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#SnapHappyBritMums Spotlight: March 2017

Posted on 2:00 pm

We have an active community on Instagram called #SnapHappyBritMums and we?d love to see you there! Anyone can join in with the snap happy fun ? all you need to do is see which of our monthly photo prompts relate to today?s date and take a photo to reflect that, tagging us in! You do this by adding the hashtag #snaphappybritmums to your photo and you can also insert @BritMums too! Each month we feature selected incredible shots that meet the challenge of the day?s photo prompt and that are tagged #snaphappybritmums on our Instagram account and during the month we will highlight our favourites on the BritMums blog. For March 2017 we are liking this shot from @fourlittlegirlsthemummymemoirs The BritMums Instagram account contains lots of shares from the #SnapHappyBritMums community but also contains inspirational quotes, things the BritMums team is up to and things we love! Follow BritMums here and this is one of my personal favourite BritMums Instagram shares this month? Here is a link to the #SnapHappyBritMums photo prompts for the rest of March and I will have your April prompts ready on BritMums.com as always, on the last day of this month! What are you waiting for? Get snapping! About Nadine Hill Nadine is a busy mum (?Is there any other kind?!?) who writes the award winning family lifestyle blog, JuggleMum and self help blog Love Yourself Slim. Working from home at a portfolio career which also includes being the Editor at BritMums, running a small business and spreading herself all over social media, she has everything under control but still feels like she’s hanging on by her Gelish covered fingernails! Self employed for 12 years she’s been around the freelancing block a few times, so she created a YouTube playlist called The Businessmum Interviews to have a nosey at how other work-at-home parents are doing it. Watch and see – it’s a juggling act for everyone! Immensly grateful to be doing what she loves, Nadine’s most important job is ‘Mum’ to her teen and tween who keep her up to date with Snapchat, Minecraft and how to do ‘brows on fleek’. You can find Nadine on Twitter and Instagram as @Businessmum and @JuggleMumBlog. Share this: This press articles More interesting facts about this , click...

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Education Round-up: Home education in action

Posted on 6:00 am

Photo credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock Home education is a choice being made by a growing number of U.K. families for a huge variety of reasons and in September last year we joined the ranks when our eldest daughter didn?t start school. As it?s my first month writing the BritMums Education round-up, I thought I?d start off by showcasing some of the amazing home educating bloggers that we have in our community and what they have been up to with their little learners recently. My children are still very young at four, three and one, but even so I worry sometimes whether I?m doing enough ?learning activities? with them. The reality is that they learn so much just from being free to engage in their natural and instinctive play. I love how Marrianne from AcornSTEM has broken down the Top 5 benefits of building with blocks. It?s a great reminder that something that might seem to be a simple mindless activity is actually hugely beneficial for children?s learning and development. Lydia from A New Adventure has written this month about making lapbooks with her children as a learning aid when they are investigating a topic. I love the idea of unit studies and project based learning, it?s a way of discovering new things that really makes sense to me. Lapbooks are a great way of storing and presenting the new knowledge and skills you?ve picked up and I think we will definitely be adding them to our home education arsenal in the coming years. I had to include this lovely post about numeracy resources on Living Life Our Way as it was actually written by Katie?s daughter ?Squiggle?. Not only did I get lots of great ideas for maths resources we could use, but I love the idea of my children contributing to my blog one day and I think it could be a really beneficial exercise for them.  Ever wondered what us home educators do all day? Well there are as many different answers as there are home educators in the world and days on the calendar, but that?s what makes it so interesting! I love getting a glimpse behind closed doors and seeing what other home educating families get up to on an average day. Pru from Adventures in Homeschool has filmed this lovely day in the life video which I really enjoyed watching. Pru has three children of very different ages and it?s amazing to see the work they are doing together and how much they cover in just one day. Martyn from Inside Martyn?s Thoughts home educates his two boys William and James and has written about their favourite books and why they like them for World Book Day 2017. We?ve had a bit of a book theme going on recently too and I?ve been trying out adding some structure to our week by having a ?book of the week? and basing a few activities around that book. Our first book and most successful week was ?We?re Going on a Bear Hunt? by Michael Rosen and you can pop over to the blog to see what we got up to. And Finally, Jax from Live Otherwise has not only shared what she has been up to recently, but started a ?100 ways of home ed? blog hop which is a great...

