Linkies for Parenting and Family Bloggers


Blog linkies are a great way for bloggers to build an online community. By taking part in linkies you are getting your blog out to new readers, increasing traffic and also discovering new bloggers – giving you plenty of reading material!

There are linkies about all different topics, general ones where any post is welcome and specific ones, such as for crafts or reviews. Most have some ‘rules’, such as you must include a badge on your post (which links back to the linky host) and you must comment on 2 or 3 other posts. These are useful so that all the bloggers taking part can benefit from increased traffic and comments.

There are lots of linkies out there and I find it hard to keep track. So I came up with a list of the ones that I like to join in with. I’m sure I will be adding more to this post as I discover them!

Do you take part in any linkies which are not on this list? Please let me know in the comments!

1. Toddler Approved Tuesdays
Hosts: 3 Princesses and 1 Dude and Larabee
Theme: Anything toddler approved! Crafts, baking, activities, outings, reviews.
Join in: Every Tuesday to Thursday
Find out more: Click on the badge below
Follow on Twitter: @3princess_1dude @larabeeuk #toddlerapprovedtuesday


2. Toddler Fun Friday

Hosts: My Bored Toddler and Mom Explores Virginia Beach
Theme: Fun toddler activities
Join in: Every Friday
Find out more: Click on the badge below
Follow on Twitter: @myboredtoddler @momexploresvb #toddlerfunfriday

My Bored Toddler

3. Wicked Wednesday

Host: Brummy Mummy of 2
Theme: Photographs showing the reality of every day family life. Forget the perfectly posed family photos and share the temper tantrums, funny faces, messy homes and the lot!
Join in: Every Wednesday
Find out more: Click on the badge below
Follow on Twitter: @brummymummyof2 #wickedwednesdays


4. Tried and Tested

Hosts: Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure
Theme: Reviews
Join in: Every Tuesday, 8am-midnight
Find out more: Click on the badge below
Follow on Twitter: @FamilyFever @Lollinski #triedtested

Family Fever

5. Mummy Monday

Host: The Multitasking Mummy
Theme: Add your best/funniest/most popular post from the week.
Join in: Every Monday
Find out more: Click on the badge below
Follow on Twitter: @TheMMummy #mummymondays

The Multitasking Mummy

6. Brilliant Blog Posts

Host: Honest Mum
Theme: Anything and everything
Join in: Every Thursday
Find out more: Click on the badge below
Follow on Twitter: @HonestMummy #brilliantblogposts
Brilliant blog posts on

7. The List

Hosts: You Baby Me Mummy and Mumsdays
Theme: Any post in list or bullet point format
Join in: Every Friday – Thursday
Find out more: Click on the badge below
Follow on Twitter: @YouBabyMeMummy @Mumsdays #thelist

The List

8. Kid’s Corner

Hosts: What Katy Said and Everything Mummy 
Theme: Everything kid related
Join in: Every Wednesday
Find out more: Click on the badge below
Follow on Twitter: @AmyCooperEM @WhatKatySaidUK #kidscorner

what katy said

9. My Best Post of the Week

Host: Britmums
Theme: Anything and everything
Join in: Every Saturday
Find out more:
Follow on Twitter: @BritMums #mbpw

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Happy First Birthday

We celebrated Clara’s first birthday yesterday. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since she joined our family – yet in other ways it feels like she has always been part of our lives.


We had a tea party in the house, so I spent most of Tuesday baking scones, cupcakes and of course Clara’s birthday cake.

When I was pregnant we used to call the baby Nemo. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl, so giving my bump a nickname was nicer than saying ‘it’ all the time. Plus I think it helped Izzy to bond with her as-yet-unknown little sister. So when I was deciding what cake to make I thought a Finding Nemo one would be a nice idea!


We bought her a huge Nemo toy from the Disney Store, though I kept having to retrieve it from Izzy as she has taken quite a liking to it!




It was a lovely day. Clara didn’t nap all day either and finally fell asleep on her Daddy’s knee about 6.30. Exhausted from all her partying!

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A big day for a little flower girl


In April we went to a family wedding –  my Husband’s sister got married near Manchester so we spent a few days down there. We’ve just got the amazing photos so I wanted to share some of my favourites.


Izzy was very excited about being a flower girl. She couldn’t wait to get into her dress and sat lovely while the hairdresser plaited her hair. By the time the photographer arrived, she was in her element. She was on first name basis straight away, asking her to photograph her princess shoes and posing like a little model. Camera shy she is not!



