it wasn’t a good impression!
  2. What is your least favourite food?                                                                       Mushrooms – YUCK!
  3. What was your favourite cartoon when you were growing up?                          Whacky Races
  4. What celebrity would you love to have dinner with?                                                   Tom Hardy
  5. What have you really wanted to do for a long time but haven’t done yet?             Start a Youtube Channel

My Questions

  1. If you could develop one skill overnight, what would it be?
  2. If you had to change your first name, what new name would you choose?
  3. If you could write a book about your life, what would it be titled?
  4. What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
  5. If you could bring back the dead, which famous person would you bring back?

Looking forward to reading all of your responses lovelies! Hope you all have a good week!

D x

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The Versatile Blogger Award

I was recently nominated by my fellow blogger friend Natalie at Searching For My Inner Zen. The Versatile Blogger Award was created to feature and recognise blogs that have unique content, high quality of writing, and fantastic photos. As the web-page about the Versatile Blogger Award says: Honour those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.

Thank you Natalie. You’re such a lovely and kind lady who I am very privileged to have met through this blogging world of ours. Those of you who are needing some zen and who enjoy reading beautifully written words, get yourselves over to this lady’s wonderful little part of the internet and enjoy!


THE RULES OF THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD:

  1. Thank the person who gave you this award, and include a link to their blog.
  2. Nominate 7 blogs that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  3. Share 7 things about yourself that people might not know.

7 FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. I married my high school sweetheart – been together 17 years and counting.
  2. There are 16 years between myself and my youngest sister.
  3. I found out I was pregnant just as I was about to be rushed into surgery.
  4. I am obsessed with stationery.
  5. I suffer from Anxiety disorder and PTSD.
  6. I’ve broken my coccyx (my bum) three times – i’m clumsy.
  7. I got my first tattoo last month.

MY NOMINATIONS:

  1. Pixel Mama
  2. Natalie Hanson
  3. Man vs Adulthood
  4. Bee Beauty
  5. Mum in The Mad House
  6. That Mumma Rocks
  7. The Mother Hen

All of these amazing blogs are worthy of a read and a follow so get yourselves over and thank me later.

Can’t wait to read all of the posts from my nominees.

D x


Writers Block

Hello lovelies.

Those of you who follow me will have noticed i’ve not blogged in over a week, something which is quite unusual for me as of late.

There are a few reasons for this:

1 – I’ve been struck down by the plague… all thanks to my germ ridden sister who passed it to my son… who then passed it to me…

and

2 – I don’t know what to write.

This isn’t hugely important as oftentimes what I do write is absolute gibberish and I find that getting all of my nonsense out and onto a blank page is wonderfully therapeutic. However, I don’t just want to serve you drivel. If you are kind enough to follow me, I want to be able to give you food for thought when you visit my page. Whether that’s to try a new product I’ve been loving or just to feel like you’re not alone with your thoughts.

So in a bid to overcome my “writers block” I’ve taken to brainstorming words and ideas that are just coming to me.

A lot of it’s crazy… like full on ‘what is going on in my head’ crazy… But a lot of it has been super useful and so this is how I’m going to try and move forward.

I hope you keep reading along and I appreciate each and every one of you for your support.