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Mums in Business Round-up: Using Pinterest to drive traffic

Posted on 10:00 pm

Photo credit: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock When running a business there are so many areas of social media it can be hard to know where to put your energy. Today I?m going to take a look at Pinterest. Pinterest isn?t your normal social media platform, Pinterest is a search engine. Make your profile shine : It can be hard to know what to add in your description especially when you are working with a tight word count. Nicola Says has a great little list :  What you are/do ? e.g. a blogger, online store owner, graphic designer What you offer visitors ? e.g. fun family recipes, easy DIY crafts, home decor inspiration Who your content is for ? e.g. busy parents, ambitious female entrepreneurs, new photographers A call to action ? e.g. visit my blog for a new DIY every week, find my free course on my website Add in a bit of your personality, too. Always, always be you and write in your style. Add alt text and title text to all your images : Samantha Rickleton has a great list of tips on how she increased her blog referrals using Pinterest. But this is probably one of my favourites. The Alt text area of images is under used by everyone all the time. It?s an excellent SEO resource and you should really be adding alt text and title text to every image anyway but it is particularly important for Pinterest friendly images. Ensure this text includes a long description of your blog post and all of your keywords as it?s the text that is automatically added to your ?Pin? when this image is added to Pinterest. Your pin description is important as it?s one way people can find your pins. Rich Pins : Everyone should have rich pins. It?s super easy to set up and can make a massive difference to your traffic. Rich pins contain information from your website, including stating you as the original source, your favicon (logo) is shown, the title is a bold-type headline and the first few lines from the post where the image has been pinned from.  Tidy up your boards : Kimberly, Swoon Worthy, shares her tips on how she increased her traffic including tidying up her board.  Delete any under performing pins and importantly add descriptions to your boards which include your keywords. Remember Pinterest is a search engine, keywords are vital. Pinterest-guru Jen Stanbrook, Love Chic Living, also suggests having a dedicated brand/blog board at the top of the layout which only contains pins from your site. It?s a great way to show a pinner ALL of your fabulous content in one place. Top tip!  Create beautiful pins :  Jen, Love Chic Living, also shares what images do best. Images should be portrait or vertical, about 1000px x 750px ish, containing visually attractive lifestyle content. Try not to include faces or cut out images, these don?t do well. Add some teaser text or overlay words to help people see immediately what problem you?re solving. This can work particularly well for blog posts that aren?t focused on the visuals.  Jen also has a collection of free Pinterest courses so do check out her blog : Pinterest Courses Use your analytics : Pinterest comes with it?s own analytics. Hands up if you ever actually had a look?...

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Say eyedoo to this great new concept

Posted on 2:00 pm

The notion of wearing glasses because you need to is increasingly becoming antiquated. Many people nowadays wear clear lens frames for reasons as diverse as they want to be taken more seriously in the workplace to more vein reasons like, it finishes off a look they are trying to achieve and Specs can really reflect different personalities and be a statement of individuality. I mean to be completely honest, it?s never been easier. A new brand who aim to offer a whole new experience in buying affordable, high-quality glasses online is ?eyedoo? (eyedoo.co.uk) They offer consumers a unique, simple and convenient way to buy prescription glasses and sunglasses online and if that wasn?t good enough reason they will donate 5% of every purchase to Vision Care for Homeless People. A charity set up to provide eyecare services to homeless and other vulnerable people in an accessible and friendly environment in which they feel safe, welcome and comfortable. eyedoo offers a wide range of designer styled frames, an experienced prescription lens service and fast ordering, which even includes a unique next day delivery option. The high-quality frames have a simple pricing structure with all styles costing just £49 per pair, including single vision lenses. Ordering online couldn?t be simpler, with an easy-to-browse collection of designer styled frames, including a range of prescription polarised sunglasses at just £75 complete, plus an innovative 3D try on function and style assistant. eyedoo will also send up to four different frames to any address in the UK, so those who are undecided can try them on in the comfort of their own home before making their final decision.What could be easier when buying glasses online? Enjoy the convenient ordering process, with no add on costs or extras, while helping homeless people with their vital vision correction needs. For more information , click here . > See...

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10 Best Alternative Female Heroes In Video Games

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Supergiant Games Video games have come a long way since the days of Leisure Suit Larry. In light of Women’s History Month, it’s important to recognize the strong female characters who pave the way towards a more inclusive gaming industry. We can always revisit the popular choices – think Zelda, Samus, and Lara Croft – but why limit ourselves to the heavy-hitters? What about the newer or less-celebrated characters who can help us expand the scope of female representation? Beyond the cocky, badass bombshell trope, women in gaming are brainy and brawny; they’re young and old; they’re women of color, LGBT, and working class women; they battle monsters and mental illness alike; and they face the headaches of everyday life while saving the world from evil. Let’s honor some alternative female icons who add more dimension to the portrayal of women in games. — 10. Zoe Castillo (The Longest Journey) Funcom Heroism isn’t all about superhuman strength and magical powers. The narrative-heavy Longest Journey series is all about using your wits and imagination to crack a criminal conspiracy that threatens the fate of two worlds. Praised for balancing fantastical stories with down-to-earth character development, the games get lots of love for the prophesied heroine, April Ryan. That said, the latest protagonist in the series, Zoe Castillo, might deserve an even bigger slice of the pie. The bioengineer, activist, and amateur spy shares many qualities with the beloved Jade from Beyond Good & Evil. With her intelligence and relatable personality, you’d do just as well to chat with Zoe over coffee as you would to have her unravel a mega-corporation’s nefarious plot to enslave two world populations via their dreams. All in a day’s work, right? In this post:  Transistor   Posted On:  14th Mar 2017 External Link to Article ( Full article...

