Posted in Diary

Organisation Tips for a Successful Blog

Having a successful blog is not something I initially set out for. I just wanted a space where I could write what was in my mind without having an actual end product (such as a book), but instead where I could write the little snippets of my daily life that I am thinking, when I am thinking it.

Believe me there is a lot, but I choose what I release and what I keep behind.

This blog has been a bit of a diary for me. HOWEVER, when I noticed that my posts were reaching you (my readers who I love dearly), I realised that I could work on my blog and make it successful. It doesn’t make me money, but that’s not my ultimate goal at the moment, a long time dream yes, but not an immediate goal. However using the planning schedule I set out for you below, I have really noticed an increase in growth and development in both my blog and my videos on youtube (my vlog). So as I am still learning, but seeing that I am doing something right, I thought I would share with you all how I do it, and what I do.

Plan, Plan, and Plan Again

Planning is absolutely a must to have a successful blog or vlog. I have learnt this the hard way. At first I was just randomly posting to my blog and very rarely posting on my video channel.

Everyone on social media platforms, with free blogging workshops, youtubers who tell you what they did to grow etc. all said that planning was a must for a successful blog and vlog. But still I didn’t listen.

I thought I knew best.

I really didn’t.

Once I started to plan my content I realised a big difference in my analytics, and I got excited. I love making lists so I got to work and made my lists into a doable plan of action for my brand. And I definitely noticed results. People were starting to view my channel, and readers were coming to my blog. (Like I said I am not monetised, and won’t be for quite a while, my goal is for that to come next year some time.)

Organisation is KEY

Now you have a plan of action, the key is to organise it. Think about what is achievable on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, and make sure you set yourself a goal that is achievable and not too ambitious.

I started out doing far too much and overwhelming myself with what I was doing.

And I kinda still am. I aim to post daily on both platforms, which means a lot of editing and writing nearly everyday.

How do I manage?

My weekly plan is usually to film enough content for a week in just 2 days. This means that I then don’t have to film content any other day of the week (unless I want to do a day in the life, or routine video), meaning that I can then block out a section of a day (like when Isabelle is at school), or use the evening for editing and uploading my videos and writing up my blogs.

At the moment my blogs take a back burner due to the fact that my computer struggles with my video editor so on the 3 days I am not doing anything for my videos I focus ONE day on my blog. Typing up my segments for the week, scheduling their release and linking them up with my future videos.

Love what you do!

This is probably the most important thing of all time!

If you don’t love what you do, it will feel like a chore. If it feels like a chore, you will start to resent having to do the task that is in front of you.

I absolutely love to write, and talk so when I film I am filming about something I love at that moment, and I write about it too, so that my writing compliments what I am filming.

I have said it before (I think on one of my intro videos actually) I write better than I talk, however sometimes I get so tongue-tied when writing that I need to talk to explain myself better. Does that make sense?

Use All The Tools You Need

Following on from my last point, A video is probably the best way to explain what I mean. As stated in the video a copy of my blog planner in PDF form is attached at the bottom for you to see and use at your own leisure. I just find it so helpful having everything in one place, that way you know EXACTLY what you are doing on any given day.

Research SEO and use it to your best ability.

This comes with a lot of research and practise to get this right. At first I really struggled with what this is (and sometimes still do struggle with how to get the best search engine results), but basically there are certain things that you can do to make sure you are found easier by potential viewers and readers.

With this I also utilise tags. There is a difference between hashtags and tags. A hashtag is something that people use on certain social media platforms to place their post on a page dedicated to that tag e.g #blogging. Whereas a tag is something that other people might put into a search engine to find your post.

Since doing a lot of research on tagging a blog post (and I mean a lot, about 10 hours or so I would say), I have found that the absolute best tools for tagging and getting those key words into your products is to use TUBEBUDDY or VIDIQ if you are on Youtube. I am still finding a good resource for my blog. But once I find one I will post it on here for you all.

That is about everything that I do to have a successful blog.

If you think I may have missed something out (I’m sure there’s something) then don’t hesitate to comment below or message me.

See you all next time!

Much love xx

Posted in Diary

How I Keep a Toddler Entertained

Today I attempted to do a home video diary vlog. I failed. I just couldn’t work out what to film, and what I actually wanted to share with everyone. Instead I realised that I had about 4 activities that I had planned for the day, and realised that so many of us at the moment are struggling with how to keep our children entertained when they are at home all day, everyday. That is how today’s post was invented.

I thought that I would share with you how I keep a toddler entertained everyday. Now please do note before you think that this works all the time, that it doesn’t. Whilst I have tried and tested my method many many times, at the end of the day it all depends on our children and how they are feeling for the day.

We all have good days and bad days, and we as parents should recognise when our little ones just need a lazy day where they do not do much at all. Hey we all have days where we just need to chill. So sometimes our plans and ideas go out the window.

For example, the day I wrote this article my little one was having an off day. She was cuddly and tired and just needed to rest for the day. We did a few activities to keep the day interesting and fun, but really we just cuddled and had a film day. Sometimes we just need it.

