Mummy Blogger of the month
June’s ‘Mummy Blogger of the Month’ title goes to Elizabeth and Donna, the marvellous mums from Mummy Central. Congratulations!
Mummy Central was set up by two mums who met when their eldest children started playgroup together – and they ended up on the committee. Thrown together on fundraising and publicity projects, they came to realise their talents could complement each other while providing a useful online resource for busy mums.
Donna and Elizabeth update Mummy Central with topical blogs, cool new products and must-have trends, as well as recipes, crafts and child-friendly ideas.
Read our interview to find out more about the dynamic duo and what inspires their writing:
What inspired you both to start a mummy blog?
Elizabeth: Probably the caffeine shots in the soft play’s cappuccino!
Having worked together over the last 18 months campaigning and fundraising for a local playgroup, we knew we had something to say and that we could work with one another. So why not!?!
Putting Mummy Central together and sharing experiences with mums around the world has been more rewarding that I could have imagined.
Donna: I was a full-time journalist BC – before children – and needed an outlet which would allow me to use my brain, work from home, and open up a dialogue with other mums. Elizabeth kept telling me mummy blogging was the future – but I’m such a technophobe I was scared off by the prospect of having to set one up.
In the end, we realised we could work together. Elizabeth is the technical brains behind Mummy Central – I just faff around writing whatever takes my fancy.
How do you manage to keep you blog up to date whilst raising a family?
Elizabeth: Finely tuned time management? I wish! More like late nights, early mornings and a very patient husband. Life with three children under five is a juggling act. I’ve just added something else to keep moving.
Donna: By many late nights in front of the laptop – or grabbed moments here and there, typing up ideas in between the chaos of making dinner, running the kids’ bath and putting them to bed.
What is your favourite day out destination (and why)?
Elizabeth: Before children, I developed interactives for museums and science centres so I’m always looking for days out where we explore and discover new things.
At a recent Festival of Museums’ event, we all pretended to be spies on a mission to decipher clues. It ended with us making flower bombs from damp paper, compost and wild flower seeds.
Squelching and squeezing gunge into round balls and launching them into the meadows using a rocket was brilliant.
Donna: I love Blackpool – I just embrace the tackiness of it. There’s a beach, there’s fun rides, all the food you secretly love (but know you shouldn’t) a tower with a circus in it, trams, illuminations and donkeys. Anyone who doesn’t love it needs lessons in how to enjoy themselves.
What has been your best moment as a mum?
Elizabeth: Watching my children playing together is wonderful. It is what being a family is all about.
Donna: There’s so many joyful moments, but looking back I can’t remember more excitement than seeing my sons take their first steps. It’s just amazing.
Elizabeth, what is the best homemade ‘musical instrument’ (such as the lentil-filled biscuit tin that you so love to play) that you have made for your kids? And did you regret making it after the fact (all that drumming, shaking and banging).
Musical instruments are not needed to make a commotion! My children can do that in an empty room.
Trying out new craft ideas is a great way to have fun together though which is why I blog about it. And there are so many creatively crafty bloggers out there – check out Mummy Central’s blogroll for ideas.
As for my latest musical instrument? It was for BBZ – a used water bottle filled with scrunched up tissue paper and kitchen foil which is not only really colourful, but makes a great swishing noise too.
Donna, you love your house to smell like freshly baked bread – what is your best bread baking tip (sudocrem mums always love a good recipe)?
Bread making doesn’t have to be hard work (otherwise I wouldn’t do it!) so my favourite recipe is this quick and easy one for carrot and walnut bread.
350g plain flour
150g wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g carrots, peeled and grated
a handful of toasted walnuts
300ml low-fat Greek yoghurt
125ml semi-skimmed milk
Heat the oven to 230C / gas mark 8
Mix the flours, salt and bicarb of soda, then stir in carrots, walnuts and yoghurt, followed by enough milk to make a soft, sticky dough
Tip onto a floured surface and form a flat ball
Put on a baking sheet, slash the top and bake for 30 minutes until risen and cooked. It’ll sound hollow when you tap it
Elizabeth, you enjoy shopping online in your pyjamas. What would happen if you shopped whilst wearing your ‘Sunday best’ or even better… your ‘Saturday morning worst’?
My style challenge is not finding killer heels but managing to leave home without being covered in snot, sick, poo or all of the above. I can dream though and find so many great styles online.
Donna, which of the Narnia stories (that your kids love so much) is your favourite, and why?
My personal favourite is Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It has everything – an adventure at sea, a talking mouse, a handsome prince and an annoying little boy who’s turned into a dragon. The essential ingredients of every good fantasy story.
What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?
Elizabeth: Breastfeeding? At 4am? BBZ we need to talk!
Donna: Considering my two-year-old wakes me with his crying at ridiculous o’clock, the first thing that goes through my head is probably “Why didn’t I go to bed earlier last night?”
What word or phrase do you find yourself repeating endlessly on a day to day basis?
Elizabeth: “Have you got your listening ears on?
Donna: “I’m warning you.” My kids don’t take the slightest notice – although it scares the living daylights out of my husband!
What is your least favourite thing about being a mum?
Elizabeth: You mean apart from saying, “Have you got your listening ears on?” repeatedly?!
Drawing the line. My children are wonderful, chaotic, mischievous things and if I didn’t give them boundaries, we would all go mad. Sometimes though, I’d like to be the one jumping on the bouncy castle in just my pants and wellies.
Donna: People who ask me if I’m a working mum. The phrase should be banned – what mum doesn’t?
Do you think Facebook is overrated?
Elizabeth: While it is a great way to share ideas, it doesn’t make me a mohito.
Donna: I think it’s amazing and frightening at the same time – but not overrated. It connects people and can be used for great things. But it can also take over lives. When people update their profiles with the minutiae of life, instead of living it, I think it’s sad
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