Love & grateful hugs,

D x


The Women In My Life

Today is International Women’s Day and in keeping with what this day means, I thought I would take the opportunity to share a little about the inspiring women in my life. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by strong, independent ladies, who inspire me every day to be better and do better.
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My biggest inspiration is my mum. She taught me what it is to be mum. She has been my best friend for my whole life and has always done her best to provide myself and my  siblings with whatever needed, doing her best to keep us grounded at the same time. After struggling in a difficult marriage with my step-dad for over 20 years, she finally made the decision to move on with her life and make it better. She never judges anyone for their mistakes and would take your secrets to the grave. She is the best person I know and the first person I want to talk to when I’m sad or upset. I love her with all my heart and soul, and thank God for giving me such a wonderful mum and role model.
My sisters, like my mum, are all very important women in my life. Far left is my sister Jo. She had her first baby (my niece) when she was just 18, and another (my nephew) only a few years later. Despite being so young she has turned out to be the most dedicated and loving mum you could ask for. She has taken motherhood in her stride. She’s strong, stunning and makes being a mummy look easy. In the middle is my sister Claire. She is an ambitious, funny and a gorgeous young lady with a heart of gold. She’s never happier than when she’s giving to others. I am so proud of her. Lastly, at the far right is my youngest sister Aimee. She is beautiful, head-strong and just outrageously funny. She is the life and soul of every party and truly cherishes her relationship with her sisters. I love them all dearly and wouldn’t be the person I am without them in my life.
This is my husbands grandma Elizabeth. The reason I picked this wonderful lady is because she has overcome so much adversity in her life. From moving back home to Scotland from Australia when her mother fell ill, to fighting and winning the battle over breast cancer, to burying her daughter and my husbands poor mum when she died. She has been a solid maternal figure in my husbands and his brothers lives since they were born and has often put their needs before her own. Not only is she a genuinely good person, but she is also a well read and very articulate lady who can converse at length about a multitude of topics from the likes of art to politics, literature to football. She is just a wonderful person who I feel has made me a better person from just having had her in my life.
The above photograph is from my wedding day and to the right of the picture you can see 3 photo frames containing the images of 3 very special women in my life.
The first is my gran Marion. She was my step-dads mother and a women who over the years I grew very close with. She was a published writer, poet and a damn good cook. She had lived in New York & California and had an abundance of the most interesting life stories you have ever heard. She encouraged me to do well in school and helped with the majority of my English assignments. She was a fabulous lady & a very inspirational person in my life. I miss her dearly.
The middle picture is of my gran Rose. She was my maternal grandmother and was one of the most special women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Now when people think of their gran, they often think of an old lady, who likes to knit and play bingo. A lady who is old fashioned and set in her ways. This was not my gran Rose. She was the funniest, quirkiest, most outrageous gran you could imagine. She had a wardrobe full of clothes, shoes and coats that wouldn’t look out of place in a high end boutique. She was beautiful and never left the house without her face being made-up to utter perfection. She smelled of expensive perfume and she could party as long and as hard as any 18 year old I have ever known. She was just a brilliant person to know and such a fun lady to be around. She battled with cancer numerous times in her life and finally succumbed to the terrible disease at the very young age of 67. There is not a day goes by when I don’t think of her, and mourn the loss of her… even after 17 years.
The final picture in the far left is one of my husbands mum Julie. She was 38 years old when she was taken from us and it’s still one of the most shocking experiences of my life. She was an unconventional mum to my husband and his brother. She was their biggest supporter, their best friend and their confidante. The first time I realised how special she was, was when I had lost my gran Marion and I felt like my whole world had fallen apart around about me. She took the time to speak to me, comfort me and assured me with time that I would feel better. She was a wonderfully kind lady who we all miss very much.
So there you have it. These are the women in my life who inspire me the most, even if it wasn’t for as long a time as I’d have liked. I can only hope that everybody has women like them in their lives. I know for sure that my life has been a richer one for having had the privilege.
Happy International Women’s Day ladies… Keep inspiring us!!!

The Kind Blogger Award

I have found since starting my blog that there are 2 types of bloggers out there:

  • Those who are in it for themselves – they want to get their message out there and don’t want anyone to get in their way.

AND…

  • Those who do it simply because they love it – they love writing posts, reading other peoples posts and are just happy and grateful to have readers who are interested in what they have to say.

So based on this, I have decided to start my own little Bloggers Award. I see loads of them flying about, and was even nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award last week which I was very pleased and grateful about. This award differs in that it’s not necessarily based on what a person has written, but rather how they have portrayed themselves to be to their readers. It’s called the ‘Kind Blogger Award’ and it has a badge and everything so that you can add it to your blog.

Unlike a lot of the other awards, it will have only 1 recipient which I will send out on a monthly basis to whoever I feel has been a worthy of the award. However, those in receipt of it are encouraged to pass it on to those that they feel deserve it.

It’s just about spreading a little bit of love amongst the blogging community. We are all doing this for different reasons, whether its a form of therapy (which it was for me), a hobby you enjoy, part of coursework or simple a way to earn income. Nobody will get very far in life without recognising those around you who help you on your way to achieving your goals. So why not make this as supporting and loving a community as we possibly can.


So here are the rules:

  1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 5 questions set out by the aforementioned Blogger.
  3. Nominate 1 person who you feel is worthy of this award.
  4. Give 3 reasons for nominating this person.
  5. List these rules and display the Award Logo/ Badge on your own blog.

My nomination for March is the lovely Natalie from Searching For My Inner Zen and here are my reasons for nominating her:

  • She is always one of the first people to read and comment on my new blog posts.
  • Her Blog is beautiful with a very appealing layout, making me want to read it even more.
  • Her writing is stunning. It’s positive and full of love and lessons, as well as having an inspirational quote at the beginning of each post. Utter perfection!

