Jackson, Mississippi, looks gorgeous in The Help: stately Southern mansions sit amid Delta farmland, pecan trees shade mid-century ranch houses, and the white ladies (because they are definitely “ladies”) go about the business of playing cards and ruthlessly enforcing the status quo while wearing the most sensational New Look styles – all cinched waists and bouffant helmet hair. The black maids wear their prim uniforms with dignity.
So it would be easy to think of this movie as just another Hollywood version of white hero (or in this case heroine) “saving” the black people from oppression, writes Jennifer Howze.
Right! We've been talking about it all year long and we're going to highlight it today. What, might you ask, am I on about? VIDEO BLOGGING!!! It's taking the US Blogging Community by STORM! It's slowly but surely creeping into the UK Blogosphere and we want to step it up a notch! You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
This week, instead of Good READS, we're highlighting Good VIDS on the BritMums network. Our video bloggers have worked hard to produce some great videos for you on a wealth of topics. We're highlighting 10 of the most recent uploads to the BritMums network but there are tons more to browse through. Take some time to have a look at what these bloggers are doing. It's not rocket science. In fact, it's usually just a blogger talking to the camera. Simple yet entirely effective! Roll tape...
We just LOVE video. It personalises the blogger...shows us who they are, what they sound like, what they look like and what they FEEL. You can communicate effectively through words, of course. But video can really open a door into the blogger behind the blog which takes your understanding of that person to a different level.
Yes, video blogging can be challenging and it's not for everyone. You can tell when someone is uncomfortable in front of the camera and it can make for uncomfortable viewing but you don't always have to be in front of the camera. You can be creative and try different methods. Video is actually quite fun and freeing...it's a new thing you can wrap your head around and take your blog to a different audience.
We'll continue to help, educate and inspire you to video blog on BritMums so watch this space and give it a go. You never know what video blogging might lead to for you!
Have a great week and Happy Vlogging!
(And while we've got you here, have a look at our latest Featured Video)
With new cookery schools popping up almost daily in the UK it’s worth taking a few moments to make sure that you’re signing up for the best possible culinary experience. Nick Wyke, founder of the UK’s leading cookery schools directory www.lookingtocook, offers his six essential tips.
The word of a bona-fide foodie friend or colleague who has been on a course is hard to beat. Apart from that, the national papers intermittently do round-ups which invariably feature the same old suspects (despite the fact that there are hundreds of cookery schools out there, some of which are truly amazing), and local papers will write up a new school.
Like many of us I’m sure, I didn't set out to become a mummy blogger. I just wanted to see if I could write. No master plan, no strategy.
When a colleague suggested it, I didn’t know what a blog was but he help me set up Scribbling Mum and within weeks I was immersed in the online world. Clicking on links, ending up in new blogs, reading, commenting - the hours flew by. Oh yes I thought, this is fun, I could do this.
Don't you just love Autumn? Cooler breezes, the leaves changing colour, darker mornings, slow cookers coming out of the cupboard...ah, Autumn! Of course, with Autumn comes our first attempt at Half-Term this school year. What we want to know, for this week's BritMums Video Blog Challenge is...
Half Term...Heaven or Hell?
Are you inspired to be SuperMum for half-term or are you shaking in your boots with trepidation over the fact that the kids will be home for a week and you've got to entertain them? Will you jam-pack the week with "go go go" or let the week unfold at its own pace? We'd love to know what you think about the coming week and what you're doing to prepare yourself, your house, your craft cabinet (everyone has one of those right?) and your kids.
Get out the video camera/smartphone/webcam and talk to us. Show us what you've got in store for the kids. Are you tackling a particular craft that you think we could manage too? Have a recipe for a super baking activity with the kids that you want to show us? Go crazy! Unleash your inner vlogging goddess!
As with our other blogging prompts, create your video blog, upload it to a video platform, post it on your blog and pop back over and link it up. We looking forward to the BritMums community providing all of us with some Half-Term inspiration. Ready, steady, vlog...
