The MAD Blog Awards

HomeAway “Our One in a million holiday home”

Blog Update No Comments

Ahead of the MADS Blog Awards taking place on Sept 19th, being sponsored by, we asked a couple of our favourite bloggers what would be their perfect one in a million holiday home for them and their family and what their ideal holiday would be like.

Now that HomeAway has over a million properties on the site of all budgets and sizes from tiny bolt holes to magnificent castles all over the world, there is so much for choose from. How does a beautiful villa in Goa suitable for the whole family as suggested by Lauren from sound like, or a dream home in Hawaii chosen by Joanna Mallon of Opposable Thumbs?

Just imagine, spending a blissful day on a sandy beach, trying out some local food followed by a nap on the sofa in a real home from home, but without the usual pull of work and chores.



Here are the dream properties chosen by the bloggers, enjoy your journey!


The Sagar Villa, Goa

Chosen by Lauren of

‘I have always wanted to go to India and never got the chance before starting a family. However I think that having a little one shouldn’t hinder your dreams! I think that staying in a holiday villa rather than a hotel would mean that you get more privacy and can keep things to a normal routine. More importantly you wouldn’t have to share a bedroom and have to creep around in the dark once your baby is asleep! The Sagar Villa is perfectly located, almost on the beach but within a gated complex for security, it has a pool and three bedrooms and looks perfectly equipped from the bedrooms to the kitchen!

Goa looks idyllic and mesmerising; miles of sandy beaches, local cuisine served from huts on the beach and markets full of handcrafted items. It would be amazing get Athena used to the sea without a pebble in sight, too!’

Full details can be seen at:



Kehena Makai – a pearl amid the ocean

Chosen by Joanne Mallen of Opposable Thumbs one of this year’s judges in the MADS Child Blogger of the Year Awards.

“Hawaii has always been my dream destination, ever since I watched a few too many Elvis movies as a kid and was entranced by Paradise Hawaiian Style. It seems like such a gorgeous and interesting place, full of friendly people and amazing natural sights. If we’re talking one in a million holidays then this is mine.

There was a huge choice of Hawaiian properties on so I was really spoilt for choice, but I was really drawn to this one as it’s so close to the ocean, you can feel the ocean spray when you sit on the deck. People always sit on the deck and look at the ocean in movies don’t they? It feels glamorous just thinking about it. Also the reviews from previous visitors are all great, which is reassuring if you’re thinking of booking something so far away.

This property sits right on the lava rock edge and is so close to the ocean that apparently you can spot whales and dolphins passing at any time. It’s very quiet, apart from the noise of the ocean.

As a family we live in a very urban terraced house, where the view is of other houses, and the only thing you might spot passing by is the postman, and the soundtrack is usually cars revving up outside. When we go on holiday we like to go somewhere completely different, so the feeling of getting away from it all is complete. This looks to me like the perfect family getaway – it’s close to both beaches and the rainforest area. My two children love swimming and wildlife, so this would be perfect for them. The only problem would be forcing ourselves to go back home!

Full details can be seen at:


What does your perfect one in a million holiday home look like? At there are as many different holiday homes as there are different tastes, so finding the ideal holiday home to suit everyone’s needs has never been so easy.



Meet the Finalists: PODcast

Meet the Finalists No Comments

Charly Dove of PODcast  lives in Surrey with her husband and three year old daughter, the eponymous POD. She works in marketing and is an award winning amateur photographer!

How did you get started in blogging, then?

As a Marketer with over 20 years’ experience I’d used blogger outreach programmes to promote brands and was well aware of the impact the blogging community can have both on a social and brand level. When my daughter was born I wanted to create an online account of her growing up. I was also keen to become part of a wider network of Mums and Dads, sharing their experiences and supporting each other to make the most of the joy of being a parent. (more…)

Perfume Your Bin Competition

Blog Update 59 Comments

Say goodbye to bin smells this Summer with Brabantia’s super smart solution – Perfume Your Bin!

Luxury interior design brand Brabantia, sponsors of our Best Homes & Interiors category, is giving away 10 must-have Perfume Your Bin Sets (total worth £112.50), helping you to make the daily chore of waste management a much more enjoyable experience.

Designed to hide unpleasant smells in kitchens and bathroom bins, Perfume Your Bin is a self-adhesive device that sticks to the underside of bin lids to mask unwanted odours and release bursts of delightful fragrance in the choice of Pine or Flower.

The clever membrane technology delivers four to six weeks of freshness! What’s not to love?

Each winner will receive a Perfume Your Bin starter set and refill packs in both Pine and Floral.


To be in with a chance of winning the perfect bin air freshener, leave a comment below answering the following question.

Good luck!

Which two Perfume your Bin scents are available?

  1. Pine and Flower
  2. Vanilla and Coconut


Don’t forget to ‘Like’ Brabantia on Facebook for other competitions, giveaways and product news & ‘Follow’ on Twitter too!



Terms and conditions:
- The competition will begin on Monday 21st July at 12am and will end on Monday 4th August at 5pm.
- The competition is only open to UK bloggers.
- The winners will be chosen at random.
- If contact with the winner cannot be made within two weeks after the competition, a new winner will be selected.

