We’re back! Here’s a little post to explain why…

Well, hello. We’re only bloody back!!

As you may remember, back in March I decided to have a little time away from blogging for personal reasons. I was getting a little too involved, spending too much time on my laptop and not enough time with Austin. I’ve had a lovely break and have barely touched my computer, it’s been fab!

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However, I missed you ‘orrible lot!

I have taken a long time making sure I definitely wanted to return and if I were to, deciding what my blog content will look like, how much time I would spend on it and essentially what it’ll mean to me.

I’ve made those decisions and right now I really want to write again. I miss telling you all what we’ve been up to, what Austin has been eating or wearing and the great products I find whether they’re for mum or baby. What I’m not going to do is chase PR companies non stop to try to get involved with tons of reviews, stop looking at my stats every day to see how many views I’ve had, stop getting involved in blogging while Austin is awake and could be being played with – basically I’m going to blog in my own time because I enjoy it. I put too much pressure on myself before to try and make my blog into something big, thinking that stats and blogging non stop was what I had to do to get readers. For me, it took the enjoyment out of it – I thought I wanted to try to turn blogging into a job – I got involved in everything and all it did was stress me out. I now know that isn’t the kind of blog I want, I want a relaxed one with lovely readers who I can chat to and connect with – maybe doing a few reviews/bits of work along the way.

I’m not promising to blog every day or even every week, but I’ll blog when I actually have something to say, or really feel that I want to write. I’m still interested in reviews as they benefit me as well as the brand – everyone loves receiving free stuff and/or payment for writing your opinion, but it’s not going to be my main goal. If I never receive another free item or get paid for writing ever again, that’s OK too. I’ll still be hashtagging on social media like I used to, this brings new readers and does attract PR attention, so if a brand comes to me following a hashtag, that’s a bonus.

I’m not interested in stats this time round, I really do want to write for myself and Austin – of course it’s lovely to know you guys will read it – I do definitely still want readers! Don’t be afraid to comment or ask questions too as I still really want it to be interactive. I just won’t be putting pressure on myself to make it into something more than I want it to be, or stressing out wondering ‘why this post only got half the views yesterday’s post got’.

I may join in other people’s linkys occasionally if I enjoy them, but I won’t continue running my own. I started a linky previously called Weekend Baby Style which was really succesful. Sarah from Knott Bump and Us (soon to be changing to This Mama Life) came on board and took it over when I left the blogging scene – she is still running it but the linky is now called Weekend Mini Style if you want to join in with it in future, go check out her page!

So that’s it! I’m REALLY excited to be back with no stress, pressure, huge to do lists, linky commitments, just plain old blogging and being social 🙂 Come find us on Instagram @hannahaustinuk or Facebook here.

Whether you’re an old, loyal reader or a brand new one – come and say hello!

Thanks for reading – here’s to a new start! ❤

hannah

 

 

 

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Why after nearly a year of blogging, I’m taking a break….

I’m not really sure how to write this post. I’ve been meaning to write it for days….

The thing is, I’ve decided to take a large step back from the blogging world for a little while. My blog started when I was pregnant and so far has seen and taken note of almost everything Austin has done, what we’ve been up to, how he’s developing with food etc And that’s why taking a break has been a very hard decision. There will be a big chunk of his life missing from the blog and it was originally started as something for him to read back on, so I feel that will be a shame.

The other side of things is that I feel I’m spending too much time on my phone and laptop. I always said to myself that as soon as I feel that way, I’ll stop for a while. If he naps in the day or after his bedtime I’m usually blogging/editing/filming/replying to a PR’s email from days ago – the list goes on. That only takes a certain amount of time, but it’s added to the million other things we have to do online these days – banking/emails/social media etc. As much as I have loved blogging (I really have), I feel like, along with everything else online, it’s consuming me a little. Sometimes when Austin naps, I quite fancy going to cook some food for him to freeze, or hanging the washing out, or putting his old clothes in the loft (sob) – you know, mum jobs. I always ignore these and find myself rushing to get online before he wakes up. I am prioritising the wrong things and find myself getting stressed about that, as I’d much rather concentrate on being a mum at the moment and sticking the laptop in the bin! When I said the wrong things, I mean wrong for me personally.

The things that make me happier should be top of my list right now. It may sound like I’m being dramatic – blogging and online banking is hardly the hardest job in the world, but I’ve always been old-fashioned and really do prefer the simple things sometimes. A lot of it comes from my old career as a nanny – I’m used to spending my days with babies, painting, baking, playing, colouring and I want to get back to that for a while with no distractions!

