The lovely Ali over at Dragons & Fairydust recently started up her very own Meme and tagged me, so here I am, telling you all about how Madhouse Family Reviews came to be.
What is your blog about?
Madhouse Family Reviews is - as the name suggests - the reviews branch of my original blog, called Welcome Back to the Madhouse (more about that in a moment). I love featuring fabulous, unusual or just plain weird products that I have stumbled across online or that have been sent to me for review and that can really make a difference to parents' lives. It may be new food products, recipes, toys, baby equipment ... I never fail to be amazed by the wide range of things that I'm offered to blog about ! I pride myself on being 100% honest though and I think that is respected, even when I have constructive criticism to make. A few times, I've been emailed to say that changes have been made to a product (a price lowered because I, and other reviewers, said it was too expensive for what it was, or an ingredients change when we all said that the flavour of a toothpaste was unpleasant). I'm not going to just say nice things about something because it was sent for free ! I also like sharing parenting advice, blogging about experiments in the kitchen and sharing my weight loss journey with you.
When and how did you start blogging?
My first "blog" was a website because blogs didn't exist back then ! I was pregnant with Sophie (so it must have been 2001) and I posted scan photos and a monthly "bump" photo for friends and family to see. When the kids were born, a blog seemed the ideal way to keep both sets of grandparents (in England and France) up to date so "Welcome to the Madhouse" was created. When that blog host disappeared, I started Welcome Back to the Madhouse on blogger. I used to post book reviews on amazon and different publishers' websites so I initially created Madhouse Family Reviews as a place to keep all my book reviews together. That was in July 2009 and it soon branched out into all things baby and family related.
What was your first post?
A very quick blogpost called "Welcome to the reviews team" followed by lots of book reviews ! Pierre was two weeks old - it seems unbelievable now that I started a new blog with a brand new baby in the house !
Does blogging affect your life and if so how?
Yes - we're always getting involved in blogger challenges, cooking recipes that have been sent through or trying out new products as a family. The kids have received some fabulous toys that we'd never have bought otherwise and really love getting involved with the reviewing, giving their comments and posing for photos ! We've had some great days out too, at Nausicaa sealife centre, on a Keycamp break or at Build A Bear Workshop, for example. My kitchen is full of the latest gadgets now that I couldn't be without - an Actifry, slow cooker and bread machine being my favourites.
What do you love most about blogging?
I'm not obsessed with stats but I am a bit obsessed with finding out who's been visiting my blog ! I love looking at the "which country did your visitors come from" section because there are some really obscure countries on there and it always amazes me that people across the whole world have found my humble blog ! I also love the "what keywords did people search to find your blog" part because there are some absolutely hilarious things in there. I'm always slightly perturbed to see how many people find my blog googling about whether or not it is safe to use Savlon on dogs ! Reading comments from blog visitors and comparing notes with other bloggers is also great fun. I've been very proud to be selected as a blogger ambassador for some huge brands too, including Morphy Richards, Graco and Sterimar, who I've really enjoyed working with.
As always with Meme's, it's time to pass this on to some other bloggers, so I'll tag the following blogger friends :
1) Claire at http://ninjakillercat.blogspot.com/
2) Elaine at http://fun-as-a-gran.blogspot.com/
3) Cathy at http://cathyjam.wordpress.com/
4) Elaine at http://sassyele.blogspot.com/
Other blogposts you may be interested in :