So you should definitely get yourself over to her blog and give some of those wonderful posts a read, you won’t be sorry.

Here are my questions for you Natalie:

  1. How did you come up with your Blog name?
  2. What’s your favourite song of all time and why?
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  4. If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?
  5. What’s your favourite quote and why?

Feel free to use this badge on your page, as well as using the featured image for your own post.

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Hope to see lots of lovely recipients of The Kind Blogger award on my reading lists.

Take care lovelies.

D x

Run Jump Scrap

 


The Best Photo Editing Apps

As a mum of an albeit crazy, but super cute tiny human, I spend a lot of my time taking iPhone snaps of him throughout the day. However being a photographer, I am often less than satisfied by the overall look of the image. Therefore, after many years of searching and doing the right research and quality control, I am now willing and able to share my favourite apps to edit and share your images.

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So I’ll start with Aviary. This is a fantastic little app that allows you to do all sorts of editing magic. It’s part of the Adobe family and so you know you have some good software on your hands when you download this. You can add filters, crop images, add frames, stickers and all sorts of other awesome little tricks. I primarily use it for adjusting some of the light/ colour settings on my images and then I add one of the many filters they offer.

So I’ll show you an example of what I mean here:

These are very basic changes but you can already see the difference that a few subtle changes makes. The ‘After’ image is much brighter and sharper, and way more appealing to the eye.

Next up is Facetune. This smart little app is for using primarily on faces. It can smooth out lines, sharpen facial details (like eyes) and blur out the background to create a false depth of field within the image. Its super simple to use and is a fun little app to play with. Here’s an example of what it can do:

You can be as subtle or as bold as you want to be with this app, but I find that if you’re wanting to maintain the quality of your image that the subtle changes have more of an impact.

Another great app is LensLight. This is a great little trick to use when you’re taking photos but want to add an extra dimension to your image. You can add different light effects at the click of a button, whether that be a sun-flare or some whimsical bokeh effect. Let me show you what I mean:

Obviously certain effects are more suited to outdoor photographs, but for the purpose of showing you the effects you can create I’m just using this same image.

Next up is Lightroom CC. Now as far as I’m aware, this is an app that you get alongside a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. I use this software for my photography work and therefore have found the app to be super useful for iPhone photography. However, if you have access to it then you will most likely love it as much as me. Its basically a smaller version of the desktop program, and although you aren’t able to use all of the same features it does offer a lot of very good ones. As well as this, unlike most other editing software, when you edit an image in Lightroom it doesn’t decrease the image quality at all. Another big plus! So here’s an example of what you can do in this app:

SquareFit funnily enough does exactly what it says on the tin… It turns your rectangular photographs into squares fit for the Gram! No need to show you that i suspect.

Layout is similar in that it creates square shaped images, but you can collate them together to form your very own collage.

Phonto is a brilliant little app that lets you overlay your images with an array of different text with an abundance of fonts available to play with. It’s how I put the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ on each of the images above.

Canva is similar to Phonto in that you can add text to your images, but it also gives you the tools and free stock images to create your own IG Stories, Facebook Banners, Twitter posts, IG posts and even the likes of advertising flyers, invitations and such. I’ll put an example of what you can do below:

As you can see, it’s pretty impressive for an app and it honestly takes mere moments to create something like this.

Finally, there’s Mosaico which is less of an Editing tool and more of an organisational tool. It’s essentially a mirror image of your Instagram feed, but gives you the flexibility of uploading your images and playing about with the layout and whether it fits with your theme before you actually post it to IG. You can also fill in your caption before posting it directly from the app, meaning you can arrange your uploads days, even weeks in advance. This has been invaluable for me recently as it’s meant I’ve been able to keep up with posting on IG even when I’ve been really busy. It’s definitely my favourite app of the moment.

So there you have it my lovelies. I hope you find this helpful and you’re able to kick your images up a notch with some of the amazing apps I’ve shared with you. Please feel free to let me know of any apps you love in the comments below and if there’s anything more you want to know about these apps that I haven’t touched on then by all means just ask away.

Take care,

D x


The Sunshine Blogger Award

So this post is a little bit different as I’ve been nominated by the ever so lovely and ever so talented Meher from The Scribbling Site for The Sunshine Blogger Award.

I am so grateful for this as, for me, it’s validation from fellow bloggers who deem my writing worthy of a read. So I am honestly so pleased that I have received this nomination. What a lovely way to start off March.

