Views of London

I love London when it’s sunny and the sky is clear, I personally cannot think of a more beautiful city. ¬†Here are some photos when I was down at The Mads a couple of weeks back.

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And then on the train home, back to my little girl ūüôā

 

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Mummy’s (not) in the Picture

A friend shared this article “The Mom Stays in the Picture” from The Huffington Post on Facebook and it made a few of us quite teary. ¬†It’s a beautiful article about how the writer Allison Tate who feels that as a mother her life now largely goes undocumented because of how she feels about herself now. ¬†Allison is utterly right, I am the photographer/documenter¬†of my daughter’s life, but I’m hardly ever in a photo with her or have an photos of me. Any Miss L takes of me…well generally they end up deleted. ¬†Mostly because in my eyes I’m too fat or look too tired/old/grey/crap.

In fact in the run up to The Mads, they asked me for a family photo of the three of us and I realised the last one was taken on holiday by a Disney photographer in 2009. ¬†I just didn’t have anything more recent than that, which was a bit¬†embarrassing¬†to admit for someone known for taking loads of photos!

So I’m changing this, from now on I will accost strangers to take our photo, use Phootbooth to take silly ones, and let my girl take more photos of me and I’ll stop worrying about looking crap/fat/old. ¬†So to kick myself off here is the latest photo that was taken of me and Miss L a month ago (snapped by my Dad as we were Harvest Decorating their local church windows)

Thank you Allison Tate, I think you’ve woken a lot of us up! ¬†Who’s joining us?

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An Evening Out

I had the most wonderful time at The Mads on Friday, it was so lovely catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones. ¬†Thank you for voting for me so I could be there!¬†I didn’t win, Heather from¬†Growing Spaces¬†did – hurray! Her blog is fabulous and it was so well deserved – go and check her out. I want her home ūüôā

The finalists were really spoilt as we had onsite hair and make up – get in! Just as well as my hair had gone into a Kate Bush style, just huge and curly. Luckily the hairdresser tamed it and then a lovely makeup artist called Sue, sorted out my face. I forgot to take any photos with me in, too busy talking! ¬†But I found this nice one on the Tots100 instagram stream, I’m sitting with Elaine from Mortgage Free in Three¬†who was wearing the most amazing dress!

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As you can see everyone was in a party mood. ¬†I had a good catch up with the very lovely Becky from Baby Budgeting¬†and my fellow Geek Mum, Ruth from GeekMummy¬†(bottom right photo)…

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…(bottom left photo)¬†the stunning Mirka from¬†All Baby Advice¬†and Kat from¬†Slugs on the Refrigerator¬†(who was the big winner of the night – yay!). ¬†Pippa from A Mother’s Ramblings¬†(bottom right photo) who had me in hysterics as usual, she is one of the funniest women I know. I also got to meet for the first time Jen from¬†Love Chic Living¬†which was great as we’ve chatted so much on here and twitter but I didn’t managed to snap a photo of her).
It was a wonderful evening and many thanks to Sally and her team for organizing it and giving us bloggers such a great night out.
 

 

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Removing Facebook from your iPhone Calendar & Contacts

So I got my shiny new iPhone at the weekend (love it!) but then I noticed iOS6 and Facebook had become more integrated, which is well kind of annoying. ¬†¬†Suddenly all my friends in my address book had Facebook email addresses and they were taking preference over their actual email addresses. ¬†And then this morning I was woken up by a Calendar alert for some Facebook event which I had ignored – because who ever replies to those? ¬†But suddenly it was in my diary and I couldn’t delete it!

But it’s dead simple to fix:

Go into Settings

Scroll down to Facebook and then

Turn Calendar and Contacts to ‘Off’

Done – no more annoying updates or weird email addresses :).

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RSS Readers and Email Subscribers

Hello Lovely Subscribers!,

You get your RSS Feed or Emails to Violet Posy via something called Feedburner which I’ve decided to stop using. But in order to keep you all I need to make some changes so ¬†you can all still follow the blog and I wondered if you could all resubscribe? ¬†I would be amazingly grateful if you could!

So to resubscribe to the RSS Feed the new feed is:¬†http://violetposy.co.uk/feed/¬† – see what I did there! ūüôā

And if you get the blog via your email then there is a new email sign up on the right hand side bar of Violet Posy (3rd Widget down)

If you don’t feel like using either anymore, then you can also follow the blog over on Facebook

If you’re not going to resubscribe, can I just take this chance to say thank you for all your support over the years, it’s been really appreciated!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Liz x

 

 

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The Mads and a Thankyou or Two

The Mads (Mum and Dad Blogging Awards) is coming up next week, and frankly it’s kind of crept up on me – where did September go?

