In the bath with:

In The Bath With Who’s the Mummy Blog author Sally Whittle

Sally Whittle
Continuing our “In The Bath With” series, this week we interviewed Sally Whittle, author of Who’s the Mummy Blog. We chatted about her career so far and her exciting life as a mum and blogger.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into blogging?

Well, first and foremost, I’m a working mum and mother to a gorgeous 9-year-old called Flea (it’s a nickname, don’t send hate mail). 

During my 20s, I worked as a journalist writing terribly grown-up business and technology features for various magazines and websites. On the surface, it was a great job – I earned a good living and travelled all over the world meeting ridiculously smart people who were shaping the world. I’d always blogged about my work, but as a Mum I found myself sharing silly stories and parenting adventures so in 2009 decided to set up a new blog to capture our family story.  What happened next was a perfect collision of luck, a good idea and knowing the right people – I had an idea that there should be a database of bloggers, I knew lots of clever tech people who could help me build it, and I was lucky enough for it to work. Over the next two years it became a whole new career that was even more fun than what I used to do – now I get to travel and meet great people, and take Flea with me! 


Apart from Flea, (whose name we love, by the way!) do you have an inspirational hero?

At the risk of being cheesy, it’s definitely my own Mum. She fostered me from the age of 2, adopting me when I was the age Flea is now, and there’s not a day I don’t thank my lucky stars that I got to be a part of her family – my Mum taught me everything I know about being smart, independent and fair, and she’s still the person I ring (almost daily) when I’m lost or confused about something. 


Is it hard to find a balance between work and family?

Very much so. I think there’s a notion these days that we’re all working flexibly so there’s no need for a divide between home and work, but the reality is people end up working all the time whilst never being fully present in their own lives. Being a business owner it’s especially hard because half my customer base (brands) work 9 to 5 and the other half (bloggers) work evenings and weekends. I suppose I’ve learned that unless you’re a surgeon nobody’s going to die if you reply to that email an hour or two later. Also, if you’re in a position to do so, hire help. I started out hiring a virtual PA for a few hours a week to answer routine emails, and a developer to do the tech side of my websites- it was life-changing. Now I have a fantastic team of 12 people who all work part-time, and having those people means I can actually take a holiday, knowing there is someone at home who can handle (almost) any crisis that might pop up. 


We’ve seen what an awesome job you’ve done with the Harry Potter makeover for Flea’s bedroom. For the rest of the house, how do you combine design and practicality?

My house is a period house and it’s not naturally very light, so I opted to have all the walls an off-white, and I use a sage green as a secondary colour with splashes of red. It makes it very calming, which is the most important thing I want in my home – it’s very much a calm space in a very busy life! We use lots of natural wood, of various hues and hundreds of photos – happy memories make a house a home! (Also white is easily painted over, and wood sanded down – essential when you have a puppy and a child!) 


Your life looks like a continuous adventure! What’s your next challenge for 2015?

We are off to Tenerife for a short break, then we are spending a month in California – we’ve booked a series of rentals along the coast and we’re just going to wing it, and see what happens. 


What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out blogging?  

Love it. Seriously. Blogging can be hard – to succeed, you need to invest quite a lot of time and energy, be nice to everyone, be enthusiastic even if you don’t feel like it, and deal with a lot of temperamental technology. If you’re writing about something you love, you love to write, and have a passion to share stories, none of this really seems like hard work. 


If you could only take one possession to a desert island, what would you take?

Probably a book – something I could read over and over, and which would make me happy. Maybe My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. I’ve read that book at least 50 times since I was a kid and it still feels like sunshine in print. 

Want to see more of Who’s The Mummy Blog? Follow Sally on her blog and Social channels:

Blog: www.whosthemummy.co.uk

Twitter: @swhittle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mummyblogger?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

In the bath with:

In The Bath With…Maxine Brady, WeLoveHomeBlog

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This month we’re in the bath with Maxine Brady, author of WeLoveHomeBlog, we chat to her about her career so far and her latest home renovation project.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career?

I got my first break working on magazines and worked my way up to the style team of the House Beautiful. After seven years, I decided to go freelance and I was able to write for many leading design magazines, writing about styling interiors, decorating features, as well as covering the latest trends. More recently I have been working on TV shows, producing makeovers and large scale renovation projects. And of course, this year I have just bought a house and launched my own interiors blog, which covers all my ideas and passions. I like to keep busy!

