A Very Bloggy Third Birthday

Three years ago today I was the mother to a baby and a recently turned three year old. I loved my kids. I loved my husband. BUT I WAS BORED. So bored. Really bored. Braindead bored. I had recently given up being Head of a Department in a busy school. I found on my days off when the kids were napping I was twiddling my thumbs. So after admiring bloggers like Zoella and Louise Pentland from afar I decided to start my own. I really wanted a YouTube channel but didn't have the bottle. So began to shout into the void of the internet by writing a blog and wondered if someone would listen.

Three years later? I am really proud and happy to say that sometimes? People do listen and not only listen they shout back. Might be comments on a Facebook post, or a YouTube video. Could be a DM or someone stopping me in the street to say "Hello". 2016 was the year where I felt that with the love and support of some amazing women, it was OK to show off my chubby body, spent the majority of my YouTube videos looking like a hot mess and when I fell really poorly they helped me get through it. Comment by wonderful comment.

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I got my body out and guess what? NO ONE CARED!

This was a really strange year. Ones of amazing highs and the lowest of lows. I think I will briefly cover the lows first. In September I twerked and slipped two discs. You read it right. I twerked. AND SLIPPED TWO DISCS. The doctor said it was a long time coming but the twerk tipped them over the edge. The next three months were heartbreaking resulting in emergency spinal surgery. But I'm happy to say the pain is gone. My right foot is still numb and I walk like a Nanna but I can work with that. So bore off bad back. You arseh*le.

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Smiling for the kiddos hiding ALL the pain

Let's talk about the highs. Much nicer. This year I was nominated for a few awards and had the pleasure of winning Best Use of Video and Blog of the Year at the MADs. It was a truly magical night I will never forget (mainly as I twerked and...you know the rest). I was also asked by The Huffington Post to go down and take part in a discussion about guilt with Jamie Oliver. I arrived sweating profusely and spent the whole time praying I got a free Huff Post mug. I did. He was lovely and smelt amazing.

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I arrived and said to these people "are you all sh*tting yourself?". They replied? "No" #justmethen

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A few things happened that I couldn't have predicted in my wildest dreams. When you start a blog you sometimes set yourself little goals. I dunno maybe review a free holiday or get a book deal. From day dot I wanted my family to get a Merlin Pass. And when I received an email saying would we like one? I cried and did a happy dance of joy. Much like I cried when my lovely friend Kiran asked if I not only would like to speak at the Mumsnet conference but would I like to interview the lady who inspired me to write Louise Pentland. I mean what are the chances? Pinch. Me. Moments.

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Thanks for changing my life in a weird way that you didn't know

This year I had some wonderful family time away courtesy of brands including Konfidence, Optiwell, Away Resorts and Camp Bestival. I also worked with brands including Marks & Spencers, Mattel, Andrex and Pampers. My mug was featured in Bella magazine and I became a judge for the monthly Good To Know blogger competition. My Dad said he had never been as proud of me as when they got me on BBC 5 Live and TORE ME APART. My girl got a Barbie Dream House sent to review. F*cking amazing. I've had trolls. And dealt with them. Three years in I don't get so hurt. Which is something I am grateful for. I'm tough as old boots. OK sometimes I cry a bit. Like when The Guardian called me a 'slummy mummy' but that may have been the Tramadol withdrawal.

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We reviewed one of the best holidays of our lives in the Isle of Wight. We are all crying here

I love my blog. Almost obsessively. For me it's a 365 day a year wonderful job. If I'm on holiday, if it's Christmas even if I've just woken up from an operation. I like to think people read it or watch me as really? I'm just totally ordinary. I shop in Matalan and I sometimes get cross with my kids. My husband does my head in and I spend an inordinate amount of time in my dressing gown drinking gin in a tin. But if this year has taught me anything? Is that being ordinary really is good enough. In fact just being yourself (as w*nky as that sounds) is the best thing you can be. I spent a lot of time in bed thinking (off my face on ALL the drugs) about how lucky I am. I have two small children and get to photograph them daily, film them, talk about them, write about them and document them. Warts and all. I can't wait to see what 2017 holds...but I can promise you one thing...it won't hold twerking.

If you're interested in starting a blog check out my post here: So You Wanna Start A Blog...
...Good luck!
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