Archive of ‘blogging’ category


Advice: Advice (noun) or advise (verb) may refer to: Advice (opinion), an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action, conduct. Advice column, a regular feature on a website or in a newspaper or magazine. Academic advising, in academics. Legal advice, the giving of a formal and binding opinion regarding the substance or procedure of the law

I did something today that made me look very closely at my blog. And when I looked closely at my blog I saw many different things. I saw posts about parenting; trusting our instincts; poetry; reviews; recipes…and the list goes on. When I originally started blogging it was to spread the word about trusting our instincts as parents and how powerful they can be (something I am still very passionate about) and then over time my blog evolved, as all things do, and as I joined in different linkies and made new blogging friends the content changed. I found a new love for writing poetry; I found writing about postnatal depression helped both me and others and I became obsessed with taking the perfect photo for Silent Sunday.

I have been thinking about the content of my blog for a while now and my instincts are telling me that maybe there are too many different types of posts on there. That maybe I have weakened my voice and original intentions through taking on too many other things? I still have many Instinctive Mum tales to tell and blog about, and whilst I have loved linking to poetry, weightloss and cooking blogs, I am wondering if it is time to get the focus back on the original thought behind my blog.

So lovely readers, the more I thought about this the more I thought about you! And I quickly came to the conclusion that the obvious thing seemed to be to ask you what you think! Do you think there is too much variety on my blog? Or do you like all of the different types of posts? What would you like to see more/less of? What topics would you like me to write about? For I blog not just for me, but for you too.

Let me know what you think, after all content is so important…I want to get it just right! 😉

Yeo Valley

Yoghurt: Yogurt or yoghurt or yoghourt (/ˈjoʊɡərt/ or /ˈjɒɡərt/; other spellings listed below) is a fermented milk product (soy milk, nut milks such as almond milk, and coconut milk can also be used) produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as “yogurt cultures”.

Support British farmers; buy British; we’re all part of a family and very hands on; we do the right thing…these are some of the phrases that will forever stay with me when I think about Yeo Valley Farm or eat some of their fabulous yoghurt.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit Yeo Valley HQ and go on the most wonderful farm tour. As soon as we walked into the building we were welcomed; as we walked down the ‘reasons to be cheerful’ corridor on our way to a cup of tea and some of the most delicious cakes I’ve eaten we were made to feel at home, and by the end of the day we felt like we had experienced a taste of what it feels like to be part of the wonderful, passionate family that makes up Yeo Valley.

I must admit that as I set off in the morning I didn’t know what to expect. I packed my welly boots thinking I’d be wading through mud and admiring cows from afar! The boots were not needed, but the cows were admired…both from afar and close up, including the most adorable Hereford cross bull calf born only the night before.

The tour started with a walk around some of the fields surrounding the farm, learning from the brilliant Les all about the geographical history of the landscape and how over time man has shaped the landscape whilst working in harmony with it.

We learnt about what it truly means to be organic and that Yeo Valley is an organisation that stretches across the South West, surrounding the M4 and M5 and employing around 1600 people. The views across the landscape from the fields were breathtaking and it was whilst we were all admiring them that we learnt something that none of us knew before…Yeo Valley yoghurt is the ONLY British owned and produced yoghurt on the market! It amazed us all that so much yoghurt is imported…we couldn’t fathom out why! We need to support British farmers more!

Lunch was eaten in one of the converted old redundant farm buildings. I ate far too much cheese (thank you for your portion Jenny Paulin!) and ended the meal with my favourite flavour of lemon curd yoghurt. Next were the gorgeous cows (never thought I’d say that about cows!) and we learnt about the different types of cows there are on the farm. That some are pregnant now, others dry for a short period of time and how the bulls fall into two categories…top studs who father the next generations and others sold on for beef. Everyone involved was very passionate when speaking about their work on the farm and you couldn’t help but become a bit passionate about it too!

Finally we were to end the tour with a trip on The Bedford which was so calming it nearly sent a few of us to sleep,in-spite of it being a bit of a bumpy ride!

Fields of red clover, fields of cows and one very lucky bull, fields of Miscanthus (an interesting fuel crop) and more gorgeous views passed us by before we returned to HQ for more tea and yummy cake.

I can honestly say that I was wowed by Yeo Valley, that I never expected to be so absorbed by everyone’s enthusiasm and love for what they do. At Yeo Valley they work hard to do the right thing and provide their customers with British, organic, delicious yoghurt. (of which I bought lots and lots in the staff shop!!) I had a truly wonderful day there and hope I’m invited back very soon. (hint hint!)

Thank you Yeo Valley!

These opinions are genuinely my own. I also received the fabulous Yeo Valley cookbook at the end of the day which I would highly recommend.


Vacuum Cleaners: A vacuum cleaner is a device that uses an air pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt, usually from floors, and optionally from other surfaces as well. The dirt is collected by either a dustbag or a cyclone for later disposal. Vacuum cleaners, which are used in homes as well as in industry, exist in a variety of sizes and models.