How did you get into blogging? 

Friends and family often asked me for advice and ideas on how to decorate their homes and they often encouraged me to share my know-how. When reading other blogs, I got really inspired to do my own. I have fallen in love with blogging and the on-line community support. I love being my own editor, stylist, writer and V-logger. It’s regenerated my love of interior design and gives me a creative buzz.

What are your plans for 2015 and which trends do you think will be most popular this summer?

At the moment I’m working on finding my blogging voice as well as teaming up with lots of partners, like British Gas, Primrose, Dulux and Tesco – whilst working on collaborative projects with them. I’m always following trends, such as the tropical look for my garden, with hints of flamingo pinks and acid teals, whilst inside the home I love the movement towards rich dark colours like navy, charcoal, black and burgundy (although my actual home is all white!)

Do you have an inspiration hero?

My mum. She was never afraid to take on the latest crazy interior trends – from rag rolling to sponging and stencilling. Not all of these ideas worked but she was never afraid to try. She would paint and decorate a whole room in a day. I learned that doing up a room didn’t have to be this massive task – taking up weeks of your time – instead you can update your space when the whim takes you. I’m known among my friends for being a speedy decorator as I get onto DIY mission, painting and revamping my home at speed, with Mum’s help of course.

Do you have any tips for our readers on how to approach bathroom design?

Bathrooms are the busiest rooms in the house so they have to serve you and your family well. The design has to be durable and easy to keep clean, as well as work for how you live in the house. This is where blogs come in so handy, as you can gleam ideas and advice for tiles, taps and flooring and put all the ideas together. Personally, I love a bath – and as much as wet rooms look fantastic – there’s nothing better than having a soak in the tub. At the moment, I’m lusting after a roll top and I’m working out how to squeeze in a rose shower too.

As a winner of the Bathrooms.com Home DIY Awards 2015 (Congrats!) Do you think there is much of a movement towards accessibility online for Home DIY in the UK this year and how do you see this changing?

I was thrilled to win the award for my home DIY Vlogs on my YouTube channel. I’ve tried to come up with simple ideas and chart the renovations on my own home. I wanted them to be fun, interesting and helpful as well as covering the topic that I’m interested in myself. As more and more people reach out to the Internet for help and advice for their home, it’s the Vlogs and Blogs that will lead the way (I hope!)

What would you say are the most important things to keep in mind when trying to update a room on a budget?

You may not be able to afford fancy finishing or accessories but you don’t need £1000s to give a room a new look. The key to is to make sure you get the finish perfect. If the end product is completed to a high standard then your home will look polished and smart. No one will suspect how much (or little!) you have spent.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out blogging?

I’m just learning myself so would love the advice! I’m talking to lots of other bloggers and joining their mailing lists. I’m also a fan of BlogLovin so that I can get updates from a large selection of bloggers. I’m also always chatting away on Twitter and picking up ideas from there. I read a lot of advice on how to start and take note of everyone’s suggestions about being super organised.

Want to see more of WeLoveHomeBlog? Follow Maxine on her blog and Social Media channels:

Blog: www.welovehomeblog.com

Twitter: @welovehome

Instagram: instgram.com/welovehomeblog

 

Design:

HOME DIY BLOGGER AWARDS 2015 – THE WINNERS

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HOME DIY BLOGGER AWARDS 2015 – THE WINNERS

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It’s been a busy week here at Bathrooms.com, as our panel of judges have been reviewing the shortlisted bloggers in this year’s awards.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our public vote over the last few weeks for our Home Design Blogger Awards 2015. The response was fantastic, and we hope that you have found inspiration from the excellent work of all the home tutorials and design ideas from this year’s shortlisted blogs.

Our expert panel of judges this year included Bathrooms.com co-founders Ian and Rebekah Monk, along with the businesses own Design and Installation Consultant, Lianne Boddy. . The judging panel have come together to oversee this year’s talent, including a brand new Instagram category, highlighting home DIY on social media.

After much consideration, the judging panel have come to a decision and we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 home DIY awards!

 

Home DIY Award

 Winner

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Yasmin Chopin is an Interior designer and writer and dubs herself as a ‘property junkie’, has gained much of her experience working a range of different building interiors. Yasmin says whether it’s listed, falling down or a new concept, she enjoys the challenge of a project, transforming objects and spaces.


