Sunday, 18 January 2015

My Sunday Photo 18-1-2015

My favourite picture of this week was taken yesterday on Brighton Pier.

Mr MoaB and I used to live in Brighton pre-baby and it always feels like 'going home' as we drive down the A23. We have lots of friends down there and try to visit as often as possible.

This was Little Miss A's first time on the Pier. It wasn't exactly the best weather as it was very cold but we took a wander and then popped into the arcade for a go at the 2p machine. Little Miss A was actually pretty lucky and won a bit back! Next time we'll take her on the Pier when it's a bit warmer!


Friday, 16 January 2015

Newborn Baby Photos

Over on The Dad Network blog, Al is running a #myfirstphoto Linky in which we can all share our baby's newborn photos.

As I started this blog last year when Little Miss A was already 9 months, I've never shared any early shots of her so this seemed the perfect opportunity!

It was hard to pick just a couple but here's one where she's just a few hours old. I don't think she's ever been as still as this since!

This photo was taken by a professional photographer when Little Miss A was a day old. Pictures of me and Little Miss A are rare as I'm usually behind the camera, so this one is really special.

It's been a really nice thing to look back through all these early photos so thanks to Al for this Linky. He's got some great shots on his website - The Dad Network - so go take a look!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Woodland Trail at Waddesdon

We're definitely making the most of our National Trust membership already with another visit to Waddesdon. That's two visits in 11 days!

We just wanted somewhere to go for a bit of a walk yesterday afternoon for about an hour so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go to Waddesdon again as it's just on our doorstep.

We got the courtesy bus from the car park to The Stables this time as we've not explored this area yet. The cafe and shop here are closed at the moment but we had a wander around the courtyard with it's beautiful horse statue and interesting gargoyles!

We then took the Miss Alice's Drive Woodland Trail. This was just the right distance for Little Miss A to walk herself. There are lots of wildlife areas along the path so you can go on a bug hunt. There are also some nice views.

We had a lot of fun along the way!

At the end of the Trail was the Woodland Playground which has a variety of play equipment on different levels down a hill. The area for Little Miss A's age group was at the bottom and she particularly liked the climbing frame and of course the slide!

It's great to know that this is a walk that Little Miss A can do without needing to be carried. I'll definitely be doing it again with her a few times over the coming months as this will be a great place for us to go when Mr MoaB is working.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

My Sunday Photo 11-1-2015

Joining up with One Dad 3 Girls again for his #MySundayPhoto with my favourite photo from this week.

Little Miss A is having so much fun splashing around in this big puddle! And I like the reflection in the water.

We can't go to the park now without her making a bee-line for this puddle!


Saturday, 10 January 2015

1 Year Blogiversary

Happy 1st Blogiversary to this blog!

A year ago today I posted my first blog post. I had no real idea about what I was doing or whether I would even keep it going, but here I am a year later!

The aim back then was "to write about my money saving ways". I must admit, the direction the blog has taken has been quite different. It's mostly been about what we've been up to as a family and where we've been on walks, visits etc. More like a diary of our family days out. These have all been on a budget, most in fact have been free!

I have written the odd post about activities we've done at home and a few gifts I've made. I'd like to do more of this.

For the first few months I was writing just 3 or 4 posts a month but this gradually increased to on average 10 posts a month. In total I actually published 100 posts in 2014 - a nice round figure!

I try to post the same day as the activity or event so it's fresh in my mind. Otherwise, I quickly fall behind. So much so that I still haven't posted anything about our fantastic holiday in Scotland last summer. Just seem to have been too busy since we got back so haven't had the chance to write about it. It's on my to do list!

My main priority now is to redesign the blog. I just used a basic template to get something live but the blog has definitely outgrown this template and I'd like to make it look much more individual. So watch this space for changes in the near future.

Since starting the blog, I have become active on Twitter which I never quite 'got' before. I've found an amazing blogging community and really enjoy taking part in chats when I can. There are many parent bloggers who are a real inspiration. I can only wish that I could emulate some of their successes and become a full-time blogger!

I love entering competitions and Twitter is great for this. The majority of my wins last year came through Twitter competitions or through bloggers that I follow. Little Miss A got a few bonus Christmas presents from prizes I won!

I thought it would be good to have a record of my Social Media followers. They might not be big numbers compared to many, but from a starting point of zero I'm surprised by how quickly they have grown:
@mummyonabudget on Twitter - 1027 followers
Mummy on a Budget on Facebook - 112 likes
mummyonabudget on Instagram - 254 followers

I'm so glad that I did start the blog. It's going to be an amazing thing for Little Miss A to look back on as it records all our exploits together. Now to keep the impetus up and keep going!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Tower of London Poppy

Hurrah! It's arrived. Our very own piece of history in the form of a Poppy from the 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' installation at the Tower of London last year.

So chuffed that we own this unique Poppy. Well, it actually belongs to Little Miss A as her Nana kindly bought it for her (thanks Mum!) so we're just guardians of it for her until she's older.

Little Miss A and I were fortunate enough to see the Poppies twice last year. The first time was with Mr MoaB in September, so only a month into the planting. It was breathtaking even then. Read more about Little Miss A's first visit to London.

Our second visit was towards the very end of the planting, a week before Remembrance Day. This time Little Miss A and I were with her Grandma. I was blown away by the volume of Poppies that were now there. Read more about this visit to London.

We're hoping to display the Poppy in a box frame along with Mr MoaB's medals as he was in the Army for 10 years from the age of 16. Up until now his medals have been packed away in a drawer up at his Mum's house but he's now agreed to have them out on display. So important for Little Miss A to know about her Dad's history and what he did.

Just writing this post, I'm moved almost to tears thinking about the sacrifices that were made and still are made by brave men and women who fight for us. We're very privileged to live in the free society we do and we will bring Little Miss A up with an understanding of this.

We will remember them.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

My Sunday Photo 4-1-2015

There's a fantastic blogging community out there and I've really enjoyed becoming a part of it.

To get more involved I've decided to join in with One Dad 3 Girls for his #MySundayPhoto

I take so many photos that it will be great to look back each week and pick my favourite.

This is the first picture I've chosen which was taken at Waddesdon Manor this week. Mr MoaB managed to capture Little Miss A and I in-front of one of the Bruce Munro light installations on the Winter Trail.