Anyone that blogs knows it takes time to create and edit posts, vlogs and everything else that comes with blogging – I knew that when I started but lately I feel like when I return, I’ll have had time to reassess what I want to do with my blog, which direction I want it to go in and how much time I’ll spend doing it. When I was pregnant, I just started documenting, but now that’s it’s grown a lot I need to work out where I’m going to take it next.

I’ve noticed that there can be so much pressure as a blogger – an insane amount! You should post every day to maximise exposure, get PR’s interested, get your stats higher, Tweet all the time….. Are you exhausted yet?! I do understand all that though, I’m just not sure a big successful blog is what I’m interested in anymore. What’s all this ‘like for like’ ‘follow for follow’ business as well?! Don’t people want others to read their blog because they enjoy it, or would they rather have fake likes to up their numbers?

I’ve found, sadly, the blogging community can sometimes be very fake and that’s not enjoyable for me at all. The majority, and those I keep up with on social media, are absolutely lovely but as with everything in life, there’s always a few that ruin it for the rest. I don’t enjoy being around fake people and fake things so maybe when I return I should steer clear of some of the Facebook blog groups. I  love some of them, they have a great social presence, the admin can be vey sweet and they really do help grow readers, but some of them are just full of the usual “Leave your Twitter page below and people will follow, you also MUST follow the 5 above you”.  I get why people want to do it, as stats are key when growing a blog, but that’s not me – I don’t want to be following a load of unrelevant, boring people just because they follow me back! Anyway, I digress….

Talking about how much time the internet takes up sounds silly as I see mums with 3 kids, twins, a full-time job and a husband away at sea who still blog daily, bake a cake and do the school run! I’ll be honest, I have absolutely no idea how they manage it – they’re superhuman, I swear! Amazing mummies! I’m very lucky to have my husband working from home, so he’s around with us all the time. You’d think that’d give me more time to blog as he can watch Austin but actually I find it makes it harder. If I am on my computer too much, I find that I would rather be making the most of the time we have as all 3 of us.  If all 3 of us are around all the time, I can get internet guilt. Why am I rushing online all the time when I could be relaxing and enjoying my family? It’s mad because I have more time than anyone – no job, a cleaner, husband at home – but whatever my reason, something is telling me to take a step back from the internet for a while.

Whilst on holiday recently, I realised how nice it was to be away from my laptop, phone and decent wifi. Basically the modern world. Do you know what? Grant and I talked more than we have in years! Nothing exciting, just chit-chat throughout the day, but in our house at home the internet and modern lifestyle definitely gets  in the way sometimes.

Family time by the pool

Family time by the pool

Do you ever find you both sit at home staring at your phones and forgetting to talk?!

It definitely happens with us lots and my blogging definitely adds to that. I’ve decided that I’m going to enjoy my family a little and stay away just for a bit. It’s a very hard decision as I absolutely love my blog and it’s something I’m very proud of.

Do you ever feel like you want to take a step back from the modern world, grab a pen and paper and do things the old-fashioned way? If so, you’ll know where I’m coming from.

Thank you to each and every one of you that reads my blog every week – if you enjoy it, please do stay following me as I’ll definitely be back. My Weekend Baby Style linky is the one thing I am absolutely certain will be staying. I started it only 11 weeks ago (terrible timing to take a break, right?!) And I absolutely LOVE it. It’s insane how much it’s grown and it’s something I’m going to really, really miss until I’m back! Fortunately, I roped in a co-host recently, a bloody good one at that. Sarah from Knott Bump & Us will be keeping it warm on her own – please keep linking up and give her some support, she looked after it alone whilst I was on holiday and did a fantastic job!

WBS3_zpscxyafxqgMost importantly I will definitely be staying on Instagram (and my personal FB page)  just as much as ever so please stay with me there, I can’t vanish completely, now can I? 🙂

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Love ya and thanks for reading. See you soon!
hannah

We’re off on holibobs!

I thought I’d write a little something to let you know that we might go a bit quiet over the next 10 days… We’re off on holiday! We are flying to Fuerteventura this week with our lovely friends Claire, Tom and their baby Dougie. We all met in our NCT class, however Claire and I ended up in opposite beds when having our babies and then Austin and Dougie ended up being born just 6 hours apart! Austin was born at 7pm and Dougie at 1am meaning they won’t share the same birthday – something they’ll thank us for when they’re older I bet!

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Here are the two babies on their first summer pub lunch together!

I’ve made the decision not to blog during our time away or for a few days either side. I spend so much time on my computer during nap times/evenings so I really want to spend some quality time concentrating on family and friends for the week without being glued to the laptop. I may still post on Instagram and on my blog’s Facebook page although I have heard the wifi is shocking where we’re heading so I may even go totally silent!

camas-balinesas-carlotajpgThat is where we’re off to and I can’t wait! Look out on Instagram for photos and there will be lots more when we’re home.

Have a great week everyone!
hannah