Another week is soon upon us. For many of us, one more week and then it's the first half-term of the school year! Can you believe how fast 6 weeks has flown by? This week I read a really interesting post by the delightful Nicki Cawood at Curly & Candid. In it, she pondered from where the pressure to blog comes from. It's a great question and one that we hope, here at BritMums HQ, that you consider with care. We hope NO ONE feels the PRESSURE to blog. We all should be blogging because we have something to say and want to share it.
As I was pondering who has been exceptionally brilliant this week in the BritMums community, I started thinking about all of the Bloggers of the Week we've had. Then I thought I would go through and write them all down (I do like a good list). Do you know that we have had 30 Bloggers of the Week so far? We've missed the odd week here and there but are nearing the year anniversary of the FIRST BritMums Blogger of the Week. Hasn't it been a good year as well?
BritMums has come such a very long way with our shiny new network, we've seen the birth of a new glorious conference, BritMums Live! and are looking forward to things like the Brilliance in Blogging Awards and our up and coming Big Sis Mentoring Programme. 2011 has been phenominal...imagine what 2012 will hold!
Since June’s Bailey Review raised concerns over the commercialisation and sexualisation of children and called for more responsible behaviour by broadcasters and advertisers, pressure has been on advertisers to control the “wallpaper” of sexual imagery facing today’s children.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says it has taken a number of steps to help protect children, including – as it was asked to by the Bailey Review – reducing inappropriate sexualised imagery from outdoor advertising where kids could see it.
While we love reading all BritMums’ blogs, there are some that are some that stand out as so funny, so outrageous, so honest that you have to read them with a cocktail to hand... or at the least, a very strong cup of tea and a HobNob. So, grab your poison, put your feed up and enjoy some of the best cocktail bloggers from the BritMums network.
Fran from Motherventing blogs to let her creative energies out, and talks about her experiences as a mum and the physical, mental and emotional challenges it brings. But if this sounds like a run-of-the-mill parenting blog, take a look at the strapline for a clue to the gems inside: “taking all the fluffy aspects of parenting and totally sh**ting all over them”.
Happy Hump Day! To get us over the hump and to the weekend we've got another edition of the BritMums Good Reads for your reading pleasure today. We keep our eyes on you lot, you know. Watching and reading and waiting for brilliance and every week we are amazed with the quality of writing in our BritMums community. Gone are the days of nappies and dummies (well, we do still enjoy a good "poo story") and in their places are stories of inspiration, entertainment and damn good writing. We love it!
Are you ready for some brilliance? We've scoured the blogosphere and found some outstanding posts for you to get stuck into. Ready, steady, READ...
Welcome to my favourite day of the week, it's the one that comes after tortuous Monday and before boring old Wednesday. Yep you guessed it... Newbie Tuesday! So sit back and put your feet up as Doctor Mammasaurus administers your weekly dose of newer blogging joy!
Highlights of the week...
There’s no business like show business like no business I know! But our video bloggers ask if it is the right kind of business to be encouraging your child to tap dance, warble or pantomime their way into?
Like Ruth from geekmummy.com asks, why would you encourage your child into showbusiness any more than accountancy or any other interest of theirs?
This week we're going to give you a simple topic to talk about. Yes, it may require you to actually be ON CAMERA but it's an easy topic to talk about. If you're feeling particularly inspired, you could even film other things to represent how you feel about the topic. The possibilities are endless. Without further ado...this week's video blogging challenge:
Well, it would seem that the BritMums community is quite enjoying our Blogging Prompts! Last week, 39 bloggers shared their posts inspired by the blogging prompts which pleases us no end. We're seeing some amazing writing, being shown a bit more about individual bloggers and finding some great new blogs to follow as well. Shall we all have a big group cuddle now as well?
This week we're providing you with another TWO prompts: one blogging related and one personal. Use your creativity to make these themes happen for you. We hope to give you a bit of inspiration to kick off your week. Let us know what you think in the comments below...we're always open to suggestion you know!
