• Is Vlogging actually Flogging?

  • Life Lately…

  • My Mum didn’t Choose Me.

  • Mum Vid Con

Is Vlogging actually Flogging?

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Flogging

1.Formal : To beat severely with a whip or rod. 2. Informal : To publicize aggressively: “Flogging a new book” for example. (I’ll be talking about the latter).

Vlogging

Video Blogger – One who records a video blog. A vlog or video blog is a blog (short for weblog) which uses video as the primary content.

I have been vlogging for the last two years and I have made it my job, but not in the same way that other YouTubers necessarily make money, because lets be real. I do not have the numbers. I am no Pewdie Pie. More cottage pie.

I work with and for Channel Mum and occasionally “deals” can come my way, but my “deals” are not paying my mortgage, they are just keeping me in Hula Hoops. I should add that when I first met founder of Channel Mum; Siobhan Freegard she asked me “What do you want?” in a Hollywood agent kind of way and instead of barking back “a star” I simply mumbled “a job”. That is how it happened. I believe in Channel Mum, I believe in their message, I believe in Siobhan and more importantly I want to help make Channel Mum the place for mums on YouTube. It is not JUST a resource for new mums, it is THE place for all mums.

I was a stay at home mum for 2 years who was dabbling in YouTube when Siobhan tripped over me, but I knew I had something that they needed – editing. I started editing most of their videos for brands and pitches and the rest as they say is history. I am now an official Channel Mum employee who happens to be a vlogger, but do you care? Why am I telling you?

Because dear reader…YOU probably ‘get it’ (thats why you keep coming back here, even when I leave it a month between posts – thank you, love you), but some humans seem confused between vlogging and flogging. Mother Pukka recently wrote a far more articulate post on the subject of #AD and money. As far as I see it – every blogger and vlogger must disclose if they have been paid for ‘product pushing’ and or if they have received goods for FREE in exchange for a review. It is simple – if this information is divulged then the ‘person’ has been responsible and it really is up to you if you want to 1. read the post 2. watch the post 3. buy the product so it really confuses me that after all of that – people still have time to write negative messages and comments about the flogging.

In my PSVE lessons (I mean it might of been covered – I was a serial skiver) the job options were office, retail, nurse, teacher. Blogging, vlogging was unknown, it had not started, it was not an option. In 2016 it is a career, a job and just like most jobs – people get coin for their words, for their faces, for their audience. Just like Fearne Cotton, just like Lorraine Kelly. Vlogging, blogging is amazing, but if you want to keep doing it then you have to start flogging to pay your internet bill. This is not a case of chicken and egg, because surely the first person who ever wrote a blog or filmed a vlog had an agenda to push and share with you. Even if that agenda was or is to simply connect. The agenda was not advertised so it was “OK”.

Honestly, I too get mad if I am quite clearly being ‘shown’ something because of undisclosed tuppence, but don’t get your raging emoji on when someone is honest, authentic and is respectful to their audience’s intelligence. So do or don’t watch videos or read posts with the word #AD in the title, it really is up to you, but know that you are respected and I would never push or share a product or feeling that did not correspond with me, my life and my choices. Same can be said for most of the ‘people’ I choose to follow and…. you know, I am a fucking grown ass woman who can spend her own money and make her own choices on what to buy. Trust me I am a “vlogger”.

Life mantra: Be honest, don’t be a twat, use GIFS, drink Gin.

Snogs,

NB

 

Life Lately…

Holy Crap! It has been an age since we last spoke, I apologise and I confess – I can’t fucking multi task can I? Am I the only woman? Should I leave my uterus at the door? Between YouTube (pays the bills), nursery, park play dates, fussy eating, instagram scrolling and House of Cards watching…who the hell has time to be writing stuff down? I find myself constantly wishing I had really focused on a photograph heavy and strong blog theme, but my talents apparently lie in the moving image. Watch out Spielberg?

Any who, any how…how have you been? You well? Kids good? Got that thing seen too? Oh well.

