Oh Autumn. You’re so pretty. The trees are full of beautiful colours, the shops are full of lovely fall colours and the countdown to Christmas is on! (Sorry not sorry!) You may have read my recent post about Autumn and why I love it so, but it’s around Pumpkin season that it really starts to get going.

This year Henry is going to understand so much more and the festivities are kicking off in a couple of weeks time with Halloween. I wrote about some fun Halloween craft ideas here which are perfect for toddlers to get involved with, but of course you can’t really be Halloween ready without a pumpkin or 2!


Around this time last year we wrapped up (ok some more than others and in hindsight yes, the hat was probably slight overkill) and headed the car down the road to a Pick Your Own Pumpkin farm in Hampshire ready to pick up a pumpkin for Henners to get to work on!


He absolutely loved exploring, investigating the plants and searching for bugs and I love showing him where our food comes from, rather than just grabbing one from the supermarket. This boy has some serious strength too picking up ginormous pumpkins, shouting with glee when he came across “a lovely big orange one”


pumpkin_pickingBlowing feathers in the wind.



We finished off our pick your own pumpkin hunt with a play in the small playground and chatter with the ducks.

This particular Pick Your Own Pumpkin field is Bourne Valley near Whitchurch in Hampshire and we are going to visit again this weekend to pick up some more!

A few people recently have asked me how to start a blog, and at first it came as a surprise to be asked because I am by no means an expert. But when I first started explaining the basic steps to starting up a blog and what blogging is like, it made me realise that actually I probably do know more than I thought. I first started blogging over 3 and a half years ago, when I was pregnant with my eldest Son. Knowing I would need something to keep my brain working amongst the sleepless nights and baby sick I decided to put my passion for writing to good use and share our experiences as we got to grips with life with a baby.
If you’ve stumbled upon this post then clearly you are looking for some tips to get you started. So here are the basics.

how to set up a blog and start a successful blog

How To Start A Blog

Why Start a Blog

First you need to decide why you want to blog. If it’s to make millions, Oh hi Zoella…Then you may well need to check yourself before ya’wreck yourself. Blogging to make money can be done, but it is hard work, and you have to be fully dedicated and have a LOT of time to invest. So don’t go into it for the sole purpose of making money because it will shine through your words and will make it even harder to find and keep an engaged readership.

Think Of A Name

Make sure you choose a name which is not too difficult for people to remember, loads of symbols and xoxo’s are going to make it harder for people to find you. Keep it simple. My main tip forfinding a name is make sure you choose something which isn’t too specific. Lara’s Red Car for example isn’t something which will stay with you forever, and so you may want to think about something which can grow with your tastes/your life. I have thought about changing Adventures Of A Mum because I now have grown my blog with my own life and it’s now not just Mum stuff, but more beauty, lifestyle and fashion. But after consideration I have decided to stick with the name as all these things are part of the adventures of me as a mum and it’s hard to build up your domain and audience from scratch again.

how to start a blog and run a successful blog

Choose a blogging platform

In my experience the 2 most popular platforms are Blogger and WordPress. I use WordPress as a platform, and I have no complaints. As I said I am by no means an expert so I’m more than happy with the features it gives me, it’s free to use, all the coding is done for you and you can run a shop bought theme easily. I have read countless times people asking for advice on how to move platforms when they have chosen the wrong one, so make sure you make the right decision at this point because it’s a total ball ache to move over if you’ve gone with the wrong one. Tip: most people want to move to WordPress rather than visa-versa. This post will explain better than I can for all the options you have.

how to set up a blog and be a successful blogger

Buy Your Own Domain

I didn’t get my own domain until 18 months into blogging, and by no means is this essential as I know lots of successful blogs who are still on .blogspot etc. But I decided to move over to .com which costs around £25 per year. I went through 123.com but there are so many so shop around. This could also impact your choice of blog names so make sure yours is still available!

Get Hosted

With buying your own domain comes the need to be hosted by someone. A host provides server space for your blog & content. Basically allowing people to find you on the vast cyber world which is the internet. I use the amazing team over at Moosh Media who I would highly recommend, they also offer domain names within their services – 2 birds, 1 stone!

