Friday, December 12, 2014

Your Youtube #7

It's getting so close to Christmas and I am starting to really get into the festive spirit. I keep having those warm and fuzzy moments when I thin about the big day and seeing the childrens' faces when they come downstairs, I really cannot wait.


What Makes Our Perfect Holiday

When I was growing up I was fortunate to go on holiday almost every year. We mostly visited Spain where my parents fell in love with a small fishing village there and eventually bought their own villa. But we also visited far-off destinations such as America, Australia and Singapore. We even travelled to Pakistan for a wedding when I was fifteen.

Mr H and I love to travel, and have also holidayed most years. However since the children were born this has more often been in the UK, usually to his parents' caravan in Wales. We've been abroad a couple of times with the children and it has been a joy to spend quality time together and watch our two enjoy the sunshine and make the most of the experiences you can only have abroad.

So what makes a perfect family holiday for us? I have put together a video which will tell you in the best way we know how - by showing you!


*This is our application to become a Mark Warner Ambassador.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Little Tikes Cookin' Creations Kitchen Review


We have several Little Tikes products in our household - from the matching pairs puzzle game Miss H is currently obsessed with, to the Riga Swing we reviewed earlier in the year. We have always loved their products and they have lasted us for two boisterous and often heavy-handed toddlers. Little Tikes are known for their bright, fun toys, particular their Cozy Coupe, and sets that encourage role play and building imaginations.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cosatto SS15 Preview

Those of you who have read my blog for a while will know how much I love kids brand Cosatto. I have worked with them for over a year now and tried out quite a few of their products and always enjoyed being part of their brand buddy ambassador scheme. Cosatto's message of 'saving the world from boring baby stuff' really resonates with me as I am a person who loves colour and have always dressed my two in bold and bright clothing and whilst I tend towards veer to safe greys and blacks for myself, I have been known to own a pair of bright pink cords in the past!

I was so excited to be invited to the Spring/Summer 2015 press day - when it's so dark and gloomy outside it was lovely to be able to think about next spring and brighter, warmer days. As expected, Cosatto did not disappoint with their new designs and I am thrilled to be able to share some of their newest patterns with you today.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Lowry Giveaway

When my sister and I were young my mum and dad took us to the pantomime every Boxing Day. It was a bit of a tradition and I loved going to the theatre, sitting in those lovely big seats and laughing at whoever played the Dame that year. Since I've been with Mr H, it's not really something we've done and as yet the children aren't quite old enough to get the jokes or sit still long enough, so it will probably be another year or two before we give it a try.



Friday, December 5, 2014

Your Youtube #6

It's week six of Your Youtube and the countdown the Christmas has definitely begun. I really enjoyed watching all the videos last week and can't wait to see what you've all been up to for the start of December.


Protecting Our Children This Winter

T'is the season for coughs and colds. I have already heard of so many families affected by illness already this year and that's even before the real cold snap has hit us. With children starting school and nursery for the new term, viruses are brought into the family home and seem to go round and round in a never-ending cycle until we warm up in the Spring. One thing that we can help prevent is flu. This season sees the arrival of the flu vaccination for children, which is taken using a nasal spray and so is fuss and pain free.

Think of how you feel as an adult with flu - aches, pains, shivers, fever, vomiting. Now imagine how a child would feel with all these symptoms, but no understanding of why and how they can get through it. Surely it's worth avoiding this if we can.

With this in mind CBeebies' Dr Ranj has put together the video below on how to protect your child this winter. For more information you can also visit http://www.sharegoodtimesnotflu.co.uk.



*This is a featured post.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Learning Phonics With The Alphablocks

Miss H is at the stage of learning letters and sounds and so I am trying to find ways to introduce these into our life at home, as it is something that will not be properly introduced into her education until she is at school next September. She is very keen to learn to write and often asks me to write words out for her so she can copy them. I often show her how to say each letter and she can often understand the names of her classmates from the letter it begins with.


Vlogmas!

As some of you may know I have been heavily focused on my videos recently, and I am absolutely loving filming and joining in with the Youtube community. As a part of this I have decided to set myself the challenge of taking part in Vlogmas!

Vlogmas is where you film every day in the run up to Christmas, sort of like an advent of videos. So each day I will be uploading the day before's video meaning today (the 2nd) I have uploaded the footage from the first of December.

So here it is, the beginning of Vlogmas and my vlogging challenge! I hope you stay with me throughout December and enjoy some festive cheer form the Hollybobbs family!



Do subscribe to make sure you don't miss a video and I would love to hear from you if you are partaking in Vlogmas!


My Youtube Top Tips

I have been vlogging now for over a year. When I first started I didn't really know what I was doing and those videos are pretty cringey.

