Interview with Pro-Blogger Zarouhi Grumbar

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The second interview in my series of six is with the lovely Zarouhi who writes over at Mama and More. I remember, more than a year ago, when Zaz first began the linky #AllAboutYou, I loved the idea and was hooked right from the start.



Zaz loves yoga and her words are inspirational, you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.




Why did you start blogging?


I began blogging shortly after going back to work after my first child. I adored my daughter - of course - but I also missed and loved the part of me that was the me-before. The career girl, the girl who put on killer heels and delivered presentations to roomfuls of people. I missed the "and more" bit of me, however when I went back to work it was so very very hard both emotionally and logistically. I began blogging to pour my heart out onto the page, and to find a space that was just for me. I also really felt frustrated when doctors, health visitors, swimming teachers etc all called me "mum" - for a start, I'm not yours, and secondly, I have a name!





What did you like most when you started?


It was and still is a space where I often brain-dump. I think that my earlier posts were far more raw, which is unsurprising given that I was going through lots of heartache at leaving my girl, yet wanting to go back to work, and juggling demands and guilt-trips on all sides. My blog was a space where I could pour my heart out.





How long have you been blogging?


Gosh, altogether now it has been about 4 or 5 years, although initially for the first few years I sometimes wrote a post or two a month, far far less than I do now! I really began to take it more seriously about a year ago.





What do you love about blogging now?


It is still resolutely my space! I love the connections I make with other people, and am constantly and pleasantly surprised that anyone reads it at all! A while ago for whatever reason I stopped posting style posts for a couple of weeks, and someone actually wrote to me to tell me they were missing them! I was amazed and touched! I also love of course that I get to write, which I love. Blogging is also an incredible medium, which from a marketing perspective is really exciting - we are publishing and editorial team in one, and can choose who we work with, and are open to amazing opportunities. It really does feel like you are making the rules!





Do you have more than one blog?


Yes, I also have a blog called Yoga with Zaz.





Why?


Yoga with Zaz is the home for information about the yoga classes I run, so it is really more informational at the moment, although there are plans in store for this to change, and I'm quite excited about having been asked to work with a couple of different people on video work, so watch this space!





What is the most important quality of a good blogger?


Being well-organised would be my top pick if forced to choose one, but as I am a Libran and rubbish at choosing just one thing, I have to also add good grammar, an engaging and honest writer (people know immediately if you are a fake!), know where your boundaries are for you and those around you, be sociable, respond to comments, read other blogs, spread good karma, be patient, and be willing to put in the hours - blogging can turn into a Beast that needs to be fed regularly! I also don't believe that you HAVE to have a niche - if you do, then brilliant, but if you want to write about all the things that you are interested in as a fascinating, multi-faceted person, why limit yourself? Many bloggers write in the style of magazines, and I am no different, covering yoga, opinions, fashion, parenting, recipes, reviews; if I'm into it, it's there, it's YOUR space!





As a Pro-Blogger what has been the best opportunity you've been offered so far?


Honestly, the best opportunity in my eyes has been the very real friendships, support and respect from my closest blogging friends, which I know continues to exist when the computer, phone and iPad are switched off! Materially speaking, I've been offered the opportunity to go on yoga retreats, receive and review clothing from great brands, and eat at wonderful restaurants. I can't always do it all, but it's wonderful that the offers do keep coming!





Is there anything you don't like about blogging?


Sigh, the technical aspect is right up there for me. My husband and I are convinced that I have negative ions, and if a computer is going to crash, or a program fail when I'm desperately trying to get a post live, it will definitely happen to me, and regularly keeps me up until 2am when I finally work things out. If I could have a little IT Elf in my pocket, I really would.





If you could recommend one blog to read, which would it be?


This is absolutely impossible to choose! There are so many well-written, fun, informative and stimulating blogs, it really depends entirely on the person reading and what they are looking for. If absolutely forced at gunpoint to choose... well, I'd have to say mine (and then you could look at the Blogs Mama Loves section or my All About You weekly linkup to find lots of truly wonderful blogs!)




Brilliant, thank you Zaz!

All About You goes live every Tuesday and I think you should all link up, it's a wonderful linky and a fabulous community to be a part of, I link up regularly.


A Full-Time Working Mum's Blogging Day

Friday, 24 July 2015

As I'm away on holiday at the moment I asked Kat from Mum for Fun if she'd like to do a guest post for me. Kat and I first started chatting just before BritMums Live, she was trying to convince me to go. Unfortunately I was unable to attend but we've stayed in touch and I was delighted when she agreed to write this guest post for me. Go for it Kat!