I’d like to thank you all again for voting for me in the category of the Best Home Blog. ¬†I’m nominated with some wonderful other bloggers ¬†Frugal In Cornwall, Growing Spaces, Love Chic Living¬†and The White Approach¬†¬† I’m rather looking forward to having a glass of wine with them. ¬†I couldn’t have done that without you all kindly taking the time to vote for me, hugs to you all.

It’s being held at a swish London hotel this year and I was having bit of a panic about what to wear. ¬†I was thinking my black maxi dress and some purple trainers for comfort. Last year I wore high heels and they were off of my feet in about 10 minutes of getting there! ¬†But saving the day for me yesterday I got an email asking me if I’d like to choose an outfit from the Littlewoods Catalogue and they’d send it to me to wear – yes please!

Now I don’t get to dress up much anymore, I don’t work in an office, there are no Christmas parties to attend anymore and all my friends are married. Frankly I’ve kind of forgotten how to dress up, I’m in my uniform of jeans, t-shirts, converse and a jumper when it’s cold pretty much every day.

So what to wear? ¬†I had a good look through and there were some lovely clothes on there, but anything strapless or short I don’t think I can wear anymore. ¬† So I’ve gone with fairly tailored red dress and shoes from Holly Willoughby’s collection as she has a similar figure to me . It’s been ages since I’ve worn anything red, probably about 14 years or so, I really hope it looks ok!

 

and these shoes, which aren’t something I would have bought for myself normally because they are red and fun and I have literally nothing to wear with them other than this dress. But they are gorgeous!

And the last thank you is to my category’s sponsor¬†Vertbaudet who send me these beautiful canopy curtains for Miss L’s room. I’m hoping to makeover her room and finally re-paint it this winter and she’s always wanted a little canopy around her bed so these will be perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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{July 2012}

Sorry for the lack of blogging recently, we’ve been hanging out at home and enjoying visiting with friends and family and not really doing too much. ¬†But I have managed to take a few photos of our travels and days out. I’m really hoping the weather picks up this weekend so we can head to the beach for a few hours, it’ll be heavenly!

PS what do you think to the new look on the blog? ¬†I’m still toying with making it a magazine layout, but I’m undecided. I’ll be interested to hear what you all think. ta! x

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{Sponsored Post} Mr Kipling Competition

What‚Äôs your favourite Mr Kipling cake? (mine’s without question Battenburg – yum!)
Are you an Angel Slice lover or is the classic Cherry Bakewell what floats your boat. Mr Kipling is putting this question to the nation with the launch of the new Kipling Cup competition.
Simply vote for your favourite Mr Kipling cake as it goes head to head with other Mr Kipling favourites. There is still time to vote with a quarter final, semi -final and grand final where the winning cake will be crowned.
After the first round of votes the classic Cherry Bakewell was leading the race with 4,898 votes, with the Viennese Whirl coming up a close second with 4,406 votes. Regionally it seems Londoners are mainly Cherry Bakewell fans while cake lovers in Edinburgh are all about the Bramley Apple.
So what‚Äôs your favourite? Get voting at¬†www.kiplingcup.com¬†or get your friends involved and you could win four packs of your¬†favourite Mr Kipling or if your cake wins a round you could win a year‚Äôs supply of cake ‚Äď now that would be something to get exceedingly excited about.
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{The Mads 2012} Thankyou

MAD Blog Awards 2012¬†I just popped over to The Mads (Mum and Dad Blog Awards) to see if I’d been nominated for anything and I had such a lovely surprise I’m really chuffed! ¬†Violet Posy has been nominated for¬†Most Innovative, Most Helpful Blogger, Best Home Blog and the big one Best Blog of the Year!

I really can’t thank all of you who nominated my blog enough. I hadn’t really publicised The Mads on here much because I’ve been fortunate enough to nominated the last couple of years and I’ve not really blogged that much this year – work, life and everything in between has kind of gotten in the way. ¬†So this is extra special to me. Even if I don’t get to the finals it doesn’t matter, the fact that people liked Violet Posy enough to nominate it is enough for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart xx

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Sometimes I forget..

Where I live, we have a 928 year old cathedral, the current building was started in¬†1083. ¬†Because it’s such a fixture of our town and I go past it so often I don’t really forget it’s there but you stop appreciating it’s age and of all the buildings around it. ¬†All the buildings around it are still used, people live and work in them they aren’t museum pieces but living breathing buildings, which does make you forget they are so old.

Yesterday I was standing in the high street, waiting for the family to come out of a shop and I noticed this little plaque which I’d never noticed before. ¬†It was on the wall next to archway that leads to the back of the Cathedral. I always think of that bit as being fairly modern, there are shops and small houses in it, but it turns out not so much.

Is there anything really old in your town, that you’ve never noticed before?

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What’s Your Favourite WordPress Plugin?