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Return to Renault a double boost for Toro Rosso | 2017 F1 season preview: Renault

Posted on 10:00 pm

It?s been the same story for the past few years at Toro Rosso. They?ve usually produced a tidy chassis which has earned admiring glances from better-funded rivals. However reliability problems have consistently held them back, as has the need to keep swapping drivers to satisfy Red Bull?s thirst for fresh talent. In at least two respects 2017 looks like being more of the same. Technical director James Key has produced a neat car with clear (but coincidental) similarities to the Mercedes, particularly around the nose and suspension. Go ad-free for just £1 per month >> Find out more and sign up However the STR12 was dogged by breakdowns in testing. Only McLaren spent less time on the track. So is 2017 going to be a case of ?same old? for the team which placed seventh last year? Maybe not entirely. For their 12th F1 campaign Toro Rosso are embarking on the season with their most experienced driver line-up yet. Daniil Kvyat is heading into his fourth season, Carlos Sainz Jnr his third. In a season of major technical upheaval, this consistency is valuable, especially when most other teams have at least one new driver. And their reunion with Renault should pay off twofold. Not only will they now have current-specification power units but it will allow them to make greater use of Red Bull technology in their cars, much as Haas do with Ferrari. However the team say this will not extend to using Red Bull?s trick suspension system ? for now, at least. Drivers 55. Carlos Sainz Jnr Sainz?s path to Red Bull?s top team has been blocked by Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. There?s no obvious reason why either of those obstacles might disappear soon, so this has to be the year he convinces another front-running team to place him in their squad. He had a consistently strong 2016 with a few stand-out results and should be one of the midfield stars this year. 26. Daniil Kvyat It came as something of a surprise that Kvyat held onto any kind of F1 seat this year having been kicked out of Red Bull four races into 2016. But he will be acutely aware of the threat to his future GP2 champion Pierre Gasly may be. The latest talent in Red Bull?s Junior Team may be ushered in if Kvyat lags as far behind Sainz as he did for the bulk of last season. Poll: Which Toro Rosso driver will finish ahead in the championship?  Loading … An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here. When this poll is closed the result will be displayed instead of the voting form. 2017 F1 season Browse all 2017 F1 season articles click here … Report and...

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10 Insanely Difficult Video Game Bosses That Weren’t Worth The Pain

Posted on 2:00 pm

Some video game bosses are purposefully designed to be very beatable ? they tend to be the ones that allow us to progress through a game’s story. Others deliberately pose a real challenge. Maybe they test our wits, our perseverance, and with ever-improving AI, our strategy – but ultimately we are rewarded with a feeling of pure elation when we finally beat them. Then there are these guys, who are just there to frustrate. Sure, the developers entice us with the dangling carrot of a rare item, a super weapon or a hidden playable character, but sometimes the sheer effort to overcome these optional challenges is just not worth the blood, sweat, and mostly tears that we shed. So difficult and outrageous are they, that if we ever do finally fell these collective spawns of Satan, we just find ourselves collapsing in a puddle of our own fury, questioning why the developer dared to create such a monstrosity in the first place. For completionists, the word ‘optional’ in Optional Boss is a cruel misnomer, but even the following battles were hardly worth the hours spent wallowing in defeat. »Read more See...

