(This photo, right here, is evidence of why we barely have any photos of us as a family…)
This is the first September in a long time when I haven’t been brimming with enthusiasm for the months ahead. September is, for me, usually a time of fresh starts and new plans. This year, however, I’m in mourning for summer. We had the best time ever and I feel like it went too quickly. Still, life goes on, summer turns into autumn and no amount of sulking will stop the leaves falling from the trees. So I thought now was as good a time as any to share a few little life updates here and let you know about some changes for the rest of the year.
I’ve been officially self-employed for over six years now and in that time SO much has changed. We’ve relocated to a new part of the country, bought our first house, had another baby and made a whole group of new friends. When I started this blog I was a new mum, worrying about the future and trying to grapple with all sorts of emotions that come with first time motherhood. The blog began as a chance to have an online portfolio, to share my writing and hopefully get gigs writing elsewhere but it ended up as so much more than that. I made real life friends through it, it became a source of income in its own right and was the catalyst for me learning a whole heap of new skills.
The online landscape has dramatically changed since those early days. As a new blogger six years ago, I would have cringed at the idea of holding a camera in front of my face and uploading videos to YouTube. But now, here I am, with a budding YouTube channel that, again, has become a source of income in its own right. Instagram wasn’t a thing back then but now takes up a huge amount of my time, taking photos, connecting with other Instagrammers, making Instagram Stories. So, life as a blogger in 2017 is not just about writing a blog. It’s busy, is what I mean.
There are other changes since back then too. I’ve developed a real interest in interiors which has led to me writing for some beautiful magazines, including Essential Kitchen Bathroom and Bedroom magazine (got a feature in this month’s issue – buy it!) and setting up my own collaborative interiors site (Roost is relaunching this month). I’ve been given the opportunity to write for some massive websites (I still do regular posts for BabyCentre) and have been commissioned to make videos for some big brands.
The one thing about all this work, though, is that it’s all happened from the comfort of my own home. And, now, I’m ready for that to change.
Last weekend I did my first radio shift in nearly three and a half years. Before I began blogging and before I was a mum I worked as a radio journalist, then when I went freelance I did the odd shift reporting and reading the news in between my writing work. In 2012 I took a job as a radio presenter, presenting a breakfast show, but then we moved and I focused on the blog and writing work again. I haven’t done a radio shift since I was 23 weeks pregnant with my youngest, who turns three next month. At least, I hadn’t, until last weekend.
With a bit more childcare in the week to focus on my blogging, writing, photography and video projects I have a little extra time at the weekend to do the odd radio news shift here and there. Last Saturday was my first shift and I loved it. It was fun being out of the house, working in an actual office, being on air and reading the news, even if it did mean having to get up at 4am.
Back here and I’ve made another decision about this blog. I’ve referred to my family using nicknames for the past six years and, these days, the nicknames are outdated. My eldest is now seven and is no longer the wonky-footed little “Frog” that she was in the baby days. My youngest turns three next month and is certainly not a “Baby Girl”. And my husband, well he’s still northern and still proclaims himself to be a Love Machine, but the only time I refer to him as “NLM” in real life is on his birthday card.
So, because I’ve been doing it on YouTube for nearly a year now, I’m going to refer to my family by their real names when I’m talking about them here. Meet my family:
Freya, aged 7:
Effie, turning 3 next month:
And Simon (or Si), turning 37 in two days:
And then there’s me. 33 turning 34 next month. Gulp:
If you’re new here and would like to get me better then there’s a new video over on my YouTube channel that will serve as a bit of an introduction. From now on I’m going to be uploading new videos every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as the occasional ad hoc extra some weeks. That’s the plan, anyway.
Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget, you can subscribe on YouTube, follow on Instagram and keep up to date on the Facebook page too. In the meantime, THANK YOU for visiting this blog and for helping to turn this weird old thing of writing stuff on the internet into a thing that actually helps me to pay the bills.