I was recently lucky enough to be able to visit BritMums Live, and the question I am always asked is how I juggle blogging, being a parent and working full-time. The answer: with great difficulty!

A Full-Time Working Mum's Blogging Day | Morgan's Milieu: Kat and family from Mum for Fun


I always love to read about what my blogging friends get up to day-to-day, so here is a little insight into the world of a full-time working mother, who also tries to blog!

Before I start, I have to say that being a parent is hard work, amazingly and astoundingly rewarding, but seriously hard, therefore I make absolutely no judgement on how people make a living. If they are stay-at-home parents, work part-time, full-time, full-time pro-bloggers, it is all tremendous, and if all you do on a single day is keep your child alive, well that is the bare minimum really so congratulations! This is my way and I work full-time because my family need me to.

I have done a guest post before for the lovely What Katy Said about my daily routine, but this time I thought I would focus more on my blogging life and how I fit that in with being a full-time working mother.

I'm sure there are loads of bloggers out there that do a full-time job out of the house, and I have been lucky enough to chat to a few of them such as Susan K Mann, MummaScribbles and MamaVsTeacher.

So this is my typical bloggers day:

On the way to work (7:45am) I check Twitter, start with my list of favourite bloggers, read what they have written and re-tweet, favourite or respond as appropriate. Then move onto the main twitter feed and read any blog posts that jump out at me, usually based on the blog title or the picture. Check my emails, do a happy dance if I am contacted by a brand/PR or fellow blogger. I also check my Facebook blogger support group, this is new to my routine and was set up with the lovely ladies I met at BritMums Live.

I work 8:30am - 4:30pm at a University and have a very busy and sometimes stressful job working for the second in command (writing speeches, briefings, running projects etc), which sometimes overflows and I have to take work home. If it is a good day I may get a chance to check Twitter again (briefly) during my lunch break, but lunch is really my chance to either meet up with a friend and go for a walk around our lovely grounds, or listen to an audiobook whilst walking. I absolutely love to read and audiobooks are the easiest way to fit reading into a hectic life! I am also a stickler for getting at least 30 minutes of exercise and fresh air every day, and I'm always striving to get my 10,000 steps per day, which is actually very tricky when you sit down all day at work.

After work hubby and I pick up the little man from Nursery (he is 3.5 years old), go home, and cook dinner, play, watch, talk and then the bedtime routine starts around 6:45 / 7:00pm. He is usually settled into bed by 7:30pm. Some nights there is household related stuff to do or it is date night with my lovely husband. I would say I probably get to blog about 4 nights a week but for only 1.5 - 2 hours, then I'm up to bed, a bit of Twitter and then relax and go to sleep by about 10:30pm.

Weekends are very much family time which varies a lot, some days we meet up with family or friends, go to see a movie, sometimes we stay at home and do low-key activities such as colouring, jigsaw puzzles, football in the garden, go for a walk etc. Sometimes we go out for a big day out, which you will see a proliferation of on my blog. I love to take Nate somewhere new as it is a fabulous way to teach him about the world, improves his vocabulary and he is always super excited, that is of course why my blog is called Mum for Fun.


A Full-Time Working Mum's Blogging Day | Morgan's Milieu: Kat and family - Mum for Fun


Sometimes at the weekend I may get an hour here or there, but mostly it is just my evenings that I get to blog and interact with my blogging friends.

Why do I blog, when I have such a busy life, a full-time job and a family to keep me plenty busy?

I blog because I love to write (I have kept a diary since I was 11 years old and this is just an extension of that), because it is a wonderful cathartic release, because I have "met" some wonderful people and because it has become an obsessive passion and I am finding the longer I do it, the more I want to achieve. I always want my stats to be better, to write more posts, to have more followers, to take better pictures and to work with more brands. But I have to remember that the Mummy blogging community is so lovely that I am really only in competition with myself.





Thanks you so much for that Kat, it is really interesting to read how busy someone's life can be when they work full-time.

You can catch Kat over on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ and please give her a follow on Bloglovin'.


6 Questions for Morgan Prince

Thursday, 23 July 2015

While I'm away I've decided to not only do a series of Interviews with Pro-Bloggers but also do a series of questions for me to answer. 

6 Questions for Morgan Prince | Morgan's Milieu: Morgan Prince, at WDW in 2013


Every week during the holidays I'll post some questions and share my answers, some of the questions will be simple and others will be a little deeper.