Firstly, Easter just happened. Very good fun, full of chocolate and I think it is safe to say I am 40% chocolate, 20% fat, 40% guilt and shame. We are about to head off on a family holiday to Marbella in Spain, which is delightful and something that has been in the diary since forever. Think of someone marking down days on a calendar…that is me. Have you heard the term “No carbs before Marbs”? No. Apparently my disappearing waistline hasn’t either.

Max and pre-school are going well. I almost feel scared to say it out loud or as seen here, write it down…sure, we have moments of “I don’t wanna go” and “I don’t wanna leave” – such is life with a three-year old, but so far…so good. Max’s speech is ‘advanced’ (all parents say that don’t they?) for a monkey, he will chat to us now; over breakfast, in the car, before bed…it is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, we are not discussing Trump or Syria or even Claire Underwood’s hair, but my chats with Max Bailie, are by far my favourite. There is something quite brilliant about your child telling you about their day, especially when you cannot be there for its entirety.

The MADs – some kind of blog award thing. All I know is that I have been nominated for almost every category, but craft and that is what naturally hurts the most. I don’t know if it was Max or you or your sisters mate, but thanks if you wrote my name on that form. The end.

Channel Mum – I am curating and creating content for and with Channel Mum over on the YouTubes, it is fantastic and it is fast becoming THE resource for mothers and parents online. I am so proud to be a part of it and I have been very lucky to meet all the other mothers who help Channel Mum create content and WOW. These women are living it, bringing up kids, dealing with everything motherhood chucks at them and whilst they are it it – they are their own directors, producers, editors and consistent creators. I mention consistency, because sometimes I struggle and I have one child, but some of these women have 6 kids and still create an epic family video diary that could rival a Neistat vlog week on week. It is commendable and I feel honoured to be amongst such smart broads.

This brings me lastly to balance. I am not one for mindfulness or meditation, unless you count my mind being full? and instagram double tapping as meditation? I am however feeling balanced. I am constantly on the edge of one of my many scales, whether thats Max, work, marriage or me time, but aren’t we all? The trick is to keep everything moving, be happy and don’t forget about you. So far, so good and that’s me lately…

Sorry for the silence, NB x

My Mum didn’t Choose Me.

LOOKBOOK

I have not seen my mother since I was 8…9 years old. I forget now. So much time has passed, memories have faded and as I get older and I have more life experiences, more of my past slips away from me. I cannot even remember her face now, but I wonder if it looks like mine.

My mother did not die, she chose to leave me, or in my case she decided to give me away. I was not adopted, I was passed from home to home, no one I knew, all strangers and I was treated well in foster care, but living in perfect homes with perfect families just reminded me how imperfect my life was.

Now I am 31 years old and I have been without a mother for longer than I had one, so you would think that it would not bother me, but since becoming a mother, the fact that mine abandoned me haunts me every day. I see my friends get help from their mothers with child care, I see the bonds of mothers becoming grandmothers and the joy that brings, I hear people complaining about their mothers ringing every week, I see mothers and daughters everywhere, but I am here on my own and everyday it feels unfair. I can never imagine leaving Max or treating him the way that she did me and my siblings, because yes, the story gets a lot worse – there are more of us.

My relationship with my family is non – existent and it is a constant struggle and my very personal and daily internal battle, because my life is better off without them and that is a really intense decision to reach and more importantly carry through. From the outside it seems a rash decision, to choose a solo existence, but believe me when I say – choosing to be on my own and to make it is a decision that I have to make everyday. It is hard. I have never ever shared my story publicly and I probably never will, because even though so much time has passed…I still cannot talk about it without mourning a life I have never known.

The reason I am writing this post is because I found Stacey on YouTube and she has quite a story, a story that I don’t know if I would ever come back from, but she is a complete credit to herself and she is a constant reminder to me that we all have choices. She has been through hell and back and she has come out the other side and built an incredible life for herself. We can choose to be happy or dwell. We can choose to be positive or focus on the negative. We can mourn what we will never have or we can look around and see all the things that we do have and we can celebrate.