My group of female friends fall into two camps: those who like cleaning, and those who don’t. The former finding that cleansing their houses cleanses their minds as well; and the latter thinking that life is too short to spend hours making the silver sparkle! (ok, not silver, but you get my point) Either way it needs to be done and anything that can do it well and make it easier in my mind, is a bonus.

So today I’m going to be talking vacuum cleaners (yes, really) and the ultimate wish list for a good vacuum. For this I began by asking a very good friend of mine who, like Monica from friends has a mini vacuum to clean her big vacuum. She helped come up with the ultimate vacuum wish-list, which goes as follows…

1. Suction It seemed obvious to start with this key essential wish, for if vacuums had no suction (we’ve all had one, mine was at university and it picked up no dust and dirt at all!) then they’d be pointless. After my rubbish university vacuum I vowed to always have an amazing one that made vacuuming effortless and that is when I purchased my first ever Dyson vacuum cleaner from John Lewis and I have not once looked back.

They pick up everything and have two tiers of cyclones to capture more microscopic dust; and with two asthmatic children and a cat in the house, this alone is worth its weight in gold. Dyson say their vacuums remove more dust than any other vacuum, and I’d be inclined to agree!

2. Flexibility How many of us have got frustrated by the vacuum becoming stuck behind us as we move on to another room, or when there are stairs it cannot reach or awkward nooks and crannies that it won’t stretch to? Well Dyson have a solution for all of those problems. From Dyson Ball vacuums which turn easily around every corner, to vacuums with lightweight adjustable wands that extend to the length you need for high-reach cleaning. And they come with stair tools…result!

3. Attachments Dyson engineers put as much thought into developing Dyson tools as they do Dyson machines and their attachments. A crevice tool, a mattress tool and many others. No excuse for dirty curtains or losing money down the side of the sofa ever again!

4. Easy to empty We’ve all heard the catchphrase ‘No bag. No loss of suction!’ Dyson’s bagless technology makes emptying the dust and grime out of your vacuum cleaner ridiculously easy. Gone are the days (if you are old enough to remember of course) of vacuum bags that regularly burst spurting all of the dirt and dust you’d spent so long cleaning up back out again onto the floor in one soul destroying heap. This used to happen to me a lot, but maybe that was because I was always too lazy to empty the bag in the first place and hence it would overfill and burst. (I can see my mum rolling her eyes and nodding to this confession!) Now I still wait for as long as possible to empty the vacuum, but it never bursts or loses suction!

Don’t just take my word for it, have a look for yourselves! And if it’s not a vacuum cleaner you’re after then it’s worth noting that Dyson also do fans and heaters, all with their unique technology. Now…I’ve got some vacuuming that needs doing!

This post was written for John Lewis for which I received payment.


Self-Hosting: The term self-hosting was coined to refer to the use of a computer program as part of the toolchain or operating system that produces new versions of that same program—for example, a compiler that can compile its own source code.

So readers, the time has come when I have finally been brave enough to go self-hosted on my blog. I’ve been blogging for 6 months now and have got so much more out of it than I ever thought possible. When I first started I didn’t know what a big part of my life it would be me and now seems like the perfect time to take the leap and plunge head first into hosting my blog myself. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off as I’m not a great fan of change and, as with everything, I have heard a few scare stories,but….I have gone with a hosting company that has been highly recommended and hopefully the transfer will be quick and painless.

So I am writing today to say soon this blog will stop…and if you would like to continue reading my posts you will be able to do so at I’m not entirely sure how it works yet, but if you’ve signed up to receive email notifications of my blog then you may need to do so again, and there will undoubtedly be a new Bloglovin link as well. Please, please be patient with me!, I will write an updated blog post with the correct link when it’s all up and running.

In the meantime, I found this quote on Pinterest and it’s one I’m sticking with through this process!




Meeting: A meeting is a gathering of two or more people that has been convened for the purpose of achieving a common goal through verbal interaction, such as sharing information or reaching agreement.

Britmums Live 2013

Little people in my phone,
That’s normally where you stay,
But last weekend at Britmums Live,
You all came out to play.

Mums, bloggers, people,
Laughter, hugs and kisses.
Old friends introduced to new,
Hits and sometimes misses.

Groups who know each other well,
Who have been here before,
Gather together, smile and laugh,
Room for many more.

Am I too keen, am I too loud,
Do I appear too much?
Half finished conversations,
Rushing to coffee to lunch.

And then friends appear from no where,
Like you they feel the same.
Talk is easy, laughter lots,
No fear, no doubt, no shame.

Shyness, loudness, emotional things,
Personalities all so unique.
Strength in numbers, bonding slowly,
Not feeling such a freak.

We each are individual,
Brought together by one thing,
Over sharing, openness,
For another blogger…sing.

Leaving feeling emotional,
So many things to take in.
Leaving knowing I’ll be going again,
New friendships will begin.


Prose for Thought

Britmums Live 2013

Conference: A conference is a meeting of people who “confer” about a topic. Academic conference, in science and academia, a formal event where researchers present results, workshops, and other activities. Business conference, organised to discuss business-related matters. Conference hall, room where conferences are held. Peace conference, a diplomatic meeting to end conflict.