To begin I'm going to take the easier questions first...


Interview with Pro-Blogger Vicki Psarias

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

I am on holiday right now but instead of leaving you I've organised a few interviews. There are many bloggers out there that I've admired for a long time and I decided to ask them a few questions and reveal their answers here. There will be six interviews, one per week - every Tuesday. 

To introduce the series I wanted to start with a lady who has inspired me, kept me going when I thought it was too hard, and someone who is always kind - Vicki Psarias.


Vicki blogs at Honestmum.com and you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, amongst others.




Why did you start blogging?


In 2010 when my eldest son, Oliver was 10 months old I hit publish for the first time. I was suffering from a traumatic birth and felt alone and a little lost to be honest, but I rediscovered my voice and a space just for me with honestmum.com. It was all thanks to one of my closes friends, filmmaker Amancay Tapia who encouraged me to write down my experiences and blog.


Four weeks later I was a finalist at the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards in the Fresh Voice category which gave me the most incredible confidence boost. It also helped me to get back on set as a director before slowly making blogging my full time job.




What did you like most when you started?


The friendship and support of other parents who were blogging and tweeting, their were emotional life support. That network, and those women (and now men) became great friends of mine, and even colleagues. To know you're not alone is so comforting especially when times are hard which they inevitably can be with babies.




How long have you been blogging?


4 years and 7 months. I turn 5 at the end of November and it really marks the most incredibly stimulating, creative and rewarding time of my life: combining my greatest loves: my family and writing. Most importantly a blogging career has enabled me to be there for my children, it is a job I can do on my time and my own terms, directing meant 12 hour days on set whereas although I work hard and full time, I can work it around my kids.




What do you love about blogging now?


That I am my own editor, and I can connect with people all over the world, just by hitting publish... that I'm constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone and learning every single day. I couldn't love my job more.




Do you have more than one blog?


Yes I also have a style blog Mummy's Got Style.




Why?


I wanted to chart mine and my family's passion for style and it works well with my style clients too, offering me another platform to my business within the Honestmum Limited umbrella.




What is the most important quality of a good blogger?


I think there are several really, writing what matters to you, what you, yourself would want to read and feeling happy with what you put out into the world. Connecting too, it's the importance of creating emotion on screen (the same applied to my work as a filmmaker even if the screen was bigger then) to speak directly to your readers, to touch, entertain, inspire them...




As a pro-blogger what is the best opportunity you've been offered so far?


Gosh I am lucky that I've had some incredible opportunities. I love being on camera though so modelling for Nova Harley and featuring in British Vogue, being signed as the face of the Essential One and featuring in campaign films for bareMinerals and NIVEA have been real highlights.




Is there anything you don't like about blogging?


I suppose it can be hard to switch off at times as the internet never sleeps. I'm pretty strict though and I do mostly manage to maintain balance even if some days feel manic! I tend to switch my phone and laptop off from pick up until bedtime unless I'm on an urgent deadline so I can just 'be' with my kids.




If you could recommend one blog to read, which would it be?


I can't choose one, I really can't, there are just too many I love, so I'm going with a big ol' famous blog/vlog/site Marie Forleo's: my hero! http://www.marieforleo.com/






Thank you so much for sharing with us Vicki, and I invite you, dear readers, to head over to Honestmum.com and read some wonderful posts, one of my favourites is Be Who You Want to Be.


Flying and Missing Blogging

Thursday, 16 July 2015

I fly to Orlando tomorrow morning and the nerves are starting.

I HATE flying.

Flying and Missing Blogging | Morgan's Milieu: The view of a plane wing
Just looking at this photo makes my stomach do somersaults!


Each time I go on a plane it seems to get worse, last time I was in tears before I stepped foot on the plane. I don't know why but I can't hack it.

Luckily the Hubby is brilliant at flying and the boys don't mind it either. I would hate to have handed my fear down to the boys. The Hubby can occupy them while I drink lots of alcohol and grip the hand rest until my knuckles are white. I'm like a child, it's pathetic and I know it, but I can't help myself. 

Peer-to-Peer Lending with Lending Works

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

With interest rates remaining low the question in savers' minds these days seems to be "How can I get more from my money?"

Cue Lending Works...











A peer-to-peer lending platform that allows you to earn up to 6.4% with market leading protection including default risk insurance. This means you can lend money to individuals and get a decent return in exchange.