Yesterday, Stacey uploaded a video about the dread of mothers day, which is a day of seriously mixed emotions for me, because I am being celebrated by my family, which is amazing, but that part of me that mourns the mother shaped hole in my life hangs over me like a grey cloud. The shops, the promotions, the events – they are all centred around happy homes and happy relationships and I am reminded of foster care and my not so happy home again. Stacey’s video reminded me that I am not on my own and to be mindful of what I do have, because even though my mother didn’t choose me. I do.

To anyone else out there struggling with the mum shaped hole, I urge you to watch Stacey’s video HERE. Choose you, choose to be happy and the rest will follow.

Happy Mothers Day x

Mum Vid Con

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This past Monday a very, very exciting event occurred; the UK’s first #MUMVIDCON happened. I don’t know what the term for a large group of Mummy vloggers is, but Channel Mum hosted a fantastic day at the YouTube London Space with ITV for all of us. A gaggle? The day was jam packed with speakers and influencers, there were talks of metrics and numbers, of mums and mindfulness and loads of tips and tricks to grow our YouTube channels. If that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, we all finally got to meet each other after throwing ourselves headfirst into the deep end about a year ago. We have all spoke to each other almost every day since then so meeting these fabulous women who are all mothers with unique stories and backgrounds was strangely comfortable and if I didn’t already know what fine company I was keeping…I certainly do now. It was a whirlwind day full of complete highs, useful and engaging information and new friends. The conference lasted all afternoon, refreshments included delicious smoothies and snacks and there were even make up re-fresher breaks – well there were two OBE’s in the room!

Channel Mum hopes to openly invite all Mum vloggers next year, so watch this space and if you want to follow any of the day or see who else was there, be sure to check out #MumVidCon on social media for some great pictures and vlogs from the day. If you would like to know more about Mum Vid Con, click HERE. Check out Channel Mum’s Mum Vid Con playlist HERE to see what everyone got up to.

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Losing You. #MUMCHEATS

Since having Max my life has been turned inside out, round the corner and through a life vortex and to be honest, as you might know yourself – I haven’t had time to look up, down or directly at myself for a while. If I have…it has been to be mean to me. “When are you actually planning on losing the baby weight?” (Max has just turned 3)! “You are getting old”. “You should of said something”. Blah, blah, blah – it continues.

Since Max is now fully into a nursery schedule and I have started working…I have realised that time and space has shifted and we are starting a new chapter. It is new and exciting, but better yet – everyone is thriving, instead of merely surviving, which is normally our go-to. Max loves nursery (only took a year) I love my job (only took 2 years) and we are time poor when we are all together, but I think we make the most of it and we bloody love being together. The time we are apart makes me really focus on prioritising and in turn it also helps me manage it.

Now I have a little ‘me’ time and I am finding myself alone in my own company – I am questioning who this new bird is all the time – the new bird is me. I am different. I cannot figure out if I am better or worse, but I am a bit alien. When you become a mother – your life instantly becomes enriched and engulfed by a tiny human and no matter how hard you try – you won’t be the same “old so and so”. ‘She’ is there, but you are learning something new and evolving with your life so… you change. Not dramatically, although some mothers are questionable, but it is a subtle change. A change you don’t even notice until you have to.

The first place that needs my immediate attention since I started looking in the mirror is errr….my style, or lack of. I am a strictly a shirt and jeans kind of a gal, but recently after sitting down with my friend Bethanie…I realised I wear a lot of dark colours and whilst discussing fashion and filming a #MUMCHEATS video with Beth. I also realised that I do this to hide from the world. By saying it out loud it has also made me want to change it. I guess that is the first step to any problem…even if it is a rut…saying it out loud to another human. You can watch the full video here:

Living Room Edit

LIVINGROOM

 

Our living room or lounge is the heart of the home for us, we relax in this space, we converse, we consume, we eat, we laugh and we play. Did I mention TV? That is the consuming part. ‘Fargo’, ‘Ray Donovan’, ‘Making a Murderer’…the Netflix list continues. I digress.