We sat down to wait for the ceremony to start and Clara fell fast asleep. I think it was the musicians playing the Star Wars theme that did the trick. A few minutes later and Izzy walks in. As she gets to the front of the aisle she looked worried. “I forgot to throw the petals!”

I think walking down the aisle in front of everyone was a bit nerve racking. She did throw the petals on the way back down the aisle though – she was feeling a bit braver by then!


When it came to signing the register, Izzy stealthily ninjas her way over into the photos, swapping her basket of petals for the maid of honour’s bouquet.  She did this a lot through the day as she just wanted a bouquet to hold so she could pretend to be the bride!


Outside for photos Izzy got bored quickly so we resorted to bribery with promises of a trip to the Disney Store. This worked long enough to get her to smile for some group shots before we moved back inside where a magician made Izzy a balloon flower and showed her some tricks. She came running over to us, amazed. “That man… He is MAGIC!”


She kept photo bombing people. There will be lots of people looking at their photographs after the wedding and realising there is a child they don’t know just happily stood posing. I think Izzy may have been in more photos than the bride! She also worked the room, chatting away to people she had never met before, giving them her life story.


During the speeches Clara kept joining in with the applause which was so cute. Izzy laughed at jokes she didn’t get – including one time she laughed really loud and everyone else then laughed at her. She got really self conscious then and put her head on the table sulking.


Later on, Izzy owned the dance floor. I let Clara have a crawl around before other people started to dance and it was cute watching the two of them chase each other giggling. Izzy showed off all her newly acquired moves from dance class and would only let me on the dance floor if I took part in her lesson, with her pretending to be the teacher.


I danced with Clara until she fell asleep in my arms to a bit of Bowie. We managed to get her in the pram still asleep, but we didn’t stay at the reception  much longer. Once Izzy started to cry because people wouldn’t dance how she wanted them to (bossy much!) we knew it was time to leave! She was beyond shattered but very happy.


Wedding photos by Dantuma Photography – follow them on Twitter @adantuma.

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Clara’s first trip to nursery

I return to work in a couple of weeks (sob) after an amazing 13 months on maternity leave. Clara will be spending her time between my parents’ house and nursery. So this week she has had some settling in sessions.

I was nervous as Clara has spent very little time away from me. Izzy has never been clingy and took to nursery without any problems. Clara is a bit more of a Mummy’s girl.


Tuesday was Clara’s first hour in nursery. When I dropped her off she seemed quite happy so I left without making a fuss. No tears from either of us. If she even realised I’d gone she didn’t show it! It was reassuring to know that she had been fine the whole time and had joined in happily with snack time (ok the latter wasn’t much of a surprise!) When I collected her she crawled straight over to me and gave me a big hug as if she had missed me. Which was lovely.

The next day she spent another hour there. Again she was fine except for when one of the other little girls fell and started to cry. Clara then started crying too! Bless her. I got another huge hug when I collected her.

Today was a 2 hour session. This time Daddy dropped her off and she had a little cry. I don’t know whether to be offended or not that she cries for Daddy and not me! She played with the other boys and girls and went outside for a little bit. When I went to pick her up she crawled straight over and snuggled in sucking her thumb. It’s tiring work being a sociable baby.


I’m really pleased with how this week has gone. I was quite nervous as I didn’t think she would take to it very well. Of course an hour or two is different from a full 10 hour day but it’s a great start to get her used to the ladies and used to being away from me!

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The Multitasking Mummy

This week… 4-10 May

Proud little dancer
After 2 months of dance classes, Izzy had her first medal test this week. She has been practicing for weeks and telling everyone about her new outfit. She had 5 steps to learn and we had been practicing a lot.


She stood on the stage with another little girl and boy and they all looked so small. The music started and they all did the first step. .. and then carried on doing the first step over and over! They just looked at each other as they weren’t sure what to do next. She then skipped round in a little circle and did a beautiful curtsey. A few more children did their dances and then they all came back on stage together to get their medals. When Izzy was handed hers she looked so proud and had a huge smile on her face.


She might have forgotten her dance but she did so well to get up on that big stage with all the bright lights in front of everyone. When we went shopping afterwards she wanted to show everyone her medal and she took it to school today to show her teachers.

Me time
I’ve managed to get a rare bit of time to myself this week – painting at WI one evening and then a spa day on Saturday with my sister. It was lovely and relaxing. I had a facial (and fell asleep!) and a manicure, went swimming and used the sauna and jacuzzi. I even went to the gym for a little bit. And then relaxed by the pool (and fell asleep again!). It was so nice just to have a relax in the midst of a very busy couple of months. It feels like it’s non stop at the moment so just being able to chill out without mentally running through my to do list was amazing.