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Pets Round-up: Treating your pet & celebrating special occasions

Posted on 6:00 am

Photo credit: The Dog Photographer, Shutterstock Britmums bloggers know how to celebrate, and that extends to their pets too! So whether you?re looking for inspiration for a birthday party for your four-legged friend or some gift ideas for their birthday, or a special treat just to let them know you love them, then look no further. I?ve rounded up my favourite DIY canine treats, so if you?re feeling handy or looking for the perfect dog treat recipe to rustle up, take a look.  My Model Mummy hosts a stylish puppy party to celebrate her pooch?s first birthday, lots of inspiration here. Christmas time saw lots of lovely gift guides, and whilst obviously it?s way past yuletide now, they?re still worth a look for inspiration ? what do you get the pet who has everything? Mummy Burgess has some very on-trend ideas for well-dressed dogs and Blog Bay-Bee has great gift ideas to suit all budgets. Cherished By Me checks out some boutique gift ideas, you?ve got to give this post a click just to see the adorable ET-esque photo of her dog! Emmy?s Mummy has a fab recipe for banana and honey dog biscuits ? I think I?ll be giving these a go myself. So, like dogs, gifts aren?t just for Christmas, there?s always an excuse for treating them. Do you have a special celebration coming up?  I?d love to hear how it went. Send me your pet related blog posts and social shares for possible inclusion in my next round-up! About Liz Burton Liz Burton is a stay-at-home mum with a 7 year old daughter. She blogs at Me and My Shadow about all things from interiors, travel, family and food with lots of bargain-hunting thrown in. An avid fan of recycling and upcycling, she can often be found in the charity shop or at a car boot sale. You can find her on Twitter and also on Facebook Share this: Click here for the article...

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Dad Blogger Round-up: Capturing moments in time

Posted on 10:00 pm

Photo credit: Sunny studio, Shutterstock Every three months it?s my turn to round-up my favourite dad blogs and it comes around so quickly. Much like my daughters 13th birthday which happened this month. I know we all hear this on a regular basis but, where does the time go! I met my wife when my now teenage daughter was only 7, now she?s 13 and to be honest it?s all gone by in a flash.  This is a huge part of why I blog. I want to capture and remember as much as possible so that when I?m an old guy, OK old-er guy, I can look back and appreciate all the memories my family and I have made together. So when I got to thinking about my theme for this BritMums post I thought, no theme just simply share some love for other dads capturing their current moments in time.  So in no particular order, with no particular theme here they are? First up, Tom at Diary of the Dad with Five Kids Products I?ve Lived To Regret Buying. The title immediately grabbed my attention. The amount of money I throw away on products that are either a major let down, don?t get used after 10 minutes or were simply used as a tool of distraction at some point is ridiculous. I particularly enjoyed Tom?s ?review? of the Talking Toilet ?  Benny AKA DaddyPoppins wrote Can You Have A Relaxing Family Break? We all know the answer is 100% NO! But you need to read how Benny found this out. Oh and look out for the re-written Fresh Prince song? Brilliant! I don?t know what the rules are about including fellow BritMum Round-up Editors, but Tim is going in for his post When Ordinary People Make The Most Extraordinary Idols. As soon as I saw Tim?s title I immediately built up a relatable expectation of what I was about to read. Tim, you lived up to it mate! I found myself nodding and agreeing with all Tim had to say, specifically about today?s celebrities not being the only source of idols for our children.  Lastly and linking to Tim?s post about idols, my blogging idol, Nigel at DIYDaddy. I relate to soo many of Nigel?s posts it?s almost like we?re long lost brothers! That brings us nicely onto Nigel?s recent post Half Brothers And Sisters, another I can relate to. My own children are ?officially? half brothers and sisters, however our family take zero notice of that word, we?re family and that?s that, no half about it.  That?s it from me for another few months. I just wanted to leave you with something that?s been floating around in my head the last few weeks, I?ve no idea where I heard it but it?s been effective?  Let?s say you have 80 years on this planet, what are you going to do with them? About David Shaul David, husband of one, dad of three and servant of all four. Also known as DadvWorld, where he blogs and vlogs about his life taking on the world as a dad. David started blogging in early 2016 and then included a YouTube channel shortly after. Living in South Yorkshire with his family, he and his wife Donetta home educate their 3-year-old boy Corben whilst their girls, Kiera, 12...

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Game Of Thrones: 9 Things We Learned From The SXSW 2017 Panel

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HBO Things are finally starting to hot up in the World of Ice and Fire. After months of relative silence concerning the impending Season 7, HBO and the Game of Thrones producers have started to unveil a few more details. For a start, we finally have an air date, with the premiere taking place on July 16 (and a day later in the UK). Accompanying that, apart from the slightly ill-fated ice melting stunt, was a teaser trailer which showed various House sigils crumbling, and gave us the first dialogue of the new season: Jon Snow telling us (and some characters) that the Great War is here. To crank the hype machine up even more, creators and showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff appeared at SXSW this weekend to discuss the series, in a panel moderated by none other than Stark sisters Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner. While they didn’t debut any new footage (apparently it’s still a little too early for that, though my heart and soul vehemently disagrees) they did drop a few little hints towards what’s coming in Season 7 and even Season 8, as well as touching on the idea of a spin-off, and sharing lots of brilliant behind-the-scenes stories. The full report read...

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