I get asked a lot via Twitter, Instagram and especially YouTube about my living room space – mainly because it is the only one that YOU really see and we have recently completed our renovations so at this point in time – it could be described as ‘our dream room’. It is exactly to our specification down to the last throw and coaster. Now, I must add that we have been extremely lucky or fortunate to ‘start again’, what I mean is that we moved across the globe and back again with a suitcase and a baby. So when we finally moved back to Brighton after travelling and working in Asia for three years, we got the chance to fill our dream home with our dream things, because we had nothing to begin with. Does that make sense?

The images and links are a fraction of what fills our living room, but you get the gist and if you would like to see more of these, hollaa! and I will see what I can do. The main colours are greys, yellows and touches of copper, gold and rose. We have a statement sofa from Loaf called Dixie in Espresso and we just ripped out a fake fireplace and replaced it with a beautiful Chilli Penguin woodburner in cream, which was perfect timing as temperatures have dropped to Arctic levels recently.

I love our living room, mainly because I feel like I spent years visiting friends homes and had serious FOMO – they were personal spaces, full of knick knacks and things that were important to them and condo living in Asia just was not that for us. We had a house, but not a home. When we moved back to Brighton – finding our dream home was no easy task and we ended up buying a nice house, but it has taken over 2 years to become what it is today, a home.

Now we have slippers so you know its official.

I hope this helps you if you want to know where I shop for our interiors and thank you for all your kind messages and comments about the house – I always try to reply with where items are from or I will always try to suggest similar items. Either way, thanks and I hope this inspires you if you are that way inclined. I know the New Year always gets me thinking of fresh starts, next up the bathroom. Sigh.

Natasha Bailie – The Living Room Edit:

  1. John Lewis Harlequin Rug
  2. Grey Wool Throw
  3. John Lewis Copper Lamp
  4. Next Knitted Pod Pouffe
  5. Oliver Bonas Copper Shelf
  6. Oliver Bonas Letter “B”
  7. Annie Timothy ‘Chalk Pits’ Print
  8. Bloomingville Copper TeaLight Holder
  9. Jo Malone ‘Wild Fig & Cassis” Candle
  10. Habitat Fake Aloe Plant
  11. H&M Home Cushion, Grey Mix. Velvet & Patterned.

I’m PMSing and WHAT?



Remember the preggo days when you basically skipped around with your fresh vagina that never bothered you for like 9 months? Oh and then you have the bambino and it is like a scene from ‘Reservoir Dogs’ for 6-8 weeks? Karma is a bitch and she hates women.
Max turns 3 years old in roughly 2 weeks, but ever since I created a human – my vagina has had it out for me. I now have a 3 week cycle – I mean how the f**k does that happen? Basically I feel like I am either coming down from an intense case of PMS or building up to it like a scene from ‘The Perfect Storm’. Although for everyone else who lives with me it is much more like ‘Tremors’ mixed with the ‘Buffy’ season where she goes mental and hangs out with Faith a lot and gives major side eye in head to toe leather. You get me? Or I am basically Dawson from ‘Dawson’s Creek’ – crying and using big words to describe my vagina and the feelings in my heart – of which there are many. All the feelings.
It is a nightmare!
So leave me alone. I am PMSing. Don’t even mention Evening Primrose Oil…

Feel the Fibre Force

I never realised just how attached to my lions mane I was until Max popped out and I lost it all. Hair loss after pregnancy is not uncommon and happens to most of us and it did and does grow back, it just means you and the sprog have a similar kind of do. My hair loss, at the beginning did not bother me, I mean to say that I internalised my hair loss shame, but on the surface I remained bright and breezy about it and simply shrugged it off as one to add to the list of complaints:

  1. Sore nipples
  2. Bleeding nipples
  3. Cracked nipples
  4. Bad back
  5. Leaking nipples
  6. Engorged breasts
  7. Hair loss

As you can see – everything tit related got my full attention. Plus my ‘baby hairs’ could be tamed with a lick and a promise and so like everyone else I presumed, I muddled through. Since bambino my hair has never been the same, loss had made it thin and flat and I stupidly kept asking my hairdresser/s for fringes and layers – which actually means they just ended up hacking away the hair I did have. I decided to never get it cut again until I looked insane and so had to. This is when I found Val! Val Cussell introduced me to BC Fibre Force by Schwarzkopf  – a repair treatment for badly damaged or eroded hair.