I also spent last Sunday in bed and Monday recovering from illness on the sofa (and blubbing at Grey’s Anatomy) while Hubby took the kids out for a few hours. So I guess I have had quite a lot of me time this week, though not all of it good!

Building site
We are currently getting a new wall built in the garden as the previous one was threatening to fall down at any moment. Which means the outside of our house is a building site. We can only get in the house through the garage and there is mud everywhere. Izzy is loving it as she likes to talk to the builders or watch them out of the window. I will just be pleased when it’s finished and everything is cleaned up!

This week on the blog 

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11 months old

In just 3 weeks Clara will be one year old! As we approach her first birthday, I look back at all the amazing things she has learnt or done in the past month.


1. It always amazes me when I say something and Clara understands and responds for the first time. I asked ‘Hands up who wants toast’ and straight away her arms shot up in the air. She is able to understand a few simple directions and communicate with us in her own way. If Izzy has something she wants (usually food) she will stretch her arm out and grunt. And of course when she doesn’t want something she will shake her head. Or throw her food on the floor which she has just started to do!

2. She now understands the words hug and kiss, and she will give big sloppy, snotty kisses and snuggles. Which is just adorable. I have to admit it would be better without the snot, but it’s still adorable. There’s nothing nicer than her leaning in for a kiss and then resting her cheek on my chest, thumb in mouth and the other hand round my neck.
3. Two more teeth have popped up on the bottom row. That’s a whopping 8 now! No wonder she is having no trouble at all when it comes to chewing food and she seems to prefer to eat the same as us where possible. 

4. She is learning some new words – she will say ‘ta’ when handed something, and ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ when waving. Sometimes it sounds like she is trying to say ‘Isabel’ and it comes out ‘a-bel’. Mama and Dada are clearer and used more when she wants our attention or is pleased to see us rather than just being random sounds.

5. She is so laid back. Just happy taking in everything around her. But sometimes she can be a little clingy with me which Izzy never was – while its nice that sometimes only Mummy hugs will do, she is starting nursery soon and I want her to settle in well!

6. At her health visitor check up she weighed 19 pounds and 3 ounces, perfectly average for her age.

7. Firsts this month…

First wedding

First time on a swing

First easter (and first Easter egg)

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Mums' Days

New snack range from Ella’s Kitchen


Ella’s Kitchen have brought out a new range of tasty, organic snacks for babies and toddlers.

A couple of weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised when the postman delivered a box full of snacks for Clara to try out. She’s had a great time putting them through the Clara Taste Test!


Grip Me Apple and Ginger Biscuits
The girl has a sweet tooth, just like Mummy, but I’m cautious about giving her too many sugary things. These biscuits are a nice treat without any added sugar or unhealthy ingredients.

Each box contains 12 individually wrapped biscuits which are very handy for popping in your handbag. I’ve found these quite useful for keeping Clara busy at the supermarket checkout. By that point in the shopping trip she is usually getting bored and wants to climb out of the trolley. So I resort to bribery give her a snack to keep her calm.

They are a bit more solid than some of the other biscuits she has tried, so they don’t snap in half as easily and it takes her a little longer to eat one. They are still perfectly soft enough for her to chew and suck though, and help her learn how to use all her new teeth!




Pick Me Melty Hoops
These little hoops are perfect for tiny fingers and very soft to eat. You get quite a lot in a tub, which is great. In fact we haven’t tried the ‘vanilla and bananas’ flavour yet as Clara is still working her way through the ‘cheese and tomatoes’ tub! I tend to use these for snack time in the house, when I can just tip some hoops onto the high chair tray and watch the concentration on her face as she picks up each one individually!



Grab Me Melty Puffs
Like the hoops, these organic maize puffs are available in both sweet and savoury flavours. Clara tried ‘tomatoes and leeks’ and ‘strawberries and bananas’ and is a fan of both – as is her big sister! Izzy has a habit of polishing off Clara’s snacks so I often have to hide the bag from her so she doesn’t eat them all.

I usually give Clara maize-based snacks like these while I’m preparing her tea – they are light enough that just a couple won’t make her too full to eat her meal, but tasty enough to keep her occupied for a little while.

The bag is resealable (by using a little sticker) but if I’m taking these out I prefer to put them in a plastic tub so the don’t get squashed in my bag.