We asked her to write a guest post to share the tips and tactics with all of you, but we'd love to hear your experiences of dodging digital difficulties too.
Take a walk with us. A walk down Memory Lane. Back to the early days of blogging. Back to when you FIRST started blogging and didn't know your SEO from your USP. Back to when you didn't know what Twitter was much less who to follow or re-tweet. Back to when you were blogging to your parents and one or two friends. Remember?
For many of us, those early weeks and months were possibly frustrating and confusing. It would have been really lovely if someone could have taken us by the virtual hand and let us in on a few trade secrets, helped us to see where we could improve, suggested a slightly different blog layout or design and maybe introduced us to a few of their friends along the way.
Ahhh, the cool winds of autumn have begun to blow, evening is creeping in earlier and earlier and more often than not we end up waking up in darkness. Very conducive to sleep but makes dragging yourself into your day a bit trickier! With the season change comes bundling up, central heating and thoughts of Christmas. Ack! I've said the "C"-word. Curses! Well, to take our mind off the chilly weather and strain to our budgets that holiday shopping brings, I thought we'd have a look at a rather stunning blogger who has caught our eye at BritMums HQ this week.
If you were frustrated at not snagging tickets to the Olympic or Paralympic event of your choice, imagine how the athletes have felt. For British athletes, the issue of how to secure seats for their parents, spouse or children is an added stress amid the intense training leading up to next summer.
Now P&G, an official Olympic and Paralympic sponsor, has stepped in and organised tickets for all the British athletes (or “Team GB”) – two tickets for Olympic athletes and four for Paralympic for their first event.
This is one day I really miss not being in Silicon Valley, though thoughts of Steve seem to have circled the globe many times over, and landed inside my head, swirling around, trying to escape through my keypad.
Please leave your thoughts below.
You can also send your memories and condolences for this extraordinary man to firstname.lastname@example.org
We all know how very important buggies are to our children and for maintaining our sanity as parents, particularly when our precious children begin to toddle and need containment and security. Heathrow Airport has recently been reaching out to a group of Mummy Bloggers to see how much more family friendly they can make parent's flying experience.
Imagine our surprise after reading the following story in The Evening Standard yesterday. At Terminal 1, thanks to the decisions of someone at Menzies Aviation, their baggage handlers will no longer be permitted to handle buggies due to "health and safety" regulations. What this means for parents is that, upon check-in at Terminal 1 at Heathrow Airport, you will no longer be permitted to take your buggy into the terminal and up to the departure gate. You will need to check-in your buggy along with your luggage and will not be reunited with your buggy until you arrive at baggage claim at your destination. No more meeting you at the ramp to the plane! You'll have to negotiate lengthy airport walks on either side without the convenience of your buggy.
Lucy from Family Affairs and other matters is getting behind Innocent’s push to receive donations of knitted hats for Innocent bottles, the sales of which help to raise money for Age UK.
Here, she implores you to get click clacking with your needles (even if, whisper it, she herself can’t actually knit…)
Innocent have asked for another big push to reach all the knitters out there in order to increase the much needed funds for Age UK – their target is 800,000 hats which is an awful lot of teeny weeny hats.
Spotlight time again! Here at BritMums HQ we just love to point you in the direction of great writing, interesting bloggers and the latest and greatest news in the blogosphere. It's hard work here at BritMums HQ you know? The BritMums membership is up to 3100+ now with more members joining every day. Our network has so many features and brilliant ways of highlighting content that you're never going to be short of something to see, do, sign up for or read. What a service! Feel free to send cake...we get hungry at BritMums HQ!
Sally Whittle is an editor, blogger and writer who organises the MAD Blog Awards. Here, she introduces the winners for each category and describes an altogether unique awards experience...
This weekend saw the second annual MAD Blog Awards ceremony, which celebrate the very best of British parent blogging.