It is not a miracle worker – you don’t just shampoo your locks and wake up as Elsa the next day, but I, with the instruction of Val started a 3 treatment course. The course included the shampoo, conditioner, hair therapy treatment, leave in heat spray and the pure Keratin gel, which was applied onto my roots and tips in the salon only. After my first session, my hair felt plumper. After my second session my hair felt swishy again and I decided to have the ends chopped and finally let go of my wispy thin bits. Why do we hang onto things that drag us down? I am the first to admit that I know hair is a fickle thing to get upset about, but when you are a new mother, you come last on the list and I felt so tired of looking so tired if that makes sense?

I had my last session just before Christmas and I almost wept with hair pride, I couldn’t believe the after picture was my hair. I am so grateful to Val who not only lovingly held my hand through the process and listened to my issues, but guided me with knowledge, experience and advice. I have now finished my treatment and firstly, I feel a million bucks for doing something about it and secondly, my hair looks so much better.

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This is not a sponsored post and I was not compensated for the treatment or asked to promote products or Val. I simply found something that works and I had to share it with you, because it has been a huge game changer for me and my lion mane. fibreforce

The Big Boy Bed

This is not a how to, so apologies if you have stumbled upon this post in hope of a resolution or actual advice, this is quite simply ‘a moment’. Now what I am about to say might make me dead inside or sound like a cold wet fish, but stick with me. I follow a lot of mothers online….I follow, I diligently like, double tap and share (like you), but where I have seen other mothers coo and blog about first haircuts and first shoes, I have remained quiet. This is because these moments have come and gone in my life, but I didn’t feel even a slight emotional stirring about either ‘first’. So yes, I have been known to fake a ‘coo’ and an occasional ‘ahh’ when other mums give me that look, you know where they expect more from you and your feelings.

Listen, I am self aware enough to know I sound like Dexter, even I had an internal word with myself, but to me, these ‘firsts’ didn’t warrant a whatsapp group discussion or a filtered square image. For a short while I wondered if poor Max was stuck with an emotionally frozen mother – just call me Elsa! BUT then the ‘big boy bed’ happened. The BBB simply means that the cot prison bars were removed and whilst this may seem like a small transition – it felt like a huge deal for us. Of course the bars going also means that Max definitely is not a baby any longer, so there is that, but again I don’t feel emotional because he is not a baby, far from it. I am glad he is old enough to ask me for things and not cry for hours and sleep, did I mention sleep?

Max in a bed that does not resemble a cot is just another step forward in his life and it is these moments that make me realise, not that he is just growing up, but that he is a real person and soon he will have opinions that won’t match mine and that I am solely responsible for shaping him. The pressure is immense and sometimes all consuming. At this point he looks to me for safety, love and care, but also as a guide, which can be scary, because I don’t know what is around the corner that could shake or make us, but I feel safe in the knowledge that we can handle anything as long as we are together. So there is that, but yes the BBB has happened and it is a big change and an even bigger first and it has made Max grow up and me philosophical apparently.

A few things about the BBB – he falls out of it a lot, which is both hilarious and heartbreaking. Safety guards are en route via Amazon Prime.

He does not get out of bed, which was a huge worry for us as we love a lie in, instead he plays with lego in bed until we go in. Strange and curious and fucking epic.

We read books in bed, which is the dream – you know the dream they sell you in the movies? Call me Doris Day!

I am Cleansing, Please don’t TALK to me.