Yesterday I had an email from an advertiser asking if their ads could just appear on my homepage, and I knew my theme couldn’t do it so I’d have to hunt for a plugin. ¬†Now there are¬†18,964 WordPress plugins at the moment – where to start? ¬†I tried a couple of custom sidebar ones and they were crap and then on the Parent Blogger Facebook site Heather recommended ‘Widget Logic’. It was perfect and did exactly what I wanted it to in seconds – thanks Heather!

And that got me thinking, what are your favourite plugins? ¬†What could your blog not function without? ¬†What little gems do you use? ¬†I don’t do a whole lot that is fancy on here, but the ones I’ve used and like are:

Akismet – Keeps away the crazy Spam.

Background Patterns – lots of subtle background patterns you can install in seconds.

Tabber Widget – Add tabs to your sidebar.

Ultimate Thesis Theme Options – Brillant for adding widget areas to Thesis Theme.

WP Google Fonts – Adds Google fonts to where ever you want them on your page.

WP-Protect – You can stop right clicking and protect your blog.

WPtouch – Mobilises your site for mobile devices.

Instagram for WordPress – Nice plugin for showing off your photos in the sidebar.

GetMeCooking Recipe Template – nice for adding recipes to your site.

Linkwithin – not a plugin but a bit of code you can get from their site which generates posts which maybe of interest to your readers.

What are your favourite plugins? ¬†I can’t wait to hear about some new ones so I can play with them ūüôā

 

 

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{Blog Tips} Creating Blog Headers on PicMonkey

Here is my new and shiny updated version of this post. Picnik is now sadly dead but PicMonkey has taken it’s place is my heart so here’s how to make headers on PicMonkey instead. ¬†Sadly they haven’t gotten collages up and working yet, but when they do I’ll add how to make a collage header on here.

But in the meantime here’s how to make a simple blog header on PicMonkey. ¬†Here are some of the looks you can achieve:

Basic with Text

Add a Filter

Add a Frame

The main thing you need to know when you’re creating your header is the size it needs to be. If you make it too big or too small it will just not look right.¬† So if you’re on Blogger to check your width, go into where you load the header in design and it will tell you how wide you need it to be . With regard to height¬†I’d personally not go any higher than maybe 300-350px high or it takes up the top part of your screen and then you’re readers will have to scroll a lot to see your posts ¬†If you are on WordPress, consult your custom header upload area and it’ll tell you how big you need to make it.

So here’s how:

You have the choice of either making it with one photo or many so here is the one photo option:

1. Go to PicMonkey and upload a photo that’s nice and big (you don’t need to create an account)

2. Once it’s uploaded – click on the Crop button and crop the image so it’s wide and a little narrow (using drag):

Then when you have the bit of the photo you want to use click on ‘ok’ and then it takes you back to the menu screen.¬† Click then on ‘Resize’

3. You’ll need to resize the image to the correct size.¬† So at the bottom left of the page there is a box called ‘Resize’ which has the sizes in, you’ll need to change the numbers in it. I’ve made this one to be 980px wide and clicked the ‘Keep Proportions’ so the height pretty much takes care of itself. Click on ‘ok’ when you think it looks right. Remember you can always go back and re crop the image if you don’t think it looks right.

4.¬† Adding text to the image – Click on the ‘P’ tab which will bring up text and then you can add the text in the colour & font you wish to the image. You can move it around and even add your tag line as well if you have one.

You can also add boarders, shapes, image filters all sorts via that left hand bar.

5. Finally click on the ‘Save’ tab bottom left, make sure the image is the right size, and make sure it’s the right quality 8 is normally ok.¬† And save it back to your machine – you can decide where, then you can upload it to your blog in the normal way.

You can make badges in the same way. ¬† With images I normally crop it into a square 400px x 400px (big enough so you can see what you’re doing)¬† and then in the final save I make a few 125px x 125px, 160px x 160px, 180px x 180px and 200px x 200px.¬† Obviously if you know what size your side bar can take then you can make it that size.

Happy Header Making!

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Getting Rid of Captcha

I’ve been reading a lot of posts recently about pet blogging hates and one of them being Captcha’s – you know that bit when you post a comment and gives you two words to type because it’s checking you are a human?. My friend Kelly over at Domestic Goddesque has written a great article about how they drive her mad and her campaign to ban them. I hate them mainly because I can never read the damn things and it’s even worse when you are on a mobile device.

Until recently you couldn’t turn Captcha’s off in New Blogger, you had to go back into the old format which most new blogger’s don’t even know about. ¬†If you want to look at the old Blogger layout btw – there are a few extra bits and pieces there, click on the cog on the top right and then select ‘Old Blogger’ – you can always come back to the new.

But it looks like there has been an update to New Blogger, which means you can now rid your blog of Captcha or Word Verification as Blogger like to call it. Just follow the instructions below and turn it off and look forward to getting lots more comments.

 

 

 

 

 

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