Now with the technical stuff…

RULES:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog. ✔
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger(s) asked you. ✔
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions. ✔
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award Logo in your post and/or on your blog. ✔

So here are my questions from Meher:

1. Does your blog specifically aim at something? If yes then, what does your blog aim at?

Yes, I am a mummy and lifestyle blogger. These are topics I am knowledgeable about and that I enjoy reading from fellow bloggers, so when it came to choosing my niche it was a relatively easy decision for me.  

2. If you could do one great thing for the world, what would you do?

This is a toughie because there is so many things I’d love to have the power to change, but going by my own life experience I’d choose to eradicate Cancer. It’s the most awful, heartbreaking disease and I have seen too many wonderful people suffer because of it. 

3. If you could live as any fictional character for one day, which character would you be?

Ok so there’s a few popped into my head… but I think I’d choose Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz because it’s my favourite movie of all time and… well… those Ruby Slippers! Swoon!!!

4. Hot chocolate or cold coffee?

Always Cold Coffee – Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato… Yum!!! 

5. What power would you choose: transformation, invisibility or mindreading?

Invisibility definitely. Not only so I could sneak up on people, but so I could escape my toddlers bedroom unscathed when I’m putting him to bed. 

6. If you could transform into any animal, which one would it be and why?

A bird… So I could just fly away whenever I wanted. 

7. Are you more of a turning-physical-pages-of-a-book reader or an e-book reader?

Definitely a “turning-physical-pages-of-a-book reader”. I love the feeling and the smell of new books. There’s nothing better… Although I’ve had to opt for audio books as late, seen as the only time I ever get to enjoy a book is at night, in the dark, when everybody else is sleeping. 

8. If you could remodel time, where would you travel to – the past or the future?

The future. Although it might be frightening to see whats up ahead, I’d want to know that my boy was ok. Being a mum is such a worry and the biggest worry I have is about my sons future, so I’d definitely time travel in that direction. 

9. Look around the place you’re at while answering this question. What’s your favourite thing from in here?

A few things…

  • My wall of quotes. In front of my desk (where I’m sat right now) is a gallery wall of quote prints. I love it. It motivates me and inspires me every single day. 
  • A huge canvas of my son and husband on the wall – it makes me smile every time I look at it.
  • My son. He is napping in his highchair at the minute and there is nothing I love more on this earth than him!

10. What is your favourite junk meal?

McDonald’s… Hands down! McChicken Sandwich, Fries and a Strawberry Milkshake! 🙂

11. What’s the one thing that encourages you to keep writing?

My love of it. Having this little piece of the internet that’s mine, that other people enjoy reading. It’s a privilege.

So I’ve answered all the questions and I hope those of you who give it a read actually enjoyed my ramblings. Now it’s my turn to nominate 11 Bloggers who I feel are worthy of The Sunshine Blogger Award.

It was tough, as I’m a fan of so many beautiful writers out there… but here’s who I narrowed it down to (in no particular order):

The Curious Mummy A fellow Mummy Blogger with a beautiful page and great content.

Cooking From Your Heart A Food Blogger showcasing some delicious homemade recipes.

Searching For My Inner Zen A lovely Blogger focusing on spreading love and positivity.

The Makeup Mumma A lovely Blogger who just welcomed a little bundle of joy.

Autism Interrupted An amazing Blogger sharing her experience of Autism.

Beta Mummy A funny Mummy Blogger who illustrates the BEST portrayals of parenting.

Everyday Young Mum A Mummy Blogger posting all about the joys of pregnancy.

How My Dream Became A Reality A Mummy Blogger sharing her Endometriosis journey.

Island Girl Reads A Book Blogger who lives on her own little Island.

The Coast Is Claire A lovely Lifestyle Blogger who covers an array of topics.

Waves and Lilacs A Blogger sharing her experience of being a ‘Modern Day Housewife’.

And here are the questions I’ve come up with:

  1. What are your goals for your blog?
  2. Name one person who inspires you?
  3. If you knew the world was ending tomorrow, what would you do today???
  4. If you could choose any career, what would it be and why?
  5. Would you rather have a nose where your thumb is or a thumb where your nose is?
  6. Who is your favourite actor/ actress?
  7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
  8. If you could change one part of your appearance would you, and what would it be if you did?
  9. Name one thing from your BucketList?
  10. If you had to give up chocolate or sweets, which would it be?
  11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

So there we have it lovelies. I hope all my nominees enjoy answering my questions and taking part in this post. Thank you again to the lovely Meher for my nomination.

D x