Start Creating

So you’ve thought of your name and you’ve set yourself up online, now comes the hard bit! Creating content which is interesting, informative, fun…Think about what you are interested in reading and find new things to talk about which will bring people back again & again to find you. Engaging your audience is key to sustaining a readership and growing your blog. Yes bloggers take on paid work sometimes, but reading review after review, or sponsored post time and time again can really disenchant your readers who want to read about your experiences, your tips, your life! Tip: Don’t forget why you started.

how to start a blog and run a successful blog

I hope these tips have helped get you started. I’ve really enjoyed pulling them together so I am planning on writing a next step post about what to do once the basics are done; Social media, photography, brand sponsorships. Leave me a comment below if you found this informative or anything else you would like to know about blogging. xx

Babies are cute, right. They bring their own special form of magical happiness to everyone around them, and they always know how to somehow put a smile on your face or make you laugh. I especially love getting George to giggle by making silly faces or dancing like a crazy woman, he laughs his head off!

Now babies can even help save lives by doing nothing more than wearing Pampers. Because Pampers donates 1 vaccine against maternal and newborn tetanus for every pack of Pampers nappies and wipes sold through the “1 Pack = 1 Vaccine” Pampers-UNICEF campaign. The campaign is now in its 11th year, and during that time, amazing babies around the world have helped Pampers and UNICEF to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus in 19 countries – with only 19 more to go, we’re halfway towards our goal of global elimination!

Since the Pampers-UNICEF “1 pack=1 vaccine” campaign began, an estimated 500,000** newborn babies have been saved and a vaccine has reached a mother and her baby every second.

Pampers and UNICEF are halfway to reaching global elimination of Maternal and Newborn Tetanus

There are lots of ways that we can all support this important campaign. If you share a photo of your baby with #1photo1vaccine or #PampersUNICEF, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – Pampers will donate the equivalent cost of one vaccine!

This year, celebrity mum and former Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh is supporting the Pampers-UNICEF campaign.

Kimberley says: “I feel hugely honoured to be supporting the Pampers-UNICEF campaign in its 11th year. As a mum to Bobby, and expecting my second child later this year, I feel great empathy with other mothers around the world who, just as I do, want nothing more than to deliver a happy, healthy baby. The reason I’m so passionate about this campaign is that mums and dads here in the UK can make a very real difference by doing nothing more than buying the Pampers that they need for their little ones. It’s phenomenal and makes me feel very proud of what we can achieve together.”

Pampers and UNICEF are halfway to reaching global elimination of Maternal and Newborn Tetanus

How else can you help make a difference?

As well as sharing a photo of your amazing baby, there are other ways that we can all help to work together to eliminate maternal and new born tetanus:

  • 1 pack= 1 life-saving vaccine:  For each purchase of a Pampers® pack with the UNICEF logo
  • Donate to UNICEF: By becoming a monthly donor to UNICEF today you can join thousands of other parents who donate every month to improve the lives of these vulnerable children

Join us and together with your wishes, Pampers® and UNICEF can help protect the world’s amazing babies against newborn tetanus.  To find out more, visit http://www.pampers.co.uk/why-pampers/pampers-unicef-partnership

** Based on Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG) of WHO and UNICEF (Lancet, October 2014)


This post is written in collaboration with Pampers.

toddler photoshoot

The late September sun is setting on a wonderful summer with my boys. I am so lucky that I get to spend so much time with them around my working week and watching them grow and their bond strengthen. This isn’t to say it’s not flipping hard work with a toddler and a pre-schooler who both like to push their boundaries and drive me to the brink of despair each day. But still, they are kind of awesome.

toddler photoshoot outdoors with lavender

This year many of my friend’s children have gone off to school. Those tiny babies we welcome into the world, eagerly anticipating news of each safe arrival. We’ve watched them grow into the confident and clever little things they are now, excitedly getting themselves dressed into their neatly pressed uniforms, enthusiastically waiting for this new adventure to begin. Of course we have seen the older children within our friend groups grow and begin school. But I guess it’s never really been on my radar until now. Now that it’s almost our turn to get through it!

preschool adventures. Fun with pre-schoolers before they start school

Although we have a full year until our first born begins this adventure, I am already feeling the pull of the heartstrings. Before we know it, it will be our turn. We will be the parents frantically waiting for our number to be called in the carnage that is Clarks in late August and sowing in tear-soaked name labels through bleary eyes (Do people even use name labels still!?) I have so much to learn.

preschool adventures. Fun with pre-schoolers before they start school

It feels like we are only just getting to grips with this parenting thing. We’re far from experts, but do we have a vague knowledge of what we are doing. And the whole thing is going to be tipped upside down once school begins. It won’t just be Henry who is learning new things every day. I don’t think I am ready for that school gate chat, the school-mum friendships, the new routine. And I know I’m not ready for Henry to grow up with new influences outside of our control. My sweet little baby will become more of his own person each day. It’s such a strange feeling to know we have to let him go, let him experience things without us, give him the independence to make his own decisions, his own mistakes.

toddler photoshoot outdoors with lavendar

But we still have a year to go. A year left of this cherished time which I know we will never get back. So here’s to the Preschool adventures in the year ahead and all the fun we can have together before my best friend leaves me behind.