The MAD Blog Awards isn’t your typical awards ceremony. For starters, the acceptance speeches included references to incontinence, Spanx underwear and an impromptu dance-off between five of the finalists. Of course, no blogging party is complete without some bad karaoke and our finalists proved that their talents don’t necessarily extend to singing, as they lined up to use the X-Factor karaoke pod.
Bonjourno fellow bloggers and a warm welcome once more to 'Newbie Tuesday'! Another week has passed and once more I have been wowed by some great newer bloggers’ posts. First things first, this is going to make for some fabulous reading so get prepared - pour a cuppa, hack off a wedge of choccy cake and shut the kids under the stairs (okay, so definitely don't do that last bit)!
Some six months after the events, the PM said that he “deeply regrets” causing offence, and that the comments made in the House of Commons just “came out wrong and caused the wrong impression”.
Some of us have the house back in the daytime, some of us are finding our groove again in the workplace, and now, perhaps.. just maybe... we can snatch a little bit of time just for us.
Or can we? As our video bloggers discuss, sometimes the mummies are willing but the flesh is off hanging out the washing, typing up urgent documents or dealing with every other daily demand.
Once again, we're going to give you a Video Blogging Challenge this week which will hopefully get the cameras rolling and our bloggers trying something new. We know video blogging can be intimidating but it can also be really fun and different and will add an entirely new dimension to your blogging.
We are aware that many of you are wary of putting yourself on camera so we're going to try a different sort of video blogging challenge which might draw a few more of you in.
My Favourite Space in my Home is...
This is simple! Show us where YOUR favourite space is in your home. Where do you find your peace? Where do you retreat to when it all gets to be a bit too much? Where do you recharge your batteries?
You can take us on a tour of this space (without appearing on camera) or simply set up your camera to take it all in with you included (or a bit of both!). Keep your video, ideally, to under 5 minutes to keep your viewers hooked and that's it! So who amongst you is going to give this a go? We want to see you and/or your favourite spaces! Take us through the keyhole!
Ready, steady, VLOG!
The time has come for another dose of blogging inspiration courtesy of the BritMums Blogging Prompt of the Week. Once again, we're giving you a choice of a personal prompt and a blogging prompt to get your creative juices flowing. We're loving that people are starting to be inspired by this feature and we're doing our best to get to all of your posts, comment and promote them as much as we can. Be sure to Tweet us your link when you post it (@BritMums) and link up your post below to share with the blogosphere.
We hope you'll find something to write about with one or the other (or BOTH!) of these prompts! Shout when you've got a post to promote...we're always happy to "pimp" our BritMums members. Now, have a think and turn on your laptop/computer/iPad and get to writing.
Another week comes to a close and as British Parent Bloggers prepare to attend the MAD Blog Awards tonight in London (best of luck to all of the finalists, many of whom are BritMums members), we would like to showcase one of our own for this week's BritMums Blogger of the Week. Can you feel the love? Group hug everyone!
According to this blogger's site, these are some of the vital items or "Cold Hard Facts" that you need to know about her:
So simple and so effective! We love a succinct "About Me" page, we do! We're also quite fond of this blogger's strap line: "Taking all the fluffy aspects of parenting and totally shitting all over them!" Parent blogging has changed just a little bit hasn't it? Just in case you don't know this blogger yet, we give you...Motherventing!
Having only been blogging for about 6 months now, Motherventing is making herself known in the blogosphere with her refreshingly honest writing about everything from How to Be a Wife and Marital Strife to Guilty Pleasures (which made us drool on our laptop) and A Soft Play Drama. But one of our favourite posts from Motherventing was one written this week which was inspired by the BritMums Blogging Prompt. "If I wouldn't be judged harshly I would say________ out loud" was the PERFECT admission of parental imperfection which we highly admire.
So do add Motherventing to your reading rota and race on over to her delightfully amusing venting platform. We are envious of her ability to share the good, the bad and the ugly with such wit, lovely writing and honesty.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Enjoy the "Indian Summer" which will make the ever shorter nights that much more bearable. And again, best of luck to all of the MADs Finalists. Well done to you all!