Meet the Finalists: Gammon and Chips

Meet the Finalists No Comments

Maddie Sinclair of Gammon and Chips  is from a small town in New South Wales in Australia, but now lives in Brighton with her English husband and two children, the eponymous Gammon and Chips! Maddie is a freelance proofreader and copywriter which she fits in around looking after the kids and she’s also the Campaign Manager for the anti-bullying campaign ‘Love For Izzy Dix’, after her dear family friend, 14 year old Devon schoolgirl, Izzy Dix, tragically took her own life.  Maddie tells us about her blogging life:

How did you get started in blogging, then?

I started blogging as a way of letting my family back in Australia know all the crazy hijinks that Gammon and Chips were getting up to over here in the UK (Gammon is my 4.5 year old son and Chips is my 2.5 year old daughter – they’re nicknames of course – I’m not trying to beat the Geldof’s at their own game.)

Meet the Finalists: Around the World With a Highchair

Meet the Finalists No Comments

Mrs Around the World With a Highchair (ATWWAH) has actually taken a highchair on holiday with her, only to discover that the self catering accommodation where they were staying already had one… She and Mr ATWWAH are expecting their second baby any day now. She tells us about her blogging life.

How did you get started in blogging, then?

I got the idea for the blog after a friend sent me an email asking for advice about taking her baby on holiday. The name of the blog came up after a holiday we went to where we did actually take the highchair with us.

I bought the domain name and then wrote a couple of posts to share with friends who thought they were funny and it all sort of took off from there.

I went to the Blogcademy which was really useful in getting inspiration and making me think I can have a go at this. I decided to leave my three day a week marketing job and take a two day a week job leaving one day to concentrate on my blog and I’m glad I did.

I earn zero from it at the moment, but I love doing it and it has opened up other doors in terms of writing, which is what I want to do. Also earlier in the year I won Best Individual Travel Blog at the UK National Blog Awards which I was gobsmacked about, but it made a drop in salary and doing something I was passionate about worth the risk.

Meet the Finalists: make a long story short

Meet the Finalists No Comments

Rachel Jeffcoat of make a long story short, met her husband Timothy over a game of badly played chess when they were still young enough not to need moisturiser. Once he’d promised never to teach her chess again, they got married in March 2008 and now have two little boys. She’s an editor and copywriter which she fits in alongside baby food and finger painting. She tells us about her blogging life:

How did you get started in blogging, then?

Back in 2008, I went to India for a work project and was so flabbergasted by the experience that I started making notes. It felt so lovely to be writing again that when I got home, I started a blog. But I didn’t write regularly till we had babies. I just couldn’t believe all the things people had never told me about having a baby. Like, how a tiny person can poo so much they fill an entire baby bath, and you then have to work out what to do with a wet boy screaming under one arm and a poo swamp on the other. Or how you might take your toddler to a farm and suddenly you’re having to say things like ‘Henry, the goat doesn’t want to give you a piggy-back. Get off. No, GET OFF’. I just felt like I would want to remember them later, so I started writing them down.

Meet the Finalists: It Started With a Squish

Meet the Finalists No Comments

Danni of It Started With a Squish, lives in Salford with two little ones and her husband to be Anthony (@Yawnofthe dad). Danni says that in their household there is a lot of messing about, jumping around, dancing and watching more Mickey Mouse than any normal person could bear! And they have put in place a very structural way of parenting they like to call ‘trial and error’. She tells us about her blogging life:

How did you get started in blogging, then?

I was on a social media marketing course at Salford University and some of my colleagues encouraged me to start blogging. It took me a while to bite the bullet but I am so glad I started… it pretty much changed my life.

Meet the Finalists: Man in his pyjamas

Meet the Finalists No Comments

The Man in his pyjamas is a very funny man who says he may be prone to exaggeration and overstatement. You have been warned…

How did you get started in blogging, then?

It was an accident. I started writing a holiday diary via Facebook in a bid to avoid the ‘where did THAT go?!’ feeling when I had to go back to work. Two days in, my wife said ‘you should write a blog’. Two years on, my wife may regret that statement. I do not however. Divorce may be nigh.

Meet the Finalists: Croque Maman

Meet the Finalists No Comments

Hélène of Croque-Maman, is a French mother of toddler twin boys living in London with her husband. She started cooking as a child in her Mum’s kitchen and her love of food has only grown since then. She’s passionate about passing on this love to her children. She tells us about her blogging life: 

How did you get started in blogging, then?

A little while ago, and by this I mean before my lovely children came to the world. I was a food brand marketer hooked on travelling, socializing, reading, running, food and my work!   As for most women, having children did throw everything a bit up in the air but it gave me an opportunity to re-define myself.  So… who did I become? Well for now I would say that I am a food blogger stay at home mum of energetic twin boys who’s back on the treadmill! And I like to see myself as a mom-entrepreneur-in-making-of-some-sort who wants to make the most of the first years of her little ones :-)  Well the bottom line is that my blog, Croque-Maman, plays a key role in my life balance, I love it and I’m putting all my heart in it so as you can love it too :-) (more…)

Meet the Finalists: Science Sparks

Meet the Finalists No Comments

Emma Vanstone, of Science Sparks, is a mother of three and lives in the South of England. Her favourite things are cake, Lego and bike riding with her kids. Science Sparks is a blog jam packed full of fun, creative science experiments and activities for children of all ages using equipment and materials from around the home. We’d love to be her kids, it looks like they have a lot of fun! She tells us about her blogging life:

How did you get started in blogging, then?

I thought it would be something fun to keep me busy when I didn’t go back to work after baby number three. I had no idea then how many opportunities would become available for me or the lovely people I would meet. (more…)

Page 1 of 4312345...102030...Last »