Come and check us out on Instagram if you’d like to see our Preschool Adventures xx

Introducing New Pampers Baby-Dry

Did you know that babies spend around half their time asleep? Those precious hours aren’t just important for their mood, but they also have a positive impact on their development, too! Both my boys have been terrible sleepers, and I always used to panic that this would affect their development as well as the obvious effect on the rest of us! We’ve tried lots of different nappy brands in our time, because with the many extra night feeds we were doing came the extra nappy changes in the night and sometimes they would wake up just because they were soaked – not what you need at 1 and 4am!!

Which is why I am so excited that Pampers are launching a brand new innovation and upgrade to UK parents’ #1 nappy choice: introducing 3 Absorbing Channels! New Pampers Baby-Dry feature a revolutionary nappy design with 3 Absorbing Channels and unique Micro Pearls™ that distribute wetness more evenly and lock it away for up to 12 hours. With less wet bulk in the morning, so your LO can wake up smiling! And, UK parents agree:

New Pampers Baby-Dry has been recommended by 88% of UK parents *

New Pampers Baby-Dry are also been BritMums Bloggers Approved, Mumsnet Rated, Mother & Baby Tried and Tested and 90% of Netmums mums would recommend New Pampers Baby-Dry.

With New Pampers Baby-Dry working as hard as possible, you’re LO can say goodbye to wet bulky nappy and hello to a dry night’s sleep.

Introducing New Pampers Baby-Dry!

To celebrate the launch of New Pampers Baby-Dry, Pampers are working with baby sleep expert Jo Tantum – who is a member of the Pampers Love, Sleep & Play panel and has 25 years’ experience helping hundreds of families to achieve a peaceful night’s sleep! (Could have done with a visit over the past 3 years, Jo!!) Jo has identified 5 sleep typologies that may help you to understand your baby’s sleep habits and needs better – so, is your little one a Starfish, Skylark, Sloth, Owl or Meerkat sleeper?


Introducing New Pampers Baby-Dry!

  • This is when your baby sleeps in the same position, on their back with legs and arms out. They also wake up often and regularly, but they don’t go back to sleep easily after you intervene with a sleep prop – which they need to get to sleep!

Jo’s Tip – A muslin square, knotted in the middle. Tuck it down your top before giving it to baby so it smells of you and comforts them. Also, try and teach your baby to fall asleep on their own gently. Start in the day, at nap times, watching for tired signs, then settle them for a sleep in their room.


Introducing New Pampers Baby-Dry!

  • These are the babies that wake up early in the morning, singing and shouting, and refuse to go back to sleep whatever you try!

Jo’s Tip – Wave sounds. This can be a sleep App or sound machine. Keep it on continually while baby is asleep, so when they come into a light sleep phase it soothes them back to sleep. Total blackout is also key – remember that babies can’t tell the time! They don’t know it’s 5am! If your baby wakes up early, try and respond to them as though it’s still night, rather than creating a habit of early waking.


Introducing New Pampers Baby-Dry!

  • These little ones love sleep and can sleep anywhere and everywhere – lucky you! But what happens when they wake up? You will know it’s going to be for a growth or developmental spurt or they are teething or not well.

Jo’s Tip – Increase feeding time by 5 minutes, if breast feeding and by 30ml if bottle feeding. If your baby is close to 6 months old, they may need weaning.



  • This is when your baby goes to bed late and then wakes up in the night. They’re wide awake for long periods and can’t get back to sleep!

Jo’s Tip – A Sleep Fest! Allow your baby to sleep for 3 hours during the day to reset their internal clock. Babies need lots of sleep and it’s a myth that if you don’t give them naps, they will be so tired that they’ll sleep through the night.



  • They stand up, move around trying to get comfortable all night and they don’t want to sleep. They’re late to bed and early to rise.

Jo’s Tip – Wind Down Time. Try bath-story-feed to establish a calming bedtime routine. Your baby is overtired and so they will thrash around trying to get comfortable just like we do. They will have lots of energy around bedtime and early in the morning, as their bodies and minds are overstimulated.

I’d love to know which one applies to your little one – let me know on social using #PampersBabyDry!

If you’d like to try New Pampers Baby-Dry, you can visit http://www.pampers.co.uk/offers-pages/samples-on-demand  to claim your free sample.

*based on a survey of 790 UK Parents, given the samples in May 2016

This post is sponsored by Pampers.