Clara has loved trying out these snacks and I think they have all made it on to her list of favourites! She also enjoyed playing in the box…


For more information about Ella’s Kitchen or to order some of these yummy snacks for your little one, visit You can also keep up with the latest news by following @EllasKitchenUK on Twitter or liking their page on Facebook.

Please note, Ella’s Kitchen very kindly sent us the featured snacks in return for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.

Find out here what Clara thought of the Stage 2 Ella’s Kitchen pouches. 

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what katy said
We're going on an adventure

This week… 27 April – 3 May

Date Day
For weeks the Hubby and I have been looking forward to a date day. We got the train to Carlisle and went for lunch at The Last Zebra. Everything on the menu looked delicious but I eventually settled for the belly pork which was amazing. Hubby had the Cumbrian burger which was stacked high and looked epic. Of course we had to sample a couple of cocktails while we were there, starting with my favourite, a mojito.


After lunch we went to see the new Avengers film at the cinema which was really good. Unfortunately during the film I started feeling really unwell (nothing to do with the cocktails!) and by the end my throat was killing me and I felt really achy. So we got an earlier train instead of hitting a few more bars as planned, and were home to relieve the babysitters (grandparents) by 8pm.

Recovering from ick
Yesterday was mainly spent in bed and necking hot lemon in an attempt to get rid of illness. Today I am feeling a bit better but still not great so Hubby has taken the kids out for a few hours to give me a break.

Shopping for holidays
Not long to go now until our holiday in the sun so I’ve been making sure we have essentials like suncream and buying the cutest summer outfits for the girls. We got some cute shorts, canvas shoes and a little pink romper suit from Sainsburys, tshirts from Asda and a summer dress from Matalan.


If anyone is going on holiday, or just likes to take the little ones swimming, Huggies Little Swimmers nappies are half price in Boots at the moment – we’ve stocked up for our hols!

Clara is 11 months old!
Just one month of her first birthday, I can’t believe where the time has gone! She is a little monkey, getting into everything at the moment!


This week on the blog

What have you guys been up to this week?

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The hell that is clothes shopping with children


Shopping is not my idea of fun at the best of times. Clothes shopping? With children? That is its own special kind of hell.

First you have to navigate the actual shop, trying not to lose your children in a sea of clothing rails and repeating for what feels like the millionth time “DO NOT TOUCH!” Which of course they do. Then they run off to the children’s department and get fixated on a hat/t-shirt/pair of sandals that are inevitably adorned with Frozen characters. Trying to part them with said item becomes a struggle that you know you won’t win. So you give in (for now) and hope that you can slyly leave it somewhere before you get to the checkout.

You know you don’t have long before you are risking tantrum territory so you resort to bribery. Snacks or promises of being able to pick ‘anything you like from Poundland’ usually work. For a few minutes.

As you go through the rails you fear you are getting old as you don’t recognise/like any of the fashionable choices and head straight for the comfy and practical clothes. A mum can never have too many pairs of leggings can she?

Then it’s time to hit the changing rooms.

The cramped changing rooms bathed in harsh fluorescent lighting and sometimes crazy mirrors that look that they must have come from a closing down sale at the circus. (Seriously, I don’t look that hideous in actual real life do I?)

Once I’ve fit the pram in there and told the eldest (to no avail obviously) to stand still and be good, there’s hardly any space for me to sweatily wriggle in and out of badly fitting clothes.

Add a brutally honest 4 year old foghorn in the mix and I would rather be anywhere else.

Like an unhelpful Trinny or Susannah she critiques my outfit choices and points out all my flaws.

Trying on clothes this week (for holiday and returning to work) I got these gems.
“Oh Mammy, why is your belly so big?”
“Your bottom is sooooo fat.”

Or she just found hilarity in my nakedness.

“Haha. Nipples. Haha.”

But the pinnacle of my humiliation had to be when she made up a song about how much my belly shakes when I put my jeans on.

It’s nice to feel loved.

To be fair it wasn’t all bad. When trying on a work skirt she said I looked “like a woman”. As opposed to the homeless man I usually channel?

She also commented that she liked the bra I was trying on, and told me loudly (of course loudly, she does everything loudly) to take the tags off and put it in my bag. Never have I felt so shifty as I (also loudly) explained that would be stealing.

I emerged from the changing room dejected, embarrassed and, out of the ten things I tried on, with one top. One baggy, belly-covering top.

Then we went to the cafe for cake. No wonder my belly shakes.

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Brilliant blog posts on