Saturday was such a random and far from ordinary day for me, and yet when you look at it, it’s such an Ordinary moment in the calendar for many bloggers! I finally attended Britmum’s live (a parenting blogger conference) down in London, where I had the pleasure of meeting lots of new people, familiar people and even famous people! I travelled down on the 5.30am train, and whilst anxious, nervous and exhausted, I was also VERY excited to go to a blogging conference I have had on my goals now for a couple of years and be kid free in London (Thanks Nath)!

I sometimes feel scared to call myself “a blogger” (or maybe embarrassed?), and therefore admit to the world that this is what I do. And not just what I do, but that it’s something that I thoroughly enjoy doing and am very passionate about too! I think people who don’t get blogging or blogs will never get it, and that’s why ordinary moments like blogging conferences are so great – you get to meet and be with people who love what you love/do, and you get confidence to say “Yes I am a REAL blogger!!

I love blogging and being a blogger because I love to share our story and my view of life (with all of my pains, experiences, adventures, bargains and ordinary moments). I love to write about loss and grief and hit it head on in a hope to educate, inform and break the silence of stillbirth and life without one of your kids. I love to share things people might think are awkward as well as documenting the day to day with parenting wins and fails, life as mum and the moments that make us cry, laugh and feel proud. I love to share my style, my interests and what makes me, well me !

I am a blogger – it’s what I do and what I love, and there is nothing more empowering and joyful than taking a trip to the capital to be in the presence of so many wonderful and inspiring people I have admired and become friends with online. People like me that have a love or passion and want to share it with the world too. People who share their stories, their adventures, their beautiful families and their highs and lows in their own unique way. People I see as friends that I can finally grab and hug, laugh and chat with, and brainstorm with whilst putting the world to rights! Being at a blogger conference is more than learning the tecchy stuff or eating gorgeous food (it was lush!), its an opportunity to be with friends and like minded people. Its filled with moments that empower and motivate you, and fuel you to go for it (whatever “it” is to you).

I have in the past been mocked, degraded and criticised for my blog. People have opinions, and sadly some of them aren’t kind. I am at times a sensitive soul and so even though I knew they were just opinions, they still hurt me and made me question myself and what I was doing. But I quickly realised that that is a few small people with their own view points, and bringing another person down (for whatever reason) is nothing short of mean! I write to help others, and I write because it brings me joy to focus on the good things in life despite the rubbish. I am grateful that the majority of people who see that as a good thing and something to enjoy with me and celebrate for our family.

I am a blogger and its cool what I do. Its inspiring and its a wonderful thing to have a passion (especially one that comes with rewards beyond that of the joy of writing it). Its something that helps me, whilst helping others. It’s an outlet, a journal of our big moments and ordinary moments, and a log of our life’s adventures together! I learnt a lot at Britmum’s live from YouTube experts to big bloggers, but I learnt most of all that London is a beautifully quiet place early in the morning, and contentment and confidence in the fact that I am a Blogger – Yes a real blogger, that loves to blog, be online and work with brands. I absolutely love what I do, I loved being with the people who get it and I love those (near and far) who support me in it! Blogging is great and there’s room for all.

The Ordinary Moments

A couple of weeks ago on a chilly and wet Saturday afternoon, but looking rather bright and summery, I caught a train to Manchester to take part in an event hosted by Jet 2 holidays. Whilst I wished so much that I was actually headed on a plane to some sunny destination, meeting some blogger buddies, having my nails done and chatting with some great companies was both exciting and fun.