In a little under two weeks I will be going to my first ever Britmums Live blogging conference and I am so excited. Having only started blogging in February of this year, when I booked my ticket in March I thought I was getting a little bit ahead of myself, and that maybe I should wait until next year. However little was I to know then how much I would enjoy blogging and how much I would get out of it! It has been a wonderful few months and I have met some amazing people online. Anonymous since I started I am now set to reveal my true identity as I join in with the linky so we all know a bit about each other before we go. (And it might also help those who I’m meeting actually recognise me!) So, without further ado…..

Name Jen (never again will I make the mistake of saying I’d rather be called Jennifer like I did on my first day of secondary school, it did not go down well)


Twitter ID @InstinctiveMum

Height 5ft 3 and an all important half. Or, as my family’s height chart says, I am as tall as the height requirement for a NASA astronaut.

Hair Changes regularly, brunette, highlighted, long, short! Let’s just say I get bored very easily. At the moment as you can see in the photos, it’s relatively short and brown….for now…

Eyes Dark brown. My right eye isn’t the best so it’s always worth approaching me from the left…or I might ignore you, but not on purpose I promise.

Is this your first blogging conference? Yes! I am a mere newbie only blogging since February. Sounds like an excellent one to go for my first time!

Are you attending both days? Damn right! (and possibly with a hangover on the second one)

What are you most looking forward to at Britmums Live 2013? Meeting my blogging and Twitter friends! Can…not…wait!! And I’m also really looking forward to the writing sessions and meeting with the publishing panel; it will be amazing to speak to publishers face to face and get some feedback.

What are you wearing? Who knows lol?! I have a wardrobe full of clothes, but I am a bugger for always buying new ones…so I potentially don’t even own the outfit I will wear yet. That’s awful isn’t it?

What do you hope to gain from Britmums Live 2013? New skills, the confidence to go self-hosted, new friendships, new experiences!

Tell us one things about you that not everyone knows I’ve snogged someone from the film Love Actually…I’ll leave you to guess who… 😉


Super Sweet Blogging Awards


So…I have chosen to link up a post which is bit different to usual, but is most definitely a lovely bit of fun, for today’s #magicmoments. It is all about The Super Sweet Blogging Awards! I have chosen to link this because it is magic to me that I have been tagged in these awards by three lovely bloggers!

And it is very apt as it was the lovely Jaime Oliver from @Oliversmadhouse who first nominated me for this award at the weekend. Her Monday #magicmoments linky is something I look forward to joining up with and reading every week. I love having the inspiration to write about something magical and positive in my life, and it is a wonderful feeling to read and share in many other bloggers’ magic moments. The linky makes Mondays far more enjoyable! And Jaime Oliver is VERY deserved of her fantastic new ranking with @tots100! You can check out her blog here
(Although seeing as I’ve linked this up with magic moments you probably already know that lol!)

The lovely @CathieB2012 was the second person to nominate me at the weekend, so I must do a big shout out to her as well! She has been very supportive of my blog and is always there when you need a giggle on Twitter. Her blog is and is an honest account of being a mum and life with a lovely, lively little boy!

And then today the lovely @mummyglitzter also sent out a tweet about the awards! You can visit her blog here at where she blogs openly and honestly about family life.

So, the awards…and the rules,

1 Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2 Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.
3 Answer the “Super Sweet” questions.
4 Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen” (award 13 blogs), link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs. It’s ok if you don’t have 13 blogs to nominate, just share the love!
5 Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.

Super Sweet Questions:

Cookies or Cake?

Can I say both, and in vast quantities? No? I have to choose? Oh, um, oh, um, ooooooooo it’s too hard! It’s like choosing my favourite child! All I can say is as long as the cookies or cake in question contain chocolate then I don’t care at all which it is I’m shovelling into my mouth!

Chocolate or Vanilla?

CHOCOLATE always, and anyone who says vanilla is no longer my friend 😉

What is your favourite sweet treat?

Again, why do I have to choose? I LOVE ALL THINGS SWEET! But, if I had to choose, my favourite sweet treat would be…..French Fancies. Or a Starbucks Belgian chocolate cornflake squares (but they don’t seem to make these anymore which is just awful) Or some M&S Percy Pigs.

When do you crave sweet things the most?

I think a more appropriate question would be when do I not crave sweet things, and the answer would be….never.

If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?

I had no idea and so asked family and friends for answers on a postcard! The answers were a mixture of nice and not so nice nicknames, ranging from Mrs Wonka (?!) to Minstrels (because I’m hard on the outside but soft in the middle apparently!) but I’ve decided to go for The Milky Bar Kid, as this actually was my nickname for a while as I used to be very blonde, and wear glasses and during a Christmas pantomime performance I was one of those lucky children invited up onto the stage, and the actor (Roy Hudd I think?) declared to all that I looked just like the Milky Bar Kid! Cue endless laughter…at me…a small little child! 😉

And so, the nominees are…


And that’s it! Apologies if you’ve already been nominated by someone else, you must just be super super sweet! 😉

1 2