The MAD Blog Awards

Meet our 10 Kid Blogger of the Year finalists!

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Today we are excited to announce the ten finalists in  the first ever MAD Blog Awards Kid Blog of the Year, in collaboration with Vita Coco Kids

A great big thank you to all the fantastic young people who entered.

We had so many great posts and we loved reading every last one of them. It was really tough decision but the team at Vita Coco finally narrowed it down. Read on to find out more!  (more…)

Save the pennies with TalkTalk

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TalkTalk TV Britain’s fastest growing TV service is sponsors of our Best Entertainment blog. And as leading value provider of TV, broadband, landline and Mobile it teamed up with Mrs Moneypenny to give Brits, on the lookout for clever money saving advice, top tips on how to make money go further.

TalkTalk is on a mission to help customers find the niftiest ways to keep finances in check, and enlisted the help of consumer champion Mrs Moneypenny to show families how to cut costs – from capping monthly bills to swapping pricey cinema tickets for watching the blockbusters at home instead. According to the Superscrimpers star, the savviest of shoppers hit the web to make clever savings, taking advantage of online discounts and money-saving tools. (more…)

Happy 40th Early Learning Centre!

2014 Best Baby Blog 207 Comments

It’s our birthday!  Early Learning Centre is celebrating 40 years of inspiring children to learn through play.

Founded in 1974 by a mum and dad, John Beale and his wife, who wanted to give their children toys that were really good fun but also helped them develop, we’ve grown and grown since then (but we’re still not grown up enough to stop playing!).

From our classic wooden toys to our enduring bestsellers, we create toys that stand the test of time.  Over the years we have added even more unique toys, including Happyland, a range of brilliant buildings, quirky characters, cute animals and colourful vehicles; Rosebud Village, a collection of wooden doll’s houses, characters and accessories; and Toybox, a delightful range of colourful click-clack characters and vehicles we introduced in 2013.

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HomeAway “Our One in a million holiday home”

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Ahead of the MADS Blog Awards taking place on Sept 19th, being sponsored by HomeAway.co.uk, 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 www.belledubrighton.co.uk sound like, or a dream home in Hawaii chosen by Joanna Mallon of Opposable Thumbs?

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Meet the Finalists: PODcast

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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 197 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.

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Meet the Finalists: Gammon and Chips

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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.)
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Meet the Finalists: Around the World With a Highchair

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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.
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Meet the Finalists: make a long story short

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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.
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Meet the Finalists: It Started With a Squish

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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.
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