Cut to a year later and I am definitely still learning. I have attended every Youtube session I could at various conferences, as well as following the Youtube Academy master classes, and trying to keep up with as many channels and videos as I can.

I thought today I would share a few tips I have picked up along the way, and maybe help those who are starting out with their channels to jump a few hurdles.

1. Turn your phone on its side. It's something that took a while for me to get into the habit of doing, but now when I watch videos with those black lines down the side, I want to scream at the screen!

An early video

2. Lighting. You don't need fancy s'mancy lighting right at the start. If your house is particularly dark or you don't have time to film in good daylight hours then you can get a basic light from B&Q (as recommended at BlogCamp), but do bear in mind when you are filming that you should sit with the light on your face not behind your head, otherwise we won't be able to see you.

3. Be self critical. As much as you are interested in you and your children, remember that you are trying to get new subscribers. Will a stranger really be that interested in what you are talking about, enough to push that subscribe button? Trying and edit your conversation so you're not rambling on too much and focus on what you are really wanting to share.

4. Be personable. Make mistakes, laugh at yourself, show those genuine little moments of yourself. Let people fall in love with you and want to watch you more.

5. Use annotations. Once you've uploaded your video, set it to private. Go into Video Manager and select annotations. Use this section to add clickable links to your channel, other videos, to ask people to subscribe or refer them to another channel or site. I generally use the Spotlight annotation to do this. Annotations give your audience even more reason to stay on your channel and hopefully become a regular viewer.



6. Add a description. In the box under your title, there is a huge space to give your viewers more information. If nothing else you should put links to your blog, twitter, Facebook etc in this space, but it is great to also add some more information about your video and also any links to things you discuss in it, as well as acknowledgment of music used for copywriter purposes.

7. Network. Just like your blog when you first started, nobody is going to find your channel without you doing some legwork to start with. Comment on other videos, subscribe to channels that are relevant to you and share the love! Obviously there are the bigger Youtube stars who are a great for learning how to do it right, but find others like yourself and create a community where everyone can support one another. I run a video linky every week where you can share your videos and do just that - be part of a community.

8. Playlists. It took me a while to bother doing this, and now I'm so glad I did. Channels are so much easier to navigate with playlists and it means your viewers can focus on topics relevant to them and watch more within that playlist.

9. Create an introduction video. Curently mine is my Draw My Life video, but I do have an idea in mind for a proper introduction. Think of this like your About Me page on your blog. It's something we all put off doing, but it is the first thing people see when they come to your channel. Make it concise, make people want to watch more and be memorable.

10. Collaborations. Whilst I wouldn't suggest doing one if you only have a handful of subscribers, once you get more into the swing of it then definitely try collaborating with someone who is similar to you. It's a great way to open yourself up to a new section of viewers and again strengthen the community. If you can't get out to meet and do a face to face collar, why not try a Skype or FaceTime chat? Have a search on Youtube, there are some great ideas out there.


These are just a few tips I've picked up along the way - do you have any of your own to add?


Monday, December 1, 2014

Me & Mine: November

Ok, it's a few months since I joined in with Me and Mine - I just never seem to get around to taking a family photo of us all, which is really the point of this linky! Well we managed to get one this month, so I am back again!


Friday, November 28, 2014

Your Youtube #5

Welcome to Your Youtube week five! Thanks again to everyone who has joined in so far, it's you who are making this work and growing our vlogging community so let's keep it up!



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Decision Time

I was recently asked by TheCircle.com about decisions. We all have to make decisions in every moment of our lives - from when to get out of bed in a morning, what to wear, eat or drink and which route to take to work. It is these decisions that create the path we follow in our lives and ultimately shape our destinies. So I had a look back at some of my decisions in the past, the best and worst. Whilst I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, there are some I definitely look on as probably to the wisest at the time. And of course there are those that I reflect on with joy, those that brought us the best moments of our lives.

So here's a video all about the decisions on my life, good and bad.





In collaboration with TheCircle.com, featured post.

Monday, November 24, 2014

All Too Much

Just lately it has been getting all too much in our house. Mr H has been working away a lot and has gotten really run down and so been ill, meaning I've had to cover the majority of the childcare and take on more in the house. Even with the help of family and friends it has been hard and there doesn't feel like there is an end in sight. It is affecting our sanity and our relationship, but above all it is affecting our little lady.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Should You Choose Your Career Over Having A Baby?

This is a really difficult question to answer because of the fact that the question is subjective by nature. There are some women that will want to have a child, no matter what. Others will be focused on their careers and will not care about anything else. Although the subjective nature of the choice is obvious, we cannot deny the fact that facts can influence this decision. Gumtree have put together an info graphic below for those who are struggling with this decision themselves.


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