Runners up

 

Home DIY Tutorial

Winner


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Maxine Brady is an interiors stylist and has appeared in print magazines and on TV. Maxine writes about the highs and the lows of renovating her first home, acting as a great inspiration to those in a similar position. Considering that Maxine only launched her blog earlier this year, her step-by-step guides and top 10 lists are the highlight of her blog. 


Runners up

 

Affordable DIY Award

Winner

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Karen Clough’s blog follows the progress of taking the plunge into adulthood and renovating her and her partner’s first home in Manchester. Karen and her partner Joe are recently married and are also expecting their first baby. Karen blogs about the challenges they both face in young adulthood, posting about their home DIY progresses step by step, and more tailored posts such as decorating tips in the house in the lead up to Karen’s due date.

 

Runners up

Home DIY Instagram

Winner

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James and Josephine run BlogAndBuySale, which was launched to support and showcase innovative stylists and designers from all over the world. Their Instagram posts feature a range of quirky and unique design ideas and products for decorating and styling the home, including a “Wish List’ feature for followers.

Runner up 

 

Congratulations to all winners and runners up in this year’s Bathrooms.com blogger awards! It’s been another fantastic year for the blogging community, and we wouldn’t have had such a great blogger awards season without you, the inspirational bloggers. We’ll see you next year!

Bathrooms.com

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Design:

In The Bath With… Olivia Thristan, Dungarees & Donuts

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into blogging?

I read a few blogs and I also had a friend who did a lot of blogging in the community. It seemed so lovely and other peoples blogs looked pretty so I started to feel I wanted my own space on the internet! It’s been over a year and a half now and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Can you describe your blogging style for us? Is it easy to describe?

My blogging style is just my personality really, with my added comedy factor to shine through into my writing!

What are the key things that influence your work?

New products, Pinterest and Instagram and worldwide topics such as bullying.

Technology has made accessing inspiration a lot easier for everyone nowadays. Is there an app or gadget that you couldn’t live without?

Probably my computer as it is where I store all of pictures, work and it’s easy to access quotes, pictures and other blogs!

What are your plans for 2015 and which trends do you think will be most popular this year?

I hope for Dungarees & Donuts to get bigger as the months pass, as I put a lot of work into my blog and want to spread it to an even wider audience!


What elements of your day-to-day life inspire your posts?

I feel most inspired when I cook, doing my make up and picking out an outfit for the day. Also whenever I am shopping, I always like to think how could I fit ideas and styles into my blog!

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out blogging?  

I know it’s Cliché, but be yourself and the followers will come. Take part in the blogger chats and engage with social media and make yourself well known within the blogging community.


Do you have an inspiration hero?

It’s gotta be Demi Lovato what an inspirational woman to me!


If you could only take one possession to a desert island, what would you take?

One of my treasured MAC lipsticks! 

Want to read more about Dungarees and Donuts? Head to Olivia’s blog here

Twitter 

Facebook 

 

Design:

We can now reveal the Bathrooms.com Home DIY Blogger Awards 2015 shortlist…

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Voting is officially closed! Thank you to everyone who nominated a blog in this year’s competition, celebrating the best of Home DIY and interiors blogging.

The quality of entries continues to amaze us year on year, and this year’s standard has been one of the most impressive.  After reviewing some truly outstanding nominated blogs and Instagram accounts we can now reveal this year’s Bathrooms.com Home DIY Blogger Awards 2015 shortlist.

 

Best Home DIY

Moregeous.co.uk

Pretty Handy Girl

Yasmin Chopin

 

Home DIY Tutorial

Heart Handmade

Plumbers Parts YouTube

We Love Home

 

Affordable Home DIY

Claire Potter Design

Well I Guess This Is Growing Up

 

Home DIY Instagram

Blog And Buy Sale

Emily Rollings Blog

 

Congratulations to everyone who has been shortlisted!

Now the shortlist has been announced our panel of judges will come together to decide a category winner, as well as an overall winner, who will be crowned with the award of Bathrooms.com’s Home DIY Blogger of 2015.

Category winners will each receive £100 along with a personalised trophy, and the overall home DIY award winner will receive £250 with a personalised trophy.

Winners will be announced on April 20th so keep an eye out on our blog and social media channels! 

Bathrooms.com Team