In September of 2013 our family enjoyed a lovely holiday in Malaga with my sister in law and fam; relaxing by the pool, exploring the city and little villages, soaking up the sun, a visit to the water park, and generally enjoying the local culture as we absolutely love to do.  For us, it was our 1st abroad WITH children and first time flying with both a 15 month old and almost 3 year old, and all I can really say is that it was absolutely brilliant and a whole lot of fun…
Whilst the flying part with 2 kids so young was anxiously anticipated, it was made great by the amazing crew on the Jet2 flight. They fly from Leeds/Bradford so it was super easy to access and close to home and with them offering 22kg bag allowance we didn’t worry about all of the baby/kid stuff we needed to take either.
The one thing that stands out though is that whilst the flights were cheap, the service was not compromised. We deliberately booked our home flight at night in hope that the kids would sleep and when we arrived tired at the Malaga airport the staff couldn’t have been more amazing… they checked pretty much everything (including pushchair and carry on bags) for us at no extra cost so that we the parents could concentrate on sleepy head kids. And on both flights the staff were joyful and engaging with the kids and really helpful with everything. We definitely would use them again both for convenience, happy budgets and great service.
flights with jet2Which leads me back to the Manchester event…the joyful persona of Jet 2 was again reflected here, and seeing more of the fabulous places they fly to and meeting reps from them was really great and all very exciting, but gave me a little wanderlust too – not ideal when you are expecting a new born bang in the middle of summer!!
There are tonnes of places we want to see, including other parts of Spain and Italy, Croatia, Paris and then many that are probably not obvious family holiday hot spots (Poland, Berlin, Switzerland, Hungary, Denmark…) but appeal to us for the amount of history and general curiosity and beauty of the place. But yes, like most families we also love holidays where we can have fun as well as enjoy local history and culture, so with those specifications in mind and from the day hosted by Jet 2, here are the 2 places I would love to take my family for more adventures and sunshine fun around Europe!

1. Malta – My husband and his family went here a few years ago and talk about it and how amazing it was a lot, so it has kind of been on my radar for a while. We even considered it as a destination when planning our honeymoon 6.5 years ago. What appeals to me is not just how beautiful it is but how small it is, the location and therefore availability of amazing cuisine (Greek, med, African and Italian – YUM).
They also have amazing water sports available and boast amazing cultural festivals and historic hot spots. They have temples older than stone henge, cathedrals and of course places quoted from the bible. For me it is beautiful and offers everything that appeals to us on a family holiday; food, culture, sun, history, fun! I want to go in the next year or so for sure and sample both its beauty and food!

2. Tenerife – I have to be honest is this has NEVER been on my mind or in my thoughts as a place to want to go to, but after speaking to one of the lovely reps of the hotels located there, I realised there was more to it than meets the eye for me. Not only do they have good weather all year round (bonus), but they are home to the biggest water park in Europe “Siam Park” (cue Mr Smiths eyes lighting up) which seems to have some of the most crazy facilities from their “Singha water roller coaster” to the 28ft drop slide which goes under the shark tanks…it also has the longest lazy river, beaches, surfing section and kids stuff, something for everyone and just looks fab. Lets just we were captivated!
SiamPark1EUROPEMEDITERRANEANSPAINCON_ESPTENERIFEDES_000335TENERIFERESORTSSIAMPARKACC_990791 They also have zoo/sea animals at Loro Parque – Europes answer to Sea world, which makes for one exciting day out! When I showed the video of the parks to the kids they were screaming like crazy and begging us to take them. Megan has taken a shine to the free Tshirt and flyer they gave me and has developed a dream to go there, she loves to look at the map and pictures and imagine splashing, water sliding and seeing so many awesome animals…
Needless to say, its now on the list and I expect the top if she has her way!! But after learning of volcanic mountains and beautiful scenery I really think we would all thoroughly enjoy a holiday in Tenerife and so I have happily added to “the list”!
20100105-150323.FullWe all love flying and travelling and I am always excited to be planning and looking at trips to go on and new places to explore. I was grateful that Jet 2 invited me along to see more of what they offer, and it was great to see the joyful atmosphere of their brand being consistent with what we have already experienced as well as getting the travel bug. Lets hope the Smiths can be jetting off soon and soaking up some rays, because after Mr Smiths exams, pregnancy and general life we really could do with it! 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, but review and travel wish list following a blogging event with Jet 2. All words, pictures and opinions are my own apart from the Malta and Tenerife pictures which are from google.