Planning the day ahead

Every evening when Isabelle has gone to bed, I have a little look at the toys we have in the living room (lounge) and work out what toys we haven’t played with in a while. For example when I looked in the toy unit today I noticed that we hadn’t touched the train set in a few days. Once I find about 2 toys or items that we haven’t played with for a while I write these down as an activity we can do. Then I look at what toy was her favourite of the day, as no doubt she will want to play with that one again.

I don’t set a time out for us to stick to as with toddlers I have learnt there is no such thing as an allotted time for some activities, sometimes they can be entertained for hours, others they can be entertained for minutes.

What’s more I always have set activities to do to make sure that we are having some sort of learning happening in the house, and developing skills all the time. These activities are usually some sort of craft, a walk or garden time, and of course our favourite thing to do, cooking.

Our days tend to look a little like this:

Train Set (something we haven’t played with for a few days)

Puzzles (An activity we haven’t done for a while)

Play Mobil (her fave toy at the moment)

Dollies (another current favourite)

Arts and crafts

Daily Walk

Cooking Dinner or Baking

These simple steps help to make sure that we never have a “boring” or “dull” moment at home and that she constantly has something to do. HOWEVER we do not always do all the activities I have planned for the day. I let Isabelle decide which activity she wants to do when she is finished with each one. Sometimes we go back to an activity we have already done, and sometimes we will just have story time or a cuddle.

It really depends on Isabelle and of course the activities are for her so therefore I want her to be happy.

These are just some things that I do to help prevent boredom in my household and it really does work. Isabelle absolutely loves having the choice of different things to do each day. And whilst we are unable to go out and about like we used to do before lock down, having the options to do something fun at home is great fun for her.

I hope this helps some of you out a little at least, and if you want to hear me ramble about this please check out my video below.

Love you all!! xxx

Posted in Diary

Weekly Meal Planning

The most important part of feeding a family on a budget is that you plan you food for the week. Going to the shops with no plan on what you actually need is a big no! no!

With no list how do you know what’s in your cupboard or fridge, or the ingredients needed for a meal you are making? Going out without a list is like going to the hairdressers with no style in mind. You just dont do it.

A list prevents you from getting too much of a product – leading to waste – and is an attempt to stop impulse buying which can be very costly. Trust me I know. I once spent £25 on party food because I was hungry and what’s worse I went shopping without a list resulting in a nearly £80 shop!

A list helps you to ensure you stick to your budget and dont over spend.

Meal plan

Planning your meals for a week is a sure way to ensure you keep costs low and more importantly have some sort of organisation in the house. Which is vital when you have children.

I always sit down with my little one and look through the cookbooks together. If there is something she wishes to have it goes on my 6 meals list. I do 6 meals which are planned and 1 unplanned meal a week. This means that we get to have anything we like on the day, which is usually a saturday.

Where to start

It can be quite daunting to meal prep if you dont really know how to do it, or if you have never done it before.

Here are my tips on making it a little easier to start…

  1. What meals did you have last week?
    • You don’t really want to be eating the same foods every week so making sure you don’t duplicate a meal from the week before is a good way to stop food boredom.
  2. Is there anything new you want to try?
    • I always try to have at least 1 new item in my meal plan for the week. Whether this is a breakfast idea, a lunch thing, or an evening meal. Trying something new means that we are constantly expanding our food palettes, and what’s more we are always having fun with our food.
  3. Look at the food you have in your fridge and cupboards
    • See what there is in the cupboards before making up your meal plans, is there anything that you have that could make up a meal?
    • This is the best thing that I have ever done it helps me to use up all the things I have in the cupboards. I have been so inventive with some of my recipes just from going through my cupboards and fridge before sorting out my meal plan.
  4. Allow someone else to choose one meal, each week.
    • Take the pressure off of you and let someone else choose a meal they would like to have.
  5. Make a list, or find an inventive way to document all of your recipes that you use on a weekly basis.
    • So you can easily and quickly get the ingredients you need, and so you can see how varied your diet is. Is there something missing from your recipes? Do you have a good mix of potato dishes, pasta, rice etc. Or have you got more of one ingredient in your repertoire?

These are the few tips that will help you to plan your meals for the week, allowing you to make sure that you have made the most out of everything that you have in your cupboards. But most importantly making sure that your food doesn’t become boring.

I tend to write down about 10-14 meals that I am happy to cook for the week and ask Isabelle to pick the ones she would like (I do this like a lucky dip in a hat and she loves it.) By selecting 10-14 meals means that I have some control over the meals we will be eating for the week, and therefore we can attempt to reduce the amount of repeated meals week to week.

My Weekly Meal Plan

I have spoken so much about how to do a meal plan, but I thought I would show you what my meal plans generally look like. So just for you all, today, I will show you my meal plan for this week coming.

As you can see on this meal plan, my meals for the week are mainly ONE POT dishes. This is for ease and speed for our meals as we tend to be rather busy and forget about the time. In having the one pot dishes I can prep in the morning and finish the dish in the evening. This means that I am not using up too much time cooking in the evening. I also try to make sure that I am giving my daughter and myself a variety of different foods throughout the week, rather than a week of just pasta, or potato dishes.

This is how I meal prep every week, I hope that I have inspired and helped you out with how to meal plan. I find it a really useful way to help with my weekly budget and knowing exactly what I am cooking for the week.

Let me know what you do to meal plan, or if you are going to use my tips to help you out.

See you all soon

xxx